5 on friday 3.25.16

Friday, March 25, 2016

It's been quite a week!  It's spring break so no school for Carter too.   Here's a little run down of our eventful week!

one.
We sold our house!

Yesterday I posted about our home journey and pics from our listing.  You can read that post here.

two.
My car got towed.

On Monday, just as we were agreeing on an offer I decided to take the boys to BJs and stop at a bagel shop for a little treat for myself.  As I turned off the motor to the car I noticed my key had broken and the battery/chip was missing.  This had happened a few times recently because a certain one year old loves playing and throwing keys around.  In the past I just snapped the key back together.  But when I searched quickly on the car floor I couldn't find the battery/chip.

After we picked up our bagels and loaded the boys back in the car and the car wouldn't start!

So a call to AAA later and a tow truck and a family friend picking us up and talking to the mechanic he suggested that maybe the key was the problem.  So we brought back a spare key and after that whole ordeal I found out that in order for the car to turn on the key needs that chip. Luckily it wasn't the starter or anything major!

A few days later as I went to put Reid in the car I found the key chip in Reid's car seat so somehow it dropped in there when I was taking him out.

three.
Carter started soccer and he loves it!  

Here's a little video clip of his "happy dance!"

video


four.
Reid turned 16 months and celebrated by jumping out of his crib.  AH!!!!


I'm not gonna lie we've had a rough go with our little one.  We spy molars coming in and teeth are sprouting like crazy- we'll blame that on our feisty, fussy little dude.  I wrote a post all about him lately here.

five.
Egg hunts & Easter baskets
via
We've done three egg hunts in the past week and I've eaten my share of Easter candy and we still have bags left hidden in the closet! I'll be putting together their baskets on Saturday but I know Carter's going to be pretty excited when he gets his shower head with changing colors!  Ha!  Reid is getting a PB Kids Anywhere chair, but it's on back order so his Boon Snug Straw cups will have to do!

Our family plans were cancelled so I'll be consulting Pinterest for some fun, festive activities. I picked up Duff's Easter egg cookie mix at Target and of course we'll be hiding some Easter eggs in our backyard too!

Six.
Totally unrelated to my week, but I just read this from Shay's Instagram.  I love it.  I grew up like this- my parents were at every sporting event, concert etc.  I will make sure that my kids experience this too.  Showing up really makes a difference.  Gotta love the Lowe family, right?  

Happy Easter Weekend to you!

Linking up with April, Karli, and Erika, as usual!

our home (for sale)

Thursday, March 24, 2016

When we moved into our new home in August 2014 we thought it was move in ready and "nothing has to be done!"  What a joke that was!  I almost immediately couldn't stand the kitchen.  And the paint colors and every outlet plate etc.  Needless to say we worked on our house from the day we bought it to the day we just listed it (last week!)

We had many discussions and weighed our options many times throughout our short year and a half of living here.  I am going to be very honest.  We learned so much from this experience and hope that this can help someone else too.

In the summer of 2014 I was pregnant with Reid and we'd been living in my townhouse for 6 years.  I love my townhouse and I bought it right when I got my first teaching job in 2008.  But the big downfall of it is that there is no yard.  We pay a homeowners fee every month and they do all the landscaping, snow removal, mowing etc.  We felt that with having a 2 year old and another on the way that we needed a yard, like now.

So one weekend we started looking at houses and met with a realtor at 2 houses that were terrible!  We knew we couldn't afford our dream home but decided we'd look for a house "for now."  But woah those 2 houses were just not gonna cut it.  So our realtor mentioned that  she'd been through a house in our price range that was really nice but it wasn't in the school district that I wanted.  But I decided just to check it out and needless to say it was leaps and bounds better than what we'd just seen.

Of course the next day there was an offer on this house and with next to no time to think about it, we felt the pressure of the other offer and at 10pm on a Saturday night we were writing our offer.

The day we settled on the house I was a little unsure.  My townhouse was newer and the kitchen was newer and I don't want to say that I was having regrets, but I was,

This house impressed us on the original walk through, but when I looked closely it had many things that I didn't love.

Almond switch plates don't sound like a big deal, but woah did they date the house.  Many days of Christian re-wiring and changing them to white definitely made a huge difference.  And the paint colors that were fine really drove me crazy and we switched to colors I felt were better.

Soon after these changes Reid was born and home projects were pretty much on hold while we had those first few newborn months.  But in late winter we had the discussions again about what to do about the kitchen that I "couldn't stand!"  At this time we even contemplated moving but thought that would be crazy since we'd definitely lose money.  And we decided to move forward with renovating the kitchen.

We researched many options, like kitchen re-facing and new cabinets and new counters etc.  One day we went to a cabinet store near Philly to check their cabinets and were not excited about any of the options.  But we were really close to Ikea so I said "let's stop I want to get some picture frames."  I also mentioned that I heard their kitchens were nice.  Christian immediately turned down that idea- Ikea kitchens- no way!

But we went in and we were so impressed with the kitchens.  They were beautiful and so functional and everything we wanted.  So that's what we went with.  I'll write more and show before and afters in another post.  But needless to say our kitchen is by far my favorite part of our house.

It made our house so great!  It took 6 months from start to finish and that was pretty painful but it was so worth it.

But only a few months later we started talking about our school district and friends of ours in our old school district had been raving about it and the teacher and mom in me was so jealous.  Our current school district is known as being the best in the area but I know as a teacher that that reputation really doesn't matter, test scores don't matter that much.  But day-to-day happiness is what matters.

Back to the pros and cons list.  Although our kitchen was awesome and our house was so much better there was still quite a list of things we felt would improve our house and honestly we were over it.  We were over our large yard and over the yard work.  We knew that the right thing for our family was to move back to our old house.

Our townhouse is about 1/2 the size of our current house and during the first year of having a baby I was overwhelmed with keeping this house clean.  It is so big that we couldn't afford to have a cleaning person as often as we needed and the upkeep was just too much.

So we worked on that to-do list (that we started when we moved in) and got our house ready to sell.

Last Thursday we had the photographer here, on Friday it went on the market, on Saturday we got an offer, continued showings (we had about 15 in total,) got another offer on Sunday, and accepted an offer on Monday.  It was a whirlwind- but thankfully quick!

The home inspection is on Monday and then hopefully we will be set for our closing in mid May.

So lessons learned: 

1. Both Christian and I like things a certain way, and unless its how we envision it, it doesn't work

2. Take more time at home showings- look at the little things like almond switch plates  (we feel bad for the realtor next time we go to buy a house- we will be so annoying, I'm sure)

3. A big yard is a lot of work and beautiful landscaping needs a lot of maintenance

4. Make big changes when your children are older, if possible.  Everything is harder during the first year with a baby.

Once our house was ready for pictures we definitely felt proud of how we made it.  We even thought, should we stay here?  But ultimately we know that our townhouse is the better choice for our family right now.  We hope that the next family loves it.

And now for the pictures:

 
The foyer:

 The living room:


 The dining room:

The kitchen:




The Play Room:


The basement:


The Master Bedroom/Dressing Room/ Bathroom:



Carter's room:

Reid's room:

The backyard:


***The guest room and boy's bathroom aren't too exciting so those pics aren't included! And I didn't include a pic of our master closet- it's massive, pretty much the size of a bedroom.  But needs serious shelving and an island- another project that we envisioned but didn't have the time or money for it.

Now that it's done we will look back fondly on this house that we brought Reid home to and spent almost 2 years in.  But we're crossing our fingers that everything goes through with our offer and we'll be moving in mid-May!



3 on friday 3.11.16

Friday, March 11, 2016

I started this post last night and then Reid got sick.  So...here's a little update on our week and a quick 3 on Friday.  Oh my!

Just when I thought the whole world was getting sick and we were escaping it, on Sunday night Christian returned from his week-long trip and hours later I was hit with the stomach bug and spent the entire day on Monday in bed.  I felt like I had to pull it together and got back to normal life on Tuesday, but I'm sure I pushed it too much and I paid for it and was still not feeling well on Wednesday.

Then Wednesday night Carter started vomiting so I "slept" on his floor as he woke every few hours screaming and puking.  And then of course, Thursday night sweet Reid puked in his crib throughout the night.

When will it end?  We are really hoping Christian doesn't get it because we have a serious home to-do list this weekend!  And I have bunco tonight that I'd really love to go!!!

Despite the sickness, life continued on and so did all of our house appointments and house prepping list.  It seems crazy that we are listing our house in one week- eek!  Lots to do (and more work travel next week too. boo)

Now for a few things from the week:

one.
I used this nail polish remover that I posted about last friday and good news- it works great!  I definitely recommend it!


two.
It went from Winter to practically summer here this week and I'm STRUGGLING with our clothes!  But I did grab 3 of my favorite Mossimo V-necks at Target for $5 each!  I have a ton of these and after a while they become pj tops, but for $5 I really like the length and thickness and they don't get as wrinkly as some other v-necks like J.Crew and Gap ones that I have.


Online they say $9 but in the store they were $5 yesterday so run there to get them!

three.
Our Gap online order arrived and although I haven't tried it on yet, I got this striped dress.  Hopefully it will stay warm and I can wear it for Easter!

And now I'm off to do 1,204, 392 things for our house and pray that the throwing up is done!

Happy Weekend!
 

5 on friday (3.4.16)

Friday, March 4, 2016

What's really going on this week (while Christian has been in India the entire week!) is a whole lot of house prepping stuff like carpet cleaners & cleaning services & pressure washing & staging appointments & realtor stuff...but who wants to read about that?  So here are some other random things in my world this week!

one.

The Oscars Red Carpet

After the boys were in bed I flipped back and forth from E! to Live from the Red Carpet so I didn't see too much, but after watching Access Hollywood and Fashion Police.  I have to say, I'm not that wowed by any of the gowns.  I think my favorite was Olivia Munn.  I like the simplicity and color- strange because I'm usually a huge fan of nude, lace, and sequins!


and I also thought Lady Gaga was beautiful and her performance was too.

And the rest of this post can be called, "What I bought at Target this week."

two.

I've been looking for a new Spring wreath and since potential buyers will be coming soon I'm in kind of a hurry to find one.  I bought a magnolia wreath at A.C. Moore but didn't love it so I bought the Smith & Hawken boxwood wreath at Target.



Where do you find good quality, but not super expensive wreaths?


three.
I had to grab this pair of DV for Target sandals this week.  And when I added them to my closet it was pretty apparent that nude sandals, they're my thing.  I think when your skin is as pale as mine, nude looks best instead of a huge contrast with cognac or black.

four.

I was so excited when I saw this nail polish remover on the bottom end unit shelf.  Years ago my friend gave me this Zoya nail polish remover with a pump and I loved it!  We'll see if Up & Up will be able to compare (since it's 1/3 of the price!)



I also got a few other new beauty products- we'll see how they work out before I write about them!

five.

Carter and I are eagerly awaiting the arrival of his Pillowfort shark head.  I have high hopes that it will be perfect for his room.  I also caved and bought the panda head.  Just because it's so adorable.  The boys both love it but I don't know where we will hang it and it will have to wait until we move.  I also bought this oar hook hanger for Carter's room.  I thought it would look cute but I really don't want too much of a theme in his room.  So I didn't show it to him yet.  (Because if I do he'll love it and want it to be hanging immediately.)






six.

A last minute add on!!!  I'm thinking about Easter gifts for Reid and it's kind of big, but I know he'd LOVE a Nod Chair or Anywhere Chair.

Executive Nod Chair (Grey) Boys' Anywhere Chair<sup>®</sup> Collection

Carter got a pirate/shark themed Nod Chair for his first birthday and it's adorable, but it has some flaws.  Both boys jump on it, lean over on it, throw it around and it's no longer perpendicular.  Also it's a pain to wash and there are stains that won't come out.  Also I guess we didn't put the cover on right so it's pretty loose.   

So my question is...How are PB Kids Anywhere Chairs?  I'm thinking maybe we should try that instead because of our problems with the Nod Chair.  But then they won't look so good next to each other!   

Please leave your thoughts if you have a Nod Chair or Anywhere Chair!  Thank you!!
friday favorites/ oh hey friday/ friday favorites/ 5 on friday
Happy Weekend!


PS - This post contained affiliate links, which means if you clicked on an item and made a purchase I may receive a small commission.  THANK YOU  for reading and supporting my blog!

February Goals

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Reid started sleeping through the night in December (when he was about 13 months old.)  It's funny because Christian and I never talked about it.  I didn't talk about it with anyone.  I'm too superstitious to talk about it for fear it would end!  You know how athletes wear the same gear or don't shave if they're on a winning streak?  Well, if we ever had a good night I would wear the same pjs the next night too.

So while we weren't speaking about it, I was sleeping as much as I could during the month of January.  Christian almost always got up with the boys on the weekdays and I would get up right before he had to leave for work (around 7:15.)  After not sleeping for most of my pregnancy and then for the first 13 months of Reid's life I was tired, of course, as we all are.

What a difference sleeping makes- I started feeling so much better and more like myself.  I decided that I would enjoy all the sleep I could get in January but then I made some goals for myself for February.

1. Wake up before the boys.

This is how I feel every morning when I'm alone!
source
Carter's bunny clock wakes up at 7:00 and Reid usually sleeps until 6:30 or so and then lays happily in his crib until we get him right around 7.

I always wake up through out the night and morning so I decided I would try to get up by 6:30.  I do not set an alarm.  I still want to embrace my life sans alarm clock.  Waking up to an alarm clock makes me want to press snooze and then that seems to negate the good feelings of getting up early.

For the first few nights I slept horribly- worrying about waking up!  But now I sleep well and almost always wake up right around 6:15 and hop right out of bed.  Within 2 minutes I'm brewing my iced coffee and turning on the news and opening the laptop.  I love the quiet time when I drink my entire coffee and I read blogs and sometimes check facebook/ instagram.  There's so much hope for the day during the quiet mornings.

This is so true.
Come, o my King. Let me arise early in the morning before the dawn and sing my praises to You. Let the words of my mouth be pleasing and praising to You. Drip the dew of Your honeycomb before me and satisfy me as with oil.:
Source

Then at 7:00 Christian gets the boys up.  I'm not on my phone scrolling my timeline or trying to read a blog post while half watching Reid and sort of talking to Carter and making breakfast.  Instead I'm much more engaged in what's going on with the boys.


2. Have mommy school with Carter 2 times per week

Sleep also brings motivation!  I decided it was time to be more engaged in Carter's learning and hey, I am a teacher so I just had to get a little organized with activities.  And Carter loves it!  I'm working on a post about some activities that he and I do during Reid's nap time on Mondays and Tuesdays.



3. Make a cleaning schedule

source

Prior to this I felt overwhelmed everyday.  Almost every morning before I even went downstairs I was starting a load of laundry (and sometimes even finding a load that never moved to the dryer.)  I felt like it was never-ending- cleaning and laundry.

So I made a little manageable schedule.

Mondays- wash and change all sheets, do all laundry

Tuesdays- Dust/ Vacuum downstairs and clean powder room

Wednesdays- Dust/Vacuum upstairs and clean bathrooms

Thursdays- do all laundry

Everyday- Clean the kitchen 3,297 times and pick up and put away everything from the tornado of my children- it really is never ending.

Honestly, do I always get everything done?  No.  If not I try to do both things the next day.  But I feel so much better feeling like there's only one or 2 things to accomplish in the day.

We can drive ourselves crazy with the constant mess of staying at home.  Some days I can keep up with it and Carter is good about cleaning up and other days I'm about to lose my shit over the clutter and mess everywhere and 2.390,289 Alphabits all over the kitchen floor.  I know one day it will change.

These small changes I've made have really made a difference for me!

I'm thinking for March my goal will be list our house and survive.  That may be a miracle.