Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Settling In...The Miracle on 134 Ct

Well, like always, I’m more behind than ahead when it comes to blogging. Okay, scratch that. I’m more behind on more than blogging but that will be our little secret, ‘mmmkay? It’s been a whirlwind few months since we've moved and we finally found a house and started the process of settling in to school, work, home. 

There are many moments over the past few months that I've screamed out loud,in my head "What was I THINKING! AAAAHHHHHH!" but in the end I'm hoping it's all working out for the best. Slowly but surely I'm finding a way to make this place our new home. 

Since we finally did find a new house (and moved in) I wanted to take a moment to breathe to show you the new digs. I've taken to calling it The Miracle on 134 Ct. cuz it's a miracle that we even found a house that worked for both me and Luhvah. We both had very specific things we wanted in a house and it was difficult in a tiny little Oklahoma town to find all those things together (without building). 

It isn't my forever home by any means but I still like it and am just grateful to have our own place again (living with other people tries my patience greatly).

Let's start with the outside. It has great curb appeal already and is situated at the end of a cul-de-sac. 
This time around we wanted a single story home. Luhvah wanted something smaller and more manageable so we did some downsizing too.


I love the front porch area. It's so open and wide which gives me more room to decorate. 

I already started adding pretty things. I'm so glad to come back to colder weather where I get pretty mums:


Walking into the home we have an entry. Which again, is nice and big (these are from the inside looking into entry).

 I plan on putting in some hooks for hanging backpacks, etc.similar to this:

Going into the living room we have high ceilings and a fireplace! YAY! It's a gas fireplace, not wood, which is kinda a bummer but it's super convenient since all we have to do is flip a light switch and voila! Instant fire! I plan on getting a fire crackling CD and wood burning candles to hopefully recreate the similar ambiance of a wood burning fireplace. Oh, and have I mentioned that every inch of this house has smokers yellow baseboards/crowns/doors/ fireplace moldings? Ugh. Crack open the white paint can.

Oh and this opening above the fireplace?

It's going to be filled in (since we don't use it for tv or anything). I'm thinking of something like this:

From the living we walk into the breakfast nook. This is where part of the downgrade comes- we don't have a formal dining room. We hardly ever used ours before. It's a bummer for holidays to not have a big dining area, but in the end this little space works for us on a day to day basis since it's just the 3 of us.

I plan on having a bench built in the nook area for more storage of non-every day items. Like this:

Which brings us to the kitchen. Not big. I compare this kitchen to my old one and this is where I am most disappointed in the house. Certainly it's smaller (I equate this kitchen to the size of an apartment kitchen  -which is just wrong when talking about a house). To maximize my space I've had to get inventive with where to put things. Because there is literally only 4 full cabinets. Most average house kitchens have at least 8+ full size cabinets.  Every cabinet you see in these pics (besides the 4) are narrow cabinets, akin to those which are used to store tall, thin cookie sheets etc.

I plan to hang open shelves on the blank wall (more on that to come). And, as I said, I will build a bench in the breakfast nook to acquire extra storage space. To make it feel more spacious I'll be painting the cabinets white as well. Although I'm so glad to see that these cabinets aren't honey oak, I'm still gonna paint them because this kitchen has a low ceiling and feels like a cave. So I need something to make it feel bigger and brighter. And bigger. Oh wait. I already said that. 

Anyhow...Down the hallway it leads to 2 bedrooms and a bath. The bedrooms are much bigger than my previous house which Monkey really loves. My 3rd bedroom (aka guest room), has been doubling as a storage room for all the things that we don't need right this minute. It has condensed 3 rooms from my previous home into 1 (the loft, guest bedroom, and formal dining room). Although I did get rid of many of the large pieces of furniture in Florida there are still tons of things I've kept. I'll probably be having a garage sale for some of this stuff at some point.

Moving back over to the other side of the house we have the master, laundry room, and a small nook/hall between the two.

 I really like this nook because it's a place we can throw our keys and stuff when we come in from the garage (which is attached to laundry like most houses). The laundry room is also much bigger than our previous house. Which I like. In the nook I've already found an awesome little secretary desk that my mom was nice enough to give me (for FREE!) that fits perfectly in the area. Eventually I will be painting it (I'm thinking a pretty pop of muted seafoam or aqua).


Master Bedroom- a disaster but big. 

Master bath- another disaster, average size. I will say the Master bath is the second place I'm a little disappointed in. The layout is all wrong and I really hate having the closests in the bathroom. Some people like that but not me. They are his and her closests which are a pretty good size.


I realized when blogging this that I have no pictures of the backyard (what is it with me and not taking pics of a backyard?). But we have a nice porch with deck. The backyard is narrow but long so it's a nice size. Hopefully Monkey and I will be starting a small garden in the spring so we'll see how that goes. I plan on planting a couple of trees as well since I think it's in need of some privacy from the 4 separate homes that abutt us (the downside to living at the end of a cul-de-sac with a large backyard). And there are some other problematic things in the backyard. The back of the house needs a flower bed area to stop water from settling against the home which would also help with aesthetics as well. I also want another fire pit,  which we need to build. I'm hoping to make this into a bit of an oasis. I'll post pics soon of it but with winter coming on not much will be done with it until spring anyway.

And before I leave let me keep it real. Our rooms mostly look like this right now:

Okay, well it's not quite that bad (these were taken 3-4 days in) but even now, a month in, we still have a lot of clutter and boxes. I'm not one of those "get everything outta the boxes and find a place for it within 24 hours" kinda gals. I'm more of the "learn the way the house functions best for you by living in it and then put things where they seem to flow best" kinda gals. So there's still plenty of stuff in boxes or pushed outta the way but needs to find a place to be hung/set, etc.

So, that's it. The Miracle on 134 Ct.
By the way, looking back at all these pictures I realize I do an awful job of getting a complete pic. Some of these pics don't even show the full scope of a room in it's entirety.
But stay tuned because I'm going to try and blog more often from now on, now that things are settling down a bit with jobs, life, etc. and you'll be seeing more of it as I go.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Move. and a house tour...

Sorry for the long hiatus. My life has been flip turned upside (name that song!) and I've been so busy I haven't had time to blog.

But remember back when I wrote this post at the beginning of the year? My word for 2013 is move.

Well, that was a very intentional word. Not only did I remark on the running aspect of move (I finished my first ever half marathon - you can read all about it here) but I also had a little secret that couldn't yet be told- move meant so much more to me. We were literally moving this year.

This has been in the works since last year and now that summer has come and gone, and Monkey is outta school, it finally happened. Moving. We didn't just move to a new place but moved out of state. Scary. I've never made a secret of the fact that Florida is not the place for me (just read about the many things I don't like about Florida here and here).

While I was excited about moving there are things I will miss. One of the things I will sorely miss is my home and neighborhood. I. absolutely. love. it. I mean, if I could transport my house (and neighborhood) to the new state- I would! But alas, tis not possible.

As anyone who's ever moved or sold a house knows, there is plenty that has to be done.  I'm not going to drone on about a bunch of moving tips or anything but I wanted to discuss the aspect of selling. Selling your house is definitely a stress maker.

And I gotta say, when you start getting ready to sell your house you realize all the things you've neglected cuz you're lazy you're just okay living with it. Cuz it's your house. So, you think- I'll get around to that sometime. If I were a stay-at-home mom I wouldn't have been that neglectful. But with both of us working full time our weekends are precious (and the lazy in me couldn't be bothered).

But when you're getting your house ready to sell... well, all those things come screaming out at ya. Cuz nobody wants to see that when buying a home. Neglect I mean. For example:

Smoke detectors you couldn't bother to replace cuz you already had 4 more in your house so you left the wires hanging out? Check.

 The curb appeal you just never got around to making cuz it required 1 full weekend of your time (and manual labor-shudder!)? Check.

Finishing those baseboards that started out that awful creamy smokers yellow and you only painted half of them in the house? Check.

Unfinished stairs project -  that you hadn't touched in 2 years? Check. yes, I lived 2 years in my house with half my stairs looking like this:

Holes that hadn't been filled, scuffs that needed painting, cabinets that needed painting, rooms that needed decorating, and the cleaning of clutter, clutter, clutter everywhere. Our lists were miles long.

So, needless to say, I've been busy. Every weekend was dedicated to painting, spackling, packing, painting, painting, painting. If I don't paint for years I'd be happy. But paint works wonders on the overall look of a house (apart from deep cleaning/decluttering). They aren't kidding when they say it's the cheapest way to make an impact.

All of this to say- I've never really shown pictures of my house. I've shown bits and pieces when doing a project but never really a full tour of it.

And now that it's "sell ready" I figure I might as well show her off. For posterity's sake. So, enough babbling. Let's take a tour shall we?

The outside of the house makes the biggest impact so we made sure most of our "upgrade money" went there. We replaced the sod (ourselves to save $) and had the house painted (contracted out). In the 8 years we've lived here we never had it painted and I don't believe the people before us had it done either so it had been well over 10 years since it'd been painted. It needed it. Here are the after pics:

Look how lush that grass is! Ugh. it's so beautiful I wanna roll around in it. But don't be fooled, Florida grasses are very hard (this is St. Augustine -very typical grass for Florida). It looks lush but it feels stiff-not soft like you'd expect. That's probably why it looks so good from far away though- the upright, stiff, wide blade of it.

I don't have a close up of the front door but it looks pretty similar to when I last redid it.

here's the living room. Our house has an open floor plan and vaulted ceilings into a loft and I love how much light that huge window always brought in (colors on the wall- Light color is Revere Pewter by BenMoore and the Dark color is Rockport Gray by BM). It was difficult painting those high walls but we got it done. Here's the befores:

And the afters:

From the living room we move to the breakfast nook.
Just to show you how lazy I've been- I got those shutters from my In-laws who were getting rid of them about 3 years ago. I've known what I wanted to do with them for over 2 years. I just hung them this year. Lazy.

The wall they are hanging on used to be red in color. I got tired of that very quickly but only painted it last year when we started actually getting serious about fixing the house up (in preparation for moving!). 

Here's before - you can see the red. It's also a good view of the HOFF (Honey Oak Furniture Flip) that I did on the before kitchen cabinets:

Anyhow. On to the kitchen. You've seen the most recent pics of it when I redid the cabinets last year:

If you'll notice from the other post on the kitchen reveal we've now upgraded our fridge and microwave so it's more seamless rather than those ugly smokers yellow appliances.

Then we come to the formal dining room:

Looks a little barren. But it's not much too different from before other than the wall color (BM Rockport Gray) and major decluttering. Here's the before with buttery yellow walls (unk color-was here when we moved in):

Ironically enough I think the before is nicer. Warmer. But the wall color really had to go and I couldn't keep all that stuff out so, it looks kinda cold now. It could really use a rug in there but oh wells. Working with what I got trying not to spend too much.

The downstairs powder room:

Difficult to get a good pic in here. It's tiny. I painted the cabinets black, hung a mirror on the builders mirror. Added new fixtures and that's about it. The wall color is unknown since I just color matched it from the previous owners.

Further down the hall is the laundry room. I didn't do too much special to this room. It was on the backburner and therefore just functional:
Downstairs is the master bedroom (which I didn't particularly like being separate from the other rooms).We painted the room a dark, moody color (which I have no idea what it was- it was an OOPS Olympic paint from Lowes):

But I was in loooooove with the bathroom:

Again, we painted the cabinets (which was another HOFF project). And I just laid another mirror I had on the builders mirror. New fixtures all around make it more updated.

Heading upstairs (which are finally done!) :

into the loft area:

This was another one of those quickie fixes. We cleared out  A LOT of clutter and just rearranged a little. You can even see I failed to put up the curtains I had and I just left it. EH. I call it done. Up here we replaced the carpet (realllly needed it!) and painted and that's about it. You can see I haven't painted that awful Honey Oak futon. It's just crying for a HOFF project makeover.
Wall color is BM Revere Pewter as well like most of the common areas of the house.

Down the hall we have 2 bedrooms and a full bath:

You've already seen Monkey's teen room:

 But I'm not sure if I ever showed you the guest bedroom before. It's one of my favorite rooms in the house:
 I actually redid this one almost as soon as we moved in, ages ago, so I didn't have to do anything to it to make it stage ready (wall color is a basic white above and a custom mixed color below that I made with leftover paint colors I didn't like). The chandelier is a decal from

Then there is the full bath upstairs:

 Again, painted the honey oak cabinets. I used the same paint color I used on the baseboards throughout the house- a straight off the shelf Behr paint and primer in one white. I even left the old hardware that the previous owners had on it (beach shells and seahorses) not my taste but I was just trying to make it prettier. Not everything is perfect. This is a full bath but I didn't take a pic of the tub/shower.

And that's it. Our little Kingdom that we sold. I am more than grateful that we sold quickly so that we could move on with little problem but I still struggle with sadness that we left our first home. It was my daughter's childhood home and she will always consider this her home I think.

I am now living with my sister (OMG NOOOOOOOOOOOO) who has been kind enough to take in me, my husband, and daughter along with a cat and dog until we find a house in the new state of Oklahoma (to be closer to family).

I just had to show and tell for posterity's sake so that I would have a written document of everything. Unfortunately I didn't get pics of the backyard. I am trying to push off any sadness I have for moving and leaving our home for excitement on starting on a new home with all new decorating potential (which my husband and I have made a pact to not neglect like we did with this house.)

So that's it. Except to say--moving is hard. And very sad. :(