In, Out, Up, Down

This weekend was all over the place in a glorious mixture of projects that involved tomatoes, a toilet, the kitchen, and a thousand-pound armoire. Right? Craziness. My favorite state of being.

A Real Life Kitchen Tour

So for any of you tidy souls out there who always put things back into their proper place (bless your organized little hearts) you may want to close your eyes for this part.


What you might be able to see in this photo, other than the obvious mess, is that even with cabinets and closet shelves, there was still one part of the organization equation missing… a pantry.

The food is either stored on the fridge, in the fridge, or in the middle of the table.

I originally planned to build some adjustable wood shelves for the pantry, but necessity got the better of me, so I spray painted some cheap white wire shelving black… (Along with a picture frame and most of my feet.)


You might recall that the last time I was installing this type of shelving we had an earthquake and that I literally thought I shook the entire planet with the intensity of my frustration.

This is me holding a shelf in place, checking level, and snapping a picture all at the same time.


But the end result was worth it.


I thought I was maxed out on groceries until I put everything away…and now I’m thinking I could basically stock up on food for the entire winter and not leave the house for six months. Does anyone know where I can get a fifty-pound sack of flour?

Seriously, having a kitchen pantry has just become a “must” for future houses.

Tomatoes & Toilets

You might have noticed the huge bowl of tomatoes sitting on the kitchen table, which I take zero credit for producing. My gardening efforts went so far as to stick four tomato plants in the ground and never touch them again. But they do seem to be doing just fine without me.


Instead of letting all of these beauties go to waste, I headed over to my mothers house for the double-duty of installing her toilet and making salsa. Because really, what could be a better activity to do simultaneously with toilet installation than cooking something.

The salsa was excellent, by the way. Getting the toilet out of the tub and where to where it was supposed to be (without dropping it) was slightly more challenging.


But never underestimate women for being able to contort themselves into tiny spaces with plumbing fixtures. The actual installation was quick and easy, and now– for the first time in over a year– my mom has a working toilet on her first floor!

Three Girls + Three Flights of Stairs

Since the toilet maneuvering went so well, I decided to up my game and help one of my friends move some of her stuff out her third-floor apartment. And we’re not talking boxes of dishes here, we’re talking about an entertainment center that apparently was lined with lead and could serve the dual purpose of “portable bomb shelter” in times of need.

There were just three of us girls there –no big, strong dudes in sight– and this stuff needed to get moved ASAP. So we rolled up our sleeves, did dome un-ladylike grunting, and moved an apartment’s worth of furniture down three flights of stairs and into the truck.


Men, one day I’m going to figure out the trick to opening my own pickle jars and you’re all going to be completely superfluous.

Actually, there is nothing at all wrong with making guys do the heavy lifting, but I have to say that moving furniture with other women is so much easier. Maybe not from a deadlifting perspective, but half the time when I’m moving something heavy with a guy I need psychic powers and a secret decoder ring just to figure out who is going to go first down the stairs. Women put together a detailed plan of a attack before we even touch a piece of furniture, and you know what?  Not once this entire weekend did I get stuck in a stairwell wedged between a wall and a couch.


15 Responses

  1. I love to hear that girls-only moving worked out for you. I’ve always wondered how well it works, but have never tried, since I have two strong-armed brothers (one of whom I have bribed with free food or beer to help me every time I’ve moved-all 4 times-in the past 3 years).
    By the way, I’m totally fascinated-on the verge of becoming obsessed-with your blog. I’m helping my boyfriend with the installation of a garage apartment that we’ll move into in December, and I told him the other day that I didn’t have a dream wedding, but as a little girl I always doodled my dream house…and since I don’t live in it yet, I still do!
    Thanks for being such an awesome chick!

  2. Pickle jar trick: Run the lid under hot water, then bang the bejeebus out of the edge of the lid – I use a knife, but whatever’s handy (screwdriver? wrench?). There ya go (sorry, men!). 🙂

  3. Great job on the pantry – wish I had one.

    You might be better off with it looking kinda empty – that way you can better keep track of what you have & what you need. You may want some containers to corral small items or packets that don’t have flat bottoms.

    Keep up the good work – you are well on your way to having a showplace!

  4. KAHLUA!!! Yet another reason why I like you! Oh yeah, there IS some food stuff in there also. Great job on the liquor storage, I mean pantry.

  5. Pickle jar tip: take a butter knife and bang all around the edge of the lid where it meets the jar. What you want to do is break the seal between lid and jar. As for the guys moving big items… really, it’s a guy thing. Two guys who never met can get on either end of a couch, move it the door, turn it, and hustle it down the stairs and never say a word. Get a woman involved and it’s… well, not as smooth!

  6. On that pickle jar thing- turn the jar upside down and bang the top flat on the counter top. Sounds scary, but it works, and you don’t end up with dents all around the edge of the top, either.

  7. LOL about your entrapment-free moving experience! I’ve never moved without men, but it definitely sounds like the way to go.
    And I love the top shelf of your pantry!
    Fresh tomatoes and booze. It’s all good.
    Thanks for some smiles.
    And yes, inverting the pickle jar and giving it a firm but gentle smack on the counter really does work, although it seems to alarm my husband.

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