December 9, 2012
I’ve finally taken the plunge and made the switch to a self-hosted blog. You can now find me at BetweenWeekdays.com.
If you’re currently reading this on a reader, like Google Reader, you’ll need to update your subscription to BetweenWeekdays.com in order to continue seeing posts from me.
If you’re an email subscriber, you’ll continue to see posts as normal. Hooray!
All of the posts I’ve written to date (sans this one) have made the transition to the new location, and I’ve got lots more planned — including a site redesign — that you won’t want to miss.
I do hope you’ll continue to follow along with me over at BetweenWeekdays.com. See you there!
December 5, 2012
I woke up early Friday, Nov. 30, and began preparing our home for the new buyer. All the necessities that had been left needed to be packed. Every room needed to be vacuumed or swept clean. The bathrooms needed scrubbing. Travis came home early from work to load the items I had packed that morning and disassemble our Sleep Number bed.
We were so excited, so ready to close that door (literally) in our lives and open a new one.
And then the phone rang, and the deal was off. Maybe temporarily. Maybe permanently. We didn’t know, so we did the only thing that made sense: we continued emptying and cleaning our first home.
The water had already been shut off, and we had no way to connect to the internet — a necessity when you work from home. We had to leave whether we closed on the house that day or not.
We left our empty home not knowing when or if we would see it again and made the drive to my father’s. The weekend came and went. We would have to wait until Monday to learn if we could close.
We got the bad news Monday. We can’t close on our first home until after Christmas, which means we can’t close on our new home either.
I won’t go into the specifics of what happened. It’s really not important in the grand scheme of things. We’ve got some options, so we’ll be be looking into those this week.
In the meantime, we’re calling my father’s house home. We’re so blessed that he and my step-mother invited us back home for this time in our lives. They welcomed us with open arms and even said I could set up my Christmas tree in their living room this year.
I’m sure I’ll find plenty to blog about during the next month; just maybe not what I’d originally intended to write about. We’ll hopefully be in our new house before the new year, and I’ll happily blog about it as soon as we arrive.
November 29, 2012
The boxes have been packed. Most of the furniture is out of the house. I’ve scheduled shut-off dates for the cable, utilities, and electrical. And now it’s time to say goodbye.
Before I do that, though, I thought it might be fun to look back and remember some of what we’ve experienced while living in this house.
- We learned at age 22 what being a homeowner meant.
- Travis and I shared wedding anniversaries 1, 2 and 3.
- We made major decorating decisions and furniture purchases for the first time in either of our lives.
- We brought Roxy home in 2009 after we rescued her.
- We learned how to disagree with one another and to compromise.
- I prepared and hosted my first Christmas dinner in 2010.
- We tackled major renovations both inside and out of our home.
- We spent four days snowed in our house in 2011.
- We lost power for a week in April 2011 when tornadoes tore through our area. We were extremely fortunate to only be without electricity.
- I fell in love with Travis’ entire family, but especially his parents.
- I learned how to cook.
- Travis finished school in 2012. (He actually graduated on my birthday.)
- I watched my career grow and improve for years only to be cut short when I was laid off earlier this year.
- This is the only driveway Travis’ truck has called home.
- I went to the mall about 2.8 million times, at least. We only live 10 minutes away.
- We both celebrated our 23rd, 24th, 25th and 26th birthdays.
- We learned to budget.
- Three bridesmaid dresses were added to my collection. (All from brides I met while living in Chattanooga.)
- Travis learned what living in a bigger city was really like.
- We spent about three weeks of our lives sitting in traffic (see above).
- We learned that an hour between us and our family really was a hinderance.
- We took some pretty awesome vacations: Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, St. Augustine, the Bahamas and a few others closer to home like my family’s annual trip to the mountains.
- We shared our first-ever white Christmas together in 2010.
- We helped family and friends welcome new little additions.
- We watched friends move away only to come back home.
- We said goodbye to all of my Chattanooga friends after we all left the news business.
We hope to make as many memories in our new home, which will be closer to our families. We’re trading “city life” for a slower pace. Now, we’ll be 10 minutes to our parents instead of the mall. (Don’t worry, the mall is less than an hour away.)
We’re scheduled to close on our first home tomorrow. I’m not sure what walking out the door the last time will feel like, but I hope I can look back and remember all the good times we’ve had in this house while looking forward to what’s ahead for us.
November 27, 2012
We’ve recently made some large decisions/purchases regarding our future living room, so I whipped a little mood board to show you!
When we had the new house inspected a few weeks ago, we were sure to grab each room’s measurements. We knew we’d need some new living room furniture, and we also wanted to ensure the majority of our already-owned furniture would fit into the new space with ease.
Without further ado, our new living room:
- Cindy Crawford Home Grandview Loft Linen Sofa from Rooms to Go in Gray
- Garland Four-Piece Black Wall Unit from Rooms to Go
- Cindy Crawford Home Grandview Loft Accent Chair from Rooms to Go
- Hand-tufted Silver Cosmopolitan Rug ordered from overstock.com
- Two Cecily Place Lamps from Rooms to Go
- Tinsley Three-Piece Table Set from Rooms to Go (not pictured: two end tables)
I’m usually not one to buy so many pieces from one place. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find many matching pieces of furniture in any room in our first home. We did a lot of searching—both in store and online—and we just kept coming back to this sofa and accent chair.
We were originally going to try to find a different set of tables, but it ended up being less expensive to do a package deal. We bought the sofa, two lamps, the table set and the accent chair in a package deal. It ended up being quite affordable, which makes us feel better about buying so much at one place. Here’s hoping it won’t be too matchy-matchy.
I should also mention that we wouldn’t have purchased the new furniture if it wasn’t needed. Our current living room set up would not work in the new house due to space, functionality and wear and tear. Don’t worry; those pieces will find new places to call home soon. We’re hoping to use all of the furniture we already own in the new house.
I think in a few weeks when we’re up to our eyeballs in new paint choices and Christmas prep, we’ll be very glad we bit the bullet and ordered new furniture in advance. We’ve already got the rug, and the rest of the pieces will be delivered a week after we close.
Want to know more about our new house? Click here to see what I’m dreaming up for our future dining room.
November 24, 2012
I’m wondering if the areas outside a house are always in a constant state of updating, or if that’s just us. Either way, the exterior of our home seemed like the never-ending project.
We purchased our first home in 2009, but we ignored the outside areas for about a year. There were just too many things inside that were necessary to deal with first. Our house wasn’t deemed “livable” by the bank when we purchased it, so the inside was priority no. 1. After that first year, though, the outside was begging for attention. It actually continued to do so the rest of the three years we called this place home.
I don’t have any before photos of the exterior of our house, but I can list a rundown of some of the outdoor projects we tackled during our last three years here.
- Spray painted the shutters black. The shutters were originally a dull shade of blue. They weren’t too bad, but I needed more contrast for our tan house. I don’t remember what brand of spray paint I used, but whatever it was has held up remarkably well. In fact, you’d never guess they were once blue.
- Replaced the front door. The original front door was a solid, boring blue. We purchased a door with a glass insert from a salvage store and painted it black. It brings in a lot of light in to our living room, but it doesn’t take away much privacy since the door doesn’t lead directly into our living room. (The photo below was taken standing just outside the front door.)
- Added landscaping to the beds around the front of the house. The original landscaping was completely overgrown in some spots and nonexistent in others. The first thing we did was cut down an ugly, overgrown pine tree that was blocking our bedroom window. It took us a year to get the stump out of the ground. Literally. Then we trimmed down what could be saved, added a lot of new plants, some much, a stone boarder and landscaping lights. Whew!
- Added a landscaping bed around mailbox and trees to redirect water. We live on a hill, and water flowing down near the road was washing a lot of our ground away. Last year, my genius husband built up the area near the road with landscaping timbers to correct the water-flow issues. We added a stone boarder around the backside of the trees and mailbox to make a landscaped area. This new bed solved not only the water flow issue, but it also covered up a place in the yard that won’t grow grass because of trees overhead. (The iPhone picture below hopefully provides a better explanation that I could ever hope to write. Travis built up the area behind him higher with the landscaping timbers creating a ditch between the landscaped area and the road to direct water.)
- Completed the fencing in the backyard. This may have actually happened about six months, or so, after we moved in. The fencing was only partially done. I have no idea why. We finished the remainder of the fence and added a gate. We used leftover fence from a relative and purchased a damaged gate (it was easily repaired) to cut costs.
- Added a raised bed garden. My mother and stepfather came to my house in May 2010 while I was away at work one day and created the raised garden bed and planted my first crops for my birthday. I’ve enjoyed having a garden ever since. (The iPhone photo below is my garden this year just after planting.)
- Added a fire pit. In May 2011, my father and stepmother bought me a fire pit for my birthday. They helped us dry-fit the stone surround, and then we all enjoyed our first fire well into the night. You’ll notice in the photo below that the fire pit sits just to the right of my garden, which was looking much fuller when this photo was taken back in July. (The photo below was actually used on the MLS listing for our house.)
- Stained the deck. This project took us a year to complete. I wish I was kidding. One spring we pressure washed the entire deck, sanded the rails and added one coat of stain. Then we lost our momentum. I blame a wicked migraine given to me from the stain fumes. We didn’t add the second coat of stain until earlier this year when we decided to sell our house. You can read more about the initial stages of staining the deck here. (The photo below was also used on the online MLS listing for our house.)
- Painted the front porch. This is actually one of my favorite projects and probably one of the few that I’ve completed entirely on my own. Last year I painted the railing white and the porch floor a beautiful blue. This year, I only had to touch up the stair treads. I love my blue porch. To learn more about painting the front porch and staining the deck click here.
- Added a tree to the front yard. Earlier this year I purchased a weeping yaupon tree from a nursery that was going out of business. We used some leftover stone edging and made it its very own landscaped bed. Then, it went into shock and all of its leaves fell off. I’m happy to report that it’s doing much better now. It’s actually sporting quite a bit of green toward the bottom of the plant.
- Pressure washed everything. We’ve been pressure washing for the past two years. We’ve pressure washed the entire house, the front porch, the deck, the concrete pad under the deck, the retaining walls, etc. I really hope the new owner appreciates the squeaky-clean exterior.
- Built a retaining wall. Living on a hill also affected our backyard. Whenever it rained, large portions of the higher-elevated yard, mostly rocks, washed into the grassy area of the yard making mowing a huge challenge. We spent years trying to figure this one out. Eventually we decided a cinderblock retaining wall would do the trick. We wanted to cover up the cinderblock with steps leading into the yard, but we decided to sell the house before we could come up with a plan. The iPhone photo below was taken just after the wall was built. Dirt has been added to the top of the wall and grass has covered the dirt, but not much else has changed.
- Added a new roof. We’ve had quite a bit of foul weather in Chattanooga these past few years. Earlier this year, a particularly bad storm damaged our roof badly enough to warrant replacing the entire roof. Luckily, our insurance agreed to cover the cost, so we were only out the down payment, which we later got back a portion of when we got a referral bonus from some friends of ours using the same company.
We didn’t hire out for any of these projects (with the exception of the roof), so it’s pretty crazy to look back at all we accomplished in three, short years. I think we’re both pretty proud of how our house looks now. We definitely have the prettiest house on our street. (I know this for a fact because it was often mentioned during showings. Sometimes this was a good thing; sometimes not.)
The exterior of our home concludes the tour of our first home. If you’ve missed any of the fun along the way, click here to see what you missed.
p.s. Writing this post was a little bittersweet knowing that it’s the last stop on the tour. While we’re very excited about the home in our future, we’re also pretty sad to say goodbye to this place. I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing our house as much as I’ve enjoyed showing it to you.
November 21, 2012
So who’s watching Nashville? I’ve got to admit that I wasn’t immediately hooked, but now I’m loving it! On a recent episode, Hayden Panettiere’s character, Juliette Barnes, had the most beautiful iPhone case I think I’ve ever seen.
A quick online search revealed that it was probably the Case-Mate® Swarovski Crystal iPhone 4 & 4S Case sold at Nordstrom, where it retails at $49.
I’m willing to pay $49 for a lot of things: a good meal, a trip to the groomer’s for my dogs, a tank of gas, etc. However, I’m just not willing to pay that for a phone case. So, I searched Amazon for a comparable option.
And I found a few!
- i-UniK Limited Edition Leather Fashion Apple iPhone 4 Case AT&T (NOT for 4S or Verizon) – WHITE: $7.99 with free shipping if you have a prime account.
- Luxury Designer Quilted Leather Chrome Case Cover for Apple iPhone 4 4G White: $4.99, but you have to pay shipping.
I ended up ordering this one for $4 with free shipping. It’s coming all the way from China, but I don’t mind to wait a bit longer for it. Merry Christmas to me; from me.
Here’s hoping I like it! What are you gifting to yourself this holiday season? I would talk about what I’m gifting everyone else, but I’d hate to give away the surprise.
I sincerely hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving tomorrow. We’ll be spending the day with people we love, which means it will be absolutely wonderful. Happy Thanksgiving!
November 19, 2012
I’m not sure if you noticed my carefully-worded title. We don’t officially have a laundry room in our current house. Instead, we do our laundry in the garage.
It isn’t pretty. This is actually the photo used on the MLS listing for our house. I’m pretty sure it isn’t the reason our house sold, if you know what I mean.
To the left of our washer and dryer setup is a utility sink nestled between our water heater and deep freezer.
I’ve never used it for laundering purposes, but it’s nice to know that it’s there. It’s seen plenty of use for other purposes.
I’ve never enjoyed having our laundry room in the garage. It’s very cold in the winter, plus it’s very hard to keep clean and organized. There have been many days where our laundry space looks like this:
Pretty awesome, huh?
Needless to say, I’m looking forward to never seeing this sight again. 😉
To see the rest of the tour of our current home, click here.
November 16, 2012
I’m kind of in love with Sarah Richardson lately. I DVR all of her shows on HGTV and often peruse her website for fun. I find her work so inspiring and fun.
The one thing that always stands out to me in her designs is her use of textiles. In fact, she suggests using 10 to 14 textiles per room. Sarah uses the textiles in larger pieces such as bedding, upholstered furniture and curtains, but she also uses textiles in small accent pieces like decorative pillows and blankets. Add them all up, and you’ve got a interesting and comfortable space.
All of this textile talk begins to make a girl wonder.
“Self,” I thought to myself, “how many textiles do I have in the rooms of my current house?”
“Not nearly enough,” I thought to myself.
(What? You don’t talk to yourself?)
Textiles in our living room: 5-ish
Textiles in our office: 8 to 10
When we bought our house, I thought by keeping our living room simple it would make the seasonal decor I add throughout the year really shine. While this approach generally works during Christmas, it just hasn’t worked for me the rest of the time we’ve been here.
Instead, it’s made our living room feel bland and blah. The good news is that it made it easy to depersonalize when we decided to sell our house, but I’ve never felt like it was a welcoming space.
In our future home, I really hope to use Ms. Richardson’s advice and add liveliness to our spaces through the use of textiles. However, real life isn’t like a television show, so I’ll be approaching this little by little over the course of several years I’m sure.
After all, it’s not about the destination but rather the journey…. Right?
November 14, 2012
Moving preparations are moving along in our house. With only 16 days left in our beloved first home, I’m beginning to feel the pains of moving.
I shared my moving binder contents last week, and it has been a huge help in keeping me organized. I’m finding that the weekly to-do lists I typed up are the most helpful. This week I know that I have to:
- Have the comforters/quilts in our house dry cleaned
- Throw out expired foods/medicines (Done!)
- Finish packing downstairs (Done!)
- Shop at Sam’s Club since we’re moving an hour away from the nearest store (Done!)
- Pack upstairs (Nearly done!)
- Find a new allergy shot location
- Finish calling companies to schedule shut-off dates
If I don’t cross everything off the list, it’ll just move over to the next week. This system is working out really well for me.
In other news, we rented a storage pod to relocate all of our things from one house to the next. The pod was delivered last week, and I’m happy to report that we’ve already loaded a lot of boxes and furniture.
We’re using Go Mini’s, which is similar to PODS. It’s surprisingly affordable, plus our pod will be stored at the Go Mini’s secure location while we’re waiting a few days to close on our next house. We won’t have to worry about where to keep all of our furniture and boxed items for that weekend, which takes off a lot of stress.
Also, Travis and I can load items into the pod as we have them ready. We won’t have to rely on movers or friends and family to load and transport all of our items from one house to the other. With all of the injuries in our families lately, having the pod is a huge help.
Our friends and family are still graciously helping us pack and prepare for our move, and we’re so fortunate to have their help. My best friend spent a day with me last week helping me pack all of the decorative items in my house. My in-laws helped us load all of the packed boxes and a lot of furniture into the pod last weekend.
My in-laws will be back in a week or two to take our deep freezer to their house and to help us finish loading the pod. My aunt and grandmother will be visiting after Thanksgiving to help pack my kitchen. I’m quite attached to my kitchen and all of the items in it, so it’s going to be great to have their help with my most beloved items.
We’re trying to eat out of our freezer as much as we can. I’m trying a lot of new recipes, but I’m not doing much grocery shopping. At this point, we’re only shopping for necessities: milk, bread, etc. I’m expecting to eat out a lot during the last couple of weeks in our house, which is just fine with me.
I feel really good about everything that we’ve already accomplished for our move. I’m pretty confident that we’ll be out of our house on time with little stress. Hopefully, those aren’t famous last words…
November 12, 2012
Moving preparations are in full swing around here, but I wanted to take a quick moment to show you the sale pending sign that showed up in our yard a couple of weeks ago. Also, if you’re in the Chattanooga area and in need of a realtor, we highly recommend Judy Webster with Keller Williams Realty.
I’m off to find more boxes!