Archive for July, 2009

Home Improvement: You’ll Be Floored

I’ve been in love with wood floors for as long as I can remember.  I just like the look and the feel of them.  Well, when we moved into our house, the carpet was in okay condition.  It was 13 years old, and was starting to show considerable amounts of wear, and as often as I vacuumed it, it still looked flat and lifeless. 

Enter two dogs that come in from the South Carolinian red clay.  Add wet dogs bringing in red clay.  Envision frantic owner trying to wipe off paws and clean carpet.  Next envision two shedding dogs and how carpet likes to cling to hair, no matter how many times you vacuum.  I know these are all reasons many people don’t get dogs, or make them stay outside.  Ours typically stay outside unless Peyton finds a new way to get out of the yard and goes on “probation”.  Needless to say though, the hair and the dirt were just getting disgusting – I let things get a little unorganized in my house, but dirty is just not allowed. So we decided to put in new flooring, not just for my pleasure of having solid flooring…but because it was a matter of function.

Matt and I shopped around for a while, looking for the best deal, which there are many to be had in this economy.  We eventually went through a wholesaler (our life insurance guy had a membership with one so we got a killer discount!).  After much research we went with a laminate.  Not hardwood? Nope.  We live in a very odd neighborhood, old and “newer” homes in between one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Greenville, and the not so great part of town – so we new that investing $5K+ on hardwoods in our neighborhood could be a huge risk in that we might only get little back on the investment.  We also learned that with two medium sized dogs (both in the mid to upper 30’s in weight) laminate might be a better option to have less maintenance in the future as dog nails tend to dig into most hardwoods- at least those even remotely close to our budget!).

We realize our decision won’t bring as much value as hardwoods would to the home, but it was definitely the best decision, especially considering we intend to be in this house for the next 5-7 years.

So here’s a peak at the floor!  But this is all you get for now.  I’m planning a post on “how to install click and lock laminates”.  Let’s just say we still made some major OOPs! We hope you can learn from our mistakes!

Close Up of the laminate

Close Up of the laminate


Marriage 101: Burn Baby Burn…Keeping the Romance Alive

So Matt and I have been married for just a little over a year.  Yes, we are a newlywed couple in the truest of forms (few fights still have the heads in the clouds….).  We’re both fairly laid back people, so arguments are rare, and ironically are typically caused by our laid back-ness, and typically consist of, “What do you want to do?”….”I don’t know, what do you want to do?” if it’s not what to do it’s what to eat etc…. but these are never bad arguments.  But being a year into our marriage, we’ve realized the whole fascination and excitement of dating kind of dwindles just a little as you get caught up in your daily routine, see each other’s lovely spit in the sink every morning, catch a whiff at the wrong time, or even wake up to the lovely spouse drooling in their sleep – yeah the whole newness thing can easily wear away if not properly tended to. 

When we got married back in April 2008, my sister gave me a very special, but relatively simple gift, two glass jars with several pieces of paper in each, and a note attached. The note instructed both Matt and I to write the things we would like the other to do for us randomly.  And then once a week we would each draw from the other’s jar one piece of paper.  Whatever the paper says, we would do as a surprise for the other randomly that week.  My sister said it had been great in her marriage – and had helped her and her husband discover new things about each other and keep the excitement alive.

I wasn’t sure how easy it would be to one, get Matt to do it, and two maintain it over a period of time – so we actually didn’t start doing the whole jar thing until about a month ago.  I am glad to report, however, that it has thus far been a great success.  Matt loves it, and I’ve even gotten a few friends to try it, who also love it!  Most surprising to me, were the things Matt wrote on there that I didn’t realize were so important to him!  The biggest surprise, he loves to play tennis!  I didn’t know how important it was to him until now.

So whether you are dating, newly married, or an “old married” couple, the simple little jars are an amazing gift to your marriage.  It has definitely added some new excitement to our marriage and is a great way to remind yourself that marriage is not about you or I, it’s about “we” and feeding the others need before your own! 

So this is one way Matt and I have learned to take care of each other and keep our relationship special, what do you all do to take care of your relationships?


So, I’ve been toying with the idea of starting a blog for months now.  My family continually asks for updates on the house, pictures of our latest projects, etc.  We definitely are busy, but facebook just doesn’t cut it for the amount of detail people are looking for!  So here’s a blog about all the things my hubby and I are up to, whether a home reno project, a refurbished piece of furniture, my latest garage sale find, a new recipe, or a new craft project…maybe even some of my graphic design projects as I work them out.  In any case, my goal is to post at least once a day if not more and hopefully spare you all from just daily updates about what I had for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but truly insightful glances into the big picture of our life!  Hope you enjoy reading as much as I do writing!

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