Hi, I'm Erin, and I'm a part-time germophobe.

Yes. Lysol is my best friend. This confession will make more sense as you continue reading, mainly because my germophobic tendencies are responsible for what you are about to see.

To give you a hint, let's just say that I haven't felt the need to wash my hands as often now that the living room floor looks like this:

But let's rewind. Here's what the floor looked like approximately 48 seconds before my germophobia got the better of me we decided to go on a carpet-tearing spree:

It looks innocent enough from this safe distance (and it's even safer if you're looking at from the comfort of your home which may or may not be within 1000 miles of it), but upon close inspection, we discovered stains that made me squirm. Rick, being a gentleman, offered to lay down his jacket over the carpet so I wouldn't have to walk on it, but then decided it would make more sense to just remove said carpet. Not to mention that this alternative would save severe wear and tear on his poor coat. So, down on his knees he went:

When he finished yanking up the carpet itself, we discovered this:


Now, I'm sure most carpet pads have stains. In fact, it would probably be unusual for them not to. But the fact that they were not my stains and could have been created by anything from a spilled can of Coke to--(well, we won't go there) was enough cause for me to want to high-tail it out of the room and not come back unless armed with a Hazmat suit. In the interest of not generating yet another eye-roll from my husband, though, I instead forged ahead by crawling around the perimeter of the room yanking out the staples holding the above gem to our hardwood floors. Rick took care of the tack strips and molding that we needed to remove in order to finish the job.

Rick's favorite feature of this picture  is circled above. Can you tell what it is?
 Our downstairs main living area (which flows via double doors from the den to the dining room) is now a clear shot of hardwood flooring from front to back:

I'm ready for my close-up.

Hooray for stain-free floors! :)

Linking this to the Tatertots & Jello weekend wrap-up party!


Our dining room is Underwater.

Well, it is according to this paint chip, which is the new bluey-greeny-grayish color of our dining room:

Over the weekend, with the help of my fabulous in-laws (who now live a mere 11 minutes away--happy dance!), our dining room began looking decidedly less like theirs (previous owners) and more like ours:

In the interest of ensuring that none of that red seeped through and ruined our hard work, we decided to first put on a coat of Olympic no-VOC tinted primer, which made the room look completely different all by itself:

The paint is also Olympic no-VOC in eggshell, and we had it color matched to the Behr chip you saw above. No-VOC (aka no-stink, no-headaches, no-feeling as though you're inhaling something that is killing your brain cells) was absolutely the way to go for us, especially since we couldn't open the windows given that is was approximately 8 degrees outside.

We are 150% happy with the result. There were no color surprises with the helpfully huge paint chips that Behr makes, and we also did the whole tape-the-swatches-to-the-wall-and-scrutinize-them-under-every-possible-lighting-condition thing to figure out which one would work best for that room.

Touching up the chipped baseboards=my next project!
So there you have it: our new "Underwater" dining room. Does anyone else think that I should hang a bunch of plastic mermaids and inflatable clown fish from the ceiling to continue the theme? So far, Rick has vetoed me on that one. Shucks. I suppose, instead, that I'll just start a new habit of loudly singing "Under the Sea" with as many awkward key changes as I can manage every time I enter the room. Then he will surely agree to my master plan. ;)


Demolition: it's one of those man things.

I mentioned here that Rick and I have both gotten quite chummy with crowbars during our stint as new homeowners. Rick, especially, was chomping at the metaphorical bit (where did that expression come from, anyway?) to start demolishing things. I think this falls under the category of "man things," like not asking for directions, drooling over surround sound, and leaving the toilet seat up. (Not that I don't enjoy a certain amount of demolition myself, of course. There's something therapeutic about crushing things. Especially if you think about the students that made you angry during the week.)

Anyway, one of the upstairs bedrooms had this makeshift closet built in it:

We weren't fans of it, because it was pretty obvious that it was not originally part of the house, and it significantly cut into the room's entryway. We also have plans for tweaking the floor plan in the upstairs to better make use of the space, which includes adding new closets elsewhere. So, keeping all of these things in mind, Rick went at it with his trusty crowbar. You can't tell from this picture, but he was drooling a little bit as he did this.

And the rest is history.

This is better than a trip to Best Buy!

The obligatory before and after with a small dose of he-man satisfaction.

And now I need to go gently pry the power tools out of Rick's hands before he begins unnecessarily demolishing other pieces of our home, a la Clark Griswold with the chainsaw in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.


Did I just play tug of war with my walls?

I recently discovered a home decor practice that is sure to be the next hit game show (you know, right behind Minute to Win It and The Price is Right):

Tug of War with the Walls.

Admittedly, not a catchy title, but hey, it's a work in progress. Here are the rules:

1. All players must find a room that has thick rope glued and stapled around every window, doorway, and baseboard.

This one will do.

2. All players must then try to figure out how to remove said ropes, glue, and staples.

I promise that is glue.

3. The player with the least amount of rope burn at the end of the game wins.

Here I am demonstrating my brute strength, no-fear determination, and childish taunting:

The end product? A blissfully rope-free room. The grand prize? A year's supply of...rope.

I guess this means I can now practice my lassoing skills on a few local cows?


Honey, we forgot the salon chair!

A lonely wine glass at the back of a kitchen cabinet. A mate-less Hello Kitty sock. A chewed dog bone behind the stairs. These are all the things we expected to find (or at least weren't surprised to find) when we scurried through our house the night of closing. What we didn't expect was a full box of non-alcoholic Milwaukee beer:

You know you'll want to be at our next party.

A salon chair:

 Now our kids can act out "Beauty School Dropout"!

Or the most hideous light fixture I've ever seen to date:

I'm thinking this will go nicely above our bed.

Anyone else find any weird stuff left behind when they moved into a new house or apartment? :)

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