Saturday, October 29, 2011

House tour: Kitchen

Our kitchen has improved 100% in aesthetics and functionality in the past few months! As a reminder, here's the kitchen before we moved in:




And here she is today:








The changes I told you about a few months ago are coming along! So far, here's what we've done in the kitchen since moving in:
  • Added the fridge
  • Added the island
  • Installed an under cabinet wine rack and magnetic knife rack
  • Replaced the old blue horizontal blinds with bamboo roman shades
  • Installed hooks for storage by the door
  • Had granite countertop installed
  • Replaced the sink and faucet
  • Painted the walls
Here's what we plan to do next:
  • Add a backsplash
  • Replace the linoleum floor with tile
  • Replace the lighting fixtures

Thursday, October 27, 2011

House tour: Dining room

I owe this little blog some updates. I apologize - everything comes along so slowly and I wanted to have amazing "after" pictures to share... but that clearly won't be for a while! So my goal in the near future is to give you an "in progress" house tour. Starting with the dining room. First, here's a reminder of the dining room when we bought the house:




And here it is today:






What we've done so far:
  • Painted the walls
  • Added the bamboo roman shade to the window
  • Bought a new dining set
Upcoming plans for this room:
  • Add art on the walls
  • Buy a buffet/sideboard for under the window
  • Stain the supports under the granite bar to match the cabinets
  • Add curtains for both the window and the sliding glass door
  • Replace the carpet with tile flooring
  • I want to do something to make the back of the kitchen cabinets less of an eyesore - I just don't know what!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Meal Plan Monday 10/10

Monday: Chipotle-esque burrito bowls with cilantro lime rice, Cuban black beans and salsa chicken

Tuesday: Beer cheese soup

Wednesday: Pasta with meatballs left over from our housewarming party

Thursday: Pulled pork left over from our housewarming party

Friday: Chicken spaghetti

Saturday: Chili

Sunday: Out with friends

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Family photo wall

I've wanted a collage/family photo wall for years and I'm so happy that I now have one! Check out this fabulousness:


  1. Little husband as a baby, circa 1979/80
  2. The only frame left to fill...
  3. My family at Volcano National Park in Hawaii, 2008
  4. Wedding photo, 2010
  5. James and one of his nieces
  6. James and his other niece
  7. My dad (the youngest), aunts and uncle, circa 1957
  8. Baby husband and his mom, circa 1981
  9. Another of our favorite wedding photos, 2010
  10. Baby me, circa 1988
To find the arrangement I wanted, I laid out all the frames on the floor before beginning anything. It took a few days of changing things around (Actually the idea started out being a mix of black and white photography/art and B/W family photos. Then it evolved into a combo of B/W and color family photos only).


I got this little tip from Young House Love - cut out newspaper in the sizes of the frames and tape them to the wall to help gauge where things should be positioned.


That helped to avoid putting too many holes in the wall, deciding a frame was in the wrong place, and having to make another hole. There was at least one or two of those, but instances were severely limited thanks to this handy dandy idea! Many of them I actually nailed right through the newspaper that was still on the wall, then just tore it away.

Here's what the wall looked like at first. You can see that most of the frames were empty and some were mismatched.


I thought about painting all the frames one color, but it turned out that I didn't mind the variation. I just wanted them to be a little more unified, so it was decided that they'd all be black, metallic or very dark brown.

This only required me to paint three of the lighter wood tone ones black. I just spray painted out back, over a box so I didn't get the grass. Easy peasy :)

I had the remaining photos printed by Walgreens and Shutterfly. I still have one more small one to get enlarged so it can go in frame 2. Here's how the wall looks today...



It's in the hallway between all the bedrooms and bathrooms. Here's the view from the living room...


I love how this turned out! I spent very little money on it because I'd been collecting the frames for a while - most were gifts and some were repurposed. The biggest expense was getting the larger images printed (The most expensive was image 9, around $12. Number 4 was included in our wedding photography package).

Friday, October 7, 2011

Housewarming party menu

Our housewarming party was a success! Unfortch, I was too busy hosting and having fun to take any photos, but it was great. We had over 20 guests check out our casa, including my family, hubby's family, our friends and a neighbor! Here's what I served.

  • Pulled pork (in a crock pot) with buns. I made almost 8 lbs. and 2 or 3 lbs. were left over at the end of the night. I don't mind though - it freezes great and is still delish next time I want some :)
  • Meatballs (in a crock pot). I used this recipe but with 3 lbs. of frozen meatballs.
  • Cheese and meat tray with pepperoni, salami, chipotle jack, gouda and smoked cheeses.
  • Veggie tray with olives, broccoli, carrots, cucumber and hummus.
  • Spinach dip in a sourdough bread bowl.
  • Tortellini salad (the bag mix from Costco).
  • Mini cheesecakes - adorable with cherries on top! I made waaaay too many though.
  • Death by chocolate cookies - my mom provided these!
  • Soda, water bottles, red wine, beer and champagne punch.
I'm so glad that we held this celebration because I just love planning and hosting parties! Next one will be either Thanksgiving or our second annual tacky holiday sweater party!!