We threw a party! This is the only picture we took, the next morning: Okay wait I took this one too: In the lower right corner you can see our second, back-up recycling bin, similarly overflowing with bottles. Good show, friends, jolly good show. We were not partying with Guns N' Roses, pinky swear, but did manage to pack over 50 people into our house, most of whom were jam-packed into the new kitchen because we need to revisit our food/booze party flow mapping. But all in all, I think it went well! This was the biggest party we've ever attempted, and also our first Friendsgiving potluck. The turkeys came out delicious, everybody brought amazing apps/sides/desserts, kids and adults alike all seemed to have fun. I was a slightly nervous twitchy wreck about the party all month, but after we finished cleaning up on Sunday I asked Jason when we could throw ANOTHER party, because that was fun, but he just kind of stared at me silently for awhile and then took a nap on the couch. ...the couch right by our new COFFEE TABLE! Yayyyyyy. Wheeeee. Of course, now that the table is there it basically changes EVERYTHING and... Read more →

Hey remember all those damn pallets? It's okay if you don't. I practically forgot about them too until this week and I walked by them every single day, so thoroughly resigned to their continued existence that they ceased to register in my brain at all. But then stuff started happening! Cutting stuff! Staining stuff! COFFEE TABLE STUFF! And...well. That's actually as far as stuff has gone, because the hairpin legs we ordered haven't arrived yet. Today, hopefully. Because tomorrow we are hosting a huge-ass Friendsgiving/housewarming party and invited way, way too many people because we figured only half of them liked us enough to trek out to the new far-flung 'burbs but then almost everybody said they could come and gaaahhhh omg I don't have enough chairs or bowls or coffee tables. We should have enough turkey, though. I picked up two hefty-sized birds from a local farm yesterday which are currently brining away in coolers. The smaller one is getting deep fried, because I'm starting to suspect that moving to this house was all just a ploy to give Jason an excuse to buy himself toys like tile saws and Dremmels and deep fryers. (Although I mainly moved here... Read more →

The tile backsplash was installed almost entirely without incident. I KNOW RIGHT? I believe this is a direct result of me not really helping, other than providing Jason with rags occasionally and then getting the hell out of his way. And now the kitchen is done, mostly on schedule and well under budget, thanks to some nice Angie's List discounts, the seriously marked-down floor tile, and us sticking to our DIY guns on the painting and tile work. (Also plain white subway tile is seriously inexpensive. It's like the manufacturers haven't figured out that plain white subway tile is practically the new mason jar on Pinterest right now.) (Also also, black triangle thingies are vintage glass planters I got on Etsy. Top one holds our corkscrew and other small wine accessories and the bottom one catches the caps from the beer bottle opener in between. These were ABSOLUTELY the first order of hanging-up business once we painted.) Okay, I fibbed. We're installing some under cabinet lighting soon-ish and that lamp above the sink is still up for debate. I love it but it's too bright and hangs too close to eye level for Jason. I vote dimmer switch but he's... Read more →

(PRAY FOR US IN OUR MISGUIDED DIY HOUR OF NEED.) Also, since my site was utterly borked post-Halloween I couldn't post any photos, but figured the ones I'd posted to FB/Instagram were all anybody would be interested in but APPARENTLY NOT so here are some Halloween pics which are now positively ancient in social media years but I have to go deal with that tile up there and also end this goddamn sentence already. Ike's face. IKE'S FAAAACE. Please note the addition of white tissue paper to the eyes of this Steve from Minecraft costume. This is because Noah is Herobrine, NOT Steve, and if you understand what I'm talking about here I can only say, I'm sorry. Bluen dressed up in my old Cabbage Patch doll's cowgirl outfit and went trick-or-treating with us. (Translation: I carried a stuffed bear in cowgirl clothing around the neighborhood all night while her boots fell off approximately 400 million times.) Ezra and Ike were positively insistent that I dress as Black Widow to complement their Avengers costumes. (Somehow Jason escaped being asked to be Thor.) I was like, okay, I can be fun, ordered some cheap-o Age of Ultron polyester thing from Amazon... Read more →

Our original plan for the kitchen was to keep everything expensive (or labor-intensive) as neutral as possible, and then have some fun with the cheaper, easy-to-swap out elements. Like the wall color! We were going to go EARTHY and BOLD and SPICY, like we were a TACO BELL CRUNCHINATOR SUPREME up in here. It sounded good in theory, but after bringing home a variety of BIG BOLD colors and testing them out on several walls around the kitchen, they looked less like "fun pops of color" and more like "drunk uncle vomiting Skittles all over his Tommy Bahama." (Somebody get me a job naming paint colors. I will give them super-specifically accurate names so no one will ever come home with a can of "Elderwood Green" and discover that it's more of a "Slimer From Ghostbusters.") None of the colors were technically hideous on their own (the kids are still so mad about us not going with that orange in the middle it's probably going to end up in the dining room), but they. Did. Not. Look. Good. In this kitchen. Especially since we went a little bigger and blacker with the chalkboard walls this time -- the bright paint... Read more →

We have lights! (Well, two of them. We're converting the light over the sink next, and probably swapping the hanging fixture on the other side at some point.) We said a happy farewell to the big fluorescent plastic box of dead bug corpses yesterday and put these industrial-ish style fixtures up, which may or may not have been chosen primarily because there is no place for bugs to crawl inside and die. Also, Edison bulbs are warm and glowy and happy-making. These were actually the very first fixtures I looked at and was like, "BAM THOSE," but then the dude supervising the remodel told me no, those are too big, you want something smaller. And so I've spent the last couple weeks searching for a smaller alternative, while this particular fixture followed me all around the internet via programmatic advertising. Finally I just went WHATEVA I DO WAT I WANT I'M A LIGHTING REBEL and ordered them. They are NOT too big. And even if they are, I don't care, because I MADE A DECISION!!!!!1! I am also !!!!!!!1!!!ELEVENTY! excited to have a working sink and dishwasher again. Although: Whoops. Today the rest of the cabinet hardware gets installed and... Read more →

We have counters! In real life the counters have a bit more brown/putty color in them and the floors have more gray, so it all ties together in a really nice neutral-as-shit boring way. But I still have some lingering pain from our house-hunting days when we're walk into a (clearly expensive as hell) remodeled kitchen that was chock full of...um...interesting design choices. Things we do NOT have: 1) The back panel for the peninsula because mystery. 2) Non-hideous lighting because I only just finally made up my mind. 3) The correct cabinet for this spot (it was supposed to be drawers for pots and pans, not doors) because we needed SOMETHING to go wrong and hold up everything else on this list, including getting the fridge out of the dining room. 4) A functioning dishwasher, sink or disposal because of that damn cabinet. 5) Cabinet hardware because of that fucking piece of shit cabinet. 6) A useless desk in this spot, sized for a hobbit. (This is a good thing.) 7) A pantry door because backordered. The (asshole) cabinet should be in this week, at which point the crew will come back and knock out all the remaining loose... Read more →

We have floors! And a full set of cabinets! Including one that is wrong and needs to be re-ordered! (Arrived with doors instead of drawers, nobody noticed at first because we were simply blinded with joy over having cabinets again.) Now we're just waiting on the countertops and new light fixtures to arrive, and to settle on a paint color. We went to the paint store yesterday, because for some reason we mistook ourselves for Confident Proactive Decision Makers and thought we'd be able to pick out not only a color for the kitchen, but an entirely new color scheme for the entire main level of the house. We'd start with the kitchen and then move into the dining room, living room, the foyer and all the various big ass walls and we'd come home with a whole slew of paint and FUCK YEAH HOME IMPROVEMENT. Instead, we were promptly overwhelmed with all the choices and frustrated by our inability to remember/recognize any of the paint colors we liked from the old house. (Although the million barely different shades of yellow-ish beige that tormented our touch-up/patching efforts for nine damn years are still all seared into my brain, probably forever.)... Read more →

We have (some) cabinets! That was as of last night, actually. By the time I left to take Ike to school we already had a few more, and the foyer looked like it was getting the final prep for tile. IT'S ALL HAPPENING. It turns out getting your kitchen remodeled is a bit like being pregnant. "How long will it take?" is the new "So what's your birth plan?" and then everybody really just wants to talk about how they were in labor for 175 hours before an unmedicated breech birth and also THEIR kitchen remodel started five years ago and STILL isn't done, so ha ha good luck with your "two to three weeks" and also your vaginal delivery. So far, so good, is all I can and will say. It probably helps that we're not doing any major structural changes, and also that the house isn't that old so we're free of the "WHOOPS THAT'S A LOAD BEARING WALL THAT IS MOST DEFINITELY NOT BEARING THE LOAD" snafus you get with older (or previously remodeled but maaaaybe not done very well) houses. (Our old condo in the city was built as a dormitory for war workers in the... Read more →

So as it turns out, the "putting shit back together" phase of the kitchen remodel is EVERY BIT AS LOUD AND IRRITATING as the initial "smashing shit to hell" phase. It's just a bit more rhythmic and water torture-y. The crew's been installing cement board since Saturday, and it's like: jangling of nails DRILLLLZZZZZTTTT jangling of nails DRILLLLZZZZZTTTT jangling of nails DRILLLLZZZZZTTTT ...for hours and hours on end. Our children are handling the chaos and noise just as I expected, which is terribly. Even though I'd generally describe the breakfast time decibel level around here as OMG WHY ARE YOU ALL SO LOUD STOP YELLING HERE PUT MORE FOOD IN YOUR FACE HOLES I HAVEN'T HAD COFFEE YET, they are all suddenly very Downton Abbey about their morning meal being disrupted by construction noise. Covering their ears and expecting me to DO SOMETHING about it, they cannot CONCENTRATE on the important task of eating an entire box of Corn Flakes in a single morning, also, where are the WAFFLES, Jeeves? In the freezer, staying frozen, because the toaster is in the family room and I don't feel like walking that far. much dismay and dramatic weeping We planned to spend... Read more →