While driving to and from places, BF and I chatted about author Tom Clancy’s character Jack Ryan.We discussed which actor played Jack Ryan better.My vote was for Harrison Ford.Despite being the third book, but secondly released, Patriot Games was the first movie I watched.BF’s favorite is Alec Baldwin because he saw The Hunt for the Red October first.I’m not sure why our conversations veer towards odd topics, but we started arguing about Clear and Present Danger.
BF, “Do you remember the scene when the convoy drove through the streets of Colombia?” TMF, “Yup.They were driving Chevy Suburbans.” BF, “Yes they were.Do you know which model?” TMF, “It was the older, boxy body style.The body style older than mine.” BF, “No it wasn’t.The Suburbans they drove were like yours.” TMF, “I don’t think so.It was the older model.I can see the scene in my head.”
You're probably wondering why I am writing about this strange argument. BF and I often like to settle disagreements with bets.
BF, "Name your price." TMF, "If I win, you have to install the sliding door curtain panels by Friday." BF, "Deal." TMF, "And if you win?" BF, "I get to go fishing whenever I want." TMF, "Deal."
In no way do I consider myself an interior designer, but my untrained eye noticed I definitely needed new couch pillows. A few months ago, I bought a white sofa and loveseat off Craigslist.The old pillows didn’t match the color scheme in the living room.
Before I receive any disapproving tsk-tsks or negatively shaking heads, YES, I know white couches get dirty.In fact, they get dirty VERY easily.I consider my Craigslist purchases as “pre-children” couches.White is a great neutral and they look great.
Back to the pillows.I considered buying new pillows, but didn't want to waste down feathers. I felt bad stuffing the old ones in box and storing them in a rarely visited corner.After taking a nap on the couch, I woke to find my face mashed against a pillow’s zipper.Hmm…logic started to fill my head.
I decided to remove the old covers and buy new covers.I browsed through numerous websites, including Etsy, but couldn’t justify the prices.I researched “easy pillow covers” and found Apartment Therapy’s brief picture tutorials on sewing envelop covers.
My sewing machine skills are nonexistent.One of these days, I’ll invest in a simple sewing machine and learn how to sew.In the mean time, BF’s mom was very happy to help with my latest project.
There was an hour’s worth of trial and error with the first pillow.The first one is always an experiment.
After completing the first pillow, we finally got the hang of it.I measured and cut the fabric, while BF’s mom sewed.
Bailey tried to help, but pressures of naptime were too overwhelming.
I'm not sure if I mentioned this before, but I am convinced a man designed this house. Only a man would design a house without closet space and an oddly shaped kitchen. (I apologize to male readers if I unintentionally insulted you.)
The kitchen was designed to have the range installed in the middle. Since the previous tenants didn't properly take of the house, BF demolished the existing island.
Before the installation of salvaged granite countertops occured, BF created a new island.
When selecting our new cabinets, BF chose two small options for the sides of the range. I love having a sliding spice rack and storage for my cutting boards and cooling racks.
BF and I agreed the island would look nice if it was extended a little farther. I didn't want anything fancy. Plus I wanted it to be easy and quick for BF. I think the simple design looks fantastic.
Perhaps this can be Bailey's future "Thunder spot." Poor guy is terrified of thunder and fireworks. He likes feeling snug and comfortable against a wall.
The countertop guys did a great job of matching different pieces. The seams are barely noticable. I'm sure I sound strange when describing how much I enjoy running my fingers across the countertops.
At this point in the home renovation, any upgrade or change makes me happy whether it's major or minor. I've definitely learned how to appreciate the small things in life.
After BF installed the pantry shelves, he added this little hook to one of the brackets.
We eat bananas every day. I previously stored bananas on a metal wire shelf so air could easily circulate. Who wants to eat a mushy brown banana? Yuck.
I prefer to keep as few items on the countertop for a clean look. I begrudgingly planned to buy a banana hanger and leave it on the counter. Problem solved! Who knew this little metal hook could make me so happy?
Call it good timing or fortuitous, but BF worked his magic in securing granite countertops for our new kitchen.
One of BF's customers offered items leftover from a huge home renovation. Can you believe BF received this beautiful granite for FREE? Oh how the other half live.
We wondered if there would be enough granite to cover all the base cabinets. We worried how expensive it would be to cut and install the granite. Would it be cheaper to order brand new countertops or use the salvaged granite?
While unassumingly eavesdropping on a conversation, BF discovered one of his customers flips homes. He inquired about a countertop contractor.
A few days later, the contractor arrived at the house. Turns out using the salvaged granite was vastly cheaper than ordering new countertops. The next day, the granite was whisked away.
When ordering our kitchen cabinets, BF picked two different sizes. The kitchen features 9-foot ceilings except for the area underneath a soffit. 30-inch cabinets were ordered to fit underneath the soffit. 36-inch cabinets were ordered for the rest of the kitchen.
I'll admit, I am lazy. I didn't want to paint the entire kitchen. My logic told me only a small portion of the wall would be visible. The rest would be covered by the refrigerator, wall cabinets and backsplash.
BF realized the bottoms of the 30-inch and 36-inch cabinets needed level with each other after he hung all of them.
Again, my original logic told me the 36-inch cabinets would be hung as high on the wall as possible, flush with the ceiling. I didn't want any empty space between the top of the cabinet and the ceiling.
As BF rehung the 36-inch cabinets, I realized my lazy mistake. Doh! There's no hiding it.
When BF started the home renovations, he converted the small kitchen pantry into his tool storage closet. The pantry morphed into the catch-all for all random renovation supplies. Because of how quickly renovations began after we purchased the house, the pantry was never thoroughly cleaned.
As I mentioned before, the previous tenants weren't the cleanest people. Not to be outdone by the laundry closet, the pantry's shelves were furrier (sp?) with dirt, dust, ash and other gross particles. Despite being cost conscious, there was no way I was cleaning and using these shelves.
I wanted to throw up when I discovered this little gem. Unfortunately this "insect trap and monitor" was hiding in a corner before I could remove it months ago.
Since they're next to each other, I wanted to coordinate the pantry's walls with the laundry closet. I selected the medium shade of yellowish green featured in the laundry closet's chevron stripes.
BF is anti-wire shelf. He hates them so much he references Faye Dunaway's performance as Joan Crawford in "Mommy Dearest."
We went for a more stream-lined look with melamine shelves. As BF installed the new shelves, we were again reassured at how nothing in an older house is level. Some shelves installed very easily, while others required the use of a mallet.
Despite the furry shelves, insect trap, excessive bleach use and unlevel walls, I am very happy with the pantry. Bailey wishes he were taller so he can reach his doggie treats.
After BF installed the kitchen cabinets, I was extremely eager to unpack my kitchen. For months, plates, bowls, drinking glasses, mugs, flatware, knives, serving ware, small appliances, etc. were stored in boxes inside the front yard cube.
I decided to unpack the items and lay them on the dining table. I took a step back and felt completely overwhelmed. During those months, BF and I learned to live very simply. We only used the necessities, such as paper plates, plastic cups, microwave and toaster oven, for our meals.
Where did all this stuff come from? And where I am going to store all of it? I analyzed and categorized the items. Have I used it in the past year? Who gave this to me? How much did this cost? Was this a wedding gift? Why do I still have this? Why did I pack this?
I partially place the blame on my parents. They were refugees and arrived in the United States with absolutely nothing. They have become semi-hoarders. They love to buy household items and pass them along to BF and me. Unfortunately I don't have the heart to throw away any of their stuff.
I started unpacking at night after BF went to sleep. When he awoke in the morning, his irritation level skyrocketed. During my concentrated effort to keep the kitchen items organized on the dining table, I completely ignored the empty cardboard boxes and crumpled newspapers left in random locations on the floor.
BF, "I was getting used to everything nice and organized and you do this?!?!" TMF, "I promise it'll all be gone by the end of the Jaguar game." I hoped the mention of the football would ease the irritation, but BF wasn't fooled.
It's a good thing I can't stand chaos and messiness. I spent hours organizing and filling cabinets on Saturday. For some odd reason seeing these cabinets fills me with a sense of calmness.