Kitchen Space

One of my biggest challenges while living in the RV was not having ample kitchen space.   Maybe I would have mastered it given more time, but preparing meals in a small space was not easy.  I avoided doing anything complicated simply out of frustration.

– Not enough cupboard space for storing the things I would use on a regular basis.

– Not enough counter space for creating complete meals.

Now that we’re back in sticks and bricks, the majority of our meals are being prepared in our kitchen, which has ample space.  For a matter-of-fact, I recently told hubby that I like this kitchen better than the kitchen in our Illinois house.  Although it has less cabinet space, it’s laid out nicely and all four of us can pretty comfortably be working in the kitchen at the same time.

The space is really nice for allowing the girls more time in the kitchen with me and not only are they helping prepare meals, but they are assisting in selecting the meals we prepare.  Being invested in the food we purchase, prepare and partake in has made them much more willing to explore new foods.  That is a good thing.

Because it’s hot in Texas right now, we’ve been utilizing the Instant Pot for our meal preparation.  The girls enjoy helping me find new recipes, including some of our favorite meals prepared in the Instant Pot.  Like the Chicken and Dumplings Naomi helped me make a few nights ago.

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We will need to tweak this recipe a bit next time, but so far we’re pleased with the results of our Instant Pot meals.

From time-to-time, I’ll post our adventures in the kitchen and hopefully share some tasty recipes along the way.

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This is Day 34

We took possession of our new home 34 days ago and it’s been a whirlwind of activity ever since.

On the day we moved in, our new bed was delivered. That and some camping chairs were pretty much the extent of our furnishings, but I had my plants which made the house feel homey and alive.

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All of our belongings we brought from Illinois were in storage, which gave us time to clean, unpack the things we brought over from the RV and purchase the additional furnishings we would need for the house.

Our first full week in the house included driving Lili back and forth to art and nature camp.  We hired some movers to get our belongings from the storage unit and deliver them to the house, so we spent 1 1/2 weeks with camping chairs as our main furniture, our bed and air mattresses for the girls.   It was and will continue to be a great memory of our first days in the new house.

While waiting on our belongings, we were able to get a new outdoor dining set and upstairs living area furniture delivered.  Hubby also got an early Father’s Day gift – a new grill that he has had his eye on for quite some time.

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Then we had our first overnight guests!

The day before our belongings were being delivered from the storage unit, hubby’s sister and her daughter arrived from Illinois.  Fortunately, we were able to get our upstairs furniture delivered as the new furniture included a sleeper sofa and an oversized sleeper chair.  We were very excited to have them as our first overnight guests, even though things were in a state of disarray.

Our belongings arrived!!!  The garage, dining room, master bedroom and upstairs hall were full of boxes.  For a matter-of-fact, there were so many boxes in the dining room, they began to spill into the hallway.  I wish I would have taken photos of our house full of boxes, but I began to unpack instead.  I had 4 1/2 days to get the house in some semblance of order because our dining room furniture was being delivered and we were having friends and family over the following weekend for our first cook-out.

I was very appreciative of the help received from our house guests.  They carried boxes and containers upstairs for me, kept the girls entertained and helped put things away.  By Thursday evening, the dining room was cleared out and ready for our furniture delivery the next day.  Upstairs needed a considerably amount of work, but by the time our guests arrived for the weekend cook-out, we had made considerable progress and our house was much more comfortable to live in.

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Our guests have now returned home.  We had our first annual 4th of July weekend BBQ and pool party, I’ve spent every day unpacking and finding places to put away our belongings.  Hubby and I have a project list that continues to grow, but  we are feeling more settled with every passing day.  We love many things about our new home and the things that are less that thrilling for us, can pretty easily be changed.

One project that I’m hoping to tackle very, very soon is painting. As far as house projects go, it’s a fairly easy and inexpensive project to tackle.  Since I’m not sold on the colors chosen by the previous owners and I want to put my own style on the walls, paint is a great way to make this house truly ours.  However, choosing the right paint color isn’t always easy.  I am drawn to an earthy neutral pallet and was having a difficult time finding a paint color that would not only brighten up the walls, but would also look nice with the granite countertop in the kitchen.  Since we have a more open concept floor plan, the granite is definitely a focal point.

While Lili was at camp, Naomi and I spent a fair amount of time looking thru paint colors and buying samples to bring home and try out on the walls.

I painted samples on the walls under the counter.

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I painted some samples next to the door.

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After seven samples, I determined which I liked best and painted a larger portion of the wall under the counter.

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Winner!!!

It will brighten up the kitchen considerably and looks very nice against the granite.

While we certainly have a lot on our to-do list, these 34 days have been pretty good.  With each passing day, we like our house a little bit more and look forward to turning into our Texas dream home.

 

 

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Didn’t Mean to Wait

Sorry for the absence.  I really didn’t mean to wait so long to post something about our move.

Closing on our home was crazy.  In the week leading up to the official close of our house, we were given five different dates/times.  In the end, we closed last Wednesday.

During the signing of all the paperwork, we found out that the seller’s had not yet been in to sign.  This meant we still had to wait to take possession of the house.  So, we headed out to do some shopping.  Primarily, we wanted new door knobs/locks for the three exterior doors.

About 2 1/2 hours after closing, we received a call that everything was done and we could pick up the keys to our new house.  With two vehicles full of stuff, we got to the house and began unloading.  We also did another inspection of the house and discovered that we have a lot more work that we first thought.

– Deep cleaning

– Painting

– New floors

– New light fixtures

– New outlet and switch plates

– Lots of weeding

– And more

In this market, there is only one chance to look at a house before making an offer.  Trying to take in everything is nearly impossible and when it’s a house that is furnished, you don’t get to see “everything”.  It took us several days to wrap our heads around all the work we need/want to get done, but after a few days we were able to better prioritize everything and decided to go more slowly and not try to do everything at once.  After all, time and money are not limitless and slowing down allows us to enjoy our new home more.

So here we are!  We’re in our new home and while we still have a storage unit full of stuff (it will be moved to the new house this weekend), we have everything we really need and then some. Like our pool and this view that I see almost daily now.

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One day I’ll write a post about all I’ve learned over the last six months, but for now, I’ll just enjoy life.

 

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Rescheduled Again

After being home most of the day, we left to run some errands.  The sky opened up and began to pour down rain and around the same time we received an email from the lender telling us they were missing a form they had sent us to complete, sign and return to them.  They requested we complete the form, sign it and get it back to them asap.  So, while I’m driving in a torrential down-pour, hubby begins to search thru all the documents and finds the one they are missing.  It was one of several documents the lender had asked us to complete 1-2 weeks ago.  A document we had completed and signed.  A document hubby had scanned and emailed to them within 24 hours of their request.  He re-sent the missing document letting them know it was sent previously and should have been in their email records.  The lender confirmed receipt of the document and told us everything was back in the hands of underwriting.

A short time later I received a call from our realtor telling us that closing has once again been changed.  Instead of closing at 8:30 tomorrow morning, we’ve been pushed back to noon.  All because the lender neglected to submit a document.  Of course we must not forget that last Friday our closing was pushed out to Wednesday and we were guaranteed it would be the last time.  Instead, it’s been rescheduled again.

I can’t say any of this is too shocking.  After all, this is the seventh time our closing has been scheduled and rescheduled.

  1.  June 15th – the seller requested a later closing date so they had time to find a rental.
  2. May 26th – the seller found a rental sooner than expected, so everything was moved up.
  3. May 27th – appraisal wasn’t received in time.
  4. May 28th – appraisal needed updates and the updates weren’t completed in time
  5. May 31st – appraisal updates still weren’t completed in time
  6. June 1st – appraisal updates were completed and our file submitted to underwriting for final approval.  Closing at 8:30 a.m.
  7. June 1st – lender didn’t include a document needed by underwriting so closing pushed out to noon.

As of 6:40 this evening we’ve been guaranteed that underwriting will review the last document and we WILL be closing tomorrow at noon.  Until all paperwork is signed and we have keys in hand, I will not trust this is the last reschedule.

Once everything is truly done, I’ll post and share more detail.  Until then, I’ll wallow in my frustration and continue preparing for our eventual move.

 

 

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WEEEEEEE!

I jumped the gun yesterday.

Even though we were told closing was happening Tuesday morning, it appears that wasn’t accurate.

Around 7:30 last night, our lender called to let us know that closing has been moved to Wednesday.  It’s due to appraisal changes underwriting is requiring and the appraiser didn’t get them done yesterday.

We were promised this will be the last change, but at this point we’re not trusting anything we’re told.  After four changes, it becomes a little difficult to trust what we’re being told.  On top of that, underwriting is asking for more and more documentation.  It feels that as long as they have more time, they’ll just keep us busy chasing down documents. 

Our moment of joy dashed and now we wait to see what will actually happen.

On the bright side, I found out this morning that roofing materials were dropped off and tomorrow the roof will be replaced.  This was something the seller told us they would do from the very beginning and documents were signed stating they would replace the roof. 

With all the storms we’ve had this spring, I’m quite sure they wanted to wait until the last possible moment to try and avoid any possibility of another hail storm damaging the roof while they still carry the insurance on the house.  I’m also sure they didn’t want to default on the agreement, which would have given us the power to back out of buying the house.  Not that we would at this point, after all we’ve been thru just getting here.

So the roller coaster ride continues and with each blog post, I’m taking you along on the ride.

WEEEEEEEE!!!!!!

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Happy Dance

The appraisal has arrived!!!!

It was sent after our lender left for the day yesterday, so technically on time, just not during the regular work day.

As of today we’re signing all necessary documents to close Tuesday morning at 8:30 a.m.

We’ve informed the RV Park of our departure.

I’ve set up our accounts for water, gas, electric and garbage.

I’m contacting all our creditors to give them our new address.

I’m contacting all providers of junk mail and telling them to quit sending me junk mail J

We’ve been shopping for things we’ll need for the house and making plans for move-in.

I’m still feeling stressed, but now it’s a good kind of stress.  It’s the kind of stress that makes me do the Happy Dance!!!!!!!!

 

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No, No, No, No, Yes

No appraisal.

No to the Temporary Residential Lease.

No idea now when we’re closing.

No clue how many more times the lender will request further documentation for things.

Yes, I’ve officially hit the stress stage.

 

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