Sunday, November 27, 2011

How did paint even get there?

You know when you get back from the beach and somehow you always find sand in the oddest or smallest of places?  Well that's what happened to us this weekend, but instead of sand, it was paint.  I guess that'll happen when you paint all the ceilings and walls in the dining room/living room.  So here's the ceiling, after we'd taken down the popcorn ceiling and exposed all the dry wall. At this time, the walls have not been painted yet either.


Then we started painting everything with primer and learned that dry wall drinks up paint.  Luckily the walls just needed a quick rolling over but the ceiling....we ended up putting on three coats of paint.  This was partly due to the fact that the dry wall took a lot of paint but also because we were hoping to leave the ceilings flat and not add any texture. Here you can see the partly painted ceiling and the corner that still has some dry wall exposed.

I forgot to mention that the painting part was not so bad.  Jon used the rolling brush on the ceiling and some of the walls, while I used a little brush to paint around all the trim that goes around the floor and the seam between the wall and the ceiling.  Also since we were priming everything, we didn't have to be too careful with our corners because everything is white.  If I finished the small details in the area we were painting, I would pick up our other roller to help things along.  That didn't happen too often though.  The part that was awful was the sanding which took place before the painting.  We used a screen sander with a very small grit to sand the entire ceiling.  This was done to help us achieve a smooth ceiling and it sucked!  It was so hard to do and my lack of coordination made it difficult for me to do it with my left arm when my right arm was tired.  So this handsome man did 95% of it.

I spent the whole time trying not to laugh at him because he looked like a hipster.  He had on some old school racket ball glasses, he was wearing a bandanna, he had his pants rolled up and he wasn't wearing socks with his Vans!  Oh but bless his heart for tackling the nasty and difficult sanding.

In an attempt to make the ceiling and walls look as best as they can, we spent the majority of this long weekend painting.  My mom flew in on Wednesday night and we enjoyed a relaxing Thanksgiving Day which ended with a fab dinner at Hector's.  My mom left early on Friday morning and then we got to work.  But by this afternoon we were left with this....

Yes, that includes a fully de-popcorned and painted ceiling as well as freshly painted walls!  VICTORY for the Mooneyhams.  I still need to get a full shot of the living room but thought that I'd include one when we have the living room all put together.

Up next on the To Do List is the master bedroom which needs to be sanded and then painted.  Until then we are camping out in the bonus room until the master looks as amazing as the living room/dining room.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Our very first Home Improvement Project

(This picture was taken while the sellers were still living here)

Do you see that?  Up, up, up....on the ceiling!!!  That dear readers is the dreaded popcorn ceiling texture that was popular in the 50's, 60', 70's, and even the 80's (when our fair house was built, 1986 to be exact).  Not only is that stuff unsightly, but up until 1978 it usually contained asbestos.  Since our house was built nearly a decade after the ban we weren't concerned with the possibility of asbestos, but we were unexcited about the way it aged our home.

Long before we bought this home, we realized that it was very likely that we would be de-popcorning the ceilings of our first home.  It was very popular for decades and well we weren't in the market for a brand new home.  (Side Note: most new builds have more inspection items that need to be addressed than older homes.)  So long ago we started researching how to remove this ugly stuff and we found out that in most cases it is relatively easy to remove if 1. it does not contain asbestos and 2. if it has not been painted over in the past.  We were lucky because we didn't have asbestos and it had never been painted over, which is also why ours looked even more dingy.

In order to remove the texture one simply has to wet an area of the ceiling with either a spray bottle or in our case a pressure sprayer filled with water, give it a few seconds to soak and then use a putty knife (we used a 4 inch one) to scrape it off.  It slides off like butter on hot toast and you are left with exposed drywall!  If and when we felt a little resistance we simply wetted it down a bit more, waited a second and then scraped again.  We found that the drywall seams needed the most soaking, as well as, along the edge of the walls where there is a bit of tape.  Are you ready to see a picture?  Here goes...

Ahh, look at how smooth that is.  And surprisingly the exposed dry wall offers more lighting in room than the texture did.

Here's what the floor looked like.

We found the paper was creating more of a mess than it was preventing so we pulled out a tarp and then threw it and the popcorn goo from the ceiling out.  And yes the carpet is pink...but that's a project for another day.

We managed to the get living room/dining room in two nights which really helped us devise a good plan of attack.  The next night it took the two of us about an hour to do that mater bedroom including clean up.  I forgot to mention but a nice wet/dry shop vac, while not essential, makes the clean up process so much easier. We just sucked up anything that fell on the floor and then we were all cleaned up.

Here's the master...

We have no overhead light in our room so we had to get creative with our mirrored closet doors and angled in light from the bathroom and hallway.

We managed to get my office done yesterday during the day and all we're left with is the guest room and the hallway which we hope to get done in the next few days.  Our next project is to make sure the ceilings are uniformly smooth by using a screen sander on the exposed dry wall.  We're thinking for now that we don't want to add any texture to the ceilings, so after sanding we will paint.  We've decided to just white wash everything with primer and then once we are all moved in we can start making some more serious color decisions.

My office/craft room.

Stayed tuned as we continue to update the house and we will do our best to document what we're doing.  Ohh and some day I'll use my real camera instead of just my phone, but until then you'll just have to deal with a lower quality pictures.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

House, house we've got a house!

We're back to blogging and the reason we took such a hiatus was that after we were outbid on the first home, we decided to keep to ourselves about the process. Originally, we thought it would be nice to have a space to talk about the ups and downs but when you're in a down moment, it's hard to write about it and remain positive.

Here's a quick recap to explain what happened between the end of September and now.

- After we decided to raise our price point we found a great little gem of a house in North Kirkland.  It was a short sale but we feel in love anyway, we put in an offer, end up in a second mutli-bid, lost to the other couple and then felt really down on our luck. Then we looked at house after house and none of them were right.

- Our FR told us not to be discouraged so we headed out for another full Saturday of house searching and still nothing!  The next day, Sunday we noticed that a house in the same neighborhood had just been listed for sale and we asked our FR to take us out there the same day.

- When we got to the house, we were picking up some good vibrations and as soon as we looked around, we knew that this was the place we wanted to make our home!  But just to make sure we weren't jumping the gun, we went home, thought about and then let our FR know we wanted to put in an offer right away.

- After some of the normal back and forth between buyer and seller, we came to mutual acceptance and before we knew it we were getting the inspection done, getting our finances approved and leaving work early to sign papers at the Escrow office!

- And then on Sunday we did a final walk through and on Monday we got the keys!!!!  On Friday, Jon took the day off work and hired some movers to get the big stuff from the apartment to the house and that very night, we stayed in our new home for the first time!

This house isn't perfect by any means and there will be lots of room from improvements, however it's not a true fixer-upper.  We could move in and not change a thing, but that's not us.  We already decided to de-popcorn the ceilings as our first project, but more on that later. Now that we have our nest, this blog will focus on our projects big, small and anywhere in between!  So we'll leave you with this for now and be ready for some new updates soon!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Healing and Moving Forward

First up the Nose News.  Last Wednesday I had my surgery to set my nose and it was really successful.  I did not have an adverse reaction to the anesthesia (I have not had experience with anesthesia in the past and my mother has an extremely bad reaction therefore, I was afraid I may also react poorly) and the whole process was rather quick.  It also helped that they got me in a full hour and a half early, meaning I left the surgery center when I was originally scheduled to to arrive!  I did get to wear a ridiculously awesome nose cast for 5 days and then the doctor removed it earlier this week.  Now I wait the 5-6 weeks for it to heal completely.  I can feel a bump from where it is broken but I think overall my nose looks good, and is essentially the same as it was before.

Here I am, awesome cast and all at a wedding last weekend!

And now onto the House Hunt...we found out on Tuesday the 20th that the bank decided to go with the other group's offer on the house.  And while it was a little disappointing to hear, it was nice to finally get some sort of answer.  Now we know that we really need to be looking at others houses seriously and by going through this process we were yet again able to evaluate what we really want from a house.  By doing this we realized that we were willing to raise our price ceiling a bit to get a bit more for our money.  So today we are heading out with our FR to look at some new places and we are both so excited.  I am feeling really positive about to day and I think there is the potential to truly find "THE" house today.

Wish us luck! 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Negotiating with the bank is about as much fun as breaking your nose!

And sadly both have happened in the last few days since I posted. On the house front, the bank decided to counter our offer on Wednesday. We told them that they already asked for our biggest and best and that our offer would remain the same. As of Friday the bank had said they may accept some other offers and we let them know that our offer stands through Tuesday and then we will reevaluate. We love this house but we are not willing to go 10 to 15k over market price to get it. Please keep your fingers crossed that they bank decides our offer really is the best out there and that we can come to mutual acceptance soon!

In other news, aside from the house, I broke my nose last weekend. I was out wake surfing with some friends when I biffed it sending the board into the wake, the the wake rolled over me causing the board to punch me in the face. Luckily I did not need stitches for the open wound on the outside, but after visiting an ENT on Thursday we found out that I will need surgery to set it. The doctor told me I'd be much happier to be under slight sedation than to have them do it in office. Apparently one can't really have their nose numbed and since they have to manually shift the bones over surgery will be far less painful!

Currently we are spending time with family, waiting on the bank, and waiting for my surgery on Wednesday!   

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Umm still waiting

After the bank received our offer on Tuesday they decided to open things up to a multi bid situation. Meaning we now had to give our biggest and best offer by 9am Friday. So we met with our FR on Wednesday to put in our final offer. We left that evening trying to be realistic about the fact that we likely would not hear back from the bank until Friday at the earliest, but then we recalled that Monday is Larbor Day meaning that Tuesday is the more probable day.

Low and behold we heard nothing either way yesterday, so here we are waiting until Tuesday.  Keep your fingers crossed that we hear something early Tuesday.

To make this waiting game worse, our downstairs neighbors were extremely loud last night, slamming doors and stomping around which happens frequently. Then this morning they were playing their music exceptionally loud and were stomping around so much it was shaking our apartment. So we called the front office to file a noise complain and they didn't answer, so we called our first response security to leave the same complaint. Clearly they talked to our neighbors because they maturely responded by pounding on the ceiling/our floor,stomping around, opening the windows, turning up the music full blast, vaccuuming, and slamming the door over and over again. We called the front office again and no one answered. So irritating! Eventually they gave up and left for the day, but the whole experience was so pointless, be respectful people!

We need a house!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sitting, waiting, wishing!

So the big news in our neck of the woods is that we put in an offer on a house last night!  We put an offer in on the only house we've really liked and after thinking about it all weekend we decided to make our move. Unfortunately our move was sped up because someone else had also put in an offer.  Our hopes aren't high since we had no response from the seller today but in this game of house buying one never really knows.  So here we are waiting...

We def feel that if this house is meant to be we'll get it, but if I doesn't work out we know that something else has to be out there.  We are still excited by the fact that we are even one step closer to having a home!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A house hunting we will go...

On Tuesday night we went out on yet another searching adventure and this time we at least found somethings that sparked our interest.  In fact there is one home in particular that could use some work but would provide the right amount of home improvement projects for the hubby.  We like it but we are still interested in exploring some more homes.

This time has provided us with some really great opportunities for some really open and honest discussions and I've really enjoyed this extra time we've been spending together planning OUR future.  I guess it's reminiscent of wedding planning, spending time figure out what's next!

We are heading out again tomorrow night to check out a few more places and then we are taking it easy over the weekend.  For one thing we don't want to exhaust all the listings, our FR (fabulous Realtor) or ourselves and we have a best friends Birthday festivities to attend as well as an out of town friend coming for a visit.  So  a busy weekend will provide some time to rest, think and evaluate everything we've seen!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

We came, we saw, we...said NO...

A lot! Today for the first time me and my beloved looked at houses with our Realtor!

It was a truly wonderful learning experience.  Our Fab Realtor (FR) came by this morning to share some important information with us, in addition to going through a mock offer with us so that we can truly understand the ins and outs.  This was also a great time to ask questions and get an even better feel for the amount of money that we need to have on hand to make this house buying thing actually happen.

Afterwards, we set out to look at a few houses around town.  FR didn't want to overwhelm us on our first time out, so we stuck to one city and looked at about 5 houses.  First major important lesson learned, even if a homeowner says they will be out of the home at a certain time, it doesn't mean they will be.  The first three houses we looked at all had their owners there and well, at first, it made for an awkward situation.  However, one house we decided to come back to later and  that really helped.  It's not that it's awful to have them there, but I felt like the creeper checking out their house and stating loudly everything that I DID NOT like about it.

But luckily the day went on swimmingly.  The weather was gorgeous and we learned some practical lessons like if the kitchen looks a bit small in the pictures, it's gonna be real small in person and if there are no clear pictures of a mater bedroom that's because one doesn't exist in the true concept of the word!  We also learned something about our selves, like Jon is more willing to find the good in any house and well I'll nix it quicker than you can get the lock box open.  But learning and seeing this makes me realize even more how perfectly fit for each we are.  Not that I am saying that he's always Mr. Optimist and Mrs. Pessimist but it's more like I Mrs. Practical and Jon's Mr. Potential which creates a perfect balance when it comes to finding a house that will truly fit our needs.

Also after spending the day with our FR, we are beyond thrilled with our choice in her.  She tells it like it is, is sarcastic to boot and is one sharp shootin', smart lady.  We feel so fortunate to have found a Realtor who feels like a partner in this and not just someone who's looking to gain a profit based on our desire to own a home.  We love, love, love our FR!

So out of the houses we saw today only 1 remains on the possibilities list...everything else got chucked out the door for some other lovely family to make their home.  Although we are ready, willing and eager to find a house now...we are not going to stop looking until we find the perfect house that will become our first HOME together.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Holy Cow, we just received word today that we have gotten the approval on being pre-approved.

We've been busy searching all over and with the support of our Realtor have a list of homes we will be looking at this weekend!

More on what lead up to this soon, but until then YAY for pre-approval!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Is in want...

I seriously need to stop torturing myself by looking at homes on zillow and what not but I just can't help it.  I am in WANT of a house.  I am tired of chucking over a thousand dollars each month into nothing but a place that does nothing but keep cutting the hours they are open and don't even attempt to fix the main office that had a major fire in February.  And by not fixing it we have lost access to our pool and gym...hmmm anger brewing.

Ok so to step back after a mini rant and realize that I am lucky enough to have a roof over my head and a very loving husband and that we both have jobs.  But even on the days that we remember all that can't a girl be just a little annoyed...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

On a completely unrelated note...

I still love getting mail addressed to J and S Mooneyham.  Eight months have gone by since we got married and I still can't get over the fact that I am a MOONEYHAM!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Birthday: FUN, FUN, FUN, FUN, FUN! (a slight homage to Rebecca Black)

The biggest reason I haven't blogged recently is that this weekend was my birthday!  It's hard to believe that we are already half way through April!

I had a wonderful birthday weekend thanks to the benefits of ones birthday falling on a Saturday.  I had dinner with two other couples (our besties) at the fabulous Maggiano's and stuffed ourselves with Italian food.  Then we headed to M and M's where we ate the incredible SQUIRREL cake Mar Made!  Saturday we took it easy and I got some new running shoes...oh and best of all Jon got me a Kindle for my birthday!  On Sunday, Mar surprised Lyss and I by taking us to CUPCAKE CAMP!  We tried lots of samples of lots of different cupcakes from lots of different bakeries around the area!  Afterwards we wandered to the Arboretum and saw the amazing Cherry Blossoms in bloom!

But enough about my birthday.  One of the best things that happened this weekend was that we took a look at where our finances are and it turns out that we are in a good place.  It looks like we will easily have a good amount of money saved by the end of July/August (which is when we are planning on getting our pre-approval)! We are so excited to see that our savings is finally amounting to something... WE NEED OUT OF OUR APARTMENT!!!!  Ok I suppose that was a little dramatic but these close quarters are really starting to get to us and since we got married 8 months ago it seems like we are stuck in limbo.  It's difficult to create a life together when living in an apartment seems so temporary.  So here's hoping that we can make it through the next 8 months (or hopefully less) and then we can get on the right track...setting up our life together in our own HOME!


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Feeling some good vibrations

Some days you just wake up in a fantastic mood and that was my Tuesday!  I normally am a friend of Monday (I like getting back into the routine) but Tuesday is more of an enemy than a friend, except for yesterday!  As I drove Jon and I to work I told him...for some reason I am in a great mood today and it felt awesome to feel that good on a Tuesday (of all days).  It might be due to the fact that we are committed to getting back in shape and are currently on week 1 of the couch to 5k program (if you haven't heard of it, it gets you running a 5k in 9 weeks by gradually increasing your running time) or it might just be that I slept really well.  And the best part is that feel good feeling was present all day! The day ended with a free ice cream cone from Ben and Jerry's and by spending a quick 20 minutes with some of our besties!

Some days are good because you make them that way and other days are good because of the amazing people you surround yourself with...yesterday had both! :)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Just working on my timing...

I really and truly do have every intention of keeping this going... so here's me getting back into the swing of things!

We had a wonderful weekend which started out with a trip to Best Buy to buy a new router.  Ours was so bad we were resetting it at least once a day.  But the awesome thing about this new router is that we can connect our GIGANTIC (as in its physical size) external hard drive (which holds an impressive 150 gigs) so that we can transfer things to it wirelessly.  Which means we can move big and important things like wedding photos and music to it.  And all this in turn guarantees that my computer will keep working so that I can blog it up with all you fine folks!

As far as a house goes nothing new has happened on that front.  But that's ok at this point in the game it's still about saving!  We did take a walk through a few nights ago to see what kinds of homes are available in our price range around these parts and I think we will be able to find something we love, something that we can turn into our own little cozy place to hang our hats every night!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Practicing our Home Improvement Skills

Today was a completely productive day.  We started off by meeting our friends Ben and Alyssa (also read as friends who have a car that is bigger than ours and therefore able to transport larger loads) at Home Depot.

We bought a new bed at the beginning of the year.  A new, fancy king sized one where two people and two cats can sleep comfortably the whole night through.  Anyway the bed we bought is a captained bed which is excellent for two big reasons 1: it has a ton of storage (we're talking drawers on the sides and at the end of the bed and in the headboard itself) and 2: because it's raised up we didn't have to buy a box spring (which can cost quite a bit)!

The only small downside to a captained bed is that it requires a bed board, something to lay on top of the slated boards so your mattress doesn't sink through.  We however didn't opt to buy a bed board while at Mor Furniture because they were rather expensive and thought it to be more economical to purchase plywood at Home Depot and slide it under the mattress ourselves.  All in all a great idea...except our only vehicle Cecelia "the white lightning" (a 2000 Dodge stratus) couldn't fit the two boards we needed.  So we waited until our dear friends had a free day in their weekend (and in the mean time we also procured a Home Depot gift card) and then got the boards we needed.  Jon took it upon himself to round the edges of the boards with a jig saw before we put them in!  So now they are in and we can't wait to see how our sleep goes tonight!

***SIDE NOTE: I am still getting used to this blog thing so of course no photos were taken of the bed boards...but I am working on it!

Besides getting the bed boards in, we also did a little patch work on our Kitty Towehave r in the living room.  We got it for our kitties, Chewbacca and Wicket, during Christmas 2009 and there is one area in particular that they have scratched so much that the carpet was completely torn and it exposed the wood underneath!  Not only was it ugly but the kitties have since resorted to scratching other the couch!  So with a little rope and some staple gun action we were able to patch it right up!

Here is Wicket modeling the new and improved tower!

And lastly, we always end up putting our coats on the dining room chairs instead of back in the coat closet where they belong.  To solve this dilemma, Jon bought an official coat rack while I was gone on vacation.  He waited until I was back so we could jointly decide where it should go.  I pulled out the ole stud finder, located studs near where we wanted the rack and then helped Jon with the level.  We screwed in the rack and are oh so happy to have a home for our coats (or at least a more convenient one than the coat closet)!

And as you can see we also found a home for one of the wedding gifts from my sister!

We both couldn't stop smiling all day as we were so elated to be doing some things for ourselves around here.  It also helped solidify our joint desire for a home of our own and we can't wait to tackle more hands on projects in the (hopefully) not too distant future!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Harder You Try Not To, The More Likely You Are To Rebel

See them?  That's who we are trying to be... but today we weren't.  Today was one of those days where the need to indulge was just too strong and neither one of us could really control it.  We didn't go on too crazy of a shopping spree and some things were even necessities, but sometimes you just gotta shop!

Jon and I did good last night and instead of eating out (as per norm on Fridays and Saturdays) we headed to the grocery store, got some amazing burger ingredients and headed over to our dear friends house to have some dinner and catch up!  But somewhere in dreamland last night our good deed to ourselves went unnoticed and the urge to splurge hit us square in the face.

First we hit up the library where I had some CD's for school and two of Chelsea Handler's books waiting for me.  Then we headed to the mall where Jon got some brand new running shoes from New Balance and while they weren't cheap, they were on sale and getting healthy is of a greater importance than saving money for a house anyway.  Who's gonna live in the place if you're dead!?  Anyway, then we had some lunch at Panera before heading over to Target.  I got some awesome dress up clothes for my class and then I scored some super comfy, but still feminine pajamas (I am known to wear exclusively sweats: pants and shirts in the fall, winter and spring) and Jon got a couple shirts!

After that we were Ross bound because Jon's work was holding a sock drive for adults in need and we figured we could get more for our money there.  Sadly socks didn't happen, but Jon snagged a few things for work.  Poor guy (my words not his) has to wear button up shirts and ties everyday!  Anyway we then decided to hit up Costco for socks and we got most of our weekly shopping done while there as well.  Buying in bulk really does save in the long run and I have a very nicely stocked freezer with all sorts of yummy things, including some awesome pork tender loin that was just $1.99 a pound!

Anyway like I said, not a major budget breaker but still we did go out of the norm and do some weekend shopping!  We are still learning and trying not to restrict ourselves too much at one time. For now the focus is creating a balance between saving and spending.

This just might be who we really are...for now!

Friday, April 1, 2011

"Let me come home, home is wherever I'm with you"

If you haven't figured it out by now, this new blog is going to be centered around our search for our first home and then if I truly keep this up, perhaps it will continue into our blog about life (I am not setting too high of expectations).  I am hoping that this can be a way to record this time in our lives and at the same time share the experience with those around us.  I am also hoping that this can be place where I can share inspirations and receive advice and input from others. We are headed down a new, unfamiliar and exciting road as we attempt to buy a house and I really can't wait to share it!

Now as you can see from the title, I really do feel that home is wherever Jon and I are together.  But seriously can't a girl dream of a nice home, where I can paint the walls, fill it with new furniture and decorate it to fit our tastes?  So far, the steps that we've taken towards actually purchasing our first home has been one, major and often times difficult task: SAVING MONEY!  Now we are both fortunate to be working full time and we both have great benefits but still it's a challenge to sit down and say ok 'X' amount each month will be going to savings.  It's difficult to go from essentially being able to do whatever you want, whenever you want to all the sudden having to make the decisions like is it worth it to go to the movies or should that money be saved for a house?  Now at this point and time I can rationalize that yes it is worth it...but in that moment it's hard not to take the nickel today instead of the dime tomorrow.  So we're learning...we're trying to find the balance between some fun now and still saving for the future.