Sunday, October 2, 2016

The BIG project: Entertainment Center

**So I haven't posted anything in a while, and I realized today I owe you this post.**

Let's start at the beginning...

So my husband....light of my a project starter.  He loves to start projects around the house but that doesn't mean he likes finishing them. For example we've lived in this house for 6 years and he hasn't completed putting up all the trim.  **Insert unhappy wife face here**  But I've come to love him anyway :)  One of his biggest projects lately has been the entertainment center.  On Thanksgiving 2014 he tried to convince me he could start and finish it before we had the family over for Christmas Day.  Luckily I saw through his good intentions and stopped that from happening.  So he started it in January 2015...And finished this in February 2016.   Sheesh.   It's hard to complain because it looks so freaking good.  (prepare yourself for a photo dump)

 Can you believe we didn't think to take a before picture?  I could only find this one.
  Here's what the room looked like before we moved in furniture or put down a rug.

We didn't have an entertainment center, we just used an old sofa table.  Talk about wires everywhere.  So we searched around (meaning we went to Ikea and searched Pintrest) and just couldn't find an entertainment center we liked which is why when Adam found the following picture in The Family Handyman magazine we both fell in love.

Ah the source of our inspiration and also the source of all the fights in our house in 2015.

Throughout the process of building this Adam liked to remind me that I'm the one who told him we should build this.  Which is true, but if he hadn't also liked it he never would have agreed to it.  First things first, he removed one of the only pieces of trim that was actually up to make room for the giant structure, cue crying wife.  Then he created the giant structure.  It then sat in the living room for months before anymore work was done on it.  Then it took forever to decide on the lights we wanted to use, and finally Adam wired them up to make sure we liked the look of them.

Here are some of the "in process" photos.
The beginning of the gigantic frame. (you can see our little sofa table next to the couch)
(oh darling, the time stamp on this pic was 1/17/2015)

As you can see the lights are in and some temporary pieces of drywall are up to give us the first look at what the finished project might look like.  Oh and this is the view from the front door...needless to say we didn't have many people over in 2015. (poor Pepper's wondering when the chaos will end)

A closer look at those first few pieces of drywall.

Adam bought this T.V. bracket online and he keeps raving about it.  It was particularly useful during the build.  It comes out from the wall 22 inches and also swivels.  Also at this time Adam anchored the wooden structure to the wall.

During his vacation week in September Adam got all the drywall up.  His habit of turning on the lights every time he comes into this room, started this week.  (I'll let you know if he ever stops)  This picture is so misleading, because believe me at this point I thought we were almost done.
Little did I know how long it would take to mud and sand all of these corners.
Next came little metal thingys on the corners.  I'm told are called Metal Beads.  Then the mudding began starting with all the screw holes.
And then the tarp went up.
Then came the sanding...oh the sanding!  Drywall dust is the worst!  It felt like it would never end.
For months the tarp was up...I had to re-visit this post to even remember what it looked like behind there.
Finally the tarp came down and all the sanding, and mudding, and re-sanding was finished.
Thank you Lord, the light at the end of the tunnel.
(Thought I'd show at least one photo of Adam working, so you didn't get the idea elves came in and did all the work).
And then all the cleaning began.  This is the point where I spent a forever cleaning the entire house of copious amounts of drywall dust.  Believe me it's a nightmare.

Then it was painting time!
The first layer of paint--primer.
To be honest as hard as Adam has worked on this I was glad to be able to help at this point.

We chose to paint the shelves the same color as the surrounding room (Behr: Light Beige).  Then we taped off each little cube and painted the back wall the accent color that took us forever to pick out.  I'm pretty sure we have at least 10 paint samples that didn't make the cut, before we picked this. (Valspar: Navy Blue).

The middle row of cubbies was tall enough that we had glass shelves custom cut to break up the space.  We're constantly rearranging nick nacks and mementos but here's the final project to date.
I'll do another post someday talking about all the little things we have in the cubbies.  For now the piece de resistance is the antique card catalog (featured Top Center) we found at an auction.  Adam is planning on making crates for toys (for nieces and nephews), to fill the bottom row.  Also we're working on putting shelves behind the t.v. to hide our movies and Wii games.

Well there it is, we survived another home renovation.  We're both still living and our marriage is's a miracle! :)  There are a million reasons I love this entertainment center but the one that comes to mind right now is that we've made our cookie cutter house look a little more custom built.

To my darling husband.  Thank you.  It might have taken long, but it was worth the wait.  I am glad to be able to share your handy work with the world.  I'm proud of you and this masterpiece you've created.  I'm so blessed to have you in my life.  

God Bless-

p.s. Adam's thoughts on ever doing this again...he wouldn't drywall it.  He said he would just build the whole thing out of wood and paint it, and it would take a fraction of the time.  Keep that in mind if it's something you might want to do.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Jewelry Box

I just realized it's half way through February and I haven't shared a single post about something Adam has made.  My hubby is super creative very talented when it comes to wood working.  Today I'm going to show you the Jewelry Box he made me.

The very first thing Adam ever made me was this little box.

He often tells me he's going to take it back to the garage and refinish the wood, but I like it just the way it is.

But not long after he made me this I realized I had a lot more jewelry.  So I started looking online to see what other options were out there.  And the one I liked the most was a jewelry box that was hidden behind a full length mirror.  I actually figured we'd get use out of it.  I really didn't want another piece of furniture cluttering up our bedroom, so a mirror that you can hang on the wall was perfect.

So here's a picture of our walk in closet with the Jewelry box at the back.  You can see it doubles as a scarf holder.  Oh and you're looking at Adam's half, I chose this point of view so you wouldn't have to see a reflection of the toilet that's right behind me.  You're welcome. :)  And yes this closet is one of the reasons we bought the house, I'll never be able to go back to tiny closets again.

Now it's time to open 'er up.  We decided on gray fabric to cover the back.

On the left side is foam behind the fabric so you can poke earrings into it.  Then below that some hooks for bracelets.

The right side is for necklaces.  And the bottom is for all those little pieces that don't fit anywhere else.  And yes looking at this, makes me realize I need to clean it out and get rid of pieces I never wear.

It's the perfect piece and having the mirror in the closet is perfect.

Isn't my man so talented? I think so :)


Monday, February 15, 2016

Red Weekend

Ok and I failed to post last Monday, bad blogger, so i didn't update you all on my February writing challenge.  I'm writing the first draft of the sequel to the book I wrote in January.  The goal is another 50,000 words that's 2500/ 5 days a week.  Here's the break down for each day for the last two weeks.

Day      total       daily total
Day 1   2600       2600
Day 2   4648       2048        
Day 3   8412       3764
Day 4   9893       1481
Day 5   10752      859

Day 6   13177      2425
Day 7   14447      1245
Day 8   16657      2210
Day 9   18671      2014
Day 10 22455      3784

As you can see I'm a little behind goal at this point, but it's nothing that I can't make up.  Just have to keep at it.  If you are interested in writing a book but are struggling with sitting down and doing it then I suggest reading No Plot?  No Problem!  It's the encouragement you need to hear.

My weight loss goal for this year (which in general is to lose weight) has had a slow start.  Over the last two weeks I haven't lost weight, but I haven't gained any either.  Not a huge step in the right direction but not gaining is still a win.  I've been walking most days first thing in the morning so that's good.  In the next two weeks I plan on adjusting my food plan.  Meaning lowering my refined sugar intake drastically.  And I will be adding a new exercise to the mix.  Hopefully these new changes will help me meet the goal of 10 lbs lost for the month.

So the title of this post is in reference to my husband testing for and successfully achieving his red tip belt in Tae Kwon Do this weekend.  Congrats hubby!  That means he's only two tests away from getting his black belt. woot!  Here are some photos from the test.

The before picture (with Red Belt)

Can you tell I think the kicking pics are the coolest :)

Mid test mini break

I love including these because Adam looks so fierce.  
He's usually so calm so it's fun to see him like this.
And don't worry it's all done very carefully, no one got hurt.

And the after photo, a bit tired, but happily sporting the new belt.
See that little black tip on the left, that's the tip.
(And don't ask me why it's called red tip instead of black tip, because I don't understand either)

Later Saturday night we stopped by Sweets so Geek for their once a year chocolate souffle and a piece of peanut butter and chocolate cheese cake.  Both were wonderful.  It's a fun place to get dessert.

And then of course Sunday was Valentine's Day.  We decided not to do gifts but we exchanged cards and a couple pieces of nice chocolate.
I can't imagine anyone in Fort Wayne celebrating Valentine's Day without a piece of Debrand's Chocolate.  I mean I know it happens...but why?  It's truly the best chocolate I've ever had.

Oh and because restaurants are so stinking busy on Valentine's our tradition is to get some nice steaks and make dinner at home.  So we made filet steak tips on the grill, crab cakes and I made salad and corn casserole (which doesn't sound romantic, but it sounded good to both of us). :)
The steak tips were in still on the grill when I took this picture.
I love that being an adult means you can have wine with dinner...or milk in wine glasses :)

And we shared a piece of chocolate cake from Casa's
it comes with raspberry sauce too....yum.
And yes that is only half a slice.

We had a great weekend, and I'm looking forward to another week of writing and exercising.  May God Bless you all.