Friday, December 26, 2014

Under Our Feet

The time has finally come to talk about our flooring! We started talking about this project in February of 2014. If you missed it, you can catch up HERE. We were contemplating laminate and vinyl planking. After I wrote that post we also considered stained concrete and tile. After many samples, estimates and research we landed on Allure Traffic-master Vinyl Planks in dark walnut. 

It was a gamble. It took some adjustment on my part to get over the stigma of vinyl. I also had to over look this scary post I found from 2009 talking about the horrible smell and toxic glue they use. But we kept coming back to it because it had so many features that tile, concrete and laminate was lacking. 

We loved that it was softer than concrete and tile. It was warmer and had better sound absorption, but most importantly it was water resistant and durable. With two large dogs we didn't want to waste our time and money on new flooring only to have it destroyed. 

We installed it ourselves. The first two hours were the most difficult but once we got the hang of it, it went rather fast. It took four weekends to complete. We broke it down into small sections so we wouldn't get burned out. I wanted a seamless look so we continued it through the entire house using the Allure Under Transition strips. I would highly recommend these if you want a seamless installation. We found out the hard way how difficult it is to lay these planks backwards. I wish the HD store associates would recommend them with purchase of Allure flooring. The strips can only be purchased online so make sure you have them before you start the installation.

We have lived with these floors a few months now. So far so good. We never experienced a bad odor from the adhesive. They have endured water spelt on them, muddy dogs walking on them, and furniture being moved. They are easy to clean. I run the vacuum over them every other day and the Swiffer Wet Jet once a week. Like any floor, the dark color does show dirt so if you want something low maintenance I would stick to the lighter colors. The floor has a texture to it and feels like wood grain. We also like the fact that it is a floating floor so they will be easy to remove in the future if we wish to do so. 

So there you have it. Sure, they don't replace the feel and look of a beautiful wood floor but these floors work for us, our dogs and our life style. Vinyl has really reinvented itself in the last few years. Have you installed a new floor lately? If not, what floor are you dreaming of living on? 

Stay Humble

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Thrifty Thursday

Its that time again. I wanted to share my scores with you! First up is this large San Diego map. I scored it for $3.00. I gave the frame a fresh coat of teal spray paint. You will get to see it again when I post my finished dining room pictures. I love San Diego! We have family who live in SD and have spent many weekends there.

Next, I found this huge basket. It has a home by the fire place. I think I'm going to use it to house some extra pillows and throws that are not in use. 

I found two pillow covers for .25 a piece. I loved the colors in this quilted pillow cover. My dogs loved it much that they decided to take it outside and play tug of war with it. It was fun to own for a day! 

The second one is this hand stitched cover.  I thought it was too quirky to pass up. I sometimes like weird, ugly things, what can I say. 

I also purchased this brass candle holder, heart bottle and music box lantern.

And lastly, I found this awesome ink drawing of a bear. I didn't waste any time getting it into a new frame and hanging it in my living room. 

Those are my finds. Have you found some cool stuff lately? I wish we had better thrift stores in my area. There isn't a whole lot to chose from. It's kind of hit and miss so when I actually find something, I get so excited! Have a great end to your week.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Where it's at

Hi guys! How was your October? Ours was busy. We had plans every weekend so we didn't get a whole lot of house stuff done. Hopefully things are slowing down now so we can get back to it. My goal is to have it all done before 2015. Here is what we have left.


  • Remove popcorn
  • Refinish & paint ceiling
  • Paint walls
  • Remove carpet 
  • Install plank flooring
  • Crown moulding
  • Quarter round
  • Caulk & paint moulding
  • Add finish moulding to desk
  • Paint DIY door desk
  • Move computer & belongings back in
  • Refinish thrifted desk chair

  • Remove popcorn
  • Refinish & paint ceiling
  • Paint walls
  • Remove carpet
  • Install plank flooring
  • Crown moulding
  • Quarter round
  • Caulk & paint moulding
  • Move belongings back in
  • Refinish & paint ceiling
  • Paint walls
  • Install track lighting
  • Install Corina countertops
  • Install new sink & faucet
  • Add planking to back of peninsula
  • Build shelves
  • Prep & paint cabinets
  • Quarter round
  • Buy cabinet knobs
  • Install new hardware
  • Install range microwave
  • Frame out window
  • Install tile backsplash

  • Remove linoleum flooring
  • Install plank flooring
  • Install baseboards
  • Caulk & paint baseboards
  • Prep & paint vanity
  • Install hardware
  • Frame out mirror
It is still allot to do even though we are about 75% done from where we started. I was watching House Hunters the other day and this couple was talking about their major DIY demolition plans. They estimated it to be done in three months and I couldn't help but start laughing. I think it is something everyone underestimates. I know we did. 

I owe you guys so many pictures and posts. I promise you will get them...eventually. Here is a picture of our finished floors and base board moulding we chose. They turned out beautiful! 

That's all for now. I just wanted to give you an update since I get allot of people asking "are you done with your house yet?" Not yet, but hopefully soon. Have a wonderful day!

Stay humble

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Save A Life in October

Today's post is not about frames or DIY. I wanted to talk about my dogs. I know, I know, not everyone is a dog lover. Maybe you are on "team cat" but that doesn't mean you should stop reading this post. This post is really about something near to my heart and doesn't discriminate against any of my animal friends. Its about all pets in general.

We have all seen those sad commercials during the holidays. You know the ones, showing sad, abused, neglected pets. They are so moving they make my ten year old niece start bawling and turn her head. I don't know how many people really donate to them, but I do know they are asking for donations for a good reason. There is a huge pet over-population problem in the USA. 

I watched my neighbors over breed their pit bull for a puppy income. I was volunteering at my local shelter at the time. I couldn't tell you how many wonderful dogs went through that place in a week. Some off to new homes but most off to be euthanized. It was extremely hard to watch. 

In February 2008, my husband and I had been looking for a dog. We had walked through that same shelter many times but hadn't found "the one" yet. We thought we would stop by on our way to a movie and see what new dogs they had received that day. We were ready to leave but decided to walk back through one more time. We were almost out the door when my husband pointed out a happy puppy chasing his tail. He was so entertained by his tail he didn't even notice us. He was oblivious to the cold concrete floor, chain link walls and miserable barking dogs around him. We took him to the play yard and it was all over. We missed our movie and came home with a new family member.

Meet Koda (AKA: Koda Bear)
He was born November 7th 2007. He was dropped off at the shelter when he was a few weeks old. He was alone. No litter mates or mother were with him. His past is unknown, but I like to think it was a happy one considering how happy this dog is.

This dog has the biggest personality I've ever seen in a K9. He is super smart but can be very stubborn. I have taught him 20+ commands. These include the basic obedience commands, take a bow, jumping through a hope and high five, just to name a few. Here he is in his "awkward" teenager stage.

And all grown up.

Koda had been getting into trouble while we were at work so we thought we would get him a friend to entertain him. Not realizing, that only leads to two board dogs instead of one. Hahah! So back to the shelter we went, looking for a dog that was around his age. (6 months) We found a dog we liked but when we took them to the play yard they ignored each other. That was weird to see. Koda loved dogs and played with everyone at the dog park. The shelter was about to close but on our way out I spotted a unique looking, scared dog with a big scar on her shoulder. She was curled up in the corner trying to avoid the aggressive dog she was with.

The next morning we came back to check her out. I brought her to the play yard where Koda was waiting. They ran to each other like they were old reuniting friends. It was sweet. They instantly started playing together and are now inseparable.

Meet Korah (AKA: Sweetness)
She was born January 20th 2008. She had a sad beginning. She was removed from a resident by Animal Control when she was six months old. She had horrible burns on her neck from a bark collar. She was chained to a tree and had been hit by a car. She had to have surgery on her shoulder that left a scar six inches long.

At six months old.

All grown up.

Adopting a shelter dog has been the best thing we have ever done. They have added love and joy to our lives in a way nothing else could. Sure, they are not pure breads but they are beautiful, healthy and incredibly intelligent. They are family members who protect my home and never flake on me when its time to go running. I am so happy we were able to save these amazing animals from being put down. 

Please ALWAYS adopt from a shelter or rescue group! You will find wonderful mixed, as well as, pure bread animals needing good homes. October is the best time to find your perfect pet as many shelters have discounted prices for Oktoberfest. Our local shelter has adoptions for $25.00! Save a life and bring home a pet in need today. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Run from the HEART

My sister-in-law dropped off this pretty present for me yesterday.

She made me the cutest cupcake card and scarf I've ever seen. She even made the box it came in. That's talent people!  She said it was an "October present." She is such a thoughtful person and I'm so happy to have her in my life!

Why all the pink you ask? True, I'm not that girly but I always rock PINK in October. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and for some people its the only month that it will be on their minds. They think about it once a year and that's only because of the advertisements. I wish I could be those people. I wish it didn't haunt me everyday. Its a hard subject that I am way too familiar with and I am afraid my family is having to go through it again. 

I watched breast cancer destroy my Mother and take her life. I am watching my beautiful Aunt wrestle with this horrible disease as I speak. I have watched the Mothers of my friends fight for their lives. Some to win and some to lose, leaving their children motherless. Too many people are having to feel this pain and my heart breaks for them. 

So on Sunday October 19th I will be running. Running for my Mother. Running for my Grandmother. Running for my Aunt and the Mothers of my friends. For all the brave women fighting for their lives. For all the amazing women who were ripped away from their families too soon and lost the fight. For the children who are watching their mothers bear this struggle. For the husbands who are now widowers. For the motherless daughters who are like me. We might not know how to cook or sew or plant a garden. We might not have anyone to teach us these things or anyone to call and answer our questions, but its okay. We will figure it out because we are strong. We are strong like our mothers were and they would want us to keep running. Out run this cancer! Do your breast exam's, eat healthy and get off your bum and exercise! This is how we can stay one step ahead.  

Please join me Sunday, October 19, 2014 for the 16th Annual Komen Inland Empire Race for the Cure® at the Promenade Mall in Temecula, CA. 

Register HERE

"Susan G. Komen® remains committed to fulfilling our promise to save lives and end breast cancer forever through empowering people, ensuring quality care for all, and energizing science to find the cures.  Susan G. Komen® is focused on reducing breast cancer incidence and mortality within the next decade with increased emphasis on finding solutions for disparities in breast cancer across populations.  With funds raised by Susan G. Komen® Inland Empire, community grants will be made to support evidence-based strategies and promising practices to reduce disparities in breast cancer mortality in the Inland Empire"
 "Here in the Inland Empire, up to 75 percent of the funds donated remain locally in Riverside and San Bernadino Counties to fund important breast health services and programs.  The remaining 25 percent of each dollar donated funds the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Award & Research Grant Program. In fact, next to the U.S. government, Susan G. Komen is the largest funder of breast cancer research in the world." 

(image found here) 

Friday, September 26, 2014

The counter pops

We said goodbye to our old, cracked, laminate counter tops this week. Lets take a look at what they used to look like, but don't stair too long, they will burn your eyes. 

We decided to remove them ourselves to save the $200.00 they were going to charge us. We removed them the night before so we wouldn't have to go without counter tops for very long. It was easy. Once we scored the caulking they lifted right up. We were able to pull out the bolts and drag them outside. 

The next morning the truck arrived with our new kitchen addition on the back. 

The Installer laid down some particle boards to accommodate the seam and give the counter top a lift.

Next, he put the sink in position to be raised up. 

Then he brought the counter top in, piece by piece making minor cutting adjustments where needed. 

Here is the seam before he worked his magic on it. 

He added adhesive and broke for lunch while he waited for it to cure. 

After he sanded and polished the seam, it disappeared right before my eyes. 

He drilled out a hole for our faucet.

The sink was raised and set into place. 

They are glorious! I wasn't sure what the final product would feel like since my sample was a 2"x2" square but they feel solid and heavy like stone. They are matte but still shine. I love how I can easily see any dirt that needs to be cleaned up, because lets face it, having a counter top that disguises dirt is not a counter top I want to be preparing food on. They might be a little more work but I will know they are clean. That speaks volumes to the "clean freak" in me. 

My awesome husband installed the garbage disposal and new faucet.

I am loving the undermounted sink. Its so easy to wipe dirt and crumbs right into it. 

Next on the list:
  • Build shelves to even out the cabinets and backsplash. 
  • Clean, sand, prime, paint the cabinets.
  • Add quarter round moulding to finish the floors and base cabinets. 
  • Install new hardware.
  • Install the range microwave.
  • Install the backsplash.
  • Decorate walls, shelves ect.
  • Give you some REAL photos that does not involve my camera phone. 
Hope you have a great weekend!