Country Heat – Wrap Up

That’s a wrap! Thirty days of Country Heat is in the books! Not only was it surprisingly fun, but I am happy to also report 3.5 lbs down and 4.5 more inches gone, 1.5 of those from my waist alone. I was pretty shocked about the change in my waist! NOT A SINGLE TRADITIONAL CRUNCH OR SIT UP IN THIRTY DAYS!!!! It was all from engaging my core while dancing. Seriously, how cool is that?!


A quick recap of week three and week four. Week three started with another new dance routine. Just as in the previous weeks, the dance is done two days in a row, and requires just a little more work than the last routine. The dances raise your heart rate a little more as the program progresses. I really enjoyed a little basketball flash back in this dance with a few jump shots ūüėČ

The rest of week three is spent rotating through previous routines, and again has two days with extra dance conditioning. For the love, DANCE CONDITIONING IS HARD. It’s a nice mix of dancing, barre, and pilates. WHEW. BURNS SO GOOD.

I will confess that week three fell on Halloween, so my nutrition wasn’t super stellar. Honestly, it wasn’t Halloween itself. I totally planned on using one of my yellow containers as a treat and have a few pieces of fun size candy, which I totally did. It was the entire week after Halloween when my husband was working 12 hour days and there was a pile of chocolate in the house that caused some issues. Oops. 

Nutrition wise, I was back on track for week four. I actually timed doing this program really well because during week four, there were two NEW dances released on Beachbody on Demand, so instead of repeating previous routines, I gave those a try. I stuck to the pattern of doing each program two days in a row.

Now, these programs are called Country Heat ELITE for a reason!! I struggled a little with the footwork some and my quads and abs were on FIRE! And again, I was SUPER sweaty by the end. I DEFINITELY recommend not skipping the move break down because some are pretty tricky. Even though a few of the moves were tough for my two left feet to follow, I actually had a blast doing them. Just be ready to laugh at yourself a little, okay? ūüėČ

Now, everyone loves a good before and after photo, right?! Well, here ya go!

My waist was the biggest change for sure! AND NO CRUNCHES! Take that husband for rolling your eyes at my “little dance workout.” Over all, I lost four and a half inches. I have no doubt if I hadn’t slacked off my nutrition Halloween week I could have seen even better results!

I would HIGHLY recommend this program to anyone who falls into the following categories:

  • Looking to get started on their health journey but is intimidated by the thought of “traditional” exercise.
  • Wants to exercise but has knee or back issues and needs something low impact.
  • Who is in shape, but needing a change in routine.
  • A recently postpartum mom who is looking for a gentle way to regain core strength.
  • Likes the idea of cardio that does not include running or burpees.

Country Heat is a FUN and low impact option cardio option that anyone can do! If you would like your own copy of Country Heat, you can get it here.




Country Heat Review – week 2

Week 2 of Country Heat is in the books! For the majority of this past week I had a dancing partner joining me. While cute, each partner added an extra 20-30+ lbs making the routines EXTRA effective! ūüėČ

This week consisted of two new routines, Down and Dirty and Bring the Heat, as well as two days of additional Dance Conditioning. Just like the first week (see review here), the week alternated between the two routines and also added Dance Conditioning on Tuesday and Saturday.

These routines do have a little more jumping and therefore a slightly higher impact, but there is still the option to follow the modifier and simply step out the moves instead of jump. Both routines are still very friendly for those with knee or back issues! I really enjoyed the quicker tempo last week, even if my feet struggled to keep up at first! While I am not a huge Country Music fan, I have enjoyed the wide variety of country music. Everything from Watermelon Crawl to Bar Hopping ūüôā 

Overall, I am enjoying Country Heat much more than I thought I would!! It really is a fun way to get in some cardio while still working you core. My obliques have never been this sore!! Also, Dance Conditioning is no joke! My booty and hamstrings were on fire!! I definitely recommend not skipping the extra conditioning.

I stuck to the meal plan much better this past week and can feel a difference in my blue jeans. My skinniest jeans (we all have those right?!) fit better than when I bought them! The scale was also down 2 lbs this week bringing my total weight loss so far to 2.5 lbs. I will wait and take pictures and measurements at the end of 30 days.
Here is a peak at my meal plan. Pardon my chicken scratch! 

I am in the 1500-1800 bracket and never struggled with being hungry this past week. Did I want a sweet treat after dinner sometimes? Absolutely! Hungry? Nope! I love how easy the portion fix system is to follow! I just make my plan based on my calorie bracket, stick it on the fridge, and that’s it. No calorie or point counting, which I personally find exhausting. 

Country Heat is on sale through the end of October, so you still have time to snag a good deal. You can check it out here.





Country Heat Review – week 1

Thank you for all of the positive feedback about the things we are not doing this fall. One thing I am continuing this fall is to keep chugging along with my fitness journey. A lot of you who know me in “real life” know that I have successfully lost weight this year (almost 25 lbs now). After my son was born, I spent a few months extremely frustrated that the weight wasn’t magically going away like it had with my first child. Counting calories was exhausting, even with an app, and trying to take two children under two to a gym (with childcare) was an all morning event. Not to mention, my children were sick every other week!

All of my frustration lead me to try a program called 21 Day Fix. It actually took me four months to FINALLY pull the trigger and order it, but within only three weeks (7 lbs and 10 inches gone) I was SOLD forever on these products. I love the simplicity of the meal plan and the ability to get a great workout in from the comfort of my home without dragging my children to the gym or needing a ton of equipment or space.

Over the course of this year I have completed several rounds of 21 Day Fix, 21 Day Fix Extreme, as well as 22 Minute Hard Corps. I grew up an athlete, primarily playing basketball; however, I did have a VERY brief gymnastic phase in which my goals of being an Olympic gymnast were crushed at the early age of seven because I was already the height of an Olympian. *womp womp* Thankfully my sweet parents encouraged me to consider options where my height could be used to my advantage! I have always enjoyed “traditional exercise” and have never been interested in dance type workouts like Zumba or Cize, mostly out of fear of just looking dumb.

So when Country Heat was announced earlier this year, my first thought was, “This must be a PRANK.” Not. Even. Joking. I thought it was the dumbest thing I had EVER heard. Line dancing? To country music? As cardio? For real?! Nope. Nope. Nope.


Well, it wasn’t a prank lol I was the stuck up fitness snob who thought “real” cardio and traditional strength training was the only to see REAL results!! I am so happy to say that I was WRONG!!

This is one of my friends and accountability group buddies who just finished Country Heat. In three weeks, she lost 6.6 lbs and 4 INCHES OFF HER WAIST!! BY DANCING and watching her nutrition.

Coming off of a tough program, I was worried Country Heat might not help me continue towards my goals, but again I was WRONG. My abs and back are sore in places I didn’t know I had lol Seeing my friend make progress (and all the fun she had with her kiddos) gave me the courage to give it a try.

I am one week into Country Heat, and I am pleasantly surprised at how much fun I am having! It’s a nice little break from the weight lifting, HIIT (high intensity interval training) and cardio. The first week you alternate between two different routines, Country Swing and Giddy Up. I thought doing only two routines in a week would get boring, but that has not been the case yet. It was actually more fun the second and third time because I was more comfortable with the moves! The first time through I had to watch Autumn’s (instructor and creator) moves REALLY closely lol

Another great thing about this that is different from other dance programs is you don’t have to memorize an entire routine. It is broken down to two moves at a time. You complete those two moves and move on to two more. Nothing super long or complicated!

All the moves are low impact and there is a modifier if you need to make the moves even lower impact for joints. I had to follow the modifier twice just because I have two left feet, haha! Hopefully by the end I will have mastered all of the “fancy” *cough cough not fancy* footwork. This would really be a great program for anyone with knee or back issues or anyone who is just intimidated by the thought of exercise! ANYONE can do this program! I am actually going to recommend it to my grandma  who has been curious about my weight loss:)

My nutrition hasn’t been 100% on point because we had some family in town Monday and Tuesday and two church events on Sunday, but I did stick to the meal plan well during the rest of the week. Even with an iffy start food wise, I still lost 1/2 lb. this first week. I already have a better plan for this week, and I am looking forward to new routines!

Here are my Before Pictures for Country Heat. I won’t take pictures again until the end of the program ūüôā 

I will be back next week with a review of week 2!  You can check out Country Heat here

Things I am NOT doing this Fall

Let me start by saying that I LOVE this time of year! This is not a “I hate sweater weather” post¬†because¬†I LOOOOVVVVEEEEE sweater weather. I am actually still highly anticipating sweater weather here in Alabama, haha! For the love, can I please wear flannel, boots and cardigans?!? This is also not me scolding anyone who has already done some of these things. This is me, a person who says yes to almost everything, practicing no.

With that said, I just wanted to share a few things I am NOT doing this Fall in case another mom needs to hear that it is OKAY to not do everything. In fact, you CANNOT do everything!¬†I don’t know about you guys, but Fall and the Holiday season is the time of year where I really struggle to say no to the ALL the pinterest ideas/lists/inspiration/expectations. Let’s take this list for example.


Number seventy-five really makes me laugh. How in the world do you have time to actually enjoy this ridiculously long list?!?! Who has time to do ALL of these things?!?! ESPECIALLY people with small children?!?! FOR THE LOVE. Now, I know most people don’t have children 15 months apart like I do, but still. Come. On.

So here is the my list of things I am saying no to this year. Hopefully it will encourage you to say no to a few things, too, leaving you time to sleep and just be!

  1. Fall Family Photos – we are skipping these for two reasons. First is because it isn’t in the budget. I know some families like to have professional photos done every season, but that’s not something we can accommodate in our budget currently. If you can save for retirement, save more¬†money aside for “rainy day/crap happens,” save money for your children’s college/pay off your own student debt, pay all your bills, and still have money left for quarterly photos, by all means don’t let me stop you! I would gently encourage you to reconsider spending money on them if you can’t meet that list though ūüôā Another reasons is time. Wrangling a 2 1/2 year old and 1 year old to a photo shoot praying they stay¬†CLEAN, in cute coordinating clothing, while also making myself look presentable upon said mini shoot arrival is an EVENT. Then, you have the actual PHOTO SHOOT! Half a day gone with two whiny toddlers in hopes for the perfect Christmas card photo. Yeahhhh….I am going to pass. Our Christmas cards (if I even do them this year) will have a photo from our Spring photo session, and I highly doubt anyone will actually be offended or even care that it’s the wrong season.¬†saffell-0077
  2. Home made matching pumpkin shirts – this was a hard one to let go guys!! I made Reagan a cute little pillowcase dress last year with a pumpkin applique, so the mom guilt said I need to do it again for both children to keep things fair (mom guilt logic at its best). Because my one year old little boy is OBVIOUSLY going to be utterly devastated his entire life that I didn’t make him a pumpkin applique shirt. Totally. *Insert eye roll here* I know the only way these would get done is if I gave us some precious sleep, and I know in the long run me being grumpy for three to five days because I didn’t sleep isn’t worth it. Just buy them you say? Please see part of one of Family Photos. The word is budget. In eighteen years, my children will thank me that I said no to monogrammed, Holiday outfits and put money back for college instead.¬†20151003_1117100
  3. Pumpkin Carving – In no way shape or form is pumpkin carving a family affair with two young toddlers. It’s more like a family death strap, so we are skipping this entire event. I am sorry dear trick or treaters that we will not have a delightful carved pumpkin for you. Maybe in three to five years. Or ten. Maybe. I did however buy pumpkins and gourds for our dining room, and they are adorable. No carving required!!!¬†20161006_151611
  4. DIY new fall wreath – Nope. I love crafting and creating things, but it’s a matter of prioritizing my time and right now crafting is not a top priority. Family + friends + working + commitments > crafts. I did, however, budget for a new fall wreath. Hobby Lobby and $30 did not fail me!
  5. Family Halloween costumes – Ryan and I will not be dressing up this year. This was another hard thing to let go. I just came to terms with the fact that I didn’t have time to make them, and spending money on something that will be worn once was not money well spent. Our children will have costumes, and that in itself is a victory! Parents, feel free to rid yourself of the pressure of coordinating family costumes! I can hardly remember my parents EVER¬†dressing up when I a kid. Shame on you Pinterest for making all parents feel as though they must all be wearing coordinating outfits every Halloween!! We managed last year, but this year I am letting it go.

We are also saying no to a group Pumpkin Patch outing, two Halloween-ish parties, a corn maze, and a slew of other Fall events. We would be running ourselves (and our children) ragged trying to do everything. Also, sometimes you just HAVE TO DO LAUNDRY. YOU JUST HAVE TO. If you can afford to just buy new clothes, power to ya!

Moms, feel free to LET SOMETHING GO! You deserve sleep. Your family deserves a mother with sleep. You deserve time with friends. You deserve a date with your husband. You deserve time to just sit. Enjoy the pumpkin patch. Letting go of these few trivial things has already helped me enjoy the things we are making a priority to do! You have permission to do enjoy that, too.



Baby Bunching: 8 months in

Does this thing still even work? I guess we will find out!

Well, Reagan just turned two and Everett is now eight months old…and we are STILL ALIVE YALL! We have survived eight months of two under 18 months (16 months if you want to get technical) thus far. We fall into an elite group known as “baby bunchers” referring to families that have two children less than two years apart.


I remember when I found out we were expecting again, the first thing I did was try to find other baby bunchers on line. I scourged the internet for a blog, website, Facebook group, ¬†ANYTHING that might be of help. I desperately wanted insight into the day to day life of two so close together. Honestly, I didn’t find much and I was sort of surprised by that. And annoyed. I felt as though my fellow millennials had failed me.

Now, I understand. Moms with two children so close together are BUSY! I would like to apologize to every blogger, abandoned Facebook group page, and website that I found and left frustrated by  the lack of updated information. I now realize that you are too busy to sit down and write REAL thoughts! My apologies friends.


With that said, I want to share a few thoughts for others who may be in my same shoes that I was a year ago.

First, I have survived. You will survive, too! Honestly, the age gap is scarier than it sounds. I really thought the first three months were going to be the worst of it. Now that Everett is crawling, I have changed my mind. Having two fully mobile children running in two different directions will the hardest. Yes, the first three months are going to be tiresome. It is a transition for everyone Рyou, baby, toddler, husband. I would highly recommend your spouse or significant other takes TWO weeks off it possible. Physically, you will bounce back faster this time (I did anyways), but you also have a young toddler under foot who is used to being the center of the universe. This is where Dad comes in. I took care of baby and myself for the most part and my husband handled the toddler. We were lucky enough to have my mom stay with us the first night or two and lots of friends and family helped keep us well fed the first few weeks. It was SUCH a blessing!

One of the nicest things about having children so close together is that you haven’t forgotten much yet. You still remember how to feed a baby. You remember how to swaddle and change a diaper. There isn’t a re-learning curve, which I enjoy. Actually, now the thought of having a baby and one in school sounds much harder!

It only took all of two days to learn that all babies are different, including the ones you give birth to. For example, Reagan slept pretty well in our bassinet. Everett hated it. HAAAATTTTTTEEEEEDDDD. IT. We ended up co-sleeping the first 8 weeks or so because it was the only way any of us got some rest. Another difference between your first and second child is how much more you trust your mom instincts. I was WAY too nervous to co-sleep with Reagan at that age! Around 8 weeks we transitioned him to a rock and play, and by 3 months he was starting to at least start off sleeping in his crib. Everett also followed a different eating pattern. I nursed on demand with both, but those first few weeks with Everett, on demand was more like just feeding him ALL the time. He just kind of grazed ALL day the first 2 months. Reagan was a textbook, every 2 hour eater.


One thing I had been really worried about prior to Everett’s arrival was how to entertain Reagan while I was nursing. ¬†Honestly, I made this to out to be a bigger deal than it was. I had really great intentions of creating a “nursing basket” with “special” toys and books she could have while I was feeding Everett. Yeah….that didn’t happen, but it wasn’t really needed anyways. Thankfully, we didn’t have any jealousy issues. I usually only had to entertain her for 2 – 3 feeding during the¬†day. I rotated between TV time, reading books and playing on the floor with her. It wasn’t the most comfortable nursing position, but it worked.

Another thing you learn to do with your second, nurse on the go! Nurse anywhere. On the floor. In the bathroom. With a toddler in your lap. Gone are the days of settling into your “nursing chair” staring at your sweet newborn. You nurse anywhere and everywhere. As long as the toddler isn’t making a mess and the baby is eating, you are wining!


Now, our first real outing was terrible.¬†By “our” I mean just myself and both children. I was feeling pretty good about the whole thing, so I decided to go to Target to get a few things. I mean really, who doesn’t love Target?! Anyways, I plan this outing in the morning so Reagan will be pleasant and Everett will be sleeping. Home in time for lunch. I got this.

In true toddler fashion, Reagan sleeps in an hour later than normal, throwing off the entire schedule. I rally. We are still going to go. I get everyone changed and ready (45 minute process). I am planning on being back home around 12:30-1 in time for lunch instead of 11:30-12 since Reagan slept later. BAD DECISION. We are halfway through our Target list when Reagan runs out of snacks (approx. 11:30). She is now whining and reaching for EVERYTHING on the shelves because she is “starving.” In toddler land, sleeping late and therefore eating breakfast late does NOT mean lunch should be eaten late. In the midst of her whining, she wakes up Everett. Also, in my attempts to keep her quiet, our short Target list has taken at least twice as long as it should have. I hustle¬†to get checked out before Everett realized he is hungry. Of course, the minute we get in line he realizes he, too, is starving and needs to let the entire world know that he may die of starvation! The cashier didn’t seem to hear him or wasn’t capable of working at a normal human speed. I felt like she moved in slow motion, like the sloths in the zoo movie previews. Both of my children are now crying/screaming. I want to cry, too. The cashier is asking me the DUMBEST QUESTIONS EVER.

“Do you want these clothes on hangers?”


I didn’t actually say that, but I wanted, too. Seriously lady. Do you not see the melt downs happening? Please, for the love, go faster!!!!!! We finally get out of the store and to the car. I get Reagan buckled into her car seat. I go to get Everett out of his car seat to feed him when I find POOP. EVERYWHERE. Him. Me. Clothes. Carseat. Total poop blow out. Reagan is now screaming. Everett is still screaming. I clean him up and his car seat out the best I can, feed him, Reagan falls asleep in her car seat while waiting, and then I put Everett back in the car seat so we can go home. Whew. We lived.

We didn’t go back to Target for a long, long, LONG time ūüėČ

Over all, having two so close has its hard moments – when they both need you at the same exact moment, when they both get sick (also at the same time), logistical struggles sometimes of cart vs. stroller¬†vs. baby wearing vs. walking vs. every combination of those.¬†BUT for the most part if is just BUSIER. You no longer have the luxury of resting for a few minutes while the¬†toddler naps because you now have an infant to take care of. This also means less gets done around the house. I have come to peace with that. This is a stage of life where the floors will always be dirty. I can sweep twice a day and still step on a cheerio or raisin, but it won’t be like this forever. It is already going by way too fast.


I am happy to answer questions about life with two under two! Email. Comment here. Smoke Signals. Whatever ūüôā




The New Addition

Tap. Tap. Tap.

*Clears throat*¬†Anyone still there? It has been a good…uh… I don’t know….6 months or more since my last blog post. I honestly do not know where 2015 has gone. I swear it was just Christmas, like day before yesterday, which also happens to be the last it I blogged! Ha!

In the past several months we have made a few changes around the house. All of those changes revolved around one key person.

Everett Lee Saffell

Meet Everett Lee Saffell.

Everett Lee Saffell

Yep. Another Saffling. And yes, Reagan is less than 18 months old and again, yes, we do know where babies come from ūüôā


Everett was due September 6th, but he graced us with his presence a week early on August 30th. Thankfully, I had another easy labor and this time a drug-free delivery. I will now answer to the title of Wonder Woman to anyone who feels lead. Now that I think about it, I am still waiting on my push present from Ryan. For the love, I birthed a human in 2015 without any pain medication! Surely that deserves a small gift, right? This is where Ryan would say something obnoxious like, “The baby is your gift…blah…blah…” and I am over here saying, “Um, no, that $#!t hurt, and the baby¬†will keep me up at night for the next 6 months. I deserve jewelry. Please see refer to my Etsy Favorites, mk?”


In all seriousness, Everett is a huge blessing and a delightful baby (when he isn’t gassy, gassy Everett is kind of a jerk). When we found out we were expecting again, we were slightly surprised, very excited, and a little terrified. I did what probably every pregnant woman does and wrote a gigantic and completely unrealistic pre-baby to-do list. I even went as far as breaking it down week by week to keep us on track. I am going to blame the nesting hormones even though you and I both know that is a lie.

Since Everett’s arrival, the question I get most often is, “How is Reagan doing?” I can confidently say she LOVES her brother. She was just shy of 16 months when he was born, so Ryan and I weren’t sure how aware she was really going to be. We are now ten weeks in, and she is still doing great. Everett is not deprived of affection in the least bit. She is constantly giving him hugs, kisses and head¬†pats. She also makes sure he has his paci and blanket at ALL times. ¬†It is pretty much the most adorable thing ever!

Reagan and Everett

I will be sharing more about the age gap soon. Apparently, the age gap officially makes us “Baby Bunchers.” More on that soon ūüôā



Stair Update: Done(ish)

So the stairs are not done-done, but they are done enough that our building inspector can come back and check our work. That qualifies as done-ish, right? I’d say so!

Ryan and I spent last week working on providing proper head clearance for the stairs. Step  one was removing the tongue and grove planks.

stairs-before_How to give old stairs proper head clearance

With the tongue and groove planks gone and the hardwood taken up from the closet, we were able to see exactly what we were working with. After taking measurements we figured out we only needed to notch the stairs 12″ toward the kitchen to have head clearance. Once we had a plan, we put in place temporary wall supports to carry the load while we did the demo/removing-part-of-the-closet-floor-and-support part.


With temporary support in place (we used 2×6’s just because we had extra, you could use 2x4s), we removed part of the floor joist and replaced support where necessary. Here is a peek from under the stairs with the floor joists trimmed and new support in place.



From this view, you can see where we notched the closet inward.


From the top of the stairs, you can’t barely see a difference, but it is pretty¬†noticeable¬†when walking down the stairs. It is a amazing how much difference 12 inches makes!


With that part done, we headed upstairs to close up the area in the closet. It almost feels like having a tiny bench in the closet. Sorry I have no picture from the closet, only from downstairs.


Of course, Bella supervised us the entire time….


We secured everything with joist hangers and brackets. It was probably over kill, but we would rather go ahead and go a little over board instead of having our building inspector point things out to us.

Another few things our building inspector will hopefully be excited about…


New beams in the kitchen! Unlike the first round of beams, these are actually structural and will help keep our kitchen ceiling from gradually sagging (more, it already sags).  Wahoo! We are very lucky to have some pretty awesome friends who were willing to help with this task. I am useless on ladder and these suckers were H-E-A-V-Y! Thank you John, Wayne, Ron, and Steven for your help! I could not have held those above my head!!

For those wondering, my rustic beams will be going back up, but there is more work to do before that happens. Again, we have awesome friends willing to help! In fact, they were working on it this past Saturday, too. I will share progress soon! We have the best friends ever.



Frankly, I don’t have a lot of info about the beam raising progress but I get nervous just seeing people on ladders, even more so when they are holding heavy things! I just stayed out of the way. I didn’t even snap a picture! Blogger fail.

Inspection: We did not pass

True Story. As I mentioned previously, we did not pass our building inspection. *Insert sad ¬†and pouty face here, possibly some feet stomping, don’t judge me*

We were both nervous about the inspection. We knew our stairs were not up to current code. They are about 1″” too tall and 1″ too shallow to pass current rode. There is also a closet right above the bottom of the stairs that you hit your head on if you are over 5’11 (Sorry tall friends!). Here are our stairs currently.


Now flash back to when the old fuse box still existed, before the header in the kitchen, and before kitchen sub-floor. You can see the closet in this picture below.


Ryan and I did not want to replace the stairs due to their location. Since the stairs are pretty much right in the middle of the house, stealing square footage to allow for proper stairs is tricky. By tricky I mean very, very crappy and down-right near impossible with our new floor plan. Here is our floor plan if you need a reminder.


Redesign the stairs would mean taking room from the kitchen and dining room, as well as possibly losing the bathroom tucked under the stairs. Not cool, right?! NO!

Our second fear was the kitchen ceiling. Not because we are choosing to vault it, but because the rafters are 2 x 4 studs and code requires something beefier/stronger, like a 2 x 8. There was also some noticeable sagging at the roof line that has concerned us from the beginning.

So, with all of that said, Ryan and I were basically waiting for the inspector to tell us that we HAD fix those two issues, costing us more time and more money we weren’t hip on spending. Why spend time and money on fixing an issue when we don’t absolutely HAVE to?!

Well, the inspection came and went, and our inspector did bring up those two issues as problems we needed to address to pass inspection. She also gave us a list of some other small things she wants us to take care of.


That is Ryan’s handwriting, not mine, just to clarify ūüėČ

With our list of things to-do, we threw ourselves a very quick pitty-party (ok, not we, that was just me, but it was short!) and got started punching items off our list. For one, installing a new header above the exterior door in the dining room.


We also had to have posts on both sides of the fireplace for structural support. So long completely exposed fireplace! I am still brainstorming different ways to make that look intentional. I have a few thoughts, but I am open to ideas!


We also had to add cripples above the new closet downstairs in the bedroom. Cripples are the pieces you see above the headers that help keep the top plate from sagging over time (at least that is my understanding).


Adding those also meant we add to pull some of the wiring and run it back. Redoing work that was just completed sounds awesome, right?!


It’s not, but it totally could have been worse. Thankfully it was just the one ceiling fixture! The¬†building¬†inspector also said I was not allowed to use my short doors ūüė¶ I have two small doors that I was wanting to reuse because they were original with the house. While I have head clearance, someone who is 6’0″ tall would have to duck to get. I guess it isn’t nice to make my brother duck to get into the powder bathroom! I said the doors were original with the house, so I should get to keep them; however, Ryan said it doesn’t work that way. I don’t really like it when he tells me I don’t get to make the rules….but whatever….


So we adjusted the opening door size for the powder bath to fit a taller door. Boo. You are welcome my tall friends!

We still have a couple small things to do, but the two biggest projects are the stairs and the kitchen ceiling. Here is our plan of attack for the stairs. I think a picture would explain it a lot better than words, so here ya go!


Instead of having stairs that are 60″ wide, they will be 36″ wide with a landing and change of direction. It is still not ideal because we steal a few inches from the kitchen, bathroom and the dining room, but it is the best solution we have at this point. I have¬†stared¬†at those stupid stairs a lot the past few days!!

Lastly, the kitchen ceiling. Our new beams are really just decorative. The inspector gave us a couple different options to fix the ceiling, all with different pros and cons. We decided to add two more very LARGE  beams to help pick up the load of the existing rafters. This picture below might help explain where we will be adding beams. Look at the black lines.


The new beams will run perpendicular to the beams we just installed and to the rafters. Thankfully the location works out pretty well! We are going to leave them exposed as well, I just have to figure out a way to distress them or wrap them in old lumber. We will have to wait to see what happens there. I can tell you that these bad boys are LARGE and very HEAVY!

Checklist_material Checklist_kitchen-beams-are

My arms were tired just caring them one at a time. I sure as heck am not able to lift them above my head! Thankfully we have some friends (muscle!) coming to help put them in place Saturday morning. Can you say BEST FRIENDS EVER?! Our friends are pretty awesome. Hopefully they will still be our friends by noon on Saturday ūüôā

So that’s the bulk of our building inspection story. Once we get all the issues addressed the inspector will come back out to take a look. Hopefully she won’t give us another list of things to do. I am SO ready to start insulating and closing up the walls. I never, ever want to see the inside of my walls ever again! Do you have any building inspector stories? Anyone with strong shoulder muscles want to come help lift heavy beams above their head? More the merrier!



Window Shopping: Light Fixture Addition

Now that our house looks like a bundle of electrical wires exploded on the inside, AND WE PASSED OUR ROUGH IN ELECTRICAL INSPECTION, I am looking forward to having REAL LIGHTS! You know how I feel about this whole working-in-the-dark-thing.


Yea, I am not a big fan, but you know what I am a big fan of? Vintage and industrial style light fixtures. Honestly, at this point I am excited about the possibility of any sort of light fixture, but vintage inspired seem to be my jam. Sunday was dark and rainy, so I spent the afternoon shopping for our light fixtures on-line. By shopping I mean I had to actually starting narrowing down the hundred or so I had book marked on my computer and start selecting actual light fixtures. FOR REAL.

Let’s start with my dream light fixtures. Is it weird that I want to¬†caress¬†swing arm sconces? Probably. Anyways, here are the light fixtures I dream of having.

Dream Light fixtures copy

Sigh. Pretty, right? Let’s also through in a few Edison bulb fixtures for good measure. Well, when we had to slash our original budget these light fixtures had to become inspiration for more price friendly alternatives. You can find these light fixtures here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

Our lighting budget for the first floor is $1,200, so a $650 chandelier in the living room is not going to work. I have found some pretty nice (and price friendly) alternatives to my dream team fixtures.

Real Life lighting copy

You can find the fixtures¬†here, here, here, here, here, here, here,¬†and here. The mason jar pendant I will actually be making using a single bulb lantern kit and one of about 100 mason jars I have left over from our wedding. Hurray¬†for almost free lighting!! I also have plans for “spiffing” up the chandelier for the light fixture so it looks more like the inspiration one. Hopefully my plan will work out well.

Ryan and I are VERY excited to have passed the electrical rough in. What a team of electricians completed in two and a half weeks would have taken us three months or more! We have also passed HVAC and gas inspection! YAY!

Overall, a good week. I also got a call today that our new windows are in. Merry Christmas to me! ūüôā

What is your style? Do you lean more toward traditional or are you a fan of industrial as well? I am really digging Edison bulbs at the moments.

Let’s play pretend (and decorate my house for Christmas)

My Christmas decorations are in a box…errr…several boxes somewhere in one of two storage units and will not be pulled out this year. *Insert sad face* Our house is also no where close to ready for Christmas decorations. We might have a plumbing and electrical inspection next week, so that is exciting. Key is there is maybe. And more than likely it will just plumping and not both, but whatever.

Today, we are going to pretend I have the time and money (and finished house) to decorate for Christmas!

My front porch would be decorated with garland….

front porch 2front porch

and a wreath on the front door….

christmas wreath

and the front door would be flanked with some sort of lit Christmas tree. I am really digging these tomato-grate-twinkle-lights-christmas-trees.

christmas tomato tree

Inside there would be a tree between the living room and entry area…

christmas tree2

probably with a blue and green color scheme…

christmas tree

and with FLOCKING. I love flocking!

christmas flocked tree

There would be burlap stockings on the mantle. My love for burlap is ridiculous.

christmas stockingchristmas burlap stocking

and there would be garland…and oh guess what…more burlap on the stairs.

christmas garland

We would also have a Kentucky basketball tree because I am nice like that, and Ryan is a Kentucky fan. He tolerates my Christmas decorations so much more when Kentucky is involved.

How do you decorate for Chrigstmas? Do you go all out or just a few simple things every year? I prefer the Go-Big-or-Go-Home method.