First off, I want to wish my readers a happy, blessed and very prosperous 2014 =)
2013 came and went by really fast, ours was filled with lots of blessings - my baby bro got engaged, Mom and Dad have taken countless trips with their barkada (enjoying their retirement, obviously), big sis and family finally getting their permanent resident cards, us moving to a new place (a house!) and Swe-cha starting to become verbal (nothing tops that!).
The latter part of 2013 - starting in October - was very toxic for us as we were spending every spare moment packing and moving. We moved to our new place just before Thanksgiving but we would be spending the next few weekends and holidays in the old place, frantically trying to get it fixed & packed up enough to be put on the market. We finally got that done yesterday, I think, and we dropped off the keys at the listing agent's office this morning. We are keeping our fingers (and everything we can) crossed and are hoping for a quick and smooth sale - please pray for us!
We saw our first big snowstorm in 2014 this weekend. NJ declared a state of emergency so both hubby and I opted to work from home last Friday, it was a blessing because school and daycare were both closed too and it was much easier (with Swe-cha) if both of us are home.
Hubby spent most of Saturday packing up the old place and hauled a lot of our stuff back to the new place. There are still some stuff left, sigh, but he was able to put them away in the hall closet so the house should still be ready to show, even with some of our personal stuff still left there.
On the (Breezy) home front, we unpacked a few more boxes over the Christmas and New Year holidays so we're doing okay. We're still chock-full of boxes for now but we'll get unpacked eventually. Hubby and I did a quick visit to a furniture shop one weekend and got to see different options but we didn't see a couch / sofa that we we both like yet but, again, we'll get there eventually, we're not in a hurry.
In the meantime, we're still tackling the lighting situation. We got a few more bulbs and switches replaced this weekend. I stopped tallying up expenses a long time ago but if my calculations are right, we have already spent close to $800 on lighting alone. These LEDs and switches don't come cheap =( I'm just hoping that they last long enough for the savings to catch up to their cost.
A few weeks ago I bought a motion-sensor switch for the basement, we always leave the lights on and then forget to turn it off. Unfortunately, the sensor switch didn't work with the ballast-fluorescent lighting currently installed there and since I've already opened the clamshell packaging and the product wasn't defective (we tested it out in another location), I couldn't return it and told hubby that it might be a good idea to install it in the garage instead. He said no and said to just keep it for when we refinish the basement.
I love the convenience of being able to just step into the garage and grab a broom and dustpan (or whatever) and not have to fumble around for the light switch. We also replaced the bulb with a 40-watt equivalent daylight CFL but I think the space needs a brighter light, we'll replace that in the future and, yes, the garage needs a fresh coat of paint but this will have to wait till the weather gets warmer.
We also replaced the light bulbs in the master bathroom vanity this weekend. We planned to just get CFLs (cheaper) and replace the switch with a standard switch (cheaper too) but we couldn't find any decorative CFL bulbs that seemed suitable for the vanity light so we went with LEDs instead. The lights turned out to be dimmable so we just put in an appropriate switch. I'm happy to find that the old bulbs installed were 40 watts each (there were 5 of them) and the replacement 4-watt LEDs turned out to be much much brighter than the old ones even though they're supposed to be 40 watt equivalents as well.
All these lighting improvements we're installed make me feel so much better. I have less panic-attacks now whenever I see hubby and Swe-cha turn lights on full blast and leave them on.