Sunday, October 4, 2015

Week in Review - 10/4/16

I haven't blogged in over two weeks and a lot has happened since then.

Two weeks ago we walked up to "our" beach and saw a barge!

-The home we had put a deposit on fell through. They would not make an exception to their "no one under 45" rule. We, along with everyone we spoke to at the community, said that it wouldn't be a problem because of my disability. Nope. Turns out we were all wrong.

That is my chair in the corner. It was cool to watch them.

-The next day our Realtor emailed my husband another villa. We loved it and put an offer of over asking price, all cash. The only contingency was that our home needed to close first and was due to close on November 2. This villa is in a non-age restricted community but still looks like a retirement community honestly. There is a club house and a pool and it worked great for us. The only thing was that it was a Fannie Mae home and it needed a LOT of work.

The barge was HUGE. See the little guy at the bottom? He is a grown man.

-The next day we still hadn't heard from Fannie Mae. Another villa comes up in the same community as the Fannie Mae home. This is unusual because in the past 6 months, only two villas have sold. We go and look at it. It is in MUCH better shape and has nice laminate wood floors and a full, closed in lanai/sun room which makes the home seem larger. The only thing is they painted every single room bright YELLOW so it will absolutely need repainted (which is fine by us since we want light aqua walls). So we put an offer on it. Over asking, cash offer with the same contingency.

The Fannie Mae home

-We get the call the next day that the yellow-in-every-room home has three offers in the first day it was listed. So we had to go in with an even better offer. Again, we had to leave the contingency of our home closing. Before we hear from them, Fannie Mae calls our Realtor. They will take our offer...if we drop the contingency of our home selling. We decided we really couldn't do that (since we cannot afford to own two homes) and they reject our offer.

This yellow is lovely in the living room. It is in the dining room too. And both bathrooms. And kitchen. And both bedrooms. And the laundry room.

-Then we get the call from our Realtor that the yellow-in-every-room home has accepted our offer. 


-So, as long as our home back in PA closes, we have a home in Florida permanently. Our home has already been inspected and the next step is for the appraisal. That should be next week. That will get us one step closer in terms of closing on time. We are trying not to get too excited in case something happens with this homes inspection or our closing.

All the villas in the community look exactly the same and have the same 2 bedroom/2bathroom floor plan.

We took no photos when we went through so thanks to Zillow for these. We liked the villa so much that I didn't need photos to decide. We have plans on painting just about every space, doing some work in the kitchen & bathrooms and a few other things. However, we thankfully don't have to be in a rush for any of this since the house is quite livable in its current state.

The lanai which was made into another sitting room

This past week I was officially cleared for Ketamine. My two-week Ketamine treatment starts on January 18, 2016. I have a few appointments before then but that is the next step.

Trying on my new LuLaRose lace skirt.
 We have just 11 days left on our rental on Anna Maria Island. And so begins the packing. We are headed back to PA for my sister's wedding and to collect the rest of our stuff.

Back into storage!

We have been spending some time outside. The hubby has been doing some trimming and we left his phone on the sun room table. I came inside to find "Bob" the Blue Heron staring at the phone. It made me chuckle.

The poor hubby got stung a few times this week. He found the hive and sprayed it. Unfortunately we think there is another hive in the bushes and so we let our landlord know.

A rowing team must have been practicing on the canal behind our rental home. It is fun to watch them. They are very good.

We did get to the beach twice this past week. The hubby went swimming and I bundled up on the shore. It was gorgeous when the sun was out but it got a bit chilly & windy. It did hit 91 degrees last week so no complaints. We are loving the heat.

One of the shells I found after a storm.

The first rainbow we saw.

And the second, more faint rainbow.

The waves were quite aggressive and there were surfers out there. We enjoyed watching them.

I hope everyone is having a great weekend. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

PopSugar Must Have September 2015 Review

It is the last week of September which means my PopSugar Must Have subscription box came. My FabFitFun is on the way. I have really enjoyed these boxes the past few months. I keep some stuff, gift some stuff and even sell a few things to pay for the subscription. 

PopSugar is a monthly subscription box which costs about $40/month. They send you a box full of surprises each month. 

If you would like to sign up after reading this review, please use my referral link HERE. Use coupon code MUSTHAVE5 for $5 off your first box.  OR...the first two people who subscribe can take $10 off with these two unique codes (once someone uses them, they are done). 


These will take $10 off your first box and are valid through November 30, 2015. 

Now...the unboxing:

My first item out of the box was Too Faced Brow Envy which retails for $39. KEEP. This alone would pay for the entire box. I have started to do my brows every once in awhile. Plus, it comes with highlighter and brow wax to keep those brows in place. Mine have a tendency to do their own thing. I like that it came with both blonde & brown colors. I have used the brown once and it seemed pretty good.
Sorry for the awful photo

Next up was the NCLA cuticle oil, retails for $18. I have terrible cuticles and I'm keeping this. I would never spend $18 on cuticle oil but I am glad to have this. It isn't thrilling but it is something I'm glad to have. 

Kris Nations XOXO bracelet, retails for $35. SELL. I liked that this was recycled brass covered in 14K plate. However, I don't really wear bracelets. This one is up on ebay currently for $10. 

Briogeo Rosarco Milk, retails for $20. KEEP. This is leave in conditioner. I have started to use these only because sometimes my hands hurt too much to brush my hair. Conditioner on the ends helps a lot. This one smells light. I haven't noticed too much of a difference yet but I'll give it time. 

Another keeper. Almond to Cherries by Nourish Snacks, retails for $2. I ate these while opening my box. Thankfully the hubby doesn't like dried cranberries. They were rather bland but edible. This is the perfect thing for me to keep in the house BTW. I literally cannot keep anything I love in the house because I have no will power. Cans of black olives will be devoured long before I open the salad. So I have learned to keep food I can eat but nothing thrilling unless I want to consume it all.

And the last item...Hudson + Bleecker travel trio, retails for $42. SELL. This is a pretty cute idea. The clear zippered bag is TSA approved and the two drawstring bags work for intimates and shoes. 

I have a ton of travel bags since we use to travel a lot. I guess we still kind of do since we moved to FL in April and are heading back to PA for my sister's wedding & to get the rest of our stuff in October. Hopefully when we get back to FL later in October, we will settle for awhile. 

 So, these are a sell. I currently have them on ebay for $10. Sometimes it is better to wait a few months before selling items in subscription boxes. There tend to be a lot of the same item on ebay which drives down the prices.
 The rest of the box were a few coupons and the informational booklet.

So, what did I think. I think I will eventually be stopping this box. PopSugar is good but overall I still think FabFitFun is a better fit for me.

I kept the eyebrow kit, the snack, the leave-in conditioner and cuticle oil. Those retailed for well over the cost of the box. However, I usually spend about $15 on a good eyebrow pencil (thanks to my mom for telling me about Clinique Superfine Liner). Maybe $5-10 on a leave in conditioner. The cuticle oil...maybe $5 at best. And $1 for the snack gives us $31.

The two items I'm selling may bring $15 after ebay fees, if they sell. If not, I will gift them or sell them at a later date.

The "retail value" PopSugar puts on this box is $156. There is no way I'd pay that for the items. But, I still feel I'm getting a solid value. I may not be the target audience for this box since I hardly wear make-up nor jewelry.

Want to see more of my PopSugar unboxings? Click HERE for Augusts.

My FabFitFun box is coming and I have seen spoilers. I'm pretty excited.

Also happening around our home...

We have just over two weeks left on our rental! The hubby is trimming the garden (and getting stung in the process) and we have started to pack. Next week hubby will bring most of it to a storage unit and then we will start to really clean.

Plus...we have put another offer on a home. Long story short, after doing all the paperwork and signing a sales agree on a villa in Bradenton, I was denied by the board. You have to be over 45 to live there. Hubby is, I'm not. We, along with everyone else, thought my disability would be enough to get us in. Nope. So we looked at another villa, in another (better) part of Bradenton yesterday and we put an offer in today. It is a bank owned property and we went in at almost full asking price. So let's hope this one comes through. We love it. More about that later though...

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Adrift Gifts September 2015 (sorta) Subscription Box Review

I have a few subscription box reviews this week and this is the first. Adrift Gifts is a monthly subscription box that is all beach themed stuff. Love it! 

The monthly subscription costs $45 per month or it goes down to $40.50 with a subscription. The boxes are shipped around the 20th of the month and contains items that remind you of the beach or you can use at the beach. I get mine fast since I'm right around the corner.

Here is my review of the September 2015 box....with a twist though. 

I love that you can skip a month if you don't love the spoilers. And they give you enough time to decide between all the spoilers and ordering the box. This month the spoilers came out and I had plans of skipping this month. The spoilers include the bag I received (more below) and a bunch of gorgeous shells. 

From the Adrift Gifts website. This month's box is sold out however.

We have a gazillion shells since we have lived in Florida for the last six months. Ashley, the owner of Adrift Gifts, then asked me if I'd like a custom box. So, this review is for that box. 

The first item, above, is a small purse/bag. It is adorable and was made by Not for Navigation. It was custom made for this box and features a navigational chart covering the beaches of Florida. Fun! I will be using this as a gift at some point. 

This small drawstring bag & a starfish. Again, I plan to use this as a gift. That is why I love this box! We recently moved to FL and I'm still sending friends back home beach themed items.

We have been to Venice, FL many times. The sand here is darker and Venice is about 1/2 hour south of where we have been renting. I'll be putting the sand in the little bottle that was included in this box. 
And here is the little bottle. Each comes with a rolled up slip of paper and mine said "plot your own course". 

This turtle bottle opener will be a gift too. I'm guessing he is made out of metal. I don't know metals well but this little guy is heavy.

I adore these and I'm keeping them! They are a set of 8 coasters. Love them. 

This Primitives by Kathy notepad is also a keeper for me. And last in the box...

A dish towel that says "The beach is where my heart is". Perfection. 

So, what did you think? My custom box was perfect for me. Again, it wasn't the actual September box but I like mine better. I forgot to take a photo of the packaging but everything was wrapped up in red, white & blue tissue paper with matching twine.

September 23, 2015 - the first day of Autumn

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Weeks in Review - 9/15/15

We have just one month left of living on Anna Maria Island, FL. We knew that our six months living on the most wonderful island in the US (in our opinion) was going to fly and it has!

Yesterday & today have been good days. Some days are horrible (I'm looking at you Thursday), others aren't as bad. When my pills wear off, it isn't good still. It can literally change hour to hour too. I'm thankful that today has been an overall good day.

Tropical storm Erika mostly broke up before it hit us here in Anna Maria Island. We did have some great rain storms though. I love the drama of Gulf storms.

"Our" garden (i.e. our rental garden) is due for a good clean up. My hubby started this past week. I will miss these moss covered stepping stones.

FL has lizards everywhere. They spook easily and run away quickly so I don't have a problem with them. Plus, they are kind of cool.

Has everyone else tried cotton candy grapes? Yum! They are a bit pricey here ($3.99 a pound) but they are totally worth it.

My hair is getting a bit crazy. I have medium brown hair dye to throw in this mop before my sister's wedding next month. It takes three boxes of hair dye to cover it all. I seriously think it has grown since I took this photo about two weeks ago. I'm about a year overdue for a hair cut but I'm waiting until after the wedding. I'm hoping to have 10" to donate.

My favorite activity is to sit at the beach and read. Thankfully we have a library just down the road about a mile. I loved that a previous reader fixed the grammar throughout my last book.

When I get to the library, I just kind of wander and pull books off the shelf. I'll read almost anything that doesn't look scary. This was one of those books. I was reading it and it turns out the book setting was Anna Maria Island! They reference so many of my favorite AMI places including...Publix! That is our grocery store. We shop there weekly and it was fun to see in a book.

And speaking of plopping down on the beach...I have gone through several beach chairs this summer. I cannot lower myself slowly into the chair due to my bad knee. So I wind up plopping hard and ripping the fabric. My wonderful hubby fixed this by using a piece of wood instead of the usual fabric. It has held up for over a month now. Nice!

We have been trying to get to the beach a few mornings a week. It is still in the upper 80's here (today it did hit 90!) but we can tell the water is turning colder.

After the storms, we had a lot of seaweed on the shore. This day the Gulf looked more like a lake.

Waves! I don't mind even though it keeps me out of the water. I can still soak my legs and read, read, read.

This was today (Tuesday) and the water went back to being clear.

Shells! The tide was out this morning and you could see all the shells.

Now...some real news! 

Our home in PA

We accepted an offer on our home back in PA. The buyers had the inspection last week and it seems good. The next step is to have their bank appraise it.

And... We also put a deposit on a small villa/home here in FL. We may have a place to live when our rental is finished. So that is great news.

How great are these post cards? I'm totally using them as our "we've moved" announcements.
It is about 9 miles from the beach in a gated community. We are calling it small but it is around 1300 sq ft. with basically no garage or basement. We are going to have to get creative with storage. Our villa is across from the community pool which is heated year round. I don't have a photo of the villa just yet (well, I do, but the outside shot is blurry).

This isn't a "done deal" since we know from experience that our buyers can back out last minute. But we are trusting God.

With that said, we have been selling off some of our yard sale finds. We didn't know what furniture we needed when we started collecting stuff and so we collected a lot. Ha.

Now that we know we will be in a villa, our space is a bit more limited. We are pairing down once again. You have no idea of how much I love selling stuff. We are keeping a few choice pieces and selling the rest.
Kitchen cabinets, purchased for $250, sold for $500!

I hope everyone has a great day.