Bella Vida

Married for 6 years. Trying to have a baby almost as long. Living a Beautiful Life.

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Location: Maryland, United States

Married & Trying to have a baby for almost 4 years. Dealing with MF (male factor infertility).

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Grout, Whoops and Complaint

the grout...

We chose a dark grout because this is the laundry room and we wanted less worry about stains.

This grout was sanded and not as smooth as the marble grout so it left a lot of crumbs that had to be swept before sponge wiping. We used unsanded grout for the marble and sanded for the ceramic. Sanded grout will scratch marble and all other shiny or polished stone tiles.

This is after three wipe-downs with a sponge and water. It took a total of 4-wipe-downs and water changes.

Here's a look at the grout as it's drying. The darker areas are still wet.

All done. Washer and dryer are back in place. We still have trim painting to do.

the whoops...

So here's a sad little story. This is our original bathroom mirror that we had decided we would cut and frame for the new bathroom. Here's hubbs scoring the mirror to snap-cut it.

Here he's using the snap tool to help it break along the line.

Here's the whoops. The scoring didn't work worth a darn. Perhaps the mirror was too thick? So off we went to IKEA and got a new one. I'm still going to frame it.

Here comes the complaint. Last year we got a brand new DVD recorder and player by SAMSUNG. It's the R155. Do not buy this player. It's has an over heating problem that eventually kills the processor. It worked really well for a few months and then stopped playing certain DVDs. Now it won't play anything. Of course I contacted Samsung and they told me unless I could produce a receipt so that they could determine if the warranty it still good, they couldn't help. I argued that this is a known problem with this model and they should stand behind their product, but no luck. I also told them that although I no longer had the receipt, the manufacture date on the player is June 2007 so it couldn't be very old, but nope. I even offered to pay for the shipping to have it fixed, but still nothing. My husband is writing a letter of complaint and we'll see if that does anything. Terrible customer service and a terrible product. I'll never buy another Samsung anything. Beware of the Samsung R155 or R-155 or R 155 DVD recorder player. It's a piece of crap. I wish I had read the reviews first.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Old news

Sunday flowers

We actually had guests over for a cookout last Sunday. We managed to get the house looking pretty decent. It's weird b/c now we're back to a mini-mess with a washing machine and dryer behind the couch.

Anyway, hubbs had the partial SA on Friday and his results haven't changed. The doc is willing to let us try Clomid. So the poor man will be on Clomid, Arimidex and blood pressure meds. Wow. I really feel guilty about that, but I guess I shouldn't b/c if it were me I'd do the same and will have to if we move on to IVF. Hubbs will take 50mg of Clomid on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Wait-n-see.

My little Yorkie has a cough. I really don't want/can't take anymore drama. Hopefully it's nothing big. He's going to the vet tomorrow.

Wrote this and forgot to post it last week :)
This tile is done and I'll post pics soon. My dog is fine and on meds for the cough.

Tile step-by-step

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So we're in the home stretch. I think. Yesterday hubbs took off from work so we could tile the laundry room. Whew. It's a small room, but a little difficult to tile due to lack of space for maneuvering. We chose 16x16 ceramic tiles and big grout spacers to make it a little easier on ourselves. Here's the picture proof:

We took the washing machine and dryer out and then pulled-up the remaining carpet. What was left was a yucky looking old vinyl floor with carpet glue stuck to it.

Hubbs had to chip it away with a paint scraper and hammer. This stuff was really stuck so it took over an hour.

We placed the first tile in the corner and then snapped blue chalk lines for guides.

Here's hubbs combing the mortar/thinset with a trowel before placing the tile.

Then he placed the tile down and wiggled it into place. While the thinset is still wet, you can slide the tile as needed to put the spacers in.

Closeup of the spacers. A cross for corners on one side and a bar for in between tiles on the other side.

Half done!

Sometimes a tile space is too small to fit the comb/trowel so you have to "back butter" the tile directly with thinset instead of the floor.

All done! We used 3-different kinds of thinset cuz we wanted to use up what we already had. Two containers were gray and one was white. You'll never see it once the grout is down.

I'll do the grouting later today. Once the grout dries I'll paint the trim and the laundry room will be finished.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Oil Infusions

Lunch. Herbed oil drizzled over penne with vodka sauce and grated cheese.

Several years ago hubbs and I made some oil infusions and gave them away as holiday gifts. We made 2-different kinds--herbed and spicy. I've been wanting to do it again for a while and finally did last night. I only made the herb infused oil this time. I tried to recreate the dipping oil that Bertucci's serves with bread.

Here's how I did it:
1. Roasted a small bulb of garlic. (First time doing this. Super easy.)
2. Pulled leaves of rosemary off two stems and bruised them with a rolling pin to expose more flavor
3. Poured 1 1/2-cups of extra virgin olive oil into a small saucepan
4. Put the roasted garlic, rosemary, 2+ tbls. dry Italian herb blend, 1/4 cherry pepper, 1+ tbls. dry oregano, and a sliver habanero pepper into the oil and stirred

5. Heated on medium to low for 10 minutes. Occasionally stirred. Don't let it boil, smoke or burn.
6. Let cool, covered, and put in the fridge overnight
7. Used a funnel, coffee filter and metal mesh strainer to separate oil from herbs

That's it! Can't wait to use it. It smells wonderful. To eat it as a dip with warm bread I will pour some in a saucer and sprinkle it with grated Romano cheese.

Plain extra virgin olive oil on left and herb infused oil on right.
*Updated: had it over some pasta for lunch. Delish!

Earlier this week my husband accidentally deleted my entire reader. Grrrrrrrr! So I have to go back through and redo all the feeds. Grrrrrrrrr!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

New Toy

I got a new toy. I'm so excited. I've been wanting a Kitchenaid for a while and really couldn't justify the expense, but with all the remodeling I'd been thinking more about getting one. I got this never-used (sans box) mixer with the slicer/shredder and meat grinder attachments all for $175 on Craigslist. Craigslist is my new love. Forget Ebay. Especially since I've been screwed twice on Ebay and swore it off a couple years ago. I know lots of people have great success using Ebay, but it's not for me. I like dealing locally a lot better. I really wanted a cobalt one to match the counters we're going to do, but a deal is a deal. This one is imperial grey and retail it's all worth about $400. Yeah...loving Craigslist.

Hubbs says he's expecting some sort of treat this week since we finally have our counter space back and I'm cooking again. We'll have to see how the week shapes up. I'm so busy still trying to put the house back together, but I can't wait to use it.

On the infertility side of the coin, we had a urologist appointment yesterday. The Arimidex doesn't seem to be working anymore to keep hubbs testoterone up. We're going back in on Friday for a mini or partial semen analysis looking at count only. I was hoping hubbs could try Clomid with the Arimidex, but apparently men on Clomid usually have low FSH, and hubbs has high (24) FSH, low testosterone and high estrogen. Sucks. Anyone else have experience with this? Most of this feels like a "moo point" b/c I've yet to find ANYONE who has had a husband have success with any of these drugs. And by success I mean they got pregnant without ART.

This is what I keep seeing as I think about yesterdays appointment. LOL I can't believe I found this video.

Thursday, September 04, 2008


Wow. This morning I woke up to the New Kids on TV. Performing. I know they've been back for a little while and are doing the talk-show tour thing, but this was the first time I actually watched. I can't freakin' believe it's been 20-years! I was a HUGE fan when I was younger. Thought I was gonna marry Jordan. OMG. LOL. I just can't believe I'm 20-years older. Twenty. I grew up in South Florida and went to several concerts as a kid. A friends mom had a contact at the ticket promoters office, so we usually had great seats and almost got backstage passes once--GAH! One of our moms always had to go with us b/c at 12 none of us could drive. I think we even took a limo once. It really made me smile to think of all my friends from back then--Alexis, Marnie, Carin, Daniela. We were so in love and obsessed. Fast forward twenty-some odd years and all the New Kids have kids (all but Jon), and I didn't marry Jordan. I wish I could go back and tell that 12-year-old to hold on cuz it was gonna get bumpy...err bumpier. And maybe to get her head outta the clouds cuz later on it was gonna be harder to do so. Anyway, this is suddenly going in a different direction. My original point was that it was nice to go back to that time for a minute. It's kinda weird to see them perform now and feel none of that awe I did back then. It's definitely strange to see them trying to recapture the NKOTB frenzy. I saw their new video and I have to say it's pretty disappointing. I mean--they're married fathers in da club with very young girls--wtf? Sorry, not feeling it.

But I am still feeling this one :)