Friday, August 30, 2013

Our Trip to Washington State

I wanted to blog about our trip back home to Washington, but I have so many pictures I didn't know how I was going to do it.  I made a bunch of collages to try to condense a handful of them.  Now about our trip in a nutshell, we visited and stayed with family and friends, went to the beach, and did a lot of driving.  We had so much fun!  We miss all our friends and family there and it was so nice to see everyone again.  We spent some time at Jason's parent's home in Castle Rock, where they have a lavender farm.  It's such a great place to take pictures.  We spent some time at our favorite place, the beach.  We camped at the KOA and had a family reunion there.  On our way home we visited my Grandma and stayed with friends.  But most importantly Jason and I celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary.  In the photo above we had dinner at a nice restaurant in Astoria, Oregon right on the Columbia River.  We have been through a lot together and I'm pretty lucky to have such a great guy as my companion in this life and forever!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Kitchen Island Makeover

Our kitchen island is finished!  Woohoo!  All I need now is the hardware.  I'm very happy with how it turned out.  It took me longer than I had planned, but I think because I took my time on how I was going to achieve what I wanted, I got good results.



We added trim around the ends of the island and a toe kick using the same molding around the bottom.  We used real wood, since it's in the kitchen I don't want any warping problems.

The color I used I altered a bit.  I chose Palladian Blue by Benjamin Moore, 5% enhanced.  I thought it was a little too minty green, so I had about 4.5 drops of blue added into the mixture.  Now I did use a little bit of the paint before adding the extra drops, so on a full can maybe 5 drops would be about right.  I'm happy with how the color turned out, it's exactly what I was trying to get.  It goes really well with the blue green backsplash.

I used Advance Paint by Benjamin Moore to paint the island.  This is the best paint for cabinets out there.  It acts like an oil-based paint, but cleans up like like latex, just soap and water.  Awesome stuff!  I got a nice smooth paint finish, which was important to me.

There are so many great tutorials on painting your cabinets so I won't go into detail (see Kitchen Island Project), but one tip that was helpful was when you paint in the grooves using a good paint brush, wipe off the excess paint that gets onto the flat part of the cabinet.  If you don't you will have a build up on the edges, which you don't want for a nice even finish.  Also, I did use a wood grain filler and I think it worked out really well and was pretty easy to use, EXCEPT next time I won't do it in the groves of the door, it was too hard to sand out.  I will only use the wood grain filler on the flat part of the door.  I don't see the wood grain on the flat part of the doors now.

(What the kitchen looked like when we moved in a year ago)

(after new backsplash and painted island)
I'd say we're getting there one step at a time.  Next for the kitchen:  paint the cabinets white!  I'm not sure where that lies on my to-do list, but I can't wait for the finish product.

Friday, August 16, 2013

A Tulip Quilt for Julianna

I recently finished my niece's quilt I've been working on for quite sometime.  We went to Washington in July and I wanted to hand deliver it.  She just turned 3yrs old yesterday, so I'm a little late on the "baby" quilt.  Her crib bedding I made a few years ago was with Moda's Soiree fabric by Lila Tueller, so I used a Jelly Roll in the same fabric to make her quilt.  It's close to a twin size quilt so she shouldn't out grow it for a while.  I love it, I think it turn out beautifully even with a few imperfections.  I saw an inspiration photo of a quilt and copied the design.  I free-motion quilted it and used a turquoise fabric for the backing.

Happy Birthday Julianna!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Philadelphia (Part 5, Last One)

After meeting Stan Lee we wanted to explore downtown Philadelphia some more and see some of the historical sites.  We first walked to Reading Terminal Market, which is an amazing place to eat.  There were so many delicious food places to choose from in this cool historic building. 

On the Man vs. Food TV show, Adam named the Roast pork with broccoli rabe at DiNic's as "Best Sandwich in America" (below).  So of course Jason had to try it, but was disappointed.  Tanner got one too and didn't finish it so I ate some of his and I don't think it was all that impressive.  Oh well, I got a delicious fruit smoothie and Spencer got carmel apple crapes, they were really good.

After lunch the limo picked us up and dropped us off near the Liberty Bell. 

The Benjamin Franklin building (above) and the boys in front of The Liberty Bell (below).

Then we walked to Franklin Fountain, which is an old fashion ice cream parlor and soda fountain where they keep it old fashioned and serve hand-made ice cream.

The workers are even dressed the part.  They use an old register.

Mmmmm, look at that!

It's a good thing we shared because they were large servings. 

Preston and I shared, so yummy!!!

Then we took a public bus back to our hotel and the boys and Jason swam.  The pool was outside on the 8th floor and very windy.

We relaxed the rest of the evening at the hotel and ordered in pizza.  The next day we flew back home.  Thanks Make-A-Wish, we all had a memorable and fun time and you made Spencer's wish come true!!!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Spencer's Wish Comes True (Part 4)

Spencer's Wish Day was finally here.  There were two other Make-A-Wish boys who had wished for the same thing, to meet Stan Lee.  All three of our families were picked up in a H2 Hummer Limo.  There was plenty of room for all 14 of us.  Spencer was very excited!!!

While we waited to go into Comic Con, there were fun things to see such as R2D2.  He was like the real thing rolling around making R2D2 noises.  The guy controlling him let us get a picture with him.

Who doesn't like the Ghostbusters?

For those of you who are Doctor Who fans, there was a great look-a-like Doctor taking pictures with fans.  Our boys were the aliens coming after the Doctor.

All three of the Make-A-Wish boys finally got their dream come true, they met with Stan Lee in a private room.  All of them are great artist and wanted to show Stan their art work.  Stan Lee was great, he made us laugh a lot.

I love Spencer's smile, I can see how happy he is!

Spencer also had a book for Stan Lee to sign.  Stan said, "This is a good book, I know because I wrote it", of course we all laughed.  Stan was very kind to grant these boy's their wishes.  Thanks Stan Lee and Make-A-Wish!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

New York City (Part 3)

Since we were only a 2 hour bus drive to NYC, we couldn't go this far and not go there.  We rode a bus from Chinatown in Philadelphia to Chinatown NYC.  It was a nice drive, we were able to see the country between the two big cities.  It was green like Washington, but flat no hills and mountains.

After we were dropped off in Chinatown, we started to walk to the pier.  Chinatown was interesting, a lot of food and raw fish, it felt dirty and a the kids especially thought it stunk.  After we got to the pier we got on a water taxi to see the sights in the New York harbor.  It was about 90 degrees and humid, so it was hot.

I highly recommend going on a boat ride in the harbor if you ever have the opportunity to visit.  We got a great view of the city and the Manhattan Bridge and Brooklyn Bridge.

The Statue of Liberty was closed because of damage done by hurricane Sandy, but will re-open again July 4th.  It was really neat to see the Statue of Liberty in person.

It's always different seeing something in person than in pictures.  The boys thought the statue would be bigger.  I thought it was pretty cool.

Below is a picture of Freedom Tower at the World Trade Center site where the Twin Towers used to stand.

We got off the boat and walked and walked viewing the city as we walked towards Times Square.  Times Square was crazy busy.  Busy with people and advertising everywhere.  When walking on the streets we tried to keep up with the hustle and bustle, you can't stop in the middle of the sidewalk or you'll mess everyone up.

We cooled off and got T-shirts for the boys at the M & M Store, which overlooks Time Square.
(notice the Spider-Man advertisements in the background)

We took a small break near Radio City Music Hall (squint, it's in the back).

The boys really wanted to go to FAO Swartz Toy Store.  You know the one in the "Big" movie with Tom Hanks and the famous giant piano scene.

Then we took a New York City cab back to Chinatown to catch our bus ride back to Philadelphia.  We made it back to Philadelphia and we were hungry.  We hardly ate at all in New York because we were so busy and didn't have much time to see everything we wanted to, but no one complained.

The Hard Rock Cafe was close-by and we thought it would be fun to eat there, mostly just to say we've been there.

We had a long, but adventurous day and loved it!  Thanks Make-A-Wish!!!