A New Big Boy Bedroom for the Twins

Hi friends!!

I’ve decided to take a little hiatus from blogging about our flip house. I’m sure I’ll post another update next week, but for today I’m not going to talk about that at all. Instead I’m going to share a small little project we’ve been working on at home. 

As most of you know, we’re expecting another little boy (he will make baby boy #3) in about 3 months. Obviously, with the addition of a new family member comes making room for him. We decided to make our twins a big boy bedroom and then use one of their old cribs in the baby’s new nursery. We’ve been clearing out our guest room and will be converting that room into the new nursery. But, before we could move one of the cribs into that room, we had to make a new bedroom for Maverick and Maxton. Here are a few before pictures that show what the boys’ nursery looked like for the past few years. When we were pregnant with them we painted the nursery and added furniture, but that’s about all. It’s served as a cozy little room so far, but they were excited to have a new “grown up” space!

They turned 3 years old a couple months ago and have been saying that they were ready for a big boy bedroom. These precious boys often nap together, and would even wander to each other’s toddler bed during the night. Often times we would find them snuggled up together when we would go get them in the mornings. With that in mind we decided to make them one big sized, shareable bed, rather than two twin beds. This decision worked out great because we were able to simply use the queen mattress and bed frame out of our guest room. 

The first thing we decided on was to make them a headboard rather than purchase one. I scrolled through pictures on Pinterest until I found one that I liked, tweaked it a bit in my mind, and then shared my idea with Nathan. As usual, he worked magic and took my idea and then made a fabulous headboard for the boys (all in just a few hours). He’s amazing! โค๏ธ๏ธ

That old tin that we used as the background of the head board was salvaged from an old building that we tore down at one of our flips last year. I knew when we took that building down that I would find something to do with that tin, and now I’m SO glad I didn’t let them throw it away! 

The idea I had in my mind was to create a room that would in a sense, grow with them. I didn’t want it to have a distinct theme, but just an overall “boy” feel to it. We didn’t want to have to repaint the room again, and purposefully painted it a neutral color a few years ago so that paint color would work for a long time. So, all we really needed to do was pick out a few other details to make it feel like a “big boy room”. The final product only took a couple weeks of shopping and one day of installation and it was complete. The end result is something that the twins LOVE! …And that makes us so happy! ๐Ÿ’•


Im not gonna lie, I shed a few tears during their first night not spent in their cribs/toddler beds. I just can’t believe they’re growing up so fast. I ask them everyday to just “slow down growing…just a little bit”. They haven’t listened to me yet. ๐Ÿ˜ฉBabies just don’t keep. Now that I’m crying…let me wrap this blog up. 

Anyways, we’re so glad they love their new room! Thanks for reading!!!

Sources:
Quilt set: Joss and Main

Curtains: Wayfair

Sconces: Amazon

Rug: Rugs USA

Map: Hobby Lobby

Personalized navy chairs: Land of Nod

Toy chest: used to belong to their daddy and Uncle TJ

Dresser: used to belong to their Grandpa Al (I refurbished it a couple years ago) 

Living Room Reveal

Guys!!! I’m SO excited! I have another room cleaned, lightly staged, and photographed!! Per the title of this blog, I’m sure you’re aware that I’m talking about the living room of our current flip house. 

The construction phase of this whole project is DONE, and the cleaning phase is almost done!!! Yay!! The cleaning phase of these flip projects is always such a huge undertaking. Literally every square inch has to be scrubbed, scrubbed again, vacuumed, dusted, mopped, mopped again…you get the idea. When an entire home has been a construction zone for the past four months the amount of cleaning that is required seems endless. However, getting to this part means we are SO close to being totally finished, and that is something to celebrate!!

Before I do any pictures or details of the living room I’m going to talk a little bit about this house, just in case any one reading this is interested in purchasing this home.

This 1680 sq ft ranch style home is located in Welcome and has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. The main floor offers a foyer, living room, dining room, kitchen, master bedroom and bathroom, hall bathroom, and 2 extra bedrooms. There is another 700 sq feet finished in the basement that includes a second living room and office with a closet. This part of the basement isn’t heated and cooled, so therefore it’s not included in the finished sq feet of the house. However, we had it priced and you could add a second HVAC system for the basement for only 4K.  

The master suite includes his and hers closets (one of which is a walk in) and an en suite bathroom with double vanities, tile tub/shower combo, linen closet, and toilet. 

The home has a brand new front porch, and the basement living room has a set of French doors that both open to lead out onto a covered back patio. Other features include brand new HVAC system for the finished main level, 2 brand new garage doors, new exterior siding, all new double hung Pella brand vinyl windows, new landscaping and new driveway with a fresh load of gravel on it. 

I’ll be doing individual blog posts of each room/area that includes before and after pictures as well as all of the details for these spaces. 

Alrighty, back to the living room reveal ๐Ÿ˜.

Let’s start with some before pictures…

This was definitely an ugly room. It was very dark and somewhat oppressive. The walls were all a tinged yellow color, the dark brown carpet was super dirty, there were NO lights, and the windows included some plexi-glass and housed a window a/c unit.

So what did we do to make it pretty?? We put hickory hardwoods down, painted the walls, trim and ceiling, painted the brick fireplace, replaced the shelving unit next to the fireplace with some new updated shelves, added four recessed lights in the corners of the room and a track light above the fireplace, and added 3 new windows.

And the finished result? A much more bright, clean, and open space that feels so much bigger. 


Well, what do you guys think of this space??  I’m thinking the next blog will feature the master bathroom. I’m pretty excited about that one!

Thanks for reading!

XOXO,

Megan

I kinda hate the term “Flipper”

If you’ve been reading my blog posts at all for the past couple years, then it’s no secret that my husband and I “flip” houses. So, why do I hate that term? I’m not for sure that there’s even an actual definition for the term “flip house”, but in the day and age of HGTV everybody has an idea of what it is.

It may be different in various places around the country, but around our area flippers are notorious for certain things. Cutting out anything nice wherever possible to save a penny, painting the walls in the boring builder grade beige color, using basic builder grade light fixtures, tub inserts, cheap laminate or vinyl flooring, etc etc etc are a few of the things that typically come to mind.

While searching for granite for the kitchen of our last flip project the owner of the granite yard said, “Oh this is a flip house? Let me show you the granite most flippers use. It’s the cheapest we have here.” It was the most hideous granite they had. I would have never used it in any of our homes. But hearing those words spoke volumes that didn’t even need an explanation. By purchasing that granite, those flippers could advertise “granite counters in kitchen” in their real estate listing. Most other “flippers” would tell us we were crazy for purchasing granite that cost more than the basic quartz selections cost. But you know why we did that? Its not all about money to us.

We have a serious passion for what we do. It’s not just about the paycheck on closing day. Renovating these homes and bringing them back to life brings us more satisfaction than just how much our profit is at the end of the project. When I start designing a flip house I pick a personality for it. Like, what kind of voice would this house have if it could talk? What kind of mood do I want to portray through this design? Each home is different. In reality, very few things are alike in any of them. Making these decisions gives me little butterflies of excitement. And seeing it all come together in the end? I can’t even describe how exciting that is.

We don’t flip houses as quickly as some people do. Why? Because we add character and personality in things that will make us absolutely no return on our investment. I don’t know of any other flippers (well besides Tarek and Christina) that would sink money and time into something that literally increases the value of the house by zero dollars, but simply makes the home more attractive and custom. We just spent $355.00 on 3 sets of custom order shutters because we had to have the perfect ones in the perfect color for this home and the basic ones just didn’t evoke the same feeling. The basic ones at Lowe’s would have only cost $126.00 for the same 3 sets. Will we make that two hundred dollar price difference back when we sale the house? Nope. Does it matter to us? Nope. Why? Because we want people to know that if they ever purchase a home from us, they are getting a home that has had as much love poured into it by us as if we lived in it ourselves. The amount of time I spend designing these homes is worth thousands of dollars in design fees had they simply hired Hartman Interiors, and they’re getting that totally included.

We have a dream of eventually having such a positive name in our community that people are actually waiting for us to finish a home so they can potentially purchase it for themselves. That will never happen if we do things the way that most “flippers” do. It’s certainly not that we think we are any better than other house flippers, we’re just different. We simply choose to pour a little more of our heart and soul into these projects, even against the advice of others. We want buyers and potentially clients one day, to know that when Hartman Homes finishes a house it will be unlike any other in the neighborhood.

So, we’ll continue using the term “flipper” because that let’s people have a general idea of what we do, but now you know that what we do is actually so much more than that.

Fall Is In The Air

I love summer, I really do. But this heat has me dreaming of some cooler fall weather. I just LOVE fall. Pumpkin everything, fall colors, fires in the firepit, pumpkin patches, tractor rides…I just love it all!! 

You know what else I love?! Fall time scented candles! I burn them pretty much 24/7 from September through November. I’m typically a Bath and Body Works candle person, but this year I think I may have a new favorite candle, or maybe several.  I was given two candles to “test” and do a product review on. Well, I fell in love.  

   
If you’ve never heard of Carolina Chic Home Decor, owned by Cole and Brittney Bowen, you need to go check them out right now at carolinachichomedecor.com. Like right now…but then come back and finish reading about their candles. Anyways, Hartman Interiors has been using Carolina Chic to make some of our furniture for staging (and they do an awesome job on that too!), but Cole gave me some candles to test out the last time we met up to pick up our furniture. There were lots of choices, probably 10 or 15 different scents to choose from. But since I’ve  been in the mood for the fall season, I chose “Grandma’s Pecan Pie” and “Pumpkin Pie”. 

The very next day I tried out one and then a few hours later tried out the other. Oh. My. Word. They smelled SO good! I’m talking, one little candle made over 2,000 sq feet of house smell amazing! When Nathan came home from work he noticed it immediately. I think he was disappointed to realize that there wasn’t something baking in the oven, but nonetheless he was impressed with the candle. 

My “Grandma’s Pecan Pie” candle is now almost gone, and once my other one is gone I’m sure I’ll need to get me a few more! Carolina Chic Home Decor will be at the upcoming Apple Festival in September and the Barbecue Festival in October. If you’re at those events, please do yourself a favor and pick up a candle (or several) for $9.00. You won’t regret it.  

As always, thanks for reading!

XOXO,

Megan

 

A Sweet Find

A couple weeks ago we had an “outside clean up day” at our flip house. The biggest part of this cleanup was to tackle emptying out the three storage sheds in the back yard. They weren’t totally full, but had quite a bit of stuff that needed hauling off. 

Being the lover of salvaged goods that I am, I was hopeful that I would find some hidden gem amongst all the trash. And you know what?! I wasn’t disappointed. Sitting in the largest shed was this little treasure just waiting to be loved. It was a rickety, stained, ugly chair that just needed a little elbow grease to be beautiful again. 

  
It was actually pretty hideous initially, and I’m sure my dear husband would have tossed it straight in the trash. But I rescued it, put it in my SUV, and hauled it home.

 A few days later I started in on my restoration of this fine piece of antiqued glory. Nathan helped me sturdy it up using some liquid nails and wood clamps. After letting that dry for a day or so it was ready for paint. Usually I would sand down furniture that I plan on repainting, but this chair was so rough and scratchy already that it didn’t need any more sanding. 

I picked a white paint color that I already had left over from another job and painted one thick coat of paint, let it dry, and took some sand paper to it. I find the key to a good “distressed paint” job is to focus on the areas that would naturally become chipped over time. Think of the places that would receive lots of touching during use and focus on those areas. That way the finished piece looks natural and antiqued, rather than intentionally distressed. 

The next step was to reupholster the seat. I had a few different fabric choices lying in my “interior design/craft/diy” area of the basement and picked from those. I certainly didn’t want to make an extra trip out and spend money on fabric since the rest of this restoration project had been free. I ended up using a fabric that was tan with a blue stripe. It definitely has a strong farmhouse feel to it, so of course I love it. 

I reassembled this little gem and it was done. I’m pretty excited with how cute it looks, and even more excited that it cost me a total of $0.00. Can’t beat free!! My plan is to use this chair in staging the flip house. It’s going to go right next to the entryway table in the living room. 

   
I can’t wait to show you the rest of the stuff I’ve restored/salvaged/thrifted and picked out for the flip house. I am as excited about decorating that house as a kid would be while waiting on Santa. Hopefully only a couple more weeks until I get to start putting it all together!
XOXO,

Megan

 

The Part of Motherhood No One Prepares Us For—Breastfeeding. Our Story.

Within the past couple weeks I have spoken to several friends who just recently became new mamas. Inevitably the conversations  eventually turn to the struggles that come with having a newborn. Amongst other things that we new mamas have to learn about the first time we bring our little bundle(s) of joy home, there’s this one really big thing that is unusually unheard of during our pregnancy. Breastfeeding. Over the past two years I’ve quickly learned that I’m not the only one who entered motherhood unprepared for what comes after the labor and delivery. Therefore, I’m writing this post for the sole purpose of being an encouragement to other new moms out there who just need to hear that they aren’t alone. Here’s our story… FYI, I’m going to be rather open during this post, so quit reading now if this conversation makes you uncomfortable. 

When I was pregnant I knew that I wanted to breastfeed our boys. I knew that I would be working a day or two a week after my initial 12 weeks out of work after their birth, so I got a really nice breast pump and a few bottles to pump into during those days. That was ALL of the preparations I did. I lived in this fantasy land imagining that they would pop out wanting to latch on and the rest would be history. Boy, was I wrong!

After their birth pretty much everything that could have worked against me having breastfeeding success occurred. For starters, both boys were taken from me immediately. One was instantly transferred to another hospital and I wouldn’t even see him for two days. And even when I got to see him, he wasn’t allowed to eat for several weeks because of his gastroschesis/surgery/etc. The other baby was in a different NICU and although he was only 5 weeks early he was facing the same problem that most preemies face, he was too tired to eat. Sure he would try for just a little bit, but then he’d fall asleep. He ended up having to have a feeding tube for about a week. He was around 3 days old before I was ever allowed to try to nurse him. And when I did I had his NICU nurse standing right over me watching the whole time. It was horrible. I felt so pressured and anxious. Not to mention uncomfortable. I was new at this whole “everybody gets to see my boobs” thing. After mere minutes of trying she told me that she was going to go ahead and hook his feeding tube up because he wasn’t getting the hang of it.

 Looking back, that makes me furious. If anyone ever tries to boss you around when you are attempting to feed your child for the FIRST time ever, you tell them to leave you alone immediately. That is a precious time and you and your baby need to practice and get comfortable and you definitely don’t need someone staring at you and making you feel like a failure. 

The first time I pumped was in my hospital room. My mom encouraged me to pump and honestly the thought hadn’t even occurred to me. I was dealing with a lot at that time in my life and was too overwhelmed to even try and figure out how to set it up. She figured it all out for me. Thank the Lord for our mamas! I don’t think I pumped anything out during that first session. I immediately thought I had failed and that my body wasn’t going to make milk. I was totally overwhelmed. I felt like it was so unfair that I had two babies and I couldn’t actually nurse them; I was stuck using a pump in my hospital room while they were far from me. I continued to pump every three hours, and my milk finally came in when they were about 5 days old. That’s something else I didn’t know. I thought that the minute I birthed them I would suddenly have milk. Nope. That’s not how it works, but I didn’t know. But I’m sharing this, so that now you’ll know. 

My Mama kept encouraging me through it all. For the next several weeks and months she encouraged me. Maxton came home when he was 9 days old. On day 10 or so I started trying to nurse him at every feeding. At every feeding he would not latch on and he would cry and cry and cry. The crying would only stop if I finally pumped and gave him a bottle. I was on the verge of deciding that he had gotten too used to the bottle while in the hospital and he would never catch on. But I kept pressing on. I would try to nurse, pump, feed, clean the pump. Try to nurse, pump, feed, clean the pump. Over and over and over. All day and all night. He wasn’t catching on. It was exhausting. I was also trying to pump enough to take some to Maverick who was still in the hospital.  I felt like a dairy cow; only good for my food supply of milk. 

I met with a lactation consultant in the NICU where Maverick was at and told her of my struggles with little Maxton. She was amazing. She was so encouraging and such an advocate for me to not give up. She gave me a nipple shield. I had never heard of such before. Basically it was this little clear, plastic thing that I placed over my nipple and it helped him get a better latch. It made my nipple feel more like the familiar texture of the bottle he was getting used to. This thing was amazing!! It freed me of having to pump every 2.5 hours so I could feed him. It was a blessing for sure. He nursed straight from me while using his nipple shield. I didn’t care if he used that the rest of his nursing career, it was much better than the alternative of pumping/bottle feeding. 

I met with that same lactation consultant right before Maverick came home from the hospital a couple weeks later. I was very nervous about having two little ones to feed. I had never even been allowed to attempt to nurse Maverick. He had been having pumped milk from a bottle his whole life up until the day before he came home. I requested another nipple shield for him. It worked great! The only problem was that when they were both nursing I had no free hands since I was holding them both, therefore when someone moved around a little bit and knocked the nipple shield off there I was with no way to put it back on. When Nathan was home I’d call him over and he’d find it and put it back on for me and help redirect the baby back to it. But when he wasn’t home it was a very difficult dilemma. 

Fast forward to about a month later, when they were two months old. I was nursing them one night and Maverick leaned back swatted his nipple shield off and latched right on to me. I was so shocked! The next day I tried not using the nipple shield with Maxton and he latched on just fine. Finally, freed from the nipple shields! This made nursing much simpler. 

Another thing I wasn’t prepared for when I planned to breastfeed was the fact that I may have to supplement with some formula. I wanted to make enough to be able to supply them with only breast milk. But, it just didn’t work out that way. I fed them all I had to offer and I’d supplement with formula when they needed more. In some ways it was a bit helpful when I could use those moments to let someone else feed them. It gave me a much needed break at times. But my body eventually figured out that I was feeding two and it caught up. I had pumping sessions at work where I would pump 18 ounces in 10 minutes. It was crazy how much milk I was making. So, here’s another encouraging tip for any mamas out there: don’t beat yourself up if you have to supplement. A fed baby is a happy baby! And don’t worry, it’s all about supply and demand. Your body will catch up! 

The last thing I was unprepared for was the intense pain from nursing. Yep. You read that right. My sore, cracked, bleeding nipples had no idea what was about to happen to them when the boys were born. I have girlfriends who have told me that nursing never hurt for them, and then I’ve had girlfriends tell me that they have dealt with the same things I did. So, if you have pain so bad that your heart starts to race and you almost start to sweat just knowing that it’s about time to feed your little ones, know that you’re not alone.  Every book will say to have the baby first latch onto the side that isn’t sore, that way his sucking isn’t as hard when he gets to the sore side. Well, that doesn’t work when you’re feeding two. Neither side ever gets a break. There was a time when the boys had blood streaming down their little chins while nursing because my nipples were bleeding so bad. But what choice do you have? None. They have to eat. I would sit there and cry while they nursed. But take comfort, it gets better. I’ve heard that our nipples “toughen” up with some use, so I guess that’s true. Hang in there, mama. 

The biggest part about nursing that I didn’t know is how much of a bond it builds. It’s simply awesome. I loved being the only one who could really take care of the boys in that way. When we would be at someone’s house, or at a gathering of some kind, we could excuse ourselves to a back bedroom, find us a chair and just calm down from all the excitement going on while they nursed. I was the boys’ peaceful place and I loved that. 

And for any mamas that choose not to nurse, I don’t judge you one bit. That’s your choice! Each mama knows what’s  best for her child in their situation, so please don’t take this post any different. But who knows, you may want to try it with your next one so maybe you’ll remember some of my words and be encouraged then. 

So how long did I end up nursing our boys? Two years. 26 months to be exact. Two long, amazing, wonderful years and I wouldn’t have changed a minute of it. I’m so thankful for the encouragement I had at the beginning. I truly think that if it hadn’t been for my mom and my lactation consultant that I might have given up, and I am so glad that I stuck it out! I hope that this post can be of some encouragement to a new mama out there that just needs to know that she’s not alone. 

Hang in there girl! You got this!

  

The Secret Door

“Let’s open that door and see where it leads to,” I said to Nathan about a mysterious/intriguing door that had been calling my name since we arrived at our destination in Charleston, SC a little over a week ago. “No way!” he replied “What if it leads to her bedroom?” 

Have you ever heard of airbnb? Well, that’s what we used to book our stay. Basically it’s like a vacation rental by owner website where the owner of the property could be renting out the entire home, a guest house, a bedroom, or even just a couch. In our case, we had rented the guest bedroom of an adorable, huge old home for our romantic weekend away. This pink house was over 100 years old and had all the character to prove it.  It was owned and lived in by a lady whom we had never met before our arrival.

 On the second morning while we were dressing I told Nathan again that I really wanted to know where this mystery door led to. I was imagining a secret closet of some kind, maybe even a hidden library tucked away past this door. So elusive and mysterious…kinda like in the wardrobe leading to Narnia. Okay, so of course I knew there wasn’t another country behind this door, but it must to be something cool. Why else would there be a huge chest in front of it unless there was something really cool behind it? Nathan argued that the chest was obviously put there to keep us out, but all it did was make me want to go inside even more. 

It didn’t take much sweet talking to convince Nathan to help me move the chest out of the way so I could take a peek at the contents past the mystery door. And wouldn’t you know, it was jammed shut. But I was determined. Nathan sat back on the bed to watch as I heaved and pulled at the door. It was really jammed. I tugged on it some more and finally got it to open just a bit on the lower half and I smashed my face up into the crack. I could almost imagine what old historic wonder I was about to uncover. And although he would never admit it, I think Nathan was curious too.

Just as I was catching a glimpse of a fan that was operating while sitting on the floor, (which made no sense since in my mind this was a hidden room) I caught a glimpse of a person moving past the door. Oh My Word! My heart almost stopped and lept out of my chest at the same time. I froze, unable to speak. Finally I whispered to Nathan, “It’s her room, oh my word! And she’s in there! I bet she saw me, or at least heard me!” 

He looked at me with terror on his face and the dialogue went something like this. 

Nathan-“You’re kidding.”

Megan- “No, I’m not.” 

Nathan- “Yes, you are.”

Megan- “No, I’m not. I’m dead serious. I saw her.”

Nathan- “Oh my word. Now she probably thinks we’re creepers all because you had to check out that stupid door. It was all your fault and now it looks like I was in on it too and we both look guilty.” 

Megan- “hmm. Yeah you’re right. But I’m glad.”

Guilty by association.  Hahaha!

We finished getting ready with the speed of two kids who just got caught with our hands in the candy jar. We then decided to try to get out of the house without having to see or speak to her. Really it was kinda funny. We sped down the stairs and out to the car. When we both got in the car we just looked at each other and started dying laughing.

 We determined that she would probably tell her friends about the weird couple who stayed with her and tried to peek at her through the door connecting the bedrooms and then obviously tried to flee the scene without having to speak or make eye contact. 

We had another couple days there, so we inevitably did see her again, however she never mentioned the peeping Tom moment that nearly transpired. Thank goodness! Honestly though, if I stay at another old home and there seems to be another mystery door, I bet I’d do the same thing again, because you never know what cool old history a home has to share.

And I bet that some of you would have done the same thing. ๐Ÿ˜‰