Updated house tour

Saturday, March 28, 2015

I got bitten hard by the spring cleaning bug this week. I've been cleaning and decluttering (in that really intense way where I pull out everything I own and question why on earth I've been saving it) like there's no tomorrow. My grandmother (hi SueSue!) wanted some updated pictures, so I'm here to deliver. Some spaces haven't been touched still but it's looking more and more like a home.

No editing pictures today, computer is being a weirdo.

Margaret's room:
(no before pictures, but just imagine stained carpet, bad paint job, etc) I have re-arranged this tiny room 4 times before landing on this set up, which involved taking the glider out (too big) and stealing a chair from our living room instead. Still to come: updating the fixture with a ceiling fan, covering the closet doors, and hanging something above the dresser. Love it!

Living room: 

before we bought the house:

2 months in:

Old couch moved downstairs and we bought a new one. Thomas and I built the picture ledge. Still to come: building a mantel, buying a new lamp (maybe some less yellow bulbs too!), and a few updates to the existing furniture (paint, stain, etc).

Master bedroom: 

shortly after we bought the house- ripping up the carpet, green walls, odd bathroom cabinet:

today (weird lighting in my room, sorry):

The dated sliding doors on the closets were a no-go- unfortunately the closets are also non-standard widths, so we had to think creatively. The curtains aren't coming across as nice in the pictures as they are in real life, but they are so pretty and so much better than staring at my clothes for the last 7 months. I'm trying to be braver about layering patterns too- baby steps with these neutrals. :) I'm hoping to put a little built-in desk in the nook area, replace the bathroom-style lighting, etc.

Definitely struggling with what to put over the bed or on the big, blank wall.

Sometimes it feels like we've done so little and then I look at the before pictures. Ha! It definitely takes a while. This is not HGTV. We work on this house during naptimes, on a rare day off, late at night, and when we've saved up. Some of our biggest changes have come from just rearranging our furniture and trying to think beyond previous set-ups. That being said, taking stuff that no longer works in our house to the thrift shop is also a good way to freshen up too.

We are currently finishing up a foyer remodel (new carpet on the stairs, new tile, paint, everything) so I'm hoping we will have pictures of that soon. After that's done, we're entering into a stretch of saving, so most updates will be small - lots of painting in our future. And whatever yard work we can do ourselves.

The previous walk-through was shown here. Original house tour here.

To you and yours-

Thursday, December 25, 2014

I hope you continue to have a delightful Christmas or holiday season!

Shopping for a Thomas

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Thomas essentially gets the same stocking every single year. I'd change it, but every single year he seems to love the same things, so I refuse to tamper with my perfectly honed system. That, and men are just really hard for me to shop for. If you experience the same struggle, maybe these gifts will inspire a few ideas for you.

1. Starbucks Christmas blend - His favorite coffee- convenient that it's sold this time of year!

2. Trader Joe's chocolate covered espresso beans -Huh. Apparently if you're desperate and willing to pay four times the cost, you can order these with Amazon prime. 

3. Mio water enhancers - Thomas is, quite possibly, the most well-hydrated person on the planet. Mios are his favorite way to keep water a little more interesting.

4. Reese's peanut butter trees - Just the best.

 5. Fine point pens - In a job where tiny handwriting and ridiculously fine point pens are praised, Thomas is mildly obsessed with loves his pens.

6. J. Crew boxers - New underwear is always a good idea.

7. J. Crew pajama pants - We have a new holiday pj tradition in our house and these J Crew pants have been the frontrunners for the last few years. These are mine.

8. Cocoon Grid-it -This would have absolutely made it into his stocking had I not come up with the idea so late. However, I just got one and it would be a brilliant idea for anyone who needs to wrangle the mess of cords that seems to always be around.

9. Krave jerky - Thomas is definitely a jerky guy so when I saw this idea in another blogger's guide, I knew I had to find it. Thankfully, Target had it- and on sale! Delicious sounding flavors.

10. Bandaids - (not pictured) Yes, I found camo bandaids. Yes, we will laugh long and hard come Christmas morning. Funny, yet useful gift.

Stockings for the not-quite toddler

Sorry we went dark for a few months! Thomas was deployed for a few months and we were strongly in survival mode. He's back now and all is right with our little world. 

Christmas stocking have long been my favorite part of Christmas. My parents were very good at putting them together and they had a seemingly endless stash of fun goodies that were equal parts useful, tasty, or just fun. For Margaret, I was a little stuck this year. 16 months is weird- not really a baby anymore (stay young forever!) and not quite a toddler. This is what we've come up with (for all of the scrambling at the last minute parents- like me!) this year.

1. Color Blast - This was a huge hit on our flight back to Seattle. Same premise as Color Wonder by crayola, but there's only one marker and the color is in the paper. Margaret loved seeing the colors, but there are activities for older kids as well. We found ours at Target.

2.  Take and Toss cups- Many thanks to Margaret for finally settling on the cheapest sippy cup around. These are remarkably spill-proof and easy for her to drink from (since about 10 months).

3.  Babylit books - If you haven't seen these adorable classics, check these out. We both swoon over the pictures and each book features a unique telling of the story- colors, counting, etc.

4. Bath toys- Munchkin Squirt bath toys - Boon Dive bath toys - We've long been fans of the Boon dive foam bath toys pictured, but I think the squirt toys we got will go over great as well.

5. P'kolino colored pencils and crayons - We got these for Margaret as I was just teaching her how to color. The size is perfect, the colors are very bright, and I love not having to rip paper off. The colored pencils are going in her stocking and hopefully we have a similarly great experience.

6. Notepads- not the ones pictured, just some that I picked up around the house for on-the-go diaper bag scribbles or sticker escapades.

7. Stickers- Michael's had a huge sale on Melissa and Doug stuff, so we grabbed a few of their regular sticker pads and some of the reusable sticker pads- similar to the Colorforms I played with as a kid. Sticker-obsessed Margaret has been sticking her current sticker collection all over the holiday LL Bean catalog. Waste not!

House progress- 2.5 months in

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

I don't think anyone can fully warn you about what owning your first home is like. The endless projects, the complete responsibility, and utter satisfaction from a job well done. There are places in my home where I feel so comfortable. Other places have barely been touched, and still others cause emotional and physical pain. Hello, tiny pieces of grout that chip off the kitchen floor and tuck themselves into my feet. But we are making huge strides.

Master bedroom:

The before (during carpet removal)

  Progress: new floors, new paint, no more bathroom cabinet in the master bedroom. 

 Proud owners of the world's second-most hidious light fixture. 
You'll be happy to know that they still sell these at Lowe's. You can have one too!

  As it currently is. Planning on some large white curtains for the window.

Still debating on closet "door" options and what to do with the weird nook.
And your eyes do no deceive you- that door really is two colors. Nice.

Hall bath:
The glorious before.

 This is very much a first go-round update. The walls and ceiling were all the same green that the ceiling still is. Walls are gray, gross foam baseboards were removed (leaving more gross stuff beneath), faulty towel bar removed.

This little nook held nothing more than a single hook until my awesome husband hung some shelves. Hopefully it will soon be filled with baskets, towels, and jars to hold everything we need since all three of us use the same bathroom! Lots more to do in here.

Living Room:

On the list: add a mantel, rug, art above the couch, and a new lamp.

Over here I'd like to mount the tv on that little wall. The wicker basket was a great gift from my parents. It holds all of Margaret's toys and is currently the best way to store things for us. I can clean up this room in about two seconds by sweeping it all into the basket.

In case you were thinking that I somehow had a perfectly clean house. This also shows where we widened the entry into this room, and further back, where we knocked out a wall blocking off the kitchen. (If you missed some before photos, check them out here).

 This was a wonderfully easy project. The hook/cubby/board combo came from Ross and 
the boot tray was a great deal from Target. Moby needed to say hi too.

That covers the entryway, living room, master, and hall bath. So much left to do, but leaps and bounds ahead of where we were. We are forever doing little things around the house, like any other homeowner, but as far as major projects, we are going to try to tackle the exterior in the spring. A new fence (to be determined if we do it ourselves or find a company), and some major landscaping are on the horizon. After that, the kitchen!


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Caroline Howard was our wedding photographer and she currently runs CarolineRo - photographing the coolest weddings and couples. I think very highly of her as a person and of the work she does, but she already got a gushing thank you letter, so now is probably not the time. However, if you have a major event coming up, I'd get in touch. :) She took some pictures of us before we left Charleston, and it was the highlight of my day to receive them recently.

 Anything cuter than a baby belly?

Not a fan of bare feet on concrete.

Still haven't mastered the closed-mouth kiss. Still.

Proof of why Thomas and I aren't models- but this picture is so us. Margaret has hope.

 Family. The best. 
And Margaret waving good-bye.