Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Kitchen Reno: Chapter Four *Sneak Peak!

Good morning! Although I'm a little under the weather and I'm afraid its gonna turn into bronchitis, I'm very excited because our kitchen is slowly but surely coming together plus its getting a little warmer outside. Our carpenter came on Monday and installed new doors, drawers, and extra cabinets. We went ahead and had him put up crown-molding in the common areas of the house too. David and I have lots of painting to do now! The gas company came by as well to move our gas line for the new gas range which is still in its box since November! David is at the house this very second waiting on our granite countertops to be installed. We're just gonna have to ignore the floors for a bit unless we stumble into a pot of gold in the next day or so. Seen any leprechauns around? But it is gonna be nice to cook something and not have to put it back in its box. Can you imagine that we have gone without a dishwasher since October! Yup, our dishwasher has been in its box as well. I think we were starting to forget what our appliances looked like. Well, enough chit-chat. I know you want to see some pictures. REMEMBER-these cabinets haven't been painted and don't have the top molding on yet. Here's your sneak peak!

So theres the new layout. We have 23 doors (amount of knobs I'm gonna need to purchase) and 10 drawers (number of pulls I'll need). Below is a photo of the kitchen faucet that we went with, Moen. If you don't remember the kitchen we had before, let me refresh your memory! More updates will be coming soon!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Going Green

A few weeks ago I picked up my old desk from my mother's home which was also her desk when she was growing up. It's gonna go in our guest room to be use as a desk, of course, and a bed side table. Originally it was cream and gold, very vintage, and then when I got it when I was a little girl it was painted white with an inter-changeable trim. Its been pink, blue, and black. Since its completely mine now, I decided a go a little bit more bold. Green. I went with Behr's Asparagus. Here is how it turned out!


Here is what it looked like before.


Our guest room is almost done. I just need to hang a few pieces and change out the light fixture and I think that room will be pretty much complete. Here are some images of the desk in the guest room. That is one of my paintings by the way. It needs to be framed. I still need to finish up the desk with some maintenance to a draw or two. 

Before & After: Lamps

Check out the finish product of the DIY lamps that I purchased from TJ Maxx for a steal! From "just okay" to Wow! I sprayed them with Valspar's soft blue satin spray paint for any surface and then I sprayed them down with a high gloss clear coat. I think they turned out pretty great.

Here is the before and after detail shots.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Kitchen Envy

Good morning! Since David and I are in the middle of our long kitchen renovation, I decided to post a few kitchen inspirational photos to jump start the weekend. Yes, I've already spoken about my possible kitchen design plan and on Monday it will come to life! Usually I'm ecstatic about the weekend, but I'm excited about our Monday morning, thats a first in a really long time, maybe ever! Anyways, our house is gonna see some big changes in the next week and we can't wait to see how it all turns out, but in the mean time we can only show our kitchen envy! 

Enjoy your weekend, hope its sunny!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Defining My Style

I think I'm still trying to find my particular style of design. I took a quiz once on My Home Ideas or Martha's website. No, it wasn't that. It was on Real Simple, take your own quiz here. Great magazine by the way, but here's what they said. I'm a completely equal split between Sophisticated Classic and Cozy Casual. *Weird side note: although I don't take much stock in astrology, I'm a Gemini (the twins) so I can kinda see it. So what does this all mean? 

Sophisticated Classic means: I'm drawn to timeless pieces and luxe materials. I love rooms that offer an elegant blend of refined traditional furniture, jewelry-like accessories, and pale hues, pairing patrician old-world elements with cleaner Art Deco shapes. The look evokes a more formal lifestyle. Think Grace Kelly, Tiffany & Co., and Charlotte from Sex and the City. Here are some rooms that show this style.



So what is Cozy Casual? Cozy Casual means that I'm all about comfort and warmth, favoring warm, traditional rooms made for relaxing with family and friends. My ideal decor draws on English and early-American furniture designs, as well as laid-back country, cottage, and farmhouse styles. Weathered, low-maintenance furnishings are easy, inviting, and built for daily life. Think golden retrievers, fuzzy slippers, and just about any movie by Nancy Meyers (Father of the Bride I/II, The Holiday, Something's Gonna Give, What Women Want, It's Complicated-pretty much any "feel good girl movie.") Here are some images of rooms showing this particular style.

So I'm a mix between sophisticated classic and cozy casual. For shopping purposes, I should stick to stores like Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, ZGallerie, West Elm, and Ballard Designs. What's your style personality? Find it here.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Luck of the Irish!

Happy Saint Patrick's Day to all! I wish everyone well and hope you take a minute to celebrate today! Here are some fun Irish sayings/blessings/proverbs for your enjoyment. 

There are many good reasons for drinking,
One has just entered my head.
If a man doesn't drink when he's living,
How in the hell can he drink when he's dead?

May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light,
May good luck pursue you each morning and night.

May those who love us, love us.
And for those who don't love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if he can not turn their hearts,
May he turn their ankles,
So we may know them by their limping!

May you live as long as you want, and never want as long as you live.

May luck be our companion
May friends stand by our side
May history remind us all
Of Ireland's faith and pride.
May God bless us with happiness
May love and faith abide.

Dave and I seem to have a bit of luck ourselves. We got our first time home buys credit with our tax return and our kitchen should be finish by the end of this month! We are busy painting and finishing up any prep-work that might need to be done prior to the carpenter installing cabinets and tile man placing our granite. We are very excited and can't wait to show pictures soon!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Weekend Projects


Tired of all the clutter in your house? Me too. I think this weekend I'll be going through our office closet to determine what is needed and what is not. Dave and I are very close to getting almost all of the bedrooms/office livable. Then we can organize the office and start using that room. I wish I could say "poof" and our office would look like this:


For great office organizational tips go to: I do wish we had the container store near us, a girl with an A-type personality could go crazy in there! If I get through all of that stuff in the office, then, remember those lamps I purchased? If it doesn't rain I plan on painting those. Then, I'll get to painting the desk too, pictures soon! Or maybe I'm bitting more off than I can chew. Not to mention I gotta help the mom this weekend too with the same stuff. There comes a point in your life you just have to wonder why you have all the stuff you do. If Dave and I ever start a family, our kids are gonna know what the salvation army is. If they have grown out of it, don't play with it, or lost interest, we're not gonna keep it around for the fun of it. Sorry mom, should've made us go through our things at least every 2-4 years. Pretty closets make me happy, but knowing me I'll probably just paint the desk and lamps and skip the whole closet clutter and do that during the week. 

Happy Weekend and wish for sunshine!

Friday, March 5, 2010

AC 360s obsession: Momofuku

I'll watch LIVE! with Regis & Kelly almost every morning when I'm getting ready for work, I don't get to see all of the show but just the fun part when they chit-chat, Dave always says that I need to get on their Morning Trivia call because I always know the answer. Well back around Christmas time or maybe earlier in the fall, while Regis had his hip surgery (I think the man could be all metal by the time the show goes off the air), Anderson Cooper filled in for him most of the time. While Andy was on the show he bragged constantly about these desserts called crack pie and compost cookie from Momofuku's Milk Bar in NYC. Well since then they have been a buzz around papers, blogs, and their kitchens. I've decided once our kitchen is finished I'm gonna break out my new handy-dandy Kitchen-Aid mixer that I got from my mother-in-law for Christmas and make a Crack Pie and Compost Cookies. Instead of making just one pie I found a recipe that makes Crack Pie Minis courtesy of MomofukuLA. Here's the recipes for the two desserts for those of you who have a fully-functioning working kitchen. 

Crack Pie Minis
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup oats
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Bake on a quarter sheet pan at 350F for 25 min. Cool to touch. Crumble and blend together with items below in food processor.

1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt

Divide evenly amongst 8-10  5" pie platters. Prepare filling.

3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 tablespoons milk powder
1 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 egg yolks (from large eggs)

Measure all dry ingredients in bowl. Whisk to incorporate all and break up any light brown sugar lumps.
Whisk in melted butter.
Whisk in heavy cream/vanilla mixture.
Whisk in yolks, being careful not to incorporate too much air.

Divide evenly over 8-10 5"pies.

Bake at 325°F for 15 min, turn down the heat to 315°F and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until filling has just set, it should still jiggle a bit.  Sift powdered sugar on top.

Cool on rack and refrigerate. Serve COLD!

Compost Cookies
1 cup Butter
1 cup Sugar
3/4 cup Light Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp Corn Syrup
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Large Eggs
1 3/4 cups AP Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
2 tsp Kosher Salt
1 1/2 cups Your favorite baking ingredients!
(Kelly used mini chocolate chips, raisinettes, rollos & cocoa krispies)
1 1/2 cups Your favorite snack foods (chips, pretzels, etc)
(Kelly used goldfish, ritz, & fritos)

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter, sugars and corn syrup on medium high for 2-3 minutes until fluffy and pale yellow in color. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula.

On a lower speed, add eggs and vanilla to incorporate. Increase mixing speed to medium-high and start a timer for 10 minutes. During this time the sugar granules will fully dissolve, the mixture will become an almost pale white color and your creamed mixture will double in size.

When time is up, on a lower speed, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix 45-60 sec just until your dough comes together and all remnants of dry ingredients have incorporated. Do not walk away from your mixer during this time or you will risk over mixing the dough. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula.

On same low speed, add in the hodgepodge of your favorite baking ingredients and mix for 30-45 sec until they evenly mix into the dough. Add in your favorite snack foods last, paddling again on low speed until they are just incorporated.

Using a 6oz ice cream scoop, portion cookie dough onto a parchment lined sheetpan.

Wrap scooped cookie dough tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour or up to 1 week.

DO NOT BAKE your cookies from room temperature or they will not hold their shape.

Heat the conventional oven to 400F. (350F in a convection oven)

When the oven reads 400F, arrange your chilled cookie dough balls on a parchment or silpat-lined sheetpan a minimum of 4" apart in any direction.

Bake 9-11 min. While in the oven, the cookies will puff, crackle and spread.

At 9 min the cookies should be browned on the edges and just beginning to brown towards the center. Leave the cookies in the oven for the additional minutes if these colors don't match up and your cookies stills seem pale and doughy on the surface.

Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pan before transferring to a plate or an airtight container or tin for storage. At room temp, cookies will keep fresh 5 days. In the freezer, cookies will keep fresh 1 month.
Yield: 15 6oz cookies

Enjoy and Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I've Got a Crush

In a pervious post I said that I was in love with the light pendant that I saw while watching ABC's Cougar Town. I spent a while looking for it and come to find out that it was right under my nose. I'll occasionally go virtual shopping (window-shopping on-line) sometimes and I was checking out Ballard Designs and I couldn't believe it but I found my light! One problem...its $200.00 Not sure if I want to pay $199 for a kitchen light pendant?! I think I'm sure gonna have to cyber stalk this light to see if it goes on sale. Then I have to decide what color do I choose? Amber with Bronze trim and black cord or Celadon with silver trim and white cord? Would you go ahead a buy it, wait for the sale or find another light entirely or something similar? 


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Fab Finds: Lamps!

This past weekend while David was working in the kitchen and I was twirling my thumbs, I decided to go out and try to find some window hardware for the living room. I've shopped on-line and in the stores and can't seem to find something that I like and also willing to pay the price for. So I went to Kmart, JC Penny's, Sears, and few other stores. I knew I'd probably find something at Target so I went out to Tiger-Town. (A outdoor strip mall like the Summit in Birmingham but defiantly not as yuppy/trendy...) Before I headed straight to Target I wanted to check out the TJMaxx and Ross. Well low-and-behold, I find something awesome! I go out to get curtain rods and I come back with a pair of great lamps for only $20 each! I couldn't pass up this deal. Just take a look!

Since I purchased two lamps I thought it was wise to forgo my hunt for curtain rods right now. After getting back to the house, I was so proud of my great find, I couldn't wait to show David. Well, just like any male. Here is his response, "Lamps? Why do we need lamps? $20 for a lamp is expensive, where are they going to go? They don't match either." Not quite the response I was looking for. Ok, so I had to explain this to him. Here's my response, "First $20 for a nice lamp is not expensive at all, they look a lot like these lamps that I see on very popular blogs for $120-something or more! Plus I'm planning on spray painting these guys a different color so they match the guest room." He agreed, I think. FYI to the Ladies: always mention another product that looks just like it that is twice the cost to justify a purchase, but only when that is really true. My copy-cate inspirational lamps came from YHL's We're Diggin'

Pretty close match, huh? As I said before I plan to spray paint the ceramic base a nice blue color. I don't think it will be the same color as above, but I plan to coordinate it with the guest room bedding. Here is a pretty image of the collection from Pottery Barn and our work-in-progress of the guest room. 


I have a side table and the desk that both my mother and I grew up with on the other side of the bed. I need to paint the desk too. Maybe if it ever stays warm and dry enough I'll get to finish those projects. Well If this post couldn't get any longer, I wanted to show you a post from Little Green Notebook, which provided wonderful intriguing thoughts about color and design for hand-me-down desk and super cheap lamps. Wow! I love color, just take a look! You see what a little bit of paint can do? Thats what I'm thinking! Just wait!

Hooray for fab finds!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Making Headway

Happy Monday! Dave and I have certainly accomplished some things around the house this past weekend and you'll get a sneak peak at some of our projects this week! Recently I've been try to get our master bedroom in order. We had one of my mother's friends make us an upholstery headboard out of some fabric that was given to me which conveniently matched our bedding. I would have made it myself but sewing is one trade that I have yet to master. I can sew a button, cross-stitch and do the simple mending tasks but upholstery certainly isn't my forte. Check out what we've done with our bedroom although I'm not quite done yet. 




Here are some more photos of our master bedroom. Its slowly coming together!