Thursday, March 22, 2012

Guest Bathroom is finished!

I am happy to say I finished all the painting of our guest bathroom last night! I really love the light green with dark wood cabinets. I was torn for a few weeks on which shade to paint the walls (blue or green) because I wanted it to be light and bright! During the day the light from the skylight comes into the bathroom and it looks so fresh, clean, new and just wonderful!

Eventually down the road we will replace the old sink faucet with a newer modern one but its working great for now. Here are the photos of the transformation process. Doesn't it just look SO much nicer?

I am so thrilled with how much nicer it all looks! Below is a rough breakout of what it cost us to do this project. Doing it this way is such an affordable budget friendly way to revamp your dated bathroom...all you have to do is be willing to put in a few weekends and a little elbow grease and you will end up saving a ton of money! A lot of the knick-knacks we already had and I didn't get specific with breaking down the cost of paint bushes, roller, tape. Since we already had that too.

Ace Cabinet Door and Trim Primer with two shots of brown $27 (with $5 off coupon)
Ace latex paint tinted  Dark Brown $30
Ace latex wall paint- Color Veradale $25 (with $5 off coupon)
Towel bar- Ace $10
Hand towel bar- Home Depot $15
Silver pull knobs on cabinets- Ace $10

Total Cost: $117!!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Introducing Cooper Cornelius!

I have been wanting a dog for many years about 10 to be exact. Since always lived in apartments and condos for the last 10 years I didn't feel right to have a dog cooped up inside a house. Especially a large dog. I wanted to wait until I had a real house with a fenced yard to get a dog. We now have that house with a yard we started searching on Petfinder.com We wanted a younger dog that was between 4 months and 2 years old. The reason why is because of our two cats. The younger the dog you get the easier it is to bring them all together. We also wanted a dog that was good around kids... for whenever we decide to start a family.  After a few weeks of searching we found our perfect pup!

Here is Coopers story: he was found on February 28th as a stray in Boise, ID running down a busy road! Some kind woman picked him up and brought him to the local pound. He was there for a few weeks and no one wanted to adopt him! I don't understand why because he is just so amazing and smart! I believe they were going to put him down and the wonderful people at the Alternative Humane Society of Whatcom County stepped in and saved him. I guess Cooper rode all the way from Boise to Bellingham (10hrs) in the car and was so wonderful the whole trip with minimal potty breaks.

On Saturday March 10th we drove up to Bellingham to meet him and see if he was the perfect fit for us! As soon as Terry and I walked through the door Cooper ran up to us and was just so happy and excited to meet us! I crouched down and he ran up in between my legs and gave me tons of kisses and gentle hugs. My heart instantly melted and I knew right then and there we had found our perfect match and Cooper had found his forever home with us!

The real test was going to be how our cats reacted. They have both been around dogs before and did OK tolerating them. They just don't like dogs that bark at them. So the day we brought Coop home we put the cats in our bedroom and let them sniff each other through the door. We bought a few books on puppies and training and decided that we would use the tethering technique and keep him by our side at all times for a few weeks. This also helps with potty training since they did said that Cooper was working on that. Plus its good training to teach the dog that he needs to stay by us and not wander around the house. We are teaching him that we are the Alpha's and the ones in charge, not him. After keeping the cats in the bedroom for a few hours they met for the first time and the cats were OK. They were very cautious of Cooper and were doing the slow walk and stair methods at the dog. Not quite sure what to think of him. The whole time cooper just sat and watched them. He didn't jump or whine or bark at the cats at all. They are pretty much use to him. Butch our cat is very curious and wants to play with him but Cooper of course plays too hard so he will eventually hiss at cooper. Barley our other cat for the most part is just staying away and spending lots of time in rooms that Coop is not in or in his cat stand. He does come out when the Cooper is sleeping.

From day one Cooper impressed us with how smart he is. In just two days we taught him to sit, speak, lay down, fetch, rollover, shake, wave bye bye and his "be sneaky" move. He has not had any accidents in the house and might be almost fully potty trained?  We are extremely impressed with him and are looking forward to teaching him many more tricks. We plan on taking him to some obedience classes, socialization classes and eventually enrolling him in some agility classes! 

Cooper loves to be near us and when Terry is working in his office he loves to lay underneath his desk and play with his toys!

We are working really hard with Cooper especially Terry in teaching him new things and how to act every day. Our hope is for Cooper to grow into a wonderfully well behaved dog! We have been taking him on long walks every day and he continues to impress us. Every dog he has met he has been wonderful. We have came across some very aggressive dogs and he reacted so well. Didn't cower or bark back just kept cool and kept on walking with us like a good dog! He was recently around my nephew who is 3 and did wonderfully with him. He also does wonderful in the car. He just lays in the back seat and falls asleep.

We gave him his first bath last week and he did great with that too. Didn't try to jump out of the tub. He just stood there and even drank some water from the tub. We dried him off and turned him into a super dog and he romped and played fetch with us!

Since Terry had to work in Idaho all week Cooper is out with Terry on his parents farm. Spending lots of time with their dog Maggie, their cats. He has been playing in the acres of land they have and getting along wonderfully with all their pets. He has been very good and is just having a ball playing and running around.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Last month we went from a 3 cat household to a 2 cat household. Sadly my amazing kitty Joey had to be put to sleep. He was a very old kitty and made it to 18 years! He never acted like an old cat and always ran around and played with our other cats. He was such a joy and such a little sweetheart. I adopted him when he was 7 years old from a sketchy couple who couldn't keep him anymore in their apartment. From the moment I got him he captured my heart. He was so special because unlike most cats that want to see you when they feel like it- Joey would always want to see you and be near you or lay on your lap! He would come when I would call him and do "Upies" where he would stand on his back legs and put his front paws on my knees and want to be picked up like a baby. He always showed so much love and affection to everyone that came over. He just loved everyone. He was by far the best cat I have ever had or been around. He will be missed greatly.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Side Table Makeover!

A few months back we given a side table from Terry's wonderful Aunt and Uncle. It has been great to have a side table in our family room but it was time to redo it to match the rest of our furniture in the room. Here is how it looked before.

I lightly sanded all the stains out and scratches with our electric sander using a 220 grit paper. Then brought it inside to our guest bedroom (aka project room). Before we paint anything we clean it with a product called TSP. It removes all the dirt and grim from the object making the paint stick and last longer on the surface you want to paint. What you do is mix a small portion in a 5 gallon bucket and scrub and wipe the surface you want to paint. You then take a bucket of clean water and go over it. Wait for it to dry and then you are ready to prime and paint. For this project I had my lovely poser cat- Barley to assist me.

The color we chose was a dark chocolate brown. We may or may not be using this same color for our built in cabinets in our family room. Terry really wants to paint them brown. I would love to paint them an off white or white. I will let you know in the verdict in coming month what we decide.

Here are the paint products I used to paint the table- That is a 3" wall brush I used for the primer. I only used it because it was new and I wanted to try it...I would not recommend using a brush that big. It was hard to use and floppy. I would recommend using a 2" angle brush instead. Much easier to use and get in the tight places.

Since I didn't feel like pouring the paint into a paint tray I used this trick I found on Pinterest buy placing a rubber band over the top of your paint can and using it to wipe off the excess paint.

Here is the table after I applied the a coat of primer. It dries fairly quickly I think about 30 minutes but I waited about two hours before I applied the first coat of brown. This primer covered pretty well so I only needed one coat.

Here is the table after the first coat of brown. I was a bit scared at first and was thinking I made a mistake and should of just painted it white. It took a long time to dry because of the type of paint it is. Again we used the door and trim paint I have mentioned in previous posts and just tinted it brown instead of the white we have been using on all the trim and doors throughout the house. I also was painting all the other items from the bathroom the same day. This project has been done a week or so now. I just have been too busy to post about it.

After applying a second coat a day later it was finally done. Here is how the table looks in our family room now.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Guest Bathroom new look!

This past weekend along with all the yard work we did and replacing our kitchen faucet. We also were able to get some more painting in. We transformed the old guest bathroom cabinets from the old dingy wood to a dark chocolate brown.

Here is how it looked before:

And here is how it looks now:

We also painted the old light fixture. It had an old gold backer with wood. It now matches the cabinet paint and hardware below. 

Overall this was a pretty fast project. Took just the weekend to mostly finish. The thing that took the longest was the cabinet doors because we couldn't flip them over until they were dry. We have been really pleased with this special cabinet, door and trim paint we have been using throughout the house but you have to let it dry a day between coats. We put the final coat on the doors on Tuesday night and last night we were finally able to put the doors on to complete the look.

We are really pleased at how updated it makes in the bathroom look. This weekend we will be picking out a light green or light blue color for the walls. Stay tuned for that reveal.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

New Kitchen Faucet

Costco had a sale last week on a kitchen faucet we have been eyeing. The one that came with the house was a huge pain. The lever was hard to turn and would stick and you could only go extreme hot and extreme cold.

Here is what the old one looked like:

Now here is our new lovely faucet! Its soooo smooth and doesn't stick when you turn it like the old one and best of all we have better tempetature control. It sure is sweet!

 It even has a cool pull out on it as well as a built in soap dispenser! I have never had such a fancy faucet. ;)
Someday we will eventually replace our sink for one with one large bowl instead of the two smaller ones. We need to replace the counter tops first....but that is a wee bit down the road.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The yard work has just begun!

Since we got the house last year we have both gone back and forth on whether or not we wanted to keep the huge overgrown Rhododendrons in front of our house and the two fir trees in front of our garage. We have trimmed them a few times this fall and decided this past weekend it was time for them to go. All of them. So Terry got out his handy reciprocal saw (we don't have a cool chain saw yet) and whacked them down. We both felt that it would open up our yard and house a lot and make it look bigger.  Then the hard part came in getting the roots out of the ground. I think the Rhododendrons were about 20 years old...so their root system was quite established! I actually hurt my back pulling some of them out this past weekend. I realized that I am not as young as I use to be but muscle cream and my heating pad are my new best friends!

Here is what the house looked like when we bought the house in October last year. Note how large and overgrown the Rhododendrons were. How much they cover up the house and windows. As well as the large green lump of a fir tree in front of the garage. Their is another matching one on the other side of the car.

And here is what the yard looks like now! We are so happy with it! So much more light comes into our living room and dining room. We will be planting some roses this spring in front of the windows. Also potted two Japanese Pieris shrubs in front of the garage. They are not looking the best now but will grow this year to be about 4ft tall. They smell amazing! Eventually we will replace these plastic pots for something a bit nicer like ceramic but the ceramic pots are super expensive and these we had from the condo.

Please ignore the fact that the yard and plants are not all lush and green and growing- after all it is Seattle in March.

We also just thatched the moss out of the front and backyard.

We have started a war against the moss that has taken over the yard. We started this process last month with what we thought a few bags of Moss Out would fix but this is crazy hard core Seattle moss that the previous owner had let take over most of the yard for years. It is one of our many goals this year to have some of the nicest yards in the neighborhood. Also something we learned the hard way....don't try thatching your yard by hand with the rake you can buy. My goodness that is a workout and my dear husband was busting his behind trying to do it by hand! DO buy the blade attachment for your lawnmower. Much easier and faster!!! To finish off a day of hard work. Terry and I enjoyed a beer in our garage on the tailgate of our little truck and watched the sunset. It was a great end to a weekend of hard work. Stay tuned for what we transform the yard into in the coming months!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Cat door for tubby cats!

Since moving the cats litter box into our laundry room a few weeks back we usually have our laundry room door closed because aged washer and dryer is quite noisy when they are running. So we decided to install a cat door. Now we couldnt just get any cat door for our two "Big Boned" cats. We had to get the Tubby Kat Cat Door since our cats are around the 20-25 pound range. Yeah they are a bit Tubby...but they are both farm cats so they are a bit bigger than normal house cats ;) That's what we keep telling them at least.

I didnt get any shots of Terry actually cutting into our door and installing the cat door. Since he did it while I made a quick trip to the grocery store. It was a very fast project since he was practically done in the 30 minutes I was away. The kit came with a diagram that you just place on the door and cut around it to make the perfect size hole. We rehung the door and then it was time for testing to see how smart our cats are. 

At first they didnt seem to want to come out so we had to go to extreame measures and put out their ultimate weakness...wet cat food!

They really love their wet cat food. 

But Butch loves it more. This is why he is our biggest cat.  

To be honest it took Barley a very long time to figure out how to successfully get in and out of the door. As you can see he is quite mad that Butch is eating all the food and he evenutally figured it out.

Barley a bit angry at us for a while afterwards for installing such a scary contraption and keeping him away from his one true love...wet cat food.

Butch on the other hand was just as happy as a clam and ready for a nap.

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