Sunday, September 29, 2013

Finally a break!

Tomorrow the floor guys come, as I have mentioned, so this weekend was a "get 'er done" weekend!

Saturday Marc and his mother finished painting all the ceilings in the house and they did a great job!  My father-in-law got a lot of stuff done too, he has been the one to inspect, fill holes, compound/mud, sand, fix, etc everything.  We are so grateful to have him for that.  My ma-in-law is great because she basically says, "okay, what do you want me to do" and she will do whatever.  Which once again, we are so thankful for!! 

My dad is the painting man and basically helped me paint our entire house.  I would not have survived all the painting without him (especially because my husband HATES to paint!!).  So THANK YOU DAD!!   We got on a roll yesterday and got three rooms completed with both coats-- we started around 9:30 am and pretty much worked through until 5:30. Then he helped me clean the upstairs like a crazy person! 

Here is another picture of what I typically look like when I am done painting... paint all over my legs, pants etc. However, the walls do look good!  Moving along...

Marc is now sick, so he gets a free pass today from doing anything in the house.  I gave my dad the day off today too.  But Mike and Dee (ma/pa-in-law) came up and helped me clean and prep floors for floor guy. My plan was just to go in and give the floors a good cleaning, well... Mike had other plans in mind!  

He thought it would be a good idea to clean everything while it was open and empty and that way no dust would get trapped in the floors if it fell while the polyurethane was wet.  I did not come dressed to do heavy duty cleaning, but that house seriously needed cleaning so that is what we did!  I went through an entire bottle of Simple Green too.  Practically every crevice had dust in it.  We wondered if the previous owners ever cleaned their house!  I dusted and cleaned walls, baseboards, trim, molding, doors, door handles, closets, stairwell, railing, window and frames and so on and I swept the rooms.  Mike went around with shopvac and vacuumed all the crevices to get all the junk out.  Dee then followed us and mopped.  It worked out quite nicely... 

I am exhausted though and extremely happy that I am not allowed to be at the house this week! Break for us and our families! A much needed break! 

OH! And... yesterday MassSave also came out for a free energy assessment and gave us a bunch of free goodies!  37 new energy efficient light bulbs (they average about 15 in most homes), a new thermostat, a really sweet energy efficient power strip and a bunch of deals on insulation and what have you.  I would say this is a must have for home owners!  It will help your bills and who doesn't love discounted or even FREE stuff?!

This will probably be the last of the house posts until the floors are done.  But if anything comes up, I'll let you know! ;)


Friday, September 27, 2013

Are we there yet?! .... Reno's day 4 & 5

It has been a long week to say the least.  I have spent every single day at the house, whether it was working, checking in on contractors, or whatever.  We pretty much have to bust our butts to get all the ceilings and walls painted before Monday because that is when the floor guys come in to do our floor.  

I realized we only closed on September 5, and not it is not even the end of September yet, and we have a good chunk done!  At the same time though, it feels as if we have been in this process forever! Are we there yet?! Time to move in?! Not yet.  

So here are some updates for those of you reading:

Yesterday I spray painted the hinges for the kitchen cabinets.

I gave the kitchen a second coat of paint (this pic is only after one coat)

Dad and I primed the "pink room" aka Marc's future office... so it is no longer fully pink, just now the doors and some of the trim! YIKESSSS

Dad and I did the first coat in the entry way...  

... as well as the first coat in the living room.

Dad and I work well together, I had fun with him.  He is real good at painting and wants to make sure it is done right.  He is a good teacher without criticizing harshly and I appreciate that about him.  The day went by fast (at least for me), and I enjoyed spending that time with him! 

Today, our contractors cut the vinyl to the shape of the kitchen.

I helped Marc finish the last two bedroom ceilings.

And we still have no bathroom!   This is what our bathroom floor looks like.  You can actually see down to the entry way if you look, because there was water damage and there is a huge hole.  Check out the reverse pic below! 

YUP! That is our ceiling!  Not so hot.  We are still waiting on plumber.  

Contractors called me today giving me a bunch of bologna about the plumber and money and we need to try and find someone... blah blah blah I don't even remember.   The problem is, they knew we needed a plumbing permit and none of them are licensed plumbers, but they did not know that before they gave us an estimate for the bathroom so now they are trying to charge us more.................... no bueno!  Sorry, I felt a moment of venting coming on. 

I am looking forward to next week though because we are not allowed to be in the house while the floors are getting done, so that means a whole week off from the house!! yipee!!  It seriously has been consuming me and it has been quite difficult to invest in my friends and even take care of our current apartment, myself and my hubby.  So to those of you who have not been able to get a hold of me I apologize.  Literally, I wake up, work all day at house, come home, take a shower and go to bed... next day, repeat (with throwing in occasionally going to the gym).

Stay tuned for more updates this weekend!  XOXO- B

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Renovations Day 2 & 3

It is amazing to see the amount of progress that can be made in just three days!! 

Monday the guys basically came in and demolished anything and everything they had to (see last blog post for photos and info), 

Tuesday they started laying new hardwood flooring, the electrician came in to set up our vent in the bathroom, and then yesterday it was a whirlwind of things being done... ugly nasty awnings came down, rod iron fences down, required handrail in breezeway built, two required replacement windows done, cement stone filled, deck fence repaired, and so much more! 

However, as with all contracting jobs and older homes, there is not always smooth sailing... we found out about two weeks ago that the outside of our house (the windows and trim) have lead paint.  The problem with that though is that our contractors did not test the paint before we hired them, and now come to find out they are not lead paint certified!!!! So that was issue #1.  Then yesterday, I found out after the plumber left, that the plumbing inspector told him that he has to make our entire bathroom up to code, so all the plumbing needs to be taken out and start from scratch .... $$$$$$$$... you catch my drift! We also found out that our entire house has balloon framing and pretty much no insulation.  We found a ton of random foam pieces stuck around windows and doors and trim, which I guess was the previous owners way of insulating (???).  We have an appointment for MassSave to come out and give us a free energy audit in a couple weeks and I am scared to hear what they have to say, because once again $$$$$$$$.

But with all that being said, it could definitely be worse... I watch a lot of HGTV and I have seen a lot worse, and Marc and I are just praying that this is the worst of it! 

Here are the recent pictures... enjoy! 

This is probably what made me the most happy yesterday... it doesn't look like much, however, lets take a look at the before picture again....

Moving on...

Our replacement window (we had two that were required to be fixed).

The sub flooring was laid in the kitchen.  Initially we were going to have the floors sanded and refinished in here as well, however, the floor was patched with so many different types of wood, the contractors said it would look like sh*t, so it was not worth refinishing.  So we are doing vinyl for now.  This is not exactly our first choice, but it is more budget friendly, so we will live with it until we can afford to redo the kitchen.

Living room floor patched and looking beautiful! 

Deck fence fixed! 

Our contractor taking down the awning over the deck! 

Filling cracks in cement (required for loan).

All the trash that they have been collecting from the house, in our garage!! 

I have also been in there painting, as well as my dad, and Marc.  Marc has been doing the ceilings with his mom, while dad and I paint the walls.  Dad primed the master bedroom Tuesday and yesterday I went in and painted it.  I thought I would leave you with this fun photo...

I fought the paint and the paint won!


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Renovations Day 1

Yesterday was the first day of the contractors coming to the house.  We have an FHA 203k rehab loan... and for those of you who may not be familiar with it, the bank is giving us specific things we have to have done by a contractor in order to qualify for the loan.  Some of the things include peeling/chipping paint, any rot, broken windows, fix any electrical issues etc.

So let me start off by saying our full bathroom upstairs was disgusting!   There is no ceiling vent/fan, therefore the walls and trim and ceiling were covered with mold and mildew ... NASSSTTTYYYY...  So we figured, since they are gutting the bathroom, why not have them put in a new tub, toilet, vanity and sink...  I love the color pink and all, but a pink sink NO THANKS!  And a bathtub kit that is actually too big for its spot that it overhands the door and you cannot fully shut it, ummmm NO.  

Marc and I last week, took an evening when he got off of work and went to Home Depot. We picked out the tile we liked for the floors and the wall around the tub, our vanity/sink, and toilet.  I enjoyed it... it was tricky to get it all to go together, and I just pray that we will like it when it is all said and done!! 

While I am dying to show you pictures of the new bathroom fixtures we picked out, I think I am going to wait and have it be a surprise.

The other thing we are having redone is the hardwood floors throughout... this was something on our wish list that we chose to add on to the loan, because they are the original floors and pretty beat up.  Not to mention, in front of the fireplace, there is a huge patch where they laid down particle board (we aren't exactly sure why?? water damage somehow?) and it looks terrible obviously!  So today they also ripped up the particle boards along with some of the wood floor to make it an even rectangle to lay new flooring before the floor guy comes in.

Lastly, we have two decks... one right off the dining room, then deck stairs going down to another small deck that was crooked.  So we were told we either needed to have it fixed/rebuilt or tear it down (just the stairs and the small lower deck).  We decided to just have them tear it down and we will save up and rebuild the deck(s) hopefully in the spring.

Finally, I wanted to share our progress that we have made on our kitchen.  Since we closed we have been cleaning, prepping, priming, painting, the works to get the house ready and livable.  Here is just a quick sneak peak as to some of the painting I have done... 

Let me know what you think! XOXO- B

Monday, September 23, 2013

We bought a house!!

So it has been at least a month I believe since I have last blogged.  The reason being is that my husband and I recently purchased our first home!! We are no longer property virgins (as HGTV would call it).  

This whole process has been extremely exciting and stressful at the same time.  It has taken up quite a bit of my time as well, because this house was no where even close to move-in ready.  

So I decided I am going to take a break from the typical "beauty" blog entries and blog about the house.  I will be showing before and after photos as we fix the place up and tell you how things have been going.

So here goes...

A little back round info about this house... it was built in 1920. I never thought I wanted and older home, however, after seeing how much charm this house actually has and I can just envision how great it will look when it is done!  It is about 1800 square feet... and we have a lot to do because the previous owners did not exactly take the best care of the house.  

It is 4 br, 1.5 ba, walk-out basement, two car garage, breezway, living, dining, laundry room, and a horribly put together two story deck (which we are tearing down).  We have a nice big back yard too which will be perfect for starting my first garden (I am enlisting tips and tricks for that thank you...)!  

These photos are just taken from the listing online (none of the furniture or decor in this house is ours!!!)... I will eventually have my own to upload, but I wanted to give everyone an idea of what we got ourselves into! ha

There is a handmade stone facade which I love and once we get those ugly awnings ripped off and the rod iron fences (which is hard to see in the pictures), new windows (which wont happen for a while), and some shutters, I think the house will look quite inviting.  I also want to add some nice looking but low-maintenance landscaping in the front.

This is not the best photo but this is part of our backyard.  We have about 4 tree stumps that I want to dig out or maybe try a pinterest project on, to get rid of them.

These two photos are of the living room.  I love this room because there are lots of windows!!  Such a difference from the apartment we are living in right now! Also, there are hardwood floors throughout the entire house, so we will be getting those refinished which will make a HUGE difference.

This is the kitchen... kind of choppy and dysfunctional, but definitely workable until we are able to gut it and redo everything (hoping in 4 years the longest)!! Note:  No dishwasher/no garbage disposal.

This is the dining room (even though the table is smack dab in the middle of kitchen and dining area).  And those cute french doors you see is where my laundry room is! Yay! There is also a slider off this room and leads to the deck outside.

This is the room we call the "pink room"... hmmm I wonder why?  This has no heating system in this room, therefore, it will be Marc's office (and I swear I am not being mean, he picked this room, he likes to be cold).

This room with the creepy egg pillow dolls is the master bedroom!  We already ripped off the wallpaper and pardon my language, but it was a b*tch doing it!! They did not prep the walls properly so it took us forever, caused more gouges than there should have been and we had to go through and skim-coat the whole thing! 

This room also has cute french doors which bring you out to a porch.  We are undecided of what to do with it yet... Marc wants it to be a 3 season porch, I was thinking walk-in closet... but that is a ways off so.... no sense in dwelling too much on it.  Next....

Oh yeah, this is just the inside of the porch off the master.  Next...

This is half of our walk-out basement.  There is an unfinished side, that will always stay unfinished, and this is the unfinished side that we want to finish at some point... make a rec-room and a salon area for me! 

So that is all for pics right now!  I will get more of the other rooms at some point. I hope you enjoyed this entry.  Send me comments, I would love to hear them! 


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

22 Amazing and Practical Uses for Hairspray

I wanted to share this article I saw that someone pinned on pinterest from

Stain Remover

You may have heard of this one, but it really works. I’m convinced the combination of hairspray and Tide To Go will remove anything.

Bug Killer

Hairspray is less toxic than chemical bug sprays but just as effective at stopping flies, mosquitoes, and even bees.

Wreath Preserver

Coat your next evergreen wreath with hairspray. The polymers help seal in moisture to help the greenery last longer.

Sidewalk Chalk Sealant

When your kids create a masterpiece or hopscotch board, help it last longer and prevent smudging with a coat of hairspray. This also works for chalk lines used during home improvement.

Shoe Polish Extender

Spray a light coat onto shoes after polishing to set the color and help it last longer.

Index Card Protector

Give index cards a couple coats of hairspray to make them spill proof. This works great for recipe cards.

Cut Flower Life Extender

I’m not sure I’d dare try this, but I’m told that adding a light coat to the underside of cut flowers help them to last longer by sealing in moisture.

Rub On Transfer Creator

Follow this tutorial to make your own rub-on transfers using hairspray. You can use the rub-on transfers for scrapbooking, cards, crafts, or for creating a cool design on your nails, like the one above found at Geez... 

Pet Fur Grabber

Spray hairspray onto a paper towel or rag, then run it over furniture or carpets to easily clean up stubborn pet fur.

Nail Polish Dryer

As this video shows, hold a can of aerosol hairspray a good distance away from nails and lightly coat each nail to help speed drying.

Run Stopper

We all know the clear nail polish trick for pantyhose runs, but hairspray will also do the trick. In fact, you can pre-treat pantyhose with a light coat of hairspray to strengthen fibers and prevent runs in the first place.

Zipper Stiffener

Have a zipper that keeps falling down? Spray it with hairspray to harden the teeth and prevent wardrobe malfunctions. This trick also works on loose screw and hinges.

Leaf Preserver

If you plan to go leaf hunting with your little ones this fall, spray your finds with hairspray to help preserve their color longer. This also works with dried or pressed flowers.

Self Defense

In a pinch, a shot of hairspray to the eyes of an attacker could buy you some time.

Newspaper Transformer

I love to reuse newspapers as gift wrap. Spraying the sheets with a couple light coats of hairspray will strengthen the paper, make the colors pop, and seal the ink so it won’t get all over your hands.

Curtain Protector

Spraying curtains with hairspray prior to hanging helps to ward off dust from clinging to the fabric and prevents wrinkles and creases.

Label Remover

Hairspray helps remove that sticky residue left over when you peel off a sticker or label.

Nail Polish Remover

If you spill nail polish on a rug or piece of furniture, you will not want to use acetone-based nail polish remover to clean it. Instead, spray the stain with hairspray, let it sit for a minute, then dab with a rag. Repeat until the polish is gone.

Static eliminator

Spray hairspray on a brush prior to using to prevent a hair-raising experience. You can also use hairspray on the underside of clinging clothing to eliminate static.


Yes, I just made that word up, but hairspray is a great way to coat your craft items with glitter! Coat the item with spray, sprinkle on glitter, shake off excess, and then seal with another coat of hairspray.

Artwork Conservation

Kid’s non-toxic paints and markers aren’t meant to be archival. Coating them with a light spritz of hairspray will help them last longer.

Lint Remover

Don’t have a lint roller handy? Spray a little hairspray on a rag and wipe your clothing. The lint will stick to the hairspray and come right off.