Monday, April 29, 2019

Our House Hunting Experience So Far

It's Monday again, how does that seem to happen so quickly?

Today I want to share a little bit about our house hunting experience so far but first lets just talk about our current situation. My husband Tim and I live in a two bedroom apartment which we have been in for almost three years. It's been a pretty good place to live because we are very close to pretty much anything we could need. We have quite a bit of space for two people and honestly most of the time we are hanging out in the living room together so it works out fine. You can see a full view of where we live here.

We started off super excited to be in our own space and have our first apartment together but over the last three years we have created quite a list of reasons why we want to buy a house. Last year we started seriously looking for a house but quickly put it on the back burner when our wedding became our top priority. Our main priority is to find a house in Washington County, RI close to the area where we both grew up. We both work in that area and don't want to be too far from work but also want to make sure we are in a nice area where we can raise a family. 

That being said since we are first time home buyers our budget is quite small. We have a down payment saved up from our wedding gifts and have been pre-approved by the bank but we have a pretty small budget to work with. Unfortunately the area we want to be in is very pricey because the tax rate is very low. The housing market is currently a sellers market meaning that there are more buyers then sellers and not a ton of houses on the market to choose from. 

Now here is what we are looking for in our first home:
  • Preferably 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms but we are considering houses that don't meet that.
  • Washer and dryer or area in which we can put a washer and dryer (yes my standards are low after sharing with nine other apartments the last three years).
  • Dishwasher or an area where we can install one.
  • Kitchen that is somewhat open, not a galley kitchen.
  • A yard! At least a small outdoor space that we can call our own.
  • Clean. I have what I think are normal standards of cleanliness and would like the house to be somewhat kept up.
Honestly, I don't feel like we are asking for all that much but it's been quite a road so far. We have been to see dozens of houses, made an offer, almost made another, and been disappointed far too many times for my little heart to handle. I know that everything happens for a reason and eventually we will find the house we are meant to be in but it is definitely a tough journey!

We originally found a house we really liked a little out of the area we want to be in. We decided to put an offer on it which was a cape with a big backyard. Our poor realtor went through the trouble of putting an offer in for us just for the other realtor to announce the owners had already accepted another offer.

A second house we were about to offer on had a problem with the land surrounding it. Thank god our realtor is great at researching and figured out the problem before we were stuck with a house we could never resell.

We have been to see a ton of houses and wanted to see houses that were off the market before anyone even looked at the house. The area we are looking in is very popular with tourists and often people from NY and CT buy summer houses here without even seeing them in person. 

We even went as far as talking with someone who builds houses to see if that would be an option but unfortunately we think that will be out of our price range. 

So, that's where we are at. Still looking and hoping to be in a house sometime this year. I will definitely keep you updated as we continue to look and hopefully buy our own place!

As frustrating as this journey has been so far I am hopeful and excited for what's to come.

I would love to hear about your house buying journey and if it took a long time for you or if you found your house quickly. Please share!

Monday, April 22, 2019

Motivation Monday: My Favorite YouTube Cleaning Channels

Happy Monday!

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and Easter if you celebrated! We spent Saturday celebrating with Tim's side of the family and yesterday celebrating with mine. We had a great time and can't believe how fast the weekend went by.

Since I'm sure plenty of you have a lot of cleaning up to do after a holiday weekend I wanted to share a little cleaning motivation with you. I have been obsessed with YouTube cleaning channels for some time now and wanted to share my favorites with you. These girls always keep me motivated and for some weird reason I think it is super entertaining to watch someone else clean.

1. Kelly Marie

Kelly posts mostly cleaning videos and I am obsessed! For some reason her videos are some of the most satisfying. I also relate to her since I'm not cleaning up messes from kids and her videos also feature her adorable puppies!

2. Brittany Vasseur

Brittany does a wide array of videos but cleaning and organizing are definitely present on her channel. She has such an amazing personality and her son Carter is just the cutest! She also gives great tips and life hacks and I find myself watching every single video she puts out, no matter what the topic is.

3. Elle Fowler

Elle started out as a makeup guru but has rebranded her channel as a lifestyle channel. Right now she is decluttering a different area of her house every Monday while she prepares to move across the country. I am obsessed with her declutter series and look forward to Monday's because of her videos!

4. Brianna K

Brianna K is a stay at home mom who has an gorgeous house that she regularly does cleaning videos on. I found her through the YouTube cleaning community and I always watch her cleaning and decorating videos. Her kids are absolutely adorable too!

5. Love Meg

I couldn't make a cleaning channel list without the cleaning queen herself! Love Meg makes some awesome videos and just moved into a new house so there are plenty of new areas to see her clean. She is always super thorough and her family is really cute too!

6. Beauty and The Beastons

Tiffani is a mom to three kiddos and always seems to have a mess to pick up! I love watching her cleaning videos because she has a beautiful home and I love how her house always is the epitome of "real life" since she isn't able to pick up after her kids all day long.

7. Erica Lee

Erica Lee makes some great cleaning videos although I feel like her house is always clean to begin with. She is pregnant with her first child though so maybe we will be seeing some super messy clean with me videos in the future!

8. Clean My Space

If you haven't heard of Clean My Space then you should probably head over there right now. Melissa Maker owns a cleaning business in Canada and gives awesome cleaning tips to help you get everything in your own into tip top shape!

Those are my favorite Cleaning Channels on YouTube, now I want to know what are some of your favorites?

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Spring Cleaning: My Beauty Products

Today we are talking about decluttering beauty and personal care products. I keep most of my products in my Alex 9 Drawer system that I purchased at Ikea. Unfortunately, this drawer system became overcrowded and I started storing items in my linen closet as well. I would like to eventually get everything into this drawer system but I have stockpiled quite a bit and it won't all fit at this point.

So let's get started!

This system fits nicely in our middle room. Our apartment has a weird "dining room" that we don't use as a dining room. We have a desk in here as well as my Alex 9 drawer, my jewelry armoire, and then some kitchen storage on the opposite wall. It is definitely utilized as a multi-use room but has worked for us so far.

The first thing I did was take pictures of all of the drawers in their original state. 

Everything was pretty messy and honestly there was lots of samples that were super old and had never touched. I was surprised by the amount of stuff I managed to get rid of.

After using my Mrs. Meyers mint multi-surface cleaner and a Makers microfiber cloth to wipe down each drawer I put everything back in neatly.

I managed to get almost everything on the top into drawers which was great!

So much better!

If you are interested in seeing the process and all the stuff that I got rid of you can check out my Youtube video.

What is on your spring cleaning list?

Monday, April 15, 2019

Life Lately: Birthdays, Bowling, Hikes and Walks

Life since getting back from our Honeymoon has been pretty uneventful but we have managed to keep our weekends pretty busy. We have managed to have dinner with both of our families which was great to do, but unfortunately I didn't take any pictures. 

Our first weekend back it was Tim's cousin Derek's birthday! We met at Apponaug Brewery and then went bowling.

Check out who tied for first place! I was having a very lucky day, I usually don't even break 100.  We had a great time hanging out with everyone.

Tim was climbed on like a jungle gym when we visited with Brittni, Stephen and their girls!

We took a walk at Rome Point which is a beautiful hike where you can walk along the beach and look out at the Jamestown Bridge. 

Tim is like a child and likes to kick rocks and carry sticks around. This is where he either accidentally kicked a rock at me or accidentally knocked me with a stick. Seriously, do guys ever act like adults? :)

Unpictured, but I enjoyed lunch during the work week with Brittni, Rachel and Tilly! It was so nice to see Rachel and Tilly during the middle of my work day and we had a great time chatting.

Yesterday we took part in Walk MS for the third year in a row. My former co-worker has MS and I always like to go to support her. Tim and I walked the three miles and chatted with some of my former co-workers and it was so nice to catch up with them!

It was such a beautiful day in RI!

What have you been up to lately? Share in the comments!

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Spring Cleaning: The Bathroom

The bathroom is one of those rooms that you clean every week but definitely needs a deep clean every once in awhile. I knew I wanted to really scrub it down well so I spent an afternoon working on this room that can get pretty icky. 

I wiped down the mirror with Windex. I go back and forth between Windex and SprayWay and like switching it up. I like Clorox wipes to wipe down the sink and toilet because then I know those areas are getting really clean. I also use the Clorox wand for the toilet bowl which I love since they are disposable.

I've been using a mix of Soft Scrub and Method Bathroom Cleaner for my shower. Also spring cleaning is a great time to take down your shower curtain and liner and throw them in the wash!

I also vacuumed out the vents in the bathroom, wiped down the trash can, vacuumed and mopped the floors to really get it sparkling clean.

My final touch was to organize the under sink area. Since this area is so small we often just toss things in there. I try to keep items organized by type. All my cleaning supplies are on the left side and personal care is in the center. I keep feminine care items in a basket on the right hand side. Extra toilet paper gets piled up in the front for easy access. I also keep small trash bags in here for our bathroom trash can.

I gave this entire area a good wipe down as well which really freshened everything up.

Have you given your bathroom a good wipe down this spring?

Monday, April 8, 2019

Our Honeymoon: Southern Caribbean Cruise with Norwegian Days 9, 10 and 11, St. Thomas and At Sea

Well, we are officially at the final honeymoon update. I may tear up a little bit because I miss being on vacation! Time to plan our next trip :)

Our last island day was in St. Thomas and we had an excursion planned through the ship. 

We arrived in St. Thomas super early and ate breakfast at the buffet before we went to meet up with our group to head to Coral World.

We booked the SNUBA excursion at Coral World which is in between scuba diving and snorkeling. We were each breathing through our mouths to an oxygen tank which was up on a raft above us. I have to say that is was very hard to learn to breathe in and out through your mouth. Both of us struggled a little bit with it but once we did get a hang of it we enjoyed exploring up to 20 feet below the surface! 

If you want to see more of our SNUBA adventure along with underwater video (and video of our entire cruise you can view my Youtube Travel Vlog

After our SNUBA excursion we had some time left before our ride headed back to the boat so we walked around Coral World which to be honest was kind of lame. We thought it would be more of an aquarium but honestly the exhibits were kind of lame. The best part was the baby turtles and the iguanas that seemed to be everywhere.

We walked over to Coki Point Beach to swim a little bit in the crystal clear water.

St. Thomas definitely has the clearest water of all the islands we experienced. I would definitely want to go back in the future. 

I loved trying out my new waterproof case from Amazon. It worked great!

I wasn't great at aiming the camera to get us both in. The struggle is real when you wear contacts and can't open your eyes underwater. 

The beach was busy but not overcrowded and I could've spent the entire day there but we had to get back on ship and back to the sea. 

After some shopping in the port (which was really well organized and there were so many shops!), we got back on the boat and sat on the deck while we pulled away from the port. We ate some lunch and laid in the sun for a bit and I admired the fact that my legs weren't pasty white. 

For the rest of the day we kept ourselves busy with Bingo, dinner, having drinks at O'Sheehan's, and playing Last Man Standing. We really cleaned up with the prizes during the game. Tim won three times and I won twice! 

We also played Where Are You Going which was a really fun game hosted in the Spinnaker Lounge.  

The show on this night was a comedian who was hilarious. We really enjoyed this show! 

After the show we went to Bliss for karaoke where we watched some fellow vacationers really embarrass themselves. After some drinks at O'Sheehan's to finish the night we headed back to our room to rest up for another day at sea.

Our last two days at sea were full of activities.

Every night had a beautiful sunset which we always tried to get outside to enjoy.

Tim participated in Battle of the Sexes where he had to compete on a team of guys and do all sorts of ridiculous tasks. 

We also attended a towel folding tutorial which was really cool! 

There are so many different towel animals and it was cool to watch how they created them!

We played Bingo and Deal or No Deal and also a few different trivia games they offered.

Another towel animal that was left in our room!

Ate the most amazing cheesecake at O'Sheehan's. 

Enjoying the sunset again :)

At the end of the final show many of the crew came on stage as they sang You're Norwegian Now which made me want to cry. 

I thought a really cool feature on the last day was a Q&A with the captain, chief engineer, and the hotel manager. It was fun to hear about what life on the ship is like for the people who work there.

Posing in my Mrs hat to read our last itinerary!

On the last night we met another couple that we really liked! We wished we had met them earlier in the trip.

The guy taking the photos is Nemo our favorite bartender! He was truly the most engaging and wonderful server we had on the trip and if you ever go on the Norwegian Gem in the next six months or so, go find him!

Our final towel animal was an elephant and it was so adorable. 

The next morning we got up and had to disembark and head home. We were so sad that our honeymoon had come to an end but know that we will 100% cruise with Norwegian again someday! 

Thanks for sticking around for my honeymoon recaps! If you have any questions about anything please leave them in the comments or email me at and I may create a Q&A with helpful cruise tips if there is interest!