Kitchen Remodel

Posted by Nina on May 16, 2011

Things here are chaotic at best! We’re in full demolition of the main floor of our home.. which includes the kitchen, bathroom, dining room, living room, and laundry… I think we are now approaching the halfway point. The cabinets are mostly in, appliances will be coming soon, flooring is ordered, and the man is coming out to take measurements for the counter tops next week.

so please forgive me if posting is a little sporadic for a little while!

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Home Improvement – The Vision

Posted by Nina on Apr 20, 2010

This is our kitchen in all of its glory. It’s pretty, its functional, but it’s really not our style. When we bought our house we knew we wanted to replace the floors and the counter tops but we didn’t talk much about redoing the entire kitchen until lately. The problem we have is that my husband has very distinct modern taste and I have very traditional taste.. and the two do not often blend well. I’ve found I am a lot more versatile in my styles ranging from French bistro to European traditional.. we kind of agree on the neutral Tuscan style but not enough to really call it home.

Then my secret love of watching those trashy reality shows gave us some help. Do you watch Real Housewives of O.C.? well, if you do, you might recognize Tamera Barny’s kitchen… that’s pretty much the only kitchen we have ever both agreed on.. so we’re going to run with it. We want wooden floors through out the entire lower level, husband likes lighter neutral woods, I like darker with more character, but I think his idea blends better with the kitchen we’ve chosen, so I gave in.. we want stainless steel appliances, and quartz counter tops, and I want a matching backsplash.. so here you have it.. we are hoping to turn this..

into this..

However, it doesn’t stop there.. we’re looking into fixing up our backyard too.. the previous home owners basically landscaped with mulch… there’s no flowering plants in the back yard at all.. just trees, mulch, and some river rocks… see?

Now that you see what we’re working with.. we’ve decided that we really do like the mulch but I want flowers back there… its a little too plain for me the way it currently is and the husband actually agrees!! so we’ve browsed around the web until we found a garden we like and have used this as inspiration… and we’re just now getting started!


We’ve just laid down 6 yards of mulch between the front yard and the back (the front yard actually needs very little work, it’s pretty!), and are looking into how to landscape this type of yard so that the mulch lays in front of the plants…

so there you have it.. this is what my summer is going to look like!

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New Table & Chairs!

Posted by Nina on Feb 10, 2009

It’s been a long time since I have posted a real-life post.. and Melyssa mentioned recently how much she missed reading about people’s boring little lives… So here’s my attempt at an update. We had family from Minsk here in October. They spent nearly the entire month with us! I was a little horrified that we didn’t have an actual dinette set in our kitchen to eat breakfast and drink coffee at.. we had this little two seater bistro set that used to live on the patio at our old apartment filling up the dining area in the breakfast nook.. it was functional but when there are 4 adults buzzing around its a little too small. My mother-in-law loved Pier 1 and my father-in-law loved Lowes (they don’t have stores like these in Russia) and both were trying to buy us a small dinette set ..we of course refused.

She made us promise that we would fill that space in the near future.. and I was a little afraid my father-in-law would try to build us one.. I’m seriously not kidding.. he’s the kind of man who has to keep busy from sun up to sunset so he found lots of little projects to keep him busy while he was here.. but I was afraid to send him to Lowes alone because.. Lowes isn’t exactly a great furniture store. Well, we finally did! We ended up getting the 42″ glass top and this black iron base and 4 black chairs. It fits the spot perfectly! This was actually the set my mother-in-law was trying to buy for us! I topped it with a floral arrangement I threw together myself. 🙂

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We Bought A House!

Posted by Nina on Jul 9, 2008

We close July 31st and move in after August 7th. I don’t think I really knew just how much work house-hunting could be. We saw probably 100 houses in about 10 hours. There were a few houses we loved but this one felt like home. We had the home inspections completed Monday and are just waiting to get a faxed copy of the sellers acceptance of the electrical work that needs to be repaired.

It was amazing walking into their little girls room.. it was EXACTLY like my bedroom when I was a kid. Everything from the furniture being the exact same set, to the bedding, to the pink wall color! Everyone kept saying that, that was a ‘sign’. 🙂

Living Room:



Dining Room:

Laundry Room:

Main Level Bath:


Master Bedroom:

Master Bath:

2nd Bedroom: (one I had as a child!)

3rd Bedroom:

4th Bedroom:

2nd Floor Bath:



Basement Bath:

Unfinished 5th Bedroom (Basement)


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is that a chipmunk in your apartment?

Posted by Nina on Nov 11, 2007

So, you wanna know what a typical Saturday is like in my life? All the boring details…? Stayed up late on friday night watching Sergey play video games so my day didn’t offically start until 1pm. Took a shower, ate breakfast, decided to go take Bella for a walk in the park.. drove about two blocks and found we had a flat tire.. Got some air, took the baby home, and drove the car to be fixed and we spent the 2hrs at the mall in Barns and Noble buying this kick ass vegan cookbook. Stopped by the video store to either pick up Meet the Robinson’s or Ratatoulie only to find they didn’t have any so we debated about checking blockbusters and the guy caught us as we were leaving and checked their drop box and sure enough, one copy of Ratatoulie! YAY!! We’re talking about what an awesome Saturday we are having and went on home to watch the movie.. and I shit you not, what happened was absolutely true.

We had NO idea what was instore for us….

We watched the movie and Sergey headed to bed, I decided to do some late night blogging and watch the back episodes of Greys Anatomy I had on dvr. At 2am I hear a very loud crash, the sound of glass breaking and metal hitting the floor. My husband and I both run to the bathroom to find nothing there, nothing even out of the ordinary.. a couple things laying on the floor but what made them fall? By the sound of it, I thought our whole wall shelf had collapsed… but nothing..

Still puzzled by what the hell had happened in the bathroom, I started packing up to turn in for the night/morning.. when I heard the sound of my work out equipment moving.. I jump out of my skin when I turn around and see these two little glowing eyes staring right at me.. I don’t know who was more shocked or terrified.. me or that poor little chipmunk. I start screaming for my husband.. of course he sleeps through it (wtf!?!? I could be getting raped and killed and he’d sleep through it!!) so I run into the bedroom screaming “theres a squirrl or something in our apartment!!” get it out!!! NOW!!” I am sure this is the point where he is thinking “yup, this is it… its time to have her committed… there are no squirrles in our apartment…. I’ll just call those men who bring the little white coats and…. ok shes not shutting up, I better go look” I am still not sure he believed me until he saw it… so then who the hell do we call???!! So I call Mum… she tells me to call the police, then tells me no no, animal control.. then says wait don’t you have 24hr maintnance or patrols there? so yeah, I call security patrol, uh their number is disconnected… so maintnance answers and I said “Ok, I know this is going to sound really weird.. especially at 4 in the morning.. but I have a squirll in our apartment and we need to get it out because we have a tiny dog and…. I have no idea who to call and your the only 24hr line I have besides 911.. and its not a 911 kind of thing but..” and the guy says “uhm, a squirrle? wow.. thats… different”… lol no shit!! “well, I don’t know who to call or what to do either but I could come and look if you’d like..” PLEASE!! lol he showed up, took a peek, said Yup a baby chipmunk, and then he and my husband played ring around the rosie with this thing for about 15mins or so before my husband nudged it out with a broom. The maintnance man had brought doors and set them up like a giant maze. Worked pretty well with the broom. Where was I? Sitting on the sofa freaking out and lauging at the same time while saying “Hurry!! run!! I’m Vegan, I won’t hurt you… just run!! RUN!” I was totally a cheerleader not a team player.. but whatever, I am a CITY girl, this is the closest I have EVER been to a chipmunk.. to tell you the truth, I dont know if I have ever even seen one before!! but those little fuckers can jump!!

So yeah, THIS was my ‘typical’ saturday night.. and my husband went to bed agreeing that THIS could ONLY happen to us… however, I have NO idea how it got in.. no doors are open, we have a security door and a main door and our apartment door it had to go through if it came in that way… no holes that we can see anywhere in our apartment.. so I am too freaked to sleep and who but us has a camera ready at 4am for pics??

I am a city girl ya’ll!

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Spring Cleaning vs. OCD?

Posted by Nina on Mar 29, 2007

I think I have written before about how OCD I am about cleaning and organizing. Some of you thought I wasn’t as serious…….. Just so you know.. this is a REAL email I sent to a friend just a few mins ago… I told you I wasn’t kidding. And as I am sitting here, I am contemplating baking brownies and organizing our computer room. I think I need help.

————– Attached E-Mail Message ————–
To: [info]lizmybit
From: [info]nina
Date: Tuesday, March 29, 2007 5:53PM
Subject: Re: (no subject)

aww thank you! 🙂 Do you have a flickr? If you do whats your name? I’ll friend you 🙂 I might even make a group for our WW chat. Katie is already a friend of mine there 🙂

I have so many pics I need to upload there… I’ve been crazy busy today .. I’m always a clean freak when i get nervous (I’m paranoid about people i love flying since 9-11…. so thats probably why I am in Martha Stewart mode)… if you ever watch Desperate Housewives.. I am TOTALLY Bree! lol When panic sets in I am baking pies and cleaning house and making gift baskets for all my friends………

Today I even windex’d the patio doors………. I live in an apartment………………………….. WHO DOES THAT?! ME! lol I keep thinking I need to run the carpet cleaner but.. we have a free carpet cleaning that I can use any time so I am thinking that might be a little over kill since they will come in and professionally clean it………….. but then again…….. maybe not.. you can never be too clean. (and the fact that I am a Virgo probably doesn’t help this obsessive compulsive cleaning habit) I’m debating on organizing the linen closet…… its not ‘out of order’ but just not up to my standards of organized.. you know, all the labels aren’t facing front and some of the towels are put in a wrong direction… does that make me sound crazy? Probably… I usually don’t clean the bathroom or take out the trash (thats my husbands chores, everything else I do) but today I did.. it didn’t really need it but I thought I needed more chores to do.

I found a CUTE pair of spring shoes I had in my closet that I had totally forgotten about and have never worn! Isn’t spring cleaning fun?! You can say a LOT about myself and my house.. but one thing you cannot say is it isn’t clean.

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Semi – Apartment Tour

Posted by Nina on Aug 21, 2006

Following suit of a few of my favorite bloggers, here is a pan of our living room. The rest can be seen on my flickr account. The bathroom, kitchen, and computer room are still missing.. but I’ll add them soon.

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I ♥ Cost Plus / World Market

Posted by Nina on Aug 2, 2006

Sergey and I went to World Market on a whim on Sunday to buy a print to hang above our bed, and while we were there.. we found that 2 of the cabinets we wanted for our living room were on sale! So we bought them both! They are being delivered today. There are only a couple pieces we are lacking.. Sergey wants a wine consol for the dining room and I would like a large mirror to hang above our sofa. Other than that, our living room is complete.

On a happier note, our shithole neighbors above us finally moved out!! You have no idea how happy this makes us!! They have been gone for 2 days and the whole world is at peace! Bella has a grooming appointment so we are on our way there now.. 6am is too hearly for me!

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House Hunting & OCD

Posted by Nina on Jun 29, 2006

So I guess we are officially looking for a house.. the problem is.. in our area the real estate market is terrible. Only 1 out of every 7 houses sell… well now I know why! Every thing we are looking at has these horrible dark brown kitchens like from the late 70’s early 80’s! I am so NOT kidding! Going into this we knew we would have to some repairs and work, but I would really like to buy a house were gutting the kitchen out before we move in wasn’t on the to-do list! Problem is, I want a house that looks like a million but is totally on a paupers budget.. asking too much?

So, we went to IKEA in hopes of finding cheap cabinet solutions for a quick over hull until we are moved in and ready to redo the whole house. But then I got to thinking…. I have lived in a house that had cheap cabinets… they sucked. My husband seems to really LOVE IKEA furniture but since I have never owned any are they worth buying even for temporary replacements? My friend Kris has been waiting forever for her kitchen to be finished and with my OCD personality… I don’t think I could stand that long of a wait even for a dream over hull of my kitchen… I’d have to be shoved off on a cruise or at least some lithium to stand that… people! you have no idea! I had my bathroom redone, took us about 6 weeks, I thought I was going to die! I just had to shut the door and pretend there were no monsters in my bathroom.. seeing the bathroom with only drywall and insulation was enough to make my heart stop.. and those little beads of insulation floating through the air as they worked… Lord help me! It was all I could do to not turn on the vacuum and suck the whole room in! Ok, maybe I do actually have OCD..

You just don’t understand! My birth mom would NEVER clean the house.. EVER. There would be clothes piled knee high (not kidding), every dish in the house would be dirty and piled on the sink for weeks, soda bottles would be spilled over on the coffee table and she wouldn’t clean it up and it would sit there and get thick like syrup… (oh yeah, I didn’t live with her, I lived with my grandparents), we would come over to her place for a visit and clean… yes at like 3yrs old I was cleaning up my mothers messes.. that CAN’T be normal? so if I do have OCD, I totally think my mom is to blame! no really!!

But anyway, back to the house hunting.. so we start looking at kitchens at IKEA and I am immediately asking “can YOU do all this work YOURSELF” my husband answers “if you help me.. like by holding up cabinets so i can screw them in place and so on..” ok I can handle that… “how long will it take?” he looks at me and smiles knowing full well he is about to give me a heart attack… “well when Jeff re-did his bathroom it took 9 months”… 9 MONTHS! I don’t think I can live through this!!

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