Love at First Impact Driver

Chris got a new truck for work many months ago. It's been a post sitting in my drafts folder for a LONG while now, but I wanted to wait to share about it until he had gotten all of his organizational and storage items mostly completed so we could post about how he stores everything in there, what kind of lumber rack he got and why and all that other fun stuff. I wanted it to be a completed, or mostly, completed project to make the post feel more complete. And actually feel like there was something to talk about, ha!

Anyway, why am I telling you that now without posting about it yet (still)? Two weekends ago we were able to actually get some work done - yay! Chris has been itching to build drawers in his truck to store many of his tools so that he has less to pack up every single morning before work. Now that Zoe is getting slightly older day by day sometimes we're actually able to get work done while she hangs around. And this was one of those days.

Chris had someone manufacture metal trays and he built up walls with plywood on them to create drawers. Chris thought this might be the perfect opportunity for Zoe to get to drive her first screw.

First, he showed her how put the screw on the drill and drive it in himself

And then Zoe was eager to get in on the action

And it was her turn

Well, it was love at first impact driver because Zoe was hooked

The impact driver and drill became her favorite activity for the day

The hilarious thing was whenever she really noticed that I was paying attention to her she would get up and walk away with it somewhere else. I think she thought I was going to take it away

That joy :)

And each time she'd set it down and wiggle her little fingers around till she could get it working again

"Oh, you're watching me again? Gotta move out"


Move on...


Move on...

"I'm watching you mom..."

That kid cracks me up.

Now she gets very excited and wants to play with it when Chris has them out (the drill gets love too)

And it coincided perfectly with getting a late Christmas present from my aunt...

Her very own impact driver toy :) And she LOVES it. It's very adorable to see her love to play with it so much. The crazy thing is it actually drives the plastic screws it comes with.

Yes, it's positively ridiculous that I took so many pictures of her playing with the impact driver, I know. But hey, I couldn't help but be so happy and get a great big smile on my face when my daughter found so much joy in a tool we use all the time.


The Liebster Award Challenge - Thanks AZ DIY Guy!

If you haven't read wonderful John's blog AZ DIY Guy, let me just tell you - you should. Not only does he actually have great tips, but he's also very funny. He also makes me wonder how I will ever get anything done because he has a full-time job, works on his house a lot, blogs way more than me and has 2 kids. I barely rolled out of bed this morning. So thank you John, for always being inspiring. And always being so encouraging.

Why am I mentioning this wonderful blogger? Well, he nominated little ol' Picardy Project for a Liebster Award, yay! :) This award started as a way for bloggers to honor other bloggers and expose their own readership to new blogs they may not know about, but enjoy. I was super flattered to have received an email in my inbox from him :)

Here are the rules:
  1. Write 11 facts about yourself
  2. Link back to the person who tagged you
  3. Come up with 10 questions to ask your nominees
  4. Tag 11 other bloggers with under 200 followers
  5. Let the person who tagged you know when you answered their questions
  6. And - probably most important in the spirit of blogging - have fun
Here we go!

John's questions:

1. Why do you blog?
Well, I used to blog so that my family could see what we were doing because I got tired of telling everyone about everything every time we saw them. How annoying am I? Then I started seeing that OTHER people were actually reading it, and that amazed me. I admit, for a while I was sucked into the idea of needing to write all the time to give people something to read about. I posted SO MUCH and it took SO MUCH time. I'm thankful that after we had Zoe I really started writing again completely for myself. I definitely don't get as many readers as I used to because I blog much more sporadically than I think most internet readers "want," but it feels much more freeing and I feel a complete sense of being myself and not really caring what anyone else thinks.

2. What advice to you have for new bloggers?
Do whatever the fuck you feel like :) There are lots of people who want to blog and others who want to read blogs - it hard to not feel like you have to write something. But write what you want, when you want, and for who you want.

3. What is your favorite social media to support your blog and why?
I'm really only on Facebook, so I'd say that, ha! I used to tweet, but I find Twitter a little overwhelming, so I stopped not long after starting. I like posting pics and little musings on Facebook, and it suites my sporadic wants :)

4. What are your favorite tools?
Hmmm, that's always a really tough question for me. I think maybe the miter saw. It's not really a tool you use a ton or comes in handy a lot, but it was the first tool I think I felt proud of myself for knowing how to use. It felt like a "real" tool when I used it, and it made me feel a little like a bad ass, lol.

5. What is the oldest tool you still use?
My dad has a hammer that he's had since before I was born. It's not my tool, but it makes me happy whenever I get to use it or whenever I see it because I remember him always using it when I was little. I hope I get that tool one day :)

6. What was your biggest DIY success?
Our master bathroom. It was FUCKING DISGUSTING when we moved in, and now I love it. We did everything but the glass surround ourselves. We made the absolute most of the tiny space we had and every time I use it I love it and love it and love it.

7. What was your biggest DIY failure?
Not necessarily a failure, but I wish we had demo'd this old chimney vent stack in our kitchen so we could have gotten more space. I think about that one a lot. We didn't because it would have meant we needed to patch a lot, rip down a 2 story brick chimney, it was a huge undertaking, and the roof would have needed to be redone right then because of it. We just didn't want to do all the work at that time. We totally should have. It would have opened up the space a lot.

8. What is(are) your favorite book(s)?
I like non-fiction and sports books. I love anything by Jon Krakauer and AJ Jacobs. And others that stick out are In These Girls Hope is a Muscle (I have read that over and over and over again), The Pact and A Walk in the Woods.

9. Light sabers, hobbits, defense against the dark arts or the fortune and glory of beating the Nazis to supernatural antiquities?
Definitely destroying the Nazis

10. What are your 3 favorite movie quotes?
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." - Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
"Get busy living. Or get busy dying." Shawshank Redemption.
"Oh...people will come Ray. People will most definitely come." Field of Dreams.

Now, 11 Facts about myself:

1. I'm a lefty. That's right. You know statistically we're more intelligent, athletic and creative. I'd just like to put that out there :)

2. It took me 6 years to graduate college. Not one child in my family graduated "on time." I went 2 years at 1 school (UCDavis where I met Chris), but didn't like it. So I left and moved to TX where my dad and Wendy were living at the time and went to community college there while I worked. I didn't like living there, so I came back home, took a year off and worked full-time and went back to college at Mills and graduated 2 years later. Took a little longer than normal, but I did it!

3. Despite my "lower readership" compared to most blogs that have been blogging for as many years our at the frequency that I used to (holy crap I used to do this 5 days a week almost every week!) I've been blogging for almost 6 years! It'll be 6 years in May. Phew.

4. I'm a reality TV-aholoic. I know. It's terrible. I promise you, it's my only fault.

5. Almost all of my major injuries were a result of my brother and occurred before I was 10. The only 2 he didn't cause was my knee surgery (soccer for 13 years will do that to you) and my stress fracture (running a lot will apparently do that too).

But, he almost cut my finger off when I was 4 with garden shears, broke my collar bone when I was 2, I fell off his bed when I was 3 and broke my arm (not necessarily his fault, but it was his bed ;), he pushed me off the top of our bunk bed when I was 8, he dared me to race down a CRAZY hill on our bikes when we were at our cabin when I was about 9 and I had a terrible bike accident that ultimately left me almost entirely covered in blood with my two front teeth shoved up into my gums (they are still uneven to this day despite many years with a retainer. My 3rd grade school picture is ridiculous)...I wear them all with badges of honor. And still, for some reason I desperately wanted to hang out with him all the time :)

6. I work for my brother. I told you I desperately wanted to hang out with him. For some reason I still do (of course along with the business Chris and I run). He has a real estate company and invests in various properties around the Bay Area. I manage rental units, fix up projects, pay all of the bills - I'm just the general get-it-done-er. And my brother is my buddy so I have fun getting to work with him. Plus, not many bosses mind that you cuss like a sailor.

7. I cuss like a sailor. Like, AWFUL. I was hoping it would get better after we had Zoe, but Chris claims it hasn't. I once asked him who swore more, me or Deb from Dexter. It took him a while to come up with an answer. I still can't remember who he said, but the point is, I should continuously have a piece of soap in my mouth.

8. I love sports, but I also love to scrapbook. It's a weird tomboy/crafting mix I have.

9. I have only worn high heels once in the last 8 years. I did for my brother and sister-in-laws wedding. After my knee surgery when I was 20 I wore them once and it hurt my knee so bad I literally took them off in a restaurant and walked around barefoot. I vowed to not wear them anymore. After knee surgery at a young age I didn't want to purposefully do anything else to my walking parts that could really damage them. Also, I have NEVER felt comfortable in them, they always hurt so bad. People always told me, "oh, you just get used to it." I never did, and I never quite understood why you would want to.

10. I went to the same school district with many of the same students K-12. In the Bay Area - or other major cities - that's kind of a weird thing. I grew up in Albany and Berkeley (Albany is a tiny town - again, by Bay Area standards - between Berkeley and Richmond), and Albany schools were great and so I was lucky to go there K-12. Many of my classmates did too. I always thought that was cool.

11. Before we moved to Picardy I had lived in 17 different places. Yes, crazy. My parents divorced when I was little and my mom moved a lot. And my dad never stays in once place for long. And I moved around in college. Needless to say, the next house we find I want to live in for a VERY. LONG. TIME. because I don't like moving.

Okay, now here are my nominations:

1. Nikki at 86'N It
2. Heather at Just a Girl with a Hammer
3. Sara at Russet St. Reno
4. Sarah at St. Paul Haus
5. Janice at Life Begins at 30, right?

I'm not sure entirely how many followers all these blogs have, but I just wanted to share the people who I enjoy reading. The internet is a wondrous place of inspiration and camaraderie. Sure, there are people who use it for evil, but I love every time a new post has popped up in my blog reader. I love reading about their adventures. And I hope you do too.

And here are my questions:

1. Why do you DIY?
2. What's the biggest lesson DIY has taught you?
3. When a DIY day or project has made you cry, what do you do to make yourself feel better? (not that this has ever happened to me...)
4. What's the most favorite place you have lived?
5. What are your 3 favorite movies?
6. Who is the person who most admire and why?
7. If you could have any job you wanted, what would it be?
8. What's your favorite color?
9. If you could travel to 1 place in the world, for 1 week and the trip was paid for, where would you go?
10. How awesome are you?

I hope you have fun! And thanks for reading - whether you're a new or been here for a while, I'm always happy to have you :)


Week 17: Built-ins and Tile and Counters and Paint and a Light!

It is amazing what built-ins do for a room. The house was already starting to take shape, but having the built-ins get installed last week was a beautiful thing. They got installed on a day that I had to make 3 trips out to the house and I spilled AN ENTIRE sample can of paint on the new bathroom floor tile while Zoe was with me. I seriously almost started crying. Luckily it all got cleaned up and looks like absolutely nothing happened. And by the time I made my 3rd trip out there that day my sister-in-law was watching Zoe so my mind was able to function a bit better and it was at the end of the day so seeing the progress was awesome. Let's see those built-ins shall we?

First, in the master. I'm showing the least exciting first :)

All the built-ins are paint grade and will get painted in Ben Moore Decorator White. The bottom unit has wood shelves and the top unit will have glass shelves (which we're not installing till after the floors are done). The floors will be started at the end of this week (AH!) for the main and second floor (it's already actually DONE in the basement floor because we're done with the work down there. In fact, I forgot to take a picture of that...) Most of the material has been installed, they just need to put it in a couple rooms and then refinish it all. For 2 weeks we really won't be able to come in the house while the work is being done, but it'll be SO EXCITING to have that huge item checked off the list.

Next is the pantry

And that is one BIG ASS cabinet. All the doors for all the built-ins still need to be installed (most likely Thursday), but the cabinet maker wanted all the cabinets installed correctly before he ordered any of the doors so he could make adjustments if needed.

My favorite part is the built-in where the awful behemoth fireplace alcove used to be...

...and the media center

They make the room actually feel like a room, it's amazing. The built-in where the fireplace alcove was will have glass shelves as well (also installed after the floors are done) and the media center still also needs its doors installed. But, again, we wanted it to all get installed with no problems before the doors got ordered. And because the inside is cabinet grade plywood, it's not getting painted, only the outside, so painting that will wait until after the doors go on.

Yay for built-ins!

Now, if you're super observant you may have noticed in the above photo that...the kitchen cabinets are painted!

They look really great and we've decided on hardware for the cabinets as well so I can't wait till those go on.

I think that's really it for the paint this week (lots of prep for the family room because there was SO MUCH patching for our husband and wife painting team), but we do have colors on the wall in the master. Wendy has started liking the darker colors we've picked - totally stepping out of her comfort zone and loving it - so she changed her mind about the master color and wanted to go darker, yay!

They're all much darker (and not entirely dry when I took the photo obviously) than I think Wendy would normally have gone, but she's really, really liked all the more saturated colors we've picked and was thinking about doing the same thing in the master. I love dark colors so I was quite excited :) We haven't picked one yet (Wendy hasn't seen these samples on the wall, only in the paint deck), but I think they all look really awesome in the space.

What else, what else? Ah, tile!

With the counters in (ah!) the tile could finally get installed in the master tub surround (we needed the tub top installed). And it looks awesome. It got grouted over the weekend and looks awesomer still :) And I love that we continued the floor tile pattern up the front of the tub wall - I think it makes this smallish master (for the size of the house) look bigger. Now the backsplash is the only thing left in these bathrooms that needs to get tiled!

Those counters you ask? I LOVE THEM

I know you can't really see them in that picture :) but, well, the room is getting tiled - so there's crap everywhere of course. The shower benches show a great view of them

I love the mix of shell and glass. They look so beautiful and go so well with all the tile choices in each bathroom.

They forgot to install the pieces in the master shower "window" while they were here. So that's a bit of a bummer.

This counter material was supposed to be installed on the bottom and sides and then we will be installing the frosted glass window in here (so that there is showering privacy from the master bedroom). Now that will have to wait until after the floors are installed - they're installing a stone hearth in front of the master fireplace after the floors are done, so they'll do them both at the same time. It doesn't really hold anything up that needs to get done, so that's good.

Oh! And the fireplace tile got grouted

It's still sooooo pretty

I can't wait for this to go on the master fireplace surround as well (after the floors and hearth are done).

And the last little piece of progress? A light!

We're going with ORB lights throughout most of the house, but chrome in the bathrooms. These lights look great in the very tall living room because of their height, but next to the fireplace they looked a little dinky, so we're still not sure what will go there. We're thinking a double light. But we shall see.

There we have it, week 17. I love these weeks when there is so much tangible progress, it's fun to share :) We have a move-in date set in early March, so now we've got a date to hit. It was mid-February, but the people who bought my parents old house are SUPER awesome and let them call an audible and rent back a couple weeks longer, just to make sure we really try to get everything done and my parents are moving in with floors that didn't just get refinished and the painters still in many rooms. This week we should have a bit more tile done, doors for the built-ins installed, most of the plumbing fixtures in and hopefully the family room paint done.


Weeks 13-16: Paint and Tile

Well, it's been a little while, let's do an update. Those little things called the holidays made me have a super brain fart. And I'm trying slowly to get caught up with life. Let's get to things.

There has been a lot of difficult painting done in the last 3 weeks. Things are sort of at a stand still while we wait for the bathroom counters to go in (holding up tiling, holding up flooring, holding up other painting), so our painting team was able to move around in more common spaces and get the difficult areas done while not as many people were in the house.

The major item is the foyer, which includes 16ish foot ceilings

And painting that ceiling over the stairs in the foyer was not easy

The upstairs hallway got painted too

And the room my dad stays in when he comes here to work

(the baseboards will get painted after the floors get finished).

The main floor bathroom got the baseboards and cabinet painted as well

Our tiler had other projects to work on while he waited for the kitchen counters to go in, but once those were done...

Yessssss that's right, the backsplash is in!

It looks so pretttyyyyy. And I love the herringbone pattern behind the stove


The edge detail looks great

The tile installer put kerdi board over the old drywall (there were lots of logistical issues) so the tile was proud from the wall a larger than normal amount. As a result we needed to figure out a trim solution - the tiler just ripped down a thin piece of the backsplash tile as the edge detail. And it looks awesome. Things of course still need to get grouted.

The other good news in this room? We picked a paint color!!!

Yes, you're looking at that correctly, there are 16 paint samples on the wall :) That also doesn't include the original 6 in this room :) But we got one! Wendy was leaning a little lighter and I pushed for her to go darker :) You know, like a good daughter :) But the room colors she and my dad have liked the most have been the darker ones (not dark by any means, just darker than their comfort zone.) So we picked the color "I" in the top left corner of the above picture, Benjamin Moore's Brushed Aluminum.

Okay, now more tile.

The fireplace!

It's not done yet, but man is it beautiful

Just one more shot please

Ahhhhh, beautious. I love the handmade tiles and their perfectly imperfect quality. Normally I like things really clean, but these look awesome. They certainly made it difficult for our tiler - everything got mapped out, measured, calculated, laid out crazily. I know it was a headache for them. But it looks great and they did such an amazing job.

And the other tile that's been completed? The guest bathroom tub surround

I looooove that waterfall detail

It gives a great pop with the oversized subway tile.

The master bath still sits waiting (and completely out of focus)

Because the tub is built in, it needs to have the tub top installed (same material as the counters) before the tiler can tile (he can go top down and wait at the bottom to install the last couple rows of tile, but he wants to go bottom up). The rest of the bathroom sits waiting for counter material as well

But counters are supposed to go in on MONDAY. Yay! Then the tile can get finished, the glass doors can be installed, paint and flooring can be finished....hooray!

In the meantime my dad is keeping himself busy installing plywood levels in the crawl space to make more accessible storage

And the pantry and family room built in wait to be installed next week

Actually, looking at it, that's not too shabby for 3 1/2 weeks over the holidays.

Tomorrow they'll start refinishing the hardwoods downstairs and Monday the bathroom counters will go in. More progress!