Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Vacation + Diet = Wash

Anyone else have issues maintaining a diet while on vacation? What about not only a vacation but a road trip with extended family? Yep that was me this month. Maybe I shouldn't have made such an aggressive goal the week before we left for a whirlwind of a week.

While an amazing week we were eating quite a bit (maybe not the best food choices), sitting for extended periods of time, and not on the same schedule. We headed to Boise area and Yellowstone so we fell back an hour which messed with us more than we thought it would.

We are very scheduled when it comes to eating because my oldest son gets headaches if he doesn't eat within certain time frames. For instance lunch has to happen between 11-1 and dinner between 5-7. We aim to eat at the earlier times. Being off schedule adds stress to ones body trying to adjust and can cause snacking. 

Speaking of snacking boredom also added to this especially while driving back to our cabin every evening from Yellowstone trying to stay awake. Honestly on the drive out we did pretty well keeping our snacking to a minimum. It wasn't until we spent all day in Yellowstone and being active that we were exhausted and starving because it was way past our normal dinner time. We learned the hard way on Monday that we needed to help my son avoid headaches by packing pbj for the kids to eat until we got home and made dinner. Of course the smell made us all want to munch as well.

We also had those unexpected (overturned Semi =2.5 hr detour) things come up that caused us to eat out instead of cooking our planned dinners. Typically we were spending about 10 hours in the car each day with a few hikes and whatnot but there was A LOT of sitting. I don't know about you but sitting means swelling.

All in all I would do it over again in a heartbeat even if instead of losing weight I gained 5lbs. It came off pretty easy. We came home 2 weeks ago and I am down a pound from my original weight, so 6lbs down since the end of vacation.

I would say that 3 pounds was attributed to water weight since it came off within the first week. My husband managed to not gain anything but both of us felt bloated and just plain icky. I have found that I can't wear most of my clothes without having a pudgy tummy. And my energy level has just been a big thumbs down.

Now I have to admit I think it has been a huge shock to my system coming from 70's with low humidity to 100 with 98% humidity and trying to catch up on all the cleaning, yard work, and real estate. That is still not an excuse I am happy with, so I took a week to rest up and adjust back to our time zone. The next week I caught up on housework, laundry, and preparing for next month (school). As I was on Facebook an add popped up for a local gym. 3 months for 2 people for $199! 

We have looked into this gym before but $119/month (with a discount) was never in our budget and I wouldn't want to be locked in for 12 months so for only being 3 months it was very appealing. Of course I couldn't make the decision on my own as I needed a 2nd person, and my husband was my first choice. After a little convincing he agreed especially knowing that they provide babysitting.

Saturday we signed up. We didn't stay long because we had a full schedule but we did get to run together. This may sound like you can do that outside it was nice because we run at 2 very different paces. My husband is just starting and while I am willing to run with him he doesn't like feeling like he is holding me back.

Sunday we went back to another location and started a 4 week program. I won't lie it was very overwhelming trying to find the machines we needed and figuring out how they work. We went back today and it was busier but we knew what machines we needed and ended up getting through it in an hour without waiting for anything. Very sore but it feels good!

Weight loss is not just routine and nutrition but also a positive mindset. I think we are finally finding that mindset by getting our home organized, spending quality time together, and getting that workout and nutrition on track. And if you are wondering if we are still using the book "The 3-1-2-1 Diet" by Dolvette Quince, we are...sort of. We are using it as a resource and guide but not strictly following it. By the end of August I'll give another update, and hopefully there will be more to post. For now here is my end of vacation and start of the weight loss journey photo for my husband and I.


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

3/4 Bathroom On A Budget

When we bought our house there were a few projects that we knew we wanted to take on. One of them was our kitchen (check) another was converting our half bath to a 3/4 or full bath.  After adding a college student to our family it became a necessity. We also knew that it would add value to our home. He was to be gone over spring break and thought that would be an awesome surprise for when he returned.



 The 2 story house was built in 1962 and very little had been updated since then. It was functional, just practical. The 2nd floor has 4 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms, 1st floor consists of an office/bedroom, half bath, kitchen, formal living room and dining room. While the basement includes a family room, non conforming bedroom/playroom, and unfinished area that contains the laundry area.

The day I started tearing out the wall tile we found out our college student would not be leaving town after all. In fact he was having surgery! It was a bit of a shocker and a realization that we may have been to quick to start. Especially since we hit a snag with the plumbing.

If I haven't said it enough I LOVE my dad! My parents came down so my dad could help get the plumbing and electrical moved around. Below is my husband working on removing the sink.


Code requires 36" spacing which was perfect for our new layout. You can see our new estimated placing for the shower, toilet, and vanity.




Next step was to finish ripping out everything, the insulation was way overdue and the floor was rotten from a leak. Since we had already ripped out the kitchen down to the subfloor this was a piece of cake...except we were dealing with a MUCH smaller space.


The floor didn't take long to put back in...convincing our college student "K" it was safe was another story. I think it was mainly the medications talking but he was convinced it wasn't safe to walk on. So glad we saved our baby gates, they came in handy not only keeping our children out but also reminding K that he couldn't enter the bathroom at night.


After getting the floor in our next goal was to get a light installed, using a lamp was getting old fast.


With this being a bathroom and prone to heavy water usage we wanted to make sure we took every effort to make sure the walls and floor resisted mold. We used Green Board for the walls (and later the ceiling) and concrete board for the floors and shower walls.

 The heating vent was located under the window in the original bathroom but since the shower was going there we relocated it next to the sink near the ceiling.

We would have worked from the window and worked our way to the door but we needed to get the toilet and sink working so we focused on getting the floor first. We ended up going with Ivetta White floor tile. I only wish we would have gone with a darker grout, we thought it was darker but it lightened up quite a bit.



Next replacing the window and waterproofing the shower! Because it is an older house and not an easy way to install a vent fan we decided to keep the window. For privacy we special ordered an obscured tempered glass vinyl window with a full screen. Still very easy to clean and water won't ruin it.


 The waterproofing membrane rolled on a very light green but as it dried it became darker...


And Darker! We did do 2-3 coats to make sure everything was covered.


Shower walls coming together! Even though it has been a year since we completed this project I still get a bit giddy walking in and seeing the difference.


Mosaic tiles we found on clearance about 3 years before this being put to good use. We wrapped the window and used it as an accent in the shower niche.


Finished project! Ok so there is more to this story, after finishing the bathroom the only drywall we did not replace was the ceiling. What we didn't know is that the copper piping in the main bathroom on the 2nd floor had a defect and started leaking. Within 2 weeks of finishing the ceiling came crashing down, with a little help of us tearing in to see what the spots on the ceiling were. There were about 3 quarter sized holes in the copper drainage pipes. We replaced the plumbing with PVC and now have a new ceiling as well.




We still have a few more ideas for the bathroom but waiting until we redo our master bathroom to add the glass shower panel. Even with extra plumbing and drywall work we ended up coming in right under our budget.

Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Spice Niche

Over the last year and a half our life has revolved around with home projects, football, real estate, and of course our kids. With having 3 adults in the house and all of us cooking our way of storing spices and seasonings was NOT working.


In our old kitchen we kept them in a drawer and labeled the tops but with the new kitchen we shrunk the drawer sizes and lost the island so there was no place to store them. Although before we even began our remodel we had always wanted to do a Spice Niche in the pantry. It was the ideal spot, hidden but easy to get to and there was dead space on the wall.

So our project began with my husband taking his saw and making a large opening, we thought it would be to big but knew we could store other items as well.

 When we made it almost to the bottom we realized that the electrical wire was humped up where the extra piece of drywall was. So we notched out the wood to allow the cord to lay flat (non structural board) and cleaned up the edges.
The drywall in back is to the dining room and with the edge there we knew it needed something to cover it. Fortunately for us we had bead-board that we used for a quick basement wall and tore back out so we could access the wall anchors. It was the perfect use.
 Of course nothing goes as easy as you think, especially in an older home. And we thought the hard part was the electrical cord...haha. As I was cleaning out the hole I looked up and saw this....


It took us a minute to realize that we had just cut into the cavity for the return air from our room. After consulting with some contractor friends we came up with a way of rerouting the return air by cutting a hole (not easy to do) with a drill above and below the niche so it would still operate the same way but would take a small detour. For the record it has been a year and we have had no issues, actually it turned out we made it better than before because our room heats and cools more efficiently. After narrowly escaping that situation we quickly cut 1 x 4's and made a box to fit in the opening.

The middle shelf we made fixed to add extra support. He used a Kreg Jig to drill holes on each side for pins so we can adjust the shelves accordingly. Don't let him fool you, I did most of the painting. I only took a break to snap a picture and figure out what spices and seasonings we had ;)



 Turns out we had more than we realized...But they all fit and if we had duplicates (which we did) they were able to fit behind the other. And now it is easy to find everything! I sorted them alphabetically, and the guys get a kick out of switching them up every now and then to see if I notice (I do) It took almost exactly a year but we finally trimmed it out along with the rest of the pantry and Voila!

And we had many doubters that we had that many spices...truth be told we do use most of them frequently.

Until next time!