Of House and Home: Pinterest Addiction

I have an addiction. If you follow my “Feels like Home” board on Pinterest, you’ve probably noticed a lot of pinning activity lately – in particular, a lot of room-specific activity. It actually keeps me up at night. You might be wondering what has prompted this flurry (ok, you probably didn’t even notice), and I’m here to tell you … we’re under contract on a new house!

Last Monday we put an offer on a new place that checked every single box on our wish list, and even though we were up against a few other offers, we got it! I’ve been waiting to share the good news with you for a week, but I made myself wait until after the inspection, so we didn’t have a repeat of the last house. The inspection took place Friday evening and thankfully it went well! Of course, our inspector noted some imperfections, but no Capitol Hill home will be perfect, so all in all we are happy and finally allowing ourselves to get excited.

Yesterday Dave and I made visits to Community Forklift, a home-improvement “thrift store” that sells both new and used building materials, and Home Depot. We wanted to see what they have to offer and calibrate our vision for how to update parts of the house to make it our own – there will likely be a few DIY projects. (Luckily we agree on most everything!) We ended the afternoon with a cold brew (or two) from a restaurant in the new neighborhood, The Argonaut. They have a very cool atmosphere described on their site as “part English tavern, part San Diego taqueria, part neighborhood coffee shop… minus the coffee.” It will definitely be our new haunt.

So the next major step in the process is the home appraisal. Without any hiccups, we should be closing on October 10! I literally can not sleep because I am arranging furniture in my head and mentally picking out paint colors …  I feel like the kids on the Disney commercial!

 

What good news have you gotten lately?
What DIY tips can you share?

Of House and Home: First of Many

Our lineup for this weekend was much shorter than usual – only about five houses – but we felt really good about each of the properties. Ironically the one house we ended up loving was not on our original list and we barely even liked any of the houses that were. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but it can also be extremely deceiving. The state of some of these houses amazed me, and not in a good way.

I was actually sad looking at the way some people live, with clutter and filth everywhere, and you know it’s a really bad situation when you go into a basement and your agent says, “Don’t touch anything. There’s black mold everywhere.” We quickly made it through each of the houses and then stopped for a late lunch at one of H Street’s classic haunts, Granville Moore’s. This was Dave’s first visit, so we had to have the moules and crispy frites with delicious dipping sauces.

After lunch, I was packing up my apartment and stopped at one point to realize that my kitchen looked atrocious, but even that was nowhere near as bad as some of the houses we had seen – and those people lived like that all the time! I knew at that moment that I had to snap a pic, to give you just the slightest indication.

my kitchen in the packing process

my kitchen during the packing process

On a happier note, while I was packing, Dave was working with agent M to put an offer together! (We did it, we actually put an offer on a house!) This property really met most of the items on our wish list (and then some), and it is in the neighborhood we want. It’s been on the market a while (which basically means longer than one week, since houses move so quickly in the District), so the price was recently lowered. It was our first showing on Saturday, and I knew then that we’d likely make a move.

After reviewing other houses sold recently in the area (“the comps”), we were convinced that the property was still overpriced, even at the reduced figure, so we decided to come in under asking. Our agent was strategic though to put in certain contingencies that would make our offer more appealing. After some back and forth, the seller ultimately did not accept our offer, which was disappointing, especially since I spent all day pinning ideas to my “Feels Like Home” board on Pinterest.

We treated ourselves to Mexican food at Uncle Julio’s, drowning our sorrows with margaritas and melted cheese, but are ready to keep moving forward with the search, knowing that there are some great properties coming on the market soon. In fact, our toast was “to the next house.”

margaritas, tamales and cheese enchiladas (emphasis on CHEESE!)

margaritas, tamales and cheese enchiladas
(emphasis on CHEESE!)

So this was our first of what will likely be many offers, but I haven’t lost faith yet – if anything this experience has strengthened it in some odd way – and am confident I can translate my pinning efforts to another home soon enough!

Red, White and Brew!

Anyone who has met me knows how much I love Christmas. The truth is that I love all holidays. They are so much fun! I embrace any opportunity or excuse to gather with friends for a good time, and the most recent holiday was no different.

Dave and I hosted a small group for our second annual Fourth of July party. His nineteenth floor balcony faces DC from Arlington, so the fireworks are in perfect view with all the comforts of home.

Like father, like daughter, I tend to overdo the F&B spread, and this year was no different. I did a little better in showing restraint as compared to last year though, and most of my menu was Pinspired, as you can see from the links below.

Fourth of July Menu

Cheese & Crackers

Veggies & Hummus

Chips, Salsa and Homemade Guacamole

Yogurt Dill Potato Salad

Corn & Chickpea Fiesta Salad

Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad

Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Sliders

Berry Sangria

Assorted American Brews

Red Velvet Cupcakes (shaped like an American flag, of course!)

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Happy Birthday #America! #July4 #FourthOfJuly #freedom

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^^Doesn’t Daisy look like a badass in her rockin’ patriotic shirt?!^^

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#AmericanHoney

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^^The boys got a little rowdy with their whiskey, but at least kept up with the theme du jour.^^

I must admit that one of the highlights for me was when Dave announced that he owned a tripod and proceeded to bring it out of hiding for my use. I’ve been eyeing one for months now – it was even on my Christmas list – and can’t wait to practice my photography skills! Just not sure how he could possibly wait this long to tell me … but I’m ecstatic none-the-less :)

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Happy #FourthOfJuly from this #America lovin' family!

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I hope everyone else was as blessed as we were to enjoy good food, great friends and beautiful fireworks in celebration of our great nation!

How did you spend July Fourth?!