Feline Friday: His quadrant

Feline Friday: His quadrant

Loki has recently chosen the bottom quadrants of our coffee table legs to be his favorite sleeping spot. It allows the perfect amount of cover if an intruder were to attack plus he can use the legs to rub against. It’s a win win for the orange dragon.

Bedroom Closet Part 3: Finishing the framing, drywall, mud and painting

Finishing a closet

Boy do I love this photo of Pixel a.k.a. the manager of home improvement projects. She’s always close by to make sure we don’t $%&* up.

Let’s take a time machine back to March when Dad and I were finishing up this bedroom closet project (read about the whole project from the start here, here and here). Remember I was pregnant and tired through most of the work, but luckily my dad did most of the heavy lifting and construction. My parents were getting ready for a road trip so we wanted to get the framing and drywall up before they took off to hike through many canyons and dusty trails of the American Southwest.

Ok let’s go back and walk through what we did…

Closet Diagram

After we got the electrical in, it was time to reinforce the opening with a double set of 2x4s on either side and a 2×8 header.

Removing bolts

One of the important things I learned during this project was messing with an existing wall can make things tricky. For instance, the wall had a 2×4 running horizontally that had to be cut out to install out 2x4s. Very tricky work – but something a reciprocating saw can pretty easily. Another issue we came across was removing the 2×4 bolted to the floor. It was a tight cut next to the exterior wall, so we used the metal blade on the reciprocating saw to slice through the bolt. With these obstacles removed, we installed the header and 2x4s in the opening.

Installing drywall into the closet

Next, we began to frame the closet in with drywall. Each piece was cut to size and then installed. A few pieces had to be trimmed to fit, but once we got them in, Dad used drywall screws to attach them to the 2x4s roughly in 16″ increments.

Trimming drywall for the closet

At this point, we had a day left before my father left so we wanted to get the closet door tracks in. We had to cut the tracks down to size using a hacksaw. I don’t have any photos of this part of the project, but let me tell you it was one of the most exhausting afternoons of my pregnancy.

I didn’t happen to have a metal blade for my hacksaw which made the process stupidly slow. Each pass of the blade made a high shrill cry and vibrated my pregnant body which was holding the track down. Looking back, we should have just gone to the store to buy the proper blade, but we didn’t. Eventually we got them cut to size and installed.


With my parents off on their trip, I began to mud all the seams and nail holes in the drywall. You will notice we did not install drywall on the right wall. We decided to save a couple of inches and just paint over the cinderblocks instead.

I am a totally novice when it comes to mudding and texturizing drywall. I did an okay job especially with all my seams. Basically you mix up a trough filled of joint compound (the mud) or save time and buy the premixed compound. Then using a drywall knife, you smooth over the seam with the mud, then cover the seam with paper tape, let dry then sand. Then you add more mud with your knife until you get a smooth surface and that seam is no longer visible.

Texture of the closet opening

Working on the closet was a good place for me to practice texturizing since the interior would be covered in clothes.I used the plastic bag technique to match the texture of our bedroom walls. You crumple up a plastic shopping bag and add a little joint compound to it. Then stamp the wall with the plastic bag to give a randomized texture. There will be areas that are too thick and high, so run the knife over the wall lightly to knock-off these areas and create a flatter surface.

Working on the closet while pregnant

Like all my pregnant activities, this took longer than anticipated, but once I was satisfied with a nicely textured surface that matched the rest of the room, we were able to paint.

Painting the closet

Nate took over at this point so we could finish up and put the bedroom back together. It didn’t really matter what color we painted the closet since it would be covered, so we used up the remaining yellow we used in the baby’s room.

Organizing shoes

With Nate painting, I began going through all my clothes (still in the baby’s room closet) to figure out the best way to organize them in the new space. I considered many different configurations, but ended up using the IKEA Algot System along the back with a simple clothes rod. I’ll go into that in more detail next time.

Bedroom Closet To-Do List

  1. Frame back, side walls & bottom (both treated & untreated)
  2. Remove house siding from inside closet space (in shed) & install on back wall
  3. Insulate back wall
  4. Insulate floor & install floor board
  5. Insulate end wall & install end siding
  6. Remove bedroom wall sheetrock, 2×4’s & frame closet opening to sliding door specs
  7. Sheetrock back and sides of closet
  8. Tape, plaster & paint closet
  9. Install clothes rod and shelving
  10. Install sliding doors
  11. Add molding around closet doors
  12. Move clothes in

Back to reality.

Ruby and I

Next week my maternity leave ends and I thought it was about time to get this blog up-to-date on all our happenings this summer.

This time off has been so amazing, exhausting and unreal. I am quite emotional about it ending and thought it would be therapeutic to download our experiences, feelings and outlook on the blog now that I am transitioning from stay-at-home mom back to the work/life balance.

Here’s what you can expect in the next few weeks.

House Updates

Bedroom Closet

I realized I never finished writing about how my bedroom closet turned out – so those will be the first posts I cover. Tomorrow I will talk about how we finished up the closet walls and then I’ll do a full tour of the closet showing you how I organized all my stuff.

Prison Bath Remodel

Nate and Dean really did an enormous amount of work on our guest bathroom in June and July so I have quite a few post to write updating the project. We are still finishing up a few things so a full tour of the bathroom won’t happen probably until next month.

Ruby’s Nursery

We haven’t “finished” Ruby’s room although I really hope to start soon. Everything got stalled after we were shipped a moldy rug from an online retailer. I plan on writing up a review of our experience so stay tuned for more on that. I also have a few decorating projects I hope to write about once they are done.


Papers are to be signed today on our first house refinance. This refi has driven most of the home projects we tackled this year and Nate and I are so excited to get it done. I’d like to write-up a post on the full experience and tips for other homeowners.

Family Updates

Baby Stuff

Let’s be honest – this summer has really been all about our Ruby.

I’d like to continue to document my experiences as a new mom and of Ruby’s first year. I have tried to record my labor & delivery story twice now and hopefully will get it right on the third go-around this week. I’m also doing a weekly photo series of Ruby and a journalling project that I’ll write about soon plus reviews of our favorite newborn items.


I really am in love with video and plan on posting a new video to my YouTube channel (hopefully) once a week. Some will be baby related of course – but I want to record a variety of videos from house project to cooking as well.

So that’s the plan – lots of house updates with a sprinkling of life.

Stay tuned and like always thanks for reading,

Welcome Ruby Jac!

Welcome Baby Ruby

Our little bundle of love, Ruby Jacqueline was born on June 18th at 12:08pm.


I am going to record a whole video on my labor and delivery story so I won’t go into much detail now. I will say that I surprised myself in the best possible way and am so thankful to have delivered a healthy baby girl.


The last month Nate and I have begun to figure out our new role as parents. We have tried to live in the moment each day with her and enjoy this fleeting newborn period. I plan to write more about our experiences very soon.