Wednesday, July 20, 2016

New Floors!

So why we were galavanting around California in the 65-degree weather, Chris's brother, dad, and our buddy Blake were hard at work at condo #2 putting in the flooring!

We first had to level out the floor by the door...

Uneven floors, especially right when you walk in, typically don't sell too well.

Since the floors we bought this time don't have the padding attached, we had to lay down a vapor barrier and underlayment.



The guys, busy, blurry, and hard at work...

And for those of you that wanna know why we keep our buddy Blake around, edging like this is why:

Yes people, cuts like that are near impossible... the dude is a genius... and yes ladies, he's single.

But back to the flooring... not bad right?! Sorry,  about these incredibly blurry pictures, dear God.  Yikes... from now on I'll make sure to be the one taking pictures... because, wow...

And don't judge the floors next to the yellow brick wall... we're painting it.

Oh and that brick fireplace too...

Sadly enough, we had to cover up most of the flooring to keep it safe and pretty while we continue with the rest of our updates.

But it's looking good in the kitchen!

I still can't get over how different the place looks with walls...
And how much better it will look once it's painted!!!... which actually happens today!  We still have to let it dry and what-not so pictures probably won't be up Friday, but hopefully by the beginning of next week!

We actually had a tile guy come in today and do the bathroom so THAT will be my update for Friday... it looks AMAZING! Can't wait to share! Until then!
-Samm

Monday, July 18, 2016

MIA: our little vaca

Hey all!  Sorry for the MIA but we were on a much needed vacation last week to visit my grandparents and cousins in California!
After filming the show, working no-stop to get condo #1 finished, well underway with condo #2, and more down the pipeline, we really needed a recharge and a break from the 100-degree Texas days.

Boys did well on the flight out (not so much on the way back but hey, we'll focus on the positive.)
A big reason for the vacation timing was that two of my cousins just had babies (one in April and one in June) AND our other cousin, his wife, and son were in town from NYC.

For the first time, we were able to get a picture of cousins (some of us... there are 14 of us just on my dad's side), our kids (6 out of the 7 at least) and our grandparents who started it all.
Brooks is the oldest and he's not even 3.  Its fun to see so many of us in the next stage of our lives and hope to raise our babies as close "cousins" especially since Brooks and Collins don't have any "true" cousins yet.  Cousins of cousins?  3rd cousins? I dunno... its all family.

At least I was there to keep things real.
I wear my "black sheep of the family" badge with pride.

We stayed with my grandparents for two days and the boys had a blast at the park by their house.
We then took the 1:45 hour trip down the coast from the Bay Area to Carmel, passing some fun stops along the way.

Artichoke capital of the world? You betcha.
Carmel was absolutely gorgeous and never broke 70-degrees the entire time.
Most of our days were spent at the beach.
We pretty much had to drag Brooks home by the end of the day he loved it so much.
Collins was a bit apprehensive at first, but nothing like the thrill of danger to get you moving.
We also went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium for a day and it had my jaw hanging open nearly the entire time.
Collins road shotgun in the back of the ergo and was actually happy as a clam (sea pun).
Brooks and I even got to pet a stingray... which honestly may have been the highlight of my his trip.
I'm not sure who enjoyed the aquarium the most, but I could go back 100x over.  Just amazing.

But other than that, it really just was a lot of relaxing, letting the kids stay up late watching movies, and sleeping in as much as we could.
Renovations on the condo were still underway while we were gone and I'll give you a full update on Wednesday.  So much to share!  Its crazy how fast things are going!

Hope you all are having a wonderful summer and are getting some rest and relaxation of your own!
-Samm

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

We have walls!!

Dude, guys, yesterday, things got real...

As in real walls and ceilings!
Chris went by around 8am to let the workers in and man, are these guys fast!
They definitely know what they're doing and can do quick, quality work much faster than Chris and his dad could have done (not that I don't love you honey...)
After running to the office for a couple hours (yes, Chris still has a FULL TIME job that he does in addition to all the work on the condo) he was shocked when he stopped by after lunch that they're were nearly done!

I'll give you a quick walk through with the pictures Chris took... Here's from the living room looking toward the dining.
(front door is on your right and kitchen is to the back left)
Here's looking into the kitchen.
 I don't know if I ever mentioned before but that back door leads out to the assigned parking spot.

In the kitchen, turned around looking back at the dining room/front door area.
Kitchen entry way looking toward the fireplace.
Wow, that looks 1,000x better now that we reenforced that brick and covered it back up with drywall.
What a difference!

Front door looking into the corner of the living room.
Living room looking toward the hallway with the master, bathroom, and hall closet.
That view is CRAZY since its the first time you can't see all the way from one corner of the condo to the other.  Walls. 

Quickie shot of the bathroom.
Sorry about the lighting... working on it.

And the master!
The nice big closet...
And the doorway to the laundry!
I know that entry looks kinda small, but its plenty big and we plan on doing a barn door along that wall to really make it a feature.  Get excited... its going to be cute.

Well now we are cooking with gas!  Walls, man, you get me every time.  They still have to go through, tape and bed everything and then texture, but it's looking awesome!

I still have to double check with Chris on what exactly comes next... floors? but then we have to cover up everything to paint.  I know that's why we are waiting on putting the kitchen in, so we don't have any paint splatter on our brand new cabinets... hmm... maybe after tape and bed we paint the walls? But wouldn't we wait to paint until crown and baseboards have gone in too?

Ugh, not sure... but hey! Walls!!!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Quick little update before the holiday weekend

So lights are in, plumbing is fixed, and all the last minute prep is happening before walls actually go up.

Header and framing of the kitchen/dining room walk through is up, new, and looking sexy.
Ugh, Im so glad we got ride of that pantry... I think its going to make such a difference when you can turn the corner from the front door and look straight into that beautiful kitchen.

Speaking of the kitchen, all the electrical, new lights, and outlets are up and functional...
And the fireplace is put back together and ready for drywall.
Probably the most exciting thing that has happened so far is our drywall actually being delivered this morning!!
And there's a ton of it!  In every room....
You forget how much drywall you actually need when your condo HAS NO WALLS...
Master and laundry...
Since drywalling a place takes multiple people, multiple hours, we are actually hiring out this step to a group of great guys my brother-in-law works with.  It's going to cost us about $3,500 (yikes) which I know is a lot but it covers materials, hanging the drywall, tape/bed, and texture/finish out. And since that takes a LOT of time, the money is worth it so Chris can spend his valuable weekend time to spend with me and the kids and not working at the condo.  Hooray!

Hope you all have a fun and safe Fourth of July!! 

USA!
USA!
USA!




Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Update #2: Lights, pantry, and plumbing stuff!

Well, things are moving and grooving!

As you can see, the can lights are installed!
Remember how I told you Chris was a can-light-ninja? I was right...

And in even bigger news... look what is gone!
If you need help, here is a picture for memory.
Not to downplay our buddy Blake, but we took the pantry out!  Hazaa!!!

And look at all the extra room we have!
...and Chris wanted to give you all a big hug
If you remember from my first little update, I had the epiphany while writing the post about taking the pantry out and I'm SO glad we decided to do it since it just feels SOOO much better! I really do think will help make a difference in the feel of such a small kitchen.  Countertop space is key!  If the walkthrough from the dining into the kitchen wouldn't have been load-baring, we would have taken the whole thing out and expanded, but hey, work with whatcha got!

We also started the next, expensive process of putting in insulation.
Chris actually forgot about this in the budget and its crazy how quickly a couple hundred dollars can be spent on something that's behind the walls and never seen.  But I guess thats what you get in a condo that's already down to the studs!

So up it went!  In the kitchen...
and all the ceilings first.  This is also helping keep the AC in since its 100+ here in Dallas and that cold air is just leaking out faster than we can cool it down.
Before we insulated the interior walls, we had our plumber come in and make sure all was done with easy accessibility.

See... ohhhh... ahhhhh.... plumbing stuff* (...*official term...)
We also moved a water line through the ceiling and over to the other side of the kitchen... so the fridge can have water and an ice maker.
The bathroom is really coming along too! Look!  We even have a tub!
And see how tall the shower head is?  Boom.
Yay kitchen pipes, water, and a shower above armpit level!
Full disclosure, I don't even know what Im supposed to be looking for in this picture.  Photo by my loving husband.
We also completely updated the water line in the laundry room since it had an awful continuous drip which needed to be fixed ASAP.
See! Much better!

My awesome father-in-law is also working on the bricks above our fireplace.
The actual fire place itself is in fine shape but the brick above it (which was hidden by drywall) needed some help.

The brick is that groody 1970's/80's ugly bricks and not a pretty red brick worth saving, so Im pretty sure we are going to paint the fireplace.  Im still working on my color scheme so stay tuned for that.  Thinking maybe a dark grey with the walls a few shades lighter?  And some crisp white base boards and trim?

I'm also working on our kitchen layout and best options for cabinet color, countertops, and backsplash.  I think that will probably be my next post.   Until then!... Thanks y'all! Hope you're staying cool in this super hot summer!