Skip to main content

Stucco, Tile, and Maybe a Roof. Oh, and a Tractor!

Construction has been delayed (surprise, surprise) for quite some time due to our local utility company, PNM, refusing to do their job. This has meant deep, open trenches and sky-high mountains of dirt blocking the path to our house. No one has been able to do any work, interior or exterior.

Somehow, Sexy Nerd and I still managed to get inside without any trouble. We were even able to move in a long, cumbersome vanity for the guest bathroom, as well as all of the cabinets Sexy Nerd built for my closet (a ton of cabinets...I may have gotten carried away), even though every member of the construction crew was helpless to access the house until PNM arrived. Weird how that works, isn't it?

Not to complain though, because guess what? PNM has finally come and gone and the trenches have been filled!

After
So beautiful.

Before
Ack!
If I'd started with this hideous photo, in typical Before & After fashion, you never would have clicked the link to this kick-@ss blog post. You're welcome.

There's even more good news. After a million years, our house has finally been stuccoed!

Behold, our mountain dream house in all her chocolatey glory.

It's beginning to look like the plan!

Truth be told, it's not the dark, rich brown we'd wanted. Our new HOA wouldn't go for that. (Or so our builder says. They also said "Oh, I haven't gotten you a sample board of the color yet?" and then finally brought one for our approval many weeks later when it was too late to change the color anyway.) After so much waiting though, we'd be happy to have a lime green house.

I bet our Hersheys-colored stucco would seem awesome to the HOA if that had happened.
  
The color complements the tongue-and-groove on the covered patio nicely. Just wait until we install the light fixtures over these and the other exterior windows.

They're all sunshine yellow. The HOA may have overlooked that little detail when they approved our plan.

Oh, and guess what else?

We have a real garage door! Not like that phoney baloney garage door, patched together with scraps, that everyone kept complimenting us on.

I will never trust you people again, BTW. You know who you are, garage door flatterers.

Our interior doors might even be installed soon. See them stacked in the garage, ready to be painted dark blue and put to use? Any moment now.

Actually, our doors have been sitting there for months. Our construction crew is a tease.

Sort of a jerk, too.

Everything related to the construction process ticks me off lately and the tile is no exception. The crew has created little tables out of our tile all over the house. It's not a big deal and I'm sure it's a common practice when laying tile and, really, it's even sort of clever. But I paid more than $6 per square foot for these 8x36" tiles. I didn't buy them to use as a table!

 That said, we're really happy with how the floor is turning out, which is a textured wood-look tile that goes throughout most of the house.

It's Crossville SpeakEasy in Sweet Georgia Brown.

Here it is, all dirty and gross.

Just wait until you see it clean. These photos don't do the tile justice.

While we're on the subject of bad photos, the brick wall in our laughably tall bathroom (literally - people look up and laugh) looks amazing. It's also impossible to photograph.  

Our skylights certainly smile for the camera though.

My closet cabinets? Not so much.

Our kitchen cabinets? Yes...I think. There are upper cabinets coming and I'm still on the fence about how this is going to look. The drawer fronts you see here are all being redone and the island is not installed straight. It's turned the wrong direction too, but I can't decide if I prefer the mistake to what we'd planned. I'm thinking that we can create something decorative for that plain side after we've moved in. I wonder how Sexy Nerd would feel about wallpapering it with a flower mural, like a small scale version of what's in our current dining room.

With dents in the brand-new doors, noticeable seams, and drawers that stick out instead of closing evenly, the quality doesn't seem to be there. These were too expensive to be so crappy! Sexy Nerd insists I just need to be patient though and not judge the kitchen while it's in progress.

Oh, and the cabinet builder measured wrong, so our beautiful, showpiece kitchen sink will not quite be centered with the windows and there's nothing that can be done about it now, otherwise the dishwashers won't fit.

*grumble*

Funny side story: Sexy Nerd built and stored the cabinets for my closet at our current house and whenever someone came over, they were excited to see that we had our kitchen cabinets.

"Those are only for her closet," he'd tell them, sharing a look like Yeah, she got carried away. Again.

I'd sympathize with that Sexy Nerd of mine, but he's just such a good cabinet builder. I'm pretty sure it's fun for him too, regardless of how adamantly he denies this. He'd have built our kitchen cabinets as well if he weren't being such a weenie. "I have a real job. When am I supposed to build an entire kitchen? I need to sleep!" Excuses, excuses.

Oh, and THE WALL has also been taking up a little bit of his time and energy lately.

Behold, a small section of THE WALL.  

Fun Fact #1: In order to pass the final inspection, we need a retaining wall on 3 sides of the house, lest our dream home meander away into a ditch. 
Fun Fact #2: We're both cheapskates.
 Sexy Nerd has been building the wall one rock at a time over the past year. 

Look at him go! Isn't Sexy Nerd the greatest husband ever, roasting under the New Mexico sun while I bask in the glow of Candy Crush in my pajamas, A/C on full blast? After being so perfect, I really couldn't say no to what he wanted last week... 

He's so happy!

I'd have taken more photos, but being smushed to death by my husband's new tractor just seemed like such a terrible way to go. 

Now Sexy Nerd can move rocks all day, every day, with the help of a loud diesel engine. I'm sure the neighbors are thrilled.

Now, onto the roof. Oh, the roof. 
*rolls eyes*

Our roof has been sitting on the ground for quite some time. It was finally supposed to be installed more than a week ago, but the crew ordered the wrong screws.

Yes, you read that right.

GO BUY THE RIGHT SCREWS AND COME INSTALL MY ROOF, YOU %$^%*&%$&#%!!!

It's going to be a rusty metal roof (a relief after you saw these photos, right?) and the screw mix-up has me wondering if this is the first time our roofer has ever done one of these. The panels look terrible right now, partially rusted but mostly shiny silver and gross black. I sure hope they know what they're doing. I guess we'll know when the roof is finally installed. You know, in another 3 years or so.

On Sunday, I gave our new neighbors a break by coaxing Sexy Nerd off his tractor with a picnic lunch. Is it still a picnic lunch if you eat it inside? With no roof, I'm going to go ahead and say yes.

I set up hot dogs with a buffet of toppings in the kitchen and we were extremely careful not to get anything on our cabinets, which don't have a countertop yet...until noticing that the workers have already left coffee rings. I guess it doesn't matter.

Poor little Mini Cooper and Chevy Volt. They want to stay here and live in their new garage, but we always make them drive back to Albuquerque. Will our house ever be done?!

It's going to be so nice one day. Just look at that view! There probably won't even be a dumpster.

Popular Posts from Kitty Deschanel:

Jessner Peel Photos: A Blogger's Before & After Guide to Chemical Peels

A Handy "Before & After" Guide to Chemical Peels - 7/6/18 Update
Since posting my Jessner peel photos, detailing the stages of the process, and writing my chemical peel blog review back in 2013, I've had quite a few Jessner peels (my favorite) and TCA peels. However, I've saved a ton of money over the past 6 months by doing my own chemical peels at home. At my last professional peel, I made a note of the product being used and did some research when I got home. I was able to buy the exact same one, Dermalure Jessner Solution Acid Peel 14%, from Amazon for less than the cost of a single peel. I also use Dermalure's AHA/BHA Acne Cleanser, which I apply before the Jessner. (Side note: There's currently a 1-star review for the at-home peel that complains "I had to deal with days upon days of gross peeling and flakey chunks of skin falling off my face (and I have super oily skin). If I happened to laugh really hard on a particular day or take a big bite ou…

Amerisleep Mattress Reviews

Best Amerisleep Promo Code as of : $200 Off and Free Shipping

My Amerisleep mattress reviews are NOT sponsored. Unlike other "impartial" reviewers out there, we did NOT receive our AS3 bed for free. All of the opinions here are 100% honest and unbiased. My husband, the overly analytical mechanical engineer, was skeptical of a mail order mattress, but he was quickly won over, as you'll see below.


Mattress in a box - the future is here!

6/12/18 Update: We recently moved into a new home and needed a new mattress for our guest bedroom. Of course, we went with Amerisleep again. We put out 6-year-old king AS3 in the guest room and ordered a brand-new Twin XL AS2 and Twin XL AS4 for our master bedroom, thinking we would push them together. Terrible choice! The AS4 was too soft and unsupportive for either of us. We exchanged the two twins for a King AS2, thinking it and the AS3 were so similar that it wasn't worth the extra cost for the AS3. Ack, another poor choice! The AS2 is…

Instant Pot Explosion

While you're here, please be sure to check out my Instant Pot recipes: Creamy Enchilada Rice and Cranberry Oatmeal with Quinoa
We love our Instant Pot, the digital pressure cooker that seems to suddenly be in every home. You can't mess up - just throw in random ingredients and you'll get something yummy every time. It's foolproof. At least, that's how I used to feel about our Instant Pot, until the explosion...

Ack! We just moved in and look what I've already done to my brand new, all-white kitchen!
I tried to re-seal the vent but the pressure was too high to cooperate. I'm honestly not sure what went wrong with this batch of oatmeal. I've made it a million times. The Instant Pot was only about halfway full.

Here is the link to my extra-healthy Super Oatmeal Instant Pot recipe, in case you are curious or a fan of the delicious. It probably won't explode when you make it.
Oatmeal? More like a batch of tasty homemade glue.
 I was bummed that my quic…

Dream Home Dreaming

*Update*
We've finally broken ground on our mountain dream home! Can you believe it? Even more surprising, we actually managed to work a good chunk of this list into our actual design. See below for details.

*Another Update*
We've finished construction and are finally living in our mountain dream home and it's even better than I'd hoped! Here is a sneak-peak of our new kitchen and living room. Click the "Decorating" button above for more photos.

Believe it or not, our budget was meager. Really! My husband built the coffee table from an olive trunk and did the thin brick backsplash himself. Eventually, he's going to take the brick all the way to the top of the ceiling. He also created the three-tier chandeliers (three chandeliers total - yeah, he's pretty great!). 
I was responsible for all of the shopping and decorating decisions and design details and layout. We had the tongue-and-groove installed upside down (rough-side down) with Sherwin Williams H…

Flooring Ideas

Ever since we purchased our 13.1 acre (gotta get credit for that extra 0.1 acre!) lot outside of Albuquerque last year, Sexy Nerd and I have devoted most of our free time to planning our mountain dream home.

We cannot make a decision about anything. At this point, it seems our best option would be to build a row of townhomes, each in a completely different style. On Monday, we would live in our colorful Victorian home, and later in the week we could switch things up in our ultra-contemporary, all concrete house.

Since I can't imagine our neighborhood HOA (or our budget) ever allowing such a thing, we really do need to narrow down our list of ideas.

Flooring is a tough choice. In our current home, we have premium laminate flooring. It stands up well against our rambunctious dogs, but is easily damaged if you unknowingly drip water onto it and let it sit, like by the dog's water bowl and the dishwasher. We also have real wood flooring on our stairs and our bedroom sitting area,…

A Nightmare Jessner Peel Side Effect

Almost as popular as my Amerisleep mattress reviews, the Jessner chemical peel post here on my blog has been a reader favorite for years. I'm still doing my own peels at home and still recommend this to anyone concerned about acne scars or wrinkles. However, last night I did have a Jessner peel scare.

As written before, timing is everything with a chemical peel. You don't want pieces of dead skin (yuck, right?) flaking off at work or at important social events. I've wanted to do one for months but things kept getting in the way, like extra days spent at work and our recent trip to California. Finally, last night I was able to treat myself to an at-home Jessner peel. (Using this product from Amazon, in case you want to try it for yourself.) I've done this so many times that the steps are automatic. I applied three layers of Jessner solution, brushed my teeth, and went to bed. Snuggled into our new mattress and a mountain of blankets, I fell into a deep sleep. I dreamed…

Cranberry Oatmeal with Quinoa - Instant Pot Recipe

In response to my popular Instant Pot Explosion blog post, I've had a few blog readers ask for my oatmeal recipe. This seems a bit odd...you guys aren't trying to recreate that gooey mess in your own kitchens, right? My recipe does make delicious, foolproof Instant Pot oatmeal. It's only for patient people though. Whatever you do, do not manually release the pressure valve at the end of the cooking cycle!

Super oatmeal. See the little specks? That's part of what makes it so super.
The best thing about my recipe is that it's much healthier than regular oatmeal recipes. Start your day with this and you can feel better about all those cookies and fried donuts and ice cream (I have a bit of a sweet tooth) you munch on throughout the rest of the day. This can also be made in a slow cooker or Crock Pot. I've been cooking up batches of my Super Oatmeal for years, long before I'd heard of the Instant Pot, and have even gifted the dry ingredients to health-conscious…

Family Size Bed (Because a King Mattress is Too Small)

Look! Up In The Sky! It's a Bird. It's a Plane. It's...

(cue suspenseful music)

DUN NAH NUH
What's bigger than a king-size Amerisleep mattress? An Amerisleep Superbed!

As you know, my nerdy engineer husband, SN, and I recently ordered two new twin XL mattresses from Amerisleep. The AS4 bed didn't work out for us (too soft and mushy for our taste) but we loved the extra-firm AS2 bed. It's perfect for people who sleep on their back (SN) and on their stomach (me). SN liked it even better than the AS3 bed we'd slept on since 2012 and I thought it was at least equal to that mattress, which is now making our relatives happy in the guest bedroom. The AS2 costs a little less than the AS3 and a lot less than the AS4. Who would have thought the less expensive option would be the better choice, right? Money really doesn't buy happiness.
(Okay, in all honesty, I think I prefer the AS3 just a hair over the AS2. Your first choice is usually the right choice.)

We loved our …

We're Now the Owners of Amerisleep AS2, AS3, and AS4 Mattresses

$250 Amerisleep promo code at the bottom of this post :)
SN and I recently (finally!) moved into our mountain dream home. We decided to put our Amerisleep Liberty (Amerisleep AS3) mattress in the guest bedroom and treat ourselves to a fancy new bed. The big question was whether we should go with the exact same mattress again or test out another Amerisleep bed. We were still happy with our Liberty and it was like-new, even though we'd purchased it almost 6 years ago. Below is the advice and mattress recommendation we received directly from Amerisleep:

(I guess you're going to know SN's real name now. Oh, and my weight! Darn it.)

Amerisleep Chat Transcript Name: Derek Heather MinierThu, 08/31/17 11:08:45 am America/DenverHello. How may I help you?Derek11:09:09 amOther than firmness, are there any differences between the Liberty and the Colonial? Thanks!Heather Minier11:10:09 amHey Derek, there is. The AS3(Liberty) is going to be designed for all kinds of sleepers where the AS4(…

The World's Easiest Thanksgiving Centerpiece

We have no furniture, no bathroom mirrors, and no common sense - we're hosting Thanksgiving this year! Despite a To Do list ten miles long, I'm pretty certain this is going to be the best Thanksgiving ever.

Okay, I briefly wavered on this earlier, when my Martha Stewart-ish mom lectured me about all the things that could (will) go wrong and how I'll surely ruin the holiday for everyone and "you are going to regret it for the rest of your life" (her exact words!), but time has passed and I'm back to feeling confident. Best. Thanksgiving. Ever.

Plus, I'm now determined to knock her judgemental socks off.


We're going to have the cutest table decor in the history of Thanksgiving. Even better? It's so easy and you surely have everything you need to make it right this very second.

DIY Thanksgiving Centerpiece and Fall Decor

Step 1:

Gather a glass or two or a dozen. Matching is fine. Mixed is fine.

The Martha Stewart gene skips a generation.

We received a…