Tuesday, January 31, 2012

More juicy info on 'The House'

If you missed the original House aka. Money Pit post click here
When the man and I decided to purchase the connecting tract of land to our Landscape office, we immediately agreed that the old home which sat on the land would be demolished - pronto - no questions - that baby was history! We sealed the deal on the land in January 2010. Our plan was to demo the house and use the adjoining land (5.6 acres to be exact) to extend our business operations by allowing us more space for growth. As the days and months went on...we really started enjoying all of the "extra room" we had. Our office property was 2.5 acres and by adding the adjoining land it gave us right at 8 acres of land to roam. Our business is definitely a 'family-friendly' environment and our munchkins run about quite often. It was so nice to be able to let the munchkins run and play, explore, and have space. So our wheels began turning....we started to kinda, just a little bit...THINK about trying to salvage that old ranch-style home and call it home. It seemed a little absurd on one hand because it was definitely in need of a major overhaul, but on the other hand it seemed genius because our family could live and work on the same tract of land...allowing us and our family more together time on a beautiful piece of land.
After juggling all sorts of ideas around....demo the house and rebuild, have an architect draw up a new plan to incorporate, OR self-contract and do our own thing!! YEAH!! This was one bright idea I'll tell you (insert sarcasm here) Listen folks...DO NOT TRY THIS - EVER!!!
Unless all of the following apply to you:
1. You have a key to the doors at the Federal Reserve Bank
2. You don't have anything else to do but baby-sit contractors all day and night
3. You love high blood pressure
So the journey began on November 17, 2010. We called the troops in (a group of guys ready to knock holes in walls and destroy any trace of the circa 1965 shag red carpet that was laid in the house) for the first Demo party...of many. We were living on the edge...no plan, magazine pages ripped out with ideas, a very small amount of funds, and needing a place to live in a matter of weeks.
I'm not good at editing in PS yet...
Here is a view standing in the Kitchen area looking toward the back of the property...
You can see the french doors and side windows framed. Also you will notice in these pics that all of the ceilings have been raised to 10 foot throughout the 1st floor.
Here is a view standing in the dining/entry area looking toward the hall way that leads to the downstairs bedrooms. The stairs have been removed in this pic and you can see where the upstairs landing is labeled
Here is a view standing in the kitchen (opposite from the view above)
Looking toward the front of the home. Here you can see the stairs to the left have begun to be rebuilt. You can also see where the plumber has broken out a trench to run my new sink in the island
This is a view standing outside in the driveway looking toward the front of the house. At this point we have added the 2 large gables in the front and knocked all of the brick out to make for new windows/front door.
It took us almost 2 months to get to this point. We ran into so many unknowns once we started the demo. ALL of the plumbing had to come completely out. ALL of the electrical had to come completely out. ALL of the A/C system had to come completely out. ALL of the sheet rock had to come completely out. In a nutshell....we built a brand new home on the existing slab.
Stay tuned for the rest of the story.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Restoration Hardware...Houston Style!

Here's the deal....
For those of you who know anything about Restoration Hardware you know that they are all about details. Well. let me just say they've not lacked anything when they built the
Houston Signature store in Highland Village in the Uptown area of Houston.
This place is over the top, spend they entire day browsing, ooohhing and aaahhing, wishing and hoping. I am not exaggerating when I say you could literally spend the afternoon lounging in their outdoor seating areas - roof top might I add. This store has IT ALL! It really is a destination. AND if you live in the Houston area you can actually visit the Restoration Baby & Child store rather than just drool over the catalog pictures.
Anyhow, I spent the afternoon with my 2 youngest munchkins at the new store recently and we had us a grand time indeed. Here are a few eye candy pics we snapped.
The Munchkins even enjoyed themselves...they thought it was so cool that they had chairs in the elevator...even kids can enjoy a good design adventure

Monday, January 09, 2012

The House...aka..."The Money Pit"

Good Rainy Monday. It is a gloomy, stay inside, play hooky (sshhh) and drink coffee kind of day around here. I've decided to begin sharing my story with you about the home remodel we've been undergoing for over 1 year.
My story begins with our growing family of 5 living in our "starter home". We had outgrown this cozy 3/2/2 house after the birth of our son (munchkin 3), and decided we would be on the look-out to upgrade in house. After looking for several months without any luck we put the house-hunt on hold.
I need to insert a small detail here: My husband and own a landscape design/build company and our business sits on 8 acres of land. On a portion of this land is an old ranch style home that was built (hodge-podge) circa 1965. The home was in terrible shape..literally we had already agreed to bulldoze the home. However, the land is absolutely beautiful with mature Oak trees and lots of room to "grow".
After coming to the decision that we weren't finding anything pre-built that we felt that warm fuzzy feeling over - we had an idea. How about remodeling the old ranch home that sits on our business property and making this our home. It seemed like a genius plan since we worked on location and the kids practically "lived" at the office anyhow, plus think of all the fun and games they would have on 8 acres of land. So the idea began to take shape. We placed our current home on the market for sale in September 2010 (thinking it would take 6 months or so to get a contract) and began working on the ranch home. We started by having a demo party :)...my husband loved this. Being the creative mind that he is - this was just the thing he needed to exert some of that creative juice he had stored up. The current floor plan began changing, walls were being taken out, ceiling heights being raised - all in his mind and on paper. I had always dreamt of an East coast meets Southern Living kinda pizazz in my home so this was also a very exciting move for me. I was busy ripping out magazine pages and creating my Houzz idea book. So began the exciting adventure. Below are a few 'before pics of the home' I'll leave you with these to ponder for now. I hope you get as much of a kick out of them as I do....WOW is all I can say.
Exterior Ranch house (Fall 2010)
Exterior rear view (Fall 2010)
Stairs in Entry
Hall Bath
Bedroom 1
Master Bedroom (check out the cathedral ceiling!)
Master Bath
Master Shower (WOW)
Laundry/Back Entry
Game Room
Kitchen (Some demo had started)
There is the first glimpse into the Monster we had taken on. Trust me. Do.Not.Try.This.At.Home.
When folks hear our story...they always mention the old movie 'The Money Pit' starring Tom Hanks. I've not seen the movie to this day, but can only imagine and sympathize with the title.

Stay tuned for more laughs, ooohs and aaahs on this adventure....

Thursday, January 05, 2012

First Impressions...and Introductions.

"First impressions are lasting impressions" - that's what I've always been told.

This lil' old saying is my mantra in life. I'm one of those folks that really cares about first impressions. I take them seriously when I'm meeting new folks and when I'm evaluating folks that I've met (does that make sense?). When I know that folks will be meeting me for the first time I like to make a great first impression - not a fake impression, but a tailored impression of who I am. I try to be well-spoken, neatly dressed, polite, and always listening - not to chatter on too much about myself. On the flip side, I also critique folks on the way they present themselves to me when I first meet them. In my opinion if folks don't and won't take the time to present themselves mannerly on the first visit, they more than likely will not present themselves mannerly in visits to come.
This is my personal observation - take it or leave it ;0

That being said - I'm having a really hard time with HOW I am going to start my blog year and WHAT topic I will pick to speak of first.

  • Will I blog about the business my husband and I own and operate together?? - which I know wuold make for very interesting reading

  • Will I blog about our 3 munchkins and the daily fun and drama they bring?

  • Will I blog about our 1 year home remodel that is so very very close to being complete? - this is a definite adventurous read.

Since there are all of 2 people that read my blog each day (Hi MOM!) I guess first impressions really don't apply here, but still I like to imagine that maybe just maybe someone will stumble upon my blog and I want to make sure that I they have a good first impresson of me.

Suggestions are greatly appreciated....

So for now...I'll introduce myself (without chattering on so about myself :)

I'm Melissa, a 31 year-old, Texas gal. I'm a brunette, but I tend to be a blonde sometimes. I'm the Mother of 3 munckins. My husband and I own and operate a Landscape Design/Build company. I play the piano and sing soprano lead. I live life on the edge and am definitely spontaneous in my decisions. I'm a people-pleaser. I'm a Virgo. My husband and I have been married for almost 8 years and are in the final stages of a massive, gigantic, huge, monstrous, forever, seems like it will never end house remodel/rebuild.

I saw this interesting Purse Quiz (HERE) over at A Bowl Full of Lemons

Here is what my Purse says about me..

You are concerned with how you appear. Projecting your high status is important to you.
You tend to be on high alert. You are very aware of your surroundings.
You are a high maintenance person. You feel lost outside of your normal environment.
You are open and comfortable with who you are. You don't hide anything.
You are an organized and together person. You are competent and successful.
You are a very creative person. Your life tends to be a whirlwind, but you always seem to pull it together.
You are practical and down to earth. You tend to be a rather reserved and quiet person.
You are a very unique and special person. There's no one else who is anything like you

Welcome to my blog and please say "hello" or leave me a comment if you wish - I'd love to "meet" you.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

This is My Year.

The New Year often pushes us to re.evaluate, re.prioritize, and re.solute to a better being. To realize and remember who we are, or who we want to be.
It's a starting over kinda place.
I've jumped on the bandwagon and have given myself a swift kick in the tail to get on track for this fresh start.
So....I've re.evaluated things. and woah! I admit. I'm way off course. Things have crept in and taken over my time, my joy, and my love for life in general.
I've re.prioritized things. and wow! this is not gonna be an easy task, my entire routine, my comfort zone, my hiding place must be changed order for this to happen.
I'm re.soluting to Make This MY Year.
A year of Joy.
A year of making it all worth while.
A year of spending more quality time with my family.
A year of laughter
A year of taking it one day at a time.
A year of triumph over past mistakes
A year of moving on.
A year to remember.
Please join with me as I make this journey - spiritual and physical.