I’m Having a Love Affair…

…with my new countertops! Every time I walk into the kitchen, I get giddy. I knew I would love them, but I LOVE THEM! They have made such a huge difference in the looks of the kitchen.

DSCN2592

DSCN2591

DSCN2590

DSCN2589

DSCN2588

I was super nervous on Friday that the installation wasn’t going to happen. And let me tell you why…. we started this countertop mission back on August 29th with a “big box store”. On September 13th, we were told by the ‘big box store” that our countertops would be installed in 7-10 working days, which meant we should have had new countertops no later than September 26th. But that didn’t happen. There was a lot of “big box store”/installer blaming that went back and forth and I was stuck on the phone in the middle of all of it!  I did a little research online regarding the installer and found some pretty bad reviews, which is why I was so nervous. BUT on Friday, the installer delivered and installed my wonderful countertops! AND on the date THEY said they would. I will be writing my own review this week, singing their praises! Not so much praise for the “big box store”!

And with that behind us, we now have to decide on backsplash! I thought I knew what I wanted, but we made the mistake of going to Home Depot (another “big box store”) this weekend and I found two more styles/colors that I really like! I knew from day one that I wanted gray countertops, but I just can not make up my mind on the backsplash. Here’s what we have so far: (and I say so far, due to the fact that I’m still looking at colors/styles online. But don’t tell Mr.) :-)

Tiles – frosted glass and rough, white stone (I found a frosted glass tile to finish the edges for this choice)

DSCN2595

Tiles – mixture of white and gray (ignore the plastic wrap)

DSCN2598

Tiles – mixture of white, gray, and charcoal

DSCN2596

So many choices!!

And just so you don’t forget where we started in this kitchen, here’s a flashback of what the kitchen looked like not quite two years ago.

Houston House (9)

And where we are today. Such a difference!

DSCN2592

And another item bites the dust off the kitchen to-do list!

  • paint the cabinets (keep to save $$$$)
  • remove wallpaper and paint
  • replace formica countertops
  • replace backsplash
  • replace hood vent
  • replace the flooring
  • replace hardware
  • change out the breakfast area fan/light

Y’all have a great day! Later gators!

The Dust is Finally Settling…

The bad thing is the dust is settling ALL OVER the house! And I mean all over the house. It has found its way clear into the master bedroom, bathroom, and up the staircase. We have been working for the last month on the kitchen walls where the backsplash will go. The tile came off in spots really easy with very little damage to the drywall.

kitchen redo

 In other places, it wasn’t pretty!

walls3       walls2

I spent hours, and I’m talking hours, chiseling and scraping the plaster off the drywall, only to realize I did it for absolutely no reason! Except maybe to let y’all know…DON’T DO IT! Just replace the drywall right off the bat so you have a new and wonderfully flat surface to tile on!  The only scraping you really need to do is around the edges, where your mud and tape will be.

DSCN2577

And if y’all are wondering, why yes, that is cardboard where my quartz countertops should be! We ripped out the old countertop weekend before last expecting the new one to be here last week. Mr. “installed” the cardboard on Saturday, when we found out that the countertop installation wouldn’t be happening until this Friday. With a few bricks, plastic bags, and zip ties, Mr. was also able to hook the dishwasher back up, even though there isn’t a sink! This was so I would no longer have to do the dishes in those wonderful, shallow, shell-shaped sinks! :-)

walls4

 Y’all have a great week! Later gators!

The Battle Rages on!

And my houseplants have been the battlefield for over a month now! And who am I battling, you ask? I am at war with “The Gnats”!

I tried the natural solutions to no avail. Placing sticky cards on top of the soil to catch the flying adults. Letting the soil dry out completely for two weeks, (begging my plants not to wither and die) as this was suppose to kill the eggs. And watering with water mixed with hydrogen peroxide, which is also suppose to kill the eggs. I honestly think this just fertilized the eggs, as we continued to have more and more of them mock us by flying in our face every night! Apparently, our infestation of gnats is beyond these methods.

And therefore, desperate times bring desperate measures! We have wrapped the pots of the houseplants with saran wrap!

plant 2

A few nights ago, I suggested the idea to Mr. and he was ready to go to combat! But not before watering them with one more dose of hydrogen peroxide and a good spraying of bug spray! We also left the sticky cards on top of the soil to trap any that survive and make their way to the top of the soil! (it’s kind of gross the amount that are on the sticky cards at this point)

My mom commented to me that we were going to spend more money trying to kill the gnats than what it would cost to just replace the plants. This is true, due to the fact that we bought the three plants on sale and only have roughly $50 in them. But it’s the principal of the matter! And they are really big and pretty plants. I’m not letting a few 1,000 gnats win this war!

Someday, I will be the victor and my plants will be gnat free! Or I will kill my plants in the process!

Later gators!

Kitchen Countertops It Is!

If y’all read this post, you’ll know I was deciding whether to spend our saved $5 bills on a cruise or new kitchen countertops. As much as I really want to go on another cruise (we even drove by the ships in Galveston this past weekend), I have been dreaming of new countertops and backsplash since we moved in almost two years ago. So with a little hesitance, I chose countertops. We had them measured last week and are hoping to have them installed the first part of October. We’ve picked out a Silestone in Grey Expo. I think it will look great with our white cabinets and black appliances. And will even look better someday when I change out to stainless steel appliances. :-)

grey expo

And to save roughly $1000.00 dollars, we are doing the rip-out of the countertops and backsplash ourselves! I’m positive Mr. was jumping up-and-down (inside) when I suggested WE do the rip-out! But he did a terrific job at hiding his enthusiasm. :-)

So at 8:15 last night…we started the demolition!

Here is what it looked like last night before we started. And if you want to see what it looked like before this, be sure and check out this post and this post!

Kitchen (3)

Five minutes into this fun, the dremel tool that we were using to remove the grout quit. So we continued on with screwdrivers, a putty knife, and a hammer! The first section of tiles came off pretty good. No cracked tiles and not much drywall damage.

 kitchen redo

But the next section…we weren’t so lucky! One tile completely took the sheetrock with it and Mr. had to break a couple of tiles to get them off. So after 1 1/2 hours, we called it a night. Mr. had to go back to work today after being off yesterday, so I’m getting ready to go back downstairs and see how much damage I can accomplish! Wish me luck! :-)

DSCN2542

Y’all have a great week! Later gators!

My Little Gypsy Room!

That is what I have officially named our little upstairs bedroom! This room will be filled with lots of colors and have a little bohemian/gypsy style. I absolutely love the coastal/beach/tropical spin I am putting on the rest of the house, but deep down in my soul, I really think I’m a gypsy at heart. Maybe it comes from moving 25+ times in my almost 51 years! (…and maybe not) But I just adore the bright, vibrant colors and free spirit that are associated with the bohemian and gypsy styles. Therefore, to kick start this little bedroom, Mr. and I painted the ceiling…tangerine! It came out a little darker than I first planned, but I love it! And once we painted the walls white, it just came alive! :-)

gypsy bedroom

Now comes the fun part. Decorating! I’m putting together an inspirational mood board (via Pinterest) for this room. So far, below is what I’ve come across. In all honesty, that is what Pinterest is…just one BIG mood board! And I’m totally addicted to it!

room colorsleepercurtains

rugpillowwall art

pillowschandelierend table

Then a couple of weeks ago I was wandering through Ikea and saw this mirror hanging on display. I fell in love with it, right then and there! The only thing was it was black. But no worries! I primed it, painted it, and viola…a new mirror that totally works!! :-)

DSCN2531

DSCN2532 DSCN2534

So there you go. The beginnings of my Little Gypsy Room! I’ll be making updates in the coming weeks, so be sure and check back in!

And remember, “Not All Who Wander Are Lost”, we just haven’t yet figured out where we belong!

Y’all have a great week! Later gators!

Bedside Table Redo

Happy September, everyone!! I hope y’all had a good Labor Day weekend. Mr. and I worked on cleaning out the little upstairs bedroom. It had pretty much become a walk-in/storage closet! In fact, it’s not much bigger than our master bedroom walk-in closet! The bedroom is 96.5 square feet and our closet is 85.5 square feet! I wanted to clean it out so I could start painting in the very near future. I have big COLORFUL plans for this bedroom! I can’t wait to get started. :-)

At this moment, it’s so blah. It had some awful blockout shades in the window that were filthy and kinda smelled musty. So out with the trash they went! I hung some curtains from our previous house just until I decide what I want to put back in the window and to keep that west sun from blazing in!

DSCN2516

This bedroom is going to be quite a challenge! One: it’s so little, Two: it has this little built-in desk, Three: one corner of the room is cut off, and Four: it has this dinky closet! And yes, these pictures are of the same room. I took one picture with the light off and one with the light on to show you how a color can change with different light on it. This was the color of the entire house when we moved in. (minus the wallpapered rooms! Yikes!) So be sure and stay tuned for this upcoming bedroom redo!

DSCN2518

But what I really want to talk about is the bedside table I redid this weekend!

DSCN2514

We bought two of these side tables a few years ago to use in the apartment we were living in between selling our house in Tuttle and buying our new one in Tulsa. It started out completely white, down to the knob! Pretty boring, right?

DSCN2500

But with a little paint, some fun paper, and a new knob and back plate, I have this funky little side table for our other upstairs guest room! I’m luvin’ it!

DSCN2512

DSCN2510

Y’all have a great week! Later gators!

Saving Our Five Dollar Bills

Several years ago I read an article in a magazine regarding various ways to save money. One of these tips was to save your five dollar bills. Which is what Mr. and I started doing in 2009. Since then, we have paid for three cruises this way!

The way it works is:

Mr. stops at Starbucks on his way to work for coffee. The total is $4.28. He gives the cashier a $20 bill. They in return give Mr. three $5’s and some change. That coffee just cost Mr. 19.28 due to the fact that the three $5 dollar bills have to go into the “fund”!

Same thing happens to me at Chick-fil-a! I order a meal that comes up to $4.91. I pay with a $10 bill. Now, unless they are out of $5’s, I’m going to get one back. Again, that $5 bill goes into the “fund”!

You won’t believe how quickly it can build up. There are some months where you hardly get any $5’s and there are those months that you save over $100! Now, you have to be disciplined and not spend those fives.  AND you have to be a family that uses cash. So many individuals only use their debit/credit cards for everyday life.

Also any money that doesn’t get direct deposited into the bank, gets put into the “fund”. Such as birthday money, credit cards cash back rewards, etc. Even the sale of the zero-turn mower went into the “fund”. Cha-ching!! :-)

I can almost hear the sound of the ocean again!

DSCN1868

Or maybe new countertops and floors in my kitchen!

Kitchen (3)

Later gators!