Sunday, November 21, 2010

Laundry Room Inspiration

Been looking around.....  and found some fabulous laundry rooms!!


Been looking a lot actually.... and it would seem that there are several things I keep returning to....
  • Front loading appliances
  • White cabinets
  • A vintage laundry sign of some variety
  • Black & White photos and/or kitchsy laundry-esque art, including a fun clock like #1 above
  • A counter (totally on the dream list falling in the category of someday... way down the line! Would be amazing to have a counter like #14.... it's an ironing board counter!!)
And yesterday we went looking at tile for the floor.  It wasn't too hard for us to agree that we both liked natural stone.  I went in wanting a versallies pattern, but came out wanting a venetian pattern.  Mostly because of the scale for the room.  The versallies pattern's biggest tile is 16" x 24" and in a room that is roughly 8' x 7' with a 5' x 2' cutout area for cabinets, it would be too big for the room.  sigh. 

But the venetian pattern is perfect for that scale of room.  Here's a photo of what the pattern looks like:
Image via here.

It's a 12" x 12" tile, the smaller sizes are the same tile cut in half or quarters.  We really liked it in dusk travertine.  It was tumbled.  And gorgeous.  Much like the photo above.  And $14-20 a square foot.  Now, if we lived in a custom house or in a different area and we were in our forever house?  We would totally do that option.  But we do not and we do not want to overbuild for our neighborhood or overspend for our unplanned laundry room renovation.

We loved the tumbled, hand polished look, but have decided not to go that route this time.... it makes it more expensive!

So instead we will be getting:
A natural stone...
Darker in color...
With natural veining and/or some interesting details. 
We have settled on a choice... I think. :) I'll be back to share a peek at it soon.  (And it doesn't cost $14.95 a square foot either!!)

I also really liked these blog posts I found as I searched for ideas.... go check them out too:
Got an inspiring laundry room you think I should see?! I'm still on the hunt... :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I'm still alive...

Picture I took at Pariaso Winery, Soledad, California, July 2010.

Just been crazy busy working!  I'll be back here this week and get this place updated!!

In the meantime... just a quick poll.  What's your favorite holiday Starbucks treat(s)?!  Me?  I'm partial this year to my grande Chai Eggnog Latte and my continuing addition, the Cranberry Bliss Bar.  Both reasons to workout and/or run more.  Lots more! :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge | Days 21 to 30: Finishing up!

What a crazy month so far! Just taking a break to finish up this challenge.   So here goes....

Picture of Yourself
Here is a recent photo of my sister and I at her baby shower a few weeks ago:

I chopped off almost five inches mere hours after this picture was taken too!
Favorite City
I must say, though I've been to a lot of great cities, I'm partial to San Francisco. :)

Favorite Vacation
This is actually a really hard question - we've had so many great vacations!  One of my favorites was our trip to Vermont:

Something You've Learned
hmmmmm..... I've learned lots of things in my life.  Reminded yesterday of the day I learned that I believe in love at first sight nine years ago:

Put your iPod on Shuffle, first ten songs:
Currently, I have 1,875 songs that would take 5 days to play continuously.  Yikes!  Here it is on shuffle... not bad.  A little old, a little new... some country, some pop, some rock.  Pretty typical!
1.   If it Makes You Happy ~ Sheryl Crow
2.   Nearness of You ~ Chris Botti
3.   Jump Around ~ House of Pain
4.   Good Enough ~ Evanescence
5.   Dani California ~ Red Hot Chili Peppers
6.   Already Gone ~ Kelly Clarkson
7.   Are You Ready ~ Creed
8.   Cold Day in July ~ Dixie Chicks
9.   All the Right Moves ~ One Republic
10.  Then ~ Brad Paisley

Picture of my family
Taken on my 30th birthday by my Dad earlier this year... breakfast at Goofy's Kitchen. :)

Pets
We have three of them... Scarlet, Darby and Nala.  Up first, our puppy Scarlet!

And the kitties.... Darby the troublemaker:

Good thing she's pretty. :)  And, of course, the gray one... Nala:


She's an old lady now, so she sleeps a lot. :)

Something that stresses me out
The usual suspects.  Work and the house being torn apart!  :)

Three wishes
Three in one... a long, happy life with my husband!  Yep that's my three.... long life... happy life.... both with Brian. :) 

And last but not least.....

A picture
I seem to take a lot of flower pictures.  Here's one from Hershey Gardens I took back in May.

That's all I have for today!  Hope you enjoy your weekend. :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge | Days 11 to 20: Trying to catch up!

I don't follow instructions well.... or have a lot of time apparently! ;)   Continuing to catch back up on this.... one big piece at a time!!

Favorite TV Shows
My top 5 right this minute?  In no particular order...
1.  Grey's Anatomy
2.  Glee
3.  Survivor
4.  Amazing Race
5.  Real Housewives of __________.... ALL of them ;) lol!
What I believe
I believe everything happens for a reason.  Even if you don't know what it is!  I also believe that I am a lucky girl. :)

Goals
I've talked a lot about this.... still working on my 30 by 30 challenge.  I'm in the home stretch.... I'll do a little update soon.  I have two months left and I think I'm going to work!! :)

A Picture I Love
I found this one by accident looking for pictures of when we installed our hardwood floors.  Cute Scarlet as a puppy!
You can't tell from the picture, but she was only 8 pounds and would fit entirely in the palm of your hand!!  Love this picture!! :)
Bible Verse
I'm not one to talk religion much, publically or privately.  I am pretty private about my beliefs and I believe in the freedom of people to choose whatever they want to believe in!  That said, I'd have to choose this:


Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  ~ Corinthians 13:4-7
Dream House
Toothpicks... Lots and lots of toothpicks. I jest. I put that just for Megan. Cause when I think of a dream house, I think of house plans and I go right back to 7th grade and toothpick houses. It made a strong impression... and I hope Megan wasn't taking a drink of anything when she read that. I don't want her to choke on her coffee or anything! ;)  And yes Megan, I still hope to uncover the plans for the casa de toothpicks.  I have a good idea where it may be and a plan to recover it! I'll keep you posted! ;)

What was the question?  Oh yes.  Dream house.  I love our house we live in now... my dream would be to pick it up and move it onto ten acres somewhere in the mountains outside Sacramento. :)


Something I'm looking forward to
My niece!!  I'm really getting anxious about it.... will she wait until her due date or make an early appearance like her big brother?  I cannot WAIT to meet this little one!! :)

Something I regret
I don't live my life with regrets, so I have to say I have no regrets!! :)

Something I miss
My husband!  This whole working away from home thing stinks.  I miss him LOTS when he has to work away from home, but I am grateful for the fact that he's still working.   I look forward to the day that he's working ten minutes from home and he's gone when I get home from work cause he's training for his next bike race! :)

Nicknames
Last but not least for this marathon post..... I don't have many nicknames.  I don't go by Mandy or anything!  I do answer to "A" and sign e-mails that way many times... it's faster!  The cute nephew calls me Amana.  Those "d" sounds are still tough for him. ;)  The husband calls me lots of things... hehe ;).... but most of the time it's Sweetie.  My dad calls me Little Sprout.  Other than that, I don't have any other nicknames that I know of!

Not lots of pics this time... so thanks for reading! ;)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

First things first... Must. Have. Hot. Water.

When we started undertaking this project last week... it was first an operation of stop the damage.  Lots of space heaters, ripping stuff out and major inconvenience.  (No one likes a cold shower!!)  And 100% of the work fell on Brian's shoulders... the only plumbing I would do is calling a plumber!! ;)

To step back in time, here's what the room looked like many moons ago before we installed the hardwood with the original linoleum floor:

Not the best photo angle, but it's a square room.  A small one that's hard to get a picture of with all that stuff in the way! :)

And this is what it looked like right after we installed our hardwood floors (over the existing linoleum):

To the left side is the pantry....

Look at those Costco stashes!  Wouldn't be complete without Brian's ketchup!! :)  And in the background? Construction of the hardwood floors in process.

And here's what the hallway looked like....

It was sad to lose the laundry room portion of the floor to water damage.  Brian worked fast to pull out the floor in the laundry room and the damaged part of the adjoining hallway.   Now it looks like this.


Fabulous right?! :)

There is still more linoleum to rip out in the laundry room, but it is going to wait until we are ready to replace the floor.

Last weekend, Brian worked hard to reinsulate the garage side of the wall, put in a new platform, new drain pan (no future water damage we hope!) and a new water heater.  Thanks to some help from our neighbor Felipe to lift the new one into place.

Originally, we were going to go with a tankless water heater, but after further research we discovered this...

Tankless = ENDLESS hot water.
Tank + recirculating pump = INSTANT hot water.
You just need to choose which way you want to go.  Brian wanted instant.  I preferred the tankless due to the energy efficiency.  What can I say, I'm sorta turning into a tree hugger.  Not an extreme one, but if we can go green in anyway, I'm game.

Other issue?  I learned quickly about BTU's per hour.  Our current used 31,000.  The tankless?  135,000. Or something like that.  Bottom line is the demand when the tankless is operating for gas is so high that you actually would need to increase the gas line size coming into your house.  Which requires a professional plumber and more time.

Ultimately, we passed on the tankless for the tank + recirculating pump in the interest of instant hot water for Brian.  He didn't want to wait for hot water to reach the faucet.  Even if it was only a 30 second wait...   I deferred on this one for the inconvenience that would have been having to install the tankless for a professional.  It would have meant more time with no hot water.  And a little bit more money.  I did, however, convince Brian to get the energy star rated gas tank.  A little higher BTU than the similar non-energy star version and about $100 more, but more efficient and environmentally friendly.

All told, Brian only encountered three problems.  First was difficulty manuevering the new tank into the enclosure -- the pipes were too low & had to be replaced.  Second was getting it to fit into the enclosure -- the existing gas valve stuck out too far hitting the tank and needed to be replaced.  The second was the more annoying because it caused another trip to Home Depot (which was closed at time of discovery) and thus another day without hot water.  The third was most annoying because it caused another day of delay for another trip to Home Depot -- the water pipes going into/out of the tank were the wrong size.

Here it is installed!

But now the new tank is in and working perfectly.  Some sort of pipe issue for Brian to solve, but we have hot water, so I'm good. :)  Onto clean up, drywall replacement, painting, tile, hallway floor replacement and new washer/dryer.... it's going to be a long process!

So have you ever had to replace a water heater?  Did you go with the new tankless water heaters?

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