"Two are Better than One!" ~Ecclesiastes 4:9

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween at the Hoods

Our Halloween party was last night, and based on the amount of recycling that went out this morning, the amount of food that was devoured, and the pictures as I puruse them this morning I would declare it a success!

The house is still in the middle of construction, so we made it haunted :)

Our house was full last night, and at one point I turned to Todd and said, "I had no idea we had made so many friends here!"  Not only do we have new friends, but we have fun friends who like to dress up!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween is Here!

It has not felt like Fall here for two reasons.  The first being that the leaves are not changing color, they are just dieing and falling off the trees (the ones that do, that is).  The second reason being that our house has been a mess of drywall dust, pallets of tile, buckets of grout, plywood for kitchen countertops...I think you are getting the point.  I have wanted to put out Halloween decorations, but it is pretty much pointless, since it will just be one more thing to dust!

Yet, us crazy people wanted to embrace the fact that we are living in LA and all of the fun costume shops! So, what did we do?  Decided to throw a Halloween party, of course!  Clearly, not being able to entertain like we usually do has gotten to us!  We spent last night finalizing our costumes and the menu.  While the menu consists of mostly easy appetizers and desserts, I was having a huge craving for pumpkin bread I couldn't curb.  Todd and I headed to Whole Foods last night to buy the last can of pure pumpkin (no, seriously it was the last one) and everything else we haven't had in our house for months!

Maybe I should explain why this pumpkin bread venture is so crazy....our kitchen is still not complete, we have plywood for temporary countertops, no fridge, no stove, no working sink, BUT we do have a working oven!  In addition, we have 4 contractors here today grouting tile in our foyer (which is of course the route to the sink we are using for dishes), prepping floors in the kitchen, installing the tub in our bathroom, and prepping for our glass shower enclosure.  Yet, amidst all of the bustle I managed this:

I am feeling so accomplished this morning!  It is not even 9 am yet, and I am on my second load of laundry, Breck got a bath (twice after walking through the grout!), and now there are two loaves of gluten free and dairy free pumpkin bread in the oven!  I am going to spend the rest of my day preparing for our party and carving pumpkins with some fun ladies I have met out here!  Wonderful start to my Friday! :o)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Return Home.

Todd and I were out of town for the last 10 or so days.....funny how fast time goes by!  We were standing at baggage claim at LAX last night saying how strange it seemed we were already back from that trip.  I was able to spend a lot of time with my family in Atlanta; it was a much needed vacation!  I'm missing them already!

While we were away, our contractors continued working, as there were several projects that would be easier with us out of the house.  Foremost, the chandelier in the foyer was replaced using scaffolding.  Then the foyer, hallway, and laundry room tiles which were uneven, cracking, and lacking grout were removed (which apparently was a huge job).  The floor was then leveled and laying of the new tile and grouting began.  Here are some pictures of the foyer before:

While many commented on this floor,
it is not as nice in person....
just photographs well! ;)
The foyer, in progress, now looks like this:

As you can see, the new chandelier is in!

In addition, the master bathroom was at a point in which we were temporarily going to not be able to walk through it to get to our closet.  Our contractors had built walls in our bathroom to close in our shower (no more brass and glass), and moved some plumbing in order to accommodate the new tub and additional fixtures in the shower.  They were ready to tile and needed us out for a good 3-4 days.  It was so nice to come home to this:

Shower enclosure - sorry so dark!

Tiling and new wall enclosing shower on left
Gorgeous white tile and new cabinets!
I was so relieved to get home and see that my design decisions were sound, and that nothing went horribly array.  I am now so anxious to see this all come together!  Off to pick up more tile! ;o)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Adding Warmth to the Kitchen

My mom and I started our day with two goals: find fabric for the kitchen windowseat and find fabric for drapes in our bedroom.

We were not successful with the second goal, but we excelled at the first goal!  Not only did we find fabric for the window seat, we also came up with an entire pallet for the kitchen and den.  I was wanting to warm up the kitchen which is full of cabinets, tile, tin tile backsplash and granite with some fun fabrics that would pull together all of the colors that already exist:  fudge, antique white, oil rubbed bronze and green.  I think we were successful!  I apologize for the lighting (that makes some of these look like they don't exactly go), but I know some of you are anxious to see!

The walls will be painted the far right color, Crocodile by Behr.  We will be using the green fabric next to the paint swatch as accent for the roman shade over the sink and as throw pillows on the window seat.  The blue fabric was the inspiration for it all!  I am so excited to use this on the actual window seat and as throw pillows on our dark brown leather sectional in the attached den.  Finally, the far left fabric is being used as accent pillows on the window seat and sectional, and will have green velvet cording!

The layout for the window seat will look a little something like this...

Love the fabric we brought back today!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Kitchen Progression

The kitchen is nowhere close to complete, but I did want to post some pictures so you could all see the progress.

As you probably remember, this is what the kitchen looked like when we first viewed the home while the previous owners were in it (prior to being damaged by them)....

Obviously, the kitchen was not in this shape when we finally moved in.  In addition, since we were replacing the cabinets we decided to open up the kitchen/eating area/den to make a true great room by extending the kitchen, adding an oversized island, and making it an eat in kitchen.

Demo began last Monday, and this is what the kitchen looked like after the demolition was complete.

Oven and sink walls

Old breakfast room and peninsula
As you can see, the house has been full of boxed cabinets and I took these pictures at the end of the day once the sun was down!  The next morning, cabinets began being installed:

Pantry cabinets
(in addition to our walk-in pantry)
 and stove base

Sink base

Location of the new island

Old built in desk area, now the bar!  :)
Slowly, but surely things began to take shape....

Stove area

Sink base

Bar area
...and things have continued to evolve into what looks more and more like a kitchen....

Stove, sink, and beginnings of the island

Fridge and oven built ins - fridge to be installed

Bar area (wine fridge to be installed)

Glorious island!!
What's left in order to complete the project?
-Cabinets and window seat under the old breakfast room window (waiting to be delivered in order to install)
-Flooring removal and install
-Install of stove, wine fridge, and fridge
-Install of under counter lighting
-Install of light rail, toe kick, etc
-Painting of the disgusting walls!!
-Final walk through

Hope to post more pictures of progress on the kitchen soon!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Girls Cooking Class with Chef Fabio

If you have followed me for any length of time, you know that our favorite place to eat in California is Cafe Firenze, home of Fabio from Top Chef.  Foremost, it is just amazing and secondly it is literally one mile down the road from our house.  Convenient.

Fabio teaches cooking classes at the restaurant one Sunday each month, and a few of us girls thought it would be fun to partake!  So, we learned how to make a Thanksgiving meal -- roasted chicken (concept applied to any bird), pumpkin gnocchi, and cranberry and priscuitto risotto.  Amazing!!  We had such a great time...now just to finish our kitchen so I can get to cooking!  Here are some pictures from our class....