Before and After: The Transformation of our House

On Thanksgiving Day we celebrated one year of owning our home! On November 26th, 2014 (the day before Thanksgiving last year) we signed on the dotted line and received the keys to our very first house!

I’ve been trying to think of a fun post to do to honor our one year anniversary. You have all seen the house tour that I posted here on the blog earlier in the year so I didn’t want to post similar pictures again. Then, the idea hit me!

The previous owners of our house foreclosed on it. An investor bought it, flipped it, and then put it back on the market. When we bought it, it had already been completely remodeled so we never saw the house in the condition it was in before. BUT on the Zillow listing, there were old pictures of the house from when the previous owners tried to sell it. Over a year ago I downloaded and saved those pictures to my computer because the transformation was so shocking to me!

So today I thought it would be fun to post the before and after pictures of our house. Remember, we didn’t do this transformation! We bought the house already completely updated. And thank goodness, because if I would have stepped foot in this house when it looked like the previous pictures I would have taken one peek in the door and said no thank you! I’m amazed that the investor saw the potential in this house and gave it some much needed love and updating. I absolutely love our house and feel so at home here. I’m so grateful it’s ours!

So… here we go! (You can click on the pictures to make them larger)

The outside before:

The outside after:

The living room before:
The living room after:
The kitchen before:
The kitchen after:
The dining room before:
The dining room after:
The master bedroom before:
The master bedroom after:
The master bathroom before:
The Master bathroom after:
Isaiah’s room before:

 Isaiah’s room after:

The fan in Isaiah’s room was the only fixture in the whole house the investor didn’t update! We can’t figure out why. =) But it didn’t matter because we put bunkbeds in his room and replaced the fan with a light anyways. We just thought it was funny!
The girls’ room before:

The girls’ room after:
The guest bathroom before:

The guest bathoom after:

 The playroom before:

The playroom after:
The garage before:
The garage after:

What To Do With Leftover Stuffing (An Easy Recipe You’ll Love)

Thanksgiving is almost here! I don’t know about you but I’m looking forward to a wonderful day with family, a day that revolves around tons of food. I love all the Thanksgiving staples – turkey, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, pumpkin pie, and one of my personal favs: STUFFING!

There always seems to be leftovers, doesn’t there?!? Growing up we used to eat Thanksgiving dinner around 1 or 2 but the family would stick around all day until supper time. That meant that for supper we’d have leftover turkey on bread with butter which was a good way to use up some leftovers. But what to do with all the leftover stuffing? There’s only so many days in a row you can eat it plain…

But never fear! I have a recipe for you. A recipe that can turn your leftover stuffing into a completely new dinner! My family loves this recipe so much that I actually buy stuffing all year long just for the purpose of making this recipe. (BTW it’s like super duper easy too. Just dirties ONE dish!)

Easy Stuffing Chicken Bake

Prep Time: 10 min
Total Time: 40 min
Makes: 6 servings

1 pkg Stove Top stuffing (or about 3-4 cups of leftover Thanksgiving stuffing)
1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 can (10.75 oz) condensed cream of chicken OR cream of mushroom soup (I’ve tried both, both are good!)
1/3 cup sour cream
1 bag (16 oz) frozen mixed vegetables thawed and drained

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. If using stuffing from a box prepare stuffing as directed on the package.
2. Mix chicken, soup, sour cream and vegetables in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Top with the stuffing.
3. Bake 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

That’s it! Enjoy! =)

The first rule of cooking is always have an adorable helper in the kitchen with you. =) 
All mixed up and ready for the stuffing on top. 
Stuffing is on. Ready for the oven. 
Fresh out of the oven!
Ready for my adorable little helper to gobble down. =)  Yummy!


Eloise received her first Botox injection last Thursday. She did awesome! We checked in to the hospital at 9 am and Drew’s dad (who works at the hospital) came around 9:30 to help me with Olive so I could focus on Eloise. I was so grateful he took time out of his day to help me as it would have been so hard to handle Olive while trying to give my full attention to Eloise. Grandpa showed her around the hospital and took her to a little play area and she had a great time. =)

Playing with Grandpa while big sister got her shot. 
Letting the Versed kick in and waiting for the injection. 

Eloise had been dreading the Botox shot for days. Although she has come a long way in her trust for doctors she still has an intense fear of needles. Thankfully, shortly after we arrived the nurses gave her some Versed which made her slightly loopy and drowsy. She was acting so funny and saying hilarious things. She kept trying to get out of the hospital bed but we were able to distract her with toys and games. Also, an amazing music therapist on staff at the hospital came in with her guitar and sang songs and played games with Eloise to distract her. Between the music lady and the Versed, Ellie didn’t even realize she had gotten the injection! The doctor was quick and, with the numbing cream she rubbed on before hand, the injection was pretty painless. Praise the Lord!

The songs and toys helped Eloise forget why she was in the the hospital. 

We were discharged from the hospital about 30 minutes later, after a quick snack of animal crackers and apple juice provided by the hospital. They had to keep Eloise for a while to check her vitals and make sure she reacted well to the Botox but then we were free to go. When we left she was still loopy and I had to carry her out to the parking garage. She couldn’t walk for a good 1-2 hours afterwards. She attempted to once when I had my back turned and she landed face down on the carpet in her bedroom. =( No injuries though! And after about 2 hours she was totally back to normal – laughing and running around. She loved the music lady so much that when we got home she asked me, “Mom, when can we do that again!?!?!” I guess that’s a good sign! =)

All done! And still out of it. =) 

Now we wait and see if the Botox does anything to help her foot. Her weekly physical therapy will continue and the hope is that the relaxed muscles in her leg will now allow for greater range during her sessions which could lead to more permanent change. If the Botox seems to help it could become a procedure that she gets done every 3-6 months. I was dreading the thought of that but now I don’t mind if that’s the case because it went much better than I could have ever expected! Thank you, Jesus!