Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I have been waiting to replace our 37 (!!!) year old doorknobs ever since the day I moved in our house. Finally, I found some on that were perfect, and very inexpensive. I have always avoided taking pics of the old ones because they were HORRIBLE- but since they are now gone:

Check out the brass and the black speckled paint. Yuck! Now, after much hard work from Joel, we have new doorknobs! Doesn't it make the door look so much cleaner and much more updated? I love them, and thankfully they didn't cost an arm and a leg. I had to buy 10 after all!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Stella is Famous!

So Burger over at Hamburger's House is running a Bachelor Contest. He is the baby boy of Sherry and John from my favorite blog, Young House Love. You had to enter your dog in the contest with a brief description of the pup, and our little Stella made the cut into the Semi-Finalists!! See it here on his blog.

She's the #11 spot, looking oh so cute! And here she is taking a nap to rest up for the next round of eliminations....And here she is drinking some water to get ready for round 2....I think Cooper is giving her hints on how to play hard to get :) We are so proud of our little girl! Wish her luck! And make sure to check out Burger and his Parents' blogs to see what they're up to!

Friday, October 9, 2009

New Master Bedding

I have been looking for Master Bedding FOREVER. Over a year actually. I finally decided to go to Target and see if they had anything that matched our blue walls....Sure enough, Target did not disappoint (they never do!). I found the perfect comforter, shams, and 2 throw pillows- and on Clearance! Check out the before....And now the much more sophisticated after!
The colors go so well with the walls and the furniture! Here's a closer look....
It is so comfy too! I cannot believe that I got a comforter, TWO sets of shams, a bedskirt and 2 throw pillows for only $39! What a deal. And we even shared the love with the love seat to tie the whole ensemble together :)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Frosted Glasses

We hosted a Chili Cook Off last weekend at our place and I wanted to make some kind of party favors for people to bring home and remember the day. I thought Pint Glasses would be perfect, but they were REALLY expensive! Instead, I invested in this stuff: Rustoleum Frosted Glass Spray Paint. It was only a few bucks at Home Depot!I looked into the etching creams at the craft store and they looked like a lot of work and a big mess. This was soo easy! I bought Ikea beer glasses ( I think I got 48 of them for $70!) and I used contact paper, cut a little chili pepper into it, and covered the glass. Then I just sprayed into the opening and voila! I know it's a little hard to see the frosted here is another angle:
Then, with leftover cut-outs of little chili peppers that I had laying around, I decorated the other glasses. I put the chili pepper sticker on the glasses, and then sprayed around them....

Here's another look:
Cute huh? I will admit, it took me all night after work, but it was worth it. They turned out pretty good and were just waiting for our guests to pick up on the way out!

Monday, September 28, 2009

We got a NEW bed!

Thank god for! I am ashamed to say it, but Jeff and I bought a new mattress last year, and have been using the same exact bed frame that I have slept on since 1992- and it is supposed to be a water bed frame! 17 years later, we decided it was time to splurge. Here is our crazy old bed frame with plywood somewhat exposed (and some really cute models!)....Aren't those Little babies ADORABLE! Okay sorry, I digress.....once I started to clean out the drawers underneath the bed, I realized we should go ahead and clean out the whole room, and give it a little makeover too! I moved the huge pic above the couch, and then slid the bed onto that wall. the whole room looks so big now!What do you think? I really like an inexpensive makeover, and the room feels so fresh and open now! Here is the bed close up (ignore the bedding, it's too hot for our down comforter yet)

Friday, September 25, 2009

My New Workstation

Our office serves 4 purposes. It is Jeff's official office where he works and uses the desktop computer. It is our library and hold tons and tons of books and magazines, it is my workstation for crafts and sewing, and lastly, it is where we run on the treadmill.

I know, that's a lot of purposes for one room to serve. Too much. So, I wanted to make the room a little less cluttered and move my workstation (which is pretty much an eye sore with my plastic shelves that hold my crafts). The closet in this room is ENORMOUS. It is about 10 ft long by 3 ft wide- and it has a light in I thought, why not move my workstation into the closet?

I've been inspired from a few designing shows and photos like this one:But I really didn't need anything that elaborate. After all, it still has to store our luggage and a few of my sisters things. I just needed a place to hem, work on holiday crafts, curtains, and store all my junk. I wish I had taken a before pic, but here is what I am working with now:Not bad for a free makeover huh? I have plenty of room and actually better light than I had when it was next to the treadmill! Here is a closer look....Now, In the future I hope to update my "desk" but for now, this table does fine. I think this makes the office seem so much bigger too. Here is how it looks after my stuff was moved.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Congrats Dinner for Jeff

I cook every night, but Jeff just got a new job a little over a month ago, so it was time for a celebratory dinner! A couple Fridays ago, I made Jeff a very special one. Filet topped with crab meat and mushroom gravy, green beans with bacon, and king crab mac n' cheese. YUM! Just had to share the king crab mac n' cheese's BY FAR the most expensive side dish I've ever made! Jeff ate leftovers for 3 days....

First I bought a pound and a half of Alaskan King Crab Legs. I separated these into the meat in the body part (to top the Filets) and then the leg and claw meat with the reddish outer layer to use for the macaroni. Next I grated my cheeses. I used half Gruyere (my absolute favorite!) and half extra sharp white cheddar- there are the same cheeses that are used in Auntie's famous mac- which is the best I've ever had!Next I made the cheese sauce while the pasta cooked. Just made a simple rue with butter and flour, and then I added milk until it thickened up- then added the cheese. Pretty typical from every other cheese sauce! After that, I just mixed the sauce, noodles, and crab meat and put them in a casserole dish and sprinkled buttery breadcrumbs on top and baked it all together. DELISH!Doesn't that look yummy? Here is a pic of the beautiful Filets with crab meat and mushroom gravy.... MMMM....That is just a perfect steak isn't it? Can't get much better than that meal!

Monday, September 21, 2009


I am so thrilled that it is finally FALL. Summer decor comes down, and warm colors and Fall stuff goes up. I love the smell of pumpkin spice, so that candle is a staple during this time of year. I also bought some cinnamon brooms this year at local Publix which add so much to the scent of the house. Our two little shelves in the great room looked like this all summer...And now after packing these away, the shelves are quickly transformed to this....Here's a little closer look :)

The dining room table that was very springy and bright before.....
Is now so very festive with all white tableware a homemade table runner that I sewed last year, and some fall inspired silk hydrangeas that I had in a closet collecting dust. I also put some real white and orange pumpkins on the runner, and dolled it up with shimmery, thick orange ribbon.
I try to take on a craft project or two each holiday, so this year I wanted to make a cornucopia. I bought a basket, some silk flowers, gords, pumpkins, leaves and berries at the craft store and made my own for almost $40 cheaper than the ones at Michael's. Not bad!
Happy Fall to everyone! Enjoy it :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Before and After - Guest Bath

Just HAD to post this. I came across the oldest pic of our bathroom from a couple yrs ago, and the newest. Can you believe it? I know I need a new countertop- but for now, I think it's a huge improvement :)

Looking GOOD!

SO....after a few days of hard work, I finishing the tiling and the Grout! It wasn't easy though....the toilet actually had to be removed so that I could tile underneath it. It's not a pretty sight, but I have to share....
How about that flooring under the toilet- YES! And the pastel wallpaper? This bathroom was a gem! Honestly, this is the first toilet I've ever removed and Jeff had to help me out with this part- it's tough. I wanted to do this bathroom all by myself- but I just couldn't pick up a whole toilet alone. It wasn't fun cleaning around it, preparing for tile.....yuck.
I highly recommend strong rubber gloves at this part....and a bowl to catch the extra water when you unhook it. Even thought the water was off, it ran all night. BUT, after the tile was down, and I spread the grout (and sponged it off right away- unlike my shower a few yrs ago) it looked like this!
YAY! Next, I needed to replace the ancient light fixture. It was pretty bad.
I removed it (turning off the power first of course) and there were 3 layers of wallpaper under it! I had to remove them, then sand, and then Spackle and sand again- much better now. And with a new flat tan color on the walls to give it some warmth...
Lastly- all I needed was some accessories and the room was looking like a real bathroom finally! I wanted to keep this room neutral, since we have a lot of colors that are NOT neutral in our house.

All I need to do now is to fix the separation in the middle and put the quarter-molding on the bottom. TA DA! My first floor tiling project :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Starting the tile work- all by myself

Now that the Wall is down (good riddance) I started to tile the bathroom. Alone. It was a bigger job than I thought, but it's really not that hard. It's just tedious. I bought porcelain tile at Lowe's for around $1.15/sq ft, so the whole floor cost me about $70 in tile! Pretty cheap if you ask me!

First I started in the middle of the floor so I could get a straight line going (because not all of our walls are very straight). Instead of going off a wall, I went off the hardwood floor boards that were at the very beginning of the doorway - because I knew that was a straight line. See below in the pic....See how straight that is? So I stared the tiling at around 8pm, and worked for a little over an hour. I've only completed two lines of tile so far, but it's a great starting off point for tonight when I plan to finish the floor with my trusty new tile saw. Here is me standing next to my hard work for the night. Even though I work for Quikrete, I decided to use pre-mixed Mortar to speed up the process. Stay tuned for the rest of the fun......

Monday, August 10, 2009

12 Layer Cake

We had a cookout a few weeks ago and Jeff used our new smoker to smoke a couple Boston Butts. It was really good. I took it up myself to be in charge of the sides and the dessert.....but not just any dessert, a 12 LAYER CAKE! And yes, it was just as much trouble as it sounds.

Even though I don't eat desserts at all, this seemed like a great challenge.
First off, you make the cake batter (from scratch) and pour about 1/2 inch into 4 aluminum 9 in cake pans for 12 minutes. This is the first of 3 baking groups you have to do.
After the first group comes out, let them cool for 5 minutes, then go ahead and dump them
on a cooling rack. Then I just wiped down the pans and filled them again and baked those off, then did it for a third and final time. Now I had 12 cakes and had to make the ganosh.
After layering and layering, you finish with the 12 and step back to take a little break...

Here it is looking all pretty on the dining room table after a layer of whipped milk chocolate frosting.
And here it is with a big piece cut out. Pretty inviting huh?

I didn't try it (I know, crazy huh?) but everyone seemed to really like it! They also said it was a bit rich, but aren't desserts supposed to be? If you want to make this bad boy yourself, here is the recipe:


Friday, August 7, 2009

The bathroom DEMO begins!

We have a been living with this dated guest bath for 3 years, mostly because we rarely have to use it! It has peel and stick laminate flooring that I did the week we moved in....and it is WAY too dark. It also had a door seperating the bath area from the vanity area. We removed the door, painted every trim white, and painted the walls lighter, but it was still missing....A LOT.
So, I took it upon myself last Sunday to start to remove the wall that seperated these two areas and made this bathroom super cramped. After a few hits with a hammer (regular one, not a sledge hammer!), here is what I was left with.
It was a MESS! And I realized that there was an outlet and a light switch with millions of cords running into the ceiling that I had no idea what to do with. I cleaned u a little, called an electrician to move to the outlets and light switch, and Jeff started to remove the floor. Things were looking up....
Now after the floor and the rest of the beams were completely removed, we had a sneak peak of what to expect from our new renovation. Here it is minus the old floor and the old wall...

Lookin better huh? I cannot wait to tile tonight and get this new paint on the walls.....stay tuned for a great makeover (HOPEFULLY!). Keep your fingers crossed :)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Cutest Fourth of July Sweets......EVER!

What could be more American than a burger?
Does this little slider make you think of a BBQ on the Fourth or what? Only it's not a slider- it's a cupcake/brownie with buttercream icing! What's cuter than that? Here's how I did it..
First, I used plain old Better Crocker Super Moist Cake Mix to make about 20 cupcakes....I only got this brand because it was on sale. so any brand will do.
Next I baked them off and let them cool while i made the brownies. Like my St. Pattys Day cucpake liners? That's all I had at the house! You have to line them so they don't look like burnt buns.
Next, I made the brownies (from the box also). This time I used what I had, which happened to be Ghirardelli that we got from Costco a few months ago.
Notice that I didn't even use my trusty Kitchen Aid. No need! These really could not be easier to make. Look how lonely she is.... but still sittin' pretty!
So after the brownies cooled, I actually used a Champagne Flute to cut the brownies into little patties. This is only because I don't own a cookie or biscuit cutter....a girl's gotta improvise! There will be lots of brownie scraps leftover (this is where Jeff comes in to help...or eat). Then I sliced the cupcakes in half and filled them with the brownie patties and they look like this...
I think they are really cute like this, but they need a little extra something. I took one container of buttercream frosting and divided it into three bowls. Then, dyed them green, yellow and red (for lettuce, mustard, and ketchup of course!). Here is the process of icing becoming condiments....
Next, just spoon them into little quart sized ziploc bags and cut a tiny hole in one side to squeeze out the icing onto the patties...
Once you have iced them, dip you finger in some water and dab it on top of the cupcake,
then top it with a few little sesame seeds. Every burger is better with a sesame seed bun!
Add a flag to be patriotic, and you're ready to serve em' up! ENJOY!