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Archive for April, 2009

Plan B

April 30th, 2009

So Mr.vB and I came up with a Plan B for our bathroom tile pattern last night.  It still involves a good amount of that lovely 8×10 tile, but also some smaller 6×6 tile which appears to be much more readily available.  So today I only had to go to 2 Home Depots.  I also got a phone call that the 3×3 shower floor tiles were ready for pickup. Here’s what my car looked like by the end of the day.

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Now who is going to help me get all this tile into the house??

It doesn’t appear that Boots has any interest in helping…

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Bathroom Makeover, Home Improvement

Tile Crazy!!

April 29th, 2009

Yes, as some of you already guessed we are re-tiling our main bathroom upstairs!  Very exciting, but it means no showering, toileting (is that a word?) or teeth brushing in the upstairs bathroom for TWO WEEKS!  (Luckily we do have a full bath in the basement we can use and I don’t have to hit up my neighbors to stay clean.)

So the contractors showed up bright and early on Monday and got to work destroying demoing the tile floor in the sink room and the entire shower room. But before I get too far ahead of myself, let me explain what got us to this point.

Remember when I mentioned that Mr. vB had moved into a fixer upper.?  Let’s just say the bathroom was first on the list to be totally gutted.  (I will post the original bathroom photos very soon)  After Mr. vB got the new plumbing, new walls, and new electrical in place in was time to hire the tile work out.  And unfortunately he hired the WRONG person to do the job.

Exhibit 1

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Here is the lovely “curb” from the sink room into the shower room.  Was it too much to ask for some tile on the face of the curb??  I mean the exposed concrete has such a finished look doesn’t it?

Exhibit 2

mold

And here is where the “tile guy” decided to not tile the edge of the wall that lead into the shower and instead leave the drywall exposed to the water.  SO Brilliant!  Does anyone else see the mold growing on the face of the drywall?!?!?!

Exhibit 3

grout-lines

Can you see here how focused the tile guy was on making sure that all the grout lines were super even?!?  He even made sure to line up all the tiles so they were in a nice straight line… NOT.

But the biggest issue of all was that a proper shower pan and liner was not installed under the tile and could have caused major water damage to the ceiling joists below.   I would LOVE to report this guy to the Better Business Bureau, but unfortunately the paperwork/receipt got lost and I have no clue who this guy is.  Use our horrible experience as a lesson to get referrals on contractors and to not always take the cheapest deal out there!!

So we are 3 days into the new construction and now I am going tile crazy.  I like to think that I am passionate about my design ideas- others might call me a bit obsessed.  Point in case-  I have been to 5 different Home Depot’s in the past 2 days.  And I will be headed to about 5 more tomorrow.  Why you might ask??  Well Mr. vB and I have fallen in love with a simple 8×10 wall tile for the shower room which we need 17 boxes of.  The first store only had 2 boxes, no biggie I thought.  I kindly asked the helper person to see if another store had the remaining 15 boxes.  GET THIS- each store in the Richmond Metro Area had recieved only 2 boxes .  That meant that I would have to go to 9 different locations to get all the tile I needed to complete the entire shower room.  I think I need to come up with a plan B!!  I will keep you updated!

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Bathroom Makeover, Home Improvement

Two More Hints…

April 27th, 2009

I have been loving reading your guesses as to what has been going on today at Chateau vB.

My favorite so far is from my buddy Catherine in Mississippi.  She wrote, ” Installing a slip and slide in the hallway?”.  Great guess but no!  Don’t give Mr.vB any ideas!!

Here are Two more Hints.  The last one I think is a dead give away.  But keep the guesses coming!

dsc_0170Can you tell what are in these trash cans??

dsc_0169Yes- this is a toilet in the guest room!

ANY IDEAS??

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Bathroom Makeover, Home Improvement

Can you Guess??

April 26th, 2009

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Mr. vB and I are up to another home improvement project starting tomorrow.  We are quite excited, but our life will be a bit disheveled for the next 2 weeks… wanna guess what we are doing??

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Bathroom Makeover, Home Improvement

Busy Week..

April 26th, 2009

Sorry for being MIA for the past week.  I started to feel under the weather on Tuesday morning but chalked it up to the massive amount of pollen outside.  Then on Wednesday Mr. vB, the boys and I road tripped down to Raleigh, NC to see our favorite band- Dave Matthews.  We stayed with our good buddies, the Basham’s, who live right in Cary NC and love DMB just as much as we do.  (maybe more??)  It was a great show at the Walnut Creek Amphitheatre, but we could have done without the 45 degree temperature that night.  Thank goodness for the polar fleece’s we threw in the car last minute!

So anyways, the Basham’s also have two dogs that are like cousins to Boots and Bailey.  I couldn’t resist taking some photos of them running around in the back yard.  Mind you- Mr. Vb and I are TOTALLY envious of the Basham’s back yard.  It makes ours look like a postage stamp.  I don’t think Boots and Bailey actually knew that a backyard was for running around and playing in!! ha-ha

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So besides playing in the good weather on Thursday, we also made a point of going to one of the local Community Center’s in Cary to pick up a rain barrel.  Have you guys ever heard of these before? It is the concept of catching rain water from your gutters to reuse it to water your plants, yard, etc.  I had seen them on HGTV before and most recently on a post from ThisYoungHouse.com.  I had sent Mr. vB the link on how to make your own rain barrel and that got him doing a little Internet research.  He found out that the City of Cary is doing a really good job in regards to using “reclamied water” and is making it easy for local residents to do it as well.  (It didn’t hurt that they were selling the barrels for pretty darn cheap too!)  We didn’t want to miss the opportunity to scoop up one of these puppies at a bargain rate so in the car it went.  Here is a shot of the car once we got home and the boys were unloaded.

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As soon as we got home and unpacked, Mr. vB was itching to get the rain barrel system set up.  He took a few before and after photos that I will share with you, but I don’t believe he is totally finished yet.  The piping is all set up to catch the rain water, but he still wants to get a pump so that we can run our sprinkler system off this reused water vs. just having to fill up a watering can.  I will keep you updated with how that all goes.  Maybe I can even talk Mr. vB into doing a post himself… yeah right!  Here are the photos:

dsc_0138Please excuse the way the back of the house looks- it obviously is still a work in progress!  Here’s the main gutter off the back of the house.  We have a flat roof, as discussed in the earlier squirrel post, so all the water runs down this gutter.

dsc_01371Here’s the rain barrel’s new home.

Then Mr. vB removed the existing gutter pipes and ran new pipe across to the barrel and then back down to the drain for any overflow.

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Here’s a close up

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Having this reclaimed water to use on the yard and plants is definitely going to help our wallets!  Especially since I am suppose to be watering those seed mats twice a day for 15 mins.  (BTW still no grass sprouts yet!!)

So to finish my long recap of the week, what I thought was allergies became a full blown respiratory thingy.. full of coughing, sneezing, loss of voice, etc.  I hate to be stuck indoors on this absolutely gorgeous weekend, but the thought of doing anything majorly strenuous outside is very unappealing.  Plus I am TOTALLY addicted to the Twilight books my mom got for me.  There are four books total in the series and I have already read two, in one week.  Yes- you read that correctly- each book is about 560 pages and I read both in one week.  I admit it- I am a grown woman that is infatuuated with a finctional teenage vampire.  We will discuss the pros and cons of this at a later date.

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Go Green!, Home Improvement, Yard/Garden

Yard Time!!

April 18th, 2009

Knowing that it was suppose to be beautiful today, I planned to get an early start on yard work.  Here’s what was on my list to accomplish:

  • Buy Electric Weed-eater
  • Plant Herb Garden
  • Plant Geraniums and Gerbera Daisies
  • Till up bare spots in backyard, reseed and fertilize, and then cover with seed blanket

Off to Lowe’s I went with List in hand.

dsc_01161Here are my goodies.. after the quick photo shoot I was off to work!

My first job to tackle was trying to get some grass to grow in the bare spots.

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I used a hand till and was able to churn up the bare dirt.  Then I spread some grass seed and fertilizer.  This section of the backyard is low because of the slope towards the alley between our house and our neighbors.  It seems much harder to grow grass here because the seed is washed away before it has time to germinate.  To alleviate this problem I bought a Seed Starter Mat.

dsc_01241The concept is that you spread this mat/blanket over the seed and it will hold it in place allowing it to germinate. NICE!  So as I continued to till, seed, fertilize, and blanket around the yard- I quickly realized that I would need to make a second trip out to Lowes.  I needed more grass seed and seed starter mats than I thought.

dsc_01271 I also grabbed some more herbs, a great lime green pot to match my newly painted chairs, and a cheapo sprinkler!

Boots decided to help me lay the seed starters mats..  Good boy Boots..

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And that quickly turned to a mess..  Bad BOOTS!!

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Once we got that mess straightened out, I hooked up the new sprinkler and was on my way to growing some new grass!

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One task done, two more to go..

Here are my Herb pots..  I am going to need to watch how much sun this corner of the deck gets, i might have to move some things around if they don’t get enough.

dsc_0137I planted some Sweet Basil, Lemon Basil, Cilantro, Thyme and Oregano!  I am going to look at Target next time I am there for some cute little stakes to put by each plant so I know which is which.

I also potted the pink geraniums you guys saw in an earlier post.  They were not enjoying living inside with us so outside they went.  I think they will be quite happy in this pretty new lime green pot.

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I re-potted some pansies for my new little side table too.

dsc_01341 Tomorrow I hope to put the new weed-eater to use and get the sprinklers set up on timers.  Gotta give those little seeds some TLC !  Now I am off to walk the dogs- How can I resist this face??

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Home Improvement, Yard/Garden

Two of my favorite things

April 18th, 2009

I had to share this great birthday gift I got from my friend Sauce.  Obviously she has been reading my blog, as she incorporated two of my favorite things into one great gift!

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Can you guess what it is??  Here’s another hint..

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Still guessing??

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Be Honest- who guessed correctly??

It’s a reusable bag with my nickname embroidered on it!!!  How cute is that?!?!

I love how easily it unfolds to reveal a great bag with a front pocket.  And the pear design is totally fun!

Thanks Sauce!! I know we will put this to good use at Secret Target and Secret Marshalls.

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Birthday, Monograms, Target

Birthday Wish List

April 14th, 2009

If you could make a list of your favorite things to do on your favorite day of the year what would it be??

bday-balloonsToday was my special day and here was my list: (remember my birthday was during the work week and I was limited by budget)

1.  Wake up and go to Krispee Kreme and get a dozen original donuts and coffee (did not accomplish)

2. Go to local fabric stores and peruse the aisles at my own pace searching for my next interior inspiration (accomplished)

3. Have lunch with great friends at a local favorite spot (accomplished)

4. Hit up the local thrift stores to further my interior inspirations (tried to accomplish but they were closed)

5. Take a nap (accomplished)

6. Have more coffee with more good friends (accomplished)

7.  Get a manicure (accomplished)

8.  Have a great dinner at another favorite spot with family and friends (accomplished)

It was a great day and I got most of the things on my list accomplished. I loved all the calls and emails from my family and friends, it made me feel very special!  Now I am enjoying some down time with Mr. vB after a great dinner.  Is it a sign of getting old when you would rather sit on your sofa in your pjs than be in a smoky bar??  Oh well, here’s to old age I guess!

What’s on your list?

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Birthday

Bringing the outdoors in…

April 13th, 2009

Might sound harder than you think.  I always enjoy having cut flowers in the house, but decided that to be more budget conscious maybe I should start getting flowering plants instead.

Here’s an easy “how to” of bringing outdoor plants in.  (especially since the last frost is still predicted up until mid April)

STEP ONE

Purchase some flowering plants that can work indoors as well as out.  I purchased some great Geraniums and Gebera Daisies from my local Costco.  10 plants were only $27 bucks… now that’s a steal!

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STEP TWO

Find some cute pots or platters to arrange your plants.  Also pick up some Spanish moss from your local craft store or florist/greenhouse to help hide the plastic containers the flowers come in.

containers

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STEP THREE

Arrange the plants on the platter and then add the Spanish moss around the base.  Or just plop the plant in the pot! (Can’t get much easier than that!!)

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dining-room

Viola, instant home beautification!  Happy Planting!

(PS. Don’t forget these babies still need water and full sun even when indoors!!)

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Go Green!, Home Improvement, Yard/Garden

Henna Tattoos

April 11th, 2009

Have you guys ever seen Henna Tattoos before?  Henna is traditionally used in many cultures as dye for skin, hair, and fingernails.  I had only seen it used before on that silly TLC show, A Wedding Story.  They applied these very intricate patterns/designs all over the hands and feet of a bride on her wedding day.

So at the latest ELN (Educated Ladies Night), the theme was Indian Culture.  I unfortunately was out of town that night, so I missed all the fun. I did catch wind though, that one of the ladies had purchased some henna paste from a local Indian store.   She also printed some various designs off the internet for everyone to create their own Henna tattoos.  Luckily for me, there was some left over and Amanda invited me over the next night to get my very own.

hennaHere are the little tubes of henna paste.  (I kinda equate them to the tubes of “puffy paint” I used back in the 80′s. ) Behind them are some different options for designs/patterns.  I picked a few out and Amanda was on her way painting…

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As it dries, the color sets and the left over henna paste begins to flake.  Then just gently wipe the access off.

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Here’s the finished product… Pretty cool, eh??

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The henna tattoo will last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks depending on the strength of the paste.  Just keep that in mind when you pick the location for your henna!

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