Chillin' at CRT on Xpu Ha Beach

Chillin' at CRT on Xpu Ha Beach
How I'd spend every day if I weren't redecorating, cooking, sewing and blogging!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

California Adventure - Muir Woods

Taking a break from the bathroom reno to relax for a moment and remember our lovely California Adventure vacation last summer.  I do love California, especially that you sometimes need a sweatshirt in July.  That NEVER happens in north Texas - absolutely never!

Sometimes I just get sidetracked and forget to finish things for a while. I never finished showing you all the stops on our vacation last summer. But maybe the timing is good as people start to plan for summer vacation.  The final tourist stop on our California Adventure last summer was the Muir Woods National Monument. The pictures speak for themselves.


Really BIG trees


That have been here a really really long time


Make you realize how small you are in the universe


A walk in the woods is always a good way to spend a day


I wish we had spent a full day here, we would have enjoyed hiking some of the outer loop trails.  We might come back here some day and stay longer, it was definitely worth a visit.  Things we had read said take the shuttle due to limited parking.  We would have needed to drive in the wrong direction to ride a shuttle so we drove ourselves and had to park beside the road about a mile from the entrance. So my advice is take the shuttle, even if you have to drive in the opposite direction of the park to get on it!

The walk through this beautiful forest was peaceful and relaxing, if you are in northern California I would recommend a visit to Muir Wood National Monument.

Much love and laughter,


Laura


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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Bathroom Renovation Part 2, Slow Progress

You know that feeling you get when you do something amazing yourself?  That DIY satisfaction of a job well done with your own hands? Not to mention your own blood, sweat and tears? Yeah, we're about over that after a little over 2 weeks on this project.

I think to appreciate where we are on DAY 16 of the upstairs bath remodel you have to consider a couple of things.

Things like what it looked like before and why we started this (backbreaking) project 16 days ago. Also, consider that we both work full time, so all the work is done on weekends and after work in the evenings. This means we haven't done any much relaxing lately.

BEFORE (eagerly anticipating the day when there is an after photo)


Day One



Day Sixteen!!



I honestly had no idea how much work was involved between those two pictures. You can find Part 1 here.

Along the way there has been plumbing work,


insulation work,



rejecting tile because it didn't match the existing floor,



finding tile to match the existing floor so we didn't need to replace it, 



discovering the new tub wouldn't cover all the old floor tile after all, 


tearing out the old tile and buying more new tile,



lots of trips to the home improvement store and lots of $$ spent,



dust, dust and more dust,


and long evenings working after a full day at work.

Then there is the backer board, tape and mud.



Did I mention DIY isn't always as fun as you think it's going to be?

Did I tell you there are 18 stair steps to the second floor and I've gone up and down those stairs too many times to count in the last two weeks and still gained weight?

And best of all did I tell you that we hired a "professional" to install the tile? Two more nights of work applying waterproofing and we get to take a week off......or work on another project while the tile is installed.

I'm leaning toward the week off, both SuperDave and I need a week for our bodies to recuperate from all the pain of using muscles and joints in ways we haven't used them in years a while.

For now, I will keep repeating to myself, eye on the prize, eye on the prize, the AFTER is coming, hang in there.  Sadly, when it's all done I will have to climb 18 stair steps just to admire it, if I have the energy.

Much love and laughter,


Laura


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Friday, March 13, 2015

Kitchen Cabinets - Paint and Glass Doors

We have another project going on at the same time we are remodeling the upstairs bathroom.  It's a big project but I started with a small "test subject" area and the rest are are on hold for now.

Our house is 30 years old.  We have those golden oak kitchen cabinets that someone thought was the only color of stain available in the 80s.  I really feel the need to update but don't want to spend a lot of money.  So a few years ago I decided to add glass to the doors of the upper cabinets.  I would bring it up occasionally to SuperDave but he was hesitant to start cutting on the cabinet doors.


First we did Internet research on how to cut out the raised panel in the middle of the door, then I bought an old cabinet door at the Habitat for Humanity Restore for him to play with for a while.



I waited and waited and finally he started on the real doors with the mind set that if we ruined the doors we would just make a new plan.



I had previously painted the island in our kitchen and the black chalk paint covered great on the island.  The white didn't seem to be working as well, at first.


At this point I was beginning to think maybe I had made a mistake.  But I kept going. What choice did I have?


After a few coats of paint and some clear and dark wax, I was satisfied.  They look a more yellow at night than I had intended, but in the daytime they appear more white.  Light has so much effect on paint color!  I used Maison Blanche Vintage Furniture Paint in Vanille with clear wax and a little dark wax.


Once they were painted I headed off to the glass shop to look for an opaque glass.  The glass shop convenient to my work and home would install the glass, but they only had two options that were not extremely transparent.  One was a very plain textured glass and the other was called Everglade.  It's swirling vines appealed to me and seemed a little whimsical.  I like whimsical....


So I said, "do it!"


I think it looks so much better! Honestly if the glass shop had a dozen choices I might not have picked this one.  I'm sort of glad they didn't because I like it more and more every day.


Look at that beautiful swirly glass!



The other side of the kitchen has a bank of cabinets with SIX doors, plus two little ones over the fridge. As soon as I get my second wind, (or when  the bathroom project is finished) I'm going to tackle the other side. Then I plan to gel stain the lower cabinets like I did in the guest bathroom.  I'll let you know how it goes! I'm excited to have the whole kitchen finished - not excited about DOING the project but excited to have it finished. 


    BEFORE                            AFTER


Much love and laughter,

Laura


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