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Monthly Archives: August 2009

Corked!

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Several years ago, Chris and I got an idea to save wine and champagne corks in a pretty glass jar (similar to how in IV people used to save all the bottles of hard alcohol they’d drank, except this is slightly classier).  We would write on the cork the date and a blurb about what we were doing when we drank that particular bottle.  At the very least, we thought, it would look kind of cool  and be a fun conversation starter.

We’ve collected quite a few over the years, and we now use it as part of our dining room centerpiece.  Tonight I randomly decided to read every single cork message, which I haven’t done since we started this in ’06.  I’m definitely going to make an effort to save more corks now, because it was SO FUN to read them all and remember all the fun things we’ve done with friends and family.  Some are sentimental, like the champagne cork from our wedding night, and some are just plain silly, like “Chris and Adam Nacho Night!”.

This is an inexpensive and interesting centerpiece idea, but also a great way to capture the wonderful moments, however big or small, of your life.

Here is a small sampling of my favorites:

Corks

Corks

From L to R:

After we had put an offer on our house, Graham and Audrey (my fabulous champagne loving in-laws) came up to check out the place and we had an impromptu champagne toast to what we hoped would be our new house.  The caption on the cork reads, “New house? 4-17-09”

Next is “New House 6-24-09”, the day we closed on the above mentioned house.  🙂

Another favorite, “OBAMA ’08” written in patriotic blue and red.  From the bottle of champagne we drank the night Obama was elected 44th President of the United States.  A night to remember.

And last, but not least, a sneak-a-cork from my BFF that I just realized she’d put in!  “To Chris & Sierra, A toast to your hospitality 11-9-08.  -Laura” .  Aww!

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I get by with a little help from my friends.

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This is a thank you post to my husband Chris, Brian Hoffman “The Best Man’s Best Man”, and Ryan Unger “Runger” for helping us to move the heaviest single item in the entire world back into the basement bathroom- the claw-foot tub.

The tub was originally in the basement bathroom, but due to Santa Barbara zoning laws, it is illegal for there to be a full bath down there because the ceilings are too low in some places.  Because the laundry room is downstairs, it is ok to have a half bath.

So, before we had even bought the place, our realtor helped us move it to the garage so that when we had the zoning inspection it wouldn’t be flagged and possibly capped off…if you are a Santa Barbara zoning official please stop reading this now and please don’t send us to jail.

Here is it back in its rightful place, after much huffing and puffing, yelling, and sweating.

Downstairs bathroom with tub

Downstairs bathroom with tub

Steady, steady!

Steady, steady!

Putting the feet back on

Putting the feet back on

Thanks again to all my muscle for helping us finish off our illegal third bathroom.

Coasters.

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I’m about to fall asleep, but I had to show off my new favorite house purchase first.  Now, coasters may not seem very cool, but these ones are.  I bought them off of Etsy, which is my new favorite website. I could (let’s be honest, I have) spent hours on there looking at everything handmade under the sun.

Here’s my Etsy booty:

This pattern is actually very similar to our new duvet cover.  Pics of that soon to come...

This pattern is actually very similar to our new duvet cover. Pics of that soon to come...

Letters and limes.

Letters and limes.

Wall post.

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Until tonight, our walls were bare.  Chris has been begging me to hang things on the walls, but I just haven’t been able to bring myself to do it.  I mean, we spent so much time painting them, why would I want to hammer nails into it and make unsightly holes everywhere?

Besides that, I’m not even sure what I want to put up.  Maybe I want to paint all of our frames white, maybe I want to put new pictures in the frames!  I just want to keep my options open till I’m sure.

But Chris, sweet, excited for his best friends to see our new house for the first time, Chris, he had his heart set on putting some things on the wall.  So I caved and we choose things that I was fairly confident that I wanted to go up.

Living Room.  Fun Fact: This painting was used in the movie "Sideways" and was given to us by our friend who worked on the movie.

Living Room. Fun Fact: This painting was used in the movie "Sideways" and was given to us by our friend who worked on the movie.

Trying hard to act like they know what they're doing

Trying hard to act like they know what they're doing

Dining Room

Dining Room

Close up of dining room chalkboard.  Chris and I made this.  :)

Close up of dining room chalkboard. Chris and I made this. 🙂

I feel the need to note here that we are not big Ronald Reagan fans, but our soon to be house guest is, so Big Stroke, this one’s for you. Also I do like the quote, despite it being from Reagan.

Coat hangers in the hallway

Coat hangers in the hallway

That’s all for now.  I’m too scared to make anymore holes in my beautifully painted walls.  Gotta go hide the hammer from Chris now.

Special Delivery

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As Chris was taking out the recycling tonight he poked his head up the front stairs and said, “You’ve got to come down here!”.  Being a lazy butt and having had just cooked dinner, I was not thrilled at the idea of going outside and getting roped in to what I thought involved breaking down boxes.

Grumbling and muttering naughty words under my breath, I got up and went to investigate.  It was indeed a box, but one not one that needed breaking down- this one had fun things inside of it!  Apparently the delivery man was both silent and stealthy, we hadn’t heard a peep from outside all night and were both quite surprised to find a large box hanging out in the driveway.  Fun items include our new bookshelf and part of our “organizational system” (which is a fancy word for a pretty corkboard) had arrived!!!

Catchie approves

Catchie approves

Side view of the bookcase

Side view of the bookcase

I wanted a white bookcase to match with the desk but was having a heck of a time finding one until I came across this.  From the catalogue picture it didn’t seem quite as big, but I was willing to sacrifice some functionality for style so we ordered it anyway.  It’s actually much bigger than I was expecting and I really like it!  Here is is with some books and knick knacks thrown on, it will need some fine tuning, but you get the general idea.

Yay!

Yay!

More bang for your buck

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On the journey of becoming a homeowner, it is very likely that you’ve picked up a heafty mortgage on the way.  We are no exception to that rule, so we get very excited around these parts when we find inexpensive ways to spruce up the place.  Our latest projects do not involve paint (hallelujah!), are cheap (or even better- free!) and quick, but make a big impact on a room

Let’s talk hardware.  Most of the window and door fixtures in our house are black and we really like the way it makes the house look.  It adds charm and makes the house feel old, but in a good way.  Our hallway built in’s had icky silver (I have nothing against silver, but in the case of our built in’s, they was a definite ick factor goin’ on) handles that did not fit in with the rest of the house.

Before (well, the upper right is after but the rest are before)

Before (well, the upper right is after but the rest are before)

$30 dollars later… How fabulous does that look?!?

After (ignore the shelf clutter)

After (ignore the shelf clutter)

As mentioned, the door knobs in our house are all black.  When we first moved in, the bank that owned the house had removed all the deadbolts on the doors and put in ugly brass door handles.  Esthetics aside, it’s actually quite sad to think about the brass door handles being put on because the previous owners were kicked out.

Sad foreclosure deadbolt

Sad foreclosure doorknob

A set of 2 dead bolts and 1 door knob comes in at around $60.  The original door knobs are actually quite nice, we were told by some hoity toity door knob store that a matching dead bolt would cost $180!!  So we went the less expensive home depot route, which means the dead bolt doesn’t match exactly, but if I hadn’t told you, you probably never would have noticed.

After

After

And now for the best kind of home upgrade: repurposing items, cost = free!  Our dining room table was looking a little sad and bare, so we put two hurricane vases with candles (leftovers from our wedding) and a glass filled with corks (every time we open a bottle of wine of champagne, we write on the cork the date and occasion) as centerpieces.

Viola!

Viola!

Like Father, Like Son

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It seems that my faithful blog reader (Graham Rose) and husband (Chris Rose) just couldn’t stand to let me go a weekend without painting something.  So here it is:

IMG_8790See the gob of paint on my decollate?  This is what happens when the end of a fully loaded paint brushes catches on a window pane.  Better there than in my hair, which is usually where it ends up.

And in painting this window, we finally have ONE ROOM COMPLETELY PAINTED!!!!!!  Dining room- check.

That’s all I’ve got today.  Off to do some laundry and make starving husband a snack.