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texas

PERSONAL

Chairs and The Frugally Fabulous Move

11.16.2009

This blog post is brought to you by the FREE wifi at Panera Bread.

I’m excited to report that we are MOVED IN!

Of course, that simply means that we shoved everything into the house. It’s still kind of a disaster zone. But now we have furniture to sit on and a bed to sleep on. It makes such a huge difference though.

Saturday, or “pre-furniture” day, we waited for the cable guy to come. As is standard, the cable company gave us a window of time that the cable guy might show up. And of course, it was at the END of the window that he finally arrived. While we waited, we leaned on the counters, tried sitting on the tile floor, and laid down on the carpeted bedroom floor. Nothing compares to actual chairs or couches. Things that were meant to be sat on. Just saying, I’m THANKFUL for the invention of chairs.

Since our move wasn’t of epic proportion (i.e. cross country or hours away), it was 15 minutes down the same main drag, our move wasn’t terrible. I’d like to call it our “Frugally Fabulous” move. During the week I’d go over to the house with suitcases full of clothes, boxes with dishes, and a Glad trash bag full of shoes. Yes, we were stylin’ with the Glad bags. The neighbors probably thought I was leaving Cent or something, little did they know we were Moving OUT! I packed up boxes from my move to Texas that I had never unpacked. Sunday we rented the U-Haul and we should have listened to HGTV, and reserved the bigger truck. Make fewer trips. Thankfully, Cent’s friends from my flag football team came to do the heavy lifting, and I, you know, supervised.

So, we are moved in.

And we have places to sit.

Here’s my advice to moving in a Frugally Fabulous way:

  • If you can move gradually like we did, move over all the items (clothes, dishes, stereos) that don’t require a U-Haul.
  • If you’re frugally fabulous like us, resuse boxes, bubble wrap, and packing paper.
  • Bring over a stool or small chair. You’ll be happy you did.
  • Rent the bigger U-Haul. Less wedging of furniture. Fewer trips. Less headaches.
  • Enlist the help of friends. Thank them and feed them pizza.
  • Clean your new home prior to moving in. The Swiffer line of cleaning products rocks!
  • Check out Craigslist for people giving away moving boxes.
  • Bring a roll of toilet paper. You’ll thank yourself later. (Thanks Eileen for the tip!)

Happy Monday!

PERSONAL

The Moving Chronicles: The Offer

09.07.2009

While we spent most of today as a holiday should be spent  Рrelaxing and getting our FREE Chick-fil-A sandwich for wearing a team t-shirt, we also took one large step in the walk of life.

We put an offer on our first HOUSE!

Just last week I was talking about house hunting. And now we put in an offer. It’s exciting and nerve-wracking all at the same time. I feel like those couples on HGTV’s Property Virgins and My First Place. Anxiously awaiting an answer.

While it was nice to be able to go into our real estate agent’s office without the day to day hustle and bustle of office life. It’s also a holiday. A day off. People aren’t answering their phones as quickly as when it’s a “regular” work day. So our fingers are crossed. Toes too. In fact, I think if I could sit with my eyes crossed without the threat of them getting stuck (as my mom would say), I might try that too.

Home ownership is such an exciting thought. Like crossing the threshold into being a “real” adult. Personally, when I think of the word mortgage, I think of my parents. Because that’s what grownups are always talking about. I guess we’ll be included in that pool of people if all goes well! And a reason to buy a shiny new keychain.

And because everything’s better with cupcakes, look at what I made last week:

Happy Labor Day!

PHOTOGRAPHY

Dallas Family Session: Off the Grid | Dallas

09.01.2009

A couple of weeks ago I had the wonderful opportunity to get together with the local Dallas Pictage User Group and give back to the community. We photographed a fun mom and kids for their dad who is on active duty for the Army and currently deployed overseas. This family was so easy to work with and the kids were so stinkin’ cute, especially the little one. She was not camera shy at all.

The photoshoot was held at a really cool space right outside of downtown Dallas called Off the Grid. It’s a great venue which would be awesome for a wedding reception or any other large party or function. With three floors, amazing light, and interesting architecture, it was set up for success!

Off the Grid
1723 Kelly Ln, Dallas, TX 75215
http://www.partyoffthegrid.com

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How cute is she?!

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A little fashionista in training!

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I think this one is my favorite. She was a total ham and not scared of the camera by any means!

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We took a couple shots of mom for her hubby.

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I loved her shoes! So glad she brought some sassy heels to the shoot.

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Thanks to Kristin Greenlee for setting up the shoot. Thank you to this lovely family for your time and big smiles. I also met some new photographer friends at this meeting! Karyn Kelbaugh – she’s a Texas transplant – and Maggie McDonald – she just moved to Dallas recently too!

To get in touch with me, CLICK HERE.

PERSONAL

House Hunting

08.31.2009

I’m a big fan of HGTV. I really enjoy watching the decorating shows and lately, all of the house hunting programs. I remember when house flipping was the “in” thing and everyone and their brother was trying to get their piece of the real estate pie. And then the market when Kerplunk. Big time.

Well, good news for us, it’s a buyer’s market!

House hunting has been an interesting ride. We’ve seen a sampling of homes in this area and have learned about the big ticket items and little nuances to look out for. Visible foundation cracks. Where the water heater and furnace live. The closest schools and their performance. Where the attic is. If the house is a slab foundation or pier and beam. The surrounding areas. What the neighborhood is like at different times of the day. The list goes on and on.

After watching shows about staging and setting your home up for a showing and selling, I know how important staging is. In fact, I appreciate those who stage their home. To me, the potential home buyer, it says that the owners care about their home and would like for it to go to another owner who will care for it as well. Having seen some foreclosures and their state of disrepair, it really made me wonder what happened to the owners.

I’m really excited about two potential homes. Looking at homes is the fun part. All the paperwork that follows is not. It’s what makes homebuying so daunting and intimidating. However, that $8,000 tax credit sounds quite lovely and will make all the levels of bureaucracy worth it.

Helpful Home Buyer Websites:

Drama Free Real Estate Guide

First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit

Buying a Home (CNN)

US Department of Housing

Bankrate.com’s Real Estate Guide

PERSONAL

Grasshoppers and Crickets

08.24.2009

I’m by no means a nature girl. I’m not into camping unless you mean I get to sleep in a H-O-T-E-L or in one of these luxe tents. With INDOOR plumbing. Who knows, maybe someday when we have kids, my opinion will change, until then, I’ll enjoy modern comforts, thankyouverymuch.

Last week, we went to see an exclusive sneak peek of James Cameron’s new movie Avatar. He made it with the intention of it being in 3D. The animation and cinematography were very impressive. It looks interesting, if you are into the Sci-Fi side of cinema. From the few snippets we saw, I did want to know what was going to happen to the blue-skinned protagonist. You can watch the trailer here.

As we were headed back to the car, there were all these bugs on the ground. And some were JUMPING. To be a perfectly honest city girl from California, I had NO IDEA what they were. When more started jumping and seemed to be headed in my general direction, I bolted for the car. Even Cent was impressed by how quickly I moved. He said, “So that’s what needs to happen to make you move faster.” (He almost always finds himself waiting for me to catch up with him when we are walking…he has long legs, and he covers much more ground faster than I do!)

When we were sitting in the safety of the car, with all doors and windows shut, something jumped up and hit the windshield. I said, “What are THOSE THINGS?!”

“Crickets and grasshoppers,” Cent said, “You’ve never seen them before?”

Listen Internet, I have a confession to make. I’ve never seen a cricket, that I know of. I’ve HEARD them, in the distance, but as for seeing one up close and personal, that would be a no. I’ve also never seen a grasshopper. Apparently, I’ve been missing out on a lot of the insect portion of the animal kingdom. Like I told Cent, my experience with “exotic” bugs includes “It’s Tough to be a Bug” at Disney’s California Adventure and Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Call me sheltered. Call me naive. Call me what you will.

And apparently, I’ve been told by locals that grasshoppers and crickets are the least of my worries. There are things called waterbugs and other multiple-legged creatures…

Check out this luxurious tent, Arizona-based photographer Melissa Jill slept in while on safari during her recent trip to Tanzania! Now, that’s what I’m talking about!

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