The Dining Room is DONE!

When we moved into our home, it was a totally blank slate.

Mulberry before 05

This was the listing photo.

I bought a new light fixture… (I couldn’t bear to part with the old one, so it’s living in the attic.)


and brought in our furniture, and that was the extent of my focus on the dining room.


Over the last year, I’ve given the room some thought and made a few decisions.  I filled the back corner of the room with a bombe dresser from Hooker Furniture and a lamp I already had.


I added items to the dresser and wall above the dresser.


And just this week added a rug and made curtains for the window with Richloom Birdwatcher in Charcoal.

I’m calling this room done!

Not that I’m ever actually done, but these completed projects will hold me over for awhile.


Dressing the Windows

Our new house has great windows.  As in original to the house rope and pulley windows with big ol’ trim.  My husband asked if I wanted to replace them in the future (for energy efficiency reasons), and I reminded him that I’m a form over function girl, and he wasn’t going anywhere near my windows!

Covering these windows is not something I’m crazy about doing, but I realized two nights ago why I really have no choice, at least for the bedrooms.  The house next door has been under renovation for some time now, but apparently it’s finished and the neighbors moved in while I was gone.  As I was helping kids get ready for bed, I realized I could see our neighbors walking around, which meant they could see us!  Not what I want for bedroom windows!

The view from the boys’ room isn’t much better, as far as visibility and privacy are concerned.

What a dreary day with all of the not-snow we were getting.  But I digress.

I called Lowe’s yesterday to order Levolor faux wood blinds for all of the bedroom and bathroom windows, had them cut to fit, and arrived to find them all waiting in a cart with my name on it.  I love Lowe’s!  I moved the boxes upstairs so we could get an early start this morning.

We started in what will be the guest room since we wouldn’t have to move furniture.  Path of least resistance and whatnot.  We never use the screws that come with anything, because they almost never work as well as our own screws, so I can’t comment on the screws in the kit.  With the exception of the thank-goodness-these-windows-aren’t-even-a-tiny-bit-narrower tight fit, the blinds went in smoothly.  We did have to bend the clip on one bracket out to get the top bar in place, but it’s in!

the future guest room windows

We worked out a good system of me being two steps ahead of him at the start of each set of blinds so I could go back behind him and add the decorative trim to the top and pop in the little plastic pieces on the bottom bar without slowing him down on the next set.  We worked on the guest/boys’ bathroom next.

Who wants to use the bathroom knowing you’re that exposed!

My son was upset that we were hanging blinds on the window closest to his bed, because he likes looking out the window in the morning.  Once I showed him he could open the blinds while still in bed, he was fine.  Boys.  The blinds in the boys’ room and the girls’ room that faces the neighbor’s house were all tight fits like the guest room, so we had to convince the blinds they wanted to go up.  Gave my husband an excuse to use his hammer, at least.

It feels much better knowing my girls have privacy in their bedroom now!

Lowe’s was short two blinds, so I wasn’t able to put blinds up in the second girls’ room, but all of the windows that face other houses or the street are done.

After finishing the girls’ bathroom, I had my husband drill holes in the plaster to hang a few pictures.  May as well get as much as possible accomplished while everything was out!  Now, I’m heading to an antique store to pick up two twin beds to replace the full bed in one of the girls’ rooms.  My 11 and 4 year old girls have been sharing a bed, and my 4 year old is training to be a boxer in her sleep.  Time to end the suffering!  The full bed is moving into the guest room, so it will no longer be (almost) empty!

Things have been busy here since coming home, just the way I like it!

An Early Christmas Present

When we listed our house for sale in October,  we weren’t expecting to sell anytime before the new year, accepting that this was not only a slow market, but also the slowest time of year. After four showings in ten weeks (two within the first three days and two in the last week), we just accepted an offer! To say I’m ecstatic is a gross understatement, and the timing is incredible!

We should close in about 60 days, and a new family will begin making their own memories in our beloved home.


Merry Christmas to us!

Live and Learn

A small drip started from the ceiling in the new part of the house on the night of a fairly heavy rain.  My husband checked the roof for popped up nails and didn’t find anything, so he asked me to call the realtor to see if the contractor would come out since it was still under warranty.

The contractor who put the roof on came out, asked to borrow my ladder because he didn’t have one with him, checked the roof, then asked if he could use the ladder to check the attic.  I said sure and, after he came back down from the attic, informed me he found the problem, but it was with a pipe not capped properly, and not the roof.  Since he’d diagnosed a new problem, it was a service call, and my bill due was $75.  That he can’t get his kids through college without charging for things like that.  Now, if we wanted him to fix it, it’d only be another $50 or so.  I told him if we needed help we’d call our plumber, but we were quite capable of fixing it ourselves.  (There was more discussion on his part about our plumber charging us a service fee and me responding that he’d be out the door with the issue fixed for less than this “service” fee.)

I will NEVER again not go the DIY route with diagnosing and fixing issues.  We are intelligent people, but we didn’t check this out thoroughly enough.  It was a lesson learned, and money unexpectedly down the drain.

Fantastical Frozen Fun

Because of the uncertainty with our adoption travel dates (thinking early January now), I didn’t buy tickets to take my three girls to see Frozen On Ice.  I even missed an opportunity for discounted tickets with our homeschool group.  The girls were hearing about their friends going, but I just didn’t have $60/ticket in my budget to take them while also shopping for Christmas and paying for plumbing and other fixes at the new house.

Last week, a friend of mine asked if she could give us tickets to see the show.  To say I was overwhelmed with gratitude is an understatement!  I kept the tickets a secret from two of the three girls, which was hard to do with so many people randomly asking if we were going to the show!  When we got to the coliseum for the event, we realized just how close we were sitting to the ice, and I may have shed tears over the incredible gift we were given.

The girls finally understood that we were going to see the REAL Anna and Elsa, and they went crazy!  Sadie, my four year old, even asked if we could crawl under the turnstiles and go in early!

I was so excited over watching the girls’ excitement I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to watch the show or watch them watch the show!

It was incredible to hear all the kids singing along with the songs, and to hear the parents joining in, too.  We definitely have Frozen Fever in our house, and I don’t think it’s going away anytime soon!

I had a pooped princess by the time we got home!

Anyone else still have Frozen Fever after all this time?

The Before Tour

We finally got the keys to the new house!!!

The kids and I went over on Friday so I could re-measure for the refrigerator (it’s one of those necessary purchases, you know?) and make a list of what we need to accomplish each weekend.  Also, it’s so much easier to explore a house when it’s yours than when you’re doing a walk-through with a realtor.  (I feel like I can take all the time in the world and let my kids run free.)  I discovered things like the dining room door to the patio being locked… and not having the skeleton key to open it!  The kids found two skeleton keys today, but they work on some upstairs closets, and not the dining room.  At least we can still get to the patio from the kitchen!

We found several fun things in the boiler room, including a Bunsen burner, a makeshift jumper cable/line tester/???, and a beer can from the 1950s that has tiny holes punched in the bottom.  We’re guessing it was used to dust plants with Sevin Dust.  Just from exploring the boiler room/workshop, it’s easy to tell that whoever spent time in that room was quite intelligent and resourceful.

Since we needed to run out to buy light bulbs, I stopped to pick up pizzas so we could have our first dinner in our new home!

Who needs chairs?  Or plates?  They’re just happy to be INSIDE!  (My apologies for the grainy picture… the room was lit with one 25 watt bulb and my phone’s flash just couldn’t make up for that.)

And since we’re inside, why not take a tour?  Here are the pictures from the listing:

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I’ll be taking my own pictures for projects, but we’ve been killing ourselves all weekend with bringing in boxes and I haven’t taken my camera to the new house yet.

I feel like I’ve aged ten years in two days, and my Fitbit tells me that all the stair-climbing and cleaning I’ve done in both houses totaled over 11 miles this weekend.

I’m ready to get to work on some projects!

Why the Move?

I’ve mentioned that we’re moving, but not the why behind the move. We’ve lived in our current home for four years and spent every bit of that time making it ours.  We’ve painted everything, replaced flooring, installed a tile backslash in the kitchen, replaced lighting, turned a loft into a bedroom, planted plants, and so much more.

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In March 2013, we grew our family through adoption. Fourteen months, $40,000, and stacks of paperwork later, we had a 10 year old daughter and 6 year old son!

Our son was crib-bound in his orphanage, and wasn’t walking when he first came home. It took 9 months and lots of therapy to help him become mobile, and he is still very limited.

Our current home is built on a hill, and there’s no level ground outside, which means he’s generally stuck wherever I put him outside.

We talked about moving and made a list of everything a new house would have to include. All living spaces on one level (bedrooms upstairs were fine), no stairs leading to the front door, a flat driveway, a flat yard, storage space, the list went on. We assumed we’d never find a house that fit the bill.

In June, I saw it. I knew it was the house. Scott took a little longer to realize it, but it had everything on the list. It even had everything on a mental list I’ve had since I was a kid, including a swinging door (thanks, Cosby family), and an attic with permanent stairs (because Home Alone).

Mulberry before 01

With it being a Freddie Mac home, it’s taken until November for everything to go through. We still have to be careful with the timing of the actual move, so our current adoption won’t be stalled. But we’re getting closer to our move, and closer to making it ours!

A Little Bit About Me

There are a very few things I enjoy more than taking something old, unused, worn out, or forgotten and breathing life into it, making it my own.

My home is decorated with items that were found in dusty antique shops and neat little secondhand stores.

A small metal crate holds bags of fresh whole bean coffee and two antique Ball jars with locking lids with our ground coffee.

A small metal crate holds bags of fresh whole bean coffee and two antique Ball jars with locking lids with our ground coffee.

I usually have an idea of the outcome of the project, and then need just to find the pieces to pull it together.  Sometimes, I find an unexpected treasure I can’t pass up.

An art deco reflector type floor lamp with cast iron tube and brass base and arms. Just needs a bit of cleaning up, rewiring, and a new reflector!

If something I like is expensive, I’ll work around it.  That may mean painting, sewing, crafting, or waiting things out until the price drops.  My dining table and chairs were purchased separately, and we sat in folding chairs until I found dining chairs that wouldn’t mean settling for something I knew I wouldn’t like long-term.

My Hooker Furniture dining table with leaves that extend from the end. Purchased for $75 on a yard sale page on facebook. We sat on a bench and folding chairs for several months until I found our dining chairs.

Our seating now includes a pew from my childhood church and upholstered chairs from a yearly Hooker Furniure sale that benefits a local charity.  Totally worth the wait!

Our seating now includes a pew from my childhood church and upholstered chairs from a yearly Hooker Furniure sale that benefits a local charity. Totally worth the wait!

We’ll soon be moving into a home built in 1941, and I am over the moon THRILLED to have a new space to make my own.  In my mind’s eye, or my “mental Pinterest board” as my best friend puts it, I already see the finished rooms.   I can’t wait to take you on before, in process, and after tours!