The House…Where We Left Off

Hello everyone! So you’re probably wondering if we EVER finished the house. We have been so busy working on projects that I haven’t even had time to do posts about them or about the house. So without further delay, here we go. Where the heck did I leave off?  Oh yes, my last post was April 25, 2014. I had posted what had been done up till March 14th. That was WELL over a year and a half ago!!! I seriously can’t believe it’s taken me this long to finish this post.  I’m not really good at this, in case you didn’t already know it.  This is going to be long, so sit back and enjoy the ride. So the outside brick and vinyl had been finished. The inside had HVAC done and electrical boxes were in. I didn’t get many pics of the actual wiring, which I really wish I had, but here is what happened after that. HVAC access Garage door opener Nothing too exciting there. The access door to the HVAC system and the garage door openers were installed. They usually don’t install the openers until after the drywall is installed, but the drywallers were behind schedule, thanks to the weather. Wall Plate Pipe Wall Plate with pipe Central Vac Y Connector This is the central vac my husband and I installed. I had planned on doing a seperate post on how to install central vac, but I’m not sure I got enough pictures. I may re-visit this and draw a map and do a small tutorial on how to install it. It was like 30 degrees in the house and my poor husband had to get himself into some tight spots, but we got it done and I love it. We installed central vac in our last house, and I can’t say enough good things about it. If you’ve been contemplating it, you should definitely do it. Another project my husband and I took on was putting insulation in the garage. It wasn’t part of our package, but they let us do it ourselves, thank goodness. We don’t have insulated garage doors so it’s still cold in there, but hopefully we will eventually. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The very next day the insulation guys came and started to insulate the house. I was so excited, because I knew the next thing was drywall. master with insulation Eat-in Kitchen with insulation So this is the master and the eat-in kitchen. I don’t know what happened to the rest of my pictures, surely I took more than two pictures. Drywall delivered Drywall and kitchen arches On 4/2 they delivered the drywall, but that’s it! I was excited and beyond frustrated at this point. I just wanted to move into this house, so we could get settled and start on some fun projects. This is the very next day… The master ceiling. Not a tray, but I still like it. Master ceiling This is looking towards the dining room. Dining room The kitchen arch. One of the things we love about this house. kitchen arch This is, of course, the best room in the entire house! My craft room. craft room To say I was excited at this point would be a mild understatement. They dry walled the entire house in ONE day! One day. I still can’t believe it. If they could have gotten in there on their regular schedule, we could have been in a lot sooner. Well, you all know how behind we got in the framing stage from this earlier post. They came in the next day and started mudding and taping. I don’t think they finished in one day. It’s a not a huge house, but it’s not small either. Here are a few pics of that process. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The next thing to come was on 4/9. It was a biggie. meter box installed Once the meter is installed, then they can regulate the temperature in the house and can really get moving. meter hooked up and passed This didn’t happen until 4/15, but it passed inspection so it was a go! I thought this next picture was fun. It’s blurry, but it’s the only time I’ve seen a meter look like this. Meter at 0 All zeros! Cool right?

This was an exciting day. Cabinets, interior doors, baseboard, door and window casing and the columns for my dining room were delivered. Woo Hoo!
interior doors, cabinets


April 23 brought some major changes. Cabinets were installed, and doors were installed. Starting to look like a house now.
Laundry room

Butler's Pantry


Pocket Door in Master

Kitchen through the arch way

We were supposed to close on April 30th, but I knew at this point it wasn’t going to happen. I was so frustrated. We were dealing with cramped quarters, one sick dog and a one year old puppy. I was so ready for this to be over. It took another seven days before the counter tops were installed.

Laundry Room

Sink wall

Stove wall

Butler's Pantry
Nothing fancy on the counter tops. We were keeping costs down, with a future plan to replace the cabinets and get some kind of solid surface tops. I’m not sure when that will be happening. I may end up working with these cabinets and just getting new counter tops.

So May finally arrived, with the promise that we would close at the end of the month. Quite a bit had to get done. There is no denying that it was getting really exciting. Somewhere between countertops and lights they painted the house. They use sprayers, so it goes really fast. We took the standard paint package, so ceiling, walls and trim were all the same color. We knew we would paint down the road. Anyway…check this out. Lights were installed.
kitchen chandy

Dining Room Chandy

Five days later, something very big happened. And when I say big, I mean massive. Our 3-car garage driveway! That’s a lot of shoveling of snow, people, ask my husband, this year we got a lot of snow.  One storm was 18 inches!!!!!

3 Car driveway

Openings for plants

back patio

Basically from this point on it was just little stuff to get us in. I’ll just share the pictures.





grading and landscape

garden tub


basic shower


living room

Keys to the castle


Well there she is! Can you believe it? We closed on May 30th, but didn’t move right in, but that’s another story for another time. I promise it won’t take me a year and half to tell you about that. We’ve had a ton of fun with projects and I can’t wait to show them to you.

Until next time…


Batten and Board Shutters – First Project For The New House!

Yes!  Can you believe it?  We got to do a project for our new house!  It’s been a long time coming and it couldn’t be an easier one.  If you are wondering if we are finally in the house, the answer is NO. WE. ARE. NOT!  We have about 4 more weeks, but I told my husband if I didn’t so some kind of project, I was going to go crazy. It was the perfect weekend.  My little puppy Boone turned one on Saturday and then we got to go to Home Depot and hang out in the wood aisle.  I’m sure you all know what a batten and board shutter looks like.  There are tutorials all over Pinterest.  I’m not doing a tutorial per se, just showing the steps that got us from point A to Z.

Batten and Board Shutters

Photo courtesy of

So these are batten and board shutters. These you can custom order in pretty much any size and color. I plugged in our dimensions and they came to $216 a pair. Ouch. You can also buy the plastic variety from the big box stores for roughly $100 for the size we needed, and our builder wanted $145 per pair.  We just didn’t want the plastic shutters so we took the credit from our builder on the plastic ones, and decided that we would build our own. This is pretty much the easiest project you will ever do. No, really. If you can cut a straight edge and read a tape then you are half way there. There were several options at Home Depot. Cedar, Poplar, and pine. Cedar is probably the best for an outside application, but it’s pretty pricey. I didn’t want to use pine, because it’s so soft, but I happened to see this pre-primed wood. It seemed harder somehow. Maybe it’s heat dried. I don’t know, but I do that it was a huge savings. We made one set of shutters for approximately $50. We gathered our screws, wood glue, sand paper, paint and headed home. You’re probably wondering why I don’t have all this stuff in stock at home. Well, I do, it’s just all packed away. Seriously, if don’t get in this house soon, I’m going to end up in the nut house. Anyway, here are a few things we picked up.

Batten and Board Shutters

So we measured the window. It was 62″ from top to bottom, inside to inside. We knew we wanted three 1×4’s across for a total of six 1×4’s measuring 62″ long. I’ve seen anywhere from two boards to four, some with spaces, some without. It’s totally up to you.


Using your handy dandy speed square, mark your line after finding 62″ with your tape. Double check that! Remember, measure twice cut once. If anyone is likely to screw that up, it’s me, I’m always in such a hurry to get started. Now it’s time for my favorite tool, the chop saw.


Make all your cuts, then you can line them up and decide how big of a gap you want between the boards, if any. I made a jig using my long metal ruler and a square. I clamped them to the table in an L shape so I could pull the boards tight against the spacers. Once you determine your gaps you can measure for the batten or cross brace. Once you’ve determined that, go ahead and cut those. Now here is where you will also decide if you want two or three battens per board. We decided on two. If we notice the boards starting to warp, we may have have to add one in the middle.

So, now is probably the time to paint your board, especially if you are doing black over white. It’s so not fun trying to paint in a 1/4 inch gap once they are together. Trust me, paint first. We didn’t. We wanted to get them made so we could test them on the house. What a pain. Anyway, put the top and side of your board against the jig, put your spacers next and pull the next board tight against them. We used our finish nail gun and wood glue to hold them together long enough to flip them and put in screws from behind.

Board and Batten Shutters



Board and Batten Shutters


We loved it. So we headed home and made the second one. Then the fun of painting began.

Batten and Board Shutters

Looks like a three coater to me! I eventually had to move back to the garage, the sun was too hot and was drying the paint too fast. In between the first and second coat of paint I sanded with 320 grit sand paper. This helped make it super smooth.


Coat number two really made them look great.


So I finished my third coat and they look amazing. I will put a clear sealer on them for added protection. Oh and I have enough wood left over to make a set for a little 24″ window!

Board and Batten shutters

I love them. Unfortunately, we can’t install them until we actually close on the house. Supposedly that is the 23rd of May. We shall see. Oh and don’t judge the garage! It’s a temporary rent situation and it’s only a one car. Hard to keep neat for 7 months!!! LOL. Anyway, thanks for hanging around. Come back and I’ll show the shutters on the house once we move in. Oh, for our next project…something similar to this.

Batten and Board Shutters

Till next time…

Creativity Unleashed Link Party

Valentine’s in the rental house

So, if you’ve been following along from the beginning, you know my family and I are living in a rental while our house is being built. I’m sure you’ve heard me mention a time or two that all our stuff is packed up in the two back bedrooms. It’s really been a struggle, especially around the holidays. I miss having my dining room and kitchen tables to decorate. I don’t really have a lot of Valentine decorations, but every year I get a little more, especially after the holiday. Clearance anyone? Last year, I made a couple of decorations but I didn’t start the blog until March, so I thought I would show you them now and maybe a little of the stuff I’ve managed to collect over the last few years. So all the pics you see are old, by old I mean last year. They are also terrible pictures, I apologize for that. I remember in January last year, we were walking around Michael’s looking for bargains on Christmas decorations. They already had Valentine stuff out. I saw these cute little topiary’s. I guess that’s what you would call them. They were two little clay pots painted red with a glittery heart on a stick. I thought they were adorable, but at $14.99 each there was no way I was going to buy them. So I took a picture (which is on my desktop, which is packed) and decided to make them myself. So while I did take a photo of the finished product and a few steps in the middle, remember I didn’t know I was going to start a blog, so I didn’t take pictures of the items before I put them all together, so it’s going to be kind of random, but you’ll get the idea.

Anyway, I bought two terracotta pots, some red spray paint, a 1/4″ dowel, two foam hearts, some grassy, mossy stuff and a can of Great Stuff foam insulation. I spray painted the pots, the dowels and the hearts with the red paint.

hearts, red spray paint

I did the pots and dowels first, then I did the hearts. After spraying the hearts I got to play with glitter. Who doesn’t like glitter?

glitter heart

See what I mean? Glitter is fun. Have you ever used Great Stuff foam insulation in your projects?

Great Stuff Foam Insulation

Well, let me tell you, this stuff is crazy. It’s crazy sticky too, so don’t get any on you or on anything you love…trust me. It’s also pretty fun to watch it do it’s thing. So, if you don’t know what it is, I’ll tell you. It’s used in the construction industry around windows and doors etc., to stop drafts from getting in your house. There are several different “kinds” that are used in different aspects of insulating your house. It expands. You use a little and it doubles, maybe even triples in size. Then it dries hard, but it’s like air, so it’s very light. I sprayed some in the pots, and stayed well below the top so that as it expanded, it wouldn’t go over the top. I inserted the dowel so the the foam would grow around it and it would stand firm.  Like I said, this stuff is crazy.

Great Foam explosion

Funny right? It kinda looks like an ice cream cone. I could not believe how high it rose. No biggie, I just got a serrated knife and cut it off and then cut a little below the top of the pot so I could put my grassy, mossy stuff around it. So after doing surgery on the pots, I drilled a hole in the bottom of the heart, put some glue in the hole and put it on the dowel. After it dried I tied a ribbon around the dowel and put the grassy, mossy stuff around the pot. I love how they turned out.

Valentine topiary

Cute right? They turned out just like the one’s at Michael’s, but you’ll have to take my word for it, because I can’t find the picture! Anyway, they are the only thing I pulled out of storage this year. I’ve got them sitting on a piece of furniture that I got for free, that I plan to paint and hopefully sell. I’ll show you that if we ever get in the new house. Since that is all the decorating I am doing this Valentine’s, I’ll show you a little of what I did last year.

Valentine decorations; placemats

This is my kitchen table, it’s where I put the topiaries.

dining room table, red hots, valentine decorations

red hots, valentine decorations

Yep, those are red hot! I love to eat them and I love to decorate with them.

chandelier, valentine decorations

I put a few little hearts on the chandelier over the dining room table.

Banner, fireplace, Valentine decorations

This was my fireplace. I loved it. I made that banner from a free printable from the awesome girls at Shanty2Chic. Please check them out. They are incredibly talented. I’m a little jealous of them actually! They must have a lot of fun creating stuff together. I put some valentine heart stuff up there and of course a wedding picture of me and my husband. See that little Dalmatian? My good friend Laurel made him a valentine bandanna. I must not have had it yet in that picture, but here he is all decked out for Valentine’s Day.

Dalmatian wearing a valentine banner

Isn’t he cute? I wish I knew where I packed that bandanna. Like I said, I don’t have a lot of decorations yet, but I’m working on it. A little bit each year. Well, here’s hoping I’m in the new house by next year and I can decorate again. I’ll have my craft room back and hopefully will be able to create some new goodies. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you’ll be back and watch as the construction unfolds. Leave me a comment and let me know what you’ve got going on for Valentine’s Day.

Until next time…


My Wish List – for the new house

By now, you all know we (my hubby and I) are building a house. We are so excited. This little rental we are staying in is wicked small and everything we own is in boxes in the two small spare bedrooms. I need to do a post and show you the rental house, but right now, I want to get my wish list down, then I’ll always have it. If you read this post, then you know we are just putting in the basic stuff in the house. I will then start projects to upgrade it like we really want it. I hated upgrading things like faucets etc and then paying for them over 30 years. Keep the mortgage low and upgrade over time – that’s been our motto. So, let’s get started shall we? This is in no particular order, just as I think about them.

I eventually want these cabinets from

Vintage White, The RTA Store
I want these floors from Lumber Liquadators.

Black Mamba, Lumber Liquadators








Is that dark bamboo not yummy? I love it. We put in bamboo in our last house, but really want the hand scraped this time around.

How cool is this little gadget?  It’s a learning thermostat.  It learns your habits and automatically adjusts for you.  It’s also programmable from your phone or tablet – even if you aren’t home.

The Nest, Lowe's








I love gadgets. Pretty soon we’ll all live in Jetson houses. How fun would that be? You can pick this little guy up at Lowe’s. I believe it’s around $249

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