Saturday, January 2, 2016

I am so ashamed that I forgot about my blog!!

But I have a good excuse, I promise.  A LOT has happened!

I got pregnant...

I had a baby girl....

She turned one this year...

And didn't even cry when we met Santa!

Meet Brooklyn.

This is the only time I plan to post something public about her as I am not very comfortable with putting her out there.  She is 15 months now and is ALL GO!  I can't believe she is already a toddler.  Time absolutely DOES fly!  I love being a mom.  I didn't get it before when people would tell me that it is the greatest job you can ever have.  I guess I had to experience it to really understand.

She is the love of my life.

I hope everyone had an amazing holiday season and I hope your 2016 is as awesome as I'm planning for ours to be.

In order to stick with the theme of my blog, here are some photo's of my baby girl's nursery!


Saturday, January 4, 2014

Post Holiday Post

Happy New Year!

This holiday season in particular was VERY busy for me.  At the beginning of December I FINALLY finished my bachelor's degree with the University of Virginia.  PHEW!  I turned 31 on December 1st and have pretty much been going to school since I was 20.  Eleven years for a bachelor's is a bit insane.  Of course it wasn't all with UVa, I started at Northern Virginia Community College,  went to West Virginia University for a year and then back to NVCC and once my associates was complete, I began the BIS program with UVa.  The program is three years long as long as you take 2 classes per semester, for all three semesters a year.  It then culminates in a capstone research project which has been described by the faculty as a mini dissertation.  The research process lasts for two semesters, one of which was mostly independent study and writing time.  I can say it was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, but its done!  I walk in May, but I think my diploma will be sent before that.  For Christmas I got a frame for it.  Apparently UVa's diplomas are one of the biggest in the country.

Anyway, pair all of that with Thanksgiving, Christmas and making up time at work, it was a really hectic holiday season.  I am very happy its over and life can return to normal.  I didn't waste any time getting back to decorating and creating either!

I have so many things on my to-do list that I really don't know where to begin which often prevents me from doing anything at all!  I found an awesome pin on pinterest that I absolutely HAD to recreate.  Unfortunately it was a Christmas decoration and I just now finished it on Friday.  Oh well it will be ready to go for next year!

I also have renewed my interest in make-up (it is a form of art you know) and decided that I needed a vanity.  Since we have limited funds right now, I decided to create one from random IKEA parts.  There are several pins on Pinterest that I used as inspiration.  I chose a shelf from IKEA and found some legs there intended for a line of desktops they carry.  I already had two awesome lights from there that I was going to use as our nightstand lights but I felt they worked with the vanity a little better.  I had the chair from IKEA because I had initially wanted to use it for my sewing table but my existing office chair worked better with it, so I had this chair just sitting around.  It works perfecting with the vanity.  And then I purchased the mirror while I was picking up the other parts.  I like the shelf that I chose because the glass allows me to view all of my makeup without having to dig through a drawer.  Keep in mind that pretty much NONE of my makeup is pictured here.  I ordered some cheap trays that have yet to arrive so once I get it all organized I will post another pic.

Next, I finally decided on a comforter set for our bedroom.  Its taken me over a year to pic something (thats permanent) because I have learned the hard way that I need a comforter that is at least 110" wide because our bed is very high and our mattress is thick so everything I've purchased was simply too short!  I am SO HAPPY with the way this turned out!  Please imagine a third euro sham in the gaping hole at the back.  I totally forgot to order three during the initial order so its on its way.

I am going to head out to Lowes after posting this to find some swathes for paint.  I want something dark and bold so that the bed and our other white furniture really pops.  It will probably end up being that golden yellow color or a warm grey color.

And of course my blog post wouldn't be complete without a token Daisy picture.  She is passed out in this one.  Oh to be a Daisy dog.

Hope you guys had a wonderful holiday season!  And I also wish you the best of new year's. :)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A positive post

Okay, so you've already seen a few of my projects , but I thought I would post a few pics of a few other things I have been up to. Im writing this post from my phone, and I cant quite figure out photo captions so hopefully this all makes sense.

So this is a project I am stilI playing around with. I messed up the sizing of the decal here but you get the drift. Note that the design matches the curtain panel I made. Cool right?

Next we have a decal that I created for my neighbor based on an idea she found on Pinterest. Ill post pictures of the finished project once she installs the decal.

Next up is a cool decal I made for our front door.  Someone that lives behind me has something similar amd HOA hasnt dinged her for it, so Im going to take the chance. The good news is, its just a sticker so it can easily be removed.

Then we have our poor guest bath. Not much progress but I did hang full length curtain panels as a shower curtain and got some coordinating towels. The plan is to paint the walls gray with a yellow pop of color on that back wall behind the curtians.

And lastly are a few photos of our trip on the Eagle Train this past weekend in Romney, WV. Such a beautiful ride. And a very rare photo of Mike and I. Ive lost about 40 lbs since June, so I thought it was high time we got some updated photos of us.  Otherwise, Im usually the one taking all the photos.

Well, thats all I got for now. Ive got SO MANY more ideas, so once they are tangible I will definitely post updates. I can say that I see glass etching in my future!!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

7 Month Check-In and a Warning

The initial purpose of this blog was to document our experience of buying a Ryan Home so other prospective home buyers would have a resource to go to before signing on the dotted line.  We have been in our home for 7 months now and have completed a bunch of projects.  That being said I wanted to post a warning to all of those prospective buyers.  DO NOT purchase a Ryan Home.  Run as fast and far away as you can. The workmanship is shoddy to say the least.  You can babysit them through the entire thing and there will still be things that you have missed.  They don't even come close to the "Qualtiy Workmanship" that they claim.  Do keep in mind that each region is different because they use different contractors for each community, but you've got no control over that.

I have HAD IT with this place.  Bowed walls, "rippling" walls, crown molding with reappearing seams, HUGE cracks that reappear no matter how many times they fix them, gouges in drywall in corners where they think you won't see them, etc.  The list could go on.  And after you read through my blog you will know how "on it" I was.  Even after all of that, there are still so many issues with our home.

Below are various pictures from the past 7 months.  Some are of my projects (not all of them) and there are a few of the craptastic workmanship of Ryan Homes.

This was after we removed the molding in the kitchen to install our tiled backsplash.  They had caked on so much spackle to make the wall right but failed to do that everywhere, especially behind the wall plate.

This is my craft/sewing room with the sewing table I made so that my machine work surface was flush with the table surface.  I have since installed a sheet of plexi to the top so that my fabric slides along the table better.

The most recent "fail" that finally prompted this post.  This wall is SO BOWED that we can't hang this floating shelf.  The shelf has to be floating because I just spent the past 3 days hand painting the silhouette of a table onto the wall.

Canisters with decals that I created, cut and applied on my own.

Our striped powder room.

Daisy in her Halloween costume.

Daisy's little area.  I created the name decal and cut it using my Silhouette machine.

Frosted decals on the fridge that I customized and cut with my Silhouette Machine.

Another one of the decals I created.

Part of our gallery wall and also a curtain panel that I made with my sewing machine.  I am still working on the other 3 panels.

And there you have it!  I'm sorry for such a bitter post.  But I am just so angry.  Im angry that I have put so much time and effort into making this place feel like a home, only to find random "fails" every step of the way.

Hopefully some of you have had better luck than we have.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Serious plumbing issue

UPDATE: The plumber was here for about three hours.  Turns out there was gravel in the drain pipe beyond our house.  It required a powered snake and pipe cam to find the issue.  Our powder room was a MESS when he was done.  Unfortunately he damaged our toilet seat and the door jam, but Adam saved the day with a replacement toilet seat as well as a couple of guys to repair the damage.  So glad Adam believed me when I called to explain what was going on.  The good ol Ryan Homes customer service folks didn't believe me and thought I was merely putting in a ticket for a clogged toilet!  Kudos to Adam!

Do you guys remember this picture?  That is the drain pipe for our powder room. It was laid wrong initially and they had to come back and tear it up all the way beneath the slab and redo it.
Well now our powder room toilet won't flush correctly and overfills and the plumber (provided by Ryan Homes) thinks the way the drain was fixed might be why.

Either way its a bigger problem than he thought and is now ripping out the toilet to try to snake it that way.

Definitely not a good Monday!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

So so much going on!

Today we finished the last of our appointments for our 30 day post settlement walk through.  Not much had to be fixed really, but some of those were pretty major.

We've had a lot of difficulty with our roman shower.  One of the doors fell off and had never been right since.  Adam brought the shower door guy by yesterday, and he said that it was because our walls were 1/8th an inch closer together at the top than at the bottom.  WELL DAMN!  So at this point I've given up with having an acceptable shower.  Mike and I plan to save up and have it ripped out and replaced with something acceptable.  I am really tired of going back and forth with Ryan Homes about it.

We also had some pretty serious drywall seams in our living room ceiling.  We were scheduled to have them fixed this week, but we simply didn't want to be inconvenienced for 2+ days while they cut them out and redid the bad pieces.  I can't even imagine how much dust that would produce!  Mike is on spring break this week and I really didn't want to take up most of it so they could make all of those repairs.  It would mean he and Daisy would be sequestered to the basement for two days.

On the plus side though, in preparation for those repairs, we did get around to clearing out the basement this weekend! We can finally see the floors!

So while our house isn't PERFECT, it is still ours right?  We also mostly finished the kitchen back splash.  Boy was that a fiasco!!  We still have to put the extensions on the electrical outlets and switches but the tile part is done at least.

Also, I am not sure if I posted this already, but we got our dining room mostly together too!  Like I said, we've been busy!

I love love love our dining room!  See that rug? It is THE MOST soft, cozy plush rug I have ever stepped foot on.  We got it from

I am hoping to post our master bedroom and office soon!

Hope everyone is doing well!  

UPDATE:  Here is a picture for "C" showing what greeted us behind the trim they installed at the breakfast bar to hide the shims for the granite once the 4" back splash was removed per our request.  Apparently they fixed everything visible but left everything the trim covered as is.  I call that LAZY!  It was very difficult to fix, which caused the tile in this area to not lay right.  We did what we could. :(