Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Exciting Update!

Click on over to my new Wordpress location for an exciting update.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

This Blog Has Moved

For a long time now I have been contemplating moving to Wordpress.  Well, I went ahead and did it.  Please click the link here to get to my new home.  I hope you follow me over!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Viva Mexico!

My husband and I have never had a honeymoon.  We REALLY need a vacation.  When we were hanging out with our friends over the weekend one of them said he thought it would be great if the three of us couples went on a trip together.  His parents have a time share in Mazatlan.

Nuff said......

Tonight we got the call that next August we are set for two weeks in the Mexican sun.  I may or may not be able to go the entire two weeks but ten days could be possible.  All I have to do now is get my passport and buy our plane tickets.  All the more reason to get a job fast since I have the money in savings right now for that.

I googled the time share and the photos are amazing!  There are five different sites.  I don't know which one we are actually staying at but for your viewing pleasure....

I'm so ready for sunsets on the beach, fruity drinks with umbrellas, sun and sand and surf and relaxation.

  Viva Mexico!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Graduation Season

Over the weekend we went to a friends son's highschool graduation.  We have known his father since highschool ourselves.  Obviously the boy in the graduation cap and gown is our friends son.  The girl on the right is my SD and the boy on the left is my SS (sorry about the glare from theoverhead lights - this was taken with my phone and photo opps were few).

Our son's friend is headed for the Navy August 3.  He's pretty smart and his job is apparently classified.  We are lucky and proud to know him and looking forward to hearing about his life in the "real world" as it unfolds.

My SD will graduate next year - I can't believe it.

Congratulations class of 2011!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

F is for Freedom?

Wow, hi there.

Life has been pretty crazy around here.

For a while now, things have not been going well at my job.  This is the job I was not looking for.  This is the job that was supposed to be such a great opportunity for me.  This is the job that was going to allow me to pay off my credit cards - FAST!

I have not been enjoying this job and I definitely feel this is not the place for me.  I have felt trapped because I am not in the position to quit due to our finances. 

Today I have a paid day off as yesterday I was "let go". 

It's a weird situation though.  Essentially my company is allowing me to choose my end date.  They asked if I would like to work for a few more weeks while I look for a new job and would accommodate any interviews I get lined up. 

I'll take it.

So today I spent lounging around at home doing whatever I pleased.  I made bruchetta for brunch and got caught up on blog reading while lounging in my new jersey dress from Old Navy that arrived yesterday in the mail.  I may even have a glass of white wine that arrived in the mail today from my wine club.

I did look for a new job too.....

So now what?  I can't say I didn't think this possibility wouldn't happen.  I was preparing for it and socking away money in savings - when I could have been paying off my credit cards.  The end date I am choosing will allow me to get paid two more times not counting the paycheck this Friday. That will allow me to put an additional $2000 in savings.  I will be able to collect unemployment if I can't find something new by then.

I'm actually pretty optimistic.  I have other things to keep me busy right now.  I'm taking this great class on reorienting my career (don't laugh) and I couldn't be taking it at a better time.

Oh yeah, and did I mention that I started a production company with two friends I met on the set of the award winning indie film I worked on?  We held our first auditions last Monday and the second auditions will be Saturday July 2.  We have a Kickstarter video planned to raise the money we need to shoot our project which is scheduled for a weekend in August. 

So not entirely freaking out here and am wondering what the universe has in store for me.  I'm thinking positive and have great references lined up.  It's summer and I plan to enjoy it as much as possible.

We got our car back last night too - it had issues for the second time and the dealership covered it all - huge sigh of relief there.

So universe - throw me a bone will ya?

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Forgive me for not posting on a regular basis lately.  I have been super busy.  Two weeks out of my month I work at least 50 hours a week.  I am taking a class right now and trying to get my business off the ground.

Yesterday we went to a friends son's highschool graduation.  There is a house down the street from them that I am totally obsessing over.  It's 101 years old, has four bedrooms and two bathrooms.  The front and back porches are nice and deep with a shed out back.

The price has come down $60K since September.  It's totally doable for us provided we could sell or rent our condo and we could even do a 15 year mortgage probably.  I am REALLY considering this but it makes no sense right now.  We are not prepared to buy a house right now.  We have no down payment unless we make money on our place.  Our commute would be longer.  I have enough going on already and yet.....

I can so see my self living in this house.  The kitchen and bathrooms would need some upgrading eventually.  The upstairs bathroom is tiny, the tub, sink and toilet are crammed in there.  It's a four bedroom house with all the bedrooms upstairs so it would be easy to borrow room from one of the bedrooms to make the bathroom more workable.  Its double the square footage of our current home and right about what we want size wise anyway. 

There are three options to a house that I would want.  A converted industrial space loft, a one floor ranch with an open plan and an old house like the one above.  Yesterday while at our friends house we walked down and took a peak in the windows.  While I am not thrilled about the wood stove in the dining room - that can be taken out.  It's double the square footage of our current place too.

This house makes me even more determined to get in to a house by next year if we intend to stay in the area.  If we know we are going to move out of state in three years then buying a house makes no sense.

I guess a girl can dream.....

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Green Means Go!

I'm really excited.

Over the past couple months I have had a project in development.  It's getting traction and gaining momentum.

I started a production company with two gals I met on the set of the independent film I worked on a few summers ago. 

We recevied almost 20 screenplay submissions and found two we really love which we have optioned.  Our first project will start filming in late August.  It's a short film but we thought it had potential to be made in to a trilogy which the screenwriter loved.  So, she is going to work on developing two more scripts.

Now down to the nitty gritty of casting actors (only two), location scouting (we think we have a place already), getting crew (this is low budget so free is a good thing), finding the equipment we need (currently we don't have any) and getting funding ($$$).

We have a twitter and FB page and will probably use Kickstarter for help in fund raising.  Stay tuned, more updates to come!

Saturday, May 28, 2011


Have you heard of Pinterest?  It's a great little site that allows you to collect ideas and photos for inspiration.  I totally should have thought this website up since I have been doing something similar in folders on my hard drive or tear sheets from magazines in an accordian folder .

It works a little like Facebook where you can follow people and share ideas.  Here's a peak of what I like.  Pinterest describes themselves as..

a virtual pinboard — a place where you can create collections of things you love and "follow" collections created by people with great taste.
People use Pinterest to collect and share all sorts of things -- wedding inspiration, favorite T-shirts, DJ equipment. You name it, people are pinning it.

You need to request an invite from Pinterest or someone you know who is on it.  Send me an email and I would be happy to send you an invite.  This is my new favorite place on the web, a great way to post inspiration.

Happy pinning!

Saturday, May 21, 2011


I love this photo! 

The color of these butterflies are amazingly intense!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

May Ramblings

Hello blogger peeps!
I really feel bad for not posting a lot lately.  I just havn't had much going on.  My couch slipcover is in stall mode until I can have a weekend free of plans to tackle sewing the slipcover which I spent three hours pinning as well as the back and seat cushions.

I'm excited about a few things though.  I was a little premature but updated my sidebar for some of our debt.  It's not official or anything but this month we will have not one but two cars paid off.  The ironic thing about this is neither of them are driveable.  How crazy is that?  We are using our tax return to pay off our old daily driver my 1999 Subaru Forester which just went through engine number two and is sitting waiting for the title so we can sell it to someone who wants it for parts (car universe, please grant my wish).  That will be paid this Friday.  Our last payment to my dad for our 1987 Porsche will be a week later.  Problem is it needs a little bit of work to make it driveable. 

We got our new to us Saab back last Friday after it needing a new engine (what is it with us and engines?).  The dealership paid to have a used one with less miles put in.  We had only owned it less than 48 hours when that debacle happened.  I'm really liking the Saab.  It's super comfortable with leather seats, dual climate control (front and back), heated seats all around (the SK's are loving that!), a sun roof (oh how I missed that), a killer stereo system, hand controls on the steering wheel for the stereo and more.  This is more C's car than mine so I will bide my time and save my pennies until I can get this...

I'm not gonna lie.  I kinda dig the racing stripes.  Never thought I would say that.  I DON'T dig the four fog lights on the front of this one and I would certianly love a sunroof too.  This car is so me.  Grey is my go to color in so many ways lately.  We painted the living, dining and hallway of our condo in grey.  Our Saab is silver with grey interior and I want me a grey mini cooper!

By the end of the month I will have put $950 on CC # 4 which is scheduled to be paid off in July.  In fact, all of our credit cards should be paid off by year end.  Yee Haw!  Once that happens I can relax and plan a real vacation.  A vacation to somewhere like Hawaii or Mexico.  Pretty much anyplace full of sun where I can stick my toes in the sand, drink fruity drinks with little umbrellas and relax.

I am starting a career development class in 13 days (yes I am counting) that I am super excited about.  I have a big birthday coming up at the end of July.  I am contemplating going here for the Saturday before my birthday.  Wine and Yurts, what more could a girl ask for?  They have a spa too!

The Yurts featuer King sized beds, sky dome in the center of the roof, private bath, refrigerator, iPod docking station, sitting area, patio deck, wifi and vineyard or river gorge view.

Meanwhile, I am totally addicted to this design blog House Tweaking.  Dana and her husband just bought a new (to them) house.  They have decided to downsize so she can stop working and take care of their two boys full time.  The new house is lovingly named The Underdog.  It's a mess they are remodleing while still living in their old house that is for sale.  I am really intrigued by this because my husband and I are looking at three years until his youngest graduates from high school.  One of our ideas is to buy or build a small open floor plan house. 

Another is to sell our condo and live in an Airstream trailer like this guy (Apartment Therapy is so cool!). 

Buying a rambler we could make our own is certainly something we consider.  We are thinking of moving to a warmer climate so the house buying may possibly be put on hold for a few years.  When I look at photos online of houses for sale in my area I really try to look past the old cruddy kitchen cabinets and hideous flooring to see the potential for the four walls I am considering.  Watching Dana and her husband as they turn their Underdog in to the home of their dreams will be certain inspiration and a great guide.

Speaking of addictions, I am currently adddicted to the TV show Supernatural.  We borrowed season one from our neighbor.  Right now we are on season two which we have to get from Netflix via DVD (how old school) since it's not streaming.

Today was a nice sunny day here in the greater Seattle area.  It got to 60 at least.  I am so ready for the grey gloomy days of winter (and even spring) to be gone.  One thing about our area is even when it's warm during the day it cools off at night unless you are in eastern Washington or it's August.

Well, I have rambled enough.  Hope you all are well and more more consistent posting coming soon.  Like the reveal of my slipcovered couch!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Career Exploration

For a while now I have not been satisfied in my current job. Althought I did not finish my degree what I do for a living is not even remotely what I went to school for. I have a significant birthday looming in a few months and I am feeling the need for a change.
Last Saturday I took a one day career development class to focus on a career change. This led to signing up for a nine week intensive that starts in a few weeks. I'm pretty excited about it and am really looking forward to exploring my options.
I know that I am a late bloomer. I went to college after high school but I really didn't know what I was doing there and chose a major more out of what I liked than what was ideal - because I really just didn't know what I wanted to do. Even reading books like "What Color is Your Parachute and going to the career counseling office was a struggle. They gave you tests and said you should be a writer or an architecht - yadda yadda yadda.
The opportunity to spend serious time focusing on the right career for me sounds a little selfish. The philosophy behind the place I am going focuses more on what's really important to you personally and helps you create a vision statement for the ideal job for me.
The only thing I wish is that I had done this a few years ago. Wish me luck!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Good Juju

So a few posts ago I wrote a little about our recent car troubles. What happened since then could literally be one of those priceless adds. We heard from the dealership and the news was bad and good. Essentially our new to us car needs a new engine and since we had it less than 48 hours they are taking care of it themselves.

So it looks like I will be able to take that $3200 burning a hole in my bank account and pay off our old dead car as well as put a healthy chunck of change on one of our credit cards. It's tempting to put that entire amount on our credit cards and just continue to pay the car payments for the dead car (there are seven left) but I just don't think I want to do that. I am waiting until we get the car back which will be next week.

Also, I am looking for a new job. I left my old job of 4.5 years for my current one of which I have been at for six months. I am sorry to say this job is just not working out like I thought it would. The pay is better and C and I can carpool but it's just not the environment for me.

I am putting this out there in the universe for me to be able to find a new job and for the transition to be pretty stress free. I am not certain how this will be accomplished but I am trusting that it can be. My deadline is my birthday at the end of July but if it happens faster I will not complain.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Seven Things About Me

I received a Versitile Blogger Award from a groovy blogger/twitter friend Crystal over at Twenty Eight and a Half. I am to name seven random facts about myself and pass along to seven other bloggers.

Seven Random Things About Me

  1. I have exactly 2.5 hours flight time in a single engine plane.

  2. I had a pet frog for 13 years. It was a joke birthday gift called "Grow A Frog" and a tadpole was literally mailed to me in a bag of water in a styrofoam container. When it arrived my mom tossed it up the stairs at me. It lived in my mom's house after I moved away and finally passed away.

  3. While most people go gaga over meeting famous people, when I have the opportunity I get all nervous and quiet.

  4. When I was just about to turn two my parents and I were visiting relatives in Texas. My cousins were bouncing on a trampoline with me sitting on the opposite end. Then bounced me right off. I go tup and wandered in to the house. Later that night I woke up screaming. Apparently I had broken my leg. I spent the rest of our trip in a cast and walked around so much I wore down the heel twice. I remember when I got the cast off the doctor put the saw on my hand so I would know it wouldn't vut me. I tried to stand but fell over because I was used to the weight of the cast.

  5. The furthest away from home I have been is Hawaii to the west, The Bahamas to the East, Cabo San Lucas to the south and the Arctic Circle to the north. Time to get off this continent!

  6. I costumed an indie horror film summer which got me a credit on IMDB.

  7. I love vegetables but absolutely detest peas. I will eat them in fried rice or a pot pie but I will not eat them alone.

Passing the award to...

Kilted Travel Agent (refered to here as C)

The Girls Guide to Homelessness

Crazy Aunt Purl

Small Notebook

Brooklyn Limestone

Lola B's

Wicked Bride

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Holding Pattern....

Putting this out there for some good juju.

This past week has been interesting. After our car essentially dying and being replaced, our new car has a small issue which is being diagnosed. I am sitting on about $3200 that I would really like to use to pay off the old car (that died) and put the rest on a credit card.

Untill the new car get's the "all clear" I want to hold on to that money "just in case".

I am putting it out there that everything is fine and I will be able to pay off that old car and the rest will pay one card in half which will then be paid off next month.

How is that for specific.

Send me your good juju!

Sunday, April 24, 2011


I have a new obsession. It's called Pinterest. They describe themselves as a social catalog to collect and share things you love. They have created a website that allows you to tag photos you see online and create boards with them. I have been doing something similar for years either saving to a folder on my coputer or ripping pages out of magazines.

Right now it's an invitation only site. It didn't take me long to get mine. Or, leave me a comment with your email address and I will send you and invite!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

When Life Gives You Lemons........Make Saabs!

This morning as C and I were stopped at a light on our way to work I noticed what looked like steam coming from the hood of our car. It was not too obvious but it was there. In the last few days we had been smelling a coolant smell and we knew this was not good. We turned around and hightailed it home.

We had known for a while the car needed work and we were hoping to get it paid off and some credit card debt paid down before we needed to replace it. Well replacing it happened today. The car is not worth a third engine and with our tax return being deposited in our bank account (hopefully tomorrow) we had planned on paying the car off.

We got home, walked to the park and ride where are neighbors car was parked (she let us borrow it) and drove to our bank. We were approved for an auto loan and went home to scour the internet. We found a used car at a local dealership which had all of the criteria we were looking for in price and mileage. The bells and whistles are a plus.

Say hello to our new baby.

A 2000 Saab 9-5 with only 85000 miles on it. It has a sun/moon roof, dark grey leather interior, heated seats (even in the back), dual climate control for the front and seperate climate control for the back as well as controls on the steering wheel for the stereo. They only had one key and a second one cost us $238.11 plus a $55 fee to sink it to the car. Wow, I didn't know about that niftly little feature.

It had literally been put on an internet special this morning knocked down an additional $5000.

This was not necessarily in the plans right now but you gotta do what you gotta do.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I Heart The Internet - Another Recipe

A quick note before the post. What is UP with blogger and clumping all of my paragraphs together?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! Not only has the internet given me super cool twitter and blog friends like Crystal and Crazy Aunt Purl (it's all about the wine diet). It gives me yummy food I can cook at home whenever I want. I made enchiladas not once but twice last weekend from this recipe (one beef and one chicken - I liked the chicken best). The SK's (step kids) LOVED it so I know I have a keeper recipe when I can please my entire household with one dish! The latest intsalment of the Paisley Cooking Chronicals is roasted asparagus compliments of Small Notebook. You can get the recipe here. Not only is she living in Italy (a dream of mine) but she is sharing yummy recipes too! Folks, my husband (C) does not really care for veggies, and asparagus has taken him a bit to get used to (he likes it smothered in holandaise) and he REALLY liked this dish. I think it was the prosciutto that did it. I don't even think you need the cheese. The roasted potatoe recipe you can find here (thank you Tyler Florence). I had planned to have chicken with this but I didn't really need it. It was Yum-Oh and really filling! If you try this, tell me what you think!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Enchiladas Por Favor

Last night I made a recipe for Enchiladas I found at one of my new favorite blogs, Dream Book Design. My step son helped me make them. They were a little messy in the prep but so very good even without the green onion which I forgot to put on them. They are so yummy in fact that I may make another batch in chicken so I will use all the green onion I have. I can just store it in the freezer and use them for lunches. Click here for the recipe. I am off to make chocolate croisants for breakfast!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Grand Plans

So with my post yesterday about the likely probability of a sabbatical in the future, I am now in full fledged planning mode. This of course includes multiple screenings of Eat Pray Love and Under the Tuscan Sun. Afternoons with homemade bruschetta and red wine and intensive yoga sessions. It started with grand visions of international travel, living in exotic locales and jet setting from country to country with our little dog in tow (sensitive stomach and all). But that is really not enough. That is not what I want. My sabbatical idea has already morphed in to the concept of intense periods of work followed up by mini travel sabbaticals of three or four months. The intense periods of work are not at a typical day job but making films. I like this concept alot since it essentially extends the sabbatical over the course of several years and allows these mini retreats to be here in the US or abroad but we always have a "home base" to come back to. This allows me to travel and see the world which is really what my passion is. Unless I replace Samantha Brown on the Travel Channel. So what I am really planning for is transitioning from the current way I earn a living in to another means of earning a living. Something that flows a little more with my goals. The key is planning. I am a planner. I can obsess over a spreadsheet like nobody's business. I love a good list too. I want to start traveling as soon as I can.

In a perfect world, C & I would have some sort of alternative income stream. Something that could bring in enough money per month to meet our living expenses so our savings would be there if we need it but not necessary to dip in to for silly things like groceries or to pay the phone bill.

It's not that I need massive amounts of money to buy all sorts of lovely things. I just want the security of the available funds to know that I don't need to go back to a mind numbing horrible day job ever again. I don't mind living modestly. After all, you can't take it with you.

Our "home base" woube be a small structure about 1500 square feet such as a Katrina Cottage. KC 1185 would do nicely square footage wise. Some small adjustments like bedroom # 2 would not exist and the kitchen would use that space plus there would be room for a pantry and eating nook. Bedroom # 1 would be the TV room. It would be great if it was on a lake and some what private.

I plan on investing in a good camera to take photos of all the places we visit. I plan on packing my laptop to chronicle my travels and possibly write a novel that has been rattling around in my brain. I plan on connecting with my husband and hope that friends and family members will meet up with us along the way.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


For a while now I have had the thought of a break rolling around in my head. In truth, I have been working full time for the better part of the last 18 years since I left college. I go to work every day for the paycheck, I really don't have a passion for what I do. I'm good at it, I like the people I work with and my salary is pretty decent. I did not go to college for what I do but kind of fell in to it. I take pride in doing my best every day. But I'm tired. I have a passion for other things. Other things like travel, independent film, cozy surroundings. Things that I want to be more central in my life. Other things that I would like to earn a good living at. Things that are not material stuff but experiences. Call me a late bloomer (pretty accurate really) but I feel I have finally figured out what I want out of life. Enter the sabbatical which literally means "a ceasing", a rest from work, a hiatus, lasting from two months to a year. I am planning one of those. A year off to transition in to the next phase of my life. If you have seen the movie Eat, Pray, Love this is kind of the idea. This move is based on a real book that a real person lived through. The book is amazing and inspirational and a must read in my opinion. The author took a year off to really discover who she was while living in Italy, India and Bali (all places I would love to visit). I want to travel, experience new cultures, learn new languages, eat new food, take beautiful photos, imerse myself in something different to gain new perspective. Really become centered and setteled. I am inspired by others who are following a somewhat similar path. People like Rachel from Small Notebook who with her husband and two small children are taking a year off to live in Florence Italy. Crystal at Twenty Eight and a Half who left her job and is following her writing passion. She also will be traveling to Greece and Italy this summer for the better part of a month. A friend "IRL" at Unemployed Winner who was recently laid off from her day job and is making a go of her Etsy store (she's an incredible knitter) as her full time job. Frugal Babe who has no debt and works from home with her husband. They are trying to be self sustaining through their rather large garden and other home improvements. Stephanie at Brooklyn Limestone who started her blog detailing the rehab of their home and also posts about her extensive international travel (jealous). Laurie at Crazy Aunt Purl who turned her newfound love of knitting in to two books. These women and many more are inspiration for me. This sabbatical will not happen for a couple years, probably five. We have debt we need to finish paying off, we have two kids to get through highschool. Kid # 1 will graduate in 2012 and kid # 2 will graduate in 2014. We have to save money for this endeavor. But we are going to do it. My husband at A Kilted Travel Agent is a daily inspiration for me. He recently started learning how to tattoo which is a passion for him and combined his love of art and drawing. He is starting an internship today. While we are on sabbatical he wants to learn new ways to perform this craft from other cultures like the Balinese. I have already started this journey by simplifying my life. We are agressively paying off our debt. We are decluttering our home and our "stuff". About a month ago I ventured in to the world of film by starting a production company with two friends I met on set of the indie film, The Book of Zombie I worked on in 2007. I was the costumer and an executive producer. We will sell our condo before this all starts. The money we make will go in to an account for a down on a place after we are setteled from our sabbatical. We will place the items from our home we are keeping at my FIL's house while we are gone. Our cars will stay at my parents. The only other thing I need to research is traveling and living internationally with our dog. Looks like we will need to get him a Visa and an International Travel Health certificate. Have any of you out there in blog land taken a sabbatical or are thinking about it?

Friday, March 25, 2011


Hello my bloggy buddies! It's Friday and C, our neighbor and I are about to get take out food from a yummy Italian place. We have fun plans for the weekend and the weather is still pretty nice here in Seattle.

I wanted to direct you to a brand new blogger. I have been friends with her for about four or five years. She is an awesome person and amazing knitter.

Like many of us now a days, she was laid off from her job last Thursday - St. Patrick's Day. She is taking it all in stride and determined to make a dream out of her part time business.

Click on over to Unemployed Winner and give her a wonderful welcome to the world of blogging!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Oysters Rockefeller

Last Thursday was St. Patty's Day. C and I went to FX McRory's for dinner and to watch our friend who plays tenor drum in a bagpipe band. I was up for something new so tried the Oysters Rockefeller. To die for! I immediately had to make it for myself.

Saturday C and I went in search of Oysters on the half shell. The lovely lady behind the counter showed us how to shuck an Oyster and we brought home two dozen beauties. It took longer then we planned to get all the Oysters shucked and dinner was a little late that night. I used a recipe I found online by Tyler Florence but added Hollandaise to the top before placing them in the oven. Divine!

Aside from the cost of the Oysters (one of our dozen was $8.99 and one was $7.99) and Pernod the other ingredients are inexpensive. I would love to make this as an appetizer for our Easter meal but it's a little time consuming.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Oh yeah, and while I was working on my living room....

I paid off a credit card over the weekend! Woo Hoo! Two of six cards paid in full. No balances! WooHoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Hello World

Wow, it's been a bit since I wrote here. I have been busy.


Photos below may not be "pretty" as they are "in progress". You have been warned!

*************************************END WARNING*********************************

Our living room is REALLY hard to decorate. I have lived here for going on ten years and we FINALLY think we have a solution. I will NEVER live with angeled walls EVER AGAIN!

Walls, crown and baseboard trim all completely painted, we mounted our TV on our angled fireplace wall (the bane of our existence - see note above) last weekend. We mounted two floating shelves to the left of that wall to hold our components (top shelf Wii and modem, bottom shelf XBOX, wireless router & Blue Ray player). We will probably get a guitar mount for the Wii Guitar leaning against the lower shelf.

Now we are dealing with wires. Lots of them. (Notice how the power cord for the TV does not reach to the outlet and we have that very attractive surge strip nesteled in our fireplace tools? I think it really adds something). The mantle in the photo below is part of our old one and will be replaced. The tan tile surround will be replaced with grey and white Carrara marble tile.

Hiding the power cords is going to be a challenge. There is no option to go in to the wall. So far my husband has used flexible hosing to "hide" them and plans to paint them to match the wall. I still don't think painting them will completely hide them. We have not built our mantle yet so I hope we can encorporate hiding the cords in to the design. Especially on the right with the surge strip. Even if the surge strip was mounted to the side of the mantle "legs" and the cord hidden by one of those squared off cord covers you can mount to the wall and paint your wall color. This actually looks better then it did when first put up. Don't even get me started on a surround sound system which we have yet to purchase. This living room project is going to take a bit longer than planned I think.

C and I both tought the floating shelving would make the room feel less cluttered but I am sad to say I don't feel that way right now. I thought about a small lingerie chest that could sit there and cover the outlet. We could change the drawers to flip down when we needed to access the components. I dare not suggest to C since he worked so hard getting it this far. I just really need camoflage for that wall under the shelf. It's complicated by the angled (and unfinished) hearth.
Any suggestions would be appreciated as well.
Because we mounted our TV we were able to move our couch to a wall instead of blocking traffic flow through to our dining room. This makes me incredibly happy and almost makes up for the cord situation. Last weekend we scored two IKEA chairs through CL for half off. I bought some great brown and cream zebra printed fabric yesterday to slipcover two pillows for the chairs. You can just glimpse our DVD storage in the background - oops didn't notice the storage box behind the chair. In my defence I did warn photos were not pretty.

The room feels really roomy and I am loving it! With the curtains open and the couch facing the window it feels much brighter in here. There is no glare from the window on the TV anymore either. We have furniture we were sorely lacking for a family of four as well.

We have a few more tasks to complete before the big reveal. We need to take the rest of the old tile off our hearth and replace it with yummy grey and white Carrara marble and redo our mantle. We have decided to purchase a surround sound system first (our old one died about a year and a half ago) so we can design the mantle after we have ALL components. I also need to make a slip cover for the couch and I have an art piece I want to do to go on the wall over it.
Down the road we will be purchasing a rug but not until after our cat is gone. She is responsible for ruining our last one. We will eventually replace the sofa with something nicer and do some in ceiling can lighting.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

What Have You Been Up To?

Sorry I have not been posting much lately. I have been super busy at work and I have a lot going on at home too.

C and I are working on our living room. We finished painting the walls and moldings last month and now we are working on the fireplace wall. Demolition of the old tile on the hearth is taking longer than we planned even with our brand new Dremmel Multi Max. Once the old tile is off we will put down Carrara marble tile, install a new mantle and mount our 50" TV above it.

We are holding off buying new furniture and I will be recycling my current couch, post to come soon. We will be building two ottomans and purchasing two chairs. All of this furniture will privide plenty of seating for our family.

In other news, C has taken on a second career learning how to tattoo. He has always wanted to learn and bought some tools and supplies and is working on getting an apprenticeship which will be an unpaid second job for him.

I have some other exciting news but am not quite ready to post about it. I have a second job of my own in the works. One that I hope I will be able to transition in to a new full time career.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

February Update and March Goals

February flew by and I am so ready for spring. We met some of our goals for February and are crossing things off the lists. One thing you can count on is our ever changing goals list or at least where/ we are focusing. On to last months goals.

Paint living room walls and trim. This is done. We have two and in some cases three coats of paint on the walls and trim.

Make DVD shelving. This is done. They have been sanded and two still need to be painted but they are living in their new home in the hallway. We also took back the feet I had purchased for the shelving and recouped about $50.

Tile hearth did not happen. C and I have been having an ongoing debate on how exactly to do this. I wanted to get the old tile off and he wanted to tile over the old tile. We ended up using some of our condo money to buy a new tool called a Dremel Multi Max. This baby is so awesome and takes the tile off the hearth like buttah! We were trying with a hammer and chisel and not getting very far. It's time consuming though. We have some of the old tile off but need to pace ourselves as the tool get's hot quickly. We hope to tile the hearth this month.

Buy a couch is not going to happen right now. We decided the tax return (which we don't have back yet) would be in a better place if we put it in savings towards a new car (my car needs to be replaced). The couch we have will be "revamped" (post to come) and slipcovered. We have a goal to eventually buy a new couch but for now we are fine with this decision.

Put $200 in savings. This didn't happen because I forgot about getting my dogs teeth cleaned. February is national dog teeth health month and we saved about 50% getting his teeth cleaned. They have to knock him out to do it. Boy was he funny afterwards. Kinda stoned.

Put $300 divided between three credit cards. This was on top of minimum payments. We ended up putting an extra $185 on one of our cards. We decided rather than get all five of our cards to 50% we would pay off the smallest balance first and so on. We should be able to pay off CC #1 in March.

Use Wii fir three times per week. I got sick last month with the kind of cold that the cough lingers. I'm still coughing. Working out was kind of hard because it made me cough. I did do some but not as much as planned.

Lose five pounds. I lost a couple but without working out and being sick it was harder.

Next months goals...

Finish fireplace wall; hearth, mantle, mount TV

Slipcover couch

Make and slipcover a custom ottoman for couch and chairs

Put $200 in savings

Pay of CC # 1

Put an extra $400 on CC # 2

Use Wii Fit at least three times a week

Lost five more pounds

Stay tuned for some update posts of our living room! So loving the grey color!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Love Lavender?

Good Saturday morning! If you love levander then you must click on over to Lilies and Dandelions blog as she is hosting a give away. Lavender goodies and a Restoration Hardware pillow.

Be sure to check out her post on cleaning with lemon and lavender too. I know one of my current goals is to replace all the harsh chemicals in my house with natural cleaners. I'm sure this post will help get me started!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Dream House: Part IV - Master Suite

This is the last space of my dream home. From the great room you enter a hallway flanked on both sides by book shelves.




Once you pass through the hallway you enter the master suite with a room with a sitting area for reading. Near the sitting area and opposite the bed is a dual fireplace shared with the bathroom and filled with flameless candles on a tiered metal stand.

A private patio just off that with a hammock stuffed with a feather bed, monogrammed pillows and a throw for afternoon reading.

A bed alcove created by curtain panels with a king size bed. The linens are all grey egyptian cotton with touches touches of a peacock blue velvet throw. A chandelier over the bed with chocolate brown crystals.


An open closet area with metal racks for shoes and hanging items. A dresser for folded items and chez for easily slipping shoes and tockings on and off. A luggage rack with vintage luggage to hold my collection of scarfs. A dress form used as a valet and a dressing table near the window to apply makeup and hold jewelry.




An archway leads you to the spa. French doors open to the private patio and lead back to the library area. A copper tub sits on the room near the dual fireplace with a surround of linen curtains.

An open shower area with a drain on the floor and plenty of natural light to bathe by with a small half wall for the toilet.



What does your dream house look like?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Dream House: Part III - Media Room & Patio

Wednesday I posted about the entry and Friday I posted about the great room. Today it's all about the media room and patio.

Off the great room are large metal barn doors that lead to the media room. They can be closed for movie viewing or fully opened to be included in the larger great room space. Panels of burlap are a backdrop for a rotating group of favorite movie posters.

The media room has shelving around the top for our collections. This and the larger pieces in the great room are the only collections we have.

A large garage door opens on to the patio space in nice weather that enlarges the great room space.



More eye candy tomorrow!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Dream House: Part II - Great Room

Wednesday I posted about my dream house, specifically the entry. Today we move in to the great room. I like the idea of a great room because it seems very efficient to me. Kitchen, living and dining all in one space.


From the entry you pass through a large arch in to the great room. Immediately to your right is the kitchen area which is essentially a wall for the refrigerator, sink, small pantry and open shelving for my collection of hotel dishware, silver and glassware. Industrial containers store mother of pearl handled cuttlery. All of the china, serving pieces and cutlery have been collected over the years and only match in patina and color. A rolling library ladder rests just to the side and is ready at a moments notice to reach the uppermost shelf.


Imagine the bar in the photo below replacing the wooden island in the photo above. On the great room side it would be at bar height to eat and drink at. On the kitchen side it would have a cooking and cutting surface.
The light fixture over the bar and kitchen area is perfect for task lighting and enjoying a beverage.

The dining space is informal as the table is often being used for a craft and sewing station. A long table with a missmatch of burlap and velvet covered chairs surround it. Over the table is s trio of black crystal chandeliers. A bar in the corner is a converted dresser.


The great room propper is seperated in to intimate spaces of chairs, sofas and tables by house plants, screens, curtain panels and large objects of art.

Yes that really is a peacock perched in this room. I think that would be awfully fun as long as the species were not endangered and it was not killed solely for this purpose.


The above photo are nesting tables made from thrift store frames, table legs and personalized artwork inside. I'm going to try this idea in my current home.

Next post will be a couple rooms off the great room.