Thursday, December 31, 2009

Farewell Oh Nine

One of the best things about having my own place is the ability to party like it's 1999! Tonight we are hosting our very first NYE dinner party shindig with a few close friends. We've only hosted a few get togethers this past year; mostly because I thought our house wasn't quite ready for its debutante ball. Is it ever too late to throw a housewarming party...say a year and a half later? Oh well. Only recently I realized our home will most likely never be "ready" but always a "a work in progress." 

I will be cooking all day today (wish me luck!) and incase I pull a Monica (remember the Friends episode where Monica caters her parents party and a glittery blue press-on nail fell in the quiche batter ruining the entire tarts? Her mother then pulls out frozen lasagnas from the freezer in case when she screws up aka 'pull a Monica'?) Well, I've got a couple of Digiorno pizza's in the freezer just in case.

Is it crazy to bake a dessert I've never made before?? Probably, but I couldn't resist not to try out this delicious-to-my-eyes recipe via SmittenKitchen. 

                                          ::image via smittenkitchen::

I hope everyone out in the blogosphere has a safe and happy night! Let's make twenty-ten be the best year yet!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Mile of Tile

Day 1 of my week long (paid) vacation has already been productive; we took a 'lil field trip to the tile strip in Anaheim. As tearing up both of our bathrooms (at the same time, oy vey!) becomes imminent, it only made sense that we start checking out the specs and prices.

Of course I took my nifty pocket cam and snapped away! I never thought that window shopping for tile could be so invigorating! 

Totally digging this duller glass tile.

As expected the conversation from bathroom tiles transitioned to kitchen backsplash talk. Digging the skinny bones jones sheets of tile; horizontally speaking.

I'm keen to the idea of meshing both dull and shiny glass finishings. 

Who would have thought that glittery red tiles could be so chic?

Caramelized orange tiles were on my color palette, but unfortunately only these little 'halls cough drops' guys caught my eye.

Mini marshmallow tile sheets anyone?

During our 3 hour tour, we may have decided on our bathroom floor tile. We are suckers for textured designs. 

I fell deeply in love with some floating vanities! It would be perfect in our master bath since it's basically the size of a small walk-in-closet. We didn't bother to find out just yet...but the price probably isn't too 'right'.

I love the play with the mirror offset by the vanity. And the cute daisy patten didn't hurt either.

That's the end of today's photo shoot. I must say, seeing the hundreds of colors, shapes and sizes was not only a helpful guide, but it really served to reign in our focus. I see many trips to the "mile of tile" on the horizon in twenty-ten!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Shut The Door and Have A Seat

Two oh oh nine was a whirlwind of a year. Feels like only yesterday I was daydreaming about all the yummy Thanksgiving fixings and the extra gym hours needed to recuperate. Now here I am hunting down 50% off sales on after-Christmas decor and guessing as to how people will refer to the next year ..."two thousand and ten...or...twenty-ten"? Nerd alert indeed.

Ok, ok, back to the home decor affair. Remember the sneak pic peek from last week's post? Well my blogging friends, I am super excited to share our wonderful early Christmas gift.

Bona fide Herman Miller Charles and Ray Eames molded plywood chairs. (!!!) The mid-century modernist in us jumped out with excitement and we were all smiles for days. Chris and I literally could not stop looking at its intriguing design, stroking the smooth wood with our cold hands, or placing Uncle Kitty on them only to watch her slide down to the signature 'bendy tailbone'. 

These two beauties were gifts from my father-in-law's cousins. They simply had no room for the Eames chairs in their home and since they knew Chris and I were mid-century modern furniture enthusiasts, it was a perfect match! We are so grateful for their generosity and we would like to thank them again, 'Thank You, Ross & Barbara! From the bottom of our hearts.'

After receiving these two bad larrys, I was crossing my fingers (and all my limbs), hoping that my Christmas gift to Chris would be a "mini-me" of the aforementioned Eames chairs. I had ordered two miniature designer chairs on and unfortunately ordering the mini chairs is a crapshoot unless you order the entire series. 

No dice but it was worth it.

Today I stumbled upon another embodiment of the tiny little chairs.

I will take the one of the far left, please.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Sick Days

A late post for a late week with a justifiable reason. A locust by the name of 'food poisoning' attacked my immunity and left me on bed rest for the past 3 days. 

Looks like I will be sitting this one out, baby Jesus. But, right before the regurgitations, Chris and I were blessed with not one but two of these bad larrys.

The full monty (and backstory) next week!

Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 18, 2009

DIO: Cut and Print!

Someone went a little overboard at Aaron Brothers yesterday. 

We ordered a few more Jesse LeDouex art prints a couple of weeks ago and instead of letting them sit above our hallway closets (for over a year) these lovelies need to be matted and framed stat! 

We had two options.

Option one: Order custom framing and matting. Turns out to frame and mat five prints would cost several hundred dollars...and when I say several, I'm talking upper hundreds, possibly reaching or surpassing the quadruple digit mark!

Option two: DIY!! (technically DIO..."Do it Ourselves")

DIO shopping cart included, a couple of basic frames, a Logan mat cutter and a couple of large mat boards. Add a pencil, box cutter and a L-square ruler and we're ready to cook, I mean, cut!

Naturally, we made a few rookie mistakes. We learned to slide the bevel with a non-stop continuous motion which will help in preventing flyaways.

Forcefully push the bevel blade for a clean incision. Finally, make sure to ever so slightly (and I mean microscopically) pass the blade over the perpendicular make sure the inside is fully detached.

Double matting was a quick fix when we over estimated our math and cut the mat too big for the print. 

We've got a few more mats to cut for the remaining prints and...perhaps a re-do on the double mated guy pictured above. We don't particularly like the "cream on white" color combo...and we're not sure there is a true white, white mat board. Perhaps a color could do the trick.

We'll be cutting away this weekend and possibly squeezing in some Christmas shopping if the crowds don't scare us off.

Happy Friday!

Side note: Our living room couches are not photogenic whatsoever! They don't look that bad in person. I promise. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Surreal Life

Reason # 754 why my in-laws are awesome!

Their Christmas card* included Flavor Flav. Thats right, my in-laws and Flavor Flav are BFF's...ok, not really, but how awesome is that?! 

Backstory: My in-laws ran into the clock-on-a-rope rapper/reality star in a Vegas casino this past summer. They asked him if he minded taking an impromptu picture with them, but he was a tad resistant and in a hurry. My father-in-law, and his quick mad thinking skills, explained to Flav they'd like to use the picture for their holiday greeting card. Flav's demeanor instantly changed and he was wide-eyed with excitement. How they were able to keep this hush hush from everyone in the family is beyond me! I was calling everyone and their mother when I ran into Justin Guarini in Vegas YEARS ago (emphasis on the word "years" there) when he and his Sideshow Bob hair were the ish.  

Happy Holidays, boyee!!

*Special thanks to Teri for allowing me to post and share!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Full Nelson

It's official, we've moved into the Family Room.  

Now that the television has promptly found its new homebase, we've been resting our behinds on our lovely new sectional daily (pretty much glued to it this past weekend). As predicted, cat hair sticks to the fabric and illuminates like a neon sign. So far conditioning Uncle Kitty to take her kitty naps elsewhere has been relatively progressive.

And so our quest for a coffee table has commenced. Ideally an authentic Herman Miller Platform Nelson Bench would be sublime but as you know Herman Miller furniture has quite the price tag.

::google sketchup::

Room and Board is just ending their 15% off all Herman Miller furniture sale. Chris and I toyed with the idea but I just couldn't make the leap, even with the discounted price.

Oh, it's such a beauty.

We could go for an "inspired" Nelson bench such as this little number below. I've been eying it for a few weeks now anticipating a price drop over at Retrograde LA.

So it's missing the finger joints and the 'plant pot' it still worth it? I guess it really doesn't matter since I just noticed the SOLD label next to it as I was linking the url site to the humble ablog.

BUT, I was shell shocked when I saw this on Sears' website. Really? Sears? My "go-to for-large-appliances" Sears? If the picture is as true as their actual product, I'm surprised Herman Miller hasn't sued their copy-cat designing butts.

Any Herman Miller owner's out there? Should we splurge or save? 

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Greeting

Sufjan Stevens... a must add to your music collection.

Happy Sunday!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

The weekend's gloomy, cloudy skies finally caved in yesterday...and gave us, drought prone LA'ers, some much needed rain. I have a love/hate relationship with the rain (as I do with LOST...2/2/10). Love the free car wash. Love the bathed lawn. But, hate the freezing house...58 degrees (inside) in fact.

In a previous post, I mentioned how much our house heater sucks. It's old and far from eco-friendly. We are major weenies and refuse to use the Lusk signature fireplace in our living room. So, what's a semi frozen blogger to do? Bake. Bake like a 50's wife and pray I don't set the smoke detectors off.

I found an easy peasy recipe a few months ago that I've been dying to try out; Crispy Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies (talk about a title hook!) And let me just say, I literally used the words, "heaven's to betsy" when I took the first bite- that's how amazingly delicious they were. 

Goliath cookies were on Chris' mind and so, he conquered. 

He made sure to include a quarter for good measure. Geez, this takes me back to my elementary school days of Friday after-school bake sales which included jumbo pickles and saran wrapped giant cookies at 50 cents a pop. Those were the days.

And what better way to end the post but with a picture of our much awaited sectional.

She's here!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Frugal Friday:

How awesome are these fun kitchen gadgets?! They'd make great stocking-stuffers this holiday season. 

Thankfully I haven't been the victim of a "who stole my lunch!" misfortune, then again I work with a very small group of people and finding the perpetrator would be as easy as Blanche from the Golden Girls. But if you have a boss that suffers from Micheal Scott syndrome (hey Mr. Scott, whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do, make our dreams come true!), the anti-theft bags could come in handy.

I know someone who would benefit by having one of these sitting by their phone....

Whats even better is that all displayed items are under $10! 

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Rear vs Rear

As we patiently wait for our new sofa to arrive, it has given me time to ponder our next big project. On our 'costly-renovations-we-have-to-do' list, remodeling the bathrooms precedes cultivating the backyard; but now that the family room will be thee place of leisure and entertainment, the backyard has moved up the list as it is in plain sight. Sooner or later someone will shimmy their way to the exterior door and open pandora's box... yes, it's that bad.

Not sure if I've mentioned Chris' backyard solution yet, but it begins with C and ends with T...cement...he wants to cover it all with CEMENT!! I think that classifies as house abuse, don't you? Chris hates anything to do with landscaping. Yours truly maintains the watering and weeding whilst Chris mows the little active greenery that we do have. So... we've compromised and settled on the best of both (our) worlds. Frankly, I'm keen to this idea! Here is a google sketch-up of our vision.

The current patio cover is in decent shape but could use a few pressure washer sessions.

Laying pavement tiles doesn't look too hard to do, right? He even threw in a couple of planters to appease me. We could also lay larger pavers leaving several inches of space between the tiles and allowing grass to border each slab. Either way, rototilling the entire space is going to be a PAIN.

Until we reach a final decision on our next project/blog series, I will (hopefully) crack open the third book in the Twilight series (thanks to Rosemary at Booking It Bus Style for lending me her collection... I promise to give them back soon!) and make sure that Uncle Kitty doesn't brawl it out with Peanut.  Oh and adding the finishing touches to our family room. ^_^

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Modern Warfare

What do you do when your house heater is as old as Larry King and turning it on seems akin to a game of Russian Roulette? I kid you not, even Uncle Kitty is a bit nippy in here. Until that glorious day when we dive deep into our pockets for a new centralized heating apparatus, I'm bonded to a fleece blanket throughout the entire winter (and no, it's not a snuggie). 

Besides daydreaming of safe heat, I cannot wait until our Family Room is ready for use. This past weekend we purchased our wannabe Jane Bi-Sectional sofa in, dare I say, off-white. This means it will be a no food, no drink zone.  Knowing me, I'm sure I'd somehow stone skip tomato sauce on it from the kitchen; I'll betcha five dollars.

We still have a few other minor details to take care of, for example, replacing the ceiling fan.

Have you seen anything so repulsive to the naked eye? 

The door that leads to the backyard is also an eye soar BUT perhaps salvageable.

In a perfect world with money trees blooming by the minute, I'd replace the incumbent with a pair of french doors or better yet, tear it all down for a Nanawall.

Ok, ok, so the door screams 1970's...but something about the detailing screams 'I could be awesome.'

A pop of color could do the trick. I can see it wearing a fuchsia or caramelized orange. Am I crazy??  Chris thinks so and wants to replace it ASAP. I on the other hand think it's crazy to play Call of Duty until 4am but, whose to judge?

Friday, November 20, 2009


Thanksgiving is just around the corner and Christmas isn't too far behind (seriously, where did 2009 go??). KOST officially kicked off their 24/7 holiday tunes today and my office is in winter glee! (apologies to my co-workers).

Last year Chris and I had a very Charlie Brown Christmas; funds were looooow and our holiday gift list was as little as one of Santa's helpers. We also had a much heated debate over the Christmas tree...real vs fake. I won with a real potted Christmas tree...which I allegedly killed soon after. This year I bit the bullet...we're going plastic.  A few weeks ago we inherited a 3yr-old 7ft (fake) tree equipped with built-in lights which will probably last us a good decade or so. At least I have decorations to curb my pine appetite, right?  I have a blank tree canvas to adorn. Perhaps I'll snag a couple of these CB2 dangles to embellish the fakeness out of the tree.

Not sure which decorative avenue to take. Monochromatic theme? A miss match collage of shine and sparkle? Whatever it is, I just hope this little guy makes the cut. 

Monday, November 16, 2009

Family Room: Before and After

It has been two months since I first posted and introduced the Family Room Project and boy oh boy does it feel great to say we're (almost) done. The fact of the matter is, the foundation of the room is prepared for the furnishings. After many distractions and trips to the Home Depot, I can safely roll around in the Family Room with grace and style. 

:: Before ::
The oddly shaped room, atrocious linoleum floor, dreary off-white walls and the gold bulbous wicker/wood ceiling fan.


To the left...

To the right...

And from behind

The square pattern on the wall was our toughest challenge yet. We made some poor paint choices such as Behr's "Squirrel" which looked like day-old guacamole (sorry Chris) and promptly painted over it.

Our carpet was installed over the weekend and because we chose a pattern design, the process was a lengthy one.  


:: After ::





Now comes the expensive part...