Mini Makeover: White & Bright

It's feeling so good to get back in the swing of home projects again - A little 2-ish week break was apparently just what the doctor ordered to get reinvigorated. That said, it's time to start the pretty tedious process of getting rid of all the Pickled Oak (seriously. that's the color name. gross.) wood still lurking at every turn in our house.

And by every turn I mean every turn. The door jambs. The windowsills. Every. Single. Kitchen. Cabinet. *sigh*
Terrible photos - So hard to get a good pic with the light from the window.
I started easy: The family room windowsill. Remember our repainting of all the baseboard? Well now that windowsill's been looking extra Pickled Oak-y by comparison. And all that nasty disjointed caulk? It had to get re-done as well.
White & bright on the bottom... Big ol' ugly up top.
Hole-y caulk! And a bunch just missing completely on one end.
So the process begins: A light sanding followed by a wipe down with liquid deglosser, then a prime and, in this case, two coats of paint (same as the baseboard, Decorators White by Benjamin Moore).
Fine grit sand paper, Citristrip deglosser, Kilz no-odor low-VOC primer.
Priming away.
So fresh and so clean, clean.
The one time I love matchy-matchy.
Tell me, how much better is that?! But then I started to realize how dingy the fireplace looked by comparison... You know where this is headed.
To be continued...


Random Round Up: Fat n' Sassy

Sorry for the delay - Legit technical difficulties this morning. So while I mutter under my breath about AT&T's a.m. issues, here's a few delicious tidbits from the weekend:
Evening sun
Homemade chorizo bolognese - Delicious!
Back into the swing of home projects (you'll see 'em later this week)
New burger press makes GIANT stuffed burgers. Semi-ridiculous.



It's the weekend tomorrow and if you're like me, you get some errands done during those precious days away from the office.
So don't forget about the Walgreens and JDRF team-up for July. This is the LAST WEEKEND of the month (I know. Already.) so please, if have things to pick up at the drugstore, make it a Walgreens and donate to the cause. $1, $5, anything.

Get the whole scoop on my recent post about the topic here, or just head for Walgreens and they'll tell you everything you need to know. It's so, so important - Thanks guys!!


Handful of Vacation

I find I didn't take nearly as many photos as I normally do on trips this past vacation. No idea why, but I'm happy I've at least got a few gems to share. Enjoy!
Grace can fly!
'The Cabin'
Love these faces.
Ella water skis for the first time!
Sun-soaked birch.
It's not a ton of photos, I know, but I think it gives you a pretty good little snapshot of life on the lake with the best family goin'.


Random Round Up: Futbol & Fun

Even though Nate's had season tickets with a buddy for years, I got to go to my very first Sounders FC (soccer) game this weekend! Super fun, despite a little side 'adventure' you'll see below...
Hope you got a good balance of fun and relaxation  yourselves this weekend - Happy Monday.
Some rhodedendron wrangling before & after (bushy plant on right).
A flat tire on the way to the game...(made it to our lot to change it, phew!)
Emerald City Supporters
Gorgeous day for a game.
This guy was in our yard yesterday. Pretty!


Vacation: Cell Snaps

Because I still haven't gotten it together enough to get the "real" photos off of our "real" camera, thought I'd share a few cell phone snapshots from our recent Minnesota trip.
Mt. Ranier on our early a.m. flight outta town.
I love the art on this coffee carafe. Makes me happy every time.
My adorable parents.
Sunset on the lake.
Porch swing. lake view, and back-issues of Vogue. THAT's vacation.
Happy Friday everyone!


JDRF & Walgreens

I'll admit it: I love shopping at Walgreens. Somewhere between the vitamins and nail polish I get lost in there every time I go. The options! The new products! Anyway. The real purpose here is to praise them for teaming up with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation for the month of July.
Walgreens has made it so easy - If you're making a purchase in-store, just swipe your card and the reader will ask you if you want to make a donation. You get to push a button for the amount, and that's it. You're a better person and JDRF gets some much needed funding. Paying with cash? Buy a piece of paper with a bar code on it at the counter and the cashier will swipe it in.

Don't shop at Walgreens? Still easy: Click here and you can make an online donation through the JDRF website.

I've talked about it before, but knowing a child with Type 1 Diabetes really changed my perspective on the whole disease. Spending the last week with her and watching her prick her fingers without a wince, take her shots like a champ, and listen to her calculate carb counts in her head faster than I could was mind blowing. JDRF deserves as much support as I - we - can offer. For Ella, and for all the kiddos who have to deal with this scary stuff every day.
Remember - It's the month of July only for donating at Walgreens. It's already the 17th: Get in there!!

Update: There's more you can easily do - I just filled out this form last night and it took me 5 minutes. It will be sent to your personal state's senators based on the information you fill out. Technology is amazing, and so is the research being done. Take 5 minutes and do it!


Copy Cat

So I guess my pseudo celeb status got Nate wishing for some of his own... And wouldn't you know, none other than Google Maps was happy to provide.

When you search our address on Google Maps, low and behold, there's Nate, getting the mail after work. He remembers seeing the car with the huge camera contraption welded to it's roof, and has wondered for months if his mug would show up online... Guess we have our answer!
What do you think, funny or creepy? I'm going with a mix of both, but pretty entertaining over all.

P.S. Vacation pics are coming - Yet another job role at work has me scrambling a little this week, so please forgive me for the delayed postings!


Mini Celeb

I'm back from a fabulous vacation with a funny happening: I participate in an online marketing community called CrowdTap - It's a lot of fun, and has gotten me some pretty fun swag over the past two years, from gift cards to free clothes and household items. I answer questions posed by different brands (from Old Navy to HGTV to Woolite, to name a few), and they in turn use the community's feedback to better develop their marketing strategies.

Long story short, I received an email yesterday from Mollie at Crowdtap headquarters in NYC telling me I had been chosen to be their first featured member highlighted as "Tapper Of The Week" on their blog and Facebook page. A few questions answered and a photo sent, and voila! I get to be a mini celebrity. Fun!
You can see the whole 'interview' right here, and, if you're so inclined, get to know Crowdtap through their website and blog.



This is only our second time through seasons in our house, and since some significant bushwhacking has taken place over that time, it's so much fun to notice new plants making their presence known this time around. Like these hostas along one side of the house:
 And yep, that's one of my pieces of curly willow sprouting below! Woohoo!
 All of that along with my cherry tomato (above), the hydrangea, and of course, the prolific rose bush. I think my last bud count of 131 has been left in the dust at this point. I can't keep up!
I'll be interested to see what's cropped up in our vacation absence. I just never know...

Happy weekend all!


Random Round Up: Birthday Fun

I'm winging my way toward my favorite place on the planet right now, so it'll be pretty quiet around this place for the next week or so. Catch ya on the flip side!

It was a weekend of stellar weather, vacation prep, and birthday fun. Who wouldn't love that combo?!
Tucky soakin' it in. Love him so.
A balmy night for a sunset game (that's Nate in the white shirt).
Little friend popped out to say hello.
Truck bed picnic at a Seattle-area icon.
My fave trifle from my dear parents-in-law.
Diner breakfast. Such a treat.
Wetland sanctuary walk.
Like I said up top, off to my dreamland today. I have one more post set up, but other than that, see you in a week or so!