Renovating My Life

Back in February, I reported that the Real World wanted to rent our loft to film the 33rd season of their reality tv show. It was a big decision since it meant closing our Bed and Breakfast, and moving New Tricks, my family and our dogs to a new location for five months.

The Real World had its own design team that created the Real World House Atlanta 2019 look and feel. To do this, they would be painting every wall, replacing all of our light fixtures, and furnishing the house for the show – inside and out. The deal they made with me was that directly after filming they would restore the house how we had it or how we wanted it – all things being comparable.

What finally had me decide to sign up for this madness was that after living in the 5,500 SF space for twenty years, MTV would be paying footing the bill for us to renovate our house.

One of my considerations about doing this was that over the three months they were filming, while I was continuing to work full time, to get the most out of them, I’d have to have the entire renovation completely planned out.  I knew the day the show was over, their crew would be ready to get their work done and move on.  I would have to be ready for them and I was. We moved out in February, filming was over May 24, we moved back June 24, and we were ready for bed-and-breakfast guests in July.  It was quite an ordeal,  but it all got worked out and we have a newly designed home/bed and breakfast/office.

I have to say, although their renovation of our place wasn’t my style, it did look great on camera and the design was perfect for a living space for seven twenty-something. You can watch the 12 episodes on Facebook Watch.

Check out the slides below to see the transition of the design of the dining area, the kitchen and our New Tricks office from the original Urban Oasis, to The Real World design and finally to the new more sophisticated Urban Oasis!

Living Room



As you can imagine, all of that was quite stressful and while contemplating doing it, I realized that without intervention, I would be at risk for gaining back the fifteen pounds I had lost the previous few months.  So, I got on a very controlled eating plan and renovated myself. As of today, I’ve kept off the fifteen and lost another fifty. I like to say that I also renovated myself.



I let everyone know that I would be taking a break from writing blog posts over the summer. The summer is over and although New Tricks is back in full swing, I’m not ready to commit to writing every week because, quite frankly,  I’m enjoying myself.

A couple of months ago, I saw on Twitter that I won a contest from our hosting company, Pressable for a weeklong, Geek Adventures, Grand Canyon camping trip. My husband and I went in October and had a fantastic time. Now that the weather has cooled off, I’m replanting our garden that couldn’t be done this summer after filming because it was too hot and dry. And, I’m taking my two and a half-year-old granddaughter for swimming lessons.

Things I have Learned or Relearned:

  • A contract is great but,  get everything in writing.
    It was not enough for them to have in the contract that they must restore things how they were, or how I wanted them ( all things being comparable) The front end crew promised to do things after filming in a certain way, and those things weren’t all specified in the contract. The backend people hemmed and hollered about what the front end team had promised saying those things were not in the budget. I wish I had made my list of particulars with exact specifications and added it to the contract.
  • Breaking up routines in good for the soul and makes other things easier to change. But breaking routines does not come easily for us humans.
    When you are in the same space with the same people doing the same things every day, your day-to-day habits will be fairly entrenched. When you change things up it is much easier to make new habits.
  • It’s never too late to add a whole new group of friends to your life.
    Since we didn’t have a yard for our dogs at our temporary house, I took them to the dog park every morning for an hour and ended up bonding with a group of people who are now friends.
  • When things are going crazy, stay calm and work them out.
    I would never have got the end result that I got had a panicked when the Real World renovation was at its worst stage. Since the subs were not working for me, I had to balance dealing with chaos with them and also getting the film company to have them do the job right. It took a balancing act of being tough yet kind and not going into despair that it would ever turn out. I had to remind myself that in time, these things were getting worked out and that all things that seem like a catastrophe at the time, are barely remembered later.

So for now . . . work is good,  life is good and I’ll be writing more from time to time.


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