Skip to main content

Featured Blog Post of the Day:

Because Sometimes a King Mattress is Too Small

Look! Up In The Sky! It's a Bird. It's a Plane. It's...

(cue suspenseful music)

DUN NAH NUH
What's bigger than a king-size Amerisleep mattress? An Amerisleep Superbed!

As you know, my nerdy engineer husband, SN, and I recently ordered two new twin XL mattresses from Amerisleep. The AS4 bed didn't work out for us (too soft and mushy for our taste) but we loved the extra-firm AS2 bed. It's perfect for people who sleep on their back (SN) and on their stomach (me). SN liked it even better than the AS3 bed we'd slept on since 2012 and I thought it was at least equal to that mattress, which is now making our relatives happy in the guest bedroom. The AS2 costs a little less than the AS3 and a lot less than the AS4. Who would have thought the less expensive option would be the better choice, right? Money really doesn't buy happiness.
(Okay, in all honesty, I think I prefer the AS3 just a hair over the AS2. Your first choice is usually the right choice.)

We love…

The BEST Kitchen (N)ever

Update: Since posting this, we've added a red brick backsplash and the most gorgeous Pottery Barn cabinet hardware. Check out our new kitchen photos.

I've been fretting about our new kitchen for a little while now. Since...2011? With our open floor plan, the kitchen is the main focal point of the home. You see it when you walk through the front door, when you're in the living room, from the dining room, etc. You can't miss it. So, my thinking is that if the kitchen sucks, the house sucks. And when you've been designing the house since 2011, that really can't be an option.

We've also been determined not to build a boring house. Ours should be unique! Does unique = sucky? Whenever I'd describe our kitchen to someone, there would always be at least one detail that confused/worried/frustrated them. A sink with horses? Mirrored cabinets 12 feet high?! In my mind, everything looks amazing. But how would these wild design ideas work in real life?

Last week, we finally got to find out.

Soon there will be not one, but TWO dishwashers. Sadly though, neither is self-loading. You just know that's going to be invented a week after we move in.

The white backdrop makes fun holiday decorating a breeze.

We absolutely LOVE our hammered copper sink, though I suspect it's not the name-brand one the eBay seller claimed. The horses looked like majestic stallions in the listing and these have more of the My Little Pony quality you'd expect from counterfeit artisans across the border. Still, the sink seems solid.

Plus, it was a screamin' deal.

Our drawers have been redone since my previous kitchen blog post. Don't they look so much better?

Also, I should note that the grout color on the floor is actually much darker than shown here. Everything is just so dusty!

This is all still a work in progress. Crown molding will be installed on top of each cabinet soon and Sexy Nerd is going to add a red brick backsplash from countertop to ceiling after we move in. I have no idea what color hardware to choose.

And my mirrored doors! I've been so worried about this wall, certain one day that it's going to be stunningly beautiful and certain the next it will be a disaster. Below them is going to be a library bar for a ladder. They were actually built incorrectly, as the design specified 8 small doors, not 4 small and 2 large, but I think I'm happy with the look as is. They bounce the light around and reflect the wood ceiling.

I love how our kitchen is turning out, but what kind of professional, "highly recommended" custom cabinet builder builds the wrong number of doors? 6 versus 8 is kindergarten math.

Apparently, one of the crew members became so fed up while installing our cabinets that they stabbed this one. The cut goes all the way through! I'm sure it will be repaired or replaced. I'm also sure I'm glad we waited until the cabinets had been installed to visit the house that day.

That's enough kitchen photos for now.

What's that, you say? I didn't even show you a photo of the entire kitchen?

Hmmm, thinks Sexy Nerd. Should we show some more photos?

Ta da!

He's also pondering that it would sure be nice not to see a dumpster through our windows anymore. More than a year in, I bet the neighbors feel the same.

That goes double for the Porta Potty at the end of our cul-de-sac.

It's all coming together. We've even had a little party already.

My mom, shown here, was so excited when she saw our kitchen for the first time that she even used the word "freaking". As in, it looks freaking gorgeous. And she hates white kitchens. And she does not say freaking.

When cooking in the kitchen, you're still part of the crowd in the living room. Just wait until Sexy Nerd gets his chandeliers installed. He built them himself and they're 7 feet tall!

Also, perhaps I should have tidied up the island before snapping this photo.

Here is the view when you enter the house through the foyer, albeit not quite so crooked. Unless maybe you've been enjoying a margarita on our patio.

There's still a lot to do, which I suppose goes without saying after posting the previous photo of a de-drywalled (for the second time!) foyer. Sexy Nerd is going to build an island that will act as a divider between the two rooms. It's going to seat...well, I'm not sure how many yet, but you'll have the option to sit facing the kitchen or the living room. You'll even have the option to sit facing the front yard or the back - the island is going to be on beautiful wheels! If anyone out there knows where I can actually buy beautiful wheels, please let me know ASAP. Although my husband is handy, his design sense can be a bit questionable sometimes. If I don't find beautiful wheels for the new island soon, he's going with black rubber ones. "They're the most practical choice," he insists.

Bah.

There are also a few cabinet problems that need to be corrected. The biggest is that the range is not centered under the hood, which was so important that we even sent an email to the cabinet builder months ago, stressing that it absolutely must be centered. We stated that his design appeared to be off by exactly one inch. It seemed like a silly, overkill sort of thing to do at the time. Surely someone who builds custom cabinets for a living has enough common sense and math skills to center the focal point of the kitchen with the vault of the ceiling, right? But here we are, with the range off by exactly one inch. The range is haphazardly dropped beneath the hood and there is noticeably more countertop space to the left than the right. The builder and the foreman must not have been paying any attention to our house. Have I mentioned we broke ground June, 2016?

Really, the actual biggest problem (the biggest, biggest) is that there doesn't seem to be any possible way to correct this mistake, short of ripping out the kitchen cabinets and countertops and starting over. I don't see that happening.

It's complicated.

Popular posts from this blog

A Blogger's Before & After Guide to Chemical Peels

A Handy "Before & After" Guide to Chemical Peels - 7/6/18 Update
Since writing my chemical peel blog review back in 2013, I've had quite a few Jessner peels (my favorite) and TCA peels. However, I've saved a ton of money over the past 6 months by doing my own chemical peels at home. At my last professional peel, I made a note of the product being used and did some research when I got home. I was able to buy the exact same one, Dermalure Jessner Solution Acid Peel 14%, from Amazon for less than the cost of a single peel. I also use Dermalure's AHA/BHA Acne Cleanser, which I apply before the Jessner. (Side note: There's currently a 1-star review for the at-home peel that complains "I had to deal with days upon days of gross peeling and flakey chunks of skin falling off my face (and I have super oily skin). If I happened to laugh really hard on a particular day or take a big bite out of my food, well guess what? The skin around my mouth and cheeks would …

Amerisleep Mattress Reviews

Best Amerisleep Promo Code as of : $200 Off and Free Shipping

My Amerisleep mattress reviews are NOT sponsored. Unlike other "impartial" reviewers out there, we did NOT receive our AS3 bed for free. All of the opinions here are 100% honest and unbiased. My husband, the overly analytical mechanical engineer, was skeptical of a mail order mattress, but he was quickly won over, as you'll see below.


Mattress in a box - the future is here!

6/12/18 Update: We recently moved into a new home and needed a new mattress for our guest bedroom. Of course, we went with Amerisleep again. We put out 6-year-old king AS3 in the guest room and ordered a brand-new Twin XL AS2 and Twin XL AS4 for our master bedroom, thinking we would push them together. Terrible choice! The AS4 was too soft and unsupportive for either of us. We exchanged the two twins for a King AS2, thinking it and the AS3 were so similar that it wasn't worth the extra cost for the AS3. Ack, another poor choice! The AS2 is…

Dream Home Dreaming

*Update*
We've finally broken ground on our mountain dream home! Can you believe it? Even more surprising, we actually managed to work a good chunk of this list into our actual design. See below for details.

*Another Update*
We've finished construction and are finally living in our mountain dream home and it's even better than I'd hoped! Here is a sneak-peak of our new kitchen and living room. Click the "Decorating" button above for more photos.

Believe it or not, our budget was meager. Really! My husband built the coffee table from an olive trunk and did the thin brick backsplash himself. Eventually, he's going to take the brick all the way to the top of the ceiling. He also created the three-tier chandeliers (three chandeliers total - yeah, he's pretty great!). 
I was responsible for all of the shopping and decorating decisions and design details and layout. We had the tongue-and-groove installed upside down (rough-side down) with Sherwin Williams H…

Instant Pot Explosion

While you're here, please be sure to check out my Instant Pot recipes: Creamy Enchilada Rice and Cranberry Oatmeal with Quinoa
We love our Instant Pot, the digital pressure cooker that seems to suddenly be in every home. You can't mess up - just throw in random ingredients and you'll get something yummy every time. It's foolproof. At least, that's how I used to feel about our Instant Pot, until the explosion...

Ack! We just moved in and look what I've already done to my brand new, all-white kitchen!
I tried to re-seal the vent but the pressure was too high to cooperate. I'm honestly not sure what went wrong with this batch of oatmeal. I've made it a million times. The Instant Pot was only about halfway full.

Here is the link to my extra-healthy Super Oatmeal Instant Pot recipe, in case you are curious or a fan of the delicious. It probably won't explode when you make it.
Oatmeal? More like a batch of tasty homemade glue.
 I was bummed that my quic…

Flooring Ideas

Ever since we purchased our 13.1 acre (gotta get credit for that extra 0.1 acre!) lot outside of Albuquerque last year, Sexy Nerd and I have devoted most of our free time to planning our mountain dream home.

We cannot make a decision about anything. At this point, it seems our best option would be to build a row of townhomes, each in a completely different style. On Monday, we would live in our colorful Victorian home, and later in the week we could switch things up in our ultra-contemporary, all concrete house.

Since I can't imagine our neighborhood HOA (or our budget) ever allowing such a thing, we really do need to narrow down our list of ideas.

Flooring is a tough choice. In our current home, we have premium laminate flooring. It stands up well against our rambunctious dogs, but is easily damaged if you unknowingly drip water onto it and let it sit, like by the dog's water bowl and the dishwasher. We also have real wood flooring on our stairs and our bedroom sitting area,…

Cranberry Oatmeal with Quinoa - Instant Pot Recipe

In response to my popular Instant Pot Explosion blog post, I've had a few blog readers ask for my oatmeal recipe. This seems a bit odd...you guys aren't trying to recreate that gooey mess in your own kitchens, right? My recipe does make delicious, foolproof Instant Pot oatmeal. It's only for patient people though. Whatever you do, do not manually release the pressure valve at the end of the cooking cycle!

Super oatmeal. See the little specks? That's part of what makes it so super.
The best thing about my recipe is that it's much healthier than regular oatmeal recipes. Start your day with this and you can feel better about all those cookies and fried donuts and ice cream (I have a bit of a sweet tooth) you munch on throughout the rest of the day. This can also be made in a slow cooker or Crock Pot. I've been cooking up batches of my Super Oatmeal for years, long before I'd heard of the Instant Pot, and have even gifted the dry ingredients to health-conscious…

Because Sometimes a King Mattress is Too Small

Look! Up In The Sky! It's a Bird. It's a Plane. It's...

(cue suspenseful music)

DUN NAH NUH
What's bigger than a king-size Amerisleep mattress? An Amerisleep Superbed!

As you know, my nerdy engineer husband, SN, and I recently ordered two new twin XL mattresses from Amerisleep. The AS4 bed didn't work out for us (too soft and mushy for our taste) but we loved the extra-firm AS2 bed. It's perfect for people who sleep on their back (SN) and on their stomach (me). SN liked it even better than the AS3 bed we'd slept on since 2012 and I thought it was at least equal to that mattress, which is now making our relatives happy in the guest bedroom. The AS2 costs a little less than the AS3 and a lot less than the AS4. Who would have thought the less expensive option would be the better choice, right? Money really doesn't buy happiness.
(Okay, in all honesty, I think I prefer the AS3 just a hair over the AS2. Your first choice is usually the right choice.)

We love…

A Nightmare Jessner Peel Side Effect

Almost as popular as my Amerisleep mattress reviews, the Jessner chemical peel post here on my blog has been a reader favorite for years. I'm still doing my own peels at home and still recommend this to anyone concerned about acne scars or wrinkles. However, last night I did have a Jessner peel scare.

As written before, timing is everything with a chemical peel. You don't want pieces of dead skin (yuck, right?) flaking off at work or at important social events. I've wanted to do one for months but things kept getting in the way, like extra days spent at work and our recent trip to California. Finally, last night I was able to treat myself to an at-home Jessner peel. (Using this product from Amazon, in case you want to try it for yourself.) I've done this so many times that the steps are automatic. I applied three layers of Jessner solution, brushed my teeth, and went to bed. Snuggled into our new mattress and a mountain of blankets, I fell into a deep sleep. I dreamed …

We're Now the Owners of Amerisleep AS2, AS3, and AS4 Mattresses

$250 Amerisleep promo code at the bottom of this post :)
SN and I recently (finally!) moved into our mountain dream home. We decided to put our Amerisleep Liberty (Amerisleep AS3) mattress in the guest bedroom and treat ourselves to a fancy new bed. The big question was whether we should go with the exact same mattress again or test out another Amerisleep bed. We were still happy with our Liberty and it was like-new, even though we'd purchased it almost 6 years ago. Below is the advice and mattress recommendation we received directly from Amerisleep:

(I guess you're going to know SN's real name now. Oh, and my weight! Darn it.)

Amerisleep Chat Transcript Name: Derek Heather MinierThu, 08/31/17 11:08:45 am America/DenverHello. How may I help you?Derek11:09:09 amOther than firmness, are there any differences between the Liberty and the Colonial? Thanks!Heather Minier11:10:09 amHey Derek, there is. The AS3(Liberty) is going to be designed for all kinds of sleepers where the AS4(…

The World's Easiest Thanksgiving Centerpiece

We have no furniture, no bathroom mirrors, and no common sense - we're hosting Thanksgiving this year! Despite a To Do list ten miles long, I'm pretty certain this is going to be the best Thanksgiving ever.

Okay, I briefly wavered on this earlier, when my Martha Stewart-ish mom lectured me about all the things that could (will) go wrong and how I'll surely ruin the holiday for everyone and "you are going to regret it for the rest of your life" (her exact words!), but time has passed and I'm back to feeling confident. Best. Thanksgiving. Ever.

Plus, I'm now determined to knock her judgemental socks off.


We're going to have the cutest table decor in the history of Thanksgiving. Even better? It's so easy and you surely have everything you need to make it right this very second.

DIY Thanksgiving Centerpiece and Fall Decor

Step 1:

Gather a glass or two or a dozen. Matching is fine. Mixed is fine.

The Martha Stewart gene skips a generation.

We received a…