Copenhagen, Denmark, one of the happiest countries in the world

The first Scandinavian country we visited was Sweden and I absolutely loved it. Copenhagen was no different. And yes, it is true, it is continually ranked as one of the happiest countries in the world. One of the main reasons why is because they practice hygge, which is basically about taking time away from the daily rush to be together with people you care about – or even by yourself – to relax and enjoy life’s quieter pleasures. They also work on average 37 hours per week…yes, please! On top of that they have amazing food, beautiful architecture, and they bike absolutely everywhere. There were more bicycles than cars (they still have a lot of cars though). The weather was perfect, in my opinion, hovering right around 50 degrees Fahrenheit the entire time we were there.

We stayed four nights in Copenhagen at the Manon Les Suites. I totally got sucked into this hotel by their Instagram worthy photos of their pool area and boy they did not disappoint. Look!

The hotel is known as an eco-hotel, whatever that means. But it was very chic with unique décor everywhere. I didn’t get any pictures of the gym but it was legit, with a full size boxing ring! The entrance to the hotel is shown below.

Our room was pretty cute, with a mid century modern vibe. The bed is behind the slate wall the tv is on. We also had a small balcony which we never used, sigh!

My favorite part of the trip was visiting Tivoli Gardens, the third oldest amusement park in the world. It opened in August 1843 and was said to be the inspiration for Disney World. Before we went, I wondered what all the fuss was about for an amusement park but it was amazing. They had it decorated for Halloween and there were photo ops galore. This was such a cute, quaint park. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Here’s a huge photo dump for you.

One of my other favorite parts of our trip to Copenhagen was our visit to Rosenborg Castle, originally built as a country summerhouse in 1606 by Christian IV. The reason we visited Rosenborg (because we had our choice of a few castles/palaces) was for the crown jewels and they were fancy! Here are our pictures of the exterior of the castle and surrounding gardens.

The interior of Rosenborg Castle was spectacular but my favorite part was the painting of Queen Anne Cathrine’s (wife of Christian IV) dog, with her monogram on its collar, dated 1598. The crown jewels and accompanying swords were amazing. I am obsessed with the serpent and apple sword below. Also, look at photo #7, now that is a real wood floor!

We visited the Round Tower which Christian IV built in the early 17th century at a time when Denmark was famous for its astronomical achievements. Architecturally it was beautiful. I mean, look at those stone floors and stucco curves.

No trip to Copenhagen would be complete without the obligatory visit to the Little Mermaid, a bronze sculpture depicting a mermaid becoming a human (based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale) and Nyhavn (the colorful houses are one of the most iconic spots in Copenhagen).

Finally, we ate really good in Copenhagen and went to some fabulous cocktail bars. We barely took any food photos because we quickly devoured everything we ate. My new favorite thing to do on vacation is to seek out cocktail bars. I have slowly been expanding my pallet but Rome wasn’t built in a day.

I didn’t have time to include everything from our trip. We also visited the Design Museum and Christiansborg Palace. We were able to squeeze in some shopping too. My favorite places were Flying Tiger (a cross between Ikea and Five Below), Illum’s Bolighus (a Scandinavian department store), Notre Dame (a home goods store with beautiful pottery, dishware, and accessories) and Søstrene Grene (a home decor and hobby store). I hope you enjoyed our trip to Copenhagen. Stay tuned because next up is Athens, Mykonos, and Santorini.

Curacao wow!

Just got back from an amazing trip to Curacao. When I would tell people where Adam and I were going I would get a blank stare, “it’s the country right next to Aruba.” “Ohhhhh,, nice.” And it reminds me of Aruba just not as commercialized…yet. If you have a couple hundred grand laying around and want to invest, I suggest you get in on this island before it turns into an Aruba. Curacao is out of the hurricane zone so any time of year is a good time to visit. It is a Dutch Caribbean island and all of the locals speak 4 languages; English, Spanish, Dutch, and Papiamento (local Creole). It is actually in South America, about 188 miles off the coast of Venezuela.

We stayed 5 nights at the Marriott Beach Resort. The resort was recently remodeled so it was beautiful and spotless. It is a little off the beaten path (so they can keep you there) but we escaped and toured Willemstad city, went to a couple beautiful beaches, swam with the sea turtles and went off shore fishing. Here’s the view from our room (below). I’m disappointed in the room because even though it is oceanfront, it is an obstructed view. We were at the far end of the resort right next to the property line so we had trees blocking half of our view. I know, first world problems.

The resort was a tropical paradise. They spend a lot of time caring for the property. Someone was always pruning a bush or cleaning the pool or pool deck. The resort had two pools, one adult only, so that was nice. The main entrance to the property is completely open air, definitely living the Caribbean lifestyle. The gym was amazing, not that it ever got very crowded. The private beach was beautiful with crystal, clear water. Here are some resort photos.

The highlight of the trip for me was swimming with the sea turtles and going to Playa Kenepa, such a beautiful beach. The sea turtles will come right up to you and they are so cute. I highly recommend to do this type of excursion if you ever get the chance.

This is Playa Kenepa Beach. The water was crystal clear.

Another fun beach we went to was Mambo Beach. This beach had restaurants, shopping, and brand new condos going in everywhere. The shops weren’t super touristy so I was about to get a couple nice souvenirs to bring home.

If you ask Adam, the highlight of his trip was probably the offshore fishing. I usually stay behind at the resort when he does the fishing trip but I agreed to go with him this time. Yeah, not my favorite thing to do, especially when we were headed back to the beach and began getting pelted but torrential rain that felt like cold needles being poked into every part of my body. But, other than that. The good news is he caught two Mahi. It was absolutely delicious. There is nothing better than fresh Mahi.

Apologies for my finger showing up in the picture, the boat was rocking and I had a very short window to take photo.

I do have to give a shout out to a couple local restaurants we ate at, MosaCana and Blklyn. MosaCana was a tapas style restaurant, with the most delicious homemade harissa dip and beef tataki. We could not stop talking about the beef tataki.

Blklyn was a Dutch gastropub. We had to try their local delicacy, funchi fries. It is basically boiled cornmeal that is shaped into blocks and then fried. It kind of tastes like polenta. The restaurant was pretty slow the night we were there because most of the island was at a festival called Kaya Kaya. It was sold-out or we would’ve checked it out.

Overall, we had a really good time in Curacao. Language wasn’t a barrier, it was similarly priced to DC, they take US dollars, and it felt very safe. I did like the Marriott Beach Resort. If you have status with Marriott they have a lounge with free beer, wine, liquor and snacks. That was a nice touch. So what are you waiting for, book your trip to Curacao. One word of caution, the flights to Curacao are not cheap. I watched for months but never saw them drop in price.

My, How Times Change

This has been the craziest timeframe in a loooooong time! Since the pandemic I have been living in Florida but a surprising change of events has me back in DC full-time. My manager was promoted to a Vice President and I was promoted to her job. I had to interview with the Postmaster General and CEO before I was offered the job. It was surreal but I am happy to report I am now Director, Industry Engagement & Outreach for the Postal Service. I am managing 17 people and an almost $10M budget. So crazy, right!!! Enough about work, it is all consuming right now.

By now, I thought I would be sharing our Florida “master” bathroom remodel with you but after a 2 month delay on our glass shower doors I finally canceled the order. Now the hunt begins on a new set of glass shower doors. I said all of that to say, our Florida remodel has come to a screeching halt. With me in DC, there is no “project manager” in Florida to keep Adam on task 😉 I am still shopping for the Florida house and have found a super cute comforter I want to buy. Usually, I am all about duvets but the Florida heat is no place for a duvet. At first, I wanted this comforter from Marimekko:

After more searching, I learned Justina Blakeney (one of my favorite designers) is about to debut a collection for Target so now I am eyeing this comforter:

Being back in the DC area, the shopping is sooooooo much better than Tallahassee, and because of that, I added another girl to the collection. I found her at my new favorite antique store in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of DC. This is Olivia:

Olivia is residing in my guest bedroom at my condo. I don’t think I have shared my guest bedroom with you so today is the perfect time.

Next year is a milestone life event for Adam and I; it is our 20th wedding anniversary. I wanted to do something really special, a once in a lifetime experience so I booked a luxury safari to Africa. We are going to Tanzania and Kenya. I cannot wait! I am beyond excited! This has been a bucket list item for a long time and I finally pulled the trigger. Flights are already booked and the custom safari is partially paid for 🙂 All that is left to do is buy the visas and get the shots (yellow fever and malaria). We are going to the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania and the Maasai Mara National Reserve, Giraffe Center, and Elephant Orphanage in Kenya. I know I have mentioned this in a prior post but I am eyeing a trip to Bali to round out our anniversary celebration. I’ll keep you posted.

Just a Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Medicine Go Down

I am really excited to share the final photos of our “master” bathroom with you but we are stuck right now with a shower glass door on back-order. I can’t share an unfinished product with you so the wait continues. When I do our big reveal I will give you a breakdown of the costs as well. I love looking at and reading about full remodels but what I don’t like is the budget and final expenditures are rarely ever shared. And there is a good reason why….when you see a gut bathroom remodel and the after photo features marble and luxurious upgrades please note that remodel cost somewhere between $15-$20K. Doesn’t sound so great anymore, huh? I honestly get more satisfaction out of trying to find the most cost effective way to do something with the biggest bang for the buck.

We did just buy these cute towels for the bathroom from World Market:

After the master bath remodel we were going to move onto the kitchen but now I think I want to detour and do the secondary bathroom. I have decided to live with the current tile around the bathtub and just focus on replacing the vanity, painting, adding removable wallpaper, and redoing the floors. This should be a fairly quick project (famous last words). Here is my inspiration board:

In my last post, I promised to share photos of our condo in the DC area. So, here you go. This is our living room and dining room.

I would say our condo is decorated in a transitional style in designer speak. Our house in Florida has a more mid-century modern vibe. I love experimenting with different styles but I always come back to transitional. You’ll notice my female portraits make a few appearances in the living and dining room. I have even more at our house in Florida. I just can’t quit the portraits. In fact, I bought another one. This is my first watercolor.

Hopefully, I’ll have a bathroom remodel to show you next time.

Glutton for punishment

We decided to tackle our bathroom remodel to get a quick “win”. I mean, nothing could take as long as tiling the whole house, right?! Oh silly rabbit. Here we are in another massively long remodel. Part of the problem is we lost a couple weekends here and there and right now I’m in Virginia so when the contractor is away my labor will play.

We have everything tiled and grouted and we just have the vanity and accessories to complete. But, Adam is building the vanity from scratch. So, that’s probably going to take a minute. I do have a tip if you are remodeling a bathroom and need a standard size vanity top. Both Floor & Decor and Home Depot sell quartz and marble tops for pretty reasonable prices. The undermount square sink is included and it is pre-drilled with 3 holes for your faucet. I think we are going to give that a try.

Here are some progression photos.

After we finished tiling, we grouted. You will not find any photos of the grouting process because it SUCKS!! Finished product below, minus the caulking we need to do. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. We went with black grout so the tile would just seamlessly blend. It’s kinda hard to tell from the photo but it looks really cool.

When we start a remodeling project we always find ourselves adding more to the list and this bathroom was no different. Since we went down to the studs we decided to put in a new window too. Good choice but not a good experience. The first window we bought had a crooked sash. Weird! So, we had to go with the more expensive option, figures….

The original window was frosted, ewww. It let in barely any light so we went with a traditional window with grids. It lets in sooooo much more light.

We also got the floor tiled and grouted. It kinda looks like penny tile but it’s actually a small hexagon pattern. I am so in love with hexagons. We have put them in 3 of our bathrooms we have remodeled. We put the black grout on the floor too. We either needed to do white or black grout. Anything else would have looked dirty. So, we went all in with black.

I’ve been back in Virginia the past couple weeks to take care of a few things at the condo. Man, I missed the cool weather, the shopping, and having literally everything at my fingertips. Also, the food! I couldn’t resist buying a few things on Marketplace either. So far I have bought a Hoover vacuum cleaner (my Shark sucked) and another female portrait (from France). I am on the prowl for anything and everything that will fit in a Honda Civic, lol. That severely limits me.

I’ll be back soon with a tour of my condo. There are a few rooms I haven’t shared with you before.

Slow and Steady is Not Winning this Race

I thought putting the kitchen remodel on hold and focusing on the bathroom would be a quick project. What in the world was I thinking? You would think I would’ve learned my lesson by now. So, in case you haven’t guessed, our bathroom remodel is taking the scenic route right now.

Here is our current situation:

We had to put leveler down since the floors were wonky. Then, we had to address this:

For some reason, unbeknownst to me, it was at one time a good idea to put texture on the wall that looks like acne, teenage acne. We talked about pulling out all of the drywall and starting over but that would add to the budget and put us behind our schedule we’re not even following right now. Another idea was to try and sand the walls down to the flat drywall.

Sanding the walls worked relatively well. We need to go back over the walls with a skim coat but I think that will solve the problem for very little $$. When you get into these remodels there are always things you add after the fact. This remodel is no different. Since we took the bathroom basically down to the studs I decided we needed a new window for the bathroom too. As you can see above, it is just outdated and won’t look good with our new bathroom. We purchased a new window with grids that will hopefully help modernize the space.

This is my favorite part of the remodel, we expanded the doorway into the bathroom to a standard 30 inch opening. A huge improvement over the 24 inches before.

I don’t know if you can truly see the difference expanding the doorway made. Here is the before picture (below). Can you imagine Adam trying to squeeze through that doorway?

Sometimes it is the little changes that make the biggest difference. The enlarged doorway is a game-changer!! If you follow my blog posts (thank you) I shared my inspiration/mood board for the bathroom remodel on my last post. Well, I threw that out the window. Once we had to replace and move some plumbing (that’s expensive ya’ll) that wasn’t in the budget so I had to reset my tile expectations. For whatever reason the green tile I want to use just isn’t meant to be so I have switched to a dark blue (below). Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. We will not be doing herringbone in this bathroom. We are going to use a dark grout and lay the tile in a vertical stack for a little bit of a modern look.

I also changed my mind on the floor tile. I decided to go a more classic, serene route. I just can’t get away from a hexagon pattern, I love it! I don’t want to do a super dark grout. I want something more on the light gray spectrum so we’ll have to play with a couple options to get it just right. The grout color below is too dark.

I would love to say we’ll have tile going up this weekend but I still don’t think we are there yet 😦 That’s our bathroom update.

I’m still furnishing our Tallahassee house and just purchased a rug (below) during a President’s Day sale. I swear, I can look at rugs for hours on end and still be no closer to making a decision. I’m shocked I took the bait on this one. I really hope it looks like the photos in person. I just love the retro pattern.

One final thing…I’m so excited I just booked a trip to Palm Springs, California. This has been on my bucket list forever! I cannot wait to get my mid century modern madness on. Separately, I also booked a trip to Jackson, Wyoming so we could do the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone but I highly advise you not to drink wine while you are booking your trip and recovering from COVID. I guess I wasn’t paying attention to the dates I booked and ended up with a 10 day tour. That’s great and all but that wasn’t in the plan. So, missed that deal and will wait to see if it pops again in the near future.

The Joy of COVID

Adam and I both got the coronavirus. He got it first and it put him fully out of commission for about a week. He still had symptoms the second week but was at least able to maintain some semblance of a normal life. He said he feels completely recovered now. From first sign of symptoms to full recovery took 11 days. I am on my second week of COVID now. For the most part, my symptoms have been mild. It kind of feels like bad allergies or a mild cold. The worst part for me has been losing my sense of taste and smell and not being able to leave the house. I am hoping to be fully recovered by this coming weekend.

While we have been confined to the house, we decided to demo our master bathroom. We are putting the kitchen remodel on hold while we figure out exactly how to proceed. We have a better idea of what to do in the master bathroom.

This is my inspiration:

Our master (you really can’t even call it that) bathroom is pretty small. There was no way to expand the bathroom without bumping the wall out into the backyard and considering we are trying to do this remodel on a shoestring budget we’re just going to have to live with the small footprint. We only have space to add a 30 inch vanity so no double sinks for us. Here are some before pictures.

Our plan is to make it feel as luxurious as possible in the small space. We will remove the tub/shower combo and replace with a walk-in shower. We’ll take the tile all the way to the ceiling to add height to the room and add a glass door. Adam is going to build a midcentury modern inspired vanity and we’ll top it with a quartz countertop. The floor tile will be replaced with something more modern. And, we’ll replace the hobbit toilet with a comfort height, elongated basin Kohler model. The only structural thing we plan to do is expand the doorway. The doorway into the bathroom is so tight, only 24 inches. We’re going to expand the doorway to 30 inches which should make a huge difference. Isn’t this doorway so skinny??

We started the demo on the bathroom. You never know what you are going to get when you start opening up walls. Taking the tiles off of the shower walls made such a mess. It looked like a bomb went off in war torn Syria. There was debris absolutely everywhere. I had to mop the entire house and wipe every surface down and we’re still not done. We ran out of space in the trash so we’ll finish later this week.

Here’s my mood board for the bathroom.

I’ll be back soon with more updates.

The Beat Goes On

Very exciting news…our floors are done! Now on to the kitchen, ooft!

Here are the floors without baseboards and doors nowhere to be found.

Wow, who knew baseboards were so transformative?! We hung the doors back up but not a big fan because they are hollow core but not worth the return to replace them. Sometimes you gotta let things ride when doing a remodel.

We were so over doing the herringbone pattern throughout the house that we laid an off-set patterned floor (kinda like subway tile) in the guest bedrooms.

In between all of the floor work we took a couple shopping trips to Atlanta, Birmingham, and Dothan, Alabama. Dothan, Alabama, you say????? Yes!!! What a hidden gem!

In Atlanta we bought a dining room table from a West Elm outlet and another portrait painting (one of my favorites). The dining room table (below) is pretty basic and more on the industrial side in terms of style but I like the simplicity of it. The room is still a work in progress and I’m currently looking for a rug to break-up all of the wood tones. I had my eye on the dining room chairs for quite some time and pulled the plug when they went on sale for 40% off. I combined that with a 15% curbside pickup discount, and a $10 off monthly reward. That is the holy grail for a bargain shopper. I could not contain my excitement!

While in Atlanta, I think I found my favorite store EVER, Kudzu. It’s a combination of antiques/vintage finds/and new items that have a vintage flair. I bought another portrait there, Denise. Denise was in rough shape when we bought her but after watching a few episodes of Repair Shop on Netflix Adam decided he could fix her up. Apparently saliva is the best way to remove dirt and dust from a painting. Also, Denise was sliding down the canvas because of how it was attached to the frame. Adam took everything apart and rebuilt the frame and now Denise is as good as new.

After Atlanta, we went to Dothan, Alabama and picked up a credenza and bar cart. We made a subsequent trip back to Dothan and I picked up the postal scale you see sitting on the credenza. I gotta represent the United States Postal Service!

Here is the bar cart (below) prior to any accessorizing. This also gives you a good look at our dining room pre-remodel and a little cameo of me taking the photo (so serious), and Adam holding up a mirror as I try to decide how to decorate the room.

Here is the final product of our bar cart (below). Ok, I have to brag about this…see the brass birds in the circle section of the bar cart below? That is not part of the bar cart, I had that decorative object and thought it would give the bar cart a mid-century look. I absolutely love how it turned out. I bought the white parrot at a Goodwill for $2. Also, you’ll notice a tiny part of my drink stirrer collection. On the bottom shelf of the bar cart is a set of mid century glasses we bought in Birmingham and an ice bucket, ceramic deer, and swan serving tray I bought at an antique store in Dothan, Alabama…crazy! Oh, and I paid $90 for the bar cart I found on Facebook Marketplace.

And, I bought another portrait in Dothan, Alabama!!!!!! I think I will name her Miss Hannigan because she looks so serious and strict.

So, I absolutely love lighting/light fixtures. It is my favorite decorating accessory. In fact, every time we move I insist on taking some of my lights with me and now I have too much. But can you really ever have too much??

A dear friend of mine, Linda, sent me a photo of this light fixture someone brought into her church thrift store. She wanted to know what I would price it at. It was a real one-of-a-kind. I told her if she couldn’t sell it, I would buy it. Long story short, it made it’s way from South Florida to Orlando to Tallahassee, Florida where it proudly hangs in my dining room now. I mean, what a show stopper, right?

I need to take a moment and brag on Adam. When we first got married, let’s just say he was kinda handy but more like a bull in a china shop. As the years have gone by, he has turned into a jack-of-all-trades extraordinaire. During our move from Virginia to Florida we had to store our stuff in a Pod for about a month. Our tv stand got damaged because our stuff wasn’t being stored in a controlled climate and quite frankly, the tv stand wasn’t high quality. I think it was particle board covered in laminate (but it looked pretty). I think I paid $40 for it from someone on Facebook Marketplace. I was going to sell the stand for parts but Adam decided he could fix it.

Here is a before picture (below) of the tv stand prior to it getting damaged. After the move the entire back of the stand was warped and the alignment on the drawers got off track and looked crooked:


Adam turned my tv stand into a nightstand! Pretty impressive.

We still have a kitchen to remodel and two bathrooms, and we still have to decorate the space. We decided to turn one of the guest bedrooms into a second living room so Adam and I can watch our shows separate of each other and in peace but you know what that means, more furniture to buy. Darn! 😉

Holiday Vortex

Hello again…I feel like I have been stuck in a holiday vortex the past 2 months and my regular life has gone by the wayside. That floor remodel I was talking about in my last post is still dragging on (awesome). We have made some progress but I would definitely expect more if I was you. We finished the gargantuan living and dining area, knocked out the hallway and have almost finished the master bedroom. Then, that leaves 2 bedrooms and we are done (with that project).

Before I get into our floor update I can finally share our finished master bathroom from our condo in Alexandria. I am so happy with how it turned out. The hold up was really minor. I was waiting on new drawer pulls because I didn’t like the first set I bought (a regular occurrence Adam is used to by now). Here are the before and after shots but let me level-set first. The before pictures don’t look that bad but trust me the camera is hiding a multitude of sins. Tiles were falling off the shower stall walls and the walk-in shower could hardly be classified as that. I don’t think Adam could’ve even fit. Personally, I am not a bath person so the garden tub had to go. This is an interesting topic – I didn’t realize how many people dislike baths like I do. I am a shower girl all the way! Finally, the vanity – ugh! It was cheap and not functional. We were going to sell it once we pulled it out but it fell completely apart (if that gives you an idea of the condition it was in). Oh, and finally, finally, all of the material was builder basic which is not okay for someone like me. I need style, pizzazz, and good design.


This was another hold up on the remodel – the mirrors. I couldn’t figure out what shape I wanted at the price point I needed. Side note, I love nice things but if I can’t get them for a discount or a deal then I’m not buying it. I must’ve looked for weeks before finally deciding on a scalloped edge. I think they fit the space nicely.

Toilet closet
View walking into bathroom

At the beginning of my post I mentioned that I decided to change out the drawer pulls on the vanity. The original pulls had an oil rubbed bronze look which I wasn’t going for. It just felt a little too traditional and I wanted something more modern. I decided to change them out for a lighter, brighter lucite and I could not be happier I made the change.

Vanity with oil rubbed bronze pulls
Vanity with lucite pulls

Here’s an update on our guest bath remodel at the condo (because who doesn’t want to have 5 remodeling projects going on at a time). We have had nothing but issues trying to get our bathroom vanity. First, it started with the purchase. We bought the vanity only to find out they didn’t have it in stock and I didn’t like any of the other options. They told us it would be 4 weeks before they received another shipment. Four weeks turned into 8 weeks. Then, when we went to pick it up the holes weren’t drilled properly for the sink and then we had an issue with the backsplash. What a colossal nightmare! And now our sink drain is lost somewhere in the mail/shipping stream. All of that to say, our bathroom is still not finished but we are getting ever so closer.

After – different angle

Lucky for you, you get a long blog post today. Now we’ll move to our Tallahassee house for an update. As I mentioned, we are entrenched on our floor remodel but we have made progress since the last report. The floors are turning out beautifully but I’ll let you in on a little, dirty secret. The tile flooring is so painful on my feet. I cannot walk barefoot in the house for fear of massive foot pain (how old am I again?). We have never had an all tile house before so I was not aware we would run into this problem. I now have extra thick house slippers (thanks mom) to cushion the blow. Now that that is out of the way on to the photos.

Grouting in progress in dining room area
Finished floors in living room
finished floors in dining room
Before – hallway
After – hallway
Before – master bedroom
Current state – master bedroom

Now I want to switch gears and go into some financials on the Tallahassee house. When you are doing a remodel you have to keep a close eye on costs (duh!) and you need to pay attention to making purchases that will give you the biggest return. For example, stainless steel appliances will increase the value more than white appliances (in most instances). New appliances can get very expensive and eat into your renovation budget. So I always try to buy appliances used which we have done for the Tallahassee house. Nobody will ever know the difference. Here are the before and afters on the appliances and costs associated with each.

This was the refrigerator that came with the house. Works fine but not aesthetically pleasing. We sold it for $175 on Facebook Marketplace.
We replaced the “bisque” refrigerator with this french door Samsung for $500 (bought on Facebook Marketplace). Minus the $175 we got for the original fridge, reduced our cost to $325. Um, this fridge is $2000+ new.
Our “vintage” wall oven. This thing works great but the baking shelves are tiny and can’t hold a standard cookie sheet. We will be parting with this soon.
Originally, I wanted a slide in range but finding those at a great price is difficult so we bought this convection oven for $300 on Craigslist. It was filthy but we cleaned it up and it will look great in our kitchen. Quite the improvement over the easy bake oven.
Original white dishwasher.
We bought this dishwasher for $100 on Facebook Marketplace. Quite the improvement over the white one.

If you were doing the math, we paid $900 for our appliances and sold our existing refrigerator for $175 (and we will probably make money on the oven and dishwasher when we sell them) totaling a $725 investment for 3 stainless steel appliances. That is how you make your remodeling money work for you!

I am always on the lookout for deals and steals to decorate our house and I have found a few things in Tallahassee even though the pickings are slim. I should’ve mentioned above the refrigerator came from Jacksonville, Florida, the stove from Alexandria, Virginia, and the dishwasher we got in Monticello, a town outside Tallahassee. This is my latest find. It’s such a cute side table!

I hope you enjoyed all of our remodeling updates. We have a new bed arriving tomorrow for the master bedroom so hopefully I can share an update on that finished room soon. I will be making a buying trip at the end of this year to Atlanta and Birmingham to see if I can find more items for our house. Surprisingly, there are many items we still need to furnish the house. Home ownership, the gift that keeps on giving.

Well hello darling!

I have been on quite a hiatus. Sorry, I blame it on al-al-al-al-cohol. Just kidding, I blame it on buying a fixer-upper that required an immediate fix as soon as we moved in. The house we just purchased in Florida (The Oriole – all of my houses have to have names, after all they are my babies) had wall-to-wall carpet. In addition to that they had a dog who used the carpet as his personal toilet. That required immediate action – operation remove carpet. Look at that living room (below), it is swimming in carpet, yuck. I won’t even describe the smell of removing the carpet. I’ll keep that little nugget to myself.

There was carpet at the front door so as soon as you entered the house, you were on carpet. That’s crazy! On top of that we had a ton of rain the past couple weeks which exposed water seeping into the house through the back door threshold. So every time it rained that carpet would get soaked with water; that is so gross.

Once the carpet was gone it felt like we lived in a warehouse.

I’m not sure what this looks like to you but it is extremely stressful. How can anyone comfortably live in this scenario?! The only way to remedy was to get to work ASAP. We created a plan – wood look tile floors ASAP, in a herringbone pattern. LOLOLOLOLOL…the remodeling gods were laughing at us. Why didn’t someone stop us from making this insane decision??!! 2 weeks into this project and we have gone through 5 1/2 bags of mortar, 1 1/2 bags of grout, god knows how many cases of tile, and only half of the room is complete. We are officially stuck in remodeling HELL!!!!! People, this is a public service announcement…DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME UNLESS YOU ARE A PROFESSIONAL. I am hating life right now!!!!! Did I mention we are only halfway done with one room???? Here are our time lapse photos.

Notice I started the time lapse photos and then said, “screw it. This sucks. Here is our halfway point.” Ok, half of the room is tiled. By Thanksgiving, maybe the whole room will be tiled (tears are streaming down my face). Ok, snap out of it; get it together gurl, positive thoughts….we’ll be back at it trying to get the rest of the room tiled. Wish me luck!

This house is the largest house we have ever owned at 1659 sq ft. I get it; this house is certainly not big by many peoples standards but we have always loved old, historic homes (which are traditionally small). I say all of this to say I am woefully understocked on furniture. I need to purchase a new dining room set, 2 living room chairs, and a king size headboard/bed. In the meantime I purchased this cute little gem of a chair.

OMG, this little puppy is so comfortable! I am totally loving the 70s vibe it’s giving me. Another purchase I recently made is this wall art (yeah, that isn’t paint, its yarn). Ok, honestly, are you throwing up in your mouth?? I am totally loving the vintage feel of this!

In a couple weeks we are going to take the truck to Atlanta for a shopping spree. I am so deprived here in Tallahassee, FL. I am so spoiled by my options in the DC area for furniture/accessories etc.!

On a final side note, I have only taken 32 hours of leave this year. People, it is October and I have only taken off 4 days this entire year, WTF! I need a vacation sooooo bad. I literally have 590 hours of annual leave on the books and I can roll all of it over to next year. We’re talking about going back to New Orleans but touring some of the mansions outside the city or going to Birmingham, Alabama. This is certainly a departure from France, Belize, and Argentina, LOL. Times have certainly changed….