Category Archives: Home Life

Home Improvement Project #2: Window Screens

There have been lots of ‘fun’ things we have found throughout our home that we weren’t expecting to NOT have.  Window screens was definitely one of those ‘fun’ things.  Since we had 12 windows that needed that item, we recruited a company to come out and do this.  We were VERY pleased with this decision.

We opted to go with Screenman Mobile Screening Service.  They bring a box truck and do the consultation as well as installation in one visit.  The gentleman that came was extremely friendly and we had a wonderful experience with him and the product.  He did inform us of some disappointing tricks of the builder trade: windows typically come with the screens and builders remove the screens and opt to charge the home owner an additional fee to get the screens.  Bummer, right?!  I was wondering why every place I called for screen quotes kept asking me if I was looking for a new window.  No, folks, I have the windows in my house, I need screens so I can let us all breathe during warmer months!

If you need new screens or a repair and you don’t feel comfortable getting the kits and supplies at a local home improvement/hardware store, I really recommend this company.

Next month’s project (June) is going to be changing the cabinets in our kitchen from the maple stain to white.  We will be trying out the Rust-Oleum Cabinet Transformations.  I’ve done research over the last couple of weeks through blogs and website reviews and know some tips, but overall, consumers are quite happy with the product and price.  Once we take on that project, it will give us a better time and cost projection for altering the trim around the house along with cabinets in bathrooms.  If you have any tips on this particular product, I would love to hear them!

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Home Improvement Project #1: Painting Walls

Today, we were blessed with a beautiful day and helpful people to start our series of home improvement projects.  Today, we painted the walls of our living room and dining room (we have an open floor plan between the living room, dining room and kitchen).  I’ve been nervous for so long regarding painting as I’ve heard so many horror stories, I just don’t have the patience for boo boos that I’ll just stare at and have them burn my eyes.  Today, my husband and I left behind our ‘painting virgin’ titles and became educated painters.  So I’m going to share our journey today as we are now wiser…

After months of sticking paint samples to walls in different times of day to see how the natural light would play with the colors, we came down to charcoal gray.  I truly enjoy the contrast that will happen once we complete a later project involving painting our trim and cabinets white.  We were really concerned about darkening these rooms with too dark of a color as we can be limited on natural light.  Once we began painting, I knew we made the right decision in this color.  We are a modern decor couple who enjoys clean lines and VERY little design clutter (actually, just clutter in general; we frown on it).

Here are some tips we learned today:

-We ‘splurged’ on Behr Premium Plus 2-in-1 primer paint at $30/gal and it was well worth it!  We only had to do one coat and by the time we got to the other side of the room, the beginning side was already dry and we were able to put everything back in it’s place within a half an hour of painting.  I LOVE that paint and I highly recommend it.  We went to Home Depot to get the paint and the gentleman at the paint counter was just so friendly and so informative.  I will always go there for our paint from now on.  (Trust me, we are uber super cheap people and this really was a splurge for us.  But time is money and this paint was worth it)

-While taping is a pain, it’s well worth it in the end.  We used Frog Tape and it gave us such clean lines and the tape went on/came off very easily.

-Make sure you know how to use a roller.  Our friend has done MANY home projects over the years and is well educated in painting techniques.  We were schooled today in applying paint properly (yes, you can apply it wrong and it looks like major crapola).  Make sure your roller has adequate paint on it and apply in a ‘Wu-Tang W’ pattern moving right to left.  We were golden once we got the hang of that.

-Use plastic paint trays.  Paint washes out of those with just water.  Metal ones involve you using a plastic liner, totally wasteful.

-Learn the ‘feathering’ techniques with a brush to get clean edges in corners, along trim, windows and ceilings.

-Don’t forget drop cloths and always watch where you are stepping.  Drop cloths are pointless if you step in a blob and then walk all over your house. (I almost did it, but luckily thought to check my shoes before walking off the cloth!)

-Keep a damp rag or sponge handy to touch up boo boos as you go.

-Once you remove your outlet covers, put tape over them so you don’t have to worry about getting paint on them.  One less thing to watch out for/clean up.

-HAVE FUN!  This is such an easy, fun project if you’ve done your homework on your color and techniques.  And there is nothing more fun than making a house your home.

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Do you ever wish you could find a way to keep your eyes from blinking so you don’t miss the life that’s passing by?  Every day seems to be a realization that I’m progressing forward at such a rapid rate and I’m not really sure how I feel about it sometimes.  While I’m so excited that Buddy is moving on to toddlerhood, I’m just blown away by where Noah and I are in life.  We are married, he has a very successful/stable career, we are home owners, we talk about health/life/home/car insurance regularly, I’m a stay at home mom, I ENJOY grocery shopping, we are working on home improvements, we attend church services and functions regularly and we don’t go out partying much anymore.  While I no longer know who we are since we evolved so rapidly, I’m growing more fond of us every day.

I love me, us, our family and the thought of us being ‘The Marners’.  While the time to get to this point was not exactly smooth sailing, it built a lot of character in us and that’s what you have to take those kinds of times for.  I can’t get over how pumped I am about painting this weekend.  Um, what?!  I will inform you, this is my first time ever painting.  Noah and I never painted anything (except for the bar I cleaned up) and from what I’ve heard, this is definitely either a marriage builder or breaker.  We’ve had a lot of character building in the past year so eh, what can a little painting do?

If someone who reads this figures out the ‘keeping the eyes open’ thing, I’m really interested.  Particularly DIY-style as I’m mega cheap.  Again, I’m looking for any of your tips in regards to painting walls, painting trim, painting cabinets, applying mosaic back splash and putting up pre-treated wood fences.  I will always be a DIY-er so the more the tips apply that way, the more excited I’m going to be!

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Looking into the future with hope and excitement

I, for once in this hectic year, get to look into the future and plan things that I’m not completely stressed about!  We have Lucas’ 1 year birthday party at the end of the month (really?  I would really like to know where this year went), a community clean up for our HOA, and we are beginning home projects this month!  As long as none of us end up in the hospital, I’m pretty stoked about the future!

There truly is so much to be grateful for right now.  It’s not often that I look over our calendar and I don’t see anything that brings absolutely dread over me.  Think about it: how often do you look over your calendar and not think ‘UGH, GAH! WHY DO I HAVE TO DO THAT?!’  For the last year, Lucas has definitely got me out of some situations, but mostly, he just made some situations more awkward. But eh, he’s a baby.

Tell me about some things you are looking forward to in the next couple months or even this year?  If there is planning involved, are you on track?  Each month I will do a blog post regarding whatever home project we are completing that month.  It will be after the project so I can share some tips we learned along the way.  If you have any tips to share with me regarding painting (walls, cabinets, trim), putting screens in windows (we are hiring a company so any recommendations would be great), putting up a backsplash in our kitchen and bathrooms, and putting up a wood fence (we are getting pre-treated wood since we live in an area with tons of rain), I will happily take all the tips we can get since we are first time homeowners and do-it-yourselfers.

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