Condo Project – Week 2

Ready for Week 2’s progress? It’s pretty dramatic!

We hit a major milestone in Week 2 – removing the last of the wallpaper. Sadly, I did not document the momentous occasion. There were many jokes of how I had changed my mind on paint and opted to go with wallpaper over every wall again, but I think the wallpaper is gone for good.

With the wallpaper down, we could start patching walls. {For those of you that are curious, we’ve been working our through the rooms starting with the kitchen and ending with the bathrooms with each stage of the process.}


Hopefully my HOA understands I’m in mid renovation; because my balcony looks like this… Right now I’m sure I’m that neighbor everyone hates, and I hate it.
IMG_3395We painted and primed the shoe molding in preparation of the floors going in.
IMG_3400 And then the first coats of paint started going up.

10712893_10202897038326880_4161795704258519326_nIn this picture, the ceiling looks grey as well, BUT I assure you it is white.IMG_3405IMG_3425I bought a 5 gallon container of Behr’s Light French Gray to paint the entire place. I didn’t expect the color to look so drastically different on each of the walls. Thankfully the shades all go together and add a bit of dimension to the place.

IMG_3411Of course there was a hitch in my plan. The cabinets now look atrocious next to the grey walls and white trim, so the painting of the cabinets has been moved up in the timeline.IMG_3406 I also scored this beauty of a dresser for $16. Yes, $16! The drawers are behind it. It was just too heavy to move with them. The plan is to refinish the top to match the farm table we’re building, and paint the base white.IMG_3416 We also got the first boxes of flooring. Here’s a sneak peak.IMG_3420I can’t wait to show you the floors installed.

Signature Update

Condo Project – Week 1

Happy Monday everyone!

I’m hoping with these weekly posts, I can start to catch up on all the progress we’re making. After this post, I’ll be 1 post behind where we’re actually at.

I was lucky enough to take off Monday-Wednesday, and it was definitely necessary given all the wallpaper.

We got the border off in the kitchen and dining room, and started working our way into the living room.

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The wallpaper on the back wall of the living room, entry, and hallway started coming down too.IMG_3371 IMG_3372

Then, I figured out we’d been using the wall paper steamer all wrong. Things would have gone much more quickly had I left the steamer on the wall slightly longer. With the technique down, I got to work in the hallway, and managed to do the majority of it in about an hour.IMG_3376 IMG_3377 We also got the multi layers of border out of the master.IMG_3382 The border in the guest bedroom was by far my favorite to remove. It was basically a sticker so I knocked this out in twenty minutes, no steamer required.IMG_3384

By Friday evening, I was pooped. I came home and flopped on the sofa for some cuddles with the dogs, and wrestled with Remington a bit, and then came the fun part. He knocked me off the sofa onto Zoey. Apparently 100+lbs of Andrea is too much for her bad back, and in a moment of panic, she managed to do this to my forehead. I’m fairly certain she was more scared than I was, and as you can see in the picture, she was more than apologetic and insisted on lying on top of me and giving me kisses until my mom came back home to patch my head up.

IMG_3388Coming up next, week 2’s progress. Once I’m caught back up, I’ll be back to a weekly schedule simply because my days are literally “Go to work, go to condo (or class), go home to eat, sleep, and repeat.”

Thanks for reading,

Signature Update

Condo Project – Day 2

Are you ready for Day 2? I am. Things have been so hectic, it’s hard to believe Day 2 actually happened 10 days ago.

Day 1 was focused on junk. Day 2 can be summarized by wallpaper and staples.

Day 2 kicked off with a dozen Fractured Prune donuts, because why not. {They were gone by 1PM}.

The floor to ceiling mirror in the living room came down {in pieces…}.



And for once I was glad there was wallpaper behind it because the excessive adhesive would have destroyed the drywall even more than it did.


This is the part in the project where my ADD really shows – a lot of walls with partially removed wallpaper. I kept jumping from wall to wall in various rooms which in hindsight wasn’t the most efficient way, but there really isn’t any efficient way to remove an entire condo full of wallpaper.
IMG_3344IMG_3347The ceiling fan in the master bathroom came down. {By the way check out the awful cat border!}

We busted through the access panel for the master bath. During the home inspection,  we actually took this panel off to see the plumbing only to discover that there was actually just a piece of drywall behind it. That had to go.IMG_3354We started patching walls.

The washer and dryer were moved to the living room for cleaning and preparation for the new floors.IMG_3358

It’s areas in the condo like these I’m disgusted by. This was bad enough, but the kitchen was BY FAR the grossest room of the house. I’m still amazed anyone cooked food for consumption in there.IMG_3359


Not pictured, my best friend, who played a big part in the networking to make me buying this condo possible stopped by for a few hours, and we started removing wallpaper in Master Bedroom. That’s when we discovered that there was not 1 but 2 layers of wallpaper in the Master. Thankfully, the wallpaper only existed in the closet, and they seemed to have removed first layer from the harder areas like the skinny sections around the bathroom door for us. Both the master bedroom and bathroom still had 2 layers of borders on most of the walls.

I stayed late and tackled the closet before heading back home for bed.

From here on out, pictures trickle down. As much as I’d like to spend every waking hour on this project with several helpers, most people, including myself have other commitments like work, so work has slowed down considerably. I’ll be doing weekly updates from here on out.

Signature Update

Condo Project – Day 1

I’m admittedly a bit behind on these updates. I’m going to give myself a break though because I’ve been working essentially around the clock and juggling class, work, and the condo for the past 10 days. I’ve been home long enough to go to sleep for a few hours, grab some coffee, and start over again.

So what happened on Day 1 – A LOT.

The focus for Saturday was getting rid of all the junk. If I haven’t mentioned it before, the lady who lived here had a love for wallpaper, ceiling fans, window clings, cats, and lots of pink.

{Sidenote: as we started to remove wallpaper, we found that many of the walls were never actually painted underneath. I have a suspicion that this unit may have been a model unit given all its “upgrades” and convenient location in the building –  at least I can think so.}

I also want to apologize for the horrendous lighting in the pictures. We only had light from windows at either end and hallways to work with.

First order of business was to start removing the carpet.

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Work is definitely made nicer by the trees and pond behind my balcony provided you ignore the ugly fence. I have already enjoyed a few mornings with coffee out there even though there’s no chairs at the moment.


By the end of the day, the carpet and padding were entirely gone, and the dining room was holding my kitchen appliances. I believe we filled at least 2 box trucks worth of junk from the place in just this day alone.IMG_3345


And here’s the living room. We did manage to save the massive mirror which was actually glued to the wall, and we were also able to start on wallpaper removal.IMG_3346All in all, we got a lot more accomplished on Day 1 than I ever imagined.

Day 2 coming soon.Signature Update


I Bought a Condo

Well, folks, it finally happened. I’m officially a homeowner, and I’m embarking on a journey of renovating a fixer upper at 24!

I settled last Friday evening after work, but to be honest, I don’t know whether I was more excited to get my new iPhone 6 waiting at home or getting the key to the condo.

That night, after stopping at work to utilize decent internet to restore my phone, I headed to the condo armed and ready, or so I thought. Turns out one person with a box of microfiber cloths and 1 bottle of cleaning spray don’t do much at 8PM. The night was a bust, but I did manage to get some things accomplished

I started removing the botched DirecTV install. They actually ran the coaxial cable from the dish balcony over the fireplace, and back down, and it was the first thing to go. It was unsightly to say the least, but it was nothing compared to the way they ran the rest of the place. Every where you looked was coaxial cable (running through the kitchen, in front of the water heater, sticking out of the coat closet, running through the entry way, in the linen closet, peaking out in the guest room,and finally culminating in the master bedroom

My next task was removing all the homemade window clings from every glass surface imagineable. This lady had bugs, birds, and lighthouses EVERYWHERE. I thought I got rid of them all, but they keep turning up, including a ladybug that appeared in my purse somehow.

My last task for the night was removing the faded blue lamp shades from the light fixture in the dining room. I had originally planned to replace this light, but in an effort to save money, I’ve decided I’m going to spray paint it instead.

Now are you ready for the before pictures?! (Images courtesy of MRIS)


Living Room


Living Room


Dining Room




Master Bedroom


Master Bedroom

Notably missing are decent pictures of either bathroom or the guest room.

Check back for Day 1’s progress coming shortly.

Signature Update

Quick Update on Life

I’m back for a quick update on many fronts, but mainly the condo.

August 27th came and went with no settlement. There was an issue with the deed that my title company offered to fix, but no one could get ahold of the person to give the “okay” from the seller.

After a lot of waiting, I have a new settlement date AND TIME, so it seems as though it’ll be official on Friday afternoon. Friday also happens to be the day for not one but two birthdays in my house, AND new iPhone day, so Friday is going to be crazy.

After settlement on Friday, I’m going to head over to the condo and get started on demo. There’s a lot that needs to come out: excessive amounts of ceiling fans including one in the master bathroom, pink carpet, wallpaper, awkward shelving, broken blinds, a nasty fridge etc.

The plan is to get as much out as possible on Friday and Saturday. I took off on Monday and Tuesday, so Sunday and Monday will be primarily wallpaper removal, repairs, and cleaning. If I’m lucky I’ll be able to start painting on Tuesday, but I’m not counting on it.

Adding to the complications is my class which meets Thursdays from 7:10-9:40. {Seriously who ever thought classes at that time of night were a good idea is crazy.} I also meet with some of my classmates on Mondays nights so there’s two nights out of the mix plus the times I’m at work.

In other news, however, I did discover the shuttle for campus runs right past my house at least 6 days a week, so if I ever break down or get stuck in snow, I can just take the bus to work which is pretty cool.

Anyway that’s that. Get ready for some Before pictures coming soon.

Signature Update

The Countdown is On!

My date for settlement is officially less than 10 days away!

Last week, my mom finally got to see the place for the first time although without any electricity. The electricity unfortunately didn’t get turned on until the day after she got to see it. I have no clue whether she actually liked the place or just thinks I’m insane.

Thankfully, finally having electricity meant I could schedule the inspection, which was done on Saturday morning. No major surprises. Everything worked, despite being old and likely original or needing minor repairs. Given that this place is a fixer upper, it was exactly what I expected. Either way, not so cheap upgrades are in my future. I’m just glad they aren’t necessary right away.

Once the inspection was over, I signed my life away, acknowledging that I’m purchasing the property “As-Is.”

The rest of my weekend was spent packing things up little by little. My plan is to get out of my current home ASAP before chaos ensues, so knowing that settlement is happening on the first day of the semester, I’m planning for my time to be limited thanks to being busy at work, as well as classes, and renovations.

Current {Ambitious} Timeline:

August 27 – Settlement

Remove Any Unwanted Leftovers (e.g. mirrors, nasty fridge, window decals, ceiling fans in bathrooms –seriously why?)

Replace Carpet

Remove Wallpaper + Borders and other nonsense on walls



September 12-13 – Move In

*The painting is negotiable. I really want to have the place painted before I move in, but I also want to get in as soon as possible so I may move and then paint as I go.

Fingers crossed nothing else goes wrong.

Signature Update



Exciting News!

I know I’ve been neglecting this blog lately, but I promise, I have a good excuse.

*Drumroll please*

I’m moving!!!!

Two months ago, if you had told me I’d be purchasing a home, I’d have sworn up and down you were crazy. Turns out I must be the crazy one because I’m in for one crazy end of the month. In a 2 day span, I’ll be settling on my home and starting a new Masters program. Of course both of those events would happen to fall on the craziest week of the year at my job because why not just go all out crazy.

For any of you who were following along with my previous posts, yes I did get the place I fell in love with. I’ve been planning like crazy on Pinterest, and I’ve admittedly had the whole place planned out for a while now.


The past 3 weeks or so has been spent saving money, selling stuff, scouring Craigslist and other stores for deals, and making money in whatever way I can. My favorite find was a almost brand new queen sleeper sofa for $250.

Up until last night, I’d been feeling as though I was just doing some really expensive window shopping. It got real last night though because I submitted the loan paperwork. It really wasn’t until this morning it hit me though. I’m EXCITED.

So be on the lookout for future posts. The home’s in need of some TLC, so I’ll definitely have no shortage of projects to write about.

Here’s my first projects on the list before I move in:

  • Clean it
  • Remove all wallpaper
  • Paint all the rooms
  • Paint kitchen and bathroom cabinets
  • Remove floor to ceiling mirrors in living room.
  • Replace blinds
  • Paint
  • Replace carpet with laminate (or wood if I can find a good deal)

After I move in, I plan to do some little things like replace the outdated lighting, and install a kitty screen in the patio door so the cats can go in and out as they please when I’m on the balcony.

Pictures coming soon. 🙂

Happy Friday!

Signature Update

Today’s a Big Day

Well folks,

I never imagined I’d be saying this, but I may soon be a homeowner.

I scoured the internet for places I could afford. I also learned afford and what you qualify for are totally different things. Somehow I could qualify for a home that costs $225,000 but of course, I’d be eating rice everyday and sitting in the dark. Not much fun there.

As much as I love the idea of owning a house, as a single woman, I knew yard work and major exterior projects were just not my cup of tea, so I set out looking at condo or at least town homes that did the yard work.

I quickly found 3 places, oddly enough all roughly on the same street

There were two 2 bedroom-1 bath condos. They had some upgrades, but nothing major, and wonderful windows. I’d still need to replace most of the appliances, redo the kitchen and tear up the carpet. Both had traffic noise AND both happened to be on the fourth floor. I was winded after just carrying my Vera Bradley wristlet up with me. I can’t imagine moving furniture in or bringing groceries up, or just walking up every day. I’d need to add another 1000 calories to my diet or something. Both had at least one balcony, but one had two. Sadly they were completely unusable because they were either too small or off the master bedroom.

The 3rd place was my favorite right away before I even saw it for the simple fact that it was a 2-bedroom 2-bath. Not everyone else agreed. From the pictures it looked horrible. Whoever lived there must have loved red carpet, mirrors, bad mini blinds, and wallpaper, and it hasn’t been touched in over a year. Thankfully, it was also the cheapest and happens to be on the 2nd floor (which is actually down a flight of steps in the building). There’s barely any traffic noise, and it’s even got a fireplace.

The last one won my heart over in an instant. Everyone noticed immediately. I saw myself sitting on the balcony either with friends in the evening or drinking coffee in the mornings, and I started picturing what I’d do to the rooms and where my furniture would go.

But let’s be real here, the reason it won me over was the second bathroom. My real estate agent may have laughed at my reasoning, but I absolutely did not want my toilet trained cats using the main bathroom. Until my cats learn to flush when they’re done (which I don’t see happening anytime soon), that’s just something that is hard to explain and definitely not pleasing to guests. Plus I really didn’t want to share my bathroom with guests.

It’s may be the smallest unit of the three (only by about 10 sq. feet), but it’s also the cheapest. It has the best layout (the others had a lot of wasted space), and with a bit of TLC, it’s the one with the most potential. (Fixed up 2 br 1 ba units on a top level have sold for $40K more than this place is listed.) I know just removing the red carpet, wallpaper, and mirrors will do wonders for this place, and I can’t wait.

Oh and did I mention it’s even closer to my work than I am now?! The location is perfect. Plus I’m excited to actually be moving back into civilization where high speed internet and public utilities exists, and even if I have to deal with week long power outages (which is unlikely) I’ll at least have running water.

So after drafting up budgets, planning to move things to my own accounts (cell phone, insurance, etc), and secretly pinning a ton of ideas to Pinterest, tonight I go to sign the contract.

I’m slightly terrified in getting my own place especially knowing it’s a fixer upper that will require new floors, paint, and a new fridge right away, but there’ll be plenty of blog posts to write if things work out.

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