Friday, January 29, 2010

What Budget?

When you buy a house with unpainted walls and unfinished wood floors like this…

And an empty, blank-slate basement like this…

You know your going to have to spend some mullah to get it up to par! Since I love a budget breakdown from my fellow bloggers (yes, you all thoroughly impress me with your budget making abilities), I decided to add up just how much we put into our house in hardware store runs getting THIS LONG LIST accomplished. So, here it goes:
Nov $896.63
Dec $401.47
Jan $1019.71
Feb $626.31
Mar $755.72
Apr $197.04
May $87.95
Jun $20.22
Jul $0.00 (cuz we spent every weekend at the lake…gotta enjoy a little summer!)
Aug $70.27
Sept $1416.19
Oct $169.96
Nov $359.03
Dec $585.48
Jan $189.58

Why did we not invest in hardware stock before purchasing our house??! And to think this total does include our heater/air conditioner and new window instillation costs (more on this later)….geez.
Unfortunately, we simply had too many projects overlapping to accurately keep track of which money was spent on which project for the most part : ( The only projects that I actually took the time to calculate our expenses for separately where replacing the GUTTERS ($763.92) and the EXTERIOR PAINT ($479.01 for trim paint, house paint, caulk, rollers, etc). If only I could find the price quotes we got the professionals to show you just how much we saved; darn my good bad throwing away skills!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Oh Cove

Don't you just love when your dog does something absolutely adorable. I come home from my rotation, let Cove inside, and go through the mail in the kitchen. I walk in to the living room after going through the mail and find Cove laying like this:

My sweet puppy dog decided the blanket I always put over the seat cushions (hey, when your using a I-don't-know-how-old hand-me-down couch with cracking leather you try and make it look as nice as possible) just wasn't good enough for her- notice blanket laying on floor. She decided to pull up her doggy bed, which normally lays on the floor by the couch, right up on top of the couch.
She's a thinker!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Monday FunDay

Just trying to make sure that Mondays are still FUN days for me ; )

Remember the dresser that I purchased off Craig's list for my sister, here. Wouldn't it look great with this lovely mirror (likely spray painted another color, even though it is lovely gold too) above it?!

Sorry, I took the picture sideways...
I scored this beauty for Brandon's Gma over the weekend because she found something she liked better to put in its place; gotta love Gma!

I also purchased a few pull knobs to replace Kara's old ones on her armoir for when we paint it gray as well. We still have yet to move it over here and paint it. When we finally do though, I plan on using this recipe to paint the doors with gray chalkboard paint!

Now if only I could get her to get everything our of her armoir ASAP and get this painting party started ; )

If you have a BETTER recipe for chalkboard paint, let me know...
If not, I will let you know how this ones turns out!

Saturday, January 23, 2010


I meant to do this post back in November. You know- the make a list of everything you accomplished in the first year you lived in your first home post. I'm a little late...I was busy working on the house after all ; )

The history of our house goes like this:

There once was a lady who owned 2 big dogs. She bought a house and had 6ft tall prison-like fences put in in her backyard to keep her dogs from jumping over. This lady liked to collect a little a LOT of junk. She collected so much junk that you couldn't even walk through her house. She also did not like to do yard work, nor did she want to pay anyone else to do her yard work. So she sat around in her junk, not doing her yard work for years and years until one day she got evicted from her home because it became unlivable.
See, her house was pretty bad...

Then a friendly guy, you could call him a contractor, got a loan from the city to clean this lady's house up. He had to clear out some a small FOREST of trees in the yard. He also had to take 8 full-size dumpster loads of junk out of the home. He wanted to make the home nicer because he thought he was going to move in, so he used his super hardware store disocunts to put in two new bathroom vanities/showers/toilets, new kitchen cabinets, and some new kitchen appliances. He painted all the inside walls white and changed the exterior color to green. Unfortunately for him some hurricanes came through Texas and his job moved him down there long-term. He had to sell the house he was fixing up to live in "as is."
So, he put in up on the market looking like this:

Around this same time there were a couple of newly weds looking for a home. They found a house they really liked, but it needed a lot of work (house #1). They put in low-ball offer and crossed their fingers. They were out bid ) : So, they found another house that they really liked in a neighborhood they loved (house #2). They didn't put in a low-ball offer. They put in a full price offer and again crossed their fingers. Their agent called the agent of the person selling the house to make sure they got the offer. They said they did. Unfortunately the offer they got was not the offer from our realtor. They started negotiations with the other offer, so the couple had to start the house search again ) : This time they found a really nice home that needed almost no work (house #3). They put in an almost full price offer and waited again................. During this time they visit Grandma. There is a house down the street from Gma for sale "by owner" (house #4). They think hummm... why not take a look? They call the guy who owns it and he explains he is selling it "as is." It doesn't even have a heater in it. He is having to move. He states the amount he wants to get backout of it. The amount is low; lower than any of the houses the couple has put in offers on. The amount to finish fixing it up and put in a heater is still going to be lower than the other houses they are putting offers on. The couple think this is a pretty deal and withdraw their offer on house #3. They put an offer in on house #4 for a couple grand less than they guy was hoping to get back out of it, since they will have to put in a heater and he seams pretty ready to sell it. The guy accepts the offer and the couple now own house #4, which makes the girl in the couple pretty happy because her favorite number is 4 she is getting tired of looking for houses every free evening and weekend.

And thus the couple, named Brandon and Debra, begins the task of fixing up an "as is" house to live in. 5 hundred million trips to the hardware store later here is what they (by they, I mean Brandon and various other family members doing the majority of the hard stuff with Debra getting stuck with taping and painting for the most part) have accomplished:

1. Had an electric heater/heat pump, airconditioner, and all needed ducts installed (we payed a professional because we couldn't close on the house until it was installed)
2. Refinished all the hardwood floors (3 bedrooms, living room, hallway)
3. Put up trim on the bottom of each wall next to the hard wood floors in every room (This got done in 1 week, but filling in all those pesky nail holes was completed a good month later...ha)
4. Ran electricity through an old sewer line (gross, I know) over to the garage (my husband also used all of my expensive lubricant I just bought for us to get the line to slide worked great!)
5. Wired in outlets and lights in the garage
6. Installed a garage door opener
7. Wired internet and tv cable to the living room and office
8. Installed a garbage disposal in the kitchen sink (because I can't live without one)
9. Ran an extra duct from the heater to the master bath (because the tiles on the floor were too cold for me)
10. Put in wood studs for the beginning of walls in the unfinished basement
11. Added in extra breakers in the breaker box and wired the entire basement (this means lights, electric outlets, and surround took a little work!)
12. Built a gate between our house and garage to make our yard completely fenced in (no choice, we got a dog)
13. Paint the master bedroom, two bathrooms, two hallways, the living room, the kitchen, and the dining room (all in one week spring break from school right)
14. Installed new light fixtures in both bathrooms (the old ones were ugly, trust me)
15. Put in gutters over the front porch (there weren't any before...I guess cuz they tore that part out)
16. Decide to replace all the old gutters while we were at it (with the exception of one section which we took down and painted white and rehung)
17. Had all the window replaced (we payed someone to replace them...more on that awesomeness later)
18. Put in all new trim inside around our new windows, including priming and painting them
19. Caulked a million places on our wood exterior that were cracked
20. Replaced several sections of rotten wood including one whole wall of our garage that was infested with ants (not the wood eatin kind, but they were still terrible all the same)
21. Painted the whole outside of our house a new color using Behr's sweet primer and paint in one
22. Primed the basement ceiling with a rented paint sprayer machine
23. Painted the basement ceiling a different weekend using another rented machine
24. Put insulation up in the walls/wood studs that we got for free from Brandon's uncle
25. Hang dry wall on all the basement walls (we got 20% off using Mike's Aunt's Christmas discount)
26. Mud the basement walls a total of 3 times including sanding inbetween
27. Primed & painted the basement walls (this is where we currently are at...time to save up for carpet and trim)

This list doesn't even include all the little projects like hanging pictures/paintings, putting of shelves, repainting dressers, reapholstering chairs.... Between working 40hrs+, completing rotation assignments/projects, and driving back and forth from St. Louis every week for the majority of weeks in the past year and a half I am surprised I have had time to sleep, eat, do laundry...let alone blog!

Oops I almost forgot. Here is an after picture with the new house color:

Oh the memories! Can't wait to make some more : )

Monday, January 18, 2010

Monday FunDay

I like belts.
Perhaps because I like to wear my pants 3-4times before washing them again, and by the 3rd to 4th day they require a belt. I don't know....

This being said, I never buy belts. I have been wearing the same brown, black, and white belts for years. I bought them all on sale at one time or another.

Today, I found these belts on ETSY. Aren't they FUN?

Makes me want a new, fun belt...

Monday, January 4, 2010

What Do You Do When It Snows?

You put on your moon... err snow boots.

You load up the 4-wheeler.

And you go have a snow ball fight on the back of the 4-wheelers in the empty field by your parent-in-laws house.

You gotta have a little fun when it snows right? Too bad the sun hasn't come back to warm things up. I don't even think we will make it into the 20's this week ) :