Monday, April 21, 2014

Radio Silence

I know - crickets on the blog lately. With good reason. I haven't been near my laptop in about a week and a half. Been traveling. A lot! So it started with a trip to Connecticut to train a temp, who quit a few days later.  Fun. Followed by a trip to San Diego for four days. I was at a Madcap Flare conference to further my knowledge in software I use every day for work. San Diego was absolutely beautiful. If my family wasn't in FL, I'd move to California in a heartbeat. Hubby was in too. There's actually a job opening in San Diego for a technical writer for Madcap, but my family would kill me and we just bought our house. So as tempting as it was (and man was it tempting!), I just couldn't do it.

Here are some pics of the first day. I stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel, which was pretty snazzy. They even embroider the pillows and put guitar pick stickers on the toilet paper. When I checked in, I was asked which genre of music I wanted playing in my room. On my last night, I went down to Nobu and had some awesome sushi. It was a noisy hotel on the weekend, but was pretty quiet during the week.

On my first day in town, I walked along downtown in the Gaslamp district. I also discovered World Market. OMG! Awesome home goods store. I knew of the online site but didn't know they had brick and mortar stores as well. Turns out there's one about an hour from my house. Yipee!

So here's day 1. Day 2 will be in my next post. And our floors are in and I've been busy bead boarding the fireplace living room. Stay tuned for that post.






Early morning flight - ignore the dark circles.




Thai food - eh, so so.


Chicken with cilantro crème - awesome!
















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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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