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Welcome To The Jungle

OK. Let’s start at the very beginning.

This is us:

Dan and I met in March of 2002 and were married by May of 2003. To say it was love at first sight would be an understatement. Seriously. We’re kind of annoying.

Four-ish years later. along came Sonia. She is the single greatest thing either of us has ever done — and the only home-improvement project we’ve ever conquered without getting in a fight 😉

Honestly. He’s right-brained and I’m left-brained. Or the other way around. You should ask Dan, he’d know. At any rate, it’s always comedy gold when we try to DIY together. And in the end, every rolled eye & under-the-breath mutter actually brings us closer as a couple. Like I said, we’re annoying.

We’re also broke. Dan cooks & I write, so for the next decade or so, we plan to rent. To us, this isn’t a problem. We’re experienced renters. We got this.

During my single life, I rented no less than 14 separate properties. (You can ask my dad. He once made a list. Which was very funny. Not.) Why did I move around so much? I really don’t know. I guess I had wanderlust.

Anyhoo, we rented this property 2 years ago when we moved to Western Pennsylvania for Dan’s career. It was a “PA or bust” sort of thing — we had 3 weeks to accomplish the whole sh*t and shebang. Dan snapped up this property through craigslist & with just a quick walkthrough, we rolled the dice.

So far, it’s worked out really well.We love the neighborhood — and most of the neighbors. Our landlord is pretty hands-off, which we like, and he’s OK with us doing any home maintenance & repair under $30. With my mad skillz and Dan’s grudging cooperation, that leaves us a LOT of room to perk things up.

We’ve barely touched the place since we moved in because we weren’t 100% sure we’d like it enough to stay. BUT… last month we signed another year-long lease. We decided that, barring any deal-breaker structural problems arising, or poltergeists moving in, we’re happy here.

And since we’ll apparently be here a minute, it’s time to put our own stank on the place. And here’s where it gets interesting…


They are too situational & abundant to list here. But we know them well.

Watch us take our rental property from “fine” to “fantastic” in the space of one year — all without breaking our lease.

It will blow your mind when you see what ingenuity plus elbow grease can equal.


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4 thoughts on “Welcome To The Jungle

  1. kelli2929 on said:

    Idea…. if you are in AZ….I have a few things you could help me cross off my “You better do it while he’s at work” list. Yes, little simple things that I dont really wanna do. call me when you are here… Kell.

  2. LOVE the idea for your site! We’re renters, too, and we’re even working with our landlord to renovate another house (that adjoins ours) to be used as a vacation rental. It’s such a bummer when people think they can’t do *anything* to their house just because they rent. We believe that with a little ingenuity, flexibility and cooperation, you can totally make a rental house a home!

    Will be following your blog…good luck with all your projects!

    • Thanks, Kristen 🙂 I totally agree — there’s SO much you can do with a rental! It’s great to have you aboard! I’m still learning the technical ropes of blogging, but I promise to keep the posts coming. And soon, I’ll even have videos!! 🙂

  3. Wow, talk about a Oprah-Nate-Style makeover!!! Way to go, looks amazing!

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