Tuesday, June 28, 2011

We are very slowly figuring out how to make this house our home.  
Hanging things on the wall has been the big "game changer" in making this house feel comfortable for The Husband and myself.  I didn't expect the big difference it has made in just a few rooms. 

^Entry way to the garage.  A set of (faux) old school keys from Pottery Barn that I picked up years ago.  

^A wedding gallery in the extended entry way.  I know many people think it's self absorbed to have that many pictures of yourself in your home.  But whatevs.  We love our wedding photos.  

 ^Guest Bedroom.  This room almost feels complete.
The Husband hung the blinds last night while I scavenged things from the pile of wall accessories for this room.  In our apartment that wall art was in a hallway, the end table was in the master bedroom, that curtain was in the living room... but having it all together really works.  
fyi:  bed is from pier one from probably 6 years ago.  Bedding is "Hotel Collection:  Rings" from Macy's.  End table is from pier one.  TV stand and organizing shelf thing are all from pier one.  Curtain and rod are from Bed Bath and Beyond.  

The Husband hates these monkeys.  They might be my favorite part of the room.  I got them from my great uncle when he passed.  Random and fun.  

This iron art was also from my great uncle's home.  He collected a lot of art and although (yet again) these are not The Husbands style... I love them. 

 Opposite side of the room.  That painting was in our master bedroom before... but I think it works well in here with the grays in the bedding.  

 This wall is my challenge in the guest room.  It's the wall that the bed looks at - and that walkway is pretty slim, so I need something very low profile.  I was thinking about three large photography prints.  I could take the photos and have them printing and framed fairly inexpensively.  But it will be a while before I can get around to that!

Cooper loves the guest room too.  

Friday, June 24, 2011

Home Improvements

My house was pretty awesome before, but now that we've started some *very minor* improvements I've  experienced quite the rewarding feeling.

The home needed some basic elements such as blinds, curtains, and a washer & dryer. However, The Husband isn't handy, and although I like to think I could be handy... it's not really true.  We only owned 2 screwdrivers and I'm not sure what we used those for when we lived in the apartment.

The weekend before we closed Hubs went to Home Depot and picked out his very own electric drill.  And my-oh-my... I had no idea how sexy the husband could look holding a power tool.  Love him.

Back to my point... handy jobs aren't our forte.  (and aren't handy jobs so... ummm... 9th grade?)

However, the husband stepped up and installed our washer and dryer all on his own with very limited cursing.  He didn't even flood the house one time.  :::proud:::

The blazing Texas sun floods this house, making window coverings a necessity.  I was still price comparing the 2'' blinds I wanted, so I picked up enough curtain rods and finials for every window in the house (clearance, baby).  We 'recycled' as many of the curtains from our apartment as possible, but most of the windows in the new house are so large - they couldn't work.  I ended up buying curtains for the master bedroom and the dining room and we hung old curtains in the playroom and the 2 extra bedrooms.

Master Bedroom.  Look how perfectly those "kiss" the floor.  The Husband is a curtain hanging rockstar.  

These curtains are pretty awesome (and wrinkled).  They are blackout curtains and keep our room significantly cooler during the day.  

The Playroom.  These curtains were in our living room at the apartment.  I would have loved to buy new ones that were a little bit longer, so I could hang the whole thing about 5 inches higher... but I couldn't justify the money.  

I could justify the money on finials that were marked down to $6.99/set.  Apparently the clearance at Bed Bath and Beyond gave everyone the same idea so there wasn't 11 of any style that I liked.  I ended up buying these squared finials for all of the bedrooms, and the rounded balls (below) for all of the open space areas:  dining room, living room, playroom, etc.  All rods and finials are oil rubbed bronze to match the hardware through the home.  

Dining Room finials.  

On Tuesday the 2'' faux wood blinds arrived and the husband insisted HE could install them and scoffed at paying someone $118 for the entire house.  Who was this man of confidence?  I was ready to pull out the checkbook and pay someone for that job... but apparently the husband found handy jobs rewarding.  (Oh, the irony).

Look at what a fantastic job the husband has done.  He got the blinds onto the windows that don't have curtains pretty quickly (privacy, yo), but hopefully he'll finish soon.  Hanging blinds is actually so much easier than I imagined.  (Says the onlooker that won't even climb that ladder to try).
Living Room

Back Entry Way


As you can see, there is still much more curtain and blind hanging in our near future.
I have also been super busy trying to seal all the grout.  There is loads of tile, and sealing it is important to keep it from staining since grout is much more porous than the ceramic tile.  I think I've gone over the whole house once... but I still need to hit the "wet" areas (bathrooms, kitchen, laundry room) for a second round.  

Let's do a few "let's get real" photos.  My house is a disaster.  I would say we're 85% unpacked... but there is shit everywhere.  I'm still trying to figure out where everything belongs.

This week has been super busy and we already have list going of additional items we need to do.  We really would like to stain and seal the back patio decking and stairs.  We also need to mow our yard for the first time.  Plus, the never ending chore of unpacking!

my not so perfect, perfect house.

The blissful ignorance of being a homeowner has certainly worn.  It's been a very frustrating 8 days.

I'll start  by saying we were originally scheduled to close on June 2nd.  Due to some "soil testing" the start was delayed and they pushed it to June 8th.  (June 8th was the day our 90 day lock expired... which I committed to because even with the delay they were preaching about how they "never miss a close date".  They encouraged me to lock whenever I was ready).  They didn't want to pay for the lock extension that they were obligated to pay, since my *awesome* realtor had already received that writing.  Once they admitted that it probably wouldn't be June 8th, I INSISTED that we close by June 15th because we had to be out of our apartment by June 18th and I had already given our notice.

So, they pushed hard to complete the house on time.

However, the day we moved in (Wednesday) was the day the stove top arrived.  The workers were here converting the stove to propane gas while we were moving in.  After the workers left the "boss" builder stopped by to inspect their work and the damn stove exploded.  Like blue flame, the knobs flew off, and the boss about lost it (after he raced to turn off the gas from the wall).  I was instructed not to use it until they could get someone out the next day to fix it.  Next day came (Thursday), more workers in and I got the all clear that a gas leak in the line  had been fixed and we were good to go.  We ordered pizza that night because I was too tired from unpacking to cook.  Friday was the inspectors day to stop by and check everything out.  And what to you know... the farking stove exploded again.  Bigger this time.  With blue flame and smoke and the whole nine yards.  More panic from the inexperienced homeowners.

Finally, it was decided that the stove had a leak and was holding gas and when it would build up and the stove was turned on (flame) the whole thing would explode.  We turned off the gas and have been waiting for 7 days for a new stove.  Apparently, it should be in tomorrow.  Let's hope my home stays flame free.

Also, the breakers keep flipping.  We'll be watching tv and randomly 1/4 of the lights in the house will shut off.  I've already called the builder (thank you home warranty) and they've scheduled an electrician to come out tomorrow.

Oh, and the #$%^ing garbage men.  Wednesday is our scheduled pick up day.  I called on Tuesday to inform them that we *still* didn't have our garbage can (the whole neighborhood has the same one).  They assured me I could put out bags of trash this once and they would pick them up.  So, I lugged everything out on Wednesday morning and went to work.  Wednesday night... the damn trash is still there.  I called Thursday morning and they claimed I didn't have it out early enough but they would accommodate my "mistake" and make another trip on Thursday to pick it up.

Today, I get a voicemail during work that says "the driver said that your street doesn't exist in that neighborhood.  If you call me back while he's driving around... I'll give him directions".  Well of course I didn't get the message in time and my trash is STILL in front of my house.  I ended up calling again and giving them detailed directions while ensuring them that the street DOES, in fact, exist.

Oh and the dining room window is broken.  It was broken the day before we closed by the landscaper, on accident.  That is being replaced next week.

And there are scorpions and spiders in this house, y'all.  The pest control guy has already been here once.  I guess that comes with new construction territory... but $@!* I hate bugs.

So... I'm done whining.

for now.

I still love my house.  Even if it's causing me a smidgen of stress right now.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

We closed. Life is crazy!

So, closing went really well.  We got there at 9:30am and we were out by 11am.  Our cashiers check was actually for $20 too much, so they sent us home with a $20 check.  Made me feel rich considering we had just given them a HUGE chunk of change.

Our plan was to drive out to the new house and wait for the fridge delivery man to arrive (anytime between 11a-1p).  Then, we would drive back to the apartment and start the move (movers were scheduled to arrive at 2pm).  Tight time line, but doable.

Well, we learned our first lesson that
1.  Things never go to your perfectly devised plan
2.  Our house is apparently very difficult to find

I tried to give fridge man the benefit of the doubt, but by 12:45 I called.  He had been driving around for who knows how long.  After some very detailed directions - they showed up around 1:30.  Thankfully, they moved quickly and we were able to jet out of there and make it back to the apartment in time to see the movers knocking on our door.

We hired three guys to help us in the move at a cost of $85/hour.  I had used this company before and they were legit, so I booked them again.  Between those three guys, and The Husband I was pretty much in the way.  Like any smart woman, I took that opportunity to go shopping.  We needed mirrors for the bathrooms, curtain rods throughout the house (I had brushed nickel, but they need to be oil rubbed bronze in this house), a ladder, a steam mop and 2'' faux wood blinds for 12 windows.

With a fist full of BBB coupons and $300 worth of gift cards to Home Depot... I was off.

I returned to the apartment 99% packed and them ready to drive to the new house.  The unloading was super fast since they could just drop all the boxes in the garage.  I think we did get a little screwed with the cost of the movers because suddenly there was an extra $35 "supply fee" and a 10% "long walk fee" (since our apartment was apparently a long walk to their truck.  I questioned it - but The Husband was too tired to argue and gave them their money.

I'm going to spare you photos of boxes scattered throughout the house - so here are some of the pretty things I bought!

we had a fan installed in our master bedroom.  With a remote!

finally finished master bath with center slab installed. 

my new mirror

close up

curtain rods

I'll be back soon with more updates as our house gets closer and closer to presentable!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

quick update. Probably the last one before closing!

tomorrow is the walk through with the builder.
tuesday is the inspection.
wednesday we close.

dishwasher installed. 

stove installed.  still waiting on microwave. 

We took Cooper today to hang out in the yard.  He was very pleased.  

happy boy

yum.  sticks. 

The current state of our guest room.

okay... I gotta get back to the packing!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Construction: Day 72-76. 5 days to go.

As closing date creeps up... my time to blog becomes less and less.  
Work is crazy.
Friends in town this week. 
Brother in law coming back from deployment tomorrow.
Mother in law (temporarily) moving in with us next week.  (it's a long, long, story).
My dog had to see the specialist for a disc issue today.

...and the list goes on.

Oh, and the amount of packing that has happened... it's scary small.  Scary.
However, I did convince The Husband to hire a mover.  For the love of all things holy... I'm so happy we hired a mover.

I ran by the house today and look what I spied:

 ^ That is painted garage doors.  And the iron re-installed on the front door!

And this is my dishwasher! (with plastic wrap still attached to the front)

And this is my stove!

And this... 
this is a mystery to me.
 An oil rubbed bronze faucet in the kitchen.  

It used to be stainless steel.
I'm not sure how I feel about the change.
All I know is that I'm uneasy about it.
I feel like it "should" be stainless steel in the kitchen (especially next to the stainless sink).

Am I wrong?
Keep in mind I will probably add ORB hardware to the cabinets.  
It's just the stainless and ORB side by side in this area that's messing with my head.

Please settle this for me.
I've had about 3 too many decision to make in the last few days.  And this one is about to send me over the edge.  


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Construction: Day 71

I'm in love.
 ^the garage doors still need to be painted.  Otherwise the exterior is complete.  
(don't the clouds look just perfect in this photo?)

^This backyard is a little oasis for The Husband and myself.  It's shady, breezy, big, and (almost) all ours.  

We are t-minus 10 days until closing. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Construction: Days 66-70

So, does the carpet match the drapes?
We don't have drapes, yet.  But trust me they'll match the carpet.  Cause the carpet is AWESOME.  
Saving money is great, but I know that many things in life are worth a splurge.  High quality carpet is one of them.   And our newly installed (and upgraded) carpet is 'da bomb.com

exterior on June 3rd, 2011.
They are planting trees and laying sod!  The garage doors have been installed (but need to be painted).  

They stained our front door.

Love it!  (note the carpet!)

Planning area, looking into the dining room.
(that metal thing in the laundry room is for our front door.  They removed it to stain the wood)

master bedroom

love it!
That big white spot on the left is where they had to go back into the sheetrock to fix a plumbing issue.  They patched it and still need to paint. 

We have (part of) a fence!  And grass.  And bushes around the back of the house.  

They are still building the railing on the back patio.  This is the landing and steps down into the yard. 

oh my word.  It felt like I could move in.  The only things left (that I can see) is the painting of the garage doors, some touch up paint throughout the interior, and installing the appliances.  

I'm expecting our "clear to close" email any day now.  
We have been packing a little here and there - but promised each other we would get a big chunk of it done this weekend.
I've already started calling the utilities to have them switched over on the 15th.
Best Buy called today and I set up a delivery of our fridge.

Oh my goodness.  This is happening soon!!