Saturday, December 31, 2011

What a Year!

Boy, has it been a year for us.  It's been a life changing, busy year.

In March, Nick and I got married!

We spent most of the summer looking for a house, after a rejected offer, a lost short sale, and 2 bidding wars, we finally got a house.

We have been working on the house since we moved in, but we found some time to buy new vehicles for ourselves in December.

It has been quite a year, and we're excited about 2012.  You will hear about our plans for 2012 soon.  How was your 2011?
Saturday, December 24, 2011

Guest Room Update

Nick's parents are in town for the holidays, so we had to get the guest room together before they came.  I had a Dwell duvet that I bought on clearance years ago for a future guest room.  We picked up a mattress and box spring on Black Friday, and I found the bed frame at, a couple days later.  We picked up all the extra bedding needs, and finally put it all together.  The room is not complete, but it's getting there. 



So there it is.  What do you think?
Sunday, December 18, 2011


We having been looking into getting new cars for awhile now.  We spent Thursday night, and all day Saturday looking for a deal.  We were able to get a deal, and drove away with them last night.  Nick got a Nissan Altima, and I got a Nissan Frontier. 

It's a nice Xmas gift for us; and anniversary, and birthday, and arbor day gift.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Holiday Cooking

I've had a couple days off, after spending the weekend in Las Vegas with family, so I decided to get the holiday baking done.  I made a cookie tree, chocolate chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal rum raisin, and cowboy cookies (cranberries, oats, coconut, white chocolate chips, and walnuts) and chocolate covered pretzels. This is the sampling that my coworkers will get, the rest of the batches are for the family.

Last year, my boss would sneak into the lab, and take the chocolate covered pretzels.  He doesn't know I saw him, last year.  I made more for him again this year. 

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Many people know that I collect fortune cookie fortunes.  I have well over 100 fortunes, and have been waiting for something to do with all of them.  I finally decided to make a treasure hunt of fortunes throughout the house.  There are 20 or so fortunes around the house.

I even set some on each of our night stands that describe ourselves.  This is the one I picked out for Nick.  Boy, does he have an ego now!

I will randomly post pictures of the other fortunes.

Many fortunes are in your future! 
Sunday, November 27, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like...

Things are looking like they are coming together.  The laundry room has made some progress.  Since you last saw it here, we removed the overhead cabinets, and I added a desk, more lighting, open shelving, and various items of mine.

As a reminder, here is how it looked the day we bought it.  It sure has come along well. 

This is only about 80% done.  I'm planning on adding some art above the Packer helmet, wood blinds, and a screen around the water heater with isn't seen in any of the pictures.  The ultimate plan is to buy a new washer and dryer as well.

It's also beginning to look a lot like Christmas.  The tree is up.  I don't know why I was anxious to put the tree up, but Nick made me wait until Thanksgiving to put up.  I have a simple 6ft fake tree, with white lights, and white, silver and clear ornaments.  I thought it would be a good base if I decide to someday add another color to it.  Next year might be a football theme.  

 Nick hates the bird, but it's my favorite ornament.  I'm thinking if I put a football helmet on it, he would like it. 

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend!
Saturday, November 19, 2011

BBQing like a fool

Along with a grill, Nick and I wanted to start BBQing at our new home.  Southern style BBQing, with rubs, smoke, and delicious smoke rings.  My godparents got us a gift cards for our wedding, and we knew immediately what we wanted.   We were able to get everything; smoker, chimney starter, chips, thermometers, etc, with the gift cards.  Thanks A&M!

The smoker works great.  We started with a 2.5 lb pork shoulder a couple weeks ago, and then this weekend, had spare ribs, broken down into st louis ribs, and rib tips.  Mmm, it was very good.  Can't wait to try some brisket. 

Side note: I sometimes talk in my sleep (hard to believe, I know), and Nick one night heard me announce, "brisket".  It's a running joke in our house now.  Have you ever heard someone say something funny while they were sleeping? 
Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Plumbing done!

Well, Mike the plumber finished the plumbing today.  We've got new PVC pipes from the moment water leaves the building until it reaches the city sewer.  So although were out $4500 for all the new plumbing, its less than we thought it could have been.  

Our plumber was awesome too.  Competent, quick and friendly.  So if you're looking for a plumber in Tampa, or Lakeland, call up Tampa Bay Plumbers.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Snowball Plumbing

So we had some minor plumbing problems.  We decided to finally get the main line cleaned out.  We called up Tampa Bay Plumbing to clean out our main line.  The plumber couldn't find the main line access so he went to the roof to do what he had to do.  He then went to put in an access point to the main line, and saw some poorly done plumbing.

It was dark, so the plumber showed up today to properly plumb around the main line access.  Well, here's the mess that has ensued.  

During the dig, they found that most of the main line was full of gunk.  The line must be replaced.

So what started as a simple, quick and easy main line clearing, has turned into 50 feet or so of new main line. They are doing an excellent job, but we will be tightening our wallets, during the holidays.
Saturday, November 5, 2011

Razorback Office

Nick wanted a razorback office, so we decided that the mystery room would be Nick's office, with a lounge area.  Nick needed a big room for all of his current and future razorback items, so it made sense for us to use this room.  This is a room in progress, probably requiring years to finish.
This is the office side of the room.  Plenty of storage and display.  Art and curtains will be put in soon.

This is the lounge area of the room.  We need to add two comfortable lounge chairs, curtains, and artwork to this area. 

 This is the razorback collage wall.  This will develop over time; making quite a statement when the wall is completely full.

I promise to take pictures as this room transforms over the years.
Sunday, October 30, 2011

The motivation to buy a house

Nick and I knew we wanted a house eventually.  There was no hurry, an apartment would do for a couple years.  But like most apartments, we had rules we had to follow.  There was one rule that bothered us (Nick especially) more everyday; NO GRILLING OUT.  We had a little tailgating gas grill, that we used a couple times.  But it didn't get hot enough, and it would send smoke signals out alerting everyone that we were breaking the rules.  I know, we're rebels.

I knew that I could sell Nick on the moving sooner rather than later, if I reminded him that he could grill out anytime.  I also mentioned that a mortgage payment (including taxes and PMI) would be equal to our rent payment.  He was sold.

We didn't even have the house yet, and he knew exactly what he wanted.  Of all of the grills available in the world, he decided on a Char-Broil Red infrared grill (ooohh, aaahh).  

We finally got the grill last week, and started with steaks and burgers.  It works just like they say.  Great sear with all the juiciness you can handle. It's a textbook steakhouse steak at home.  Nick is like a kid in a candy store.

PS. Char-broil isn't paying us, but it would be nice if they would.
Sunday, October 23, 2011

Big Changes

Well, there have been some big changes going on around here. 

To get you started, here's a little change.  We removed the fence around the front of the house.  The neighbors have said that it looks so much better without the fence.  It really opens up the front yard.  

Next up is another simple bathroom update.  We added a curved curtain rod, curtain, bath mat, and towels. Simple, but needed. 

Now we go to the living room, which has undergone quite a big change over that last month.  It was an empty box, a workroom, a storage unit, and now a living room.  Although it will change over time, its pretty good right now.

The progress has moved into other rooms.  This bar area can be seen through the archway, in the kitchen.  Say hello to Sue and Bess.

There's lots of work going on around here, so I'm hoping to show many more of these "finished" areas in the next couple of weeks. 
Sunday, October 16, 2011

Bonus Room

I've been hiding a secret.  We have an extra room, unattached to the house.  The previous owners used it as a gym, which is our plan for it right now.  

It has no windows, which creeps me out a little.  I've been thinking about putting a small window across the top, or next to the door.  

It needs some work; new paint, new lighting, and new flooring.  It smells a little musty too.  But it's a nice bonus room.
Sunday, October 9, 2011

A little bit of progress

We've been working hard on moving everything around, still using the guest bedrooms as dumping grounds.  But things are shaping up.  Here's a little bit of the progress that's been going on.

In the living room we are getting ready to mount the TV to the wall.  Scary to think that if it falls, its a $1500 TV that we have to replace.  Cross your fingers that it holds.

The mystery room has turned into an office.  As you can see with all the Razorback paraphernalia that this is Nick's office.  So far we are thinking about a little lounge on the other side of the mystery room.

We painted the shelves in the living room.  The dark wood was just sucking the life out of the room.  During the painting process I decided that a blue background would add some subtle color.  I kept thinking about a less dramatic version of these built-ins.  There will be more on this later.

 And finally, I got going on the laundry room.  This will be my little room.  I have quite of few projects, and needed storage for it.  I also found room for other miscellaneous items.
I have more plans for this room.

That's all that I have for right now. I will try to keep you updated on everything going on here.