some little home updates

So I told you all about our new home plans on Monday. So we have been working on some little home updates lately. I’m just mad we didn’t do these things a long time ago so that we could’ve enjoyed them. First up, we had the front door repainted and had a new front light installed.

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I’m a bad blogger and didn’t get a good “before” photo. Oops. So below is a photo from my diy Valentine’s Day wreath and you can see the color of the old door and how the paint was chipping and the door was cracked. I love how classic it looks now with the red door. We also had the lock fixed up too since the door is a million years old and hard to open. We thought about replacing it originally but it’s a solid wood door and it goes with the style of the house. Having the lock fixed and the door painted was a cheaper option that turned out great.

front door - jadeoak.com

Next up, we also had our dining room chandelier changed out. It’s a little more traditional than my taste but I thought it went better with the room/house so we chose it for resale, rather than the more modern one that I originally wanted. We got the light fixture at Home Depot. Below you can see it and ooooold photo of our dining room from when we first moved in and had barely any furniture.

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So there are some of our updates! I’ll share more with you guys soon. We had our handywoman do these projects for us and it’s so nice to have her to be able to do small things for us around our house. She can do some larger projects too, but we haven’t gotten to that point yet. I am thinking that our next house will need some decent renovations, so we will be calling her up. But if we need bigger renovations, we’ll probably go with a contractor, which is cool but a little intimidating since I’ve heard some horror stories. Recently I heard of SmartReno.com which is a third party that gets involved in a mediation-style role in case disputes come up, so it’s good to know that’s an option. Working with contractors can be overwhelming so it’s nice to know you have mediation options if things unfortunately go south.

So anyone else doing some little home renovations/updates? Or plans to do some little fix-ups around your house?

when i loved music

When I was in college, music was one of the most important things to me. I loved listening to my favorite bands, spent a ton of money on CD’s (yeah, I’m dating myself) and went to a ton of concerts. I was so cliche – I worked at a music store, was snarky to customers and had a lip piercing. So bad ass. My friends and I went to concerts on average once per week. From working at the music store, I got cheap music and free concert tickets on occasion. Free is the best when you’re in college.

concerts - jadeoak.com

(In the photos above – On the left, I am in front of Brixton Academy in London about to see Goldfinger. The other photo is with the guitar player from Jimmy Eat World.)

When I was younger, music was super important to me. It’s so crazy how things that are super important to you aren’t a priority as you get older. I still love music – I love my old favorites and love finding new music too – but it’s not as big a part of my life. The biggest difference is that I just canNOT hang at concerts anymore. If they are on a weekday, I’m grumpy since I know I need to wake up for work. People are standing too close to me, people are sweaty, I’m getting bumped into. The beer is too much and everyone seems to be 14 years old. I can’t see over people’s heads, the guy next to me has B.O. and the girl in front of me is wasted. Basically – I’m a cranky old person now. I am now the person I was judging when I was 19. So sad. A few weeks ago, I went to see A New Found Glory with a friend on a Wednesday night. I have seen them a million times but it has been a few years, so I figured why not? We timed it out to miss the opening bands but our plan didn’t work out. We got there around 9:15 and they didn’t go on until after 10 pm. TEN PM! I wake up for work at about 5 am so helllllll no 10 pm. The venue seemed to be at least 20% oversold and I couldn’t move my arms. We stayed for most of the set and then hustled on out there. And that made me fully realize, nope, I can’t hang anymore. It’s a little sad to let that part of my life go but I can still enjoy it. I used to loooove music and concert going and now I just love it from the comfort of my own home/car/iPhone.

Oh another reason I’m lame – I wear earplugs to concerts. It’s super dorky but you can still hear the music really well. This might sound like an old lady thing to do but I’ve actually been doing it since I first started going to concerts when I was around 18. And I could go back in time and shake my own hand for being that smart because otherwise I’d probably be deaf by now. (This is a PSA to everyone who is an avid concert-goer – get earplugs! Your ear holes will thank me.)

So share with me – are you a music lover / big concert goer? Or have you found things in your life that used to be super important and now aren’t as much of a priority? Do you still love the music you loved when you were younger?

wedding wednesday – reception photos

You know the drill – it’s Wednesday so I’mma inundate you with millions of wedding photos. Duh. Today I’m sharing photos from the reception and details from the reception. Yay. As I told you, our reception was at a local restaurant, The Hyeholde, which also has a venue space. Luckily, the weather was absolutely perfect, so we were able to have cocktail hour outside on the patio which was great. Once you go inside the venue space, there is a wall of windows with these really cool lit up “trees” indoor.

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I wanted gold everything for the wedding (duh), so I bought some different mismatched trays from various places and I spray painted them all gold. I used the trays and some battery operated sparkly lights for the table for the placecards. I saw similar ones on Pinterest and decided to make them myself. I bought regular fold-over placecards. I glued gold glitter paper (it was actually wrapping paper) to each one. Then I used white labels to write the guests’ names and put that on the glitter paper. Pain in the ass but loooooove how they turned out. I am by far not great at lettering but it was fun to personalize these and some of the other wedding details.

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Above you can see that we used the WedPics app and I would definitely recommend it. Your guests can download the app and add their photos to it. It’s nice to have all the photos in one place. My friend told me about it 2 days before our wedding so I hurried up and made the above sign. I had a frame at home, used the same gold paper and wrote this up quick.

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I told you guys before about my cake inspiration and it turned out fabulous. Jarrod’s mom’s good friend makes wedding cakes and I love how ours turned out. And the fun cake topper is from BetterOffWed on Etsy. Oh and below are just some of the fabulous cookies our moms, Jarrod’s grandma and some family friends/relatives made. It’s a Pittsburgh tradition to have a “cookie table” and ours turned out so fantastic. I’m so lucky to have so many great bakers in our families! For our table, I unnecessarily spent tons of time finding vintage glass platters. Aaaand I didn’t even have time to look at the actual cake table. Oops. Good thing we got some cool photos! Oh and my mom saved me some cookies to eat later. Yum.

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I love this last photo. It looks like Jarrod is thinking “Hmmm what am I gonna drink next?” and I’m looking at him adoringly. Marriage!!

Here is a list of our vendors, etc:

Photographer: Mandy Fierens Photography
Reception Venue: Round Room at Hyeholde Restaurant
Dress: Maggie Soterro (via Bridal Beginning in Pittsburgh) (Also, I had the extra tulle at the bottom removed so it didn’t poof out as much as it does in the photo)
Earrings: J. Crew (sold out but there is the link in case they come back in stock)
Bracelet: J. Crew (don’t see it on the website but here’s a similar one)
Shoes: Modcloth (I replaced the laces)
Purse: Vintage (shown in Getting Ready Photos)
Jarrod’s suit and bridesmaid dresses: Also J. Crew – sense a theme?

Also, in case you missed my other wedding posts, here ya go:

Getting Ready Photos
Ceremony Photos
Group Photos
Couple Photos

we’re moving!

moving - jadeoak.com

… Eventually. Sorry for the fake out! But yeah, we are working on putting our house up for sale soon. Winter isn’t the best time but we have felt cramped in our house for a bit now. We have lived in our house for only 3 years and it’s been great/bad. It’s a great solid house and has really had minimal problems. The house is nearly 70 years old so it’s going to have a few issues but it hasn’t we’re lucky there haven’t been serious issues. Either way, we are ready for more space. I also am no longer working downtown so it would be nice to move a little further from the city and avoid some of the city traffic.

Somehow, we started this whole moving process backwards. We first started looking for a new house. Dumb. But, we originally thought we wanted to build a house, which has at least 6-10 months lead time. So it made sense. If we found a house we wanted to build, we could then get our house sold in the meantime. We loved all the space and the customizability (is that a word?) of new construction. But my dream has always been to have a cool old house with funky details and make it our own with updates and details. And in Pittsburgh, there are a ton of beautiful, old and solid homes. Sooooo we switched gears and started looking at older homes. Which was fun buuuut we obviously couldn’t buy a house before ours was even on the market.

So we are back on task and doing things in the correct order finally and concentrating on getting our house ready to be put on the market first. There were some small updates we were putting off and we are now checking the things off of our list. Also, we are working on decluttering and getting rid of things we don’t need anyways. I’m trying to be brutal with getting rid of things I don’t want to have to move to another house. Buying a house is definitely stressful, but doing that while also trying to sell your house is eeeeeeek. I know I’m not the first one who has had to deal with us, so any advice is recommended! And I’ll be keeping you guys updated on the process too, of course!

Oh and we moved into our current house in the winter too so apparently that’s our thing? Moving in the snow and cold is so smart, eh?