all systems go!

by Lara on July 20, 2014

in life

Lord have mercy things are moving so fast!

The home inspection went fantastic.  The house was built in 1947 – a post-war baby boomer home, solidly built, with some small issues that my dad can knock out in a day.  The HVAC system needs to be serviced and I had no idea how much that was going to cost so, to keep the home warranty valid and to not gamble with my money, I countered after the inspection and requested that the seller have the heat pump serviced and to give me an additional credit of $1500.  She agreed 100%!!! I’m getting this home for less than the neighborhood comps! My agent was shocked and I’m thrilled!

My dad came by at the tail end of the 3.5 hour inspection, interrogated the inspector and then reviewed the report with a fine-tooth comb.  He’s giving his elusive thumbs up and everything is going forward!  I close on August 11.

My landlord has agreed to let me out of my lease early! In fact, he’s showing it to two couples tomorrow so, I spent the entire afternoon in a whirlwind cleaning frenzy that I wasn’t anticipating doing until after I moved all my stuff out.  The apartment is spotless and will just need to be kept tidy until I move out!

I’ve been bringing home boxes from work every day and slowly and methodically packing up my things. I’m getting rid of a bunch of crap, cleaning as I go, thinking about where everything is going in the new place and feeling really good about the whole experience.

The man and his large walker hound are moving into my apartment at the end of the week.  (Pray for Ulti.)  His roommate is being difficult so, we have to get a POD for him to temporarily hold his stuff between now and the closing date. He’s done packing and I’m giddy.

I took a million measurements of the house when I was loitering for hours at the inspection.  Then I measured my furniture and played with general layouts.  Here is the space I’m working with:

floor plan

Both beds are queen sized and the sofa is huge.  I left out a bunch of furniture in that mock-up but I’m really pleased with the way it’s all going to work out.  The empty room at the top center will be the office/craft room and I’m still up in the air about arrangement.  The closets are small so, I’ve been on Pinterest looking for closet solutions.  I also made a spreadsheet of what we have and what we need and what is going in which room.  I don’t think I could nerd out any more than I have.

There’s also the cancelling of the cable with one provider and only getting internet/netflix/hulu at the house with another provider and using a Roku.  I need to open water and electric accounts, get homeowner’s and title insurance, and I’m sure there’s a ton of other tiny but super important things I’ll need to do from now till August 11.

I’m already exhausted! :)

Any tips from you homeowners out there?

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under contract

by Lara on July 9, 2014

in life

You guys!  I’m under contract for a house!

dancing Wednesday Adams

This past weekend, I found my house!  It’s 1215 square feet, has 3 bedrooms, 1 bath, living/dining combo room, laundry/mud room, new shed, fenced in back yard, in a cute little neighborhood in the city, on a large half acre corner lot, with a 1 year warranty.  There have been two owners since it was built in 1947.  The little old lady who first owned it kept it immaculate.  (I saw the pics from the 2006 listing.)  The last owner, a lady, renovated the kitchen and bath.  It is darling!

Welcome to 5201 Sheridan LaneKitchen - Completely RenovatedBackyard

My dad (disappointed I didn’t get a fixer-upper so he’d have endless projects to start and never finish) is already talking about building a patio and extending the back bedroom into a master suite with a 2nd bath and walk-in closet! We shall see about all that.

Today, I learned ALL about mortgage shopping.  My agent had recommended a broker who was walking me through the process but, this morning when he sent me the GFE (good faith estimate) of what my interest rate, closing costs, etc. would most likely be, I was shocked.   He had grossly misrepresented rates and I was livid.  Thank god it was a slow day at work, as I was on the phone with at least 6 different lenders for hours to keep from throwing thousands of dollars down the toilet.  I finally found a great rate with zero closing costs.  Since the the seller has agreed to put some money towards closing, that will now go towards points to lower my interest rate even further (had no idea that was an option but now I’ve done enough obessesive research to be an expert)!

The home inspection is next Tuesday and I’m pretty sure things will go smoothly.  My dad has already given the place his seal of approval and he’s a contractor.  If anything, I may get some more credit $ towards some minor things my dad pointed out.  Of course, there may be some glaring terrible thing wrong with the place but we’ll cross that bridge later.  I’m staying positive!  Once the home inspection is done and all systems are go, I’ll break it to my landlord that I need to break my lease and I should close on August 11!!!

Please send all your positive thoughts out on Tuesday!

I’ve gone through a lot of crap in the past few years and had to suck it up and make some tough decisions.  I’ve been kicking ALL the asses!  The past 7 months have been like rebirth.  I’m crazy in love (yes, he’s moving in) and could not be more excited about this next stage of my life.

You guys… I’ve actually bounced around the idea of starting a family. You guys.  Seriously.

Crazy times.


another month goes by

by Lara on June 30, 2014

in life

I gave some serious thought to closing down this blog when I received the renewal notice from my hosting service.  Then I thought about my other options and I don’t want to give up this large format.  Is blogging dead?  Nah.  People still love to share in paragraph form and Instagram and Twitter just don’t cut it all the time.

So here we are. How are you?  I’m pretty darn fantastic!

The 2-year anniversary of my mom dying came and went.  I ended up having a random late night boohoo 2 days before the actual day and got it out of my system, which was a good thing since I almost up and quit my job, in a table flipping, “eff all y’all” kinda way, on the actual anniversary.  Things have settled down and everything is fine, if not better now.

Still no house.  There’s just nothing on the market right now.  I’m terribly torn on location too so, I’m just waiting for something to come along and truly knock my socks off.

Last night I had to dose myself with xanax after being paralyzed on my sofa for a half hour, helpless with my phone charging in the bedroom, because I spent the entirety of last week packing and lifting heavy crates for my firm’s move from the 15th to the 20th floor.  In addition to going full steam on a $20+million lawsuit in the middle of it all, I’ve never worked so hard in my life.  Today was everyone’s first day in the new office space and it’s lovely.

I started my back piece and sat like a motherfuckin’ champ for about 4.5 hours to complete the outline.  Then, I went in for my next appointment (day after my mom’s anniversary and almost quitting my job) and couldn’t get past 1.5 hours.  I was tired and super stressed and was utterly panicked about what I had gotten myself into.  Every sitting will be different so, here’s hoping I can get a ton of work knocked out next time.


And there’s the man.  2 months now.  I had happily resigned myself to being indefinitely single and this amazing, kind, hilarious, smarty-pants, romantic sexy beast comes along and yeah… I’m happy.

5.31.14(I’m on a hill!)

Summer has been good to me so far… lots of weekend adventures and social time.  I got to snuggle a lovey dovey race horse this past Saturday!


And can we talk about delicious beverages?  I had hit a wall with drinking, in that vodka sodas were boring (and getting me in trouble/making me feel like hell – like driving to work hungover and puking in a glass while still driving kinda hell) and beer was just becoming gross.  Then I discovered 2 delicious options a few weekends ago.  Crabbie’s Ginger Beer and Stiegl Grapefruit Radler.  They don’t taste like beer.  The alcohol content is low and you drink the Crabbie’s on ice so they’re perfect for day drankin’ in the sun.  I’m getting too old to get shit-canned.

CrabbiesStiegl Grapefruit RadlerTrust me people.

I went to Total Wine for the first time ever… holy smokes! I also picked up a 6-pack of Abita Strawberry Harvest Lager.  Delightful!

strawberryI want my drinking to be pleasurable.

I bought shorts… 2 pairs! I’ve never worn shorts.  I always felt juvenile in them.  Now I’m living in them on the weekends, with a studded belt and weird thin drapey linen tank tops I’m finding at Marshall’s.

utility shortsOld Navy utility shorts

So I still desperately need to go tubing down the James River at least once this summer and dip my toes in the ocean.  It’s already been one of the best summers I’ve had in a very long time and it’s just getting started!

What are your plans?


the hunt

by Lara on May 20, 2014

in life

I didn’t get the house.

I fell in love with it though.  The inside was fab and the location was even better.  Then, my dad who is a contractor went to check it out and pooped on the whole thing!  Seriously though, he’s been renovating homes for 40+ years and he knows what’s up.  The 100 year old foundation was crumbling and would’ve been a massive expense 5 years down the road.  Thank god for my dad.  He’s going to save me so much money on home inspections.

He and I went with my agent to look at 2 more houses this past Sunday and I put in another offer… a low one because of all the work that needs to be done to the place – manageble dad-approved work though.  The seller won’t budge on the asking price and didn’t even counter offer.  So, I’ve walked away from that as well.

No biggie.

At this moment, I’ve exhausted my options and there’s nothing for sale in my prefered areas that I’m interested in so, I’ll have to wait and scour the listings every day.

This is going to be a massive pain in the ass process… and what else is new?

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what’s going on

by Lara on May 15, 2014

in life

I was reminded today that I have a blog!  A blog I pay good money to run, that I have been neglecting.  So, I guess it’s time for an update.

First off, it’s 8:30pm on a Thursday night.  I’m curled up in bed and running on 1 hour of sleep.  This is becoming a regular thing these days since I’ve been seeing a magical man for the past few weeks who works nights.  It’s worth it.

IT’S OFFICIAL – my dad is not building my house.  We finally FINALLY got the building permit application approved and then found out it will cost upwards of $25K to connect the house to water/sewer due to a logistical nightmare.  This has blown my budget – a budget I was iffy about to begin with.  My friend Mike is a realtor and listed the cursed lot last week and that’s that.  I returned the house numbers I bought, as well as the 2 shower rods and extra shower curtain.  I still have 3 faucets and cabinet pulls, which I may end up using in the house I buy so, I’ll hold on to them for a bit.

Today, I put an offer on a house… a cute little renovated perfectly priced 2 bedroom 1.5 bath 1100 sq. ft. bungalow in a super convenient but tucked away location in the city.  It’s a short sale and god knows how this will play out with the bank and a home inspection but… I’m ready to move on.

bungalowHome sweet home?

And for the most important news, I’ve figured out the wrinkle miracle!  A combination of StriVectin-SD and H2O Hydrating Treatment.  My wrinkles have almost completely disappeared.  (StriVectin products are currently at TJMaxx/Marshalls, since the brand has redesigned their packaging so… get on it!)  I haven’t broken out in almost month of using nothing but this combo!

SDCrazy expensive but deals can be had.  Also, trial sizes (above) are widely available online and worth giving a shot.  A little goes a long way.


This oil-free blue gel is divine.  My skin feels completely hydrated and dewy all day.  Ulta has a set for $7 more than the 1.7oz single with a face wash and eye treatment that are great as well!

I start my back piece on May 29, a Thursday.  I’m leaving work early to get the outline done in hopefully 4 excruciating hours.  Then, I have to go to work on that Friday in pain and frost 100 cupcakes for a wedding I’m attending on Saturday.  I am the most stupid women on the planet and I’m having a bit of anxiety over the whole thing.

After looking at my existing symmetrical floral tattoo, we decided dogwood branches would be too busy and a full frontal deer head would make breaking up and incorporating the existing piece a challenge.  Now, the deer will have regular antlers and will be an angled profile with a semi circle wreath of my mom’s favorite flowers.  Hard to describe but it’s going to be rad and of course, I’ll keep you posted with pics!

That’s all I have for now!