January 29, 2010

caught my eye…

I was going to do a feature like this about once a month, but there are too many good things out there!

First of all, I need to tell you about an online auction for a sweet boy named Mark, who suffers from a rare condition of Idiopathic Sclerosing Mesenteritis. I have donated a full room consultation (not sure that it's going to help, but I wanted to donate something!) and there are some fantastic goodies over there you can bid on to help this brave boy and his family.

Look at this beautiful dresser makeover from The MomTog Diaries. I love the colors and especially those handles: Heart Attack from Shawni~ I love this idea!!

A free, printable decluttering tool from Amy @ The Red Chair Blog

Copycat Pottery Barn Number Pillows from Domestically Yours: love.

And a must-read from Joys of Home: Occasional Glimpses

Thank you for inspiring me this week! Have a wonderful weekend~



January 28, 2010

Ralph on a Ring

When I heard that Ralph Lauren was discontinuing their paint at HD, I went into a bit of a panic and decided I had better get my hiney over there to pick up the color cards before they were all gone! When Martha Stewart discontinued her Living line at Kmart, I was so sad that I didn’t get the cards of some of the colors~they are so hard to find now! I wasn’t going to let that happen again, so I went and started collecting:January 2010 023 Then, I hole punched each one January 2010 028 and put them on a ring ( I got this fabulous idea from Jen at The Cottage Nest)

January 2010 037

Now, if I want to paint something Cathedral Grey like Wendy at the Shabby Nest,

January 2010 026

Or Canvas Natural like The Old Painted Cottage,January 2010 034

I have the cards and there is no need to panic that Ralph is no longer to be found. Doesn’t he make the most lovely colors? Oh, and there is no need to panic (I am probably the only spaz that would panic about something like this), my HD paint guy said they wouldn't be replaced for awhile and that they will keep the formulas in the computer. But there is something sure about having the cards in my hand {on a ring} that makes me feel better.




January 25, 2010

Getting it Sold....


This is not a fun market to be putting a house up for sale. For those of you facing this soon, my heart goes out to you!
Ours sold quickly (4 days, 2 offers) and some have asked for tips or things we did to help it move quickly. I'm no realtor or expert, but here are a few thoughts:

1. Start Now
If you even think there's a slight possibility that you could be selling in the next couple of years, make a list of all of the projects you want to complete to make it sale ready. Replace those brass fixtures, put in that flooring, get that wallpaper down, dig the paint rollers out. Tackle one project a week. Don't do all the work for the new owners~get it done and
enjoy it.
If you are in a time crunch with lots to do, really consider taking some time off of work. This is the biggest ticket item you'll ever sell and a few days of projects around the house could mean thousands of dollars in the end.

2. Price it Right
You cannot price your home on what you need or want to get out of it, or what you paid for it just 2 years ago. You have to price it according to the current market. Go look at your competition, scour the internet, consult with your realtor about what homes have actually
sold for and then price your home so that when prospective buyers walk in, they can see that compared to the other homes they have been looking at, this is the best deal.

3. Clear it Out
Have a yard sale, take truckloads to charity, and rent a storage unit for the remainder of your stuff. It will be well worth the money. (But ask yourself if you really want to keep it before it goes over there) Start boxing things up~you'll have to do it soon anyway. It's amazing how few toys kids can survive on. Go through your rooms and clear furniture and closets out. You'll be amazed at how much cleaner and spacious your home feels. Be sure that rooms clearly have one purpose. My husband's office was in the corner of our bedroom~it had to go when we put the house on the market. He had to set up at the kitchen table every night for a month. Inconvenient, but well worth it in the end. Make it look like a model home with a little furniture, a FEW accessories (nothing taste specific), and spacious closets and walkways.

Here is a picture of a tiny closet I cleared out~look at what I pulled out of it this thing! There was a really good sale on Ziploc apparently :)
Only about 1/4 went back in:

4. Watch HGTV
Sabrina Soto on Get it Sold and Lisa LaPorta on Designed to Sell are my favs. Watch a few episodes and you'll get a good idea of what you need to do to get your home ready. If you don't have cable, you can watch full episodes on the internet.

Lisa has made a great staging list here
and Sabrina's is here

I hope this helps. Our favorite compliments were realtors that would tell us that their clients said, "it just felt like home."

Now go...make your house feel like the home you want it to, whether you're selling or not. This is advice for myself today as I sit amidst boxes, walls that need to be painted, coats that need hooks to hang on, fluffy flowery curtains that need to replaced...



January 22, 2010

caught my eye...

Thank you soooo much for all of the basement help. It's like having our own personal team of experienced basement consultants and the contractors are gonna hate all of the questions I'm brewing up for them.

I wanted to share some things that caught my eye this week. Some are older, but we just got our internet hooked up this week and I'm playing catch up...




I Made a Choice from Melissa's Heart and Home
Awesome tips for weight loss and healthy living~she's doing great!




I need these tattooed on my arm...



The Case Of The Missing Home Design Event At Target @ Isabella & Max Rooms
I am so with Janell on this one...I had the Target Global Bazaar/Home Event marked on my calendar every February for when they went 75% off...sniff.



Music Sheet Side Table by Mustard Seed Creations
My parents have stacks and stacks of old sheet music from my great aunt. I really want to try this!



Playing by Sarah @ Clover Lane
the best behavior modification for your child~I heart Sarah. She speaks my language in parenting.

Have a great weekend!



January 21, 2010

Can we talk basements?

Comments are most definitely OPEN. I need to know your experience with basements.
What do you love about yours?
What do you wish you had done?
Any cool features you have, have seen in others, or wish you had done?
Warnings or things to watch out for?
Money saving tips?
We're having some contractors come by this weekend that have given us quotes and we want to get more specific with what we want.
We're paying cash, so when it's gone, it's gone. We want to know exactly what we're getting into so we don't spend too much and then realize we're out of money and oh...we don't have a door and the blowing snow is flying in :)

We want to have 2 bedrooms, a storage room, play room, family room, bathroom, and a small office. Right now, it looks like this:



and we're going to have to move that bathroom unfortunately. I will be hanging out in the comments on and off today...I would love to hear from you~



January 18, 2010

3 questions to ask your wardrobe + deals!

I'm trying to figure out a creative way to consolidate our master bedroom closet~it is 1/3 the size of our old one, and I've decided I really need to get rid of some clothes. I was reminded of the 3 golden questions to ask when buying or going through your clothing I shared with you last year, and I thought it was a perfect time to go over them again so maybe my closet could look like this? :)

Photo: Bob Heimstra

1. Do I love this?

2. Is it flattering?

3. Is this the image I want to portray?

I wish I could remember the source of these, but I think it was from Oprah a long time ago? I keep them on a card in my wallet as well.

In other news, Old Navy is having their add'l 50% off their clearance prices, plus Deal Seeking Mom shares the secrets of getting some printable coupons to use with the sale.

Also, my friend AnNicole over at Our Suburban Cottage shares some great paint deals at Home Depot in her last 2 posts. She had me at RL paint for $9 a gallon...

If I'm a good girl and get all of my chores done today (unpacking my closet!) I may try to slip out tonight to check these out.

Happy Monday~


January 15, 2010

Our (new to us) house!

Here are some pics I stole from the realtor~I included the floorplan too. It has the space we need: 1600 on the top and an unfinished 1600 on the bottom. It’s in a great neighborhood with the school we wanted and was about 60k less than the others we were considering. Most importantly, it just felt right. You know when you walk in and start looking around and you just know “this is it!” Even if it may not be exactly what you were envisioning? God has been good to our little (okay…big) family. It’s been crazy, but has all worked out. I cannot wait to get settled and you don’t even want to know how plans have been stirring in my head. The walls are white and there is no wallpaper…blank slate! Enjoy and thanks for looking at the potential with me. Much more to come….have a great day!home uphouse downDSC03289 B DSC03349BDSC03274DSC03282DSC03255 DSC03289A DSC03289D DSC03301 DSC03309 DSC03315 DSC03323 DSC03324D

DSC03245



January 12, 2010

a new direction...

I started this blog when my husband was getting his PhD. It was my "outlet" during his long hours away from home and helped out financially. BlogHer is a dream to work with~they have taken care of all of the advertising, I just have to write the posts. By visiting this blog, y'all have helped pay for the "extra" things like piano lessons and sports for my kids that we didn't think we'd be able to afford while in school. I can't thank you enough for that.

With this new year, new move to a new state and a new way of life, it has been a perfect time to think about where I want this blog to go. I've also been remembering who I used to be.

I used to run and exercise and actually loved it.
I used to get up early and read my scriptures, spend time in prayer, and have quiet time before the kids got up.
I used to have fun activities and adventures planned with my kids and wouldn't dream of spending more than 10 minutes at the computer while they were awake.
I used to love collecting and trying new recipes, making menu plans, and playing the whole coupon game at the grocery stores.

I really want to get to know the old Melissa again. I'll still be doing projects and blogging, but it will be probably be around twice a week and....
I'm turning off the comments.

I can't believe I just wrote that.

I love your comments, but I think I love them too much.
As in, I rush in from the store with a baby in one arm and grocery bags on the other and click refresh on the computer to see if there are any new comments before I put anything down.
And then I feel guilt because I don't respond to all of them or come around to all of your blogs.
I remember emails I haven't responded to when I'm up with my baby at 3 a.m.
I think constantly about great future posts.
It's just taking up too much space in my brain and priorities.

I want to be a full-time mom and wife, blogger on the side
instead of a full-time blogger and mom/wife on the side.

I want you to be able to visit, enjoy, and not feel like you have to leave a comment, so I guess it will be kind of like a mini magazine format? Of course, you can email if you feel an urgent need to comment or ask a question, and I'll have an email address for you to respond to without trying to hunt down your blog!! :)

In short, I believe if you ask God what He would have you become, He will answer. And as much as I thought I would hate writing all of this, this feels right for me in my season of life. I will always be able to blog, but I can never take these years back with my kids.

And the projects will continue, don't you worry about that. I'll show you the pictures of the house we made an offer on and you'll see that future projects will be abundant. We moved in this last weekend and are able to rent until closing. Wahoo! Boxes are everywhere and it is pure chaos with everyone wondering where their socks and backpacks and markers are, but hopefully we can get our heads back on soon.

Thanks for listening and understanding and hope you'll still continue to stop by a couple times a week. Comments are now closed {gulp}, but I reserve the right to turn them back when I need your input and advice on what to do with this house!



January 8, 2010

A real 320 Sycamore

(not my photo)

I came across this real estate listing last week and the address caught my eye:

320 Sycamore
Bradbury, California

It's a custom built English manor in California, only 6.5 million, thought one of you might be interested :) It's always fun to look...

It's a little out of our price range, and on the opposite side of the U.S, but what would I pay for that address...
have a great weekend!



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