Archive | October 2010

Fall is Finally Here … I Think

Thanks to Mother Nature’s mood swings the past few weeks the temperature has gone from scorching to chilly to warm to 40 mile per hour winds.  It’s been unpredictable to say the least. But I think yesterday, October 28, we finally settled into fall.  I am not one to complain about having more warm days than cool ones, but there comes a point when you don’t want to feel sweaty from just sitting at your desk. For me that point came on Wednesday when it was ridiculously warm and humid until after 8 pm.

But I didn’t write this post to complain. In fact, living on the East Coast for the past few years I have gained a new appreciation for fall — the changing leaves, the cool but pretty days, the pumpkin donuts. That last part is probably not coast specific, but I do have a new found appreciation for pumpkin donuts and they are only sold in the fall.

Now that fall is finally here, I hope it sticks around long enough for more sunny and cool outdoor time before winter arrives. Smowmageddon II is not predicted in the winter 2011 forecast, but who really knows what will happen? And I think we all know that this California girl is not a fan of winter. But for now I am happy with blue skies and low 60s. Hopefully I’ll be able to enjoy this weather for longer than a weekend!

Mini Getaway

I’ve been so swamped with work recently — hence the lack of posts during the past few weeks — it was a blessing to spend last weekend in the beautiful Shenandoah Mountains with my husband and some friends. Being free from cell phone reception and the internet, I got a much needed break from my daily routine and a chance to decompress a little.

The colors of the changing leaves combined with sunny days, spectacular views, amazing temperatures and superb company (and food) made for a wonderful escape.

The Little Room: Phase Two

After months of talk, our little room is nearly finished!

Thanks to my in-laws help, we were able to make a huge improvement to the space over the past few days. Last week they started by helping us de-clutter the room during Phase 1 (i.e. they dumped all the random stuff that was in the craft room into the corner of the office). After much scraping and sanding, the walls were ready to be painted on Saturday evening. It’s a good thing my husband and I were able to decide on a color on Friday — Benjamin Moore’s Soft Chinchilla. I’ve never seen a blue Chinchilla, but I guess that is why you have to love paint names.

With four people in the small space the room was done in about 2 hours, at which time we were all ready to celebrate. And celebrate we did with Herb de Provence Chicken, mashed potatoes and carrots followed by poached pears in a wine sauce over vanilla bean ice cream for dessert. And a couple bottles of wine, of course!

Sunday afternoon my husband and father-in-law touched up the trim and finished installing the wire contraption for hanging art and posters along the back wall. Now all we have to do is go through the stuff in the office and decide where it really belongs.

Soon I hope to undertake my first project — curtain making — an event that may or may not provide us with any usable curtains, but will surely be a story for another blog post!

The Little Room: Phase 1

After months of discussing what we should do with our tiny room, my husband and I decided to make it a craft room. We moved craft related things like the sewing machine (which really wants to be used for hemming my jeans) in there, but as of yet absolutely no crafting has occurred because, despite our best efforts, the room has remained cluttered.

But we are finally taking the next step toward making this room a usable, inspirational space. Thanks to my in-laws, the clutter has been removed from the room (and relocated into our office), the walls have been scraped and now all I need to do is pick a paint color … you’d think after all this time I’d have an idea what color I’d like the room to be. Unfortunately I’ve got no clue, but I am open to suggestions!

Projects, Projects, Projects!

With my in-laws in town last weekend there was quite a lot of eating and drinking going on. And in the time that was left over, we were able to take care of some additional projects around the house. And by “we” I mean my father-in-law and husband.

The highlight of this was the re-installation of our bathroom skylight window. During their previous visit in May, my father-in-law removed the window and cleaned-up the wood in the vent area since it had been damaged by snow (twice) during the crazy winter storms. With the window easily accessible for what I am guessing was the first time since the house was built in the 1930s, my mother-in-law cleaned all the crevices with a toothbrush and toothpicks. Now that it has been put back in place, it looks clean and lovely. Also, the addition of the window was perfect timing, because fall has definitely arrived and it no longer feels good to have every window in the house open.

Other accomplishments:

• The guys went on the roof and wrapped the openings of the skylight vent with screen to (hopefully) prevent a snow-filled skylight this winter.

• My husband tacked down the magnetic strips for our storm windows, as well as started taking measurements for the windows we didn’t have storm windows for last winter so he can make more in the coming weeks.

• My husband made homemade pasta for six people. It was amazing! While not really a house project, it was a highlight of the weekend.

• My father-in-law fixed the latch on our upper back porch door so that it isn’t so difficult to close.

• We decided on a way to lay out the frames we bought for our bedroom photo wall as well as attempted to select pictures to use. We are moving at the speed of mud on this project and I really can’t wait until we get it done.

• I washed the curtains and window sheers for the first time since we moved into the house (gross, I know) and learned that there is a reason the curtains said dry clean only — we don’t need all that thermal backing, right? Oops.