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Category: new house fun

  1. Thursday, December 5

    What to Look for in a Refrigerator

    When we bought our house there was no refrigerator. We bought our neighbor’s garage fridge to tide us over until we found something we really wanted and loved. Thankfully I work with KitchenAid and they graciously offered to supply our home with a brand new fridge. (Another 10 points for the blog!) I wanted to share the fridge we chose with you, explain why we chose what we chose and share the best features, in case anyone is in the market for a fridge or will be in the future.

    KitchenAid Counter Depth French Door Refrigerator | thisweekfordinner.com

    Things to Think About as You Start Shopping for a Refrigerator:

    Space and Size:
    One of the biggest things to consider when purchasing a fridge is your space. My mother-in-law, for example, has a small space boxed in by cabinetry. When their fridge died, they were very limited in what models they could choose from based on dimensions. Nate and I found ourselves in a similar situation. The kitchen in our home was redone about 10 years ago, so it’s in wonderful shape. But the placement of the cabinets is all original, dating back to 1969. As a result, we too were limited by particular dimensions as the fridge space is enclosed by cabinets. (Granted, our space is much bigger than my in-laws…I’m not complaining!)

    Depth:
    Another factor we had to consider was whether or not to get a standard-depth or counter-depth fridge. Based on the height and width of our fridge space, we were pretty limited in our choices, but we could choose between standard and counter depth. My mom has a counter-depth fridge and she hates it. And when I asked the appliance salesperson at Home Depot about them, they didn’t even have any models on display and she said it’s her most returned appliance. Needless to say I was a bit nervous about getting a counter-depth fridge! But with the way our kitchen is set up, a standard-depth fridge (which is deeper) stuck out too far into our kitchen and took up precious space, right where you walk through from the garage to the dining room. We took a deep breath and decided to dive in with the counter-depth.

    Quality:
    Lucky for us we knew that the KitchenAid fridges we had to choose from were all high-quality appliances. As you narrow down your list of contenders, be sure to take quality into account and balance that with the budget. Once you buy a fridge you’re going to have it for a long time!

    KitchenAid Counter-Depth French Door Fridge | thisweekfordinner.comWhat We Love About Our New Fridge:

    We ended up getting the KitchenAid 20 Cu. Ft. Counter-Depth French Door Refrigerator, Architect Series II. It fits PERFECTLY in our space and we are loving it. But simply telling you we love it is not helpful, let’s get into specifics! Now that we’ve had the fridge for a few months, I definitely know what features I love and would tell people to look out for.

    • I love how the counter-depth fridge takes up less space in the kitchen, and it looks really nice having it flush with the cabinets. In terms of capacity, it’s worked great for us so far. Despite my mom feeling like there just isn’t enough room in her counter-depth, I haven’t felt that way. The reason we chose french doors over the side-by-side model was because there was more fridge capacity with the french door model (plus I like having a wider space rather than a narrow area to work with). On the other hand, the side-by-side has significantly more freezer capacity, but since I have a chest freezer (more on that in a minute), I wasn’t as worried about freezer capacity. Also, when I compared the capacity of the french door counter-depth to our old fridge that was standard depth and HUGE, it actually had almost the same exact capacity. Whether you choose french-door or side-by-side will really depend on your own needs. Just be sure to check out the specifications to compare the cubic feet.
    • The cheese drawer is AWESOME (it’s the wide drawer you see underneath the produce drawers in this picture). It holds a ton of stuff and is my favorite part of the fridge. I also love that I can fit 2 gallons of milk on the door and the butter compartment is nice and big. All of these things combine to make for easy organization and lots of storage capacity.

    KitchenAid Counter-Depth French Door Refrigerator | Inside View | thisweekfordinner.com

    • I thought I would hate the freezer drawer, but I actually love it. And my favorite part about the drawers in the freezer in this particular model is that they are solid  instead of basket-style, so things don’t fall through to the level below and they are easier to clean.

    KitchenAid Counter-Depth French Door Refrigerator | Freezer Drawer | thisweekfordinner.comFor the record, this is NOT my freezer drawer, lest you think I keep a tidy freezer.

    • Our fridge comes with a water and ice dispenser. It takes up a lot of real estate inside the fridge, but it’s worth it. The ice and the water both taste great (I usually HATE how ice tastes coming from fridge dispensers) and the filter is easily accessible.
    • Thank goodness for the alarm that tells me when the fridge is left open! There is also a vacation mode, which we used when we were gone for a few weeks this summer.
    • KitchenAid uses the ExtendFresh™ Temperature Management System, which uses sensors in the refrigerator and freezer to help ensure all the ingredients remain at the appropriate temperature. Our food stays super fresh and nothing is frozen or melted when they’re not supposed to be (can you tell I had some really great fridges in the past?).
    • Is the fridge really, truly big enough for our family of five? Yes, I can say that it is. Keep in mind that we DO have a chest freezer in our garage, which we’ve had for years. I freeze a lot of stuff and would need the extra freezer no matter how giant my fridge was. We did keep the old fridge and put it in the garage to see if we would need the extra fridge space. I will admit that it came in handy during Thanksgiving week, mostly for holding our giant turkey until it was time to cook and for keeping lots of soda cold for our guests. But I could have made it work with just my inside fridge if I’d had to, and the rest of the year the outside fridge is pretty much empty.
    • Even though I chose the french door model for strictly utilitarian reasons, I love how it looks! So pretty!

    Hopefully this is all helpful information! I know whenever I go to make a big purchase, I get overwhelmed with information, so I tried to highlight the features and benefits that have been most valuable for us to make it a little easier for you when looking around.

    May all your refrigeration dreams come true! (Sorry for the cheesy line – a visit to Disneyland will do that to you.)

    UPDATE 3/16/16: We still love this fridge. I am really glad we got counter depth and the water/ice dispenser, but I think the reason I can have those things is because I have a second fridge in the garage. If it wasn’t for that second fridge, I would probably feel frustrated by the space in the fridge, so consider that carefully when choosing your own fridge. Also we are getting ice buildup in the bottom of the freezer under the doors, which will sometimes melt onto the floor. It’s not a big deal and it’s really easy to remove the ice if we know it’s there, but just thought I should let you know about that quirk. Other than that, it’s been a great appliance!

    A big thank you to KitchenAid for providing us with our refrigerator. All opinions are 100% my own.


  2. Wednesday, October 23

    Time for a Kitchen Counter Makeover!

    I know I always brag about how awesome my mother-in-law Pat is and you’re probably sick of hearing it, but she really truly is amazing. I seriously would have no problem living with her. That’s saying something, right?

    Wilsonart HD was one of our SocialLuxe Lounge sponsors last year. They were great to work with and it was fun learning about their product. Because I was a VIP (in other words, I worked my tail off throwing that shindig), I had the chance to get some new kitchen countertops. Happily I was able to give the counters as a gift to Pat. Because she needs them. Because these were the counters she had forever:

    before wilsonart hd counter makeover | thisweekfordinner.com

    before wilsonart hd counter makeover | thisweekfordinner.com

    before wilsonart hd counter makeover | thisweekfordinner.com

    before wilsonart hd counter makeover | thisweekfordinner.com

    She even had the edges of the counter taped down in one spot. Pat is in the kitchen a lot, so she deserves to have nice, high-tech counters to work on!

    The counters were just installed, but we’re not quite ready to share the ‘after’ pictures. Once the backsplash is done we’ll have the big reveal, along with the reasons Wilsonart HD is a great option when you’re on a budget. Stay tuned!


  3. Thursday, October 17

    What to Look For in a Dishwasher

    Today is the last day that I wax poetic about my new dishwasher. I figured it would be helpful to list my favorite features so that those of you who are in the market for a dishwasher (or might be in the future) know a few things to look for.

    Bosch 800 Series Dishwasher Features | From @janemaynard at thisweekfordinner.com

    For much of our marriage we haven’t had a dishwasher. When we did, they were generally pretty bad. The last dishwasher we had was so terrible I stopped using it and hand washed everything instead! Not surprisingly, having my very own, brand new dishwasher that actually does the job feels like a dream! Since I am so familiar with bad dishwashers, I can go on for days explaining why my new dishwasher is so much better. It’s like night and day and I am so appreciative of this machine!

    Here is a list of my favorite features of the Bosch 800 Plus Series 24″ Flush Handle Dishwasher in Stainless Steel:

    The Third Rack
    The dishwasher has a third rack. The third rack is SO AWESOME. It’s shallow and perfect for holding large utensils and my nice, non-wood-handle knives. There are little grooves made just for knives so that they are held firmly in place. While that is all well and good, the third rack is PERFECT for a family with kids. All of our tiny bowls and sippy cup lids fit perfectly and never flip during the wash. The third rack is full every time I run a wash!

    bosch dishwasher review | from @janemaynard at thisweekfordinner.com

    Adjustable Top Rack
    Let’s move down to the next rack, the top rack. This rack has tons of space in it for glasses, cups and bowls. I’m always amazed how much I can fit in. The rack is adjustable, so you can make it go up or down if you need to. You can also remove it completely if you want to wash something especially large in the bottom rack.

    bosch dishwasher review | from @janemaynard at thisweekfordinner.com

    The Dishwasher is Smarter Than Me
    The dishwasher has sensors that assess the cleanliness of the dishes SIX times during a wash cycle. The sensors actually necessitate that you do NOT pre-wash (rinse) the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher – the machine cleans better when it can actually tell how dirty the dishes are. I definitely use less water when I do the dishes and things go faster, which is great! The dishwasher also is good at reminding me when I need to add rinse agent or salt to the water softener (which we’ll get to in a minute).

    Use Less Soap
    This dishwasher only needs about 1 tablespoon of soap for a typical wash. Pretty great! (Sidebar: I have started using Finish powerball detergent and rinse agent. My sister-in-law Jess has been extolling the virtues of Finish for a few years now. Bosch gave me some samples and got me hooked. I have started purchasing Finish instead of the old powder soap I used to use. The dishes come out squeaky clean, with no film or residue. Jess said her dishwasher repairman is the one who told her about Finish – he said not only are the dishes super clean, but their soap is better for your dishwasher, too. By the way, I have no relationship with Finish, I am just totally converted to how awesome they are!)

    Oodles of settings
    My dishwasher has a ton of settings to choose from, which provides great versatility. I usually just use “Auto” since, as I mentioned before, the machine is smarter than I am. I love the half load option, too, for when we need to do a wash but haven’t filled the dishwasher.

    Built-in Water Softener
    Dishwashers work better with soft water. If you live in a place with hard water (or really hard water like I do) but don’t have a water softener for your home, then you’re kind of stuck. The Bosch dishwashers have their own water softening system. You simply test your tap water when you install the machine, see how hard your water is, add special salt to the softener, then select the right setting for your home. It was really simple to figure out and I love that this is built right into the machine.

    bosch dishwasher filter system | from @janemaynard at thisweekfordinner.com

    Filter System
    Most dishwashers have a disposal system with a blade built in. The blade can never be sharpened and it works just okay. Bosch uses an advanced filter system to break down the food in the water. When they first told us about the filter system I wasn’t sure what I thought about it, but now I totally love it. The filter is easy to pop in and out of the dishwasher. Almost all food can be broken down through the filters, but foods that can’t get caught in a cup in the filter. I check the filter every two weeks or so to see if there is anything in there (there hardly ever is) and that’s it. It’s a great system!

    SOOOOO Quiet
    I’ve mentioned this before, but my dishwasher is SO QUIET. It’s amazing. I have the 42 decibel model and you can hardly hear anything. I am not kidding when I say that Anna and I tried to start the dishwasher three times the first time we used it – it was on every time, we just couldn’t hear it! When I visited the showroom, they showed us all the different things they do to make the dishwasher quieter. I don’t remember all the details (I’m an artist, not an engineer!), but I do remember they do a LOT of extra soundproofing that other brands don’t do.

    The Dishwasher Just Plain Works
    Bottom line: my dishes come out clean. I don’t have a million cups and bowls flipped over and filled with dirty water when the wash is done. There aren’t any spots or grime on my dishes. The dishwasher does just what it’s supposed to do – wash the dishes!

    Hope this is helpful for those of you thinking about dishwashers! Thank you once again to Bosch! It’s been wonderful working with them!

    UPDATE 3/16/16: Almost 3 years later and I am still completely in love with this dishwasher. Never any problems, works beautifully, and that third rack is my favorite.

    Disclaimer: Bosch provided me with the dishwasher in exchange for reviewing the product. While they are wonderful and generous, all opinions are my own and, as always, I will share my honest opinions.


  4. Wednesday, October 9

    “Such a Dream.”

    Today I am going to totally embarrass myself. Yay!

    When we visited the Bosch showroom, they filmed each of the bloggers who attended, interviewing us about our new Bosch dishwashers. The videos will  play in showrooms and will be used for promotional purposes.

    So, today, the video. Yes, I’m sharing it with you. Even though I hate seeing myself on video and, like everyone, hate hearing my voice!

    The video itself isn’t all that embarrassing, but the closing quote IS. Every time I hear it, I just laugh and laugh and laugh.

    “Such a dream.”

    Such a cheeseball.

    Ah, the things I do for clean dishes. 😉

    Disclaimer: Bosch provided me with the dishwasher in exchange for reviewing the product. While they are wonderful and generous, all opinions are my own and, as always, I will share my honest opinions.


  5. Thursday, October 3

    A Visit to the Bosch Showroom

    Two days before we moved in June I visited the Bosch showroom to learn about our new dishwasher. Needless to say, it was a crazy week, but I welcomed a break from the packing and moving busy-ness that had taken over my life! It was a fun day, filled with beautiful kitchens, delicious food and fun friends.

    bosch showroom irvine | thisweekfordinner.comPhoto credit: Laurie Turk, Tip Junkie

    I had the chance to visit the Thermador showroom in Scottsdale previously but had never been to the Irvine showroom, which features Bosch, Thermador and Gaggenau. (Side note: Walking through the Gaggenau kitchens was unreal. I had no idea just how fancy kitchen appliances could be. Wowzah.)

    bosch showroom irvine | thisweekfordinner.com

    The Bosch kitchens were beautiful, featuring appliance after appliance that I would happily put in my own home. (If I could have fit them in my camera bag, I might have tried to sneak a few away!)

    bosch showroom irvine | thisweekfordinner.com

    bosch showroom irvine | thisweekfordinner.comPhoto credit: Laurie Turk, Tip Junkie

    Bosch is known for dishwashers and they had a room with a whole wall of them! We learned all about why Bosch dishwashers are so quiet as well as all the ins and outs of the dishwasher. Lest you think dishwasher talk would get boring, there was a laser light show! They even played a little Pink Floyd. (Okay, that last part might not be true.)

    bosch showroom irvine | thisweekfordinner.com

    I loved my dishwasher from the moment I received it, but it was fascinating to discover how it was made and learn all the ins and outs of my machine. The top rack can move up and down. The third rack can be made a little deeper if needed. The silverware compartment can break into two and be placed in various positions in the dishwasher. You can remove the top rack if you want to wash something extra big. Most impressive – the dishwasher stops and senses the cleanliness of the dishes 6 times during a wash and adjusts the cycle accordingly. This dishwasher is most definitely smarter than me.

    bosch showroom irvine | thisweekfordinner.com

    bosch showroom irvine | thisweekfordinner.comPhoto credit: Laurie Turk, Tip Junkie

    We had the chance to help cook lunch in the Bosch kitchens. The chefs are extremely talented because they took the food we prepared and still made it beautiful!

    bosch showroom irvine | thisweekfordinner.com

    And, wouldn’t you know it, they made us load our dirty dishes after lunch! Okay, so, we didn’t actually have to load our own dishes, but a really cute woman in a really nice outfit did load some of our dirty dishes to teach us how to load properly.

    bosch showroom irvine | thisweekfordinner.comPhoto credit: Laurie Turk, Tip Junkie

    Best loading tip of the day? Load silverware with the knives down (for safety), but all the other silverware should be facing up for best cleaning! (You know, with the spoon or fork part pointing up.)

    Also, if you have a good dishwasher like my Bosch, you don’t need to rinse the dishes. Just scrape the food off and toss it in the dishwasher. And, believe it or not, the dishwasher actually works more efficiently (remember the sensors?). If you rinse your dishes, Bosch folks call that “pre-washing.” It was really hard for me to stop pre-washing when I first got the dishwasher, but now I love it. I use so much less water and it’s faster!

    We ended the day with this:

    bosch show room irvine | thisweekfordinner.com

    You’ll have to wait until next week to find out more about this photo! (It involves me feeling a bit embarrassed, which should entertain everyone else! Click here to see what I’m talking about.)

    Disclaimer: Bosch provided me with the dishwasher in exchange for reviewing the product. While they are wonderful and generous, all opinions are my own and, as always, I will share my honest opinions.


  6. Thursday, September 26

    Meet My New Bosch Dishwasher!

    Today I want to introduce you to my new dishwasher. Everyone, meet my dishwasher. Dishwasher, meet everyone.

    bosch 800 series dishwasher | thisweekfordinner.com

    So, who is this pretty lady? She’s the brand new Bosch 800 Plus Series 24″ Flush Handle Dishwasher in Stainless Steel. She has a long name, kind of like royalty. That’s how fancy dishwashers roll, folks.

    I’m going to do a few posts about this dishwasher and why it is SO AWESOME, but today is just a first date. She doesn’t want to scare you all off with talking about herself too much. She has good manners like that. Remember? Fancy, royalty-type dishwasher we’ve got here.

    I am really, really, REALLY loving my new Bosch dishwasher. Bosch brags a lot about how quiet their dishwashers are. Well, the bragging is well-deserved. The first time I ran it Anna was with me. We turned it on, closed the door and couldn’t figure out why it wouldn’t start. We did this several times, then Anna spotted the light on the floor (it projects how much time is left!) and we realized the dishwasher WAS on. We honestly could not hear it! Anna thought that was so funny and giggled like crazy. She was also really proud she discovered the light on the floor. (Side note: it is really nice having someone else in the family who is just as enthusiastic as I am about the new dishwasher!)

    bosch 800 plus series dishwasher | thisweekfordinner.com

    Fair warning: if you ever come visit me and get a tour of our new house, you will be subjected to a long speech about the various features of my dishwasher. I just can’t help myself. I’m pretty sure my mom was thinking, “Uh, yeah, okay, can I see the kids now?”

    Speaking of our house, the new dishwasher fits right in. I’m especially happy we chose the flush handle since the dishwasher is tucked away in the corner there. It’s worked out perfectly.

    bosch 800 plus series dishwasher in my kitchen | thisweekfordinner.com

    Big thanks to Bosch for providing me with this dishwasher. Bosch is wonderful to work with and I look forward to sharing more with you about their products!

    Disclaimer: Bosch provided me with the dishwasher in exchange for reviewing the product. While they are wonderful and generous, all opinions are my own and, as always, I will share my honest opinions.


  7. Thursday, September 5

    Shopping for a Gas Grill: Share Your Tips!

    One of the very best features of our new house is the back patio. The landscaping in the yard is beautiful, complete with lighting at night, and the patio is large with a beautiful pergola, from which I will be hanging twinkle lights.

    shopping for a grill | back patio view | thisweekfordinner.com

    Ever day I count my lucky stars that we ended up getting this home. The previous owner lived here forever and took such good care of the home, looking out for every detail. Once such detail that we discovered a week or two after moving in was the gas line wired out to the patio. How cool is that?

    shopping for a grill | back patio view | thisweekfordinner.comThe gas line comes up on the left side of the patio, near the post you see on the left in this photo.

    I never thought a gas line could look so beautiful, but it does!

    shopping for a grill | built in gas line | thisweekfordinner.com

    Over the next few months we are going to be working with Lowe’s to put in a grill and an outdoor shower in our fabulous new yard. We have started the planning process and I am really itching to get the grill installed!

    I started browsing the Lowe’s website yesterday to see what’s available before we hit the store, and I honestly felt a bit overwhelmed. I figure if I feel overwhelmed, other people must, too! And I know that some of you have knowledge and opinions about gas grills that would be very beneficial for the clueless ones among us.

    So, we’re doing a Call for Recipes, except there are no recipes involved! Today we are calling for your tips and advice when shopping for a gas grill! Which features are “must-have” and which are not so important? What do you love most about your grill? What do you hate most about your grill? Any and all tips at all different budget levels are welcome!


  8. Friday, July 12

    House Stuff: Meet My Camo Counters and My Non-Camo Carpets

    We bought our house from an elderly woman who lived here for years and years. We are really lucky because she loved her home and spared no expense when making updates. There are a few things we could do if we really cared, but, honestly, the house is completely move-in ready and comfortable the way it is.

    The first thing we did, though, was take out the acoustic (a.k.a. popcorn) ceilings. Our new house is actually 45 years old, so, you know, it’s got some 45-year-old features. We had the ceilings done before we moved in since it’s pretty messy. For the most part it was an easy process and not too expensive, although we have to keep calling the ceiling guy back to fix bubbling spots he missed. I pray I never have to do any real construction because, holy smokes, there is always something with those guys! We hardly did any work and still…I can’t even imagine doing a big project!

    Anyway, back to the woman who owned our house. She remodeled the kitchen about 10 years ago and, while I may have picked different colors, she did a really nice job and everything is very neutral and high quality. The kitchen is great and I have been reeeeeeallllly happy using it! We have some appliance updating to do (more on that in future blog posts!), but other than that, I am loving the kitchen.

    I do need to take a moment, however, to introduce you to my granite countertops.

    camouflage granite countertops | thisweekfordinner.com

    My new counters have a very special talent: camouflage. I’m not exaggerating when I say you absolutely cannot see ANYTHING on the counter surface. No matter what color the debris or crumbs, light or dark, it all just blends in. Even when you look closely. It’s almost magical.

    The jury is still out on whether or not camo counters are a good thing. On the plus-side, they always look clean no matter what is going on. Big bonus! On the minus-side, they always look clean no matter what is going on. I mean, I could live in absolute squalor and never know it. (Well, unless I touched them!) Does anyone else have camo counters? Should I be grateful for them or curse their existence? I can’t decide!

    Regardless of the camouflage abilities, I am just so happy the counters are not tile. Tile counters NEVER look clean and the last 6 months with tile was just one constant battle with crumbs. I will never voluntarily get tile counters. EVER.

    My mother-in-law is getting Wilsonart HD counters installed at her home very soon. I’ll definitely report back on how those turn out and how we all like them! They are definitely more affordable than something like granite, and they have a lot of great features.

    white carpet | thisweekfordinner.com

    Now I need to introduce you to my carpets. While my counters may camouflage everything on their surface, our carpets most decidedly do not have this ability. The previous owner obviously spent a lot of money on the carpet because it’s really high quality. But it is also white. SO EXCITED. White carpets are going to be AWESOME with three kids! Especially in the area where the kitchen table goes. WOOHOO! {Insert sarcastic emoticon.}

    Eventually we want to put some hardwood floors in the living room, dining area and hallway. If anyone has advice or products they liked for putting in hard floors, please share!

    Last year for SocialLuxe Lounge, Bissell was one of our platinum sponsors, sharing the Spot Bot deep cleaner with the bloggers at the party. I received a Spot Bot for free, which I was super excited about. But then we didn’t really live in places where I could use it. Until now! Hello, white carpets! Meet the Spot Bot!

    For real, I love this thing. It’s super easy to use and it does a great job getting the spots and stains out of the carpet. Once I got started, I became a stain-fighting fanatic. I had to stop myself from doing the whole house so I could get other tasks done!

    I need to go get cooking in my new kitchen! We are doing a small housewarming-and-happy-birthday-Nate party tonight – our first party in the new house! Wish me luck!


  9. Sunday, June 23

    Week 335 Menu

    Hey everybody! Okay, so my menu this week is gonna kinda be lame. The house is a disaster, with boxes and piles everywhere you turn. And we are doing the actually moving on Saturday, so we’ll definitely be eating out for a few days!

    removing kitchen cabinets | thisweekfordinner.com

    cabinets before

    We spent a little time at the new house this weekend and took out some overhead cabinets in the kitchen that divided the dining and kitchen areas. I can’t believe the difference taking those cabinets out made! The room feels bigger, the countertop feels bigger, there’s more light…it’s just BETTER. We lost some shelving but it was worth it. Along the wall to the right of the window above the sink, we’ll either put a cabinet on the wall, hang pots and pans from the ceiling or do a spice rack of some kind. Suggestions welcome!

    Here’s my semi lame-o menu.

    MONDAY:
    Grammy’s Orange Chicken

    TUESDAY:
    Waffles

    WEDNESDAY:
    Turkey Boursin Baguettes

    THURSDAY – SUNDAY:
    – Eat out, sandwiches, cereal, whatever!

    I am not providing a lot of inspiration this week, so please post your menus to inspire one another! Can’t wait to see your plans!


  10. Friday, June 21

    A New Home

    Well, it is finally official and I can tell you what has been occupying half my time for the last month. We bought a house! After years of hard work and saving, we finally bit the bullet and took the plunge. (Can I come up with any more cliched phrases to use in a row? Probably…)

    So, here it is! Isn’t she cute?

    new house web

    We even have a peek of the ocean from the front yard. CRAZY.

    And here’s my new kitchen!

    new kitchen 2 web

    This weekend I will spend time scrubbing down the kitchen and bathrooms, and Nate will be removing the cabinets you see there above the peninsula. There is a bonus room built off the kitchen, which makes it a little dark. Removing that cabinet is going to really open things up and add a bit of light. I’m also looking into some lighting options (perhaps something like Solatube) to add some natural light to the space without needing to make any significant changes (or spend a lot of money!).

    new kitchen 1 web

    I also can’t wait to get my brand new Bosch dishwasher installed in this kitchen. This dishwasher is quiet, beautiful and smarter than me and it can’t wait to get settled into its new home. Neither can I!

    So, now begins the task of moving…again…within 6 months. But we can do it, and I promise not to disappear. Menu planning and eating will still be happening!