newhomemastershowerreno

New Home Master Shower Renovation

At the end of 2019, we bought our first home and I think we were exceptionally lucky with the near perfect purchase. (Honestly our amazing realtor Mark did that!) It was basically a new build, within the first 5 years, and had no major damage or repairs. We love our home so much, but we initially knew that we would do some small upgrades or changes. We’ve only done a few smaller things, but it has made a huge difference in our day to day living.

Have you ever wanted to redo or remodel something in your house? What was your experience like? Keep reading to find out how ours went and what a huge daily change in our life it was!

Slight Issue with the Shower

When we first moved into this house, the inspector said the only slight issue was a tiny corner of the shower where it looked like there might be some leaking. We instantly knew from the size of the interior of it that we would like to remodel and extend the footprint. Our realtor has many connections with his professional contacts and with his own bathroom and kitchen remodel. I reached out to one or two of his connections to discuss our ideas and plan our dream shower. We decided to get a quote from Columbia River Tile and Stone and worked with Jeff and his team.

Starting Our Master Bathroom Renovation

They came the very first day and measured the shower surrounding. Jeff asked us about our preferences for tile texture, style and size, as well as grout color and what style doors we may want. One of the first things they told me was the hours of work they would need to stick to the schedule. They needed to start work between 6am and 9am every day (not weekends) until 5pm every time. I was to put down a third deposit payment, then pay for the tile once we had chosen it. Then, the final amount was due upon completion.

Shower Before

Demolition Time

They started literally the next day! I welcomed them in bright and early. They entered and laid down drop cloths so they didn’t track any dirt or debris through the house. It was fantastic. We had the first day or two. Then, we were expected to get our new puppy which would put a wrench in things because we would need to watch her closely. It was a loud couple of first days with them tearing down the faux tile, cutting and pulling away material and breaking through the sheetrock. It came down within a few days though, quicker than I thought.

The second day I walked in to check progress on the demolition of the shower base and walls. When I asked about how everything looked, he said “It was put up very half-assed and cheaply done in a quick fashion.” It came apart in large pieces and was not hard to remove. Luckily there was no water damage. I was not surprised though by this being a home among many homes in a development that is still growing, virtually all homes being copies of each other. I’m sure it wasn’t put up with the best of time and quality.

Plumbing Work

Secondly, the base of the shower was torn up and they took the drain apart. The base was replaced with Wedi system and the floor structure of the shower was redone to prevent leaks and create a better foundation, where there wasn’t one before. I met with the plumber at this point in the construction. They came and measured as well, a day before, and asked us about fixtures and what style faucet we wanted. He told us about how he remodeled his own bathroom/shower and chose a personalized Delta fixture, with adjustable pressure and temperature. That was also a main problem of ours. The plumber was very nice as well and he came back about a week later, before they tiled to install the showerhead and temperature valve with lever handle.

Sheetrock and Walls

The tile workers replaced the sheetrock and got the new wood tile ready to mud and affix to the new walls. They began to tile from 7am in the morning and worked all the way until 5pm for two days. I was a bit shocked that there wasn’t more noise, but it was a relatively quiet process. The difference in the look of the tile getting on the walls was incredible! It transformed the whole space.

We chose a grey wood texture tile that is wider than most. I’d say it’s maybe 6 inches wide. It was laid horizontally staggered all the way up the wall to the ceiling. The following day we picked grout color, in a couple of different shades of grey to match and blend with the tile color. The grout had to dry for 48 hours before we could use the shower at all. We impatiently waited the 48 hours for things to properly dry and set. However, we used a shower curtain rod from the other room just as soon as we could to test the shower.

Using Our New Shower

OH MY GOSH! It was heaven and so worth it. The space was a huge difference and made it feel so luxurious. The new Delta shower head was glorious and gave me a spa-like atmosphere. It was just as hot as I needed it to be and the pressure was easily adjustable.

Shower Doors

About a week later, after using the shower a couple of times, the shower doors were measured. We had a couple of options to choose from and found out what we didn’t want right away. (A swinging shower door on hinges, to cut into the bathroom floor plan). After a short discussion, we decided to go with a door on rollers attached by the top with seals on the bottom to block any water from leaking out post-shower. I opted for a special coating on the doors to protect them from scratches, water stains and overall residue. All we have to do is squeegee them down after every shower and they stay like new for years to come.

The doors were ordered and came in about five days later. I had paid half upfront and then the rest at install/completion. They were gorgeous and went up without much of a hitch. Although the door installers did have the wrong size slider, so the manager had to go replace and find the right measured one to use for this project. It was a funny ha-ha moment and didn’t take much time out of our day. I was so grateful.

Shower with the new doors

Again, we had to wait 24 hours for the sealant to set but after that was done, we were free to enjoy our completed, brand new, beautiful, semi-custom, spa-like master shower.

7 Reasons to Start a Blog This Winter

The dark, cold days of winter are here. If winter usually makes you go a little stir crazy from being cooped up inside, you might be looking for ideas to keep you busy. One idea you might want to consider is starting a blog this winter.

Blogs are a great way to share things you are passionate about or even to share about your life. They can be started for fun, for business or for many reasons in between. I use this blog to share my experiences with others and hopefully inspire them or help them improve their outlook. This blog has been a positive way for me to do that. So I wanted to share some reasons why you should start your own blog here.

Blogging gives you a voice

When you can’t visit people in person as much as you used to, a blog can give you a way to communicate with the outside world without leaving the house. It gives you a voice to tell your story as well. We all want to be heard and a blog is one way to get heard by people who relate to what you’re sharing.

Blogging gives you a sense of community

The comments you get on your blog posts can help you feel that sense of community you may be missing out on at home. You build relationships with people by sharing about your life or experiences, but there are also communities online for bloggers that can give you a sense of belonging. I’m in a few on Facebook and have met other bloggers throughout the years that I’ve become close to. Blogging is how I met many different people and those people have been very impactful in my blog and biz life. They encourage, uplift and support me when I need it the most.

Blogging gives you a creative outlet

A blog gives you an outlet for your own creativity. The more creativity you use, the more creativity you will have. You get to play around with words, as well as see what your readers want to read the most or what topic you like to share about the most. It gives your brain something to think about too, so that your creativity has somewhere to flow.

You can make a difference in others lives

Sharing your experiences, opinions or memories can help your readers realize they’re not alone. I really love inspiring and influencing people through my blog and I appreciate those who take the time to read it. I hope that I am helping you all.

Blogging is a fun place to save or share memories

Blogging can be positive, fun and light. Learning how to do something new, like the tech side of blogging, can be a positive thing for you. It can be challenging, but also a lot of fun. Sometimes life passes us by so quickly that we don’t take the time to really think about the memories we are making. A blog is a wonderful place to share memories that you can come back to later.

Blogging can be low cost to start

Blogs are relatively low cost to start. And you can even start a free version if you aren’t able to pay to start one. There are less options on free versions, but they are great for getting started. You don’t have to get a bunch of fancy equipment or plug-ins to start a blog. If you start a blog as a hobby, you can always turn it into a business later too.

Blogging is your little piece of the internet

Unlike social media, you aren’t as censored on your own blog. You have more control over what you post. In a way, it’s like your little piece of the internet to share things you might not be able to on a social media site.

A blog is a great space for you to share what you love and do more of what you want. Do you think you’ll start a blog this winter? Please leave a comment down below to tell me what kind of blog you would like to start or one thing you struggle with during winter time.

Word of the Year: Intention

Last year, my word was Growth. I thought it was Consistency, but I think I slayed both of those words! When I chose my word for this year, consistency stuck but also how purposeful and meaningful each action should be. Hence, I chose Intention for 2021. Then, a few days and a Facebook ad later, I chose a necklace with my word of the year on it. I knew it would be powerful to wear it on me like a symbol and be able to look at it every day to move me forward.

How Growth Shaped My Year in 2020

In a personal sense, I contacted a therapist and I’ve been working with them for a couple of months now. I knew my mental health needed some assistance, so I’m pleased I did that for myself.

I have also grown in the sense of social circles and cutting out unhealthy people and toxic relationships. Although I had been trying to do this over the past several years, I was much more diligent about it this time and taking action was so much more necessary.

My responsibilities have grown and evolved into an actionable plan that makes sense for me and our life. We got a new puppy this year too, which added to the stress and growth of my responsibilities.

Professionally, I grew and adapted my blog into something I’m really proud of. At the beginning of the year, I had it designed by my friend Raewyn. After further thought and living with it, it didn’t feel right to me. So a couple of months later, I enlisted the help of Allie and remodeled the whole thing from top to bottom and created a very custom look.

Throughout the year, I also learned that growth can be slow moving and still be a productive process in the end. It takes patience to see what will become of it.

Intention for 2021

The definition of Intention is “a thing intended, an aim or plan.” Last year we weren’t able to do much of that at all.

Intention strikes home with me because it is to do all things with a purpose, plan and positive result in mind, to create change or improve someones’ situation. That is what I aim to do, is help someones’ outlook or perspective on a tough time. Doing each task with a purpose and a meaning is what I’m working at. Last year, nothing was predictable or planned. Our whole lives went haywire and no one could get a grasp on anything. It really affected my day to day schedule, functions and what I expected of myself and others.

This month, I am beginning with having intention with our finances. I’m working on a No Spend January (post after to explain how it goes). It hasn’t been perfect, but I am realizing that I can wait for certain things or replace some things with others that are more pressing or important right now.

I also want to use my time much more intentionally this year. My plan for doing this is by making a schedule or time blocking. I will be working on planning my days and weeks ahead of time.

I am aiming to apply intentionality to each of the seven dimensions of wellbeing: Physical, Emotional, Spiritual, Intellectual, Financial, Career and Social. Seven months to really indoctrinate what I can into each area for embodying Intention as my word.

What was your word for 2020? Do you feel like it shaped your year? Have you chosen a word for 2021? I would love to hear what it is in the comments if you have!

Reflections of 2020: Recap, Lessons and Growth

As 2020 comes to a close, I wanted to reflect on the year. It was a big year for many of us, in many different ways. There was good, bad and lots of in between this year. A lot of things happened and I want to share with you a recap of my year, as well as lessons I learned and growth that has been made in my life. I invite you to do the same for your year too. This is the perfect time to do it. If you feel it was a bad year for you, try to find the silver linings. There is always some good.

What happened this year

First off, expect the unexpected. Don’t take ANYTHING for granted. It’s so easy to continue to do. March and April brought an apocalyptic type feeling, everything was empty, no people, almost no hope, crazy riots and things with society kept going downhill. And there was no toilet paper to be found anywhere!

We brought in roommates in February and I’m glad we did because we had a great time most of the year with friends. May was mainly my birthday and not much else, the start of the HOT weather. We had a gathering just us four and they made me feel special with cake and presents and we just hung out. It was perfect. In June, we had Sean’s birthday, which we did nothing for (he didn’t want to) and Stephanie’s birthday, which we celebrated by having a nice dinner all together and just celebrated her. She had a family celebration too and did her own thing with Dillen, her husband.

July and August were a whirlwind, I don’t remember much except more hot weather, lots of boredom, trying to be safe and get out of the stir-crazy house. Finally, September came with our anniversary, word of our puppies’ arrival and then the marker of losing my dad 18 years ago. That was hard and wild, and I didn’t know what to think about it. I got into counseling soon after. I’ve been in for about 2-3 months now. I missed a few appts, but I feel like it’s the best move for 2020 regardless.

October started with roommates moving out (that was hard) and then Halloween, which was simple yet fun with his parents and the kids in the new neighborhood. In November, the numbers for COVID jumped up again and everyone was on alert. The only thing I could think about was picking up our puppy as a distraction from this whole year and then of course Thanksgiving.

And now in December, it feels like we almost never would have arrived, and here we are. It’s been the weirdest first year in our house but hey, I guess that’s unforgettable! We had a few big purchases this year too, which made things not so boring as well. One was our treadmill with a video screen and classes on demand. We had to replace and re-order a new fridge because the old one was leaking from the ice machine not working properly. And finally, our shower remodel. That was even better than expected! I loved showers before as a means of self-care, but now… WOW, I really love spending time relaxing in there!

Lessons of 2020:

•be proactive with people.
•use your head and your heart.
•the simplest things can create joy.
•communication is 110% important.
•your health is VITAL, be cautious but don’t be paranoid.
•if you don’t feel right, say something, speak up.
•sometimes things aren’t super exciting and that’s okay.
•three things no one should discuss: politics, religion and race/sex.
•just LOVE people, love their differences, it’s not that hard. Why do differences matter so much?!
•if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.
•new friends come at the most unexpected times.
•family ISN’T blood. PERIOD. Not for everyone anyway…
•quit living in the what if, when mentality. Go do it! (When it’s safe of course!)
•always say I love you and goodbye, and hug as often as you can.

Glancing back, moving forward

I grew a lot this year! After getting our own house, I finally feel like I’m an actual adult with real important things, like a Will and important legal things, property taxes, etc. I think for the first time in a while I saw my flaws and I’m trying to work on them, while also trying to better myself, for myself, by myself.

I learned as a pet parent that it takes a LOAD of responsibility and patience. We love this puppy so so much but she’s been a challenge and she’s a GOOD puppy too, but it’s been hard.

The other night I had a moment of bonding with my best friend. I think I just didn’t think I was valued as much as I am. I don’t often think about how people see me or interact with me. But knowing that I’ve done my job as a friend and impacted her and made her feel good this whole year has really brightened our friendship. It was amazing to hear that. It is a deep connection and I never want to lose it with her.

As far as blogging goes, I am really proud. I did so good most of the year! Consistency is sticking through! I followed my vision and made the blog what I wanted. Now I feel like with Pam’s help, I have a drive and a passion like never before!! I want it to be quality. I want to be proud to share it and offer value, of course, that people truly care about. She has helped me with my whole backend and vision in the grand scheme- it’s opened my eyes to how much is involved really.

In our marriage, I think we are closer and learning how to be as one a bit better than we have been. It’s like we were on autopilot, and hey, I don’t wanna be on autopilot! Neither of us deserve that. So, it’s a work in progress but celebrating 11 years isn’t anything to laugh at! We are still very much in love and will continue to support each other in all of our endeavors.

The year has been a big one in many different ways, both on a personal and global level. What big things have happened in your life this year? What are some lessons you’ve learned or growth you feel you have made this year? I would love to hear about your year in the comments!

Hi! I'm Nora

I’m a stay-at-home wife & dog-mom. I began this blog ten years ago,  I couldn’t ignore that I felt a calling to help people find comfort, a sense of belonging or a place of community whenever they really needed it. » Read more about me here on my About page!

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