granite shopping, house painting, a feature and my first half marathon

The garage remodel is progressing along nicely thanks in HUGE part to Devin’s dad who has started building the beautiful cabinets for my new laundry and pantry area out there.  The man has some ridiculous woodworking skills, and I am overjoyed at the prospect of all the extra storage space I’ll have!  I’ll show some progress photos soon.  In the meantime, this morning we went shopping for granite for the counter top.  We decided to go with granite since the counter will also double as our bar area when we entertain.  The cabinets are pine and we won’t be painting them (just sealing them) so it was important to find a pattern and color that would compliment the wood.

If you have ever shopped with a significant other who may have slightly (or hugely) different taste then you, then you can understand how I had to steel myself this morning for the battle that I was sure was coming.  Surprisingly, we came out of the experience in one piece, and the wedding is still on :).

Devin wanted something bold with really interesting color and markings whereas I was leaning towards stone that was a little more subtle.  The one thing that we both agreed on at least was that we wanted a leather finish and not polished.  We ended up choosing a granite called Silver Galaxy in leather finish which is gray with touches of white and a muted red.  After going through all of the slabs, we both settled on this piece:

We’ll be cutting it down to the upper right 71″ across and down 20″.  It’s bold enough for Devin, but the markings aren’t too overwhelming for me, especially with the larger white marking towards the left side and the larger expanse of gray in the upper right.  It’s going to look great against the pine, and will also pick up on the red from the bricks of the backend of the fireplace that’ll be directly to the left of the counter.

In other news, I’m both anxious and excited to be running my first half marathon tomorrow morning.  I’ve been training since February, and I’m pretty sure I’ll be okay, but I still can’t help feeling a little nervous.  The race is called the Divas Half Marathon and it’s geared towards women.  I have no goal time…I just want to be able to run the entire time and finish the race.  I may or may not be wearing a hot pink and black running tutu.

I’m just sayin’ :).

Also, we finally decided on colors for the exterior of the house (it only took two years!), and our painter friend has been hard at work this past week.  He should be finished next week so stay tuned for the reveal.  We could’ve painted it ourselves, but all signs pointed to having our friend do it since he’s a pro, is in need of some work and is giving us a huge discount.

Lastly, tonight our bathroom facelift is being featured over at Remodelaholic.  Thank you so much to the wonderfully talented and creative duo of Cassity and Justin for the feature!



Linking up at:

the flea market and the hollywood regency chairs

A few Sundays ago, Devin and I hit up the Alemany Flea Market to scope out the goods.  I don’t know about you, but flea markets and I have a longstanding love affair.  It’s always satisfying when I find something off of my wishlist, which that weekend consisted of:

  • Various vintage pyrex pieces
  • Milk glass vases
  • Bar cart
  • Vintage wood window
  • Birdcage
  • Chairs for the living room and master bedroom
  • Desk to makeover for the office

Obviously I wasn’t expecting to find ALL of these items in one go, but it’s a rotating list of things I collect, pieces for the wedding and odds and ends for the house.

It should be noted that more often than not, I come home with something that ISN’T on my list…but at the moment I see it, I just HAVE to have it and how can I NOT at such a STEAL.  Right?  RIGHT?!

On this particular trip, we’d already been halfway through the whole thing and I still hadn’t found anything so I was pretty bummed out. UNTIL.  I saw them.  THE CHAIRS.  The hollywood regency chairs that I’ve been trolling Craigslist for, drooling over on home design websites, watching on ebay, lusting after for our living room and master bedroom.  Not only that, they were a matched pair!

I fought not to let my excitement show (Haggling Tip #1: never let them see how much you really want it).  I walked up and casually started giving the chairs a once over.  They were in pretty good shape over all, though the flattened cushions needed replacing and the battered blue velvet fabric needed reupholstering.  I asked the guy how much he wanted for them, and he said $175 for the pair.  What the WHAT?!  Now I know some people would actually pay that much for them in an antique store, and I’ve seen similar chairs on ebay go for around that price and even more, but I was still crushed.  Out of my budget, I thought.  No way he’d let me haggle him down to half that price.

Then Devin walked over with that “oh no what is she bringing home NOW” look on his face, and as I showed him the chairs he started shaking his head.  “Nope.  Sorry babe.  I don’t see them looking good in our house.”  If you haven’t already noticed, this is a recurring theme around these parts.  Devin disagreeing with me, then me eventually proving him wrong.  Heh.

I ignored his headshaking and just went out on a limb.  “I’ll give you $80 for the pair”…and the guy said “okay…I really don’t want to have to lug these home again.  You can have ’em for $80.”


I looked at Devin again, puppy dog eyes, eyelashes batting….and he STILL shook his head.  “No, babe…you’re crazy.  Sorry.”

To which I retorted, “YOU HAVE NO VISION!” and stomped away.  Because I’m a five year old.

We left the flea to run other errands, but obviously at this point I was NOT pleasant company to be around.  I couldn’t believe I walked away from those chairs.  SIGH.

That afternoon, after three hours of my dejected sighs and mumbling and grumbling, Devin caved.  “Okay.  Let’s go see if they’re still there.  I want you to be happy.”  I expected they’d be long gone by then, but we hightailed it back to the flea market and THEY WERE STILL THERE.  If that didn’t shout THESE CHAIRS ARE MEANT TO BE YOURS then I don’t know what would.

The guy laughed when he saw me.  “I couldn’t believe you’d walk away from these chairs!  Some folks are refinishing these babies and selling them at the Antiques Faire for over $300!”  (He wasn’t lying.  I’ve seen them there.)

THEN when I went to pay for them, I realized I only had $73 on me, which I feebly handed to the guy.  He just laughed and said “Ohhh just take ’em will ya?”  At which point I gave him a huge hug and picked one of them up to take back to the truck.  As we walked away, he asked Devin, “So what made you change your mind?”  To which he replied, “Well…I figured it would be cheaper to make her happy.”


How amazing are these chairs??  I can’t wait to get my hands on them.  🙂

Not surprisingly, when we got home and I put one in its future spot in the living room, replacing the rocking chair, Devin took a step back and said, “You know what?  You’re right.  That looks good there.  It’ll be even better when they’re repainted and have new cushions.  Sorry I doubted you babe.”




Linking up at:

50 things

 …because 100 was too daunting a number.  For now.

  1. I was born in the Philippines and moved to the US when I was 3 years old.
  2. I have the NEW typical nuclear family consisting of: one mom, one stepdad, one dad, one stepmom, one sister, five stepsiblings.
  3. All together my stepsiblings, sister and I just so happen to range in age from 25 to 33 years old. We’re totally like the Filipino Brady Bunch…but not.
  4. I have been in love three times in my life. (They do say third time’s a charm right?)
  5. My favorite fruits are bananas, mangoes and cantaloupes.
  6. I can’t really whistle. (Though not for lack of trying.)
  7. The first horror movie I ever saw was Child’s Play. It forever ruined me against the My Buddy and Kid Sister dolls.
  8. I took piano and dance lessons from the age of 6 thru 18.
  9. My favorite number is 14.
  10. I was raised Roman Catholic. While I don’t go to church regularly, I do believe in God.
  11. I had my first kiss when I was 7 years old. It was with my babysitter’s son. At her house. And I had chicken pox.
  12. I’m 5’4.” I used to bemoan my height because all of my friends were taller than me when I was younger. I don’t mind it at all anymore.
  13. I have lived in four states: Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New York and California.
  14. I speak Tagalog semi-fluently and understand it completely.
  15. I am considered light-skinned for a Filipina. In fact, most people think that I’m Chinese.
  16. I love karaoke…but only when it’s on a system where you can change the key. Because while I love to sing, I don’t have a very impressive range.
  17. I can curl my tongue up into a “u.”
  18. I sometimes snore (much to D.’s dismay).
  19. I’ve been known to have pretty bad road rage.
  20. I believe in karma.
  21. I don’t own a DVR.
  22. I wear a size 8 shoe.
  23. I can affect a fairly decent British accent. This has been confirmed by friends who are British.
  24. I love Easter because CADBURY. MINI. EGGS. Need I say more?
  25. I taught myself to play the guitar. I’m still working on playing and singing at the same time. No one tells you that’s the hardest part.
  26. I have scars on both knees from two different incidents.
  27. I work with almost all men. And I don’t mind it at all. It’s definitely a lot less drama free than working with women.
  28. I am left-handed and proud of it.
  29. My favorite color is green.
  30. I have my nose pierced.
  31. I love horseback riding. If I had the means, I would totally buy a horse.
  32. I ate my first oyster when I was 23 in a restaurant on top of the Eiffel Tower. It will likely be my last because nothankyou.
  33. I can type over 90 words per minute.
  34. I wear contact lenses though I like my glasses and don’t mind wearing them out.
  35. If I could be any animal, I would be a black panther. I think they’re so powerful and graceful, not to mention beautiful.
  36. I didn’t learn how to ride a bike until I was 11 years old.
  37. My favorite way to have tea is steeped in soy milk w/ honey.
  38. I love the smell of freshly ground coffee beans.
  39. I’ve never broken a bone. *knock on wood*
  40. My favorite alcoholic beverage is the mojito. 
  41. I’ve been to Europe once (France, England, Monaco and Italy) with my family. I’m looking forward to going back for many more trips in the future.
  42. I have a skin allergy to nickel, most notably necklaces and earrings.  The itchiness holy heck THE ITCHINESS.
  43. I have two dogs that I adore. Strider is a male black lab and Echo is a female chocolate lab.
  44. I have no problem going to the movies by myself and in fact, I quite like it.
  45. I love flea markets.  And garage/estate sales.  And thrift stores.
  46. I’ve only had two cavities in my entire life. So far.
  47. I collect vintage Pyrex.
  48. Up until recently, I preferred beer over wine, but am starting to develop quite a taste for the latter.
  49. My astrological sign is Leo.
  50. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind and heart that D. is “the one.”


…we all have them right?  Though some may be more far fetched (or let’s face it, downright fa-reaky) than others, our idiosyncrasies contribute to our individuality…

I was thinking the other day about my particular idiosyncrasies and as it turns out, I have a few.  What’s that?  You’d like to hear about the little things that make me a weirdo charmingly quirky and unique individual?  Happy to oblige! (In list format of course because if you didn’t know, me + lists = l-o-v-e.)

  • When I change the volume level of the stereo in my car, it HAS to be an even number.  It just has to.  There is no such thing as a volume level of 13. Not in my car.
  • If I’m eating directly out of a pint container of ice cream (which I do on a weekly basis is a very rare occasion) I can’t just scoop out spoonfuls.  I scrape the ice cream out bite by bite…and before I put it away?  The level of the ice cream has to be as close to perfectly level as I can get it.  Yes I have issues.  I know this.
  • The toilet paper needs to be hanging over the top of the roll.  OVER.  Not under.  Don’t even bother trying to argue with me on this.
  • When I set the alarm clock, the time needs to be in increments of 5.  Sometimes D. will set it to something like 5:37 and it drives. Me. Crazy.
  • When I was in high school, I worked part time at the gap.  Ever since then any pants/jeans have to be folded JUST SO…to the point where D. will sometimes fold all the laundry thinking he’s doing me a favor (poor guy) and I’ll completely refold every single pair of pants.
  • See above and also apply to t-shirts.
  • I have a thing about peeling potatoes.  I hate doing it.  Yet i have no problem peeling carrots.
  • I can’t leave the house in the morning until the bed is made.  Even if I’m running late. (My childhood self would be all “WTF?!”)
  • If I purchase anything off of a store shelf, I never take the one in the very front.  I always reach behind it and take one further back.

…and I’ll stop at that before I scare you all away, but I’m sure I could come up with more.

Looking back at that list, I seem less like a girl with idiosyncrasies and more like someone with tendencies of the OCD variety. But I’m not OCD. That I know of anyway.

I’d love to hear some of your quirks…aaaand go.