Thursday, November 20, 2014

Housewarming 2014 and Our New Home!

As many of you know, my husband and I recently moved from our awful two-bedroom apartment to a wonderful four (no, five!) bedroom rental house.  I don't know why we didn't consider renting a house before, because our experience here has been nothing short of amazing.  Beyond having a house cleansing attended by a number of our friends (a topic of which I still need to finish writing about), we had our housewarming party over the weekend.  I have to say: It was an absolute blast!

After much debate and a poll, we finally settled on a wine theme for our party.  Our table included a variety of chocolates, cheeses and nuts along with cupcakes and over 12 different kinds of wine.

We also had several activities for the event.  This included a post-it note message wall (pictured above), an Up-inspired thumbprint guestbook (pictured below), and situational BINGO. The Bingo game included a variety of icebreakers, like talking to someone who has grandchildren or blue eyes, as well as hilarious-but-probable occurrences, such as a cat knocking over a glass, the dog jumping in someone's lap unexpectedly, or the hostess tripping (all of which happened by the way).  The Up-inspired thumbprint guestbook was probably my favorite of all the activities, despite the fact that I sketched our house out about five minutes before the party.

In addition to the food and activities, every guest could take home a small candle as a token of our appreciation.  We tagged it with a short message as well as our new address for anyone who needed it.

This picture was posted with permission from Phaedra, my friend and one of our guests!
The turnout for our party was astounding!  Last year, our party lasted about three hours and included roughly 20 people.  This year, we surpassed the 30-person mark and the last person left at 10 pm, making our party last a grand total of 7 hours!  Holy moly!

While many attendants were friends of mine prior to Samhain last year, quite a few were new friends I've made since becoming more involved with the Kansas City pagan community.  I'm so glad I finally decided to step out of my shell.  Thank you so much to all of our friends, both new and old, who came!  You warmed our home and our hearts, and we will be forever grateful!

After taking a day to relax, I spent the following day cleaning up from the party.  The best part about a housewarming party is that it forces you to get everything unpacked and arranged.  They say that you are officially unpacked once you hang the pictures.  If that's the case, we're fully moved in!  Now that our housewarming has passed, I can give my readers and friends a better look at our new home.

Above, you can see a picture of our living room.  I've been slowly transitioning from an Asian theme based on how my husband and I met to a more Bohemian meets Rustic Witch look.  Less cork art and lanterns with kanji on them, and more paisley, raw wood, brooms and candles.  I think the two mix very well, so I don't mind keeping pieces of our old style.

I recently got on a throw pillow kick, so the house is being filled with them.  You might recognize some of them from the sitting area in the spiritual room at the apartment.  That area still exists but has different pillows now.  Most of them have been brought up for the living room.

Of course, everything's still decorated for fall, so you'll notice a ton of fall leaf vines and pumpkins.  I love to seasonally decorate, particularly since the Wheel of the Year is one of the most important aspects of my beliefs.

Candles are a huge part of the new theme.  You'll find this lantern hanging in the far right corner in the first image of our living room.  It was a special find at a thrift store for just $3.  In fact, most of our living room is decorated with thrift store items, from throw pillows to our tall candelabra.

The Witch's Balls that once hung in front of the window of our spiritual room in the old apartment are now in our living room as well.  Since the spiritual room is downstairs and has no windows, I thought it only appropriate to find a window upstairs where they belong.  I will likely have to pull them down during Yule because I imagine we'll be putting the tree in front of this window, but that's okay!  They can go back up first thing in January.

Our kitchen is huge!  It's likely the largest room in the house (except for maybe the spiritual room).  The entire kitchen and hallway are tiled, which makes life a little easier.  I do a lot more sweeping than vacuuming, which I prefer.  My allergies have improved greatly since moving here, and I believe I owe it mostly to the tile!

The large kitchen gives us plenty of room for a dining room table!  I've missed having one of these.  Our first apartment had room for a dining room table.  However, the apartment we moved to in 2011 only had room for a few bar stools, thus we parted with it by giving it to a friend.  The rental house in 2012 came with a large dining room table, but it also stayed with the house when we moved.  We used the dining area in our next apartment for the office so I could have a spiritual room in our second bedroom.  Here, we can finally have a place to sit and eat that's all our own!  When it's just my husband, my roommate and myself, we keep the table pushed against the wall and three chairs out.  If we have company, we can pull the table out and accommodate the fourth chair, as well as two more folding chairs if needed.

In addition to the kitchen table, the size of the kitchen allows me to bring in my China cabinet from the bedroom of the old apartment.  Here I store my teapot and teacup collection.  The bottom of the cabinet is filled with various teas and coffees.  It also serves as my kitchen altar now!

In case I've somehow understated the size of the kitchen, the panorama shot above should clear that up.

And here's the fifth room so far.  Once a garage, the previous owners added drywall to make it a fifth room, but left it mostly unfinished. You might recognize it as the dining area at Samhain:

Before the housewarming party, my husband, CF member Kira and I sealed the drywall and gave it a fresh coat of paint.  We also scrubbed the polished cement floor clean.  It's currently serving as a second sitting area, perfect for gatherings and playing card games. However, I'd like to turn it into a family room.  I have a second TV and several gaming systems that currently don't have a place they can go.  I miss playing my NES terribly.  I'm hoping this room will eventually be a space where I can do that.

While I didn't take any pictures of them, our house includes mine and my husband's bedroom, a bedroom for our roommate, an office for me and my husband as well as a full bathroom on the top floor.  The unfinished part of the basement includes a laundry area, a bit of storage and my exercise space.

It also includes a large finished room I'm using as my spiritual room.  It is officially fully unpacked, but I'll cover that in a series of blog posts later.

A little bit of a partially-unpacked preview.
Before I get around to writing about my new spiritual room, I anticipate finishing my series on our house cleansing.  I posted first about the protective rune chain we have hanging between our living room and kitchen.  I'm planning on creating two more articles, one for a negativity banishing spell and another for the blessing bowl we put together, before creating a final entry that ties it all together in a summary of our house cleaning ritual.  Look forward to those posts coming soon!


  1. Your house looks SO cozy! Love your decorating style. Well done :)

    1. Thank you so much, Anon! It's been a ton of work, but so rewarding!

  2. That UP guestbook.
    Too. Adorable.
    I'm so glad you're happy and smoothly settling in! :) Your house is lovely!

  3. I just found your site! Love it! And I love your house. You've given me much needed inspiration. Thank you!

    1. Thank you so much, Melissa! I'm glad I could help!

  4. Our new home was supposed to be broom swept clean at the final walk through, and it was an absolute mess. The homeowner was still packing boxes an hour before closing, so my attorney drew up papers stating we will close but money will be held in escrow to make any repairs that were a result of their moving.

    Rupert @ Gulf Shores Real Estate And Homes

  5. It looks like it was a delicious housewarming that you had. That is always the most fun thing about these little gatherings. We move every 2 years and it is usually just down the street but we have a housewarming every single time and I go crazy on the baking front. I guess I do the same with other holidays.

    Jacqueline @ Buyer's Option Realty Services