Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Bathroom Flipping!

Remember my last post about my x-ray job that I recently left and how I met my best friend in Birmingham there? Well not only is he an x-ray tech, but he flips houses here in Birmingham. He has been so inspiring and such a big help when it comes to doing little projects around the house that come with being a homeowner. I often wonder if I drive him nuts with questions on how to fix or renovate things! ha! He makes me want to redo everything in my house!

One of the projects I wanted to do was renovate my bathroom, but really didn't want to spend a fortune to do it since my friend is getting ready to completely flip our kitchen. When I told him about finding the Rust Oleum cabinet transformation kits on pinterest, he was skeptical. I told him if it didn't work out then I would replace the entire vanity... but right now, a $75 kit sounded a heck of a lot better than spending $600 on a new vanity.

First thing I did was bought the Rust Oleum laminate paint. I had read about it on pinterest and decided to give it a shot. Our countertops were white and it wasn't too bad, BUT the previous owners must have sat a hot curling iron down on the top and there were a few burn marks. Easy to hide with a decorative tissue holder, but deep down I knew they were underneath there. The laminate paint is only about $19 at Home Depot and is pretty simple to use. Just tape everything off and paint on with a foam roller. It's SUPER thick so only one coat was needed. For future when I do one of our other bathrooms, I know to just THROW AWAY THE ROLLER! The paint is thick and sticky and impossible to clean. I would rather just chalk up the $6 loss of the roller rather than deal with that mess ever again!

I left it dry for about three days before touching it.. but I did start the cabinets on the 2nd day of the paint drying. I removed all of the cabinet doors and all the hardware. The transformation kit is really easy to do, just time consuming because there are a lot of steps. First I had to wipe everything with soapy water. Then I had to do the first step of the kit- the deglosser. It totally beats having to sand! You just rub it down with a scrubby sponge and the deglosser that comes in the kit. It says to wear gloves and I RECOMMEND it!!! I used gloves, but got some on my arm and it burned my arm where it touched. After an hour of letting that dry, then I had to paint with a pure white. It took 3 coats on my cabinets even though the kit said they recommended two. I guess my cabinets were just sucking in the paint. Again, use a FOAM roller. (my personal contractor/bff recommended foam rollers for cabinets and I'm glad he did! It gives it a very smooth finish). After the paint dried, then it was on to the next step.. the decorative glaze. You paint it on, then rub it off with the cheese cloths provided and it gives it that rustic, primitive, antique look, which is ACTUALLY what I was looking for! After the glaze dries, then the last step is the top coat. It was a lot of work, but I love the results!!!



The after pics aren't the best cause I took them with my cell phone, but they will do for now! Such a difference!

Where has Mandee been?

8 months ago, I was offered a job working part time at mobile x-ray company here in Birmingham. I received an email only 5 days after applying for the job so I was beyond thrilled because I had been job hunting for months. A month before that, I was offered another job at an urgent care clinic but passed it up because the pay was just not what I was looking for.  Now I realize that there is more to a job than pay. The job was PERECT. I worked mobile in PA and loved it, but had to leave because it was only casual work and I wanted something with more hours.  The job paid pretty well, was only 20 hours a week, and it was evenings so Rosalie only had to go to daycare for a few hours.  I fell right into the job and not to toot my own horn, I was good at it. What is mobile x-ray exactly? Well, you work on your own for starters. I had a portable x-ray machine and drove around to nursing homes, assisted living facilities, behavioral facilities, correctional facilities, and private homes and did x-rays.  For the first time in three years, I felt like the old Mandee again, doing something I loved. 

I met some AMAZING people at this job. The past three years, I've been subjected to military wives and that's it. I'm not complaining because I have met some wonderful people through the military, but let's face it, I don't have a lot in common with most military wives. Kevin and I met before he joined. I had a career before he joined. While I love being with Rosalie every second of the day, a housewife and stay at home mom just aren't suitable for me. I hated sitting on my career for three years while we were overseas. Anyways, it was nice to be around people that I had something in common with. If one good thing came out of my job, it was the friends I made. I met my best friend here in Birmingham during my short tenure at Mobilex and for that I am grateful. 

My boss praised me constantly and use to say he wished he had 20 of me. Again, not to toot my own horn, but I didn't blame him... I busted my butt and gave my heart and soul to that company. Before I knew it, I was offered a full time position and most weeks was working 50+ hours. It consumed my life, but I was okay with that. It was hard work and while some days I would get so frustrated with it, I loved it. 

I'm sure you are noticing everything is written in the PAST form. So you are wondering why I would leave something so wonderful? Well, it wasn't all sunshine and rainbows. Birmingham is a pretty dangerous city. Did you know that it is rated #7 in the most dangerous cities in America? I never thought I would work at x-ray job that required me to carry a stun gun to work! We had to go into very dangerous parts of Birmingham. For those reasons, we had safety guidelines in place. Even though we were a 24 hour service, some of our facilities had cut off times. We also were not to do house calls after dark. Our boss did enforce these because he genuinely cared for our safety. February 1st, new management took over. Our safety was no longer a priority and servicing the patients and keeping the clients happy was all that mattered. Yes, I am all for providing high quality service, but at what cost? Having my child grow up without a mother because a hospice agency forgot to order a chest x-ray and waited until late in the evening to do it? It was then that I put my priorities in line and decided what mattered most to me and decided it was time to leave. It broke my heart, it really did. My coworkers begged me not to go. My old manager tried to talk me out of leaving. The regional manager tried to talk me out of leaving. Our dispatch begged me to stay and said they were going to start a petition to get me to stay. I felt like I was letting so many people down, but my family came first. I'll find another job.... I don't know when and I don't know if the grass will be any greener, but I do know that I'll be okay. Without sounding cliche, everything happens for a reason!