Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Kitchen Details...

I know we owe you guys pics of the whole kitchen, but here's one of my favorite details in the kitchen. In the end of peninsula, we had our contractor put an outlet for mixers, blenders, and in this case, my sewing machine (had to hem some curtains!). It's inside the cupboard, so no ugly plug out in the open and it's in a perfect place for utilizing that counterspace.

The cabinet door DOES actually shut most of the way, so don't worry about me accidentally filling the cupboard with flour and goo from the mixer.

Friends in the Neighborhood...

Our amazing friends Matt and Amelia just bought a house 5 blocks away from us and moved this past weekend. We could not be more excited. Matt and Neal have been close friends since freshman year at NYU and when he moved out here with his high school sweetheart Amelia, they've been one of the best things about living here.

Amelia also happens to be a beautiful writer and author of the award-winning blog, Bon Appetempt. They documented their move (and the move of Matt's prized possession - The Vivianne) with some beautiful shots of our neighborhood, great music and a little bit of comedy.

Enjoy!! http://www.bonappetempt.com/2012/06/video-attempt-vivianne-moves.html

And you should definitely be reading Amelia's blog if you aren't. She chronicles her adventures in attempting recipes from magazines and cookbooks as well as becoming the cook, wife and woman she is today. We're even featured sometimes - from the original attempt, to some that, um, weren't as delicious.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Our OTHER neighbors...

The tenants are good - took out the garbage on Tuesday night and brought the cans back in, unasked, on Wednesday. Neighbors on both sides of us are quiet and nice. Though we did think the apartment building on the left stole our yard waste can. (I stole it back.) 

However...there are some not-as-pleasant neighbors in the hood...

Echo Park is overrun with skunks...or maybe just one skunk that sprays pretty much every day. It's getting a little out of control. Open a window for fresh air - get a waft of skunkiness. What do we do!?

I do, however, realize how much worse it could be when I think of the poor dogs in the hood that are getting the spray directly. I should go see if the tomato juice supply at local grocery stores is low.

**Apologies for the lack of posts lately, we've been busy, and we've had Neal's little sister, Emily, living with us for a bit. AND since being finished, the kitchen has been cluttered and dirty because I've been enjoying it so much! Will take more pictures and post more this weekend!**

Friday, June 8, 2012

Our kitchen is done...

...and I promise will take some pictures of the full unveiling soon!


In the meantime, we finally peeled all the protective plastic from our appliances! It's a mini-unveiling! 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

A wall of planters...

Since the very first time we saw this place, we've been concerned about the drop off between the two top levels of our back patio. Here's a picture from before we moved in (that's Gali, our awesome contractor) where you can see the 2-3 foot drop off. 


We knew this was one of the first things we wanted to tackle. Don't want to have a party and have a friend drunkenly topple over. A couple of weeks ago, our friend's little girl, Delilah was running around and almost soared off the edge. 

So, our idea was to make a wall of planters there, something to keep people from falling off the ledge, but also pretty. One of our friends, don't remember who, sorry guys, had the good idea to put it slightly back from the edge, so the ledge itself became a bench for people to sit during parties. (Can you tell we plan to have a lot of great parties here?) Brilliant! I may even go buy some cheap Ikea seat cushions to throw there when needed. 

ANYWAY - we hunted for planters, could not find ones we liked that also weren't CRAZY expensive (like these...or these...mmmm....) so finally settled on some redwood planters from our local Anawalt lumber yard. We kept thinking black so figured we could paint or stain these later on if necessary. 

Now, I'd read a lot about how to keep wooden planters from rotting too quickly and the cheapest option was to coat the inside with roofing tar! So one morning I laid down some plastic tarp, got gloved up, and spread this awesome good all over the inside of the planters (keeping the drainage holes clear) in a thin layer.

 It was like icing a cake. But smellier. And stickier.

Once you have a 1/8 or so inch coat, let it set for a least 24 hours.

In our case, let it sit a week. We used a coupon to the Sunset Nursery that came in the mail when we moved in, and got a bunch of plants that all needed about the same amount of water and would grow a  couple feet tall and to make our "wall" effect. I'm happy with them so far...really brings warmth to our concrete oasis.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

It's the little things...

Slowly but surely, we're trying to not only make our duplex a nice place to live, but also a nice place to look at. We want to do new fences, railings, doors, etc. but started small. House numbers.

There were crappy gross tile numbers over the rental front door, none on our half, and only gross stickers on the nasty mailboxes. We replaced the mailboxes with clean black ones asap. Put new sticker numbers on those, then bought clean, simple modern numbers at Home Depot to put on the front. 

Super easy, especially with the masonry bit my dad left behind. We laid out the included number templates. Used our newest Home Depot purchase, a hole set, to punch holes in the stucco, drilled.


Then squirted some silicone in the holes, and pushed in the numbers. We decided to go with slighly elevated numbers, so there's a half inch or so bar between the number and bar that makes them look a little 3D. We did them slightly askew - hinting to people that 2008 is in the BACK and 2010 is the front.

We dig them. Still need to touch up the paint around them, but they already look clean, modern and give us a LITTLE more personality than before!