Thursday, September 30, 2010

More on staging a house

So my intentions were to blog every couple of days about house staging and it would motivate me to keep the house spotless. Well, since we sold the house on the third day, it really didn't stay picked up. Yesterday the appraiser came, so I had to get the house "put back together".

So before these just become old news and get added to the long list of "blogs that never happened", here ya go:
Living room:
Besides cleaning up , we moved the sofa from the left, in front of the large windows, to the other side and opened up the windows to make the room look larger. Got rid of the large ficus, and the over sized entertainment center. BTW, the living room looks like that because while we cleaned up the other rooms it became the dumping ground. So really, I do claim my house to be typically messy with three little boys running around, but this is not our "usual".

So here is the kitchen: We cleared every counter space, and by cleared, I mean EVERY object off except the knife block, an open cookbook and a wooden spoon. Jesse was skeptical when I told him I was going to spray paint the table black, but it really transformed it from unmatching and scratched up, to sleek, clean and modern. Setting up the table with smaller plates and undersized trio of candles tricks the eye into thinking the table is bigger than it really is. Greenery always makes a space feel clean and fresh.

Upstairs bath: just gave it a good cleaning and cleared off kid toothbrushes, soap, etc.

Downstairs bathhroom: Cleaned up and put out a citrus oil thing to give it a fresh, spa-feel.

Bedroom: Set up all of the pillows (filled the shams with cheapos bought at WalMart for $2.50 each) and did a quick vacuum and dust.

Spare room: (was previously the office that need to be defined as a "usable space" and the toy room became the office) We spent $100 on the bed set, and $20 on accessories. My favorite being the little outdoor frog found for $4 on clearance at Target. I put three vintage Saturday Evening Posts into frames (that I already had) to replace our family pics (to de-personalize).

And like I have said in previous posts, to give you a glimpse of my normal day: here is Carson climbing up on the toilet (notice how he is mad that he can't climb any higher), Christopher
in a superhero suit (Thanks Gma Linda & Gpa Jim!)

Colton giving Christopher a ride and Jesse giving the two big guys a ride!

I love my life and am blessed beyond measure to have these wonderful people in my life! Thank you, God for letting me be a part of their lives!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

2 Milestones from 2 kids

Milestone 1: Riding a bike

This has been a source of anxiety for the last couple summers as Colton would see younger and younger kids riding without training wheels. He really is doing great and today mastered turning and working on using his brakes to stop!

Milestone 2: Mastering Walking

Friday, September 17, 2010

SAHMs don't get sick days.

I have been running myself ragged this past week and eating fast food or low prep meals (that are less than nutritious!). As a result the past couple days I have been feeling pretty crummy, though that has not stopped me. Today I can't keep up this pace anymore. I woke up with a terrible sore throat and bad phlegm (attrative, I know). So along with the gift of snow, I am declaring a day off and hoping that no one calls to see the house tonight.

The only problem with being a SAHM and taking a day off, is that you really don't get "off". I enterained the kids with lovely cable and a basket of toys in the middle of the living rm. But still have to get off my duff and make lunch, do a load of clothes, change diapers, etc. When all I want to do is curl up with some Vicks and a good book, take a snooze and NOT go pick up children in this dreadful snow! (whine, whine, whine!) To make up for things (and since I have to cook anyway), I decided to make our favorite Olive Garden knock off, Chicken and Gnocchi Zuppe! Maybe I can even find a way to re-create the breadsticks!

Chicken Gnocchi Soup


1 Rotisserie chicken, chopped

4 cups chicken stock

2 cups half & half or milk

1 stalk celery, diced

1 garlic clove, chopped

1/2 carrot, shredded

1/2 onion, diced

1 cup fresh spinach, chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon thyme

salt and pepper

16 oz potato gnocchi

1 tablespoon cornstarch


1 Saute onions, celery, garlic, carrot in oil over medium heat until onion is translucent.

2 Add chicken, chicken stock, half and half, salt and pepper, thyme. Heat to boiling then add gnocchi. Gently boil for 4 minutes, then turn down to a simmer for 10 minutes.

3 Add spinach and cook for another 1-2 minutes until spinach is wilted.

4 Optional: (Heat to boiling and add cornstarch dissolved in 1-2 Tbsp water at this point if you want a thicker soup.)

5 Ladle into bowl and serve!

Pic from Recipe from
Add on: Here is the rec for OG's breadsticks right from their site! Enjoy!
1 Cup water
2 cup wheat flour
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp garlic powder
Combine ingredients and mix thoroughly. Roll into breadstick shapes and Bake at 450* for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with garlic salt and serve!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Start the staging

So getting ready to sell a house is one of my new happy things to do. Probably because it forces you to clear out the clutter and dig through clearance bins! I wanted to show you a quick before/after of what we did with the office to make it look roomy and stylish. First and foremost clear off everything and start with a blank slate. then choose an accent color (clearly I chose a lime green to balance the dark wood. After that, just place items in odd numbers to make it feel balanced. Look at the entire shelf as a whole and don't be afraid to put items off center. It will make it interesting to the eye, but not feel out of balance. Forgive the bottom three shelves since I had to adjust the items to be "Carson" friendly. Which only means that usually the plastic plate of fake apples is all over the floor and I took out the glass from the little lantern.

On the desk, we put Jesse's fancy chess board (to make people think that the people that live here must be really smart and if they buy the house they can be too- HA!), the little desk lamp, the green plant (which makes the area feel clean and organic), next to a few more antique books (using the principal of 3 items). Also we added another pop of green with the little rug that adds balance without being too distracting.

We spent probably about $150-200 on the accessories in this room to include the rug, plant, desk lamp, 2 green bins, fake apples, the limes box, candle, green lantern and (my fav) little pig with wings. Everything was found on clearance and most was under $8, except the pig which was my splurge at $15 and a new celing fan that was $60 at HD. Normally they say that you should "de-personalize" the space and get rid of all pictures of your family so that the potential buyers can see themselves in the space. I decided to keep the three pictures of the kids and the one of all three on the wall. Mostly because I didn't want to spend more to buy/make art for the walls and because my kids are cute! Ha!
And lastly it would not be my blog without a pic of Christopher as a super hero and Carson on top of something!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Just a quick update

Quick pic-blog to give you a glimpse of the craziness that is my life! :) Still blessed beyond my imagination and happy to be a part of these little lives! Enjoy!

Caught trying to climb onto the toilet for the umpteenth time! Only this time his plan didn't work out so well and he got stuck when the stool slid! (of course I grabbed my camera)
And this week we are Batman

I told you he was a climber!

All the way to the top! (Jesse was on standby incase any mishaps were to occur!)

And helping by painting the floor!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

All work and no play

I should be in bed right now. Since Friday I have been working like a crazy person to get this house ready to sell. I really am enjoying the staging part, but, UG, is it a lot of work!

I am excited to show you before and after pictures, though!

I have a new addiction. It is going online and browsing through the many, many houses in DC area. I had to actually stop saving houses on one site and start a new one that were homes that I would actually live in, and of course, cross reference it with the distance to the Metro and I only have 18 saved in this one, so hopefully when the time actually comes we know a little bit about the area and what to expect in our price range.

Any way I am so exhausted, going to bed! Just thought I would post real quick incase anyone is still reading this-- leave me a hello comment so I know that I am not just talking to air!
Later :)

Sunday, September 05, 2010

10 pics of randomness

Carson has mastered the ability to slide *anything* up
to things to achieve higher (unauthorized) items.
This time he chose a tray to reach remotes.
Me (looking lovely), Ms. S D, and Colton at the fair
imitating Jurassic Park with the animatronic dinosaurs.
Christopher truly was terrified by the giant robot dinosaurs. Just happy to be me.
Christopher sporting his "Wolverine hair" for the Downpour Festival
Colton and Evan (my nephew), rolling at Giant Springs Icecream cone massacre
Ran out of beds while cousins were visiting
*sigh* the sweet quietness of 4 little boys

Typically Carson will sneak to the bathroom and climb the toilet (to unroll toilet paper and other various mischeif). Well we had friends over 2 nights ago and somehow the lid was left up.
Carson was actually sitting inside the toilet, but had to grab my camera quick!
Thank you, God for not being head first and cleaning products!
He likes to climb... *sigh*