Tag Archive | "home renovation"

One Year at Home in Florida and One Year of Busting Arse

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One year ago, on July 4th, I drove down to Florida with my two kids (and my sister, who was helping) and our family was reunited again. For those new here or for anyone who has forgotten, my boys and I lived for 6 months in North Carolina while my husband lived in Florida. We moved from Syracuse after bidding on a home in Florida. My husband’s job transferred him to Tampa so he had to go straight there, but we have nowhere to live other than a hotel, and no timeframe for when we would get the home. It was a short sale so these things can take as little as 1-2 months, or as long as a year. It was a HUGE gamble because they never give you a time table.



After the six month wait for the home, we finally moved in. That is when the real work began. The home was in bad shape- liveable but not pretty. I took a lot of time away from the blog in order to focus on painting and remodeling the bathroom. Between the 6 months I lived in Charlotte without access to most of my filming equipment, and the 6 months of intense work on the home, this blog suffered a lot. Shockingly, the traffic didn’t dip like I thought it would.

I was a woman on a mission and painting took first priority. I woke up every day and painted for 5-8 hours a day. I would take off every other day and do something fun with my kids to make up for the previous day of ignoring them while I was painting.

Now I can finally say that things have slowed down in the home remodeling department. I won’t lie and say that we don’t have more work to do. We have replaced all but two doors and need to replace all of the door hardware and paint the trim around the doors…. you can really see how dingy they look in the second photo.

newdoors newdoors2
There are holes in the drywall from moving the water heater to the garage to make room for a pantry in our laundry room and that is being done this month.



I still want to rip out the giant stone planter with my bare hands but it will be a lot of work or a lot of money, or both. And the outside of the home is basically crying out for the help of HGTV or DIY- we have a rotten deck that needs replacing, a pool deck and pool that need major help, and our landscaping is the shame of the cul-de-sac.

Regardless of what we haven’t done, I’m so proud of the work we have finished over the year. We checked off every major interior fix we had on our to-do list to make this house a home. No more orange paint, no more peeling doors, no more ugly grey front door, bye-bye 1970’s bathroom, and no more hideous and filthy light switches and outlets. Hello thrifty mid century furniture finds and modern colors.  You can go back and look at the before/afters on this old post (a lot of changes have been made since the post but not enough to take new photos, except for the family room- the blue recliner went bye bye):


Before and After Rooms

I am still on the hunt for the perfect mid century furniture and decor to complete our home but that will take time and patience. Now we have the time to actually enjoy our new life in Florida, see the sights, visit the parks, and spend our weekends as a family rather than spending them at Home Depot.

I’ve blogged a heckuva lot about our home progress, I’m linking the old posts for anyone who wants to look back at the work and projects we have done this year.  Thanks to everyone’s patience as our family and home took priority over the blog.  Things are picking up in the productivity department and I can’t wait to share all of the fun projects and ideas I have with you!

Before/After House- Photos of each room

Guest Bathroom Remodel- The Octopus Bathroom (featured on Offbeat home!)

Entryway- The Fated Thrift Store Chairs

Master Bedroom Makeover- Serene Retreat

Laundry Room- Utilizing a Small Space

Front Living Room- Orange to Grey

Front Door- Grey to Purple

Golden Girls Room-Downloadable GG Quotes



Thrifted Night Stands- Traditional to Modern

Thrifted Chair- Painted upholstery (it works!)

Thrifted Dresser- Ombre Mid Century Mod masterpiece

Thrifted Frames+DIY Silhouette- Easy Tutorial



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A Peek Inside My Home- Before and After

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We purchased a home in need of a lot of TLC. It’s been months since we moved in and I just recently completed painting the home. Every. Single. Room. Me. Just me. I couldn’t stop until each room was painted because when we bought the home every room was some shade of orange or yellow. Not only was our home orange but it was a badly painted orange. Light switches were coated with paint, splatters were all over the windows, paint was even dripped on the marble under windows and floor! The laziness of whoever did that job still astounds me. What ever happened to pride of ownership and attention to details? I’m not a miracle worker. Many of their mistakes can’t be fixed but I’ve done my best to make this home as polished as possible without spending a fortune on contractors and professional painters. It’s the little things like replacing every electrical outlet and light switch, re-caulking trim work, patching holes, and of course the new paint.  My husband and I couldn’t be more proud of the work we have done and we make a great team.  Even though I did the painting he did the electrical, much of the bathroom gutting and remodeling, and most of the heavy lifting.

Before and After Rooms

Now it’s time to sit back and see what about $600 worth of paint and at least 100 hours of painting can accomplish. Keep in mind this is a work in progress. I’m still hoping to find the perfect mid century pieces to add to the home or to replace items I’m not in love with. Many of the items in the home were thrift finds (virtually all of the pieces in the Golden Girls room were). You can also find even more photos for each room if the room name is a link- just click it.

The Front Door, lights, and exterior



The Entryway





The Family Room






The Kitchen





The Master Bedroom




The Master Bathroom




The Front Room





The Office (formerly a dining room)





The Octopus Bathroom (our only full gut and remodel)



Everett’s Bedroom (serves as second guest too)




Fletcher’s Bedroom






The Golden Girls Guest Room






The Laundry Room



Just for fun, these are a few examples of the laziness of the previous owners (or contractors?) who painted and did “repairs” and some of the condition issues we faced. Many outlets were painted over and stuck to the walls, and there were dozens of holes left from feeding cables through the drywall for TV’s.


Despite all of the blood, sweat, and tears that have gone into our home there are so many projects on my to-do list. Now I feel at home here and can’t imagine living anywhere else. The thought of moving in the future is far from my mind (unless we find a true mid century home!) because this house has so much of us in it. The biggest next step- landscaping! Oy! Can’t a girl get some rest?!

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The Laundry Room Makeover In Progress- Utilizing a Small Space

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Two weekends ago my husband and I set out to redo the small laundry room in the home.  It was my birthday gift that he help me, because otherwise I doubt this project would have landed high on his to-do list.  The room prior was white (the only non orange room in the home!) with white laminate cabinets with a few holes in the back, not visible when the doors were closed.  The wall was filthy, partially my fault because I was spraying paint all over when washing out my brushes and pans.  A large hole was in the wall on the right side that I patched months ago in preparation for eventual painting.

Here she is before-

I decided to have some fun with this room since it was so much smaller than any other room I had painted before.  Rather than making life easy on myself I decided to use Frogtape to stripe the wall with a few shades of greay I had leftover.  One was a sage-y grey called Sedate Gray and the other was Pebble Grey, the same color as 3 other rooms.  The white was Dover White, which is a tad more tan than a pure white.  With textured walls I had to make sure the tape was nice and smooth for a straight line and no bleeds so I took a tennis ball and pressed over each line very hard.  This resulted in beautiful and perfect lines!

Now here she is After-

For the cabinets we spent over an hour measuring and analyzing the cabinets at my favorite store, Habitat for Humanity ReStore.  The vision was to find a set that would work to mount a bar between so that I could hang certain things right out of the dryer.  This set was $95 and is all wood with the slow close feature.  They look brand new.  Knowing I was losing the bar I used to have to make room for shelves this was something I needed so we mounted them about 8 inches apart.

Another must was hanging the laundry baskets from a slot rail system with arms to keep the small amount of space I had on the floor clear, and the tops of the washer and dryer clean. Steven found this rail system at Home Depot for a reasonable price, and the baskets are smaller than standard and sold from Target. I couldn’t have mounted my larger baskets and had the cabinets where I needed them too.  My husband also replaced the old utility sink faucet with a new one that has a removable spray handle.  That would have been used heavily while I was a painting fiend but it is good to have now too.

The room isn’t finished yet. Our kitchen is not equipped with a pantry and we have been struggling with food storage. Right now remodeling the kitchen and installing a pantry isn’t in our budget and the cabinets are relatively new. Instead I decided to add shelving to the back wall of the laundry room for larger food items and things we don’t reach for often. That hasn’t been installed yet but i imagine it will look like this with a set of two sliding doors.

I’m also looking to add a shelf above the washer and dryer to hide the outlet and duct that are exposed now. This is a professional artist’s rendering.

That is one of those things I’ve started doing since working on the house so much. I photoshop in furniture items and rugs or paint colors just to make sure I really understand how it will look. It has been a lifesaver. I did this before I purchased the credenza for our entryway, I shopped the Octopus from the bathroom wall to see what color would look good, and I did the same for the stripes on the laundry room wall. It doesn’t have to look amazing, it just needs to give you an idea. Photoshop can save you a lot of money and heartache if you find out you don’t want something based on your rendering.

After painting the laundry room and our master bathroom I am now completely finished with painting the house walls!  I still have some door trim work left and the closets but… I’m celebrating!

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Our Serene Retreat- the Master Bedroom Makeover

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Our master bedroom wasn’t as desperate as most of the other rooms in our home when we moved in (you can see the whole home in before photos here).  6 years ago there was a fire in that side of the home and so it was re-done including the master bathroom.  For this reason these two rooms came last on the list to re-paint.  While the original color wasn’t terrible for the space there were holes in the wall like swiss cheese from a TV mount and shelving that used to be.

I decided to keep a little warmth in the room and went with Independent Gold from Sherwin Williams.  After a lot of hole patching, some removal of a bad caulk job on spots on the trim and re-caulking, new outlets and plates, and a fresh coat of paint on the walls and trim we now have a whole new room!

The standing lamp was a 5 year anniversary gift from my husband. You might notice a plaque on the base which is engraved. Interesting gift choice…  I aslo replaced the antiqued brass knobs on the nightstand to the right with a new brushed nickel one.

I found a frame from Ikea that works well to hold my photos of Fletcher through the ages.

For Christmas my MIL gave me a painting of my husband and I’s favorite little hole in the wall bar and burger joint in Charlotte NC, The Penguin, which is on the armoire on the right.

A few tokens from our wedding- the invitation, the “Save the Date’s, the ornament he used to hide my engagement ring on when he proposed on Christmas Day in 2007, the tassel from my college graduation which took place 3 months prior to our wedding day, and my DIY handmade birdcage veil and hair piece.

Above our bed hangs a summary of our lives together- the center photo was my 5 year wedding anniversary gift to my husband. I went back to our college and photographed the exact hallway where we met. The photo on the left is from our wedding day of course, and the right photo is our whole little family.

The dresser was a fabulous thrift store find- a mid century Bassett for 63.00. It needed some minor scratch repair and a good washing with Murphy’s Oil Soap. The lamp was also from the thrift store for $5.00 and the shade is from Target.

The mirror to the right belongs to the dresser but I kind of like it just propped up on the wall and not mounted. We’ll see how it goes.

I really wanted to raise the height of the curtain rods so I filled the holes and raised it about 2-3 inches and mounted it wider a few inches. The curtains are from Ikea- $19.99 for a pack of 2 panels and I have 4. The rod was already in the home when we moved in so that was free. I have Ev’s 1-2 year photos framed next to the window.

The room isn’t complete just yet. Yesterday I found the exact doors I have been drooling over at the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store. Brand new craftsman style 5 panel doors. I’m planning on painting them black and replacing the door to my room, bathroom, and the laundry room. I’ve been hunting for a matching set of nightstands to refinish as well to replace the mismatch tables we have now.

With only one room left to paint, the master bathroom, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. And I can reclaim the closet in our home that is dedicated to paint materials. I’m so in love with our bedroom I can’t even hide it. It’s so serene and adult, free of toys and clutter, just the way a master bedroom should be.

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I like my front doors like I like my movies… The Color Purple

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My latest project in the never ending mission to make my home beautiful was, you guessed it, the Front Door!  When we moved in the previous owners threw (almost literally) a coat of flat light grey paint on the door and side lights.  They slopped it on and left paint on the windows and hardware in what seems like an effort to continue making my life harder when it comes to re-painting this home.


As much as the color and the workmanship bothered me I just kept putting this project off.  I’ve never painted a front door and there seem to be so many “best” ways and paints to do so.  It was overwhelming to research the methods, the best paint brands, best brushes, and even the colors.  Because our home is very light in color (shades of light grey bricks) any color we picked would POP, especially with side lights being painted as well.  I won’t admit how many hours I researched door paint colors…

After photo shopping a few different color ideas on the door in a photo we decided on a deep purple.  I fell in love with a majestic purple seen on Pinterest but couldn’t quite match the shade in a brand sold here.  I tried so hard to find a match at various stores in different brands but nothing could compare.  With my closest choices I painted swatches and the door and still didn’t love them.  Those 3 squares stayed on my door for about 2 months!  I just couldn’t pull the trigger.

Since we have a whole house full of guests coming for Thanksgiving I decided now was the time.  Our door before painting was just sad, in color and in promise with those 3 purple squares in waiting.  In the end I made a rash decision and chose a color I had not tested.  Scary…. Sherwin Williams Quixotic Plum was the winner.  It seemed dark enough.

After taking a sander to the entire door to smooth down the terrible and crazy brush strokes as well as the paint globs and runs I was ready to paint.  When painting an exterior door you can’t just remove it and take your time.  I had to carefully plan to start first thing in the morning to allow the many coats to dry before closing the door that night.  It was obvious this courtesy was not done with the grey paint since there were ridges left.  Can you tell how annoyed I am by that paint job?!

I knew enough that I had to do at least 3 very light coats to let the paint dry faster and for a smoother finish.  After one coat I was petrified.  Holy cow… the color was much lighter than I envisioned and it was streak city.  I knew that after more coats it would darken and there would be no streaks.  Still, a part of me was in panic that I was ruining my front door with a loud color and doing a bad job of painting it to boot.  Then my Mother-in-Law walked out and the look on her face said it all.  She tried to save face but I could tell she was not impressed.  I assured her that after another two coats it would look great.  Now I had to fulfill my own prophecy and maintain my status as “painter extraordinaire.”

Thankfully after another coat I saw the promise and true form taking shape.  I just love how painting can (almost) instantly transform something formerly boring and ugly into a shiny new beautiful new thing!  I am addicted to the “after.”

Relatively smooth, even brush strokes, and a nice new shade of purple are words that describe my front door.  I would still like to replace the single door and side lights with a more contemporary style of French Doors but for now this will keep me satisfied.

Tip- rub a white wax candle on the inside of the door where it meets the jam so the paint won’t stick.  The latex paint won’t be cured for at least a week so expect sticky doors and possibly some touch ups…


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So Worth The Wait…

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Almost 4 months ago the boys and I moved into our new home in Florida where we reunited with my husband after a very long 6 months.  For those new here the short version is this:  Husband got a new job in Florida and we announced our move.  We looked online for homes near Tampa from our home in Syracuse, found one we loved, Steven toured it, we bid on it.  House was a short sale with an unknown closing date- could be 3-6 months.  Bank accepted our bid but it took 6 months to close and we never knew an end date.  The kids and I lived with family while Steven lived in Florida.  The house needed lots of TLC and was purchased “as-is.”  We picked the house because it met all of our ideals: cul-de-sac, 4 bedrooms, on a street with character and shade, no backyard neighbors, plenty of yard, open floor plan, and the bonus was that it had a pool.  The only drawback was the wait and that it wasn’t exactly “turn-key” ready.

After working nearly every single day on fixing the house I can say now that we are to a “live-able” state where the home isn’t in boxes, there aren’t tools in every room, and each room is functioning as the room it is intended to be.  The best part is where we live.  It has always been my dream to live somewhere that the kids can play safely.  With a large backyard and a cul-de-sac this home is most definitely living up to my dream.  Virtually every single day the kids and I go for walks on our shaded street, play on our ride on toys in the cul-de-sac, go for a bike ride around the neighborhoods, and visit the neighbor kitties.  My children are so happy here and it really shows.  In fact, I am really happy here too and that shows.  For the first time in recent memory I can’t complain about anything and I’m not wishing to be somewhere or someone else.

When we lived in Syracuse I can safely say I was suffering from depression.  I would call it seasonal and it coincided with the winter months when I was trapped inside with the boys for almost 6 months a year.  The effort of leaving in the snow and getting everyone properly dressed and undressed and re-dressed was sometimes too much for me.  So we stayed at home or took drives without ever leaving the car.  With no family or friends I was alone except the people who lived with me.  Steven would leave early in the morning, and in the winter, returned after dark.  It was a miserable existence and one I longed to leave behind for another place.  Florida is just about as opposite as we could get and so I begged my husband to look for opportunities there.  We knew eventually this would be where we ended up but I wanted it sooner, for my own sanity and happiness.  We lived in Syracuse for 5 years.  That is a long time to be miserable.

When we first moved here the stress was preventing us from enjoying the home.  And the state of the home wasn’t enjoyable yet either.  We called the house “A Temple to the Color Orange” since every room was some shade of it.  We had a mile long list of projects to tackle as soon as we moved in.  I knew if we didn’t jump on them immediately at some point we would start to become complacent and the projects would never get done.  To my husband’s dismay I became the project manager and barked orders and assigned tasks for every day and especially every weekend when he was around to help.  Each week I would paint 1-2 rooms and on the weekends we would work together on remodeling the bathroom.  I would try to work every other day and choose to spend the day off playing outside with the kids or taking them somewhere special to make up for painting the previous day.

To date I have painted the entryway, front living room, office, bedroom hallway, Fletcher’s room, the Golden Girls Room, the remodeled bathroom, and the great room which was all wood paneling and took 5 solid days to complete.  Every other room only took 1 full day each to paint except the bathroom which only took about 2 hours including priming the new drywall.  At this point I have the kitchen, Everett’s room, our bedroom, the master bathroom, the front door, the laundry room, and 7 closets left to paint.  Just naming all the rooms made me realize I have a few first world painting problems.


As of this weekend our bathroom has working sinks and a working toilet.  The last project to tackle before we can say she is completely functioning is the tiling of the shower walls.  I’m really and truly amazed at what my husband and I have done.  We have completely built an entire room and saved about $3-5,000 by DIYing it.  I won’t lie and say it was easy because it wasn’t at all.  Every time we thought something would be simple it never was.  I keep going into the bathroom, turning on the lights, looking around, smiling, and then leaving.  My husband and I make a pretty great team.  He gets most of the credit but I have done my fair share of the labor in that bathroom including lifting heavy toilets, sinks, vanities, drywall, and bathtubs.

It feels so good to live somewhere you love and in a home that isn’t the color orange.  I am thankful everyday that we waited that 6 months and trusted our gut.  We knew there was potential in the home if we were willing to put the money, sweat, and tears into it.  At this point we have exhausted our home renovation budget and the largest projects have been tackled so I’m looking forward to slowing down and finally just living in the home.  We do have a long list of small projects to finish before family comes for Thanksgiving but it is nothing like “take the bathroom down to the studs and rebuild it.”  Sometimes I just want to cry because we are finally settled and have a place to call home.  With the stress lifted my husband and I are once again having fun together.  One thing is for sure- major home renovations can throw a wrench in a marriage, even the strongest ones.

I’m looking forward to slowing down.

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A toilet, a dresser, a mirror, and a clean garage walk into a bar…

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When you can’t think of a title and you are exhausted from working around the house for weeks on end and entertaining guests for a week you just start talking gibberish.  I thought I would update everyone on the progress of the many projects we are juggling around the home.  This also explains why I’ve been quiet here on the blog and around the internet.  I’m only one person and just can’t keep up with posting every day while completing my work around the home and motherly

Most importantly- we have a working toilet in our guest bathroom!!!  The hubby and I worked frantically for over a week trying to finish our bathroom before guests arrived on the 23rd.  We had a lot to do in a week- finish hanging the drywall, fill the seams and sand, tile and grout the floors and shower, install a toilet, install the crown molding and baseboards, install the vanity and sinks, hang the mirror, etc.  From that long list we: hung the drywall (him), seamed (us), sanded (me), painted the walls (me), tiled the floor (me) and grouted (him), installed the toilet (us), and ordered supplies we needed like shower rods, toilet paper holder, wall stencil and art.

We were down to the wire and of course, the night our guests arrived, we realized we didn’t have the plumbing connection for the toilet.  DOH.  The next morning my Father-in-Law, the guest, went out and bought it and installed the thing himself.  The day was saved and even though they had to wash hands and shower somewhere else at least they had a running toilet for those middle of the night pee-pee trips.

Other than the bathroom, which now has to be finished by early November in time for more guests, we are working our way around the home doing more little projects.  A few weeks ago I found a gorgeous Bassett mid century dresser that I took home for only $63.00.  I didn’t even know where it was going but it was mine.  For now it has found a home in my bedroom after rearranging some dressers around and putting hubby’s in his closet.  It had some touching up to be done for some scratching and had a good wash in Murphy’s Oil Soap.

After a month of searching I also located a piece to hang proudly above my new credenza in my entryway.  This little gem was only $24.99 from Marshalls.  While it isn’t the most stunning, or largest, or even best that I could have purchased it was the best priced.  I’ve been gravitating towards sunburst mirrors upwards of $500.00.  I think this works for a lot less.  After I get a new rug (perhaps this one when the West Elm sale comes around in October…) the entryway will be complete.  (You can find the story behind the awesome chairs from an earlier post.)

The best thing about having the in-laws over this weekend was that my Father-in-Law is a workaholic like myself.  He can’t sit still.  Instead of vacationing he took it upon himself to help me wrangle and load all of the junk we needed to take to the dump.  We had a giant satellite dish that he also dug up from our yard, the water slide to the pool that was no longer working and preventing us from having home owner’s insurance, and lots of other odds and end the previous owners left.  After those things were gone he built the garage shelving and pretty much pimped my garage.  It was a hot mess and full to the brim but now we can get one out of two cars in.  The previous owners also left us at least a dozen cans of paint in their lovely shades of orange/yellow/brown.  He took those to a place that will accept them as well.  I feel so free!  Now there is a giant saw in the middle waiting to miter the crown molding and baseboards for the bathroom.

The thing about moving sporadically through the rooms is that no one room is complete.  I’m anxious to post a big reveal photo but as of yet there is nothing to reveal as a whole.  I’m just hoping the bathroom will be 100% complete and in working order before several families members come for Thanksgiving.  Once again the pressure is on to get this house presentable before then.

To end this random post here are a few cute pictures of the kiddos.  Everett will be 2 in 2.5 weeks and Fletcher is turning 4 in just 2 1/2 months.

Everett with his favorite toy, Optimus Prime

Fletcher's real smile, a rarity in photos

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Livingroom Progress- Paint and a Pinterest Project

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Just to update everyone on my life, my home, and why I haven’t posted anything since Monday I thought I would share what I’ve been working on.  You may recall that the home we purchased and moved into two months ago was a shrine to the color orange.  Virtually every room was Pumpkin Puke Orange and if it wasn’t orange it was yellow.  If you want to see shots of the house before doing any work visit the moving in post.  You can also see about our bathroom remodel (in progress) and my Golden Girls inspired Guest Room.  

This week I tackled the front living room.  The two rooms sandwiching it were already painted Pebble Grey and so I had to choose the color of this room.  Since it stepped down I was thinking of going to a darker grey but decided not to because a. matching shades of grey is very difficult and b. I was too lazy to make a nice transition in the door openings.  To make my life easier and get some paint up I decided to go with…. Pebble Grey!  We bought 3 gallons to start and I had plenty left so why not?

This is what the room looked like to start with:

And after a fresh coat of paint on the walls, a lot of hole filling, re-painting the molding on the bottom and top, it came to this:

I only took a front view of the couch in instagram!

I switched the lamps from the old black/red to the brushed silver lamps from the great room. I also pulled the same switch on the coffee table. A quick trip to Homegoods resulted in new purple pillows. I have mixed feelings about them but the husband is very happy likes them so I think they will live here permanently. The walls still need flair but I’m tepid with nailing holes in my freshly painted walls so I have to have a definitive plan laid out. Usually I just start hanging things but after the 15 hours I spent painting/prepping the room I’m not about to mar my masterpiece.

Hide your ugly router- Pinterest Project!  With my room nice and new I finally decided to do a Pinterest inspired project that is one of those “why didn’t I think of that” ideas. I HATE my router showing. Really, I hate any technology showing unless it is something to show off. I went to a thrift store and for .90 I spied the perfect book that would fit my router inside. I doubt you will need directions for this if you decide to try it but I really should give the credit to Anamu’s blog. An exacto knife and an old hardcover book is all you need. Remove the pages, insert router, and voilà!
cover router with a book

This weekend my husband and I will be working on the bathroom again. We have 1 month to complete it before visitors arrive. There are too many projects left to list but be assured I am a very busy lady these days!

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Finally, a place to call HOME

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It’s been 6 months in the making but I can finally say that my family is living in our new home in Florida!  We bid on the short sale home on January 26 and we got our keys on June 28.  My husband moved down from Syracuse to Florida after our home was packed up at the end of February.  Earlier that week the boys and I flew to Charlotte, NC to stay with family.  We all assumed we would move into the hotel with my husband for the expected 3 month wait.  Thankfully we stayed behind because it took much longer than we anticipated. More on that story in a previous post.

By now several people have asked me “Was it worth the wait?”  I’m not sure how to answer that question.  Truth be told, the wait wasn’t the hardest part.  It was not knowing if waiting was going to result in the home, or when the waiting would end.  Had we been told “You will definitely get the home in 6 months.” it would have been a piece of cake and totally worth waiting for.  Instead we were told “It should only take 3 months.  You won’t know if you are getting the home until the bank tells you and there is no way of knowing how long that will take.”  We were in for an insane emotional roller coaster but finally, we are home!

Now that the wait, and uncertainty are over, the real fun begins.  We purchased a 4 bedroom 1976 ranch home on a cul-de-sac with old growth oak trees.  We also purchased the home “as-is.”  Before I list the many issues I don’t want you to think I hate my new home so I’ll explain WHY we bought the home.

Shade!  This house has shade tress all around and these beautiful oak trees also have romantic spanish moss hanging from them.  There are several palm trees and other plants around too but the trees mean that my kids can play outside even on hot summer days.



Cul-de-sac!  As a parent I am trying to keep my kids as safe as possible.  Living on a cul-de-sac allows us to also get some asphalt playing time with our ride on toys.  If you have never lived/played in a cul-de-sac then you don’t know what you are missing out on.





Charm!  Our street is so charming.  Or creepy.  Or both.  When I saw it for the first time it was at dusk and the orange sky was behind the shady oaks with their spanish moss hanging down.  It was a picturesque Halloween Street.  Every home is unique- most are ranches and a few are 2 story.  Some are brick, some have stone facades.  Each home has a unique mail box that matches their home’s style or bricks.




One level!  I despise stairs.  I like to have access to my kids.  Even though the home is fairly large I can be right at the scene of the crime as soon as a cry is heard.  I’m a bit of a worry wart and an paranoid of NOt hearing a cry so this is perfect.  Also, I don’t like carrying laundry up and down stairs.  Call me lazy… In Florida having one story makes it easier too cool the house too.

Pool!  Okay, so this one is a plus and minus but my husband really loves the idea of a pool.  He just had to shock the water tonight so the reality of pool upkeep is creeping up on us.  However, the kids both LOVE swimming and since it’s Florida almost everyone has a pool.  We have some more childproofing to do on this one too.  I’m a “worst case scenario” kinda mom so I’m thinking of every far fetched (but still plausible) way the kids could get to the pool when we are sleeping/showering/blinking.

When my husband and I were  younger and would talk about our dream home I said “Victorian” and he said “Brand new.  I don’t want anything old and dirty.”   Somehow we ended up with an old and very dirty home.  The bones are great, the layout is good, but the interior is YUCK.  Think 1970’s outlets, paneling, shell shaped sinks, and random stone planter in the great room.

It’s renovation time.

Since we are mostly unpacked (don’t tell that to the 20 boxes left in the garage… shhh) the real hard work begins.  The guest bathroom is getting completely remodeled.  We are removing the paneling from the walls where it exists and hanging dry wall, then painting.  We also have to replace all of the interior doors, repaint every single wall, remove the stone planter and fireplace, and somehow make our kitchen work with no pantry and very little overhead storage.  The lawn is just miserable and we’ve already had landscapers come just to remove the massive amount of leaves left over from years of neglect.  There are electrical issues, holes in walls, grime, and a deck that is just sad looking.

I have BIG plans and a tiny budget.  Pinterest, take me away…..

I’m not a home renovation or DIY blog but you might see some posts here and there about our home progress.  It might be interesting to some of you and if not, just skip to the next article.  As you can imagine our family is undergoing a lot of change at the moment.  I just got my Internet back and still haven’t unpacked my filming equipment.  Family (and sanity) come first so please bear with me during this time in our life when I might not be updating the blog as much as usual.  Thank you all for your kind words of encouragement and support over these long 6 months.

It really is true what they say about home being where your family is.  My fears about adjusting to life together again were quelled immediately as we all just went back to life as usual like it was 6 months ago in Syracuse.  Except now we have more room to play and more sunshine!

Gallery of the inside of our home before any work has been done.  The theme is orange.

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