Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Dining Room -- Nearly Done!

I'm almost done with the dining room! Yippee!

What started as a slow project simply because I was already in paint clothes turned into a massive day of painting Sunday. We had found a buffet and dining chairs we loved on super sconto (Italian for massive sale, it's a term I still use from my year abroad) at Restoration Hardware. We were told we would get a call around the 18th to schedule delivery. Well, they called on the 11th and wanted to deliver on the 17th! So my timeline got sped up a little bit, and we busted this room out. It helped a lot that Sean had the time to help paint, so he rolled the ceilings and walls while I did the trim and cut-ins.

Here it is, the nearly finished dining room!

What do I still need to do?

I need to finish the painting around the window -- you can't see it here because the blinds are closed but I have to do the window surround in sections as I carefully pull back the blinds. The way that valance above it attached to the wall, neither it nor the blinds can easily come down without destroying some drywall. But I can be careful enough that it's not a huge problem, just slow going.

I also need to finish getting up that collage wall over the buffet. And put pictures in the frames! That's a picture from our wedding as the large center one, and the plan is to put black and white family photos radiating outwards. I have more frames, but they don't all have hanging hardware yet, so that's why it looks lopsided. I spaced out the arrangement on the table, started hanging, and had somehow grouped the frames without hardware. What can I say, it looked good!

So that's where we are with the dining room right now! I'm so excited to have to looking good, and to have a place to store everything that had been under the china cabinet. It makes me want to host a holiday gathering in here!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Work on the Dining Room Begins

This past week I've been spending most of the day painting for a play. And since I'm already wearing paint clothes when I get home, I've started working on the dining room in bits and pieces:

I'm using beadboard wallpaper below the chair rail to simulate actual wainscoting. (A product that has a bit of a learning curve, but is fairly forgiving when it comes to fixing seams.) I'll then paint it in the same semi-gloss white that I've used for the trim throughout the house. Above the chair rail I'm planning on a deep navy like some of these inspiration images:

dining room inspiration image HGTV
dining room inspiration from HGTV

dining room inspiration 58 Water Street blog
dining room inspiration from 58 Water Street

The dining room still has a ways to go before I'll call it "finished" -- I still need to find the perfect chairs and buffet, and after the painting is done I have plans for a wall of black and white family photos that I still need to collect from the parents. But it's great to finally be making some progress in here, slow though it may be!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Happy Anniversary, House!

As of last Friday, we've had our beautiful Colorado home for one year! It's been a great journey so far turning this house into our home, and I have a number of projects coming up in the next few months as well. To celebrate one year here, let's look at a few of the things we've accomplished to make the house ours:

One of the first projects I tackled here was my home office. I stripped the peeling wallpaper, primed the walls, and painted it a nice pale blue-gray. Then we put up the wall shelving that was above the desks back in CA.


I also updated the downstairs powder room with a beautiful blue (called San Francisco Bay) and a new mirror.


We installed a compost bin, hiding it behind some white lattice fencing and new plantings to make it HOA compliant.

And we took the guest room from a little girl's dream room into a sophisticated and relaxing place for friends and family to visit.



I'm looking forward to all the updates and projects I have planned for the next year! Here's to many more years, house!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Weekly Meal Plan 10.25.15

With colder temperatures here, I'm looking forward to trying a bunch of slow cooker soup recipes I've pinned on Pinterest over the summer. I also love winter squash, so you'll be seeing a lot of those in the coming months too!

Here's what we're planning to eat this week:

Sunday: Maple Roasted Chicken

Monday: leftovers

Tuesday: Curried Roasted Eggplant

Wednesday: leftovers

Thursday: Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan Soup

Friday: leftovers

Saturday: Butternut Squash Lasagne

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Weekly Meal Plan 10.18.15

We've been pretty busy here the last month, with guests, work, seeing shows (if you get the chance to see If/Then, DO IT!) and Sean's deadline for his thesis. It's been a crazy fall so far!

Here's what we're planning to eat this week:

Sunday: chicken tikka masala & roasted cauliflower

Monday: spaghetti and meatballs

Tuesday: leftover chicken tikka masala

Wednesday: leftover spaghetti

Thursday: Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili (we had a decent harvest of sugar pie pumpkins, so it's time to start eating them!)

Friday: sushi for Sean's birthday

Saturday: dinner out with friends

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Our Experience with Green Chef

When I first heard about companies like Blue Apron and Green Chef, I didn't feel like they were for us. I love cooking and trying new recipes, and I'm normally pretty good about meal planning such that I use up any odd leftover ingredients. I also wasn't a fan of all the excess packaging typical of these delivery companies. Does a single lime really need it's own plastic bag?!

But earlier this fall, with tech week approaching for me and Sean's busy schedule with work and thesis, we decided to give it a shot. I liked that there would be easy, healthy meals that Sean could confidently cook alone while I was at the theatre. And I liked that I would get healthy leftovers the next day!

We went with Green Chef rather than it's competitors because humanely raised meat is incredibly important to me. Green Chef tries to use organic and humane ingredients whenever possible. More of their packaging is recyclable, too, which is appealing when I know we'll be having more garbage than usual. Unfortunately still not zero waste, but neither is fast food at the theatre!

Since Sean did most of the cooking on his own, taking pictures of the food for my blog did not happen. But you can go on the Green Chef website to see all the pretty pictures of food, and see what their instruction sheets look like too.

All of the food was delicious. Some of it I felt like I could have totally done without them packaging it up for me. But, again, we were doing this because I wasn't home to cook. The ingredients were all fresh, and I did appreciate the fact that you use up everything that comes in the box.

Is Green Chef cheaper than grocery shopping? The answer is likely "no". But is Green Chef cheaper than getting a healthy fast food dinner on a busy night? Yes! With that in mind, I think we'll continue using them when I'm in tech rehearsals, but not for everyday cooking.

If you're interested in trying out Green Chef, use this link below to get 4 free meals. Yes, in full disclosure, when you use it I'll get a credit. But you'll get free meals too!

Green Chef in no way sponsored this post. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Weekly Meal Plan 9.29.15

Once again life got crazy (I've been working a ton up in Boulder for a play) and I fell behind on my organized meal planning. This time I don't think we did too badly, we still ate fairly healthily while I was in tech thanks to trying Green Chef which I'll write about some more later. But of course we always use our groceries most efficiently when I'm doing a real meal plan so I'm back with the menu for the rest of this week.

Tuesday: leftovers

Wednesday: leftovers/night out with friends

Thursday: Sauteed Sirloin Tips with Bell Peppers (we finally have some peppers from our garden that I'm looking forward to eating!)

Friday: Sweet Potato & Chickpea Curry

Saturday: dinner & "The Martian" with friends