Saturday, July 26, 2014

Bedroom Re-do!

It's one of those beautiful sunny days that Bellinghamsters live for, but I couldn't wait to share the pictures of our newly improved master bedroom! Luckily, I can type this AND enjoy the sunshine at the same time (still loving our "new" deck too)!

I'm terrible at remembering to take before pictures of anything, so I don't have a picture of what the room really looked like before I tore it apart. However, I dug through the archives on my computer and found a couple of pictures taken inside our bedroom when Lexi was a puppy. Hooray for "before" pictures and cute dog pictures! 

When I moved in with Craig, the bed in the master bedroom was positioned under an ugly wood paneled wall. The furniture was crammed in there and it was difficult to get the vacuum cleaner over to Craig's side of the bed. I can't believe I lived with it like that for almost nine years (side note…time flies!). 

See? Ugly wood paneled wall. Over time, I did nothing about the wall or the furniture other than the fact that I moved that bookshelf out (the one on Craig's side of the bed), and got rid of Lexi's ugly plastic crate. Now she has a travel crate that folds up really nicely and actually fits in our bedroom much better (even before I moved everything around). Although Lexi usually sleeps in our bed, she still likes to cozy up in her crate from time to time.

 Last week, the weather had cooled down quite a bit around here, which meant that it was perfect painting weather! I marched into Lowe's on Sunday morning and left with a gallon of paint in an off white color and a quart in a beautiful beachy blue/green. I knew I wanted to paint the wood wall a slightly different color than the rest of the room so I chose the be beachy blue/green for that wall. Let me back up and say two things. First, the colors I chose had to go with our bedding (a wedding gift from my mom and grandparents). Second, the color on the other three walls wasn't terrible (a light blue), but I wanted to freshen the entire room with a new coat of paint.

I actually painted the wall with the window first. I painted about one wall per day because as I painted, I was also shuffling furniture around and cleaning every nook and cranny. There was enough black lab hair in our room to make a few fur coats (with the old furniture arrangement, it was just tough to vacuum in certain spots). Ew!

On Monday, I tackled the wood wall. About halfway in, I realized that I should have purchased a full gallon of paint for that wall since the wood needed a couple of coats to completely cover. I sent Craig back to Lowe's to purchase more paint (a full gallon…I decided I loved the color and would paint the closet doors too!).

While I painted I always had my trusty painting companion. Haha! Marley was absolutely fascinated by the process. 

Once the wood wall was done, I painted the other two walls (again, one per day since I was moving things around and waiting for paint to dry too). I took the closet doors off and reorganized our entire closet, pulling everything out and vacuuming it too!

Craig had a stack of albums on his side of the closet and we pulled them out and sorted through, keeping the ones that we wanted to keep and getting rid of the rest. He found this gem: 

He's going to make me a C.D. so that I can use it in my classroom! 

Then, it was time for the closet doors. This was actually the most frustrating part, because I was anxious to get everything put back together and the doors needed two full coats of paint and drying time before I hung them back up. I painted the doors on Thursday, so from start to finish it took me 5 days to get our room done. 

Ready for the big reveal?!? 

Here it is! 
(The lighting was a little weird in our room this morning, but I think you get the idea)

I absolutely love having our bed under the window! There is much more room to walk and move around now. There were only three things that didn't go back into the room (a dresser that Craig had filled with stuff that will now go into his office, an old tube T.V. and a small table that held a VCR and our cable box…we're not sure if we'll put a T.V. in our room again, but if we do it will be a small flatscreen). 
The only purchases I made for our new room were the curtains (half off at Target!) , the lamp shades (another Target find…more about the lamps later) and a new laundry basket.

Here's a look at "Craig's side". I don't love the yellow cabinet (the color mainly), so I'm thinking I'll paint it in the near future. It serves as a great spot for Craig to dump out his pockets at the end of the day. 

The mason jar holds change, the heart shaped platter was a Christmas gift several years ago and it holds miscellaneous coins that Craig has collected (Canadian, European, etc.) and the square bowl holds any extras that find their way into our room. 

The dresser is now on my side of the bed, against the wood paneled wall. I absolutely love the way the wall turned out. When you're close, you can see the texture of the wall, but the color lightens our room up immensely! 

I'm still up in the air about painting the closet doors the same color as the wood wall. I do love the color, but I'm not sure about it being on the doors too. I waver back and forth between loving it and feeling neutral about it. (You can see that Lexi's crate has a home on my side of the bed too).

Here's my side of the bed. There's a little corner for the new laundry "basket"…really just a cute cloth container I found at Marshall's for like 12 bucks, and my school bag fits over there too. On the table is a glass container to put my stuff into at the end of the day (hair ties, change, etc.).

Let's talk about the lamps for a second. This is what the lamps looked like before:

And after:
Instead of purchasing new lamps, I purchased new shades and then spray painted the lamp bases! I chose a charcoal color and love the way they turned out! So much better than the ugly wood and awful yellowish shades!

Finally, just a quick shot of the dresser. Our room still needs some artwork or something on the wall (I'm thinking of having a couple of photographs blown up and framing them), but I liked the collection of "stuff" on the dresser.

I still need to dig up one of my high school grad. pictures to put next to Craig's (isn't he cute : )?). I dug out a picture of us on our wedding day, a picture from our honeymoon and a couple of odds and ends (stuffed animals from various places), a jewelry box from my grandma, a lamp that was in my dad's house, and a candle from our wedding day. 

We are loving it! I think Craig is even sleeping better since the room has been cleared of dust and dog hair! Ha! 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Meals lately

I'm in the middle of painting, cleaning and reorganizing our bedroom and can't wait to share photos on the blog! Until then, let's talk about food!

I've been following a mostly vegetarian diet for the past year or so. Before that, I didn't have any strict rules about the food that I ate, other than that I really tried hard to eat locally, seasonally and with minimal processing. I gave up most processed foods and started to read ingredients lists like crazy. If there was anything "scary" on the list, I probably wouldn't purchase it.

These days, 95 percent of the meals that I cook at home are meatless (with the occasional salmon thrown in). I've found that with vegetarian cooking it's really easy to make one dish meals where everything is served together. This works for me throughout the seasons and I find myself making casseroles, quiches, frittatas, pastas, risottos, and rice and noodle dishes. I always end up making more than needed so that we can have the leftovers for lunch during the week (especially during the school year). 

Two yummy meals I've made lately include a "harvest bowl" and a kale fried rice dish. Mmm! 

The harvest bowl was seasonal veggies (kale and zucchini) and crumbled veggie patty (the best veggie burger ever is made my Field Roast…a Seattle based company) over quinoa topped with a miso-mushroom gravy (based on the harvest bowl from Veggie Grill). 

Kale fried rice is a dish that make on a regular basis. It's really easy to adjust ingredients based on  what you have. Sometimes I add egg, sometimes I add different combinations of veggies, but it's always delicious! 

This is making me hungry…so I"m off to enjoy another veggie meal…baked huevos rancheros. Yum! 

Saturday, July 19, 2014


My friend Kristie is in town from Alaska right now since she is getting married in Chelan at the beginning of August. It's been wonderful catching up with her and spending time with her! We've become pretty close over the past couple of years and we miss her and her hubby to be! 

Last summer, while Kristie and Dan were still living in Bellingham, we kept talking about taking a "brews cruise" which is basically what it sounds like. A local brewery and a local whale watching company teamed up to create Wednesday night cruises in which beer and bratwursts (including vegetarian options) are served during a 90 minute cruise around the bay. The cruise is not intended to be a whale watching cruise as the boat stayed much too close to the shore for that. It is more of an "enjoy the scenery, drink some beer and socialize with your friends" kind of cruise. 

I actually took several pictures while cruising, but I'm feeling too lazy to load them off of my camera right now. Instead, you get a couple of cellphone pics. It was a perfect night…temperatures hovering in the 80's at 7:00 at night! Kristie brought her parents and brothers along too and we all had a blast!

I highly recommend this cruise! There is also a wine tasting version of the cruise on Thursday nights (possibly with a different boat company as there are a couple of companies that operate these during the summer).

Love our little Bellingham!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Just One

This week, I'm back to school. I'm lucky to be one of several teachers in my district who are attending a fabulous workshop about writing. Writing is a tough subject to teach! I'm pretty excited to be able to spend this week learning, even though it requires me to get out of bed early every day. 

I feel like this summer is going to fly by and will be over before I know it. After this week, we have a wedding to attend in Chelan, a weekend in Whistler and I have more training to do as well as a classroom to set up…all before school starts! Eek! 

We knew this would be a crazy summer, which is why we decided to treat ourselves to a little vacation. We left about 5 days after school was done for the year and returned just last Wednesday. I don't know if I'll write about every day of our trip here, but I had to share at least one picture. 

This photo doesn't even begin to explain the entirety of our trip. It's just one evening of two weeks, but it sure was a beautiful one!

Happy Tuesday!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Heat Wave

We're in the middle of a heat wave here in the Pacific Northwest. We're talking temperatures that are close to 90, which is not normal for us. The 7 day forecast has no signs of rain. These temperatures are well tolerated in parts of the country that have air conditioning, but most houses in our area were built without AC. Our house is also particularly warm since it was built in the late 1960's so it has poor insulation, including single paned windows. We get direct sunlight all day long so there is virtually no relief from the heat. We have become smarter over the years by putting light blocking curtains on the west facing windows which really helps and have a portable AC that we use just in our bedroom at night so that we can sleep. I have to say that Lexi is the smartest of all…she has started going downstairs during the day, where it must be at least 5-10 degrees cooler.

All of this heat means that our city has placed us on a voluntary watering schedule, which of course I like to follow. I've been trying to rise early to water the garden before it gets especially hot and I'm sending Craig out to buy a bale of straw so that I can use it for mulch which will help the soil retain water.

The garden is looking pretty good, but the most exciting development is that I was able to harvest the garlic that I planted last October!

I pulled it all today and it's now sitting on the table outside so that it can "cure" before I bring it in to store it and use it hopefully throughout the fall and winter! I'm so excited!