Sunday, January 20, 2013

Home and City

The kitchen remodel has begun at my Bungalow, lots of dust and clutter as the work is under way. It's been a fun challenge updating my 1950's kitchen while trying to retain it's vintage charm in a modern world. So far the work includes:

  • Stripped 40 year old wallpaper from the walls, patched and sanded the plaster walls
  • The original 50 year old vinyl floors were ripped off, the floors stripped and new vinyl tile is being put down
  • A gas line and water line is being installed for appliances
  • New stainless steel stove and refrigerator are being delivered
  • New paint on walls and ceilings 
  • New light fixtures
  • I bought a wood table and 4 chairs off Craigslist for $50 which I am sanding and painting for the kitchen
Eventually I will also be adding a dishwasher (the house has never had one) and replacing the countertop with granite or other stone. The kitchen will then be complete!

During the planning process I found many good ideas on websites such as Pinterest, Apartment Therapy, the Tiny House Blog and from books including The First Apartment Book: Cool Design for Small Spaces by Kyle Schuneman. The First Apartment Book is a great source for decorating creatively on a budget, sourcing great finds at places like flea markets and Goodwills and excellent design sources for home goods such as temporary wallpaper and affordable bedding. 

For a break in the midst of our busy lives, Paul and I took a "staycation" this weekend in Chicago at the wonderful Park Hyatt. We ate at the restaurant's signature restaurant NOMI and attended an after hours party at the Art Institute. It's always nice to play in Chicago like a tourist, it reminds us how lucky we are to live in one of the World's Great Cities.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


2013 crept in so stealthy...time goes by so quickly. Before New Year' Eve the only New Year's resolutions I made were to eat healthy and to use my time more efficiently. In the past 48 hours as I've watched my son and his friends together I've made a few more resolutions.

On New Year's Day Paul and I went to a local bar near Chicago to watch college football games and to meet up with our friends from Spain who are returning to Madrid within the next few days. They've been here for a year due to a work transfer and it's been wonderful having them nearby, they've become like family and we will miss them terribly. As we were spending time with our friends, my son was also saying goodbye to 2 of his friends who are leaving for military deployment.

Late last evening my son arrived home with his friend "E", a marine who is leaving for Afghanistan in March. I had seen him frequently with my son and their friends over the past 2 weeks while the boys were home for the holidays but when he walked into my home last night 12 hours before he goes back to his base in California I gave him a long hug, thanked him for serving his country and as mother's do, told him to be careful. I know he must be nervous and anxious and it's apparent his friends are worried about his safety while in a war zone. At about 1 am, I was awoken to my son shouting from the front door, "MOM!". He sounded so distraught. I yelled back, "What" and then before I could get to him I heard, "He's gone, "E" is gone until December." All I could say was "He will be ok" and then my son was quiet and went to bed.

My son teaches me so much. How to be a friend, how to express loyalty and how to live in the moment. So in 2013, I resolve to be more attentive. To thank those in my life more often, to stop our soldiers when I see them on the street or in the library or at the airport and thank them for their sacrifice to our country. I resolve to laugh with my friends more, to make more time to just sit and catch up and to tell those I love who live elsewhere in the world that I miss them.