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5.11.2016

Deb and the Disney Darlings



A few weeks back, I wrote a guest post for the Disney Darlings blog.

Haven't heard of that one yet? ;)
The Darlings share photos, video, news, and tips for enjoying all things Disney, 
contributed by bonafide Disney Fans & Experts who, like me,
have spent their lives being enchanted by the magic at The Happiest Places on Earth.

Chock-full of tips that will help you out on your next visit to Disney's Original Magic Kingdom,  
gives you locations in each 'land' in the Park where you can find 
a little bit of shade, quiet, a place to sit or get a snack, restrooms, and peace of mind.
That's especially helpful information to have when you take young children to the Park.




I've been lucky enough to have grown up visiting Disneyland. Visiting a lot...


My grandpa and uncle were electricians who helped build several attractions in the Park
(It's a Small World, Tiki Room, Mr. Lincoln, Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean)
and we lived just blocks away.
I marched down Main Street USA with my high school marching band & color guard many times,
and I was a Cast Member at the Disneyland Resort, working in the retail stores as a visual specialist.
My whole family gathered at Disneyland in July, 2014 for a huge family reunion.


In the process of spending time there throughout my life
as a child, a teen, an adult, a cast member, an aunt, a parent AND a grandparent,
I've discovered some tricks and tips that can make all the difference!
When the opportunity came to share those tips with the readers of Disney Darlings,
I was honored to provide them with content on a subject so dear to my heart.

I hope you enjoy it, too...


Click on over to the Disney Darlings blog to read my post!



4.25.2016

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Kitchen....

I'm SO overwhelmed, you guys.... moving is exhausting!
I'm trying really hard to catch up here, and get the timeline photos in order to create a slideshow for you...
but it's just.not.working. Photobucket hates me.
I swear technology is out to get me lately.

So rather than 'begin at the beginning',
I'm just going to jump right into a funny chapter in the story of this new house. OK?
I've been documenting the progress all along - from bare ground to finished home.
One day, I was looking through my images to find something I needed,
and I suddenly realized that there was something VERY VERY WRONG going on.

I actually flipped back and forth through a few particular images several times, 
furrowing my brow and wondering what was catching my eye - 
because I literally couldn't figure out what was bothering me.
I looked for a while more and then
BAM!
I saw it. and I laughed.
Because.... well, it's kinda' hard NOT to see.

But the thing is a LOT of people didn't see it.
Not the installers, not the construction lead, not the supervisor, and not the customer service rep.
Honestly, *I* didn't even notice it when I was standing IN THE ROOM in front of it.
We've been in this house all along, sneaking in after hours and on weekends
to keep track of the progress...
dancing with joy as every phase was completed and it became more and more 'real'.
I even snapped that photo used with the Project HOMEward logo and didn't see it!!!
It took the perspective of comparing several photos to reveal the problem.


Let's see if YOU can see it:

Well??? Didja' SEE it?
Let's try one more time:

dear heavens.
THOSE CABINETS!
yeah. somehow, one entire HUGE section of upper kitchen cabs was installed WRONG.
Like, 'six inches too high' wrong!
After seeing the photos, Mom and I went back out to the job site.
Looked at the left side, then the right side.
Yup. WRONG.
The right side was hung closer to the ceiling. 6" closer!
Heck, I could barely reach the microwave handle... and Mom just looked up (WAY up) at it forlornly.
I stood in front of the sink to make sure I wasn't seeing things... nope.
BIG problem. HUGE. (ThankyouJuliaRoberts)

Then we went to the model, and I measured the cabs there. uh huh. no problems:

SO we went to our sales rep, showed her my photos of our cabs,
and she screeched. Then she laughed.
Then she got on the phone and called the supervisor and said 'We gotta' FIX THIS! NOW!'
You see, our final walk-through was the next day.

We went home, assured that they would address the issue in time for our walk through.
And when we showed up the next day, they had lowered the entire bank of cabinets by 6",
which included cutting the granite backsplash behind the gas cooktop AND repainting the upper wall.
All in one day.
And it looked AMAZING:

Our customer service rep, Chip (yeah, really... and his wife is Julie, so he calls her JuJu: Chip and JuJu ;) ) 
was completely, utterly stymied by the fact that I had caught a mistake that over five people had missed.
THIS is one more reason why we are so impressed with Pardee Homes...
if there's a question, a problem, an issue... they FIX IT. Promptly.

So... let's see if I can't follow that lead and get back in the groove here on the blog,
to share more of this new house process with you in the coming weeks, OK?!
Thanks for hanging in there with me!

4.18.2016

Orange You Glad?!

My friends, I just can't EVEN begin to tell you
what a pain some parts of this move have been......
and I won't try. You don't need to hear me whine. (WINE, yes. Whine, no.)

Suffice it to say that I am bogarting wifi from a friend right now just to write this post.
Rather than be rude and take up her time, I'm just popping in here to say
"Hi, everyone! I'm still around! 
     Hang in there with me and the hWf blog will be back as soon as possible!" ;)
Until then, I thought I'd share some of the photos from my design files 
that are serving as inspiration for our Project HOMEward decor scheme.
 Yep, that's ORANGE!
Paired with neutrals and some industrial farmhouse style, 
things are shaping up slowly but surely...
As soon as I have internet service I will gladly share more photos!
(Don't ask about the way Verizon handed things over to Frontier on April 1
and left customers in the lurch...)
Until then, make sure you follow me on Instagram and Facebook!

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3.30.2016

It's Moving Week!

It's finally here...
Today, escrow closed and Mom got the keys to the new house!

We popped the cork on a split of bubbly and toasted her new digs, 
our new adventure, and spoke a blessing over the house.
(that blessing has a story, and I'll be sharing it in a later decorating post)
We also offered a heartfelt 'Thank You' to Dad, for making sure Mom was taken care of
so that she could make sound decisions - like buying this house and selling the old one.
I am so grateful that he made sure she'd be financially okay without him.

...and then we walked around the house, and smiled, and talked about decorating.
 I just can't say enough good things about Pardee Homes. Seriously.

The sales rep we worked with, Linda B, was a ray of sunshine straight from the heart of Texas. The woman has a way with words and her sweet voice that gets things DONE.
There were no major issues with the house, but there were a few things along the way that we noticed and asked about. Linda clarified the process for us, and handled any glitch with grace and efficiency. The company addressed them immediately  - done, and done.

Our project manager/supervisor, whom our designer Lissa dubbed 'Super Scott', was simply amazing. The man was on top of EVERYTHING and when a glitch did come up, there he  was, making sure things were up to snuff in record time. I don't think he ever goes home.

Even our customer service rep, Chip H (He told us that his wife's name is Julie, so he calls her JuJu, instead of JoJo! Chip and JuJu!) was on totally top of things. As we did the walk through on Monday, Chip tagged little things like paint drips, a dirty window, some grout visible on the floor tiles... and I swear to you, within half an hour there was another CS agent - Alan - on site doing all of the pickup work! By the time we finished the walk through paperwork, the pickup list was done! The one thing we missed was a crack in one of our gorgeous floor tiles - but Alan caught it and called the tiler, and as we walked out of the house, the tile guy was already replacing the tile! This level of customer service is phenomenal anywhere, but from a production builder? Color me VERY impressed!

So now, we're packing the last boxes so that when the Bekins moving crew arrives at 'the old house' on Wednesday morning, everything is ready for them to load up. They'll be packing up the kitchen, too, because we trust them to pack it well for transport. And Thursday, they'll deliver to and unload into the new house!

Speaking of that unloading part...
I've been watching Joanna Gaines carefully, to master a maneuver she does that I have always had trouble with: 'The Designer Point'. I've never been good at it. I just jump in and grab things and start moving them myself. Well, not any more! I'm going to utilize 'The Designer Point' - paired with a smile, of course! - to direct the crew as THEY move the heavy stuff: "Yes, that table will go right over there in the corner of the living room... oh, the other corner. A bit closer to the window, maybe? Yes! Thank you!" ;)
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