Sunday, July 27, 2008

Raised Bar or Flat Island?

I am an idiot. I should've made the island 6 feet long so I could've bought the pre-fab butcher block that IKEA stocks that's 6'x3'. But I didn't. Did I mention I'm an idiot? So now if I want to make that happen, I'm going to have to take two pieces of 8 foot butcher block, rip it down the middle and attach them, then cut a foot and a half off the bottom. My carpenter is so not liking me right now.

Right now I have 38" behind me if I'm standing at the stove and to the left of me. To the right and in front I have 50". If I do this, I'm worried that three feet isn't really enough clearance to go from the right side of the island where the entrance from the dining room is, to the front of the island where the family room is.

So then I thought, I could always round out that corner on the top right side. This is sounding like way too much work.

Then I thought I could leave the bar overhang at the side instead of the front of the island by using a standard butcher block counter piece of 8'x2' (of course I'd chop the end down a bit). But then I'm back to blocking up the main walkway again.

So then I thought, well, I could cut the counter so it's 6'6"x2' and then use those short legs (aka IKEA Capita Brackets, only found at the store and not online) and a 48"x15" piece of butcher block for a raised island as per the pic.

The positives of the raised bar is that is that it won't block the walkway, it will keep the seating area in front of the family room and being raised should protect people from any cooking splatter. But I've been reading some reviews from people that said if they could do it again they'd never do the raised bar.


I'm so confused. Why didn't I make this stupid thing 6' long!
UPDATE: I didn't make the island bigger, nor did I add a raised bar. As my friend pointed out, how much countertop do I need? I have like 40+ square feet of counter all around me!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

2009 IKEA Catalog Preview Brochure

Check it out! I know the catalog will be out soon enough, but here's a 64 page preview!

My daughter likes to hang out in the corner cabinet with her toys and Little Tikes workbench, so I haven't installed the lazy susan yet. Then I started hearing rumors about a solid bottom lazy susan as opposed to the wire grid one they currently offer. Will they? Won't they? Should I wait? I can't install the counters until I install the lazy susan, so I was very unsure of what to do.

Then I looked through the pages of this online brochure, and voila! On page 35, a solid bottom lazy susan! Woo hoo!

See, every does really happen when it's suppose to and how it's suppose to. Enjoy the preview!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Garden - July 17

Let's start with the bad news...with the construction going on, I neglected my watering duties for a few days and now all the herbs are dead. Why can't I get these things to stay alive?!?! My mother says they never grow right unless you grow them in the ground. And considering the green thumb she has...if she can't get them to stay alive, I guess there was very little hope for me.

My strawberry plant was growing strawberries left and right. Now nothing. Plus all the leaves are turning red...what does that mean? There are two more showing up now...but growing so slow that I don't know if they'll make it.
I ate my first yellow bell tomato the other day. How amazing are these little guys! It had the texture of a plum, but not as sweet. Good plain, better with a smidge of kosher salt.

Finally! One of our patio tomatoes are turning red. Well, technically it's orange, but it's getting there.
Our bush cucumber plants are still very small, but they are flowering like crazy.

As I took the picture above, I noticed that hidden under the leaves and flowers were two cucumbers! Who knew?

My pea plant is officially dead and dried up. I have to say the plants I bought from a very well known farm in Freehold (actually it was just the peas and the bush cucumbers) are not doing even half as well as the ones from Home Depot and Lowes. I wonder if it's because they were both container planted...I think next year I'll stick to the big box stores.

Hey, look, corn!

I'm a city girl, so don't laugh, but what the heck is this stuff growing at the top? I thought that was going to turn into corn...apparently not. Is it okay to let the birds eat it, or should I leave the netting on?

Holy cantaloupe Batman! These six little plants that cost maybe $2 at Home Depot are growing to the point that I think they're going to take over my whole yard!

We've got lots and lots of yellow summer squash growing.

Squash flowers are so pretty!

Our pepper plant is finally flowering!
and more tomatoes.

I have so much lettuce it's crazy. They say to plant them two weeks apart so you have a steady supply, but I've been picking outside leaves only and we've been fine.

Mmmmm....beets. Notice how they're pushing out of the ground? I think because I only have two inches or so of garden soil and hard, clay soil underneath, they're pushing up out of the ground. Or course, I've never grown beets before so maybe this is just what they do.

See? The carrots are doing it too.

I'm so happy I decided to grab up that clearance blue berry bush!

More pretty blue berry pictures.
Summer, acorn and spaghetti squash.

Lettuce, carrots, beets.

Tomatoes, pepper, cantaloupe.

Transplanted summer squash (doing much better now), corn and lettuce.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Garden - July 7

Finally! A yellow tomato has actually turned yellow! I can't wait to try these out!

My summer squash was pretty smushed together, so I moved a couple over. They look like this during the day, then perk up over night. But by 9ish am, they're back to looking like this! I don't really get what's going on. I hope they survive. I'm starting to think of this corner of the garden as the Valley of the Damned...nothing seems to want to grow in this corner.

I had to put this outdoor toy box over our blueberry bush or my dog was going to trample it over. I want it to establish itself and get bigger before I move this away. So that probably won't happen until next summer lol.

My daughter is obsessed with the bunnies in our yard. We see two on a fairly regular basis. So far they've left our garden alone. It's funny that I had to put up a fence around the garden more to keep my dog off of it than the bunnies.

IKEA Adel Medium Brown Cabinets...What's Inside Mine

So the cabinet installation is moving along. Lots of shims. Lots. But it's okay...everything's level and straight and that's what matters Lovin that wall color!

Sorry for the blurry pic. I still have to finish the handles on this side. If you do it when you're not in the mood, you'll screw them up. Make sure you're up to paying attention to detail when doing the handles.

That counter isn't attached yet, btw. Hopefully I'll get those done this week. I know glasses in a drawer is not the norm, but it works! It's next to the dishwasher and above the drawer of dishes. With their soft close feature and the drawer mat, no sliding or shifting no matter how hard I slam that thing.

How nice to have all my dishes accessible!

Top drawer for every day spices. Pull out cab with two for not so everyday used spices and the bottom for oils and vinegars.

I have an enormous amount of dishes. Now they all have their own homes! Here are my Asian food dishes.

I have a lot of cookbooks, but it doesn't seem like it stacked in here...hmmm...I have have to relocate them.

Still not sure if I want to keep the alcohol with the glasses, but I started putting some in a cabinet until I make a final decision.

Snacks! This setup makes me look so organized. Okay, everyone that knows me, stop laughing.

I seriously downsized the Tupperware. I used to sell it, so I have a lot. But the truth is, I love these Ziplock, Gladd, whatever they are...ones that are cheap, good quality, and they all fit together for easy storage. The rest of my collection will be going up on eBay very soon.

Windows Done! Siding...Almost

First, they had to cover the house in 1/2 inch foam insulation board.
Notice how all the windows are in! BTW there is another window behind the monster bush tree.

Here's the back of the house. How pretty are those windows! They make me happy.
The front with some siding.

My new front door! I didn't know a new door would make such an impact until it went in. I opted for no glass since I'm on a busy street and I have all these issues with people being able to see inside my house.

I don't like the big oval/long rectangle window in the door look. I decided the half moon was too old school. I liked the prairie window, but they only had it with black detail and not it was almost three times the price!!! Yeeowza. I like this door just fine.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Complaints Rants Why I Hate: Home Depot

Here is a sampling of problems I have had dealing with Home Depot. I would also like to add that the store manager at the Old Bridge location has never once returned my calls, and any time you ask for him he's not in. And I initially wrote a letter to their main office to complain and never received any kind of response.

  1. I ordered windows at the Pro-Desk so the guy I've been working with would get credit. Well, three weeks later when they were suppose to arrive, it turns out they were never even ordered! Pushed my whole job back weeks.
  2. I had to special order my tile at the Milltown location and the price seemed awfully low and in the interest of being honest, I told the salesperson that. She assured me it was correct and would be here in two weeks. Two days later she calls to say that they charged me the wrong price and that I had to pay more or she wouldn't be able to place the order. (Why did they wait two days to place my order...?) So I paid it, but they did credit me that money when I picked up my order and said that it was illegal. Although I didn't care of the fact that the manager didn't even acknowledge I was standing there let alone apologize.
  3. When I bought my sliding door at the Pro-Desk in Old Bridge, they said they had to special order the screen door. I kept asking every time I went in for the next few weeks and all I'd get is, "Oh yeah, I'm going to look into that today." When I went to the Milltown one, the guy was like, "Special order? There's a bunch of them over by the sliding doors. We always have them in stock..." Yeesh.
  4. Don't get me started on how nothing's where it's suppose to be and you have to search for prices. And when the computer says something's in stock doesn't mean anyone in the store is going to be able to find it.
  5. For some reason the Old Bridge store always has half their ailes blocked off. I can't tell you how many times I walked out of there without buying anything because I couldn't get down the aisles. And the more annoying part is that no one's ever doing anything in the closed off aisles!
  6. It takes quite some time of shifting through sheets of plywood before you can find one that isn't wet, cracked or warped.
  7. I had to rent a 18" tile saw and they rented me a 12" and said it was for 18" tiles, and gave me one with a worn out blade. And what's worse when I called the Woodbridge location to complain, they got very nasty with me and it turns out they had a brand new tile saw that they could've given me!
  8. One last Old Bridge complaint, because of the window fiasco pushing back my order, it took a few months for me to pick up the rest of my order, which I was told wasn't a problem. When I went in, they said my order was already marked as picked up. What? Since the Pro-Desk is closed on the weekends and no one could do anything about it, I had to rebuy more than half the list because the needed it that weekend. Turns out the person they hired to handle orders has a tendency to mark items waiting for pick up as picked up instead of calling the customer to find out if there was a problem. "Tendency to" meaning does it all the time and customer service has consistantly had to fix her errors. Why is she still working there?

On a more positive note, I will say that they seem to be drastically cutting back on staff so the people there seem pretty over worked and stressed by having to cover several departments at once. Also, while the management is rude and unprofessional, the employees themselves are usually very nice and friendly. I don't think I've ever encountered an ill mannered at IKEA, that's a whole other story....

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Garden - July 2

The strawberry plant has been awesome. We've been enjoying strawberries all summer. But recently I noticed the leaves getting a little yellowish and no more strawberries or flowers. I also noticed our avocado seed was destroyed. I think the birds have been eating a bit more than their share, so I've moved it all closer to the house.

We've got a ton of these little yellow bell tomatoes growing.

I bought a bunch of these huge $1 seed packet mixes of basil, parsley and chives from Target nothing grew so I took them back. Then suddenly over a month later, these sprouted up.

I love how pretty the cucumber flowers are! Such a bright sun-shiny yellow!

These were supposed to be little red patio tomatoes, but they're looking pretty big to me...

I let the peanut plant what was left of that herb mix packet in these pots.

Are pea plant wasn't looking too good, but it seems to be making a comeback.

I see a lot of people on various gardening boards complain of bugs eating their plants. Luckily (knock on wood) mine have been doing okay. I think between the birds and the colony of these spiders eating the bugs that would be destructive to my garden, we're doing okay so far.

The bed is easily the most full and garden-y looking. Lots of lettuce, carrots and beets!

I have so many beets and yet I know almost no one that eats them! I'm going to start simple (esp. since I have no kitchen to cook in just yet) and roast the beets and steam the greens.

Holy crap! Do I actually have corn starting to grow on those little barely three foot high stalks!

We only have a handful of corn growing, but next year, I'd like to have an entire bed of them.

I decided to throw in a couple of more expired squash seeds to fill in some empty space.

Here are the non-container growing tomatoes.

I have a really good feeling about these cantaloupe....

The bell pepper plant doesn't seem to be growing too much, but it sure looks healthy!

Those extra squash seeds was probably a bad idea since I already have a lot growing. I'm hoping to spread them out if the other seeds I planted don't start doing something soon.