Category Archives: our house

34/50: choose new doorknobs

Our house has those standard brass knobs from the 90′s. I really hate them! So we’re getting brushed nickel ones that match the kitchen hardware. We’re getting the lever type, too, since I will have a baby in my arms and can open this type with my elbow. :)

31/50: create a baby cabinet in the new kitchen

I plan to breastfeed, but I have 4 large cartons of formula “samples” I’ve collected over the past few moths. (They try to get you hooked early!) And I have a lot of bottles, bottle brushes, a microwave sterilizer, and a dishwasher basket that all need a place to live in the new kitchen. Since we didn’t have any of this stuff in the old kitchen, we didn’t even plan for it. (What can we say, we’re absolute geniuses.) So now I need to go figure that out…

28/50: purge the pantry

This is pretty easy because the pantry was emptied for the kitchen remodel. However, some stuff has gone past its expiration date so it needs to be tossed. I’d also like to reorganize these drawers more carefully than I had them before. I know it was hard to see the canned goods shelf in the original setup because it was in the top drawer. Now that we’ve moved these pantries 2″ higher, it’s even harder to read the can labels. So I want to change that. Maybe I should put all the junk food up there!


Update: Done!


Apparently we have 4 jars of peanutbutter… hmm…

25/50: cook something in the crockpot

I still don’t have an oven, and I might not have one when the baby gets here, either. So I need to figure out how to use this thing. I think I made beans in it once, like 3 years ago, and I used it to keep soup hot one winter. But actually cooking in it? No idea.


Here’s the recipe I want to make:
Chicken Enchilada Slow Cooker Stew

I’m going to add squash, zucchini, black beans, extra chicken broth, and taco seasoning. It has to cook for 6 hours so I’d better get on it!


Here is my spice “drawer”:

Reno cooking: finding the spices


And here is my Crockpot, making this stew:

Reno cooking: crock pot in action


Now to figure out what to do with the rest of these squash and zucchini…

23/50: purge and clean the fridge

Today we are moving the fridge out of the living room where it has lived for 3 months. It will finally take its place in the cabinet surround in the kitchen. Before it gets moved, I need to clean out all the expired or tired food in there. That way it’s easier to push around. I’m going to clean it too, since it’s been about 6 months. Yuck!


We’re also putting in one side of countertop today. Hurray! I’m so excited!!

7/50: clean up for kitchen work

My FIL is coming over tomorrow to work on the kitchen, so I need to clean up and take out the trash. Mostly I just need to organize the tools, wipe down the bathrooms, and vacuum. Adam usually does this stuff, but he suddenly came down with a cold. He’s even staying home from work today. :( We have our one and only birth class on Sunday, which I still need to prepare for, but I’m hoping he will have beaten this bug by then.


Anyway, here’s our kitchen progress so far:

Kitchen - left side cabinets

Kitchen - ride side cabinets

We still need to put a few more of the cabinets in. After that, we’ll install the counter tops. We have to do that before we can add doors, drawers, and all the stuff that belongs in them. (You know, the stuff currently filling up my nursery.) I’m so excited!

nothing says happy birthday quite like…

Cabinets. That’s right, slowly but surely, they’re going up! Happy 27th birthday to me!


The boys using good ole Ikea picture instructions.

Adam and his dad, building drawers


The cabinets were going in nice and level at that point, but it took a lot to get them there. First we had to tile the floors underneath the cabinets. We could have used another type of filler, but this was a cheap and easy solution.


OMG more tiling


Second, we noticed the walls were very uneven, to the point that they would definitely throw off the alignment of the countertop.


Not lining up


In order to fix this, the boys cut the portion of the drywall that butted up against the cabinet. Eventually they were able to get it perfectly straight. We were lucky that this was only a problem for the sink cabinet, because it was very time consuming and messy. If it were an end cabinet, we might have had to repair the drywall cosmetically, which would have taken up even more time. Considering that I’m already 30 weeks, we are cutting it close as it is!

we have doors!

A loooooooooooooooong time ago, Adam decided to replace the pocket door that leads to the hallway. Sounds simple right? Except that it was caulked in, and then someone drilled a thermostat through it. (Lesson: Nothing is ever easy in this house!!!)


Adam uncaulking the pocket door
Adam took out the thermostat and put it on the other side of the A/C in the hallway, & cut the caulk with a box cutter. Success!



But then the door was stuck. It had to come out, it was riddled with holes and had nails in it. Plus it’s that wonderful hollow style door that was so chic in the 60′s.


Here’s a video of Adam busting in the door, and almost busting his ass!


He eventually did kick the door in, but once we saw what was behind the molding, we decided to redo all the moldings in the house.



Which brings us to our story of the doors. You see, in our house, the only thing holding up the door frames were the moldings. So when we took the molding down, all the doors, frames and all, came toppling down. We have been living without doors since June 13th of 2010. That’s 3 days shy of a full year!! That’s why I’m so excited about a few doors!


We decided to harvest the nursery door and turn it into our new pocket door. Adam did this by adding wheels to the top. He got the wheels online. We then replaced the nursery door with a 15 lite french door.
New Doors

I feel like this makes so much more sense. We can close off that section of the house and the french door makes the hallway much more welcoming. Plus we can peek in on Lilu whenever we want without actually going into the room. :) I am so glad we did this!

kitchen updates

When I left my house, it looked like a giant paper bag.

paper bag room


But over the past 3 days I’ve been getting iphone updates from my husband showing major progress! So exciting!


drywall is up
drywall going up


mudded and done!
drywall mudded and done


apparently the retexturing happened & painting began
Living room paint going up!


the kitchen is done being painted
kitchen with paint


and the livingroom is in progress — love the color!
livingroom with paint


Tomorrow the trims and doors go in, and then the trim painting and other finishing work will be done. It’s amazing how fast these guys are! I’m so glad we hired this job out instead of doing it ourselves!

buring the midnight oil

Since all the electric and plumbing work is done, we spent all day putting up insulation and radiant barrier. The kitchen is on the south side of the house and, because this is Florida, that means a lot of heat comes in right on this wall. Adding lots of insulation here is not only green, it’s also very cost effective.


Here’s what’s up in the ceiling, under the insulation:
Inside the ceiling

Those styrofoam boxes are called baffles. They keep the insulation from blocking air flow. Seems weird that the attic needs air flow, but otherwise the air in the attic gets super hot, which can transfer to the house, trap moisture, and damage the roof shingles.


Me stapling radiant barrier
The radiant barrier goes along the block walls, where we don’t have any insulation. It basically bounces the heat waves back out, instead of letting them come into the house. It looks like foil on one side and like a paper bag on the other.


Adam putting up radiant barrier
As soon as these last bits are done, we can go to bed! Inspection is tomorrow, 8am sharp!