These past two weeks have been really nuts. We moved into the new house (let’s call it, The Lujan House) during Memorial Day weekend. That Tuesday, I picked up my wedding dress (!) and Wednesday, I left Santa Fe to present at a conference in New Orleans. This past weekend was my first full weekend at Lujan and I had to work Saturday, so still – it wasn’t very productive or relaxing.
I can’t say it feels like our home yet, though we have already done a lot:
- New sewer line
- New refrigerator and oven
- New door locks
- New windows!
- Purchased wood for a fence out back
- Cut down dead trees
And a bunch of other miscellaneous things that are too mundane to list (like purchase sink drain catchers, install curtain rods, reroute the dryer vent, etc.)
The new windows just went in today and they are gorgeous! I am sitting here, staring out the front picture window. I decided to have perimeter grids put in this one window, and they really add a little something pretty. We have two trees in the front yard (precious resources in Santa Fe!) and it is so, so nice to watch and listen to their leaves ruffle in the wind.
Now that the windows are in, we can begin to paint and hang photos and art – and the spaces will start looking more like us. I’ve already been thinking of colors and schemes for the rooms and Andrew and I have both agreed on a style I’m calling “Subtle Southwest.” The main living areas will probably be greens and blues, with some red-orange and yellow accents. The second bedroom, which I have taken to calling “my room” because it’s where I hang my clothes and get ready in the morning, will be the spiciest room – I’m thinking of painting the walls a red-orange to compliment the area rug.
The kitchen is one of the rooms that needs the most help. The new fridge and oven certainly help a bunch, and I am in love with the “kitchen island” I found at Habitat for Humanity’s Restore. It’s original purpose was as a vanity/ dresser, but it is countertop height and perfectly sized for an island. With a few new stylish knobs, it might just become my favorite piece of furniture. The island really helps make the space workable, since the kitchen is basically one wall of a room which is wide open and includes another living area. The countertop is simple white Formica and most of the cabinets have plain, plank wood doors (also white). I discovered that the cabinet doors under the sink are actually MDF, not wood – ick. I plan to replace those door fronts with wood soon, so that I can paint them all a deep blue.
Aside from redoing our mailbox, completing the fence install and painting almost every room – the kitchen is my top priority. Eeee. So much to do!
Oh, and I still love my dress. Though it needs to be altered a bit, which I was hoping to avoid with the petite sizing – but apparently, I am extra petite. Even with the tallest cowboy boots I can find, I think it’ll need some hemming.
And now for something useful and delicious: Lemon Cucumber Orzo Salad. I made this quick pasta salad last night and it is definitely worth sharing. It is lemony, herbal and fresh – wonderful for a side at a summer barbecue or picnic. Or for (a less fun) lunch at the office.
Lemon Cucumber Orzo Salad (slightly adapted from: Fork Knife Swoon)
1 ½ cups dry orzo pasta (high fiber or whole wheat)
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 medium English cucumber, chopped
1 lemon, zest and juice
¼ cup crumbled feta
3 tbs olive oil
Handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
¼ tsp dried mint (optional) * Andrew doesn’t like his dinner to “taste like toothpaste,” so I went very light on the mint. It adds another level of flavor, but isn’t necessary, in my opinion.
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- Cook the orzo al dente according to package instructions.
- Meanwhile, chop and slice vegetables and herbs. Place cucumber, green onion, lemon zest, parsley and mint (if using) into a medium-large bowl.
- Drain orzo, but do not rinse. Let cool for a few minutes.
- Add orzo to the bowl with the vegetables. Juice the lemon over the bowl, looking out for seeds. Add olive oil and stir to distribute.
- Add feta, salt and pepper. Stir gently.
All done! You can eat it warm or refrigerate it for later.