10.30.2013

It's Heeee-eeeere!

Nope, not a creepy Halloween reference - I'm talking about the new kitchen table! Remember? I told you about our little love story and the fact that we had to wait monthS for it to arrive has only made the reunion sweeter.

So here's what we were working with: Cobbled together Ikea-o-rama.
And now? Bam.
And those chairs? Well, ignore those for now. We'll talk Friday.

10.28.2013

Random Round Up: Fresh Air

The thick, oppressive fog that's been hanging low for over a week has finally lifted! I've never been so excited for windy days.
Hate spiders, but love their lace - Especially in the fog.
My favorite snuggle buddy.
Rain boots and turning leaves.
A HomeGoods score and a little mini-makeover action - More later!
Sun! Sky! Water! I can see!! Hooray for wind!
Can't wait to show you the new kitchen table, finally delivered this past Friday. Woohoo! Have a great week, all.

10.25.2013

Handled.

The pieces of the puzzle continue to come together with the kitchen cabinet overhaul. The hardware arrived last night!
Couldn't be more thrilled - The shape, finish, and price were all perfect. At this point I will highly recommend MyKnobs.com (and barring the hardware turning to dust upon installation, I'll probably continue this love fest).
Having these has really helped me envision the finished project - Makes me almost excited to get started with the looong painting process to come!

10.23.2013

Frosting

I feel like we lucked out with the lot our home is on: While we're at the end of a cul-de-sac, we have a greenbelt in back and on one side, and the neighboring house is set in such a way that we have pretty much total backyard privacy. In fact, you can only see our neighbor's house from one window: My some-day sewing room.
I don't know how familiar you all are with sewing clothing, but when you're making it for yourself... well, there's a lot of off and on. And you know what's not great when you need to change your clothes 5,000 times? Neighbors and an open window.
Winner: Etched Glass, bottom left.
Enter Artscape window film. I'd heard about how easy it is to use on a few blogs I read (like this one), and it pretty much was. But first, to the Home Depot display to choose my 'design' (pic above). Next, facing the installation...
Installation ingredients.
The instructions were a single sheet - woot! - and pretty much consisted of cutting the film to the size of the window, spraying the window down with water mixed with a little dish soap, and squeegeeing (is that a word?) out the air bubbles.
Cutting was fairly simple: I measured (a lot), then lightly marked the paper backing with a pencil and snipped as smoothly as possible with scissors. Then, just as the instructions mandated: Peel, spray, stick, squeegee.
Finished product!
My trouble came when I realized that my film wasn't quite long enough to do both windows, so I had to switch it up and do two large pieces on the bottom 3/4 of each glass pane, and two small pieces for the 1/4 left up top. Luckily the line is pretty subtle, and with my window decoration it is nearly invisible.
Same view, before and after.
The light is hardly different from the window with the blinds up, yet the view in is totally obscured: Perfect! I can't get over how much more open the room feels without those dark horizontal lines always being in the way.
Before, during, after.
With the price ranging from $20-$45 per box (depending on design - they have some elaborate ones), and ease of installation, what's there to lose? A pretty low price to pay on all fronts for a little extra privacy.

Update: The day after installation I was unhappily surprised to find a bunch of tiny air bubbles had formed. I squeegeed again to no avail, but the next day they had disappeared completely, leaving the film smooth and perfect. So if that happens to you, don't despair! Just wait another 24 hours.
Also, I find the seam is even less visible now that the film has fully cured and dried. Hooray!

10.21.2013

Random Round Up: Outside

As it always seems to do around this time of year, a thick fog has settled in and isn't budging. It usually lasts a few days, and by the time it lifts it's like a brand new world. Sure makes the fall colors pop against a constantly gray sky though!
Giant toadstools are taking over our forest walking path.
Fall color against a Washington sky.
A little sun tried to burn through, but no dice.
So foggy my photos are turning out black and white without me trying.
Picked out our pumpkins!
Here's hoping the fog lifts (in more ways than one). Happy Monday!

10.18.2013

Closet Case

About a month or so ago, we returned from running errands. (That's not the interesting part, don't worry.) Within minutes, I heard Nate's voice from upstairs "Ermmmm........ Want to see something... interesting?" Um, always. So up I went, only to find that the closet in one of the bedrooms - which was supporting a lifetime's worth of ski jackets and various sports team jerseys - had completely collapsed.

The hardware plastic anchors had ripped right out of the wall, and the single "support" bar was bent beyond rehabilitation.
And so, after living with this scene in the closest's room for about a month...
...we decided to bite the bullet and invest in a new - and better - system. Knowing what the closet holds, but keeping in mind room to grow (dear Lord, please no more ski jackets...), we hit Home Depot for the components.

Off came the doors, out came the remaining fasteners and supports, and on went the spackle:
Next? Lots of using the level. This closet has a few strange angles, but even in a square closet: Don't trust your wall or floor lines. The idea is to pretend like you're hanging the components on a blank wall.  If it's a little crooked, you'll notice - In this case by all your clothes ending up on one side of your shelves and hang bars. So after squaring everything up 15,000 times before drilling each hole, we popped in these upgraded anchors (no more plastic, thankyouverymuch):
And, tada!
The weight load is so much more balanced, and it legitimately doubled the storage capacity of the closet. Magical.
....Anybody need some ski coats?? Just kidding hubs... juuuuuust kidding.

10.16.2013

Percolating Project

I think we've finally recovered from the big flooring project, and it's time to tackle the next biggie: Kitchen cabinets.

Rather then spending 15-40k on putting in new ones (I actually like the shape of the ones we have and they're pretty sturdy), the plan is to put in some elbow grease with sanding, priming, painting, and popping on some hardware.
Testing hardware sizes with paper scraps. So chic, I know.
This arrived on our door last night, and it promises to make the whole tedious process SO much more palatable:
Wagner Flexio 570 HVLP Paint Sprayer
It has great reviews, so I'm hoping it works like a charm. And as for hardware, I found an awesome site with bargain basement prices in MyKnobs.com. These haven't been ordered yet, but they coordinate with the handles of our appliances for a nice tie-in (and can't beat the price):
Now all that's left to do is... start. Heeeere we go!

10.14.2013

Random Round Up: College Game Day

In my last post, I told you about College Game Day coming to the Udub campus... And it was everything we hoped it would be!
The library was the perfect crack-o-dawn backdrop - Gorgeous!
Watching the show from our truck bed.
Every detail covered for the big game.
The band was in fine form at every commercial break:
video
And of course, Corso's pick - Not popular with the tailgating crowd!
video
So much fun. Here's hoping the first time isn't the last time they visit!

10.10.2013

Game Day, Baby!

This whole 'real life' thing is really getting in the way of my blogging schedule this week. Sorry kids!

Now: I have news.
image
If you're a college football fan you know and love (or hate but still know, so either way...) College Game Day on ESPN. Every Saturday morning at 6am PST, the guys appear on screen and give their 2 cents on odds of winning, stats, and upset alerts on, well, college games. They travel around the country to broadcast from the school of the notable game happening that week, and it's all capped off by Lee Corso putting on the head of whatever mascot he thinks is going to win said notable game. "The Pit", an area for students and fans to gather behind the broadcaster's table, gets packed with drunk excited college kids waving signs and wearing their colors proudly.
And this whole dog and pony show is broadcasting from the University of Washington because the Huskies vs. the University of Oregon Ducks (boooo!) is The. Big. Game. this weekend. A-woohoo!!!!!
Thankfully we won't be there when the lines open, but probably still early enough to be called crazy. ...And I'm okay with that. Go Dawgs!!

10.07.2013

Random Round Up: Sunshine Surprise

Ever have a weekend end with you feeling a little in awe of how much was packed in? That's how I feel this morning - We filled two days to the brim with football, family, and friends, and still managed to fit in some serious relaxation time. I don't know how it happened, but pretty happy about it.
First soup of the season - Spicy shrimp chowder (needs tweaking - WAY too spicy!)
I am so ready for Downton Abbey to start again... in January. Sigh.
Beautiful Seattle Saturday morning sunrise as we drove through.
The rare and delicious huckleberry pie - Thanks dad!!
Hashtag (#) in the sky.
I soaked up every second of a 70° October weekend - What a sweet surprise that was. Back to 50's and rain today, womp womp. Have a great week, y'all.

10.04.2013

All About Autumn

My dearest Emily made the trek up from Portland this past weekend with crafting on the brain. Her requests: To make something and to bake something. After a trip to Michael's and the grocery store, it was a two birds kind of situation.
Wandering Michael's.
We whipped up the batter for our Apple Cinnamon-Sugar Cookie Bars with Brown Butter frosting, and while those were in the oven, worked on our fall wreaths.
Em went with a fall leaves theme and I went the more floral route. I love them both, and we got a kick out of how different they ended up.
My components, snipped apart and ready for action.
Em eyballing floral placement options.
How'd we make 'em? Simply a styrofoam wreath form and a pile of fake flowers, all snipped apart into individual blooms/leaves/foliage with a pair of wire cutters. Then all you have to do is poke the wire 'stems' into the styrofoam. Done!
Em's fall color fiesta - Leaves, berries, beauty!
Mine, already taking the spot of a spring-y-er wreath inside the door.
As for those ridiculously good bars and frosting (from LemonsForLuLu with notes from me):

For the bars:
1 C butter, softened
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
5 C flour
1tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 C diced, peeled apples
2 tsp cinnamon

For the frosting:
1 C browned butter
16oz. powdered sugar
1/2 C milk
1 tsp vanilla

I recommend browning the butter first thing as it needs to sit in the fridge for an hour before making it into frosting. So get browning! Then:
Preheat your oven to 350° and grease a 13x18 cookie sheet (I use the butter wrappers for this). In a mixer (or with a hand mixer), combine butter and sugar and mix on medium speed until creamy. Mix in the eggs one at a time, making sure to mix well after each addition. Mix in vanilla, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. In a separate bowl (I know, I hate that too but it's important), combine flour, salt, and baking soda. Blend in flour mixture on low until completely incorporated. Pop into the oven for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick test in the middle comes out clean.
Now about that frosting. Get your browned, now-solidified butter out of the fridge and drop it into a mixing bowl. Beat it until smooth. Carefully add powdered sugar alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with powdered sugar (translation: sugar, 1/4C milk, sugar, 1/4C milk, sugar.) Once the frosting is a spreadable consistency, mix in vanilla.
Wait until the bars are COMPLETELY COOL (really. I mean... really.), then spread the frosting over the bars. Ready, set, indulge.