Friday, May 29, 2009


I'm probably getting a little ahead of myself but I am so excited about what I saw on my tomato plant today! As I've mentioned before I have a history of being a black thumbed plant killer but I am determined to grow tomatoes this year. I have 3 tomato plants growing in pots: 2 brandywine heirlooms (my favorite!) and 1 cherry and I've been getting frustrated because they keep growing flowers which just shrivel and up and die ... with no sign of fruit. Well this morning I spied a teeny little tomato (and an even teenier one next to it) on the cherry tomato plant - I was so excited I started yelling and ran inside to get Josh. He was kind enough to act excited too :-)

Based on this development I think I can say my thumb is now brown and heading towards dark green! :-)

More painting

On Monday when everyone in our neighborhood was barbecuing in their back yards we thought it would be more fun to start painting our living room. I've been wanting to do it for months but we've been putting it off because of the high ceilings. We didn't make a whole lot of progress but it feels good to have started.

(We try to paint in really stylish outfits ...)

As usual Monkey and Hobbes lazed around and got in the way ...

BTW ... yes, we will be replacing that light by the front door (I know you were wondering).

Fruit glorious fruit

We are lucky to live about 10 minutes from a bunch of fruit orchards so last weekend we headed over to pick some cherries and peaches.

You cant really tell from this photo but the cherries were literally dripping off the trees.

I had to resist the urge to grab handfuls and stuff them into my mouth - don't they look delicious?!

On the walk over to the peach trees we passed this huge field - I'm no expert but they looked like cherry tomato plants. Unfortunately there were no tomatoes yet (assuming that's what they're growing).

Delicious, soft, juicy peaches.

Our loot.

Since we had so many ripe peaches I made a dessert. Its a pie/cheesecake/crumble - I took a pie crust, poured in a cream cheese/egg/sugar mixture, added some sliced peaches, and put a crumbly topping on top. It was sooooooo yummy!

It was a good day :-)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Powder Room

Oh happy day - the powder room is done! For being a tiny room it certainly was a lot of work!

As a refresher here is the powder room pre-makeover:

And here it is after we took it apart:

The toilet got to stay and I decided to keep the vanity base because it was in decent shape and I thought I could refinish it and save some money. Well let me just say that next time we tackle a bathroom I'm going to check out the prices of new ones because maybe spending a little money will be worth it if it saves me some headaches.

Anyway, on to the pictures! (I wish I could have got the whole room in the pic but its so small I couldn't make it work.)

(I love black and white and somehow it makes its way into every room!)

I decided to move the towel bar location from behind the door, where it was cramped and prevented the door from opening completely, to above the toilet. The replaced toilet roll holder also got moved from the side of the vanity to the wall.

Light fixture I found at Lowe's

Snazzy faucet I got an amazing deal on at Costco

Close up of the refinished vanity.
Sure it looks good now but these are the steps I had to take: sand off old varnish, prime, paint 2 coats, sand and touch up a few spots, polyurethane, wait a hundred years for the polyurethane to dry, install new hardware. Then after all that the 'standard size' vanity top we bought didn't really fit - apparently our vanity base wasn't quite standard size. We made it work though - just don't look too closely if you come visit :-)
It was a fun project and to complete it I had to learn some new skills. Now I know how to:
*patch drywall
*touch up texture on walls
*refinish a vanity
*replace a vanity top
*replace a faucet

We love it!!! Doesn't it look SO much better?!

Oh and the best part is that we stuck to a strict budget and I hunted down deals where I could so we ended up spending just under $350 to buy everything - that makes me love it even more!

Friday, May 15, 2009


Our dear little Zeke was neutered yesterday.
I feel slightly guilty posting this picture of him because he looks so demoralized but its just too cute not to share.

He was so out of it he didn't even bother to pester the cats.
He's feeling much better today and is looking more like his usual, perky self.
Hopefully he will stop trying to hump Josh's leg now :-)
(... luckily he never had much interest in mine)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Kitchen - a work in progress

Our kitchen is at the other end of the long family room / dining nook room. We still have a lot to do to get it looking exactly how we want it. Our goal for all projects around the house is to pay for them as we go – we don’t want to charge anything. Kitchen overhauls are pricey so this is going to be a looooong term project!

This is the kitchen the day we moved in:

(Rather dreary)

Things we were less than excited about:
*Boring 'builder basic' cabinetry with peeling finish
*Counter tops (they’re in good condition but just not really our style - not to mention the grout is a total pain to clean)
*Appliances in less-than-optimal condition (oven cooked hot and burned food half the time, microwave fan didn't work, dishwasher has broken off rusted prongs)
*Fluorescent lighting

Things we love:
*The room gets a good amount of light
*The sink in the corner in front of the 2 windows
*The island
*Lots of cabinet space

First we painted the walls and ceiling "Antique White" (the same as the rest of the room), and replaced the blinds. The paint color really helped to tone down the yellow-ness. Yay!

Then we replaced the microwave and stove.

This weekend we got rid of the fluorescent light and installed a gorgeous pendant. We had to hire an electrician to move the light outlet (or whatever its called) because the wires for the fluorescent light came out of the ceiling right by the stove - which would be a really odd spot to have the new pendant. This is what the ceiling looked like after he left - yikes!

I figured out how to patch dry wall and reapply wall texture and now it looks like this:

(Love it!)

Next I plan to paint the cabinets and add hardware. I'm excited but also dreading it because I know its going to be a LOT of work!


In honor of Mother's Day I thought I would post some pictures of our lovely mothers.

Happy Mother's Day!
We love you and wish we got to see you more often.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Half Birthday

Someone is 6 months old today!

We celebrated yesterday with some delicious wheat-free treats from the dog bakery. How adorable are these 'pastries'?!

Anticipation ...


(In case you're wondering, he's on his leash because he tries to eat rocks and my herbs if we let him loose in the back yard.)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Making a Mess

We are currently tackling a project that exceeds our skill level.

Here is the powder room at the beginning of the weekend:

And here it is currently:

Hopefully we can patch things up and get it put back together!
BTW ... What is this room typically called? I've heard bathroom, half bathroom, and powder room. No one around here calls them powder rooms but I like the name so that's what I'm going with for now.