Happy New Year!

Goodbye 2015, it’s been a fun ride!

We bought a house, started a blog, and went to Europe…. and that was just the summer!

We’ve made some awesome progress on the too–updating light fixtures, updating the kitchen and bathroom.  Matt worked on some more behind-the-scenes projects like putting up a knee wall in the attic, ripping out yard after yard of useless cables from our basement, and hauling a bunch of random crap out of attic.* We also hired out some important work like replacing our boiler and basement windows.

So what’s in store for 2016?  I’m hoping to tackle the dining room, living room/family room, and bedroom.  Matt’s goals are slightly more practical; he wants to get our garage functioning and we already have a mason lined up to fill in the cellar entrance in the spring. Hopefully we’ll also be able to make a dent on the landscaping a bit this year once everything thaws…. in like 5 months.

To kick off the new year with a bang I signed up for Apartment Therapy’s January Cure… although I already sort of failed today since I still haven’t changed out of my PJs… oops.**

So bring it on 2016!  I’m ready for you… me and my PJs…


*Included: a slightly decaying roll of carpet, a piece of bamboo, and an emergency window ladder.

**I did totally take a shower though so it’s not like I didn’t do anything.

So this just happened….

I have the day off today (yay bank holidays!) and was catching up on laundry. Spencer followed me into the basement since the cats aren’t really let down there too often.  I shooed him back out with me when I went upstairs and closed the door.  A little while later I heard a small crash and wondered what the hell the little furballs had gotten into now.  I made a cursory inspection but didn’t see anything amiss except that Schmutz was no longer sleeping on the bed.  Whatever, she probably just got freaked by the noise, right?


I go back to the kitchen to make tea and hear a weird scratching noise.  Ugh.  Stupid cat apparently snuck into the basement and I closed her in.  I open the door to find both Schmutz and a dead mouse on the top step.  I don’t handle surprises well and screamed like a sissy (despite the fact that I actually don’t really mind mice, I just don’t really want wild ones living in my house) and slammed the door as soon as Schmutz was out.

Poor baby, she was really proud of herself since she’s never caught anything other than bugs before and I reacted rather badly.  She’s now pitching a fit since the door is still closed with her trophy on the other side since I need to find something to dispose of it with.


Updated: I went to go dispose of the mouse and discovered that it had very clearly been dead long before Schmutz got to it. Oh well, she’ll still probably prove herself as a mouser sometime in the future.

Weekend Report

We skipped town this weekend to go to the wedding of one of my college friends.  We drove south along the Mississippi and got to take in some lovely fall color. Matt also discovered that he had met the sister of the bride before since one of his college friends married her sister in law.  Life is weird.

  • Weddings attended: 1
  • Overindulgence: Lots*
  • Sore feet: 2*
  • Miles driven: 297
  • Borders crossed: 4***
  • Pockets of road construction: 3
  • Dead mums: 1
  • Angry cats pretending to be starving: 2
  • Concerts attended: 1
  • Things accomplished on the house: 0


*Open bar, cake, archaeology-themed candy bar, giant pile of oreos arranged into another tiered cake… it’s a miracle I didn’t explode.

**Both mine. I have some phenomenally cute T-strap vintagey shoes, but they’re not good shoes for standing/walking/dancing in.

***If you head south along the Mississippi you cross into WI, then back into MN, then back into WI again.

Slice of Life: Astronomy Division

So tonight there’s supposed to be a Harvest Moon/Super Moon/Lunar Eclipse, but I apparently fail at life and Matt called me on the way home from his board meeting to remind me.

Matt: So the eclipse is just starting

Me: I can’t see the moon!

Matt: Well of course you can’t, it’s being eclipsed*

Me: I even looked up what direction the moon should be in and can’t see anything! I’m so bad at astronomy that I can’t even find the moon!**

Matt: Um, ok then.  I’ll just head home then.

Once he did get home he dragged me across the street to where you could actually see the moon and, despite the light pollution of living in St Paul (and it being a lot smaller than I expected for a Super Moon), it was pretty cool. And it really did turn reddish near the end… and that’s when we went inside because we’re totally not astronomers.  Obviously.





*He thinks he’s funny, and sometimes he is…this was not one of those times

**This is pretty true. Don’t even try to point out constellations to me.  I’ve spent several summer evenings sitting in a hot tub with friends and making up my own dam constellations like Jump Roping Kangaroo and Two Headed Sloth.  This is was in high school so there wasn’t even any alcohol involved, although we did skip Senior Ball in favor of the hot tub, a tea party, and a Monty Python Flying Circus marathon so it’s entirely possible our families and fellow students thought we were doing drugs.

Slice of Life: Friction (or lack thereof) Division


Matt: You love our stairs.

Me: I hate our stairs; they tried to kill me this morning!  And that goofy mini landing that I said I was indifferent to last night? I changed my mind.  I like it, it tried to save me.  Also, I hate being thirty.

Lesson learned for the day: socks and wood treads do not mix.  Especially first thing in the morning.  Thankfully (?) I was slightly twisted as I went flying (falling with style?) so I didn’t bounce down on my tailbone, but rather my left butt cheek.  I’m now sitting on an ice pack and Matt just pointed out we have a 3 hour car ride ahead of us this afternoon.  Joy…

We also currently have a plumber in our basement replacing our main water shutoff so hopefully we can finally get our tub faucet replaced since it’s leaky as all hell.  We got it into our heads to try and do it the night before we left for Europe (are we brilliant or what?) but didn’t get anywhere since there’s not a shutoff right at the tub and we couldn’t get the basement one to budge (and were concerned about breaking it since it was pretty old). Fingers crossed that nothing goes wrong since this week has been pretty beastly already.


Update: I was all disappointed because before we left I check myself out in the mirror and nothing!  Not even the vaguest hint of a bruise.  Sooo disappointed!  If I was going to be in this much pain I wanted something to show for it!  Then we went to Wausau, we weddinged it up with my family (there is now, unfortunately, photo and perhaps also video evidence of me doing the Macarena.  Beware the open bar….).  I couldn’t sit comfortably all night.  Then we got back to our hotel room and I discovered I now had a giant-ass bruise.  A giant-ass ass bruise if you will. It’s like the size of my hand and almost entirely dark purple.  It’s the most impressive and horrible looking bruise I have ever gotten and I can’t even show it to anyone without being indecent! I just dissolved into giggles at this point.  My sister and brother-in-law were in the hallway at this point because they had managed to lock their 2 year old in their room* and were probably wondering what in god’s name we were up to.


*Believe it not this is becoming a trend at weddings we attend.  You have adjoining rooms and some well meaning parent bars the main door so the child can’t wander out when they can’t see.  Child then closes the adjoining door (or babysitting grandparents go to sleep) and you can no longer get in through the main room door since the extra latch is in place.  Good times.

We’re alive!

Matt and I just returned from a pretty epic European vacation–London, Prague, Amsterdam, and Reykjavik.  It was delightful (minus some minor mishaps) and gorgeous, and we managed to experience the worst summer storm in recorded history in Amsterdam. I’ll do a mini rundown once I get my pictures sorted, but if you want an even briefer rundown you can check out my Instragram feed.

Also, as soon as I stepped off the plane in MSP my back spasmed or something so now I’m pumped full of pain meds and wedged into the couch so my crazy optimistic plans for today (counter tops! kitchen faucet! window repair!) have kind of stopped in their tracks.  Matt tackled the window repair since a nasty storm here the day we left did a number on 2 of our windows leaving our (awesome) cat sitters to have to come up with a temporary fix. I’m hoping I’ll be functioning again by this weekend since I’m itching to finish up in the kitchen and start work on the Brown Bathroom of Despair.

PSA for Movers & Travelers

If you are, say, planning an international trip after moving but before you are actually unpacked, it is very important to make sure the keys to the safe (where the passports are kept) are put in a Safe Place.  And because we all know what happens when you put something in a Safe Place you probably want to write yourself reminders of where that place is, and possibly get that reminder tattooed on your forehead as well.

Seriously, hearing “So… where did we pack the keys to the safe?” from Matt freaked me out way more than the news on the London Tube Strike and potential Grexit combined.  Thankfully the keys were found*, I double triple quadruple checked that the passports had not mysteriously vanished, suddenly expired, or spontaneously combusted, and EuroTour** 2015 is still on!***

Unrelated: This is the best thing I’ve read all day. I sort of want to move Toronto now… I may have found my people.

Also, there will be more actually design related updates coming.  The boxes need to be moved out of the kitchen so I can paint, and my temporary counter top solution needs to arrive so we can fix the beat up laminate and replace our faucet and then I can move on to the Brown Bathroom of Despair!



*The Safe Place turned out to be the bottom of my purse.  Naturally.

**We’re going to 4 countries and only one actually uses the Euro.  Are we efficient or what?

***Matt moved the keys to a new Safe Place.  Wish us luck for when it’s actually time for us to leave.

Slice of Life: Arachnophobia Division

This conversation just happened via text today:


Me: And by infested I mean I found one on my car

Matt: Yikes

Matt: But I’m on hold with Century Link

Matt: So I’m in a worse spot than you

I may or may not have danced around the Target parking lot waving a shoe menacingly at my car.  Also spiders and ISPs both suck.

Just Chillin’

So we’ve moved! (Nearly) all our stuff is at the house now and the cats are doing considerably better.  Poor Schmutz had a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very bad Day yesterday since the cats had to get stuffed in the bathroom while the movers were at our apartment.  Matt let them out after the movers left and Schmutz took one look at the empty rooms and went back to hide behind the toilet.  She was doing better at the new place except she cried all night long (making me rethink ever having kids).  Spencer has taken everything is stride because he is the most chill cat I have ever met.

Today we celebrated the 4th of July (or Ungrateful Colonials Day, or That Weird Day When a Bunch of Crazy Americans Set Shit on Fire depending on where you live) in true American fashion: booze and power tools.  We bought a sliding compound miter saw for me and would have bought a nail gun (also for me) except we discovered it was cheaper on Amazon and we have no immediate need so we’ll just order it.

I am also very happy to discover that our house is so much cooler than our apartment.  We brought one of our window A/C units over right away since I was positive I’d need it while painting and we never even put it in the window.  Last night was totally comfortable with just our ceiling fan but we stuck the A/C in the bedroom this afternoon just so we’d be prepared for any heat waves in the future.  It is very refreshing to know that our house does not get any where near as oppressively hot as our apartment did.

We also just got the results of our asbestos testing back (which is totally worth doing in older homes, since you want to know these things especially if you’re planning future DIYs).  Our siding and pipe insulation are asbestos (which we were already 90% sure of) but in good shape so we only need to worry if we’re doing any work involving them.  The vermiculite insulation in the attic was negative (vermiculite was possibly contaminated with asbestos for awhile after asbestos was no longer being used) and the random ceiling tiles we have in a couple rooms were negative (I had absolutely no idea how likely they were to be asbestos, but ceiling tile are one of those things that can be so I figured I’d rather just get them tested). So nothing unexpected which was awesome and since we also want some work done in our attic we also don’t have to worry about asbestos precautions for our contractors.

We even watched some fireworks today… on YouTube… #lazyamericans