Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday inspiration

We are headed out on the boat for the day but I thought I would leave you with some inspiration before I do!

Are those precious bow drapes not to die for??

How will you be spending your Sunday??

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

6 months.. The Gear

Over the past few months I have had several moms either expecting or with a little one ask how I have done things differently with number two than number one. 
(I am by NO means an expert, but after years of nannying I have learned a few tricks over the years!)

Honestly not much has changed... except the gear. 

We try to be consistent with naps, feedings, and love. 

We try not to over react when baby falls over while sitting, etc. 
(trying to not promote inner drama queen/kings.. haha)

Gear wise we have not spent a fortune but Thoroughly enjoyed the things we ARE using!

Here are our "use daily" go to items.

Thought I would number this to make things easy.

1. Fischer Price Jumparoo- as of recently little bear is loving this thing! A dear friend is letting us          borrow it and I fear we may wear it out! haha
2. Oh my Momaroo! We are still going strong using this thing! Baby loves to sit in here every morning!
3. Baby Jogger City Select- Thankfully a local third party discount store had this incredible stroller for 1/3 of the retail price. I LOVE being able to transition from single to double stroller. Our 3 year old will still occassionally ride and that makes store manuevering easier for sure!
4. Baby Bjorn Bouncer- Said local discount retailer also had this bouncer for 90% off of the discounted  price. I snatched this sucker up for $9.00 and have used it for everything from a beach seat to a modified highchair.
5. Boppy- This thing is soo transitional great for new born baby bottle feeding or nursing and then supported proping and now nestled behind baby for our wobbly sitting. I tear when I have to put this up! At my mom's house we use my brothers 20 year old boppy and the family I predominately sat for gave me theirs. New cover and this sucker has been a champ with Connor being the 6th child to use it!
6. Sophie Teether- We have been drooling since 3 months and still no tooth in sight, this has been a great toy to satiate the need to gnaw.
7. Sophie the Giraffe- Well for starters she is absolutely adoreable. Every child who seems this toy or has one lights up! They are just great to carry around in the bag to keep baby occupied.
8. Aden and Anais Swaddle Blankets- I have now purchased 2 sets of these blankies and might head for more! My baby will ONLY sleep with them and I adore how light they are throughout these summer months.
9. Boon bottle drying rack- Last go around I had the Dr. Brown's rack. It was so ugly and bulky!! So glad I decided to purchase this one this time around. So... easy to drop various baby accessories in here.
10 Baby Bjorn Bib- For those ultra messy feedings at first this is awesome! Does a great job catching all the food!
11. Skip Hop Puppy Activity toy- This toy has like 4 in one. This has been the only toy we have bought for brother seeing as sister had lots of "first toys" and I thought he needed one of "his own" The rattle, squeeker, teether all of it keeps him engaged for quite some time. 
12.Plum Organics Baby Food- We have tried several brands from gerber, earth's best, Up and Up and ella's kitchen. The flavors and combos in this brands seems to be my baby's favorite. Helps that previous mentioned retailer has bulk of these items and I can get them for a great price!
13.Boon Attachable Spoon for Plum Organics- At like $4.00 this attachable spoon screws onto the pouch baby food. It has made a fidgety hungry baby situation soo much easier! I also love it comes with a storing case so I do not loose them!
14. Boon Fillable baby Spoon- Similar to the attachable spoon this spoon is hollow and made of silicone. At most retailers this is about $10.00 I found a plethora of them at TJ Maxx so I bought several  for $2.99. This is great if I have jars of food that I know will be messy when we are out to eat and I want to save the pouches for school. I just load up our pears, mangos, or homemade avocado's and off we go!!

(everything mentioned above can be found at Babies R Us, Target, or online at Amazon)

What are your favorite baby items? I love seeing how things change between kids and How you get to try out all new items!

Update and a Poll

Now that we are moving back into the house I have started to work on some back to school crafts/projects to share here on the blog. 

Trying to take a poll here of yall's interest in a few things.

If you would take a second and answer on the right tool bar I would really appreciate it. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

6 months old

How can it have been half a year since he was born. This sweet boy has his daddy's temperament. He is so laid back, so happy and soo living. He just makes my heart sing!

Happy six months baby boy! Hope to share pictures from the photographer when she gets them back to me

Monday, July 16, 2012

Impending Sale: A reason for no posts.

This will have been our first home we have ever sold. 

I am writing this post for myself primarily to remember all the drama the sale of this home has endured.

The story:

First we got on the market, all seemed well. Had a few minor hiccups (ie our listing photos are AWEFUL and our agent wont use my edited ones. but that doesnt matter now.)

So we went on vacation over memorial day. We had a few showings that weekend and got great reviews. Our open house was less than stellar but nonetheless we were encouraged.

After the second weekend on the market we only had one more showing. Then on friday night at 6 pm of our third weekend on the market I got a call to show in exactly one hour. 

Umm... our house looked like a bomb went off and Casey was working out of town. Naturally!

So I threw everything into drawers, the washing machine and the dishwasher and somehow made a miracle happen. 

By 9 pm that night we had an offer and they wanted to view again the next morning. 

We were shocked!! It was all happening so fast. Then the reality of everything set in. 

On Sunday our agent came over for us to sign the paperwork. They were asking for closing costs, a home warranty, us to get the termite letter, and our washer and dryer, recarpeting the guesthouse, and to close on July 9. Exactly 3 weeks later.

{internally I was freaking out. sign in the yard and moved out in less than 8 weeks!! YES!}

Seemed like about a typical asking of things with what we had gathered from others on the market or who had recently sold. 

We countered with our asking price and they countered by monday night with ALL the previous, our fridge, a fence, and all rotten wood on the house. 

We knew they would ask for more but this seemed like alot. 

Come to find out all the window sills in our home were rotten. AWESOME!

We countered for the second time with fixing the wood and giving the fridge only because our agent kept telling us the first offer is the best. 

Seemed like alot but we were excited.

Things began to drag... like for 2 weeks heard nothing drag...

The first of the two weeks we found out the buyer/buyer's agent forgot to contact the bank to begin processing a loan and fully approving this guy. 

So on friday 2 weeks ago he finally had the bank begin to move forward with things.

On monday they had the inspection set up for 10 am. I thought surely they would be done by the time they were out of school at 2:30. 
Well it seems my incredibly loud beagles who were locked in their cages were HIGHLY disturbed by 5 strangers plundering through their home. (wonder why??) And this made the inspector quite flustered.

The inspection revealed we had one reveresed polarity outlet, found out ALL our window sills were rotten, something was wrong with a vent to the roof and the plumbing leading to the guest house had quite a substantial leak.(btw this is the amount of repairs we were bound to fixing per the contract) Not everything. 

We are now looking at close to 9,000.00 in repairs, closing costs, and appliances. (the fridge in the guesthouse already stays)

So we questioned our agent saying are you sure?? and she encouraged us to move forward. 

The appraisal came on wednesday. 
The number was right no target and we were elated to be making a profit considering everything we were paying in fees between the two agents, repairs and etc. 

We made all necessary repairs per the inspection. By that friday we heard back from our agent saying the appraisor contacted her and the buyers FHA financing was requiring us to scrape and paint the whole guesthouse and install a new fence along the side of our property.
(apparently FHA rules change ALOT and very often!)
For THIS buyer we felt we had given enough..... but the buyer could not get financing without these things being fixed. I freaked!! I told our agent NO WAY JOSE!!

She said we had to and we were legally bound. So she sent out her contractor to repair the remainder of the rotten wood and scrape and paint the guesthouse.

Now we have given the potential buyer close to 12,000 in repairs, appliances, closing costs and fees.

I said no way in you know where on us paying to repair/replace the fence so I contacted a lady I know at the city's code enforcement. She was soo sweet and sent someone out immediately. I missed the gentleman who inspected the fence but he said these fences were the responsibility of Tenn. Dept. of Transportation. 

I contacted the person at the City again and she gave me the director's cell #. This gentleman also sent someone out promptly. He informed me these were the city's fences not the states. 

So after a few more phone calls turns out they are the state's fences and we CAN NOT install a privacy fence until these are properly reinforced. PRAISE JESUS!!!

So with that we sit and we wait. 
Then on friday of last week the bomb dropped. 

The check the buyer paid the appraiser and the inspector with were bounced!!!


At some point to the middle of this process (like July 3, I think) my husband and I got very overwhelmed and we contacted hubby's dad. He is one of those drop everything be there in a minute types. He so graciously took some vacation days and was here in no time to help us move the items that would least effect daily living. Well we got on a roll knowing our closing date was July 9th. So we went ahead and packed everything except beds, couch, and table and chairs, and our closets of course. 

So this past saturday afternoon we made a miserably painful decision of withdrawing from this buyer. The mortgage company determined he was incapable of gaining the loan on his own and the loan officers told our agent they were moving toward "creative financing." This process should take an average of 2 weeks. 

We were sick of waiting, being drawn on. And in the end all of these unexpected fees, repairs, costs really blindsided us. So today our home hit the MLS listings again.

We are praying for 2 things.
1. Peace if we are to stay in this house a little longer
2. Endurance to move forward for the next month and see if there is another buyer out there. 
(btw we had a second offer while we were working this contract and we contacted them and they had already offered on another property)

So here we sit... with a freshly painted guesthouse, repairs complete, knowing what our home appraises for, no buyer, and an offer on the table for another home. 

Think the lord might be teaching us something through all of this??

I am leaning toward patient endurance.

Till the next chapter unfolds I sit here in my empty home making trips to the storage unit to fluff this place for potential showings. 

Prayers would be greatly appreciated.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Guesthouse

This post is only partially for me. 
It is about 60% for my friend Erica. 
She has followed along on our blog ever since we purchased this home and I have failed all of you!!

I have NEVER shared the guesthouse. 
Its that place in my home I thought was "cool" when we offered on the house then I realized.... its a huge huge thorn in my side.

Have we had a tennant? 
Yes we did! A sweet girl I worked with at J Crew lived out here for about a year. 
(wish I had photographed it with all her cute decor and not it's current barron ugliness)

Here she is.
Only recently did we paint the front door and replace the exterior lights.

When we purchased the room was grey and had only the foundation for flooring.

See this left over sticker?? I don't know why but I can bring myself to remove it. 
This was the bank's winterization sticker they had on the door. 
To me it is sooo much more. It's the very final reminder of how misloved and broken this home was and how my husband and I were able to pour blood sweat and tears into the whole property and make her pretty again. Make her desireable to another family so they could also call it home.

Door open looking into the "living" space.

new wall color and new carpet. 

Sooo thankful for a father in law who so graciously offers to help us. We have soo much home improvement wise to learn from him. 

Just another angle.

Standing in the kitchen looking back out towards the back of our home. 

To the left is the closet, right the bathroom and if you went through the door straight ahead you would go into the garage.

door into the bathroom

The bathroom and another uncomplete project of beginning to put hardwood in this bathroom.

Lovely wallpaper wall.

Notice the bass fish border? haha

Here is the suprisingly large walk in closet in the space.

Again another unfinished hardwood flooring project.

See this crumpled paper? That WAS the flooring to the closet. This is what I like to call the scary side of buying a foreclosure.

in the "living" space and looking into the kitchen/dining area.

Another view

We took all the cabinets down out here to paint and never got around to it. 

how cute would this place be with a fresh cabinet paint?

And the nasty view into the back yard. 

Remember how this place looked 5 weeks ago??

Let me refresh your memory.
Ughhh believe it or not the only thing that kills all this kudzu is a chainsaw and pouring bleach on it. 
Apparently kerosene works but that stuff is expensive when you need 3 or so barrells.

Well it looks like that's the "full" disclosure of pictures of this home. 

I will probably do a "selling our house" post. Lets just say it has been a LONG drawn out process.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Screened in Porch sort of "Reveal"

This was hands down the biggest undertaking in this house. 

We removed a coy pond, a hot tub, 5 trees, a deck, installed a ceiling, rewired the electrical, installed new stairs, did some landscaping, and finally styled the space.


It was tiring back breaking work and sadly we have never finished the painting part. 
Super sad, but glad to finally be doing a round up of the project.

Here are the links to the before:
Here, here, here, and here.

(after removing and filling in the pond with 4 loads of dirt)
And the Almost Completed After:

Here is a picture during the process, we were swinging the baby after finishing filling in the floor.

Here you can see here how we back up to the interstate.

And this is the walkway around the side of the guesthouse to the "very" back yard.
And the "very" back yard. A double cement wall to buffer the sound of I-240.
Really, the sound of rush hour traffic isn't bad at all. Promise.
And the whole "guesthouse"

Here is the door to the guest house.
painted BM antigua

Here is the exterior of the porch.
No, the painting of the ceiling or the exterior trim was not completed. 
That was supposed to happen last summer when I was very very sick in my early pregnancy.

Trust me I tried to paint on a slanted ladder but my husband wouldn't allow me to. haha

Here is my crafting/painting table live in action. haha

This table was so graciously given to me by a friend of a friend. 
My sweet friend ashlea got this for me (from Nikki, thanks again!!) while a local Bath and Bodyworks was being remodeled. They had placed several of these tables in the DUMPSTER!!! can you believe that????

Last look, before.

And After.

May not be perfect but it is a Heck of alot better than the before!!

I would say after "completing" this project the screening was the easiest, followed by replacing the floor.

And the rewiring the electrical was the hardest/most frustrating!

Thanks for staying with me through this 3 year renovation!

If it weren't so hot I would spend some more time out here under these awesome fans!