Gruss Gott! Week One.

So, we made it one week in Vienna.  Well, actually a week and a half.  So far, so good.  What I love about our apartment is the location.  We are central to what seems like everything.  This is the cafe you see when you walk out of our building.

So far, my favorite thing to do is to go to the Naschmarkt (1 block from our apartment) and enjoy all the fresh food.  It is incredible. It certainly is a luxury to have fresh food daily - cheeses, wurst, bread, vegetables, pastries, etc.  Here are some pictures I took yesterday.

They also have fresh flowers daily.  

You can tell the Europeans are used to eating fresh foods daily as their refrigerators are so small.  There is no room to store or freeze much of anything.

Luke completed 3 half days of his new Viennesse Montessori school.  I am so proud of him.  From what I can tell (at this early stage), the kindergarden school system is very different from the American.  And, I can't get over how much smaller everything is here - especially the school class rooms and the playground (which they call 'garden').  It makes you really appreciate 'space'.

Elizabeth is faring well, but I am trying really hard to get her into a fixed sleeping schedule.  Once I can do that, my daily routine will be easier and more predictable.  So, for the time being, I am a bit limited with my outings around the city.  I'm sticking to a radius of about half a mile.

This past week we've been focusing on just getting settled and getting some of the bureaucratic things done  which always is a bit slower here in Europe.  With this behind us and Elizabeth schedule more regular, I am hoping to venture out to explore more of the city - especially the innerstadt, flea markets and the many furniture and antique stores (which seem to be everywhere).

Jenny Wolf Interiors

I love pinterest.  Who doesn't?  I stumbled across Jenny Wolf interiors while pinning and I hopped over to look at her portfolio - I am so glad I did.  I really like her style.  She grew up in the South and credits her style to her Southern roots.  Anyway, I like what I saw and thought I'd share.

Pretty, huh?  

Also, I realized I never posted my pinterest account on my blog before.  If you want to follow my boards, you can find me here


Along with all the other fun and not so fun things on our list of things we wanted to get done over our week long Christmas vacation we added try new recipes to it at the last minute {the reason it's not on the "official" list}.....
 This actually got pushed till the last few days we were home. Mostly because we were exhausted and our kitchen was covered in dust up until the end of the week. What we did manage to try was definitely worth the wait! First up, French Toast. Alton Brown style. Here is the recipe. I do not have a picture of ours... probably because I was to busy scarfing it down. If you haven't gotten it by now we are obsessed with Alton. Talon watches EVERY episode of Good Eats. So far, all of his recipes that we've tried have turned out really he is our current go to for new recipes.  We also tried his Sour Cream Cheese Cake.
The picture does not do it justice. So good. Did you guys cook up any new treats over the holidays? That was one of my favorite parts about this past holiday season...trying new for family and baking sweet treats for friends. Now I miss Christmas. Only 11 more months!

Custom Kitchen Cabinets

So, by now I am sure you get the point that we were on a mission to make our kitchen more functional and organized during our time off. We customized our pantry {more about that here} and customized our kitchen drawers {more about that here}. The next and last item on our agenda was to make an easy to access space for our pots and pans. Up until now they were crammed in to the back of a corner cabinet and you were likely to be injured if you attempted to get one out. After much searching on the Internet we really loved the fancy pull out drawers that a lot of the high end kitchens have. Which got Talon's wheels to spinning and the idea of making our own custom pull out drawers evolved....
This is a bottom cabinet and used to hold unnecessary kitchen items {ex: crock pot - could totally be re-located to a less easier to reach location since we do not use it on a daily basis}. So, it was a prime candidate for the mini-makeover.
This is how Talon said we did it {my portion was all moral support}: We measured the cabinet opening and determined the location of the trays. We then glued and tacked in some support risers for the slides {which we purchased at Home Depot} to be screwed into. We then had to determine the height that the slide needed to be, leveled it, then screwed them in {this had to be done for both sides and both drawers}. Up next it was time to build the drawers themselves. We measured the distance between the slides to determine the drawer width. The MDF that we were using was cut down to the appropriate width. We also had to cut strips that equal the depth that we wanted the drawers to be. Once everything was glued and nailed together all we had to do was mount them on the slides.
This has by far been the greatest thing we have done in our kitchen. It's no longer a fight to get a pot or a pan for cooking. We simply open the cabinet and pull out a drawer. The slides that we used allow the trays to extend all the way out of the cabinet making it even easier to grab things from the back. That wraps up our kitchen organization/customization craziness but we are already brewing other ideas for the future!  

Crushing hard....

I know Nick Olsen's apartment featured on West Elm's blog, has been all over the blogosphere, but I had to post it because it provides endless inspiration (at least for me).

What I'm loving....

1. Stripes on wall
2. Yellow lamp with black shade
3. Classic linens 
4. Antique table
5. Stack of books 

If you haven't seen it, go here.  

In other news, we're slowly getting settled in our apartment!  Luke had his first day of school today at the Vienna Montessori school and he really liked it.  I'm so relieved.  More later. 

I'm alive....

but just not 100% with it.  We survived the long plane trip (long b/c our kids barely slept) but we, thankfully, made it safely to Wien.

Here is a picture of us at the start of our trip....

and, at the tail end of the trip when the kids finally passed out (with literally 20 minutes to go).  Isn't that always the case?

We're suffering from severe jet lag and when I say 'we' I mean the kids;  but I am the one telling Luke at 2 AM in the morning that it isn't time to get up yet.  I'll be back soon.....

Organize Your Drawers.

Remember yesterday's post where I listed all the things we wanted to do during our time off over Christmas and New Years? One of those things was 'Drawer Organization.' We were referencing our kitchen drawers. Specifically, we had three drawers in mind. Utensil, silverware and one that was empty and providing no function for our kitchen. The utensil and silverware drawers contained plastic trays similar to this....
We've always hated those things. They get dirty and slide all over the drawer. So we removed them and we were left with blank slates...
 We quickly customized them to look like this....
Here's a run down on how we (aka Talon) did it. First we purchased 1/2 inch mdf. It's about $26.00 for a 4x8 sheet. We then measured the depths of the drawers and ripped strips out of the plywood on the table saw to that depth. The best part was that we got to customize them however we wanted. For example, length and width for every slot was our decision. Once we decided on the size of each insert we measured them and cut the ripped strips to the desired length. Per Talon, this was extremely easy and I can vouch that it took him less than an hour to complete the inserts.  
Here is the utensil drawer with all of our kitchen gadgets placed back in it. What used to feel like a junk drawer feels like an organized and easy to access space. Everything seems to fit so much better and with the built in dividers we are able to use every inch of the drawer. Where with the plastic inserts we were limited.

We didn't stop there. We still needed something to do with that empty drawer that really had no purpose. We decided it would be best utilized if it held all of our cutting knifes.  It would also get rid of that gigantic knife block holder. Three cheers for that.  
 Talon claimed this was a little bit trickier than the others. Here's how he did it. Measured the depth of the drawer and determined the position of the knife block. He then glued several strips of the mdf together to add up to slightly less than the depth of the drawer. Using the miter saw, ripped out slots for the knife blades to rest in. Then, using a piece of scrap, glue on an extra piece to support the knife handles, which keeps the front of the knife from lifting out of the slot. It was all then nailed to the drawer with a nail gun (Tal's Tip: Use the appropriate length nail and only in strategic positions to avoid splitting the mdf (it can be done on 1/2 inch) and/or a blowout). 
What do you think? Aren't they so fancy? We've loved all of our custom drawers so far!

Pantry Makeover

Talon and I had 10 full days off of work. It was glorious! Of course, several of those days were filled with Christmas activities but I had a big plans for the others....
Yep,a Christmas vacation 'to do' list. Have I mentioned that I have no idea how to relax? Literally, I can't sit still. If I do, I go straight to sleep. Lucky for me...Tal was on board for the majority of the list. In case you have trouble reading here is a quick run down. 1. Pantry {More about that in a minute} 2. Go to Movies {Had to have fun stuff to look forward to! Plus we never do this because it is SO darn expensive.} 3. Clean Oven {The inside of course. Just one of those things we never get around to doing}. 4. Wash Duvet {Easy task. I love to check things off a list} 5. Organize Attic {Not so easy task but was a great time to do it since we would be putting up Christmas decor} 6. Starbucks Date {So fun} 7. Clothes Shopping {This was for Tal - I have no problem making time to clothes shop for myself:)} 8. Paint Office {More on that later} 9. Stencil Office {More on that later} 10. Fish Scale Art {More on that later} 11. Ping Pong {Nothing better than a little competition to spice the week up} 12. Drawer Organization {Again, more on this later in the week}How's that for a Christmas Vacation? It was SO much fun though. Talon and I love doing projects together...nothing better than quality time spent covered in dust and paint:) So, first on the list was our pantry. Not to long ago we built a custom spice rack for the back of our pantry door. More about that here. It has been so wonderful that we wanted to do some more updates in the ol' pantry. See those ugly wire shelves....
We wanted to get rid of them and that is what we planned on doing. Here is how....First up, removing all of the wire shelves and hardware. We plan to craigslist them to cover some of the cost of the new shelves.  
Once done, we were left with lots and lots of holes to deal with. 
We used Spackling to patch all of the holes. It's purple when you apply and turns white once ready to be sanded down. Making it very easy to use.
After the holes were patched I gave it a nice coat of paint to pretty it up. Luckily, I was already painting the office (remember that was on our to do list too) and the color was only a hair darker than what our kitchen is so I was able to use that and it blends very nicely!  Once all the prep work was done we were ready to tackle the big stuff...the shelves themselves. We purchased and sanded pine plywood ($26, 4x8 sheet), 6ft 1x6 select pine for facing and 3 1x2 select pine for the shelving cleats. Once we found the studs in the pantry we then determined appropriate shelf depth. We then cut the cleats to the appropriate length. Pre-drilled and countersinked the cleats to the pantry wall with 3" drywall screws. The pantry shelves were cut out of the sanded pine plywood to the appropriate depth and width and nailed in place with a nail gun. 
We then measured and ripped down 1x6s to the appropriate width for the facing. They were then nailed in place with the nail gun. All seams were caulked and wood filler was used on the joints. Allowed to dry and then it was all sanded....
After a fresh coat of white paint....they were ready to hold all of our daily necessities!
No more falling through the cracks of the wire shelf. We can utilize the entire space and it glorious!
We've been collecting storage containers from IKEA to help organize this space.The labels are hand written so they can be removed and modified easily depending on what is being stored in each piece.
Is it weird that when anyone comes over I want to scream "look how awesome our pantry is!"??? Yep, we love it that much. Between the spice rack and all the added shelf space it's perfect!
Total cost for this pantry makeover (shelves only) was around $50.00 (excluding things we already had like paint, wood filler, nails and the fact that we only had to use 1/2 the sheet of plywood). We think it was well worth the time and money spent since the pantry is something we utilize every single day. Anything to make life a little easier!

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year! We sure did. It was so relaxed and uber laid back. Which made it all the more wonderful! Here's a few photos of what our Christmas Day and Eve looked like....
My parents and I on Christmas Eve.
Our nephews ready to open presents....
 Creed Baby.
The whole fam on Christmas morning...
 Santa was very good to Tils:) We were blessed with an amazing Christmas! After the holiday shin digs were over we did manage to use the rest of our time off work to be VERY productive. SO many house projects to share in the next week!!

2011: A Year in Review

Happy New Year!!   2011 has brought a lot of success in so many ways!  Of course the greatest is little E that is now 3 and 1/2 months old.  Other successes were finishing up some long standing projects around the home and getting our house sold in a relatively quick manner.  Here are some Green Street 2011 highlights:

Before & After Kitchen Roman Shade

Before & After Kitchen Stool

RIT Dyed Lamp Shade

DIY Painted & Stenciled Ikea Rug

Before & After Kitchen

Before & After Patio

Before & After Hallway

DIY Greek Key Roman Shade

Before & After Renovated Bathroom

Before & After Dining Room

Before & After Sideboard

Make sure you click on the links to see the 'before'.  There are some huge transformations.

All of these projects were completed before Elizabeth was born in September and our house sold in October.  Phew! We accomplished a TON in 2011 and I look forward to a new adventure when we temporarily move to Vienna, Austria (leave this Tuesday).  

I hope you all have a wonderful New Year's Day and the next time you'll hear from me will be in Vienna!!   Bis dann....