Friday, November 12, 2010

We Sold, Bought and Moved

Well when I first started this blog my life was in a totally different place. It is amazing how much it has changed in just a few months.

Last Wednesday Dennis and I sold our first home and purchased our next one. The month of October was a complete whirlwind, with a trip to New Jersey thrown in.

I will have to go over the selling process of our house in more depth later because it was crazy. The second group to come through our house came for a viewing on Wednesday, September 29th. They made an offer that Friday. After much haggling back and forth we came to a price agreement and signed the offer the next Wednesday. We had an offer before theirs and with all of the issues we had with that potential buyer I never really believed that our home would sell. The inspection was set for October 7th at which point our Realtor Carol told us we needed to start looking at houses again.

After we had our first offer Dennis and I went on a mad dash around town and fell in love with a large Victorian, but it was at the top of our price range and the $700 power bill was crazy. It was also going into foreclosure and we would still be waiting to see if we could purchase it and what repairs it would need.

I marked the Victorian off the list, though I think Dennis still secretly wishes it would have worked out. Carol set us up to look at four more house bringing the grand total of house we looked at to 15. One house was in foreclosure, one was currently occupied and in my parent's neighborhood, one was in a well established neighborhood, but the owner's had been transferred, and the last was brand spanking new.

We fell in love with the house in the well established neighborhood. Granted it needs some tweaking to become the home we want it to be. We have told everyone that has come to visit remember paint is very inexpensive. We at least know who the neighbors are and the backyard is fantastic.

We made an offer Monday, October 11th and hopped on a plane the 14th to head to a wedding in Princeton NJ. We found out we got the house on Friday, while we were with most of Dennis' family. Three weeks later we had closed on both houses and moved completely in. It happened so fast. There was a point where I just wanted it to stop and enjoy our house for little while longer.

I cried several times while moving out of the old house. This was where Dennis and I started our relationship. It was where he and Shea proposed to me. It was where we woke up the morning of our wedding and where we came back to as a married couple. We had put so much work into it and yes tears and sweat.

The photos attached are from the day that we cleaned the house. It makes me a little sad to look at them.

There were so many wonderful memories in that home and I hope the new owner appreciate and love it as much as we did.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

When Selling a House.......

Patience is a virtue. This is not a virtue that I possess. The house has been on the market now for 22 days and has had a grand total of one showing. Now I will say that the last couple of weekends have been very rainy, but still......

We put so much hard work into the house to get it ready to put it on the market, I was hoping that we would at least have a little more traffic than this. Dennis has really started looking for a new house. This is very strange because I have basically toned downed my search to a crawl. I just don't see the house selling before the end of the year. Heck at this point in time I am not sure if we will have anyone else look at it.

I guess it is just a little depressing. At least we are lucky and we don't HAVE to sell the house we just WANT to sell the house. I can't imagine the people who are in the predicament where they HAVE to sell it and they are going through this. I think that I would go crazy.

Well at least it is Wednesday, but unfortunately my baby sister leaves to go back to Alabama Sunday. I don't get to see her as much as I would like since she is on the track team. They normally have practices on the weekends and she can't make it home. I probably will see her in October and again at Thanksgiving. I am going shopping this weekend. YAY!!!! Hopefully I will have some good finds.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Crazy Weekend!!

The Yard Sale was a huge success, but we may have a stalker!!!

Our yard sale was wonderful. I ended up selling a load of items and raising a grand total of $285.75, while Miranda made $199.75. We were very excited about the amount that we made, plus how much stuff we got rid of. The yard sale ran pretty smoothly, but I am still having a hard time believing that someone showed up at 5:30. Ugh!!!!

Last night Dennis and I were in the office and noticed that the answering machine was flashing with a message, it was someone from the yard sale. We are being stalked. Just kidding she had a question about the deep fryer that she purchased that was Miranda's. I guess I need to call her back.

Also at the yard sale we had someone interested in the house. Miranda really talked her up but of course we never expected that she would ever come back. Well......she was our official first showing yesterday. I haven't heard anything, but I am just glad we that we had our first showing.

Another crazy thing happened early Monday morning. There is a house in our neighborhood that has the exact same layout as ours. Well on the way to work Monday morning Dennis noticed a For Sale sign in its front yard. He called me three times during the day to see if it was on the MLS yet and for how much. We just knew it would be nicer and cheaper. hit the MLS and it is $3,600 more and there are things that are better than ours but things that are much worse. We are keeping our fingers crossed that it is a good sign for our house.

Hope everyone has a great week.

Days on Market - 6
Showings - 1 - (Even if nothing comes of this it is such a good feeling that someone came to look at our home.)

By the way the picture is of Dennis and I on vacation and it was taken by Miranda. (I so wish I was still there now.)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Wow!! Lots of Changes!

It is amazing how much my life has changed in the last two months!!

Where have I been??? Well I have some exciting news, Dennis and I decided to go ahead and bite the bullet and buy a new house. We are being a little smart about this and have put our house on the market before we officially decide what our next move is going to be.

We basically know the area we want to be in, but we aren't real sure if it is a new house, old house, or what. We maybe living in an apartment before we actually make a finally decision, but that isn't that bad.

We did lots of painting around our house and de-cluttering to put the house on the market and in fact we are having a Yard Sale tomorrow to hopefully sale some of our stuff. We did get those new windows and instead of a concrete driveway we got a new asphalt driveway. We also had lots of fun landscaping our yard. When I say we, I mean me. I did most of the heavy lifting, but I did have some help from my niece and nephew one day so they could earn extra money for their trip to Disney World.

Our vacation was absolutely wonderful. We went to Cape San Blas and had a blast. It was great weather, good times with good friends.

Well wish us luck on this new endeavor and on the Yard Sale and have a great weekend.

House on the Market - 3 days
Showings - 0 (That is so sad)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

May's List

Wow!! I can't believe how long it has been since I wrote on the blog. Well Dennis decided not go to New York so he is in Mobile this weekend. We are a month closer to our vacation, but this giant oil spill could ruin so many things. More on that later this week after I hopefully get signed up to volunteer to clean up.

I've decided to make May the month of not spending any money...well there are a few exceptions.
1. I need a new swimsuit for vacation, but I will not spend more than $40.

2. Wolfie needs to go to the vet.

3. I will be having at least one girls night.

4. I won't give up my monthly facials. (This is my way to relax.)

We will not go out to eat together, but we are allowed if we go out with friends. I am doing an inventory now of our pantry and will get a menu started for the next month. I plan on going to the grocery store for one major purchase tomorrow and a smaller one two weeks from now. There is a farmer's market on the way home from work so I will stop once a week to get produce if we need it. We will see how it goes.

Dennis and I have also set up several goals for redoing the outside of our house.

1. New windows.

2. A new concrete driveway

3. Vinyl siding - We are torn between this because Dennis wants to see how much brick might cost. I am afraid that this may be way to much.

4. Back yard - Our back yard is so overgrown that Dennis and I just don't even want to think about it but we know it is something that needs to be done. We just don't want to do it.

The inside of our house goals aren't huge, but don't include my/our dreams.

1. Hardwood floors in the den, dining area, and hallway. We have pretty much decided that we are going to keep carpet in the bedrooms because I want very expensive hardwood floors.

2. New furniture - We need new sofas badly, but I haven't quite found one that I love and I have slip covers for our sofa and a plan. I will let you know how that goes.

We are also saving money for a new fence, a new roof, and a new A/C system. Our roof is is the same age as our house so we know we are going to need a new one soon. Our fence is awful and Shea and Wolfie have literally busted through it before:(

My dreams for the house is to put an addition to our bedroom to extend our bedroom and bathroom. In our bedroom I would like to have a craft room/office and huge bathroom and walk in closet. I can always dream. I think though that we may buy a new house before we ever do that.

Well I will be getting our last window quote on Monday so hopefully by next month's list I will have something marked off.

Hope everyone has a great weekend and please pray for us on the Gulf Coast as we deal with this crisis. Good Luck Alexis at your track meet at Ole' Miss hopefully the rain will hold off.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

New York Or Bust

Well maybe...Dennis and I received an invitation to our youngest nephew's First Communion this morning. It will be held on Long Island the first weekend in May. I have found some pretty cheap plane tickets but I am not sure if we can swing it for both of us, since we will be going on vacation the first week in June.

If not there is no telling what I might purchase while Dennis is away if he decides to go by himself. The last time he was gone, I bought a slab of granite. This was a total impulse buy that I have never ever regretted. About a month after painting the counter tops, I saw signs around town for a granite store going out of business. This just happen to be around the time that Dennis left to go watch the PGA Championship at Bethpage in New York.

I have to be honest about this trip...Dennis and I had planned on going to the golf tournament together almost the entire time we had been dating. Unfortunately when it came time to buy the plane tickets my grandmother had just been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Dennis debated on leaving me or not that weekend because my grandmother wasn't expected to make it through Monday. She passed away four days after he got back.

Didn't mean to get so depressing there, so back to my granite. I followed the signs and discovered that it was the same place that my parents had purchased theirs from about three years earlier when they redid their kitchen. I found the most gorgeous piece of granite and purchase it on the spot. No discussion with Dennis or anyone. No this is not something I would normally do. The whole piece cost me $600 and would fit my kitchen perfectly. I actually have a ton of counter space and a bar so I felt like it was a great deal. There of course was an additional charge for the cutting and finishing. The installation was done by someone the granite guy recommended. They were much cheaper than I expected and did a great job. (Also the same guys who did my parents.)

There were a few problems though. Dealing with someone who is going out of business is a pain. If he had not done my parents I may have steered clear. The day the granite was supposed to be installed the installer could not reach the granite guy to pick the pieces up. After a very nice/nasty text message from me he finally contacted the installer. (Nothing like telling someone you feel like they are taking your money and advantage of you.) The install was supposed to begin at 12:00 pm. It didn't start until 4:00 and didn't end until 9:30 that night. (Nothing like the granite installer singing songs from Grease along with the movie at 9:00 at night.)

There was a ton of work that I did in between the painting of the counter tops and the granite getting installed and I will get more into that tomorrow. The picture attached is Wolife sitting on one of the counter tops, (please ignore the mess). No our dogs don't normally get on the counter tops, but someone left a chair next to it and Wolfie can't resist looking out windows.

I hope to get those curtain rods today. Yea!!!!

Have a great day and I hope this week moves faster!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Crazy Weekend

Wow!! What a Crazy Weekend. I hope that your Easter weekend wasn't as eventful as mine:)

My friend Dustie got married Saturday afternoon on a very tight budget so we all pitched in to help. The catering was done by my good friend Brandi and her wonderful husband Frank and Brandi's sister Nicci. (Some of the best wedding food I have ever had.) Decorating was done by myself, Dustie's sisters and Nicci's husband Ray. Final setup was completed by our friends Laleh, Kevin and the wonderful Dennis. Cleanup was a mass effort of everyone named above and Nicci and Ray's daughter Hanna Grace.
This is a picture of us from Dustie's Bachelorette Party in New Orleans

The wedding events took all day Friday and Saturday, but I did get in a quick visit with my family Saturday afternoon. My family has their Easter celebration a day early since my uncle is an Episcopalian priest and is just a tiny bit busy on Easter Sunday (imagine that). I only spent 30 minutes with them but I am glad that I did. My grandparents are getting older and it nice to be able to see them as often as I can.

My little sister was in town from Alabama but I think I saw her for a total of an hour. She has a track meet this coming weekend so I may make the trek to Oxford, MS to watch. I had a quick breakfast Sunday morning with her and my parents.

After breakfast Dennis and I headed across the bay to visit with his family. I made everyone's favorite cheese dip. (The recipe is at the end of the post.) I also made a broccoli casserole that I have made several time before for my family but not for Dennis'. Everyone seemed to love it so I am sure I will be making it again. We had great weather for the adult Easter Egg Hunt. (Think Money Eggs!!!) Unfortunately I only found one, but since Dennis is such a good husband he gave me three of his:)

To say the least it was a Crazy Busy Weekend...and I have the blisters to prove it. I also have a note to self.....Never Ever run in high heels that are too tight!!!

I am hoping that this week that I can get into my new sewing machine and make some pillows. I also have found some curtain rods...Cheap, Cheap. So I might get those up along with some curtains. Dennis has recruited his brother Michael to put up our new lights in the foyer, dining area, kitchen and hall bath. I am ready for yet another Crazy Week!!

Have a Great Monday!!

Cheese Dip
2 Cups Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
2 Cups Shredded Velveeta Cheese
Half an Onion (Diced)
3 JalapeƱos (Chopped)
1 Cup Mayo
Garlic Powder to Taste

Mix all ingredients together chill and serve with either Frito Scoops or chips or crackers of your choice.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Are You Wearing Blue?

Are you wearing blue today......because it Autism Awareness day? I know I am. I will be wearing it in honor of our 13 year old nephew Reed who has Autism. I also am wearing blue in honor of Reed's family because Autism doesn't just affect the child it affects the whole family. Reed's mom, Dinnean, is super mom. Reed and his younger sister Claire could not have gotten a better mom and are very lucky. Their dad Kevin is pretty great too. Claire is two and half years younger than Reed and she is amazing. This family pretty much takes everything in stride, yes there are tears, but there is more laughter than anything.

All right on to my kitchen renovation. I decided last May that I was sick of the way my kitchen looked. I heard of painting laminate counter tops. This process is actually not that hard. I started off with taping off our small counter top that our microwave is on.

I cleaned the laminate counter tops with a very strong cleaner. (I don't remember which one, but it was strong.) I painted two base coats with Killz to make sure that everything on the counter top was dead. After the Killz dried I then wrapped all of the cabinets in plastic, the upper cabinets and lower cabinets, and the refrigerator. Then I spray painted the counter with Krylon Make It Stone Obsidian Spray Paint.
Once the spray paint was done I lightly sanded it since it is a little bumpy. Then the tricky part began. Dennis' was very skeptical of the whole process anyway, but even more so once I brought out the blow torch. (Yes, I said a blow torch.) It is just a small hand held one. The blow torch was for the next step. I found a product called Envirotex, which would give the counter top a glossy sheen. I followed the directions on the bottle and pored it directly onto the counter top and help spread it over the counter top. Then you use the blow torch to get any air bubbles out. Unfortunately I got a little to close and torched a small area and had a nice little burn mark, which is easily fixable you just do all of the steps again. Luckily the microwave covered it. The Envirotex did give the counter top a nice glossy sheen.

I proceeded to do this with all of the counter tops in the kitchen, but I didn't stop there. Dennis should have never of gone out of town because I made a big purchase while he was away. More on that tomorrow.

Dennis and I have a very busy weekend. My good friend Dustie is getting married tomorrow, so we will be busy with that today and tomorrow. I hope the Easter bunny is good to you.

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A Real Crazy Life

What makes our life real crazy.....Dennis and I have been married for a year and half, but have been together for almost six and half years. We live with our two fur-babies Shea and Wolfie (two rescue dogs.) Dennis and I both work full time jobs. We are extremely close to our families so we try to spend as much time with them as possible (but we never seem to be able to spend enough). We both have hobbies that take up a great deal of our spare time. Dennis is a very good golfer and plays four to five times a week and I am the Treasurer for the Animal Rescue Foundation. I also love to craft and want to get back into my cross stitching and sewing. I also love to cook but I don't get to do that as much as I would like. So to say the least we don't have much free time and are usually running around like crazy. So with what little time I have I am going to start blogging.

I am going to blame this blog completely and totally on my friend Miranda. She has gotten me addicted to a great blog that has really gotten me motivated to not only get my house updated, but decorated and organized. At the moment I want my blog to be about what is going on around our house. That could be just about anything...decorating, crafting (not so much of that), yard work, gardening, fixing problems that arise in a 30-year old house (more than I care to count). It also may be about cooking and who knows building furniture (yes, I want to do that too.) Also I am secretly hoping that I can get Miranda's house on here a couple of times. Okay so maybe that isn't such a secret.

Dennis and I live in a house built in 1979, which Dennis purchased in 2002 before we started dating. I wish I had pictures of the bachelor pad that was his and his brother's home before my furniture moved in. It wasn't pretty with all the hand me down furniture. There was a yellow couch that I actually never sat on in the three years that he kept it. The house had a little updating when they moved in but not a whole bunch. The floors were redone and every wall was freshly painted.
I haven't done much to the houses since Dennis and I started dating because first it wasn't mine and then once we were engaged the plan to get back from our honeymoon and find a new house to purchase. Well that all changed with the Great Recession and both of our jobs became unstable, so we decided to stay put.

Well that is all today, but I am going to leave you with a picture of our before kitchen. The kitchen is one room that I have started and perhaps tomorrow I will post some pictures of where it is today. It isn't a finished product, but it looks much better.

Have a great day!!!