Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Where Is My Motivation?


Yesterday, I wrote about participating in the Glass City 5k. This race is full of all types of people, from runners hoping to break a personal record to causal walkers and everyone in between.

Among the large group of participants are new runners. Some may have started as a New Year's Resolution and this may have been their first race. A 5k is a relatively short distance and a good distance to start with as a first race.

We came across a girl early on the course, who was a bigger girl. When we first saw her, she was walking. We passed her, but then she started to run and passed us. This went back and forth throughout the race. When she stopped her running spurts, she was breathing heavily. But she was obviously doing the best she could. She did end up crossing the finish line before us.

I have to give her a lot of credit. I don't know when or why she started to work toward this particular goal. Maybe it was to lose weight or just get healthier. She was doing something to better herself. She was working towards a goal. I don't know if she was happy with her time or just glad to have finished. She had obviously put in time and effort to participate.

I need to lose weight. It is something I have struggled with for a long time. I joined a gym at the end of February and I have only gone once. And that was only because I had a free training session. I have no motivation. It can't be because I want to run a race. I have to want to do it for myself. My family has a history of heart disease, so I have a legitimate reason to be healthy. Because my genetics are not going to be in my favor.

So what do I have to do to make my dreams a reality? I need the same determination, dedication, self-discipline and effort that every athlete needs to accomplish their dreams and goals. Even though I don't know the name of the girl that was running, she was an inspiration.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Running the Glass City

Glass City Marathon weekend has become a tradition in our family. Several years ago, my brother started coming home to run the half marathon because a few of his friends were also running. It became a family thing because there is a 5k and that is more along the lines of something I could do...walking, not running. Thankfully, this weekend was clear and sunny, but cold. Last year was cold and raining and miserable.


This year, we had 2 new family members join the fun. My sister-in-law, Katie, participated in the 5k. And along with her, my niece, Brynley, was along for the ride.

As usual, we were running a little late, but we did get to see the marathoners and half marathoners begin their journey. This year, two firefighter ran the full marathon in full gear in honor of 2 fallen Toledo firefighters who lost their lives earlier this year. We saw one, but I wasn't quick enough to get a picture.

Because we were late, we also got to see the majority of the 5k runners/walkers start the race. We had to walk to the start line, cross it the wrong way, so we could cross it the right way and start the race. We were casual participants so we weren't looking to run or break any kind of record.

Part of the race goes through an area of Toledo called Old Orchard. It is full of beautiful homes. Most are brick, and I love the old stately charm of them. People stand in the yards and dogs bark as all these people go through the neighborhood.

This woman was holding a fun sign. I hit the sign to get my power, but I am not sure if it worked or not. I didn't have sudden strength to run the race. :)

I was really hoping we had made into the second mile by the time this banner came into view. But even still, the finish line was closer than the start line.

Miss Brynley got a little fussy around the mile 2 mark so Katie held her the rest of the race. She said she has been training to be able to hold her so long for about 8 months.

We made it to the finish line with under an hour on the clock time. Not too shabby for not training and making several stops along the way. Now we had to wait for the rest of the crew to finish their races.

My brother's friend, Chris, was hoping to beat the 1:30 mark. He was so close! Maybe it is my cheerleader past, but I love being able to cheer them on.

The happy family after my brother, Tim, finished his race. He finished in under 1:45. We are really proud of him!

Somewhere deep down inside, there is an inkling of a desire to run an half marathon. Maybe it is because I see the look of pride when people finish something they worked so hard to train for. I have 52 weeks to get my butt in gear if I want to try it. Maybe a stop at the gym needs to make it in my schedule for tomorrow??

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Snapshots Into My Life

What I am seeing through my lens this week.

Painting has finally started! This picture just shows one coat of the gray, and it looks fantastic!

Poor Luna was exhausted after her walk in the park. But she had a good time. I hope it is something that we do often this summer.

My mom bought this canvas print at a store in Pittsburgh. It could either be stretched like a normal canvas print or it could be framed. I love how it turned out. There is a similar print at the store, but it is mostly black jerseys. I am thinking it might be coming home with me the next time we head to PA.

Luna has absolutely loved being able to run out in a yard without being attached to a leash. She diligently watches the squirrels and then runs to the back door to go out to chase them.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

What Did I Walk Into? Part 2

I shared pictures of the downstairs yesterday. Thankfully, the upstairs really only required painting. Even though painting is the only thing that needed to be done, it was quite a bit of painting.

This is the master bedroom. The closet is what makes it the master bedroom. The closet is over 10 feet wide. But the Pepto Bismol pink has to go! Everything is pink...the walls, the trim, the windows, the outlet covers, the outlets. However, walking into that room should help with indigestion. :)

This room is going to be my craft room and home office. I chose this to be the craft room because it has 2 windows to bring in lots of outdoor light. The paint job really isn't that bad. It just isn't the color I would choose.

This room is going to be my work office. It is the smallest of the bedrooms Since I work from home, I wanted a place where I could close the door to separate my home from work. This allows me to do that.

This room is staying as-is for a little while. It will be a spare bedroom, but I don't know what I want to do with it quite yet. And I don't have a bed to put in there anyway, so it will be completely empty.

These rooms have great hardwood floors. Nothing needs to be done with them. Someday, I wouldn't mind staining them to be a darker color. But that project is years down the road.

These rooms won't have dramatic before and after pictures, but they will look so much nicer when they are painted and decorated.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

What Did I Walk Into?

So, I have been writing about my house for a few weeks now, but I realized I haven't really described what my house looked like when I first saw it and when I bought it.

Underneath all the yuck, I could see a house that had so much potential. The size and layout was great! But it was going to take some money and a lot of effort to make the place be a place I loved.

When I was searching for a house, I had a few things that I really wanted.

  • A dining room
  • A kitchen with potential
  • At least 3 bedrooms
  • Preferably more than one bathroom
  • Fenced-in yard
I was able to get all of those things, plus a little more with my house.
  • 4 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms
  • 2 living areas
  • A basement
So what did I walk into? A house with great bones that needed some TLC.

This house has an entryway, which I was super excited about. For some reason, I do not like when you walk right into the living room. The entryway isn't big, but it is a decent size and will be a nice place to welcome guests.

The living room is right off the entryway. It is a pretty big room. Unfortunately, I won't have any furniture in this room for a little while.

The dining room is a room I was pretty insistent on having. Although I have never had a dinner party, I think having a place to have a formal meal is nice. It is also a good place to decorate.

The kitchen needs a lot of help. The stove is a relic. Someday it will get a major overhaul. I just don't know when that day will come.

The family room is the first place to get a facelift. I have already written about taking off the layers of wallpaper. This will be the room I live in the most so it will be nice to have a place that doesn't need any more work.

I can't expect that my house would become a picture perfect home overnight. It is going to take years. But it will get there. I am planning on being in this house for a long time and I can't wait to move all my stuff in and call it home.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

An Evening Walk

Yesterday was a beautiful day. Temps in the upper 70s. The sun was shining. With such a harsh winter, it seems like warm weather will never get here. To celebrate, Luna and I went for a walk at Wildwood Park.

Luna has not mastered walking on the leash. And I am not much help. She has a tendency to pull. Then she chokes because I am not walking fast enough. Since my house is within walking distance of my mom's house, I want to be able to walk with Luna to my mom's without making a fool of myself. Well see about that, though.

Once I put Luna's harness on, she knew she was going somewhere. She stayed pretty close to me for a few hours in the afternoon.

After my 4 'o clock meeting, Luna and I headed to the park. I have been going to this park since I was a little girl. My dad has taken tons of pictures there. Someday, I am going to have one enlarged and put on canvas. I just haven't chosen which one yet.

Anywho...Wildwood has a lot of beautiful scenery. Although right now it is quite brown. But there was some green poking through.

Most of the trails are in wooded areas. It feels like you are in a different world as soon as the trails begin. It is very quiet and serene.

One of the greatest things at Wildwood is the Manor House. It is a huge house that a family built in the 1920s or 30s. I can't imagine living in a house like this. After the family moved out of the house, it was abandoned and squatters lived in it. Pretty nice place to live in for free!

There are many trails to choose from, but the one I chose goes by a creek. It is the trail that is most familiar to me.

Luna was exhausted at the end of the walk, which means she fell asleep early. That always makes the night a little smoother.

It was nice to be outside for a little bit and enjoy the fresh air. Hopefully this will be the first of many trips to the park this summer.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Fabulous Paint

Painting has officially started. This is my first stamp of making my new house my new home. It is such a good feeling!

With the help of Pinterest, I was able to get an idea of what I wanted. Some of those colors changed because of budget and because of how they looked on the wall.

So what did I pick? Well, like many people, I am obsessed with Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter. I love the color, but my wallet wouldn't have loved the hit. So I found a Behr color that is quite similar. Sculptor Clay will be used in my entryway, hallway, family room, up the stairs and upstairs hallway. It is quite a bit of space. I can't wait to see what it looks like all finished.

I wanted a dramatic color for my dining room. The room has a chair rail, so I could go with a dark color without the room feeling like a hole. I did stick to my guns on this color. At first I thought the color looked muddy, but Kendall Charcoal is going to be a great dark gray.

Because of the chair rail and that the room opens up from my living room, I wanted a nice creamy white to complement the dark gray color. I found that in Coastal Beige. It sounds like it would be too brown, but it is a beautiful cream color that will look great in the living room.

Upstairs is where I was able to be a little more colorful. I found a great duvet cover from Pottery Barn, so to go along with that I chose a Pottery Barn color from Sherwin Williams called Naval.

Pinterest heavily influenced my choice for my work-from-home office. I wanted something similar to a Tiffany Blue, but not that intense. One color kept popping up over and over again - Benjamin Moore Palladian Blue. It is such a pretty color.

The last room to be painted for the moment is my craft room. This room is my creative space, but it is also going to be my personal office. So I wanted something that was calming and happy. I choose a light purple by Behr called Hint of Violet.

I didn't want a stark white for my closets, so I chose a color that I had originally picked for the living room. It was not a creamy white like I wanted, but it would work perfectly inside the closets. It is Behr Silky White.

Picking out pain can be nerve wracking. I wanted to pick the right colors that I would be happy with for a long time to come. But I think I chose well and picked some great colors for my home.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Sanpshots Into My Life


What I am seeing through my lens this week.

My mom and I placed an Easter cross by my dad's grave. There is something strangely comforting about being able to dress up the place where my dad's earthly body lies.

Yes, we are in April. And yes, we did get snow this week. Hopefully this was the last little bit of winter for a long while.

A possible light fixture for the entryway??

These crazy girls were watching my mom outside. Checking things out to make sure they didn't need to bark at anything or anyone.

No more wallpaper!!! So exciting! We used a steamer to do the other 3 walls and it went so much faster. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The War Against Wallpaper

I hate wallpaper. Or actually I hate taking wallpaper off the wall. My family room had two layers of wallpaper on it. The top layer came off very easily since it was attached to the bottom layer of wallpaper. The second layer is putting up more of a fight.

The wallpaper was probably put up when the house was built. It does has some lovely scenes of places like Monticello.


I hired a painter this week and he will be starting on Saturday, so my mom and I are feverishly working to get the wallpaper off. I have a sneaking feeling that those walls will need to be skim coated because of some damage spots.

The whole process is pretty gross. I bought DIF to help with the removal process. We scored and sprayed and scored some more and sprayed some more. Some of the pieces came off in bigger chunks, but most were scraped away.

By the end of the night, we had one wall free of the ugly wallpaper. This room is going to have a great transformation and I can't wait to see it finished. I have the vision in my head, so I hope it turns out the way I see it.

All the work on removing wallpaper really takes a toll on my hands. After this process is done, I think my mom and I deserve a manicure!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Frumpy Family Room

The fun of homeownership has begun! This weekend, my mom and I started working on my new house. The more I am in the house, the more projects I see. We had such good intentions of cleaning the walls to get ready for painting. But that didn't go as planned. I am not sure what kind of paint is on the wall, but it doesn't want to let go of the yuck that is on it.

So we moved to a project we could do...tearing down wallpaper. At least one layer. That's right...2 layers of wallpaper. Why do people do that?

Thankfully, the first layer came off pretty easily and we were able to get most of it off except that pieces near the ceiling. Progress none the less.

Most of the walls in the downstairs bear evidence to the shape of the things that were previously hanging. It is pretty gross! And it is the yuck that won't come off.


There is quite a bit of wallpaper in the house, so is isn't going to be the last of it. But there was also contact paper behind the built-ins. Yuck, yuck, yuck!


The carpet is another story. It is disgusting. The brown carpet has faded into an orangy-brown color. I wouldn't sit on it to save my life. It give me the creeps.

But the new carpet has been ordered! I am super excited about it. It is going to freshen up that space so much. Welcome to Modern Gray! I was going to the color just to the right of Modern Gray, but decided that it was too dark. The house just feels tired. It needs a little life brought into it and I am excited to do that.

I am thrilled to have my own home and am so anxious to move in and settled. But there are some things, like the family room that need to be done before I can even think about moving in. Slowly, but surely everything else will fall into place. Just one step at a time.