Thursday, November 29, 2012

Let There Be Light!

I feel like I say it with every renovation, but what a difference it makes!

This time around we finally got rid of the huge fluorescent kitchen light.

I never really noticed until now, but the fact that it's not really centered over the island kind of bugs me.

Our contractor sent a skilled electrician who banged it out in one day.  Down with the fluorescent piece and up with four canned lights and two blue pendant lights. 


You might notice the hole next to the pendant on the right.  That was left from the big fluorescent light and will be patched up when the team comes to scrape the popcorn ceiling off.

A nice little close up of the blue pendant lights.

I was surprised that Mom opted for blue (because her favorite color is red and we saw some nice red ones), but it looks really good against the yellow.  

And a nice side by side, before and after of the light change.

One more item crossed off the list of kitchen updates!

Have you changed up the lighting in your house?  Did you do it yourself or leave it to an electrician? 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

There are so many things that I am thankful for including (and not limited to) my husband, my family & friends, Gypsy, employment, the ability to travel, our health, my sewing machine, sweet tea, mac & cheese, strawberries, modern technology, and the chance to build for our dreams.

Hope everyone has an amazing holiday today, enjoying great food with friends and family!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Out With The Old Carpet

And in with the new wood floors! 

We haven't made it to the complete afters for the living room renovations, but I wanted to show the progress that we have made so far.

Here's a before shot of the living room, old carpet and all.

I had to get one last shot of the tile in front of the fireplace because it wouldn't be making a reappearance. 

Mom and I moved out all of that furniture the night before the team came in to lay down the new floor.

24 hours later and the room just felt so much larger with the new laminate wood floors installed.

We wanted the room painted and to have the popcorn ceiling removed prior to Thanksgiving, but the timing just wasn't going to cut it.  Hopefully before Christmas it'll all get done.  As we were putting the furniture back in the living room, there was one piece that Mom was not at all excited about working back into the space.

See that entertainment center?  It used to hold an old tube TV before my brother Dennis, Chris & I gave my parents a flat screen for Christmas a couple of years ago.  The entertainment center is a large piece, with several places to just hoard things like tapes from the 1996 Olympics.  It just wasn't needed anymore.  So we made use of Chris' truck and hauled that not so light piece of furniture to the Salvation Army for donation. 

Mom and Dad made the rounds to local thrift stores and furniture outlets before stumbling upon this beauty.

It's much smaller and frees up even more space in this room.  Once the walls are painted, the plan is to mount the TV on the wall and get rid of that fake plant that is currently in place just to hide the old Satellite cable and phone line.  Just keeping it real. Dad will finally remove those lines that have not been used since my college days.

Have you purchased any new furniture piece lately?  Did you or your parents used to record anything and everything that they thought would be a once in a lifetime type of event?

Friday, November 16, 2012

In Progress: Renovation Updates

New Paint!  New Floors!  New Fixtures!

We've been busy around the house with more renovations and I'm dying to share the finished products.  Unfortunately, getting to the after isn't as quick as we would like (a money tree would really help out!).  But, we're working it and slowly but surely we'll get there.

The Dining Room

Mom & Dad scored some great oops paint for the dining room, a nice grey with some green undertones.

That ladder is older than me!  When my parents purchased their first house in 1979, the previous owners left that ladder with the home.  After years and years of added height, it was finally time to replace it with a new one.

The Living Room

I always laughed at those commercials with the furniture slides, but those things really work!  

Via Amazon

Mom and I were able to move out the sofa, 2 love seats, glass coffee table & entertainment center all by ourselves.

Even with professional cleanings, 17 years of wear and tear makes for ugh carpet 

Now the room is ready for a major upgrade to laminate wood flooring!

In other news, I also had the chance to read through this very inspiring book!

I've have one or two (or 20) projects that I can't wait to try out!

Has your "in progress" phase of a project or renovation taken longer than you would like?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Travelin' Tuesday: Vegas Getaway

Viva Las Vegas!

A big shout out to my brother for gifting plane tickets to Chris and me for our birthdays, and my parents for the free room!!  Chris and I have been to Vegas before, (and I've lost count of the amount of times my family has gone), so this weekend getaway was to mainly just to get out of town for a couple of days.

There were two things that we really wanted to see/do on this trip:  The Sirens of TI show (which used to be the pirate show at Treasure Island when I was younger) and to eat at Gordon Ramsay Steak!

The Sirens of TI was sexier than the pirate show of yesteryear and definitely draws in a good crowd for this free show on the strip.  My favorite part (that has not changed) was the explosion!

After the show we walked back to our hotel passing the Venetian which reminded me of the gonadal ride we took the last time we were there.

Sunday morning we got our exercise in walking up and down the strip stopping by the fountain in front of Caesars and the glass art inside of Bellagio.

Sunday night was our reservation for the popular Gordon Ramsay Steak (we made reservations a month in advance and the time that we originally wanted was already full).  We are fans of Hell's Kitchen and the prize of this past season was the chance to cook at Ramsay's new restaurant in Vegas.

The red light fixture at the top of the restaurant showcased the movement of Ramsay's hands while making his famous Beef Wellington.  Unfortunately, that beautiful piece of art cast a red glow over all of my food pictures.

For appetizers Mom & Dad split the Fried Blue Point Oysters (top left) while Aunt Bunny enjoyed the beet salad.  Chris and I decided to finally try Pork Belly (I've always heard about it on Top Chef) and it was very tasty!

For dinner there were only two options selected at our table.  Dad & I loved the size and variety of the Fisherman's Grill (bottom right) while Mom, Aunt Bunny and Chris opted for the Roasted Beef Wellington which they said was delicious.  One of my favorite parts of the meal was the side of Mac & Cheese with blue, cheddar, parmesan and truffle - amazing!!  Even more amazing was the fact that it had peas in it and Chris ate it all!  Chris and I were pleasantly surprised when we didn't receive a check - thank you so much Aunt Bunny for treating us to a wonderful meal!

Our trip was a quick one (flew out Saturday morning and back Monday night) but it was just the type of getaway that we needed to take a break from our everyday schedules of work and school.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Finished Quilt!

There were several times during this process that I thought I wouldn't make it to this point, but I'm so happy I stuck with it and now have a completed quilt.

When we last left off I had just completed the patchwork top and made the decision to order a walking foot for my machine to quilt the top to batting and backing.  I picked up some additional supplies and got to work sewing the fabric for the back together (I couldn't find a material that I liked that was wide enough so I pieced together two).

Once the foot arrived, I used a blog post on Sew 4 Home to straight line quilt.  Since this was my first time, I practiced on some scrap pieces before working my way up to the real thing.

Quilting the real thing resulted in some choice curse words when my bobbin thread had some issues.  It was frustrating to no end having to start and restart when the thread screwed up but with a little push from Chris to keep going I finally found my rhythm.

After the quilting was complete, I trimmed the excess off and then read about binding on Make It and Love It.  Again, I tested it on my scrap pieces before working on the real thing.

More pinning and sewing and I was left with a finished quilt that I'm pretty proud of!

I feel like the binding really adds to the finished look.

Gypsy approved!

Have you worked on any projects that included some issues along the way?