Archives for category: updates
I can barely remember why I started this blog in the first place. Recently I have just been babbling on about my boring life, but I finally remembered that I started this to share our progress on our new home, updates and the “foreclosure story.” So far what we all have learned is:
1. Brad and I will NEVER EVER buy a foreclosure again (too much hassle and work).
2. 3,300 square feet is a LOT of rooms to clean.
3. With only my husband having a job, all of our updating projects (aka the gross, stained carpet replacement downstairs) have come to a screeching halt.
4. (non-house related) We may or may not be “trying” if you know what I mean.
Speaking of which, I have been wanting to hang these curtains I stole took with us from our first home. I knew I wanted them in the baby’s guest room so on Friday we went to BBB and bought a little $30 curtain rod. If you don’t already know, BBB takes their 20% off coupons all year round. I actually used one from last Christmas that expired 1/2010. She didn’t even look at it. SCORE!
Above is the final project, that I might add I did completely by myself! I probably would have needed Brad if it wasn’t screwed into a stud (for some reason wall anchors and I don’t get along .. at all).
Below is the close-up of the curtain rod. We didn’t find one that we absolutely had to have, but this one we had in our old house so we thought it would be cute. Okay, that is a lie; I thought it would be cute and I had to get Brad on board.

Ironically I think this is the same curtain rod and the same exact color paint. The woman that decorated had AMAZING taste at our first house. So much so that I planted all the same plants in our front yard from that house. I had a blank slate with pretty much everything here so why not!?
On another side note, my mom is moving and putting her house up for sale. She has a ton of leftover carpet so we are taking some of that and putting it in the garage for winter! Anyone else want some?
Also, I took a box of her leftover backsplash tiles and she probably has enough that Brad and I could do a backsplash on our center island! I’m such a bargain-hunter! LOL
… besides get in trouble!?

Haha, yup. I definitely am officially crazy (and bored out of my freaking mind). I felt like the front door was the only thing left to tile downstairs so I just had to do it!! Luckily for my hubs, all he has to do is cut the big tiles in half (corner to corner) for me and I will lay them, grout them, and do the quarter-round as well.

Oh and the best part is that it’s going to cost us a whopping $0.00 to tile. We already had a bunch leftover from the kitchen and extra adhesive and grout. Well, I guess the quarter-round will cost us about $8-16 or so. Sounds pretty decent for a tile job!!

And if you are wondering why I didn’t pull ALL of the flooring up, I don’t want the entry way to be as big as it was before so I am making it slightly smaller to be more square and look better.

Well it really isn’t Day One since I have been using the elliptical the past few days consistently, but it’s the first day I am taking CONTROL. The first day I am going to track my every move. Now if you aren’t a fan of blubber then please feel free to dismiss this post. 😉 Here are some of my tips for weight loss success:
1. WEIGH YOURSELF IN THE MORNING. It is best to weigh yourself in the morning right after you use the restroom and before eating anything. That is the closest number to you actual weight. Also, weighing yourself at the same time each time will help with consistency and to see the best progress.
2. WEIGH YOURSELF NO MORE THAN ONCE A WEEK. If you weight yourself constantly on a daily basis then you won’t see results, which can be discouraging. The weight won’t come off daily because it didn’t come on overnight. There is a scientific term for those people that have to weight themselves daily: obsessed. It’s true, I have the books to back that up.
Here is my embarassing starting weight.
3. TRACK AND MEASURE EVERYTHING. Everything that you are looking to improve (waist measurements, BMI, weight, etc), make sure you keep track of them or you won’t be able to definitively see your results.
Now here are some calculations to get you started:
Body Mass Index (BMI) = weight (in kg) / height (in meters squared)
Waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) = waist / hip *
*any measurements are fine as long as both are the same unit (cm, in, etc)

To find out your weight in kg simply divide your weight in pounds by 2.2!
To find out your height in meters squared simply convert your height to inches and multiply by 0.0254 and then square that number (aka multiply it by itself).
4. DO NOT ONLY WEIGHT YOURSELF. A lot of times we tend to lose inches before weight or notice other subtle and positive differences since making lifestyle changes. If you feel better, have more energy or notice that your pants are fitting better then you are seeing progress, so focus on those positive things. It’s not all about weight.
Here are a few pics to show you how to measure circumferences:
This is your “hip” measurement. “With the subject standing erect and feet together, a horizontal measurement is taken at the MAXIMAL CIRCUMFERENCE of buttocks.” (ACSM)
Sorry .. in advance .. for this gross picture. Gotta love stretch marks (even though I don’t have any kids .. grr).
This is your “waist” measurement. “With the subject standing, arms at the sides, feet together and abdomen relaxed, a horizontal measure is taken at the narrowest part of the torso (above the [belly button] and below the xiphoid process).” (ACSM)
The xiphoid process, for those that do not know, is the hard bone where your ribs meet at the bottom/front of your rib cage. It’s a common land mark for CPR.
So for the best measurements, you will want a tape measure that is flimsy but not stretchy. As you can see from my pictures I don’t have one so the next best thing to do is take a non-stretchy string (I used twine) and measure it, then place on a regular tape measure.
So I was debating whether or not to take a good “Before” shot right now in order to compare to September when we go on our cruise. I will take one but I only want to post with an “After” picture so I will go take one now and then post updated pictures in August (for my friend’s wedding) and then before our cruise (because you know they have 24/7 ice cream machines and I will gain at least 5 pounds on that ship!).
Also, if you have any questions or need any information please feel free to contact me! I got all the information in this post from ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, 7th edition.
Remember my Sunflower Success story? Well those days are long gone. I have read everywhere and heard from friends that you don’t need to tend to the sunflowers until fall so I have been letting them grow and bloom and look beautiful. That was, until one day I found this:
The gajillion birds that unfortunately hang out around our house have found my sunflowers and not only are picking out the pollen (which I am told is the part they really like) but the seeds as well! So to prevent them from further damaging this sunflower, I decided to just cut it off and dry it out for seeds for next year.
I think the seeds are pretty salvagable although I would have liked to see how big it would get. These damn’d birds are getting on my last friggin’ nerve!!
Just look at my beautiful sunflower! Well, it used to be beautiful. I have been consistently checking on the sunflowers every few days to make sure the birds are staying clear and they are only picking the pollen right now. Once they start stealing my seeds again, I will put pantyhose on the tops to prevent further damage. I read about being able to do that online.
FINALLY! I got my new computer in the mail today. First things first, I got on Facebook. Secondly, I had to update my blog! 😉 I have such wonderful priorities (i.e. my homework in my TWO online courses are due tonight and I haven’t read a thing). Since our BlueRay player is fixed now I get the feeling I might not be submitting too good a quality of work this week. Haha.
Anyways, we have done a few little updates since I am tired of our master bedroom being unusable and ugly. We got these gorgeous curtains (that we later found out don’t match our bedspread at all…). I love them. We had to get FOUR since our windows are 10 feet in length!!!
I love the hardware we got. The rod is 1 inch thick and then you can pick out your own decorative ends and just screw them on. I love that just in case I get antsy one day and decide I don’t like these.
Looks great with the windows open now! It’s so soothing in the morning not having the sun glare into the bedroom. Also the birds chirpping doesn’t bother me nearly as much! The curtains have a thick backing and are made to deacrease sounds and light. They work!
Also we have been using our guest shower since we moved in .. in February. So 5 months later I suppose we finally got the motivation to attach our shower head and install a new shower caddy.
We got a normal one to hang from the shower head but it definitely didn’t work with the pull-out shower head. Oh well, I like this one better since it has so much room in it!
So I continually use our downstairs half bathroom, especially when working from home. Washing your hands used to be a huge hassle here because there was nowhere to hang a hand towel. I solved that problem!
And since I got new hardware for the faucet and the towel ring, I obviously couldn’t ignore the TP holder! I moved it and patched the wall where the old one was anyways since it was loose and continued to fall off on random occasion.
Well that is it for our half bathroom. There is nothing else to do but replace the mirror (that is perfectly in tact .. so no thank you) and install a white cabinet for storage which might come much later down the road.
As for product review on these items, I would not suggest them. They are from Target and were very cheaply made. They look great but the hardware that comes with them is impossible to use. Thankfully my husband is handy and keeps all kinds of extras around the house so we had the necessary tools to fix it. All in all it was a $25 purchase so it was well worth the money in my opinion.
Kitchen Update: We have finally found a grout that is the right color and are in the process of removing the old grout and replacing it with the new. So far our entire kitchen and pantry is grouted correctly. We just have the eat-in dining area to do and then we’ll be done.
Brad and I have spent the last week trying to figure out exactly how to fix this problem:
Notice that the grout line in the middle is the perfect shade of grey (that we picked out) and the others are almost pure white. The bag of grout had the grey color on it but it is drying white. I really am miffed about the whole thing, but you live and you learn from your (or others) mistakes. I recently visited The Tile Shop in order to figure out what I could do besides dig this up and re-grout. They sold me some gel that is colored and also seals the grout lines. Although it will be pretty tedious to paint the grout lines of our 500-square-foot kitchen and pantry, at least we saved a lot of money by doing it ourselves!
Edit: Brad decided that he wanted to just do all-new grout so instead of going to Lowe’s (where we got the Maipei grout that is AWFUL) we went to Home Depot and the color matches perfectly!!! A friend of his at work has a tool that vibrates and saws away the existing grout; similar to a cast removing saw. It will take us another week or two but it will be worth it to DO IT RIGHT! =)
Also here is the most updated picture of our Bradford Pear and the grass (and lovely weeds) we planted back on Easter weekend!!
It looks great! I think we have less weeds now because we put some kind of Weed & Feed down. Looks fantastic!
And for the final update .. drum roll please ..
Okay, well it wasn’t the biggest announcement ever but I am so glad to be almost done with the front yard landscaping! Soon my mom will come and take the other plants but I am keeping them in the ground until she does. Most recently I put that little dark-green round bush on the left side. Also, I trimmed our huge front-yard tree (I think it is an oak or elm tree). Everything looks much better! If you didn’t already notice, we did put our wicker furniture out, too. I am loving our “home” more and more each day.