Tag Archive | "home"

3 Years in- Rosas Home Tour 2015

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In July 2012 our family made the move to Florida after waiting in limbo 6 months for our home. We had previously lived in Syracuse, NY for 5 years and that’s where our two boys were born. Prior to that we lived in Charlotte, NC and that is where we both went to college, met, and fell in love (if you want to be romantic). Our 8 year wedding anniversary is coming up this month too; crazy to think of the states, the kids, and the adventures from our married life.

Hello Summer!
Our home has become a bit of a hobby obsession for me. We bought a “fixer-upper” that is still in need of fixing. As a matter of fact, we found out this week that we have to get our entire home re-piped due to a leak under our foundation. Not welcome news, and I’m scared of the wall busting that’s going down next week, but being that our home was built in the 1970’s it’s not a TOTAL shock. I figured I should take updated photos before the pipes come out!  Look back on the progress of the home.  2014 Update, 2013 Update, and 2012 Before Photos.

Entryway- Features my latest find- a Broyholl Brasilia barcart with danish blue tiles found for $200 at a local thrift store.  This is my favorite spot in the home and never fails to make me smile (when it’s clean).



Sunken living room- My latest, frustrating DIY project is featured in this room- the three light tension pole lamp that came from a monthly vintage market, Brocante Market, at their July event.  The sailboat painting was also from that market at another event.



Lane Perception table

Husband’s Office- This room is boring but I didn’t want to leave it out.  He gets to do his thing in here and… it shows.



Laundry Room (Also old images. nothing has changed here)


Kitchen- (these are from last year, nothing much has changed enough to take new pictures)


Recreation Room- This year we added a wall unit purchased from Craigslist that has become home to my husband’s growing vinyl collection.


Master Bedroom- Nothing much is new here except the storage bench that had to move after we acquired the Bar Cart.


Master Bathroom- Ikea make-up mirror was added and a wall mounted hair dryer were the only changes here.


Boys’ Bathroom- We found a little Octopus at HomeGoods and my son insisted it come home with us.  We do love this little thing!


Boys’ Bedroom- Featured in a recent blog post, the boys have a combined room now.  I made them custom pillowcases.

Big Boys roomExpedit and other Ikea piecesLego Storage in a big boy room

The Golden Girls Guest Room- Using my Silhouette I’ve made custom GG pillow cases for the bed.  I’ve started adding copper molds to the wall but that just started this week and isn’t ready for new photos yet.


My Office/Studio/Diaper Museum- Also featured in an old blog post, this year I got my own office!  I needed more room to film and do photos.  It’s been a great help for my work and sanity.


So that’s the update!  Things haven’t changed too much since 2014 except the furniture has been moved around.  I’ve acquired some amazing new items from the thrift stores, flea markets, vintage stores, and Craigslist.  I’ve had a lot of fun finding new items on my thrifty hunts.  You can follow me on IG for more home updates and thrift scores.  @Kim_Rosas.



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Big Boys room

A Big Boy Room for Two Featuring Mario, Minecraft, and Lego!

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When I was little we lived in a 2 bedroom trailer and so of course, I slept in the same room with my older sister.  Not only that, but we shared a queen sized canopy bed that I had begged for.  It was frilly and had pink ruffled layers all around.  I know my sister wasn’t thrilled but I was the baby and Santa was good to me that year.  I have fond memories of my sister protecting me from monsters that lived under the bed and calming my fears each night.  She even walked me to the bathroom because I was too afraid to walk from the bed.

Big Boys room

Now I have two little boys who are sharing a room.  For us, this isn’t necessity.  They used to each have a room but it never felt that way.  The room with the big queen bed has always been home base and the secondary room was never played in or slept in.  Since this was the case I took it over as my office for filming and photography and the boys moved in together.  Lucky for me they have similar interests!

Expedit and other Ikea pieces

Even though the theme had been “Nintendo” the items go with a lot.  We also have an entire tower of Dino items from Everett, and a cabinet full of Lego creations and special “display” worthy items.  Minecraft is another big thing that is creeping (pun intended) into their room!

Lego Storage in a big boy room

Rather than buying bunk beds, a piece of furniture that makes me nervous, we kept the queen sized bed and they sibling co-sleep.  The standard stores for bedding that cater to young boys and girls don’t make bedding for queen beds!  We checked them all and came up short, or found them to be very expensive.  I knew we had stored a feather queen sized comforter somewhere in a closet so I hunted it down and purchased a queen sized duvet from Ikea.  I took the boys with me and they picked something they liked and of course, at $30, it was a great deal for us.

Custom pillow cases made with Silhouette for boys

I still wanted the bed to have a custom touch and to match the game “theme” we had going on from our old decorations.  Using my Silhouette Portrait (a die-cutter than can cut heat transfer vinyl and other items) I decided to make pillow cases that would give them each their own little space in the big bed and make it fun to go to sleep on THEIR pillows.  I took the boys shopping and they picked out this teal color sheet set at a bargain price from an outlet.    Fun sheet sets in bright colors are so hard to find!

Minecraft table

Using a font from dafont.com called Kemco Pixel I made my cutting template.  The Silhouette has a default cutting size that matches their cutting mat but with heat transfer material you don’t need a mat so I was able to extend the size in the settings, no longer restricting it to a small size.  I chose to have each say “Fletcher’s Side” and Everett’s Side” and cut the words into a black flocked vinyl.  Fletcher is so obsessed with “8-bit” right now that I knew he was going to love these!  I was right!

Ikea cabinet storage for Legos and Mario cross stitch

We use a lot of Ikea pieces in their room.  Most were Craigslist finds (the bed, the dresser and the nightstand were all from one person that we bought for cheap!) and the Expedit cases plus the cabinet were purchased new.  The cabinet was our solution for the many completed Lego sets our son has built.  We wanted a place he could put them that was safe and that allowed them to still be seen.  The doors beneath hide a big messy library of books.  No longer do we have open shelving that forces me to tidy them before having guests over.  The Mario cross stitch has graced the walls of every room my oldest son has slept in since he was a baby.  I started the project when I was pregnant with him and finished it when he was a few months old.  The pattern can be downloaded from SpriteStitch.com.

I love that the boys share a bed, it makes me happy that they have each other for comfort and company just as my husband and I have each other.  Since they co-slept (and sometimes still do when they need us) this situation works great for us.

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Modern pool table game room

Rosas Home Tour- 2014 Edition

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Lets talk about my house!  Longtime readers are familiar with the ongoing work I’ve been doing to the home my husband and I purchased in July, 2012.  To refresh your memory, the home was painted in 3 shades of pumpkin orange and needed a lot of TLC.  In real estate, location is king and because the home was on a beautiful street, right on the cul de sac, it fulfilled our dreams.  It has been an amazing two years in this home- lots of love and laughter, a ton of time spent riding bikes outside or swimming in the pool, and we couldn’t love it more.

Make sure you look at those before photos!  And please forgive the photo quality- I didn’t use a tripod for these and didn’t want to use a flash so they aren’t great quality.


Let’s start from the front foyer.  It might be my favorite room in the house because you get a view of our front living room and my beautiful couch, and our game room.


The foyer has a lot of my thrifty finds- the white chairs were found at a thrift shop for $40 each, the credenza was a Craigslist find, the wooden collage art was from a yard sale, the yellow signed lithograph was an estate sale find and the lamp was from the same estate sale.

Game/Entertainment Room

Next up is the “great room” which has now become our game room! (note the burnt out globe- we don’t have a ladder tall enough to change it so…. yeah.  One day.)

Modern pool table game room

We just added this gorgeous Brunswick Gold Crown II pool table to our collection.  Obviously, I care a lot about the items I put into my home, so adding a bulky pool table wasn’t something I was keen on.  However, my husband was determined to get one.  In fact, he wouldn’t shut-up about it.  For a year I’ve been researching modern pool tables and stumbled onto this line.  It is still made, however this particular table was made in the 60’s.  I found it for a more than reasonable price (if you Google it, I did NOT pay that price) and gave it to my husband for his birthday.  All the artwork (except our wedding painting) has been found at thrift stores and so was the record player cabinet (my husband is a vinyl enthusiast now and our collection is growing rapidly).  The overhead lights were from Craigslist.  My dying plant was from Wal-Mart…. hah.

The Kitchen/Dining Nook


Our kitchen drives me a bit batty… the cabinets and counter are not my taste but we are trying to make it work!  We replaced our old college era dining table with this amazing smokey lucite and chrome set from the 70’s.  I saw it on Facebook from a shop in Orlando and went to see it that day.  The seats had to be recovered so I chose a white vinyl.  It is easy to wipe clean since I have little guys.  The bar was also from Orlando but I bought it from Ebay!  We had been looking for a bar and this one was perfect- it really is a cool thing to see in person.  The light turns on when you open it automatically!  Notice that the stone planter from previous photos has been removed.  It took more effort and time than I want to talk about but having it gone makes me so happy!  No more random pile of rocks!

The Master Bedroom



Our bedroom only has a tad MCM (mid century modern) flair, the bed, the rocker, the armoire are more traditional items.  My armoire is so roomy that I’m sure I could never find a vintage piece to match the storage it has so for now it stays.  The nightstands are thrifted and refinished, lamp and long dresser are also thrift scores.  The dansk candle holder was my 6th wedding anniversary gift (iron) and hold 6 tapers.  My 5th anniversary gift (wood) was the large wooden lamp and his was the photo of the place we met in college, framed in wood of course.  None of our 7th gifts (copper) were decor related so they don’t get coverage.  I love how calm our room feels when it’s clean and that we have family photos all around!

The Master Bathroom


These are just photos of our bathroom taken after it was first painted, nothing else has been done since these were taken except that the door was replaced.  (hence the older watermarks and text from an older post).  It is small but it works.

The Laundry Room/Pantry


My laundry room project is complete and I even have a place to showcase a few of my “vintage cloth diaper” collectibles like the Sta-Puf advertisement.  I created sliding panels modeled after those sold at Ikea using curtains I found at the thrift store.  I placed a weighted metal rod in a pocket sewn into the bottom to keep it straight and we mounted them to sliders from Ikea.  We use our laundry room as a pantry since this home didn’t come with one!  The cabinets over the washer/dryer were found at the Re-store.  Even the paint for this room was a Craigslist find.

The Office 

The office hasn’t changed much at all since my last post.  It is technically a dining room but we wouldn’t use it so office it is!


We added a rug that is made from FLOR squares, I wanted a more custom size so this was a good solution.  I would definitely use them again and am thinking of adding more to my hallway to the bedrooms.  We also added the large map canvas.  The office is a mess but it is used a lot.  This is the “tidied” up version.  Usually there are papers everywhere…

The “Formal” Living Room

The front living room  (designed to be a formal but we use it as a real living room) brings us full circle, as you can tell from the first photo.  In fact, our kids run this path over and over.  It’s like a home track.


A lot of changes have happend in this room.  In fact, I don’t think there is a single piece of furniture in here now that was there in my last home update.  The sectional is something really special.  It belonged to my Great Aunt who lives in North Carolina.  She had to move from her home and so the couch went to me.  It needed new cushions and upholstery, not exactly what I was hoping to deal with.  My husband and I agonized over the color decision but wound up going with the color we picked first- 1 month after shopping everywhere else!  The upholsterer did an incredible job and I have to pinch myself sometimes- this beauty is mine!  The side table is a $10 yard sale score, the coffee table was from an estate sale, the vintage radio was from an auction.  Now lets talk about the credenza.  It’s one of the few pieces I’ve paid “almost retail” for but it was fate.  Our entertainment stand fell apart!  We needed something for our TV so I started looking- this turned up (in Orlando again… sigh) and it was the exact size I needed.  Apparently credenzas are standard 60″ or more.  Smaller ones are 1 in a million.  It’s a gorgeous piece of furniture and will be with us for a long time.  The rocker and stool/ottoman are reproductions I purchased from Zulily and not vintage.  The pillows are all from regular stores like TJ Maxx, Old Time Pottery, Ikea and Wal-Mart.  We placed a cat scratcher right where the cats from in from and it was really been effective in keeping them from scratching on the couch.

Guest bathroom

Guest bathroom… the only room in the house we totally renovated (and my ourselves!)


Not much has changed in the guest bathroom since my post on it.  I still love it so much!  DIYing the entire project allowed us to put more into the big ticket items that make this bathroom look much more expensive than it was.  First time visitors love it, and I get a lot of comments about it on YouTube videos it appears in.  The artwork ‘If you sprinkle when you tinkle, be a sweetie wipe the seatie.” was custom from Etsy.  The octopus stencil was also from Etsy.  The toothbrush holder is actually a bottle drying rack from Boon!

Everett’s Room

Everett’s room hasn’t changed that much but it’s worth a look.


His dinosaur collection has grown quite a bit since we moved in.  His vocabulary is mostly dinosaur names, and don’t tell him that an Allosaurus is a T-Rex or he will not hesitate to correct your ignorance.  I also semi-permanently attached the building plates to our Expedit shelf for a nice place for him to build his Duplos on, an activity he still loves.  We got a new TV for Xmas from a family member so this was the only room the old one fit into.  Believe it or not they rarely watch it unless we let them watch a movie on it in bed.  All of his furniture is Ikea, and everything but the Expedit was bought from Criagslist for a STEAL.

Fletcher Room

Fletcher’s room has seen some revisions too!  (these photos have a different watermarks since I took them for a post about his room featured on OffBeat Families)


Fletcher’s room has a Mario/Nintendo theme that evolved from the cross stitch I made for him while I was pregnant.  Most of his furniture is Ikea, but the dresser was a thrift shop find that I painted.

The Golden Girls Room

And lastly- the Golden Girls Room.


Looks fabulous right?  This room flip flops between being a stately shrine to The Golden Girls and my filming “studio.”  I love my house but I do miss the full basement we had in NY- I was able to spread out my filming equipment and get away from the kids while I worked!  You can see it more put together in an older post.  

Wow… I guess that is it!  I covered everything except the garage, even though we did actually do some organization and added cabinets from Re-store in there for a workspace.  Seeing it all come together, even though it isn’t complete (in my opinion) has been fun for me.  In two years we have managed to fit in a ton of work on the home and make it our own.  As much as people dread buying “fixer-uppers” it gave us the ability to customize it fully to our taste and the home itself was priced right.

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The DIY faux stacked wood fireplace screen {that almost killed me}

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Ever since we moved into our home 2 years ago (wow!) I’ve loathed the fireplace.  The rustic stones are not in line with my modern and clean aesthetic but part of me would hate to remove them since they’re a {crumbling and cracked} part of the original home’s charm that future buyers may hate us for removing.  We did do away with the stone planter made from the same stones and I don’t feel any guilt about that since it was sloppily made, looked weird, and took up precious space.


I’ve considered covering the stones, whitewashing them, and have finally decided that instead of changing the stones, why not try updating the fireplace opening?  That led me down the Pinterest wormhole and Google searches for “modern fireplace screen” that resulted in tons of pins for expensive options.  For some reason modern=expensive across the board and buying an $800 screen wasn’t in the budget.  Other pins were to stack items in the fireplace such as books or wood.  I loved the look of stacked wood but it would then be a non-functioning fireplace.  Then I finally found the answer in a DIY from Pepper Design Blog that was also featured in This Old House.  I pined (get it?  lol) for a white wood such as birch but around here I haven’t seen any.  After looking to buy slices (very pricey) I finally just decided to stick with native Florida woods.  I posted to Craigslist offering a small sum for pre-sliced wood and a lovely guy met me with a huge bag of slices in varying sizes, lengths, and woods.  There is white oak, oak, fir, and cypress in our final result.


Before- old screen that came with the house

The process for my screen seemed to be more difficult than the original for several reasons.  1.  My fireplace has uneven rocks all round the opening, including the floor.  Getting a perfect piece of wood sized to fit was impossible to slide in over and past those bumps.  I went in and out 8 times from the fireplace to garage to saw off more areas to make it fit.  2.  The fireplace slants inside so I had to cut each side at an angle (like mitering moudling) for a better fit.  3.  I wound up glueing one slice past the edge which caused more heartache than I can express.  10 minutes with a saw, dripping sweat, cursing, kicking, and bloody knuckles solved it.  Then it fell off after previous tries to just pry it off failed.  I wish I were kidding.


The dry fitting was perfect…


Each slice was glued down


A notch had to be shaved off with a knife in order to make this slide past. And a few kicks.


This was how it was wedged, seemingly stuck forever on the slice that needed to be cut.

All in all I spent less than $80 buying a large plywood sturdy enough not to bend under the weight of the slices which was $22 at Home Depot, $3.97 for a matte black spray paint (I could have used my leftover chalkboard paint but i was too lazy to brush it), I paid for the slices of wood (more for labor than the wood which is so often free around here), the large bottle of Gorilla wood glue was $6, and I shaved a few years off my life.  The cleaner front of the fireplace has been worth it though!  Due to the differences in my fireplace shape and being set back a little more it is easier to figure out this is a black board, but eh.  I also dig the varied sizes and textures though I also like the cleaner look at the version from Pepper Design Blog.


You may notice we are missing the coffee table and red tulip style stool (seen on Instagram).  Those are in the other living room with our new recovered turquoise sectional.  This room is eventually going to house a pool table (we are going to look at one next week that is mid century so it pleases me) that my husband has always dreamed of.  That, along with the turntable console and mid century bar will make this a very groovy space for entertaining!  Just don’t ask me to move this damn screen, it is wedged in there tighter than I had hoped… uh oh…. Santa will have to enter with a magic key in the front.

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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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Bathroom Remodel Status: Complete. From 70’s to Sleek.

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After beginning the bathroom remodel process over 4 months ago I’m thrilled to call this project DONE.  After being quoted $8,000-10,000 for our little hallway size bathroom from professional contractors my husband and I unexpectedly decided that we would DIY it.  I was shocked myself but after doing so much around the home already we learned that we were more capable than we thought.  YouTube is a magical thing and it gets all of the credit for teaching us how to completely build a bathroom from studs to finish.

When we bought this home we knew the bathroom would have to be completely gutted and re-done.  There was a tiny, disgusting toilet, a mauve/pink little tub and plain tiles, and the kicker- the seas shell sinks and deteriorating vanity that was crumbling with each touch.

Steven had fun with the demo and tore down most of the room in one day, leaving us with a toilet, sinks, and bathtub in our living room for a few days until the junk guy could come!

Getting the tub in was a PITA

It only took 8+ hours to hand sand the seams and nail holes. Sheetrock dust is no joke. (I don’t like electric sanders)

We have WALLS!

Every weekend for the next 3.5 months was dedicated to remodeling.  It was exhausting and we both spent long days doing labor intensive work.  DIY renovation is not for the faint of heart or for couples on the verge of divorce.  Our love and sanity were tested again and again and this process just about killed us all.  It was HELL.

The results were totally worth it.

View from outside- newly refinished door which had to be scraped clean and repainted, including all hardware.

Spray painted handle-formerly worn out bronze

Clear shower curtain

Open curtain and sexy new tile

Everloc shelf and towel bar

Tile close-up and Onyx glitter grout

Push to close bath drain and sleek overflow in Kohler tub. Retrofit Delta hardware so we didn’t need to mess with the connections.

When the lights go down the shower curtain looks amazing

Mr. Octopus- a stencil

He holds towels too! Ikea hooks and towels

View of the new vanity/mirrors/light/sinks from above.

Sexy waterfall faucet


Boon Grass for toothbrushes and accessories. Genius.

Swanky toilet with slow close lid (to not smash my little boy’s weiners!)

Custom art “If you sprinkle when you tinkle, be a sweetie wipe the seatie” inspired by the art at my grandmother’s. From etsy.com

Beneath the sink view

Porcelain tile that mimics the look of whiteashed wood floors.

Grand Total: $4,800

Including the $500 for the labor used to install and cut the shower tiles (which is the only professional help we used for the entire remodel) the total cost of this bathroom comes in at about $4,800. The costliest item was the vanity and sinks coming in at $1500 (faucets were seperate). The mirrors were the best deal at $30 each from Homegoods and the texture matches the floors perfectly. It was a lucky break. We ordered most of our large items (toilet, tub, vanity, faucets) from FaucetDirect.com and were very happy with how that went. The artwork was purchased from Chelsea Burdick Designs on Etsy and she was kind enough to color match my paint after I sent an online example. The giant octopus stencil is also from Etsy from Olive Leaf Stencils. The tiles were all purchased locally at Floor and Decor.

It doesn’t even seem real that we built this bathroom with our own bare hands. Drywall hanging, spackling, sanding, tile laying, mitering moulding, tub installing, plumbing moving, painting, the list goes on. It came out beautiful and exactly as I imagined. Sleek and modern but still fun enough to be a kid’s bathroom. My husband and I made a great team. We both had strengths and we played to those. He is great for caulking but I’m the master of perfectly smoothing it out. As a perfectionist DIY really is the way to go. If you make a mistake you can live with it and know you did your best. If a contractor makes a mistake you feel cheated and annoyed at their laziness/carelessness. I will admit that I have to paint the trim still… but I just couldn’t wait to shaire the new bathroom!

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“Don’t Touch That Saw!” and other tales from bathroom remodel HELL

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Without sounding like I am complaining about living in the house we waited over 6 months for please let me whine to you about trying to renovate our bathroom with two little ones running around.

The weekend before last my husband got the itch to start this huge project.  We knew before buying the home that gutting the bathroom was the first thing on the list if we got it.  Seashell sinks, a rotting 36 year old particle board vanity, and a pink/brownish dirty tub were not exactly up to snuff in my world.  After waiting for 6 months to even GET this house I started dreading that we woudn’t be settled in for a long time.  The sheer number of projects -big ones- were suffocating me.  Having a home is great and I am so grateful this sale worked out but there are days when I wish we were in a turn key home instead of one with “character” but in need of TLC.

He started by gutting it and removing the toilet, vanity, mirror, bathtub, and tile.  Suddenly we had dirty bathroom items in my livingroom.  “Mommy why is the toilet in here?”  A 4 year old is endlessly amused by a tolet in the livingroom.  It was stressful times 10 having these items, broken to pieces, within reach of the children.   Both are old enough not to eat anything and know they aren’t toys.  That doesn’t mean they won’t get curious and dig in.

Fletcher is a big boy and he wants to help.  This has been adorable but time consuming.  My husband and I understand that we can’t just ignore the children while we labor so there are times he is included.  Steven has been really great at finding things Fletcher can help with.  I was actually impressed with his patience and creativity.  Other times, like when I was ripping down drywall and rusty nails were flinging around the room, required our big boy to stay in another room.  I found myself wishing that someone would come to rescue my kids and play with them so that I could focus on the task at hand and not feel so guilty about my children.  We don’t have any family or friends here so once again, like it was in Syracuse, we have no village.

The insanity of working on major renovations while the boys are in the home is just crazy.  You might be thinking that we are amazing and our kids are great at entertaining themselves.  You are wrong.  I have been using the iPad and television as babysitter during this process.  That being said, we do take breaks and during intricate work (like plumbing) I have taken the kids out to do something fun or get a treat so Steven can concentrate.  Since we do the biggest amount of work on the weekends I also make sure we go swimming and to the park during the week to make up for it.

Fletcher has been caught picking up a saw (hence the title), trying to bust drywall with the sledgehammer, and trying to caulk things with the caulk gun.  The measuring tape is a favorite toy and he enjoys wearing daddy’s big gloves and putting on the ear protection and face mask too.   It’s like big boy dress up.  Everett has been surprisingly indifferent.  As long as I take breaks to sit with him, snuggle, and nurse him he could care less what is going on in that room.  Every so often he comes by but we shoo him out.

As much as it sounds like the kids aren’t hindering the process they are, but only because I am stressing over them not getting hurt/ getting tetanus/ breaking our supplies.   We keep losing instructions and parts only to find them in another part of the home.

Regardless of having children in the home the remodel is more time consuming than we anticipated (I watch DIY Network so I should have known this!) but we’ve managed alright.  Fitting the bathtub in was the hardest part and has taken 2 days of work and finesse.  In the end Steven had to cut an access panel to the pumbing from Everett’s room.  Luckily I haven’t painted that room yet.

The tub was the hardest part and took to days to get corectly fitted and in place.  Now we can move on to putting up the drywall, tiling, putting in the new toilet, vanity and sinks, and paint.  Once I typed that out I had a mini panic attack.  We will survive and my kids will be able to recite Little Einsteins episodes.  Still, when I catch my breath and take a look around I’m glad we are here.  I’m living the American dream, minus having a pet.  We live on a beautiful and quiet street, on a cul-de-sac, in a {soon to be} beautiful home with a pool, and we have shady oaks and plenty of yard to play in.  The Guard Lizard is just icing on the cake.


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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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Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Where my Children Sleep

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This post was inspired by the book “Where Children Sleep” by James Mollison. Looking through the images was emotional as I thought of all of the things my children have that so many others do not. This is where one child sleeps all night, and the other naps.

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Is it possible to have a baby AND an attractive home?

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Yes, and no. My dilemma before my son had even entered the world was this: Buy the crazy interactive, plastic, sound making, light flashing toys that would probably entertain my son OR go for the natural, wooden, Scandinavian design toys that would meld into my decor as if a baby didn’t even live here.

I chose the latter. I bought a neutral swing that folded, a bouncer that folded, I didn’t buy any toys for him at all in the beginning since he was too young for toys, and I swore an exercauser would NEVER enter my home.

Then my son started acting bored. I had one rattle. The rest of the toys gifted to us were far too old for him. After hearing him cry for days I decided he needed an activity gym. He was too young to play but he could watch the toys and perhaps bat at them. My husband and I booked it over to Babies r Us and bought the mac daddy Tiny Love Activity gym. $$$ was spent but once we put him on it he was enthralled by all of the colors and the chimes. I began to see that babies need toys. It snowballed from there. Next we bought a Jumperoo that looks like a horse. Probably the best 30.00 I have ever spent. Next, little hand held plastic, rattling toys invaded my home. Then, he needed to be occupied in his car seat. Home came a frog who shakes when his handle is pulled. And so on and so on.

My dream was to have a home filled with wooden toys from haba, bouncers by Svan, high chairs that modern looking (which I did get!), and a baby who was thrilled to have those things. Now I have a ton of plastic toys and a horse in my livingroom!

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