Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My Craigslist find

Since purchasing our home in May I have been on the hunt for a buffet for our dining room. Currently, our beautiful Waterford china is sitting in boxes in the basement, which breaks my heart. All that $$ spent on china to be sitting in a box...down right cruel. The problem with purchasing a buffet is that they are so gosh darn expensive. With just buying a house we couldn't stomach dropping $700+ on a buffet.

So I ended up purchasing this little beauty on Craigslist for a whopping $100.

It was listed for $100, I didn't even need to use my mad negotiating skills (I thought this was a fair price). The 6 foot long buffet is a Thomasville with a black SLATE top. Yes I said SLATE...that alone is more than $100 (so I think). The hardest part was moving it from the sellers storage area to our house, luckily we have a Toyota 4Runner that could accommodate this large piece.

Of course it needs some work...it might have been fashionable back in the day, but it looks a bit dingy and dated now. My plan (cross my fingers) is to sand it down, re-stain it (espresso finish) and add new hardware (brushed nickel). Jeff is a little leery about me undertaking such a large piece since this will be my first time re-finishing anything, but I know I can do it (with the help of the internet of course). It will be a lengthy process so stay tuned for step-by-step directions and the big reveal.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Jeff's new ride

In November Jeff got a new car, a 2005 Infiniti FX35. Isn't she a beauty...for Jeff it was love at first sight. We purchased it at CarMax after having such a good experience when we purchase my car about a year earlier.
The side:

The other side:

The Dash:


Leather seats, of course there are seat warmers...a must in winter.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Hello Jill...

A random thought...Jill, what is with the hooker boots? That's all!

So long Bush, hello Obama

The day is actually here...it is a good day for our country.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I am back...did you miss me?

I arrived back safely last night from lovely San Diego. Every time Jeff and I go to San Diego we fall in love with it a little bit more. Friday when I left Chicago my car temperature said -22 and that was without the windchill. Fast forward to Friday evening at 7pm when I arrived in San Diego it was 70 degrees. It stayed in the mid to upper 70's all weekend, pure heaven. Saturday we met up with our friends Chris and Christine who drove in from their home in Northern CA. We had a great weekend...here are some photos.

San Diego from Point Loma


Our last dinner together at Flemmings

I wanted to give a shout-out to my BFF Katie who watched our precious Sasha while we were away. Thanks Katie!!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Destination: San Diego

Jeff is working in CA for a few weeks, so I am going out to visit for an extended weekend. We are meeting in San Diego, our favorite place in all of the US. 360 days a year of sunshine...who wouldn't love that!!! We would move there in a second, but the cost of living is outrageous...even by Chicago standards. Our friends Chris & Christine will be joining us for a few days, should be a good time. It is a great time to escape it is -8 degrees here in Chicago, without windchill...brrrr!

San Diego here I come...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A successful garage sale...

I had a rummage sale in early September to get rid of a bunch of stuff that we didn't need anymore. I wasn't expecting much...a few bucks and sometime to sun bathe...well we actually made $500!!!!!! Woo-hoo. I got several comments from garage sale shoppers that my sale was one of the most organized they had seen. Of course I blushed...I love compliments like that. Here are some tips for having a successful garage sale...or rummage sale as we call them in WI.

1. All items that you haven't used in 1 year (including clothes, housewares, jewelry, etc) are perfect candidates for your garage sale.

2. Advertise, advertise, advertise. Place an ad in your local paper (there is a minimal fee), advertise on garage sale websites (many are free), tell your neighbors and place signs advertising your sale near all major intersections the day of the sale.

3. All items for sale should be clean, dust/stain free and in decent shape.

4. Organize all items into groups (kitchen, bath, electronics, toys, candles, clothes, etc) on tables. I used white plastic table cloths (from the dollar store) for the tables...make everything easier to see.

5. Hang all clothes...it makes it much easier for shopping to go through and less straightening for you.

6. If you are selling electronics make sure you have an accessible outlet for customer to test them item.

7. Price EVERYTHING. I did price most things separately, but for clothes/purses I did place sign on each end of the racks stating the prices. (ie. T-shirts $1, Shirts $2, Pants $3, etc.)

8. Have bags handy. I saved plastic bags for weeks and it still wasn't enough...our neighbor gave me some of hers...thanks Stella!

9. Have change on-hand.

10. Don't put your sale money into a box that is out in the open, it is too easy for someone to take...keep the money on you. I kept limited funds (enough for change) in my pocket. Of course you could always use a fanny pack...this is the ONLY time you should be wearing one :-)

11. Lock your home. This is especially true if you are having the sale by yourself...you might get distracted and not notice someone walking into your home.

12. All items not sold should NOT come back into your home. Take it directly to Salvation Army, Goodwill or another donation location. It stuff you don't need anymore right...so why bring it back into the house...you don't need it...donate it.

Here is a pic of our sale...

Our little house on the Prairie, avenue that is!

In May 2008 Jeff and I purchased our first home. It was love at first sight. It was built in 1954 and completely renovated, which is what we were looking for...neither of us are really handy. Although, we are learning since purchasing the home. All I have to say is thank god for the internet...it has been our lifesaver. Here are some pictures.

The front/side view of our house.

The back yard.

2 car garage.

Our LOONNNGGGG driveway.

The kitchen.

The kitchen take 2.

The kitchen take 3. As you can see it is open to the dining area and living area. This is my favorite part of our house.

Upstairs bathroom.

Our finished basement.

The full bathroom downstairs.

Our downstairs laundry room.

Our granite...I LOVE it!!!!

Those are just a few pics. This Spring we will be having an open house so you can see it for yourself.

More of our girl Sasha

Here are some more pictures of our Sasha. It has been a joy having her in our lives...as you can see below Jeff is head over heels in love with her.

My absolute FAVORITE picture, Jeff and Sasha taking a nap.

Enjoying a bone from Aunt Mary.
Getting some R&R.

This is just funny.

Napping, again.

Lickn' her chops after getting a treat.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Best Deal of 2009

Jeff (my husband) and I have been on the hunt for a rug for our living room, but they are just so darn expensive considering we need a 8x10 for the area. Well this weekend we did a little shopping around town, we wanted to take advantage of the great deals everyone is talking about. So we made our rounds to the usually spots, Pier 1, Homegoods, Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn, Williams-Sonoma, World Market and our last stop...West Elm. There is one store near our home, sadly that we had never set foot in until Saturday. Now I have ordered on-line before, but never been in their store. We did find some nice things, but to be honest some of it was out of our price range. I came across the rug section at the back of the store and found the greatest deal of 2009. We purchased an 8x10 Seagrass Bordered (camel) rug for.....you will never guess....$47.99. I know we couldn't believe it either. It was marked down to $79.99, which we were willing to pay, but when the sales associate rang it up it came to $47.99.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

What's for dinner? Pasta

Pasta Bake with Chicken Sausage

Tonight's dinner...from Martha Stewart. I didn't have fontina cheese and substituted mozzarella.


Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup vodka (optional)
1 (28 ounce) can whole tomatoes with juice, lightly crushed with hands
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 pound rigatoni
10 ounces baby spinach
12 ounces smoked chicken sausage, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4 inch thick
4 ounces fontina cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 ounces fontina cheese, coarsely grated
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic. Remove from heat; add vodka, if desired. Return to heat; cook until almost evaporated, 1 minute.
Stir in tomatoes and oregano; cook until tomatoes are falling apart, 10 to 15 minutes. Add cream; cook until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Season sauce with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cook pasta in the boiling water until al dente, according to package instructions. Add spinach, and cook just until wilted. Drain, and return contents to pot.
Add tomato sauce, sausage, and cubed fontina to pot; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Divide evenly between two shallow 1 1/2-quart baking dishes.
Top with grated fontina and Parmesan. Bake until browned and edges are crisp, 20 to 30 minutes.

Jeff and I both really like this alot. Next time I would add some more tomatoes...I like sauce. Oh and I think less onion...maybe 1/2 it was a bit too much with a whole onion. This will definetly be included in the dinner rotation.

Our girl, Sasha

Introducing the newest addition to our family. She joined us about 3 weeks ago, we adopted her from a rescue. It is believed that she is about three years old and a pug/beagle mix. Tomorrow will be her first day at her doggy daycare and she is excited.

First item off the New Year's to do list...

This year I have decided to join the blogging world. I have been wanting to join for awhile, but didn't know what to blog about. I have decided my platform will be various topics from...cooking, baking, decorating, entertaining, travel, shopping, married life and our adorable dog, Sasha. It is my goal to update it at least weekly. Here we go....