Saturday, November 28, 2009

On a More Somber Note...

I debated for a while whether to acknowledge this on my blog or not, since I don't really delve into very many personal subjects, but I felt like I'd be lying if I didn't mention it at all. My grandmother passed away earlier this week, so it's been a bittersweet Thanksgiving week for me.

Her health started going downhill this spring. She bounced between the ICU, the hospital, and rehabilitation, and for a while it looked like she might have gotten out completely but it didn't last too long. She was 93, but you never would have guessed it. She was so youthful in spirit and incredibly sharp. So, in a way I am relieved that she's no longer suffering; the past few months have been rough for her and it was awful to see her in that condition.

I don't think it's really hit me yet that she won't be around any more. She was an extraordinary woman and will truly be missed.

Gray Rooms

We want to do our downstairs media room two different shades of gray and I've been searching for inspiration pictures recently.




The media room has slate tiles with shades of gray, brown, and blue. And I think I want to do mostly black and white in the room, with turquoise accents. I put this area rug from Lowe's on my Christmas list and hopefully H has taken my not too subtle hints.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Bathroom Painting

The downstairs bathroom before:

And after a new coat of paint and some hooks!

It was just too blah, I wanted to get something more clean and spa like. The ivory tiles, tub, toilet, and sink don't really fit in with it, but they're just going to have to stay for now.

The pedestal sink had absolutely no storage space, so I put up a shelf next to it. It was tough to find the exact size (I didn't want it too long or short and it couldn't stick out too far), so there weren't many choices. And that led me to my first real DIY project, whoo! The only one I could find in the perfect size was a cherry finish, so I painted it black.

Now H has somewhere to put his razor. That's about it for now, but I'll have to look for some decorative accents for it as well. It also hides the outlet well when you're at eye level.

Master Bedroom Progress

This was the master BR before we painted. It was two different shades of sky blue, and we just weren't feeling it. I am embarrassed by the mess, ugh. It's not usually like that!!

After the painting and our new furniture:

We chose a nice sandy brown for the walls and contemporary furniture in a dark espresso. We just need new bedding and lamps now.

We're going for modern luxury. Like the feel of a luxurious urban hotel, but still cozy and home-y. I have in my mind exactly what I want for bedding, but it is SO hard to find. I want a bold, graphic print that still has delicate details- not juvenile or blobby and not too busy, and intense colors (preferably a warm palate). I found quite a bit that I like on by Inhabit Living but they are quite $$$ and not quite the right palate. They are gorgeous though...

And I can't say that their accent pillows are that bad either...

all images from

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Our Guestroom is Ready...

For its first guests, that is! We have two friends from college coming over for dinner and a movie night Saturday, and they are staying over. Whoo! We are having cider cheese fondue, Shepard's pie and biscuits, and apple pie for dessert, in case you were wondering...

That was a kick in the pants to get this room up to snuff though! The only thing we had left to make it acceptable to have people stay over was to get some curtains/blinds. We chose a lacy valance with scalloped edges and a scrolly antiqued brass curtain rod from Bed Bath and Beyond, and the plastic faux-wood blinds from Target. I like them SO much better than the vinyl ones, we have them in our bedroom and I love them.

The only thing that is bothering me about them is that they are a slightly more ivory-white than the curtains. I want to spray-paint them a bright white to match, but H thinks I'm crazy. At any rate, it's not going to happen by Saturday, so they'll just have to deal with it :P

Pictures of the room from the entrance, a closeup of the lovely throw pillows I got for the bed, and a closeup of the curtain rod, lace valance, and offending blinds.

All in all, it's looking good. I jst can't wait to refinish the dresser in there, and get some more decorative items.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Kitchen Inspiration

While we were on the topic of kitchens (and believe me we were), I found some new inspiration pictures.

My blog is pretty brand spankin' new, but I've already discovered a cycle. I'll write about my progress or inspiration for a room, post pictures of how it's coming along, and realize it's nowhere near there. It happened with the guest room, and after looking for some more inspiration, I am a lot happier with the progress. It really helps me look at my "vision" more objectively and see what needs to be done. And after writing about the kitchen the other day, I thought "yikes, this doesn't look good at all."

Love the blue and yellow, from (



This one is just to prove to myself that my wood cabinets are indeed, not outdated. (

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Who's Got New Glasses??

ME!! I can finally see and am no longer terrified to drive at night! Whoohoo!

Kitchen Dreaming

Our kitchen now:

It's like a clean slate, which is great. There's no backsplash, so that means don't have to remove one, and believe it or not, I love the cabinets. I don't think they look 80's or early 90's at all.

Not that our kitchen redo is anytime in the near future, but these are the tiles I want for the backsplash. All from here. Love! And so I had some Photoshop tiling fun...





And here's a terrible comp of what our kitchen may look like. But hopefully not!! We're planning on doing the walls a clean, natural white and the accent wall (which goes into the living room as well) will be a cobalt blue. And maybe some stainless steel appliances to go with that lonely refrigerator... hey a girl can dream!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Lost my (Roasting) Virginity

I did it. My first roast last night. I don't know what to say, other than I guess I was feeling "wife-y" or like little Suzy Homemaker.

I also kind of get (if you can say that) the myth of "engagement chicken" a bit more. Rumor has it, you make that dish, and your man proposes. You can read more about it here, but I don't think it's the recipe itself, it's more the roast (I actually considered the recipe, but I was afraid of all that lemon in there). Something about making a roast probably smacks your guy upside the head and all he can see is "family" I don't know. Maybe. Or maybe I just offended all the "readers" of my blog.

Here is the recipe I used. I followed it exactly, except the chicken I used was closer to 3.5/4lbs, so it did have to cook a little longer. I made roasted red potatoes with asparagus with it. Perfect combo!

Roasted Red Potatoes with Asparagus

6-8 red potatoes
1 bunch of asparagus
2 T olive oil
2 T minced garlic
2 t fresh thyme
2 t crushed rosemary
1/2 t kosher sea salt

Preheat oven to 425. Boil potatoes in water for about 10 minutes. They don't have to be fully cooked, just softened. Meanwhile, mix garlic, olive oil, thyme, rosemary, and salt in small bowl, and stir well. When potatoes are boiled, cut into chunks, place in glass baking pan, and pour olive oil mixture over them. Stir to coat, cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, add asparagus (cut into chunks), stir to coat with olive oil mixture as well, and cook for another 15 minutes, uncovered.

Adapted from this recipe.

I served the meal with a Polka dot Riesling. Since the original recipe-poster for the chicken said the recipe was German, I thought a Riesling would go great. I honestly don't know if I would have picked up this particular one if the wine store I was at had a bigger selection, but it was pretty good. It was crisp and sweet, and went well with the meal. I just wish the flavor was a little bolder.

image from:

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Corn and Cranberry Scones

After a tough morning of raking while H was in class, I made these for brunch while enjoying a nice cup of hot chocolate.

Here is the recipe (originally from I can never find dried cherries at the grocery store, so I use craisins instead. They come out just as good I'm sure.

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 cup + 1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups medium-grind yellow cornmeal
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
3/4 cup dried sweet cherries
1 1/4 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425°. Adjust rack in center of oven. Line 1 or 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a baking mat.

Sift together flour, baking soda and baking powder into a large bowl. Add salt, 2/3 cup sugar, and the cornmeal. Stir with a wooden spoon until combined. Add butter and cut in with a pastry cutter until it is the size of small peas. Using the spoon, mix in cherries. Make a well in the center; add buttermilk. Mix briefly, until ingredients just come together; some loose flour should remain at bottom of bowl. Let the batter stand for 5 minutes.

Gently shape the dough into balls about 2 1/4 inches in diameter (they should have a rough, rocky exterior) and place them on the prepared pans about 2 inches apart.

Sprinkle the 1/4 cup sugar on top of the scones. Place the scones on the middle rack of the oven and immediately turn the temperature down to 375°. Bake about 20 minutes, or until the scones are golden. Transfer the scones to a wire rack to cool. Yields 15-20 scones

Yeah, except I think I only got about 8 of them out of it :P

I guess it's Time

... to start raking, eh?