Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Greater Gates

Before - South Gate
When my parents visit, they like to bring their little dog.  She likes to escape from our yard by climbing under the gates.  My dad went on a mission over Christmas to dog-proof our yard.  The photos pretty much speak for themselves.
After - South Gate
Before - North Gate
After - North Gate

We also shored up both gates because they were sagging a bit.  Most importantly, we reconfigured the latch release on the south gate.  Instead of a nearly useless string, we drilled a hole thorough the post and installed a wire pull.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Maternity Photos

This is going to be a picture heavy blog, but I just want to give you a little background first. I thought long and hard about maternity photos. I love the idea of them but they can be expensive and if they are too over-styled they can feel a bit cheesy. So, I drug my feet on actually getting them done until Andy said (because he knows me so well) if we are going to do them, we should do them right. He contacted a very talented photographer that he happens to work with at Hyundai. Vu worked with us to get the exact style and feel we wanted; you will notice the photos are all from our home. The outfit is one I have worn repeatedly this pregnancy. He even managed to have tons of natural light in the dead of winter! He did an amazing job and I couldn't be more pleased with the entire experience and the beautiful results. I'm so grateful to him for his hard work and talent and to my husband for setting the whole thing up. Feel free to check out Vu's other work here.

And without further adieu, here are our maternity photos taken at 36 weeks.

***Please respect Vu's work and my privacy. Do not reuse, post, or modify any photos without consent.***

Can you believe this was taken in front of my bedroom window?!?!?!!
Relaxing in the nursery in my Grandmothers rocker
I can't wait to pass on my baby booties!
Again, in front of our bedroom window but with altered lighting for silhouette.

December called for a Christmas photo, and it had to include Christmas Pig.
An ornament from Andy's Mom, gifted to us at the shower.

A shot of her completed nursery!
And finally, because you know us better than this, here are some outtakes:

Vu told us how much his Lens cost, JUST the lens. I'll save you the heart attack and leave it private.
This is Pink Steele, move over Zoolander.
I found some tasty pastries in my kitchen, all that modeling called for a snack!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

T-Shirt Takeover

After cleaning out the closet, I determined I had too many tees; 78 actually.  That doesn't include undershirts.
I sorted them into the following categories:
Normal Weekend Tees:  33
Stylish Tees:  20
Rags:  19
Tank Tops:  6

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Broken Branch

My least favorite tree in the world dropped a branch in our yard.  I was initially annoyed, but then I decided to view it as an opportunity to get some free firewood.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Wonder Wheels

Editor's Note:  Sorry about the weird "two-face" photos.  My phone's camera is misbehaving.
Since buying the Miata, I've had my eye out for better wheels and tires.  I wasn't in a hurry since the tires on it were working fine, but now they are worn out.  Particularly the inside edge, thanks to my legit camber.

Conveniently, one of my coworkers had a set of wheels/tires sitting around that he took off his Miata before selling it.  He let me have them for $100.  Score!  As you can see below, they are a little more sporty than my old tires.

Here's where things get complicated.  The wheels he had are kind of heavy, so I've continued to look for lighter wheels, of which I found and bought two.  Here's the various wheels I was working with.
Clockwise from top:  15x8 6UL 195/50 R15 (29.8 lbs w/tire, 12 lbs without), Stock Miata "Daisy" 185/60 R14 (26.6 lbs w/tire), 15x6.5 Generic Wheel (32 lbs w/tire, 16 lbs without)
 I decided to put the lighter wheels on the front.
I didn't think I could make the Miata look much more "ghetto," but the non-matching wheels do a pretty good job.  You might also be able to tell I raised the car so it hopefully won't scrape on everything anymore.
My next step will be installing a three inch lift.  Or not.
Flyin' Miata

Friday, December 18, 2015

Cooktop & Cutting Countertops

The new refrigerator set the snowball in motion.  Now it's really picking up speed.  When ordering the fridge, I foolishly looked at cooktops too and added one to the order.  As you can see, ours was probably overdue for replacement.

The old one lifted right out, only to reveal years of grime beneath the lip.

This would have been a simple swap, except the new cooktop is a 36" unit while the old one was a 30".  That meant I got to buy a diamond blade for my angle grinder.

Unfortunately, the outlet for the unit (which enables the sparking function) was going to interfere with the new one, so it had to be lowered.
In Progress
After (with new cooktop in place)
I carefully measured and marked where to cut.  This was mostly determined by the exhaust hood above.

I actually used appropriate safety gear, because breathing ceramic dust or getting shards in the eye is no joke.  You can also see the towels I hung up to contain debris.

Here's the finished cut.  I used the Shop-Vac the entire time to try to capture as much dust and debris as possible.  It did a pretty good job, but there was still dust everywhere.

The next step was chipping out the unnecessary tile.  Chrissy helped with this part, and made a huge mess.

Once the masonry was out of the way, I just had to cut out the plywood.

The cooktop slid right into place, almost as if I knew what I was doing.

Here's the finished product, fully accessorized.
If you're curious, this is the model we got.  We paid a bit extra to get the nicer model with metal knobs.  Apparently the plastic knobs on the cheaper unit have been known to melt in certain situations.