Sunday, August 29, 2010

a real update... with pictures!

alright! Time for a real, legitimate update, with pictures and everything.

Here we go.

Up first are a couple of pictures I owe you all from last week. The master bedroom! You can see the green (Zen Garden) and the beige (Something about coffee? I can't remember the name off the top of my head) that we painted the walls. And the bedding we got at a shower! There are so many pillows that came with it though... usually they're sitting on the floor next to the bed or on the nightstand, but I picked them up for the picture. We also bought real bedroom furniture, which should be arriving in the next week. Woohoo for a pretty bed with a headboard and not just a frame! I highly recommend Furnitureland South's outlet in Jamestown... Bill and I got a great deal! More pictures will come once all of that is in...

This picture is of our huge closet. I may not be living there yet, but I couldn't wait to get some of my clothes hanging in there!

Next up is our new dining room centerpiece. Michaels was having a great sale on all of their candles, so I whipped this up. Let's be honest, it didn't take much work or skill, but I think it looks great! And the neutral color of the candles are great, because I can switch out the stones for other colors, or christmas ornaments, or shells, depending on the season.

As I was taking these pictures, I noticed this little trail of fluff all around the upstairs of the house...

So I followed it, and look who I found!
The fluff monster! He'd ripped open yet another toy, and had a little fuzzy beard. I couldn't not take a picture!

As we leave the dining room, it only makes sense to go into the kitchen. It hasn't been painted over yet, but I've still been spending a lot of time in it. We ended up buying a spice rack the other night...

Even though we always said they were silly. Who wants to buy spices just to pour them into another container? But this thing is awesome! Our designated spice cabinet is really skinner, but deep, so it was hard to see past the first row of spice bottles. But this little gem has solved all of our problems. And please note, that top reddish spice - next to the cinnamon - is Bojangles seasoning. Somehow, Bill got them to sell him a huge bag of it one time!

I've also spent a lot of time in the kitchen cooking! Bill and I tried our hand at fried bow tie pasta the other night. Saratoga Steakhouse has this GREAT appetizer that's served with fried bow tie pasta, and we are obsessed with it. I found the recipe on the blog What Would Martha Cook? and it turned out pretty well. It didn't taste quite the same as at the restaurant, but it was better than I expected!

We also got an electric wok as an early wedding gift the other day. All of the bridal magazines quote woks as being the gift that no one ever uses, but we'd had it less than 48 hours before making our first teriyaki chicken stir-fry!

Bill and I also installed our new Ikea shelf today. It is fantastic! It was a little hard to put together (why don't those Swedes put words on their directions?!) but we did it. We had to pull these decorative beams off the wall in the den, as you can see below.
And by we, I mean Bill.

The final product:
Don't worry, we're going to fix those lines where the beams had been. Also, you can rest assured I've already alphabetized all of our DVDs.

And now another Sensei break! This might be my new favorite picture of all time.

Next, Bill and I moved outside, where I took pictures and he replaced our mailbox!

And that's all I've got for right now. I know it seems like all I do is hang out with Bill and take pictures of my dog, but I promise that's not true! I just don't take my DSLR to work or school or when I hang out with anyone. I'll try to change that once things calm down a little! And if you made it to the end of this post - thanks for sticking in there!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

nerd alert

bill bought me my own 7-in-1 ratchet screwdriver as a surprise Sunday, and it's a little embarrassing how excited I was. I should start a list called "You know you've been dating an electrical engineer a long time when..." and the first item will be "You get excited when you have your own tools and no longer have to share with the engineer." Seriously. If you had asked me back in 2005 if I wanted something like that, I probably would have had to ask you what a ratchet screwdriver was.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

playing catch-up

Alright. It's been 11 days since I've updated this, and there's a lot to catch you all up on.

Number one: the house. Sadly, I haven't taken many pictures lately, but a lot has happened! Our living room now has FURNITURE. Furniture that doesn't include tv trays or dining room chairs. We have 2 curios (filled with my snowglobe collection), a couch, a chair and ottoman, a coffee table, and a tv. The only picture I have of any of this one:

I really took it because Sensei was being sweet with Bill, but you can see our super-comfy chair (with our matching UNC and NC state blankets!)

Bill also put up blinds in the living room today - now our neighbors won't have to watch us playing Wii anymore :)

We also painted the master bedroom closet: the people who had lived there before us had painted it around their clothes. Really. It's as bad as you're imagining. So Bill and I wanted the closet to actually be all one color, and now it is! It matches the green in our bedroom.

And now a little tangent: Bill teaches karate, as I may or may not have mentioned before, and a couple of weeks ago, a lot of the parents and other instructors threw him a surprise "groom's shower!" They gave him a plant covered in Lowes gift cards - literally a money tree!

Last night, we headed to Lowes to spend these gift cards, and now my story is about to come full circle: we were able to buy a new shelving system for our big walk-in closet! The existing shelves were in really bad shape, but Rubbermaid sells this great system of racks, shelves, poles, etc, so we started our collection.

Next up is my office. Lisa and I painted it! Sadly, I have no pictures. The room is currently housing a bookshelf and my IKEA Trofast unit for my crafting supplies.

And speaking of office and books (sort of): time for a grad school update! I started work last week, and classes start tomorrow. There are 5 graduate assistants, including me, and I really like all of the girls. Which is nice, since we're going to all be spending a lot of time together these next several months. Classes look pretty difficult, and a lot of reading, but it should all be interesting. And I have the other GAs to commiserate with me every day!

Back to house things: the kitchen wallpaper has been primed over (thanks Barry!) but it's going to take at least another coat or two before it will be ready for the top coat of paint. In the past few days, Bill and I have been able to unpack several boxes of kitchen supplies, so it's slowly coming together. Enough has been brought over from our two houses that I was able to make a couple of meals today to last the week. I made my poppyseed dressing for a spinach-strawberry salad, and a zucchini and almond pasta salad. The latter is from Smitten Kitchen and was delicious! I tweaked the recipe a little to make it twice as large, and it worked fine! The other recipe is a great find from my dad's friends Tom and Jean. I will say, though, Bill and I must be the only people in our little town to like goat cheese, because it was nowhere to be found at our grocery store! Luckily, the Lowes in the next town over had some. Sheesh.

This post was a little ADD, but it's been a long time and I felt the need to update! One final thought: TWENTY-SEVEN days until Bill and I will be married!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


I am proud to announce that, yes, there is an officially-completed room in our new home. The dining room has been stripped of wallpaper, skim-coated, primed, and painted. Bill and I replaced the old ceiling fan with a great pendant lamp from IKEA and moved in our gorgeous table and chairs from my grandparents' house. It's also not fair to brag about this room without giving a little to shout-out to some fine folks who helped us: Barry, Galen, Mary, Meredith, Lisa and Michelle - we couldn't have done it all without you.

And now a little picture timeline of the room... enjoy!

This is before we even bought the house, but it's the only shot I have that shows the old wallpaper.
Post-wallpaper. You can see our new lamp here :) And that blue jar in the middle... well, Caroline, Melissa and I found that in a closet. We're not sure what it is...
All primed and ready to go! Minus that burgundy chair rail, which took SEVERAL coats of white paint to disappear.
The final product! Including the really pretty flowers Bill had sent to me at the house Monday as a sweet surprise!

The room will be added on to over the next several weeks, as we hang pictures and hopefully receive the placemats we registered for. We may even add a buffet table in the corner that's currently in our garage, if it will fit (also courtesy of my grandparents). But none of this is big stuff, and it's nothing that will take more than 5 minutes to do, so I say the room is done! It feels so much bigger with the lighter colors, and it really is my favorite room in the house. Of course, Lisa pointed out that when we finish another room, that one will probably be my favorite... But for now, I love the dining room! It feels so nice to see that all of our hard work has paid off. Next up: office, guest room, master bedroom, bathrooms, living room, den and kitchen. Not too much more, right? :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

taking a breather

whoa. the past 9 days have been non-stop.

bill and i closed on our house and have semi-moved in! we officially have 2 rooms with furniture in them now, which is 2 more than we had as of yesterday morning. One of those is the dining room (which I am painting tomorrow, yippee!) and we have a gorgeous table with six chairs. this came from my dad's parents' house, and is a much nicer set than we probably would have gotten otherwise.

we (along with some help from bill's mom, Mary, and lisa's steamer) also took down the wallpaper in the dining room friday. it was an all-day affair, sadly, and I am now going to solemnly swear, with all of bloggerdom as my witness, to NEVER wallpaper a room in any house I ever own. Because it is dang hard to get off. Mary and I began to strip off the wallpaper, and it came off so easy - we were really excited! And then we discovered the even more hideous pink wallpaper underneath, that appeared to have been cemented on sometime in the 1970s. I eventually gave up on the pink paper and my lack of de-wallpapering skills, and left the work to the pro. It took all day, but Mary got it done! (THANK YOU. and let's not forget the delicious homemade cheesecake she brought us! That's one nice thing about moving - people are really willing to help you out. Galen and Barry helped us move furniture yesterday, and then my mom brought us all lunch. Bill and I are so luck to have such great people who love us!) Anyways. That awful wallpaper left gouges in the wall and it was really uneven, so Bill found some miracle product at Sherwin Williams (which I called Sherman Williams all weekend) and applied a skim coat and it appears to have worked. I'll be priming and painting tomorrow, so we'll see how it goes. Since we installed our new IKEA lamp at 10pm in the dark Friday night, that room will be done! One down, way too many more to go.

Today was a really productive day in the new house for Bill and I. Bill was a little more productive than me, as I didn't show up until almost 1 pm. Each day we've been there so far, people have dropped by to take a tour, and today was no different. I love showing it off, even though the house is really in a state of disarray right now. My grandpa, mom and aunt came over today. Apparently while I was in the basement with Pop, my mom told Bill and Nan that she would wallpaper every room of her house if she could. No, mom, no! Think of the people who will live there after you and dad. Chances are, they aren't going to dig it like you do.

I keep getting off track. Must be the fact it's after midnight and "The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner" is calling my name (thanks, Caro, for letting me borrow it!). Back to today. Bill mowed the lawn (ah the joys of domesticity) and installed a dead bolt, while I painted the master bedroom. Luckily Bill didn't mind lending his edging skills, nor did he mind listening to some Bon Jovi music while doing so. What a guy. I am really excited that the master is now ready for some furniture! I'll be posting pictures soon, I hope. Just ignore the purple carpet in that room (it will have to go eventually...) This house has SIX different carpets in it. Sheesh. Maybe one day they'll all match. For now, I will be satisfied when they are all vacuumed and free of any Sensei business. My poor baby has had a little trouble figuring how to ask to go outside in the new home, but he did well today. That may be a little TMI for some of you out there, so I apologize.

It's off to sleep for me (after some Stephenie Meyer time, of course) - we're getting the internet hooked up tomorrow morning so I have to be up a little earlier than I would like!