Thursday, August 28, 2014

{In Less Than 24 Hours...}

...I will finally become a homeowner again!!  After 15 months, TOMORROW is the DAY!! It has definitely been a roller coaster & I was certain at times that I would be living with my parents for the rest of my life {although for the record - it was NOT bad...it went way better than I expected}.  Throughout the building process, there have been a few tears & my not-so-nice side had to come out a time or two.  But, in the end, I know it will be so worth it.  I absolutely cannot wait to have friends over & host parties, to decorate for fall & Christmas, to cook in my kitchen, to paint my walls & mow my yard.  I have missed doing those things so much.  I feel like my life has kinda been "on hold" the past year & a half.   It might not be the "best" house or the "biggest" house and it's certainly not perfect, but it's mine...and I am pretty darn proud of it. 

I had my first walk thru this past Monday.  If you would have told me last Friday that it would be ready for a walk thru in 3 days, I would have told you you were crazy.  The house was a wreck but when I walked in Monday at 2:00 - it was like Christmas morning.  It was "finished" and clean and I LOVED it {if only they would have moved that fast the past 6 months}!  There are a few touch ups that have to still be done, but for the most part - it's ready for me to move in!  I have my final walk thru at 9:00 tomorrow & then I get to sign my life away at 10:00!
Since I blogged last, the biggest changes were made to the outside.  I went 2 weekends ago & extended my front flower bed some.  It's still not quite finished, but I think it looks much better than it did!  My sod was laid about a week ago.  It was so pretty & green the first day...and then near 100 degree August temps & no rain took it's toll.  We are watering daily, but on Saturday - I almost cried it looked so bad.  You know my yard is kinda my thing.  Slowly but surely it's starting to green back out so hopefully with time & lots of watering - I will have my nice, green yard back.
I knew all along my yard would be big, but now that the fence is up - I realize just how big.  It's huge.  Like I could have a pool or a small football field back there!  The house only came with sod in the front yard so my original plan was to have it laid in the back as soon as I moved in.  But, seeing as how much the front yard is struggling, I think I am going to wait a while.  I am going to lay enough now to give me usable space around the back of the house & then I will lay the rest of the sod either in late fall or early spring.  That will also give me time to decide what I want to do back there; I LOVED the pergola & rock patio at my last house...lots of nights were spent out there by the fire pit with friends.  I did decide a few weeks ago to add a deck.  The covered porch is really small & the backyard slopes some so there was a drop off.  I am so glad I decided to do it because I love it!  It's not big, but it adds just enough extra space to make the back porch much more usable.
 
As soon as I close tomorrow, we leave for Cayuga to watch my baby brother coach his first football game!  So, painting & moving will have to wait a few days, but at least I will have keys in hand.  I cannot wait!!  I'll be there all next week working so if you are bored and want to stop by & paint a wall, unpack a box, or just entertain me - please do! =)

And last but not least {and almost as exciting as closing on my house} is the return of Aggie Football!  All is right in the world again.  Now hurry up 5 o'clock!!  Whoop!!



Thursday, August 14, 2014

{Watch Out HGTV!}

When I sold my house last year, I sold a lot of my furniture as well.  At the time, it seemed like a great idea {I wouldn't have to store it} & I knew I would probably want a different "look" in this house.  So, a garage sale & a few Craigslist postings later - I had gotten rid of living room furniture, entertainment center, dining room table & bed. 

I also {foolishly} thought it would be "fun" to redo some old furniture so began the hunt.  I immediately found a bed I loved and a few months later - I inherited my youngest brother's dining room table. It was exactly what I wanted {rectangular table with a bench}, but it had a few dents & scratches after spending several years in his college apartment.  I am fairly certain it had way more games of beer pong played on it than it had meals eaten on it. =)  Several months later, I found the perfect dresser to be used as an entertainment center.

After sitting in "storage" {aka: the back room at my grandma's house & my aunt's shop} for nearly a year, I decided a few weeks ago it was probably time to start working on it if I wanted to finish before I move in.  Speaking of: a quick house update!  Things are slowly moving along.  About 3 weeks ago {when I blogged last}, things were not going well.  I had reached my limit & I'll admit - for a day or two, I was not a nice person.  But, things did finally get moving & by the end of that week, I had more work done in 3 days than I had in 3 weeks.  Floors were finally installed which I was most excited about. I knew I wanted dark ones this time & although I will most likely be sweeping daily, it will be worth it because I LOVE them!  Next up was the shower doors, bathroom mirrors, appliances, & the A/C.  The dirt work was completed, the flower bed added {I actually plan to go this weekend & expand it}, & the fence posts went in.  I should be getting sod next week.  I knew my yard was going to be big, but now that the fence is up - I realize how HUGE it really is.  It's going to be lots of fun watering all that grass & mowing.  Anyone want to volunteer to be my yard man?!? =)  Right now, they are working on all the "finish work" and my first walk thru is scheduled for Monday, August 25th.  The final sign off is on Friday, August 29th so I should be closing either the 29th or one day the following week...the end is finally in sight!!  For real this time.
 
 
OK, back to furniture.  First up was the bench to the dining room table {I wanted to start small since I have ZERO experience with this kind of stuff}.  I got it sanded & stained one Sunday afternoon & LOVED how it turned out.  I knew I wanted to add a little color to the breakfast room so I decided to paint the legs.  Picking a paint color was another story & I have repainted it twice already.  I am still not 100% sure if I like the color {it's a light aqua/turquoise} but it's definitely staying like that til I move in.
Next up was the table.  It was not near as easy as the bench...guessing the finish on it was a little different?!?  After several days of sanding {yes, I did it by hand}, I finally got it all off & restained.  I don't think it looks as good as the bench, but it will definitely work.
I also decided to replace the chairs instead of using the ones that came with it...I wanted something a little more modern/industrial & not so country.  I went with these black metal chairs from World Market {looks are deceiving...they are surprisingly VERY comfortable}.   
My next project was the bed.  I purchased it from a friend {thanks Hilary G!} & I absolutely LOVE it!!  I knew I wanted to upgrade from a full to a queen {which is why I sold what I had} and I wanted something "big" with a headboard, foot board, etc....I saw this online and the style {& price} were perfect!  It was a little scratched up & the color wasn't what I wanted so I knew it would have to be redone.  Rather than sand, prime & paint - I decided to try using chalk paint.  It was supposed to be super easy to use with very little prep work {my kind of DIY project}.  I went with a charcoal color...it's really dark gray, almost black.  A little sanding, 2 coats of chalk paint & a few layers of wax later & I am in love!  I am thrilled with how it turned out.  They are right, the chalk paint was super easy to use.  The waxing was a little more difficult & time consuming, but you have to do it in order to seal the paint.  I didn't get a good picture of the finished product, but I will once it's set up in my house.
 
 
The last "big" project was a dresser that I will use in my living room as an entertainment center. I plan to mount my flat screen tv on the wall above it & then use the dresser for storage.  Years ago, you could find used dressers at every garage sale for $20 bucks.  Fast forward a few years & the invention of Pinterest and now they are a hot item.  They are hard to find & the ones you do find are super expensive.  I happened to come across this one on Craigslist one day that was at a resale shop in Caldwell. A quick trip to Caldwell that Saturday morning & a little negotiating on the price & it was mine.  I decided to go ahead & use the charcoal chalk paint on it as well & I absolutely love the way it turned out!
*Side note: my parents to do not have a garage so I am doing all of these projects either in the kitchen or on the back porch. The dresser was in my aunt's shop so I went over there Saturday evening & painted it.  Since it was going to require several layers of wax, I decided to bring it back to my parent's house so I could work on it in the evenings.  That night, I went ahead & applied the first layer of wax.  The dresser was in the kitchen at the time.  Not my brightest move because after about 15 minutes, I was fairly certain we all might die from the fumes from the wax.  I covered it with plastic & opened some windows, but I laid in bed for over an hour praying we would all wake up the next morning.  Thankfully when my alarm went off for church, we were all alive & well.  =)

I have a few more "small" projects to complete before I move in, but for the most part - everything is DONE!  Thankfully.  It wasn't too bad, but it's definitely not something I want to do again for a while...I'm guessing I am not quite the DIY'er after all!  My mom & dad are probably thankful I am done was well; I have taken over the house...there is currently a head board & foot board, bench, & 4 chairs in their room, a dining room table on the back porch & a dresser in the living room.  There is about a 3 foot empty space from the door to my bed in my room.  Needless to say - EVERYONE is ready for my house to be finished!
{And no, the chair did not stay school bus yellow...spray paint can fix anything!}

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