Thursday, October 2, 2014

A Brighter Kitchen!

I can't remember how much I've mentioned on this blog about how dark our apartment is, especially after coming from our old house, which was always filled with natural light.  The room I had the most difficulty in handling the darkness was the kitchen.  Our old kitchen was always flooded with morning sun and I LOVED IT.  If I had my way, I would live by only natural light until the sun goes down in the evening.  Overhead lights are just way too bright and fake for me in the morning, especially before a cup or two of coffee. 

Living by natural morning light is not the case here.  There is one window, but it's not really a window.  It's covered in grass clippings.  We cleaned it when we first moved in to help "spruce it up", but then the grass was cut a few days later and we realized that was a colossal waste of time.  And the lone window looks into a window well.  Some natural light comes in through it, but its minimal.  And the view is a metal retaining wall.  It's beautiful, just beautiful.  You can take my word on that.

Anyways, I'm sounding much more negative than I intended....so getting back on track.  I hated the kitchen.  Almost no natural light, dark paneling, wood cabinets, grey dingy ceiling....you get the picture.  Dark. 

Here a few pictures from last year around this time:

 



 
And just for reference, this is what I mean by a grey ceiling - not helping the room appear brighter in the least bit.
 
 
 
Well, I can't add windows.  And I'm not paying to replace paneling, cabinets, or counter tops.  But I am a big believer in paint equity.  Sanity in a can some may say.
 
So, I spent hours upon hours painting every possible part of the kitchen this summer.  I still have my areas of complaint (because I'm a perfectionist) - I'm not a fan of the hardware on cabinets and the floor is trifling/troubling/falling apart, but I have to remember we are only renters and this place is CHEAP - but overall, I could not be happier with the results.  It was worth every dollar spent on paint and every minute spent painting.
 









 


 
Now the question is....do I tackle painting the living room next?  See how dark it looks in there now that the kitchen is brighter?  Might have to kick the hubby out for a weekend so I can "surprise" him with the results....

Monday, September 22, 2014

It's not much...unless you know what we started with!

Our bathroom "fix-up" is finally complete.  And trust me, it's nothing fancy, unless I share with you just how nasty it was when we moved in.  So, to fill you in on our "starting point", check these out!
This was an image taken by the previous owner.  I know I have an insane eye for detail, so in case you don't notice it like I do, please note the nasty, black all along the crack where the tub and floor meet.  This is no mistake, that is straight mold/mildew/nasty build-up.
Yes, all the darkness in the cracks is a combination of missing grout and mold.

Why yes, there is water leaking through the missing grout cracks, down the back wall of the shower, and causing the drywall next to the tub to mold, mildew, and deteriorate....and the baseboard also.

And yes, the mirror is rusty. 

Even on the inside.  Hell if I'm putting my toothbrush on that!

So, first we removed the moldy drywall.  I let the kids help me cut it out.  They thought that was awesome.  A chunk of the baseplate for the interior wall was rotten to the point of crumbling.  I cleaned up all of that and sprayed all the wood with a sealing primer.  And yes, I let the landlord know what I found when I cut away the drywall. 

Clearly this leak is not anything new.
 
 
So that's the before.  And I wouldn't say I'm high maintenance, but this girl has standards.  Cleanliness and not broken, moldy, or rusty standards.
 
 
Here are the after pictures.
I took down the cabinet, sanded off the rust, and spray painted it with an appliance epoxy paint.  I lined the inside shelves with cute, red damask rubber cabinet liner.

The walls are light blue and I added a red shelf.  I have a real love for red and light blue.  Sometimes I add red zinnias from the garden in the white milk glass vase on the shelf....but they die quickly.

Ohh look!  No moldy caulk anymore!

And no moldy wall either!

It's all clean now...and I've scrubbed the grout on the floor as best I can.  It's never going to be white.

No more dark and missing grout!  I re-grouted the entire shower.  It was a first time project for me and I did it while Justin was working out of town.  I thought it was fun!

I like things that are white and clean.  Really, really, like them.



I even painted the doors/trim white to help lighten up the whole room.  I don't like wood trim/doors.  In a place this small and dark, I prefer to keep things as white and light as possible.


Truth be told, we do have to keep this dehumidifier in the bathroom to help with moisture and air circulation.  It's not ideal to move around it, but whatever keeps the mold from growing!
 
 
So, that's our bathroom!  All clean and mold free!  And no more leaks in the shower!  I had to paint the walls twice to find the right color and I couldn't be more glad that I did.  The color is light, cheery, and exactly what I had in mind. 
 
Next time I get around to cleaning our kitchen, I'll share with you all the work I did in there this summer!
 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Letting Go

Well, clearly I never got over being tired this summer.  I haven't posted in nearly two months.  I fully believe our life is beautiful, but this summer was not the greatest or most enjoyable "phase" of our marriage and family life.  Trust be told, I adore my husband.  He's helpful, caring, smart, good lookin', and overall it's a real advantage in life to have him around.  Only seeing him on the weekends just doesn't cut it for the kids and me.  We love him.

BUT, tomorrow he's back for good.  Wow.  We survived and grew and stretched ourselves in new ways.  And I suppose those are all good things.  But I still firmly believe families are better off together than apart and I'm glad we go back to being together tomorrow.

I'm going to try to put a positive spin on a more trying phase of life though - one thing this summer taught me personally was when to let go.  I get really up tight about a lot of things - nutrition, education, media, parenting, etc.  This summer I was forced to simplify life down to what really matters.  We ate a few more boxes of Annie's Mac and Cheese.  The kids watched a little more TV (thank God for Netflix - Daniel Tiger whenever we need it saved my sanity on a few occasions).  Our kids are now registered to attend a solid preschool later this month.  I yelled more than I would have liked, but we also snuggled more than usual.  I spent more time on facebook in an attempt to feel like there was at least some form of adult interaction in my life on a daily basis.

And you know what, life is just fine.  So I might not always bake all of our bread from scratch.  And I might get tired and reach for the easy dinner.  And sometimes I might rely on a TV show to allow me to shower and blow-dry my hair in peace.  And I may not end up homeschooling the kids.  And I might waste entire evenings online (while also painting about half of our apartment though!).  And when it all comes down to it, I might realize I'm even farther from perfect than I originally hoped. 

But my kids are sweet and loving and helpful.  And we all know how deeply we love one another.  And our family will be back together again full time starting tomorrow evening. 

And that right there is all we really need to hold on to in life.