Monday, April 30, 2012

April showers bring... toilets?

It was a pretty cold and rainy weekend around here. Greg got some things done in the bathroom and I for once had a social life!

Friday night I went to a Premier Jewelry party. It was so fun to get out, eat snacks and of course play with all the fun jewelry. I am very excited to receive my order! I ended up with a pair of earrings and a ring. Since I stopped biting my nails, I have been wearing a lot more rings. I also booked a party of my own for July which I am very excited about!

Saturday I went to lunch with my friend Laura and wandered around Ikea. She was shopping for her Circus themed nursery and we found some adorable things!

LEKA CIRKUS Mobile IKEA Movement and sharp contrasts stimulate the baby's eyesight.
found here

VITAMINER VIMPEL Pair of curtains with tie-backs IKEA Shorten to desired length without sewing using iron-on hemming strip.
found here

FABLER Bed canopy IKEA A bed canopy gives privacy and creates a room-in-room feeling. Sheer fabric with great light transmission.
found here

She found some other super cute stuff as well. I can't wait to see it all together... get to work Elliot :)

While I was out shopping on Saturday, my fabulous husband finished tiling the bathroom floor. He's the best! (Tonight we will be grouting so I will definitely update with pictures). Saturday night we rented Tower Heist from Redbox, overall it was pretty good.  I like both Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy which is why we ended up with it. There were some funny parts, but I wouldn't tell you to rush out and see it immediately.

Sunday I did my weekly grocery shopping at Kroger and ran some other errands.  We picked up some drywall at Home Depot for our bathroom before we had to return the trailer to Greg's boss. 

After dinner, we dropped off the trailer, stopped at Bad Frog for some frozen yogurt, then were on a mission to find a toilet. We knew we wanted to replace our old one and had a style in mind. We checked out Menards, Home Depot and finally found one at Lowe's. 

Zoomed: Jacuzzi Prestige White High Efficiency WaterSense Elongated 2-Piece Toilet

The first store was completely out and weren't restocking them. We called the next closest store and they had one left, but the box was damaged. They placed it on hold and we went to check it out.

When we got there, it appeared that the box had just been opened. We took each piece out, checked for scratches and made sure everything was there.  The toilet was on clearance because they are discontinuing it.  It was on sale for $148 down from $229.  The associate at Lowe's was very nice and just wanted to get it off his floor. He took an extra 10% off because the box was open. Sweet!

We went home very happy with our toilet purchase and rented another movie, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.  Greg said the movie was boring in the beginning and had a slow start. I agree, I think they could have done a lot more with the plot. Sometimes if I don't know what movie to rent, I base it on the actors. Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock were in it and I love both of them.  The ending of the movie definitely made the two hours worth it.

Hope you had a fun and relaxing weekend. Bathroom updates soon, I promise!

xo, Erin

Friday, April 27, 2012

what a long week

This week seemed to drag on. We had some rain and cooler weather which seemed to make me tired. I am looking forward to next week when warm temperatures plan on coming back.


I'm linking up with Lauren for High Five for Friday. Here are my 5 favorite things from this week:

1. I finally got to see my friend Laura (and her husband) for a Cheesecake Factory date. Hooray for seeing her growing baby belly and eating yummy cheesecake!

2. My computer arrived! I can't wait to explore this weekend.

3. I added pages to the blog... still a work in progress. Check them out above

4. I'm still eating my quarts of Rita's from last week. All still delicious.

5. Our bathroom floor progress. Hope to finish up this weekend

Sorry I've been slacking on pictures lately, I know it makes the posts so much more fun! Happy Friday!

xo, Erin

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Greg was out of town last night so no progress was made on the bathroom. Instead, I spent my time relaxing with Murphy on the couch and watching some TV. I could get used to that.

Anyways, I was playing around with the blog last night and added some tabs that you can see above. It is still a work in progress that I hope to expand on. Enjoy :)

xo, Erin

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

work in progress..

Last night we were busy tiling. We didn't get as far as we hoped, but are very excited about the results so far.

Take a peek...

More to come soon.

xo, Erin

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

How to: Hardiebacker

After ripping up the old linoleum, then prepping the floor, we were ready for Hardiebacker. This is the step you do right before tiling. Your floor needs a strong base to support your tile and this gets the job done. Everything we learned came from this very informative book:

We purchased 5 Hardiebacker sheets from Home Depot that were 1/4" thick. They have thicker sheets that are 1/2", but those are used for walls (we used those in our shower).  

The first step is to measure and cut your sheets to the space.  All of our sheets had to be trimmed to go around corners, vents and the toilet.  Greg used a scorer specifically designed for this job and it made life easier.

find it here

After all the sheets were cut and every inch of the floor was covered, put them off to the side (remember where each one goes). Now it's time to mix the mortar.  Read the directions and mix correct amounts of mortar and water together. Use something that looks like this on the end of your drill.

After mixing, it sits for about 10 minutes before you can begin.  This is a great time to shop-vac the floors. There is probably lots of dust and small pieces of Hardiebacker everywhere if you did your cutting in the room. Even if you didn't, you want to make sure to get everything up. Spreading thin-set with your trowel and finding 'crumbs' everywhere is not fun. 

Once the mortar is ready, use a 1/4" notched trowel to spread.

Greg spread enough on to put down one Hardiebacker sheet at a time. Spread it around, pushing it into the floor, then with the notched side, pull at a 45 degree angle. You should be able to see groove lines as shown below.

Grab your Hardiebacker sheet that was cut for that spot. Line it up on both sides, slowly lower it and then Greg would jump/shove to make sure it was in place.

Use the proper screws that are meant for cement board. There are small grooves on the Hardiebacker so you know where to place them. A whole sheet takes about 60 screws.

Last step... seal the joints. Grab tape similar to the picture below. We used Drywall tape because it's the same stuff and is cheaper. Run a strip along each Hardiebacker joint. Place a line of mortar on top with a putty knife. Allow to dry.

If you followed the above steps, you are ready for tile, which is exactly what we will be doing tonight! So excited for the finished product!

xo, Erin

Monday, April 23, 2012

Earth Day Escapades

Do you remember me talking about this awesome red maple here?

Well, bad news, things aren't looking very awesome anymore. We had that crazy 80 degree weather over a month ago, everything bloomed, and a lot of tress around us got frost damage :( Mature trees know not to bloom until it stays warmer longer, but this tree was a baby and all its leaves were out.  We got a great deal on it, but we are very sad to see it go.

Fast forward to last night when we did some more tree planting.  First thing we did was get rid of the dead maple and replace it with something similar. We couldn't find any maples around us for a good price, so we ended up with a dogwood. I have always wanted one of these.

We continued celebrating Earth Day by planting more trees. I have discussed how we wanted to add shade and privacy to our backyard. No one around us took the initiative to landscape their backyard, so we figured we will hopefully be the trendsetters. We finally bit the bullet and bought some evergreens. 

We did some shopping around and research and discovered Norway Spruce trees are the fastest growing evergreen, with a growth rate of 2-3 feet per year. We borrowed Greg's boss' trailer and went to pick some up about thirty minutes away. Why? because their trees were at least half the price of every other nursery around. They are about six feet tall... not too shabby.  

First thing we did was figure out the spacing. Greg and I placed them about ten feet apart and staggered the center one in a little. I spray painted circles on the ground where we decided.  We dragged the trees in place and stood back to make sure we liked them.  It was time to dig.  

Hole was about 20 inches deep. That is one big root ball!

A few hours and 5 holes later, we had this:

We found the pear tree and dogwood at Lowe's.  They come with a one year guarantee and have decent prices on their trees.  Make sure you dig through them to find the best quality, they can differ greatly.

I am very excited to see our backyard finally having trees and seeing progress.  We will make sure to fertilize and water the new trees.  We were told the frost should no longer affect the trees, fingers crossed.

Just to refresh your memory, here is our backyard on moving day. Big difference, don't you agree?

How did you spend Earth Day? Hopefully not working as hard as us ;)

p.s. We made some bathroom flooring progress, update tomorrow!

xo, Erin

Friday, April 20, 2012

Happy Friday

Have I mentioned how much I love Friday?

Well, I do. It's always a good day at work because I know the weekend is here. I take that back, everyday is a good day at work. I love my job THAT much and I probably say it way too often. Sorry for rubbing it in ;)

Lots of projects are planned for the next couple days and I am very excited to start working on them. First, let me tell you my 5 favorite things that happened this week (minus pictures):


1. As I mentioned yesterday, we sold our patio set. Hooray for cash in the bank and moving on to the next project out there.

2. My hubby bought me a new laptop, he's the best :)  My current one is close to 6 years old, runs slow, doesn't have much memory left and needs to be plugged in at all times. I'd say it was about time for a new one.

3. My brother-in-law and his fiance stopped by last night for a short visit. They are on the road to Nashville this morning and our house was right on the way. We love visitors :)

4. I went to an all-day Early Childhood conference in Columbus yesterday. I learned a lot and came home with a list of things I want to make. Fun fact: Children learn best from their sense of smell. Cinnamon stimulates boys, while cucumber & melon stimulates girls. Who knew?

5. Rita's! Have you ever had it? It's the most delicious Italian Ice ever. I stopped by yesterday on my way home from Columbus and bought 3 quarts. What a refreshing treat!

xo, Erin

Thursday, April 19, 2012

let's talk patio seating

Hooray! We sold our patio set on Craigslist and got an awesome price for it... let's just say we made some money on the deal ;)

Anyways, now there is nothing back there. We have big projects planned for the patio area this year. We are going to extend the surface area, build a pergola and add some privacy. We also need to figure out a seating situation.

I have been eyeing this beautiful table from Lowe's since it came out this season:

Zoomed: allen + roth Dellinger 41-3/4" x 72" Cast Aluminum Rectangle Patio Dining Table
found here

After our patio table left us last night, we talked about how we really didn't use it and weren't sad to see it go. Was it because it wasn't comfortable? Was it because I don't like eating outside with the bugs? 

Maybe we don't want a table after all, rather just some comfy seats to relax.  We hope to enjoy our backyard  more once we finish planting trees and finish up with the patio. I envision us playing bags, having a bonfire and drinking a beer during the summer. 

So I started looking at more conversational seating. This is what I like:

Binkley Collection

Eastfield Collection

They look cozy in pictures... I will have to start browsing in the stores for comfort and durability.  We aren't looking to buy anything immediately. We first want to get the patio area done so we get a feel for the space and exactly what we want. Until then, it doesn't hurt to look :)

xo, Erin

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

floor prep

Before we can get to the fun part of the bathroom floors (tiling), we have to do the dirty work.  By we, I mean Greg.  He got to work last night pulling up the 527 staples that were left on the ground when we pulled the luan up here.

Let me explain something. The tiling part isn't necessarily 'fun', but seeing the dramatic change and knowing an end is in sight is very rewarding.  That is what I mean by fun.

Glad we got that cleared up... now back to pulling up staples. Greg used pliers to grab the staple and a crowbar to help lift it up.

He hammered a few of them down...

And here is a view of exactly how close the staples are to each other. They are everywhere!

Now you can see why tiling is so much more fun! Good thing I have the best husband ever to sit there and take care of all those staples.

xo, Erin

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Easter Sunday... a little late

This was our first major holiday as husband and wife, that we weren't traveling to family and family wasn't coming to us.  Here is rundown of what our day looked like:

8:00 am- Easter Mass

9:30 am- Caribou Coffee

10:00 am- Mini family photo shoot

10:30am- Grout the shower floor. We promised ourselves no home improvement projects today, but this was a quick one ;)

12:00 pm- Egg salad sandwiches with our dyed eggs

1:30 pm- Bike ride to the park and played some baseball

3:30 pm- Begin cooking dinner while watering our new trees

5:30 pm- Easter dinner. Ham, potatoes and green bean casserole

7:00pm- Walk around the neighborhood to make room for dessert

8:00 pm- Eat banana pudding

This was a little after the fact, but just wanted to share how we celebrated Easter together. It was filled with memories and was nice to not have to travel for once.

xo, Erin

Monday, April 16, 2012

can't let a weekend go to waste

We got back from Michigan last night around 6:00. This gave us enough time to eat dinner, relax for a little, then get some work done around our own house.  Seeing everyone in Michigan was definitely fun, but that means little to nothing gets completed here.

Our next mission was to get the yucky linoleum ripped out of our bathroom.  Trash comes on Mondays so last night was the perfect time to get this done.


working on removing the vanity

vanity is gone

HGTV style.. on the roof throwing pieces of floor onto the lawn


The floor is out and is ready for Hardiebacker and tile. I can't wait to move forward and show everyone the tile we chose!

On a positive note, our shower got hardware installed and it's looking so pretty! We also tested out the water and checked our tile slope. So far, so good :)

Here's to a productive week... check back for updates.

xo, Erin

Friday, April 13, 2012

Anniversary Edition: My 5 favorite things

First week back to work after spring break and I am exhausted. We are headed to Michigan this afternoon to help my brother-in-law move into his new house, congrats Kev!  Looks like I will be running on empty until next week.

Like always, I am linking up with Lauren for High Five for Friday! Nothing too exciting happened these past couple days. Since this week was our special edition anniversary week, I thought I would share 5 of my favorite things about this house.

1. Our porch swing. We live on a cul-de-sac and it's nice to just sit and relax on our porch when it's nice out.
Side note: we got this swing from a garage sale for an amazing deal.. originally from Frontgate

2. Our kitchen floors. I can't say enough good things about this floor. The quality, color, differentiation and durability is superb. Murphy constantly goes chasing his toys and sliding on the floor, and we have yet to find a scratch.

3. Our fireplace. It's amazing how much we have used it. It's gas which makes it very convenient to turn on and off. We bought a fireplace fan to help us warm up the downstairs when we don't want to turn the heat on for those in between days.

4. The windows in the family room. They are large and let in a lot of natural light. 

5. The 2 boys I share this house with. It's never a dull moment and I wouldn't trade it for anything. 
Check out some funny pictures of them here

they snuggle

they road trip together

they play 'peter pan'

they watch ducks (at our old apartment)


Happy Friday, have a fabulous weekend!

xo, Erin