weekend warriors

recently my mom spent a couple of her final summer days at the condo with me before getting back to the school year grind at omhs.  while in town, she was kind enough to help us out with some home improvement chores that have been on the list a while but sometimes always seem to bump down in priority as the days come and go.  as a result, phillip and i rode her wave of can-do inspiration and completed a couple other projects on our own!

first up was the shower stall in my bathroom.  now, when you think about showering, you likely are getting in and out and moving on with your life.  naturally you probably don’t think twice about the condition of your shower unless it really is in despair.  for the perfect example, take my shower.  off the bat nothing appears glaringly wrong.  however, it had now come time that the bad grout job done by the previous homeowner be rectified.  enter phillip, me, a very sharp blade, and some very affordable sealant.

before we could apply the good stuff, we first had to get rid of the grody gunk that was already lining the corners of the stall.  thank goodness i have a strong live-in fiance for times just like this one!

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wooh!  i think i just broke a mental sweat watching phillip – good work, honey!  the next part was the more fun part, which was watching our quick weekend improvement come to life.  with a little elbow grease the shower was looking like brand new with some fresh grout from top to bottom in those corners.  now, we weren’t exactly going for perfection, but to the naked eye, things look much better.  i think i feel cleaner already!

with one bathroom marked off the list, we kept the good mojo going and took on our next project in phillip’s bathroom.  a pretty small space to start with, my mom commented that getting rid of this floor-sitting shelf and adding some shelves on the wall would help make the bathroom feel larger.  although it looks pretty compact and out of the way, we didn’t realize until we were done how much more open everything now feels in there.

so, i was off to ikea to find us some wall shelves to replace these shelves.  i wasn’t quite sure of what i wanted but then, out of nowhere, i spotted exactly what i must have.  before i got too excited, i made sure to double-check the shelf size against the wall measurements i’d written when i was at home and…it would work!  even though this new shelf was much longer, only one certainly wouldn’t do.  and, since when decorating things often work better in sets of three, three new shelves are exactly what i took home with me.  i even got lucky and found a very similar shelf being used in one of their many display spaces in the store.  instant inspiration!

i barged in the condo door and was bouncing with excitement about my fortunate finds.  “we must complete this project right away!” i hollered at phillip.  and, like any loving partner, he gladly obliged.  in our case, we were literally working with a blank space just above the lovely yellow tile and the toilet.  doesn’t it just look like it was meant for something more than being a white wall?  i couldn’t agree more!

after very carefully reading the instructions and inspecting the parts and hardware we would need, we got to work.  i was phillip’s trusty assistant and photographer for most of the afternoon, not wanting to miss a beat of the action or a moment of the fun.

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as phillip was putting up the final shelf, i was too overcome with excitement and energy and had to turn away until it was complete.  once ready i opened my eyes and hey, what do you know!  they look perfect!

a big hug and quick kiss later, i shooed phillip out of the bathroom, eager to give these shelves the finishing touch.  after shuffling things around quite a bit and then shuffling them around some more, i finally ushered him back in so that we could stand back and admire our work.  i’ll say, there’s nothing quite like the sense of accomplishment, even for something as “small” as new shelves and a spruced up shower stall, so i’ll take that joy any day.  what’s next, you wonder?  well, it’s your turn to get out there and go all hgtv – we know you can do it!

it’s alive!

folks, i want to proudly brag for a quick moment:  phillip and i have kept our plant alive for over a month!  yes, early in july we were at the home depot picking up some supplies, and i was inspired by our neighbors chris and suzy to adopt and bring home a special little something from mother nature herself.  after finding the shepherd hook and zip ties, we strolled up and down the plant aisles, looking for just the right one to call our own.  some of the selection was pretty with flowers and bright colors, but phillip picked out a great option for us:  a caladium.  needing only four to six hours of direct sunlight a day, the caladium was perfect considering we’ve got lots of leafy tree branches in our building’s courtyard.  we put it in the cart and then kindly asked a nearby employee for the proper fertilizer for a plant such as ours.  after deciding on the all purpose miracle-gro shake’n feed, we loaded up the buggie, checked out, and headed home.

with some help from kyle and milo, phillip secured the heck out of that hook to our landing railing.  i mean, this thing isn’t going anywhere in any storm!  then, they zip-tied the planter to the hook and voila!  the regular afternoon summer showers help keep it hydrated, and i’ll say i’ve been pretty good about watering it every couple of days.  and, per tori’s instruction, i’ve also been sure to prune any dead leaves to make room for fresh ones.  although i’ve never had much of a green thumb, i think my mother would be proud!

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tv mounting 101

with phillip moved into the condo (how exciting!), we needed somewhere for his tv to go.  i already have a sizable flat screen in the living room, so it seemed the perfect place would be the guest bedroom.  now, if you’ve ever visited the condo, you know there isn’t a lot of space.  i mean, we have it perfectly decorated that not one more piece of furniture can really be purchased, which just means that if we can’t expand horizontally then we go vertical!  yes, that’s right, we decided to mount the tv on the wall in the guest room so that it wouldn’t have to sit on a crowded entertainment unit.

while the idea of a mounted tv sounds thrilling, the actual process of getting that thing hung became another item on the bucket list that i never knew was there.  and because i didn’t want all my fans to miss out on the fun, i invited kyle and kari over to assist/watch/laugh.  you know, help us create proof that the tv once was not hung and now is affixed perfectly to the wall.

so, in order to mount a tv, you obviously need the proper tools, right?  right!  first things first, the wall mount.

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the tools to get the job done.

a positive attitude accompanied by lots of enthusiasm.

and last but not least, very full glasses of wine.  cheers to home improvement!

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