A lot of the more technical aspects of blogging are very confusing to me. Things like web hosting, domain registration, and coding get me feeling totally overwhelmed. There are a couple of changes I’ve been wanting to make behind the scenes for a while and one of them is web hosting. I’m officially making the switch today from Hostgator to A Small Orange. The process has gone really smoothly so far, which is saying something because this stuff is complicated, but my site may be intermittently unavailable today while everything settles in. So I’m taking the day off from posting (except for this note). I hope you each have a fabulous Thursday, and thanks as always for reading!

movin on up

After I decided to hang the larger of two silver platters over my stove the smaller one sat on my dining room table for a week or two waiting to go back to my mother in law. One day while I was tidying up it occurred to me that I might as well find a pretty place for it in the meantime and within a few minutes I’d set it up in this little corner of the kitchen. The grouping of canisters and jars looks so much neater now! (you can see a picture of them sans platter in this post)

silver platter

I also spent about sixty seconds decluttering all of the magnets and papers on the side of our refrigerator. Now there are only a few small magnets, a timer, our menu, our family meeting agenda (still going strong with both of those!), and the memo board where we jot down things we need from the grocery that aren’t on my regular list.

silver platter 3

Since I’ve been making a more efficient use of space in the pantry I now have room to put things near where we actually use them, like potholders next to the stove and stuff for beverages right below where we store all of our cups and glasses. I drink black tea every morning so I keep a couple dozen bags in a tall canister on the counter, but it’s much easier to restock now that the big box is right here instead of shoved back on the top shelf of the pantry.

101 (570x380)

Nick’s mom came to visit this weekend and said that as long as I was using the platter I could keep it. I was thrilled! She gave me a yummy Mrs. Meyer’s candle too (along with a bunch of other goodies; she is so sweet). The label was small and cute but I pulled it off anyway and now it sits on the platter. It’s the little jelly jar with a black lid.

silver platter 2

It’s funny how sometimes the smallest details, like having a tray or platter under a grouping of several functional items, can make me so happy. It inspired me to tidy up that whole corner and now it’s my favorite spot in the kitchen. That could have something to do with the fact that it’s where I get caffeine in the morning and wine in the evenings, but, you know, I like it even better since it looks pretty.

Would you believe me if I told you that I have never stripped a piece of furniture before? I paint stuff all the time, but I usually just go right over whatever was already there and don’t worry about removing the old finish. But after polling y’all on the potential fate of Jack’s new bed last week I started thinking that maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to refinish them in a dark stain.

004 (570x380)

Green won with more than 50% of the vote, but I was still hesitant. And the more I thought about it, the more I felt like if I was in doubt then I should go for something timeless. Also, I was kind of excited to try something new. I keep a pot of stain around for small projects but have never stained anything bigger than a chair before. So on Saturday I dragged a few of the smaller pieces out to the back deck to try my hand at stripping. Don’t mind my complete lack of a photogenic work station. What you see below is the progress I’d made after an hour of sanding. One piece down, ten to go.

004 (570x380)

Even after an hour of sanding there were still some tight spots and corners that I couldn’t get with my power sander, so I applied some of this citrus-based stripping gel that I already had. I painted it on and then waited a few hours before scrubbing it with a wire brush.

005 (570x380)

But even after that I still had a lot of areas where the old finish remained, and I’m now pretty sure I need to scrub it down with soap and water to remove all the residue left by the Citristrip. Not worth it.

012 (2) (570x380)

I’m kind of at a loss because I don’t want to put a lot of effort into painting if there’s a chance that I’ll hate it and I also don’t want to spend twelve hours sanding in preparation for stain. So now I’m actually considering using gel stain, which I hear is more like paint in that it sits on top of the old finish but still allows the grain to show through. I may pick some up to test in a small area before committing. Do any of you have experience with it?

Many of you may not know that I used to have a pet rabbit. His name was Harold and I got him when I was a college sophomore in 2005. He passed away Easter weekend in 2011. I love rabbits, so when I heard that local bunny rescue Magic Happens was holding a fundraiser that allowed folks to pose for photos with adoptable bunnies for a small donation I was all about it.

059 (570x380)

We talked all day about how we were going to see the bunnies later. We watched YouTube videos of bunnies and discussed the importance of being gentle. All that prep paid off because when we got there Jack was not only thrilled to see the bunnies but also a perfect gentleman (though I can’t take all the credit; it was pure luck that he was in a good mood that day).

060 (570x380)

There were dogs for adoption around the corner, so after we’d said hi to all the bunnies we wandered over to visit the dogs. Then we let Jack go run around in a grassy area nearby.

087 (570x381)

He’s still really into peekaboo. It never gets old.

066 (570x380)

122 (570x380)

095 (570x381)

This picture would be so much cuter if he weren’t holding an empty bottle of Diet Coke, but that’s not a battle I was willing to wage.

125 (381x570)

We had one of those wonderful weekends that seemed to stretch on and on in the best possible way. The weather has been so beautiful lately and we’re taking advantage of it by spending lots of time outside before it starts to get really hot next month. I hope you each had a fabulous weekend as well. Thanks for reading!