small reno, big changes: week thirteen and fourteen

Since the process is winding down, Jessica combined weeks 13 and 14. Emma and herself have been back home for a bit now, getting accustomed to their new surroundings, moving furniture back, and seeking out any issues there may still be.

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Week Thirteen/Week Fourteen

Monday

I took the day off so I could clean up our place a little bit and drive out to my mom’s to pick up more of our stuff. I tried to limit it to things I knew we really wanted in our place and also that would help us organize and clear out a couple of areas. I grabbed our front entrance stuff, some more clothes and even some artwork (because no front entrance is complete without some artwork – especially a piece by Penny Jo Buckner!). It may be a little victory but our front entrance is mostly done, minus the hanging plants we want to place on the white shelf.

decorated entrywayTuesday

Emma and I had to drive out to my mom’s place again. Our contractor and the ventilation guy were scheduled to do some more work at our place on Wednesday and so we had to make sure our dogs weren’t around to bark at them all day. While at my mom’s we filled up another car load, this time taking clothes, kitchen stuff, some decorative stuff, and books.

Wednesday

The HVAC guy came in the morning an installed our range hood and the bathroom fan. Our contractor was there in the afternoon and hooked up our washer, fixed our leaking toilet, and dealt with a list of a dozen small things that we had noticed over the past couple of days.

Thursday

Our contractor finished up the last few things from the list we gave him. Our place is looking pretty nice! Emma and I also grabbed more stuff from my mom’s and brought the dogs home again. We carefully planned out what will fit in my mom’s truck for our last big moving day on Saturday, when we’ll bring in the big stuff – like our mattress, chairs and clothes boxes. We also started to put together our shelving unit and plugged in all of our electronics (because there is some TV watching that we need to do ASAP).

Week Fourteen

During week fourteen, Emma and I made a couple trips out to my mom’s to grab our mattress, chairs, living room table and smaller things like artwork so we could start hanging up our stuff so our place could start to feel more homey.

decorated living roomOur contractor also stopped by briefly and installed our shower shelves. We also had to pay Jostar the remainder of our balance for the renovation. So: goodbye social life, and hello paying off debt as quickly as possible! Honestly though, it’s all been worth it. This renovation has made our tiny place feel a lot bigger and solved a lot of issues we’d had with it regarding storage, lighting and bumping into each other constantly. Plus, it’s only going to get better as we’re not completely done. We still have to purchase our murphy bed/sofa, which will free up some floor space for when guests come over, and we still need to buy the Molo wall, which will allow both Emma and me some privacy, not only from each other but also when guests are over. We could effectively separate our living room from our kitchen, when necessary! I’m really looking forward to these purchases and plan to scrimp and save so we can afford them by Summer 2015! All in all, it was an incredibly stressful experience, but totally worth it.

Photos from Week Thirteen/Week Fourteen

nothing from pondering

You would think with all this free time, I would be writing.

Not sure if it’s been all the cloudy days, my own personal brand of stubbornness that I don’t have anything to do or say(which isn’t true), or the possibility that I shouldn’t even be writing. Ever. But we’re always our worst critics.

As I ponder the future of this blog and what I could put on it, I’d like to send a question into the world. What methods do you use when needing inspiration? Or rather, what inspires you?

Feel free to leave comments, pictures, song lyrics, etc below in the comments.

small reno, big changes: week twelve

This week in Jessica and Emma’s renovation series, they’re almost-sort-of-kind-of-it-was-snowing-what-could-you-do? moved back in to their place! That was a bad weather weekend for everyone. HOWEVER, the renovation journey is nearly over, and I look forward to posting completed photos when Jessica sends them to me. Turquoise walls, my friends. It will always be summer in their condo now.

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Monday

The contractor installed our sink and toilet. I put on all of our kitchen cabinet’s handles, and built the steel piping for the open shelving in the kitchen.

Tuesday

Busy day for our contractor; he installed the shower hardware, bathroom radiator, bathroom mirror, kitchen shelving rails, range hood, kitchen cabinet valance.

Also, the electrician was in. They installed the under counter lighting, a light for the shower area, our dishwasher and our bathroom radiator.

bathroom mirror and sinkWednesday

Electrician was in again to finish up some more work. He added an outlet for our washing machine, a thermostat for our bathroom radiator and made sure all of the switch plates were changed.

Thursday

Clint came in and did some touch-ups and re-patched some wall that was poked and dented during the renovation and put another coat on the chartreuse walls. That evening Emma and I decided to make the one white wall turquoise. Luckily, Clint is really great at allowing us to change up the paint job with little time left to spare.

Friday

Clint finished up some more painting, and covered the white wall in turquoise! We officially don’t have any painted white walls anymore! It was a good decision!

Saturday/Sunday

Emma and I had planned to move all of our stuff this weekend but since Edmonton (also, most of the province) was slammed with a massive snow storm, we decided to cancel our moving van because the roads were downright terrible and I’m a nervous winter driver. Seriously, I’m like Tina Belcher freaking out when I have to drive on bad roads! So instead, Emma and I took my mom’s car (with all-wheel drive and winter tires) and filled it to the brim and shoved the dogs in the car, and took back roads to get what we needed into the city to start living there.

Photos from Week Twelve

my career break

Today is my last day of work.

This may seem abrupt, but let me assure you, it’s overdue. My path, while interlocked most of the time with Brandon’s, has been veering off into its own weird little place. I’ve always wondered why I haven’t been happy in office work, and yet I kept coming back to it. It was a security blanket of sorts. I had the most experience in administration and office environments, so I continued to find employment there, but it was never where my heart lay. I thought it may be the only reasonable outcome for me, even when it made me miserable, angry, and generally not a fun person to be around.

I try to keep this blog on the positive side, but if you’ve been reading my Twitter, you’ve seen my 140-character rants. I finally realized this job was stifling me, and there would be no growth within. Unfortunately, I’m one of those people that has to like her work, and won’t be happy with just a paycheque. I don’t have the patience to “stick with it” until I find another job, start my own organizing business, or whatever people do these days when they don’t like their stuffy office jobs. So I put my notice in a couple weeks ago, and dealt with the judgement from others while trying to wrap up work I didn’t care about. I wanted to care, and if I did, I may have stayed longer. Though I’m now sure even that wouldn’t have been enough of a reason. I know I have the ability to care about things, just apparently nothing I’m currently making money from.

That’s what I’m hoping to change. December is an insane month to quit a job in, but if anyone’s going to do a colossally stupid* thing to their career in December, it’s going to be me. Even if I feel it’s 100% the right decision, I still have my doubts. I’m not totally sure what I’m going to be doing in the next few months, but I found something online called a “career break“, which I think is the most appropriate thing I appear to be doing right now. Not even sure I was here long enough to call it a career. In any case, I need a change.

I need work that inspires me, that encourages me, that drives me to create. I need a space where I feel purposeful, challenged, and encouraged.

I plan to spend December working on my blog, improving my writing in both quality and frequency, completing my redesign correspondence course, and getting in a ton more cat snuggles, because why not?

double cat

 

* I shouldn’t be so self-deprecating. This is the right choice for me, and I’m happy I made it.

small reno, big changes: week eleven

This week in Jessica & Emma’s renovation series, everything’s coming together, and it’s looking fantastic!

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Monday

The contractor and I met on Monday morning and discussed how he plans to cut the countertops and also the timeline of everything as we’re pushing to have the renovation completed by Friday, November 28th so Emma and I can move in that Saturday/Sunday (which gives them about two weeks).

The tiler was also in on Monday; working hard to get the rest of the bathroom tiled so they can move onto the backsplash once the contractor has that down.

Tuesday

Some of the countertop is down, and the rest of the subway tile in the bathroom is in.

Wednesday

The rest of the countertop is down and the subway tile in the kitchen is mostly up.

kitchen countertop

Thursday

The sink and cooktop have been cut into the countertop. All of the subway tile is in and grouted! The tilers also finish off a small portion of the shower tiling. We were about two boxes of tile short, unfortunately.

Friday

Picked up our bathroom door from Clint. He did such a great job on it. Check it out!

flaming door

The paint he used is a nice glossy flame colour which smoothed out all of the roughness of the door so it should be really easy to clean it now!

Saturday/Sunday

I had some help from our friend, Sarah, to drag our Miele washer and dryer down from our storage unit. Sarah is a pro washer/dryer mover, I swear to god! She hauled those babies down with so much ease. She’s one tough badass!

After unwrapping the washer and dryer I noticed that we only had a plug for a dryer but not our washer. We previously had a combo unit which only needed one outlet. Luckily, we have lots of room in our electrical panel so I asked our electrician to add an outlet when he was in there the following week.

I also put together a cabinet from Ikea that we thought would look nice in the bathroom but upon actually putting it in there we decided we don’t like it at all. So back to the drawing board to find a cabinet or shelving unit that we’ll like.

Photos from Week Eleven

small reno, big changes: week ten

Monday

The electrician came and installed the large radiator in the living room and the lights for the hallway, living room and kitchen. I’m so glad they ended up coming when they did because our place was starting to get REALLY cold as we had a cold snap on that started around Saturday night (and lasted the rest of the week). We had dropped off a small heater to run for the tilers on Saturday and when I popped by to drop off our lights on Monday morning our place was frigid so I ran the heater again. I told the electricians to keep it on until the radiator was installed. We can’t risk bursting and damaging pipes because of the cold weather.

We noticed that after the electrician were done for the day, the tilers popped by for an hour or two and did a bit of tiling.

On Monday evening, Emma and I rented a cargo van and picked up two bedroom cabinets from Ikea. They didn’t have all of the pieces so we ordered ordered some from online because we are extremely impatient.

Tuesday

Emma and I took the cargo van and filled it with our oven, the Ikea stuff from Monday and some other small things and brought it all to our place. Luckily, my brother and his friend helped out as Emma hurt her wrist the week before and could only carry small stuff.

Wednesday

The electrician showed up again to finish some more work. They installed these space-age light switches. I have no idea how to work them…but they look fancy!

light switchesThe tilers also came by and finished up the shower tiles.

bathroom new tileEmma and I looked at ways to improve the efficiency of our radiators. With only one radiator hooked up it’s kinda chilly in our place (about 14 degrees). We found Novitherm which makes heat reflectors for radiators. It’s supposed to help improve the heat circulation by reflecting the heat back out into the room instead of absorbing into the wall it’s against.

Thursday

The tilers started the subway tile in the bathroom. We also found out that we don’t have enough subway tile for the bathroom and for our backsplash (because we want it to go to the top of our kitchen cabinets) and, frankly, that’s a lot of tile. Luckily, there’s lots of subway tile in stock from our supplier so getting some more is not an issue! Phew!

Friday

Nothing happened for some reason.

Saturday

Emma and I spent a good 8 hours putting up all of the cabinet doors and carousels in the kitchen. One of the carousels and doors doesn’t quite work but we also cleaned up all of the excess boxes and debris that had been collecting over the past several weeks. We needed to clean a spot for our contractor so on Monday he could bring in his saw and cut our countertops. It was actually really nice to sweep our brand new floors and give them a test run! I’m now looking forward to giving them a decent mopping.

kitchen cupboardsPhotos from Week Ten.

 

small reno, big changes: week nine

Monday

Emma and I met with our contractor and discussed our solution to that 10 inch gap in our base cabinets. Our contractor was wonderful and said he’ll do what he can. We basically asked him to build us something that would allow us to have a pull-out garbage, recycling and utensil drawer. He thinks he can whip something up with some spare Ikea parts, and the pullout mechanisms we bought.

Tuesday

I ended up getting the electrical issue sorted by making numerous phone calls to many different people. It was extremely frustrating and could have been completely avoided if the electrician had only just explained to ourselves and the contractor what they were planning to do. As the cooktop line had not been pulled when the oven line was put in, they now have to pull another line from the electrical panel, go through the top of the bathroom studs, then follow the last stud down to the bottom of the wall in between the walls for the kitchen and the bathroom. They will then poke a hole in the kitchen beneath our base cabinets and run the line under there. No one will know the difference (except all of your lovely folks reading this) as we’re installing a toe-kick on the base cabinets. Plans like this should REALLY be shared so I was pretty peeved because it meant the contractor held off on installing some cabinets and closing up the shower walls (which need to dry). Luckily as the tilers weren’t able to start until Friday no time was lost (it was close though).

Wednesday

Our contractor built the pull-out cabinet. Look at his cool concoction!kitchen contraption

The top is a little tall so he’ll have to cut it down but I think it’ll work well, and we don’t have to have a custom shop to make it for us! He also closed up the shower wall and glued down the shower seat.

Thursday

The contractor installed some cover panel pieces in the kitchen and the t-bars for our drop ceiling.

Friday

The tilers started their work on the bathroom, and will be working on the bathroom for the next week or so, except the days that the electricians are in.

bathroom shower tiling

Saturday/Sunday

The tilers are really great and even worked a bit on Saturday (I think our contractor mentioned we’re extremely anxious about getting into our place as soon as possible)!

Emma and I also had to return and pick up stuff at Ikea. It feels like I spend every weekend at Ikea now.

On Sunday, I cut, sanded and oiled our shelves for our open shelving by the rangehood in the kitchen. It only took a couple hours and I’m really happy with how the shelves look. Now to put the whole thing together next week!

Photos from Week Nine.