Kitchen Progress…at last!

Monday began like this…

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It took 2 hours to remove our 90 year old cabinets

Awesome hole right?

Even more progress yesterday afternoon…

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Oh, you beautiful drywall and 3 new electrical outlets!

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Our grody ninety year old galvanized pipes were almost completely closed with gunk.

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Sweet copper pipes! We got a new fancy shmancy Delta Showerhead too.
DSC_0121Our pipes to our washing machine were the worst. They were installed in reverse so when the laundry was set to use hot water, it would be cold and the cold water took hours to come out. One load of laundry would take two hours.

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This may look unexciting but a majority of our remodel budget went towards new copper pipes. Our house was on it’s last leg in the plumbing department. By Thursday we should have wonderful water pressure!!
Sunday’s Ikea delivery went smoothly and we somehow managed to fit everything in the living room.
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I am so excited about our dishwasher!

The delivery guys ran the boxes up our stairs like they weighed nothing. In two weeks, the new cabinets, countertop, sink, faucet and dishwasher will be installed. So far, everything is on schedule and going according to plan. *knock on wood* We had a few hiccups but nothing major. Our amazing contractor Rene told us that our floors are in such bad shape, we can’t refinish them. *Boo* So now we are getting new floors that he will install on top of the old floor. Which means I have to find new floors that look old and distressed.

This is me…

I can’t wait until I can start decorating! I found our stools at a fraction of the cost. We are still undecided on the wall paint.

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I like the bright white *Marshmallow white #2 but I do agree with Antz, we may need some contrast from the white trim. I’m not sold on these colors yet, the natural looks like dirty white.

We are going to Jill’s Paint in Atwater Village this weekend to see what they have. This has been the hardest to choose so far.

Happy Kitchen Renovations, so far!

I know I haven’t been posting regularly lately but we have been busy bees. So much progress has taken place in the last week in our kitchen. We still have 3 more weeks of scheduled work.

I can’t give everything away now but here’s a few sneak peeks.

Rene and *sorry I forgot the other dude’s name* working hard so we don’t have to!
I’m so happy we chose to keep the uppers. It saved so much money and they look 1000 times better!
What a difference some paint makes.

I’m super excited about the new kitchen! The next few weeks will be busy. Our demo crew starts on Monday, then the plumbing. I am sure once the plumbing is repaired we will use less water since it takes forever now to wash dishes or do laundry since the pressure sucks so bad. I’m crossing my fingers our water bill goes down significantly.

Today Ikea is delivering our cabinets. All 800lbs! We cleared some space in the living room.

We cut this pile in half, by donating, selling and recycling a bunch of junk

But the new cabinets are gonna have to chill in the garage until the floors are done. I did save some money by finding a new company to install our cabinets but I promise to post a more detailed account of the remodel experience once everything is finished. So from here on out, I’ll share a few photos of progress but Antz is swearing me to secrecy until we can do a grand reveal. I am playing around with the Nikon *hello ISO levels* to make sure I get some amazing after photos.

Oh! I almost forgot to mention, Liv went to her school’s first Parent’s Night Out last Friday. Once a month, they offer a night when we can drop her off in her pajamas at school for pizza, playing with her friends and a movie. It’s funny they chose Wreck It Ralph since that’s her favorite movie *at the moment*. See how awesome her school is? While she was at her slumber party, we went to a cocktail mixer hosted by the *rad* parent’s of one of the boys in Liv’s class. It was awesome since I haven’t had a chance to individually meet the parent’s from her class. I know most of the kids, but we really enjoyed being kid-free and meeting everyone. Cindy and Steve’s house was incredible. Now I’m thinking of sending her to Parent’s Night out every month.

Can you believe this month is almost over? I can’t. Time always flies when I’m in the midst of a project.

Happy Sunday!

 

 

Kitchen Remodel Update Week One

Last you saw of the kitchen we were testing wall paint choices and choosing the tile for the backsplash.

Neither of these blew my skirt up.

Antz worked his butt off for the past 2 days and sanded the years of gross paint off of the cabinets. Our kitchen went from this.

To this.

I’m estimating it will take 3 weeks to finish the kitchen. I’m still not sure which wall color we will use. These cabinets are a mess. Antz said he found at least 5 layers of paint, like a jawbreaker. I can’t wait until they are painted lily white.

While I was away at my Mom’s house I ordered the new light fixture and knobs from Pottery Barn. Our poor mailman has been delivering boxes to us everyday now. Our living room is looking like a storage room.

The new cabinets are being delivered this Sunday, YAY!! All 800lbs of boxes will be in our living room until May, BOO!! Now is a good time to donate, sell and throw away. With all this kitchen talk,  I am smitten with Diana from Our City Lights amazingly bright pink Hello Kitty themed kitchen.

excuse the messy hair and the baby bump trying to make an appearance.
At Home With Diana La CounteDarling pink kitchen via A Beautiful MessHouse Tour 2
PInk credenza & Marilyn
You can read more about her kitchen over at A Beautiful Mess

I love her bold use of color and all the Hello Kitty accessories *Antz would never go for it* but I think it’s brilliant. Did you see the Royal Tenebaums artwork and the pink chalkboard door? She is my new blog crush.
Oh, isn’t it sweet to come home to something as lovely as this?

This beautiful gem is courtesy of my hubs, our world map looks quite sophisticated!

Merci mon ami!!

A love letter

Dear Antzy,

Thank you, loving husband for all that you do. You are taking the next 3 days off of work…to work in our kitchen. You send me and the bebe to my Mom’s house to have fun while you do all the dirty work that would cause us to sneeze and have itchy, red eyes. You listen to me go on endlessly about all my desires and you sweetly reassure me. You are the string attached to my balloon of ideas that keeps me grounded when I become overwhelmed with color selections, budget and light fixtures. You make possible what I think is impossible.

You are patient, kind and good.

You are one in a million and we love you so much.

We miss you!

Love,

Your Girls

E & O
P.S. I really like these knobs and pulls for the kitchen cabinets.

Everything must go Sale!!

It’s been two years since we have been on the search for a *non crazy* affordable electrician. Yesterday I poached my neighbor’s electrician and he fixed all our lights for less than I budgeted!! *thanks Lisa & Aaron!*

These guys nearly gave me a heart attack

Is it bad when you go to Ikea and the salespeople know you by your name? Thursday night after months of exhaustive planning we finally ordered our kitchen cabinets.

Inside this folder is our new kitchen!!

I have read horror stories about the cabinets being on backorder forever or out of stock, so I was pleasantly surprised that all our cabinets were in stock and will be delivered in ONE week! I wanted to hug Jaime and Lucy for all their help and support. It took a lot of math, problem solving and thinking outside the box to get our new kitchen planned *thanks to 90 year old kitchen measurements*. So now the fire has been turned up and we need to clear out our house to make room for all the new pretty things.

Sadly for me, this means letting go of Olivia’s bebe items we no longer need. I have been holding on to them for sentimental reasons but now I’m ready to de-bebe our house. Sniff, I’m selling her gently used bebe stuff.  The prices I’m listing are firm, I don’t want to spend a lot of time going back and forth negotiating. They are fair & reasonable prices and cash only por favor. Promise me they will go to a good home and you will take tons of pictures of your little ones enjoying them as we did.

Boon high chair
Liv loved her chair

I love this guy, super sturdy, rolls anywhere and very easy to clean. It comes with two clear removable trays. I’m sad to see it go, but she uses her big girl chair now. We are selling this high chair for $120.

 Bugaboo Bee Stroller with cocoon attachment
Liv’s first time in the Bee *one week old*

This guy was heaven for us. The seat flips forward and backwards, the chair swivels and extends and the bar is adjustable. Folds down easily. Olivia was obviously a tall bebe so having so many options to expand the seat was excellent. She used the cocoon for about 3 months. The canopy is sold in different colors here. The Bugaboo Bee is for sale for $450 with the yellow canopy, yellow cocoon accessories and instructions included.

Babea Babycook
Cooking some kale and carrots

I’m gonna pay it forward on this one. I bought it used from an awesome lady. Ours is in good working condition, here’s the easy online instructions *sorry if you find her voice annoying but she gives a thorough demonstration*, and comes with a bebe cookbook and the orange spatula/spoon you see in the photo. $25!!


Diaper Dekor Plus
Diaper Dekor Plus

This guy can hold a million diapers. We have one bag left to get you started, they last for weeks. My husband will gladly demonstrate how to add a refill bag. I buy my biodegradable refill bags from Amazon. $25.

The last item in this insane sale is this brand new Hatley raincoat.

Here’s a similar version

The raincoat has detachable hood and fleece interior lining. It’s a size 6 and never been worn. I’ll let it go for $25.

There you have it, lovelies. Our spring clean bebe sale. Please email me if you are interested in any of our stuff, sunkissis*at*aol*dot*com.

If you are a new Mommy or know someone who needs help figuring out what they need, please check out my guide to rad new bebe!

Happy Kitchen Renovation Day!

Well not quite, but Sunday we went to Home Depot *after waiting 48 hours for a guy to come over to give us a quote but never showed up, why is it so hard to get a quote?* and did some pre-reno shopping.

Sheesh, could this kitchen look anymore dark and depressing?

I wanted to find out about renting tools *tile wet saw, floor sanders, etc*. We went to our local Home Depot only to find out we had to go to another one because they didn’t rent tools from there, D’oh! Turns out I like the second HD much better. It’s a bigger store, really well stocked, not crowded at all *due it the store being practically hidden* and the salespeople were actually helpful and knowledgeable! Hooray!

We got a price list of the tools for rent. It’s pricier than I expected, but it’s cheaper than having a professional do the work. I am really bummed that Home Depot no longer carries my Goddess Martha Stewart paint. The paint guy suggested we try Glidden as a substitute so we bought some samples to test out on the walls this weekend.

We chose Natural Wicker for the walls and Toasted Mashmallow for the trim.

We also found the subway tile for the backsplash for only a fraction of the estimated cost I budgeted. Sweet!

I budgeted $350 for the backsplash tile, now we only going to spend about $50 for everything!
The store’s display wasn’t impressive. I wanted larger tiles but since it’s a Do-it-ourselves-on-a-budget project, I’ll take it.

I shopped the knobs and drawer pulls section since Ikea doesn’t have what I’m looking for.

The price is perfect but Goddess Martha is bumming me out with the dated nipple knob. I am over the brushed nickel style so I’m still on the hunt. I practically bought every style of knob to bring home to test out on the cabinets. I almost like these antique glass ones but Antz is not a fan.

Nah, these knobs are too dainty for the doors

It’s understandably difficult to imagine the new knobs on such fugly cabinets. You like that paint job?? I can’t even begin to think of how much work it will take to sand away years of poor paint jobs on those upper cabinets. My biggest concern is the brand new lower cabinets will make the old uppers look horrible. Oh well, if need be maybe next year we can get the uppers replaced, after we get the foundation fixed and the house painted, and the….and the….headache!

On a happier note, I picked up some strawberries to plant since the bugs ate our old patch.

My assistant gardener
The wildflower seeds we planted last year have finally filled in nicely
She’s wearing her new adorable Misha Lulu skirt

Then we headed to the park

And so begins the new life of DIY kitchen renovators!!

My Kitchen Remodel Nightmares

There’s a reason chef Gordon Ramsey named his popular British telly show Kitchen Nightmares. I have been literally having nightmares about our kitchen remodel. I have the hardest choice to make.

Current kitchen
I curse whoever chose this awful orange paint for our kitchen. That’s the least of our troubles.

The decision is the most accurate display of me wanting to put the cart before the horse. Or in my case, put the kitchen before the foundation.

Do I take care of the foundation repair now or continue to ignore it and remodel the kitchen even though our house moves and it could compromise the remodel?

I have a long list of boring, stupid, expensive and absolutely nothing that is attractive to my eye, repairs that need to be made to our house.

What we need to do:
Our foundation needs retrofitting/bolting. *or our house will fall down!*
Our chimney *remember this guy is pulling our house down* needs removing
Once the chimney is removed, we need to replace the wood siding and missing piece of the roof.
We have to replace our fence on the right side of our backyard.
We need to patch/paint our house.

She turned 90 on March 6th and she’s showing her age

We need to vent our dryer to the attic, *properly so our house doesn’t catch fire*
Our galvanized pipes need to be replaced
Install plumbing access *so the plumber doesn’t have to keep removing our siding as shown in the photo*
In order to do this, our plumber has to dig up about 1 ton of dirt that is under our house to access the kitchen pipes.

Here’s what I planned to do:
Get our plumbing fixed *as cheaply as humanly possible*
Have our kitchen wood floors professionally refinished and stained *now it looks like we’ll be DIYing the floors, if we even do the kitchen remodel*
New Ikea cabinets *lowers only*
New Ikea butcherblock countertops *keep in mind, we can’t put in new countertops, sink or dishwasher without installing new cabinets. Our old ones aren’t the right size or height*
New Ikea dishwasher
New Ikea sink/faucet
DIY subway tile backsplash
Paint the upper cabinets and new knobs
Paint the room *no idea what color yet but leaning towards white*
New island and stools
New light fixture *Pottery Barn*
Target and Anthropologie kitchen accessories
*new bedroom curtains
*new grill for the patio

I’m still waiting on estimates for our foundation & the fence but we’re looking at close to $30,000 in repairs vs $10,000 in improvements.

Obviously, I understand that the foundation is a serious issue and needs to be addressed, but it’s so darn expensive. *money we won’t recoup if we sell* I have unsuccessfully tried to take out a home equity loan or refinance because our house is still underwater *thanks real estate market*. Our inspector told us back in 2006, if it goes unaddressed, the house will fall, not today, maybe not tomorrow, but one day. So there’s that.

The backyard fence is a thorn in my side. Antz is like, we’re doing it, no if, ands or buts about it. But here’s me… B U T!

My Marais Stools!!

I am so illogical and I’m all about fluff. Cosmetic fixes! I’m a girl, I like pretty things!

What would you do? We have $10k to spend on a $40k problem. Don’t even start with save over time and do the kitchen later, Liv will be starting private school soon and we will forever be broke. I am over the numbers, I am over the foundation!

Stupid foundation in 2006
Today 🙁
Stupid chimney in 2006
Same stupid chimney today
I like having a chimney, it gives our house charm

We always found it odd that of all the windows we have,
the previous owners kept bars on the smallest one of the house. There
must have been a midget invasion in the past. We tried to remove them
but they are welded on.

Once I get the estimates, we’ll make up our minds. I have a headache that only a new dishwasher can cure.

Meanwhile I’m praying to this dude for a miracle.

Happy H(gr)ump day!

Happy Seven Year House Anniversary

It was drizzling when we drove our U-Haul from our old apartment into our new house in the unknown land of Highland Park back in March 2006. I had blue hair then and was a cosmetology school student. Antz had much shorter hair and we were super excited to start a new chapter in our lives. Homeownership!

The morning we closed escrow! I drove a VW beetle back then
We spent everyday at Home Depot for weeks
Getting rid of the awful red paint in the bedroom, it took 4 coats!

At least the floors were in good shape

The extent to our furniture during our move in week
The kitchen cabinets were too long to fit a standard size fridge
Our first major purchase for the house was a washer and dryer, fun!
The bathroom was scrubbed by Antz sister
We seemed to think it was a great idea to paint Antz office red and brown at the time
Antz Mom came over to visit our new house

Spring in our backyard is amazing

Now 7 years later we have lost a family member but also gained one. We have replaced the front deck/garage roof, painted 75% of the interior and remodeled the bathroom. Antz and I have scheduled a tentative date of Saturday, April 6th to begin our kitchen remodel. We are also going to replace our fence in the backyard before it falls over into our neighbors yard.

This was our fence the day of our inspection in February 2006.
Same fence today
Darn you heavy grapevine
Not sure if we can save the grapevine since it’s growing at the base of our fence.

We have a second estimate scheduled for Saturday. Stupid fence! That’s cutting into my pretty stools budget. I need these!!

Marais Stool Wood Seat
Marais stool

Happy Anniversary house! Despite my love/hate turbulent relationship, thanks for keeping our family safe and warm, even though your plumbing stinks and your walls are crooked.

Ch-ch-changes!

One of my favorite David Bowie songs says it best. I am collaborating with the talented Art Director, Antz to redesign Violently Happy. We are playing around with new color palettes, fonts and streamlining the mess I had on the side. I am already in love with the fancy new header he made me. What a sweet Valentines day gift! What do you think? We have a bunch more to work on but so far me likey!

Today Liv and I headed to the Arts District in downtown LA. I bought a few sweet things from the majorly rad Poketo shop to use the gift certificate we received as our anniversary gift from Kim & Warren *thanks guys!*

It’s very hard to not want to buy everything they have. I hope to get a pair of these charming earrings on my next visit.

I couldn’t resist this hair bow. I love that it can double as a bow tie.

Leslie bought a blueberry pie from this place last summer but I have been wanting to see what they have for myself. Since it was lunch time and we hadn’t eaten, I opted for the mac & cheese pocket to split with Liv. So amazing! I couldn’t leave without getting my love a treat so I got the crostata chocolate pie. They have the yummiest pie crust I’ve ever had…and I’ve eaten several Marie Calendar’s pies!

I am all about metal chairs lately. These Marais look perfect with these dark stained tables. The perfect balance of modern and vintage. *adds to my new dining room wishlist*

The arts district has the best graffiti in town. Liv always gravitates to this mural. She like the owl.

“Look Mommy, funny!”
 We had a fantastic day.

Hope you lovelies have a happy happy Valentines day!!

Today’s the day!

We just came home from Ikea and I’m so stoked about our kitchen. This morning I was reeling in shock from the quote our plumber gave us to repair of pipes. Thirty-eight- hundred-dollars. I can’t even look at the number cause it gives me the sads. I knew it would be a high number since the job includes having the dig out dirt under our house so they can access the pipes. We are also asking him to install our dishwasher, faucet, put our existing garbage disposal in our new sink and install a new showerhead in the loo. His quote was a direct punch to the gut, le sigh, there goes my upper cabinets.

But you know what? I’m gonna make it WERK! We will sand the shit out of the existing cabinets and paint them crisp, bright white. Actually it’s great that we won’t be taking out the old cabinets since our walls are crooked and old, as much as I dislike them, they are up there to stay. It would cost more than my budget allows to demo them and repair the walls to make them straight. Who wants to be straight anyways *holds hand up for a high five!* We are still doing the subway tile backsplash ourselves and I’m even considering taking off the doors like this guy.

Love all the white happening here

We can put our pretty stuff on display and it’s a good reason to keep our cabinets neat and clutter-free. Right now if I showed you the inside of our cabinets you would think we were Hoarders. Gross.

We played around with the 3-d kitchen planner and only getting lower cabinets is much more cost effective than I thought. I get my lovely dishwasher and these wonderful open shelves for my cookbooks and some tchotchkes. Win-win!

Is it a sign it’s called Perfekt?

I am still seeking an electrician and hardwood floor dude *or lady* but I need to get on it, the chick at Ikea said floors usually happen first during a remodel, so we need to get started on demo *so excited to use a sledgehammer* and moving everything out of the kitchen so we can refinish the floors. It takes about two weeks to get the cabinets and our plumber needs 3 days to do his thing. We will be kitchen-less for close to three weeks. Walls are last so I have a plenty of time to figure out my paint choices. My head swims with millions of paint swatches and fabric choices for the new curtains. We plan to add some wheels to this island so we can move it around the space.

GROLAND Kitchen island IKEA Gives you extra storage, utility and work space.

I’m super excited!! We are moving Antz desk out of Liv’s room since he doesn’t use it anymore and it’s taking up space for her kitchen. This will free up space in the living room for a new dining table and chairs.

I am loving the Liatorp table and hopefully I’ll find some cute flea market chairs

Wow! We could actually sit down to a meal like a real family and junk. Why am I so excited to get all Donna Reed with this shit?


I watched a ton of Nick at Nite as a kid

Oh man, how fabulous are those twin beds? What I would give to have a bed all to myself. Right now my sleeping confines resemble this

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Who else is doing the nighttime bebe shuffle? #5 is our specialty, no blanket, no pillows, numb shoulders all night!!

After Ikea we mosied on down to the new Highland Park Parklet on York Blvd.

Okay, this $30,000 parklet has become controversial. It definitely has it’s flaws, the location sucks. It’s right in front of a boring hardware store and an alley way referred to by my friend Connie as “Pee pee alley“. The drunks leaving the bars seem to use it a pop up restroom. I held my breath so I didn’t catch a whiff. This would be perfekt *that’s just how I’m spelling it from now on* closer to the end of the block near the coffee shop, cafe and the book store. I see why they put it there though, no one has invented hipster repellant yet so if it were in the area no one would ever leave. It would become a Hipster run utopia where you can only drink Pabst and ride around on a bicycle like you have an invisible bubble that magically deflects cars from hitting you. Oooh, burn baby!

I think it’s adorable. The mosaic tile is colorful and fun. There are pieces of found objects hidden and the wire does a great job of keeping my 2 year old from running into the traffic. I welcome anything to improve our city and make it less auto repair/pinata store-ish. We can all agree the price tag is a joke. California is “rumored” to be bankrupt and since I’ve been waiting for a park to be built on the corner for five years, I would have preferred the park. Eh, what can you do? It’s Parks & Recreation bureaucracy at it’s best.

Parks and Recreation premieres