Monthly Archives: May 2011

Mortgage Approved!

The number of road bumps on what’s been a long and winding road to home ownership is getting smaller. Last week we learned the house appraised for more than our purchase value (phew!) and our mortgage loan was approved! We’ve also secured homeowner’s insurance

All that’s left on the to-do list is the staked property survey and the final walk-through. Well, that and the actual closing, which is still a few weeks away.

Also, maybe a prescription for Xanax for me.

DH has been busy drawing up plans and we’re checking out the house again this week with a contractor in tow. As with unmarried couples in days of yore, our visit will  supervised, natch.

Read more about our mortgage adventures at Hormone-colored Days.


Since I’ve yet to put together my own tribute to Ikea, The Source of all things pre-fab and inexpensive, I thought I’d post this.

Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse: New Salvage Spot Grand Opening May 21, 2011

As I’ve talked to people about renovating and remodeling our (soon to be) house, I’ve been asked if there’s a local salvage source. I found one in Chicago, but I’m especially excited that I found one nearby in Evanston. I can’t wait to check out the Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse and hope to be a frequent visitor, if not customer.

It’s brand new. In fact, they are holding their grand opening this weekend, May 21, 2011

From their site: The Evanston ReBuilding Warehouse is a non-profit organization that promotes reduction of waste in landfills through sustainable deconstruction and renovation building practices. Reclaimed building materials are sold at our warehouse at low cost to the community and support our education, job-training and job-development programs which foster individual, community and economic growth in Evanston and beyond.

What’s not to love?

Speaking of reusing and recycling, the owners of our (hopefully soon to be) house held an estate sale recently, but it was on a weekend we couldn’t stop in. A few of my friends did though. It’s kinda fun (and odd) that they’ve already gotten a sneak peak at our place.

Edible Estates: One Book, One Idea

As we’re thinking about renovation, design and decor, we’re perusing a lot of books. We don’t have time for full reports on all of them, but we’re trying to share at least one stand-out idea per book. This week, we’re looking at Edible Estates: Attack on the front lawn. A project by Fritz Haeg. Like most of the books in the 1 book, 1 idea series, I found it at the library.

Back in the day, a green grassy lawn was a sign of privilege. It announced to the world that you had so much land (and money) that you could afford not to grow food in the area surrounding your house. But now, it’s cool to use your real estate in a way that really counts. Besides, ever since reading Made by Hand, I’ve been thinking about what it would be like to rip up a front lawn and replace the grass with something more practical, like vegetables.

The one idea from this book is apparent upon opening the cover: edible estates are not confined to a single region. In fact the book includes reports from California to Pennsylvania. It also includes a project across the pond in London and one right here in Chicago.

In fact, as I’m paging through the book, it occurs to me there is a family not far from our new house that seems to be doing something very similar to what’s outlined in this book. The house has new owners and they are in the midst of a dramatic front yard makeover. I lalways ook forward to passing their house and getting a peek at what’s exciting and new. Maybe some day I will work up the nerve to introduce myself.

This book looks like a handy resource with instructions, checklists and planning tips, and, of course, the all-important stories from the field.

Ferguson Dream Bathroom Giveaway Featuring Kohler Products

Always on the lookout for kitchen and bath giveaways, I’m happy to share my finds, especially given that the fine print often excludes me because, you know, we don’t actually have a house yet.

Anyhoo, Kohler is good stuff. Go win your dream bathroom! We’re headed up to Kohler, Wisconsin in just a few weeks for a housemoon. AKA, our last chance to get away without worrying about our house flooding (or being burglarized, burning down, etc.)

In addition to enjoying our time at The American Club, we’ll be checking out the Kohler bath and design center. I’ll be fantasizing about the tub of my dreams (which I will not get) and DH will be checking out the steam shower systems (which he likely will). They also offer factory tours, which we’ll be skipping this time around, but have been on in the past. Watching a bathtub get made? Cool stuff!


Talk about modernizing a home, check out this article about Android@home. I need to show it to The Husband, a man who isn’t even sure he wants wi-fi in the house. But how else can we turn off the lights and start the dishwasher while we’re two states away?!

The article also mentions that the product development cycle for electronics has morphed from years to months. Which means that buy the time we buy the latest gadgets and get them up and running, they’ll be obsolete.