Choosing Pool Tile

This weekend I'm going to look long and hard for my camera cord, but until then I'll leave you with some of the tile options we considered for our pool. These are all from National Pool Tile and Stone, where California Pools gets most of their tile.

This is the tile California Pools took the liberty of installing after knocking out our existing tile:

Not gonna work for us. We loved our beautiful, ornate tile, and these plain blue tiles just don't cut it. So we were back to the drawing board.

The first option we considered was 1x1 glass tiles. I love the look of these. Sort of a retro modern combination. The first three are OceanScapes. These are by far my favorite. But then we inquired about the price. $50+ per square foot! Our glass tile dreams ended there. So we looked at a similar alternative, Mini Koyn tiles (the last two above.) When we saw the actual sample, they looked like cheap plastic. No thanks!

Next we looked at stacked stone. I really like the texture these create. This Ledger Stone was absolutely beautiful! Unfortunately we were restricted to tile that is 5/16" thick or less, otherwise it would stick out further than our cap tile (the beige tile that lines the very top of the pool). The stacked stone was out.

So we were back to ceramic tiles. We knew we wanted something with a pattern, similar to our existing tile. We considered the Casablanca and Luciana tiles. But we decided the varying colors and overly ornate patterns could quickly look dated.

In the end we decided on Moonbeam in Cobalt Blue. It is reminiscent of our existing tile that we love so much. And since it's a 6"x6" tile, instead of a 2"x2", it looks a little less blocky when applied all the way around the pool. Can't wait to share photos with you!

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Update on House Projects

I've been waiting the last few days to write this post till I could find my camera cord to download photos and show you updates, but I still can't find it. So for now you'll have to use your imagination :)

Pool Resurfacing

 After three weeks of negotiating with California Pools about the tile they knocked out, the lowest price they would give us to replace the tile is $700. A whole $250 off the $900 price they originally quoted us. I'm really frustrated with them since it's their fault that we have to replace the tile at all. I would not recommend California Pools for their customer service. Anyways, we picked out a cobalt blue tile that is pretty similar to the tile we currently have, just a bit larger in scale. The guys came yesterday to tear out the rest of the old tile and install the new. It looks really great! I'll post a picture as soon as I find my camera cord.

My amazing in-laws came into town this weekend, and were at our house all day yesterday cleaning and working on projects, including hanging our chandelier! I loved it so much that we had decided to hang it even though it wouldn't work. We have tons of can lights in our great room, so we didn't need the chandelier for light. I just wanted it to ground the dining room table in that huge room. Well, when my brilliant father-in-law got up there to hang it, he found a junction box he could wire it to! And voila, we have a chandelier that really lights up! He also installed dimmer switches on all our great room lights. It looks so beautiful now and gives off a nice warm glow! Thanks dad!!! Photos coming soon.
Philip tried to fix our overflowing toilet on his own, but to no avail. So we hired Aaron from Brothers Plumbing & AC come fix it for us. He was awesome and we would definitely recommend him! We also used Brothers to replace our AC units when we first moved into our house. They've always done a phenomenal job for us!

We're meeting with my uncle on Thursday to talk about ideas for our kitchen remodel. His company, Re-Bath, will soon be expanding into kitchen remodeling, and we might be his first project! I'll post our inspiration photos soon :)

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New Website Designs

My job as Senior Designer at Vuria Creative Technology has been super busy lately. A plethora of sites that I designed have launched in the past few weeks (or are about to launch). Check them out!

Isaac Jewelers - Fine Jewelry; Sunstate Equipment Co. - Construction Equipment Rentals; Today's Patio - Patio Furniture and Decor; Freelite - Windows, Doors and Skylight Sales and Installation; Best Expression - Promotional Products, Screenprinting and Embroidery; Sunset Patio - Custom Designed Outdoor Furniture and Accessories; Colton Constructors - Full-service General Contractor; Action Termite Control - Pest Control

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The Joys of Home Ownership

Overall, we absolutely love owning a house. We love having the freedom to decorate and renovate to our liking. But the last few days we've been reminded of the challenges, and costs, that come with it as well.

As you may have noticed by my lack of posts this week, our internet has been out since Monday. Apparently the wiring to our house was bad, so Cox had to trench out our front yard to put in new wiring. Luckily we're now back up and running!

The Pool
Our pool is still tore up without any progress since my post. The resurfacing company, California Pools, knocked out some of our tiles in a couple different spots while they were tearing out the plaster. They took the liberty of replacing them with tiles that matched neither the pattern or color of our existing tile. Needless to say, we weren't ok with that. When we do a project, we get it done right. So, nearly two weeks later, they still have not found any tile that matches ours, and have not offered an alternative solution. Replacing all the tile will cost around $1,000. To cover their mistake. Let's hope they step up and and offer a resolution we're all satisfied with.

A few week ago I purchased this beautiful chandelier to hang above our dining room table:

This weekend we hired an electrician friend of ours, Richie, to come hang it for us. Long story short, the junction box that the chandelier needs to plug into is lost somewhere behind the ceiling or walls of our great room. And there's no way to find it without tearing out a lot of drywall. So we're left with no chandelier (insert very sad face here), two holes in our ceiling (which are going to remain that way till my amazing and super-handy mother-in-law gets into town in two weeks :), and a $120 bill (which was well deserved as Richie and his co-worker spent nearly six hours trying to find a work-around to hang the chandelier!).

While Richie was looking at our electrical, he discovered that our microwave isn't up to code. In order to get it up to code, they're going to have to tear out the cabinets above it, the drywall, and drill a hole all the way up through the roof. We also need to take care of some other electrical issues in the wall behind our sink. So, with all these cabinets needing to come out, we figure this is as good a time as any to undertake the kitchen remodel we were one day hoping to do. With all of our other current house projects, our budget may not be quite what we were hoping, but luckily my uncle's bathroom remodeling company is getting into kitchens, so he's agreed to help us out. I may need all of your help deciding what finishes to go with!

And as though all of that weren't enough, we found ourselves with a leaky toilet on Saturday night. And not just a little water, but towels worth of mopping up. So the water is currently turned off to the toilet and my hubby is hoping to find an easy fix to it by tomorrow. Saying our prayers tonight!

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Photography Internship + Wedding at Silverleaf

After mine and Philip's wedding and working with our wonderful photographer Kimberly Bee, I grew very interested in photography. So, this September I began an internship with the amazing Jennifer Bowen. My role includes assisting her at weddings and portrait shoots, processing photos, creating marketing materials, and launching a new website. I was pleasantly surprised when during the first wedding I assisted her at, she handed me a camera and had me start shooting! I didn't expect to get to shoot so soon, so I was super excited! This past weekend I assisted her with Erica and Steve's wedding at Silverleaf. It's a very private club, and incredibly beautiful. Below are a few photos I shot that Jennifer posted on her blog. Click here to see the full set shot by Jennifer and second shooter Andy.

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Favorite Things

Steph at The Flies Blend tagged me for a "favorite things" quiz. I answer eight questions and then tag some other bloggers to do the same. Here goes...

1. Favorite Flower
Peonies! We used the white ones in our wedding, but my absolute favorite are the hot pink ones :)

2. Favorite Color Combination
I have a lot of them lately. Turquoise and coral (check out our blog design). Deep teal, white and tan (future plans for our den). Eggplant and a rustic brown (fall wardrobe). But my most favorite is yellow, gray, black and white. In fact, this past year I've been redecorating our master bedroom and bathroom in these colors (with some red accents), and I just finished our closet. More photos to come soon!

3. Favorite Celebrity Couple
Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck. They seem genuinely happy together, are pretty low key, and have the most adorable daughter :)

4. Your Theme Song
Chocolate by Snow Patrol. Not necessarily for my whole life, but at least a season.

5. Favorite "I had a terrible day" Food
Fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies. Hands down. Don't forget the glass of milk!

6. Lipstick or Lipgloss?
Lipgloss for sure! I'm totally addicted. I love Victoria's Secret Beauty Rush. You can find at least three tubes of it in my purse on any given day. My favorite flavor was Butterscotcha, but they discontinued it :( So now I go for Passion Fruit Pop.

7. Favorite Magazine
Architectural Digest. I love anything and everything about houses.

8. Favorite Thing About Fall
Boots! After a hot Arizona summer, there's nothing better than dropping temperatures (you know, the 80's) and slipping on a fun, cozy pair of boots.

Now I'm tagging...
Andrea at The Foreign Citizen
Rebecca at Desert Dwelling
Brittany at Life is Swell
Traci at Holm Family of Four

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Save the Ta-Tas!

This morning Phil and I ran in the Race for the Cure. We did the 5K run and finished in about 30 minutes. Not bad considering we usually only run about a mile :) We were running for my friend Mikayla, who is currently battling stage three brest cancer. She has already undergone chemo and surgery, and now has to have a double mastectomy. Please keep her in your prayers. We love you Mikayla!

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Pool Resurfacing - Day 3

Day three basically just picked up where day two so abruptly ended. The guys quickly finished tearing out the plaster. The texture left by the jackhammers is actually pretty cool! Unfortunately, while they were doing their demolition, they accidently knocked out a few of our tiles (as you can see in the bottom left photo). Since our pool and tiles are original to the house (1981) they have to go on a little bit of a search to try to find some that match. They apparently hold on to some tile that they tear out of old pools, so they're going to sort through those today and hopefully find a match. Then, we'll be on to the Pebble Tec!

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Pool Resurfacing - Day 2

I began yesterday morning to the sound of jackhammers outside my bedroom morning. Glorious! Those three guys were going to town tearing out the plaster. Here's a shot of them in action:

But then the wind picked up. And the rain started to pour. And then came the hail. Golf ball to baseball size. Ending our day of plaster destruction. So, they're back again this morning, finishing up the demolition. Here's where they ended yesterday:

And here's a little shot of what was still on the ground 20 minutes after the storm was over. Now that's a lot of hail! Hopefully the weather is kinder to them today!

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Pool Resurfacing - Day 1

So, day one of our pool resurfacing could be considered the most boring. They drained the pool. But it's actually pretty neat to see it all empty. It looks so much bigger! But kind of nasty too. Oh well, that plaster is coming off next! If you're interested, they run a hose to the sewer valves that are in front of our house, and it takes nearly a full 24 hours to drain the pool. Our pool is pretty huge though, 8 feet deep and nearly 25,000 gallons of water!

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Pool Resurfacing - Before

Today's the day! We are finally biting the bullet and having our pool resurfaced! As you can see in the photos below, our plaster pool is chipping pretty badly and has lots of rust stains. Plaster is hard to keep clean (as it needs brushed quite often), stains easily (as evidenced by the many rust stains from nails left in the pool while our house was vacant before we bought it), and cannot be patched up once chipped. So, we are saying goodbye to our nasty plaster, and hello to beautiful Pebble Tec! I'll keep you updated on the process over the next week!

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Two newlywed's adventures in home renovations, traveling and experiencing life together.

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