Saturday, December 29, 2012

On the 1st Day of Christmas...

Okay, I admit it, I missed Christmas with these guys.  But, my tree is still up and who could pass up the sweet, sweet deals at Michael's the weekend after Christmas?  Not me.

So Christmas crap... I mean crafts... are 70% off.  This is spectacular news for me, because I LOVE Christmas and I'm not ready to let it go yet.  And, I need something to do since I'm all gimped up from a clumsy car packing moment on Christmas Day.  Dang broken foot... it's sent me in a downward shame spiral of post holiday crafting. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Pie Ride

New Guy and his friends go on an annual pie ride... Pie, Christmas lights, and bicycles.  I'm sure there is also guy talk and beer, but who am I to speculate?  So, I made a cherry pie and some banana toffee concoction. Both tasty. Only one pretty. 

Home Improvement Stores

Man, I love home improvement stores, but they seriously lose their luster when you find yourself in one repetedly for an unplanned issue.  Once in a while, sure... I'm having a good time, looking at light fixtures, dreaming of a fully sodded backyard.  But as often as we've been going, bleh.

Misleading blog title though.  This has very little to do with home improvement stores and a lot to do with relationship advice. Some of you may be thinking I'm not the best person to be giving it... but you don't get to 32 without being married to the wrong person by accident.  It takes self control and planning.

New Guy and I are in the throws of a bathroom remodel.  An unexpected bathroom remodel to be more specific. Anyone who has ever played the DIY game can tell you that with each increased degree of difficulty in the project, the likelihood of an argument increases tenfold... and ladies and gentlemen... New Guy and I are down to the studs with exposed plumbing.

So, on Sunday, we found ourselves... yet again... at Lowe's.  I love lists, so I made one.  It was neatly written on six sheets of paper.  That was not a mistype. Six. Sheets. Of. Paper. I blame the meth, but that's another story.

With a photo of just the portion of the list I needed on this particular visit, I headed off to flooring while New Guy looked at Christmas gift tool sets.  About fifteen minutes later, I couldn't push the cart without bracing my foot against the lower rack and kicking off.  I'm telling on myself just a smidge if you take a close look at the list... you will realize just how nice New Guy is that he didn't comment on the last few items of section 1.  But for the sake of the story.. the list...

Sixty five 6x24 tiles and four hundred and thirteen 3x6 tiles later, we were ready to leave... the tile aisle to look at bathtubs. One bathtub on top of the massive pile-o-stuff and we were finally off to the checkout.

(The advice is coming... get ready.)

New Guy and I are what I like to refer to a middle America power couple. Engineering degree, MBA, both with great jobs with benefits, two Subarus in the driveway, solid income, NO KIDS.  Does this make the sting of an impromptu pre-Christmas bathroom remodel lessen?  Yes.  Does it make it go away?  Not a chance. Close your eyes and imagine the beeping of the cash register and envision the total creeping up, up, up...

"Your total is..."  Seriously, no one needs to know this.  I'll give you the full run down when we are done.

So we split the bill.  Yes, it's advice time. New Guy and I are both more than capable of paying for the trip to Lowe's alone.  But this is OUR bathroom in OUR home.  So, we split the cost.  We will both end up spending more as we pull together the remaining pieces.  But, no one had to take a massive hit on Sunday. Did we have a discussion at the register? Nope.  Because we OPENLY DISCUSS OUR FINANCES already.  There wasn't a need to add to the stress of the day with a conversation, because in our home, it's an ongoing conversation.  Where are we financially?  Where are we going?  How are we going to get there... together?

So there it is.  Be open about money.  Simple enough, but so many couples fail in this area.  We talk about kids and where we want to live, what season a wedding should be in and whether we will buy a cat.  But, so many couples skip the dollars and cents. You can't live on love alone.  Not in America.  You need groceries, water, shelter, etc. That takes money, so plan openly with the person you want to spend you life sharing expenses with.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Another Cabinet Door

I am determined to get the most use possible out of the bathroom demo. We still have nothing but bare floors and studs in the bathroom. We are learning to share a bathroom for the first time in our relationship. It's a learning curve for sure.

Anyhow, I've been trying to decide what to get my grandpa for Christmas. (My Nana already made it abundantly clear that we weren't to get her anything.  So I haven't decided how to work around that yet.)  Grandpa on the other hand, he seems pretty pleased with whatever happens, so cabinet door it is.

The project took a while, but came out pretty well for a girl with nothing but codeine, antibiotics, steroids and toast in her stomach... But that is another story altogether. The project, while high on time,was super low in cost.

  • Cabinet door from bathroom demo - free
  • White primer - on hand from cornhole set
  • Wood filler - on hand from cornhole set
  • Paint pen - on hand from jingle all the way project
  • Modge podge - always in hand :)
  • Green craft paint - leftover from jingle all the way project
  • Paper for center art - Better Homes and Gardens magazine laying in the trash pile
Yes, you heard it here first.  This project cost zero dollars and zero cents. Boom! 

So, I thought about my favorite Christian Christmas songs... As opposed to Santa Christmas songs. There is totally a difference. After deciding on a song, I had to decide on the image and layout. My writing is pretty crap, so I generally go with the doesn't have to match look. For the nativity scene in the center, I laid out the design in pencil then went to work cutting out gradient blues, yellows, and brown. For the faces I used a giant face, thanks makeup ad.

I'm sure you can sort out for yourself how to modge podge and write on a board. Simple simple.

Hope my grandpa likes it :)

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Merry Christmas! Cards!

New Guy and I made Christmas cards this year! So many people like the cards that look super done up, but I'm a fan of cards that look legit homemade.  New Guy was super sweet and cut out circles for the snowmen bodies and heads then got to stamping for the first time in his entire life.  I love this man (and clearly he loves me since he spent an evening crafting). 

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Goodbye working bathroom, hello scrap wood.

Given the events of the last few days and our plumbing woes, I needed a crafty break from life.  During the demo of the guest bath, we ended up with some old school cabinet doors, door facings, a hideous mirror, and more basic tile than I know what to do with.  But, I saved these items with some hope for crafting time.  (On a side note... If anyone wants to craft with broken wood paneling, linoleum, a shell sink/counter combo, or a toilet... Let me know before the trash guys come... Haha, I took all the good stuff.).

I painted a quick coat of white on the some of the cabinet doors with a complete lack of direction.  While I needed todo something fun, I also needed to actually get some of my Christmas decorates up. Two birds, one stone.

Tissue paper, paint, modge podge... Go!

The final product looks great with a tree I bought a few years ago with my mom and an angel I picked up last year at Pier One.  Kitchen window decorations? Don't mind if I do.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Must. Survive. Christmas. Season.

I love Christmas.  Really, I freaking love Christmas.  When I was growing up, my mom made Christmas pure greatness.  We would cook meals together, bake more than anyone should, shop for hours, wrap presents and stack them just so, look at Christmas lights, decorate the house with hundreds of lights and Christmas kitch... Amazing.  Spending all that time together made the holiday season my favorite time of year.

When my mom passed away two years ago, I didn't think I could face another family holiday... Ever. I struggled through thanksgiving that year, but left shortly before Christmas to head to London to hide out with an old friend, then on to India for more hiding.  On a side note, if you ever really wanted to hide and hide successfully, India is pretty prime. Last year, New Guy, knowing my need to escape ran away with me to Paris, Amsterdam, and Bruge.  More hiding, only this time with waffles and mulled wine. This year, I decided to finally stay home.  I love New Guy and I want to start new traditions with him that don't always involve running away.

So the Saturday after thanksgiving, I planned to unleash Christmas magic on the home that New Guy and I share.  After my afternoon of decorating, we had plans to to the symphony for the Christmas concert! It was shaping up to be a wonderful weekend... In theory.

So, now I'll tell you how things really played out.

I started to decorate, but made next to no progress because we were more focused on the plumbing issue that was rearing its ugly head. Then, out of hunger, or fatigue, or residual stress from thanksgiving at New Guy's parent's house... We barely spoke through dinner... And not in a content with the silence sort of way, but more like "ugh, I need some space from real life" silence.  Good times. But, I'm not to the fun part yet.

First, no sexy time because we have a plumbing issue.  Who wants to have sexy time when they are dirty (literally not figuratively). What a super fun way to end date night.

Then, Sunday.  The decorating was attempted by me while the plumbing was attended to by New Guy. I suggested that we call someone.  He insisted he could fix it...

Then... New Guy put his foot through the ceiling.

Fine.  This is fixable... but where are you going with my vanity? And why are you sawing holes in the wall?
And what is that stuff falling out of the ceiling?
And, holy crud... is there water under the flooring?

So, yep.  Umm... Well.

We are down to the studs in the guest bathroom.  Because we only have two bathrooms, the guest bathroom is actually my bathroom.  So we are reaching a new level of intimacy... and sharing a bathroom for the first time in our relationship.  And New Guy is a guy... so he's gross. 

But it will all work out.  I'm sure of it.  At the very least, I'm getting a new bathroom for Christmas.