Tuesday, August 31, 2010

why can't every day be a weekend day?

Where did the summer go? This summer has been more work and less play than I would have liked, but it has had it's highlights; camping near Mt. St. Helens, finishing my 5th Danskin triathlon, having several house guests and enjoying my new home and yard. A few weekends ago I was lucky enough to be invited to a 1950's housewife yard party. My friend Elizabeth is so inspiring to me. She is a new friend at my county job and she is fantastic! Her vintage taste, attention to detail and creative party event ideas keep me intrigued. I love her energy! Here are some photos from her amazing b-day party!

My Bday events have included kickball, roller skating, and bbq parties. I think I'm going to take it to the next level next year. Immediate party idea contenders include; Grease 2 goodness, Dirty Dancing dance party, Saturday Night Fever(I'm really liking that one!). Themed parties are fun!

50's party on Saturday and surfing with the ladies on Sunday. The weather and waves were both amazing. Both Loriann and Steph asked me to help them with their first surf experience. We had a blast!

I needed a weekend to rest after this very busy weekend! Luckily, I had a few days off to relax and rejuvenate!

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Back in May I had a housewarming/bday party to celebrate all the new developments happening in my life. This party was significant because I used it as a goal to finish painting most of the main level (~1100 square feet). I worked tirelessly after work and all through the weekends to make small repairs, sand, tape and paint my new home. I was exhausted, but loving how a few repairs made a world of difference. I'm still making changes, but my pace has slowed, thankfully for my health. The first pics are before and afters. The remaining pics are of friends and family who came to celebrate with me.

This is an exterior view from the real estate website.

This is a pic of my living room before I painted. This pic was also taken and posted on the real estate website (these are the last owners belongings). Please notice the black trim paint and the goldish paint on the walls and ceiling. It was unique, but not my style.

This is much more my style. I stuck with very traditional colors, accented with personal effects. You can't see it, but the coved ceiling went from a gold finish to a clean white (Behr Polar bear white to be exact)!

I spent A LOT of time working on the dining room.

The last owners, or maybe two owners ago, had an obsession with knotty pine. It is funny because several of my friends and family felt I should leave the knotty pine the way it was. I just couldn't though. I have this weird test that I use for remodeling..... if it is difficult to spot a spider, either because it is dark, or has cracks, then it has to go. Weird I know, but it works for me. So, I sanded the knotty pine, caulked the all the cracks, primed it (2X) and then painted it white (2 coats)!. I went with a nice light green on the walls and saved money by painting my cheap brass dining room fixture. I also used a dark brown floor paint to cover the 1970's lanoleum floors, but didn't capture that in the photo.

Along with painting and making repairs, I also had a blast working on little artsy projects. I saw this idea in a magazine (SUNSET- My FAVORITE!!!) and used a pic I took from a solo backpacking trip with Baby in the Wallowa Mountains.

Now on to the party pics! This is my dear friend Bree and my Mom. Bree drove down from Seattle just for this party. We go way back to our days at Washington State University. Love that girl!

Braya came into my life a few days before the party. I can't believe how little and cute she was! She has grown up so fast!

Lisa and Julie in the kitchen (notice the knotty pine cupboards?).... I can hardly wait to remodel the kitchen. It is a very spacious layout. I also think it is screaming for white granite, dark brown and stainless steel. Maybe I should have pursued a career in remodeling/design? So much fun!

Now to the backyard. Des, Chris and Kalli sitting on my back porch. It is super convenient for barbecuing and drinking beer.

I think people were ready to eat! You can see my rustic (and falling down) garage in the top of the picture. That is another project for the future. I'm envisioning a ceramics studio? My dream is to have my own wheel and kiln. I WILL make this dream come true!

Jadee is one of my oldest friends. Her and her beau Blaise also came down from Seattle to celebrate.

It was also a treat to see my extremely busy friend Heather and her guy Thomas.

Sally and Jon. I'm happy to report that the baby in her belly was born 8 days ago. A very healthy baby girl named Cylee Rose. Warm Fuzzies!

Temojai and Bryan came with their little one- Roxy. She is super cute and growing like a weed!

This view is looking out my front door. Jennifer and her fiance, and even my biker buddy Ned came!

Youme and her Mother, Stathia relaxing on the couch.

I love my Mom. I have to take a minute to say that she prepared most, if not all the food for this party while I was frantically cleaning and finishing my house prep. She is the best Mom ever and she can make a mean pasta salad!

Aubry and Braya kitty.

Jathia and Roxy (cousins).

Temojai and myself, happy campers! There was so much to be thankful for! I felt so loved by all my friends and family!

It was a great party! But.... It did take a ton of work to organize and prepare for. My Mom was also exhausted.

We all slept very well that night.

Thanks again for all the housewarming gifts, celebratory hugs and good company!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

it's the little things....

You know when you feel like you are in a major funk? You feel flooded with responsibilities and exhaustion keeps you from doing the things that help you feel balanced? That is how I have been feeling lately. My plate has been especially full with work stuff, remodeling responsibilities, pet craziness, social engagements, etc..... I'm not complaining, just feeling 'off'. The good news is that I know why I'm 'off' and am working to get back in a healthy place. It is amazing how consistently eating well and exercising helps, and it definitely feels like I have not been making that happen. It is also a bummer to be reminded that there are people out there who have no problems making self-serving decisions that are hurtful to others. I hate those moments when I'm reminded that humans are not inherently altruistic. A girl can dream I guess?

So enough soapbox. I just wanted to share a few things that helped bring me out of my funk yesterday. They were all in my yard. I almost feel like Fran (the last owner) knew that I would enjoy and rely on my new found relationship with all the wonderful things she planted in this yard. I'm so lucky!!

In addition to these photos of life, I was also lucky enough to attend a paella party yesterday for a coworker who triumphantly had a brain tumor removed and is doing amazingly well. His courage and amazing human spirit make it easy to remember what is really important in life. Thank you David!

Now onto pictures of the life in my yard that make me smile:

This beautiful orange flower is right outside my living room window and grows a little taller every day.

It is time to cut some of these hydrangeas so I can enjoy them inside. They remind me of my brother and Angie's amazing wedding! That was a joyous day!

So cool that I have blackberries on the back of my property. Most people hate these in their yard, but they are not taking over (yet) and producing delicious berries! As you can see, I have been snacking on them already.

The tomatoes are coming along, slowly, but I'm patient.

Tomatillos on the vine. yummo!

I have a couple of garden boxes. One is producing fruits and veggies, and then there is this much younger box. It is a late summer effort, but I couldn't resist the opportunity to water and watch cool things grow. Who knew I would love this so much?!?

I have ridiculous amounts of rosemary. I need to be using it more in my cooking. I also need to win the lottery so I can stay home every day and paint, do yoga and make amazing meals from the produce in my yard. I love daydreaming.

An apple on my cute apple tree.

I also have at least 3 hours of garlic harvesting to do. Fran hooked me up, but digging those puppies out of the ground without damaging them takes some time! Hope to get to that after work this week.

So many varieties of roses. My house has been filled with fresh cut roses for the last 2 months!

While I was on my search to capture the life in my yard that makes me happy, I caught a glimpse of another life form that has made me smile.

Anybody who knows me, knows I have a big thing about spiders. They TERRIFY me!!! They are not allowed to live happily ever after in my home with me, although I can say I have made progress. My life loving friend Erica has influenced me. I try to capture the spider in a napkin and either let it go outside or if it is a biggy, it can try to swim through the sewer system. I know, it is not great, but better than death by bug spray. This little guy actually lives on the outside of my bedroom window. I don't think he can get in through my screen, and don't think he will try because his home is so developed. He has been here as long as I have and is definitely the closest thing I have ever had to a 'pet spider'. This is progress!

So the good news is that even in a funk, I can find things that help me remember what is important. What's that saying, "don't sweat the small stuff"? I'm not joking when I say that has been my Mantra over the past few weeks! Life is too short!

Happy Sunday!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

kitty cat update

Braya is growing up so fast! She is a pain in the butt, but oh so cute!

Photo props go to Betty on this one! Great pic!


I have garden boxes. I planted a variety of vegetable plants. I realized that I love having a little garden. I feel closer to my grandparents now that I understand the joy of gardening. Our world has changed so much over the past 50 years, but I'm pretty sure the love of gardening hasn't. The earth is so cool!

Tomorrow I'm going to make spicy green sauce with these beautiful fruits!

Whoops..how did this picture get on here? this is my Trader Joes basil plant next to the kitchen sink. yum- fresh basil!

Happy Gardening!