2.25.2011

Kids Say the Darnedest Things...

As a Kindergarten teacher, I'm privy to the world of 5-year-old language. All kids say silly things and my class is no exception. I wanted to share a couple of my favorite from the past week or so, to brighten up this dreary Friday.

As a special education teacher, I have to formally evaluate my students, using standardized tests. In response to the logical reasoning question, "Why would you put your money in the bank?" my student answered, "Because you don't have any pockets."

I overheard a conversation between several of my boys when one of them was trying to be bossy. "You're not the boss. Mrs. Reisfelt is the boss.... of the universe."

When one of my students left the class to go mainstream in a gen. ed class for an hour, another student pats him on the back and says, "M. you be good. You get a spiderman sticker from Ms. N, okay?"

We had a tent in our classroom a few weeks ago for our camping unit and to control noise levels in the tent,  I told my students to use "whisper voices" while playing because I didn't want them to wake up the bears. Now (even though the tent is long gone), each time I tell my students to lower their voices, I have one student who immediately follows up with a stage whisper, "Shhh...The bears are sleeping."

With our abundance of rainy weather, "Mrs. Reisfelt, it so rainy. I slippering in my Sketchers."

2.24.2011

Eating our way around the Bay

This President's Day Weekend, we had some relatives from Colorado visit our little corner of the country. They came with a mission; to visit as many Bay Area restaurants on Guy Fieri's list of Diner's, Drive-Ins, and Dives. I've never seen the show, but each restaurant we visited this past weekend was a success. For good measure, we threw in a couple of our own "dives", that Nick and I enjoy visiting, and quite literally ate our way around the Bay Area this rainy weekend.
First up, we took our guests to one of our favorite spots to get drinks, The Grand Tavern. This place is within walking distance of our apartment and offers a cozy atmosphere to get drinks with friends. The Tavern has a decent bar list, tasty social skins, and comfy chairs.  

From there we made our way to another walking-distance restaurant for some amazing Italian in a funky atmosphere. Spettro's Porcini Mushroom Ravioli is a great choice!
The next morning, we graced Lynn & Lu's Escapade Cafe with our presence and enjoyed giant pancakes and all variations of Eggs Benedict. 
On our continued quest for delicious food, we visited Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe, in Emeryville. This is an eclectic little diner with great burgers.
Can you believe we're still eating?? Next on our list was Meal Ticket in Albany. This place served a delicious breakfast and was refreshingly quiet, compared to some of the busier breakfast places we tried. 
We attempted more places on The List, but others had heard of their popularity and waits were over an hour long. So we settled for another local favorite, Barney's Gourmet Hamburgers, which has the best sweet potato fries.
So ends our 3-day long food marathon. Nick and I are still trying to make a dent in all the left overs we accumulated over the weekend. If you want to know more about the list of great restaurants, or visit some in your part of the country, check out Flavor Town USA.

Images:
The Grand Tavern found here.
Spettro found here.
Lynn & Lu's found here.
Rudy's found here.
Meal Ticket found here.
Barney's found here




2.22.2011

Our New-Old Dresser Revealed

Last week I posted about our newest piece of old furniture; a black chest of drawers from my parents. I also mentioned my (ambitious) goal of finishing this furniture makeover before the weekend. Well, I made good on my promise and this dresser was complete by Thursday evening (but not without some hard work). This was the dresser in all it's former glory:
I decided that I wanted this dresser to have an antique-y Anthropologie-ish feel to it, especially given the fact that this guy was pretty old, and no amount of paint would make him look young again! Anyway, I decided on grey and white for my color scheme. I wanted a very subtle grey that wouldn't stand out too much against the white, but would add just enough contrast to highlight some of the dresser's more interesting features. The colors I chose were Casual White and Winter Haven (both colors available at Ace Hardware.) Winter Haven was available in a paint pod, which I bought because I knew I wouldn't need a lot.
I apologize for the scratched up paint samples (these guys were sitting in my week). 
My first step was to prime the entire dresser to help with coverage of the black paint. I rolled on Ace's latex primer in white.
Next, I did two coats of white paint, using a foam roller on most surfaces (except for corners and crevices). After the white dried completely, I used my ever-present roll of Frog Tape to tape off the parts of the dresser I wanted to paint grey. Since I don't have the steadiest of hands, I didn't want to freehand it.
I painted 2 light coats of grey on the frames of the doors, the ridges on each side of the dresser, and the top curve of the dresser. As you can see from the photo below, the grey is super subtle, adding the slightest variation to the white.  
I was too excited about my Anthropologie drawer pulls, so I put them on before I finished painting the grey; I chose hanging pulls for the two doors,
along with coordinating round knobs for the lower drawers. 
The last step of my dresser makeover was to distress the entire piece of furniture. Without distressing it, the drawers look nice, but a little bland. To give the piece a little personality, I used sandpaper and lightly sanded all of the edges and corners.
This allowed some of the black to show through:
The end result?
I love when things turn out exactly how you picture them in your mind! Does that ever happen to you?? It works perfectly with the rest of the room,  from the pallet bed to the new farmhouse desk:
The hidden drawers are great for office organization too:
Here's one last before and after, to show you how far this little dresser has come (in a week!):


2.21.2011

I'm in love... with my new desk

Well, as promised in this post, I'm back this Monday (albeit a little later than planned) to share our new Bob-built desk! We are so happy with the finished product. My father-in-law, Bob is a great builder and he took my desk from this:
To this:
And finally to this:
All in about a week and a half. 
Way to go, Bob!
We love the new desk with it's chunky rectangular legs:
and it's generous work surface:
It was built to fit this wall, measuring 68 inches long and just 30 inches high to rest right below our window sill. That way, we can enjoy this amazing view, while working away:
We love the farmhouse-inspired look:
Although it pained Bob not to fill in the side-seams (I wanted them left alone to give it a rustic-y feel), he followed my high-maintainencing requests and made the desk perfectly to order! How did he do it? Well, the table-top of the desk is actually two stair treads that Bob seamed together. They originally had rounded edges, but at my request, they were "trimmed" off to give the front a more angular look.
So, what do you think? Bob-the-builder did a great job, yet again! I can't wait to stain and seal this guy, likely in a dark reddish-brown, but we shall see. As always, we'll keep you updated!


2.18.2011

Office Update

So, in the last 12 hours, our office/guest room/tower room has really come together. Last night, we wrestled our brand new desk into our home and up our crazy stairs. I think we're starting to have a knack for moving unwieldy  furniture up narrow staircases...
My amazing father-in-law, Bob built us the desk that I was envisioning- a long plain table, reminiscent of a farmhouse table. Here are some work-in-progress shots of the great desk.
Tonight, Nick sanded it and we brought it home to it's new room. It fits perfectly in the space for which it was designed and is EXACTLY the look I wanted! I can't wait to show you pictures (which will sadly have to wait due to the fact that I'm writing this at 11pm and lighting isn't the greatest).
Anyway, our next step will be to stain and seal the finished product- but I'm just oh-so-excited that it's here and looks so amazing (thanks Bob)!!
**Also, in case you were wondering, I did make my Friday deadline to finish the dresser for the room, but again lighting is preventing me from taking good "after pictures." I'll post lots of pictures Monday morning!

2.17.2011

Chapter 2: the cat stole my groceries

Perhaps you have heard of the book I'm considering writing? Well, this weekend, Mr. H gave me some new material to write about.
After a long, exhaustive trip to the laundromat Nick and I came home to our babies. As I walked into the dark house, my foot made contact with something that slid across the floor. I switched on the light and realized that the body wash I had just purchase from Target was lying in the middle of the floor. Odd... since I had left the grocery bag on our front bench. Come to think of it... the bag was no where in sight.
So commenced a hunt for the grocery bag. Luckily, the pirate was kind enough to leave a trail of strewn Target items to lead the way.
Success! Look what we found sticking out from under the bed:
Nick poked his head under the bed and found the last and most appetizing purchase:
Pirate Henry had taken our entire bag of groceries (including the 10 lb. bag of cat food) in order to enjoy a little snack. I know, I know, we shouldn't have left the cat food sitting out. Don't judge- we're novice cat owners. Luckily, Henry has some self-control and didn't eat the entire bag.
Or maybe not. 

2.16.2011

A Heavy One

Look what we acquired this weekend:
We were in the market for a cheap (read: free) dresser to paint for our upstairs guest room/office/tower. My parents came up with just the thing. This ole chest-o-drawers has made it's way into four homes now (that we know of) since my mom picked it up at a flea market back in Kentucky. It is a very solid piece and I love the character it has, including the scalloped top and the ridged details along the sides.
Best of all, Mom and Dad gave it over generously, as my mom said she'd been saving it for us for when we had room. Does she know me or what?!
Getting this ginormous piece of furniture up our winding staircase was quite a feat. It involved lifting up and over our bottom railing, and not one, but two instances of flipping the dresser en route. Since the dresser outweighs me by a bit, I wasn't the ideal moving partner in this endeavor. However, my 5 am workouts must be paying off, because I held my own and miraculously the dresser made it into the room.
As you can see, this dresser offers lots of storage space. We plan on using the top sliding drawers for office-y storage (since our almost-finished, made-to-order desk won't include any drawers or cabinets).  We'd like to leave the bottom two drawers for guests and maybe to store our guest linens as well.
Clearly, this guy needs a lot of lovin'. Like I said, he's been through at least 4 moves and he's definitely showing some wear-and-tear, even for an antique. I'm planning to paint the entire dresser white with some gray accents to highlight the details, and distressing it so that the nicks in the wood don't look out of place. Of course, new knobs from Anthropologie are in the plans as well...

Aaaand I want to finish it by Friday. Call me crazy but we have our first house guests coming this weekend and Nick and I are in a mad dash to get this room ship-shape for them (not that they would care at all if it wasn't!). To paraphrase Mr. Bob the Builder, "Can we do it?"
{via}
"Umm... I sure hope so!"

2.15.2011

Find of the Weekend!

While Nick and I were out running errands on Saturday, I persuaded him to drop me off at my favorite store Anthropologie, while he did his man-errands. Luckily, my sweet husband was obliging and I was able to peruse the store at a leisurely pace.
In the sale section I came across a very exciting deal. They had several shower curtains sitting in a stack, all marked down to $69.95- except for one. One little shower curtain was marked down to $29.95. That's Target prices, people! Oh, and it was originally $118. With nothing visibly wrong (other than it was not packaged like the rest), I decide to get it.
I wasn't actually looking for a shower curtain, but the color and design were much more fitting for the bathroom than our original one. The curtain we currently were using was a Simply Shabby Chic curtain from Target, with subtle blues, greens, and pinks on a white background. However, with the busy tile of our  bathroom, the old shower curtain was reading more white than anything else. 
 We love the new look in the bathroom. It works better with the yellowy, vintage tile, instead of competing against it.

It looks nice with our shabby chic curtain rings too:
So pretty! I love finding ah-mazing deals at my favorite store! 
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