Sunlight and other lights

Padre got me new running shoes for X-mas.  I’ve worn wear Saucony ever since I was thirteen and joined the high school x-country team.  I hadn’t noticed their new color options though until my dad e-mailed that he needed help deciding.  These retro brown ones make me super happy.  Yesterday I found a perfect pair of running pants to go with them for $3 at Grocery Outlet.  Unfortunately they’re not organic cotton or recycled polyester or bamboo or eco anything.  But they are super comfy, and when I was wearing them last night and hubby got extra frisky I proclaimed them the best $3 I’ve ever spent (not like I’m prone to hyperbole).  Today I took them for their first run.  It was sunny and cold and Gooby fell asleep in the bob.  I felt a mad euphoria.  Already this year  I’ve gone running more times than I did in 2009 and 2010 combined.  Maybe that’s why I’m so happy.  I don’t know.  All I know is I had another great evening yesterday and then an awesome day again today.  Before the run I had a really nice breakfast at the Sunlight Cafe with Whiz and Goober.

Then the Whiz took it upon himself to install two new light fixtures that I’ve had lying around for months.  (The real improvement of the day).  While he was working I went to Goodwill where I found a frame with a nice mat, a necklace, a cute jacket for Goobie, a mother of pearl bracelet and a sweet fur lined jacket.

Here’s the necklace.  I especially love the chain which looks like a strand of tiny metal beads.  Darn it though, you can really tell I skimped on the neck model.


Chalkboard paint

Last time we were at Gretchen and Matt’s I admired the chalkboard that they installed in the living room to seal off the fireplace from their toddler, Sebastian.  Gretchen offered me the rest of their paint because they didn’t need it any more.  So I took it home and made kitchen chalkboards for Henry and me.

Here’s Henry’s complete with labeled cat drawing.  He’s a genius.  Sorry about the flash.  November in Seattle can force people to do crazy things.

I also have to add that the Whiz built that whole cabinet, counter, bookcase deal.  It’s a brilliant use of the space that used to sit pointlessly around an awkward corner.  When we baby-proofed the cabinet the doors stopped staying closed though.  I’m going to have to deal with that one of these days (and by “deal with it” I mean nag the Whiz).

Here’s mine.  I’m intending to use it to help plan stuff.  I can’t believe I’m saying that.  It’s only because I want to be exactly like Etheline Tenenbaum (except not divorced).

I also put some chalk board labels on a few repurposed jars.  The ones from the Trader Joes black bean dip are the perfect size for most of Goobie’s leftovers.

Before/ after basement entry

I wish I could say this is a shot of the former crack house next door or the abandoned place down the street.  But no.  This was our basement entry about a month ago.  We blame Gogert, the former owner (and avoid mentioning exactly how long we’ve lived here).  Gogert rented the place to an abusive rock band plus he was a cheap, shoddy, amateur handyman.

Anyway, I’d partially scraped the entry before taking the above photo, but honestly, it was almost that bad on its own.  We hadn’t done anything with it because it clearly needed to be totally replaced and I have this annoying habit of wanting to hold off until we begin construction of that garage/ office/ studio/ greenhouse/ mother-in-law that happens to be not exactly right around the corner for us.  Finally I realized it would not be wasted effort to pretty things up in the (likely decades) interim.  Plus it was free since I used paint and primer I’d gotten for the flowerbox.

So boom, boom, boom.  Scraped, primed, painted.  It’s far from perfect now, but still soooooo much better than it was.

I couldn’t resist grabbing those croquet rackets from a free pile.



Oh cork.  Oh ancient oak orchard somewhere in Portugal with migrant birds in a tangled canopy above a seventh generation orchardist who leans against a scarred trunk to eat soup and study the artful landscape with which he is a perfect symbiant.  Not to mention your elasticity and insulating properties.  But you are $3.39 a sq ft even half off (wait a minute or maybe $1.29 a sq ft? or whatever this comes to once I measure and do the math).  I won’t deny I want you.  But I am a little worried that you’re too high maintenance.


Ok, Bamboo.  I agree you are beautiful and sustainable and can be harder than red oak (although maybe not in all cases).  And yes, you are only about $2.90 a sf ft.  I do respect you.  It’s just that you’re rigid.  Not so warm or supple.  Still, we could probably be happy together.

And then there are the IKEA veneer floors.  Also made of “renewable” materials- wood fiber- and recyclable.  Attractive, yes.  And only $1.15 sq ft.  I’m not going to say this to their face, but let’s be honest.  These floors are just slutty.  Not to the point that we won’t go there.  There is after all the matter of the budget.  But I’m really hoping to work some strategory magic and keep our other options on the table.

Notes to self:

Here’s another reputable source of cork.

The ultimate dream: radiant heat cork floor.

DIY radiant floor.

The Woods

Whiz suggested we go mushrooming on Saturday.  Friday night we looked at road maps and topos and Google Earth, plotting our approach.  I pretend to be pretty outdoorsy but I have to confess:  I’ve only been mushrooming twice before.  Even Henry is as experienced as I am.  Plus we’ve only ever gone in spots where friends take us.  It’s a whole different can of worms to find your own spot.  But I was excited.  This was going to be a tradition, our place to come back year after year.  Soon we’d be introducing friends to our own spot.  So Saturday morning we filled a giant bag with lunch and snacks, dressed Gooby in his warmest, piled in the car and started heading south toward Rainier.

We made it as far as Ikea.

I know.  But.  1. It was pouring.  2. Gooby was SCREAMING.  and 3. Whiz was stressed about some impending work for his free-lance clients.  Sometimes it’s best to be adaptable.

And that’s one awesome thing about babies.  Their expectations for us are pretty low.  Goobiedoo ended up having a blast.  Much more fun that he would have strapped to our back in the rain in the woods.  Plus we ended up doing a little research for our upcoming basement remodel.  More on that tomorrow.

Apartment Therapy’s 20/20 Cure

Are you guys doing this?  I tuned in late and inadvertently skipped some days, but crazily enough have been kept more or less or track through a couple of nice coincidences (including surprise flowers from the Whiz on day 7).  Today we list the top six things we want to do for our homes.  I love the concept.  So here goes:

1.  Make curtains for the living room.

2.  Fill and repaint gouges in the blue room wall.

3.  Put hooks in the closet for the laundry bags.

4.  Organize junk drawer.

5.  Obtain a rug for the bedroom.

That photo at the top is of a room in Denyse Schmidt‘s house.  I nabbed for inspiration (day 3) but failed to note the site.  Ugh.  Permiso.

Here’s another I like:


Oh paperboard counter, I wish I could have you.  But you are so ridiculously expensive!  New laminate would cost about 1/10 as much and would look surprisingly good, however it’s not without its drawbacks.    What to do?  What to do?

Of course there are there are some other green options.  One way or the other, we need to do something.  Look:

And that’s not even the part that got burned or the raw edge part.

Here’s one laminate option that tempts me:

Right.  I know.  White balance.