Tuesday, September 20, 2016

4th of July to Labor Day

Well...to say we've been busy is an understatement. From the time demolition started on the kitchen through the Saturday of Labor Day weekend, life was a whirlwind for us with updates to the kitchen, two bathrooms and flooring throughout our entire house. I won't even mention the yard...

Back in January, we sold our home in Sparks that was a new construction and purchased a resale that was built in the late 80s. It needed A LOT of updates. Everywhere. Starting with the kitchen since, in our opinion, it is the most important room in the house.

Kitchen - Before:
  • Enclosed from the Great Room by a wall
  • Low fluorescent ceilings
  • Older cabinets
  • 6" x 6" tile countertop and backsplash
  • Outdated porcelain sink and faucet
  • Small and dark kitchen with very little room to move if two people were in the kitchen
This was the only entry into the kitchen. The wall enclosed the kitchen from the Great Room.

Hide-and-Seek the cook!
A floor-to-ceiling pantry took over the countertop real estate. 
Low ceiling, outdated countertop, back splash and sink/faucet. With two people working in the kitchen, there was very little room to move around.

Kitchen - After:

The wall and fluorescent lighting soffit was torn down and to expose the vaulted ceilings. The cabinets and countertops were extended out to the Great Room by a couple feet.
  • Six can lights and three wired pendants were installed
  • 42" tall soft-close semi-custom cabinets with easy-reach doors (instead of blind corner cabinets) were installed
  • 3" granite slab countertop was fabricated
  • Stainless steel single basin sink and faucet installed, with a push button garbage disposal
  • Subway tile backsplash
  • Stainless steel range hood replaced the microwave oven that was once above the stove
  • New stainless steel gas slide-in range
  • Custom glass doors for the cabinets

We opted for a single basin stainless steel sink which makes it easier to clean large pots and pans. There's a button for the garbage disposal conveniently close (before it was hooked to a switch on the backsplash wall). And instead of having dead space under the sink, we added a sliding drawer for cookie sheets and muffin pans.

The sink was moved out towards the Great Room. Now there is plenty of counter spaces on which to cook!

Subway tile backsplash. Range hood replaced the above-the-range microwave. We had a new stove but preferred a more modern slide-in gas range without the LED displays towards the back.
New flooring throughout the entire house.
Since before Labor Day, I haven't been home during the week to enjoy the kitchen because I have been working out of town. But that's okay. We've lived without a kitchen for nearly two months but at least we are done with the renovation and it will be there when I get home.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

The Cat Who Came to Breakfast

We love our Saturday morning breakfast together. Our girls come to breakfast proper.

Saturday, August 27, 2016


This is the never ending fun we have working on our home (not). This week the flooring will be installed all throughout the entire house except for the two bathrooms (thus the torn up entry way where the hideous Parque wood flooring had once been).

In the kitchen, the subway tile backsplash will be installed. The electrical (new can lights and wired pendants, switches and outlets) and plumbing will be finished so we can move our appliances back (all but the new slide in gas range to be delivered in a couple weeks so we still can't cook) and we'll install the new range hood in place of the microwave that was once above the gas oven. This September 7th will be two months since the demolition of the kitchen. We'll finally see the end of that project.

It's too bad I won't be around to see everything fall into place ;-) so John will have to deal with it. And then I'll be back after the items above are done to put our home back together again.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Hello Again

It has been a while since I wrote. I didn't realize how much time has past. Since quite a bit has happened in our lives, I will try to catch you up on through the coming posts.

To start with...

John and I moved with our kitties from Vegas to Reno four years ago. We needed a change and I had a great job opportunity we couldn't refuse.

A year later, we moved to Sparks (another city near Reno) where we purchased a home. I picked a heck of a time to ramp up my bicycle commuting, which was almost 20 miles roundtrip between the office and home.

We adopted a third cat. She was an older cat but we loved her just as much as our girls. Her name was Sasha and although her time with us was short, we were blessed to have her in our lives and she will forever be in our hearts.

Our life here is different from when we lived Vegas. While we still ride bikes, we go to Lake Tahoe instead of Lake Mead. There are distinct seasons in Reno and it gives us a chance to experience all of the events and activities around the year. Of course we miss Vegas, our family and friends...and at times, the heat and pools and endless hours on the lake.

The good news is I have a different job than the one we moved to Reno for. Traveling from Reno to Vegas is a regular thing so at least we can still have the best of both worlds.

John continued to race bicycles until earlier this year, he decided to move on. I have been more in involved in cycling advocacy through various organizations and we started Cuter Commuter to encouraging more people to bike everywhere! Our days and weekends include wine walks, community events (which Reno is big on), wineries and bicycling adventures with trips to Key West, FL in between (what can we say, we love tropical places and the beach).

Earlier this year we sold our home in Sparks and bought a home in Reno. The location is central for both of us to where we dine, shop and work. Unlike the house in Sparks, which was a new construction, this is an older home. Built in 1989, it needs A LOT of updates. The renovation has consumed our lives but we are starting to see the light.

That's "what's up" in a nutshell!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Poker Night and Housewarming Party

Every month a friend of ours hosts a Poker Night at her place. It's an evening of friendly poker, where for $5 in playing chips, you can pretty much stay in the game the entire night. I once participated and was so horrible at it, I lost all my chips by 9:30 p.m. or so LOL!! I think I prefer to snack on munchies and imbibing while watching the game more than participating.

At the last Poker Night this past Friday, our friend had set up the tables on the backyard patio and we played under the glow of grotto lights and grape vines. It was a fun evening!

Saturday morning I rode to the nail salon to get a pedicure and manicure. Afterwards I rode to the Sparks Legends Outlet to shop for shoes. Would you believe I barely found three pairs I could live with in a store FULL of shoes?! It is always that way, isn't it? When you are looking for something in particular, you can never seem to find it.

After that I went clothes shopping. It isn't something I particularly enjoy doing because I never know what to buy, but it was hard to pass up one of my favorite stores since it is also in the same complex so I couldn't pass it up.

I think riding my bike to do it all and logging over an hour made it much more fun for me. :-)

After I got home, I set to the task of making a housewarming gift for another friend who was having a party yesterday evening. i got the idea from a magazine I had read. So I painted one side of a cinder block bright yellow. Then John helped me cut out stencils for the house number and spray painted it in the cinder block. And we filled each if the cavities with flowering plants. Little did I know they happened to be my friend's favorite flowers!

There were grilled hot dogs and burgers and fresh fruit salads and beer and wine!! Some of the people played ladder golf or something like that. And we sang Happy Birthday to my friend and ate cupcakes. We stayed through the evening and enjoyed the fire pit before breaking away.

On Sunday, we didn't do much. We worked around the house and then went to lunch at a new place neither of us haven't tried for Father's Day called C.J. Palace, a Chinese and sushi restaurants. they had a lunch special which came with an egg roll, fried (or steamed rice) and soup or salad. I opted for the egg drop soup while John went with the salad. Our meals were delicious and there was plenty of food to take home!

The cinder block house number planter we made.