Saturday, July 31, 2010

Bathroom Spruce-up Part 1

I have been working on revamping our master bathroom. When we first moved in the walls were just plain white. One aspect that I love about this bathroom is that there is a full size closet in it (that I installed a closet system in) with a dressing area in front of it. That makes it so convenient but til now, I wasn't properly utilizing the space. I had my jewelry and hair ties scattered everywhere, my belts in a tub, towels on a rack that I didn't love and toiletries completely unorganized. Now, it is a much more functional space.

I purchased and painted this paint quite some time ago from Home Depot's oops paint! I always get lucky with the oops paint. In fact, all three of our bathrooms are done with it and so is Jude's room. At $5.00 a gallon, you can't beat it!

Anyways, the buffet I got for free and refinished was placed along the left wall. I hung the jewelry board I made from a $1.99 Goodwill frame above it and hung some of my earrings/necklaces/rosary on it. I placed two dishes I received from my mother in law on top. They each contain a shade of blue or aqua that makes it work in the space. One contains all of my (and some of Clint's) smelly goods (perfumes/lotions) and the other holds some decorative items. There is a silver holder from Pottery Barn that I use for q-tips and also some capiz shell accessories as well.

There are a few things that I still need to do on the dressing room side of the bathroom.

  • Crown molding (entire bathroom)
  • Hang a chandelier
  • Sew a chair pad for the stool pictured on the right
  • Buy/Sew and Hang drapes
  • Refinish other two frames bought at Goodwill to hang on either side of jewelry board
As for the other half of the bathroom, an update will surely follow (hence the "Part 1" in the title). I have plans on painting a two-tiered basket that I got yesterday at a garage sale for .25 and hanging it outside the bathtub/shower. It will house some washcloths, soap and bath salts within arms reach. Also, the towel warmer will be moved to a more appropriate position right next to the bath in lieu of the towel holder that I spoke of previously that I didn't love. I will be repainting the magazine holder to match the new decor and accessories.
My dream would be to rip out the existing tub/shower combo and just make it into a large tiled shower with a bench. It would better suit our needs as we rarely take baths in there and have another bathroom in our home that has a bath tub. Also, it would be more spacious for two people. When we do get to the point where we do pursue this idea, we will also redo the floors and add radiant heating.
Well here are pics of the dressing area. I don't have a before, but just imagine an empty space of white walls.

Monday, July 26, 2010

I live for Mondays!

I always look forward to Monday's. It's not the whole going to work part that gets me excited, it's the fact that it's the day that I take a look at my Dashboard of my blog to see what the bloggers that I follow had posted over the weekend. I find so much inspiration from the people that I follow! The ideas that they come up with are amazing!

For example, over at Frugal Life Project, I found a great way to repurpose unattractive canvas art that can be found at the Dollar Tree. The how-to can be found here. Not only does this blog contain greta project ideas, but they often post different coupon codes and promotions that are going on. How helpful is that when you are trying to be frugal?

Everyone knows from previously posts of mine that I love to refinish furniture. I currently have a hope chest that I refinished about 2 years ago that serves as a TV stand in our master bedroom. Now that Jude is so mobile and touching everything, we need to find a something for the TV that will stand higher. The reason for this is because he is constantly turning the TV and components on and off continuously. Not only is it a waste of energy, but also probably not good for the tv. Anyways, I had been thinking that a dresser would be a nice height and add a great deal of storage. Therefore when I saw the before and after over at Be Different, Act Normal, I got excited to search for suitable dressers on CraigsList.

Another great furniture makeover I found was this desk over at Sweet Something Design. I have been trying to think of something to add to the buffet I recently refinished and I think that this helped my decision. I was going to add some scrollwork to the side panels of my buffet, but am thinking that this may be a better option. I have decided that I will be putting the buffet in our master bedroom for towel and toiletry storage, so I think that the initial or our monogram would be great in the master bath.

Now do you understand why Monday's are so wonderful? They are full of inspiration!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Another reason I love my community.

Last night Clint, Jude and myself went to the Vacation Bible School Finale. It begins with a 6 PM mass and a huge celebration afterwards. It is a pretty huge deal in our community as it attracts so many people, especially considering just how small New Lothrop is. It is a great time for the kids and adults alike. They have tons of activities set up and a huge spread of food. For example, they had a huge blowup obstacle course, a bouncy tent, horse/pony rides, carnival games, a train ride, huge remote control cars, face painting and a person who made animals and such out of balloons. For food they had hot dogs, sloppy joes, salad, french fries, onion rings, chicken nuggets, elephant ears and a chocolate fountain with tons of fruits and sweets to dip.

We all had a really great time and it makes me look forward to the time when Jude will be old enough to participate in all our church has to offer. One of the reasons we bought our house where we did was due to the proximity to our church. We always knew that it would be a big part of our lives, so it was really important to us. We attended this church together when we first started dating (nearly ten years ago) as it was where Clint and his family attended. We even drove home on the weekends and attended some masses while we were in college an hour away. It is where I eventually went on to take my RCIA classes and converted to become Catholic. I had my First Communion there and we were married in our beautiful church. Also, we had Jude baptised at St. Michaels and we gained a God-son who was also baptised there as well. There are many reasons that our church holds a special place in our hearts and the steps that the parishioners take to bring the community together is one of them.
Oh yeah--I almost forgot. I won a super cute sock monkey that they were raffling off. I haven't taken a picture of it yet but will and will post. I would now--but unfortunately my batteries are dead. Sorry. Anyways, I wanted to share some pictures of our fun night. Jude had a really wonderful time and so did we.
If you don't know this about Jude, I should mention that he is obsessed with ducks.
Jude and daddy as Jude points at the huge remote control planes overhead and makes his plane noises.
Trying to decide which direction to go next.
Two most handsome guys I know.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Another tasty treat--this time a cold one.

It seems lately that I have been blogging a lot about food. I'm not sure why that is, but it may be because I love finding new healthy recipes, especially for Jude. Because I love looking at others blogs, I stuble upon new recipes often. I just wanted to post pics of the yogurt popsicles I made on Monday night. How cute are these? The is an outline of Mickey Mouse's face on the actual popsicle and the handle serves as his bottom half! These were given to me by my mother in law around the time of Jude's Mickey Mouse themed First Birthday. They were Clint's when he was little!

I simply mixed (1) cup of Vanilla yogurt, six larged strawberries (mashed) and a banana (mashed) together and poured them into the molds. I froze them overnight and gave them to him last night for dessert. He <3'd them! They are quite big, so he only ate about 2/3 of it, so he'll get the rest today as a treat while he is with daddy.

A tasty treat!

I am fortunate in the fact that I married into a family who likes to garden. Although, I enjoy fresh from the garden produce, I never had the desire to grow my own. I have always just resorted to going to the Farmer's Market in Flint or Frankenmuth. Despite my lack of interest in preparing the soil, weeding, chasing away rabbits and deer and plucking vegetables from a garden in the sweltering summer sun, I have always planned on planting a garden with my kid(s) when they reached about 2 or 3 years old. I think it's a great lesson in Science and Agriculture which is very important when you live in the New Lothrop area which is such a rich farming community and has such a great history in Agriculture. As for now, I am very lucky to have in-laws who garden and share their fresh produce with us.

Last summer, I benefited greatly because right when all the zucchini, beets, carrots and squash were ready is when Jude started eating solids. I was given tons of fresh produce and turned it into baby food puree in my Magic Bullet for Jude. Not only was it a huge cost savings, but it was also reassuring that I knew what was going into what my baby consumed. In addition, I think starting on such a wide variety of fresh foods is what makes Jude such an adventurous eater. This child does not turn away anything! He is only under 16 months and already eats salads for heavens sake! (This makes me proud).

Anyways, yesterday when I picked Jude up from my mother in laws work (she owns a Greenhouse), she had a huge basket full of produce for me. I came home with seven types of peppers, two kinds of green beans, tomatoes and zucchini. I was thrilled to get zucchini because I just stumbled on a recipe over at Inside BruCrew Life I wanted to try. They are called Banana Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cookies and oh my were they to die for. They may be my new favorite cookie. If your child doesn't like veggies, this is a great way of tricking them into getting a few servings.
First, I creamed 3/4 cup of shortening.
Added two Eggs.
Grated two cups of zucchini. (look at the beatiful color-that's what you get when you use fresh ingredients).
I added 2 cups of sugar, 3 3/4 cups of flour, 1 tsp. of baking soda and 1 tsp.. of salt along with the grated zucchini to the shortening and egg mixture. I blended all these ingredients together to make a dough like consistentcy. I must note that the mixture is less dry than your normal chocolate chip cookie dough. (I think its from the liquid from the zucchini-but it didn't affect the way the cookies turned out).
I then stirred in two mashed bananas and a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips. Just take a spoon and drop onto cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.
The insructions say to cook on the cookie sheet and keep in an airtight container overnight becuase the flavor is much better the next day. We ignored the last part and took one straight from the cookie sheet and gave it a try! They were great! I can only imagine what they taste like today!

And here is the reward - delicious soft cookies!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Chicken Tacos---Yummers!

Over the weekend, I bought some ground chicken. I usually opt for ground turkey on most occassions because its leaner than beef...but for some reason--I went with ground chicken. I couldn't decide what I wanted to make with it at first. I was thinking a meatloaf at one point, then thought of adding it to a spaghetti sauce....but I wanted something different. Since I was craving something fresh---I went with tacos with fresh lime juice and cilantro.

I found the recipe on (which is my all time fave site for recipes), and made some adaptations.

The recipes calls for the following:

1.5 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast (I used 1 lb of ground chicken breast)
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 lime, juiced (I used an entire lime)
1 tsp white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano (I omitted this--someone tell me why oregano would be in this dish)?
10 flour tortillas
1 tomato, diced (I had some great on-the-vine ones)
1/4 shredded lettuce (I used red leaf lettuce)
1/4 cup salsa (we didn't have any--so we skipped this ingredient)

Directions state to:
1. Saute chicken in medium saucepan over medium heat for about 20 minutes. Add vinegar, lime juice, sugar, salt, pepper, green onion, garlic and oregano. Simmer for an extra ten minutes.

Sidenote - the chicken did not take 20 minutes to cook. While it was cooking though, I was mixing the ingredients that went into the saucepan in a small bowl. In lieu of the oregano--which I thought did not belong in the dish at all, I added cumin to taste and fresh, chopped cilantro. I did not measure since I just grabbed from my plant---but I'd say I used just under 1/4 cup. These two ingredients with the additional lime I added, made the dish very flavorful.

2. Heat and iron skillet over medium heat. Place a tortilla in the pan, warm, and turn over to heat the other side. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Serve lime pixture in warm tortillas topped with tomatoe, lettuce, cheese and salsa.

Sidenote - I nixed this whole step by placing my tortillas on a paper plate and warming them in the microwave for 10 seconds. It made them wam and perfectly soft. Also, for toppings we used chopped onions, guacamole and sour cream.

This recipe was AMAZING! Clint and I were both suprised at how delicious it was. The flavors were perfectly balanced and it was just the right meal for a hot, humid summer day. Jude loved it as well. He mostly ate the chicken which he dipped in guacamole. It was so good that there was not any left over--which made clean up much easier. (no packing things in storage containers, etc.).
PS. I used a picture that user, chibi chef posted to the AllRecipes site as everyone was hungry and I did not have time to snap any pics.

Monday, July 19, 2010

A sneak peak.....

Here is a sneak peak at my latest project. I finished it in the wee hours of the night over the weekend and am happy with the end result. There are a few silly mistakes that I made (which I will go over when I post my tutorial), but overall it turned out presentable and I am happy with it.

It will be used to hang my jewelry on. I need to purchase some small "s" hooks for my necklaces and bracelets, but my earrings will hook right onto the chicken wire with ease.

Details to follow.

Inception...a must see.

This weekend the hubster and myself had a wedding reception we had to attend. We didn't make the actual wedding due to Clint's football obligations, but did make it to the reception late---after dinner to mingle for just over an hour. We decided in the beginning that we wouldn't stay too long as we wanted to catch a movie since we had a babysitter for the first time in a long time.

Since I don't watch much TV, I had never seen the previews for or even heard of Inception starring Leonardo Dicaprio. I half watched the trailer the day before because Clint wanted me to see it to see what I thought. I say "half watched" because at the same time, I was amusing Jude. I was glad that I didn't really watch it though because it made the movie that much better. I must say that this was the best movie I have seen in a long time. Granted, I haven't been to the movies that frequently in the past year and a half. Regardless, this movie was captivating. It's one of those movies that keeps you wanting more and afterward---questioning possibilities. I completely recommend that everyone go see this movie. I would actually like to go see it again...and I am not the type of person who sees movies oevr and over and over again.

I must warn you though--the ending is priceless.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Buffet Makeover (pt. 1)

It's been a long process...but it is finally almost complete. It's taken quite a while since I am only able to work on my projects in shifts....and those shifts revolve around balancing work, the upkeep of the house, cooking dinner and a very energetic 15.5 month old and his naps.

I sanded, primed and painted the buffet that I scored for FREE at a garage sale early this summer. I think that it turned out amazing. The piece was outdated and simply an eyesore before the transformation. It was dark and rustic which wasn't the look I was going for at all. The new one is fresh and vibrant. I actually even repainted all the hardware with spray paint in a Bahama Sea color. I considered swapping colors and making the buffet the bold color and the hardware the almond color, but knowing that I get sick of things easily, I decided I should save myself the trouble. I know that had I done it in the Bahama Sea color that within a few months, I would be shopping for a new color to repaint it.

Here is a look at the colors up close. I don't know why...but I tend to always go with the Krylon brand. It covers so well, dries fast and I love that you can switch the angle of the nozzle.

I got a great idea while preparing to paint the screws. I wanted to paint the screws because they would all visible...but I did not want to get paint on the anchor portion because I thought that the buildup of paint would be a mess when I replaced the hardware on the piece. I sure as heck didn't have time to tape them all this was my solution.

I found an old piece of cardboard from the hose I purchased for Clint awhile back and poked them through. It worked like a charm and was proud of myself for being so resourceful.
I want you to remember what it looked like originally. See what I mean...yuck! I do appreciate that its real wood and is a solid piece though!
Now---for the after. Still a solid piece, but fresh and much more current. The blue is much more teal/Carribean in person.

The only thing that I have left to do to is refinish the backer board. If I set this buffet against the wall now, you would see the wall behind it when you open the doors. I removed the backer board because I plan on covering it in a coordinated wallpaper, fabric or wrapping paper. I want it to look cute even when its doors are open.
I have also been debating whether I wanted to get a stencil and do a design on the sides of the buffet. We'll see. You'll have to wait for pt. 2 to find out what I decide.

Tidy Mom