Monday, June 13, 2011

Remember Me?

Hi, blogging friends!  It has been so long since I've updated my blog or commented on many of yours for that matter.  I feel like I've just gone non-stop these last few months.  I'm on vacation this week, so since it's storming and we're stuck inside I thought there was no better time to get caught up and to catch you up :)

What's new?  Well, some furniture.  We got family room and morning room furniture.  Sticking with our theme of "custom made" - you know the brand new house and all, of course we ended up getting special order furniture!  We got a sectional, chair, and ottoman for the family room.  We've gone back and forth for months on whether or not to get a sectional.  We were worried that if we got a sectional we wouldn't have enough freedom to rearrange the room.  But after thinking about it, we don't really have the option of doing that any way.  Our TV needs to stay where it is, so we thought we'd just go for it and get the sectional.  There's no picture, but I'll be sure to post one in 6 weeks when it comes in.

We were able to agree on morning room furniture more easily.  Here's what we got:  A table, six chairs, 3 stools for the breakfast bar, 2 for the island, and a server for our blank wall in the morning room.

I'm really happy with it.  It is supposed to come in around the first week of August. 

So, we're slowly making progress.  They finally got moving on the outside of the house.  Grass was planted a few weeks ago.  It's doing great in some spots, but not so great in others.  We've been going back and forth with our PM.  The top soil they used was really bad.  We have some big spots with piles of sand - no soil at all.  The back yard is barely coming in.  Overall, I'm not impressed with the job Ryan did with our yard.  Hopefully, I'll be happy in the end.  They finally did the rest of the outside painting, but that also needs some fixing.

On a positive note, our neighbors are fantastic!  We've become good friends with them and we're loving the neighborhood.

Thanks for still reading!  I'm off to get caught up on what's going on with you.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Common Bond

Hi everyone!  It's been fun catching up on the blogs.  Everyone's houses are coming along great!  I don't have much to report.  Since we actually had a few days without rain (hard to believe in Pittsburgh!) I've had the chance to hang out with neighbors a bit more.  Several of us got together last night and it was great!  Just what I've been hoping for.  I am so happy with our neighborhood.  Everyone is so nice, friendly, and welcoming. Our common bond?  We are all getting really annoyed with the lack of work to the outside of our houses.  Our yards haven't been graded.  Grass hasn't been planted.  Our driveways aren't finished.  There's still painting to be done.  Ugh...  The grass is the worst though.  Our dog now refuses to use the hay we put out to do his business.  He's sick of not having a yard, too!  I just really want our house to be complete.  I'm am so envious of all of you that already have grass.  Enjoy it for me!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My Fault

WARNING TO THE MEN READING THIS - This post contains information that may make you uncomfortable.  This is a ladies issue...

So I told you about the water in our basement because of the backed up drain.  I, of course, was convinced this was faulty construction on Ryan's part.  Well, it turns out I'm to blame.  It seems that my "flushable" ladies products were the culprit.  REALLY?!?!?!  I've never had this issue in any of my residences in over 15 years, but this house that has been standing for two months?  Clogged.  Nice.  I'm still not convinced it was totally my fault - I mean every woman I've asked is a flusher.  My husband and I went round and round about this - me telling him he was totally ridiculous, him finding articles on the internet trying to convince me.  Well, all it took was a little camera and viola....the argument was won by my husband. In addition, the plumber noted that two lids that are on the lines outside were switched when the landscapers were working.  He said this may have contributed to the problem because of a lack of pressure, or a vacuum malfunction thingy.  I'm not totally clear on it, but if takes a tiny bit of the blame off of me, then I'll take it.  We spent the entire night last night sanitizing the basement.  Oh, what fun.  That was the first time that I spent any time in the basement, so that's a positive.

The other good news?  Our PM responded promptly.  When it was pushed off to Ryan Service, they responded promptly.  That was a good feeling.  We also discovered how uneven the floors in our basement are.  Nice big puddles in one location with no way to the drain, and other parts completely clear.  Something to bring up at our 10 month.  The water never reached the sump pump, so it wasn't activated.  I'm so glad we didn't have the basement finished.  It wouldn't have been pretty.

So use my story as a warning to my fellow flushers :)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Backed Up

Hi everyone!  I am so out of the loop and have lots of catching up to do.  I haven't been able to read your blogs very much these last couple of weeks :(  First, congrats to 2011!  I haven't read her blog recently but I know she closed last week.  And congrats to the rest of you on your progress.  I'm hoping to have some time this week to read what's been going on with everyone.

So...we have another issue.  When I went down to the basement this morning, I was greeted by a nice big pool of water.  At first we couldn't figure out what was going on - it was too much water to have seeped in from outside.  Then we thought maybe something was leaking.  We just used the water in the garage for the first time yesterday and thought maybe that was the culprit.  But, it seems like it is our drain.  All backed up.  Yuck.  We have a call into our PM so we'll see what happens tomorrow.  Apparently, the same thing happened to our next door neighbor TWICE!  Ugh... Other than that, they've started our landscaping.  No grass yet, but we do have some pretty cheap mulch and some little bushes.  I think we'll probably spruce that up a bit.

Speaking of being backed up...I feel like I am behind in just about every aspect of my life.  Work,  friendships, cleaning, working on the house even getting thank you cards mailed out!  I feel like I'm drowning.   There's not enough hours in the day.  I'm just very overwhelmed right now.  But how?  I don't have kids.  How am I going to do it when I do? My hat goes off to you working moms.  I have no clue how you do it.  Happy Mother's Day.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

25% off at Macy's

I know Macy's isn't the cheapest store, but they do have some decent home stuff.  Below is a friends and family coupon code for 25% off and it doesn't carry as many exclusions as Macy's coupons typically do.  I went into Macy's tonight and was VERY tempted to get some things for the house, but all I walked out with was a bridal shower gift.  My husband would be proud.

Code for  MACYSFF

Friday, April 22, 2011

A Couple New Additions

I'm so thankful I have a day off today.  There is just way to much to do.  I'm in charge of a big Family Literacy event at school in two weeks, so that will pretty much consume my life for the next 14 days.  So, I'm thinking we'll do pretty much nothing to the house. 
Last weekend my husband installed the new faucet for the powder room.  Nothing fancy. but definitely a step up from what we had...



Thanks to Thrifty Amy's info about the Pier 1 credit card and the points you accumulate, I decided to go ahead and get the bench I've been wanting for the mudroom.  It's the perfect size.  My husband likes that we didn't have to mount anything on the wall, but he thinks it looks like it should belong in grandma's house.  I disagree and am very happy with it.  I have other ideas for this room, all I have to do is put them into action.  It's pretty sad that my mudroom will likely be the first finished room in my house.

The driveway is almost complete and the sidewalk looks great.  They still have some painting to do around the windows and the pillar on the front stoop.  I cannot wait until we get grass!

There were workers here yesterday and they'll be back today to finish some items from the 30 day inspection.  New kitchen counters are installed, electrical issues are resolved, a couple cabinet problems are fixed.  All that's left is fixing the uneven floors in the kitchen and morning room.  That should be interesting.

Oh, I almost forgot.  We had heavy winds the other night and our shingles were flapping in the wind and we even lost a few.  Our PM said it's because they were put on in the winter and the sun hasn't had time to really "melt" (for lack of a better word) them on yet. 

This picture doesn't do it justice.  They were flapping like crazy!

The good news is that they were up on a ladder the next day fixing them.  So far we've been really happy with our repairs but I wonder how long it will take once there's not contractors in the plan every day - which won't be too long.  There's only 4 lots left!

Have a great weekend everyone.  I'm hosting my first holiday on Sunday :)

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Now I understand why bloggers post less and less after they move into their new house.  I have been so busy.  In fact after having a little meltdown last weekend about not having enough time to do all the things I need to do I made a new rule for myself - no blogs or facebook until right before I go to bed.  On one hand this has been good because I've been able to accomplish a lot more - school work, house work, exercising, etc...  but on the other hand I'm way behind on these blogs I love so much.  I have so much catching up to do.  While I'm usually able to read most posts, I don't always get to comment.  I know that I won't stay awake long so I want to make sure I at least read everything.  Plus, there are so many blogs now it takes a lot longer to get through.  But I feel like I'm really out of the loop, so I may need to adjust my new rule.

The sidewalk is finished and looks great.  They graded the driveway and lawn today.  The driveway should be in next week.  I am beyond excited about this.  It will be such a relief to have it in.  I'll post pictures once the driveway is in.

Blinds.  Nothing too exciting, so I won't bore you with countless pictures.  Just an idea of how they look in the morning room, dining room and a bedroom.

This is the oddball window in the big bedroom.  It's growing on me.  When it's actually time to decorate this room, we'll see how much I like it.

I finally found candlesticks I like for the fireplace.  I bought them last week at Pier 1, but thanks to Thrifty Amy, I bought another set and returned them and saved $10 bucks.  Thanks for the tip, Amy!

My husband and I have a running joke.  Until we get more to dress up the mantel (including a mirror) I just have flowers and a wedding picture.  My husband thinks the dog should be front and center so whenever he can he switches the wedding picture and the picture of the dog.  I told him the dog picture might soon disappear completely :)

We got a new towel bar, toilet paper holder, toilet handle, and faucet for the powder room to replace the horrid faucet we have.  My husband has all installed but the faucet.  That's this weekend's project.

We're at a standstill for furniture.  After measuring we realized that the furniture we wanted for the family room is too big for the space we have, so we're back to the drawing board.  We looked again at Sheely's last night but there wasn't anything I loved.  So we'll hopefully look at a few other places this weekend.  I know I'm being picky, but if I don't love something I don't want to buy it.

The trip wasn't a total waste though, we've got some ideas for the morning room.  We found a line, Canadel, where you can customize your pieces from the type of table, to the type of legs, to the type of chair, seat color, body color etc...  I like things to match and this would allow us to get bar stools for the breakfast bar and island that match the morning room table chairs.  Plus there's a lot of options for a buffet.  It's perfect....for the person who can easily make decisions.  But for me, it's pretty much torture.  I'd love to do something light and bright maybe antique white, but my husband isn't up for that.  We looked at doing all cherry and still may, but we're afraid it will be too dark next to the cherry wood in the kitchen.  After playing around on the website last night, here's what I'm thinking.  This way we bring in the cherry and also keep it light.

Morning Room Chair

We're debating between  a round, oval or rectangle table.

Breakfast bar bar stools.

Kitchen island bar stool.
 I don't know.  I think I need to think about it for a few days.  If you're interested in the line just go to

Since the weather has been so nice this week, I've had the chance to meet some more neighbors.  So far everyone seems great.  I'm trying really hard to remember names, but I haven't been totally successful :(  I'm so happy to be living here!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Catching Up

Wow!  I've missed a lot.  I've been busy with work and I haven't been keeping up with the blogs this week like I usually do.  This is sad to admit since it's a Friday night and all, but I've spent the last few hours catching up on the blogs and added 5 new ones that I've had to read from beginning to end.  And India was saying just last week that people weren't posting as much :)  Looks like people are stepping up to the plate, India.  I  really have to think of a way that I can get paid to write and read Ryan Homes blogs...

As far as my house goes, we've had a little bit of action this week.  Our sidewalks were put in and our blinds were installed today.  Hopefully I'll get pictures up this weekend.  Enjoy the weekend everyone.  We're looking at 80 degrees on Sunday.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Etiquette Question for Blind Installation

Our blinds will finally be installed on Friday.  It only took me 6 weeks!  I'm sure my neighbors will be relieved to not see the inside of my house any more (unless they're like FM's neighbors who would love a peek inside!).  Anyway, I know a lot of you installed them yourselves but was wondering if you could help with this.  Should I tip the installer?  He's of course getting paid through Lowes, but I'm wondering if I should tip him, too.  Thoughts?  Thanks guys :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Problem Solved & Garage

Well, that was quick!  A contractor stopped my husband this morning as he was leaving for work and told him he'd be fixing the damage from last night.  It's already fixed!  I'm a very happy customer right now.  I thought for sure that Ryan wouldn't take responsibility for that.  Maybe it would have been different if they weren't still working in the plan, but I'll take it!  I'd give you the picture for proof, but it was too dark by the time I got home.

I've already told you how I'm a bit disappointed in the size and tightness of our garage.  It doesn't help that our garbage and recycling cans are huge.  We have to back a car out to get them in and out of the garage, plus it cuts down on parking space.  If I had to do it all over again, I think I maybe would have got the service door (although when we did our upgrades I thought it was ridiculous!) and had the trash cans on the side of the house.  I don't know.  I've got to figure out a better system.

On a totally non-house related note, I'm feeling so old!  After a meeting at work I met my niece for dinner.  She's a sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh studying chemical engineering.  Aside from the fact that I feel totally stupid when she's talking about chemistry or physics, I just can't believe that this little girl is no longer a little girl.  Before I know it I'll be helping her move into her new house!  I just want time to slow down a little.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Good News and the Bad News

I'm a bad news first kinda gal.  We had a very brief, but very bad storm come through tonight.  Our house had a little damage.

The mailbox (which is in a block of concrete!) fell over as well.  Around the neighborhood some people had siding and shingles come off and we have a few small lakes built up on the streeet.  Thanks Mother Nature.

The good news is that I got to meet and talk to several neighbors.  Hey, if this is how it has to happen, this is how it has to happen :)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Furniture and 30 Day Fixes

What a busy weekend!  I can't believe it's over.  Friday night we went furniture shopping at Sheely's in Ohio, and I think we may have settled on living room furniture.  I'm still debating on colors and fabrics.  Here's what we're thinking of.  If we settle on this, we'll be getting a different color and won't have a pattern on the chair.  We're also going to do the love seat and ottoman for the chair.
When we were shopping I decided that I can't stand myself as a shopper.  I can not make a decision and I'll focus on the teeniest little detail of a piece of furniture that will take it out of contention.  I'm sure my husband was getting really annoyed with me, but I know we're going to have this furniture for a while so I want to be sure I love it.  We'll see if this is what we end up with.  The only thing I'm not crazy about is that the arms are harder than I'd like.

Thursday and Friday they came in and did some work on the house.  All in all we're happy with what they accomplished.  I was impressed by how they leveled the uneven floors.  They did lots of little jobs and they did a great job steam cleaning the carpets.  There are a couple of things we thought they'd do but didn't.  They have to come back some time this week to install the new counter tops.  We also discovered an electrical issue yesterday.  My husband turned on the light out back for the first time and the light switch sparked quite a bit.  We'll add that to the list.

I finally completed the survey from Ryan.  I'm sure you've all heard how important it was that they receive all tens.  We were really happy with our reps and our PM so we did do that.  I did add a couple of comments at the end about some things were weren't happy with including the brick "front" minus the wall on the front porch, the faucets, the required "upgrade" etc...  I may have also thrown in a line about how I was disappointed that we didn't receive any incentives.  I'm still not over that one!  :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Nail Pops

I tried to take pictures of the nail pops, but with the walls being white it was really hard to get a decent shot.  For those of you who wanted to know what it looks like, I got this image online:

Ours aren't quite that bad yet.  The drywall hasn't cracked at all.  It just looks like a little raised circle.  If we weren't looking for them, I dont' know how many we'd actually see.  We're still on the fence about when to paint.  I really want to do it now, but part of me thinks we should wait.  We'll see.

It SNOWED in Pittsburgh today.  Crazy!  I'm feeling like I'll NEVER get a real driveway - it's never warm enough for them to put it in!

Monday, March 28, 2011

30 Day Inspection Oops & Smoke Detector

I cannot believe it was already time for our 30 day inspection.  What happened?  We've been living here for a month already.  That's craziness!
Our PM came by today for our inspection.  As you'll see from the pictures below, my husband and I went a little blue tape crazy.  It looked like my house had chicken pox...

You get the idea.  Blue tape everywhere - mostly for nail pops and other wall/paint issues.  What I didn't realize is that that they don't fix the nail pops or most other drywall issues until the 10 month inspection.  Oops.  All of that taping for nothing.  It makes sense that they wait, I guess I just missed it before.

They are fixing some issues later this week:
  • new counter top for island and breakfast bar (there are several bumps/bubbles in them)
  • new kitchen/garage door
  • repairing uneven floors in a bedroom and a really noticeable one in the master bedroom.  I'm not quite sure how they go about doing that.
  • fixing doors from sticking
  • repairing a crack in the vinyl floor
  • steam cleaning the carpet in several locations where there is dried paint
  • fixing screens that are popping out
  • repairing a few cracks in drywall
  • making the carpet on a couple of steps a bit tighter
  • adding dimmer switches for recessed lights (we paid for them, but they weren't installed)
  • some down spout repairs
That's all I remember right now.  Our ten month will be right around Christmas.  A fixed house for Christmas?  I'll take it!

Good news!  Our smoke detectors work.  My husband cooked for the first time tonight and well, he set them off.  Hmm...I've done all the cooking for the past month - no alarm.  He cooks one night and off they go.  I'm just sayin'.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Office and Finalized Blinds

Since two of our bedrooms don't have any furniture yet, there's no need to show you those pictures.  That just leaves the office.  For now, until we finish the basement, this is also my husband's spot to display his sports stuff.  I'm eager to get this room painted.  I actually have a lot to hang up in here.
I'm thinking about getting another bookshelf for that back corner.

In other news, I finally decided on blinds.  After A LOT of thought and changing my mind a million times, I decided just to get the white faux wood.  I went into Lowes today with the intention to get the faux wood downstairs and the fabric cellular shades upstairs.  When I added the room darkening panel, my color choices were limited and I didn't really like any of them.  So, I took it as a sign and went with my original plan.  Plus they're $40 cheaper per blind so that helped.

Good thing we're going for the cheaper blinds because now we have to buy a new TV.  Our bedroom TV, which was a big old tube TV, bit the dust last night.  We decided that we'll move our current living room TV upstairs and get a bigger one to fill up the space in the wall unit.  So, that's this weekend's purchase.  We were supposed to look at furniture, but I'll only be able to pull my husband away from March Madness for a little bit.  Furniture will have to wait another week :(

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


This house is great for entertaining.  We've had a few small gatherings and the house has been great. Today I had about 15 people and it really showed that the floorplan is great for having people over.  Sometimes I wish our house was bigger or that we had an extra room on the first floor, but for entertaining purposes everyone gathers in the kitchen/morning room/living room area.  Of course the morning room was the biggest hit.  Here's how I set it up:

 Some decorations.  Shh don't tell my husband I used tape on the fresh paint!

Finally my fireplace was dressed up a bit.
This has nothing to do with my house, but while I'm uploading pictures I thought I'd show this.  Writing this  blog has become a hobby, here's my other one.  It isn't perfect, but I'm learning.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Over 50!

I juust wanted to say thanks for reading eveyone.  It was cool to see today that I now have 51 followers! Woo Hoo!  Who knew that that many people would be interested in what I had to write?  As I've told you in the past my husband makes fun of my blog and laughs at me even more when I mention my readers or "followers."  I think he's jealous because as far as I know he has ZERO followers.  I'm the rock star of this house - although my dog may argue that one! :)
I'm getting ready to host my first big party at the house.  Tomorrow I'm having a baby shower luncheon for a friend from work.  I've spent A LOT of time getting acquainted with my kitchen these last two days.  Wish me luck!

Monday, March 21, 2011

2 Items Off the List!

Remember how I said I was super indecisive?  It took me a good month to decide on a rug for the entry way.  I looked at several stores with no luck but for some reason I didn't think of looking at Target.  Low and behold I found one I loved!  I liked it so much a got a smaller one for shoes.  Check one item off the list of about 500!

I promise I will not take pictures of everything I buy and post them, but I was just so relieved to finally settle on this.

I was able to order the extra piece for our wall unit today.  Take off the two end pieces and that will be how it looks.

I'm glad that will be another item off the list.  I also saw some furniture I liked.  Now I have to drag my husband to the furniture store.  Wish me luck.

Totally off the subject but did you see Dancing With the Stars tonight?  Wasn't Hines Ward amazing?  You should log on to and vote for him :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Little Progress

Wow!  Has it been a busy week.  We painted, had furniture delivered, managed to get things hung up on the walls, and even do some decorating.  There's still more to do, but here's where we are now:

Dining Room

Master Bedroom

Family Room

Upstairs Bathroom

Laundry Room
I have one more week off.  I think I can finish the rest of the house! 

Okay, so I kid.  A girl can dream, right?  Those are pictures of a model I visited  this week.  Here are some pictures of where my house currently stands.

My Dining Room
You can see we're not making much progress in this room.

The Real Master Bedroom
Pretty blah.  This was my husband's furniture before we got married.  Unforunately this room is #4 on our list of rooms to furnish.

My Actual Laundry Room
I doubt this will change much.  We decided that we won't paint this room until we need to get a new washer and dryer.

This isn't exciting, just the upstairs hallway.  It happens to be one of my dog's favorite spots.

Below are the rooms that I've actually done something to.  The powder room and upstairs bathrooms.  They are far from done, but at least they've been spruced up a bit.

I bought the leaf candle holders at a candle party years ago (I hate going to those things!) and finally found a good spot for them.  They match the shower curtain perfectly!

So, that's it for now. I've still got some other pictures to share, but I think this is enough to bore you for one day. My shopping adventures this week haven't been as productive as I'd like. I'm just not finding things I love, and I don't want to by stuff just to buy stuff. I keep telling myself it will all get done in time.