The Reno–Part II

Have you ever wondered what wrestling a dead gator whose body wants nothing more than to return to the bayou for its final rest is like? No? I hadn’t either. Until the fateful day I decided I could totally install floating sheet vinyl, this one to be specific

How hard can it really be? All the tutorials and online videos made it seem so simple. Since I’m basically Bob Villa, I knew had this down. Then my husband asked if I was sure the floor didn’t need to be glued at all? Yes. Absolutely positive. It floats. “Why don’t you ask someone who has actually done this?” He countered. Fine. So I drilled the associate at Menards who sold me the vinyl. “Technically, since it’s floating, no. You don’t need any glue. But, if your husband wants, it wouldn’t hurt to at least glue around the perimeter. This is what you will need.” 

Ugh, fine. I’ll glue around the flipping perimeter. After getting the flooring home, I laid the sheet out on my bedroom floor and grabbed the roll of construction paper from my best friend (they just did a major floor and paint remodel and had a bunch left over) to make a pattern of the room.

After cutting was complete, a quick fit check in the laundry room was essential. The fit was perfect and, honestly, I was ridiculously proud of myself. Still in denial despite my husband and the floor guys advice that I needed to glue the floor, I phoned a friend, Mike Wallace, to fact check.

Mikes initial response after I told him what I was doing was laughter, followed by the admission that, unless his life is on the line, he avoids installing sheet vinyl at all costs. But, yes, Steve was right, I needed to glue. Adding, “If I’m laying vinyl, regardless of the type, I glue the whole thing so it doesn’t slip at all.” My response was less graceful as I conceded that my husband was right. 

By this point, it was time to just do the damn thing. Glue was on the essential spots—perimeter, in front of cabinets and washer/dryer (still in denial all the glue was necessary). While it set for 15 minutes, I got the vinyl rolled up and ready for transfer. Then it was time (in the Rafiki from Lion King voice in my head). 

Floor went down easily enough and I thought, this wasn’t so bad. Then, I noticed the giant air bubble in the middle. In a furious dash, I tried to stomp and smooth the bubble out in vain. The bubble wasn’t going anywhere and did nothing but mock. At that point, I made the rash decision to pull up the floor from the corner while there was still time and try to re-lay it. No luck. So I ripped it up again and put down more glue in the middle section. Before I could lay it down again, my grip failed (it was really heavy + sweaty palms) and I dropped the corner (which already had glue on it). Falling down my leggings the profanity began as the sheet landed wrong side down on top of the new floor…

A guttural and feral response escaped my lips as I wrenched up the folded vinyl. My favorite leggings were beyond salvage. But, I had to get the glue off the top of the floor and still had to contend with that wretched air bubble that had gotten smaller with the extra glue but was still there. Continuing my string of profanity that would make the saltiest of sailors blush, my son (who was home sick) timidly approached and asked if I needed help. I growled at him and continued to furiously scrub the glue off top and roll it out with a marble rolling pin (because it’s what MacGyver would use if he didn’t have the actual vinyl roller). Realizing my leggings and socks were just transferring more glue to the top of the floor, I quickly discarded them as I worked in a frenzy. If I was a cartoon character, my hair would have been sticking straight up with steam shooting out of my ears. 

Two hours of intermittent rolling and scrubbing later, it was time to throw in the towel and accept reality. The floor was in. The bubbles were out and although there were glue traces on top of it, they weren’t sticky and were barely perceptible. Plus, I’d gotten a pretty good core workout (silver lining!) As my son was recounting the event to my husband, he said, “I was praying that mommy would stop saying bad words.” Insert mom-of-the-year status and palm-to-face. But, I did it and fully understand Mike’s laughter. The rest of the room came together pretty quickly after that and while I love making things prettier, I’m content to leave gator-wrestling to the pros. On that note, enjoy the pics and… 

Happy shopping! 

The Reno–Part I

Last year, we completely renovated our kitchen. Full on gutted it and tacked on the dining room too. Being the hoard../I mean saver he is, my husband rescued some of the cabinets from complete demo to be used in the laundry room (which didn’t make the cut that first round of renovations because money). Over the next year, those cabinets sat in our basement and bedroom (we still have the old stove in there, but that’s for another project), seemingly forgotten. Then, one fateful Tuesday evening mid February, Husband proclaimed, “We should do the laundry room this weekend!” It should be noted that my husbands version of this upgrade consisted of hanging the cabinets and rewiring behind the washer and dryer. 

Mine was full makeover—painting cabinets, wallpaper and better lighting. Queue instant panic. As the list in my head of what I wanted to do grew, the reality of three days before “start” set in. Our laundry doubles as our main pantry and as such, there was a lot to remove. Once that was done I looked, really looked, at the walls and realized in addition to countless marks and scratches, there were two different finishes of white—one flat and one semi-gloss. Ew. Fresh paint allover in my favorite shade took care of that and allowed cabinets to indeed get hung that weekend. 

About said cabinets. My cousin-in-law, Javier, owns a professional painting company so I naturally reached out to him for cabinet painting advice. In a nutshell he let me know I needed to sand first with a 225 grit, prime with KILZ Restoration Interior Primer, sand again, then paint with Advance in semigloss from Benjamin Moore in Beau Green. Me wanting to figure out if there was a way around the priming bit (because who needs extra steps?) naively asked if I really had to prime and was told, “You must use primer or your paint will fail.” I interpreted that as, “Don’t have sex; because, you will get pregnant and die…” thanks, Coach Carr.   

Since I didn’t want to rise failure or death, I listened. And was really glad too because the cabinets were pretty awesome—thank you, Javier. Despite all the steps involved, they were done pretty quickly also thanks to our amazing friends (Cara and Jason), who helped hang then spray the first and second coats of paint. It should be noted the cabinets were hung over the weekend. Before they were sanded. I don’t recommend this; but, it’s how it worked out so I just rolled with it. 

After the cabinets were up and painted, I realized quickly I really wanted to add some wallpaper for something a little bit unexpected. After perusing what was available locally, I resorted to Amazon because everything in store was the same chevron patterned shade of neutral or some variation. Great for some, not for me. Found a fantastic wave patten peel-and-stick and ordered immediately. While waiting for that to arrive (so, a day), I purchased the flooring I wanted to put in— a “floating” vinyl. 

Flooring wasn’t part of the initial plan. At all. Our previous house had white vinyl floor in the kitchen. And I despised it with a significant part of my being. With that disdain came the solemn vow that I would NEVER have white vinyl floors again. Enter the next move and THE SAME white vinyl floor in the kitchen and laundry room. As the last vinyl holdout, and since I had already removed all of the baseboards and quarter round (without breaking any) I thought, how hard can a floating vinyl floor really be to install? 

With that famous last thought, it’s time to sign off for now; but, I promise the rest of the story and finished product pictures soon. Stay tuned. Until then…

Happy Shopping!  

The Shape

Not super sure what’s happening in my life right now—I relate much more to the light; but the macabre has been a recurring theme for me as I’ve fully embraced my love of classical and contemporary gothic-type horror. Currently reading Poe short stories despite inundating myself with vampiric binge reads of the Twilight Saga variety and then some lately… Judge me all you want. I’m ok with it. But, I’ve been reading and watching. What started as my husband suggesting we watch Interview With A Vampire turned into me forcing him to watch the first Twilight then bingeing the rest myself. 

Admittedly the movies leave a lot to be desired. Unless you’re watching Alice’s wardrobe. Her wardrobe is amazing—largely because the clothes perfectly suit her character and body shape. And ironically, the colors work for her too. I can’t say that about all of the characters in the movies…cough, Edward Cullen, cough… But I’ll cover colors another time. 

Body shape is the name of this game. Let’s be honest. There are A LOT of blogs and sites across the inter webs that pertain to body shape and how to dress for them. If you’d like to get into specifics, absolutely drop me a line; until then, I’m just going to cover the five basic body shapes and cover a few suggestions for each one. 

Up to bat first is the hourglass. Basically, shoulders and hips are roughly the same measurement with a defined waist. 36, 24, 36 (if you know, you know ;). Think Marilyn Monroe. Pick styles that accentuate your narrow waist. A tucked in v-neck blouse with high-waisted trousers will be a wardrobe classic. 

Next up is an apple shape. Like an apple, it’s round with a less defined waist. Think Queen Latifah. A wrap dress that draws your eye inward toward the middle and creates a waistline and balances and defines proportions is a great place to start. 

Not only is a wrap dress great on an apple shape, it also works really well on a pear, or triangle, shaped body. Narrower shoulders and waist with larger hips. Kim Kardashian #nailsit. A pencil skirt with a blouse that has pouf sleeves or shoulder detail also works well for this shape. 

Fourth on the lineup is an inverted triangle. Your bust/shoulders are larger than your hips. And your battle is balancing your bottom half with your top half. An a-line dress or fit-and-flare dress will help you achieve this seamlessly as the extra fullness of both bottom halves create the illusion of proportion with your top half. 

Last, but not least, is a rectangle. Also commonly referred to as an “athletic” body shape. It’s simultaneously my favorite shape and arch nemesis. Only because I dress it. Every. Single. Day. Admittedly, this is a pretty versatile shape to clothe. In the pants department, wide legs and skinny work equally well as long as they’re balanced on top. You can create the illusion of an hourglass with a v-neck or scoop neck top either tucked in or worn loose. 

Regardless what shape you have been blessed with. Yes, I very firmly believe my blessed statement. I’ll leave you with this. Above all else, TRY EVERYTHING ON! Even if it’s an item that is “supposed” to work for your body type, you’re going to need to try it on before you commit to it. If the craftsmanship, material, or color aren’t right, scrap it. Because I promise you, there is something better. Something that is perfect. And when you put it on, you’ll know. Because you’ll look at yourself in the mirror and think, this is it. This was made just for me. If ever there’s a doubt, send me a pic. I tell it to you straight. 

Happy shopping! 

P.S. Team Edward. Always and forever. 

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