Thursday, December 31, 2015

And to All A Good Night

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas with family and friends! We spent Christmas in my sister Monica's beautiful brand new house in Charleston, SC. (Actually, we built together and we blog together, 'cause we're sisterly like that -- you should check it out.) It was an amazing week full of family, good food, and good wine. A LOT of good wine. Here are some pictures...

She lives in this super charming neighborhood called Park Circle that does a really nice Christmas light display each year. (Full disclosure: the first time I took the video I didn't do it right, and I made my sister drive around the circle three times. Oops.)

The sweet doggy cousins all got to hang out and eat treats. And, yes, it was warm enough for flip flops!

Monica made beef wellington and she made it look as easy as Gordon Ramsay's video. She didn't use a recipe, just talent.

My sister's version of Gordon Ramsay's Beef Wellington

My mom made a feast for Christmas dinner:

We ate an amazing charcuterie platter (pardon the potato-gram) and drank amazing wine at Accent on Wine, which you should totally visit ASAP:

Charcuterie platter at Accent on Wine in Park Circle

We saw a fantastic movie called "Spotlight." Have you seen it yet? You should. It reminded me of a contemporary "All the President's Men," which is also a great movie.

We ogled the gorgeous multi-million dollar houses near the Battery:

Overlooking the Battery in Charleston, South Carolina

And that's the wrap on our sweet Christmas with the family!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Welcome Home

We closed! Actually, truth be told, we closed well over a month ago, but life and work just gets busy around the holidays, and it was hard to carve out time to update the blog. I feel like our weekends have been full of trips to Target, Home Depot, and IKEA. Houses need a lot of stuff, y'all. We're exhausted, but we have so much gratitude to finally be in our first home.

J in front of our Ryan Homes Matisse townhouse.

Precious metal for us. (For you fellow Ryan Homes owners keeping track out there: nope, we didn't get a keychain! We're okay with it. Haha.)

Our wedding picture: the very first thing to be carried into our first home
The very first object carried into our new home.

White Sonoma cabinets and New Caledonia granite kitchen
All ours!

I'm sorry to say our house is still pretty messy and chaotic, so I'll share pictures soon. We jettisoned a lot of furniture when we made the big move from Mississippi, and it's hard to put clutter away without desks, bookshelves, etc. (Hence the multiple trips to IKEA.)

We've done some minor improvement projects here and there, which I'll share in a later post: garage shelves, a keyless entry system, a door peephole, etc.

The closing process was a breeze. We showed up with a certified check from our bank, they cashed it, and that was that. NVR managed to send us a check for totally different RH homeowner in a different community, and even though it didn't harm us, I had some choice words for the branch manager at the Beltsville location that they were so callous with sensitive client information. (I should point out it wasn't an isolated incident, either; a neighbor had her loan information sent to another neighbor in our subdivision.)

If you're going through the RH/NV building process, one piece of advice I can share is instead of (or perhaps, in addition to) marking spots with painter's tape, take pictures with your cell phone to mark problem areas you'd like addressed during the 30-day post-settlement visit. We had remarkably few things that we felt needed fixing -- in fact, most of the touch-ups are dings and scuffs caused by us during the move-in process -- but taking pictures probably would have allowed me to be more organized.