Getting New Floors & Our Home Remodel

Getting New Floors & Our Home Remodel -

Hi friends! If you have been following me on Instagram, then you already know that we have new floors. We have renovated, remodeled and done some general sprucing up at home for the past couple months. The bulk of work has taken place in the past 6 weeks, and while we still have a ways to go, today I am sharing an update on the home remodel. I’ll share the work we had done, what we did ourselves, how long it took, what went well and what went wrong. If you’re thinking about remodeling your home, I hope hearing our experience will give you some insight and confidence.

Getting New Floors

At the beginning of this year, we decided it was time to rip up our old carpet and 70s-style kitchen tile and replace it with something more modern that would add value to our home. We researched some different options, visited a few different places and ultimately decided to put down luxury vinyl plank flooring throughout 90% of our condo. The new floor now runs from the entry way into our dining room, living room, kitchen, hallway, guest bedroom, master bedroom and master bathroom. We chose luxury vinyl plank flooring from Floor & Decor for a couple reasons:

  1. It’s 100% waterproof. We wanted to update the tile in our kitchen and master bathroom, so with this flooring we could seamlessly run it throughout our home.
  2. It has texture and grains to it so it looks like wood.
  3. The price was right. Our condo is not our forever home so paying top-dollar did not make sense.

The process of getting the new flooring laid out felt long, but in hindsight it was pretty quick. We boxed all the small things up the weekend before the work began. From start to finish, putting down the new flooring took four days. It probably would have been less time, but we encountered a big leak from the wet-bar that was removed. It was a mess to say the least!

How We Cut Costs

While we started saving for the new flooring last year, we identified some extra ways to save money when we started researching and planning the process of laying down new floors. To cut costs, we opted to do some work ourselves. We removed all the tile in the kitchen and bathroom ourselves. Honestly, it was not something I would have been able to do without Will, even though I did pitch in. We did all this work on the weekends, starting about a month out. The dust from removing the tile was a little crazy, but thankfully we focused on the master bathroom first and just shut the door!

Additional Updates

Getting the new floors was definitely the biggest part of our remodel project, but we made a few additional updates to our home. I painted the entryway, dining room and living room. I opted for a brighter white than the creamy version we had in the hallway. It was Benjamin Moore’s Simple White. For the dining room and living room, I chose Benjamin Moore’s Summer Shower, which is a light, peaceful blue.

  • Removed the wet-bar in our dining room which was blocking light into the kitchen.
  • We widened the entry to the kitchen by cutting into the wall.
  • Got a new rug for our living room
  • Got a lighter slipcover for our IKEA couch
  • Got new storage for our kitchen and a new rug

Before and “After” Home Remodel

Since we didn’t take a lot of photos before the remodel, my Instagram Story photos and photos with Maddie and Maple are the best I have to show you our old tile and carpet and a look at our old living room.

The “after” photos above are really just where we are currently. I want to update the artwork in our living room. We still have things to finish this summer too, including finishing the new shelves/storage in our master bathroom, finishing our laundry area, selling some old pieces on Craigslist, painting the kitchen in Simple White and getting a rug for my office.

Moving forward, I’ll share updates on each room and any new home decor as it gets completed. If you’ve recently remodeled your home or gotten new floors, I would love to hear about it. And, if you are looking into a similar home project, I’m happy to answer any questions in the comments.

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Getting Comfortable Saying No: Three Ways I’ve Benefitted

Three Benefits of Saying No - Getting Comfortable Saying No - Affordable T-Shirt Dress - Sarah Camilles Scoop

Do you ever feel like you have 48 hours worth of to-dos in your 24 hour days? It seems to be a feeling that is becoming more and more common. Maybe it is a result of more people juggling multiple jobs and side hustles, maybe it is an increasing cultural (and unrealistic) expectation that we should do and be all the things to everyone! Whatever the reason, today I want to talk about the benefits of saying “no” and share how getting comfortable saying “no” has helped me better balance my job, blogging, relationships and life in general.

“It’s only by saying “no” that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.” – Steve Jobs

What Saying No Looks Like

Saying “yes” is a hard habit to break, and when I first realized I had a problem, I was not sure how to say “no” without being perceived as rude. I was worried that I would no longer think of me as a “nice” person. So, if you are a people-pleaser like me and you’re unsure how to communicate no, here are a few suggestions that worked for me:

“I appreciate you thinking of me for that opportunity but I have a conflict.”

“That sounds fun, but I won’t be able to make it.”

“Sorry, I can’t.”

Of course, our actions can communicate a “yes” or “no” as well. More often than not, I communicate with my actions. I have also learned that saying no to something right now doesn’t have to mean saying no forever. “Not right now,” or texting someone “Can I circle back with you tomorrow?” can be more gentle forms of “no,” and I leaned into them when I was first getting comfortable saying “no”.

The Benefits of Saying “No”

Establishing Boundaries

One of the first times I realized I had a problem saying no was in a previous job. Despite my communications position, I was roped into doing work that was way out of my league and expertise. My boss essentially wanted me to manage the IT support — not at all related to what I was hired to do. In hindsight, this was a direct result of my dirty habit of saying “yes” to every to-do that came my way. My boss and colleagues knew I would always say “yes”. They knew I would grin and bear it, even if it would totally stress me out.

There were many other situations, too, where I was asked to do the task that no one else wanted to do. It left me feeling like I was being taken advantage of, but the truth is that at the time I was too afraid or say “no.” I didn’t know how to break the habit and I didn’t want to let people down.

So, when I started saying “no” I didn’t have a choice. I had to establish boundaries. My boundaries today, revolve around what I consider a block schedule. I’m definitely not perfect, but I try hard each day to set aside specific time windows for work, family and friends and personal time. There are additional boundaries of course, but they stem from those three priorities.

Understanding my Top Priorities

Saying “no” has given me the opportunity to better prioritize my time — because when you say no to one thing you can then say yes to another. When I was in a habit of saying “yes” to everything that came up, I was operating more like someone playing whack-a-mole and less like someone with a schedule or plan for the day. But, when you start saying “no” you inadvertently become more conscious of what you are saying “yes” to and you figure out what your true priorities are.

A few weeks ago, I had three happy hour invites in one week. In the past, I would have said “yes” to each. But instead, I thought about my priorities and realized I needed to say no. I hadn’t worked out in a few days, and I was craving time with Will who was getting home from his week-long work trip.

For me my three priorities are work, family and friends and personal time. The personal bucket includes workout time, blogging, self care and/or doing something fun just for myself. Since I spend most of my time working during the week days, I try to completely cut work out of the picture over the weekends and maintain time with family and friends and personal time as top priorities.

Giving Others Time to Shine

When I was in a habit of saying yes to everything, I often would tell myself, “Well if I don’t do it, who will?!” or “No one else knows how to do this….” I often felt responsible to do more than my share. In work specifically, I had to learn the art of asking for help and sharing “to-dos” with other people. I have realized that my “no’s” can open doors for other people to shine and grow. I can actually come across as more of a team-player in the long run.

Three Benefits of Saying No - Affordable T-Shirt Dress - Sarah Camilles Scoop

So there you have it. Now, the truth is I’m still getting comfortable with saying “no”. I think of it as a habit that takes process, and some situations are easier than others. These benefits are just as much a reminder to myself as they are something that I hope others can find encouragement in.

And for those of you who don’t have a problem saying “no”, I hope this gives you some insight as to what it is like for the people in your life who only say “yes”.


Check out my $20 t-shirt dress and a few similar, affordable options.

If you have a habit of saying “yes” or if you are currently working on getting more comfortable saying “no”, I would love to hear about your experiences. How do you say “no” in tough situations? Let’s chat in the comments!




Three Benefits of Saying No - Getting Comfortable Saying No - Affordable T-Shirt Dress - Sarah Camilles Scoop

Saying Farewell to My Dog Maddie

Saying Farewell to my Dog Maddie -

We said goodbye to my sweet girl, my sidekick, my dog Maddie this weekend. I have had her for over half my life. I loved taking care of her, and I loved her cheerful, devoted and sweet spirit.

I got Maddie sixteen years ago. I wanted a dog for so long. I wanted a furry companion, but I had no idea that when I met Maddie, I was getting exactly what I needed.

She was with me throughout my teenage years, when I so often felt alone and misunderstood.

She was with me in my bed lying next to me every night.

She was with me, sitting on my suitcase, when I packed for college.

She was with me as I grew up and figured out who I am.

She was with me on sunny days at the beach, sprinting in the sand.

She was with me on snowy days, even when the snow towered over her.

She was with me, riding in the passenger seat when I drove to D.C. to start my first real job.

She was with me in the kitchen, right at my feet, hoping for scraps.

She was with me when I moved into my own place.

She was with me on long walks and hikes, often surprising big-dog owners with her stamina.

She was with me when I lost my job.

She was with me when Will and I got engaged, standing beside us.

She was with me on my wedding day.

She was with me for sixteen sweet years.

Saying Farewell to My Dog Maddie - SCsScoop.comBichon - Saying Farewell to My Dog Maddie -

“Dogs have a way of finding the people who need them, and filling the emptiness we didn’t ever know we had.”

Through it all, she has been with me, by my side for sixteen years. It is hard to put into words the value she has added to my life. Now that she is gone it is even more apparent just how big her spirit was. Her love and loyalty was much greater than her 10 lb. body.

Making the decision to say farewell has been one of the hardest things for me, because I selfishly did not want to see her go.

I know her spirit is still with me, but it is not the same. I will forever miss how she greeted me at the door and followed me everywhere. I will miss her sweet, happy spirit, but I am so grateful for those sixteen years.

Maddie was a constant reminder to me to look on the bright side. She taught me that there is always time to stop and smell the roses. She taught me about selflessness and loyalty. She taught me what it means to be a loving friend.

Maddie, you are a great dog and a true friend. You have a heart and soul of gold, and I’m so grateful you were my girl, by my side for sixteen year.

I’ll love you forever sweet girl.