Monday, January 31, 2011

The Snow Storm of the Century???

So if you live in WI like us you're use to snow, a lot of snow.  You're use to long, bitterly cold winters, filled with snow storms, ice storms, and everything in between (we even get snow we're supposed to be hit with the "storm of the century."  If this snow storm will live up to the hype is yet to be seen.  I mean it's only Monday, but we're supposed to get something like 16-22 inches of snow by Wednesday (depending on where you live).  Blah, by this time of year, I'm sick of snow.  I don't really care for this impending doom that will fall from the sky this week. I'm ready for sunny skies and warm days.  Hell, I'll take a cold day with sunshine at this point.  But what happens if the buses aren't running on Wednesday?  Well I'm not driving to work.  If the buses can't make it, I'm sure as hell not starting up my car and attempting to drive to work with all these crazy drivers in this town (why do you think I take the bus).  So I've decided to plan ahead.  I've ran to the store and picked up primer for the woodwork as well as the blinds for the living room.  That way, if I'm snowed in, at least it will be productive.

Like I was this last weekend.  I took off Friday (furlough day, blah) to take the dog to the vet (so they could drain me of what little money I have) and to get some painting done.  And hell yeah, I did just that.  I woke up with a killer migraine, but did I let that stop me, hell no!!!  I'm that awesome.  I popped some Excedrine and got to work.  And look at what I did!!!  After 5-6 hours of painting, I got all of the first coat done and some of the walls got a second coat.

I was in love with this color before I put it up on the walls.  And now that it's up on the walls, I think I might run away with it.  It's so pretty and so cozy.  It looks great with the wood floors and oh did you notice, there was furniture in the room.  It goes exceptionally well with our new sectional that showed up Saturday morning.  Now just to get that woodwork painted.  And I know, all you wood lovers out there are having  heart attacks.  Is she really saying she's painting that wonderful woodwork?  How could she?  Well I've already heard it from both my mother and J's dad, it's not fazing me, it's going to be painted.  It's not the original woodwork, none of it matches, and some of it is that plastic, fake wood, so it's fine.  Take a deep breath and settle down.  Even J's dad eventually agreed with me, it will look nicer painted.

And speaking of J's dad; his parents came to be put to work for a little visit on Sunday.  The patched the wall where we took down the half wall, patched a few other places, and changed out all of the light switches and outlets.  Oh and the best part, they replaced the dimmer switch in the dining room, so now it actually works!!!  Romantic dinners here we come, okay,as soon as we get a table :-)  His dad is super excited about all these projects, I don't know if I can say the same for J.  He's just not the "handy around the house" type guy, YET.  He's like a deer in headlights when it comes to home improvement.  Who would have thought an engineer wouldn't be able to do this crap.

Me on the other hand have no problem with this stuff.  My parents have flipped houses and gutted and redone every house we've lived in (and here's the reason my mom's not helping us right now, she's busy re-building a house she bought last year).  This crap is second nature to me.  Yes, sweetie, there is a difference between Spackle and joint compound.  He'll learn, I know it.  Well I hope he learns.  He did tell his dad that he would just let me do everything because I already knew how to do it.  No, I think not boy, you'll be helping too.  :-)            

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What else have we been up to?

This weekend we also replaced the knobs on the kitchen cabinets.  Thank god we got those old ones out of there.  They were way too ornate for me.  What do I like, plain, simple, brushed aluminum.  And best of all, I found knobs that I liked that came in a multi-pack at Home Depot.  That way we saved a crap ton of monies.  We needed 24 knobs, and at $3 a piece, that's $72 bucks for the whole kitchen.  But what did we pay, $35.  Yup, that's it.  And it was a pack of 25, so we had one extra that we put on the laundry shoot door.

Now we need to decide what we're going to do with the cabinets.  We would like to hold out on redoing the kitchen for a couple years.  So we have to live with cabinets that are in there.  Do we leave them the way they are, paint/stain them white, or paint/stain them dark (almost black)?  We have the dark counter tops, so we don't want the kitchen to be to dark and depressing.  But we plan on taking the upper cabinet out that separates the kitchen and living room, and that will open up the space and bring in a lot more light.

Our plan of attack, take some pictures of the kitchen and photoshop the kitchen cabinets dark and light.  Then we'll try to decide what we want to do.

We also have to decide what we want to do with the tile back splash.  The current tile is old and cracked.  It also has a blue pattern in it, which will not go with my nice natural looking kitchen.  So do we try to paint it (Oh I looked it up, it's possible) or do we rip it down and replace it?  Oh decisions, so many to make!  I think I might try the whole painting them and if they look like crap, we'll rip those bitches down and replace them.  I think I might have J convinced that glass tile is the way to go, even if it's a little pricey.     

Monday, January 24, 2011

Another Productive Weekend!

So this weekend was another pretty productive weekend.  I'm proud of all the things we've been able to accomplish as of late.  My body is aching this morning, but it was worth it.

I've gotten the hallway and the living room completely taped off and ready to paint.  So I'm hoping to get that done this week, before our new couch gets here.  I don't really want to get any paint on that thing of beauty, so I'll try to get as much of it done this week as possible.  Oh latte, I can not wait for you to be on my walls.  How warm and welcoming you will be.  And you may have noticed the abundance of light in the hallway.  Yay, we finally have lights up again!

We took all the old fixtures down when we painted the ceiling a wonderful crisp white a while ago.  Okay, it was almost a month ago.  I know that's sad.  So we've been living without light in most of the house.  We don't own a lot of lamps, so the ones we do have litter the upstairs.  Well not anymore.
Here's the first fixture almost ready to be tested out.  I'm going to take these down and paint them oil rubbed bronze in the spring so they match the rest of the fixtures.  But right now we just need light and it's not possible for me to paint in this wonderful winter sub zero weather.  So it will wait until then. 
Look at J using his manly instincts to put up that light.  So hot!  This was the easiest of the three light fixtures we put up, so he doesn't look annoyed and mad yet, but he will, oh, he will!  It's difficult doing things with an engineer, he is always telling me how stupid things are designed and made.  It can get to me sometimes.
And there it is all done.  Now we have light in our entry way.  Oh it is nice to be able to just flip a switch and there is light.
And here is the one we put up over the dining table.  Well at least that's where we plan on putting a dining table when we get one.  Someday we'll get one of those too, but right now other things are more important.  We would also like to get different light shades eventually too, but for now we're using the old ones from the last light fixture that was here.  I really like this one, but J's not happy.  It was a bitch to install and doesn't really meet the ceiling like we would like it too, so we'll be trying to figure out a new way to mount it in the future.

And here is one of our little helpers.  I don't know if she moved from the bay window the whole time we were working.  Oh wait I take that back, she did get up every time we got the tape measure out to check something.  Then it was right back to the window for prime squirrel watching.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Holy Crap It's Friday Already!

I can't believe this week went so fast.  But I guess when it's a short week it will tend to do that.  Granted usually short weeks feel like they are taking twice as long, but I'll take a week that flies by.

Anyway, we officially have a couch on order.  That means we'll have something to sit on upstairs.  Awesome!

The brown couch with leather accents won out.  I knew it would.  We ordered an extra armless section and plan on using one of the sections as a matching chair.  I like this idea.

We went without the ottoman as seen in the picture.  It almost an extra $300.  For an ottoman, without storage.  Crazy.  We're gonna get a nice square coffee table and decide if we want to invest in an ottoman in the future.  Right now we can do without one.

We also sat down and built our own entertainment center on the Ikea website.  That way the next time we go down there we can pick up all the pieces.  Maybe we'll take a day off during the week sometime so that it's not as busy as our last trip.  And all that is left is picking out a new tv.  I'll let J do that, I don't care what it looks like, just as long as it's not a monstrosity as large as the last one.    

I hoping to get the living room painted this weekend.  I don't think we have anything planned for the weekend, so paint, paint, paint.  I want to get that beautiful Latte up on the wall.  I'm excited about it.   Lets see if  I have pictures of the paint job, if not, that means I was sadly disappointed this weekend :-(

Thursday, January 20, 2011

So, what else is new?!?

Well as stated before, we had one of the most productive weekends since moving day.  We handed over the keys to our apartment, we took a trip to Ikea, we picked out furniture.  All good productive things.  Lets see, I'm sure I'm forgetting something else.  Oh yeah, J picked up one of these on Sunday. ☞

He had a $50 gift card burning a hole in his pocket for a couple months now and finally used that baby.  Not that I would have behaved much better, though I do have five gift cards right now.  Ok, that settles it, shopping trip.

Oh wait, I digress.  I was talking about J's new toy; his PS3 move.  Now I haven't tried this baby out yet, but I have spent plenty of time watching J play around with it.  It's funny watch him use it, especially the ping pong game.  But my favorite thing to do has really nothing to do with the game.  To use the game you must calibrate it.  So it shows you a screen of what the little camera sees to show you where to stand.  Well I love to hold up the pug and make her dance in the background while J's calibrating.  It's funny.  Well at least I think its funny, and I don't care if you laughed or not at that, it's funny!  Anyway, this is exactly what we need, something to distract us from getting things around the house done.  Like painting, patching a wall, and setting tile. 

And why haven't I tried out this new fangled technology?  Oh I could blame it on the fact that we only have one controller, or that it's funnier just to watch J (it is pretty funny), or that I just don't do this kind of thing.  But none of those are the reason.  It's because I pulled a muscle in my shoulder doing snow the other day.  Yes, I sometimes do the snow.  Now I thought I would just go outside and use the snow blower on the driveway and be done with it before J got home from work.  I started up the snow blower and got about 3/4 of the driveway done, so far so good.  Then I turned off the blower, moved my car, and TRIED to start up the blower again.  Only this time, it was not starting.  And not only would it not start, on one of the pulls it recoiled, yanking my arm with it.  So that damn, stupid, hell sent, piece of shit snow blower tried to rip one of my arms off.  And if that wasn't enough, I had to finish the driveway with the shovel.  Boo the snow.  I'm really starting to hate it.  So that's why I haven't tried out our Move yet.  Lets just hope the little neighbor girl (who was helping her dad shovel) didn't hear too much of what came out of my mouth when it happened.  And that's not a picture of our snow blower, I got the picture off the internets.  Our snow blower looks much, much more evil.  I think it has teeth and devil horns.   

Little added story.  Last night J looked at me and and said, "boy my arm hurts a little bit." (as he rubbed it).  "Why?"  And what was his reply, "I think that I played way to much ping pong last night.  That Move really gives you a bit of a work out."  Oh I'm sorry, I'm supposed to feel sorry for you because you're arm hurts because you played too many video games?  Oh poor baby, why don't you sit down, let me make you a nice dinner, and I'll nurse you're poor hurt arm back to health.  Meanwhile, the shooting pain down my arm is making it difficult for me to raise my right (the most used) arm above my shoulder.  Men!!!  Don't worry the pain has almost completely subsided in my arm, thank god, I really thought I seriously hurt something.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

What A Productive Weekend!

I think that this weekend was the most productive weekend we've had since our actual moving day.  I mean moving day was probably the most productive thinking we moved 90% of our crap that day.  But I guess it's hard to be productive when you're laying on the couch thinking you might die and wishing you remembered how food tasted.  But we're both past that and now with us feeling much better, the productivity is flowing.

Saturday was our last day in the apartment in JC.  We handed over our keys and talked to our landlords longer then we ever have in the four years we've lived there.  That went as well as it could have gone.  I'm just glad we're out of there.

We also headed to the Windy City.  Well not really Chicago, but Schaumburg.  Hey, that's where Ikea is!  We went down with some friends and their kids, which was fun.  We didn't get any furniture, but we looked at a few entertainment centers and decided on a finish.  We also picked up the taller legs for the bed (so we can have storage underneath) and a new duvet cover, YAY!  As well as some kitchen crap and all our beautiful stainless steal bathroom accessories.  And then I got my Chicago style pizza before we headed home.  Awesome.

Finalist #1 - Imagine in a nice cream color and dome arms!
Then we finally made it to the furniture store on Sunday.  I know, we've lived in our home for almost two months now, what were we waiting for?  Well we've been busy and sick, don't judge me and me empty living room.

But anyway, the sales person that helped us was super nice.  Which is the main reason I don't normally like the furniture store, they can be so pushy.  Luckily she was super friendly and actually listed to what we were looking for.  She showed us a few couches that would work with our room and we narrowed it down to two.

The first is the one on the right.  But not in the bright red, a red couch is fine and all, but would never go in our living room.  Imagine it in a nice cream color (see picture on the left).  We liked the fabric because it was soft, yet still wouldn't attract as much pet hair.  Though we've pretty much come to the conclusion that pet hair is a thing we must live with and we'll have to clean it off everything we own, so suck it up!

This couch was the smaller of the two.  And by smaller, I mean small for a sectional.  And that's what we're looking for a nice comfy sectional that will be inviting to our friends and family when they come over.  I love our basement current couch, but with the built in chase, it's not all the inviting when we have guests.  So more seating is what we're looking for.   

Finalist #2 - This color and setup!
The second couch is a little bit larger and is a nice dark brown with dark leather accents.  It's very plush and I can see us cuddled up up on it passed out watching a movie.  And when I pass out at night (which I may or may not do), there will still be plenty of room for J to sit.  Our last couch allowed no extra person to sit once I had fallen asleep.  The color will go well with the rest of the living room and we think it had a little bit more of a quality look to it.

We have pretty much decided on couch #2.  This is the one I picked out online and I loved it just as much in person.  It was nice, even if it was a bit larger then I wanted.  But the furniture store woman told me an average walkway is 3 feet and with this couch we'll have more then 3 feet, so I guess it will fit fine.  We keep going back and forth if we should get the ottoman.  It's not included and it's a bit pricey, but it would be nice to have one.  We'll have to decide soon, the sale is over this Wednesday.  

The other plus of the second couch is that it's in stock and not a special order like the first one.  That's awesome because then I don't have to wait a month or two to get a couch upstairs.  WooHoo.  I'll let you all know which one made the final cut (hint: it's gonna be the second one). 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Caramels - Second Batch!

Okay, so I posted a pic of some caramels I made the other day.  It was the first time I've ever made them and I commented that they were the easiest thing I've ever made and I was a fool to fear the caramels.  Well I was right, they were delicious and easy, so I made some more.

This time I followed a slightly different recipe.  This one had brown sugar and evaporated milk in it.  And it is just as delicious as the first recipe.  They have a little bit more of a maple type flavor due to the brown sugar, but boy are they yummy!

I took some pictures of the whole making process last night, just to show you how easy they are. 

Here is all the crap boiling.  You just throw it all in a pan, turn on the stove to high and wait for the temp to get to about 250˚.  Yup that's all you do.  Then when they reach 250˚, you pour in a little vanilla, pour it in our greased pan, and try to wait for them to cool.  And DONE!

I did accidentally drop my candy thermometer in the bubbling sugar mess.  I just prayed that it held out for this batch of candy.  It did, so another awesome batch of caramels.  Now I have to take it apart and clean all the sugar out of it and hope it's a tough little one and will continue to work for years.  If not I guess I just go to the kitchen store and grab another, no sentimental attachment here.

Here they are cooling.  Look at them, they look delicious just cooling in the pan.  And I may or may not have cut a few pieces out before they were all the way set.  Whatever, they were calling my name, luring me over there to try just a little sweet sample.  I couldn't resist.  You try making some of these and we'll see how much sell control you have!!!  I bet you won't have anymore then I did.  These things are like crack!  No, I'm dead serious.  I think I have a serious addiction and I may just end up in rehab.  It's like that one time I made marshmallows and discovered how much better they were then store bought ones, that was not a pretty day.  The bad thing about the caramels, is they're even easier to make then marshmallows.  Oh crap, I'm in trouble.     

And just in case any of you want to make up a pan of crack caramels yourself, here are the two recipes I used.

1st Caramel Recipe (got this from J's boss, not sure where she got it from, I think she said the Betty Crocker Recipe book, you know the one, the one everyone has.  Hint, hint, mom, where's mine, I own a house now!  But like I said, maybe she got the recipe somewhere's else, I'm not sure.)

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups corn syrup (I used light, but maybe you can use dark, don't know)
  • 2 cups heavy cream 
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Grease Pan (I used the one pictured above for both recipes)
  2. Mix all ingredients, except vanilla, in a large pot (it has to be a big one because this crap is going to boil and get almost twice volume)
  3. Boil mixture until it reaches about 250˚F (it's gonna feel like it taking forever, but just keep going)
  4. Once it reaches 250˚, remove from heat, stir in vanilla, pour in greased pan
  5. Let cool and then cut in squares
She told me I can speed up the process by putting them in the fridge to cool.  And of course I did that, I wasn't going to wait for them to cool!  

2nd Caramel Recipe (I got this one off Click on the link for the exact recipe with comments and pictures) 


  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Grease a 12x15 inch pan.
  2. In a medium-size pot, combine sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, evaporated milk, whipping cream, and butter. Monitor the heat of the mixture with a candy thermometer while stirring. When the thermometer reaches 250 degrees F (120 degrees C) remove the pot from the heat.
  3. Stir in vanilla. Transfer mixture to the prepared pan and let the mixture cool completely. When cooled cut the Carmel into small squares and wrap them in wax paper for storage.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Only a few more days!

Look at the Clean Driveway!
That's right only a few more days and we're out of our old apartment.  We hand over the keys Saturday, and not a moment too soon in my book.  Yesterday I had to go to the JC and watch they guy clean the carpets, because we were told we had to have them professionally cleaned before we left.  Which is all good and all, but it made me realize when he had finished that they were never cleaned before we moved in, even though we were told they had been.  There was no way in hell they were cleaned before we moved in.  It made me kinda sad that we lived there for four years with dirty dingy carpets and we didn't have too.  Oh, well that's in the past.  After Saturday, I'll never have to worry about that place again.  Good ridence.

Yesterday I also managed to pull a muscle in my arm trying to get the snow blower started.  I don't care what J's dad says, there is something up with that blower.  But I got it running and did the whole damn driveway, plus a path for the mailman (we don't have sidewalks).  Yeah, I'm pretty awesome.

This is a picture of bread!
I also managed to make the first loaf of acceptable bread last night.  I have been trying for ever since I got my bread machine to make decent bread and just haven't been able to.  I have no idea whats wrong with me.  I even screwed up those bread box kits.  You know the ones with all the ingredients in them, you just pour it into the machine and hit go.  Yeah, I even screwed those up.  I seriously don't know what's wrong with me.  So last night I followed the recipe to a T and double checked to make sure everything was correct and checked it one more time.  Guess what, oh wait I already told you.  Hell yeah, I made an awesome loaf of bread (sorry forgot to get pictures of it you'll have to imagine using my awesome artwork). So now I'm pumped to try out some different recipes.  Lets just hope those turn out as good as my plain old white loaf of bread.

 And now since I lured you into a false sense of security with my lovely bread story, I'll show you some pics of what I found when I took the dishwasher apart to clean.  So we haven't had a dishwasher in ages.  J hasn't had one since his college apartment and I haven't had once since I've lived at home.  So, it's been a while.  But I researched on the internets know you need to clean these babies out.  They collect all sorts of goodies and need a good cleaning now and then.

So this is what I found when I took it all apart.  Not actually as bad as I thought it would be.  I bleached the inside of the washer and scrubbed that with a toothbrush to get in all the cracks and crevices.  Then I soaked the rest of the parts and scrubbed them good and clean.  So now we have a clean dishwasher that will hopefully work better and smell less.  Oh the joys of owning your own home and having to do things like this.

And yesterday I pulled the fridge out to get at something and discovered the previous owners had cleaned that in years.  So guess what I'll be doing soon!!! 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Lookie what I made last night!

I actually made caramels last night.  I've been saying I was going to do it for a long time now.  I even went to the store and made sure I had everything I needed.  My plan was to make some over the Christmas holiday, but that never happened.  I'm not sure why though.  Maybe I was a little scared at the idea of making something like this.  But I shouldn't have been, they were soooooo easy.  And thanks to my trusty candy thermometer (I use that baby to also make homemade marshmallows), they turned out great.

These are my super soft squishy caramels.  I have a second recipe that should make a little bit more firm caramel that  I will be trying this weekend.  I can't wait to make more.

I'm not joking, these were some of the easiest things I've ever made.  If you can boil crap and read numbers, you can make caramels.

My wrapping could use some improvement, but who the hell cares what the wrapper looks like, you know all you care about is the yummy caramel goodness inside anyway.  Maybe I'll get better at wrapping them as I make some more.  I'm sure J will definitely need want some more.

And yes I made these last night instead of working on my studio.  I had this master plan to go and get things organized so I could paint in there and I was lured away by caramels.  But J did make a lot of progress on his band studio downstairs.  They got the drywall up on one wall and now just need to replace the other two walls.  I'll try and get some pictures tonight.

We're also almost completely out of our old apartment.  No more apartment living for us, we're homeowners now!!!  J and a friend (with a truck) are going to go pick up his hood and tool box.  Then I have to go watch them clean the carpets tomorrow morning (can't wait (sarcasm)).  Then good bye crappy apartment and good bye JC forever (unless I need to go to the outlet mall). 

Monday, January 10, 2011

What Did You Do This Weekend?

So we had a pretty boring weekend.  It's our last full weekend to get out of our old apartment, so guess what we spent the whole weekend doing?  Yup, cleaning up the old place.  I still have to find a carpet cleaners THIS WEEK, so hopefully they're not too over booked and we'll be able to make an appointment for that.

We did get J's car over to the new house.  We had it flat bedded on Sunday.  It was a lot more expensive, but J wanted it done.  He was so nervous the whole ride.  He does love that car.  I swear our car ride was silent as he watched the tow truck behind us the whole way.  He did take a break from worrying long enough to eat a giant cookie I picked up in the JC (I am going to miss the truck stop bakery.  Awesome baked goods for super cheap).  But it made it fine and now it's in our garage.  Come spring he can pick up work on it and hopefully it will run this summer.

We also hit up the SWAP store.  It's the UW surplus store here in WI.  They have all the crap that the university doesn't want anymore.  They have everything from computers to filing cabinets to lab equipment.  Then they always have something that's a little weird or funny.  It's just a huge warehouse filled up with all this crap.  And like a garage sale, you have to be willing to dig to find fantastic value.  J picked up a projector.  I guess it was a good deal; apparently it's worth $7,000 and he picked it up for $225.  I hope he's not just giving me a story to shut me up.  But he's happy with it.  He actually brought it up to the lab for a while and played with it while I took care of my cells.

Hell yeah, we own a gas mask now!
We also got these.  Yup that's a gas mask.  Why we needed a gas mask, I'm not sure, but we got one.  Just like some of the other weird stuff we have around the house, there is no intended use yet, but there might be someday (boy sounds like we could become hoarders, good thing I'm big on decluttering and getting rid of shit we don't need).  They were really cheep and just had a big bin of them.  We picked through them and found what we considered "the best" if there is such thing as "the best" gas mask.  I hope "the best" means that it saves my ass from dying the best and not just look "cool." 

We also got two of those great bags.  They are the bags that are supposed to hold the gas masks, but we just thought they were pretty cool.  I'm using mine as a purse right now.  They're cool and really seem to have a lot of history (okay I'm done describing shit as cool, even I realized how annoying that is.  God, I'm not 12).  They had riot helmets too, but we decided to pass on those.  But as I look back on it and kinda wish we would have picked up some.  Hey you never know when you'll be in the middle of a riot and need some protection, especially in a collage town.  :-)    

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Ikea Here We Come!

So our first trip to Ikea as homeowners is planned!!!!  I'm so excited about this.  We haven't been to Ikea in ages.  I really did wish there was one that was closer, but I guess the plans to build one in Milwaukee fell through years ago and well with the way Milwaukee's economy is, I highly doubt there will be one built anytime soon.  So we're off to Illinois.  It's not this weekend, but next.  I know booo.  I wish it was this weekend.  My list is extremely long and I need to get my fix of crazy Swedish shit.

Do you know you can make shopping lists on their website to take with you on your next visit?  Crazy.  That's gonna help us navigate the three floors of crazy people and home goods.  The problem with that is I just keep perusing the website and adding things to my list.  What's wrong with me, it's like I seriously have an addiction to that place or something.

I have the crap we pick up every time we go there, like tea lights.  You get a bag of I think it's a billion, yeah I'm pretty sure a billion, tea lights for only a couple of bucks.  Awesome.  If you know me, you know one of my other addiction is candles and candle holders.  So a bag of a billion tea lights, awesome.  I'm also addicted to buying sheets, blankets, and towels.  As well as socks.  And well I'm also addicted to buying beads and glass.  And vases and vessels of any kind.  Okay, I think you get the picture, I'll stop now.             

We also have some stuff that we desperately need for the house.  Our kitchen has a built in china hutch and a little breakfast nook counter.  These two things are nice, but they take up what could be counter space.  A whole wall of the kitchen is practically unused.  So we're taking them out, but we don't really want to redo the kitchen right now.  We figured we would wait a few years before diving in to a project that large.  We have enough on our plate right now.  We're looking at getting some sort of cart or table to put on that wall.  Something that would serve as more storage as well as more counter space so I can put all my awesome kitchen gadgets (and yes I use the majority of my kitchen gadgets all the time).  Well Ikea has these things they call free standing kitchens.  I guess they're just kitchen cabinets that are on legs not built in.  I'm not sure, but anywho, they have this one.  It's plain and simple.  We could stain or paint it to match the kitchen and it will add the storage and counter top space we're looking for.  The best thing is the price.  It's super cheap compared to anything else we've looked at.  Do you know how much free standing islands cost?  It's crazy, even the one's Ikea has to offer.  We though about making something ourselves, but for this price, we're probably just going to get it.  I will be so happy when my kitchen gadgets have their own place (right now we have them lined up in a row on the counters).

I also have a bunch of little kitchen crap on my list and a crazy iron holder for the laundry room downstairs.  I have to admit, some of the stuff on my list is there just because it's crazy and I want to see it in person (have you seen some of there crazy lights).  I'm just happy we're going soon so we can start making the house a little bit more like a home then an abandoned shack.

And best of all, I get me some pizza.  Hell yeah!!  I plan my trips to Chicagoland around food.  No matter what we're going there for, I always plan out where we're going to eat first.  And some deep dish pizza will make me happy.  My mom is always suggesting new places to add to my list of 'must eat at'.  But she goes down there more then I do lately.  Boy I always seem to miss home when I start talking food.  I just need to remind myself that in a week and a half I'll be getting my Ikea fix during the day and then my deep dish fix at night.  Oh such a gluttonous weekend we have planned.              

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Cat Door

Well J and I are still sick, so home improvements have been slow going here.  Hopefully we'll feel better soon and actually accomplish something.  I'm back at work after a two weeks vacation.  Unfortunately a vacation where you're sick is just not that much fun.  But at least I got to rest a bit, sort of.  J went to the doctor yesterday because he felt so crappy.  I know he's sick when he says he's going to the doctor.  You know men and their "I don't need no doctor attitude."  Morons.  But the doctor sent him home to rest because he just has some nasty virus.  So at least he's not dying.  

We have accomplished a few things.  We drug ourselves to the home improvement store down the road (and yes we literally had to drag ourselves there because we felt so crappy) to pick up some crap we needed; more tape to paint the ceilings, door mats, wood floor mop, closet rods, etc, etc.  You know all that stupid super exciting stuff you need to do home improvements.

Look How Happy That Cat Looks!
We also got a cat door while we were there.  The cat's litter box is in the laundry room and we didn't want to leave the door open anymore (we had to leave the basement door open in our last place, and it just made the whole place smell like basement).  So our solution was a cat door.  They can have access throughout the day and our guest that use the downstairs bathroom don't have to look at our laundry room or their litter box, it's a great idea.  And the best of all, Yoda can't fit through it (she's too chunky broad chested to fit), so the dog won't be in there.

Now the idea sounds like a good one, but when you've got one OCD cat and one incredibly stupid cat, lets just say our plan is not really going that well.  Nacho will use it, she has figured out that to use the bathroom and eat (we put there food in there to coax them in there), she has to go through it.  And if she wants to leave, she has to come back through the door.  Now Toonces on the other hand, hasn't quite figured it out.  If i put her in the bathroom and close the door she sits in the bathroom and yowls like we're killing her.  If I put her in the laundry room, she yowls like we're killing her.  We even tried to help her through by holding the little flappy door open and putting her front feet through the door.  Well that resulted in her actually thinking we were trying to kill her and she went into crazy huge cat mode with the claws and the hissing and the look at me I can contort my body like I'm possessed by the devil.  We now have claw marks on the wall because of this stupid action.                  

This is Ours.  Notice, no happy cat!
So right now I have them both locked in the bathroom.  Nacho is pissed, I mean pissed like she might try to kill me in my sleep tonight (ha ha Nacho, that's why I don't allow you in the bedroom).  She has figured out the flappy door and wants out.  She has been banging on the bathroom door for about 15-20 minutes now.  I'm a little scared to go in there and see what is happening.  Toonces is just sitting in a corner yowling.  This will be an interesting day.  Our plan was to keep them in there a full day so they have to use the little door if they want to poop.  But cats are the devil's spawn magnificent creatures and I'm sure they will stay in there all day and not use the door, well at least Toonces won't.  And then when I let them out, the first thing she'll so is probably poop in my shoe or something to get back at me.  I seriously can't wait to see what drama this damn door causes.  It's bound to be an interesting day.  

*Cat door update!  We have removed the flappy door and this seems to have convinced Toonces it's not a death trap.  So far so good, we think!