Saturday, September 29, 2012

To quote my husband...on God

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Great Organ Transplant

My mother-in-law's Hammond organ finally made it to our house! My husband has been trying to get his hands on this organ for quite some time. We made the trek from Northern California to Los Angeles earlier in the year to try to bring it home, but alas, the day we planned to drive home there was heavy rain predicted over the grapevine, so we came home organ-less (and the weatherman was RIGHT). 

We recently made the trip down again for my sister-in-law's baby shower (yes, there are babies springing up in this family like lovely wild flowers), and my husband was determined to bring the Hammond home this time. 

So, in case my post title had you wondering.....uh, no. No one had surgery.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Nursery: Build, baby, build!

After the paint went up in the nursery, it was time to start building the bookshelves that would eventually flank the window, and would be joined by a window seat. I used Billy bookcases and Hemmes TV stands (both from Ikea) to make up the majority of the structure. The bookshelves will obviously be bookshelves (duh), and the TV stands will eventually turn into the window seat.

To ensure they didn't look too cookie-cutter, I added a little somethin' special to the bookshelves...

Monday, September 24, 2012

Nursery: Laying the foundation...with paint

We've officially "broken ground" in the nursery! The paint has gone up! Here's what we started with: 

Lovely times...

Saturday, September 22, 2012

To quote my husband...on Being Filled with the Spirit

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Easy Dinner - Slow Cooker Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken

I just love easy recipes. Don't get me wrong. I also love complex creations that require hours of undivided attention. But, as a workin' gal, some days I just want a delicious dinner with minimal effort. 

I was perusing Pinterest a few weeks ago, and noticed a friend of mine had pinned a crock pot recipe involving chicken, pineapple, soy sauce and brown sugar. I should have repinned it. I meant to repin it. But I didn't. And when I went back to look for it, I couldn't find it. 

So, dag nabbit, I took a walk on the wild side, and invented my own.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Nursery: Meet Explorer Chic with a hint of Safari-Whimsy

It really took me a while to settle on a nursery concept. I always wanted something that would easily transition with my kid as he transitions into new interests, hobbies, and stages in life. But, I had a dickens of a time actually deciding on a nursery design.  

So, I headed over to Pinterest and started researching...nothing really caught my attention. And then it hit me, like a ton of bricks: my husband's dear cousin, Kristen, had very recently given birth to an ADORABLE baby boy. I knew if anyone would have found some great nursery designs, it would be her. Her home is gorgeous, people. And she, herself, always looks amazing. So, I headed over to her Pinterest boards, and verily I was not disappointed.  

Monday, September 17, 2012

A Feathered Farewell

It's taken me a while to write this post. I'll be honest -- just forming the words in my mind brings me to my knees, sobbing. I'm sure the pregnancy hormones aren't helping. But I want to share a more personal update with y'all. I hope you don't mind. This has been consuming my thoughts lately. 

We said good-bye (voluntarily) to our beloved parrot of 7 years, Lolly, last week. Just typing her name breaks my heart. As y'all know, my husband and I are expecting our first child, which we are beyond-words THRILLED about. But, in light of the pending arrival of our little bundle of joy, we knew we had to make a very tough decision about Lolly. Despite all of her many WONDERFUL qualities, there were a few compelling reasons why we knew we would have to give her away. Namely, she's not good with children at all, she screams if she knows you're home but she can't visibly see you, and she makes a mess around her cage. She also has a ginormous beak, which she uses if she's annoyed or loses her balance (the latter happens more frequently because she's a klutz). And we knew that once Baby was here, we'd be completely obsessed with our child, and Lolly would not get the any attention whatsoever. We sought guidance from family members and friends, and the consensus was that we were doing the right thing.  

And so, we gave Lolly away to a good home, and the pain of this "good bye" was not one I was prepared for. She was a wonderful bird, and we loved her very much. The look on my husband's face as he nuzzled her against his cheek for the last time was absolutely heart-breaking. And as we dropped her off, Lolly made it painfully clear that she wanted to come home with us. 
Lolly joined our family in 2005, when she was only a few months old. She didn't even have her signature blue head yet. We had been married for two years at the time, and she was our first little "responsibility." We got her through The Feather Farm in Napa, which is an outstanding business with an amazing staff. They stayed connected with us throughout the entire 7 years we had Lolly. They took care of her every time we went on vacation. They clipped her wings any time we needed it. When Lolly laid an egg last year for the first time, they talked me through how to care for her. I can't endorse them enough. 
She was a very shy bird from the beginning. She certainly didn't win me over with her charm. She was shy, and she was nervous, and despite the sweet cockatiel next to her who was REALLY making a sales pitch, Lolly was the one I wanted. And so, she came home with me. I was determined to win her over. 

Brian was at church that day, but had given me his blessing to bring home whichever bird I wanted. Lolly and I made the drive home, at which point I learned she gets carsick -- and would continue to get carsick every time we took her for a drive from there on out. I lugged her brand new cage inside our condo, and started assembling it. I'll never forget the moment when I had three sides of her cage put together -- not even a full square -- and Lolly jumped off the little box where she was sitting and ran (literally ran) to the cage and started climbing up, as if to say, "Home, sweet home!" It melted my heart. 

From there, we started to work on trust exercises with Lolly. We approached her cage slowly with fresh food and water every morning. We deliberately took naps in her line of sight, so she could watch us sleep (one of my bird books recommended this). It wasn't long before Lolly adored us.
She was a smart little cookie -- we actually had her potty trained, and she learned a few cute little whistles that we taught her. The potty training skills kind of went out the window once our dog, Aybee, entered the scene as a wee puppy of 7 weeks. We had to devote a lot of time and attention to training Aybee. 
Aybee and Lolly eventually accepted each other as family.

Though, Aybee secretly thought Lolly smelled AMAZING.

Though Lolly was a clown around us, none of our friends ever really got to experience her real personality, as she always remained shy around them. Here's a little peek into what the real Lolly was like:
She likes disco music. Just kidding...she prefers the blues.

She was always up to shenanigans. 

She napped in her tiger print hut. 

She liked her lemons straight-up, no ice. 

More shenanigans!

She especially loved Brian. She claimed him as her boyfriend.
Nine times out of ten, she preferred to walk instead of fly.

And sometimes she just couldn't hold back how excited she was to see us. 

Lolly affectionately became known as the "RFP Bird" around Facebook, because she would keep me company as I chugged away late into the evenings, responding to Requests For Proposal documents for my work. 
And then came the day, when we realized something was afoot. Lolly entered a season of "extreme nesting" which last about a week.
We knew an egg was on the way. We actually got to witness her experience contractions and lay the egg. This picture was taken seconds after she laid it. 

As tired as she was, she was pretty darn proud of that egg. It was not fertilized, so she eventually stopped caring for it and we were able to throw it out.

There are a few things I'm really going to miss. Her sweet smell. The way her soft feathers felt when she nuzzled my face. Her delightful chirp-greeting whenever we walked into the room. The way her head fluffed up when she wanted to be scratched. The way she leaned close to us when she was scared. 

Good bye, Lolly. I love you. You will always be our little bird. 

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Saturday, September 15, 2012

To quote my husband...on Changing History


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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Nursery Shopping

Well....I'm ready to start shopping for the nursery! I've decided to take a modern twist on an expedition/explorer-inspired motif with a hint of safari-whimsy, so expect to see some greens, grays, and rustic elements soon. Note - this will not be a safari THEMED room. It will simply be influenced by safari elements...hope that makes sense. And, jeez, I hope I'm actually able to accomplish that! I guess we'll find out when I'm done. :)

I'm getting ready to swing by Ikea soon, to pick up my first few elements for the room. Here's what's on my shopping list for now:

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Sausage & Basil Pizza

This pizza made me happy. But, pizza usually makes me happy. And homemade pizza is simply delightful. Really. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Homemade Truffled Mozzarella Appetizer

I love making mozzarella at home. It's such a delightful treat. Almost a year ago, I bought a 30-minute mozzarella kit. It's so easy, and the flavor is out of this world. 

We were having friends over recently, so I decided to take my mozzarella-making one step further and turn it into a decadent appetizer, by adding a drizzle of olive oil and just a touch of white truffle oil. Oh baby, this was stupid GOOD. 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

To quote my husband...on The Impossible

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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Pickle Jar Tablescape

Confession time: I have a jar problem. I like to save glass jars. I've had this problem for a few years. Every time I eat the last pickle, red pepper, olive, or pickled jalepeno, I get a little bit excited because I know I'll have another jar for my collection.

There is a method to my madness though. I use these jars as upcycled decorative items. I've used them as flower vases, and most recently, I used them as candleholders in a tablescape. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Monday, September 3, 2012

Fireplace: Even More Grout Doubt

Hi friends. With all of the concern and hype around "scrapers" in blogland (essentially, peoples and / or sites who use blog content without authorization), I've decided to join the masses and truncate (shorten) my site feed. This means if you read my blog via email or RSS, you'll still receive your Pig and Paint emails, but you'll only see the beginning of each post and will have to click a link to my actual web site to read the rest of the post. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause! Many of the blogs I follow have been doing this for years, and I have not found it to be annoying or troublesome as a reader, but I know everyone is different. I hope y'all will stick with me as I experiment with protecting my blog content. 

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming. :)

I bought another grout color. I decided I needed a second opinion, so to speak. I could tell Brian wasn't thrilled with my first grout color choice, and I was having a hard time deciding if I would like it long term. 

So, I picked up "haystack" during my lunch break. It's lighter, and slightly grayer (though I realize it looks rather orange-y in the picture below).

Saturday, September 1, 2012

To quote my husband...on Egypt

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