101 Things: 83. Renovate the kitchen

This is a big one to cross off the list. When we purchased this house, it was on the condition that we remodel the kitchen ASAP. It wasn’t the ugliest kitchen in the world, but it might have been one of the most non-efficient ones I’ve ever been in. You could just tell that this kitchen was for heating up frozen pizzas, not for COOKING. You know what I mean? I usually love to cook, bake, preserve, the whole she-bang. However, I lost my mojo when we moved into the house because of this kitchen. It was such a pain to do anything. No good work area, crappy stove and cook top, and the worst that there was no flow. The island was more in the way than a work hub. Terrible, I tell ya. Here’s a couple of photos of how it was before:

So, we planned on getting the kitchen done this winter. Then came the exciting new we were pregnant again. Should we go ahead with our plans or wait? Would it get done in time? Shawn and I decided to go for it and get it done no matter what. Our thinking: Would we rather do this now or after the baby arrived? I did NOT want to deal with construction and an infant at the same time, nor did I want to have this turn into a “someday” project where I would have to suffer on with this inoperable kitchen. Full steam ahead!

We found an amazing contractor with Collamore Built. Justin and his team were amazing. I can’t say enough of how great a job they did or how pleasant the process was. I already know that we’ll be working with them in the future for some other renovation projects. (Master bathroom and the basement are already on the list.) Here are some more “after” photos so you can see all the details.

So long CR-V, hello Pilot

The lease on the CR-V is up at the end of the month -can you believe it’s been three years?- so I’ve been looking at a possible replacement. I decided the I needed something a little larger than the CR-V this time around, much more stuff to haul around with the little guy in the picture. Shawn and I went and looked at a few different cars before I had the baby and I narrowed it down to the Honda Pilot and the Acura MDX. So, this past weekend we ventured out to the local Honda dealership and I test drove the Pilot. . . . and ended up coming home with one. Yep, I liked it so much and they were able to put together a great deal for a new lease that we traded the CR-V in that day.

I’m really happy with it and can’t wait to make it a part of our new family’s adventures!

Plus 9 Throws

It is the beginning of August and we still have many hot days ahead, but I am already dreaming of fall. These gorgeous wool throws from DWR would be so perfect for wrapping up in on those chilly autumn evenings either on the couch or out on the patio. A bit pricy, but they look as if they would be heirloom-worthy additions to the home.

Say hello to Chopper

Please say hello to “Chopper’ the latest member of my kitchen appliance family. Chopper, formally known as the Cuisnart Elite Food Processor, happily arrived at the house yesterday by way of a Williams-Sonoma gift certificate. I plan on putting Chopper to work slicing vegetables, making piecrust, and shredding cheese, vegetables, nuts and chocolate. Cooking is going to be a lot more fun, and less labor-intensive, with Chopper around.

Green Things

Part of our busy weekend was spent at the garden center picking up pots and plants and soil. Then I spent a few hours repotting some houseplants and putting some plants in containers for outside. This year we are not putting in a garden – I want to figure out what is growing in the yard and see what I like and don’t like before putting in our plot- so I picked up a container tomato plant and some herbs. Since Shawn is anti-veggie, I figure I can just pick up whatever is in season at the farmer’s market this year for myself to eat. Plus, a dear friend has promised me some vegetables from her garden in return for a little manual labor weeding the beds. I’m already scheming what things I’ll can and preserve later in the season.

Paint Colors

I thought that I’d share some of the paint colors that we chose for the house. We used a lot browns at the old house, so I wanted to change things up a bit here. The main area of the house is a very light putty color and we have white trim throughout, so we leaned more towards grays and blues. We chose the paint colors and then had Sherman Williams match the chips, using an interior eggshell paint. Go to the full post to see the colors and what rooms we used them in.

House Matters

Well, now that the vacation is over, I am jumping back into the house stuff. We’ve got an official date for the movers: May 27th! (Lord, I cannot tell you how much I’m looking forward to getting in our house and out of this apartment.)That means I have little more than a week to get some things done.

Before we left we picked paint colors for some interior rooms and the painter is almost done. (I’ll post the colors later, I forgot to grab them from the house.) The AV guy is busy with his wires, speakers, and components and hopefully the closet shelving will be installed in the master soon. I’ve got to pick out and order the washer and dryer and also some light fixtures this week. I’m also on the hunt for a shower curtain for the main bathroom. Why is this so difficult to find? Maybe I’ll try to sew one myself if I can’t find anything. Can’t be too hard, right?

We’re also planning on making a trip to Ikea this weekend. We need to get a ton of things for the house, plus I want to check out some EXPEDIT for my craft room.

I’ve also got to do the more mundane things: schedule the phone/internet guy and the satellite dish people to come hook us up, change over addresses, clean the shelves and cupboards, etc. Well, I better end this post and get started. Lotsa stuff to do!

Salt & Pepper

I purchased these vintage Kromex spun aluminum salt and pepper shakers a few weeks ago off of Etsy. Shawn has broken not one, but two, sets of my shakers in the past year, so I decided that I needed to get something a little bit sturdier than ceramic. These should live up to to the task. They are made in the 50’s and are similar to the Kromex canisters I have. I’d love to find an exact match, but thought that these were close. Aren’t they cute?

Perfect Peonies

Just thought that I’d share a photo of some of the most perfect peonies I’ve seen in a while. Picked them up at the good ol’ Dane County Farmers Market this morning. Aren’t they the gorgeous?

In addition to picking up some good looking herbs for my planter out on the back deck, we also got our customary chocolate long john for breakfast. Shawn was so happy because we stopped at Fraboni’s, an Italian grocery, for some cheeses, pepperoni, and such. We’re going to be making pizzas for some friends tonight, along with some homemade strawberry icecream for dessert!

Geek Baking

Okay, my inner geek is going bonkers for these Star Wars cookie cutters. I just saw these in the Williams-Sonoma catalog.

Come on, how insane would it be to be able to bite a chunk out of Boba Fett’s head? To dunk Darth Vader in a glass of milk?

Now all they need to come out with is a chocolate mold for when Han Solo was frozen in carbonite!

**Update: they also have pancake molds!**