Friday, May 28, 2010

Big Bang+Shaking House=Wires Torn from House

I'm having technical difficulties. I swear I took pictures, but for some reason when the camera is plugged in, they aren't showing up!

So you'll all have to settle for the written story sans photos. Oh stop complaining and at least pretend like you care about what I have to say! :)

On with the story...

Yesterday morning I was getting ready for work and all of a sudden a heard a truck going down the street, followed by a big bang. The house shook a bit, but then it was over. I didn't think much of it. I just went about my business, and went off to work. Michael called a bit later to tell me that we had no TV or internet service and that the long FIOS wire was hanging down off the house. (I suppose the wires weren't torn off the house. Rather, they were torn down from the telephone pole across the street-but ANYHOW!)

Just in case...I called the fire department and had them come by to check on things (in case there were any live wires down-per recommendation by Mom G-K! Thanks for watching out for us!) No live wires. Great. Verizon called and schedule to come by this morning to resolve the issue. Great again.

So we were without service for a little over a day. It's ok though, as we altered the evening activity to include a trip out to get some ice cream from our new favorite ice cream store. It was a win-win situation obviously. (I justified this treat with a 5 mile run this morning. Go me!) Side note: I hear it's good for the self esteem to pat one's self on the back from time to time. Or was that one's ego?!?! Either way!

My new friend from Verizon showed up within the 8-12 window this morning at 10:49. Of course he spent the majority of his time taking smoke breaks and sitting in his bucket truck playing solitaire on his computer. Yes that is correct, I witnessed this. This is what lead me to conclude that he was NOT my friend after all and just wanted to get his overtime for saying the job took longer than expected. Back on topic-my "friend" had to replace the entire wire all the way down the street, SLOWLY moving his bucket truck from post to post, and then back again to run the wire. Why you might ask did he not remove and replace with new wire all at the same time. Well let me refer you back to my statement about getting his overtime. Clearly he didn't care if I was incredibly late to work, resulting in my boss being angry with me, thus resulting in my stressed out demeanor and massive headache.

Mind you...I got up at 6am so as to get in a jog, be showered and ready to meet the kitchen guy at the house at 8am, wait for my Verizon "friend," and get to work at a reasonable hour. Oh least I got to sit in the sun and read emails on my phone while said "friend" wasted my day. I finally left for work at 1:25pm. Guess it's going to be a half day! A few more hours and then...long weekend!

Enjoy it!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Weekend Projects Continued...

We got a lot accomplished this weekend. First off...two meetings with two different kitchen designers. We have ideas as to what the next steps are as well as tentative plans to mull over.

Remember how I said the stump was gone? Apparently it wasn't gone enough! Michael had to spend some time completing this project over the weekend. Here he is in action. I think it's actually done now...

In other weekend happenings I decided I'd had just about enough of the wispy window treatments all around the house. So I removed them all! All, except for the middle bedroom which for some reason I didn't really find to be necessary. Perhaps that's because they're actually blue...and not see through?!?! Anyhow...I said farewell to the roosters in the kitchen, the odd white pattern from the upstairs bathroom, and all the wispy curtains from the stairwell, dining room and living room. In case you are are some before and afters! What a difference. The place looks so much more open, updated, and airy now! YAY!

Hallway Addition

One of my first "fun" purchases arrived. Could be a foot longer...but it isn't custom so what do you expect?!

What do you think?

Bathroom Update

The upstairs bathroom was in a need of some new window treatments...and by " some new window treatments" what I really mean is the removal of all! Here's a before shot...remember this?

Then I added a window film to add a little privacy. We still want to add something to the top. I'm envisioning a wooden blind.

A nice graphic pattern.

Then came the removal of the seashell shower curtain. I replaced it with a simple ivory colored fabric waffle curtain. Much better! The room feels a thousand times larger now too!

New Haircut

I got a haircut...finally.

Sorry I'm a little windblown in these pictures after wandering around windy Boston Friday night.
What do you think?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Stump? What stump?

Do you remember this?

Here's what it looks like now?

I supervised, brought the laborer a beer, and picked up dinner. VERY important roles to play! ;)

p.s. Please note the dwindling pile-o-bricks. The laborer has been moving them behind the garage. One a small stack to go! Nice work!

p.p.s. Wakefield's one and only Sushi place...not so good. Dinner was an unsatisfying bust.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Too many ideas...

Now that we're more settled...I have so many ideas floating around my head I just don't know where to start. I know I know...take your time, there's no rush...yada yada yada.

Working where I work, I'm constantly seeing fabulous design ideas. The problem is...these people have BUDGETS. I want the look for less!

I'm also realizing I don't have the best sense of shape, proportion, layout ideas, etc... Or perhaps it's that I have too many ideas and I'm not sure how to narrow it down, or how to decide which option will suit our lifestyle best while still maintaing the type of style I'm envisioning.

I'm sure you all know what I mean when I say the hubby and I don't exactly have identical taste. And by that I mean...not at all.
Let's take our future living room sofa for instance. Someone wants a big comfy, fluffy looking sectional. Someone hates this idea passionately. I mean people will see this room! HELLO!

Enter: Compromise
Turns out, it isn't as easy as they say it is! :)

So, the second someone found a sleek (er) armless sectional. Now...if only the hubby will compromise on his end.
Oops did I just give away who wants what?!?!

Ok I'm sorry for poking fun...but I'm sure you all have your own battle you're fighting!'s a little visual of the inside of my head.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

It's 100% official now!

In case you were all wondering...

I finally received my new passport in the mail. I think that makes the name change 100% official.

I am the proud owner of a long name, new SS card, new driver's license, and now...a new passport.

In case you're wondering, here it is in print:

Sarah Phyllis Kogan Benedetti
(as it appears on my license) Sarah P Benedetti
(as it appears on my credit cards) Sarah Benedetti

Doesn't quite roll off the tongue yet...

Next up...perhaps a new email address for those folks who didn't know me before the name change? Less confusion in the future? Thoughts?

For a little laugh...

So...I neglected to mention how (not) smart I am. Of course I knew you all would get a little chuckle out of this so here we go...

It wasn't until after I was home from Lowes that I realized there are some tools necessary for gardening. For example, sometimes a small shovel is important, as well as some type of vessel to hold water (I only realized this once I discovered the hose didn't work--How do we turn on the water outside anyways?!), and perhaps even some gardening gloves.

Well the name of the game is...improvise! And that I did!

The husband might not like hearing this, but there are several other "tools" that can do the trick when you're in a pinch.

Sidenote: Mr. Cutco would kill me for saying this because as you all know by now "There is an appropriate tool for every job." With the exception of the spatula spreader of course because that is one multitasking tool!


Some of the tools I found to be very helpful with my gardening project included screwdrivers, a scraper thingie (I'm sure there's a more appropriate name, but I don't know it!) and a pitcher. I also had an epiphany as I was getting started! Last year I actually purchased gardening gloves for the condo gardening party (well actually it was after the party when I realized the extent of damage I'd done to my hands!). Score!

Other things I need:
-clothes drying rack for the basement
-full length mirror because for weeks I've had no idea what my outfits look like. cringe!
-laundry basket
-they'll be more (Michael cover your ears and eyes-you didn't just read that!)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Projects #7 and #8

Even though I worked most of the weekend...I did manage to fit in a couple little projects at night.

First up: Project #7.
You may remember these pots that once graced the steps up to our front porch. Although some may call these suckers "beauties" I prefer to call them ugly.

Inside they looked a little something like this:


I decided the house desperately needed a little color, new pots, and some personal touches to make it feel more like "our" home! Here is the start of that process...

I had my heart set on orange flowers, however my friends at Lowes told me they had nothing that would survive in only partial sunlight. (Also, for the record, pinkish red is NOT orange--I know my colors people!) So...I had to settle for purple. I also wanted nice ceramic, colored, shiny, square pots...but budget conscious me opted for darker brown standard terra cotta pots. Not too shabby though don't you think? Looks better I think!
Eventually I'd also like to trim the bushes and add some rectangular planters on the porch with more flowers. In time...

Next to be planted...some tomatoes, compliments of Mom G-K! Thanks mom!

Sunday night I completed Project #8!
You may remember the lovely downstairs bathroom that had a window that looked a little something like this:

This is actually a photo of the kitchen window. Unfortunately the hubby had the camera this weekend so I didn't get a before picture. I was so eager to make a change that I just couldn't wait! :)
The only different with the bathroom window is that in place of lovely roosters there were equally lovely tulips!

Anyhow...I'd had about enough of these window treatments so I ordered a less offensive option: Window Film! Of course I also had my heart set on a different film, but the price tag associated with it led me to option 2 instead.

I took everything down, washed the window, followed the very important window film installation instructions (which actually came with specific words and phrases highlighted for extra emphasis!) and got this result!

You wouldn't believe how much nicer, bigger, and more airy the bathroom feels now! It's a temporary fix...but it's great! It gives you the appearance of frosted glass without having to replace the window. It's actually a circular bubble pattern that's more graphic and fun than your standard frosted glass.
Do you like it?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Dining Room Table-New to Us!

Last weekend our neighbor at the gallery decided she was tired of her dining room table. She was in the process of moving the Stickley table down to the trash room to get rid of it when Julie intercepted her in the hall. After hearing how crazy our neighbor is for just tossing an expensive dining room table so as to "not have to bother trying to sell it" Julie snagged it for us! Nice work Julie!

Due to Open Studios this weekend I needed to have the table moved out of the gallery ASAP. Of course it was too large to go in the SUV, so I had to make other arrangements. First call was to Joakim, our installer/resident renaissance man in the gallery. After finding out that he wasn't available I opted for Plan B. Plan B turned out to be a bad plan as Plan B's tend to be. Scott, an installer/furniture and art transported was available and ready to help out. You'd all be proud of my negotiation skills with regards to his fee. Sadly, the saying, "you get what you pay for" keeps ringing in my ears. Sigh.

Our new (to us) old table arrived rather damaged. Granted, it was free, but I still wouldn't display this piece in my house in its current condition. So, after a brief chat, Scott said he'd find someone to re-finish the top of the table for me before we settle up. You best my friend! I promise to stay on top of you until you fix my new (to us) old table! Yes, that it a threat! :)


It's a 36" round pedestal table with 2 leaves which make it about a 72" oval table. It has a nice inlaid diamond pattern on the sides, and an inlaid wood interior circle on the top of the table. It will be perfect once it's refinished! Although not what we would pick out right will serve us well! Imagine this table paired with a tall upholstered bench (in a velvet perhaps) on the side by the windows, 2 chairs on the other side, and one chair on either end. It's going to be a fun look, if I can ever find this bench I seem to have my heart set on. Oh and a different rug. I'm over this one from our old living room.

What do you think? Was it a good find? I think so!

p.s. Last image is a highlight of the damage. You can't really tell from the picture, but these scratches go into the table about a 1/4 inch. Nice.

Rash? Where did you come from?

Do I get the strangest ailments ever? I think so!

Not sure where this came from! When I woke up Wednesday morning I had a lovely rash all over my face. Sorry for the bad picture...turns out it isn't easy to get a good picture of yourself. See how puffy my face it? Red and blotchy? It itched like crazy!! EW! I'm obviously having trouble keeping my puffy eye open in this picture! haha. I also considered cropping the image to make it look better, but obviously the camera is the best part of the picture...not I left it alone! haha.
(If you click on the image you can enlarge it-if you really want a close up of my icky face!)

It's getting better...but it cost me a day! How annoying! Still itchy, red, and a little puffy, but improving.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Best $20 ever spent?!?! I think so!

Yesterday, my new friend Julio, "the plaster guy" came by to pick up a check. While he was at our house I had him take a look at the ceiling where the movers cracked the plaster while moving our mattress upstairs. After looking at the damage he said, "you know what...I have some about you give me a little money for gas and I'll just fix it right now."

"Really? Now? That's great? How much?"

He said, "Hmm I don't know, how about $20." So I said..."Perfect, and how about a cupcake and a bottle of water for the road when you're done."


So...he started to tear apart our ceiling (cringe...flying dust, plaster chunks falling down) only to unveil a horrendously unstable ceiling that had been masked by the "fixed-up" plaster that the movers damaged. Julio says as long as no one bangs the re-newly fixed spot...we should be good to go for 10 years. Here's what I say to that...HA YEAH RIGHT! As soon as we start tearing stuff down in the kitchen, or anywhere else for that matter, the vibrations will start to crack everything again. Don't you think?!?! But for $20...maybe he'll come back and patch us up again! :)

While the plaster was drying Julio saw another spot in the living room and asked if I wanted him to just take care of that as well. Why yes...that would be great! Go for it!

Sidenote: Have you ever had someone work on your house who hasn't told you it would cost you more once he started due to some unforeseen issue or adding in another spot?! Julio is great! 10 days we have to sand and paint. I suppose this is a great way to get a head-start on getting rooms painted. I'll have to find some new cracks! haha

On to the pictures...sorry no before picture. I didn't realize we were embarking on a new project when he showed up yesterday or I would have taken pictures first!