Wednesday, December 29, 2010

House Project 1: Creation Of A Pantry

Our new house has a 1960's kitchen. It hasn't been updated, except for appliances and even those could use some modernization. The cabinets are original and don't have the conveniences that we were accustomed to in our former remodeled kitchen, such as slide out drawers in the lower cabinets or a luxurious and spacious corner cabinet. Even counter top space is at a premium.

BUT, we aren't quite ready to take on a kitchen remodel. We've decided to wait at least a year to overhaul the kitchen, for many reasons. I want to do it right, settle into the space, figure out how we would like things configured in the future. Ikea is opening soon in Denver and we will probably take that route when we do the remodel. I didn't want to just throw things up here willy nilly or purchase a new appliance that wouldn't work as well in the new space. We love to cook, we want our kitchen done just right, which means having a little patience and a vision.

So in the mean time, we decided to create a pantry to help solve our storage issues. Plus I've always wanted a pantry, for years I've dreamt of having a pantry, and now I have one! For about $150 bucks, many of our 1960's kitchen dilemmas have been solved!

We have a rather large laundry/mudroom (around 7ft x 10ft), which just happens to sit off of our kitchen. We decided there was enough space to cut through the wall into the laundry room and create a pantry. First the washer and dryer plumbing and electrical were moved so we could place them into the corner of the room (for best utilization of the space). The pantry bump out takes up about 4ft x 2ft of space in the corner, which isn't much considering the amount of awesome storage we got out of it! With the changes, I feel like there is still plenty of space in the room to convert it someday into a crafting room.

Here's a photo story of the pantry!

That's my brother, measuring and cutting the opening of the wall for the pantry.

Voile! It's open, like magic. See my washer and dryer back there in the corner?
It's really a big laundry room!

Framed and drywall going up!

Painted, shelving in, next up door and trim!

Here's my unorganized pantry! My first goal was to get everything inside and well, the organization will come later. Where would I have put all this stuff?

Work in progress, but beyond delighted with the finished job!

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Post-Move, Settling In, Where Have I Been Post...

I've been itching to get back here and post, but then something comes up. Take for example the photos. Our new home has undergone so many transformations in the past three weeks, you wouldn't believe it. I can hardly believe it. I'm ready to start posting before and after photos, but first I had to charge the G10 battery, so I could download the photos. Before I could charge the battery, I had to find the charger, which meant digging for the bin of electronic stuff we had at our apartment.

So after that was all said and done, battery charger found, battery charged, photos downloaded I haven't taken the time to write a post. Because of course, I'm thinking that's going to mean some time playing around on picnik creating little before/after photo collages, but I download photos onto my desktop computer which is in the family room and currently occupied by my husband and brother (not exactly conducive to writing). I am on a laptop in my bed, comfy and cozy, retreating away from it all.

For now, I shall spew a list of transformations and happenings that have occurred in the past few weeks in my absence.

House projects:
  1. Moved plumbing and wiring for our washer and dryer in the laundry room.
  2. Put crown moulding up in our family room and three bedrooms.
  3. Retextured and finished the ceiling of our family room.
  4. All popcorn removed from the ceilings, which was done right before we moved in.
  5. Removed a built in counter/computer work area in our family room and added wainscoting to make the portion of the great room a dining room.
  6. Added a pantry closet, like BAM! hole in the wall and frame it, add sheetrock, tape, add shelving, door Voile!
  7. Removed linoleum in our bathroom and put down beautiful Italian marble.
  8. Painted both the girls bedrooms.
  9. New closet doors in Sj's bedroom.
  10. New cottage doors on my master bathroom (photos to follow, master is an understatement, stay tuned).
  11. Shelf created above washer/dryer in laundry room.
  12. Shelving put in our huge walk in cedar storage closet off guest bedroom.
  13. Garage door opener installed (with the cool keypunch entry).
  14. Architectural detail added to front of house 3 beams, railings, and balusters.
  15. Added new kitchen light fixture.
  16. Put down stick 'em linoleum squares in kitchen over old flooring until we do a real remodel in the future.
  17. I'm sure I'm forgetting something...

Beyond house, life goes on....

  • We moved into our new home, closing the chapter on house hunting, selling, and apartment life.
  • My brother flew out from NY to help us get work done on our house, he's still here due to blizzards and shut down JFK, his days in Colorado have passed 3 weeks.
  • I turned 37!
  • Plenty of hiking, our new neighborhood is just blocks from amazing trails. I did 8 miles on Christmas Day! The weather has been incredibly mild, like in the 50's-60's, which I have enjoyed but now it's making me a bit nervous.
  • My youngest turned 4 the day we moved (and she had a grocery store cake!).
  • Enjoying just hopping the fence to visit with friends (which are also neighbors) that have kids for the girls to play with!
  • Holiday parties (including one with Latkes and one with Bushmills).
  • A wedding!
  • A case of strep throat (not for me).
  • A massage (had a house guest that is a massage therapist).
  • Shopping and more trips to Home Depot than I care to admit.
  • Learning more about replacing a toilet than I ever wished to know.
  • Holiday decorating around the house, by far most fun for me.
  • Blogging event at my favorite place, Celestial Seasonings.
  • A few nights out on the town with my brother.
  • Gifting of a Wii to a friend as a surprise!
  • Unpacking of about 50 boxes, organizing closets, kitchen, pantry, clothes, while maintaining day to day daily life and chores.
  • Lounging, relaxing, and enjoying family time (it's J's downtime of the year).
  • Baking chocolate peppermint cookies.
  • Walking Sj home from school or bike rides! Woohoo!
Most importantly, feeling incredibly blessed to be onto this chapter of our journey. Our move has left me feeling content and grateful. We LOVE being back in Boulder.

Birthday Hike!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Reverb10: Photo That Best Captures Me!

Who am I, who do I strive to be?
A photo based reflection by Tracey Clark (yes two separate links, click them both).

Of course I had to be difficult and find two photos. The first one was the one I knew I was looking for, but the second one I needed to share as well. It's all a part of my journey and reflection.

January 2010, an alley in London...
So, here I am standing in a random alley in London. Turns out it's not so random, but rather a place I was drawn to and had a "dream come true moment" captured by two fabulous friends. Those girlfriends were kind enough to indulge me in traipsing around the streets of London, until we found this exact alley. We spent hours walking London that day, the sun was starting to set, my toes were cold and my feet were tired, but we carried on. The building straight down the narrow driveway is the home of Coldplay's recording studio. The place I was standing I convinced myself was a spot that Chris Martin would turn around the corner at any given moment, bump into me and I could give a flustered hello as our eyes met for the very first time. That part didn't happen, but the moment was just as incredible.

Even though when I look at the photo I could name 1,001 things to nit pick about myself, I simply love this photo. It's a glimpse into many small moments of my life aligning to create one moment of pure joy. It reveals how incredibly awesome life can be when you have a little faith in yourself and let go of the things in life that can hold you back. I did it, I really did it...

My birthday, December 2010, Boulder, Colorado...
My brother was in town for the month of December, helping us settle in. I asked him to join me on a new hiking trail that's in my neighborhood. I was drawn to the mountains and needed to spend some time there on my birthday. It turned out to be a wonderful hike, the weather was perfect for December.

Spending time hiking, being nestled right under the shadows of large rocky outcroppings, leaves me feeling peaceful and content. This photo represents the happiness I found in taking a leap of faith (selling our first home and moving back to Boulder). It also reminds me of the pleasure I find in being surrounded by nature while working out, a combination that suits my personality just perfectly.

When I decided to choose both photos, I didn't quite make the connection until I started writing. After returning from London, we made the decision to move. The first photo really inspired the second. In 2010 I truly learned how to believe in myself again, even if it meant facing many of my fears.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

2010 in One Word: Opportunity

Prompt: Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word.


Circumstances that make it possible to do something is opportunity.

January started off with an amazing opportunity to take a trip to London with friends. That trip became a source of inspiration for many things that unfolded through out the rest of the year. One of the major things that was inspired by my trip to London, was selling our home. Three days back in the States and the seed was planted, I discussed with J my desire to move and it all unfolded. Selling and buying a home became one big series of opportunities. I would be kidding myself if I didn't admit, the home selling process was also an opportunity to know true exhaustion. With out testing the limits of my spirit, I'd never know what was possible.

In my personal life, this past year I really invited and embraced the opportunity to network and build relationships that took me beyond my small circle and comfort zone. Culminating that openness was a trip to San Francisco I had with a group of truly inspiring women. I also made a great effort to become more active, logging the most miles running, hiking, and hours in yoga class than I have in the past few years. I'm not quite at a place of harmony with my fitness, but I am certainly closer to where I want to be.

I feel it's important to recognize that every day we are presented with opportunities to embrace or turn down (and I also recognize there is a grey area in which some opportunities are not that cut and dry). I want to embrace the opportunity to become a better person, to continually learn, to remain a role model and inspiration to my daughters, to become a better friend and wife, to make a difference.

Lastly, a word that I would like to capture 2011 for me, content.

This post was written as part of the Reverb #10 project, more information here or check out what people are saying right now on twitter.