Life Lately… Projects and a New Toy

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No big reveals or even a small project to share with you today, but I am working on a few of them.  I do, however have an update to share on one of the bigger projects I have taken on.

Remember when I told you we were making over the second floor bathroom. We are making good progress. I still have a lot to do, but the most challenging or shall I say the unpleasant part of getting the room ready for a new look is done.

Warning!!  These update photos are not pretty, but something that had to be done before we did any other updates to the room.

Removing a popcorn ceiling tip

I removed the popcorn ceiling!!!

Since it is a small room, it was not hard, but it is a very messy job since you need to spray water on the ceiling first, let it soak in for a few minutes…

Popcorn-Ceiling-Scraper

… and then scrap it off using a Popcorn Scraping Tool like this.  You attach a plastic bag around the wire frame. It works well, but the job still makes a big mess and one where your arms, neck and shoulders get pretty tired.

Removing-a-popcorn-ceiling-DIY

The popcorn came off pretty easily and the ceiling under it was revealed. It has a few flaws, but I have an idea that will take the focus away from the imperfections. If we ever decide to remove popcorn ceiling in other rooms, I think I would pay for someone to do it.

Stay tuned for more makeover updates for this room over the next few weeks.

Now on to something that has nothing to do with DIY or house updating projects!

For all of you who write to me telling me that I work too hard and should take a break from all the DIY I have been doing the past few months, I want you to know that I am not all work and no play…

Yesterday I got a new toy to use on the lake. It is something that I have been saving up to get since we moved to the lake a year and a half ago. It was delivered around noon yesterday and as soon as the delivery person was gone, I donned my life vest, sun hat, waterproof cellphone case, and shades and off I went for a spin…

Hobie-Mirage-Eclispe-on-Lake-Murray-SC

…on this.

It is made by Hobie and called a Mirage Eclipse.  It is like a paddle board, but instead of using your arms and a paddle to propel yourself through the water, you use your legs like you would as if you were on a elliptical machine at the gym. The handlebars are how you steer the board left and right.  The board is well balanced and both Ed and I were able to use it with ease right away.

It is how I plan to workout in the warmer months of the year. Blogger butt is a real thing that I need to tackle!  Kayaking is great for the arms, this will be great for my legs.

It was not inexpensive, but I saved for months to be able to afford it. I stopped getting pedicures, going out to lunch, and buying things I did not need. It was a challenge and I made a goal to see it happen so I could buy something that would make my life better.

I am looking forward to spending lots of time on it while I explore all around the lake.

Life-on-Lake-Murray SC

Last night after dinner, Ed and I went out on the lake with me on the Eclipse and he in a kayak. We peddled and paddled to an island out in our section of the lake. We switched vessels there so we could get a good workout for both our arms and legs. I took this photo of Ed peddling back home as the sun began to set. A perfect workout… getting to be outside in the fresh air and out on the water powered by our own steam. :-) It was the best workout ever.

Today I am back up in the bathroom to apply a few coats of paint to the walls, ceiling and trim. While the paint is drying…I will be back out on the lake peddling. :-)

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51 Comments

  1. Wow, I admire your dedication to saving money to buy your paddle board. The board looks like a wonderful way to get exercise. I’m no spring chicken but I would be getting one of those if I lived where you do. If you get tired or over heated you can sit down and or take a quick dip in the lake to cool off. I think I’d feel safer on the paddle board than in a kayak. LOL I know you are loving living at the lake. Vikki in VA

    1. Hi Vikki – I am loving my new Eclipse. It was a rainy weekend and I could not get out. :-( Looking forward to see the sunshine return. It is a great workout and like you said you can just stop pedaling when you get tired or even sit or take a swim. The lake is large, over 650 miles of shoreline. I could not explore it all from my house, but the nice thing is we can put the board on our boat and take it along with us when we go out on other parts of the lake and then launch it from the boat to explore new areas. I hope you have an enjoyable week.

  2. We removed the popcorn ceiling in our bathroom – out of necessity as we had water damage and some of it was cracking and falling off. My husband did all the work and it was awful. The rest of house will eventually be done, but by someone else (plus our living room and kitchen are vaulted …so nearly impossible for us to do ourselves).

    Your paddleboard-thingie looks fun!!

    1. Hi Beverly – Kudos to your husband for taking on the messy job. I think once you do one, you know it is a hire-out job going forward. We have it in almost every room, too. The Pollyanna in me keeps telling me… at least they are white. :-) I am enjoying the Eclipse and so is Ed. It is a lot of fun and easy to do right from the start.

    1. Hi Kat – Thanks – I was a little bummed out that it rained most of the weekend, but today looks good so I can get out and have fun exploring and working out at the same time.

  3. Diane, for all of us still dreaming of making a move to be near water, do you wish you had done it sooner, any regrets?
    Carol

    1. Hi Carol – Living along the water’e edge is something I have always dreamed of. I am so happy that we made it happen. I think the timing was perfect since we liked where we lived in PA as it was a wonderful place to raise our daughters. The timing to make our dream happen came when we knew that they would not be living with us any longer. I am glad we made it happen now and didn’t wait for retirement or were too old to enjoy every thing lake life has to offer.

  4. What fun! And talent to stay upright – I’d be at the bottom of the lake for sure. Can’t wait to see how the bathroom turns out – I know it will be beautiful as always.

    1. Hi Denise – Ed thought he would fall right off since he balance issues, but he hopped on and away he went. The board is very stable. :-) It was a rainy weekend so we got quite a bit done on the bathroom. I will be sharing more of what I am doing to the room next week.

  5. Love your new toy! Might have to check it out. One question for you – when you repaint a ceiling, how do you prep it? Washing or sanding – tough job either way over your head. Good job on the popcorn ceiling.

    1. Hi Linnea – I hope you are well. :-) Painting ceilings are my least favorite DIY. Way too taxing on the neck. I prep them the same way I do walls. I clean it with a damp rag and with mild dish detergent on it to remove all the dust and dirt. If you have a dust mop, you can place the damp rag over this and run it over the ceiling. Once I see that all the dust and or cobwebs are gone. Then I use a flat sheen paint. If it is new sheetrock or a stained ceiling, I would use a stain blocking primer on it first, then once that primer coat is dry, a flat sheen paint. I would only sand if there was texture on the ceiling or an area that had an imperfection. On the ceiling in my bathroom, there are some ripple type lines that can’t be sanded out. I thought about skim coating with Spackle, but it would be way too hard to get it to look perfect so I am going to camouflage it with a paint.

      You would love the Eclipse. XO

      1. Thanks for the helpful ceiling tips. Glad I don’t have to sand – I have been reading a lot about painting furniture on your blog. Enjoy your weekend. Thanks again.

        1. Hi Linnea – If you can paint a ceiling, painting a piece of furniture is easy since you can do it sitting down and you don’t get neck strain. :-) I like using chalk paint when painting furniture. It makes it look so professionally finished. You can choose to distress to make the piece look old or no distressing for more modern looking pieces. If you need any guidance, just let me know. It rained here most of the weekend so we finished up the upstairs bathroom makeover. I will be posted about it in a few weeks.

    1. Hi Sue – I do have muscular legs that get achy when I don’t exercise. Being able to use them to pedal around the lake will give them the workout they need. :-)

    1. Hi Lorraine – I am trying to stay energized to get me through the last of the big updates we are doing to the house. Once these are done, I will be very happy to be able to put my focus on other smaller creative pursuits around the house.

  6. I couldn’t be more happy for you. If anyone deserves this fun paddle board it’s you. I enjoy your blog so much. Can’t wait to see your bathroom update. You worked so hard on your Lake home, enjoy every minute.

    1. Hi Joan – Thanks. I try to enjoy life around the lake every day. Yesterday the sky was so blue and there was a little breeze. I had to put my paint brush down and just go outside to sit and look at the way the sky looked and how the colors all around the lake looked like an Impressionest painting. Ed saw me and asked what I was doing and I said… Looking at how cool the sky looks right now. He agreed it did. After sitting for about 10 mins, I headed back up to the bathroom to finish painting it. :-) Thanks for reading my blog. XO

  7. Your new toy looks like so much fun. It’s so true that you enjoy things more when you save up for them. I can’t wait to see your bathroom because I love how creative you are. I’m sure it will be fabulous.

  8. I too live by a lake and I saw an ad for your new toy and determined that I should have one. I received a kayak for my birthday (the first one over the 50 mark was on the 2nd) and now this is on my list. I saw they are pricey, but they look like a great way to get around the lake!

    Enjoy!! And thank you for your beautiful blog which facilitates a virtual friendship!! :)

    1. Hi Beth – Sounds like you have been enjoying lake life for many years. Do you have a favorite style of kayak? We have two sit-in style and after a major storm a few weeks ago, a sit-on-top style landed on the shore of our property. We have no idea whose it is, but have it sitting on the shore so all can see it and someone can claim it. If not, we have a 3rd kayak. Knowing that you love to be out on the water….you will love the Eclipse. It is so easy to use. I bought the 10.5 length. I can lift and carry it, but it is a little cumbersome for one person to carry. We are trying to design a safe place to store it down on the dock, but out of the water when not in use. Thanks for reading my blog my virtual friend. XO Happy summer!

  9. Hi Diane!

    I love your new toy. I know the eclipse would motivate me to get out and enjoy my workout!!

    Have fun..you deserve it : )

  10. I’m so pleased that you are able to enjoy your workout! It really looks like fun, and environmentally friendly, too! No exhaust fumes to suffer! Hope you’re able to go all summer! Imagine, after a summer working out with that, you’ll have a new physical fitness blog to show us in the fall with all your new muscles!

  11. Your new toy looks like so much fun, Diane! I don’t think I’d mind working out if I had that view. Enjoy it!!

  12. I don’t know where you live but it is beautiful! I can’t understand how you find the time to run a blog and do all your own DIY! lol. I can understand the “blogger butt” bit, though mine would be from sitting and staring at that gorgeous lake!

  13. So glad you told us about your new toy. I definitely need one of those. FUN! Your bathroom looks great and your arms and shoulders should be nice and tone from that!

  14. That does look fun and sturdy, i love that you can hold onto something . You look great in that photo BTW! Makes me want to take out my stand up paddle board and use it!!

    1. When you come next, you can try it out. If today is anything like yesterday, it will be a perfect day for you to get out on your paddle board. Go for it! Thanks for the photo compliment. Ed took it from the dock. :-)

  15. Holy Moly, those things really are expensive, aren’t they? I guess it is aptly named as far as I’m concerned as it’s going to be just that for me…. just a mirage! LOL ‘Guess I’ll have to stick with the pedal boat idea for me and my little guy! I did watch a video on Youtube of people riding on them and they sure do look like fun! And it should give you a really good workout, too! I’m glad for you that you were able to get it! I can’t think of anyone more deserving with all the work you do!

    1. Yes, it was expensive and why it took me a year and a half to save up for it. :-) I did learn while saving up that I didn’t need so many things that I usually would buy on a whim and didn’t really need. Made the purchase even more rewarding for me.

  16. With a beautiful lake like that, wouldn’t that be just the incentive to get out and exercise!!! I love it! I never knew there was such a thing. I’ve been thinking of getting a pedal boat for my gr-grandson and I to have fun while getting some time on the water & also some exercise. I watch him during the summer months when he’s not in school. He’s a skinny little 8 yr. old, but I tho’t that would be just the thing for us to enjoy together, as well as good exercise for me. We could even fish from it….

    I’m not blessed to have a lake right outside my door like you do, but I’m only a mile or so from Lake Erie, and about a half mile from a small lake, which for an old woman & her gr-grandson, is probably a safer alternative. I’m waiting ’til Memorial Day weekend to see if any great sales come up, tho’…. For what they are made of, those things are expensive! I’m surprised with all his ingenuity, that Ed didn’t come up with a way to make one of those gadgets you bought out of an old eclipse and paddle board from a thrift store! You guys are so creative that way!

    If you come up with any easier way to remove popcorn ceilings that are the back breaking business that it is, please do let us know. I’d like to do my whole house, but don’t think my neck and shoulders could take all that work. However, when winter comes again, maybe one room at a time with other projects in between to break things up.

    Enjoy that new toy! If it does nothing but to get you out on that beautiful lake, it will have been worth the pinching & saving! That’s how I hope to get a paddle boat, too!

    1. Hi Tegmapat – Since moving here I have been walking around my neighborhood and riding my bike to get exercise, but it was killing me to be so near the lake and not see it. It is the main reason I wanted to save up to buy the Eclipse so I could have a water view while working out. Have you checked Craig’s List for a pedal boat. You may be able to find a good deal on a used one.

      As far a making one, the design of the Eclipse is pretty flawless. I am not sure we could make something that would move with the same ease. The board and handlebars are easy to DIY, but the paddle mechanism, not so much. A little too many gears, etc.

      I hope you can find a pedal or paddle boat to enjoy with your grandson this summer.

  17. That looks like fun!! Is it slower than a paddle board? Good luck on the bathroom, any type of ceiling work is hard and time consuming imo, we stenciled a foyer ceiling with Napoleon bees and it is beautiful, but not a fun project. I did use a foam neckbrace, the over the counter kind & that did seem to help a little with fatigue, but it is a tough job. No way around it….. Can’t wait to see the bathroom outcome! You alway do such a great job with design and maximizing what you have to work with, love it!! Thanks.

    1. Hi Marianne – The Eclipse goes faster than a paddle board. It goes as fast or slow as you want and the speed is determined on how fast and hard you push the pedals. I dread doing ceiling work and agree with you 100% that is hard and time consuming. Good idea about using a neck brace. I think I may have one. I will try using it to see if it helps with the neck strain I know I will feel when painting the ceiling.

  18. OOPs! I forgot to comment on the bathroom. What was everyone thinking in the 70’s with that hideous brown foil wallpaper? Yikes! I have always hated a popcorn ceiling but understood their purpose (to hide flaws). In my old house we had a swirl ceiling that was made with a wallpaper brush. Awful!

    At least the white tiles in the bathroom look nice, fresh and up to date. I know I can count on you to have a beautiful bathroom when you are all done.

    1. Hi Elaine – This is the first house I have lived in with popcorn ceilings so I am not very knowledgeable about them. I do know that I am not a fan though! I try to think on the bright side and say… at least they are white. :-) The brown patchwork wallpaper looks so dated and reminds me that the tdecor we do today may have us thinking the same in 30 years. Fashion and trends… good for the time being and bad in the long run.

  19. I love the new toy! What an awesome way to work out and be together with hubby at the same time.

  20. Diane, I LOVE it! Noooh, not so much the Eclipse, although I know it’s probably a lot of fun….but that you are doing it and having fun! Good for you….be safe, girl.

    1. Hi Laura – It is. The Eclipse goes faster than the kayak so whoever is in the kayak has to work hard to stay up with whoever is on the Eclipse, hence the reason Ed is so far away in the photo I took of him pedaling off in the sunset. :-)

    1. Hi Deb – So far I have been out on it twice and enjoyed every minute. Looking forward to making it a daily workout unless of course it is a rainy day.