Monday, June 30, 2008

bathroom update

Sadly, none of those paint chips were the right color. Saturday morning I decided to try a new approach...pick out a color and buy a gallon. Do not bring in samples, just be confident and commit. Obviously my 50 paint chips and sample size cans were not working. I shouldn't be surprised by this, as I have now learned that I am horrible at trying to match colors. And I hate to paint. So naturally I was super frustrated as I stood in front of the paint counter at Lowes on Saturday and tried to get some decent info out of the dude behind the counter. He was useless and apparently my attitude towards him reflected that, as Peter later told me that I was embarrassing. Yeah, sorry about that.

So after analyzing the situation on Friday night, I decided to go back to my original plan and use a neutral color on the walls. With a blue toilet and bathtub, the room has enough blue. And since the only window is in the adjoining laundry room, I wanted to keep the bathroom light and clean looking. So the wall paint is done. Next up is the cabinets and door. Pictures to come soon.

Friday, June 27, 2008

"it's friday night...

...and I feel alright. The party's here on the westside...." Ahh...gotta love old school Montell Jordan. They dont make songs like that anymore. Anyway, my Friday plans aren't quite like Montell's, but I am nonetheless excited its the end of the week. Peter is at the Dodger game with his grandpa, dad, and brother, and I have a couple things planned for myself....

Decide if any of these colors work. I want a very light shade to go with the small specks in the white tile, thus I am only concerned with the top colors. And yes, I feel sort of bad for taking this many paint chips.

Determine a plan of action for tackling this wall tomorrow. We are going to work on our hall bathroom and this post-wallpaper wall will not defeat us.

Anxiously anticipate tomorrow morning when I can tear into this package and reveal the contents. Why wait you ask? Because I know what is in there and it was a total shock to see it waiting for me in my house when I came home. Peter ordered it as a surprise and I want to open it with him. More on it later.

Enjoy my much needed pedicure. Thank you Happy Nails #2!!

Saturday, June 21, 2008


The far wall in our kitchen is an open space, not visible from the family room, and yet big enough to demand some sort of embellishment. When trying to decide what to use to fill the space, I came across the idea of a magnetic chalkboard. I had seen chalkboard paint before, but a magnetic one was new to me. After a little research I discovered all we need was magnetic primer. So a couple coats of magnetic primer and chalkboard paint, and some white framing was all we needed for an inexpensive, practical wall treatment in our kitchen. I'm envisioning many a grocery list being written here.

**the child-like drawing is from peter's brother, who left for Heartland Camp today to work all summer, thus not from a child at all

Monday, June 16, 2008

gas stove

I love to cook. It is definitely one of my favorite things to do. Menu planning, grocery shopping, trying new recipes, I love it all. And, like most people who have a passion for cooking, I prefer to use a gas stove. I got used to cooking on one in our old apartment, so when we decided to buy this house, with its old electric stove, we knew replacing it would be one of our first major projects. Now, replacing a gas stove with another gas stove is a simple project, but converting from electric can be quite tricky. Especially when the gas line is nowhere near the desired stove location, as was true in our situation. In spite of all of this, we had faith in our abilities (more like Peter's abilities) and decided to buy a gas stove before we even began the project. We have decided to upgrade our kitchen slowly and the new stove is a major component. To spare you alot of details, most of which I dont really understand, I will just cover the major elements.

Phase 1: The Attic
This phase called for Peter to take quite a few trips into the attic to measure and formulate how many pipes we would need to carry the gas through the attic, down the wall, and into the cabinets. After this and a few trips to Home Depot, he (along with help from his bro--thanks aaron!) installed the pipe line in the attic. Judging from their appearance and general attitude everytime they came down, it was very hot, cramped, and tense up there. See pics of their gear below.

Phase 2: The Cabinets
This included drilling into the back cabinets to get the pipe to the stove location and cutting the countertop. This also called for removing the old cooktop (bye bye brownie) and cutting out the cabinets below it to make room for the oven. There was a wall oven when we moved in, but it was small, so we also removed it and added an electrical outlet to its space to accommodate our microwave. So now, we also have a sort-of built in microwave, space-saving and resourceful if I do say so myself.

old, brown electric cooktop

removing the cooktop and cabinets
empty space, waiting to be filled

Phase 3: The Stove

This was definitely the most exciting phase for me! It included unwrapping the stove and all its goodies :) We then moved it into place and Peter hooked up the gas line and outlet. Then it was the moment of truth. I tried not to be too hasty, so I waited for what seemed like eternity to turn on a burner. It was probably like 2 minutes. Click, click, click...woosh! A flame! (forgive me for my lame attempt at sound effects). It worked. So after a week of hard work and calculating and thinking and praying, we enjoyed our Sunday night ritual. Pancakes. On our new gas stove. It was blissful.

unpacking the stovepancakes on the flame :)

the finished product!

Big props to my man, he was the brains and brawn behind this whole thing.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

wii-paint-the attic

So this past week has been filled with some big projects. One of them being me repainting our family room and kitchen. I had just painted the entire space a few weeks ago, and my hatred for that particular color had been growing inside of me ever since I finished. So, with some convincing, Peter picked up a gallon of my new color for me. Usually when one is trying a to find a paint color, I would suggest a quart, or even better the sample size from Lowes (which they dont advertise, but does exist). However, because he was tired of me spending money on paint I didnt like, I had to promise to use this new gallon somewhere in our house. So Sand White (which, isn't white and really doesnt look like sand--who comes up with these names anyway?) from Home Depot was going to be on some walls in our house, like it or not. Luckily, it looks great in our family room! I am so happy with the new color and even more happy to finished painting that room.

Peter has also been working on a major project this week. I will wait to reveal the result of his labor in its entirety soon, but for now here are some fabulous pics of him throughout Phase 1 of the mission: The Attic...
Peter and Aaron, kickin' it miner style
Prepping for the attic

In need of a much deserved break from paint and dust, we enjoyed a family Wii night at my parents. Thats right, my parents bought a Wii. Which is fab, because we can use it whenever and just tell them what games to buy. It was definitely a fun time for all!

Vanessa and Daniel battling in tennis

Me and Matt (he usually doesnt look this scary--hes a mechanic)

On the floor, crying with laughter after Matt's Wii performance

Sunday, June 8, 2008


Throughout the weekend, a lot of time was spent talking about future home projects. Of course, this was mainly discussed with my mom, as Peter only likes to talk about one project at a time. I dont blame him, I can get a little carried away at times. So I decided to write down some of the top things I want to accomplish in the next few months. Some are small and only require forking over some dough, while others will take considerably more time. I hope to document the results here. Last week was a big transition (new job, new schedule), but I am now feeling more like I have a routine and am ready to get things going around the house again.
**side note--Am I the only one who thinks there should be a kind of "First Home" gift registry?? I mean there is wedding and baby, but your first home is a huge milestone too. Right? I am just saying, some Lowes and Target gift cards would be amazing right now.

Anyway, here is the list:

Start minor landscaping (bush removal, flower planting, etc)
Finish painting kitchen
Find drapes for the family room
Find fabric for pillows and cafe curtain for window above sink
Finish hall bathroom
Replace chair in family room
Paint the doors and trim throughout house and change hardware
Frame and hand wedding pics
Paint master bedroom
Decide what to do about flooring
Tackle built-in bookshelves (not sure what I want to do with these)
Replace some window blinds
Paint/stain kitchen cabinets
Try new recipes
Have fun and do not stress about the above list

Ok, I am now overwhelmed just thinking about all of this. One thing at a time Toni, one thing at a time....

summer weekend

Summer has officially begun! Although summer takes on a whole new meaning when you aren't in school (or work at a school), we are excited for the upcoming few months. This past weekend was spent in two of our favorite summer locations--Dodger Stadium and Pismo Beach. We headed down to the Dodger game on Thursday, and although our Boys in Blue lost, the game was very exciting. No fun celebrity sightings, except Larry King, who looks like a walking skeleton. One highlight was the super cool hand dryer in the restroom. I have heard about them, and since this was our first time in our regular seats I finally got to experience them. They are made by Dyson (you know, the super expensive vacuums made by that weird European man) and literally dry your hands in seconds. Definitely worth a couple trips to the bathroom.

some of you may know and appreciate these fine older gentlemen and their younger chauffeur we saw at the game. too cute! (grandpa roger, art, lowell, and randy)

We headed over to the beach right after the game. Our time there was spent doing the usual things, walking on the beach, shopping, and eating. It was fun to have my parents and sister spend the weekend with us. Although our time over there was too short, it was relaxing. And the weather was perfect!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

new arrivals

So yesterday brought a couple of exciting arrivals. The first was the arrival of the air conditioning repair man to fix our a/c. Although it has been beautiful the past few days, we were happy to find it blowing cold air when we got home. Like it is supposed to.

The second exciting arrival was also waiting for us when we got home. A pair of chairs to match our breakfast table! I have been patiently (most of the time) waiting for these to come. To my delight, Peter put them together right away. We have a larger dining table in the front room, but needed something smaller, more casual to fit in our breakfast area. I think this set looks great. Minus the faux pebble rust colored linoleum (our flooring is a future major project) and the excessive beige colored outlet plates. But I am definitely happy with the outcome! Now all I need some cute placemats or a table runner....

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

first year

On Monday, Peter and I celebrated our first year anniversary. We both definitely decided it has been the best year ever. It has flown by, and yet we have experienced many major decisions, changes, and good times. All of them experienced together. Side by side. I love him and he loves me, we couldn't ask for more.
So a common question around anniversary time is "Did you save your cake?". No we did not. But for good reasons.

Reason 1: I like cake. I looooved our wedding cake. There was no way I was going to compromise the flavor of cake by placing it in a freezer for a year. Gross.

Reason 2: A huge foil wrapped hard chunk of cake takes up valuable space in the freezer.

Reason 3: The bakery we used (and still use and love) gives their brides a complimentary cake for their first anniversary. They are also against freezing cakes.

So it may not be traditional, but tonight Peter and I will be enjoying fresh lemon poundcake with lemon buttercream filling and buttercream frosting. Not a poorly defrosted lump of something that once was cake.

disclaimer: to those of you who followed this tradition--thats great! To each his own, right?

the reason for the "1 day" is that the pastry chef was very ill and couldn't have it ready till today. however, she did send us delicious red velvet and oreo cupcakes yesterday. i also think she sent us 15 pounds.--the smudge on the side is from my finger. I just couldn't resist.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

one project at a time

This weekend wasn't the most productive we have had, but we did manage to get a few things done. We are nearly finished with the exterior painting. Next step is landscaping, which makes me both excited and overwhelmed. Excited because I know the curb appeal will continue to improve with the addition of more bushes and colorful flowers. Overwhelmed because there are so many choices and my thumb is not exactly green. Actually, it is nowhere near green. Plants can be expensive. And dead plants are an obvious waste. I think this is why my husband changes the subject every time I mention buying new plants.

I finally chose a paint color for the family room, a very light taupey-grey. I know, really adventurous. I just wanted a calm, relaxing color. I am not sure I got what I expected but it will have to do for now, mainly because I am tired of painting. However, I have started to paint the doors and trim a bright white, which makes the grey come out more, definitely something I wanted. We also finally put up some wall shelves Peter's parents got me for Christmas. The grouping of pictures changes multiple times a day but I feel they compliment wall nicely.

saturday night

Saturday night was a blast. Such a petty word, but it totally sums it up. I, along with Christie and Vanessa, went out to see a fabulous movie and had a fabulous dinner afterwards. We also looked super fabulous. What movie, you ask?? What movie brought Bakersfield women out in their heels and water bottles filled with cocktails (no joke, I saw them)?? Why, none other than Sex and the City!!

The movie was great, I cried and I laughed. And most importantly, I walked out of the theater with a true appreciation and love for my girlfriends. Our dinner conversation was also full of laughter and some tears. We shared our jobs, our relationships, our lives, the good and the bad. And absolutely loved and supported each other for where we are at. At this exact moment in our lives. Its not about comparing, its not about creating a facade, its about being honest and vulnerable. I am so blessed with great girlfriends, a relationship like none other. Not family, but almost more in a way.

So Vanessa and Christie, thanks for the refreshing and fun night.
Allie, Angie, and Jill, you were there in spirit, we missed you! (my carrie bradshaw experience sooo includes you allie and the endless amounts of dvd watching!--thanks for calling us angie, cocktails weren't the same without you)

As Samantha Jones would say..."to the next 50 years!"