Friday, July 31, 2015

House Updates

I've been watching entirely too much HGTV lately, so I'm under this jaded assumption that any house renovation comes together quickly and perfectly every time.  I figured we'd move in, get to work, and be done with everything in a couple of weeks.  HA.  Yeah, that hasn't happened.

Luckily we did hire the pros to come in and spruce up our kitchen, so that's obviously where the most progress has been made.  It's still missing a backsplash and pendant lights that should come in next week, but holy moly what a difference.  I've also added a couple of photos from the very beginning stages so you can get an idea of the progress that's been made.  I'm in love with our new counters!

And here's where we sit on our to do list:

Remove linoleum and replace with hardwoods
Remove wallpaper
Replace light fixture with two pendants
Install can lights
Replace all appliances
Kitchen island re-installed
New back splash
New counters installed
Paint Walls (Sherwin-Williams Agreeable Gray)
Install shutters/blinds/window treatments
Install window seat
Change out cabinet and drawer pulls

We have also started to change out the flush mount lights in the house.  I had a hard time finding ones that I liked, but finally found two styles which were perfect for what we need. One lantern style from Wayfair for our foyer, and an octagonal style from Home Depot for the hallway upstairs and our laundry room.  Here's a little before and after shot of the Wayfair lanterns.  Now I can't wait to get that yellow off the walls, I think the lights will look even better once the walls are more of a neutral gray.

Hope y'all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Weekend Recap

This weekend T and I headed down to Charleston for the wedding of two of our good friends, Beth and Josh. I have been so excited for this wedding all summer.  My favorite weddings are the ones that are completely customized to the bride and groom's style, and Beth and Josh have done this from the very start.  We had a kickball shower for them earlier this year, I mean, how awesome is that?

The ceremony started at 11:00 am at a Catholic church in downtown Charleston.  The ceremony was beautiful, very traditional and full of the pomp and circumstance of a Catholic wedding.  After the ceremony, we headed to the Citadel Beach House at Isle of Palms. We had a luncheon when we arrived similar to any typical rehearsal dinner, toasts, first dances, cake cutting, etc.  And then the party took a turn that I've never seen before at a reception.  Everyone changed into their bathing suits, the DJ and Bar moved outside, and King of Pops arrived.  We played corn hole and beach volleyball, and used their beach access to get a little beach time in.  At 5:30 the couple had their sendoff on the beach and rode off together on beach cruisers.  It was seriously so much fun.

After the wedding T and I headed to West Ashley to spend the rest of the night with my best friend Kate and her husband Jack.  We had a really tasty dinner at Bohemian Bull.  Their burgers are amazing, and any place that lets you sub fried okra for fries gets an extra gold star.

Hope y'all had a great weekend! 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Back In The Kitchen

This week is the first week that we get to have a home cooked meal in our new house. While our kitchen reno isn't complete yet, I do finally have a fully functional kitchen. As much as I complain about being the family meal planner, grocery shopper, and cook, I really do love coming home from work and preparing a good meal a few times a week. I wish I was one of those girls who would come home from a stressful day at work and want to go on a run.  Nope, not me.  Instead, I get home from work, pour a hefty glass of wine, and cook a 5,000 calorie meal for dinner.

It's not feasible with my work schedule to cook every single night, so I try to cook 2-3 times with enough leftovers that we can eat on for other dinners and lunches that week.

It's been killing me eating out for nearly every meal for the last month.  I thought I'd love getting takeout every night, but it got old, fast.  Home cooked meals are so comforting to me, and I've really been missing our little family ritual.

For our first week back in the house, I wanted to go rather simple; no recipes that call for too many ingredients, or weird cooking methods.  I still haven't completely unpacked all of my kitchen boxes, but I do have the essentials.  One pot, one frying pan, and a cookie sheet.  I usually try to make my own salads to save money, but this week I'm going with the pre-bagged route.  It doesn't get simpler than a bag with the lettuce, dressing, and toppings all together.

Here's what we've got on the menu:

Monday- Roasted Chicken Thighs with Lemon and Oregano, Roasted Broccoli, Cucumber Salad
Tuesday- Roasted Chicken Thighs with Lemon and Oregano, Roasted Broccoli, Corn on the Cob
Wednesday- Coconut Chicken with Sweet Chili Sauce with an Asian Salad (pre-bagged from Publix)
Thursday- Shrimp and Grits with another Publix pre-bagged salad.


Have a great week!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Great Flushmount Lighting Debate

I've never really thought twice about flushmount lighting, usually it just  kind of blends in with the room.  When we moved into our house I started to notice the flushmount lighting as I started looking at every tiny detail in each space.  I quickly realized that everything existing  

I hopped on to the Home Depot and Lowes websites thinking I could easily find a few options that would update the space without breaking the bank.  Wrong.   Everything I found looked super cheap or resembled a boob, or both.  You know what I'm talking about.  No bueno.
I had the best luck at Wayfair.  I was wanting something that looked more like a lantern for the two lights in our foyer area, and fell in love with these.  They're $110 each, and with an additional sale they were having that day I wound up getting them for $93 a piece.
Wayfair- $110
I found one light that I liked at Home Depot (still haven't seen it in real life yet) that was very reasonably priced at $38 each.  I love the octagonal shape, so I hope they look as good in person as they do online! These will go in the hallway and our laundry room, pending that they look decent when I receive them.
Home Depot- $38

Here are a couple others that I loved.  I'm keeping these in my back pocket just in case the others I ordered are disastrous.
Wayfair- $125

Wayfair- $155

I'm hoping that my next post will be loaded with picture updates.  Real pictures, not the stock ones I've been pulling from websites for the last two posts. Yesterday they started doing some drywall work and installed a few of our appliances.  Fingers crossed I'll be coming home to a painted kitchen with a refrigerator today. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Our Mexican Vacation

The day after we closed on our house, T and I left for a few days of vacation in Mexico.  We've had this trip planned for several months, not knowing we'd be closing on a house around the same time. When we were figuring out a closing date for our new house, we thought it made the most sense to buy the house and leave for a few days while we had the floors redone.  In theory it made perfect sense, but after our closing date was pushed back by a day, it had us scrambling at the last minute to sign paperwork before we left the country.  Thankfully it all worked out, but for about 48 hours, we were freaking out.

We landed in Mexico on Wednesday morning, and headed to our resort about 45 minutes down the beach. We returned to the same place that we honeymooned 3 years prior, The Paradisus in Playa Del Carmen.  The resort was just as great as we remembered.  We had 5 days of pure relaxation and over indulgence, and it was every bit amazing as it was 3 years ago.  

I surprised T with a selfie stick for the trip.  I mainly chose to surprise him with it because if I told him about it before I purchased, he would have been fully against the idea. But, it was so convenient to have it with us at all times to take pictures without having to ask others for help.  Plus the novelty of it was just hilarious.

Now it's back to the real world.  My first week back from vacation was a doozy.  I rarely take an entire week off of work because recovering from that is so tough.   Today I think I'm finally back in the swing of things, but oh what I would give right now to be sipping a margarita by the pool.

Vacation photo dump in 3...2...1...

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Half Bath Inspiration

Our original plan with our new house was to start off with kitchen and living room updates, but we quickly decided to lump the half bathroom into that as well.  Like our kitchen, the half bath was fully covered in a dark burgundy paisley wallpaper, complete with a coordinating border.  We decided that while were paying someone to remove the wallpaper in our kitchen, it would be cheaper in the long run to go ahead and take care of the bathroom, too.

Since this was not in our original plan or budget, I have to be SUPER economical with what we're going to be doing in that room. Here's our plan:

Half Bath Inspiration

The goal was to spend less than $500 total on the room.  Luckily, there was already a gold mirror in there, which will save us a couple hundred bucks.  We picked out an inexpensive vanity from Lowes this week that was on sale for $189, and I bought a chrome faucet ($54) and light fixture ($27) to go along with it.  Since the existing mirror is gold, we'll have a few other gold accents in the room to tie it all together.  I'm so happy that I get to use Sea Salt in one of our rooms, I think it's such a gorgeous color and perfect for a powder room.

Mirror (I'm using one we already have, similar to this)- Nordstrom
Vanity- Lowes
Faucet- Lowes
Light Fixture- Home Depot
Knobs- Pulls Direct
Paint- Sherwin-Williams Sea Salt

If all goes to plan, we'll spend about $350 on everything including the cost of paint, which leaves another $150 for all the other little extra things that I'll need (towel bar, rug, things to put on the walls, etc). Can't wait to see this all come together!

Just to see where we're coming from, here are a few pictures of the half bath as it is now.  Wallpaper has been removed as well as the toilet and 90's seashell pedestal sink. Nothing too exciting, but I do love the thick crown molding.  It's really the only part of the room we're keeping.

We should have everything painted and installed by early to mid next week.  Stay tuned for an update.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

It's Good To Be Back!

I truly cannot believe how long it's been since I've blogged.  I'm going to use the cliche excuse that things have been crazy busy, and as lame as that may sound, these really have been some of the busiest weeks of my life.  

Within the last month, we purchased a house, put ours on the market and sold it, moved, took an out-of-the-country vacation, and started renovations on our new place.  All while keeping our nine to fives and trying to get my new jewelry business off the ground.  Whew. 

With all of that going on, something had to give, and it had to be my blog.  But, I'm back, and I hope I'm back to stay.   I'll be sharing some updates of the renovations over the next few weeks.  We're trying to knock out the kitchen and living room as quickly as we can.  Not having a functional kitchen has been tough (nowhere to chill my wine), and I don't know if T will be able to live much longer with out his chair and TV.  Priorities people, priorities.

Our last photo in front of our old house
Here are a few of the before and during reno pictures.  We moved in on Tuesday evening, and left for Mexico first thing on Wednesday morning.  I'm so glad I thought to snap a few before pictures that evening, but I wish I had taken more.  While we were gone the contractors started ripping up our old floors and replacing them with the new.

The kitchen and living room will receive the majority of renovations, so I'll focus on those two for this post.  We fell in love with this house because of it's flow.  I've always told T that I wanted a kitchen that opened up to the living room one day when we have a family, so finding one that did was major plus. (For the record I am not preggo- but we do hope that this will be the house we have kids in one day.) The vaulted ceilings and skylights in the living room are another one of my favorite parts of the house.  The floral wallpaper, pink bathroom tile back splash, and box florescent light in the kitchen?  Not so much. 

Here are a few pictures taken after we had the wallpaper removed and hardwoods initially installed, pre-stain.  Already a vast improvement.

And these pictures were snapped this morning.  We still aren't supposed to be walking on the floors yet, so I had to take them from upstairs.  The stain color we chose was Minwax Provincial, and I LOVE it.  The existing floors had a lot of 90's yellowy orange in them, which I wanted to get away from. I like the look of dark brown hardwoods, but I was afraid they would show too much wear and tear from our pets.  Provincial is a medium brown that has more ashy walnut tones than red or orange.

And here's a little breakdown of what we plan to do to each room.  


Remove linoleum and replace with hardwoods
Remove wallpaper
Replace light fixture with two pendants
Install can lights
Replace all appliances
Kitchen island re-installed
New back splash
New counters installed
Paint Walls (Sherwin-Williams Agreeable Gray)
Install shutters/blinds

Living Room

Remove carpet and replace with hardwoods
Replace ceiling fan
Paint walls (Sherwin-Williams Agreeable Gray + a darker gray for accent wall)
Whitewash fireplace
Install shutters/blinds

Ahh, it's good to be back!
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