A strong, independent dog

In summary:
I turned this

Into this

And now I feel like this

So after I discovered the dryer conundrum, I texted that same side-by-side image to a friend I knew would be up (read, cop who works nights) to figure out a solution.
His response was that another cop friend had just bought a new dryer and had the opposite problem. The cord I needed was likely sitting around his house somewhere.
By 3 p.m. today, I had the cord in my hand. Fo free. (Have I mentioned how grateful I am for my friends?)
He said I should probably have the afore mentioned cop help me switch them out so I wouldn’t “burn the house down.”
Said cop wasn’t working tonight and therefore couldn’t swing by. So after I slapped a coat of paint on the last living room wall, I got to googling. The only thing I nearly forgot was the ground wire. I knew something didn’t match up so I went back and found a youtube video and realized that reconnecting it should have been my first move. Whoops.
But basically you turn the breaker off (just in case) unscrew the stuff, redo the ground wire, plug the new stuff in, screw the stuff back together and you’re good. The end.
To test it out, I stole Claws’ blanket from the bed where he was curled up asleep. After 10 minutes, I gave it back to him, nice and warm and fluffy. He wasn’t having it.

So that was my night. Tomorrow I’m picking C&A up from the airport at 11, so I’ll have a few hours after work to clean and assemble my guest bed. And clean out my apartment. Whoops.
‘Tis the season?

I’m no electrician, but…

I don’t think this matches.

So that put a damper on my night.
Two of the living room walls are done, I just have the looooong wall left. Everything went pretty smoothly considering the nightmare I envisioned when I decided to paint paneling.
I scored this cubby thing at Big Lots for $25 because it had scratches on it?
I didn’t really see them, but Claws checked it out and said it was good to go.

I bought some $4 gray bins at Dollar General, and I have a few hiding that I’ll use to supplement the drawer space I won’t have. The dresser has 8 and the media chest 6, so it’ll be a spot for socks, camis, tights and whatever. It’ll also be a convenient way to “clean up” when company comes. All that stuff on the floor? Throw it in a bin 👌
I made a couple of trips to the apartment tonight and my legs are DEFINITELY feeling the third-floor burn. But I got a lot more out (mirrors, clocks, wall decor) that won’t fit in boxes. And, of course, the microwave. Finally 🙌🙌
All in all, not a very eventful day, but I did get hooked on the Serial podcast, bring 90% of my pantry over and determine I can’t dry clothes…so that’s somethin, right?

And just look at those pretty walls 😍
Here’s hoping I can conquer another two coats tomorrow!

Pinterest house progress

I lost count of the days. So sue me.
First things first:
A GIANT thank you to Jenny, Kayla, Jordan, Brandon, Mark, Logan, Joe and Cortney for moving 89% of my stuff. And helping me frantically pack more. And moving furniture (again) when I changed my mind.
And also thank you to Lily for supply comedic relief and cuteness while trapped in the kitchen.
We started around 1 and were done y 3. It was essentially one big caravan over to the house, plus an extra trip for living room furniture (which was arranged just how I wanted without me telling the guys).
I did use a color coded system using cheap duct tape from Dollar Tree, so each room had a color and I didn’t have to keep answering “where does this go?”
Monday after the move, I started painting the bathroom, probably took a food break, did the second coat, then went back to the apartment to shower and grab Clawsy.
He was locked in my room/bathroom the first night and when I left for work Tuesday I took him to his food and let him free. He didn’t eat a thing and I couldn’t find him when I got home from work.
No worries, by Wednesday he was meeting me at the door and demanding food, so I’d say he’s adjusted ok :)

I hung the curtain and cleaned the shower Tuesday.
Just gotta remove the toe mold so I can put the floors down and the bathroom will be donezo (minus mirror and light fixture switch).
I’m having a hard time figuring out how to arrange my room. Since I don’t have a true chest of drawers, there isn’t a great space for either dresser thing. I’ll either block a door, vent or have no room for a night stand. Currently it’s just my bed and nightstand because I’m super frustrated and can’t decide. Hah.
Anyway, bedroom as of today:

Those floors 😍 I’ll have to do a separate post on them. I finished them Sunday night with enough time to shower, sleep a minute and get up for work. Talk about cutting it close. Whoops.
I had to work all week (early deadlines for Wednesday and Thursday) so I conquered what I could at night. And one of those nights was spent snuggled on the couch chatting with friends and painting nails. I regret nothing.
The top kitchen shelves have been lined with contact paper, and I unpacked a few boxes of kitchen things to figure out where stuff needs to go.
I refuses to set an alarm this morning and woke up at 11:30 to a very hungry Claws jumping on my stomach. Sleeping in was glorious.
I made my first home cooked meal here this morning. Scrambled eggs. And only after they were in the skillet did I realize all my spoons and spatulas are still at the apartment. Four plastic spoons later, I devoured said eggs and got to painting the paneling.
I found a few more holes I “fixed” with non-paintable caulk, but otherwise it looks great! I used a 20 mm Wooster roller and it covers the cracks for the most part. I may brush a few places before I roll again tonight, but I’m very happy with the color. My plan is to get the short walls done, shift all my furniture then attack the long one.
And I’m hoping to have it done before C&A arrive on the 30th. Fingers crossed.
I’ve gotta make a quick trip to the dump then I’m going to grab a few things from the apartment (read, cooking utensils).
I hope you all had a very … Meowy Christmas!

And a happy mew year! Hahaha ok. I’m done.

Pinterest House explained

After lots of “Did you buy a house?!” texts as a result of my first post, I figure I should fill y’all in on how all this is working.

When I got a notification my rent at the apartment would be going up AGAIN, I threw a small fit. $700 is more than what some friends pay on their mortgages each month. So I set out to find a rental house that had a big yard so I could get a puppy and have a garden. And also not have neighbors on every side of me.

I looked at a house in Walhalla and a duplex just outside the city limits, but when neither of those worked out, I got a little panicky. It was just before Thanksgiving and I had already signed my “I’m not living here next year” papers at the complex.

As a result of said panic, a house I had previously not called about — it was listed as no pets, no exceptions — I caved and called. I didn’t mention Claws until I’d talked with the landlord at the house a while, and she was cool with him. She mentioned the house needed updating, and I said I’d be glad to do some of the work … especially painting that heinous wood paneling. I also later mentioned I wanted a puppy, and she agreed to let me get one as long as it doesn’t ruin the floors. (I don’t remember if we had talked about new floors at that point. But let’s be honest, they’re already pretty gross.)

Since I planned to do the work, she said she would knock $50/month off my rent and allow me to use my deposit to buy renovation supplies. Rather than getting a deposit back at the end of my lease, I just won’t pay the final month’s rent.

I thought it over, talked with my family and friends to make sure I’m not crazy and came back from Thanksgiving and signed the lease.

And thus, the Pinterest House was born.

Most projects, ideas and tips are the direct result of Pinterest searches. I want a kitchen island and more pantry space, so I found neat ideas and will try to not screw them up. When it came to updating the paneling, I found a link to 29 ways to update wood paneling. If I couldn’t replace the floors at first, I considered painting them. Now that I’m packing, I’m putting hanging clothes in trash bags and putting long necklaces through old paper towel tubes. Lots of handy tips!

So that’s how the whole shebang came about. I basically have free rein of the place. The landlord was supposed to fix the sink in the half bath and the screens on the patio. She has since asked me to do it and will bump $100 of January’s rent. Looks like I’m now also a plumber.

Anywho. I took pictures with my real camera last Saturday (you’re welcome, Emily) and will leave y’all with a gallery. I’ve got more packing to do!

12 days of reno

The carpet is gone in my bedroom.

That’s really the biggest and most notable development from the week. Tuesday and Wednesday were spent fixing spots I missed in my room/bathroom, arguing with primer in the bathroom and sanding/mudding the bathroom wall.
I’m a genius and bought caulk that is not paintable. So instead of it holding paint/primer, it does this:

Which is awesome. EXCEPT NOT AT ALL.
After roughly four coats of Kilz, I got it to look like this:

It got two more coats tonight just to be safe.
I’ve also done little things like vacuum the carpet (bleh) and cabinets. I meant to put down this adorable contact paper tonight, but got distracted.

$2 at Big Lots. Holla! Anyway.
It occurred to me at roughly 11:43 that I had caulked the seams in the living room paneling with the very same caulk that refuses to be painted in the bathroom. So I painted two sections to see how they do and proceeded to prime the rest…just in case. I’ll see how the unprimed ones look and decide if I need to add more layers later.
Lesson: Buy paintable caulk if you want to paint it.

Carpet removal was pretty simple. I followed the advice from Ugly Ducking House and pulled the edges up first, then cut the carpet into ~3 foot sections to roll up, tape and take outside.
One section of carpet padding was really light. The rest was more rubbery, so I couldn’t get it all into one trash bag the way the blog suggested, but it definitely fit in 3. After I had pulled up the tack strips in the closet, I pretty well had the hang of jamming a crowbar under it — I aimed for the nails holding it down — and moving along nicely without splintering too much.
I didn’t remove all the staples from the floor because my knees hurt. I have a gift of finding them with my knees, so next time I’ll break out my old volleyball knee pads and clear the subfloor for new vinyl. Woo!
In other news, I still need to fix the sink

Move-in day has been bumped to Monday due to predicted rain, so I have an extra few days to figure that out, lay down floors and pack.
And in SUPER unrelated news, Claws has been chewing on/licking my toes the entire time I’ve been writing.
But hey, look at this non-carpeted floor.

I could cry happy tears. I still have quite a bit to do, but it’s feeling more and more attainable every day. Thanks again to everyone who has helped — and will help — move my stuff and let me borrow supplies. Y’all are making this infinitely easier. And cheaper ;)
I’m gonna go cry those happy years and dream of new floors. G’night, y’all!

How to patch popcorn ceilings with repair spray purchased on clearance because it was missing critical pieces OR Pinterest house, day 10

So uh, here’s a blog post you won’t read anywhere else. Let’s start with a quick back story.

Remember that one time somebody gave me a gallon of ceiling paint? And then I painted my ceiling? But I used a cheap roller and destroyed part of it?

Yeah, me neither.

Anyway. Part of the ceiling had water damage and REALLY pulled the popcorn finish down, and other places it was simply the result of a crappy roller. There was another skimpy area that I can only speculate as to why it was missing popcorn. So I went to Pinterest (duh) and looked at ways to repair the popcorn.

There is a tub and a vertical aerosol spray. My to-do list on Sunday included buying more ceiling paint and hunting down this spray because Caitlin is my name and efficiency is my game.

I hopped over to Sherwin-Williams to buy the same ceiling paint I was given (and paid $28 lololol that sucker’s going back today. Whaddup $12 Walmart paint?!) and stumbled upon a can of this repair spray ON CLEARANCE.

Let me rephrase what I stated earlier: Caitlin is my name and being super cheap is my game. It was $1. ONE DOLLAR.

The guy at the counter warned me. “It’s on clearance because it’s missing the extender tubes. Ya know how WD-40 has those? This usually does too.”

“No big,” says I. “The spot I need to patch is really small. I’ll figure it out.”

Fast forward to Monday night. I worked 12 hours and was grumpy as all get out because the time crunch was getting to me. The ceiling patch has to dry 24 hours before you can paint it. I need to finish painting the ceiling before I put the second coat on the bedroom walls. I need to paint to walls before I pull up the carpet and put down the vinyl.

So basically I had to go spray this dumb ceiling or I was gonna have a meltdown.

I got right to work following the can’s directions and also tips from the Internet.

Shook the can as I walked around the house cleaning and gathering supplies and stuck it in a cup of warm water while I prepped the ceiling.

I scraped off the areas that were falling apart to give myself a clean area to patch and hung up contractor’s paper. The tip I found online said to use push pins to hang a drop cloth. My drop cloth currently lives under a 5-gallon bucket of primer, so I opted for the paper. Again, they’re small areas, so I figured it would be fine.

Side note: If ever you tackle this project and you’re not planning on replacing whatever floor is under the area — cover it.

Here’s the deal. Those straws would have been a huge help. My instructions said to spray 12-18” away from the ceiling. My protective paper was not even that long. So I just sprayed the crap out of it.

And it went on real thick.

And it dripped. A lot.

As in on my head when I walked under it. Lesson learned.

used push pins to secure this to the ceiling in a futile attempt to protect my beautiful blue walls

used push pins to secure this to the ceiling in a futile attempt to protect my beautiful blue walls

I think the straws would have helped a lot. And not Wendy’s kids meal straws — I tried that. Stalactites were forming from where I stayed in one spot too long, which is kind of amazing considering that junk sprays EVERYWHERE.

This is one of my better spots. It's not as close to the wall, so I was able to stand farther away — like the can recommends.

This is one of my better spots. It’s not as close to the wall, so I was able to stand farther away — like the can recommends.

Anywho. I took a damp paper towel and dabbed up the extra, and when I left, it seemed to be blending in pretty well. Either way, it’ll be much less noticeable than the bare naked areas were before.

The dark area is the freshly-patched spot. You can see what I mean about it being thick — and this was after I dabbed it up a bit.

The dark area is the freshly-patched spot. You can see what I mean about it being thick — and this was after I dabbed it up a bit.

I did get a few spots on my freshly-painted walls :( If you’re quick, it wipes off with a damp washcloth, no problem. If you’re not quick, it wipes off and takes the paint with it.

Bonus! The spray is also a human popcorn repair kit! This stuff actually washes off skin very easily.

Bonus! The spray is also a human popcorn repair kit! This stuff actually washes off skin very easily.

Budget breakdown:

Homax popcorn ceiling repair spray: $1 (normally $10-13 from what I saw)

Contractor paper: Already had (Drop cloths are $1 at Dollar Tree) but probably $8 for the thin stuff

Thumb tacks: taken from my desk at work

Time: maybe 30 minutes from prep to cleanup. I was home by midnight, just as any princess should be.

Lessons learned:

Do not wear your favorite shirt for this activity. Protect walls and floors, and probably your eyes.

Do not spray directly overhead, as it will just come right back atcha. Point snozzle away from body.

I’ll head back to the house tonight and paint over it, so if it looks jank, I promise to let you know.

Pinterest house, day 9

I lost track of how many days I’ve been working on the house…maybe I’ll go back and look later. (I did. It’s 9.)
I worked a long day Friday and didn’t make it out to do any work. Saturday I had a photoshoot and a cookie swap, so I used those two as excuses to give myself a break from painting. Instead, I went through things here and threw away/packed/cleaned.
Today, however, was much different. I got some serious work done. After talking with my cop friends (writing K9 stories has its perks) they offered to help move me Saturday morning.
Well, that’ll light a fire under your butt.
So promptly after church I went to Chipotle (priorities), stuffed my face and got to painting.
My trimming efforts were interrupted by bringing in a load of furniture. Shout out to Jordan and Kayla for relocating my guest bed and half the living room 🙌🙌
We got the furniture inside and I resumed trimming. Mind you, Chipotle ended up being a very wise decision.

Burrito bowl lid? More like paint tray.
I ended up getting the first coat of paint on my room and bathroom. I am in LOVE with the color. It freaked me out how light it went on at first, but once it settled, I was thrilled.


I missed a few spots, but nothing a second coat can’t remedy.
I also sanded over the patches in the main bathroom and applied another layer of putty. I can tell it’s going to take at least three, and impatient me is not happy with this realization.
Impatient me also opted to go ahead and prime the bathroom and just skip those spots. There was also more caulking in the huge gap at the top of the shower. And also a small caulksplosion, which is what happens when you don’t poke a hole in the caulk and just squeeze the crap out of it. Luckily, said ‘splosion happened in the shower so cleanup was a breeze.

Not so dungeon-y anymore, huh? The brighter color already bounces so much more light. It’s crazy how fast I noticed it while priming, too.
While I had the primer out, I hit the laundry area — not that you can tell — so it looks cleaner and will be ready to paint later if I so choose. I took off the folding doors for the sake of painting and had an epiphany that curtains would liven up that space without paint. So the door may stay gone. Plus I went curtain crazy over Thanksgiving…

Per reader request, I took used more than my iPhone camera for photos. However, per my body’s request, I am staying in bed and will upload those to the computer tomorrow. It’ll give y’all a better idea of the space and yard and whatnot.

Also there was a possum under my car when I left tonight. He ran away and then gave me the side eye as if I had imposed on his evening with my scream, not vice versa with his ugly face and creepy tail.

That’s all I got. Hooray progress! I have another long day at work tomorrow, but by Tuesday night I want to have the second coat of paint on my room, finished the ceiling and the carpet up. Not sure how the latter is gonna work out, but here’s hoping it goes well!

Pinterest house, day 8

I did it! I got my room, bathroom and closet primed. It obviously took longer than I wanted. But I have some really great excuses:

Tuesday: I took a half day off work in order to knock out some serious work. I ended up having to shoot a dress rehearsal for work at 7, so it made more sense to do little cleaning things rather than get covered in dust and primer. I threw out a bunch of old curtains. Why is everyone so worried the last renter is going to come back and demand their floral/lacy/mauve curtains?

I spent an hour at the musical rehearsal then came home, cooked a crazy delicious (and very simple!) Italian chicken, did my first load of laundry since Thanksgiving and got some cleaning/disaster management done around the apartment. I understand I’m moving and things are bound to be in a state of organized chaos…but things were getting out of hand.

Wednesday: I took another half day off work to try and work on the house. (To be fair, when I say half day, I usually only leave 3 hours early. I don’t like making other people do my work, so I try to get as much done as I can before I leave.) I sanded the walls in the bathrooms and my bedroom where I had applied more Spackle, wiped them down and KEPT FINDING MORE HOLES.

So I kept applying more putty. It it a curse to notice protruding nail heads. All in all, I know the walls are still gonna look cattywompus, but at least they’ll be better than they were. That’s what I have to keep telling myself. Especially in the dungeon. Upon removal of the cabinet, two large holes were discovered from where a previous owner or renter had brackets for shelves. They seemed to realize the Sheetrock wasn’t strong enough for the shelves, so rather than looking for a stud, they just glued the brackets to the wall. Awesome. Starting to think I should have left the cabinet up and just tried to shower in the dark.


Check that sweet hole that was hiding behind the cabinet. Now I think I understand why they put it up.

I also had my first experience with caulk Wednesday night. The top of the tile in the shower wasn’t sealed at all as far as I could tell. There was also a gap between the baseboard and wall right beside the shower, which looked like a recipe for disaster to me. Did y’all know caulk guns have a built-in tool to puncture the foil seal located way, way down in the tube of caulk?!

Yeah, me too…

I sealed up the shower, baseboard and several holes in the paneling in the living room. There were a dozen holes on either side of each window — again with these people and their curtain rods! Gracious. I also used caulk to seal some of the paneling joints that didn’t prime well. Me thinks if the primer doesn’t coat well in those big gaps, neither will paint. So I ran a line down most of those, cleaned it up and went back to sanding and FINDING MORE HOLES.

I went ahead and primed over all but three spots by the windows. From the curtain rods. Surprise.

Oh! I also painted the ceiling in my bedroom while waiting for the spackle to turn from pink to white. Except I bought cheap rollers which didn’t last long and didn’t cover very well toward the end. Lesson learned. But look at the difference from where I trimmed around my light fixture — yup, that’s the whole thing. See why I need IKEA?

Thursday/today: The primer is on! My room, bathroom and closet are all primed. I even took the shelves out of my closet and coated those bad boys. I probably won’t be painting the closet, but it looked as though it had a rough life. If I have enough leftover paint, I may think about it, but I’m not really worried about it. The inside looks a bazillion times cleaner and that was my main goal.

I bought a patch kit at Lowes for the bathroom wall — it’s kind of like a metal screen with a sticky backing — and put some spackle on top to smooth those. There’s also a fiber tape, but it isn’t as strong. Since my largest hole was probably three inches long, this was what I was advised to get. So I did. We’ll see how it holds up.


Seriously? You can see exactly where the shelf brackets were. My Spackling skills are not ready for this.


I thought about trimming out the living room tonight, but I have a cookie swap Saturday that requires 6 dozen baked goods. There’s a little bit of the paint on one corner and I LOVE the color so far. Here’s hoping it stays that way. But, after just a smidge of paint, it seemed in my best interest to pick a cookie recipe, go shopping and start working on that. Instead, I came home from Walmart, made a pb&j, showered and crawled in bed. All this painting/sanding/patching/sanding/cleaning/painting is rather tiring. FYI: Opted for a no bake cookie dough bite. Mix it, roll it, drizzle with melted chocolate, DONE. I think I can handle that tomorrow after work.

I forgot to take pictures tonight. Like I said, I’m exhausted. I probably won’t make it over to the house tomorrow because we have two others out of the office, which means I’ll be working late. To be honest, I’m a little bit relieved. I have a photoshoot Saturday morning before the cookie swap, and as much as I hate to not be getting work done, it’ll be good to see friends and not be covered in Kilz for a few hours :)

If I happen to make a furniture drop at the house tomorrow, I’ll snag a few pictures of the primed bedroom, living room paint color and cabinetless dungeon!


The color is so inconsistent! Since this is really the only ceiling I’ll see, and I had an almost-full gallon of free paint (Thanks, Austin and Jess!) I opted to just do my bedroom.


Pink spackle and electrocution, aka day 3

My goal for the day was to prime my bedroom, and I’m willing to admit I failed.
I knew I’d need to spackle some holes, but had no idea exactly what I was up against. The spackle I used starts “purple” (it’s absolutely pink) and turns white when it’s dry and time to sand. Awesome for people like me who have watched an unreasonable amount of HGTV but never in their life put putty on a wall.
It was all going swimmingly until I got to the windows.

I suppose it’s a rental mentality of “Not my house, not my problem.” But are there really that many types of curtain rods?! My goodness. So that was a bear to deal with. I opted to go ahead and start spackling the bathrooms in hopes I would return to less purple in my room.
Not to be put off, I decided I’d just trim around the wet spots. It looks a little weird, but part of me thinks I’ll be thankful for the effort tomorrow.
So the bedroom currently looks like this:

And the dungeon got a little love tonight as well:

The cabinet in the bathroom will be coming down soon, I hope. The screws have a square head and one is stripped, so I’ve called in backup. There’s also no caulking along the top of the shower, so add that to the list of things I didn’t realize I’d care about enough to fix.
The best part about working in my room is I don’t have to pay attention to the floor — that carpet is coming up as soon as I get everything painted 🙌

I did remember to grab my paint colors, but I’m in bed and they’re in the dining room.
I didn’t remember to put the lid on the primer, so I’ll be rushing over in the morning to do that before work.

And for those of you interested in the electrocution portion of my evening … Will it suffice to say that even though “the baseboard heaters don’t work,” the wiring will still shock the (mad lib, choose your own word) out of you when you’re cleaning the thermostat with a wet rag? That does suffice? Awesome.
I think my fingers are still tingling. Here’s hoping I wake up with a superpower! And, just because I’m so excited the paneling is covered:

Buying living room paint tomorrow on my break and I am way too excited.