Thursday, December 31, 2009
Valrhona hot chocolate with shortbread
Sausage bites with dipping sauces
Aspen trail mix
Roasted vegetable has browns
Winter white salad
Mini chocolate pancakes with maple cream
Danish coffee cake
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
California shelters are overrun with chihuahuas. According to this article from CBS news, “there are so many Chihuahuas at shelters in Oakland, they have started shipping the dogs out of state, said Megan Webb, director of Oakland Animal Services. Chihuahuas make up 30 percent or more of the dog populations at many California shelters. And experts say pop culture is to blame, with fans imitating Chihuahua-toting celebrities like Paris Hilton and Miley Cyrus, then abandoning the dogs. One of these California shelters’ biggest problems is a lack of money to fly the dogs to other states.”
They actually refer to it as the Paris Hilton syndrome. Yet another reason why I'm just not a fan. It's so sad to think of all those people who get these cute little guys and then realize that it's not a toy- you have to take care of them. Those of us with dogs understand the time and attention they need- even the little ones. It's not for everyone, but I enjoy it, and I know I get a lot out of having Loki around.
So if you know of anyone who's in California and looking for a small dog, or if you're going to be there and want to bring one home with you- and you're prepared for the responsibility of a dog- don't hesitate!
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Friday, December 4, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
But then we found our house. No front room in danger of getting neglected. In fact the whole downstairs is one big room. No walls separate the front from the family room from the kitchen. Makes things nice and easy as far as the flow for entertaining goes. But we still want to create some distinct areas within the space.
So we started with this piece. More seating, and a place to put snacks and appetizers that Loki can't get too. He's all about the appetizers. And anything else he can get too.
We found it on our local Craiglist. So happy with how it looks in the front of the room.
And I love the curves on the back of the chair.
After living with the bar in that space for a while, and making slight adjustments to the placement, we were ready to put up something on the wall above it. It was a little blank, and needed some more pizzaz.
Since we had originally talked about a martini lounge feel in a separate room- it seemed only fitting to add these four pictures above the bar. I got them with my friend Jessica and we hung them in our first apartment after college. They've moved with me to new apartments, in with the big guy and now here they are in our house. I hung these using the same graph paper technique I used to make the headboard in the third bedroom. So easy, and my little OCD self is very happy when things are evenly spaced.
Someday we'll replace them with a larger single piece. But not just yet. It's going to take us a while to find just the right piece. And for now, they're doing an excellent job as place holders. When we do move them, they'll look great in the garage with some of our movie posters and tin ads for various beers. Until we get a basement, the garage has to pull double duty as a place to store paint and keep our cars, and be a place to chill during beer pong tournaments.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
1 cup baking soda (first)
1 cup white vinegar (second)
allow to foam for 5 minutes
1 gallon boiling water
I have to admit I was skeptical, but it definitely helped the clogged drain we had in our master bathroom. But I think we waited to long to try something to really see the benefits. Had we done this right when we noticed that the sink wasn't draining quickly, I think we would have been much better off than what we actually did, which was wait until the water completely stopped moving.
It was not pretty. So not pretty, I avoided all pictures. You wouldn't have liked them, trust me. But we did learn a valuable lesson about responding early. A lesson that came in very handy with our water heater. I'll tell you more about that later.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
I didn't take a complete before picture, I'd already painted the cork chocolate brown. But in this shot you can see the color of the wooden frame. The cork, as you'd expect was a similar color.
Nothing fancy, but still very usable. I just wanted something a little different to hold some things in the laundry room.
So after the cork was dry, I covered it in newspaper and a little painter's tape we had left over from painting the family room and kitchen area. Once that was done, out came the white spray paint. I went with a glossy finish, just to make the frame stand out from the cork even more.
This is what the frame looked like while it dried. And the photo below is my final product.
Not too shabby for a first real DIY project. And it's a much prettier place for papers.
Monday, November 16, 2009
1. Go to the grocery store. Picked up all our side dish ingredients and did it pretty quickly.
2. Pick up the big guy at the airport. After a cancelled flight and a thirty minute delay, I finally got him in the car and on the way home. It was a late night!
3. Prep food for Saturday. I did a little bit, but could have done more. I did get the table set. I'll post pictures later this week, I just have to get them off the camera.
1. Get hair cut. Done! I'm thrilled with how it turned out.
2. Clean the house. The big guy had most of this done by the time I got back from the salon. He's awesome.
3. Cook Thanksgiving dinner. Our trial run went really well. I've got a small adjustment to make to the gravy, but everything else came out just the way I wanted. And we learned that it takes about 4 days in the fridge for a turkey to thaw. Fortunately the Fresh Market down the street had fresh turkeys available. Put us a little behind schedule, but hey, that's why we did a trial run!
1. Watch the Colts beat the Patriots. :-)
Friday, November 13, 2009
1. Go to the grocery store- yup, exciting stuff for a Friday night
2. Pick up the big guy at the airport. He's been gone all week for work, and I can't wait to have him back home. I know Loki's excited too.
3. Prep food for Saturday
1. Get hair cut. By this time tomorrow, I'll be a red head.
2. Clean the house. Not a lot of heavy scrubbing needs to be done, but some vaccuuming and dusting would be good. Maybe a quick pass through the bathrooms. I'll probably need the big guy to help with this while I'm working on the next item.
3. Cook Thanksgiving dinner. I know, it's not Thanksgiving on Saturday, but since we're hosting and I've not done a full turkey-day dinner on my own, we wanted to give ourselves a chance to practice. We've got some good friends willing ot be our guniea pigs.
1. Watch the Colts beat the Patriots. :-)
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
We already had the mattress and box spring in storage, so getting them into the room was pretty easy. It's a queen size bed, which made us realize what a nice size room it actually is.
The bed is pretty simple. In general I don't like the look of bed skirts. I think they all feel to fluffy and frilly, even the plain ones. So I took an extra fitted sheet and put it around the box spring, over the metal on the bed frame.
So in order to hang the frames, I started with some very large sheets of graph paper. The graph paper we have is in 1-inch increments. This makes translating the measurements very easy. I wanted my frames 14 inches apart, so I made a brigt green mark every 14 squares.
Then we hung the already-marked paper on the wall and made sure it was level.Then I followed the green marks that had been made on the paper and hammered my nails in the wall. I went through the paper to make sure that each nail was in the correct place.
Then I pulled the paper off the wall and was left with evenly spaced nails, ready for the pictures.
We hung the pictures up. They aren't actually pictures. They happen to be random black and white pages with little bits of text that I pulled out of some Anthropologie catalogs a few years ago. Arranged in a certain order, they make a slightly vague storyline.
We've got a small parsons table as the nightstand. The lamp has a beautiful carved base that's a little hard to see in the picture. It's got a square pattern that picks up the grid of the frames, and the straight lines of the parsons table and plays nicely off the floral pattern on the duvet. We also had it in our bedroom in the apartment.
The duvet and shams are from Anthropologie, ordered a few years ago, again as part of my first apartment. The floral pattern reverses to burgundy/cream stripes. Even if it hadn't been too small to fit on our new bed for the master bedroom, it's just a bit too feminine for the big guy. I did try to pick up on the stripes by using striped pillow cases.
The throw pillows are from Walmart, and are only about a year or so old. They were Loki's first exposure to throw pillows, and once they survived, we upgraded the pillows on the couch. These just happened to be the perfect burgundy to fit in with the duvet.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
To celebrate the award and to encourage new clients to come into one of their two locations they're offering a great incentive. If you sign up for 2010 in the month of November, you'll receive 15% off of any 3 month package or 20% off of any 6 month package.
Monday, November 9, 2009
So I started with this:
The new futon cover was the perfect shade of gray. I love anything with a repeating geometric pattern, so the octagons are perfect. We already had the blanket- a wedding present, hand knit just for us (Thanks, Janet!) So I had some color. Yes it was neutral color, but being my mother's daughter I can appreciate the beauty within various shades of beige.
Then while the big guy and I were out shopping at Pier 1, clearly a store I chose, he actually found the print pillow and then we pulled the solid orange pillows to go with it. He wasn't so sure about pairing the various prints and textures on the futon, but he's going along with me.
So now we knew that orange was going to be the accent in the loft. It would be a nice contrast to the beige on the floor and walls, and be able to pull in some warmth next to the black of the file cabinets and the desk.
But the pillows, just weren't enough. In a different magazine, and then several more since then, I saw the idea of using a bright color on the back of a bookshelf. It's a nice way to bring in more visual interest, and really the books hide a lot of it, so you can go pretty bold.
I took our two smaller bookshelves, both pressboard, with a veneer back piece, and decided to give it a shot.
I chose to do the shelves on this one as well as just the back. They got a few dings on them during the move, and this helped cover them up. Although looking at it now, I should have just used the books on the shelves to cover them. It's just a bit too much orange for me.
As you can see in the picture below, I've started grouping our books by color. Not sure if they'll stay that way, or for how long, but for now I'm enjoying the randomness it's bringing to our little library.
I know, I never thought I'd say something like that either. Usually randomness scares me.
This bookshelf is tucked into the corner on the angled wall, so it was able to handle some of our brighter books without being too bold. It's also nice because it's just the right height to be a bedside table if someone stays the night and sleeps on the futon.
Here's the other bookshelf. We added this one for two reasons. First, we totally needed more space for the books. I buy books the way I buy shoes. Second, it really helped to warm up the loft and make it feel more like an actual room as opposed to a place you pass through on your way to an actual room.
Since this is where the office is, the big guy spends most of his time at home during the day here. It needed to be something a little more welcoming and inviting. Hey, paper work won't do itself, and it helps to get it done when you enjoy the space you're in.
Here's how it turned out. I'm definitely happier with the orange just on the back of this one. Especially up against our neutral books. See, I'm using neutrals again. My mother would be so proud.
There are still some more pieces to bring in to the space, and some items to hang on the walls, but we're making progress! It's hard to imagine how empty it all was when we first moved in. We're getting there!
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
What causes this panick you ask? A yellowy-orange book.
This book to be exact.
I suddenly find myself three days away from taking the GMAT. The Graduate Management Admissions Test. The test that will set me up for a graduate program to earn my Master's in Business Administration. The 4 hours that will determine if I get into one of the better programs here or if I have to try again to get a higher score or settle for a less than ideal program. The $250 I paid to have someone assess my likelihood for success in such a program.
Here's the deal- regardless of how I do on the test, I know I'm going to get into a program and be successful once classes begin. How do I know this? I know myself. I'm a bit of an overachiever. I don't like the idea of putting forth anything but my best. This is how I know I'm going to do well in any MBA program I begin.
Plus, I'm a little competitive. Ok, if you ask the big guy he might say that it's more than a little. But in any event, I'm not going to do anything less than all that I can.
Does this test change anything about me as a person? No. Does this test mean anything, really, other than a line item on an entrance application? No. Do the results offer anything more than a brief period of bragging rights depending on the overall score? No. Do I think I might be being a bit of a drama queen over the whole thing? Maybe, but just a little.
Am I already planning to celebrate on Saturday as soon as it's finished and my pencil is down (well, keyboard really, it's all computerized)? Yes. Yes I am.
And then I'll wait for the official results. Which may or may not be less stressful than actually taking the test.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
I think that suits me pretty well! Whether or not I achieve any of that in our house is another discussion entirely.
Monday, November 2, 2009
Here's some more information posted about the event on the Humane Society's website. http://www.indyhumane.org/events/ales_for_adoptable_tails_2009/index.php
The Humane Society is an organization I feel strongly about supporting. Why you may ask? Look at the furry face at the top of this page. He's why.
There are dogs (and cats too) who want nothing more than to be with their forever families. The Humane Society keeps them safe, and often handles medical treatment to prepare these dogs to go home. Maybe they've been on the street, maybe they've been mistreated, maybe they've just had some unfortunate circumstances and good owners couldn't keep them. For whatever reason, they need a little love.
We got Loki from the Hamilton County Humane Society a little while after we moved in together. He was energetic, a little out of control, and exactly what we needed to start feeling like a real family. Neither of us can imagine what it would be like to come home and not be greeted by that waggly tail and tons of puppy kisses, whether we want them or not.
So if supporting the Humane Society means helping the people who help dogs like him find a safe and good place to call home, sign me up!
Saturday, October 31, 2009
I picked up this wreath at a craft fair this year only to find out that it's just s smidge too wide to fit between the front door and the storm door. So it's hanging on our bathroom door instead. My favorite part is defintely our mantle. I like how our normal candle sticks look just a little more eerie with the trees and pumpkins around them. I picked up the trees and the pumpkins at Target.
They're festive, and you know I have a hard time turning down something sparkly ;)Happy Halloween!
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
I've got our white/gray/beige books on it, and I'm really happy with the way it turned out.
Poor guy gets worn out just watching us work. Thank goodness he has a comfy spot picked out on each bed.
Friday, October 23, 2009
We had a great time. We got to spend a little time with my mom's sisters as well, which is always good times. It's nice having the extended family close enough that we get to see everyone in one visit.
We spent a total of 20 hours in the car between the drive in on Friday and the drive home on Sunday. It was a really quick trip, and the big guy is unbelievably awesome and supportive for making it.
So this weekend, I have a few little projects to finish up, some blog posts to put together, and lots of great pictures to download from the camera.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
1. Find yourself a nice sunny spot to take a nap. The more sun the better, and if you happen to get some pillows thrown in, well then you've got it made.
2. Then shoot your person a look with some big puppy dog eyes to try and convince her that she should put the camera down so you can play. Add in a really big sigh, just to drive the point home even further that she's being boring playing on the computer and not with you.
I'd like to say that I didn't fall for it. But no one would believe me if I did.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
1. Laundry Got three loads done. Didn't realize that the big guy hadn't unpacked his suitcase, so there are a few more to do this week before we head out of town.
2. Clean Master Bathroom Done. Nice and sparkly, well until somebody gets toothpaste on the mirror at least. Not sure how we manage to do that, but it happens.
3. Goodwill box Filled, and dropped off at Goodwill. Even started the next one. It's a much bigger box so it'll take a while to fill.
4. Organize closet Got the boxes organized on the top shelf, and a few more things pulled out for donation to Goodwill. Now if I could only get the stuff on top of my dresser organized. That will have to be on a future list.
Some additional things we did:
1. Planted tulip & hyacinth bulbs. We think we did it right- but we'll know in spring when we get flowers or not.
2. Got pumpkins and gourds for outside and some apple cider. I like Tuttle's Orchard. I'd never been, but it was a very nice way to spend a Saturday afternoon with friends.
And my favorite extra thing from the weekend (drumroll)
We ate year old wedding cake. Sunday was our first anniversary and we had a great time. Just relaxed all day and then went out to dinner at the same restaurant where the big guy proposed. Awwwwwww.
Totally fun. I'm looking forward to many more anniversaries with him.
Friday, October 9, 2009
1. Laundry But just a little bit. I've already gotten one load finished and put away. Only three more to go. This will probably spill over into tomorrow.
2. Clean Master Bathroom This will be easy to get done tonight. And we'll have a nice sparkly bathroom once I'm finished. It's one of the rooms in the house that I always want to have clean. Bathrooms and the kitchen.
3. Goodwill box Even if the closet isn't completely organized, I can at least pull out the items we aren't going to keep and get them boxed up. No reason to keep them taking up space being unused any longer. Maybe they're exactly what someone else is looking for.
4. Organize closet I got a pretty good start last weekend, so there won't be too much left to do. The biggest thing will just be getting on the step ladder and putting things up on the shelves.
That's it. I'm staying in tonight to get a few of these things checked off the list. We're heading to the pumpkin patch tomorrow, so there will be a little less time available for the chores. I'm excited to get some pumpkins. Any decorations we can put outside that will just help to confirm that people really do live here now are good. :-)
Should be a really fun weekend!
Thursday, October 8, 2009
It's classic, it's timeless, and oh-so-swoon-inducing in white.
We happen to have the perfect spot next to the bar in the front half of the family room for one. Perhaps someday we'll be able to fill that spot. For now it will just have to wait. But someday, maybe I'll get to be at home sitting in my favorite chair.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
1. Paint corkboard. Bought the white paint to use. Didn't actually use it. I'm thinking this will get done Wednesday night.
2. Hang new shower curtain in Guest Bathroom. Done! It looks good too, slightly more spa-like than I thought it would, but I like that.
3. Clean. Done! Although I did discover that we're out of vaccuum cleaner bags. I'll have to finish that one up when we get a chance to go buy more. Buying more will probably be part of this weekend's to-do list.
4. Laundry. Done! For now at least.
5. Organize Master Bedroom closet. Well, not completely, but it's better than it was last week. Maybe that can be Thursday's project.
6. Finish Goodwill box. Not so much. Until the closet gets cleaned out, I'll be keeping the box as an open item. Or until it gets full. Whichever comes first.
So only three got completely done, but I at least made progress on another. And I picked up some new accessories for the guest room, a Halloween wreath for the front door at a craft fair, and took Loki on several walks.
And I got to watch the Bears and the Colts win. If only Purdue would start playing like they used too, it would have been a perfect football weekend.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
1. Paint corkboard. I've got a corkboard that I'll be putting up in the laundry room. It's functional but pretty blah. I'm planning to paint the frame white and the cork chocolate brown.
2. Hang new shower curtain in Guest Bathroom. It's nothing fancy, just white with a sublte textured horizontal stripe. I got new shower curtain hooks to go with it.
3. Clean. Not glamorous, but very necessary. Especially vaccuuming, with the leaves on the tree in the backyard already falling down. Loki keeps bringing them in. He eats parts of them, realizes they aren't potato chips and then leaves them randomly on the floor.
4. Laundry. Yup, did some last week and already need to do more.
5. Organize Master Bedroom closet. I figure this is a natural next step once the laundry gets done. I'll have to put it away, so I might as well take some extra time and unpack the last of hte boxes sitting in there. I also need to sort through my clothes and finish pulling out what's going to get donated to Goodwill. Hmmm...
6. Finish Goodwill box. In addition to the clothes, we have some glasses and other things that we just aren't going to use in the house. No need to keep them and try ot figure out a place for them. There's a Goodwill donation center just up the road from my office, so I'll take it on my lunch break.
There are more things that I want to do, but this is a good start. If I can get more in after these things are done, I'll be thrilled. I'm going to a craft fair with Ashlie on Sunday, so we'll see if I even get these things done!
Friday, October 2, 2009
Something tells me that he won't be too upset to give up his new chair for the couch once we're done painting.