Sunday, May 30, 2010

Kitchen: Step One

Well, the kitchen reno is feeling a bit more real because I just ordered our appliances! I decided to go with US Appliance's website because 1) the range we wanted was 500$ less than at Sears, 2) no tax, 3) no shipping. I was really hesitant (and am still nervous) about using the company but read all the reviews people said and other than the fact that they take a long time to get here (3 weeks+), everything seemed fine. Of course, I'll keep you all updated. 

Well so here's what we got:

1) LG 30 inch (19.7 cu ft) french door refrigerator - for the space, we needed a french door as to not block access to the pantry when the door was open. But the space isn't too big (in general, the kitchen isn't), so we needed to stay with a pretty small fridge, so the 30 inch was the way to go. 

 2) Frigidaire Professional Series gas range - we needed a slide in for the new layout and this one was perfect. This range is the whole reason we ordered off US Appliance because it was listed 500$ cheaper than Sears (although I do wonder why..). We also liked this one because the whole front is stainless, like our fridge. 

 3) Frigidaire Dishwasher - Well, I'll admit I bought this because of the look and price. Again, wanted a mostly stainless front to go with the other appliances. It looks good.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


Today is the one year anniversary of the purchase of my car, therefore - my "car-iversary." A year ago today I was leaving for camp, packing, buying a car, and trying to get it all done in time to hit the road!

After a year, 9000 miles (yikes), a few scrapes from the driveway (sadness), and a lot of fun later, I'm still in love with my car. If you're thinking about a G35, definitely get it. It is so fun to drive and I feel so freakin' cute in it. 

Happy car-iversary, little G!

Friday, May 28, 2010


Another post on the kitchen. Surprise!...

I've been thinking about lighting. An illuminating topic, you know. I had my heart set on this pendant light for above the sink:

But last night, as I was neurotically browsing the Home Depot website, I found this fun guy for 1/3rd of the price of my drum shade love:

And now, I can't decide. They are both trendy but in different ways... And make different statements. What do you think?

More details.

The problem with it taking forever to get your tax return and then it taking forever to be your turn for the contractor (he's a busy guy) is that you get to think and think and think. I swear I've never planned so much for one thing in my life! 

Well, I have decided I do want white subway tile as a backsplash in the kitchen. And Jake and I visited our appliances at Sears today (still trying to decide whether to buy in store or online through US Appliances...). I'm painting the cabinets white, will have black matte granite or solid surface counters, cork floors, black canvas pendant lighting... I know all this. 

Today I decided to do a google image search, just to see what was out there. So I typed in "white cabinets white subway tile" and the first result was just meant to be. Here's a kitchen inspiration from Southern Living:

I love this picture. And now it has me thinking - I was going to do dark pulls, in a matte black, but I'm wondering if I should do brushed nickel?

The next picture in the series from Southern Living really got me thinking:
It is a zoom out of the above picture. And it got me thinking because I have been debating about a color for the kitchen. Our den is (and will even more so) open to the kitchen and we really need to continue the green (Koi Pond by Sherwin Williams) into the kitchen. I just didn't want to go as dark in the kitchen... and the color I had picked out (Lemon Verbena) is more olive like I want, but just as dark. So now, with this picture above, I'm thinking I need to move lighter on the color wheel so I'm going to see what lies around Koi Pond that is lighter and more olive because I'm really digging this color from the Southern Living spread. 

Now, this next picture has been floating around the blog-o-sphere for some time and I saved it a while ago after seeing it on several different blogs. I can't remember who had it originally, but at any rate, it isn't mine but serves as inspiration:

What I like from this picture is the shelf under the cabinets. We're using our original cabinets and moving them up higher. I'd like to add an open shelf like this under the cabinets to display some of our cuter stuff. I do wonder if it would move the upper cabinets too high for my 5ft4 self....

Thursday, May 27, 2010

End of school!

With the kids gone Tuesday, today was our last day of school. "Our" being the teachers, that is. This has been a crazy year, with lots of ups and downs. I'm finding that ups and downs are life, though. A lot of people said this year was harder than usual for them. A lot. Statistically, I'd say the majority. For me, I guess I just didn't know better since it is only my second year. I've got some exciting things in store for the fall at school and will be working this summer to prepare. 

I leave Sunday for Camp. I'm Assistant Director for Camp Gailor-Maxon and I absolutely love spending time on the Mountain. It is refreshing. I'll be blogging daily there for camp and while I'm gone, will be posting an image a day (or so) on here. In addition, I'm hoping that the kitchen reno will start while I'm gone so maybe Jake can snag some pics of it in progress! 

Once I was done with school today, it was time to full-scale get into camp mode. Seeing as I haven't gone shopping in a while, I needed to get a few summer items. I felt so grown up, taking in a bunch of things to try on but only getting the ones I loved the most. Usually, I'd buy anything that fit and was cute but now I'm better about my budget. I also bought my first "grown up" bathing suit, a cute tankini. I needed a swim suit for camp and need to be more modest around the kids. 

 Here's my loot from today's trip. I hit up Old Navy, Land's End, and Targ. I especially love the blue/white shirt on the right and my new pajamas with sock monkeys on them. 

The best part? I got all that for less than the price of this Lilly dress I've been craving:

That's right - I got 4 T's, 2 tanks, 2 sleeveless shirts, 2 dressy tops, a cardigan, white capris, a swim suit, and 2 pairs of pjs all for the price of the dress I want. 

Someday I'll be able to afford that dress, but for now, I'll look good for less.  

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Another idea for Brie.

Brie's Comfy DenFashion Trends & Styles - Polyvore

Brie's Comfy Den by kjasper1 on

 After showing Brie the fun beach-y themed room I did for her, we sat together and played some more to come up with this "comfy" themed den that is based around the dog print fabric in the corner. I could definitely see myself plopping down in that room and hanging out.

Monday, May 24, 2010

A grown up living room

It has become an obsession, this polyvore. Here's my latest - a grown up living room design. Click on the picture to see the sources for all the stuff in the room.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

This one's for Brie.

Brie's Beach Getaway DenFashion Trends & Styles - Polyvore

So I did it again - I played with Polyvore some more. And I'm in love. 

My good friend Brie is closing on a house soon and so I designed one idea for a den for her. She's told me in the past she wants help and I happen to love spending other people's money, plus I do know how to find a good bargain and create a cohesive room. So, inspired by her, I created a subtle-y beach-y den for their new house. Here's what is in the make-believe plan (going along the "if I had a million dollars" theme from the last polyvore experience)...

1. a modern lamp like this sphere shaped lamp in a cool turquoise
2.  Brie and Justine really want a sectional like this one, which is from Pottery Barn
3. They have a huge TV that is super nice. I'd do some sort of wood media center with it. 
4. A jute rug with darker tones to complement the wood, like this one from West Elm
5. Some sort of storage with glass doors in the same wood tone would be great (this one from Macy's)
6. A piece of beach art, which could be a photo printed on a large canvas or a poster framed in a nice frame with a white mat (this is from Magnolia Box).
7.  Beach themed throw pillows with coordinating colors but not too matchy, like these from posh living and the Inglenook Decor (which interestingly are not meant to be together but look great together).
8.  I'd do a dark beige wall color to go with the blue and coral in the decor like this one from Martha Stewart

Hope you liked my polyvore design board! I'm sure this is a toy I'll play with a lot in the future.. 

Saturday, May 22, 2010

If I had a million dollars...

I'd buy.... (all from Pottery Barn)

1. Eva colored glass table lamp (for the den, in the yellow color)
2. Isabella Chair (to match my other dining chairs
3. Modular Bar System (for our new kitchen, between the bar stools and back door)
4. Chindi Striped Jute Rug (for our new office)
5. Chesapeake Double Chaise (for our patio - so Jake and I can snuggle and read)
6. Tile Print Fabric by the Yard (for our bar stools I'm recovering)
7. Baja Recycled Glass Barware (for our cute new kitchen we'll be getting)
8. Brady 4-piece Entry System (just in case the bar system doesn't work out for the back door)
9. Yellow Rebecca Polompore print (for the guest bedroom's yellow and blue theme)
10. Zebra Print fabric by the yard (because sometimes I like to walk on the wild side).

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Where's the grass?

Before we moved in, the woman that lived here used a lawn service. She was an avid gardener (at one time, at least) and there was a lot of grass, even when we moved in. Well something happened once we moved in. I'm not exactly a master gardener and I kept promising Beamer and Sebastian they'd get grass for their backyard. 

Well, it's May and here's what we have:

Beamer says: "Where's my grass?"

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Fabulous Finds

After a fun overnight trip to Horseshoe Lake on Friday night for a girls weekend celebrating my dear friend Bonnie, I got a tip from my mom that there were bar stools on the cheap at this "antique" store in Midtown. Now, I put "antique" in quotations because it is more on the junk end but you can find fabulous things at reasonable prices. 

As you know from my last post, I've been mulling over bar stools. Well I headed off the interstate and on over to Gary's Antiques, still in my sundress from the lake and all. Indeed, there were 4 barstools to be had for $80 (for all four!). I decided this was a must:
They are metal and very "80's" but you know I love a good project. I plan to spray paint them a black or oil rubbed bronze (ORB in blog land) and recover those seats with something like this:

Considering the cost of one barstool at Targ (um - 100$+ and you've got to assemble them), I decided with the savings I had just logged, I could stand to browse a bit around Gary's. And so I did. I walked out with two other new additions to our rag-tag gang of antiques, thrift store finds, and hand me downs:

This armoire will be painted the same deep red as my end tables , since the armoire will be in our bedroom. I was planning on changing out the fabric and may actually end up putting in painted panels where the fabric is currently, to give a cleaner look. Since I got it for a steal and have been needing storage, I was pretty pumped. I also had to fend a lady off of it once I decided to purchase - I literally ran inside to pay while telling Jake to stand guard because she was opening its drawers and staring longingly (legitimately, she wanted it, drama beside - I felt bad but it was all mine). 

The other fun item I drove off with was this office chair:

We're almost done with the office (which means reveal soon) and a grown up office deserves a grown up chair for me to sit in as I talk to (read: bug) Jake while he studies. 

Well, for the price of two of the barstools I was lusting after at TJ Maxx a few weeks ago, I ended up with 4 barstools, an armoire, and an office chair.

All in all, I'd say it was a successful trip. I recommend Gary's Antiques. For you Memphians, it is on Central at Cooper. It is hit or miss but when you hit, you really hit. I also got a shelf there a while ago that is in our den . There was a fabulous farmhouse style dining table that I would have bought if I didn't love our round Pottery Barn dining table my mom got me (another consignment find). 

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Eat there: Kwik Check on Madison

My brothers introduced me to Kwik Check on Madison after mentioning it over and over again through their high school years. For some, Kwik Check is an old friend, for some, a new adventure. 

Kwik Check is a convenience store deli featuring Greek and Korean fares. You walk up to the counter to order, pick up a drink and chips if you want, pay at the register, and take your seat (you can get it to go if you want). 

They've got sandwiches, gyros, hummus, korean food, and more. 

 I got the M.E.M.P.H.I.S. sandwich, which is a sort of Italian sub with a spicy sauce. 

 Jake got the Ninja, which has turkey, roast beef, bell peppers, sprouts, and more. 

Kwik Check is on Madison in between McLean and Cooper. Check it out some time.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Thoughts for the day

In lieu of an actual post for today, I'm leaving you with 10 assorted thoughts running through my head...

1) I'm on the edge of forgoing my beloved corner banquette for a more practical plan. This pains me but makes fiscal and design sense. My new plan does involve in-kitchen eating but instead involves three or so of these:

Taken from Target's website (this is the Crossback stool, 24 inch, which is $99). Target seems to have a plethora of barstools on their website. I saw these ones at TJ Maxx that I fell in love with - they had the same straw seat as my dining chairs and were painted wood (love). We'll see what I end up with. 

2) We're picking appliances for the kitchen. We've picked out our fridge and slide in range and found that they can be purchased online significantly cheaper than locally. Has anyone purchased such a large item online? Here's the range we're looking at on the company we're looking to buy from:

Isn't it beautiful? Jake's in love with this line from the website:
"With True Convection, you can easily and evenly bake 200 chicken nuggets in 10 minutes" I mean, who doesn't want that?

3) School is winding down, which means that camp is soon! I'm very excited.

4) I really need to finish unpacking.

5) I want to cook more recipes and try out more things. 

6) We're finishing our office and our silly cork squares won't stay on the wall. I think we're going to have to frame them, which I didn't want to do. 

7) Our utility bill has been low two months in a row! This is a pleasant surprise, one that we really need.. well and we've been living without air conditioning for some time now. That probably helped. Keep the thermostat set high!

8) I haven't bought clothes in almost three months. For anyone that knows me, this is a huge accomplishment. The last things I bought, I got super on clearance. 

9) I am listening to Jake's running playlist on his computer as I type this. He has "My life would suck without you" by Kelly Clarkson on the playlist. And that's why I love him! I'm jamming out right now. 

10) I've had a bit of "blogger's block" lately because we're not cooking fun things, we're not spending money on the house, and I'm bad at taking pictures of the fun things we do with our friends. I promise I'm not really this boring.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all. Here's a picture of my family, circa 1993ish, back when my brothers and I hadn't caused my parents' hair to grey completely yet. My mom's there on the right, looking today much like she did 17 years ago (albeit with a different hair color). She's the best mom I could ever wish for. So, to my mom - Happy Mother's Day.

Monday, May 3, 2010

House Tour: Laundry Closet

Way back when, right when we moved in our house, we tackled our first major project - moving the laundry to a hall closet from the kitchen pantry. We were so new and eager. The plumber came literally the day we moved in and began working. Six months later, the laundry closet was a reality. 

Here's what we started with:

A normal (but very deep and wide) hall closet, located in between two bedrooms and a bathroom. Our plumber at this point had put in our connections and the electrician had wired. 

The next stage looked like this:

The door was widened to accommodate the washer/dryer -ness that was going down. The walls were filled in. 

We then lived with our laundry room like this for a while:

 The new doors were on, the trim had been patched and replaced, shelves added (that were salvaged from the old closet), and the cute front-loaders put in. We painted the closet the same color as the bathroom (Drizzle by Sherwin Williams). 

And yet it wasn't finished - the doors and trim needed staining, I wanted new knobs for the doors, I wanted some solution to the "counter" made out of plywood, and I needed to stock the shelves. Thanks to Eric's visit during his Spring Break, we were able to finally complete the laundry room (and then it took almost a month for it to be clean enough to photograph). And here it is:

My favorite feature of this laundry closet is the "counter". It was made out of extra paneling from den found in the garage that was affixed to a plywood frame. I liked the idea but not the look. I had wanted to put fabric on it but was afraid it would get dirty. Genius Eric came up with the idea to buy sheets of plexiglass and cover the fabric with it. So we got fabric, staple gunned it to the plywood, then cut the plexiglass down to fit:

The other thing I like about the counter (besides the cute green fabric) is that I can lay things out to dry. I have a lot of things I don't put in the dryer and I like to be able to lay them out flat like so:

When I'm doing a room, I like to start from an inspiration or idea. For this space, the polka dotted bins from Target were that inspiration. I saw them on the shelves of Target and knew I had to have them and tried to think of a place to put them. They fit perfectly on the shelves in the laundry room and the blue randomly ended up matching the wall paint. 

So there you have my first project - finally completed!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Project Kitchen: Rethinking this whole thing

So, I've been blogging about Project Kitchen Renovation for way too long now. The problem with waiting (forever) for a tax refund check is that you plan and plan and plan and inevitably change your mind. 

And so the topic of this post - I've changed my mind. While my basic elements are still the same (that were outlined in this post and shown on my idea board on the sidebar), the plan I drew out in January here is old news.

My new inspiration comes from the picture I found below:

This kitchen has the elements of my idea kitchen - white cabinets, black counters, stainless appliances, subway tile backsplash. It also has one key element that my new design has -a U shaped design. 

I'm not even going to venture to try to explain the new design online. Trying to explain it to Jake in person while pointing to the actual kitchen was hard enough. Just know that it involves knocking down walls and moving doors. I just kept looking at u-shaped kitchens open to dens and wistfully longing. 

So that is what I've been thinking! I wish this check would come on and get here...


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