Monday, April 27, 2009


Every family has one of 'those' pictures. This is ours.

London 1992

From the unruly hair to our outfits it's all bad. I remember this day very clearly and recall thinking my outfit was incredibly hip. I was way off.

As bad as it is its one of my favorite pictures :-)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

No more mirrors!

Remember this?

Well this weekend we finally got rid of the tacky mirror mosaic around the fireplace!

First I ripped off the old molding and started chipping away at the mirror mosaic.

Next I taped off the entire area and spray painted the brass strips on the doors.

(I didn't change the tiles - the lighting just makes them look different.)

Then I put up new molding and painted it glossy white. I hadn't planned on keeping those square things at the bottom of the side pieces but when I took them off I noticed the tile had been cut to accommodate them so if I didn't put them back there would be a space on either side.

The trim and spray paint cost a little under $20 - if I'd known the project would be this easy and inexpensive I would have done it months ago!

Its nothing fancy but we really love how it turned out!

What do you think?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Perfect Pendant

Since we moved in we've been talking about getting rid of the large fluorescent light in the kitchen. We thought a pendant would look better above the island than a flush mount so we started looking around. Maybe we just weren't looking in the right places but we couldn't find anything that would work. Everything was either too small and wouldn't provide enough light, or too not-our-style.

And then I found this beauty:

A little industrial. A lot pretty. I was in love. Then I saw the price tag and decided to keep looking.
Fast forward to last night when I found it on ebay for a little over half price - score!
I can't wait to have this fabulousness in my kitchen!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Mr. Smiley

AKA Mr. Cow

(he eats grass with more enthusiasm than he eats his dog food)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Birthday Wishes

Today is my lovely Mom's birthday.

Mom - I wish I was in England so we could do something special to celebrate your birthday!
I love you!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Family Room & Dining Nook

It’s been a while since I posted any progress photos and the Family Room / Dining Nook is pretty much done so here goes. (I'm really not sure if nook is the right term but a few people have called it that so I'm going with it.)

The Family Room / Dining Nook / Kitchen is a long room that runs the entire length of the back of the house. This is where we spend most of our time. I definitely feel like the room is still a little under-accessorized but that will come in time.

Here is the 'before' from when we looked at the house (taken from the kitchen side) - way too yellow toned for us!

Here's Josh finishing up painting the ceiling (I do the walls, he does the ceilings - and even though there are more walls I still feel like I got the better deal!)

And here it is today!

We painted, put in new blinds and replaced the ceiling fan (this is actually the 4th ceiling fan - we returned the first 3 because we kept changing our minds - yes I'm that picky!)

We wanted to get rid of the yellow tone but still have a warm feeling in the room. I love a lot of black but I also like to keep things light and airy and I think we did a good job of balancing the two.

The dining nook. We decided to do curtains instead of vertical blinds over the sliding glass door.

We still need to do something with that fireplace …

Cadbury Love

I have a mild major addiction to Cadbury Mini Eggs. From the crisp sugar shell to the smooth milk chocolate in the middle, I adore them. I could seriously eat a whole bag in one day. Well I found something amazing at Target the other night ... a hollow egg made out of Cadbury milk chocolate (which, by the way, I am also addicted to - as I told Josh "its not just chocolate, its a way of life") filled with Mini Eggs. Its literally my dream candy! They only had 2 and I bought them both - its probably a good thing they didn't have more because I cant guarantee I wouldn't have bought them all ... you know, to enjoy for the rest of the year ;-)


Happy Easter everyone!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Stove woes

We're having some appliance drama. We ordered a new stove to replace our dated one that cooks way too hot. (By the way - I must be getting old because the thought of getting new appliances is really exciting to me - a few years ago I never would have cared about a new stove!) It was delivered last Saturday and the delivery/installation guys left it 5 inches out from the wall and said that was the best they could do.

Including the oven handle it was sticking out 7 inches! Not okay.

It turns out there was a metal 'anti tip device' nailed into the ground that needed to be removed and the installation guys just didn't bother. So when Josh came home we had to reinstall it ourselves.

Then on Wednesday night I noticed the interior finish on the bottom of the oven was cracking and coming off - I've only used the oven twice!!!

We went back to Lowe's yesterday to see if they can exchange it and of course the item is sold out - even the floor model. So now we're waiting for a floor model from another store and the guy basically told us its not high priority so who knows how long it will take.

You're probably thinking we should just pick a different stove but I looked at all the electric ceramic top stoves they had and ours is still the only one I like.

So we wait.

Friday, April 10, 2009


I found these adorable little pots at Marshalls and when I saw they were only $3 each they jumped into my cart! I'm working on my black thumb so I thought I'd try growing some herbs. I love to cook with herbs so if they survive it will be great to have some around all the time.

Zeke really liked them too (or maybe he just thought there were treats hidden in the bottom)

Its been a couple of days and so far so good!

To-do List Mania

I am someone who likes lists (actually loves lists) so naturally I have to-do lists in my head and on various pieces of paper of projects I want to do in the house. Well its getting hard to keep track of all these lists and since I posted my April house goals the other day I thought I'd better get organized. In an attempt to simplify things I decided to give each room its own to-do list.

Sounds like a good idea right?

Well I tend to be a little too detail-oriented so somehow this:

* Finish guest room

Became this:

* Finish guest room
- Install crown molding
- Paint inside of closet
- Find removed closet doors and reinstall
- Paint door and trim
- Replace door knob
- Hang curtains
- Sand and re-stain bed a darker color
- Stain bedside tables to match
- Move furniture in and decorate

(I wont bore you to tears by posting the other rooms’ lists.)

It’s nice to have it all down on paper to refer to but now it looks like a lot more work … maybe the original disorganized list wasn’t so bad after all! :-)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Out of town guests

Josh's dad and step-mom were in San Francisco for a conference and when it was over they came to stay with us for a few days. We did some touristy stuff but mostly just hung out because they live in Philly so Josh doesn't get to see them very often.

And now for some photos - once again I forgot to be in a single photo. This happens a lot!

We went on a little drive over the Golden Gate bridge to Sausalito

That's the San Francisco skyline in the background

Father and son

On the way back we stopped at our favorite Golden Gate lookout spot

Zeke enjoyed meeting some of his grand-parents

The end.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

April Goals

I am a fan of lists. I enjoy checking things off but I am also guilty of just making a new list and rolling things over if I miss my deadline (this happens a lot!). I usually keep my lists to myself but I'm going to try posting it to see if it helps keep me on track.

These are my home-related goals for April:

1. Work on the guest room - so far we've painted, and put in a new ceiling fan and blinds. Now it needs all the details.

2. Paint the living room - totally dreading this because of the high ceilings. I'll post some 'before' shots soon.

3. Make some freezer meals - I love to cook but I work 10 hour days Monday to Thursday so I get home late and usually don't feel like cooking. I would happily eat cereal for dinner on those nights but my dear husband looks at me in disgust every time I suggest this.
(Anyone have any suggestions? I don't have much experience with freezing cooked food.)

That's it. I know it looks like a short list but believe me the painting alone is going to take forever. I'll report back at the end of the month with my progress.

And because no blog entry is complete without a picture, here's a cute shot of Zeke (who's 5 months old today) and Josh.

Sun bathing

Today I should hem the sliding door curtains ... but then what will Monkey lie on when he takes his cat naps?

Friday, April 3, 2009


I love having fresh flowers in the house but seldom buy any because there about a million other things I should be spending my money on.
I would grow my own flowers but I have a black thumb so it would be a waste of time.

Well I've been lucky this week!

Check out these daffodils I got at Trader Joes for $1.30 for a bunch of 10:

Sure, I had to put them in water and wait for them to open, but a few days later they look like this:

What a steal!
Also, we have these crazy, untamed rose bushes in our back yard that we’ve been trying to kill off because you risk your life every time you walk past them. So far we’ve cut about half of them down but the remaining ones are starting to flower. The roses are huge and so fragrant!

I love spring!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Feline Love

*Warning: cat lady post*

Today is Monkey and Hobbes' 6th birthday!

To celebrate I am posting some of my favorite photos of them. They are my darlings and were my only friends when I first moved to California and didn't know anyone.