• Plans are only good intention unless they immediately degenerate into hard work. ~ Peter F. Drucker
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Green insulation


We knew that we wanted to incorporate green into the remodel, and an easy and way to do that was with blown-in cellulose, a product that is made from recycled newspapers, magazines, etc. The texture is truly like basic recycled papers so when they do ceilings, they put a simple screen in the joists to hold it. I first learned about it from one of my editors Erin Bean in Utah Style & Design.

The bonus is that unlike many green options, it was actually less expensive! Add in the fact that you have no toxic VOCs etc and you are sitting pretty. We used and recommend Bonded Insulation located in Murray. It only took two days to do and they were very clean and tidy.

Cellulose is blown into the framing
Jeff shows his happiness that this job is contracted out!
Light and fluffy, sort of like snow. But not, it’s gray and recycled.

We’re baaaaaack.


It’s been a while, yes a long while. No, prolonged mourning for our hamster was not the reason I haven’t updated for FOUR MONTHS (how embarrassing) but merely I’ve been overwhelmed with work, family, the holidays and now thank goodness, MOVING INTO THE HOUSE!

Yes, we are in, there is still plenty of work to do, but I’ll bring you all up to speed in no time flat. Thanks for your support and for continuing to check on the progress.

XO, H, J & A and the animals

R.I.P. Hammy Sanchez Sagar the Gagsta Hamster

I had planned on blogging about our newest family addition but not to announce his departure so soon.


We acquired Hammy Sanchez about 2 months ago from Nate who is going to school to be a vet tech. Hammy was brought into the vet hospital with an upper respiratory infection, they got him better, but his family didn’t want him anymore so after a time of not finding a new home he was going to become snake dinner. We couldn’t let that happen so he came to live with us.

After 2 other cages that he loved gnawing on, we got him a new one that was all plastic, Jetson-like and so cool! The OVO Habitrail


I highly recommend it to anyone that needs and easy to clean hamster abode. Hopefully we’ll have another one filling it space soon!


Very cute, but not very sweet at first, we got him to allow us to hold him and he quit biting in fear and LOVED his ball to roll around in every night, he would run and nearly jump into it. Gigi was his biggest fan, following him everywhere in hopes his hamster ball would pop open and she would have the fortune to have him for a snack.

Friday night he didn’t rally as he usually does about 7 p.m. to bounce into his ball and roll around the house. He was cuddled in his sleeping cage which was highly unusual. I picked him up and he was still moving, but cold and out of it and bit me twice. I nestled him in my shirt next to my heart, trying to get him warm and hoping he’d come out of it. He was at the brink and shortly later passed away.

Funeral services will be held a the new house in his custom made casket where he comfortably laid in his cage bedding with a few pretzels to get him to the other side without hunger pains. Ali decorated it and we sprinkled fairy dust on him so he will become a fairy for Ali. Internment will be in the backyard of the new house. Time and date to be announced depending on snow depth.

We miss you already Hammy Sanchez Sagar, the original gangsta hamsta.  XOXO

hey good lookin’, here’s what’s cookin’

I’m severely behind in my blogging, compared to progress done on the house, but will try to bring it up to date in the next few days. At least there will be more photos to compare progress instead of a bunch of studs hanging around. And I don’t mean just Jeff, Paul and Nate.

The kitchen cabinets are set to deliver next week which is fantastic! Our kitchen cabinet manufacturer is Teerlink Cabinets. Because we were in love with the kitchen in the SLC house we made an initial bid on and lost out on, we based the design on that kitchen. It was completely original 1960s, flat front walnut, no handles etc. Loved it! So, our new kitchen is loosely based on that. Flat fronts, walnut, no visible hinges but there will be pulls for the drawers, even though I tried to fight that battle and lost out to Jeff and our kitchen designer. Here are the designs and here’s to happy cooking!









The walnut doors will be topped with a countertop of white Carrara marble, thinly veined with gray. It’s beautiful. We’re probably going to run it as a backsplash as well. Still deciding


And the walnut is going to be gorgeous. To continue the wood theme, we are wrapping walnut veneer along the top of the fireplace and we are putting it on the east facing wall (front of the house) and the wall with the front room closet. Here’s a sample but we are doing it in 10′ panels.


flush a little, or a lot. you decide

For eau d’ toilets, we chose the Toto Aquia™ Dual Flush Toilet. The great thing about this toilet is it had a dual flush, so you can choose to flush with gusto as needed or with a gentle flow when its mellow. We had Toto toilets in Los Angeles, and Jeff loves the way the toilet lid gently falls instead of slamming when you’ve done your duty, the fact that is a bit higher for our creaking knees and an elongated seat for comfort. Plus, it’s good looking & energy efficient!


rub a dub dub, big mama in the tub

Plans, plans, we’re full of plans. Actually, the kitchen and the bath are the only two rooms that actually had plans that were drawn up. Here’s an overview:




Can’t wait to have our expanded master bath complete so I can languish in my 5’5″ Kohler Tea for Two instead of cramming myself into our rental’s 4′ straight back with a lip that crams into my back lame-o “tub” apparatus.


It’s the same tub we had in our L.A. house, and given that I take a tub every single night, you could say that I’ve missed it. No need for whirlpools and all of that extraneous jazz, just give me a good soak and I am a happy girl.

To make room for the big, deep tub, we took up 40″ of the living room and also built out the master bedroom and bath to cantilever out the backyard.


Jeff roughing out the big tub with his best friend Sierra


the box in front of the tub will be a step covered in tile


tile by the mile

We’re in the midst of choosing our tile for the baths. Originally we were going to go with recycled glass tiles by Oceanside, but changed our minds due somewhat to cost but more so because we’ve seen the look for a while now and it doesn’t seem as fresh anymore. Plus I think the irregularity of the tiles would wear on me after a while.

So, we’re going to go with matte glass, as seen at Ann Sacks in their Mondrian style. We actually found some we really love at Contempo Tile, manufactured by Walker Zanger, but their links won’t show up due to their site being in flash. We love the 2″ X 10″ look of the tiles, stacked horizontally on the walls. Clean and simple with straight lines and edges.


For the floors we’re thinking of 2″ X 2″ glass tiles in a matte smokey color.


For Ali’s bath, I want to do it in the glass penny rounds. Cute as a button just like her. This will be in the “main” bath for the house, so I want it to still be clean but have a bit of fun too.


For the downstairs bath we’re going to do concrete dyed charcoal gray on the floors and the shower, similar to our L.A. house.



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