Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Kitchen Dreaming

I'm getting closer and closer to finally pulling the trigger on a kitchen makeover that I've been wanting to get started on. I have so many visions of what it will look like dancing happily through my mind. Then I stop and reality sets in. Washing the walls, pulling out the appliances, filling nail holes, painting the cabinetry...it all just seems so daunting. The hardest part of any project, for me anyway, is just getting started. Once I'm rolling, look out! So this is the goal - by the end of February I will have a well thought out plan and will have at least started  this project.  There.  It's out there.  There's no turning back, I have to do it now.

Here are a few of my inspiration kitchens.  You can see the direction I'm going....

House and Home
House and Home
House and Home
I love the white cabinetry paired with wood, whether it's on the floor or on the counter tops, or maybe even both.  There's sort of a vintage vibe with just a tiny bit of industrial thrown in.  Ok, I'm actually starting to get a little excited about this now.  Let the planning begin!

Hope you're having a wonderful week!  I actually got to have a nice dinner out with my Mom tonight.  Just the two of us. It was so nice and we definitely need to do it more often!


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Coffee Filter Valentine's Wreath

So, I've had a package of coffee filters laying around for quite awhile now. When I say awhile, I mean ever since we got our Keurig over a year ago...ahem...It would be a shame to waste them, right? ANYway I decided to make a wreath to gussy up my antlers for Valentine's Day.
Here's how it turned out ~

It's a bit shabby and rustic, but still has some sparkle and I just love it.   And the best part is, I didn't spend a penny!   Here's how I did it ~

I cut a wreath shape out of an old cardboard box for the base. (Doesn't need to be perfect)

Gather the filter like so, and secure with a staple or glue ~

I used good ol' Elmer's glue and added just a little water to it.  Dip just the edges of the filters in the glue and then into the glitter ~

Be sure not to use too much glue, or you'll end up with floppy filters like this ~

Then just start hot gluing your little clusters to the form~

Work your way around the wreath filling in and fluffing as you go, until you end up with something like this ~

As you can see I topped it off with a sweet little "Love" banner.  I used some burlap ribbon, cut out some letters and glitter-fied them, and attached it to some twine.  Super simple!

Have a LOVEly day!
  I'm linking up!  The 36th Avenue

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Oven BBQ Asian Chicken

Hi All! Today I thought I share a recipe that I pinned onto my food board on Pinterest. This has been one of the most re-pinned items on my board, so I thought I'd give it a try.

The Pin-spiration via Eating Well

It's a super easy recipe. The worst part was definitely skinning the chicken! Oh my gosh, I thought was going to pass out! Ok, maybe that's a bit dramatic, but really - I am NOT a fan of the skinning. I usually just buy boneless, SKINLESS breasts, but the recipe called for bone-in so that's what I did.

Here's the recipe:


  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Asian hot sauce, such as Sriracha, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder (see Tips)
  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs (1 1/4-1 1/2 pounds total), skin removed, trimmed
  • 4 chicken drumsticks (1-1 1/4 pounds total), skin removed, trimmed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds (see Tips)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch (or similar-size) baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Thinly slice 1/4 cup scallion greens; set aside. Mince the whites. Whisk the scallion whites, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, hot sauce and five-spice powder in a large bowl. Add chicken and toss to coat. Arrange the chicken in an even layer in the prepared baking dish, meatier-side down. Pour any remaining sauce from the bowl over the chicken.
  3. Bake, turning once halfway so the meatier side is up, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part without touching bone registers 165°F, about 1 hour. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter and top with any remaining sauce from the baking dish. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and the reserved scallion greens.
Here's how mine turned out ~

Looks good, huh?  Tasted pretty darn good too.  I steamed some broccoli and water chestnuts, made some rice, and dinner was served!

Have you tried out any of the recipes on Pinterest?  What are your favorites?


Monday, January 23, 2012

displaying and preserving kids' art

I love when my kids bring home new art projects from school, the problem for me is figuring out what to do with them.  As much as I'd like to, I know I can't keep every piece that they make so I came up with a rotating gallery wall for their work. Wall space is very limited in our house so I took advantage of this hallway wall that leads to our bedrooms and bathroom.

~Pretend you don't see the thermostat~
I used all white frames to keep it cohesive.  These are custom frames but I did leave the backs accessible so that I can switch out for new art as they bring it home.  We can enjoy one for awhile, then swap it out for another one. Truth be told, I've only switched out a couple of  times because, well,  I have attachment issues.

See the reflection of the window in the glass?  This wall is directly across from the south facing windows in Isaac's room.  Those suckers let in a LOT of light, which I love but I did need to consider that when hanging art there.  Even though it's "just" kids' art, they have value to me and I want them to be protected.  I made sure to use conservation glass (filters uv light) and acid free mats and backing.  This is something I would definitely recomend, especially for kids art,  because of the less than archival materials that are often used - for example, construction paper.  My daughter made the painting you see above in preschool. She's in first grade now and the piece looks as good as the day she brought it home.

~ Jack's winter cardinal ~

Now, I'm not saying that you need to sink tons of money into custom framing your children's artwork.  You can always pick up standard sized frames from Target, Hobby Lobby, Ikea or even thrift stores.  Then, just go to your local frame shop and buy just the conservation glass and backing to replace the glass and backing that came with the frame.   There is nothing worse for art, photos, documents, etc. than being pressed up against a piece of corrugated cardboard for any length of time! 

~ Jack's 5year old feet ~

~ Norah's rainbow ~
~ Norah's 4 year old hands ~

~ Mounted ceramic tile -  Norah's 6 year old hand ~

I think it's great if you can display (at least some of) your child's work the way you would any other art.  It shows that you really value the time and creativity they put into their little masterpieces.  I know Jack and Norah feel pretty special when they see the pictures they've made hung on display for all to see.

Thanks so much for stopping by today!


I'm linking up at Home Stories A to Z , The Girl Creative Lines Across My Face

Sunday, January 22, 2012

faux bois

Doesn't that sound so fancy? .... faux bois .... Kinda fun to say too!  Anyway, this is the faux bois rug I put in Isaac's room.   It's Martha Stewart for Home Decorators.

You can see a little bit of it in this view of the room.

I like that it's graphic but still subtle, and I think it will work well with any other pattern or color that I may bring into the room.  This diy faux bois painted chest of drawers at MarthaStewart.com has me inspired to try this technique on a little chest of mine that has been patiently waiting in my basement for some love.

Here are a few more faux bois products that have caught my eye ~

pillow from Z Gallerie
hurricane from Z Gallerie
planters from MarthaStewart.com
notebook from rockscissorpaper.com
Kate over at Centsational Girl has a great tutorial for some diy faux bois vases.  Looks quick and easy, check it out!

So, what do you think?  Are you a fan of the "false wood" look? 

Have a super day!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Line-A-Day Journal

This is one of the very first projects I pinned when I first got on Pinterest last spring. It's such a great idea, and so simple!
The Pin-spiration via Design Sponge

My version

The idea is to write a one line entry each day and just keep rotating through the cards every year.  It will be so fun five years from now to see what we did or my thoughts for that specific day.  I made one of these for each of my sisters for Christmas and one for myself.  I got the cute little berry crates from Anthropology and picked our vintage postcard stock at the shop for the dividers.  I picked up a date stamp and some index cards (that I cut in half) from the office supply store, and there ya have it!
Vintage postcards used for monthly dividers

Now, if I can just stay disciplined enough to write on it everyday I'll be in good shape!

Have a great weekend!

I'm linking up at Home Stories A to Z

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Isaac's budget bedroom

So when we found out we were expecting baby #3, we knew we had some work to do to get our small three bedroom house ready for Isaac's arrival.  That meant finishing off part of our basement and adding a fourth bedroom for our ten year old son, Jack.  With such a gap in their ages we felt Jack needed his own "big kid" space instead of having to share with his baby brother.  It took awhile, but finally Jack moved downstairs and Isaac moved into Jack's old room.  I put Isaac's room together on a very small budget.  The only thing I bought was the bedding and a few decorative items.  It's not finished (of course) but here's a peek as it is today.

Check out that paneling!  That was one of the main things I wanted to get rid of when we bought our house but I wasn't sure how to tackle it.  It's not your usual "paneled" paneling, it's large sheets of knotty pine with a coat of varnish over it.  I didn't know how paint would take to it so I just lived with it for awhile, and eventually grew to really like it.  I think it's warm and cozy and perfect for a little boy's room.

As you can see we kept a twin bed in the room - figured it never hurts to have an extra bed!  I have some ideas for an upholstered headboard that I'll be working on.  I also plan to make some curtains in a green chevron.  I know, I know, chevron  schmevron....it's everywhere.  But it will coordinate nicely with the crib bedding and let's face it - it's fun!

There's my cutie patootie!

I found the cutest diy mobile on Etsy.  It was great because I got to do the fun part of putting it together but didn't have to do all the work of cutting out the shapes.  Plus, I can say "I made that!"

I had a stash of old embroidery hoops that I scooped up at one of the hubs' estate sales that I've had in a pile in our basement for months.  We've all seen this done before but I changed it up just a tad.  I popped a cute little dog hankie from our antique shop in one, the  little dog in the top right corner is my favorite onesie that Isaac was only able to wear a few times before he out grew it, the red bull is a t-shirt my parents brought back from a visit to my sister in Madrid years ago, and I also used some ribbon to make sort of a display board out of one of them.

The dresser came from a "pick" my mother-in-law went on years ago (she's my hubs' partner in the shop & estate sale company).  My first instinct was - paint!-  but again, I decided I just really love the wood.  The knick-knack display was given to me by my Grandma, and the AWESOME antlers were a score at one of hubs estate sales.  Those little white lamps are from Ikea probably 9 years ago.

On to the other side of the room.  The changing table/toy storage is just an Expedit turned on its side that  I use to have at my frame shop for display.

So that's about it for this little room.  Here are some of the detes.....

This portrait of baby Isaac melts my heart every time I look at it.  We had it done at Annette Barr Photography here in town.  The darling owl hat came from Etsy and the cable knit blanket was given to my oldest son by a family friend when he was born. 

Thanks so much for stopping by!  I'll be working on photos of Jack's new bedroom so hopefully I'll have that post for you sometime next week.  


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