Wednesday, July 22, 2009

remodeling :: kitchen inspiration

We are getting closer to seeing our small budget, dream kitchen come together so I'm finally getting filled with excitement again! After a year of extreme patience, I started to lose my focus and had no inspiration. This week while digging through our 'book of inspiration' I started to regain some of my design spunk back and thought I would share some. . .

Coastal Living,

I'm loving this island! Although it's mostly enclosed and used as functional storage, the large curvacious legs and small open shelving gives it a totally carefree look. It's the perfect mix between Eric's traditional and my eclectic styles.

Cottage Living,

Can't you just picture yourself in this warm kitchen with the 'oh so cool' cottage meets modern-traditional style? The dark wood floors (which we're looking forward to in our own kitchen) help the green cabinets pop while still feeling cool and airy with the white paint and open shelving on the walls. My secret lust in this room is the bar stool bench! I am definitely going to incorporate this style in our kitchen. It gives it a living space feel without actually having to add square footage. And don't even get me started on the zinc island counter top . . . Yes, that's right. Zinc. Isn't it gorgeous?

Elle Decor,

This kitchen screams Eric while echoing classic. The white classic look is where
we started with our dream kitchen  but we've continued to cut and paste our 
own styles into the mix. . .

Again with the traditional and classic look . . . Very clean, crisp and inspiring!

Metropolitan Home,

This kitchen inspiration is my "if i were a bachelorette" look but I had to throw it in there. The grey cabinetry is so glamorous when it's mixed with the glass tiles. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Believe it or not I was actually contemplating getting rid of our small 3 year old yorkie . . . with contractors coming and going Indie really hasn't been very sensitive to the fact that Lucas can't take naps with loud consistent barking! (especially in a small apartment)

I have been dog sitting for a friend since last Thursday and have realized how great Indie actually is. (besides the annoying and steady high-pitched bark)

He sits, lays down, stays on command and walks on a leash . . .well, he pulls on a leash, but at least I don't have to drag him. 

Now he can peruse around the yard with his collar flipped up and some confidence on his sleeve because dog sitting has not only proved to me that one small dog is enough for the Toribio household right now, but it has rekindled my love for him! How cute is he? He even sat there for me to take this picture of him.

tree hugger/planet lover

Ok . . .Now I can sleep at night. We wondered through the downtown streets of Beaumont, Texas and found Gulf Coast Recycling Co. as if it had been waiting for us for 6 months! I had begun to second guess myself after I loaded up the kids with the back of my car completely filled with 1-week worth of paper, plastic and aluminum. But as we pulled up to our destination with mother earth in mind, even Noelle got excited. Our recycling trip exceeded our expectations and motivated us to continue with our weekly trips downtown in an effort to be green. Now with Noelle on board, we can get back to living a semi-normal life . . .

So much for the Struggling Tree Hugger and say hello to the Planet Lover!

Monday, July 13, 2009


Since we have lived in Beaumont, Texas I have not been recycling simply because the city does not have a recycling program. I thought moving to a larger town (especially 1 hour away from Houston) would mean a better city budget which would mean better community programs, including recycling . . .

When we bought the house last July the previous owner had left his "city of Beaumont" recycling bins so I just assumed that I would be able to kick it in gear and continue my obsession with recycling. Once I moved here I quickly found out that the blue city bins thrown in the back corner of our garage were strictly used as personal storage . . .the city of Beaumont Texas no longer has a recycling program! In fact, the mayor made a comment in a local magazine that the city has not plans for a recycling program because it cost too much. Yikes!

Seriously! My consistent weekly recycling has become a greater challenge for me. I am obsessed with recycling the typical stuff (like glass, aluminum, plastic and paper) and never imagined that I would have to do all of the online and phonebook research to find local coastal recycling companies. For 4 months I have gone without recycling and almost gave myself an ulcer so I decided to start hording all of my little pieces of "eco-un-friendly" products. Meanwhile, I continued on my mission for recycling . . .I wasn't going to let the city of Beaumont get in my way even if it has become the most inconvenient thing for me to do.

Unfortunately, last week I found out my husband has been throwing all of my recycling items away . . .apparently he thought I was putting trash down in the garage for him to put in our city trash cans. (obviously he's not joining me on my mission) My recycling project has become a crazy adventure but with 1-week worth of garbage saved I am looking forward to making a "recycling drop" this evening. If all goes well, maybe I will be able to sleep at night because my 20 water bottles per day will be recycled instead of piling up on mother earth!

And yes, I am incorporating a recycling bins right next to our garbage can in our brand new kitchen! 

Cheers to the Struggling Planet Lover, Tree Hugger!

Thursday, July 9, 2009


                     Lucas was supposed to be taking a nap after his afternoon swim and Noelle and her friend Abby were still swimming away. I thought I would catch up on some things so I brought my computer outside by the pool so I could multi-task while watching the girls. 

As soon as I sat down to conquer a few things my skype immediately started blinking. Much to my amazement my very bestest friend (and cousin) Lins was skyping me! I was so excited! Unfortunately I don't have the "new apple" with the "cool camera." I've got the old school PowerBook G4 and of course my camera is packed away somewhere in no man's land. So we began to chat (our only option for the moment) and then all of a sudden I wasn't able to hear her at all! She's got the "cool apple" so I could watch her . . .it became so confusing for us both but we laughed the whole time just like the good 'ol times. She couldn't see me but could hear me and I could see her but couldn't hear her . . .It was the craziest and weirdest skype of my life. But we both managed even through the laughter to carry on a conversation and catch up on our crazy lives even with her being across the world. 

Lins ( is an amazing woman who is in South Africa doing some mission work with YWAM. She has traveled with YWAM all over the world and carries back her emotional and unbelievably great photography for us all to see. I have two of her beautiful pieces of work framed in our apartment right now. There is not a day that goes by that I don't look at those two pictures as not only a reminder to pray for her, but also to pray for those who live oceans and seas apart from me. I often ponder who is standing in that area right now. What life is breathing there? Are they having a good day or a troubled day? Are they in love or in despair? We get so comfortable in our own lives that we forget that there is a whole world out there that needs our prayers!

I miss her so much and feel so blessed to have something as great as skype that we can catch up and pretend that she's just around the corner. If she could have seen me she would have seen me with a full on "mother do." Here are my pics of my skyping moment by the pool . . .

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

wine & cheese

A few days ago I actually found myself with some alone time. . .Lucas was taking a late nap and Noelle was eating dinner with her mom. No iCarly on the TV, no stepping on squeaky toys, no toddler screaming for attention, no husband around, and no cooking dinner.  Just me and the silence. 

So I did what any other 'moderne mom' would do. . .I opened a bottle of wine. Then I remembered that I just may be lucky enough to have some cheese tucked away behind all of the leftovers in the fridge. 

There I was, finally relaxing with my hair in a ponytail and my feet kicked up, when my 'modern mom' moment went from fab to drab. I realized my wine and cheese date with myself was not exactly as luxe as it felt. All our wine glasses are still packed so my cheap wine felt even cheaper in our tortoise glazed juice cups and the kids' string cheese was the only thing I could find. This situation is so typical of my life right now but for some reason I couldn't keep from loving the humor in it all. My outburst of laughter got the best of me and I forgot that I was still living in a 700 sq. ft. apartment with Lucas sleeping 5 ft. away from me. Woops! Needless to say he woke up and my tortoise juice cup of wine was never finished. 


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