Tag archives for Details

Let’s Lock it Up

After paying the deposit and the half month’s rent (for February), Joe and I were given the keys.  Seeing as we’re the ones moving items to and from the apartment ourselves, it was nice to be able to get the ball rolling.  Almost immediately, we started moving what we could.

As the weeks flew by, I realized that we had more of our things were at the new apartment than at our current one.  That’s when I started to get nervous because there was only one lock on our apartment (the front door).  At the top of the stairs is another door that has a deadbolt lock but no key.  Basically, we can lock the door as long as one person is inside.

Truth be told, I was mostly nervous about our card catalogs being there because I love those things.

Changing the Lock http://www.popcornonthestove.com/

We don’t know what kind of person previous lived at this apartment, but we do know that they were asked to move out.  We also know that sometimes there are multiple copies of keys floating around.  For example – I still have a key from our first apartment and the previous tenant of our current apartment gave us their key a few months ago (this didn’t weird me out because they’re Joe’s cousins).  Joe and I aren’t the type of people to go back to an old apartment and see what’s what but that doesn’t mean there aren’t people like that.

Clearly, I like to be proactive about safety… which is why I badgered Joe about replacing that top lock so we would have keys to it.

Replacing the Lock http://popcornonthestove.com

Joe wasn’t entirely on board for this because these locks can be expensive – I totally get that.  Thankfully, he joined the paranoid cautious side after his brother helped deliver the refrigerator and agreed with me on replacing the locks.  Phew!

Last weekend, Joe and I made a trip to Home Depot where I spent at least 15 minutes trying to decide on what lock we should get.  Ultimately, I decided on this lock below (and similar to this) for under $20.00:

Changing the Lock http://www.popcornonthestove.com/

Not wanting to postpone the lock swap, we started the process of removing the old lock (which is really just a matter of unscrewing 6 screws on the back part.  Easy peasy.

Changing the Lock http://www.popcornonthestove.com/

You will then be left with an attractive hole opening (this poor door has seen better days).

Changing the Lock http://www.popcornonthestove.com/

The next step was to remove the piece that goes on the door jamb, which is when we discovered this:

Changing the Lock http://www.popcornonthestove.com/

The door frame was a disaster, to say the least.  I guess that when this original lock got installed, some things needed to be, um, adjusted (that’s a nice way of saying destroyed).  There is a chunk of the frame missing, with a new piece added in.  It’s so flimsy that one of the screws for the door jamb piece didn’t even go through anything.  As a result of that wood putty and scrap wood filling in that hole, the lock we bought could not be used.  Thankfully, we had never removed that lock from the packaging so we’ were able to return it.

Let’s just say Joe was not my biggest fan at that moment because he had to go back to the store and get a lock that was similar to what we originally had.  No point in reinstalling the current lock back if we were just going to replace it, right?

I took this as an opportunity to tidy up and try to organize the piles of things we had brought over thus far.

When Joe returned, it was a very quick process to install the new lock.  I would do a play-by-play of the process but the instructions that come with these locks are so incredibly simple and why reinvent the wheel?

Changing the Lock http://www.popcornonthestove.com/

So yay for new locks at our soon to be apartment!

Sure, it’s more annoying when we’re moving a ton of stuff over there and we have to unlock that top door but it’s totally worth it.  I feel so much safer knowing that we (and our landlords because we gave them a copy of the key) are the only people who can get inside.  Another perk: Joe no longer has to hear me whine about how nervous I am about all of our stuff over there.

Changing the lock http://popcornonthestove.comDo you change the locks when you move into a new place?  Maybe just when you were renting?  Perhaps after you got the keys to your house?  Have you found any unexpected surprises during the process?

Posted in Details, Home, Projects | 5 Comments

Manhattan Meetings

So first off – how ’bout that game last night!?  It was quite the nail-biter (for me anyway) but the Ravens won the Superbowl and Joe Flacco was even named the MVP!  #bluehenpride

When John and Sherry of Young House Love announced that they were going on a book tour last Fall, I was beyond excited.  When they shared the dates, I was even more excited because their New York stop was the day before my birthday.  Unfortunately, Hurricane Sandy hit that week (and boy did she hit hard) so the signing was postponed.

I think it worked out better having the signing rescheduled since I also got to meet John and Lisa from Our Home From Scratch.  I met up with them after I got our of work at 5:00.  We had heard that some of the lines at the signings could get really long so we decided to jump on sooner than later and have dinner afterwards.  This was by far the best move we made because the line grew very quickly after that.

The hour we waited on line passed very quickly.  It was supposed to be cold and gross out (so I was that girl in rain boots and a giant puffer coat) but it was actually pretty nice out, aside from a little drizzle..  John, Lisa, and I used it as a time to chat and get to know each other better.  The employees at the Soho Flor location were kind enough to pass out bags of popcorn (it goes without saying that I felt special) and cups of seltzer water to everyone waiting.

20130204_yhl9 http://www.popcornonthestove.com/

Once we got inside, it all went very quickly.  One minute, I’m just standing with John and Lisa and we can see John and Sherry, and the next, I’m there… talking to them.

I was so nervous to meet John and Sherry and my mind pretty much went blank when I walked up to the table.  To be fair, I have been reading their blog since 2008 when I got my first job out of college (this was back when there were “slow” times) so I think it’s okay that I got a little starstruck.

John and Sherry are so nice in real life so that helped me feel comfortable almost immediately.  Sherry was telling me she loved the sticky tabs I used throughout their book (and ladies and gents, there were sticky tabs everywhere because I used them to mark all of the projects I wanted to try).  I was able to ask them where the photo on their about page was taken (something I’ve always wondered because there are only so many ferries to and from Manhattan, one of which I take daily).

Meeting Young House Love http://www.popcornonthestove.com/

Meeting Young House Love http://www.popcornonthestove.com/

Sherry even thanked me for the sweet message (twitter) which made me think “oh my god she knows who I am” which only made me quietly freak out to myself a little more.

After we all got to meet John and Sherry, we headed downstairs where we got to enjoy some drinks and treats.  I opted for cucumber soda, half because it sounded interesting and half because it ended up being weirdly delicious.  You should try it.

Of course, John, Lisa, and I were completely serious at all times…

Meeting Young House Love http://www.popcornonthestove.com/

It was pretty full in the store, so we decided to head out to grab something to eat.  I brought Lisa and John to Dean & DeLuca – my current favorite place to wander around – and then to a pizzeria where we could grab dinner.  We ended up hanging out and talking for a while before heading our separate ways.

I’m not someone who likes to stay in the city after work because I have such long days but it was totally worth it to stay late that night.  I really enjoyed being able to meet so many of my blog friends!  So a big thank you to John and Lisa for meeting up and hanging out with me for so long (as well as snapping these photos for me!), and another big thank you to John and Sherry for rescheduling this stop on your book tour and being so friendly.


Posted in Details, Fun, New York | 10 Comments

Time to Chill Out

Well, now that you’ve seen what our new place looks like (!!!), it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty of picking out a refrigerator.  Our first two apartments have included refrigerators so we’ve gotten away with not having to make such a big purchase but our luck has just run out.  This is clearly not something I had been planning on doing until I was about 30, or when we finally bought a house… whichever came first.  This purchase will be the thing that throws me into adulthood so I am going to dance around this decision for a while.

I’ve spent the past week browsing different options online, which has caused me to become incredibly indecisive.  Just when I think I’m ready to show Joe the ‘one’, I second guess myself.

In an effort to keep myself on the right path, I’ve created a list of features I’d like:

  • Preferably 10-14 cubic feet (there’s only 2 of us)
  • We’d like white because it’ll match the new kitchen and will be a cheaper option
  • A frost-free freezer (versus an automatic defrost)
  • I’d like clear plastic produce drawers, but I’m flexible on that
  • Energy Star would be an awesome bonus
  • Under $500

Totally manageable list, right?  I thought so, too, but finding a nice fridge has not been easy!  I’ve considered looking on Craigslist and getting something secondhand but to be honest, I’m a little wary of that.  After Hurricane Sandy, there were a lot of people looting whatever they could get their hands on so I’m nervous about ending up with a refrigerator that was damaged.  Ultimately, I think this time it’s smarter to pay a little more and know what we’re getting.

In the near future, Joe and I are going to go out shopping for a potential refrigerator.  We may not make the purchase in store, but it would be nice to see what a 10 cubic foot refrigerator looks like (or rather, how much it can hold) versus a 14 cubic foot refrigerator. With that said, here are some of the options we’re considering…

http://popcornonthestove.com fridgeoptions

1) The current front-runner for our potential fridge is this Whirlpool 10.7 cu. ft. Top Freezer Refrigerator in White (from Home Depot, on sale for $404.10).  It’s a great size, budget friendly (not to mention we would get free delivery), and a brand we know about.  I’m a big fan of the many shelves and the clear crisper drawer.  The only drawbacks for this option is that it’s an automatic defrost, versus a frost free, and it’s not energy-efficient.

2) This LG 10 cu. ft. Bottom-Freezer Refrigerator in White from Sears is my absolute favorite to date, but it’s currently on sale for $699.99.  Womp womp.  I don’t see us spending that much on a refrigerator but it’s a very pretty option (and I not-so-secretly love it).  My favorite feature is that the freezer is on the bottom – something I have always been fond of – and that there’s a lot of storage space.  Perhaps I’ll get lucky and find a nice coupon code?

3)  Up next is the Summit 10.0 cu. ft. Top Freezer Refrigerator in White from Home Depot.  This option is $440.00 but it does have a frost free freezer, which I am a fan of.  One detail I am not a fan of is the built-in can holders because Joe and I don’t drink soda, nor do we buy a whole bunch of beer – therefore it would be a waste of space for us.  Definitely something to think about, though I don’t know much about this appliance brand.

4) In terms of finding a larger option, this Whirlpool 14.4 cu ft Top-Freezer Refrigerator (White) from Lowes is only $449.00.  It’s a frost-free refrigerator, which I’m a fan of, but not energy-efficient and from the pictures I’ve seen, the crisper drawers are opaque… which I don’t like.  At the same time, this is a brand we know – and it seems like the reviewers all love it.  I’m just a bit nervous over the size of the refrigerator and if it will fit in our new kitchen.

5) As it turns out, both my parents and Joe’s sister are looking into buying new refrigerators so there is a possibility that we could get a hand me down.  There’s also a possibility that we don’t.  It really is a matter of timing but at the end of the day, both of possible fridges are much larger than what we’re trying to get so I’m not sure that we’ll go that route.  Then again, you can’t argue with free.

Have you had to make a large appliance purchase yet?  Do you always stick with certain brand?  Perhaps avoid another?  How did you end up choosing your refrigerator (or any major appliance for that matter)?  Spill it in the comments below because Joe and I are very excited to get some recommendations!

Posted in Details, Home, Kitchen, Money Matters | 11 Comments

A Face-Lift

You guys!  Thank you all for your kind & supportive words this week about the new design (you really are too sweet)!!  I’ve never done anything like this before – unless you consider the Angelfire page I had in 8th grade with a twinkling star background and crazy animated dividers everywhere.  Thankfully, in my old age, I’ve opted to go with a cleaner – and less animated – look, which I think is something we can all appreciate.

Now it’s time to take a closer look at things.  Last Summer, I did a re-design – and It was my first dabble into the scary world of CSS.  Considering what the theme originally looked like (it was the K2-lite theme if you were wondering), I’d say it was a good starting point when it came to learning what was possible through CSS.  Sadly, the design had some tragic flaws that I think I’ve been able to squash.

The first big issue was always with the fonts and text.  I never had this problem on my screen but I would get comments or emails from people saying that my font was too small or that the text was overlapping.  Let’s just say I was not a fan of that and it was sort of a nightmare because I could never figure out what was wrong since it was loading nicely on my laptop and work computer.  I think the colors loaded okay but that sea foam green look I had going was completely inspired by Shelly (still love her color) but not really what I wanted to go with on the blog.  It was fun for a while :)

2012design popcornonthestove.com

Most importantly, I wasn’t able to do what I really wanted with my blog because it was still on wordpress.com (which I still love and think is a great place to start out).  Hence, the big switch to wordpress.org – which I have mentioned roughly a million times, so I’m sure you’re tired of hearing about it.  With the encouragement of a few of you and a coworker to show me what the heck behind the scenes would look like, I decided to put on my big girl pants and go for it.

The process wasn’t as painful as I imagined it would be.  I researched hosts, picked the one I liked the best (BlueHost if you’re curious), and signed up.  I was given a temporary URL so I was able to start playing around with different looks (I must have uploaded at least 6 themes before choosing one I liked).  Once I decided on a look and everything was in the correct place, I started the dirty work of exporting all of my posts from the wordpress.com site and uploading them onto the wordpress.org site.  Since I already owned my domain, I had to figure out how to make my new site become the default (this step required a lot of Google searching and calling customer service – twice) but everything was quickly fixed.

In terms of looks, I started playing with layouts back in November on InDesign but it was long before that – back in August! – that I designed this new popcorn icon.  As someone who studied art history, going with a cubist-styled icon felt like the right approach.  That icon is what really helped steer me in the right direction.  I cannot even begin to tell you how many theme layouts and color schemes I tried out but ultimately, I opted to go with something a little cleaner.


All my social buttons are now at the top of the page, versus the sidebar.  They’re a lovely shade of green now, but otherwise the same.  The only new one is the heart at the end, which is for bloglovin’.  I noticed that a few readers were coming  in through that site  so I thought I’d make it easier for everyone who uses that site.


There are some new features on the side bar, like my instagram feed.  That was very exciting for me because I’ve always thought that was a cool feature.


I also took the time to clean up the links.  Some are new favorites, some are old favorites, but now that they’re in two columns I think it makes the blog look a little bit neater.  I’m sure this list will only grow since I’m always finding new blogs to read.


On the side bar you’ll notice that I’ve also added an Amazon widget and a link to an Amazon Store - which was fun to create.  The items on the site will be rotated monthly, but all of the items in the shop and on the widget are items that Joe and I own and love.  These links will contain affiliates (you can read more information on that here).  If things go well with this, I’ll probably start welcoming Sponsors… though that’s going to be a few months away at best.

I’m still working on cleaning up the pages in an effort to clean up he blog (spoiler: I’m working on a Wedding page that’ll have all the info & crafts in one place!) but so far, I’m loving the way this all looks.

Now, let’s get back to blogging :)


Posted in Colors, Design, Details, Technology | 16 Comments

Christmas Card 2013

After Joe and I got hitched last year, we started sending out Christmas cards.  It sort of felt like a rite of passage and I loved sending them out.  It felt like Christmas snuck up on us last year, so we didn’t get to be creative about it.  Instead, we just grabbed some cards from Target and sent those out.  Not bad, but still not what I hoped for.

This year, I got to be creative about them, and by that, I mean I got to design them.

partridge in a pear tree | popcorn on the stove

I always prefer something a little more fun than serious so these felt perfect to send out to our family and friends.

Do you design your own cards?  Maybe include a recap of your year?  

Posted in Christmas, Design, Details, Seasonal, Winter | 7 Comments
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