Wednesday, December 4, 2013

An Update & A List

Beaufort Enjoying the Front Porch
Well, more than a month has gone by since we closed on our house, and unbelievably, we moved in 3 weeks ago.  Time is flying!  I thought it would be cool to publish here my “list” of things that I want to work on in our house.  They are by no means in priority order, just organized by room.  We are knocking out everything a little at a time, and obviously some things are more costly than others, so we will need to save up before we actually tackle them.  It feels really nice to draw a big fat line (I imagine myself marking it off with a sharpie!) through each thing.  Having it all written down helps me realize that we have already accomplished a lot, even though we still have a long way to go.   I’m excited that with every new project we finish, the house is starting to feel more and more like our home.  Can’t wait to continue to show you the progress! 

House Project/Purchase List
Hire(d) Professional

Entire House
-          Electrical outlet additions/updates
-          Change out light switch and outlet plates to match
-          Hardwood Floors sanded, stained and finished
-          Paint/Repair/Replace HVAC registers and floor grate
-          A/C Unit & Duct Work Insulate/Update/Replace
-          Repair Plaster & Paint Walls
-          Sand/Prime/Paint Trim
-          Repair/Sand/Prime/Paint front door
-          New Light Fixture
-          Coat closet – add stackable storage
-          Entryway decoration
Living Room
-          Sell old entertainment center
-          Entertainment Center table (from Marian & Curtis)
-          Purchase & Install Ceiling Fan to replace light fixture
-          Repair Plaster & Paint Walls
-          Sand/Prime/Paint Trim
-          Rug
-          Window Treatments
-          Blinds/Shutters
-          End Tables/Coffee Table
-          Lamps
-          Update Fireplace/Hearth 
-          Replace/update mantle

Dining Room Chandelier...... one of my favorite additions so far... ignore the crazy mini blinds
Dining Room
-          Repair Plaster & Paint Walls
-          Sand/Prime/Paint Trim
-          Purchase & Install Chandelier
-          Window Treatments
-          Buffet Lamps

Breakfast Nook Light... now if only I had a table...
Breakfast Nook/Butler’s Pantry
-          Find/Purchase Table & Chairs
-          Repair Plaster & Paint Walls
-          Sand/Prime/Paint Trim
-          Purchase & Replace Light Fixture
-          Window Treatment (to hide laundry room)
-          Sand, Prime & Paint Cabinetry… in progress
-          Purchase & Replace cabinet knobs

Progress Painting Cabinets... only the doors left!
-          Remove Wallpaper
-          Repair Plaster & Paint Walls
-          Sand/Prime/Paint Trim
-          Donate existing appliances to Habitat ReStore
-          Purchase & Change out appliances
o   Purchase Microwave
o   Install Range Hood
-          Sand & Paint Cabinetry… in progress
-          Purchase & Replace cabinet knobs
-          Change overhead light for framed fixture
-          Replace/Re-surface countertops
-          Repair glass pellet hole in window over sink
-          Install backsplash
Laundry Room
-          New Washer/Dryer
o   Replace dryer vent hose with flexible hose
-          Repair leaking shut off valves
-          Shelving/Storage
-          Backdoor moisture damage repair
First Floor Bathroom/Linen Closet
-          Shower curtain
-          Frost glass brick window
-          Repair Plaster & Paint Walls
-          Sand/Prime/Paint Trim
-          Vanity/Sink
-          Light fixtures
-          Hot water heater
o   Adjust water temperature
o    Electrical repair
Master Bedroom
-          Repair Plaster & Paint Walls
-          Sand/Prime/Paint Trim
-          Blinds/Shutters
-          Window Treatments
-          Closet – add shelves/storage
-          Purchase Ceiling fan w/ light to replace light fixture
Guest Bedroom
-          Repair Plaster & Paint Walls
-          Sand/Prime/Paint Trim
-          Blinds/Shutters
-          Window Treatments
-          Closet – add shelves/storage
-          Purchase Ceiling fan w/ light to replace light fixture

-          Move gate on side of house so dog can go out porch door
o   Install new latch for gate
-          Sand/Prime/Paint & Re-glaze Exterior Windows
-          Porch ceiling paint
-          Paint front door
-          Porch light fixture
-          Roof
-          Porch Furniture
-          Tame the Yard/ Hire plant expert to advise
-          Stump removal
-          Storage Shed
-          Privacy Fence
-          Bigger Mailbox
-          Exterior Storm Windows
-          Leaf blower!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Moving Update!

So dying for an update are you?  We got the official notice last night that our floors are complete!  While that means we have a hefty check to write today, it also means we are super excited to have access back to the inside of the house this afternoon.

Today we're only allowed to walk on the floors, not put anything permanent down on them, so of course, we'll be going by for a visit to check out how they look!  (Pictures to come, I promise!)  Ryan's parents are also coming to see the house for the first time, too!

We're going to rake some leaves and do some general yard cleanup this afternoon, too.  Another little project I hope to start today is priming the cabinets.  Our appliances are scheduled to be delivered on Monday (eek!), so I hope to have at least the bottom set (not including doors and shelves) primed before they arrive.  Of course, this makes for a busy Saturday evening and Sunday!

Hopefully VERY soon this little gem of a kitchen will be transformed into something brand new!  Our plan is to move at least a few things on Monday night (including our bed) so hopefully our first night in the new house will be Monday!  

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Same title, two blog posts in a row, but this time, it’s for our house PURCHASE!  A huge thank-you shout out to our dear friend and realtor Kate, without whom we would've never even had our house on the market and certainly guided us through the craziness of home shopping.  

We are already hard at work beautifying our sweet 80-year-old brick bungalow and can’t wait to update you more on all the things we do!  For starters, here are just a few pictures "BEFORE"-style.  
House Front


View from Dining Room Into Living Room

Living Room

As far as purchases and updates, so far, we’ve started on trimming up the yard jungle, moved the gate so Beaufort can be let out the side door into the yard, furnished our fabulous front porch with some wonderful wicker furniture, ordered new appliances, ripped down the kitchen wallpaper, and turned the whole house into a dust bowl by sanding down the kitchen cabinets to prepare them for paint. 

This week, we’re having the hardwood floors stained and re-finished, so there won’t be much more progress inside until after that’s done.  However, as soon as floor guy is done and says it is OK, we can move in!  We’ve been so lucky to be able to stay at my parents and save some money, but definitely ready to get back into our own space and not have to live out of suitcases!  I’ll be back with more pictures soon!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


August 15th was the last time I wrote anything here on the blog…  I didn’t mention it that day, but only 4 days before that, we put a For-Sale-By-Owner sign in our yard.   We’ve always known we wouldn’t stay in our house forever and the market seemed right in our neighborhood to give it a try.  We weren’t in any hurry, so it didn’t matter much to us if it sat on the market for several months… or even longer! 

However, there was a different plan in store!  We showed the house twice in the first two weeks with our sign, and took several other phone calls about it.  We only posted about the house in a few places online, luckily one of those brought us our buyer.  So tomorrow is our last official day of owning our first home.  We close on the sale of the first house we purchased together, the first house we lived in as a married couple, the first house we brought our puppy home to, and the first house we shared lots of other memories in.  It’s pretty surreal. 

So, if you’ve been wondering why it is quiet around here, it’s because we’re packing up our stuff and spending any other spare time we have searching for our next home.   We have less than 24 hours left to own our home, and less than 12 days to live in it.  Time to pack in some last memories and lots of boxes!  Can’t wait til we find that perfect house, when we do, I’ll be sure to share, but don’t be surprised if you don’t hear much from me before then!

Thursday, August 15, 2013


Listening... to music from my playlist for pilates class tonight at First Baptist.  It’s my first time teaching all by myself (Eeek!)  Playlist is lots of praise and worship music…. Anyone else like to workout to praise and worship?  I find it so motivating…. Luckily our class is at a church, therefore praise and worship music is encouraged. 
Eating... trying to stop myself from eating the entire container of triple ginger snaps from Trader Joe’s.  We visited the new store in Columbia, FINALLY, and I even visited it twice the same day because I just NEEDED to introduce Ryan to the cheap but yummy coffee there.  Are you married to a coffee snob?  Check out Trader Joe’s.  It will change your life (or at least your coffee budget).
Drinking... Always lots of water and daily diet coke.  For a quick second last week I quit drinking my morning diet coke cause I thought it was making my face twitch.  Not so much.  So… back on the sauce.
Reading.... nothing! Need to go to the library!  Just read Get Lucky by Katherine Center for book club that I hosted at my house, and next month we are reading Where’d You Go Bernadette? by Maria Semple, but I already read it while I was at the beach!  So… recommendations are welcome…
Wearing... Seersucker! Only a few weeks left and I just got a new-to-me hand-me-down skirt from my sister.  Planning to literally wear this sucker out until Labor day!  Also, got blue paint on my white capris, so those are out.  L
Feeling... Anxious about teaching my first Pilates class tonight.  Mainly because the other instructors are out (hence, why I’m teaching) so I don’t have any backup.  Luckily, got a class full of experienced Pilates ladies.  P.S. Natalie, feel better fast!
Weather... Surprisingly cool for August.  Wondering if this summer has been some sort of cruel joke that is gonna lead into a bitterly cold winter.  I hate cold weather, but I am soaking up these 70 and 80 degree August days.  Seriously.  NEVER BEFORE has this happened in my lifetime.  What a relief from the usual 100+ degree summers we have here.
Thinking... the next 2 weeks are gonna fly by and then it’s officially FOOTBALL SEASON and the unofficial start of FALL!  Thinking I absolutely love fall and I’m really looking especially forward to it this year.
Enjoying... morning walks with my pup and listening to my daily Bible reading on my phone.  230 days out of 365 are done.  This is the furthest I’ve ever made it in a Bible-in-A-Year plan and I am super stoked that it looks like I will actually finish it this year.  So encouraging and one of the best things I’ve done, hands down, ever.  Looking forward to figuring out exactly how I want to dig deeper into the word in 2014. I know, crazy, but not that far away.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Catching up...

A whirlwind of a month and a half has passed by since I posted here.  So many things have happened, but I’ll try and get back in the swing with the beginning of August in just a couple of days! Wish I had some more pictures to go along with this post, but just don't want to forget what we did this summer, so here it is in lots of words!

During June, we spent an afternoon kayaking with friends down our local river, which then inspired us to purchase our own kayaks.  However, since we bought them, it has rained for a month in a row so the river has been too high.  I’m hoping we’ll get to use them much more in August and September!

We also spent a few days at the beach and wrapped up the month of June celebrating my niece’s Baptism and my nephew’s 3rd birthday.  Where does the time go??

For 4th of July, we spent time on one side of the lake with family in the morning and then headed to the other side of the lake for a cookout and fireworks with friends.  I was reminded how AWFUL it is to work the day after a late-night holiday.  They should give everyone the 5th of July off, too!

July has nearly completely passed me by without even a mention that my husband got to start a new job!  There is a lot of new information to learn and a whole new schedule to adjust to, but so far he is enjoying it.  He’s had to go out of town twice for training, and I spent a week at the beach, so we’ve been missing each other a lot. 

Finally, this past weekend, I attended my Pilates certification course and passed the test to become a Pilates Mat Instructor.  After 4&1/2 years of practicing Pilates, this has been a goal of mine for a while, and I’m excited to see what my future as an instructor holds. 

And… since we’ve been so busy, my sweet husband was sweet enough to plan out a menu for our week, so here it is!  Our weekly menu for the week ahead…

7.29.13 – California Turkey Burgers, Guacamole & Chips
7.30.13 – Leftovers
7.31.13 – Thai Chicken Bites & Rice
8.2.13 – Headed to Greenville for the night to see our friends & enjoy some baseball and other fun!
8.3.13 – Homemade Pizza or Calzones

Oh, and as always, we’ve been spending plenty of time with this guy, who apparently thinks this is his bed....

Saturday, June 15, 2013

June 15 Weekly Menu

The heat of summer truly hit us last week and so I'm aiming for lots of summer crockpot meals so I don't have to sweat too much in the kitchen!  I especially love making any sort of shredded meat for tacos in the summer.  Who am I kidding?  I love tacos year-round, but the veggies are fresh in the summer so that makes it a pretty inexpensive meal, too!

6.15.13 - Leftovers
6.16.13 - Fathers Day Plans TBD
6.17.13 - Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches (never made last week)
6.18.13 - Leftovers
6.19.13 - Grill out
6.20.13 - Shredded Beef or Pork Tacos in Crockpot
6.21.13 - Dinner Out

Saturday, June 8, 2013

June 8 Weekly Menu

6.8.13 – Grilling Burgers, Brats  and Corn on the Cob, Making this Tomato & Blue Cheese Deliciousness
6.9.13 – Leftovers
6.10.13 – Hosting a Premier Jewelry Party, Making Baked Brie and Slutty Brownies for Snacks
6.11.13 – Making Spicy Sausage Pasta
6.12.13 – Leftovers
6.13.13 – JWC Happy Hour & Dinner at Liberty
6.14.13 – Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

Friday, June 7, 2013


Thank goodness it’s FRIDAY! Seriously, this may have been one of the longest weeks EVER.

TGIF because as of this morning, I have now taken 3 completely rain soaked walks with our dog.  Hooray for rain, not hooray for Tropical storms that dump it on us nearly 24 hours/day.  I love the rain that shows up over night and makes my grass green, I do not like the ALL DAY SEVERAL DAYS IN ROW RAIN!  So, thank goodness for the rain that is supposed to move out of here tomorrow!

TGIF because we’re having girls night tonight… making Baked Brie in puff pastry with brown sugar…. Cannot wait to devour it.  And of course some wine.  Thank goodness for Wine & Cheese.

TGIF because tomorrow is Saturday and I’m going RUNNING!  You might not know I’ve been battling a leg/hamstring/glute (unknown) injury that made running pretty difficult for me during April, so I’ve pretty much taken the whole month of May off, only to figure out, it’s probably Pilates that killed my leg, not the running afterall.  So thank goodness for getting out some of this crazy pent up energy!

TGIF because it’s the weekend and we are gonna be doing yard work and cleaning and grilling and running and napping and churching and all the great things there are to do on a weekend.  Thank goodness for weekends!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

June 1 Weekly Menu

Summer is one of those busy seasons that we barely know what's happening tomorrow, much less for the month ahead, so I'm forgoing the monthly menu for a bit and going back with weekly menus until things settle down a bit.  We have had a busy last few weeks, including a long-weekend trip to the beach (see our new picture up there?  Courtesy of the wonderful photography skills of my sister... need your picture or your kids pictures taken?  I can get you in touch with her!)

This guy (and his short haircut) really enjoyed the beach too.... the not so great iPhone photography skills are mine :)

Now, for the menu....
6.1.13 - Brandon & MaryKathryn's Wedding!  Our only wedding this summer, seems we're growing up and there aren't too many to attend anymore!
6.2.13 - Thai Chicken Bites w/ Rice
6.3.13 - JWCMeeting/Girls Night with Leigh!! 
6.5.13 - Leftovers
6.7.13 - Date Night Out!

Friday, May 17, 2013


Listening... to a Jennifer Weiner book on CD.  Ever since our bookclub started, I've been really into listening to books on CD again.  So far this month, I've listened to The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, our book club selection Between, Georgia by Joshilyn Jackson, and now the Jennifer Weiner book, which I can't remember the name, but it's the one about the fertility clinic with about a million characters.  Also, on the subject of books, I have Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn in hard copy at home as well.  May has been the month for reading.
Eating... leftovers of Bacon & Mater pasta for lunch.  absolutely love this recipe.  The ingredients are flavorful and the sauce (when made with milk instead of cream) is light and perfect for summertime. 
Drinking... Is that even a question? Diet Coke. I'm hopelessly addicted.  Anyone see that article go around facebook about signs you're addicted to diet coke?  That's totally me.  And tonight, probably drinking the leftover wine used in the pasta above. 
 scrubs.   I'm so lucky to have an office dresscode that allows me to wear pretty much whatever I want except jeans, but today, just wasn't feeling like planning and outfit or ironing anthing. 
Needing... to finish up my notes on a presentation I'm making at a conference... tomorrow! Yikes!  Procrastination = my worst enemy (or my best friend, depending how you look at it)
Wanting... my dog's hair to grow back.  He is so skinny with his summer shave!  Also, wanting to find a new groomer that gives him the perfect cut, not too short, not too long.  Will be on the search for that next month.
Planning... a long weekend at the beach for Memorial Day.  First days off work since my half-day off in January.  Now that has taken some HARD work!  Finally built up some time off so my bank won't be empty after summer vacation!
Enjoying... warmer weather!  After a weird few weeks in April and beginning of May, it's finally here!  I need to put a towel in my car so the leather seats don't burn my booty.  Now, if only my leg will get better so I can RUN! 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Hello? Anyone out there?

I fell off the face-of-the-blog earth during the end of April.  Kinda got crazy busy and didn’t update too much around here.  So, how about I show you some pics from my phone and catch you up on  our life?

Trimmed up my rose bushes and made this giant pile of thorny limbs....  

Since I waited too late to start trimming, I actually had to go buy new loppers to cut through the thick limbs but lucky me, I scored these beautiful hanging baskets for our porch at True Value while I was out...

Spent a weekend at the beach with my mom and her work friends.  There is nothing quite like getting close to the beach (13 miles to go)!  Here’s a pic I took on the way down…. it was super rainy on Friday, but so beautiful on Saturday!

We might or might not have run the golf cart completely out of batteries and had to push it for an entire half mile back to the house….

Luckily we had these yummy raspberry mint mojitos to spur us on!

I watched in disbelief as the finish line of the Boston Marathon was bombed.  Honestly, I thought a few times about writing something here, but just couldn’t find the words.  I loved this article…. and, like most runners that week, I got together with my running buddy Jennifer and “Ran for Boston.”....  

I’m a member of the Junior Women’s Club of Lake Murray and we had our annual yard sale…. There was a lot of junk to sell… here’s a pic of our organizing garage the night before.... so much junk!

We finally had a baby shower for my sister and niece Elliott.... somehow I managed not to take any pictures there, may have had something to do with attempting to play paparazzi with Marian’s fancy camera. 

Our church rented out the Plex and our Sunday school class organized an ultimate Frisbee team…. Go team green!  Since we were the only organized team, I’m declaring us the champions (we won our first game and lost the second game 2-1 because we ran out of time to play)….

Most of the month I spent running to get ready for the Providence Heart and Sole 5-miler.  After the St. Patty’s Get-to-the-Green race, Jennifer and I set a goal of running the 5-miler in 50 minutes.  She made it under 50, and I just barely missed it, finishing in 50:25.  Here’s me with some of the alumnae girls from my sorority before the race… 

All in all, April was a fantastic month, just really busy!  We've had the weirdest weather ever to start off the month of May, but I'm looking forward to warmer weather and the rest of summer!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May Monthly Menu

Here is our monthly menu for the month of May!  Lots of new recipes and old favorites, and tons of plans for grilling as the weather continues to heat up!!

Week 1: May 1-5

  • Dinner w/ family for Travis' (my brother) Birthday
  • Pantry Cleanout meal
  • Grilling Out
  • USC Baseball Game
  • Dinner at Gervais and Vine for Girl's Night

Week 2: May 6-12

Week 3: May 13-19

Week 4: May 20-27

Week 5: May 28-31