Make My Wish Come Trueeee….

…All I want for Christmas is we’re back! Our last post was in September, but since many of you wrote in to Santa for Christmas specifically requesting we return to the blogosphere, well, let’s just say we were genuinely touched! We are very happy and the pets are doing well. Our weekends have been busy as of recently, and that trend will continue into the new year as we focus on friends and family in and around the great state of Texas.

We’ve made quite a few additions to Starling, some through bargain purchases or sales, and others inherited from our dear family members, which add a special reminder of family to our home. We are thankful for it all.

In our master bedroom, ever since we moved in, it was always Izzie’s request to have a separate vanity table to do her makeup and other womanly things (before she was sitting on the floor in front of the mirror). We finally managed to find a nice ensemble (Overstock, World Market, Kirkland’s) that played well with the style she was going for. So we set that up, and hung our full-length mirror on the opposite wall right next to the bathroom door. More projects down the road for the master bedroom include painting it a deep gray-purple to set the mood for sleeping and other things, and also painting the master bathroom and closet.

photo 1

This angle hides the untidiness quite nicely!

In our garage, we welcomed the addition of five five-tier shelving units on the side wall to afford us the much needed space to store additional lawn care items and tools (for now) and off-season supplies (we are still looking to the Corpus garage for inspiration–wow!) We were able to purchase these shelves for $50 a pop during Black Friday Weekend (a comparable shelving unit was $80), and since the local Lowe’s didn’t stock them, we reserved one of Saturday morning for a quick, picturesque drive up to Conroe to a Lowe’s there. Lake Conroe is really something! But it was definitely worth the drive to save the $65 truck delivery fee. More projects for the garage including hanging up a pegboard for tools, hooks in the ceiling for bikes to leave more room on the back wall for storage, and possible a work bench.

photo 5

Organization Station

And in the kitchen, yes we finally finally put the doors, drawers, knobs and pulls on! Hip-hip-hooray! Hip-hip-hooray! We had the hardware for awhile, but didn’t get around to actually putting them on until this past week (our friends coming from Houston was a great motivator!). After we put them up, it was a little awkward, like being in another dimension. We asked ourselves, “How do we know where things go now?” “Wait, so I have to actually open the door to get something?” After the confusion subsided we rejoiced in how great they looked! Mind the gaps on some, and some touchup spots here and there, our kitchen has doors again! We also replaced the gold pantry knob with a nickel-finish one to match the main interior/exterior doors.

Doors galore!

Doors galore!

Adoorable!

Adoorable!

In one of the spare bedrooms, we also added a bed we received from our parents (thank you for bringing it). It’s a nice sturdy wooden frame, and fits very snugly in the corner of the bedroom! Izzie gladly purchased a bedding set for the bed with plenty of color and character.

The bed is partially made; don't judge!

The bed is partially made; don’t judge!

In the office area, there was a space in front of the bookcase that needed to be filled out, so we solved that problem and also the issue of having our shoes by the front door. So we purchased a bench at a great price from Overstock that doubled as a shoe rack. The more things off the floor the better! And of course we couldn’t resist the chimpanzee print from Fab; he stares deep into your human soul.

Sit down and put on your shoes with me.

Sit down and put on your shoes with me.

In the living room we were very fortunate to be receive some our family’s furniture, which turned out to be a great fit for our living room. Here’s a great recliner for reclining into ‘Launch Position’ [in its most horizontal configuration].

I Have A Reclination

I Have A Reclination

We also were able to elevate our TV height [from the lower Ikea unit] with this great wooden entertainment unit. It does a great job of hiding the cables, with room in the drawers on the side and middle to store components and a good amount of DVDs. We put up a shelf above the TV for all the little things and even put those great wicker baskets we got from Mom to work…yes! (sorry for the dark pic)

The News.

The News.

And it certainly wouldn’t feel like Christmas if there weren’t stockings hung by the chimney with care. We will be hanging one of Lala’s paintings above the fireplace—it will look really nice!

HOHOHO

HOHOHO!

Continuing the Christmas cheer, we put up a Christmas tree we got from Sam’s (really easy to put up and has lights integrated in, not like the old school attach each tree branch separately), along with some red candles and new tree skirt. There are a few presents under there—don’t you dare peek!

HOHOHO part 2

HOHOHO part 2

And to close out the Christmas cheer, we have a festive wreath and doormat for the front door to let everyone one how much we LOVE Christmas. Whoa! (If you see a little white rat in this picture, you win a candy cane)

Well, come on in now!

Well, come on in now!

And this past weekend, we were tickled to the core and delighted to have some of our beloved friends from Houston visit us. Kenn and Jenn will be expecting their first child sometime in late December/early January, and this weekend trip would be their last in CS to relax and be in good company (we have a pic from our other camera, we’ll add that here). We also celebrated Jenn’s birthday while she was here with a very moist chocolate cake and a harmonized rendition of the classic Happy Birthday song!  Keith & Janet, John and Alex also came by for a day trip to see the crib for the first time, and to also help out with a very special task: Getting Dirty Outside!

Our flowerbeds don’t have any flowers in them yet, but they were looking a little sad because there wasn’t enough dirt in them. In the spirit of Tim Allen, we needed more dirt! Here’s a before pic of the front beds:

Sad flowerbeds :(:(:(

Sad flowerbeds

And here is roughly 4-5 yards of dirt delivered to the driveway! It was exactly enough to do what we needed and more…amazing estimate by Keith, math DOES work!

A pile of soil/mulch. Yep.

A pile of soil/mulch. Yep.

After about 1.5-2 hours of hard work…

Much better!

Much better!

More dirt!

More dirt!

Getting dirty in the corner!

Getting dirty in the corner!

Soo dirty!

Soo dirty!

Dirty!

Dirty!

Even the trees got some love! Still need some stones or something around them, stay tuned..

Even the trees got some love! Still need some stones or something around them, stay tuned..

Dirty Birds ft. Moonraker

Dirty Birds ft. Moonraker

Thanks for the help, guys! It was great to have you at the house and to also put in some good exercise! What a great step to beautifying the front and back lawns. We will work to maintain the setup we have now, and also plan out what kind of plants and foliage we want to add in.

That’s it for now until 3 months next time! Happy NESTING!!!!

Make Your Move!

Hello there!

Yes, we have moved in and are now officially occupying The Nest! We finished up most of the painting in the kitchen (we still have the baseboards to do and touch-ups here and there, but for the most part, let’s just say we are done!) We took the day off on Friday to do some last-minute moving preparation, using our faithful Blueberry to haul little/fragile things to and from the current/future residences on three separate trips to lighten the major moving load later that evening. Our good brother[/-in-law] Austin offered to help us with the move, so we are very thankful for that—thank you, Austin! We started around 9:30 PM and finished up everything by 12:30 AM. Good stuff!

Garage Sale…everything must GO! Someone picked up the kitty litter in no more than ten minutes after we posted this pic to Craigslist.

We initially reserved a 24′ truck, but for some reason it wasn’t available when we went to pick it up. So they hooked us up with a 16′ truck, and we tagged on some insurance and no dolly’s (we had two already) or furniture pads (we did scratch the kitchen table a little bit; Izzie was pissed!). We probably got out the door for about $100, but we’ll see after the holiday weekend how we did.

We constructed a deluxe makeshift bed for the night on the floor after we were done and enjoyed a much needed rest that night. The house was in terrific shape!

That couch looks straight, right?

We are probably going to leave this room like this, we like the atmosphere…

We will be cooking soon! Two weeks of take out isn’t as nice as it sounds.

“We did it!…*snore*”

Still looking beautiful after an exhausting day of moving and grooving

So on Saturday and today, we have been busy doing what people who just move do: unpack and set up shop. Besides the kitchen paint color, we still have plans to wave the magic color wand and get rid of the awkward brown color the previous owners thought would look good in the whole house. Little by little, step by step!

Nice to sleep in a bed again! We should make our bed in the morning…

Office space is looking better. And you are not a true designer if you do not have EXPEDIT…

The kitchen is so much…brighter! And we are going to leave the blinds off in the kitchen since it’s so nice to have that light coming in all the time and be able to look out in the backyard.

Whoa, that’s messy!

We are going to put these on the local forums to donate. We do not want roaches munching on these!

Izzie taking a break from unpacking.

Ignore the cats in the background making love!

Since we have Monday and Tuesday off, we are pacing ourselves and allowing for a good rest of the weekend setting up. Have a great Memorial Day weekend! We’d like to leave you with these two baby seals we found swimming in our bathtub!* **

*No actual seals were harmed in the posting of this image.

***No actual seals were harmed in the posting of this image.

Happy Nesting!

Day 2 of Cleaning…Success!

We came, we saw, we cleaned. We finished our second day of cleaning and did more than we expected by the end of the night. The living room, front room, kitchen, utility room and master bedroom and bathroom were all checked off the list. We must note that this is a pretty “surface” cleaning (massaging baseboards, windows, outlets, switch plates/removing ghastly gold towel bars and toilet paper tubes, etc.) that entails copious amounts of radioactive-looking cleaner and self-serve elbow grease. We will be priming the kitchen the next time we make it back to the house, so we took the necessary precautions today to go ahead and prep the kitchen. And that means taking off all the cabinet doors, drawers and hardware…

Doors Galores

Our dirty drawers

Bling bling!

The cabinet doors had some pretty uninspiring hardware: a mix of plastic/metal and worst of all, the travel was terrible. But the doors are good to go for now (they have some notches on the inside of them where the old hardware resided, but that’s nitpicking!), and will look a world apart once we get some off-white paint and nickel pulls on them. The plan is to use the doors we have but buy new hardware that doesn’t involve any plastic parts and a more mature closing/opening mechanism. We talked about even leaving the doors off for a while while we get things figured out. We’ll also add some pulls for the doors and drawers down the line.

After the kitchen was done we wandered outside in the backyard and swept the porch area (still some mowed residue and random nails since we just had a new roof put on). It was great to spend more time in the house, because the first day we definitely felt like squatters laying on the carpet of someone else’s house and cleaning their toilets.

On Monday we will be back at The Nest ready to prime the kitchen, so stay tuned!

And the Cleaning Begins…

Last night was our first night to clean at the house and we were scrubbing, rubbing, scraping, polishing, spraying, brushing and de-yuckifying The Nest, as nobody likes anybody else’s grime on their new digs. We found some small critters scurrying around, wishing us well and hoping to see us some time soon, which will be tonight after work. We thought we would be able to tackle a bigger chunk of the house, but alas, these things take time and we only did one side of the house (three smaller rooms, the guest bathroom and a hallway). Tonight we will tackle the front sitting area, the living room, and the master bedroom/bathroom. After that we can finally move onto the kitchen and prime and paint before our new refrigerator is delivered next weekend.

If only all the birds and woodland animals could come and help us clean… only in Snow White! Once everything has passed our stringent personal inspection, then we’ll move on and begin working on the kitchen.

Here’s what we have planned for the kitchen in a loosely-constructed chronological ordering:

Coming Up

  • Paint the walls
  • Purchase and install a refrigerator
  • Remove cabinet doors and drawers, then prime and paint
  • Purchase better hinges for the doors
  • Purchase upgraded cabinet doors and drawer pulls
  • Fix the blinds
In The Future
  • Purchase and install a globe pendant lamp, and some new mini pendants on the breakfast bar.
  • Update the appliances (gas range, microwave, dishwasher)
  • Purchase and install new tile for the kitchen floors
  • Install concrete/granite/silestone/hard surface countertops
  • Replace the backsplash with some shiny metallic subway tiles
  • Open up the wall into the living room and extend the breakfast bar

Thank you Papa John!