Sunday, February 27, 2011

Kitchen Update (sort of...)

So, haven't really said much about the kitchen lately... Because there isn't much happening. We got the appliances in but the counters are delayed. 

In the mean time, we did get the media center put in. As I mentioned before, our contractor built it for us custom and he painted it with lacquer paint to match the cabinets. It turned out even better than I expected:

Of course, this is the media center before the counters are on or any of the components are put on the shelf. One thing you'll notice is that the carpet doesn't come right to it - we're going to replace the carpet in our "Phase 2" but until then will have to live with that ugliness. Perhaps it will prompt us to save money quicker?

The other side of the cabinet (the end, facing the back door) is four squares that hold cookbooks - somehow it didn't get pictured. The counter will come over the whole thing to create an island (peninsula?) for us - yay for more counter space!

In saving our pennies so we don't have a bare stripe on our floor forever,
post signature

Make this: Beer Spaghetti

This past week our appliances were installed in our new kitchen. Wednesday night we decided to test run our new stove and made a recipe I came up with in college based on what we had in our pantry (since grocery store visits were few and far between during the renovation, our supplies were running low). 

I call this innovation Beer Spaghetti. I've got approximate amounts for things because it is all based on taste. 

The ingredients posing with my new stove:
 (note- still quite unfinished - the cord hanging on the wall goes under the microwave shelf that hasn't been installed yet. The counters are still plywood fabulous and the new ones are running behind)

The ingredients close up:
What you need:

Pasta of some sort (I use cavatappi sometimes and used some strange twisty thing this time, I like texture)

meat of some kind (if you'd like)

1 can crushed tomatoes

1 small can tomato paste (or if you're cool, some of that tube of paste stuff)

Spicy Mustard (like the squeezable sandwich stuff. yes.)

1 beer (preferably something normal and not a wheat/dark/IPA/etc - I used a Coor's from the fridge)

1/2 a yellow onion, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, minced (we used 6 bc they were small cloves, use your judgement)

cheese for grating upon finishing (parm, romano, etc)

What to do:

1) chop your onion/garlic, get your supplies ready to go

2) boil your pasta

3) create your sauce - add in the can of crushed tomatoes and 1/2 the can of the paste (add in more to taste). squirt a bunch of mustard in, stir. add more to taste. add in 1/2 a beer. stir. add more to taste. add salt/pepper/seasonings of your liking (we used crushed red pepper, italian seasonings, and s/p)

4) add a meat if you'd like  - ground beef, ground sausage, chicken, whatever. We used chicken and it was delightful.

The product - a tangy version of spaghetti that was cheap, fast, and easy. 

AND I got these cool little guys at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. For someone who uses a lot of onion and garlic, these work well:

post signature

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I'm currently craving... on etsy.

I've been thinking about two issues I have currently art wise:
1) I want something portrait-oriented and large to go above the antique sideboard in the kitchen. I had visualized a framed old map of North America...but really something with bright colors that looks vintage would be good. 
2)  It bothers me that my fishy seems so alone contrasted to my framed poster on the other side of the shelves in the den and I wanted something that would also be 12X12 to go under it to balance it out. 

So of course I searched etsy and fell in love. Today's etsy spotlight is on one seller because their stuff is THAT good. The seller is buckscountyframes. They are all fine art photographs. Here's a few I'm loving:

Orange Ride

Grand Wheel


Shoot into the Light

San Francisco

In winning the lottery so I can buy all Carl's work,

post signature

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sectional News.

After purchasing the sectional only to wait for its arrival, the time finally came: when we would haul ourselves back out East, load up the sectional in Jake's family's suburban, and cross our fingers that it fit since we were too cheap to pay the $100 delivery fee. 

And so with the help of our dear buddy Travis, Jake headed out tonight to get our guy (Manny the sectional is a boy. Manchester is his full name). The plan was to take two trips - one piece for each trip. The store closed at 9 but little did we know that the loading part closed at 8. As Jake was going to leave to come back and get the other piece, he was told this information. I got a call when they were about halfway home letting me know that the other half was strapped to the top of the suburban. Mind you - it was supposed to storm tonight, starting at any moment at this point....

But they made it here in time, sectional in one piece, no rain (the rain is starting right now actually.. held off well for us). And as the guys huffed and puffed putting it in place, all I could do was grin! Check it out:
 And just for fun... an outtake of the photo-shoot, when all three animals decided that THEY loved the couch too:

In my new refrigerator making scary sounds in the middle of the night, subsequently waking me up,

post signature

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Go there: Thyme Bistro

Tonight we went out for a nice family dinner after my dad's concert with the Memphis Men's Chorale (shout out to the guys - they sang at our wedding and are really good if you get a chance to hear them). Since the concert was off Quince, we decided to check out the new place out there, Thyme Bistro where Jarrett's was. 

Since it was Sunday night, they were serving an Italian special dinner menu. Good thing, because I'd been craving pasta all weekend. Everything looked good but Jake and I settled on splitting the lamb bolognese and a margherita pizza (both on their regular menu too). 

(iphone pic alert... stealthly taken as to not attract jeers from the fam)

 The verdict - This place is a keeper. I loved Italian night and plan to return. One thing I really liked (shout out to the frugalistas among us) was that you can order half orders on Italian night so you can get deliciousness for a fair price. And the pizza was big enough for lunch tomorrow - so also a bargain. This was probably the best Italian food I've had since I had legit Italian cuisine in Germany... its that good. I can't speak for their whole regular menu but these two are on it. 

So, go on a Sunday night and check out Italian night or go on a Tuesday-Saturday and eat off their regular menu. Either way, I'm sure you can't go wrong.

In all things pasta,
post signature

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I love my floors!

With all the painting finally done, it was safe to roll up the drop cloths and finally reveal the floor. I swept/vacuumed them and will wax them tonight. Wanted to share a pic of the floors:

 This is the first time I'd seen them in their entirety and I must say, I'm in love. In this pic you can also see some of the small projects we've been working on..The chalkboard pantry door (which is jet black now but will be more chalky black when I "condition" it), the IKEA additions like this towel bar and spice holder (we'll put our spices in and take out the fake ones when we unpack)
 This bar with the little white things I've been obsessing over from IKEA for like 4 years now... I think I'm going to try my hand at planting herbs in them.
 And our cabinet hardware, from Target of all places.
 Well, there's a bit of a kitchen update! After I wax the floors, appliances will be able to be put in, plus our new media center. Counters arrive sometime late next week or the week after. And then the real fun - unpacking - begins. 

Procrastinating and avoiding waxing floors, 
post signature

Makin' Easy Money.

A while ago, I waxed eloquently about sectional couches. When we started demo-ing the kitchen, I decided to post our appliances and cabinets on our old buddy Craig's List. I set a goal for how much I wanted - I decided I was going to buy a sectional couch. 

I posted the cabinets, fridge, range, and dishwasher on Sunday, using these pictures:

After viewing those pictures, who wouldn't want to come scurrying....right? Well, surprisingly, people weren't scared off by the 1970s vibes being thrown every which way. People called. People texted. And, by Wednesday night, people came. We ended up selling all four things, earning enough money to justify going sectional shopping. 

Sectionals.... I wanted one for our living room (it is bigger) but Jake had a point - who can justify owning an awesome sectional and putting it in the living room, which is a room worthy of intellectual conversation, visitors, and the like? A sectional is for lounging. For falling asleep as Jake plays Geometry Wars on Xbox once again. And so we plotted and schemed to get a sectional to fit our den. Our narrow, small den. 

The result? Off we were to get ourselves a sectional! We measured and decided we could get a couch+chaise combo with 62 inches for the chaise and still have room to walk through the den. So... its a sectional, albeit a small one. Small but mighty. 

Here's Manchester the sectional in the store - check out that price tag. Thanks, President's Day! (iphone pic alert!)

We're going to pick it up Saturday. All in all, with taxes, we ended up not even spending all of our CraigsList money. Good thing because we had to hit up Lowe's right afterwards to buy a light fixture for the front hall. 

So that is the story of how we got a free sectional due to some Craig's List hard work. 

In Craig's List,
post signature
PS - I'll make sure to post Manny the sectional in all his glory in our den once he arrives and we get ourselves arranged. Don't you worry!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Painted Kitchen.

This weekend could be titled "slaving away in the kitchen." We worked all day Saturday and Sunday in the kitchen, trying to get things accomplished towards our goal. We...

- painted the "Crushed Rock" on the walls
- spackled the nail holes in the trim/sanded them
- primed and painted the remaining trim (insides of doors and the window)
- primed and painted the pantry door
- stained some trim for the dining room
- listed a whole bunch of stuff on craigs list (old cabinets, old appliances, etc)

All of this is working towards our goal of appliances in by mid-week. John will caulk tomorrow, then I can touch up trim tomorrow night. On Tuesday night I can clean and wax the floors (since we'll finally be done with the messy stuff), and Wednesday he can move in appliances!

Here's a glimpse of our messy progress with the new paint color:
At first I was distraught over the color but now I am really liking it! What I'm not liking - all that clutter on the counters. Oh well... still some work to be done.

Until next time,
post signature

Friday, February 11, 2011

Slow Progress is Progress.

The weather has really put a damper on our progress. Monday, John couldn't work because of the snow. Tuesday he worked a lot. Wednesday he had an appointment and when it was over it was a small blizzard. They worked again today - so got some progress in... but slowly. 

Kitchen as of now looks pretty similar to the last update:
If you look to the bottom left of the picture, around the window, and around the pantry door, you can see that the trim is back on. If you look to the top right, you can see that I picked a color - Crushed Rock, which is a United color that I got at Sherwin Williams. I'm not sold on it in the kitchen but like it for the den so I am thinking on it. 

Also accomplished recently, my mom and I tackled more painting projects. In addition to painting the trim (as seen above), we also painted both hallways (which were the last remnants of the ubiquitous white in our house when we bought it):

The front hallway got a coat of Bee's Wax like the living room and dining room:
 The back hallway got Rainwashed (also Sherwin Williams) - the back bathroom will eventually get that color too in order to tie it together. Also, John built the dressing area for this hallway:

 (To the right you can see the bathroom, still green but not for long). I'm going to put a vanity light and mirror on the wall and add a chair for my dressing area - this used to be a door way and we created a "master suite" out of it. 

Since painting, I am now stuck with a decor problem. My folk painting from Trolley Stop clashed with the color and so it got a new home in the den, which leaves a blank spot on the wall:
 I was thinking about getting some sort of artsy type thing to go there but I don't exactly know what. 

Today we had a snow day and so I got to see the cutest thing - all three boys snuggled up together on the futon. I'll leave you with that:

Happy Friday,
post signature

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Etsy love.

I have a soft spot in my heart for etsy. Lord knows I love a good craft and wish I had the time/talent to make some of these things. Often when procrastinating, I find things on etsy that I'm in love with. In the spirit of the Barenaked Ladies, 

If I had a million dollars, I'd buy.... on etsy:

- This handpainted frame from a local seller, Round the Bend shop:
- This initial necklace from sejab's etsy store.
- These retro glasses from myretrochristmas:

- I've got a similar color scheme in my den (red/green/blue/yellow/orange) and this would just be super cool to add to the den - Custom Art Painting:

 - This pillow is just simply adorable and I've decided I NEED it:
Also, if you're shopping for a little person, I saw these at our priest's house (we went for the Super Bowl party) in his little person's kitchen play set:

Cloth Food

Happy snow day, 

post signature

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Updating and Refreshing

Been doing a bit of blog maintenance around here - posted links to my recipes in a new "recipes" tab and created a "house tour" tab. I also am experimenting with a signature. Hope you like the changes!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Exterior Dreams.

Currently, the front of our house looks a bit like this:
 (Taken while the house was on the market in '09)

While this little rancher look is cute, it totally doesn't fit our neighborhood. I've been pining to change the exterior since we moved in and it is still pretty far in the future, but a girl can dream. 

I blogged about my exterior plans here and here a while back. I'd like to change:

- wrought iron columns into white boxy columns
- front door to less wrought iron
- get those boxwoods out of there and put in something that is less... "boxy" (?) and more easy to maintain and lower to the ground
- replace the porch (the brick tile stuff is falling apart)

I have two inspirations. The first is a website for an architect group called Moore Architects out of Alexandria, VA. This group took a house very similar to ours and created a perfect bungalow look out of it. Ideally (if money were no object), I would do something similar. Their work is amazing. They took this:
And created this:

 Wow, right? If money were no object... I can't imagine all that extra space in a second floor! I can't imagine how much that would cost either. (Please note - I do not take any credit for that idea - that is all the Moore Architect group - I found their pictures online in a magazine article).

The second inspiration I had came from a brochure at Sherwin Williams. You'll have you use your imagination for this one but basically take this house on the top:
And imagine my house (so no top floor):
Now our house would only have the porch on one side (the right) but you get the idea. This is probably much more feasible. It would be nice to paint the brick a blue color like this, but I could live with our brick if we had the columns and a cute front door like that. Notice the plants in front of that house are low lying - that is what I want. 

So, until Ed McMahon calls (is he still alive??)... in my dreams. 


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Site Design By Designer Blogs