Kitchen Refresh In Process

Because we don't have enough quite enough going on at the house already(!), we decided that since the kitchen flooring will all need to be ripped up and replaced due to our recent water loss, we might as well go ahead and get the kitchen cabinets repainted, and the dated track lighting on the kitchen ceiling removed and replaced with recessed lighting. So in the midst of still being rather bummed about being in construction mode again, I am actually pretty delighted about tackling two of my kitchen's least redeeming features (there is still one more, which I'll explain a bit later in this post).

The overall layout of the kitchen is terrific, particularly the oversized island which is an absolute joy to prep food on. It's a hugh workspace, plus it allows me to face out to my husband, family and/or guests while working on food prep. Additionally, people seem to enjoy sitting at the end of the island counter when visiting, which is nice as well.

The overhead track lighti…

Five Things Making Me Happy Today 12/11

Time to put last week's unpleasantness behind and get back to a better place, so here are five things making me happy today!

1. I spent the afternoon walking and basking along our beautiful coastline, and felt so very, very thankful this is now mine anytime I wish. And as a five-month 'local' I now know all the places where parking is free, so even if I only have a few minutes to spare, I can swing by for a quick dose of ocean tranquility.

2. During last week's chaos I sent this photo to my daughter, showing the flurry of activity occurring in the house. When my three year old granddaughter saw it she asked, 'What are all those green robots doing in Nana's house?' I died.

3. We attended the most wonderful holiday big band jazz concert last night at a nearby college. The conductor was fantastic, comedy-club funny, provided each student with well deserved solos, gave the children an opportunity to get involved on stage, hopefully planting seeds for future ja…

Making Lemonade Out Of Lemons

It's been a rough week.

The washing machine overflow that occurred last Monday has resulted in a solid week of pretty significant chaos. The water remediation team arrived within an hour of our discovering water throughout our downstairs, and they've been here pretty much ever since. We started with about 25 fans and water extractors, with the noise level being pretty close to unbearable I'm here to say, and have now moved onto demolition. The flooring could not be saved, and we are now living with plastic sheeting, dust vacuums, and debris as the team tears out about 50% of our brand new flooring. There is noise everywhere still, with about eight of the fans still here and blowing/working, the dust is pretty much everywhere as well, out kitchen is blocked off to protect the cabinetry, and so is our living room, which means our Christmas tree, poor thing, is as well.

I shed tears at least once a day pretty consistently from Monday to Thursday. I think I was mourning a lot…

November In A Sentence A Day

Greetings! Today, and each month going forward, I'm joining in with some other fab bloggers to share how we spent our month in just one sentence per day.
Turns out that the theme for November was creating new routines as we branched out and really starting exploring our new community. We discovered new hiking trails, new restaurants, new entertainment venues, new lecture series, and made several new friends. The month also included a visit from our East Coast daughter and family meaning we also got lots of granddaughter time!

(P.S. - Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post to see who else is participating, and to visit their blogs for additional September In A Sentence A Day inspiration!)
November In A Sentence A Day Another home project kicked off, as cabinets arrived and started going in for my husband's home office, plus, my Pottery Barn home office furniture finally arrived in good form, plus we attended our first monthly dining event with a group attached to our Lifelo…

The Not So Perfect Day

Well, I'm certainly glad I had my pretty perfect day earlier this week, because, oh my was yesterday not it. Yesterday, while I was happily cleaning the upstairs of our home while Christmas music played downstairs, my washing machine quietly overflowed and flooded about 1/3 of our downstairs.

All that beautiful, brand spanking new wood flooring. OMG.

My husband walked in from running errands and called up to me, 'Tamara, I think we have a major problem here.' When I came and looked down from the upstairs railing I'm pretty sure I went into an immediate state of shock at the amount of water I could see running from the laundry room into our entry and dining room. I yelled for him to grab our large broom while I grabbed towels and blankets and went running, repeating "Oh no, oh no, oh no!" the entire time.

It was a mess.

We worked nonstop for about 30 minutes to get the bulk of the water pushed out into our garage, then with the floors appearing to be dry on t…

A Pretty Perfect Day

We finally did our bike ride to the beach for breakfast today. It only took five months!

But what a gorgeous, gorgeous day and ride it was. Temps were in the low 70's, with lots of sunshine and some scattered clouds. We traversed bike lanes and roads from Dana Point to and through San Clemente, ending up at the San Onofre power plants, on the edge of Camp Pendleton Marine Base. We covered 25 miles in all, and though my legs could have continued, my seat was complaining something awful by the end! Really, the seat is the hardest part of biking in my experience, though it does come along pretty quickly once we establish a regular riding pattern.

It was such a lovely day, and I was shaking my head every couple of miles that this was now 'our neighborhood' and that we could bike here whenever we wished. At some point I'm sure I'll get over the wonder of all the fun things there are for us to do here, but today will not be that day. Today I'm still pinching myself …