Saturday, May 30, 2009

Almost done!

This was the kitchen on the day of our home inspection (we can hardly believe that was already 9 months ago!)

Here is out kitchen today!! This was only about 6 or 7 hours of work, and will definitely hold us over until the big reno. The pictures came out a little more yellow than the true color because I took these pictures around 7 am with the rising sun shining directly in, so I will try and re-update with color corrected pics later this weekend.

We FINALLY took the plastic off the dishwasher! (although that made for easy painting LOL). This is pretty much our kitchen pride and joy since it is the only fancy appliance we have bought for our "future" kitchen.

Now we are off to the street fair!

Friday, May 29, 2009

No Prob Knobs

Remember how much our dream kitchen was going to cost??? Well this temporary kitchen is shaping up really well, and the best part is how little it cost! I was truly inspired by the $10 kitchen reno that Erin at Rare and Beautiful Treasures shared with us from Alyssa at Resolved to Worship (links to both blogs on the left).

Here is our cost breakdown for the entire temporary update:
1 gallon of Behr premium kitchen and bath paint- $36
0.5 gallon of primer- free left overs from stair project
1 can of black rustoleum spray paint- free from pile of cans in garage
1 foam roller and 2 refills- $6
1 shelf from Ikea- had it laying in the garage, but originally cost $26

Part of the reason that our update was so cheap was because we worked with what we had already. I would have loved to do a new backsplash or update the cabinet and drawer pulls but this is just too temporary to justify it so we got creative.

These were our original pulls. The shape wasn't bad, but the brass and white ceramic were awfully outdated.

We removed them all and used Rustoleum black matte spray to give them a second chance at life.

Once they were back in place we didn't even recognize them! They definitely look like something you might pay up to $5 or $6 each for at a big box home store. I love how chunky they are!

Here is what we were doing last evening!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Design Dazzle

We were completely blown away when Toni from Design Dazzle contacted us recently asking to share Wren's room (poor Wren has no privacy hehe). We have been huge fans of design dazzle for quite some time, Toni has TONS of great inspiration for kid's rooms and nurseries.
Check it out here:

Step 2: shelf installed!

This morning we are off to pick a paint color for all the cabinets so I will hopefully get started on all that today. Even though the backsplash tiles are not something I would have picked they really are not all that bad, and could definitely be worse! So we are going to go with a creamy color, similar to my mixer, that will coordinate pretty well.
Oh yeah, and Sean is going to put a new outlet where that yellow one is so it isn't quite so conspicuous (formerly the microwave plug in).

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Step 1: Remove Cabinets

I was so eager to get going that I started today! Sean kindly helped me remove the upper cabinets on one side of the kitchen. These are what created the dark hole feeling since they blocked a ton of great light from the bay windows in the eat in nook. This is the wall that will have a new window when the final renos happen, but for now I am going to paint this wall and put a shelf up. I know that most aren't fans of open storage in a kitchen but I am one of the few who have always liked it!

Step 1 in many to come, but a big difference already~
p.s.- the dishwasher isn't peeling, it is new and we have yet to remove the plastic protecting the stainless steel

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Kitchen Blues

So we came to the conclusion today that something absolutely MUST be done with the kitchen. We want to do a full blown kitchen remodel that will include ripping down walls and basically everything from the tile floors to all cabintry, as well as adding a window. The fact of the matter is that we really do not want to skimp on anything with this because it is truely the center of every home and we will have to live with it for years to come. The only problem? This: $$$.
Subzero fridge: $8,000
Freezer drawers: $2500
6 burner range & hood: $5000
new cabinets: $15,000 or more
carrera marble counters: $6,000

We made the decision when we moved in that we will not compromise on any of the things we want to do, but we also decided that we will only do things we can pay cash for. No reno debt for us! This means that the kitchen may not be done this year. The only appropriate time of year for all that work is really Spring and Summer due to a possible hole in the wall as the new window is installed so if it doesn't happen by August, it probably won't happen until next May.

Today we were tidying up some other construction debris in the kitchen and we both looked at each other and said "Goodness we have to get this room in shape!". We can't stand spending time in that dark, dingy hole we call a kitchen. If you are a fan of The Lettered Cottage like I am, that you have seen her amazing kitchen reno and we also did a quick update on the kitchen in our previous home so we are familiar with the territory of spraying cabinets and adding interest.

I am not sure when exactly we will work on this temporary fix, but hopefully in the next couple of weeks! LOTS of pictures to come as we make a drab kitchen temporarily a little more fab~

Monday, May 25, 2009

Deceptively Delicious

So I have had this cook book sitting in our pantry and on my "To Try" list for quite some time now. There is a bit of prep involved in getting all the purees ready and waiting ahead of time so you don't have to spend hours over the stove for a bowl of pasta or a couple chicken nuggets. I think I finally have our schedule worked out well enough to know when I have a few hours each week to devote to pureeing so that throughout the week we can whip up delicious and healthy meals in only minutes. Our first meals this week will be "pita pizzas", Mozza sticks, chocolate cupcakes, and lasagna. I hope that they veggies really are as deceptively unnoticeable as the book claims!
Review to come in the next few days~

Friday, May 22, 2009

First Trip to the Park

Today was a gorgeous day so we took a stroll with both the dogs and Wren to a neighborhood park. It was Wren's first trip to a park and so she had to try everything out! It was soooo sunny that we had to make her wear the hood on her jacket to protect her little head. I think I am going to get her a pair of sunglasses for the summer so she doesn't have to squint in every picture.

Poor Wren was taken "off-roading" by her dad!

On the see-saw.

Trying out the slide!

Rosy wanted in on the action so I took her for a swing.

Boys will be boys! I refused to get a picture of him doing backflips off the swing set...

Up-side down clown.
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Congrats Dad~

Wren is excited to welcome her dad to the blogosphere! For years now he has bombarded us with "Would you rather have this car or that car?" questions so it is nice that he finally has an outlet to harrass other people LOL.
Very fittingly, his blog is titled This Car That Car, and if you or someone you know loves cars check it out here.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Today we went to our first baby lap time session at the library and Wren's daddy had to document it as we arrived home. Wren is now the proud owner of her very first library card which she used to check out 6 books.
Since it is the first sunny day in a few days we are off to the farmer's market this afternoon to pick out some fresh produce for dinner. Hope you are all having a great day as well!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


They are not the most exciting area of the house (typically), but they are the first and sometimes only area that guests see as they enter your home. Even though it may not be a large area it can be a challenge to get this room right due to all the organization and storage needs that most of us have. Here are a few cool ideas that I think have enough WOW! that I am storing away for future inspiration:

credit: Sarah Richardson

Credit: both photos, House Beautiful
Anyone know where this originates? Thanks!

Monday, May 18, 2009

For the last couple of days little baby has decided that she is just not interested in doing the afternoon nap thing. She happily goes down in the morning, and again at midday, but around 4 or 5 in the afternoon she fights it! (as witnessed in the above photo). We struggle for about 20 minutes until she gives in.

By the time she finally goes down my first reaction is "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh". A little quiet time. I think of all the things I can finish (that load of laundry, the dishes, sweeping, the list goes on...).

But about 10 minutes of silence later I realize that it is too quiet. I already feel excited to see her little smiles again and have to fight the urge to go in and wake her up! But I know she needs that sleep so I enjoy my time while I can, all the while looking forward to play time.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Spearmint Baby

We were completely flattered when Shari over at our favorite baby site, Spearmint Baby, emailed us asking if she could share Wren's nursery. As always, we were thrilled and excited! If you have children, are pregnant, or even just enjoy browsing through adorable baby goodies you have to make this site one of your favorites:

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Harry Barker

I have gotten quite a few emails about the 2 dog bowls I found at Home Goods (who makes them???) so I flipped the bowls over and saw that they were manufactured by Harry Barker. Hmmm, cute name, cute logo, and cute bowls.... I definitely needed to see if they had a website. And they do!

They carry adorable products in all the latest design trends and colors so your pup can be as fabulous as your decor.
Love the pattern on these collars!

No more dog food bags spilling everywhere:

With these cute jars you can store their treats out on the counter!

What lucky dog wouldn't enjoy play time with these rope bones?

And one of my favorite products, these silhouette patterned beds:

Check out all these products and more at

Friday, May 15, 2009

Ahhh it is 5:30pm, one of my favorite times of day. Wren is asleep in her crib, Sean is at work and I actually have nothing to do! I try and spend at least 2 hours each day doing nothing but reading my latest book, magazine or even catching a nap on my favorite chair in the living room, which at this time of the evening is covered in a flood of warm sunlight. Tonight it is extra special since I can smell the fresh scent of the Spring's first cutting of flowers (pink tulips) and the radio (which is almost always programmed to Wren's favorite these days: French Classics) has played 6 great songs in a row. It is important to set aside that special time each day where you are free to do whatever makes you smile, laugh and sometimes even cry, and if during that time you happen to be reading this blog then thank you for spending it with us!

Lately these two have been as thick as thieves. They did some errands yesterday and came home with a bunch of flowers for me and today they were sweet enough to send me off to the spa for a 1 hour massage! Talk about starting the weekend off right.

House of Turquoise

Thank you so much to Erin over at House of Turquoise for featuring Wren's Room today! If you aren't already familiar with her fantastic blog you have check it out!

Click Here to see

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Stairway to Heaven

There is 1 thing in our house that I am at my wits end with: our staircase. Besides the Kitchen, it is the last area to not have the carpet ripped up and hardwood put down, and to make matters worse, it is the first thing you see when you walk in the front door. As the last remaining bit of carpet it has somehow become a large dust trap collecting all shreds of leaves the dogs may have on their paws, any stray feathers that fly around on laundry day out of pillows and duvets, and it bears an unfortunate marking on the bottom 6 stairs where I had a very sorry incident involving an open can of paint.

I am desperate to start something, anything! even, on these stairs. But we have 2 road blocks, the first being that we really don't know where to start (do you remove all the bannisters too? which direction should the wood grain go, do you dry wall the riser or just paint the current wood???), the second being that we are not sure it is even within our capability to do it properly (and safely for that matter...). So now we are contemplating just stripping back the carpet and painting them for the time being.

Below are some of my favorite images of painted stairs, as well as an image from Domino of what I hope our final stair case will look like once we get around to the wood.

House to Home UK


apartment therapy

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

1. In exactly 1 week Wren and I will be starting our first Salsa Baby class!!!

You basically strap your baby onto you and give them a rattle while you dance! We are really looking forward to it since we have heard nothing but rave reviews. The other great thing about it is that we signed up with a handful of other mom's and baby's from our New Mom's group (that sadly only has one meeting left!) so we are definitely in for a great time.
2. Our lawn is finally starting to look alive! It seems that Spring was late in arriving and so was our green grass.
3. Wren's 5 month check up went great today. She is FINALLY 13 lbs (just barely LOL)!!!
hope you are all having a great day as well, and as always we love to hear about it!

Bottle Beautiful

How beautiful are these???

Amber over at This Journey To... was so sweet to email me with this awesome project she found on Cheap, easy and stunning, my favorite ingredients in any good craft. Simply follow these steps and you have a great accessory for any windowsill, counter top or book case:

1. Buy dishwasher-safe enamel paint and surface conditioner (like Delta brand; $3.14 each at crafts stores).

2. Prime the glass by pouring a bit of conditioner into clean, dry bottles to coat the inside.

3. Pour out any excess. Once completely dry, coat the inside of the bottles with enamel, then then prop them each upside down in a jar or on a paper towel to catch drips.

4. Check periodically for the first hour, wiping any excess from the lips. Allow to dry completely for about 48 hours.

I am going to collect a few bottles over the next couple of weeks and share the final product.
And a huge thanks to Amber for sharing this awesome project with us~

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mother's Day

This was our dining room on Friday morning:

We had a couple issues for todays breakfast:
1. our round table did not have enough room for 6
2. we needed a little more romance!
While I am still not ready to commit to hanging anything just yet, I think we came a long way by just adding our old rectangular table and reorganizing the layout.
And here was our dining room today!

(we LOVE our pelegrino Panna water!)
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