Condo Project – Week 6

The countdown is on, and my brain is in a constant state of “Are we moved yet?!”

Nearly everything but the necessities has been packed up since August which has been frustrating. Now that the seasons have changed from Summer to practically Winter, I’ve been struggling to not unpack everything before I move. My cats have also loved the mountains of boxes resulting in most of them starting to collapse in too. Some of them were so bad, I actually had to repack their contents in new boxes.

Little by little, I’ve been moving things over to the condo, but Saturday was probably the first real big move day. My goal was to get as much moved as we could, and we managed to fill up my car, an SUV, and a small work van. My hallway in my current bedroom was completely full of boxes for a large portion of Saturday morning and afternoon.


By 6PM, we had assembled the “temporary” dining room table on loan to me until my farm table is built. The table was the same one I had when I was growing up, but it’s funny how tiny it looks in this room. I always dismissed the comments of how my dining room is bigger than my mom’s, but I think she may be right. With the leaf in the table (as it is in the picture below) this table barely fit in her living room.

The next big project was tackling the cabinets. After cleaning layers of grease and gunk off of the fronts and insides of the cabinets and drawers, the first of two coats of paint went up on the cabinet fronts in the kitchen and bathroom vanities. The kitchen already looks much brighter. The jury’s still out on what I decide to do with the counter tops. For now I’m not absolutely hating the color against the white, and lets face it, nothing matches in there anyway (black dishwasher and microwave, white fridge, almond stove) so what’s a cream colored counter added in until I can get the kitchen completely redone.IMG_3645

After everyone had left, I started putting things away. I managed to unpack a couple of boxes in the Master Bedroom and Linen closet, and also took a first stab at putting the Guest Bedroom (my soon to be Office/Gym) closet together. The guest bedroom has been serving as a catch all for all the boxes that we’ve been moving, but since a treadmill is coming into this room, I needed as much room cleared as possible.IMG_3646
Not pictured:

  • The remaining 2 closet doors were cleaned and got their first couple coats of spray paint. These two doors were louvered for the utility and laundry closets so painting them with a brush was going to be a massive ordeal.

That’s week 6. Not very eventful in terms of the condo because I needed a break so that I could focus on other things like school, work, and birthdays.

Signature Update

Condo Project – Week 5

And I’m back. I don’t have many updates of the condo because, honestly, the big projects are wrapping up and moving to the garage at my mom’s home.

Now for the few pictures I do have:

The rest of the bathroom hardware and the shower curtain went up in the guest bathroom. That’s 1 room done.

Fun things started going up in the master bath including my favorite spice racks from IKEA for getting things off the counter as well as my make up mirror.
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These hooks have been wonderful for hanging up my clothes each day when I change into my “condo” clothes instead of dropping them on the dusty floor. One day soon they’ll be for towels.


The chandelier has begun it’s transformation from brass to mint.IMG_3609

One of my favorite decisions was to work my grandmother’s pink leather chair into my living room. The chair is incredibly comfortable, but its color has caused it to get passed around from relative to relative over the years. Thankfully it doesn’t look quite so pink but rather beige in my living room. I’m hoping it’s finally found it’s permanent home next to the fireplace.

Not pictured:

  • In addition to the leather recliner, the sofa, coffee table,  and several cars full of boxes have made their way out of the garage and over to the condo. Hooray for finally having a place to sit, and not having rooms quite so full of boxes.
  • The fireplace got its first bit of cleaning.
  • The temporary blind in the guest bedroom has been replaced with the permanent one.
  • The remaining doors have been brought home to be painted.
  • My balcony is now free of all appliances.
  • A new showerhead was installed in the master bath replacing the old plastic white handheld one.
  • Many trips to Home Depot and back, the Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations kit is finally tinted and I picked up some chalk paint for the dresser project.
  • And lastly, work on the dresser has begun. Sadly we found the top wasn’t solid pine but veneer, so sanding it didn’t go as planned. Onto plan B.

The big news however is that I have a soft deadline of November 22nd as move in day! I have to say though, now that I have a Keurig, sofa, and internet, it’s getting harder and harder to leave each day.

Signature Update

Condo Project – Week 4

Happy Halloween! I can’t decide whether I’m more excited to give candy out tonight {I haven’t lived in a neighborhood with Trick-or-Treaters for years!} or just because it’s Friday and I’m exhausted.

This condo is kicking my butt. Add working full time, graduate school, and also being sick, and I’m just over this week. Things are moving along slowly, but I have lots of pictures this week, and lots of proof that things are wrapping up little by little. I still don’t have a move-in day, but I’ve been gradually moving my stuff over in hopes that it will speed things up.

The painting of the doors is wrapping up. All doors with the exception of two louvered doors have been painted.


We actually ran out of room in the master bedroom to paint the doors, so we started painting them in the dining room too.IMG_3528IMG_3538 Also on the list of things to paint was the oak light cover in the kitchen. I’m not a big fan of fluorescent lights in kitchens, but given that I’m on a limited budget, this one had to stay for the time being. Thankfully the stained glass panels were a more generic design rather than the flowers I normally see them with. Eventually it will be swapped out for recessed lighting. White spray paint did it wonders.IMG_3531 The fun touches started including the stripes in both the back wall of the master as well as the entry way. After years of doing stripes in many rooms, knocking these out is now a piece of cake.IMG_3537

IMG_3542 IMG_3543This picture without the tape shows how fantastic the satin paint looks against the flat paint I used.

And my next ambitious paint project was the “painted wallpaper” project. My plan is to do this on the back wall of the dining room, but with the weather getting cold fast, priorities have shifted to moving ASAP. I did a test run on the back wall of the pantry instead. First step was stenciling the wall.
IMG_3550 Then came the tedious process of hand painting inside each line. I have to be honest, I almost gave up at this point because up close it just didn’t look good.IMG_3551 The finished project makes me smile though and I’m glad I pressed on and continued.


I also purchased door knobs for the closet doors. Getting rid of the various door knobs that had geese and Native Americans {I didn’t know these even existed…} on them was something I was super excited about, and seeing something else completed makes me smile.


Another discovery this week was that my windows and doors are actually white. They were so dirty everyone thought they were silver… GROSS
IMG_3573 And some finishing touches started going in. The shower rod was replaced in the master bath.IMG_3577A toilet paper holder has been installed in the guest bathroom.
IMG_3579And sadly, I came to terms with the fact that it’d be cheaper to just buy a new light for the foyer than to find a new globe and salvage the old one.

Other things notably missing in the picture:

  • Both mirrors have been rehung in the bathrooms.
  • The fridge arrived.
  • The plumber fixed the broken shut off valves in the laundry closet.
  • Light switch plates are going up.
  • The chandelier in the dining room has been taken down in preparation for paint.
  • I’m in the process of getting the broken blind in the guest bedroom replaced.
  • My Nest Protect smoke detector had to be sent back due to a wonderful defect that caused the smoke alarm to go off anytime it was left on for more than 10 seconds. {Sorry to any neighbors reading this.}

Thanks for stopping by. Until next week…

Signature Update

Condo Project – Week 3

You know that point in every HGTV remodeling show where the couple is just DONE… I’m there. I can’t wait to just be done and moved in, and it seems like every time I turn around something else needs to be fixed whether it be mice chewing through electrical wires in the walls, my new Wemo light switch controlling everything BUT the light it should control, or even just realizing the shower curtain rod in the master was about to fall off the wall. Also adding to my frustration, in August, when I anticipated getting ready to move, I packed up everything but the necessities. Fast forward 2 months later and I’ve run out of necessities and have had to start unpacking again. I also packed up all my cold weather clothes which isn’t so enjoyable when the weather has been cold and rainy.

So what has gotten done other than the depletion of my energy?

Floors have been taped and painting has resumed. That sheet unfortunately is here to stay a bit longer. The shade I received from JCPenney was damaged. It’s also backordered, so I’m looking at November when I might actually get the remaining 3 blinds installed.IMG_3498 Again, I apologize for the awful lighting. With the Wemo switch not working properly, the living room no longer has any light except for the light in the hallway. If you look closely to the left of the fireplace, however, you’ll see the glow of a modem and router. Thanks to a surprisingly wonderful rep that came out from Comcast to fix the waste of time I spent on the phone (Comcast, if you’re listening your phone support absolutely sucks, and it was ME who actually discovered the problem after an hour of your reps putting me on hold, transferring me, and hanging up on me). The problem –  the line to my unit was disconnected out back. (8 units, 8 lines coming into the building, mine was the only one not connected, and not one the jacks coming in was free which means someone is using up more than they should). In any event, every things resolved and I’ve officially stepped back into the 21st century and have high speed internet at home. Hooray!IMG_3500 Doors and trim started getting painted or touched up.IMG_3501

This wonderful array of doors is 3 out of my 4 closet doors for the master.IMG_3510 And the last big project has also started. cabinet doors came off in the kitchen and bathrooms to be prepped for paint.IMG_3515You might also notice that my stove made it back into the kitchen, which means things are coming back in from the balcony finally.

Last but not least, we have a plumber/family-friend coming tonight! He’s going to do the work a little at a time, but the plan is to get the kitchen sink working again, get a line to the fridge run for the ice maker, see what needs to be done with the dishwasher, replace the hoses and valves in the laundry closet, check what’s going on with the master bath tub, and also pull the toilets so that we can lay new vinyl in the two bathrooms.

By the weekend, hopefully I will have a semi-functioning kitchen that includes a working sink, stove, microwave, and fridge that holds more than 6 cans of soda.

It’s coming along slowly but surely.

Check back in for more updates soon.

Signature Update

Condo Project – Week 2

Ready for Week 2’s progress? It’s pretty dramatic!

We hit a major milestone in Week 2 – removing the last of the wallpaper. Sadly, I did not document the momentous occasion. There were many jokes of how I had changed my mind on paint and opted to go with wallpaper over every wall again, but I think the wallpaper is gone for good.

With the wallpaper down, we could start patching walls. {For those of you that are curious, we’ve been working our through the rooms starting with the kitchen and ending with the bathrooms with each stage of the process.}


Hopefully my HOA understands I’m in mid renovation; because my balcony looks like this… Right now I’m sure I’m that neighbor everyone hates, and I hate it.
IMG_3395We painted and primed the shoe molding in preparation of the floors going in.
IMG_3400 And then the first coats of paint started going up.

10712893_10202897038326880_4161795704258519326_nIn this picture, the ceiling looks grey as well, BUT I assure you it is white.IMG_3405IMG_3425I bought a 5 gallon container of Behr’s Light French Gray to paint the entire place. I didn’t expect the color to look so drastically different on each of the walls. Thankfully the shades all go together and add a bit of dimension to the place.

IMG_3411Of course there was a hitch in my plan. The cabinets now look atrocious next to the grey walls and white trim, so the painting of the cabinets has been moved up in the timeline.IMG_3406 I also scored this beauty of a dresser for $16. Yes, $16! The drawers are behind it. It was just too heavy to move with them. The plan is to refinish the top to match the farm table we’re building, and paint the base white.IMG_3416 We also got the first boxes of flooring. Here’s a sneak peak.IMG_3420I can’t wait to show you the floors installed.

Signature Update

Condo Project – Week 1

Happy Monday everyone!

I’m hoping with these weekly posts, I can start to catch up on all the progress we’re making. After this post, I’ll be 1 post behind where we’re actually at.

I was lucky enough to take off Monday-Wednesday, and it was definitely necessary given all the wallpaper.

We got the border off in the kitchen and dining room, and started working our way into the living room.

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The wallpaper on the back wall of the living room, entry, and hallway started coming down too.IMG_3371 IMG_3372

Then, I figured out we’d been using the wall paper steamer all wrong. Things would have gone much more quickly had I left the steamer on the wall slightly longer. With the technique down, I got to work in the hallway, and managed to do the majority of it in about an hour.IMG_3376 IMG_3377 We also got the multi layers of border out of the master.IMG_3382 The border in the guest bedroom was by far my favorite to remove. It was basically a sticker so I knocked this out in twenty minutes, no steamer required.IMG_3384

By Friday evening, I was pooped. I came home and flopped on the sofa for some cuddles with the dogs, and wrestled with Remington a bit, and then came the fun part. He knocked me off the sofa onto Zoey. Apparently 100+lbs of Andrea is too much for her bad back, and in a moment of panic, she managed to do this to my forehead. I’m fairly certain she was more scared than I was, and as you can see in the picture, she was more than apologetic and insisted on lying on top of me and giving me kisses until my mom came back home to patch my head up.

IMG_3388Coming up next, week 2’s progress. Once I’m caught back up, I’ll be back to a weekly schedule simply because my days are literally “Go to work, go to condo (or class), go home to eat, sleep, and repeat.”

Thanks for reading,

Signature Update

Condo Project – Day 2

Are you ready for Day 2? I am. Things have been so hectic, it’s hard to believe Day 2 actually happened 10 days ago.

Day 1 was focused on junk. Day 2 can be summarized by wallpaper and staples.

Day 2 kicked off with a dozen Fractured Prune donuts, because why not. {They were gone by 1PM}.

The floor to ceiling mirror in the living room came down {in pieces…}.



And for once I was glad there was wallpaper behind it because the excessive adhesive would have destroyed the drywall even more than it did.


This is the part in the project where my ADD really shows – a lot of walls with partially removed wallpaper. I kept jumping from wall to wall in various rooms which in hindsight wasn’t the most efficient way, but there really isn’t any efficient way to remove an entire condo full of wallpaper.
IMG_3344IMG_3347The ceiling fan in the master bathroom came down. {By the way check out the awful cat border!}

We busted through the access panel for the master bath. During the home inspection,  we actually took this panel off to see the plumbing only to discover that there was actually just a piece of drywall behind it. That had to go.IMG_3354We started patching walls.

The washer and dryer were moved to the living room for cleaning and preparation for the new floors.IMG_3358

It’s areas in the condo like these I’m disgusted by. This was bad enough, but the kitchen was BY FAR the grossest room of the house. I’m still amazed anyone cooked food for consumption in there.IMG_3359


Not pictured, my best friend, who played a big part in the networking to make me buying this condo possible stopped by for a few hours, and we started removing wallpaper in Master Bedroom. That’s when we discovered that there was not 1 but 2 layers of wallpaper in the Master. Thankfully, the wallpaper only existed in the closet, and they seemed to have removed first layer from the harder areas like the skinny sections around the bathroom door for us. Both the master bedroom and bathroom still had 2 layers of borders on most of the walls.

I stayed late and tackled the closet before heading back home for bed.

From here on out, pictures trickle down. As much as I’d like to spend every waking hour on this project with several helpers, most people, including myself have other commitments like work, so work has slowed down considerably. I’ll be doing weekly updates from here on out.

Signature Update

Condo Project – Day 1

I’m admittedly a bit behind on these updates. I’m going to give myself a break though because I’ve been working essentially around the clock and juggling class, work, and the condo for the past 10 days. I’ve been home long enough to go to sleep for a few hours, grab some coffee, and start over again.

So what happened on Day 1 – A LOT.

The focus for Saturday was getting rid of all the junk. If I haven’t mentioned it before, the lady who lived here had a love for wallpaper, ceiling fans, window clings, cats, and lots of pink.

{Sidenote: as we started to remove wallpaper, we found that many of the walls were never actually painted underneath. I have a suspicion that this unit may have been a model unit given all its “upgrades” and convenient location in the building –  at least I can think so.}

I also want to apologize for the horrendous lighting in the pictures. We only had light from windows at either end and hallways to work with.

First order of business was to start removing the carpet.

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Work is definitely made nicer by the trees and pond behind my balcony provided you ignore the ugly fence. I have already enjoyed a few mornings with coffee out there even though there’s no chairs at the moment.


By the end of the day, the carpet and padding were entirely gone, and the dining room was holding my kitchen appliances. I believe we filled at least 2 box trucks worth of junk from the place in just this day alone.IMG_3345


And here’s the living room. We did manage to save the massive mirror which was actually glued to the wall, and we were also able to start on wallpaper removal.IMG_3346All in all, we got a lot more accomplished on Day 1 than I ever imagined.

Day 2 coming soon.Signature Update


I Bought a Condo

Well, folks, it finally happened. I’m officially a homeowner, and I’m embarking on a journey of renovating a fixer upper at 24!

I settled last Friday evening after work, but to be honest, I don’t know whether I was more excited to get my new iPhone 6 waiting at home or getting the key to the condo.

That night, after stopping at work to utilize decent internet to restore my phone, I headed to the condo armed and ready, or so I thought. Turns out one person with a box of microfiber cloths and 1 bottle of cleaning spray don’t do much at 8PM. The night was a bust, but I did manage to get some things accomplished

I started removing the botched DirecTV install. They actually ran the coaxial cable from the dish balcony over the fireplace, and back down, and it was the first thing to go. It was unsightly to say the least, but it was nothing compared to the way they ran the rest of the place. Every where you looked was coaxial cable (running through the kitchen, in front of the water heater, sticking out of the coat closet, running through the entry way, in the linen closet, peaking out in the guest room,and finally culminating in the master bedroom

My next task was removing all the homemade window clings from every glass surface imagineable. This lady had bugs, birds, and lighthouses EVERYWHERE. I thought I got rid of them all, but they keep turning up, including a ladybug that appeared in my purse somehow.

My last task for the night was removing the faded blue lamp shades from the light fixture in the dining room. I had originally planned to replace this light, but in an effort to save money, I’ve decided I’m going to spray paint it instead.

Now are you ready for the before pictures?! (Images courtesy of MRIS)


Living Room


Living Room


Dining Room




Master Bedroom


Master Bedroom

Notably missing are decent pictures of either bathroom or the guest room.

Check back for Day 1’s progress coming shortly.

Signature Update