Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Getting Warmer...

Now that our house has been "warmed" by a smattering of our favorite people in D.C. (during a hurricane no less!) (no offense to those of our favorites who did not brave the elements to join us, by the way), I am pleased to drop in with a couple of before and after shots of what we have accomplished. We are by no means finished with this place, but it feels a lot more like home...

I'll start with our entryway and living room, which seems only natural:




FORMAL LIVING ROOM AFTER - new (but still light colored) paint, new furniture, new window dressings:

We are pretty happy with the results, if we do say so ourselves! Our big "thing" has been that we don't want to go out and just furnish the whole place just to have it furnished. We want to find things that we like, and that fit into what we want our house to be. There's more we want to do (i.e., rip out the carpet on the stairs, freshen up the fireplace and hearth), but we are in a place where we can sit back and relax for now. Which is good for our bank account, and for our weekends.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Where to Begin...

Seriously. I don't know where to begin with this post, in which I plan to introduce you to our new home and summarize our first SIX WEEKS of homeownership. And in doing so, I should tell you that the most common thought that we had in our first days and weeks as a homeowner was "Where do we BEGIN??!!" So, only fitting…

I'll start at the beginning and make this story short. We finished with closing by 2:30 p.m. on April 13th and were moved in with all of our belongings by 6:30 p.m. on April 14th. We had an enormous, unexpected, wonderful amount of help from our friends the evening that we closed - we were able to get a jump on the paid movers by getting more boxes than we'd imagined to the new place in exchange for a crock pot meal of French Dip sandwiches (easy and always a crowd pleaser!). After everyone got the tour and left, Bret and I commenced our first DIY project: removing the master bedroom carpet.



Haha! There is no after picture. Imagine it without carpet - replace the carpet with shiny, nearly perfect hardwood floors that needed no refinishing. We are SO. LUCKY. And you can imagine away the horrid window valances, and imagine a light kit added to the fan. But you can leave the pepto pink walls in place. Because that is still what we see when we awake each day. No “after” picture until I get around to the full transformation. (* Since I started working on this post 3 stinking weeks ago, we HAVE in fact painted. Still no pictures yet thought!)

On our first night in our new house, when the movers had left, we celebrated homeownership with a bottle of champagne that we brought back from France. A vintage bottle. A 1996 bottle. It was full of little fast bubbles and delicious. And we used it to wash down a Tombstone pizza. A touch of the life we could have kept as renters with expendable income, with a pepperoni-speckled glimpse of what we've gotten ourselves into.

The next day, I spent alllll day unpacking the kitchen, most of it with Bret's help. That should clue you in to something - it took two people a full day to unpack our kitchen. Luckily, there are a lot of cupboards.

We've even got built-in shelves for our cookbooks and pretty things! One of my (many) favorite things about our new kitchen...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sneak Peak, on the Eve of Our Homeownership...

Welcome, Friends...

At 1:00 tomorrow afternoon, we'll be signing up a storm! Stay tuned for more "before" pictures, after we get the keys!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

"Ummmm Babe... We're buying a HOUSE..."

As I am sure that anyone who has ever bought a house - particularly a not-exactly-new house - already knows, there is a dip in excitement in the homebuyer timeline between having a ratified contract and, well, having a ratified contract that takes into account all of the little things that the home inspector pointed out. Things that make the Perfect House seem a little bit less Perfect.

That's the part of the timeline where we sat for the better part of this week, following our inspection last Saturday.

However, after some compromises on our end with regard to what we could do ourselves (let's be clear that "ourselves" = me and Bret and both sets of parents) and what we should/could ask the sellers to do, and after some waiting to find out what the sellers WOULD do... we now have a ratified contract and a ratified contract addendum.

We are pretty pleased with the results of our negotiations, and we are hopeful that we are in the home stretch towards closing on April 13th!! That leaves six weekends to:
- Pack
- Look for furniture to furnish at least twice our current living space
- Pick out paint
- Pack
- Purchase wallpaper remover
- Buy a lawnmower
- Read up on fence building (so that our new neighbors aren't introduced to Elsa and Otter with us chasing after them frantically)
- Paaaaaack....

And oh so much more. Things that we are excited to do, and things that are tedious, like figuring out who our new utility providers will be and making those calls (this is for Bret.... NOT IT!).

We had been holding back on starting any of this until we got past the inspection stage. Now it feels as though the flood gates have opened. Every so often, we catch ourselves turning to each other, wide-eyed, and saying...


Sunday, February 20, 2011

And Now For Something Completely Different...

Well, folks, get ready. This is about to be a Cheap Eats blog. A "Best Flavor of Hamburger Helper" blog. Maybe even a Couponing blog if Heather Steele has anything to do with it.

A "Renovation and Redecoration on a Budget" blog.

Because while we've been away from our blog, we've been getting new jobs and moving on up and saving up pennies. And finally, for the past month, HOUSE HUNTING.

And yesterday, some kind people accepted our offer to buy a house. A great big, awesome, beautiful house in the suburbs, with more rooms than we know what to do with, for the time being (and the foreseeable future...don't be getting any ideas, Parents). A house with a great big yard with grass for which we do not yet own a lawnmower. A well-cared for house with pink walls and blue carpet and Oh. So much WALLPAPER.

I outright refuse to post a link or an address or any identifying characteristics, lest I jinx us. After all, there's still an inspection to worry about. And they still will want that check that empties out our savings account.

For now we are excited and anxious and stressed and happy.

So stay tuned. When I started this blog, we were away from friends and family and doing interesting things in our Colorado Life that warranted pictures and stories across the miles. When we moved back to D.C., I fell off of the blogging wagon because life got, well...less interesting. But soon, (pending appraisal and inspection and finance contingencies) we will be Homeowners. God help us...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Summer is Moving Along Like a Freight Train...

This summer is moving SO fast that I am already dreading the cold of winter, even though it was 100 degrees today (and will be for the next few). Lest you think I am complaining, let me remind you that I, Jaimy, have spent the last two summers studying for bar exams. If I am complaining about this summer, it is because as the weeks tick past, I wish it could last forever. Labor Day will come all too soon - definitely before I am resigned to Fall. As much as we often wish we could click our heels together and be anywhere-but-D.C., I have to admit that summer is the BEST time to live in Northern Virginia, especially since we have a new back patio that is like a little oasis:
Even when we are home, we are "busy," cooking up a storm and/or whiling away the hours outside over brunch just-the-two-of-us or dinner with friends.
Summertime recipes enjoyed by the Lewises:

Perfect No Cook Strawberry Ice Cream

Grilling whatever we can...

We've tried new restaurants all over the District and Arlington, and I swear I have wanted to tell you all about them... but I was too busy enjoying the sunshine! Hope you are all doing the same!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

One Extreme to Another...

So Good to be Out of the City!

Here's a link to pictures of our visit last weekend to Orange County, VA, with our good friends Meredith and Cord. Another (food-related!) post to come...