Kitchen Living Room

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Kitchen Remodel Continued!

Here's the first part of the kitchen remodel.

So after we bought the kitchen countertops, we had to measure, cut, sand, and Waterlox them.

First we measured. Then we measured again. And again. We needed three pieces total from the two large countertops we bought from Ikea. First we decided to make the most difficult cut, which was actually a rip. A rip is a cut that goes long-ways down the wood. We took the countertops to my boyfriend's parents' house to use their circular saw.

Here are some pictures of the cut (not the rip).

I marked where the cut should be made with a pencil.

Then I got to work sawing with my tiny little saw!

Just kidding. I was only making a notch for the circular saw.

Everything went pretty well with the cutting and ripping. Then we loaded the countertops back into the car to take them home. 

Next I Waterloxed the countertops. I stood them upright in the bathtub (my condo only has one bathroom, especially with it being 650 square feet and all) and put one coat of Waterlox on them everyday for four days, for a total of four coats. It was difficult to get all of the edges, but I reached and wiggled and got it done. I used a different cheap paintbrush everyday because I didn't want to bother with paint thinner. You can go to the Waterlox website to find out who sells the stuff near you. It's not generally sold in Lowe's or Home Depot as far as I know. I had to go to a local specialty wood working store. The stuff smells awful and I had to use a $30 respirator while I worked. I also kept the window open all night with a fan pointing outside. (Even though it's winter it's warm enough here to do that.) In that way, each coat dried within 24 hours, which is the recommended drying time. 

I ended up sanding the rough edges (there was only one that wasn't facing a wall) after I Waterloxed, so I gave that edge a quick coat before installation. 

You're actually not supposed to leave the boards standing upright for any length of time because they might warp. Oh well. I had to work with what I had. 

A big downside was going without a shower for almost five days. Whoops.

The countertops ended up looking pretty good though! And the benefit of Waterlox is that it's supposed to protect the wood from water damage.

Here's the fan in the window, carrying the noxious fumes out into the night:

Buuutttt I quickly realized that wasn't quite doing the trick so I borrowed this guy:

The bigger fan made a world of difference (like, the difference between having to keep even my bedroom window wide open while I slept and being able to keep it completely closed).

The countertops ended up looking all shiny and nice. I'm really pleased with how the Waterlox turned out. Stay tuned for the next updates: installation, backsplash, sink/faucet/plumbing!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas at the Condo

I really like to decorate for Christmas. I usually put up my decorations on Thanksgiving weekend in November. This was my first year decorating in the new condo.

Here's my stocking, that I've had since I was little: 

And two more tiny little stockings...

And I have candles with wintery scents. The one below is from Target and it smells like a wood stove.

And this one from Yankee Candle smells like a Christmas tree (and has a Santa Claus topper). 

Good thing I have the Christmas tree candle because I use fake trees now. Not really for any good reason, because I love real trees. But my fake trees are nice too. My first tree is Dr. Seuss inspired (it makes me think of Whoville). 

And my second tree is traditional green with gold and red ornaments. Some of which were made for me last year by my cousins!

Here's a picture of the tree before finals were over (studying). Oh, and nutcrackers!

And another nutcracker.

Oh, and a fancy gold pinecone left outside my door by an anonymous neighbor. 

Here's a full view of the tree. Whoops, not all of the presents are wrapped (don't look)!

And things are getting wrapped...

All done!

And I thought it was so cute that Roomba the vacuum was trying to open the gifts. Except then he ate one (seriously). I had to rewrap it.

And last (but really first...) here's the wreath on the door. Made with $1 packs of mini ornaments from Target. I love mini wreaths (weird I know, I have one for every season).

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Consequences of Chipping a Tile off of your Kitchen Wall

Whoops, now I have to remodel the kitchen!
Renovating the kitchen has been on my to-do list for the condo since day one. I knew I didn't like the large square white tile backsplash and gray laminate countertops. With a little work, I grew to appreciate my cute pint-sized appliances. But the countertops and backsplash have always had to GO. I never thought I would be working on renovating the kitchen so soon. Let alone this very month! But sometimes that's how DIY happens. You know, it just sort of happens.

On Thursday of last week I planned out my vision for the kitchen just for fun. Luckily my vision was realistic and didn't involve any changes to the layout or super expensive things like appliances. I knew I wanted new countertops (solid wood butcher block in a medium color - just nothing too light, like birch), a new sink (white rather than stainless steel, and deeper), a new faucet (any faucet would be better than the super cheapo Glacier Bay model that was there), and a new tile backsplash. Plus all of the supplies it would take to DIY all of these elements.

First things first, the wood countertops. I wanted wood because I think it looks warm and sort of old fashioned, and thanks to ikea, it's quite affordable. So that's how all of this madness started - a trip to ikea for countertops and a sink. Later there was the fateful chipping of the tile off the wall, but I'll get to that backsplash later. So I picked out the Numerar countertops in oak. I also liked beech, but they are infamous for being out of stock all across the country most of the time. They're very popular. Anyway, here are mine:

And the sink, Domsjo:

Except my sink does not have the overflow hole, I had to purchased the drain separately, and the price is different than what the picture links to (click the sink to see it on Ikea's website). This is me shrugging.

The countertops fit just fine in the back of my Prius. The Prius can hold anything! (Probably not an elephant.)

The sink on top of the countertops

So after the Ikea purchases, we measured, measured, and measured again. Then we introduced them to a circular saw! Muhahaha. All that and more in part 2! To be continued!

Mobile Version!

I turned on the mobile version of this site. Soooo if you wanna read this blog from your phone, it should be much less painful! Awesome. Now if only kitchen backsplashes were that easy.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Young Woods Love

Ok, the title of this blog post is a strange joke. It is a play off of the Young House Love blog because my boyfriend and I like to pretend that we are campers even though we probably really aren't. Anyway, this weekend was the craziest by far in the history of condo ownership. And yes, I mean in the history of all condo ownership by everyone everywhere in all of history.

I ripped down my tile backsplash in the kitchen. Really if you've ever done something like this then you know I need not say more. It was an insane idea. The resulting wall (if you can call it a wall) was really quite frightening. It's doing better now thanks to cement (yes, cement) and dry spackle.

So right now my sink is disconnected and actually backwards, for some reason. It doesn't matter. I have a microwave and a fridge. It's aaaaalllll good.

The good news is that I have a new sink, new faucet, and new countertops. The only catch is that they are all sitting on the living room floor.

He he he!

The other good news is that my boyfriend and I survived. Even though there was a circular saw involved.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Future Projects

There are tons of projects on my condo to-do list. So far I feel like I've barely scratched the surface of what I want to complete.

Here's a list of all of the things I'd like to finish next year:

  • Sell the washer/dryer that came with the condo and move in the better one from storage
  • Finish replacing the three windows that are left
  • Insulate the attic
  • Kitchen remodel including new sink, countertops, and tile backsplash
  • Install a garbage disposal (if the condo association allows it)
  • Swap out a few upper kitchen cabinet doors with doors with glass panels
  • Paint the kitchen/dining rooms
  • Bathroom remodel including new faucets, a new toilet, new tiling on the walls and floor, and potentially convert to a standing shower only
  • Find someway to seal up the front door better
  • Sand and stain the hardwood floors

That's all I can think of for now, but I think that's enough to keep me busy for 2012 at least.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

TV Show Gift Guide for the Holidays

I like television. I really do. I like it a lot. A whole, whole lot. I think television is smart and awesome and one of the most exciting forms of entertainment. As a result of this fondness, I have spent a total of 55 days of my life watching television series in their entirety. That does not include shows that are still running, shows I watched randomly because the TV was on, or shows I didn't complete because I didn't like them all that much. That is 1,318 hours of television, people.

Since I think 55 days of deliberately watching television makes me somewhat of an expert, I thought I would offer you my holiday guide to gifting television series, organized by genre. Genres invented by me.

1. Nostalgic, 1990s. If you know anyone born in the mid to late 1980s, these series may be appropriate. Ghostwriter, The Secret World of Alex Mack, My So Called Life. Ghostwriter is a show for children and really should only be given to those who watched the show as children, or maybe to a current child-person that enjoys scary kid-oriented shows. It is about a ghost that helps a group of kids solve crimes and they can only communicate with written letters. It is thrilling. The Secret World of Alex Mack is like sci-fi for youngsters. Another show that is best given to a child of the 1990s that misses watching Nickelodeon. Alex Mack is a super cool, yet unpopular girl that has special powers. My So Called Life can break out of the nostalgia-only category. This show would be great for any angsty middle schooler or young high schooler. It is an awesome show that actually has an accurate representation of what I feel is a typical American high school experience. Great for any fan of the 1990s who wants to watch a teen drama. If you know a young person that wears a lot of leggings and plaid shirts, or maybe even a few leotards, she will probably connect with this show.

2. Teen Drama. Friday Night Lights, The O.C. These shows are wildly appropriate for teenagers and college students alike. Buy one of these series for someone who wants to see nice-looking 20-somethings playing high school kids with absolutely wild and fantastic lives. (Well, Friday Night Lights is not super fantastic. The characters are poor. Sorry.) Both series provide a nice little tour of the western-ish parts of the United States. The O.C. takes place in California, and Friday Night Lights all the way down in Texas! Friday Night Lights is of course centered around football, but seeing as how I am not a fan of football and I loved the show, an interest in football is not a prerequisite. They are both very sexy and filled with tons of inappropriate behavior. So any of these series could definitely make you the 'cool aunt.'

3. Slightly less fantastic Teen Drama. Dawson's Creek, Everwood, Gilmore Girls, Life Unexpected. These series are filled with crazy teen antics, sure, but they are not Gossip Girls, O.C.'s, or Friday Night Lights. They are full of awfulness with a large helping of wholesomeness. That is NOT to say that they are not fantastic, they are awesome. Gilmore Girls definitely makes my all-time top three. Also, be wary of giving Gilmore Girls to a guy. It is about a daughter and her mom after all. I'm just sayin. Same goes for Life Unexpected. Just doesn't seem super guy friendly.

4. Chick Dramas. Sex and the City, Men in Trees, Brothers and Sisters, The L Word. These are perfect for women who want to sit alone and watch TV and cry or feel another woman's pain with a smattering of laughter here and there. I picture some woman in the dark, alone, with a smoothie or a large frappachino. And she'll probably lie about watching them if anyone calls her while she's watching. At least that was my experience. Men in Trees and Brothers and Sisters are pretty much the wholesome-est of the bunch. Sex and the City takes place, of course, in NYC and is pretty outrageous at times. The L Word takes the cake though as it is absolutely over the top, and you may want to consider that the L could potentially stand for lesbian. The L Word would definitely be the most talked-about gift in some circles. It's still good though, and it is different from most television shows out there because there are very few with any lesbian relationships represented (there are small lesbian cameos in a few of the other shows listed here, however. I'm not spilling the beans though.)

5. Sci-Fi. Battlestar Galactica, Smallville, V, The Event, Lost, Caprica (Sold only in two parts as far as I can tell, Caprica 1.0 and Caprica 1.5). Let me just get this out of the way before you start objecting: yes, Smallville is a teen drama. You definitely want to keep that in mind. Super duper teeny weeny drama. But it is awesome. And that is that. Battlestar Galactica (BSG) is the best sci-fi on this list, however. It is super sophisticated and speaks to every sci-fi fan I know. Caprica is a prequel to BSG, but it should be watched afterwards. BSG first, Caprica second. If you happen to know a BSG fan (lucky you) Caprica is a great gift. Lost is weird and awesome and everyone knows it. Just give it to anyone because it's a cultural icon at this point. That works for just about everyone. V and The Event are tiny little snippets of goodness that were cancelled too soon. If you give these series the receiver will most likely hate you forever because they will want more. But there isn't anymore!

6. Comedy. Arrested Development, Curb Your Enthusiasm. Watch these shows if you feel like having the best day of your life. They are the best comedies ever made, and they will make you a better person. They apeal to males and females alike. These series are perfect gifts for someone going through a hard time, or a die hard comedy fan. Also give to youngsters to ensure they get cooler as they get older. Perfect for budding college students.

7. Totally dude-friendly. The Sopranos, Big Love. I'm being sexist and employing some heavy stereotypes with this list, I know. But stereotypes can be helpful. Your boyfriend or husband or brother or dad would most likely be 100% happy to watch these shows with you. And they are awesome to the MAX. I am not 100% sure, but I think some Mormons might be offended by Big Love. That is something to keep in mind, because I do not want you to lose all trust for me because I ruined your Christmas! Or holidays! The show is about some seriously awesome Mormons, and of course they aren't real, but I just thought I would throw that out there.

8. Bad ass chick. Alias. I didn't know what other category to put this series in, so I gave it its own. Alias is just bad ass. I don't know what else to say. It's part chick drama, for sure, but I also think it could be dude friendly. It is the best spy series ever made, end of story.

I hope this helps take the edge off of some of your holiday shopping. If you're on a budget, you might look into just buying season one of any of these series. That could potentially be awesome, because you may have just figured out what to get someone for say, the next six years. One season a year! Hey, that's how the people who watch TV on the TV do it. Good luck!

P.S. In case you're curious, the show's I'm watching that are currently on air are: Pan Am, Desperate Housewives, New Girl, Gossip Girl, Parenthood, Mad Men (currently on hold until summer 2012), Modern Family, and Glee, sometimes. But really I am not a huge Glee fan. My analysis shows that Glee does not do as much as other shows to make me feel super connected to the characters, which is its main shortcoming. And that is all!