Friday, September 26, 2008

7 months pregnant

New belly picture! I'm now in the third trimester, and I'm definitely feeling more pregnant these days. Still have a ways to go, though. Plus, you can see a little of the new couch we bought last weekend. I'll take better pictures of that another day.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Power-outage party

We hosted my parents, grandmas and Aunt Stephanie for dinner on Sunday (Ben was there, too, but he was actually staying with us for the week), just in time for the remnants of Hurricane Ike to sweep through in the form of a huge windstorm and knock out our power for the night! So my first dinner party at the new house didn't go exactly as planned, but we made the best of it. And really, I can't complain, because our power was only out until Monday afternoon, while my parents didn't get power back until Wednesday and Jason's mom is still in the dark.

Luckily, I had decided to make a roasted pork loin and apples dish in the crock pot so I could get all the work out of the way in the morning, so even though the power went out at about 4, the pot stayed hot and continued cooking and the meat was finished by dinner time. The side dishes hadn't gone in the oven yet, so they were all casualties, but we did have a salad and a loaf of bread to round out the meal, plus pie and lots of ice cream -- we had to eat it all before it melted!

After dinner, we lit some candles and sat around in the dark and talked. As you can see from the book on the table, we discussed our family's favorite subject of the last several months -- baby names. Jason and I are still at an impasse, even after another very thorough discussion.

Jason and Grandma Carol

After everyone packed up and headed back to Fairfield to assess the damage there, Jason and Ben and I played a nice long game of Monopoly by candlelight. Jason beat us terribly. Darn those orange properties!!

Anyway, like I said, we were very lucky to come through the storm with little damage. Entire trees and huge limbs were knocked down in the yards all around us, but we didn't lose anything. We didn't have enough ice to keep the food in our fridge cold until the power came back, but luckily it was kind of empty to begin with, so we didn't end up having to throw away all that much.

And now it's pretty much guaranteed that our next party will go much more smoothly!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

More makeovers: China cabinets

Here are my two other Craig's List projects, the china cabinets. We didn't have china cabinets at all in the old house, mostly because we didn't actually have china. But with the limited cabinet space in the new house, I really needed more places to put things, and they needed to be cheap. And these cabinets certainly were. The taller white one was $25 (!), and the yellow one was $45.

The yellow cabinet was definitely the bigger challenge. As you can see in the before picture, the cabinet had been abused and neglected. It was in rough shape. But it had such pretty curved glass windows that I couldn't pass it up.

The original wood color was gorgeous, and I would have loved to have somehow refinished it, but big chunks of veneer were missing, especially on the sides, which you can't see here. First I tried filling in the missing chunks with wood filler, but after some trial and error and a lot of sanding, I ended up ripping the veneer off most of the cabinet and taking it back down to the bare wood. Then I cleaned (and cleaned and cleaned) it, sanded it and painted it the same color as the living room walls are. (Thanks to Ben for helping with the painting!)

Here's the finished product, and I love how it came out. I put all my pretty glasses and stuff up top, and then the roomy area down below is home to my stand mixer, crock pot and some other big kitchen stuff.

The second cabinet really just needed a fresh coat of paint, so I'm not going to bother posting before pictures. I now wish that I'd painted the inside walls and shelves some other color to give it a little more contrast with the china that's in there (a pretty Depression-era set that Jason's grandma recently gave me), but that can always be done quickly down the road.

So here's the very nearly completed dining room. The only things I'd still like to do are replace the chandelier (I conveniently cut it out of this shot because I don't like it, ha) and find a bigger and more neutral-colored rug for under the table.

And then I just have one Craig's List purchase left to fix up, another $25 white cabinet from the woman I bought the other one from. This one desperately needs a new coat of paint, and could also use some new hinges and a new handle. It's sitting in the garage for now, but eventually I'm hoping to put it in the basement and use it to store the rest of the kitchen stuff that STILL doesn't fit upstairs, even with all the new cabinetry.

So those are all my projects. Hopefully I've inspired some of you to check out Craig's List if you haven't already. And don't worry, there are a lot of things on there that DON'T require hours of work to fix up -- I just like to make things way more difficult than they should be!