Friday, October 29, 2010

story of my life

So today I came across my dream blog...well my dream life really.

While exploring this blog during Sam's entire 2 hour nap I found myself repeatedly saying "why hadn't I thought of this" or "oh my god, I could totally have a blog like this". Sadly I find myself saying things like this a lot. Like when Sam tried the pacimal for the first time, or when I found the infamous "snack trap" at babies r us. There are a million great ideas in my head but someone always beats me to the punch. I'll be honest though, I am not the most creative person and there is noooo way I would ever be able to come close to living the life of full time do it yourself blogger extraordinaire, but a girl can dream.

I see so much of my self, and my life while reading this blog, of course because of our house remodel but I can also totally relate to some of the author's quirky thoughts and experiences. Most of you may not get how amazing this blog is because you are not crazy enough to attempt the impossible feat of remodeling your new (old) house alongside your brand new husband with absolutely no experience between you. However, I still think you should give this blog a look see. Its cute, and just may inspire you to tackle your own do it yourself project :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

mantle update

Lately I have been lacking all motivation to get anything house related done. There is still so much to do and I just feel worn out. We are trying to take projects a little at a time and get a few things done each day (or week). Even though I have been slacking I do have some good news on the house front...the mantle is finally finished!!! I tried and tried to remove all of the "spots" but I just couldn't get them all, I must have sanded and re-stained 10 times. Finally I gave in and told Matt that I was done dealing with it and I was ready to put the satin finish on. Thankfully I have a fabulous husband who took over the final step for me. Matt applied two coats of polyurethane to the mantle on Saturday and I didn't have to lift a finger (well not on the mantle anyway, I still got stuck painting the hallway trim lol). I am thrilled to say that despite a few small imperfections (that hopefully only I can see) the mantle looks fabulous!!!! I wasn't trying for such a dark color, but now that I have gotten used to it I love the dark wood, and I can't wait to see it pop against the white brick (if I ever get around to painting the brick). Hopefully by next weekend we will be done with the living room all together and ready to go furniture shopping....the part I have been waiting for since we moved in!!!! Here is my new mantle...brick to be painted soon (ish).

This is the mantle before. Painted a hideous yellow beige.

This is the mantle after the first coat of chemical stripper and lots of elbow grease. We also found out that there were two coats of yellow beige paint and then under that there were two coats of white paint.

This is the mantle after two coats of stripping chemical, lots of scrubbing and 3 days of sanding with a belt sander.

This is the mantle after the first coat of stain and before I did the spot touch up work.

This is the mantle after the second coat of stain and spot touch ups.

This is the mantle with dry stain and the fireplace prepped for application of the satin polyurethane finish.

This is Matt applying the first coat of spray polyurethane.

This is the mantle after the first coat of polyurethane and sanding.

This is Matt applying the second coat of polyurethane. He had to lightly sand the entire mantle by hand between coats (didn't get any pics of this b/c I was at the grocery store lol).

This is the mantle drying after the second and final coat of polyurethane.

Finally, this is it: the newly refinished mantle!!!!!!!
Can't wait to see how great it will look with the fireplace brick painted white!
More pictures to come...if I ever get it done EEK!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

peanut carlsen

Sorry no pictures but I just had to share some happy and exciting news.

My sister Laura...aka PREGGO had her first ultrasound today and mom was lucky enough to be there in person *jealous*! The baby is growing like a weed and we should be expecting his or her grand entrance sometime around March 14th. I still have yet to convince her to find out the sex of the baby, so as of right now it's just a peanut. She said the peanut's legs were crossed so they wouldn't have been able to tell today anyway. Laura was teasing me about the baby being born on the 12th (my first wedding anniversary), little does she know I would LOVE it if my new niece or nephew were born on such a special day. March 12th will always be a fabulous day for me and adding the birth of baby Carlsen can only make the day even sweeter! Besides, I was born on a holiday and look how great I turned out ;) I really want to be in Atlanta (where Laura and Eric live) when the baby is born, so I may have to miss the actual day of my 1st anniversary but the Mavs are playing the Lakers on the 12th so Matt will be working anyway. Plus we will be together for the next 50+ anniversaries but my first niece or nephew is only born once! Sorry Matt, looks like we will be celebrating ahead of time this year. LOVE YOU ;) Anyway, I am super excited as you can see, can't wait to meet the little peanut!

Monday, October 18, 2010

a boyfriend for cheeks

It's Monday morning and I am tired. We worked on the house all weekend and I nursed a migraine all day yesterday...needless to say I have a bad case of the Monday blues. So here are some super cute photos from last week's Gymboree class to cheer me up, and anyone else out there who is having a rough Monday. :) Oh and I think Baby Cheeks may have a new boyfriend...

Little Jake made his way over to Samantha all on his own, he got really close too.

She was a little uninterested, the bubbles were pretty exciting.

Yeah she would go for the rocker type.

There is her BFF Ayden in the background.

He chose to sit by her during every activity, soo cute.

Ayden and Sam <3

Umm yeah that would be my little Sam WALKING by herself!!!! Crazy huh?!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Light Spots

Here's some bad news. The mantle may be "ruined". I am sooooo disappointed *sigh*. Basicallythere were several small holes in the wood which is really not a huge deal, I just filled them with wood putty and moved on. The wood putty is made by Min wax which is the same brand of pre-treater, stain and gloss that I purchased. On the back of the stain it says to use pre-stain so of course I did. I think this was my mistake. Last night I used the pre-stain and then the stain, exactly how the package instructs. As it began to dry I noticed that all the parts I had filled withwood putty didn't absorb the stain. On the bottle of putty is says that it is stain able...arg. After looking at the spots closely and feeling them (they are oily) I have decided that its the pre-stain that has kept the putty form absorbing the stain. The pre-stain package and the putty bottle are the same brand (meant to be used together) and neither says anything about not using pre-stain on top of the putty. SON OF A..... Needless to say I was upset. So upset that Matt finally installed my new entry way light that he has been avoiding for months. It cheered me up a bit but come on, I spent a whole week stripping and sanding this damn mantle only to have it look like crap once stained. Matt swears it doesn't look too bad and "hey, it looks way better than it did before". Yeah, not quite what I was going for. I WILL NOT let this mantle win, so tonight I will be sanding down the light patches and re-staining them. I doubt that I will be able to get them to blend perfectly, but hopefully I will be able to make it look somewhat better. Wish me luck! Here are a few pictures of me staining. The stain is extra dark in the pictures because it just went on, it dried a little lighter.

After the pre-stain was applied.

Me applying the stain.

Staining the top.

After all the stain was on, right before we wiped off the excess so it is dark.

The "finished" product...see the light spots? There are tons more too.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

one fair day

Wow a daily post? Hell must have frozen over ;)

Yesterday Matt was off work and asked if he could take Samantha and I to the fair. We had to clear our busy social calender of course, but Sam would never miss a date with her favourite Uncle. Here are some cute photos from Sam's first trip to the Texas State Fair.

Everyone needs a picture with Big Tex at the fair, this is Sam's first ever!

She wasn't a huge fan of the huge truck.


Sam eying my fried oreos!

Her first fair food, fried oreos (obviously they were a hit).

Yummy, fried oreos!

Matt trying to keep her quiet and happy (he hasn't quite gotten used to the baby crying or whining in public thing yet lol)

At the bird show.

Watching the bird show.

She was getting a little grumpy and tired so we bribed her with frozen lemonaide ha-ha

Bribery works every time ;)

All worn out and ready to go home.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Some family and friends have been asking for new pictures of the house since we have been doing so much work to it. I don't have any fabulous ones since nothing is really completed yet *sigh*. So here are the pictures from refinishing the mantle. I hope to have it stained and finished next week so that I can paint the brick (white).

This is the fire place and mantle before. Well kinda, I had already taken a little bit of paint off the front to see how easily it would come off. I forgot to take one before hand.

Me brushing on the first coat of the paint and varnish stripping chemical.

After waiting 30 minutes this is what the paint looks like...gross.

Ready to start scrapping the paint off.

A side view after the first coat was applied.

Matt scraping the paint off with a putty knife.

This is the result after 1 coat of stripper and some heavy scrubbing.

After coat number 1.

Underneath after coat 1, still super thick.

After coat number 1.

The top after coat 1, you can see why we decided to apply another coat of stripper.

Ok this is me applying the first coat, but I didn't get a pic so lets pretend this is me applying the second coat of stripper chemical.

The top after a second coat and a few more hours of scraping and scrubbing.

After coat number 2 and lots of elbow grease.

From the front after coat number 2, sorry no action shots.

My pretty new leather sectional attempting to escape the dust storm.

Me sanding, which lasted about 4 days total. Thank god for the invention of the electric belt sander.

Yeah I defiantly wasn't this chipper the whole time.

The calm after the storm.

My poor house, and my poor tv under there, everything was COVERED in brown dust.

Me after the sanding...that's a lot of dust.

Um yeah that's an inch of brown dust on the recliner...don't worry we are getting rid of it, normally I wouldn't allow my furniture to be "dusted".

My hair looked like this after each day of sanding, ew.

Finally here is the finished product, well kind of. I still have to stain and polyurathane, but here is the fully stripped and sanded mantle:

Annnnnd here are a few pictures of the massive clean up that took a full two days. These are just a few of the many many piles of dirt and dust that we swept up around the house:

Truely final pictures coming soon!