Change is Coming!

I never thought I would say these words but…. WE ARE MOVING TO CONNECTICUT! Oh my. So many emotions!

My Husband was offered a position that we couldn’t pass up, and so we’re moving 1600 miles across the country. The last 2 months have whizzed by in a blur. We sold our home in Plano in 3 days… crazy Dallas market. Our things are packed up and are now being stored in Connecticut. The transition has been trying at times. I stayed behind in Dallas to finish up with some clients, and just flew back to Connecticut to help with our new home search about a week and a half ago. Now that I’m here, I’m quickly falling in love with the area and the people! We’re buying in a little area called Newtown (more about our new house later). We close on the new house in about 3 weeks. And in true “Christine” fashion… there will of course be some renovation. Haha! I can’t wait to get started.

BUT… before I delve into the renovation process on our new Connecticut house, I promised I would post professional pictures of the Plano House! SO, here they are:

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As Always ~ Happy Renovating!


Staging Your Entryway

Making An Impression

The front entryway is the first thing you see when you enter a home. This space makes the largest impact on guests. There are many beautiful ways to set up your entry space. I’ve seen some really beautiful photo collages, and built in benches, but our space is too small for either of those. In our home, there are beautiful stairs right when you open the door. I love the dark stair treads against the white risers, I love the dark railing and iron balusters. But, it still felt a little plain when you entered the front door. I just knew it was missing something.

Finding The Perfect Piece

So, this weekend I finally found the time to set the space up as I had envisioned it. I searched high and low and FINALLY found the perfect console table. It seriously took me 4 months to find this table. I knew I wanted a mirrored table, but I couldn’t find the style I wanted -glitzy and a little glamorous without being over the top. This beauty came from Home Goods. I anchored the space with a picture that fits the size of the table perfectly. The catchy geometric pattern on the lampshade draws the eye, and it’s accented with the plant and shiny chrome pineapple! I’m looking for some old books to put on the other side of the table. But in the meantime I love the way it turned out! What do you think?! What does your entry look like?

Happy Decorating!

Buying a Home in a Hot Seller’s Market

** Please note I am not a real estate attorney and I don’t practice real-estate law. This advice is not meant to be a one-size fits all approach. Please consult your real estate attorney if you have questions**

Home Buying Guide

You may have noticed that I took a brief hiatus from blogging the past month. It’s not that I didn’t have anything to write about… to be honest, I just couldn’t find the time! Here in Dallas, spring came early this year. The real-estate market didn’t really slow down this fall. Instead, I found myself ramping up showings and offers as I had buyers entering the home buying process in November and December in an effort to avoid the HOT buyer competition of the spring and summer months. It seems that everyone else in the city had the same idea, so instead of the slight slow down I normally enjoy around the holidays, I was busier than ever!

As I was gathering my thoughts this afternoon after sending off contracts and talking to buyers and sellers, I thought it would be beneficial to put together a survival guide, so to speak, for buying in this market.

Buying a house can be stressful in the most favorable of markets. But when you’re faced with buying a home during a seller’s market, it can be down-right daunting. How can you stand out from the crowd? How long will it take to buy? What can you do to finally find a home? These are all questions that I answer everyday as an agent. Being prepared can eliminate a lot of the stress from the home-buying process. So what can you do to get ready? If you’re thinking of buying, start here:

Buying Tips to Make the Process Easier:

  1. Talk to a Lender. Get Pre-Approved First.

    There is a difference between a pre-qualification and a pre-approval. Finding a lender that you trust and who can get you pre-approved is a crucial first step in the buying process. Pre-qualification means that you have spoken to a lender and they think they can get you approved. Pre-approved means that you have given them documentation to back up your conversation and that based on those documents they can approve you. A pre-approval is stronger and tells a seller that you are serious about buying. Make sure you take the time to complete this step first.

  2. Find a Real-Estate Agent You Can Count On.

    In a faced paced market, a good real-estate agent can make or break a deal. If a house pops up on MLS in the morning, and you can’t get ahold of your agent until noon – you may have potentially just lost out on the house. Make sure that you and your agent have a conversation about how quickly you plan on buying, exactly what you’re looking for in a property and what price you’re willing to go up to. You need an agent that is responsive and that you can get in touch with easily.

  3. Make Your Offer Early

    The old adage is sometimes true: The early bird gets the worm. Sometimes, being the first through the door with an offer will get you the house. Don’t wait to make your offer if you want the house. Time is a luxury we don’t have in a competitive market.

  4. Make Your Best Offer

    Don’t expect the seller’s to counter your offer. If there are 10 offers on the first day (which is happening constantly in this market), you will not get another shot to make an offer. Go in with your highest and best offer initially. At the top of your budget? There are additional ways to sweeten the deal and make your offer more attractive to the seller. Consider these:

    1. Shorten your option period. If you have an inspector lined up who can get the inspection done in 3 days, consider asking for a 5 or 7 day option.
    2. Increase the option money – offering more than $100 or so can make your offer more attractive.
    3. Increase your earnest money – instead of the standard 1% offer 2% or more if you’re comfortable.
    4. Drop the contingencies – don’t ask for cash back towards closing costs, seller repairs or other contingencies unless you have to.
  5. Be Prepared to Lose the House

    If you’ve done everything you can to make your offer attractive, you still need to be prepared to lose out. When it comes to bidding wars, there are no guarantees. You can make an offer $20000 above asking price and still not be the highest offer.

  6. Be Patient

    The right house for you will come along. Sometimes buying can take months, and sometimes you get lucky on your first offer. It all comes down to timing. Be patient and it will all work out!

Live in D-FW and want information about buying or selling? Email me at Let me help you navigate this crazy market!

**I am a licensed REALTOR in the State of Texas number 0641852. Broker info: Better Homes & Gardens – David Winans & Associates. For more information go to BHG DFW**


DIY Flat Panel Lined Curtains

*This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase by clicking on the links. All opinions and recommendations are my own.*

Saving Thousands by Sewing Your Own Curtain Panels – A DIY Tutorial

Sewing seems to be somewhat of a lost art. But, I know many women my age who are picking up the needle (or sewing machine) again, and taking an interest in crafting and creating themselves over buying mass-made clothes/draperies and decor.

“I got quotes upwards of $1500 a panel. A PANEL! I’m sorry. Say what?”

My mother taught me how to sew over 20 years ago, but I haven’t really taken much interest in sewing, outside of making some quick and easy curtains for my classroom. Then I priced the panels for our living room a few months ago! OH. MY. GOSH. When did curtains get so expensive?? We have 20 foot ceilings in our formal living room, and 12 foot ceilings in our master bedroom. I got quotes upwards of $1500 a panel. A PANEL! I’m sorry. Say what? (Yall – I’m talking custom made panels here – not the cheap store bought ones – they don’t make those for 20 foot ceilings).

That’s when I decided it would be well worth my time to renew my interest in sewing. So I went about picking a fabric from JoAnn’s. (They didn’t have an upholstery fabric I liked in store so I special ordered.) With all of the special order fabric (which was pretty expensive), the new sewing machine, and the thread and supplies needed, I spent approximately $2500. So far, I have made curtains for the formal living and dining room, and the master bedroom. And I have enough fabric for the front bedroom and game room left. That’s a total of 13 total panels completed, and fabric for 6 additional. Let’s do the math here for a second … 19 curtain panels multiplied by $1500 is $28,500. Yea… I would say that savings is well worth my time.

The Brother CS6000i. This amazing machine can do 60 different stitches, has an extendable table for wider fabrics, self winding bobbin, self threading needle and it comes with tons of accessories.

So, if you’re like me and want to save some serious cash, and love to create things, pull out your trusty sewing machine, or buy the one I bought.

Some other supplies you will need:

  • Fabric
  • Liner (We used a blackout)
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Curtain rods
  • Curtain clip rings (We used the ones on the left)

The hardest part for me was picking a fabric that I loved. I knew that if I was going to put in the time to create the curtains myself, then they needed to be so beautiful that I would love them for a long time.

Curtain Ring Clips – These work like a charm! They have a great clip that holds even the heaviest fabrics! I was doubtful at first – but no more!

For the formal living and dining areas, I selected a shiny silver threaded fabric that goes very well with my decor and is elegant enough to elevate our formal rooms, while not outshining the rest of the decor. For the bedrooms, I picked a fun patterned fabric that coordinates well with our rugs and bedding.

So, after checking out samples, and bringing them home, I held them next to the walls and other decor to make sure the patterns wouldn’t clash. I also waited to purchase until the fabric was on a great sale. You’ll notice it says $59.99 a yard in the picture on the right! Oh. My. No, I did not pay that. They were running a 40% off sale on special orders, plus I got 15% with my teacher card! So, with all the discounts I paid a little over $30 a yard. Not bad for a fabric I really love!

After getting all my fabrics in, I tackled the unlined curtains in the formal living and dining room first. The lined curtains for our master bedroom took a little bit longer because you have to wrangle two fabrics, but the end result is so worth it! No light in our bedroom at night! Woohoo!

Easy Lined Flat Panel Curtain Instructions

Here are the step by step instructions for how to sew your own lined flat panel curtains:

  1. Install the Curtain Rod.
  2. Using a measuring tape, measure from the bottom of the curtain rod to the floor.
  3. Add 8-10″ to the length you measured depending on how large you want the hems to be.
  4. Roll out your fabric on the floor (You need it to be flat, so roll it in a large hallway or open space).
  5. Use your measuring tape to measure (in inches) the height you need (Don’t forget to add for your hem).

    Sew with the backside facing up. As you can see the decorative side is facing down.

  6. Cut the fabric in a straight line using very sharp fabric scissors.
  7. Start your sewing machine. (Not sure how to get started? I will upload a quick start for the Brother CS6000i soon!)
  8. Select a simple single stitch.
  9. Hem the side of the curtains by folding over the fraying edge by 1/2″. (Sew face down)
  10. Sew a single stitch down the length of the curtain.
  11. Repeat steps 9 and 10 along all other sides.

    Flip the frayed or rough edge over by 1/2 an inch and sew a simple stitch to to hold in place.

  12. Roll out your Lining.
  13. Cut the lining to the original length you measured (No need to add for a hem).
  14. Lay out your curtain fabric face down.
  15. Layer the lining along the back side of the fabric – be sure to lay it out flat with no wrinkles.
  16. Pin about 1″ down each side of the curtain, folding the decorative fabric over the lining and inserting the pin. (Do not pin the top or bottom)

    Pin the sides of the fabric over the top of the lining by about an inch. This will create a nice even hem along the sides of the curtain panel.

  17. Sew a zig zag (or any sturdy stitch) down one side to hem the fabric removing pins as you go.
  18. Lay the fabric flat again on the floor. Make sure the pins still have both fabrics laying flat (If not readjust them).
  19. Hem down the second side of the curtain removing pins as you go.
  20. Lay your panel flat on the floor.
  21. Fold over the top of your fabric until it covers the lining by about 1/2 an inch. Pin in place.
  22. Hem the top using a sturdy stitch like the zig zag.

    Make sure you have a large enough area to lay your fabric out completely flat.

  23. Take your panel and hold it up right underneath the curtain rod. (You will need another person here).
  24. Fold the bottom until you have the curtain just barely dusting the floor. Pin in place. This will be your bottom hem. – When you add the clips, the curtain will hang even lower creating a beautiful pooling effect.
  25. Hem the bottom at the desired height.
  26. Add the clips to the top of the curtain panel and hang from the rod.
  27. Repeat for however many panels you need to make.
  28. Sit back and enjoy your hard work!

I think it goes without saying, but making something like this by hand, just gives you such a sense of pride at what you have accomplished! I LOVE the way my curtains have turned out so far, and I can’t wait to make more with my new sewing machine. Like I said above, I have 2 rooms left to finish and then who knows… maybe some throw pillows!?

What are some fun things that you have sewn?? Put your pictures in the comments!

Happy Sewing!



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Holiday Decor! Making Your Home Festive and Bright!

I absolutely adore the Holidays. It is by far my favorite time of year!! I love cocoa, sweaters, Christmas lights, holiday music and the general festivity of the season! Every year, one of the things I most anticipate, is decorating our home for Christmas. Most years, I go all out, but this year, I have scaled things back a little bit. Having a 15 month old who loves to grab and throw things certainly makes you think twice prior to putting out those delicate Christmas ornaments and decor. So, this year we’ve put up the tree and just a few other areas.

The Christmas Tree is my favorite thing to decorate. I love to change our theme each year (which of course drives my husband crazy)… but whatever. Haha! So I choose a different color or combination of colors each year. This year I wanted to do a classic Christmas look, being our first year in the new house. That said, I’ve gone with Red, Gold and Silver. Luckily for my husband, I already had a bunch of Gold and Silver ornaments, so all I “had” to buy was more Red ornaments. (I’m not saying that’s all I bought… LOL!) I also like to get new ribbon each year to freshen up the tree regardless of how many times I have used those colors in the past.

When decorating the tree, I adhere to a specific order to put things up:

  • Lights
  • Ornaments (Aim for even spacing)
  • The Tree Topper
  • Ribbon
  • Picks (Like holly, berries, sparkly tinsel, pinecones, etc)
  • Bows

Why do I put the tree topper up before ribbon, you ask? Well… we use an angel on top of the tree, so I like to tuck the ribbon under her skirt to keep it in place.

This year, I chose to put the ribbon around the tree in swags and in a horizontal pattern, sometimes I do vertical, it’s totally up to you. I think it turned out beautifully!

The garland I put going up the railing, was originally just a $10 plain garland from Hobby Lobby. I added some picks with extra branches and pinecones, red berries, and sparkly sticks and berries. Then, I took 2 ribbons and layered them. The first is a plain red ribbon that pairs well with the mesh ribbon from the tree, I layered it with a grey burlap ribbon that says “Merry Christmas.” I swagged the ribbon around the banister, and then cut some extra pieces of ribbon and tied them in simple knots. I’ve never decorated a garland before. I think I’m addicted… we may have garland everywhere next year.

In the formal living room, I hung our stockings and put up some simple decorations from prior years, including a pre-decorated garland, some gorgeous Christmas decor I found at Hobby Lobby, and our Advent Wreath.

On the buffet in the formal dining, I lay out our tiny Christmas Village. This village is special for me, because over the years I have hand painted each of these little houses. I put lights under the houses and surround it with fake snow.

I love the way these decorations make our house look and feel and hope they give you some inspiration! Show me your decor… share your pictures in the comments!

Finished Reveal! (Almost…)

Well… Are you ready for the finished reveal!?! It has been a busy 3 weeks in our household. We moved into the new house on 11/12. Before move in we spent several days cleaning and getting rid of construction dust. After we moved in, there were still a million little things that needed to be done. Lights needed to be hung, baseboards caulked and painted, bathroom fixtures hung… not to mention I had to unpack and get the house decorated! And all of this before Thanksgiving. You see, I invited around 20 people over to Thanksgiving… back in August… so the house just had to be done. Why didn’t we just cancel, you ask?! Because that’s just not how I work… Haha. A little pressure is amazing for getting things done sometimes.

ANYWAY. So yes. There was a lot to finish. But amazingly, we finished most of our checklist. Now, we just have a few things to accomplish and a lot more time… which is NICE. I am SO happy with how things turned out.

So without further ado here are a few before and after pictures for you. The new one’s were taken on my cell phone… so no judging. Haha.

entry-wayEntry Way/Dining Room

We had to rip up the hardwood floors in the dining (left) and reinstall new ones… because the old floors were only in the dining room. There was no way to match them. So as much as it pained me we pulled them up and installed new. We opted to go with a smooth wood as the hand-scraped look is starting to go out of style. We repainted everything you see. New front door which was a roller coaster ride of emotions to get done and new staircase.


Formal Living

The formal living room (right) is on the other side of the front door. We replaced the stone fireplace surround with carrera, pulled up the carpet and repainted everything. In this house, for some reason they had a tan paint on the walls and an almost peach for the trim. You can’t tell in the pictures… but EVERY surface had to be painted.

familyFamily Room

The family room (left) is off the dining room, so when you come through the front door, you can see all the way through back to this room. Prior to reno, the family room was paneled in a light oak with green tile floor and a carpet insert. I hated the lighting and the colors. We carried the hardwood floors throughout the entire bottom floor of the house, and painted the paneling in a light gray with white trim. We removed the large built in china cabinet to declutter the space and make it feel larger. The fireplace was re-tiled in a white quartz. The wet bar and bar in the kitchen were accented with stacked stone. All the light fixtures were replaced with more contemporary style lighting.


The Kitchen

The room that took the most work was the kitchen (right). The two before pictures, show the light oak cabinets (Same color as the paneling in the family) and brown granite counter and backsplash. The accent lighting was gold, and the ceiling lights were dropped fluorescent lights. We dropped the bar around the sink to open the kitchen to the family room. I can’t stand being stuck in the kitchen when we have guests and not being able to see what is going on. This simple change makes it feel much more open. We painted all of the cabinets in a bright white; got rid of the dropped fluorescent lights and added can lights. I chose a beautiful white quartz counter for a white on white look. In the kitchen we put down a beautiful gray tile that meets perfectly with the wood so there isn’t a transition piece. We ran gas from the laundry room into the kitchen so we could have a gas range, we replaced the double ovens because they were little 24″ ovens and didn’t fit the cabinet size or our family needs. We put in pendant lighting with edison bulbs that gives the room a more modern feel. The backsplash is a gray glass tile pattern that accents the floors. And we went with a white quartzite stacked stone around the base of the bar to give it a more finished look. A modern single basin deep 14 inch sink and contemporary fixtures update the space beautifully.



The staircase (left) got quite a makeover as well. We ripped out the carpet, replaced the treads and risers with wood. Redid the trim surround. Refinished the banister and replaced the ballusters with a beautiful ash gray finished iron spindle. We also painted the risers white to match the trim and stained the treads dark to match the floor. I love the effect. It just makes the entry way feel so much grander.

There are still plenty of rooms to show you, but we are still finishing minor touches on some of them. I will do a big reveal when we are finished with everything. Also, can I say, that having professional photos taken makes a huge difference? When I’m done staging I’ll be having those taken as well and post them so you can see the difference! This house has been so much fun to redesign.

I am simply in love.


DIY Tutorial – How to Lay Tile

Learning how to put down tile may seem like a daunting task. But, once you get the hang of it, tiling is actually not that difficult.

Tiling is one of those things that most people pay a professional for, and that’s fine. If you’re not a handy person, or you don’t want to get your hands dirty, that’s cool. You do you. BUT if you absolutely want to do all the renovation you can yourself… you have come to the right place!

There are some basic supplies you will need to get started:

    • Tile – If you’re just starting out, the easiest tile to use is 12 by 12.
    • Thinset – also referred to as mortar, this bonding agent will help the tile adhere to the floor
    • Floor Leveler – To prepare a level surface
    • A chalk line or square
    • A Trowel – to put down the thinset
    • Grout – Depending on the space between tiles you will need either Sanded or Non-Sanded grout
    • A bucket, Scooper, and Grout Float
    • Spacers
    • A drill with a mixer attachment
    • Tile Saw – We use this Tile Saw but we had a cheap little $100 saw that worked fine for the first several years. If you are just doing a small area, don’t invest a lot of money in a large tile saw.

Overwhelmed yet? No. Okay sweet. Now for the fun part.

  1. To begin, you must prepare your surface. I have never met a level surface yet. So, that’s where floor leveler comes in handy! To get started, prepare the mix the way it says to on the bag. I recommend self-leveling as it is easier to work with. Pour it on the floor, smooth the edges with a smooth trowel or spatula and let is set according to instructions – sometimes this is overnight, sometimes just a few hours.
  2. Once your floor is level, take a square or chalk line and draw a straight line down the center of your surface. (Wherever you want to begin). DO NOT start your tile along a wall. No matter how straight you may think it is, most walls are not square, and you will notice this in the grout lines in the center of your floor.20161022_120329
  3. Starting in the middle of your floor or surface ensure that you have a straight line regardless of the walls. (Tiling a wall is a little different as you have to start at the bottom – so I suggest using a level. Putting down the first row of tile, checking for level and adjusting with spacers or props as needed until you get the tile level.)
  4. Now that you know WHERE to put the tile, mix the thinset according to the directions on the bag. You don’t want this to be too soupy or too stiff. A good thinset is about the consistency of mashed potatoes.
  5. Using your toothed trowel, apply the thinset in even strokes. Make sure that your entire area is even, you don’t want globs. (Don’t put too much down at one time or you want have a way to reach the edges.)
  6. Put down your first tile and then surrounding tiles. I don’t recommend laying them in a brick pattern as your brain searches for patterns automatically and if you’re slightly off you will notice. Put them in a slightly offset pattern.20161022_130220
  7. Once you have the pattern moving, it is fairly simple. Measure, cut and repeat.
  8. Don’t walk on the tile for 24 hours or so.
  9. Once dry, come back and grout. You can buy grout in a variety of methods. They have bagged grout that you have to mix, premixed grout, or tubes of grout that come out of a caulk gun. Any of them will work but if you have a large area the caulk gun method will take longer.
  10. If you are using dry grout, mix with water until you reach a consistency that is a little firmer than pancake batter. It shouldn’t run off your trowel but shouldn’t be too thick or it will be harder to get into the grout lines.
  11. Using a trowel and grout float, push the grout into the lines. When it has begun to set, come back with a sponge or wet rag and wipe up the excess. you will have to wipe multiple times to get it all up. (If you don’t you will end up with cloudy tiles).
  12. Seal the grout after it drys with an appropriate sealer. Using natural stone? Make sure to get a sealer that will cover the whole tile. Using ceramic or porcelain? You can buy a sealer that just goes on the grout lines.
  13. Sit back and enjoy! Once you’re finished sit back and enjoy all your hard work!!

Have questions about your project? Or maybe you have another project you want help with… Reach out to me and I’d be glad to answer any questions.

8 Organizing Tips for Moving

If you know me you know that I love to organize things. I may not be able to keep them that way for long – you know, with a 15 mo old – but I enjoy putting things in their proper place. I also like to make lists. And I’ve moved a lot. So, I’ve put together a list of moving tips to help make a hectic process easier. And I’m also compiling this list, to help myself remember what needs to get done before Saturday! Haha!

8 tips to help make moving easier:



Labeling the box by room and by content allows me to quickly get unpacked after moving.

  • I think this one goes without saying, but if you want to know what’s in your boxes, you should probably label them. Now, I don’t just use the general labels here, I make sure to list things out. So instead of writing “Kitchen” on your box, you could add a few key items that are in your boxes.
  • Add terms like “Heavy,” “Fragile” and “Light.” So that heavy boxes of the same size don’t end up crushing the light boxes.
  • Label items “open first” so you know whether these are items that must be unboxed immediately.
  • Here are some great labels I like to put on my boxes: (Click the link to view on Amazon)

    These tapes are great for organizing your move.

2.) Box everything you can


I also like to utilize baskets to easily transport items that don’t fit in a box or are odd shaped.

  • I like to box clothes with hangers on them – I have so many clothes hanging in my closet that it just doesn’t make sense to bag them.
  • Bulky items are much more easily moved if you are able to box them.
  • You can also use baskets if an item will waste space in a box.

3.) Pack boxes from the same room together in the truck

  • If you organize the moving truck so that all the kitchen boxes are together it makes unpacking the truck much easier. (Of course, this may not always be possible – but put them as close together as you can)

4.) Hire movers

  • If you can afford to do this – just do it. It makes life so much easier!

5.) Leave cleaning items in an open box – pack it at the back of the truck.

  • Whether you need the items to clean your old house or the new – chances are they will be needed, so leave them somewhere easy to access.

6.) Pack a Suitcase

  • Put all your commonly used items like toiletries and clothes for several days in a suitcase, this way you know where they are and you won’t be digging through boxes trying to get ready for work.

7.) Clean as you pack

  • One of the worst things ever is unpacking dirty and dusty items from boxes and having to clean after you move – so grab a duster and clean them as you pack!

8.) Don’t Stress

  • I know that this one is easier said than done… but try to relax. Before you know it you will be unpacked and living comfortably in your new place!

Did I miss anything? Do you have any great moving and packing tips? Let me hear them! Leave a comment below, or shoot me an email to

Punch List Time!


Remodel in Progress: Kitchen backsplash is in!!

Finally Finishing Our New House!

It’s hard to believe it’s possible at this point… but we are moving into the house on Saturday! It feels like there are a million little things left to do between now and then. As I begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel, I am stunned by the realization that it feels like time has flown by. Despite the fact that we have spent the last 3 1/2 months on the remodel for this house, the last 3 weeks have been a dramatic transformation. It seems like overnight things have started coming together.

All The Things Happened This Week!

We are officially finished with ALL the tiling in the house. And let me tell you… IT WAS A LOT! Holy cow. We tiled 3 full bathrooms, a 1/2 bathroom, the kitchen and Laundry room floor, the backsplash in the kitchen, 2 fireplaces and 2 stone accent walls. Yikes. It feels like a ton just writing it all out. BUT IT IS FINALLY FINISHED. The Painting was a beast in and of itself. This house is 3600 sq ft. and every wall, cabinet and piece of trim has needed to be painted. My hands hurt. My brain hurts and I don’t want to even look at another paint brush. But alas, we’re not 100% finished with that yet. Still need to finish repainting the game room tonight, plus the trim in the Laundry room and 2 bathrooms and touchups. Ugh. So close.


Remodel in progress: The hardwoods are stained!! YAY!

To say this house has been a lot of work would be a huge understatement. We have been there every weekend until midnight every night for the last 6 weeks, we have worked every night during the week (My husband has been there until 4am some days). Huge shout out to him. Thanks, honey. (You overachiever you) And we’ve made all these sacrifices so we could be in the house by Thanksgiving. Now that it is close, I am so ecstatic!

New This Week:

This week has been BUSY, BUSY! The floors were sanded and stained, the stairs were stained and painted and the balusters were put in, and the front door was replaced!! We spent all day Saturday finishing tiling. We tiled the 2 fireplaces, the backsplash in the kitchen and the stone accent walls. Sunday, Brandon finished grouting the tile while I painted my life away. (Seriously… the ENTIRE day and I’m still not done.)

There were also lots of mishaps this week

Even though lots of great things happened, and things worked out (mostly). There were still some pretty stressful moment. These are the behind the scenes things that they don’t show on TV. And these are the things that make me thankful that we are done dealing with contractors for a while!

  1. Our original front door hinge was broken – not a simple fix because it is a solid Iron Door – so we had to find a new door and new installer because our original installer was booked for the next week.
  2. The floors were supposed to be an easy match to a color I had picked – but turned out to be a custom blend that the installer had to search everywhere to find. –  And he ended up being there until midnight several nights.
  3. The master bathroom vanity arrived with a cracked marble top – and I’m still trying to find a replacement- Sad times.

Even when things don’t go as planned, I know that they will get done eventually. Maybe I’m just getting used to doing this, but the more we go through these things, the more they roll off my back. On our first house I would have freaked out several times by now. Thus far I’ve only had one minor meltdown. I would consider that an improvement. Haha!


Formal living room fireplace! New marble tile, stained wood floors, and new paint on the mantle!

So, what’s left? – The Punch List – Finishing up the Remodel

  • Baseboards – everywhere.
  • Paint Touchups
  • Paint the gameroom
  • Hang mirrors
  • Install Lights
  • Plumbing Fixtures
  • Glass Shower enclosures
  • Put the bathrooms back together
  • Cleaning! All the things. (I can’t wait though, because then I can take some pretty pictures!!)

Will we get it all done?! Only time will tell. Either way… moving day is fast approaching and I can’t wait!!




Reno is hard, y’all!

Oh my gosh, this weekend started out with such high hopes. We were going to accomplish all this painting, get the master bathroom & closet tiled and grouted, install the freestanding tub and vanity in the master and install the vanity upstairs. Nope. Just nope. Reality slapped me in the face a lot this weekend.

Listen, things go wrong on renovation projects. If you aren’t emotionally equipped to handle that, just don’t. I have no other words of wisdom. Renovating is physically and emotionally draining. Now, I’m not a complainer… but I am a realist and this weekend was HARD! There will be weekends when you want to give up.

Here are some of the mishaps that happened to us this weekend. Needless to say we’re off schedule now. Blah.

  • The vanity we ordered for the master bath was supposed to be white. We picked it up a month ago. Did we check it then? Nope. Did I expect it to be what I ordered? Yep. We open up the box… it’s BLACK! No bueno. So, we’re supposed to have the marble template done today… time for plan B. Return the vanity, reorder a new one with a prefab marble top and sinks attached. Problem solved. Nothing wasted but time.
  • Tile. Oh man tile. Saturday went smoothly, except we started 2 hours later than we were supposed to… Sunday was another beast. We go to get started on tiling the shower, only to realize the tile order was incorrect. They gave us too much of the guest bath tile and not enough master bath tile. I guess they switched my numbers. Ugh. Easy fix… run to the store and buy more. Nothing wasted but more time.

Anyway, moral of the story. Throw your schedule out the window. ALL THE THINGS will go wrong. If it can, it will.

So… we’re a couple days behind. Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things. I’m trying to stay focused on the positive. We have this gorgeous house. It is about 90% done AND we are going to be in it by Thanksgiving…. I don’t care if it’s not even done by then. Haha!

Anyway, if this is your first time renovating be sure to go into it thinking that things will go awry. Your budget won’t be big enough. You won’t stay on schedule. You will find problems and there will be mistakes that must be fixed.

BUT, in the end it WILL get done. And, if you stay focused, it WILL be beautiful.

Before the craziness, I WAS going to do a tutorial on how to tile. But I will save that for another day.

Instead, here are some photos of the progress on our house!!


Formal Living IN PROGRESS. Gray paint, White trim and crown, hardwood floors, New marble fireplace surround being installed soon.


Formal Living room before – this room was just very vanilla. Also, carpet. Yuck.









Kitchen and Family In Progress. Painted cabinets, gray walls and paneling. Trim is painted, floors are in.


Kitchen and Family BEFORE. Green Tile, green marble fireplace. Light oak EVERYWHERE!