You are currently browsing the monthly archive for October 2008.

We now have some of our cabinets doors and drawers installed. Here’s a peek:

They should be finished on Friday. The backerboard is down for the tile and Eric and his brother picked up the tile today. It’s all coming together…

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Our countertops were installed today – woohoo! They look beautiful. Eric’s working on getting the sinks and cooktop hooked up, so we will have a semi-functional kitchen again this week. I’m so happy!

Sink/oven wall

Sink/oven wall

Island

Island

Cooktop wall (Eric's getting to work)

Cooktop wall (Eric's already getting to work)

A very happy pregnant woman

A very happy pregnant woman

Earlier this week I attended a one-day encore to the Eureka! Leadership Institute up in San Jose, so Eric came with me and we made a little vacation out of it. It was great to get together with all the Eurekans – what an amazing group of people! I feel privileged to be part of it.

After that, we headed up to San Francisco, stopping at the Filoli estate on the way. We’ve been meaning to visit for several years, but they have limited hours and close for the winter, so we’ve never been able to make it work. We toured the house and gardens and enjoyed the beautiful weather.

Eric at Filoli estate

Eric at Filoli estate

Gen in Filoli garden

Gen in Filoli garden

In San Francisco we stayed near Union Square at the Hilton. We’ve had pretty good luck naming our own price on Priceline, and we got a good deal on a room at a 4-star hotel, but damn, the extras add up. First of all, parking in downtown SF is a nightmare – the hotel wanted $45 a night, plus 14% tax. The best overnight rate we found nearby happened to be right across the street from the hotel – $29 a night, including the tax. Yeesh. Plus, what is it with the luxury hotels charging for internet access? It kills me! The budget hotels all have free wifi, but the 4-stars want you to pay $15 a day. We went to Starbucks instead of paying the ridiculous hotel rates. Still, even with the cost frustrations we had a good time. We did a little shopping, ate some great meals, visited the botanic garden in Golden Gate Park, and got plenty of R&R.

At the botanic garden:

Near Fisherman’s Wharf:

Ghirardelli's Dark Chocolate Sundae - yum!

Ghirardelli's dark chocolate sundae - yum!

Waiting for a cable car

Waiting for a cable car

We are back at home now and will probably spend the rest of our vacation (all of next week) working on our kitchen. Countertops come Monday, finally! We’ll be doing some tile work and painting, and the cabinet doors and drawers (which are now stained) will be installed. I’ll post pictures as soon as we have some progress.

Much catching up to do…

My good friend Victoria was in town a couple of weeks ago – she is pregnant, too, about a month farther along than I am. It has been great to have a pregnancy buddy going through the same stuff – we’ve been keeping in touch via email since she moved to Portland, and when we got together we had fun commiserating over all the crazy things that happen to your body and mind when you are pregnant. Here are a couple of pics:

Wonder twin powers...activate!

Wonder twin powers...activate!

Wow, that was actually one of the strongest finales I’ve seen from this show. Very competitive – no one fell flat. I thought all three designers did a good job of showing their own aesthetic, and the execution in all three collections was really beautiful. I was really torn – I think I honestly would have been happy had either Korto or Leanne won, and even if the judges had picked Kenley I couldn’t have been really disappointed. Her collection was my least favorite, but she did have some pieces that I loved. I totally loved Korto’s color palette and several of her silhouettes were amazing. Leanne took a concept and applied it in so many different ways, and I thought her work was the most original. I wouldn’t have chosen her colors, but she made them work really well.

I’ll go through each collection in more detail this week, but I have to say I’m pleasantly surprised over all. This has been one of my least favorite seasons all along, but they really came through in the finale.

Finale part 1 – better efforts this week. I still think it was a ripoff the way they set up this challenge, but I don’t get to make the rules, so I’m going with it.

  • Jerell: I thought his wedding dress was over the top, but not that bad. A little editing on the top and it would have been very striking. The bridesmaid dress was a throwaway – the execution was a little poor, and the fabric looked cheap to me. I wasn’t very impressed by what I saw of his collection during Tim’s visit – it didn’t seem that cohesive – but I do feel bad that he “won” the last challenge and yet still wasn’t safe this time around.
  • Kenley: her design wasn’t terribly unique, but it was beautifully done and definitely fit her personality and aesthetic. I thought the bridesmaid dress was a touch short, but very cute. She really executed these looks well. I still think she should have gone home for her hip hop outfit, but…
  • Korto: I actually pretty much hated her wedding gown. It looked really muddled – too much going on, and it wasn’t flattering. The bridesmaid dress was cute, but very basic. Based strictly on this challenge, I would have sent her home, but I’m actually excited to see her collection, mostly because I liked her color palette a lot.
  • Leanne: Her design wasn’t totally to my taste, but she did a fabulous job of making something that worked with her collection (what we saw of it anyway), showed her aesthetic and was beautifully executed. I know her color choice fits with her whole collection, but my only complaint about the bridesmaid dress was that the color seemed a little too ordinary, a little TOO bridesmaid-y. I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of her collection, too.

Finale next week, woohoo!

Most of the work we’ve done on the kitchen so far, with the exception of removing the wall, hasn’t been too impressive to look at. There’s been a lot of prep with plumbing and electrical work that doesn’t show, and so on. But the cabinets started to go in this week and you can finally start to see the shape of the new kitchen.

Here’s the cooktop wall and the back of the island:

The cooktop will be flanked by the pantry on the left and the fridge on the right. Here’s the walkway between the island and cooktop, looking towards the wall where the sink will be:

This is the island, looking out towards the living area:

This is the wall where the dishwasher, sink and oven will be – dishwasher on the far left, oven and microwave on the right, sink under window:

All of the doors and drawers will be installed next week, and then the cabinets will be stained. The countertop contractor is coming on Monday to make a template. Everything is moving along nicely!

And speaking of progress, here’s my latest belly shot (about 27 weeks along):

We had a really nice visit with Eric’s family in Florida. The weather was great – low 80s, a little rain, a little humidity but nothing too bad. We got in plenty of R&R – I took a nap or two every day! We did manage to squeeze in some fun, too. Eric’s mom and sister went with me to register for baby stuff and Eric and his dad went to the Don Garlits Drag Racing Museum.

We had a crab fry one night – yummy live blue crabs.

Karen, Eric and Dana did all the prep while I took the photos. I’m a wuss. If I clean the crabs, I can’t eat them. You can see they got a little punchy – eviscerating crabs will do that to you, I guess.

Eric’s parents have 3 dachsunds: Hilde, Hermie and Hans. This is Eric relaxing with Hans and Hermie – you can just see Hilde off to the side.

Our last day was absolutely gorgeous – no humidity, even! We drove out to Crescent Lake, which used to be a pirate hideout, and had more seafood for lunch.

Eric’s sister Dana and Mom Karen

Eric’s sister and her husband have 5 birds – 3 cockatoos and 2 parrots. This one (Maisy, I think, but could be Maxine) took a shine to Eric and tried to eat his sunglasses.

Here’s Eric’s dad Butch with the male parrot (Gosha, I think? Not sure of the spelling).

It was a nice getaway and family visit. We’re going on vacation again later this month – our last hurrah before the baby comes.

The season is winding down. I had pretty high hopes for this challenge, but they weren’t really met.

  • Jerell: his dress was definitely my favorite design, in spite of the construction/fit issues. I liked the style, the combination of colors and texture, and the details. I thought he showed his creativity without going over the top. I also liked that he wasn’t too literal in interpreting his photo.
  • Kenley: I thought the top part of the dress was well executed but boring. The mermaid tail was ugly and costumey. I didn’t care for it.
  • Korto: I like the silhouette, but I think she needed to lose the lace and beads and punch up the colors.
  • Leanne: I didn’t think this dress was as great as the judges seemed to. The details strike me as the kind of thing that can only be pulled off by a super skinny model. The blue fabric in the back was a mistake – she could have done something with it if she had more time, but as it was she’d have been better leaving it off.

All in all, I hope Kenley ends up getting eliminated. I have a lot less curiosity about what she’d show at Bryant Park than any of the others.