Friday, March 30, 2012

not just any Friday

Spring break begins today at 12:30.  Reason # 4762 why I love my job... I get to reap the benefits of awesome random holidays and breaks, my husband gets rather jealous ;)

I am headed back 'home' tonight for some time with family and friends.  I am very excited to relax, sleep in, and most importantly, stuff my face with Portillo's and Giordano's.  If you are from the Chicago area, you would understand the excitement of not having these on a monthly basis.


Before I get too excited about break, here are 5 of my favorite things from this week:

1. As I mentioned yesterday, our tiling step in the shower is D.O.N.E.! Can you sense my excitement?

2. We cut the grass for the first time this season and it's looking great. Our hard work the past two years is paying off with a fuller, more green yard.

3. Breakfast for dinner. Yum!

4. My fun nails. Perfect for spring break.

5. Never a dull moment with 'The Murph Man'. He will find a way to lay on the fleece blanket, even if it's behind the couch cushions. This is how I found him when I walked into the family room.

Looking forward to a relaxing week off. Happy Friday!

xo, Erin

Thursday, March 29, 2012

One step closer..

We have officially completed the tiling in the shower. Hooray!

We still have to grout and seal, but we wanted to be done with cutting tiles and thin-set before we left for Chicago tomorrow. Our goal was to be done with tiling weeks ago, but life happens and there were set backs and other small projects along the way.  It feels great knowing that when we come back next week, we will be one step closer to using our shower.

Last tile being installed

So happy to be done with this step!

Hidden shelf for shaving my legs

To refresh your memory, here is a current before and after:


A few other things that still have to be done in the bathroom:
  • Tile bathroom floor
  • Install new vanity and sinks
  • Paint walls
  • Find new mirror(s)
  • Buy new light fixtures
  • Buy a new toilet
  • Build some type of storage

The tiling process was long, but worth it! You can read more about our process here.  Hopefully will be back to update you on the bathroom by next weekend.  There are definitely a lot of spaces that need grout!

xo, Erin

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

laundry sorter

Yesterday I talked about my awesome custom wardrobe in the master closet. Today I will share about another awesome part of our closet: the laundry sorter.

We had a laundry sorter that looked like this:

I got it from Kohl's, on clearance of course, and it got the job done.  It lasted about two years until slowly the bags started ripping as we shoved more and more laundry in them.  I wanted something that involved laundry baskets so I could carry the clean clothes back upstairs.  Enter Pinterest. 

Make your own laundry sorter!  I love this idea! Especially since the ones at the store won't even hold a full load like this will
pinned here

laundry room sorter...
pinned here

Awesome laundry sorter
pinned here

I found some great starting points, but knew I wanted it to fit our needs.  The first thing we did was go to Walmart and find laundry baskets we liked.  We wanted them big enough to fit a full load of laundry and heavy duty. The extra few dollars was definitely worth it.  We needed 3 for: whites, darks, and cold lights.

Greg did some measuring and designing and showed me the plans. All of the pictures from Pinterest have closed sides. We wanted them slightly open to be able to throw clothes in, without having to pull the basket out.

The sorter was built and looked awesome! Last step was the paint. We did two even coats with a foam roller then used fine grit sand paper for a smooth finish.

It fits perfectly in our closet right when you walk in.  It's very convenient and fits right under Greg's shirts.

 The top basket is empty because the load was just washed. I know the middle basket is ready to be washed because it is full.  It also helps that we have an awesome Maytag Bravos washer that is an extra large capacity.  I only do 4 loads of laundry a week and enjoy doing it.  

Awesome laundry sorter = happy wife

xo, Erin

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

master closet, master builder

We remodeled our master closet this winter to try and maximize space.  I had plastic bins full of out of season clothes stacked on the floor and the hanging shelf wasn't tall enough to fit Greg's shirts.

The plastic bins were from my college days when the dorm closets were WAY too tiny to fit all my clothes. It served its purpose then, but it was time to figure out something else.  I always admire the wardrobes at IKEA because of the organizational aspects, but thought they were too expensive to be hidden in a closet.  This is when Greg decided he would build me something based on IKEA measurements.

I drew out a sketch of where I wanted shelves, drawers and bins, then Greg got to work. We decided we would use the drawers IKEA provided because it would be too much of a hassle to build.  Off we went to get our measurements. While there, we noticed this awesome organizer was a Last Chance item. That meant they were discontinuing it and it was $10 down from $50.

This one fits in the 29" width wardrobe, we went with the larger one that is 40" wide

We immediately ran downstairs to the self pick-up to grab what was left.  No luck :(

Feeling very disappointed, we went back upstairs to take our measurements for the drawers. We happened to ask a very nice sales person if he could double check on the computer to see if any were in stock and misplaced. No matches.  I was just about to get over it, until he handed Greg a power driver and said you are more than welcome to take the floor models! YIPPEE!

We ran around the wardrobes trying to find as many organizers as we could.  We found 3, none were damaged, so we took them all.  The story gets better... the sales person called his manager over to get a price tag on them so they would scan at the checkout.  Since they were the floor model, they gave us 50% off! 

Yes, that means we got 3 felt organizers for $5 each.  I was so excited to get them home, we almost forgot to measure what we came for.  We went back downstairs, loaded the Komplement drawers on the cart and headed home to start constructing.  

This is what we ended up with:

We removed the closet door to make it feel bigger.
I plan on adding a curtain door in the near future.

I could barely get the entire wardrobe in the picture. We built it to the ceiling to maximize space. The one thing we didn't account for was how we were going to stand it up once it was built.  Oops! This meant we had to put it together, paint it and sand it in the closet.  What a nightmare!  

We covered our clothes in plastic while we sanded

All the trouble was well worth it. There are four shelves. The first one on the top doesn't currently have much on it.  I need a step stool to reach anything so right now it has a few of Greg's out of season clothes. The next one down has jeans that currently don't fit (my weight constantly fluctuates so I can't part with them), capris and yard work clothes. The next one down holds my bulky sweaters and hoodies. The last shelf holds lightweight sweaters and cardigans.  I will probably change things up for easy access depending on the season.  I also want to mention that all of these items are placed towards the front of the wardrobe. We built it deep enough that it could hold more clothes behind the first row.

After the shelves come the awesome organizers which I use for jewelry! The first one holds earrings, bracelets and watches, the next one holds gold and silver necklaces and the last one holds my colored necklaces. It is so easy to accessorize every morning now that everything is in sight!

Next are the two white Komplement drawers.  Looking at the picture, they don't seem very tall, but they are deep!  The first drawer holds all my tank tops and the second one is for my exercise clothes.

Finally are these boxes on the bottom.  The left one currently holds shorts and the right one holds flip flops and some flats. Like I said, things will probably be switched up in the warmer months for easier access.  

We also attached a few other organizers to the wardrobe for belts, pants and ties.  

slides in and out for easy, hidden access

Each bar can swivel as shown here

I originally was going to share our awesome laundry sorter since I'm in the midst of doing 4 loads of laundry.   But my awesome wardrobe (built by my amazing hubby) distracted me! I will be back tomorrow to talk about this... 

xo, Erin

Sunday, March 25, 2012

46 to go..

That may not be the exact number, but who's counting?!  

We have successfully tiled 750+ subway tiles in our shower.  Over the weekend we spent a total of about 9 hours tiling. Who knew the last part would take so long?  There are so many cuts, measuring and double checking on each wall that is very time consuming.

Greg said it best this weekend, "I didn't know this project was so involved".

It is just that. We would have completed the project last night, but again, ran out of thin-set. We have been using a whole lot of thin-set lately because we tend to put it on the wall, then directly on the individual tile for extra security.

Here is what we accomplished this weekend:

Inside half wall tiled

Outside half wall complete

From a distance

Front of the curb complete

Bottom row of subway tile where it joins the floor

Ready to start the shelf

Greg cutting our tiles. We got smart and moved the tile saw in the bathroom.
It makes a huge mess, but saves 2 flights of stairs each time

What Murphy does when we tile. He loves  to lay on our clothes

Yay! The shelf is finally complete and we LOVE it

The perimeter of the half wall and curb remain. We will use the bullnose tiles we special  ordered

Overall, we had a very productive weekend. The house got cleaned, we went to Costco, we posted some outdoor items on Craigslist, made a few trips to Home Depot, power washed the back patio and front porch, got the Jeep hard top out of the way and ordered something for our next project ;)

Carpet glue that has been stuck to the patio for 2 years is finally off!

Who knew the concrete was that dirty?

Greg's idea of getting the Jeep roof out of the way.

A clue to what our next project may involve

 Busy week ahead of me... spring break begins Friday and I will be heading to Naperville to visit with family and friends. Can't wait!

xo, Erin

Friday, March 23, 2012


I am so glad it's Friday and that it's going to rain! I can take a day or two off from watering the grass seed AND finally work on finishing our shower tile!

I'm linking up with Lauren to highlight my 5 favorite things from this week:

1. I have been officially admitted into Miami University's Grad School. Now I just need to be accepted into the Special Education program :)

2. I finally got my Valentine's Day gift. Pandora was having an awesome special over the weekend which is why we waited.

3. I have been watering the grass seed everyday after work. I used this time to start working on my tan and have succeeded.

4. We have been breaking records here in Cincinnati with 3 days over 84 degrees. Greg thought this was a great time to put the soft top on the Jeep. We have been finding every reason to run an errand :)

5. My duvet cover I ordered from West Elm arrived yesterday, and I LOVE it! Last week they were running an awesome one day special and I snagged it for $29 before they ran out. It needs to be washed to get the wrinkles out, but I was so excited to get it on our bed.

 Enjoy your weekend!

xo, Erin