10 Things We Accomplished at Our House in One Month

As of Monday, we have owned our house for one whole month (and lived here for three weeks)!  As I was making a list of all the projects we’ve done since closing, I felt a little proud of all the hard work we’ve done.  So, I thought it would be fun to share little snippets of the progress we’ve made in just one short month! (These are just quick iPhone snapshots, so I apologize for the quality.)

Let’s get started.

1. Painted all the rooms (except the bathrooms)

I’ll start with the highest-impact item.  Like I mentioned in the “before” empty house tour, the colors in this house were BOLD (and also not our style).  We knew we didn’t want to live with red, yellow, chocolate brown, and dark green walls for any length of time, so we decided to delay moving for one week to give us time to paint.  This was honestly such a smart decision for us. With the help of our family and friends, we were able to paint all three bedrooms; the living room, dining room, and kitchen; and the hallways.  It was A LOT of work, but it felt so good to move in and unpack immediately instead of leaving everything in boxes until we painted.  Painting first helped us settle in quickly.

I feel lame not sharing any photos yet, but things are still a little crazy over here. Soon! 🙂


While some were painting, others were helping us clean.  As for the state of the house before we moved in… Let’s just say cleaning was not a priority for the the previous occupants.  I recognize that I am a clean freak and that not everyone cleans as much as me, but I think most people would have been surprised by how dirty our house was.  If we had waited to clean until after we moved in, cleaning would have become so much harder. Just like painting, cleaning prior to moving allowed us to unpack and settle in quickly.  

3. Unpacked everything

On Day 1, we were 80% unpacked.  Can you believe it? It only took us a few hours to move, so we had most of the afternoon to unpack.  Plus, our family was really helpful. Because everything was already painted and clean, they were able to help us get the furniture in place, our clothes in the closet, and all of our kitchen items unboxed and put away.  As for the remaining 20%, we took care of it over about two weeks. So, we were totally unpacked in less than three weeks. That’s a huge accomplishment in my book!

4. Replaced the entryway light fixture

Now I get to talk about the fun stuff!  One of the first things we did aesthetically (besides painting) was replace the entryway light fixture.  The existing one was essentially just a “fancy” dust catcher, plus it felt too large for the space. We replaced it with a really simple (and affordable) pendant light that is much less flashy.  It fits the scale of the space much better.

5. Replaced hallway light fixtures

In our house, the master bedroom is separated from the other bedrooms by the living room, dining room, and kitchen.  This means we have two short hallways–one on each end of the house. Both had dated mushroom lights that really made the space feel drab.  After a lot of research and investigation, we finally found an adorable light that fit our budget. My goal was to find something updated but not too modern, and I think this light fits that description perfectly.  We are using these amazing LED Edison-style bulbs, and they provide so much light!  Plus, they are also super affordable and last for 13 years.  Not too shabby.

6. Replaced all the outlets and light switches

During our home inspection, we discovered that not all our outlets were up to code.  We were missing a few GFCI receptacles. However, we knew this would be a simple fix for us since Kendall’s dad is handy with wiring.  After we closed on the house, we realized that the previous owners had mismatched outlet and light switch covers all over the house. They weren’t even consistent in the same room!  Plus, they had accidentally painted over a lot of the plus and light switches, making them look pretty awful. We decided that since we were wanting to replace all the outlet and switch covers to make them uniform, we might as well replace the actual outlets and switches too.  The old switches and outlets were yellowed, and we wanted white so they wouldn’t clash with our freshly painted white walls. So, we have been replacing all the outlets and switches a few at a time since we moved in. They look so much better.  Having mismatched switch and outlet plates was really jarring to the space.  

Mismatched cover plates.
Painted over outlet.

7. Replaced hall bathroom mirror and towel rod

We haven’t painted this bathroom yet, so I was hesitant to show anything.  But, I decided any small progress was worthy of sharing. As you may remember, the mirror in this bathroom was a hot glue DIY gone wrong.  Someone had hot glued tiny tiles around the mirror (except they left holes where the mirror screws and some of the corners were). We tried prying them off, but it left glue on the glass.  Luckily, we had planned to replace the mirror eventually anyway, and I happened to already have one that would work! We hung this round, gold framed mirror in its place, and I think it looks so much better. 

(Please ignore the half-painted wall, haha.)

We also hung a hand towel rod, since the owners had apparently taken it with them when they moved, for some reason. I chose this modern black one, and I love how it looks with the gold. I’ve decided to mix brass and black finishes in this bathroom so I can get it out of my system, haha.  I think I will keep our master bathroom just brass. Speaking of…

8. Replaced master bathroom toilet, towel rod, and toilet paper holder

I wish I had taken a photo of the old toilet before we replaced it, because the comparison between the old and the new is striking.  (Okay, maybe I’m the only one who thinks that, haha.) The old toilet in our master bathroom was a dated almond color and also so dirty.  No matter how hard we scrubbed, we couldn’t get the stains out.  Plus, the handle was wonky and had to be held down for longer than normal for the toilet to flush.  After a week of living with an annoying toilet, we decided it was worth the money for a new toilet. We’d known we would have to replace it soon regardless, since our home inspection had revealed that it was leaking.  So, Kendall watched some YouTube videos, and we went to Lowe’s to get a new toilet! We had planned to get one of the cheapest ones, but then I saw this one… It has smooth sides for easy cleaning! It didn’t take long for me to realize it was worth the extra $60.  So far, I have not regretted our decision at all. I am so much more comfortable in a space that I know is clean, and cleaning the awkward shape of the toilet has always been annoying to me since I’m never entirely convinced I got every nook and cranny.  Plus, let’s be honest… Isn’t this new one just aesthetically pleasing? Lol. It’s about four inches thinner than the old one, so you can see where the owners painted around the toilet like, four times, haha.  

We also replaced the hand towel bar and added a toilet paper holder (there wasn’t one for some reason).  Both were very affordable on Amazon, and they are super high quality, IMO.  

9. Replaced all the smoke/CO detectors

I know this one isn’t fun, but it is really important.  When we moved in, there were around 7 smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in the house.  Every single one of them was original to the house and was therefore expired. Every. Single.  One. None of the battery-powered ones had working batteries. Some were hardwired, but even a hardwired smoke detector needs replaced every 10 years.  I don’t know how the previous owners slept soundly at night! The water heater, stove/oven, and heat are all powered by gas, so it was even more important to have a CO detector.  We replaced all of ours with detectors that integrate with each other, which means if one goes off in the office, they will all go off. It’s a nice safety feature!  

10. Hung the TV over the fireplace 

Let me preface this one by saying I did not want a TV over the fireplace.  I had imagined hanging a beautiful piece of art over the mantel and styling it with candlesticks and vases.  I would rather not have a TV than give up my lovely mantel. I am perfectly contented to watch TV on my laptop for the rest of my life, haha.  However, I wasn’t able to convince Kendall we could live without a TV, especially since the previous owners left us one for free (they had at least three, and I guess decided they didn’t need them all).  Due to the layout of the room, the only place we could put the TV was right over the mantel. Sad day. But, Kendall loves me very much, because he worked very hard to make sure there wouldn’t be a mess of wires.  With some help from my brother, Kendall crawled around the in attic and behind the fireplace to add an outlet above the mantel. It looks pretty good, for a TV above a fireplace 😛  

That wraps up what we’ve accomplished in the one month we’ve owned our house!  We’re going to start Phase I renovations soon, starting with our hall bathroom.  We are so excited to get started! More details coming soon 🙂  

Oh, one more thing! I just created a guide for how to create a cohesive and curated thrifted wardrobe. I’m so thrilled to finally share it! Just click here to download! 🙂 Enjoy!

Xo Lizzie

What are some projects you knocked out the last time you moved?  Which ones do you feel like always have the biggest impact? Let me know in the comments! 


My Top 10 Thrifted Finds of All Time

In honor of National Thrift Shop Day, I thought it would be fun to share my top 10 thrifted finds of all time. I’ve been a serious thrifter for about seven years, so I’ve had a lot of time to dig up some gems! Before we get started, I want to mention that I have found way more thrifted clothes than what I’m sharing, but I’m not really a fashion blogger, so I’m mostly focusing on furniture and decor pieces today.

1. Mid-Century Modern Glass Front Cabinet, $50

I probably gasped out loud when I saw this beauty in Goodwill three years ago. The thrift stores I frequent rarely have decent furniture, let alone a beautiful MCM piece. The brass-capped feet were not in great shape, and the finish was looking rough, but the sliding glass doors were in amazing condition! I almost left it behind because it was $50, but I’m so glad I didn’t. Here’s how I have had it styled most recently.

(Also thrifted: the frame, small plant stand, pottery vase, and most of the books. I found the lamp shade next to a dumpster!)

2. Copper Kettle, $3

I am a sucker for vintage kitchen items, especially if they are copper. This adorable kettle immediately caught my eye with its aged patina and its blue and white porcelain handle and lid. I cannot wait to put up some open shelves in our new kitchen so I can display this piece!

(Also thrifted: the adorable Starbucks mug!)

3. Farmhouse Dining Table, $10

(Technically, this find is from a yard sale, but I felt like it still fits with the spirit of National Thrift Shop Day.) You’re probably looking at that picture and thinking, “That looks nothing like a farmhouse table.” And you’re totally right. This orange Spanish-style set was even more orange in person, if you can believe it. But, I could see that the table had great bones. There was beautiful ironwork detail on the legs, and I really liked the X pattern on the top.

So, I purchased the set for $40, then sold the chairs on Craigslist for $30 the next week. Kendall helped me sand and stain it, and the end result is great!

4. Lucky Brand Leather Ankle Booties, $4

Ankle booties are a dime a dozen at thrift stores nowadays. The trend has been going strong for around 8 years, so there are plenty available second hand. However, I was holding out for a pair of genuine leather booties with a short heel, and my patience eventually paid off. I scored these for just $4 at Goodwill, and I’m so glad I didn’t cave and pay $40 or more!

5. Mid-Century Modern Credenza, $50

This poor credenza was in a sorry state when I first got my hands on it. The trim had been ripped off the front edge, one of the legs had cracked, and someone had sanded and painted all six of the drawers an assortment of random colors. It was definitely a sad sight! I’m not the handiest person around, and I knew I couldn’t sand it down and refinish it (at the time, I was living in an apartment and had no power tools), but I did think I could save it with a coat of paint. Here’s how it turned out.

Can you believe that’s the same cabinet? The transformation astounds me every time! With some help from my mom, we filled the dents and cracks, painted it, and replaced the trim on the front. We also did our best to repair the broken leg. It’s not perfect, but I don’t mind. I picked up some gold drawer pulls for a few dollars at Lowe’s, and they provided the perfect finishing touch.

(Also thrifted: the seaglass vase, basket, and all the art/frames.)

6. Camel Peacoat, $6

A tan or camel peacoat is another item I had on my radar for a while, but I couldn’t bring myself to spend even $20 since I already had a winter coat that I loved. However, I got really lucky and found one at Goodwill this spring! It was half off $12, so I finally added a camel coat to my wardrobe for just $6. It’s incredibly soft, and it’s big enough to wear over even the thickest of my sweaters. I can’t wait for some cooler weather so I can wear it!

7. Mid-Century Modern Magazine Rack, $4

If you follow me on Instagram, you might remember the funny story associated with this one. I found a MCM Hollywood Regency-style magazine rack at an estate sale for $10, but I passed on it because I wasn’t in the mood to pay that much for something that was a little beat up. After I got home, I began to regret that I hadn’t gotten it, but it was too late. (Thrift regret, anyone?) However, I found one at Goodwill just two weeks later!!! And it was in better condition, too. You’d better believe I snatched it off the shelf and didn’t let it out of my sight until I’d paid for it. It’s supposed to be a magazine rack, but I discovered it’s the perfect size for holding my vinyl collection. I love the glam it adds to our bedroom!

(Fun fact: One week later, I FOUND ANOTHER ONE!!! I don’t know if the thrift gods were messing with me or what, but I’m here for it.)

8. Nate Berkus Bedding, $6

One of my favorite Target brands is Nate Berkus’s eponymous line. His designs are always to modern and simplistic. However, they are also usually pricey, so I generally just admire from afar. I got really excited when I found this comforter + sham set at Goodwill for just $6! It was originally $12, but it was the color of the day and half off. It was in relatively good shape, so it came home with me.

(We aren’t currently using it on our bed, so please pardon the old photo with crooked art and lampshade, haha.) I’m planning to use it in our guest room once we get a full-size bed in there. I love the moody charcoal color!

(Also thrifted: the tan and grey geometric down pillow.)

9. Antique Oil Painting, $20

Hands down, this is my favorite find of all time. I love this painting. I got it at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore for a steal. It had some white marks on it (you can kind of see them on the right), so they had priced it fairly low for how large a piece it is. I almost didn’t get it because it was a lot of money for a college student, but I’m so glad I did. One of my mom’s friends is a painter, and she offered to repair the white marks for me! She did a great job, and you can’t even tell it was repaired.

The painting is signed, and after some intense research, I discovered that the painter was an Italian man who did most of his work in the 1870s. Another of his paintings (which was also of fishing boats) sold for $300 on an art auction site. So, I guess you could say I scored big!

(Fun fact: After I bought it, I posted a photo of it on Instagram and tagged my local ReStore. A few days later, they sent me a DM saying I had won a drawing for a free $25 ReStore gift card! I had inadvertently entered the drawing by posting about my purchase on social media. So, ReStore technically gave me $5 for buying the painting, haha.)

(Also thrifted: Most of the books, blue pottery vase, picture frame, wood sculpture, blue ceramic planter, swan, brass votive, white ceramic planter.)

10. Vintage Leather Purse

I am a simple but somewhat picky woman when it comes to my purses. I have several rules: It must fit my wallet, it must be crossbody, and it must be versatile. This amazing vintage leather purse checked all of those boxes with flying colors. Everyone tells me it looks like vintage Coach because of the adorable hardware details, and I love that! I haven’t worn it much yet because my current black purse still has a little life left and I bought the leather one as a future replacement because it’s so hard for me to find purses that fit my criteria (does anyone else do that? Haha).

Well, that wraps up my top 10 thrift finds of all time! I hope you enjoyed seeing my favorites, and I’d love to hear about yours!

Xo Lizzie

What are some of your favorite thrifted finds? Do you tend to find more clothing finds or home decor finds? Leave a comment below!

Welcome to Our Home!

I can’t believe I’m writing these words, but we closed on our first house and moved in last Saturday!  The past two weeks have been a blur, and I’m just now getting time to sit down and write about it. 

The house is actually in our current subdivision (which we love) just two streets over.  We toured it the day it came on the market, loved it, and put in an offer. Since we knew there were already several other offers on the home, we offered a little over asking price and wrote a the sellers a cover letter saying how much we loved the home and how we could see ourselves making a life there together, etc.  In the end, there were six (!!!) offers on the house, and the sellers picked us because they liked our letter!  We had a few bumps along the way with the inspection, but it all worked out in the end.

Even though the home is newer, there is still some charm, and the exterior siding gives the house a cottage look.  And, there are plenty of projects 🙂 (That was on my house wish list, haha). The kitchen and bathrooms need updated, and the entire living space has parquet floors, so there is a lot for us to improve!  We already have so many ideas for how to update the space to fit our style.

For me, owning a home is pretty much my dream come true.  I’ve had a home renovation board on Pinterest for at least five or six years, so that tells you just how long I’ve been mentally preparing for this.  But the biggest reason we’re excited?  We will finally be able to experience the newlywed excitement of moving into our first place together.  Because Kendall moved into my apartment after we got married, we kind of missed out on the fun of starting our marriage in a new place together.  Even though Kendall’s stuff got mixed in with mine, the place still felt like my apartment.  We didn’t get to brainstorm where to put the couch or how to organize the kitchen cabinets–I’d done that already when I moved in three years ago.  We’re really looking forward to starting from scratch. 

Due to the variety of bright paint colors throughout the house that were not to our tastes, we decided to paint as much as we could before we moved in.  After closing, we took a week to paint paint paint. We had so much help from friends and family, and (amazingly) we got every room painted except the bathrooms.  We even got most of the trim painted. It was a lot of hard work, but the end results were so much better. I’m excited to share photos of what the house looks like painted, but I wanted to share the “before” photos first!  

So, here we go…

Welcome to our home!  It’s a 1,400 square feet single-level home built in 1990 with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a garage, and a screened-in porch.  It’s a tan/beige color, but the siding needs replaced eventually, so we might go with navy or grey siding down the road.  The front yard has some nice landscaping that just needs a little TLC and lots of trimming. Eventually, I’d like to move the little Japanese maple that’s blocking the front porch so you can see the front door.

We have already replaced the doorknob, lock, and door mat at the front door, and it looks much better!  The porch needs pressure washed badly, and the space would greatly benefit from a potted plant and a porch light.  

There is no defined entryway, so you walk straight into the living room when you come through the front door.  

It’s definitely an impressive space with high ceilings and a fireplace.  As you can see, there are a lot of colors going on in this space, haha. The yellow, red, and green walls really make the floor look orange, but it’s much more brown in person.

The built-ins and trim on the fireplace are surprisingly nice features for a builder-grade house from the 90s.  Also, the hearth is marble, which was a pleasant surprise. The fireplace is gas, but it needs some repairs before it’s fully functioning.

The back corner of the living room is the entryway.  It’s definitely nothing special, so I would really like to make some built-ins in the nook, or maybe just add a nice set of wall hooks.

We have already updated the door knobs, door mat, and the light fixture, and it’s so much nicer.  Fun fact: the old light fixture barely cleared the door. There was about 1/8 in. between the tip of the light and the door when it opened.  It definitely made us nervous, haha.

To the right of the living room is the dining room.  It’s a surprisingly huge space, and the French doors in the alcove really bring some character to the room.  We plan on replacing the light fixture soon and adding some shades to the windows and doors.  

The French doors lead directly out to the screened-in porch, which might be one of my favorite spaces in the whole house.

I know it doesn’t look like much yet, but it’s a great space.  The peaked roof is so cute, and there’s a ceiling fan already installed.  We’re thinking about painting the walls black for some contrast, and I already have string lights to drape across the room.  I’m going to take the curtains down since they don’t fit the windows. We don’t need them for privacy since there is a fence and plenty of trees to block the view.

When you come back inside, the kitchen is to the left.

I know.  There is a lot going on in this space, haha.  Lots of orange wood and dated paint colors. But, the space is huge and fits our needs perfectly.  We definitely plan on painting the cabinets soon, and we’re hoping we can find a fridge to match the other stainless steel appliances on Facebook Marketplace or an outlet store.  And, of course, we cannot wait to replace those pink (yes, PINK) laminate countertops.    

One day, if the budget allows, we might tear down the silly pony wall between the living room and the kitchen, then use the space to make an island.  Since the wall doesn’t go up to the ceiling, it feels very disjointed and dated. This will be quite a ways down the road if it ever happens, but it would greatly improve the flow of the house.  I also really want to move the sink to be under the window instead of in a corner. There is so much wasted space back there!!  

To the left of the kitchen is a small hallway that leads to the master bedroom, the pantry, and the garage.

The master bedroom is huge.  We could easily fit a king-sized bed in here one day.  There’s also a really convenient walk-in closet, which was near the top of our house-hunting wish list.  The walls were even darker in person, and if you look closely, you can see that it’s splotchy, haha. It definitely needed another coat, but I’m glad they didn’t give it one because it took four coats of white paint to cover it all up.  

There is a fairly spacious master bathroom off the bedroom.

The master bathroom has a double sink vanity and a separate tub and shower.  The space feels large, but there is no linen closet, and overall, there is a lack of storage space.  Also, the shower is really tight (in my opinion). We’ve discussed eventually combining the tub and shower so we can turn the shower stall into a linen closet.  I think it would greatly improve the storage and functionality of the bathroom. (Side note: Please ignore the dirty shower. It has since been scrubbed clean.)  We plan to paint the vanity and replace the counter top. Also, as you can see, someone hot glued rocks to the edge of the mirror, ruining it entirely. We plan to pry the whole thing off the wall and replace it with two smaller mirrors.

On the other side of the house is another hallway where the other bathroom and bedrooms are.  

The second bedroom is what we will use as an office.  This room will be mostly Kendall’s space, so I wash my hands of whatever decor gets put in here, haha.  There is a huge closet though, which will be great for storing all his board games.  

Next is the hall bath, which will be our guest bathroom.  

It’s a pretty small bathroom, and it needs a lot of work, but I can see this becoming such a cute space.  We’ll definitely paint the vanity and update the light fixture and the mirror (another hot glue DIY gone wrong).  I already took the shutters off the window, so now I’m looking for another privacy solution for the space. Currently, there’s just a piece of Kraft paper taped in the window, haha.

The third bedroom is at the end of the hallway.

We plan to use this room as a guest room.  As you can see, the dark chocolate brown walls make the room feel really gloomy, despite the beautiful, big window.  It took three coats of white paint to cover it all up. On the bright (ha!) side, there’s a fairly spacious closet that will be great for storing my craft supplies.  

The laundry room is located right outside the guest room.  

There you have it!  I hope you enjoyed this short “before” tour of our new house.  I was so excited to share the photos with you, and I’m even more excited to start sharing our plans and progress.  Thanks for reading!

Xo Lizzie

What did you love most about buying your first house?  Or, what are some things on your future home wish list?  Let me know in the comments!