Monday, February 21, 2011

Form and function

This is the tale of my bathroom re-model - so far. When hubs and I bought our house seven years ago, we knew we'd have to re-do the master bathroom. First of all, it was the only room in the house that had vinyl flooring. Everything else was either carpet or ceramic tile. Secondly, that vinyl flooring was starting to curl up a bit in a couple of places, so we knew it was something we'd have to address eventually.

At first, we just thought we'd tile the floor. Then, little people started kicking the cultured marble on the tub surround, and it got knocked out of place. So then, we thought we'd tile the floor and the tub surround. Well, pretty soon, hubs was looking at our fiberglass shower and saying, "Why don't we just pull this out and tile in here, too?" I wasn't crazy about the expense and extra mess of that idea, but I could see that he did have a point. So, off we went to buy some design books and pick out tile and faucets.

I chose an inexpensive 16" square tile for the floor, and a matching 6" tile for the vertical spaces. To elevate the look of that tile selection, I picked out a beautiful glass and tumbled marble mosaic to use as an accent. We called a contractor that we'd worked with before, and one week and a few thousand dollars later, we've got about half of a totally new bathroom. Below are some before and after photos.

This is the tub area before. You can see at the bottom that the vinyl is starting to curl up due to moisture. The piece of cultured marble facing the camera was also slightly out of alignment, due to little feet kicking it!

This is the tub area after. You can see the 6" tile I chose, and we ran a band of the mosaic around the tub that was the same height.

This is the shower before. Just your standard fiberglass shower with a glass door. It served its purpose well enough, but it certainly wouldn't win any beauty contests.

This is the shower afterwards. We put the mosaic tile in the floor of the shower, in a decorative band along the top, and on the back of the niche that's holding all of the bath supplies. We're using a basic curtain and rod right now because we have to order the new glass door. We also replaced the stainless steel faucet and shower nozzle with an oil-rubbed bronze one.

This is the water closet before. Pretty depressing. At the threshold of this door, more vinyl flooring was starting to peel up. Plus, I think the basket I was using as a garbage can had been around since the Dark Ages.

This is how it looks now. Nice tile floor, plus we replaced the wastebasket and all the hardware (toilet paper holder, door knob, even the tiolet handle). I painted the frame of the mirror in here with oil-rubbed bronze spray paint to match all the new hardware.

I'm really pleased with how far we've come. I knew going into the remodel that it would probably take longer and cost more than we anticipated. We went a little over on both counts, but not by much. What drove me nuts was the MESS. I am a little OCD, and it was difficult for me to live with the DUST created by a remodel. I basically went home and cleaned feverishly every night for about a week. Exhausting.

Now, after we rest a bit (and save a bit more), we'll tackle the other side of the room. See below.

I want to replace the countertop, sinks, and faucets, in addition to buying new mirrors. We've already bought the matching hinges and knobs we need for the cabinets, we just haven't replaced that hardware yet. Once we do all of that, I'm thinking this remodel will be about complete.

And if we survive it, we may think about re-doing the kitchen someday. Shudder.

Goings on

Lord, have we been busy at the Bradshaw household!

Last weekend, we made the most of the gorgeous weather by spending most of Saturday at Lakeshore Park. We took a ton of old bread and fed every duck and goose in the place. We ran all around, counted the boats in the water, and played on the playground. We stopped in at Kroger long enough to pick up some lunch, then took our food back to the park for a picnic before heading home for a well-deserved nap. It was an absolutely beautiful day, and we've decided that we'll buy a red kite and head back on another pretty weekend to fly it.

On Sunday, we all packed up and headed to a puppet performance by the Bunraku Bay Theatre. The traditional Japanese puppetry features artfully carved puppets with three operators each. One puppeteer operates the head and right arm/hand, one puppeteer operates the left arm/hand, and a third puppeteer operates the feet. The puppets are really works of art, and the performance took place at the Alamo Theatre on Farish Street, a historic building.

I worried that Clay wouldn't like the show because of the music (which is something he is not used to) and the fact that he couldn't understand the words. But, as usual, he was rapt at attention. The kid loves live performances. The only part he didn't like? The lion puppet. He got a little bit scared of its snapping jaws, which made a sharp clicking noise. When it came out into the audience to bite people on the head (no lie - for good health and long life), Clay was all, "I need to go home now!" But I held him in my lap, and he was fine.

Afterwards, we had dinner at Sal and Mookie's. YUM! I love their food! What a GREAT WEEKEND!!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My (New) 101

A few years ago, I stumbled onto this site. This way of keeping up with life goals is very natural to me (I'm definitely a list-maker.), and so I tried it. I ended up crossing off about 60 percent of my list, and I had alot of fun along the way. I've re-evaluated the items I didn't complete last time, chucked some of them, and added new goals. See below for the new list! Wish me luck!

101 things to do in 1001 days

Learn to juggle
Take a martial arts class
Make a will
Make a living will
Train to run 3 miles without stopping
Try a yoga or pilates class
Go to the Lauren Rogers Museum
Learn to play at least one song on the guitar (or, sheesh, just PRACTICE once in a while)
Write a food article and get it published
Write at least one poem or short story
Plant an herb garden
Make fresh pesto with basil I grew
Drink wine in California
Eat salsa in San Antonio
Treasure hunt on Highway 49
Host a New Year’s open house party
Visit the famous fried chicken place in Lorman
Go the fall flower show/festival in Crystal Springs
Learn more about the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict
Give blood
Learn to play the harmonica
Get my piano tuned
Buy sheet music for a song I like and learn to play it on the piano
Learn to do a passable waltz
Go ice skating
Attain APR accreditation
Read at least 3 current books on my profession
Take a road tour through the Mississippi Delta
Enroll in a Millsaps Enrichment class of my choosing
Take Clay to Disney World
Celebrate my birthday in style
Boil/steam a live lobster
Go to a rodeo
Host a formal tea, like at the Savoy
Write a letter to the editor of my local newspaper
Perform in at least one stage production
Attend at least one college alumni event
Get back in touch with some of my college professors
Book a session with a personal trainer
Learn more about how to maximize Adobe Photoshop
Plan a surprise party for someone
Replace at least three outdated light fixtures in my house
Plant some vegetables and keep them alive long enough to harvest them
Plan and take at least one “destination trip” in honor of a holiday (Salem at Halloween, Plymouth Rock at Thanksgiving, etc.)
Stop cussing. Seriously STOP.
Renew my passport
Spend an entire day in complete silence (This one is going to be very difficult.)
Check out a library book, read it, and leave a note in it for the next reader
Attend one religious service of a faith other than my own, just to observe
Start buying more goods that are made in America
Find a professional mentor
Act as a mentor to someone who needs me
Take Clay fruit picking at a local farm
Make something yummy with what we pick
Take Clay to the Petrified Forest
Buy him a bag of shiny tumbled rocks
Take Clay to Rocky Springs
Take Mom to the opera
Rent a boat and go deep sea fishing with dad
Do a “Godfather Week” at the house, where we eat Italian food and watch the Godfather series (once Clay goes to bed. Eeek!)
Go camping
Have an indulgent breakfast in bed
Have my eyes checked (Dear Lord, I’m getting old.)
Take a weekend trip alone. COMPELTELY ALONE.
Win a bet
Look up more shadow puppet instructions and expand my repertoire (Dog, deer, dinosaur, rabbit, and bird are getting kinda old.)
Throw a tapas and wine party
Go on a picnic (Because you can never have too many.)
Toast the sunset
Go see an author read from his/her work
Fly a kite
Ride a horse
Go see a fortune teller or psychic
Ride a train
Find the perfect swimsuit
Have a facial
Move more of my bills/notices over to electronic or auto-draft
Clean out/shred as necessary in ALL of my old files (Gulp.)
Add money to a parking meter about to run out
Repair the back yard arbor
Whittle something
Kiss a new baby
Throw a Mediterranean party with grilled lamb, veggies, tzatziki, the whole nine
Start a personal, meaningful family tradition at Easter
Photograph a sunrise
Go to Pepsi Pops
Go to a ceramic painting shop and paint something cool
Take a family trip to the wildlife preserve in Louisiana
Learn how to change my own oil in my car
Learn how to check and flush/fill fluids in my car
Learn the basics of how my car works
Get a book on constellations
Try to identify at least five of them in the sky
Write a love letter
Surprise someone
Put Christmas decorations on the outside of the house
Have sandal heels re-tapped or CHUCK THEM
Make a care package for someone
Buy something hand made
Visit a place that’s rumored to be haunted
Tape and edit a video to create a FINISHED PRODUCT

Start date: February 16, 2011
End date: November 13, 2013