Sunday, March 25, 2012

Roseville FD Live Burn

 The hubby's fire department had another live burn this weekend, and Mia and I got to go watch some of the action. David had 2 news crews on scene to do live interviews of him - I found the one at KSTP, but haven't tracked down the Fox9 edition yet (will post when I do!). KSTP had him mic'd up while he was inside the building running the burn, so the audio you hear in the video is him. Fox9 sent a camera man into the burn with him, so it will be good to see that one, too, as we missed that edition last night.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Blast From the Past: The 1st Ever Rice St Pub Crawl

...and six years later, we're planning our 5th Rice St Pub Crawl! What a great group of friends to spend a day hitting the sketchy bars and strip clubs along Rice St with.

For re-caps from years past see:

Monday, March 19, 2012

Lovin' this sun!

It's been 70-80 degrees here in Minnesota the past few days - the snow is gone, the trees are budding (my lilacs are GREEN after this past weekend of sun!), and plants are peaking up from the ground. Normally around this time we'd be having another big snowstorm. Instead, we've been spending time outside: walking the dog, working on the yard, playing softball with Mia, and enjoying a bottle of white wine on the back deck (while miss Mia took a long nap)!

 On Saturday we were able to visit some old friends and their beautiful little girl, Jenna.  Mia was fascinated with the baby toys - she really wanted to play with Jenna, so she decided to hang out with her on the floor.
We've been busy working on the kitchen backsplash - many, many wine corks have been cut and the first round of synthetic corks have been installed and spray-varnished! Thankfully, our friends drink a LOT of wine, and have donated their corks to us (not to mention spending an hour or so cutting corks with us on Friday night- thanks Laura & Gabe!). We're planning on cutting and arranging the rest of the corks this week in the hope that we can finish it by next weekend! Here's a sneak peek of our progress so far...

Thursday, March 08, 2012

First Round of Kitchen Before-and-Afters!

Want to see a real transformation?  Let's go back almost 7 years to when we first purchased our home...this is what we saw when we were considering buying it...
 This is what we actually lived with, for awhile...yes, that is forest green and magenta plaid wallpaper! Even better, that's a magenta formica countertop - the bane of my existence! The cupboards were solid wood, and more than likely original to the 1940s house, so the held up well for us for the first 6.5 years! That hideous white ceiling fan stayed the entire time, too.
The wallpaper obviously had to go, so we asked our friends to help tear strips down during our bachelor/bachelorette party our first summer in the house...

Unfortunately, we later realized that the wallpaper was attached directly to the drywall/plaster behind it! We had to re-wallpaper. Good thing we decided to prime over the old stuff first because we were able to rip the "new" stuff off in about 20 minutes for the remodel! We still could see the autographs from our original helpers, though.
So, here's a quick look at what our kitchen looked like up until about a month ago...
Same hideous ceiling fan, but at least we updated the light above the sink! We also painted that god-awful magenta counter top a deep red to match the wallpaper scheme.
 So I lied, the exposed brick chimney was not there until just recently...evidently I don't have a picture of this side of the kitchen readily available pre-plaster dust disaster!
 This is what happens to a painted counter top over time...cannot imagine what kind of crap was potentially leaching into our food.
 My grandmother's table, also showing off the space to the left of the table where my new pantry now sits!
After a month (or more) of work, here's where we are at: exposed brick chimney (which was just trimmed out by my awesome dad!), new cupboards and sink, new pendant light, under the cabinet lights, and ceiling fan (can't get rid of the fan because we don't have a stove vent), additional pantry added, new rack and knife strip near the stove, all new painted walls, wainscoating, and trim, and a chalkboard-painted closet door. What's left to do? The backsplash and the floor! Both are going to be fairly big projects, and both involve cork! More on those later, let's get to the photos!
 View from the dining room.
 The chalkboard painted door! It's still curing, but by tonight will be filled with chalk scribbles from miss Mia!
 Our organization corner: family calendar, weekly calendar, clipboard to display Mia's latest work of art!
 Another fantastic idea from Pinterest...framing old recipe cards written by your mom, grandma, etc. Mine features my mom's cowboy cookie recipe, the Kraft caramel bar recipe card (written by a neighbor, but one of my fave recipes to make growing up - and now!), and multiple cookie recipes from my grandma Evie.
 The cupboards! Including my new pantry! And the beautiful, wonderful, not-god-awful-painted-formica granite!!
 My fabulous farmer's sink.  Love it. Clear globe pendant light from West Elm. Love it. Perfection.
 We chose to mount the microwave to gain some more counter space.
 My 'box' that I needed to make to utilize all possible space in this new kitchen - perfect for storing my pizza stone, a cutting board, and a couple of cookie sheets, not to mention providing a place to hang a hand towel!
 The exposed brick chimney! This was David's project - he exposed the chimney, cleaned off the bricks, and my dad came up last weekend (for the 3rd wknd in a row!) to trim it out for us!
 The stove area - we tried to clear off the cart for more cooking prep space, added in a bigger pot rack, and installed a magnetic knife strip on the chimney. Now on to some of my favorite parts, some of which were there previously, but in their new home are so much fancier!
 Test tube spices!
 Bordeaux buckets, holding utensils.
 My beautiful Le Creuset and my 'new' vintage orange fondue pot (a 30th bday gift from Laura and Gabe!). Also pictured are some of my fave vintage cookbooks: Dinner for Two, the Waverly Lutheran Church Cookbook, and Betty Crocker's Cooky Book!
And finally, my two new friends that sit on the windowsill above my sink. Another perfect 30th bday gift - this time from my in-laws!