Thursday, May 30, 2013

Vacation: Where things are pretty all the time

No doubt about it...dude has a nice ass.
 Leo and I just returned from a 13 day vacation in Oahu. We stayed in Waikiki for the first few days, at the Moana Surfrider - Westin Hotel. Which is a lovely hotel, and I say you should stay there if you go out to the island for a visit ever. The beds are soooo comfy, the staff is nice and helpful, and the location can't be beat.

This was the view from our room on the 17th floor of the Tower Wing. It was gorgeous!

It was hard to sleep in past 8 or so those first few days, because of the time change, and the 2nd morning we were there, I got up and saw a huge amount of surfers just sitting out and waiting for the waves to come carry them away...
 However, the thought did cross my mind that perhaps a lot of those people were just sitting out in a quiet place, escaping the noise and annoyance of their families that they left somewhere in Honolulu for a while. Can't say I blamed them!

This was how Leo and I renting an umbrella in the hotel's private area on the beach, and having someone bring us food and drinks while we peoplewatched all day long. Delightful!
 I bought some flowery hair clips from the local drug store, since Honolulu + bangs = NO. Leo found them helpful as well...
 One of my favorite features of our hotel room was the "Toto Washlet". It was a toilet with a built-in bidet system, and between that baby washing my ass whenever I wanted it to, and the salty, salty water of the Waikiki "pool", as I liked to call it, I barely had to shower while we were there!

Ok, I showered daily, but still. This was awesome!
A few days after we arrived, we checked out of our hotel, met up with Leo's parents, who had been staying on Molokai for their first week on the islands (this was their first trip back in 35 years, so they took a lot of time off to re-explore and visit places they hadn't been to when they lived there back in the 70's), and then we all drove out to the North Shore on Oahu together. Stopped through Haleiwa Town for some lunch... 
 ...and then continued on out to Pupukea to grab some groceries before heading to the house that we'd rented for the week.

Sometime on Wednesday, or so, Leo and his mom were playing cards, and I decided to gather the fallen flowers around the property to make myself a lei. I was a lil' drunk, and I felt oh so preeetttyyy!
 I felt that the tiki in the house ALSO needed to feel pretty. So he got the lei when I was done with it...

We named him "Kiki"
  A week with the in-laws was...a little challenging. But the house was perfect, the location was GORGEOUS, and we really did have a great vacation with them, all said and done.

Our last day in town, Leo and I went back to the Moana Surfrider to hang out on the beach, get in one last swim, and eat and drink at the pool bar before we had to head to the airport to catch our 9 p.m. flight. It was a perfect day, but a few little showers moved through, and gave us a rainbow as a parting gift!
We love it there. It's where Leo was born. It's calm and relaxed and just entertaining enough for folks like us.

We WILL be back!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Progress update, and some more design detail inspirations

This week has been one for the books. I had shit going on at work, shit going on personally, and in general have just been trying to skate through it unscathed, so I can get to my VACATION that starts next week. WOO!

But as far as the remodel goes, it's been a productive week. The shower tile started going in on Monday, and it seemed slow-going at first, but before we knew it, grout was in, and now we're waiting on the countertops to be installed, and stuff.

I was wrong about the focal wall above my vanity being tiled this week...we do have to wait for the countertops for that stage, and it's looking more like they will go in next week. So I'll have to wait till I get back from vacation to see it in person. I'm so excited! Everyone is excited for me! The contractor, the tile guy,'s all very fun.

So we met with the contractor on Wednesday to go over some finalizing details. We had to decide on the type of wood we'll be using for the front of the vanities, as well as for the tub surround. So we got that taken care of. We also chose an unusual knob for the drawers and cupboards in the space that should bring a fair amount of femininity to the relatively masculine feel of the cabinets and the majority of the tile. This was our inspiration for both the cabinets and the knobs:

Leo was 100% on board once I showed him that photo, so I went to Anthroplogie and found a few knobs for us to ponder. This one is their Bubbled Glass Knob, and goes for $8 a piece. We will have a total of about 16 knobs that we'll need for all the cabinets we're having installed, so that runs a very affordable $128.

Next up, I found this Silvered Mirror Knob in the Diamond shape. It was a very pretty option, too. It runs $10 a piece, so we'd be looking at $160 if we went with these. Still very reasonable for the effect we're trying to achieve:
That knob also comes in loads of other shapes. Prism, petite orb, pebble, etc, any number of styles are available for people to choose. It's quality stuff, so I totally recommend them!

Lastly, I fell in love with this knob. The Deco Block. It is actually quite large, and very heavy. And it's a little off of the style we were going toward, but I love it so damned much, I had to see if it might work! It didn't. Leo said nuh-uh to it as an option. (He also has totally nixed the secret bookcase door option for our entrance to the master, so he's skating on thin ice right now, lemme tell ya!) It's pretty awesome, though. It, too, costs $10 per item.
Seriously, if you've ever considered finding a special little something to give your own space some umph and a little sumpn'-sumpn', check out all the knob options at Anthro. Totally worth it!
So, as I mentioned, the shower tile has gone in. I haven't gotten a shot of it with the grout, but here it is the day they finished the actual tiling:

The bubble tile that everyone encouraged us to go ahead and get looks PERFECT, you guys. Just slammin'. We are SO fucking HAPPY we went with this one!;
Yesterday, they put up a bunch of the trim around doorways and windows and stuff, and the grout went into the shower, and I don't know what they're doing today, but I can't wait to get home and see! I'll have more photos up next week, for sure. Come on back and see the changes, and let me know what you think!

Monday, May 06, 2013


I'm hoping that when I get home tonight, there will be TILE ALL OVER THE GODDAMMED PLACE! (I mean, within reason. Like, not on the doors. Just on the walls and stuff...) They had to smear some waterproofing material on the walls before they could tile the shower last week, so all they had done when I got home was one measly pony wall. BOOO.

So I took a picture of our new cabinets instead. :D

This is Leo's vanity. He's got drawers going in on the bottom, and then under-sink storage behind cabinet doors on top. And he'll get a big ol' medicine cabinet on his side, because he wants one.
 My vanity has drawers on the left, under-sink storage behind doors, and then another drawer on the bottom.

And then off to the right, I'll have a fancy place for putting on my make-up and stuff. It will be built in, so it doesn't exist yet, but it'll look like this:
With the light-up mirror and everything! Super-cool, no? :D It'll be in the space over there by the tub...
My feature wall should be installed this week, and it'll look pretty snazzy right off the bat. No grouting required, due to the type of tile it is. And the countertops should be in by the end of this week, if you can believe it. Hopefully, the wood details/paneling will all go in, too. Should be a busy week! I'll be sure to post updates as they occur!

Thursday, May 02, 2013


The remodel project is in a boring place right now. They've completed the drywall installation, and even have the prime coat of paint up on all surfaces. So this week, the tile will be going in on the shower walls, but not on the floor of the bathroom because the place we ordered our tile from is fucking STUPID, apparently.

On Friday, Leo told me that the floor tile we chose wasn't going to work out because it was apparently on backorder. So we went Saturday to find a new tile, and tried to put it all behind us. But I've been mad at my contractor about it ever since, and then he sent an email about it yesterday, and I let him know how disappointed we were with the whole situation.

I thought it might've been a problem with the timing on the order being placed...I told him that whether it was him or the tile sub that put the order in, I wanted to know why it was done so late in the game? We decided on our tile choice weeks ago!

Turns out that he did order the tile weeks ago. And then last week, he called to get the delivery scheduled, and the tile shop was all, "Oh, that tile is on a 6 week backorder."


So now we have to rework the schedule for the tile guy, because this week was going to be floor and shower, and then next week I think he was going to do the feature wall, and then he'd be done with our space and could move on. But instead, he's doing the shower this week, and then the feature wall next week, I think, and then he gets to come back again in 3 weeks to do the muthafucking floor. Because THAT makes sense.

Fucking dick tile store people.

Anyway, as upsetting as it is, it is behind us now. So we have a new plan. Yay.

Cabinets are being worked on, closet has been planned and ordered (we went with California exactly what we wanted!), and the shower tile should be done by the weekend, so I'll be sure to get some pictures of all that when it's installed.

I'll throw out some more design choices we've made over the past couple of weeks in a post tomorrow. Wallpaper and barn doors and fireplaces, OH MY!