Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Challenge Yourself

There are times in life when you need to show yourself "you can do better".  10 years later, I am finishing the race I never started.  Nobody wants to be a quitter; somewhere in me, I never wanted to give up.

As a senior in high school working at a fitness gym part time, I made a commitment I never finished.  We agreed as a gym to sign up and train for the PF Changs Half Marathon (I remember it was only around $75 back then!).  To train, I joined Cross Country at school.  Why I would sign myself up for a sport my senior year, I'm not quite sure.  I remember we ran after school in the hot summer months (year round school) while our coaches road in a truck alongside us.  They were supposed to be encouraging us, but I remember feeling pretty bitter and wishing for shade as we ran to the hospital and back and they rode by.

Turns out, I was not that good at Cross Country... I was actually literally slower than a girl with a sprained ankle.  I remember her telling me how upset she was that her ankle slowed her down and me quietly thinking "slowed you down?? I'm dying here at this pace..."  Considering that aside from Elementary School, I had never really run more than the mile you were forced to do in JR. High P.E. (band got me out of P.E. in HS), I was probably doing pretty well in hindsight (I guess - I was still slower than the girl with a sprained ankle).

Either way, I ended up quitting Cross Country before our first race and the fitness gym team and I never ran the half marathon (I think I was the only one who committed enough to actually pay).  I'm really unsure of my logic and how 13.1 miles sounded like a good idea at that point in my life, but I haven't forgotten the fact that I never did the race.  Every January since then, I have thought about this race I never did.  In fact, I have been in the mall shopping when a bunch of finishers came in and the store clapped for them.  Talk about guilt, here I am shopping and they just ran the race that I never even made it to the starting line for.

So 10 years later, I am finishing the race I never started.  I feel stronger, more confident, and have been pushing myself to new limits.  I don't want to be a quitter, and whether it has taken me 10 years to actually sign up again and commit to complete this race, I will finish.

I was crazy enough to sign up for a full marathon too on my birthday...but that's another story.  Let's start with the half, because I have to be able to do a half twice in order to do a full.  And this is just the beginning...

Friday, May 24, 2013

Gather and Mingle

Dining Room gets an upgrade





I love entertaining in my home now.  

My House: Dinner is Served

This is the post many of you have been waiting for - the kitchen & dining room remodel at:
Corner Lane

  • Major Changes: changed ceiling lights, sanded and restained cabinets, new appliances, new flooring, new countertop (sparkly silestone, my biggest expense so far), painted
  • Still to Come: installing wall insert with wine racks and built in trash/recycle, adding stone to underneath the breakfast bar counter area where it is not stained to match, curtains/blinds/awning, organizing inside the cabinets with added shelves and racks




Opening up the wall for the built in recycle/trash built in (on the bottom) and wine rack and display shelves (on top).  Coming soon...

 Look at that mess!

My House: Style & Grace

Sorry family and friends!  I just got internet last week (I was waiting as long as I could...).  Here's a look from the front so you can see how my lovely home has grown:
Corner Lane

Outside: Before (above) & After
  • Major changes: new roof, added orchid tree, planted roses & garden, added solar lights
  • Still to come: new front windows, painting the house and trim (maybe gray & white), installing window flower boxes, making grass happen, getting a garage door opener

I love my orchid blossom tree and my cat Athena loves that foxglove plant in the front

Entry: Before & After
  • Major changes: new front door, new tile in entryway, painted security door (white to black), removed outside paneling from the inside of the house (yes, it was there)
  • Still to come: touching up paint job on front door, adding vinyl lettering to the front door that says "hello", replacing yellow security glass, fixing light placement (the door hits the light), maybe moving the dryer vent (the dryer vents right to the front door), find an apothecary chest for under the waterfall
 BEFORE (view from the outside):

AFTER (view from the inside): 



Sunday, January 13, 2013

Hello Progress!

Things are coming together and a lot of changes are happening now!

My dad removed the wall in the living room that blocked the flow of the space:

 The flooring in the house has been removed by my dad, me, Rance, and the subcontractors.  
The previous owners used concrete instead of tile grout so the subcontractors had to use a jackhammer and they still need to use a floor grinder :

We removed the outside paneling on the inside wall - the remaining residue is liquid nails - we still need to have the subcontracters plaster the walls (they should be coming this week!):

The subcontractors scrapped the popcorn ceiling in the whole house.  The ceiling still needs to be re-textured this week when the plasterers come.  But wow, that's what a bare bones ceiling looks like:

I removed the wallpaper border in the bathroom:
My dad is working on the wiring of the house.  
The light switches were in strange places.  For example, the switch to turn on the garage light was behind the garage door.  So you had to close the door to turn on the light and open it back up again.  
Here he had to open up the outside paneling (which is coming off anyway because of the holes) to redo the kitchen wiring.  He is hooking up a dimmer light above the sink, he took out the big box light that was there, and he is putting in 4 recessed ceiling light spots that can be angled or tilted.  

The kitchen and bathroom cabinets have been removed from the walls.  I've been sanding the cabinets down with the help of Rance.  We are waiting for a cabinet refinisher to give us an estimate (should come Monday!) on what he would charge to sand the grooves and stain the cabinets:

The biggest project has been removing the dreaded patio addition.  It had mold, the roof leaked, and it just needs to come out.  We are doing this part in pieces - but it should be coming down soon once the subcontractors frame out my french doors and window for the living room:

This is a strange angle.  This is the old outside of the house hidden underneath the sheet rock.  From what we can tell, there used to be a window on the left and sliding glass doors on the right before he enclosed it and turned it into two bedrooms.  
I will be putting in double French doors on the left (towards the kitchen) and a one of these paneled windows on the right on the living room side.  This will bring light into the space.

The roof is pretty scary in this patio - it leaks and it had mold.  That is coming out for sure and we will have to get a new patio roof. 

Rance and my dad removed the sheetrock and I lugged it out to our big dumpster.  This place is a mess, but as you can see from the picture below, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  I can see the lilght.

My dad started framing out the pantry - we braced the top piece in this morning to let the glue dry.  I'm really excited for this pantry - we plan on making two sliding barn doors for this area.  Plus, I will be able to put the TV against the wall that will be created when it is done:

Good things are happening.  I am very happy for what is to come.  
Once the walls are plastered we can paint.  I've been carrying around paint chips for weeks.
We already started picking out flooring.  I know that is last, but it is still exciting to know that I will have floors.

I cannot wait until this house becomes my home <3

♥ Don't be afraid to get a little messy fellow crafters.  
And as always,  I ♥ Do ♥ It ♥ Well. 
Love, Christin

Sunday, December 30, 2012

House Renovation

I haven't written on my blog in a long time...and yes, that may be a bit of an understatement.

I started this blog a few years ago doing small projects - a chandelier and some other Ikea Hacks, some awesome birthday gifts for my friends (I custom made them, of course they are awesome), and sharing my different passions (like my newest love/addiction: Pinterest - where I have 52 boards of inspiration @ ChristinCupcake).

Now, I'm moving into a bigger direction: a whole house.  I bought my very first house--a real fixer-upper!  My polite friends who have seen it try to say something nice and end up saying, "It needs a lot of work..." with their voice trailing off as they look around at the holes and half-finished projects.  I'm not going to lie, it does look lilke that right now.  There are a few visionaries who have made comments such as "It is going to be really nice when you finish it" and "This place is cute".  That's how I feel - put me in that category - I'm sold (in more ways then one).

My dad, or my right-hand man (or maybe I'm his right-hand man at this point), describes it as follows: "Your house is in shambles, how can you be looking at paint colors?". That's my futuristic thinking (or part of my strengths according to StrengthsQuest).  It has proven to be a valuable tool throughout this project as I am already assessing problems like "Why is the garage light switch behind the door that goes out to the garage? You have to shut that door again just to get to the light switch."  That is bad planning.  This house is a series of bad planning.  No offense to the previous homeowners, but sometimes, we can't even figure out what you were thinking.  And this is not my first house I have helped renovated either.

So I have set a goal: to have this shambly house ready to move in by my birthday.  This means I am only going to have to make one mortgage payment without actually living in the house --  sigh, it's not so bad.  My birthday is March 9th and is also right around Spring Break at work (I think we get 2.5 days off, but I'll take it.  Most working-folk don't even know what Spring Break is anymore.  I get an extended weekend to move in - and I feel very lucky for that).

So follow me along this journey as I work on getting this house into Wow -  Bam - "I can live in here"- status.  I will come up for a better name for this end-point as we go along, but it will be beautiful <3

The Pictures
So you're probably wondering what it looks like and what I have to do.  I'm only going to breeze over this now and upload more pictures later (I have a lot of other pictures, organized into folders by room of course).  Here's a few to hold you over. 

That's my house inspector down the hall and this built-in had to come out - along with the wall behind it.

Yes, this wall.   This wall blocking the fireplace view and shrinking the living room

After I bought the house and was waiting for it to close, this showed up on my outside wall.  Affectionately named "Ahhh Frog" by Rylan, this will have to go as well.   If not for me, then for my neighbors.

 This is more of that bad planning. (1) The wood is exposed and not sealed on the ceiling. (2) The security door hits the light and it is now bent

I finally scrapped all this wallpaper off the guest bath, which makes the ceilings look taller.  That light fixture is going to go too.

This room is pink, green, and purple (you can't see that side from this picture).  Oooh joy!
But it might be the future guest/exercise room.

 This room might be the future office/craft room.

 The master is lavendar and blue right now - these don't even go together...

 Yeah, that will be my kitchen. We took off the cabinets and today I am going to sand them so I can restain them.   Also, there is a fireplace in my dinning room, which could be cool.

We took out the wall.  The whole space flows better - you can see.
We took out the flooring.  My future pantry is going to be next to the support wall which has to stay (next to the wall we took out)

Pretend those 2 rooms aren't there.  This is his patio that he enclosed that we are tearing back down into the patio again.  The rooms aren't to code, there is mold growing, everything is wet from the rain last week because it rains through the roof into the rooms, he used styrofoam to insulate parts of it, other sections weren't insulated, and there is no heating or air conditioning in these rooms.  As cool as it would sound to say I have a five bedroom house, these bedrooms are gross and coming down.

We're getting the inside done before we tackle the outside.  But there's holes in the siding we need to fix.

I have to get over to the house and get to work.  Doesn't matter that I have a cold and my nose looks like Rudolph.  Time is wasting - I have to go back to work on Wednesday and like my friends say, "This place needs a lot of work..."

♥ Create a space you love fellow crafters.  
And as always,  I ♥ Do ♥ It ♥ Well. 
Love, Christin