Game of Trones

When we first moved into the house we stored the shoes we wear everyday on an old Ikea shoe rack. Then I got rid of the two tiered rack when Desmond started pulling shoes off the rack and putting them in his mouth. For the past year there's always a pile of shoes at the entry way and it drives me nuts.

Who knew that finding the right shoe storage was so hard. I finally made up my mind over the weekend and brought home Ikea's Trones shoe cabinet. I had been going back and forth with the Trones cabinet. On the one hand, I love the compact design because our entry is so small, there's no room for a big bulky thing. But on the other hand I am not crazy about the plastic that it's made of. After a year of not finding the right shoe cabinet, I gave up the search and settled on the Trones.

I had intended to get the Trones in white, but only the red ones were available so I bought the red ones. Although I am still not sure if the red cabinets work with the room. The great thing about Ikea stuff is that they are so DIYfriendly. So if I get sick of looking at the red, I can always get a can of spray paint and give them a face lift. Only took me about 30 minutes to put them up. The shoe free entry looks so much better I wonder why I didn't do this sooner? 

Please ignore the missing base board, that's our next big project. There are usually a lot more shoes strewn about, it's impossible to keep the shoes neatly lined up.
The shoes on the floor are the first things you see when the door opens. 
Another view of the entry way. Not much room to work with. 
Cabinets up and shoes hidden and off the floor!
The cabinets are a perfect fit behind the door.
This is where I've been keeping some of the extra toiletries due to our lack of storage. I am am still planning on making shelves in this narrow space someday for even more storage space.
The Trones cabinets came in a set of 3. Since I could only fit 2 of them behind the front door, the left over cabinet came in the master bath for a little extra storage.
Everything's off the floor and fit perfectly in the cabinet. 



My freelance work and house guests took up most of June and July leaving me no time to blog. I want to share with you the projects we did managed to get done with the help of Justin's dad. 

I wanted a real raised vegetable bed this year, an upgrade from last year's hole in the ground. We built two rectangle frames out of 2x6 redwood planks. After planting the first bed, we decided to turn the second frame into a sandbox for Desmond and his little buddy Cian who was staying with us.

From earlier this year. 
After installing the sod, I realized the old PG&E  incinerator has got to go. I wanted to keep it as a part of the history of our house but it was barely standing. The incinerator was probably placed in that location for easy access from the old staircase in the back of the house. 
Dismantling the incinerator was a lot easier than expected. It was being held together by two pieces of metal ties. Once those were cut, it just came down. Bye bye.
Prepping the area for the raised bed. Toys belong to Desmond's little buddy.
We put up the plastic fence to keep little hands and cats out of the fresh dirt. I think we only succeed in keeping out the cats.
The weather has been gorgeous in Oakland and we have been spending a lot of time out in our new back yard. We even had our first 4th of July BBQ on our new lawn.
A small get together on the 4th July. My parents, aunt and uncle. 
Karilyn, cian's mom, made this lovely, patriotic fruit salad. 
The little tikes playing in the new sandbox.
It was really nice to have Justin's dad and stepmom here for 2 weeks. Not only did little D get to spent some quality time with the grandparents, Justin's dad helped us finished the gates and built a work bench in the garage.

Since the front is pretty wide and we wanted to save money by getting the 8ft long planks, there was very little over hang on the ends of the posts. 
I am so happy with how it turned out. The four 2x8 redwood planks cost around $150 plus extra for screws. So we didn't really save that much by doing it ourselves.

Side gate is finally done.
We got this play structure for free from a friend of a friend. 
Justin's dad also cleaned up all the dead weeds in the side yard. He got it done in a couple of hour, it would've taken me all day.
This photo was taken from last year, our yard has definitely come a long way...
Hung some peg boards to the wall for all the tools so we can finally find everything we need when we need them.
This area used to be a major disaster zone. Things were scattered around took up a lot of valuable floor space. A new work bench made with 2x4s added much needed storage and work space.  Made room for  new hooks on the wall to hang all my gardening tools too.