Not Quite A Fixer Upper

Joanna Gaines is my hero.  No, seriously.

I think she is beautiful and perfect, with exquisite taste and an adorable sense of humor (not to mention AMAZING hair and style).  I want my house to look just like a Magnolia Home, and even though that will never happen, decorating is something I sincerely enjoy.  However, because we bought the house, I don’t exactly have a Magnolia Homes budget, so I’m working with what’s already there, looking for deals, and making it all my own.  And it has been SO. MUCH. FUN!

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Home Sweet Hughes – March 2016 – Can you spot the kitty cat?
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Front door before and after
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Chad hates my welcome mat – doesn’t this look great?!

For as much as I watch Chip and Jo, I know I do not have the guts to take on a fixer upper.  When we moved in, our house was painted perfectly, spotless, and turn key.  The owner before me was a better house keeper than I will ever be and had really good taste!  With her permission, I’m going to show y’all some of the before and afters.  The main color in the house was a slightly lighter than sage green.  When we moved in, I thought it wouldn’t go with anything — WRONG!  It seriously goes with everything!  So, being the lazy person that I am, I’ve basically purchased everything around that color because I really do like it!  It’s beautiful!

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Before – Living room/Front Door
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Before – Living room/Fire place area

These were the pictures that I saw on realtor.com and I was like… Chad, you have to see this house, it’s perfect!

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After – Living room/Front door
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After – Living room picture window

So, really, what you’re seeing is just a difference in decorating taste.  I am pattern crazy.  I love patterns, I think they are awesome and fun and beautiful and I could not care less if people think they are trendy or not.  The best part is — if I get tired of them, I can change them!  Can you believe how amazing those same green walls look with all those different colors?!  And it ALL ties together!  We were blessed that my Dad had the couch, recliner, and loveseat (not pictured) already AND that it was a neutral color!  After a trip to Douglasville, Georgia, we got the big pieces and I got to work.  Before I had any color, I had the coffee table that I got from Kelly Resale Shop in Louisa, Kentucky for $45.00.  The mirror was on sale at Kohl’s for $50.00 (it was $100.00 regular price), and I actually had it in the bedroom of our 1 bedroom apartment, so it wasn’t new at all.  The curtains were on sale for $49.99 on http://www.jossandmain.com (expensive, but good sales), and the rug is from http://www.kirklands.com and I believe I paid around $75.00 for it.

The real key, for me, is finding the right throw pillows.  Isn’t that silly?  I absolutely LOVE pillow covers and changing my patterns to reflect the over all feel of a room.  But, it’s freaking CRAZY how expensive throw pillows are considering as of right now, my 55 pound dog is laying on one of those pillows, so why on Earth would I pay a ton of money for one?  I go for covers because I can take them off and wash them and it makes it way easier.  I always order my covers through shops on Etsy, but some of y’all might be fancy enough to make your own.  If so, that’s awesome, but I am not that patient or creative.  I paid less than $100.00 for the whole set of covers (5 total), including the lumbar pillow cover in the recliner.  Yeah!

So, the dining room is also the fabulous not-quite-but-kinda-sage-green color, check out these before and afters:

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Before
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After

Again, just a difference in decor choices, but how amazing is that green with EVERYTHING?  I still can’t believe how neutral it can be.  I would have never been so adventurous with a living area color choice, but it has worked out perfectly since I am way too lazy to paint that much of this house.  Also, our awesome table came from my Dad, who basically furnished our whole house with his furniture from when he lived in Oklahoma in 2014/15.  Thanks Dad!

Now you’re wondering if we even made any REAL changes in the house, aren’t you?  Structurally, no!  It didn’t need it!  It’s a great house.  The previous owners have a little girl and two of the three bedrooms were decorated and painted for her.  One was a nursery, the other was her big girl room.  This was where the work came in.

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Small Bedroom/Nursery Before
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After
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2nd bedroom right before I started painting
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2nd bedroom after

I already had every single piece in both of these rooms.  I used my bedding from when we lived in the apartment in the first room, and then I used an extra queen set that I already had in the 2nd room.  The best part of this entire project?  I got the gray paint that you see on the bottom 1/4 of the wall for $11.00 dollars at Walmart because it was tinted wrong.  How amazing is that?!  I can’t tell you how proud I am of these rooms and these of accomplishment I felt putting up the curtains myself, painting it all myself (Chad hates to paint), and bringing all of the decor together.  Not to mention, it cost me less than $75.00 bucks (materials to paint and all) to make such a drastic change in both rooms!  I am absolutely in love with the chair rails that were already there, and I think both rooms are so cozy and inviting.  Come hang with us!  We have awesome places to sleep.

The next room I tackled was the hall bathroom.  The only downside about the house is the fact that we have tiny tiny tiny bathrooms, but when you’re painting, that’s actually a HUGE upside!

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Hall Bath Before
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Hall Bath After

Yeah, the blue that I used on my front door?  I decided I needed more of it in my life.  I’m not quite sure if I will use it anywhere else since it is very, very dark, but I love it in this little bathroom.  The yellow is kind of odd with the grey and white, but I really like it.  I thought if I could hang some black and white art that it would really tie the grey and white curtain into the over all feel of the bathroom.  It turns out, Chad already had some really awesome pieces that fit perfectly and made for, quite possibly, the coolest bathroom ever.  Let me know if you agree!

Yes, that is absolutely WWII and Star Wars depictions mashed together.  How awesome is that?!?!

We honestly haven’t done much worth mentioning in the master bedroom, bathroom, or the kitchen.  The kitchen is mostly open and all cabinets, tons of counter space, so there isn’t much to hang or really change if you aren’t changing counter tops and appliances (and we don’t have the funds to do that — yet).  There’s also about 800 square foot of finished space downstairs in a walkout basement which consists of two rooms: an entrance from the garage which we have done absolutely nothing with, and another room that is a gym/den area for Chad complete with a tiny refrigerator for all of his beer needs.  The only thing I do downstairs is use the gym area, other than that, I don’t even clean down there.  That’s Chad’s place!  And I hate the word man cave, but, y’know, I guess that’s what it is.  Yuck.

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve already seen this photo, but I thought I would tie it up by showing y’all the master bedroom.

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This paint is how we found this room, and I was like OH MY GOSH, SCORE!!!! because that bedding?  That’s the bedding I had when I lived with my Mom and it was just sitting around not being used!  That comforter is old as the hills and it matches perfectly!  It is also the best fabric for pet hair and puppy claws.  Everything else gets picked so easily, but not this!  The only thing we bought for this room was the upholstered headboard that I got from jossandmain.com for about $85.00.  My Dad gave us the dresser and chest of drawers, oh, and I guess I bought the little nightstand at Kelly Resale for $45.00.  I am also completely in love with how the sunlight comes in this room, and clearly, Sophie is too.

If you’ve read this far, congratulations, you love house decor talk as much as I do!  Maybe everything doesn’t match perfectly, and honestly, I’m probably not that great at decorating, but I have enjoyed making this house my own more than I can say.  There are still some rooms to go, appliances to switch out, and outside furniture to buy, but for now, we are in a really good place.  The house is warm, cozy, and full of happiness and life.  On any given day you will find a fine layer of pet hair over nearly everything, puppy paw prints on the hardwood, and cat food strewn down the hallway (Sadie plays with it).  But, it’s ours and I fall more in love with every single day.  There’s something about the character of a brick-ranch-sorta-split-level little diddy.  Seeing as how I grew up in tiny cinder block houses with one bathroom, sometimes I still walk from room to room and can’t figure out how I even live somewhere so sweet.

Come visit, y’all!  It’s just about porch sittin’ time.

 

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sunshine.

I can finally feel sunshine.  I feel it on my face.  I can feel it deep in my bones.

In October 2015, I broke down to my doctor and told her that I couldn’t do it anymore.  2015 was the worst year of my life in terms of anxiety, and I’d had enough.  What was supposed to be a fairly routine check up turned into me sobbing hysterically and telling her that I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t just be happy because I knew I had everything.  She asked me if I wanted to be referred to a psychiatrist and I nodded ‘yes’.  She changed my medication from 300mg of Wellbutrin to 35mg of Effexor with a supplement of Buspar for when I go into situations that typically trigger my anxiety.

Fast forward to January when I had my first appointment with Dr. Oliver.   We talked for about an hour and he asked me a series of questions, and I tried to answer them as honestly and openly as I knew how.  I was so nervous that I poured the sweat and shook like a leaf.  When I left, I had sweated through my clothes and had to go home without going back to work.  He diagnosed me with Severe Major Depressive Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder, I suppose the two have a way of going hand in hand.  I was shocked at the diagnosis of Severe MDD, because I was functioning, right?  I mean, I held down a job, I maintained relationships for the most part, I was married — I was living, wasn’t I?  How could it be severe?  Well, struggling with suicidal thoughts make it severe.  When having anxiety attacks, saying, “I wish I would just die.” make it severe.  And I wasn’t living at all.

Dr. Oliver upped my dose of Effexor to 75mg, and I can tell you today that it is certainly the best medication for me.  Since Christmas, I have only had to supplement with Buspar or Ativan maybe twice.  In social situations, I feel peace.  I no longer dread spending time with people that I actually enjoy and love, I no longer worry if they are talking about me or making fun of me.  I don’t sit and obsess about people ‘ignoring’ me on social media.  I no longer live my life feeling like every single thing or action from another person is an affront to me.  I am now able to take people at face value.  If they say they like me and enjoy my company, then I guess they do.  I don’t read into comments to try and make a situation something it isn’t.  There are still days where I struggle.  There are still days where my chest feels tight and I don’t breathe very well.  There are still days where the darkness floods the corners of my eyes and I struggle to look forward and not drown in everything I feel or don’t feel.  Nothing is perfect, it never will be, but I can finally tell you all that I am getting better.

There is hope.  Counseling, medication, faith.  If you can do it without those first two, that’s great.  I couldn’t.  I couldn’t anymore.  It’s been a little over two months since I got my dose corrected and started seeing Dr. Oliver.  Well, I guess closer to three.  In those three months I have focused on fitness, on eating better, and on taking care of myself both physically and mentally.  On many days, I feel like I have stepped outside of myself and I can look back and clearly see how much help I needed.  I go back and read my blogs about depression and about anxiety, and I feel like, for this season, I have taken off that heavy coat of depression.  Though I still struggle, I feel warmth, happiness, and I feel light.  Each and every day, I can actually feel sunshine.  I smile and I laugh and it comes from deep inside, it’s not fake or forced.  I look forward to the next day, even if I dread going to work, even if I complain.  I am sincerely happy to be alive.

The person I am now is a work in progress and I imagine it will always be as such.  I am still introverted and I hate being bothered in the mornings.  Sometimes, I realize I don’t seem very pleasant.  I still obsess over things that I cannot fix or change.  There are days where it all falls apart, there are days where I can’t stand myself, but those days seem to be happening less and less.  Those days are now replaced with a sense of purpose and happiness that I haven’t had in a very long time or maybe ever.  Maybe it’s looking at 30, maybe it’s growing up, maybe it’s a mixture of getting my medicine right and starting to work on myself, I’m honestly not sure.  But, I am working.  I am trying.  I have shoved through the darkness and I refuse to give up or give in.

I finally feel sunshine.