Aug 4, 2010

Getting Striped

Tonight I will be trying something new.  I will be painting a stripe on our kitchen wall.  I have always wanted to do this but never did.  It was always out of laziness or not being gutsy enough (you know the feeling of painting all the walls and just not wanting to do anymore?  Yawn!).  So, with the help of my sister, a level, painter's tape, paint and my handy roller we will splash it on the wall.  I guess rolling it on will be easier...

One thing I could not make up my mind about was to use my blue tape or mix it up and try out the Frog Tape.  The Mr. votes for Frog Tape but my thriftiness lead me to think my blue tape would be fine.  Have to admit, though, I don't feel like touching up the bleeding paint to make the lines perfect.  So, after surfing the web and checking out reviews I've decided to stop at Lowes and pick up a roll.  I will test it out and see if it is truly is worth the $10 a roll. 

What do you think???

Have you used it before???

Aug 1, 2010

Caulk 101

Caulk can be an extraordinary thing or it can be dreadful. I was painting the bathroom radiator today and my paint would not stick. Reason? Silicone caulk. I knew what I needed to do next but was dreading it. I scraped, scraped and scraped. Removed all the silicone and voila. My paint stuck just like I knew it would. Now normally I would of removed the caulk but I admit I was lazy and hoping the paint would be OK. Yes, I was wrong.

I am the caulking queen and know the great things it can do. You have to know how to use it right, though. So here comes my tip for you. Make sure you use silicone for baths, showers,sinks. Areas that will get wet. Other places it is best to use all purpose or a non-silicone. Also, if you know you will be caulking an area that will be painted make sure you get the option that is paintable. All purpose is typically paintable. If the past owner of our home knew this she may not have used silicone for the radiator. She painted and then threw silicone right over.

Jul 31, 2010

A little back in time...

Going back in time.  Just a little.  Back to the first time at the house after it officially became ours.
Bub and Kona got the chance to explore their new territory.  The Mr. and I walked around thinking about all the things we would do to change it's look and make it ours.  We are getting closer and closer everyday! 
Cannot wait until we can move in and enjoy our success.

Jul 28, 2010


Paint, paint, paint. The past couple weeks have been spent painting every square inch of the 1st floor. It is so nice seeing color on the walls and much easier than priming. It actually looks like things are starting to come together and my "design" is more noticeable. My sister and I were at the house tonight working and figured the 1st floor is basically half way done. What a huge accomplishment. Yay!

All of our paint is Valspar from Lowes. Of the different paints I've used this is my favorite. Love the Eddie Bauer line and the Signature paint is easy to use and coats very well. One negative is there are no VOC free choices.

Most of our colors are from the bungalow collection and a few are from Valspar's main line. For those of you who saw our condo the colors will look very familiar. Colors used are:

Living Room/Dining Room: Pecan - Walls
Vanilla Bean - Ceiling
Craft White - Trim
Mercer Blue - Accent Wall

Kitchen/Hallway/Office: Ochre - Walls
Craft White - Ceiling

Our Bedroom: Woodsmoke - Walls
Camel - Ceiling
Craft White - Trim

Katie's Bedroom: Lavender Heather - Walls
Craft White - Ceiling & Trim

When choosing paint colors it is so important to marry the rooms and not make it feel like a rainbow of different colors. Colors chosen for our house has a blue/tan/cream theme that flows throughout. Also when you choose colors take the paint swatches home and check them out in your light. You will be amazed at how different it looks at home and you want to be sure you still like your choice.

Jul 22, 2010

Please No More Writing on The Walls!

Work is under way. So much going on that I have no time to keep this blog updated.


We could not wait to get in and start work. Boy did we find so many other things we needed to do after we got in the house and the previous owner's stuff was all out. It is amazing what furniture can hide. We are even more grateful now that we did not get the first/sinking house. This one itself has become a lot of work. Who knows what we would have got ourselves into with the first. We now consider it a gift the other one fell through! We also found out a 2nd deal on it fell thru too...

The first lesson I've learned with our new home is it is not acceptable to write on walls. The previous owner let her kids have free will on the walls and write away. We practically had a book that has been erased away with primer. Our bedroom had a closet filled with words and pictures. Favorite was "Please do not paint over" which was fresh and the last thing left behind for us...hmmm. If you look close you may even be able to see it! We also had messages the kids wrote to each other, hearts in gel paint that had to be sanded away and even a wall of stickers. Maybe I missed the boat and this is the new trend in home design.

After spending endless hours priming almost every inch we have embarked on our we get to start seeing some hard work show.  Here are some before shots.

Jul 11, 2010

Welcome Home!

We closed on our house on June 30th. It's been a couple weeks but things have been super busy! We've been working hard and late into many nights trying to get it ready for us to move in. It felt like forever waiting for the big day to come. It was like waiting for that vacation you just cannot wait to pack for and leave. Then poof the day came and was just gone. All that anticipation over. It's ironic how this closing was much better than when we sold our condo. Too bad the sale wasn't better for us...but now we at least got this great house to start working on!

May 30, 2010

"I Want A New House Too!!"

"I want a house". Something I've been hearing a lot at home. The Bub is really getting into the spirit of things too. Maybe we are rubbing off on her. Was watching an HGTV show this morning and Bub really said to me "Mommy...I want a house." Think the Mr. and I say that one a lot? But I have to admit it was just too cute!

We are now 26 days away from the closing date of our new home and very anxious. We just cannot wait to get the keys in hand. I am having serious design worries and too many ideas. Overload! I just want to make sure I do things right and pick things that are perfect.

This home though is just right for us. All that we wanted and more. Losing the other house was actually a blessing and I am so happy the Mr. took charge of that one and walked us away from disaster.

Til next time...

May 1, 2010

Starting Over...

So, who likes to not get what they want? Anyone, anyone? Well, I don't. And if you were to ask my husband how the past 48 hours have been he would tell you he saw the wrath of me....lots of disappointment and mixed feelings. I was being me. Typical Jen when I don't get what I want. Yes, I am a big baby (I admit it) but who cares. I wanted that house darn it!

We finally were able to have the foundation looked at by US Waterproofing. Ben was nice but boy did I hate him late Thursday night. Not because he did anything wrong but because he helped us to walk away from the house. Yes everyone, we are no longer "Under Contract". Yippy? Nope not at all! Beer time!

So what, the foundation has some cracks, which are not that of a big deal. Seal em up and no water. The issue is that one side has settled a couple inches and the house is leaning over. Not really noticeable to the eye, the Mr. says he could tell, but also apparently noticeable from inside. I cannot say I noticed the leaning inside but I wanted this house. Maybe I was being blind or playing dumb. Still not sure at this point. Ben said the bricks on the exterior showed signs of cracking from the middle, which is not good. He also could not say that if we stopped water from coming in if the problem would be solved. More settling could still occur which wouldn't be good since this side already dropped quite a bit. I guess we could say we are lucky that we did notice this, were told it was bad and had the opportunity to walk away. Some people buy houses that have these issues and never know until they live there and it is too late.

Now we are starting over. On the search again for the great Chicago Bungalow. Maybe this really will take us some time. I just hope the next one is better like everyone is telling me it will be. I do promise, though, I will not sway from living in a bungalow. I want it and am not willing to sacrifice it for anything.

Apr 17, 2010

The Inspection

So, we had our inspection this past week. Not as good as we hoped but it is what it is. This post is to continue with why we started this blog, which is to share with everyone our home buying experience and to shed light on all the craziness which we will embark on.

Buying a home is like planning your wedding and getting married. It should be what you want and not what others want. It is about going through a process which you don't always know what the outcome will be but in the end it is worth it! It is great hearing the opinions of others but the Mr. and I will need to live with the decisions made. I am sure everyone who has planned a wedding or bought a home know where I am coming from....which is why we got married in Hawaii with just the two of us. :)

The home we always wanted to buy was very specific and of the oldest type of homes in Chicago. With that comes a lot of work and patience. We knew we would not be able to get the perfect home but we want one we can improve on and make it what we want. Before going to inspection the house showed lots of flaws. The issues we thought would be bad turned out not to be but we did find out there are more issues with the foundation than we expected. It is still too early to know what is needed and if the seller is willing to fix this. So, before jumping the gun and walking away we've asked for more time so we can get a fair assessment from a professional in the field of working on foundations. Living on the Northwest side of the city is not the greatest when it comes to foundation issues and flooding. We will not side from buying a home that is structurally sound but we want to give the seller a chance to fix this. In this type of market I would hope the seller would be willing to. If not, the decision would then be simple to walk away and let the seller figure out how to move their home.

So, the journey has definitely started out bumpy but if this is meant to be for us it will all work out. If not, we at least still have the opportunity to move on and find something else.

Apr 10, 2010

Under Contract

So, we are under contract! And so excited! Our future home is exactly what we wanted. Well, minus all the work but up for the challenge. This is earlier than we expected but a house we could not pass up. We plan to close in June as long as the inspection and loan process goes smoothly.

Our goal was to always find an octagonal Chicago bungalow in a great neighborhood where there are lots of block parties. At least we hope they have block parties...The husband and I have spent endless hours walking neighborhoods we've lived in dreaming of what someday we would have. Now we are that much closer. All that is left are all the sweat and tears. I know I am up for the challenge but I hope husband is ready for all the "let's hurry to get this done" and "when will this be ready". We know though that the end result will be great. He did such a good job on our condo that I know this will be one good looking home! Now hopefully we don't loose a ton of money...

We decided to start this blog to share with our friends and family the journey we are about to start. We have a long road ahead of remodeling, bickering, fighting and getting what we want. In the end we hope to have a wonderful home to share with all of you!