Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thankful Thursday

  • The Lens Depot - I'm shooting a wedding this weekend, and I wanted to try a new lens, so I rented one from here. Let me tell you, they are amazing! Awesome customer service.
  • DVR - I am just now learning to use my DVR. I mean, I know how to use it, but I always forget about it. It's amazing though; if my dryer goes off, I can stop pretending like I don't hear it until commercials. Instead I just hit pause, get my folding on, and return. But the best part is that I can record LOST when it returns next week! Woohoo!! Welcome to the 21st century, Jenny.
  • Showers - Last weekend I spent a very dirty, dusty day insulating my grandpa's attic with my dad. I would have qualified for the show "Dirty Jobs", so I learned a new appreciation for showers.
Okay, that's 2 posts in one night. I need to learn to pace myself!

Kitchen Remodel Episode 3

This episode is all about the counter tops. When I first bought the house I told dad I wanted wooden countertops. I've never actually seen wood countertops. I mean, I had seen them in magazines, but I've never walked into a kitchen that had wood countertops. I researched them and found that they average $30/sq. foot, so I was looking at about $1500 in countertops alone. Not exactly inside my budget seeing as I had an entire kitchen to remodel. (This was before I got the cabinets for $100.) I was prepared to settle with something else, and then Dad had the idea to use a bowling alley.

Mom and I thought he was crazy. We both said no. Then he mentioned it again. And again I said no. Finally, I was looking at books and magazines for wooden countertops and realized that they don't look all that different than a bowling alley. I finally caved and let Dad search our favorite store, Craigslist, for bowling alleys. He found some in Kansas, over 2 hours away, but the price was right. On a Sunday afternoon my parents went straight from church to Kansas and back home again with a lot of heavy bowling alley. All for the low price of $10 the linear foot, making the total cost for my counter tops $180.

Standing, sanding, and sealing are coming soon, but here is a sneak peek.

Dad also made this really cool harvest table for my grandma for Christmas this year with the bowling alley he bought.

Stay tuned for next episode, which will be the after of this before.

Thanks for stopping by. :)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Show Us Your Life - Shopping!

This week at Kelly's Korner, she is showcasing favorite shopping locations for Show Us Your Life.

Show Us Your Life with Kelly's Korner

Some people might label me as a shopaholic. I have an entire closet of handbags, shoes, and random accessories to support that label, in fact my favorite book series is Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella. (So much better than the movie!!) Anyway, lately I've been learning to shop smart, because as much as I'd love to shop at Banana Republic and Anthropologie, my teacher's salary just doesn't allow it.

I've come to love Target, Old Navy and clearance racks. My shopping policy is go straight to the back of the store since that is where the clearance merchandise is. I also love Forever 21 for fun accessories, for almost anything and when I want something unique. Pier 1 even has some super cute jewelry these days. My hands down first stop though is always TJ Maxx. They have everything there! I've bought measuring spoons, Ugg Boots (at 1/3 of the price!), coats, and my yoga mat there.

I do have another shopping secret tucked up my sleeve, and that is garage sales. I grew up on yard sales. My grandma is the absolute QUEEN of sniffing out a bargain there. She has found me Louis Vuitton purses, Liz Claiborne shoes, my Kitchenaid mixer (for $15!!!) and many other things. Not too long ago, I wandered about my house and realized nearly everything I have is from a garage sale. Here are a few of my favorites.

This yellow, crystal chandelier has been in her basement for a few years, so I snagged it for my bedroom.....although I have yet to hang it. The sign behind it was at a model home decor sale.
I got this shower terry cloth lined shower curtain for $8, and my mom had the great idea to have the "C" embroidered to give it a custom vibe. Finding the potential in the items other see as junk is half the fun of garage saleing.

This is by far my favorite of grandma's finds. This huge frame (it measures 4' x 5') was only $10 with a painting inside. I didn't think the painting went with the frame, so I plan on having dad put a mirror in it.

I found this basket for $8. That's my Wii Balance Board you see hiding in it.

Like I said earlier, half the fun is finding the potential in the items. This chandelier was builder's brass, but we sprayed it with hammered paint, and viola! I wish I had a before and after, but I was not thinking at the time. :(

Flea markets and garage sales can definitely be home to some ugly stuff, but it you dig hard enough and are patient, there are definitely some awesome finds! There are 3 things I've learned from Gma about garage sales.
  1. Go early - She thinks if we go after 9 am, we are wasting our time since others have already had their go at the bargains.
  2. Make an offer - She has no qualms about offering less for an item. I've seen her get things for half the marked price just by asking.
  3. Have a plan - Gma combs Craigslist and papers to find the sales, and knows exactly which ones to hit at what time. It's like an art.
Whether I'm at a garage sale or a department sale, shopping is like a treasure hunt for me. I love it!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Redheaded Ramblings & Thankful Thursday

Tonight I stumbled across an article titled "The Redhead Dating Theory." Being a redhead myself, I found it fascinating, but I don't like the girl's conclusion, although it totally explains my personal dating life. Read a bit for yourself:
Roughly 2 percent of Americans are natural redheads. Take Freud’s Oedipus and Electra theory. Add the fact that children are often drawn to people who look like their parent of the opposite sex. ...Add the idea that most people tend to be attracted to people they can identify with (i.e. Latins are mostly attracted to Latins as they share cultural capital). Add the fact that when boys are growing up, the majority of girls they are exposed to have blond, brown, or black hair. So, when these boys start dating, they are often more attracted to these women, because they are more familiar with them. I have met only a handful of men who claim they prefer redheads over all other hair colors. This leads to my conclusion: when all other factors are equal, men will choose non-redheads more often than redheads.
I don't know, I think I prefer Lucille Ball's take:
Once in his life, every man is entitled to fall madly in love with a gorgeous redhead.

I also like this quote:
People try to become redheads, but being a redhead can't be had from a bottle, it's the attitude, fierceness, and aura which captivates that makes a woman a redhead. Not just anyone can pull it off, only those God has chosen.
Now onto the good stuff....
  • Martin Luther King, Jr - I just finished reading the book The Help, (so good, you need to stop reading this and start reading it, well, keep reading my blog, but read the book too.) and it gave me a whole new appreciation for Dr. King. Furthermore, because of him I got to sleep in on Monday.
  • Lean Cuisines - specifically the Baja Quesadilla. All I have to do is pop it in the microwave and bam, dinner. Okay, not the best thing in the world, but when I don't have a stove, or even a kitchen sink right now, it's perfect.
  • The Office - new episodes are back, need I say more. (:
I hope you all have had a great week. Can you believe next week is the last week of January? I'm still writing 2009 on things!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Kitchen Episodes 1 and 2

When I first looked at my house with my real estate agent in August, I knew I wanted to change a few things in the kitchen. The wall between the dining room and kitchen had to go. I didn't think anything would change for a few years because I knew kitchen remodels were expensive. Fortunately I have an incredible family and a grandma who can find deals on Craigslist like no other, so my kitchen remodel has come about sooner than planned.

When I got the keys to my house, I walked into a kitchen that looked like this:

I loved the stove, but the yellow cabinets, formica back splash, and mismatched counter tops had to go. Unfortunately, the stove ended up having to go along with these items.

The first kitchen related decision I made was to cut a hole in the wall separating the dining room and kitchen.

First, I was just going to widen the door. Then, I was going to tear out the wall and create an island. (After weeks of my brother, Justin, convincing me that was the best idea.) Finally, my dad was able to cut a hole in the wall and make it look beautiful with an arch. I love it.

That happened while I was in Nepal, so I don't have any cool pictures of the process. I know Mom captured some, so I may have to do an appendix post to this one explaining how he was able to cut an arch into the wall.

That was episode 1. Episode 2 is the kitchen cabinets. (Some where between there wood floors were laid, and window was removed, and this cool ceiling was put up, primed, painted, and painted again to be a bit glossier.)

Have I mentioned that my grandma is a Craigslist addict? Thanks to her random searching, I was able to score a kitchen full of cabinets for $100. Yes, you read that right, $100. Dad ventured out on a snowy Wednesday and helped the guy remove these cabinets from his kitchen so he could put them in my kitchen.

We weren't sure how they would work since we had to work with what we got. Thankfully, all we ended up needing was an upper 24 inch cabinet. Dad went down to Holden, MO earlier this week to see if he could find a cheap one there, and the guy ended up giving him one for free! It has been hung next to the corner cabinet you see here.

We moved one of the pantry doors onto the free cabinet, and Dad's cabinet making friend is re-creating the doors of my Craigslist cabinets to replace the pantry door we stole for the upper. So, my grand total for cabinets is going to be under $150, plus paint. Here is the current look of my kitchen, with my new light. I love the suspended light above the sink!

And here I am in my almost-new kitchen. We're hanging the cabinets at ceiling height to make the kitchen appear taller. Since they are the size of regular cabinets, we'll be adding a shelf between the counter and cabinets. Hopefully you can see that in the next episode, and coming up soon: my bowling alley countertops!!!

Next decision that needs to be made = wall color ... or possibly paper! Feel free to let your voice be heard!

Love, Jenny

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I'm trying to get back into the habit of blogging. It's a habit I've been out of since my xanga days in high school and college, so I have a lot to get used to. I thought something that could help is a weekly regular post, and since I love alliteration, Thankful Thursday is the winner. What this means to you, is that on Thursdays I'll be writing posts about what I'm thankful for this week. Without further adieu, Thankful Thursday #1. (:

  • Warm Weather! I love snow, but I was ready to see grass and not worry about having gloves, a scarf, hat, heavy coat, back-up gloves, and layers on before I could leave the house. I wouldn't mind another snowstorm before Spring comes though.
  • My Work Friends - It was weird actually working 5 full days this week. I haven't had to do that since the second week of December since our week before break ended with an early release day, so it was nice to go back to see some very cool people. I couldn't have made it without them!!
  • My Ugg Boots - There is still snow everywhere, so these babies come in handy. If I could marry my Ugg Boots, I might....okay that is a very strange thing to say, but it is a little bit true.
  • Some Random Guy in Holden, MO - My dad went to Holden to look at cabinets for me today, and this guy gave me a beat up cabinet for FREE! It was exactly what I needed, and pretty much completes my pieced together kitchen cabinets. Thanks to my rock star dad, we're making it work.
What is something that just made your week great?
Love, Jenny

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Everything but the Kitchen Sink

Today I had a vision of a vintage sink in my kitchen. Not necessarily an apron front sink, although I have a slight obsession with those, I mean a sink from the 40s or 50s with a double drainboard. I was looking through a kitchen inspiration book and ran across a photo of one, and that is when my heart was set.

Here's a sample of what type of sink I'm talking about. Doesn't this family look so happy? I'm absolutely positive it is because of that sink because heaven knows those curtains wouldn't do it.

I did find a few at salvage yards on the east coast, but I'm not sure how I feel about paying $400 to ship it to Missouri.

Kohler does make one, however only the people in England are able to purchase it. It's exactly what I want, but I e-mailed the company and there is no way to get it in the USA.

I even put a wanted ad on Craigslist. Hopefully someone in the KC metro area will hear my plea for a vintage sink and find one for me. If only I'd come up with this idea before Christmas, Santa could have worked his magic and found one. Thousands of these things had to have been made in the mid-century era, so I'm sure if I'm patient, I'll find one somewhere. Then again, tomorrow I may come up with a totally different idea.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

50 in 500 - Show Us Your Life!

Kelly's Korner is hosting Show Us Your's a little piece of blog heaven where I get to peer into other people's worlds. To kick off 2010 the theme is New Year's resolutions. On my photography blog I did a post about 50 things I wanted to accomplish in 500 days; you can see the original post here. The start of 2010 got me thinking about that post, and I've decided to transfer the list to this blog and keep up with it here. I made a few tweaks from the original post, but I'm sticking with the original date, which is November 23 of this year.

1. Buy a house (Completed 9/2/09)
2. Launch
3. Knit a scarf
5. Visit Chicago
6. Organize my iTunes Library into playlists
8. Head toward my ideal weight
9. Blog everyday for a month (Completed 3/20/10)
10. Visit my friend Steven in Philly
11. Organize my filing system in my classroom
12. Get some "gallery prints" of my work
13. Get a dog (Completed)
14. Take an art class
15. Work out 4x a week for a month
16. Read the Bible cover to cover
17. Organize and archive personal photos
18. Learn how to use Photo Shop
19. Take a road trip
20. Shoot a destination wedding
21. Get photography business onto The Knot
22. Re-learn the guitar
23. Create photo books from my snapshots through the years
24. Find a cool way to package my photo products
26. Get better about sending out cards to past clients
27. Join a photography forum
28. Read one classic lit book that I haven't read
29. Bake my own bread
30. Do another family shoot of my entire family
31. Plant my own garden
32. Run a 5K
33. Invest in a 70-200 f/2.8 lens
34. Organize the folders on my laptop
35. Start a personal blog (Completed!)
36. Start using only reusable grocery bags
37. Create info sheets for clients
38. Spend a week without TV
39. Create my own recipe box like Mom's
40. Memorize a book of the Bible -- yes that says book
41. Paint something to hang in my house
42. Donate my hair to Locks of Love (completed 8/17/09)
43. Learn to make my own chai tea latte
44. Pay off my car
45. See the movie "What About Bob?"
46. Plan a B4 reunion
47. Travel to a different continent (Completed 10/19/09)
48. Do 25 consecutive push-ups
49. Host a dinner party

So, we'll see how it goes. Luckily I've already completed a few, and I'm on my way to completing the others. :)