Wrap Up | Week 24

Wrapping up the week with photos, inspiration and fun things
from my own life and around the web.




Red alert, fam! Shania is bringing us new music and we just got our first little listen. The whole album may not drop until September, my sister and I will be excited until then. Up! was a soundtrack to our childhood. We miss her!

Hear "Life's About to Get Good"


"It's a good day for a good day." | pin it

"If you're not doing what you love, you're wasting your time." | pin it

"Don't make it more complicated than it needs to be." | pin it

Buying a House with a Pool

This post has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertisers, all opinions are my own. Find out more info on my disclosure page. #BlueLizardSummer #CollectiveBias

If you remember me joking around about our house "deal breakers" not too long ago, you'll know that houses with pools were definitely on that list. We were absolutely not searching for one, that's for sure! 

Then, we stepped foot in the front door and fell in love with a house that just so happened to come with one. So, here we are diving in!


Here's five little tidbits I want you to know about buying a house with a pool, just from what we've learned over the past couple months: 


Once we had an accepted offer and were planning to get a house inspection, we paid additional funds for a specific pool inspection. You have to seek out the right inspection company, as all don't come with this option.

This was so important to us because we were completely naive about pools! We knew that the pump turned on, but that was about it. Adding to the apprehension was the amount of dirt in the bottom. We really needed someone (a pro) to give us an "approval" on the pump, ladder, liner, etc. Fortunately for us, that's exactly what we got. We felt so much better about the equipment and the state of the pool once the inspector let us know that it all looked good and should last us for many years. That peace of mind was so worth the extra money. Get a pool inspection! 


The first thing we did on house closing day was get the basic necessities to clean out the pool. Since the home (and the backyard) had been vacant for quite a while, a lot of dirt had settled on the bottom and the filter was full of leaves. Our first couple items we purchased were a net and a manual vacuum (with tubing).

We dumped out all the yuckiness from the pump's filter and netted out any leftover bugs and leaves. Then a slow, tedious vacuuming process began. Friends, make sure you get a pole long enough to reach the bottom and across to the other side. ! In the store, the 8 foot looked like it was plenty high, but it turns out we definitely needed bigger. Oops. 

I actually learned pretty quickly that it's just easier to get in the pool myself and vacuum it as if it was my living room. Slowly but surely, the dirt was completely gone from the bottom of the pool and it looked like a completely new place! 


I wasn't very great at the sciences in high school and college, so it's a bit much that so many chemicals are involved with owning a pool! I think my husband will be better at this than I. Again, we've been very lucky, so far, that our water has stayed consistently clear and blue since we saw the house for the very first time. We really haven't had to make any major changes or added effort into keeping it clear. 

To help it stay in its best shape, we purchased a simple test kit, where we can see the current chemical levels of the water. So far it has just needed a little bit more chlorine tablets. I'm sure we'll go through some times where we'll have to do something more technical, eventually.

Both of our dads have some knowledge in the upkeep of pools, so they've given us quick lessons in how it all works. If you don't have someone like that in your life, there are plenty of online tutorials and "schools" to get you on a more knowledgable path as a pool owner. Know those chemicals, friends. Or, make sure someone who lives in the house does! 


There's so many items you may or may not need to purchase, according to your specific pool's age and state (new fencing, pool parts, etc...) but one thing is clear that all of us truly need when buying a house with a pool - protection from the sun!

Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen has the perfect formula for sensitive skin like my own. The Blue Lizard® Sensitive lotion is paraben-free and fragrance-free. The very best part? In harmful UV sunlight, the white bottle turns a deep blue, which is a great reminder of how powerful those rays can be (especially when it's overcast).

I like to keep a bag near our pool with some of those little necessities for a day of fun in the sun. Having all the supplies already included and easily accessible just makes for an easier daily pool-going experience.

My bag includes the following:
-one beach towel
-a few goggles
-a hat
-my Blue Lizard® sunscreens

Blue Lizard® sunscreens are in your local Walmart stores, near all the other sunscreen options. If you join iBotta right now, you can earn $4.00 when you purchase Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen - Sensitive!


Being honest here, while I was still a little nervous about owning a pool, I couldn't help but get a bit excited about having all the fun accessories that come with it! Pool floaties come in such fun shapes and sizes now, all of which are totally instagram-worthy.

Beach towels also have stepped up their game from the vacation-souvenir-kind I remember as a kid. They've become a decorative piece of their own in the backyard, along the fence. The amount I have is totally unnecessary, but completely the cutest!

I'll admit - buying a house with a pool attached is a bit scary. We all fear the unknowns, especially when it involves money! However, I don't think I could ever look back now. Having a quiet, relaxing evening in the pool after a long day at work has been absolutely the best. And that's now an option for us every single day...because it's OURS!

It's so worth all the worries we had before moving in.

If you are a pool owner yourself and have some helpful tips to share, please let me know in the comments!

Closing Time

Did I wake my husband up with an alarm to Semisonic's 1998 masterpiece "Closing Time" on our house closing day? Yes. Yes I did. It was such an exciting time, but I truly just kept waiting on some bad news phone call from anyone who would tell us we wouldn't be able to buy the house. That was pretty much my daily thought from the moment we had an accepted offer.

Quite the optimist, I am. 

That Friday, we both went to work like normal and took off the second half of the day to get all those final papers signed. ALL. Those. Papers. 

Let me back up a bit to let you in on a little behind-the-curtain action. The folks who worked to make our closing date happen were truly a dream team.

Prime Blankenship, our real estate agent, answered so many of our questions along this journey. As first-time buyers we sure had a lot of them! Whether it was a late-night text or phone calls in the middle of the afternoon, he completely took care of us, answered those questions and eased our fears of the unknown. We actually had our first accepted offer the day after seeing houses with him for the very first time. I'm talking 12 hours after shaking his hand, BOOM, accepted. 

Due to unforeseen circumstances, we had to switch loan officers about two weeks before our set closing date. Now, if you're like me and you like a good plan in place, you probably would have been freaking out too! When our old loan company let us know they wouldn't be able to get it done in time, Prime gave us some recommendations and that's when we met Tom

Tom Kellam of Supreme Lending was our loan superhero! He called us up the same evening we reached out and talked us through the process of what we'd need to get done in the next couple days. He assured us we could hit that original target closing date, which is what we really needed to hear! He and his team gave us a "Needs List" the next day and we all got to work. Luckily, we had already been through most of it all before, so it was just a matter of re-gathering the information. We had our list completed and an appraisal was in the works by the next evening. I'm still amazed at how fast this all played out! From that first phone call to closing was 10 days. Y'all. TEN DAYS. See why he's a superhero? 

Back to closing day, signing all those papers is exactly like everyone had told me about! My poor, terrible signature just got worse and worse with every new page. It's basically just a single rippled line now. I'm technically a doctor at this point. 

*ba-dum chsh*

Once all the papers were signed, sealed, delivered, it was time to wait for everyone to get paid; AKA: funded. There's a lot of folks that have to get their money before you're actually given keys to your home. So, we waited. 

Actually, in an anticlimactic turn, we didn't get to leave with keys in our hand at all! Our house has a digital code entry and the physical keys were actually just sitting inside on the kitchen counter. We just had to wait an hour or so for someone to give us the number code once funding was cleared. That's what we get for being in a digital-age, I guess. *womp womp*

I imagine walking out of the hospital with a baby is kind of what we experienced walking into our home for the first time (I mean, well, not exactly, but as close an example as I can use). "This is ours?" "We can keep it?" "Why did they let us have this?" "What do we do now?!" "Oh my gosh, we have so much responsibility." "Oh, I love it!"

Yeah, it's probably the same. 

If you are in the Dallas area and are interested in starting the home buying process, please give my friends Prime and Tom a call and tell them I sent you. We truly could not have asked for a better first experience. We feel more knowledgeable, confident and trustworthy thanks to both of their hard work. Couldn't have done it without them!