Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Home Tour 2015

Merry Christmas everyone!
Here is a little look at some of the decorating I did this year.

You can see some more of the progress on our fixer upper in this post.
We've got it feeling nice and cozy for the holiday.

A manger under the tree to remember why we celebrate the day!
Lovingly made for me by my mom and dad - a gift from last year's Christmas.

The mirror above the church pew in our entry way.
I felt like such a good photographer getting the tree in it! ;) hehe

Hi there! 

This is our "just married" car ornament - LOVE IT. 

I put my favorite little nativity in an old crate with some white pine. 

This sweet little angel ornament sits on top.
Is she not the cutest!?

My $3 goodwill tree from last year now resides in the dining room.

All set up to have our friends over for a Christmas dinner.
I'm loving entertaining!

I really love this ornament so I wanted it to go somewhere that it could stand out.
Under my ugly, gold chandelier was the perfect spot!

The husband looking cute - as always.

My very simple $1 goodwill nativity... 

Our tree! Decked out in silver, gold, burlap, lace, white pom-poms... 
I love having a real "big" tree. Straight from my parent's woods. :)

Oh, there I am again.
These pictures are just too fun to take!

I have 2 favorite ornaments from my childhood.
This is my first Christmas ornament from my parents. 
You can see how tiny it is by the size of the light bulb! 

This is my other favorite - from my parents for my 3rd Christmas.
What can I say...I love a little sparkle! 

My version of "Elf on the Shelf" 
He sits above my stove in the kitchen and keeps my company while I cook.

The centerpiece!
The only thing that was actual "Christmas Decor" was the white pine.
I felt so resourceful.

We may or may not have gotten wax everywhere while trying to light them for the picture...

I love the warm glow of Christmas!

And I love a white Christmas! 
I was almost scared we wouldn't have one, because we are having a rare El nino winter here... 
but it decided to show up last night - the real heavy, packey kind that is great for snowman making.

This is the picture from our Christmas card - yes, I decided to embrace my overly teal door!

From our home to yours, we truly hope you have a beautiful, special, happy Christmas!

Celebrating the best and most precious gift of all - our Savior who brought us eternal life!


Sharing at Sundays at Home

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Progress on the Home: A Few "Middle" Pictures

Good news friends! 
Almost all of these pictures were taken before we moved in!
Which means, I am just behind on my blogging as usual.
But it also means that there is even more done than what you are about to see in these pictures.

BUT, if you missed the first post of the house's "before tour"...please go back and look at that first!
Then you will be able to better understand exactly how much work has been done in these pictures alone. :) It's a lot!

No more nasty, stinky carpet!
Here we are putting down the flooring in the living room a couple weekends before we moved in.
I really did help in the living room! Then Matt did all the rest. :) 

I knew that redoing the flooring would make such a huge difference, and it has! We love it.
Also, you can see the new living room paint color - a lovely taupe. It is called "Tandem Bike", and I told Matt that it must be a sign, since I always talk about us getting one someday. 

Not the best picture, as far a lighting, but this was our first afternoon's progress - and we were so excited!

Here I am painting trim in the hallway like crazy - which we are now completely redoing.
But it's still temporarily better looking I suppose. 

This was the very first chunk of cabinets that got painted, and for some reason Matt was begging me to paint them. I was a little bit hesitant to let him - so of course he had to prove to me how nice of a job he could do. He only did the first coat, but I left him this little note on the back, since it really was a nice job! Especially for a guy that hasn't really painted much.

Also, this picture above shows the kitchen's paint color better than the pic below. It is Walmart's take on making "Palladian Blue" by Benjamin Moore. Because I'm too cheap to spend $40 on a gallon of paint. ;) I think it turned out to be quite similar.

Here is a bit of a messy kitchen. I believe this one was taken not long after we moved in. 
We got the upper cabinets put in place and most of the lower ones too before our move in date, which I was quite excited about. You can see by the bottom cabinets what they all used to look like. 
They are almost all white at this point! Such a huge difference. 
They went from looking like they came out of an old, dated cabin, to looking so cute and cottage-ey.  

Here I am, our first weekend in the new house! Stuff EVERYWHERE. 
We had to cram all of the furniture in the living room because the flooring in the dining area and kitchen wasn't done at this point. Don't worry, it looks a lot more open now. 
I am finally starting to feel organized.

Here is the husband grouting our bathroom floor that he tiled! This was done before the living room floor - none of these pictures are really in order. Anyways, it turned out fabulous, and I also have the vanity painted a light gray now too. And that is about all the work that has gotten done in the bathroom - oh, that and the fact that we no longer have a toilet that is cracked in half, and all of the plumbing now works! WOOHOO! But there is still quite a ways to go in this room.

I'm sure this picture really excites all of you. ;) it really is quite awesome though! Mom and i spent a whole afternoon discovering that there was about twice as much blacktop as we though. An invasive vine type of plant had taken over it the last couple of years.
 It was kind of like finding buried treasure!
Then, the next weekend I power washed it, and it's even more beautiful now!!

Just one of the many piles! I pulled about 7" of leaves out of the rock wall. 
And mom and I trimmed up this gigantic bush so it wasn't hanging all over the blacktop.

Here is Matt happily trying out his new chain saw we got him for his birthday. 
He cut down the two dead pine trees and trimmed up the middle one.
You can actually see that there is a house there now!

In action!

Oh, and then I went and painted the door THIS color. 
I had pictured a more deep, rich, peacock-ish teal.
Instead: neon-ish teal. I was so unhappy I took it back to the store. 
It really looked nothing like the swatch, but I am trying to embrace it.

It will probably get changed once the weather warms back up and we redo the siding and roof.

I found our mail box post snapped in half and the mail box hidden in the super tall grass. 
I then asked my very artistic sister if she could give it a little bit of beauty. 
She always delivers. Such a sweet housewarming gift. I'm sure it makes our mail lady happy too!

Okay...that's all i've got for now! 
Everyone else is posting their beautiful Christmas decor pictures and I'm over here posting pictures from September! Ahh...what can I say. Life as a homeowner to a fixer upper is quite busy!

Thanks for stopping by!

Have a blessed week.


Sharing at Sundays at Home

Friday, October 30, 2015

We bought a house!! {The Before Tour}

We are finally first time homeowners!!
To a soon-to-be-lovely fixer upper.
At the end of August we closed on the house that we had been trying to get since we moved back up north this spring. Because it was bank owned and on it's way to being foreclosed, it was a long process. My patience grew, and I kept telling God that I trusted Him and His plan and would try not to be too heart-broken if He decided it wasn't the house for us.
But, it was!

We officially moved in two weeks ago (yeah, that's how NOT move in ready it was).
Looking back, it is so clear that everything happened in God's perfect timing.
In our time of waiting we were able to save up a lot more  $$ (which was really needed), and we discovered a cabin in our area that was being torn down. The owners were looking for someone to take the project of demoing out the good stuff and paying a small price for it.

So, for $850 plus labor we were able to get tons of newer (90's) Anderson windows, including a huge bay window, a sliding glass door, interior closet doors, a utility sink, two toilets, a bathtub/shower, a bathroom sink and vanity, AND all the solid pine kitchen cabinets.
Yeah. Amazingly good deal.

I keep thinking of the amount of money we would have started spending to get that stuff new if we had closed at an earlier date. And God was like, "Just hold on, I've got a good deal for you first!"
All the big things that needed replacing in this neglected 1975 home were at that cabin for us!

And as the song goes...

He's a good, good Father.

So are you ready for the tour!?? 

This pictures was taken literally 10 minutes after we closed at the bank.
Matt's boss was at the house dropping off the dump trailer and was able to capture the magical moment of me being carried over the threshold by my love!

The front of the house - view from the road.

Why yes, that is an old milk jug attached to the Shepard's hook.

You thought there were only two large, overgrown pine trees in the front yard, didn't you?
There's three.

Okay, just take a walk right straight up our side walk to the front door. ;)

The charming front door.
Note the bird's nest in our light and small tree growing from the gutters. :) 

Okay, come on in!

Right away we have the living room off to the right.
I wish I could accurately explain the pleasant aroma...

*An old, carpeted house that has been locked up for the last couple of years...and during that time the pipes burst and water went everywhere.*

That was the smell when you walked in the door.  

On a more positive note, I absolutely love all the natural light that the living room gets!

As you tour, you will see that every room comes complete with its own granny-esque valance. 

Now from the living room into the dining area/kitchen.

There is no real dining room, just this little nook with shattered glass all over the floor.
Eventually this set of windows will become the sliding glass door that will lead out to the deck.

The kitchen! I had planned on repainting these cabinets white, but they ended up being in worse shape than I thought, so I'm really glad we were able to get the pine ones from the cabin (they are in the process of being painted white).

Check out that sweet (probably original) dishwasher!!

The most disgusting stove ever. I'm not sure if it was ever cleaned in the last 10 years.
It's now at the dump and we found a sweet new(er) one at the re-store!

The fridge is actually quite nice and newer! 
Yay for one good appliance!

A gigantic blue bra in my cupboard! 
There were several signs that people were living/partying here when it was abandoned and before the cops secured it up. :/ 

Don't be fooled, that is not real parquet flooring. Just peal and stick!

The view down the hallway from the dining area. 
Pretty sweet light fixtures, huh?

Bedroom #1. 
Each bedroom came with it's own gigantic, 70's chandelier-style ceiling fan.
My tall husband walked right into them!
(They've all been replaced with some basic ceiling mount lights, and the rooms feel like they have a lot more height now, just by changing that!)

The bathroom!
See the cracked toilet??
I thought it was really annoying how they put "winterized" notes on all of the plumbing since it was already too late and all the pipes had already burst by the time it was winterized. As I ripped them off I kept thinking, "IT DOESN'T MATTER!!"
The damage had already been done.

My beautiful yellow tub!
Hopefully Rustoleum's tub and tile kit will have no problem fixing that.

I won't even tell you how many gigantic dead spiders were in that shower curtain...

Why thank you for winterizing the cracked-in-half toilet.
^ Sar. Cas. M.

The squatters left us some toilet paper, so that was nice. ;)
I keep wondering if they were living here before or after the toilets cracked... hmm.

Oh, hey there.
Just some happy HOMEOWNERS!

Bedroom #2.
This is the biggest bedroom...even bigger than the master.
Blackened walls from the heater that was being used by the squatters camping out here.

We are currently set up in this bedroom. 
It was the first to have it's floors done.

I almost forgot what it looked like!
We have come a long way already. Stay tuned for a "Middle Tour" post!

Bedroom #3.
The master! Yes, this itty-bitty thing. 
I will make it work.

The master closets lead into the mini master bath.

This chimney in one of the closets is going to get smashed out, and that will gain a little more space!


Master bath.
This toilet has no bottom. It just drops straight down where the hole usually is.
But, broken pipes and heating = a better deal on a house. :)

Another nice window...I do love all the natural light this house gets.

The world's smallest shower.
The spot to the left of it (which is a 2nd linen closet from the hall) has been knocked out and we will be tiling our own shower that will be a little bigger...eventually.

And the view back down the hallway from the master bedroom.
The door all the way straight ahead through the dining area goes down to the basement.

Now, lets check out the yard.
For being in town, I LOVE our location. 
This neighborhood is so quiet that it almost feels like we are in the country. 
Plus, the lot to the left of the house is all wooded. This picture shows our neighbor to the right.

Our wrap around deck. Very nice and large but will have to be redone eventually.

Back side of the deck.

View of the back yard from the deck.
Check out the knee-high grass!

The right side of the house.
Don't worry, I'll get to all those weird windows in a second...

So...... clever... right?

Okay, we actually have no idea why these are all here or what they were thinking. 
But they sure are a conversation starter.

The backside of the house.
We hope to extend the deck over to the other side more, and when we reside the house we will go all the way to the ground, which I think will make it look a lot bigger.

The tuck-under garage.

Husband got in trouble because I told him not to touch anything before I got a "before" picture of it.
He already had the garage cleaned out by the time I got down there!

That is all stuff that was in the garage!

creepy and sooo dirty, but we have an automatic garage door opener!!

Now, lets head into the (what used to be finished) side of the basement.

Off to the left is the future laundry room/utility room.
The ceiling in there was a spider mansion. I spent half an hour with the shop vac trying to suck up all the webs, and it barely made a dent.

One side of the basement that will eventually be made into another bedroom.

The other side of the basement had a super cool carpeted bar.

As soon as I was done taking these pictures, we went to town. All the wet/moldy ceiling tiles came down and the carpet padding went out and the bar got demolished.

We literally got to work right away, and we have gotten so much stuff done in the last 2 months. 
Still a lot to do, but looking back at these photos, the place almost seems unrecognizable! 

The extremely nice gift basket our realtor gave us. It was filled with so many goodies!
I thought it was so sweet of him to give us this, especially because our house wasn't a very big purchase. 

Well folks, there you have it! 
Thanks for taking the (long!!) tour!

Feel free to follow along to slowly start seeing the "afters" of each room. 

We love our little home and feel so blessed to be homeowners at such a young age.
It has been so fun working on it...for real, we like this stuff! haha

Thanks again for stopping by the blog!