February 26, 2009

Bathroom Remodel: Day 9

Filed under: Mini Bath — maryparadox @ 7:42 pm



The central heat control was moved into the living room, which is great because there is actually a light in there.

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There is a step in the ceiling of the bathroom.

I’m not 100% sure how I feel about the step in the ceiling.The pro is that it makes a larger flat area for the ceiling, which is better if we want our silly chandelier. Cons are it looks a little strange. I makes the toilet area feel more like an alcove, but I’m not sure if that is good or bad.


Bathroom Remodel: Day 8

Filed under: Mini Bath — maryparadox @ 6:57 pm

Dry wall was replaced in the office and both the office and living room were prepped for repainting:

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Now I need to search through the 20 cans of unlabeled paint in our garage to find the right colors to paint the patches!

In the meantime the rest of the bathroom was insulated!

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Bathroom Remodel: Day 7

Filed under: Mini Bath — maryparadox @ 6:46 pm

The ducting for the bathroom fan was installed:


The fan venting going from the underside of the bathroom to the back wall.


The venting goes through the garage wall into the laundry room. The lower right pipe is for the central heating system.


Through the laundry room. You can't actually see the pipe for the fan, it's hidden behind the one for the central heating pipe. The pipe on the right is for the water heater.


And finally to the outside. The vent on the right is for the fan, on the left for the central heating and hot water heater.

Daily Cuteness

Filed under: Kitties — maryparadox @ 4:26 pm
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What I actually do when I work from home.

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Cuddle puddle.

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The unbearable cuteness of being.

February 24, 2009

Bathroom Remodel: Day 6

Filed under: House, Mini Bath — maryparadox @ 5:30 am

Choosing a contractor:

When we originally began thinking about adding a half bathroom to our house we solicited quotes from two contractors. The first created the exact same half bathroom in our neighbors house — our houses used to be one, share a common wall, and have identical, though mirrored floor plans. This contractor’s bid was high and he eerily agreed to everything I wanted without caveat. The second contract, Ed Sykes, came recommended by a friend of a friend as being good and affordable. When he came to give us a quote he mentioned many things that the first contractor had not — venting the plumbing, dimensions required by code, and permits, to name a few. Ed said that a lot more work was required, such as tearing a hole in the office wall to vent the plumbing, so we assumed that he would be more expensive — but when he gave us a quote it was actually less. Ed said that he only works to code and always gets permits, and although this would be more difficult we felt more confidant that his work would be of better quality. So far it seems like a good decision!


I mention this because on day six we began our “pre” inspections. Apparently after framing, plumbing, and electrical you get inspections for each before the insulation and drywall goes up. On day six we had the plumbing inspection, which passed.



Ventilation will be important in such a small enclosed space!

On the same day the electrician came and installed a fan, two light connectors, four switches and a socket. The fan was vented down through the floor and out the garage and the electrician had the great idea of putting it in the wall behind the toilet — that way it was closest to where it was needed, it was easy to install and pipe to the garage, and it didn’t interfere with having a chandelier in the ceiling.


A connector for a chandelier and for makeup lights over the mirror.

Our house has ridiculous chandeliers in a couple of rooms so we decided to continue that theme and put a mini chandelier in our mini bathroom. We haven’t decided what we’re going to use yet, but it might be my cloud chandelier.


The socket on the left and the switches on the right.

So apparently the current code for bathroom lighting requires a sensor/switch that will automatically shut off the lighting after motion has stopped for 5-30 minutes (it’s configurable). The top set of switches on the right are for the chandelier and the makeup lights and are basically used to set a program — you decide if you want them to come on when you hit the sensor/switch and how bright you want them to be (they are on dimmers). Then, when  you come into the bathroom and hit the sensor/switch that program is what comes on. It’s a little confusing. The second switch next to the sensor/switch is for the fan and this is also on a timer so  you can turn it on and leave the bathroom, which seemed useful for clearing the air.

February 18, 2009

Nightly Ritual

Filed under: House, Kitties — maryparadox @ 6:21 pm

Peter and I spend our evenings hanging out in the office, where the cats join us to sleep and chase “mice”. At the end of the night Peter shuts them out of the office so they don’t eat any electronics while we sleep (and so they sleep with us).


Getting ejected from the office.


And settled on the bed for the night.

Here you can check out the ridiculously appropriate sheets my mom got us for christmas — green flannel with cats and balls of yarn!


Filed under: House — maryparadox @ 2:21 am

Roses from our garden.

Bathroom Remodel: Day 5

Filed under: House, Mini Bath — maryparadox @ 2:16 am

Day five was very productive because both plumbers and general crew were working at the same time.
The plumbers showed up at 7:30am and needed to get into our neighbor’s garage in order to tap into the sewer line. Unfortunately I had forgotten to get his garage door opener so I had to hop our back fence in the rain in my pajamas in order to open the garage for the plumbers. They managed to accomplish this though:
Doesn’t look like much, but it’s pretty amazing. They had to hack into a giant metal pipe, fit an attachment, go through a garage wall, run pipe through the garage ceiling to the bathroom and come up at the right place for the toilet. And they did all that, plus the sink plumbing in two days! We now have running water in our bathroom-to-be, thank you very much!

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Both the toilet and the sink need to be vented, I guess to prevent suction or air bubbles or something I don’t fully understand. This means that they both have pipes that come out, run up to walls of the bathroom, go through the wall of our office upstairs, and through the roof.

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The general crew in the meantime began patching the hole in the living room where the china cabinet used to be:

Bathroom Remodel: Day 4

Filed under: House, Mini Bath — maryparadox @ 2:00 am

And on the fourth day, plumbers came!


Plumbing for the sink.

They also did connector for the toilet, but I didn’t get a photo before they loaded up a bunch of extra supplies on top of it.


In the garage directly underneath the sink, the plumbing comes out.


The plumbing continues along the garage ceiling to the far wall. Eventually this will go through the wall and tap into the sewer line that is in our neighbors garage (we share because our houses used to be one).

February 15, 2009


Filed under: Cooking — maryparadox @ 6:17 pm

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.

My sister and I were talking recently about wanting to eat out less and cook at home more. We both lamented having only a couple recipes each that we would cook at home on a regular basis. I know that there are a million recipes out there, but I feel like there are only a few that succeed in making it into my weekly repetoir. My requirements are a little silly — don’t leave me with ingredients I can’t use for anything else (bunch of fresh parsley anyone?); don’t dirty every bowl, pan, and utensil in my kitchen; make a large enough batch for leftovers; be tasty as leftovers; be healthy; be largely vegetarian. Yeesh!


Toss together so everything is well coated.

I have a recipe for fajitas that I got from an old friend and I have modified over the years to be the vegetable-centric rainbow-fest I’m about to show you. This recipe is great the next day and is easy to modify for each person in the family. For example, I eat it in a bowl without a tortilla (I’m allergic to wheat and corn), with avocado and cheese. My boyfriend eats it with a tortilla with spicy salsa, topatillo, or kimchi (he’s Korean). It’s also great with fresh tomatoes or shredded cabbage on top. I didn’t even think I liked bell peppers until I had this recipe, and now I love them, so I suggest giving it a try, you could easily cut the recipe in half.


Preheat a *large* pan.

5 medium bell peppers of assorted colors — make a different color every time or mix them all together to make a rainbow
1 medium onion (any color), chopped
5 large garlic cloves
1 small lime
1 heaping tablespoon ground cumin
1 heaping teaspoon ground coriander
5 tablespoons Worcestershire
5 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the pan
1/2 chicken breast, sliced

tortilla, four or corn
shredded cheese
avocado – yum!
shredded cabbage

Slice bell peppers from top to bottom into thin slices and put in a large mixing bowl. Add onion chopped into thumb-nail size pieces. Add Pressed or minced garlic. Squeeze the lime juice into the bowl. Add the cumin, coriander, Worcestershire, oil, and chicken. Toss together. Add salt and pepper to taste. At this point you can let the concoction sit overnight or cook immediately.


Add ingredients when pan is hot. Don't add liquid!

Get out the largest pan you can find, add a little olive oil to coat the bottom and heat on high until HOT. Put the contents of the mixing bowl into the pan, but leave any liquid in the bottom of the bowl behind. Cook on high until onions have become clear.


Done when onions are glassy, chicken is cooked, and peppers have become soft.

Serve over warmed tortillas or directly into a bowl. Add optional toppings to your liking. Enjoy!


Enjoy :)

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