Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Checking in

Hello, everyone! After a busy summer with very few posts (and lots of traveling), I'm checking back in. I can't believe how quickly the summer flew by! Labor Day weekend already?!?!? It's crazy.

But, as I said, we've been busy, and that always makes time pass a little more quickly. For ten weekends during the summer, we were out of town for five of them (along with a full week in there, too). We actually had a pretty good routine going, as every other weekend involved a trip somewhere, either to go to a wedding, visit with family, or hang out with friends. The weekends at home were busy, too, as we caught up on whatever we'd missed out on the previous weekend.

So, it was busy all around. We enjoyed our travels and seeing people we don't get to see regularly, and it's always fun to enjoy a trip and, at the end, start looking forward to the next one.

It's nice to have some time at home, too. We've gotten a lot done around the house, including installing a new kitchen faucet, printing and framing some wedding pictures, making plans for a kitchen update, cleaning out the garage, painting the master bathroom, repainting an office chair, putting in a new doorbell, and much more. We've also helped David's sister do some work around her house. Oh, and of course we've found time for a few trips to the pool.

This morning, we had an unexpected situation when our new faucet fell apart. I was washing some dishes in the sink, and suddenly the water stopped coming out of the faucet. I turned it off, then turned it on and off again a couple more times.... nothing. I looked under the cabinet and realized two parts that were supposed to be attached had come apart, and the water was spraying under the sink rather than through the faucet. I cleaned out everything under the cabinet, mopped up the water, and found the assembly instructions for the faucet. David got under the sink and reattached the pieces. Fortunately, it has worked fine since, so we're hoping that maybe we just didn't attach everything tightly enough the first time we installed the faucet.

Other than that, however, our projects have gone well, and we've had a great (and really hot) summer. And now, we're looking forward to the fall--cooler weather, football games, and one more wedding weekend.

Did you have a busy summer? Are you looking forward to fall? What's your favorite fall activity?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Master bathroom makeover

I don't know about anyone else, but my projects often grow to be a little bigger than I originally plan for them to be. Usually this is either because 1. in the midst of the project, I think about all the related things I'd like to work on, and think, "Well, as long as I'm already doing this...." or 2. about halfway through, something breaks or I discover it's not working properly, and we have to repair or replace it.

Fortunately, #1 was the case with the master bathroom makeover. I originally just planned to paint, but as I was painting, I figured that some new rugs and other accessories, and some new artwork (or maybe I should just say "some artwork" since all the bathroom had before was one mismatched painting) could be good. And I love the results!

Now, pictures.

First, the "before." (As you can see, I'd already started painting the ceiling and patching holes in the walls.)

 The orangey-beige paint color on the wall wasn't working for me. It really wasn't working for the brown and green color scheme that we have going in the master bedroom and bathroom. The towel bars were the cheap white builder-grade ones that were doing the room no favors. The walls were bare (except for the aforementioned picture shown above). The accessories didn't match. It was time to upgrade a few things.

After patching holes; painting the walls, ceiling, doors, and baseboards; putting in new towel bars; and adding some artwork and new accessories, here's the "after."

 I love the chocolate brown walls. I was a little concerned about using such a dark color, but I thought it would look good against the white of the ceiling, doors, and baseboards. The tub and toilet are white, too, and the flooring is a lighter color. I decided to go with it, and I'm really happy about how it turned out.

We got new towel bars and a toilet paper holder:

I thought the brown rugs with the brown walls might be too much.... brown... but I've since changed my mind. (I think the lighter flooring helps.)

I did replace the rug by the shower, but it's brown, just like the old one was. I'm thinking of changing out the one in front of the sink if I find a fun pattern I like, but I'm happy with how it looks now, too.

For the new soap dispenser and tumbler, I went with white to go along with the sink. (I'd also thought about green but couldn't find a shade of green I liked.)

And some artwork and other decor:

We do still need a new trash can, as the current one doesn't really match, has paint on it, and is a few years old and has seen better days. Oh, and I think something on the wall above the decorative towels could be good, too. Eh, we'll get there. It's hard for me to ever say a room is completely finished, because it seems there's always something I'd like to add or improve or fix up. But for right now, I'm really happy with it!

Let's do just a couple more pictures, shall we?

I'll be back later this week with more info about the artwork.

Have you painted anything lately? What's your favorite way to update or change up a room? Do projects always become bigger or take longer than you originally anticipated?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Olympic swimming (and other sports)

Happy Olympics, everyone! I love watching the Olympics (especially the Summer Games). I've been staying up late almost every night to see what's happening in London (after watching some during the day, too). I like all the sports, but swimming is my favorite. I'm a former competitive swimmer, though, so I'm probably a little biased.  :)

I'm so excited for newcomers, like Missy Franklin (who is just awesome), as well as more experienced athletes, like Michael Phelps (now the most decorated Olympian ever--what an accomplishment!), and everyone in between. One of the swimmers is even from my hometown, so that's pretty cool.

When I swam, I was never anywhere near fast enough to make it to the Olympics, but it's fun to watch and see these swimmers doing the same things I used to do--focusing on races, adjusting goggles, stretching before a race starts, going for best times (and medals). Swimmers really are a different breed, but it's cool to see the Olympians doing the same things I used to do--albeit much faster and much better.

It's fun to see them out of the pool, too.  Swimmers know how to have fun! In case you haven't seen it yet (although you probably have, as it's gone viral), here's the video the team put together before the Olympics--their take on "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen.

They're also a pretty successful group. I heard on TV this morning that the swim team is expected to bring in roughly one-third of the total medals the USA wins during this Olympics. Impressive!

I'm also enjoying the other sports. I love watching the gymnastics (gold medal for the women's team!), and of course I'm keeping up with Misty and Carrie in beach volleyball. I'm looking forward to the track and field events next week, too. I also love seeing the spotlight on London. I've been there twice, and I think it's just the coolest city ever.