Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Curve Ball

So we are completely under contract with the house I posted yesterday.  But there is now a curve ball.  We may have the opportunity to buy back our old house for $25k less than we sold it (and it is worth about $20k more than that with the market appreciating).  

There is a price difference in the two houses, but we could afford either.  I am at a loss as to what to do.  I love our old house.  I love my friends there and how close it is to the freeway, water park, and pretty much everything -- but it is far enough away from everything too.  

I would paint inside for sure, so I would get to "fix up" a house either way.  The other one is closer to family and most shopping.  And although the price difference is not a problem, it is nice to save more money every month.  Our old house has more potential for value (from an investment standpoint).  

What would you do?  Help!?

2873 S Bear Claw Way, Meridian, ID 83642

Monday, March 26, 2012

Moving On

So much has been happening around here! I'll tell you about one of them today...

To preface this, the house we are living in is going to auction in April and most likely won't be sold to an investor but will go back to the bank.  That means that we will eventually be asked to move.  We've known it all along so this is no surprise.

We made an offer on a house and received a verbal acceptance.  It's an REO (bank owned) and an awesome deal  behind Target and the YMCA.  It's really an awesome location.  The neighborhood is nice too.  The house is 3300 square feet, 4 beds, 3 bath, and screams 1998 (which is cool because that's when I graduated from high school).  Okay, the 1998 part is why I'm so excited about it.  I can't wait to remodel it!  Here it is!  I'll let you know if we really end up buying it.
I'd really love a claw foot tub here.  We'll see how possible that is.

I'm thinking white wainscoting with light gray walls on top, new carpet, and spray paint that gold chandelier.

Maybe white cabinets, white bead board, and stainless steel appliances. 

Mostly this room just needs paint.  I want either gray or ivory.  Ant that mantle will be white.

Can anyone else see the potential here?!

Thursday, March 15, 2012


I am in a creativity slump with a capital S.  But on an exciting note, my dream house is for sale.  Literally.  This is my dream house.  And it's only $1.95 million.  (Sigh) If I only had like $1.9499 million more It would be mine!

Boise Luxury Manor on Waterfront Lot 2280 Bluestem Ln e1331748705347 Boise Luxury Manor on Short Sale, 2280 Bluestem Ln. 

Boise Luxury Manor on Waterfront Lot 2280 Bluestem Ln 5 300x198 Boise Luxury Manor on Short Sale, 2280 Bluestem Ln. 

Boise Luxury Manor on Waterfront Lot 2280 Bluestem Ln 4 300x198 Boise Luxury Manor on Short Sale, 2280 Bluestem Ln. 

Boise Luxury Manor on Waterfront Lot 2280 Bluestem Ln 2 300x198 Boise Luxury Manor on Short Sale, 2280 Bluestem Ln. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Who Doesn't Want a Castle?

You know you want one.  A castle, that is.  And guess what... one is for sale!

No, no.  Don't think you need to go to Europe and worry about a thousand years of upgrades and a lot of zeros.  This one is for sale just outside of Boise.  I mean, we could be neighbors.  And I could visit you in your castle.

Besides the pleasure of my company, you would get a whopping 5.5 acres and 4600 square feet.  For only $350,000.  Now that's a deal!

Boise Castle Boise Castle   Bank Owned   2050 Meridian Rd

If you'd like to see more on this stamped concrete interior-d, medieval (who knew how to spell that word?!) styled house-slash-reception center, visit my good friends at Zillow.  And let me know if you want to make an offer!  There has to be a way to make it look so NOT castle-ish.  

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Get In Shape, Girl!

I have been looking for my old diet and exercise program all morning but haven't been able to find it yet to post for you so I will give you something else today and continue to look for it so you can start your HEALTHY path to this swimsuit season.

I worked for a company called Total Health and Fitness in Utah.  We taught the difference between a diet and an effective nutrition and exercise plan.  I'm going to explain it for you right now.  Actually, THF does it exactly how I would so I'm going to cut the time and take this straight from their website.

Why do so many weight loss programs and diets fail? It is important to understand that altered body composition is achieved through fat-loss and lean muscle gain, not weight loss. This is important because:
  • Calories are burned in muscle tissue. One pound of lean mass burns around 15 to 50 calories a day. On the other hand, one pound of fat only burns 6 calories a day. Plus fat is stored energy, storing nearly 3500 calories per pound.
  • Rapid weight loss or under eating can cause muscle tissue to be used as energy, thus slowing down metabolism and making “rebound dieting” more likely.
  • Muscle is more dense than fat, meaning it takes up less space which means less “inches”.

Incorrect Weight Loss Program

Weight: 200 lbs
Body fat %: 30%
Lean body mass: 140 lbs
Fat mass: 60 lbs
170 lbs
119 lbs
51 lbs
weight loss: 30 lbs
Fat % same
lost 21 lbs lean mass
lost 9 lbs fat mass
The problem with this program and how they lost weight is that they lost lean muscle mass (fat burning machinery), meaning this person in the beginning had a metabolism that could support around 3000 calories a day and stay the same weight. Now at the end of the program because 21 lbs of muscle (fat burning machinery) were lost, this individual can now only support 2000 calories a day. What happens next is devastating. If that person goes back to eating 3000 calories a day, but has now lost 21 lbs of muscle, their metabolism is slower than in the first place and they will get fatter. This happens all the time and is often referred to as “yo yo” dieting.

Correct Exercise & Diet Program

Weight: 200 lbs
Body fat %: 30%
Lean body mass: 140 lbs
Fat mass: 60 lbs
170 lbs
153 lbs
17 lbs
Lost 30 lbs
Lost 20%
Gained 13 lbs lean mass
Lost 43 lbs fat
This exercise and diet program is more effective than the first because of the amount of lean muscle gained. This person had a metabolism that could support 3000 calories to stay the same. Now this person is eating 4000 calories a day and getting leaner because the food intake is sufficient enough to promote muscle gain. The likelihood of this person to “yo yo” is very unlikely.
In order to achieve your fitness goals safely and effectively, while performing the least or optimal amount of exercise and consuming the greatest optimal amount and type of food, it is important to understand the Five Components of Fitness -- food intake, cardio training, resistance training, supplements (I currently only take a multi vitamin and an omega 3 sup), and personal assistance (i.e. someone to be accountable to).

Friday, March 9, 2012

Satin Tulle Skirt

Way back in 2010, before I really thought about crafting more than once a month, I decided to knock-off a skirt I saw at Baby Gap for my daughter.  Of course, since I wasn't doing a craft/DIY blog, I did not take pictures of the process but I'm going to be linking this skirt up at Crafty Cousins' first linky party on Saturday.  

Basically I just sewed layers of gathered tulle onto a satin piece of fabric that I used for the skirt.  I didn't even use a pattern so I can't send you somewhere.  Sorry.

When we were in Utah for the 2010 (I know, forever ago) holidays we had my cousin take our pictures. The temperature was 20 degrees and Morgan didn't smile once and he still did such a great job. Hire him everyone in Utah! www.stowellphotography.com  We love ours!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Idaho Caucus 2012

First of all, I want to thank all of you who have commented and given your opinions to help me out with the house I staged for the builder and for other nice things you have said.  I really appreciate all of you!

Today's post is not a DIY or decor, but something that is important to me.  Please know that I'm not picking a political fight, I'm just sharing my political stance.  I went to the first ever Idaho republican caucus last night.  I dropped Morgan off at my friend's house at 6pm and rode with them to the arena at Boise State where the caucus was held.  Their daughter watched Morgan and I thought we wouldn't be any later than 9pm.  Ha!  I was wrong.  The doors were open until 7pm, then the doors were still open but nobody else could get in line.

We got there around 6:50 and went forever in a line to register and get our hands stamped and a wrist band.  It was super cold and windy so we were lucky that most of the line was inside.

There were 9,000 people in the arena, which is not the best turn out (in my opinion), but it was so late and inconvenient.  It was neat because they started out with a prayer, the pledge of allegiance, and the color guard by the boy scouts.  Super patriotic.  I loved it!

We heard from a delegate from each person for five minutes.  The best was Ron Paul's campaign leader.  If I didn't go into it knowing who I would vote for, I would have totally voted for Ron Paul.  Plus, I learned a lot about him.  Did you know that he was a doctor by profession?  And a grandfather?  The worst was Governor Otter (Idaho's current governor).  He spoke for Mitt Romney and it was the worst speech ever.  It was more of a "let's pat me on the back" speech than a "vote for Romney" speech.  In fact, he mentioned Romney one time.  ONE time!

After we heard from everyone it was time to vote.  They took us out by rows and gave us each a shiny new penny.  Then we went, one at a time, into a booth to cast our vote by placing the penny into a can with a slit.  Totally primitive, right?!  Then they weighed all of the candidate's pennies and the winner got the delegates from Ada county.  

The rules are that if one person doesn't get over 50% of the vote, they take the person with the least votes out and vote again.  By the time they had counted all the votes it was like 10pm and we were all ready to be done.  Thank goodness Romney got over 50% the first time so we all got to go home.

Here are the results of the entire state.  I honestly wouldn't mind if Romney, Paul, or Santorum got it.  I think they all have good messages, but I also think that the country needs some fiscal help and since that was basically Romney's profession, I'd like to see what he can do to fix things.

Willard M. "Mitt" Romney
Ronald Ernest Paul
Richard John "Rick" Santorum

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

It Sold!

I was all doing my morning routine at the gym this morning when the builder of the house I staged came in to workout too.  We started talking about real estate (since that's the #1 thing on my mind lately) and he told me that the house sold!  At approximately $110/sq ft!  And when there are a plethora of homes for sale for $70/sq ft in our market, that says a lot for staging (and I admit that the quality of the house was great too).  I'm so excited!  The APSD national average for days on market is 21.  This one sold in a week!

Here's a recap.

Guys, if you are selling, make sure your house is staged by a professional!  If you don't have the budget for a stager, email me and we can work something out where I tell you what to do.  And if you want to be trained to be a stager, email me too and I can hook you up!  kellinielson @ yahoo.com (no spaces)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Dollar Store Decor

Did everyone have a good weekend?  I hope so.  Mine was not bad.  We looked at houses.  They were all new-builds so they were in pristine condition.  I'm not sure what it is with me and new-builds but I just wasn't feeling it.  Maybe it was the whole cookie-cutter issue or maybe I just need a little something to fix up.  Or (and this is a big or), they were all full price and I have an issue paying full price for anything, even when everything is really on sale right now.  Anyway, I have a new March-ie decor idea for you today -- all from the dollar store.  

I bought two candlestick holders and two cylindrical vases.  

I super glued the vase to the candlestick holder.


Then I put the moss rocks (also from the dollar store) inside them and put them on my mantle for a green St. Patty's decoration.  The middle vase is from Ross, the end two are just bottles with grass from the dollar store, and the candlestick holders are from Tiffany's (so there's obviously a mixture of qualities with them).

Have a great March!  Today is supposed to be 62 degrees in Boise and I'm taking M to the park.  Yay!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

2 Healthy Recipes

I haven't been great at trying new recipes for my family this week but I did get one done.  Utah peeps, have you been to The Bombay House?  It's an Indian place and it is to die for.  Yum.  I love their chicken coconut korma.  LOVE it!  So one night this week I made some healthy korma for us.

I found this recipe at Confessions of a Health Conscious Momma (her pic below, not mine).  I changed it slightly so I'll post her recipe with my changes.

Chicken Spice Marinade:
3 chicken breasts, cut into strips or bite size pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
Mix together and marinade for at least an hour.

Yeah, I didn't do a marinade.  It would probably have been awesome though.  I just cooked the chicken and put it in the korma when it called for it.  And I only used one very large chicken breast (the Dolly breast -- haha!  Slap knee.  I can't help it!).

1 tablespoon vegetable oil -- I honestly don't think you ever need to use oil.  Not ever!  Use nonstick cooking spray instead and just use a little bit of it.
1/2 cup chopped onions -- I read it wrong and used a whole onion -- not bad though.
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne -- I used 1/8 teaspoon and I don't think I would use any next time.  I am a white girl!
2 ripe medium tomatoes, lightly blended (or 1 can diced tomatoes) -- I used 3 romas.
1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
3/4 cup water + 2 tablespoon cornstarch**
1 teaspoon salt
1 can coconut milk -- I used the light coconut milk that you find in the Asian section.
1 teaspoon garam marsala
1/4 cup golden raisins (optional)
1/4 cup cashews, chopped (optional)
garnish with cilantro (optional)

Spray large fry pan with non stick spray and brown marinated chicken over medium heat, but do not cook all the way through.
In a large pan add oil, garlic, onions, and ginger and cook over medium heat until onions are translucent. Then add the remaining spices (except salt and marsala) and cook for another minute. After that, add the tomatoes and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the yogurt and blend in with a wire whisk. Then add the browned chicken, water cornstarch slurry and salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Stir in the coconut milk, garam masala, and golden raisins then simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the sauce becomes fairly thick. Serve over brown jasmine rice and top with cashews and cilantro if using. 

The next recipe is for chocolate chip pancakes -- super healthy style!

1 whole egg
1 egg white
1/2 cup ground oatmeal (you can grind it in a food processor)
1 teeny tiny hand full of chocolate chips (or use blueberries for an even healthier option)

Mix everything but chocolate chips to the consistency of pancake batter then add chocolate chips.  Spray your pan with nonfat cooking spray and cook them.  Use a no calorie or light syrup.  Delish and only about 300 calories (entire recipe). 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Staged Master Bedroom

I got the best news yesterday!  Well, maybe not the best of all bests, but the builder texted me to tell me I did a great job and the house looks awesome!  I was a little worried about what he would think.  

So, to commemorate this special event, today I'm going to show you the master bedroom.



during -- I went to RC Willey to pick up this bedroom set specifically for this room and they were out of queens.  I was bummed.  Luckily the sales guy told me that a full is only 6 inches smaller so I bought it and brought my U-haul on over to the back so the guys could load it in for me.  Then I had one heck of a time figuring out the mattress situation.  I borrowed a full blow up from a friend.  That didn't work out so I bought a blow up and that didn't work out either.  This is how it looked with the second blow up mattress -- all tiny and wussy. 

after -- In the end I decided to bring in a queen frame, box springs, and a real mattress.  I'm so glad I did, even though it was a lot more work.  It looks so much better.  

If you look at the black and white chair above, you will see that there is a gift on it.  Here is a picture of the gift.  The card says "Happy Anniversary."  Remember the theme from the kitchen (posted two days ago)?  Well, I brought it into the bedroom too.

Here's one of my favorite touches -- the picture on the nightstand.  

One of my super cool friends took this for their engagement pictures.  When I thought of how I would stage this house I immediately thought of her and this picture.  I'm staging it for either a young couple with kids at a babysitter's or an empty-nester couple, right?  Well, this picture could be either of those.  It could be an old picture or it could be a recent picture.  Who knows?  Well, I do and so do you now but you know what I mean.

So again... before
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