Where to begin? There is so much I need to get you all caught up on. So I think I will just start with the basics. Below is the progression of our house being built. I never did show the final outcome of the exterior, so that should make you happy. Next post will be a tour of the inside. We have a lot of projects planned, so it is important to get a good group of “before” pictures. Anyway enjoy!

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Stay Tuned!

Ok, so I wanted to do a video tour for you guys today, but alas. Remember this guy.

Well the tile guys have been in the house for a couple days now, and so I can’t get in to video. Boo. So I will try to get in this weekend and post something on Monday.

Some things you will see are light fixtures, door knobs, AC units installed, tile floors, etc. Should look like a real house…almost.

We are getting excited as the countdown begins. December 15th is the close date and we are now less then a month away. I hope everyone has a great weekend and wonderful Thanksgiving!


Gobble gobble.

Things are really moving now!

Well there is a lot to report now! So much so, that if I were to go through it all, this would be an insanely long post. So I am going to sum it up as best as I possibly can. Skipping a lot of in-between steps. (As well as a few days. Sorry! I know I am late.)

First this guy showed up. Which gave me “hope” that it meant something.

Enough hope that my thoughts were something like “Gee, that is a lot of trim…” or “I hope that hope sign means it’s time to work on the inside.”

Second was so exciting. They FINALLY finished the brick and placed the shutters on!

This is not the final color by the way. They have yet to be stained. Here is the house with all its brick and (unstained) shutter glory. Also you may note that the lovely guest bathroom has shifted.

Le sigh. I am so happy.

Thirdly, these guys made an appearance.

and were installed before you could say “triscadecaphobia.”

Fourthly, I was right to hope and wonder. All that trim was quickly used and installed in all the proper places, shelving included.And I finally got to see what kind of fireplace we were getting. I never saw a photo or sample, so it was sort of surprise. Today it is all white, but I forgot to photograph it. Oops.

Fifth was a miracle.

Cabinets appeared! Not just in the kitchen, but the bathrooms too. If you look closely you can see that the trim and baseboards are all painted white at this point. Which brings us to number…

Six. Meanwhile the railing and wood at the stairs was installed and stained as well as another surprise.

These are my office doors. I was led to believe they would be white like the rest of the doors in the house. But alas they are stained as well. I am so happy! It is a really nice wood. Another surprise is Dan in the picture. I did not know he was there.

And lets not forget lucky number seven. While all the inside commotion was occurring, we got another addition to the exterior of the house.

Our front walkway. How nice.

So what a busy couple weeks!

Of course a lot more then that happened. But I just don’t have the photos. Here is a quick list. With fancy bullets to make it more special.

  • All closet shelving was complete
  • garage door installed
  • back patio stairs were poured as well as the slab for the AC units
  • The interior paint was done over the weekend and completed today, more on that in a minute
  • a bunch of tiny fixes and corrections and whatnots.

So you will notice that my walls seem very, well, um, white. You probably assumed that was a mistake, or the paint was not yet completed. Or Tannie lost her mind. Alas that is not true. I am a lover of color, but when we discovered that whatever paint we picked would not just be applied on the walls, but the ceiling as well…well that was no bueno. I knew I would be painting the rooms all sorts of colors, so I could not have the ceiling clashing with said rooms, or dictating what colors I am limited too. Remember The Smithocracy is NOT a dicatorship. Therefore we felt it was in the best interest of freedom and self expression to go with “Designer White”. Or as I refer to is as “blah blah blah.” Yes it means that when be move in, our house is going to be very boring and sterile. Yes it means I will be super paranoid every time one of my kids even looks at the wall with a grimy finger. However! I have before me a blank canvas where my ceiling will not boss me into a color corner of any sort. The ceilings will be white and my walls will be free.

Now for one last picture. A little sneak peek into what we can expect for this week.

So exciting! I feel a video tour will be appropriate for the next update.  See you then!



Friday is Monday.

At least for today! Sorry I dropped the ball my friends. I let myself get distracted with errands and other real life events. So obviously, I did not get to The Friday Update. I assume you all survived just fine without it. But just in case…here it is now!

And it’s a good thing I waited because so much happened, not just last week, but over the weekend as well!

Last week amazing things happened to the outside of the home. It got a little bling, aka, brick! Here is how it went…

If they keep up the pace they should be completely done with the front today, and started on the back. Both sides are complete. I love the brick, but I have to admit that it is not anywhere near the color we thought we picked. The sample of this brick was very grey. The actual brick turned out to be more brown. But it is still nice.

Then in exactly two days they did this.

That’s right folks, we’ve got drywall. From floor to ceiling, the dry wall was complete in two days. I am not even sure it took the two full days. They started later on Friday and then were cleaning up around 2pm on Saturday. Pretty amazing, especially if you are a person that has ever worked with drywall before. When you don’t have a crew of really strong guys and all the right tools, let just say it takes longer. MUCH longer.

So that is where we are at so far. Pretty exciting to see all the walls up and the house taking shape. I can’t wait to see the brick finished and the front walk put in. However, the thing I am most excited for is the day they remove that gross outhouse from the front yard. YUCK! Seriously that thing is so annoying.

Dan and I are super excited for all the projects we have planned when the house is complete and we can’t wait to share them! Hope you had a  great weekend!

Friday Update

Hello! Well this week has been rather interesting. It FINALLY RAINED last weekend!  Which is so great for the Austin area. However, it is not so great for building  a house. So you will notice the surprising lack of pictures in this post. Sorry about that! Not much has been done, but at the same time TONS has been done. It just all went inward and a lot of little things that really aren’t worth photographing. So here is what was done.

  • Roof shingles were completed as of today
  • Chicken wire attached in order to prep for the stucco
  • Lots of corrections were done. For example they had installed the wrong sized door, and now it is the right door. Or a step was not level, so now they leveled it
  • piping and electrical has been done

So just a lot of little things, that would be boring to look at anyway. However (when I can’t take photos of course) TODAY they are putting on the stucco and some real doors showed up, they blocked out the kitchen island, and we have the pre-drywall meeting set for Monday morning. So major action is happening at The Smithocracy Domain.

So be prepared my peeps! I will have plenty of photos and your very first video tour next week.  I know I know, the excitement is just too much.

Now something else exciting going on is that my Brother just opened up his second restaurant in Round Rock. It is called CraigOs Pizza and Pastaria. His first store is on 2222 and balcones. Here is the website for that store. Designed by yours truly.

The new store is located at 661 Louis henna blvd. Suite 450 and does not have a website…yet.

It IS SO delicious.

I know that sounds like something I should say as a good sister. But I am not kidding, the food is terrific. So tomorrow he is having his grand opening celebration and pizza is 50% off all day long! Dan and I will also be there doing some kids activities from 11-2. I will be painting faces and Dan will be a clown, but not a scary one. So fun for the whole family!

So if you are in the Round Rock area head on over and check it out! I will post pictures from it on Monday. It will be our little DIY because I also helped contribute in getting the store decorated.  Which is still a work in progress by the way, so no judging.

In fact, keep checking in on The Smithocracy, because coming up next week is a CraigOs food review where I will also be doing my first giveaway!  Hooray!

What about you? Do you have anything fun planned for tomorrow?

Have a great weekend everybody!

Friday Update

You know what time it is! It is Friday Update time. That’s right folks, we have ourselves a full blown Tradition. Wonderful, wonderful.

Lets see last time…

we left you here.

house framedA house of sticks. Stay away all you wolves!

Today we have…

Ta da!!!!!!!!! Windows, and walls and a roof! Incredible! It looks like a house.

Here is a look from the backside.

Baby’s got back.

Now the work has started to move to the inside, where we have the following…

A future tub and…

a real tub and…

Our own in-house alien. Or as some call it, Air Conditioning ducts, and…

a fireplace!  Good times, good times.

So that is where we stand as far as our house goes for this week. Not sure what is up it’s sleeve for next week. I guess we will have to wait and see.

As exciting as all that is, it is not what I actually want to talk about, what I really want to talk about is…


What the heck is happening.  My whole life I have had straight, straight hair. And long. Most of you probably thought I always had short hair. Well that is a trick. I cut it right before I moved back to Texas. So I have only been a Short Hair for 5 years. All the rest of the time I looked like this, or at least my hair did. I hope my face didn’t look like that all the time! That would be sad. Don’t tell me if it does…

Great hair picture, bad rest of me picture. But this is not ABOUT the rest of me.

Now that I decided to grow it out again, something crazy has happened and I don’t know when it started! I took this picture this morning and tell me if you can see the difference.

CurlsNo, it’s not that I’m older, although I am. And it’s not that I am now facing the camera, rather then away. I AM still making a weird face, so that is the same. This is why you won’t see a lot of me on here. I am a weird face maker.

NO! The difference is CURLS. My hair is growing out curly.

what. the. crap.

How does my hair just change like that? I have no idea how to do curly hair. Every day is a disaster, so I just wear it up all the time. I need help! How do you do curly hair? How do you help it look good and not…um…not good. Any advice would be welcome!

Have you ever had something familiar randomly change on you?


The Friday Update

Well it’s Friday, and you know what that means!  Time to catch you up on all that has happened with the house during the past week.  And it’s a lot!  However I do want to take a moment to recognize this very special moment. That’s right, our first repeat post. This makes it a tradition! *sniff, I am so happy.

Moving on.

Last time on The Friday Update we left you with a partially completed first story.  Not even a whole story.  Then Monday rolled a long and this happened.

“But Tannie, it looks the same.”  Fear not faithful reader.  If you look closely you will notice that there is a floor on top. Fantastic!  And that floor came with this marvelous staircase to nowhere.

staircaseHere is Dan proudly demonstrating our stairs that go to nothing.

So that was really exciting.  Stairs mean that Something Else is about to happen.  And it did!  They poured the cement for our awesome driveway (which I failed to photograph) and added the entire rest of the house!

Well, not the ENTIRE rest of the house.  But MOST of it. There is a small section of the roof still missing.  If you wanted to visit, you can see that we provide a lovely guest bathroom right in front. It smells amazing.

So that is where we stand as of this morning.  I am hoping to see a complete roof today.  There was also a special delivery that gave me a clue to what the next step is. Lets see if you can guess too.

windowsLe Windows. I am so happy.

Well peeps, have a great weekend and stay tuned for the answer to this weeks DIY sneak peek.

p.s. Oh no!  Did you miss a post?  Well we can stop that from happening ever again!  Go “like” us on facebook or follow The Smithocracy right here.  You will be kept up to date and never be left out again. Your welcome.

Aiming to please

Good Monday everyone.  Hope it was as an enjoyable weekend for you as it was for us.  The Smithocracy voted and we checked out “Day Out With Thomas” for Logan and a good time was had by all. I also got to enjoy “Saints Unified Voices” with Gladys Knight. Which was absolutely incredible!  So a success all around.

Anyway we have received a few requests to see some floor plans of our house.  And since we aim to please, here you go!  I tried to edit and make the plans look as close as possible to the final outcome.  However there will still be some major differences.  For example, the front elevation…

We will be doing an all brick exterior, not a brick and stone mix.  Also everything you will view here is flipped.  So the garage is being built on the left, rather then on the right, etc.

Here is the first floor.

If you see it on here, we are putting it in.  I removed the upgrades (or Available Features, as the sales person says) that we chose not to use.  I LOVE this house because my laundry will have a window!  I have wanted natural light in that room ever since I realized how hateful laundry is.  So there is no reason to do it in the pit of despair.

Moving on to the second floor.

As you can see Dan has chosen to give himself an entire room dedicated to manliness.  I have never seen the point of having a room that is dedicated completely to one person and one person alone, that is not a bedroom.  I don’t kick everyone out of the living room or randomly declare the stairs as my place, therefore no one else may enter.  However society has dictated that men need “alone time” and a man cave.  Therefore we have one.  Although in a moment of complete transparency I will let you know that this was not reached through Smithocracy.  Dan temporarily led a coup and created a Smith-tatorship.  We have since seized back power for the people, but we are still seeing the effects.

So there is our future home!  We are very excited and can’t wait to see it in Real Life, rather then on a screen.

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Friday Update

Well it’s Friday and that means the end of another week.  It also means time for The Friday Update.  “What is The Friday Update Tannie and why do you capitalize things that don’t always need capitalizing?”  Well the Friday update is where I will post all the recent happenings on the building of the house.  It changes so much each day, that I am just going to do a weekly update rather then pester you each day with house photos.  Also if something is Very Important I will take a page from A. A. Milne’s writing style and capitalize it. It always makes me smile when he does that. And we are all about smiling here folks.

See. :-)

Anyway seeing as this is The First Friday Update.  I am going to have to actually summarize about three months of progress in one post.  Then we will do weekly updates.  Don’t worry the lot did nothing for two of those months.  It looked like this.

LotFor a looooooooooooooooooooong time. It was very boring.  Then one day this happened.

terracingThey terraced into the back hill.  I guess I should explain, the back of the lot has two hills or berms as we will call them from here on out.  So I try to take most the photos in the same spot, facing the front of the lot.  But if you notice some from above or a different angle, then I am standing on the berms.  Anywho, this was a surprise because we had gotten use to our lot just sitting there doing nothing.  Being a completely unproductive member of society.  Then it up and changed itself.  So that was fun, but after sitting there another 3 weeks we started getting bored again.  That’s when this happened.

That’s right, for those astute and quick of eye readers, you will notice that the trees are missing.  Which was sad, but we plan to plant plenty of replacements, so don’t worry about the lack of air cleaning trees.  So that was an exciting day because that meant Something was going to happen.  And it did!  In about the span of two weeks, all this happened.

it was all very exciting.  But the most exciting was when we showed up and found them pouring the cement.  While we were there 6 cement trucks were used.  We left before they were done, so I am not sure if that is the Official Count.  Then by the end of the day it was dry and ready to go.  We were so excited we did this.

The brick will cover it up, but we will know it is there.

So that brings us up to this week where we learned the answer to the following question.

Q: How much wood does a wood house need, if a wood house could have wood?

A: This much.

Those are two different piles and I don’t think the picture really captures the amount of wood there really is.  There is a third pile that I did not photograph. Every morning they keep bringing more.  So as of this morning this is where we are at.

There you go.  Our first Friday Update.  The crew this morning said they will be done with framing in two weeks.  Then we will have our pre-drywall meeting.  At that point I will give you guys the first video tour.  Your welcome.

So the Smiths are EXCITED.  Do you have any fun projects you want to share.  Go and discuss on The Smithocracy Facebook page.

p.s. Do you want to be notified of the latest happenings on The Smithocracy?  Just hit follow on this blog and you will be notified by email whenever there is a new post.  Or click like on the facebook page and you can be notified through facebook.  Pretty nifty huh?