Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving is over and we have less then two weeks!!

Yup, we have less then two weeks before our closing.  It's pretty exciting, but still pretty stressful.  I'm finding it harder to concentrate at work.  My thoughts always seem to wander off and my mind starts thinking about how long it will take me to paint and what color sofa we should get.  I'm also thinking about how no one's getting Christmas gifts from us, we bought ourselves a house and now need furniture to go in it.  Oh well, I'm sure everyone will understand. 

We accomplished a lot this last week.  Our Thanksgiving consisted of sorting out all our crap in the basement and packing, packing, packing.  We skipped all the family events and just packed.  We did a pretty good job.  We got the basement cleaned out and the majority of our stuff in boxes.  I have one last little art show this Friday then my studio gets put in boxes and awaits the move just like the rest of our stuff.

Unfortunately our house is now a maze of boxes.  We have such a small town house that we don't really have room to put them anywhere other then in the living room and hallway.  So you just have to maneuver around everything. 

Nacho has realized that something was up last week.  It was pretty funny to watch that unfold.  She sat in the hallway and looked at the boxes, came into the living room and pawed at the stuff in there, then went back into the hallway to look at those boxes some more.  Then she jumped up on the couch and just stared at us with worried face for the rest of the night.  And this has sparked her nervous licking habit, so now she has four nakie legs.  This will now persist until long after the move.  Hopefully it won't take her too long to settle into the new place.  It took her almost a year to get over the fact that the dog was a permanent resident.

I also had a unfortunately meeting with our basement stairs on Thanksgiving.  The stairs felt that it would only be fitting if I tripped and fell down.  The only problem was that I was holding a large empty box in one hand and a little pug in the other.  So my shins and left hand did the trick and stopped me from dropping the pug and falling down myself.  Now I'm in a festive wrist brace.  You just don't realize how much you use your left hand until you don't have full mobility of it.  Luckily that's all that came from that fall.  A broken pug would have really ruined my day.

So far we're on track.  We have the kitchen and bedroom left to pack.  Everything else is done.  I'm proud of how hard we worked, even if J got distracted by Gran Turismo 5 a few times.  Now I just have to convince myself to stop daydreaming and get back to work.  ;-)

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Disclaimer: I hate, hate, hate to paint.  The actual process of painting bores me in about 5 min.  I get really psyched up about it and then I'm already done before a single wall is painted.  BUT, I do love to pick out the paint colors.  I love all those wonderful little chips of paint in all those wonderful colors.  That's the best part about painting. 

So me and J have started to seriously start thinking about painting.  Because we close in the morning and J has to go back to work afterward, I thought I might volunteer my time to start painting our walls.  I mean that really would be the best time to paint.  There will be absolutely nothing in the house.  J can drop me off with my rollers, brushes, and paint cans, and I can get started.

So here's what we came up with last night.  Wait, quick side story.  I asked J if we could stop by the paint section of the store last night (we had to pick up some light bulbs).  He just kinda looked at me funny and asked why.  I told him my idea about painting after closing and then he asked what I was going to paint.  Ummm, the walls.  Oh and he had his sad face on.  When I asked him what was up, he told me he thought I was going to do all the paint deciding without him because I didn't think he would do a good job.  So after calming him down and letting him know he was going to be a full part of the process, we headed over to the paint section.

And THIS is what we came up with.

 Here are the colors for the living room, dining room, hallway, and kitchen (it's an awesome open floor plan). 

The walls are going to be a nice warm sandy brown.  It's a little bit more brown then in this picture.  Then the back wall that is behind the dining room table will be the nice rich red color.  I was going to do floor to ceiling curtains on this wall, but I think I like the idea of a red wall instead.  And J picked out the red color.

Then the trim is going to be the white and we're going to do nice dark, rich brown accents in the room.  We might even do a couch this color.

I think these colors will look beautiful with the nice blond colored floors.  And someday, the crown molding that will be around the ceiling.  I'm happy with the colors we picked.

Then the bathroom.  We went to an open house once that was the best decorated house I had ever been in.  Their use of color and style was just fantastic.  They also had an unbelievably modern bathroom, that J and I both fell in love with immediately.  So we decided that's what we're going to do with our upstairs bathroom.

The bathroom has wood paneling in it right now.  Just on the bottom half of the walls.  We were going to take all the paneling down and paint, but we decided we would first try to paint it and see what it looked like.  Kinda treat it like wainscoting.

So the bottom half of the wall will be white, and we're going with a nice semi-gloss to give it a nice contrast to the upper walls.  And the upper half of the wall will be gray.  But now we're not sure if we want to go with the light or darker gray.  We wanted to go with the lighter gray before we were going with the white on the bottom, but now we're not sure.  There will be a lot of white, so the darker gray won't be too dark.  I think we're leaning toward the darker gray right now, but I still like the lighter one.

I have to decide soon, the bathroom is one of the first rooms I want to get done.  It's so dark right now.  I would really like to freshen it up and make it modern.  Which color do you guys thing will look nicer?  

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Maybe we should get ready to move soon...

So our official "OK" came back yesterday from the bank.  That means we will be homeowners in just a few short weeks.  Crazy.  I was so excited yesterday at work that I pretty much ran around telling anyone that would listen.  I'm sure I annoyed quite a few people.  I was just so happy and excited to get the official word.  I wanted to go to Babcock Dairy Hall and get a Brownie Boat Sundae to celebrate.  If you're not from Madison, WI, you have no idea what Babcock is, but I'll learn you, it's okay.  Babcock is well, you probably can guess, the university's dairy hall where they teach the little kiddies about making dairy products.  And the most exciting part, they have a dairy store where you can buy all the wonderful dairy products that make WI such a great palce.  They have milk and cheese and of course, ICE CREAM.  And this ice cream is fantastic, especially the super premium.  And then they have this thing called a brownie boat sundae, and yes it's exactly what it sounds like.  It's a massive tray filled with two warm brownies, 4 scoops of what ever flavor ice cream you want (and we're talking WI sized scoops here), real whip cream, hot fudge, caramel sauce, and cherries.  There might be more on there, but I can't remember much before the sugar comma set in last time.  And yes, I know from experience, this is not a one person sundae.  I wish I took a picture the last time I got one.  It's beautiful.     

Wow, I got a little side tracked there.  I can't help it, I'm pretty passionate about my dairy, especially, ice cream.  But enough about ice cream sundaes and back to the important things (even though I feel ice cream is pretty important).    

Back to house related things.  We got word that all the updates we requested on the house have been done.  We have to call the utilities company, decide on a specific time for closing, and let our landlords know we'll be leaving soon.  But other then that, I think we're good to go.

Oh wait, I think there is something we're forgetting.  Hmmmmm, yeah, I'm pretty sure we might be forgetting something.  Oh yeah, we ACTUALLY need to move in a few weeks.  Translation, we should probably start packing soon.

Yup, we haven't even started to pack, not even one little box.  I think we might run into a problem if we don't start soon.

Here are all the boxes that I've collected at work so far, ignore the liquid nitrogen dewar, that's not part of the packing material.  Unless we needed to move something really cold, no, no I don't think we'll need it.  But back to the boxes, I've collected a nice amount of boxes for us to get started packing.  The problem with them is, they are still sitting in my lab.  I haven't even brought them home yet.

I know, I know, we're a little behind on that.  We've just been so busy with everything else that we've sort of forgot about the whole packing thing.  And any free time we might have, we don't want to do anything physical.  We just want to veg out on the couch.  But we need to keep reminding ourselves that there will be no vegging until we move and get settled in.  After all of that we can just lounge on the couch.    

And just because I'm still stuck on the earlier subject, anyone want to join me at Babcock for a Brownie Boat Sundae?  

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Appraisal Done!

So we are another step closer to owning our own home.  We just got word from our agent that the bank's appraisal went fine.  So that's good news there.  The banks been working on our loan for about 2 weeks now, so I'm hoping we hear back before the holidays.  I'm a little worried the holidays are going to slow down the process, but with fingers crossed I'm hoping they won't.

We have our closing day reserved at the title office, now we just have to decide if we want to close in the morning or afternoon.  I know it would be easier for J to close in the afternoon, but anything will work for me, I just want those house keys!

My paranoia that something was going to happen and we would loose the house is starting to lessen. I know, things still could happen, but lets just hope not.  See, I am totally the tense, uptight one of the relationship, worrying about everything.  J's always having to calm me down.  I might, just maybe, need to work on that. ;-)
Now about that packing...

***UPDATE! Seconds after posting this, I got and email from the bank.  Our loan has been officially approved and we are good to go.  We will be homeowners in less then 4 weeks.  What a Christmas gift!!!  Now I really do need to start that packing!***

Thursday, November 11, 2010

7000 Bracelets for Hope

Please stop by my other blog for more information on the Global Genes Project.  It's helping to raise awareness for the millions of children suffering from rare diseases/disorders.  And you can help make a difference today by donating a bracelet to the cause.     

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Home Inspection!

Yesterday was our home inspection.  My nerves have finally started to kick into overdrive.  All I kept thinking was maybe the crawl space would be filled with mold or the house was about to fall down.  Things like that kept running through my head.  I was making myself crazy, like I always do.  J is so much better at taking these things in stride.  Nothing bothers him (well something do).

Our inspection was early afternoon, so that meant I had to take the bus from work, which isn't that big of deal, I take the bus everyday.  Normally there is a bus that drops off at the end of the block so I would only have to walk a few houses to get home (oh my, in a month it will be our home).  But that only runs at "peak" hours, so that meant yesterday I needed to do some transferring.  I wrote out my bus schedule on a post it not and carried it with me all the way.  Luckily, there were no mix ups and I made it there fine.  I had to walk about 3 blocks, but the weather is so beautiful right now, I didn't even mind.

But on with the inspection.  It went well.  There were a few minor issues, but nothing that would be a hard fix.  There were a few outlets that had reverse polarity, but that's not a huge issue.  J's dad could easily fix that (he's a maintenance guy for the county prison system).  But I'm pretty sure our agent is going to make sure the home owner has an electrician come out and look everything over.  Other then that it was just normal stuff you find in a home that is a little bit older.  There really wasn't even that much for a house that's 50 years old, I was pretty impressed.  

The inspection was a long, long ordeal, like 3+ hours long.  The inspector was extremely thorough and did a good job of explaining things to us.  He took pictures of everything, I'm talking probably close to 100 pictures.  Just to remind himself of the house and so if we had any questions in the future, he'd be able to look back and see.  I thought he did a pretty good job.  But who am I to say he did, this was my first home inspection.  So now we have to look at the report and decide what needs to be done next.  Buying a house is hard, but I'm sure it will be worth it.

And I mean look at what we have to look forward too, I'm sure the cats will claim the bay window as soon as we move in.  And the view is nice too.  It's such a nice tree lined neighborhood.  And oh so quiet.  Yesterday we were there before and after school got out and you would have never guessed there was a school only 2-3 blocks north.  It's amazing how quiet the neighborhood is.

I guess we should probably start packing some of our stuff soonish.  The current home owner already has most of her stuff packed up and out.  We haven't even started (except for my collection of boxes in the lab, if that counts).  I guess we're just waiting to make sure everything goes smoothly at the bank.  We still need to wait for the bank assessment and the underwriters to finish up.  So fingers crossed, I hope everything else goes as smoothly as it has been, even though I know it might not.  I keep reading about the housing market and the underwriters being so overwhelmed.  I'm a little scared that things will slow down because of the holidays coming up and everything will take twice as long.  But I'm staying as optimistic as possible.

So I'm off to "virtually" paint the walls in the pictures I took, gotta love technology.           

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Kitchen Ideas

So I'm super excited for our closing date, December can't come soon enough this year.  It's going to be the best Christmas ever.  Our home inspection is next week, so hopefully that will go well and we will only have good news next week.

We've really started to get serious about thinking about the renovations we have planned.  We want to go with a lovely warm sand color for the walls in the living and dining room.  I like Beach House from Sherwin Williams.  I think it's warm and wonderful and will play nicely with our rich red living room accents pieces.  I want to paint the wood work white, but J doesn't really want to.  So I'm compromising for now and keeping it a nice blond color for now.  I might whitewash it in the future, but for now we'll leave it as is.

Because the house is an open concept (my favorite) I'm also going to paint the little dining area the same color as the living room.  Then I would like to do a nice floor to ceiling deep red curtain on the windows in there.  I really think it will look beautiful.

We have been going back and forth about what to do with the kitchen.  It's an open concept, so it has to go with the living area, but what to do?  The current home owners just installed a beautiful dark slate, almost black, counter tops and stainless silver sink.  It instantly made the kitchen modern (we saw it before and after.  Some people like cannery yellow counters, I am not a fan).  So we've decided to to bring the sand color into the kitchen as well.

I would love to put in a slate floor to really bring out the subtle colors in the counter top, but also go with the sand walls.  I like this slate.  It's not as dark as the counter tops, but it compliments them nicely.  I think it will also compliment the sand colored walls as well.  So this is probably what we will be looking for when we go floor shopping.  Something to bring everything together.

Now my next dilemma is the back splash.  I would love, love, love to go with a glass tile.  I love glass tile.  They are so beautiful and add that little touch of class to a kitchen.  There are so many choices to pick from, and that seems to be my problem.  I want something that has the natural pallet in it, but is not to busy. 

   The first one that caught my eye was this combo slate and glass tile.  It matches the counter tops really well, but I'm worried this will start to make the kitchen seem really dark and I'm not sure how well it will work with the sand colored paint.  But I love how beautiful it is and I love how it combines both the glass and slate tile.  And because the colors are similar, it's not super busy.  They have it also in a 1x1 square pattern, but I think I love this style better.

Then I thought maybe I should leave the whole slate color behind and go more natural and brown to match the walls better.  Like maybe this one.  I think it would go with the wall color well and also pick up the colors of the wood cabinets.  But will it go with a dark counter top?  I'm not sure.  Is it too brown or is it okay?

So maybe this one.  It's slate and glass again, but the lighter slate with a more brown glass.  I like this one a lot as well.  It will definitely compliment the floor and the brown walls and I think it will look nice against the counter tops.  And I think the brown in the glass will pick up warm tones of cabinets.  It also is brighter, so no dark dungeon of a kitchen.

Picking a tile back splash is a lot more difficult then I thought it would be.  There are so many options out there.  I foresee us getting a lot of samples before we make the decision.  But I will be so excited when it's done.  We will have a kitchen that is beautiful and just what we want, not the cheap crappy kitchens we've had before in our rentals.  And who knows, maybe I'll go completely different and go with a bright green glass like this one.        
After we decide on a tile it will be the light fixtures and cabinet hardware. So many decisions, so much fun. I can't wait to be able to actually get my hands dirty and start working.

Monday, November 1, 2010

What A Weekend!

Oh Halloween, one of my favorite holidays.  I mean who wouldn't like dressing up and having fun?  I love to get dressed up and go out.  It's always a fantastic time (except for the time we got food poisoning on State Street, that wasn't as fun).

Unfortunately we haven't done the whole fun, dressing up and going out thing in a couple of years.

Last year on Halloween, we picked up little Yoda from the doggie hospital because she had a life saving operation three days before (at only 5 months old, what a little fighter).  Then we had to go home and monitor her for the next 24 hours because she had a few complications.  She was fine.  What we do for our pets!

This year me and J were so busy with everything else, we didn't do anything again.  We wanted to dress Yoda up in some ridiculous outfit, like a bumble bee or Nibbler from Futurama, and hand out candy, but we weren't even in town for trick or treating.

We were in Madison all weekend.  I went with J to watch him record his part to the Christmas album they're working on.  It was a long, long process.  I brought stuff with me to do, but I didn't ever get any of it out to actually work on it.  Why, I don't know.  The best part was the group dressed up as characters from StarWars.  The guy that was dressed up like young Obi Wan was spot on.  I am always impressed with someone that will grow their own facial hair out just for Halloween, that's dedication to the holiday.

That's not the only thing we did this Halloween weekend.  We put a bid in on that house!!  And after a couple counter offers, we got it!!!  OUR OFFER WAS ACCEPTED!!!  We are now one step closer to becoming homeowners.  I'm very excited, but trying not to get a head of myself.  Things could still happen, and we could still not get the house.  I'm trying to stay level headed and make sure we get each of the next steps done.  I'm not going to fully celebrate until we have those keys in our hands.

Next on our list is to make sure to get the earnest money out today and call the inspector to set up an appointment.  And the agonizing wait for the bank and our loan approval.  Hopefully everything will go quickly and smoothly and before I know it, it will be our closing date.