Thursday, April 20, 2017

House update (ridiculously long)

We bought a house! Yay for us. We saw the house on the 1st of March, put in an offer immediately, and closed early April. There was a time period in late February that I was like we are never going to find a house and have to live with your mom forever and it was not a good time. Of course, logically I knew we'd have to find something eventually, but we sold our first home because we'd settled - I didn't want to settle again.

We found everything we were looking for (good location, 3 bed, 2 bath + garage) and more (basement, all brick, sunroom, fantastic neighbourhood in a great area) for a great price. Of course, we got the great house in the great area for a great price because inside, not so great. Green and blue carpet, ugly colours on the walls, super old outdated kitchen and bathrooms, small rooms.. things KC and I don't really care about. We can paint, we've ripped up carpet before, no worries. We are not big house people, we both grew up in ranch homes and had small bedrooms. Both of us only had 1 bathroom in our childhood homes and we survived. We just wanted enough room for our furniture in our bedroom, and we're fine. We don't need huge bedrooms and neither do our cats (and future kids). Our last house was fairly small (not like HGTV tiny homes small, but like not McMansion) we would have stayed there forever if it weren't for the location and no garage. We are small house people. Depending on your definition of small.

So there you have it. Found the perfect house for us. Just needed a bit of TLC.

We closed on a Monday afternoon. We went over and cleaned, I think? I've already forgotten. The seller was an older lady and had mobility issues, for that reason and a few others we told her to leave whatever she had trouble moving. So she left us a lot of crap. Ha. We started clearing things out and moving things in the basement so we'd have an easy time doing stuff.

going into the house for the first time as owners // cute furniture she left behind
fancy mirror // gold jewelry thing // ugly heavy ass couch
selfie in our new house! // gift from lady who did our mortgage, so sweet // snazzy light switch covers // green carpet
yep that's a barre thingy or perhaps physical therapy thingy we'll never know, it's gone now also I don't know why I am standing like that, can you tell I was kicked out of ballet when I was like 5

Tuesday we started painting and we got internet set up (priorities).

You can't really tell. but the bedrooms & hallway were painted this really light blue that looked white from far away. We painted basically the entire house the same colour grey, the same colour we used on our last house. I just really like the colour and I know I like it, so why be adventurous?

Tuesday night a coworker of mine came over and we started knocking down some walls! I don't know if I've mentioned this before, I don't really talk about work, but I work for a construction company. I'm in admin, so I don't actually do any construction, but it certainly gets you some great contacts. He was there till after midnight, even though it looked easy enough (as easy as taking down walls can be), those walls were legit. Had wire mesh in them and stuff.

Here are the 'before' pictures. The two walls were kind of just pass through walls, although the one next to the kitchen had a door and cabinets attached. I've never been super obsessed with big open floor plans, but we just thought it would work well in this house, especially because the living room itself is pretty small (compared to our last one anyway).

You can see in the last two photos how far KC and I got with that heavy ass couch. I am fairly strong and can move most furniture. That couch was far too heavy for me. The two ends were recliners and it was just a tank. My brother in law had to come over and move it with KC. But it stayed in that position for a couple of days.

And here are photos of the walls being removed:

Here it is 'finished' aka no more walls to remove:

Wednesday we cleaned up all the mess, HVAC guy came over to reroute all the HVAC thingys now sticking out of the floor. I feel like we did other stuff as well but seriously, my memory.

We realised pretty quickly that we'd need some form of dumpster. I guess we didn't think it would create that much debris (LOL) so we decided to just figure it out. Thankfully there is a smaller (cheaper) choice when you don't need a huge dumpster. Enter in the bagster. Loved it. Got ours from Home Depot. I put in the request for pick up and they were there the next day.

All clean of debris and all that jazz

Thursday we had the plumber and electrician over to fix the issues that came up in the inspection. We also had the electrician add new light switches - one from the wall that was removed to another wall, and the other was in the living room, we didn't notice there was no switch. The things you don't notice till you move in, right? You had to turn the light on by pulling the string on the ceiling light. I'm really glad we had him coming over anyway, because that is one of those things you'd put on the bottom of the list and it would never get done.

I am extremely excited about these two new light switches:

Thursday night we had the drywall guys come over to look at what would be needed, they cleaned up fixed a few small things so that we'd be ready for carpet the next day.

Friday I unfortunately had to go back to work. Womp. We had carpet installation first thing, and every single person who came into our house was gobsmacked we were doing carpet. Because, yes, there were hardwoods underneath. But we hate wood floors! I know! We are in the minority and HGTV would hate us. We just really prefer carpet. Yes, even with cats. Especially with cats.

I made KC send me snaps though:

Pretty carpet:

Thankfully, my company is pretty fantastic and I was able to leave early on Friday so we could go pick up the moving truck. The drywall guys came over again, they had to patch a bunch of holes and remove wallpaper. I think they came over 3 or 4 times in total, because all that stuff has to dry in between phases.

One of the days, I forget which as they all blend in, we went about mounting the TV on the freshly painted wall. The wall that was wood paneling. Which we knew. I looked into it, looked like it was doable and all that jazz. Well, the wood paneling was kind of buckling, but looked fine if we could mount the things into the studs. Long story short, we ended up having to rip a portion of the wood paneling out because it was absolutely not put in properly and the TV most likely would have fallen immediately. So we just ripped stuff out. That was probably the scariest thing we've done, because everything else we had people look at or help us, so I was like OMG YOU'RE JUST RIPPING OUT WALL. Thankfully it turned out fine and the drywall guys (who pretty much do everything) put in some wood and other stuff to make it nice and stable. I didn't get a photo of what they put behind the wood on top, but they made it super sturdy and whatnot. We painted again and mounted the TV (then KC didn't like it, had to remove it and mount it again).

When I was looking into mounting the TV over the fireplace, I discovered the internet is super divided over it. We rarely use our fireplace, and the only other option would be to put the TV on the wall opposite the window, which means couch in front of the window, and yeah no. That window is big and gorgeous and I want to see it. So we are camp TV over the fireplace.

Saturday was moving day!

Saturday night after everything was moved in, we went and got the cats. They really did not do well last time we moved, we moved them into the basement and then had to go clean the house we were selling. So they were alone for a few hours in a new place. This time, we got everything situated, the drive was much shorter and they did pretty good. Once we were in the house, it was completely different than last time. Penny was still a little bit wary, Chelsea was scared of everything, but Millie was as good as gold. She was being all adorable and cute and sweet, it was just like wow, she loves this house! She's doing so well!

Unfortunately because we went over so late, we went to bed like an hour after we got there with the cats. Chelsea and Penny jumped up on my pillow right away (thanks guys, zero room for me) and they were still a bit jittery. We thought well, Millie will be great! Yeah no. She meowed - loudly - the entire night, like she was a kitten again. They were all good as gold on Sunday though, and thankfully Millie shut the hell up Sunday night. I know they are cats, but seriously, they love the house. They are almost always at a window or just basking in the sunlight. I think they missed it as much as I did, living in a basement was no joke for any of us.

The drywall guys finally finished all of our stuff - all the walls are patched and look fine, the framing is covered by wood, the wallpaper is gone and that area was ready for paint. One thing we didn't think about with removing walls was the chair rail, it didn't go all the way to the new walls so we had to replace it. Since we won't actually be using this as a dining room, it's not really functional, but whatever. We'll need to redo the baseboards in a few months, but we have run out of energy!

Once that was all done, we painted the walls.

We got the cats a new cat tree/condo as the old one was pretty beat up. I got it on sale at groupon, but it's also on amazon with tons of great reviews. KC put it together while I was at work and I laughed so hard at the pictures. The cats love it, it's taller than me (and KC, as he shared below) and I love that it has 3 spots for them to perch, though they don't all use it at the same time.

We bought new bedroom furniture back in October I think, but purposefully did layaway as we didn't want them to deliver it to the basement and then us have to move it. I figured I would just set up delivery when we found a house. Then last month we decided to throw on a new couch (which I have wanted for 5 years, nbd) and get it delivered at the same time. Unfortunately, when I called they had like a 3 week delivery wait. Boo. So we have been couch-less and bedroom furniture-less since we moved in. Not a huge deal except we left the dressers that we'd previously used, which means we had nowhere to put clothes and they were all over the place. Thankfully, I am extremely persistent/annoying and we were able to get our stuff delivered earlier than expected.

I spy a Penny enjoying the bed already
It's not leather, I don't know if it looks that way or that's just me. We left the tags on  for a few days, I don't know why! The ends are both recliners and I love that I can lay down while KC is sitting at the other end - something that used to cause issues lol

We bought a new washer and should get it this weekend. This past Sunday night, the microwave she left - which we planned on replacing when we re-do our kitchen in just a few months - stopped working. Because OF COURSE. I was like no big deal, we'll be microwave-less for a few months! Then for the next 3 hours kept trying to use the microwave. Who knew you used the microwave so much? So I bought a $50 one to tide us over for a few months. I am really excited about the new washer though, we just got a top loader, nothing fancy. I actually despise front loaders with the fire of a thousand suns. Anyone else?

Other memories from this time I want to remember:

You know I love 'the best is yet to come' from our wedding song, I bought this print from etsy and ordered the canvas from canvas champ. Super quick delivery, pretty cheap too.
Every year there are glasses for the KY Derby - you can buy them at Kroger or get them at the Derby when you buy a drink. I collect them, and the seller had some pretty old ones from the 70s!
Gift from a new neighbour! So friendly! // First meal in the new house // Bestie got me a bottle of baileys, it has been much appreciated // KC got a new drill // Penny climbing on top of a mattress leaning against a wall // Froyo break // my 'I am so done doing work face' while KC asks 'why are you sitting down?'

After all that, our motivation to do stuff has definitely fizzled. We are still doing stuff, but man. Draining all of our energy and bank accounts. I am so sick of Home Depot. As of right now, we are 'done' for a little while (till after Australia). We still have little things to do, like actually unpack everything, hide the cords from the TV, hang things, find new places for things, buy a few pieces of furniture because the old ones don't work in the new space, buy a fancy 'library/reading' chair for me, buy blinds and curtains and bath mats (KC: where on earth did they go? Me: I did not throw them out, and by did not I mean I absolutely did on purpose). As for big things, we have lots of plans. Kitchen & bathrooms specifically. I will definitely share them when we get to doing them.

I know this is a crazy long post and update, but that's life right now. We are so happy with our house, the neighbourhood is amazing (everyone is so friendly! It's weird and I'm not used to it! We are the odd ones with cats, everyone else has a dog or 5), we just love it. It definitely needs work but the difference with this house compared to our last one is that we actually want to do the work as we will be the ones enjoying it for years to come. So it's worth it, and fun to be like wow, we did that!

So. That's my life right now. How bout you? Top loader vs front loader? TV over the fireplace smart or stupid?

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

10 things I suck at

Copying Michael's post.

1. Blowing up balloons. I have never successfully done this.

2. Climbing up lots of stairs. Must pause to catch breath.

3. Pronouncing the word prom. Or mom.

4. Deciding where to eat. I'm very good at deciding what I don't want.

5. Being left alone without notice. I am an introvert and love alone time but I must have advance warning that I'm about to be alone, otherwise I freak out.

6. Raising one eyebrow. KC laughs at my attempts.

7. Being coordinated or graceful. Words never used to describe me.

8. Keeping my mouth shut. I talk too much, interrupt people and I argue a lot.

9. Driving in snow. Nope.

10. Giving up on books. I have come to accept this of myself. I'm pretty good at knowing what I will like and what I shouldn't even bother picking up, but sometimes I read an awful book that I shouldn't waste my time on - I am always telling other people life is too short for bad books, but I don't listen - but I just can't stop because I want to know for sure it sucked, and I can't do that if I quit it, can I? Plus, it's rare, but it has happened - some books get better. Sometimes. Like, twice.

What do you suck at?

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Books Lately

Like I've mentioned a few times before, I am not a busy person, I don't enjoy being busy so I make my life not busy on purpose. But sometimes life just gets busy naturally, right? When that happens, I don't deal so well, and everything else falls by the wayside. Obviously with closing on our new house and all the work we are doing, not to mention moving and general life living, it's been busy over here recently. Unfortunately that leaves little time for reading. I have not finished a book in almost 3 weeks. Very abnormal for me. Normally, when my reading mojo goes up and down, it's normal and okay and I just let it be. But when life forces my reading to go down, I get antsy and I am really feeling like a drug addict who needs her fix.. you know? I just want to sit down and read a book! But then.. life. Packing, unpacking, walls to take down, rooms to paint, doors to sand and the list goes on and on. It's great! We are in a house! It's amazing! But I want to read. You know.

A Conjuring of Light - V.E. Schwab - 5 Stars
final book in the shades of magic trilogy

I pre-ordered this book - which I never do - because I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. I tried to savour it, I just adore these characters and her writing. It's a weird book/trilogy - I'm plodding along, kind of into it, kind of enjoying it, and then there is a line or word or something that just makes me squeal and think to myself bloody hell I love these books. I highly recommend this series if it sounds like your jam. The books are not like anything I've ever read before and the characters are some of my favourites of all time.
The Couple Next Door - Shari Lapena - 4 Stars
parents leave their baby at home while they attend a party.. 

I straight up could not put this down.Which is funny because when I first heard about this book I wasn't sure if I wanted to read it - it draws obvious parallels to Maddie McCann's story, if you are at all familiar with it. That being said, I think the synopsis is the only thing that is similar to Maddie's story - that we know of, considering it is 10 years later and she has not been found. Anyway, this book was unputdownable, bloody crazy characters and a million twists. 
Firelight & Moonglow - Kristen Callihan - 4 Stars
paranormal historical romance

I don't know if I would say I couldn't put these down, but I did thoroughly enjoy them. They are both right up my book-alley. I liked the characters, the stories were unique, interesting, sexy and funny. It was light but not ridiculous. If you like books like these, I recommend. It reminded me a teensy bit of Soulless.
Evil Librarian - Michelle Knudsen - 4 Stars
YA story about a devil librarian

This was thoroughly enjoyable. It was silly, but hilarious and interesting. It's definitely heavy on the YA and it's not serious at all but like I said, I enjoyed it immensely. Made me laugh and smile and wonder what was going to happen. Not like anything I'd read before. Recommend if you're looking for a light read.
Unfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me - Lily Collins - 4 Stars
memoir/self help type book

I expected more of a memoir/personal stories from Lily, but it's a mix of that with a dash of inspiring/self help kind of talk. Although I appreciated that stuff because sometimes, even though you've heard it a million times, you need to hear it again. It was super short and a bit repetitive, but overall enjoyable if you're a fan or need a little encouragement.
Love & Gelato - Jenna Evans Welch - 3 Stars
teenager moves to italy after her mother dies to get to know her father

I know you shouldn't judge a book by its cover (or title), but I totally had different expectations for this book based on those things. I love a good YA book but I had no idea this was YA. Anyway. It was cute enough, passed the time just fine. Light and fluffy. Some of the lines were ridiculous though 'my voice was like weak tea' or 'his face was as bland as whipped cream'. Um, what?

Talking as Fast as I Can - Lauren Graham - 4 Stars
gilmore girls focused memoir 

When I read Lauren's fiction book, I wondered how much Lorelai was her or if she was trying to be Lorelai. This book made me think that as well - do you really talk like that, or are you trying to be a character we all know and love? It kind of got on my nerves a bit at the beginning, like she was trying too hard to be funny/like her character, but eventually it settled in nicely and I found myself really enjoying it. I liked learning more about her and she is a great writer. I hope she writes another fiction book - perhaps not one about acting though.

She really got my hopes up for more Gilmore Girls. Because seriously, cliffhanger.

The Star-Touched Queen - Roshani Chokshi - 2 Stars
indian mythology fairytale-esque kind of retelling

I am in the minority with this one. Just didn't love it. I wanted to hit the main character in the head. I get why the story had to go that way, and I've read similar ones, but like, it has to make sense? Most of her choices just weren't logical. I'm trying not to be mean, it obviously wasn't so bad that I gave up, I was curious to see what happened, I just wish it was better. Ugh. That sounds awful. I feel bad. Just not for me. I also got the second one from netgalley,  A Crown of Wishes but I will be skipping it. 

Received from NetGalley
Technically nothing because life, but according to goodreads I am part way through these 2:

Linking up with Steph & Jana.

Life According to Steph

Hopefully life will calm down again soon and the house to do list will get shorter so I can get some reading time in before the next link up! Read anything decent lately?