Tuesday, July 30, 2013

If I could turn back time...

Linking up with Becky again for this weeks 52 weeks of blogging with a purpose.  
Life is so full of moments when you think "Crap, I wish that would have gone differently." From the silly deciding on a route to travel and picking the one that leaves you stuck in traffic to the interactions with people when you say things you probably shouldn't have said, we all wish at some time we could go back and make a different decision. But the thing is, every decision I made lead me to where I am today, so do I really want to change anything?
Truth is, no, I don't. But in the grand scheme of things there are things I wish I could have known that would have made life easier.
If I could turn back time, I'd tell my 7th grade self that it will get better. Seventh grade was a rough one and kids can be class A jerks. I wish I could tell myself that it doesn't matter what those people say it will get better.
I wish I could tell myself to not worry about the heartache after boyfriends #1, #2, #3, and #4. Some of them were amazing, some of them had moments where they were not amazing. Some broke my heart and said things that were not so nice, and I took it hard. Some (okay, one) acted as if I were stupid and treated me as such, and I let it go because I thought they loved me. I wish I could just tell myself to move on, because they were not the one for me and in reality they were wrong.
I wish I could go back and tell myself to spend more time with my grandma. Growing up I lived with her and its not that I took her for granted, but I took for granted the fact that she was there. When she passed away from cancer in 2001 I realized that I would never get the chance to go to bingo with her again, or help weed the garden. I wish I would have taken her up on those offers more. I also wish I would have learned her recipes. That woman could cook, but was horrible at writing down a recipe.
If I could turn back time, I would have done a destination wedding.  So much time and effort, so much stress- I should have just paid to get married in Hawaii. Then whoever wanted to come would come, and I wouldn't have been up till 2AM tying wedding programs. Someone I paid would be doing that, and I would be on a beach drinking something fab with an umbrella.  I loved my wedding, and thought it turned out wonderful. I think if I just knew what I knew now, I'd just do it differently.
If I could turn back time, Id stop a few outfit choices from ever becoming reality.  Just because a trend is popular on celebrities does not mean it should grace the halls of a PA high school. Here's a visual- spandex shorts, oversized t-shirt and knee socks with kisses all over them. Eep.
Overall, I'm thrilled with the way life has turned out- and it really did all worked out in the end. I'm sure if I did this same post in 5 years I would feel the same, but there will probably be more questionable outfit choices in there somewhere. Fashion plate, I am not. However, I have graduated to big kid stores, so hopefully that helps!
What would you do if you could turn back time?

Friday, July 26, 2013

Five on Friday!

Its Friday- the eve of The K Family Beach Trip- WOO HOO!  Tonight at midnight we set off for the Outer Banks for a glorious week in the sun (hear that weather, I said SUN- NOT RAIN!). Any who since my brain is literally a ball of mush today as I attempt to pack for me and the tiny human, get various animals off to their respective pet sitters for the week and clean my house so that it doesn't look a wreck when we come home next Saturday, I decided that joining up with Darci, April, Christina and Natasha for Five on Friday would be just perfect!


1. I recently chopped off my hair, and when I got it done in a little of an asymmetrical cut, she sprinkled some of this volume powder on, and now I'm obsessed. Its called Beyond the Zone Rock On Volumizing Powder and its a whopping $5 bucks at Sally's. A little sprinkle and you can jack your hair up to high heaven. For fine haired girls like me, it's a godsend.


2. I'm a sucker for a fresh baked baby, and this weeks birth of the newest Royal Prince George was no exception.  Seriously? How cute was that kid?! Also, how refreshing was it to see the world news outlets go crazy over something good like the birth of a baby, rather than the usual crap that's all over the tv?  I thought Kate looked amazeballs for having given birth 24 hours before she appeared on those steps. To all of the people who thought she should hide her post-baby belly- shut it. When I left the hospital after having the Grayson Boy I did it in yoga pants and a pony tail-and my jiggly belly was there in full force making me still appear five months pregnant. I applaud her for being brave enough to show that off, it was a great change from the celebrities who leave the hospital 20 pounds lighter than when they got pregnant and attribute it to good genes. We all know they're liars, but Kate kept it real. I totally think the Duchess and I should be Mommy friends- I'm just waiting for the right time to send her an invite for a play date.

3. I have less than one month before I have to go back to work. Wah. I'm excited to get back into the swing of things, but Im sad to leave my little man. I also don't want that alarm to go off at 5am...after a summer of 7-9 AM wakeups, that's always the hardest part.

4. Im currently planning Grayson's second birthday. How the eff is my kid almost two?? He was very adamant this year that he wanted a Thomas/Curious George themed party, and I had no idea how to pull that off. So we decided that we would do a Thomas party for his friends and then a Curious George party for the family on his actual birthday. Problem solved, right? Except now I have two parties to plan. Fail. If you've been following me on Pinterest, you've seen the pins. (If you're not following me, why the heck not?  While you're at it, find me on twitter and instagram too- we can be friends!) I cant wait to share the birthday crazy plans with you next month- Momma has one month to DIY her way through TWO parties. Next year, its back to one party for sure.

5. In roughly 15 hours we will be loading into the car and headed for one of my favorite places on earth, the Outer Banks!

I grew up going there for weeks in the summer with my grandparents and our extended family, and I just adored it. Two years into dating and I took my beach hating boyfriend there for a week and he fell in love as well. If you've never been, its a place you simply must go at least once. Depending on your vacation "preference" you can pick a village that is either more laid back and family friendly or more populated and trendy. I'm in desperate need of a beach as I really haven't been to one since our honeymoon in 2010. My only bummer for this trip is my luggage Nazi husband- who is insistent I not over pack. He really tried to talk me out of taking a stroller and more than one pair of shoes. I'm not sure if he is aware of who he married or not, but this is not a battle he will win. If you'll be in the OBX next week, hope to see you there! Ill be the one laying on the beach while my in-laws wrangle my toddler. Life is beautiful!


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Spaghetti Meatballs- and no, I did not forget the &.

The hubs is pretty picky- so its easy to get into a funk of eating the same things week after week and I REFUSE to be the Hamburger Monday, Pizza Friday people.  So I'm always looking for ways to change things up to kind of break him out of his usual favorites.
This is one of the ways I manage to make the hum-drum spaghetti a little fun and different.
Enter spaghetti meatballs. A jumbo meatball with spaghetti mixed into the meatball.
1/8 pound spaghetti or angel hair pasta- literally a handful about the size of a quarter.
1 to 1.5 pounds ground meat (you can use beef, turkey, or a mix of beef, veal and pork- whatever you prefer! I used ground beef because my turkey wasn't defrosted, but both are delish!)
 grated parmesan cheese (I toss in a couple of handfuls)
1 tsp powdered garlic
1 tsp onion powder
2 tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 egg
1. Cook the spaghetti, drain and allow to cool. I usually toss it in cold water for a few minutes to chill before I mix it into the meatballs so I don't scald my hands.  Once its cool I drain it again and put it on some paper towels to dry out a little. Too much water makes for bad meatballs.
2. In a mixing bowl toss in the meat, spices, egg, cooked spaghetti and cheese. I use the cheese instead of breadcrumbs, but you could do both if you like.  You can also play with the seasonings a bit to get them the way you like. Then dive on in there and get to mixing.
3. Spray a muffin tin with PAM to keep them from sticking, and form big meatballs. The goal is to make them the size of the opening on the pan, so they sit up off of the bottom. That way the fat drips out and away from the meatballs. 

4. Bake at 400 for 30-35 minutes, or until done inside. The spaghetti on the outside will get crunchy and stay soft on the inside.

5. While baking, make a quick tomato sauce. I have been told I make a mean sauce, but its really super simple. I don't really have measurements, I just put stuff in until it tastes right- but here is the general idea.
2 cans of sauce
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1-3 cloves of grated garlic
Italian seasoning
Onion powder
Chilli Pepper Flakes
Kosher Salt
First, in a saucepan put a tbsp. of oil. Turn on medium low heat. Add a sprinkle of pepper flakes and grate the garlic into the oil. If you like mild garlic, use one clove if you like lots of garlic add more- its up to you. Allow the oil to warm up and infuse with the pepper and garlic flavors.
Once it warms up the garlic will start to speak to you and melt a bit. That's when you add in the tomato sauce, because you don't want the garlic and pepper flakes to burn. Stir the garlic and oil mix into the sauce to get the flavor spread out. 
Add in about half a palm-ful of Italian seasoning, and a quarter palm-ful of kosher salt. Then I add in about 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder and a spoon of sugar to cut down the acidity of the tomatoes. I let that all come together and then taste to see what it needs and add it if it does. You can never take it out, but you can always add it later.
6. When the meatballs are done, pull them out of the oven and run a knife around the rim of the muffin cup and they'll pop right out.
7. Plate them up. You can either serve them on a plate with sauce and a bit of mozzarella cheese, or eat them like my husband does. He prefers to smash one between two slices of crusty bread with some sauce and no cheese. Both are delish. Mine is a bit lower carb, however.



Tuesday, July 23, 2013

If I could be anything in the world...

I'm a day late on my link up with Becky for her 52 weeks of blogging with a purpose. This week is all about what would I be if I could be anything in the world...and its a fun one!
If I could be anything in the world...I really think that I would be me. 
When I was little and was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always said a teacher. I achieved that goal, I am a teacher. Twice over. I get to teach my little guy everyday, currently today we're working on why we can't ride the dog like a pony and why it isn't acceptable to drink from the dogs water bowl. It's rewarding and fun for sure- but that's not the kind of teaching I was talking about. I  have a B.S. in Biology and a Masters in Education to teach high school science. I get to spend my days in room 207 teaching teenagers cool things about the way the world and their own bodies work.  I love my job, and I couldn't imagine doing anything else for a living. I not only get to teach them science, but also things like manners, respect and valuable life lessons. I get to teach all levels of kids, from special education students to gifted kids and I make each one of them work hard. Some of them think I over work them, but ask any kid who has ever had me and they will tell you I care more about them as little people than the score they get on a test. Contrary to popular belief, I do not stop working at 3. I bring papers home to check, prepare lessons for the next day by reading my chapters while I'm making dinner, and answer emails at 9 PM. Sure I get weekends and summers off- but keep in mind I've already been to work three times this summer to get ready for next year. I easily work well over 40 hours a week during the school year, and my work spills over into the summer as well. I'm okay with that, because I love what I do. But please don't ever tell me I have an easy job- because if you saw the kids I teach, you would not agree.
I also knew I wanted to be a Mom. Grayson made that dream a reality. He keeps me on my toes and drives me insane but I really would not trade him for anything. Because when he's attempting to scale the tv stand or slide down the stairs on his belly and I'm just about to tell him to stop before Mommy looses it; he comes over and wraps his little arms around me and gives me a big, wet kiss. He fits perfectly into our family and gives all of us more joy than we ever knew we could have. I think he's perfect, even when he gives me gray hairs. Some days I think there is no way I'm going to have another, and other days I cant wait to give him a sibling. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it- but for now, I'm content being this little man's Momma.
Are there things I wouldn't mind tweaking about my life? Sure! I always tell the kids when they are demanding things they "want" that I want to be a size four and a millionaire, but guess what else isn't happening today. It throws them off because I'm joking with them, and that's the torture part I always talk about. It's true though, I would like to be a smaller size. I was a size four when I met my husband. Now I'm not. I'm working on it, but it's going to take awhile to get there and I may never. As long as I am healthy I'm okay with it.
I also wouldn't mind having the cash to pay off student loans. I don't need to be a millionaire, just enough to get the balance on those bills to zero would be more than enough.  They will get there, eventually, one way or another.
I'm pretty happy with my life, and the things that I want to change about it- I can. I've got an amazing husband, a perfect little guy, the best friends around and a job I love. Not many people can say that I really wouldn't trade me for the world.
What would you be if you could be anything in the world?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Some More Tips and Tricks!

Hi lovelies! You know the drill, if I can find the original author click the picture or link and it will take you right to that person!
1. A lovey lady- Kelly- said that in the summer months to take regular Listerine and put it in a spray bottle and spray the perimeter of your patio or any area that you are in and it keeps the mosquitoes away. I will DEFINITELY be using this one considering the mosquitoes are horrendous this year.
2. For the people who have cats but hate the look of the litter box use this tip from This Old House:
Remove the cabinet door's panel and add a tension rod installed in the cabinet to hide the litter.
3.  This one is all over Pinterest- and it works. Cinnamon in the sandbox keeps the bugs away. You've got to use a cup to a cup and a half of cinnamon and mix it into the sand, but it works quite well.
4. I've seen this on Pinterest in various places- bathing your little ones in a laundry basket in the tub to keep them from slipping. It confines them but gives them some room to splash. Now while this may not be the best option for home- it might work really well on vacation. You cant always take the tub with you, but most rental houses have a laundry basket available for you to use.
5. Found this on The Storage Geek- fix towel bars to the back of the closet to store blankets.
Towel bars affixed to closet doors to hold blankets. I could have used this tip six months ago. You have to know I am using it like, this afternoon!
6. This one came from My Life and Kids - and if you haven't gone over to read some of the hilariousness that Anna has on there, you are missing out. Use toothpaste to remove permanent marker from wood floors or tables- works like a charm!
7. Mayonnaise will remove water stains from wood. Water marks come when the wood actually gets dried out. Simply slather on a nice thick layer of Mayo and the oils will recondition the wood. Make sure to let it set awhile, it doesn't work instantly!
8. Did you know you could freeze buttermilk and heavy cream? I certainly didn't until I stumbled upon this pin from Homestead Revival who told me I could.  Think of all of those recipes that only call for a little bit, and the stores that sell it in pints. Perfect solution!
9. Village Voices on Kidspot gives us 30 out of the ordinary beauty tricks- my favorite one being the fact that you can use a bit of baking soda on the oily areas of your hair as a dry shampoo, if you don’t have time to wash with regular shampoo. Comb the baking soda through your hair gently to avoid clumps, and then blow-dry with cool air for several seconds.
10. For those cloth diaper users, there is a pretty great storage idea I saw on Pinterest. Use a shoe organizer to hold all of them bad boys on the back of a door. Frees up drawer space and keeps the fluff off of the floor.
Cloth diaper storage
11. This one came from my uncle that is a manager of a detail shop at a large car lot. People always come in with horrible bumper stickers on cars and they need them removed. Obviously they have tried many different ways to remove them, but he swears one of the best is just a thick layer of mayonnaise. Slather it over the sticker and let it sit, and the oils will lift the sticky residue right up.

12. Chap stick will stop bleeding from shaving nicks. Just swipe it over the nick and voila!

13. I cant find the original link this came from- so if its you, let me know and Ill link to you!!  Until then, Ill just link to the pin I got it from. Pinner said: "I was in Ulta today and a sales lady dropped nail polish. They immediately began pouring sugar on it. Did you know sugar makes nail polish clump up and you can sweep it right off the floor? I watched them. No scrubbing at all!"

14. This one comes from a reader of Thrifty Fun and its one that I desperately need for summer- how to make those mosquito bites stop itching! Pixie from Alliance, OH uses Orajel or any toothache gel medicine and it works! It stops the itching instantly and will not itch again. The best part is its not sticky or greasy and the tube is small enough to fit right in your pocket.
15. Sarah sent me this tip via email and she swears it works like a charm! If you get some dandruff, you don't need to go buy expensive shampoo just wash your hair with apple juice to get rid of the flakes.
16.  This pin lead me to the blog LaLa- and I love this super simple pacifier storage idea.  Just pop them into a basic souffle cup with a lid, and then feel free to store them in a drawer, purse or diaper bag until needed!
17. Amy over at Then She Made shared her tutorial for rotating can storage- and its one of those why the heck did I not think of that moments. She re-used the fridge cardboard pop boxes and it works like a charm! Simply add a hole at the top of the box and save yourself big bucks over the expensive plastic kind they sell in stores. Brilliant and easy- that's my kind of DIY project!
18. A friend who works in the floral industry swears that a few drops of bleach in a vase of water will extend the life of your cut flowers. It prevents the growth of the nasty smelling slime and keeps the flowers looking beautiful.

19. My grandma used to swear that a line of chalk will keep ants out of your house. I found a bunch of those critters in my bathroom so I'll be heading outside to draw a chalk outline of my house. If it doesn't keep the ants out, at least it will show where my house stood before I lysoled it to death!

20. Snapguide has a solution on how to hang a sweater so you don't get the crazy shoulder bumps from the hanger. Considering I usually end up re-washing to get rid of them I had to give this one a try!

21. The Family Handyman has a list of 10 Easy Holiday Storage tips- and they are all pure brilliance. One of my favorites is how to store gift wrap. We have one of those wrapping storage containers for Christmas wrap, but this would work well for all types of wrapping paper. Install a simple wire shelf on the side of the closet, and it will keep the paper neat and out of the way.
22. To cool drinks quickly, add some salt and water to the ice. It allows drinks to cool much quicker, which works well when you want something nice and cold and there is nothing in the fridge!
23. From the blog Sweet Caroline- use Woolite Foam Carpet Cleaner to clean your grout. It comes out in a nice steady stream, so its easy to spray and works like a charm. Simply spray, let set several minutes, brush and wipe away!
24. For anyone who has ever been pinched by the springs on a trampoline- this pin is for you- cover the springs with foam pool noodles! I couldn't find the original author on this one either, so if its you please let me know!
25.  Another one that makes no sense why I didn't think of this on my own- and unfortunately another one that I cant find the original author for. I found this pin for a easy storage solution for plastic sandwich bags and its pure brilliance.
26.  Another brilliant pin I stumbled across this time was the answer to my bib storage prayers.
Use a command hook and attach it to the back of the highchair, giving you the perfect place to store bibs. Ive also seen the command hook inside the cabinet door where the baby's food is kept, also brilliant.
27.  Save all of the travel sized toiletries we swipe from hotels or buy for trips and toss them in a pretty glass jar in the spare bathroom for guests to use. Makes people feel at home and makes you look like a terrific hostess :)
28. I can not find the original author of this pin- but I want to kiss them (if its you, please tell me!). They provided me with a solution to a horrible problem in the K household.  The scene- I put clothes into the washer knowing that my nice sweater and dress pants don't go into the dryer. Hubs decides to "help" and throws the whole pile into the dryer. Sixty minutes later Barbie can wear my sweater and my pants have more fuzzies on them than my dog. Been there? Then try this- use a dry erase marker with a magnet to write a note on the lid of the washer as to what can not go into the dryer.
29. Want the look of two curtain panels without having to replace your drapery hardware? The people over at I love decorating share how to hang a second panel behind the existing curtain with the help of a thin bungee cord available in the hardware section of most stores!
30.  From the people over at snapguide- a fast acting pimple clearing tip! Get an Advil Liqui-Gels. Use a pin to poke a hole in the pill and then apply the liquid to pimple. You will notice the redness and pain goes away almost immediately! Side note- do not use the pin to poke the pimple. Rather, once the hole is poked squeeze it right from the liquid gel onto the skin.
That's all for today lovelies- keep sharing your tips and tricks with me :)

Monday, July 15, 2013

If I Hit the Lottery: 52 Weeks of Blogging with a Purpose

Linking up with Becky again for a fun topic- what I would do if I won some cold hard cash.

 I'm just going to go ahead and pretend we're talking a good chunk of change- and for that reason I would take the cash up front option. I don't exactly trust the fact that I would get payments over time. Call me crazy, but Ill budget it on my own and know that the money is there.
First and foremost? Student Loans? BYE! I would pay those bad boys off in a hot minute.  I may actually personally drive the check to AES just to photograph that amazing and momentous occasion. Both me and the hubs have student loans, and together we pay more for them than I ever care to think about.
After I was done doing the "WOO MY DEBT IS GONE!" dance I would go out and get myself a financial planner to invest the money.  I remember playing the stock market game in eighth grade, and I'm pretty sure I picked my stocks by the eney-meanie-miney-mo method. Not exactly the way I choose to handle my finances now. I'll leave that up to the professionals.

Id set up college fund for my kiddos- so they never have to deal with this student loan crap. That way, even if the money ran out they would still not have to worry.
I would sell our house and head out of the city for the burbs.  Something with land, an open floor plan and a pool. I also would like something with a little more space and a finished basement. I want my kiddo to have his own room and a playroom (that isn't where my dining room should be), and any of his future siblings to have their own rooms. A big garage for the hubs and a little quiet office for me. Then of course I would go decorating crazy. Oh, and I would build a few "guest houses" on the property- one for my Momma and one for my in-laws. Far enough away from the main house but close enough to send Grayson running to a Grandma when I need some peace and quiet.

Oh, and my Momma would be DONE working. I may keep my job, I love it that much. She, however, would never work again. The hubs would probably switch jobs, but I highly doubt he could ever not be working. He doesn't have the personality to sit still.

I would give my in-laws the money the need to retire, or at least the money to do with whatever they would like.

We would TRAVEL. Everywhere. The Caribbean, Hawaii, Europe, Australia, Alaska, everywhere in the continental US. I want to see it all. Id take my mom and my in-laws with us- because A) best baby sitters in the world and B) they took us everywhere they could as kids and now I'm returning the favor.

I would buy a place at the beach and a condo in the mountains so we have somewhere to go as a family for years to come.

I would give back. I know everyone says this- but I really do mean it. I try to give as much as I can now. I donate to St. Jude, I donate to the teachers scholarship fund at work, I give money when we choose students who are in need and buy Christmas gifts, I give to the church.  But I really don't feel like I give enough. Having disposable income would increase the amount of that scholarship for sure. I would also love to do crazy random things- like paying off the bills of a friend without them knowing it was me.

I don't know what else I would do- because its all hypothetical. I mean, I like to joke that I have all of these crazy occurrences in my life that are "one in a million" or only 0.01% of the population rarities but I cant for the life of me hit the lottery. I do play, I always try to buy one ticket when the jackpot gets up super high. I don't do it all the time because I usually forget and I'm too lazy to go back out once I'm home, but I figure it only takes one ticket to win.

 I know money can't buy happiness but it can pay off my student loans.
And that makes me happy.

What would you do if you hit the lottery?
Go link up and tell me!


Friday, July 12, 2013

Friday Letters

WOO! Its Friday- and the humidity around here has finally taken a break, which is amazing all in its own, because my hair will no longer look like a q-tip plastered to my head. (Ill give you a second to let that visual image seep in...team messy bun over here all the way!) Anyway- since my mind is a mish of random today, I decided it was time to write some Friday letters!
Dear Grayson Boy- Mommy LOVE LOVE LOVES the fact that you adore toddler gym. However, if you could kindly stop scaling every piece of furniture in the house like it's your job, that would be great. Mommy can't take you to gym class if she's in the cardiac wing at AGH.
Dear Rain- What the heck is up with the rainiest summer ever? Three inches in two hours is not cool. Granted we didn't get flooded out up here on the hill, but a lot of other people did and it's time to give it a rest. Oh and btw, three days without the chance of rain isn't really a rest when we've had 11 straight days with rain. Isn't there a desert in a drought somewhere you can go hang for awhile?
Dear Fur Babies- Thank you for being so nice to the tiny human. Being ridden like a personal pony can be rough, but I know you put up with it because he'll share his snacks with you. That kid loves you, and I know you love him- even if he won't give you his cheerios.
Dear Momma- Grayson said he would really, really like it if you made him some banana drop cookies from his great grandmas recipe.  Mommy tried to make them for him and she burned them to a crisp- it was totally the oven's fault- but he still would like some. And he promises to share with his Mommy, because you taught him sharing is important.
Dear Beach- I.can.not.wait!  Fifteen more days and I plan to plant myself firmly on your sandy shore and come home not so pale. I'm super excited to see Grayson love you as well, and I'm putting in my request now for nice weather. Hear that rain? You are not welcome!
Dear Blog Friends- Thank you all for the sweet emails I have received this week. You are all amazing and I love you all to bits. I love hearing from all of you, so feel free to send me an email and I promise Ill respond! Its so fun to keep in touch with you guys- and I would MUCH rather return emails at naptime rather than do laundry!
Dear Hubs- Thank you for the sweet things you do. The Turners Tea that appeared in my fridge was amazing and the new box of Loft goodies that arrived with the tag "for you for the beach" are just two reasons you are the best husband ever. I love you to pieces.
Dear Weekend- WOO! Two days without rain in the forecast, you better bet we'll be taking advantage of you. Zoo, splash-pad, park- the options are endless but I hope you'll be wonderful! And if on the off chance that you can add an extra day into the weekend, I know you would make a lot of people extremely happy! Give it a shot, please?
Happy Weekend, Lovelies!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

House Bucket List- its a long one!

I don't know if I ever told you guys the story of our house. Originally it was owned by the hub's grandma- and he moved in with her when he came Pittsburgh for college. He always wanted to fix things and do things to it, but she didn't have the money and wouldn't allow him to do anything.

Its a grand old Victorian. Built in the 1890's full of old thick mahogany woodwork, 12 foot ceilings, pocket and French doors, ornate fireplaces, six bedrooms and one (really big) bathroom. Its stucco on the outside, had zero insulation and no air conditioning.

He LOVES this house- and has always had so many ideas of what he would do to it. Once his sweet, sweet Grandma passed away he couldn't really let this place go. So we bought it- and started fixing it up.

We have made some improvements so far. The hubs built some kitchen cabinets- because we had exactly one when we bought it and added a closet in the pantry. We dry-walled and insulated the living room and master bedroom, complete with new paint. We built a master closet. We repainted the bathroom and installed a new toilet. Sodded and mulched the backyard. Ripped up the ugly old carpet and put in pergo floors. Tiled the entry way and painted the foyer complete with a stenciled wall. Put tile in the basement to make it a little less creepy. Installed central AC. Power washed and re-stained the porch. Built retaining walls in the front. Grayson's room was completed with insulation, paint, painted trim, retiled fireplace and carpet installed.  There is probably so much more I'm forgetting.

If you ask anyone, its a vast improvement over where it was- but there is still oh-so-much we want to do. So here's the list- with some before pictures to really give you an idea of what were looking at. Now I didn't attempt to hide any messes in these pictures- it's all real up in here, folks!



-Paint the trim and sides of porch (currently the ugly green)
-Fix porch ceiling
-New lighting/Outdoor Fan
-Repair Stucco where needed
-New flashing and trim on house
-Paint exterior of house (I'm thinking cream?)
-Sod the front lawn
-Landscaping (which someone else will do, since I kill fake plants)
-Trim super large tree


My stenciled wall- love this.
See- I got one drawer painted. Fail.

-New Front Door
-Finish Gallery Wall
-Paint Cabinet (that has currently been primed for like 2 years-eep.)
-Paint Trim
-Paint or Carpet Stairs and Landing
-Patch the drywall going up stairs
-Paint the upper part of the hallway

Play Room/Dining Room:

Told ya- I keep it real. Didn't even put the toys away.

Water damage on ceiling after bathroom toilet decided to sprout a leak when we were not home.

-Rip out plaster and lathe (which the whole house was, btw) and drywall
-Paint room (don't we all LOVE antique white yellowed after years of a smoker living in the house?)
-New computer Desk
-Toy Storage
-New light fixture

Living Room:

-New ceiling fan
-finish floor trim
-Paint trim
-toy storage (hmm...pattern?)
-Repaint coffee table


(complete gut/redo)
-New cabinets/countertops
-Tile floor
-Remove pocket door and finish wall
-Box in fireplace
-Move door to pantry/mudroom to line up with exterior door


-Take out current shelving system
-Fix ceiling leak (when it rains really hard, we get a leak)
-Fix window
-Remove old exterior door
-Convert pantry to three piece bath (sink, shower, toilet)


-Side note- this used to be the back porch that we closed in this spring to make a mudroom.

- remove stucco and old doorframe
-build up the floor
-insulate and drywall walls
-install washer/dryer hookup (hellllo first floor laundry!)
-tile backsplash behind washer/dryer
-tile floor
-add shelving/storage


-Paint (I'm thinking a mint green)
-Remove wainscoting and install batten and board
-New tub and fixtures
-Retile shower
-Create a new vanity
-Trim mirror
-New lighting fixtures
-Retile floor?

Upstairs Landing:

-Remove wallpaper
-Paint Trim

Master Bedroom:
-Paint trim
-Armoire for Hubs
-Hang Artwork
-New Rug?

Guest Room:
-Rip out plaster
-Insulate and Drywall
-Create a closet
-Add vent for heat/ac
-Get rid of nasty drop ceiling

Grayson's Room:



 New tile on fireplace

 Carpet, insulation and pretty yellow walls

 Trim painted a nice chocolate brown

No improvements- Its the only complete room in the house :)

-Folding Station
-Build Walls
-Slop sink

Attic (three bedrooms on the third floor)

Now obviously, this list isn't going to happen overnight.  The hubs is a contractor- so getting him to do work on our house after he does it in other peoples all day is sometimes a bit tough. But we'll chip away at it and get it taken care of.