Friday, April 18, 2014

Living Pretty With Your Pets: Little Black Door

I'm not breaking with my Friday Pet Series tradition even though it's Easter weekend. No Easter post around here. Actually there has been a major lack of seasonal decorating posts around here, but it's just not really my cup of tea. I do the regular egg crafts with the kiddos and that's about it. Nothing fancy!

I can't wait to introduce you to today's furry star Zoey who is Elizabeth's (from Little Black Door) adorable dog. I love her blog and she has amazing style and you have to check out her home tour by clicking HERE.

Here she goes:

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Hi Cuckoo 4 Design readers, I'm Elizabeth from Little Black Door and I'm so thrilled Julia invited me over today to talk about my first baby - Zoey.

Zoey is what we call "beagle-inspired" (we know she is a beagle but think she's got something else in her as well) and she's reigned over our house for nine years. She is the smartest dog I've ever known, and I have known many, but she is also a lady of many talents.

Daredevil Zoey came to us thru Russ, a friend of my husband. He was coming home from a hunting trip when he said to himself "what's that ball in the middle of the highway?" just as an 18-wheeler ran over it. That ball was Zoey. Russ pulled over and ran out into the highway to save Zoey, who was unharmed except for a little scratch on the top of her head. She was too tiny to have been away from her mother and we guess that Beagle nose led her off exploring until she ended up far from home (a classic Zoey move we would learn over time.) Zoey curled up next Russ in the car and was content the whole way home. Having several big dogs already, Russ and his wife Janet knew they couldn't keep Zoey, so we were lucky enough to take her in. And lucky is the right word, as that's what Russ named her thanks to her semi-truck survival.

Covergirl We fawned over Zoey just as any new parents do and took rolls and rolls (this is pre-digital people) of film. Zoey sleeping with the hubs on the couch. Zoey looking out the window. Zoey standing under a tree. This one, Zoey rolling in the leaves was one we particularly loved and Janet thought I should submit it to a dog calendar she gets every year (I told you they were dog people). So I submitted it and Zoey was chosen as Ms. October. She was in a national calendar sold in malls around the country and is occasionally still recognized to this day (by my mom) as the star she is.

Life of the Party Zoey came to us when my husband and I were still in an apartment and the complex was full of kids. They were outside playing when we brought her home and went crazy over her as all kids do for puppies. A few hours later we had a knock on our door. "Can Zoey come out to play?" The kids would take turns walking her around the yard, wrestling with her, carrying her like a baby. Zoey was basically man-handled kid-handled for the first year and a half of her life and she loved it. Beagles are certainly pack animals and the more people she is with, the happier she is.

Mother Thanks to all of that early exposure to kids, Zoey has always done an amazing job with our girls. Ever since they came home from the hospital she has cuddled, monitored, soothed and played with them. She takes her job as Jr. Mom very seriously and she's very protective of her girls.

Goat Wait, what? We often joke that Zoey must be part goat as girlfriend will eat anything, anywhere. She sneaks food from the girls plates on a daily basis and she once snatched a cupcake from a guest swallowing it whole, wrapper and all. Sticks, acorns, bugs, other 'hunted' animals (lets leave it at that), Thanksgiving dinner. She eats it all. Except lettuce. She won't touch lettuce. Finger that one out.

Hall Monitor Nothing happens in our house, or on our street for that matter, without Zoey knowing about it. She walks the perimeter of our yard several times a day just like a security guard. She sniffs out every bag and purse that comes into our house lest some visitor tries to smuggle some tasty treats and our mailman Ken has confirmed that she is the loudest barker on his route. Good work Zoey.

Spooner Zoey is an A1 cuddler. I've never known a person or dog who does it better. She sleeps in our bed, under the covers and spooned up against my legs every night (in addition to the two dozen or so naps she takes during the day). There is nothing better than getting into bed on a cold night and finding it all warmed up and ready for you, thanks to Zoey.

I could go on for days about our Zo-bop (as the girls call her). She's getting a bit older and a little grayer, just like the rest of us, but she can still chase a bunny with the best of them. I couldn't have asked for a better dog.

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And Guess what? I could listen to you talk about her all day long. My wish is that every pet would be loved as much as your Zoey. She is such a lucky dog to have you guys and you are lucky to have her. She sounds wonderful and all your kids (furry and not furry) are so adorable. 

I would love it if you guys would visit Elizabeth's blog (click HERE) because she is fun with amazing style and obviously the perfect adorable family.

To read more animal posts you can click HERE.

One more thing before we are all off to our family filled Easter weekend:

My blog buddy Cassie (Primitive and Proper) and I decided to call an official "Blog Spring Break". I really really need it! There are so many things that need to get done and I also promised the kids a bunch of things. That means I won't be back with another post until next Friday. 

I wish you guys a HAPPY EASTER and a great spring break.



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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Backsplash: Behind the scene

As promised I'm going to share how I installed my The Tile Shop backsplash today. If you missed my reveal on Monday, click HERE to see all the pretty photos.

It was a somewhat bumpy road but I got it done. This post is certainly no Sarah M. Dorsey tutorial. That girl can knock em out. She is my tutorial idol for realz! I don't know how she can pay attention to what she is doing and take pretty pictures along the way. This post is just to prove that a lonely chick can do this all by her lonesome while the hubby is at work. It's doable believe me.

And I'm not going to lie, I watched a ton of youtube videos on how to apply a tiled backsplash. There are lots of knowledgeable handymen out there with awesome video tutorials.
And my friend Cassie who was tiling at the same time as I was just posted her awesome The Tile Shop backsplash and tutorial too. Check it out by clicking HERE.

First I removed the molding under the window that I installed last year when I was convinced that I didn't need a backsplash. Haha, what was I thinking!?!?! I'm glad I waited though.

Then I caulked the gap between the wall and the countertop. I had a big gap!

I installed some molding around the upper part of the window.

Those tiles are only leaning against the wall by the way to try it out.

The Tile Shop sent me all the supplies I needed. How cool is that?

I used 1/8 of an inch tile spacers.

Usually you find the center of the area you want to tile and tile out from there but since the edge of my counter is so "in your face" I wanted to start from there. I had tried it out first too, which is certainly recommended.

I drew a line with a level where I wanted to start.

I spread the mixed tile adhesive on the wall with my adhesive spreader and in tight spaces I put it right on the back of my tile.

I had to buy more tile spacers along the way and those large green ones were all I could find, but they worked great.

I had to cut around the window. Which was actually not that bad. 

The outlets were a little harder to cut around. I also had to get some spacers for the outlets to make them flush with the wall again.

I added a piece of wood under the stove section to support the tiles while drying. (After I was done I removed it again.)

The rest went pretty smoothly. I also used a rubber mallet to tap the tiles into place.

And back to cutting the tiles. I used a wet tile saw. This photo was actually taken two days after I started the project.

I actually couldn't take any photos of me cutting the tile on the first day because this is what I looked like.
Not only was the water splashing everywhere from the saw. Nope, it was also pouring rain. I wasn't going to carry my camera out there and have it get ruined.

After the tile adhesive set for 24 hours, it was time to do some grouting.

I mixed the grout according to the package and then applied it to my backsplash.

You wipe the access and after letting it set for a little you wipe and buff the tiles with a haze remover.

I actually bought a "new" old stove on craigslist for our kitchen. Which you can see in my reveal post from Monday (click HERE to see). It was a total nightmare. People on Craigslist are just so shady and untrustworthy. That's all I got to say. I'm still so so angry. I might write a post about it some other day.

I went with white appliances on purpose by the way. I just didn't want stainless steel to interfere with my white on white obsession. I'm totally not kidding either.

So what do you think. Are you going to tackle a project like this any time soon?



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