Thursday, November 28, 2013

Home Tour!

I'm officially done moving. I'm officially in the house. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted, or I've gained ten hours of sleep. 

I don't want to sort through the million "before" pictures, so I'm giving you a tour of where it's at right-this-second. That means boxes, chaos, and general disarray. Some things have come a long way in the month that Zach's been here, but there's so much to do. I'm incredibly anxious to start ripping into boxes, sorting through things, and fighting constructively discussing the merits of items as we decide what's to go in the 'get-rid-of-it' pile. I'm so excited!  




Side note: We took a personality test that compared our personalities to animals. I'm a parrot. I chatter. Apologies.

Effective envelopes.

Remember when I bought 140 envelopes (on sale at Paper-Source) only to realize that they were enclosure envelopes and didn't actually seal? I should have known when the girl at the check-out asked what I planned to use as my outer envelopes. I just stared at her and said that these were my outer envelopes. She smiled and said the postage shouldn't be too much more. But wouldn't postage be even more if I had to find a larger envelope for these 5.5"x8.5" ones to fit into?


I wasn't interested in two envelopes; I was interested in making the exaggerated envelope work. I found envelope gum on Amazon, my favorite place of strange things. Two days later, it was mine. I love their fast shipping. Did you hear they're going to start shipping on Sunday? PUMPED.

To make this process a little quicker, I made a template with a scrapped invite insert and an exact knife. 


I'm not the engineer of the family, but look at me now. 


The painting was very easy. I read the reviews on Amazon, one of which suggested that I wet the brush to make the gum last longer. I think it also helped the gum to spread on the envelope more easily and more evenly- that stuff is thick, like sticky, heavy waffle batter. 


I was able to use one bottle of gum (and still have some left) on roughly 220 envelopes. At $7 a bottle, I'm still coming out at roughly $0.72/envelope. That's winning. And enough to rationalize the extra postage. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Picture This: Week 47.

I started a picture-a-day project with the new year. My intent is to try and appreciate every day, the good and the bad. I'm posting weekly recaps of the past seven days. It's a fun way to  recap the week, and keep me motivated for the next week. By throwing it up to the interwebs, it's a not so subtle reminder to myself that if I'm laying around all week and taking pictures of my feet poking out of a blanket as I watch Clueless for the millionth time, I'm going to bore everyone to sleep. Not that that's not my idea of a good time - Clueless, I mean. That being said, it's rarely ground-breaking, but I couldn't handle that anyway. It's a log of my life, and a gentle reminder to myself that life is a gift and I should take advantage every day. Does anyone else do this? I'd love for you to share! You can start anytime, too - a new year doesn't have to start on January 1. I'd love to nose around your life and live vicariously. In the least creepy way possible. And PS - my sister does this as well, but I'm losing faith in her ever updating her blog. Check out my past weeks through the "picture-a-day" topic link on the right. PPS - It's here! Stephles created a picture blog!



November 18, 2013

Seventy degrees in November? I love it.


November 19, 2013


Work always thinks they're being encouraging by doing a busy season picture competition. They fail to realize that pictures of our unexciting jobs after we're worked several weeks of 13+ hour days are not entertaining. Unless this disaster area looks exciting to you.


November 20, 2013

It felt good to fit the punch list on one board, but even better to have it almost all complete.


November 21, 2013

I left work at 5 PM on Thursday. I like the city at dusk.


November 22, 2013

Leaving DC is bittersweet. I'm going to miss these two immensely.


November 23, 2013

I did a tour of the monuments on Saturday, my last official day in the district. It was a beautiful day.


November 24, 2013

Driving home Saturday meant I caught brunch with these girls on Sunday - our first reunion in over a year!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

House with a spouse.

We bought a house. It's wonderful.


Currently, I'm in DC finishing up my audit busy season while Zach's in the house. I'm incredibly jealous, because I want nothing more than to work on house projects. I'm lots of fun, guys. 

I would love to jump right into a full tour, a list of projects I have planned for each space, but first I want to recollect the journey to this adorable brick ranch. It was a long five months. 

We started house hunting in April and tried to buy three different house before finally receiving the keys to this one. It was difficult not only because of the emotional rollercoaster aspect (no matter how many times my dad told me not to fall in love), but because I was in DC and literally could only help Zach with the very need-to-be-there-in-person house hunting process so much. I tried to pick up at much of the google searching as possible, but he headed the hunt and held the process together. I'm incredibly thankful for that. 

We learned so much along the way. I'm sure the housing process will change again before we move, but we were not initially prepared for the amount of savings or cash that would be involved. Here's a big shout-out to my parents for the help in the way of an interest-free loan from the Bank of Hunt, my favorite kind. We needed to prove that we had enough money to cover all of the costs associated with the transfer of a home, both from the buyer and seller side. It needed to be in our checking and savings, able to be withdrawn at a moment's notice. Apparently the use of a 401K to show that you had a little something for later is no longer acceptable. This is a result of the housing bubble burst in 2006.  Banks are scared of lending outside an individual's needs and though that's good practice (an incredibly sound practice), it's not entirely logical as the buyer rarely takes over all of the seller's costs, unless they're so able or willing. We were neither. Our lender was incredibly helpful, explaining things in the simplest terms and dealing with my asking of the same questions three times over.  He broke it down to three things we needed:

1. Credit score. The higher, the better.
2. Debt. The lower, the better.
3. Cash. The more, the merrier. 

So we reassessed, shutdown the party train, and I made a game out of seeing how long I could go without grocery shopping. It turns out it's a long time, but has unfortunately had no effect on my weight.  Much more quickly than we imagined, we were there.


In the end, we needed enough cash for our down payment (which could range between 3-20% of the home purchase price, and I know that varies by bank and location) and to prove that we could cover the taxes, closing, buyer and seller costs. The last part was about 8% of our home price. It was a lot of cash, but we squirreled enough away to keep our mortgage payment roughly equal to my rent payment in DC. It's going to be so sweet to pay for something that's all our own and comes with a yard. 

The money didn't end there though. Inspections (we opted to do a general home and pest inspection) cost about $1000. Then there was the moving truck. The first weekend in the house, I spent $1500 at Lowes on paint, cleaning supplies, and things like garbage cans, rakes, and things you always expect to have but suddenly realize you don't because you've never had a home. As Mum exclaimed, "Welcome to the money pit!"

But oh, how we love it.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Picture This: Week 46.

I started a picture-a-day project with the new year. My intent is to try and appreciate every day, the good and the bad. I'm posting weekly recaps of the past seven days. It's a fun way to  recap the week, and keep me motivated for the next week. By throwing it up to the interwebs, it's a not so subtle reminder to myself that if I'm laying around all week and taking pictures of my feet poking out of a blanket as I watch Clueless for the millionth time, I'm going to bore everyone to sleep. Not that that's not my idea of a good time - Clueless, I mean. That being said, it's rarely ground-breaking, but I couldn't handle that anyway. It's a log of my life, and a gentle reminder to myself that life is a gift and I should take advantage every day. Does anyone else do this? I'd love for you to share! You can start anytime, too - a new year doesn't have to start on January 1. I'd love to nose around your life and live vicariously. In the least creepy way possible. And PS - my sister does this as well, but I'm losing faith in her ever updating her blog. Check out my past weeks through the "picture-a-day" topic link on the right. PPS - It's here! Stephles created a picture blog!



November 11, 2013

We installed a window at work. Sarcasm.


November 12, 2013

Nighttime coffee. Caffeine drip: installed.


November 13, 2013

Remember when my toothpaste exploded and I complained to Colgate (which is totally out of character for me)? They said they wanted my tube of toothpaste for research (huh?), but I hadn't heard from them in two months, so I gave up hope. Then, I got a package from them. I got a check for $5, coupons, and an apology letter that they were waiting for specific coupons to send, but they were taking longer to come in than expected. They confuse me, but I'll take it.


November 14, 2013

Fortune cookies rarely resonate with me. This one is so true, but it just feels mean in busy season.


November 15, 2013

Friday night nails.


November 16, 2013

The first Walmart is set to open in the district soon. They had made mention of it revitalizing the surrounding neighborhood, but I never knew it was my work neighborhood. This will make snack shopping easier, but I'm not sure revitalizing is the word.


November 17, 2013

I seem to find new maladies when at work on Sundays. I think I'm sprouting moles. Time to find a Cleveland dermatologist. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Picture This: Week 45.

I started a picture-a-day project with the new year. My intent is to try and appreciate every day, the good and the bad. I'm posting weekly recaps of the past seven days. It's a fun way to  recap the week, and keep me motivated for the next week. By throwing it up to the interwebs, it's a not so subtle reminder to myself that if I'm laying around all week and taking pictures of my feet poking out of a blanket as I watch Clueless for the millionth time, I'm going to bore everyone to sleep. Not that that's not my idea of a good time - Clueless, I mean. That being said, it's rarely ground-breaking, but I couldn't handle that anyway. It's a log of my life, and a gentle reminder to myself that life is a gift and I should take advantage every day. Does anyone else do this? I'd love for you to share! You can start anytime, too - a new year doesn't have to start on January 1. I'd love to nose around your life and live vicariously. In the least creepy way possible. And PS - my sister does this as well, but I'm losing faith in her ever updating her blog. Check out my past weeks through the "picture-a-day" topic link on the right. PPS - It's here! Stephles created a picture blog!
November 4, 2013

This is how I see fall: dark, but still colorful. Busy season won't crush my spirit!


November 5, 2013

I tried kale. I didn't hate it, but I don't expect to start snacking on it casually.


November 6, 2013
 
The moon looked like the Cheshire Cat's smile on Wednesday. It's the little things when I only see the outside world three times a day, and they're all in a commute. 


November 7, 2013

The Capitol is directly down the street from work. Sometimes it looks like a little monument on a hill, which I guess is what it kinda is. 


November 8, 2013

 We work normal hours on Fridays, which means a public commute on the metro. It's not always bad, but on Friday, it seemed like everyone left at the same time, meaning we were like a car of sardines. 



November 9, 2013

 Saturday morning yoga is keeping me sane. Also, I have incredibly flat feet.


November 10, 2013

 My friend hosted a Christmas card writing party on Sunday evening. It was so nice to do something holiday-related, and so many more people got cards as a result. #becausewinenot. Perfect hashtag - thanks, Annie!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Picture This: Week 44.

I started a picture-a-day project with the new year. My intent is to try and appreciate every day, the good and the bad. I'm posting weekly recaps of the past seven days. It's a fun way to  recap the week, and keep me motivated for the next week. By throwing it up to the interwebs, it's a not so subtle reminder to myself that if I'm laying around all week and taking pictures of my feet poking out of a blanket as I watch Clueless for the millionth time, I'm going to bore everyone to sleep. Not that that's not my idea of a good time - Clueless, I mean. That being said, it's rarely ground-breaking, but I couldn't handle that anyway. It's a log of my life, and a gentle reminder to myself that life is a gift and I should take advantage every day. Does anyone else do this? I'd love for you to share! You can start anytime, too - a new year doesn't have to start on January 1. I'd love to nose around your life and live vicariously. In the least creepy way possible. And PS - my sister does this as well, but I'm losing faith in her ever updating her blog. Check out my past weeks through the "picture-a-day" topic link on the right. PPS - It's here! Stephles created a picture blog


October 28, 2013

We're able to view our paychecks three days before payday. That means I virtually spend my money and balance my checkbook before payday, twice a month. #accountantlife


October 29, 2013

I had the sweetest exchange with an Etsy seller on Tuesday after showing her the post about my invites. I love Etsy and nice people.


October 30, 2013

Speaking of Etsy, I bough a rubber stamp of our new address on Wednesday and received a personalized note along with it. Can I say how much I love Etsy again?


October 31, 2013

I went to OSU. I was raised cheering for MSU. I live in Virginia. I don't know who this person is, but our assumedly parallel lives really freaks me out. And excites me. And creeped me out on Halloween.


November 1, 2013

Looks like busy season. How pretty are the Starbucks seasonal cups?! I'm holding onto pumpkin spice as long as I can.


November 2, 2013

I forgot my running shoes in Ohio and work was proving too stressful to continue without them. I don't mind the upgrade.


November 3, 2013

I pick out my clothes for the week on Sunday. It makes my mornings so much easier.

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