Cheers to you all! Happy New Year! See you for more projects in 2010!
Thursday, December 31, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
A week of two ago, I bought a console table at IKEA (which I love and will give it's own post soon when we finally finish putting the dining/living are together). I pride myself on putting IKEA furniture together. That might not be something people want to put down on their "plus" list, but I am good at it. Do I need written instructions? No sir, I do not. Hand my that paper with the little guy pointing to things and I'm good to go. Sure the pieces are labeled only by their serial number. No problemo. In fact, I would do it for fun. Now, this particular piece needed a socket wrench, which I had. But, man, those are little pains in the behind, huh? Maybe it's just me, but jamming those little pieces back in the box always take a little more muscle than it should.
When some good folks offered to send me the Black and Decker Ready Wrench, I was thrilled. It's more substantial than it looks and has 16 of the most common sizes. It makes a great addition to my handy tool set, as it takes up little space. Certainly, for city living folks like me the Ready Wrench is a great buy at $29.99. And, you can pick it up at your local Target. Looking for a gift? Give this a spin, I'm sure they'll love it. It's pretty fun to spin the ends around too. Not like I used it to pretend I was twirling a baton or anything. . .
*I was sent this product free of charge, however I was not paid for writing a review. This review was written in my own words.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
I ended up not getting a Christmas tree for inside. For many reason (the biggest one is we have no room for it!) it just wouldn't work for us this year. Speaking of years. . . this one's almost over! While we have a few more small projects for 2009, the list for 2010 is building!
So, what do we have on tap? Well, DC Rowhouse will move up to the upper level for some quick upgrades. The closet doors need some work, the walls need paint, and the bathrooms are due for an upgrade. The bathrooms are the biggest pickle. While I'd like to take it down to the studs and add some skylights, I'm just not sure it's in the budget. If not, we'll add some new lesser expensive upgrades to give them both the face lift they deserve. In fact, I already have the chandelier for my bathroom waiting. Chandelier? With ceilings over 9 feet, I figured nothing would be better than a crystal chandelier for my bathroom.
With only a short time left in 2009, it's time to make some serious plans for the upstairs. But, like most of my renovation plans . . . they're bound to change.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
It took until Sunday to hang them. By then, it was 65 degrees. While hanging fresh green wreaths in a tank top didn't get me in the holiday spirit, watching my house transform into a glowing beacon of Christmas sure did! Now, we can sit in the living room with the two wreaths in view...and no needles to clean up. Oh the joy!
I've been trying to get a photo, but this whole dark and rainy thing has been messing with me...
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
My next turn with the impact driver was removing and adding baseboards (more on that later). The studs in the house are metal, and the baseboards were screwed into the studs. Impact driver to the rescue! Like waving a magic wand, it made short work of the tough screws. The impact ready accessories are also built for, well, impact. The drill bits are apparently 5x stronger than a standard bit.
Next up, figuring out how I can use those hole saws. You know you like something when you make up projects to use it with.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
They also have Christmas trees for under $20. Here, I face a dilemma. I love me a Christmas tree, don't get me wrong. But, there is something about this beautiful tree that has grown for so many years (sometimes decades!) that is chopped down and then thrown out a few weeks later. Am I alone in this? The trees are farmed, and really what's the real difference in having a Christmas tree and eating broccoli (that was alive too). So, I'm on the fence.
Want to see more of the Lowe's ad? It's up on their site.
Don't forget to sign up for the Purdy giveaway! It ends today!
Monday, November 16, 2009
What can I say about the Purdy brush and roller? While I'm not a painting tools connoisseur, they seems A-OK to me. Easy to use, and easy to clean. What more can you ask for? Oh, one of your own to try? Sure thing! Just leave a comment by Wednesday November 18th, at 5pm EST with the words "Make me Purdy". I'll choose a winner using random.org and announce it on the morning of Thursday November 19th.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
When I got back home to DC Rowhouse, a pile of Holiday catalogues awaited me. I spotted something familiar:
It seems West Elm has taken a liking to the bronze modern animals as well. These bookends run $26 bucks a piece. Of course, I want them all but I'm not quite sure DC Rowhouse is the right habitat...
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Now, the food. The deal here is that you order at the counter, and you take a number to your table. When the food is ready, they bring it to you at your table. You help yourself to the silverware and glasses, but they clear your table for you. Real plates, and real silverware were a welcome sight. I always think about all the trash when places use disposable dinnerware.
Sidetrack: have you see the show "18 and counting..." with the Duggars? They have 18 kids and they use paper plates and utensils at every meal! Yikes!
I was pleasantly surprised they delivered the order in the appropriate courses. Hummus came out first, followed by the Lebanese salad, then the chicken shawarma and lamb chops. The hummus was delicious, the salad was great (though I assume the beets were from a can - but seriously, who cares they have a tiny tiny kitchen), and the entrees were good (though a little overdone and came with different sides than advertised). All in all, it was their first week, they did fantastic! One of the women working there came over after we had finished to ask if everything went well - that's always a nice touch. Oh, and the prices are great! Where in the city can you get an salad (enough for two people) with arugula, beets, pine nuts, and pomegranate seeds for $6? Nowhere.
We decided after our meal we will probably be eating there twice a week. Unless the line is too long, I expect this place to do a killing!
Souk is located at 1208 H Street NE.
Monday, November 2, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
** I know the map is really small, go ahead an double-click to make it. . .readable.
1. Napa 1015 (1015) **though it just closed.
2. Little Miss Whiskey’s Golden Dollar (1104)
3. Taylor’s Gourmet (1116)
4. Souk (1208)
5. Palace of Wonders (1212)
6. Red and the Black (?)
7. Sticky Rice (1224)
8. The Pug (1234)
9. Martini Lounge (1236)
10. Dr. Granville Moore (1238)
11. Toki Underground (above the pug at 1234)
12. H Street Country Club (1335)
13. Dangerously Delicious Pies (1339)
14. Stars & Shamrocks (1341)
15. Rock and Roll Hotel (1353)
16. German Beer House (1355)
17. Sova Espresso & Wine Bar (1359)
18. Pizza Place (formerly Sun and Moon grocery)
19. Vendetta (1352)
20. Joe’s Coal and Ice House (1358)
21. Tonic (formerly old ohio) (1380)
22. Argonaut (1433)
23. A brick oven pizza place? (1016)
At the other End of H street:
· Ethiopian restaurant: 401
· Sidamo: 417
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
- I would have chosen white grout. I know, it looks great with the gray, but it also shows every little imperfection.
- I would not have planned a vacation on the idea things would have been completed. It made the vacation not as relaxing and coming back home was no picnic either.
- I would have put a note in the contract that the workers needed to arrive on consecutive days. They was a lot of 3 days weeks which made things drag out longer.
- I would have packed up the kitchen and organized the house better before we began. I'm still unpacking and arranging and dealing with stuff. It stinks. I should have been more organized.
- I would have hired painters. Yeah, I know this saved us a lot of dough - but it also cost us a lot of time. Oh, and I'm lazy. When I am home from work, the only thing I want to worry about getting on the couch is crumbs, not paint.
I'm sure I could go on . . . I'm sure in 6 months I'll have a whole other lot of regrets.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
- Cabinets from IKEA: $2600
- Granite Counter: $1850
- Cabinet Hardware: $372.24
- Sink: $278
But, we did pay someone to do most of the labor for us. I didn't include it in the budget (except for with the floors), because everything they did - we could have done. So technically, we could have only spent money on the materials. Well, we couldn't have moved the gas lines ourselves, but that cost $387, so it certainly did not break the bank. So, why didn't we just do all the labor? Well, we wanted the kitchen done in the century. . . so it just made more sense.
I also did my research on the materials. The cabinets were from IKEA so they certainly saved us a bundle, and they seem to be every bit as good as the white cabinets we looked at from Lowe's and Home Depot. The granite was a super steal, and the installation job (included in the price) was amazing by the way. We got the tile from Lowe's and it was really cheap. We even have 200+ tiles left so that estimate is really high. I scored when the china cabinets went on sale in the summer for 50% off!! So I got two for the price of one. It did mean showing up at IKEA with a herd of people and running to get them, but it was a thrill. I added the casters myself (about $5 a piece) and turned them into the rolling storage I wanted.
I also splurged on items that wouldn't break the bank but would add a lot. I bought really expensive cabinet hardware from Restoration Hardware. I could have got the hardware for a fraction of the price, but in the end, it didn't add that much to the budget and it makes a big different. I also purchased the best garbage disposal. I could have spent $99, but for a little more, I got a lot more bang for my buck.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
It may look snazzy, but where did all that stuff come from and who did the work?
Floors: DC Floors. These guys were great! I would absolutely use them again.
Gas line plumbing: Grayton Plumbing. They did good work, didn't mind my questions (or hovering), and were neat and tidy!
Kitchen demo: yours truly. Now that I've done it there is no way I would hire someone to do it for me.
Kitchen cabinets, tile, light plumbing and electrical: Tritsch contracting (e-mail Allen at: email@example.com). I met Allen at IKEA while working through the kitchen planning process. They were professional, timely, and efficient. Oh, and pretty much a bargain. While your not going to get museum quality work, these guys are great, and they were really easy to work with.
Sink, faucet, garbage disposal and tile: Lowe's
Large china cabinets: IKEA
Wooden crates on shelf: World Market
Glass pedestal bowl: Crate and Barrel
Baskets above cabinets: Target
Cabinet Hardware: Restoration Hardware
Appliances: Sears (Kenmore)
Anything else you wanna know? Go ahead and ask.
Tomorrow? The budget breakdown. How much did this puppy cost? You'll find out. Brace yourself.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
I received this DeWalt combo kit today. I can't wait to use it this weekend! Stay tuned for my review as well as lots of updates on other projects.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
Here's were we started on move in day:
So, the destruction and rebuild began:
The tiles were stripped and the box was straightened out and brought up to the ceiling:
In order not to waste space, we added some bookshelves on each side:
And, added a nice mantle:
I originally wanted to put down some marble tiles to save money, but it never seemed to come together quite right:
This weekend, we finally got to putting the finishing coats on the shelves and the mantle. Next up. . . the walls and full reveal!
I had grand plans to paint the whole kitchen this weekend, but when we started doing it there were too many steps that needed time to dry and set. So, hopefully next weekend we'll be able to paint the ceiling and walls and show the the whole complete kitchen. I have to say though, it's really awesome. I love it more and more everyday.
While I waited for the kitchen paint to dry, I got to work fixing the side of the stairs (though there is more work to be done). This area has been nothing short of a nightmare. We had the hardwood upstairs and the stairs done in April of 2008. So... 18 months ago. I have had no less than 6 people look at the side of the stairway to let me know what they could do. Out of those 6, 5 had no idea. One amazing contractor took the time to show me how to make it look better, and then proceeded to mention I could do it myself to save some money. Those are the kinda people I like. But, then again, this project was a huge pain and I can see why no one has wanted to take it on. I've been working on it for a while now. It's getting there...
Friday, October 2, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
If you want to keep it close, here are a few owls you can wear:
Coach has this cute owl keyfob ($38)
Kate spade has a snazzy owl coin purse ($125), and a cool purse ($425):Marc Jacobs has a great owl pendant for fall ($98):
But, what's in it for home decor?
This guy will surely add some interest to your entry way (modernpoverty.com, $95):
Or, add this table lamp to your space (1stdibs.com)
Just for fun:
Add some whimsy with these sheets from potterybarn kids ($14+):
It's easy to get hooked by this owl pillow (Orvis, $49):
Small and Simple:
Grab a ceramic white owl pitcher from urban outfitters for $18. Drop $28 at Anthropologie for the cutest sake pot you have ever seen.