Hi hi hi! This week, I’m spilling the tea (or whatever) about selling our home, our phase one renovation (and what went horribly wrong) and moving during the quarantine.
Note: We record these a few weeks early sometimes, so please excuse our inaccurate timelines … I really should stop making timeline references, but for some reason I can’t … sigh.
-Here’s a photo of the boxes we references from an Article delivery … except this is probably only 1/3 of them. Also, if you’re curious what kind of epic fort or castle we made … we actually ended up doing nothing and breaking down the boxes one day later because I felt like they were making our living space smaller—so maybe next time! (if quarantine has taught me one lesson, it’s to lower my standards on pretty much everything!)
-Here’s a link to my blog post: How we prepped our home to sell (this post is very detailed compared to the podcast and goes into staging and small updates/upgrades to do before listing your home).
–Episode 12 “Elsie’s Forever-ish Home” where we initially talked about finding our dream home and the house shopping process.
-Shout out to Daniel, our realtor; we highly recommend him if you’re in Nashville.
-Moving during the COVID-19 crisis—do not recommend. We talk allll about that.
-We talk about what it was like doing a zero contact closing day … kind of a fun memory!
(Here we are signing our closing papers in our kitchen with our children absolutely screaming through the entire process, haha).
-Here’s a post where I address, “why did you move??” and other questions.
-The pros of being in our new home during quarantine … an opportunity to dream and spend extra time designing. I am very thankful for this and feel that it sped up the process of bonding with our new home.
Phase one included:
-building Jeremy’s recording studio
-painting kitchen cabinets (we used Davis Custom Finishes In Nashville and highly recommend them).
-updated flooring in the whole houses (sand and finish original wood floors and added wood to match where carpet was).
-Link to renovation highlight.
-here’s a link to the Nashville team that redid our floors and did an excellent job!
-Phase one is now complete!!
Phase two includes:
Slowly decorating and renovating room by room. We will spend the next year on this. You can see the rooms on our project list here. You can see my mood board for the style we are going for here.
Phase three (next year) will include:
A home addition where we plan to add square footage including more bedrooms, living spaces, a dream kitchen and (finally!) a workspace for me. We also plan to update our outdoor spaces. It will be pretty intense, and currently we are still in the planning/dreaming phase. Once the quarantine is over, we plan to begin the design and permitting process. 🙂
Reader question from Chelsea: What are your favorite cocktails to make at home?
–moscow mule (or Dark & Stormy, which is the same recipe but you replace vodka with rum)
–hot toddy (sit outside and drink it AUGH!!!)
–classic gin gimlet (you can swap for vodka if you prefer)
–homemade margaritas (coconut, watermelon, cranberry …)
-Natalie’s book—Mod Cocktails. It is SUCH a good book to up your home bartender game!
Thank you so much for listening!! We love you! XX- Elsie + Emma
Episode 27 Transcript
Elsie: You’re listening to the A Beautiful Mess podcast, we waited to record this until after our closing date because in the words of Michael Scott, I’m not superstitious, but I’m a little stitious. We sold our home, moved to a new home, and completed our Phase 1 renovation. So today we’ll dive into that and share all the details as well as share our favorite cocktails to make at home, because we don’t see ourselves going to any bars in the near future. *laughs*. So we’re recording this on, its almost week 3 of quarantining at home. By the time it comes out, it’ll be…we’ll be well into the third week. So, yeah, crazy, right?
Emma: I thought this was the third week.
Elsie: Actually it’ll be the fourth week when this one. Yeah it’ll be the fourth week.
Emma: Time is relative.
Elsie: Time doesn’t matter anymore. I don’t even know what day it is. What week it is. I’m just trying to survive every moment and that’s it. How do you feel?
Emma: I mean easier than you because I don’t have the kiddos, but I definitely don’t know what day it is most of the time. I have, like, you know, a calendar by my desk…
Elsie: But do you need to know?
Emma: Well, not really, except for I, this morning, so tomorrow is our trash day and I already put the trash out this morning because I thought of it. And I was like, I’m going to forget because I don’t ever know what day it is. So. And it was kind of full. So I was like, all right, you got to put the trash out today. (laughs) It’s a day early.
Elsie: One of the only markers in your week.
Emma: Pretty much…(laughs)
Elsie: It’s sad. (laughs) Well we are doing good. I mean, well, we’re doing the best we can. It’s fine.
Emma: You just had a delivery this morning. We’re actually recording slightly later than we thought because Elsie just had an exciting, but also, not…
Elsie: Yes, so I had a delivery from Article and it was all of our porch furniture. So quite a lot of furniture and then a sofa and a couple chairs. So anyway, usually when they deliver it is, you know, they bring it inside and they take all the boxes off, put them back in the truck, you know, and then bring in your finished sofa and set it wherever you would like. But for this, because of the pandemic, they only would just drop off the boxes. So we’re just going to spend the rest of the whole day unboxing like it’s a lot of boxes because some of the pieces you also have to assemble. Yeah. So cool. That’s fine.
Emma: Yeah. You should have a…
Elsie: I’m excited still.
Emma: …a natural at least first stop on the recycling tour because your girls can make it epic fort.
Elsie: That’s true. I think we’re gonna make a box castle of some kind. I was trying to think of a way we could do like a Rapunzel thing.
Emma: That’s cute. Yeah.
Elsie: OK. We should probably get on with it. So super quick backstory. We moved to Nashville five years ago. We bought our home when we were still living in Missouri. We didn’t know the areas. We didn’t have children yet. A lot of things in our life were different. And now, five years later, we have two kids. One will be in kindergarten next year. So we had a certain type of school that we wanted them to go to and I’m going to keep it private. If that’s okay. And…
Emma: Uh, yeah.
Elsie: Yeah. Certain things, you know, certain privacy with kids. We moved primarily for the schools to be closer to our number one school option, choice or whatever. Also wanted a home that…so our home that we had been living in. It was a ’70s sort of grandma/grandpa house when we bought it and we remodeled it for three years and it was…I was so proud of it. It was so beautiful. We loved living there, but it didn’t really have any more room to improve. And it’s not that I’m like a blogger who always needs to be remodeling a house for the content. I don’t want people to say that because it’s actually not true and it’s not how I feel. I just didn’t feel done remodeling. I was excited to have more projects. And I wanted to do a…I wanted to do a dream house with a bigger budget because we did our last house with a more limited budget. And we did some things quickly that I would now like to spend more time on and just all those reasons. So that was not short. But that’s why we moved.
Elsie: We moved to an area where the houses around our house are a lot more expensive than ours, and we can improve our house a lot and add a lot of value to it. And that feels good.
Emma: Yeah. I don’t think it’s shocking that your priorities change over time, especially, you know, from being a family without children to having children. And also anyone who doesn’t know Elsie, whose daughters both have albinism and so they have special needs. So that’s sort of part of it with the schools too, as they are going to, you know, need some certain features to help them really succeed in life.
Elsie: Both our children have low vision. So we wanted to be in a situation where they would have special accommodations for that.
Emma: Right. Yeah. And I think, too, it makes sense that over five years, even without kids, that you start to value different things in a home. I don’t think that’s shocking either, you know, so.
Elsie: Right. And I loved our last home, though, so people message me a lot like, why would you ever leave? Because it looks to be just totally frank, it looks a lot better than the house we just bought. I get that. I totally get it. But I think if you could, like, see inside my head our long term vision. And just, you know, other things about our life that are more personal. It makes a lot of sense. And it was definitely the right choice for us. We’re happy. And the people that bought our home from us are super happy. And everyone is happy. It was the best thing for everyone.
Emma: Yes. So let’s talk about the process of selling your home since someone did buy it. And it’s a done deal at this point.
Emma: So we’ll link this in the show notes. But Elsie wrote a post about kind of like tips for getting ready for selling your home. But go ahead and like tell us just generally the process in case anyone hasn’t gone through it. But also anything you did that you felt like really set you up for success.
Elsie: Yes, OK. So in the past, we’ve sold a couple homes in the past. And I will just be honest now, I didn’t try that hard. And I maybe kind of bought into my own pride a little bit that like, you know, people…we’re bloggers. People are always like, your house is so amazing. And I was like, oh, I don’t really need to do anything. And I just put it up for sale kind of with the photos we had, how it was. And this time I tried to be a lot more critical from the beginning. And so we did a lot more work to it, a LOT more work to it. I’m going to link the blog post in the show notes where I go into detail about every single little thing we did. But we did a lot of updating.
Emma: And this is like small stuff, not just like, you know, renovations you would want to do because you’re living there, because you are obviously doing that for like three years. But this is like stuff specifically once you knew you were going to be moving.
Elsie: Yeah. It talks about staging, which was a big part of it, talks about cleaning out so that all the closets are really clear. The counters are really clear. There’s not…basically is there’s no storage in the house. We took out like half of our Christmas stuff and moved it away so that the storage spaces would even look more roomy if that makes sense. I could see it right there. Yeah. Yeah. And anyway, we went through a lot of extra steps. It really paid off. So we also took our realtor’s advice and we did a broker open house two weeks before our house went live, which just means it’s a private open house. And realtors are invited. He marketed it privately himself. And then also families could come, but they had to come with a realtor. So quite a few families came to that. And we ended up actually getting two offers from that before it was even listed. And I mean I’m just going to be honest. Our minds were blown. We were like blown away. We were like, so happy. And we ended up…so our realtor recommended that we raise the price a little bit and we raised the price a little bit. And then…we were ready to just take one of those offers. We were like, let’s just take it and be done with this. This is great. This is amazing. And he convinced us that it wasn’t really fair because so many people had been asking about it or on, you know, waiting until the day that it went up officially and hadn’t had a chance to see it. So we were like, OK, that’s fair. And we also wanted to like be respectful of our realtor Daniel’s time and effort. He had put a lot time and effort in it to,like us, to market it. So we waited. We had the offers, but we went ahead and still opened it up publicly, officially. And then he did the thing which I think is becoming a lot more common now, where it said like he let people know that there was already offers and then he let people know that we were going to review the offers on Monday night. So this was…it went up on like a Friday and people basically had three days. There was two open houses over the weekend. So a lot of people came through that way and then lots of people toured it with their realtor, you know the traditional way. And by Monday night, we ended up having five offers that were really serious and great offers. The lowest one was still like an asking price offer. So we ended up selling it for a lot more than we expected. It’s public knowledge because in the Forever Home episode I said what we were hoping to sell our house for. And it ended up being about a hundred thirty thousand dollars more than that. So it was pretty fuckin’ amazing.
Emma: Yeah. I mean, that’s…awesome.
Elsie: It was one of the best moments of my life as far as like professional pride, because I don’t consider myself a designer. I really don’t. I consider myself a design blogger. That’s what we are. That’s what we do. But, you know, we worked really, really hard on this house for three years. So it felt so validating and good that we received so many offers on it. And yeah, I I will always be thankful for that. And it gave me a lot of confidence moving forward. Yeah.
Emma: And I’m sure, Daniel, your realtor probably felt, you know, really proud of his hard work and advice.
Elsie: He did so good.
Emma: So that’s awesome. And you know, you also did all that extra work that you hadn’t done on previous houses before selling. So I bet that really…I mean, to me, that just shows like it’s worth it to do all that extra stuff because sometimes you’re like, oh do I really want to spend every weekend for the next month prepping my house to sell, doing all these little things or, you know, spending a couple hundred dollars or a thousand dollars to buy little supplies to do all these little things. I really wanted to go to all that effort. And it’s like, well, I mean, it can really, really pay off to putting on your market and the time of year. And if you just find those buyers that are super excited. So I think that’s…
Elsie: Yes. If you’re about to sell your house, please read the blog post and please take it seriously, considering doing all these extra things we spent about a month before it listed, of really, really hard work, but it was completely worth it in the end. And I’m so glad we did the extra stuff. We’ll probably never sell another house without doing all these extra steps.
Emma: Yeah. I think it makes a lot of sense. And one thing I’d said in that previous episode, in case anyone did hear it or is looking it up, is I’m not so big on a house that’s staged, like it doesn’t matter to me. And I think that’s because I am a design blogger. So I’m not a designer, but I am a design blogger. I like design. I like to do my own thing in a house. So…
Elsie: And a lot of the times it’s staged badly…like it’s stuff that you wouldn’t…
Emma: Well, I just I mean, I can see potential like to me, I could walk into a house that hasn’t been updated for 30 years and I can see the bones and the potential. But some people really can’t. And also, a lot of times, couples who are buying together, one person can see potential and one person can’t. So I think doing all these these steps that you took and that your realtor recommended kind of helps all parties involved and all types of people, because some people want to, like, envision it their way. And some people want to see that it’s just nice.
Elsie: I agree that was probably the biggest thing I learned from this process was that the idea of like a move in ready house doesn’t really appeal to me. And I actually, like, look for the opposite. Like, I look for a house with projects. But that is not normal…
Emma: That’s how I am. Yeah.
Elsie: This taught me how many people are looking for a house that’s really, really move-in ready. The people who bought our home ended up buying like quite a bit of the furniture in it. And you know, it felt like they wanted it to be the way it was to a point like obviously they’ll personalize it and probably change a bunch of things. But, you know, I think it makes sense. Like, it makes sense that you go into a home, if it’s well-staged and well-designed, that you kind of want to keep it that way, especially if you’re not like a person who considers home decor and shopping, shopping for furniture late at night your hobby. (laughs)
Emma: Yeah. (laughs) Ok. And then tell us…so you ended up moving and closing during the COVID crisis?
Emma: So what was that like?
Elsie: Ok, so first of all, I think that I’m just going to say upfront, we all feel every …every person not…OK. Most people feel a very strong hesitancy to complain about anything right now, because if your family’s safe and healthy, you should just be quiet and not complain. Right. So I’ll say that upfront. Like, I understand that these are like privileged problems but they’re still there. Still struggles that I went through.Right.
Emma: Yeah. I actually just listen to a podcast by Brené Brown. She has a new podcast out called…
Emma: Oh wait, what?
Emma: I believe it’s Unlocking Us. I believe it’s Unlocking You or Unlocking Us.
Elsie: I can’t wait to listen to listen to it.
Emma: But she has one…all the episodes are great, but one of them is about comparative suffering. I believe that’s what she calls it. And it’s exactly that. It’s that we’re all…
Elsie: Sounds helpful.
Emma: …really scared to, like, you know, be disappointed if like, I have a vacation later this month that I bought for my husband for his birthday. It was also his Christmas present and it was to New York City. And guess what? We’re not going anymore.
Emma: Yeah. Because this is not the time to go. Not the time to travel. So, and so it’s easy for me to feel like, oh, I can’t complain about that because I’m not a doctor and I’m not sick and so I’m not…you know, but it’s actually it’s OK, too, for me to be disappointed about that. And it’s also at the same time, OK for me to have perspective about my disappointment. That it’s not as bad.
Elsie: I think it’s good to have both. That makes me…Yeah. I think every single person like I was talking to Mandy last night and we were talking about how we basically…
Emma: Mandi Makes?
Elsie: Yeah. Yeah. Mandy Johnson, who. Her Instagram as @mandimakes And she used to work for our blog. She’s good friend of mine. And she, we were talking about how we’re so frustrated that we can’t go to the gym. I just signed up for the YMCA a week before it closed down.
Emma: Oh no!
Elsie: So. Oh, yeah. It’s actually it’s funny because it’s like it’s a stupid problem. And we know it’s stupid. We’re acknowledging that. But it’s like, we all have in our lives right now, serious problems and stupid problems. So anyway, the stuff I’m going to talk about now moving during the crisis, they’re stupid problems and I’ll just let that be…I’ll just set that there.
Emma: And they’re also problems. It’s a both/and and that’s okay.
Elsie: So it was it was really, really, really hard because one of my friends on Instagram told me that her child had a traumatic experience going back to their home after all the furniture was gone stuff. So we didn’t want to take our kids back ever. And our kids haven’t been in daycare. And we also didn’t feel that we should have contact with people. So we did our very, very best to have the lowest possible contact move. But we still had to move. We still had a closing day. We still had, you know, responsibilities to take care of. A big thing that happened was that I was booked to do an estate sale. I wasn’t gonna like share it publicly or anything, but it was really going to help me to…like I barely qualified, like I barely had no stuff that I didn’t need, that I wasn’t keeping, that the buyers of our house didn’t want.
Emma: Mm hmm.
Elsie: And I was gonna be able to, you know, have an estate sale and sell that stuff. And then the estate sale running people take 30 percent. But that’s still for, that’s still worth it for me. Would have been totally worth it because I would have been able to sell some things we weren’t going to use and not have to meet people like through Facebook Marketplace a bunch of times….
Emma: And not have to move it because that’s expensive too.
Elsie: Yeah. So our estate sale was actually canceled right after we did our big move. So we had to do two big moves and that was stressful. I will say my husband Jeremy moved almost the whole house by himself. We hired movers to do one thing and it was to pack up the rainbow books because a friend of mine wanted to get them and then she wasn’t able to. And at the last minute we were like, what do we do? We have like…we just have to get these books out and they packed them up and brought them into our garage. Anyway. It was really, really hard to move and obviously we didn’t like ask any of our friends for help except for Collin did help us. And we did everything the best way we could. But it was I…it was so hard. Anyway, that was weird. And then also yesterday was our closing day and our closer. We’ve worked with him a few times because you sold a house in Nashville. Our older BnB and we’ve bought our home recently here and he was our closer each time and — super nice guy. So he came to our house. So funny. He sat he sat our paperwork in a box. We had a box sitting on our porch. He sat the paperwork into the box. And then we went out and got it. He sat in his car on the phone with us and explained to us everywhere to sign what he needed from us to like do the funds transfer and all this. And our kids are sitting on the counter. I have a picture. I’m going to put in the show notes. Our kids are sitting on the counter screaming the whole time. And we gave them so many snacks and it didn’t help at all! So anyway, it was an interesting story. So we put it back in the box and he took it with him and we didn’t touch each other. We put hand sanitizer on his pen, put it back in because it had to be a blue pen and we didn’t have one in our whole house. So, yeah, I think everyone is having some kind of experience like this is like very strange and surreal. But there’s something in your life that you still have to do, even though you’re going to do it in the best possible way that you can.
Emma: Mm hmm. It feels almost like when you’re a kid and you play like spy games and you like leave something somewhere for someone else to find. And I don’t know what it is about this situation…
Elsie: It’s very much like that.
Emma: …but it feels like that it feels like we’re all kind of playing this weird game, but we’re not. Obviously, this is very serious and very sad, but it just has these weird elements to it where I’m like, this feels like playing spy. But, yeah.
Elsie: Absolutely it has been one of the strangest experiences of my life. And I will say, though, the positive thing, Sherry from Young House Love messaged me like right when the quarantine started when we all started staying home, and she was like, I’m so jealous that you get to be in your new home because they because of their quarantine, they were prevented from going to visit their new home and working on it. And a lot of people are in the middle of something, a renovation. Jeremy and I were like, what if you were renovating your kitchen this month?
Emma: And it was all, like your fridge was gone. Your sink was gone. And then it’s like the month of your life when you’re going to make more meals at home more than any other time, maybe in your whole life. And there’s…there’s people going through all different things. So I. That message meant a lot to me and helped me see the bright side that even though I was sort of, I felt stuck at home with out a comfortable living space yet because we have a lot of furniture missing, because we just haven’t even had time to think about what furniture we would want. And obviously, like things take a long time to ship and all this stuff. But I just I don’t know. Now, I just try to think of it as an opportunity to dream about what could be. And the other night was like having a little bit of. Couldn’t sleep. And I just got up and sat in our kitchen and thought about what kitchen I want to design, you know, for next year. And I think that’s a really hard time…
Emma: Oh yeah, tell us a little bit about that because…so your house, you’re kind of doing like a phase one renovation and then you’re doing some other stuff.
Emma: So tell us what all you’ve completed for this one.
Elsie: Because I haven’t told the wood floor story on here yet, have I?
Emma: I don’t think so.
Elsie: Oh, OK. This is a good one. Everybody buckle up. So, OK, we we are dividing our renovation into phase one, two and three. Phase one is what we did before we moved. Phase two is what we’ll be doing now to just make our house the best it can be. And phase three will be next year when we build onto it. And we do an addition and we do some major structural changes at that point, we’ll have like a new kitchen, a new master bedroom, a new bathroom. Just all these things will be different. So we are now at the very beginning of phase two and phase one included, the biggest part of it was building Jeremy, a studio in our basement where there had been previously just an open room. We had it closed off, soundproofed it. Now it’s three small rooms. It has a window with like three panes of glass for sound and lots and lots more to do still. But it is functioning and he can work. And I’m sitting in here right now recording the podcast. So that feels really good. And then we had the kitchen cabinets painted and I will put a link to the painter. And soon and very, very soon there will be a blog post up where he gives his tips for how to do a hard drying paint in your kitchen and how basically how to do it like a professional where it’s not going to peel off in a year. It’s an amazing blog post. He did a great job. I’ve just been having trouble doing my finishing photos with my current situation.
Emma: Like with your kids? You were out with their stuff everywhere. Yeah.
Elsie: Yeah. And just we cook so much in there everyday. I’m like, I’m going to do it today. And then I’m like, it’s like it’s not cute enough. It’s really messy.
Elsie: And OK. So we also did the floors and the whole house. So the upstairs floors, we did a sand and finish, which just means you stand off what’s there and re finish it. And we did a whitewash. And then in the downstairs we had wood added to match the upstairs.
Emma: So it had carpet before. Right?
Elsie: This is where shit gets crazy. Yes. It had carpet before it had carpet and a little tiny tiny patch of parquet but it didn’t go under the carpet. So it was just kind of nothing.
Elsie: OK. So we told our contractor that we were, that the biggest thing to us was that the floors matched and we paid quite a bit extra. I think it was like a thousand dollars extra for White Oak because he said the upstairs were White Oak and we were like, we want it to be the same type of wood, the same species and the same size. And it was like the very small planks because it’s a house from the 60s. So we paid extra for those things. And he, you know, did all of the sanding and finishing. He was also doing some of the building in Jeremy’s studio. We ended up being about a month late past our timeline, which we had built in for, like we were accustomed to giving contractors a special deadline. That’s not real. So that you can get your life disrupted. And we but we were very much cutting it close. The week before we moved was when he was finishing the sand and finish and everything. And so he sent us pictures to show us the finished product. And we noticed that they looked very, very edited. And we were like, Oh. This looks like a person who’s probably never used a photo app in his life, and really took to it. And they were just very, very, very blown out…
Emma: He didn’t know who he was dealing with. And you’re like, hmm, I know a filter when I see one!
Elsie: So we were like, oh, OK. We need to go tomorrow in person. So it was the weekend. And this was I think it was one week, maybe two weeks. Maybe we can have. Before we moved in. And yeah, Jeremy’s parents were with us and we were walking through and we first saw the basement and were like, this looks really good. It is White Oak. It’s whitewashed. It looks really nice. It was brand new wood. And then we went up the stairs and was like the stairs look a little bit different. But I’m a very picky person and some people aren’t. And then we got to the upstairs and I was like, oh, my God. And I, like, started freaking out. And I, it was like, Jeremy, this is Red Oak and the floors all around. First of all, they were super splotchy. There was pooling. There was areas that didn’t get sanded off all the way where there’s still dark spots. There was edging mistakes basically in every corner of the entire place.
Emma: So he thought your old floors were White Oak, but it turns out they were Red Oak.
Elsie: They were Red Oak. So they looked…
Elsie: They looked very pink. And so I was devastated because, first of all, I could tell right away that they needed to be redone. And I was calculating in my brain, should we redo this now or should we wait until we do the addition? And then I was also devastated because the floors in the upstairs and the downstairs are different now and that ship has sailed. We’re not going to rip out the whole downstairs that we just did to match…
Elsie: …the Red Oak. So anyway, fast forward a week. We got a bunch of quotes. We tried to weigh out our options. And a lot of people I kind of shared a tiny bit about this on Instagram and a lot of people messaged me and they were like, your contractor should redo that for you for free. And that is true. That is absolutely true. Yeah. The reason why we did it want to do that is because no one. We didn’t. We no longer had faith that he could do a good job or do a better job than that, because when we walked there with him and showed him all the mistakes, he would…he would say this couldn’t be better. This looks great. You know, and he basically denied that there were problems. And then the second reason was because of the timeline, we wanted it to be done. We wanted to be able to move on time. We had we had plans for listing our house, you know. Yeah, sometimes it’s like, do I want justice or do I want this done on time? Exactly. That’s the situation we were in. So we got an another quote. I will put the in a link in the show notes to the company that…we ended up having the whole upstairs completely re sanded and redone and they did an excellent job.
Emma: So the good company.
Elsie: Yeah. Oh I will only link to the good company and I’ll never mention the other guy. He’s…it’s fine. We made peace with him in our own way. It’s…it wasn’t like a horrible ending, but it was a little bit rough. But he did apologize and stuff so that at least felt good. Anyway, we paid for it to be redone again. It sucked. It was sad. We were at the very end of our project, but they did it in like three days. And when we came back in and saw how…
Emma: That’s kind of a miracle.
Elsie: It was a miracle. And it was perfect. It looks perfect. They end up doing three parts whitewash and one part brown to kind of mask out the pink. And it worked like, I can still see a little bit of difference. But overall, it is…it was so, so, so worth the money. There are so many ways in our future that I can think of to save that same amount of money that wouldn’t…like that wouldn’t mean as much to me as how much this means to just have it done right. So. Yeah. So we’ll just we’ll compensate for it. But anyway that is just a remodeling story that I feel like happens to everyone on some level. And if it would have been one week later we might have just moved in with the really, really bad looking floors and just tried to not look at them.
Emma: Yeah. You sent me a picture of some cause. I agree. You are pretty picky. I would say. But when you sent me the photo you sent me, I was like, oh, no, this is like truly I’m pretty not picky. Like I am kind of lazy.
Elsie: They were bad.
Elsie: They were bad. Really, really bad.
Emma: He did a bad job, the first person.
Elsie: And on my personal Instagram. I think under the renovation highlight, I think the pictures are there so you can see for yourself, but I’m not going to put them in the show notes. I mean, I feel a little like it’s not in my personality to like call someone out. But this was bad and it was a real story that happened. And I’m not sharing his name. So I feel like it is what it is.
Emma: It’s fine. We’re not telling people to go leave him messages, it’s just…
Elsie: Yeah, it I mean, and I will say the one thing he did really. He did an excellent job, soundproofing the studio, and I wouldn’t have wanted to pay for that again. So there was…there were good things that he did, too. But it’s funny because floors is like his main job, and he did such a bad job on the floors and such a good job soundproofing things, like maybe you should change your career.
Emma: Yeah maybe, I mean, it would make sense.
Elsie: Anyway that’s what it was like moving during the pandemic. It was not. Not so great. But at the same time, I know that, you know…
Emma: It was memorable.
Elsie: It was memorable. Yeah. And our children have really been troupers. I also wrote a blog post about what we learned moving with kids, which if it’s up by the time…
Emma: Yeah it will be up.
Elsie: OK, then. Then yes, I’ll link that one as well. Cause that one, it’s really personal, but I feel like I really learned a lot moving with kids. It was so, so, so different from any other move we’ve ever had. So yeah. Should we talk about what’s next in our renovation?
Elsie: Okay. So phase one is done and I’m so pleased that’s done. What we’re doing now in phase 2 is kind of fun stuff. So we are decorating a bunch of rooms. We’re picking out, you know, picking out wallpaper, picking out fixtures, deciding…I’m trying to prioritize things that I know we’ll keep when the addition happens so that we don’t waste anything. But other than that, we’re in the fun phase and I’m just trying to thoroughly enjoy it, because since we are struggling in other ways in life right now, it’s nice to have a fun project. So, yeah, I will share more as we go along. And especially when we start doing room reveals, which I think we’ll be in about a month or so…in the next month. Yeah. This weekend, Jeremy and I are going to stain our deck ourselves. I’m so excited.
Emma: That’s exciting.
Elsie: Oh, wow. What a what a trip.
Emma: What a ride. Yeah. We’re currently staining your deck at your Holiday House.
Elsie: Yes. So Emma is using this stain and I copied her for the Holiday House and it’s kind of a whitewash deck stain.
Emma: I think it’s turning out great. Yeah, it’s like a whitewash. I think it’s gonna look really pretty.
Elsie: I’m excited about it. So we have a reader question and I’m so excited about this question, because if there’s ever a time to make cocktails at home, it’s now. So it’s…this question is from Chelsea on Instagram. And she asked, what are your favorite cocktails to make at home? And I will say upfront, we will link all these recipes in the show notes at abeautifulmess.com/podcast.
Emma: Mm hmm. I have three cocktails and all three of them are three ingredient cocktails…
Emma: Which I didn’t even really plan that, I was just writing down — I was like, what cocktails have I made in these past two weeks? And these are them. And then I was like, Oh, they’re each three ingredients. I think I am kind of a lazy home bartender, it turns out. So, yeah, I have a feeling at least one of them might be on your list, but let’s just see I guess. So, my three are a daiquiri and I like a fresh daiquiri, not frozen, frozen’s great, but I always make em fresh at home. Moscow mule, or, dark and stormy. Very similar. Just a different spirit and a spritz. And I usually do an Aperol spritz.
Elsie: Oh, nice. Yeah, I. Yeah. So daiquiri is one of those cocktails that I feel like maybe it gets a bad reputation if you’ve had a bad one. Kind of like Margarita’s. If you’ve had a really fresh one. It’s another world.
Emma: It’s a very like, one of those cocktails. You can get it like at bad chain restaurants and then you’re like, oh no. But it’s actually really good. Like a margarita. Like we’ve probably all had a bad margarita where the like sour mix or whatever was disgusting.
Emma: but a daiquiri is actually really delicious. And it’s just three ingredients rum, simple sirup and fresh lime juice. And one night I ran out of limes. I made a daiquiri and that I wanted another one, but I was out of limes, so I used a lemon — and that’s not really a daiquiri, but it was good.
Elsie: Yeah. Sounds good.
Emma: Yeah it was delicious.
Elsie: OK, my three. So first of all, any kind of hot toddy because it’s still a little cold here and I’m loving like being on the porch and stuff. So yeah, a hot toddy and I will link a recipe. We have a couple of really good ones. So good though. It’s…and it can be so simple. It can just be like tea and honey and whiskey basically. A classic gimlet which I like to do it with gin, but some people use vodka. I love it though with gin. Yeah. It’s really really limey and delicious. And I guess my third one honestly is just an old fashioned because that’s my favorite cocktail to order at a restaurant. So. I guess I’ll just stick with that, but can I have four?
Emma: Yeah. You can have four.
Elsie: Homemade margaritas are so good. So I basically hate the neon yellow restaurant margaritas. It’s…my least favorite cocktail I hate it. I’d rather have nothing than have that but a homemade margarita with…and I’ll link a couple. We have a coconut one, we have a watermelon one. They are so good. So yeah, that’s probably…if you’re going to just make one stop. I would. I would stop at the margarita recipes. But I don’t know. They’re all so good. Yeah. But this is a great a great time to work on your home bartender skills. Oh also let’s link Natalie’s book because her book is so excellent…
Elsie: It’s one of the best cocktail books I’ve ever read. And…
Emma: Yes, it’s called Mod Cocktails if you haven’t seen it, and it’s also kind of like the perfect size because it’s kind of a small book. So it fits great on a bar cart. It also would make a great gift in the future if you’re like gifting someone. But it’s an adorable book, and great recipes.
Elsie: It’s beautiful, Natalie has been a writer on A Beautiful Mess for a long, long time. And yeah, I made one of her….it was kind of an Aperol spritz…no, it was kind of a what? What’s the one with Campari?
Emma: Negroni. Yeah. It was kind of a Negroni recipe with a twist. And I made it as a punch for our brunch with Adam and Zach and Darren. And it was so strong. It was crazy. It was a party brunch.
Emma: That’s fun.
Emma: I love in a Negroni though. Probably my fourth one. I love Negroni.
Elsie: It’s amazing. Okay, well, we’ll link that so people can get some more ideas.
Emma: Well, we hope no one is safe and doing your best to stay cozy. This week will be our third week to do a mini episode. And this week’s mini episode is an interview with Nova my daughter. And she’s four years old. I hope you enjoy it because she’s just so cute.
Elsie: Aunt Emma will be listening.
Emma: But yeah, wherever you are, we hope that you’re safe, doing your best, and being easy on yourself because this is not an easy time. And so. Yeah. Don’t don’t feel guilty and don’t be hard on yourself, please.
Emma: Yeah. You’re doing great. If you’re doing that home school life. You’re doing great.
Elsie: If you’re a mom. Yeah. Peace be with you…
Emma: Yeah for real, may the the odds be ever in your favor.
Elsie: Okay. Well, we will be back next week with two episodes, bye!