Saturday, August 27, 2011

Then & Now…

Boy what a difference a couple months can make. In doing the previous post I looked back at all our pictures and realized the first set we took was on April 29th. That day feels like years ago. Completing the basement and finding tenants made me reflect on the various phases the house has gone through in just this short time. It’s crazy to me how a little time does put things into perspective, which brings me to a story that is absolutely hilarious to me now, but wasn’t at the time…

We always knew we wanted to turn the part of the house that went down to the basement into some type of coat or storage closet.

Basically what you read is exactly the discussion/thought process we had:

Me: “I don’t want some wierdo’s having access to the house”

Jedd: “Yeah it might be weird but we could lock it”

Me: “Yeah but it would be strange like they could walk up the stairs and stand by the door and listen to us. And what if I wanted to talk shit about them, I wouldn’t know they’d be right there, you know LISTENING”.

Jedd: “Yeah you do like to talk crap, maybe we should just make it into a closet”

Me: “Exactly there’s not a lot of storage, where are people going to put their coats”

So this all was discussed prior to even knowing we got the house. As soon as we got the house we’d already hired someone to pull down the stairs which were termite invested anyway. Unlike the rest of the house the basement had been recently carpeted, as in the carpet down there was brand spanking knew. From what I can tell the previous owner had never actually gotten around to renting the basement out.

So imagine my surprise when we get right around this point of the basement remodel…

Do you see it? The first thing to notice is something I found alarming “honey the carpet didn’t go under the stairs, um that means what do we need to get a small piece of carpet, that will look odd”. Even worse was the where the stairs had been the concrete had buckled and was noticeably uneven. In addition my on the fly decision to pull this cabinet which was oddly floating in the kitchen all on it’s own resulted in a gap between the tiles, because some brainaic had decided to cement it in.

Me: “I can’t believe we’re going to have to get someone to jack hammer out all the extra concrete and smooth it back out”

Jedd: “Yeah but I think it would look so much nicer without carpet”

Me: “What do you mean”

Jedd: “You know I think maybe we get laminate down here”

Me: “Laminate? Laminate is expensive!”

Jedd: “No more expensive than carpet, plus I can install it myself”

Me: “You can’t install it yourself are you crazy?”

I remember thinking to myself “what have we gotten ourselves into? We don’t know anything about anything”. Now remember I might have been a little melodramatic and cranky because I was spending all my time doing this…

Jedd had a clearer head “It’s all going to work out, you’ll see it’ll be fine.” And you know what once again the man was right. Maybe that’s why I let him keep this…

Irene & the Open House…

I’m not sure if you’ve been watching the news but there’s a big hurricane barreling down on the East Coast. We did what all sane people do during a hurricane; we hosted the open house for the basement apartment. We’d actually posted the listing Thursday night knowing full damn well that it was probably the absolute worst day to have an open house and fully expecting no one to show up and to have to reschedule it for later next week. Imagine our surprise when Jedd’s inbox was flooded with inquiries and people making sure the open house was still a go. Of course we were committed to having the open house, what else were we going to do? I mean I couldn’t very well go shopping like I wanted to. Two hours in the basement was a great way to pass the time. Speaking of which let’s look back at what the basement looked like when we first moved in….

Compared with what it looks like now….

The feedback we got was amazing, everyone who saw the place expressed a lot of positive praise and everyone who saw it was interested in putting in an application. We were surprised, we thought the rent for the space might be on the high side but after researching it we realize it’s just right. We walked to a bar down the street after wards to discuss who our ideal tenant(s) were and immediately agreed that one couple stood out above all the others. We’re excited to send them the news and to embark on a new phase in our life “being a landlord” ha-ha.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Why I can’t have you over & other ramblings…

OMG is it almost September? I cannot even explain to you how alarming that is. This is just one of those random posts so that I can say I blogged because I’m obviously a bad blogger. So 90% of the time if someone can manage to get me on the phone or to respond to their email (it’s me not you. And it’s also not only you, it’s like I’ve entered the witness protection program, calls go unanswered, mail unopened, no responding to emails) they always end up asking me the same question “when is your house warming” or “when are you going to have me over”. If this pictures is any indication:

Never. No just joking, I am making progress that mess has been transformed into this:

Still not quite there but at least I can stop getting dressed for work in outfits I pull together off the floor. Houses, and I’ve taken to calling ours Gwyneth, take a lot of time. The only way I can explain it is it’s a bit like dating. I remember when Jedd & I first started dating it was all consuming. Days could pass and I would finally return calls of people threatening to call the police to file missing person reports. Only then would I call them to say “I’m alive, stop being dramatic…um, but I’ve got to go”.

We have managed to break away and celebrate Jedd’s birthday, finally almost a month late. We met his sister at a lovely restaurant near our house last week. We drank and ate to our hearts content.

I also went to Philly last week for a bloggers conference. I LOVE Philly, but it wasn’t the same without “my boys”. I ended up coming home really early Sunday because I was home sick. We’ll have to plan another trip.

Lastly I have spent a lot of time (ok that should really say I’ve wasted a lot of time) on Pinterest. If you haven’t already become addicted to Pinterest than please let me introduce you. Now before you go clicking away getting yourself an invite I should warn you. An invitation to Pinterest has got to be the equivalent to a friend of yours giving you some free crystal meth. I have never done it, but I’ve heard horror stories. I have lost HOURS on Pinterest. Pinterest is also the reason I can’t commit to a new bedspread for our bedroom or a color scheme for the spare bedroom. It’s also why I’m obsessed with “planting the perfect lawn” or what flowers to put in our flower box. In the spirit of drug pushers all around let me offer you a taste, click this link and it’s will take you to one of my boards: The funny thing is now I realize my new haircut looks similar to the one I pinned. This pin;, is what made me give in to Pinterest.

Monday, August 22, 2011

I love surprises…

I only love good surprises. Before I get into the post I thought I should show you Diego’s mistreated face:

He has a hard life. He sleeps, he eats, he walks and oh it’s rough for him. Also note all his dog hair on the couch. This is exactly why I’m getting new furniture. His hair is so lodged into the threads of that couch I can’t get them out.

When I got home a box was waiting for us from Dorinda. I would like to start by saying she is one of the best packers I know. In the box were several smaller packages:

And when all was said and done we ended up with a cool variety of stuff.

I’m so excited to see she sent herself some gardening gloves and tools (ha-ha) for when she comes down to tame our yard. Jedd’s mom also has saved so much from when he was growing up. The picture that says “Air Jedd” is from a 1989 family trip they took to Orlando Studios (I think). I think it will look perfect in the office and it’s really funny that he has almost the exact same hair cut. It’s actually a really accurate pic of him; he still looks pretty much the same. The new lamp shade will work perfectly in our bedroom. I have a lamp that I know it will be perfect for I just have to figure out how to change a few broken pieces where the light bulb switch is. Maybe this will inspire me. Unexpected mail/gifts are the best.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

HGTV is full of crap…

Where my weekend went can be easily explained by two pics:

The first is actually the closet we had installed. It used to be the door that led down to the basement, but once we pulled the stairs off it became our only storage closet on the first floor. I envisioned a coat closet that would allow me to store my coats, but once I started looking around the house at the various stuff I decided it would be better used as a utility closet.

The second pic is how the bedroom ended up after the move. Once we got the split box spring delivered on Tuesday, though we’d started sleeping in the room it was pure chaos. Couple that with the fact that on Friday the rod in the closet broke and the whole room needed some TLC.

Have you ever watch HGTV and thought to yourself “I too could convert a whole unfinished basement into a rentable unit in one weekend”. Well you shouldn’t. HGTV is not in real time, because in real time here is how long something as simple as setting up a utility closet and cleaning up your bedroom after a move takes.

Saturday we wake up and make a list of what we need to purchase in order to set up the utility closet and set up the master closet for all our clothes. Here is what we had on the list:

1. Dry wall anchors for hanging a coat rack like thing I’d purchased from Target, that for some reason came with screws and a disclaimer you needed to get anchors because they would not be provided.

2. Some type of storage rack/shelves.

3. Some type of wall hanging thing that would hold the mop and broom.

4. Hooks for aprons.

5. Hooks for dogs leashes.

6. Metal rod holders for master closet (might as well get one for spare bedroom also)

7. Pantry (for basement, since we’re out)

8. Some type of tool for fixing the thermostat (more on this later)

9. Shoe racks (need to take them back to the container store since I figured out where I purchased the original racks from).

10. Some type of closet rod or rack to put in basement closet.

11. Something to hang the iron/ironing board.

So at 11:30 we left the house with our list, first stop Pottery Barn because it was next to the Container store and Crate and Barrel. There was an end table I wanted Jedd to see since we’d seen it in the catalogue and it’s what I was leaning towards for the bedroom night stands (vetoed immediately as being too silver). Since it was next door we went to William Sonoma because we’re also interested in getting some table place mats and Pottery Barn didn’t have any. William Sonoma was a bust so we go over to Crate and Barrel because their catalogue had come and if I hadn’t actually gotten the shoe racks from there instead of the Container Store, thus making the 3 separate trips to various container stores in Virginia, DC and Maryland all worthless. Purchase 1 shoe rack because that is all they have. We then proceeded to leisurely walk around the store looking at various options knowing we need to get apartment size couches and that we didn’t have any measurements for said couches, but hey we have time to waste. Go to the Container store to return shoe racks only to discover in the bag are two of the hooks on my list that I had actually already purchased. Score, so I cross them off the list. We also realize they have an excellent system for organizing closets that might be the answer to our problem. While Jedd sorted it out with the tech I grabbed a whopping two items on our list:

The thing for hanging the iron/ironing board and the thing to hang the broom and stuff. After checking out Jedd tells me we have 30 minutes to burn so we go to Haverty’s and Pinkberry.

I had never been to Pinkberry and it must have been my day to go because their system was down so we got our ice cream for FREE! I got a twist of the salted caramel and the chocolate. I loved it, but if I had to do it all over again I’d just stick to the salted caramel and a mini, the small was a lot.

So now it’s 2:30 pm and we pick up our closet storage system from the Container store. We travel from Virginia to Maryland to go to the one place in the world that has got to be what Hell is like IKEA. I loathe IKEA, and I loathe it even more at 3 pm on a Saturday. As we circle the parking lot I’m basically whining about how we should come back on another day. We bit the bullet and “run” in for the basement pantry we decided on, vowing to get in and out. A hot dog, coke and split bag of chips plus one hour of our time later we leave and head towards Home Depot. At home depot we purchase dry wall anchors, a masonry bit (needed for the new closet organization system we purchased), laundry detergent for the new washing machine (it takes a special kind), a nifty tool for fixing the thermostat, and the metal ends for the closet poles. In and out and its 5 pm. One last place to go, Target, because none of the other places had the closet shelves I wanted and as I informed Jedd “the only thing I absolutely had to do today was organize that closet”. Finally at 5:45 pm we get back in the car on our way home.

At 6:30 we finally arrive home, because of course there was some type of traffic issue, we walk the dogs, eat a quick dinner and get started on our various projects. I decide to tackle the utility closet because “It’ll be quick”. First I pull out the gazillion coats:

I put the paint that ”we’ll never use but hate to waste because that has to be like $100 sitting in there” in first.

Jedd installs the nifty coat rack thing that I purchased from Target and the shelves together.

I install the mop holder thingie. The iron holder ends up being a bust, it’s too small for our iron so I decide to just sit the iron on the rack and put the board standing up on the wall. While I’m putting all the random stuff into the closet Jedd is upstairs getting the metal end pieces installed in both closets so that I can bring up the coats. At 8:45 pm the closet looks like this:

And the bedroom upstairs looks like this:

It amazes me how long things take. What did you do on Saturday?