diy · Uncategorized

Here’s looking at you, kid.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season with those they love the most! ❤️ Mason told me that if I’m going to be a serious blogger then I need to be blogging at least once a week and he’s the boss so…

Just kidding. Mason isn’t the boss, but he did bring me pink pug socks, so this ones for him. Look alive because this post is a little picture heavy because I’m going to try to cram about two weeks of progress into one post. Ready? Here we go! 😜

We moved into our house!! We actually, finally, have moved furniture and clothing and toothbrushes into our new house and THEN we slept there! 43 days after we got home from our honeymoon and 54 days since we closed on our house we actually, finally, moved in.

It’s still a work in progress, don’t get me wrong, but we actually moved in over a Saturday and Sunday (thanks to hubs and Bryant for doing the heavy lifting and managing to fit our furniture through less than standard sized doors) and spent the night here Sunday (the 23rd) night. We’ve already had friends over and that definitely made it start feeling more like home instead of a construction site.

Have I already posted this? We got our new hall light fixture!
Grizzle Gray by Sherwin Williams- I am in love!
Noah is quite the construction worker

We cleared up our living room enough that we could (quickly) put up our Christmas tree and put our presents underneath it. It was really special to get to land in our new house before Christmas… especially since Brian was scheduled to work on Christmas Day. I didn’t take many pictures when I was actually *done* decorating, I just snapped a few as I got going.

Our window units are temporarily back in our windows- more about that later

Noah is in his (almost totally) finished bedroom and we are in the (almost totally) finished guest room. My parents gifted us a day with our electricians as one of our Christmas presents which is so, so exciting because it helped us do some stuff we would’ve put off for a few more weeks until we could pay for it without putting it on our credit cards.

Noah loves when we read to him in that chaise but I’ve got to recover it so it matches.

So while we had the electricians here, we managed to get some stuff done like this:

1. Relocated outlets in the master and then got new ones/ fixed them when we realized the old ones didn’t have power.

2. Moved the light switch in Noah’s room. When we dropped his closet wall, we changed the way his door swings into the room and his outlet was then inside the guest room closet.

3. Got a new outlet outside on one of our porches. Next year there will be Christmas lights outside!

4. Took out the old light fixture and box in the living room that was centered and put two, new boxes that are centered on the ceiling. I haven’t picked out the new fixtures yet.

Then! Some other stuff we’ve gotten done since I posted last…

We decided on a hallway color and I’ve started painting. It’s Aesthetic White by Sherwin Williams for anyone that cares to google it.

The lighting in our house is so strange but this is Aesthetic White by Sherwin Williams and I love it.
On this night, Brian worked late and I painted for about three hours after Noah went to bed. 😎

Right after Christmas, I found the ceiling fans on sale that we wanted for Noah’s room and the guest room so we are in the process of putting those up…

These were reasonably priced from Lowe’s, as per usual.

On Wednesday morning, I painted the front door on the outside and I’ve decided that I want to try painting our kitchen cabinets… so I started doing that, too.

So this is when I first started painting the inside of the kitchen hutch. You can still see some of the green and white ivy shelf liner that was previously covering every shelf.

Currently! Still need to finish painting but couldn’t resist unpacking some of my dishes to see what it will look like. One day somebody is going to tell me that it looks like Crate and Barrel threw up in my house but I’m pretty sure I’m not going to care.

The cabinets aren’t going to stay in our kitchen permanently no matter what. They’re old, they smell funky and musty, the bottoms of the insides of the cabinets are sagging and moldy.. but until we can get to that project I’m just going to clean and paint and clean and paint until I can stand to look at them.

I’ve also been painting the inside of our big kitchen hutch because it looked sad and plain on the inside and I got tired of searching through a pile of boxes to pull out my pretty dishes and glassware to use anything.

I’ve been thinking about painting the tile in the upstairs bathroom- remember the purple? Pinterest told me that I could probably do it, especially as an easy fix until we get around to gutting the bathroom and starting from scratch. I thought about it for several days before we went to Brian’s dad’s house (AKA Noah’s Pop) and Pop’s wife had painted the tile in their guest bathroom several months ago and it looked like it was still brand new/freshly done. She had brown tile that she got tired of so she painted it a very pale blue! So, I haven’t started that project yet… but it’s happening. Just you wait.

Every Pinterest tutorial I’ve seen about painting tile says that the most important part of the whole project is the prep work- you gotta clean the shower like your life depends on it. Otherwise the funk and soap scum will destroy all of your hard (and possible misguided) work.

I have also ordered this beautiful duvet cover and set of sheets from Pottery Barn. (Another Christmas present 🎁😍) I’m overall very excited about my purchase but disappointed that it appears they are back ordered and will arrive in pieces in the next four to six weeks 🙄 but it will be beautiful once it gets here and Brian will be so happy that the bed no longer has a hot pink bedspread. Also, I just realized that I might have only ordered one matching pillow sham when I meant to order two… I should probably go check on that.

But you see all those backorder dates, right? You’re killing me, smalls!

I also am in the process of building some over the toilet free floating shelves. I might do a short little post on them when they’re done because it’s a fun and fairly easy project and by the time I’m done I’ll have two custom shelves (21″x10″) for about $45.

This is my Pinterest inspiration. I honestly don’t remember where I screenshot this so I could give it credit, but I thought they were so pretty.

So that’s what we’ve been doing recently! We are both also still working and still keeping Penny and Noah alive so some days are really productive and some days we fall into bed and play on our phones. 🤷🏼‍♀️ I’d like to think that’s called balance.

This week’s post brought to you by: Dewalt, Lowe’s, Crate and Barrel, Pinterest and more Lowe’s. I keep mentioning them and the fact that they aren’t sponsoring me/ this blog but if they ever wanted to do so… I’ll send them my information ASAP. 💁🏼‍♀️

If you like what you’re reading and you want to stay in the know all you’ve got to do is hit the Follow button below! You’ll get an email when I post things. Also… you can mention it to Brian because he doesn’t read my blog (because he’s like, you know, living it) and he’s always so surprised when somebody knows his business. 😂😂😂 I think it’s hilarious.

diy · Uncategorized

It’s a good thing I watch a lot of HGTV.

I mean, none of the knowledge I’ve gained by watching HGTV has come in handy(yet), but it’s bound to happen at some point… right?

I’m feeling pretty good about this week, I’m not going to lie. We did a lot of odds and ends but I feel like they were all important and they were all good things to have finished. I actually held off on posting this time because there were so many little things that got done, I didn’t want to post twice or three times just to tell you I cleaned a toilet or a window- that’s not very exciting.

But what is exciting is… Brian put up our brand new mailbox! It is new and beautiful and on the other side it has our last name on it. This was especially important since the previous owner never bothered to put up any kind of mailbox at all. 🤦🏼‍♀️

We also have cute new house numbers picked out for the front of our house, we just haven’t gotten around to picking them up.

Another thing Brian did (with Mason’s help!) this week bring some of our furniture from storage. I haven’t assembled the bed rails or even put sheets on the bed, but I’m really excited that we are getting some of our furniture into the house.

Brian put up a trail camera in the yard and we actually have several deer cutting across our property, which is cool.

Noah’s room is so close to being done that I put up his curtains! They’re really wrinkled and I want to iron them but I’m sure that some of the wrinkles will fall out in the next few days until I can get to it.

Before we purchased
Before we purchased
Current!

We had three window AC units in our house and those also came out this week, just before we had our home inspection for our insurance company. Phew!

After that, we primed the upstairs bathroom! If you remember, it was lavender and it has an oddly long and skinny shower. We’re planning to redo this bathroom entirely but in the meantime I just can’t stare at lavender any longer than I have to.

Before: Did you notice he kept his toothbrush on top of the toilet?
Before we purchased: there was a weird texture that we originally thought was water damage… and then realized it was a texture he had added at some point, similar to popcorn ceilings.
During: with sanded and primed walls and a new toilet seat.
During: painting the ceiling is next

I’ve been working in the kitchen a lot some this week, mostly just trying to get what we have clean enough to use on a regular basis. This week, Brian actually screwed two cabinet doors shut for me because they are in the inside corners of our cabinets, they are deep and skinny- too skinny for me to clean or use but not too skinny for Noah to crawl into and hide or get stuck. So.. we screwed them shut. 🤷🏼‍♀️

I also spent close to an hour trying to unscrew the paper towel holder out of the wall before I literally climbed on top of the cabinet, put my feet on each side of the holder and pulled it out of the Sheetrock. It turns out the previous owner had used about four inch long screws, one with an anchor on the end, to keep this one pound paper towel holder from falling off the wall.

Brian and I are having a hard time with our to do list. It’s not that it’s overwhelming but we have about five to seven jobs that we think are all #1 top priority, ASAP kind of jobs. Now, I’m not very good at math, but I don’t think everything can be number one.

I don’t know if I posted these pictures in the last week or two of the second trip to buy carpet, but I bought an entry rug and one for the living room.

We basically have no insulation in our house so I’m really trying to use rugs as decorations as well as for warmth.

We sampled colors for our upstairs and downstairs hallways, as well as our kitchen.

Both Sherwin Williams: left side is Gracious Greige and right side is Passive (gray)
SW Passive in the kitchen. Color is a little weird because of the LED light bulb overhead.

We got a new light fixture for the hall that Brian put up. Holla! We chose the color for our exterior doors (especially the front door).

And yesterday it was warm enough to play outside so we got started working in the yard. By this time tomorrow I’m hoping it will look even better/more clean.

Oh! Oh! Also we got our stove!

Before
Current

That’s my update for this week. Special thanks to: B Rich- husband extraordinaire, Grandpa and Noah’s moving service, Clorox, Kilz and Valspar. Not because they have financially contributed to our projects (well, husband has obviously) but without them this week would’ve been far less productive.

Oh! For anyone that’s interested, you can follow our progress by clicking the Follow button below. All this means is that when I post, you get an emailed link so you can read it without having to go through Facebook or instagram.

If we get too boring, you can unfollow at anytime. 🤷🏼‍♀️

diy · Uncategorized

Well, we have fire damage, ladies and gentlemen.

I’ve been trying to figure out a catchy title for this post that was informative but upbeat enough that everyone knew our house hadn’t actually burned down with all of our belongings in it… so here we go. 🤷🏼‍♀️

I’ll go ahead get to the point: Monday morning we started tearing into the master bedroom to begin remodeling. Ultimately we would love to turn this one big, square bedroom (we’re talking 12’x25′ -ish) into a much more attractive bedroom that has its own bathroom and closet. Remember how I said that there weren’t any closets? We’ve already started fixing that for Noah and now we wanted to start working on it for ourselves.

Well, when we pulled down the bookcases we noticed that some of the walls didn’t have Sheetrock behind them so you could see through to the exterior walls of the house.

Before
Before

This room’s ceiling was also ugly. The ceiling was made up of some sort of acoustical tile that we wanted to be rid of but we also had a feeling we didn’t have any insulation in our exterior walls so we wanted to address that too… well, now I’m just talking in circles.

Coincidentally, this is about where we ran into problems. When the Sheetrock came down we realized that there had been a fire in our house a couple of years ago. From our best bet (just by looking at the damage) the fire had come out of the fireplace and spread out left and right on the wall and then up and down… basically our master is on top of our living room, so it burned the length of the wall in the master and then spread downstairs. It even snuck out into the attic of one of our porches.

We know that the previous owner knew about the damage because he randomly stuck a BUNCH of newspapers in the wall as insulation between the charred boards and the Sheetrock (and they were dated 2009). so he knew about it and didn’t disclose it to us during the 6 weeks between contract signing and actually closing. Brian is fuming.

After Sheetrock and ceiling tile came down
Upstairs fireplace damage
Newspaper insulation shoved into the walls. The wire you can see is a live electrical wire.
Upstairs fireplace
Living room fireplace

Yikes, am I right? 😅

So… needless to say the beginning of our week was difficult. I know that people generally portray a happy Facebook life and don’t mention what really happens at home but I have to say it… it hasn’t been a pleasant few days around the Richardsons. We argued. We raised our voices. I’m pretty sure we even went to bed angry at least one night this week. We have been stressed out. If you don’t know this about us already, when Brian and I stress out we get really short and snippy, particularly with each other. That never helps communication. Being hangry is never good either, but that’s a different story. By Tuesday night I was feeling a little like our farmhouse dreams were over before they started.

Well, it’s been a couple of days and nights and we’ve had a chance to process the news. We are beginning to formulate a plan and we are seeking out information from people that know more than us. We’re working on things and we are preparing to move along with our renovations. I am also going with the idea like I told Brian the week of our wedding when a couple of things went wrong: I didn’t schedule any time during the day for problems and being mad at him, so the quicker I can get over things the sooner I will get back on schedule.

Another thing we began to tackle this week is the issue of it being COLD. Last week in the house it was so cold that our paint wasn’t spreading like normal because the paint was that cold in the house. 🤪 The previous owner (who I am beginning to resent a little more every single day) had two HVAC units, one for each floor. One is electric and one is propane. The working (the upstairs, electric) unit is in the back of the house so you don’t notice it while outside and the non-working (downstairs, propane) unit is right next to the front door and porch, so anyone and everyone that drives up will see this nasty, old AC sitting next to our front door when they come to walk up the steps. We had a HVAC guy come out and look things over. Apparently, whoever installed the units originally put the wrong kind of duct work under our house because… well, why wouldn’t they?

This is our front door. It currently doesn’t have a driveway going to it but you can see the HVAC unit on the left side of the porch. It will be removed soon.

All I can think of is that the previous owner is an absolute idiot and literally everything he touched or fixed he did incorrectly. I’m not kidding. You have no idea how many times a day I say that.

Our downstairs, propane unit is the one that doesn’t work. He also recommended when we replace it to not replace it with another propane one because on really cold months we could go through upwards of $800 worth of propane a month. 😳 I choked on my spit when he told me this, because we just had our propane tank filled and our salesmen swore up and down it costs the same to run an electric or propane HVAC unit. Lesson learned: don’t trust everything people say. I know and trust my HVAC guy, I don’t know the propane salesman from Adam.

So, long story short we’re going to probably go with two mini split units downstairs that will hang on the tops of the walls (and hopefully blend in) because our house is too low to the ground to get good duct work underneath and we just do not want to tear up hardwood floor and Sheetrock to move the vents from the floors to the ceilings. So instead we’ll take them out all together.

If all of that was boring to you, I’m sorry, I know. If you managed to scroll this far I would like to reward you with a couple of pictures of the updates from the guest room because last night we finished painting (other than touch ups), swept and mopped and unrolled carpet!

Before- his purple walls and nasty carpet
Before
During
During

Check these out! I am so, so proud of the during pictures. Brian pulled out the nasty carpet and the hundreds of staples and we all collectively have been painting. We still have to trim the edge of the carpet (and probably glue it so it won’t unravel) and change the light fixture and hang curtains or shades but other than that it will be good to go!

Noah’s room is not far behind either. We haven’t finished the closet construction yet but that’s mostly because we’ve been too busy dealing with our bedroom to remember to call the electrician.

Oh! We also bought a new stove this week because our current one has two standing pilot lights and that kind of concerns us. It won’t be delivered for another couple of days but it’s going to be beautiful!

So that is my update from this week. This post is brought to you in part : Marty with High Quality Heating & Air who came to check on our units and keep us from freezing to death, even though we are out of their usual service area. They also service the units at my parents house and at my store, so it was nice to have a familiar face at my house and Leon Propane for filling our tank this week so we could finally have hot water after being without since Thanksgiving Day. Also to my dad, Ron and Mason who took charge of tearing out all the Sheetrock because without the extra hands we would still be pulling stuff down. Neither company has given us any kind of discount on services for mentioning them, but without them it would’ve been an even tougher week.

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Noah’s a champ and other things you already knew.

I feel like now is as good a time to brag about my kid for a minute. Noah will be two years old on St. Patrick’s Day and he is the most easy going kid I’ve ever met. Maybe we’re just at an awesome age, maybe he’s just the best kid on the planet, it’s really hard to tell.

All of this is important because when you have a toddler in tow and you are remodeling approximately 2,000 sq feet of house and will eventually update about 3 acres of land… it’s helpful when said toddler is easy going. Noah has been a champ at taking naps in any number of weird places because occasionally when it’s time for nap time we don’t have the option of shutting the house down. Noah tends to party hard and then crash for a couple of hours at a time, so shutting down progress for several hours at a time would mean we would never get anything done at a reasonable pace.

Instead… Noah now has a toy tool belt with tools that match his dad and Grandpa and he rolls with the flow. ***I will admit that he likes the real tools better because they make louder noises.*** He loves to help clean (and steal my cleaning rags) and peel wallpaper (and spray water on the bathroom walls) and sweep (and run away with the dust pan) and is generally really easy going. Mom win! There aren’t a lot of those lately because we’ve been really busy and I feel like I’m barely getting a lot of jobs done. Hopefully that will improve soon.

Working hard or hardly working?
I’m going to be scraping wallpaper and paint until I’m retired
Not quite finished with Noah’s room but the boys had to test out the squish levels in Noah’s new carpet. Also new wall and trim paint! If I can remember, I’ll soon start listing what colors things are being painted.
Our house had ZERO closets when we moved in.. so we immediately started to build one out for Noah’s room and the guest room.

We are really, really trying to get moved into the house. One day this week I spent 30 minutes spackling one wall of one room because there were so many holes from pictures and posters he had hanging over the years. A little bit of every day is used for caulking one of the many cracks and crevices that have never been filled. For those that don’t know, when you draw a line of caulk over a crack you can drag your finger through it to press and smooth it in. My mom actually noticed this week that her ‘dragging finger’ (as we call it) looks like it has been filed into a sharp point because she’s been caulking so much around our house.

We have also managed to paint and I have started buying rugs. Oh! About the rugs! We have a well known flooring company in our area that sells carpet remnants for $1/sq foot and if you want them bound it’s $2/linear foot. To put that into perspective, I had originally found a rug for Noah’s room that was about $275 and I had one picked out for our guest room that was about the same price (both need to be vaguely 8×10)… bringing my total to about $500+tax. I found my carpet remnants at this flooring place for a total of $109 including the tax. 🤗

Now, I’ll admit that I didn’t get them bound (because theoretically the edges could ravel after a while) even though that’s the right way to do it. I’ve had carpet remnants without being bound and they’ve always been fine, so I’m going the same route with these. I do plan to put a good carpet pad underneath them eventually to muffle the sound when walking across them.

Another thing we did was rip out all of the shelves in the master bedroom. The previous owner had built these huge book shelves that were such an eye sore. I had originally thought that maybe he used them for clothing storage because he didn’t have a closet, but they were just covered in books and magazines and comic books.. So when he left so did the shelves. 🤷🏼‍♀️ We are going for try to reuse some of the wood from the back of the shelves to cover the new wall we created for Noah’s closet.

Before we moved in
Before we moved in

Some of the before pictures I have are when we were in the process of purchasing the house, so the stuff you see isn’t actually ours. I’ll also have to take some more/better during pictures of the master, but we were so excited when we actually got to see an extra ~25 square feet in our master just by removing the old shelving.

Underneath the shelves, the Sheetrock was painted this terrible green color. So 1970’s, in my humble opinion.
It turns out that even though the cabinets looked like nice wood, it was actually just plywood and lumber that had been stained well.. so nothing special about it.

It’s really so good, y’all.

When they took down the wall of shelves they got to a door that had been previously covered up. In the picture below, can you see that makeshift looking closet with blankets stacked on top? Yeah, we tore that down too.

Before

Once we had the shelves down on the bedroom side and the makeshift closet/clothes rack on the hallway side, we just had to open up that door because we think we might want to use that as the main door into our bedroom.

So that happened! There’s lots to do in the master and before we go much further we’ll need to pick out some new light fixtures and outlets and make some decisions so we can call an electrician. Of all the things I’m willing to Google/YouTube/DIY, I’m not brave enough to mess with electricity yet. This is most of our update over the last few days.

This post brought to you in part by Lowe’s, Home Depot, Brian Barnards Flooring America and Noah’s Grammie and Grandpa (my parents). Not because Lowe’s and Home Depot have contributed financially to this project (or any other one of our projects) but without them we wouldn’t have thought about starting this project. Flooring America is my carpet MVP and I will be back in there in the next few days to purchase more carpet pieces. And my parents- who have lent us a whole lot of time and experience that have made this (so far) a little easier. Oh! And tools. Grandpa has enough tools he could sell them to Lowe’s. Those are important too. Holla!

*cough* But I mean, if Lowe’s and Home Depot wanted to throw a little something my way I am definitely for sale and/or available for bribes and glowing reviews and recommendations. Lol

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We’re not very good listeners

From the moment we started telling people we were buying a fixer upper people started telling us to not get in over our heads and start a project in every room…

Well, apparently we (okay, mostly me) are not very good at listening sometimes. Whoops!

With the help of my parents, we’ve been working on our house about two weeks now and we are determined that we will be moving into it by the first weekend of December. The way Brian’s work schedule works, he’s got a 5 day vacation coming up- three days will be spent hunting and (hopefully) two days will be spent moving into the house. It’s my hope that while he’s gone I can work like a madwoman so he’s pleasantly surprised that I’ve managed to finish one of the ten jobs I started at one time and promised that it wasn’t a big deal and would definitely get finished sooner rather than later.

Here’s some stuff we’ve already done, including some before and during. I’m not calling them afters because they’re not done yet, but I feel like the space already looks so much better I can’t help but share the progress.

This is our downstairs bathroom. I don’t know why but I had it out for that shower door since before we ever signed a contract on the house. I’ve had dreams about getting that shower door out of the bathroom… and now it’s happened!

Before
Before

During
Before: we needed a baby gate for Noah and Penny
During: New baby gate for Noah and Penny! Unfortunately it has only taken about a week for Noah to figure out how to open it, so we’ve had to update the locking system with a carabiner. 🤷🏼‍♀️😂😅
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Well, here’s as good a place to start as any.

Hey there! I’m Lea, I married Brian and we have a son named Noah. We are newlyweds and we made the crazy leap when we bought our very own little farmhouse.

Built in 1910 just outside of Tallahassee, Florida, in a little ‘town’ with a population of approximately 607, our little farmhouse sits on a little more than 3.5 acres of land. It’s a fun little piece of land because we live next door to a very old graveyard… old enough, in fact, that we think the couple that built our house are actually buried there.

It’s a good thing we’re not superstitious people because it’s a fairly decent sized grave yard, as they go. Humorously, my family has a sort-of “dead relative tour” that they do occasionally when they’re together, so I would imagine they’d actually get a kick out of our neighbors.

Any who, our farmhouse needs some LOVE. It’s perfectly spacious for the three of us humans plus one Penny, our chocolate Labrador, at just under 2,000 square feet. We bought our house from a single guy that had raised two children in the house by himself and, apparently, never found any time in the 38 years he lived there to actually CLEAN anything. He is/was also apparently an educator at some point but he was definitely not the plumber/electrician/carpenter/painter/handyman he thought he was.

So, follow along as we whine and complain about our journey of DIY do’s and don’ts, successes and failures. We have three bedrooms and two bathrooms to update and if we are lucky (and with a little bit of Dave Ramsey magic) we will be adding a master bathroom inside our master bedroom.

This post brought to you in part thanks to: Clorox, 409, Lowe’s and Home Depot. Not because they have contributed financially to this or any other other one of my posts, but without them we would definitely have never even thought we could handle this project. 🤪

We’ve already started projects and we haven’t even moved in yet!