Monday, April 7, 2014

Third Time's a Charm

Welcome to the latest installment of our kitchen nook. Shall we take a look at how it has transformed?

Here it is on inspection day. Oh bright shiny neon yellow. What a terrible eyesore you were.

Once I painted and cleaned the floors, I tried using our existing glass shelving but that just didn't look right.

So then we hung our pot rack that we had in Connecticut and moved the glass shelving to the living room. And that looked better.

Then I got the bright idea that we need to add a kitchen table and chairs so we can eat in here. Uh, who am I kidding, we never once sat at this table to eat. Hubby and I typically eat in front of the TV or if I'm making a nice meal, we'll sometimes eat at the dining table. The good news is the pot rack and pub table/chairs are heading to my sister's where I think they will look darling in her kitchen. And they looked great in our nook, but the space felt crowded and it was hard to get to my pots and pans.

Which leads us to what the nook looks like today. I did a lot of pinning on Pinterest and knew that I wanted more pantry storage. I wanted pretty jars to hold baking staples, baskets to hold spices, chocolate, and baking utensils. It had to be functional but pretty. I also wanted a cabinet with drawers to store kitchen towels, rolling pins, wine glasses, and special serving dishes.

I went to Ikea last Friday night and they delivered the two units this past Tuesday. The bookcase went up in about two hours. Not too bad, but it is pretty cheap pine and not as sturdy as oak or another solid wood. But that's Ikea. The glass cabinet - oh lordy - that's another story. After three hours, I finally got that thing erected sans glass doors. I've never attached doors before and even the pictures weren't much help on that one. Hubby had to take care of putting on the doors for me.

And I absolutely love the units! It feels much brighter and spacious in the nook now. Makes the kitchen feel bigger, too. I just love it!

I'm hoping to get rid of the boob light in the next month. I have my sight set on a flush mount light from Home Depot.

Here's where I got my stuff:
  • All furniture - Ikea (Hemnes bookcase and cabinet; baby Stenstorp cart - that's what I call it but I'm sure it goes by another name)
  • Glass jars - TJ Maxx and The Container Store
  • Spoon and Fork - Target
  • Baskets - Home Goods
  • Chalkboard tags - The Container Store
  • Chicken wire basket - Sur La Table (on sale for $3.99)
  • EAT blocks - Michael's $2 bin (they were turquoise, pink, and purple and I watered down black paint and repainted them)
  • Wine box - Total Wine ($4.99)

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Friday, March 28, 2014

Tom Tom Club

I'm a little late to the Tom Tom club but man, these are some comfortable shoes.  Not comfortable in that I could walk miles in these but comfortable for work, trips to the store, etc. This is my third pair that my friend Christy told me about on Zulily. Husband got in on the discount action as well and got a camo pair of "sneakers" and some deck shoes. I think my feet are to the point where comfort and practicality is taking over. But they are still cute! I have a couple of complaints with Zulily - their site charged me twice for my order when it had technical difficulties processing it (it took 1.5 weeks to refund my money back to my Paypal account and then another 3 days to transfer back to my checking account) and it takes at least three weeks to get your order.

And as you can see, my bangs are getting long so it's time to chop off some length so they have a chance to catch up as I'm trying to grow them out. Awkward stage.

This weekend we tackle the ceiling as the floors are arriving next week, about two weeks early. And I fly out to San Diego on the 12th for a software conference. Still working late nights on the project at work so no close ups cause me so tired.

Shoes: Toms | Pants: Target | Sweater: J. Crew | Blouse: Ann Taylor

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Unexpected Office

When I washed away the previous 9-year old's dream of bright colors in this room by muting down the blinding turquoise with Benjamin Moore's Wickham Gray, I had visions of another type of grown up girl dreams. Soft pastels mixed with white Ikea Hemnes bookcases flanking the window.

But then the chalkboard came - it was an awesome deal from Antique Farm House and it was brown and black. And then I got the beautiful Pottery Barn cubby from my hubby for Christmas. And it's brown. Do you see where I'm going with this? The room was transforming by itself and I had to follow along or get off the office train.

And then I had an idea. Looked for it on Pinterest. Never saw it. I took $1 wrapping paper from the Target $1 section, drew a template, gluesticked the crap out of the back and stuck it to the plain white cardboard backs in the Target cubbies. And guess what color it is? Yep, black and tan. Oh fuck it. Time to add some baskets and embrace my new black and brown office.

So here it is gals. I still have some more cubby slots to fill and I'm thinking of making a burlap valance for the window. And the craft table? Yep, that idea did come from Pinterest. Saw it several times but had to go with a 4 ft x 4 ft board from Lowe's cause that's all I could fit in my car. It turned out pretty well. I don't use it very much because it always seems to be the dumping ground in that room. But it was a nice use of all these Target cubbies we own that worked in the CT house and are slowly finding their way in our FL house.


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Monday, March 24, 2014

Lucky Antique Find

This past weekend was the first weekend that I didn't think about work or even take home my work laptop. I did what I wanted to do and it was fabulous! I headed out Saturday morning to do some bargain shopping - cash only. Told my husband I was going thrifting. I headed to my favorite antique shop. Just as I was about to leave empty handed for the first time, there it was. The very thing I was not expecting to find but had been scoping on craigslist and Amazon. Hubby and I just had a conversation about a dome or round pot rack that I wanted to hang from the center of the kitchen ceiling. I emailed a person on craiglist as they had one they were offloading this past weekend via  a garage sale but they never responded. Not wanting to make the hour drive, I found one online that I would buy next weekend for $85.

And then I looked up and there it was. And it was $28 and just the perfect size for the handful of pots and pans we have. I sent a pic to hubby and snatched that thing up. I then headed to Lowe's to grab a hook to screw into the ceiling stud, as well as an S hook. Got a couple of possibilities before we settled on the short, stubby one that will hold 150 lbs. Not being able to find our stud finder, we knocked around on the ceiling, turned off the power and drilled a whole into the middle. And we got lucky. Hit wood, not drywall. Yay! That's how we roll.

And yes, I have banged my head once. So I had to rearrange the longer pans to the back.

So this is the first step in creating a kitchen that functions for the way we live and not for how it was designed. I plan to list the nook pub table and the other pot rack, which we took down, on craigslist this week so we can put the money toward new Ikea storage cabinets to give us a little more pantry space.

Oh, and the floors - they will be installed mid April. As I was sitting down yesterday to sign the contracts, hubby had a change of mind and told me to go for the high gloss cherry laminate, which is the one we really love, rather than the hickory one that were a bit too rustic for our taste. And the best part - discounted installation cost and then 10% off the entire order when I got to the register as the flooring associate realized he hadn't given me back my $35 measurement credit. So instead he credits us $300. God, I love Lowe's!


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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Summer Concerts

Summer concerts in FL are sweat monsters! Typically they are held in Tampa at the amphitheater that has changed names so many times that I don't know what to call it now. When I left FL to move to CT, it was called the Ford Amphitheater, then changed to 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheater (if you live in Tampa, you know the commercials), and now it's some credit union name. Dave Matthews plays there every summer and this summer is no exception. However, when you go to see Dave, expect a downpour. They even sell ponchos at his show, which will usually buy.

We typically buy the cheapy lawn seats when we go to Dave. But we're not going to see him this  year. Oh no. We've sprung for 1st level seats at the Nine Inch Nails/Soundgarden concert. I'm super stoked about it!

When we were about to close on our house in Connecticut in 2008, we bought tickets to see NIN at Mohegan Sun. We had really decent seats and it was the best concert I've ever seen, even though we drove in hail to the casino. The light show and intensity of that concert were amazing. There are two concerts that I will go to over and over and that's NIN and Incubus. Both are fantastic shows.

And I'm getting too old to remember if I've ever seen Soundgarden. I want to say I did when they toured with Lollapalooza back when it first started but who knows. But here's a fun tidbit. My first job out of college was training RV and boat dealerships how to run finance forms on our accounting system. I travelled to Seattle (Bellevue) and trained at a boat dealership. Chris Cornell's information was in their database as he had bought a boat from them. Awesome!

Mohegan Sun is not the first venue I saw Nine Inch Nails at. I saw them right after 'Pretty Hate Machine' came out. I was 19, in my first year of junior college, living at home to save money on tuition, sporting brown shoulder-length curls while wearing knee-length jean shorts and my Bass brown suede Oxfords. It was quite the look. NIN came to a little place in Ybor City called Masquerade. It was a very cool multi-room, bordello-like venue. It was small and general admission only. It was also a cool dance club on the weekends.

It's going to be a long wait until August 11, but I'm super excited to see them again.

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Saturday, March 15, 2014

What's Up?

Howdy! What's been going on? Sorry for the lack of posts. I've been on a huge project at work since January that started with, "Hey, do you want me to help you write that training guide?" to "This is the most important project for the company." For the last couple of weeks, I've been putting in 12-hour days, working a lot of nights and weekends. I'm plain exhausted and ready for this project to be over. Unfortunately, we go live Tuesday but there is still a lot to be documented so this project will continue for a couple more months.

Any spare time on the weekends has been spent working mostly on landscaping the front and back yard. We bought new cushions for our patio furniture today. We also got around to taking down Mr. 1987 gold chandelier in the dining room and hanging the orb pendant. Yay! Hubby got a fantastic deal on a $8K bar and poker table off Craigslist for $650! He is now in ramp-up mode to finish the fireplace room so that we can move our living room furniture in and he can finally have his mancave. He hung the sheetrock in the fireplace room right after Christmas and is researching how to tape and mud it. We have Lowe's coming out next week to measure for flooring for the two living rooms and my husband's office. I'm excited to finally be getting rid of the last bit of carpet downstairs.

And how is the debt repayment going? It's going well but slow. I'm no longer using my credit cards (except our common Lowe's card, which we take advantage of no interest and pay off before the interest period expires). The debt repayment will be slow and will be done in phases, but will all be gone in a few years. It's a good feeling knowing I have attainable goals.

On another note - I need to have some surgery and am thinking of doing this in May. I have a ganglion cyst on my right wrist that has doubled in size in the last 6 months. Because of the placement next to my artery and pulse, it has to be removed rather than drained. I've had this cyst since I was a baby and it was removed when I was very young. It grew back in my teen years and is now bothering me. Healing time is about 2 weeks and I should be back to full usage after 6 weeks.

So that's what's going on. How are you all?

Oh hubby and I stopped at a garage sale today. I almost ended up taking home a baby piggy until I saw how big the mama and papa were. Them little piggies can run! And they sound like little dogs barking. Then we went home and made baby back ribs. Yeah, we eat meat sometimes. We get cravings.



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Monday, February 24, 2014

Wardrobe Round 2

Guess what hubby and I completed on Sunday? Well, almost complete. As soon as the land of cinnamon rolls restocks their particle board shelves and drawers, I can add those missing pieces and then call this walk-in closet room DONE!

The second Pax unit took 45 minutes to put together. The third one - 15 minutes!  We then added the Komplement interiors. As I told you in this post, Ikea is changing a lot of their Komplement interior pieces so just like the pull-out shoe racks, the pull out pants racks were on major clearance! I'm talking $5 each, people! Woo hoo! So the base Pax cabinet is $100. I have the 39" wide by 22" deep units. The clothes bars were $10 each. I used one of the clothes bars for the pants that I wear most often. I will be adding a drawer at the bottom of the pants unit. I'll also be adding a shelf in between the two shirt racks to put folded tees.

But wait! Where are the dresses and skirts?


And all the blazers? Well they are in my office closet. Unfortunately to add those, I would have to pair down my clothes. And speaking of that, so I took a bunch of pictures of my clothes and then looked on eBay to see comparables so I can price things fairly. It's grim for the J. Crew Café Capri pants and pencil skirts I own. I'm thinking the timing might not be right so I'll wait until the weather warms up.

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