Category Archives: Conspicuous Consumption

Kitchen Updates Pt. 1

We’ve been making some updates to our kitchen this year, slowly but surely.

As a refresher, here’s what it looked like when we moved in:

120831-034As you can see we had an L-shaped formica countertop!

120831-020And black appliances on the opposite wall. The dishwasher was almost as old as the stove (which is basically ancient).

So the first thing we did this spring was to knock out the old formica countertop! And we put in place two mobile Ikea pieces that provide a ton of storage and butcher block counters:

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Here is it all dolled up for a get-together! It’s not perfect but it’s a huge improvement in functionality for us.

Then we got an almost-new dishwasher from a friend (it’s Bosch, all stainless interior and basically 25 years newer than the one we had).

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So this is the new Bosch! And while it’s a huge improvement, I actually really wanted stainless steel. And the miracle of modern technology gave me one: IMG_2877

This is actually a giant magnet you put on the front of the dishwasher to make it look like stainless steel. Ha! It works great. We got it at Amazon (affiliate link) and it worked like a charm! I really can’t tell you how much I enjoy this particular upgrade! For some reason it gives me more joy than almost anything else we’ve done in the kitchen so far. Weird, right? IMG_2885Then on Memorial Day weekend we upgraded our refrigerator to this giant beast. YAY for holiday sales! I am in LOVE with this thing. I want to refrigerate my life.

Next up: My kitchen cabinet refresh project.

Our New Tent

Exciting news for blog followers! Heh. We bought a tent. REI was having a super sale so we picked up this huge Base Camp 6 tent. It sleeps 6 (allegedly). This will open up all sorts of adventures for us. Here she is in all her fancy glory!

And the test has a huge rain cover. Every time I have gone camping it has rained. And this is why I don’t like camping. So the deal is, the rain cover is supposed to be like Teflon. We shall see!

A view from the cavernous inside! Did I mention that we put the tent up in the public park near our apartment? We had a lot of lookie-loos and we were pretty sure the cops would show up but nobody cared. Lots of little kids looked deeply envious of us! Camping adventures will be coming to a blog near you–later in the summer–but for now we have our weekends plotted out for the next 5 weeks!

A BRAND NEW(ISH) CAR!

So we needed a new car and we’ve been looking and test driving for a couple of weeks and we’d narrowed it down to a few options. We were thinking it would be hot to drive a diesel (tax credit for alternative fuel) and we thought we wanted to buy new (sales tax credit).

We went for a test drive in a 2009 Jetta Wagon and were a tad underwhelmed but it fit most of our utilitarian needs. The sales guy suggested we look at his barely used 2008 Jetta Passat Wagons–he had three, all loaded, at a price lower than the brand new Jetta Wagon–but with an even better warranty–the original 2008 warranty was still in effect and they tacked on the “certified” used warranty, too, to the car is under warranty until 2014. And then we test drove it and everything just seemed to fall into place…

Here is our new car in front of our boring old house! Hee! No, that’s a Frank Lloyd Wright house but we only live two blocks away from there and we wanted a nice backdrop for our pretty Betty to have her picture taken.

Anyway, we think she’s a real beauty (though we did argue about the color; Dale wanted green metallic). She serves all our needs: big enough for Dale to lug around all his photography gear, small enough for me to reach the pedals, clean, loaded with extras including biege leather, decent gas mileage for its size…we like!

Betty’s got a niiiice profile! She’s sporty but functional–like I aspire to be.