Monday, February 27, 2012

It's all happening.....

Today, after a very long month of waiting, we finally closed on our first house! We have already celebrated at the Belmont, made a quick trip to Lowes, and driven by our new house....twice! Scott said it was for practice.

We feel so lucky to have found our little house!

We have a long way to go but we are excited to get started on our first renovation project. I have been wandering around Pinterest and came across this room that has a similar layout as our new sitting room.....we have a sitting room....eeeek! This is not a before and after but rather a what we have and what we want. Minus the chevron, and the wall color, and add some awesome curtains....ok, so not what I want at all but a nice place to start brainstorming.

I will keep you posted and hopefully have a real before and after next week. We are starting small, painting bedrooms and changing out fans. Hopefully we will be knocking down walls by the end of March. And when I say we I mean a licensed contractor and crew....I will supervise.
Lots of love!

Friday, February 24, 2012

That's the way real estate goes...

Oh good gracious we are pulling our hair out over here! I'm blaming it on President's Day! All month we were planning on closing today but because of the bank holiday everything got shuffled around. As we are approaching the 3 o'clock hour on a Friday we are pretty certain we will not close until Monday. My poor realtor! aka my Daddy! Not only am I calling him hourly but my mother and sister are doing the same. Thank goodness he is so laid back, he told me "that's the way real estate goes...". We feel a tiny bit defeated and a tad bit anxious. I have every possible moving/packing/trailer/contractors/paint swatch scenario running through my head right now.

This weekend was supposed to be filled with trips to Home Depot and painting bedrooms (whiny voice...foot stomp!). Now we have to sit around our undecorated apartment for a few more days. I even packed up the couch pillows! I have a love hate relationship with packing. I hate living amongst the chaos of boxes and empty walls but I do love holding and re-visiting all of my treasures. I have jars and jars of different collections. I collect buttons, vintage game pieces, old art supplies, letter press blocks, scrabble pieces, metal sign letters. I usually organize things by size and/or color. The obsession has really stopped recently because I was running out of space for all of these said collections. But let the collecting continue as we move to more square footage! What else will fit in a jar?

I do wrap and carefully pack all my goodies. I keep cracking up laughing at how I am labeling all of the boxes. Multiples boxes say "Jars of stuff". I haven't even started thinking about my precious globes. I collect those too. I am up to 19. They are so bulky they just might have to be transported in the car.....buckled in tight!

Happy packing!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

I Hate to Brag

I hate to brag but my students are freaking awesome. No really, they are amazing! For the past two weeks my Design class has been cutting and gluing to create these beautiful paper sculptures. The inspiration from this project came from the Chanel Couture fashion show in 2009 where all of the models wore fantastic paper hats. For the past 3 years the assignment has evolved just a little. Maybe I am getting better at this whole teaching thing. Which brings us into 2012.....

The project is to create a sculpture to be seen in the round made out of only white paper. I do this because the kids get so caught up with color that the forget about structure, balance, and texture. They can use glue to attach the pieces....and boy howdy did they use some hot glue! I have created some glue gun monsters! I had a very proud teaching moment when they brought in their first personal glue guns! It's the small things that get me through the day.

Most students make hats but some choose to create hanging pieces like the one above. Isn't that beautiful? She was inspired by "all things Southern", lace, Magnolias, and Wisteria. I told her she was missing Dolly Parton and a biscuit! These pictures do not do this piece justice it is amazing! And huge, I made her shorten it up so we could take it to competition next week. She hand cut the lace pieces with an X-acto knife. The lace detail alone took her three hours.

Inspired by a 1920's swimming cap. So stinkin' pretty. You can't she the braided trim around the edge of the hat but it is perfect. I love all of the texture.

Is it a mask or a hat or a head piece? If it was socially acceptable I would wear this hat around all day. It has a beak! All day long you can hear me screaming "creativity....craftsmanship" over and over again. When I saw this piece completed I was stunned! Not only is it an amazing idea but it is impeccable! Creativity...check, craftsmanship....check! It doesn't even look like paper, it actually looks like fur. I can't imagine the hours she spend on this project. Well worth several late nights.

I know this post has nothing to do with being a newlywed or decorating but until we are in the house next week, this is what I got y'all! So again, I hate to brag but these kids deserve a little shout out!

Monday, February 13, 2012

My Valentine

We just wrapped up a great weekend down at the farm with family and friends. Our entire family was there to celebrate our sweet nephews second birthdays. I love that we continue to make so many memories at the Brazos House. Chicken eggs! Tractors! Donkeys! Guitar sing-a-long! Laughter! While we were there Scott and I were joking about how we feel like we've been together forever. Really, our wedding was not even three months ago but it seems like a lifetime.

Scott has asked me several times in the past few weeks what I wanted to do for Valentines day and I keep replying nothing. I can't think of anything I need, and sure, there is a lot of things I want but I'm about to spend A LOT of money decorating our new digs. He put it perfectly yesterday, "there is nothing more romantic than staying on budget"!

I love him!

Wishing my gorgeous, hilarious, crazy talented husband a very happy Valentines Day!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Newlyweds on a Budget

Ahhhh, life on a budget....
It's actually not as hard as I thought it was going to be. At the beginning of December we decided it was time to start hoarding our money in hopes to buy a house in the next year. Fast forward one month and we are buying a house now!

The main reason for this budget lifestyle is that we were throwing too much money around. $75 target runs, $15 at CVS, multiple trips to the grocery store a week at $50 a pop. We were not being smart about our spending and decided to create a budget to keep us on track. We sat down and broke up our spending into categories. We gave ourselves a "personal spending" amount every month. This would be our hair cuts, extra clothes, special snacks just for us, drinks with friends, anything that wasn't an absolute need.

I will say that December was, in the words of most of my students, an epic fail! Who's idea was it to start a budget the month of my annual girls Christmas trip....oh yeah, mine. Two tanks of gas, multiple meals out, drinks, ice skating, gifts, my "personal spending" for December was spend by the 5th. I cried...a lot. Mainly because I felt like this was a mini competition and I had lost and I hate losing! So in January I vowed to stay out of Target and CVS (unless it was an emergency). I left the house on a mission....

I will keep my wallet in my purse

I was $160 under budget for January...I WIN! But not really because I was so far over budget in December I almost broke even.

We are still tweaking things here and there. Making sure we can realistically live on X amount for food a month. Our monthly grocery budget seemed very realistic but I found myself going over about $5 week. I would make my list and stick to it not getting any extra goodies or treats. We cut out the beer and wine, and this is huge because we frequent that aisle. I just felt like our only grocery store option was too expensive. $20 extra a month was cutting into my decorating budget. Something must be done.

Are you familiar with Aldi? Honestly I had not heard good things about this establishment and had written it off completely. Paying a quarter for a grocery cart, bringing your own bags, less selection....not a huge sell. But in an effort to save for my new decorating projects I will try anything.
Oh friends, I was WAY under for January! Like $30 a week under. A full cart that would have been $150 at our local chain grocery store was $75 at Aldi. Yes, I had to pay a quarter for my cart, but I got it back when I returned it. Yes I bagged my own groceries but I have super cute reusable bags (my awesome sister-in-law made me, see above) AND I was pretty much sacking my own at the big store because it was so busy. Yes there is fewer selection but that makes me move faster through the aisle thus getting me home quicker.

 Aldi, thank you for helping me reach my dream of a new couch for our sitting room.

Cons: It's small. Less selection on pre-packaged items. No deli (I cannot eat pre-packaged lunch makes me gag). No out of season produce. Skim milk only comes in a gallon. No magazines to flip through while you are in line.

Pros: I can wear work-out pants, Uggs, and no make-up and rest at ease I wont see anyone who knows me. I get to use my super cute reusable grocery bags and help the environment and look cute doing it. Cook healthier fresh food from produce that is in season, thus helping the environment. We are cooking less instant dinners packed with preservatives and sodium. I am drinking more milk. We are planning our meals more carefully to use what we have in the fridge and pantry. I use my previous magazine time to catch up on my Word Jewel game I have been neglecting so much. AND....

 I am saving lots of money so my husband will let me buy things I want!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

All In The Family

I feel like I have created a monster with this blog! But it is a great way to keep all of my ideas in one place that I can reference if needed. I am having so much fun just thinking of all of the projects we are about to jump into with this buy. We are still getting all of the last minute paper work together but everything is running smoothly. We are planning on closing and moving in at the end of the month and we are ready! Scott asked me yesterday if we can start packing. Umm, yes!

One of the biggest selling points to this house is that is in a very established neighborhood that I have been familiar with my entire life. Our new house is two blocks from where my grandparents  and great aunts lived when I was growing up. I have so many memories of my family in this neighborhood. The original owners of this home have past and their children are in the process of having the estate sale. Below is an excerpt from an e-mail of the late owners daughter.

We were going through some things today at my Mom's house and we found an old book called, "Jesus, The Prophet" that Judge and Dene had given my parents in 1959.  They wrote in the front of it before giving it to my parents.  I thought that was so neat since their grand daughter is buying my parents home.  I will try to remember to bring the book and show you if we see each other at the title company on the day of closing.  It is such a small world and it sometimes seems to get smaller and smaller.  My parents thought a lot of the Fites.

Isn't that crazy!?!?!? Not that fact that they knew them but that something my Mimi and Grandfather took the time to write inside is in this house....from 1959! I completely believe that our loved ones are near us even after they pass. If it is fate or coincidence I don't know, but I believe that my grandparents our with us as we start this journey.

This is a picture of my grandparents, Judge and Dene Fite, and my Lady. I love this picture so much. My mom carried this on her bouquet at our wedding.