Bathroom Remodel

Ever since we remodeled our kitchen (Jan 2010), we have been talking about remodeling the adjacent bathroom.  We put it off at the time because we just didn’t feel like doing it.  And we have majorly regretted it ever since.

We finally had enough and decided to just go for it.  So sometime in November, Jon decided to go into Tasmanian-devil demo mode and rip the bathroom apart.  We figured this would be the push we’d need to actually get started.

Well… then holidays came and insert any other number of excuses here.  And the bathroom remodel is still not finished.  But we’re at least making progress!

First we took everything out (including the toilet… not fun having to trek up 2 flights of stairs to go to the bathroom if you happen to be in the basement.  Or, worse, rush a toddler up the 2 flights of stairs so he can get to the potty on time).  That also included the light fixture (which we always hated) and the linoleum floor.  So we were essentially left with a little, dark box.  Ooh lovely.


No light!


Bye-Bye toilet!

It didn’t sit that way for too terribly long.  We soon got to work sanding and spackling walls so that we could repaint the bathroom.  It needed fresh paint desperately!  That took a few days since we did a few coats, but all in all wasn’t too difficult.  It was easily managed after Ian went to bed each night.


Doesn’t everyone just LOVE painting?

Next we installed the new light fixture.  It was pretty easy, and it was SO NICE having a light source in “the box” again.


We have LIGHT!

Then we moved on to the tile floor.  We wanted it to match the kitchen tile…FORTUNATELY it was still available- and not discontinued.  We had to do quite a bit of prep-work before we could finally lay the tile.  But, a few weeks later and the floor was installed, grouted, cleaned, and sealed!  Woo!


Tile dry fit


Grouted! Ready for a good clean and some sealer!

Now we’re working on installing the baseboard molding.  Once that’s in, we’ll be able to install the toilet and the new vanity- and we’ll be so close to having a complete bathroom again!  I’m so excited!

What’s the latest DIY remodel project you’ve started (or completed)?

Read Together Tuesdays {Series}


As you know, in addition to raising a wonderful, spunky, spirited toddler and working full time, I’m also a Barefoot Books Ambassador. Sure, this entails selling books to my family, friends, community, and beyond. But it also means I have this awesome privilege of spreading the joy of reading and encouraging literacy at all ages. With that in mind, I’ve decided to start a new series on the blog where I’ll feature a great book from Barefoot that’s great for reading together.

Today I’m featuring this dreamy paperback: “An Island in the Sun”


I absolutely adore this book for many, many reasons. The illustrations alone would be reason enough to pick this up. One glance and you’ll have trouble catching your breath- they are just that beautiful.   islandcollage

But I also love the floating, swirling text and the simple, light rhyme. At it’s core, it’s a seek and find type of book that encourages children to spot the items on the page as the text is read. But it’s so much more than just that. The minimalist story line allows for (and fosters) reader/child interaction with the book; it just begs for you to add onto the tale, imagining what else you may encounter while sailing to an island (and after you arrive).

“An Island in the Sun” is recommended for ages 1-5, and if you buy it before the Winter Sale ends on February 2nd, you can snag it for just $3.50. If you’re stuck in a book rut and looking for something new, you can’t go wrong with this!

The shed is FINALLY done!

If you recall, a few months ago my husband and I started building a shed. We were really excited when the shed materials arrived, and we made great progress the first and second days.  Then life got in the way, and after some time we made some more awesome progress.

Then it rained. And we got busy. And, and, and. There’s always an excuse.

Well we finally FINALLY got it finished! (As long as you exclude the lattice we are planning to attach to the bottom). And I must say that I am mighty impressed.


The finished shed!

Doesn’t it look fantastic? I don’t know why we didn’t do this whole project years ago. But it’s done now and we have moved the lawn mowers into it and freed up SO MUCH space in the garage! I’m so excited and super proud of our accomplishment. It feels great to finally finish a big project…now on to the next one!

Have you finished a huge (or maybe not so huge) project recently?  What was it?

Shed progress

We’d been hard at work getting the shed built.  Here’s a look at our progress to date through pictures!

Starting to apply the tar paper moisture barrier

Starting to apply the tar paper moisture barrier


Roof paneling is up- time to attach the drip edge!

Roof paneling is up- time to attach the drip edge!


Roofing time...Ian thought he could climb up and help. We disagreed.

Roofing time…Ian thought he could climb up and help. We disagreed.


Finished the shingles!

Finished the shingles!


Door is done!

Door is done!


Door painted and siding is going up!

Door painted and siding is going up!


As you can see, we are so close to being done! I can’t wait to finally have it finished and be able to use it!!

Shed Building Update (Day Two Progress)

Well it’s been hard to work on the shed AND chronicle our adventure, so these updates are ending up spaced further apart than I had hoped.  But, hey, I’m impressed I’m getting the update written at all- so there you go!

Day two was trying.  Us trying to get the wall sheathing attached, us trying to get the rafters up, us trying to avoid Ian, us trying not to kill each other.  But, even though it was trying, it was successful.  If you remember, this is how we ended day one:

End of day one

End of day one


First order of business on day two was to build the rafters.  Jon mostly did this while Ian and I ran to the store to get groceries (it was weekly grocery day!) and to buy more supplies.  Even though the kit was supposed to come with sufficient nails, etc…we ran out.  So either we were overzealous with our nailing, we used the wrong nails, or the kit grossly underestimated the number of nails required.  Regardless, this gave Jon a bit of a break from Ian and allowed him to get a lot done.  He got all the wood cut, so that by the time we got back home (and finished lunch), he was ready for my help for assembly.  Fortunately, Ian was taking his nap so we managed to get them all built AND attached to the shed without a little monster running around.  No small miracle!

The rafters!

The rafters!

After that, we got to work attaching the wall sheathing.  This is just large (4’x8′) pieces of OSB.  VERY heavy and unwieldy.  We ended up using car jacks to help hold them in place (no way I could do that by myself!) while Jon nailed them down.  He did just enough nails to keep them in place, knowing we would go back later and finish putting the nails in.  The most important thing was getting them up first!

Ian woke up sometime after we were halfway through with the wall sheathing.  He played pretty well outside without much needed from us and even tried his hand at hammering a bit.  He was extremely excited that the shed had walls and was like his own little play house!

Ian playing with scrap wood in the shed

Ian playing with scrap wood in the shed


Jumping off OSB

Jumping off OSB

We ate some dinner, relaxed a bit, and then sent Ian off to bed.  We had a few hours of daylight left, and we managed to get all the wall sheathing up before it got too dark…granted, it still got dark (and we had to pull out our battery operated lantern!), but we got it all done- well, all except the gables!  And here’s our very dark, very blurry, end of day two photo:

Blurry and dark, but that’s the shed!


Whew!  This has certainly been an experience, to say the least, but I have to say that I’m pretty impressed with our DIY and carpentry skills thus far!  We shall see what the next days have in store…

Shed Building Update (Day One Progress)

The weekend was beyond busy, so I’m just now getting to this post, but here’s a shed progress update from day one!

Saturday morning we got up bright and early (mostly thanks to Ian), and took care of all our “morning” stuff (feeding pets, eating breakfast, etc) before heading outside to get down to business!  We started by cutting the floor joists and trying to determine the best way to “frame” the floor to ensure it stays level. We eventually decided to just build it on our cinderblock foundation (which we prepared a while ago).

The foundation

The foundation

Doing the floor actually wasn’t nearly as difficult as we had feared. Probably the hardest thing was keeping Ian occupied. We set up a picnic blanket with some toys, books, coloring books, and crayons. He was able to entertain himself for about 20 minutes before he came running to us, ready to play. Eventually, however, we did get the floor framed and the plywood sheeting attached.


The floor joists assembled, and Ian’s space



The shed has a floor!


And it's level!

And it’s level!

Next, it was time to start the walls.  Again, this wasn’t too terrible… we were feeling like we might have this shed building stuff down! We had to carry a lot of 2x4s to the backyard, and of course right about this time Ian started getting very clingy, so we had to come up with some way to get him out of our hair. Finally, inspiration struck! Ian LOVES to help. So we decided to give him a “very important” task to keep him busy and out of the way- carrying small pieces of wood from the driveway to the backyard. He was thrilled to be involved and helping, and he took his job very seriously… we had 12 pieces of wood in the backyard by the end of the day.

Carrying pieces of wood

Carrying pieces of wood

Fortunately this allowed us to get all the walls built. Clever mommy and daddy!

Walls built

Walls built


And starting to go p!

And starting to go up!

Putting up the walls went pretty smoothly. Ian “helped” by doling out nails. He also found the pen and started decorating the floor before we realized what was happening. I quickly took the pen away, but the floor will remain forever market by our son…oh well. I suppose it could be worse!

Ian's contribution to the aesthetics

Ian’s contribution to the aesthetics

It was an absolutely exhausting day, but we did manage to get a substantial amount of work done. All in all, I’m extremely pleased with our progress and our work. Here’s our end-of-day-one picture!

End of day one

End of day one


So what do you think? How’s it looking? Do you think we’re a little crazy to be tackling this project with a toddler underfoot (it’s ok if you do…we’re questioning our mental state, too)?

The shed kit is here!!!

The shed kit is here!! The shed kit is here!!!

When the husband ordered the shed, they told him it would take about 3 weeks to be delivered.  We were pretty bummed, but accepted it since there really wasn’t anything we could do about it.

Well… someone obviously can’t figure out a calendar because 3 days later, we got a call telling us the shed was in! Hooray!

It was delivered to our driveway and we spent that evening taking inventory and reading through the plans (which, by the way, are a joke).  We also managed to cut a few pieces of wood (the kit came with all the materials, but nothing was pre-cut) so we would have that much less to do later.  With any luck we’ll have a shed in our backyard soon!!  Our plan is to get started on Saturday and just keep at it all weekend until we’re done 🙂

Wish us luck!


Let’s build a shed… how hard can it be?

My husband and I have decided to build a shed in our backyard!  We’ve been talking about building/buying a shed for close to three years now.  Yes, THREE.  Every year we complain about the lack of space in the garage- due to his car hobby (fixing/rebuilding cars) and our ever growing pile of tools and lawn/garden supplies.  But every year we come up with good (and even not-so-good) excuses to not take the plunge.

Finally, after the winter-that-would-NEVER-end and my constant complaining about having to scrape ice off my car and walk through snow, we have decided it is time to stop talking about getting a shed and actually just get a shed.  We had done price comparing over the past three years and knew that we’d pretty much have to build it ourselves if we didn’t want to spend a fortune.  We have some home remodel/improvement experience under our belt from our previous projects (kitchen, floors, etc… I’ll talk about those in posts later), so we feel reasonably confident that building a shed just can’t  be all that hard…

After exhaustive searching and comparing, we decided to buy a DIY shed kit from 84 Lumber.  They provide all the materials and the plans- you provide the muscle and the money.  Jon ordered the kit, and now we just have to wait for it to be delivered! So exciting 🙂

Stick around because I’ll be posting progress updates, and I know you won’t want to miss that 😉