Eleven

  1. Cursing isn’t bad, just save it for when it matters.
  2. The chances of you marrying that boy you have a crush on in middle school are slim to none- but make sure to giggle about him with your friends anyway.
  3. Braces suck but on your wedding day when you have that perfect smile, you’ll be glad you did it.
  4. Girls who talk about other girls to you will talk to other girls about you. Don’t be that girl.
  5. Try everything. Try band and chorus and basketball and chess club and don’t care about what anyone says. How will you know what you’re good at unless you try?
  6. Being mean isn’t cool. Cool kids are nice kids.
  7. Be competitive and be the smartest kid. THAT’S cool, and it’ll take you farther in life.
  8. Be confident when you dress out for PE in front of all of those girls with bigger/smaller/different bodies. They’re all just as freaked, trust me.
  9. Keep a mirror in your locker.
  10. Tell your mom or dad you love them when they drop you off– you’ll miss this one day.
  11. Go out of your way to help other people. Your dad does this and I see how much it matters every day.

Happy first day of middle school. Go be a thermostat.

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Living Room Update

Remember back in this post we showed you the couch we scored on the cheap? Well you haven’t seen her in all her glory in the living room yet because, well, the living room looks weird. It’s dark. Like, man-cave dark. We have dark hardwood floors and a dark fireplace and dark bookcases and a dark brown leather couch with dark brown and dark blue blankets on it. We have a gray entertainment center and a dark brown wicker ottoman. Things, while improving in quality, are looking very blah in our house.

But the couch is still awesome, very comfortable, and a huge hit with the kids.

Here’s the Living Room before with our inherited leather sofa and the disgusting covered-in-dog-hair love seat:

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Both couches are tan and the area rug (it’s actually 2 small IKEA rugs laid side by side) breaks up the floor.

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And here’s the new couch:

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Ugh see how dark dark dark everything is? We do have a plan:

Living Room w- To Dos

I’m also not completely sold on the paint color in the living room, and Travis, bless his heart, is totally OK with changing it. Again. I love that man.

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So that’s the wacky, yet very comfortable, living room situation. These pictures are also making me notice how gross the fireplace is- I’m thinking I need to clean/paint the inside area or something. It’s a little sooty, no?

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All Washed Up

In the interest of my family’s lungs and saving some dough, I’ve been sniffing around making my own cleaning supplies for the last few months. I’d pinned several different ideas and recipes on Pintrest and I also had an article from Craft Magazine starred in my google reader from 2009. I never had any real gumption around this project, until we ran out of kitchen cleaner a week ago. And all of a sudden we had nothing to wipe down the counters except Lysol wipes. And every time I used one I thought, “Wow, I wonder how much it just cost me to wipe down this counter?” (I’m totally a penny pincher in that regard). We had a leftover almost empty bottle of some kind of over-the-counter cleaner that we pulled out of the back of a cabinet to get us through until we could go to the store, but it smells awful every time it gets sprayed, and it actually aggravated my sinuses when I’d breathe. Not cool, kitchen cleaner. Not cool. Suddenly I had all the gumption I needed to work on making my own cleaners, so after some shopping research (which took me in total, about 1 week), here’s what I ended up with for the project:

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For you fellow list makers out there, here are the ingredients and where I was able to find them (some were surprisingly unavailable in every day stores):

  • Distilled White Vinegar (Publix)
  • A glass container for powdered Laundry Detergent (Target)
  • A new set of measuring spoons (you might not need that, but I did) (Target)
  • Borax Washing Powder (Ace Hardware)
  • Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (Ace Hardware)
  • Hydrogen Peroxide (Target)
  • Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castille Soap, Lavender (Target)
  • Four spray bottles (Dollar Store)
  • Fels Naptha Bar Soap (Ace Hardware)
  • Essential Oil, Lemon Scent (GNC)
  • Dr. Bronner’s Bar Soap, Lavender (Target)

And for anyone else doing their research, here are the websites I frequented for recipes:

I used Jolly Mom’s recipes for my cleaning sprays, and the Yellowbrick recipe for the laundry detergent.

First, I labeled the bottles with some Vera Bradley file labels I had leftover from last Christmas. I’ve used these labels everywhere since T got them for me, and since they’re cute I felt good about using them on my little cleaning bottles. I wanted to label the bottles first so I wouldn’t get confused as I added ingredients (all of the bottles are exactly the same without a label).

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Under the pretty labels, I added a plain white label that lists the recipe right on the bottle, so when I remake everything I can do it without my handy dandy laptop. I decided to make an All Purpose Cleaner, a Glass Cleaner, and a Disinfectant in my spray bottles.

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The Disinfectant was the easiest recipe by far. I did 2 cups of Hydrogen Peroxide, 2 cups of water, and 15 drops of essential oil. Put it all in your spray bottle and shake it up, baby.

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All Purpose Cleaner included 1/2 tsp washing soda, 1/2 tsp liquid Castille soap, 2 cups hot water, 10-15 drops essential oil. Same story, shake and bake.

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The Glass Cleaner called for 1 cup distilled white vinegar, 2 cups water, 1/2 tsp dish soap (I used what we had in the kitchen), and 10-15 drops essential oil.

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Next came the powder laundry detergent (which I was the most excited about!). I used 1 cup of Borax, 1 cup of Washing Soda, and the whole bar of soap, grated into tiny pieces with a cheese grater.

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When I mixed the powders I had a lot of lovely lady lumps, which I definitely didn’t want. I was hoping for a really well blended mixture so that I got consistent results in the laundry, so I dug into that drawer in the kitchen that has some weird stuff that I never use.

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And I used this thing as my designated lump-breaker-upper.

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That helped a lot with the lumps. Thanks weird tool thingy! Next I grated up the bar of Dr. Bronner’s Lavender Soap. I had the Fels Naptha bar soap (which most recipes recommend), but it has a warning right on the label that says it’s irritating to skin and eyes, and we have some sensitive skin in our family. After reading through some comments I saw that a lot of people were subbing the Fels Naptha soap for Dove or other less abrasive soaps. I chose the Dr. Bronner’s because it was listed as an alternative and I’ve read really great things about it, and it smells yummy. Once the whole bar was grated I hand mixed it in with the washing powder combo, and I was done.

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Then I read back through my recipes are realized I had one spray bottle left and enough ingredients for one more spray that I would use often- it’s a Furniture Polish/Stainless Steel Cleaner.

You use 2 cups of oil (she says vegetable or olive is fine), 1 squeezed lemon, and 15 drops of essential oil (man that stuff came in handy for this experiment). So I mixed that up and added it to my fourth bottle.

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Now that I had all my super cool DIY cleaners made, I had to organize my cleaning cart and get rid of a ton of crap we never use. I’m not sure exactly how we accumulated fifty thousand cleaners that ironically sit and collect dust, but we did. I went through the little cart and removed anything that a) we had never used, or b) I’d just made to replace the chemical version.

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I was left with this:

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Isn’t that insane? Look at all the room we’d been waisting! I kept a few products that I wasn’t sure if I’d need or not- no sense in throwing away perfectly good stuff that you may need down the line. But anything else that we hadn’t touched in 6 months or more got tossed.

Here’s a close up of how the powder detergent turned out. The recipe recommends 1 tablespoon per load, but I’m using 2 on larger loads (like towels, mostly).

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We have High Efficiency machines (scored at Best Buy on a black Friday sale) so I was concerned about how this detergent would work. But every forum I read said that HE machines do better with “low suds” detergents, and happily, all DIY powder detergents are naturally low suds. I’ve got my 2nd load of towels in the washer now, and being the weirdo that I am I actually stopped the machine mid cycle to see what was going on in there. I couldn’t see any suds at all through the glass in the door, and I was kinda freaking out. But I’m happy to report that once I opened the door the laundry smelled like heaven, meaning the lavender soap was definitely doing it’s thang.

Ok so let’s see if I’m actually saving any money on this.

  • Borax $5.99
  • Washing Soda $4.99
  • Fels Naptha soap $1.49
  • Dr. Bronners Liquid Castille Soap $9.99
  • Dr. Bronners Bar Soap $4.49
  • Peroxide $0.69
  • White Vinegar $1.89
  • Essential Oil $5.00

Grand Total: $33.84

Since the Laundry Detergent recipe has 2 cups of powder plus the soap, and 1 cup = 16 tablespoons, it seems like I’ll get at least 32 loads per batch, which isn’t that impressive until you consider that I have enough of the powder stuff left over to do 4-5 more batches. In fact I have some of everything left over, plenty to do a whole other batch of the cleaners. For non-toxic cleaners that don’t hurt my lungs, I’ll take it any day!

This project was so super fun for me, I loved every part of it (especially smelling my first load of towels washed with my lavender laundry detergent-yum). I think this would be a cute gift if you could find pretty bottles and maybe print your labels online- maybe for a new mom who wants non-toxic cleaners? Or a grandparent who is sensitive to smelly sprays at home? Anyway I haven’t had a chance to try every cleaner, but I did use the All Purpose spray in the kitchen and I’m thrilled to report it easily handles tea stains on the counter and it smells magical. I’ll be truthful about the rest of the cleaners as I use them. Cross my heart.

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Wedding List Update

We’ve made a bit of progress on our wedding list. Thank God. Weddings are never quite as easy as you think they’ll be, are they? Lucky for me I have some awesome women (and my man) helping me out! Updates are in blue.

The List

Construct a menu (we’re thinking Chicken and Dumplings [our fave], Gram’s Macaroni and Cheese, Greens, Sweet Potato Casserole, and Cornbread Muffins )Save wine bottles to serve all drinks out of (a la YHL) (drinks are water, sweet tea, un-sweet tea, and sangria)After a meeting with my future MIL, we nailed down the menu, where food is coming from, costs, and who is bringing what. Just figuring all of that out is a huge relief. We also decided to scrap the cupcakes we were going to have for our “wedding cake” and instead bake mini pumpkin and apple pies in mason jars (much more in the theme of the wedding).

Paint the Exterior of the House
– Re-screen the back porch & replace or fix the screen doors
We started on this project and got a few panels completed on the back porch (thanks, Dad!), but this is definitely still a work in progress.
– Add privacy fencing along the front edge of the back yard
After lots of talks about fencing options and what we want for the long haul, we’ve decided to scrap this particular item on the list. Fencing is astronomical these days and our yard is huge and costly to fence (even though we want less than 1/4 of the total yard fenced). This isn’t a necessity for the wedding, so we’re going to watch for deals while planning to skip the fencing.

– Lay a walkway from the back of the house to the Oak Tree
We’re researching the heck out of this. We both love the look of slate stones, particularly in the autumn hue (seen here). Again, this stuff is super expensive and we need roughly 300 square feet to complete the walkway, so we’re still pricing and weighing our options. We thought about buying concrete pavers, laying the path, then staining the concrete a chocolate brown color. We’re still looking, but we’re pretty sure we want to lay out the cash and invest in the walkway (So I don’t walk down to say “I do” in the dirt- although I’m not above that at all).
Plant some trees
– Remove tons (literally, tons) of garbage from previous owners
– Pressure Wash the Shed and the front walkway/driveway
We’re waiting until closer to the big day…
– Pressure Wash the back porch floor
Ditto
– Order my freaking wedding dress from China (what?)
Yay I ordered it! Finally, and I’m cutting it awfully close here. It’s been 11 business days since I placed the order, and the site says it’ll be (usually) 16-23 business days until I receive the dress. Hopefully that puts it coming in NEXT WEEK!! I’m having nightmares that it won’t fit, but hopefully it’s perfect. If not, well, I’ll drop to the floor and cry.
– Figure out how to DIY my invitations
More on this later, but I totally have this under control. I’ve actually had the design done for a long time, but I recently grabbed the textured paper I wanted from JoAnn’s and some envelopes, so now all I need are stamps. This makes it feel very, very real.
– Schedule lawn maintenance week of wedding
We’re waiting until a bit closer to the date to do this
– Schedule mosquito spray (that I snagged for $25 on Groupon) for week of wedding– ditto
– Order the thumb print guestbook I want from Etsy
My awesome future sister in law found a downloadable print just like the guestbook I wanted from Etsy, but this one is 100% FREE! What a score! I’ve got it downloaded, now I need to find some paper and get it printed out and ready for the wedding. I am UBER happy about this find, thanks Emily 1.0!!
– Get the kids’ outfits bought/in line/ordered/ whatever
Progress! We found Eleven a dress that she adores, and we’re narrowing down shoes. I have to wait until closer to the date to get Five’s clothes since he’s growing like a freaking weed all the time. I swear he grows an inch every time I see him. He can reach all of his dresser drawers now (sniffle).
Buy stringed bulb lights for the reception area (our back porch- it’s huge)
Borrow 8′ tables

– Clean, de-label, and re-label all wine bottles for receptions drinks
I am weirdly intimidated by this project (even though I already purchased a huge bottle of goo-gone). I need to get a move on though, time’s ticking.
– Buy fabric to make a huge table cloth/runner
Done! I went to JoAnn’s and used a coupon and got all of the burlap I wanted to do my runners for $20 woooot.
– Construct huge table cloth/runner
Uhhh…this isn’t done yet.
– DIY Flowers/Candle decorations w/ Mason jars
I have all the materials together to make this stuff, I’m planning on using it for centerpieces and decorations all over the place.
Purchase serving ware/eating ware (?) from IKEA – donate what we don’t keep as a tax write off
– Rent chairs for the reception dinner
Oh crap I meant to do this last week! But I ended up being out of town for work. I did call the rental place and find out that I’ll only have to put a $30 deposit down for the chairs, woooot.
– Purchase bales of hay for guests to sit on for the ceremony (the short, short ceremony)
Um, guys, you won’t believe this, but I found someone to DONATE the hay bales. He’s going to let me borrow them for F-R-E-E. I don’t even know how to thank people like that. I mean, how lame is it to give them a gift card? This person is a total stranger, I saw a sign in his yard for hay bales and I called him. I told him I was having a wedding and I needed about 16-17 bales for the ceremony, and he said, “Honey, you can have them!” Have means borrow, but hey that’s the same thing when it comes to money. He’s saving me over $200, and I’m still totally pinching myself.
– Find someone to officiate
Still pretty lost on this one.
– Find a photographer (stressssssful)
Oh. My. Gosh. Travis found me my soulmate of photographers. Her name is Ellie and she. is. amazing. She’s a fellow FSC graduate and she is so sweet. I feel very very fortunate to have her at the wedding (she’s also doing an engagement shoot for us in September!)

So, that’s a lot of progress, right? I’m feeling better about things, and oddly enough, Travis has been so super helpful. It’s not odd that he’s being helpful, he’s always helpful, it’s just that guys don’t usually do wedding stuff, do they? I don’t really know. I do know that I feel pretty lucky. Pretty, and lucky. haha.


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Some Happy Things

In this little blog of life, I talk a lot about home improvement and our crazy ways. Sometimes I think it’s nice to focus on a few other things, and since I am the queen of this particular blog, here are some gratuitous family pictures.

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Me and Five doing some swimming.

There’s been a new development: he is now going underwater and holding his breath.

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And he is all boy.

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Our chalkboard wall is still getting a ton of use.

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Lest you think I am the one doing all that artsy-fartsy stuff, let me blow Travis’ cover and tell you that it’s him.

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My mom had a birthday! We had some delicious food and laughed a lot. I love this picture of them.

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This is my favorite picture of me and Eleven. She is growing into herself, learning about making decisions based on her personal convictions, and learning about relationships. She is way less awkward than I was at her age, and it’s possible that she is less awkward than I am now. She’s starting middle school this month, and she’s going to hear a lot of stuff about life while she’s there. Lots of words that aren’t OK yet, lots of topics that are still uncomfortable. And there is not a doubt in my mind that she is going to be fine.

Also, notice how she’s almost as tall as I am now? That’s a thing. And we officially can’t share shoes anymore. Isn’t there something you can give kids to get them to stop growing so darn fast?

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The Proverbial Gold Mine

Friends, Neighbors, Countrymen- lend me your ears.

Get some awesome furniture and feed some hungry people at Children’s Care Outreach Furniture Warehouse.

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Children’s Care Outreach gets furniture from big name stores like Ashley and Haverty’s, and they sell it for 25% on the retail price. This furniture is usually perfect. If someone orders a piece shipped to the store to pick up later and they never show up for their furniture, this furniture warehouse buys it at a discount rate and sells it for next to NOTHING. And they have everything.

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Leather Living Room Sets.

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Dining Room Tables (usually they have chairs to match)

Check out this granite kitchen island:

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It has two drawers and a wine rack built in and it’s going for $300.00 here people!

They have chairs, and beds, and mattresses:

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See this area full of leather couches? They are lined up all the way to the back wall. They have a recliner on each end.

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Those leather couches are brand new, undamaged, and selling for $275 each.

And sectionals galore….remember how I hinted about another major purchase in this post?

Now I’m just typing words to make you scroll.

words.

words

words.

words.

more words.

and empty spaces in between more words.

TADA!!

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That sassy chocolate brown sectional came home with us last week (pics to come, we’re still figuring her out)! It’s a 7 piece leather sectional (5 couch pieces and 2 ottomans). Each piece is finished on all sides, so they can be arranged in any combination, perfect for holidays, parties, and family movie nights. This baby retails for $3300.00, and we took her home for 25% of that. Can you do the math?

Yes folks, we paid $825.00 for 7 pieces of leather. That’s just under $120 per piece if you’re a numbers nerd like me. And the best part is the money is going to feed local families.

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The guy in the picture above is Tony, and he’s the brains behind this operation, and he’s also one of the nicest people I’ve met in a long time. If you have a certain something in mind that you’re looking for, like a pub table for example, Tony will take down your name, number, and that you’re looking for a pub table and he’ll give you a call when it comes in. So basically if you’re patient you can find exactly what you’re looking for at 1/4 of the cost. Tony doesn’t get to order customs though, his inventory is always a surprise to even him as he gets whatever the stores are selling. Currently they’re feeding around 1,500 families a month with proceeds from the warehouse.

Here’s another picture of the entrance, because it’s in a difficult location (almost impossible to tell someone where it is).

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Children’s Care Outreach Furniture Warehouse
Winter Haven, Florida – On Spirit Lake Road (across from Sweet’s Paint- the warehouse is situated behind the 7-11 on Recker Hwy)
Hours (according to signage) Wednesday 9 AM- 3PM, Saturday 9AM-3PM

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Let’s Dish, Part II

Our dishwasher has rinsed it’s last, and we had to grab a new one. We found our dream model on clearance so we grabbed her and brought her home (see more in Let’s Dish, Part I). Now we’re ripping out our old dishwasher and installing the new one ourselves.

Google “how to replace a dishwasher” and you’ll get tons of videos, step by step directions, and a list of tools you’ll possibly need. Travis and I each watched some videos independently of each other, so when we converged to install the new dishwasher we were like a super fountain of knowledge (’cause if you see it on the internet, it’s true, right?).

According to everyone in the world, it’s not difficult at all.

Let me outline the steps for you here:

1. Turn off electricity and shut the water line.
2. Disconnect electricity, drain hose, and hot water line from old unit.
3. Unscrew old unit from under the counter lip (ours was already hanging there precariously).
4. Yank the old unit out.
5. Reconnect all of the above stuff on the new unit.
6. Shove the new unit in.
7. Revel in your handyman-ship and wash some dishes.

Here are some tools you might need:

1. Levels
2. A screw driver (flat and phillips)
3. Lots of towels and paper towels
4. Wrenches (an auto fit wrench would be your best bet- I don’t know the technical term for those)
5. Pliers
6. Some plastic bowls to catch drips
7. Flashlights
8. A full tank of gas for Lowes trips (we had 4 total for this project)

If you’ve never had the pleasure of seeing the dark underbelly of your dishwasher, brace yourself. It is a sexy, sexy place.

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We followed the steps to remove the old dishwasher and it wasn’t that painful. The most difficult part was figuring out what size wrench to use on the hot water line (henceforth referred to as the copper piping), and which valve under the sink actually turned off the line that went to the dishwasher (we have something like 5 water lines going different directions under there).

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Once the correct water valve was off (righty tighty, lefty loosey), we disconnected the pipe under the dishwasher. See how it connects to that little 90 degree elbow piece?

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FYI, you’ll want to check your new dishwasher to see if it comes standard with that 90 degree piece. Ours did not.

Anyway, we unscrewed the copper pipe (the hot water line) from that 90 degree elbow piece with a towel underneath to catch the water that was still in the line. Again, make sure the power for the dishwasher is flipped off in your breaker box, since water and electricity don’t mix very well.

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You can see in the bottom right of the pic above the electrical wires that are disconnected. That’s not difficult to do, but I am not an expert so if you’re intimidated, do what we do: call your dad.

Next we disconnected the drain hose (you have to do this on both ends, one is under the sink and the other is under the dishwasher). We had a plastic pitcher under the sink ready to catch the water from inside the drain hose.

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Now the dishwasher was ready to be “yanked out” (the technical term), and we had the perfect helper on hand:

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Who wouldn’t want Coleman the Wonder Dog to help with dishwasher demo? He is a great pal, ready to steal the food off of your plate give you the fur off his back.

Here’s my precious the new dishwasher getting ready to go in.

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For anyone else who’s OCD like I am, let me just show you the biggest stress of the entire event, the State of the Kitchen.

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It was a disaster the whole time, with tools and dirty dishes everywhere. At one point I was going to wash all the dirty ones by hand and get them out of the way, but we had all of the water valves shut off under the sink because we are dumb we weren’t sure which was which and I just gave up.

I don’t have any pictures of us shoving the new washing machine in the hole– that required all four of our hands at once. I will tell you this: leveling the feet of the dishwasher is very important, but you have to time that part just right because first you have to get it partially under the counter. In other words, if you unscrew the feet to make it level before you install it, it will be too tall to maneuver in the space. We got the dishwasher into the hole, then Trav lifted up while I unscrewed the feet to level it out.

Ok here’s where it got nasty. Once we got the washer in place we saw that it didn’t have the 90 degree elbow piece, and we couldn’t get the old one off of the old dishwasher to use, so, we took our first trip to Lowes to grab one. We came home and Travis attached it to the new dishwasher, then we reattached the copper pipe to the elbow, and guess what? It leaked. But not the part where you screw it on, it was leaking on the pipe. Yikers.

We played around with this for a while doing lots of tests (which included Travis getting soaked) and we just couldn’t get the leak to quit. It was a slow leak, but we had no intention of leaving it there. We were concerned we would have to replace the copper piping, but then we called our friend Luke (mentioned here) and he told us about this braided metal piping stuff. He said we could get a small piece to connect the copper pipe to the elbow and it would take some of the tension off of both, and our leak situation would probably be fixed.

So we took trip 2 to Lowes and grabbed one. Here it is installed.

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Success. We are done! All that’s left to do is reconnect the drain hose under the sink, and wire the sucker. I had visions of clean plates dancing in my head.

Travis got all of the electrical wired in and we leveled everything. It was looking good. Then, we noticed something. Something awful.

The copper pipe, the thing we just fixed the leak on…it was leaking again, but on the other end. The end under the sink.

Imagine the swearing.

But, we do our best work under pressure. As we considered calling in a professional to re-install the copper plumbing, Travis had a brainstorm. That little braided metal rope, it was working perfectly. Why couldn’t we just buy 8 of them and stick them all together? Or do they make one long piece? We had no idea, but this little ray of hope excited us enough to make us hop back in the car for Lowes trip number 3 at 7 pm, a mere 8 hours after this project had started.

We have very sophisticated list systems. For example, we needed some wood screws so we could screw the dishwasher into the bottom of the countertop (they all come with brackets for this), but our screws were too long, so I laid the screw on our list and drew a line so we’d know what size to get.

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Then in the plumbing section, the heavens opened up and the angels sang.

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An 8 foot dishwasher connector would work perfectly. And, notice anything? It COMES WITH the 90 degree elbow that we went to grab on our first trip to Lowes. If only we hadn’t been so naive. If only we’d had some guidance. If only I could find some Taco Bell.

So we left Lowes feeling pretty confident and slightly delirious. Travis saw a magazine and grabbed it after a headline caught his eye about dishwasher reviews, and wouldn’t you know our very model was in the top 10 (number 8, in fact). I felt pretty darn good that we’d snagged a top 10 review for such a deal. This was just the morale boost we needed.

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And it was great that we had a morale boost, because this project was not over yet. We were now going to use the 8 foot braided hose to bypass the copper altogether, but we didn’t know if there was a hole big enough in the counter to allow us to run the metal hose under the dishwasher. The new washer was already leveled, the electricity and drain hose were both hooked up, and Travis reeeaalllly didn’t want to have to unhook all of those things and pull the dishwasher out to drill a hole in the counter to run the new hose. Are you with me? We needed a lucky break. And we got one.

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The existing hole for the copper pipe was almost big enough to run the metal hose through too, but not quite, so Travis used a kitchen knife (aren’t we classy) to widen the hole a bit without damaging the brand new perfect dishwasher just on the other side of the wall. Once he got it through, I used my super long skinny arms (go go gadget arms!) to reach under to the very back of the dishwasher and pull the hose forward. And after a few tense moments, I finally got it out. And oh the joy, people. We could see the light at the end of the dishwashing tunnel.

From this point we simply attached both ends of the metal hose, one end to the water valve and the other end to the dishwasher. We crossed our fingers, turned the water on, and guess what?

NO LEAKS.

(victory dance)

We used the patented “paper towel test” while we ran a cycle of dishes, just to make sure we weren’t missing anything. We didn’t install the kick plate at the bottom of the dishwasher until the next day, because I checked under the dish washer obsessively every 10 minutes during the first load, watching for leaks. I’m ecstatic to report there were no leaks, and we didn’t have to replace any copper pipes since we’d bypassed them completely. The icing on the cake was that the 8′ metal supply hose was only $16.98, and I can only imagine how much it would’ve been to replace the copper pipe. What a relief.

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So that’s how we installed our new dishwasher and conquered the world. It was a sweet, sweet, victory my friends. And now you can come eat at our house without fear of leftover food stuck to your fork.

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