Home Sweet Home

I’ve been a little lacking in keeping up with this blog since we found out we were moving back home last year. It’s been a whirlwind—hubby’s new job offer  came while we were in Disney last September, and three and a half weeks later we were packed and moved. Easy-peasy, right?

Not so much. We rented out our house when we moved to North Carolina, and when we moved back we were pretty sure we wanted to move back in. Unfortunately, our tenant was only one month into a year-long lease, so we needed a fairly short-term plan B.

The view out of my temporary office window this fall.

We found a cute apartment a few blocks from our house, figuring that would give Hubby a good test run of the new, longer commute before we committed (especially through the winter) and decided to give it a few months, but the longer we were here, the more we knew we wanted our house.

We gave our tenant notice in February so that he would have plenty of time to find something else before the end of his lease. It didn’t take that long—he bought something and was out of the house in early May. Yay!
Our temporary kitchen was actually quite nice.
Since the house is fairly small (with only one bathroom), we decided we wanted to do some renovations while it was empty. The house was built in the 80s, and not much had been updated since.
Kitchen, mid-demo.
Our to do list was lofty:
  1. Redo the kitchen (paint the cabinets, new ceramic tile floor and backsplash, new counter top, new pantry, and new appliances)
  2. Expand the Master Bedroom closet to a 5 foot by 12 foot walk-in.
  3. Take the bathroom down to studs and start all over. 😃
  4. Paint the whole house.
  5. Remove all flooring. Tile the kitchen, laundry room and bathroom. Carpet the rest.
  6. Remove the cabinets from the sunroom, paint the lovely wood paneling, and carpet the concrete floors.
  7. Replace all the heaters, baseboard and door molding, interior doors, ceiling fans, receptacles, etc.
  8. Replace the back door and screen door.
Our timeframe? We were moving in exactly 30 days after we got the keys back. No problem, right? 😉
Laundry room, fully demolished.

Everyone said we were crazy, but we pushed through. I worked on the house from 8 am – 2 pm every day. My newly-retired dad often joined me. I would go back to the apartment and work a few hours in the afternoon, then Hubby and I came back to the house from 6-midnight every night. Weekends, we were there all day.

After four days, a fifteen yard dumpster was full.

At the end of thirty days we were exhausted, but we got it done–with a few small exceptions (a little caulk, some paint touch-ups, etc.) And we were finally home! Yay!

Living room as furniture started coming in on day thirty.

I learned a lot—demo is fun, it can be depressing to be in a pretty much gutted house, that flooring made more of a drastic difference than anything else. And that there’s no place like home.

Pup lounging on the back patio.

In the coming weeks, I’ll post pictures of the transformations in the three rooms with the most drastic changes—the kitchen, bathroom, and sunroom. I’ll share what we learned, what we did right, and things we may have done a little differently. And, I’ll even admit to those things I would never do myself again, even if I am super-proud of how it turned out.

Our hibiscus is just a bit overgrown.

I also have a stockpile of recipes I’ll mix in—some from my shiny new kitchen, and a few I put together in the temporary apartment.

First cake in my new kitchen. 🙂

Until then, do you have any of your own renovation stories to share? Success stories? DIY don’ts? (I have some of each! 😂) Please share in the comments. 😃


A Quick Weekend Getaway

Sometimes, you just need to get away, even if it is January. Or, more likely, especially in January. 😉

More beach walking
Perfect day for a beach stroll.

It is no secret that I could spend all day, every day at the beach, so when Hubby suggested a January getaway to the beach, I jumped at it! After all, Carolina beaches in January aren’t too cold, right?

Well, kind of.

Surf competition in front of the hotel
Surf competition in front of the hotel

On our 3-day trip, we had one day of mid-60s and sunny, one of 50 and rain. And one bright and sunny, with a high of 34. Brrr.

And every minute was worth it. We had an ocean-front room, so even in the cold, we could watch (and listen to) the waves crashing on the shore. We brought a whole stash of board games and a computer for Netflix. All in all it was a beautiful, relaxing weekend.

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And the last day may have been cold, but the sunrise made it all worth it. ❤

Have you ever take an off-season vacation? Where did you head? Did you find it to be as peaceful and relaxing as I did? Please share! ❤Blog Signature

Ocean Storms

Last weekend, we headed to Ocean City, NJ for a day at the beach.  We left before 6, and got home after midnight, making for a long, but amazingly relaxing day.

When we got there, it looked like a great day for the beach.  We set up chairs and were relaxing on the beach before 10 a.m.

Read more

Finding Inspiration in the Oddest Places

I love to cook, which is good.  If we left the cooking up to my husband (who I lovingly refer to as Pookie), food poising may be a regular part of our lives.   He is known to try to surprise me with a meal every now and then.  His problem–he is so afraid of burning things that he tend to undercook them.  Let me tell you, French toast with cold egg runs out when you cut into it is not the best breakfast (although the thought was beyond sweet!)

In his defense, he has gotten a lot better in recent years since he discovered the joys of a digital thermometer.  Still, 99% of the cooking falls on me. Read more

The Best Summer Job Ever

Those of you that have been following along on Facebook and/or Twitter may know that yesterday was Pookie and my anniversary, and today is his birthday. So, I thought I would share with you all how amazing my husband really is. 🙂

Pookie and I met when we were both working a summer job as lifeguards. He was working the entrance to a lazy river, helping people into tube for the ride. I was helping them back out at the end, a few feet away. Read more