Love and Olive Oil

10 Things for Friday Randomness

10. I’ve been kind of obsessed with starting yoga, despite my record-breaking inflexibility. More as a physical way to handle stress than anything, and yet, we’ve been so damn busy (read: stressed) that we haven’t had time to actually explore any classes. Funny how that always seems to happen…

Mystery Chocolate Cookies

9. Julie and I are at it again. You. Me. Lots and lots of cookies. Be there. Stay tuned…

8. We’ve been in full-on mad fall-cleaning mode, or should I say Taylor has been. Major organization accompanied by a mass exodus of useless stuff (Goodwill is our best friend).

IKEA Besta Built-Ins: Before and After

7. That cleaning-spree could have been brought on by our latest project. A necessity of sorts, as the dishes (oops) were overflowing their current shelving situation. We replaced our old TV stand with a custom IKEA-hacked built in that extends the full length of the room. It took us a good 2 weeks longer to finish than we anticipated (weekend project my @$!), and of course we just HAD to get a shiny new TV to go with it… but overall we’re thrilled with the results. Just look at all that beautiful storage!

IKEA Built In Besta Storage

We’ve still got one, ok two, more pieces of the project to finish. One is hiding those gosh darn cords. But the other is an elaborate plan for white floating shelves at various levels above and around the TV. A kitty jungle gym of sorts. Yes, this is reason #130 that we are officially, without a shadow of a doubt, crazy cat people.

6. Reason #131 we are crazy cat people… homemade food. Indeed, Sgt. Pepper has been getting gourmet dinners of lamb and sweet potato for over a month now. It’s our last-ditch effort to rule out a food allergy as the cause of his skin issues. We attempted this once before and he wouldn’t have it (apparently shrimp and bison are not his favorites). But lamb? He devours it.

Homemade Lamb Cat Food

5. I’m not one to write or tweet about politics (like, EVER) but you have to admit this is hilarious. No matter which side you’re on.

4. I’m currently reading Game of Thrones, and quite enjoying it despite the fact that knights and sword fights aren’t usually my cup of tea (then again, I said the same thing about vampires). Or, should I say, WAS reading it. Darn book was due back at the library before I had a chance to finish it (and apparently, when someone else is waiting for a book you’re not allowed to renew it). If I forget before I manage to get it back, remind me: page 431.

3. I read too fast, which is why I’ve decided to make the most of my library card. Otherwise we’d go broke buying new novels every week or two. Taylor always remarks that I’m not *really* reading, and I quip back that he doesn’t need to read every “the” and “a” to get the gist of the story (he’s a tortoise to my hare).

2. I thought I could get to 10 things but I’m struggling. Maybe next time I’ll only do 8.

Cats Love Paper Straws

1. For what it’s worth, paper straws make the best cat toys. Like, seriously awesome cat toys. I know you’ve got bunches of them sitting around from when you made those homemade pixie sticks… why not give one to your cat and be entertained for hours? Trust me. (Er, is this reason #132? I’m not helping my crazy cat lady status here, am I?)

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  1. What size doors are those? We are currently doing the built in Besta project, and are considering the shorter doors instead of full coverage. The measurement says 15 inches on the site, but that seems like it wouldn’t align with the top of one of the shelves on the three shelf units. Am I just measuring wrong?!

  2. Just found your blog – LOVE IT! About the cat food, just a side note: I too have a kitty with terrible skin allergies, and my vet (who uses Chinese medicine and food therapy techniques) told me to avoid giving him lamb because it’s a “hot” food that exacerbates the skin issues. I know it’s tough to find something that they’ll eat and addresses the problem, but I thought I’d pass that along, for what it’s worth. :)

  3. I think you’ve just inspiring me to clean my room. Or at least think about doing it. Great transformation!

  4. Okay i’m here for those cookies, it popped up on my bloglovin and i started drooling. they look delicious.

  5. My husband and I have that same argument, er, discussion over books too. Libraries to the rescue!

  6. Love this post and all the crazy cat references. I downloaded Game of Thrones on my Kindle but I haven’t started it yet… I’m a slow reader too…

  7. A Discovery of Witches is SO GOOD! I’m reading it now and I’m surprised at how much I enjoy it. Can’t wait to see what the cookie swap holds.

  8. I HAVE to have that cookie recipe.

    please share!:)

  9.! Your new best friend :)

  10. seriously love your living room situation right now. i would kill for something like that – or kill for the time to do it. we are definitely not DIY’ers at all so it’d probably take over a year to even try to accomplish the look you and Taylor have haha

  11. If you are a crazy cat lady, then I am most definitely a crazy dog lady… The things I do for that tiny puppy astound me haha. Love this post :)

  12. Great job with the home decorating! Looks so sleek and modern.

  13. Wow I love this post, so beautiful!! Thank you!

  14. I love the shelving thing! Now you’ve got me considering the same thing on one of our walls. We’re crazy cat people too, there are stairs in our bedroom up to the top of the bookshelf and a bridge over to the top shelf of our closet for extra play room. They love it, but it doesn’t look nearly as professional as your set up there!

  15. Evelyn Wood would have been proud of you. And cardboard TP cores = great dog toys. :)

  16. Crazy cat ladies are the best (cough)!
    Love those randomness lists!

  17. The room transformation looks awesome!!

  18. I’m dying a little over your built-ins. They’re brilliant!

  19. The not only switched hair, but Romney looks like he spent too long at the tanning booth again:-D Your fall cleaning is spectacular–something I’m anxious to get to when my work load decreases! XOXO

  20. It looks great… I wish we had enough space in our flat for a reorganisation (it’s stuffed at the gills at the moment.) Game of Thrones is amazing… just wait until about the third book, you’ll be super addicted!

  21. Ok, first of all, those muffins look A-MA-ZING! And secondly, that is some sexy storage. Yes.

  22. After the room looks so pretty :), i know the yoga obsession :), we got to just start, once you start you wanna stretch to de-stress every day!

  23. Those cookies look divine!

  24. the IKEA TV stand/entertainment center/prop storage is looking fabulous! did you ever end up figuring out a solution for the colorful background?

    I’m also reading Game of Thrones. Currently in the middle of book 3. I sped through the first one [on vacation] and since then have been trudging. J is like you and I am like Taylor, I suppose. I feel like I need to read every single ‘a’ and ‘the’ to get the overall storyline. He’s been done for months and keeps asking “where are you now? who’s dead now?”

  25. The IKEA hack is awesome! It looks like you’ve got a running top piece that appears to go the whole length, as well as a running baseboard. Are these IKEA parts? What did you use for those? Do you have any closer pictures?


    • We built up a frame underneath the unit to bring it up to baseboard height. And then we topped it with another board with a slight lip to make it feel more seamless and built in.

  26. I love the new shelves…looks so clean and lovely!! You guys did a great job with it!! And for #9….wootttttttt! :)

  27. Ok, I spied that photo of the cookies on Instagram the other day and I’ve been dying for the recipe, they look AMAZING!! Can’t wait for you to be able to share. And the built-ins look fantastic.

  28. love your ikea shelving! I recently got the freestanding hemnes in white for all my blog dishes and I love it! Well, 6 mos later I got it and I’ve nearly filled the thing up. Save me.

    And congrats on being on the HuffPo today :)

    Cookies! I want THOSE!

  29. Great post. I really enjoyed it and love those units. Your room looks fab. Love the look :)

  30. Yes! FB Cookie Swap 2012!

    Also, that picture of cookies… is there an accompanying recipe floating around the interwebs?!

    • Not yet… but there will be. :) It’s a recipe I created for a special project, which I’m hoping to be able to share in the next month or so! They’re worth the wait, I promise!

  31. I have no idea if this will help but my dog as a kid had terrible skin issues (we’re talking barnicle-type sores…) After crazy diets including lamb that were of no help my father started giving her Vitamin E supplements once a day and it cured her! Good luck. Hope your kitty is better soon :)

    • We’ve got him on some Omega-3/Fish Oil supplements now… not sure how that is different than Vitamin E but we will definitely look into it!

  32. I’m in the middle of Game of Thrones too! Totally loving it, even though that kind of Fantasy usually isn’t my cup of tea either. I checked the e-book out from the library for my nook, and forgot to change the settings to check out for more than a week. Yikes! I read pretty fast, but not 800 pages in 7 days fast.

  33. Your Ikea hack is so dang pretty! I feel like all home projects go two weeks beyond their expected finish time. The curse of the perfectionist :)

  34. Love the way the room turned out! It looks great! I’m in the process of purging and organizing the house room by room too!

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