Goodbye Rusty

I wrote about our new garage door awhile back. When our old door finally gave out on us, we decided to upgrade to a carriage-style garage door.

New Garage Door at BetweenWeekdays.com

We love the windows at the top of the door, the panel details, and, of course, the hardware. However, we were not loving the lights on either side of our garage door.

new-garage-lights-at-betweenweekdays-com

This was how I was greeted to my home every single time I pulled in the driveway. This is what greeted all of our guests. This was bad. This had to go.

After a quick trip to Lowe’s, I fell in love with this beauty:

The Portfolio Brayden wall lantern checked all the boxes for my lighting needs: updated style, brighter (two bulbs), bigger, and it was in the correct color. Plus, it was a great price at just under $60. My electrician husband was able to quickly wire the new lights in place, and we were left with a much improved outdoor space.

New Garage Lights at BetweenWeekdays.com

Now I’m greeted each day by these beauties which dramatically help improve our curb appeal. We still have a lot left we need to do to improve the outside of our home, but this was an easy, quick fix to help us get motivated to tackle the other, larger outdoor home improvement tasks ahead. I’m looking at you overgrown shrubs!

(Linking up to TDC.)

A Musical Upgrade in the Bathroom

We are almost finished with our major bathroom renovation. Our bathroom is completely functional at this point, but we still have a few finishing touches left. Plus, the glass is still about a couple of weeks out. (I just ordered it today.)

So, I thought it would be fun to share a little upgrade we installed!

We both enjoy listening to music in the shower. Who doesn’t? What I don’t enjoy is having a speaker taking up valuable countertop space.

The solution?

A bluetooth ceiling fan. Of course.

Bluetooth Ceiling Fan at BetweenWeekdays.com
It works great, and it looks great! Here’s a photo of it from Lowe’s:

The bluetooth connects easily to both of our phones, and I use it daily. It has really good sound. Granted, it’s not like having a customized, surround sound, but it’s much better than I would have ever dreamed. While it doesn’t have a light, the fan is pretty powerful and works well.

I highly recommend this product, especially if you’re looking for that extra little upgrade for your bathroom. At $119 it’s a bit more than a normal ceiling fan, but it’s definitely worth the splurge!

Progress in our Master Bathroom Renovation

We’ve seen some big progress in our master bathroom renovation in the past week! (Sorry for the delayed post; we’ve had birthdays, graduations, sickness, Mother’s Day, etc. Oh, and I started my new job this week! It’s been a fun/busy time!)

When we last left off, contracted work was finally set to begin after many delays. True to what I’m learning is our contractor’s nature, he was four days late and only able to work Friday. But he made incredible progress in that one afternoon.

Lots of Progress in Master Bathroom Reno at BetweenWeekdays.com

In about four hours, the contractor was able to add tile backer board to the lower third of the shower walls, build the half wall, and create the shower pan. For the first time we were able to see the shower and begin to envision the space.

However, we were also able to see that the floor vent in its original location was not going to work for the new layout. I’m surprised we didn’t notice this earlier, but thankfully we were still at a place in the renovation where we can course correct. Travis was able to easily move the vent after work Monday.

There was only one logical place to move the vent in the room, which luckily wasn’t too far away. He was able to move the vent and patch up the floor after work. Whew!

Lots of Progress in Master Bathroom Reno at BetweenWeekdays.com

While the contractor was here, he asked us to go ahead and place the cabinets in the space before the he tiles the room. He asked us to do this for two reasons: 1. Screwing the half wall into the cabinet will firm up the half wall giving it more support. 2. Tiling under the cabinets would cost about an additional $100. Our contractor may run late most of the time, but he’s very conscious of our budget. (There’s very little chance that we will change the layout of the bathroom and wish we had tiled under the cabinetry, because there’s no where else for the cabinetry in the space.)

Without further ado: our cabinets!

Lots of Progress in Master Bathroom Reno at BetweenWeekdays.com

I love the pull our drawers in the bottom half of the pantry. Don’t worry: the door is not missing; it’s just waiting to be added back to the cabinetry. All of the doors and drawers have a soft-close feature, which was a happy surprise for us!

Of course, after we had the cabinets in place we noticed another error.

Lots of Progress in Master Bathroom Reno at BetweenWeekdays.com

Since we custom ordered the cabinetry and countertop from Lowe’s, we will need to talk to them to see if they will correct this error. This countertop was not terribly expensive, so if our budget has to take a hit, we would prefer it to be over an inexpensive countertop. Travis and I are now considering ordering an entirely different countertop, but we have a bit of time before we have to make that decision.

In regards to our tile, we still don’t know exactly what is going into the space. After speaking with our contractor last week, we decided it was best for him to make the final selection based off of the look I wanted in the space. Originally, he was supposed to send us some photos on Monday for the final selection to be made, but we’re still waiting for the photos. After the tile is selected, it will still have to be ordered. We were hoping to have tile going up in the space this week, but it looks like we are now on hold… again.

To be continued….

A Day in the Life Post: April 1, 2015

I’m in a pretty great season of life right now. My days are full but not busy. I’m finding more contentedness in this season than I have in many others, so I thought this would be a good time to write my first “day in the life” post. This is something I will try do from time to time in order to look back and remember where I’ve been. After all, that is the reason I blog.

8 a.m. My alarm goes off, and I begin hitting snooze. Waking up early without having an absolute reason, such as work, is new to me. While I’m still not a morning person, trying to stay on a “normal” working schedule is important to me. Some days I’m even awake before my alarm goes off! (And, yes, 8 a.m. is extremely early to someone who normally has her days and nights reversed.)

8:30 a.m. I can no longer take the alarm, so I turn it off and reach for my phone. I check email, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and Bloglovin (my fave!). I love reading AndreaDekker.com each morning.

9 a.m. I am up! What do to? Dogs go outside, and I prepare breakfast to eat while watching a little TV. I’m still not very efficient with my mornings, so I find that I waste a lot of time thinking the day through. I usually prefer to be up before 9 a.m., but at least I’m up now!

9:15 a.m. Breakfast (cereal) isn’t appealing, so I pour most of it out. I read a couple more blogs and then get dressed for the day: a tank top, jeans, flip flops, and a lightweight jacket. I may not like this warmer weather, but I sure am glad to see my Reef flip flops again.

9:30 a.m. It’s still too wet to mow, so I prune a couple of rose bushes and head back inside.

10 a.m. I’ve already completed my weekly accounting homework, so I decide to use the next hour or so to take my weekly accounting quiz. This is one of two courses I’m currently taking online as a prerequisite to my MBA program that will begin in the fall. I’ll have to take two more classes in the summer.

11:30 a.m. The quiz takes longer than expected, but it’s done! Which means my accounting work for the week is done. I send a couple of texts to my best friend and my mom. They’re proud of me, and I need their encouragement to get through this class. I don’t believe I’ve ever been challenged so much in a class; except for that time I dropped accounting in undergrad. #oops

11:45 a.m. I do my makeup and head out the door.

Noon I have to do a case study for my management class where I observe a group of people as they go about their work. I chose a restaurant a few minutes from my house, so my commute is only about 5 minutes. I love small-town life! I order a grilled chicken wrap with jalapeño chips, while observing the lady who takes my order.

12:05 p.m. My sandwich is ready and delivered to my table before I’m even able to open my notebook or write any observations. I spend the next 25 minutes eating, observing, and writing. I’m not sure what I’ll do with these observations, but that will be for later.

12:30 p.m. I head home and change into shorts once I arrive. If I have to mow the yard, I might as well attempt to get some sun. This is when I decide to write the Day in the Life post, so you’ll start seeing photos now. 🙂

Day in the Life at BetweenWeekdays.com

2:15 p.m. The yard is mowed. I listened to music, and it’s a gorgeous day. My allergies are still acting up despite wearing a respirator, though. Time to head inside. Travis will likely have to run over the grass again tonight with the mower as this is the first time it’s been mowed this year. I leave the lawn mower in the driveway for him after removing the key.

2:30 p.m. I check in on social media and share a couple of links with some girlfriends. I also upload a video of Winter to Instagram, which reminds me to schedule a grooming appointment for her. A quick check on Bloglovin reminds me that I want to start Clean Mama’s SpringClean in 30 Challenge. I’ve already printed the paper and everything. Today is dust edges/corners of ceilings: a task that definitely needs to be done at my house. Except I’m too short to reach, so I skip to day 2: Dust edges/corners at ground. The baseboards are gross, so I dust every baseboard in the house.

3 p.m. It took three dusters to tackle all the baseboards, but I’m feeling better about the way the house looks. I’ll figure out some way to get to the ceilings later. There are also steps to vacuum and wash the baseboard on other days. They look great after dusting, so no additional steps are needed. That takes care of days 4 and 5!

3:30 p.m. I volunteered to remove the nails and screws from the master bathroom ceiling. The screws come out just fine, but I can only manage to remove about five nails before calling it quits. It’s time for a snack and a break followed by a shower. The season finale of Fixer Upper came on last night, and I can’t wait to watch it!

Day in the Life at BetweenWeekdays.com

5 p.m. I was really hoping to get some management homework done this afternoon, but I’m out of time. Travis will be home in about 40 minutes, so I need to get ready. We’re going out to eat tonight.

5:40 p.m. Travis and I head to Pizza Hut for dinner. Definitely not my favorite, but he has a “craving.” I’ve only been here twice in my life, so I’m not expecting the surprisingly delicious pizza that arrives in front of me!

Day in the Life at BetweenWeekdays.com3

6:30 p.m. We’re on the hunt for a trailer for our RZR, so we stop by the Co-Op where we find an option before heading to Ace Hardware (closed) and Lowes.

7:15 p.m. Travis quickly runs over the grass with the mower while I burn some limbs we’ve been collecting in the back yard. We had a major ice storm in February, and these are what’s left after hauling off several larger limbs.

Day in the Life at BetweenWeekdays.com4

8:15 p.m. The fire has died down, so we head inside for showers and to watch an episode of Arrow before bed.

It was a good day.

Master Bathroom Planning

I recently shared our hot mess of a master bathroom and hinted that I’d be sharing renovation plans soon. That day is today!

This will be the biggest project we’ve ever tackled together, and we’ll be enlisting the help of a professional plumber, who happens to be one of Travis’ best friends and a professional contractor, who will be tiling. Other than plumbing and tiling, we’ll be doing everything else ourselves. I’ve mentioned that Travis is a licensed electrician, but he’s also very handy — especially with the help of his father. We’re on a pretty tight timeline and hope to have everything demoed and ready for tiling by the first of April.

Our master bathroom sits right off of our bedroom. It isn’t exactly generous in size, but with a few modifications, it will function and flow much better for our daily needs.

BetweenWeekdays.com Floor Plan_MasterBath

Currently, there is a vanity with a builder grade mirror on your immediate right when you walk in the room. The toilet sits beside the vanity, and the back wall is lined with a jacuzzi soaker tub. (It doesn’t work properly. Click here to read more about everything that isn’t working in this space.)

Master Bathroom Before at BetweenWeekdays.com

The tiny shower is located behind the door in a small bump out, and beside it sits a $5 yard sale table that holds towels.

Master Bathroom Before at BetweenWeekdays.com

We’ll be moving everything except the vanity in the new space and completely doing away with a bath tub. Instead, we’ll have a large walk-in shower. Don’t worry, our other bathroom has a bathtub should the need ever arise. The new floor plan will look something like this:

New Bathroom Layout at BetweenWeekdays.com

The new vanity will be in the same place, but we’re adding a pantry to the side. Hooray for storage! The whole back wall will now feature a walk-in shower, and we’ll relocate the toilet to the recess where the shower lived previously. This floor plan makes so much more sense. We ordered the vanity and pantry from Lowe’s, and I found a photo on Pinterest that shows almost exactly what we purchased:

Ours will have a laminate top and different hardware, but other than that, this image is pretty much spot on to what we ordered. Ours will also be slightly darker in color.

The shower will be completely custom, but I have a few showers pinned on my Bathroom Reno pin board that should give you a good idea of what we’re going for. Frameless glass doors, light tile, picture frame tile on back wall, dual shower heads (probably). We’ll also add tons of lighting to the room in the form of can lights and sconces, upgrade the fan (maybe bluetooth?!), add a medicine cabinet, and new hardware throughout.

I’ll be sure to keep you updated as we go. We’re hoping to have the tile work done in early April, but we’ll see how everything else goes first. As of right now, we’re still living with our hot mess of a bathroom, but we’re hoping to start demo soon. Wish us luck!

Blue House Tour: Back Guest Bedroom

I’m so excited to finally be showing off our new-to-us blue house! This week, we’re continuing the tour in the back guest bedroom. The floor plan below has been updated with a handy little arrow pointing out exactly where we are in the house for this part of the tour.

blue-house_BackGuestBedromMuch like the front guest bedroom, we didn’t need to do much to this room other than clean and add a fresh coat of paint. Just as a reminder here’s what the room looked like when we moved in:

GuestQuarters_Before

The back guest bedroom is the top set of pictures. The room came equipped with hardwood floors, a decent ceiling fan and a window that lets in quite a bit of natural light. These days the room is looking a bit more like us.

BetweenWeekdays Back Guest Bedroom

Ahhh. Much better. Yes?

If you’ve been around here for awhile, you might recognize this furniture from the upstairs guest bedroom in our first home. This furniture is the furniture I grew up with (after the bunk bed phase) at my Dad’s house. I loved this furniture then, and I still love it now.

Quick tip: if you don’t like the look of a bed skirt but still want to conceal the area under the bed, buy your bedding a size too large. I bought a queen-sized quilt for this twin-sized bed. The quilt just barely skims the floor — eliminating the need for a bed skirt — and looks lovely. Plus, guests are able to double it over if they get cold during the night. It’s a win-win-win.

GuestRoomArmoire

In our last house we moved the armoire into storage while the house was for sale. It fits much more nicely in this room and boasts a ton of extra storage, which I’m finding I don’t need quite as much of in this house.

BetweenWeekdays Back Guest Bedroom Details

The Greek Key rug was a great find at Lowe’s a few weeks ago. The 5’x8′ rug was only $84! It’s gorgeous and so plush. I knew this room would need a rug, because the floors are pretty messed up in the middle of this room. There are deep scratches in the wood with black stains in the scratches. This rug works perfectly in this room. (One of my favorite bloggers also has this rug.)

The curtains and curtain rod are also from Lowe’s. I’m always surprised at just how much I love the product lines there. Allen + Roth proves to be my favorite, as I have many pieces around my home from that line, including the curtain panel and rug in this room.

BackGuestRoomNightstand

I’m really loving how well our furniture fits in this room. I was so worried about the size of the guest rooms when we were looking to buy this house. They seemed so small then. With our furniture in them now, I’m realizing that the guest rooms are the perfect sizes.

There’s still quite a bit left to do to this room. I’ll be sure to keep you updated along the way!

Source List:

Alarm Clock, Gifted
Bird Sculptures: Dollar Tree
Curtain Rod: Lowe’s
Drapes: Lowe’s, Allen + Roth Danbury Curtain Panel in Basil
Flowers: Hobby Lobby
Furniture: Gifted
Framed Michael Sowa Diving Pig Art: Kirklands
Lamp: Home Goods
Quilt: Belk
Rug: Allen + Roth Greek Key Geometric in Beige
Winged Pig: Kirkland’s

Paint Color: Montpelier Madison White, Valspar

The Great Lighting Shuffle, Part V: Kitchen

Can you believe we’re already to Part V of the Great Lighting Shuffle of 2013? Me either. Don’t worry; we’re rounding the corner to the finish line.

In this edition of the light shuffle, we’re talking kitchen lights. Originally we intended to put this one off for awhile, but I suppose inspiration struck my dear husband a little earlier. Or maybe it was the fact that he had a volunteer to help. Either way, I was grateful to get some better lighting going on in the room where I needed it most.

The main kitchen light was a sad, fluorescent box light. Not only was it ugly, it also put off terrible light for working.

KitchenLightBefore

But, wait! It gets worse! Hanging directly in the way of traffic was a busted, plastic pendant. (The photo below is looking to the left from the view above. Confused about the layout? Click here.)

KitchenPendantBefore

See? It totally got worse. Needless to say, neither of these lights found new homes within our home.

We knew a few things for certain when we were planning our new kitchen lights:

  1. We knew we had to work with the existing holes due to the textured ceilings. (We had planned to remove the texture when we bought the house, but we later decided it wasn’t worth the time or hassle.)
  2. We knew we wanted better task lighting; specifically can lights.
  3. We knew we couldn’t put a can light where the pendant hung originally due to a ceiling cross beam.

Since Travis is an electrician, we were able to complete this project on our own in about a day. However, it wasn’t an easy day by any stretch of the imagination. Here’s a few of the highlights:

  • Our Lowe’s didn’t have enough can lights in stock, so I had to drive to a neighboring town 30 minutes away to purchase the rest while Travis was busy installing the few we did have. 
  • Travis found running wire to the new can light locations difficult. I’m glad I wasn’t home for most of this part.
  • My kitchen was completely covered in sheetrock dust and insulation. It took several hours to clean.
  • We decided a can light in the middle of the kitchen looked odd, and I found it difficult to find a fixture to place in the middle of the kitchen.
  • When I did find a fixture for the middle of the kitchen, Home Depot wouldn’t honor the online price. In store, the price was twice as much as online. I ordered it online, and we spent a few days biting our nails before the baby shower hoping the fixture came in time. It arrived the day before the shower. Whew!
  • I still haven’t found a fixture to replace the pendant light, so for now we have a blank cover over the hole since we can’t patch the ceiling.

And, now, I present to your our new kitchen lights:

KitchenLights

Even if it was challenging, we’re both so happy with new new kitchen lighting. The can lights offer wonderful task lighting just where I need it. Plus, they do an amazing job of brightening the entire kitchen.

KitchenLights2

When I was looking for a new fixture for the middle of the kitchen, I knew it couldn’t hang too low. But, I knew I wanted something more special than just your average light. I spent a lot of time looking online at semi flush mounts. When I saw the Hampton Bay Gala 3-Light Semi-Flush Mount on Home Depot’s website, I knew it was absolutely perfect. In fact, I didn’t look at another light after seeing this one.

The online price was pretty much perfect, too. This light only cost $49.97 with free shipping, and I think that’s a lot of bang for my buck. It’s perfect.

KitchenLightFixture

I love how it coordinates with the dining room and hallway lights. The new kitchen light is within direct eyesight of both, and they all three coordinate and look lovely together. Honestly, it was a happy accident that they all look so great together. I have a theory, though. I think if you only put things in your house that you love (as long as you follow a few basic rules like using similar finishes and colors), they’ll always work together.

DiningandKitchenLights

I still have no idea how to address the hole in the ceiling where the pendant light was. For now, I’m thinking the blank cover isn’t looking too bad (you can just see it in the photo above), but I’m not sure how long I’ll feel this way. It’s a tricky spot to address, since this is one of the main traffic paths in our house. I’ve noticed that area is a bit darker than I would like at night. Maybe a lamp on the baker’s rack with be the solution?

Updating the lighting in the kitchen made the room a much happier place to be. I can’t wait to finish updating the room!

To read more of the Great Lighting Shuffle of 2013, click here.

Disclaimer: My husband Travis is a licensed electrician. He is very skilled in his trade and has years of experience wiring lights. Electricity is no joke! Please do not attempt electrical work without a skilled professional. 

The Great Lighting Shuffle of 2013, Part III: Entryway

The Great Lighting Shuffle of 2013 continues in the foyer of our new home, affectionately known as the blue house. In Part I we tackled the dining room and in Part II we addressed the office. We’ve moved around or replaced nearly all of the lighting in our current home since we’ve been here.

One of the first areas of our house to receive new lights was the foyer, or entryway. What was originally in the foyer was a major eyesore

OldFoyerLight

1992 called and it wants its old light fixture back. #amiright? Unfortunately, these lights were also in pretty bad shape, so we weren’t able to donate them.

When we decided to make an offer on the house, I took a trip to Lowe’s to gather ideas for how we might change up some of the light fixtures around the house. It was on that initial trip that I fell in love with a pair of pendant lights that, I think, really set the tone for our new house as soon as you enter the door.

This mini pendant with a crystal shade was exactly the right size for the space, and just enough sparkle to satisfy me while not alienating the man in my life. Plus, it casts a pretty shadow up on the wall and ceiling around it.

PrettyEntryLightTrio

I love how it adds a touch of sparkle without being in your face about it. I think they also relate nicely to the crystal chandelier in the office, which is also visible as soon as you enter the front door. (Confused about the floor plan? Click here.)

But these two pendants on either side of the door weren’t the only foyer lights receive a makeover.

See that flush mount light in the center? Originally, it looked a bit different. Instead of the nickel finish you see above, it had a black finish, which clashed with the rest of the nickel light fixtures in the room. So, I got my shop on and ordered this light from Wayfair.

Basix+Semi+Flush+MountI loved the dainty lines on this light fixture, and the price (only $66) was hard to beat, too. It arrived only a couple of days after I ordered it. I was a bit disappointed with the globe part of the fixture. The frosting was a bit too dimensional for my taste, but it ended up being a quick fix. I simply used the globe on the black flush mount light that was originally in this spot. Ta da! Easy fix. I love when that happens.

NewEntryFlushMount

Now, I think it’s perfect for this space. I love how it plays off of the mini crystal pendants.

EntryLightTrio

But what about the black flush mount light and the rejected frosted globe? Since it was a nice fixture that just happened to not work in the entryway, it found a new home. It now resides in the hallway between the two guest rooms, where there was also a 1992 brassy fixture.

HallLight

It puts off a ton of light, and I think it looks really pretty in this space where there are no other competing light fixtures in different finishes. Since we have a lot of black in our house, it definitely fits right in.

That wraps up Part III of the Great Lighting Shuffle of 2013. I think we’ve made some major improvements to the lighting in our house. I know I’ve said this before, but with every little change we make, this house feels more and more like home to us. We’re so blessed to live in a house that we love and that we can truly make ours.

To read Part I where we switched out our dining room light and moved the former light to an unusual location, click here.

To read Part II where we addressed the office light with a glamorous update, click here.

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