Friday, March 25, 2011

Goodbye Old House

It's our last night in our rental and I am busy bustling around and doing last minute cleaning and packing. We plan to move the cats over in the first load tomorrow morning and then come back for the rest of our stuff throughout the weekend. The house is so empty and still now, it's funny how I never noticed before that you can hear the distant rush of cars from the interstate from our neighborhood here. The Marietta house is so much quieter that it made me much more aware of the little noises around here.

As excited as I am about moving to the new house, I'm finding my last night here a little bitter sweet. I tend to get very sentimental about things and and can't help but think of every thing in terms of "the last time" now. For example, I just washed my last load in the dishwasher here, sigh. I know I'm being ridiculous but I have a lot of good feelings towards this place and I will miss it just a teeny bit. This was the first real house we lived in (aside from our parent's houses), it was the first place where Eric and I lived together and the one that we came home to after our wedding. Here is a picture of us with the rental around Christmas time, just for old times sake ;-)

I've been so antsy all week and eager to get moved in to the new place but saying goodbye is always hard for me. Now I just have to focus on looking forward to all the good memories that are already being made and that are still to come in our new place. The rental has given us a lot of good times but there are even more good times up ahead and I couldn't be happier with our decision to buy the new house or with the house itself. It has already totally surpassed my expectations and I am stoked about living within walking distance of my parents. I think of this house as the place where we will settle in to married life and one day raise our kids. Plus we get to look forward to discovering a whole new area. Actually it's more like rediscovering for me since I grew up there but it is like looking at it through totally different eyes as an adult. So goodbye old house and here's to our new adventure of home ownership! I'll be sure to keep you posted on the rest of our move and how the cats settle in (I'm eager to see how that goes down myself). See you all after the weekend :-)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Silly Cats

The cats are acting nuttier and nuttier as thins disappear from the house and the deep cleaning begins. It is probably not a very good testament to my abilities as a housekeeper that the cats are terrified when they see me pick up a broom. It happens so rarely that they know it means either A: company is coming over or B: we are moving! I snapped a couple of cute pictures of Willow and Reese in the midst of all the moving chaos tonight (Westley is smart enough to spend most of his time outside and thus stay clear of said chaos). I couldn't help but share these :-)

Unlike Willow Reese is not completely terrified of the cat carrier. I pulled it out early to give the cats time to adjust to it's presence before the move and while Willow still avoids it like the plague Reese thinks it makes a comfy bed.
Willow likes using the packed bags and boxes as furniture, it's not like she has anything else to sit on.

More updates are coming soon. Probably this weekend (or whenever we get internet set up at the new place). Happy Wednesday everyone!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Low Carb Cooking: Lazy Stuffed Cabbage

Maybe because we have nothing left to eat or cook with in the house I am feeling like cooking something awesome. Sadly it will have to wait for a while because even after we move we still won't have a working stove. I see a lot of salads in our future ;-)

In the meantime I thought I would share one of my new favorite low carb recipes. I mentioned before that I am always trying to find new and exciting recipes that Eric can eat on his low carb diet. This one has quickly become a staple because it is easy, fast and relatively cheap which are all requirements for a week night meal in our house. I originally found the recipe on Taste Spotting one of my favorite places to visit on the internet (seriously, go look at it, you will get addicted) but here is the link to the actual recipe which is from a lovely food blog called Mango and Tomato. I made this recipe last week for St. Patrick's Day because I wanted to make something at least reminiscent of Ireland.  I know that stuffed cabbage is Russian really but Eric hates corned beef so that was out and I thought  at least we could have a dish with ground beef and cabbage. Plus the finished dish is mainly white, orange and green so it's the colors of the Irish flag, yay! Here is a picture of the finished creation.

I know there is toast in this picture which makes this dish not low carb but that's because this is my plate and not Eric's and I sometimes can help but carb it up a little :-) Serve it without the toast and it's a reasonably healthy low carb dish. I love how easy this is to make too, as it's name suggests is perfect for lazy people (or just people who are really tired after having worked all day). It basically takes all the ingredients of stuffed cabbage (minus the rice)  and turns them in to a stir fry. If you want to be really lazy about it (and I definitely do) then you can buy the veggies pre-cut. We eat this dish all the time now, it's quickly become a go to meal for  weeknights.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Moving Part Two: one week of city living left.

We moved sooo much stuff this weekend, we worked super hard (and played pretty hard too) and now we are exhausted. We have one week left in our old house and we are so excited to finally move in to our new one. The old house is a pretty sad place to be this week. We have almost no furniture left, no pictures on the walls, no food in the fridge much less anything to cook it in or eat it off of. We are really down to the bare essentials this week and it makes it tough to be here honestly. Right now we just have the bed, the computers and the cats plus some clothes. Speaking of the cats they are starting to really not trust us, especially my cat Willow who has always been remarkably skittish. She wouldn't accept treats from me last night which is a bad sign, she seemed sure that I was trying to lure her in to a trap (which come next Saturday I will be). If only there was a way to explain to her how much she will love the new house and how happy she'll be after the move, oh well :-)

In addition to working our butts off moving and unpacking things this weekend we were also able to have a little fun in the new house. This is something I have really been wanting to do so that I don't just associate my new house with hard work. We had my parents over for a little cookout and were able to enjoy eating on the back deck, also Eric hosted a little guys game night which was lots of fun. Entertaining in the house really makes it feel like home, I can't wait for the housewarming party!

Here are some pictures of the progress from this weekend. Basically it's still a mess but at least it's getting to be more moving mess and less construction so it kind of feels like "my" mess.

Our sad, empty living room at the old house. I plan to spend a lot of time this week cleaning so we won't have to do it this weekend when we are also moving the last of the stuff
Dining room table and chairs moved in, all ready for entertaining :-)
My Christmas cactus is confused by the move, it really shouldn't be blooming now.
Our Azaleas are budding out at the new house, the Dogwood out back is about to burst in to bloom as well. Spring is here!
Grilling out on the patio for the first time, mmmm
I think I will never get tired of this room, still a mess but feeling a bit more homey now.
bookshelf in place and books starting to be put away, have I mentioned that we have a lot of books?
Boys assembled for game night, my Dad is pleased to be close enough to attend easily now :-)
bedroom is finally starting to be cleaned out, ready to move the bed in here next weekend!

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Now that the majority of the renovation work is done (at least for the time being) we are starting to move. We are supposed to be officially out of the old rental by April 1st so we have some time but we are trying to spread it out so it won't so much work on that final weekend. This is good and bad. It's good because we won't have a crazy amount of work to do all in two days and it's bad because now we are in mid-moving no mans land where half of our stuff is at one place and half is at the other. We have already moved a good bit of clothes, furniture and kitchen stuff and inevitably whatever we want is at the other place. It could be a sweater I haven't worn in years but for some reason I have to have it now that isn't an option to me.

I'm not one of those organized mover types either, I don't sort things in to boxes logically and label them according to what room they go in.  This means that I will have to unpack every single box in order to find anything after we move in. Luckily the week after we move in I have Spring break so I will have a whole week off to unpack and organize.

As the furniture slowly goes there are less surfaces for the cats to sit on and they are starting to freak. They will now sit on any available shelf or stack of paper on the floor but they know what's up, they remember this from the last time, and it's making them needy and a bit nervous.

My last thought on moving for the moment is that you never really know how much stuff you have until you try to move it all. And once you get a house, whether it be a rental or one you own, there is no going back. You accumulate so much more stuff in a house, not only because you have more room but also because you suddenly need tools and lawn equipment. The main thing I've discovered while moving (and I already knew this consciously, I just didn't understand the full magnitude of the situation) is that we have so many books! Oh my God we have a lot of books, how did this happen? Eric has about a million paperbacks and I have a ridiculous amount of heavy, hard to move or even fit on a shelf, art books. I really have no idea how we crammed them all in to this little house. At least at the new house the books will have some room to stretch out a bit. Who knows, maybe we'll even get rid of a few :-) Here are some pictures from the moving process so far. We are planning to do a lot more moving this weekend so there will be more to come soon.
Piles of stuff stacked up in the master bedroom of the new house (yeah, not the most organized movers). See all those books piled in the corner? That is only a teeny, tiny fraction of the books we own. I think I have finally moved all but a few of the books at this point. As you can see we are also running out of boxes and resorting to using shopping bags. This weekends moving should be interesting..

Willow taking advantage of the empty shelves

Monday, March 14, 2011

New Appliances!

This is something i have really been looking forward to. As much as it hurts me to spend money I am so thrilled that we will be getting new appliances for the house. This weekend we got to do the first round of appliance shopping and walked away with a new fridge and dryer. We already have a washer that we purchased for our rental and the the last item we will have to get is the stove. We hit up the Sears outlet in Kennesaw and man they had some awesome deals! Here are some pics of the appliances in the store:

We really wanted the brushed metal look for the fridge but we weren't sure we could afford one. We also were looking for something with an ice maker and this one fit the bill and the price was right. We were much less picky about the dryer, we just went for one of the cheaper options that looked like it had a large drum. Basically it can't be worse than the dryer we have now so anything will look like a drastic improvement compared to the current one. The sears people delivered our stuff the next day and we now have a working fridge and dryer! We are one step closer to being able to move in. Here are some pics of the fridge and dryer in their new homes:

Kitchen is still a disaster from all the painting and construction but it is slowly getting better
Dryer installed in the basement, waiting for the washer to make the move :-)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Weekend Progress

Since we (pretty much) finished the floors we have gotten more in to moving mode and less in construction mode. There are still renovations that need to be made but basically we are sick of it and we need a break for some fun stuff like arranging furniture, unpacking and decorating.  We still did a few things like painting and nailing up baseboards but we are taking it a bit slower now. Here are some updated pictures of how things are looking.

Hall bathroom in progress (with bad lighting)
Hall bathroom, done with painting (with better lighting)
Hall bathroom from another angle
Painting baseboards on the back deck
Dining room with a placeholder table until we get our real table in there, art is starting to go up on the walls as well.
taking a break on the newly arranged furniture. It took us forever to find an arrangement for the couches and chairs that we were happy with but I think finally got it.
Living room top view
Studio with all the furniture moved in, I still have some cleaning and decorating to do in this room but it is mostly done.
This desk and drafting table arrangement let's me swivel back and forth between the two, just what I wanted :-)

I have more posts coming soon but this is the overview from the weekend. Hope you all enjoy the pictures, we can't wait to have everyone over :-)

Saturday, March 12, 2011


We are getting closer and closer to our goal of moving in by April first. The house is looking so amazingly good, it's a world of difference from when we first bought the place. It now smells of sawdust and new paint and is feeling fresh and clean. Today Eric and the crew were able to finish installing our new floors and I couldn't be happier with them, they look amazing! We still have to put the baseboards back on and add a little extra trim but just having the new flooring down makes the house feel so inviting, so much better than the yucky carpet! Here are a few pictures of the finished floors in the dining room. More updates to come by the end of the weekend :-)

Getting ready to start the final stretch of flooring
Annndd.. done!
So pretty!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mid-Week Mini Update

We made our first trip out to work on the house in the middle of the week tonight. I have to say I was surprised by how quickly the drive from work all the way in Decatur went by, traffic wasn't that bad and it seemed like I got there in no time. Eric had headed out Earlier in the day to try to get some work on the floors done since we will have to return the nail gun soon and our wonderful friend Adam came and helped a ton with that! By the time I got they had so much more done than i thought they would, it seems like they are pros at this flooring stuff now! By the time we left tonight they had finished the living room and hall and now all that's left is to do the dining room and the trim of course. I spent the evening unpacking and organizing and we all ended the night with a little impromptu dance party on the super slick floors. Here are some updated pictures of the flooring, please pardon the construction/moving mess. 

Adam snapped some pictures of us dancing and I was able to capture some of his epic break dancing moves :-) This floor is just too great not to dance on. I'm sure I will have more updates for you all this weekend, stay tuned!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

My First Studio Space

One of the things I am most excited about in the new house is that I will actually finally have my own studio space. To have a whole room for my art supplies that I can work in and outfit any way I want is beyond amazing, I finally have room for all my art stuff! I got to start on decorating and unpacking some of my studio stuff today and it feels so good to have some place in the house that actually looks like a real living space now. I still have to move in my desk and drafting table as well as some other odds and end so it is far from complete. Still, I feel really good about the work I did today in the studio, I'm finally getting to the fun part! And there are many more rooms to be decorated in the near future, yay! Here are some pictures from the developing studio:

Using an old futon as couch so that people can sit and talk to me while I work on stuff, or Eric can sit in and read a book while I do freelance. We can also lay it flat and turn this room in to an extra guest bedroom.

My flat file all moved in and reorganized.

Shelves hung and things starting to go up on the shelves, my desk and drafting table will go on these two walls

The closet serves as painting storage and has a place for art books and extra art supplies

Yay! It's starting to be personalized!

My Kalanchoe re-potted in a cheerful red pot to match the futon

I got these awesome clips from Urban outfitters specifically for the studio. This way I can hang unframed work, change the art in the room around regularly, or use this as a space to let things dry. Right now I just put up some of my old watercolors from college for now but I hope to acquire some new prints to put here at some point.