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“A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014.”

Berlin: In desperate need of a haircut, but something is so endearing about her in this messy, raw state.

Linking up with Jodi at Practising Simplicity.



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Kitchen Remodel: Part Two

After an intense 30 days, I’m thrilled to announce the kitchen remodel is complete! After months of researching, designing and planning I was terribly nervous the vision in my head wouldn’t become a reality. But in the end I’m more than pleased with the finished product and couldn’t have asked for a smoother, less hectic demolition. My contractor did an amazing job and was incredibly respectful of our space and an overall joy to work with. After hearing so many horror stories, I feel so incredibly fortunate for the seamless experience we had.

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There were so many things I disliked about this kitchen (its hard to know where to start), but first thing I knew I wanted to change, from the moment we stepped foot in the house, was removing the wall between the kitchen and living spaces.

You can see the former owners made a go at it by making pocket windows on each side, but it wasn’t achieving the open living spaces I was craving. We had several contractors and an engineer come in and give us quotes and options for removing the wall. Most were outrageously expensive and we were afraid we weren’t able to achieve the look we wanted.

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In the end we were able to eliminate one of the posts and open up the walls completely, and the result is a dream come true. The open space between the dining/kitchen/living room is perfect for our family and an absolute entertainers dream (my first dinner party can’t come soon enough!).

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So there it is, my white kitchen come true. I won’t be leaving the kitchen anytime soon, so expect a lot of recipes coming your way.




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“A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014.”

Berlin: Regardless of not napping, she is always a spaz. There are brief moments when she will stop and relax, but it only last seconds before she is up and acting wild again.

Linking up with Jodi at Practising Simplicity.




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31/52

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“A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014.”

Berlin: My baby girl is growing up right before my eyes. Suddenly I look at her and see a little girl standing before me with a full on personality and a mind of her own to go with it.



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Kitchen Remodel

When we bought our new home back in November I knew the first thing I wanted to do was renovate the kitchen. Ryan however, wasn’t sold on the idea. Understandably, he couldn’t stomach the idea of pouring our life savings into buying a home, then turning around and putting more money into renovations. So I started introducing the idea to him slowly, suggesting we paint the cabinets and buy new appliances. Then slowly as the months passed, I kept discussing my renovation ideas with him, and he warmed up to the idea.

Here we are eight months later, and in the middle of a full on kitchen remodel. I feel I can speak for both Ryan and I, and say we are very pleased with our decision and couldn’t be happier with the results thus far.

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Here is what the kitchen looked like pre-demolition; linoleum floors, tile countertops that were impossible to clean, and very dated cabinets.

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The first thing to be done was tear down the wall between the kitchen and dining/living area. This change done in the first few days solidified our decision to go for the remodel, it made all the difference in the openness and feel of our living space.

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In the original design plans, we expected to keep both posts you see in the image above. But luckily for us, we found only one post was load bearing in the demo. This was the first bit of incredible news we were to receive during the process.

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Things have been progressing right along in the few short weeks we have been remodeling. The contractor also discovered vented piping hidden behind the upper microwave cabinet, great news number two. This bit of information saved us a fortune!

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This is how it appears as of this morning. Its beginning to look like a real kitchen! I can’t wait to make the final reveal. Only a little over a week and we should be enjoying our new kitchen and amazing open layout!



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“A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014.”

Berlin: A sandy, giggly, mess.

Joining in with Jodi at Practising Simplicity.



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Vegan Grilled Pizza

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While I can’t claim to be an expert on the grill, I can claim to have become quite creative in just two short weeks. While its not the typical summer weather here in San Francisco, the climates are mild and still perfect for grilling.

Prior to the kitchen renovation, I had absolutely no clue with regard to the grill. But with one quick lesson from the hubby, I’ve caught on quickly and have made some killer meals. I mean, did you even know you could grill pizza?! Obviously I had no idea. But have since discovered its a brilliant way to prepare pizza. It tastes fresh out of a brick pizza oven, and it takes very little time to cook. Even if you are aren’t undergoing a gutted kitchen, I would highly suggest saving yourself the hassle of heating up the stove and throwing a pizza on the grill instead.

I chose to keep things simple (as I have no kitchen surface to work with), so for this recipe I went with a store bought corn meal crust (it compliments the okra nicely). But once I have access to a countertop again I plan on experimenting with a cauliflower crust-yum! Recipe to follow…

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Vegan Grilled Pizza
Frozen Corn Meal Pizza Crust
Olive Oil
Red  Bell Pepper
Golden Cherry tomatoes
Zucchini
Okra
Kale
Artichoke Pesto Sauce
Black Olives
Salt, Pepper and Red Pepper Flakes

Heat grill to medium high heat. Prepare veggies by cutting stems off the okra, slicing zucchini in half, and cutting red pepper in half. Then toss all veggies (including the cherry tomatoes and a stem of kale) in olive oil, then salt and pepper. Place all veggies on the grill (I put the tomatoes and kale on a stainless steel grilling plate) and grill for approx 5-7 minutes, turning over once mid-way. Watch the vegetables closely, as you don’t want them to charred.
Once the veggies are fully cooked, put aside to cool while you prepare the crust. Brush the crust with olive oil on both sides and cook the top side of the crust for approx 2-3 minutes, until there are light grill marks. Then place the pizza down and layer all the veggies and spices and grill for another 3-5 minutes (watching very closely). Remove from the grill and allow to cool down. Voila, grilled pizza in no time!

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Here’s a glimpse into our renovation thus far. More pictures to follow soon.



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“A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014.”

Berlin: the poor girl has been going through so much change lately; returning from vacation, starting daycare, then a full on kitchen remodel. Half our house is blocked off with plastic and the place has been taken over by random construction workers. She remains calm, not too fussy throughout it all. While her sleeping still is less than desirable, she remains in good spirits. I have to say, I’m pretty impressed with her adaptability.

Linking up with Jodi at Practicing Simplicity.



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Weekend Love

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These photos taken by a Russian mother are beyond beautiful.

An interesting read about modern day parenting. Can’t say I agree with it all, but worth a read for a little chuckle.

With our kitchen being gutted, I’m in full grill mode. I’m dying to make this Grilled Peach recipe.

I’m loving this new blog by Jessica Kraus (of House of Habit) and company, The Ma Books

I’ve been searching high and low for an affordable Sputnik light for our bedroom, thus far I’m still dreaming of owning this Jonathan Adler chandelier.

Lastly, my kick ass Instagram buddy, Amanda Tyler protested against IG for deleting accounts of women breastfeeding. Her story made the front cover of the SF Chronicle. Pretty kick ass if I do say so myself.

Sorry things continue to be quiet around here, but this kitchen remodel is keeping me quite busy. Hopefully I can post photos of the progress soon. Have a lovely weekend.



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“A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014.”

Berlin: Most weekends she resists taking her nap. She wants to spend every waking hour with her Far. Despite her napless days, she is still happy and a joy to be around.

Linking up with Jodi at Practising Simplicity.



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