Married Life


     Married life for us... is pretty similar to unmarried life.  The biggest change was that we bought our first home in July of 2008, just 2 months after we were married.  As two very unhandy and klutzy people, we are getting by pretty well.  We were fortunate to buy when the market was painfully slow for sellers so we got a very good deal on our dream first home after it sat on the market for over a year and the seller was moving to Spain.  We never thought we could afford something like this.. and thanks to our FHA loan, we had money leftover to do some renovations too.

But first, some pictures of our family... the boys:

 Brett's wedding gift to me was that after the honeymoon we would get a new kitten!  We already have one catbaby- Rocky - but we thought he needed a friend... so meet Mr. 2Bits, named after the famous Mr. 2-Bits at the Gator Games!  We adopted him a few weeks after the wedding.  So he joins our 3 year old cat Rocky and they have become brothers and best friends for life.

 And here is our new home, with the for sale sign still out front - this was inspection day.  Here are some pictures of the outside and of our new street.  Our neighborhood is gated (I never thought I would live in a gated neighborhood!!) and there are beautiful old trees all over that the builder built AROUND instead of chopping down.  There is also a lake in the neighborhood but we are across the street from it.

 Here is us out front with our Gator flag of course.. that went up immediately. 

Some work being done here...

The living room before (with old owner's furniture), the bold yellow actually made the room feel darker.  We painted the room a light beige and the kitchen a cappucino colored brown.  We have had our suede sectional for about 4 years and it was hard to situate it in our odd-shaped living room but it works for now.. we'll upgrade to new sofa's soon but don't need to spend the money right now.


 This is the only area we didn't paint!  It is a mustard color called Cornflower Gold or something along those lines.. the owner left us extra paint in the garage so I did some touch ups but I liked the color overall.  Our wedding photos are on the left wall in black and white.   The sofa table is from the American Signature clearance section and it was $99.  It is VERY heavy black iron and stone with a glass inset.  The mirror was $20 at Homegoods - love that store.  It has a very unique textured frame in brown/black.  The run was $30 on Clearance at Bed Bath and Beyond but it's main purpose is to cover the cracked tile that we can't replace right now!  That is a coat closet on the left.. Yes, a COAT CLOSET in Florida.   We just recently updated the gold brass light fixture with a black iron modern fixture.. will update pic soon. 


Old bathroom vanity vs. new bathroom vanity;  We had a carpenter rip out the old cabinet and dark green countertop which were both crappy laminate.  The new and nicer laminate countertop was $74 and each cabinet was $119 unfinished - they are actually kitchen sink basins which are cheaper than bath vanity cabinets and taller which they call "comfort level" or something.   We also got new sinks and chrome fixtures, which were $39 each.  Total cost for this project including cost of carpenter was about $500 but it was well worth it.. the other vanity was literally falling apart and disgusting.. this new one is beautiful and spacious with more storage space.  It also just feels better using something that is new and "ours".

* can you see the wallpaper in the mirror reflection?  It was maroon and green paisley!  In the photo, I have already painted a coat of primer over it (we tried to take it down but that wallpaper was stuck like nobody's business). 

So I ended up painting the cabinets white gloss and it came out nice but I still need to do a few more coats.  I also had H drill some holes and we added chrome knobs to match the sinks.  This made a HUGE difference, it looks finished to me now.  We painted the bathroom in Valspar Schoolboy Blue.


Our guest bath was nasty.. basically it had this horrible striped wallpaper, a dingy floor (just needed a good cleaning) and gold cabinet pulls with a chrome sink - explain that to me.  Anyway, we painted the walls a light grey, added a bit of bathroom art, cleaned, and changed the cabinet pulls.  Eventually I would like to rip out the worn greyish laminate countertop and replace it with one of those DIY granite vanity tops from Home Depot.. soon hopefully!!!!

 Our cute monogram handtowel from BB&B matches our grey and white color scheme


This is NOT our stuff.  This belonged to the former owner, I snapped this photo on our final walkthrough.  Yep, he couldn't even make the bed when we came (there were also dirty dishes in the sink).  In this pic, you can't see the dog sh!t stains on the carpet but it's there.  This carpet was pulled up immediately and replaced.

Here is my friend and I priming our master bedroom wall and saying goodbye to the rasberry colored accent wall.  We are doing a light grey-blue color instead.

We did very little work in here besides painting and getting new carpet.  We also changed the cheap blinds to 2" faux wood blinds.  The furniture is from American Signature and we've had it for about 2 years.  It is espresso real wood and has held up through 3 moves!  The headboard is a taupe suede and very comfy.

Our ketubah is on the left (marriage certificate), the art above the bed says Always Kiss Me Goodnight and it's from Bed Bath and Beyond.  There is a photo box on the right with some of our engagement pictures and my little Ikea $10 paper shade lamp.  :)  We also put in a new modern fan/light fixture above the bed which you can't see in the pics.  It's Florida, we need a fan.

I got this leather storage bench from Target.  I thought I needed something under the window.  Apparently the boys agree.  It's the perfect spot to wait for a bird to arrive in the birdbath.... :)


This was another big change - our dining room and living room had floor-to-ceiling mirrors.. not really our style.  We had them removed (do NOT do this yourself, it is dangerous with the glass) but we were left with a severely damaged wall.  Each of those black spots is adhesive which is like tar - we had to sand it down, then prime, paint, and texturize the wall.  It was a HUGE pain but the end result is a much cleaner and modern looking space.  Whew!

        This was the dining room before (old owner's furniture)               After the mirrors were removed

Our new dining table was a steal at American Signature.. $349 for the table AND the 4 leather chairs.  The table is walnut wood with glass inserts.  We also got this brushed nickel light fixture for only $39.99 at Lowe's and it was such a nice upgrade from the gold brass faux candle chandalier.  The 2 canvas art pieces are from Target and the curtains are from Bed Bath and Beyond.

final product - nice, simple dining room.. no more house of mirrors!


This is one of our guest rooms (we have 2.. the other is empty right now!)  That awful furniture once again is NOT ours.. I took that picture during our walkthrough and it is the old owner's furniture.  This room is small (10x11) but it fits our full-size bed and there is a nightstand.  In the corner you can't see there is a TV on a small stand.  Changes to this room - put bed against different wall, painted 3 walls in a dark sage green and left one accent wall beige, added a beige suede roman shade ($14.99) and 3 canvas wall art prints ($29.99).  We also changed the carpet, it is a caramel color now.  The other stuff we already owned so I really didn't spend a lot in this room.  I love it, I think it is clean and cozy, ready for guests and we've already had several!

I have such nice friends.. here's one of my BM's painting over the yellow in our living room with a nice and neutral light brown/beige.  You can see our new blue master bedroom through the doorway.  I still need to add pics... coming soon...


Kitchen Updates!

We did some major changes in the kitchen... starting with getting rid of the original appliances and replacing them with new stainless steel ones (a wedding gift from mom and dad, they are the best!).   Even thought the kitchen was hideous and kindergarten classroom-esque when we bought it, it was one of the selling points of the house for us because it is very large!  Kind of hard to tell from the pics but there are tons of cabinets, a huge island, and a large breakfast area to the lefthand side not shown.

Before.. with the yellow walls, maroon countertops, and outdated appliances!

And AFTER - with our new appliances, our new granite countertops, and the tile backsplash I did myself!!  And I also painted the kitchen and kitchen area a brown shade although it's hard to see in these pics (but you can see the beginnings of it over the yellow on the lefthand pic)

Finished for now... one day I would LOVE to change the cabinet doors to something with a design and maybe some glass.

 This is our breakfast table that is in a nook to the left of the kitchen.  Next project will be to add 2" blinds and get rid of the cheap metal ones.  

The paint is a coffee color but it looks a little green in the pics.  We replaced an AWFUL light fixture with this hanging one from Lowe's that was only about $20.  I framed and matted the print of the wine bottles and I would like to add some more wine art as a find it.  Our table is from American Signature and I love it.. it is solid wood and was only $199.  We have had it for about 2 years, it fit perfectly in this area.  The two weird vase looking things are antiques that my 94 year old Grandma gave me as a housewarming gift.  I am not sure what to do with them quite yet so there they are...

Our Outdoor Dining Area... 

This is our patio, a work in progress.  Our grill has an awesome gator cover and we love to grill out.  On the right is our disco-pimp hot tub.  We call it this because it has a color changing light inside which is pretty pimp.  It came with the house (we cleaned it meticulously before we ever went in it, haha).  

Our patio dining set is from Lowe's and was $150 for the table and 4 chairs.  The umbrella and outdoor rug are from the Better Homes and Gardens collection at Wal Mart.  We have a very private backyard (no neighbors behind us) with tons of trees and vines, so it is very peaceful to eat out here.

Guest Bath Redo!!

Old bath --


Summer '09 ... we decided to totally redo the guest bathroom as it was very outdated, 90's style fixtures, and so many people see our guest bathroom.  We spent about $1100 total on this project .  Breakdown:

$199 for vanity/top combo, pre-assembled from Lowe's

$34 for new brushed nickel faucet

$51 for new 3-light brushed nickel fixture

$160 for new American Standard HE toilet

$100 in decor - Shelf from Target, bath accessories, basket, art print from Homegoods

$45 in new tile from Lowe's (appx. 40 sq feet)

$500 labor - licensed contractor removed tile, removed old fixtures and mirror, fixed drywall and texturized walls, laid new tile, and installed all the new things we bought 


Here is the bathroom with the old tile, after everything is torn out.  Grossss.

New vanity is put in and new tile, so pretty!

It's all finished!  Only took a few days (a few hours each day)