Tuesday, February 11, 2014

kitchen reno – white subway tile and grey grout

Writing a post about some kitchen choices - very happy with tile and grout selection. #kitchenreno #newhome

On the night we were supposed to go Home Depot, the subway broke down. F trains weren’t running pretty much the entirety of Brooklyn (York to Kings Highway), and the car service lines were jammed by all the Brooklynites who were stranded god-only-knows-where, and trying to get home from work – this was right around rush hour. We waited on the platform for close to half an hour before giving up and when we walked upstairs to talk to the lady sitting in a booth, we learned that trains just weren’t running.

It turned out that due to extremely cold temperatures, the power had gone out and, without power, trains couldn’t run. I kept thinking about people trying to get home from work from one end of Brooklyn to the other, even from Manhattan.

Continue reading kitchen reno – white subway tile and grey grout.

Friday, February 7, 2014

friday link love

Our first bouquet in the new place. Thanks, trader joes for inexpensive ranunculus. Or as andrew calls them - ridiculouses. #newhome

Good morning and happy Friday! I wanted to write about what it’s like to cook in a kitchen that’s not quite completely finished; how familiar and unfamiliar it is, and how for someone like me, any deviation from the norm is an anxiety-inducing feeling, but as I started writing, I realized it would make too long a post. So, I’m saving it for another day and keeping this here short and sweet.

Never underestimate the space-saving and organization power of a well-placed pot rack and some magnetic knife strips. I feel so much more organized even if I’m still fumbling around in the kitchen. While I’m unpacking and finding a place for everything and everything in its place (takes awhile!), I’m sticking to pantry basics and cooking in such a way that I use what I have without having anything go to waste. So far – it’s been mostly successful. But I’m still wrestling with the water dispenser on our Samsung fridge. I’m supposed to “drain” it of the air bubbles in the water line – which according to Samsung customer support – means I need to drain 2 to 5 gallons of water! Who has time to stand there and do that?! So I’ve been draining cup by cup when I’m in the kitchen, but I feel like I should be, at least, close to being done and the water dispenser is still dripping when the waterline is connected. If anyone just happens to be a refrigerator (esp Samsung) expert reading this, I’d love your opinion!

I’ll keep things brief today. I hope you all have a restful and fun weekend. We may have to go to Ikea – groan! – again. Andrew starts a new job on Monday. I’ll continue to unpack and work on the books. And I hear there are some sporting events being televised, so we might watch that. Have a great weekend, all!

Continue reading friday link love.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

kitchen reno – marble counters

We are about 85% there. The remainder happens when everything else comes in: lights, sink, etc. #kitchenreno #newhome

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the only things that has gone smoothly with this kitchen renovation project has been the marble. Despite a hiccup the day of the installation – they accidentally brought me polished marble pieces instead of honed – dealing with marble folks was a pretty great experience and I can’t recommend them enough (sources: below). As for the polished marble, it was taken away, honed, and returned to me the following day for installation. Once installed, we kept the marble covered with flattened cardboard boxes until Frank from Granite Shield came over to do a special impenetrable seal on the stone.

Before I get into the nitty gritty of it, I want to explain why I went with marble counters as opposed to granite, Caesarstone, wood, and so on. I’ve given this a lot of thought, and by “a lot” I mean “for years”. Close to a decade but who’s keeping track?

To be honest, I also very much like the look of the butcher block but given that even with expansion our kitchen is still pretty small, I had to go for what I thought would be most useful to me.

I have nothing against stainless steel or Caesarstone or granite; I prefer the look (and feel) of marble, but that wasn’t the only reason that I went with it.

Continue reading kitchen reno – marble counters.

Friday, January 31, 2014

friday link love

#truth

Happy Friday, friends. It’s Super Bowl weekend and even though my beloved Pats lost to Denver in the playoffs, I’m still excited to watch the game (and eat the food). Are you rooting for Denver or Seattle?

We’re nearing completion in our kitchen, and by that I mean the kitchen is 85% there. We still need that sink Ikea still hasn’t restocked (and no visibility on that); we need to get a few hinges at Ikea for our contractor to finish the job. Knife strips and pot rack need to go up. The transition between tile/wood on the floor needs to be fixed, and a few other things that have to be done here and there. My big project this weekend is to drain the water line in the fridge. Apparently, you need to drain 2 to 5 gallons of water before it stops dripping (more on that in a home-focused post).

Today, we are getting our marble sealed, which will make it much more stain resistant. I don’t much care about marble showing its age, but I’d like to take the best care of it possible, and after that I can start unpacking the kitchen stuffs. You know what’s crazy? I have no idea what is going where! I don’t know if that’s normal, but we’ll see how the unpacking goes. I’m excited.

And lastly, while a little unrelated to this blog, still an important announcement to make: Andrew starts a new job on February 10 – at Mashable – covering climate and weather. He’ll miss his current team at Climate Central, but he was ready to try his hand at something different and the opportunity at Mashable sounded exciting. There was a fancy press release announcing his move and he managed to make Mediabistro and NYPost Page 6! I’m not one for wearing my heart on my sleeve but I’m really proud of him.

And with that, I wish you all a good weekend. If you’re a football fan, enjoy the game and the snacks! I’ll be unpacking, cleaning, and writing (as deadlines are fast approaching) – and going to a Super Bowl party. I hope you have a relaxing couple of days.

Continue reading friday link love.

Friday, January 24, 2014

friday link love

IMG_0351

Happy Friday, friends! I no longer can distinguish between a weekday and the weekend – it’s all become a blur, and that’s merely a week after our vacation which was amazing. Amazing despite the fact that I came down with the mother of all colds and spent the entire week congested and achy. At one point, it felt like my eyeballs were itching on the inside and all I could do was to rub them. Nothing helped, my skin hurt to the touch, and I would fully fall apart around dinner time. Needless to say, my margarita consumption was pretty weak; I stuck to water and tea with honey. Whatever attempts I had doing any kind of work on books evaporated, and despite my best efforts, I felt too crappy to get much done. Still, being sick in paradise beats being sick in your own apartment which is currently a construction zone.

Speaking of which, the marble is in! I’ll write more about it at length in a different post – but it’s beginning to look like a real kitchen. Hoping to get tile and grout this weekend and maybe some time next week, we’ll have a backsplash, eh? Small steps, people, small steps.

And with that, I’ll leave you with today’s links. Not too many this time, but some are a little long – and definitely worth your time. I hope you have a great weekend ahead. We have plans to spend some time at Home Depot and the rest of the time, I’ll be in my tiny office working on manuscripts – good times!

Continue reading friday link love.

Monday, January 20, 2014

kitchen reno – ikea cabinets assembly and installation + kitchen sink

Kitchen Reno - Cabinets

Perhaps the title of this post shouldn’t be Ikea Cabinets Assembly and Installation, but instead, Ikea Cabinets Assembly and Installation: Serenity Now. Also, as a bonus, and for your reading pleasure, I’m including some of the kitchen sink bullsh*t (to be continued). Perhaps, the title should be, “Everything BUT the Kichen Sink”.

Let’s go back a few weeks, shall we?

Continue reading kitchen reno – ikea cabinets assembly and installation + kitchen sink.