Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Beauty is in the Eyes of the Beholder?

I was going through my old college art projects and stumbles across this... thought it was quite interesting...

"This is my portrayal of most women.  They are nude because it is a woman truly exposed.
Tear away the fancy clothes, peel off the makeup, wipe away the fake tans, let down the hair... this is what you get.  
A real woman with feeling and emotions.  
Dreams, fears, confidence in some areas and insecurities in others. 
The bubble in this picture is the woman's thoughts.  
We all portray ourselves in our minds differently than we really are.  
The woman in the thought bubble looks fairly similar to the real one but has flaws.  Well more flaws than then the real woman. A larger butt, thicker thighs, arms and a little chunk on the belly, not to mention uneven breast. 
Myself personally I know I am not always happy with the way I look.  I find myself comparing myself to other females and being envious at times of how they have beautiful bodies or faces.
Not being able to add up to societies "ideal" beautiful can be very hurtful and have some extreme effects depending on the female.  The thing I have been learning though is, what is it that truly makes the figure more beautiful than the thought?  I may think one is beautiful and someone may think the opposite. .."

Monday, December 2, 2013

Pumpkin Spice Latte

One of the blogs I follow is called Mamanatural.com and she is always posting healthy alternatives for not so healthy recipes (or less expensive versions), she also blogs about pregnancy and other such things.  Today on facebook she posted a recipe for a Pumpkin Spice Latte and I made it immediately.  It was just what I needed to pep up a bit on this chilly and gray day.

Her Recipe

Click on the link above if you are interested in her recipe.  I will tell you though the tweeks that I made to make it more delicious and also to use what I have without having to buy new machines.

First of all, I do not have an espresso maker... one day maybe... so I made extra strong coffee in our coffee pot.  I did 2 heaping scoops for less than 1 cup of water (keep in mind I am guesstimating at all this, so this was strong for me, but may not be strong for you).

Next, I do not have a milk steamer or an immersion blender... so I whipped out my trusty nutri-bullet (NB).

Also, I did not have any liquid stevia, so I used 1/2 stevia packet.  Mama Natural suggests using more maple syrup if you do not have liquid, but I am not a huge fan of maple syrup, so I opted for the regular stevia.

I put my strong coffee in my nutri-bullet and added the ingredients she listed.  I then blasted it real quick to get it a little thicker and all mixed well together.  I then poured it into my mug and rinsed out the NB cup and blade.

Next, she said to boil milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk) on stove, well I was impatient, and as much as I do not like to use the microwave because it is suppose to be hazardous to your health...  I popped it in there for 1 minute and 30 seconds.  Being careful I poured it into the NB cup and blasted it until frothy and then followed it by taking spoon and holding back froth while I poured milk over my pumpkin espresso mixture and then topped with the froth.

I did not put any coconut sugar on top because I do not have any.

It looked super yummy though, but when I took a sip it was missing something to me.

Well, I don't know about you but I think pumpkin and chocolate go wonderfully together!  So I melted 1 tbsp mini choc chips with 1 tsp almond milk.  Mixed it together (it would not get the runny consistency I wanted to drizzle it on top) and just stuck the whole spoon in with some chocolate on it and mixed it and mannnnnnnnnnnnn was it good!!

Give it a try!  It is a latte kind of day!

Let me know if you have any healthier versions of yummy drinks!


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Kale and Butternut Squash Saute

So I use to get a bunch of health and fitness magazines sent to me and I would read them, rip out the recipes that I was interested in trying and put them in a book until I got the chance to make them.

Well, this was a recipe I had pulled out back in 2012 and never made until we moved and I was unpacking and stumbled upon the recipe. And while I was definitely missing out on not making it sooner, I guess you could say it was completely worth the wait! It is healthy, super yummy, quick and easy and a one dish wonder!

I made this and ate it for a week... if you feel like "bulking" it up a bit you can add rice pasta, as I did one day, or you can do couscous, quinoa, rice, whatever you are in the mood for.

The first time I made this, I followed the recipe exactly (minus the walnuts because I did not have them, nor do I like them).

I then shared this recipe with my friend Liza and she made it and had me try it and she used dried cherries instead of cranberries and feta instead of goat cheese (it was deeeeelicious!).

In making this for a side dish for thanksgiving tomorrow, I used cranberries, feta and toasted almonds.  So as you can see, this recipe is quite versatile depending on your taste.

This is meant to be a main dish, but can easily be had as a side dish to accompany any meat or fish.

Let me know if you try it and how you liked it!

The pictures below are mine, but the recipe comes from fitnessmagazine.com.


Food Facts:

A half cup of cooked butternut squash provides more than 80% of your daily vitamin A requirements for just 41 calories.  The gourd is also a good source of fiber and vitamin C. -- Fitness Magazine

One cup of chopped raw kale provides more than 100% of the daily value of vitamins A, C and K.  It also contains lutein, a type of carotenoid (organic pigment) responsible for the plant's color and nutrients.  Lutein helps keep eyes and vision healthy. -- WebMD


2tbsp EVOO (I used grape-seed oil because that is what I have and cannot tell a difference)
3lbs butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2 in cubes (about 3.5 cups)
1/2 diced yellow onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
4.5 cups chopped fresh kale
1tsp grated lemon zest  (if you can, buy organic because you will be eating the zest)
2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp kosher salt (I used pink Himalayan sea salt)
1/2 tsp black pepper (I used fresh cracked pepper)
2 tbsp dried cranberries (or cherries)
4 tbsp chopped walnuts or pecans toasted (or almonds)
4 tbsp chopped crumbled goat cheese (or feta)  


In lg. skillet, heat oil over med-high heat.  Add squash, onions and garlic.  Cook, stirring constantly until squash is lightly browned and slightly tender, about 7 mins. 

Add kale, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper and cook until kale is wilted and squash is tender, 5-7 minutes.  Remove from heat. 

Put kale and squash in a dish and toast nuts in same pan (or you can toast them in the oven). 

Add dried cranberries and nuts, toss to combine.  Sprinkle with cheese.

Note: I did not toss this one yet, because I will reheat on thanksgiving and toss before serving. YUM! 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Spiritual Gifts

So last week at my church the sermon was on spiritual gifts.  During the week I received an email saying I could find out what my spiritual gift is, so of course, being curious I did.  Well, half way into it I got nervous... I do not have a spiritual gift!  None of these questions are strongly me...  how can God use me if a lot of these things I have never experienced, or honestly care to experience... I must be such a horrible person!

Well, it was time to submit my answers and receive my score and you know what?  God just confirmed what I have known all along, but I think I forgot about along the way.  My top were hospitality and giving.   In taking the quiz I thought, these are all big things or "more important" and I have not been blessed with any of them (gift of healing/prophecy/etc) but thinking about it now, hospitality and giving are just as important and make a big difference.

The one I am going to expand on is giving.

To me, I have experienced great joy in giving... growing up I always tithed and I did it happily and saw the I was always taken care of financially.  I got away from it for a stage in my life, and maybe some people would say it was a coincidence, but I found I was struggling more and I truly believe that it was God's way of telling me... you need to give back some of what I have given you.  So now, after being at a fantastic church for over 3 years, and joyfully giving with my husband, we are being taken care of.

But giving isn't just tithing... it can be giving of your time, personal items, your ear, your heart, a hand.  And those are things I am always passionate about doing.  Not just with my church but with those I come in contact with on a day to day basis.  By no means am I perfect, and I am not sharing this to brag, but to encourage!

Even just the smallest act of giving can make a huge difference in someones life.  It can make a huge difference in your own as well... when you stop focusing on yourself, and I do not even mean this in a selfish way; you could be having a bad day emotionally ... try giving to someone else... you could be experiencing a loss of some sort, try giving.... you could be dealing with any number of things, positive or negative, but try giving...  and in no way am I say that giving will get you things in return or make your life perfect, but it definitely helps change your way of thinking, your attitude, your gratitude.

Maybe this is not your forte, maybe you do not find joy in giving, but you find joy other things, that may be your gift.  Just know though, that God wants to use you in one way or another.

Want to take the quiz?

Spiritual Gift?


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Anti-Inflammatory Diet

So as some of you know I had a serious issue with my back this year... I believe it started in March and stayed with me up until June...

I saw doctor after doctor after doctor, x-rays, muscle specialists, chiro, pain meds, stretches, nothing seemed to help.

Until... come in Dr. Lynch from Northampton Wellness Association.  He did blood testing to make sure I was getting all the proper vitamins I need, as well as food allergy testing to see if that could be a trigger.  He also suggested a book for me to read... Breaking the Viscous Cycle (which is a great one for those of you struggling with IBS, Crohn's, Colitis, etc).

His suggestion to help me with my back issues was to go on an anti-inflammatory diet.  He said I should try it out for 3 months and then we would reevaluate after that and see how it helped and if it is something I should stick to the rest of my life, or if I need to do it periodically...

He explained to me that certain foods, have inflammatory properties which can cause arthritis, allergies, back pain and so on.  So by eliminating these foods from your diet, helps decrease inflammation, and if you do it long enough, it is possible to eliminate inflammation completely from your system all together and down the road some people can actually eat those foods again occasionally.  He even said that he has had people with Crohn's and Colitis do this "diet" for a full year and their horrible symptoms vanished all together.  I wish I had known about him and gone to see him before things got so bad that I had to have surgery, but what is done is done.  

Dr. Lynch said I could gradually start cutting things out of my diet, or do it all at once which was more difficult.  Well, at the time I wanted relief, so I quit eating all the foods and drinks I wasn't suppose to cold turkey.  And to make a short story long... after 6 weeks I had started to feel a huge amount of relief!  It gave me encouragement to continue being strict through the 3 month period.

When we reevaluated things, he suggested I try and stay as strict as possible but not to beat myself up if I occasionally go off course.  So that is what I tried to do... well, one "cheat" turned into another, and another and then I was eating badly again.  Now with the move, it took a toll on my diet and my weight.  I had two kitchen but neither one of them were functioning, so it was takeout... pizza, chinese, grinders, you name it, we ordered it.  I have gained 12 lbs in the process, my jeans do not fit anymore and now my back has been killing me again.

We have lived in our house 2 weeks now, and I have been eating healthier now that I can grocery shop and have a kitchen, but it is still not helping my back.  So I decided it is time to go back to my strict diet to get my figure and my back in shape!

Here is what it consists of in case you are wondering...

Try to eat organic and try to eat any one food no more than 5x/week.

Any and all veggies (except potatoes and corn)
Raw, steamed or stir-fried in olive-oil
Eat lower glycemic veggies if possible

Non-Wheat/Non-Flour Grains:
1-2 cups cooked grains (wheat/flour products not allowed, because VERY inflammatory.
Allowed: amaranth, barley, buckwheat, millet, oatmeal, quinoa, basmati or brown rice, rye, teff, rice crisps and wasa crackers.

Any and all that you can tolerate.

Poach, bake, steam, or broil deep-sea ocean fish (cod, haddock, halibut, mackerel, sardines, summer flounder, salmon).  Shellfish is okay unless known to be allergic.  (Note: I always try and eat fresh water fish, farm raised is a NO-NO in my book).

Only the meat and NO skin of high quality free-range or organically grown chicken or turkey.  Bake, broil or steam.  Eggs are fine unless allergic.
Venizen and other high quality meats are fine, but not every night (I try not to eat meat anymore though!).

Eat periodically any fruit except citrus.  Low carbohydrate fruits if possible.

Real maple syrup, rice syrup, barley syrup, raw honey or stevia OCCASIONALLY and with meals ONLY.
NO sugar, nutrasweet, or any other artificial sweetener.

Seeds and Nuts:
Unsalted seeds and nuts (no peanuts- as it is a mold and not healthy).
Butter nuts are fine too (except peanuts).

Mix 1lb butter and 1 cup EVOO.  Whip at room temp and store in fridge.  DO NOT USE MARGARINE.
Use EVOO for all other situations requiring oil.  Do not use other vegetable oils.

To Drink:
Drink a MINIMUM of 6-8 glasses of spring, bottled, filtered or reverse-osmosis filtered water every day. Try to drink one glass per hour.  You can add lemon.  NO distilled water.
Rice milk, oat milk and small amounts of soy are allowed (I don't drink soy).
Green tea is great!!

Use whatever spices you enjoy except salt.  Eat plenty.

all animal milks
fatty meats (ground beef, etc)
all wheat grain products
citrus fruits
peanuts/peanut butter
all animal cheeses
potato- red/white
caffeinated black teas/coffee
all fruit juices
any processed food
all corn products
all white flour grain products
all dried fruit
fried foods


Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Pink Room

This is one of the next rooms that we transformed and it almost complete.... 
we call it the "pink room"... can you guess why??

Despite it being pink, Marc chose this room for his office and it has worked out quite nicely so far.  He decided the pink walls just were not his style, so he went to Lowe's and asked them about their "oops paint" and for $5.00 he got this color...  

It is obviously still a work in progress, but I like what he has done with the place!  A futon for relaxing, his beautiful guitar for show, a snowboard painting I did for him and lots of sweet photos.  We do plan to paint the window frames, and put the molding back up around the doorways, but that will come when it comes.  

This room post was quick and to the point.  Hope you enjoyed seeing the photos! 


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Honest Company

I am quite excited to share that I just received my Free Trial of Honest Company products.  I am always on the lookout for natural products free of harmful ingredients and I have heard great things from one of my girl friends about this line.  

Jessica Alba is one of the co-founders of this company and I also saw her on a morning show last year and was quite intrigued.  She spoke of how she came up with the concept of Honest Company... she just had a little girl and was researching the best diapers, and other such baby products.  In doing so, she found how many chemicals are in diapers and wanted something safer for her child.  So she decided to come up with a diaper free of all that as well as baby products, and it stemmed out from there.  

"We both wanted an ideal: not only effective, but unquestionably safe, eco-friendly, beautiful, convenient, and affordable – everyone should have it. We believed every baby deserved the best we can create for them. We are dreamers."  - Honest.com

This company offers household cleaning products, bath and body, baby, and health and wellness and the packaging is adorable!  Don't you think?  

This free trial pictured above, consists of hand soap, laundry detergent, face and body lotion, healing balm and shampoo/body wash.  The only thing you pay for is shipping which is $5.95.

I have not tried out the products yet, seeing as I just received it in this mornings mail, but I will most definitely be sharing a review once I start using them.  You can also go on monthly bundle deal and you can switch out your products each month according to what you need next.

If you are interested in trying it out, you can use this link...   Honest Invitation

If any of you already use these products I would love to hear what your favorites are!  And for those of you who have not tried and it would like to, definitely use the link here and try it for yourself.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Bedroom for Lovers...

Okay just a heads up, this blog is not as explicit as it may sound!

I am sharing an update on our home.  The living room, full bath, kitchen and MASTER bedroom are the rooms that we first and foremost wanted to complete.  They are all still a work in progress, however, I am quite happy with how my bedroom is starting to look so I thought I would share.

Being completely honest with you, I am not super clean when it comes to putting clothes away... my parents, sisters and husband can all vouch for me... I get lazy and do not want to do it.  I am not like grimy sloppy, I just do not typically hang up my clothes, or fold nicely.  You might find them all lying in a nice pile on top of the dresser and then I finally put them away when they look as if the pile might topple over.

So with that being said, the #1 thing I did not want to do is have a dresser in our bedroom, and because our closet has attic access and we need to keep that free as well, so we did not want to put clothes in our closet either.  I made it clear to my husband that the bedroom, it is to stay spotless.  Also, Marc had told me before we moved that he wanted to make a rule, no electronics in the bedroom (ie laptop, tv etc), which I was happy enough with.  I was glad  with my reasoning being I do not like to have to fall asleep to a loud tv going when he comes to bed and Marc's reasoning was "the bedroom is for sleeping and baby making and that is it!" (and no, we are not "baby making" yet).

So Marc and I have different reasons behind this rule, but it works out either way!

Also, another good reason not to have electronics is studies show that people get better sleep when they are not sleeping (cognitive stimulation, the "glow" from machines, and physical act creating cortizol- Web MD)...

Now onto decor... I am slowly starting to decorate, and I got a killer deal on a duvet cover that I think is warm and inviting and I make sure not to buy white sheets either, because according to Dr. OZ it can sabotage your sleep, so I have nice gray sheets.  I also decided decor would be reflective of my husband and my life together, and fortunately for us, we have some fun photos from when we dated at 16, as well as our life as adults, so I decided to combine all those photos.  I still have more to hang, so I am not going to post a photo as of yet.

Here is the before...

Here is now...

I have a sign above the bed that says "always kiss me goodnight" and two mirrored wall sconce candle holders, and they are holding the candles his sister gave us to light on our wedding night.  Then I have two shelves to the right of the bed that were originally white with ivy leaves painted on them (they were my grandmothers), I spray painted them silver and put two of my favorite pictures from our honeymoon on them (one on each) and then our cake topper is on the higher shelf and I need to find something else to add to the lower shelf.  

We have a small nightstand that I got from a tag sale for under $10 and then our alarm clock.  The curtain is hard to see, but it is one that I registered for last year and absolutely love it.  It is sheer with leafs stitched on it.

The wall color is called Amherst Gray.  I went with gray because to be completely honest, I do not want to have to paint the walls again and gray is such a diverse color... I can make the room any color scheme I want and keep the gray walls.

I am still waiting on the baseboards and window/door trim to be put up and then eventually we would like to get an area rug or two runners, some crown molding and what not, but for the most part, I like how it is simple and uncluttered looking and as I said, it is a bedroom for lovers, it reflects our love, allows it to be our sanctuary and just focus on each other, which we def could stand to do more of.  

Hope you enjoyed reading this!  Tomorrow I will show you another room that is almost completely as well. 


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Halloween (or any other holiday) Treats

I love to follow health and beauty "gurus" on youtube and one of these days I hope to start doing them myself!

But in the meantime... I thought I would share this recipe that I saw on one of the girls channels that I follow, they looks delish and once I get settled into the new house, you better believe I will be making these for the holidays!!

Below are healthy versions of three extremely popular candies... Almond Joy, PB Cup and Peppermint Patties!  

Also, check out her channel on YouTube, she is fun to watch!

Happy Halloween!! 


Tuesday, October 29, 2013


So I have been a little MIA from blogging due to numerous things going on in my life... literally within two weeks...

We had a death in the family... and went to Boston on October 16 for the service for my uncles life partner, David.  Such a sad time for the family- as we hate to see my uncle in pain. Rest in Peace, you will be missed.

Then on October 17 (my grandmother, who has passed, birthday) we welcomed my beautiful nephew August into this world!  I have heard it said before, that when there is death, there is birth... this was a bittersweet moment, I felt kind of guilty to be so happy and excited, but he is my first nephew by blood and let me tell you, Melissa and Ben did a GOOD job!  He is such a beautiful baby!  I wanted to post a pic of them all, but my sister would not allow it. ;)

I then had a last minute wedding to do hair and makeup for October 19... these are just two of the five wonderful ladies I did hair and makeup for.  

I also did hair and makeup for a Halloween Ball... Poison Ivy...

I also got to do my own hair and makeup for a halloween party, which was fun dressing up for and spending time with my lady friends!  Me- Kat Von D, Liza- pirate wench, Jen- Amy Ferrah Fowler.

Then I celebrated my friend Dez's 30th Birthday.

Took some photos for my dear friend Liza, her mother, and their Canadian friend who was in town....

Then of course, we are still working on the house... the contractors are FINALLY done... an "8 day project" got turned into a month and a half...  but we are just glad it is done!! 

The ceiling is finally patched.  

We picked out these light fixtures for each of the rooms (thank you Sarah Reilly)! 

I FINALLY decided on a bathroom color and I love it!! It looks slate blue here, however, it is actually called Sage Gray and is suppose to have a green tint to it.  

We had our nephews final soccer game of the season to go to, where he scored like a champ! 

We cleaned our house like crazy to get it ready to move into, and set up the moving truck and friends to help us move November 2.

This was our first lunch/dinner, just the two of us, in our kitchen/dining room.  Notice, the table is plywood, and what you cannot see is the horses holding it.  

Then last night Marc and I spent our first night in our house for our One Year Wedding Anniversary.  I made a nice stew and brought it to the house for dinner, which I was going to heat in the over, however, we didn't have pot holders, I forgot a serving spoon and eating spoons and I forgot bowls.  So... pizza it was... Hawaiian! YUM!  We do not have internet or tv yet, so it was a nice night just the two of us.  We read our guestbook "rocks" and laughed a lot.  We drank wine and played games, and just enjoyed each others company.  

And we had a bite of our wedding cake... whoever's idea it was to save the cake top for a year in the freezer and eat it, not so hot!  I don't know about everyone else's but ours was NASTYYYYYYYY.  It was super dry and tasted freezer burned.  Although Marc said the frosting was still delish and wanted to put it back in the freezer for our next anniversaries together, which I DID NOT agree to.  HA! 

So now it is just a matter of packing up our apartment, moving in the house and then getting everything put together! 

I hope you enjoyed this quick life update and all the pictures!! 


Saturday, October 12, 2013


Good evening friends!

Tonight is a quick post.  I am curious as to how many people I know are reading my blog.  If you are reading this, would you just take a moment to comment down below so I know you are reading it?  

Also, if you have any suggestions for things I should blog about beauty or health wise or whatever, please feel free to let me know.



Friday, October 11, 2013


Okay so for the most part picking out paint colors for the house has been fairly easy.  I knew what I was going for and I did not even buy a million samples like my mom always does (sorry mom!).  But for some reason, I am stumped on the last room that needs to be painted.  

This is where I need your input.  Below are pictures of the towels, light/vent, the vanity/sink and our tile we chose. Now it is a matter of picking a color.  

These are our towels that we got for our wedding and are in storage until we get into the house.  So I am def. going with gray towels.

This is the vanity we chose.  And it has a white sink.  We also chose a white tub and a white toilet.

This is our floor tile... it looks bluish here but it is not.  It has white, ivory, gray and brown tones in it.

This is the shower wall tile... ivory, white, browns and grays once again.

And we will have a border of this tile eye level to break up the big tiles a bit. Same color scheme.

For our light we went with a bronze tone to tie into the vanity a bit, however, our sink furnishing and any other handles/knobs are brushed nickel.

So now picking the wall color is what is throwing me off.  I feel like because we did such neutral colors for all the fixtures and tiles that I should paint the wall a color that stands out, pops a bit!  However, I am afraid I am going to get tired of it after a while and I really do not want to have to deal with painting it again.

I keep thinking either coral and gray, a soft orange and gray or like turquoise and gray... but I do not know.

So with walls, I was thinking neutral... and then I could accessorize with pops of colors... and then if I get sick of the colors I choose in a year or so and the shower curtain, I could easily change it out but not have to paint the walls. But is that a bad idea?  I do not want the bathroom to look flat if I do too many neutrals.  

Please give me your in put as to what color you think I should go.  Below are just a few of the neutrals that stood out to me.

Living Beach 

Living Caraway

Living Hickory

Living Natural Twine

Pumpkin Seed

Tobacco Leaf

Do you like any of these?  Or should I go with a bright wall??

Lastly, just to fill you in on the status of us getting into our house... the contractors possibly have a plumber lined up to come in next Tuesday. Once he is done and the plumbing inspector comes, they can start to put our bathroom back together again which could take them another 4-5 days potentially... so looks as if we probably will not be able to move into until the last week of October. Soooo.... yeah!  That is about it.  

Feel free to message me on fb the color you like, or leave a comment here.  

Thanks !  XOXO - B

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Halfway there...??


So it has been over a week since I posted about the house and I am guessing we are about halfway there (???)...

Last week the floors got done and they look amazingggggggg!  I was quite nervous about the stain we picked out, but I love it.

The above picture is the color we chose.  It is Golden Oak by Minwax.  Marc wanted natural and I wanted a bit darker, so we compromised and here is the before...

and here is the after... looks good, huh?

I also mentioned in previous posts that I had to pick out vinyl for the kitchen floor because the previous owners patched it with three different types of woods and we were told it wouldn't look so hot refinished. So until we can afford something nicer, vinyl=budget friendly.  

Here is is the one I went with and I LOVE it.  The colors really tie in the cabinet color I chose, the kitchen and dining room walls and it even looks nice next to the hardwood flooring (at least I think it does).

Here is a picture of the finished cabinets and the floor.  I still have to paint the paneling in the kitchen so disregard that gross looking stuff...

We had to have the chimney liner replaced... not very interesting but here is a picture of that.

We also had to have our side stairs fixed because there was rotting wood (yes I know the stairs are crooked... it was like that when we bought it)...

As well as replace the shutters and do it in a more efficient way so that the water would go elsewhere than on the house.

The contractors tore down the deck and stairs here (safety issue, as I believe I mentioned) and closed the upper deck with some of the wood from the lower deck, so now it is a balcony, until we can afford to rebuild it.

We also had to have some cracks filled as well in order to get the loan.  Looks attractive doesn't it??

My wonderful husband and father-in-law also went up this past weekend to seed and mow the lawn, as well as rip out the bush that was in the front of the house and overhanging into the driveway.  Soooo happy it is gone!

This is my view from the recliner, at 6:45am, in our garage while I was waiting on the HUD inspector to come out.  You get to see the beautiful fall foliage and the cute house across the street from us! 

And lastly, a shameless selfie of me... I was bored waiting for him and thought my outfit was cute so I figured I would try.  

So now it is just finishing some scraping and painting on the exterior, fixing a window, and getting us our bathroom so we can MOVEEEEEEEEEEE IN!!!!!   I hope to be in by Marc's and my 1 year Anniversary. And while I really want to be in sooner, I thought it might be nice for us to spend our first night there on our anniversary (10-28) if it takes longer than anticipated.

The next blog post I will be sharing my paint colors with you, and I will also need your help.  I cannot decide on a bathroom color, so I will be posting some options and please please please give me your vote!