Thursday, August 30, 2012

That Giant Return Air Vent, Part III

*See Part I  and Part II if you are so inclined.

     My PM has spoken with the head dude in charge at Crown, who reports he has the famous 5 inch pleated filter in his own house. (Merv 10) Especially for our allergies, this is a good thing. You have to keep it maintained, though. They say to change it out every six months or so. My plan will be to check it monthly, when I replace the one in the basement. The basement filter should then be the cheapie one inch fiber filter with a screen backing. You can see through them and they are blue or green fiberglass-like mesh. It needs to be replaced monthly.

Big filter in the giant return air vent: Big honkin' Merv 10 pleated 5 inch filter. But keep it clean, kids. 

Basement filter: Cheapie 1 inch filter, changed monthly. ours is 16x25x1. 

This Is Why I Don't Do Ballet




This would have been my on my best day.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

That Giant Return Air Vent, Part II

     I have heard from my PM regarding the giant return air vent in the house. (See the post here) I am not sure if I am remembering everything he said about it, but here are the (paraphrased) highlights:

1. The filter is required for energy star requirements. (Now that I know this, I can't imagine it was causing my system to work harder. Right? I mean energy star requirements are so you use less energy, right? Please correct me if you know something different. This is my understanding.)
2. The big downstairs filter should not be causing trouble for my son's bedroom. Maybe if it's super dirty, but otherwise, no. (This makes sense too, because really? That big filter managed to target my son's room? Why did I allow myself to find this as a logical explanation?) 

So, Ryan Homes probably doesn't want ya'll reading my blog and taking out all of your filters willy-nilly, messing up your heating and air systems, and causing problems. 

That's all I know for now. I'll keep you updated if I learn anything else. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

That Giant Return Air Vent

     If you built a house with Ryan Homes you undoubtedly have that giant return air vent on the first floor somewhere. It could be a portal to... use your imagination. When I was cleaning things a week or so ago I noticed mine had a bunch of dust on the vents. Gross. Then, upon further inspection, I saw it had a filter in it, too. Nobody had ever mentioned this filter to us. I thought it was like all the other return air vents except huge. The filter was totally unexpected. So when the HVAC guy was here the other day doing to adjustments to our zone system I asked him about that filter and how often I should change it, etc.

     The HVAC guy, who was from Crown Heating and Cooling, told me there should not be two filters in the house. He took that one out - it wasn't a half inch filter, or a one inch filter, but, get this... it was a five inch filter. With pleats. Apparently, pleated filters are bad. Especially five inch pleated filters. Of course I had to ask him why we were given one if they are so bad for the system. He said because without it, when you sit in that room, it's noisier when the system is running, because you can hear the air moving. Which is because more air is moving. So, basically, you are partly disabling your system with that giant, noise-blocking filter. Great! I wonder how much harder our unit worked this summer to keep us cool and how much extra we paid for it?

     I'll be asking my PM about this, because there may have been a reason for the giant, five inch thick filter in the front room, right? Crown did install the system, after all. I'll keep you posted.

P.S. You might want to check that filter because we moved in our house in February, and our five in filter was lousy with filth. Really, really, really gross.

Update:  Here

Friday, August 24, 2012

New Laws I Would Enact Given Just a Lick of Power

     As you drive into a car dealership to actually purchase a car there would have to be a little window where they take your order. Because you will be there when it is time for your next meal. Even if you already talked to the dudes who you already bought a car from just last month and you have it narrowed down to two cars. Because car salesmen are trying to put you on an involuntary diet.

     I am reminded of this because I just took my mother to buy her car on Tuesday. After buying a car from the same guy/s last month for our family, I thought I could make it fairly painless. I called the car salesman. We'll call him "Chris" because that's his real name. What does he need protection from? My involuntary diet class action lawsuit? Maybe. Would anyone like to flesh this out with me?

     I told him we wanted Cary Y. He asked why we didn't want car X if we were interested in car Y. We agreed he would have both cars ready for us the next morning.

     On the way to the dealership we made a pit stop. During our stop I told my mother I thought we should buy some amazing snacks- the kind that make people jealous of your snack. My plan was each time someone got up from a desk or otherwise left us unattended we would rip into another delicious snack food item. I don't know why she looked at me the way she did. I could tell she wasn't on board. (This is why I'm not giving her first dibs on the class action lawsuit, she just doesn't know a great idea when she hears one.)

     Several hours into our car buying ordeal we were both hungry, thirsty, and because we were right beneath an air conditioning blaster, freezing. Chris actually asked us if we wanted him to order a pizza,  but when I hastily agreed he didn't make a move for a phone, so I guess he was joking. Probably because he heard our stomachs growl. Who knows? When he left again I reminded my mother we could have been having jealousy-inducing snacks. When we finally got out of there and I got home I told my husband I was starving and  fell exhausted into a heap on my bed. It was pathetic. 

     When my new law is passed we will not starve in car dealerships ever again.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

FYI: Ryan Homes Bruce/Armstrong Hardwood Floors

 Just a quick FYI: 

     If you are building your Ryan home and getting (or considering) hardwoods you can go to Home Depot pick up a free sample of the flooring. They have at least a couple different sizes. They are right at the hardwood display, so you don't have to pry one away from a sales person. There are plenty! I grabbed one of each size, even though I had ordered one through the mail during construction. Because it's nice to have a small piece of my floor to carry around. When our house was under construction I practically slept with the thing under my pillow! It's also good to have if you want to test out a repair or who-knows-what before you do it on your actual floor. 

   You're welcome!

Bakerella Cake Pops Set at Toys R Us

     In other exciting news, Bakerella is coming out with a cake pops set you will be able to buy at Toys R Us  in September! It's like a tea set, but better! I can see lots of kids of all ages getting this for Christmas.

Bakerella Cake Pops Toys - Coming to Toys R Us September 2012!

Bakerella Cake Pops Toy - Sept 2012

Another set in the Bakerella Cake Pops Line at Toys R Us
Coming Sept 2012

Who's with me!?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Stuff You Should See


There are some things around the good old internet I enjoy. And you should, too. So, here are some of them:

Jenny teaches you how to make good choices. She's just a lot hilarious. Also, she has a new book!

The nerve of "some people." (aka Lisa Rosenberg, aka "Bob's mom") Bob is funny. And six.

Erin makes me want to hug her, bake her cupcakes, and take her to the beach.

Everyone knows Ree, right? And she is good at everything. She's so neat.

Here is where I made the favicon for my own little blog. So easy - go get yourself one!

Chip It helps you with colors from any picture anywhere online! It's free from Sherwin Williams.

My flooring guy was here the other day to do some repairs. He told me about the wonderful hardwood floor cleaner made by Bruce. Oh my gosh, what a difference! I was using a Shark Vac then Steam. He practically begged me to not use it on my hardwoods ever again. This floor cleaner is so much easier and better. I'm 100% sold!

I learned about getting a $100 gift card for people who bought a Ryan Home.

If you lose your iPhone you need this. It will help you find it. It will allow you to remotely lock it and put on a passcode. It will, in the unfortunate event it becomes necessary, allow you to wipe all your data from a lost iPhone. 

I found this place and lost track of untold amounts of time. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Murder On The Garage Floor

     I could really cry right now. When I ripped into my paint I mixed up just a little bit at first. Then, after using it and letting it dry, I decided to mix up the rest of the batch. I was so happy, just whizzing along, paintbrush in one hand, Pandora radio blasting out of my back pocket, when it happened... I lifted up one of Dinah's doors to get in her nooks and crannies and I flipped the whole quart of paint right onto the floor.

     I spent the better part of half an hour hosing down the garage and sniffling to myself and feeling sorry for me. Of course I had to get it all over several other things, too. Because I'm super talented. 

     Here's my humiliation: 

Murder On The Garage Floor - My very first quart of Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint.
     Who wants to cry along with me?

Dinah Meets Miss Mustard Seed

Just a little teaser of Dinah with her first spot of Tricycle Red from Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint Line.

I was babysitting for a bit today and when I got home the package was waiting for me. Hooray!
 I immediately changed my clothes and mixed up the first little bit of paint. 
Miss Mustard Seed's Tricycle Red Milk Paint

Did I mention I am excited!?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Coming Soon

  I have a few simple projects in the queue, along with all the other projects lined up in my head. Here is a few of the things which are coming up next:
Glass Window Shelves from: 
An Overmantle for the fireplace: 

Closet Shelves from 

I'll let you know how it goes! I think each of these projects will be fairly simple to do and make me happy. 

Mirror, Mirror

     I am thinking about trying a Mirror Mate in the three main bathrooms. The mirror in the powder room is fine as-is. I am considering the Acadia oil rubbed bronze to match all the bathroom fixtures, but I don't want to over-do it.

Have any of you tried them already? Do you have any suggestions?

If I try it I'll let you know how it worked for me.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Help Wanted: Window Coverings

     With 28 new windows to cover, a girl can spend a lot of money. But not this girl. I do not want to spend a fortune covering windows. I also want my window coverings to be something which will last. So far I have beautiful sheers on them, which I entirely love. They are staying. 

     The thing is, I need something for blocking out the sun sometimes. Not at night - like pictured above, obviously.  Covering twenty-eight windows is no small feat. I have an idea for some of them, which I will be sharing with you as soon as I do it. 

     But for the rest I'm kind of at a loss.  So - what did you find? Anything great? Any great deals? 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Shelves In The Water Closet

     A bunch of us have this, right? A water closet inside our big master bath. Nothing is nearby. No cabinet holds extra rolls of toilet paper, no vanity holds reading material. Anything you need to reach while on the seat is very far from you, so forget about it. I had a little time so I figured I would toss some shelves up behind the toilet.
Water Closet DIY shelves  - super easy!
     Yes, the picture is awful, camera phone, tiny room, blah-blah-blah. But you get the idea. 

  Here is how easy it is. Really, you have no excuse.
  • I bought a couple of boards at Lowes - 1x10 or 1x12, I can't recall. Either will work. 
  • Then I bought some 1x2 for the supports. 
  • I also bought toggle bolts made for drywall - these suckers are going to support whatever we put on them! 
  • Remember to buy the washers you'll need with the toggle bolts, or you'll get another trip to the store, like we did.
  • We cut the 1x2 so it is as long as the shelf  boards are deep
  • We installed the 1x2  boards to the wall with toggle bolts 
  • We sat the boards on top of the supports we had just installed
  • We did not secure the boards to the supports. This way if we need to move them to paint, clean, or do repairs it is easy. 
  • The measurement for our shelves was 31.5 inches. Yours may vary, even in a Ravenna - make sure you measure the front and back of your wall. Chances are the measurements differ a bit. A sander would likely be enough to make the difference in a pinch. 
  • I painted everything with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White. I love the color and it's pretty much a match to the walls. I sanded it down a lot after painting because I love the wood grain showing through. 
  • The only thing I wish I had done, but missed, is giving the screws and washer a quick spray of oil rubbed bronze so it would match the rest of the hardware in the house. 
     So, if you have a couple of hours you can easily have some toilet paper & reading material storage in your little water closet, too. This will also serve as extra towel storage, which our bathroom was sorely lacking.