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Life coming full circle


Me and my dear ol’ dad… We’ll never be able to repay him for all the help he’s given us with our Lawrenceville house. It’s kind of a déjà vu for him because a LONG time ago he used to be an electrician for the city of Pittsburgh and he worked on the traffic lights in Lawrenceville. That’s his old toolbox he used. It still has the old color code for the lights taped to…

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Our VERY IMPORTANT orange notebook


This trusty orange book basically holds every detail our life right now. I guess it’s more of a butternut squash color. Anyway, we use it to track our expenses. We write down how many hours we work on the house each day… Our crew is small, but dedicated!! We also put in where we buy breakfast, lunch and how many adult beverages we purchase. 🙂 Before we started this project we did 2 things…DESIGN and…

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The BEST part of this project.


I’m a big believer that we all have God-given talents and abilities that we’re meant to use on this earth. God gave me the ability to talk nonstop with my hands. I know what you’re thinking…WHAT a skill. (Ha!) Sometimes (because of life circumstances) we never get the chance to fully realize those talents or put them to use. And that sucks. But, there are other times, when those talents aren’t just FULLY REALIZED, they’re…

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Unless the shower is made of gold, I'm not paying $1600 for it.


There are many uses for the HU-MUN-GOUS hole in my ceiling. For one, we’ll be able to hoist our new shower unit up to the second floor. We ripped out the old bathroom and are building a new bathroom in a different location. We were going to buy the above GELCOAT shower from Lowe’s. And then our plumber told us to buy ACYRLIC because it doesn’t yellow over time and is all around better. We…

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My STUD built a STUD wall.


Too much?? Yeah, you’re right…don’t want to get all lovey-dovey here on my HOME IMPROVEMENT blog. 🙂 Tell me you knew a picture like that was coming next. (BTW – I made Mark flex…he is not happy about this picture). We framed in our upstairs with stud walls so the plumber and electrician could come in and run their pipes and wires. We used a framing square to make sure our walls were all squared…

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Our first VIDEO blog because who doesn't love a shaky iPhone video?!


Welcome to our first VIDEO blog!! What did we do before iPhones…seriously, how did we survive?? I thought it would be cool to show you how our upstairs is shaping up. Now that we’re putting stud walls in it’s much easier to visualize how it will look. Hope you like the quick tour…cheers! [wpvideo SnMZPT3L] **FOLLOW ILOVE2SWEAT! Just click the “+ Follow” button at the top of the page & put in your email address…some…

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I took my FIRST step!


Heyyyyyy-oooooooooo!! Look who’s standing on the stairs!!! Mark talked to his genius Canadian carpenter friend (who he likened to Jesus because the guy has a heart of gold) and the carpenter told Mark he had to “double up” the stringers to keep it from wobbling. He also added cross braces and put in another 76 screws!! The stairs feel SUPER sturdy and they don’t move at all! I think that’s what you call SUCCESS. 🙂…

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My husband is a freak of nature.


I mean that in the nicest possible way. Mark is like the Energizer Bunny. The man seriously keeps GOING & GOING & GOING… While the rest of us humans have to stop to eat and go the bathroom…my husband somehow can subsist on 1 donut and a coffee in the morning and last until 7 pm. The first 2 weeks I felt inferior. I would feel bad when I needed to sit down for 10…

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We have LIFTOFF!! (but it's a bit wobbly)


The NEW, temporary staircase is in! But I’m afraid to walk on it…so I guess that’s a bit of a problem. Mark cut the two stringers out of two 2x12s. He used his skil saw for the job. (I never knew there were so MANY types of saws…skil, jig, etc…) My brother-in-law then cut 15 three foot treads and Mark started screwing them in. Halfway through, I made him stop and take this picture…I told…

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I finally know what a "joist" is.


I’ll be honest with you…my “home improvement vocabulary” is limited. I know what a hammer, saw and drywall are…but outside of the most basic tools, I’m pretty clueless. That is extremely frustrating for my husband who will say “Grab me that socket wrench.” And I kinda stare at the toolbox for a few minutes and then he says “Grab the silver thingy with the tube thing on the end.” Finally…a language I can understand. In…

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