Making a House a Home

in House

Even though we’ve owned the home for only 26 hours, we’ve made lots of progress!  The Husband began to paint the nursery, which was really exciting.

behr cityscape

(The color is Sherwin Williams Cityscape.)


Our inspiration for the nursery is this image.  Although we’re not going to copy every part of it, my mother-in-law is going to paint the trees and birds, and BabyHTP will have a white crib.


(Image source <—great site!)


I really like the dark gray because 1) I’m a huge fan of gray in general; and 2) I like modern and gender-neutral nurseries.  Even if we knew BabyHTP’s sex, the nursery would probably be rather neutral.


The gray theme is continuing throughout much of the house, including the main living areas…


We hired paint contractors to do most of the living areas because the ceiling are pretty tall.  They started to cut this morning – the color is Behr Silver Drop.


Even though we’re using low VOC paint, I’m staying out of the house while it’s being painted.  I’m trying to help in other ways (like by stripping more wallpaper – wallpaper is the devil).  My big contribution of the morning was finding this:


When I pulled up to the new place this morning, I was horrified to realize that we really, really needed to mow the front yard – I don’t want my neighbors hating us already!  So I hopped online and found this gem.  A short 20-minute drive and $110 later, I had a refurbished lawn mower in my trunk (I think similar models retail for closer to $250 – $300).


Have you downloaded the Craigslist app?  I can’t tell you how often I buy things off Craigslist, but the website is so clunky and hard to use – the app is AMAZING.  The best part is that you can see the first image in the ad when scrolling through the list, so it’s really easy to tell which ads actually apply to you.  Y’all know I’m a thrifter / garage saler, and I definitely plan to buy most of our home stuff second-hand – I’ve been hunting for deals on Craigslist for things like dining room tables and lawn furniture like it’s my job.


Anyway, DadHTP was nice enough to mow the lawn for me; it’s on a pretty steep incline.  It’s hard to admit – I’m getting to the point in my pregnancy that I am definitely physically limited.  I know I shouldn’t feel like this because growing the baby is obviously an important task, but this move is totally making me feel useless.  The Husband is painting, Dad is mowing, and I’m sitting on the floor with Braxton Hicks contractions, eating chips and salsa.  I’m so used to jumping in and getting involved that it’s hard to pull back… but my body definitely lets me know when I’ve done too much.  Just gotta listen, I guess.  I’ll feel more useful when I can help out with packing and unpacking.


Lunch – grilled cheese with pickles, of course.



And thanks so much for all your house congratulations!  We’re so thrilled to be homeowners (and, I’ll be honest, a little nervous, too).  If anyone has any tips, I’d love to hear them.



  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat March 23, 2012, 2:05 pm

    Wow, you guys don’t waste any time!! I love that design for the nursery – very cute! And awesome lawn mower find. 🙂 Hope you two get a chance to relax this afternoon!

  • Jacqui March 23, 2012, 2:12 pm

    Love the color of the nursery! And PS. You’re not just ‘sitting there’, you’re growing a tiny human inside of you! You’re the hardest worker there! 😉

  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats March 23, 2012, 2:13 pm

    Wow! You all really got in there fast! I guess you had a plan! This is so exciting and great that you’ll get a lot done before the baby comes, again, Congratulations!!!!

  • Sarah March 23, 2012, 2:13 pm

    My tip is to take your time furnishing and finishing things. Live in the space for a bit to get a feel for what works and doesn’t before you go buying larger items.

  • Sarah March 23, 2012, 2:14 pm

    The fact that you eat your grilled cheese with pickles makes me so happy!! That’s the way I grew up eating them since that’s how they eat them in Scandinavia (where my grandpa was from) and people always give me the strangest look when i tell them! haha

  • Jessica March 23, 2012, 2:20 pm

    I love the gender-neutral nursery. I don’t want to be surprised with future kids, but I still plan on keeping everything as neutral as possible.

    I’m guessing the inspiration pic came from Pinterest with no/poor track back to the original? I recognized it immediately… it’s from MODG:

    • Paige March 23, 2012, 2:36 pm

      Word, I clicked through to say the same thing. Shout out to MODG! Love that nursery. Excellent inspiration taste, Caitlin.

      • CaitlinHTP March 23, 2012, 2:57 pm

        YAY! thanks so much for pointing to me to the original blog. I’m so excited to see what else they have done.

  • Danielle March 23, 2012, 2:21 pm

    Love, love, love your nursery inspiration! Can’t wait to see your interpretation of it! Good luck with all the decorating and thrifting, that is always my favorite part of a move 🙂

  • Michelle M March 23, 2012, 2:24 pm

    Will you post a house tour soon? Pretty please? 🙂

  • MODG March 23, 2012, 2:26 pm
    • CaitlinHTP March 23, 2012, 2:56 pm

      Thanks so much for the link; I found the image originally on Pinterest so it’s sweet to see the original post! Happy to source. It’s a beautiful nursery. 🙂

  • Hillary March 23, 2012, 2:29 pm

    I adore the high ceilings and big windows in (what I assume is) your living room! Looking good already!

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife March 23, 2012, 2:31 pm

    Wahoo!! Love the high ceiilings.

    And dude, relax, you don’t HAVE to paint. That is a majorly awesome thing 😉 I hope whenever we buy a home I have that excuse too. HAH.

    And now I want pickles and cheese–because that combo is awesome!

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) March 23, 2012, 2:31 pm

    It’s amazing how much it feels like your home when you start doing things to it. I’m so excited for you two!

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing March 23, 2012, 2:33 pm

    I can’t wait to see more pictures of the house but your living area is sooooo gorgeous! And I am in LOVE with the grey/yellow theme for nurserys.. so cute!
    I know it’s hard to listen to your body and slow down sometimes but you ARE growing a human being.. that’s no easy task.

  • Jen March 23, 2012, 2:33 pm

    No tips since I’ve only ever rented tiny apartments–just congratulations on your home! And I love the tree mural in the nursery! If I ever own my own house, I’m definitely going to be painting some murals on the walls. I’m painting a mural of the unicorn in captivity tapestry on a big bookcase we use as a room divider.

  • Johanna B March 23, 2012, 2:33 pm

    Owning your first house is right up there with having a baby – just a really great feeling (the baby feeling is better of course). Congrats to all three of you.

  • Kelley March 23, 2012, 2:37 pm

    Love the color!!!! Can’t believe all the progress you’ve made already! My hubby painted our baby’s room this week too! That definitely made it feel more real!

  • Paige March 23, 2012, 2:39 pm

    I commented above as well but I also wanted to add another comment down here to say that I am loving those high ceilings in that picture with the ladder! So awesome! Congratulations on your first (purchased) home!

  • deva at deva by definition March 23, 2012, 3:01 pm

    My biggest advice is to take your time furnishing, keep your home warranty (if you have one) in an easily located area, and expect the unexpected. Our stove died one month after we moved into our house, and we had to wait almost a month for the repair, but it was so worth the wait (and the home warranty)!

  • Justine Duppong @ Life With Cheeseburgers March 23, 2012, 3:15 pm

    LOVE the nursery so far! Pacing yourself is important–we are trying to finish our basement right now and seems like we go from either doing nothing for a couple of weeks to going crazy with it. The best progress is always when we do a little bit of it at a time together, consistently.

  • Stacy @ Stacy Eats March 23, 2012, 3:18 pm

    Congrats on the new home!! It’s looking great!

  • Laura @ She Eats Well March 23, 2012, 3:22 pm

    Love love love the nursery. It’s modern and fun. Congrats again!!! House and baby, big deals!

  • Army Amy* March 23, 2012, 3:23 pm

    Y’all are just jumping right one it! Good luck with all your home-related projects!*

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey March 23, 2012, 3:28 pm

    I love that blog you linked too. I’m immediately subscribing!

    • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey March 23, 2012, 3:28 pm

      PS – I love gray too. Our guest room (which will be the nursery some day) will be staying gray!

  • Sara March 23, 2012, 3:33 pm

    So happy for you! You are glowing too! I don’t really have any tips. We’ve been in our house three years and I feel like now I’m starting to grasp which pieces of our furniture need to go, what works, what doesn’t. So we’re repainting our house now that I realize I don’t really like the color of the kitchen (and we did a terrible job painting!) We’re not really getting into changing up our lawn. It’s kind of fun. You can pick bits and pieces to work on. So happy for you 🙂

    • Caitlin March 24, 2012, 9:14 am

      This is really good advice. Will take it slow!

  • Abby March 23, 2012, 3:38 pm

    Congrats on the new house, Caitlin! My hubby and I just bought a house, and since we’re both still in school and the month of May (when hubs graduates and can move down there) is full of weddings and other things that will prevent us having more than a few days at a time to get moved it (house is 11 hours away from where we go to school). We spent our entire spring break last week driving down there and moving in. We also painted several rooms (ours has high ceilings too… and some I, the shortest person there, got to stand on the top of the ladder and cut in lol. We also chose a light gray for the main living area. I am so glad we did it! I can’t wait to see what else you guys do!

  • Crystal March 23, 2012, 3:40 pm

    I love the nursery idea! That’s definitely a room that will grow with a kid too so you won;t have a 6 year old who’s mad they have winnie the pooh or something all over their room.

    We moved 6 weeks ago and I was right in the middle of nasty morning sickness so I feel you on the feeling useless. It’s hard, but once you start unpacking boxes you really do feel more useful. DH and his friends moved everything, hung all the blinds and did the stuff I couldn’t, but I unpacked the entire house.

  • JessicaE March 23, 2012, 3:47 pm

    Would you mind describing what Braxton Hicks contractions feel like to you? I’m a bit behind you at 23 weeks and I’m curious to know! 🙂 Congrats on the new house. I love grey as well.

    • Caitlin March 24, 2012, 9:32 am

      They feel like my uterus getting really hard for about 30 seconds or so and then relaxing. It’s not painful but you can definitely feel it. It’s like an orgasm – you will know it when it happens 😉 LOL

      • JessicaE March 24, 2012, 2:20 pm

        Thanks for replying! I love the comparison it makes a lot of sense to me, thanks. 🙂

  • Tess March 23, 2012, 3:47 pm

    And may the odds be ever in your favor!

    Saw it last night at midnight. Can’t wait to see it again. Still on Cloud 9.

    • Tess March 23, 2012, 3:48 pm

      Meant to leave that on this morning’s post…oops. 🙂

  • Amy March 23, 2012, 4:07 pm

    Something we did when we bought our house was to set up a separate “house” savings account. We regularly sock away a little money in that account and then when we have an unexpected house-related expense, like fixing our air conditioner last summer, we don’t have to take it out of our regular budget. It’s removed some of the stress from the whole can’t-call-the-landlord change between renting and owning!

    Also, I love the gray in your nursery!

    • Allison K March 23, 2012, 4:34 pm

      I was going to say this exact comment. Our AC went out as well, and needed a total replacement, which is some beaucoup dollars, a separate “oh crap” savings fund for the house is vital.
      Also, when doing “upgrades” or changes, consider the neighborhod you live in, and make sure that your changes are appropriate to the market. For example, I love cool counter tops like concrete and recycled glass, but our neighborhood is much more of a “starter” neighborhood, and we would never get our money back with an upgrade like that.

      • Caitlin March 24, 2012, 9:33 am

        This is really good advice.

  • Lauren @ Lettuce Eat Cake March 23, 2012, 4:09 pm

    My biggest tip would be…stay calm and take it slow! My hubby and I closed on our first home in late January. It’s a 1952 brick ranch, and definitely needs some TLC and updates. The first few weeks, I had an overwheleming urge to MAKE EVERYTHING PERFECT immediately. I wanted to get as much crossed off the to-do list as possible in as little time as possible. I didn’t want to wait to buy things, to take time to plan. I was spreading myself way too thin and not even enjoying the new home experience. I realized I needed to calm down and accept that some longer-term projects were just going to have to wait. We started focusing on one or two small projects a week, and the crazy pressure feeling quickly subsided. I’m now enjoying my home for what it is today, not what it might be tomorrow.

  • Allison K March 23, 2012, 4:35 pm

    OMG, dont you just love MODG? She is def one of my top 5 favorite bloggers of all time. I love how real she is.

  • Colleen March 23, 2012, 4:43 pm

    I would suggest living in your home for bit to learn the lighting and feel before jumping into painting and decorating every room. It has taken four homes for me to realize this. I’ve repainted my kitchen twice now and still don’t like the color some days. Don’t get me started on the living room. Also, start setting a side a little money for repairs and such — we call our the ‘oh shit fund’. Repairs will happen.

  • Courtney March 23, 2012, 5:05 pm

    Congrats on the home- I love your style so I can’t wait to see how the house turns out!

  • Reenie March 23, 2012, 5:05 pm

    DIF….best thing for wallpaper. I agree with living there for ahwile before you paint everything. I have a friend who bought her first house, painted every room….the started over and re-painted everything!! HA! 😮

    • Christin March 24, 2012, 10:50 pm

      DIF is the best!! The fumes are pretty strong, though – so if you use it then you might have to leave the wallpaper stripping to the husband.

      • Julie @SavvyEats March 30, 2012, 1:52 am

        IF you aren’t already done with the wallpaper stripping, mix about 1/3 cup distilled white vinegar with about a quart of water. Spray it on the wallpaper, let it soak in for a few minutes and then start scraping– it will come off 10x faster (and no worry about dangerous fumes!)

  • Karen March 23, 2012, 5:13 pm

    Please be sure to share more pictures of the grey walls! I’m in the process of trying to decide which color to paint baby #2’s bedroom (it’s our 2nd boy) and I’m loving grey right now. I’d love to see how both shades of grey work out.

  • Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) March 23, 2012, 5:16 pm

    Wow… very impressive with how fast you are jumping in with the painting. Let’s just say we have lived in our house 4 years, I am now 34 weeks pregnant, and we have not even finished painting the nursery. Ha! I do love the grey color you selected. Very sleek.

    I feel useless at times too. I always love helping and now being so far along in pregnancy, I just get tired more easily & I have to just let it go and let the husband handle a lot of household tasks. Not in my nature! But then I just think….. we ARE doing a lot…. we are growing a baby!

  • Andi March 23, 2012, 5:36 pm

    I LOVE the nursery inspiration! I can’t wait to see photos of the new house!

  • Sherri March 23, 2012, 5:45 pm

    I looooove the colours you guys picked for the nursery and main areas! Gorgeous!

    Definitely excited for you, your family, and the new home… I can’t wait to “meet” baby HTP!

  • Life's a Bowl March 23, 2012, 5:50 pm

    Oh em gee, a pickle grilled cheese, why haven’t I tried that?! We joke how I’m gonna have to buy a gallon of pickles from Costco when I’m preggers 😛

  • jen March 23, 2012, 6:08 pm

    congratulations home owners!!! my husband and i are currently searching and we are DREAMING of the day when we are in your shoes! what a great event!

    and ps, i really want to see the hunger games, but im nervous bc of one possible scene, the ending when cato comes out of the woods “looking like a hunk of raw meat”, and she cant even locate where his mouth once was… while i can read that, i cannot at ALL handle seeing that, so i need to talk to others before i go myself.

    • Caitlin March 24, 2012, 9:33 am

      He didn’t look that hunky meaty. 🙂

  • Taylor @ Nuts for Apples March 23, 2012, 6:18 pm

    I love that nursery! I love the idea of gender neutral themes too…it’s so chic! and grilled cheese with pickles? my mouth is watering just thinking about it! Good luck with everything!

  • Claire March 23, 2012, 6:25 pm

    Congrats on the house, can’t wait for a ‘tour’! Just a suggestion – rather than painting the trees and birds on the nursery wall, have you thought about getting removeable wall art? It’s gorgeous, and can be easily moved/removed, for example if you want to rearrange the room to accommodate a bed, or it can be easily taken down if you child grows out of it or would like a different look. Although it is lovely that you MIL is painting the design.

    • Crystal March 23, 2012, 6:51 pm

      The wall art is great until you hit the toddler stage. My kid ripped an entire tree off during nap time and took all the branches off. I was so mad.

      • Claire March 24, 2012, 12:03 am

        Bahaha toddlers are hilarious, destructive little whirlwinds!

        • Caitlin March 24, 2012, 9:34 am

          LOL I love it. My MIL is actually a really good painter so I think she will enjoy contributing the mural to the nursery.

  • Lisa March 23, 2012, 7:08 pm

    I love the nursery concept! So cute!

  • Alexis March 23, 2012, 7:11 pm

    Which Craigslist app do you have?? There are so many, I don’t know which is the best!

    • Caitlin March 24, 2012, 9:34 am

      purple peace sign!

  • Jen March 23, 2012, 8:22 pm

    Wallpaper is the debbil! Good luck with it, and congrats on your new home!

  • Sarah March 23, 2012, 9:19 pm

    Which Craigslist app are you using? There are a bunch! Thanks in advance 🙂

    • Caitlin March 24, 2012, 9:34 am

      The one with the purple peace sign!

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin March 23, 2012, 9:33 pm

    I love the look of the grey! I never would have thought to use grey for a nursery, but it totally works. 😀 I can’t wait to see the finished room.

  • Erin Motz March 23, 2012, 10:12 pm

    That nursery looks fantastic! I love the color scheme. Looking forward to seeing how yours turns out! 🙂

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie March 23, 2012, 10:29 pm

    I love your nursery inspiration! I totally agree about going gender neutral. I did the same thing despite knowing the gender of our first son because I knew we’d want to have more than one kid and what if the second was a different sex? Would I want to repaint so soon? No.

  • Chelsea March 23, 2012, 11:19 pm

    I’m OBSESSSEDDD with your baby room idea! Even my boy-friend loves it. I hope that when I have a child I can find that picture again and make it my own as well ;)!

  • Caroline March 23, 2012, 11:27 pm

    I love gray for the nursery! I’m sure it’s difficult to do much while being that pregnant! Definitely not the ideal time, but at least you got the house before the baby. Congrats on your new house:)

  • Alison March 23, 2012, 11:43 pm

    That dark gray is FABULOUS! I love the inspiration for the nursery.

  • Ingunn March 24, 2012, 12:21 am

    I’m impressed – we moved into our new house three weeks ago and we still haven’t even decided on colors for the rooms we’re painting! Looking forward to seeing more pics of your house, love that big window I see in the living room.

  • Elisabeth March 24, 2012, 12:23 am

    I love the dark grey – grey is my favorite color 🙂

  • Mary (A Merry Life) March 24, 2012, 1:04 am

    Congrats on the house Caitlin!

    I really LOVE that nursery inspiration. That’s just adorable so I’m sure your nursery will be just as cute. I love light and dark grey as neutrals in houses rather than white – great choice!

  • Katie @ Soulshine and Sassafras March 24, 2012, 2:05 am

    I’m so excited for you both (and BabyHTP)! And I love the nursery idea – very cute and original.

  • Autumn Tao March 24, 2012, 10:54 am

    I had to write and congratulate you on the house. It’s such a wonderful turn of events after watching your struggles last year. As far as a blogging, you are very raw and honest, extremely entertaining, and full of random tidbits. I love seeing a post turns up in my googlereader feed. My husband and I are expecting our first this July, a little guy, so as a vegan and future mom, I find many things you write about relevant to my life as well.

    All the best to you in your new home and with your final trimester.
    Cheers & Namaste.

    • Caitlin March 25, 2012, 7:56 am

      Thank you 🙂

  • Ashley March 24, 2012, 11:10 am

    We have that crib! Well, my sisters bought it for us and haven’t given it to us yet. 🙂 Can’t wait to set it up! I love it.

  • Amber K March 24, 2012, 1:31 pm

    I would feel bad that I wasn’t helping out, but yeah, you have to remind yourself that you are doing something! You’re growing a baby.

    When I’ve heard of “gray nurseries” I always thought that’d look depressing. But it actually looks really neat!

  • Katie @ Katie Without Restrictions March 24, 2012, 3:28 pm

    Oh my, I LOVE the gray!!! I can’t wait to see your completed nursery. And everything else! 😉

  • Shannon March 25, 2012, 4:28 pm

    Loving the gray..definitely different but it looks like it will turn out really cute for the nursery!

    If I were you, just enjoy some relaxation!!! You have a get out of manual labor free card and you should definitely take it! Once you get your stuff in the house, you will be useful with putting it away and setting up the “home” but for now let the boys do the painting and the mowing…just tell them when they’ve missed a spot 😉

  • Tasha - The Clean Eating Mama March 26, 2012, 2:38 am

    I love the gray. You can pair any color with gray and it looks amazing – yellow, pink, green… its very versatile.
    Congratulations on the home!

  • Robin March 26, 2012, 4:25 am

    I love the gray. Congratulations on the new house!

  • healthy ashley March 26, 2012, 8:40 am

    So excited for you guys!!!

  • Elena @ Apples & Pastelitos March 26, 2012, 10:36 am

    Long time lurker, first time comment! I know exactly how you feel…. I’m 35 weeks now, but about 32 weeks when we just moved into our new house. I felt completely useless, not being able to lift or carry anything too heavy! Congrats on your new home, so exciting!

  • Beki @MissWheezy April 7, 2012, 2:11 pm

    Been reading your blog for a while and I love it! 🙂 I’ve been motivated to start writing one myself, and we’ve just moved house too- boxes everywhere! Good luck with it all, and if you have the time please check out my blog: Thanks, and Happy Easter! Beki x

    • Caitlin April 7, 2012, 8:16 pm

      Welcome to the blogworld!

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