Friday, July 30, 2010

Happy Day!

I bought the chair from yesterday's post! Woo-hoo!!!

Sorry, I couldn't hold it in. I'm a little excited. I can't wait to get started on it! The lady at the antique store knocked off 2 bucks, so I actually got it for an even 20 dollars. Happy day!

I've had my eye on a couple pillows from Pottery Barn for a long time now, and just a few days ago I noticed they were on sale. $29 down to $13.99! That's an amazing deal from Pottery Barn, considering most of their sales are a measly 5 bucks off the original price. I just got them, and I love them. Another happy day. :)

Arthur from The King of Queens wishes you a happy weekend. :)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Diamond in the Rough?

I found this chair frame at an antique store yesterday. I didn't buy it, but I'm really hoping it's still there today because I can't stop thinking about it! It's $22 and I think it has a world of possibilities. It's in pretty decent shape, and I love the look of the wood. It reminds me a lot of the reclaimed wood stuff from Restoration Hardware.

I've never recovered a chair, let alone one that was missing a seat and a back all together. But there's a first time for everything, right? My dad and husband are both handy woodworkers and have all the tools necessary to do a project like this, so I don't think it would be too difficult... so... I'm going to do it! (If the chair is still there, that is. I'm hurrying over there right after I get off work! Keep your fingers crossed!)

These are some of my ideas, courtesy of my trusty paint program. :)

I absolutely love the look of old grain sacks. This would be a somewhat pricey option, but it would look A-MAZING!

Or to get the look of a grain sack without the price tag, I could do what Kathleen did here. She bought unbleached cotton fabric from Walmart for $3.50 a yard and with a little bit of fabric paint and tape, she made her own grain sack that looked just as good as the real thing!

I could go with something a little different like an all-over print. This French-y fabric is from Ballard Designs. And it would match my lamps!

I have a stack of burlap coffee sacks like this out in my garage. I've been wanting to find a use for them, and this could work. Eh. Nice, but I'm REALLY loving the grain sack look.

I hope I'm not getting in over my head. Has anyone done this before? Any tips?

Monday, July 26, 2010


Well I finally have an after photo to show you! I had just a few seconds to snap a quick picture before I scrambled out the door for work.

Here it is again, before...

...and after!


I am very, very happy with the change. We had this cabinet custom made awhile back (see how everything inside fits so perfectly? Love!), and I grew sick of the red color pretty quickly. Silly me- I should have known. I change my outfit about 15 times every Sunday morning before I decide on just the right thing to wear; why wouldn't I change my mind about a big, bright, bold red cabinet? The white is much more versatile. It will be easy to play around with the color scheme of the room now.

I used Buttermilk, an Olde Century paint color. I was surprised how well it covered the red. Even after the first coat, it looked great! I will use it again, for sure.

On another note, one year ago yesterday Jesse and I were saying our "I do"s. We celebrated with a nice big slice of year-old cake. :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

During... (and a Milestone!)

No "after" photos to show just yet. The painting is going along slowly, while the piles of dishes and dirty clothes are needing most of my attention. My poor husband had no clean shorts to wear to work today. Oops. So I'm on laundry duty for now.

Until then, here's a little sneak peak of what the color is going to look like!

The color is Buttermilk from the Olde Century Colors collection. I'm loving it!

This afternoon, I'm heading up to Ellie and Pete's apartment in Chicago to help them pack up and move to Pennsylvania. I'll be back Friday, I believe, but may not be blogging until next week because...

This weekend (Sunday, to be exact) marks our one year wedding anniversary! Time sure does fly!

Isn't he adorable?!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


I came home from work yesterday with a quart of paint, and a fistfull of motivation.

Let's just say this is the last time you will see our TV armoire looking like this:

Stay tuned for the after photos!

And yes, that's Dr. Phil. I don't watch it all the time, just every once in a while. It's a nice reminder of how normal and non-disfunctional I am.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Summer Hydrangeas

My mom has a huge hydrangea bush in her garden- I mean HUGE. It's pretty much taking over the east side of the house, and it's beautiful. I was over there last night and she sent me home with a nice big bunch of my own!

Then I realized I didn't have a vase or anything to display them. I quickly remembered something I had seen at an antique store a couple weeks ago... a big white ironstone pitcher for only $9. But it was over two weeks ago, and at that price surely it would be gone by now. The store is just a few minutes from my house, so I made the trip this morning anyways just to make sure. And to my surprise, it was still there! Hooray!

It has a few minor cracks and flaws, but that makes it all the more attractive. A little character never hurt anyone. :)

The hydrangeas look so pretty sitting on the coffee table. Speaking of, I want a new coffee table. This one is so blah. We got it for free right after we were married and at that time the "free" factor won over the "blah" factor. I'm on the hunt for a new one!

The little white blooms were super cute on the dining room table too...

They looked cute everywhere I put them! I may just have to go back to my mom's to snip some more...

Happy weekend!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Ode to Ellie

My sister Ellie recently started her own blog called Home & Away, so I think a shameless plug is neccessary. Right now she lives in Chicago with her husband Pete, but starting next week they'll be making the move to Pittsburgh, PA. She's going from about 4 hours away from home to only about an hour and a half, so I'm super excited about it- it means more visits and more shopping excursions together!

Ellie has a really cool design style. Take a look!

She also owns her own soap-making business, Ellie's Handmade Soap. She makes all her soap from scratch with all natural ingredients, and let me tell you- it's GOOD stuff. I won't let anything else touch my skin. And I'm not just saying that because my sister makes it; it really is the best soap you'll ever use.

And it's cute too! Check out her website and try it for yourself.

We've been told (over and over and over) that we look exactly the same. I don't really see it. :)

Friday, July 9, 2010

For all the choco-holics out there...

Today is my husband's 22nd birthday! I had time before work this morning to make him his favorite chocolate cake... and when I say his favorite chocolate cake, I really mean MY favorite chocolate cake. :) But he likes it too. It is hands down, the best chocolate cake I've ever had.

7 eggs, separated
1/2 cup baking cocoa
3/4 cup boiling water
1-3/4 cups cake flour
1-3/4 cups sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

In a bowl, combine cocoa and water until smooth; cool for 20 minutes. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. (Tip: the recipe calls for cake flour but if you want to use all purpose flour, subtract 3 tablespoons and 1-1/2 teaspoons.) Add the oil, egg yolks, vanilla, and cocoa mixture. Beat until well blended.

In another large bowl and with clean beaters, beat egg whites and cream of tartar on high speed until stiff peaks form. It should look something like this.

Gradually and gently fold into chocolate mixture.

Pour batter into an ungreased 10-in. tube pan. Bake on lowest rack at 325° for 60-65 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched. Immediately invert pan; cool completely.

And now for the best part- the icing! I love lots of icing, so I doubled what the original recipe recommended. This way, it covers the entire cake and leaves a little left over so I can lick the bowl. :)

2/3 cup butter
4 cups powdered sugar
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 tablespoons hot water

Melt butter in a saucepan. (Or the microwave.) Remove from the heat; stir in the powdered sugar, chocolate, vanilla and water. Drizzle over cake.

Last but not least, PIG OUT.

You could add chopped nuts on top if you'd like, but it's awesome just like this.

Happy Birthday, Jesse!

What a cutie pie. :)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Ladder Gallery

Hello again! We had a great 4th of July. Lots of relaxing, food, family time and of course, lots of watermelon! Just like I promised. :)

This is a small project I'm working on right now. I've had an old wooden ladder hanging in the living room for awhile now. I bought it thinking it would make a great alternative to a wall shelf, but it's been bare ever since I brought it home. So just yesterday I decided I would make it into a photo gallery. We have hardly any pictures around our home. In fact, I haven't even had one wedding picture printed yet- and our 1 year anniversary is just around the corner! Shame, shame.

Here's how the gallery looks so far:

A little skimpy right now, but I'll add to the collection as I go. These are the few frames I already had- I just painted them all to match.

Friday, July 2, 2010

A Marshall's Miracle

Miracle might be a strong word, but you get my drift. Okay, here's the story. I couldn't convince my mom to let me buy her lamp, like the one in my last post. I begged, I pleaded, I even threw in a puppy dog face, but nothing. She was keeping the lamp. And I don't blame her, it's an adorable lamp! I went back to T.J.Maxx on Wednesday hoping that maybe they would have got some more in, but with no luck. So I put the thought of the lamp behind me, and went on with my life. Next, I went to Marshall's. I walked in the store, and saw it- THE LAMP. I must have looked completely insane because I'm pretty sure I ran to it. I was excited, to say the least. I just love small victories like this. :)

So now I have a pair of these cute lamps! Yay! Marshall's, I love you!

I put this new one on a console table in the living room. This table was red, until a few days ago. I was bored and had the urge to paint something. So I did. :)

I bought this "M" a while back for 7 bucks. It was all white, so I dirtied it up with a little brown paint. Paint is great, isn't it?

I hope you all have a wonderful July 4th! I plan on eating lots of watermelon... it's just not 4th of July until I have a belly full of watermelon. :)