Thursday, March 5, 2015

We sold our house!

We sold our house ya'll! We closed last Friday and handed the keys over to the cute new owners. I didn't want to mention it before in this post because I wanted to make sure we closed before I said anything, (superstitious much?). But we put our house on the market a month ago and we had multiple offers within 24 hours, we were under contract in 3 days and closed just after 4 weeks later. Its such a great feeling! 
We knew that Luke would have to be up at his new job by the end of January and we didn't put it on the market until then. We were hoping to sell quickly so we could buy quickly and were so happy to get it done so fast. Our neighborhood is really popular and we had great agents (if you are local to Columbia SC and want their names email me!) We also worked a lot on the house to get it ready to go on the market and I thought I would share some things I think helped it to sell. (This post by Hi Sugarplum! has lots of great tips too)

 1. No clutter.
I know this is an obvious one but its so important. We took out all picture frames and left the house staged. Because we moved out with the twins before we put it on the market everything could stay clean and their was no baby or dog stuff lying around.

2. Less is more / furniture edition
You don't want people to walk in and feel cramped, then they start thinking its too small. Make the spaces functional but not tight.

3. Touch up paint. Touch up corners and places that get easily scuffed so the new owners don't have to come in and do it. It makes the place look cleaner.

4. Curb appeal. Also a no brainer. New pinestraw and a clean front porch make a lot of difference.

5. Make sure your closets aren't overflowing, when prospective buyers open them you don't want stuff to fall on their heads and for them to think you don't have enough storage. 

6. Good realtor. Ours was great, knew the comps and the area and helped us negotiate through a bidding war. They knew a fair price for the house that we were happy with so it didn't sit on the market.

7. Clean kitchen counters. Leave your keurig out but not tons of stuff everything. Keep it clean people. 

8. Keep in mind the paint colors. Not every room in our house was neutral but in general we kept it clean. This might be time to paint over your dark purple room. Grey is always a good option! 

These are just some of the things that I think helped us sell our house quickly. I am so grateful to be done and ready to move on but I'm always going to miss Columbia. I teared up in the nursery when we moved out. The house we brought our babies home to will always have a special place in my heart.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

printing memories

Since having the twins I've been wanting to print more pictures (of course right?). Before they were born we had one picture frame in our entire home. That's embarrassing. Now we have tons everywhere. Is that embarrassing too? 
I also wanted to make some photo books of the twins and ended up doing the shutterfly ones. So easy, I could have one uploaded and ready to print in a few hours. (If anyone is wondering, I did the 8" modern white ones) I knew if I didn't write everything down now, I never would! So I've made 3 for the twins so far, one each for their NICU stays and how they progressed and one combined since they have been home. I still remember how much I loved to look at my baby book when I was little so I'm hoping these will be that for them.I also just made one of Luke and I's college and marriage years before the twins were born, and that was hilarious to look back at all those. yikes.     
Instagram is such a great visual diary and I wanted all those pictures printed but didn't know exactly how to do that until I found chatbooks and now I'm addicted. It automatically prints your instagram photos every 60 pages and ships it to you for $6 a book. Amazing. I also went back and printed all my old photos too and that was so easy to do, you do everything from your phone! Have you guys used them?
I recently read something about how our generation could be the 'lost generation.' Everything is digital now and nothing is printed. That really hit me and made me kick the printing into high gear. Pretty soon my house will be covered in pictures. How do you guys print your pictures?

(not a sponsored post)  

Monday, February 23, 2015

how we survived the first 6 months with twins

The twins are the best things that ever happened to Luke and I. I never imagined I could have twins and was completely thrilled when we found out. Besides the panicked middle of the night thoughts "how am I ever going to do this??" I think we have handled it pretty well. We survived and I really feel like we thrived as well these first 6 months. We got the babies home from the NICU when there were about 8 weeks old and I can't believe how much they have grown since then. 
Everyone asks us how we do it with twins so I thought I would round up what made a difference for us these first 6 months. 

1. Schedule Schedule Schedule. I know everyone has differing opinions on scheduling with babies but with twins it really was a must for us. If you don't want to be feeding babies 24/7 you need a schedule with two. The babies adapted really well to a schedule since they had been on one in the NICU, we didn't have to change that much when they came home. 
We went with a loose version of Babywise. I say loose because we went with the general idea of eat/wake/sleep but I was flexible. If the babies were supposed to eat at 12:30 and they were both still sleeping I would let them sleep for 15 more minutes or if they were awake at 12:15 we would go ahead and feed them. It helped us a lot.  
At first we fed them every 3 hours and as they got older we would stretch it out as the babies seemed ready, if they consistently seemed tired at their 2:00 AM feeding we would push it back a little and see how they did. They were sleeping 8 hours a night by about 4 months until we hit the 4 month sleep regression (which happened for us at 5 months and continued for about a month) Now they are back to sleeping through the night, 12 hours a night. Cue the angels singing.

2. Boppy
We used these for everything. We fed them in their boppys and and they did lots of tummy time in their boppys. You need these, 2 of them. And extra covers for when they spit up.

3. Aden and Anais swaddles
We own about 16 of these and use them every day multiple times a day. We swaddled with them at the beginning and now we use them for burp clothes, lovies you name it. You need lots. And their sheets and bibs are the softest ever.

4. Honest Company EVERYTHING
Everything we use for the babies is the honest company pretty much. I don't use the diapers because they aren't cheap and when you are buying for 2 babies, yikes. But we use their shampoo, lotion, their intense balm is amazing for everything from the cuts their little nails leave to dry skin. I wasn't a fan of most of the babies laundry detergent I found and I love the honest detergent, we use it for our clothes as well now.  I've started using their shampoo and conditioner for me and well and love it. The bundles are great, you save money and get it delivered to your house. win win. I also read Jessica Alba's book when the babies were born and it is great.

5. Video baby monitor with multiple cameras.
You have twins you need these, one camera on each baby. 

6. PUJ bath
Best bathtub, folds flat, is soft and easy to use. To make our babies like bathtime better, we would put their towels in the dryer before hand so they were nice and warm. (Aden and Anais has great towels too)

(And I forgot to include these must haves in the roundup photo, think of them as freebies)

7. Baby wearing wraps
Huge help with twins, wearing one of the twins allowed me to be hands free to help with the other one. Now I still use them all the time, with teething its a lifesaver. And the funny thing is so far they switch on and off with being clingy or fussy. One will be clingy for a few days while the other one is bouncing away happily and then after a few days they will switch. Heaven help me when they are both teething at the same time. I borrowed a moby wrap from a friend in the beginning and Luke still uses that one and I use the sakura bloom. they love both.

8.  Levana monitor
After having our babies in the NICU for 2 months being constantly monitored I was a little nervous when we got them home. They ended up coming home on heart monitors and that allowed me to sleep better at night knowing if something happened I would know. After they got off the hospital monitors we found the Levana monitor. It tracks movement, so if your baby stops breathing in the middle of the night it sounds an alarm. It clips to their diaper and the twins are still wearing theirs now, even with moving around and flipping over it doesn't come off. We have had 2 false alarms but those were both because we didn't get them on the right way. It makes this mama sleep better at night.

These are some of the must haves for us that allowed us to love the first 6 months. I can't believe how fast the girls are growing and when I think of them crawling and walking and it makes me tear up. Sappy mom alert. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Our new master bedroom closets

If I could use emoji's on my computer I would use the heart one for this. Our master bedroom closets. Our neighborhood in Columbia was full of charm with lots of 1940's bungalows but notoriously low on closet space. This was the closet situation when we moved in. One tiny original closet and a shoddy add on closet that happened sometime in the 90's. 

When we added the master bath we shifted around the doorway and it ended up centered on this wall. We inset the door from the dining room so we could have flush closets on either side of the door. I designed the doors to be simple and take up almost the whole wall and I love the look it gives. We painted the trim the same color as the walls and added huge gold pulls. It ends up giving us tons of storage and you don't even really notice that its a whole wall of closets.
It was a relatively easy renovation for such a high end look and it makes me happy every day I look at.  

Thursday, February 12, 2015

life update / moving / twins

We have had the craziest past month. Good crazy though. Shortly before the twins were born we found out that Luke had gotten a job transfer from Columbia SC. We were so excited. We had been wanting to move back to the upstate for a while, our family is all there and Clemson of course (our alma mater). We wanted the twins to grow up surrounded by family and Clemson football on fall weekends. Exciting buttttt at this point the house was a mess with the renovation and I was super pregnant. Then the girls arrived 2 months early and the house was put on hold while we dealt with NICU life. When the girls were born we still didn't have walls in the new addition bathroom, or lighting. We got back in our groove a little more when the girls got home and we powered through and finished the reno with newborn twins, don't ask me how because I'm still not sure how we did that.

We relaxed over Christmas knowing that we would need to put the house on the market in January and the new year brought about deep cleaning and organizing. I also got the house photographed by Angela Cox and the pictures are amazing, just you wait till I post them! She's awesome.

We planned to move out of the house when it went on the market so it would stay clean and I didn't have to deal with showings with the twins. We moved in with my parents a few weeks ago, they live near Luke's new job and I have built in babysitters while we house hunt. Best decision ever. 
So right now we are living in the upstate and house hunting and managing our house in Columbia still. 

The girls are doing great and are over 6 months now and 'talking' up a storm. They like green beans, rolling over and sitting up. They are obsessed with their daddy and are happiest when they are in a wrap with momma. I also have a post planned about how I think we survived with twins through the first 6 months so be on the lookout for that and renovation finals.
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