Wednesday, August 24, 2016

International and Domestic

On the domestic front, our kitchen remodel is almost complete.  The project took six weeks rather than the planned three.  Washing the dishes in the laundry room sink is not my idea of a good time.  Will post pictures soon.  Really loving the whole look and function.

Because we have been putting in so much effort and money into our new home, there is not much left to travel (time and money).  But, that is not stopping us from making plans.  Portugal seems like a very interesting place and we are looking into the Rick Steves' tour of Portugal for the Spring of 2018. 

The biggest downside to overseas travel for both of us has been the effect of jet lag.  It can almost ruin the trip. Even planning two extra days before the actual tour does not seem to get us past it.  But, we have a plan.  Met a fellow last December in Puerto Vallarta who travels extensively and he shared that jet lag has the same effect on him.  He has found a solution.  Rather than flying to his overseas destination, he travels on a relocating cruise ship crossing the Atlantic.  Taking 10 to 14 days, you are able to slowly get used to the time change.  The cost of the cruise is approximately the same as a one-way business class ticket.

So, our plans will include a transatlantic cruise in mid-April embarking in Miami and disembarking into Lisbon, Portugal.  Fingers crossed for making this work for us in a year and a half.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Boutique Closet

If you read previous posts on my downsizing efforts, you will know that I subscribe to the minimal clothing movement, Project 333.  And I do TRY to maintain a total of 33 items of clothing (exception is workout clothing and intimates).  What was odd, though, was having a large walk-in closet and our clothing volume only took up a fraction of the space.  Because my wardrobe is geared toward a capsule approach (all pants and tops color and style interchange), I found it was often handy to have a hook to put an outfit together.  And although the husband does not necessarily put together an "outfit", I would often hear a yell from the closet, "Do these pants work with this shirt!?". 

Given all of the above, it was decided eliminating the traditional rods and replacing them with a retail face-out rod would work well for us.  And it does!  Our little walk-in has a neat boutique look to it and I have preassembled outfits for the day which can easily be reassembled into a different look, if wanted.  The man clothes have the pants with a coordinating shirt.  No more yelling from the closet.

You are probably wondering where the shoes are?  Since we have downsized linen needs (extra towels, sheets), the traditional linen closet located in the master bath is now a shoe closet. There are more rods are either side of the closet that you can't see in the photos, but you get the general idea.

The husband installed track lighting with each light pointing to a particular rod.  Looks very much like an upscale little shop.

There are still a few adjustments needed like cuter hooks for purses, repainting and more stylish baseboards; but I am so excited about the new function of our master closet I had to share.

Friday, June 10, 2016

The Guy Has An Eye

Why is it a photo can point out all the flaws with a space?  Taking one look at the master bath photo I posted yesterday, my husband mentioned that the vanity looked a little blah.  "Maybe put the tall vase with the tropical arrangement on the vanity for some height and color?" 

He was right.  The room has a little more flair now.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Master Bath Remodel

The first room in our new home to get a total remodel was the master bath (except the shower--will do another year--replacing the fiberglass stall with tile and frame less glass door).  The berber carpet was replaced with rectangle dark gray tile, a white double sink vanity, marble counter, and oval mirrors.

The vanity has a feel of separate furniture rather than built-in.  

A corner tall cabinet matching the white vanity is on the opposite wall.  It holds all the extras we need and gives the small room a balanced feel.  

The overall house style outside and in is cottage meets northwest and the white vanity with clean linear lines seems to fit right in with this theme.  The look is clean and fresh.  A pop of color with brick red and olive green on the floor completes the look.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Good Eats - #2 (3rd Friday of the Month)

It is strawberry time on the Olympic Peninsula!  One of our favorite meals is prawns, rice with rosemary, and spinach salad with fruit--the latter part of May and June the fruit of choice is strawberries.  Found a great recipe on  But, I substitute the pecans with walnuts.  All salad ingredients are bought from local farmers except the walnuts.  I know they are grown and sold local, but have not taken the time to hunt them down.  Will do this fall.  [Photo from Cooking with Ruthie--we eat our salad too quickly before I can get a snapshot.]

I wish I could say the prawns were fresh, but we have a strange situation here with seafood.  Unless you catch it yourself (which we often do) the local commercial fishing/harvest is sold directly to the wholesaler, packaged and then shipped to and sold in the local store (usually frozen).  I know, we are right in the heart of fish and seafood country.  Frustrating.  The prawns are good, but they could be better.  The Spice and Tea Exchange of Port Townsend []  has the best blended seasoning for prawns of chile lime sea salt.

Lemon Vinaigrette for our salad:
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil (I use lemon flavored olive oil rather than an additional ingredient of lemon juice*)
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
*Purchased from Spice and Tea Exchange of Port Townsend.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Room With A View

The new home was purchased for many reasons, but one of the best features is the living room with the view.  On the golf course looking down the fairway.  Not across the fairway, but down all the way to tee blocks.  Makes a long expanse of green grass and trees. Fun to watch golfers throughout the day.  The home is positioned in a way that it is rarely hit with golf balls (yea!).

This is the adult room.  No television only music.  We sit every morning in the swivel chairs in front of the big windows with our coffee and plan the day.  The swivels are a must for turning towards the view when it is just the two of us and swivel back to the front for conversation with guests later on.  On the rare winter day when it snows, the windows give us a snow globe effect.   

The only upgrade needed to this room was a fresh coat of paint and a few repairs to the fireplace to make sure it is working when it turns chilly.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Decorating R Us

My love of interior decorating goes way back.  As much as the pocket book could handle, I experimented with different color schemes (from white/beige to present day green/orange) and style.  Sometimes others would love it or they would definitely leave it.  The photo to the left was taken for an article for our local newspaper, the Tri-City Herald, August 30, 1987, in the Sunday Desert Living section.  This was my beige/white period.  A nice escape from the previous 1970's golds and avocado greens.

Shortly, I will start posting the upgrades to our new home.  The house is almost twenty years old and the young couple who originally built it were limited on time.  The place needed some attention.

So far, we have updated the master bath (except for the shower), guest bath, laundry, master bedroom, painted the entire interior and garage, window treatment for the dining room, re-landscaped (it was a bit overgrown), added a soft water system, and made numerous repairs.  Looking back at our last five months living here, it is kind of amazing what we have accomplished so far.  And explains why my posting has been sparse.

There are still plans to update the kitchen cabinets and counters--next year.  The exterior needs painting and that will happen this summer.  Eventually a walk-in shower will be installed, another window in the master bedroom, washable floors in the art studio and build a woodworking room in the garage for driftwood sculpting.
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