5.31.2013

We Have a Cup Problem

That sounds weird. And you may not understand, but in this cabinet...


...there are a lot of cups


Specifically, there are a lot of souvenir cups


You see, it's really all my dad's fault. When I was little we always collected A's cups. Each season I got excited to get the newest cup and with 2 kids I know my parents appreciated having plastic cups that they didn't have to worry would break. So I've kept the tradition alive and still collect A's cups


This of course does not include the 2 A's cups that are currently in use by Chris and I, the many that are in the dishwasher or the ones I periodically give to my brother for his smoothies (they start to smell a little funky from his protein powder so I give him 1 or 2 every several months). All in all, we have 14 that are just A's cups. I told you, it's a problem. But I love them.

Of course, when Chris and I went on our baseball road trip 7 years ago we collected cups from the other stadiums as well, so we've got cups from teams all over the US (we didn't get one in Toronto, boo on us). And when we go on our football road trip each fall we get one too


So that is how we've amassed a ridiculous collection of 40ish souvenir cups. But with baby on the way (9 days late today little lady, let's think about coming out now, hmmm?) I figured it was time to pare them down and revise. I'm a bit of a souvenir cup discriminator: I do not like the ones that are skinnier on the bottom


I'm not quite sure why, but for some reason they just pale in comparison to me. As you can see, these ones basically never get used so they're crammed in the back. As a cup hoarder however I have a hard time completely getting rid of them. After all, some of them are pretty cool (like the White Sox hologram one)


So when a stack of these cups appeared next to the pull down ladder to the attic and Chris asked if I was getting rid of them, I replied, "NO! They're just going to the attic. I can't let go." He laughed at me and rolled his eyes :)

Once I had revised the cups I reorganized the cabinet. Beer glasses and infrequently used nalgenes went to the top with wine glasses on the third shelf


Then we had plenty of room to stash Cashew's baby bottles and coffee mugs on the second shelf and all of our superior souvenir cups had plenty of room as well


This photo clearly demonstrates that there is plenty of room now for more souvenir cups. I told you I have a problem.

5.29.2013

Chris' Tool Obsession: Bit Holders

Quick note: we weren't compensated in anyway for this post, but if anyone wants to send us free stuff, I'm not going to send it back ;)

This post is about my quest for the perfect bit holder


Like most people I started with the usual generic 3" bit holder.


(found here)

It holds bits, but sometimes when driving screws the bit will stay with the screw and come out of the holder. Other times, you're reaching with one hand to drive a screw and the screw doesn't stay on the bit because there's no magnet in the bit holder.

My next step up from the generic bit holder was the locking bit holder.


(found here)

It has a sliding collar that keeps the bit from coming out of the holder in those times when the bit bites onto the screw.

Next I found an Ivy Classic bit holder at the local hardware store that had a stronger magnet in lieu of the locking collar.

(found here)

This seemed to work for a while and was a step up. The bit would hold on to the screw a little better with one hand driving operations and the bit wouldn't fall out if the screw stuck to the bit. However, the magnet wasn't as strong as I'd like to hold the screws when driving with one hand, yet was somehow too strong to allow easy removal of the bits with my hands.

My next step in the bit holder evolution was another Ivy Classic bit, this time one with an even stronger screw and a sliding collar that helps stabilize the screw when doing one handed driving.


(found here)

I was pretty happy with this setup until the collar broke off one day which caused me to revisit my quest for the perfect bit holder.

The Wera bit holder is a good all purpose bit holder.



(found here)

Not as good as the Ivy Classic Mega Magnetic bit holder, but a little sleeker.

The last step in my search for the perfect bit holder was the Hitachi bit holder that recently came to market.

Hitachi 115007 Magnetic Lock Bit with Phillips #2 Head - 1 Each

(found here)

It has a sleek design and holds screws extremely well. However, it only comes in PH2 and SQ2 configurations so if you have smaller Phillips head screws or Torx head screws you're out of luck. Also, it is sleek overall, but the head is fat and doesn't allow for countersinking screws.

In the end, I didn't find the perfect bit holder so I guess the quest continues. Most of the time I reach for the Wera or Ivy Classic Mega Magnetic bit. If I need to drive a screw without being able to hold it with my off hand, then the Hitachi is definitely my goto bit holder. I'm glad I have them all to choose from so I can choose the one that suits the task at hand.

I also did a short video review:



The Trim Isn't Happening

Besides the fact that our daughter could be arriving anytime (I'm 41 weeks today), we've hit a hiccup with the trim in our bedroom, boooo. Between other work going on Chris has slowly been installing the trim in our bedroom. Neither of us like this step very much, so it always takes us a long time to do it (remember how long it took us to install that 5ft piece of baseboard? Way too long).

But slowly things did go in. The main entry door is done


The door to the bathroom has gone from this



To this


And our closet still needed a jamb, so it went from this


To this


It still needs trim, but the jamb is in! :)

We were hoping to get the baseboard and picture molding up at least on the wall that our bed is on before Cashew comes. There's basically no way that all the trim is going to get done, so we were trying to just get the most important wall done. I picked up all the trim and have been painting it and it is finally ready to be installed


And this past weekend Chris was all set to get it installed when he noticed something really lame: when some previous owner redid our bedroom they put in trim that wasn't original to the house and was A LOT higher than the original trim


We never thought to make sure that the drywall came down low enough for the trim to cover the seam, but just our luck: it doesn't


Oh, and there's a gap in the hardwood


Yup: that sucks.

Chris was really pissed off when he made the discovery as he was bringing the trim in to install it. I was outside mulching so I wasn't on board for that great adventure. He called me inside to go over the crappy discovery. We looked at it a little while, annoyed, perturbed, and bothered that we didn't check beforehand. Luckily, there is a fix, though it's not ideal: shoe molding.

Many homes have shoe molding along all of their baseboard. I actually cannot stand shoe molding (one of those random weird renovation pet peeves I have) and so I'm happy that there isn't one inch of shoe molding in our house. However, we'll have to install some in here for the fix. We could slice off a bit of the drywall, patch it allllll around the room and install another 1/2" of hardwood and stain/poly it alllll around the room as well. But lets all be honest - that would fucking suck. So, instead we'll raise the installation height of our baseboard a little bit and then install a piece of shoe molding along with it. It's not ideal, and I won't love the way it looks, but it's certainly a lot better than the alternative. Oy vey, why don't things ever go according to plan?

5.28.2013

Mulch Makes Things Better

I'm still disappointed in myself for killing our coreopsis, and the fact that we're getting more weeds in the yard wasn't making me feel any better either



I decided it was time to re-mulch the yard. It was looking pretty barren in places


I figured a nice new thick layer of mulch would help the weeds, and just make things look prettier :)

Chris bought a bunch of bags on his way home from a handyman job on Saturday so I started out with those


He could only fit 9 in the truck with all his tools, but it was better to start out with not enough, that way we didn't crazy over purchase.

I started spreading it out by working on the furthest part of the yard first. I figured being 4 days past my due date while working on this task would probably tire me out fairly quickly, so I wanted to carry the bags the furthest first


As I carried each bag out one by one it got all spread out in a new 2-3" layer


I got through the first 9 bags fairly quickly so I waited until Chris was done working on his task and then we headed out to HD together to get another 12 bags (that was my guess for how much more we needed). After we got returned I got back at it




All in all it took 18 bags, which isn't too bad. And it took me about 2 hours. It felt good getting all that physical work done and I was happy to hopefully save the yard from more weeds. The rest of the day I was pretty exhausted though, so I spent most of the time on my computer working on day job work trying to bill as many hours before little Cashew comes. And yesterday I was still pretty tired, so I took it easy again. Man, being almost 41 weeks pregnant (tomorrow) has a tendency to tire you out... :)

It's quite amazing how pretty things look with new mulch.

Pre-mulch


Post mulch


Another pre-mulch


Post-mulch


And last one


Post-mulch


I love our yard, it makes me happy




New mulch makes everything better. But I still do have to replace those two dead coreopsis...

5.27.2013

Happy Memorial Day

Is everyone having a happy 3 day weekend? We are :) Little Miss Cashew still has not decided to grace us with her presence, but we're enjoying having 3 days of productivity. Frankly, Chris and I were hoping that she wouldn't arrive this weekend - how terrible is that? But ummm, May has been a little ridiculous. This is what May was going to look like as April was ending


And this is what it actually ended up looking like


Up until today, we've had only 4 days that didn't have something on the calendar (and that didn't include regular day job work). And frequently we had days that got doubled up. It was ridiculous. That's why - as much as we are stupendously excited to meet our daughter - we were hoping that we had this weekend to get caught up on things.

And the great thing, this is what June is looking like


Not. a. god. damn. thing.

Marvelous. It will be baby snuggles and baby love alllll month long.

But until then, I need to get back to work! Happy Memorial Day everyone!

5.24.2013

A Phone Call to the Mold Expert

This whole rug debacle is hilarious. We received the rug we ordered as scheduled on Monday, hooray! We bought it from Overstock, but want to know what the packaging said?


Hilarious.

When it arrived there was a rip in the packaging


I didn't pay much attention to it, but a couple nights ago Chris was in the front room doing something and he shouted out to me, "Is that MOLD?"


Wha???? After we had to get rid of the old one because of mold it would really be just our luck that after we had to order a 3rd rug that it would arrive moldy. I was a little skeptical because I wondered how the hell that could possibly happen, but I have to admit that it looked a little questionable


Luckily, my step dad is pretty smart. And he's a partner at a law firm that has worked on a lot of cases that involve mold, so he's pretty knowledgeable about it. I got him on the phone and explained what it looked like, where it was, etc. He seemed skeptical about it being mold as well and thought that it was most likely some sort of sticky product that had gotten on the back of the rug and dirt had clung to it. But just to be safe he gave me instructions on how to clean it.

First off I carried it outside because it involved chemicals and I didn't really want to do that in the house. Plus, rugs always smell like crap when you open them out of their wrapping so it would give it a nice airrng out. The patio isn't very spacious at the moment because of handyman projects though...


I found a little spot between the sawhorses and laid out a drop cloth and unrolled the rug. First with the pattern side up so I could oogle it :)


Pretty :)

Then it was time to flip it over and get to work


I was armed with a toothbrush we use for cleaning, bleach and a rag


CBH first gave me instructions to use the toothbrush to rub out the surface layer of the stain (or mold)


It didn't really do much


The fact that whatever it was didn't rub out easily at all made CBH think it was even less likely that it was mold. Hooray!

The next task was to put bleach on a rag and very lightly brush it over the stain/mold (though most likely stain). It was really important to not put too much on the rag and not rub it too roughly on the rug so that it didn't seep through and damage the pattern


I immediately saw a difference in the stain and it looked like it was getting cleaned up well. But the last task was letting the bleach soak in a little bit and leaving the rug out in the sun for the afternoon


And when we got back from little Miss Cashew's 40 week doctor's appointment last night (she's still cooking away inside my belly) we brought the rug back inside. I completely forgot to take a picture of it when it was still unrolled on the patio and after Chris carried it back inside I tried to look for where the stain used to be and I literally could not find it at all


Hooray, stain away! :)

I am hoping this officially ends the saga of the rug. And maybe we can even put it in our bedroom this weekend. We're hoping our little lady holds off and doesn't arrive till Tuesday, we can get a lot done over a 3 day weekend :)