Wednesday, February 27, 2013

DIY Pallet Board

I thought I'd share a little house project that we just finished up.  When we started packing and moving I searched Pinterest like a crazy person (still do) looking for ideas and inspirations for the new house.  Our mudroom is quite big, but it wasn't laid out properly for a bench.  I had to get creative if I wanted to make good use of the space.

While browsing Pinterest I found this pic:

Adorable AND unique.  I knew right away I wanted this.  Slight problem though. Who was going to build it?  Myself and Brandon?  Ha ha, yeah right.  The hubster is good at many things but DIY-ing is not one of them!  Thank goodness for my DAD!  He is handy and oh so good at stuff like this!

Here is our version:

We didn't actually use a pallet.  Instead my dad just bought the wood, built it to look like an actual pallet, and then painted it.  It's smoother than an actual pallet would be and it also doesn't stick out as far from the wall.  Genius, dad!  I bought an assortment of knobs and over-the-counter hooks from Lowe's and Target and sporadically placed them around.  

He also installed a little shoe rack- which is also expandable, by the way.  I placed a cute rug I found from Target, and some canvas baskets (to hold some of Anniston's shoes) and bam!  Perfect!

Love the way this turned out!  Thanks a million, Dad:)!!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Date Night & Weekend Projects

The "project list" over here at the Medling house seems a mile long but Brandon and I were able to knock a few of the small ones off the list this weekend.

First, we needed an organized way to store all of our coupons.  I do like to carry the coupons that I use when out on a regular shopping trip with me in my purse, but we also have a lot of restaurant/entertainment/home improvement coupons that I don't want to lug around with me all the time.  I found a super cute magazine holder at the $1 section at Target, paired that up with some file pockets, used my awesome label maker and voila!

Happy dance that our coupons are so organized!  I also labeled and organized the coupon holder that I carry around with me in my purse and, since I was on a roll, made another one for receipts:

Yep- I totally had a good 45 minutes of fun with my label maker!

I'm also working on organizing the shoes in my closet.  I tried really, really hard to clean out as many shoes as I could.  As I tell the hubs, I'm aware there are some shoes I haven't worn in over a year. But they are so, so cute still and it's possible I might wear them someday.

Anyways, I was fortunate that the closet in our new house came with these awesome built in shelves- perfect for my shoes!!  I'm in the process of labeling them all now.  I ran out of labels, but you can see how it's going to look:

I still have boots that are in the other shelf in my closet, so that will be next!

I also lined all of my kitchen cabinets and drawers with pretty liners:

And found a fun pattern to use in Anniston's cabinet:

Just, ya know, a little bit of happy when you open a drawer or cabinet!

In between all the organizing madness, we took some goofy pics:

Brandon and I also had a date night Saturday night.  My SIL and her twin girls came over to watch Anniston for us while B and I enjoyed a couple of hours out by ourselves.  It was glorious and Anniston had a blast playing with her cousins.

Sunday morning we spent some time working on our spare bedrooms and then headed to church.  After a huge brunch with B's mom and Nana, our tummies were full so we headed home to nap.  And nap we did!  I blogged/internet shopped for about the first hour of A's nap, but then I snuggled up next to her in our big bed and fell asleep too.  By the time we woke up, all we had time for was a quick trip to Target and then back home to eat dinner.  Fabulous weekend!!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Getting Settled

We are finally settling back into a normal routine!  We are no longer living out of boxes- most everything is unpacked and (for the most part) where we want it.  A HUGE thank you to my awesome, wonderful parents for helping us so much during this past month.  We could not have done it all without their help.  They have driven into town the last 4 weekends to help with Annie and to help us unpack and get organized.  Thank you Mom and Dad!!

Yes, there are still things I want to buy and organizing I want to do, but all of that will come with time.  This past weekend we focused on "hanging."  We My Dad and Brandon hung pictures and curtains all day long.  It is really starting to feel warm and cozy and like HOME!  I'm loving it.

My cousin was also home for the first time since starting military school so my aunt, uncle, grandmother, and other cousin all came into town to see the house and visit with us.  We ordered out Mellow Mushroom and all gathered in my new kitchen to eat and chit chat.  Can I just say now how much I LOVE my new kitchen?  We ALL ate in there and didn't feel as if we were on top of each other like we would have in my old house.  It was pushing it to even get 4 people in my old kitchen comfortably. It was so much fun to have people over for the first time.  I can't wait for more get-togethers here!  I promise pics will come soon!

Miss Anniston is LOVING all the extra space to play.  She has been so funny here lately- running around the house and talking like crazy!  Her vocabulary has just exploded these last 2 weeks!  Some of her new words include:  Poppy, Go, Bye Bye, Elmo, Cracker, Ruby, Ball, Abc, and Uh-oh.  She started saying "Abc" because she LOVES the alphabet song.  She has this bucket of foam alphabets and she absolutely loves to play with them.  She will take them out of the bucket one at a time and hand them to me so I can tell her what letter it is.  She calls the alphabet letters her "Abc's."  It is so stinking cute!  She is growing up so fast!

All photos taken by my sister, Allie.

Friday night Allie came over to take some pics of Anniston out in our front yard.  Anniston and Ruby loved running around the yard.  It is so nice to live in a cove.  We never played in the font yard at our old house because we lived on such a busy street.  We then all went out to eat at our new favorite restaurant in our neighborhood, Mellow Mushroom.  Anniston was full of energy and personality:

Sunday we tried out a new church close by our house.  We sat up in the balcony in case Anniston got fussy but she actually did really well.  She read her books and ate a snack and started dancing when the music came on!  Ha!  Good thing we were sitting in the balcony!

We went to Target later that afternoon and now that she has learned to say "uh-oh" she wants to say and apply it all the time.  She would drop things out of my shopping cart just so she could say "uh-oh."  It was cute the first 3 times.  The last 15?  Not so much.

I have to post one more pic of Anniston and her new princess vanity.  I went to a consignment sale a couple of weeks ago and scored this for $27.00!  I have a vanity in our new bathroom and so Anniston always watches me get ready in the mornings.  I got her this so she could sit at her vanity and we could get ready together:)  She loves it and she looks so cute sitting on it beside me in the mornings.  She will blow dry her hair along with me and sometimes I give her one of my makeup brushes to play with while I do my makeup.

That's about all I've got for today.  Gearing up for a great week ahead and another weekend off!  Yay!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Our First Home

I knew as soon as we put out the For Sale sign at our old ouse that I wanted to do a sentimental post about our life there for the past 5 years.  Not only did we move to a bigger house, but we also changed neighborhoods in a major way!  Our address now says "Germantown" instead of "Memphis."

I had mixed feelings about moving away from East Memphis (not the house!)  I loved the vibe there, most of our friends lived nearby, I worked right across the street (literally), and I loved living in the middle of the city (most of the time.)  We went round and round about it and, after careful thought and consideration, decided this was what will be best for our family.

 I want to always remember our old house and the memories that we had there.  I want to always remember our old neighborhood, our favorite eating and social spots, and remember what our life was like there.  Not that we can't come eat or hang out at our favorite places anymore, but those times will be few, I'm sure.  We will have a new neighborhood now!  And let's be honest, we really don't get out as much anymore since we had Anniston.

Brandon bought this house on December 17th, 2004.  It was the first house he bought.  We had been dating less than a month, and I remember him telling me about all the houses he was looking at.  After he bought it, I remember coming to look at it for the first time.  I never dreamed at the time that 3 years later I would be moving in with him as his wife!

Seeing the house for the first time required some imagination and creativity on what could be done with it.  It was a very nice size for a single guy (2100 sq ft) but it needed A LOT of updates.  The kitchen had ugly white tile floor, green ceramic counter tops, and green and white striped wall paper.  The dining room was pink, as was the tile in the bathroom.  Gotta love that "retro" decor!

Brandon made a few updates himself while we were dating, but when we got married is when we really set out to make the major changes.  I can remember stripping the wallpaper in the kitchen using my garmet steamer.  I got an ugly burn on the side of my face as a result.  Tip:  Never put up wallpaper unless you want it to be there awhile.  As in, like, FOREVER.  We installed granite countertops and travertine floors.

Here is B "hard at work" trying to pull up the old kitchen tile floor.  

This house holds so many memories for us.  We started dating while B was living in this house.  I would come over on Sunday afternoons during study breaks to watch football with B. 

Brandon also proposed to me in this house, right on the living room floor, with boxes of pizza and rose petals spread out around us.

We had our Engagement Party at this house.

We brought Ruby home for the first time shortly after we were married.  She loved cuddling with us:

And loved to sunbathe in the the flower bed!

We held some awesome New Year's Eve parties at this house.

Ruby experienced her first big snow fall in the house and we all had a blast running around the back yard playing in it.

We had my sister's (surprise) wedding in the backyard.

We brought baby Anniston home for the first time to this house.

I am so glad we have a bigger house because now because we were outgrowing the old one fast.  I will always love that house, though.  There is a sense of pride you feel when you look around and remember all the time, effort, and labor we put into that house.  So no matter how awesome our new house might be, our first home will always hold a special place in both our hearts.

Our house in 2008:

Our house 2013:
I think our improvements paid off!  It looks way more updated and fresh!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Our Crazy 2 Week Move

Yes, you read that title correctly.  This past month has been CRAZY.  Seriously, I think the past month is the most stressful our lives have been.  In a good way, but still.  This past fall, Brandon and I talked about putting our house on the market in early spring.  After a casual house hunting adventure with our agent (who is also Brandon's step-mom), we decided that the first of the year was a better time.  In other words, the sooner the better!

We officially listed our house on December 27th.  We had an offer on January 3rd.  The buyers offered full asking price.  Awesome, right?  Oh, but there was a catch.  They wanted to close in 3 weeks.  3 WEEKS!  We had only gone house hunting once- way back in November!  We were totally not prepared to have an offer that quickly.  Nevertheless, we were so thankful that we did get an offer and that we only had to show our house once.  By the way- getting your house "show ready" every morning before work with a 15 month old= not fun.

Brandon and I decided to accept the offer and were fully prepared to rent or stay in a hotel until we had time to house hunt a little bit more and find the house we wanted.  Crazy thing is, we had kind of already seen our "dream house" but had decided that it was just unobtainable. On that Sunday waaaay back in November, Brenda (our agent), took us to see this really fantastic house.  I remember coming home and telling my parents that we had found "the one."  It was perfect- it had the right number of bedrooms, the floor plan was what I wanted, and it was in the school district I wanted us to be in.

At that time, though, we thought we weren't going to list the house until spring and who knew how long it was going to take to sell, right?  We had to emotionally un-attach ourselves from the house because we thought there was no chance this house would still be on the market when we got ready to buy.  Eh, well, what did we know!!!?!?!

We accepted the offer on our house on a Saturday.  On Sunday, we went out to do some serious house hunting.  Yes, our dream house was still available, but we wanted to be level headed and keep an open mind.  I mean, we hadn't even really looked at houses yet.

It's easier to house hunt when you know exactly what you want.  We needed wanted a 4 bedroom house with some sort of defined home office space.  Brandon works from home so that was very important.  My parents also live out of town, so I wanted a spare bedroom for them when they came down to stay.  I also wanted some sort of bonus/playroom.  I was also very picky about the floor plan.  I either wanted all bedrooms on the same level, or at least 2 bedrooms down and the rest up.  In addition to being in a certain school district, these criteria narrowed down our search pretty well.

Nothing we saw compared to our dream house.  We put it on our list that day and went to see it again.  It felt like home from the moment we walked through the door.  It has 4 bedrooms (all upstairs), 3 and 1/2 bathrooms, a bonus/playroom , and, best of all, a 3rd floor room all by itself perfect for Brandon's office!!  As an added bonus, it also has a heated swimming pool and 2 gazebos outside!

We called Brenda Sunday night and put an offer on it Monday morning.  The sellers accepted, thank goodness.  Now the tricky part- getting out of our house in time and closing on the new house in crazy, record time.  We really only had 2 weeks to pack and move out of our house because of a week long trip Brandon had with his job.  He was due to be out of town the week that the buyers wanted to close on our house so we ended up just pushing up the closing date so that he would be here for the move.

Those 2 weeks were hectic.  We both work full time, so it was going to be hard to get everything packed that quickly.  In addition to packing, we also had inspections going on, people coming over to work on our house, paperwork galore, etc.  I ended up hiring my cleaning lady to pack some for me:)  Thank goodness for her!!!

We closed on our house, closed on the new house, packed and moved in 2 weeks.  I still can't believe we did it.  I hope we don't have to move again for a very long time.

We are finally getting settled in the new house.  Now you know why I haven't blogged in FOREVER!  We still have a lot of decorating to do, furniture to buy, and organizing left.  But we LOVE our new house and neighborhood.  Looking back, it was so worth the rough 2 weeks we had.

Here is a picture of us in front of our beautiful, southern-style house in GERMANTOWN, TN:

photo courtesy of my sister, Allie

Hopefully I'll have more pics to post soon!
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