Filling up the House…AKA Craigslist and Garage Sales are My Friend!

Now that we have all this room….we need to fill up this house! But yeah….not going to by new furniture with 4 destructive adorable boys wrestling, spilling, coloring, cutting, writing on, having accidents, vomiting, jumping, practicing ninja skills and many other activities….on said furniture. SO USED STUFF IT IS!

Over the passed month I have joined a dozen facebook garage sale sites and continuously troll craigslist in my local area. I have found some AMAZING STEALS and DEALS! And some very unnecessary but cool stuff as well ( I got an antique barn pulley for 5 bucks…what am I gonna do with it? I HAVE NO IDEA BUT ITS SO COOL! ILL FIND SOMETHING! I WILL!)

So here are some of my finds…and some plans I have for them.

Navy blue couch w. pull out bed and came w. pillows….$250

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Navy Blue Recliner $50

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Brown leather couch….$20…yeah..

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White plastic stools…$40 (and awesome, the kids cant stain these suckers!)

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Oak entertainment center with a bunch of fun DVD/Blue ray organization pull out shelves..$300

I may paint this or at least gray wash it to make it look more modern/barn wood or something. We shall see.IMG_6982

Awesome Desk $100 You cant see the actual chair we got w. it here, I forgot to take a pic, but its black leather. Its purty. $35

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Antique Chair $5. I have a bench that matches this. I bought some dye and I want to dye the cream a Emerald Green or Navy Blue. MAYBE paint the legs white or go Tron style and paint them metallic silver. Hmmmmm

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Patio table and 2 chairs $50. Need to get more chairs for it, but for now its A-OK!

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Those are the steals so far. Pretty happy with them! We also got a free fuseball table from my office, as well as another office chair. OH and 2 toddler beds for 30$ last month that I totally forgot about. One is broken so I  am going to attempt to ….turn it into a coffee table….kinda crazy excited for that one. The other one will be used in the boys room for the 2 year old monkey. We MAY be getting king size tempurpedic this week for 500$….but we shall see. Gotta figure out how to haul it. But yeah…I am having way too much fun on these sites!

Au Pair Interviewing

We have started interviewing Au Pairs and talking w. our placement consultant. One thing that surprised me was that they recommended a male au pair. This honestly had not even crossed my mind! Now I really want a guy (a manny?) to watch the kids. He will be like a big brother. They will love that! A lot of the male au pairs have a lot of exp with sports, teaching kids how to play different games and music in addition to their childcare experience, which is awesome!

We were going with Eur Au Pair, but they have small pool to choose from and not as many au pairs in the area for ours to become friends with, which is helpful toward having a happy au pair 🙂 Now we are going with Culture Care. Our rep lives in the same town as we do and there are over 20 au pairs with this company with in an hour of our house. Awesome! They have monthly meetings/activities to experience fun things to do in the area as a group.

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We have had one interview with a young lady in Thailand and she was very very sweet an enthusiastic. Then we got the idea of having male au pair, though and are kinda stuck on the idea! We have two interview set up this week. A guy name Michel from a small town in Germany and David from Czech Republic. When you look at their profiles it gives a ton of info. There is a letter from the au pair introducing himself and giving you a run down, in his own words, of why they want to be an au pair, their experience and interests. Info about their family, lifestyle and preferences. Info about their childcare experience, references from those experiences and other work experience.  A run down of their skills, hobbies, driving experience and swimming capabilities and finally the info from their personality and health screening. The website shows that they have gone through screening, orientation, interview processes, criminal background check and provides the interviewers notes.  Its really great.

We interview through Skype. This is useful because you really get a feel for their personality and their English skills. Part of the reason many of them want to do the au pair gig is because they want to improve their English, so I am by no means looking for perfect fluency, just making sure that we can communicate. Im really looking forward to talking to these two. We have to have an au pair picked out by Monday if we are going to get an August arrival so hopefully we are crazy about one or both of them! Fingers crossed!

WE ARE IN THE NEW HOUSE!….aka So Much Room!!!

OMG I LOVE OUR NEW HOUSE.

Its awesome. Its huge. Its pretty. Its spacious. Its gotta playset. The boys love it.

The move was…chaos….our movers canceled last week so we rented a truck and had my cousins and brother come help load it. Then hired a couple awesome guys to help unload. We are unpacking as fast as possible, cuz clutter = anxiety in my crazy world. I have already started making so many plans for what I wanna do w. the house. I have a spreadsheet 🙂

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I have so many ideas and I cannot wait to enact them alllllllllll!

Here are some pictures of the house.

The playset FullSizeRender_1

The curved stair

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The deck

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Dining Room – We are planning on painting the top half Navy Blue

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The COOLEST SHOWER EVER

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The Darth Vadar Nook

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Laundry room and mudroom into garage. Love this washer and dryer, lots of cool settings and stuffFullSizeRender

My walk in closet!!!!! (well I should say…our)

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The vanity area between master bath and master walk in…I have so many plans for this area!FullSizeRender_2

The COMMAND CENTER

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Master bedroom….lots of boxes…my master bedroom has stairs…im SO COOL

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Basement…this will be the playroom for the boys…note the DARK CARPET..YES!IMG_6832

4 Days Until Closing….aka…Should we start packing? JK :)

OMG. 4 days left. Its crazy. And 2 of those 4 days I have to be out of town on business. We just got confirmation of the closing date….2 days ago. We figured it would be a Friday by months end and that it could be as early as the 12th, but as my says, its hard to pack when you don’t have that date causing the sense of urgency. The house is full of boxes, making it feel very cluttered and messy which DOES NOT HELP WITH MY ANXIETY ISSUES. (Not to mention, the rugrats think they are elaborate new playsets)

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Well packing has in fact started 2 weeks ago, but its been slow going. Glad to report that we are probably at 80%

Some of the last minute stuff we had to get together for the legal stuff includes:

Homeowners insurance policy

Title insurance policy

Termite inspection

Verbal VOE (Im still not sure what the hell this is, but they say we are clear to close…so guess the got it…oh god i hope they got whatever it is)

Cashiers check for closing fees

Name affidavit for my maiden name

HUD-1 for earnest money and for sale of the old house

EXCITING STUFF…. So we rented a truck for Thursday and Friday. The plan is to pack nearly everything Thursday night. Pack an overnight bag for us and the kids. Keep out 2 pack n plays, an old mattress we are chucking for the 2 boys to sleep on, and cuz The Husband doesn’t want to look for the air mattress…we are apparently gonna sleep on the ground. I will pretend I am camping. (Note to self….just found an awesome excuse for smores)

Friday morning we will pack up the last of the stuff, clean the house and go to closing! (wow I make it sound so easy…I will pretend that there is some reality in that hope)

In the chaos Charlie managed to cut Ethan’s hair (he now has a buzz cut), the Twins have eaten a ridiculous amount of dog food, the cat has learned a new fear….ETHAN (Ethan loooooves him and is extremely affectionate in the way of carrying him everywhere)

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But in the chaos there have been some sweet times.

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And we escaped the house this past weekend and went to Summerfield Zoo, this zoo had a bunch of destruction in the big F5 tornado that hit Fairdale. The amazing volunteer effort has brought it back so fast! It looks great!

Ethan LOOOVED the turtles

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Charlie got to pet an alligator!

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Ethan wouldn’t come near the alligator, but he loved the pony!

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Miles didn’t pay much attention to the camel and Jack slept pretty much the whole time 🙂

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There were monkeys, parrots, baby goats (that we got to feed bottles too!) hyenas, foxes, bobcats, baby wolf pups, pigs, moose, reindeer, ducks, swans, guinea fowls. All sorts of cool animals on this lil farm/zoo. LOVED IT!

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CONTRACT ACCEPTED!…..AKA Gotta New House!

We put in a contract on a beautiful house (not my gorge dream tudor, but thats ok) and it has been accepted! SO EXCITED!

6 bedrooms! an office! a finished basement! high ceilings! 4 bathrooms! a playset! Huge deck! curved staircase! 3x the room of our current house! The basement will be a play area and hopefully the toys will not overtake the entire honkin house like it does in our wee dwelling now.

So here are a couple pics!

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Already thinkin of paint colors and updates. First thing, gonna lightly whitewash the brick fireplace

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Inspiration picture:

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Then paint…but what color…

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I wanna do a reclaimed barnwood mantel and valance on the windows.

Then the kitchen…thinking I will paint it either Chocolate Brown or gray

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Leaning toward chocolate like here:

Chocolate Kitchen inspiration

Then debating either carrying the chocolate over the the island base like in the pic or brining in a gray reclaimed wood look like here, and there is a great DIY way to do this with Stikwood, and then painting the living room gray, so it kinda merges the brown and gray. SO MUCH TO THINK ABOUT

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So yeah…Im totally getting way ahead of myself, the ink is barely dry on the contract…and nothing is official until closing is complete and keys are in hand, which I know from previously burned experience, but I CANNOT HELP MY SELF!!!! OMG! CHANTAL STAAAAAHP!

House Hunting is Hardwork…..AKA HOW FAST ARE THESE HOUSES SELLING?GOSH!

OK so we have seen 7 houses in the last week, became crazy about 2 of them, just for each of them to become under contract with in 24 hours of us seeing them and start to write up an offer! Hopefully will see some more possibilities that don’t fall away this weekend, but on the brightside…my dream house is still available and The Husband is starting to be ok w. the commute!

Oh dream house…….

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Ahhhh to buy this house

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SCHWING!

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It will be mine…oh yes…it will be mine

AGHGHGGH OUR FIRST HOUSE SHOWING IS TODAY!

Our Realtor put our house up on MLS last night and with in a couple hours already had 2 requests for showing the house! The broker show is tomorrow and we totally didn’t expect to have the house 100% before that so we were up all honkin’ night trying to finish all the lil odds and ends!

We had a cleaning crew come and make the place really sparkle and WOW, it has never EVER looked this clean. So nice! We worked on carpet stains -Now I gotta make a shout out to this Spot Shot stuff. We had a professional carpet cleaning company come in and they couldn’t get the blue dye stain out…this stuff KICKED ITS ASS! You spray it, let it sit for like 5 minutes, blot, repeat over and over and over again. Its crazy though, its almost gone here, its nearly totally gone now!

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The Husband painted the boys room and replaced all the outlet/switch covers with shiny new ones

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I replaced some of the torn screening, with Miles’ help, of course. (PS I put some bright red ombre in my hair…might be too bright…but makes me feel all cool and punk rock) (Yeah…thats right…Im the cool mom) (mom jeans are up next)

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The only things we have left to make sure are done for the show tomorrow is putting up the new roman shades in the boys room (waited to last minute so they have less time to DESTROY THEM) and new closet doors in their room as well. Oh and we have to do some patch repair in one of our bathrooms.  ooo I have to take pictures and post of our master bathroom redo. The Husband and Chuck the Contractor rocked that job. More on that later in the week!

For now, fingers crossed for the two showings today! We have our Nanny bringing the boys and the pup across the street to our neighbors backyard while the showings are happening….hopefully that goes smoothly…but yeah 4 boys, her lil girl and a pup are gonna be tough to tote. I feel her pain! Hopefully the house sells quickly so the critter juggling doesn’t have to happen to often!

Prepping the House Exterior…AKA Mod the Facade

Some of the exterior things we have been doing to prep the house have included power washing, touching up paint and planting. We also had a gardening crew come in to edge the gardens and mulch. That made a huge difference!

Its seriously amazing how much power washing helps! You can see the before and after of the back patio below (AND YES….I ALWAYS DRESS LIKE THAT WHEN I POWER WASH….)

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You can see power washing in progress on the wood deck here:

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And I had my lil helpers aid in the planting activities:

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P.s. evidently dirt is like popcorn to one year olds…srsly…look over and he is putting handfuls of the stuff in his mouth!

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And then the touch up of the paint exterior (what I think I look like vs what I really look like)

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But over all I think we did a great job ramping up the curb appeal. We have a lil more work to do this weekend, then a cleaning crew coming in on Monday to really make the house sparkle and finally the house goes on the market with the Broker Show on Wednesday! OH I hope we can get what we want for it! A similar model (but not at all updated) down the street just dropped their price by $30K! Thats gonna hurt us and really makes me worry that we won’t get what we need to get to be able to sell. But we shall see! I really hope the interior remodel and all the work we have been doing will bring our house value up to our number. We just re did the master bath too. But we are still asking like $60K more than that other house…..Aghghghghgh!!!!

But then nap time comes and this happens and it makes me feel like everything will be ok….at least until he wakes up and walks in the paint again….yeah….that actually happened.

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The Massive House Makeover of 2014….AKA Wow I Forgot What it Looked Like!

I have mentioned before that we re-did our house last year when we found out we were pregnant with twins and I have had a couple requests to do a tour of the new house make over. So here we go! I had to pull my before pictures from randomness…so they are kinda odd…..just a heads up.

So first up, here is a rough lay out I made. The first pic is from before. We took the wall out between the kitchen and dining room, as well as a big closest in the foyer and combined everything in to one open great room.

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Here are pics of the kitchen before:

The lt blue green wall on the left was taken out and fridge moved to the other side. KitchenBfore

And the hideous white linoleum which always looked dirty no matter what I did. Esp when your lil guy sharpies it.

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Took out the cheap, stained countertops, the old school stove and the very very beat up cabinets.

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This is from the dining room looking toward the kitchen door opening..The Husband as Forrest Gump 🙂 (srsly probably added this pic more cuz he looks hilarious than to illustrate the small dining room)

Livingroom into Kitchen

This pick looks into the dining room living room (faces covered to put my friends in disguise 🙂 )  (we were having a marti gras party) and that wall on the right is the giant foyer closet. We added so much sq footage by getting rid of that sucker. Then we have the view from the hallway into the living room. Notice HOW DARK IT HONKIN IS. There was zero lighting. We added 9 can lights just in the living room area.

DiningRoomBefore Hallway Before

SO Next up. The RENOVATION! We tore out all the walls, flooring, cabinets, countertops and most the plumbing from the hallway, living room, dining room, foyer, kitchen and laundry room. We turned it into an open space. You can still tell there is a def kitchen and great room, but nice and open.

Our house after demo! Those wood beams were our kitchen wall…and then it was gone! (It was a load bearing wall so we had to reinforce it down in the crawl and insert a big ole cross beam up top.)

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Cabinets arrive for Chuck the Contractor to assemble

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Here we see the walls and floors are in! yay!

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And now….the AFTER SHOTS!( DUN DUN >>>>>DUUUUUUUNNNNNNN)

Here is the kitchen to the living room and vice versa

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Living room details: Looking toward the front door and hallway, then the fireplace (Navy accent wall,everything else is gray). We went with espresso dark hard wood floors. They look AMAZING, although you really gotta keep up w. cleaning them, which is lots of fun with the pets and the boys!

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Wine Nook w wine fridge, leaded windows and some of the awesome island granite. (oh those are copper mugs….we are just so honkin cool and hip)

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Wolf Stove w. a griddle in the middle (heh, rhymes) This stove is so purty. I LOVE IT. And the Griddle is flipping fantastic.

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After a near ridiculous amount of deliberation we went w. copper hardware. And I love it.

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Cool Thermidor dishwasher.  I forgot to take a pic of the best part. When its on, it shines a lil led light on the floor that tells you how long it has.

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Ok So I wanna point out some deets:

1: The industrial lights. So cooool. Edison bulbs. Hard to see here, but they are awesome.

2: The new back patio doors. OMG I LOVE THEM. Our old ones were just hideous and broken and ugly. These are so purty.

3: GE Cafe fridge. I love this thing. It dispenses hot water! I love tea, so best thing ever. And the lil water screen has a USB port so you can upload pictures for screen savers! ( I should totally do all skinny Chantal pics so I have more motivation to diet…)

4:The magnetic strip knife holder thingy…just cool and makes me feel like a sushi chef

5: We added a TV in the corner so when the kids are eating at the 8 ft awesome island, they can watch their shows. LIFE SAVER!

And oh the island! Its so beautiful. We did kinda a contrasting thing. Light cabinets with dark brown granite for permineter cabinets and then espresso brown with a lighter showpiece granite for the island. This granite, is what I will miss most. This picture does it no honking justice. Its so beautiful. Hmm I might have some detail pics in past cooking posts….Ill be right back…

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Yup Lots of island detail here, lots of different patterns and colors. Rusts, blues, greys, creams. OMG its so lovely:

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If only I could pack this behemoth and take it with me. SIGH! So that is our kitchen remodel! It went from about November to January and in the mean time we were either eating take out or cooking via microwave in our hall bath…but it was worth it. I wish we could add another floor to this house with out it costing the same price as a new house! We would totally stay. But alas. So many kids…..but I love em.