Friday, March 25, 2011

Transitions

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.

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

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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!