Friday, July 29, 2011


This collection of front doors made my heart palpitate extra fast today. Sure, the kids are screaming, Matchbox Cars are being thrown across the kitchen, and babies are making their "FEED ME!" grunting noise, but it's 99% the doors that have my blood pumping. I feel a genuine movement  in my soul. 

Chris always talks about loving Augusta Green-- aka that dreadful green from the jackets golf players wear upon a major victory. And since that color is entirely unacceptable in the context of home design (and the jackets really should be Victory Red, as far as I'm concerned)-- perhaps he will bite one of these totally badass shades of neon. 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

In Review

After several weeks of stashing things, staging things, and storing things, the realtor finally came to officially list the house. Chris and I worked hard with minimal funding and gave his darling house a total makeover over the past twelve months. Had we known that a year into our relationship, we'd be packing up to move to our bigger, beautiful (eventually!) home in a quiet suburban neighborhood, we would have been better at taking "Before" pictures. Along the way, we snagged a few shots of some of our first DIY projects together.

The bedroom reads a little like this on the listing, but is way cooler in person. Mostly when our things get to be a part of the space rather than stuffed in storage. The color is matched to our dream wallpaper. But since the $150/roll pricetag of the beaded bird masterpiece did indeed only allow for it to be a dream, we stole the cool gray tone instead. In a shoebox in my closet, the paper sample and order number still sits. I told myself it couldn't be for this house, but would be for The House. We'll see I guess! It's hard to tell on my wimpy Point N Shoot camera (or maybe it's my sad excuse for photographic documentation), but the bedding has pintucks, silver gilding, and greek key patterns, Oh My!

The item in this picture I miss the most is the framed photobooth strip from our first exchange of "I Love You"

Wait for it...


Here's Chris's tooshie in the crawl space, unloading the crap from the previous seven years of him having lived here. The crap went to storage, then we stored other crap there while we are For Sale. You know, things like 40lb bags of grout mix, holiday doormats, and 37 pairs of women's jeans that no longer fit, but hopefully will again someday.

I put winter sweaters INTO the storage space, and Chris pulled out 22" TIS rims. Which, if you know him, is a total DUH.  I think it is endlessly entertaining-- mostly because there's eleven more just like it in the garage. I don't have a place to put my flip flops, but we somehow store wheels, rims, and oh yes, eight sets of golf clubs.

My favorite thing about Chris and I as a couple is how practical we are.

The notorious slate backsplash. We decided on this as our first project an entire five weeks into our relationship. The guy at The Tile Shop was all dude, you can do this in an afternoon. So we were all like okay, here's my credit card! To which he said, "coolbeans" and we wondered if we had stepped into a 1996 timewarp. Christmas, Valentine's Day, and Easter all came and went before this project was done. And there was only one minor electrocution of a human being during the course of the whole thing. Can I get a WOO HA?

My blog's namesake. This is the Plumage paint from Martha Stewart that adorns the entire basement. Chris and I squabbled over color, but at the end of the day, his only requirement was that the space be a clubhouse of sorts. We were at the Home Depot one afternoon for a plant tray or something random and lame like that, when I wandered off to the Paint section. We were supposed to be meeting his Mom-- who is a totally genius interior designer-- so Chris said WOMAN! There's no time for this! Let's Go!! HA. In my purse I managed to snatch a paint swatch from my favorite domestic savant. It was a no brainer. The paint went up, and so did endless photos, autographed hole flags, and teebox statuary.

The only regret I have about this move thus far is that upon deciding to sell, I quickly bubble wrapped and removed all of our personal items. I did so because it is a part of showing the house, but also because I didn't want our private lives to be photographed and put on a MLS listing at all. Ironically, the only personal item not put away by the time the realtor showed up today was this engraving. Even before a single Reach My Arm Out & Take a Picture of Our Heads Smooshed Together photo found its way into a frame, I had this made by an Etsy shop. It may not be on the Oak tree in the backyard, but I hope this goes with us wherever our lives take us.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Family Meeting

We sat Snoop down last week to tell him about the impending move. He wasn't real interested in sitting so much as he was the grilled salmon on the table though. We managed to borrow his attention for long enough to send his tail into a frenzy: Snoop, we bought you a new yard!

Sweatin' for It

The time is 6pm and the temperature is 99 degrees. Guess what we're doing right now.

MOVING! Paaaahr-tay!

Well, pre-moving anyway. This is the part of the moving process which makes perfectly backwards sense: buy a bigger house for all of your crap, but before you can move it to the house you've already paid for, pay for storage for all of your crap in the interim.

Ah, the joys of The Storage Unit. Since there are only two human beings in this house, we use the space a little differently than someone with, oh, say, three children and a normal sized dog of more than 14 pounds. So before the For Sale sign can officially be planted in the front lawn, the weight bench and treadmill must leave the spare bedroom. Because we're trying to sell a house here people, and people like bedrooms, not makeshift home gyms and coffee tables used for lightweight cardigans and seasonal coverups.

Minnesota has gone tropical as of late- I have been trapped in a house for 10 hours a day at work. In Solitary Nanny Confinement with two young children and two infants who simply cannot be taken out into the rainforest for total and complete roasting. After working an hour later than usual yesterday, I came home to an ever-eager Christopher: ya wanna move some shit? he proposed.

WELL SURE! After 11 hours at work, I most definitely want to drag that giant metal equipment out into the heat only to have it sweat humidity all over me, then schlep it over to the storage locker. Now if that isn't a party, what is?

The joke was on me because do you know what's more fun than moist fitness equipment? Moving furniture at 10pm!

Since the other mattress that would make the spare bedroom an actual bedroom is in its very own storage unit, we decided to play Furniture Refurb & Shuffle and move a rundown sofa from the living room into the bedroom. Big, bulky, and barfed on by the dog. We hoisted it up the stairs and to the doorway, where Chris explained to me in lots of geometrically descriptive terms how the couch needed to be turned, angled, and jammed through the doorway.

I was immediately reminded of this. One of my favorite evening sitcom moments of all time. I used to mimic that moment with my sister-- over, and over, and over. Immediately, I began to chuckle. And when Chris told me to quit it, I laughed harder.

The couch clipped the doorframe and we heard a loud thud. It was the wooden leg. On the floor. No longer attached to the couch frame. Which made me laugh harder yet, because what else are you going to do when you've been awake for 18 hours, you own two houses and desperately need to retrofit one of them to make someone else buy it, and your dumpy old couch just fell apart on your toes?

Oh, moving. Such a special treat.

 Someone is going to have to tell the new owners to change the light fixture, as it completely sucks balls. But here's the made over (for free. aka ZERO DOLLAS, ya'll!) couch in its new, Buy This House friendly location. We found the throws in a box in the closet. Then remembered that we put them there in the first place because Snoop wouldn't stop wrestling with them. We see that he wasted no time scoping them out again.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Bidness of Moving

One couple, one house. Endless possibilities and unpredictable predicaments.

Chris and I met and fell instantly in love over a bucket of chocolate chip cookies at the Minnesota State Fair. I know, I know, go on ahead and feel envious of our fanciful romance. At the time, he owned a white-walled, blank canvas home in a city I had no earthy clue how to get to. In no less than 60 days, we had purchased tile saws, featherbeds, and countless buckets of paint. Zebra rugs, peacock colored paints, slate tile backsplashes. The house got a complete makeover– botoxed, lipglossed, corsetted and all. Then we thought HEY! Know what would be fun? LET'S MOVE!

After making the decision as a family– Chris, myself, and our 14 pound terror of an Eskipoo, Snoop– to pack our bags and move north of the river, we are about to embark on a brand new DIY masterpiece.

We hope.

The new digs take us closer to family, friends, and work. Snoop needed a proper yard and we needed a proper home in which we could grow our lives together. We wavered back and forth over the Real Estate Golden Ticket: after months of looking all over the Metro and at all sorts of price points, we had to make the executive decision as to whether land or house would win out.

Our hearts were set on a 1950s rambler in a quiet neighborhood with a great big lot. The basement is paneled, the closets are small, and there’s a good chance that the kitchen appliances are running on coal. But the lot! Two-thirds of an acre with a fenced area for the dog and ample outdoor space for us to live in, work on, and play with.

We made an initial offer to the sellers and, of course, were sent back a counter offer. We played back and forth and were tactfully told that the sellers wanted to wait for another open house (the property had only been on the market for 5 days when we made an offer). They were hoping for full price. So we quietly retreated and put it out of our minds, only to be called by the listing agent a week later: “Are you still interested?” he wondered.

The reno plans began even before the ink on the purchase agreement dried and we are unabashedly thrilled. T Minus 65 days. Grab your life jacket and have an emergency dingy on standby: this is going to be one hell of a river forging ride.
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