Saturday, April 28, 2012

6th Wedding Anniversary

Today, Brandon and I are celebrating our 6th wedding anniversary!

Here we are, 6 years ago, attempting to be wed:

361-004 i


And then as a happily married couple:

121-001 i2


And here we are today:

DSC_0974-001 i

It’s been a great 6 years!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Things I Love Thursday: More Blue Stuff!

Last week, after I posted about blue kitchen stuff, my awesome friend, Janis, alerted me to this amazing blue koi fish teapot that she saw at Cost Plus World Market, a store I’ve never been to, but apparently need to visit ASAP.

blue koi fish teapot

I want one of these in every room of my house. I want to just carry this around with me! So cute.

Here’s another angle:

blue koi fish teapot2


So, of course, I spent more time on Cost Plus World Market’s website, and found these lovely blue things:

Great milk bottle with blue writing:

milk bottle

Fun blue ramekins (at a great price by the way! and they also have soufflé dishes!):


And fun, fancy, blue knobs:

blue knobs

Have fun shopping!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Knit Awesomeness

Really, I’ve only knit about 10 inches in my life. I sometimes crochet, and I definitely sew, but I haven’t really knit.

This amazing map-of-the-United-States blanket makes me want to knit:

Lion Country by Lion Brand

How cool would that be in a kid’s room? Or really any room?? A knit version of the United States!!! I am in love!!

But if I were to pick up knitting, maybe I should start cute, but simple, like this:

Sunshine Day Baby Throw by Lion Brand

I’ll let you know if I ever start knitting.

Or maybe I just need to find a friend to make these for me…or a place to buy them. :)

Patterns  and images from Lion Brand.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Things I Love Thursday: Blue Kitchen Accessories

My favorite color is blue. My friends and family know that I will buy things just because they are blue, and not for any other reason. :) I know this will be a theme on my blog. :)

Here’s some blue stuff in my kitchen:

Blue kitchen accessories

Blue canisters, blue pitchers, blue bowls, blue plates, blue pots, blue platters: you name it, if I see it, I want to buy it. :)

Blue kitchen accessories aren’t always easy to find, however. Red, white, and black dominate the kitchen accessories scene. So when I see blue kitchen things, I snatch them up!

So, imagine my surprise when I saw an entire Joss & Main sale, dedicated to blue kitchen things! I’m only sorry I didn’t see it and post about it sooner!

I love this blue fish jug! I love blue and I love fish!!

blue fish pitcher

But, it’s super similar to my bird pitcher (on the shelves pictured above!) that I got from Anthropologie a while back, and I do have a similar (mulit-colored) fish jug on the opposite shelf…so I guess I do have a little self control when it comes to buying blue things…

I also love this blue frying pan wall clock:

blue frying pan clock

There’s a good chance that this blue serveware is going to be on its way to my house:

blue serveware

And I’m currently debating whether I have room to store this cool blue chip and dip set:

blue chip and dip set


Since the Joss and Main event is ending soon, here’s some other blue stuff I love from Anthropologie:

I have a sort of sickness for latte bowls. You can see some in my cabinets above, and I have some more all blue ones stashed in another cabinet.

blue latte bowls

I’ve got my daily jewelry in this Anthro egg crate:

blue egg crate

I don’t set sticks of butter out, but I want to just to use this butter dish:

tea and toast butter dish


Of course, one day I’d love to find the countertop space (or innovative storage solution) to start making cakes, cookies, and doughs with a blue KitchenAid stand mixer.

blue kitchenaid mixer 

I love blue!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Some More 20x200 Art

I’ve got art on the brain.

(Don’t think that that Dog N Suds picture below won’t get framed in our house, because it will.)

My friend, Janis, sent this one over to me this morning and I love it. It’s Sue at Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History. We were in high school when Sue arrived at the Field and I was pretty ecstatic. I still have my “I Saw Sue” t-shirt.

Field Museum Sue by Colleen Plumb

Field Museum Sue by Colleen Plumb


Here’s another work I found this morning, with a sort-of Chicago connection: The Gardens by Tyson Anthony Roberts. When I saw it, I immediately was drawn to it because it reminded me of A Sunday on La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat, which is on display at the Art Institute of Chicago.

The Gardens by Tyson Anthony Roberts
The Gardens by Tyson Anthony Roberts


And then, I read this article about it, and realized that Jen Beckman was also immediately reminded of Sunday in the Park.  :)

Lastly, just because I would love to hang this in my house; a portrait of something I love:

Chocolate Electric by Martha Rich


A painting of cake.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Dog N Suds

I’ve very severely misplaced (read: lost) my mom’s car keys. Oops! I’m heading over to her house to try to determine what I’ve done with them.

So, for a short post today, a picture of a fabulous establishment that Brandon and I visited twice over the weekend. (To be fair, we went to the Dog N Suds in Lafayette, IN first, then to the one in West Lafayette. So we didn’t go to one twice. We did, however, visit both within about an hour.) :)

Dog N Suds - with 1960's filter applied

Oh, Dog N Suds’ Root Beer Freeze, I already miss you.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Things I Love Thursday: Waterlox Floor Finish

I just gushed about Waterlox floor finish, in Tuesday’s post about refinishing our hardwood floors.

Our hardwood, refinished with Waterlox

Well, I’m telling you about it again, because I really love it.

No, Waterlox isn’t paying me to post this, but I wish they were! ;)

While you can find all the “real” information about Waterlox at and, here’s why I chose it:

Unlike polyurethane, Waterlox really soaks into the wood and seals it, so the finish isn’t just sitting on top of the wood.  Because the finish is deep into the wood, it’s water-resistant and scratch-resistant (i.e., dog-friendly.  Think: wet dogs, dog mud, and dog-nails), and if you do need to touch up scratches, you can just reapply Waterlox at any time to the scratches or spots without having to sand off the finish first, like you would with polyurethane. You can also add extra coats of Waterlox at any time if you decide you want your wood to have extra protection.  And very importantly, it’s so easy for non-pros to apply and get a great finish.

We not only used it to finish our floors, but we used it on our Ikea butcher block countertops in the kitchen. And if I ever get around to refinishing the scratched top of our kitchen table, I plan on using Waterlox.

Waterlox isn’t maintenance free, but it’s easy maintenance, and no more work than other surfaces. I used diluted Waterlox cleaner concentrate in a Libman Freedom Mop to clean up dirt and mud that the vacuum and Swiffer won’t pick up.


And it looks great.  So there you go. I love Waterlox. :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Our Kitchen in Progress

Before I tell you about the horror that was our kitchen floors :) and how we actually accomplished the work in our kitchen, I figured I’d post some “before” and “in-progress” photos of it.

We ended up ripping almost everything out and starting over.

Here’s where we are today. There’s still a lot of work to go, and hopefully this blog will keep me working on finishing everything up!

Our kitchen, “in-progress”
Our kitchen sink and windows now, in-progress.


The kitchen at the home inspection, “before”
The kitchen sink and windows at the home inspection, “before”.


Our kitchen, “in-progress”
Our kitchen, “in-progress”


The kitchen at the home inspection, “before”
The kitchen at the home inspection, “before”


Our kitchen, “in-progress”
Our kitchen and pantry, “in-progress”. The light fixture will be centered eventually, and there are doors that will be going on this pantry!

The kitchen at the home inspection, “before”
The kitchen at the home inspection, “before”


I’m really so happy with how far we’ve come!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

How We Refinished Our Painted Hardwood Floors

I figure, while I’m not finishing the fireplace, I should go back and tell you a little bit about other things we’ve done to our house so far.

Refinishing our hardwood floors was one of the best updates we've done to the house, and it was all lucky happenstance.

Refinishing Hardwood Floors

When we bought the house, it was carpeted with some dingy old berber. (Was it really berber?) We'd only seen the house at the initial showing and the home inspection, and we already had big plans for various updates, but I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with the floors. Get new hardwood installed? Expensive. Put down new carpet? That we might only want to tear up again later? Find another alternative hard surface? I spent many many days on the internet researching flooring prices and products.

So imagine our amazement, astonishment, and surprise, when we peeked under the carpeting, and found hardwood! It was all marred up and absolutely painted, but it was hardwood!! I was so excited.

We were kind of jerks and made Grandpa help us tear up the carpeting.
We were kind of jerks and made Grandpa help us tear up the carpeting. :)

Our painted hardwood
Here is the hardwood floor, in all its painted glory.

But on to more research: to refinish it ourselves? To hire it out? And what products to use? We've got 2 dogs and I am not one to every be "worried" about floors. Floors get walked on; I don't want to be having a minor heart attack about the finish every time that happens.

I talked to my mom's neighbor, did more internet research, and started to decide that we could do it ourselves. But then, what kind of finish to use? Again, there were so many possibilities.  I'm pretty sure I Googled something like "dog friendly hardwood finish". I definitely referenced dogs. Because you know, there were all those Pergo commericials (was it Pergo?) about the dog's claws not being able to scratch the finish. (Except we'd had Pergo before and my dog couldn't sit on it. He kept sliding down into a laying position. And his nails made an awful hollow, echoing clicking on it.)  And that's where I found Waterlox.


If I could talk to you about Waterlox all day long, I would. It's amazing. And now, we've had the floors for 2 years with 2 dogs, a cat, and 2 messy people, so I can feel I can speak to its durability and longevity. It was amazingly easy to apply. And I've actually already had to touch up some places and add extra coats to our kitchen counters (all due to my actions, not the failing of the Waterlox) and I can tell you that the touch up is just as easy as they claim.

Maybe I should just do another post on Waterlox. :) But really, and will tell you all the reasons I ended up choosing Waterlox.

Anyway, here’s how we refinished the floors.

I ordered the Waterlox (and the Waterlox recommended cleaner) from, and I got the application tools (lambswool pads, thick and chunky natural-bristle brushes) locally.

We rented a drum sander and edger from the Home Depot.  Since the floors were painted, we really had to start with the heavy grit sandpaper to try to remove all that paint.

Using the drum sander
Our first pass with the drum sander, using the heaviest grit sandpaper.

We barely skipped any of the grits, and each pass took just a little more paint off. It was slow work.  For each grit of sandpaper, you have to go over the floor with the drum sander, and then use the same grit of sandpaper on the edger.  Then you move onto the next finer grit with the drum sander, then with the edger, and so on.  The edger was so terribly physical! My back and legs would ache each night.

Sanding with the edger
Sanding the edges was so terribly physical! But the results were well worth the effort.

But finally, as the paint reluctantly came off, we revealed some beautiful red oak.  

Our red oak, sanded
Our sanded floors.

I got this picture with the floor in all three stages: painted, sanded, then Waterloxed.

Three stages of progress
Flooring in three stages of progress.

(Sometimes I kinda wish I would have stained it, but Brandon says I don't wish that, and really, we were on such a high of finding these floors and being able to refinish them - and we were trying to get it all done in a short amount of time – for our silly New Year's party!! :)

First or second coat of Waterlox
The first and second coat of Waterlox soak into the wood and dry matte.

Above is the first or second coat of Waterlox.  The benefit of Waterlox is that it really soaks into the wood and seals it, which leaves a matte-type finish for the first and second coats. The third coat is where you really see the final finish.

Third coat of WaterloxWith the third coat of Waterlox, you can finally see the shiny, smooth finish.

Here’s the living room, after we finished applying the Waterlox.

Waterlox finish

Over time and with wear, the Waterlox actually dulls to a satin/semi-gloss type finish, (that’s really in the wood, not just a plasticky finish on top of it) which looks gorgeous.

Our hardwood floors, finished with Waterlox
Our refinished floors today.

Are our refinished floors perfect? No. :)  I know there are some divots in the floor from the drum sander - no matter how much we tried to heed the warnings and avoid this - we're just not professionals, but I call all the imperfections "character" in this not-new house, and really, they're all hidden under furniture and rugs, etc. What I can tell you is that they are gorgeous, they've been so durable, it was all so easy to apply, I'm so not worried about keeping them up or touching them up in the future (as long as Waterlox is in business), and I can't even imagine living here with carpeting!

(In this post, you can see pictures of the carpeting before we bought the house and the refinished hardwood in our living room in progress.)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Another 20x200 Deal

I found another Groupon-type deal for 20x200 artwork here.

I’m thinking of getting this piece of art, another one I’ve been admiring for a while now.

Encyclopedia2 Valerie Roybal

Encyclopedia 2 by Valerie Roybal

And maybe I can convince my mom to buy me its mate. ;)

Secret Language 3 by Valerie Roybal

Secret Language 3 by Valerie Roybal

Available at

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Lilac Blooms

Spring has sprung early here in Indiana.

And boy am I getting a taste of what this summer will be like! With the lawn-mowing, and the flower planting, and the weeding…and the list goes on. :)

But it’s so enjoyable, and a few early spring flowers are blooming.

Like our lilacs:


Happy Spring!

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