Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Staircase Reveal



    I'm so excited to finally show off our new staircase! This probably would have happened a lot sooner but we are in an almost 6 week stretch of having company. Lots of friends and family have come to see us this summer and we have been having a blast with everyone! But that also means projects get moved to the side so it really is a miracle the stairs are finished!

Before you scroll down to see the pretty before and after photos theres something you gotta know. This staircase was almost the death of us. You know those shows where everyone is like, so we pulled up the carpet and this beautiful wood was shining through just begging to be refinished, like OMGGG GO US. That was not the case here. Not even a little bit. So this is not the fairy tale story where the carpet was ripped up and this was waiting underneath. Nope. We had to work at it. Big time. And P.S. I don't care who you are and how many people on Pinterest may claim it can be done, you cannot make construction treads on an older home show stairs. You just cant do it. But I'll save that rant for the tutorial.

The staircase was probably harder than anything we have had to do in this house so far. I would rather re-scrape the popcorn off the ceilings, take the chipper back to the kitchen tile and get carpal tunnel, remove baseboards and cut myself with an old nail, buy three cans of paint and get home to discover I don't love the color and buy three more, yep I would rather do all of those things than work on a stair project ever again. It was hard. And I threw a fit. And Justin threw a fit. And Justin doesn't even throw fits. And we yelled. At each other. And at the stairs. And probably at the dog. Basically, this project sucked. But we survived and our staircase is looking reeealll good. Like I just want to sit on it and pet the railings and whisper sweet nothings into the new pretty treads. But don't take my word for it, tell me what you think! Here are the before and after photos:

Before:








After:





     Did you notice that we got rid of that terrible boob light upstairs? It feels so much better! I'm thinking of adding a gallery wall going up the stairs, but I'm not doing anything too quick. I want to get things right in this house, so I'm taking my time with every little decision. A lot of people questioned whether or not the stairs were safe because they would be slippery without carpet, but we haven't had any problems. My father in law who happens to have Parkinson's Disease went up and down them with no problem and my crazy dog flies down them everyday when we get home and he does just fine, too. I think it just depends on each individual family and lifestyle you have. 

Just for the heck of it, here's a side by side:



What do you guys think of the staircase? Such a huge transformation right?? I just love it. We are having a blast with this house and I really feel like I'm learning so much. The most rewarding part definitely has to be looking back through the before and after photos. They get me excited to move on to the next room. I hope you guys have a great Wednesday!!

Updated Gallery Wall: View entire post HERE






Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Financial Goals 2015-Checkin and New Goals



     In January I shared my family's financial goals and today I wanted to check in and talk about how things were going.

This is kind of a loaded post. You see, I meant to be good this year. I really did. But then we bought a house. And it all kind of went downhill from there. :p

I mean I guess I should give myself more credit than this. I really have done a pretty decent job saying no to things I didn't need. But I could still do better. We definitely suffered some sticker shock when we bought our house and it was hard writing a check as big as the one we had to write. New England is a pricey area, but we were 100% ready to make certain sacrifices in order to get out of our apartment. As soon as we moved in we immediately started renovating and anyone who knows about fixer upers knows how much money, time and effort can go into them. It could be really easy to go crazy in this house, but we are limiting ourself to a very specific budget and that really helps keep things under control. On a side note, we have kind of come to a pause because we have been having so much company this summer. I think our next plan of attack is on the kitchen. Originally I was planning to paint the cabinets white, but we are jumping off the deep end and taking another route all together, stay tuned!! I honestly had a hard time seeing things come together and I got really discouraged in the beginning. But I seriously fall more in love with this house every single day. I am so proud of our cute neighborhood and this house is the epitome of a cozy New England home. I am super content right now. I just can't wait to get back to working on more projects!

Back to $$$$. Basically to sum up the first 6 months, we would be doing a lot better on our goals if we didn't buy a house, lets just say that. ha! But we are still attempting to make conscious efforts to work on our budget. Another thing that kind of makes things tricky for us in my school. We both agreed when I started that we would pay out of pocket for school to avoid loans. Well, when I went to a community college it was pretty doable since it was only about $1,000 a semester. Now I attend a university and each semester is closer to $4000. This can make things a little tight at times, but I honestly think this is just the best way. I do not want to get out of school with any weight hanging over my head. I jokingly tell Justin that on my cap for my graduation in May its going to say "I owe my husband $20,000" haha!

These are the goals I have for the rest of 2015:


  • Pay off our car by Christmas 
  • Eat out less (HELP)
  • Resist urge to buy every single thing for the new house
  • Sell Florida home (wait what?! I totally snuck this one in there)

Ok ok so I forgot to mention one little thing. We are selling our Florida house! It should hit the market within the next two weeks. I'm hoping it is a quick and painless process. We have had lovely renters for the past two and a half years but the more we talked about it the more we decided we didnt need to hold onto it anymore. We are not planning to move back to Florida but even if we ever did, we would probably build anyway. The realtor told us the price he wanted to list it at and we were pleasantly surprised so we decided to go for it. Our ultimate goal as a couple has always been to save save save as much as we can for our "dream home". The house we will raise our kids in. The house we will be able to call home. We are trying to go Dave Ramsey's route and have a 40% down payment with a 15 year mortgage on the next place so until then we are just saving away. Since we have always lived on one income, when I start working in my career next year we are going to use almost all of that money to put into savings and continue to live off of one income. We have done it for almost 4 years, there's no need to change things now. I think this will definitely help us achieve that goal quicker. We have this cute little goal phrase "Debt Free in '23". In 2023 we hope to be living in the "dream home" with a paid off mortgage and I know if we stick to these goals it is definitely doable!

My brother is coming to visit next week and I am throwing the budget out the window! (Sorry Dave!) We are going to see a Red Sox game, whale watching, eat way too much seafood, and just play catch up. I always love our time together and since I only see him a couple of times out of the year, we have a lot of fun to cram into a week! How are you guys doing on your resolutions and goals??