Tuesday, April 27, 2010

These are a treat and a half.

I love those dark chocolate covered pomegranate seeds from Trader Joes. They are so yummy and it just takes a couple nibs to satisfy my practically nonexistent sweet tooth (I'm a salty). So I was pretty excited when Jeff and I were at TJ's yesterday and I saw these bad boys.

Powerberries!! Now who doesn't want a sweet treat named Powerberries? It's chunks of juice pieces (how is juice made into a piece? Weird...) made from all the wonder berries that are supposed to be so good for you, but looking at the list of ingredients, I'm not too sure about how great they are. But they taste awesome!

Thanks guys!

I just wanted a thank you post to all you lovelies that have been so supportive and excited for us about this house biz. And special shout-outs especially to Nikki, my dad (ET) and mom, Jana, and Seth for their awesome comments on this blog. I love getting those email notifications of comments posted. Hugs for you. :)

YEAH! Bustin' out the sewing machine...

The green drapes in the living room officially drove me crazy tonight. I was starving when I got home from work but saw those curtains and had to do something about them. I bought this fabric from Ikea that I've been lusting after for awhile but didn't know what to do with it. I know the fabric is a little weird, but I love that kraft colored linen and sloppy white dots. I wanted a pattern for the other windows since I did a solid color for the giant window, but nothing to fussy and something modern and somewhat neutral. I think they turned out pretty rad. Jeff said they look like Bam Bam's curtains next to that stone fireplace, which sounds like an insult but from him it's a compliment. He likes!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Thanks Mom and Dad!!

My parents got us a kick-ass housewarming gift. A new TV!! An awesome 42" LG LCD flatscreen plus a mounting kit plus an HDMI cable to be specific. Soooo cool!! We love it so much. It was a definite upgrade from the old TV we used to have where the sound would go out sporadically until you shoved a matchbook underneath the audio cable. Not on this one! Jeff got some pointers (and tools) from his friend Marc that sets up a new flatscreen about every week at Joe Hahn's house so he was able to do it himself. He got it up on the wall and hid the cables in the wall and into our components in the cabinet below pretty easily, it was just figuring out the cables and jacks that took a little time.
Jeff had all four toolboxes open for this one. It was an intimidating project to start, but he was a champ, followed directions, and pulled it off!

Doesn't it look great!? We found that danish credenza at a consignment shop here in Long Beach for only $50! It was exactly what we were looking for. Something low and with cabinets long enough to house the DVR and DVD player and our movies. We're enjoying it right now though, watching the Plants episode of Life on the Discovery channel. Perfect way to wind down a busy weekend...

It was only a matter of time...

Before Jeff found the chalk.

Guess who did what? I'm the serious one, thinking about silly things like tax amendments and modem returns, while Jeff...

Weekend projects

We had a busy but awesome weekend. Finding places for everything in the house and tidying up is so gratifying. Plus getting to buy things for the house that I had been envisioning getting for the last four months! I especially wanted this Molger mirror from IKEA for the bathroom. The oval mirror that was there before was pretty nice, but not really our style, plus now we don't have to fight for sink AND mirror space. Our garage sale pile is getting bigger...
I also did curtains for the living room and den. This is a terrible picture of the living room curtains. They're a cool mustard yellow linen, which will go nicely with my color concept for the living room. We'll keep the green walls because Jeff likes them and I'm hesitant to jump into another big painting project (the bedroom has dibs for the next paint job!), so with yellow curtains, the brown sofa, and pops of pink and navy in the armchairs, and light blue in some pillows I'll make, I think I'll be happy with it.
The den curtains I just love. That room gets super bright and is nice and private because it looks out into the backyard so I didn't want heavy curtains, especially since the window is ridiculously big. These are the IKEA Stockholm Figur curtains and are the perfect sheerness to cut the sun but still keep the room bright. I'm looking forward to getting a picture of this with Lily Mae's silhouette behind them. :)
Here's a close-up of the pattern, modern yet delicate. Just like moi. :)
Here's my OCD coming out. I organized all of my fabrics in their bins, found cute labels, and went to town.
This purchase made me so happy. A new vacuum cleaner!! Seriously. Although I loved my vintage hoover with the houndstooth vacuum bag, it was super heavy, didn't have attachments, and didn't do a great job sucking things up. Plus it had nasty vacuum bags that I had to buy in a specialty shop. Even still, I felt bad trashing it while it still worked so I was secretly thrilled when I fired it up the other day and it imploded. The engine blew and smelled like fire so it went outside immediately. And I went to Target. 

This bad boy is a Bissell 82H1 Cleanview Helix bagless vacuum with a HEPA filter (bonus for Jeffy's allergies), a pull out canister, a ton of attachments, and a lovely price. I found out about it from the Young House Love blog. They researched a bunch of vacuum cleaners and ended up choosing this one so I figured it must be good. I've already vacuumed the whole house twice. New favorite chore!

Gardeners are the best.

We had a team of experts come to our house this morning and they went to town on our landscaping! Mandy and I went to an Urban Edible Gardening 101 class held by the awesome Adriana of Anarchy in the Garden fame (she lives a block away from us now! Awesome!) so I was super jazzed to come home to all the weeds and crappy spiky plants  in our yard ripped up. All of those brown pods that made Crum throw up were also picked up and the tree was trimmed way back. The yard looks so great right now, and we have plans for some cool agaves, firesticks, and dark succulents but it can wait. First priority in the yard: my raised bed. Adriana gave us little tomato seedlings at the class today (my heirloom varietal is called "Mortgage Lifter"!) so I want to make it a home soon.


They trimmed the walkway hedges way back, ripped out those giant spiky plants that poked out our eyes whenever we passed, and also took out a few other yucky spider-harboring plants that blocked our view from the living room window. They also showed us how to run our sprinklers so that grass will be looking healthier soon.
On the side of the house we had these beautiful lilies that were hidden by bigger and deader lily plants. The fumigation did a number on these but clearing out the ones that suffered exposed the healthy ones below that were protected.
Look at their flowers! Gorgeous. And there are a bunch of unopened flower heads on the rest of the plants so I'm looking forward to them all blooming.
A view of the side of the house. It looks so much better cleaned up, and it will be much easier for us to maintain and keep trimmed now. And by "us" I mean Jeff.
Our backyard flowers are so pretty! And they attract a lot of hummingbirds which is awesome.
Our bottlebrush tree is crazy right now. Look at all those blooms! I think hummingbirds like these too. It houses about 37 bird nests too. When we sit under it you can hear all the babies squeaking.
They did such an amazing job on the crazy pod tree. They cleaned up everything that already dropped and cleared out a lot of the branches that were scraping up our roof. We were thinking of taking this tree out and replacing it with something useful like a lemon tree, but now we're kind of liking it. We'll see how it behaves. I still want my lemon tree though. 

Thursday, April 22, 2010


We hung our chalkboard last night! And we put together our new kitchen island on Tuesday! We're getting buff with all this heavy lifting... We love both pieces. I totally scored with the chalkboard. I was looking for one for awhile on craigslist and they were all pretty pricey. This one was a steal at $50, and we ended up not even paying for it! I was picking it up the same day we finished moving out of Toledo Walk and we had a few pieces of old furniture we didn't want anymore so I told Jeff to put them on the sidewalk with For Sale signs and people actually bought them!! We made an even $50 so it was a swap-a-roo. Deal!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Den... check!

Doesn't that floor look great!? I can't get over what an improvement that was and how well Jeff and Jerod did installing it. The molding went up fairly easily and Jeff and I spent a day and half painting the walls a cool gray (the peach color made the room way too bright and made the floor look peach too) and all of the trim a bright white.
I still need to make curtains for this window and we want to take down the ceiling fan and replace it with a nice non-fan light fixture. This room gets breezy when the gigantic window is open so a fan is kind of unnecessary.
We played around with the furniture configuration a lot (thank god for those felt pads on everything!) and settled on this. I like my sewing desk in front of the window plus it will give Lily Mae a nice perch to sit and lay on while enjoying the sun and fresh air.
My Frem Rojle table with nesting chairs fits nicely into the corner and will be easy to pull out for Uno night.
And my IKEA cabinet just barely fits into this spot. The chandelier you can see on the washing machine in this photo is going to get hung over the table and chairs.
Lily Mae scoping out the new room she's now allowed in. Let's hope that IKEA flooring is puke impenetrable...

Sexy Smurfs

This came at a great time... Jeff's collaboration piece with Joe Hahn (owner of Suru in LA and the DJ in Linkin Park) was made into a limited edition print and they're flying off the shelves. We're hoping they'll sell out when it hits the LP mailing list. Seed money for our dining room wallpaper!!

p.s. I made the picture small because it's naughty. The smurfs are in compromising positions... this is a clean blog!

Saturday, April 17, 2010


2 days, 2 IKEA trips, 4 Home Depot trips, $487, and a whole new den. 

Jeff took charge of ripping up the carpet. It was duuuuuuusssssty! Carpets are gross. I'm sorry, they just are.
Ta-da! The bandana isn't a fashion statement, I made him wear it as he was ripping up the dusty carpet. It does look good on him though... The wood subfloor underneath was in good condition, and fairly level, thankfully.
Our wonderful Jerod helped us install the whole thing. We thought at first that we could use Jerod's handheld jigsaw to make the cuts but it took awhile, got hot, and was messy so we decided to rent a table saw from Home Depot the next day. $40 for a day's rental was totally worth it. They only got through the first line on Wednesday night, and gave up in frustration because the click lock flooring refused to click or lock.
Day 2 they realized the board had a little nugget jammed in one of the grooves which made it not click seamlessly. Swapping out boards cured that and that's when they started to fly through the flooring.
Now THAT'S a saw. I think they were both pretty excited to use it. Jerod refused the mask and protective eye wear I offered, thankfully he still has his eyeballs. Jeffy has built in protective eye wear.
Progress!! This was exciting, getting past the 50% mark. They sent me back to IKEA for two more boxes of flooring around this point. My math was excellent by the way, they were just wasteful.
Victory dance!! All done!!
Not as pretty was the mess in the backyard. Might have to do a run to the recycling center...
We have nice existing molding that matches the rest of the house, so we opted against the IKEA matching molding and went with a quarter circle molding to cover the gap.  Molding around these angles was a nightmare so we just caulked the crap out of it and smoothed it out. We think it looks pretty good now, especially since the flooring is such a light color and the molding too is white, so the caulk blends right in.
Then we painted! We used a high gloss enamel from Mythic paint (no VOCs!) in a color called sidewalk gray. It looks so pretty against the floors, and the room is so bright with the huge side window, sliding door, and other window so it's nice to have a cooler hue on the walls. Jeff was a champ with the roller. My weenie little arms did about 4 swipes and got tired so I did most of the edging and paintbrush work. Yay teamwork! Can't wait for the furniture to get moved in!

The kitchen- Part 1

While Jeff and Jerod worked on the den flooring, I washed about 24 loads in the dishwasher and tidied up the kitchen. We have this odd narrow space in between the wall and the range and I discovered our IKEA table fit perfectly into the space. It's perfect for having the spices and oils and cooking utensils close to the stove, and storage for some pots below. We installed a hanging rack (using heavy duty drywall anchors) for the rest of the pots and pans and I'm happy with how it turned out.

We were going to paint the kitchen walls a light gray because we thought the kitchen was too white, but then I forgot and hung the pot rack and came up with a radical new plan to paint the den gray instead. I think with the giant chalkboard I found (I love you Craigslist!), some art on the walls, and some colorful kitchen towels we won't mind the all white kitchen anymore. For a few weeks. Then I'll probably get the urge to paint. 


I put this stamp in my virtual shopping cart about 8 times as we were in the process of buying the Daisy house but I didn't want to jinx the sale by buying it before the house! So one of my first Daisy purchases was this baby by *paperwink*. We had the burlap design for the Toledo Walk house so I wanted something different for this one. I love the fonts. :) That's not our address by the way...

Home sweet home!

Well we didn't get our "SOLD!" sign yet, but it IS official- we bought the house! The title was recorded on Thursday, money was transferred, and we became homeowners! Thank God. It has been so awesome so far. We've met several of the neighbors (one of which brought us homemade chicken nuggets the first night! Sort of weird, but super nice!), met the mailman Lonny, got our utilities set up, and have been unpacking nonstop. The house feels so good. It's really comfortable and has a nice flow between the rooms. And it feels so huge! Even with all our crap stacked everywhere.

Here are some before shots (after shots hopefully to be posted soon after boxes get unpacked and homes are found for all our goodies):

You can really tell the size of the dining room in this shot- our table is dwarfed in that room! Just gives us more room for a new danish modern sideboard piece! I think a field trip to Silica Three is in order. Don't tell Jeff.
The living room was the first dumping ground for all the little things that don't yet have a home so it's going to be messy for a little while. We're liking the furniture placement though, and when our fancy new flatscreen replaces the bulky old TV, it'll be stylin'. I can't wait to put art up on the walls... they look so bare right now!

Jeff's studio is packed with my sewing stuff plus all our den stuff since we kept the new den empty so the flooring could be replaced. Luckily that was a relatively quick project (pictures coming!) so we'll be moving furniture and stuff into the den tomorrow freeing up the studio so Jeff can start displaying his Be@rbrick dolls.
I am so happy with all of the storage space this house has although filling them up as quickly as I did makes me realize how much stuff I have. We're going to have a garage sale soon to sell some of the fixtures and curtains etc that we'll be replacing so it will be a good opportunity to go through and edit some things I don't use anymore.
Jeff wanted to put his stuff in our bedroom closet too but I sort of filled it up already. He says I have too many clothes, I respectfully disagree.

I'll post pictures of our den transformation soon. We ripped up the carpet, installed the IKEA Tundra floors and new molding, and painted the room a lovely warm gray to complement the white-washed "wood" floors. We are pleased as punch with the first project down. Yay home!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Happy dance!

So much progress in one little week... That "Sale Pending" sign will be switched out with it's glorious sibling "SOLD!" on Thursday when we get to sign on the dotted line!

We moved in on Saturday!! It went amazingly smooth thanks to all the muscle power from our friends! A major shout-out of thanks to Marc and Rensen, Mandy and Seth, Jerod and Karen, Jan, Pete, Matt and Jana, Mike, and of course Noelle, who all helped get us and all our belongings into the house of our dreams and are likely quite sore today. We were so thrilled to have our stuff and our close friends together in that house, finally, and we celebrated with pizza and beers and crazy tree pod fights in the backyard. Good times.

We started the day bright and early picking up the Daisy keys, gatorade and water (Primo! Compostable water bottles made from plants! And only $2.99 for a 12 pack!), healthy snacks, and a 16 foot Budget truck. We thought we could fit everything in one trip. HA! It took a solid two trips.

Here we are evaluating the garage contents and inspecting the wedding Yeti for black widows. Mandy found one. She was so brave.
If anyone wants a moldy 7' tall yeti, please contact me. Otherwise he will terrorize the neighborhood children for a week from the alley dumpster. 
Jeff's Be@rbricks got their own ride in Rensen's truck. Heaven forbid a box should be scratched in the  moving truck...
Jerod and Seth were MVPs with Budget truck Tetris. Nothing tipped over or broke in the move! And Jeff was driving so that says a lot.
The house looks so empty right now. Poor Lily Mae is pretty confused so we're giving her lots of attention so she doesn't think we're leaving her there. Not that she likes lots of attention from us...
This cabinet rounding the tight staircase corner was the hardest part of the move. Even with a physicist present and directing it was hard!
They ended up having to take off the door to make it work.
Wonderful Noelle came by with our sign, a cake, AND a bottle of champagne for us! SHE should have been the one getting the cake and sparkly though, considering all the crazy work she's put into making this happen for us! We'll be thanking her profusely for awhile...
More pics of Daisy coming up once boxes are unpacked! Also on the to-do list: den flooring. I went out and bought 9 boxes of Ikea's white-washed Tundra flooring on Sunday and with some guidance from Jerod, we're hoping to have it installed by next weekend. DIY! We were going to go with professional installation of cork flooring from Lowe's but $1700 vs $317 swung it. Plus the white-washed wood looks so Scandinavian, I really like it. Hope it looks good after Jeff and I are done with it!