Saturday, October 24, 2009

101 Update - part 2

51.  Get my car windows tinted - Yay another check!  Darren did this for me for my birthday.  It looks so good and I can definitely tell a difference inside!  We've started calling my car the mafia car since it is black and now has dark windows.

60.  Hike on a glacier - this almost feels like cheating hehe.  Yes we did this while we were in Alaska.  It was one of the things I was most looking forward to and one of the things I enjoyed the least.  I was sick that day, and our tour guide was going way too fast for me.  So I spent all my time trying to keep up and not slip on the ice and fall to my death - there was no time left to enjoy it.  I'm still glad I did it.  And I think it had potential.  Just due to scheduling on our part we had to "hurry" and that was a bad idea.

65.  Visit 2 friends out of state - I did go visit my friend Laura in Baltimore.  That was a fun trip!

69.  Get money back for Portugal tiles - Here's another one with an exciting outcome!  While on our honeymoon we ordered handpainted tiles that said "Casa Gibson".  They said it would take about 2 months to arrive.  So we waited, and waited.  We emailed and called and all to no response.  We had basically given up on ever seeing these and just wanted our money back (it was a decent enough chunk of change to pursue it.)  Then, out of nowhere, they showed up on our doorstep in early September.  Seriously, 7 months later.  Seven Months.  Who would've thought?!?  But we have them now and all is well with the world again.

73.  Learn 5 ways to cook fish - Well considering we shipped home 50 pounds of fish after our fishing adventure in Alaska, you'd think I'd have this one done in no time!  I have learned on new excellent method of baking fish that I've tried twice.  I should post the recipe here soon.  we still have a freezer full of fish, so hopefully I will be trying more new things here in the future.

85.  Make cute baby gift for friend's new baby - I knitted a multicolored blanket for Laura.  I'm so excited for her and her pregnancy, and I can't wait for her baby to (hopefully) enjoy the first blanket I ever made.  yay!

86.  Go to a UF football game - We bought tickets on ebay for the UF-Tennessee game and it was awesome.  We also have tickets for the Vanderbilt game coming up and I can't wait!  Two games in one year, this is great!  Go Gators!

88.  Get 6 new stamps in my passport - I ended up with 3 stamps after this tri p to Alaska.  Ironic huh?  Getting that many stamps on a US trip. While in Haines, we rented a car and drove into Canada for the day, thus getting a British Columbia stamp on the way in and an Alaska stamp on the way out.  Then, our cruise docked in Vancouver where I only got one new stamp.  I'm very pleased since this is a brand new passport (due to name change) and it was looking quite lonely and empty before.

89.  Get 2 more astronaut signatures - Recently, I was able to get Tom Stafford's autograph, who flew on Apollo 10.  There is an autograph show coming up here at KSC soon where I hope to get Fred Haise's autograph.  He was the lunar module pilot on Apollo 13.  That will leave only 4 Apollo astronaut signatures I don't have who are still alive - Frank Borman, Neil Armstrong, Ken Mattingly, and Bill Anders.  Anybody happen to be related to one of them?

94.  Develop a mail filing system - Well we've started on this, although I wouldn't say it is without its kinks.  This definitely needs some more work.

99.  Hike 100 miles - I didn't mean all at once when I wrote this.  I meant cumulative.  I would guess that in Alaska our total was somewhere around 20 miles of hiking, but I will have to give this some more thought.

Friday, October 23, 2009

101 Update - part 1

It's been a while since we've looked at the list, so let's do a quick check-up.

1.  Create a website for spachulas - well the domain name has been bought  (not by us, but by a friend who was "helping" us out.  that makes me a little :-/).  Work has not actually begun on the site yet though.  The blog is showing slightly more progress, with at least a design and an introductory post.  This all needs a lot more work and we just need to make it a priority.

3.  Create a wedding album - I did!  I finally finished it after soooo much work.  And it's so beautiful.  I'm very proud.  EXCEPT (and there's always and except isn't there?)  Two of the pages were printed incorrectly.  And the company graciously offered to reprint it for me if I would remake the two pages how they are supposed to be (I guess they only have the corrupted files.)  I unfortunately have been dragging my heels on doing this and the changes have not been made yet.

4.  Renovate the bathrooms - Well you all know this is in progress.  We have hit a little snafu lately, but that is another topic for another day.

10.  Tell my grandparents I love them - A few months ago we went to North Carolina for my grandmother's funeral.  It was sad amd a relief all at the same time.  I was able to spend some good time with my grandfather which I am grateful for.  I'd like a chance to visit my grandparents in Virginia sometime soon, but am having trouble finding a good time to go.

14. Knit gifts for everyone for Christmas - I've been knitting a bunch lately.  I doubt there will be gifts for "everyone" this year, maybe next.  It's so relaxing though, I really enjoy it.

16.  Learn how to shoot in manual mode on my camera - I did a lot of learning before our trip to Alaska, and I am now able to put it in manual mode and take decent pictures.  I know what aperture, shutter speed, ISO, metering, and white balance mean, and I am learning how to adjust all those knobs to get the look I want.  I still have a long way to go, but it's encouraging to even be able to take these first steps.  My favorite setting is still aperture priority, especially taking advantage of my 50mm f1.8 lens!

23. Go on a backpacking trip - Our time in Denali was a pseudo-backpacking trip.  I don't think it quite counts for the spirit of this goal.  I'm sure we'll have other trips in the future though!

24.  Move the piano to our house - Check and check!  I hired movers a few weeks ago to do this.  Now I just need to get it tuned (it sounds awful) and maybe try to carve out a little time to play.  I know when I was younger playing the piano was a big stress relief outlet for me.

26.  Plant a garden - Wellll... we now have basil and cilantro in pots on our front porch.  That must count for something??  j/k.  Our current plan has us using this winter to get the "garden" plot ready, and planting our first go round in the late winter/early spring - basically whenever the season starts down here in FL.

32.  Finish the FAS model project - this is a project I have at work and I swear it is going to be the death of me.  That is all.

34. Buy a suit - This might actually happen this weekend.  I am presenting in a pretty important review on monday that I need a suit for.   I'm going shopping tomorrow, but might just borrow one from a friend if I don't find anything. 

35.  Learn 5 new crockpot recipes - Just this past week I made apricot chicken from this recipe.  I was kind of middle of the road in my opinion of this.  Maybe next time I will try it with chicken breasts instead, I think I might enjoy that more.

39.  Go on a US vacation each year - Well Alaska definitely counts for this year.  We're also going to DC next weekend for a quick trip.

42.  Sneak into a movie - I did this with My Sister's Keeper and The Hangover.  Went to the first movie with some girlfriends, and the guys joined us for the second.  As much as I hate to say it, I think I enjoyed The Hangover more.  I love My Sister's Keeper as a book, so of course the movie just wasn't quite as good.

43.  Read 50 books - I am keeping track of that here.

44.  Blog more regularly - 50 new posts - Well this post makes 12.

50.  Give away something that I could've sold - We gave our kitchen table and chairs to Darren's brothers when we got a new one.  I don't think I'll count this one as done yet, because there's something of a generous attitude in this that is really the point.  I have a tendency to be a tiny bit stingy when it comes to money, that is something I am still working on.

This is getting long so I think I will save the second half of the list for tomorrow!  That is a good sign though, it must mean I am getting things done.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


So I really meant to post a little more about our Alaska trip, but I keep getting distracted by all the craziness going on next door to my bedroom.  ie. the bathroom.  Or in it's current state I guess it would be correct to call it the empty room with the hole in the floor, or something like that.

Let me back up a bit.  Before the hole in the floor, there was the hole in the wall.  When we took down the medicine cabinet, we discovered this gem hiding behind it.  Nice, huh?  Like whoever did this last just didn't feel like fixing anything else and thought, eh, it'll be covered up, no biggie.

Now we're getting somewhere.  Here's the shower in the middle of the demo process.  Filled with debris.  Doesn't a picture like this just warm your heart a little?  Right..?

It's so hard to take good photos in such a little space.  Below, everything is out (tile, walls, floor, shower, toilet, etc) and we're about to sledgehammer our way through to the guest bedroom.

This is looking a little scary.  (Do those walls looks pink to you?  This is the "beige" Darren picked out before I was ever in the picture.  I like to tease him that he painted the bedroom pink.)

Yesterday, we had a plumber come to redo the piping in the floor.  Since we're rearranging the layout of the room, the pipes needed to be moved.  We're basically looking at the dirt underneath our house.  This stuff hasn't seen the light of day in 45 years.  It was a noisy, messy day, but they got everything done.  Today they came back and repoured concrete in the hole.  We'll give it a few days, and then we plan to start rebuilding the wall this coming weekend.  Progress!  Yes!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

What we have planned

As a followup to my last post, I thought I'd say a little about our plans for the bathroom. Currently, it's the master bathroom, but our grand plan involves turning it into the guest bathroom, and vice versa.

These drawings are NOT to scale (please remember that!), but they convey the general idea of what we want to do. First, is the current configuration. Tiny master bath, long skinny guest bath, TINY master closet, etc. By switching the bathrooms, we hope to solve a lot of the "problems", as well as making them extra nice in the process. :)

Next, you can see what our final plan is. The small bathroom will make a nice guest bath, and that is the one we are working on first. The larger bathroom will be combined with the extra closet space (linen and AC) to make a mini master bath "suite". The closet should increase in size, which will be amazing, and the rest of the bathroom should be laid out a little better as well. It looks a little squished in the drawing, but I think that's just due to my hastily drawn not to scale model. We've handdrawn the layout to scale and it looks really good.

As for what is going in the bathroom, we've picked out a few things. Here's the sink we want. I think it's a really classy alternative when you have a small space that will only fit a pedestal style sink. This is from the "Archer" series by Kohler. I also like the idea of the blue walls, I'm thinking about doing something like that, but there's more time for those decisions later.

Here's a picture of the bathtub we're getting (minus the whirlpool jets). It's a soaking tub, so it's a little deeper than your standard tub. We also want to get the drop-in style, and do a tile deck around it like in the picture. Our tile will be different, of course, although we haven't picked it out yet.
So that's basically where we are so far. This weekend is demo weekend, so we'll have some pictures of that soon.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Bathroom - Before

When Darren and I were engaged and trying to decide where to live after getting married, there was only one request I made. If we were to move into his house, please, for the love of everything holy, could we redo the master bath. Seriously. Not only is terribly outdated and ugly, but it is just, well, nasty. In the almost 9 months that I have been living here, I have been avoiding the master and using the guest bath.

After much debate and research, we have finally begun! We've made some decisions, drawn up some plans, and started the demolition earlier this week. We'll be doing 90% of the work ourselves, so this might take awhile, but I can't wait!

So, to kick this all off, I thought I'd share a few of our "before" pictures. Goodbye bathroom!

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