Dec 31, 2010

Thoughts from the last day of the year

We have had, most likely to be, the most eventful year of our lives. We got engaged. I moved from Nashville to Pittsburgh. We got married. We moved in to a house. We bought a house. We moved into a DIFFERENT house. And we gutted and renovated an entire kitchen, changing the structure of our old house even. All while going full speed ahead in our careers. We have been back and forth to New York, to Nashville, to California, to some island off the coast of somewhere and back again . . .


But what an amazing year it has been. We have been so overly blessed. 

This next year we have goals: Brad's is to finish the house. Mine is to write a one hit wonder. My goal coming true would make Brad's goal coming true a lot easier. But Brad's goal is SLIGHTLY and maybe just slightly a bit more attainable. 

But I am a reach for the stars kind of girl. And if this year is any indication of what can be done in 365 days, than we've got big things ahead. 

"I've got a feeling, this years for me and you. So happy Christmas. I love you baby. I can see a better time, where all our dreams come true." - The Pogues

Dec 30, 2010

A Self Portrait

A self portrait session:

This art piece entitled:

What'd YOU do today?
by Leanne Shaffer

other tentative titles:
"Should have sprung for the Shower Cap"
by Leanne Shaffer


"I Wonder if they Make Turpentine Shampoo?"
by Leanne Shaffer


"Doc, my contacts WERE my protective eyewear."
by Leanne Shaffer

pretty good shape. . .

Last night we needed a break from the sawdust and the paint brushes. We decided to go out to a nice dinner with my brother and his girlfriend. That day Steve came over and we all worked on the kitchen all day. Again. He headed home and Brad and I went to get ready for our "date"

So after working all day, I took an extremely long shower and scrapped the paint out of my hair and got ready to go be normal for an evening.  I even painted my nails.  I was excited to go out and see what REAL people did when they weren't renovating their kitchen.

But then we realized, between the new cabinets, and the sink, and the all-clad, and the 2 by 6 wood we bought home depot out of, we had no right to go to a nice dinner at this moment. Mickey D's was about all we should be treating ourselves to. So we decided to be smart for a change and stay in. I called my brother and told him we just couldn't go out to a nice dinner TONIGHT. Soon, but not tonight. . .

He called me back a minute later and said he and his girlfriend had a nice bottle of wine and they would be over in twenty minutes.

As he opened the wine I said rather pathetically but mostly teasing, "Is this to drown our sorrows?"

Steve raised his glass, "If this is our sorrows, than we are in pretty good shape."

Dec 27, 2010

Be Our Guest

Our guest room is always open! Unless it's booked for the evening. . .

Call ahead for reservations. 

Dec 25, 2010


Our first dinner party!

Obviously our kitchen isn't done, but it is coming along nicely!

Our new pot rack

Real dishes looks so good in a real sink!

Dec 24, 2010

kitchen emergency time

michelle and greg, the sister and brother in law came over today for a kitchen emergency. we had friends coming over and needed a nice kitchen STAT. and they DID it.  Two hours, two brooms, lots of U2, and viola!



Michelle's job, the pantry!

Yep, feel proud! Also, I want everyone to know that that microwave and toaster are plugged in! That means, they don't have to be on the counter, they can hide right where they are in the pantry! Success.

And now, for Michelle Ford Faist's shameless family promotion:

Her family. Pretty. Darn. Cute!

Hey Michelle, tell Chloe and Ella to grab a mop and get over here!

Dec 22, 2010

Brad's Life Motto

Always remember Leanne. . . . Safety Third!


And here is why I have a crick in my neck. 
(Actually . . . we have a crick in the backyard too but thats a different story . . .)

I have so much white paint in my hair that even the lady at home depot was making fun of me!!

You KNOW it's bad when the Home Depot employees make fun of your home projects.  . . She even went so far as to do the old "Did you get any on the wall??" line. . .


So I told her that orange apron made her look washed out.* 

*No.  I didn't.


Today is Wednesday. We are hosting a dinner party on Thursday night with five of my best friends from high school and their plus ones.  . . .





Dec 21, 2010

Shout Outs.

To Mom:

Thanks for doing our 8 loads of laundry at your house since our "included appliances" don't actually work. And thank you for bringing ham sandwiches for Brad, the electrician and me to eat when you brought the laundry back. You supplied us with lunch, and a very similiar dinner.

To Lynn, Brad's mom:

Thank you for supplying us with paper plates and bowls, without which we would most likely be eating out of a Lay's chip bag. Thank you for spending four hours tearing off the wallpaper in the kitchen. I'm glad you don't know that that is actually the wall we just fully tore DOWN.

Steve, my brother:

Thank you for eating Mad Mex with me late night on a weekday and letting me vent about the dusty life. And letting me eat most of the chips and salsa. And then asking for more. Also, thanks for bringing your very fun and very productive friends over. And yelling at them when they needed to get back to work.

Michelle, my sister:
Thank you for OFFERING up your laundry to use, and not making fun of the fact that we needed to use it. Also thanks for all your old Elle Decor magazines. Even if they ain't no Domino.

Greg, my brother in law:
Thank you for helping us move all of our junk from my mom's garage into the budget truck and your Honda (Blue Steel I think you call it?) and NOT making fun of the fact that it looked like actual junk. You were a ray of light in a sea of darkness. And that sea of darkness happens to be my family making fun of my junk.

Jay, Brad's dad:

Thank you for helping out yesterday! And taking our kitchen from "Uh . .. " to "YEA!" Thank you for reminding Brad to wear his safety goggles. And for going back to get the drinks after the Pizza Place didn't hand them over. The Coke is in the fridge when you get thirsty.

Thanks for not being scared to come over and help us! And thank you for not making fun of how big my feet are while you wore my old converse. . .oh ... .wait. . .. And thank you for letting us eat half of Nanny's leftovers. That was a serious sacrifice! And thanks for getting a job at Crate and Barrel so we can get that white couch we want to match our leather couch for the family room. Hint. Hint.


Thank you for being here for now TWO, wait THREE room projects! AND for getting a tetanus shot before you came over. Phew. 


Thank you for coming over to scrape and paint and helping me while away the hours with good life stories and girl talk. Also, thank you for leaving your ipod speakers here. You might be MVP for that alone!

Thank you for helping Brad burn everything that was most likely illegal to burn in Sewickley and being ready to protect him when and if the cops came around. Thank you also for cleaning up Tonka's pee stain on Tom's water bowl. 


Mr. Trustmeivedonethisbefore, Thank you for actually KNOWING how to pull a tree down, and not just SAYING you did. Also, thanks for being the fastest primer and window framer this side of the Mississippi.


Thank you for ACTUALLY wearing my paint converse and not making fun of me. And thank you for yelling nicely at everyone for lollygagging! Impressive. Also, thank you for that Pedicure last month. I am still trying to keep it alive. 


Thank you for giving Brad and I actual LEGIT advice and helping us with the complicated kitchen sections! Also thank you for being married to a Restoration Hardware store employee. 

Jen Shine:
Thank you for eating our leftover spaghetti that I made you in the microwave and for not making fun of the fact that the microwave was smaller than the take out box the food was in. Ok, so you DID make fun of our little microwave, but you didn't seem to complain when I kept serving you lukewarm tea out of it. So thank you for that. 


Even though you two just HAD to watch some game while doing it, thank you for helping put together the cabinets. I tried to do some the next day and sat there dumbfounded for forty five minutes. Then again, it could have been because The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills was on . . . .


Thank you for knowing how to DJ, bartend, climb a tree, build a dam, demo a kitchen AND know the value of vintage bottles and how to research them. Geesh. What a guy!

Thank you for finally being the hero to REMOVE the tree that sat in our front yard for a couple weeks. And thank you for saying, "But I might be wrong" after saying that the supporting beam for the second floor that the Amish men put in wasn't actually holding anything up.

Brad, my husband:

Thank you for saying that you love me as much as you love your power tools. And thank you for being so good looking while using them! And thank you for knowing how to use them and for being so handy. And thank you for wearing your safety goggles and therefore allowing me to have a husband with two eyes til death do us part.

Tonight Brad thanked me for being such a good wife and being so open and cool about this "little adventure" we are on of redoing our house.

I kissed him.

And then I sweetly told him that our next "little adventure" better be a trip to Europe or something!!!!

Dec 20, 2010

Forget Oprah!

This is the SHAFFER Book Club!*

This is the quality read happening in our house right now.  Love and decorating. What my life consists of at the moment.  Read along with "us" and discuss.

*please note. Brad is NOT in this book club, nor will he be in any book club, and can not endorse these publications. So when I said "us" I really just meant me, myself and I. Sometimes Brad looks at pictures with me.

Kitchen Playlist.

I have decided to keep track from now on of what we listen to while working on our little school house in the woods.

So to update you:

While ripping drywall off with Cailey on Tuesday afternoon:
Janet Jackson, "Together Again" on repeat
Mika, "Love Today"
Scissor Scissors "Music is the Victim" and "I Don't feel Like Dancing"
Pretty much those songs over and over again.

Saturday Night while putting up our new wall. . .
Blind Pilot album

A lot of Ray Lamontagne, which our electrician loves. And then I put on a little Josh Ritter to switch it up and he got all excited. I promised him I would make a Josh mix for him tomorrow. And tonight, a lot of Joe Purdy has been blasting through our kitchen. And I am sure to my husband's shagrin, as I type this I can hear Patty Griffin singing to me through the floor from the guest room into the kitchen.

Luckily Brad doesn't have an iPod or we would be listening to Bone Thugs and Harmony all day everyday.

"Ba ba ba baaaaaaa ba baaaa. Tell me whatcha gonna do, when there aint no dish to dry. . . " - a loose translation of bone.

Tough as Nails

Working on the house is not only hard on the body, not only hard on the bank account, not only hard on the dog, not only hard on the sleep schedule . . .

its hard on the nails.

After the painting, the ripping, the splinters, the bruises,the destruction and the construction. . . .I am going to get a manicure. And maybe if I feel like splurging, a pedicure! And I am taking Brad with me. With six splinters, one almost missing nail and counting. . . . that man deserves a mani!

Sorry Brad. You will thank me later. I promise.

Dec 17, 2010

a sinking feeling

that was then . .. 

this is now. . . 

all done!

ok, just kidding, but if you look deep within that mess you see a BEAUTIFUL white farm sink. and it works! 
By sunday this should be a beautiful room!

Wish us luck! And we will wish you over!

Dec 16, 2010

Its happening!

Yesterday we got running water in our kitchen. And I started to feel more hydrated already thanks to Tom the plumber!

And if I had music to my blog right now I would post the theme song to Cheers! We had a CREW last night rolling in to save the day. My brother, the task master, Mr. Trustmeivedone this before, the fire started Paul, the paint nazi Alyssa (which I loved about her) and Cailey the smiley trim painter!

They rolled in at nine at night and we cranked through project after project and really got somewhere!

Oh man, do I feel better already. So thank you to the crew! "Sometimes you gotta go, where everybody knows your nammmmme. . .. "

I will let the pictures do the talking.

we found the original schoolhouse beadboard under the drywall when Brad was exposing pipes for the plumber. The wierd part is this is EXACTLY what we were going to buy to put up in the kitchen. So we decided to go for the real thing and took down ALL the dry wall. That was a huge messy project and Cailey helped us with that. Then we framed in the windows, I really wanted to go with the old school square wide frame and I LOVE it!

Pat and Steve were in charge of the framing. It was perfect, they even made a crooked window perfect. Such pros!

My cutest paint pose. 

Pat breaking and entering. 

He was trying to get the window unstuck. Nope. Painted over it, we will probably see him out there again in the summer.

We took a bonfire break.

Progress! The priming has begun!

Brad hard at work. Steve LOOKING like he is hard at work. Tom along for the ride.

Our happy trimmer

The neglected Christmas tree in the neglected living room

Sorry Cailey! 

Every one is still in suprisingly good spirits despite the cricks in the necks

"Come on! Its three AM, what's a guy gotta do to get some sleep around here!" - Tom Ford

This is where the cheers song would start playing. . . .

Brad, don't let work stop you from a good old beer break

"See Tom Ford quote" - Pat

The paint nazi gets something in her eye! Might be paint. 

A thank goodness kiss. Even Pat feels good about it back there!