This is turning out to be the best week ever.
+ He is Risen! "Death has lost and love has won!"
+ Alexandra WON the Drive, Chip, and Putt tournament in Augusta! Let me just share this beauty again in case you missed my Facebook post, 10 Snapchats, texts, etc.:
That's my girl!
+ The cabinet I designed for our house is being installed as I type
+ Our monthly Girl's Night is this week. And I have the best friends, duh.
..and last but not least:
+ I'm knocking one off the bucket list: As announced Saturday, our episode airs on HGTV at the end of this week! [Seriously I've been watching HGTV since I was 9 wanting to be on!]
DISCLAIMER: READ BEFORE WATCHING!
I just want to set the record straight before ya'll watch the show [that even I haven't seen so there may need to be more added to this at a later date!]
. These are some things I think you should know before watching!:
You'll notice, our title is "Third Round Knock Out". Yes. You will see us boxing in this episode. Why? Oh cause, I used to box casually. Here's the deal. In California I had a gym membership that I never used, but I did want to do something, so when one of Tyler's coworkers mentioned she went to a cardio class at the boxing gym in town, I decided to give it a try. I lasted for a few months sprained my ankle [not boxing] and was out a month, then boxed another month or so before we moved. Please note: I NEVER BOXED ANYONE. The only time I got in the ring was with my instructor for my free "one-on-one" training class that you get for joining the gym. It was a CARDIO class with boxing moves and everyone had their own bag to punch. When we filled out our application for the show, I was still in boxing class so I [stupidly] listed that as a hobby and they decided to run with it for the show. Unfortunately for me, by the time we filmed it had been months since my last class and I was never good with the footwork to begin with seeing as I didn't need it vs. a bag. So go ahead and think up your jokes [cough, Danny Spears, cough]. Fortunately for me, they like to make it so the girl wins - I wish I could TKO Tyler, but alas, it's staged.
+ We are not millionaires.
Somehow, our budget got way mixed up between emails. We did increase our budget at one point but they ended up taking the second number from the low end and switching it with the second number from the top of the budget so our budget went wayyy up! By the time we caught the error, they had already filmed a segment with the host separately so we had to go with it. But that's why we keep saying, "we want to stay at the low end of our budget!"
+ We are a little boring.
We pretty much agreed 100% on what we wanted in our first home - but that's pretty boring for viewers, so they took our one minor disagreement and blew. it. up. We really didn't argue over that to the extent that it may or may not be viewed on-screen [especially with the super corny scripted lines during the boxing scenes]. It's TV people! Don't worry, while there have been couples who split up because of the show [not even lying], we are not one of them!
+ We love our house!
Again, we're boring. By the time they filmed the last house [our house] we had already requested some changes with the builder - so we didn't really have anything we 'didn't like' and they forced us to find something. I don't really remember what we said other than the backyard was boring? ..but we really do love our house!
+ We love our builder!
The show makes it seem like we didn't know the builder, but we do! It also makes it seem like he sold the house to us for below value so that he could 'get out' and move on to the next project. Not true. We did get a great deal but he definitely didn't 'get rid of it'. They just had to back-track and cover up for the fact that they'd already filmed her saying we wouldn't be able to find what we wanted at the low end of our budget.
+ I wear heels.
This may come as a shock, but I wear heels guys! In the summer I love to wear wedges with shorts. I have short legs and I try not to buy skanky short shorts, so I need help sometimes! You'll see me in wedges *and* flats on the show and if you see me in person in the summer, I'll probably be wearing wedges. Or barefoot.. but that wouldn't have been acceptable for TV. All that to say, I did not just wear heels for the show. Ask my realtor. I wore wedges when she was dragging my hopeless but around Charlotte trying to find our dream home!
+ Even with heels, I am short.
No, I am not close to as tall as Tyler. Not even with heels on. But, thanks to the handy dandy 'Tom Cruise' box, I do appear to be in some of the interview scenes!
Your FAQs Answered:
We've gotten a lot of questions from you all about the process, so here are the answers to the questions we've been asked most frequently:
+ Did you get paid?
Haha, no! We wish.. but we did get a gift card to a home improvement store and we were willing to settle for the 15 minutes of fame!
+ Is it real?
As real as it can be! Like the producers told us: they don't want to force anyone to purchase or put a timeline on purchasing and you can put an offer in on a house anytime after the first film date. They showed us the first two homes then they left us alone with our realtor to visit [what felt like] 10x more homes, *hopefully* finding 'the one' before they come back to film again! Luckily for us, we had already found our home about a week before filming began and were just waiting for it to be closer to finished before putting in an offer.
+ Is the show's host your actual realtor?
No. While she is a licensed realtor, our realtor was behind the scenes finding the houses and hooking us up. She's the best. If you're looking in the Charlotte Area, Jennifer Monroe is your hookup.
+ Did you have a script?
Absolutely not. Which made re-takes extremely difficult - trying to remember what we said the first time, second time, fifth time.. Although, like I said, we were a little boring when it came to arguing so some of those lines were fed to us! ..and anything else that sounds cheesy was probably fed to us as well! They also made us do a few re-takes if we were being 'too nice' about a house that we clearly didn't like.
+ Did you have a hair and makeup artist?
While there was a hair and makeup artist on set [for the host], we did not get to get in on that perk! I did all of my own hair and makeup [as you'll probably be able to tell
- because it was always raining and I can't
tame the frizz in the rain!]. I even did Tyler's makeup! In high-light and sunny scenes they requested I powder his forehead and nose, but that's the extent of his makeup wearing! We also picked out our own clothes after reviewing their extensive list of no-no's for the TV screen: no clothing logos, no sports logos, no stripes, no tiny polka dots, no all-white, no red.. etc. So after canceling out all the Miami gear, workout clothes, and stripes; that left us with about 2 items for poor Tyler. Proof I did my own hair, a picture our builder snapped when he came to install the cabinet knobs the morning of filming:
+ How long did filming take?
For. Ev. Er. [Sandlot voice]. We were scheduled to film for almost 30 hours over 3 separate days. Thankfully we rarely had to do re-takes [other than when they wanted different angles or to use a different camera] so we cut that down to about 24! [Not to toot our own horns but the director said we were really easy to work with and did great with our takes! We're clearly stars in the making.]
MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION:
+ When will it air?!
Wait no longer folks. Set the DVRs for THIS Saturday morning, April 11th at 9:30 AM on HGTV! Or, you could not be lazy and get up and watch it LIVE!
I asked Tyler if he had anything to add.. so I'll leave you with this:
So.. 'melt your eyeballs and hearts out' America, THIS Saturday at 9:30/8:30c [9:30pst, no idea mountain time!]!
First of all: How is it April already?!
This year is flying by! I haven't written at all for a few reasons:
1 - Learning how to juggle 3 jobs and run a business. Yes, 3. All part-time-ish. All requiring me to own my own business which means doing adult things like quarterly taxes, writing contracts, and sending out invoices [not as easy as I thought]. Not because we need it but because I'm probably certifiably insane, love what I do, and can't say no?
2 - Flu/Strep combo and that little concussion. Minor Detail. No joke. I had two weeks off for Christmas/New Years, the first was spent with family in Ohio and the second was supposed to be used for getting ahead with my business, taxes, cleaning the house, and prepping blog posts. One day in to that second week I couldn't move, breathe, stay awake, eat, etc. Just as I was able to breathe again, I couldn't swallow without feeling like I was swallowing glass. Super fun. Thankful for a dad who called in some antibiotics and I was better before work started up again the next week but I ended up getting way behind with everything else!
Later in January we went on a ski trip to Breckenridge, Colorado with a huge group of friends/co-workers [something like 16 people total?!]. On the second, and thankfully last, day of skiing, I was hit in the back of the head by a snowboarder, flew in to the air landing head-first with my feet pointed uphill. Thankfully I was skiing with a helmet. I had a headache the size of Texas and kept feeling like I needed to go to sleep so I was taken to the hospital via ambulance for evaluation. After failing the balance test but not throwing up, passing out, or seizing [hooray!], it was determined that while I did suffer a concussion, I did not have a brain bleed and could fly home the next day. I could not however: read, use a computer, watch TV, be around loud crowds [ha - we were sharing a 3 bedroom suite with 9 others], etc. ..and the next morning I woke up with whiplash which made walking through the airport fun! I spent the rest of the month sleeping before and after every activity. January was not my month for getting things done.. but yes, I will go skiing again!
Ironically we were waiting to buy my helmet here!
3 - New Year's Resolutions [Seriously. I actually made some this year and am attempting to stick to them!] During my time of reflection after the concussion, I decided to make some New Year's goals. In order to try to stick to my resolutions and make them a priority, I made a rule that I had to show commitment to each goal before I could write again.
Resolution 1: Start drinking more water. I now start each morning and end my day with at least 1 8oz glass, keep a full tumbler with me at work, and make myself drink a full glass of water before I'm allowed to have any other drink with a meal. I'm still probably not at the recommended amount but considering I detest water, it's a step in the right direction!
Resolution 2: Join a gym and actually go [ya know, after being medically cleared]. I crushed this one. I joined the beginning of the second week of March and had a goal to go at least 6 times by March 31. I doubled that.
Resolution 3: Use a planner. Getting better at this one but still need improvement! Next year more thought will be put into what type of planner I purchase - I need one more tailored to how I like to view my month/week/day!
Resolution 4: Start doing daily devotions. I like to start things with a purpose and be 'exact' with things. So when I went to the Christian bookstore at the beginning of March and bought my new devotional books and one had a "daily" plan for 30 days, I couldn't start it until April 1. Just couldn't. And I hate to do day 3 devotion on day 4 so I think I'll be sticking to this!
Resolution 5: Don't get overwhelmed. Blogging is a hobby, not an only source of income. If it doesn't get done, it doesn't get done. It shouldn't take away from time with friends and family.
4 - I can't keep a secret. I kept wanting to share pictures of our house and projects we were doing but I also didn't want to until our show aired so you could see some of the 'before'! .. So now, the only reason most of you are here, the BIG news: WE GOT THE EMAIL! Last night, we received an email from the production company that our show will air NEXT Saturday, April 11th at 9:30 AM on HGTV! If you want to record it, our episode is called, "Third Round Knock Out." I'll post a full disclaimer on Monday!
We are so excited to finally see the episode ourselves and excited for you all to see it as well. Be prepared for several home posts afterwards to see what we've done since moving in! Happy Easter!
"2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; He has risen!" Luke 24: 2 - 6a
Yesterday was our last day of filming, so Sunday was a crazy day of moving, organizing, decorating, cleaning, and getting the house TV ready! Now that a majority of our furniture is in place, it's hitting me that we own this home! Maybe I was just extremely tired and emotionally vulnerable, but I started tearing up when I got this video email from our builder. They did an amazing job in truly transforming this house! [And I'm proud to say I helped a little by picking the cabinet color, backsplash, paint colors throughout, and the floor stain!] Enjoy watching this transformation!
Last weekend was our first weekend as homeowners and we started the process of tackling projects! Our first major project: storage and organization! Other than the master closet, the two other bedroom closets are fairly small and there are no coat or linen closets in the home. Just off of the laundry room was a rather large [5'x4'] "closet" with a blank slate:
..the builder recommended it could be used as a small office, which we did consider, but with no window, no air conditioning vent, and our need for coat and linen storage, we nixed that and decided to make it a closet! Inspiration? Every California Closet
I've ever seen, and this beauty from the Pottery Barn catalog:
..after seeing that, I knew we could do something fun with the space so we decided to check out the closet section at Ikea. We fell in love. And we turned the empty space into this:
We used the Pax System
from Ikea and could not be happier with the results. There's a space for everything we need it for and then some!
Top shelf storage for bins with candles, light bulbs, batteries, etc.
Pull-outs for hats, umbrellas, sports bags, and purses!
Coats, extra linens, cleaning supplies, and shoes!
Handy pull-out tray to use as a folding table or use with a mini ironing board for quick touch-ups!
The best part about the Pax System is that you design it to fit your needs - originally I had a shelf where the folding table is now but I loved the accessibility of the shoe tray so I returned the shelf and purchased the pull-out tray. Although you can choose to have everything delivered and installed for an added fee, we chose to do the building ourselves to stay on budget. Speaking of budget, everything seen here was just under $525 total. That's both units, all clothes rails, drawers, trays, shelves, and pull outs. In my opinion, putting it together wasn't terribly difficult. As with any Ikea project, it's important to have patience and really look at the word-less directions or you could end up putting a small wooden dowel in a larger screw hole and not be able to get it out - points finger at husband.
We're so content with our Pax System that we're thinking of biting the bullet and doing something similar in the master closet to provide that built-in look with more structure and organization:
Maybe that will be a "Weekend Warrior" project in the near future? Regardless, the fluorescent light has got to go! Happy Friday! Enjoy the weekend! Need something to do? I highly recommend the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.
It's been .. a while. Over a month in fact. Life has been crazy busy and there has been little time to update! Here's a look at the exciting things we've been up to the past month:
We traveled to Cincinnati for my sister's pinning from Nursing School..
..and her boyfriend proposed right after the pinning ceremony!
Excited for our family to grow!
We filmed for a TV show! With Egypt Sherrod!
I received my testing packet from the State .. took and passed both tests!
We put an offer on a house .. and it was accepted! [This is an unfinished picture, mid-construction]
This little guy [along with my sister and her fiancé] came for a visit and we went to the U. S. National White Water Center of course!
I started my own business.. many of you may not know that I work for my in-laws' restaurant and one other restaurant on the side doing graphic design, marketing and events. Due to moving - it's easier for me to invoice the locations for tax purposes. I've also been told by several people that I need to start charging for interior design consulting.. we'll see!
I drove to Tennessee to visit with my mom and sister. Beautiful scenic drive to the perfect middle ground for meeting with Ohio family!
We celebrated our 2 year Anniversary on August 4th! I got him tickets to Liverpool vs AC Milan and Liverpool won 2-0 [how fitting!]
In between everything, we've been working hard to fill out mortgage documents, file paperwork for a new business, create an invoicing system, set up inspections, appraisals, utilities, pick finishing details for our flipped 1927 home, begin the packing process, and we've been using every evening and weekend searching for the perfect dining room table, couch, washer and dryer, chairs, etc. to go in our first 'big-kid' house to make it our home.
Today, almost exactly halfway between our 2-year wedding anniversary and our 7-year 'We're-An-Official-Couple' anniversary, we are closing on our first home! Here's to beginning a new chapter in our lives together as homeowners, and documenting it all here on Behind the Mask!
Yes. It is past Friday - eek! We were traveling back from our House Hunting trip so this post got neglected. Even if it's late, I had to post to fill you in on a sale, so this is more of a PSA than anything.. everything Kate Spade
is 25% off for Friends and Family through Sunday! Yay!
Kate and I are kind of friends from afar. I love to admire all of the gorgeous purses but I have to steer clear of stores to keep my wallet [and marriage] safe. I wasn't even aware until recently that there was more to Kate than pretty purses, shoes, and accessories; she also carries a line of things for the home including fine china, vases, etc. Anyway, these are a few of my favorite home items!
Clockwise from top left: 1, 2, 3, 4
| | 1. Scented Candles - I love Kate Spade for the witty quotes on most of her products. Not only do these smell good, they're beautiful and include cute and inspirational quotes and sayings. I think I need the blue one for our new adventures in North Carolina!
2. Market Street Collection - One of the main reasons I chose a white dish for our main dishes when we registered is because you can always dress them up! These fun dotted accent plates would be perfect on top of a white dinner plate for Easter with colorful antique drink ware or even these cuties from World Market for Easter brunch!
3. Things We Love Collection - This collection is cute, fun, and colorful, but what I really love is the coffee table book. I have seen it all over Instagram for some time and heard everyone ranting and raving over it. Quite honestly I didn't think anything of it or believe it could be that great. After turning through the pages at B&N, I can see why people love it - definitely gets the creative juices flowing [if being creative is your thing] and definitely looks good on the coffee table!
4. Daisy Place Collection - I saved the best for last! How stinking cute are these little dishes?! I love organizational items - especially ones this cute! I am so excited to be moving in to a new place in Charlotte where there's a designated "entry space" that these can sit near to place keys, sunglasses, mail, etc.! [While I love our current apartment, it is small and you enter directly into the family room so we often loose our keys and sunglasses before making it to the kitchen cabinet where they belong, and mail ends up everywhere from the coffee table to the dining room table and beyond!]
And on that note, I'm going to head to the Kate Spade Outlet! Hopefully I can keep my husband under control this time..
Life lately has been insanely crazy. Hence the lack of Blogging. When I'm not doing real work or out enjoying our awesome city and awesome [70* daily] weather with the hubs, I'm spending every waking hour on Zillow, our realtor's site, researching our new city, going over financing and budgeting for our first house, taking needed [for sanity] shopping breaks, and finishing my application to get my Dental Hygiene license in our new state.. cause oh yeah, we're moving to:
Charlotte, North Carolina
In about a month we will be leaving California and moving across the country to the Carolinas. While we are super excited to be back in the same time zone as our families [and my 'side' job], I'd be lying if I said we weren't a little sad to be leaving the first place we ever called 'home' together. And the weather here. And friends. And all of the adventures of California. [Not going to lie, kind of pumped about lower taxes and lower cost of living though.. shh!].
We are excited for this new adventure, but for now I'll be in and out of blogging, the dirty clothes piles will continue to grow past where I can stand, 'hand-wash only' dishes will sit in the sink for longer than usual, and we will be out walking through Walnut Creek after work, trying the weekly changes in Frozen Yogurt flavors at our favorite place, hitting up the city on the weekends, using our last few pool passes, and playing Frisbee Golf on the new course by our place no matter how terrible I am. [Yes. They would install that a few months before we leave. That and a Hobby Lobby.. don't even get me started..]
See you in a week Charlotte! Excited to see what's in store as we search for our first home! Ps. for those of you wondering.. HGTv was not going to be able to give us a definitive answer by next week for whether or not we'd be on the show. With that in mind, we have decided to go ahead and buy if we find something we like while we are there - finding a place to live and getting things in order before we move across the country is more important than being on TV!
If we could afford to have our entire home decorated by Pottery Barn, we probably wouldn't be opposed. But we're young and love to travel, so we put our money in that direction for now. And the reality is, I shop too much to place all of my eggs in one basket - I love mixing pieces from different places and I'm pretty good at finding expensive pieces for less. That doesn't mean I don't indulge in a PB Sale every now and then, or still consider them as one of my favorite stores
when searching for something for our home, because, they are. Our bedding is from there and I love
Shag is back, and I am in heaven. Wool shag rug, wool shag throw, and my new favorite shaggy faux-fur pillows! The pillows were from Pottery Barn and, surprisingly, they were way less expensive than any other store!:
My faux-fur pillows in their new home! Other pillows pictured: Sequin Tile Pillow Cover [Pottery Barn] and Rosette Pillow [old Crate & Barrel, no longer available]
Look for Less
I am obsessed with the big, fluffy, faux-fur pillows - but the prices, not so much! I was shocked to see that Pottery Barn's regular pricing was way less, and I got them at the Sale price! Luckily I already had pillow inserts so I don't need to purchase the inserts, but even if I had to, the Pottery Barn complete set of pillow + cover would still be less than just a cover anywhere else! The PB pillows are faux-fur as opposed to 'Mongolian Lamb' but they achieve the same great look and are still soft!
One of my favorite decor and home shopping places is Joss & Main. Joss & Main is an online version of Home Goods, and a less expensive version of One Kings Lane. Each day, part of my morning routine is to go through the new sales of the day. Sales open each morning and close usually within 3 days unless it is a curated sale, those tend to stay open up to 10 days. I've had a lot of luck finding items for our apartment at great deals: lamps, trays, vases, pillows, juice glasses, and more! The trick is to get them before anyone else scoops them up! You never know how many are inventoried in the sale; there could be just one or there could be multiple!
If you haven't tried it out, I highly recommend [link below]! You do have to have a "membership" but it's not something you have to pay for! My favorite is the iPad app. that allows me to quickly scroll through the sales - the only thing I don't like about the app. that the web features is that on the app. you can't "love" anything to come back to later. Sometimes I'll see something that I don't want to make a decision on right away and then can't remember where I saw it so I have to go searching through all of the other sales until I find it again. Other than that, love the app. and love this "store"!
Another great feature: once you place an order and pay standard shipping [$9.95], you have 30 days of free shipping! So if you place an order and find something you like in a sale that opens later that week, you don't have to pay shipping again! Here are a few of my current faves in sales that are open now!:
Sale Name: Color Splashed
Sale Name: The Spring Table
Abbington 12.5" Domed Cake Plate
Abbington Beverage Dispenser
Sale Name: Colors of 2014: Radiant Orchid
Now that I've shared my shopping secret, start shopping with me using the link below or on the right hand side bar. Also, when I spy something great on J&M, I'll be sure to share on Instagram
Since the Christmas season of the year we got engaged, I have been looking for Christmas dishes. My mom has a set, my mother-in-law has a set, I had to get a set for our new
family. Every set I found was either too expensive or not my style. Even dishes at T.J. Maxx and Home Goods were too much for me to spend. I eventually told myself that these were probably dishes our parents got after they were "established" and I didn't need
them immediately to make our Christmases special. Waiting
proved to be the best decision [as per usual].
I try to go to the local "Antique" store, Shabby Creek on Main
, about once every 2-3 months. I love looking at all of the old objects made new again, and love finding hidden gems to incorporate into my decor. When I walked in last Friday after work, I went in to look for another milk glass piece and came home gushing to my husband about what we had
to go back for. Here's a look at what I found!:
I can't get over them. And I am beyond excited for next Christmas! Beautiful gold details on crisp white dinner plates, dessert plates, bowls, and mugs. A complete set of twelve sans two mugs. For a whopping total of $75 including tax. Yes. All that for under $100. After I brought them home, and my husband saw them in person, he wanted to see the receipt to make sure I wasn't just saying that they were only $70 to get him to say yes to the purchase. He couldn't believe we now had an entire set of very nice Christmas dinnerware. Now we definitely need some gold flatware!
A closer look reveals that the bowls are actually from a different company. You can see the Christmas tree on the bowl has 4 "tiers" versus the 3 on the plates and mugs. While this may bother some, I doubt my guests will be looking at the bottom of my plates to check the companies or that they'll be bored enough to be counting tiers on Christmas trees! This is another reason I love going to these places - where else would I have found two different yet extremely similar sets paired together?
Antiquing can feel intimidating at times - many antique or thrift stores have a lot of stuff packed into a small space, and many of the items may not even be worth looking at. But somewhere out there, there is a hidden gem waiting for you.. are you willing to hunt?
*All photographs were staged and taken by me. Tartan Deer Print via SS Print Shop. Ribbon and Christmas potpourri - old from Michaels.