Tuesday, November 25, 2008

House Browsing, Floor Plans and Paint

I absolutely love to look online at Har.com (Houston Association of Realtors) and spend countless hours browsing at houses for sale...especially the houses that are way out of my price range and are just gorgeous to dream about. I know, this is silly, I do live in a brand new house, but there is just something about seeing others peoples homes that is fun and intriguing, the way they decorate or lack of decorating, the 'what you get for the money' aspect and all the different types of floor plans...my mind just wonders off into real estate la-la land. I also very much enjoy going to new neighborhoods and walking through the model homes, taking pictures of all the beautiful rooms inside. It is just such a passion of mine to decorate, help others decorate, see others home decore' and get great ideas to try in my own home. I will soon be posting pictures of our home and they are going to be considered the before pictures. Because we do live in a new house, the walls are all the same color, an off white cream color with white base boards and white crown molding, way too bland/blah for my taste. I can not wait to put color on my walls and give my house the 'warmth' it deserves. In the next couple of weeks, my hopes are to be painting warm Tuscan colors throughout our home. I am attaching a drawing of our floor plan, so that it will be easier to interpret our house layout when I do post pictures of our home in the future...and floor plans are just fun to look at as well! Our house is 2,250SF for reference.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Clean and Cozy Home makes for Happy Guest

You will soon come to notice and realize (once I post pictures--coming soon) that I am a complete neat freak, very clean and organized; everything has a place where it belongs kind of gal, it’s my OCD, I was born like that. So for me, it is very easy to keep a clean, organized and cozy home. There are just certain things that I do everyday in my home to keep it that way. For instance the bed is always made, the living room is always picked up and the kitchen is clean and clutter free. It really only takes a few minutes, fifteen minutes at most, each day do these easy task. I always want my home to be open and cozy to any and all family and friends that come to stay on a planned visit or just drop by un-announced. Here are some things that I do to make it a non-stressful time when company does comes over.

1. Don’t just clean your home for company
The title says it all. Don't wait to clean your home until you have company coming over. Come on now, you live there and you should be proud of your home, the way it looks and the way it feels. You are worth living in a clean environment; just do a room at a time if that is what works best for you. Then when your guest does come over, you are not running around mad crazy trying to clean the entire house at one time.

2. Leave a room picked up and clutter free
Pretty much put things back where they belong and leave a room as if it were a room in a model home. Don’t get me wrong, the hubs and I do get comfy in our home and ‘veg’ out on the couches with blankets, couch pillows, food and drinks scattered around the living room. We too want to enjoy our home as much as any guest. But I make it a priority to fold back blankets, pick up couch pillows and return all drink and dinnerware items to the kitchen before I go to bed at night. It makes me feel good to walk into a picked up room in my home and enjoy the way it looks. If we take just a few minutes to put everything back where it goes when we leave, we are not only ready for company but we should also be less stressed out.

3. Leave unused rooms "ready"
Most people have rooms in their home that aren't used daily also known as guest rooms. It seems that a lot of people use these rooms as extra storage space or ‘catch alls’. Designate a closet in the house for all ‘catch all’ items and keep your guest room, a Guest Room. This is actually one of the simplest things you can do to keep these rooms guest ready. Make sure the beds are made, have extra clean sheets, towels on the dresser or in guest bathroom, clear closet for guests hanging items, and have a place to lay luggage down on. When this is all done, you can be sure your guest rooms are ready with confidence!

4. Make a cleaning schedule
Now, I will admit, I am not as good at this as others are, but I do try. I do clean all living parts of my house every week, but I do not necessarily clean them on the same day every week. Try and make some type of schedule that is going to work for you. For instance, have a schedule Monday-Friday or even Saturday and do one room each day, or do certain tasks in each room on certain days and laundry on certain days. By doing this you are making cleaning not so much of a hassle and a drawn out process but instead a small daily task which ensures that your home does stay clean day end and day out.

5. Keep a stock of ‘Inventory’ items
There are just certain items that I make sure that I have on hand at all times. The most common stuff that comes to mind for me in our home are, toilet paper, paper towels, napkins, straws, bottled water, wine, guest toiletrie items in bathroom, extra candles, tea lights and the certain foods that I cook with all the time or easy meals. By having these inventory items, you never have to worry about having to rush to the store at the last minute or make your guest feel uncomfortable, non the less yourself.

6. Follow the 15min rule
I love this rule. Never have anything in your house that has to be done, cleaned or organized that is going to take more than fifteen minutes. Fifteen minutes is just enough time to vacuum or wipe counter tops down or dust certain areas or make the bed, etc. Hopefully you will also have at least fifteen minutes notice before any guest arrives and if not, just simply say, “I was just finishing up tidying up this room…”

7. The Extras!
Fresh flowers, light candles, homemade goods or cooking are always a plus for any guest that comes to visit. If you get a chance, do any or all of them and your guest will be sure to feel very welcomed and happy!

8. Enjoy your guest
Be a happy hostess and enjoy the time you do have with your family and friends and be thankful that you have a home that people want to come to. And always make sure your guest are happy as well!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Reality TV

OK, so I have this thing, not really an obsession, just a thing for reality TV. I really enjoy reality television; not all reality tv shows but a good handful of shows. I am not sure what it is about them that I like, but I do. It may be because these are real people (not actors) broadcasting their real life and real situations to millions of people, or because of the horrible strike that happened in the beginning of this year that caused there to be slim to none shows to watch on tv, or because I just find it very entertaining to be caught up in these peoples lives to make me seem more normal! My favorite reality shows to watch are:

-The Bachelor/Bachelorette
-Jon and Kate plus Eight (LOVE!!!)
-The Housewives of...(in which ever city they are in; although Orange Country is my favorite)
-17 Kids and Counting (WOW, that's about all I can say)
-House Hunters (I consider this reality, they are not actors)
-What's My House Worth (same as above)
-Deal or No Deal
-Wipeout (the hubs and I laugh our asses off)
-Nanny 911 (watch this sometimes and find it amusing)
-The Hills (oh my, to have that life.....not really)
-Iron Chef (occasionally watch)

I probably missed a few, but see, I do like me some reality TV. I am sure I am not the only one out there that does but just felt the need to blog about it and it gives you an idea of how random my brain works, LOL.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fabulous Friday

Ahhh...I love Fridays; they truly are Fabulous for plenty of reasons! Fridays for me are the end of the work week, payday, trying to remember what happened on Grey's Anatomy the night before because I most likely drank too much wine, the weekend is here, happy hour is calling my name (I can taste a cold Budlight already), dinner with friends or family and knowing that I get to sleep in the next morning! I do love Fridays!

On this particular Friday, I am especially excited because tomorrow I am going to the Nutcracker Market with 2 of my very good girlfriends for a Saturday filled with shopping, shopping and more shopping and laughing and eating good food! Below explains what the Nutcracker Market is all about.

Over 65,000 attendees with a strong passion to shop visited more than 300 national and international merchants, offering unique items for the entire family, including home d├ęcor, gourmet food, apparel, accessories, toys, garden items, and much more just in time for holiday shopping! Houston Ballet 's Nutcracker Market has become an annual tradition that kicks off the holiday season in Houston. Since 1981, the Nutcracker Market has contributed over $26 million to Houston Ballet Foundation to support its academy and scholarship programs, which nurture and develop young, promising dancers who have and will become the backbone of Houston Ballet. Currently more than 50% of the dancers in the company have received at least part of their training at Houston Ballet's Ben Stevenson Academy.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

So is this what jumping from a plane feels like…?

So is this what jumping from a plane feels like…? Well, I mean, not so much that exhilarating, but…I guess what I am try to say is jumping into ‘The Blog World’! Letting it all out there; your personal life, your thoughts, your opinions, your comments and suggestions. If so, I am jumping! Here I am!

“It’s about time!” That is what I am thinking to myself. I have had this blog for some time now, over a year to be exact and am just now publishing my first post. To tell you the truth, I was not quit sure how to go about this whole blog thing. I love reading other peoples blogs and find it very, very entertaining. I wasn’t sure if MY blog would be entertaining in the least and if what I wanted to write about really mattered to other people. But what the hell, here goes nothing. I do feel myself personally connected to some of my favorite blogs and can’t wait to see what they post next. And of course I have not dared to comment on their pages… yet…well because I haven’t even posted until now, how boring, I know!

So, “Hi”, my name is Amber (the Mrs.) and I have a wonderfully, handsome hubby named Scott (the hubs) and we have a 5 year old blue heeler girl dog named Dakota. We live in the great state of TEXAS! This blog is going to be about us…OUR LIFE (our house, decorating, organizing, cleaning, shopping, cooking, entertaining and renovating). And although we are a team, I will be doing all of the posting. The hubs isn’t so much into the blogging world, yet. So welcome to OUR LIFE! I have officially jumped! J