Thursday, May 26, 2011


OK, I have nothing to blame but SCHOOL!  I am in my final MBA course (hallelujah!) and it is taking up all of my free time!  I WILL post tomorrow though, because we've recently painted two more bedrooms and are watching are garden really grow.  Pictures tomorrow :) 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The living room is coming together!

David has had his eye on a set of leather couches for a few weeks now, and I finally caved!  We are purchasing a dark brown leather set from Overstock, which we've NEVER sat on or seen...scary.  BUT, they do have some really good reviews.  SO, before these get here:

 I'd like to find a nice rug for the room, that complements the couches and the wall colors.  I'm going to post pics of our (almost) finished living room shortly, but this is the color we used on the walls:

And this is the color for our kitchen and dining room (which you can peek into from the living room):
Therefore, I am thinking that this rug from Pottery Barn (how I love that place!) would look fabulous!  Any comments/suggestions?  What about curtain colors to coordinate? 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wow so busy!

David and I unfortunately haven't had much time in the last month to work on our home :(  We've had a lot of fun weddings to attend and a lot of not-so-fun schoolwork to take care of.  Fortunately, we have two upcoming weekends that are relatively free (minus the dreaded schoolwork) to work on some of our projects.

In the next week I am going to post:

  • Pictures of our gorgeous yard!  We are finding an unbelievable amount of flowers sprouting and the trees we thought were just there to provide shade are some of the most beautiful flowering ones I have ever seen! 

  • Update on Diann and Phil's visit!  Quick summary for now - we worked on preparing the yard, removed a built-in bookcase and put up a wall, painted the corner cabinet in the dining room, and David even got a brand new miter saw!
This weekend we will be working on:
Painting!  What is left - upstairs hall, dining room, master bedroom, small upstairs bedroom
Deck!  Powerwashing and staining
Garden!  I've started seedlings in our windowsill (and they even took a ride to Wilmington with us last week so they wouldn't be without water!).  We are growing:  pumpkins, squash, zucchini, green beans, watermelons, tomatos, and a bunch of herbs.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Steelers and Ravens no more!

The previous owners of our home were HUGE Steelers and Ravens fans...or at least their kids were!  We were told that they had three young boys, all big football fans.  Their love of their teams spread everywhere within these rooms - including not only decorations but the PAINT!  We recently painted both rooms (after a ton of sanding over the emblems painted on the wall), and now one is a calm, light yellow (the old Steelers room) and one is a nice light tan that continues from the hallways into the room.  Here's my Dad on his visit to help out...he's quite excited to cover over the Steelers logo as he strongly dislikes this team :)  I will be posting 'after' pictures soon.  Actually, a LOT of 'after' pictures are coming soon, but we are waiting on installing the new crown molding and baseboards before showing those off!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Update on the Upstairs Bathroom!

As you can see below, our initial plan to paint the old wainscotting was a FAILURE!  The wainscotting was placed incorrectly and the panels did not line up as desired, leaving the terrible green color showing from between the seams.  It was also a little bit old, so I headed to Home Depot to pick up new panelling, chair rail, and baseboards.  As you can see, David had to learn how to install this wainscotting, but future pics will show how great of a job he did (so proud!). 

In related news, I took a spill at Home Depot while picking out this panelling (I'm on camera falling in their lumber department) and have had their insurance company calling me repeatedly.  Unfortunately my back is still KILLING me a week and a half later so I may need to contact them for an x-ray.  Here's to hoping the pain doesn't last and that future visits to HD are a bit less exciting!

Oh, and as you can see we went with the neutral 'sand' color that we will be using in the hall.  A nice white Martha Stewart shower curtain and pretty white rugs will work well with the robin's egg blue hutch we will be placing in this room. 

Stay tuned for pics of what we accomplished when my Dad and sister Taryn came to visit - so lucky that they were able to help!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Wallpaper is the Devil!

I bet that, back in 1991, the previous owners of my home thought putting up floral wallpaper would be beautiful.  Bless their hearts they probably had grand plans for a gold-framed bathroom mirror to coordinate with the never-ending sprawling of vines and flowers across the walls.  Unfortunately, at some point, probably in the early 2000's, they realized that the wallpaper fad was quickly dying a slow painful death.  'No problem!' you'd think, "I'll remove this out-dated wallpaper and paint the bathroom a nice, neutral color.'  But NO!  That is not what happened, unfortunately.  The new plan, maybe construcuted out of a hectic lifestyle with 3 little kids running around, was to slap on a new coat of more 2000-era -friendly wallpaper that 'looks' like a textured paint. - - Welcome to my own personal hell!

For all the pain I was put through last weekend, I think that I would have rather had my fingers pulled off one-by-one.  Thank goodness David was there to help out!  My weekend consisted of endless hours of steaming super small sections of wallpaper and pulling off about a 1/4 of a square-inch at a time!  Steam, scratch, pull, rip, spray with glue-remover, repeat!  At least the end result looks like it will be worth all of the effort - all of the wallpaper is now GONE, and I have started using drywall to cover the seams and for overall smoothing over sections that we GOUGED (couldn't help it!). 

Our plan now is to paint the walls with a nice neutral color, and we are toying with the idea of using the same color as the hallways (sand color).  There is gorgeous wainscotting from the floor mid-way up the wall that will be painted a bright white, along with the new crown molding and baseboards.  Eventually our plan is to re-tile the shower walls with a neutral tile and install a nice Whirlpool tub.

One important lesson learned in this scenario -

Before attempting to remove wallpaper, make sure to score the wallpaper LIGHTLY, with lightly being the operative word.  David went to town with our PaperTiger (cool tool, Google it!) and left tiny little holes in ALL of the drywall panels....Oops!  Needless to say, I spent EXTRA long mudding and he will be the happy little sander in that bathroom.  :)

Before and after photos to follow!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Dreaded Paneling....

Here are a few 'before' pictures to show just how much work we have ahead of ourselves on this paneling.  As the pictures show, we've done QUITE a bit of patchwork and sanding.  We've now completed one coat of primer and will be painting the walls this weekend!  We are hoping to get the living room and hallways downstairs completed.

The GOOD news is that the horrible orange on the bookshelves is gone!  That was one of last weekend's projects.... A few of the other items to be completed in this room, at some point or another, are:

Removal of the wood-burning stove.  There is a fireplace in the wall behind the stove, which we'd like to bring back to life with some kind of cottage-y mantle...maybe stone?  or brick?

Removal and replacement of all baseboards and molding.

Serious weatherproofing!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Currently Working On....

Wow, I am haphazardly working on quite a few projects at this point, but am focusing on the living room!

Last night I sanded all of our wood paneling which is currently painted semi-gloss white.  I had previously filled in all holes, nicks, and cuts in the wood and now have a super-smooth finish to start priming over!  This was a challenge, as the wood pile next to the stove definitely had wood just dropped or thrown into the corner - majorly damaging the wall.  David has removed most of the base boards in the living room, and will be taking the mantle off of the wall for me to paint as well. 

This space is going to be a challenge as we've never painted paneling before, but we can't wait for the outcome!  The room also has a whole wall of built-in shelving that will also be recreated - we will transform it by painting the now BRIGHT orange shelving a nice clean white.  I'm also considering a bead-board backing in the shelving area.  Room color - up in the air!  We've got two nice very very light tans on the wall for our constant consideration.  Home depot this weekend!

(I'll post the 'before' pictures shortly!)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

STRESSFUL...But now more excited than ever!

WOW, David and I have had an amazingly stressful end of 2010!  We almost thought that our hopes and dreams of making this house our home were crushed!  On the date of our originally scheduled closing, Monday the 20th of December, we received an email from our Realtor...."Not going to close today, I'm calling you now."  That one sentence just made my heart drop, and later we found out that there was a problem with one of the banks' approval letters.  (We are purchasing a short sale - there are THREE banks involved!).  Needless to say, we had to wait for PNC to rewrite their approval letter in accordance with advice from our lawyer, who was worried about potential future title problems if the letter was not rewritten.  As many people know who have looked to purchase a short sale, these banks involved can take weeks and weeks to respond to any requests.  AND, this new letter had to more clearly state how much profit this bank and the one in line after it would be making (as many know, proceeds from a short sale or foreclosure are distributed in the order of the lien recorded - PNC was the 2nd in line with one more bank following it).  The third bank was actually going to receive more funding from the sale of the house than the second - usually a big no-no that banks won't accept.  Therefore, this one little letter put David and I on edge as we waited the outcome of the board meeting - it really put a damper on our end of year celebrations. 

Thankfully, we heard on New Year's Eve that PNC had met and revised the letter!  We were ecstatic and scheduled our new closing date - tomorrow, the 5th of January right away.  I really feel like writing that board a Thank You letter, because they could have so easily denied our new request, once they saw that they, as the 2nd lien-holder, would not be receiving a greater amount of funds than the 3rd lien-holder. I write this I'm keeping my fingers crossed that no other problems arise as we head to Annapolis to finally purchase our new house that has been SEVEN months in the making!

I am sure that many people are interested in the short sale process - what it entails, what to expect, how it works - so I will make sure to create a post that fully explains our experience.  For better or worse, it has helped us to be able to afford a home in the area that we love.  :) 

YAY for move in time!