Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Dust Your Shoulders Off...

The title of this post really has 0% to do with what you're about to read, other than the fact that I had to "dust off" my thrift store find before spray painting it. I however, can't get this song out of my head!

I've recently stumbled on some awesome blogs, where people are turning yard sale items, or thrift store finds into some awesome decor. And since this old house has been draining my wallet in home improvement projects recently, I figure I can use all the help I can get.

I found this mirror at my local St. Vincent dePaul. I'm not really sure who St. Vincent is, but he has some awesome stuff. After reading (stalking) my blogland friends (we're BFF's eventhough they may not know it) I have been blessed with an eye for crap. Yep, you heard me right! I can spot crap a mile away, and I could immediately tell you that I could spray paint it or add some new material to it and it would look awesome. FHH (future handy hubby) thinks I'm nuts and is constantly saying "Can't you just leave anything alone? Why do you have to spray paint EVERYTHING?"

Well, FHH, I'm not made of money and when I can't afford what I want, I'll make it myself. Like in the case of this mirror. I have been eyeing message board projects where people have painted chalkboard paint on their walls or even on their backsplashes and appliances! I may have crazy colored paint, but I know for a fact I can re-paint when the time comes without any complication. I haven't however worked with chalkboard paint before so I wanted to take a little caution. I also had an option of buying chalkboard paint in the spray paint variety...so I knew this would save me some time!

Before, Ignore the DOG HAIR!

So while checking out all of St. Vincent's cool stuff, I spotted this oldie but goldie, mirror. With my eye for crap, I knew I could make this into something awesome. Throw in some spray chalkboard paint for the mirror and some hot pink spray paint for the frame and I was in business!
Mirror Before
Chalkboard Paint Finished
What do you guys think? I just have to find a way to mount this to the wall, it's pretty heavy!

Final Cost of the Message Board:
Mirror: $10.00
Chalkboard Paint: $3.00 w/Coupon
Spray Paint: $3.50
Total: $16.50

No way I could have bought this for that price! I'm pumped!

Monday, September 5, 2011

You Win Some...You Lose Some

I've been redoing my bathroom recently. More to come on that later...

However, this weekend's project was only supposed to be installing beadboard to the ceiling. I have been checking out the different wooden options and recently came across textured wallpaper that was supposed to resemble the real stuff. After reading several reviews online, I decided to try it out.

After a trip to Lowe's, I settled on the Allen + Roth brand. A roll covers 11 square feet and is about $20. It comes pre-pasted...so per the reviews it should have been as simple as dunking the paper in water, letting the paper set for 5 mins then smoothing it on the ceiling. All in all, it was that simple, but getting it to cling to the ceiling right away involved another step...screaming and saying a few choice words when the pre-pasted paper wouldn't stick. Try hanging on to something that was wet on one side and the other was covered in a solution the consistency of thinned petroleum jelly. This stuff was sliding all over the place.

Horrible i-Phone picture, but it looks great! IMO...

After 2 pieces were up on the ceiling we decided to take the light fixture down. As always...we found an interesting discovery. Water was pooled in the bottom of the globe and rust, mold and lots of other unwanted goodness. So...off to ikea we went for a new light fixture...hoping of course that the steam from the shower was the cause of all the excess moisture. I had been eying this cool chandelier that worked with the rest of the bathroom. Unfortunately for us, we didn't pay attention to how the chandelier was hanging from the ceiling.

Mold, and Knot and Tube Wiring

While the beadboard looks awesome and at first glance could be mistaken for the real thing...this chandelier hangs way too low, even for our short heights and the S-hook included...it just won't work. So back up goes the old light fixture, until we can find something else. Easier said than done though...the 2 rusted screws on this fixture were the biggest PITA to remove and re-install and I don't mean the pocket-bread variety. We replaced those with two new screws and putting it back up went much smoother.

Whoops...guess we'll be more careful
when picking out a fixture!

In other news...I found out my entire house has knob and tube wiring, which they stopped installing in the 30's. Yeah, my house is old! As long as the k&t was installed properly and wasn't modified to over increase it's load, the wiring is safe. However, knowing how everything else has gone in my house, I'm guessing this will probably need replacing down the road. Alana 1 - Money Pit - 9,781!

I guess you can't win them all...

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Finding My Handyman...

As I re-read the blog post the other night it dawned on me that I rambled all over the place without any real details about everything new going on in my life. So let's rewind a little...

This old (piece of crap) house, with lots of character (problems and curve balls) has caused me to reach my breaking point more times than I'd like to remember. Which usually resulted in a phone call to my brother and/or parents begging for their help because my water heater busted or random other appliance or piping would break. Which immediately would open the doors for said brother and parents to joke that I hangout in the aisles of Home Depot to look for a boyfriend that could help out around the house. Per my brother, it was probably best if he didn't speak perfect english...horrible, I know!

It wasn't that I was always single...in fact I was a serial dater. But for some unknown reason, I was always dating the wrong guy for me and absolutely none of them could have cared about helping out around this old (piece of crap) house. Until....in walks Steve! We met on New Years Eve last year. If you follow this blog at all, you already know I had a date for New Years...and (shocker) his name wasn't Steve! :)

Steve and I were friendly, but nothing out of the ordinary happened. I had a date and I'm not particularly fond of strangers so I spent most of the time hanging out with my date and friends. Which, like always, was someone who was completely wrong for me...anyone that knows me at all, can tell you that I am the biggest goofball and could make a joke out of anything. This guy seemed super serious all the time, and worst of all was annoyed when I stayed over late watching Ohio State's bowl game. I know, right!! What was I thinking? However, in his defense, via the power of facebook as a stalking tool...he seems very happy right now with a beautiful lady!

Anyway, Steve and I kept running into each other during various get-togethers of mutual friends. We hit it off right away. He started texting me non-stop...which was a bit creepy if we're being honest here! haha I'm an independent woman, kid, girl, something...anyway I'm independent. It weirded me out that he was all up in my bidness right away.

We started hanging out more and more, neither of us thinking anything serious would come of it. Sharing dinner and more buffalo mac and cheese than I can count over a drink or two at Keystone on a regular basis. We probably watched every movie that was out this spring and Steve probably consumed 5 tons of popcorn...the kid can't go to a movie without eating popcorn. Well thanks Steve, now I can't either!

Not long into our "friendship" I found out I lost my job (yet another detail I left out). Losing my job was probably the best thing that has ever happened to me, in hindsight at least. I was absolutely MISERABLE at my last job...but getting called into an office and being told your being laid off sucked more than anything I've experienced in quite awhile.

Steve and I had planned to go up as friends to go see my brother from another mother in Chicago that weekend. After receiving Friday morning news that I lost my job...I knew there was no way I was up for a weekend trip to the windy city. After calling my Mom, I immediately called Steve to break the bad news. Lucky for me, he wasn't too upset and later in the day agreed to come up to my place and keep me company over the weekend. I know my crazy mother was overly thankful for this. For whatever reason, Mom had me on suicide watch. I would say I'm just kidding here...but I'm pretty sure she was afraid I was going to do something dramatic...something about the texts and phone calls I received every 5 minutes asking me if I was okay, or what I was doing. Which by the way, I was forced to respond to whether I liked it or not...because no response meant the worst. Crazy, right?! Sorry, Mom...you know it's true though!! hah

Anyway...Steve came up, hung out with me and the dogs...took me to the aquarium and cooked Chicken Riggies...a recipe that came from where he grew up in New York. Don't worry I'll share the recipe later. I make him cook it all the time now. Liz Roberts had it recently and loved it and Brutus always manages to get his hands (paws) on a bowl somehow or another. Fortunately he has managed to keep it all down, which is nuts, because this dish is SPICY!

It was after this weekend that I was hooked. And shortly after that, that I knew I had found my handyman for life! So after the longest of all stories I'll leave you with this, the top ten reasons Steve is a perfect match for me, in no particular order here you go...

10. He lets me boss him around
9. He can hang out with my friends like he's known them forever
8. He can handle my messiness
7. He loves to go out and do things as much as I do, be it museums, playing putt-putt, shopping, or taking a drive, we are always on the go.
6. He can cook (I struggle in this department)
5. My family loves him already and he doesn't mind hanging out with them
4. He can handle Brutus and better yet, loves the dogs like his own
3. He's a christian and goes to church with me
2. He will clean up dog pee...friends that know Brutus, know this is an issue! haha
1. I can't make him mad. Believe me I've tried. He takes my sassy pants attitude like a champ!

I could list a million other reasons, why I'm absolutely head over heels for my handyman but then Steve may think he's the star of this blog...Brutus and Annie would be ticked off for sure! So without anymore rambling...introducing my handyman!

All Smiles Here

Taking a Nap with the Dogs!

Not Wasting Time Digging In

Enjoying a Reds Game

Monday, August 29, 2011


Work has been kicking my arse lately and sadly my blog has taken a backseat. I find myself repeating the phrase "Just keep swimming...just keep swimming!" over and over. Working 11-12 hour days have been a refreshing change of pace. It's nice to be needed and truly pushed to my potential for once, but most of all it's nice to feel like I'm ridiculously good at what I do. I feel like I've finally hit my stride with my "career" and enjoy going to work every morning. Downtown has been a challenge, to say the least. Stepping over urine and other bodily fluids has become a daily task. But that's a whole different blog post.

There have been tons of projects going on around here, but it's been mostly exterior stuff. Honestly, until recently I could have cared less about taking care of the actual structure of my house. I mean come on, I've got at least 30 other walls begging for some crayola paint color...who cares if water is slowly leaking, or pouring for that matter into my basement. Well lesson learned here folks (or just Mom, being as I'm sure all my readers have long forgotten me), you can't paint drywall when there is mold growing up the wall!!

Lesson #2 learned...check your basement for leaks, water damage, mold, etc. Or stumble upon this awful scene while pulling your steam cleaner out of the basement storage room, for you guessed it...a mess of Brutus'. Needless to say after finding mold city, on my walls, carpet and ceiling my focus has changed from trying to shock everyone with my wild colors on my walls to making sure my house is structurally sound and as waterproof as possible. Trust me this picture looks a lot more calm than what it really was. And only one section of the room...gross!

I've learned a lot in these last few months, bought my first power tools (I am addicted btw...someone buy me more!!), learned demolition is a great stress reliever and having family and a my one day handy hubby's help is priceless! Well technically it cost me a few gatorades and Chipotle for my brother and Steve (future handy hubby). I'd say I got off easy. Minus the fact that I'll be hearing about the help that my brother and his gun show provided for the rest of my life. I guess after 6 hours or more of busting up concrete and shoveling gravel to roll around in a wheelbarrow up and down hills...I can't complain.

All jokes aside until recently I've been getting less and less sleep...with my house issues, crazy work schedule and trying to maintain some type of social calendar. I've become a fan (addict) of Starbucks (sorry Mom I know that habit ranks up there with smoking and boozing it up) coffee is an amazing thing in the morning and I am hooked!

I've missed having this outlet to share my "bidness" to complete strangers who find my blog because their dog inhaled cornmeal! Thankfully things seem to be calming down...WOOOOOOO!!!!! It was about time! And lucky for you, I'm ready to begin sharing my "bidness" to all of my readers (my mom!) again. I can't promise you anything colorful and exciting, just yet...but I can promise you some entertaining laughs at my expense and maybe some valuable tips in DIY demo and home improvement along the way. Hopefully now that things are mold free (well almost) around here, I'll be able to start working on more fun projects.

So there's an update on what's up around here. Cry me a river, right? Thanks for letting me ramble...can't wait to get back at this! Brutus and Annie send their love your way!

Friday, April 1, 2011

New Addition to TD&AH!!!!

I'm happy to announce Two Dogs & A House has a new addition! I couldn't help myself...I did a terrible thing and visited a local shelter and found Big Ben! A full-blooded GREAT PYR!!!! I took Brutus and Annie to visit Big Ben and they were just as smitten as I was. Here are some pictures of him at his foster family's house.

How Could I Turn Down This Face?!

Easily Has 100 lbs on Brutus!

Big Ben will be joining us this weekend! You may think I'm crazy but...




Hope you got some good pranking in! In all seriousness Big Ben is up for adoption in the D.C. area, you can find him on petfinder! :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

In Case You Didn't Know...I'm Famous!

For all those skeptics out there...
While a bit hard to read, I'm finally showing up on google! Not only am I able to find it but I'm getting multiple texts/e-mails from people saying they've tried it. Check out the last link on the picture. Guess you just have to know what to google! I would also like to point out that a lot of dogs must have been chowing down on some cornmeal between December and now! Because when I googled "My dog ate 4 boxes of Jiffy, WTH do I do now?!" nothing came up!
A big thanks goes out to Brutus for loving Jiffy Cornbread Mix, on top of managing to expand your stomach to elephant size proportion. That takes talent, buddy! Without your love for eating random items in my house, my existence in the blogging world wouldn't have been possible! I however, would still be able to eat said cornbread. Is it strange that I walk by the section of the supermarket aisle and cringe? Man I loved cornbread...it was a weekly staple at Two Dogs & A House. I just can't get over seeing what came out of him!
Gross, right?! Hopefully I haven't ruined cornbread for everyone reading this!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My Dog Isn't Alone...

On a daily basis, I check out my page views to see how many people are actually reading this thing. It really surprises me sometimes! Anyway, one of the options is to see how people were referred to my blog posts. More often than not, it comes from my facebook posts. However, this morning, someone found me via google. And the search words were none other than...are you ready for this?

It's nice to see that Brutus isn't the only dog, who can get into random groceries when my back is turned! For those of you who are new to the blog, check out this post! Brutus chowing down on Jiffy cornmeal was the entire reason behind starting this blog. Seeing those words pop up in my analytics cracked me up this morning!
Sending well wishes to whomever's dog will be feeling a little uncomfortable for the next few days. Just know that spooning and burping are the best medicine!