The List, revisited

We finally moved in!  It went smoothly for the most part, but we still don't have everything moved.  We also don't have the internet in our house yet, which is why you're not getting any photos today. 

Here's the list that we originally made, in a (slightly) less daunting format.  We actually have some things checked off!


remove front fence
trim bushes
new landscaping in front - possibly hydrangea
new fence in back
repave driveway
power wash back deck
refinish back deck
gutter guards on the upper roof gutters
remove concrete patio in back and add a new stone paver patio and path
remove dog house and build a new shed
paint shutters
remove paint from brick in front
paint house
remove antenna from chimney
add landscaping around back


new moulding in living room, dining room, kitchen, master bd, guest bd, office, band room, bathrooms
paint living room, dining room, kitchen, master bd, guest bd, office, band room, family room, bathrooms
new curtains for the master bedroom, living room, dining room, office and guest room
re-paint all doors
paint stair railing (eventually replace the railing)
new vent covers (whole house)
new outlet covers (where they were damaged/painted)
furniture (sofa, chair, coffee table, end tables)
find rugs for the living room and master bedroom
add wainscoting in the dining room
build a wall partition in the dining room
find a pendant light for above dining room table
find a track light for above the kitchen table
move light from the master bathroom to the kitchen
install track light in the living room
straighten the kitchen cabinets
install new countertop in the kitchen
install new backsplash in the kitchen
build a lower cabinet in the kitchen
build shelves in the kitchen
build a bookcase in place of the pantry
find a pub table set for the kitchen
find undercabinet lighting for the kitchen
install new carpeting in the family room
install sound insulation in the band room
install new vanities in the master bathroom and full bathroom
find a linen shelf for the full bathroom
build a closet organizer in the master bedroom
find new furniture for the master bedroom
install new hardware in the master bathroom, full bathroom and powder room
replace showerhead in full bathroom
have the tub refinished
have the floors refinished
refinish and paint the stairs

This weekend we're planning on working in the kitchen - priming, painting, trim and backsplash.  Hopefully by next week we can have a fully functional kitchen!


Everything that can go wrong...

After the counters were installed I was very excited that we were making visible progress in the house.  For the first time I actually believed that we would be ready to move on May 21st.

Then we tried to install the vanity in the bathroom.

The first problem was that the drain to our sink goes through the floor and not the wall.  Since most houses have plumbing go through the walls and not the floor, the vanity we bought had a solid bottom to it.

So we had to cut a space for the pipe. 

After getting the vanity back upstairs, we realized that we probably shouldn't have installed the moulding before the vanity, since the vanity is supposed to be flush to the wall.  So we cut that out.

Next, we noticed that when we could finally get the vanity against the wall, it wasn't flush.  Apparently our floors slope away from the wall, so we put risers on the feet to make it more level.  

Then Matt did a lot of things when I wasn't around, and did not take pictures like I asked, but I forgave him because I came home to this:

A working vanity!  Water comes out of the faucet and drains and doesn't leak!  Now we just need to put the door back on, get the hardware up and a shower curtain, and we're good to go.


The Counters are Installed

The kitchen counters were finally installed today!  I'm super happy with them, especially because they originally told us that there would be a seam, but there isn't  Just smooth counters.  Yay!

The counters are Eco by Cosentino in Iron Ore.  I'm so happy with the color and look!  We're one step closer to having a finished house :)


Let there be color!

We finally have color in the house!  We finally got to the point of painting the house, and paint we did.  I spent the whole weekend painting, with a lot of help of course!   We got through the main spaces that we'll need to move furniture into, which is exactly how far I wanted to get!  Here are the photos, but I don't think my camera does some of the colors justice.

The bathroom is blue!

 The guest room is green!

 The office is brown!

 The living room is gray!  Also, that light fixture is new.  My dad was able to hook it up today, and I think it looks great!

 The stairs and hallway are gray!

And if you know me, you know I had to paint something purple.  Here's the dining room!

I can't wait until we're able to take up the drop cloths and see the floors with the new paint.  The house has completely transformed in the past few weeks.  Now all it needs are mouldings and we'll be ready to go!


I love shelves.

I do.  Especially in kitchens.  Lucky for me (well, planned by me, haha) we're going to have a bunch!  You've probably already seen the skeleton of the new base shelves that Matt and his dad put in last weekend (post is here).  I've also mentioned in passing that we're converting the tiny kitchen pantry to a tiny built-in bookcase.  We'll also be adding upper shelves in the kitchen. 

Here are some awesome kitchens with open shelving:
 The baskets on the lower shelves are so cute.

 The pictures on the shelves are such a cool touch

I love the white cabinets and white dishes

I love the green door and green dishes.

These photos have been my inspiration for me.  Hopefully our kitchen will turn out half as lovely as these did!


We are officially Garden Staters!

But not without a headache!  We decided to do our residency change on Saturday because the floors were still drying and we were approaching the 60 day limit.  On Friday night, as we were gathering our documents and getting ready for bed, we realized that to change the title on our cars, we needed NJ car insurance.  I'm thinking that it won't be a big deal, and we can just change it online and print it out for tomorrow.  We already have homeowners insurance through the same company, so how hard could it be?  Fast forward to midnight when Matt is on the phone with a representative (lucky they offer 24/7 service).  Aside from the fact that we're getting homeowners through them, they needed other proof that we lived there.  By 1am, we were finally insured in NJ. 

We woke up the next morning at 6:30 so we could be at the MVC bright and early.  We just had to stop at the house and try to find the gas bill as proof of address (I know, I know, but the house is such a mess things are bound to get misplaced).  I was ready before Matt and left to stop by the house.  Thankfully I didn't have to search for the gas bill because we had gotten a sewer bill in the mail with both of our names on it.  That is probably the only time I'll ever be happy to see a bill.

Upon arriving at the MVC I was dismayed to discover that the parking lot was already full.  It opened at 8am and we got there around 8:15.  We got to the receptionist, who gave us a bunch of forms to fill out.  The license part actually went pretty smoothly.  The first time I took the photo, the woman said "I'm going to count down from 3.  3... 2... Oh, hey maria" click.  I was looking to the side at Maria, so she retook it. 

The title was a little more annoying.  Matt actually couldn't get his new title on Saturday because we're still paying off his car and he has to talk to the lender.  I wanted to ad Matt as a co-owner, which basically means I had to fill out the paperwork as if I was selling it to myself.  The MVC worker and I got confused with the paperwork.  I put the original purchase price on the form, and he tried to charge me tax, thinking that I had actually just bought the car.  It all worked out eventually, and I got my NJ title and license plates :) 

The whole ordeal took about 1 1/2 hours, and I'm so glad we got it over with.  It was something I had been dreading (doesn't everyone dread trips to the MVC/DMV/whatever?).  Now it's one more thing checked off the endless "to-do" list!


The Floors Are Finished!!

And they look awesome!  I'm sooo excited, and it was completely worth it to have someone come in and do it.  They were finished in 3 days, and if we would have tried to DIY I'm sure it would have taken over a week.

 Ok, so part of this was the camera, but still, not in great shape

 lots of scratches

 and more scratches

 Here's how it looked after it had been sanded

 Such a huge difference between the stained and sanded parts!

 Here are the finished floors!  We chose not to do a stain and keep the floors natural. It's a satin finish.

 I'm so happy with how these turned out!

 So pretty!

And no more scratches, dents or dings!

Unfortunately (maybe?) this means we can't work in the house this weekend.  We're going to finally be changing our licenses and address.  There are also plans to go furniture shopping, and to finally buy the vanities for the two upstairs bathrooms.  I can't believe the difference in how the house looks just from last Friday until this Friday.  Everything is starting to come together, finally!


It's not that I hate yellow...

but there was just so much.  Yellow in small doses is nice.  It's sunny, warm and cheerful.  Not the yellow in our house. Or that was in our house.  I headed up the anti-yellow campaign (AYC) this weekend.  We managed to prime the entire upstairs, living room and dining room. 

Guest Bedroom

Dining Room

Living Room
Living Room

It's not perfect, but it's much better than it was.  And if I headed up the AYC, then Matt was the leader of the movement for expanded storage (MfES).  The MfES spent the weekend measuring, cutting and installing a new base cabinet in the kitchen.  The countertop people are coming tomorrow to get the template for the kitchen, so we needed to get them done ASAP.  Here are the photos:

We will eventually paint the end cabinet white and add shelves, but for now they should be able to measure it.  I'm so excited to be adding so much counter space to the kitchen, since it's so small.  The counter installation date is set for May 16, and I can't wait!