Monday, October 31, 2011

Weekend Recap

This weekend was a mess. It was both productive and tiring. Friday night was spent going to Sports Authority to find a lightweight running jacket for me using the $10 off coupon I got at the Chikfila 5k.

Women's UA Escape Lightweight 1/4 Zip

It's the Under Armor Escape Lightweight 1/4 zip. It was a little pricey, but it was definitely worth it. Then there was a run to the pet store and Target where we stocked up on a little bit of Halloween candy. Since we're still in the apartment complex we only get a few trick or treaters, but don't you worry--the extra Halloween candy will not be wasted. :) Then we made pizzas using some leftover pita bread bought from Costco. Delicious.

So everything was going great until I woke up on Saturday. I go to feed the fish to find that one of its eyes was bulging out (it's gross). I freaked out and immediately googled it to see what was wrong. Apparently it is this illness called "Popeye" caused by a bacterial infection. I feel really bad and have no idea how this happened, but knew that when I got back from my run that I'd take care of it. So then I go to Shelby Farms and lock myself out of my car. I wait for my dad to show up and he thankfully did. I was so annoyed at this point that I didn't run at all b/c I had to go by the bank and then get ready for my niece's birthday party. I stop by the petstore to find something for the fish and finally make it back home. The birthday went very well--she got a ton of really adorable little presents. Mark then sent me a text message saying that his throat was hurting really badly so that's another sickling in the Hackett household. :/ That night I made some chicken pot pie from this new recipe I found on the internet. It was SO good!

Not much important happened on Sunday. I did finally get my 9 mile run in and was pretty sore all day. Clove got really tired around 8 and decided to hug the chair as he fell asleep. Pretty cute right?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Weekend Preview

I'm amazed at how diligent I've been with updated this blog. I think I deserve a little bit of praise for this. :) Last night was spent running 5 miles while Mark so sweetly went to the grocery to pick up a few items we needed. I prepared some lamb stew the night before in the crockpot so when I came in the door it smelled sooo good. And yes, you heard it right--lamb stew. The recipe calls for beef, but we purchased a big portion of lamb at Fresh Market awhile ago and froze a bunch of it. Plus, even though I'm a peskatarian, I do occassionally enjoy lamb. It's awful I know! Little lambs are the cutest animals too :(. But it really is the only meat that I'll ever rarely want to eat a little bit of. It's weird I know, but oh well.

This weather is making me really excited. :) We lit a fire while eating dinner and watching HGTV. There might have been a little trip to Rite Aid later due to some unpleasant side effect of an ill-fitting and too big sports bra (we'll just leave it at that). I did, however, get a Rite Aid's card (kind of like a Kroger card) so I mean that trip was definitely worth it right? :)

Today I'll be buying a little gift for my precious niece because her birthday is tomorrow. Speaking of tomorrow, I have been dreading this 9 mile run ALL week. I literally have no running clothes to wear out in the colder weather so a little trip to Sports Authority might need to happen tonight. Saturday will also probably be spent doing some more packing and probably some sort of DIY project I'll decide I want to do.

On a random note, I told Mark I needed some sort of almond butter to take to work since I eat them with apples almost every day. Look what he bought me! Isn't it beautiful? Almond butter=LOVE

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Time for a breather

Things have thankfully slowed down some with the house purchase. Instead of making 5 calls a day, I'm down to about 1 now which is great. I did call Farm Bureau for our home owners insurance so that is in process. Right now we are just trying to tie up a few loose ends with the loan process. There are a few additional pieces of information that the loan officer needs (they need A LOT of paperwork..geez). The 60 day notice has been turned in so for now I can breathe a little easier.

Every Wednesday Mark's store order comes in which means one thing for us: BOXES. So essentially every Wednesday night I'll start packing up a few more items. Last night I packed up some extra white dishes that we have, and after wrapping them in news paper realized that I might be a little neurotic about packing items with newspaper. Thoughts?

Is this too much? I think I'm going a little crazy with the news paper packing (I might've even packed up white pillar candles in newspaper so they won't get scratched). The thing is, Mark also brings home the old New York Times from his store so we have a ton of it. Maybe I have problem.... :/

In other news...I saw this picture and laughed out loud because it is so true!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I woke up thinking it was Thursday. Sad.

Yesterday was a little hectic. I learned when faxing loan paperwork that is probably 50+ pages, our fax machine doesn't really do too well. This resulted in faxing over our paperwork in about 6 parts...I apologize to our loan officer for that. :/ Then there were calls to the legal attorney and calls to Farm Bureau to get a quote on home owners insurance. On top of all that, work was really busy yesterday so needless to say I was juggling back and forth all day.

Our home inspector arrived at the house at 3:30 (I'm not saying "our house" quite yet because you never know what could happen). Mark was originally supposed to be there while I was at work but he got tied up at work so my boss was kind enough to let me leave work a little early. Thankfully Mark was able to leave and meet everyone there a little later. I'm happy to report that the inspection went very well with only a few minor fixes that can be easily done. Also the termite guy even showed up on time yesterday and we were cleared on that as well! :)

I took a bunch of pictures of the house on my phone, but I'm still holding off on posting them until we close out of respect for the current owners. We are really excited though! Today I'll be turning in our 60 day notice to break out apartment lease ($$) :(, callling the legal attorney to let him know how the inspection went, and going over the home inspection report with Mark. We packed up a few more items last night when we got home just to stay on top of things. I'm sure it's different with everyone when it comes to packing, but for me it works best to pack in increments. It helps me keep my sanity and everything organized.

Also, when we were at the house yesterday I saw a little calico cat in the backyard. Naturally this means that I go outside and call for it and it came up to me and it was soo adorable. I know what everyone is thinking and no I do not want another cat, BUT this can be our little stray outside kitty that we can leave food for. :) Mark and my parents both dramatically sighed when I told them this but they have to know me by now well enough to know these things.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Weekend update

I must say that this weekend was really productive AND I even took a few pictures to document.This weekend included a DIY project on Friday night, an 8 mile run on Saturday, and some packing on Sunday.

 I saw a watercolor painting on a decorating blog the other day and knew that I needed it in our new kitchen. So last night I pulled out my painting oils and went to town. I think it turned out pretty well! I'm going to put it in either a black or silver frame, but I think it'll look great in our kitchen--plus it was free art. :)

I also took some really old and cheap wood frames that we had and decided that they needed to be painted white. So Friday night we went to Michaels, picked up some and paper and acryllic paint and there you go. I wish I had taken picures of the frames with the pictures inside, but I did not. Sorry :/

   Saturday morning I laced up my running shoes and went to Shelby Farms for an 8 mile run. Last Saturday's 7 miles were ran with Merri who helped me finish so I was really skeptical about whether or not I could run 8 miles alone. Part of me just wanted to run it out on the treadmill because it didn't sound too intimidating, but alas I went and I made it! I think I ran just under an 11 minute mile which is slow, but I didn't care because I think the run lasted around 1 hour and 22...26?? minutes. I don't know but it was long.

Sunday was spent taking down pictures and spackling up the holes. We also boxed up some of our study and it looks really sad and bare in there now.


Sunday afternoon I made this new recipe for Lasagna soup. Yes the name definitely sounds weird, but I had to give it a try. It is SO good. I think it tastes much better than lasagna (and better for you with MUCH less cheese and fat). I also replinished our bread. I'll make 2 loaves at a time, freeze one and then we'll eat on the other. I was always intimidated to make my own bread because the whole yeast and rising thing kind of scared me, but the recipe I use is really simple. It has oats, flaxseed, honey, other organic wheat products (I already forgot what they were), and no butter which is awesome.

Today we have our home inspector and termite person come to the house. Thankfully my boss was kind enough to let me off a little early so I can be there with Mark. We're excited! After this we have a few more things to do (home insurance, loan paperwork, break apartment lease), but hopefully we'll be done soon.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Never go to the grocery before dinner

In our attempts to save money for the upcoming housing expenses, we've been on a spending freeze. The rule I've made is "Thou shalt not spend money...unless for bills or we need gas in the car." Unfortunately this means that we've been skimping on going to the grocery as much and have been eating up the majority of the food in our fridge and pantry.

Fast forward to last night. It wasn't pretty. After rushing home from work, running 4 miles and taking a quick shower, we finally made it to the grocery. I knew this was a bad idea because I was already cranky and hungry, but it needed to be done. Around 40 minutes later we have the very random necessary items such as: wanton wrappers, cherry coke zero, soy veggie lunch meat (I'm not hating on it yet...I have a sandwich w/ it for lunch today so we'll see), french style green beans, lowfat chocolate milk, and frozen ravioli. Ok so maybe these aren't the oddest food purchases, but they're definitely not the usual items we pick up. I suppose it's better than picking up a bunch a junk food or chocolate (though I might have made a dessert last night anyways..oops).

In other news, I really need to stop looking a design blogs--they're filling me with tons of expensive ideas for the house. I think I need to start looking at more DIY projects instead maybe? Well tomorrow consists of running 8 miles (UGH) and packing up more of our study. I really wanted to post a picture of the house on here but since we haven't closed on it yet I didn't think it was fair. If I was selling a house and the buyer posted a picture of my house I probably wouldn't be too thrilled since I still technically owned it. But don't you guys worry, I'll be posting pictures of the house tranformation when we start painting and stuff. I've already started packing some and the kitties were really really really excited about these boxes.

Oh and here's a picure of the new hair!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hooray! :)

I'm happy to report that we have found our house! We counter offered back and forth with the sellers and last night they accepted our offer! We are elated at this point. When we walked into this house we both just knew that this was the right one. I told Mark it was the same feeling as trying on the wedding dress and it being the "one." The house is extremely updated and right across the street from my brother and sister in law which makes it even better. :)

Although we are both so excited, the stress level since we've started this process has been really high. When we started looking for houses and shopping around for low interest rates, I knew nothing about any of it. So needless to say the past few days have been extremely overwhelming for me. We also have to deal with the issue our breaking our apartment lease and having to pay extra money for that as well, but it will end up saving us money in the long run. There is just a bunch of stuff going on right now and as excited as we are, we are equally as stressed. With that being said, we would love to be able to show all you guys the house today if could, but since there is SO much stuff that needs to be done we'd just ask that everyone just give us a little bit of time to get everything worked out and settled. We promise that we'll show anyone the else house when everything settles down and we're not running around like chickens with their heads cut off. So if we don't respond to calls, emails, or texts we promise we don't mean to ignore it, we are both just really busy with this stuff right now and need some time.

This past weekend we already went through the majority of the stuff in our apartment and got rid of about 4 garbage bags of junk.We're going to slowly start packing so by the time we close on Nov. 17 (we'll be taking posession around Nov. 30) we'll be ready. What makes this even more overwhelming is the fact that I'll still be training for the half marathon and running it on Dec. 3. So yes, we do have a lot going and would appreciate your prayers to remain sane. :) But we are so in love with this house and cannot wait to move in.

More later...

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Last night I woke up in the middle of the night in a panic thinking "I don't know what color to paint the fireplace!" I think this is a sign, but I'm choosing to ignore that for now. :)

We have now have 3 viewings tomorrow starting at 5pm so here we go! I'm starting to learn that no matter how perfect and effortless I want the house to be when we buy it, there is going to be something about it that I don't like. From the majority of the houses I've looked at, it looks like the kitchen isn't going to be quite big enough or the bathroom is going to be really outdated. Now I don't mind putting in a little bit of work into a house, but I also know that we don't have the time and resources to spend hours upon hours remodeling a bathroom. These are things I know now.

With that being said, I'm happy to say that I submitted our loan application this morning and am waiting on pins and needles to hear back from the bank. I've always heard that buying a house is a lot of hurry up then wait, and now I understand that a little. The good thing about having already submitted our loan application is that we can telling the listing agent "Hey we're just waiting to hear back from the bank at this point" instead of saying "Yeah...we haven't even started all the loan application stuff yet." Hopefully now we sound like we're more serious which we are.

I may have also created a huge picture folder on my work computer of decoration ideas. I've also been researching how to design smaller spaces so I can be prepared. This more importantly includes how to deal with small closets and pantries. I've got some great tips in my head now thanks to the internet. :)

Oh yes, Clove has a new fascination with our pantry now. I kid you not when I say that he probably spends about 1 hour a day in there playing around or just sitting and staring at stuff. He also likes to sit on the garbage can pretty often. I mean where did we go wrong with this one?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Day 3

Here's a little updated on the progres that we've made.

We have officially narrowed down the area that ideally we would like to start looking. I have a few houses listed in that potential area and there is one in particular that we (mainly I) have my hopes set on. It would be right around the corner from my brother and  sister in law too! I have already scheduled a viewing for this weekend so we'll see how it goes. I knew this morning that I needed to stop looking at the pictures online of the house repeatedly because it would just aid in getting my hopes up so I decided to look for a few other properties around the area as well. We'll probably be looking at those houses pretty soon as well just so we can have a fresh memory to compare and contrast the differences.

We are just a few simple clicks away from submitting our loan application to the bank. Almost everything is filled out so we'll be submitting that shortly to be pre-approved. We also both checked our credit scores as well since we both had never done so before.

So considering we were just starting this whole process on Sunday, I would like to think that we've made good progress.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Yesterday I got a bit overwhelmed with house hunting. This morning people at work freaked me out about mortgages being way higher than they actually would be. Then I was told that I had to use a realtor to find a house.

Then I realized that people aren't always right about everything.

Are we going to use a realtor to find a house? Absolutely not. I am perfectly capable of finding a house without any help from a realtor. We will of course need the aid of the seller's realtor once we purchase the house, but we won't be hiring someone to find a house for us. Also, thanks to my sister I discovered a mortgage calculator. It calculates taxes, interest rate, annual insurance, and the down payment and then boom! There's your mortgage.

With that being said, I feel much better now. I feel like we can actually afford a house and can pay less than what we will be paying for at our apartment complex right now. All this house hunting terrority is completley new and foreign to me so I am slowly starting to learn how things work.

We drove around a few neighborhoods last night and I learned that how houses look in pictures versus what they look like in real can be completely different. I've learned that we will have to pay County and City taxes (gross). But I have finished my current list of house options, price listed, and mortgage calculated all on my little notebook.

Now it's a matter of spending a little lesser on a house and using some of the money saved to renovate or to spend a little more and have less renovations. What to do? Also, I called the bank today and spoke with their mortgage loan advisor and he already emailed me the link to apply for a loan online.

Progress is being made.

I'm tired.


And this is how I feel after looking at houses for one day.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Big News

We have a big announcement to make (no I'm not pregnant).

We're buying a house! (And the picture above is not the house--just a visual effect).We haven't found the house yet, but we are looking. Sorry if I don't post as frequently because I will be looking for houses online during my freetime. I have a list of about 25 houses thus far. I sat down and made all the to-do lists and am feeling a little more organized. Now that I made the list of houses we will be driving around the neighborhoods before making an appointment to view.

Needless to say, we made the grownup decision to cancel our trip to New York in January because we will be moving out in February. Sad. But we are really excited about making our first house purchase. I'll keep you guys updated, but we're looking for houses in the East Memphis area.

Wish us luck!

P.S. The switch from blonde to brown went pretty smoothly--I'll be sure to post pictures soon.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


As of Saturday I will no longer be a blonde. I'm already have anxiety about the change (yes I know it's shallow), but it's time for something new. This will be the new color of my hair:

It might be a tad darker than the picture too, but I'm going back to my natural hair color which is a lightish brown. I'm both excited and nervous at the same time. We'll see how it turns out!

P.S. Yes the blog got a new fall makeover too. I only thought it was fair that it get one too. Every time I logged in the blog screamed "I'm bright and obnoxious with really large letter sizing!" so it was time for some muted fall colors. Hope you guys like it!

P.S.S. Sorry Mark, but I won't be coloring my hair black as you so excitedly requested. I promise it won't look good, and am still in disbelief that you think it would.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The dentist

Remember when I told you that we weren't picture people? Here's a prime example for you. Last night I was making a healthier version of Vegetable Low Mein with these really cool Asian low mein noodles that we bought at World Market. As I was making it I thought to myself "Hey, I need to take a picture of this since I never photograph anything." That's pretty much as far as it went because of course right after that I got sidetracked by something seemingly important and forgot to take the picture.

Is this a pointless endeavor?

I make fun of Mark for being slightly A.D.D. at times--specifically when I ask him to help me change the sheets. I promise in the 20ish steps that it takes for him to walk from the den to the bedroom, there are probably around 4 distractions that make it take 10 minutes for him to arrive to his destination. He'll get up and realize he's thirsty, get a drink, walk a few steps and 'oh a kitty!' He'll pet the cat, forget what he was about to do, remember, walk a few steps, the phone goes off....I think you get the picture. :) After yesterday though, I'm starting to think that it's definitely not just him. I make to do lists so I can stay on track becasue I have the memory of an 80 year old, but not even lists help me to remember something 1 minute after I thought about it. Sad I know. I promise I'll try and photograph something one day.

Can we also talk about the dentist for a minute please? On my last visit to the dentist 6 months ago the woman cleaning my teeth kindly (but seriously) told me that I was on the verge of having gengevisitis (no idea how to spell that) and I need to start flossing more because my gums were bleeding. I was officially terrified and envisioned rotting teeth, bloody gums, maybe a few falling out--who knows. Gross I know. So what did I do? I started flossing and walked proudly into the dentist office on Monday. As I sat down I smiled, looked at the lady and told her about my new flossing habit. The cleaning was much easier (less scraping...ugh), but then the worst part comes. She finished cleaning my teeth and I'm thinking that I'm safe and about to head out the door, but then the main doctor comes in to check for cavities. Why do I always think the visit ends with the cleaning?? I think I'm safe though--I mean I've been flossing and that helps with pretty much everything in life right?


One of my fillings from years ago is wearing away at the bottom of my tooth and they have to refill a little portion of it...oh but don't worry "because it's not my fault and will only take about 15 minutes." I started envisioning drills, shots, and cool blasts air in my mouth when the words "oh and you'll probably not even need numbing" came out of my doctors mouth.

My reaction "Um...that sounds like it's going to hurt."

So he said he could give me some laughing gas, but I told him I would need everything pain numbing device that he had. Then as I was making my appointment for this visit, the receptionist looked annoyed that I had to make it their last appointment because I had to work.

I'm sorry receptionist that I'm inconvencing you so think I'm excited about this as much as you are?  Tell you what, I can sit at your chair and make appointments for you while you have your tooth drilled into. Let's get things to perspective shall we?

Ugh...and people ask why I hate the dentist.

Sorry about that rant. The point of the story is: flossing only leads to more problems in life kids.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Back Home

I've realized something: Mark and I are not picture people. We hardly have any pictures of us since our wedding which was over a year ago. :/ This isn't good. I really need to start taking more pictures to re-fill some picture frames. I also need someone to hold me accountable to this please. :)

We spent the last weekend in Knoxville for a nice little mini vacation. The weather was absolutely wonderful and cool. We spent the majority of our time walking around downtown, exploring a few shops in Turkey Creek Mall, eating delicious food, and sleeping in til 9am. It was definitely nice to take a little break from my half marathon training considering I was battling a week long cold which is now gone thanks to some rest. We happily discovered that Knoxville has a World Market (there might have been 2 trips there in 2 days). We love are obsessed with World Market a little too much perhaps, but we're still bitter that the one in Memphis closed and was replaced by that stupid Halloween store.

This week will be spent catching up on things and getting back into the routine, but sometimes going back to a routine after a little vacation can be nice. I'm happy to report that our apartment is clean, the laundry is finally done, the kitties are happy, Mark is back at school, and I am back to training. Whenever we come back to our apartment after being gone it never smells familiar to me. For this reason, I made some slow cooker Taco soup (I found the recipe on Pinterest) and it is sooo good. I think it's actually a Weight Watcher recipe, but who cares because nothing beats coming home to the smell of soup.

We procrastinated waited til October to start looking for a rental house. Our lease is up in February which means  we will be putting in our 60 day notice in December. I'm expecting a call today about some potential houses so I will definitely keep you guys posted. Although we do love our apartment complex, the rent is a little high and it would be nice to be in a house for sure.

I would've posted some pictures from our trip, but you can revert back to paragraph one to see why that's obviously not going to happen.