my favorite hobby

My newest topic is something I am very passionate about, but have not even touched on yet.. Home decorating and do it yourself projects and crafts.  One of my most favorite shows growing up was Trading Spaces.  I would watch it regiously.  When there were Saturday marathons on I was zoned in.  I would make lists of projects that I wanted to do around the house, and I did not even own a house yet.  I would beg my mom to take me to home depot so that I could transform whatever space into my newest vision.  She would oblidge, even though it was her house and her money.  What a good mom!  When I arrived at college I was so excited to decorate my very own "place," even if it was just a twin size bed in a small dorm room shared with two other girls.  I felt like it was my own, it outside of my parents home and I had total say on what I wanted!
Tommy and I had the privilege of "inheriting" my sister in law Julie and brother in law Chris's apartment in Society Hill, Philadelphia.  This was our first home and we loved every second of it.  Julie and Chris really scored when they found this place- first floor apartment, 2 parking spots, and a huge back patio in downtown Philly.  They decorated it so cute and I was so excited to move into the place when they moved to Texas.  It was a first floor apartment but it also had a full size basement room with storage in the back.  We used the basement as a guest room and had our bedroom on the first floor.  This worked out great, until we found out we were going to be adding a little addition to our family.  Now our place was perfect for a single person or a couple, but not an ideal size for more than.  We spent a couple months looking around for a new place but we just kept coming back to our little apartment thinking we wish we could just stay here.  This is when all those years of watching Trading Spaces really payed off. We transformed the apartment into a fully functional place for a small family.  We moved our bedroom into the basement, added a "nursery nook" where we had Mason's crib and changing table.  We made two storage closets into his and hers walk in closets.  It was cozy but we had all that we ever wanted.  Upstairs we changed our old bedroom into a living room and made our old living room more of a kitchen/ eating area/ baby exercauser, mat, swing area.
When we eventually outgrew the place, we started to look for a place of our own to buy.  Being that we did not have a large amount to spend on a place, but we still wanted to be in a decently nice/ safe area we knew we were going to end up with a "fixer-uper."  We looked at this place about 4 times before we finally made an offer.  The outside was really ugly and the inside was pretty scary as well, but I knew that there was potential in it.  When we signed the papers I was excited, but also very nervous to dive into the many projects we had ahead of us.

It is amazing to me how paint can transform a space.  Before we even began any project, we painted every surface in the house.  TONS of work but totally worth the end result.  Even if we never did another thing to the place, it looked a thousand times better.  We were there almost three years, before our move to San Diego, and we spent countless hours on projects to improve the property.  I would never take that time back.  We are still so attached to that house that we found renters to care for it while we are out of town :)

This is my favorite topic of choice right now so stay tuned for more before and after pictures of projects that I (we) have taken on.  As well as some easy do it yourself projects to spruce up your place :)

Ps. For those of you following- New years goal #1 a success so far... Alarm clock on bedside and phone being charged in bathroom so the phone is not the first thing I wake up to