Tuesday, March 29, 2011

It always seems like a good idea...

To tear down walls and expose bricks before you actually do it. It was our last weekend with Pinky the Dumpster so we had to get all of the plaster we were going to get off the walls, down and out of the house. The good news is, we managed to get all the plaster down, the bad news is we found some surprises.

Beginning of the day

Ripping off the plaster
Lesson #123,324,423: Never expect anything from the previous owner's, you'll just be disappointed. (Because clearly we didn't learn this lesson from the master bedroom or half bathroom.)

After we took down the walls, Ryan noticed that the same corner of the house that looked like it had a leak upstairs (in the third bedroom) appeared to have a leak downstairs. So, although the home inspector assumed the leak upstairs had been fixed, it had not so we were stuck dealing with the issue. Ryan went up on the roof to check it out and it appears that where the addition attaches to the house needs to be re-sealed, awesome. One more project to add to our never ending list.

That upper right corner appears to be wet... yikes!

No more plaster but lots of fun project unveiled!
Ryan also noticed that there is a crack above the door frame, probably because the weight of the bricks was too much for the wood. Another project to tackle before we can actually start putting the kitchen back together...

On a positive note, Saturday our new fridge and oven were delivered and boy are they beauties. Now if only we had a kitchen to put them in...

Why hello there lovely fridge!

Welcome to the neighborhood, double oven!

We only had to take off one door to get the fridge in...
Four weeks in and we're finally done with demo... and there's finally a small light at the end of the tunnel :) Even if the clouds roll in and cover it up from time to time.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Life without a Kitchen...

Is rough. Especially, when you love to cook and entertain. How are we getting by? Well, besides my our slow cooker (which I am now so sick of I can't even look at) and my (crap, is this what happens when you get married?) our toaster oven, my Dad recently let us borrow his electric skillet and it's a life saver.

Cooking up some lobster raviolis in a tomato cream sauce. Nice picture, I know.

Filet? Yes, please!
So life isn't so bad, right? Well not in the cooking department (if you count not being bad as cooking on a chair) but in the laundry department? That's a different story. Kevin and Ryan made an executive decision to cut my washing machine line without even telling me. So we've been carting our dirty laundry (did I mention I do bikram yoga?) to my parent's houses every chance we get!
Spotted, laundry behind the Monkster

We're itching to get out of this second floor (and I'm literally itching, I think I'm allergic to the dust), but we're getting by. Anyone want some house guests? I cook....

Thursday, March 24, 2011


"Our" cabinets are famous! Well, we haven't exactly ordered them yet, but they WILL be ours! I love when I see pictures of items I've chosen in style blogs/ magazines. It just confirms that I have good taste. It shows me how the items will look all put together (and not in a crappy showroom).

Source: Southern Living

Source: Southern Living 
We're only doing the glass doors to frame the window and obviously, we won't have wood counter tops or white subway tiles but you get the idea. I'm loving the dark brown. Now if only we could make some progress on this kitchen.... laying bricks takes longer than you'd think. Oh, no? You thought it would take forever? Hm, it must be just me that's delusional. :)

Our goal is for a May kitchen. One month down, two to go. Yikes...

The One

Although we haven't exactly finalized our floor tile plans (code for: we still have no idea), I got our sample subway tiles in! I chose three to order so I had some options.

The first one I chose was green. I'm pretty sure I've been talking about this particular tile since I saw it in one of the houses before we bought our house.

Palm Leaf

The second I chose was a greyish blue. I liked how it looked in pictures, especially against the dark cabinets.

Ocean Grey
BUT it kind of reminds me of a bathroom...

The third tile I chose was a variation of the bluish grey. I was pretty sure it wasn't for me but I wanted to see it in person.

Frosted Ocean Grey
Um, yeah. Definitely, not for me.

They're all pretty but I don't think I could ever get past the blue reminding me of a bathroom (does anyone else feel that way?). So, I'm going with the green. It was my first instinct and even though I tried to give the others a chance, it just wasn't working. It's not you, it's me.

Friday, March 18, 2011


in love with curtains! I just saw a post about these curtains and I'm absolutely obsessed.

Firenze Embroidered Panel
Source: Ballard Designs

I think I've decided to only get curtains in the bedroom for the one window above the radiator and I think that these would go PERFECTLY! Of course, they're entirely too expensive (over $200 per panel) so I think I need to go to the fabric store so I can make them. At first I wanted curtains with some yellow in them but we'll see what I find...

Just for fun (and because it's FRIDAY), let's look at what the bedroom used to look like...

House with previous owner's furniture
Closing Day
I'm pretty happy with the result :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Treasure Hunting

As I was walking to the bus this morning I got a call from Lowes, they were calling to tell me that our appliances were in and could be delivered before our delivery date of next Saturday. I'm pretty sure we're good and next Saturday will still be entirely too soon to have all of our appliances sitting in our family room. Pretty sure.

The past few days we've still been re-laying and re-pointing brick. There was a leak by the window at some point and the mortar around those bricks had completely deteriorated hence the loose bricks.

Monday's handy work

We started to the right of the window and are moving left because we're going to leave a small portion of the wall exposed where we won't have any cabinets. We want to get all our practice in before this area.  When Ryan asked me if I wanted to have exposed bricks in the kitchen my first reaction was "Does a bear poop in the forest?" because seriously, the more exposed bricks the better in my mind. 

The bricks we (and by we, I mean Ryan) re-layed on Tuesday were a little tricky and caused us to play a little game of Memory.

Cleaning the area where the bricks were 
Attempting to keep them in order

We managed to get almost all of them back in to place (even after Ryan accusing me of moving the bricks) and we would have put them all back, that is, if we hadn't run out of mortar. You'd think we would have learned from our staining fiasco to always get too much versus not enough but, not so much.

Lesson #231,242,324: Always get too many supplies, you'll always need them when it's too late to go to the store to get them.

Starting off strong 
2 bricks left and no more mortar, womp womp...

While we were cleaning out some of the bricks and dust we found some "treasures".

Bones of some sort

I think I'd rather the newspaper as a time capsule over the bones.... Just saying.

Monday, March 14, 2011

I like how you Dwell

So originally, I had decided to just register for a yellow coverlet at Pottery Barn and call it a day. That is until I saw this post at Apartment Therapy:

& I saw this beauty...

Yellow + Grey = yes, please!
When I checked out the source I found out it was Dwell Studio for Target. Of course, I checked the DC Target store and just like my Dwell Studio pillow, it was sold out. Sigh. UNTIL I realized I would be in Dover that next weekend and when I checked the Dover store, cha ching, it was in stock :) So while my Dad was checking out patio sets I went straight for the bedding section to pick up my new coverlet and shams. I'm still not totally sold on the shams (especially since they're an extra $25 a pop) but I love the coverlet.

Winter look

Summer look

I kept the shams for now (they're not on the bed) but I'm debating if I even need them. I kind of like the mismatched look. Oh Dwell Studio, what did I ever do before you?

Week 2

It's been a busy week at the house. We got a plumber in who is willing to tackle our pipes. So that's a step in the right direction. Ryan was also working on getting all of the trash out of our house before we said farewell to the big pink dumpster. Of course, once Ryan started tearing down the moldings and plaster around the windows (so he could throw it all in the dumpster) he noticed that the bricks were loose. No bueno. So the most recent project he's been working on is re-pointing the bricks and boy is that a slow process.

Ryan's new trade, brick laying.
We also have no idea what's in the dust between the brick mortar and the walls. Is it lead? Is it asbestos? Needless to say, we keep our masks on. Caley has also become quite the acrobat. Last night I was cleaning some of the bricks with Ryan and of course, Caley had managed to weasel her way downstairs (we've tried just about everything to keep her on the second floor).  Next thing I know I hear Caley whining and Ryan's like, "She's probably down the basement." So I look down the basement (which consists of me looking through the floor boards) and sure enough, she's on the bar down the basement. Just as I start to get concerned, she jumps up (probably a good 3 or 4 feet) catches on to the joists and pulls herself back up to the first floor. Crisis averted.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Catching up...

Clearly, I'm lazy about uploading my pictures from this past weekend but since then, we haven't made much progress. We have,  however, been at Home Depot every night (where they're putting in a TJ Maxx, color me excited!) buying and exchanging wood to finish up the sub floor. Today we have a plumber coming in to survey the disaster pipes and give us a quote on how much it will cost to move them all, and I mean ALL. Ryan also has our design pretty much done (thanks to the Ikea design program) which makes me very excited. We've only had one incident with the dumpster (we won't mention how the incident had my lovely husband-to-be screaming out the window at midnight to two guys who were illegally dumping and then running after them) and we've managed to not have to get any take out yet, thanks to the slow cooker (currently cooking our jambalaya). I think that alone is a win on our part. So all is well in the Tkaires household.

In my free time, I started playing around with inspirations boards on project wedding and this is one of my favorites. It has the grey bridesmaid dresses, the anti-strapless wedding dress and the flowers that I want and I love how it all looks together.

The outdoor wedding picture is the actual spot where we will be getting married (as long as there's no rain).
You like? I've been such a proponent of a non strapless wedding gown that I'm curious to see if that stance stays once I try some on....

Monday, March 7, 2011

Yellow Me

While Ryan and Kevin were hard at work on plumbing, Elena and I went out shopping and found these beauties.

Ryan is not so interested in my throw pillow obsession.
When we got back from our victorious trip, we walked in to Kevin watching a how to solder you tube video on his phone while Ryan soldered the pipes in the basement. Nothing like learning on the fly....

Week One

Our first week living upstairs wasn't too bad. Ry and I still managed to eat at home (thanks to the toaster oven and slow cooker) and hanging out in the second bedroom wasn't the wort thing in the world.  Besides Caley's constant attempts to escape, the animals also seemed to be fairing pretty well and all is good in the world, or just my world ;).

Ryan finished ripping up the old floors during the week so come Saturday his to-do list was quite extensive.

Ryan's list
We woke up super early to get to Home Depot so Ryan could get all the wood he would need for the weekend, while I was tasked with tile.

Note to self: Everyone and their mother is at Home Depot on a Saturday, if you think it's going to be a quick trip, you are sorely mistaken.

Ryan picking out some wood for the floors.

We had a successful trip and although there were no trucks to rent to bring all of the wood back to the house, Ryan got creative and rented a Uhaul because clearly it was not fitting in the mini. I also found some tiles that I liked so I was happy to get an idea of where the kitchen was going. We're still looking around but I am definitely more drawn towards the earthy tones.

I'm thinking the floors will be more towards the right tile and the granite will be the lighter color. I was using the wood to see what it would look like against our floors (cherry) and the cabinets (dark brown oak). I also found myself some green subway tile :)

Ryan got a huge start on ripping up the sub floors Saturday and it was all starting to come together.... 

Sunday was another big day for us but my pictures are on my camera so I'll upload them later. Here's a sneak peak:

Ryan with his manly tools.
I'd say we're/ Ryan's making progress.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

It all comes down to the chandeliers

I'm totally belated on posting these pictures but we've been very busy (clearly).

A few weeks ago me, my mom and my future mother in law checked out a few possible reception sites and we found the ONE. It's perfect. It has all the elements I was looking for and it's only about 40 minutes from my Mom's house. The place is called Riverdale Manor. It has 6 acres of land on the Conestoga River outside of Lancaster city. It's quite the beauty.

The outside and deck.

Inside the ballroom. Swoon. I love the exposed beams and the chandeliers.

Picture the snow gone and 150 white chairs facing the river.

Clearly I had a list and I was going to make sure everything was checked off. This is set up for a wedding inside the pavilion but we'll use the pavilion as shade for our cocktail hour.

Chandeliers? Yes, please! 
We also checked out a vineyard (fail) and an Inn (score). I made a big deal of not wanting to stay off of a highway on my wedding night, so the Inn is perfect. 63 rooms and they're all different. It's like a mini village which will be perfect for the wedding weekend.

Get excited, only 529 days to go (darn that wedding countdown).