Kitchen Planning: Farm Sinks

Before I even owned a home, heck, before I was even out of braces I knew that I wanted a farmhouse sink one day.  Ooh, I get chills even thinking about them.  Fireclay, copper, stainless steel...it doesn't matter, I just love the statement that it makes.  And the best part is that you can incorporate them into just about any style home....contemporary (stainless steel or slate), old world/spanish (copper), vintage (fireclay and slate) and traditional (just about any of them).   There are so many different shapes and styles and patterns that it would be hard not to find something that works within your decor and budget.  And speaking of budget...IKEA even makes a really great farmhouse sink for just $299.  L.O.V.E.

So...needless to say, the sink was the FIRST thing on my list of must-haves for the kitchen renovation.  In fact, the entire plan was built around this one item.  I received a few grumbles early on about how it would work and what it would cost and why we would need such a big one, but just the other day (and this is a direct quote), B said "You know, I really love this sink!"  EEEE....that was all I needed to hear.  It was like music to my ears.  Yes, it was a pain to re-build the base cabinet (with 2,256 supports to hold the 300+ lb beauty) and yes, we could have received a FREE stainless steel undermount sink from the granite guy.....but trust me, it was all worth it!

Let's start back at the beginning.  Here are some of my inspiration photos....

This last one is my favorite.  The white sink jutting out from the creamy cabinetry with it's soft rounded edge.  Oh, and then there is the beautiful crisp, clean carerra marble countertop.  I might have just drooled a little.

So, before we even finalized the flooring, the cabinets, even the layout, I rangled me up a farm sink of my very own.  I ended up choosing the Barclay 30" farmhouse sink.  And although it generally sells for anywhere between $699 - $899, I found a seller on ebay willing to sell it for $595 with FREE SHIPPING!  And when you are talking about a 300 lb. item, shipping is usually OUTRAGEOUS!  I definitely couldn't pass up a deal like that, so I ordered it!!!  YAY! 

It was definitely more than I had budgeted for a sink, but I knew that it was going to be worth every penny. 

Now, I just needed to figure out how we were going to install it. 

We had originally planned to rip out the old pine cabinets and replace then with new painted maple cabinets, but after several trips back and forth to the cabinet stores (we checked out a few local places, as well as Lowe's and Home Depot to compare prices), we decided that we would just paint them.  This would not only save us some money, but would (theoretically) help move along the kitchen renovation process faster since we wouldn't have to wait the 6-9 weeks for the cabinets to be ordered and delivered.  So...because of this decision, we would have to rebuild the existing sink base cabinet to house this new ENORMOUS sink.  Hm....that's one's all you, honey!  I didn't really thinking about the logistics of it when I planned/purchased it.  I was more focused on the "it looks pretty" factor.

Here we are before we began the installation process...

You can see that we have removed all of the doors to the cabinets (the sink base is the one directly under the window), but we still have that facing piece towards the top of the sink base to deal with and some supports to add to bear the weight of the new sink.

I have to admit that I did not have much anything to do with the re-construction of this sink base, so I will have B write up a tutorial next week on how he built the support system and new doors to the cabinet (since the old doors were too tall for the depth of the sink). 

In the meantime, here is a little shot of the re-constructed cabinet base before we put the sink in.

And with our lovely fireclay masterpiece in place...


We are heading up to Bar Harbor for the weekend, but I will be back on Monday with some photos and more on the kitchen progress.  Have a great weekend!


I believe she's amazing...

I love it when life surprises you; when people surprise you.  My faith in humanity has truly been restored.  I came across this video this morning and I haven't been able to stop smiling.

There are so many amazing women in my life and I should tell them that more often. 

Here's to all of you amazing women out there.
Thanks for being strong and selfless and beautiful and inspiring. 
Thanks for being you!

Please visit http://www.ibelieveshesamazing.com/ to join the movement.


Kitchen Inspiration

In the early stages of designing/scheming/planning our kitchen renovation, I spent an OUTRAGEOUS amount of time drooling over photos in magazines and gathering inspiration from those of you in blogland.

My initial plan was to go with black/dark grey cabinets and carrera marble countertops.  I used Layla Palmer's kitchen update from The Lettered Cottage as inspiration for that plan.  It is a nice blend of traditional and cottage-y, lending a nod to our home's colonial style..  But after letting that idea marinate for a while, I realized that although it would be a beautiful kitchen, it wouldn't be the light, bright and airy space that I was going for (or that this house DESPERATELY NEEDED).  Thus, my focus shifted to white, creamy cabinets and light-colored countertops (possibly carrera marble still).

Here are a few of my inspiration photos:

I L.O.V.E the steely grey of the marble backsplash.  Subway tile is so simple, yet so beautiful....and it is the perfect accent to white cabinetry!  And then there is the butcher block countertop that warm up the space and break up the cool tones on the walls.  It is gorgeous! 

Better Homes and Gardens
Again, love the subway tile backsplash and the farm sink is PERFECT!  I also really love the pattern in the floor.  It seems to ground the space a little and break up the monotony of the white.  This kitchen just screams FRESH!

First of all, this is an enormous kitchen, which is not even close to the footprint I am working with, but a girl can dream!  I love the huge island and the vintage schoolhouse pendants.  It is a large space, but it still feels warm and inviting despite the cool tones used.

These kitchens all seem to give off a bright, fresh, and airy feeling.  And when I looked at our current situation, I knew that was EXACTLY what we needed:

Yikes, huh??  She was SCREAMING for a makeover.  In fact, we hadn't planned on renovating the kitchen for a while (we thought we could wait it out for 6 months to a year, ha!), but as soon as we closed on the house we knew that we HAD to do something.  So, this is where the story begins.  Instead of the ultimate kitchen makeover, we chose to do some of the work ourselves and try to make a big impact on a reasonable budget.  Stay tuned over the next few weeks for the complete step-by-step kitchen renovation process.

And here are a few more shots of the kitchen when we first bought it in February to give you a FULL understanding of what we were working with when we started all of this.

Lovely, isn't she?  And I know what you're thinking, "why don't I have a sofa in my kitchen"....but hey, that is only reserved for the coooolest kids!   


Half Bath Redo

So I FINALLY found my camera the other day, which means that I was able to upload some "before" photos of the house.  I definitely remember what it looked like when we bought it (oh, how i miss those post-it-colored walls), but I haven't seen a side-by-side comparison of the projects until today.  YAY!  Take a look at the "house tour" tab up top for more before and after reveals.  My goal is to do a post about each step of the transformation (and definitely some tuturials for DIY-related projects...which is a lot!!) over the next few weeks.  First up is our half bath... 

For some reason we didn't take a lot of pictures of the lovely space pre-renovation (although we might have video of it), but let me paint a picture for you.  Yellow tile on the walls (about waist high), yellow tiles on the floor, a yellow-painted vanity with a yellow sink, a yellow toilet AND yellow walls.  Oh, and even the baseboard heating covers were painted yellow....and the door too.  Yea, I think that's it.  Oh wait.  No.  Here's the best part.  There were two brass carriage lights flanking the mirror (oh yea, the ones that you put OUTSIDE your house next to your EXTERIOR doors).  L.O.V.E it!  So....here she is after we ripped everything out.

(I apologize for the bad photo.  B was in the process of cutting a hole in the wall to make a little cubby shelf - the wall he is facing goes into another little pantry closet for the kitchen, so we could afford to lose a little space in there for extra shelving in the bathroom).  I will definitely have him write up a little tutorial on that in case someone out there wants to try it in their own home.  It only took him about 2-3 hours to complete, so its a pretty quick (and cheap!) storage solution.

(Cubby shelf - pre-molding),

I also painted the walls at this point, since it is much easier to do that before installing the beadboard than trying to cut in around it after the fact.  We also wanted to do this before we installed the new floors so that I wouldn't ruin the nice new grout with big blue paint splotches.  I am definitely careful, but accidents can happen.  And they always do in our house! 

Before installing the beadboard or wainscotting (I've heard both terms thrown around), though, we had to install a new floor. I spent SOOOOO long looking at different flooring options. I really loved the look of the penny tiles or the small hexagon ones in white, but white flooring is just not a good option in my home.  Not only is my husband a little messy, but it is a guest bathroom that will be used quite often, so I just envisioned scrubbing the tile and grout ALL THE TIME.  Not fun.  In the end, I chose a blue/gray/white porcelein tile from a small tile store down the street in Norwell.  It was really affordable at $2.50/sq. ft. so that made my decision easier as well. 

My uncle was nice enough to come by and show us how to install the tiles one weekend.  We thought about heading over to Home Depot to have all of the tiles cut for us, but since we are planning on re-doing the backsplash in the kitchen this summer at some point, we decided it was worth the $79 to get our own tile saw.  And let me tell you, it is my husband's new favorite toy!  Not only is it pretty convenient to be able to cut and install all of the tile ourselves, but we also made a HUGE mess of ourselves in the process.  I wish I had a picture of us at the end of that day.  B looked like a mad scientist with a big white stripe going up through his hair.  See...in order to cut the tile, it needs to be wet, so there is a little pool of water at the bottom of the saw that keeps the blade lubricated while you are cutting....sooo, when you put the tile through, the water sprays right at you!!  He loved it.  I did not, but hey, I got a new floor that day, so I couldn't complain too much!

Next up, grout. [Side note: up until this point, I had no idea that you can find ANY color grout that you want.  I always just thought it was black, white and beige.  End of story.  But no, you can have ANY color of the rainbow.  Crazy!!]  So.  We waited for the tiles to set for a day and then mixed up the gray-colored grout in a little bucket.  We took a trowel and spread it all over the tiles, pulling back in criss-cross motions, making sure to get an even amount in between each tile.  We let it sit for a few minutes (maybe 5 or so) and then started wiping off the excess with a wet sponge.  The entire process took about 5 hours. 

1.5 hours for laying out and cutting the tiles beforehand
2.5 hours for laying down the tiles (we used thinset mortar to adhere the tiles to the floor)
1 hour for grouting and wiping down

We also bought a grout sealer as well, but I haven't put that on yet. 

Finally, we started working on the beadboard.  We purchased the big sheets of it at Home Depot.  I believe it was $15 each for the tall 8 ft. ones.  We cut them in half (or ripped them, as B says) and went 48" high all around the room (not counting the baseboard molding and chair rail on top.  For the one corner that sticks out in the room, we used a dowel rod to close up the gap between the two sheets of beadboard.  I had seen that done on another blog when I first starting researching beadboard (but I can't remember where I saw it exactly)?.  Once he put the beadboard in and the rest of the molding up, I filled the nail holes with wood filler and the corners with caulking.  I like using the DAP kind from Home Depot.  I get the Alex's Plus one that is paintable.  This is great for filling in all of those little imperfections (sorry, honey).  Molding is a really difficult thing to do, especially in an older house where some of the walls are not exactly straight and the floors aren't perfectly level.  It just cleans everything up and makes it pretty.

We didn't have much of a choice in going with beadboard either, since the walls were in bad shape after we pulled off the tiles. We would have had to tear down all of the walls and put up new wallboard to make it work. And let's just say that we are better at taking DOWN walls than putting them back up. So...beadboard it is! The truth is though, I really love beadboard, so I'm happy that we went that route anyway.

Then my dad came down for the weekend and helped me install the toilet and sink (he's my hero).  I should say that I helped him install them.  All I did was help to move it into place and hand him things when he needed them.  Wrench.  Check.  Screwdriver.  Check. 

So....after all of that work (and I'm sure that you have already scrolled down for the final reveal)....here is our new updated bathroom.

I need to put something up on the wall that isn't shown in either photo.  It is just a blank wall right now with the same beadboard as the side shown above.  I was thinking of doing a few beachy photos with some blue in it, but I'm not sure which photos to use.  After de-personalizing our condo for a year and a half while we were trying to sell it, I'm nervous to put up personal photos around the house.  I tend to go for landscapes or maps or old signs.  Maybe I'll do one big beach picture that is broken up into three frames....hm..ideas, ideas.

Since I absolutely love before and afters, here is one more look at the transformation:

Well, that's it for our bathroom reveal.  Hopefully I will have some time tomorrow to share more projects.

Oh, and I have linked up to the following parties:

Thrify Decor Chick's Before and After Party
Lettered Cottage's Room Re-Do's Party (click the button below to check it out)

The Lettered Cottage



I find that I often take things for granted.  It took me until last night (while entertaining in my new kitchen for the first time) to realize how much we have been able to accomplish by ourselves over the last few months.  I am truly lucky to have such a handy husband (who knew?), and we are both very very lucky to have family and friends that have been willing to help out (and deal with our craziness) during this process.  Yes, it has taken much longer than we imagined (or at least than I imagined), but it has been rewarding.  Not only did we save a lot of money, but we also grew as individuals and as a team.  I know it sounds cheesy, but to make it through this with our sanity (which b will argue is debatable on my part) and still in love is nothing short of a miracle. 

We've also picked up some pretty fun skills along the way.  Just this past weekend - my parents were down helping finish some projects while b was traveling - I installed molding by myself for the first time.  normally this is b's department, but I felt handy that morning and decided to give it a go.  I took all of my measurements, ran outside, set up the mitre saw, cut a few pieces of quarter round, turned on the air compressor and just waltzed in the bathroom with a nail gun in hand (right past my mother with her jaw hanging on the floor).  Without hesitation or doubt, I just lined up the pieces, put a little wood glue on the back and fired some nails through the molding.  I'm fairly certain that both of my parents were standing outside the door waiting with a phone in hand to call 911 in case I nailed my finger to the wall....BUT I DIDN'T!  And it looked good.  I bet you thought I was going to say that I totally ruined it, but I actually didn't.  I was beaming from ear to ear the rest of the day.  It was just one little project, but it made me feel so accomplished.  It is totally empowering.  And if I can do it, then you can DEFINITELY do it.  I will write up a little molding tutorial in the next few weeks for anyone that wants to give it a try.  :)

So back to the whole "lucky" thing.

It didn't hit me until a few friends starting commenting on the transformation that I felt like it was real.  Being so involved in the process, you tend to forget the "before" images and just become enveloped by the "during" ones.  I definitely saw the beauty and potential in the house when we first looked, but once we started tearing down walls and wreaking havoc on the place, I lost sight of that vision.  I suppose it was always in the back of my mind, but the dust and dirt and plastic has been fogging up my design mojo for waaaaay too long.  We hung up our first frame on the wall the other day (gasp) and I instantly felt more at home.  I know its a small improvement, but every little bit helps.     

I am finally starting to fall in love with my house....


We will laugh about this someday.....

Following my post from last week about the toilet debaucle, I thought I would share some more "exciting" developments from the home front.  If i didn't have the urge to call up our realtor or the bank and ask for our money back before....then I definitely do now.  Lesson learned from all of this: the next time i think about opening my mouth and asking my husband to start a project at 10:00 at night, i really hope i remember this night. 

Picture us sitting down watching tv with our little bowls of ice cream (ok...first of all, mine is not really little, and its not in a bowl either.  It's piled high in a huge mug (thanks, bree!) and B is eating his out of a plastic upside down red sox cap that you get at fenway park...shh he probably doesn't want anyone to know that).  Sad.  I know...but back to the story.  So, less than two minutes after scooping out our dessert, it is already becoming soupy.  Not a fan of soupy ice cream.  The temperature in our house is hovering around 90-95 and the fans are just not cutting it any more.  Thankfully (and due in large part to my parents' research skills) we found an air conditioner IN STOCK in new england the other night.  I swear home depot has a form of instant messenger that they communicate from store to store with, because after calling the 15th one, they started to say, "no, we don't have any" before i even said hello!  But we found one.  Hooray!  B ran to get it monday night after work and it was just staring at me in the box on the floor.  I looked up from my glorified soup and gave B the "I would love you so much if..." look.  Thus...we began the journey of installing our GINORMOUS 15,000 btu  a/c unit. 

But wait, it gets better.  I didn't just want it in ANY window.  No.  It had to go in the window behind the tv (since we wanted to move the tv eventually ANYWAY...right?).  B rolled his eyes, but like the wonderful husband that he is, he obliged.  We started by unhooking the cable wire and snaking it back through the floor into the basement.  The wonderful verizon guy installed it up next to the heating pipe in our floor so that it would be hidden (genious).  All he did was drill a hole into the hard wood underneath the baseboard heating cover and voila!  So simple.  Right?  Let's just try it on the opposite side of the room so we can put the tv over in that corner.  B agrees that it shouldn't be too hard and grabs the drill. 

I am standing in the basement holding a flashlight up through the existing hole where the heating pipe is so that he can see where NOT to drill.  We are all set to go, so B (upstairs in the living room) starts drilling down......then I hear a large *plunk*.....and it starts RAINING down on me!!!  I stand there frozen for a good 30 seconds before screaming and running around with my head cut off trying to find things to sop up the pooling water.  Apparently B is doing the same upstairs....meaning that NO ONE is shutting off the water.  Yea, hindsight is 20/20.  B finally figures out which valves to turn off and the water slows to a drip.  we spend the next 2 hours using towels and sheets to clean up the floors, walls, windows and CEILING in the living room (yes, I said ceiling.  It was like a geyser shooting up through the room) and moving boxes in the basement so the contents wouldn't get ruined.  All the while grumbling nasty things under my breath and huffing around the house giving my husband the stink eye. 

Needless to say, we didn't install the air conditioner that night.  In fact, we put the tv right back to where it started and snaked the cable right back through the floor board that it came from and tried to pretend like nothing ever happened.  B tried to make light of it that night, saying that we would laugh about it someday.  Yes, someday.  But it was too soon to laugh for me.  In fact, its still too soon because its been two days and we STILL DON'T HAVE HOT WATER.


There aren't enough words..

I'm sure we are not the only ones who have been blessed with AMAZING parents, but I have to say that ours have truly gone above and beyond any expectations we had.  B's parents spend their summers in maine, so they have not been able to come by as often, but when they do, they are a TREMENDOUS help to us.  Whether its providing the extra tools we need, priming and painting all of our previously yellow walls (don't get me wrong, I like yellow, but it was literally covering EVERYTHING) or cleaning up the endless supply of dust and dirt, they have been so helpful to us during this whole process.  I don't know what we would do without them.

My parents have been rockstars as well.  I have often referred to them as the "extreme home makeover team" because of all the work they can do in a day.  Seriously, you would never know that they are 60 and 61 years old (sorry, mom, for spilling the beans on that one).  I don't think I could get HIRED labor to work that hard.  It's impressive.  Just this past weekend, my dad stayed with me to finish up some last minute projects.  He trekked back and forth with me to Home Depot THREE times (and Lowe's once!!!) never complaining once or rolling his eyes at my indecision.  Granted, I think that he secretly enjoys spending my money, but there is so much more to it than that.

I can't thank them enough for the blood, sweat and tears they've shed in the last 5 months for our house.  when I finally get some photos up on this website of the house and show you the transformation it has undergone, please keep this dream team in the back of your mind.  We really could not have achieved all of this without them.  At least not in THIS lifetime!!


When it rains, it pours....

Just when I feel like we are starting to make progress on our renovation, we get set back by something else.  I think there is a song about that, "one step forward and two steps back"....

I have learned to manage my overall expectations of a project because of this very fact, though. For instance, we started to put up the molding in the bathroom the other day (the final touch of our bathroom overhaul...photos to come), which means that we can install the sink and toilet this weekend.  Yay, right?  But wait....as soon as I mentioned that we would have a second working toilet in the house - literally, I was yelling up the stairs to B, "I'm so excited the bathroom will be finished for our party next week" - the upstairs one goes kapoot......of course!  Why would the universe want me to have two working toilets at the same time?  That would just be greedy. 

So....not only are we installing the toilet in the new half bath downstairs this weekend, but we are also going to be replacing the lovely blue bowl upstairs.  Not in the budget, folks.  But, when we started thinking about it, it would cost about $50 for the parts to fix the old toilet (probably original to the house...1965 or so) and a new one is just $118.  since we will absolutely hopefully be updating the bathroom upstairs next year, i figured that it wouldn't be the end of the world to replace it a little early. 

Here is what i am looking at for our new porcelain beauty....

It's the kohler wellworth round front one.  home depot has it for $118, plus I have a 10% off coupon, so its not a terrible deal.  still....it was definitely not in the plans for our july budget. Oh well, I guess it is just one of the joys of home ownership.


Praying to the appliance gods...

[Let me preface this post by saying that we have been without a stove (unless you count the fancy hot plate that we used in our apartment in January and February a "stove"), countertops and a working kitchen sink since DECEMBER].

As part of our kitchen renovation, we needed to replace the dishwasher, range and refrigerator. I spent countless hours doing market research, reading consumer reviews and comparing prices online.  Countless hours.  So, by the time we went on our appliance shopping adventure, I felt armed and ready to handle the sale.  I thought I knew everything you needed to know when it comes to appliances.  I left the house that morning knowing what I wanted (GE Profile....based on both price and consumer reviews) and was ready to do some negotiating. 

or so I thought......

B just waltzed right into Yale Appliance, no research or information in sight, and starting asking questions and looking at different options. Oh, no no no dear!  I already knew what I wanted!  I entertained him for a while, though, “Oh, yes, honey those are great appliances,” but all the while thinking, “we can’t afford that!!”

An hour or so later, we are sitting at the salesman’s desk running numbers for the Electrolux induction range and French door refrigerator. What????  That was not in our price range.  I keep kicking B's leg behind the desk and giving him the sideways "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" glance.....all the while, trying to calm my heart palpitations.  Apparently, though, electrolux had a rebate offer and Yale was doing a sale in conjunction with that. AND somehow, B also managed to get us an already delivered-to-but-unopened version of the fridge, which meant that it was about $1000 less.

So much for all my research.

I definitely wasn't complaining though.  I was in love. the whole time I researched appliances, I would skim over words like “convection” and “induction” and just keep thinking “those are too expensive for our budget. Well…B (apparently much savvier than Ii) just riled us up some pretty fancy ones for only $200 more than the ones I had picked out originally. Maybe next time we go to make a purchase, I will do a little less research and just trust B to take care of the details. Sounds good in theory, but I am not that great at relinquishing control.  Let's just say I'll try.

So, back to the dreamy appliances.  Have you all seen the Electrolux commercials with Kelly Ripa starring as the quintessential do-it-all mom who tosses laundry into appropriate drawers 40 ft away, serves ice cream cake at the perfect temperature, does laundry in the blink of an eye….and, my favorite, boils water in 90 seconds?? Yea, crazy right?  I’m not normally a follower of consumer trends or a slave to advertising, but I couldn't wait to see if I could be just as efficient as the ads let on.
A few weeks go by and the appliances get delivered to the house. At this point, we are about 85% of the way through our kitchen renovation (before and after pictures to come...I swear) and its time to FINALLY test out the new appliances.....

But...first of all....the refrigerator will not fit through the door.  I'm looking at the delivery guy with pure fear and desperation in my eyes. 

"Dude, i need that fridge.......you don't understand." 

He replies, "it's not happening ma'am." 

The worst sentence in the world.  I hate being called ma'am in the first place and I hate being told no.  Wow, that sounds bratty.  I think I was just at the point in the renovation (about 4 months in) that I couldn't take another set back.  So....mr. delivery put the stove in the kitchen and the refrigerator in the garage for the time being.   Ha.  I love my life.

Luckily, we figured out a solution though.  We were already planning to put a slider in the kitchen out to the deck (to be built), so we would be able to get the fridge into the house when they came to open up the wall for the slider.  Ok, phew.  So, we keep the existing fridge and just hook up the stove.  Might as well get some use out of 1 of the appliances, right? 

I sprint downstairs where our wedding gifts are all stacked up in boxes (they have not been opened since my wedding shower in June of 2008) and find the ones with our new pots and pans.  I come up the stairs beaming with excitement to make our first meal in our new house (after living there for 4 months....have i said that part yet?).  Coincidentally, it's B's birthday too!  So we make tacos (his favorite).  B dices everything up and we get it all set up on the counter.  He reads the instruction manual for the new stove and turns on the burner.  We pull out one of the pans and throw the onions in, but......hm...no sizzle?  

Me: "what does that red light mean?" 
B: "I don't know yet, I'm reading the instructions as I go"
Me: "Is the pan getting hot?  Maybe we are doing something wrong"

Pause for a few seconds and try to will the appliance to work.
B: "Um...honey, you're not going to like this...."

I would continue our conversation, but some not-nice words were thrown out at the stove as we discovered that the pots and pans from our registry do not work on an induction stove.  [For educational purposes: induction ranges can only work through a magnetic reaction between two metals.  The stove has a metal reactor and it needs to connect with another piece of metal (stainless steel or cast iron) to produce heat.  There are some non-stick pans that have a stainless steel bottom on them, however, but mine were the Calphalon Contemporary Non-Stick ones that are fully anodized aluminum....whoops!!]  At that point, I look over at B with tears in my eyes, "But I asked the salesman if non-stick pans would work on this kind of stove and he told me yes.  Why did he lie?"  Between laughs, B looks at me and says "well, he probably just wanted to sell the stove to you, honey." 

I have officially lost all faith in humanity. 

To make a long story short (or shorter, since its already quite long), we either need to buy all new pots and pans or return the stove (although its past the 30-day period since we were waiting for our floors to be finished before we installed it).  Furthermore, I highly doubt crate and barrel will want to exchange my 2-year old gifts from a registry that no longer exists on their system, even though they still have bows on them.  So maybe I will try to sell them on ebay?  Or craigslist?  Ugh.

Sooooo...at the end of the day, we purchased these AWESOME appliances, but we can't use either one of them.  Seriously.
Pizza or chinese tonight, babe? 


Happy fourth of july!!

I love this time of year; warm weather, cold beer, cooking on the grill and the sound of ice cream trucks roaming the neighborhood.....what more could a girl want?  Well....maybe a massage or even a shopping spree that magically does not appear on your bank statement...or both.  Ha.  I wish.

The thing I love most, though, is the happy feeling I get during the summer months.  Everyone seems to be outside, either going for walks, sitting on the deck/patio or working in the yard.  The sunshine seems to conjure up this sense of comraderie within new england.  People are just a little bit nicer (except those people in their cars right now sitting in traffic trying to get out of town for the weekend...yikes).  I'm sure that we would always be happy if we lived in los angeles or somewhere else that is warm all year round, but us new englanders get one chance a year to feel this and we L.O.V.E it.  It's as if we know that it will be short lived, so we desperately try to make the most out of every moment.  Maybe we appreciate it more because we have to suffer through the brutal winter to get it.  Its kind of special....

But I digress.

All I really wanted to say is happy fourth of july!!  And in the midst of all of the grilling and drinking and sun-worshipping (with spf 30, of course) I will definitely take a moment to say a little prayer for those soldiers over seas now and those that we have lost over the years to this terrible war.  It's easy to forget that this is more than just a long weekend away from the office.  I am very proud to be an American (even though we choked in the world cup.....)  :)  

Although I doubt anyone is reading this, other than my mom (hi!), I hope that everyone has a safe and happy holiday weekend. 


And the story begins....

Hi all.  My name is Heather.  My husband and I recently moved to Hingham, Massachusetts where we bought our first house.  I am starting this little blog to document our lives as newlyweds (well...it's almost two years now, but it still feels "new"), our experiences in renovating and decorating this new casa, the early stages of my calligraphy business and, most importantly, how to be a good sane wife, friend, sibling, daughter etc. during all of it.  And of course, if I can bestow any lessons learned or DIY successes (and failures) with you, that will be icing on the cake.

As a little background, my husband and I were married in August of 2008.  I promise to include more info on "our story" in a later post.  We moved from the big city (er...charlestown actually, but its still pretty city-like) to the burbs back in January of 2010.  We rented our condo out to some awesome tenants and made our way to the south shore.  We bought this house knowing that it would need a little "updating," but I never imagined we would be in this deep.  If you notice, I said "we" bought our house knowing the it would need work, but "I" am the one that is baffled by the blood, sweat and tears we have already poured into it.  I make that distinction because my husband (let's call him "B") has no qualms about it.  He acts like this is just a walk in the park.  "Oh honey, 5 months without a sink, countertop, floors and appliances in the kitchen isn't bad.....you are just exaggerating".  Ha.  The difference between him and I is a little thing called "instant gratification."

Every apartment, flat or even hotel room that I have ever stayed in has been whipped into shape within a day of arrival.  I like to feel settled.  Nothing fancy, I have a very simple style, but settled.  In fact, up until this point in my life, I thought everyone did.  Almost as if its an innate or unconcious yearning to be comfortable and stable.  Well....B does not agree.  He is the exception.  He seems to be fine living in a certified disaster zone.  To be perfectly honest though, his nonchalance keeps me a little grounded.  OK.  A lot grounded.  We balance each other out pretty well.  I suppose if we were both having meltdowns on the sub-floor in our still-not-close-to-finished-after-5-months-of-takeout-kitchen, then we would be in real trouble. 

So here is where we begin the journey.  Hopefully you will join me through the ups and downs, the triumphs and the failures (of which there are many) of our experiences in life, love and homeownership.  Buckle your seatbelts, folks....it's going to be a bumpy ride!!  :)