I can’t wait until summer so I can start laying out and sunbathing in my backyard. Kind of like this… (Brian says I sleep with my arms folded up like in the photo and that’s why my back is always achy. I only started doing it recently. I must already be dreaming of sunbathing. LOL.)
BTW, we finally assembled our new patio furniture. We had to retire the old one that we got from Bed Bath & Beyond three years ago. Well, we didn’t really retire it. We just moved it downstairs in the walkout pit. It’s our smoking area. Just for the record, Brian and I are nonsmokers, but we had to create a designate a specific smoking area for our friends who do.
We love, love, love the new patio furniture except we kind of overestimated the size of our deck. Mostly Brian did. I knew that the walkout pit was larger than the deck and I kept telling him that, but he kept insisting that they were the same size. It wasn’t until after we put the new patio furniture out on the deck that he conceded.
These chairs are a lot bigger in person than they look online. They make Brian look like a little kid. We could almost both fit in one. LOL. They are super comfy, though. I can’t wait to start hanging out on the deck. Now, if the weather would just cooperate…
Ever since I named our Facebook place Casa de Felitaciones, I keep getting asked what it means. A couple of people have asked me, “Don’t you mean Casa de Felicitaciones?” I had thought about that, but the word felicitationes means greetings or congratulations and doesn’t quite convey the feeling I wanted to evoke; so I decided to make my own word: felitaciones.
Felitaciones is derived from the Spanish word felitacion, which means wishes. I had to add the “es” at the end of the word because it just wasn’t quite exotic sounding enough for me. LOL.
Anyway, one could also think of it as wishes = dreams. However, Casa de Felitaciones isn’t so much a “dream house” — although it is the best house that Brian and I have ever lived in — but a house where all of your dreams and wishes come true.
Unlike our previous house where there was so much work that needed to be done, this house requires no work. There are no projects to consume our time so we can focus our energy on making ourselves better. We can spend our time and effort on achieving our goals and making our dreams reality. I realize that this explanation is long overdue, but that’s what the name of our house means to me.
I skipped Zumba today to help Brian clean our house. It took several hours, but we got it done. Brian thought he got more of a workout cleaning house than he normally does going to the gym. I had to disagree. Amie’s ab workouts are pretty intense.
I normally feel like a bum when I skip the gym. Not so today. I truly feel like we achieved a lot. In case you were wondering, I did more than just take photos of Brian working. I did all of the vacuuming and much of the dusting. It was pretty much a team effort all the way.
After all was said and done, Brian was like, “Today made me realize how big our house is.” I told him that I knew that already. What I realized today is that we are fully capable of cleaning our own house, we’re just too lazy to do it.
I can cross off another item from my wish list. Brian got me a hanger hook the other day. I ended up missing my workout on Wednesday night because we decided to stay home and reorganize my closet. (If you’ve ever had to organize my closet before, you know it can take a while.) We have a pretty big closet in the master bedroom, but it wasn’t quite big enough to hold Brian’s clothes (which are in the closet of the guest bedroom that we’re using as an office that we are never in because we both have laptops and are usually on the computer in our bedroom or other parts of the house) or his winter jackets/coats (which are in the closet of one of the guest bedrooms downstairs) or my winter coats/jackets and extensive boot collection (which are in the closet of the other guest bedroom upstairs).
Our current closet is the size of an average bathroom. However, that’s apparently not large enough to hold all of our stuff so for the next house that we move to we will need a closet the size of a bedroom so that we have enough space to hold all of our clothes and shoes in one place and not have to spread them out all over the house.
The closet in the master bedroom barely has room to fit my workout clothes, work clothes, dresses, and regular clothes so we had to get a couple of dressers to put in the bedroom. I have a dresser drawer of just workout socks and then a drawer of non-workout socks and then a drawer for bras that I don’t wear all the time and a drawer for sports bras (because there wasn’t enough shelves in the closet for them to be stored in the workout clothes section), a drawer for t-shirts, a drawer for tank tops, and then Brian had to divide my underwear between three different drawers based on the style — thongs and g-strings went together, regular/everyday type underwear, and special occasion were the three categories. I would have had a special drawer for teddies also, but I got rid of all of my teddies when I got fat. Anyway, he tried to organize by color but, despite how boring I am when it comes to underwear, there were more colors than just beige, black, and white (even I was surprised because I usually get just the basic colors these days when shopping for underwear). But I digress… I did manage to fit my jewelry armoire in the closet and a couple of storage ottomans so Brian has somewhere to sit while he’s helping me decide what to wear. Even though the shelving is limited, there’s actually ample room in there.
Here’s what one side of the closet looked like before we moved some of the winter stuff in. There’s third rod at the very top that we couldn’t use it because of the height issue. After Brian got me a hanger hook (we got it from Bed Bath and Beyond instead of going through Amazon, which would have been cheaper, but we didn’t want to wait), we were able to move most of my winter jackets.
The longer coats (hanging on the left) had to stay in the closet in the guest bedroom.
I was down to only a couple of coats last winter, but I reacquired some of my old jackets and coats from mom and Jenni. I used to have a gazillion, but I got rid of most of them of when I got fat. I’m so happy that I gave some of them to mom and Jenni because I got most of those back. I think there’s only a couple that Jenni wanted to still keep. I got many of my favorites back, though.
I was thinking of going through all of them again, one at a time, to make sure that I get rid of the ones that are now too big for me. We usually have a coat drive at work so I can donate it there. Although, I think mom is bigger than me now so she may be able to use some of these. Not that she needs them. If you’ve seen her closets (yes, that’s closets with an “s”) then you know that she is ten times worse than I am.
When we moved in to the new house, we weren’t really sure how to configure our living room furniture. Our living room set consisted of a couch, a loveseat, a chair and matching ottoman, a sofa table, an end table, a media table, and a large storage ottoman that we were using as a coffee table (because Brian and I aren’t coffee table kind of people). We like the tufted storage ottoman because that’s where we store most of our toys and board games (to keep them from cluttering up the place), we can prop our feet on it and our guests are welcome to do the same (next time you’re at someone’s house, try propping your feet up on their coffee table and watch the look on their face), and it doubles as seating when we have more people than we do chairs. We love, love, love our ottoman. We’re actually going to opt out of the coffee table thing when we get around to furnishing the basement a year or two from now.
But I digress, all of our living room furniture was pretty much clustered together as you can see in the photo below. It was a little tight, but it worked for us. (You can’t see the sofa table because it’s behind the couch.)
With all of the space we have at the new place, you’d think we’d have enough room for everything in our living room but our formal living room area is actually quite tiny. We were able to put the couch and the loveseat facing each other (perpendicular to the window so that no one has their back to the front door and the window/view of the pond is the focal point) with the storage ottoman (that serves as a coffee table) in the middle. The end table is next to the couch which is along the wall that separates our bedroom from the living room. We couldn’t put the sofa table behind the couch so it’s now against the short wall that separates the kitchen from the living room. The wall and the sofa table are the exact same length so it worked out well.
After getting most of the big pieces situated in the living room, we didn’t have a suitable place to put the chair and small ottoman but I had this idea of putting it in front of the fireplace in the hearth room and turning it into a reading area. I actually love going out there to read or play on my Mac when Brian’s still sleeping (so I don’t disturb him). Here’s a picture of my special reading chair:
We got a soft, 5′ x 8′ rug (we probably should have gone with a 6′ x 9′ rug, but we already spent more than we actually wanted to — I budgeted only for a 4′ x 6′ but we agreed that would be too small for the space) from Pier 1 last weekend to make the space more cozy, but we kept thinking that there’s something missing. We didn’t have a table to put your drink on, whether that be a morning coffee in Brian’s case or a mimosa in my case. LOL.
Lucky for us Slumberland still carried the same line of tables that we got almost three years ago. They don’t carry our living room set anymore, but they still had the Kenwood tables. We agreed that the small “chairside” table would be perfect, not only for its function but it would actually match the rest of our living room furniture. So we got one. Here’s an updated photo:
It’s no longer just a reading chair, it’s now full fledged reading area!
Speaking of Slumberland, I’m done buying furniture from them for a while. Besides the fact that I’m now completely broke, I just wasn’t impressed with the level of service they provided this time around. I’m not sure what happened in the span of three years, but it’s like dealing with a totally different company.
When we bought our living room furniture and our counter height dining table for our townhouse in February 2010, I was so impressed with the service that told Brian we would have to return to Slumberland for furniture for the new house when we moved. So we went back there to get furniture for our master bedroom and our formal dining room, but the experience wasn’t the same. I’m not grumpy because I didn’t get a thank you letter from the CEO this time around (even though we did spend more money than we did a couple of years ago — maybe they raised their cap — who knows?). I don’t know if I’ve changed (I think going through customer experience training with Roy Barnes has ruined me for life — I had high expectations before but now I’m really paying attention to all of the details) or if it is Slumberland that’s changed. It may be a combination of both.
There wasn’t really anything major that happened this time around (except I didn’t get that thank you note from the CEO — maybe that’s it — ha!). Delivery delays are not out of the norm when you’re buying furniture. For instance, we had to wait a really long time for our living room furniture to be delivered because we wanted it a specific upholstery fabric instead of the green color that they had in the showroom. Yet I was still happy and more than willing to give them my money again almost three years later. This time around I think I was paying attention to all of the little things that made me realize it’s time to give my business to someone else that is more proactive and attentive to their customers’ needs.
When we purchased this last table, we told them that we wanted to pick it up on Saturday (rather than having it delivered) because it’s only one item and it’s relatively small. We were told that they got their deliveries a certain day of the week and that it shouldn’t be any problem, “but call us later in the week to make sure it’s here.”
I didn’t get this at all. I’m giving them my money. Why am I doing their work? If the table doesn’t arrive at the store as planned, shouldn’t they be the ones to call and tell me that? Whatever. It’s not a big thing, just annoying especially to a couple of busy people such as Brian and me.
We follow instructions really well so, like clockwork, Brian calls on Friday to confirm that our table is there and ready for pick up and to tell them what time we will be by. They told him that our table is there and ready for pick up, but we need to call an hour before. Why can’t I tell you know what time I will be there? Why do I have to call again? Are all furniture stores like this? I guess I had no idea that this was their process because I’ve always had my stuff delivered to the house. Although if they kept good customer records, they would realize how much I’d spent with them in the last three years (and how much more I’d be spending in the next few years — I still have an entire basement and two more bedrooms to furnish) and probably would have offered to deliver the table at no charge. LOL.
Again, nothing to really complain about, but enough for me to take my business elsewhere. I guess I expected a little more. Surely there are furniture stores out there that can meet my expectations. Thank you, Roy Barnes, for ruining my life forever.
This is the FREE TV that we got from Best Buy (courtesy of Slumberland), which actually caused some bickering on Friday. Not how I wanted to spend the 8 hours of vacation that I took that day, but Saturday was better. LOL.
One would think that it would only take a couple of hours to mount this tiny TV, but it took all day (about six hours and a couple of trips to Lowe’s). Anyway, I’m just glad that it’s finally up.
We had a productive day yesterday. Then again, days are likely to go better when you start out with mimosas. Too bad we can’t do this everyday. LOL.
We like to use Korbel Sweet Rosé in our mimosas for three reasons: it’s sweet, it gives the mimosas a pretty pinkish tint, and, best of all, it’s cheap.
For breakfast we had rice, sausage patties, eggs, mimosas, and Saturday morning cartoons — a winning combination. And, by the way, it was the season premiere of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
I went to teach my Zumba class that morning, which only consisted of two other people besides me yesterday because there was so much going on. There were several fund raising events like Race for the Cure and Dancing for Sonya, just to name a couple. Lucky for me, Jenni was one of the two people who came so she drove me home. Since Brian didn’t have to come back and pick me up, he managed to get a head start on the garage clean up.
Although, I can never leave this guy unsupervised. He managed to break the high-pressure washer that dad loaned us. When he told me what happened, I urged him to call dad immediately and tell him what happened. My thought was that surely, this has happened to dad and he knows how to make it work again. But, in the back of my mind, I’m also thinking, “They’re never going to loan us anything ever again.” LOL.
I was like, “Great. Now we’re going to have to buy him a new high-pressure washer for Christmas.” So much for getting off cheaply this holiday season.
Anyway, Brian told me that dad said he had a feeling it might have been broken when he loaned it to us because it was leaking some oil. I was like, “Nice. And he didn’t bother to warn us about it maybe going tits up on us? What a jerk!” Bwa ha ha ha ha! Just kidding, dad! You know I love you.
The garage looks so much better now that almost everything has been sorted and organized. I say “almost” because Brian still has a couple of large plastic storage containers of stuff that he needs to go through. We had one plastic tub full when we moved from the old house to the townhouse and it never got sorted or looked at. We had to move the same plastic tub, in the same condition, from the townhouse to the new house and now we have another full plastic container in the same situation. I told him, I’m going to nag him every few months until we go through the stuff and sort what we need to keep from what we need to toss. I’ll be darned if I’m moving those storage containers again the next time we move. Blech.
On a brighter note, I’m really glad that we finally got around to organizing the garage because now we can park the truck inside too. We should have done this a long time ago because, as you can see, the Flip and Ching mobile suffered extensive hail damage due to our negligence and laziness. Okay, we’re not really negligent or lazy, we are just really busy people. Either way, sorry Crichton!
The garage is looking pretty good, though. I’m happy with how it turned out. Even though, Brian is yet to get some Versatrack to hang the bikes and the tools and free up some more garage floor space for us (for my future Zumba studio – he he).
We did so well yesterday that Brian even had time for a brief nap before we went to Old Town Square for Zumba. Of course, he was rewarded with yummy Caffe Moderne after. He is such a fantastic husband! Oh, and a really good looking one (according to Nick, who didn’t realize that Brian is almost 40 — he really thought Brian’s only in his late twenties). I am one lucky woman!
We are officially moved in and mostly unpacked. Normal people would have moved in the day after they closed on their house. Not us. We dragged out the moving process for a month. LOL. Didn’t have a choice in the matter, though. I was out of town a lot over the last month for work and Brian spent almost a week in Chicago. It was only four days but it felt like a really long time. Anyway, it was hard to find time to really focus on packing and getting organized. However, we did have some time to move a few things to the new place. Little things that are lightweight like our patio set and the barstools and clothes, we moved ourselves. We had so much time between our closing date and when we had to vacate the townhouse that we moved quite a bit of stuff ourselves. I was starting to get worried that movers wouldn’t have enough to do and we have to pay for a two-hour minimum regardless. This thought was quickly erased on Friday night when we were scrambling to finish packing.
We had a little bit of miscommunication while I was out of town. I told Brian to quit moving stuff to the new house because then there would be nothing left for the movers to move on Saturday morning. He thought I meant quit packing and so he spent time playing video games instead. I wanted him to continue packing but leave the boxes stacked (in the garage or somewhere) for the movers to move.
When I arrived home from Kansas City on Friday night, we still had the kitchen, bathrooms, and most of our closets to pack. Yes, we were moving clothes in the weeks prior but you have no idea how much clothes we had. Heck, I had no idea how much clothes we had until we moved.
Though we weren’t quite finished packing, we finally went to bed around 2:30 AM on Saturday morning. We didn’t get a chance to disassemble the bed because at that point there were several heavy boxes stacked in the room and we didn’t have enough space to do it. Actually, we could have moved some of the boxes downstairs and disassembled the bed but that would have meant not getting any sleep at all. I still wanted to be able to get some sleep and get one last shower in before the movers showed up at 8:30 AM.
We got up at around 6:00 AM the next day and finished (or so we thought — some drawers were missed and didn’t get emptied but somehow survived the move anyway) just in time for the movers to show up. They arrived about 15 minutes ahead of schedule. Worked out fine, though. We were both up, dressed, and ready to roll.
We hired Mighty Movers and got two guys and a truck. These guys are awesome. They emptied our entire townhouse in about an hour. As they moved the boxes in the bedroom, Brian and I got to work on disassembling the bed. I think they probably could have loaded the truck faster if Brian and I were more organized, but I was satisfied with how smoothly the loading process went overall.
They also had lots of rope and padded blankets to protect your furniture. Brian and I were really worried about our tables and chairs getting nicked and dinged during the moving process. In every move I’ve ever been involved in, there’s always something that breaks. But these guys are pros. It was amazing to watch them stack everything tightly in the truck. Things that needed to be protected were covered with the padded blankets and everything was roped to prevent shifting during the trip.
Brian and I arrived at the new place several minutes before they did. At first I thought they’d gotten lost but I think they were just driving really slow, which I appreciated. Everything made it in one piece. Even things that were broken in our previous move arrived in the same condition instead of the damage getting worse (which is what usually happens).
Brian gave them specific instructions not to ding up the walls, which we recently had painted by Balderas Quality Painting (a great company that I highly recommend — when we repaint the interior in a few years, I’m calling Tony again because his crew did a fabulous job). The movers did a great job. They got the truck unloaded in about an hour without nicking our walls or breaking anything. The move took two and half hours from start to finish, which I was really impressed with. I told Brian that it would have taken us and our friends four to five hours to do the same thing. He was like, “Try all day!” I’m not sure if it’s normal to tip movers but these guys earned it so we gave it to them.
I highly recommend Mighty Movers. My entire family has used them several times on their moves. My friend Darcy used them when she moved to her house a couple of years ago. Now we’ve experienced their professionalism and expertise first hand. They are fast and really good at what they do. I will use them again next time we move.
The only downside about Mighty Movers (which I hope they fix in the future) is that they don’t take credit cards. They could only accept cash or check, which was really shocking considering this is 2012. Who doesn’t take credit cards? Apparently they don’t, as I found out. Brian and I never carry any cash around. I don’t carry around my checkbook because I probably write five checks a year. I couldn’t remember for the life of me where I had stacked the checkbooks. Good thing we asked before they got started so Brian could run to the ATM and get cash.
Speaking of checkbooks, it took us a few days to find them but we did find them eventually. I didn’t start worrying until after we emptied out all of the boxes and still hadn’t come across them. I had forgotten that I put them in a shoebox with some other stuff from one of the drawers and put the box in my closet. Glad we found them when we did because I was about ready to panic.
Here are a couple of before and after photos of our hearth room, the first room to get set up because there was nothing to unpack. The movers put our furniture in there. All we had to do was put the floor lamp where we wanted it, rearrange some things (e.g. center the table), and hang the picture on the wall. LOL.
The left side is how the previous owner used the hearth room. The right side is how we have it now. We put our dining table from the townhouse in there because we didn’t think it would look right in our formal dining. The counter height makes it feel too casual so we’re using it as our breakfast table. We don’t have an official breakfast nook, like most people do, but there’s enough space in the hearth room for the table and an easy chair.
I’ve actually used the chair several times already. I usually sit in it and check Facebook while Brian is making dinner. He has already claimed the kitchen as his domain. I have no idea where anything is in there. I usually have to ask him. LOL.
When we first looked at the house, it was difficult to visualize how we could use the hearth room because the previous owner used it quite differently. I had a vision though, I just wasn’t sure if there would be enough space to do it. The room is pretty much done, though I am eventually getting an area rug to put under the chair and ottoman (hopefully soon). I think it will better define the seating area in front of the fireplace and make it feel more cozy. I’m not placing a rug under the table because it will be easier to mop spills on the wood floor. I could change my mind later but we are messy eaters, and a rug under there would be more work for me that it’s worth.
Also, I don’t think I’m putting curtains up. I personally despise curtains because they collect dust over time. While Brian and I aren’t slobs, we’re not the greatest when it comes to cleaning the house either. The less we have to keep up, the better. So for now, we’ll just have the blinds that came with the house. I would like to replace them with better ones in the future, but that will be at least a couple of years from now because we have to save for it.
Actually, we had curtains at the old place. You can see a small hint of it in the photo below (which happens to be one of my favorites from the old place). It’s kind of orange, but it looked great with our furniture. We might use those curtains in our dining room. I don’t know yet. For now, I’m glad I don’t have to dust any.
P.S. You can see the curtains we have a little better in the next photo. I totally forgot that I blogged about them when we first got them. It was just a matter of doing a search on the blog. LOL.
We haven’t even moved in yet and Brian’s already had to mow the lawn. Ah, the joys of home ownership.