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the story of our thirty year remodel...

In addition to being a sailor wife, fur mama & force feeding those around me desserts, I'm also the joint owner of a fixer upper. This makes me a painter, plumber, gardener, attic-goer, depending on the day. In addition to all the not so fun jobs (did you see "attic-goer" above???), living in a fixer upper also gives you a lot of opportunity to live out your Pinterest dreams. And when I say "Pinterest dreams", I mean those Pinterest dreams of my hubby who spends his time downtime offshore with his crew pinning new house projects. In addition to recipes, you'll also find projects from our house here. But before I start sharing house projects, here's the back story of 1 Labrador Lane....

Chase had been researching houses for us for a while. Chase is the designated researcher in our family, which is ironic considering my profession is primarily based on research. Chase, however, takes research to an entirely new level. He doesn't buy anything without ample investigation. He searches the internet, scours online reviews, consults various forums, and finally solicits advise from people like George, a Home Depot employee in the electrical department, of whom Chase knows his whole life story. His research is extensive, thorough, and not a thing for the faint of heart, but oh so very effective. And thank god, because I still barely check the star rating on Amazon... #nopatience

So on the Saturday before Easter, after ample research, consultations, and open houses, when Chase yelled, I've found our house! I knew he actually had.

Because the next day was Easter and there wouldn't be any open houses, there were dozens of open houses on that Saturday. We went to 7 before we finally made it to 1 Labrador Lane. There wasn't even an open house there since it had just come on the market that morning, but Chase knew the house was empty so he figured we could at least look at the lot.

Chase and I fell in love with the property from the second we stepped foot on it. The yard was overgrown & the house had obviously fell in to disarray but it was clear that there had been a lot of love in the house. Most people who saw the house thought Chase and I were certifiably crazy for even considering putting an offer on the house. My mom still calls 1 Labrador Lane a "very expensive, very extensive fixer upper".

By the time we called the real estate agent that night there was already an all cash offer on the house- a real estate developer who had wanted to tear down and flip the house. That didn't stop Chase and I from taking the dogs back to the property on Easter morning to enjoy the sunrise. We took a picture of ourselves and the dogs at the house that morning and sent it to the homeowners. Chase wrote a long letter about why we wanted to buy the house & how much we loved the old ranch style of the house.

We visited the house several times over the next few weeks before Chase went offshore. Every house we saw after it just never quite lived up to 1 Labrador Lane.

Nearly six weeks after we first saw the house, and minutes (and I mean mere minutes!) before Chase lost cell phone service offshore transiting the Atlantic Coast, the real estate agent called me. The house had fallen out of escrow and he wanted to know if we would put an offer in on the house.

The next fours weeks were a whirlwind of paperwork, inspections, and meetings with the Bank. But finally on June 1, 2016, we became the owners of the house we had fallen in love with at first sight. Chase was offshore when we finally closed, but he returned three weeks later.

We moved everything we owned in one day and then started a remodel project that will likely last for the next 30 years.

We still have a list a mile long of tasks to complete, but we are lucky that every season our trees produce a bounty of fruit, our pups have a pool to swim and Chase has an entire garage he's turned in to his tool sanctuary... some day we'll replace those exterior drains...



Make Ahead Meal Monday & Happy New Years!


Chicken & Dumplings 


Hump Day Home Project: Built-In Bench


Peach Ice Cream


Friday Favorites: New Years' Resolutions, Winter Decorating  Inspo, and More!

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