lovelylittleshit

closets & trash

Mar
17

i’ve not been on my house game for a couple of months (obviously) but all of a sudden i hit a huge surge of energy last week & feel like there isn’t enough time or money to keep up with my thoughts/plans/actions. maybe it’s that spring cleaning bug that people get? it’s like “nesting” for normal, non-pregnant people? well. whatever it is; i have it. my mind is racing with house projects & i’m trying to work on keeping myself focused on one thing at a time so that i don’t get too overwhelmed. luckily i’m pretty good at finding satisfaction in being able to mark off just one task (big or small). to me, it’s easy to find joy in the fact that it’s one less thing staring at me, even though if you zoom out & look at the big picture, it’s so so tiny & seems like it doesn’t matter. i’m trying to get ryan on that train of thought so he doesn’t lose his mind helping me in the yard.

he has been so much help getting some of my least favorite things done (i.e. anything outside). we spent saturday cleaning our garage which – is a big fucking deal for me to even go out there. i hate that garage. i just imagine it full of poisonous spiders & critters, just waiting to get me right as i walk in. i also imagine it collapsing in on my head & nobody makes it out alive. when it’s a mess (like it has been for years now), it heightens my fear. needless to say, i don’t store things in there like a normal person. who needs to keep paint in their garage when they have empty kitchen cabinets that work just fine? right? when we bought our house, we spent 75% of our time in our garage. we had all of our friends & family over weekly, battling each other in ping-pong, grilling hot dogs & sitting out by the chiminea. somewhere along the way, we lost our excitement for having people over & our garage slowly turned into a ghost town where we would occasionally throw shit we needed to donate or put out on the curb for big trash day (aka shopping day in our hood). i didn’t take a before picture but i wish i would have. kind of. i’d probably be too embarrassed to show what it looked like, how much shit we pulled out of there & how little actually goes back in there but man, it feels so good to have it cleaned out & organized. when ryan got his boat, we had to make room for it & now we have room for the boat & still have room to pull one of the cars in if it storms. plus i know where everything is & i’m not AS terrified to retrieve a rake now. we pulled everything that was too big or too much of a pain to load up & donate (i.e. a washer/dryer, bikes, furniture, etc.) out to the curb & someone took everything within 30 minutes. you’re welcome neighbor.

that project then spiraled to trying to get as much as we could out to curb by wednesday so yard work was next in our sights. it’s not like we won’t have the opportunity again next month but we know ourselves well enough to know that we need to strike while the iron is hot. & right now, it’s hot. we’ve bagged so many goddamn leaves & i’m pretty sure that will never end, but progress is progress & every single bag makes me feel better & better. so for the last two nights we’ve come home from work, grabbed a quick bite & then headed outside to work on the yard until the sun goes down. what feels like a thousand bags later, we only have the front mostly done but damn, it feels good.

 

once the sun sets, i’ve been heading inside to finish up my closet. i’m not going to lie, i’ve been using our bar as my closet for weeks now. i’ve had to apologize to 1 too many guests for why all of my clothes are in the kitchen & it had been long enough that i actually got used to getting dressed for work in the living room. it’s fine guys. it’s the new thing. the reality is that i removed all my clothes, did a lot of prep work on the molding, primed it & then let it sit for a while because i was completely unmotivated.

but then i cleaned up the doorknob & felt an urgency to get the door hung so i could admire them all the time which meant i really just needed to finish the whole closet. my light has been broken for….. years? the lightbulb doesn’t stay in place & i get really sick of grabbing a step-ladder every day to screw it back in so i’ve just gotten used to it being dark. i’m not sure if it’s just because i’m not used to having a light on or if it’s the once yellow, now white walls but it’s so bright. & beautiful. & organized. & very very monochrome. & once again, i hate myself for taking so long on such a simple project.

i know i never did an “after” of the bedroom. it’s because i was waiting on the doors to be done. well, i just now hung those doors & one of them doesn’t close so i have some adjusting to do. also, now i think i should finish the windows before i really show you what it looks like because with everything else done, the window frames stick out like a sore thumb. it’s never-ending.

please send wine.

 

 

how long can it take to paint a bathroom?

Nov
08

you’d think i had kids getting in my way for how long a project takes me. i honestly can’t explain it. i get 16 hours of uninterrupted time each week with ryan’s new work schedule & i use that time to work on the house & yet still, the bathroom isn’t done. in conclusion, i am slow as fuck. also, why does it take so. many. coats of paint to make a wall white? it can’t just be me can it?

the good news is that it’s almost done. i’ve hit the point where it’s so close that i’m so anxious to finish up all the details. like putting the door back on. although not having a bathroom door is a really great excuse to not have anyone over. unless you have friends that don’t mind & in that case, you have bigger problems.

clean slate

...to this...

primed walls & work in progress door frame

so close! (hi hank!)

two major things happened that have given me all the feels (besides the new toilet).

  1. i FINALLY got the goddamn window open after being painted shut for god knows how long. people that paint windows shut; shame on you! just don’t do it. ever. this was the 7th & last window that i’ve had to fix after being painted shut.

2. NEW LIGHT! we weren’t planning on doing this so soon but then i realized that it seemed silly to paint around the 4 light vanity bar, just to have to paint that area later on when we did replace it. i was concerned that it wouldn’t give off enough light but it’s great & you can’t beat getting a nice vanity light for under 100 bones.

* BONUS: i’d also like to introduce you to my new best friend, the mixing mate. i need one for every gallon of paint i ever use from here on out. i highly recommend it for the pour spout alone.

 

things left to-do:

  • roll on one more coat of paint
  • finish scraping the door
  • paint door black & install
  • install new towel hooks
  • install new toilet paper holder
  • buy shelf brackets (aka figure out how to get them)
  • apply polyurethane to wood shelves
  • install shelves above toilet
  • drink a lot of wine & celebrate

hopefully, i’ll see you back here soon with a mostly finished bathroom redo.

bedroom update

Aug
26

i did not anticipate our bedroom taking this long. last week i started to feel like it was never going to end. i was never going to move past those windows. this week though, there’s a light at the end of my tunnel & i’m running towards it. let’s start where we last left off.

2016.08.12

day 5

i needed to see major progress before i lost my shit so i pressed pause on paint scraping & primed the walls. i felt so much better after this.

2016.08.14(2)

day 7

day 7

i think i spent 4 hours scraping three pieces of trim to get here. i wanted to die but felt so victorious to have 1 window down*. this is also when i officially came to terms with the fact that i have given myself lead poisoning. i did remember to wear a mask 50% of the time so that counts for something right?

you can see all of the colors our woodwork has once been. the green is the first coat, then you can see a little bit of yellow on the top of the trim as coat #2, the beige that you see on the window sash under the white was coat #3 & then the white was coat #4. i didn’t scrape all the way to the wood. the green doesn’t really budge & once sanded, it’s great for paint!

*the trim is done. the inside window frames & sashes will be done later on down the road when it’s not 100 degrees & i do a full rehab, inside & out, of the windows. for now, i’ll put a roller blind in the window & it will mostly hide the unfinished parts.

2016.08.17

day 10

major progress on the second window. i scraped until i literally couldn’t anymore after mowing & weed eating the yard with ryan. i hope my arms come out of this project looking so beautifully sculpted.

day 15

day 15

sorry for how shitty this picture is. it was really late at night. i didn’t have much time over the weekend to work so not much progress was made. i ended up having to scrape the right side of the closet trim because the paint was chipping pretty badly. i also got the first coats of paint up on this wall & cut in around the entire room.

2016.08.24 2016.08.24(3)

day 17

day 17

this is where i am now. i painted the ceiling and the 2nd & 3rd coats of cutting in are done. the doors are removed for future restoration (can i call sanding, repainting & redoing the hardware a restoration?).

walking by this room has made me so happy the last couple of days. i was getting really sick of it until i got that first coat of paint up & now it’s so bright & beautiful. i can’t wait to get in there & finish it up.

things left to do:

  • caulk, caulk, caulk!
  • second coat of paint on walls
  • one or two more coats on window trim
  • one or two more coats cutting in
  • install roller blinds
  • decide whether i want blackout roller blinds only or our current situation of light filtering blinds + curtains
  • replace all outlet & light switch covers
  • move bedroom necessities only back in (rug, mattress, tv, nightstands)
  • find a solution for the tv that fits with the room better
  • restore windows (sand/repaint frames, replace window sash chains)
  • restore doors (scrape, sand, paint black, replace hinges & door knobs)
  • eventually: add floor length mirror leaning against wall w/stool, linen duvet, bed pillows & shorter/more unconventional nightstands. paint closet.

shit. writing it out made it sound so much more daunting.

windows ruin everything

Aug
12

when my sisters & i were kids, we were expected to do daily chores before our parents got home from work. i was an expert at finding ways to cut corners to make it look like i had done them correctly when in fact, i’d probably wasted more time trying to get away with a lie. the goal of tricking my mom became so serious that i once raked the shag carpet in our den in one direction to make it look like i had vacuumed. little jana was a little shit. i’m going to continue to blame my dad for those deceptive traits.

my family home

my older sister, mallory & me outside our family home in 1995

“as long as it looks okay, it is okay” could’ve been our family’s theme song. i was raised in a house poor, working class family that was exceptional at making sure we were perceived a certain way. we lived in a nice, suburban neighborhood in the nice part of town in a nice 1978, 2400 sq ft ranch; well outside of our means. when your income goes to making sure that that suburban roof stays above your head & food gets put on the table, you simply can’t afford to properly keep up with the maintenance of that dwelling. you do what you have to do to give the appearance that things are good. you cut corners. you paint over rot instead of replacing it. you cover the termites. you learn that fresh paint can make anything look better. this is not a slight towards my parents. they did what they thought was right at the time to make sure their kids were given a better life than they were & i’m thankful for that.

unfortunately, i unknowingly kept that theme with me through adulthood. i bought a house i couldn’t really afford (the mortgage yes, but not the maintenance of an old home) & got into the mindset of, “just make it appear that everything is okay”. do what you have to do, right?

this week i set a goal for myself to repaint the dogs’ room & swap it for our bedroom. our current room is the hottest room in the house & it’s 112 degrees outside so we’ve been sleeping in hell. ryan is traveling for work this week so it was perfect timing to surprise him. only, if i’m going to swap the furniture, i should probably take this time to mark some things off my long to-do list & slap some paint on the walls too. at minimum i think i should paint what will be our bedroom (currently the dogs’ room) because i’m pretty sure my dogs don’t give a shit what color their room is, but i do.

this week i decided to grow up, break the cycle & do things the right way, even if it really sucks.

day 1

day 1

i got the room cleaned out while hank followed me around as close as he could get because where the fuck is dad? i spent a lot of time telling hank to move while i shuffled around workout equipment & crates. i did manage to get the baseboards along the two walls shown above, as well as both doors trim, sanded. i decided i’m not going to paint the doors right now. i think it will be easier to take them off the hinges to prep & paint them when it’s a little bit cooler outside.

please take note of what our floors actually look like. this room is probably the worst of it, at least.

day 2-2

day 2

day 2

this wasn’t exactly my plan. my plan was to finish giving everything a light sanding & get the walls primed. the problem is that a piece of chipped paint on the window sill was taunting me & before i knew it, i’d spent 3.5 hours scraping paint & had very little show for it. i call this the giving-myself-lead-poisoning phase. who needs safety, right?

i started to regret my decision to go so hard on the windows because i really just wanted to have a pretty room when ryan came home but then i kicked myself in the ass for trying to take a shortcut again. when it comes down to it, i know it won’t be worth it in the long run if i don’t take the time to do it right. so removing that paint i go. i even got on the internet to learn more about old windows & how to restore them/make them more energy-efficient. thanks to daniel, i can’t fathom replacing them anymore because all i can do is hear him yell about the monsters that get rid of original windows.

day 3

day 3

scrape, scrape, scrape, scrape, scrape. 3.5 more hours & i am so sick of how long it’s taking even though it’s so satisfying to do. i actually kind of enjoy it but at this rate, it’ll take me a month to get these windows scraped. time for plan b. try paint stripping gel again. i remembered hating using it on our back door but apparently i’d already forgotten just how much i hated it. i applied a coat of gel to all un-scraped areas & then finished sanding the detail on the trim of the baseboards by hand.

day 4

day 4

i wasted an hour trying to scrape the trim that had gel on it. barely anything budged. i immediately regretted my decision to apply it but there’s nothing i can do now. i decide not to mess with the windows right now & only focus on the moulding. i’ll tackle the windows in a couple of months when it’s time to restore them & replace the broken sash chains. i got the remaining baseboards sanded & applied another extremely thick coat of gel on the painted mouldings. i needed to see progress so i cut in around the entire room with primer. i was hoping to get all of the walls primed but you know, i work 8-5 so my time is limited.

today is day 5; the final day. the day when my husband comes home & sees our new beautiful rooms & all my hard work & then weeps with gratitude. the rooms are beautiful, white & fully put back together. i even managed to start on the closets! and then i wake up & realize that i’m a failure & it’s all a lie. instead, ryan gets to come home to our dogs living in the middle of the living room (as well as everything else that came out of that room), dishes in the sink, dust covering everything & me hyperventilating in the corner from the anxiety of it all.

this is the second cycle of me & projects. i get really motivated, go all in, hit a wall of dread & anxiety at 50% complete & then spend weeks wallowing in my despair that it’s never going to be over.

cheers!

tour: part IV, finale

Aug
08

**i’m sorry for any of you that have been experiencing technical difficulties with this site. it has been a headache the last 48 hours & i hope that it’s resolved now. as i’m new to this whole website thing, there’s a huge learning curve on my part.

anyway, on to the final leg of the house tour. i promise this is the last one. i’m over it just as much as you are.

hallway

2016

the hallway was the same poop brown (even the ceiling!) from the kitchen when we moved in & i painted it charcoal because i knew it was dark enough to cover it without priming. this is also known as being a lazy piece of shit. i give myself a gold star anyway because i did at least have the decency to paint the ceiling white. i’ll be honest & tell you that i did that three years ago & have never finished it because i’m a disgusting human being. it needs a lot shit-ton of touch-ups.

the built-ins are great for storage, even if using the drawers are a headache. they aren’t on tracks. they are literally just wood boxes shoved in holes that screech the entire time you pull or push them. i will get around to refinishing them & making them a little nicer eventually but you know, minecraft still exists. the question is, what do i do with the walls? my first thought is to just paint them white (surprise!) but if i white out the entire hall, will it be too much?

bathroom

2009, previous owner's

2009, previous owner’s

we have one bathroom that is small & cute. the size doesn’t bother me. ryan & i both use it at the same time & it’s fine so that’s all that matters. i’m just glad we don’t have to work around pink or avocado tile like a lot of people in old homes.

we’ve really not done much of anything to the bathroom except replace the shower head & change the shower curtain a million times. we’ve also taken down the roman blind & put up window film instead. i love the natural light in there.

my main annoyance in here is that although i love the look of a pedestal sink in an old home, it’s cracked & i wouldn’t mind getting a little built-in storage action so i can take out the bookcase. the best part of the bathroom, and maybe the entire house in my eyes, is by far, the floor. the original tile is beautiful & admittedly, it’s been there for me through a lot of drunken sick nights. i will be so sad to see it go. i’m pretty positive there are a lot of things wrong lurking just beneath the surface so a gut remodel is most likely in our future. i’m actually looking forward to this day because i think it sounds fun & i have so many ideas. except, how will we survive without it while that’s happening? what do people do when they remodel their only bathroom?

north bedroom

2009, from the listing

2009, from the listing

we use the back/north bedroom as a dog room because dogs come with a lot of shit. especially when one of them is 75 pounds and therefore requires a crate the size of a crib. the former owners had a king size bed & huge chunky wardrobe just to the right of the door squeezed in here & it was ridiculous.

2010

this was our bedroom for the first several years until our miniature australian shepherd died 3 years ago & we just needed a change. those yellow walls annoyed me so much.

2011

one night, we were sleeping peacefully & the plaster ceiling fell on our heads. okay, it only fell on ryan’s. so we had to rip it all down & put up drywall. i later discovered that you’re supposed to take down the lath too. oops. does anyone else love the lath ceiling or is it just me? i wish i could’ve just kept it bare.

2011

there was one thing i knew for sure. i couldn’t stand looking at those yellow fucking walls for one more day so as soon as the new ceiling was ready for paint, so were the walls. i painted it the same blue-grey i used in the living room at the time with a darker “charcoal” wall (it’s totally navy).

IMG_3291 IMG_3289

2016

2016

now it’s just a room dedicated completely to our dogs, my clothes & the only thing i own just for sentimental value; the rocking chair my great-grandfather made. the red ikea bookcase is perfect for storing our dog food (bottom shelves), my pajamas & unmentionables (baskets), the printer & what few books we have remaining after our purge (top shelves).

the best part about the bedrooms is that they both have really good-sized closets. it’s really hard to photograph such a small space but i think this still gives an idea of how deep they are. above the racks, there’s a shelf with about 1.5 feet of storage room. i keep extra 30 pound dog food bags up there. we’ve found that it just makes sense for each of us to have our own closet, rather than having half of our things in each. this is all of my clothes & shoes for year round. like most things in my life, i don’t like to over think shit so i try not to with my wardrobe either. if it’s black, i’m happy. ryan’s closet looks pretty much the exact same, just add 500 million more shoes.

south bedroom

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2009, from the listing

2009, from the listing

the thing that most confused me was that this room was painted slightly different from the other. i don’t understand the choices in that.

i pretty much never took a picture of this room for 6 years! i don’t have a single one & there’s a good reason. it always looked like shit. we had a roommate for a little while shortly after we bought the house & all i remember is that he only ever had one little lamp on next to his bed. it then became “the awkward room” for 3 years until we moved our bedroom in there. the awkward room was essentially storage. the dogs crates were in there & various other furniture (old couches, dressers, chairs, guitars, etc.). pretty much, if we didn’t know what to do with it or didn’t want to look at it out in the house, we put it in there & shut the door. then ollie died & we made it our bedroom but i still never took a picture until now.

2016

& because i took these on 2 different days between laundry, you get to see our primary bedspread (found here) & our back-up (similar here). this is my favorite room. i spend a lot of time in here & even though i disagree with the paint color, i am so comfortable in this room. i think a lot of it has to do with the fact that there’s not much in it, it gets the best natural light of the whole house & we splurged on linen sheets awhile back & they definitely live up to all the hype. the worst part about the room is that it’s the hottest room in the house.

 

i have a lot of plans for this half of the house & plan to execute them under my husband’s nose while he’s gone for work so who knows, maybe he’ll find out via this blog.

 

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