Tuesday, June 29, 2010

a peek at the progress

The big boy's room is painted!

The color turned out just as I imagined. It's yummy and I love it!

The next step is the board and batten wainscot on the wall. That might take us a little while. All of our hubby powers are being used up on putting a back yard in so I'll probably move on to something else inside before we finish, but I can hardly wait to get this one done!

I've been a sporatic poster, but I assure you I'm still here, plugging along with my projects when I have a free minute. :)

Also, I entered a photo of my boys in a summer photo contest at Better Homes and Gardens! The Theme for the contest is "Home:It's Where Life Happens."

This is my first time ever submitting a photo to a contest. :)

If it's not too much trouble, and if you like the photo, would you all mind just clicking over to the link and clicking the "like" button to vote for my photo?? Shameless, I know, but thanks!


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Whats for Dinner

On my private family blog, I've finally found a way to motivate me to start posting some of our favorite family recipes. "What's for Dinner Wednesday" I'll probably re-post some to this blog from time to time.

This was last night's dinner... enjoy!

simple summer dinner

Back in the days when Carter was a horrible eater, couscous was always a go-to for him. Both boys really like it, so it's a staple around here.

Couscous and grilled veggies

Couscous is good for you, it's delicious and it's easy to make. I buy mine in the organic food section of smiths (you buy it by the pound in the little bin thingy) Just know that if you buy it in the box in the rice isle it may or may not be a bit processed. The good stuff is usually not in a box. But I have found some varieties boxed that are just pure semolina (the grain couscous is made from.

I usually just eyeball it, so I'm hoping my amounts will work for the rest of you who want to try it...

For my family of 4 this is what I do:

-2 cups chicken broth to one cup couscous
-a little bit of olive oil (maybe 1/2 Tbs? More if you like.)
-one garlic clove (I just chunk it into larger pieces, so those who don't want it can pick it out)
-seasonings: sometimes I keep it simple, just garlic and olive oil and salt, sometimes I'll add a seasoning that has sun dried tomatoes, garlic and basil. Whatever you like,mrs dash?)

Bring the chicken stock and whatever you chose to add to it up to a boil. Add the couscous. remove from heat, put a lid on it and leave it alone for 10 minutes or so. Fluff with a fork. Taste test. If it's still frim put the lid back on and let 'er sit.

My boys like it with frozen peas in it. I'll add them after it's all fluffy and done, it cools it down for them and it prevents the peas from being mushy. The like them a little bit more firm.

Grilled Veggies

yellow squash
red onions (not pictured... oops, too much going on while cooking tonight!)
1 lime
olive oil

Squeeze the juice from one lime into a bowl. (If you would like you can use some of the zest and put it in your couscous depending on the spices you used. I did that tonight and it tasted summery.) add a bit of olive oil.

cut into long medium thick pieces, lightly brush both sides with limey olive oil. Salt and Pepper (tonight I also used a garlic and onion grill seasoning, ever so lightly)

Grill! You could also do this on a George Foreman Griller.
We like them still firm, not mushy. Do it how you like to eat your squash.

Sprinkle it all with fresh grated parmesan cheese.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

mantle: walnut-ified.

I felt like something just wasn't right with the fireplace from the first time we saw this house. Pretty sure it's just a matter of personal preference, but the Hubbs and I just don't love the light wood so much... I don't really know why, and it doesn't bug me when other people use light wood, I just don't like it for us. That's okay, I think.

Here's the before:

And the after:

I like it so much better! I don't know why I put this off for months, it wasn't nearly as involved as I imagined it would be.

All I did is sand it lightly (very lightly) and then masked off the area around it so I didn't end up with walnut blobs on my walls. And then stained away. I used Minwax Dark Walnut as the stain. It took like a week to dry, so I probably should have sanded it more before staining so it could soak in better (according to my husband) but I'm impatient and just wanted to see the result. :)

An hour or so of actual work and 7 days of drying later, this is what we ended up with. I'm happy with it. Stain isn't nearly as intimidating as I thought it was!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

re-made lamp

Can you imagine my excitement when I found this baby at the D.I.?!? (utah's version of salvation army or goodwill)

I scooped it up and carried it home for a mere $7!

I couldn't wait to show my husband, Scott, when he walked in the door from work.

He stared at me in kind of a funny way.

He tiled his head to the side.

He said "Um... that's nice,Sweetie... I can imagine you have some kind of big plan for it, right?" Then he smiled at me the way he does when he's thinking I'm kind of nuts. That's why I love him.

Anyway, this brass and burgundy lamp had all of the makings of a shapely classic, it just didn't know it yet. I planned on making a metal finish like the one I put in my bedroom idea board:

Mercury Lamp: Pottery Barn, $259 (I don't think I would ever spend $259 on a lamp, I'm just not that kind of gal, but I do like it. a lot.)

I even practiced with two kinds of spray paint and came pretty close to that look, a very similar finish, but when I primed this baby that all changed. It looked so good in white that I lost my desire to do anything else with it, so I sprayed a nice coat of glossy white (rustoleum makes a line that has an upgraded sprayer, it went on super fine and left a perfect finish, not a single blob, smear or run!)

I found the shade at Target, I think they work quite well together. It's different than I planned, but I love it more than I imagined!

Can you believe that brassy and burgundy thing turned into this?? Spray paint, people! Love it!

I liked it so much I carried it around the house, trying it out in various places.

It's possible that I'm slightly neurotic.

I for sure want it to go in our bedroom, but I liked it on my (new!) black table in the living room too...

time for a trip back to the D.I. to find another one, maybe I'll do a blue one for my living room!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

wall mount plates

I'm back!

Things have been crazy around here! I've had computer upgrades and all kinds of issues going on, my life just seems to be getting busier,and it's summer time and we want to play outside all day long! Blogging is the first thing I let slack when things get busy, so I've been a bad blogger for the past little while, but I still have some fun projects to share!


I've collected these plates over the past year or so, some from Ikea, some from Target, like those colorful crazy patterned ones that I picked up for about $1.50 on clearance about a year ago! They are probably my favorite, and some I've just had hanging around for a while.

I really have a thing for pretty plates, and I decided it was time to show them off.

As I find more that fit with my collection I can just add them to the wall.

I borrowed some of my things from the mantle for the table top, like the B's and a candle stick (I took it all down for a project I'm doing with the mantle so stay tuned, so far I'm loving it and can't wait to tell you about it!)

I used a combination of plate hangers and simple 3m mounting tape to attach them to the wall, the heaviest plate was the large blue and white one in the middle. She got the special treatment with a heavy duty plate hanger, believe it or not some of these are plastic and very light, so they only needed the mounting tape. Just make sure you've got it where you want it though, it may or may not remove paint when you take it off... just sayin'.

The challenge with this little spot is that the cabinets and countertop are to the right and kind of stop abruptly and I had originally put plates and things on the top of the cabinets, but I never really loved that and didn't know why. I finally figured out why... It made that side with the cabinets look so heavy that it just wasn't balanced enough and the side in the dining area just needed more of a focal point. (I'll have to take a picture of the whole wall, I realised just now that I don't have one, so you'll have to imagine.) This helps that though, and I think I'll keep the tops of the cabinets clear for now while I decide what else will help. I'm thinking I might try to find something different than this console table. It's great, but maybe I need something bigger that can balance out that side a little better. Here's the before of this spot:

That dinky little shelf just wasn't doing anything for that spot. Again, I'll have to find a picture with the whole wall, but you get where I'm going, right?

Who knows? For now I'm so much happier with this. It's a lot more colorful and I love being able to see my collection all in one place.

It was inexpensive and easy, but it adds a lot more color and interest to the dining area.