Lesson Learned v. 3: Don’t Force Feelings
G and I are loving being homeowners. We are continually working to make our new house a home and have completed a number of projects thus far. These include demolishing the wall between the dining room and living room, repainting six rooms, reflooring five rooms, trimming rooms, and hanging blinds. We both have the week of Christmas off in order to gut our bathroom and remodel. It has been quite the adventure already!
It seems crazy that we’ve only lived in our house for a little over two months. Not even four months ago we were casually house-hunting. I’ve shared with you our first six house visits here and here, but I have one final story in that journey to tell. It took visiting three more houses for us to find our little lovely corner of Southwest Michigan. Here are those final three tales…
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As you know, G and I recently moved into our first home and are currently in the process of getting the house together. We are slowly going room to room. We have already demolished a wall between the dining room and living room to provide the house with an open concept floor plan, switched the old electrical fuse panel to a modern breaker box, and had the main cast iron water line replaced to PVC piping. This is all on top of painting our main rooms and doing some major cleaning as well.
The living room is our main focus now. Before we even moved in, I had stripped the room of wallpaper, painted the walls a simple gray, and pulled all the old trim work from the windows and baseboards. G and my dad finished flooring the living room last weekend, and so now comes the decorating and finishing touches — my favorite part! So to the delight of my inner interior decorater, I decided to hang some “floating” shelves in the living room. These shelves are do-it-yourself, and appear to be floating but are actually faux floating. They are the perfect inexpensive addition to our social space!
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Lesson Learned v. 2: Angles Mean Everything
I know I’ve broken the news that G and I are now homeowners. However, it took us quite a bit of hunting to find the house we love. In my first addition of our House Hunting Adventures, you might remember that we visited three houses that had some serious foundation issues going on. Unfortunately, it seems with the high levels of rain this year, foundations were an issue for a number of houses in our area.
Oddly enough the next three houses we toured did not have foundation problems though. Instead, they had a lot more going on which turned us off pursuing them longer. We quickly found out pictures never tell the whole story. How in the world can some couples buy houses without ever going to look at them thoroughly?! There would be no way after these three (which looked great online) that didn’t quite meet up to our expectations. Let me tell you about our next little jolt in attempting to become homeowners…
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As the excitement of buying a home is nowhere near wearing off, G and I are constantly crossing out, reorganizing, and creating new ideas on projects we want to do to our new house. The house is a great little place already, and it has perfect bones, but it is in need of some modernizing. Plus both of us are handy, creative, and excited to make this little place our own.
One of our first BIG projects will be remodeling our bathroom. This is our only bathroom in the house (though we have plans to add an additional full bathroom downstairs in the faraway future.) The bathroom currently features a walk-in bathtub, small entry to the hallway’s linen closet, and an oddly proportioned laundry chute. Honestly, the shoot is only 3 inches wide and wouldn’t allow more than a pair of socks down it.
Being our only bathroom, when we finally bite the bullet and begin our remodel, we want to have all our plans laid out and materials purchased to make the project as quick as possible. This means we’ve been having a lot of fun walking through Lowes and scrolling through Pinterest for design ideas. We have many ideas of what we like, but I still have a few questions and prospects rolling around my head. So I’m bringing my ideas to you, friends, and asking for advice and suggestions before G and I begin stripping our only bathroom and remodeling.
Continue reading “Bathroom Remodel: Inspiration”
A quick aside to say WE ARE OFFICIALLY HOMEOWNERS! Over the past month G and I have [im]patiently been waiting to close on our first home. Today we signed the papers and were handed the keys.
We. Are. So. Excited.
There is a lot of work to be done — including but not limited to writing a few more House Hunting posts working up to falling in love with our new house — but we could not be more thrilled to take this new step in our lives. Now onto celebrating with tickets to a local comedy show tonight and starting work to make the house our home tomorrow.
Lesson Learned v. 1: Look In The Basement First
I know I’ve mentioned it a few times before, but here it is officially: G and I are house hunting. Our current apartment lease is up in August, but we have the option to renew for another year if we would like. Though it looks like this is the most likely route we will take, we are casually working with a realtor and viewing potential houses. It has been a fun experience so far because we are able to see what we like and dislike, what we’re willing to compromise and not, and not feeling rushed as we look.
The Michigan housing market where we live is absolutely crazy. There are double the buyers than there are sellers, and that leads to many houses only being on the market for hours before they’re under contract. Though we do not feel rushed to purchase a home, if we ever do come across one we love and can picture as our own home, then we have to be prepared to JUMP. Luckily we haven’t felt that urge yet, but we sure have come across some very unique adventures in the houses we have viewed…
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I am seriously becoming little Susie Homemaker over here. G and I are loving our time spent cooking and grilling at our little abode this summer, and are so excited to begin married life. As we slowly move him into the apartment, we use our time together making dinner and chatting at the dining table. I think we are going to enjoy this whole spouse thing…
Enough with the mushy talk though and onto this week’s recipe! Chicken is our weekly meat-of-choice and do I have a winner for you today: Russian Chicken. YUM! You always need a couple of staple meals to rely on when you have company over for dinner, or just want a easy, hassle-free dish after a long day at work. This Russian Chicken is that recipe for me. It is the dish my mother always makes as a “ministry meal” due to being a huge crowd-pleaser. It even made the team recipe book back when I played volleyball in high school — all the girls on my team loved this on team bonding nights!
Perhaps you’ve already made this before, or maybe you’ve never heard of it – but let me tell you, it is SO easy and really good. Four ingredients in a 9×13 baking dish, bake for 45 minutes to an hour and serve over instant rice. Easiest. Dinner. Ever. My high school volleyball girls still talk about this chicken when I run into them, and G has become a huge fan. If you’ve never tried it before, give it a shot. You won’t be sorry!
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I realized most of my recipes involved chicken and all of them were an entree, so today I’m bringing a great side dish option to your table: Crack Potatoes. True to their name, these glorified cheesy hash browns are extremely addicting and typically have no leftovers. This is my usual dish to bring to cookouts, potlucks, and sporting events knowing I won’t be bringing any home. (Which is a great excuse to use a disposable foil tray!) With the first warm-weather holiday rolling around next weekend, I’ll be drawing this little diggy up for Memorial Day celebrations and thought you might need a little inspiration for something new to bring with you…
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If you’re a newlywed or going to be a newlywed soon, chances are you’re weathering the challenges merging two lives brings to the table. This may include attempting to make room in the closet for a second person, trying to “de-feminize” every little accent in the living room, or clearing a few drawers in the bathroom. You are soon going to find that another person moving into your bachelorette pad means making a few sacrifices. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up style!
For G and I we are creating our first home in my current apartment, a cute little space in our sleepy downtown beach town. With a little less than 800 square feet, our home is tight as we begin moving G’s belongings into the space. That means the few rooms have multiple uses such as the second bedroom playing the roles of storage, office, and workout station, and the dining room also acting as craft room, library, and drink bar. So as we trek into “spring cleaning” and looking to donate any items throughout our two stocks of belongings, the question of essentials comes to mind. Today I wanted to touch on how you can keep style with your coffee and wine bar while utilizing the best spaces available.
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