Tag Archives: DIY

“You have nothing to prove to anybody.”

5 Nov

I write a blog, so obviously I read a lot of blogs.  All kinds – food, fitness, healthy living, green living, even some mommy blogs just because I like them!  While I am hooked on reading and following the lives of these women, there is a lack of realness from bloggers: unachievable goals which are actually attained by unrealistically athletic superwomen who eat in strange, disordered ways.  I suppose if I was in their shoes, I wouldn’t feel that way.  People probably think it’s weird that I dumpster dive for coupons.  From the outside looking in, its frustrating to compare my habits and progress to theirs.  Its like watching a celebrity lose weight after they have a baby.  Two weeks and BAM!  Back to size -3.  That’s just not in the cards for me.

I am a real person, with real problems (like balancing my 2 jobs and my dogs and my family obligations and my home renovations and my laziness and being tired and trying to find healthy things to eat and oh yeah shower while all of this is going on) and I’m doing the best I can.  I have to keep reminding myself of that without the context of superfluous excuses.

So I am here to unapologetically declare that I enjoyed every bite of the pizza I ate at 9:30PM last night – when I finally had a chance to sit down and relax after a string of extremely long days.


We are entering the actual home stretch with the kitchen reno.  Finally.  After like a year.  It’s crazy that we flipped an entire house in a few months, but our own home projects linger on.  Realistically, they are the ones that are always moved to the back burner because they aren’t really effecting anything!  Here is what my kitchen looked like a few days ago:


You may see this as chaos.  I get that.  But, I see this as PROGRESSSSSS!!!!!!  So yeah.  I literally walked away from what I was doing and took this picture.  Realness. Since this photo was taken, the cabinet doors have dried and rehung (they look awesome!), the dishes have been done (duh), and the island has been cleared of all my on-call paperwork/binders/phone.    Honestly, all we need to do is stain and rehang the pantry doors, throw on some baseboard, caulk, and replace the countertops.  So…..friggin……close.

We obviously didn’t get much cooking done over the weekend in this hullabloo, though.  I did manage to concoct this monstrosity:


A buffalo chicken stuffed sweet potato.  It was….not good.  I should’ve gone with BBQ sauce, but changed my mind at the last minute.  So for future reference, not a good combo.

And laundromat breakfasts have been looking like this:


Half-ass cooked oats with almonds, cinnamon, stevia, and frozen blueberries.  Shockingly not as bad as it looks.

So you see…I could never be a celeb-status healthy living blogger.  Because I am real person who hasn’t been to the gym since Friday, takes my time getting projects done, struggles to find clean eats and vegs out with delicious white pizza and MNF.  I am also a fucking rockstar who rolled out of bed this morning, got coffee, hurried to the rental to bundle about 50 lbs. of landscaping mess to beat the garbage truck,  washed the car, VOTED, made it home in time to put our own garbage out, did the dishes, made myself some egg whites and turkey bacon, did 2 loads of laundry, AND managed to catch half an episode of Teen Mom 3 on DVR before work.  I think I would prefer my real life to a contextualized pedestal that I have to create and never fall from.  🙂


My DIY Life

12 Jul

I decided not to leave a Wordless Wednesday post yesterday, since I’ve left you wordless for an entire month.

You’re welcome.

Instead, I thought today I would leave you a pictorial evolution of our kitchen renovation.

Let me preface this post by saying that we purchased our house 3 years ago.  Since then, we have completely remodeled our master bedroom, bathroom and laundry room (which included the addition of a powder room).  Our living room and kitchen are the two most-used spaces in our house.  While this would prompt some people to remodel those rooms first, I have been petrified of losing the use of either.  We performed several small updates to them and it has been sufficient until recently.

When we moved in, this is 360° what we were working with.

There were clearly some important issues that needed to be addressed.

1. Lighting – The only natural light in the kitchen comes from this small window above the sink and the back door, which is partially visible through the laundry room.  There is a small light in the fan above the stove and a single ceiling panel in the middle of the room.

2.  Flooring – The laminate flooring was extremely worn, with a few places worn almost completely through.  Several corners were peeling up and it made the kitchen feel dirty even when it was spic-and-span.  Frustrating.

3.  Skin – This room was covered in mushroom backsplash.  Why? Why? Why? Why x 102957820958? Why x INFINITY? Then the wood paneling.  As far as the eye can see.  It was like living in our very own coffin.  I felt like I couldn’t breathe.  Because the laundry room is a converted porch, there is a window next to the fridge that looks into wood-panel lined room with a rickety old washer and dryer.  Needless to say, despite what we would gain in natural light, we kept the blinds closed most of the time.

The first thing we decided to upgrade happened because God looked down on us and said – your fridge should have died 15 years ago.  It’s time.  We happened to be trolling CraigsList for a refrigerator when a woman posted hers for $100.  There wasn’t a thing wrong with it, she was just going through a divorce and updated her kitchen.   Score.

Then, still sailing off our our outrageous CraigsList luck and dedication, we scored another amazing find.  A gas stove in perfect condition, just $50.  The family selling it: a set up of empty-nesters, dad works for a kitchen supply company and gets awesome discounts on purchases for his home, so they update to stainless steel.  We snagged a matching dishwasher from them for just $50 the same night.  Niiiiiice!

Then, we were in full-scale remodel mode.  The master bedroom had been completed, so the laundry room (which had become a huge shared closet for us while we were without closets) began immediately.  The kitchen was used as a giant storage space for the furniture from the second floor, but we did manage to use some of the leftover paint from the upstairs project.  1 can Amazon Recycled paint (Tawny Beige), purchased at Construction Junction $14.

These two nuggets were not very happy that week:

Then again, neither were we.

During a Black Friday (November) sale at Lowe’s, we found some snap and lock laminate flooring at $.63/square foot.  Total: $157.50

No sooner did we get the reno done (December), then we had to pack up our lives and move back to Slippery Rock, PA (January).  She♥ finished her Bachelor’s and I started earning my Master’s in Sustainability.  We parted with our house for a year, during which time a family rented from us.  We moved out the same day they moved in.  VERY hectic 24 hours, I assure you.

But we managed to get the floors laid the few days before they moved in and I snagged this picture later in the week when we stopped to give them some spare keys:

When we moved back in (the following January), it was like living in a brand new house!  Amazing!!  Although, it was funny to see what things we wish we had done differently.  (There are a few issues with the floors and some drywall that needs patching elsewhere in the house.)

When we got back, our focus was launching our company.  Now, things are moving right along and we have decided to update completely.  So far, we’ve only put in around $400, once all tools, appliances, and miscellaneous expenses have been calculated.

The last few weeks, we have been pulling down the wood panelling and the drop ceilings.  I’m so excited to see what we can find as far as drywall goes, and I’m already scouting Construction Junction for new cabinets.  Fingers crossed!!

Here’s where things stand as of this morning:

We’ve come a long way from these days:

But we’ve got a long way to go ♥

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