Tuesday, May 29, 2012

New Kitchen Unveiled

It's the moment you've all been waiting for.

Ok, it's really the moment I have been waiting for.

Our new kitchen is finally finished! Still pending the installation of a few pieces of hardware and a small paint touch up, but I felt like today was as good as any to announce the completion.

While everyone else spent the day at the beach, Keith and I had a Memorial cleaning fest. We had moved all of our pantry items and dishes to huge plastic bins for the cabinet installation so we restocked and reorganized. I learned I have way too many spices and also that we will likely be packing up them all up again, very soon, to move. Sigh. But really, it is such a relief to finally be able to see my living room floor now that it is no longer stacked high with boxes and tools. Who needs the beach when you can have a clean house?

The details: We selected a quartz countertop (LG Viatera in Silver Lake) and Sussex cabinets in coco from Cardell Cabinetry. We also decided on an undermount sink and Brainerd Satin Nickel hardware from Lowes. And I am currently falling in love with our faucet: Another Lowes special, the Peerless 1-Handle Kitchen Faucet.

Usually our counter is piled high with mail and West Elm catalogs, but I think this shiny new one is motivation enough to keep it clear.

How did you spent your Memorial Day weekend? Did you make it to the beach or to a cookout, or did you spend some time working on home renovations?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Kitchen Renovations Are Afoot

Part of this whole buying a new house project is the shaping up of our current home so we can sell or rent it for big bucks. I may be a novice at this but I do know that kitchens and bathrooms sell houses. The current state of our kitchen was not doing us any favors so it was time to tear out the ugly, broken cabinets and install something a bit more updated. We started this two weeks ago. It's been 14 long days of take out, paper plates and restaurants. I do love to eat out, but it is starting to get old. I'm so ready to cooks a real meal in our beautiful new kitchen! Here's a look its current state: 

1. On May 2 Keith took out our kitchen sink. I've been living sans sink for almost two full weeks. Since I refuse to wash dishes in my bathtub (gross) I've resorted to plastic plates, cups and utensils. It's not my greenest moment, but at least every day feels like a picnic!

2. Our new cabinets arrived in large cardboard boxes and are piled high in the dining room. Pepper is the only family member who will miss them. If you look close enough you can see she's doing little kitty-cat jazz hands up there.

3. Before we can tear out the old cabinets, we have to empty them. This is the worst.

4. New cabinets go in! And a new counter gets installed right on top. It's finally getting pretty around here.

5. Another view of the new cabinets and counter. Note that there's still no working kitchen sink. I think I deserve an award for "Best Attempt At Roughing It".

Has anyone braved a kitchen renovation like this? What was your experience like? 

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Year In Review: Turning 29!

Saturday was my 29th birthday. I thought I was going to feel sad to be entering the last year of my twenties, but I feel refreshingly good. In fact, I think back to my early twenties and don't wish for a day to go back there. In my early twenties I was always striving for something—the perfect job, the perfect guy, the perfect pair of jeans. While I'm still searching for a right pair of jeans (ones that won't drag on the ground or bunch up around my knees) I feel good about what I have found in my life right now. So the number "29" didn't scare me this year. I feel like so many great things have happened in just this one year and I feel like I've learned and grown from all of it.

I Settled Into Life as a Newlywed

After the wedding it seems like everyone is asking how married life is. "Exactly the same, but with more paperwork," I joked to everyone, as I stumbled through the process of changing my name, my bank account and tax information. Being a newlywed was not entirely different from being engaged, but once the planning and excitement of the wedding died down we had time to think about the rest of our lives together. We started talking about buying a house and having kids. After living in New York City, and now New Haven, moving to the suburbs is going to be a chance for me and while we drive around looking at neighborhoods I always think about my tiny walk-up apartment on the Upper East Side and how far I'll have come from that lifestyle. But being a newlywed is more than just a change of venue—it's a whole new way of living. No more selfish decisions. Everything from what I eat for dinner to how I spend my weekends affects another person now and I love planning accordingly.  

I Became a God Mom

My nephew Henry was born in June and when I talked to his mom and dad that day in the hospital via Skype they asked me to be his God Mother. I have the BEST Fairy God Mother, so I was really excited to have the honor of being the same for my Nephew. Since little Henry might not be into Cinderella the same way I was, I'll drop the "Fairy" from my title. But that doesn't mean that I won't give him everything he ever needs or wants. Not only do I get to be the aunt who spoils him, but I also get to be a part of his life in the church. I went to a Catholic school for seven years so I believe I'm well qualified for the job!
I Changed Careers

This winter I took a huge risk and left my full time job as a magazine editor for a part time position with an event planning company. The day I told my boss I was leaving was one of the scariest days of my life, and Keith literally had to convince me from wimping out. But I did it. And a few weeks later I started my new role in a brand new field. As an editor, I sat behind a desk all day. I e-mailed and talked on the phone and I spent a lot of time with my head buried in manuscripts reworking and rewriting paragraphs over and over and over. Now, I spend some days in the studio working on invoices and timelines. Other days I'm hunting through Home Goods for decor items for the next event. I have a great mix of creative work that challenges me and new office tasks that also challenge me. I love that every day is different and everyday teaches me something new. Some nights I spent long hours on my feet and get home past midnight with an achy back and neck. But I've found my work to be so fulfilling that none of that even matters.

The most rewarding thing is that I had the courage to make a change in my life when I was unhappy. When I was in my early twenties I clung to the idea that journalism was my dream job and leaving the field would make me a quitter. At 29 I'm happy with what I've accomplished as an editor and I'm proud of myself for recognizing that quitting my job didn't make me a quitter, but rather it made me an even more successful person than I was before.

 I Became a Cat Mom

Cat Mom...Crazy Cat Lady...What ever you want to call me, I have a furry little friend who wakes me up every morning wanting to snuggle be fed. Even though she has a raging ear infection that is racking up a significant bill at the Vet's office, Pepper is the best little kitten in town.

I think my 29th year will be just as action-packed and exciting! And to start it off Chris Harrison is sending a belated gift tonight. Emily's season starts and I'm dying to dig into some horrible reality TV. I had a good year, I think I deserve it!


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Homeownership is a Marathon

Homeownership is a marathon, not a sprint.

Those were the words that were boldly printed on a billboard on route 95. I'm not sure what this ad was for, but I am sure that it was meant, 100 percent, for me. While I don't want to put an offer on the very first house we look at, I do want it yesterday. I bought the very first wedding dress that I tried on and I don't shop online because the shipping process annoys me. This period from deciding we are going to buy a house to actually buying a house is killing me.

We've only looked at four houses so far and none of them have been right. There were things I liked in all of them (like the closet within a walk-in closet). But there are also things just not right about each. See below:

No the house isn't slanted, the black and white tile floors are just making you dizzy. 

I know we can paint the walls and put down a new floor. (Sorry to disappoint, I know you totally thought I was going to go for black and white tile in my dining room!!) After that there may even be some money left over for new cabinets and granite counter tops. We could turn this into a pretty rad kitchen—but it's too small. I was really excited to see this property and was able to look past the reckless interior design decisions the previous owner made. (Umm there was even glitter painted onto the dining room ceiling.) But I just could not picture myself living here. I want an eat-in kitchen and I'd like to be able to invite a lot of people over for a party on the occasional New Year's Eve. I didn't see us fitting here.

After each showing that's just not right I feel discouraged. I know I need to slow down. Our perfect home is out there and we'll find it because we are diligent house hunters. But I am feeling really impatient.

Any words of advice?
Please leave your comments below!