Final project

The contractors finally finished everything! Replaced garage, replaced roof on house, sided dormers, tuck pointed brick, new sidewalk along side and back of house, new brick patio, and a fresh coat of paint on the front steps. Phew! That was a lot!

Check out the before and after pictures below.


More home improvements

We finally got around to starting the other projects that needed to get done: tuck pointing, new roof, garage replacement, and side walk repair. While we’re at it, we have also decided to redo the patio. The tuck pointing and side walk repair are finished. The patio is also finished (brick pavers), as is the concrete slab for the new garage. Tomorrow, the contractors begin building the garage, followed by roofing on the garage and replacing the roof on the house.

If you’re looking for someone to help you with your home improvement projects, I highly recommend our general contractor, Goran Veseli of Veseli Design and Build. Goran is also an architect, so he can handle projects from the idea stage through completion. Goran worked with us to remodel our bathroom and we didn’t hesitate to call him when it was time to do this current project. So far, on both projects, he has made everything super easy on our end!

The sub-contractors who did all of the concrete and masonry work are A Kats Construction (at least, that’s what the side of the truck said). These guys are quick and efficient and they seem to do great work.

New bathroom!

We’ve finally finished the bathroom remodeling!  For your viewing pleasure, I’ve included before and after pictures below. Enjoy!

Before… note the lovely color of the floor tile. To top it off, the plumbing was done incorrectly, so the toilet backed up into the tub. And, the tub was cracked on the bottom layer (porcelain over fiberglass).

Then, After!


The novelty of being back in school has officially worn off. As I was leaving the office this afternoon, I dreaded the idea of coming home to cook dinner and then sitting down at my computer to do my homework. Thursday night homework is the easiest part of the week: read and respond to two other students’ online discussion posts, and reply to anyone who may have responded to my discussion posts. Easy, right? It’s not the difficulty of the work that has finally gotten to me so much as the looming deadlines that are ever present.

I don’t think I’d mind it all so much if I wasn’t also working full-time, in addition to the daily responsibilities at home. Thank goodness I don’t also have kids to factor into the equation!

Yes, I’m dreading tonight’s homework, but procrastinating by posting here isn’t really helping. So, I will do what I always do: suck it up and keep on plugging away.

Pieces of the puzzle

The various pieces for our bathroom remodel have started to arrive. The contractors are supposed to start on Monday, but it sounds like our bathtub may not arrive for a couple more weeks, which leaves our start date up in the air.

The radiant heating mat for under the tile arrived today, along with our lights. I looked at quite a few light options, and most were a lot more expensive than these, so I was worried that these would look or feel cheap. I made sure to open the box right away to check that nothing had broken during shipping, and found that the lights are actually of good quality.

I’m getting pretty excited because I can see the finished product in my head. I hope the mix of traditional and modern come together the way I see them in my mind. I’m especially excited to see the gorgeous carrara marble countertop for the vanity once that is complete. I’ll be sure to post a picture.

Bathroom remodel

We’re finally making progress on remodeling the first floor bathroom. I know, we’re kind of slow, aren’t we?  Honestly, the hardest part was mustering up the energy to call the contractors back for a bid on just the bathroom after the bad news they gave us (i.e., extremely high bids) regarding our initial renovation plans. But, once we got the contractors back out, and they submitted their bids, we quickly made our decision and are moving forward now.

On the recommendation of our contractor, we went to Advantage Kitchen and Bath in Niles to look at vanities. Our bathroom is kind of narrow –  we need a 19″ vanity rather than the standard 21″ – so we’ve had trouble finding vanities that we like in the shallow depth required.  Thankfully, Advantage had some options that could be custom ordered in the depth that we need.

We decided on a vanity in the color of the kitchen cabinets shown below (cherry wood with brindle stain), and the styling of the vanity is similar to the vanity shown below. The main difference is the vanity will have a straight front, rather than the profile shown below. And, we went with a 36″ wide vanity, which is the size that we currently have.

We’re thinking about a carrera marble counter top with undermount sink, white subway tile in the shower, white hexagon tile on the floor, and gray or blue glass mosaic border in the shower with the back wall of shower as accent in gray or blue glass mosaic.

Bountiful garden

Our late start on the season meant that most of our tomatoes didn’t ripen before the threat of the first frost. To avoid losing the tomatoes completely, I picked most of them, and I’m hoping they’ll ripen in the house… However, to deal with that tomatoes that are ripe, I decided to make very basic tomato sauce and freeze it. Keep in mind, I’ve never made tomato sauce (I always buy it in a jar).  I hope this experiment turns out okay.


Ripe tomatoes


Green and almost ripe tomatoes


Boiling water for 15s to loosen skin


Ice water bath to stop cooking process

Skin and seeds removed


Chop chop


Making into sauce

Now, what to do with all of the jalapeno peppers that I picked?