Category Archives: Our Home

Our Home

Guest Room: Part 1

As I mentioned in my last post, my mom and I did some major house cleaning this week. The office was the room I feared most. When walking in to organize and start the transformation of the new Guest Room I would get instantly overwhelmed and quit. The room housed a crazy combination of Stephen’s things: from a desk, 3 computer monitors, 2 computer towers, multiple Nintendo systems, all the games that he’s collected since childhood, stacks of books, 4 guitars and their cases, and enough cords that if I tied them all together they could have reached Texas. That’s just what was seen when you first walked in, we won’t talk about the inside of the closet. Of course I had my fair share of items in there too. Mostly things hanging on the walls, and boxes in the top of the closet, but it was a team effort to let that room fall so far to the wayside. To be honest, I don’t think Stephen minded the rooms insanity. I, however, couldn’t stand it. The organizer in me was going crazy.

It was with my mom’s don’t-quit-til-your-done attitude that made this space 1 step closer to becoming our future guest room. Thankfully I am an anti pack-rat and I toss anything that isn’t being used. That attitude makes cleaning 1000% easier! I went through my box of old school things and tossed stuff like crazy. Keep a napkin from my senior Prom?! Please, I don’t think so.  If pictures aren’t in albums they didn’t make the cut. This week I have been a cleaning Nazi, and it’s felt amazing!  To see a box full of notes, papers, pictures, and things be emptied down to a few personal keepsakes was a real accomplishment. My mom watched out for me and posed the “are you sure you wanna throw that out” question several times, but I didn’t have a second guess in my body about any of it. I hate thinking what it would be like if I kept every single little note, card, or picture and one day my kids had to go through all that junk. I kept the things that were important to me. Things I would like to show my children one day. If it won’t be used, why keep it.

Okay, back on subject, sorry I got sidetracked on my de-cluttering high horse there.

Here are the pictures of how the room started out…

The Horrific Before:

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The goal was to get rid of  anything we didn’t need or weren’t using. We don’t have an attic, so our storage space is very limited and our 2 spare bedrooms are now going to have important uses. Here is how it looked several house later…

the  ”De-Cluttered” After:

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We are getting rid of a few things in the room. The desk is getting listed on Craigslist. The tv stand right above there is getting the boot, and hopefully we’ll have a friend that would like to house a TV (Stephen wants to keep it as a “backup” television in case something were to happen to the other one). We’ll probably remove everything from the walls, once I decide on how we are going to decorate & what type of bed we’ll get. We are going to get wall-mounts for the guitars, which is something we’ve wanted to do for a while.  The floor space will be an empty & fresh slate, minus the one small bookcase.

There you have it. It took a lot of work and help, but the Guest Room is on it’s way to a wonderful & functional ”After”. Just don’t ask me about paint colors, I don’t have a clue where to start…

A Before & After

Man o man things have been busy here the past few days. With the help & huge motivation of my mom, we were able to knock off some of the big projects I have been avoiding for months. I really couldn’t have done it without her, mentally or physically. I needed her manual labor since I’m on “lifting” restriction for the next few months, and apparently that means I can’t push heavy things around either.

One of the big projects we tackled was the living room. We had the task of making it go from a living room to a family room. Something that doesn’t feel like any room in just any house, but our home.

I had a real hard time finding pictures of the room from when we first moved in with our old furniture. These few ‘random’ pic’s will have to give you an idea of how it looked (aka: boring, bland, dysfunctional, and personality-less)…

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Before #1
(ignore the Christmas decor & pay attention to the old couch & side table: our only furniture)

After #1
everything has changed except that 1 picture on the wall

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Before #2
(after we got the bookcases back in March)

After #2
(bookcases are cornered, new curtains are up, and a desk/workspace is in place)

view from the laundry room door:

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Before #3
the “profile of the room” on Sunday

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While the bookcases look nice, they weren’t functioning the way I was hoping they would.
I got the chairs by the window from Goodwill and was going to reupholster them, but I lost interest in that idea months ago.

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The BIG After #3

After #4
(the view from my seat)

I have to say that for a long time I didn’t like this room. It’s the area we are in the  most and it had so many different “styles” that I felt like it wasn’t one flowing space. However, I think I accomplished the perfect functioning space for our needs.

My biggest dilemma was that I wanted a space where both Stephen and I could hang out and do our own things while being in the same room. I finally decided to come up with an affordable & workable plan. With the baby on the way the office is now becoming the guest room. Therefore we have to incorporate an ‘office’  area somewhere in the living space. I wanted to make this living room our one-stop spot. Now you see what we ended up with. With Stephen working on the computer a lot he was always in the office while I was in the living room. For the past 3 days we have both been in the same room doing our different things. Our new Family Room is working perfectly for our needs :)

Let’s see the checklist:

-Entertainment Area, check
-Comfy Couch, check
-Rug for comfort, warmth, and floor time with baby Ringl, check
-Bookcases for albums & photos & games, check
-Work Space for Stephen, check!!!

Now all we need is a nice storage ottoman in front of the window that will work for seating and storage for future toys and knick knacks that will litter this room up like crazy :)

It only took me 10 months to get some nice window decor! Heck, I bought the curtains back in July at IKEA, so it took me 3 months just to get them hanging (thanks mom! pregnant lady + standing on a ladder wasn’t gonna work).

Just to say it, who knew that the simple act of hanging curtains COMPLETELY changes the feel and look of a room. They’re like decorating magic! One window down, only 8 more to go…

Now I just need to learn what time of day to take pictures in the house so that the flash will work and the lighting is better…

Step 1 of a Nursery

To begin the exciting adventure of turning our junk room, I mean guest room, into the nursery, I decided to tackle the first task: Empty everything out!  While this should have been an easy task, since the room was our designated guest room, it wasn’t so simple. Somehow over the past 8-9 months Stephen and I had this unspoken mutual agreement that we could put anything we weren’t using into the “guest room” because we keep the door & vent closed when it’s not hosting friends or family. The last time we had visitors was in May, and we had built up quite a collection of junk in a few short months. Yesterday, with my mom’s help, we tackled the first step and got this room cleared out.

After a few solid trips of filling the car with stuff I decided we should just donate to my parent’s church, the room was looking good. While we aren’t going to start decorating until we know if we’re having a boy or girl, it’s nice to know that the room is ready and waiting for a great paint job and some furniture additions.

Sadly I forgot to take a before picture. If you really wanted to get an idea of the “before” I could show you a picture of what the office looks like now. However, I won’t blow your mind with that current tragedy, especially since the “office” is now being converted into the guest room! We have so many exciting projects that I can now tackle since I’m at home and not gone from 7-6 most days!

Now, so you can have a visual of what the beginning stage looks like, here is the nursery as of October 1st !

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My mom made this sweet little setup by arranging all the items we’ve received and putting them out for display. With the help of friends and family we are slowly building a fun collection for baby Ringl :)

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Praise God for a Home Warranty

The past week has been crazy productive in the “appliance world” at our home. I came home last Thursday to a broken air conditioner. It had broken before back in May, and thanks to our 1-year home warranty we got with the house it only cost us $55 to get the thing fixed. The first time ants destroyed a piece, yes I’m for real, ANTS). This time we thought it had frozen up, probably because I am experiencing hot flashes for the first time in my life. For the past 2 months Stephen has seen some crazy changes in what makes me uncomfortable. At first I don’t think he knew what to do, I was turning the air down low, never wanting a blanket, complaining about being hot (which is a first), and sleeping with either no covers or just a sheet. It’s been an interesting experience. All those things are why we thought that it had frozen up. Before now our unit hadn’t seen a temperature below 78. To see if we could fix the problem ourselves we put some towels under the unit, let the heat run and watched a lot of water drip down. We were sure it was going to fix the issue and went out while it ran for a little while. When we got home we were discouraged to find that it wouldn’t blow cold air like we’d hoped, in fact, it had decided to not blow anything at all. We stuck it out that night with a few fans in our room and Stephen called the next day to get someone out to fix it. On Friday we went to my parents for the night. They were out of town, so we were “house-sitting” (aka: Air Borrowing) for the weekend.

We finally got a call on Saturday and made an appointment for Monday. Although Stephen was fine at the house he was sweet enough (and probably sick of my whining) so we stayed at my parents until Monday. Monday came and the AC guy fixed the unit in probably 30 minutes. Turns out it was out of freon. God bless freon, because it mades a world a difference! I also found out that you can’t replace Home AC freon yourself because you have to have a license to buy the stuff. Strangely though the internet has a lot of “do it yourself” tips, not that I would ever try it myself.

With the help of our home warranty it only cost us $55 to get the unit fixed. Oh, and the fun didn’t stop there either…

On Tuesday we had someone come out to finally fix our microwave. It has been broken for months. We have been using it as a giant kitchen timer since February. I was getting tired of having 2 microwaves in the kitchen, so once again the Home Warranty came into play (plus, we needed to get it fixed before the warranty expires in December!)  The microwave fix was nothing like the AC unit. The guy was here for over 4 hours replacing one part. Because our microwave is built in above the stove it would usually be a 2-man job, however our tech wasn’t so lucky. The guy had to completely take it down to replace the broken piece, and then somehow hold the thing back in it’s spot while re-attaching it. Then, after rehanging it he noticed it wasn’t completely straight and had to do it over again. He was a really nice guy and worked his butt off to fix the thing. Once again, I couldn’t be more pleased with our Home Warranty! I can’t imagine how much it would have cost for the stupid piece that broke, and over 4 hours of labor for a silly microwave. I probably would have had a stroke.

So, all that being said I am offering advice to any home buyers out there. When you put a contract in on a house, ALWAYS ask for a home warranty! They aren’t expensive for the seller, and it could save you hundreds or more. I know it has us!!

A Before & After

How was everyone’s weekend? Wonderful I hope :)

We were able to tackle a project we have had on our list since we moved in. We finally got to work on our backyard!

Since Spring it has turned into a bit of a jungle out back, and the last thing we want are our neighbors thinking we’re “those people on the street” that don’t know how to use a mower or hedge clippers.  So we went ahead and took care of that.

Here are some photo’s to give you a better idea:

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Our lovely yard (and this was the beginning of June)

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Most recently:

We have a little “jungle” issue on our premises

Now, for the weekend-work-filled after photo’s…

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We have ground!

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and even more ground!!

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Also, I think I found OJ’s glove with a broken golf club:

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hopefully they don’t need that glove for evidence because it got thrown into the burn pile we’ve started:

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just don’t look behind the burn pile… we’ve only tackled the front 1/3 of the backyard
(what?! we have a really big yard!)

So what did everyone else do this weekend?   Only 4 more days until the weekend ;)

Can You Be Too Thrifty?!

I went by Habitat for Humanity the other day and spent a lot of time walking around the warehouse and [junk] yard. I have been on the search for a few things lately, like a new mailbox, some flower pots, and old windows. I came across some older windows, but nothing that really caught my eye, and then I saw this fabulous mailbox:

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another shot:

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It would need a little cleaning up, but I thought it was really fun & cute. It’s not your normal mailbox, which I like, and it shoots just a little personality out there for everyone driving by.

After looking at it and wondering if this was the mailbox I’d been waiting for (am I the only one that makes a big deal about such small decisions?!) I looked at the price…

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That red chalk says $40.00  and for some reason I thought that was expensive for a mailbox, so I left it. A few days later I went to a few places to check out mailbox prices (ours is pretty bad looking) and discovered that apparently $40 is not a lot of money for a mailbox. In fact, unless I want some cheap metal or plastic, $40 is a really good deal…

Now I’m just hoping that no one else saw the cute mailbox and it’s still there waiting for me when I go back by there today. Keep your fingers crossed for me, k?!

Don’t Use the Kleenex, Those Are For Guests

The past few days have been very lazy and productive days for us. After work I got to hang out with this guy at the house:

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Okay, so that picture is pretty old. So old that it was back in the days before red eye removal was done on your home computer. I couldn’t help but use this photo since I just rediscovered it. I mean look at it, he looks dang goooood!

Like I was saying, it’s been a lazy and productive few days. Stephen has been pretty sick so I’ve been busy finding tissues all over the house while he’s been sleeping all day it gave me prime opportunity to do some spring (?) cleaning.

I did some major paper shredding, CD organizing, and photo editing today. By photo editing, I mean I got rid of the ugly pictures you take on your digital camera but forget to delete after you transfer them onto your computer…

It was such a productive day, with my cleaning and his sleeping-for-the-past-2-days, that we are fixing to celebrate with a BBQ Hawaiian pizza. I’ve had a crazy hankering for some pineapple and bacon.

Stoop Candy

I love coming home after a long day and finding a present on my doorstep…

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Also, I think it’s time for a pedicure, just to be safe for spontaneous foot-in-picture moments down the road. Plus, it’s summer (not that I don’t wear those same sandals all year long anyways).

Bulk & Laundry

It was a good 2 1/2 years ago I was gifted with a very awesome present! A present from the person that knows me best. Someone that knows how much I dislike spending money on household items. Not just any household items either (I love my Hawaiian Breeze Air Freshener), but more specifically cleaning products. Is it weird that it takes every ounce of my being to spend $8 on trash bags? Or that I don’t think soap bars should cost almost $1 a bar. It’s pure lunacy!

Just before we got married my mom bought me the ultimate laundry detergent. This baby washes around 275 loads of laundry! And, here’s the doozy, it only costs $14.00 !! My mom has been getting this for years, which must have been super helpful with the piles of laundry she handled for 4 kids!

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Massive pale of laundry detergent
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Since the container is so large I fill this little glass jar and keep it my laundry basket:

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Interesting… just seeing the top of my washer makes me dream of something nice and new.

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Yes, I’d like the towels too! After all, I’m decorating our master bedroom in blue and grey! Wow, I think it’s a sign… of course, by sign I mean daydream. Our washer and dryer are around for the long haul! Until those clothes-cleaning buckets die there’s no need to spend money on something else. Am I right ?!?!  {Please agree with me, it’ll make me feel better}

At this rate, if we continue to buy items in bulk (like the detergent that has already lasted us 2 1/2 years, our 5 lb rice bag, boxes upon boxes of sandwich baggies, T.P., and pasta (we eat a lot of spaghetti)) then one day we will have saved enough to upgrade!

porch decor

Yes, I’ve gone and done it, I’ve found an entirely new area to add to my “what to decorate” list… you aren’t surprised, are you?

Now, while I would LOVE to be able to decorate a beautiful and serene back patio/porch, that isn’t in the cards just yet. Stephen and I have a lot of plans and idea’s for the house, but the money and time have not quite made it there yet. I have it on good standing that my plans and idea’s will never quite mesh up with our availability and budget.

However, that won’t stop me from dreaming :)

Until we save up enough for the back patio, I will focus on our front porch. I am very happy to say that as of yesterday afternoon our porch has become pest free! The kind man from Florida Pest Control got to our house within 1 hour of us calling, which impressed me like crazy!  While our goal is to get those pesky, non-paying tenants to leave our property for good, I’m also okay with a temporary fix. I can’t wait to sod our yard, but, well… let’s just leave it at the fact that we have A LOT of yard, and it isn’t going to be cheap.

Back to the porch talk. I, being a Wells, love movement. Wether it be in a rocking chair, a swivel office chair or a swing. I tend to rock even if I am sitting on the couch. Ask Stephen, he just looooves it! I figure it goes back to being in the womb. My mom must have had a rocker or some sort, or maybe she was always doing those Denise Austin workout video’s. There’s no way to know for sure, but regardless I know the #1 priority for our front porch. In case you haven’t guessed it yet, here are a few clues…

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I would LOVE an outdoor swing. There is something so relaxing and enjoyable about sitting outdoors and just moving in the breeze, almost like you are on a float in the water feeling the breeze across your face. All 3 of those pictures are amazing and show what I am looking to add to our home. The one problem we have is that our porch is not super wide. That is what I LOVE about the 3rd picture. It looks like I could get a book and a cup of lemonade and just relax the afternoon away.

When I brought up decorating our front porch the first thing Stephen said was “I bet you’d love a swing. I can picture driving up after work and you sitting there reading a book.” That man knows me so well!

So, other than my #1 porch necessity, here are a few more pictures that I really like…

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This would look AMAZING. I love the bucket and bench.

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What a fun and pretty way to brighten up your outdoor space! I also really like the Adirondack chair!

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If you have been to this site before, you know I am drawn to anything with white and blue combined!
This looks so relaxing and comfortable

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Surprise, surprise – rockers!  haha
I would love sitting and chatting on our porch. Therefore, 2+ seats are needed :)

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A table is always helpful on a porch, and I really like the old metal tube being used as a planter. So clever!

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Is anyone else having a case of porch fever?!  I can’t wait until we get ours completed, and with our normal pests out-of-commission, I think this weekend seems like a great time to start!