Removing 30 Year Old Carpet

Yesterday afternoon, as my workday was winding down, I was browsing Pinterest.  Sometimes while I browse, a spark of inspiration hits and I search around for similar ideas.  So, as it often does, inspiration struck and I decided to find out exactly what I could do about the disgusting carpet that covers the floors in most of my home.  I have seen a few people laying plywood down and staining it like you would hardwoods.  Why put plywood down over plywood? So I searched for “stained plywood subfloors” and saw that there are quite a few people out there who have tried it, but none ever put together a clear, concise, and well documented tutorial of it.  So maybe I will. Later.

The whole reason I was browsing Pinterest was because I could not stand the carpet on the first floor for another day.  There is just nothing you can do about decades of poorly trained pets and hoarders.  The carpet could not be helped by any amount of shampooing (despite the denial I had closeted myself in the last 2 years).  When my sister came in to pick me up from work, I ran the idea of staining the subfloors past her.  She was in.

We went home, changed, and moved out all the furniture.  We went from this:


To this:




The dogs had no idea what to do.  Where did all our comfy couches go?  I left to go to the hardware store for supplies, and my sister got to ripping up the carpet.  An hour later, I came home to find all the carpet rolled up in the garage.  Our house has never looked better. Amiright?




Under the carpet we found a little set of instructions (which you can see in the background of the photo above) for the carpet from when it was originally installed – in 1984.  Officially making our carpet 30 years old. That is older than I am. That is too old for carpet. So. Disgusting.  I called my bfff, Liz, and her husband, Bryan, to see if they wanted to sacrifice their Thursday night to come and rip up staples with me.  They agreed. It took 4 of us about 2 hours to rip up all the tack strips, staples, and nails.  Note to everyone considering this project: wear safety gloves and work in a well ventilated area. This is a rusty nails and dust kind of job.

Once everything had been pulled up,  we swept as much as we could.  So much dust and dirt under those carpets. For reals, they just aren’t sanitary.  As you can probably see, there was also a ton of staining. The line of dark stains just behind the trashcan are thanks to this adorable pup:


Those stains line up with the back of the couch, her favorite indoor pee spot.  To get rid of the stains and accompanying odor, I poured some of this all over the stains, let it sit for a few minutes and dabbed it up with some paper towels.  In the morning it had all dried and the stains were much lighter.  Hopefully after some sanding, they’ll be gone.  If not, I got a really dark stain to go over the floors.

OUT! PetCare Oxy-Fast Stain & Odor Remover 32 oz


I know this might sound insane, but the carpet could not stay any longer and I do not have the budget to put down new flooring right now.   We have guests coming to stay with us next week right before we go on a trip, so this needs to get done this weekend.  Wish me luck!

Have you ever started a project impulsively?



A Modern Scrapbook

There is not a day that goes by that I am not involved with Pinterest in some fashion.   I tend to browse for at least 30 minutes a day and even on days off, my friends send me pins they think I’ll like or I’ll be doing a project for Pintertesting. In the course of a year, it has become a major part of my online life, my entertainment and it’s influence is all over my house.  It all started with my Craftiness board…and has exploded into 29 more boards (3 of them are secret boards).  I have boards for crafts, food, fashion, exercise, funny stuff, stuff that restores my faith in humanity and obviously many more. I have a secret wedding board because having one that’s visible is just asking for bad juju.

In the beginning, all my boards were just like everyone else’s.  Then I made boards for specific rooms in my house and what I’d like to do to them ;).  Which then turned into me making a board for Alex’s birthday.  I needed to keep track of all the things I wanted to do for his party in one place. I created a board for an event. Not for food or make up or things to do with Mod Podge. Now I can look back on that board and remember how hilarious Shot Roulette was or how much fun everyone thought the “Roof Pizza” was.  I don’t need that board anymore and I could delete it. What fun would that be, though?  Now I have what is basically a digital scrapbook reminding me how much fun we had with the added bonus that there are no pictures of me in it.

Alex Board

I’ve recently created boards for my upcoming trip to New Orleans for my sister’s birthday and one for my brother and sister-in-law’s kind of second wedding.  They are group boards so my sister and sister-in-law, respectively, can pin into them.  These aren’t just so that we can plan, but we’ll also be able to look back on these boards and remember the fun we had not only at these events, but also the fun we had putting them together.  In these cases, we can remember our sisterly bonding.

Scrapbook Boards

If I post about these things later, I can also pin those to the boards and share them with the people who follow.  I’m not the best about printing out photos or making those cool shutterfly yearbooks all the cool bloggers make (maybe when I’m married), but having these boards is a way for me to look back on all the fun I’ve had.  I don’t know if this was ever an intention of the people who developed Pinterest, but it certainly a fringe benefit that I’ll enjoy for years to come (perhaps it will help with Pinterest’s longevity if more people start doing this).

My Pinterest account is slowly becoming a giant collaborative scrapbook and I am really digging it. Has anyone else been doing this? Please tell me having 30 boards is normal.

Living in Sin: A Young Couple’s Guide


I’m going to put it out there. I live with my boyfriend, as my mother puts it, “In sin.”  Of course she is joking and isn’t upset by it at all, but it got me thinking.  Young couples moving in together before marriage is pretty new.  My mom’s generation didn’t do it nearly as much as we do, and then it wasn’t quite so accepted.  Between my mother’s jokes and the bevy of other couples who have asked me my opinion on them moving in together, I thought maybe I have some wisdom to share about this particular experience. Let me explain how this all happened first, and we’ll get to the wisdom after.

Alex, for many reasons, needed a place to live.  This was not some run-of-the-mill, “I’m sick of living with my parents,” needed a place to live.  This was a for reals “my house is not safe” needed a place to live. Of course I wanted to help him and my mother knew all the details so she offered to let him crash on our couch in December 2010.  He came into our home with only one basket of clothes and a few dvds and there he stayed for the next sixish months.  In May or June 2011, he and a few friends moved into a house together that his dad owned. It wasn’t an option before because it had been occupied by a tenant.  When July came and the lease on my house was up, I clandestinely moved a lot of my stuff to his house.  My mom said our new house was open and that I could start bringing my things there.  I think I answered with something like, “I’m going to keep my stuff at Alex’s.”  She got what I meant and in the hustle and bustle of moving didn’t really have time to freak out. We are quickly approaching our 3rd year of living together and I’d like to share a few things.


My answer 90% of the time when I’m asked by a couple if they should move in together is NO. It’s not because I think it’s something no one should do or I don’t love Alex or that I hate living with him.  It’s because living together is a major adjustment that many people my age are not familiar with. It’s kind of the same concept as not living in a dorm with your friends in college.  It can really mess with a relationship sometimes and ain’t nobody got time for that.  These are a few real life situations that have been brought to me along with the “Do you think we should move in together” question.

1.  Your on-again off-again boyfriend finally wants to commit!

Run, girl, run!  If you can’t make it a month without a faux break-up, things aren’t going to change now. You used to have your space to cool off and remember how “in love” you are. Now there is no escape.  What will you do when one of you has a hissy fit and wants to break up again?  Now all your things are in the house mixed together. You’ve spent money on the place that you can’t get back.  I personally don’t understand the idea of breaking up and getting back together, but to each his own.  However, the whole concept of living together is permanence.  Having a tumultuous Soap Opera Romance just doesn’t work.

2.  But..but…we NEVER fight!

You will now.  Are you prepared?  A huge part of living together is compromise.  It’s a lot bigger than disagreeing on which comforter to buy.  One of you will want to hang with friends and the other one will get pissed off.  You’ll ask the other to do the dishes…8 days in a row and they still won’t be done.  Every little thing can become a big problem.  Conflict resolution is a big lesson in living together.  If you’ve never had to fix an issue before, make sure your communication is Olympic level good.

3.  We’re 19, that makes us adults.

Yeah, ok. Sure it does.  Because you can rent cars and drink and run for office.  Oh wait, no you can’t.  Call your ride and go home to your parents.  You don’t have the income or maturity to handle managing a home and a life with another person.  That’s the long and short of it.  I’m not trying to be mean, but it’s the truth.  Alex moved in when I was 21 and we had separate living spaces and we lived with my parents.  They handled all the hard stuff so it made the transition less insane.


It’s ok to want to make a home with the person you love.  I did it and it makes me incredibly happy.  That doesn’t mean it’s been easy from the start, though.  Up until he moved in, we really did never fight.  Ever.  It was a shock to me when our first fight happened.  Adjusting to the idea that it won’t be all sunshine and rainbows is tough.  You love this person and you don’t want to think that they are anything short of perfect, but that’s not going to help either of you in the long run.  Here are few things I’ve learned over the course of the last two years.

Understand That You Might Be the Bad Guy Sometimes.

It is imperative that you learn to apologize.  There is going to come a time when you do something that really hurts your significant other.  Big strong men have feelings too, and guys, your “bad bitch” girlfriend isn’t made of stone.   I have always had this, “I’m always right” complex and swallowing my pride isn’t something that comes easily to me.  So when I occasionally say something a little too brash and I hurt Alex I have to apologize.

Cliche, but True: Communication is Key

What I sometimes assume is common sense can be hard for Alex to understand, and vice versa.  I have had to explain that RedZone is not as important as our life.  He tries to explain that RedZone is the meaning of life.  All jokes aside, you have to talk about your feelings.  If it feels awkward, you aren’t doing it enough.  No one is a mind reader and he isn’t going to guess exactly what you want from him every second of the day.  I can’t tell you how many disagreements we could have avoided if we had just been honest about how we felt upfront.

Basically, communication saves you from a lot of drama and strife.

Conflict Resolution and Problem Solving

Figuring out a way to fix the disagreement you are having and keeping it from happening again is a pretty difficult thing to do.  However, it is imperative to making your everyday life happier. Here is a real life example that I’m sure Alex doesn’t care that I’m telling you.   I would ask him to help with the housework a lot. He would say something along the lines of, “I’ll try.”  Then nothing would get done.  I would come home from a long day at work (he would have left for work just before) and I would see that not only did he not do any housework, but he left his lunch dishes in the living room. So I would lose my mind over a sink of dishes. This is not healthy or fair. I thought about the 4 areas of having a home and a life with someone and decided we should each be the captain of two of the areas. I handle Money and Cooking and he captains Cleaning and Handiness. I’ve created a written budget for each of us and he tackles various cleaning chores while he is home. I make dinner and he does the dishes.

So look into what reoccurring disputes you have with your partner, sit down and figure out a compromise. Neither of you should feel like you are getting the short end of the stick. Neither of you should feel the need to get angry. Communicate.

You are a Team

Consider yourselves the Two Amigos.   The major life decisions you make now affect the other person too.  Even some minor ones.  You can’t just repaint the whole house red on a whim without discussing it with them first.  You can’t just come home with a puppy.  No more lone-wolfing.  Eventually the line between things you should check in about and things you can make the call on will make itself clear.  I can make any decorating call I want, but I still enjoy when he has some input.  He knows he can have as big a TV as he wants or look for whatever jobs he wants.  I still talked it over with him when I found out I could adopt Frank, my dream dog.  The old adage, “It’s better to ask forgiveness than to ask permission,” does not apply here.  You’ll figure out your team dynamic eventually, but until then talk it out.

Have Fun

Nothing is worse for a relationship than forgetting to have fun.  You love this person!  Go on dates.  Do the things that each of you love, together.   Laugh, eat, drink, see friends, or do whatever it is the two of you like to do together.  Nothing renews my love for Alex more than when he makes me laugh.  The various tasks and responsibilities of having a home can bog people down sometimes so make sure to make room in your life for fun.

Living with a significant other is wonderful for so many reasons, but it’s also hard work.  It’s a big decision and definitely not one to rush into.  We are lucky that everything worked out for us this way and I can’t say that it would work for everyone.   Look before you leap, understand that no one is a mind reader, discuss problems like adults, work together and keep it light.  You will learn so much about each other and learn even more about your relationship. I don’t want this post to read like I’m saying no one should move in together.  Nothing is perfect, but living together is so rewarding.  Hopefully these few tidbits of my experience put you ahead of the game.

Do you agree? Disagree?  Any other tips you would tell those who are considering moving in together?

P.S. If you made it to the end of this post, congratulations!  What doozy. Go reward yourself with a latte or something.

Bahama Mama

Despite the title of this post, I don’t really like rum, but it’s still relevant.  This past month has been crazy busy for us because we got another new addition and we went on vacation. First things first, my sister found herself a tiny puppy to call her own. Meet Violet.

Pug Puppy

Sleepy pug puppy

Two days after we picked up Violet, Alex and I went on what can only be called the Most Epic Double Date in History. My friend, her husband, Alex and I traveled to the exotic island of Grand Bahama to get some R & R. We really needed it. Life has been pretty stressful.

I got the window seat!

This was the taxi that we got when we landed in Freeport. Yes it has 6 doors. It’s the wildest vehicle I’ve ever been in and I sort of wish I could drive it everyday.


We saw little lizards like these all over the place. I’m sure the locals think they are pests or totally normal but all four of us were enamored with them.


Here is another creature we were enamored with the entire trip.  A little girl we met told us she named her Sprinkles so that’s what we called her. She was pretty accustomed to people, but obviously lived outside.

Resort Cat

The one major touristy thing we did was go on a glass bottom boat tour. It would have been better if the sun was out (it makes the water easier to see through), but we had a good time.


Well not all of us. Alex got seasick. As soon as we were off the boat, he felt better. You learn something new everyday! He wanted lunch as soon as we landed, haha. Boys.

Sick Boyfriend

This is a view of the resort from the boat. All the salmon colored buildings with white roofs were part of the resort. If you look on the left of the resort you can see a white building with a blue roof. That’s a business man’s castle! He owns all the Burger Kings and KFCs in the Bahamas.  There is a slightly smaller house to the right of his that his son lives in. The locals call the houses the Whopper and Whopper Jr.

Hotel from Boat

We spent a lot of time in the Port Lucaya marketplace and during a walk we saw this guy.  He was huge! He didn’t scamper away immediately so we stopped to take some pictures.

Big Lizard

Near the marketplace is an enormous hotel called the Grand Lucaya and they have this lighthouse attached. You could see it from the marketplace so we headed for it only to find out it’s part of a hotel.

Lucaya Lighthouse

I took this from a little restaurant bar at our resort.  You could literally grab a drink and walk straight into the ocean. Needless to say we spent a lot of time out there.

Resort Amenities

My friend even ditched her flippy floppies to run into the high tide. She may have had one too many Mai Tai’s.

Friend Flips Flops

The only part of the trip that was so-so were the short flights we took from Freeport to Ft. Lauderdale. We flew Silver Airlines who had great service and they did nothing wrong, I was just terrified of the small planes. I’ve never flown on an aircraft so small and it gave me the heeby jeebies.

Plane home

All in all it was a great trip.  It gave us a chance to get some much needed relaxation (and a tan).

Have you taken any trips recently? Where to?

4th Anniversary

It all started 47 months ago when we went on our first date. For all you mathmeticians out there, you are right! 4 years = 48 months.  We didn’t go on an actual date until our first monthiversary, if you will. Neither of us can remember where we went for dinner, but we saw the movie Away We Go. It’s a Comedy/Drama/Romance movie starring Maya Rudolph and John Krasinski about a couple who has an unexpected pregnancy.  They travel across the country and to Canada to try to find a place to settle down before they have their baby. We loved it then and we love it now. Why do we love it? It taught us many important lessons.  For example, babies like to breathe and they are good at hiding it.  We have a tradition of watching it every year on our anniversary, but this year I thought we could make a night of it.

We have been planning on a vacation soon so we are pinching our pennies.  My gift to him is an Away We Go night full of home cooked food from the movie and his favorite activity – watching a movie. There may even be some expletives tossed around for good measure.


  • Poutine – a delicious Canadian specialty that consists of fries, gravy and cheese curds. There are many ways to do poutine, but we are going classic. A Canadian guy I met at work told me what kind of gravy to use.
  • Steaks – Because that’s what you eat on classy dates.
  • We were going to have pancakes for dessert, but we got lazy and had a pie his grandma made him. 🙂


We had a nice little night watching our favorite movie and eating terribly prepared steaks. What can I say? Not all my kitchen adventures are home-runs. We had fun.  He even got me an extremely thoughtful gift.


I have worn a Claddagh ring for years, but my cheap tourist shop ring bit the dust earlier this year. He remembered how upset I was to have to stop wearing it and got me a really nice one!  Plus he got my ring size right…hmmm.

Here’s a bonus shot of Frank, who lays in my arms like a baby.