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Showing posts from April, 2012

Dining Room Table - A Beginning

We made our first step in the living room/dining room!

We have a Restoration Hardware Outlet store not far away and noticed their large dining room tables were reasonably priced and solid. After moving the white kitchen table into the kitchen, where it's more functional, the dining room was in need of a large table. I wanted a long, rectangle shape that will fit about 8 or 10 people.

At the outlet, you never know what you're going to find and in what condition. So we felt pretty lucky when we found a pretty blue/gray wooden table with fancy legs that was over 8 feet long! And about 60% cheaper than the original price.


The challenge was getting an 8-foot-long table home in the Prius. Yikes!

It barely fit, with a few feet of wood hanging out the back. I drove home at about 40mph with my hazard lights on, nervously checking my rear-view mirror for signs the bungee cord was about to give. But we got it home in one piece and carefully carried it into the dining room. We ran …

Alice's Room - Final

It was a rainy Saturday and with Dave out of town I used the day to get some around-the-house projects off my list.

High on the list was completing the other wall in Alice's room. I had always planned to hang one of Grandma's lovely quilts and display some books (including "Alice the Fairy" which, in part, inspired her name), but I never figured out exactly how. While cleaning up and sorting toys, I pieced it together in my head and rummaged out the drill and level.

Alice's room is finally complete!

New Job, New Home

I started my new job last week. High 5!

To be honest, I was hoping to get the Summer home with the kiddos (despite the troubles I was having), but this opportunity came my way and it was too good to pass up, even with the 50-minute commute.

And I was happy to put the kids back into full-day school -- it's what feels natural to them, I think. And after a few hours of sitting at my new desk, I knew I made the right decision. This just all feels right. Sure, I have new stress and worries, but it's what we're all used to.

I can tell that Leah and Alice love their extra time at school. They have lots to tell me at the end of the day and they're forging some new friendships. And I feel more comfortable with my time at home. I was starting to feel like a headless chicken, racing around the house all day putting out fires, starting little projects and chasing kids around.

This doesn't mean that home projects are suspended. I have several more rooms to paint (first up, the …

First Thrift Shop Score!

Leah and I have tried to check out this funky little thrift shop called Treasures and Trash in Libertyville three times in the last few months and it's always been closed. Once we went and we were informed by a paper note on the door the owner's kid was sick.

Friday was my last day home with Leah in the afternoon before starting work, so we went out to lunch in Libertyville and checked out the thrift place. And it was finally open!

The store is like most thrift stores, brimming with old stuff and oddities. I was struck by this framed piece of abstract art at the front of the store. We wandered around a bit, I picked out some cool wooden candlesticks and Leah found a domino set.

At checkout, I was charged $2 for the candlesticks, $1 for the domino set and $30 (splurge!) for this framed piece of signed art.

Turns out it's an original Marko Spalatin signed serigraph called Trygon. And if you were buying it new, you'd be dropping $1,200. Or $400 on eBay. Not too shabby, e…

Tis the Season For a New Grill!

If you don't know they story, we owned a little grill in Hoboken, which came with us to the new house in New Jersey and stayed with us for five years. It was a good little grill but on our 7th wedding anniversary, Dave decided it was time to upgrade. After extensive research we bought a grill with the requirement that it had to fit my paella pan.

That was a good little grill and we used it often last summer grilling much fish, chicken, veggies, pizza and perfecting paella. However, in a sudden freak storm last October -- on Halloween weekend -- several tree limbs fell on that grill, crushing the cover and tipping the poor thing over. It was very sad. (Though fortunate that those limbs missed the house by mere feet.)

It was with a heavy and reluctant heart that we set forth on the purchase of yet another new grill for our new Illinois patio. March is the opening of grilling season here, so the sales were hoppin' and we were ready for the smell and taste of grilled food, once a…

Garden-Thumb Ready

With the first look at my backyard and all the sunlight it was getting, I had visions of home-grown veggies and herbs. Of course, this was December and snow was falling.

Like all projects, I started out thinking we would do it ourselves, like we did the raised beds at our house in New Jersey. But weekends are precious and the thought of hauling so much dirt from the garden store to my backyard in our little cars overwhelmed me.

One day, the landscaper that took care of the house for the previous owners came by and I asked him for an estimate. He didn't know what I meant at first but I found a photo of a raised bed from my pinterset board and gave it to him. Realization dawned, the estimate made it worth it -- and weeks later we have our end result. With no bags of dirt in our trunks.

I'm super-duper excited about what we'll be putting in here in the coming months and years. Yippee!! I'm not the most talented green-thumb gal but my goal to have the garden I remember at…

Playset Purchased!

After weeks of shopping around, it was finally time to make the big purchase; a playset for the backyard. 
We had been pricing them and listing playset requirements for weeks. Leah and Alice requested rock walls, fireman's pole, tire swing and monkey bars. And, going off some advice from a friend with older kids, we wanted a 5-foot platform and "club house" play area to hang out in. I also wanted to avoid looking at an eye-sour for the next decade; it had to be pretty!
 Also, the backyard isn't huge, so there's not room for a massive set. 
At first, we really liked one we found on a website. It was cute, had lots of small play areas, and seemed to fit our backyard. But on further investigation, it was a kit and offered no help to install it. Dave had a few moments of lunatic bravery, and offered to put it together himself. While he could probably do it, in 4 or 5 days, I'd rather have a professional with experience and a guarantee. My kids will be swinging off o…

Birthday Week

Big things are afoot in Illinois.

This week is Birthday Week -- a 7-day celebration of Leah and Jessica's birthdays (a mere 30 years and two days apart).

Leah's big day fell on our Passover Seder, so we had candles 'n cake after we finished our matzah ball soup and brisket. She started her day with a 10-clue scavenger hunt all around the apartment to find her gifts. So much fun!

For Jessica's (my) big day, we had a great dinner at the Shanty and ice cream cake from Oberweis. Then it was Biggest Loser night, but Conda wasn't thrown off, like I would have liked. I made some new year resolutions that I'll no doubt break, but at least I thought them through. A good year ahead, I think.

Meanwhile, this is my last week home with the kiddos. I start work Tuesday and our life goes back to dual-working parents and kids in full-time day care. Which will probably stabilize us a bit more in this rocky transition, since it's exactly what we're used to.

I had a laund…