Tuesday, March 29, 2011

office/music room plan

For Valentine's Day this year, we went to a concert- but a few days later.  We aren't big on celebrating Valentine's day.  Usually we just do something fun together, like go to the MOMA, paint mugs, or in this case, go to a Ben Gibbard show.  We love Ben, and we love going to his shows, or his band Death Cab for Cutie.

The show was fun.  We don't have to get into the fact that I wasn't with Ryan the whole night because I am getting too old and don't like to stand- but it was a great show nonetheless.  We were standing near the back, by the merch table, when I spotted this poster:

I was immediately in love.  I loved that it had a camera.  I loved that it had a shirt with buttons on it (that's for you dad!), I love that the camera lens was a music note, and I loved, loved, loved the colors.  Ryan and I had talked about how we wanted to paint the office gray.  And this was just a great addition.

We don't normally buy posters or shirts anymore at shows, as they've built up over the years and end up getting donated.  But I had to have this.  Ryan was digging it, and so I went over to buy it.  Of course they didn't take credit, and I had no cash.  And of course this is planned so you have to use their ATMs that charge me $5- but I trudged on through, and left the show as a proud owner of this epic poster.

From there, the creative juices were flowing.  We thought a lighter gray, closer to the top of the camera would be a good wall color.  So Ryan and I went to Home Depot, Lowe's and Ace to pick out a few color chips.  After narrowing the chips down, and painting a few samples on the wall, we ended up with Martha Stewart Nimbus Cloud:

I loved that the name sort of reminds me of Harry Potter too.

Now, I didn't want this room to scream "Man Cave".  As no man of mine gets a cave.  This is our house, and our room- so it should look like an equally shared space.  Since the art on the walls, and the contents of the room (i.e. hard black music equipment) are more "masculine" I wanted a more feminine window treatment.  We went to Ikea to pick out drapes.  I love their drapes because they are so budget friendly, and the length is adjustable.  Nothing I hate more than high-water drapes.  After the worlds quickest trip to the land of yellow and blue, we ended up with these, Alvine Kottar:

These are the elements that we've planned so far.  We have awhile until the room is even close to done (as we just moved the desk and gear in) but it is the plan going forward.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

fight the end of breast cancer!

My Aunt is walking in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the cure.

She is collecting donations to the foundation, so if you are interested in helping knock-out breast cancer, donate here.

Thanks ya'll!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

under construction!

Hey folks!

So I know we moved, and an update is needed.  The update is we are tired.  As heck.

I've been photographing a few of the projects we've been working on, and I will share them soon.  In the mean time, here is a teaser:

Monday, March 21, 2011

working 9 to 5.

The other day my sister in law posted about her healthy desk. My desk ain’t healthy, but it is cute. So I thought I’d share.

I’m at my desk far more than any other space on this planet. Gotta love office life. So with that in mind, I set out to help turn my generic cubicle, into a Christina Oasis. It’s not a major overhaul by any means, but the few touches help make it my own.

Here is what I stare at all the live long day. 

Those are my two computer screens, which I’ve grown to love. But beyond that, I have a few nice things to see. First, I customized my desktop image from the boring company logo, to a photo of Campo de Firori in Roma. It was taken right as a storm was about to begin.

 I love this picture. And I love staring at it. I had tried a few graphic images and found them to be a bit too overwhelming. This is tranquil, the essence of Italy, and reminds me of why I work- so I have money for trips!

To the right, I have a photo of Vernaza in Cinque Terre from our honeymoon as well. I printed an 8 x 10 at Costco, and put it in a Target frame. It is crisp and clean, and like I say, LOVE the chunky mat.

My pencil cup is a cheapo find from Anthropologie (supposed to be a drinking glass). I loved the bottom and raised dots. And the color of course. My other mug (a gift from miss Lindsey) holds my paperclips, chapstick and post-it flags. Life’s essentials.

I found my stapler on ebay. (I know, who buys staplers on ebay?). But, it matched my office fabrics, so I was sold! And then we have my mouse pad. I crafted this guy out of a cork place mat from Ikea. I wanted a larger than normal one, so I cut it to size and adhered it with glue. It is getting a little dirty, so I may have to update this soon.

To the other side of my screen, I have a yearly calendar I downloaded for free from www.mibostudio.co.uk. I loved the graphic at the top. I also have a “Keep calm and carry on” poster in aqua. It’s a great mantra for work.

Of course I have to have photos. I get teased a lot for having Riley in the frame, and Ryan pinned to the wall. Oh well, it is the pecking order : )

To the right of my computer I have my wall calendar. I spent a lot of time trying to decide how I wanted this. Work provided me with a erasable laminated version. I didn't like how the months were set up, and didn’t like that it was too large for the space. I wanted one that I could write with pencil. I also wanted a calendar that I didn't have to write on the wall with. So I came to this solution. Each month is simply a word calendar that I added a graphic and cut to size. I punched a hole at the top, and hang them with an aqua pin.

So far it’s been great. When I add something, I simply take the month down. And since it is in pencil, it is all erasable. The months don’t align evenly all the time- and I thought this would bother me- but turns out we are a-ok!  The cat is a newer addition- it holds binder clips!

This was a cork board I made for my old desk, since it didn’t have a wall cork board. I just took a cheap cork board from Target and painted it white.  Then I cut my fabric to size and glued it to the cork.  Since I knew my edges wouldn't be perfect, I put an aqua trim around the perimeter.  (For those of you watching closely, my scissors, Keep Calm and Carry on poster and this trim all match.  Yes, I spent precious time working that one out!) I put random things on it, but it fills the space very nicely.

The other side houses my books. I picked up these cute bookends at Homegoods. I usually have more books, but I took some home.

The circles were an idea that my sister had made with fabric in her old apartment bathroom. But, I added cork to them, so they are cork boards. (Same stuff I picked up at Ikea for my mousepad). I used the mouse pad fabric, the bulletin board fabric, and a third pattern to tie the whole cube into place.

So there we are folks, my cube.  If you want to update your space, my suggestion is to go to Jo Ann's and find a fabric.  Or three.  This gave me a great launchpad for the space .

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Three years ago today, Ryan and I were engaged.  It is crazy how that seems so long ago sometimes.  Since this is our blog, about our lives, I shall rehash the whole day- as it was legendary for us.

I can't lie and say I didn't know it was coming.  I did. But it didn't make the day/weekend/year and a half of being engaged any less special.  Ryan and I talked about getting married from the day we met.  It wasn't a surprise to me that Ryan wanted to marry me.  We both knew it was going to happen- it was just the matter of when.

I can't quite remember when Ryan brought it up, but he said "we should go to Monterey for the weekend in March."  While I love the guy, he isn't the first to make plans- so I knew this was the trip.  Of course I was onboard, and couldn't wait for the weekend.  We had picked out a place to stay, and had planned on going to the Aquarium for the morning, then to Carmel for lunch on the beach.

We had picked a hotel in Monterey, but Ryan was in charge of logistics.  He had printed out the Google maps- and had booked our accommodations at the wrong hotel, in a few towns over.  I was peeved. I'm not gonna lie. And I wasn't super pleasant for a few minutes : )

The Aquarium was fun- it was where we went for our 1-year anniversary back in our heyday.  Not much had changed, so we went through fairly quickly.

We then ran to Safeway to pick up food for our picnic.  When we got to the beach to eat, I kept thinking- This is gonna be it.  But nope. We ate our lunch, got pelted by sand, packed up, and were on our way.

At this point I thought- hmm. Maybe I'm wrong.  So I think I went back into crabby mood for a good 10 minutes.  This was rectified with coffee and shopping. We then got in the car and decided to drive around Highway 1.

We went up and down, and finally pulled over at Asilomar State Beach.  We wanted to hang out, so we brought some blankets and Ryan grabbed his guitar, and we sat on some rocks.  It  was freezing.  And windy.

Ryan started playing and singing a few songs.  I can't quite remember what.  And I was covered up by one of their old bed comforters to keep warm and just staring out into the ocean.  Then Ryan started playing "God Only Knows" by the Beach Boys.  Awhile ago I had asked Ryan to learn that song to play.  But hadn't brought it up since.  As he started singing and playing, I started crying.  I was touched he remembered this song, I couldn't believe he spent time learning it, and I knew this. was. it.

And sure enough, once he was done, he put down his guitar, opened his guitar case, and pulled out the ring.  He didn't have a speech, or long schpeel.  Just a simple, "will you marry me?"

It couldn't have been more perfect for us.  It was simple, relaxed, not a public spectacle- just us and the ocean.  And the wind!  It was so windy, that it made taking pictures so hard!

Before we packed up to leave, I grabbed some sand and a rock from our spot.  [The sand is now in a vase with a candle in our home.]

Back at the car, Ryan pulled out new directions, to a much nicer hotel in Monterey.  He said he didn't book the other hotel in the faraway city.  I felt like an idiot!

We then called our family.  My mom and sister answered the phone, and I told them.  They both freaked out and started crying.  My dad was in the background saying "I already knew" as Ryan had called him to let him know what was going on.  We also called our friend Matt, to see if he'd officiate our ceremony. Once we had called our family, we went to dinner at our favorite local pizza place, Gianni's.

And that my friends, is how we were engaged.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Home Tour | Our First House!!!

As of today, we own a little piece of CA. Well, 20% with payments over the next 30 years : )

We are floored to be moving here, and are excited to start the new chapter of our lives. We were able to get our keys today, so I shot this video quickly before it got too dark. I'm hoping to get photos tomorrow before we start working away. So without further ado, welcome to our new home!

fresh cut grass.

Yesterday we scored big, for very little!  After getting all of our moving boxes for free via Craigslist, I've become addicted.  I have had this problem before, but in comes in spurts- usually around when I am looking for something.  So we needed a mower, and to Craigslist I went!

We really wanted a push reel mower, but we didn't want to spend the $100+ on a new one.  Mainly because we weren't sure if we were going to like it.  I spent a few days searching for "push mower" and on Tuesday hit gold! A guy near here was selling his old mower and manual edger for $50.  I set up a meeting time, and we met him last night.

The mower is older then we thought, but we took it over to a nearby bank's lawn and tested it out.  (You're welcome Citibank!)  Grass was flying everywhere, and it was easier to use than we thought.  We were sold!  It also came with a grass catcher, which can run another $50.  Imagine me pushing this around on a Saturday!

Why did we want a push reel mower?  Well, I am sort of scared of gas powered ones.  For some reason I have visions of cutting off my foot.  Secondly, they break, and we don't know how to fix them.  This has less parts- so we'd assume it to be easier.  And lastly- it's better for your grass and the earth.  Plus, by us getting it used, we've made it an even better option.  Gotta love recycling!

Then it was off to Costco to get a hose!  We had received our very small, but still appreciated, rebate check. I had seen hoses there and priced them at Home Depot as well.  It was a better deal, so we grabbed the hose and some frozen pot stickers and were good to go!

And yes, that's right, we even were able to buy an eco-friendly hose.  So, you've all been advised that it is a-ok to drink out of it, as it is lead free.  You are welcome.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

let's go shopping!

I am too excited.  And when I get too excited, I can't function.  Even my dreams have gone crazy.  The other night I dreamed that when we went into the house for the first time as owners, all of the moldings were gone.  It was a nightmare!  Needless to say I hope those keys hurry themselves up to our key rings!

We bought our fridge, and were toying with buying a new washer and dryer.  I think we are going to hold off on that purchase, but it has allowed me to get to know our Home Depot and Lowe's situation.

So some things I am loving?

These brushed nickel house numbers:

Outdoor rug for our patio:

A mirrored cabinet for our bathrooms that lack storage:

Corner cabinet insert replacers, since one of ours is missing:

It's been decided that Home Depot/Lowe's/Ace are going to be our new best friends.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

pack it up!

We couldn't have timed our move better.  Our lease is up on April 5th.  And we don't have to make our first mortgage payment until May 1, hallelujah!  So this gave us no overlap with big time payments, but overlap of residences.  I wish I could say we planned this, but, it just fell into place.

This allows for us to move slowly and in an organized fashion.  We can move piecemeal, and put things away.  It is going to be great!  We think we are going to get a rental truck for the big items, since our couch and bed don't quite fit in our Civic!

While we knew a move was in our near future when we moved to our apartment, we didn't have space to store boxes.  Ryan and I had scavenged our offices, but didn't walk away with enough boxes to pack up our place.  I then turned to craigslist, and what a grand idea that was!

I found two local postings for free moving boxes.  The first wasn't much to write home about, but the second place had about 30-40 moving boxes, and not just amazon boxes.  Plus it all was free- and eco friendly!  We too will bundle up our boxes and let the next mover take them off our hands.

So as I am packing up our place, I can't help but sing Jeannie's Packin' Up from Brigadoon.  Random right?  Well back we we lived in Ohio, my parents took us kids to a local production of Brigadoon.  I think it may have been our first musical experience.  And we LOVED it.  We made them buy the CD and was sang the songs all over the place.  Our family favorite?  Jeannie's Packin' Up- which fittingly could have been our family anthem.  As kids we would moved side to side like they do in the song when  cleaning up.  (Yes, we are aware that this is slightly odd!)

So I leave you with Barrington High School's rendition of the song!

Saturday, March 05, 2011

papers signed and fridge shopping.

With our house sale, we got a discount if we used our seller's approved title company.  From what we've been told, our process is a bit different than normal, because the title company isn't local.  Since they are in Southern CA, they sent the papers to a notary, and the notary sat with us to sign them, not the title company.

So today, we met at our Realtor's office to work with the notary.  But before we could sign all the papers, we had to get our cashiers check.  Wowzers, what a scary moment that was!  But worthy of a photo!

Then it was off to her office.  We were worried that without the title company present, we might run into some issues.  But it turned out that the notary guy was great.  He knew a lot, and made sure we signed and dated our papers in the correct format.  (Because apparently it mattered).

After that we went on over to the house.  It was fun to go back- but we are very excited to get in for real!  I've already got Google docs galore of projects I want to conquer, so I am certainly ready to get rolling.  We are supposed to have the keys by Friday, so fingers crossed that it goes smoothly.

After we signed our docs, we hit up Togo's for some lunch, then went fridge shopping.  Wow- what an un-fun event that was!  Sears was having a 30% off Kenmore sale that ends on Wednesday, so we wanted to hit up all the stores before that to ensure we'd get the best price and fridge we could.  When we were at the house today we measured for the fridge.  Turns out we had enough room for a grown-up size fridge.  While excited we've moved up in the world, it comes at about double the price.  Lovely.

We hit up Lowe's, Best Buy, Home Depot and Sears.  All had different fridges, and all so confusing.  By the end of the day we were dragging.  And we ended at Sears.  Which, today was a bad idea.  The sales people were nuts.  I'm not a shopper who likes to have sales people follow me around and tell me what I like and need.  I know what I like and need.  I like to work with the people when I get to the point that I have questions, or confusion.  We were hounded by 3 different sales people, and when another would come talk to us, the previous one would stare and sigh.  It was a jungle, and I wanted out!

We left all the places without fridges, and went to our favorite place to shop, online.  We ended up wanting a fridge with the freezer on the bottom, french doors on top, and no water or computer, as we don't have the hook up.  We narrowed it down to a Maytag and a Whirlpool.

Look the same, right?  Well the winner ended up being the Maytag!  And the vendor?  Home Depot.  They had the lowest price, and were offering 10% on top.  The icing?  The help.  We went around 7ish and had the best lady.  So with our free delivery and extra discounts we were sold.

The result- the MOST expensive day of our lives, so here's to hoping we have money for food to put in this fridge of ours!

Friday, March 04, 2011

rockabye baby!

Let's not freak out.

I will start by saying that I am a planner.  Way before I was married, or engaged, I saved wedding ideas, read blogs, bookmarked sites, you name it.  When we got our apartment, and well before we were planning to buy a house, I was saving ideas for my kitchen, future decor ideas and bathroom updates.  It's what I do.

So I do this same thing for baby stuff.  No, I am not pregnant.  And with planning on our side, we are hoping that won't be for awhile.  But, that doesn't mean that I am not excited about having some rascals of our own- SOMEDAY.

Good, now that we are one the same page.  Check it!

That's right.  There are lullaby songs to the tune of way cool bands, like Queen, The Beatles, Nirvana, etc.

Our baby can even be lulled asleep to the sound of Tool.  Much to my demise, but I am sure Ryan would be all over this!

All this means is baby Mordoff is going to be the coolest kid on the block.
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