Friday, January 29, 2010

And The Winner is.....

We would like to thank CSN web-based store who hosted this week's fantastic Le Creuset free giveaway contest!


Now lets get down to business! The lucky winner is...
Contestant number 24...Diane! Congratulations Diane!! I hope you enjoy the lovely red Le Creuset item to go with your red kitchen. I will be emailing you the full deets shortly. 

Applause all around!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Blog Love

Oh my blog!!  A big thank you goes out to Kendall of Finesse Your Nest for featuring Humble Ablog as part of her weekly Wednesday series "Welcome to Newbie" where she introduces new and interesting bloggers to her peeps.

We were honored when Kendall contacted us and delivered the big news. She did an awesome job depicting the history of Humble Ablog and I just wanted to tell her thank you for all of her kind words. I encourage everyone to check out Finesse Your Nest. You will find an incredible gal who shares endless love for decorating and design and takes you into her beachy coastal retreat; her lovely home. 

Hop over to Finesse Your Nest and read our featured post
. Don't forget to leave some comment love.

Thanks again Kendall! 

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Master PEE

We are often asked, "What else are you doing to your home?" by friends and family, to which I declare, "We want to remodel the bathrooms." Yes both at the same time. 

Hearing that "s" at the end of the word "bathroom" takes some people by surprise; but to Chris and me it just makes sense to tackle both bathrooms at the same time... get it all over with. 

Bathrooms are a major mula renovation...but, we're going to have to do it eventually. Plus, maybe we can get it done a little cheaper while the economy is still in the toilet (pun intended).

Let me take you back to the July 2008 archives.

The picture doesn't do it justice...and mind you this is after a solid week of some sort of bleach cocktail and elbow grease attack, but our bathroom walls were covered in the silent killer; aka mold. The previous home owners never cracked open a window. NEVER. The entire house had the original (1953) casement windows and all but one of the crank handles were missing. Without a second thought, we replaced all the windows with energy efficient single and double hung windows courtesy of WinDor.

Ew cubed.

As you can see, I had already attempted to make the vanity "cute" by painting over the wooden mess with a blanket of snowy white paint.

To the far right you can see our cave like shower similar to the shower stall of Kasey's, over at Thrifty Little Blog before she expanded and beautified. 

Our next application of lipstick to the proverbial pig was removing the floating cabinet which was perviously above the toilet...though, it looked more like something that should be in the toilet. 

Did I mention this is our master bath? There is nothing master about it. The bathroom is in 100%* better shape than it was 18 months ago, but it needs more than a facelift; it needs a face transplant!

*ok...maybe 87%  ^_^

Monday, January 25, 2010

CLOSED: Giveaway Contest Hosted by

The good people over at CSN web-based stores have given us the opportunity to giveaway a free Le Creuset item from to one of our lucky readers!


As you may know, Le Creuset is the maker of some of the finest cookware items available today. The prestigious and colorful cast iron products are a homemakers BFF.  And since I've recently dipped my hands (and blog) into the cooking-from-scratch'osphere, I thought this giveaway fit the bill.

I will be green with envy towards the lucky reader whom receives one of these:

Or this easy pourer; perfect when making Rich Buttermilk Waffles (fluffy and worth it!)

A perfect stir fry hot off the stove in this sunny Dijon Wok. 

Finish the night off with a peanut buttercup fit for the jolly green giant. 

To win* one of these beauties, simply leave a comment below and tell me which Le Creuset item on tickles your fancy. 

A winner will be chosen by random and announced this Friday January 29th. Good luck!

*And remember just in case you win, it's important that I have a way to contact you via your profile/blog/or including your email address with your comment.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Show Me Your Digits!

Ever since we moved into our new home a year and half ago, I've been on the hunt for some snazzy digits, house numbers that is. Currently our home can be identified a couple of ways; 1 being the faded curbside painted numbers that are masqueraded by unexplainable greenery...and the other being the daytona blue 350z parked on the driveway.

I really didn't want those plain jane numbers I've seen at the local home improvement retailers; not my cup of tea. But when I came across these drapper house numbers over at, I was busting out the 'Carlton Dance.' 

With a variety of colors to choose from (not to mention their spiffy names) you can choose from stainless steal to Bougainvillea Pink! Or my personal fav, Bonita Blue. 

And considering all the rain us Los Angelenos are getting, these numbers will never rust! 

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


You know, installing mini-blinds is a lot harder than it looks. As you may recall, we ordered two Bali horizontal blinds about 3 weeks ago at JCPenny. A week after the purchase, they were sitting pretty on our porch. Oh man were we pumped to see the brushed aluminum slats in the flesh. As always, I fished for the instructional sheet and read thoroughly, step by step; easy peasy! And then, the "wtf" moment entered the room.

Chris: "Where's all the hardware?"

Me: "Um, in the box labeled hardware."

I dumped the said contents on the table.

Chris: "Why do we only have two brackets and eight nails?"

Me: "I-don't-know."

Chris: "Maybe each blind only needs one bracket?"

Me: "I don't think one bracket will solely support a 95" long blind"

Chris: "wtf"

I phone customer service and to my surprise, pressing 1 option was specifically for missing hardware issues. Five minutes later, our missing hardware were on its way.

To make a long story short, it took us a total of, oooh 1 hr to install two measly blinds. And of course a few "extra" holes kindly made an unexpected appearance.

A couple of suggestions and tips for any future inside mount blind installer. 
  1. Use a drill bit slightly smaller than the screw that will be used to tighten the brackets. In our case, the screw smoothly made its way through the drywall but once it hit the wood, oooh child, was it rough! Three drill bits tries plus 4 stripped nail heads later and we were golden. Getting the first two brackets secured took about 40 minutes. The final three took 5 minutes.
  2. The template attached to the instructions sheet was a lifesaver! It precisely helped us mark the spots with no hassle.
  3. Make sure the 3rd and middle bracket is not aligned to any of the string grabbers. We learned this will prevent the slats from opening and closing, hence the 4 punctured holes up above. Seems like information that should have been pretty upfront in the instructions.
  4. Your forearms and shoulders will get a nice workout. In no time you'll be sporting guns akin to those of Taylor Lautner's. Ok, I may be embellishing a bit.
Other than that, I would say our blinds fit nicely in our new room. 



I don't think Uncle Kitty approves. Her window peeping time has come to a halt.

p.s. We still have to taken down the curtain rod which means more spackling and tackling. Sigh.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Not Your GrandDad's Library

Half way into January, and I have yet to (physically) tackle ANY of my projected goals for the year. I have semi-truck loads of ideas running around in my head, from paint colors to fabric and furniture placements...all in my head...not even in google sketchup! Wait a minute! I kind of fibbed there. We did receive our hundreds of Lego pieces for our scandalous Lego Project but the inner 7yr old in us came out and we've been playing (when we should be working) with them.

Aside from our Lego Project, I will be confronting "Oscar's" room. Let me share a snapshot of his doorknob.

You can only imagine what's inside. Seriously, what kind of person needs a doorknob like that?! Guess what the code is? Ready......420....dude.

I will elaborate more in future posts. 

Since today's post is a snooze, I will leave you with this video, written and produced (even the music)... and staring Mr. Humble Ablog...aka Chris. He and the media crew at his employer (a library) are developing a series of goofy videos to be shown throughout the campus. This is their pilot of sorts. Enjoy.

[In my best Ricky Gervais impersonation] Are you having a laugh?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Frugal Fridays: One-Dollar Bins

I've noticed recently that more stores are beginning to carry the $1.00 knick knack bins near the cash registers. It's hard to resist the colorful magnetic paper pads, holiday accessories or the AA battery 4 pack. Each for a buck? Done deal! I pretty much hit the jackpot yesterday while pursuing the Michael's dollar bins. Retro coasters.

I'd say that's $3 well spent for 18 drink coasters! I chuckled when I read "sassy kitchen" or something of that nature labeled on the bin. I passed up the retro aprons, recipe cards and thermo was tough to turn the other cheek but I knew I didn't need them. Chris thought they were a little too sexist, especially for Michael's sake, but the retro chick in me couldn't resist. Now, all I need is a coffee table (still can't believe I've never owned one!). Bring it on condensation! 

Anyone else hit the jackpot in the $1.00 nifty knick knacks bins recently?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Hey BUDdy

I've been dying to post the following news since last Friday, but I managed to refrain until I had received the prized earnings... and of course, the post wouldn't have been as good without a couple of snapshots.

I won my very first bloggers giveaway prize from deedee9:14! It was not a lone, not a duo... but a trio of Vintage Orange Mid-Century Japanesse Bud Vases.

As any giveaway winner, I couldn't wait for the day when I would see that little brown package lonesomely sitting on my porch, screaming my name. And that day was today!

Originally I planned on displaying them in my dinning room bookcase, in front of our caramelized orange wall, but I may move them out to the family room and set them on one of the white lacquer shelves we plan on mounting to the granite colored wall. It would be a great pop of color for the room.

Until then, they will rest on our bookcase which I refer to as the perfect "I Spy" picture book game. 

Many thanks to Dee for the amazing New Year's Day giveaway! 

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Treatment

It's been almost 4 weeks of family room lounging time and we've been exposed; literally. As you may recall, the room has a colossal window (95x48) smack dab in the middle and we have yet to tackle window treatments. We are pretty much every peeping tom's dream...not that we walk around naked or anything- that's Uncle Kitty's crime. 

At first we were all gun-ho with curtains; we even mounted the curtain rod after painting, but something just didn't look right. We dabbled with the possibilities on Google Sketchup rather than buying real curtains and shamelessly returning them back to the store all in a mess because those anorexic plastic packages magically shrink when the contents are set free.

We nixed the curtain option and decided to go back to our elementary school days of, wait for it, aluminum blinds. And yes, I'm speechless as well.

JCPenny was having a 70% off sale on all Bali blinds. We literally saved over $500 on our order for both windows (though I'm pretty sure they are never less than 50% off). Can I get a hallelujah! Better yet, guess what color we went with? The blinds should be delivered to our home any day now. I just hope our measurements are absolute; and if their not, I guess our neighbors will get another show of me in my snuggie. Yes, I got a Snuggie for Christmas! Speaking about this pop culture phenomenon, have you seen the Dreamie?? 

Monday, January 4, 2010


It's a new year for new beginnings and new DIO (do it ourself) projects! I've already complied a list of new home renovation projects and goals I would like to complete throughout the course of this year; I've also added in a few little artsy doodads. 

Twenty-Ten Projects/Goals
  • Remodel guest and master bathrooms (we are going bananas here and renovating both lavatories simultaneously)
  • New tile flooring for kitchen and bath (might as well spruce up the kitchen to match the bath)
  • Make a recipe journal...and use it!
  • Makeover Oscar's bedroom (uf, there's a story behind this one and it's a doozy!)
  • The 1,060 Lego Piece Project (legos have been ordered and they are in commute to our mailbox. I just hope that our math and sketches are plausible)
  • Add recessed lighting in the kitchen and hallway
  • Add kitchen backsplash (time to get our handy-on)
  • Stain kitchen cabinets (though Chris would like to replace the existing doors. Apparently they are too country-ish)
  • Rejuvenate botanical life in the backyard 
  • Start a vegetable garden (or just a pumpkin patch. I kid you not, I've always wanted to grow my own)
  • Plant a pink Crate Myrtle tree in our front yard
  • Clean the 'man cave' room
  • Match all doorknobs (I don't have a single matching set in the whole house. Kind of embarrassing....)

Phew. I think this list should keep us occupied this whole year. Kind of a crazy list but I like to dream big. I'd be content if we're able to scratch at least 2 things off the above list.

Complete dressing up the Family Room is of course our number one priority- including replacing that offensive 70's wicker fan...I know it shouldn't be taking us this long to chuck the brass trash. Hi. My name is Dolores and I'm a procrastinator. 

I'm just glad our home went from looking like this:

To this:

Anyone else have a crazy twenty-ten projects/goals list?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Piece Of Cake

Oh my blog! The apple cake I baked for our NYE dinner party was delicious to the max! 

I was a bit nervous the cake would be too dry to swallow and contemplated making a simple sweet glaze to dress its top. 

Time was not on my side so I had Chris sift powdered sugar over the top; perfection!...except I forgot to take a snapshot the cake's finished state; you'll have to settle for the topless version. 

I also had a tiny dilemma on my hands; I forgot to plan for the tables center piece. It just totally slipped my mind. I raided all my cabinets like a game of scavenger hunt and for a second, I thought about snipping some flowers off my neighbors yard (which I didn't!).  In the end I came up with this little doodad.

Have I mentioned that Chris has this new obsession with using empty glass bottles as his regular drinking cups? He drinks everything from juice to milk out of a glass soda bottle; pepsi natural bottles to be exact. I snagged a couple of his less-used glasses and filled them up with branches of horsetail and water. I may just leave them up for the entire season.

Is it just me, or do some of the most creative projects develop in a spur of a moment crisis?