Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Top Projects for 2010 & Hopes for 2011

Since I am a new blogger I don't have a ton to show off...but the few projects I have got in I am really happy with. Here is a sampling....

2011 looks to be a busy year of DIY projects...I took the time to jot down a quick list of the things I would love to accomplish. Depending on funds and time we will see what we get done. I assume most bloggers create a plan for the year so I will attempt that soon...before the 5th of I have a deadline so I have to do it. 

The list! This is really a list of hopes and dreams...items in bold will hopefully happen in 2011, others...just a dream or a vision. Time will tell how much happens. I have included some "before pictures", a lot of them are from our original walk through and things have changed quite a bit...I'll get better pictures soon...just need to remove the Christmas stuff first I think! Please forgive the bad photos...I never remember to get good lighting photos of my house...I need to do that. 

A note to my darling husband...don't pull your hair out...this is a "Idea List" we will do a little bit at a time! ;o) love you!


We have already removed the scalloped borders and plants here, now we need to add pretty stuff.

Paint house, come up with a color scheme that works with neighborhood but makes our house shine
Install lights on front of garage
Power wash driveway and walkway
Paint shutters to match door and porch railing 



Ivy, trees and old chairs are gone. Now if only that dirt would rota-till itself!
Fix fences (no more dogs in our yard please)
Fix Sprinklers in front, install sprinklers in back
Lawn, get rid of burial plot in the front lawn, seed for new lawn in the back
Flowerbeds, define and plant preliminary plants
Tear out old walkway and install new pretty one to sidewalk and to driveway...think organic right angles. 


I have refinished that wicker...its red! The porch railing is peacock blue to match our door.
Stain floor to something "pretty"
Install beadboard ceiling
Install fancy outside light 


The entire house could used new flooring...but that is a big huge project for years from now...bummer


Get/create artwork for wall of sofa
Find perfect but cheap area rug for kids to thrash


Hang awesome curtains waiting to be hung
Organize Closet and do something to make doors look nice and less cheap. (more on this later)
Refinish desk and get or make a file cabinet

James room

Can you tell that James doesn't clean his own room yet?

New Closet Organizer, fancy up the doors
Area rug
Toy organizer

Megan's Room

This is Megan's version of clean...impressive I know.

New Closet Organizer, fancy up the doors
New light fixture
Better toy and book storage
Big girl bedding

Master Bedroom and Bath (needs to be a escape for Mom and Dad)

Like my paint swatch...not the right color...but obviously I have given up on it for now. Nice bedding too!

New bedding and window coverings
Refinished dresser that fits in the room
Accessorize...we don't have any :o(
Refinish vanity cabinets
New toilet

Laundry Room

Better Organization 

Hall Bath
Refinish vanity
New toilet

So this is a to be continued list for sure. I need to put together some inspiration boards so I have something to refer to in the years of work we have ahead of us. I am excited about all the possibilities. As always thoughts and suggestions are fact I look forward to them!


Shared here...

southern hospitality

The Lettered Cottage

11 Month James and Christmas...Awesomeness!

Well this is long past due! 

We have been very busy around here...James turned 11 months old on the 22nd...I can not believe in a few short weeks he will be 1! He is getting stronger and standing up for longer periods of time. He walks along holding the sofa but has yet to take any serious steps. That is ok with little man is growing up way too fast! Here are a few pics of his handsomness...I couldn't pick just one.






What color are those eyes? Still not sure! Yes I know he needs a hair cut...I just can't bring myself to do it!

On to our wonderful Christmas...

We hosted Christmas Eve this year, we had 10 adults and 5 kids! It was great. Kid's didn't fight, adults had a great time visiting and the food was yummy! I have to say that my favorite part was all of the adults sitting around the table with full tummy's talking about our most memorable Christmas. All of us had special stories that we could all relate to, some were about the bike they just had to have and some were about huge surprises that they didn't new cars. For me that is what Christmas is really about...sharing with those you love and learning about them. I am so glad everyone was able to join us this year and I look forward to next year.

I was a little frazzled and didn't complete all I had planned for the year. I have to say that taking up blogging in November is not the best plan if you are running late on gifts and crafts. Next year I will start much earlier!

Christmas morning was awesome. The kids were adorable, they enjoyed the gifts and Megan has really grown into a gracious little girl. I have to say this years thank yous came from the heart and made it all that much better.

Here are a few shots of our holiday.

All ready for bed on Christmas Eve, they will kill me for the matching Pj's in time! I love it!

Poppy and Grandma got him his first wheels, now he is a Policeman just like his Poppy.

I had one of was pink...we will see if we can create something yummy.

James wasn't so sure about all this...but he liked the tractor.

Butt Paste!!! Just what I needed! (I assume that is what he was thinking) This is quite possibly my favorite picture of the day.

Megapod! Megan got her own she can sing even louder...who's idea was that?

The aftermath....yeah I did not want to clean that up!

So that is our short holiday round up. Things I didn't get to do are going on a list for next year. But it was a wonderful holiday! I love my family, I love my friends...what a great life!

PS...I'll post my super duper late home tour soon...just so I have it on here for next year.


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Adorable Gingerbread Snowflakes

I made yummy cookies...check them out!

They are chewy and spicy gingerbread that are actually super easy to make. I have eaten more than I should have...cant help myself...your friends and family will love them.

Want the recipe???  Here ya go! 

1 cup temp
1/2 cup packed Brown Sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup Dark Molasses
1 Egg
5 cups of flour
1 tsp of baking soda
1 tbs of ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt

In a mixer, cream butter until light yellow, add sugars and continue to cream until fluffy and the mixture is no longer gritty. Slowly add the molasses. Add egg and mix until well blended. Sift flour, baking soda, spices and salt. Gradually add to the butter mixture. Turn out onto a floured surface and work dough until a smooth mound. Divide into 4 parts, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.

Roll out dough to 1/4 thick, use cookie cutters of choice, I used 3" snowflakes.  Line cookie sheet with parchment or lightly grease. Bake at 400 degrees for 6 minutes (3-5 in cookies...shorter time for smaller cookies) until the bottoms are lightly browned. Let sit for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Once cool your can decorate to your hearts content. I like it somewhat simple and use Royal Icing...recipe follows.

3 tbs Meringue Powder (found at Michael's or Bakery supply stores)
6 tbs warm water
4 cups sifted powdered sugar
food coloring

Sift powdered sugar and meringue powder together, in a electric mixer set to low slowly add the water. You are looking for a thick pancake batter consistency, it should be pourable but not runny. Add colorant if desired, I did a super pale blue for a snowy look. I use the piping bags or bottles for better control. Decorate and eat!


I made these ones for Megan's Christmas party at the school...the kids loved them...they didn't notice the awesome detail...but the Mom's did...and I thought they were so pretty. One boy told me these cookies were so good that he could die now and be happy...I guess in 7 year old boy talk that is pretty good.

I shared this at the following awesome places...

The Girl Creative
Under The Table And Dreaming
Tip Junkie
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Three Sisterz 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cupcake Birthday and other reasons I have been absent!

Well it has been a hectic few weeks and I have been MIA from blogland.

Between holiday prep and other fun things blogging has been pushed aside...hopefully this will not be a ongoing thing.

December 5th my darling little girl turned 7!!! I can not believe she is so old already! Just yesterday she was saying things like "Momma, my hot" and "I wuv you", now it's "Hello Mother, how was your day?" spoken in her new favorite fancy accent usually British! 

She helped to plan her party this year. We did a cupcake theme, complete with decorate your own cupcake to take home station. I was thrilled to not have a pink princess party! It was purple...yeah not a huge change in the degree of  girlyness but you Mothers of girls know what a big deal this is. We didn't have crowns and fancy feather boas (last year), and she wanted to wear pants instead of a fancy birthday dress. Jump houses are not as much fun in a dress I guess.

Here is the play by play...please forgive the number of pictures...too many pictures to narrow down...too much fun.

The adorable Birthday Girl! Awesome that her front teeth are coming in right!
The birthday celebrations started on Friday at Megan's school. I made these cute little flower cookies for all the kids...they sang Happy Birthday...she blushed and said Thank you...then as 1st graders do...they inhaled the cookies...wanted more...I am sure there are some Mothers that appreciated the sugar high that evening.

Sour Cream Cookies, Royal Icing, few hours of icing, drying and more icing.
On to the details!

I wanted to make some pom poms but really had no idea how so I purchased them from Kristen of PomLove on Check her out here...PomLove

I love the color combination and Megan thought they were way cool...they stayed up for a week!
I made this little darling with my Scrapbook Max 2.0 software...again with the purple...but cute! I secured each letter together with a brad and stuck it to our ever empty living room wall.

Megan thought this should stay up all year.
I had planned on making the pinata because I wanted a 3D cupcake, well I ran out of time so we purchased this one...cute...purple and fits! Only issue...4 out of 16 kids got to hit it...bummer for the other year I'll make it myself...I am good at paper mache and its fun having homemade one of a kind decorations. 

The soon to be pulverized cupcake!
I made the cupcake cake (say that 10 times fast) the evening before the party and just did the finishing touches the morning of. This is 4 boxes of cake mix and a huge batch of Cream Cheese Frosting. Keep in mind this is a cupcake party...the genius behind it was that the kids were going to decorate cupcakes instead of having a big cake...well Megan had other ideas. "We need to have a big huge cupcake for candles and little cupcakes to decorate and my friends can take them home for later". Well she got what she wanted!

Enter "Big Huge Cupcake"

It's difficult to carve and ice cakes perfectly...I didn't do it perfect...the kids didn't notice...hats off to the cake people!

On to the fun stuff...the action...the party!

The birthday girl doing her best to kill the cupcake.

Poppa Rich being reminded how hold he is...and how young they are.

Megan's Dad did the burger grilling.
Please note the disaster of a backyard. This will be a big project this coming spring...flower beds, lawn, fence repair and all kinds of other fun stuff...stay tuned!

Cupcake decorating! Don't you love the concentration!

Adorable kids in the jump house. My Megan and James, nieces Hailey (blonde) and Renee (brunette).

Aftermath of cupcake decorating...I put a paint drop cloth down to save the floor...totally worked!

Blowing out the candles...she made a wish and wont share it so it will come true. Maybe its for a million dollars and a vacation for her Momma???

My youngest niece Rylee...she had too much party I think!
So that is just a fraction of what I have been up too...I have also been slowly working my way through the house refinishing the brass door hardware to good ole Oil Rubbed Bronze...its beautiful! I'll show you that when its done. I keep creating new things to decorate for the holidays...I guess I should do a holiday house tour post...sorry I 'm a little late on that one! I just last night finished wrapping gifts, and after I post this I am on to finishing up baking...sour cream cookies, ginger bread cookies, zucchini bread, wafer cookies and jam thumbprints to start. I'll be sharing recipes soon! Until then...happy blogging!


Friday, December 10, 2010

I am in love with this Kitchen!

I am in love with this kitchen...yeah I said that already buttttt....check this out! 

It's not very often that I see something and like everything about it...but on this one I do. The floors, cabinets, fabrics, lighting...well everything!

Subway tile! I love it! Blues and greens and cream and dark wood....amazing.

We have a fairly similar small kitchen/supposed to be living room combo in our house. I have been wanting to do something like this ever since we did our first walk through with it. Hopefully my husband will get these visuals and go for it! 

 I can not stress enough how much I like those light fixtures! They fit wonderfully with the other elements in the room. 

My kitchen currently has one of those flush mount florescent fixtures...yes gasp...but someday...when we grow up...we will have something like this! 

This room is beautiful. My kids would have hand prints all over that beautiful blue, but pictures this on a smaller scale in this room....


Yes sorry this picture is from our kitchen cabinet doesn't always look like this...I sear!

Well that is my oogling for today...hope you enjoyed it.

All images other than my messy room are borrowed from here....

I may be in love with this blog...just so you know!