Sunday, September 30, 2012

Welcome Home + Welcome Fall

As Pat Green sang, "It feels just like it should/Must be some kind of miracle/I've got a smile on my face, and the rain, it ain't never gonna fall..." 

After a month of long, hard work; a few "not nice" words; some tears; and a lot of laughs...

We're home. 

And it feels just like it should. 

In fact, I've got a roast in the Crock Pot, football is on the TV and my brother is sprawled out on our couch napping. I looked at Brandon, who is sitting comfortably in his recliner, and said, "This is how Sunday afternoons should feel. Just like this." 

And since these rooms are semi-finished, I'll share a few pictures. 

The view of my kitchen from the living room.


My view from the chaise lounge part of the sofa in the living room


The view of my dining room from the entry. 

{The front door is to my left}


My front door

I still have to buy mums and add a few "fall" touches, but this is as good as I could do living here for two days. :)


We still have to purchase a new coffee table and side tables, and of course curtains and curtain rods...but that will come with time. 

For now, I'm lavishing not having upstairs neighbors, loud college boys next door, lawn mowers at 7 a.m. every Tuesday, and actually having space. 

Happy Sunday!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

WILW

Happy Wednesday! Whew, it's been a crazy week and honestly feels like it should already be next Wednesday with everything I've had going on. 

But anyway, here's what I'm loving this week:

The animal print/bright color trend. 

I was a little unsure about this color/print combo last week, but I did it and I really ended up loving it! Thanks, Loft



My mom got this for me for my birthday {in April} and I haven't had "the" outfit to wear it with yet. Well, thanks to Loft, now I do! I paired the belt with this dress and wore it to my big client meeting...which was a success, by the way!  


Clients that send you Tiff's Treats 


Pallets in the living room 

We sold our couches on Craigslist on Monday {cuh-reepy}, so we're currently couch-less until we move on Friday. Let's just say that it's made TV-watching very interesting because I'm out like a light in about five minutes! 

However, Oliver absolutely loves it because we're on "his" level. Last night, he just cozied right up next to me -- under the covers -- and fell asleep. Love him!


Clean wood floors {and carpet}! 

We had our wood floors and carpet cleaned yesterday, and they look awesome. 

This is the before -- scratches and all: 


And here's the after. 

I can't believe the difference! It's so shiny and almost looks a different color. All that dirt, grime and nastiness is gone. I love it! 


We're moving Thursday-Saturday, so I might be a little AWOL for a bit. But don't worry, I'll be back as soon as I can. :)

Happy Wednesday! 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Dear Me...A Letter to my Teenage Self

I saw this on Blue Eyed Bride and as I was going through old pictures this weekend, I thought it'd be an appropriate time to do it. 

{See more on Stephanie's blog}

Dear Me at 18,

Honey, you've got a lot coming, so buckle up. 

You're starting your freshman year at Baylor University, the same college that your mom and dad went to. You're going to share a room in Collins with a girl that is an insane clean freak (even worse than you) and it's going to drive you crazy. You'll get really frustrated with her, and will end up meeting great friends in the process...just wait and see. 


You're going to meet a guy that will absolutely break your heart. It's going to be a rough two years dealing with him and his drama, but you'll learn so much about yourself through all of this. (And PS? You're going to meet a wonderfully handsome Christian man in your PR class that you're gonna marry. And trust me, it's worth it. He's so sweet, and frankly, pretty damn hot.)


Speaking of PR, you're going to hate that Fashion Merchandising major you went to Baylor for. Those girls? They all dress up for class and make you feel small...and you are not small. You dabble in Nutrition for a little bit, but you fail Chemistry 1301 and come home with a 1.7 GPA your second semester. Your dad is furious and you have to sign a contract with him to even stay at Baylor. 

But guess what? You study your butt off that summer and come home with a 3.5 and feel pretty good about that. 

You pledge Zeta Tau Alpha and find a few "friends," and you kind of get burned by running with the wrong crowd for a little bit...


...but you meet another who becomes a lifelong friend and will be in your wedding. 

You spend an entire semester just figuring out who you are and becoming self-sufficient, and that will be the best thing for you. You learn about you: what you think, what you believe and how you feel. 


You cut your hair really short, and it's a huge mistake. It takes four years to fully grow out. Don't ever do that again, please?

Also? Get out of the tanning bed. It makes you wrinkle, and you'll notice this after you watch an episode of "Grey's Anatomy" late sophomore year that scares the ever-loving crap our of you.


You'll study abroad your junior year and will room with a girl that you barely knew, but she becomes one of your very best friends. You will make memories that will last a lifetime in London, and will wish you could go back every day. She'll also be in your wedding to that cute guy, just wait!


You're going to graduate early, which no one ever thought you'd do. You set a goal, and you did it. And speaking of graduating, you move to Dallas afterward and intern for a pretty crappy PR firm, but don't worry! Your soon-to-be husband's brother's sister-in-law works at an awesome PR firm and gets you an interview there. You ace it, and they hire you. 

And that guy you met? He'll propose to you at White Rock Lake and you'll have a beautiful wedding. 

So, 18-year old self, just relax. Study hard, tell your family that you love them more than you want to, come down off that high horse and just be yourself. 

Hang in there, 

Me

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Weekend: Pre-Moving Edition

This has been such a busy weekend! We're finally {slowly} moving into the new house, and couldn't be more excited about it. 

Friday:
We took some boxes over to the house and then had dinner with my in-law's at their house and watched the Baylor Bears {barely} win their football game. Having it on Friday night totally threw me off, though.

Saturday:
We woke up late and then loaded the cars to the brim with boxes and just...stuff


Our friends Brandon and Kimmie came over to help us unload, unpack and set up, and we couldn't be more thankful. They even brought beer and wine! Gotta love that. :)

Kimmie and I unpacked and set up my entire kitchen...and those of you that have done this know how long and ridiculous it is to set up a kitchen. It took us all day! 

{We even put on some more doorknobs. Put a girl from New Jersey and a girl from Texas together and the possibilities are endless.}


Brandon and Brandon {trust me, it's confusing} painted our entire garage! 


{My} Brandon and I stayed all evening and finished setting a few things up, touching up some paint and cleaning up a bit. We came home and crashed: Brandon stopped to get a bottle of wine and I ordered a pizza. Not necessarily the healthiest choice, but my entire kitchen is unpacked in a different location. {Good excuse to not have to cook for a week!}

Sunday:
We went back to the house this morning to take more boxes and unpack. We finished touching up the garage and painted doors. 

As we were painting our outside door, the seller drove up in our driveway and asked for a tour of the house. Yes, you read that right: the seller. As in, the person that used to live there. It was so awkward. 

What was I to do? I mumbled something of an "Uh, okay..." and showed her the house. She kept saying, "Oh, you changed the cabinets?" and "Oh, you didn't keep the appliances?" But the kicker? "How much did you pay to stain your cabinets?" 

I was appalled. 

I could tell that she was a little offended that we changed everything, but if you don't want to see it, don't be a creep and ask for a tour of your former home!!! Then, we couldn't get her to leave. She kept telling us about every. single. moment. in this house, as if we, the people who just bought this house to make new memories in it, cared a lick. It was so, so awkward. It's awkward just typing this. 

Anyway, moving on. 

We finished hanging up a few mirrors and pulled everything into the kitchen, as we're having our carpet and wood floors professionally cleaned tomorrow. After that, we're free to move in furniture! 

And just because I thought it was cute, here's Oliver helping me pack. I swear it's like he's saying, "What's 'dis, mama?" 


Happy Sunday!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Random Acts of Kindness

Remember me saying that it had been a hard week

Well, it really, really has been. And if you know my client and watch the news, you know why. 

Well, this afternoon, I was surprised with Tiff's Treats cookies {3 dozen!}, chocolate and white milk and a "Thank You" balloon. From my client. 


I started crying. 

Even though it'd been an exceptionally hard week for them, too, they took the time to say "thank you" to me. 

These small random acts of kindness make the world go 'round, and remind me that there still are awesome people in it. 

Happy Friday.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I splurged.

I was having one of those days. Not bad, just...had a lot going on. 

So I called my husband and said, "I've had a hard day. I'm going shopping after work." 

I never need his permission, ever. But I always like to hear him say, "Okay." And "okay" he said. Especially when I let him know that Loft was having a 40% off sale sale. 

So I did. 

Loft called my name. And I scored big time:


If you haven't noticed, I'm kind of on an animal print kick right now. 

Happy Wednesday. So close to Friday! 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Bathroom is Complete

Our master bathroom is complete {well, sorta}!

This was the before: 


And here's the after: 


We stained the cabinets with a whitewash stain, painted stripes, and will finish changing out {now that everything's not taped} the brass doorknobs. 

Eventually, we'll:
-Frame the bathroom mirror
-Change the counter tops to granite
-Change the bathtub to a jaccuzzi tub {it's currently wired, but we have a garden tub}
-Change the brass shower to seamless with travertine tile
-Change all fixtures from brass to nickel 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Weekend + House Updates

It was a rainy, cool weekend in Dallas, which was a nice sign that fall is coming. 

I had a really hard, busy week last week, so it was nice to spend some time with my husband and his family this weekend. While it was a jam-packed weekend, it was a nice reprieve from work...and even thinking about work. 

Friday:
Brandon and I went on a much-needed date night to Grimaldi's. It was so nice to just sit and talk to my husband -- uninterrupted -- for two hours. 


Saturday:
He knew how exhausted I was, so Brandon let me sleep in until 9:30 a.m., and woke me up with kolaches from my favorite little hole-in-the-wall donut shop around the corner. 


We went to the house to check in on the contractor's progress {photos below} and went to Home Depot...again. We're actually starting to befriend some employees there. 

Brandon's cousin, Lauren, got married Saturday night, so we got all spiffy {it was at 7:30 p.m., so we really had to dress to the nines!} for the wedding. 

Side note: Since it was drizzling and sort of humid last night, I had to tease my hair to oblivion to ensure it'd be at a "normal" height by the time we made it to the church. So excuse the big-ness in this photo. :)


Of course, I didn't get one photo of the bride, but I did get one of a few of the Whitacre men. 

L-R: Brandon's cousin, Jonathan; Brandon's Uncle Greer; Brandon; Brandon's brother, Jeff; and Brandon's dad, Charles 


The reception was at the groom's parents' home in Preston Hollow and was just gorgeous. However, let me say that my husband's family can par-tay. I've witnessed this on two Whitacre family trips to Orange Beach, Ala., but I always seem to forget that those people can consume alcohol like pros. Brandon likes to say, "The Whitacres are the loudest, stay the longest and drink the most." Amen to that! 

And me? I always forget that champagne gives me a raging headache and woke up this morning feeling like absolute death. And we didn't even go out after the reception with the "younger" Whitacres! {I can't imagine if we had...} 

Oliver slept in our room for the first time last night, and he did really great! Although, I did wake up at one point and he was spread out sleeping on my back, as I was sleeping on my stomach. Hilarious.

Sunday:
We slept in semi-late and went to the family brunch at Breadwinner's. It was really nice getting to see my father-in-law's three brothers and their families, who all live spread out among Mississippi and Tennessee. And again, we were the loudest in the building! Ha!

After brunch, we went {again} to Home Depot, and went back to the house because my Aunt Londa and Uncle John {my dad's sister and her husband} wanted to see the house while they were in town. 

We then came home, I went to the grocery store and we took naps on the couch while Sunday football played on TV. 

The weather was so icky that I decided that homemade tomato soup and grilled cheese on jalapeño sourdough bread was just what the doctor ordered. 


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

And here are some updates to the paint and ceiling! 

The "before" paint color was a fleshy, pink-toned beige, so that had to go stat. 

We used Behr "Plateau" on the entire interior, save for our bedroom and bathroom. 
{Those rooms aren't finished yet, but we used Behr "Castle Path" in the master bedroom and are doing 16-in. stripes in our master bath, using "Castle Path" and "Sandstone Cove."}

The color looks a little funky in these photos {almost a yellowish}, but I promise it's not! Here you go:

I'm standing in the hallway looking at my front door. The dining room is on the right, and the hallway to the bedrooms is on the left. 

And you can tell that there are NO MORE POPCORN CEILINGS!!! 


This is my living room; my back is to the entrance to the laundry room and garage, and my kitchen is to the left. 


Here's part of the kitchen...


...and here's a wall in my dining room. I think you can really tell the khaki/camel color of the house in this photo. 


And for perspective, here's the difference in the colors. The outside is our color, and the inside is the old color. 

Side note: This is the hall bath, which we're eventually updating to travertine tile and changing the basic, builder grade white tile and fixtures. 


I'm off to take a hot bath and take a little of this. ;)

Happy Sunday!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Sigh.

I absolutely abhor complaining on my blog, because I know that you don't want to hear it. 

And before I say this, I know that I'm extremely blessed. And I'm thankful. 

But...

I'm tired. So, so tired. 

I know I don't have children that are up at 2, 4 and 6 a.m. and need every single moment of my undivided attention. But I look like I do. The bags under my eyes? Yeah, those wouldn't cover up this morning. 

It's so hard for me to pretend that life is absolutely perfect when I wake up at 6 a.m. every. single. day., work so hard that I don't have time to pee or eat lunch, sit in traffic an hour to get home every day, and then get home and cook some semblance of supper and try my damnedest to not fall asleep on the couch and actually have a conversation with my husband...who has worked just as hard. 

Add the stress of buying a new house, dealing with contractors while at work, trying to ensure we get out of the apartment on Sept. 30 when our lease is up {so that we don't have to pay double our mortgage payment in rent}...I'm tired. 

Again, I'm sorry to complain. 

Let's just say I'm really, really ready for the weekend. So that I can sleep. A lot. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

WILW

I hope all my status updates about our house aren't annoying you. This is kind of our baby right now, so I'm sorry if you're bored to tears with my updates. 

Anyway, my "WILW" is that our entire house is having the popcorn ceilings removed this week, and will be painted by next week! 

Brandon had a meeting in the area this morning, so he stopped by to check on the contractor's progress and sent me some pictures. OMG is all I can say! 

This is my kitchen: 


And this is standing in the kitchen looking at the living room:


My sweet husband said to me, "It might be best if you don't go over there until they're all finished." 

He knows my OCD self far too well. :)

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Moving "Announcement"

I sent out our moving "announcement" earlier today. 

Since I'm spending far too much money than I'd like to admit on this house, I decided I was going to be frugal and send out an HTML e-mail announcement to our friends and family. 

{And sorry, I'm all weird about our address being on the Interwebs, so I've gone all old school with Paint and marked out that and our cell phone numbers.} 


{Click to make larger}

So there ya have it! Our {cheapie} moving announcement!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Cabinet Updates

One project down, many more to go: our cabinets in our kitchen, hall bath and master bathroom are completed {as is our front door}. 

While our cabinets were fine the way they were, our preference was just not the oak that it was. You'll notice that our floors are a dark, rich walnut color, and our granite has dark tones in it. So, we wanted to stain the cabinets to match the lighter walnut tones in our wood. 

Before: 
This is the view from the back of our living room looking into our kitchen. 


After:
These are the cabinets after! 
{Sorry for not having the exact same photo, but you get the picture.} 


Before:
This is standing in the little breakfast nook. We've removed all white appliances save for the built-in microwave and oven, because we are removing them to make double-ovens and put the microwave above the range {opposite the current oven/microwave combo}. 


After:
Darker cabinets and no ugly, old white dishwasher! 


Before:
My back is currently to the breakfast nook and two large windows. The open door to the back left is our laundry room, and the living room is to my left. 


After:
Again, not the exact same picture...sorry! 


Details:

Contractor: Tito Lechon, who was recommended by my mother-in-law and many of her friends who have used him. We were exceptionally pleased with him and his work. 

Stain: Walnut Gel Stain from PPG Pittsburgh Paints {purchased in Grapevine, Texas}

Hardware: For the cabinets, we used the seller's original knobs, which are similar to these from Home Depot {in satin nickel}. For the drawers, we used these from Home Depot {in satin nickel}. 

For the master bath, we used the seller's original knobs, which are similar to these from Home Depot.

For the hall bath, there were no pulls originally. We used the leftovers from seller's original drawer pulls from the kitchen {linked above} that we replaced.  

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I'll be back with the before and after popcorn ceiling removal and interior paint next week. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Weekend.

What. a. weekend. I have counted and I think we've been to Home Depot six times in the past three days. 

After we closed on Friday, we spent all afternoon choosing paint colors, purchasing fixtures and ceiling fans and getting contractors lined up to start their work. 

Saturday:
We woke up early to meet a contractor at the house at 8:30 a.m. And can I just say? Fall has arrived! The temperatures felt absolutely amazing all weekend. 

Tito {whom my mother-in-law references each syllable as, "Tee-toe"} has spent the last day staining our ugly oak cabinets to a dark walnut to match our wood floors in the kitchen and hall bath, and whitewashing our master bathroom cabinets. 

Once he was started, we made one of our many trips to Home Depot; this particular trip was to pick out new doorknobs for the entire interior and exterior of our house, which yours truly changed herself. Buh-bye, ugly brass!!! 


After a long day working at the house, we came home and watched college football on TV with a nice Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale


And because it was feeling so "fall" outside, I decided to make some homemade corn chowder. 


Sunday:
We slept in until 9 a.m. today {!!!} and then went back out to the house to check on Tito's progress. And can I say? I adore the cabinets. 

We went to Home Depot again and came back to the house to change all exterior locks and the remaining closet doors we didn't get to Saturday. 

We came home and lounged around, I cooked supper and we spent time with sweet Oliver who has likely been wondering where we've been the past few days!

I'm off work tomorrow {yay!} so I'll post photos of our finished cabinets then. 

Happy Sunday!

Friday, September 7, 2012

We did it!

Well, we're first-time homeowners! 


It has been quite a week; one that I have compared quite literally to those few days before your wedding: While you're so excited, you're just ready to get it over already. 

Many, many things happened during the week, and I frankly don't want to recount every single detail here. Let's just say that our seller wanted to close early; we weren't notified; I had to {literally} scream at the bank on the phone; documents were overnighted from Georgia; and we waited four {excruciating} hours after we closed to get the keys in our hands. 

But once the keys were in our hands, all the tears, anticipation, anxiety, excitement and a plethora of other emotions were smoothed away. And there we were: in front of our first home. And soon after this picture, my husband carried me across the threshold...something I've dreamed would happen since I was a little girl. 


Blessed, excited, grateful, nervous, thankful {and tired} tonight. 

Happy Weekending.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

I'm Here!

I'm here, I promise!

We're just dealing with a lot going into this house closing tomorrow 
{Hopefully...but that's another story for another day...}. 

I'm off on Friday and Monday, so I'll be sure to give y'all full updates soon.

xoxo

Monday, September 3, 2012

Long Weekend

After my fun day in Waco on Friday, we hit the ground running on Saturday. 

We had to pick up our dining room table and chairs from World Market, look for a rug {which we did find, from The Dump} and look for a couch {which we found at Freed's}. Whew! 

I was clearly helping when Brandon was loading furniture. :) 


I got a haircut afterward, and while she cut it a bit shorter than I asked for and added in far too many layers, I still kind of like it. It'll take some getting used to, though. 

After my haircut, we went to dinner with Colby and Angelica at Desperado's. It was so good getting to catch up with one of my best friends and her husband! 


We were so exhausted Sunday, so we just slept in and lounged around the house all day. I painted my nails, picked up around the house, packed a little bit and wrote our last rent check E-V-E-R! 

Brandon grilled steaks for supper and we watched Baylor spank SMU, 59-24

Today, we again slept in {I could so get used to this!}, had coffee with a "special treat," and then went over to my in-law's to pick up a few accessories for our house and go swimming. 

I'm so exhausted from the 100+ degree heat and swimming, so I'm currently cozied up on the couch with a glass of rosé and boxes. Lots and lots of boxes. 


We close on our house Friday, and we absolutely cannot wait! Of course, we're taking off that day, so I'm definitely looking forward to a three-day work week. 

Yay!