Friday, April 30, 2010

Next Up

Well tomorrow starts the month of May. While our May goals list is a lot smaller than last May's list (ugh looking at that makes me want to barf) the side yard has gotten its official ticket to get a makeover.

We Eric isn't really sure what the plan is back there but I have bought this

garden stool, but mine came from Big Lots for only $20!

We have 2 Adirondack chairs and a fire pit and some leftover flagstone from the front walk. And that is it! One of the chairs is stained the other is painted so those will have to have some work.

We are wanting lots of hydrangeas, some perennials but also something that will keep its leaves all winter because nothing is more depressing that a winter yard. But I'm not in charge of plants so I will just sit back and watch.

Eric tilled up and graded the yard so now the next step is to stain or seal our fence. Our backyard is fenced in and we added this little section when we moved in to give us a little more room and some privacy. We still have the old fence gates so we can keep Claire out of the side yard if needed. Hopefully we can improve the gates, the past owners gimped them up.

I promise he leveled off the yard, I need to use my tripod next picture

I am sort of wanting to stain our fence but I'm not sure if it is worth the hassle. I like the contrast of the dark wood with the grey/green tones of the house, which is similar to our house color.

This may be too dark.

I think this picture is from Young House Love

Maybe more along these lines....

thanks Rachel

I have read that it needs to be at least a year old before you stain/seal and it has been a year.

Have any of you stained a fence before? Does it fade and require upkeep?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Few Questions Answered

yep my Easter peeps are still hanging out in my jars

Saturday I started to get a bunch of comments on my Counter tops post. I couldn't figure it out until one said they came from The Lettered Cottage. She linked my post, um hello The Lettered Cottage (!) I've loved their blog since the beginning!

So I've gotten lots of comments and emails over the past few days will pretty much the same questions. I think I've responded to everyone that left a way for me to contact them. But for the others that didn't leave contact info hope this answers those questions.

It has been almost a year and we still love our counter tops. Since we had them in our old house for 3 years we have just become use to living with wood on a heavily used surface in our house. I have noticed that the finish has held up better with the Waterlox as opposed to the Tung Oil in our old house. And I think you pretty much have to order the Waterlox, no one can find it in stores.

I am a clean and organized person by nature. I go to work every day so that I can pay for my house which happens to be the most expensive thing I own (duh shocker!) So if I am putting money into something I want it to be taken care of so I really enjoy cleaning and taking care of my home.

So we don't keep junk sitting on our counters. When we do the dishes I wipe up the water around the sink because that is what I would do no matter what my counter tops were made out of. That is just me. Someone else that lives in our house isn't always as conscious about water on wood so there are some splashes left on the counter tops and so far so good. I won't name any names but since our dog doesn't have opposible thumbs to turn on the faucet you may be able to figure it out.

Our kitchen is small and closed off from the house so we don't really spend time in there unless we are preparing food. So I don't ever use it as a work space like for paying bills. So to answer the question of if I wrote on a piece of paper would the pen marks go through and etch the wood, I don't know but I would guess not, it is a pretty solid piece of wood.

Since the butcher block is stained, the dark color doesn't run all the way thru. I have had a scratch, it looked like a paper clip scratched the wood. I just dabbed some stain on my finger touched it up and wiped off the excess. That is it. Since it was so small I didn't seal it. There is one spot by the scratch that looked sort of like a meat tenderizer had hit the wood but it didn't go through the stain so I'm not sure what happened, but it just adds character so I'm fine with it. That character I can take. The counter tops looking like a cutting board I can't deal with.

A lot of people said they had children so they couldn't have butcher block counter tops. I don't have children so I may be naive but if I ever do have children I'm not planning on getting a new counter top. Like I said we don't spend a lot of time in our kitchen so I don't think my kids could destroy my counters. And we all know that little Pepper and Birdie will be perfect neat little angels and take pride in respecting their home.

But I love butcher block and I hope to one day have a huge island full of it. And there may be kids doing homework at that island and that will be ok. And I hope that if there is a pen mark on it that I will be ok with a little bit of "character"

Several people wanted to know why we went with the Ikea butcher block. Simple, it was cheap and I didn't want to put a lot of money into our renovations. We went with the Numerar over the Pronomen (I think it was replaced with Lagan) because it is what they had in stock. It is thicker more expensive. And everyone I told that I was going to do the under mount sink told me that I was a moron. But please don't listen to most people. There are a lot of people that think just because they didn't think of it or can't do it that it can't be done. They also want you to go with their idea instead of yours. Don't give in! I work with people like this everyday so I am speaking from experience.

We get so many house projects done because we I make a list and a schedule and do everything we can to stick to it. That doesn't always happen but it works most of the time. May not work for everyone but it works for us. And we don't call it a "to do" list but a "goals" list, makes it sound a little nicer.

Ok I think that about covers it. Hope this was helpful to the people that wanted help. Again thanks for the sweet comments I am SO happy that so many of you are inspired to do something a little different in your homes!!! And thanks Layla for the link.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Blueberry Breakfast Rolls

The Sunday after my sister was married I hosted all of our family at my house for an after wedding/farewell/thanks for driving down/yes you can come look at my house breakfast.

I made several tasty things but the one that most commented on was the Blueberry Breakfast Rolls. I've had a recipe for blueberry cinnamon rolls sitting in my recipe file for several years and this was the perfect time to try them out.

Blueberry Breakfast Rolls
*1 12.4 oz package (8) refrigerated cinnamon rolls with icing

*1 cup frozen blueberries, thawed and well drained

*1/3 cup of blueberry preserves

*1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel

*1/4 cup chopped pecans (didn't use these)

1. Cut each cinnamon roll in half crosswise. Press each roll half in the bottom of a 2 1/2" lightly greased muffin cup. Press so it comes about 1/2" up on the sides. (my muffin pan only had 12 cups so I used some of my halves together and it works fine, I may prefer it this way. If you do this use one whole cinnamon roll but make sure you flatten it out and press it up the sides of the cup)

2. In a small bowl stir together blueberries, preserves and lemon peel.

Spoon filling onto the cinnamon roll. Sprinkle with pecans

3. Bake in a 375 oven about 12 minutes or until golden.

4. Drizzle icing over rolls while warm. I warm up my icing to melt it but you can also add a little milk to make it drizzling consistency.

These are really yummy and a quick and easy way to dress up canned cinnamon rolls.

Not sure where this recipe is originally from, no source on card.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Beverage Dispenser

I've been to several events in the past few months where these cute beverage dispensers have replaced punch bowls. Which is a great thing because they are self serve, no one has to man the punch bowl during the party.
There are tons online but these were a few of my favs.

Bed Bath & Beyond $29.99 -has an inner ice holder to keep drinks cool.
Also spotted at Sams for $19.99 (thanks Katie's mom)!

Amazon $69.95

Amazon $59.99 this would be really pretty to serve lemon water and have whole lemons in the bottom part

Amazon $49.99

Bed Bath & Beyond $29.99

Amazon $45.99 (stand not included)

Amazon $45.99
also at Pier 1

Amazon $24.99

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

I love green, it is my favorite color right now. In honor of Earth Day I am showing
my favorite "green" pictures. There are lots of them....
green grass is always good - Eric at work

sunset magazine

love green doors

green check floors

maybe one day I'll have a mud room....

fun green bed

heather bailey booth at quilt market

green check floor

image from

again with the green doors
p.s. I don't know hardly any of the sources, if one of these is yours let me know and i'll credit it.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Nate Dog

During lunch today, everyone's favorite boyfriend Nate Berkus was on HSN selling his wares.

It got me thinking...

I think I want to paint my bedroom this color
-Palladian Blue by Benjamin Moore

And buy these sheets in pink of course

He sells a pink duvet to match the sheets, but online it looks mauve. I would fold it down at the bottom of the bed.

This may be way more pink than Eric can handle. So I would let my daughter have this room.

And since my daughter doesn't exist, I can name her one of my 3 most favorite girl names:

Pepper, Birdie or Olive.

These names are only fitting for an imaginary child, I don't think one would love being named Pepper. But they are my favs.

And while we are on it, I will buy her this Anthro bed but probably paint it green

And to make her happy give her a light like this

especially if her name is Birdie

Thursday, April 15, 2010

One Year Ago part deux

One year ago today we were saying hello to this house

today it looks like this - new landscaping and we moved our driveway

Azaleas in bloom!

Living Room on move in day

Living Room today

Our bedroom before

Yes we are evil and covered up windows, but the bed was blocking them so it was an ugly situation

Before we had this double opening to my closet, Eric drywalled it in to give us more wall space.

with the extra wall space

(the closet opens into the bathroom)

Breezeway before

And now

Hall bathroom before

And the bathroom now - new shower & floor tile, new sink/vanity, new lighting
{crooked picture, or actually the house is probably crooked}

Dining Room before

Dining Room today

Kitchen Before

And now - the room is so small I can't really get a good picture

Now that we have lived here for a year most of our projects are finished. But it hasn't always been fun, but don't they say after labor when you see your baby you forget all about the pain?
Inside really we just have to redo the lighting in the kitchen.

Outside we are going to be working on the side yard and back yard then I say we may be finished!
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