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Our Fixer Upper!

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Our Fixer Upper!

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This post has been a long time coming! When Tommy and I got married, we lived in a rental property managed by one of his friends. It was a great first place in a prime location off York Road and we will never forget all the memories we made there. There’s something so special about the first place you come home to as a married couple.

Tommy rehabs homes for a living and he is also a real estate agent. That being said, our search for our first home was very long and at times difficult!! I am quite impulsive and was ready to jump on any house we went and saw. Tommy, on the other hand, knew exactly what we needed and wasn’t going to settle! As frustrated as I got at times, I am so thankful now!! I love our house and couldn’t imagine being in any of the other houses we looked at.

Tommy had been searching and searching for the perfect house to flip for us when he came across our current home. It was early July, and he actually put an offer in before I even saw it!! The offer was accepted and we closed in August and he began renovations. The ENTIRE home needed to be gutted. It was very outdated and in need of a lot of TLC! On top of his normal work, he would come here every night and stay until midnight most nights working to finish our house. We had new tenants moving in our rental in late October so we knew we needed to be out by then. Besides the help of his dad and a few friends, he pretty much did absolutely everything himself. Impressive, right?! Everything from the plumbing to electric to knocking down walls, installing cabinets, etc, etc, etc. Not only that, be he finished the entire house in the nick of time (3 months!!!!) and we were able to move in!!

It was a stressful few months! I wanted to be able to help more than just picking out paint colors, cabinets, vanities, light fixtures, etc. I wanted to be able to help him with everything else but the reality is I was more in the way than I was helpful, so I stuck with things like cleaning the windows and painting the trim and removing wallpaper… HA!

Almost a year later, we are so happy to be settled in and have most things done! There are still a few projects (deck, front porch, etc) that we would love to accomplish in the next year or so, but with a baby on the way, who knows what will happen!

Enjoy these before and after photos!


EXTERIOR

We removed quite a few trees and it makes such a difference both outside and inside!! There’s so much more natural light in our home now! In the spring, Tommy did the landscaping, we power washed the fence and entire house, and painted all the shutters and front door navy blue! We still would love to put a railing up the stairs and around the front steps, but will likely do it sometime over the next year!

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STAIRCASE

Starting from the front door when you walk in, there’s a stair case straight ahead. Before it was walled on both sides. Tommy removed the right hand wall to open up the kitchen/dining room. It doesn’t seem like a huge deal, but BOY does it make a huge difference! So much more light flows in the kitchen from the front door now!

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STAIRCASE AND DINING ROOM

To the right of the front door is our dining room and kitchen! As you can see, before there was a wall between the kitchen and dining room. We knocked that down and created an island (technically a peninsula) It makes the room feel so much bigger!

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KITCHEN

We decided to go ahead and tooth hardwood into the kitchen (there was laminate there before) and then refinished all of the flooring throughout the first and second floor.

The gutted kitchen, a very scary sight!

The gutted kitchen, a very scary sight!

Finley was OVER all the wallpaper in this house.

Finley was OVER all the wallpaper in this house.

Let the demo begin!! First few knocks breaking down the kitchen wall!

Let the demo begin!! First few knocks breaking down the kitchen wall!


ANOTHER KITCHEN VIEW

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FIRST FLOOR HALF BATH

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and during! Faming the bathroom.

and during! Faming the bathroom.


FAMILY ROOM

We removed all the wallpaper and paneling, refinished the floors, added trim, tommy built a new mantle, and I white washed the fire place! Since this photo, the second shelf has been decorated, fyi!! ha!

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TOP OF STAIRS

When we got the house, there were 4 bedrooms- 2 on each side of the house. We decided to take one side and combine two of the bedrooms to make a master bedroom with a bathroom and walk-in closet. So as you can see we closed off the door on the right. That bedroom is now the bathroom/closet.

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MASTER BEDROOM

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MASTER BEDROOM ENTRANCE TO BATHROOM/CLOSET

As you can see, we turned this wall into a space for my dresser and then an entrance to the bathroom.

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MASTER BATHROOM (FORMERLY A 4th BEDROOM)

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There’s a big tree that blocks this window, however, we have still frosted this window since this photo was taken!! Would be quite the view for our neighbors every morning!!!

There’s a big tree that blocks this window, however, we have still frosted this window since this photo was taken!! Would be quite the view for our neighbors every morning!!!

… and my awesome walk in closet that has since been filled completely! So excited to have all my winter and summer clothes up year round instead of having to pack away clothes every season! There is another large closet on the left in our bedroom that Tommy uses.

… and my awesome walk in closet that has since been filled completely! So excited to have all my winter and summer clothes up year round instead of having to pack away clothes every season! There is another large closet on the left in our bedroom that Tommy uses.


UPSTAIRS HALL BATH

As tempting as it was to keep the moldy jacuzzi, we decide to replace it with a fresh tub and tile ( and everything else!!) Much better, huh? A whole lot cleaner too! Don’t mind the coors light can. I would blame it on the old owners, but it was likely Tommy’s 😂! He needed it with this project, that’s for sure!

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Working hard!

Working hard!


GUEST BEDROOM/NURSERY

When we first moved in, we set this up as a guest bedroom (with a bunch of random furniture and bed coverings), only to find out a month later that we were pregnant!! SO, it quickly went from a guest bedroom to a nursery! So here is before and after #1 and after #2. Haha! The only thing left I need for the nursery is a rug. The rug photographed is too small. (20 days until due date!!)

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OFFICE

This room has been finished, however, we JUST converted it from an office to the guest bedroom because we moved the office downstairs (I will explain below in basement section) so it is a work in progress. To be updated… here is the before photo and the only photo I could find in my phone of the office before we moved it! Such a shame because it was actually really cute! To be updated with a photo of the new, very tiny, guest room.

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BASEMENT

We don’t use the basement much, but the dogs love it! This is where they hang out whenever we are not home. We recently moved Tommy’s office from the third bedroom to the basement corner (behind laundry room door) so that once Henry arrives, he will be able to work, make phone calls, etc. etc. without a crying baby in the background :)

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LAUNDRY ROOM

You can’t see in the photo, but on the left there’s actually another fridge and a closet that we use to store cleaning supplies, extra paper towels, toilet paper, etc. Its nice having a fourth bathroom in the basement although it doesn’t get used as often as the others! We also have a ton of storage back in the room behind the closed door— not the prettiest site though!

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If you’ve made it this far, thanks for following along!!! We are excited and proud to show off our hard work!! It truly has been a labor of love and we are so grateful to have had the opportunity to rehab this home. We are so excited to call it ours and eager to bring our baby home to this house in just a few weeks. It’s certainly not perfect and there’s still work to be done (isn’t that’s always the case?), but it’s perfect for us and we will continue to accomplish little projects in the next year or so.

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Garrett + Sarah Married {Baltimore Museum of Industry Wedding}

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Garrett + Sarah Married {Baltimore Museum of Industry Wedding}

I am so excited to share this wedding from mid-June! Garrett and Sarah tied the knot at the Baltimore Museum of Industry downtown and it was all around an absolutely gorgeous day.

These lovebirds met while volunteering at the firehouse a few years back and have stuck through many miles of long distance as they finished school. They suit each other perfectly and every little detail of their day reflected their personalities and relationship with one another. Everything from their romantic first look to their heartfelt, hand-written vows was absolutely perfect.

Congratulations Dr. and Mrs. Cavaliere! I couldn’t be happier for the two of you and excited for your new life together in Baltimore!

DRESS | David’s Bridal, Melissa Sweet

FLORIST | Scentsational florists

CEREMONY GARLAND | Garlands of Eden

CEREMONY AND RECEPTION VENUE | Baltimore Museum of Industry

DJ | DJ AJ Smith Productions 

CAKE | Grauls

CATERING | Zeffert and Gold

BRIDESMAID DRESS | Purbelle

GROOM AND GROOMSMEN ATTIRE: Apartment 9

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Christina + Fred Married {The Mansion at Valley Country Club, Towson, Maryland}

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Christina + Fred Married {The Mansion at Valley Country Club, Towson, Maryland}

I just love Christina and Fred. I knew after their engagement session last summer that their wedding would be one for the books.

They are super laidback and quite possibly the easiest couple EVER to work with! They are both the kindest, friendliest people, and it’s no surprise that they fit so well together. They truly bring out the best in each other and I feel so honored to have been able to capture a glimpse into their love through my camera! At her OWN wedding, Christina continued to check on me and make sure I had eaten and gotten dessert, had water, etc throughout the entire day….. talk about thoughtful.

While editing these photos, I couldn’t help but smile as i went through the images and saw everyones happy faces. Their love truly filled up the whole room.

Christina and Fred got married privately at the Towson Courthouse in the morning and then celebrated at their reception with all their friends and family in the evening at the beautiful Mansion at Valley Country Club.

It poured for hours prior to their reception, and then completely stopped right before we headed outside for their first look and portraits! Such a blessing!

Thank you Christina and Fred for trusting me to capture this special day. I wish you years and years and years of happiness and wedded bliss. Enjoy every second of your honeymoon in Florida!

Dress | Lily’s Bridal and Prom Boutique Website

Florist | Stacy Bowen

Ceremony Venue | Courthouse Baltimore County, Towson, MD

Reception Venue | The Mansion at Valley Country Club

DJ/ Entertainment Services | Music Masters

Cake | Cake by Jason Hisley

Catering | The Mansion at Valley Country Club

Grooms Attire | Christopher Schafer Clothier

Favors | Otterbein Cookies

Guestbook and Welcome Sign | Dave Taylor’s 3D Wood Art

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Baby Eliana {Baltimore, Maryland Newborn Photographer}

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Baby Eliana {Baltimore, Maryland Newborn Photographer}

I loved meeting the Snyder family! They are thrilled to welcome their first born baby girl, Eliana. She was so great for her session! She made us laugh with her tongue— she truly loves it!! We got so many photos fo her sticking it out at us! Ha!

Her nursery is beautiful and so well done. it was a great place to take all of these photos! Their yellow lab, Wyatt, was amazing for the photos as well. We only bribed him with one or two (or maybe 10) pretzel sticks! We became bffs by the time I was finished!!

Thank you Snyder family for trusting me with Eliana’s photos. It was so nice to meet the four of you! Enjoy these photos :)

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Introducing Hallie Rae Paulovkin! {Baltimore, Maryland Birth Story and Fresh 48 Photographer}

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Introducing Hallie Rae Paulovkin! {Baltimore, Maryland Birth Story and Fresh 48 Photographer}

One month ago, Hallie Rae Paulovkin was born. Capturing her birth was by far the most memorable photography experience I’ve had to date. 

Anna Grace and her husband Kevin beautifully captured our wedding day in August of 2017 and we have remained friends since! We go to the same church and Tommy and I have gotten to spend many Sunday’s with their sweet two year old, Payton, while volunteering in the nursery!

I was absolutely thrilled to find out they were pregnant with their second and even more thrilled when AG emailed me about birth and fresh 48 photos. I knew it would be an amazing opportunity but I didn’t quite understand just how special it would be!

Hallie’s due date was Sunday, October 21st but she clearly was SUPER comfy because she didn’t make her appearance until the following Friday, October 26th!

Around 1 PM on Friday, I went to St. Joes and the waiting game began! Around 8:45 PM, Kevin called me in and after two pushes Hallie made her debut at 9:02pm!! I was in tears watching the whole thing! Childbirth is simply incredible. 

After being cleaned off, Hallie was measured and weighed, given her shots, and swaddled up tightly so Kevin and Ag could hold her!

The next day, I went back to the hospital and did some family photos of the four of them! Payton wasn’t so sure about her new role as big sister, but we managed to still get a few :)

Enjoy these photos!

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Brendan + Elizabeth {Fell's Point Maternity Photographer}

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Brendan + Elizabeth {Fell's Point Maternity Photographer}

I loved spending a few hours with my cousin Brendan & his wife Elizabeth in Fell’s Point to take photos while they were pregnant with their first! It’s so rare to be able to spend time with just ONE of my cousins. My mom is the youngest of 9 so I’ve got a whoooole LOT of them. Like 37 I think?! 😂  

We had a great time in Fell’s on a beautiful evening! These two are so sweet together and their love and chemistry is undeniable! I remember being at their wedding like it was yesterday and it is so exciting that they are now growing their family by ten little fingers and toes!!! 

Stay tuned for their newborn photos coming soon!

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