Carpet Woes

I seriously hope this is the last post that I ever mention carpet. Somehow I doubt that’s going to be the reality though. I’m tired of it — Tired of dreaming fuzzy dreams. Tired of talking about it. Tired of the whooooole thing. Here’s what happened.

When we first moved into our house and the entire basement STUNK like dog pee. It was absolutely awful. The previous owners had three little yippy dogs, which were clearly free to wander around the basement all day – resulting in God knows how many sprinkle spots. Anyway, it smelled. Did I cover that? Our first plan of attack was to get it professionally cleaned. No luck. We needed new carpet and FAST. So, we had Empire Floors come out and give us an estimate. We were a little dumb back then… We didn’t shop around; we didn’t try to bargain for a better deal. We just knew our basement reeked and honestly, would have paid an arm and a leg to get it done.

So, we got new carpet.

Well, fast forward about 18 months and the seams of the carpet were starting to pull away from each other. We had a handful of long lines that stretched across the room. We had a warranty and we had just paid (in my opinion) waaaay too much money to get brand spankin’ new carpet. So, duh we called them to get it replaced.

Remember our carpet? Here’s a refresher.



And here’s what the seams looked like.


Would you want your new carpet to look like this? No. Of course not.

Alex called back in November to get this taken care of. For months, he went back and forth with Empire. Empire sent someone out to expect the carpet. Empire said they would replace it for free… They actually scheduled a replacement date. We cleared out our entire basement and then they cancelled after they were already supposed to be there.

Then they said they weren’t going to replace it.

Then they had someone else come and inspect it.

Weeks later they finally said they would. But, lo and behold, they no longer made our carpet so we had to pick something new (not even the same style or color). They sent out two sales reps on four different days (two days we were sitting waiting for them and they didn’t show) and we finally picked out new carpet.

Remember this has been months now and someone has had to be home for every appointment (many of which were cancelled or just not shown up to).

Yeah, we were mad and I think rightfully so. Last week I told you that I was afraid the carpet would be too dark and basically the same color as our walls. Well… officially consider me laughing in my own face. The carpet is ANYTHING but dark. In fact, it almost looks white in some lights.

I know a little six inch swatch of carpet looks very different than when it’s covering an entire floor. I was definitely expecting it to be different than the swatch. However, I’m a little irritated that it was SO different.  Another thing we were surprised by was that the sales reps told us this carpet would feel plushier than our old carpet and was a higher quality. In fact, the carpet is less than half as thick as our old carpet so the ground feels much harder and colder now.

It doesn’t look terrible. Sorry that I’m just complaining and complaining. In fact, I don’t even think it looks bad. It’s just completely different than we were expecting – and we probably wouldn’t have picked it if we had known.

Our backyard has looked like this since we got the new carpet, so you can imagine how hard it’s been already to keep the doggies feet clean before we let them into the house. I’m afraid that we’ll be one of those families that makes everyone takes their shoes off the second they step inside or wrap them in a plastic bag or something ridiculous like that.

Gross backyard:


I really try to stay positive and think… “well, it lightens up the basement a ton!” Which is true, it does. I think we’re both disappointed though – it’s going to be a pain in the neck to keep clean, which is my biggest worry.

Sorry that I’ve been kind of a Negative Nancy. There are so many worse things going on than getting a carpet that you weren’t completely satisfied with. Obviously, I have real problems going on as well. This is my little outlet and journal for our life though, and I always appreciate looking back and seeing what was going on in our lives at different times.

So, that’s my little saga. And here’s how the carpet looks. Like I told you… I’m not saying “we hate it” or “it looks terrible.” I’m simply saying, it’s not what we expected, it’s pretty dang light, and it will prove to be difficult to keep clean.





See how different it looks on different sides of the room? Somtimes it looks straight-up white. While other times it has pink undertones and even kind of tan sometimes. I just can’t make up my mind about it!

Empire finally got it taken care of, but it was definitely a headache to get to where we are right now. Apparently if you go through this much pain, they’ll compensate you in either a serious discount or in money. Considering we don’t need any more new carpet, we chose money. Have we seen it? No.

This whole saga has made us hop on getting another project tackled though. We’re about halfway through right now and I’m already looking forward to showing you. Here’s a little hint:


Have you had any pains dealing with getting something replaced? Any awesome companies that you’ve been dying to praise? Would you be irritated if this happened to you? Does anyone else have panic attacks when it comes to white carpet?

 This will make you your day better if you’re going through something similar…




Year Two Review

Not only is Monday MLK day and many of us have the day off work, but it also celebrates our second anniversary of owning our home. On one hand, it feels like so much has happened since we moved out of our apartment making it seem like it was ages ago, while on the other hand, I can remember moving day like it was yesterday! Strange how memory and perception works like that!

Move in day! TWO WHOLE YEARS AGO. Gosh, where does the time go? Do you know that all of these friends in the picture below don’t even live in the state of Maryland anymore? How depressing!

As I did last year, I’d like to recap all of our home improvements that we’ve tackled this year. We always have an ever-growing list of projects, so this really helps us look back and feel proud of what we’ve accomplished rather than feeling overwhelmed with what’s to come. It’s crazy that the house full of plaid butt-curtains, pee stained carpet, and a ticking time bomb of a master bathroom has morphed into our home.  Let’s get to this past year, shall we?

The year started off with a disaster in our master bathroom. I wrote a series of posts on what happened and how we remodeled the whole thing! This was our first really big DIY project. Prior to this we had replaced some appliances, painted a couple rooms… things like that. This was our first total gut job and probably the most expensive project to date (I take that back… last year we got a new roof, so that takes the cake). You can read about what happened here, demolition here and here, plumbing, insulation and lights here, installing walls here, tiling here, floors here, painting here, installing trim and the vanity here, and the final reveal here.

What an exhaustive project!

Next, we moved on to painting our bedroom hallway.

We also had a mildew incident in the basement, here’s how we got rid of it.

We added a new flower bed to our front yard.

And then added some new shrubs.

And had to get an electric fence installed since our pony dog Bailey likes to jump over the fence.

We added a white picket fence to the garden.

And got a new desk for the basement.

We added a new entertainment center in the basement.

We worked a ton outside and mulched and mulched our little hearts out.

We added recessed lighting to our master bedroom

And stained a whiskey barrel. And added new outdoor planters too!

We also made a ladder ball and corn hole game. AND an indoor planter box, a twine wrapped vase, and a vacation jar memento. Oh and used a whiskey barrel as furniture and added a new mirror.

Next, we finished up our bedroom remodel, complete with new paint and an added archway.

We had a field day at HomeGoods and decked out the house in new art.

We replaced our once ugly outdoor lighting.

Then we completely re-did our laundry room. Complete with new cabinets, tile floor, a new sink and so much more! (haha, I rhymed.. goo me!)

We painted our basement door red.

And had some cracks in our fireplace that needed repair.

We finished up the year with making a new chalkboard and sanding down our future mantel.

Holy Camoly. That’s a lot of stuff!

We have some plans for upcoming projects including getting the carpet fixed in our basement (that unfortunately means new carpet completely which is almost the same color as our walls down there, cue the panic of “oh my gosh, we’re going to have to repaint the entire basement AGAIN.”) We’re looking forward to giving our upstairs living room a much needed and anticipated facelift, possibly tackling our basement bathroom, and maybe even some new wood floors. I’m pretty excited to see where this year will take us!

This weekend looks to be pretty low-key for us. Sadly, Alex either got food poisoning or is coming down with the flu and is feeling super crummy. Do you guys have any fun plans for the weekend? How many of you have already got the flu? Anyone have any special chants or dances that wards off the flu germies? Do you think that would keep me safe? Here’s hoping!

Happy Friday friends and have a great weekend!

Pssst – you can read all our house project adventures here!

The Ups and Downs of Homeownership: Take Two

A few of you long time readers may remember about a year and a half ago (seriously though, where does all the time go??) when I posted a little recap of some highs and lows of homeownership. We chatted about how wonderfully our little garden was doing followed by a spontaneous crack in our toilet tank that resulted in gallons and gallons of water gushing out onto the bathroom floor. Surely, you have to remember that traumatic incident, I know that I do!

Anywho, life isn’t always rainbows and butterflies (think back to this recent post on some of our troubles). As far as home projects go, I typically share things that we end up loving our final result. This is not to say that we don’t have missteps along the way. In fact, during most of our remodels we often find ourselves feeling like we are constantly taking one step forward and two steps back.

We make progress and then find something else that was built/installed wrong to begin with and have to backtrack just to fix it. Some examples: When we re-did our bathroom, we had one headache after another – plumbing, drywall, installing new fixtures, you name it and we had some kind of issue with it. When we spruced up our bedroom, we came across wiring issues. And when we remodeled our laundry room, we found ourselves in a similar “why did they do this in the first place?!” situation.

We make mistakes and we learn as we go. All we are, are two first time homeowners trying to make our house more into our home. Since I’m not giving any how-to instructions on this ol’ bloggie blog and I simply document our life for us, I don’t always get around to sharing all of our hang-ups along the way. That gets tricky though. People often get the wrong impression that we know it all, that we don’t have missteps, and that life is just goin’ our way. So, in an attempt to keep it real, here are some new highs and lows to this owning our house deal.


Well for one, now that the weather is much colder our electricity bill was basically cut in half. It’s not as glamorous as you may think though. We’re basically just keeping our house ch-ch-chilly. Wearing socks and sweaters seems to make saving a heck of a lot of money worth it. Plus, we both tend to get hot easier than cold, so neither of us really mind being a little chilly. Here I am all bundled up a week or so post surgery:

photo 2

This one was going to start as a down, but surprisingly worked out in our favor. Remember when we got new carpet installed in our basement? Well, sadly we were outside of our warranty and needed to get the seams between sections of carpet re-done. It turns out that all that steam cleaning we did after that doggie accident, pulled the seams away from each other. (It may not have made a difference though, we’ll never know!) How does this work in our favor, you ask? Well, when the carpet guys came over, they informed Alex that the original installers didn’t install it correctly. Now, they’re going to replace our entire basement carpet since it was their fault. 10 points for us.

Do you have friends that have Hulu and you have Netflix? Have you ever thought about exchanging passwords? It’ll seriously change your life.

This isn’t necessarily related to owning a house, rather… just married life in general. Alex and I bought two new(ish) Disney movies (Brave and Despicable Me) and spent Friday night and part of Saturday acting like we were kids. Popcorn and hot apple cider were involved. #youknowthatsright.

photo 3

We were previously having a ton of issues with rain water getting into our garage every time there was a storm. Alex (the king of all internet searches) found a seal that we could just install right under the garage door. It literally took us 10 minutes to do both doors and now we don’t have a single drop of rain in sight.


We like to have fires in our fireplace. I get that some people only use their fireplace for decorations, cool. But, again, we’re not those folks. One of the non-negotiable items that needed to be fixed when we originally bought our house was to have the fireplace re-lined and a new cap put on top. Unfortunately, mid-fire we saw some cracked mortar between a few of the bricks. We called the company that came out the first go ‘round and received a hefty quote for the fix. It’s been a hassle dealing with them and had to have four appointments to get the work taken care of. But… something like preventing your house from catching on fire seemed like a no-brainer. Check out some of the damage:



After our laundry room overhaul, plus the surgery, oh, and Alex is taking some college classes right now and has a boat load of work to do each day, neither of us feels like nor has the time/energy/motivation to come up with our next project. We keep dreaming about what it’ll be, but no plans are being made. I have a feeling that we’ll do some small tinkering here and there, but nothing huge for a couple of months.

Our wooden Adirondack chairs that we loved so much didn’t last more than a season. We already had to replace them with not as pretty, but surprisingly more comfortable plastic versions. Bye, bye old chairs.


Bailey keeps digging in the yard. Someone come teach that dog some discipline.

photo 4

Neither of us like the color that we painted the hall bathroom a year and a half ago. It’s too green (and we are green people!) and too shiney. There’s no window in there so it just feels like you’re hanging out in the middle of a big giant olive. It never even made it’s way onto the blog, so you can tell we were big fans. One day we’ll get on that. Not today though.

Oh, did I mention that we hate our kitchen? Yeah, there’s that.

Okay, so granted that’s not as many downs as I originally thought. Of course, I planned the carpet dealio and the rain-into-the-garage problem would be in the “down” pile, but, HOORAY they have solutions.

Have you guys come across any weird problems while renting/owning a house? Did you ever get an estimate for something necessary and realize it was way more than you wanted to spend? Does your dog dig in the yard like ours? I hope we’re not alone!

And two more doggie pictures to say goodnight!
photo 1

photo 5