Welcome to the newly redesigned Icatar.com! Our lives have certainly changed dramatically over the last year and this new site represents a fresh start. Here you will continue to find news updates for our family and other potential news of interest. We've made the most interesting items more readily available. Over to the right, we will post recent photos from our family. You will also notice a dedicated video player which will display all of our family videos that we have posted to Youtube. Also, be sure to click the Subscribe link below and you will receive an e-mail anytime we post anything new. Finally, feel free to comment on any post or you can e-mail me directly with any comments at roneil@icatar.com.

Caribbean Cruise

Posted by Roneil Icatar On 3/31/2006 09:17:00 PM 3 comments
We just got back from a 4 day Caribbean Cruise. OK, we got back a month ago and I finally got around to making our video. Turn up the speakers to enjoy some nice relaxing music. Hope you enjoy!

Caribbean Cruise 2006 (Running Time: 7:40)

Home Makeover: 95% Done!

Posted by Roneil Icatar On 1/13/2006 08:08:00 PM 0 comments
We are so close to done! The electrician wasn't available this week, so we still have to wait on the sconces, but everything else turned out great so far. In true makeover fashion, I will only tease you with the "before" picture below. Click on the picture and you will see the "after".

Here is the main view from the entrance. Remember the lighting and wallpaper?
It will be so nice to be able to take a shower upstairs again!
We replaced that giant sink with a pedestal sink and freed up all sorts of space.
Ahhh! The throne! What else can I say, except that we no longer have to fight over the downstairs bathroom!

I hope you enjoyed our little renovation. We'd like to thank Mike Ritacco of MR Construction. We highly recommend him for any of your household work. You can reach him at 203-979-3881, and if you mention you got his name from this web site, you'll receive absolutely nothing!

Home Makeover Part 4: Getting There!

Posted by Roneil Icatar On 1/10/2006 08:06:00 PM 0 comments
I can say without a doubt that I certainly have a much greater appreciation for interior design (and the 12 million shades of blue and white) and the good folks that actually build these things. Especially the poor guys (like my contractor) that has to work on these 60 year old homes, where walls aren't always exactly vertical or floors aren't exactly flat (or in our case, shaped like a canoe!) Anyway, the bathroom is looking better and better each day. It's been dusty for the last couple days with all the sanding, but today, it was cleaned up a bit to allow me to take some pics. Enjoy!

Here is the entry view to the bathroom. You can see the wainscot (another fancy term for paneling) along the lower part of the room, painted in a very light blue (which I mistook for white and may actually look white in the picture). The new tile is called "Castle Grey" and has some a little bit of blue in it that is brought out by the wainscoting. And finally, we are thrilled about how the shelves came out. You may not see it in the picture, but it really helps enhance the room.
Here is the neo-angle shower base, hopefully, the shower will be up by Thursday. That heater is helping dry the paint and primer and the bucket is the official bucket of Home Makeover.
Here's another view of the floor, the shower, the shelves and where the toilet will be (I can't wait till that's installed either). Hmmm...Maybe I'll put some good books on those shelves....
....and right on cue....the toilet view.

One more day of painting, then all the fixtures go in. I can't wait!

Home Makeover: Correction

Posted by Roneil Icatar On 1/09/2006 12:36:00 AM 0 comments
It seems that I've eulogized our 60W light bulb too early. It wasn't retired, as I previously posted, but just moved to become the shower light. We can all go on with our lives again.

Home Makeover Part 3: Getting Closer!

Posted by Roneil Icatar On 1/07/2006 01:04:00 PM 0 comments
Once everything was gutted, we needed to get the plumber and electrician in to work on the innards before the walls were put up. I think both had minor heart attacks when they saw what they had to deal with, but eventually got their work done. These pictures show right before they finished and closed up the walls.

Here's a good picture of the cutout where we will be putting in the shelves. In case you're wondering what that pink stuff is, it's (yep) INSULATION!!! Yayyy!
This is where the shower stall will be. That light will be a recessed light over the shower, and at the moment is lighting the entire bathroom.
This picture shows where the toilet will go. You can also see the ventilation fan very strategically placed.
Here's a closer view of the slanted ceiling and that wonderful, beautiful, energy saving insulation. The contractor and I keep joking that we're all going to be huddled in the bathroom all winter because it's going to be the warmest room in the house. I'm glad we got the heavy duty fan.
And of course, we can't leave without seeing the "view from the toilet" angle. The lonely 60W light bulb has been retired (he served us well) and will be replaced with two sconces (that's just another word for fancy lights - I looked it up) on either side of the mirror.

So after they finish closing the walls, the next step will be to tile the floor and install the toilet and shower base. I should have more pictures on Monday.

Home Makeover Part 2: The Gutting

Posted by Roneil Icatar On 1/07/2006 12:14:00 AM 1 comments
The first day of the makeover had the guys totally gut the bathroom. This included ripping out everything including the walls, plumbing fixtues, and flooring. It really is amazing the kinds of things you find when you start tearing walls down. Here are pictures of the bathroom with everything ripped out.

Here is a picture looking into the bathroom. Notice the crawl space behind the walls, where we found all sorts of crud.
This picture shows where the toilet and the shower stall were. Notice anything missing? Yep, insulation! There was no insulation in the walls.
Here's another view of the shower and the base left behind. The base will also be taken out as we are replacing the square shower with one of those neo-angle shower stalls.
Here's the view if the toilet was still there and you were sitting on it. And tha poor 60W bulb is the only thing left.
This is a better view of the back wall of the room. You see how the pipes make a nice square? We decided to build a couple shelves into the wall for some storage. Since we will be putting in a pedestal sink to open the room a little, these shelves will give us something to put our stuff in.

Home Makeover: Norwalk Edition

Posted by Roneil Icatar On 1/05/2006 08:43:00 PM 4 comments
If you've ever been over to our house, you might have had the pleasure of seeing the ugliest bathroom ever! The bathroom is like a 4x4 coffin, ugly decor, and for the last 2 years, hasn't been used because the shower is broken and the toilet leaks into the first floor ceiling. Well, after 2 years of searching, we've finally found a contractor that was willing and able to take on the monumental task of transforming this franken-bathroom into something that will at least make the house sellable.

Here are some pictures of the bathroom before the surgery (click for larger view):

This picture tries to capture the ugliness as a whole. Notice the faux wood panel and beautiful(!) wallpaper. Yes, that's a kitty litter next to the toilet.
Here is the non-functioning shower stall. Don't you like the contrasting tiles at the bottom?
Here is the leaky toilet. That is industrial strength masking tape to keep people from using it, otherwise, it would flood the first floor.
This is what you'd see if you were sitting on the toilet. But don't get up too quickly or you'll hit your head on the sloping ceiling! And that single lonely 60W light bulb lit up the whole place nicely.
Here is the beautiful tile in the room. The original owners were really smart here, because they could replace broken tiles in the wall or the floor with the same tile.

In the next couple days, I'll also be posting progress pictures as the work happens. Stay tuned!