Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Guess who is back? ME!! SUPER long post though so fair warning!!

You all probably think by now that I have fallen off the face of the earth. Well you would be partially correct. The move went great. We ended up needing two trucks. A 26' and a 17' one. Go figure. Who knew I had that much stuff? Well actually- much of the room was taken up by books and my husbands paperwork.

We didnt get the house until late on Monday. About 6pm. So it was a marathon to get the big truck unloaded and then returned. Good friends and family helped load that weekend and unload Monday night. Thankfully the Uhaul place has a 24 hr return policy so we dropped the truck off about midnight Monday. Then we went to my aunts house and picked up the other truck (where we left it to keep it out of the way) and brought it back to the house. Aaron went to work on that Tuesday and I unloaded the 17' truck all by myself with the exception of about 5 pieces that my cousin came and helped me with.

After that, I unpacked some necessities and called it quits for the day until Aaron got out of work. That night my aunt and uncle had us over for a nice steak dinner. Much better than fast food I can tell you...and then we returned the small truck.

All of our belongings were put into the garage with the exception of the furniture. So this meant if I needed something, I had to dig thru the garage for it. I thought ahead though and made sure that I kept my painting supplies close by and made sure they were put in my car instead of the moving trucks so I knew where they were when I needed them. But our friend and Aaron did not stack things neatly in the garage or organize things according to which room they go to which I would have done had I had the chance.

So then Wednesday started the painting marathon. I got up in the morning and went straight to Sherwin Williams for when they opened. $300 of paint later, I was ready to go home and start. UGH. Their paint is expensive but it is the best kind I have EVER used and I have painted A LOT!!

I started off in my youngest boys room.
This is what Landry's room looked like before:

It was a pink girls room. And as much as he would have LOVED for me to keep pink for him (it is his favorite color), I couldnt do it. PLUS he wanted a transformers room. All of the mouldings needed to be painted. A pet peeve of mine is when people are too lazy to paint the baseboards and cut them in so they just paint them the wall color. UGH. So ever. single. room. needed to have all the mouldings done including around all the windows.

So Wednesday I got the mouldings painted and the walls painted. I still had stripes to do so that was on my list for Thursday.

Thursday I went back and forth between starting Xaviers room and then painting the green wall in the living room. My husband was in an all fired rush to mount the tv up on the wall so I had to stop what I was doing to accommodate him. That meant getting the green done in order to hang the tv.

Here is Xaviers room before:

My plan to paint the stripes that day in Landry's room was squashed.

Friday I went back and forth between Xaviers room and Landry's room with the stripes. You can see from Xavier's before pictures that I had wallpaper to peel. Yup. It wasnt stickers like I thought. That meant getting out my steamer and taking my  time. I remembered to get before pictures of this right before I finished getting them all off the wall. There were a LOT of them.

Also you can see that Xavier had a brown closet door originally. Yeah. That didnt fly for me. So three coats of white on that bad boy and it was almost completely covered. It really could have used a fourth coat but I just didnt have it in me to do it.

Here are the two rooms after:
You can also see from Xaviers Star Wars room that I painted the ceiling. And it is a popcorn ceiling. That was a labor of love let me tell you. I originally was going to say forget it and not do it and leave it white (his room in Dexter had the same color ceiling) but I noticed that at some point the ceiling had been patched and was touched up with the incorrect color paint which meant the ceiling was going to have to be painted anyways. Sigh. But it turned out cool.

I think that Saturday or Sunday we got the kids back. I cant remember which day. It all starts to blend together. LOL.

Monday I went back to teaching Zumba. But during the day I started on the office. I was lucky and my mother in law came out to play with the kids so I could paint.

Once again I started with the moulding. Then got the walls cut in. That was about it for that day.

Here is the office before:
This is from when we did a walk thru and has the previous owners stuff in it. The walls were a bit darker than what I ended up painting them but may be hard to see from the pictures.

Tuesday I finished up the office and started bouncing  back and forth to the master.

Here is the office after with stuff actually unpacked and decorated. (The boys rooms look MUCH better now that shelves and mirrors etc are up but the ones here were taken as soon as I was finished for family to see)

So in between the office, I said I bounced to the master.

Here is the master before (previous owners furniture)

Now one thing Aaron and I JUST discovered two days ago, was that this house used to be a two bedroom house. The living room and kitchen and dining room were additions that must have been added at some point in the late 50's early 60s because of the plaster architecture in the living room.

Xaviers bedroom was the living room and our bedroom was the old kitchen and dining room which is why it looks like two rooms that are now opened.

Sadly, we found that Xavier's room, the hallway, and Landry's bedroom and office have hardwood BUT our bedroom, living room, dining room and kitchen do not. Which means that we will have to cover over the existing hardwood with new hardwood in order to keep it all on the same level when the time comes. We plan on having hardwood in the dining (has carpet right now which is a REALLY stupid idea), a wood border in the living room with carpet inset, hardwood in the entry and hallway. Bedrooms will have new carpet installed because it is crappy carpet right now.

The master bedroom took quite a few days because of the treatment I did. Stripes. The walls had to dry for 24 hours before I could put the tape on them. So I think it took about 3 days between having to paint the wainscott, first coat on the walls, the stripes, then the brown coats.

Here is the after of the master: You can see that I rotated the bed from the previous owner. I think it makes the room look much bigger and I can actually get the night stands on each side of the bed even though I had to rotate the one to fit it.

Once I got to painting the brown wall in the master, I bounced back and forth between that and the living room/dining room/kitchen (all the same color). The green wall in the living room was done, but I still had to paint the moulding and around the windows for the remaining walls.

Here is the living room before: Ugly mint green walls with the previous owners furniture.
I was able to get the moulding and the walls cut in one day and then that Friday I got the walls painted. Thankfully too because that day my sister and my niece came down to help me unpack everything. She was a HUGE help and it finally started to feel like home.

 Here is the after:

That meant that every room with the exception of the bathrooms and basement (which didnt need to be painted) and the hallway were all done with fresh paint. I didnt want to paint the hall until everything was in because I didnt want to mark up freshly painted walls.

After that, Aaron and I took a couple days off. I continued to hang things on the wall and unpack. I finally decided to tackle painting my china cabinet. I bought it off of craigslist and the intent with it was always to paint it.

Here it is before:
And after:

It adds a great pop of color to the room.

Also when Aaron and I were exploring the yard one day, we found that the previous owners had left a composter and pavers.

One of the nice days, I started pulling out the pavers that were completely covered with ivy and this is how many I had when I was done:

My idea was always to put a retaining wall in the front yard. We have a huge tree and I know from past experience from our old house in Clawson that it is very hard to grow grass around it. Plus the previous owners had just put on the new front porch last year so the grass was very sparse from that. And from talking with neighbors, I found out that these pavers were from the front porch that the previous owners had removed.

But first I wanted to finish painting the inside of the house. So I tackled the hallway beginning of last week. Finally painting was DONE!! I also put up curtain rods in the living room and hung the curtains.

Here is the front of the house before:
And about this time, we found out that we had an earwig issue. We have had SO much rain and the basement really needed to have a dehumidifier. It really killed me to spend almost $200 on a dehumidifier BUT we were getting about 20 earwigs in the basement a day.

I went to Home Depot and bought some Ortho home defense. When I went to spray it around the outside of the house, I stepped on some ferns to get to the foundation and the ground moved from earwigs. Gross and damn it. I pulled out the ferns to throw away. Dont get me wrong, I love ferns. I saved three for the front of the house...but at this point I was just trying to stop these damn earwigs.

After doing some research, I found out that Boric acid kills them. Home Depot sells that too. When we went to get some, another lady was saying they were having issues as well. So at least it isnt just us. She told me about this diacotic something or other that basically splits their exoskeleton and kills them. It works like a charm and is only $8 for a good sized bag. I used that AND boric acid and between that and the dehumidifer it has really cut back on the bugs. And the earwigs we are finding in the house are dead. I had sprayed the baseboards in the basement with RAID and it is helping. I feel like I have been having a war on bugs. Now I dont mind having a bug here or there. Our house is REALLY shaded and we have a half acre. BUT the intent is to have a sleeper sofa in the basement and I cant put people down there when earwigs keep running around.

So between my war with earwigs, I started using the pavers for the front yard. Truly a labor of love here too. I had to cut tree roots, make sure everything was level, edge out where I wanted the pavers to go and peel out sod, etc. Aaron cut down some of the bushes in the front. They were scrubby and I figured it would be better to start from scratch. We also had to regrade the soil so it was away from the foundation. It took DAYS to do this. I was averaging about 3 showers a day because I would get up, shower, work in the yard, shower, teach zumba (I taught 4 classes last week), come home and work in the yard again, and shower again. My knees are scraped, bruised and worse for wear.

Finally on Sunday we finished. I kept stepping down the pavers because of the slope of the land. It is sort of a pet peeve when I see people that dont level the pavers and just contour them with the land.

One of the neighbors came over and said that there is a rule that new people cant come in and make the rest of the neighbors look lazy. LOL LOL. Super nice neighborhood.

Here is the after: And there is a LOT of pictures.

OH and on the one side there is a small gate going to the backyard along the wall where the ferns were. Originally there were two big slate type pavers. We pulled those and I reused them when I ran out of pavers for a small sidewalk. You will see it in the picture.

WELL as I was sloping the sidewalk to make sure the gutter drained away from the foundation, I hit something concrete. Aaron and I thought it was more slate pavers. No. It was two fricken concrete blocks that were buried in the ground!! Actually there were 3 of them but I told Aaron to keep the one buried because it wasnt affecting my paver path. We did pull two out though. Who the hell would bury concrete blocks?

Finally ran out of pavers. The remaining dirt will eventually have gravel placed in it.

And it is sort of hard to see, but around the front big tree and then on the very end, I doubled the height of the pavers so that we could put more dirt in the planters. The roots of the big tree are VERY close to the top of the soil and planting anything around it is about damn near impossible.

So now that I am done with that, actual plants will go in next year. My idea is to put in a dry river bed with some of the big rocks you can see towards the right corner of the house. I say forget mulch here because I dont want to attract more earwigs as the wood decomposes SO that means rock. We will put down a plastic weed barrier and then the rock will go on top of it.

We also want to have the house either painted or resided. So I am HOPING to do that before we do the landscaping. Nice thing is too that I have a TON of perennials in the backyard I can split and put in the front. I will just need to get some things that I want like a miniature burning bush to plant. 

Yesterday was spent hanging a few pictures in the hallway and getting our calendar up on the wall. It is a Pottery Barn style one that uses dry erase. I have two of them so I can have two months at a time. Those were given to us by K last year because she had no need for them anymore.

Also last week the boys and I went to IKEA. I wanted to get a shelf for the front hall and some glass shelves for the bathroom.

The bathroom was completely redone by the previous owners in 2011. They even put in extra outlets in the bathroom. Who doesnt love that?? BUT above the toilet was nothing. Not a shelf, toilet caddy, nothing. It just looked bare. So I installed three glass shelves above it and accessorized it with our pictures from our favorite place in Jamaica. It looks great.

I still have unpacking to do. I am hoping to tackle that more this week.

But I still need to switch the address on my license and enroll the kids in school.

I actually went to change my address today but when I got to Secretary of State I realized that my license was in Aarons wallet from when we went to a carnival over July 4th. Damn it.

So I will take care of that tomorrow. And I also need to sign us up for the Livonia Rec Center too.

Things are winding down. I am done with my personal training sessions with Eric so it is up to me to keep going.

I can tell you that my eating has not been good. My drinking has been not good at all as far as alcohol is concerned and I can definitely tell in my mid section. The rest of my body is getting toned but my stomach looks bloated. UGH. Back to cutting out the alcohol for me- at least the hard liquor. I will still allow myself wine. After all, life is worth living.

In fact, Aaron and I were talking. He is doing REALLY well at work, and I said if things continue that way, and we get caught up with everything, maybe I can look into a tummy tuck again. I know I said I was trying to avoid that, but if I even go slightly off my strict clean eating or no alcohol plan, I bloat and my tummy comes back. Where is the fun in that? Seriously. Do I want to be stuck not having ANY fun? No. My weight hasnt gone up much but I think my tummy diameter has increased by 3". Maybe not literally but it feels like it.

So probably next year during the summer when the kids can go with grandma and grandpa I will be having surgery. Time to start stocking away some money.

And I cant remember if I told you or not, but I delayed the boys surgery until December. And boy was I glad I did. So they will have that over their holiday break.

Whew. That was long winded. But I hevent posted in just over a month! I have missed you all and I really need to catch up with what everyone is up to.

Have a great day everyone. Tomorrow I have a huge subject non fitness related that I really need advice on. So stay tuned!!

Tip of the Day: To get me back into the groove!!


  1. WELCOME BACK! + congratulations on settling into a new house. You did a fantastic job painting it! WOwsers you have been busy :)

  2. Loved reading this and seeing all the pictures! You've done so much in so little time! It really looks amazing :) I love how you painted the hutch too, looks fantastic!

  3. Sooooo good to hear from you! HOly painting madwoman!!!! Just gorgeous. I LOVE the landscaping!!!

  4. Thank you so much for sharing your move with us! Your house and yard look beautiful, I can't believe how terrific the rooms look after you painted them. You have a really good eye for style and color. Have you ever read the Run for Cookies blog? The person who writes the blog write about her tummy tuck. Her insurance company paid for it. The following is copied from her blog, it may help you and your husband if your insurance company could cover it:

    "First, she asked me some questions about why I wanted a tummy tuck and questions about the medical issues it was causing me. She asked about my insurance, and said that the insurance I have is very likely to cover the cost because I met the requirements: 1) Had to have lost 100+ pounds; 2) Had to have kept it off for at least 6 months; and 3) Had to have problems with skin rashes from the excess skin. The doctor was VERY confident that it will be covered, which kind of surprised me. I guess I was expecting her to tell me that it's rare and I shouldn't count on it; then I could just put the whole issue to rest because there is no way I can afford to pay for this out of pocket."

    "I'M GETTING A TUMMY TUCK!!! I spoke with the plastic surgeon's secretary today, and she said that my insurance said it's medical, not cosmetic (per the doctor's notes) and that it will be covered. If I should choose to do the lower body lift, I'll have to pay extra for it--and I have to admit, I'm kind of leaning toward doing that, assuming I can finance it--but at the very least, I'll be getting a tummy tuck!!"

    This is the blog address: http://www.runsforcookies.com and at the top of her website is a tab Plastic Surgery that has all the posts relating to her surgery, from start to finish.

    Cindy, NM

  5. I love it all! Now I want to see the kitchen and the bathrooms! Glad to hear you survived it all w/o much gained. I know the stress from all of that commotion would've sent me right to the snack cabinet!