Hey guys! Thanks for stopping by for the transcript of Episode #156. If you’d rather listen to this episode than read 8,000 words, you can click the player below or learn how to get our podcasts on your phone (for free) here.
[Intro theme music begins.]
John: I’m John.
Sherry: And I’m Sherry.
John: We like home stuff.
Sherry: We like talking.
John: And we like the occasional game show sound effect. [Pulsing sound effect] So welcome to Young House Love Has A Podcast where we have deep and not so deep conversations about DIY, design and life at home.
Sherry: Today we’re sharing how we’re combating common renovation stress points like budget creep and project delays during our bathroom reno. Plus, why we’re so excited about our new closets – and some of your holiday-themed life hacks.
[Intro theme music ends.]
Sherry: I think everyone who thinks about the big renovation we’re going through in our house you all know it’s our bathroom. But there’s a second room that’s not getting a lot of attention, that John and I personally are very excited about. I feel like we’ve just failed to talk about it a lot. But we’re also at the same time renovating our closet. And to paint a picture of what we used to have going on in there, it was like two hanging bars and a bunch of shoes on the ground. Right, like, am I missing something? A dog crate.
John: Yeah, our closet is a decent size. I think it’s probably the biggest closet we’ve had, right?
John: But it has been a little bit lacklustre.
Sherry: I had all my folded clothes in the bedroom. Still do. So the function has been much more on John’s side because all of his clothing has been in the closet. Mine has been sort of piecemeal – half in the bedroom, half in the closet. But the way that we each designed our systems means we each get to put in what we need. Because we’ve essentially each had a chance to plan wall to wall wardrobe systems from Ikea (mine for my side and John’s for his side). So my first tip to you would be: if you’re doing this, the very first thing you should do is take stock of what you actually have.
John: Yes, before you go to Ikea, have a sense of what you actually want to store in there because you will show up and be like, “Do I need two drawers for shirts? How many shoes do I really have?” Like you will be completely lost if you don’t take some inventory before you go.
Sherry: Right and two six foot walls is a lot for two people who don’t have very many clothes. So John and I went armed with not only how many clothes and shoes we have, but also with the knowledge that we wanted to build in a hamper, and to build in storage for luggage (like a big duffel bag that we travel with will fit on one of the shelves behind closed doors). It will look like a beautiful wardrobe, but it will actually have a lot of function behind that for uglier items.
John: Right, because I should point out that on top of our old closet bars we did have like a wall to wall shelf so we just stuffed random stuff there. Like there was the duffel bag but there were also like boxes for old laptops like things that are not very glamorous. So we’ve gotten rid of some of that stuff. But there are some non-clothing items in there that we had to make room for. Like we also got rid of the linen closet that was in our bathroom (we tore that out to make room for the bathtub). So we had to think about linen storage in the closet and carve out some space and this new IKEA pack system
Sherry: And it is literally I think one or two shelves for folded towels and sheets because we’re one of those households that doesn’t have a ton of spare things.
John: And can I throw out one thing I learned actually from having to rearrange our stuff during this renovation? Here we go. I put some of our spare linens in the dresser that access my nightstand because I had an empty drawer. And it actually is quite nice had the spare linens for that bed in the drawer right next to the bed because like it’s right there when it’s time to change the sheets.
Sherry: Yeah, I like that it’s flexible because if we decide we want to keep the sheets in there, maybe we’ll only store extra towels for the bathroom in the closet, in that storage. So I like the flexibility, especially in these Ikea systems because the drawers can be switched out for shelves, which can be switched out for a pull-out jewellery case. Like I can make a tall boot cabinet by removing one of the shelves should I need that one day. So many options.
John: We actually had these same Ikea Pax wardrobes in our first house when we built some custom closets around our bed because we didn’t have a big standard closet in that room. So we added the Pax wardrobes to sort of frame the bed and create a nice little sleeping nook. And that’s the last time that I think we’ve had any closet space that we like, customized for ourselves. And we moved out of that house 9 years ago! So it has been a long time since I feel like we’ve had a closet that felt exactly how we wanted it to be organized, and how we wanted it to look. And no matter how much you care or don’t care about your clothes, there is something nice about having that well-oiled machine of a closet.
Sherry: Right, like there’s something tailored to your needs instead of just what was there for the last person who might have had a completely different inventory than you have.
John: Yeah, like I think I underestimated how much I was going to be excited by the new closet part of this renovation when we got started. Like I was sort of like, we’ll just, you know, we’ll put some Pax wardrobes in there. It’ll be good blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But like I’m actually really looking forward to unboxing it and doing it because I think it is going to just make that minor part of my day where I’m getting dressed feel much nicer.
Sherry: Yeah, I think it will finally match the rest of the house because you guys know we’ve renovated a lot of this house so we have like a really beautiful kitchen and a really beautiful downstairs and then you go upstairs and it kind of like gets worse as you go deeper into our personal space like our bedroom looks pretty but ooh, if you looked at the bathroom before, you’d be like, “What kind of maze is this?!” But I think it’s also like a nice gift to finally give to yourself because when we do our private spaces, they’re really for us. Like we’re not renovating this closet so that people who come over can see how nice our closet is.
John: Right, right, right.
Sherry: They will likely never see it.
John: Unless they go on the internet because we’re going to be sharing it, I’m sure.
Sherry: Right. But the other thing I’m really excited about the closet is I think it’s going to be a really easy makeover comparatively because we just have to lay the flooring in there. So we will be doing some tiling work on the ground. But then really I don’t want to oversimplify this because it will set us up to be disappointed.
John: You love to over simplify.
Sherry: I love to be like “it’s going to take five minutes,” but really, all we have to do is assemble these cabinets which we’ve done a ton of times. We’ve installed like three Ikea kitchens, so we’ll put the cabinetry together pretty quickly. Hang the chandelier, lean a mirror on the wall, dust my hands off, walk out of there. I’ll mic drop in there in an hour.
John: No, you’ve already left steps out because you want to try to build it in and put crown on it.
Sherry: You’re right.
John: And you even showed me something on Pinterest where someone painted them like a custom color, so they weren’t the stock white, which, if you want to do that, is a big task.
Sherry: I know. I’m going back and forth on that. I’m going to see how they look with the tile. I think a lot of these projects, guys, and maybe this is a tip if you’re listening, I’m NOT like: “I have to get it right, exactly when it goes in.” I’m completely fine with installing something and then living with it for a little while. And then if I decide like, ooh, that white isn’t perfect with that, you know, marble looking tile, maybe it’s a little bit too stark or a little bit too yellow, then I can prime and paint it later. I like the release of pressure. That is a gift I give to myself when I say “I don’t have to get it right off the bat.” Like I can adjust it slowly over time and just decide how I feel.
John: I feel like you’re starting to segue into what we wanted to talk in the main segment today. But I have an update first.
Sherry: Look at me, almost having a good segue.
John: Oh yeah, sorry, I blocked you.
[News flash sound effect.]
John: So here’s the update. You know we did that episode with all those life hacks and sticking point solutions a few weeks ago. And you guys have been so great about sending us more over the last few weeks and we would love to have more coming, because we’ve got a bunch that we do want to share in a larger update, but today I just wanted to sneak in with a couple that are holiday related because we are, you know, actually right here at the doorstep of the holidays. Thanksgiving is this week. And then Christmas is you know-
Sherry: Three weeks after that.
John: Yeah, just down the road. So the first one comes from someone named Kim, who emailed me to say that she is like a Christmas decorating fanatic. She has lots of stuff. She has a closet dedicated to all of her Christmas stuff. Like she said she’s fortunate to have one closet that she doesn’t have to use 11 months out of the year. So she can just stuff all of her Christmas things in there. But this is her hack. She says at the end of each holiday season when she’s putting everything back, she takes the time to write herself a brief list of what she needs to either replace or refill. And this is not just decorations, it’s also like wrapping paper and ribbon and gift tags and all those things.
Sherry: Yeah, on like a little sticky note. If you guys can picture one sticky note so when she opens the closet on the front of one of the shelves there is a handwritten sticky note, and it says, “I need wrapping paper and I need more ribbon.”
John: Right? For instance, she says when she opened it this year, it said that she needed white and silver ribbon. But she also noted that she didn’t need to buy bows and gift tags.
Sherry: Yes, I like to “don’t need to buy” note the most out of this whole tip! Because I do that where I find something on clearance or I see something throughout the year and I think “who does it need more blank?!” Well, turns out I might not need more blank because I go home and look and I have so much (and seasonal things especially can escape you when you aren’t constantly looking at them). So I could totally see how when you open that door after 11 months, seeing what you need and what you don’t need can definitely save you time and money since it helps you to avoid buying things that you already have so much of.
John: This is the time of year where it’s so easy to get suckered into something because it’s cute and new or just on sale – like new ornaments, new wrapping paper, whatever. So I think this is a really smart way to remind yourself of what you already have so you don’t overstock yourself.
The other tip I had is from Katie from Edmonton. She emailed her family spin on a secret Santa that she said she’s been doing for years, and I thought this was a fun idea. If you’re looking for a way to maybe condense your holiday gift spending, especially if you have a big family. Actually, after we talked through Katie’s I’ll remind people about what our family does, because we do a similar thing. So she says what they do is at Thanksgiving, each person is given an envelope and on the envelope, they write their name and some gifts suggestions for themselves. You know, things that they would like to receive, or at least some starting points or some ideas for things that they might like. And in addition to doing that, they also contribute cash to a sort of family pool of money. It’s cash, so it’s anonymous, it’s not a check. Like you don’t know how much each person is giving because it allows people to give as much or as little as they feel like they can that season. You know, like, if you are feeling generous that season and you got a bonus you can put more in but if you’re feeling like you know, budgets are tight, you can give a little bit less and it doesn’t matter.
Sherry: Right picture a bucket you know, it’s kind of like at church where you pass it and put the money in. They all do that. So nobody’s like, “Ooh, you did 20, you did 50.” Like nobody knows. And it all goes into this one cash bucket.
John: Yeah, I don’t know the exact mechanics of how they do this. I have not witnessed it. But somehow they anonymously collect varying amounts of cash to go into a family pool that then is divvied up equally and put back in the envelopes and each person is distributed someone else’s envelope. So someone is receiving an envelope with someone’s name on it, some gifts suggestions that they would like, and an equal amount of that cash pool that can go towards the gift.
Sherry: Exactly. And the reason I love that is that everybody gets a gift. Nobody’s doing that thing where they’re like, I guess I’ll just get them a gift card because they’re given some starting points.
Sherry: And so I also love the variable cash donations because we all have relatives at different stages in life who may be able to give less or more.
John: You know, the rich uncle.
Sherry: [laughs] I just love that. And I love that it’s anonymous, and it feels drama free.
John: Yeah. And she said the nice thing for their family is that it tends to be a high amount of money like people tend to be generous when they do this. So you are getting a fairly significant gift that’s not like here’s your $10 Starbucks card at the end.
John: And she said they also treat it as the gifts are coming from the group, because everyone contributed money, the gift you’re receiving from the whole family.
Sherry: Oh, I love that. I missed that nuance and I love it because the joy is from everyone because everyone put money in the pot. I love that.
John: Right, like, “You guys shouldn’t have,” that’s what you say at the end.
John: And like I said, I’ll throw in again what we do with our family because we get asked this time of year all the time what our system is because we have a big family especially when we look at the extended family on my side with all the cousins and because all the cousins now have families like it’s a lot of people and so you can’t be expected to exchange gifts individually with everyone. So with my extended family we group people by family, so like me and Sherry and our kids are one unit.
Sherry: We’re known as the Petersik Juniors.
John: Yes, because my parents are the Petersik Seniors. And so we put everyone’s name in a hat or a bucket, whatever and you draw someone’s name from the extended group and that’s the person that you have to buy a gift for. And our little rules are like “you can’t have the person you had last year.” That’s like our only restriction. And you can’t have someone in your immediate family group.
Sherry: Right, so if you pull out your sister, you just put it back in and you pull again to get like an uncle or cousin. And we always do a theme, which is really fun.
John: Yeah, that’s the fun part and what people are most curious about is because to kind of like give people a starting point. And also when you’re opening it’s fun to see how people interpret the theme that we always set something the previous year. Like we do our drawing actually at Christmastime. So like this Christmas, we will be drawing the names and setting the theme for Christmas 2020.
Sherry: Isn’t that crazy? We work a year ahead in this family.
John: Well, it’s when most of us are all together. We don’t have everyone but it seems like the natural time to do it. And so the types of themes we do are pretty open ended, so that there are lots of ways to interpret them. This year’s theme like the 2019 theme is, “Hey hot stuff.”
Sherry: Because we thought it could be like a weighted blanket or a parka or something warm, a hat, mittens, gloves. It could also be like hot chocolate, hot food, spicy food.
John: Yeah, spicy food. It could be something about like, I don’t know, referencing a hot destination. Like something you got when you were on a to trip to the beach or something like that. You can weave the thread of the theme as loosely or as literally as you want.
Sherry: And now it’s like a competition to come up with a theme for the next year. Like people show up with a list in their purse and they pull it out and they’re like, “I had a few ideas.”
John: “I prepared a PowerPoint.” [laughing] And I think somewhere I actually wrote up a list of all the themes we’ve done in recent years and so I’ll try to put that in this week’s show notes if you want a more concrete list of these things. If you are looking to change up how you guys do your family gift giving this year. But now since I so rudely cut you off from your great segue earlier.
Sherry: I mean, I was aiming in a direction, but I was premature.
John: You didn’t even know you were headed there.
Sherry: [laughing] I never know where I’m headed on this podcast guys. I guess you can pick this up from home, but the dynamic of me and John podcasting is John knows exactly where we’re going at all times. There’s like a bulleted list of things that he’s guiding me down like breadcrumbs. I am Hansel and Gretel. He is previous Hansel and Gretel leaving the breadcrumbs and I’m like, “Oh look a bird.” Like I just talk about whatever comes up.
John: Sherry is also not in charge of analogies. What we wanted to talk about today was how we have managed to reduce some of the stress of our bathroom renovation. Because I think we’ve been looking forward to it for so long that I want it to be a pleasant experience. Like it kind of goes back to what we were talking with Miranda Anderson about a couple episodes ago, where she said, like, when she’s renovating a house, she realizes that she wants to enjoy the process, not just the outcome. Because like, the process is a bigger chunk of time, especially if you’re folks like us that are constantly in renovation mode and have been doing big projects for years, like your life is the process. And if you’re not enjoying the process, what’s the point?
Sherry: Right and I think we’ve just been looking so forward to getting to make these updates, that it’s a real shame after six years of dreaming about making these updates that when you’re actually making the updates, you’re stressed out and freaked out the whole time.
John: Yeah, I think for us, we’ve identified the big three stressors for us – and these are probably going to sound familiar to your own stressors. So they are: 1) spending more money than we want to, 2) things taking longer than we thought they would, and 3) second guessing some of our design choices or not being confident about our decisions during the renovation.
I think all of those things have the potential to amp up your stress levels. And so we knew those going in, which is really helpful. So we have spent some time thinking along the way about like: “what can we do to alleviate those stresses or like prevent ourselves from falling into those traps?” And the first one is the one that’s probably going to be the hardest to articulate because Sherry and I are like, both dancing around the same ideas. We’re talking about it but I’m not sure we’ve gotten the right word. So bear with us.
Sherry: Well, I say it a different way than John (like I do with a lot of things in life). Like my Hansel and Gretel metaphor.
John: You’re more of a Hansel and Gretel, I’m more of a Gretel and Hansel. But I think the big thing for me that has helped is that going into this we’ve sort of tried to release the pressure of every single decision and every choice and every material being the best thing.
Sherry: Yes, the way that I say it is, if you only define it as a successful renovation if you get every single thing perfect then most renovations will be failures by that definition.
John: Right, I think simply said it might be like: lower your expectations. But it’s not quite that because I think we still have high expectations and high hopes for it. But I think the trap that I walk into a lot, I’m sure a lot of people do is when you’re doing a big renovation, you think like, if I’m going to go through the trouble of this, and spend the time and the money to do this, like, it better be so good at the end. And if it’s not, like I’m going to be so disappointed.
Like you set the expectation up front that you are going to be upset with yourself and stressed out if you’re not always heading to that highest bar. And so when we look at the bathroom renovation specifically, like the number one thing I want out of it, like the big win out of doing this process for me is to get the more open, brighter layout. Like if you’ve seen the pictures of our bathroom before you know it was so choppy and had all these doors and walls up and it was very claustrophobic and dark. And so I’m just so looking forward to having an open space that feels bright and inviting and like a nice place to walk into in the morning.
And so when I think about like, if that’s really my goal, like that’s the number one thing I want to walk away from this renovation with, there are lots of tile and tubs and vanities and shower fixtures that will deliver that result. And so maybe I don’t have to be so hung up on finding the one perfect thing. There are lots of perfect things for that vision.
Sherry: Yeah, that’s exactly how I would say it, that if you set priorities, it alleviates the pressure of all the little tiny bullets that fall under your bigger priorities.
Sherry: Every single thing cannot be a five alarm fire. You cannot simultaneously care the most about the hardware on your vanity and your light fixture and your tile in the shower and your tub that you choose. Like you have to decide a global vision for the space and be 100% psyched and happy if you meet that vision. And I think for both of us, it’s a big, light filled open room that feels bright and welcoming because it has been the opposite for so long. It has been a dark maze. Hardly any light passing through. Weird choppy flooring changes. All of that is going to go away. And so what we both reached, even though we have different ways of saying it, is not like lower your expectations to a really sad level, but maybe lower the expectation that every single thing you pick has to be perfect because that’s kind of an insane expectation.
John: Yeah, I think for me, I find myself second guessing or doubting a lot of our designs decisions and not just in this bathroom, but through the life of our renovation. Like I think you quickly fall in love with design choices like, “I love this light fixture. I want to pet it and marry it and blah, blah, blah, blah.”
Sherry: I’m much more of a gut person and John is much more of like a logical must-read-every-review person.
John: Yes, I’m in my head a lot about decisions. So when we find something we like, there’s a part of my brain that’s also like, well, I probably should consider all the other options to make sure that this really is the best one. But in the world of design, it’s impossible to look at every potential option. Like tile, for instance, there are so many tiles out there that I’m never going to be able to evaluate them all. And so I think during a lot of projects, that makes me second guess things or not feel fully confident that I’m going to like them in the end. And I realized I have to let that go. And this actually goes back to something I heard Miranda say in her podcast. Sorry to keep referencing you, Miranda. But she said that when she’s trying to make decisions for her renovations, when she finds something she loves like if she comes across a tile that she loves, she doesn’t let the idea that there might be something out there that she loves more make her love the thing in front of her less.
Sherry: I completely agree. I think an exact example I can give you is the tub. I’ve wanted a tub so long. All I want to do is be submerged in hot water. The idea that we could get a freestanding tub and a separate shower in this bathroom is a dream. Like we’re unbelievably excited just at that fact. But then it goes to like I have to pick the tub, right. There’s all this onus on the tub suddenly because I’m so into the idea of the tub. What if I pick the wrong tab and it sucks. So suddenly I have this pressure around a thing I was so excited about. Like immediately my mind shifts from “I’m so excited I can get a tub” to “but which tub will I not hate?!” What I did is I went online and I read reviews until I found a tub that I liked the look of, I liked the budget of, and the reviews were great. There were a bunch of five star reviews, but beyond that there were actually reviews within there that said, I’m 5’2″ and I have this tub and it’s so comfortable. Well guess what? I’m 5’2″. So when I read that I had a lot of confidence, like “someone my size likes this tub!” So suddenly it made it much easier for me to buy.
And it’s a free standing tub and a lot of these freestanding tubs are like $1,000. I think even Costco sells one and the Costco bottom-basement price is like 800. Well, this tub was $500. I didn’t let my brain have a dialogue about that. Like I did not let my brain say, “Oh, but if it’s $500 it’s probably not as good as $1,000 one. You should probably get $1,000 one.” Everything sounds great about this tub. Why would I start to second guess it? Like give yourself the benefit of the doubt that you did the best you could, you made the choice, and then just try not to believe you did a bad thing after it’s too late.
John: Well, but I also understand there are probably going to be things that we install and maybe they don’t work out the way that we expected – like using our kitchen as an example. I think you shared on Instagram recently that like we’re not crazy about the perimeter counters in our kitchen. We got a glossy quartz for our island but for the perimeter counters we decided to go for a matte finish to mix things up.
Sherry: I thought it would look like concrete around the perimeter, and concrete is high maintenance, so I wanted something really super low maintenance, which is quartz. Hence using matte finished quartz there.
But I don’t love it because every time you set a glass down or it splashes which, hello, there’s a sink in that counter like there are water droplets on it all the time… it doesn’t leave a stain, it just leaves a little ghosted outline. So I can buff it right out and it will look beautiful, but it just means I’d be constantly buffing my counter if I didn’t want it to have those little ghosted marks. The solution is to have them uninstall my counters, bring them back to the stone yard, buff them and reinstall them. I’m not that frustrated, like that’s a whole big deal so I’m not going to do it. But if I could turn back time and make the choice to get glossy quartz there instead of matte would I? Sure! That’s why I’m passing it along to you guys. It’s why I did the Instagram story to hopefully save somebody else the issue of purchasing this matte quartz countertop.
John: But the reason I bring it up is because even though it’s something that we are slightly dissatisfied with in our kitchen, it doesn’t take away from our overall satisfaction with the kitchen. Like, we got all the major things out of this kitchen that we wanted. It’s a much better layout, we got more storage, it looks a lot brighter. So this little thing about the counter is not going to really detract from it at all. And that’s what I was trying to say earlier about the bathroom. If down the road the vanity is not the perfect storage solution or like the tile doesn’t wear as well as I thought it would, it’s not going to take away from the fact that we got this new layout. Like I can stay focused on that big win. And I’m not going to let the other things stress me out. Does that make sense?
Sherry: Yeah, like literally saying, “I’m making the best choice I can right now with the knowledge I have and the budget I have and I’m going for this and I’m not going to beat myself up over it. I’m doing my best.”
John: For the budget, and this kind of goes back to that conversation we had about the heated floors a few episodes ago, I think we also realized in this pursuit of getting the right items and picking the right finishes, we realized that spending more does not necessarily equal higher satisfaction. Like if you had asked me and Sherry a year ago about this bathroom renovation, we would have said, like, we waited so long for this. It’s our main bathroom. We’re going to treat ourselves and splurge at every turn. Like we wanted the ultimate luxury for an en-suite bathroom that you could get here.
Sherry: And we’re planning to stay here for a long time, so it would be money well spent, it would hold the value in blah, blah, blah. We would have told you all of that. But in practice, we’re actually finding a lot of comfort in not super stretching the budget. Like the example of the tub again, yes, I could have bought a $1000 or $2,000 tub – but I like the $500 one. I don’t need to reinvent the wheel and play psychological games with myself to spend more to feel like I’m giving myself a bigger gift.
John: Yeah, I think we just realized when it came down to actually purchasing things when presented with the more expensive option, that didn’t feel better to us.
Sherry: And it didn’t always mean it would be better.
John: Right. That’s certainly true.
Sherry: I found tubs more expensive that had lower reviews, you know, like money doesn’t always equal better.
John: Yeah. And I think that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t splurge when you want to or when you think it’s needed. But we realized that there’s no point in just spending lots of money or buying the biggest ticket item because it makes you feel like you’re doing the better thing or the right thing. There are so many things that we’ve picked for this bathroom that are not the most expensive option. You know, we got a store bought vanity, not a custom vanity. We’re buying pre-made tiles, not handmade tiles. Like maybe some of those things would make or break the difference between how much some other people enjoy their bathroom, but it’s not going to make or break how we enjoy our bathroom.
Sherry: Yeah, I think you should make sure the priorities are yours and not the world’s. Like I thought heated floors was the epitome of luxury. Then I learned about how I’d have to either program them to always be on at certain times of the day, or it takes 30 minutes to heat up if I didn’t pre-program it. And suddenly I was able to let it go because it wasn’t actually my priority. The funniest thing about it is I kept getting DMs that were like, “No, your little feet are going to be so cold.” And I was answering people and saying, “I just wear slippers all the time anyway.” So like I was about to spend $1,500 on something that would be under my slippers! [laughing]
John: Well, and the point is that like since we didn’t spend that money, and since we aren’t maxing out our budget at every turn, it means we have this nice padding in the budget for if something goes wrong, or if we do find something that we want to splurge on for this project. Or if we just want to save it so that at the end of the project, we can put it towards the next project. Or we can like use it for a vacation or a trip. I don’t know like, it’s always nice to have extra padding in your money because money is such a stressful thing, especially in a renovation, that when you can eliminate it as the stressful part of it, it’s a huge relief.
Sherry: Yeah, I will say that some of the labor has cost more than I expected. And I’m okay with it. And I’m not stressed out because we’ve saved money on some objects and materials that we selected.
Sherry: It feels much better than maxing everything out at all the turns and I know you’re going to ask me for bathroom budget. We are going to share one at the end. So you’ll see where the money went all on the blog when we get there.
John: Yes, but let’s cover the last thing, which is timeline because it’s another stressful thing for us. And we realized, we have a nice scenario here where we don’t really have a hard deadline. Like when we did the duplex we were always fighting up against that summer season starting in June, so we had a really strong and obvious deadline for the duplex, which made it a lot more stressful. A lot of times when you have renovation, you feel like you have to get it done before you know the holidays when guests come. Or you just have your own self-imposed deadline because you don’t want to be without your kitchen sink for longer than you have to. Like a lot of times there’s constantly a ticking clock in the background. And we realized this was a renovation where we didn’t have to set that ticking clock for ourselves. Yes, it is inconvenient to not have our own bathroom available to us, but it’s not the end of the world either.
Sherry: Yeah, it’s really not a big deal in the scheme of life. Same with not having a closet. Would we want to do this for three years? It’s not ideal, but are we going to work nights and weekends tirelessly and maybe make some mistakes because we’ll be so exhausted to get finished a week before we ordinarily would have? No.
John: Yeah, like this came up pretty recently, because we had a week where we had a lot of momentum, we got all of our demo done, we had our plumber and our electrician come in back to back. And so it was a very productive week. But then we immediately got stalled with our drywall. And we actually had like 10 days where I think almost nothing happened in the bathroom. And it was a little bit disappointing because it felt like that was lost time. But then we realized the only way to make it up is for us to work harder or more often at night, or to fall behind on other life and work commitments to make it happen. And that’s stressful when you have to do that.
So we could make it happen faster, but it would be at the expense of adding more stress. And since we said at the front of this, we’re focused on minimizing the stress of this project, we decided to just take the ticking clock off the table, like I said. We’re going to be okay if it’s a flexible deadline. We’re going to be okay if it takes a little bit longer than we expected because in the end, we’ll have a bathroom that we should be very happy with. And it’s a bathroom we get to enjoy for years. So like if it takes a few extra weeks to get there, that’s like small potatoes in the grand scheme of things.
Sherry: Because I will be able to submerge my entire body.
John: Sherry did say at some point that she expected to be able to put herself in that bathtub by my birthday. Well, my birthday was two weeks ago.
Sherry: I wanted to snorkel around for John’s birthday. I said it wouldn’t be done, I just wanted the tub to be installed – but it didn’t happen.
John: You could go in the tub and just snorkel around – but you’d be in the garage and the tub would be dry and in a box.
John: So again, we’re not saying that this is a completely stress free project, like there’s always going to be something we can’t plan for, or that we didn’t expect. But I think the things that we just talked about have been really helpful for us in minimizing the amount of stress of this big renovation and hopefully if you guys have a renovation down the line, they’re helpful for you too. And I was going to say I was going to put something in the show notes, but I don’t know what the heck that would be.
Sherry: Link to my amazing tub, where you can read the reviews.
John: Okay, yes. I guess maybe links to some of the things that we talked about or the posts, at least where we link to them. I’ll figure it out. If you want to see some more stuff in the show notes just go and find out. It’ll be a surprise.
Sherry: Yeah, who knows what will be there?
John: Ooh I know what will be in the show notes. Links to the things we’re digging.
Sherry: Okay so this week I’m digging something that I feel like is on point with the season of gift giving that’s upon us. And it has a whole lot of hair and there’s a booty…. [dramatic pause]… what I’m digging are vintage nostalgic toys like troll dolls.
John: If you’ve been on Sherry’s Instagram recently, you know she’s on a troll high right now.
Sherry: I’m on a troll bender. Because as a child, I had little troll dolls. They lined the window of my room so long that they got faded, like the back of their hair was bleached white from the sun. And I loved them. But you know, I outgrew it. I think my mom sold them at a yard sale or gave them to some cousin of mine. They were gone. And the other day I was talking to my daughter and she was like, “What did you like when you were a kid? Like, what was your thing?” And it was like, “Oh, my thing….”
John: Her thing was trolls.
Sherry: [laughs] My thing was trolls.
John: But she’s like, “Never mind, I got to go.”
Sherry: No, she was like, “What are trolls?” And I looked them up and for like, two minutes, I was Googling them on my phone and showing her. She was like, “These are weird. These are weird.” And then she was like, “Oh, that one’s cute, it’s scuba diving! Oh, look at that one, he’s a scientist!” And she got sucked into the troll vortex and started saying she wanted to save some of the money in her “save” piggy bank. You know how they have those “spend,” “save,” and “share” banks. She wanted her “save” bank to go towards an eBay set of trolls.
And she was very worried that someone would snatch them up. I was like, “Don’t worry, like two people are watching this. That’s like nobody on eBay who wants these trolls.” And then the craziest thing is that our really good friends in Cape Charles, their daughter who’s our daughter’s really good friend was like, “Oh, I have a bunch of trolls for my grandma in a big bag. I have like 100.” And our daughter was like, “I will bring all of my money.” And her friend was like, “Don’t be crazy. I don’t need 100,” and basically gave her like 25 of these vintage 1980s and 90s trolls and I’m just like, I’m revelling in the excitement of first of all toys that go the distance, right.
Like these are not reproductions. These are actual things that didn’t go into a landfill. They got saved, and kids today are still playing with them. And I love the idea that I can recommend these. And you guys, if you thought your kids would like them, you can find them on eBay or Craigslist, or Facebook marketplace, those are all places I looked and could find them. And I’m not just digging trolls, I’m generally digging retro toys. So even if it’s like an old game of Twister, an old game of Trivial Pursuit, now they make these like reproductions of older things. Even if you couldn’t find an original, you can go to Target and find some retro looking ones – you know, like the old Operation game.
John: Right. I think there’s some cachet that we all recognize that like, “Oh, it’s nostalgic for us.” But this whole troll experience made us realize that there’s also something weirdly reverse nostalgic for our daughter as well. Like if you’re getting it for a kid today, they have all of these options for toys – like you’re probably hearing all the ads right now for “the new hottest toys for 2019” – but it was extra special for her to know that this was something her mom loved and she was taking part in it in a weird way.
So I think if there is some nostalgic gift that relates to something you did as a child or you were obsessed with as a child, it can make it extra special to give that gift or the experience of that gift to someone else, because it connects you to them in a really fun way that we just came across with this whole troll thing.
Sherry: Yeah, I agree. It makes us feel bonded. Like I almost feel like she’s loving the exact item I had as a kid. It’s not actually mine. I wish I had saved mine. And the other thing that I think is really cool about it is I think she recognizes that it’s a little bit more special than some toy that everyone can find at the dollar spot. Like there is a little bit of specialness that these are as old as her mom, literally, and she’s playing with them. And yeah, we did need to crazy glue some of the hair back on. Some of them didn’t have some clothes to start with, but we figured out little wardrobes for them. So there’s fun in kind of bringing them back to life too, they’re like fixer upper houses, but they’re trolls. It’s just a fun thing.
John: And if you guys were worried they’re still just as creepy as they were in the 90s.
Sherry: There were some she didn’t pick, she was like, “Those faces, oof.”
John: If you want a fast nightmare, find yourself some old trolls.
Sherry: [laughing] Well I’ll link to some in the show notes and I’ll also link to a few other retro toys that I think are poised to make a comeback. So even if you think your kids aren’t going to be into trolls, there are some other classic things on eBay and online that aren’t readily available at Target but are still really retro and fun. And you might feel warm and fuzzy watching your kids or your nieces and nephews play with something you loved as a kid.
John: Mine is not nearly as warm and fuzzy. No, wait, it is. They’re a little bit fuzzy on the inside. I’m digging the jeans I’m wearing. I haven’t dug clothes in a long time. I know you guys have been waiting.
Sherry: Waiting for John’s clothes reviews.
John: And they’re stretchy jeans again.
Sherry: I was like John, you’ve already dug these. You can’t do it and he’s like these are different stretchy jeans.
John: I don’t think I’ve dug these specific jeans. And if I have they’re still worth mentioning again because when the weather turned colder here a few weeks ago, I dug out jeans that I hadn’t worn in a while and they were not my favorite jeans (they were these like Banana Republic ones I bought who knows how long ago – but they were probably 50 or $60 but they were not my favorite jeans). It took me a couple weeks to discover my favorite jeans in the back of some drawer that I don’t know why they were living there. But I was reminded as to why I love these so much, these stretchy jeans. They’re not the stretchy jeans I dug before which were from J.Crew and were also like 50 or 60 bucks. I used to spend a lot more money on jeans than I do now because these, my friends, are from Target.
Sherry: They’re Goodfellow – you know that brand? John loves Goodfellow.
John: Goodfellow & Co, I believe. They’re like, I don’t know, less than 30 bucks, $27 I think. And they are also stretchy so they feel more comfortable than regular denim. So like you can sit and bend and kick and yoga in them and whatever.
Sherry: I just have to paint a picture that John came downstairs and he’s like,” I found my favorite jeans! They were missing but they fit me so much better than the other jeans. Look, aren’t they nicer?” And I had to do that thing where I was like, “Yes, I can definitely tell a difference.” [laughing]
John: I felt much better in them. And having gone through the experience of almost misplacing them and not having them, it reminded me that I should go and get some more while they’re in stock now at Target before it’s not the season anymore, because I love them so much. And they are like a little fleece-y on the inside too. So they’re very cosy, very stretchy, and they make me look wonderful.
Sherry: [giggles] I definitely noticed.
[Outro music playing.]
Sherry: Thanks for listening to Young House Love Has A Podcast and Happy Thanksgiving.
John: And in the spirit of the holiday, it bears repeating that we are so thankful for you guys whether you listen every single Monday or just catch up whenever you can, it makes doing this so much more fun knowing that you guys are tuning in somewhere out there.
Sherry: And if you enjoy it enough to recommend it to a friend or family member that is truly amazing. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
John: Yes and you know we love to hear what you do while you listen like Kate on Instagram who’s a film critic and listens to get herself through the stress of award season like when she has to return filmmaker emails and stuff.
Sherry: And you know you can always find more info, photos and links from this episode at younghouselove.com/podcast.
John: Yep, this week we’re sharing a peek at our closet design plan and that list of holiday gifting themes.
Sherry: And the links to some of those fun nostalgic toys that I love.
[Theme music ends.]
Sherry: The odds are I’m going to really, really love this tub. It’s going to change my life. I never had a tub I could submerge in, in six years I’ve been able to get my ankles and my butt wet. [laughter] Think about that. My knees were out. My chest was out.
John: Don’t think about it too closely though.
Sherry: [laughing] Just picture me flopping around in a soap dish. That’s what the old tub was.