House Buying Recap

Today I wanted to share our home buying process, the bumps in the road and why we chose this house. Back in May we thought we’d start looking around. We were in a situation where we could be flexible – we didn’t have a lease with our apartment, we were month to month, and we weren’t really looking to buy. At least not right then. We started working with Redfin and began doing some searching. The market in Denver was moving incredibly fast and if you found something you had to act immediately.

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This house was more than we wanted to spend, and a lot more house than we were looking for, but when it was still on the market two weeks later (which was a LONG time in the Denver market) we figured we’d go check it out. We walked in, and I won’t lie it was not love at first sight. But as we walked through Al helped me pull the vision together and by the drive home we thought we should at least make an offer on it.

This house needs work. The bones of it are amazing and the owners took decent care of it, but it still needs a lot. We’re only the second owners, which I think is so cool for a 70-year-old house.

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So we did it. We went in with a low ball offer, both fully expecting them to reject it. But when Al called me at 11am the next morning I knew we were in this. They had countered and after going back and forth a few times we ended up getting the house for a great price.

While we love the house and all the space it has to offer – it’s a mansion to me, compared to our 500 square foot downtown apartment! – we bought for the location. It’s right in the heart of the town. Walking distance to everything – bars, breweries, shops, festivals, restaurants and more.

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It was a long process getting to where we are now, but I know that others have had much longer home buying processes. Because the house is so old it needed repairs and the sellers took a long time to get that work completed, which meant that our closing kept getting pushed back. Which was frustrating because we knew the house was vacant and ready for new owners!

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After about 9 weeks we finally closed on the house. And even up until the drive there I still didn’t believe it was going to happen. But it did. It felt real after I signed my name so much that it became a scribble.

We’ve been in the house for two weeks and while those weeks have NOT been dull at all, we love our new space, our new location and the millions of projects we have ahead of us. Maybe that last part is pushing it? Either way, I’m psyched to have you all joining us for this journey!

high five for friday: new house edition!

This week crept by and flew by at the same time. Is that possible?! Today I thought I’d share some photos of the house that we bought last week! It’s the best kind of ugly and we are loving getting to work on it. We’ve already done a lot and have long list to get through this weekend as well, all which I hope to share next week. These are photos from the previous owners that were used in the listing. I lost all my before photos, more on that below…

PicMonkey Collage

So, funny thing happened the day we closed. Well, not so funny, and I do have two PSA’s for you guys. We closed, we came to the house, tore up carpets for five hours, I took 1 million before photos and left my camera here accidentally - my very expensive DSLR camera (we didn’t move in until Saturday). When we came back on Friday to get more work done my camera and a pack of purple solo cups were gone. We hadn’t changed the locks yet, so I knew someone had come in with a key, because there was no sign of forced entry.

I went to the police station, reported it and provided them with the serial number to my camera. Well, THEY FOUND IT. Within 24 hours they had recovered my camera all because I had the serial number. So PSA #1 – people, keep your serial numbers to high-priced electronics. It’s the only way the police will be able to identify them. Three different cops told me that I would have kissed it goodbye if it weren’t for having that info. Didn’t recover the purple solo cups, but it’s cool, minor detail (sense the sarcasm?). I knew to keep serial numbers from back when this happened, so I always have them.

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PSA #2, don’t wait to change the locks on a new place! We were planning to change them (obviously) when we moved in, but it should have been the first thing we did. Luckily, there was nothing else in the house for anyone to take. The police are investigating as they have identified the person and it was an isolated incident of likely kids that thought they could get into the house one last time and get some quick money out of anything they found. The seller was a 90-year-old woman, so I’m confident it wasn’t her. Truth is, we basically live in an elderly community and cops said they very rarely venture to this area. So here we are, moving in, the young people and causing all the commotion! I’m just glad we got to the bottom of it and can get started on making our house not look like we’re 90.

So much more to share in the coming weeks as we begin to modernize our new, 70 year old house!

high five for friday!

There’s really only two things for us to be high fiving about today. Two HUGE things:

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We went and bought a house and move in this weekend. So much more on the whole process and what we have in store next week. We’ve already been in there getting to work and so far it’s amazing!

My sister and brother-in-law found out, on the same day we closed on our house (!), that they’re having a GIRL!! I don’t even think I’ve mentioned on the blog yet that they were expecting. Can’t wait to be an Auntie again! This was a snapshot from a video, so a little blurry, but I love their expressions! They had a gender reveal party last night that we FaceTimed in for. Technology is amazing!

Hope you had a good week and have a great weekend!

weekend feature on knockoffdecor.com!

Over the weekend I got word that my West Elm knock off tray was featured on Knock Off Decor, one of Beckie Farrant’s amazing sites!

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I’ve been following Beckie for years and love her style of writing, creating and connecting with her audience, so when she reached out to let me know she was featuring my project I was just a little excited pretty damn pumped. She writes at the following three sites:

RoadKill Rescue
Knock Off Decor
Infarrantly Creative

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If you haven’t checked her out yet, I highly recommend you do. Thanks again to Beckie and Knock Off Decor for the feature!

happy 4th of july!

Happy Independence Day! I hope you’re all having a great start to your long weekend and remembering why we’re celebrating. We kicked off the weekend last night with fireworks right outside our building in Denver. Always nice to not have to find parking with thousands of people on the same mission!

land of the free because of the brave

Have a safe and happy day!

my favorite things: july 2014

Um, hello, JULY?! Where has the first half of this year gone! Here are my favorite things this month…

I truly enjoy sharing products that I love with you guys and because of that, I’ve started a favorite things series. I find myself always recommending products that work for us to people, so why not share a few each month. None of these posts or products are sponsored. They’re honestly items that we use in our everyday lives that are worth sharing with others.  

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Yes to Carrots Lotion
This is my favorite store-bought lotion. I prefer my homemade coconut oil moisturizer, but sometimes you need something on the go and less greasy. I love this lotion. I have a bottle at my office and in my bag at all times. It’s not greasy, it’s not smelly (I have an incredible sense of smell and often choose unscented products) and it lasts all day.

Breville Electric Tea Kettle
My favorite appliance ever. I’m a tea drinker. A big one, and this bad boy boils water faster than I’ve ever seen before. The other perk, it doesn’t heat up our already super hot apartment by boiling water on the stove. We make hot and iced tea with this, hot cocoa, oatmeal, and anything else that needs hot water. It’s worth the high price tag!

Thyme App
This is the simplest app, but so useful. It’s a timer app for when you’re cooking, but it has a timer specific to each burner and the oven. Really helpful if you’re cooking a few things at once. We don’t have a microwave so we only have one timer, the one on the stove, which is not helpful if I have three things cooking!

Merrell Sneakers
I found these Merrell’s on super sale for I think about $25. They are the perfect shoe for working out in, but they’re also a great walking shoe that isn’t bulky and hot. We do a lot of walking around Denver and it’s hard for me to wear sandals or flip flops. Remember, that broken foot? Yeah, so I wear sneakers a lot and these ones are awesome.

Kinetic App
Another great app if you like to workout. It tracks your workouts, is a timer, distance calculator and even allows you to take notes on your workouts and rate how you felt. It even senses when  you stop moving, so it stop calculating. I love this as whenever I’m training for something, be it a road race or bike event, I always keep a journal to look back and see trends when I didn’t perform as well or feel great. Keeping it all in one app is brilliant!

That’s it for this month. Back with more in August!

easy camp meal: campfire nachos

When we camped a few weekends ago I wanted to have simple dinners that were easy to prep and didn’t take forever to cook. So, we brought our large cast iron pan along with us and made campfire nachos! You can really use what ever ingredients you typically like on nachos. Ours were limited because of my food issues, but still delicious.

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I start by spreading a thin layer of refried beans on the bottom of the pan. Line that with tortilla chips and top with whatever toppings you’re using. We used beans, shredded chicken and sliced olives. Repeat each layer until the pan is lined to the top. I dropped dollops of refried beans onto the chips as it was tricky to spread.

Place the whole pan over the campfire, but not directly over the flame, and let cook until the beans soften and cheese is melted. We then topped with salsa, avocado and greek yogurt (in place of sour cream).

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It was a delicious camp dinner, was easy to make and easy to cleanup. Like I said, you can add as many or as few ingredients as you’d like. Enjoy!

high five for friday!

Friday!!! Thank goodness it’s here, was it just me or did anyone else think it was Thursday ALL week? When it finally was Thursday I woke up yelling thank goodness because I was exhausting myself remembering the days this week. Isn’t it strange how some weeks feel so long compared to others? It’s not even like I had something huge I was waiting for this weekend. Anyway, I digress.

Welcome to the weekend! We are lying low this weekend since we’ve been gone the last two. Actually looking forward to it. Enjoying the weather, maybe get a tan on these legs so I can stop blinding people. Linking up today. Have a great weekend!

high five for friday

1. More on this later, but I did a push up challenge in May and went from being able to do about 3 at one time before dropping to my knees and now I can do 20 in a row, perfect form, no knees! Where there’s a will there’s a way.

2. I won a $50 Amazon gift card this week in a drawing. Great way to start my week!

3. These are my new favorite nail polishes. I plan to write a post on them, but I found them at WholeFoods and they were on sale for $5 each (from $8) when I grabbed them. It’s called Mineral Fusion and is amazing.

4. This was actually a few weeks ago and I forgot about it. When I got to work this morning I was SO confused as my keyboard was growing grass. Literally I stared at it for like a minute before I realized the joke was on me. It was pretty hilarious.

5. This butterfly. When we hiked last weekend there were so many butterflies, all different colors and patterns. I loved this one and spotted it resting on the ground before it took off. So classy looking! I’m like a child in nature, I have to stop and look at everything because it’s all so beautiful!

owl researching & poudre canyon camping

We’ve had a busy few weeks consumed of long work days, but with fun play days on the weekends. Which has left little time for projects around the house. I have some fun things to share coming up and in the meantime wanted to share a few photos from our last two adventures.

al with owl

If you follow me on Instagram you would have seen that we did owl research last weekend! Our friend Scott does owl research every summer, and he has for over ten years. His wife Abby, Al and I met him at the lodge and joined his crew for the night. We headed out around 8pm to listen for owls, find where they nest, flag some trees and see if we could catch one.

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We spent a solid four hours in the woods in the pitch black, at one point hiking at a very aggressive pace. Again in the pitch black. I think I fell like 17 times. Scott is an incredibly fast hiker. Kid can move.

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When we reached the top of our hike we set up to catch an owl. Within about 15 minutes we had one – and I should note, this is all incredibly humane. It was the coolest thing ever. We caught a male and he was adorable, if I do say so.

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Scott and his crew did their thing and then we all got to hold him. I learned so much that evening and it was totally worth the late night – we went to bed at 4am!

linds with owl

This past weekend Al and I escaped to the Poudre Canyon, which is a few hours northwest of Denver, to camp for a few nights. The drive was beautiful, as are most drives through the mountains here. We camped right on the Poudre River at the Kelly Flats, which was amazing, especially sleeping with the white noise of the rapids!

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We arrived Friday night, set up camp and sat around the campfire for a few hours before turning in early so we could get up early to hike. We did a seven mile hike the next morning, which was so peaceful. We didn’t see one other person until we were on our way back down the mountain!

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We then went to the famous Mishawaka for a few beers. Mishawaka, in case you’re unaware, is a famous amphitheater in Colorado that sits right on the Poudre River. We hoped to maybe see a show, but instead there was a wedding there that night! Which, what an awesome place to have a wedding.

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I mean seriously, how gorgeous is this place? This was a our view when we were cooking on the campfire after a great hike, a few beers on the river and an overall awesome weekend.

poudre canyon clouds

So, we’ve had a busy few weeks, but no shortage of fun! Getting back into the swing of things and hope to get some things done around the apartment this week. How about you guys? Any fun outings to kick off the summer?

 

egg muffin recipe

I’ve started making these egg muffins as they’re super easy to grab in the mornings and heat up in the toaster over. Although, Al eats them cold, I prefer them warm. You can add whatever you’d like to each and customize them to your family preferences.

egg muffin recipe

Ingredients

18 eggs
shredded cheese
spinach, ham, peppers, onions or whatever fillings you prefer
frozen hash browns

egg muffin ingredients

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using cooking spray, generously spray a muffin pan. Sprinkle frozen hash browns in the bottom of each muffin tin. Add whatever filling you’d like on top of the hash browns. This batch I used shredded cheese and spinach. Whisk all eggs together well. I mix them in a glass measuring cup which makes it easier to pour into each muffin tin. Once mixed well top off each muffin tin with the egg mixture. Fill to the very top of each muffin tin, without overflowing.

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Bake for 25-30 minutes or until eggs are set well. Remove from muffin pan immediately and let cool. These will last, refrigerated, for about 5-6 days. Enjoy!