Sep 27, 2012

Finally... a kitchen

It wasn't my intent to share the kitchen quite yet.  I was waiting for the backsplash to be up, which it will be in the next week or 2.  However, some of you noticed it and commented on it in my ToT post so here is the reveal.  Come on in.  It's right through our new front door.


Here's a reminder of what my old kitchen looked like.  Accent on old.  Like as in originally built with the house back in the '60's.  On second thought, lets forget it ever existed.  It was really sad and you can't even see the spots where the flooring was held down by duct tape.  Yup - it was super bad.


So clearly we lost a few walls along the way. Now there is just one big room that encompasses the kitchen, dining room and living room.  It is fabulous for entertaining.


Here is the reverse view.  Most of it is pretty standard.  Double ovens, cooktop, granite countertops.  I do love the drawers and cabinets doors that auto close. The floors are cork which is nice and soft and warm underfoot.


And, if I have to choose my favorite part of the new kitchen, it's probably this, my humongous, apron front sink.


I added my collection of blue glass bottles.  It doesn't make a whole lot of sense now but it will.  As finished as it looks, I see this kitchen, and the house itself, as a work in progress.  It's got much improved bones but now it needs the little things that make it mine.  Stuff like blue glass bottles and funky light fixtures.

Sep 25, 2012

Ten on Tuesday - Ten Favorite Pizza Toppings

Now this is a topic that I am infinitely qualified to discuss. My family eats pizza on a regular basis. All too regular. We eat it out. We bring it in. We make it at home. We eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We eat a lot of pizza.


 And now, our redone kitchen has a double oven. Twice the pizza cooking space! So what do we put on our pizza? It varies but here are some of our favorites:

  1. Extra cheese!!!
  2. Sundried tomatoes - of my most favorite things ever!
  3. Garlic
  4. Zucchini
  5. Fresh mozzarella
  6. Spinach
  7. Ricotta cheese - white pizza anyone
  8. Fresh tomatoes
  9. Peppers - This is more my husband's thing than mine.
  10. Mushrooms - also my husband's thing
So what do you like on your pizza?

Sep 24, 2012

National Book Festival 2012

This weekend one of my favorite annual events was held in DC - The National Book Festival.  It was a gorgeous, sunny, day which meant that there was nothing at all to keep the crowds away.  It was packed.  It seemed like every tent was standing room only.  I think that this is one of the few times that crowds feel so good.  All these people were here for books.  BOOKS!!!


It was a little different because I had Miss M with me and she really doesn't have a favorite author yet. Well, she does love her Happy Hippo, Angry Duck a lot but Sandra Boynton wasn't there and it wouldn't matter anyway. Miss M doesn't really get books yet and she isn't much in sitting still either. But I do and I really wanted to see Michael Connolly again. Mission accomplished.


He was great.He spoke a little and answered a whole bunch of questions. As usual, I thought of what I wanted to ask after he took the last question.  Oh well.

At the end of the day we were exhausted. Seriously! I was out cold by 9 which could be a good thing since the house was filled with about 18 teen girls doing youth group stuff. Thankfully, they were downstairs and I was not. Oh how I love being able to say that... downstairs.


Sep 14, 2012

ECF - Williamsburg Edition

A picture from our recent vacation.This one is from Colonial Williamsburg.  So sweet.


Sep 13, 2012

Our Extreme Home Reboot

I think that it's safe to say that this year has been one of the biggest ever for us. My oldest daughter got her license, my middle daughter had her Bat Mitzvah, and my youngest caused us to undertake a major construction project. Truthfully, it's something I envisioned way back when we bought the house but I just never really thought it would happen. It's one of those things you daydream about. Wouldn't it be nice if... ?

Late last year things just all came together just right and we started the planning. We decided to use the same architect that good friends used and that made it so much better. We had total confidence that it would all work out well and it did. I would totally recommend AV Architects. They gave us exactly what we wanted and more. Now I can share with you all the home we created, the home we'll enjoy with our family for many years to come.

This is what our house looked like right before construction. You can see it hiding behind all the lumber.


Here is our house now. My main goal was that the house shouldn't look like it was added onto and I think that they succeeded both inside and out.


I'm saving some of my favorite spaces, like the kitchen for later so we'll skip to the upstairs.  This is the landing area.  Through those windows you can see the tops of the trees behind us.  The walls are more of a buttery gold than the yellow you see here.  I'm not really a yellow person and I was skeptical when the architect had this color put up.  She was right though.  You really must see how this area glows in the mornings when the sun comes up. 


This is Miss M's room.  She has no actual furniture yet - just space and a lovely view. Oh and a really big closet for me to fill with cute clothes. She runs around and gets silly here now but someday it'll be a great space for reading, studying and giggling with friends. This is just a small corner of the room.


This is the bathroom that Miss M and Stinkerbelle share.  (DQ got our old master bedroom downstairs and it's got an en suite) I really wish that this picturehad captured the floor tiles better - the blue squares are irridescent.


The shower in there.  Plenty of space to dance while you sing.


Here is the window seat in my room.  The bottom is all storage and the closet on the right is mine - Bruce has his own (slightly smaller) although I reserve the right to "borrow" space in his if I run out.  We're having bookcases made to flank the window and then I'll add a cushion and curtains.


That's where the tour ends for now.  The master bathroom really deserves it's own post.

Sep 11, 2012

Ten on Tuesday - 10 Favorite Sunday Dinners

Dinner time is one of my favorite parts of having a family.  As the years go by it gets harder and harder to carve out time for family dinner.  For that reason, my favorite Sunday dinner is any one that finds my whole family around the table.

Of course, that's not what this Ten on Tuesday is about.  I'm pretty sure it's about what's on the table rather than who's around it. So, here goes...

  1. Barbeque - casual and easy. 
  2. Pizza - even easier than #1 
  3. Broccoli pasta - a family favorite
  4. Cold cereal and milk - after a really busy weekend, when my energy is gone, a bowl of Chex hits the spot.
  5. Chicken on the grill - 
  6. Steak on the grill
  7. Turn leftovers into fried rice - chicken or steak (see #5 & #6)
  8. Baked chicken - I have lots of great recipes and I prefer my chicken like this.
  9. A big bowl of spaghetti - we can sit around and dress it up ourselves and talk.
On a related note, people always ask about how things have changed since the last time I had a baby around.  Of course a lot has changed but one of my favorite new things is the shopping cart covers.  Brilliant!      I can put my baby in the cart and not worry about her touching skeeviness.


Clearly this isn't the way you're supposed to be using it.  Normally Miss M would be sitting up and properly strapped in.  But this past Sunday she was sleeping when we arrived to do our shopping so we made it work. which brings me full circle...

    10.  Chipotle - picnicing while we watch Stinkette play field hockey. 

Sep 7, 2012

Last Gasp of Summer

As we end the first week of school it seems like it's now or never for the vacation pictures I promised a while back.  Family stuff - fun & not so fun - ate most of my vacation time this year so our vacation was limited to a long weekend in Williamsburg.  It rained but we made the most of it and i think it was actually quite successful. Here it is in pictures.

Marissa's first amusement park ride! IMG_0416[1]

Celebrating the milestone with her big sisters. IMG_0419[1]

Loving the carousel

In Colonial Williamsburg with Miss M IMG_0454[1]

Proof of family fun

Let's hope that I get to write my next post on my new laptop!