Sunday, January 23, 2011

Master of Ceremonies

The long awaited disclosure of the master bedroom. Once again, horrible photos. Clearly, interior photography is not my calling in life.
The main feature of our room is its vastness. We are very fortunate to have so much space to spread out in. Not only is there a more-than-substantial bedroom, but there is also a sitting room. A pretty huge walk-in closet and a bathroom with his and hers sinks are also part of the packaged deal.
Although it at times looks mossy, we painted the room a shade of gray (that's the third shade of gray in the condo, count it). It theoretically picks up on the grays in the headboard my mom and I made. As you can tell, the color scheme of the room is a bit out of my comfort zone with darker tones and mustard yellow of all things! As you can also tell, I managed to sneak in a few pops of white. This room, like the rest of the place, is a work in progress. Can you say curtains and wall art?
I must brag on my husband for hanging that beast of a headboard. Inexperienced that he is, he did a great job finding the studs, lining up flush mounts exactly right, and hanging that bad boy securely to the wall. It was a very tedious task that he managed to overcome even without anger or heat flashes. Call Guinness!
Note the ancient TV from days of old. That's a purchase dating back to my freshmen year of college. Although it's past it's prime, Jeremiah is more than happy watching Lost or playing video games on it. One day we'll get a something a little, umm, sleeker.

This picture was take from the bathroom, as you can see in this picture below. The door to the left of the bathroom is our closet and the entrance door is to the left of that.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Fab Fuschia

"Gotta have her like Nikes fresh out the box"
Famous lyrics from R&B artist, Mario. See also Jeremiah's musical glory days.

I have a new goal. High tail my butt to the gym every morning before work. This week I started a new job (more on that later) and don't need to leave my house until 8am, which is an hour later than what I've become accustomed to. So, I'm trying to make the most of the extra time. I'll enjoy an extra half hour of sleep (adios 5:30am) and not live in guilt all night after work for being too exhausted and lazy to go to the gym.
As I prepared for my new endeavor, I noticed that my sneakers have seen better days. Most areas of the sole have absolutely no tread left. Problem is, sneakers are one of the last things I want to spend money on. Just like sports bras and underwear and car maintenance, sneakers are something I think should come for free. However, if I'm going to be serious about this, I better get some serious footwear.
Luckily, Chesterfield Town Center just put in a Shoe Dept Encore (???) that I noticed on my way out from stopping at Ann Taylor LOFT. How could anyone not notice it. Those fluorescent lights. Wow. Seeing rows of shoes shining in blinding light reminded me that I might want to take a look. And so I did.
About twenty minutes later, after trying to avoid the obnoxious purple, I was sucked in. They were the most comfortable pair and we all know I like a little spunk in my life. Who's motivated to exercise by a white pair of generic Asics? No one. Definitely not me. So from here on out when my alarm scares me out of my sleep at 6am, I hope I'll look over towards these fuschia beauties and be overcome with motivation. Nike Dual Fusion grant me your purple power! Here goes nothing!

Monday, January 17, 2011

To Be Continued...

Believe it or not, you've already seen the majority of the new place. Being that there is only a desk and a cheap-o bookshelf in the chandelier room (see also: study), we'll hold off on that. And since we never made it to pick up our bed frame this past weekend, we're going to make you wait until next weekend when it's set up to give you the full effect. Hopefully we'll be able to figure out how to hang the headboard my mom and I made as well. The bathroom and closet will come along with that. What a cliffhanger!

Pretzel Mania

Cameron brought along a special culinary treat for us this weekend. Auntie Anne's make-at-home pretzels.
Although we had stuffed our faces all weekend, Jeremiah and Cameron insisted we attempt making the pretzels late last night. I told them I didn't really want to be a part of the process, being that it was a complicated one and I really had no hope for it. And of course no one likes too many cooks in the kitchen. I ended up jumping in to lend a hand while they were rolling and forming the pretzels. I must say I was rather impressed with their amateur attempt at the fine art of pretzel making. Here are a handful of pictures of video of the endeavor. AND, they actually tasted decent. Way to go guys!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Be Our Guest

Day 3: Guest Room (and Entryway)

Although I've always been a bit of a nay-sayer when it comes to team themed rooms, I have caved under pressure. Not that there actually was any pressure. I guess it was more like I caved under nostalgia and fun pillows.
The three square throw pillows on the bed were my inspiration for the Penn State room. I found them very cheap from Coldwater Creek and was inspired to look into subtly theming the guest room. I then took several trips down memory lane as I looked up artwork and housewares from our dear ol' alum online. Even though I enjoy living in Virginia, it's no secret that I'm homesick for Pennsylvania as well. And like most people say, college was the best time of my life and so those memories and that school are very dear to me. I thought it'd be wonderful to have a place for that stuff. Plus, most of our out of town guests will feel right at home.
It still needs some work (as does everything), but it's on its way. I asked my brother to dig up some old PSU calendars he had and used a few pictures to frame on the wall. They're big which is helpful on the blank wall, and stand out in white frames with thick white matting. That white desk is refinished from the bedroom furniture I had as a kid. Hopefully having my sewing machine out will inspire me to get crafty. We hung a few frames and a bulletin board above it, which I'm not completely sold on yet; however, it does showcase Joe Paterno's autograph and a picture of my siblings and me on the lion shrine when we were kids, both great things. We'll see.
Jeremiah and I painted this room ourselves, so don't look too closely if you're staying here one weekend. I'm okay with the color, but it's reads a lot bluer than I would have hoped. The gray sheets aren't helping, which are a completely different gray from the walls. Once the non-flannel white sheets are on the bed, it might look a bit more how I was expecting. I'm wishing we would have used the same color in the guest room as we did in the dining room now that it's on the walls. I suppose that's why people advise homeowners to put a sample on the wall before attacking the entire room. Live and learn.
Right next to the room, in the entryway area of our place is a bathroom that our guests can use as well. In our apartment we only had one little bathroom, so we are loving that two people can shower at one time in our condo. And since we're revealing a little of the entryway, there are a few pictures of the whole thing. We need to get a table for under the mirror, as the one there now is very old and clearly doesn't work well style-wise in that space.

This is the view as you walk in the front door. Living room ahead on the left, bathroom on the right, and guest room ahead and to the right.

Here's a view of the entryway from the guest room. The opened door is the bathroom, the door straight ahead is the coat closet (across from that is a storage closet), and the front door is the the left.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Time to Eat

Day 2: Kitchen/Dining Area

First, excuse the terrible pictures. There's no good way to shoot the kitchen, and the lighting was obviously not wonderful.
Looking from the living room, you can see our dining area. According to the floor plan, this is our sunroom. We mimicked the model and put a nice pedestal table here which fits quite nicely. The study you have previously viewed through the french doors could have been a more open, formal dining room (hence the random chandelier). We decided to go for the option that allowed us to close it in. But back to our sunroom/dining room. Clearly we have a lot of work to do in the way of wall art. Our plan is to buy a bunch of white frames with white mats and frame these awesome pictures of different foods/ingredients one can buy from The white will really pop from the gray--a color that we are in love with. Not sure what we'll do in the area of window coverings quite yet.
As for the kitchen, we are so thankful for more space! Finally, we can both be in there and not be bumping into each other. This may cause significantly less marital disputes. All stainless-steel appliances were included, except for the fridge. The stove is a gas range, which we're still getting used to. It gets extremely hot and things heat up a lot quicker (except big pots of water it seems like). All you gas-cookers out there, please give us any tips! The countertops are laminate, but have the faux-marble/granite look. We're pleased. The fluorescent lighting is a bit harsh, but rumor is we may be able to replace these with track lighting. The awesome pendant light above the sink was an anniversary gift from my parents. Yay for stylish accents!
The beautiful bi-fold doors you see through the kitchen doorway is where the washer and dryer are located. Unfortunately, during the drain and spin cycle it seriously sounds like a rocket is launching. It's horribly loud.
So that's where you can find us whipping up a tasty meal and congregating to enjoy it. Bon appetit!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Room by Room

This afternoon I finally took some pictures of our new place. I've made the executive decision to show you pictures room by room. Instead of unleashing all the excitement in one post, I thought it may be fun to spread it out over several posts. Plus, I'm trying out picnik to edit photos and this gives me a bit more time to add text or do other fun stuff as you see below (the text on the picture is the stuff yet to be done!).

Day 1: The Living Room

Here she is, the main living space of the condo. As you can see, she's been painted Sea Anenome by Martha Stewart. It's a bit more blue than I expected, but we're loving it regardless. It's rather bright in some lights, but very relaxing at the same time. I love green and think the blue will go well with the green accents (think blue skies and blooming spring plants) but help to break it up a bit, as opposed to having green walls and green pillows and green green green.
We were sad to sell our big brown sectional at first, but are completely satisfied with our decision now. The sectional would have completely cut off the room and made it a lot darker. Although white is frightening, we're pleased with its aesthetics. Did you notice the just-about-white carpet too?? Yikes! The chair is new, and it's a bit out there. Literally, it may be an outdoor chair. Either way, it's comfortable and adds texture to the room. In the summer it may be a bit harsh on bare arms or legs, but for now it works great.
We're fortunate enough to have a beautiful gas fireplace with floor to ceiling stone. It adds a lot to the room and also provides extra seating. As you can see, the mantle is still a work in progress.
You can also see the frame display above the sofa. Poor Jeremiah. He hung those things like a champ, but boy did I make it difficult. It's a bit crazy at first glance, and not my typical style of simple and symmetrical. I had seen several displays in magazines similar to our re-creation, with different colors and types of frames. Although one may shudder at the combination of dark and light frames, we think it picks up on several of the tones in the room. Dark wood TV stand, light sofa and floor lamp, and multi-tonal chair to name a few.
You can also see the french doors that lead into the study. More on that barren wasteland later.
So there she is. She needs a bit more additions/changes, but we're pleased with the progress. Stay tuned for another room!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I know I said I'd post pictures of our place, but I'm stalling. We have great endeavors for hanging stuff on the walls later today since we had a snow day! Jeremiah is out tutoring but will be back with picture hooks and nails. We FINALLY cleared our catch-all room from all boxes. Most everything has a home at this point, which is a huge stress relief for me. So soon, hopefully soon.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

"It'll Rattle Your Teeth"

Gunnar wasn't lying when he described our fire alarm system. Tonight I had the unfortunate experience of hearing that God-forsaken alarm a bit after 9pm, after I had just woken from my hour-long nap on the sofa (the same hour I was supposed to be at the gym). My first thought was that it was only coming from my condo and perhaps just a minor offense--the smoke alarm. And then the rattling set in. The unbearable, ear-piercing, scratchy, high-pitched ringing. Ungodly. I quickly made the unsafe choice to put on my shoes and a fleece, grab my phone, and then lastly run to get my purse. I figured if this place was going down I at least needed my wallet. But thank the good lord I had the piece of mind to grab my coat. Little did I know I would be standing outside in the freezing temps for about 45 minutes. Flurries are in the forecast for tonight, fyi. Once in the hallway, I covered my ears and sprinted out of the building. I was the only one out there and was wondering why in the world no one was coming out with this horrific noise. Then I remembered 99% of our neighbors are senior citizens, and sure enough slowly but surely they came out of the woodwork.
Were fire and rescue automatically called? Should I call 911? I've never been in this type of emergency, ahhh! First, I called Jeremiah, who was happily enjoying beverages with friends at a ghetto Irish pub across the river. Shockingly enough, he didn't pick up. A couple minutes later he texted me telling me his eta, as if at that moment I cared that he was still staying out for a half hour before he'd drive home. Next, I called good ol' Gunnar, and once again a voicemail. And as my neighbors trickled out and no one knew what to do, I called 911. My first 911 call ever. Upon connecting with the dispatcher, I soon realized the alarms were going off in another building and the clubhouse as well.
The firemen seemed to take their time getting there. It took I'd say at least 5 minutes before anyone showed up. Finally one truck and two police cars came, but instead of checking out the scene at our building, they went straight for the other victims. We waited. And waited some more. And then our alarm went off, while the other's did not. So we continued waiting because Gloria mentioned we needed an all clear in order to re-enter.
But once I came down with acute hypothermia I decided to take matters into my own hands and walk over with another new friend, Debbie, to see what the heck was going on. The police officers seemed clueless and told us we could ask one of the firemen. Excuse me?! Shouldn't they be checking on things and figuring out what's going on instead of shooting the breeze in their bullet-proof vests? Fortunately, one fireman walked out and Debbie and I hesitantly followed him to the truck. He seemed clueless that our alarm had even gone off. He told us we might want to stay outside for a few minutes. What??? What does that mean. Is someone coming by? Have I just somehow acquired enhanced fire safety knowledge that would enable me to make such decisions? Debster and I walked back to our condo and continued waiting with the little old ladies in their housecoats. One couple eventually couldn't take it anymore and drove their car to ground zero to get some answers. He came back and told us we could go in and someone would be by. About 5 minutes ago I heard the fire truck zoom past and things must look fine because they kept a consistent 45mph past our unit.
Come to find out this was all just a glitch in the system. A glitch that has the sprinklers still going off in the other building. If the sprinklers went off here (and I'm convinced with my luck they probably will later tonight) I would cry like a baby. How awful.
So come tomorrow I wouldn't want to be Gunnar, Charter Colony, or Chesterfield County Fire & Rescue. I think each of these parties will be receiving their fair share of complaints from some less-than-satisfied homeowners. I mean, what if there really was a fire in our condo? I'm not convinced it would ever get put out. I'll start praying for rain if fire ever does strike.
But now let's not be a Negative Nancy, Brianna. It's one way to get acquainted with new neightbors!

Welcome to your new home!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Catch-Up, Not Mustard

A teacher I used to work with used that phrase and I thought it was pretty clever. It's time for catch-up, not mustard. Get it? And just like the kids need time to get caught up with their work after a long week, so do we. It's been a busy, eventful couple weeks that we're about to get you caught up on.

Our days leading up to Christmas traveling were filled with packing as you might imagine. Jeremiah was left to his own devices during the day while I worked at my part-time job Monday and Tuesday, and I must say he did beyond a decent job. I thought he had jumped the gun a bit as he packed up all our pantry food on Monday, but I know now he knew exactly what he was doing. Fortunately for him, we were essentially forced to eat out for several days on end. It was extreme. In fact, if we were to go back and tally, I'm sure we've beaten a world record. Call Guinness!

The Wednesday before the big day we headed to Montrose to visit with Jeremiah's family. Because we were leaving on Christmas morning to travel down to my parents' house, we turned Christmas Eve into Christmas with the Links. We had a great time, despite the calendar showering December 24th. On the 25th we celebrated in Sellersville and had a wonderful time as well. Coming home to people who love you and can't wait for you to arrive is such a good feeling. Although we traveled a ton during a hectic holiday and moving season, it was worth it in the end to be able to spend some special time with our family.

Despite the ten or so inches of snow on the ground Monday morning, we made our departure for Virginia--but not without a stop at Ikea to shove a new sofa in my sister's Jeep and some dining room chairs in the Cruiser. There is more storage than meets the eye in those cars. Of course I was filled with doubt, but luckily my dad and Jeremiah were able configure things just right so that we didn't have to leave any of our Christmas gifts on the side of the road.

We made it safely back to Midlothian, waking up bright and early on Tuesday for our final walk-through. Minus some crooked vinyl that they've just now replaced today, things were looking pretty good. The anxious soon-to-be-homeowners that we were arrive early at our next appointment to close on our first place. Surprisingly they took us in right away, and about an hour later we had bought our first home! Thankfully, my right hand has just about healed completely from all the signing we had to do. I think we cut our time significantly from other closers since Jeremiah is a lefty and I'm a righty. Signing at the same time is the way to go.

Afterwards, shock set in pretty heavy for me as those of you who know me well might imagine. Does the term "buyer's remorse" sound familiar? I was pretty nervous and actually am just now starting to enjoy it here. All of the craziness that comes with buying a home was a bit much for me, especially during a busy time of year. The packing, loading, unloading, unpacking, driving to and from Home Depot for more paint a thousand times, painting, spending money, hosting family, decorating, over-thinking everything, etc etc. It was rather overwhelming at first.
When we've moved before to different apartments I've had everything set up and looking perfect the second or third day we were there. Not at all the case now. Today they had to rip up some of our floor, so a couple rooms look just as bad as they did on day one of the move. We're waiting on some furniture, we can't decide where to hang stuff or put stuff. I'm discontent with the stuff we have and would rather wait (impatiently) to move forward until we have what's 'right.' I'm crazy.
But then my dear husband dances around pointing out how much more space we have and how awesome it is here and I am reminded to smile. Reminded that this is an exciting time and I don't have to let all my worries keep me from experiencing some happiness.
Except that everyone freaks out because we have a white carpet and a white sofa. That stresses me out and I can't do anything about it. So please, if you come over, just take off your shoes and pretend you're not phased by it.

And best of all, guess how many pictures I took of all of this??!

Not a single picture. Moron.