Friday, September 28, 2012

Kitchen Gets A Paint Job

I've always wanted to paint, living in one white area after the next, and the opportunities have not stopped in this house!  After we broke out the paint rollers for the half bath and the laundry room, we moved onto the newly tiled kitchen.

I'm sad that I didn't get a chance to take the best before shots of the kitchen, but these will have to do for comparison sake.

I can tell you there were many trips to the paint department before mom finally settled on Behr's Tangy.  With the new paint job on the walls, mom and dad decided to donate the old kitchen table and chairs to make room for a beautiful glass and leather set that they purchased off my aunt's big move.  Gotta love when Aunt Bunny moves because it usually means that she will be buying new pieces and getting rid of her current furniture at a discount or for free! The dining room set that Chris and I own as well as the set my brother owns are former Aunt Bunny pieces.

The new paint, tile and kitchen set are a huge improvement!

There are still projects on the list before this room will be considered complete, such as new countertops, staining the cabinets, a new stove and some new lighting over the island, but I think it's really coming along!

And one last before and after for the road.

Do you normally test out several paint samples before landing on the one you like most?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Parmesan Potato Bites

It's been awhile but I've made it back into the kitchen with another recipe found via Pinterest.  This recipe came from the blog how sweet it is and I couldn't wait to try it out, I mean what's not to like about a recipe with cheese and panko crumbs??

The original recipe made about 70 bites, and since I wasn't making them for a party I went ahead and cut all of the ingredients in half.

-1 pound of Potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
-1 tablespoon of Milk
-1.5 tablespoon of Unsalted Butter
-1/8 teaspoon of Salt
-Dash of Pepper
-1 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated (the original called for 1 cup and I left it because I love Parmesan)
-1 Egg, lightly beaten
-2 cups of Panko Crumbs

After hitting up the store of a potato peeler (I could have sworn I would have found one in the kitchen) I peeled and cut the potatoes into chucks.  Into a large pot of boiling water for 20 minutes until tender.  Drain and then return the potatoes to the pot, mashing them together with the milk, butter, salt, and pepper  (I skipped the onions in the original recipe).  Finish up with stirring in your Parmesan cheese.

Place this mixture in the fridge for 20 mins to cool down.

Remove the mixture from the fridge and roll into little balls before dipping them into the beaten egg bowl.  Roll in Panko crumbs, place on the baking sheet and spritz each bite with a little olive oil.

Bake 12-15 minutes at 400 degrees, or until crispy.

Mine didn't turn out as golden brown as the ones pictured in the original pin, but they tasted delicious! We had several left overs, and I'm happy to report that reheating those in the oven were tasty the second time around as well.  Have you tried any good recipes lately?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

2012 October Photo Challenge

Has it really been a year already??

I loved participating in the Photo Challenge last year with Our Wired Lives, and am excited to bust out the camera once again.  You can read more about it here and join in!  You're free to use any camera (DSLR, point and shoot, cell phone) and can share your pictures via your blog or twitter.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Catch Up On The Kindle

It seems like it's been forever that I've posted about my reading goal on my 30 before 30 list.  The reason for the long lull?  Well, sadly I think it was The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

I started it after I finished the Hunger games and for some reason I just wasn't getting into it.  I wasn't excited to read it so days would go by before I would read through another chapter and then put down the kindle again.  I decided to give it a rest for now, hoping to pick it back up later because I really want to read the book before watching the movie.

After I raised the white flag on the Dragon Tattoo, I gave into the guilty pleasure of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy.

Those books were pretty much everything that I expected grammar mistakes and all. Originally I only downloaded the first book, expecting to be done after that one but the little cliff hangers enticed me to download 2 and 3 as well.

Now, it's onto Lauren Kate's Fallen series per suggestion of Amanda over at Love and Renovations

Have you read any good books lately? I need some more suggestions to get to my goal.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Half Bath Reveal!

What started off as a small painting project turned into a half bath renovation that we are very proud of!  We'll start off with the before shots.

We started with this cozy little room that has pretty much been unchanged in the 17 years my family has lived here.  After painting the room we changed out the floor, vanity, lights and fixtures while adding in some DIY art and shelves.  

Are you ready??

Here are the final after shots!

So, so happy with the end results!!

It was really a team effort with painting, shopping for the new fixtures and the mirror, putting everything up and installation.

I love how Chris' shelves turned out!  I think his first project with the new saw was a success! 

What I love the most out of this project was the fact that it spurred a renovation bug in all of us.  Since starting this half bath, we've painted the laundry room, painted the kitchen, purchased some new furniture and are excited about tackling some of the other rooms in this house. And I know mom and dad will be as excited about helping us in our new house as we are helping them in theirs (hint, hint)!

And one last before and after, side by side shot.

So what do you think?  Did we do a good job on our first home renovation project?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Car insurance, at a minimum liability, is required in Texas so I have had it since I first started driving.  I've switched only once when I had to get off of my parents insurance (out of college and didn't live at home) and the quote was easily beaten by my current company.

Thankfully I have only had to call in on my insurance once since I've been on my own.  On our way to our engagement pictures a lady drifted from her lane and drove up along side my car.  I was pissed, but as luck would have it more damage was done to her car than mine (since her's was lower than my SUV), so after consulting with both companies each driver dealt with their own car.  I was a little miffed because it was not my fault, but with no witnesses (I didn't expect anyone to stop on a highway going 75 for a small fender bender) there was really nothing I could do.

I never really think about the insurance that we pay each month, it's just one of those necessities.  And then Chris came home with this beauty on my windshield.

Due to Chris' long commute up to school he takes my car which gets better gas mileage then his truck.  That cracked star is thanks to the 18 wheeler on the highway that kicked up stones.  I have to admit with all of the travel on major highways in the 7 years I've had my Escape, I'm surprised this is my first windshield crack.

After a call into the claim department, we had an at-home appointment to get it filled in at a cost of nothing.  I never want to really have to cash in on our insurance, but it's nice to know that we are covered in the event of something happening.

Have you ever had to deal with an insurance claims department?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Breaking In The Saw

Chris has finally made use of his birthday present!

As part of the half bath renovation, Chris volunteered to make mom some shelves above the toilet.  After a trip to Home Depot for some supplies it was time to get to work.

Cutting was quick, taking him less than 10 minutes once he got the new blade in place (that of course took a good 30 minutes...those bolts were in tight!).  Once the pieces were cut, he got to work on staining.

A couple coats later and the shelves were only missing some polyurethane and screws. 

I'll save the final reveal with the reveal of the half bath coming up next!

Have you worked with a saw before?  Did you have any pieces of wood fly towards your eye?  It happened to Chris, good thing he was wearing safety glasses!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Pillow Intervention

That's what my husband thinks I need due to the amount of pillows cases I have sewn recently.

It may look like a bunch for this small love seat, but when we get into our house I'm envisioning a large black or dark gray sectional.  With that amount of space I think these pillows will fit in nicely :)

The good news it that I'm done...for now :)  At some point (while I have the free time) I want to make some cases to switch out for the holidays.  There is an abundance of Christmas, Halloween, and Fall/Thanksgiving fabric out there.  I've even seen some fun Fourth of July and St. Patty's Day prints!

Do you ever get excited about learning a new skill?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Beginning Of The Half Bath Reno

What started as a simple painting project has turned into a pretty nice overhaul of the half bath.  We started with a cozy little room, unchanged since we moved in with the exception of the toilet.  After our initial painting job (from white to Behr Urban Putty), mom decided to go all out changing the light fixture, mirror, sink, faucet, accessory fixtures, flooring and trim.

The room went from 17 year old carpet... beautiful boardwalk laid tiles.

We changed up the pedestal sink... the vanity that set off our battle with spray paint.

And we switched out the builder's "hollywood" lights... something a little less in your face thanks to Martha Stewart. 

We're still working on some finishing pieces (including touch up paint, handmade shelves from Chris and another mirror because the first one looked too small above the sink) but I was too excited to share the beginning of the renovation!  I'll be back with the finished before and after pictures soon!

Have you ever started on a project that grew into a larger one?