Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Happy Birthday Jake!

Yesterday was my 90lb. yellow lab's Birthday! His name is Jake. Mine and Brian's first apartment was broken into only 8 weeks after we moved in. After we moved to another apartment in a different city Brian decided we should get a dog for the nights that I would be home alone while he was working late. We found this boy in the paper and brought him home on May 29, 2009...

Jake has been such a great addition to our lives! He is very lazy and has never met a stranger. He loves when company comes over to visit. But his favorite thing to do is nap all day on the couch with a big fluffy pillow!
Unfortunately we do not know Jake's birthday or his actual age. His owner passed away and the famiy that inherited him was allergic to dogs. So we have no information on his previous history, so we celebrate his birthday on the day we brought him home and he got a new life!

Here is Jake's (what we think is) 10 year Birthday portrait:

I stopped by Three Dog Bakery after work yesterday to pick him up a wheat and peanut butter pup cake to celebrate the occassion with our other dog, Nola!

They patiently waited for their slices of the "pup"cake....

Jake's face is a little blurry... he wouldnt sit still or stop barking... he was so excited! I love that big dog more than words can describe. I know some people don't even like to have dogs for pets but this guy has been such great company over the last 3 years of survivng college and graduate school and late nights while the hubby is at work. i don't know what I would do without him!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Money Matters

So, let’s talk about $! Haha, all I’m seeing are $ signs lately with this bathroom remodel!
So about money… You gotta have it. We work 40+ hours/week so we can survive, pay our bills, and occasionally reward ourselves every now and then.
Well I’ve been researching a trip to Napa for the hubby and I. I have broken down the cost for us to get there and stay there which isn’t so bad. The problem is the amount of spending money that you need in NAPA. If you Google “how much money to spend in Napa” you will get responses between $1500 and $3500!!!!! I just can’t keep up with the Jones’!!!! And since our bathroom remodel has now extended into the master bath as well… we have decided to postpone Napa for another year. We will use that week to take a smaller road trip this year if gas prices will allow!
So I looked at my spending this past month to see where else my money is going…
How much was strictly bills?
How much was necessary recreational spending (i.e. Mother’s Day, dinners out with friends, fun days out to the zoo, etc.…) you know necessities of life!
How much was strictly selfish recreational spending (i.e. Macy’s, Target, nail polish, clothes, shoes, jewelry, etc.)
How much went to daily operations (i.e. Gas & groceries)
Well I am appalled at my findings!
Of course the largest portion went to bills and daily ops… BUT my selfish recreational spending was horrible! Like if I cut that out for last month I could afford that Hot Air Balloon Ride in Napa with the photos and souvenir champagne flutes!
So my goal for the rest of this month (and next month) is to cut out ALL selfish recreational spending!!!
Haha, yea right! But my goal is to cut that in more than half and to reduce my normal recreational spending (maybe I don’t need to order a pitcher of margaritas with my girls’ night out dinner)…
The point is… Money MATTERS! And you should break down your monthly spending and it may scare the heck out of you but hopefully you will learn something from it. The next time I think I need a new OPI nail color… I will revisit my current collection (aka the entire bottom drawer in the bathroom vanity) and refrain from spending.
Practice Self Control & Happy Spending!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Bathroom Remodel: Update

Well, we survived the weekend folks!

Here is the list of items that I hoped we would complete this weekend:

Pull out the old toilet

Demo the existing tile

Paint trim and door

Stain vanity

I am happy to report that we completed all of the items above except for one! I can’t believe it! I plan to paint the trim and door this afternoon. We will continue on with the progress one evening this week when my dad can stop by and show us how to use the tile saw. So all in all, we had a pretty progressive weekend!

However, we did run into a few snags along the way.

The old tile was set on top of concrete and it was ridiculously hard to get off! We ended up having to rent a special drill to get it off. We went to rent a demo drill and left with a “chipper drill”. This baby was intense!!! But it did the job! Luckily we went to rent it on Saturday and since the store is closed on Sundays, we got to keep the drill until Monday a.m. for the price of only one day!

Since we were having so much fun with it, we decided to go ahead and demo the tile in our master bath! So quickly this project will be going over budget since I hadn’t planned on starting the master bath at this time!

At least we saved money by not having to rent that tool again later on!

Then it was time for us to patch the sheetrock in the guest bath after we removed the old porcelain towel bar and toilet paper holder. We patched the sheetrock, applied the joint compound and paper tape and let it dry.

After Brian sanded everything down, he removed the hardware and doors off the vanity. Then I sanded it with steel wool and then washed it down with soapy water. After it was dry, I applied mineral spirits to clean and prep for the varnish/stain.

Instead of stripping the vanity and sanding it all away and then re-staining it, I decided to varnish it. So after waiting 20 minutes for the mineral spirits to do their work, I mixed some poly-urethane and stain together and applied it to the vanity cabinets.

3 hours later, the vanity and its pieces were dry. But, it wasn’t as dark as I would like. So I added more stain into the mixture and did a second coat. Now it looks perfect!!

Some lessons learned from the project so far:

Face masks are absolutely necessary for staining and tile removal.
Wear closed toed shoes during tile removal and thick gloves.
Patience is key!
The prep work is the hardest and most crucial part to this project.
Pure acetone nail polish remover easily removes varnish/stain from your skin!

I can't wait to share our finished project with you! Stay tuned!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Bathroom Remodel

The hubby and I are embarking on our first EVER bathroom remodel this weekend!
We are very excited and anxious to get started!
Here’s what our bathroom looked like when we first moved in:

There is carpet in front of the vanity! In a bathroom! That is just crazy! Well we really didn’t like the look of this bath when we first moved in. So we did a few quick updates to it so we could live with it for now…
Here is what it looks like today:

In the process of pulling the old sheet mirror down it buckled under the pressure and broke in to 2 large pieces and a few smaller ones. Luckily Brian only suffered one very minor cut in the process! But one of the big pieces hit the back of the toilet and cracked it and the tile.
So our last minor update project in this bathroom did not go so well! But, it did look a lot better after some new paint, mirror, and accessories!

Here are our plans for this remodel:
The items in blue are what I think will actually get finished this weekend:
Pull out the old toilet.
Demo the existing tile.
Paint trim and door.
Put down new tile.
Install new toilet.
Hang new towel bar and hardware.
Stain bathroom vanity.
Replace sink faucet.
Replace bathroom vanity hardware.
I’ll be sure and update you on our progress next week! Are you doing any renovations in your home? Who are the experts that you call on for help?

About Me

Just to give you a little bit of background about me…
My name is Hannah, I have lived in the same area my whole life. My husband and I met in college and made plans to get married after graduation.
I graduated with my BBA in May 2010.

Brian graduated from Culinary School September 2010:
Brian and I were married in October 2010:
We bought our first house in March 2011:

 I just finished my MBA in December 2011 and started work full-time in January 2012:
So far, our relationship has been filled with many milestones of success through graduation and entering the work field. This is the first time since we have been together that neither of us has been in school! So, we are enjoying the extra time we get to spend together! Brian is Chef de Cuisine at a local restaurant and I just began work as an Associate Business Systems Analyst for company in town.
Now that we have more time on our hands we are enjoying working on our house and in the yard on nights and weekends. Our house was a foreclosure and it was a GREAT deal but it needed some updates! We love the work it has created for us and enjoy getting to make it our own!
To better introduce myself, I thought I would answer some fun get to know you questions about me!
What do you want to be when you grow up?
I want to be a wedding planner one day [aka maybe after I retire]. I think it would be great to own a wedding venue and my hubby [the chef] could cater the weddings and I can be the wedding planner!
What do you miss most about being a kid?
Being carefree.
What was the last movie, TV show or book that made you cry or tear up?
The Bailey Flanigan Series (Author: Karen Kingsbury). [Super sweet series I read all 4 books in a week]
What was your favorite food when you were a child?
I’m pretty sure it had to be mashed potatoes…[My dad used to joke that I would marry a potato farmer someday]
What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
Cleaning the bathtub and shower.
What sound do you love?
The garage door opening which means my hubby is home!
When was the last time you had an amazing meal?
2 weeks ago we went to New Orleans and pretty much every lunch and dinner out was AMAZING!
Thanks for taking the time to get to know me!

Questions source:

First Attempt...

Hello Blog World!
My name is Hannah and I have wanted to start a Blog for a very long time. I was hesitant to begin this journey because what you put on the web is there forever! Anyone can see what I am saying here, which is GREAT but it’s also kind of scary, more on that in a later post….
So I wanted to introduce the name of my blog. When I decided that I would officially start blogging, I wanted a very catchy title. I wanted to make sure it was cute and if someone just saw the name it would be descriptive and catchy for someone who might not even know me.
So hopefully, Thick & Thin will draw people’s attention… I wanted a title that started with a “T” so it would have alliteration with our last name… (I know I probably thought way too much about this). So after googling action verbs and adjectives and consulting a thesaurus, I kept coming across “thick” and “thin” for t words…
Of course “thick” and “thin” automatically make me think of fat and skinny… but then it made me look at it from a different point of view. So, I googled “thick and thin” quotes and this quote helped me make a final decision for our blog title:
Author: Unknown

Pretty perfect, huh? This blog will document my journey from this point on and maybe a few great memories from the past. I will tell all, through thick & thin!