New House!

We have moved!   

After a year & a half of being married, Robby and I unpacked boxes from our separate lives pre-marriage and set up our 1st home.  Oh, how I’ve dreamed of this day for so long!

I know I sent out thank you letters after the wedding, and I have given many hugs and big smiles, but THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts for all of the thoughtful wedding gifts.   Many of you don’t even know the blessings that you have brought into our lives so many months after the wedding.  As we unpacked, it was a flood of memories of sweet friends and families that gave us each item.  New knives – thanks Uncle Rocky and Aunt Carol!  Beautiful plates from Crate & Barrel – thanks Cousin Allison!  Pretty pillows for our bedroom – thanks to my mother’s Yaya’s!   Each item that we unpacked had a story behind it.  We were overwhelmed with blessings and memories!

We are still settling in, unpacking things as we go, and trying to remember where we put everything.   There aren’t many picture of our new place just yet.  Maybe soon when we get set up.  Until then, here we are in front of our 1st home:

Our 1st Place

Our 1st Place

And…..our 1st Christmas Tree:

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Yes, this year we are very blessed.

Merry Christmas!    

Hello Fall!

Fall is my favorite season of the year. I love the chill in the air when I’m going to work. I love the leaves on the road in our neighborhood. My nose delights in the smell of BBQ when we arrive to our tailgate at Texas A&M. The seasonal colors are fun and inspires me to decorate. And don’t let me forget my ever favorite pumpkin spice latte that makes its annual appearance at Starbucks. Yes, fall is my favorite.

My family, ever loyal to the Dallas Cowboys, instilled in me at an early age that even if I’m not paying attention to the game I still suit up and wear the clothes. This picture is for them:

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The first leaf of fall

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Craft time! I started painting the R for our front door wreath.

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Our fall front door:

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I will finish our new Texas A&M wreath for the ring door this week. More picture to come soon!

Staying Organized during Christmas

It’s our 1st Christmas being married!   And you know what that means, right?  2 families to buy gifts for, traveling to see family, splitting time with everyone, and very little sleep!   However, we’ve been done with our Christmas shopping for 2 weeks now, and haven’t felt stressed about the holidays at all!   “HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?” you ask.   Well, it’s a little thing I call The Christmas Binder!   Yes-sir-e-bob, I made a Christmas Binder to stay organized this year.  AND IT REALLY DID HELP!!

I spent a few hours pulling from websites and blogs all over, finding free printables, gathering advice, taking ideas and molding it to our family needs, and keeping it near me pretty often.

Let’s start with the calendar, shall we?

Monthly Calendar

Monthly Calendar

check lists

check lists

OrganizedChristmas was where I started my search with a calendar.  They have the great ideas of how to start planning and thinking ahead of December so that when December is here, you can enjoy and not race to get gifts, baking, cleaning, packing, Christmas Cards sent, etc… all tackled at once.

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Your Way is a fantastic website, year round, for creative and fun things that are family friendly.  They are focused on intentional living and making the most of the day.  I used their Christmas Printables to get my binder started.  These were very easy to change and print to my needs.

Thank You Notes

Thank You Notes

Organizing Homelife was a big help in covering all of my bases and having documents ready to print.   With topics such as 12 Days of Christmas (Planning),  Stocking Stuffer Ideas, and so much more, this lady has it all covered!

Our Binder Cover

Our Binder Cover

All that I had to do was tweek a cover for my binder and make it my own!   We used a LOT of Groupon Deals this year and were able to easily track them with our binder.  Groupon helped us get our Christmas card for a great price and the binder was the central hub for receipts, documents, and address lists.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Last week the temperature was in the mid 70’s here.  And then…..a cold front swept through!  YAY!!   It’s about time that we get to bring out our winter jackets!

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I woke up to this wonderful picture of my brother-in-law and nephews, enjoying the beautiful snow in Minneapolis.  Aren’t they precious?!   I can’t wait to see snow this winter!  Last year it snowed on Christmas Eve in West Texas.  While I’m doubtful it will happen 2 years in a row, Robby and I are planning on going to Colorado to ski for Valentine’s Day and will get our fill of snow then.

While waiting for the cooler temps, I started decorating the house for the holidays.  Robby and I put up a 2nd tree in the formal living room for us to have and start our own traditions.

Before we decorated.

Before we decorated.

Our grandmother has many, many, many Dept. 56 Snow Village houses!  This year they were all set up, including a water feature!   With a timer put on it, the lights glow each night and add to the Christmas merriment.

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Daddy Jim and My Naynie’s tree is in the living room, where it always is, and has presents patiently awaiting to the family on Christmas Eve.

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The fireplace might be one of my biggest and proudest accomplishments this year!

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I found lots of Christmas dishes and tea cups!  I LOVE festive dishes!   So the table is set for our Christmas Eve meal of tamales and chili.  I can’t wait!

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The front door has some pretty things hung to welcome our guests in.  We tried to put up Christmas lights, but it didn’t happen this year. Maybe next year.

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In the entry way there’s a count-down-to-Christmas picture and hanging ornaments.  I love that this little lamp is on a timer and has a soft glow of light when we get home each night.

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AND…..mistletoe!   This pretty crystal and mistletoe are hanging in the entry way, so I can get a kiss each day with the hubby!

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There are a few of our decorations for this year.  Who knows where we will be this time next year?!?!  Or what type of decorations we will have up and around our home.

Merry Christmas!

Our 1st Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving was terrific this year.  Though my heart ached and missed my family in Mt. Pleasant and Joe and his family in Minneapolis, we had a wonderful gathering of family at our house in Odessa.

I enjoyed pulling out my mother-in-law’s china and decorating the house.  There’s just something about fall that makes you want to bake and decorate!

The formal dinning room, with the kids table set and ready!

The formal dinning room, with the kids table set and ready!

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The table-scape

I had a fun time getting decorations for the table.  I found pumpkin candles and porcelain mini pumpkins at the Dollar Tree.   I spray painted a few gold and a few silver, then spread them out on top of the fall leaves that I also picked up at the Dollar Tree.  Total decoration cost: less than $20.00!  Love it!   Doesn’t everything look so nice with the china?

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Our family loves to play golf!  By using extra golf balls and tees to fill in the flowers, it held everything in placed and added a fun touch to the arrangement.

The best part of Thanksgiving – the people around the table!  Cousin Bethany and her husband brought their three precious little girls for dinner.  Aaron smoked the turkey and a ham and Bethany cooked delicious side dishes!   I was thankful for them this Thanksgiving.  Without Bethany and Aaron, I would have had to cook!  HA!  Just kidding,…..but seriously, I was so thankful.  Daddy Jim and Momma Jayne enjoyed time together, and Uncle Rocky came in at the last minute to stay with us!  Danny and Kayla drove over for dinner and Greta helped me all day prepare the house and decorate.  What a lovely dinner group!

Daddy Jim and Momma Jayne (also known as Mynaynee)

Daddy Jim and Momma Jayne (also known as Mynaynee)

 

The Reese Family!

The Reese Family!

 

Aaron and Bethany

Aaron and Bethany

 

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Danny and Kayla

 

The girls at the kids table

The girls at the kids table

 

 

FINISHED!

My first bathroom remodel is complete!  I’m very pleased with the wall color and how well it looks with the natural light from the window.   *whew* It’s over!!

I’m pretty excited about the curtains I made! Don’t they look great?

Here’s what the paint contrast looks like.  I took a picture of the new beige/tan while I painted over the primer.  Just a subtle little color and makes the white cabinets stand out a bit more.

 

 

 

And now, on to the next project:  My 1st Garage Sale!   YAY!

Bathroom Remodel – UPDATE!

Many people have asked how the bathroom update is going.  The answer,….it’s going!  There have been a few hiccups here and there, but for a first time DIYer, and attempting this alone, I think it’s going pretty well.

Just to refresh your memory, here are pictures of the bathroom before the remodel started.

Taking down the wall paper was a pain in the rear.  How was I to know the dry wall was so old that it had changed colors and would start to peel off?   Still, I powered through and got it taken care of.   There were definitely some moments when I considered quitting and calling the pros to come and save me.  But no!  I was determined to finish this out.  (Plus we don’t have the money to pay anyone to finish this, so I’m sort of stuck.)

Just taking down the wall paper made a HUGE difference.  It was dark before hand and had little natural light.  Check out what it was like without the wall paper:

The next step was to texture and prime.   I’m not a fan of texturing walls in general, but I understand why it must be done.  So I applied a gentle and subtle texture, primed the walls, and this is what it looks like now!

Now I’m working on painting the walls with the great new color!   I’ve already sewn the new curtains and I’m looking for a few new pieces of art to go on the wall, just a basic look to add to the space.   The next post on the bathroom remodel will show the final product.  Can’t wait!

Bathroom Remodel Ideas

CALLING ALL D.I.Y.ers!!!    

I could use some ideas, color schemes, and (the big key) experienced advice about doing a few things to our current bathroom.   First, take a look at the pictures and then we’ll get down to business.

Here are the conditions that we have to work with:

  1. Budget:   There is no budget.   As in, we have no money.   So whatever ideas you have need to be thrifty.
  2. Tagging on to #1, we are keeping a few things: countertops, cabinets, fixtures, sink, toilet, and bathtub.  Don’t get fancy on me, we’re not ripping out the bathtub to put in a state-of-the-art shower with 10 pulsating shower heads and a TV and Bose surround sound!  (one day…..*sigh*)
  3. Shower sliding doors/curtains.   Currently we have an accordion style, plastic door where glass would normally be.   I’m not a fan.  HELP!
  4. Style:    We are people who like simple designs, clean lines, and little clutter.   My husband appreciates that I don’t make everything hot pink with zebra stripes and “all-girlie-froo-froo.”
  5. Floors:  At the moment we have a deep forest green carpet that is in great condition.   I’m not sure our land-lord (Grandfather) would let us rip it out and put tile in there.   We might be able to do that when we get the dream shower.   So until then……the green carpet stays.

I’m curious to hear what you would do to this bathroom.   Ideas?   Suggestions?   Bring it on!

Our 1st home,….sort of.

Everyone looks forward to their first place to live.  I have enjoyed my apartments and moves as a single gal in Dallas.  Each apartment was different and added a new view on life.  And now, it’s time for that 1st place for Robby and me as a married couple.    Which means……..

GOODBYE, Dallas, my city and my home for 10 years!    I will miss you!

AND………

HELLO WEST TEXAS!    

For the moment, there is hardly any housing to be found.  There has been an “oil boom” in the past year and everyone is moving to Midland/Odessa for work.  Though it’s great for the economy, and all the restaraunts that I enjoy from Dallas are building out West, there are NO homes available!  To get into an apartment, we would be on a waiting list for 4-6 months, if not more.  What about renting a home you say?   Nope.  Why would people rent their home when they could sell it for more than they bought it in less than 2 days on the market?    If we were to find one for rent, the rent is outrageous!    Some homes are going for $4,000/month, if not more!  CRAZY times outs here.  Which leads us to…….

Question:  What are we to do as newly with a very tiny budget??

Answer:  We move in with Robby’s grandfather, Daddy Jim!  (We’re so thankful that we have family out here to help us out.  What would we do without family?!)

It’s not what we ever dreamed of as our first home, but it’s more space than we could ever have imagined!  OH!  AND it’s nice to be in a home, not an apartment.  (I just realized I haven’t lived in a home in 10 years!  WOW!   Sure is nice to have a driveway and not have to search for parking at an apartment.)  One of my favorite things about the house….the closet!  I have so much space for my shoes!  Now that makes me a happy lady.

Here are a few pictures of Daddy Jim’s home.  Not sure how long we will be here, but we’re enjoying it so far!   Each room is a “blast from the past” and makes me giggle when I see the carpet and wall paper each morning.  But it’s fun and makes me feel like I’m living in a time warp.

It was right about this point in taking pictures this morning that I thought to my self, “Self, you should go outside and take some pictures of the back yard.”   So outdoors I went, barefoot, glasses on, in my fuzzy pink bathrobe.  And LOCKED MYSELF OUT OF THE HOUSE!!!!   My cell phone was inside, everyone was at work.  Just me and the dog, Lil’ Bit, in the back yard.   What was I to do?  Climb the fence and introduce myself to my new neighbors in my bathrobe?  Wait in the backyard and hope someone came home for lunch???   Thankfully I remembered the code to the garage and was able to get back inside.   You better believe that I will remember that the back door locks automatically behind you!     After that, I had a few more pictures of our new home.   Thought you might enjoy my lil’ excursion in my bathrobe and glases.

Check out the laundry room cabinets!   That’s right, TONS of color in there!   I like all of the different shapes and sizes to the drawers and doors.  Makes it easy to find a space for everything.  It’s just gotta fit somewhere, right?!?!

Then there’s the “Blue” room and indoor hot tub!   Can’t wait to use that this winter!

For the most part, that’s our new home.  There’s a few other rooms  (formal living/dining room, extra bedrooms, pantry,etc…) but I figured you might be bored by this point.

So thanks for touring our first home with us.  If we get to remodel/update the house one day, these pictures will be great with before and after shots.   Until then, I’ll keep living in my time warp.  I mean….who doesn’t  love bright orange and black in their bathroom!?!?!   That’s what I thought.