Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Merry Christmas to Us

To take the pressure off the spousal gift giving, Anthony and I go in together for a big gift.  I'm totally happy with this arrangement.  This year I got a new kitchen.  (and an Apple mouse).

I love my open kitchen, but have always hated the color scheme - grey laminate countertops and white-washed cabinets.  It was colorless.

Oops, in this picture you can see we started the deconstruction of the kitchen - the cabinets over my desk are gone.  We almost forgot to take BEFORE photos.
See the big black dishwasher, and all the clutter.  There is a corner on the right that is completely wasted space. (now filled with a "lazy susan" cabinet for all my pots & pans!)
We had to live a few days with a gutted kitchen.  Hello, eating out!  However, one must have morning caffeine.  See above, my temporary tea station, and below, the coffee station on the up-ended microwave!
The cabinetry was installed moments before Thanksgiving dinner, and the bellisima countertops a few weeks later.  Behold!  The newborn kitchen! (be sure to click on it to view it bigger)

Here's a close-up of the amazing granite.  Its Yellow River, from Brazil.  But we were really picky about our piece.  We wanted one with lots of movement, lots of drama, lots of red.  They shipped a special lot to Austin for us.
All those little specks of red?  Those are garnets.
A word about this peninsula of gorgeous granite: previously this area was squared off.  This is the area where everyone congregates when we have meals, get togethers, parties, etc.  Anthony's brilliant idea was to extend this area with a graceful curve.  Now there is more square footage for partying!
We didn't need any new appliances, but we did get a new dishwasher, see above.  What, you can't see it?  Oh, that's because it has an integrated cover so it matches the cabinetry.  Hint, it's just left of the sink. And here's my gorgeous countertop again...
And, my new desk area, from whence I write to you.  Note, the backsplash is also granite...
And even the coffee station is restored!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Its beginning to look...

Anthony is a bit of a Scrooge when it comes to Christmas, in regards to our energy usage.  He won't let me keep the Christmas tree on too long because it uses so much electricity (1,080 watts -- like a hair dryer continuously on while its lit).  He frets while he watches our meter.  He's not a miser, he's just green.  Like the Grinch!

My tree is in our front room, but we mostly live in the living room.  I have a live wreath in there, and I hang a lighted garland on our mantle.  "I'd let you leave it on all the time if it was LED," he said.  My old garland was looking ratty anyway, so after a google search, I made a speedy stop at Sears for this nice LED garland:

At 2.4 watts, its been spreading Christmas cheer 24-7 since I bought it.