Thursday, February 27, 2014

What We Disagree On Most When It Comes to Home Projects

Alex and I were asked recently what the biggest disagreement or argument was when it came to our past home projects and we both kind of looked at each other and blurted out our own versions of "choosing/picking a paint color".   It was kind of like one of those Newlywed Game moments where you're happy (or pleasantly surprised) that you said the same thing, but then I kept thinking "that seems silly, why is choosing paint the thing we fight about the most out of all the stuff we've done in the house?" 

Picking a paint color should be easy right?  All there is to it should be looking for ideas, narrowing down to a color group, then grabbing your top color swatches or actual paint samples to slap on the wall for a final decision, and BAM!  You land on the perfect color for a room.  Or heck, it's supposed to be even easier than that if you've seen Home Depot commercials....
I'm surprised they don't have any of those where the someone ends of crying in front of the paint color swatches smack dab in the aisle at Home Depot?  I imagine it's happened there before?  Anyway, with Alex and I the paint discussions and decision making process usually unfolds like this....


After some research, loads of Pinning/image collecting, and creating Photoshop visuals, I then happily share 2 or 3 favorite ideas.  Alex's expression shifts from engaged+interested over to confused+upset and he rejects my idea.  
[ Ridiculous arguing ensues and repeats 2-3 times ]  

I make Alex think my rejected idea is his own original brilliant idea. This begins with bringing up the paint topic at random moments over one or two weeks but only doing so when I know Alex is really focused on something else (but still listening) and when I know we aren't able to have a long continued discussion.  Examples:  Alex is scrolling through email on his phone, Alex is tinkering with his bike or motorcycle, Alex is searching and watching silly You Tube videos his friends have told him about. 

In the right moment, I bring up the paint topic even mentioning my original idea to which Alex responds with "well that is what I said" or "no that was my idea" or something like that.  I appear confused but happy and say "well whatever, okay, so we agree now though right?" and we happily head to the store for paint and supplies.


That process might not work for everyone and I know it sounds super creepy/evil on my part, but that's how we've worked out a decision every time.  The good news I can share today is that we finally made it to that End scene for our kitchen paint project!  YES- The shelves are down, the painter's tape is up, my ugly sweat pants are on, and we're gettin' our paint groove on!!!
At least now you know why it took so dang long too :)  I just keep wondering if other couples have the same difficult conversations when it comes to paint color selection or is that just our hot button house project thing?  If there are some of you out there I have to ask....

Is selecting a paint color painful for you and your spouse/significant other too?  
How do you tackle a paint color selection with your successfully?
If paint selection isn't a big thing, then what is the biggest house project thing you've argued over?

Stayed tuned for more on the kitchen paint project, I'm so pumped that it's finally in the works!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Winter Storm Seneca: The Morning After Aftermath & Why I Had a B*tchin' Good Time

Surprise!  It's snow storm #19 ya'll!!!  We, along with many other Midwestern folks woke up to the aftermath of our 19th snow storm this winter- this time Snow Storm Seneca, and she was a real monster b*tch  - But wait -  I'm not just going to complain because I had a real b*tchin' fun time in the snow this morning  More on that at the end, anyway...

We had been warned for the past couple days about a blizzard headed our way but when the snow began to fall it just didn't seem as dramatic as everyone had been saying it would be.  Even before heading to bed last night I wondered if it was going to live up to the hype.... and holy crap it did. 

Our reactions to the sight of 10 inches of fresh snow on top of the 2.5 feet we've had since November...
We're Minnesotans.  We're tough, we know snow, we know cold, we deal all the time.  But this was nuts. Stupid Nuts.  

Where did the sidewalk go?  Where are the roads?  Was there a road there or is that a park?  Or maybe it's a parking lot?  Well wait, that's what all highways turned into- parking lots.
Like everyone else that emerged from their home today, we had snow removal at the top of our to-do list. There wasn't an option really, you literally couldn't get out and about without doing some amount of snow clearing, even in tall heavy-duty boots you couldn't just wander on out unless you were up for some serious cardio.

Sadly, we don't own a snow blower, but our lovely neighbor Lisa does and boy were we relieved when she texted this morning offering it up for use!  Again, THANK YOU LISA!  You saved Alex a lot of cursing and me a lot of crying and a sore back :)

It took a while but we got ourselves out of the snow and were able to clear snow for a few of our awesome neighbors!  Alex was a real bad ass with a frozen beard behind that beast of a snow blower....
Ohhh Yea.  That's a Real Minnesotan Man.

What was I doing while the Minnesotan-Man-Machine worked to clear all that snow?
I was doing what I do best- having a real b*tchin' good time playing the in the snow with Sadie :)

Whatever game Sadie and I were playing, I guess she won.  You'll have to watch the video to see what I mean...

At least I had fun in this crazy awful winter storm situation, but I have to pray that winter is soon coming to a close.  If it doesn't, I'm seriously considering moving to Hawaii and becoming a hobo gypsy or whatever.  That just sounds like more fun than this winter crap-ola right?

Anyone else out there dealing with the Seneca aftermath?
How are you getting through it?  Or are you having fun with it like me?

To everyone dealing with Seneca right now... Stay safe, stay off the roads, and keep an eye out for others in need of help!  

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Brining a Little Green Inside This Winter

It's a sizzling 40 degrees here in Minneapolis for the past two days!  I have to say, this heat wave makes me want to put on my short shorts, flim-flams (my term for flip-flops because anything hyphenated along with "flop" sounds sloppy), and sip a salty rimmed margarita!  I know I wouldn't actually go that far-  But picture it, Sicily Minneapolis two weeks ago it was -20.  So, this 60 degree difference feels AMAZING!   Honestly, it really does... ugh, sick isn't it?  Why do I live here again?!

Anyway, this heat wave got me thinking (and hoping for) Spring so I grabbed a couple plants to do my own mini version of indoor gardening.   I have to get all of them into their little pots but I have a couple in my cute little copper vases under glass domes/cloches on the radiator bench/cover back in the sunroom.  I think they fit nice in that little reading nook and they'll get a good amount of sun there!

Perhaps it is kinda lame or comes from the "old lady" side of me, but there is something about seeing the green and watching the plants grow that seems to help me get through this last dull/dead stretch of winter.  I guess it just makes me look forward to doing actual gardening outside in the sunshine and we'll get to use Alex's DIY raised garden beds again this Spring!

What do you do to help get through the last dull stretch of winter?
Anyone else doing some indoor gardening this winter?  What plants do you typically choose?

Thank you to everyone that gave us comments and suggestions for our kitchen paint project!  Alex and I are still debating (and that is putting the discussions lightly) but I'm hopeful we can come to an agreement on paint and get started on it this weekend!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Kitchen Paint Project: Planning & Color Ideas

With our kitchen color update next up on our project list, I started pulling together images of my favorite color choices.  I've also learned that it helps to have a visual in order to explain my idea/plan to Alex :) and you can let me know what you think too!

As you can see, I'm leaning toward the black and white type of look for the most part otherwise keeping lighter brighter and still neutral similar to the look of our dining room....

I guess I just worry if it's all light, bright, and neutral (same paint color from dining room into the kitchen), it might just look too boring or washed out or like we're in an apartment that we can't add color to?  What do you think?

If we got the black and white route, I think our black would be more of a very dark gray and we'd keep our kitchen cabinets white- I shared those darker cabinet pics and said "Oooo want to repaint our cabinets a darker color like this???" and Alex replied with a polite "Hell no."  Maybe I'll save that idea for our next house?!

Anyway, I guess that is where I'm leaning toward right now.  The tricky part is that we probably have to continue the same color along the wall leading from the dining room into the kitchen- Right?  It'd be weird to have a blunt taped off color transition?
I think that is an interior design rule, and I haven't found any photo evidence of this being done in a tasteful way but I could be wrong.   Please help me figure that one out if you can!

If that wall in the kitchen remains the same as the dining room I'd love to do a darker color on the wall it meets with...  Or the kitchen could just be that color throughout and we could do a darker color in the kitchen nook and in the alcove where the oven sits perhaps????  What do you think?

My brain has been bouncing between options so I'd love to hear if you have any ideas or suggestions!  Again, also let me know about that taped-off paint line thing- Is that a rule or not a rule?  It just looks funny to me right now since I've been looking at where we stopped from the last paint project but who knows, maybe there is a tasteful way to do that?

Hope everyone has had a nice week so far!  Oh, is it just me or did Valentine's Day sneak up awfully fast?  I better get a card  I'm looking forward to a nice dinner with Alex, anyone else doing something special to celebrate too?

Monday, February 10, 2014

High-Tops to High Heels: The Origin of My Heel & Height Obsession

I'm still searching through kitchen paint ideas, but I thought I'd kick off the week with a fun little story about yours truly and where my high heel obsession may have originated.  Funny enough, I hatched the idea for this post a couple weeks ago when my dad was in town for a visit because it's kind of his fault.  You'll have to read through the rest to understand :)  This ones for you dad!  Hope everyone else is game, here we go!

Now, I know you see more of my hammers/DIY-ing side here on the blog, but outside of that stuff I am in my high heels everyday just as it says in my blog header.... total truth, you can ask anyone.  Anything from dates with my hubby, long work days, bike riding, factory visits/meetings, or even trekking through Europe's cobblestone streets- I'm well heeled at all times!

I may head in and out of work in winter boots or flats but I am rarely seen without my heels at the office or out doing social stuff with friends on the weekends.  If I am seen without my extra height, I often hear things like...
"It's so weird seeing you without your heels," 
"You're so short without you tall heels on," 

And the funny thing is that I agree!  I'm right around five feet tall and I'm not used to me without an extra 3-5 inches of height (did you notice I can't even just flat out say I'm five feet tall?).   Yes, I admit it's weird, but it's just a weird-uniquely-me thing the way I see it :)  On the flip side, when I do have my heels on the other most common question I hear is...

"How do you walk in those?" 

And that is easy to respond to because I walk in my big ol' heels pretty easily because I am used to it and here's where we circle back to my dad's whole role in this...  and yea that sounds like an odd segway but it's not, promise, keep following!

As a kid, I was always the shortest in my class, from pre-school all the way through middle school.  Then for the most part I was still one of the shortest through high school.  For reference, here's a visual from my pre-school Spring Program in 1989.
Note- I am a whole head shorter than all of the other 5 year olds, the ducky head cut-out highlights that really well right?
For what I lacked in height, I made up for with courage in the form of doing things that the tall kids were afraid to do.  And wouldn't ya know it, my older sister of all people was one of those tall kids that was afraid of a whole-lotta things.  Included among those things was amusement park rides and I mean everything outside of your basic sit on you buns carousel ride.  I on the other hand, was not!  Yes, I wanted to go on all of the tallest, fastest, and scariest of roller-coasters anytime we went to an amusement park back then, the only problem with that was the standard 48" height requirement for those kind of rides-  a big problem for a peanut like me.   

Now, the average height of a six year old girl is 46" and at age eight it is around 50", however at eight years old I was barely reaching 46" tall.   So, what did my dad do for his little Peanut?  You bet'cher buns he didn't tell me "Nope, you can't do that, you are too small," and he certainly didn't want me to endure the disappointment of such height discrimination.  Instead, my dad did what every dad shouldn't should do...
He took me to Payless to find that tallest LA Gear high-top tennis shoes available, bought them, then balled up thick socks, stuffed them into the heel of my shoe and BAM!  I was just over 48" tall at last!  Bring on the big scary roller coasters!!!!

So there you have it-  
I traversed many of the nation's finest amusement parks falsely representing my height using high-tops and a couple big ol' wads of socks thus becoming my first version of high heels and experiencing the power that a young lady in tall shoes could have over society.

For that, I thank you dad.... Who knew?!
Photo of my dad and I, still a Peanut really without my heels on :)
*** DISCLAIMER: We do not recommend or condone the faux representation of height in small children for the purpose of participating in amusement park rides as it could result in harm, death, or dismemberment.  Boy, parenting must have been easier in the 80's???  Hmmmm... thank goodness nothing happened to me dad!!!  ****

Thursday, February 6, 2014

A Kitchen Color Update & Our Year Old Butcher Block Countertops

Hosting our Super Bowl shindig last weekend made Alex and I realize a couple things in our house...

First up-  Our wood countertops.
The day before our party, Alex oiled our butcher block countertops and that made him realize that we've had them for a year now because we debuted them to friends at last year's game.  Back when we shared our kitchen redo 'after' photos, we had a lot of comments regarding our choice to leave them as is and use mineral oil as instructed to care for them instead of doing a Waterlox type seal on them so I thought I'd share an update on how they are looking now.

Alex has oiled them 4 times as recommended through the past year.  It is pretty simple, just apply with a brush, allow an hour to dry, then wipe clean with a dry cloth.  I snapped some pictures of the process when he was in action last Saturday....

They still seem to be holding up well and look just as nice as they did when we installed them.  I'm still quite happy with our choice and continue to love the look in our old little Dutch Colonial.  They just fit perfectly!

Now to the second thing we realized-  The kitchen needs a new paint job.
Do you remember that paint job we finished in the Dining Room last October???

Well, yea.... that paint job should be continuing into the kitchen and we better get on finishing that up!  This whole taped-off blunt paint line is a bad look (shutter).

I'm pretty sure we have to keep that consistent color along that wall, but I'm wondering if we can incorporate an additional paint tone onto the other walls that compliments the dining room paint color?  Hmmm....

I'd love to know what you would do, if you have ideas please let me know in the comments!!!

I'm going to start pinning some ideas :)  I'll let you know what I'm leaning toward before I buy the paint!  Be sure to let me know if you have ideas or suggestions!

Monday, February 3, 2014

A Look at Our Super Bowl Shindig

All of that party noodling I did last week seemed to pay off because we pulled together a pretty decent Super Bowl shindig yesterday and I think everyone had a great time!  Goodness knows Alex and I did because getting up at 6AM and heading into work this morning was pretty rough :)  Hope we're not alone on that feeling!  (AHEM) Anyway...

Here's a look at some of the set up, food, drinks, and good times that were had last night!
When it came to the food and drink set up, I chose to stick with using things like butcher paper, cutting boards, and chalkboard signs since they all kind of gave that classic gentleman's pub kind of feel.   I had a lot of fun doodling and writing on the butcher paper too!  To compliment the paper-y look, I cut down paper lunch bags to use for individual popcorn servings.
When it came to the drinks, I knew we were limited on space since we had to fit everything onto our sideboard but those four mini beverage tubs ended up working out great!  We used two of the tubs for beers and and the other two for make-your-own Bloody Mary and Margarita bars.  The chalkboard signs and dessert stand rounded out the sideboard- and who doesn't like some sweets with their drinks?!

That covers the food and drinks, so now that you're full and tipsy let's get to the party!
As you can see, the food probably had a better showing than the Denver Broncos :) and since they didn't make it to the end zone very much, Alex and I did our end zone touchdown dance for them.... Or  maybe we were just being idiots??!!??  I mentioned this morning was rough right?
In the end, we had a blast and I'm glad everything worked out!  Wonder if we'll host again in 2015, hmmmmm?

So how about you?
Did you host or attend a fun Super Bowl shindig too?  How did it go?
What were your favorite foods, drinks or games?
Lastly, I have to know if anyone else was hurting this morning too?

Why is the Super Bowl on a school night anyway?  Just seems like poor planning if you ask me!  Hope everyone had a fun night still, now it's time for me to catch some needed zzzzz's!