Monday, July 27, 2009

The Surprise Project Part 2: Before & After

In case I didn't say it clearly enough in my previous post on the Fiance's surprise project, I love that he painted our kitchen cabinets while I was out of town! I appreciate him so much for taking care of this monster job on his own and working so hard to do something nice for me. I will also say I was very happy to be able to reorganize and put everything back after living without a kitchen for two days. I don't know what I would do with a full-scale renovation like we dream about where we would potentially have no kitchen for weeks!

Having said all that, here are the pictures showing the kitchen midway through when we returned from our vacation (unfortunately I don't have a good before picture of the full kitchen.)

And here's another beauty showing everything on the counter instead of in its proper place and all the drawers missing...

And here is the result after touch-ups, once the tape came down and everything was back in its place...

The pictures are a little dark but at least it proves that our kitchen is sometimes clean. The counter is on the list of things to replace but at least I can gaze at my clean, un-chipped cabinets in the meantime.

This last one shows the pocket door that hasn't been painted yet and shows the previous color of the cabinets contrasted against the new color on the trim.

Next on the list... black hardware to put on the cabinets and drawers, which up until now have been without knobs or handles. I also have some leftover black and white fabric to make cafe curtains for the yet to be replaced window. I'm sure I'll get to that someday.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Surprise Project Part 1

We are finally home from our long, relaxing trip to Colorado. Visiting with my folks was great and they had a wonderful time playing with Baby. The weekend was a little chaotic but the wedding itself went smoothly and the bride and groom looked happy and in love. I still can't believe they are married but much more shocking was the realization that the next time I walk down the aisle, it will be at my own wedding!

At some point last week, the Fiance revealed that he was working on some sort of project at home but absolutely refused to tell me what he was doing. Don't worry because he told plenty of other people just to drive me crazy. Nevertheless I was able to contain my impatience and wait until we got home for the big unveiling. I should mention that when he flew to Colorado to meet us for the wedding weekend, he told me that he needed to apologize in advance because the project was not finished and the house was a disaster. Awesome. I tried to focus on the positive and remember that he had taken on a large task with the sole purpose of making me happy. And he did.

The Fiance painted our kitchen cabinets!!

I was so happy when I saw what he had done that I didn't even care that every single item from the ktichen was spread across the floor of our house. Our kitchen was in dire need of some TLC and I desperately wanted the cabinets and drawers painted. Before Baby arrived, he painted the walls a calming blue/grey color which was a very welcome change from the previous goldenrod. The cabinets were a cream color with a lot of chips and dings that made them look so sad. Now they're a fresh, clean white. I'm headed to IKEA today to find knobs and I'm thinking black... like a cast iron sort of look. I will post pictures of the during and the after once everything is put away.

Ironically the Inspired Room had a nice post yesterday about white kitchens and of course it made me so very happy. I can't wait to see the finished product!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Sweet, Sweet Vacation

We made it. For the past two days I have been relaxing. Really and truly relaxing. And it feels so nice. Playing with Baby and spending time with my folks is pretty much the extent of my responsibility. Hopefully this will continue for the next week before my friend's wedding events start rolling. Then things will be a little more chaotic but I'm really looking forward to watching one of my besties walk down the aisle. Hope to get some pix up of beautiful Boulder sometime this weekend but for now I'm enjoying the peaceful easy feeling of doing practically nothing.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Our Big Adventure

Boulder, Colorado. My hometown. Jealous? We leave Wednesday and I'm very excited! I haven't been back since I was about 3 months pregnant and it should be a great trip. One of my bridesmaids is getting hitched in Boulder in two weeks and I decided that Baby and I would make it an extended vacation to spend time with Nana and Grampy. We don't see them that often because of the distance so this is the perfect opportunity to get some good quality time. The Fiance is going to fly out for the weekend of the wedding but for the next 9 days, it's just me and Baby... and of course Nana, Grampy and Auntie M.

I'm nervous and excited all at once. This will be the longest I've taken care of Baby by myself and while I'm obviously capable, there's something a little daunting about being away from the Fiance for so long. Fortunately I will have some help and might even get a night out with the other soon-to-be-mrs so we can celebrate properly. But it's also the longest the Fiance and I have been apart in a long time. I'm just saying that I might miss him. Maybe. A little. But I'm focusing on the positives that I get a vacation from housework and for the first time, we get to spend time with the grandparents on their turf where I don't have to be the hostess and to me that sounds very relaxing. Boulder this time of year is beautiful and I'm actually stoked to take Baby around to some of the fun spots, even though she won't remember it. Here's to vacations!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Friday Finds

I cannot believe the 4th of July has passed. Where is the summer going?

I found a new site that I am in love with. It's called Crafty Nest and it is all about DIY projects. It's really wonderful and inspiring. Here's a bookcase made from old kitchen drawers.

This idea is pretty cute too. I could see doing it with sweet, girly patterns for over Baby's bed someday.Finally here's a treat that I was hoping to make for the 4th but it didn't happen. I'm thinking I'll take the recipe on our trip to my folks' house and make it for a bbq next weekend. The recipe comes from Better Homes & Gardens and I posted it below in case anyone else thinks it looks too delish to pass up.

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup strawberry jam
  • 4 cups small whole strawberries, halved or quartered


1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 13x9x2-inch baking pan with foil, extending foil beyond the edges. Set aside.

2. In large mixing bowl beat butter and peanut butter on medium to high for 30 seconds. Beat in sugars, baking powder, and salt until combined. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until combined. Beat in as much flour as you can with mixer. Stir in remaining flour.

3. Spread dough in prepared pan. Bake 25 minutes or until top is lightly browned and toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.

4. Cool completely on rack. Remove from pan by lifting foil. Spread jam and top with berries. Cut into bars. Serve at once or refrigerate up to 6 hours. Makes 24 bars

Make Ahead: Wrap the peanut butter base in foil; store at room temperature up to 24 hours. Before serving, top with jam and berries. Or freeze the peanut butter base in a freezer container up to 3 months.

Happy Belated 4th of July!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Time Management or Time Wasting??

I was born a procrastinator. Really. I came a week after the due date. I have a genuine and sincere ability to put things off until the last minute possible. I'd like to say that I've gotten better about this over the years but that would be a lie. When I moved out of my apartment and into the Fiance's house, I was literally throwing clothes into garbage bags as he was carting other boxes out of the room. Luckily I was preggers at the time so not too much was expected of me but still.

One of my resolutions this year was to be more organized. So far not much has been resolved in this department. I am fairly organized with wedding details but that's more out of fear that losing something important would spell doom for the big day. Our daily routine is somewhat organized, but only because Baby has a predictable stream of events throughout the day, sleeping, eating and whatnot. The in-between parts are less organized and I tend to do things pretty haphazardly. I've been researching some good tools around the web. Simple Mom is great at this sort of thing. I don't feel the need to be rigid, just feeling that we'd all benefit from a little more structure. I'm always open to suggestion...
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