It’s done!

It’s a little over a month after I wanted to have my house listed but it is now officially done! After many many months of hard work I am so happy to say everything is finally finished and I finally feel like I can breathe! I’ve done a lot of touch up jobs and a lot of small things that I won’t bore you with.  Here are a lot of before and after pictures! I’m just finishing up some paper work, figuring out pricing and looking to have my house listed by the end of this week!!

Enjoy…

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Now to the inside…

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Well…I believe that covers it, minus the basement and the garage those look the same…

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I did however replace that bottom section of the garage door that is rotting and I removed some shelves from the basement to open it up a little more…

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This house has become my life for the past 15 months. I have put A LOT of blood, sweat and tears into it…literally. Even though my time with it is very close to being over I’ve have learned a lot through this project and I hope that whoever lives in it next will continue on with what I have started. No matter where I am or where I’m living a little part of me will always be with this house. I’m ready to move on and start the next journey in my life and am excited to create a home in California again. Until then, for the next few weeks, our heart are anchored in this little cottage we call home…

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Hammocks, Birthdays and Summer…

Well by now I think it’s safe to say I suck at this whole blog thing…I’ve just been too busy working hard at enjoying the summer…

Once again there has been a lot that has gone on since the last time i posted…

I turned 26! Yeah that’s my birthday cake. Go ahead and be jealous. It was beyond awesome.

The 4th of July…

And apparently my name has been changed to Trish. I know I mumble but come on…how do you get Trish out of Gretchen?

As far as the house goes, it has had some major changes as well this summer. Especially on the outside.

A few pictures of the house when I moved in…

And the back before a little demolition…

West enjoying his patio one last time…

My backyard looks huge now! It also looks like a petting zoo currently. Waiting for a little cooler weather so I can start growing some grass.  Right now its just a bunch of dirt and hay.

And for the front…

This single picture says it all. The landscape is still not 100% complete. Still have a little bit of planting to do but it’s definitely made a HUGE difference so far!

As always, our hearts are anchored in this little cottage we call home…


Allergies, Baby Birds, and a Stairwell

So…it’s been a pretty crazy week. My grandmother was in town for her and my mom’s birthday, I was sick for a few days, West made a trip to the vet because he’s been itching like a maniac. In a panic I gave him a little hair cut in attempts to figure out what was causing the itching…

turns out he’s just allergic to the mid-west. Sorry for the shave buddy.

Annnd I’ve been taking care of baby birds…

The eggs in my back yard haven’t hatched yet, in fact it’s gone from 4 eggs to one…I’m loosing hope that that last one will survive. 😦 But there were three baby robins that hatched in my parents front yard. After finding out that only 25% of baby robins make it through the spring due to lack of food and human tampering I took it upon myself to give the mother worms everyday. Had to make sure her babies were staying healthy and growing. She got to the point where she recognized me and would hop over towards me when she saw me cause she was hoping I had worms.

It worked cause in only a few weeks those crazy birds were getting antsy and ready to take flight…

And within a few more days one by one they left…

So cute…going to miss those little guys. I feel like a proud second mother.

As far as the house goes I’ve been busy getting a few projects started. Probably the most exciting for me is, I got a desk! I picked up a free solid wood door, that is ridiculously heavy, and I picked up a pair of saw horses at an estate sale the other day for $4.

Put them together and I have myself a $4 desk!

The door had a gross boring finish on it that wasn’t really my style so I’ve been working on “distressing” it and making it look more natural. As of right now I’ve just been sanding the finish off so the grain the the wood is more prominent.

Still have work to do on it but I’m super excited about finishing this and getting it up in the office.

I also started painting the hallway. I originally was going to do a different color for the hallway. To mix it up instead of having the white everywhere. I decided on a color called silver mink. It was still light and settle but had a pop of color to it…

Naturally the hallway was the same blue that was all over the rest of the house.

Luckily I just bought a tester pint of the silver mink because I ended up changing up what I wanted to do with this area. I had a little chalkboard paint left over from the office and so I decided I was going to accent the actual steps instead of the walls…

With the stairs being black the walls definitely needed to be white so keep it from looking like the stair way to hell.

I went to the craft store and bought some stencils and chalk and decided to number the stairs…

eventually I think I will paint the numbers so they don’t have to touch them up all the time.

I took off the huge iron rail that went up the stairs and patched that as well. I think this will help open up the space which is essential since its the first thing you see when you open the front door to the house.

This is just after one coat of paint. So work is still in progress. But it’s a big difference from the blue. I have custom hand drawn silhouettes of me and my boys that are being drawn by the amazingly talented Michelle Bandach (http://michelleswork.com/ please check out her stuff) that I can’t wait to hang in this stair well.

I apologize that everything about this picture looks drunk. The numbers and the whole picture. Looks like I was falling over as I was taking it. The numbers need to be measured and leveled this was just a rough draft to get a feel for what it will look like. I will try to post before and afters tonight or tomorrow once I finish painting the while and getting the numbers straight! And I promise to take a straight picture.

Until next time, our hearts are anchored in this little cottage we call home…


The Office Continued…

Finally! It’s done! Being painted that is…

I finished painting to office last night finally. It looks a thousand times better. Now, I just need to furnish it. Its crazy to think about how people furnish their homes. Especially very large ones. It’s expensive enough to buy a home and then trying to furnish one is a whole nothing huge expense in it’s self. It’s ridiculous! I’ve am having to furnish the majority of this house because I didn’t have much moving into it. When I lived in California I had an extremely small studio that literally had a desk, a dresser, and a bed. Now I have to somehow manage to fill a two bedroom home. Since my budget is still extremely small estate sales and thrift stores are my best friends. The only problem with those is you have to be patient. You can find some amazing deals but it may take you a while to find exactly what you’re looking for, but if you do. Its worth it!

In my last post I showed a mirror and a couch that were recent finds. I also found an amazing chair at goodwill the other day. This bad boy cost me $30 and I love it…

A few other steals I have found are these…

The lamp was a HomeGoods find for $20 and the bar set was in the clearance section at Home Decorators, and the furniture piece is an old 1960s Magnavox record player cabinet that I got for free from some friends of mine who were moving to Nashville. They said it didn’t work and it was too big to take so I gladly took it off their hands and put faith in the little fellow that I could get it to work. Sure enough all it needed was a new needle (which actually came with the record player) and to have a good bath and I got it spinning 45s in no time!

I love this thing and I love even more that it was free!
So back to the office…here are a few finished pictures! I’m on the hunt for a large, but not bulky desk, for the right side of the room and a nice futon for the left side. I want to incorporate some other sort of sleeping space so not all my guests have to share a bed with me and my pups.

I really happy with the way it turned out now I just can’t wait to get it decorated!

 

In other news…

still waiting for the baby robins to hatch but mama is taking good care of them,

I have a lot of what I think to be rhubarb growing in my back yard,

aaand my neighbors apparently don’t know how to mow their lawn. lame. although it makes mine look better its getting a little out of hand. I’ve mowed 3 times and they have yet to.

 

Last but not least I must mention the two best deals I have yet to find and they will certainly be hard to top…

Jasper was free because someone was trying to get rid of him and West was a birthday present for my 23rd birthday.

Even though they were free I would’ve given everything I had for these two boys. They are priceless and always will be.

 

our hearts are anchored in this little cottage we call home…


Tired…

I’ve slowed down a little bit this week. I’ve been exhausted. I think all the work and stress is finally starting to catch up with me now.

Looks like I’m not alone.

Thankfully I’ve had an overwhelming good response to my blog and it’s really helped me stay on task and focused. Thanks so much to everyone who has taken the time to check out my journey.

Also a big thanks to the two following things for waking me up and keeping me energized everyday…

The mini keurig! I don’t know where I’d be without it. Thanks mom!

and my daily alarm clock. If he wasn’t so cute he would drive me nuts in the morning.

I’ve continued to work on the office. Painting should be done by Friday which is exciting. It’s taken longer than expected because I’ve had to put three coats of paint over the bottom layer of the room that was painted navy blue. The hard work is paying off though and its looking great. I can’t wait until it gets done and I can get things organized in there!

Not the best pic but a quick reminder of what the office looked like before.

The walls in this house are insane. On average, per wall, there are probably about 10 nail holes. At least 40 a room. I have no idea what the people had on their walls before I lived here but it is crazy. Several holes are much larger than a nail too, so there is no telling. Those are two walls from the office. It definitely required the most patch work so far.

Excuse the clutter on the floor. All this other work has left me unpacking very very slowly. As you can see half the room is done and looking good!

On another exciting note…I got a new couch. This is probably my favorite estate sale find so far! I love it and I can’t wait to get the family room done so I can showcase this bad boy!

It huge and incredible.

One more great thrift store find was this mirror…

note: this picture is taken off the internet because I can’t seem to find where the before picture of my mirror ended up, but this is what my mirror looked like when I purchased it.

and after…my $10 thrift store find looks brand new and the boys liked it too…

We will leave it on that note and a hi-five to another successful day…


I found the easter eggs…and the bunny

Happy Easter to all those who celebrate it and for those of you who don’t hope you Sunday was relaxing, enjoyable and spent with loved ones. Even though it was Sunday and a holiday there was no resting for me. I started the day off at one of my favorite places in the world, the dog park. It’s always a good vibe filled with the best creatures on earth, the dogs that is, not the humans.

West decided to play with the largest dog I have ever seen. That dogs head came up to my breast. He was insanely amazing.

After the park we came home ready to work on this lovely day. My parents brought over a chain saw and cut down a bunch of dead bushes and what not. Anyone who knows me knows I don’t need to be anywhere near a chainsaw so I spent the majority of the day wandering around the back yard discovering new things. It was a successful Easter because of these two discoveries…

I found real easter eggs and…a moment of silence please…

the easter bunny. poor fellow. R.I.P.

After those exciting and tragic discoveries I was done with yard work for the day.

Next step was starting to paint one of the bedrooms which will be the office. Yes, there was plenty other things I could do but my ADD had me starting on the office…

One quick tip I’ve learned from painting: line your paint tray in foil it makes for a much easier and quicker clean up. That is the one down fall to painting…the clean up takes for ever!

This is the office before. white on top and go figure, a shade of blue on the bottom. At least the navy was better than the blue downstairs.

I’m painting the office white again minus this wall. I put chalkboard paint on top and white on bottom. I’ll post a better picture when it’s light out and the paint tape is down. Eventually my desk will go against this wall and the chalkboard paint will work great for an inspiration wall!

Another successful day down.

I will leave you with this sweet face and crooked paw…

man he is cute!


Curb Appeal…

Exciting things went down at the homefront today! I’m exhausted and I’m surprised my limbs still work. I may have to amputate my arms at some point… Regardless the house is finally starting to really look great, or at least the outside is! This past week I’ve had painters here painting the exterior of my house. This was the one expense I had to splurge on. There is no way I was about to take upon that challenge myself. Instead I found a nice guy named Jose and his posse to helped me out. Not only did he paint he even left me two packets of diced jalapenos in my back yard. Good ole Jose…

The paint job was worth every penny though. It’s unbelievable how a few little things can transform a house.

This is the first picture I ever took of the house. I was driving by in my car. I’m not sure how I ever thought it was cute to begin with. It kind of looks like death. Literally it’s dark, creepy and has a weird eerie look to it.

Before starting the exterior paint I had to do some work on the garage. I had to replace the bottom panel and get new springs and cables so it could we in working condition.

That was the bottom before it was replaced. Rotting and disgusting. I didn’t take a picture of it once it was replaced but you will see in the following pictures. Turned out looking great!

Now onto the paint…

After day 1 my house was looking even more like the leper of the neighborhood than it did before. Poor thing…

Day two brightened things up a bit…even all my windows. This was actually really convenient cause for one night I could walk around naked where ever I pleased. (I haven’t had blinds or window coverings since I moved in. Only a week ago did I get one for my bathroom window. Until then I was showering in the dark to spare my neighbors from my naked body.

The house was looking better but how those stairs and door need a serious makeover too.

luckily they got one and by the time Jose and his boys packed up my house looked like this…

So that leads me to today. The house was looking so much better but there are still some things that need to be done. This morning I woke up, ate a bagel, drank a cup of coffee, popped an anxiety pill and headed off to home depot. I grabbed some supplies, some new light fixtures and new house numbers and got to work.

First light was hung easily and successfully. (yes that mailbox will go eventually too)

Second light was a little more difficult. My biggest issue was that I needed a ladder to reach it but I didn’t have a ladder so I resorted to the next best option…

The peej ladder!!! (peej is jeep spelled backwards, that’s what I call her) That’s genius right? No, still with the jeep pulled up I’m only 5’4″ so my arms were above my head the whole time, and the WHOLE time was a LOOONG time. The round base of the fixture I bought was bigger than the one that was up before. I unfortunately didn’t have any tools to cut the shingles so i plugged in an electric sander and sanded it down…for a long time. By the end my legs were shaking and I didn’t have feeling in my shoulders anymore but I finally got it up.

My last task of the day was to hang new house numbers too and those were a breeze compared to the garage light. Even thought it was a lot of work those few little things make a huge difference in the aesthetic of the house.

There are still things that need to be done to the outside. Shutters, caulking and patching a few things, landscape is a must, and a new mailbox are a few things off the top of my head. Having painted it really changing the look of the house and has made a huge difference. Not only in the way it looks but in my pride for the house. This things is slowly becoming my baby. I have feelings for it, and I’m excited about what else it to come!!! so are these two…