Okay, I’ve Just Gotta Do It…

Okay, this seals the deal (well, i have to tell my husband first) But after seeing this picture online… I can’t handle it.

We need to paint our cabinets.

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Everything about this kitchen is similar to mine. EXCEPT the cabinets. The three people who are reading this – You’ll remember this post.

Well, after all your fabulous comments, i felt good about our decision. But the more kitchens i see, with black counters, white subway tile…. I want white cabinets!

Our cabinets arent that nice – in fact, they arent fancy at all. They are from Lowes, off the shelf. Ya know the kind you just buy in a box at the store. They function perfectly for us, they arent beat up and they do their job just as i would ask them too. However – they aren’t selling the place.  I mean, I love my new kitchen – but I feel like i made a compromise. What do i risk by painting them? Really, what do i risk? If it’s done right and the finish is good – well then… what did i risk?

Anyone have any pro’s & cons for me? Seriously… I wanna know.

Otherwise – i’m off to convince my husband!

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Jonathan Adler, Swoon.

So i had recently seen some super cute bookends going around the blog-o-sphere. Bookends you ask? Yes… Bookends. I mean DUH, the ever important bookend!

Ok, so yeah bookends. Not exactly on the list of things i’d take with me to a deserted island – but when they are this flipping cute, oh dear god how can i resist!

I’m a sucker for cute/vintage/fun dog things.

But then come to find out – they are Jonathan Adler designed. THE Jonathan Adler (Ya know, the same guy that sells stuff like THIS for $245) And not just Jonathan Adler, but a Jonathan Adler partnership with Barnes & Noble…Meaning they wouldn’t be totally ridiculously expensive. Well tonight we had to make a pit stop at Office Depot which just happens to be next to B&N.  Suddenly those book ends came rushing back and i didn’t just want them- I needed them! I browsed the office/accessories section but it was very disappointing. No Jonathan Adler stuff what-so-ever.

So i headed over to the checkout in hopes of asking an employee if they had ever had them. As i approached the checkout counter – what did i spy? A whole Jonathan Adler display! Umbreallas, journals, cards, coffee mugs, salt & pepper shakers AND the golden goose – Weiner Dog shaped BOOKENDS!

It was really really hard but i resisted buying a  journal, sketchbook and coffee mug. (I’m a major major sucker for journaly books, PENS, tablets, etc) Most of the time i never use these journals. I just love having them – but not writing in them (and wasting pages!)

So, i left only with what i thought was necessary. Yeah, necessary. That’s right.

  • Salt & Pepper shakers. (arent they cute?!)

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  • A zippered pouch (new cosmetic bag for my purse)

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  • The grand daddy of them all – my bookends. ::sigh::

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I’ve been mentally planning out a bedroom re-do recently. Ya know, paint the walls, new bedding, art – lighten the place up. When we moved in 3 yrs ago, we went with a lot of dark colors. This year I’ve been really craving, light & airy spaces. I hope to include these new bookends in the soon-to-be-new space.

However, for tonight. They are in my holding up books in my living room.

Love!

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The Chill Is On It’s Way

Oregonians are quite silly really… Every year, it’s the same thing.

We spend the summer, first yearning for the sun (When’s it gonna get here!?) then lavishing in the first signs of heat, then complaining when it hits 90+ (this year, over 100!) and then as summer turns to fall… we start complaining again. For the last 2 weeks – the signs of fall have been everywhere. The leaves are starting to turn, they scatter the streets, and a noticeable cool has taken over.

Personally i’ve been enjoying it. I busted out some long sleeve shirts, sweaters and have enjoyed wearing my VERY OLD gap hoodie sweatshirt with sweatpants after work.

However, this weekend it really hit me. We were having dinner at my parents  and came out of the house around 8:30pm to head home and suddenly slapped with a bone chilling wind, the kind of  wind that practically freezes you from the inside out.  “Shit,” I said.

Suddenly everything came rushing back… those mornings walking from my car to my office, teeth chattering, hair blowing in the wind, gloves, static electricity, umbrellas. Ugh… An Oregon winter.  It’s almost here folks.

Brrrr...Arctic Blast 2008

Brace yourself.

In honor of fall officially starting – I’ll post these photos of an amazing June day at the Oregon coast with my best friends.

Soaking up the sun

Sunshine Friends

Oh sunshine, please don’t go……

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We’ve Got Spirit, Yes We Do!

In honor of the college football season officially underway, i’m posting some pics from last weekends OSU game. We’ll be there this weekend again. Except instead of tailgating alone we’ll be blowing it out!

One of my BFF’s from middle school, Erica. Well here parents are the biggest beaver fans ever… her dad puts together one heck of a tailgate every year. We’re bringing a big surprise for him – but since it hasn’t happened yet i cant say. (Don’t worry, you know i’ll be taking lots of pics)

The tailgate is tomorrow and i cannot wait! I’ll be hanging out with all my besties. My sisters, Hillary, Erica, RaeRae, Aimee, Bryan, and of course my hubbie and my mom! Not to mention all of Erica’s fabulous family. Enjoy the orange!

The view from our season tickets this year

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There Is No Love Sincerer Than The Love Of Food…(aint that the truth)

As someone that loves food, and photography…. Well it was just sad what Monteaux’s restaurant was doing. They have great food – but great photography??  not so much!

After receiving a monthly e-newsletter from Monteauxs Public House (a local place my family goes a lot) and a very FLASHY, BRIGHT & disastrous picture of lobster macaroni & cheese… i sent Larry the owner a tweet. I was like, “Duuuude you can’t keep taking those pictures with full flash. At the very least turn it off!” Well we went back and forth and i kept giving him a bad time, until finally I was like “no, listen I’m totally serious, ill take pictures of your food for free. I’m not expert (in fact i’ve never taken real pictures of food) but i read a shiz ton of blogs about photography/food, etc and i just knew i could do a better job. I mean, come on if you want to be a fancy restaurant you’ve gotta project that image!

My brother in law had recently taken an interest in food photography and although I don’t have any professional interests, i just thought – hey, I bet I can do it too!

Realizing i was serious Larry jumped at my offer.

This past weekend I brought a pile of textiles, placements & paper i had laying around at home, some tissue paper to diffuse the bright light of the window, my Nikon D50, my sisters D40, 2 lenses, and last but not least my homemade reflector (A piece of foam board, white on one side, with foil spray glued to the other side, janky? yeah, but it works AWESOME!) and set up my little food studio. Well within 5 minutes of arriving, food was on it’s way out! They just got a new chef at Monteauxs and he’s really mixing things up.But for now he just wanted to get some photo’s of some of their basic items.

I was pretty happy with how things turned out considering i’ve never taken food pics like this before.

Below are the results:

Hungry Yet???

That last picture is a tease – it’s going to be a special for the month of October. I can’t remember what it was called, but we got to try it. It was delicious. A squash, lamb, rice, feta, veggie thingy. It was really delish… in fact it was all delish!

There were a few other entrees but i haven’t got them posted yet.

The best part – Larry is thrilled!

It will be exciting to see where the images wind up.  However, when I get the next e-newsletter i don’t think I’ll be complaining 🙂

Here’s some outtakes – My sister Erin helped out and Tate sat back and snacked….

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While setting up my camera & getting ready to go, I watched a Julia child episode on OPB. I thought that was fitting & good inspiration (although cinematography from a 1970's cooking show isnt exactly ideal!)

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Erin checking my shot, while I enjoyed some refreshment diet dr pepper

My super cool reflector. We used the white side for this shoot and it works awesome. I've also used it to blind children during a photoshoot.

My super cool reflector. We used the white side for this shoot and it works awesome. I've also used it to blind children during a photoshoot.

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Books I Just Read and Loved

This labor day weekend was really not as relaxing as I had hoped it would be – but what do you expect when at 28 years old you go on a weekend beach trip with your parents, your sister and her week old boyfriend… Thankfully I had picked up a stack of books and managed to read these 2 over the 3 days. Maybe I’m just on a PBH (Post book high) but I can’t say enough good things about these 2.

The Art of Racing In The Rain, by Garth Stein

My Life In Paris, by Julia Child & Alex Prud’Homme

Also reeally loving this

Colbie Caillat – Breakthrough (I didn’t have her first CD, but loving this one!)

And the sunset on Sunday night was beautiful. A little enhancement to the photo’s and you have this – which I swear it looked like in person.

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“Whoa, Green Kitchen”

When we first moved into our house we knew the kitchen wasn’t our favorite room – but for our first place it was fine.

Simple white tiles, clean & new cabinetry and fabulous hardwood floors.

And oh, the storage! Oh my gosh the storage. It seemed like a dream. We had previously been living in a tiny townhouse that 3 of us lived in. The rent was cheap but the kitchen was terrible. Like 3 cabinets for everything. So by comparison this kitchen seemed pretty spacious.

However, after the first year in the house, we realized not only was there not enough storage the place was also falling apart! We had knowingly purchased a house that was “mid flip” and so we knew that some of the work was pretty shotty, but the kitchen was the worst. Within a few months, tiles were wanting to pop off the counter, the grout had never been sealed so it stained easily. The kitchen, which had been at the bottom of the remodel list was quickly moved to the top.

This is the kitchen the day we did the inspection on the house (Clean, simple, lots of wood, no frills)

This is the kitchen the week we moved in (with a fridge just in the middle of a blank wall) . Nice window treatments eh?

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Ok, well it was moved to the top of the list quickly, but ended up not getting started until 2 yrs later. We got engaged, planned a wedding, tore the yard out, lots of other random project. So by January of 2009 we were hating our kitchen. Something had to be done. The budget remodel began.

Kitchen counter tops were most important. Although we reeeally wanted granite – it just wasn’t in our budget. After doing a lot of research we settled on LG-HI MACS from Lowes. They were about half the price as granite but still a solid surface. Sure it’s not the same, but so far we’re been pretty happy.

The other thing i was not loving about our kitchen was the cabinetry. I am not so much a fan of the oak cabinets. They are off the shelf cabinets from Lowes. They aren’t fancy but they do the job. My husband was against painting them (so we settled on keeping the cabinets and simply buying more of the same) We drew out a makeshift plan and did a lot of consulting with my dad. (jack of all trades super handyman and GC on this job!)

On a whim, the last week of December we decided to rip out the current tile countertops.

Once we started there – no going back! I think we ordered countertops and got started doing the rest of the demo.

Our project consisted of the following jobs:

Demo counertops,

Remove drop in stove & eventually replace

Install additional cabinets

Counter top install (the only thing we didn’t do ourselves)

New sink (came free with the counters!)

Remove drop ceiling soffit that divided the kitchen in half & repair ceiling

wire in more electrical outlets

cabinet handles

build soffit on the left side of the kitchen where new pantry cabinet & fridge surrounds went

Remove popcorn ceiling

install can lighting

install under counter lighting

texture ceiling

tile back splash

re-texture walls

paint (probably the hardest part… what colors?!)

new windowsill (still needs to be done!)

figure out nook seating area, build table

Art

Well we aren’t the quickest weekend warriors. Some weekends we were just SICK of the kitchen and did nothing. My dad helped us like crazy every step of the way. Our garage & family room become storage for everything and our garage looked like we’d been collecting boxes, tools & junk for years.

Memorial day weekend we put the final coat of paint on the walls and called the job done! But, for the next weeks and sadly months ive been hanging art, organizing and finally feel like the thing is done. OH ya, know theres always that little stuff left, like putting the windowsill back on, and window treatments? i’m not sure about what to do for that. OH and we need to put moldings under the cabinets. Right now its just this faux wood stuff they give you with the cabinets. Not super classy or high end looking.

So without further ado… I give you kitchen pictures. Yay!!

I cannot say how nice it is to not hate my kitchen. Cooking, cleaning… everything is just better when you’re working in a room you dont hate.

I still go back and forth between painting the cabinets white – my husband is still against it. So far now, we keep the wood. I look at pictures online of white subway tiles, white cabinets and black counter and i swoon. However, its something we can always do down the road.

I also go back and forth on the paint. When we first were putting it on the walls, it was like Whoa.. is this too green? Sometimes it seems very bright and other days depending on the lighting it seems subdued. When we bought the paint we said “it’s just paint, we can always paint over it” Well, when i finally finished the paint job, i was like good lord i dont want to paint this room again for a long time. Sooo much edging and small spaces. It was tedious. So for now, the green stays and i think it’s really grown on me. I just was really fearful that it would be that room people walk into and say “Whoa, green kitchen.” knock on wood – it hasn’t happened yet.

My favorite part is our little eating nook. Yeah, we don’t sit there much but my etsy art makes me so happy. My knock off overstock.com eames chairs… Major swoon.

I have plans to install some shelving above the long wall for cookbooks, and other pieces of art & knick knacks – but we’ll see when that happens. For now we’re just enjoying the new space.

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