Guest Room Closet

The guest room closet is 10 inches deep, meaning we needed to get creative to make it useful. Since we don’t really have that many guests coming with hanging clothes, plus hangers don’t fit, we knew we needed to figure out a new plan.

What we did need was linen storage. Currently all of our extra sheets and towels were in a dresser in the old office/new nursery. But with the baby coming, that dresser needs to go, so the linens had no where to live.

The guest room closet was the only option, and it would allow access to guests to grab towels and wash clothes as needed.

The closet is made of Brick with crumbling plaster on top of it. Here is the before picture:

IMG_1324 (1)

First, we needed to cover the plaster and old brick. We couldn’t frame and drywall because we would have lost too many inches in the depth of the closet. So I just decided to nail some paneling to the back wall. I had so much extra paneling from the staircase in the basement, so I just reused that.

I started with a few blobs of liquid nails on the back and used the nail gun to secure it.


Next, I gave that paneling a coat of primer and paint, since I wouldn’t be able to get back in to that area of the closet once the shelves were installed.


I had planned to make my own shelving, but the cost of lumber then time to paint and build everything was way more expensive then installing a basic closet system. I picked up the two mounting pieces, 6 shelf brackets and 3 white shelves from Home Depot.

I first used a brick/cement drill bit to pre-drill the holes, and then tapcon Brick screws to secure the mounting brackets to the back wall. I added the shelf brackets and laid the shelves on top:


The nice thing about this, is that we could add more shelves if we need to, it is totally customizable as our needs change. And now for the completely unstaged actual photo of our towels and spare sheets in the closet #keepingitreal:


We added a laundry basket at the bottom for guests to throw dirty towels. The space to the right will be for extra toilet paper. And a quick Before and After:

Now that that’s done, this guest room is officially complete! One less room to think about before baby comes!



2nd Floor Updates and Nursery Progress

With the guest room almost done, we moved on throughout the 2nd Floor, updating both small and large projects. This post is going to be one of those general updates list of all the projects done in the past week or two:


I grabbed some wall paint, moulding paint and caulk and moved my way up and down the hallway caulking any areas that have gapped over the last year and half, touched up the wall paint in any areas with scratches or nicks and freshened up the moulding with a fresh coat of white paint.

I also changed out all of the light bulbs to LED’s. We like these and plan on changing out the whole house, one room at a time.


Hallway To-Do List- Done!


We have gotten started on the nursery, and so far it is not going quite as planned. We loved the wall color in here that we painted originally, but apparently, as seen in this post, I didn’t post the color name, and have no touch-up paint left. An electrician had to bust a few small holes in the walls that we patched up, but I cannot for the life of me match this paint color. I have been running around to every single paint store grabbing swatches and test paints. Nothing matches.

So now we are going to have to re-paint. Good news is, since we know we are having a girl, I can have some fun with a girly room and paint color.

Other than the paint fiasco, I purchased this area rug as the jumping off point. It is neutral, the perfect 8’x8′ size and was just over $100. Sold!

I also replaced the light fixture in this room with this, and changed out the switch to be a dimmer.


Nursery To-Do List:

  • Paint Walls
  • Fix Outlet on the brick wall (Currently is a child hazard, as it is a little loose in the wall and need to be securely affixed to the brick with an outlet cover added)
  • Hang Blackout Curtain for daytime naps
  • Furnish!


Our master bedroom was fine, until I got my dream comforter for Christmas. I received this Pottery Barn duvet cover as a Christmas gift and I love it! Once I got it all set up in the room, I realized the wall color and the bedding were very closely matched, making both look muddy and blah. So, while we are basically painting every other surface in our house, we might as well repaint the bedroom.

We chose the color Behr Cotton Knit and painted the walls this past Sunday. It is light and fresh and makes the duvet cover shine.


While we were in this room, I changed the outlets to white and added outlet covers, changed out the bulbs to our favorite LED’s and installed a cord cover over the TV Wires.

Master Bedroom To-Do List:

  • Build a Bed


We haven’t done anything in the Bathroom, but I figured I would add it to the list, so we can see what is remaining.

Bathroom To-Do List:

  • Tile Outside curb of the shower
  • Grout Outside curb of the shower and the edges of the shower
  • Install, Caulk and Paint 1/4 Round (once above 2 are complete)



A Guest Room Fit for Grandparents

So since finding out we were expecting, the Type A Planner in me has never been more crazy. Basically I am petrified of the moment that the pregnancy impedes on house progress. It may be a totally irrational fear, but I know once Baby Girl arrives, reno time is basically non-existent. So we are currently in what I would “the mad rush” to get the projects that are outstanding, complete.

First thing I did was walk around the whole house and made a complete list of everything that needs to be done. Some are big projects, painting full rooms, the stairs renovation, etc, and others are small, like adding outlet covers to our master bedroom and hanging a window treatment here or there. The is list is long, like a few pages long, but we have split it in to 1st Floor and 2nd Floor and are working our way through it.

Currently, we are working on the second floor guest room. Last we left off, we were framing out the guest room ceiling, and we had just finished drywall.

Over the next few day, Collin worked on sanding, patching, sanding, patching, until the ceiling was ready for paint.


During the framing, one area of the plaster wall chipped away and needed to be patched up. Collin used drywall and spackle to patch up the wall and sanded, for what felt like forever, to make it even:


We painted the ceiling using the regular ceiling paint:


We also decided to use this time to repaint the walls. We chose the color Behr Campfire Ash. We also purchased a bed on Facebook Market from a neighbor. Everything else in the room was there before, and just got moved back in to the space:



We are loving how fresh and bright the room feels! I am glad we were able to get this done before grandparents and guests start coming down here to visit with Baby in the winter!

BUT, it’s not fully complete yet. The closet in this room needs to be done. It is currently a small closet (about 8″deep) with a brick/plaster wall in the back. The plan is to just clean it up and add in some shelving to make it in to a linen closet. It isn’t deep enough for a hanger, but would be great for towels and sheets and spare toiletries. Once that closet gets updated, we can mark this room as fully complete!


So now that the cat is out of the social-media bag, big news is that we are pregnant! We are over the moon excited and can’t wait to welcome a baby girl in November 2018.

So, today’s post is going  to take it back a few months and recap what my first trimester was like, house progress and the plans moving forward.

The First Trimester:

We found out we were pregnant in Mid-March. We had been trying to get pregnant for almost 20 months, and had an appointment set to meet with fertility doctors, but that positive pregnancy test came 2 days before the fertility appointment. Apparently baby girl is following in her mothers “I work best in the last minute” footsteps.

We were obviously so excited, but equally as nervous. When you have trouble getting pregnant, you don’t want to get your hopes too high. All that was left was to sit and wait for the next 4 weeks until our first doctors appointment at 8 weeks.

For the first 8 weeks I was not actually sure there was a baby in there. I had no morning sickness and very little symptoms. I did have aversions to foods like all meat products, dairy and anything with any type of flavor. So I basically lived off of bagels and peanut butter for 4 weeks. Besides that and some exhaustion, I thought I should *feel* more pregnant (whatever that means).

Our 8 week doctor appointment was pretty much the best day ever and we got our first ultrasound and were able to see that sweet baby’s heartbeat.

At our week 10 doctors appointment they drew blood that we chose to send off for testing for genetic abnormalities and gender. The results came back 2 weeks later – Everything was low risk, which is amazing, and they let us know that it was a girl, also amazing!

The next few weeks were a whirlwind of travel for work, weddings, bachelorette parties and back and forth to New York a few times. I did find that I had an increase in motion sickness <– Super fun, and that I needed about 3 days of sleep after a weekend of travel, but other than that I felt great, but those food aversions were still going strong!

Everyone kept saying that in the second trimester you’ll feel better, and like clock work, they were right. I hit week 12 and it was like I was awake and hungry again. It was glorious!

So that is the very short version of the first 12 weeks. We are currently coming up on 16 weeks pregnant and feeling great!

Gender Reveal Brunch:

Since Collin and I had already knew the gender, we wanted to reveal to our family in a fun and exciting way! We purchased confetti guns from Target, and planned a small brunch with our immediate families.

For the brunch, we kept it simple with bagels, a yogurt bar, some gender dyed deviled eggs, homemade baked treats and a few hot dishes. For drinks we had a mimosa bar and coffee. Decorations were all from either Party City or A.C. Moore.


We also had pink and blue necklaces for everyone to chose when they came in to see what their votes were. Most people, including all 4 grandparents, voted boy!

We gathered everyone around for the big reveal! The grandparents pulled their confetti guns and to say everyone was shocked would be an understatement. You can check out the full reveal video on my instagram!


The House Status:

Before we found out we were pregnant, we were planning on trying to get the house ready for sale for this spring. That plan changed as soon as that positive pregnancy test came in. The thought of having to rush a few projects, in addition to how tired I was feeling, stressed me out. We decided to stay put in this house, at least until next year.

But that didn’t mean there isn’t tons to do to get ready for baby! You’ve seen us finishing off the bathroom, and working on the guest room. We have been moving full steam ahead on those and I hope to have an updated post early next week on where we are.

The goal is to get the upstairs fully complete, set up the nursery, and get the stairs done prior to the baby’s arrival, while still enjoying our last summer as a party of 2.





Guest Room – New Ceiling

By now, you know one of our favorite things is starting a new project before the other is complete. So it should come as no surprise that we are moving on from the bathroom a bit early.

So bringing it way back, the first project we worked on when we first moved in to this house was the Guest Bedroom located in the back of the house. Here is a quick trip down memory lane:

Day 1 – Move in Day (minus the furniture)!


Original Space – from the Zillow Listing 

Sept 2016 – First Finished Room in the House!



It was looking pretty good and worked really well for guests, but we needed to finish the ceiling.

When we first ripped out the old plaster ceiling and exposed the wooden beams, I was feeling exited about the character it added. But, as we started to finish the rest of the rooms in the house, I just loved how clean and fresh they looked with nice bright white ceiling.

In addition to the dark, semi-scary ceiling, there was no overhead light in this room. The lamp in the corner was the only source of lighting, which made the dark room, even darker.

So we figured we would swing back around to this room once the bathroom was complete.

To start, Collin spent a day off framing out the ceiling with 2×4’s. The walls in this room are plaster still, so he had to chip away at some weak areas to install the wall beams, but eventually got everything up:


Next step was to install lighting. This room had a switch on the wall already that controlled that outlet seen in the above picture. The goal was to have that outlet always “hot” or on, and the switch to now control the ceiling light.

First we installed the electrical box in the ceiling beams, and ran some wire through the box:


We ran the wire down the wall to the switch. Once the wires were all connected and taped up, Collin and I tested the light fixture and it worked!

We ended up removing the light fixture to allow for the drywall installation.

We only had 2 full pieces of drywall left in our stash, so Collin and I installed those in the room, and then used some scrap drywall to patch in two areas (in green board).



We ran out of drywall on the last 2 pieces, of course:


Collin is going to try to get those last two pieces up and the first coat of Spackle on this week/weekend.

Since this room is mostly done (aside from the ceiling), this project should go quickly. Just some sanding/patching and a coat of paint. We do need to spruce up the closet in this room next, but I am not looking forward to that project so I’ll keep trying to ignore it for now.

Bathroom Detail Work

So it turns out that once your bathroom is to a point of functioning, like, you can shower and use the toilet, you have very little motivation to actually finish said bathroom.

Life has been a little crazy around here. We have been home maybe 2 weekends out of the last 6 or 7. Lots of exciting stuff happening, but we haven’t touched a tool or paint brush in weeks.

But we need to get moving on getting this to-do list to-done, so were back with progress updates and plans moving forward.

Last we left off, we had the following outstanding details that needed to be completed in the bathroom:

  • Install Shower Glass
  • Finish Shiplap Wall/Re-Center Light fixtures
  • Tile back of the shower curb
  • Baseboard and Door Moulding
  • Paint the Window and Surround
  • Art

Shockingly, we have finished 3 out of 6 items!

  1. Install Shower Glass doors and Shelves:

I ordered our new shower doors from here. It was a pretty big risk getting glass panels shipped, but the warranty was good, so I took the chance. They both came in perfect condition.

To install, we used a tile drill bit to drill 2 holes in to the tile walls. The door company sent an anchor and screw and we screwed in the mounting piece. Then we slide in the glass, and tightened the mounting screw. We finished it all of with a bead of clear caulk all around the edges.

The corner shelves are the same process, pre-drill the holes with a tile drill bit, insert anchor and screw in mounting bracket.

Honestly, I was really scared about these, specifically, drilling in to our brand new tile, but it went pretty seamlessly and looks super professional.


2. Finish Shiplap Wall and Re-Center Light Fixtures:

When I initially installed the lighting for the shiplap wall, I centered it off of the center of the wall. Then the vanity got installed and I realized they were not centered over the sinks <– Whoops!

So I had to remove the top 3 boards of shiplap, move the lighting and electrical to the correct locations, re-cut new shiplap, and reinstall the shiplap and the light fixtures.

To finish off the wall, I installed 1/4 Round moulding around the edges and caulked and painted everything to match the walls.


3. Art:

We needed some art to tie the two sides of the bathroom together. There is a color palette of light pinks and some blue accents in the rug, so I wanted to bring some color above the toilet area, next to the shower.

I picked up this art from Minted. I ordered it online, not framed and grabbed a nice big frame from Target.

The wood from the frame goes with the mirror and the colors match the rugs perfectly!


Updated to-do list:

  • Install Shower Glass
  • Finish Shiplap Wall/Re-Center Light fixtures
  • Tile back of the shower curb
  • Baseboard and Door Moulding
  • Paint the Window and Surround
  • Art

We are currently working on finishing the bathroom and installing a ceiling in the back guest room at the same time, so the next few posts will likely flip flop between the two rooms.


Final Stretch of the Bathroom Reno

Happy Thursday!

We are in the last stretch of the renovation, and finally made it to the fun finishing part! Instead of our usual daily updates, I’m just going move around the room and post about what was done over the last 2 weeks.

1. Marble Shower Curb: We had some issues getting to the point of done, but it’s in and it is gorgeous! We still need to tile the other side of the curb. with the same tile as the shower walls.


2. Double Vanity: We purchased this vanity. I ordered it online for pick up at Home Depot. It came in four pieces, the base, the top and two sinks. First step was to install the sinks while the top was upside down:


After that dried for 24 hours, we installed the top on the base:


3. Plumbing: I installed the faucets using this product. It was soooo easy and required no cement, or glue or anything like that. It just basically pushes on to the water supply lines until it clicks in place.

Collin worked on the plumbing of the drain. I picked up all of the different pieces needed and he used the primer and cement to get everything together. We let everything dry for a few hours and then tested to make sure it was working. Everything was a success, and the plumbing part went surprisingly smoothly.

4. Mirrors: I installed the Mirrors that I picked up from Target. They are wood frame mirrors that tie in to the floors and give a nice contrast on the light gray walls. Installing the mirrors confirmed my fear that the lights were not installed at the correct center point, so I will be going back and fixing that, promise!

Here is where we are now:


Everything is fully functioning, but we still have a few more items to check off before we are done:

  • Install Shower Glass
  • Finish Shiplap Wall/Re-Center Light fixtures
  • Tile back of the shower curb
  • Baseboard and Door Moulding
  • Paint the Window and Surround
  • Art

So close to the finish line!

Tiling the Bathroom Floors

Guys! The Bathroom is sooooo close to done! Today I’m back with some general updates and details about the tiled floors.

We last left off with a true disaster. Collin and I decided to make the past week a full push to completion, instead of moving at a realistic pace and it taking us 3 weeks to finish. So get ready for the whirlwind week:

Last Thursday:  We installed the hardboard for the floor. We secured it using cement board screws directly in to the subfloor:


We were also able to get the drywall on the ceiling and remaining walls in place.

Friday: Collin did the first coat of drywall mud

Saturday: I installed the Shiplap wall (detailed post coming this week) and then gave up on work and went to Brunch. Collin got home from work at 4 PM to me napping 🙂 . We called it a day, and headed out for dinner and drinks instead!

Sunday we were back on track, sanding the walls and drywall, priming the Shiplap wall and installing the light fixtures. We were done by 2 PM and ready for some lunch and duckpin bowling!

Monday was Tile Day! I got home from work and got right to it.

**Important note here: We only have 1 bathroom in the house, so Tile day, also meant, no toilet day – FOR 3 DAYS!!!! I am still scarred by this, so won’t go in to detail, but lets just say there were a lot of trips to Starbucks and a lot of eating dinner at restaurants, just to use the restroom before going home…

I just kind of winged the tile (as usual) and installed the first run along side the shower:


Yes that’s the toilet in my brand new shower. Oh, did I not mention we didn’t have a shower for 3 days either. Hello Gym, my old friend. Too bad there was no workout being done…

I continued the tile, using my tile saw to cut any difficult areas (I’m looking at you angled wall). I finished about 80% of the tile on Monday night.


Tuesday: Collin and I got home after work to put the last coat of spackle on the walls and ceiling and finish the last few pieces of tile. We got everything done, then headed out for a late dinner (and much deserved beers), and of course using the restroom before heading home.

Wednesday: Grout day! Collin had work at night, so I was on my own. I mixed up the grout and used a grout tool to “squish” it in to the grout lines. I made sure to start in the back of the room and work my way out, cleaning as I went. Here she is, all ready!


Thursday: I woke Collin up at 6 AM to install the toilet! Hallelujah! Since the grout was dry, and I was sick of the Starbucks bathroom, we installed in just a few minutes and we back in action!


Finally, Thursday night we painted. The walls got a coat of Glidden’s Smooth Stone, lightened 75%. It is a very very light gray that matched the tile almost perfectly.


I also, picked up the Vanity and it is a beast! But gorgeous! Tonight’s job is to get it installed, so might be able to stop brushing our teeth in the kitchen <– For some reason this grosses me out!

Moving right along!

Bathroom Demo – Round 2

Hi All!

If you thought the bathroom couldn’t look worse, you would be wrong. It’s looking really bad right now, but I can see a slight light at the end of the tunnel (kind of).

This past weekend was spent on small projects like painting, installing the ceiling light fixture and the toilet paper holder.

One issue we ran in to this weekend had to do with the stone for the shower curbs. I had picked out a remnant piece of marble to be installed on the shower curbs. When the guys got here to install, we realized they beveled the edge of the marble. It looks beautiful, but the bevel went the entire piece, when it should have stopped where one piece met the next.

It is nearly impossible to explain in writing, and I have no pictures, but the end of the story is, it had to go back to the stone yard to be re-cut.

This wouldn’t normally be a huge deal, except that we needed to demo our entire old shower this weekend to prep for the plumber on Tuesday. So we are left with garbage bags over the curbs while we use the new shower for the next week (or two). It’s super glamorous.

Collin was off on Monday and Tuesday, so he was able to make some major progress. He was tasked with demoing the vanity, sink, walls and shower on Monday. This is what I came home to:


Tuesday morning was plumbing day! The plumber came for a few hours and roughed in the double vanity plumbing. After the plumber left, Collin started demoing the tile floor. He was on a roll, and chipped away every tile with just a hammer and a screw driver.



Wednesday, when I got home from work, I decided to try my hand at some electrical. The quote we got was high, I knew I could run the electric for the two vanity lights myself. I watched a YouTube video, Googled some images of what the wiring should look like and got to work. I was able to install the boxes for the two vanity lights, new white switches and one GFCI outlet.

Ignore the hanging light fixtures, they still need to be installed, after my super special wall treatment.


The rest of this week/weekend will include installing cement board on the floors, finishing off the drywall, a special wall treatment and possibly even starting to tile the floors. I think the next 4-5 days are going to be crazy work hours, but the bathroom is looking like it should finish up by next Wednesday!



Project Status, a Big Issue, and how we fixed it

Happy Monday!

I swear, we are moving along full force, but I can’t keep up with the blogging portion! Today’s post is going to be a bullet progress report, so get ready for a lot of information and very little detail 🙂

  • On Monday (2/12), Collin had work at night, so he spent the morning starting to patch the drywall and ceilings. When I got home from work I headed straight in to grouting. I was able to grout both of the walls and get them cleaned up.
  • Tuesday night after work, Collin and I were able grout the shower floor.


  • Wednesday was Valentine’s Day, so we bailed on house work and headed out for beers and burgers instead.
  • Thursday was my Birthday! We headed away for a long weekend of snowmobiling and snowboarding in upstate New York with my family! We stayed up there until Monday (2/20)


  • Tuesday and Wednesday I had a work trip to Syracuse, NY. While I was there, Collin continued work on the drywall and patching.
  • Wednesday night I flew in to Baltimore late, and had to head back to New York on Thursday morning to help my dad after a surgery he had. I drove up to NY Thursday morning and drove back to Baltimore Friday night. I was able to swing by the Granite shop on my way up to New York to finalize the granite thresholds that will go on the shower curb.

It was a pretty killer week, but I’m finally back in Baltimore to pick up where I left off on the bathroom.

Saturday morning (2/24/18) , Collin had work, so I was on my own. The best start to a Saturday is a trash pickup. My trash guys came and loaded up 2 pick up trucks full of demo and construction trash that was in our house. TWO pick up trucks! It was great to start Saturday feeling a little lighter and able to move around the house a little easier.

Next, I installed the faucets for the shower. I just followed directions on the box and used a YouTube video to help on some areas.


So, this is where our big mistake came in. In testing the water, I turned on the shower. Good news, it worked without any leaks. Bad news, the water was pooling around the drain area. We didn’t set the drain low enough below the tile and the last bits of the water from the shower weren’t going down the drain i.e. we would have a swamp of standing water in our shower at all times. Apparently water has a tough time taking a step up, ugh.

This is a major no-no.

Collin wasn’t home so I just continued doing some other updates like getting another coat of Spackle on the walls and cleaning up around the house.

When Collin got home,  it was time to come up with a plan. We tested the water again and my fears were confirmed, we needed to lower the drain cap. So we did what every normal person would do, and ignored it for now and headed out for dinner and margaritas <– Solves everything, right?

Sunday morning it was time to deal with it. We started by outlining how much floor we needed to remove. Yes, remove, as in the floor we just finished laying and grouting less than 2 weeks ago.

We used our Dremel with a grout attachment to outline how far we would need to remove and then used a chisel and hammer to pull up the tiles:



Once they were up, we cleaned up the area, unscrewed the drain and began to chisel away at the area around the drain to make it lower:


Next we cleaned up the area screwed the drain back in, lower than the tiles. After that, we dry fit our tiles, just placing in the right pattern and size to fit the area. We removed one or two at a time and added thinset to the floor and tiles, continuously checking to make sure they were level with the drain.


It needs a day to dry before we can re-grout the area. I’m glad we were able to resolve the issue. It only took us an hour from start to finish, and is not really costing us project time, since we can’t shower until the granite curbs are installed anyway, but smashing tiles that you just installed with a hammer is not fun. Next time I am going to be crazy careful about this.

The rest of the day was spent sanding the walls to prep for primer and paint, meal prepping and just generally getting the house in some kind of order as we start a more normal week!


The goal is to be showering in here by Friday, so fingers crossed everything goes as planned.