Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas Eve!

Someone's waiting for Santa!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I was going to post these pictures over the weekend but then I thought I might as well wait a few days and make it an entire month since my last post. I guess not posting for a month gives the impression that we haven't been doing anything. Which is sort of true. Actually we have done stuff it just doesn't make for interesting blogging. I am still working on the kitchen cabinets - that project is a labor of love if ever there was one. I have also been spending a lot of time helping my dear friend Sasha plan her wedding. Its next week and I still have a LOT to do! Yikes!

I wanted to post some photos of our holiday decor because I love how cosy our house feels during the holidays. I don't do a single thing for Valentine's day, Easter, 4th of July etc (because I am too lazy) but I LOVE Christmas! Last year I bought some berry garlands on super sale after Christmas and I couldn't wait to use them this year!

I had enough to put them all the way up the stairway banister and I love the touch of red it brings to the room.

I secured the berry garlands with some black ribbon (left over from our wedding) and I love the little black bows almost as much as I love the berries on the other side.

I also got a little out of hand with the marked down glass ornaments after Christmas last year. There were way too many for the tree so I put a bunch into some cylinder vases for a festive centerpiece.
My friend, who is a mother of 3, came over the other day and as soon as she saw them she announced that it was so obvious no kids lived in our house! I guess she's right.

We got our tree from Costco last year and we weren't sure how well it would fluff up the second year. Well it looks just as good as last year - thank goodness - so hopefully we can get many years of use out of it.

I hosted an ornament exchange at the beginning of December and this the ornament I got for it.

I loved it so much I went out the next day and got one for myself!

The cats got personalized ornaments from pottery barn kids last year so of course this year I had to get Zeke his own. (I just re-read that sentence and I sound like a crazy pet-obsessed person.)

Don't ask me why there are 6 stockings when there are 2 humans and 3 pets living here - it just seemed like the right thing to do to use all the stocking holders.

Now I need to go listen to Christmas music - its almost Christmas and I haven't listened to nearly enough this year!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The worst project ever ...

First of all I must apologize for being a bad blogger. We haven't had much going on lately and the few things I have been doing aren't really interesting enough to blog about. Well actually we did go to Philly at the end of October and it was really fun, but I didn't really take any photos so I wont bore you with a picture-less post about it.

Anyway, on to the worst project ever!

Last weekend we started the greatly anticipated (and at the same time somewhat dreaded) project of painting the kitchen cabinets.

I know some people consider it a crime to paint wood, but really this wood is not in good shape. There is water damage by the sink, above the microwave, and in a few other spots, and it needs immediate attention before it gets worse. And lets not forget the color - yellow oak - not exactly my favorite look.

For your viewing pleasure here are some examples of the damaged, peeling varnish:

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Before we decided to paint we looked at our options:
1. Have the cabinets refaced --- too expensive
2. Strip, sand and re-stain them --- way too much work (just the sanding alone had me convinced it was a no-go)
3. Lightly sand, prime and paint --- also a lot of work, but less than staining and we've already had some success painting the powder room vanity and the upstairs hallway cabinets

Well ...
We're about 1/4 of the way done and its officially the worst project ever - I feel like we're working on it constantly with the multiple coats on every surface, and ever since we started its been cold and moist here so everything takes longer to dry. But we cant stop now so we have to continue. So I guess I'll just whine about it until its all done, which at this rate will be in about a month. Hopefully it will fabulous when its all done and then it will all be worth it! :-)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Birthday boy

Remember this little munchkin???

Zeke turned 1 today!
To celebrate this milestone we subjected him to an embarrassing (but cute) photo shoot ...

(Monkey was really intrigued by the fluffy yellow thing at the top - being an inside cat he lives a sheltered life.)

(My favorite shot - that demoralized face is too adorable!)

Happy Birthday Zeker-dog!!!

Monday, October 12, 2009


Over the weekend I came across a sweet scene. I quickly grabbed my camera and started snapping.

Now I know why I have dog hair all over my pillow ...

(Notice the post-nap gunk in his eye ...)


I love these guys.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Lazy Halloween decor

Since we're not going to be around for Halloween this year (we'll be in Philly) I didn't want to go all out on decor but I still wanted to put something festive by our front door.
My criteria: simple, cute (no ghouls for me!) and cheap.

I started with some branches from the back yard and some craft birds from Michael's (I really wanted crows but I could only find white doves).

After spray-painting the branches and birds black, I arranged the branches in a pot we had lying around and then hot-glued the birds to the branches. I picked up a few pumpkins at the grocery store and voila - easy Halloween decor!

Now I just have to hope that the neighborhood cats don't try to catch my baby ravens (as Josh likes to call them)!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

1 year

We just realized that today is the 1 year anniversary of us moving into our house. Time has really flown by and its hard to believe we've lived here for a whole year! We still love the house and it still feels new to us ... and we also still have many, many things we'd like to do to it!

Monday, September 21, 2009

2 Years!

To my other half:

Happy 2 years!

I hope we have many more years of laughing hysterically at things that shouldn't be funny to people our age, and staying home on Saturday evenings hanging out and listening to music (although maybe you could tone down the laughing at my chronic mis-heard lyrics!). I hope every year continues to feel like the best year of our lives.

Love you.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Football fun

Josh loves all sports but in particular is a football fanatic. I am not. At all.
In an effort to make football a little more fun for me we made up a game last year and we are playing it again this year. Each week we try to predict who will win each game. We make our picks based on our own special rating systems and then track who has the best record for the whole season. Josh's rating system utilizes his expansive knowledge of players and team performance and since I have none of that I pick teams based on their uniform color scheme and their logo.

You're probably thinking my rating system is ridiculous and sometimes it is – for example I love the New Orleans Saints logo because it features a fleur-de-lis so I almost always pick them, no matter who they are playing.

So far there’s only been one week of picks and Josh and I tied in picking the winning teams. I hope my ‘special’ rating system continues to do well for me!

(Josh just read this as I was writing and said “your special rating system sucks” – now I REALLY want to beat him!)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Mini facelift

We love our house but when we moved in it was tied for the ugliest house on the street. Not much going on in the curb appeal department. Well no one wants that label so over the summer we did a few projects to spruce up the front of our house.

We had barren flower beds (the previous owners put down landscape fabric, covered it with mulch, and called it a day), random empty pots on the patio, and a less than fresh paint job that was peeling in parts.

Painting the exterior of the house was out of the question so we got to work on a few less pricey projects. As I've mentioned before I have zero gardening ability and that combined with brutal 100+ degree summer heat meant that we needed to select difficult-to-kill plants. I noticed a lot of geraniums around the neighborhood and they appeared to be doing well so we decided to go with a few of those. I also added in a few asparagus ferns for some variety and they are doing okay thanks to only getting morning sun and being shaded from the harsh afternoon rays by the patio overhang.

The project that made the biggest difference was painting the green front door and other trim. We picked a really dark blue with a hint of green but in reality the color dried much lighter. (Although it looks black in the photo below - weird.) Even though the color isn't exactly what we wanted, just the fact that its freshly painted and not faded and peeling makes a big difference!
Here's Josh getting ready to paint the shutters - I'm glad he went up on the roof because I'm so clumsy there's a 80% chance I would have lost my balance and fallen off!

Finally we replaced the yellow brass front door hardware with satin nickel. I am still looking for a replacement doorbell so for now it will be a lovely reminder of the former yellow look we had going on.
Anyway, enough of me blabbing on and on ... here's how it looks now:
(I dont think the little changes are very noticeable in the picture but in person it looks SO much better!)

(Please excuse the brown patches of grass. I had the great idea to fertilize the front lawn but unfortunately I made the rookie mistake of overdoing it in a few patches so now we have some lovely dead areas of lawn - oops. As soon as it cools off a little we will be putting some grass seed down.)
Now its moved up to being the second ugliest house on the street!! :-P

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Somebody turned 30 today!

Cute then.

And still cute now.

Happy Birthday!
Love you.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I ♥ paint!

I continue to be amazed by the transforming ability of paint. Just a few coats can turn something ugly into something much more attractive!

In the hallway upstairs there is a cabinet that I think is supposed to be a linen closet. Like all the other wood in our house it was a yellowed oak.

We had painted the upstairs hallway and hung some frames but we just weren't feeling the look of the cabinet.

Then I got the idea to paint it. Because we're boring and love black we still had paint left over from when we painted the powder room vanity we decided to paint it black.

Here it is with the doors removed and the outside primed. Initially I had planned on only painting the outside but the inside is part wall and part particle board so I decided to paint it too.

After priming, 2 coats of paint and a coat of varnish it went from yellowed oak to snazzy black!

Josh and I have been collecting Pearl Jam concert posters for years so we have quite a collection sitting in art folders - its nice to finally get them out of storage and incorporate them into our decor!

You can't really tell in the photo below but I used leftover light blue paint from the living room for the inside of the cabinet - I thought it would look nice with our white towels.
You might be thinking that white is a very impractical color choice but really its great because it goes with everything and is easy to bleach. And it gives our bathroom a bit more of a hotel-ish vibe :-)

(Did you guess from the multiples of deodorant and toothpaste that we shop at Costco?)

On the left wall are some framed photos of our siblings through the years.
Here's a closeup of one side:

And here are the others:

(I just love that one of my brothers when they were little - I especially love how baby Shaun is bigger than 3 year old Andrew!)

The best part of this project is the cost. We already had the paint so we only had to buy hinges and knobs so the project cost us about $11!!!
Bit by bit we are eradicating the oak in this house! :-)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

This is what happens ...

... when you make-over a room and don't use it.

Josh and I usually hang out in the family room (where the TV is) and I guess since we seldom use the living room the pets have decided its their room. I woke them up when I took this photo but they are usually in there napping - and I love how they each have their own chair/sofa!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Graduation Day

Zeker-dog graduated from his beginner obedience training class yesterday. Here he is getting his graduate cap. Love that face!

(I guess this is what happens when you don't have kids - you get really excited about your pets' milestones.)