Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Choosing the right grout color

I want to stress the importance of choosing the right grout color for your tile.  Don't rush in choosing grout, make sure you lay it out with the tiles in the room it will be in before you decide!

There are a few options when looking at grout colors.  You can:

  1. Blend the grout with the tiles, meaning you choose a grout that is nearly the same color as the tiles (such as white on white). This will create the appearance that the floor is one seamless color.
  2. Contrast the grout and tiles, meaning if the tiles are light than you choose a dark grout (or vice versa).  This creates a checkerboard appearance. 
  3. Accent the tile with grout, meaning if you have multiple colors in your tile you can choose one of those colors to accent in the grout.
When I first started my home renovations, I thought I preferred to blend my grout and tiles.  I thought this would make the rooms look larger.  

My downstairs bath has a beige tile with Oyster Gray Polyblend grout. I picked this tile because it was inexpensive and a neutral color for the bathroom.  The grout dried darker than I expected and it looks kinda dingy with the beige tiles. 

I had purchased too much of these tiles, so instead of returning them I kept them to use in my laundry room.  Since I didn't have much of the Oyster Gray grout left, I decided to use the Alabaster Polyblend Grout  that I had left over from my Master Bath. I didn't want to spend extra money on grout so I was hoping the colors would be tolerable together.  

It turns out that Alabaster Grout looks amazing with this tile!  It completely transformed the look and color of these boring beige tiles. I know it's hard to tell but these two images are the same tile just in two different rooms with different grout colors.  

Maybe down the road I will regrout the downstairs bath to help brighten up that dingy floor.  

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Parran's PoBoys and Creole Creamery

Since we had to drop my parents off at the airport over the weekend, Michael and I decided to treat ourselves to some yummy NOLA food.

(Warning the following blog contains images of extremely delicious foods, I am not responsible for any drooling or diet cheating this will cause.  Janel and Jeff, you have been warned.)

Michael was craving a po-boy so I asked my dad for restaurant recommendations and he suggested Parran's in Metairie.

Parran's was great!  It was very cute, and I would guess Mom and Pop owned. (Because I think Pop ran the register and Mom brought out our food.)

I got a side of Fried Pickles, and they were awesome.  They must be hand sliced from whole pickles because they were thick and crispy!  I didn't realize a side was going to be so huge!

Michael got a Shrimp Po-boy and fries and I got a Roast Beef Po-boy.

I think he enjoyed it!

About a year ago, Michael and I saw this episode of Kid in a Candy Store that featured The Creole Creamery. We had wanted to check them out and finally got a chance on Saturday.

OMG this is the best ice cream I have ever eaten.  It is so creamy, I would call it Cold Cream - there is nothing icy about it.  The prices are great too!  Cheaper than other chain ice cream places.  Just remember to bring CASH.

Michael really wanted to get the Cracked Pepper and Cream Corn ice cream (that was mentioned in the video) but sadly they did not have that flavor right now.  But his second choice was Lavender Honey.  I think he looks sleepy because he was in a yummy food coma.

I got the Salted Carmel in a waffle cone.  It was amazing!  I can't wait to go back and try more flavors!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Flying, not just for the birds

In my 26 years on Earth I have never been on a plane.  I guess I never went anywhere that required taking a plane.  Because of this, I was apprehensive about flying.  I don't like roller coasters and I get car sick, so I really didn't know what to expect.  When I found out I was going to have to fly to Dallas for work I got really anxious.

Michael knew how much this was bothering me (to the point of losing sleep laying awake worrying about it).  So he contacted his mom's boyfriend (Mr. Vaughn) who has a plane.  He graciously offered to take me for my first flight and teach me all about planes and flying.

When we pulled up to the airport and I saw this tin can (literally, it's made of aluminum) sized plane I started to panic.  But I had come this far so I had to do it.

After a 20 minute lesson on all the parts of the plane, why the plane flies and all the inside controls, it was time to get in.

This is a small plane that only seats 4, but its surprisingly not cramped inside.  But it is hot.  There is no a/c.

Smaller planes like this are steered on the ground using pedals.  Mr. Vaughn let me drive the plane to the runway.  This is incredibly difficult!  I was supposed to drive on a straight yellow line, but if there would have been police around, they would have pulled me over for drunk driving!

We got to the runway and tested the engine, checked the gas, controls etc.  Then it was time to take off!  This plane has to go at least 75mph before it will take flight.  So as we were going down the runway I began to brace myself.  While I was deciding if I should close my eyes when we went up, we were already in the air!  I had barely even noticed!  My ears started popping as we rose over the houses and trees.  But the sight was beautiful!  Everything looked like colorful geometric shapes. We flew over the Mississippi River and could see for miles!

Then, it was my turn to fly the plane!  It was so easy!  The plane basically flies itself.  There were a few bumps as we hit air pockets and clouds and such.  But the plane just leveled out naturally.  I flew around for 30 minutes, then we made two circles (which made me a little sick) and then landed.  It was an amazing experience!  I am so thankful to know that flying is not scary!

Mr. Vaughn said I was smiling the whole time.  And afterwards my face was sore!  I can now check 'fly in a plane and FLY a plane" off my to-do list.

Maybe next I'll learn how to swim.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Flying Solo

This weekend Michael and I will tackle our first big home renovation project alone!  Usually, we have my parents running the show, but he and I will be tiling the laundry room floor all by ourselves.

We had a quick lesson last night on how to lay tiles

  • Start in the center of the room
  • only use as much adhesive that you need for a few tiles
  • use the tile spacers
  • proper use of the tile cutter

Pretty much everything that DIY covers here.

Now that we are tile experts hopefully we can complete the tile and grout this weekend.  I don't think anything can go terribly wrong. 

But the real question is will this Home Renovation make or break our relationship?  I should video the process and submit it to Renovation Realities, I'm sure we will be quite entertaining!

I also scored a great deal on 6 wall cabinets for the laundry room.  I found them on Craigs List.  This was my first time using Craigs List and it was great!  The price I paid for these 6 cabinets (only 4 pictured below) is less than what one would cost at the store!

Here are the cabinets before we sand and paint them. I think we will just paint them white.  But maybe I'll get gutsy and try a dark bold color.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Laundry Room Update

It was a rainy weekend, thanks to TS Lee. But we were able to get a good bit of work done on the Laundry Room.

Here is what we completed -

  • Insulate the walls and ceiling.  DONE
  • Move hot water heater out of room and rerun pipes etc. for it.  DONE
This was a challenging process, but after like 7 times we had no leaks!
  • Run electricity for Dryer, Fridge and outlets. DONE
  • Hang sheet rock - float, sand repeat. - Almost all hung, I will be working on floating in the evenings after work this week.
  • Change out window. - Not Done - We will hopefully get to that one night this week.  
And we ran the A/C duct and vent so once the room is closed in we can connect it to the A/C system.  

Here is what the room looks like after the 3 day weekend.

I am very pleased with our progress, I can't wait to see the finished product!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Labor Day Laundry List

I thought I'd post pictures of where we are with the Laundry Room prior to the 3 day weekend, then we can track our progress. To see the before pictures of the space, please check out my previous blog It All Comes Out in the Wash.

This is a view from the kitchen into the new laundry room.  You can see that once we close in the room, you will now exit the kitchen into the laundry room, then exit through the side door to get into the garage.
The space is about 9ft x 9ft.  Which is at least double the size of the original garage bathroom.
There is still plenty of garage space all around the new laundry room.  You could easily fit a car in there, if my driveway/garage was accessible by car.  The area to the right (behind the wall of the new room) is where my washer and dryer is currently.

Here is our Labor Day Weekend "Laundry List" for the Laundry Room Expansion:

  • Insulate the walls and ceiling.
  • Move hot water heater out of room and rerun pipes etc. for it.
  • Run electricity for Dryer, Fridge and outlets.
  • Hang sheet rock - float, sand repeat.
  • Change out window.
I think this is a good starting point.  We'll see how much we actually get done because it's supposed to rain all weekend and that could put a kink in our plans.