Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Heart of Life

Top Ten NYC moments:

10. Our final meal together at the quaint Italian restaurant, Da Marino, across the street from our hotel. We were treated like queens with celebratory lemon cello, tiramisu for the entire table, and amazing pasta. And Franci tried her very first meatball!

9. The moment I made it on the air of the Today Show for a split second, after waking up before dawn, waiting in line, staking our spot, holding onto my beloved birthday sign, and trying to stay warm and positive! Totally worth it!

8. Chinese food takeout on our first night...like real New Yorkers.

7. Speaking Italian with Franci. Burro cacao! Buona notte!

6. Our "fancy" NYC dinner at Pigalle, wherein I had the best Tilapia of my entire life and learned that basil mashed potatoes are the key to happiness.

5. A relaxing break towards the end of our jam packed last day at the Tribeca Tap House where we rested our feet and laughed together over ice cold bevs and popcorn.

4. Window shopping and touring the neighborhood (and Carrie's house!!) in Greenwich Village. Quiet, cute, lush. The New York I dreamt about.

3. Roaming around Times Square, blissfully overwhelmed by all of the lights, sounds, and colorful people. I can still feel the energy.

2. The limo ride to greet my guests at the airport was the perfect way to start a trip! Random pee stops, champagne runs, and bricks!! Looots of bricks!

1. The way my heart swelled while watching Once, the musical. It's truly special when music can go beyond the ears and seep into the soul.

My Heart Beats for NYC! from Jaime Dwight on Vimeo.
Celebrating my 30th Birthday in New York City.

Music: "When Your Mind's Made Up" and "Gold" from the Once soundtrack

Sunday, November 11, 2012

So Tiled

A few weeks ago, my dad came for the weekend to help us tile the shower in the guest bathroom. He used to have his own tiling business and still had all the tools and tile saw. I was relieved when Steve accepted the help (this was no easy task!!), and I think in the end was so happy to have an expert in there for his first tiling experience. We could not have done it without him!

 It took us 10 months to get prepped for tiling, but you'll see soon, all of the hard work was worth it. Steve's meticulous measuring and leveling made the tiles go up easily. The best way to avoid overcomplicating a tile job is to get everything squared up beforehand.

Not an hour after my dad walked through the door and we were on our way. The first step was coming up with a game plan for setting the tiles. We chose the windowsill as the starting place, but soon realized we needed to get the bench in first. Some tiles overlap the other to give a smooth edge so you have to be sure to set the right piece first to get the look you want. We must have changed the order 10 times before we were finally able to just get moving. 

Steve installed all of the hardee backer.

And then tore out the left wall in order to square things up, installed new dry wall, and coated the hardee backer with waterproof sealant.

I laid out the design of the two major shower walls before beginning. This made it easy to know which piece was next. It also helped with mixing up the dark and light tiles, to achieve a more random, natural look. If you pull one by one from the tile boxes, you might get half of a wall all light pieces, and the other half dark pieces. Not good.

Dirty boot proof walkway from the tile saw to the bathroom.

Mixing up the thin set

Our first row done! We started on a Saturday afternoon, probably around 2:00.

We set the first column next to the window, then realized we forgot to leave space for the shelves. Luckily, you do have some time with the thin set, and you can remove tiles before they stick permanently.

The diamond cuts were not easy.

Giving the shelves a nice face

And the (semi)finished product!! My dad left Monday at noon and we still had to finish some grout work, but overall only about 2 whole days worth of work! Not bad!

See what a difference it makes?! Here's a shot of our old shower.

Next up:
  1. Remove toilet and fix the gasket and replace the wax ring
  2. Remove vanity
  3. Texturize the new wall
  4. Paint entire bathroom
  5. Install new floor tiles (you're going to love these!)
  6. Finish front tiling on tub and trim pieces
  7. Install new vanity and sink
  8. Install new mirror, lighting, and other fixtures and accessories
  9. DONE!

Friday, November 09, 2012

On keeping a contented heart

November is all about getting rid of anxiety and doing the right thing. You know how when you get anxiety, you can feel it in your heart? At least I do. My heart starts beating fast and I feel physical pain in my chest. And I heart my heart so I will try wholeheartedly to keep it hearty! ;) 

Luckily, I don't get anxiety often, but this month, I am going to try to take a deep breath, relax, and keep that heart as content as possible and here are a few ways I will do that:

  • Be polite
Being polite is a sure way to keep that anxiety level down. Not just for you, but for those you're around. Think about holding doors open for people. I have the worst luck with doors. I always seem to approach them at the same time as someone else. Do I slow down, and let them open the door for me? Or do I speed up and open it for them? Usually, we end up there at the same time and there is a huge awkward dance in front of the door and one of us opens it and then sorta pushes it open further for the other person to slip in. Argh, there are so many doors at my work, this happens to me all day, every day. So this month, I am going to try to get to that damn door first and open it, step back, and let the other person through. Easy, right?!
  • Use good manners
This is similar to being polite, but sometimes you get too comfortable with people you're close to and your manners fly out the window! Am I right? Like, leaving the bathroom door open while you pee? Guilty! Or, shoving food into my face at dinnertime? Guilty! How about at Thanksgiving coming up - help with the dishes! Set the table! Take off your shoes! Wipe up all of that hair in the bathroom. Lots of things to make sure your hosts invite you back. 
  • Don't get too hungry
When I get too hungry, I get mean. Enough said. How to cope? I plan on carrying granola bars with me wherever I go.
  • Dance more often
I plan on dancing in my living room. Right after I publish this post. 

Boo ya!
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