Thursday, July 31, 2008

Thirteen Recipes I cannot wait to try out...

Well, as we have been in a bit of a lull here at the firm I have had more time than usual to peruse the Internet. I have wandered to many a place some I have enjoyed and will go back and some that I went 'What?!' and clicked the X. I have come to love many a new blog. I have found new fun games and quizzes to take. I have learned new things and got new ideas. I have shopped (shh!!). And I have frequented Martha Stewarts recipes and among others and while sitting at my desk with my mouth watering I have dreamed of making some of these delicious dishes. Now I am not much of a cook typically but do enjoy making new dishes and I love following a recipe! Here are my 13 Recipes I cannot wait to try!

1. Chicken Italiano Skillet 2. Farmer's Market Squash Saute'
3. Mini Taco Bowls 4. Creamy Salsa Dip 5. Salsa Roll-ups 6. Sun Dried Tomato and Garlic Dip 7. Chicken Tetrazzini

8. Pasta Cake

9. Baked Gemelli with Spinach, Ricotta, and Prosciutto

10. Raspberry-Lime Freeze

11. Spinach and Brie Chicken with Tomato Orzo

12. Avocado Enchiladas

13. Winter Smoothie

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My windows have been successfully MISTREATED!

Hey there! As promised I worked on my curtains last night and FINISHED! Here are my pics of my very first curtain making experience! Here is my fabric:

And here is one window of my two window project. The red panel matched my red sofa and the long panel color is a few shades darker than my wall. I am so happy with how they came out. I have kind of a modern edge in my house with a modern sofa and geometric prints but I have mixed it with a few more classical pieces as well so my real challenge here was to be a good mix of classic and modern. That is why I didn't add any trim to the curtains - to kind of keep a clean line. - But I will keep my eyes peeled for the perfect trim just in case. Here is a link to the blog where I found my inspiration for the curtains! The Nester. This gal really knows her curtains! I have really been wanting to do something different in this space and her "Mistreatment" idea was the perfect solution! Thanks Nester!

Here is my living room. Remember the newly slipcovered chair from my Chair Makeover post? Well, here it is with my newly affixed curtains. Kyle was a great help while I measured and cut the fabric, he also helped me hang them up! What a guy! Thanks honey! (Excuse the mess - I was too excited about getting the picture to clean up!)

Just a detail of the top panel

Here are the cute curtain rings I found. I think they added a cute accent to the project!

Here is the other window in the room.

Hope you enjoyed my Mistreatment! Please come back as I continue to get this house decorated and beautiful! I know it has taken me a while but since this is our first time in a house I have really been intent of doing everything as close to perfect as I can! Bear with me - I'll get there! And then girlies- Kyle and I will host a little house warming and have the whole gang over for a Nerts championship!

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Fun New Site!

I found this great site on a fellow bloggers blog and thought I would share! It is kind of random but pretty fun if you have some time to blow. Fun Fun Fun! Wordle

Welcome to Our Backyard!

I thought I would post some fun picks I took in our backyard this weekend after our harrowing shopping sprees. I am not good with names of flowers but this one is beautiful. We are so thankful that the previous dwellers of this house landscaped so abundantly! There are several of these beauties around the lawn!
Now I know that this is a rose. Isn't the color gorgeous!
Here is a plant we have in the corner of our yard. It has some beautiful purple blooms and a happy little bird on the branch in the center.Here is a close-up of our fine feathered friend. Here is the nest in that same tree. I think we will have to name this little guy!
I believe this is a hydrangea bush. I love the orange color of the flowers! Here is my husband at his grill cooking us a great dinner. He is a great cook and has been experimenting with lots of things since we purchased our grill.

Tonight we used his new BBQ supplies we found at Linens N' Things - a grilling skillet, a corn cob holder for grilling and a new baster (not used in this meal*). He grilled these potatoes with musrooms and onions a bit of butter and some minced garlic! It was delicious!Here is his new corn griller - this corn turned out wonderful! He was very happy with his purchase and so was I!! As you can see he was whipping up some fabulous steaks as well. I am not much of steak eater but he really did a wonderful job and I thoroughly enjoyed our little feast! Hope you enjoyed that little journey into our backyard! Stay tuned for more Decorating Treats as I am going to attempt to tackle the rest of the curtain debacle tonight!! Wish me luck!!
Happy Tuesday!

Monday, July 28, 2008

When Lavender and Leslie meet.....

Welcome to my 2nd BEFORE and AFTER! This is our guest bathroom as it was when we moved in with the exception of my zebra shower curtain. I apologize for the "lid up" situation of the BEFORE picture. I know that some people like a nice Lavender wall - but as I am not setting up a room for a 4 year old girl (please don't take offense if you live and love Purple!) we had to say au revoir to the Lavender.
Now, my design plan for the space included Asparagus green paint and I love it!
Here is how it turned out!

The rug on the floor is my 8 dollar Ross find from last week! At the moment it seems all my rugs are black. I have a unspoken connection to the color Black in all my spaces.

I found these Shower Rings at Marshalls a few weeks ago. I was really happy with them and how they accent the silver in my flower vase.
Also, here are the curtain rods that I found last week for a deal. I am planning on using them in my living room.
I Hope this blog inspires you to be GREEN!
Asparagus Green to be exact.
Happy Monday!

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Saturday morning I headed out for some thrifty shopping via a few yard sales. My only treasure from the mornings adventure was this shiny black vase. It was 1 dollar which I thought was a pretty good deal considering there was a $30.00 retail sticker on the bottom from another store. It is modern and will go with much of my living room/ dining room decor. I am still debating on it's home but will be sure to post when I get it arranged. After my little shopping spree via the yard sale Kyle and I headed out for what would become one looooonnnnnngggg day. It started out with a 2 hour visit to my beloved fabric store where I had picked up the material for my upcoming make it your self headboard project. They were having a 1/2 off one day only weekend sale and I thought it would be the best time to get my curtain fabric (or the only time I could even think about getting the designer fabrics!). Well, as promised their sale was in full swing and it was a pretty busy place on Saturday. Now I know that I am a professional and all but I will be brutally honest with you - at this early point in my career I am way out of my element in a fabric store. I did all the math, I sketched it out, I had a good idea of what I wanted but still I panicked once there. I was trying to get all my materials for my headboard project and my curtains so I was buying thread and upholstery tacks and buttons, foam slabs, batting and something like 16 yards of fabric!! I was stressed. Thankfully a few ladies in line gave me some helpful tips for the headboards and I met someone who recommended me an upholsterer (after I bought my slipcover!). It was a learning experience and a half! Maybe next time I will sashay in there like an old pro. I have to give my husband props for being such a good sport. I was a little tense there for a bit!
Here is my fabric for my curtains. The striped fabric will be long panels and the red will be like a valance above the window. Hopefully I will get going on this tonight. This weekend was a loss after our LONG day of shopping we were wiped out and we ended up grabbing a few extras on Sunday as well which left us getting home at 3:30 after church and shopping and after a shameful 3 hour nap we didn't do much but cook dinner and watch a movie. Movie Plug! Last Holiday with Queen Latifah. It was a great movie with a good story - Kyle and I both enjoyed it a lot.
When my Mom mailed me back my curtains last week she included this great plate rack which I had seen in a shop during our visit to Springfield. It works great with the plate I made at Pottery Patch with the girls a month or so ago( Pottery Post ).

After a weekend of stores and walking around we collapsed in exhaustion and got almost nothing done. We have the supplies but the work is still awaiting us! Hopefully not being able to walk through the living room will inspire us to get crackin'!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Inspiration at last!

I have been really twiddling my thumbs over our house. We still have boxes everywhere and stacks of pictures waiting to be hung on the walls. My husband decided on Monday that we should start hanging up a few each night and we have kept it up which has sparked the motivatived spirit. We have a few things hung up and I (as of yesterday's post - you saw my little chair renovation - ) have a lot of goals for the weekend - a long list of things I want to accomplish. We will see how much gets done - here is my dream list of weekend projects:

1. Buy materials and put up curtains in living room

2. Hang curtains we already have in bedroom and bathroom

3. Paint Wine rack, poss. entertainment center and begin refinish of secretary desk

4. Purchase Rugs for Bathrooms and Finish guest bathroom

5. Find frames for 2 needed pictures for Master Bath

6. Decorate alcoves

7. Get TV in master in place and finish hanging photos

8. Make Headboard for Bed

What do you think? Doable? Well the plan for tomorrow is to get up early (this part is just me) and go hit a few yard sales in search of some little treasures (curtain rods would be awesome to aquire at a yard sale!). Then Kyle and I are going to head into Lakeland or Brandon and do a bit of shopping (he needs shoes and I need.....well...$$$$ to get all my dream stuff for this house!)

In my new ambition to be a better blogger and emulate some of these fantastic blogs I have began frequenting this week I will be sure to post any treasure I find on my journey..that's if I get up early enough! The good thing about Florida is that garage sales start around 9 here as opposed to 7! We like to take it easy!

I can't wait to show you these adorable curtains that my Mom made for me to use in our Master bath. We kind of jointly had the idea when she and I were trying to drum up some sort of plan for the space. We decided to use some leftover decor pieces from the wedding - things that would be used in a new way which would be a cool reminder of our magical wedding plus save money on buying new stuff (I we didn't spend enough on the wedding!) So, we started cataloging what is left over that we might use. First step..Curtains! So you might remember these table runners that my Mother and Grandmother made out of my precious orange fabric I had to go to 3 fabric stores and an online store to get enough of.

Well, here they are now after a little revamp from their original engineer! What do you think? All credit goes to Mom on this one!

Here is the BEFORE picture with the beautiful aqua walls. The color really wasn't awful it just didn't match my style or any of my things so it had to go!

Notice how my AFTER picture is bright and great and my BEFORE picture is dark and shadowy and's like a make-up infomercial..hee hee
Next the plan is to frame our wedding invitation and this beautiful card made by my dear aunt (you can check out some of her other gorgeous creations as her blog: Miller Manor ) and hang them in the bathroom. The theme is going to carry our orange (Sherwin Williams "Pepper") wedding color and combine it with our new wall color (Valspar: Cafe Au Lait) with some black accents.
I will be sure to post when the entire bathroom inspiration is realized!!

The Headboard

This is going to be a tricky one. In an attempt to save some cash flow on a new bedroom suite we are going to crank out a make it yourself headboard the HGTV way - or at least we are gonna try! So far this is my inspiration: a pic from a magazine and the fabulous fabric I found in the remnant pile at Hancock Fabric this week! 40% off! Wahoo!

And Just for Kicks! I also found this remnant (almost 2 yards) in the same pile for 40% off and cannot wait to dream up a way to use it!
Which leads me to my next inspiration: The Nesting Place This blog is the home of the goddess of Mistreatments for your windows! I am totally inspired by her Do-It-Yourself curtains. My ultimate goal of the weekend is to make her idea happen in my living room! I am on a hunt for the perfect fabric!! Check her blog out - you will love it! She calls them Mistreatments because they are a bit against the rules I guess - But as a rebel at heart I am all over it!

I will update you on this progress as well and hopefully earn some Mistreatment Bling from her Blog! Wish me luck on the Fabric search as I automatically gravitate to the designer fabrics that I can't afford!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Big accomplishments...Little time

Well, maybe not a big accomplishment to you....Today at lunch I attempted to include a bit of shopping into my little hour of freetime. I grabbed a quick lunch and then ran into Ross to cruise their Home Decor accessories hoping to find a few jewels. Well I really lucked out with a great find in my short amount of time! I found two curtain rods that matched (this can be hard to come by in discount stores!) and they are really cute and exactly the bargain I was hoping to snag. On my way to the register I stumbled across a great rug for our guest bath for only 8 dollars! Score! It was a great mini trip and I will be glad to have those items out of our way so I can concentrate of my fabric and headboard materials tomorrow.

we had a bit of an issue with our hot water heater this morning (issue meaning it wasn't hot or heating the water) and we had to call in a maintenance order with our property manager. The Owner is meeting us there this afternoon after work - hopefully he will be able to fix and it won't cut into our shopping tomorrow. Of course we have plenty of things we can be working on around the house!


Friday Morning

Well, I just spent an hour writing a blog that I can't publish until I add a few more pictures from home! So I finished. Saved. Looked at the screen. Looked at my empty desk devoid of work. And just pressed Create one more time. What will I post about? I don't know! I have been a blogging fiend this week (for me at least) What am I going to do when work comes rolling in next week and I don't have time to wonder over to Today's Creative Blog and the other fun sites I have discovered this last week or so. What am I gonna do when I can't spend hours searching for puppies? I suppose I will get over it and do my job....but it won't be easy!

We are in the middle of a Bible Study on Prayer with our lifegroup. On Wednesday we talked about trusting that God will answer our prayers according to His Will. One of the verses that was referenced was Phillipians 4:6 "Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God." This verse has always been one to bring me back from my seemingly high horse and I-will-take-care-of-it attitude. I also a big worrier and I will worry and worry as if the whole world is leaning on me. Somehow this verse sneaks in and this one as well: Luke 12:25 "And which of you by worrying can add an hour to his life?" I have to stop in my tracks of worrying and realize that God doesn't want me to be overcome with this drama and worrying and be caught up in the anxiety of so many things when he has already told me in his scriptures that all I need to is lean on him and give him these issues and problems and stop trying to carry them around on my shoulders. Does this speak to anyone else? It really hits me sometimes how I can almost push God out like my problems are too small to worry him with and yet here he is telling me to spend time with him in prayer rather than sit around mulling things over obsessing in my mind. It's a relief once again to realize he is our Almighty God and Saviour and he is so Gracious and Loving as to take our pain for us and comfort are hearts with the knowledge that he is there. Even now I feel lighter somehow as I type I am handing things over to him. Family things that are grieving me, people I am worried about, money struggles...
I know I need constant reminding...How can he love me so much? I am so flawed!

I am really struggling with some relationship things lately. Not with me personally but with other family members struggles with each other. I never really considered myself a mediator or anything but I do remember never being able to sit in a room when someone had trouble with someone else..I always wanted to confront and fix it! As I hear things about others I of course always remember that heresay can be a dangerous thing but I pray for the struggles with others as I feel like my distance kind of inhibits me from being a conflict resolutionsist (is this a word?) I know that waltzing into any issue I never have the full story or both sides whatever the case may be so I find the best option I have is to pray for both parties as getting involved from 1500 miles away is never a good idea. I just hurt so much to hear that so in so has a grudge against someone else or so in so is angry about this or that. Emotions run high I know - but outside looking in (and from so far away) I hate the idea of something that seems really unnecessary ruining precious relationships. During and right after our wedding I had to experience some things that had altered my relationships with people, once again distance and time ran its course and things weren't confronted and after much time spent mulling and angry I chose to forgive and forget as well as I can as I spend very little time with my family and close close friends and have no desire to harbour anger for years and allow trouble to arise from it. I am completely over those problems and believe me it wasn't easy to find that ability to forgive a silent and unspoken issue - and but for the grace of God I wouldnt have been able to. My prayer for these 4 or 5 situations is that they each find a peace and are able to go on loving and respecting the other. So many times it seems that jealously and selfishness are the ring leaders of many conflicts as opposed to real events and actions. Does anyone else smell what I am steppin' in here? (phrase borrowed from our pastor :))

Wow! I kind of like this blank unthemed blog! I feel like my little typin' fingers are just leading the way....maybe it is because I am so soothed by the Colbie Calliat songs I am listening to.

Okay, maybe that is enough gabbing for now
You might just hear from me later if no paperwork falls onto my desk!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

one little makeover at a time...

Well, last night was super exciting because my slip cover that I had ordered online finally came in the mail...can you believe I had to wait like 5 days! hee hee! Anyways, I had checked on it earlier Wednesday and it still said it would arrive on Thursday so imagine my surprise and delight when Wednesday evening the doorbell rang and UPS delivered it! I have been struggling with this one piece of furniture forever. It is a great chair and ottoman that my Mom gave me when I moved to Florida. The downside however has always been that my decor and taste never met up with its Forest Green upholstery. A couple of years ago I splurged on a denim slipcover at Target that I thought would do the trick. It was awful - plus if I remember right it had cat hair on it proving it had been returned previously to my ownership - but that is a different story... Well, the reason the slipcover was a nightmare (besides the denim! What was I thinking?!) is because the chair has a T-cushion and setback armrests and this posts a huge problem with most typical slipcovers. The other issue is of course the ottoman - because I would like them to match and work as a set. Well, a few weeks ago I dove into a search via the internet for the perfect slipcover and found a few decent options before I stumbled on the ultimate find by the name of Stretch and Cover and I was sooo excited. I ordered a swatch of what I thought would work on my chair and ottoman and totally match all my other modernish decor! I was super hyped! When the swatch came I was jumping up and down with excitement - Not only was I going to fix what had become "the Green Chair issue" but I was going to get this awesome fabric with a pattern as opposed to a plain beige chair (what I thought was my only decent option). So I placed the order....and yesterday...Wahoo!!!

Kyle and I set to putting it on right away. Here is the Green Chair BEFORE it's makeover! BEFORE THE SPICING UP!
Just the Chair
Chair and Ottoman

Well, if you have ever had a slipcover dilemma then I know that you totally feel me here! Now I will do the sales pitch: These slipcovers are amazing! Each piece has different size combinations that you choose when you order so the covers are as close to the size as possible. Each cover comes with clips and pulleys and foam tubes to help pull and secure the fabric cover so it gets a more upholstered look. The other option with chairs and sofas is to have a separate slipcover for the cushion (this is the most awesome part!) this allows it to look even more upholstered and will help it look nice and neat when someone is sitting in it. Everything is pulled nice and neat and soooo cute - the same goes for the ottoman. If your are looking for the perfect ottoman I definitely give this a two thumbs up rating!!

Hope you enjoyed my first Before and After! I hope to have more soon as Kyle and I dive into decorating our home. I am hoping to start including more design inclined stuff into my blog in the future.