Monday, October 30, 2006

Kitchen - Phase One

As Sarah has been indicating, we are working on some updates to our kitchen. Knowing that kitchens and bathrooms are the best way to increase your homes value, we decided to make the kitchen a little more appealing and hopefully a little more functional.
Our house was built in 1940 and the kitchen remains in relatively original condition, save for a new floor, an epoxy treatment over the tilework, and a few "utility" cabinets. Given the layout of our kitchen, we knew that a total remodel would not really give us that much bang for our buck (and a totally new kitchen can mean BIG bucks). We also wanted to retain as much of the historical integrity of the original kitchen as possible. So we decided to keep the few cabinets that are original to the house and replace the cabinets that were added later (they are really ugly and boring). So I decided to play around with Ikea's Kitchen Planner Tool and came up with a solution we were both really excited about. In the corner above the stove, I am installing a corner cabinet, a wall cabinet, and a cabinet over the stove with an exhaust fan. We're also adding a deep cabinet above the refrigerator and possibly another wall cabinet above the dishwasher to replace the pot rack. The piece I am most excited about having and most nervous about installing is a corner base cabinet that will go next to the stove. It extends out of the corner 49" and has a two-tier half-lazy susan. According to my measurements, it is going to be a "custom" fit, but I think I can do it.
As part of this project, I am also painting the existing cabinets to match the new ones and painting the wall a light jadite-green shade (trying to stay in keeping with the 1940's era and complement our red accents). As of tonight, I have prepped and painted the original cabinets and am letting the paint set a little more before putting on the new hardware. I must say, they look, pretty good.
My next step is probably going to be removing the old cabinets. Then we will paint the walls, I'll build and install the new cabinets and we'll be done!
Sounds easy enough. We'll see...
I'll keep you posted on my progress!

Worth Quoting

Katie just found this website with a quote from me: Pink Ink Design. It's from a competition intro I wrote for HOW in 2004, comparing wedding invitations to self-promotion designs. Things I've written about specific projects have been excerpted before, but I've never had anything quoted in such a general and prominent way (especially since I don't write all that much). Interesting.

Sushi Rolls and Rollin' Heads

Our "date" Saturday night turned out to be the classic dinner and a movie, which we actually don't do very often (we tend to do take-out and a DVD). We had sushi, which was divine, at the just-opened Pacific Moon at Newport on the Levee. I hadn't had individual sushi pieces in a while, and these were so big and tender that we shared them, turning 6 pieces into 12 (I hope they didn't think we were just being cheap!). We also had some yummy but eye-watering hot and sour soup and a few sushi rolls (warning: when they say spicy, they mean it!).

After a quick stop at Claire's, where I felt much too old but found some cute headbands, we went to see "Marie Antionette." Both Kirsten Dunst's performance and Sofia Coppola's direction were fabulous. It's definitely not a stuffy period piece--much better than the usual Emma Thompson/Anthony Hopkins fare. It was shot entirely at the Palace of Versailles, so it was cool to see all the places inside and outside of the castle that we visited on our honeymoon (including Marie Antionette's boudoir). That's my favorite place in Paris, and we spent quite a bit of time there in the palace and the gardens on our honeymoon.

The weekend was full, with a good mix of both work and fun. We'll post photos of the kitchen project soon.

Friday, October 27, 2006


I was reading Carmen's travel blog, which inspired me to post a quick update on our lives. We actually did some travelin ourselves last weekend, up to Edgerton to see Keith and Kathy with a mini trip to Canton, Michigan thrown in to visit the brand-new Ikea. Our adorable nieces and nephews had a sleepover with us Friday night and we had lots of fun watching "Over the Hedge" and having a fish fry. We got everything we needed at Ikea for a small kitchen remodel (plus some other stuff, of course) and initiated Keith and Kathy into the hippest housewares store for us budget-wise folks. Sunday, we had an early "Christmas" celebration with the Englers before Kevin's maternal grandma heads to Florida for the winter. It was a fun trip!

Tonight we're headed to Matt and Amanda's for a little TGIF and TGAFGHR revelry (that's "thank god amanda finally got her license"). At age 28, this is a big cause for celebration! Of course, we got her a little package of stuff to pimp her ride. Tomorrow night, Kevin and I have a date. Otherwise, we'll be up to the usual stuff: grocery shopping, laundry, yard work--and installing a new kitchen!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Guess your age, weight, or NAME???

Yesterday Sarah, Katie, and I went up to King's Island to work a volunteer shift for Save the Animals Foundation. Throughout the year King's Island provides several non-profit organizations the opportunity to work their game and food areas, then the organization is "paid" by KI for the time they work. The volunteers also receive free passes to King's Island for a future visit.
So we got there around 3:30 pm to get signed in, go through orientation, and be assigned to our area in games. I had been looking forward to this for a few weeks and kept telling everyone that I my dream job was to work at the "Guess Your Age & Weight" booth. I was pretty sure that they weren't going to give that job to a first day volunteer, but I was hoping. I'd always wanted to find out how they did it, what was their secret. So the three of us get to our assigned areas and our "supervisor" (I think he was about 14 years old) asks if one of us would want to work the "Guess Your Age & Weight" booth! Katie & Sarah both pointed at me and I started jumping up and down. I couldn't believe it, my wildest dream was about to come true. I headed over to the booth to learn this exciting new "skill."
When I got there, I found out that we were also doing "guess your name." Seriously. It was my job to try and guess someone's name. By looking at them. And guessing. Seriously. People were going to pay me $5 to try and guess their name. Seriously.
IT WAS AWESOME! They gave me a few pointers on how to work the crowd as they passed and how to make small talk with my customers. This usually led them to believe that I was playing some kind of Jedi mind trick on them, which I wasn't. I was just stalling until I could think of a name. Guessing names is hard. I usually just thought of people that I knew or names that I thought would be popular for their age range. So this went on for several hours and I was actually doing a pretty good job of getting people to play. Once they saw how easy it was to win, it was totally worth $5 to them. A lot of people actually thought I had some sort of special ability for guessing names. Nope. I sure don't. I was blown away when I finally did guess one right! Her name was Caitlin, but she went by Katie. I guessed Caitlin, but I was so excited that I got it right, I gave her a prize anyway.
But I wasn't just guessing names. Some people still wanted to stick with the classics, age, weight, and month of birth. The month of birth is pretty easy because you only have to be within 2 months, so I got a few of those right. The age and weight were a lot more dangerous. Especially with female customers. I was trying to balance honesty, flattery, and offense. I didn't do so well. I did guess one age just about right, and I actually did guess one weight exactly. One woman won a prize, but probably didn't walk away too happy. I guessed that she was 42 years old (and I thought I was being generous) but she was 32!!! I felt really bad, but she did NOT look one year older than Sarah. Oh, well. Live and learn.
Katie and Sarah didn't have as much fun as I did. Katie was in charge of some virtual reality game and Sarah was in charge of selling tickets for the Days of Thunder go-cart races. Anyway, I had the best time ever. It was so much fun and now I know how the "experts" do it. They just make it up.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Good Ole' Rocky Top

This weekend I
went on a road trip to Gatlinburg with my friends from work. It was my first time in the Smokies, so I have been really looking forward to it. CJ, Erin, her friend Kari, Gina, her husband Jeff, and I all piled into our rental mini-van on Friday and headed out of town. We got to our cabin around 8:30 hung out there until Saturday afternoon, when we went for a mountain hike to a waterfall. Then we went back to the cabin for an afternoon of movies, drinks, and snacks. Which turned into an evening of movies, drinks, and snacks. Sunday we went into Gatlinburg to absorb some of the local "flavor." Interesting. If you are ever in need of a medieval sword or anything airbrushed, look no further! We took in a round of hillbilly golf (guess who lost), a game of laser tag (guess who lost... again), and a round of bumper cars ( I don't think you can lose at bumper cars, unless you don't play, CJ). I know, it sounds like any 12 year old's dream, but we had a blast. We headed for home Monday morning after the obligatory pancake breakfast and a short delay thanks to a leaky bottle of grenadine in the van (not fun).
I had such a good time, it was really nice to get away from life for a few days with some really great friends (old and new). We relaxed, ate way too much, drank way too much, stayed up way too late, and I'm already looking forward to planning our next trip together...

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Monday, October 02, 2006


I have the best wife ever!!!
I came home from work today and what was waiting for me, but my own little iPod Nano!!!
It is green and awesome.
I have already uploaded the maximum 4gb of music and am listening to it now.
I went to the doctor last week and he told me my blood pressure and cholesterol were a little high and recommended regular exercise. I told Sarah that what he was really saying was I needed a Nano to go running with. Now I guess I have to really start running, but it will be SO worth it.
Thanks, baby. I love you so much...