Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wanted: Rest

I'm a bad blogger. I meant to post prior to my mini getaway, and didn't. I'm now realizing it's been almost two weeks since my last post.

I've been struggling with fatigue and being tired constantly. I can't remember how long ago I got a good nights sleep. I've been under the weather and even with the week off, that was more of a working vacation, I was still left feeling drained.

We got away on a mini vacation over this last 4 day weekend, and it was so relaxing. We headed east over the mountains to a little town called Winthrop and stayed in a cabin. We laid around,  slept when we felt like it (at least I did), read books, walked town and ate great home cooked meals on the grill.

Here are a few photos, I'll be back to regular posting soon with lots of updates of my happenings over the last couple of weeks. But as for this morning (in it's very early hours), I'll be headed to work for overtime. Yay (NOT)!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Beadboard, anyone?

I'm sitting here eating a nutritious breakfast at 5:45pm, and realizing now that I haven't uploaded as many renovation photos as I had originally thought. But I can give you a sneak peek of the beadboard, for now.

Since, you know, I promised that by Wednesday.

Here you can see the Martha Stewart "Lamb". It's a really pretty white with just a touch of grey. And I tell you what, beadboard is a pain in the ass to install. Especially when your walls are from 1976 and they were too wild to be built straight then.

Where handsome husband is standing, you can see my lovely breaker box. It had a little wooden door on it that we took off. This is actually where the head of the bed will go. We'll trim out the inside edges of the box to hide the insulation and throw up a picture or something. Shouldn't be a problem. I hope. You can also see the old wall color.

Funny story about the old wall color. That's the color I chose two years ago, when this room was going to be the "den". And I later realized this was almost the same original color of the house I painted over UPSTAIRS. What's wrong with me?

This is the trim we chose for the top of the beadboard. It will be painted out white, to match. We really liked the pattern. It will be much more subtle once it's up on the whole wall and I think will add a little character. I've actually got a coat of paint on the beadboard now, just no pictures yet. It looks 10 times better than even these photos. Each little step gets me more excited for the next.

Here is one of the two closests in the room. That's the crawlspace door, and the weird part up top are the stairs leading to the upper part of our split level home. I'm painting the backs out with stripes and boy is taping a tedious job. That's why the last four pieces of tape are just kind of hanging out. I've chosen a light grey for the stripes, and they should add just enough of a fun pop when the closets are open.

The stripes will be "Driftwood Gray". I'm also using the Driftwood in the laundry room. Either in wide horizontal stripes or solid. The room only holds the washer and dryer for now and needs a little help since it's a decent sized room at 8'x8'. I think we'll be adding a dresser that will double as a folding table and possibly a craft/sewing table of some sort. Space allowing, of course.

That's it for now. Tuesday is another big day of work downstairs for us and I'll have more photos to update then.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

"What the heck did I just do?"

(I went from this)

(To this)

That's what I said when I realized how short my hair was. Like, two inches at the very bottom. Oh my.

There were positives to it. It's now mostly my natural color, with light highlights. It's super healthy and soft. I got rid of the majority of the bleach blonde mess that was my wedding hair (that was colored over WAY too many times).

(Vegas weddings are the best)

I like it, then I'm not so sure about it. Either way, it grows. Right?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Giveaway Winner :)

Thank you to those of you who entered my giveaway! I'm headed back to work tonight after my time off, and promised I'd have the winner posted before I made my way back. helped me determine the winner:

Congrats Kate!

We have already indulged in plenty of beer so far, and I'm happy you'll have the chance to join in!

Kate, if you could please email me with your info: - I'll get it sent out to you right away!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Reminder: Giveaway ends tomorrow!

My first little giveaway ends tomorrow. The winner will be drawn randomly, and announced by 6:00pm Wednesday evening.

Please, please, please enter!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Happy 100th Post: A little gift for a lucky someone!

I don't have any updates on the room. I have been feeling under the weather and haven't made any further progress. I still have three days of vacation to get through the painting. I will most definitely have pictures to update with before I head back to work on Wednesday.

On to something more fun! I was excited to find this is my 100th post! If I'm most impressed with anything, it's that I've stuck with this blog for 100 whole posts. 6 whole months, and I've made some great blog friends along the way.

I think giveaways are fun. Though I haven't been lucky enough to win one yet, it's really sweet that so many of you extend the courtesy. In honor of my 100th post, and that summer is coming in all of it's sunny glory, I'm having a giveaway for my blog friends!

I have a glass addiction. I have at least 15 different kids of glasses in my cupboard. I especially like cute summery glasses perfect for a BBQ or a glass of lemonade while basking in the sun. I found these, loved them and decided I wanted to share them with someone else.

A set of four polkadot tumblers in summer colors!

To enter just leave a comment with your favorite summer drink. That's it! I'll announce the winner on Wednesday morning, so leave those comments!

Good luck to everyone, and thank you again so much for reading. You give me a reason!

Friday, June 11, 2010

I'm workin' it.

The paint roller, that is.

Master bedroom renovations are well underway. It's going to take longer than the week I was hoping to complete it in, but this week will give us a huge head start.

The master is the whole lower level of our house. It has the bedroom with two closets, a half bath & laundry room. The bedroom & laundry have been cleaned out, junk we've kept for whatever reason has been taken to the dump, and things that were reusable or that we chose to keep now have a new home.

Paint colors were chosen and I painted the.whole.bedroom. In one day. I spent 8 hours downstairs painting and only have a few things left to touch up for the main color. I ran out of paint, so that slowed me down.

I have been dedicated to Ralph Lauren paint from Home Depot, so when I found out they replaced it with Martha Stewart I was livid. Why? First, because I really like the paint and their colors. Second, I bought paint for the dining room & kitchen cabinets and haven't painted them yet. What am I supposed to do if I need more? So, yeah.

We priced and compared colors from three paint brands and ended up choosing Martha. I have to say, I really love it. I liked the color selection, the consistency of the paint was good and it covered amazingly well. I was shocked that I only had a tiny bit of touch up when it came time for the second coat, and I was painting white!

Yes, I chose white. When everyone else is trying to brighten up a space, I've brought it back to the basics. The room looks so open and bright. It gives me the opportunity to change the decor whenever I feel the need.

For the white I chose "Lamb". It looks pretty grey here, but it only has the slightest hint of grey. Of the 8 whites we looked at this was one of the least harsh. For a cool color, it still had warmth to it.

My original inspiration photos were of a crisp white & black color scheme. In the last few months it's changed in to something both husband and I have come to be very happy with. Our palette includes white, a light blue-grey and black. We're looking at beach cottage-meets modern-meets vintage. The ideas are flowing abundantly and I can't work fast enough to keep up.

I expect the entire remodel to take the rest of the month, but I hope we're at least in the bedroom by then. I'll keep the progress updated, and later tonight (since this is posting at 1:00am) I should have a few progress photos of my paint work.

Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

24. Miniatures Melt my Heart: Mini Strawberry Pies

I've had this recipe saved forever but had convinced myself it was too hard.

We were having new friends over for dinner. I know him through work, but hadn't met his wife yet. I was nervous and trying to find something adorable to impress. Let me tell you, these worked!

Thanks to my husband for being my cooking buddy. I don't think he knows how much I appreciate when he gets in to the kitchen with me and helps me get things done. Things get made in half the time.

The day started off with this adorable little bouquet picked by my husband. They were growing somewhere in our yard and he saved them rather than mow them. He laughed when he saw I actually put them in a tiny glass of water. An old shot glass to be more specific. They're on the window sill in the kitchen. Too cute.

This has to be the easiest pie crust in the world. It was quite good too. Flour, butter, eggs. That's it. Mixed in a mixer or with a hand mixer.

Dough was rolled and placed in to tiny ramekins and filled with the strawberry mixture. Strawberries, brown & white sugars, flour, corn starch, cinnamon, nutmeg & vanilla. Over fill each of them, and for a cute touch, rather than basket weave the top I cut little stars out and placed them on top of the strawberries. Adorable!

Here they are ready for the oven. Place them on a baking sheet, pop them in the oven for about 40 minutes and then pull them out to cool. They are so easy and quick, and you've got the perfect summer treat.

How cute are these? Place them on a cooling rack and let them cool completely. You can either serve them straight in the the ramekin like we did, or you could pop them out and put them on a plate for guests to dish up. Be sure to grease your baking device, these popped out so easily on their own after I sprayed them.

I plan to  make these again while we're on vacation this week. We have raspberries, blackberries and blueberries in the fridge. As long as you have 4 cups of fruit, I think you could fill these with whatever you wanted. How perfect would these be for a baby or bridal shower? Or just a girls tea? I guess it's time to start planning a party!

Make them, enjoy them.

For the crust:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup cold butter, cut in to 1/2 in cubes
2 whole eggs, lightly beaten

For the filling:
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tbsp corn starch
1/2 cup brown sugar, not packed
1/4 white sugar
1 dash cinnamon
1 dash nutmeg
4 cups strawberries, quartered
1 tsp vanilla extract

Mix 1 cup flour, 1 cup cake flour and salt together in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the cold butter cubes and mix on low for 1 minute, then add the eggs and mix on medium low until the dough forms a cohesive mass. Pat the dough into a disc, wrap in cellophane and place in the fridge.

In a small bowl mix together the 1/2 cup flour, cornstarch, brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. In a larger bowl, toss the strawberries with the vanilla extract and then toss them in with the dry ingredients.

Preheat oven to 400F. Place a cupcake pan in the freezer.

On a clean surface, roll out 3/4 of your pie dough until it is about 1/8″ thick. Return the remaining 1/4 of the dough to the fridge.

Cut circles in the rolled-out dough using a round that is approximately 3″ in diameter to make a total of 9 circles. Remove cupcake pan from fridge and lightly grease 9 of the cups with butter. Gently press each dough round into greased cups, coming all the way up the edges and leaving a small rim of dough at the top. Patch any holes with a pinch of extra dough from the refrigerator.

Overfill each pie with the strawberry mixture. Roll out remaining dough and slice into 1/4″ to 1/3″ strips. Lay strips of dough across each pie in a criss-cross pattern, pinching each seam together as you go along.

Place the cupcake pan on top of a baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes. If at anytime the crust is becoming too brown, cover pies with aluminum foil and continue baking. When done baking, let the pies cool in pan for 30 minutes, then remove and let pies cool completely on a wire rack before serving.

Makes 9 pies

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

New, old stuff.

Husband: "Babe, look. Old Pyrex".

Me: "Oooohh, I love it"!

We were out and about last weekend and hit a little cafe downtown, Angelo's, for breakfast. They serve delicious breakfast made with local food. Their cappuccinos are to die for.

After breakfast we took a walk down the street to window shop the downtown area. I came across an antique store and about died for a really awesome bench in the window. One that would look just perfect at the end of my bed. I didn't get it. It was a little out of my price range, but I decided to take a walk through the store.

He finds the Pyrex, I love it, then walk through the rest of the store.

Me: "Honey, come here and help me carry these to the counter".

Husband: No words. Just the look of death. Maybe not death, but the look of "I know, you know, I know exactly what the kitchen looks like, and exactly how much room the kitchen has for storage, and exactly how much crap you ALREADY have in there and you don't need ANYTHING else".

Me: "I'm serious, come over here and help me carry these up".

He came. Slowly.

I know I have one like this already, but it's not old and it's not pink. This one is old AND pink, and it matches my blue and yellow bowls.

If they'd had four of these, I would have made the dessert for my guests in them for our dinner on Monday. But three is just fine. Because they're pink.

Pink, with lids even.

The store is called Oak Tree Antiques. It was voted as a nominee for best antiques in the northwest in 2009 through one of the Seattle news channels. The store was friendly and had a lot of neat stuff to look through. Some was priced really reasonably, like this Pyrex, and other stuff was expensive for my taste. Either way, cute store. One you browse through when you're visiting somewhere new. I can't believe I've lived here three years and this is the first time I've been in. I'll definitely go again.

And I'll cross my fingers they have more Pyrex. And maybe I'll go alone.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Vacation, and other important matters.

I've been far too busy. Who doesn't like a vacation now and then? We're not going anywhere, just enjoying a little time not working.

We started our first day off with some sleep after work and a trip out of town for a little shopping. We hit REI, Boundary Bay (a local brewery) for dinner, then Target before heading home.

My husband is heading out on a two day hike with a friend later this week and picked up a few things he'll need while he's gone. They have the best dehydrated food. It sounds weird, but they're amazing meals made instantly with our burner and water.

Boundary Bay has good beer and great food. I enjoyed a maibock in a pretty glass with my fish tacos, he enjoyed a porter with creamy mac & cheese. It was busy for a Sunday, but the atmosphere was really relaxed.

We decided to hit Target while we were there. It's a little bigger than the one in the town closer to us and I liked the selection they had of Champion sports wear. I picked up a new tank and a pair of shorts, and a couple of shirts.

Then I came across these:

I've been lusting after these shoes since they came out. In my past life I had tons of stuff like this. Life changed and I got rid of a lot of my "fancy" stuff and became a jeans and tshirt kind of girl. I wanted these and couldn't find them. None in the store closest and the only store in the state that had them according to their website was hours away, and not in my size.

I checked the shoe section just in case and my eyes went right to them. The only pair. I panicked. Like if I didn't pick them up and get out of there right at that moment, they'd disappear. When I picked up the box and they read 7 1/2, they were good enough. Only a half size too big and I didn't care. They were mine and I wasn't leaving without them.

I wore them while I cleaned the house today.

Please don't mind the pirate pants or the unpolished nails. It usually rubs off from running so I skip it all together unless I'm doing something that requires wearing shoes like this. Oh, how I love them.

We don't head back to work for another 8 days. My previously mentioned master bedroom renovation starts this week! We're getting the room cleaned out, the laundry room and half bath gutted for remodel. We're hoping to make a good dent in the project this week in between our plans so we can be moved in by the end of the month. I'm ready for a new bedroom sanctuary!

I should have plenty of projects this week to keep me busy, and I'm hoping to get a few more posts up. But for now, I'm off to bed. Need to rest up for the hard work that comes tomorrow!