Our casa... the beginning of a beautiful journey.

(Our house the day we bought it)

A little over 2 years ago, the mr and I embarked on an incredible journey, our first casa! It was such a crazy, messy and beautiful time in our life. Ella was literally only 2 months old when we decided to add another major life change to our plate. 

As you can imagine buying your first home comes with lots of firsts, lots of questions and lots of hoping that everything will turn out right. The Mr and I decided to share 3 of our top tips for helping you with your process before we begin with our little story. 


This was a hard truth for me to swallow when we began looking for homes. I wanted everything to be perfect, ready to move in and at a great price, but realistically everything we looked at that was move in ready was WAY out of our price range. We both knew that in order to get what we wanted we were going to have to make a compromise. So we looked for a house that had a great foundation, in a great community that was truly a diamond in the rough. We found a foreclosed home that had everything we wanted but just needed a little elbow grease and some loving. 

 

I can't stress enough how important it is to find someone who really gets your situation. I get that being a real estate agent can be extremely hard work, but something you have to remember as a homebuyer is that you are a customer and should be treated as such. Treat others how you want to be treated. Find someone who is willing to answer all your questions, show you the properties with no problem and who genuinely wants to see you in a happy home. We were very blessed with our agent. He was straightforward, explained what we were getting ourselves into, the projected $$ it would take to make the house livable and the step by steps we needed to take to make sure we outbid the other bidders. He truly made the ordeal painless and when we signed our papers he gave us the best home starter kit in the world. A kit filled with lightbulbs, flashlights, a fire extinguisher and batteries. It was a sweet gift. We recommend him to everyone because he was that awesome. 


You guys, this one is the most important tip of all. I can not tell you how many times I cried myself to sleep because the house was an unruly mess, I had to make peace with the fact that everything takes time. My mother told me that you can't make a house a home overnight. She's right. Over the course of the 2 years our house has taken a different life. People walk in and they say "oh my goodness guys, this place looks great, I can really see your personalities." Thats the greatest compliment to me and it makes all the hard work so worth it. 

We often get asked, "Why did you guys go with a foreclosure?" 


Our home is a little over 2,000 square feet with a monthly payment of less than $900 dollars a month. It has 2 living areas, a dining room, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and an additional living area in the converted garage that holds another living space and 2 additional rooms in an open floor plan. Seriously, a steal right?


Because we were approved for more than what the asking price was, we were able to jump right into the repairs with the extra money. We completely renovated the inside of the house. It was truly an affordable opportunity... it helped us remodel our house into our dream home. 


You guys the last time we had our house appraised it was worth a little over double the purchase price. Let me say that again, DOUBLE. Yup...you better believe that we popped the champagne and celebrated because hard work really, really pays off. 

We obviously still have a long way to go before it's completely finished but we love how far we have come along. I hope that some of these tips will help some of you on your journey to buying your first home. 

I know many people buy a starter home... but for me... I simply wanted a home that I could live in for as long as my heart desired. I don't see us going anywhere, we have managed to manifest our greatest dreams into this house and sometimes... you realize that you love the things your worked so hard for even more than you could have ever imagined. 

Below is a sneak peak of what the house looked like BEFORE. Follow us on our journey as we show you how far we've come along on this beautiful journey. We will share projects with you over the next coming weeks and months. We still have a ways to go but we hope you join us and see how realistic it is to turn your house into your dream home. Remember our Casa es su Casa. :) You're welcome anytime. 


1// Front Living Room
2// Back Living Room/Family room
3// Bedroom 1
4// Bedroom 2
5// Kitchen
6// Converted Garage
7// Backyard & pool
8// Master Bedroom

Look for our first after in a few days! :) Until next time...

-cindy 

Chalkboard Napkin Ring holders that serve as placemats!

I don't know about you guys, but sometimes I open my desk that holds my craft supplies and stare at it blankly because I'm not quite sure what project to work on next. That's what happened to me last week. I took some of my boxes and looked through the supplies when I came across a stash of wooden napkin ring holders. My eyes got wide and a little light bulb went off in my head. I just knew that we had to play with those. So I came up with the idea of chalkboard napkin rings holder that also serve as placemats!! Let's begin shall we?

The supplies are pretty simple:

1// chalkboard paint
2// acrylic paint in your favorite colors
3// masking tape
4// paintbrushes
5// napkin ring holders

There are two ways you can do this...
First way is masking the sides to do the chalkboard paint first (which is what we did) or ... Two, painting the entire thing your favorite color and then masking the sides to do the chalkboard, really it's up to you.

Once our chalkboard paint dried... we took the masking tape and ripped off a piece, from that piece we ripped it in half to give us 2 small strips and used the straight edge side against the chalkboard to get a smooth clean line. (again, you can do it any way you want, or if you have a steady hand, you don't need the tape) Once the tape was in place, we began to paint with our acrylic paint.

Obviously you will have to paint one side at a time and remember that as soon as you apply your coat, rip off the tape for a smooth line.  Let the side you just painted dry, depending on your paint it might be a few minutes (ours took 10) and then move on to the next side. We painted the tops on all of our napkin ring holders, and took a snack break while they dried before we moved on to the other sides.

Once you're done, take your chalk or chalk pen and go to town... write your guest names on the napkin ring holders and display your prettiest napkins.

Have fun with it, we chose these specific colors to go with the fabric napkins I had. These are great and so easy to make, fairly inexpensive, I bet you have most of the supplies at hand and the napkin ring holders are easy to find! Try them out for your next soiree and show off your skills. They work great as placemats so everyone knows where they need to sit. Win!! I hope you guys enjoyed!! until next time...

-cindy

**If you use a chalkboard pen, please note that it is a little tougher to wipe off but a kids wipe works wonders.