Thursday, April 9, 2015


We are in the process of selling our construction loan to a mortgage. This is a normal procedure. Our experience has been anything but normal, however. (Another story for another day.)

One part of this next step is another appraiser coming out to do another appraisal. This time the company appraised the interior and exterior of our home. Five minutes and $470 later... The lady says as she leaves... 

"Your home is absolutely adorable. I love it. It's like a dollhouse."

What did she just say? This two year long project resulted in a dollhouse? Is she serious? That was so not what I was going for. Southern Cottage. Quaint and chic. Clean and classic. Something. Anything. Dollhouse?! 

So cross your fingers she does some magic at her desk and appraisal my said "dollhouse" higher than I could have imagined! It is the only shot at redemption she has.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Dust Really Settles

I know they say that the dust in a new house settles, but let me tell you - IT IS NO JOKE. As soon as I put away the broom or the vacuum I find more! You can dust a windowsill and come back in a minute and it needs to be redusted.

Luckily I haven't minded. When your home is brand new, you don't mind cleaning repeatedly so you can keep it all fresh and new. I have a feeling this may wear off, so I better keep cleaning while I like it.

Part of the reason I don't mind is the amazing Dyson we got right before the move. I'm obsessed. If you don't have one, get one. If you're looking for a nice housewarming gift for someone you love, get one. It lives up to the hype and is worth every penny. I use mine to vacuum carpet, tile, wood, dust windows, reach under couches, dust fans, vacuum stairs, everything. E-ver-y-thing. Here's the one I have (on sale at Bed Bath and Beyond right now):

Dyson DC40

Monday, January 5, 2015

The Burnt Smell

I burnt the macaroni. 

The smell was horrid! The smell lasted that entire afternoon and into the night. I laid in bed that night with the smell haunting me.

I turned to Google and Pinterest to find ways to remedy a burn smell from your home. Here is what worked for me:

1. Lysol. I sprayed it across the house every couple hours until the smell was for sure gone.
2. Baking Soda. The microwave held the most stink. I mixed baking soda and water and microwaved it for three minutes at a time. After each cooking session I would thoroughly wipe out the microwave.
3. Vinegar. I boiled water and vinegar on the stove the entire day yesterday. Like allll day. 
4. Wiped everything down in my kitchen. 
5. Windows stayed open in the kitchen the entire day. 

I think it is safe to say the smell is 90+% gone. Phew!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

That Time I Almost Burnt the House Down

Yesterday MMB asked for macaroni for lunch. While I make a mean homemade mac (Thanks, Dad), our quick go-to is 2% Velvetta microwave bowl. I took the top off, took out the sauce packet and threw the mac in the microwave for 3min.

About 2min later, I smelled burning but had no idea where it was coming from. At the same time a puff of colored dirty smoke came out of my brand new microwave. I told MMB to go outside in case alarm went off - she dislikes home alarms. I took out the mac. We got all the doors opened. I opened kitchen windows. I brgan fanning the smoke with a cookie sheet.

The alarm did not sound. Phew! 

Here is what I pulled out of the microwave:

Looks tasty, right? 

I didn't put water in the mac.

#naturalblonde #amazingmother #winning

Saturday, January 3, 2015

When It Comes Down to Money

The final weeks of building a house are hell. I say this for many reasons.

As the home builders we were anticipating move-in date and just wanted everything to be done and us be in and settled. It gets really hard to wait weeks and days when you can see the end in sight.

The contractor gets to the end and is ready to move on to their next project. Don't get me wrong, our builder gave our home 110% until the final day, but they have a plan for how the last pieces should fall into place and they get just as upset as we did when things were delayed for one reason or another.

The touchiest subject at the end of the building process is money. Your bank approves your budget at the very beginning of your building process. What they approve is what you have and that is all. Toward the end every change or decision will be followed with the home builder asking for an update on the budget. Everyone's goal is to come in on or under budget.

Your bank also approves your draws. Each time the contractor asks for money from the bank, the bank sends an appraiser to come to the house and decide how much percentage of each item on your itemized budget have been completed. Based on that appraisal, the bank then writes a check for that amount (pending home builder approval) to the contractor. Following me?

Well... when it comes down to the very end, the appraiser tells the bank that the home is 100% complete. This is where things get sticky. As the home builder, you know your house appears 100% complete to the bank, but you and your builder know that their is still a punch list that must be completed. Your builder will want the full amount from the bank. As the home builder, however, you need to decide what you feel comfortable giving the builder for work completed. As the home builder, you also decide if you hold any money until the final punch list is complete. For us, we held 10% of our budget until CO was received. We then held a final $5K until punch list is/was completed.

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS. This is your home. You have final say in everything as it is YOUR money the bank and the contractor are using. Your banker will/should coach you through these ginormous decisions. Consult your family and friends in the field if you feel you need to, as well. We did.

Before you sign a contract with your builder, read the entire contract and see what is stated about final draws and amount withheld for CO and final punch list completion.

Things become walking on egg shells at the end in regard to money. I felt like the bitch in the process... but now I am happy with our decisions and glad we did what we did. Follow your gut. Do what feels right, fair, and just to you.

It's not about trust. We never lost trust in our builder. Never. It's about rights. Money is the only thing you can withhold from your contract to ensure job completion.

Moving Went...

like this...

We got CO from the inspector on the Friday before Thanksgiving. We did a walk-thru with our builder that afternoon. He gave us the run-down on a few things that had not yet arrived (window screens, new cooktop since the first one was scratches, etc.). We made a complete punch list with him. Nothing on the list we created with him hindered us from moving in.

So... What did Jesse and I do?! Headed to the old house and got a load of furniture! We loaded his truck and a pull-behind trailor of his Father's. :-) Between our loads that night and a handful of loads Jesse and his Dad brought over, we had furniture in and placed.

Then the rain came. Thank goodness we took loads that night and the next morning because the rain started and didn't stop for five days!

I still had a good bit at the old house that was not yet packed, but luckily I was off of work that next week and could make trips back and forth loading and unloading.

Everything went downhill that next Tuesday. The stomach bug haunted me. Five days straight. Finally got myself an IV and two meds to put me on the mend that next Saturday. FIVE DAYS. I was down for the count. No thanksgiving. No family time. No moving. No packing and unpacking. Nothing.

Thank God for my amazing husband (he also took that week off to move) and his family. They did most of the moving between houses and even helped with cleaning the old house. It was done!

We were in boxes for about another week but quickly our house started feeling like a home once we had health and life.

Now, if you come to the house - one month later - everything has a home and is placed minus the "boy room" (another topic for another day) and the guest room (which is home to tons of boxes I need to go through and place or store in the attic).

Moral of this story: with nice weather and health, you can move on your own with a little help from the ones that you love!

Thursday, January 1, 2015


Happy New Year to you and yours!

I am alive. I haven't forgotten about blogging. I have a LIST of things I want to blog about to catch you up on how our move went/is going. My promise is to blog each day in the month of January to catch you up! Yayyy!