25 March 2011


hey all!

i promise I will be back in the blog world soon.

we've had some drama with OUR (good news!) new house!
1. clogged sewage drain (aka poopy toilet paper in our basement. fabulous)
[insert annoyance]
2. clogged sewage drain... 24 hours later. And a 10,000 quote. pipe collapse.
[insert off and on freak outs that include lots of tears and irrational comments]
3. not. our pipes aren't collapsed. the first guy just guessed. not yet. a few years. maybe never. we'll see
4. messed up laundry stuff.
5. we love our family. they helped us in staying same. everything now works. i can pee. and do laundry. and wash clothes. and dishes... well, Kevin can. I hate doing dishes. punk pup can have his toilet drinks b/c the bowl refills. life is good.

now we're in! And getting settled and unpacked... we have so much stuff! goodwill is getting some hefty donations... and craigslist so great finds!

we're looking at different room set ups. deciding on what furniture we need to start thrifting/craigslisting and what is a good investment (sectional w/ a sleeper?) picking out color specifics. painted our dining room.

pictures WILL come. Promise. tonight we are doing nothing. nothing. taking a breako. and lovin' it.

Hope you're enjoying yours.
love you all.
for loving me and my inconsistency w/ this thing. someday it will get going. someday.

ps lisa leonard is doing a FAB giveaway I want in our house

04 March 2011

The initial plans...

As we're getting closer to CLOSING DAY (March 17), and we've got through the logistics, I have been planning what 'feel' I want each room to have... which is HIGHLY connected to color choices. I figured it will be fun to document the WHOLE process! So today it begins!

I have done a very rough sketch of the floor plan in the new house. We'll get to the upstairs later... it has my studio, which I will be making no decisions on any time soon, considering it has to be PERFECT :)

Living room: You walk into the living, which I want to be relaxed and inviting. Teal is the perfect choice for this one color room... blues are supposed to cause your body to create more calming chemicals and greens is the easiest color to look at. Thought the combo would be the perfect choice for the first room you see!

Dining room: The living room opens to the dining room, therefore this color needed to coordinate. We are going for a wine color (as previously discussed). No psychology behind this choice. We saw a home that had a BEAUTIFUL wine colored dining room and that was it. We just knew. Color love at first sight. Neither Kev and I are lovers (or even likers) of purple, so finding that perfect shade will be crucial.  It will also need to go well with our dark hardwood floors, so that the room isn't too dark. We intend to counter the rich colors with distressed white accents... buffet, curtains, my black and white wall mural, a fabulous table and mismatched white chairs to insure the room doesn't feel stuffy, but is a great mix between beautiful, yet casual.

Guest room: This room was inspired from these napkins. Loved the vintage feel, yet still had some great colors in there. 

I still have an obsession with fun bright colors with Turquoise as my base. So my kitchen is going to take on the fun funky hodge podge tone, like our rental house had throughout. I still LOVE this look, so I had to incorporate it somewhere. It's inspired by this great find at Old Time Pottery. What's wonderful is there's a DOOR between the kitchen in the dining room! Meaning it doesn't have to be all matchy matchy! 

So there you have it! The initial color plans for the new house! Can't wait to show the exact ways we choose to incorporate them as we go! 

02 March 2011

House Hunting/Buying 101: The deal and logistics.

On with our House Hunt/Buying 101...
(I can't wait to get to the decorating of the house instead of the buying process... the fun stuff is coming!)

Now that our inspections and renegotiations were finished, we get to get the appraisal!
Here's what we learned about appraisals:
There was some sketchy appraisals before the economy downfall... some would get paid to give a certain appraisal price. That was a major part in our housing market downfall, inflated house prices while the economy was going down, and bad-a-boom! Ick-i-ness. Bad for the economy; good for us... until we have to re-sell.
So now, the trend is to appraise homes to the lowest possible realistic appraisal. SO, we wait. The general consensus by our real estate agent and inspector is that we'll be right on the money. But, the 'worst' situation would actually be good for us; our house could get appraised for less than our contract price, meaning we'd get a lower price! We're planning on our contract price; but we can dream!
Our appraisal is TBD when our financing is final...

As discussed, when you start your search, you get pre-approved. Then, when you find the house, you have to gather LOTS of paper work. I mean LOTS of it. That's where we're at now.

All that to say, get ready to get bank statements from months and months before, paycheck stubs, and tax papers for 2 years prior. Especially as newly-weds, we had a lot of gathering from our parents and personal filing to do.

We're FINALLY done with the boring stuff... we'll keep ya posted on the outcome of our appraisal! Next up, the FUN STUFF!!!! Friday, I'll share my initial visions for our downstairs color scheme. Can't WAIT!

28 February 2011

House Hunting/Buying 101: The process

YAY! We found a great one, that matched up with much of our list! In our price range!

The next step was to put in an offer on the house. Their asking price was $124,900.
We started out low at $117K w/ closing costs and a home warranty. They countered w/ $124,000.
Us: $119K+ Home Warranty and Closing Costs
Them: $123,500
Us: $121K + H.W. and CC
Them: $123K; It's as low as we'll go.
Us: We can't. We need 122K. + H.W. and CC
Them: Ok.

YAY! Next step: Inspection.
We had an INCREDIBLE inspector! In the KC area and need a rec? Ask! He's amazing and thorough and honest on whether things matter or not... etc.
Of course, since our house was built in 1937, and because our roof and windows were brand new, our biggest concerns were in the basement.
Here's what he found:

  • cracked wastepipe... AKA where your bodily 'waste' goes.
  • a gas leak
  • no vent for our washing machine.
  • loose floor joist... AKA what holds your floors up.
  • and a few quirky things that were inconsequential, including a vintage rum bottle
  • Upstairs
    •  he found some switched electrical switches and a 'dead' wall of electricity in our dining room
    • we found a shotty fix on a bathroom sink
    • on the same sink, the faucet was improperly installed
    • the bathtub leaked
    • the toilets were loose
    • the kitchen sink had a slight upwards slope on a pipe (their supposed to slope down)
Here's the good news:
  • Our inspector said it was in FANTASTIC shape for its age and price.
  • The foundation was in wonderful shape!
  • We have a stone basement, which turns out to be the best kind.
  • Our inspector didn't recommend a ($150) radon test because it is a 'walk out' basement b/c of our garage.
  • No mold! 
  • Minute water leakage, which can be easily fixed by extending our front gutter
The bad news: 
  • It wasn't move-in ready... those things must be fixed. Who wants to have to explain the 'stench' in their basement... coming from some pipe... that comes from the toilet. 
SO, we went back to negotiations.
Turns out, there was a fall out with the plumbing contractor and the rest of our buyers (a small company of contractors). They were unaware of the terrible job on the house.
We still asked for everything to be fixed, because not to be cold hearted, but their fall-out has little to do with us. (We learned quickly to make this a business transaction. We had to work to not be pressured by different situations of our sellers.) 
Because of this and a few other interesting turn of events, and resistance to fix the house to city code, we needed to come up with a motto. "This house is a convenience, not a necessity". We LOVE the house; great updates, great location, great size, great aesthetics. However, we aren't out of our agreement with our landlord and won't be until closing. Our current house is cute, but small. Close to family, but not close to work. In a comfort zone, but we're ready to branch out. Bottom line: It works. We're not homeless. We have no crunching time line. This house is convenient. Not necessary. 

This helped us get through the rest of the process better. 
1) We knew we could/would walk if we needed to.
2) We LOVE the house, the location, and the change, so we're motivated.
3) But we wouldn't budge on city code, no matter how 'unnecessary' it was. See #1. 

SO, eventually (after about 15 negotiations and 3 different 'resolution' contracts) things were fixed to our liking, but we did budge on a few things but got our house!

Next: What we 'budged' on. What we were firm about. Next step: Appraisal and financing.

24 February 2011

House Hunting/Buying 101: The lists

Anyone else out there house hunting?

Us Borns are learning as we go. Had no idea about mortgage's, interest rates, negotiations, offers, nada. So, if there are any other escrow-virgins, we decided to share what we're learning along the way.

Here's our experience step by step:
1) In January, our friends recommended a fabulous Realtor. (Always go with a recommendation if you can!) We met with her to see some homes and shared with her our initial stipulations.
  • a cute older home that was not a $$ pit.
  • 3+ bedroom
  • 2 bath
  • fenced in yard
  • attached garage
  • alarm system
  • in a not-terrible part of the city
2) Financing: we saw our realtor's mortgage company and after hearing about their rates and reading a few reviews on service, we landed on a mortgage company. They were very thorough in directing exactly what paperwork we needed and when we needed it. After applying for pre-qualification, we we determined our budget. We set our top budget lower than our approval, to make our actual budget comfortable. New stipulation:
  • $100-$120K budget
3) After seeing around 15 homes, and viewing 100+ online, we learned we would need to choose size or location. Either we get a GIGANTIC home in the proverbial 'hood'. OR we get a smaller home where I can go walk Punk Pup and be reasonably safe. Once we started looking with this in mind we learned what we could and couldn't live without. Our new list looked like this:
  • an updated older home.
  • 2-3 bed
  • 1-1 1/2 bath
  • fenced yard
  • a close walk from garage to house
  • in outskirts of nice neighborhoods
  • $100-120,000 budget
3) After looking at a pricey fixer-upper, we stumbled upon a cute little house just blocks from Mr. Man's school and a short walk to a well-known neighborhood, Brookside. Here's how it has matched up:
  • Built in 1937, but newly updated (new roof, windows, A/C, heater, water heater, and electrical)
  • 3 bed
  • 1 1/2 bath
  • fenced yard
  • basement garage
  • just south-west of Brookside (63rd Ter)
  • $117 when closing costs and home warranty were deducted.
  • fresh neutral coat of paint all throughout
  • walk-in pantry
  • walk-in closet
  • fridge
  • BEAUTIFUL original, refinished hardwood floors.
  • blocks from Kev's schools (maybe we can be a 1 car family! Cut costs AND tree hugger friendliness)
  • grocery store in walking distance.

  • more important: local coffee shop (w/ good coffee) in walking distance!
  • good school district if ever we have Baby Born's joining the scene.
We decided to put in an offer!
Comin' up: Saturday  (er... I mean Monday) I'll post our negotiating process and our attitudes toward the process.

14 February 2011


I am getting to my snow day projects...

Fabulous zipper pouches! I have been experimenting and tweaking this tutorial, to come up with the perfect bag. I've also been experimenting with some different stamping art on the front... I can't wait to try a DIY stamp that Cortney showed me... but haven't got that good yet.

I have a few more done, but haven't snapped the pictures yet. 

You get the idea :) Hope you enjoyed!
The goal is to be to set up shop this summer... after my dream-of-a studio is all set up in action... as opposed to taking over the kitchen table... all the time. 

13 February 2011

Reasons we're excited to move.

1) Letting our poor pup outside into a fenced-in backyard, as opposed to this method:

2) More room to organize...  we get just a peek at the pantry!
lovin' the floor to ceiling cabinets!
even I can get organized!
3) We get to paint!! I'm not too sure why, but I'm super excited about our dining room. We're thinking about one of these bad boys... Different but all fall into the 'wine' coloring. Can't wait to put all the swatches on the walls and stare!

4) Redoing more furniture. 
love the white vintage table.
or maybe one of these in a big dining room table version.
I'm dreaming of one of these to put in our living or dining room... Mmm. Individual place settings.
Bajillions of labels for serious organization.

5)A craft room! All to myself!! No more sharing with the guest room! (taken from Heather Bailey's blog)

all crafts 12 Beautiful Crafting Rooms {diy}

ps. thanks google images

10 February 2011

My morning.

Time: 6 am
Scene: Mr. Man snoring.
           Still dark outside.
           Punk Pup still in kennel.
           I, however, am bug-eyed from the noises I just heard coming from the utility room.
Time: 6:15
Scene: Punk Pup stirs. I hear him. A different sounds from the ones I heard 15 minutes prior.
           I decide it's possible someone is in our house. How? Who knows.
           But those are weird bumping-around sounds.
           Mr. Man gets pinched.
           And doesn't stir.
           So he gets pinched again. And doesn't stir.
           And gets pinched again, and says "hu". I say "sh." He says "wha". I say SHH!
           He doesn't get the hint to whisper. Because by now I am sure there is someone in our house.
Mr. Man: "What Babe."
Me: Do you hear that?
M.M: What.
Me: Those sounds.
M.M: It's the dog.
[aside: Mr. Man assumes everything is the dog when he's half asleep. Any movement, any sounds, anything. 2 nights ago, I got into bed late. He's says: "Get down. Off. No."]
Me: It's not the dog.
[sound happens again]
Me: That!
M.M: It's the dog.
Me: No. It's not.
M.M: Do you want me to go get him?
Me: Yes. Be careful. Bring your phone. [like that'll hurt someone]
M.M: Good gracious.

He proceeds to get up, let the puppy out. As per everyday schedule, Punk Pup then proceeds to leap into bed & give me good morning kisses, waiting til I raise the covers so he can take over Mr. Man's spot (that goes over well on Saturdays...). Then he usually gives me a couple serious dutch ovens (if you don't know what that is, it's probably better) and takes his early-morning nap (to be proceeded by 7 more naps during the day & conveniently no evening naps...when everyone else is tired).

All that to not-so-concisely say, nothing was wrong.
Til Mr. Man went to brush his teeth. And turned the faucet. And nothing. Take 2: try hot water. Nothing.

M.M.: Babe we have no water.
Me: No what?
M.M: Water.
[I shot up in defense.]
Me: I printed off the receipt. I payed the bill early, just like always.
[I went to the computer to show him]
M.M: I have no doubt.
[I'm a little neurotic about paying bills early.]
M.M: I don't think it's that.

I get out of bed. Call the water people. They don't tell us what's wrong. But we're "in the system".
I get into bed. Cuddle with Pup. Take a 24 second snooze.
Door bell rings
I get out of bed, scrambling to clothe myself appropriately. Punk Pup is going zany. His jowls are flopping as he barks and runs and runs and barks.
I open the door. To the water men. Who look terrified of our sweet little puppy. Or maybe my outfit. Or my hair.
They fiddle around outside. And I hear my toilet flush, while I'm in my living room. Weird. They fiddle more. The toilet stops running. They fiddle more. Tell me to check. And miracle of all mircles, it's on!

The sounds: my water pipes messing up.
Moral: I am not loopy or paranoid.

Ok, tomorrow, really, you'll get documentation of my alleged snow day pretties. I envy your forgiveness.
But today, you can have the documentation of Punk Pup cleaning up after our morning moments of chaos

Love to play while I help!

who needs a dog dish.
this is how I roll 
take 1

take 2:
read: sometimes we mistake our lips for our food.


I was much obliged, Mom

05 February 2011


I'm feeling Chinese today. And poetic. Not really... love that pic though!

However, since I'm in need of blog-worthy material, and since I thought about Haiku's... for no reason at all...

and since I couldn't pictorially document all my snow day projects (which turned out perty dern cute)
 ... or pictorially document Mr. Man (who at any time would've been caught mid-"I'm bored.")... or pictorially document Punk Pup (who swallowed feminine hygiene products... whole...), i bring you some poems... or 'pomes' phonetically (fin-e-tik-ley). Haiku poems to be precise. Remember that 5th grade English nugget? 5-7-5 poems? I didn't either. That's why I looked it up on Wikepedia...

Ok, without further ado...
(what does ado even mean?)
Okay, really now...

[insert black beret (ber-ay)]
[insert moment of transparency: I really wrote toupee first, believing that was really what it was called. wow. then I caught it.]

wet yellow-ish ice.
you wreak havoc on my house.
my carpet is gross.

[insert snaps and good coffee]

internal blizzard.
stir-crazy family
too much energy and time
not near enough space

[insert bow and a tip of the toupee (too-pay) beret.]

Batteries for the camera will be apprehended and I will show you what I've been up to... that will be a much better post... promise.

01 February 2011

So, sad news...

The second I tried to turn on my camera at the Vintage Market, it said "out of battery"; with no warning. How rude!

It was fun though, if that matters to you :)

What I can share with you pictorially is my perusings of Pottery Barn... in other words, what I will be scouring flea markets and garage sales for at a fraction of the cost :)

1) a chippy old mantle for over our bed.

2) oh. our future dining room is DYING for that awesome ladder w/ various lanterns hanging from it.

3) an old hotel organizer? yes please! perfect for craft room...

4)now, these books tied with a bow are darling. however in my house Braddock would do his own 'distressing job'... to an unrecognizable point... we know from experience. You'll know when I show you his little renovations to our house... 
 Anyhoot, those cute little books would have to go else where.
5) This is not PB, I snagged it somewhere online... oops sorry! 
LOVE those upholstered chairs and 
see in the background? Above the white buffet? LOVE those chippy mirror frames!
'Member when I told you about my Anthro coloring book? THIS is what I was talking about! But more. And different sizes. I'll be on the hunt!

And in case it isn't clear... my mind is REELING with homey coziness because we're house hunting! In fact, we've put an offer on one. If you've done this before, you know it's SO not a sure thing 'til closing day... so we'll see! I'll let you in on the journey with us! It's been SO fun!

Happy blizzarding!

 May your home be project-full and boredom free!
On snow day #6 in a 20 day period, being cooped up in our teeennnyyy little house with a biiiggg Punk Puppy... the Born house motto is:
What doesn't kill ya will make ya stronger... 

 Peace, love, warmth, and to-do lists...

28 January 2011

A picture flow of my brain...

Oh the possibilities these little elements hold....

 Oh the prettiness... makes my heart beat as loud as rain on a tin roof.

 That book up there? In "what's going on in Casey's Brain #1"?  "You Can Color Me?"
No thank you. You are fine as you are.
It had me when those little Russian stacking dolls said Hello. 
From Anthro.  Of Course.
It felt like a splurge... $28 for a coloring book. But once I broke it down, it's about 56 cents per piece of artwork; good buy, I decided

The pages of prettiness are just waiting to be framed in all their black and white glory. 
Now all I need is the perfect (inexpensive, safe, cute,  low-maintenance city) home with deep dusty red/purple wine colored walls. 
Don't you think I could find a paint named that? Me too.

 ... and with chippy mirrored frames. 
or something of that sort...

 Good Night. I'm sunk.

The euphoria! 

But these goodies will wait for another day... because

 And we be poo' as we are in the lookin'-for-houses phase of our lives. Oh and Mr. Man's car got tired of starting yesterday... so it didn't. Cha. Ching $$$.

So I will bring me you back pictures of all of the lovlies I found and want to take home...
and kind of did take home! Only in 2-D form... uploaded on a computer screen.

Pray for me. For will-power. And self control. 
And everlasting joy even upon leaving the market empty handed. 

27 January 2011

The Gospel makes me cry.

digital art by me, adapted from free art online

I sat in church this past Sunday, at Redeemer. I have so enjoyed this place of worship. A place that is honest, genuine people, trying to figure out The Gospel. They're not just to 'get saved'  or to 'save' others but talk about what the good news is when shitty stuff happens. It's not a rare occurrence that they address hard stuff like rape, like past family pain, alcoholism, heartbreak, materialism, modern-day racism, suicide, etc... from the pulpit. If ya go to church much, you know how rare that is. We "Christians" like to pretend that stuff doesn't happen. Because we don't know what to say. Or how to deal with it. We don't know if 'the gospel' can handle that kind of brokenness.

I sat there and listened to this guy talk about Nehemiah and how he entered into the pain of his surroundings. He made his people's problems, his problems. He wasn't avoident. He wasn't individualistic, all "that's their problem". He wasn't full of answers, either. He just couldn't shake them. Couldn't stop thinking about how much it must suck to go through their junk. And God saw that. And liked it. And came into the problems with Nehemiah... after he spent FOREVER asking God, that was. It took a while.

Our preacher dude talked about how this was a human prophet, whose life prophesied of the life of Christ. Not just the words he said about the future that came true, but that his life was a distant echo of The Gospel. Of the good news. That Christ enters into our pain. And maybe it does get 'fixed' sometimes, but more comforting than that, he weeps for us. He made our problems His. That is the good news. That is the Gospel.

Sat with someone a few nights ago with a good glass of wine and some serious heartbreak. And was so reminded of how all I wanted, when my heart was broken, was someone to feel it for me, just a little bit. I hated it when people told me 'what to do'... as if there was something to do. And how they said it would be over soon... it wasn't over soon. It ended, but it wasn't what I would call "soon". And they looked at me with pity. Not compassion. There's a big difference. And let's be honest, we've all been that person before. Felt awkward with someone else's pain and not known what to do. It's a part of life. But what I loved about Sunday is that I was reminded that the most comforting thing that we can do for someone, is to enter into their pain. To do our best to put ourselves there. To let our emotions, our mind, and our experience (or lack there of) go there. And be honest about that.

And why that's so comforting is because that's what Christ does.

It'd been a while since I heard the Gospel talked about like that. And I really believe that its the only way it should be talked about. The Gospel isn't needed just one time in our lives. We don't need to be saved from ourselves only once (don't make that into a theological thing please. it's not meant that way). Jesus enters into our problems still. We still need his saving Truth. Daily. Even after the first time we met Him and we're 'saved'.

Mr. Man likes to sit in front. I hate it. Because the Gospel, spoken about like that, brings me down every time. It makes me weep. Snot drippin' and all. I had to seriously wash my jeans after all the swipe and wipe I had to do.

After I hear Truth spoken like I did Sunday, I feel like I'm a bit better. A bit worse. I feel a bit lighter. and heavier. And definitely A bit more understood. I see how I need to be loved and in turn, how I want to love. And how that's all laid out in The Word.  I feel a bit more healed. And a bit more broken.  A bit surer of the direction Mr. Man & I are to head in. A bit more like myself.

That's Christ. That's the Gospel. He enters into our (collective and individual) pain so that we experience Him and good, hard life, heading the direction of The Way. Slowly and not so steadily sometimes, but still heading there.

You can find it here.

26 January 2011

Oh for the love

of unlikely items becoming jewelry:

I love working with my hands. Creating something out of nothing. Experiencing a piece of someone bigger than I.

I am embarking on a scary adventure. I have never been one to do something unsafe. To dream unsafely. To actually pursue an unsafe dream. And to risk putting a piece of myself out there through my creations, which really are a piece of yourself, at the risk of being unwanted.

But I have decided it's worth it. I love to create; it's such a deep part of me, as I'm sure all creator's feel.
I find so much healing and rest in this, that it's worth it.
So Mr. Man and I have decided that creativity needs to become a common thing in our world. It needs to be a regular occurrence. And in order for that to happen, I have to take the risk of selling my stuff. Putting my stuff out there at the risk of someone looking at it objectively. Or without care and appreciation. Like I so often do to other people's stuff.

I have to sell stuff so I don't become a hoarder. And so my created stuff can actually survive (avoiding Punk Pup's digestive system).

So here's a peek into some of my first projects that are going to be on sale in some way shape or form- I'll let ya know when and where.

The finished product will come soon...

For good measure:
60 seconds in the life of Punk Pup
 give us the profile, Braddock...
I'm so cute...

I love to play!
And find things...
I lost my pin cushion.
He's eating it. Pins 'n all.
He's invincible.
And such a punk.