Friday, July 20, 2012

Great 2012 Remodel: Living Room

The living room was never in very bad shape.  There wasn't anything special to the white walls, and we didn't like the old carpet, but it wasn't awful.  Here's what we did in the living room...


For the first few days, the living room was a staging area:

Day 2 - Box wall to keep the dogs off the new tile

Day 3 - adjusted box wall to also keep the dogs away from the fresh paint on the master bedroom door
Day 4 - Living room ceiling painted
Day 5 - Paint went up on the walls...

Day 7 - Trim painted

Day 8 (or 12 depending on how you count) - Carpets installed and looks a lot more like a living room again.

You can also finally see the tile patch by the back door that was installed on day 4

Day 9 - New ceiling fan
And here's how the living room looks today:

Before and After:
Before on Top; After on Bottom - Click to enlarge.
I like to just sit in our living room now and enjoy the atmosphere.  Like I said, there wasn't anything really "wrong" with the living room before, but it feels much more homey now with darker warm walls, whiter ceilings that make the room look taller, new soft carpet, and patch of tile by the back door. 

I think there's a lot of little things left to do in this room... wall hangings, end tables, lamps, curtains... but this is definitely a good start.

Great 2012 Remodel: Guest Bathroom

Our guest bathroom isn't very big, but it's an important room.

Before - There was a wall paper border that would belong better in a beach house, the cabinets were dull and drab and had no hardware, the floor was laminate... and ripped up laminate at that, and there was a place in the corner of the wall where it looked like some boy decided that was a better spot than the toilet.

I realized in going through my before pictures that I actually failed to get a picture of the torn laminate and pee corner, but here are some before shots:

And here's what we did:
Wall paper border removed
Tile floors!
Painted cabinets
Painted walls
 This is what our best bathroom looks like now:

For the full effect, here a before and after view:
Before on top, After on bottom, click to enlarge
Like almost every room, we still want to do some finishing touches with a new rug and some wall hangings, but I think it's a much more welcoming guest bathroom now.

Great 2012 Remodel: The room of things yet to come ;)

Our house has a master bedroom, a guest bedroom, and a 3rd bedroom.  The 3rd bedroom is where the dogs stay when we leave the house, so it's sometimes called "The Dog's Room," but we hope it has another purpose within a year or so. ;)  So, we had future plans in mind when making considerations for the 3rd bedroom.


In progress
Walls Painted

Storage for all the kitchen cabinets that were being painted

As always, here's the side by side
Before on top, After on bottom
There's new carpet and a soft grey hue in the 3rd bedroom now... perfect to go with a turtle-themed decor some day down the line... 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Greece 2012: Part 4 - Last Few Days in Athens

This is post 4 of a 5 part series about our trip to Greece.  There are less pictures in this post because for our last few days in Greece, we didn't see many "sites"; instead, we spent much of our time catching up with friends and family in Athens.

Day 12 - June 7

On Day 12, we ate breakfast at home and relaxed a bit before heading back to downtown Athens.  We stopped at Monasteraki (which means "little Monastery" and is a metro stop near a square with a little monastery in it... thus the name). We ate souvlaki and gyros for lunch right off the square.  That area is very touristy, just down the street from the Acropolis so several of the restaurants were pretty forceful in trying to get us to eat there.  In the end, we found a table at a restaurant that didn't accost us to eat at it.

After a nice lunch, we did a little shopping at Plaka (the flea market we went to earlier in the trip, which is conveniently just off Monasteraki).  We went back to a couple of the shops we had noted from earlier and actually made some purchases this time.  We bought a few souvenirs to give away back home and some paintings for our house.  Then, we returned home for a little more computer maintenance before dinner. (We left John's computer with his parents, so we were getting it setup for them to use)

A painting we bought for over our mantle... we haven't quite made it out to get these framed yet.
Another smaller painting we bought to pair with the painting I bought in Greece back in 2004 (the only other time I've been to Greece... that was before I knew John).

For dinner, we went to Meropi's house.  If you remember from earlier posts, Meropi is Eugenia's good friend who owns a frame shop.  We went out to dinner with her one night in the first week of our trip, and this night we went to her house to have dinner with Meropi and her two daughters, Maria and Eva.  It was a fabulous feast and great company.  I particularly enjoyed chatting with Maria and Eva who speak excellent English and shared fun memories of John as a kid!

Day 13 - June 8

Day 13 started with another breakfast at home before we had company come visit us at John's parents' apartment.  Nota (a cousin), Yanni (Nota's boyfriend), and Flora (another cousin, Nota's sister), came over for a bit to visit and say hi. Much Greek was spoken... I caught a word here and there, but John enjoyed getting to catch up with his family.

We had lunch at home, and finally headed out for the day to go to Theo Taki's house.  Taki is a cousin (Sophia's brother - we met Sophia in the first week).  We had lots of sweets at Taki's house and enjoyed looking at old pictures of Eugenia as a child and young adult.  Taki's wife looks a bit like my Aunt Myra, so John kept making jokes about not knowing that Myra lived in Greece, etc.  Of course, we were speaking in English and she didn't understand, but it was fun none the less.  Taki is a joker, so we all had several good laughs that afternoon despite the language barrier.

After leaving Taki's place, we went to John's Godparents' house for dinner.  We had a nice dinner and some sweets.  We also met their 2 daughters and their new granddaughter.  John's Godmother and their 2 daughters all spoke English, so that made for some fun conversation.  One of the daughters (the one with a new baby) had gotten married around the same time as John and I, so there was a lot of talk about weddings and when John and I were going to have a kid.  We watched their wedding video; it was neat to see a Greek Orthodox wedding and make comparisons.  And we all had a good laugh when John's Godfather (from his baptism into the Greek Orthodox Church) asked John what religion he was.

All in all Day 13 was one of my favorites because I got to meet so many neat people.

Day 14 - June 9

For our last full day in Greece, we met up with a family friend named Peggy (lest you thinking she's not Greek, "Peggy" is just the English version of her name).  Peggy lives close to the beach, so we had lunch at a seafood restaurant right on the beach.  It was a bit windy, but the company was very nice.  Peggy also speaks English, which made for more conversation than some of our other visits.

This church was at the square where we met Peggy.  I know nothing about it.  It was just there and pretty.  I thought I'd throw this picture in the post since this post is light on photos.
View from our table at lunch
Another view from our table
Looking out to the sea from our table
Another nearby beach

After lunch, we went back to Peggy's place for some ice cream and a little more socializing before heading by to Holargos. 

In the afternoon, we sadly packed our things to prepare for our early morning flight the next morning.  We had one last dinner at the taverna around the corner and tucked into bed early.

Day 15 - June 10

We left the apartment in Holargos at about 4 am Sunday morning.  Our flight from Athens left at 7:20 am and arrived in Madrid 4 hours later at 10:20 am.  We had 2.5 hours in Madrid to get a little non-airplane food before our next flight that left Madrid at 1:00 pm and arrived in Dallas at 4:50 pm (11 hours later).

Thanks to the lovely Jen who picked us up at the airport, we were home by about 6 pm (which is 2 am in Greece... about 22 hours since we'd left John's parent's apartment that morning). 

Needless to say, we were exhausted.  Also, we both worked the next day. :)

Stay tuned for one more post about our trip to Greece - As you can probably tell, that will be a more general post, since I've covered every day of the trip in the first 4 posts.