Thursday, May 19, 2011


Wow, this is such an awesome, easy curtain fix from justagirlblog.  I am, perhaps, overly sensitive because shopping for, hanging, or otherwise dealing with curtains in any way makes me crazy. 


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

onna stick

OK, seriously, I want to have a party where everything is on a stick.  How could that not be awesome?  On. A. Stick, people.

I have been reading Simply Recipes for a while and basically everything she makes is fantastic.  Salmon pineapple skewers!  My husband dislikes pineapple, so I make it for parties when other people are around.  (My son and I are all over some pineapple.  YUM.)

I am pretty sure he would love, these, however.  He-who-always-orders-ahi-at-restaurants.

(Thanks epicurious!)

TheKitchn blog had a whole post about salad skewers here.  Greek salad skewers sound pretty fab.


We would have to have cakepops for dessert.  I tried the tiramisu one at Starbucks a few weeks ago, and I am pretty sure I could make something pretty tasty as far as cake onna stick.

I think mostly I am just itching to cook more in my new kitchen.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Big Reveal (part I)

OK, I have dilly dallied long enough on showing off some kitchen pictures.  Before you scroll down, please keep in mind a few things:

  1. I need to figure out how to better operate my camera.
  2. I need a new white shiny stove
  3. I need to figure out what to do about my backsplash
I'm a bit nervous about this, even if the pictures were good, but here we go:

Here's a view from behind the breakfast bar.  You can see most of the work area, and all the appliances.  I picked a really dark cabinet (Kaffe stain from Kraftmaid which I fell completely in love with), which dictated a lot of the other finish choices.   You can also see I am keeping up with the red and white accessories theme.

The view from in between the breakfast bar and the coffee bar.  You can see the whole bank of windows in this room, which I agonized over and measured and basically spent like 2 weeks trying to figure out what I wanted there.  I definitely wanted the 3 over 1 grills, since that's traditional to the style of house, and the original windows were that style.  I wanted it to feel like the kitchen belonged to the house, so the dark woods and windows should help with that.  

You can also see the glass cabinets above the windows.  I have all white things in those, because you can actually see them without lighting the insides of the cabinets.  Perhaps I'll do that someday, but I really wanted glass fronts and I wanted them somewhere they would look pretty but not get too smudged up or filled with things that would look messy.  Fortunately, the new kitchen is plenty big enough to have some extra cabinets for pretty stuff.  Also, all of the cabinets are 42"high and reach all the way to the ceiling.  Jeff says this is imposing.  

The breakfast bar.  Behind the far chair is a door and sidelight that will eventually open onto a deck.  Contractor-father-in-law is there today with some big pieces of wood, so hopefully that will turn into something soon.  I need taller stools for here, since these are cabinet not bar height, but they came with the house and matched the cabinets and blended ok with the existing furniture.  So I'm over it for now.

Here's a little view of the corner where all of my baking stuff lives.  Have I told you guys how I organized everything?  If not, I'll try to do that another time.  You can revel in my complete battiness and obsessive compulsive nature.

And of course, you've already seen the office wall which is behind the breakfast bar.  To the right, the door to the deck.  To the left, opening into the dining room. I also obsessed about these windows, incidentally.  I mentioned in a comment that I had the electrician put the outlets higher than the desks, too, so we could more easily plug things in.  Woot! 

This is what it looked like outside over the winter.  Hooray for spring.  It's much warmer and greener now.

The layout sketch I made to get husbandly approval before we started construction.  (You can see that we nixed the prep sink because it was so close to the regular sink, and also went with bar height and not table hight for the breakfast bar.  The fridge is bumped over a bit, too.)  

I'm super super happy with everything so far, modulo the new stove and backsplash.  Everything is plenty functional, however, and very pretty to me, so I consider it a complete success.  

*whew*  That was long! 


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Desk Wall!

I have totally weird issues about wanting a desk.  I don't know that I can adequately explain them, but suffice it to say that i will not share a desk or a dessert item.  (Hey, everyone has their own weirdness!  Back off!)

The kitchen was designed to have a wall of desks for the family, but largely for me.  My son has taken over the smallish desk that we had there (taken from another room) so we decided that we needed to investigate different/better desk options.  We went back and forth on what kind, and finally ended up at IKEA, home to a desk that you can fit in any location in your house.

Hooray for my new desk!
The corner desk is big enough for the family iMac and printer and assorted hard drives and other electronic bits.  I need to tack up that cable underneath, so just pretend you don't see that.  The longer part in the middle is for me me me me me!  We have some wire storage on the right for my camera and our grocery bags and the dog's medicine. 

I love it!!!!!
Best of all: SHELVES!  I got to move my cookbooks from the dining room into the kitchen. I am basically ready to sit here with a cup of coffee and peruse my cookbooks, calmly creating a meal plan and not frantically racing to the store and getting whatever is on the end caps.  Oh hey, did you notice those grates with the pictures and stuff?

Creative framing, right?

The wire shelving used to be taller, but we took off the top box to make it fit under the cookbook shelves.  I took the leftovers and some of those 3m command hooks and made an artwork and picture display out of them.  I have some paper clips and some hooks from IKEA that I am using to hold stuff up. Today, my mother's day cards and pictures of my kid.  That whole project was basically completely FREE because I had the command hooks and the grates and some paperclips and hooks.  

All in all, the desks, shelves, filing boxes, containers, pen cups, etc. etc. etc. was right about $350.  Not bad for a 12' wall full of desk.

Next up, I am going to paint the wooden tulips on the left window so that they all match and are red.  My husband's grandmother gave them to us over the years; her husband made them before he passed away, so they are special to us and we've had them in every kitchen we've been in since we got married. I think it's OK to paint them, though, and since our kitchen has red and white and green, red + green tulips seem like a good thing.

Happy Mother's Day!

I should be upstairs getting ready to go out to a japanese steakhouse with my mom, but instead I am at my new desk (more on that later) fantasizing about possibly reupholstering something.  Perhaps these folding chairs:

Is that even possible?

In any case, happy Mother's Day to all the mothers, stepmothers, foster mothers, ersatz mothers and anyone else who feels left out.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

forbidden ladder

My husband and his sister share a family lake house.  Recently, he was up checking out the gutters and looking at things that need to be fixed, because he's the kind of guy who checks and fixes stuff.

He was telling me that he thinks we need to get a new ladder for up there, since the wooden latter that he inherited from his grandfather was getting kind of rickety and worn.

It is kind of cute, but if I tried to decorate with a worn ladder, I think my husband would have a fit.

Maybe we can sell it to the Pottery Barn for $349 and use the proceeds to buy a new, non rickety ladder.    Anyone on the market for a worn out ladder?  Alternatively, anyone want to share some crazy decor items they'd like to use but can't because their partner would have a complete fit?  

(Apparently, decorating with too many roosters is also off the table at our house.)  

Friday, May 6, 2011


So what do you guys thing of this backsplash tile?

I am kind of struggling about the whole backsplash thing, and so for now we have none.  That's really fine, since it's not really super critical.

Originally, I was desperate for these tiles, but they don't really seem to go with the vibe the kitchen has now that things are installed.

My issue is that everything is very stately in the new kitchen and the squirrel tiles are pretty casual and rustic.  I could go the white subway tile route, but I want to do that in the upstairs bath (which it currently has the original subway tile, painted over.  Wonder if that's unpaintable.)  So maybe the white Moroccan tile.  I can't tell if it's unique and pretty or trendy and will be played in like six months.  (Do people still say played?  Or is played played?  I can't tell!  Help me interwebz!!!!!)

I like the skinny long glass tiles people are using now, but they seem kind of modern and we have a kind of traditional bent.  I like the kind of luminosity of the glass, though, since the kitchen cabinets are so dark, maybe some extra light bouncing around could be nice.  

Ah well, still undecided.  In positive news, we are getting some progress on the deck.  Right now the kitchen door opens onto a railing and a 10ish foot drop.  Also, I am hoping to have some update pictures now of what's happening with the kitchen.