One Week Anniversary of House Ownership

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Today marks the one week anniversary of Neil and I owning the Little Rock House and what a week it has been!  Within one hour of closing, we were at the house getting to work.

patchceiling

The house was definitely livable (although my definition of clean is obviously much different than the previous owners), but not at all our style.

The walls were various shades of pink, neon purple and neon blue with pretty awful dark blue shag carpet.  There is literally different flooring in every single room.  What we thought was hardwood, was actually laminate.

The first huge project was the painting.  Those neon purple walls had to go.  We hired an awesome painting crew I used in my previous house, and they got the job done in two days.  Just with painting, the house began to feel warm and inviting and starting to look like a home for our family.

kitchenbefore&afterEvery light fixture, faucet, floor (except two rooms), kitchen counter, switch plate, appliance, toilet and lock had to be replaced.

toilet

unnamed

We have been to Home Depot and Lowes more in the last week than I have in my entire life times ten.  Pretty much after every trip our car looked like this…

packedcar

We are trying to do as much work ourselves as we can to save money.  We did hire painters and are having our granite counter tops professionally installed.  We have a beautiful copper farm sink we also had installed since it is such a unique piece.  The counter tops should be installed in a week or two.

coppersink

Neil and some of his friends are redoing the kitchen cabinets and Neil and I will be our own flooring crew for the master bedroom, office, kitchen and dining room.  We pulled up plenty of nasty carpet, which was much easier than I excepted.  The only really not fun part of removing the carpet is pulling up the staples used to secure the under-pad.  After pulling about a hundred or more staples, I would say I am officially an expert staple remover.

carpetremove 

Removing the linoleum floor was awful.  Definitely the worst project we have encountered so far.  After smashing my finger twice with the crowbar, I left that hard core demo project to Neil.  After a few hours he was half way done.  I was definitely glad to not be a part of that project.

linolieum floor

We spent 10-12 hour days at the Little Rock House this weekend.  We were both off all weekend and the time together was productive and so much fun.  Despite all the projects, decisions and work, we made sure to take some time out to enjoy each other’s company.  Just down the road from the new house is this amazing little artsy town with a theater, general store that serves only organic, farm fresh food, a pub that brews their own beer and a great view of the river.  We had a great dinner at the general store one night and I look forward to many date nights there in the future.

Although this week has been jammed full of sweat, finger slamming and heavy lifting, I am feeling utterly blessed.  My life is not at all as I pictured it would be around this time last year.  So much has changed in the last 12 months, pretty much every aspect of my life has been transformed.  I can’t help but see the symbolism in the transformation of the Little Rock House.  I can’t wait to see what the next 12 months brings.

Stay tuned for more renovations and adventures!

Until next time…

FINALSIGNOFF

 

Bad Piggy Attitudes & A Few Life Lessons

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Has anyone else noticed it is already December? These last few months have been a wild blur of activity.

We have had several high 60 degree days here in good old North Carolina, and it just reminds me of the many reasons I love this state.  Almost 70 degrees and the calendar says December, what’s not to love?

After much deliberation and enough paperwork to fill up the Little Rock House, we finally have the go for a closing date.  Due to some issues (not on my end *cough cough*) our original closing date came and passed.  This required my awesome secretary skills (thanks to a crazy life, my scheduling skills are expertise at this point) to kick into overdrive since we had deliveries and workmen scheduled every day after closing.

This experience taught me a few very important lessons.  Number one, don’t every close around a holiday-thank you Thanksgiving- and don’t ever schedule closing on a Monday and especially don’t schedule closing on a Monday after a holiday.  Number two, life pretty much never ever goes according to plan, particularly when other people are involved, so learn to be flexible.

With our new closing date two days away, Neil and I are super excited, but now feeling the pressure of limited time.  With our granite counters ordered, but not able to be installed until the big farm sink project is done, the flooring awaiting the official estimate and order arrival, the painters’ estimate, every wall, baseboard and ceiling to be painted, the cabinets to be resurfaced, decorating, moving, working full time and a whole heap of other projects and responsibilities, this redhead is feeling a touch overwhelmed.

On top of everything going on, we found out Neil has to have major hip surgery next month.  This surgery will put him out of work for a few months to recover.  What was originally going to be a leisurely, several month move to the new house, is now down to 4 weeks before he is sidelined to the couch for awhile.

At this point, we are getting very good at just taking things in stride.  Despite all the outside stressors, Neil and I are incredibly happy.  It is an amazing experience to be with a partner who brings such joy and peace to your life.  Building a new life together has been one of my very favorite seasons of life.

Lilly and Peanut have been their usual snugly selves.  They don’t seem to notice the chaos and boxes that are slowly overtaking our house.  Oliver, is a completely different story.  He has been hell on hooves and if I loved him a little less he just might be breakfast.

His usual mild mannered conversation now involves high pitched screeching and slamming himself into his gate.  He destroyed his very comfy, very expensive bed (which he has never done before) see exhibit A below

olivermess

Obviously his piggy butt is not getting another fancy bed so I gave him a few blankets instead.  This was apparently unacceptable as he turned up his snout and promptly decided to lay in his litter box instead.  I think Oliver is officially a swine teenager.

Knowing his weakness, I put a few blankets in the dryer and that got him out of his litter box and into his make shift, very warm, blanket bed.  His room at the new house is going to be super fancy and he will have a piggy door to access his own private deck.  Let’s hope this curbs his bad attitude!

Hopefully next week will brings lots of updates on the Little Rock House and pictures of course!

Until next time…

FINALSIGNOFF

A Change of Plans

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This week I have been up to my ears in organizing workmen, deliveries and details for the Little Rock House.  We have had some great news this week.  Our refrigerator we purchased several weeks ago went on sale and was $1000 cheaper than we originally bought it for.  The store gave us the difference and we purchased several tools we needed with the refund.  We also got a gift card back on the copper sink, since it went on sale as well.  Especially during this time, it is so useful to keep an eye on major purchases, most everything goes on sale and stores will usually honor the sale price with a refund or store credit.

As my fabulous readers know, my schedule is pretty crazy.  I routinely stay awake for 24 hours to accomplish all I need to and spend time with loved ones.  The past few years have echoed a quote I love, “I will sleep when I am dead!”  With the very short time we get on earth, I don’t like wasting a minute of it.  I am the anti-procrastinator.

When I was 5 years old, I was getting ready for bed in my usual nightly routine.  I carefully picked out my clothes for the next day and after I finished I got to thinking.  If I laid out my clothes for the next week, I would save time in the mornings.  Once I finished those outfits, I thought to myself, “That worked out so well, I might as well pick out the clothes for the next week.” An hour later, my entire room was covered in neatly laid out outfits for the coming weeks.

Studies have shown the way people problem solve by age 5 remains mostly unchanged in adulthood and I know for myself, this is very true.  I use those same preparation tactics from when I was 5 as I do today.  I am the queen of multi-tasking and balancing as many things as I can possibly cram into my life.  This makes me a very good emergency room nurse, but it makes me very exhausted in the outside world!

As I creep closer to age 30, I have learned some hard lessons about stretching myself too thin.  I have learned how vital sleep and down time are to emotional and physical health.  I have learned that when you have a partner, you have a responsibility to that person to not come home with nothing left to give out.

Having said that, although I am not as rigid as I used to be, plans and organization are essential parts of my life.  For example, Monday Dec 1st has been the closing date for the Little Rock House for over a month.  I have been incredibly prompt with the thousands of required documents for a loan so nothing would be delayed for Dec 1st.  In anticipation of this date, I have scheduled workmen and deliveries every day that week.  I have boxes (and boxes and boxes) stacked in neatly organized piles for the different phases of moving over to that house.  So when I was told on Wednesday afternoon, five days (that’s two business days due to Thanksgiving), that the paperwork (not on  my end) was not going to be together in time for a Monday closing, I was less than thrilled.

I adamantly explained, a different closing date is not an option.  Everything over the next few weeks is dependent on that closing day coming to pass.  In an effort to assist the bank with time, I changed the closing time for two hours later.  Even this two hour delay caused me to have to cancel two classes for work and rearrange several things in my schedule that week.  As Wednesday comes to a close, I am no less informed on if I will be a homeowner Monday morning, as was the plan for the last few months.

I do believe this is the universe teaching me another lesson on theoretically counting my eggs before they hatch.  That or the universe has one twisted sense of humor watching this little redhead sweat it out.

I can’t wait to see what Monday will bring.

Until next time…

FINALSIGNOFF

 

 

The Packing Has Begun

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Life has been hectic per usual this week.  I have been busy getting the final documents together for the loan for the Little Rock House.  Even in the last few years, this process has changed immensely.  The bank pretty much wants everything from your financial information to your first born child.  I am hoping for no unexpected bumps in the road as we get closer to finalizing the loan.

Only 14 days left until closing.  The water was treated and the new results show no bacteria which is great news.  We still plan on getting a whole home filter and water softening system just to be sure the water stays bacteria free.

The packing has begun at our house and I am hoping this doesn’t jinx our closing date!  Boxes, boxes everywhere

boxes

Keep your fingers crossed for me that in two weeks I will be calling this home!

LRHouse

 

Until next time…

FINALSIGNOFF

Three Weeks to Go

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This has been a week full of 12 hour shifts and hospital classes.  Starting at a new hospital is so time intensive, between the regular work days, paperwork and numerous classes and online modules you have to take, its pretty much like having two jobs at first.

I am so glad to be back on night shift.  Working night shift allows me to stay on top of the house work, cooking and everything else I have to do.  I don’t know how day shift folks stay on top of their responsibilities!

This week we purchased our fabulous copper sink, which I so excited for, the faucet, and garbage disposal.  It has been such a blessing to have plenty of time before we move into the Little Rock House.  It has allowed us to get what we need a little at a time, which has been much nicer on our wallets.  I have not yet been payed from the new job, so I am anxiously awaiting that check next week.

We go tomorrow to get another look at the house and get our measurements for everything.  By the end of the day tomorrow we should have an idea what the painting, granite counter tops and new master bedroom wood floor will cost.

All of the inspections have turned out great, minus the well inspection.  The water results showed bacteria-yuck!  Luckily the sellers agreed to treat the well and retest it before closing.

Only three more weeks until closing and I am counting down the days until we can get in there and make it our own.

Even though we have the rental house until March, I will begin packing soon so we can start to transition into the Little Rock House as soon as the renovations are completed.  One thing I am really looking forward to is the little suite we are building Oliver.  His room in the new house will double as the laundry room, but he gets his own porch with the freedom to come and go as he pleases.  Here is a sneak preview of our idea for his room…

oliversrm

He has been nothing short of a hellion this week.  I think he is feeling the changes coming, pigs hate change and love their routine, and is acting out in protest.  Here is just one example of his naughtiness this week…

badoliver

All that fluff used to be his super nice bed we bought him.  Once the trauma of going to a new place settles down I know he will love the new space and freedom to get some fresh air when he pleases.

Stay tuned, our rustic chiq reno is only a few weeks away!

Until next time…

FINALSIGNOFF

The Little Rock House

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I hope everyone had a lovely Halloween.  Oliver enjoyed being his usual always on the search for food self, Peanut enjoyed having us both home and Lilly was the only one who got into the spirit of things…

HotDog

Neil and I took Lilly around while my neices and nephews went trick or treating, however she did not enjoy herself.  She is definitely a family only kind of girl and when my nephew was walking her and accidentally dropped the leash, she became nothing but a blur of a hot dog as she raced home.

I am now officially less than a month away from closing on the Little Rock House and am beyond excited.  The home inspection went wonderfully and came back with no major issues.  Even the whole home generator works great-I can’t wait to enjoy this feature when we lose our power due to the ice this winter-as we always do here in NC!

Neil and I have been bargain hunting for everything we will need in the new house.  Our first major areas to tackle are the kitchen, painting (all the walls are pink and purple-not our style!) and redoing the dark blue shag carpet in the bedroom and bur-bur carpet in the office.  The house has quite a variety of wood floor colors, so eventually we will redo the kitchen’s wood floor to match the living room.

Yesterday on a whim, we stopped by a local appliance store and they were having an awesome sale.  With the help of a very outspoken sales lady, we got a super cool (no pun intended-ok maybe a little) energy efficient  refrigerator, a huge fancy microwave, a super quiet dishwasher, and a flat top stove and oven combo.  We originally were going to pipe gas into the kitchen for a gas stove, but decided to take that out of the budget to free up some other upgrade options.  We ended up getting all of those appliances for what we thought only two of them would cost, needless to say we were elated!

With all of the appliances now upgraded, we are focusing on purchasing the beautiful copper sink I have had my eye on for the last month, granite counter tops, redoing the cabinets and upgrading the lighting fixtures in the kitchen.  We meet with the painters soon for an estimate, so I am anxious to see how much that will cost.  Although Neil and I are capable of doing the painting ourselves (capable being a loose term here), with both of us working full time and everything else we have going on, we don’t have the time to do it.  I am so excited to see the Little Rock Houses’ transformation over the next few months.

November has definitely arrived and it brought windy, chilly weather to NC this week.  I sure miss my warm summer days, but the brilliantly colored leaves are a gorgeous site around here!

Until next time…

FINALSIGNOFF

 

Weekly Wonders

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*This weekly post is dedicated to highlighting a few of my favorite happenings over the week* 
  • I survived my first week at my new job.  It went surprisingly well and I think it will end up working out great.  Although the commute is longer than average, I enjoy the 45 minutes of quiet time to gear up or wind down from the shift.  I have been working day shift-which has totally thrown this night shift girl for a loop.  This whole getting up at 4 am thing is for the birds.  I am anxiously awaiting my return to night shift next week!

 

  • The house adventure continues to move forward and I am super excited.  I met with the representative today to complete the rest of the loan paperwork-if I didn’t have enough practice signing my name in my nursing career, I sure got it today!- and locked in at a great interest rate.  The inspections are happening this week and we are getting to go back to the house in two weeks to get some measurements and get an estimate from the painters.  Country Chic Remodel will soon be in full swing and I can’t wait to share it with ya’ll.

 

  • I am definitely a traditional old girl and I love writing and receiving letters.  Although this practice is unfortunately a major thing of the past thanks to email and iPhones, I got a letter from my grandma today.  I just love hearing from her and seeing her carefully written letters telling me the latest family happenings.

 

  • I LOVE Halloween.  It is my absolute favorite holiday.  It outweighs Christmas and maybe even my birthday.  I love the fun and festivities of the day and I am a candy fanatic so that just doubles my love of the day right there!  It has been awhile since I was able to be with my neices and nephews as they trick or treated around the neighborhood, so I am looking forward to being a part of that tradition.  I hope this Halloween brings more treats than tricks for you!

Don’t miss my article this month in Carolina Country, check it out HERE!

Until next time…

FINALSIGNOFF