Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Continuing with the house updates, I am very proud to (finally) show you all my finished kitchen remodel! A good, solid month was taken up by my big fat kitchen project, back in February/March (that was allotta tile hey!). Since then, I've been dragging my feet on tiresome little projects, finishing up caulking, replacing hardware, fixing broken things, and various miscellany. I still havent gotten around to changing out all of the doorknobs with period antique hardware in the house. And I still havent decided if I really want an electrician to come in and install another box for a pendant light over the kitchen table (thoughts?) But it's pretty much there! Phew.

Above is one set of comparable before and after pictures for comparison on how far its come since our inspection in July 2012. For more before pictures of the kitchen (and the whole house), you can visit my Flickr album, here!

Especially during this big project, I was getting all kinds of comments and questions on products and techniques I was using. You can always follow my progress on instagram, for those of you who follow me there, where I always try to respond to questions. I update there at least once a day, if not multiple times. Thank you all so much for the love and encouragement during this project you guys, it meant so much! This really has been one of the biggest projects I've undertaken to date (well, aside from the physical labor of installing the patio last year, of course! *shudder*). I am so proud of it and I still get that feeling of awe that I cant believe this is my own kitchen, every time I step foot in it, even now.

Sorry for the extra large photo dump, guys! I just had way too much fun fiddling with a nice camera for once, I made it way too hard to edit down. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the post for product information and etc!

You'll notice that I did actually forget to grout this column under the counter top (above), so I have to finish that too! Oh, how things stack up... *sigh*

wall paint: Ace Clark & Kensington in Whisper // subway tile: Daltile from Home Depot // sanded grout and caulk in Charcoal from Home Depot // kitchen island pendants: Ranarp pendant lights from IKEA // drawer cup pulls: Martha Stewart collection from Home Depot // vintage table: Craigslist // eamsey vintage swivel chairs: from a friend who was moving! // brass herb drying rack over the sink: made out of brass tubing, s-hooks, and twine from the hardware store // red stripe hand towels: Ikea // b&w chevron hand towels: Target // rug: Nate Berkus for Target // magnetic knife strip, towel bar and utensil racks (spray painted black): IKEA // vintage Kodak darkroom timer: antique store // cutting boards, macrame plant hanger, miscellaneous utensils: thrifted // framed hot dog print by artist Michael Aberman // framed scribble drawing: found (artist unknown)

Friday, October 24, 2014

You know, I feel like maybe I'm experiencing a pattern where every year around this time, the change of seasons, I tend to get a pretty bad case of the wants. It must have to do with new fall lines coming out and Holiday advertising beginning to take hold, but for real guys. I want. Everything that local e-retailer Ship & Shape has to offer. I mean, seriously.

Like this nubby planter!

This funny little dish (actually, all the ceramics!)

Please somebody out there reading this, draw my name for secret santa this year! I want this one of a kind Mountain Ring.

Definitely go check 'em out! Fast!

Monday, October 13, 2014

I'd like to address something here: Alex and I are carry-on only travelers. Yes! We hate luggage! We hate luggage when heading to a weekend at the cabin, we hate luggage for a week in Los Angeles. And we hate luggage, yes, even when traveling to far places, like Europe. And not only because luggage is often always cumbersome and heavy, costs extra to check, and you have to stand in long lines to check it at the front desk; but also perhaps due to an irrational fear of our luggage getting lost (!). So in preparing to pack for almost 3 weeks in Europe, we knew it was going to be a special challenge. It was bit of a conundrum because we had to take into consideration that Paris is generally colder, but we were also on the beach in Cote d'Azure, where temperatures are still warm and sunny. So I knew that I'd have to plan ahead in order to fit all of my things in one small backpack that wouldnt be too overstuffed to carry with me everywhere (on planes, in trains and on foot).

I did my research and found some really great packing tips and capsule wardrobe recommendations from various sources (for example) and so I thought it might be valuable to share my experiences here as well. I think I came up with a packing list that was just about as close to perfect as it was gonna get, and figured that anything we forgot, we could just pickup while we were there. Instant souvenir! Here's what I brought:

1 pair dark denim jeans
1 pair black jeans
1 black jumpsuit (most women recommended a maxi dress, which would do double-duty as both a beach cover-up AND dressed-up dinner dress, but I figured a jumpsuit was about the same)
1 shorter dress (mine was a silky/slinky number that did great as both a nice going-out dress and over my suit at the beach)
1 pair high-waisted black shorts
2 tees - one grey, one striped
1 black (dotted) sleeveless cami
1 black sweater (heavier-weight)
1 long grey cardigan (lighter-weight)
1 dark denim shirt
1 black leather jacket
1 scarf
2 black bikinis (one was a convertible strapless top that worked great as a strapless
1 pair leather sandals (again, that could be worn both on the beach and are nice enough to wear out to dinner)
1 pair comfy and stylish black flats (with extra Dr. Scholl's!)
1 necklace
1 tube red lipstick
+ underwear and something to sleep in
all rolled and packed into this very nice looking Burton rucksack, which I picked up at the last minute at Urban Outfitters, and I am so glad that I did!
+1 small brown leather cross-body purse for everyday

Crazy, right? I did the math and I had about 13 different outfits right there. Of course, I ended up wearing one of 2 outfits mostly, and the rest less frequently. Also, you'll notice most of what I packed is black. And although I love black and is the most prominent 'color' I wear anyways, it was highly suggested that the French wear predominantly dark colors (and a lot of black). It worked out suuuuuper well, no complaints!

We also didnt bring any hairdryers, straighteners, no shampoo/soaps, no detergent, as the apartments we chose to stay in had clothes washer/dryers and provided the necessary linens, bath towels and accoutrements. Hooray! Of course, I did still pack my toothbrush/paste, a travel sized deodorant, phone charger and extra battery, european plug converter, and a book to read on the plane. Oh yeah, and a super small lomo camera with 35mm film ;) More details and outfit photos to come!

PS: I did also buy a tote bag at Zara before we left Nice, to carry the souvenirs and baguette and cheeses we bought for lunch. We could have stuffed all that into our backpacks, as we did end up having room, but it was nice to have them more accessible, instead of packed away into our backpacks in the over-head storage bins. You could easily pack a cotton tote (they are everywhere in Paris!) instead of buying one there.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Alex and I are back from our big trip to France ( I know, already! ) And I even got my 35mm film back from the 1-hr photo already! Look at me, I'm so on top of things! Paris and the Riviera were magical, and our vacation was both fun-filled and completely rejuvinating. I can't wait to go through everything and share more about our trip and photos soon. Until then, enjoy this photograph of a bridge I took while on a cheesy boat tour ( YEP TOTALLY ).

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