We are getting ready to finish painting the kitchen cabinets because this weekend we are putting in the new counter tops! Woo-hoo!!! My dad is coming over and we are gonna bust out a brand new kitchen {or that's what it is going to feel like to us!}.

I am so excited to have this part of the house done. The kitchen has come so far already. I wish I had pictures of it before when it was dark red and had nudie girls on the curtains {Ryan's bachelor days}

So if the pictures of my hall closet made you a little nauseous yesterday then these pictures will definitely make you feel a little better. But in the end I hope it looks as good as my hall closet!

A work of art...

After being inspired by my newest issue of The Nest I got my Martha on today!


The Fancy Coat

I have a coat that's fancy. I don't wear it a lot because lets face it I wear scrubs to work and sweat pants at home {not much need for a fancy coat in the circumstances} But today I put it on before I rushed out the door. It felt good. Nice and fancy. I thought this is just what my Wednesday needs with a little skip in my step.

Then at lunch I drove to Walgreens to get a few nessisary items but when I got there I realized that when I put my fancy coat on, I had also left my purse at home...bummer. So I drove back to work thinking that Wednesday was only going to go down from here. I was going to have no goodies from Walgreens and I was going to have to finish my thank you card mailing labels {yuck, yuck, yuck}

As I was putting my keys away in the pocket of my coat I felt something...what could it be? I dug down into the pocket {thinking I have only worn this coat 1 time what could I possibly have stuffed in there already?!?} I pulled out a white envelope with holly leaves on it. Could it be? Seriously??? YES! I found $25 in my fancy pocket! So I stopped by Walgreens again on the way home. Got me some Martha, cute notebooks, and Swedish Fish.

Hope you had a fancy Wednesday as well!


Losing my sub-contractor...

So this weekend I made this, drank some wine, and had lots of fun hanging out with my bestie {who just so happens to also be my hubby!} What did I do on the house you say? Ummmm...let me think about it...ummm...nothing? Gulp. That's right. I don't think one thing got done this weekend!

But it was not for nothing! See Ryan's job is about to go into full swing for the season and that means some really long days for the next 2 months and not a lot of face time. He works about 45 minutes away right now {thus the move that we are in the never ending middle of}. So he won't be getting home until 9 or 10 every night.

So I had to soak up every last minute of quality time together and brace myself for the next 60 days or so. I have a lot to manage while he is busy working. Not only will all the house work and keeping up with family have to be done by me but ALSO the move! Oh am I ready for this?!? I don't know but I will do my best. Tonight on the agenda will be laundry {always and forever}, taping off the trim, and hopefully finally moping the bedrooms with the new floor cleaner! Woo-hoo!

So here is to me and the kitties finishing up the house while Ryan is hard at work!


How many men does it take to put in a ceiling fan...

I got in big time trouble because I forgot to do this post! Ryan's cousin Levi came over this past weekend to help us on our house. Levi is very handy and it was so nice of him to come over and help us {especially since he is currently remodeling his own home- which is much larger and older then ours} We decided to finish the ceiling fan in the living room.

The old ceiling fan didn't have a globe and was from the 1970's...ew. So we changed it out with a fan we got for free from my parents. {they were putting in an even better ceiling fan I guess but to us this one is juuuuuust fine!} We had to add a piece of decorative trim around the top because the old ceiling fan base was much larger and there was a huge gross dirty circle around the new base.

This became quite the project as it is very difficult to hold up a heavy ceiling fan for a long time {especially for poor Ryan who had to stand on his tip toes to hold it at the right level. Thank goodness another one of Ryan's friends was over. Alex is a great guy to have around when you need something heavy held! Poor guy had just lifted weights the night before so he was definitely feeling the burn!

But at last we have a nice new modern fan for the living area. I am not normally a fan of the ceiling fan {no pun intended}. But for our house I make an exception because since our house is so small that fan makes a big difference in our power bill come spring and fall. Plus you can reverse it and make it warmer in the winter by drawing the hot air up!


What lies beneath...

So we got a little crazy this weekend and pulled up the carpet. For three years I have put up with this gross, disgusting, stanky, ol' carpet and I was more then a little happy to get it out. We have discovered that we have some pretty decent hardwood floors underneath.

Now we just need to have them sanded and sealed...money. money. and more money! Luckily Ryan's cousin knows a guy who can maybe do it for under a grand! {wouldn't that be grand???} I can't wait to get the rest of it out of the bedrooms!

It really wasn't as hard or as scary as we thought it would be. Now my brother did help us get started but after watching and getting the basic idea we really just jumped in pulling up carpet, nails, and millions of tiny poorly placed staples. Labor intensive but entirely free! Can't beat that kind of home improvement.

Tomorrow we are ripping out more carpet! Tonight we made sure to get masks and goggles as nails sometimes fly at your face. I am paranoid about getting something in my eyes. We also picked up some different kinds of cleaners for the floor, More information to follow as to what product we liked the most.


Mastering the art of staging... Challenge Day 11,12,13

So I am not a real estate professional but my parents have just sold their 8th house so I know a thing or two about buying and selling houses. De-cluttering and staging are almost second nature to me. When the covers go over the electrical outlets I know it's go time {growing up this was a clear sign that moving was inevitably close}

While for me it is easy it is not for everyone. It took Ryan a while before he really got in the grove of it. It's hard to wrap your mind around the fact that your house is no longer going to be functioning for you, it has to function for the potential buyers. If you have a weird space or wasted space in your house, the buyer may not be able to picture how he or she would use the space. That's why it is important to stage your house showing the function of every room to it maximum potential.

Sometimes it means making hard decisions or guessing what your potential buyers market will want. For us it has been hard deciding what to do with our third bedroom/ dining room. It is a room off the kitchen with two separate entrances and a large closet. It is VERY small and it has carpet {which is why we have never used it as a dining room}. We live just off a major university campus and so we live around a lot of students. So most likely it will be used as a bedroom and not a dining room. What we decided in the end was to make it an office and we have a china cabinet with all of my platters and a small table so that you could eat in there if your brought in extra chairs.

Was this the right staging decision? I don't know yet. What I do know is that if I was looking at a house and there was a dining room with carpet I would immediately say "next!"

The kitty pack has been immensely enjoying all of the furniture moving. Nothing brings life back into an old nap spot like moving it from one room to another. I don't know how but some how through all of the work on the house the kitties have been trained not to walk through paint. Yesterday while we painted all three watched the entire time never causing one problem {and believe me we have had problems in the past ending in little white paw prints all over my furniture-thank goodness we have microfiber and as boring as it is you can get ANYTHING out of micro fiber!}

Today I will be finishing up painting the living room and I have some pictures to share of our brand new guest room! So happy to have picture downloading capabilities again!


Bathroom Makeover Challenge Day 10...

Here are the before pictures:

It has been a couple of days since I last posted but I finally have a way to download all my pictures to my laptop again! Hurray for Best Buy! While Ryan was away last week I went hard to work. I wanted to completely finish the bathroom before he came home.

While the bathroom is not what you would call "completely finished"-it is pretty darn close. I primed and painted the walls a nice soft almond color. I used a semi-gloss and I will tell you why. Usually I like the look of flat or matte paint but what I have found is that those finishes are really hard to clean. So if you are painting in a room like a bathroom of a kitchen it works better to use a gloss, satin, or semi-gloss because it gives you a nice surface to clean and doesn't absorb stain.

I also cleaned out the ceiling fan and painted the ceiling. This alone did wonders for the room. I replaced our old black shower curtain and black tension rod with a sleek stainless steel rod and a white floral shower curtain from IKEA {that I got for $6.50!} The rug we had in another room {don't worry it has a rubber bottom so it is bathroom friendly}.

New curtains with little dark flex that bring in the black vanity and mirror complete the look. I was going to fill the picture frames with pictures from our honeymoon but I decided against this because I don't want to make the house too personal. We are trying to sell this place so our buyers have to see their pictures on the walls not ours. So instead I used a Christmas gift card to buy a circle cutter {for another project!} and some fun paper prints that I am going to put into the frames for added interest.

And the floors! They are my FAVORITE part. One because I laid that stinkin' floor all by myself and two because lets face it my old floor was nasty! When my brother saw the floor he asked me who did it! That was when I knew I had been successful. My brother is a carpenter and he thought the floor was so well done that my dad must have helped me! I used the laminate tiles that just adhere to the floor. It took some time but I was lucky that I could follow the grid on the old floor. Using primitive tools like a rolling pin and a utility knife I slowly but surely laid that sucker! And now I have the beautiful look of tile {I am sure it does not look like real tile but it so much better then the old floor that it doesn't even matter}

One of my favorite parts of the room are the little jars and candle on the back of the toilet. I used one jar for q-tips and I want to put cotton balls in the other one but I didn't have any for my photo shoot : (

Tonight we are moving furniture around and defining rooms. I am also going to be patching holes in the living room to prepare it for painting. I can't wait to paint again! {can you sense the sarcasm please tell me you can...}

Here are the after pictures!!!

Four days with no husband + one ratty old bathroom+ a little determination = one very happy girl!


De-cluttering the kitchen and a surprise...

Yesterday we continued to prep the house. Moving unused items to the basement and de-cluttering the kitchen. It was hard for me to pack away all my pretty things. Staging is not always fun and decorating, sometimes it involves undecorating. We didn't do to much last night though because Ryan was packing for a business meeting down in Orlando and I wanted to spend as much time with him as possible in a good mood (not always the case when we are working on the house together). But I have BIG plans for when he is away.

I am going to redo the whole bathroom while he is gone!!! Part of my surprise is going to be the wall art. Right now we have a bunch of pictures from a trip with my mom to Venice, Italy and I am going to change them all over to pictures from our honeymoon! Only problem is choosing just a few because we got so many amazing pictures while we were there. Paris truly is the city of love. If you ever have a chance to go with the one you love I highly recommend it. I don't know what it is about that city but it works magic. I came back with a husband who loves red wine and photography-two things he had no interest in prior and two of my favorites.

We really bonded on that trip and I wanted to do something special for Ryan to bring that old Paris feeling into our home. I am excited to pick my favs and see how it all comes together. Now the only question is should I do color or black and white? Decisions, decisions. Here are some of the possibilities.


Putting my best rags forward...Challenge Day 1

Today was kind of a slow starter. I had already planned to go visit my parents. So after a fun night hanging out and some Taco Bell I did what I could do while Ryan was watching football-organize the hall closet! Exciting right? I guess every step is something checked off the list.

I am marking the hallway as finished. The walls and ceiling have been painted. I have some cute little prints hanging in frames I got for less then 2 dollars. And now the grand finale with a staged linen closet. I would love to show you a picture of how nice and organized it is but sadly I cannot find my cord to download all my pictures...bummmer.

My three simple steps to staging a closet:

1: Hide your yucky rags- We all have them but no one wants to see that when they are looking to buy your house!

2: Containers and Baskets- Use these to hide all your junk in. Be creative and used things your already have on hand- I am using an old picnic basket to store cards from our wedding in.

3: Edit- The closet should say I have lots of space. Cramming things into the closet makes it look too small and people will wonder if your house has enough storage for them.

Follow those three simple steps and your linen closet will be Open House ready in no time too! Since I don't have a new pictures to share of the house, here is a picture from our honeymoon that I plan on printing in black and white for art in the bathroom.


30 Day Challenge...

Hello, I do realize that it has been a while since you last heard from me. I stopped blogging because after the wedding it was hard to find a direction for this blog. I felt aimless and uninspired. Can I be honest too? I found myself being a green blogger and I don't mean the environmentally friendly green- I mean the jealous kind.

Have you ever been reading a blog and find yourself comparing your life to hers? Or your husband to hers? Or your house to hers? I am afraid to post picture of my house because I feel it does not measure up. And so I wanted to put a stop to my unintentional blogging and my self doubting ways.

So I have decided for the next 30 days I will be blogging daily on a new challenge I am joining. My goal is to have our house completely renovated and on the market by February 4th. You know how they say love finds you when your not looking? Well I feel the same way but not about love but the direction of my life. I am looking so hard for it that maybe it is time to stop looking, dive in and start living. Maybe I will find my purpose along the way....if not hopefully my house will have gained some equity.

Tasks to be completed in the next 30 days:

Kitchen: Install new counter tops, Install new oven hood, Install new sink, Install dishwasher, Install garbage disposal, Clean all appliances, Paint ceiling, New covered garbage can, Clean windows inside and out, New doorknob for back door, De-clutter and finish design

Living Room: Prime and Paint, New curtains, New light fixture, Move old art back into room, New front entry way New carpet, Take down mirrors, Clean out media cabinets and under coffee table, Install black floating shelf above TV, New floor dividers, Finish painting trim

Dining Room/ 3rd Bedroom: Decide purpose of room, New light fixture, New carpet (yes carpet in a dining room- campus town means it will more then likely be a bedroom and it's cheaper to install carpet), Clean and organize closet

Hall: Clean closet

Bathroom: New floor, Sand down wall, Paint, Re-paint cabinet, Put in new black and white art, New rugs, New garbage can that closes, Fix sink, New doorknob, Paint ceiling, Get new outlet with a reset button, New curtains, Re-caulk trim and bathtub

Master Bedroom: Take out T.V., Prime and paint, New carpet, New lighting, Organize closet

Second Bedroom: New lighting, Paint ceiling, New carpet, Organize closet, Take out T.V., New curtains, Decide on design

Basement: Install long panel curtains in all the windows, Paint walls and floor, Set up Man Room, Curtain off storage areas. Set up and stage laundry area,

Maybe I am crazy but I desperately need a goal right now. A challenge is right up my ally. Oh, did I mention that I am not going to be reading any other blogs for the next 30 days? I want this to be purely me. I don't want to wonder if I am trying to be someone else anymore. Don't think for a second this will be easy for me- I LOVE reading blogs. I can spend hours aimlessly drifting from one pretty picture to the next. But it is time to start capturing my own life. Time to start blogging intentionally and with a clear vision of who I am.

If you are interested in joining in the 30 day challenge go here and join in with a challenge of your own! Here is to the next 30 day- may they be inspiring, full of purpose and direction.


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