Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Leaving A House To The New Owners

This is a post on how a house should be left to the new owners.

It should  be left this way. But in our experience, it rarely is left this way.

For starters, before a house is even listed on the market, there is a certain level of cleaning that should take place.

Baseboards should be wiped clean. Light switch plates should be wiped clean. Hand rails should be wiped clean. And if the curtains are dirty, with dusty rods, these should be washed and hung up again...clean. Free of suspicious stains. Clean.

After the house is emptied, touch up the walls if at all possible. This is where all of those leftover paint cans hanging around in the storage really come in handy. It takes minutes to do, but it goes a long way to make the house look better.

As cupboards and drawers are emptied, have a bucket of Lysol and a sponge handy. Wipe down the drawers and shelves. And while you are at it, wipe down the cabinets and door and drawer fronts, too. Counter tops? Yes, wipe them down. That should go without saying. You'd think.

Realtors will tell you the floors should be swept before you leave. Yes, they should. And the carpets should be vacuumed as well. Yes, yes they should.

If you have panelled doors in your home, then you are probably aware that they can get just as dirty as your light switch plates. The handles need to be cleaned regularly, the bevelled edges need to be dusted, and the whole thing needs to be wiped down regularly. Regularly.

Bathrooms are tricky, because you obviously will need to use it right until you move out. But if you've been maintaining a certain level of weekly cleaning, then this job should be fast. A swish of cleaner in the toilet, a wipe down of the sinks and showers and tubs with a Chlorox wipe. And if you've been regularly cleaning and scrubbing your bath rooms on a weekly basis, this should suffice. There are some big "if"s in this paragraph.

We all know that moving is a huge job, and packing up all your possessions is a time consuming affair. But you really shouldn't neglect your lawn and garden. If you've been spending any amount of time in your yard, then you know what it needs. It might take an hour on a Saturday to pull a few weeds.

And if the bushes are so overgrown that you cannot walk down the sidewalk to get to the front door without getting scratched and poked? Yes, take care of that. How is an owner expected to get their belongings indoors in one piece?

It's probably too much trouble to wash windows before you leave. Hopefully, you've had clean windows all along to help the sale of your house. On moving day, you probably only need to clean the front door, the doggie smudges on the back patio door, and wipe down a few mirrors. That's not too much to ask, is it?

A few fresh flowers cut from the garden for the new owners...just a nice way to say "Hope you are happy in your new home. I know this house is probably the BIGGEST financial investment you may make in your lifetime, and we tried hard to make it look like it was worth it for you."

And that is how a house should be left for the new owners.

That's all I'm going to say about that. ;)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Home, At Last

Home, at last!

We've officially been in our new house since last Friday, and have been working every day to unpack and make it feel like home.

In the past moves, I've known pretty quickly if a house will work for us and if it will feel right. And in this house, I knew right away that it would end up being our favorite house yet. It is so comfortable to live in, there's plenty of storage, and we love the ranch with walkout basement.

This sweet little cottage might just turn out to be our forever home.

Of course, I still have to put my own style to it.

So for starters, I did everything I could to instantly make it lighter and brighter.

These curtains in the great room came down about five minutes after we had the keys. ;)

And these curtains covering the french doors to the office room? Gone.

My husband saw the front door at the foyer and said "I know this frosted glass is used for security, but I'm not a fan."

"Oh my gosh, do you know how expensive that will be to fix?" I asked him.

"No," he replied. "How much do you think it would cost?"

"Free!" I laughed, as I began to pull away the frosted vinyl cling covering.

Here, you can see how much light comes in on the right hand side, as opposed to the left that still had the frosted window covering.

And after all frosting and curtains were peeled away, I gave everything a good scrubbing. It's always amazing how much lighter a house can feel when the windows are cleaned.

Seriously, who needs a security system when you can have a Jemma instead?

I'm not a fan of words on walls. I like words on signs, but words on walls...not so much.

I put Sam to work peeling these off, too.

We've been doing a LOT of cleaning, and a LOT of scrubbing. And the walls will need a LOT of painting in the future.

It has more than a few weeds, but we love it...warts and all.

Feeling blessed beyond measure.

More updates to come this week, so stop back to the cafe soon!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

So Glad He's Dad!

Okay, he's not my Dad, but he is the father of my children. And for that, I am so thankful!

Ed always leads the way to adventure for our sons.

And when it comes to fun, he's always game!

I made this card for the boys to give their Dad for Father's Day!

{Today's Brew: Simple Stories Hey Pop! collection, enamel dots, PTI card stock}

It's true! He's a 100% cool Dad!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Under The Weather

Does it feel like I've been making a lot of Get Well cards lately?

This card was mailed off to a friend in the hospital. I hope it cheers her up!

{Today's Brew: Heart-2-Heart stamp set (PTI), PTI die cuts, Lawn Fawn paper, PTI chicken scratch paper, doily, Dew Drops}

Thanks for visiting the cafe today!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Birds of a Feather For Father

My Father-in-Law is a birder. He has always loved spotting the latest birds at the feeder, and pulling out his trusty Peterson's Guide for identification. I love my birds, too. I guess that makes us birds of a feather!

I made this card for him for Father's Day, using feather stamps from WPlus9 and combining it with a bird image and sentiments from Papertrey Ink. Can you believe that it is already Father's Day this weekend? I'm glad I planned ahead and made this card before packing up my studio. Now if I can just remember to get it in the mail this week. ;

{Today's Brew: feather stamps from WPlus9, bird and sentiment from PTI, card stock and ink from PTI, peek-a-boo circle die from MFT, ribbon from SU}

Dad is a special blessing, to birds and family alike. He's a real character, and we're thankful to have him in our lives.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Perk Up!

Welcome to the cafe! Today's Brew is a yummy concoction with a frothy layer of whip and a drizzle of chocolate sauce for extra sweetness!

As some of you may know, I've been living in temp housing this week (a.k.a. The Residence Inn) until we are able to close and move in to our new home next week. In this waiting period, we have been exploring in our soon-to-be new town. We take Jemma to the local dog park, we check out the library and the rec center and the downtown shops. And of course, I've been scouting out my new coffee shops! Lucky for me, there is a Tim Horton's and a Biggby coffee in my new town! Hooray!

Today's brew is inspired by coffee!

{Today's Brew: Stamps from My Favorite Things, MFT scallop circle die, MFT stitched frame die, Lawn Fawn stitched tag die, Lawn Fawn papers, PTI inks and card stock}

You've been good. Order the whip AND the chocolate drizzle!

Blessings, cafe friends!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Loverly Lilacs, and Other Shades of Purple

It may be silly, but I really wanted to leave a pretty garden to the new owners of our house.

The garden I inherited two years ago was filled with weeds and thistle over four feet tall. It took a lot of weeding and a lot of mulching and a lot of love, but I think the yard and garden looks pretty now.

These iris are such a deep and stunning purple!

The cat mint looks lovely set against the pink peonies.

Even the spring pansies are still looking their best!

I made a sweet floral card, inspired by all the shades of purple in the garden.

I just love love love the stamp set Fresh Cut Florals from WPlus9. These lilacs are so sweet and simple to stamp. I let them peek out of the newsprint panel, and tied it all up with a little green bow!

{Today's Brew: Fresh Cut Florals (WPlus9), PTI card stock and stitched banner die, SU paper, Amuse Studio ribbon}

Tell me...what's blooming in your garden this week?

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Saying Goodbye to A Few Favorites

We are officially out of our house in Illinois, and are currently living in temporary housing in Michigan.

( cue the hallelujah chorus music!)

The pack and load was brutal, and we cut it so close to the wire getting out of the house on time. More on that later. In retrospect, we would have done a lot of things differently. Isn't that always the case? It was certainly true of our move two years ago.

Looking back, if we had one big regret with our move to Illinois, it was that we didn't wait for the right house for our family. We really should have rented instead of grabbing the first fixer upper we could find.

I never did like the house, or its location at the corner of the cul de sac, or even its location across the river on the far side of everything.

Even though it was just down the road a few miles, we always preferred Geneva. We loved its artsy eclectic vibe, and the array of lovely old homes.

Seriously! Look at this beauty! Geneva was filled with houses just as lovely, if not even lovelier.

Instead, I had a house with this as my lovely view, day after day after day:

Yes, that's a raccoon, digging for buried treasure in broad daylight. Sigh!

Whenever I had the chance, I always escaped to Geneva. There, the seasons were celebrated and life was enjoyed, one sip at a time.

But you know what they say about hindsight being twenty/twenty? That is so true.

Perhaps God brought us to this place to show us that this was not our home, and thus, we did not get too attached.

New adventures await us back home in Michigan. The future is looking brighter, and I am so ready for this next chapter of our lives to begin.

Blessings, cafe friends!