Phase One = Complete

Fancifying the kitchen is a three-step process. When we moved in, the kitchen looked like this.

Please note:

  • the dated knotty pine
  • the old fashioned black hinges
  • the bland countertops/backsplash
  • the aged cabinets
Not ideal for the modern, color loving family we are. A plan must be developed. Why not exchange the drab countertops from this…
to this…
Beautiful, bright, white quarts countertops….muah. It’s so crisp, so clean, so shiny and pretty and happy. I lust for them. Durable, practical, life changing. It’s not exactly normal to have a crush on a countertop but never you mind. The counter tops will be changed. As will the backsplash, from “landlord neutral” to fantastic blue subway tile.
Imagine it. The shiny white surface surrounded by iridescent blues and rich wooden cabinetry. It looks good, feels good, heck…it smells good. It is a far cry from the original. Despite at first HATING the knotty pine (and blogging about it here) I ultimately decided to keep it.  One reason for keeping the O.G. cabinets is to salvage something that is perfectly functional. No “out with the old and in the new” for this little lady. I wanted to keep something in that kitchen legit—in true 50s era style. The other reason for keeping the color was rooted in me wanting to prove the internet wrong. Search after search would furnish results which would have me believe that no one in their right mind would keep the knotty pine look in a modernish kitchen setting. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED. So phase one does not include demolishing the worn but still in-good-condition original cabinets.
Instead, it consists of doing some stripping, sanding, staining and hinge replacing. Switching out hardware like this…
For this…
Resulting in something like this…
It’s a look that’s a little old school and a little modern; a little eclectic and a little chic. So we spent the winter break refinishing the wood and bringing the fixtures up to the 21st century.
It wasn’t easy and we are still cleaning up saw dust, but what a difference a hinge can make! We are thrilled with the glossy new stain and shiny metallic hardware that now adorn our kitchen. Only two steps to go until the kitchen transforms into my cooking fantasy.

A Christmas Miracle

For years I have heard the following sentence…

“Stella is a Muppet.”

Yeah, yeah. I know. But WHICH Muppet? She’s not Rowlf, the go-to Muppet dog character. So why is it that we all (me included) think she looks like a Muppet?

After a recent viewing of The Muppet Christmas Carol  last week, it hit me. A background character, a Muppet extra if you will, sounded an alarm in my head. Stella is Sprocket, the occasional doggy guest star from Fraggle Rock.

Exhibit A: Sprocket, looking delightfully loveable.

Exhibit B: Stella. Very happy about the Christmas tree behind her (and the awesome new camera lens used to take this photo).




The similarities are undeniable.

It’s a Christmas miracle. The Muppet mystery has finally been solved. God bless us, everyone.

New home, new garden

Moving furniture is easy. Figuring out how to develop a new landscaping plan from scratch, not so much. Establishing a visually appealing space that can accommodate doodle romping, veggie growing and human entertaining is easier said than done (and it’s not even easily said). The yard has a long, long way to go, but some semblances of life and greenery are beginning to take form. Behold the early stages of the new back yard.

And because they’re so pretty, a few of the fleurs we have going on INSIDE the house.



Doodle Face

Stella takes lazy Sundays to a new level.



Fruits of labor

The garden has been offering up an abundance of leafy greens and broccoli, but recently we’ve seen the first signs of other veggies like sugar snap peas, banana peppers and tomatoes. We’ve even gotten to pick a few strawberries. We’re a ways off from competing with Central Market’s produce section, but when that first little tomato popped up, it sure felt like Christmas at the doodle house.

..and why not throw in a snap of Wyatt too? He’s a good garden helper.

Hiking at Bastrop State Park

After spending all of Friday night and Saturday day working, I felt entitled to a little road trip once Sunday rolled around. So we packed a picnic and the doodles and drove an hour east on Highway 71 to Bastrop for a hike in the lost pines of Bastrop State Park.

Heath’s 4,000-year-old hiking boots broke on the hike, so we had to tie the sole to the rest of the shoe with plastic bags. Elegant.

Our picnic in the pines, reduced fat of course.

This bud’s for you

Recent scenes from the garden.

Haircut O’clock

It was time for a hair cut.


Snow Day 2011

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Doodles + Chickens = Love

Doodles + Chickens = Love

When the coop first came to being, the dogs did their fair share of circling the new habitat, intently trying to get a taste of baby birds. And we’d been pretty religious about keeping the dogs separate from the chickens at all times, especially since the great squirrel catastrophe of 2010 where I came home to find a dead squirrel on the couch like a prized hunting trophy. It still brings back nightmares.

So this weekend when the dogs some how got outside while we were letting the chickens roam, Heath and I were a bit panicked to say the least.

“NO!” I heard Heath yell from the back yard. The screen door slammed against the house a second after, so I knew that meant the doodles had hurled themselves clumsily into the backyard, likely in pursuit of fresh chicken. Visions of feathers flying through the air like a middle school pillow fight consumed my brain as I ran outside to try and and pull vicious labradoodles from penetrating the flesh of our beloved Ruby and Marion.

You can imagine our surprise when we saw dogs and chickens cohabitating in peace.

All this time we had assumed a meeting between beast and bird would conclude in a squirrel-like tragedy, but here they were, blissfully ignoring one another. There was some sniffing by both parties, but for the most part, the chicks and the children live in peace.



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