Tour Our Second Home, On the Market Before and After

I loved this house well and I had so much fun making it ours, adding my personal style everywhere. The following pictures don’t fully reflect my personal style, because these were the listing photos for the house just prior to us buying it (sight unseen!) and after my friend Ky and I pulled up our bootstraps and prepared the house for showings.

If you haven’t sold a home before, you probably don’t know: you don’t just take pictures of how you’re living in it. You’re going to want to do quite a few things before you put it up.

Prepping a House for the Market

  1. Take down personal items. Photography especially–you want the potential buyer to picture themselves there, not you.
  2. Remove all clutter. Your kitchen counters should be devoid of appliances, your fireplace mantle shouldn’t have any tchochkes.
  3. Take a LOT of furniture out. Open up the space as much as you can.
  4. Take the books out of the shelves and style them instead. Creating space even on your furniture opens up the room to the eye. It’s like magic.
  5. The more you move out of site, the better. Use the garage or the basement, if you have one, to put these items away. If not, rent a short-term storage unit.

As mentioned in our moving announcement, our house sold in three days! We had an offer and a back up offer quicker than we could have imagined.

The Home Tour, Before and After

These are photos that we had listed online of our house when it was on the market in 2015 when we bought it, and months ago when we listed it.

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We’re Moving…Again!

I didn’t expect to write this post this soon, or at this stage in our lives. I admit, I knew this wasn’t our forever home. When we sold our first home in Texas and moved to Connecticut, I became a bit more realistic about my expectations about how long I would live in one place.

We bought our Texas house with “forever” in mind, and we started making preparations and decisions to move to the East Coast after living there for a little over three years. I was devastated but excited. I was scared but adventurous. And then we moved 1,600 miles away.

Before I had fully unpacked, boxes still strewn about, Mark was surely high from the experience of leaving it all behind + what new experience awaited us. Then he said, “Maybe in a few years, we’ll move to the West Coast.”

The nerve! But I didn’t take it that way. He was just reminding me that adventure awaits, and to leave my heart open for possibilities. I knew I was going to take good care of it, try to not get too attached, and make it full of art, memories, laughter, souvenirs and a lot of love. That I did. And now we’re moving. But, where? Continue reading

And the love multiplies…

Despite my New Year’s Resolutions of 2018, it has been over a month since my last post! But this time, I have really good reasoning.

Valentine's Day Pregnancy and gender announcement another boy-6

You see, those health issues I mentioned…they looked a little like nausea, fatigue, food aversions, and several other symptoms that are far less glamorous. Because…

Valentine's Day Pregnancy and gender announcement another boy-3

I’m pregnant!

Valentine's Day Pregnancy and gender announcement another boy-8 (2)

Now that I’m well into my second trimester, I can come right out and say it. Not only was I so exhausted that I found myself struggling to complete my paid work, nevertheless this hobby blog right here, but this pregnancy as well as something else that our family has been working on have been my limited focus in these past months, so I had very little to write about.

Valentine's Day Pregnancy and gender announcement another boy-2

Now that I’m further along and getting back into my routines for my freelance writing as well as my household (okay–I’ll admit it. I’m not back to maintaining my household. But Mark has been doing an amazing job of picking up my slack) I’m excited to share more about what’s in store for our family, memories that we’ve been making, and DIY projects as they resume.

Valentine's Day Pregnancy and gender announcement another boy-1

 

 

 

….I almost forgot! These balloons were inspired by this quick DIY project from StudioDIY. It’s definitely one of her older projects, and she’s since created a shop where she sells pre-printed conversation heart balloons.

One Room Challenge: Week 4

one room challenge guest participant

Still working on the One Room Challenge from Calling it Home that I told you guys about few weeks ago and updated you on last week!  I’m waiting on that wallpaper from WallsNeedLove, but that didn’t stop be from getting a lot done this week. However, as I got through some tasks, I realized more things I wanted to do!

The first thing I did was make the cornice board.

cornice board in progressDIY cornice board hardwarefabric covered cornice board

I know the poms + the stripes look a little circus-y. I’m trying to go along with the decorations that alpacas have in Peru, like the shower curtain that inspired the room.

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I think once the wallpaper is installed, it’ll tone those colors down. We’ll see. Luckily I already had them on hand, I got them nearly free after the holidays in the gift wrap area.

poms

And it matched with the hat decorations I bought in Peru that I’ve styled on my tissue holder.

palawan souvenir

You know that old frame?

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I forcibly removed that old artwork, spray painted it with a lacquer white, and will hang it correctly once that wallpaper comes through.

light fixture jungalow theme

Let’s take a moment to remember how glorious that wallpaper is!

walls need love riverbed leaf wallpaper

A just can’t wait!

I bought the accessories, as planned.

IKEA Jassa collection

But I just don’t like how the wood colors don’t match. I’m thinking I’ll stain them.

I also decided I wanted to build a bath caddy. Here’s my progress so far with that:

DIY bath tub shelfDIY bath caddy

I also had different cabinet hardware picked out, but the knobs were so big that they touched. I decided to replace them.

anthropologie hardware

Here’s where we are now…

My One Room Challenge List:

  1. Get inspired!
  2. Render the plan
  3. Order wallpaper
  4. Install wallpaper
  5. Cut and install boards to fit inside cabinet area
  6. Replace cabinet hardware
  7. Spray paint vintage frame
  8. Install it around light fixture
  9. buy accessories
  10. make fabric cornice board above window
  11. Make bathroom caddy
  12. Sand and stain bathroom caddy
  13. Buy fabric
  14. Add length to shower curtain
  15. Stain baskets

How to Combine Two Woven Rugs into One

Before I was living more deliberately, I made many shopping decisions that weren’t all the way thought out. This rug was one of those. At Homegoods, I determined that I liked it, but couldn’t think of where I “needed” it. When I overheard another woman looking at the second (out of two) I bought it. That store has such a quick turnover, I didn’t want to miss out!

I got it home and, of course, I still didn’t have a place for it. Maybe if it was bigger? A few days later, instead of returning it, I bought the second one! It was still there! It must be luck, right?

These are the methods of thought I now know to be incongruent with my values. Even as I continue to purge excess, I still try to see where things would fit, given the right project. In this case, my upstairs hallway was the perfect length for them to run top to bottom.

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They moved around a lot, and I wasn’t fooling anyone. If you have two traditional carpets you’d like to attach, head over and buy some fiberglass carpet seaming tape and follow the instructions over at Ugly Duckling House. But if, like me, you have two woven rugs that won’t give the illusion of being one with some tape, Continue reading

Guitar-Shaped Chalkboard DIY

I always admired Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie window displays. They’re always so creative. So once, back in Houston, when I saw that some things they used for displays were on sale, I jumped at the opportunity. One was a painted plywood troll that’s taller than the ceilings of my current house, and the other was a raw piece of plywood shaped like a guitar.

Something like a million years later, I decided to turn it into a chalkboard for Tobias’ room. I assume you don’t have a piece of plywood shaped like a guitar hanging around the house, but you can always mimic the idea with a plain rectangle, or try your luck at advanced jigsawing.

Materials:

Tools:

Steps:

1. Prep the wood surface by filling any holes and sanding. Then, paint. I liked this color so much that I bought it before I knew what project it’d be used for.
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2. Trace outer edges. I just rubbed the crayon’s side along the sides of the wood.diy-guitar-shaped-chalkboard-with-attached-chalk-2

3. Freehand draw inlay, cut out, trace onto craft plywood.diy-guitar-shaped-chalkboard-with-attached-chalk-3

4. Apply liquid nails, smooth over with a spackling knife.diy-guitar-shaped-chalkboard-with-attached-chalk-5

5. Use a vice or something heavy to keep it in place while the adhesive dries. During this time, I also planned out how the chalk would attatch to the board.diy-guitar-shaped-chalkboard-with-attached-chalk-6

6. Drill small holes for the strings.diy-guitar-shaped-chalkboard-with-attached-chalk-7

7. Use a pipe cleaner to help shove the twine through. diy-guitar-shaped-chalkboard-with-attached-chalk-8

8. I abandoned this project for several months, as I couldn’t figure out what to use so that the chalk would lay horizontal. During my craft clean up, I came across a business card holder that was left behind by our Houston real estate agent, Judy St. Julien. It was perfect! I used wood glue to adhere. diy-guitar-shaped-chalkboard-with-attached-chalk-12

9. When it came time to hang, I bought these guitar hooks and painted them black, to match my son’s room.diy-guitar-shaped-chalkboard-with-attached-chalk-9

10. All hung!diy-guitar-shaped-chalkboard-with-attached-chalk-10diy-guitar-shaped-chalkboard-with-attached-chalk-11

Tobias uses the chalkboard to make a mark every time he spends 10 minutes practicing his guitar. Once he reaches a certain amount of marks, he gets a treat! Though he’s the one who wanted to begin to learn the guitar, learning something new is tough. And it’s really tough to start new habits, practice something that you’re not quite good at yet, and stick with it. I don’t usually use incentives as a parenting technique, but once he’s in a habit it’ll be much easier (and far less painful) for him to keep going.

It looks cool and it’s practical.