7.26.2011

what I'm currently working on

I've been so bad about not posting anything lately.
We've been crazy busy here.

We're finishing up the rent house and it starting to look really good and that is a
great feeling since it has felt like we'll never see the end of this project.

I'm itching to get some projects done in our house since we'll have wedding guests staying with us the weekend my sister gets married this October.

This week I finally settled on a color for the kitchen cabinets.
I started by wanting to paint them a fresh coat of white and install black counter tops.

Then I saw this picture:

and this picture:

And that made me realize that I had to have medium/dark gray cabinets with white marble (ok laminate is all that's in our budget) counters, and polished chrome pulls and knobs.
I would love to put down white marble (probably imitation) tiles with contrasting gray ones in a diagonal pattern. Doesn't that sound pretty?
And eventually install nice stainless appliances.

Anyways, I went to Walmart a few weeks ago and bought a sample of the
Glidden paint in a color called Gray Granite.
I LOVE IT!

here's a not so good or accurate picture of the color:

hmm it looks sort of purple in this picture, but it's actually a medium-dark gray color.
I love it so much I think I'm going to put some up in our master bedroom and see if I like it.


You can click here to print a coupon for $2 off a sample jar (includes a brush!) for Glidden paint.
The coupon is good through the end of July, so hurry and print it off.
They have TONS of pre mixed sample jars, which means you don't have to walk all over walmart
looking for the person who is supposed to be working at the paint counter.

Our kitchen has a long empty wall that was crying out for help.
I drew up some plans for what I wanted Caleb to build me.
I wanted that wall to have a "baking center" for my large stand mixer to sit on.
He custom built me the cabinets around the height of my Kitchenaid.
He's such a nice man.
He built most of it from scrap wood and and crown molding that he found in the trash at work.

Here's what it looks like right now:

I'm hoping to paint it this week and to paint all the drawer fronts and doors so that Caleb can attach them for me and attach the hardware.
I think I'm most excited about him building me the pull out trash bin!
I hate trash cans, so this is a blessing to me.

More inspiration for my kitchen:
 photo #1 via ebay
photo #2 via Aspect metal tiles
 photo #3 via pinterest
photo #4 via ebay

I love all the good deals that Ebay has on knobs and drawer pulls.
See those awesome opossum peel and stick metal tiles?
I'm planning on using those as the back splash on the baking center hutch.
The other side of the kitchen will have white subway tiles.
I've seen these metal tiles at both Home Depot and Lowe's and I can't wait to use them!

And oh! I love those checkered floors!
That is what I'm hoping to install in the kitchen.




Oh and look what I got on Ebay for only $60:
I can't wait until it's installed. That probably won't be until next year *sigh*
I'm keeping a look out for a nice chrome faucet and for a good deal on a garbage disposal.
Somehow I have made it through 16 months of marriage with no garbage disposal. ew.
This sink is HUGE and oh so pretty!
Right now our kitchen has the most disgusting (refusing to clean!) white plasticy sink. It has an equally disgusting white plastic faucuet that has green stuff all over the base. The sprayer is also on the left side which is probably great if you're left handed, but I'm not.

Ok enough about my torn apart kitchen.
But those are my plans for now.
Oh that and painting one of the bathrooms this week.
Hopefully, pictures will be coming soon.

7.16.2011

a little progress was made at the rent house

Caleb and I have been non stop busy lately between fixing up the rent house to helping with my sister's wedding plans to a last minute visit from family.
Thankfully, Caleb didn't have to work yesterday so we were able
 to put in lots of time working on the rent house.
Remember these before shots from a few weeks ago?

Here are a couple more from about 2 weeks ago.
The renters had torn down the wallpaper and even though it was so ugly
I would have wanted to tear it down too...but you don't do that if it's NOT YOUR HOUSE.
We have decided to try and sell the house rather than rent unless the Lord makes it clear to us otherwise.

So we're doing a bit more work to get it ready to sell then we
 would have if we were only going to rent it.

TA DA! Finished bathroom!
My goal for selling the house is to use warm tone neutrals on the walls.
I want people to not feel distracted by my favorite colors.
I want them to walk in and see pretty colors, but colors that can go with any decor.
So while it isn't my style of decorating I am really pleased with how the house is coming along.
The bathroom came out SO pretty and clean looking!
AND on a tight budget.

I think we spent less than $150 to make over this bathroom.

The vanity was in good condition, but had a very outdated stained oak on it.
Caleb sanded and puttied the whole unit and we tossed the icky old brass knobs.
The pulls and knobs we got on Ebay for less than a dollar each (including s/h).
I bought "Country White" premixed paint at Wal mart.
 I plan on using it on the other oak vanity in the master bathroom.
Thankfully the vanity top is in very good condition and was a workable color.

Walmart had a really good deal on a multi pack of towel bars in the satin nickel finish.
It included toilet paper holder, hand towel bar, towel bar, and a hook that we put on the back of the door.
All of that for only $18.

 The Lord blessed us with finding lots of good deals for our budget makeover.
The vanity light that was in there no longer worked and it was rusted and discolored.
I bought this one at Lowe's for only $13! I wanted to keep everything in the satin nickel
 family and not mix in chrome or other metals.
 Usually chrome pieces are all you can find for the best deal.
I bought a matching vanity light for the master bathroom.
It has 3 lights and was only $10.

The faucet was only $28 at Home Depot!
And that is its' regular price. It's really nice quality too - not cheap looking at all.
The faucet that was there before worked, but it was one of those icky old plastic round knob ones.


I got a $10 white shower curtain at Burlington just for the sake of staging the bathroom a bit.
The other picture (which doesn't look impressive) is the floor.
There was just gross old linoleum from the early 90's so
Caleb put down a nice stone tile textured linoleum.
Since there isn't a window in this bathroom I wanted to make it feel very light, fresh, and clean.


Caleb and I took down all the hideous wallpaper or what was left of it and
painted the room a cozy mocha color.
Ok cozy is probably a weird word for describing a bathroom...moving right along...

To get down wallpaper I simply bought a spray bottle at Kroger and a bottle of fabric softener.
Just mix a little water in with the fabric softener in the spray bottle.
Shake it up real good and spray on a small area of the wallpaper or the wall paper backing stuff.
Then just carefully pull it off with your fingers or use a putty knife (that's what I use).
It comes off so easily AND for way less than buying
 all that thick goopy wallpaper remover stuff from the
hardware store.

New hand towel bar with a hand towel for staging.
The towel was on clearance at Walmart so I bought one for each bathroom.

 Before and after of the sink vanity.

Isn't his a frightening bathroom?!
Oh my! This is the master bathroom at the rent house.
It's next on my to-do list over there.
Isn't the maroon GORGEOUS?
The sink counter even has matching maroon swirl counters.
The toilet went crashing into the trash bin at the dump yesterday.
And the tub and the sink counter are about to get painted with
Rustoleum's tub and tile paint.
I'm excited to try it since at our house the main bathroom tub (1950's) needs help something fierce.
So I figure this is a good time for me to learn how to use this stuff at the rent house.
I'll make sure and take lots of pictures and do a post on how that goes.
I looked at Lowe's and Home Depot for tub and tile paint and they had brands that didn't get good
reviews AND they cost $45 a box. I paid only $24 each on Amazon.


 


before & after


7.05.2011

Asparagus pizza and such


We weren't at home much this weekend since we had so much to work on at the rent house.
One evening we did sit down to actual homemade food.
It tasted so good!

I cooked a Smithfield cracked pepper & garlic pork tenderloin and baked an asparagus pizza to serve with it. You can find the recipe here.
The only thing I changed was to use this Pizza Hut Style Pizza Crust recipe.
Except I don't use a bread machine or put msg in the dough.
The pizza came out SO good!

The pizza has a white sauce, parmesan, white cheddar cheese, and asparagus.
Need I say more?

It paired well with the pork loin and I served both with a Virginia made sparkling pear cider.
We were out of wine, otherwise I'm sure after a long day of working on the house we would have
wanted something a little stronger.
That pear stuff is AMAZING though!
I love giving it as a gift and serving it to guests.

I read this really good post on the Widow's Mite at my sister in law Stefanie's blog (Stefanie's Pleasant Places). Y'all should check it out.

Now that today is a regularish day...sort of...I need to go tackle Laundry Mountain (ever been there? the views are amazing) and sweep the house and clean the bathrooms.
Nice normal every day tasks can be so nice sometimes!

7.02.2011

Feeling out of place at McDonald's

I didn't think it was possible to feel out of place and self conscience at McDonald's.
Yesterday I did.
I'll get to that in a minute...

Look at all these pictures I took last weekend...


That is just SOME of what filthy nasty renters did to Caleb's cute house!
Caleb bought a house about 3 years ago (before we were married) and he fixed it up and made it all
cute and country and stuff. The house is on 10 acres out in the country.
A few months before we got married Caleb rented the house in the country to a family.
Apparently, a WAY white trash family.
Anyways, he and I got married and bought a house to live in that's "in town".

So after being owed thousands of dollars in rent we evicted (thankfully...peacefully and without the law being involved!) the family. Then last weekend we went to survey the damage.
Wow.
You didn't want to be there.
You still don't.
At least not for a few more weeks.

Poor Caleb!
His lovely house was quite destroyed.
At then the house flooded...
but that's a whole 'nother story.

So he and I have spent many hours over the last week or so trying to get it ready to either rent or sell - whatever the Lord brings about.
The renters left the house in FILTH.
I do mean FILTH.

So yesterday we went out to paint and to put down new flooring (not carpet) and about midway through the day Caleb said he needed to take his truck and drive into town (12-15 country miles) and go to the dump.
He said I should ride over with him and then afterwards we could drive over to McDonald's since it's down the road from the dump.

Here's the thing...
when I go out to do shopping of any sort, or leave my house at all period...
I make sure I'm wearing an outfit that is clean, matches, and I put on a dab of makeup.
I'm not one of those people who go to Walmart in my pj's to get a tub of ice cream.
I want to look presentable; not fancy.

My 83 year old Grandma always reminds me that when she was a young woman a woman would NEVER think of leaving her house without her gloves on.
Don't worry.
I don't wear gloves to Walmart.
That would probably look odd.

So yesterday after painting and cleaning ickiness at the rent house I looked...
I'm going to be honest with ya'll:
I smelled like a wild animal on a hot summer day.

I looked like one too.
My hair was all messy pulled back.
I had on hideous black cut-off sweat pants on and a paint and dirt encrusted shirt.
Plus my disgusting pink flip flops that need replacing.

Now it use to be (back in the day) that I could wear the outfit I had on at McDonald's and I would blend right on in with the other customers AND with the nasty yellow and red paint
 splattered walls (remember those?).

Well now McD's has glass prism chandeliers and white marble floors and nicely dressed people
sitting in stylish looking booths enjoying free wifi while they sip their lattes.

I STOOD OUT LIKE A SORE THUMB.

One doesn't place a wild animal in such an environment.

I ordered the biggest mocha frappe they had (I needed more energy for painting).
And as I stood there with Caleb waiting on our order, I realized that since I was in this very clean and smell good place that I smelled really, really bad.
So I grabbed my drink from the woman and hightailed it out of there!

I would have NEVER thought that I would feel self conscience at a McDonald's!
Dont' get me wrong - I've always looooved McD's!
But let's be honest...before all their revamps over the last couple of years the interiors were always
pretty nasty and greasy and sticky and stuff.

Today I get to go finish painting the master bedroom and cleaning who knows what.
I've found it's best to not try and figure out what the nastiness is.
Otherwise, I'll start to gag.

Hope ya'll have a good weekend! :)


7.01.2011

Our Courtship - Part 2

If you missed part 1 can read it here.

At Caleb's parent's house - meeting the parents & youngest siblings for the first time.

Caleb and I both grew up in Christian reformed Presbyterian homes.
We were both homeschooled.
We were both taught God's word from our earliest years.

Even though we have all of those things in common,
Caleb had a much more strict upbringing than I did.
He comes from a large family (13 children) and I come from a much smaller one (3 children).
He grew up in Virginia and I grew up in Little Rock and Memphis.
I refuse to let the next sentence be:
He's a little bit country and I'm a little bit rock and roll.
Though it would have some truth in it ;)

On our one year anniversary trip in March of this year

Caleb and 7 or so of his siblings became fast friends with my family during the summer
of 2009.
I became close friends with his sisters and also very good friends with Caleb and his brothers.

Something I've been pondering lately:
Now...contrary to things I use to believe...
I don't think it's entirely possible for single guys and girls to be friends or best friends and
something romantic not start to happen. I'm not talking about sex. I just mean romantic feelings to emerge...it's bound to happen.
And the difficult thing in my mind is that when guys and girls think they can "only be friends" and "it's nothing more than that"...hmm ok fine ...maybe...but
really?!
One or the other (or maybe both!) will end up wanting to be more than friends.
What if the other person doesn't return those feelings? Can you still be friends? Really?
Again...please don't post and tell me that it can happen. I know it can. But really?
And what about when single guys and girls are really close friends...
And then they each marry someone else.
Is that a very good idea? For a man to still have another woman (besides his wife)
be one of his best friend? or vice versa?
But that's a whole other topic.
Forgive me ... my mind often wanders to random topics :)


ANYWAYS
We were all friends and had lots of fun times together.
Just everyone hanging out together.
Since Caleb has so many siblings it was always like "oh yes! instant party!".
So for some reason still unknown to me...
Caleb started to like me as more than a friend.
I.had.no.idea.
NONE whatsoever!

But he says that's how he wanted it to be.
He didn't want me to guess.
I guess he was just continuing to get to know me on a friendship level
and I know he was praying about the possibility of me being "the one".

me with Caleb, 3 of his siblings, and my sister in the fall of 2009.

"The heart of man plans his way,
but the LORD establishes his steps."
Proverbs 16:9

 

Caleb never rushes into anything. Ever.
He always has a plan.
Obviously,  plans change. The Lord directs our steps where He wills.

But I was part of Caleb's "plan" and Caleb's plan
happened to be in complete alignment with God's plan.

I just wasn't aware of either plan. Not for quite a few months either.
Apparently,  everyone else on planet earth could see that Caleb obviously liked me.
I still kept missing that key point.

In the fall of 2009 I went through some difficult times.
Just me. Nobody else.
Caleb also went through some difficult times then; his difficulties stemming from mine.
Caleb was one of the few people who knew WHY I was going through
difficult times.

Now Caleb is a good friend. A loyal friend. A prayerful friend.
Caleb is...well...I'm not sure if he's in the 21st century yet.
Now, I say that in a GOOD way!

But it was 2009 and the man had just gotten a cell phone and he didn't have internet access.
He lived just far enough away (1 hr 45 minutes) that he could only visit my family on weekends.
So...Caleb, knowing that my heart was hurting and also knowing that I didn't really want to talk
about why I was hurting inside started to send me a text message once a day.

Now...what could one say to comfort a friend that could be conveyed inside a text message?
The text would look like this:
Ps46, Ps27.3, Ro 8, Gen 7.9
etc.

I thought he was sending me strange codes or something...but NOPE!
Bible verse references!
Each one was very specific to my situation and comforting or encouraging.
He would even order the Scripture references in a particular order for me so
that they would convey one comforting thought.
Now, I know that might not sound like awesomeness to some of ya'll...
but the Lord used this SO much!

Even when Caleb started to send me a text everyday (which quickly turned into me sending him references back...thus resulting in quite a few texts a day hehe) it still did not enter my mind that he liked me. Now I feel sort of like "duh Adri!".
But my heart hurt too much at the time to even think in those terms.

"He answered, 'Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, 'Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.' "
Matthew 19 4-6
One of our engagement pictures.
But the Lord wanted it otherwise.
What He calls me to, I must obey.
It sounds so simple.
Technically it is.
But it isn't always easy.

...Part 3...