Friday, September 25, 2009


I flew to California in July to visit my friend Jason ( - who played "Rapunzel's Prince" in the Sacramento Music Circus' production of Into The Woods (he was sooooooo goooooood!!). It was a quick little weekend getaway, but so much fun to see Jason in another show. That kid is ridiculous.

And if you don't believe me, check this out:

A quick stop in LA:

My sweet rental:

Blue skies and palm trees:

Cool, graphic, Music Circus posters (they've been around since 1950):

Jason's digs (the Clarion Hotel...right across the street from the theater):

The view from Jason's room:

We walked around town for a bit, drinking our iced lattes and catching up on gossip. Periodically, we took pictures of stuff:

The inside of a pretty church (no iced lattes allowed):

My idea of a roof-top restaurant (p.s. California makes Kansas look...ummm...really sucky):

The State Capital Building (which looks a lot like the one in Topeka - if Topeka resembled Monaco):

A statue of Queen Isabella and Columbus, commemorating the moment when she decided to fund his voyage to the New World. (not pictured: the moment when Queen Isabella realized she gave her money to a big liar):

A photo very similar to 15 others I have from the vacation my family took to Disney World when I was 8. Stopped at EVERY state capital from Oklahoma to Florida. My dad's version of "awesome":

Our search for Governor Schwarzenegger begins:

Jason and I found a bear in the hallway. He seemed nice:

Eureka! I found the bathrooms:

The seal of the State of California - and a little bit of my left toe:

If you didn't know this about me, I enjoy architecture. A lot. I have a lot of pictures of buildings. Especially when I appreciate the mix of materials. Like this - glass with wood on a curve. And cool plants. I like cool plants:

Ma Jong's delivery vehicle:

Ma Jong's sweet outdoor patio:

Hoping to see Tom Cruise lurking around. No dice:

We ate lunch and then pretended to shop for lofts:

Cool, jellyfish-shaped wall sconces:

Exposed brick walls and concrete floors. I was in pretend loft-buying heaven:

A toilet from the future:

Original beams. More exposed brick. Stainless steel appliances. Cool twirly staircase. I kind of didn't want to leave:

Later that day, Jason and I got massages at a little place called Spa Bloom (awkward little moment when we had to explain this was not a couple's massage) then we got ready for the show. Jason had to go early, so I hung out in the courtyard for a while, trying not to brag about how I know a guy in the show and he's crazy talented and we've been friends since 5th grade and his dad is my chiropractor and...

The fountain in the courtyard:

The Main Stage...obviously:

The stage:

Jack's cow:

We were not allowed to take pictures during the show, so these were (totally not) stolen from another website. This is Jason (on the right) as Rapunzel's Prince (and some other guy who played Cinderella's Prince - totally not as cute):

Here's Jason as The Wolf and Little Red (who was hilarious):

After the show - beaming with pride:

The entire cast was starving, but everything was closed. We all went back to the Clarion bar and ordered pizza. This guy played The Baker. He was fantastic. The Baker's Wife was played by Vikki Lewis (from TV's News Radio). She was awesome too:

This guy played Jack. And the girl to his right played Snow White:

PIZZA for the starving cast:

Rapunzel and her Prince:

I will never stop admiring this kid and his talent. Such a sweetheart:

The next day, we ventured out in search of breakfast:

The ivy-covered walls of the Clarion:

The governor's mansion - but not the REAL Governor. The Governor from (like) 1952 or something:

Another cool building:

My sweet, little friend - Jason Forbach. Future star of the Tony Awards:

The End

Friday, September 18, 2009


My goal when we bought this house 3 years ago ('s been 3 years!) was to slowly remodel every single room. And it's been a long process because, man...something about 1991. Every fixture was brass; every wood surface was stained in a honey-oak glaze; and every room had wallpaper (usually hunter green, navy blue, purple, or a combination of all three). Sorry 1991, but you were heinous. And I'm so sick of removing wallpaper that I've come up with cool new ways to get around it - like, hang crown molding over the borders, and/or paint over it. (But don't tell my dad I said that. I can feel him cringing from here.)

This house was built in 1991. And the family who lived in it didn't update a single g.d. thing. They had three sons, a giant sheepdog, two cats, and a penchant for sports (as you will see). This is your BEFORE and AFTER tour. I still have the kitchen, two bedrooms and a master bathroom to go!


DURING: (the day before the new carpet was to arrive)

AFTER: (well...sort of. There are new windows now. Plus, we painted the rest of the trim; purchased new curtains and blinds (white); purchased a new TV and entertainment center; hung more artwork; and I silver-leafed the mirror over the fireplace. It no longer feels "yellow".)

DINING ROOM BEFORE: (and actually, that plum color was added between the first time we saw the house and the day before we bought it. Homeowners actually thought, " know what might really sell this house? A f@#king PURPLE dining room!")

(...and they didn't even do a good job painting.)

Could not get rid of the purple fast enough. This is not technically an AFTER shot, but you get the point.)


AFTER: (again...not technically an AFTER shot. Imagine a cushy chair for snuggling up and reading a book next to those windows...which have also been replaced.)

GUEST ROOM BEFORE: (one of THREE rooms decorated with "WE PLAY SPORTS" wallpaper.)

AFTER: (Ryan made the bed, I made the headboard, and together we created a room where our very special guests don't feel like taking batting practice.)


AFTER: (I made the headboard - that's right! I jigsawed that b!tch and upholstered the buttons; Ryan added the trim and library paneling; the curtains inspired the nook - which is still under contruction; and we now have a gorgeous chandelier instead of a brass ceiling fan.)

(the chandelier)

BEFORE: (our little toilet room - part of the master bath. And believe it or not, this wallpaper once coordinated with the wallpaper in the master bathroom, the master suite, and the little reading nook.)

AFTER: (I just finished this room last night...which is what inspired the post.)

(I bought the paper at Hobby Lobby and put it behind those shadow boxes. Framed the others and will continue to collect little black and white things to hang on this wall.)

The master bathroom will eventually get a nice "retro" update. (in my dreams it has a claw-foot tub, white marble floors, old Hollywood dressing table, black chandeliers, black vanities with marble tops, and sinks that meet height requirements for anyone over 5' tall.) This is the master bath right now, know. It's inspired some renovation conversations:

The nook off of the master bedroom will eventually be an office. I'm currently saving up for the desk, the chair, and the hardwood flooring (big, white, wide planks), but right now it looks like this:

And in every office, you need pink pearl erasers, right? So I painted this:

It used to look like this:

I'll post more pics when the nook is actually finished. :) I still have more flowers to stencil and a few more letters to write to Santa (crossing my fingers for "A Very Merry Macbook Christmas"!) Until then, I'm going to go get some updated AFTER shots of the 1/2 bath downstairs. It had a major facelift too. Man...I don't think I realized how much work we've actually done until just now. No wonder Ryan got scared when I asked if we could go to Lowe's this weekend.