Category Archives: Home

When does the pretty stuff start?

We are about a month into this project (a little less) and there is still nothing pretty to discuss about our home remodel.  But there is a lot going on.  First of all, Scott is my hero for life.  When both our plumber and electrician upped their bids, Scott decided he could probably just do all that himself.  “That will give us more wiggle room for fun things like spray foam insulation,” he said.  He added a metal roof and a sonic ice machine to convince me. But I think it was the spray foam insulation that motivated him.  We have talked a lot about spray foam insulation for about the past two years.  Anyway.

As of now, the outside of the addition is pretty much framed.  In this bad panoramic picture, you can see the pantry/master closet on the left, a big kitchen space, and the mudroom and nook on the right.


The framing in the bathroom is also coming along.  Our shower is going to be huge.  We could sleep in there.  This is the view from the middle of the bathroom, into the shower.  The doorway beyond will be gone.  On the left is a half wall, the rest of which will be glass.  On the right will be a glass door.  You can see in the foreground on the left side a little framing for another half wall.  The toilet will go in between the two.


Scott has spent every waking hour at the house when not at work.  He has worked on the rough plumbing.  And I think he would call all this beautiful.  I think the bike pump is there so that he remembers what it was like to have time to ride his bike.  Otherwise, no clue.



Look at all that PVC pipe running floor to ceiling!  ThanksRyan for the help.  This is the other view of the master bath.  Where Ryan and Scott are will be counters and two sinks.


Here’s a better picture of the master closet and pantry.  On  the left side, where the door is, that will be our pantry.  The door will be gone.  The door now leads to our bedroom.  On the right side is our master closet.  The window will be removed and a door will be added.  The pantry will be accessible from the kitchen (obviously), but the closet will just be accessible from the bedroom.


Here’s our expansive kitchen, right in the middle of which will be a big 4 foot by 10 foot island.  On the far wall is the mudroom, from which the garage can be accessed.  On the left is just a little bonus room.


Here’s a better picture of the bonus room off the kitchen.


And here it is from the back yard!


I was able to sneak in a little fun this weekend.  I got a pedicure with this sweet girl who just finished her first week of second grade, and her mom, and her (and my) mom.  Much needed after a long week.


And we celebrated Megan’s birthday with dinner, swimming and an ice cream cake.  (Doug takes this stuff very seriously.)


This was pretty much my view for the rest of the weekend.  I think between the two of us, we did 5 visits to Lowes, Home Depot and Breed & Co.  Nice legs, Scott.



House update and Stitch Fix

First, wow.  I didn’t know my post about parenthood/pregnancy/fertility would generate so much love.  I am grateful and humbled by the kindness each responder showed to me.  The day I posted, I heard from so many people–on Facebook, texts, emails, comments on the blog.  At the end of the day I fell in bed, exhausted by all the goodness.  Thank you for your offering of words and love.  For anyone who thinks the world is all bad, this day showed me how wrong they are.  There is so much good in this world and you showed it to me generously.  I am grateful.

Second, a house update: We received word that we are approved for a permit and that it is now “available for purchase.”  Fantastic.  So we pay for an application, we pay for various steps along the way, and then we pay when it is ready.  Then we try to close the permit, we have the pleasure of paying for an inspection.  Name of the game: payment.  Fun. Times.  We have a concrete bid, which is good.  We were worried nobody would want to bid on our little project because the Austin building market is nuts right now.  Everyone is busy and not in need of extra work.  Timing is everything and while we bought our house at the right time, we are renovating at the wrong time.  Oh well.  No demo yet.  We need a few more bids first.  Stay tuned.

In other news, I am now into mail order shopping, with a stylist.  Have you heard of Stitch Fix?  Megan got her fix last week and she loves it all!  I got mine a few days ago and kept 2 of the 5 things.

Here’s the concept.  You fill out a fashion questionnaire in which you answer questions like, “how much of the items in this picture do you like?”  “How often do you dress for work?  date night?”  “What body part do you like to flaunt?”  “What colors do you love and hate?”  You can connect the stylist to your fashion Pinterest board even, except I don’t have one.  It is fairly thorough.  You give them your weight, height, sizes, etc.  (THERE IS NO POINT IN LYING!)  And then, a stylist picks out 5 items for you.  Megan got all tops.  I asked for work clothes.  You can customize it.  Each item is $50 or $60.  You can keep it all and get a 25% discount, choose a few things, or send it all back.  If you send it all back, you have to pay a $20 styling fee that is otherwise credited towards the things you buy.

You can subscribe monthly or occasionally.  It seems perfect for people who don’t really like or have time for shopping.

So I got my box with this nice note.


It also came with these flash card things for how to style the items they sent.


They sent me a pair of earrings, a sleeveless shirt, 3/4 length-sleeve red shirt, a cardigan and a dress.  I am keeping the red shirt and the dress.  The other stuff is a little boring.


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I scheduled another “fix” for April.  Oh, no.  This is a little addicting.  I will tell you how that one goes.

I can get free clothes if I refer you.  Tons of people are doing this, so don’t feel like you have to use my referral.  But if you would like to, click here.

Variance Granted.

The variance was granted tonight in a unanimous vote.  Praise. The. Lord.  The dude that went just before us got his granted too and then he asked a clarifying question that unraveled his whole case, causing the board to rescind the granted variance and postpone the vote.  (Stupid man.)  This scared me to death, but between Scott’s good looks and my charm, they listened to our case and nobody caused a problem.  We hung out for 4 hours before our case was heard, but we learned a lot in the process.

This gives me some hope that the below plans will actually happen.  We still have to go back to the city to have them consider our permit application with the granted variance,  but hopefully this will only take a month or so.

The stuff that is grayed out or “striped,” is our current house.  The top right corner is the new stuff.  It is really hard to tell what we are doing with this but here is the list:

  • new windows and siding;
  • make our current kitchen our new dining area;
  • add on a new kitchen;
  • add an indoor laundry/mudroom;
  • add a little storage nook off the kitchen;
  • reconfigure the master bathroom;
  • add a master closet;
  • back yard landscaping; and
  • stay married throughout the whole thing.


A yellow door in the bathroom.

So I showed the before and after of the guest bathroom here.  But I had not yet painted the door yellow.  Scott was not very excited about the project but agreed that I could do it–if I did it without expectation of him contributing.  That seemed fair to me.  I used him as a consultant.  He helped me figure out what type of paint to use and what the process should be.  And then he actually did help a lot.  He is a very sweet man.

And I think the finished product turned out great!


Sanding it was the hardest part.  And polishing the original brass door knob. Polishing that one knob made me realize how much work there is to do on all the other knobs in the house.

The before of the door knob.


And the after.



The color is Egg Yoke by Martha.

We had some of our favorite people over on Sunday night for dinner and the door was not yet hung.  We told them that if they needed to go to the restroom we could close the hall door.  I am pretty sure neither went to the restroom the entire time they were at our house.  Perhaps we should have finished the project before having company over.  Oooops.


I might be weird to be excited about it, but I am really excited to have a new guest over who asks where the restroom is.  “Oh,” I will say, “it is in the hall, behind the yellow door.”  Convenience.