Sunday, December 28, 2008
As much as I love this time of year, I am looking forward to going home, finishing our kitchen, and enjoying our spiffed up little house. Let me tell you, it is not fun having cabinet door strewn all across the floor. Kind of interfered with the whole Christmas motif I had going on.
I hope you all had a great Christmas week!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
This is what we have been doing for the past four days. Cleaned, sanded, primed, sanded, painted. Repeat. It has been a long, tedious project. Not hard necessarily, just time consuming. We are still waiting for the doors to fully dry before we hang them. This wet weather we have been having has not helped in the process. I also need to put away the rest of my dishes.
We have had minimal showers, drank a lot of caffeine, inhaled a ton of paint fumes, and probably ingested some poison from the old varnish dust. But we are happy and proud of ourselves. And think it looks pretty great.
We cant wait to hang the doors, add the new molding, and put on the hardware. This was a project I had in my mind since the first time we looked at this house. I am so happy we decided to tackle it.
Final before and after pics coming soon.... (hopefully!)
Last year I used brown mailing paper and red ribbon. This year I decided to change it up (I am so crazy, I know) and used white craft paper and, wait for it, wait for it....TWO ribbon colors! No, really, I think it looks pretty darn cute.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
I LOVE these plates. The small, appetizer ones. I first spotted them last year in a boutique downtown and have been lusting over them ever since. There wasnt any room for them in our apartment, which always stopped me from buying them (that and the price tag). But now, I have room and think they would look totally cute gracing my home next Christmas. Fortunately, I just found the designers website. So I can order them year around! Now about that price tag....
I first made these for Allie's bridal shower. They were easy and oh so tasty. Since then, I have made them a few times with different variations. For this occasion I made some with orange zest and some with milk chocolate drizzled on top. If you like coconut, you will love these!
1 pkg shredded, sweetened coconut
2/3 cup flour
1/4 t. salt
1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz)
1 t. vanilla extract
1 t. almond extract
(this also works with 2 t. vanilla, if you dont have almond)
-In a large bowl, stir together coconut, flour, and salt
-In a separate bowl, mix condensed milk and flavorings
-Add to coconut and stir well
-Use a cookie scoop to drop on foil covered cookie sheet (I usually grease this as well)
-Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes, until tops are beginning to brown
Monday, December 8, 2008
Every season of the Amazing Race, Peter and I each pick a team to win. I am never successful. Once, my team got kicked off the very first episode (thanks alot Vipul and Arti). Peter has picked the top team twice (surprise, surprise). But this season I was victorious. Whoo hoo! I am the winner!
I would like to take this time to thank CBS for such a great show, Phil for being a fabulous host, and of course, Nick and Star for winning the race, and giving me the opportunity to jump and dance around the living room and gloat in Peter's face. I dont often have that opportunity :)
Saturday, December 6, 2008
First the tree would not fit in the holder. The trunk was too fat. I refused to believe this when Peter told me, so I just kept pulling out the ornaments. Please just make it work. I mean, how can we be cute and cozy and Christmasy without a tree? So after whittling the tree down with his carving tools (what? Peter doesnt seem like the type of guy who likes to carve animal figurines out of logs?? Yeah, you're right. He had a saw)it fit into the stand. Check.
So then my sister came over to help decorate the tree. Perfect! A little sister bonding time while decking the halls. Definitely meets my Christmasy goal. Well, the hope of some great Christmas music was slashed by Delilah. I couldnt find my cd's. No worry, I thought, 101.5 is playing Christmas music 24/7. Well, no, they aren't. When Delilah is on all you hear are annoying callers taking way too long to tell their holiday stories. They were either depressing or super cheesy. And after the story Delilah proceeds to play the chorus of a great carol, only to cut it off short and come back on the air with her husky, monotone voice. Great.
Sans-music, we put the decorations up. They look great. Its pretty late by now, sister has gone home, I am sleepy, but a part of my original plan was being cute and cozy. So by golly, we were going to be cute and cozy. So I heated up a kettle of water (no milk in our hot chocolates) and we sat down to watch something fun on tv. Nothing fun was on. NOTHING. During this time of searching, the kettle was done. Too done apparently. The hot chocolate was scalding. So we ended the night watching Prison Lock-up on MSNBC (a show profiling prisons and prison violence in CA)and barely being able to sip our boiling drinks. I mean, if that isnt cute, cozy, and Christmasy I dont know what is.
a shot of our front room, complete with a big window to show off our tree--something I have always wanted
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Finally becoming adjusted to leaving work when it is dark
Driving to work with my man
Putting up outside lights for the first time
Girl's Christmas party
Family Christmas celebrations
Church choir program
Week off of work
Christmas cookies (making and eating)
Christmas songs on the radio
Celebrating our Savior's birth
My mom's stocking stuffers
Downtown Christmas lights
Wreaths on cars
Eating. Lots of eating
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Tomorrow marks the beginning of me working in a new position with new hours. For the past 6 months I have been working from 6am to 3pm. Crazy, I know. But necessary for the work I did with our East coast clients. Well, I thankfully received a promotion. My first real promotion, actually. And not only will I be doing work I enjoy and went to school for, but I will be working from 8-5. Like a normal person. And Peter and I will be able to carpool. Yeah, I will miss getting off at 3 and having more time to run errands and relax. But I will not miss crawling out of my warm bed at 4:40 every morning and getting ready in the cold dark while Peter quietly continues to snooze. Not worth it. Not at all.
Friday and Saturday were spent in Portland--such a fun city! We went to the World Forestry Center (which is not nearly as boring as it sounds) and walked through the famous Rose Garden. Although there was obviously a lack of roses this time of year, the scenery and view of the sity was amazing. We had lunch at Elephant Deli, a upscale deli with so many wonderful choices. I decided I could eat here everyday if I had the chance. If ever in Portland, you must check it out. We continued the day by walking and shopping our way through Pioneer Courthouse Square. We were lucky to have dry weather--cold and overcast, but dry. Perfect.
Saturday was spent at the Portland Saturday market. An amazing street fair with local artisans, right along the river. The people, food, and handmade goods were so eclectic. I loved it. I walked away with a handmade ceramic spoonrest.
The 13 hour drive with 6 other people was a challenge, I will be honest. Although we all love each other, by about the 6th hour, we were all irritated. No one could say or do anything right. My plan to take a few dramamines and sleep the majority of the way was successful, although sleeping for 13 straight hours in a car is pretty impossible. But we made it, and I had a great time. I would love to go back to the city with Peter. Maybe in the summer. It is a beautiful place with old buildings, bridges, interesting people, and great shopping. A perfect combination.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I have been trying to fill these built-ins with white serving pieces. I still want to paint or stain the shelves in the future, but want them to look cute in the meantime. Many of these pieces were a birthday gift from Peter's parents and my sister-in law--Thank you! They look fabulous, kick start my collection, and will be great additions to my table.
I was quite shocked when I opened this gift from my husband (and parents). Truthfully, I was expecting a bike basket and the fourth Twilight book. The book I received (thank goodness, because I was going through withdrawals) but this was a complete surprise....
A KitchenAid mixer! I have been wanting one forever and have been frequently stealing my moms. I have mentioned to Peter that I love the Martha Stewart blue color mixer and he surprised me with it! Of course, in true Toni fashion, I screamed and clapped my hands really fast as soon as I ripped off the paper--I love it!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Now the Hawaiian Chair is a little pricey, I know that. But I am moving to a new office soon, and this chair would just really make the transition that much better. So maybe it could be a combined birthday and Christmas gift.
Or...if you are watching those pennies a little more carefully, I would also love to receive one of these. The red color please, so it can double as a monk outfit for next Halloween.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I love this show. I love, pretty much all, Bravo reality shows, but this one takes the cake. It combines drama, competition, interesting personalities, and food--all the necessary components for an amazing hour of television. I am super excited for season 5 to start tonight!
Will Chef Tom be as brutally honest as ever? Will Padma continue to wear completely ridiculous outfits and pretend to know a ton about food? Will the contestants have to prepare an entire 5 course meal using only canned food? Will Stephanie come back as a guest judge? More importantly, will Sam or Ilan come back??
Ahh!! I cant wait for it to start!
Monday, November 10, 2008
Spending time with these people...
-Finding creative ways to light the bbq...umm, excuse me sir, do you have a cigarrette we can borrow?
-The strange, confused (high?) woman who had her eye on my purse, demanded a piece of bread, settled for a cookie and then placed it on the ground a few feet later. Only to pick it back up again and take a bite. Only to place it on the ground a few feet later...
-The USC lifer who wore maroon velour pants (what is it with ladies in velour at sporting events?), made her own necklaces, covered her eyes on every play, and high fived with everyone in site (including Jill and Peter)
-The USC victory!
Friday, November 7, 2008
I grew up watching my grandpa sell these every year. For Pop, buddy poppy time was a season of the year, we all knew when it was coming and knew he would be out in the community every day. He was a very active member in his local VFW, serving as President for many years. I have so so many memories of being with him at VFW events, he was a dedicated military man and a dedicated VFW member. He was also the most sweet and gentle man with white hair and a deep love for his family.
So today, when I walked up to Vons and saw those sweet men with their white hair and pin-covered VFW hats, I felt the lump in my throat and new I would have to stop on my way out. And I did. And I told them my grandpa sold these for many years and he was very, very dear to me and I miss him very much. And then I walked out to my car and called my mom and texted my brother to tell them it was buddy poppy time. And closed the door and cried.
So if you see these sweet men with white hair and pin-covered hats, please consider stopping by. You could drop in fifty cents and they would love you.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
I found it. Not sure how "antique" it is. But is the perfect size, shape, and finish. Needless to say, it was a successful lunch hour.
Piece by piece, the room is coming along!
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
November....in no particular order
Finishing the ceiling/walls of guest bedroom (maybe this week!)
Trying new soup recipes
Reading third Twilight book (thanks Jill!)
Twilight movie (ahhh...Edward Cullen)
Thanksgiving in Vancouver/Portland
Carrie Underwood concert
Sean and Allie's wedding!
USC game with friendsMaking my Christmas list
Deciding what colors to decorate my Christmas tree (last year was red and gold)
Pumpkin anything (pie, muffins, bread, cake, coffee…)
Sunday, November 2, 2008
I saw these pumpkin muffins on her site a couple weeks ago and thought they looked scrumptious. And then she made them too, and I know I just had too. The recipe was simple (I used pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon, instead of all the individual spices) and added the optional streusal topping. Except I didnt have any nuts, so I used oats instead and it worked great. So, thanks Sharon for the inspiration!
I also made a Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf this week. It was also very good. I dont have any pictures but here is the recipe. I added more lemon zest and juice for a stronger lemon flavor. The addition of plain yogurt makes it super moist and keeps the butter consumption a little lower, which is always good. No matter what Paula or Ina say...
Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf
|1.||Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Heavily grease and flour two 9x5 inch loaf pans.|
|2.||Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.|
|3.||In a large bowl, cream butter or margarine, and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time.|
|4.||Mix lemon juice and yogurt together and add alternately with the sifted flour mixture to the butter mixture. Mix until just blended. Stir in lemon rind and poppy seeds. Pour mixture into prepared pans and smooth tops.|
|5.||Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 50 minutes or until browned and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on rack for 15 minutes before turning out of pans.|
Friday, October 31, 2008
Instead of Dodger Fan '08, Peter transformed himself into the one and only Manny Ramirez. He even removed the dreads from and old Jamaican hat and carefully sewed (thats right, sewed) them into the lining of one of his old Dodger hats. Sunglasses and a baggy Dodger warm-up outfit made the transformation complete. He was definitely an office favorite.
As for tonight, we are staying home and passing out candy, hoping to see lots of trick or treaters from our little neighborhood.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Our first date happened 4 days later. We went to see The Ring. Such a fun and light-hearted movie for our first date.
Here is a look back through pictures of our dating years. It was fun looking at these again, and there are sooo many more. Just let me know if any of you would like to create a cute scrapbook for me for free. I will pay you with moral support, of course.
all of that (and so much more) led to this...
and here we are, 6 years after that first kiss. which led to more than I could have even imagined.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
So if you are in need (or want) of some cute accent dishes, check out Pottery Barn. They are on clearance and come in a few different designs.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
We spent our time doing the usual things, sleeping in, watching a lot of hgtv and espn, eating at our favorite places, enjoying large amounts of frozen yogurt (um...irish mint...yes, please), and shopping. I am really excited about some super cute black and white accent dishes found at Pottery Barn on sale and a wall hanging that I think might work in the guest bedroom (with a little tweaking of course).
The weather was perfect and the time spent away with Peter was even better.
Now its back to the Valley, back to getting up early, and hopefully back to working on some house projects. I think Peter is sensing my ansyness, as it is only a couple months till the Holidays and then tax season sets in. When life as we know it ceases to exist.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Here are some highlights:
sorry no pic--I had been sleeping in the car anyway, so a picture would definitely not be flattering
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Now I am a yard sale novice. I will not pretend that I go all the time (or thrifting for that matter) and find all these great pieces. Nor will this one experience spur a love for yard sales within me. If you knew how early I have to get up during the week for work, you would understand why searching for yard sales is the last thing I would want to wake up and do on a Saturday. However, I will say I was happy with my finds and happy with the price tag. $5.50.
I love the way it turned out, a creamy white with a little original wood on the edges, and it will look great in the guest room and a baby's room later on. much, much later on.
Other than that and a few additional accessories and a possible headboard idea, the room is at a standstill. We need to replaster the ceiling , which needs to be done obviously before anything else. My goal is to get to that this week. However with the current state of the Dodgers and the up and down roller coaster they are putting us through, the ceiling might get the back burner this week. So stay tuned, I swear this room will be done before 2010.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Because of you, I have learned the legend that is Vin Scully and the crapness that is Charlie Steiner. I have learned that even if the game is not on tv, we will for sure be listening to it on the radio. And that if the tv announcers are not up to par (meaning, not Vin), that it is just as effective to turn the tv to mute and turn the radio on.
Because of you, I know so many team facts that I am somehow able to retain. Players names, positions, where they are from, numbers, mothers maiden name. I know the power of Manny and what he has brought to LA. And I know at any given time, what major players are on the DL.
Becuase of you, I have regular discussions with my husband about not painting a blue stripe in our office. Excuse me, a Dodger blue stripe. I have to read articles found by my husband just to learn more about you and further understand his love for you. And I have spent countless, countless hours listening to him analyze you, complain about you, and cheer for you.
And because of you, tonight, I have a very happy husband. And because of you I was teary eyed (no, more than that--I was crying) sitting here and watching that last out and clapping my hands really fast (my way of showing excitment, or what happens when I see something cute--clothes, houses, babies...) Knowing how exciting and ecstatic he is at the staduim. I wish I could have been there to see his face.
Now the Dodgers are not in the World Series (yet!), but this is the farthest they have gotten in 20 years. And I have faith they will go all the way. This may seem dramatic to some of you, but let me assure you, the Dodgers are a big, BIG part of our lives. It is not just when we go to games, it is everyday. Sometimes I complain. Sometimes I get tired of it. But I am so happy and thankful to have a husband who is so passionate and excited about something...besides me of course.
even though my husband thinks blogs are pretty lame, this post is for him. because I love him and he loves me. and the Dodgers.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Here's to Game 2!
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Here is an idea from Katie...a good post filler considering I made absolutely zero progress on my guest bedroom this weekend.
Three jobs I've had: lifeguard/swim instructor (3 years), university library aide extraordinaire (2.5 looong years), admin/communications for a software company (present)....there are a few more scattered in there along the way
Three places I have lived: with the fam, Fresno, on Pine Street with my husband
Three shows I watch: anything and everything on Bravo, The Office, Grey's Anatomy
Three people who email me: Peter, Christie, Jill, and many disgruntled teachers and techies from all over the country (I know thats more than 3, but this one is work related. And too substantial to ignore)
Three of my favorite foods: BBQ chicken pizza, pita from Cafe Med, angel hair pasta with fresh tomatoes, basil, and pine nuts
Three places I'd rather be: in my cozy bed sleeping, the beach, anywhere with my husband
Three things I'm looking forward to this year: Christmas in our first house, finishing the guest bedroom and our bedroom, weekend getaways (the beach, Portland...) and my dear friend Allie's wedding to Sean. They rock.
Thanks Katie for the great idea!
Thursday, September 25, 2008
This is our guest room. Which I have never posted pictures of. Partly there is nothing really in it besides a bed and also because said bed is usually covered with laundry waiting to be folded. Not really something I want blown up on your screen. It has also been used as a storage room (and not organized storage, more like "I dont know where to put this crap" kind of storage). However, I recently cleaned all that up in hopes of motivating me to start on the room. It has worked....I hope.
So basically, I am starting from scratch here. The room contains a bed, covered with a quilt made by some lovely Mennonites, purchased at this auction by my husbands generous grandparents. It was a gift and of course will stay in the room. There is also an antique dresser belonging to Peter's grandma that I want to refinish. The quilt and the dresser are inspirations for the room. I want it to be light, cozy, and comfortable. Somewhere a guest would actually like to stay.
Needed are as follows.....
Headboard (I either want to make one or find something creative)
Art/Photos for walls
New closet doors
Light fixture (although the original one in there looks quite similar to a popular style I have been noticing around the blogging world)
So if any of you have anything that might work and is at a cheap price, let me know :) I will also take cash.
The hardest part is getting started right?