March 29, 2012

Spring Break - WOO HOO!!

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Yes my Spring Break is going to be so wild and crazy, just like the norm!

Well, wait, maybe not like the norm.  By wild and crazy I mean I am packing my days off full of serious projects, cooking new dishes and DIY art.  As well as reading, running and napping.  Oh the glorious napping.  Yes that is right, I am penciling naps into my schedule!

As I was scheduling my busy week next week, Frodo decided he didn't want my attention to be elsewhere...

Haha!  Well we are starting our HUGE kitchen makeover this weekend!!  I have it all planned out in my planner, what day I am doing what and each step is meticulous!  Actually, we started tonight - we went to Lowes and dropped a few bones on paint and paint supplies and what not.  We spent a good bit but I have to tell myself that I am saving so much in the long run by doing this myself!  Here is Frodo surveying the goods.  Theres more than this in the totes there, which I bought to store allllll of our kitchen stuff as we empty out the cabinets and drawers...

I even started taking off the cab fronts tonight, while we were watching for this lady to come pick up the TV we sold on Craigslist.  Our Craigslist income is funding our redo, btw:)

See how ugly they are?  Serious, I am not sure why we've waiting this long?  The white appliances have to go too, and the counter tops...but that's for another time.  Probably next year.

I also have to reorganize these cabinets - they are set up so awkwardly that I need to build or install drawers in them to fit everything.  One project at a time though. 

As for the project, we are scrubbing, puttying, sanding, priming and painting the doors (front and back), the drawer fronts, and the cabinet bases on the outside. The parts on the inside are getting scrubbed and cleaned but not painted.  I know others who have done this and its looked ok. 

As for our colors - we picked them out tonight, decided FINALLY on a yellow and brought the cans home.  There is no turning back now!!  Here are our colors, etc,

And another pic....

The yellow isn't showing true to color, its a nice bright but soft yellow, it looks a little too bright and fluorescent here.  The Candlelit beige is the cabinet color.  Our cabs now do not have any hardware so we have to install those too.  I bought these last year on O.Com - oil rubbed bronze pulls and handles!  I didn't buy hinges, I want to try an experiment with our existing hinges first to see if I can make them work.  The wood underneath is our Giada D cutting board but is showing to represent the butcher block counter tops we will get one day.  We have already priced them at IKEA and the damage isn't too bad.  That won't be a possibility until the fall though, because our next big expense is Europe;)

My inspiration kitchens again from Pinterest, again:

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from here

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from here

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from here

I love the cheery yellows, the white cabinets and love love looooove the counters.  If I can make our little townhouse kitchen look even half as good as these, I'll be happy!! 

I'm anxious to get started, but seeing as it is 11pm and I DO have work tomorrow, I'll be heading to bed.  I think we got a good head start on things today too!  Tomorrow we plan to go on our Friday date and then get back to the house and get to work!  Will post pics as we go!

March 28, 2012

A man needs his space!

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My dad is forever joking that his only space in their house, the house I grew up in, is the 3x6 spot on their bed!  LOL!  This is the spot he goes to after a long day on the golf course, while mom starts and never finishes the millions of projects around the house.  He jokes this way because she is always decorating or updating or cleaning something out.

Hmmmmm...sounds like someone I know;)

So, my goal is to make sure Dave has more than a 3x6 space in our home.  A space he can call his own.  Well, I have some access and right to it, but it's the Man Cave, specially designed for his needs and comfort!

Our basement has been through some changes.  It's been a rolla coaster!!  The biggest thing we've dealt with since we've bought this house is "The Flood"; we talk about it like it was a Biblical event - before "The Flood...." and after "The Flood..."

The water was at least a 1/2 deep down in the laundry room....

The carpet was soaked all the way through our main living area down there.  It was awful.  Thanks to goodness it was covered under insurance.  It's a blessing really, because our sump pump failed, which is a covered event, but there was a coinciding problem too, a huge crack in our foundation - which is not covered.  The sump pump was found first, miracle of all miracles - so the carpet replacement was free.  So awesome!  We fixed the crack in the foundation ourselves with the advice from a lot of different experts - so hopefully any hurricanes that visit us again will not seep into our house!!

So, before our major overhaul of our basement these past few weeks, it looked like this...

Those couches are old as dirt!  They are from my old apartment, given to us from a lady at church, and who knows how old they were then?  Our theme down here is Baltimore, of course, so please excuse the Ravens explosion;)

This was all a mess, surround sound wires, a old tv cabinet, dvds everywhere, yuck....begone!!

We are selling the TV and surround sound, got rid of the cabinet, organized the DVDS, got rid of a ton of games/movies...

Ta da!!  We painted the wall purple.  I know I know...yikes!  It's just this wall as an accent, but the picture doesn't do it justice, it's not really that bright.  Its a nice, bearable deep Ravens purple.  Dave chose it, so don't hate!  We bought this awesome entertainment center from IKEA - only $129 which is a steal!  Dave loves it:)  he loved every moment of putting the thing together too:)

As for the couches...

Ew....are they gross?  This is what they looked like without the covers from  We sold them for $50 to a few nice boys who are in a band and needed couches for their basement practice space.  I dont know if you can tell in the pic below, but they came in a Scooby Doo painted van, it was pretty awesome!

So we are left with a blank space really.  Brand spanking new carpet, new entertainment center, lots of extra random furniture and junk to get rid of, but Dave is happy happy!

We'll get back to that in a bit....remember what the back room of our basement used to look like?  Maybe you don't because I wrote about it way last year...

It was pretty awful.  We have this gross paneling back there as the wall.  It was ugly brown.


Then I painted it white and it looked lots better. Then after that, around a year ago I turned it into a craft room, it was cute and a lot cleaner.

Well, scrap that idea.  That yucky shelf has to go.  We have a chest freezer that has to fit back there now (couponing pays off, but we need space to put food!) and my pantry type cabinet needs to go back there too (again, couponers need a stockpile place!) plus Dave is aching for a mini fridge so he won't even have to leave his Man Cave ever;)

Here he is demo-ing that shelf - see ya!!!

Since I couldn't reach back there to paint that part of the paneling, I needed to catch up!

I don't know what it's so fuzzy but that is how it looks now!  All painted and set up for the time being.  That is our old washer, we are selling it because we bought a brand new set.  It is coming along.  We are actually planning on having someone refinish this whole area and the laundry room.  That back wall needs to be demo-ed down to the concrete to check for leaks, cracks and mold from the doesn't look wet or gross now, but who knows what may be growing back there?

So here is how the main space looks now.  We bought a 42" TV for Dave to go into our nice entertainment center.  We are selling the treadmill since I am strictly an outdoor runner, it took a year to realize that, and you can see the blue tape on the floor.  We measured out the nice couch we ordered from Gardiners - it's so awesome!  We wanted to make this "fake" outline so we can figure out how to arrange all the other furniture down here while we wait the painful 8 to 12 weeks for the couch to come in.  Some other plans are a DIY bar area and to put the poker table, aka where we dump our laundry sometimes, in a better spot.

It will truly be a Man Cave and I can't wait until it's all done.  I'm totally going to sneak down here to watch movies and cozy up on the nice couch when Dave is at work.  Shhhhh - don't tell him! 

So that is the cause for the blog silence over the past two weeks - we've been really busy cleaning this place out and taking trips to the dump, and Goodwill, and Lowes or Home D.  There is still so much to do but we are chugging along.  It really does take a while to DIY and re decorate just once space!!  Actually, our whole house is getting a clean out and getting ready for lots of updates.  More on that later;)

March 10, 2012

Disney makes my heart happy!

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It's been a while since I've posted about Disney!  What is up with that?  Disney is something that is so near and dear to my heart, and Dave's, and Ashley's!  Just the other day we were talking about how we need to go again, even though we practically just got back.  Well, it has been 2 1/2 months now, but's so fun and addictive that we are never tired of it!

Here are a few pics from our trip.  We went from Dec 26th to Jan 1st, the craziest, busiest time of year for anyone to go to Disney.  Honestly, you must be crazy to go that week.  Luckily we are a little crazy, and since I work at a school our vacation time is limited during the Sept-June months!  Luckily, with the help of Tour Guide Mike we never got stuck in the crowds unless we chose to (like at night during Extra Magic Hours or fireworks, which he practically forbids during this week, LOL) and didnt really notice all the craziness.  We got up super early, hit the parks before they opened which was great because they always let us in early, and did all the rides (some twice!) before the major crowds even got there.  We rode everything we wanted!  It was a great trip!

What is a trip for us to Orlando without stopping in Harry Potter World first?  This is in Universal and we take a little side trip.  This was our second time here, it was so insanely crowded it was hard to enjoy, but we managed anyway!  Just walking down the streets of Hogsmeade was great.  Although, it was 80 degrees there so it was hard to get in character on in the "snowy" town.

Dave & I posing with the Hogwarts Express!

Alas, we said bye to HP, and started our Disney fun!  Family pic at Magic Kingdon.  That is Thunder Mountain behind us.

Dave & Ash posing with Goofy at Chef Mickey's, our fave restaurant!

We stopped into the Grand Floridian to take a peek at their decor, it was beeeautiful!

Our hotel was cool too - this is Pop Century at the main pool!  Groovy!

Ash & I posing with Roger Rabbit on the huge computer key board.  That was our room building behind us.

Ash with her blingin Mickey Ears.

Me wiating in line of one of my fave rides, Expedition to Everest in Animal Kingdom.  Awesome!

Epcot is my absolute favorite park.  I love the World Showcase.  Because I love traveling!

Happy Blands at Magic Kingdom!

We do Disney at least once a year.  Actually, we are looking into buying a share of Disney Vacation Club, it's like have a time share IN Disney World, but with major perks!  It's like buying a house, but way way cheaper so the "mortgage" payments are less than $100 a month! It means we will be able to go down to Disney more than once a year, and we won't have to pay for lodging but we will get to stay a few of the best hotels there:)  WIN!!

Last month I started contributing to a blog called The Affordable Mouse.  It's so fun!  Every other week I write a article for the Thrifty Thursday column.  The blog admin there is Nancy, and she is a Disney Vacation Planner too!  You can get a no obligation Disney Vacation quote from her, she'll plan your trip down to the meals if you want her too;)  Do me a favor and tell her I sent you!  Writing for this column as been so fun.  I've only done two articles so far but I love working with the folks over at TAM, it's a great blog to be a part of.  Go check it out!  Lots of great Disney info over there...

Dave & I are going to Paris & Italy this summer and we have decided to try Disneyland Paris.  I am thinking that is going to be the best thing ever?!?  Disney + Paris = Tina is going to die happy!

That's all for today, friends! 

March 7, 2012

What a show!

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This past weekend Dave & I went to the MD Home & Garden Show and it was really cool!!  My fave part was definitely the garden parts!  The theme this year was around books, so the creators of the garden built them around a certain book.  Which, you know, just gets me all excited.  I mean, when I walk into Barnes & Noble I jump up and down like a little girl at the site of books!  Ha!  Here are some of the cool things we saw:

This was a Hobbit themed garden, they built "BagEnd" and everything!  I took pictures of the flowers but they didn't turn out well.  My camera died (dumb camera!) and I had to use my IPhone which isn't the best camera in the world, at least not the 4 (not the new one) anyways this was Dave's favorite garden!  He mostly just held my hand and enjoyed that I was having a good time, poor guy!  We did have a great day together though.  This was way cool though, even he had to admit!

Then we stumbled upon Dorothy, you can see the pretty purple flowers behind us posing together for the pic!  They had poppies and yellow flowers, again my camera didn't take a great pic...

You can see they used a yellow brick for the garden path, how cute!  Plus, what is the Wizard of OZ without the ruby slippers?  Poor Wicked Witch of the East!

Then, we came upon this one, in honor of Dr Seuss's bday - The Lorax!  This garden was so sweet!

See the purple and orange plants that look like the Lorax??  How did they do that!!?  I want to plant 100 of these in my tiny townhouse yard, do you think the neighbors will mind??

Then...the creme de le cream....




.......are you in suspense? should be!!!!

......this is the BEST part.....

If you know me at all, you can imagine my reaction!

If you don't know me, well I looked like a freak, jumping up and down and screaming, "ITS MY FAVORITE!!!"...

again with the blurry pics...

The garden was amazing, the castle was so cool, the water, there was a Hagrid's Hut and a sorting hat and all!  Siiiiiiiiiiiiigh, next time my camera will be charged.  Or, I'll have a new fancy camera!

After the build up of the HP garden, the rest of the show was pretty laid back.  There were a lot (A LOT) of reno home companies.  People who do kitchens and bathrooms, and what not.  To them I thought..."Eh, I can do all of that myself, so I am not interested!"  Well, I actually cant DO all of that myself, I'm not an expert or anything, but I can TRY and LEARN to do all those things. 

There were not a lot of showcase rooms either, at least not for the home reno stuff.  That part was a little disappointing, I wanted to see some amazing kitchens and bathrooms, not refitted junk. 

There were a lot of really great vendors selling home & garden decor, and I particularly liked these guys...

Garden owls!!  Made of rocks!!  So cute!!  I wanted to buy but then thought that maybe I could make one of these myself?  I'm not sure how...I'll get back to you on that.  This was such a cool table, it was a stone mason's set up and the "backyard" he made was so amazing and beautiful it almost hurt.  This was solid stone, built I don't know how, it's a permanent table so I am not sure how they will get it out of here?  Probably break it?  I loved it, I want a huge house and big backyard so I can have it and throw lovely dinner parties like Giada D;)

One part of the show really got Dave all hot and bothered, in a good-not-creepy way...

There were tons and tons of hot tubs.  I kind of felt like that should have put a cap on the amount of hot tubs there?  So much room taken up where other cool things could have been, like more amazing kitchens or bathrooms I would have died for...instead there were huge hot tubs and mattresses like a warehouse.

I sound bratty, I am sorry.  The show was really cool - I think I built it up in my head like it was going to be a model home or something.  That is not how home and garden shows are.  There were a lot of different people there that do a lot of cool stuff for the home, but since my mom taught me how to be a DIY girl, it didn't interest me enough.  If you are interested in paying people to do things, like decks or refitting bathrooms or siding or roofing jobs, this was a great place to make contacts!  I really did like, no LOVE, the garden part though.  That was awesome, and a great place to take kids too!

One really great thing about the show was that in the building next door, there was a big craft show.  There were so many great items, pictures and jewelry and food and it was awesome.  One big thing I wanted was some true "Baltimore" art to pay homage to the place we live.  Our basement is themed around Baltimore, mostly Ravens stuff, but I want to get some other Bmore stuff down there for some added pizazz!  Dave was kind enough to like me invest in this art, since it is the Man Cave!  He really liked this painting too, so it was a win-win.  The artist is a Baltimore native, Larry Stevens and his art is really beautiful!  There were so many great paintings, but we decided on this one...

So that was our adventure at the MD Home & Garden Show.  We did a little wine tasting at Boordy afterwards so all in all it was a very beautiful and fun Maryland day.  I really do love where we live!