Monday, January 31, 2011

#25... and am I too picky?

Update - I AM too picky!

We're gearing up for another winter blast in Pittsburgh. If I have a snow day tomorrow, there will be lots of new pics.  But for now...

#25 - The Master Closet

Love, I tell you! I'm in love with this beautiful closet!  Sure it's not the biggest closet in the world.  Heck probably most of you that are reading this will have bigger closets, or will have two of these in your master bedroom!  But I couldn't be happier with this closet (okay, maybe I'd be happier if it had a lower bar installed too)!  It's a true walk in. It even has it's own window! My husband and I each get a side.  It is perfect. 
It feels like so long ago, but back when I started this blog we were wavering between the Florence and the Venice.  This closet was one of the reasons I wanted to get the Venice.  I know that sounds ridiculous- it's only a little bigger, but it was a big deal to me.  I'm so excited about this!
Now I need to go shopping so that I can fill my side up with some new clothes!  Unfortunately, there's a lot on the "to buy" list and clothes aren't included!

Speaking of closets, let's talk about the pantry.  This was one of the few things I was disappointed in yesterday.  Now before I continue, please understand that I know there are bigger issues in the world than my pantry.  I know that I probably will sound like a whiny brat.  But, we spent a lot of money on this house and I just want it to be as perfect as can be.  My husband thinks I'm nuts and being WAY too picky about this, but the shelves bother me.

In case you're wondering what I'm talking about, it's that middle support bar that I'm not digging. First, I think it's ugly.  Second, I feel like it's going to get in the way of using the middle of the shelf to the fullest extent since things will hit up against the bar.  I was hoping it would look more like the shelves in our linen closet

If you think I'm crazy and just way to picky, please let me know. My husband thinks maybe the bar was needed for extra support since the items on these shelves will be heavier.  I just don't remember them being this way in any of the models. For those of you who have a finished pantry,are your shelves like this, too?  I know it's no big deal, it's just going to be one of those things that annoy me.

#26 and Today's Visit

Yikes...I'm getting this in just in the nick of time.  Busy day!  I started packing and just had a bunch of stuff to do. But as promised, here's what I'm looking forward to today.

# 26- Dishwasher
Remember when I said it's the little things that make me happy? I am THRILLED that I will finally have a dishwasher.  I've never had one before! That's a lot of "washed by hand" dishes in my 31 years!  My dad always said that he never needed a dishwasher because he had 4 of them - his daughters!  Actually it was my mom who did most of the washing.  Since then my kitchens have been too small for one.  Clean up after dinner might not be quite so painful anymore.

I went into the house today.  It was so nice to be there in full daylight.  I am about 95% happy with everything.  They've made a lot of progress.  I took lots of pictures.  There were lots of pleasant surprises.  While I'd really like to write about my visit and post pictures, I have 18 kids that are counting on me to teach them something tomorrow so I need to finish working.  They are so demanding!  I'll catch you up in the next couple of days.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

#27 ...and Blinds

#27 Recessed Lighting

I couldn't decide what to write about tonight, so my husband suggested the recessed lights.  I love the look of recessed lights.  I wish we would have done more, but I'm very happy with what we're getting.  We're getting 4 in the morning room, 6 in the kitchen, and 2 above the fireplace in the family room.  There's not a whole lot to say about them - they're just lights - but I'm still excited about them :)

On a totally different topic.  I'm still not sure what we're going to do about blinds/window dressings.  Part of me wants to get customized blinds as soon as we move in.  Part of me wants to just use curtains we already have to really give me some time to think about what I want to do with the windows.  And then I think maybe we should get some temporary blinds and eventually replace them with better ones.  I don't know.  JC Penny is having a sale Sunday through Wednesday on faux wooden blinds.  They start at $20 and go up from there.  I'm going to check them out.  Decisions, decisions.

This time four weeks from now we'll be unpacking boxes and getting settled into our new home!  I can't wait!

Friday, January 28, 2011


#28 - Open Floor Plan

I'm sure that just about any new construction home is going to have an open floor plan, so I know that my house isn't anything special.  But, to me it is special.  Our set up is going to be perfect.  The kitchen, morning room, and family room space is awesome!  It will be so nice to not be "isolated" in the kitchen when I'm cooking or cleaning up.  Although the dining room is separated, the hallway from the family room to the dining room is wide, so it doesn't feel closed off.  I love the entire first floor.
The best part is I finally get to entertain!  Our house now is so tiny that it makes it hard to have very many people over at once.  We'll have such a great space now!  For a while all the kids will especially love it since not only will it be open, but it will be fairly empty as we wait to get new furniture :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011


#29 - 2 ½ Bathrooms!

I’m sure this isn’t a big deal for most of you, but I’ve only ever lived in a house with one bathroom. So for me having 2 ½ is extremely exciting. I’m more than doubling my bathrooms and eventually when we finish the basement I’ll have another! Growing up in a family of 6, I felt like I was always waiting for the bathroom. Even now, I seem to always have to wait for my husband to finish (he’d say the same about me I’m sure). I can take a shower whenever I want to now! If one is occupied, a little walk down the hall is all that is required. Oh, not mention that there will be a bathroom on the first level. My mom, who is no longer with us, would have really thought “I made it” to have a first floor bathroom!!! The only down side, that’s 3 bathrooms to clean. Cleaning the bathroom is my least favorite chore :( But, I think the good outweighs the bad in this situation. It’s the little things in life that make me happy.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Final Countdown

My husband and I went to see Rock of Ages when it was in Pittsburgh a couple of months ago.  It was fantastic!  Since then I've had so many 80's songs stuck in my head.  As I've been thinking about the fact that now we're only 30 days out and I can start the final countdown, that song continually plays again and again in my head!

Anyway, as I try to contain my excitement for the next 30 days, I thought I'd try each day to write something about the house that I'm excited about or looking forward to. So here goes... (in no particular order).

#30 - Attached Garage
In our current house we have a detached one-car garage leaving one of us (usually me) to park on the street.  As I write this we are in the dead of winter with a bit more snow coming in the next few days.  Do you know how nice it will be to not have to clean snow and ice off my car in the morning?  My mornings will be much more pleasant (I have to give my husband credit because he often cleans it off for me).  Not only that, but I won't get caught in the rain carrying groceries - heck I won't even have to walk up steps to bring groceries into the kitchen.  This attached two-car garage is going to be such a luxury!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


So I know this isn't all that exciting, but it was one of the only changes when I went in the house today.  The fireplace is finished!  I really like it.  We chose not to upgrade it to stone or marble and I'm glad we didn't.  I think it looks nice and homey.  Plus I think it goes well with the cabinets on the opposite wall in the kitchen

We also had our first visitor today!  My friend from work wanted to check it out before it was finished, so she met me there.  It was fun!  I can't wait to take people on the "grand" tour once it's finished :)

The doors were all hung and that's really the only other change I noticed.  They're getting ready to put the floors in and the garage door is being delivered tomorrow.  We're exactly one month away!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Laundry Room

Because I'm a huge procrastinator, I always save laundry for the weekend.  As I carted my baskets down two flights of stairs to the basement this morning, it dawned on me that I only have to do that 4 or 5 more times!  Having the laundry room on the second floor is going to be awesome!  I bet I'll do laundry more often when I don't have to travel down to the dingy basement.  I'm so glad I won that battle with my husband and he agreed to have the laundry room upstairs!  Now if I could only convince him that now would be a good time to buy furniture...

Friday, January 21, 2011

I'm in love!

Maybe it wasn't the best choice since I did it in the middle of a snow storm last night, but I went to see my new kitchen.  To say I love it is an understatement.  I am so happy with our choices for this room.  I was totally by myself - no husband, no Ryan employee, just me and my "baby" (I know I'm a dork).  The pictures aren't great because it was getting dark and it was pretty dusty, but you'll get the idea.

I was afraid the laminate counter tops would look cheap, but I REALLY like them.  They are "butter rum" - I know that some other Ryan bloggers chose them, too.  They're covered in dust right now, but they do look good in my opinion.

Cabinets above the fridge are a new feature.  In the model they were so far back in the cubby that you couldn't really reach them for them to be usable.  Our  awesome PM had them built out so that they come almost to the edge.  Thanks, Jeremy!

Looking into the Morning Room.

The kitchen was by far the most exciting part of my visit, but here are a few other shots.

Family Room (mantel and fireplace frame are in the middle of the floor).

Dining Room

I'm so glad we changed the stain color.  I'm really happy with it.  Thanks again, Tasha!

Vanity in Upstairs Bathroom

I took lots of pictures of the bedrooms, but other than the painted trim there wasn't much change since the last post - so I spared you.  Except for the master.  This was the door painting room I guess.  20 doors!  Who knew?

So ll in all I am totally thrilled with how things are looking and I love so many parts of the house.  There are two things I would do differently if I had the chance - one's an easy fix, the other not so much.

Up first is opting to get a single bowl sink in the master bath resulting in a long counter but no vanity underneath.  We're going to take Thrifty Amy and Kristine's advice and order another cabinet on our own.  I wish we would have just paid the extra $750 for the double sink.

The other thing I would change is a biggie.  This is something we won't be able to change for years and years.  The siding.  I think it is way too light for the brick :(  We were limited because of what our close neighbors chose.  The samples are so small and its hard to envision.  I wish it would have been a few shades darker.  Although it's such a huge part of the house, I have to work on not focusing on how much I dislike it.  Hopefully it will grow on me.

Lots of things to be happy about - that's what I have to focus on. 

Oh and GO STEELERS!  AFC championship, here we come!

Thursday, January 20, 2011


This post is old news by now, but I haven't had a chance to post - or even see the house for myself for that matter.  My husband went in on Monday to find that all the walls are up and painted.  There are pictures below.

When he went yesterday the banister was up along with all of the kitchen and bathroom cabinets and counter tops!  I am sooooooo sad that I missed it.  Hopefully he or I will get there today armed with a camera to get some new pictures.

The dates for pre-settlement and settlement have been finalized.  Thanks to our extremely awesome and flexible PM we were able to keep the dates that were already scheduled.  He agreed to meet with us at 4:00 because I couldn't get the day off.  He is my new hero!  So we'll close on the 22nd and move in on Friday the 25th.  I just finalized everything with the movers yesterday.  That will give us the whole weekend to unpack.

We walked through a finished Venice model this weekend for inspiration.  I've included some of those pictures, too to show that even though we have a pretty blank canvas now, we have lots of potential :)

Morning Room - I don't think I'm ever going to leave this room.  I LOVE it!

I really like the idea of the accent wall.  They did it in all of the rooms downstairs.


Family Room

Dining Room


Upstairs Hallway

Master Bedroom

Bedroom 2

Bedroom 3

Bedroom 4/Office

It is moving so fast now.  They do so much each day, I don't know how they'll fill their days for the next 4 weeks (exactly 4 weeks!).

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Good News Day

Lots of good things happened today.  First, we received a letter with our pre-settlement and settlement dates!!!  February 17th and 22nd.  I'm going to try to move the pre-settlement to the 18th so I don't have to take two days off from work.  Just a little over a month.  I CAN'T WAIT!

Then we drove by and saw our brick front is finished:
The garage is boarded up because they poured the floor in there yesterday.

We also went and bought a refrigerator today.  The extra 10% off at Lowes wasn't huge, but we'll take the savings.  Who knew a refrigerator could make me so happy?  I'm getting old.

And finally, the Steelers won!  Couldn't ask for a better day :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Long Post...

I started writing this post several days ago, but life keeps getting in the way. There's just been too much going on! With the move coming up, it's just going to keep getting more and more crazy, but at least this aspect of my life is a good crazy.

We went by the house the other day and the brick is almost finished. I talked with the brick layer and they had to quit early because it was too windy. He said the scaffolding fell over twice! I'm liking it. I can't wait to see the finished product.

On Saturday we had the chance walk through the house. All of the wiring and plumbing were complete...well almost. The electrician forgot to install two outlets in the garage that we added, but it’s since been fixed. The insulation was all in and they began the drywall on Monday.

I got to see the basement for the first time! Last time I was inside, the basement didn’t have steps yet, so I wasn’t able to go down. Our basement is unfinished, but I was still very excited to see it. It's pretty big. While we're not finishing it now, there will be so much we can do with it when we're ready to. It will be a great space.

To the left of the stairs.  The bathroom will eventually go in this area.

The long section of the basement.

The basement  under the morning room.

Now I know I did a lot of complaining about the egress window, so I feel that I need to balance it out. I'm still not happy that we had to pay for this required "upgrade", but I really love this window. It's huge and lets in so much light. I didn't get a great picture of it, but you can see the light it lets in. It's not pretty to look out of - you stare at a well and a teeny tiny ladder, but I love the natural light. So, I'll stop complaining about it now.

I finally wore appropriate shoes and could trek back to the get my first peek at the back of the house.  I wish there was one more window on the second floor to balance it out, but it will be fine.

Can I tell you how in love I am with the morning room? Even though it eats up some of precious little yard space, I’m so glad we got it.

Thanks to Tasha's Countdown to my Ryan Home blog I was able to make a change I've been wanting to make. She had a picture of her unstained banisters. I thought they came pre-stained, so this was a nice surprise to find out they didn't. Since we're putting in our own hard wood floors after the move we've been out looking at our flooring options and I've been regretting the stain color for our banisters. We want to have the same floor in our kitchen/morning room and the dining room. The stain that we chose was too light and I couldn’t find a floor that would go well with both the banister and the color of our cabinets. Thankfully our PM let us make this late change free of charge. Without Tasha’s blog, I wouldn’t have even thought it was possible. Thanks Tasha…and all of you Ryan bloggers for that matter.

I haven’t been able to go to the house as much as I’d like lately. While my husband goes every other day or so, I’ve been missing some of the action. It’s been so nice though. Our sales reps. will periodically send me pictures of the progress. I really appreciate that gesture.  The brick is finished now, so I can't wait to get there this weekend to take a peek!

While this is off the topic, I feel that I must say it since I know some of you are from Maryland.  I'll be thinking about you this weekend as you deal with the Baltimore Ravens loss on Saturday.  Go Steelers!  If only we'd be in our house by the Super Bowl...  I can't wait to watch the games from our new house next season!

Friday, January 7, 2011

We have brick!

It's been a couple of weeks since there was any change on the exterior, so it was a nice surprise when we drove by last night and saw that we now have brick.

I really like it. Even though its not the brick we wanted  I think we made a good choice.  The rest should be finished within a few days.

I was looking at our plan on Ryan web page today and our model is now selling for $15,000 dollars more than it was in July when we bought ours!  I knew the base price on the culdesac was going to be quite a bit higher, but they are still in phase II which is what our house is part of.  I couldn't figure out why, but then my husband reminded me that the new fire sprinkler system law took effect in Pennsylvania and any new homes are required to have a sprinkler system.  I am sooooooooooooooo glad we bought when we did.  If we would have waited for a better lot like we considered, we would have not been able to get the morning room which would not be cool!  I'm so happy we went with our instinct.

We're going to go inside tomorrow.  Drywall starts next week.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Few Updates

It's been a busy couple of days!  We locked in our rate yesterday.  It was higher than we wanted, but the rates are climbing and we didn't want to chance it.  That was a bit of a bummer, but what can you do?

My husband went on the pre-drywall meeting yesterday.  All in all things looked good.  He was very impressed by the concrete floors in the basement.  There were a couple of small structural things the inspector pointed out, but the PM said they will be easily taken care of.  My husband got a good look at the plumbing and electrical.  One thing that we're going to do is have some access panels installed in the closet walls with plumbing behind them.  We'll buy them on our own and the PM will have them installed.  Not something I would have thought of, but I think it's a good idea. 

We also learned the tentative date for our final walk through and closing - February 17th and 19th (although after looking at the calendar, the 19th is a Saturday, so that can't be right)!  That's less than a month and a half away!  I have a 4 day weekend for Presidents Day so if we close around that time, it would be perfect.  I'm thrilled beyond belief and can't believe how close it is to being real.  We have so much to do between now and then, but I say bring it on!  We're having some movers come and give us estimates this week.  We don't have a ton to move, but the way the steps are in the Venice, we think we should leave it up to professionals.

Today Guardian came to install all of our lines.  There were some mix ups with paperwork and they installed more lines than they were supposed to.  Free cable and phone lines in all of the bedrooms?  I'll take it!  Finally, I got something for FREE.  Maybe now I'll stop whining about not getting incentives...but I doubt it.

Next up, insulation and drywall starts next week.  Soon I'll have walls!