Friday, February 12, 2010

A Glimpse of Spring

We may have more snow outside than we have had here in one single winter since the mid-1800s, but inside there is a touch of spring blooming.

I bought a few Amarillis plants during after Christmas sales at Target for a few dollars, and boy am I glad to see the bright blooming beauties today, just in time for Valentines Day!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

No-Cost Kitchen Table Makeover

I'm pretty sure I could just squeel after showing you all this post, I am sooo digging what I spent my whole day doing. You see my mother in law bought me this perfect little breakfast table for our kitchen a few years ago for my birthday. A lovely table really....just a little...plain, shall we say. (Pretend that large streak of white isn't there, I'm great terrible at remembering to take before pictures)

I started off knowing I wanted to paint it cream, since that's what I had sitting around, and I was determined I wasn't going to leave the house for any part of this project. Period.

After a few coats of paint she was looking mighty fine, but just missing...something. How about a little numbered accessory? Yes, I think that will do the trick.

I started by drafting out my numbers in (do you have this? You should, it's free.)

And then I traced them onto notebook paper, because it's all I could find.

Then, using the point of a retractable pencil, I traced over the lines leaving indentions in my dry, but still plyable, paint.

After I had my outline indented in the paint, I just filled it in with black acrylic paint and a fine tipped brush. It wasn't perfect, but I don't want my projects to feel over-burdened, I don't want them to feel like the have to be perfect. I'll still love them anyway.

After that she got a little lot of distressing. Lookin' mighty good. But still missing...something. I have been noticing a lot of antiquing glaze being used on projects lately, but I didn't have any of that. And remember I wasn't leaving the house today. So...I made my own. Sorta.

This is a very technical process. I started with some leftover paint from Lincoln's room - CP Natural Bark - and added a splash of water (see, I told you - technical), but I needed to give it more of a glaze-y substance, so I dug out some Puzzle Glue from the cabinets. Mixed a little of that in there, stirred it together, and voila! Glaze. Sorta.

Most glazes you paint on and then rub off with a towel, but I used a different and much more technical process - I wiped it on with my finger. And wiped off any excess other finger. I just ran it along the edges, especially where I had distressed, it added...something. I'm not sure exactly what that something is, but I like it. So the end product looks something like this -

And I adore it. Squeel!

I am linking up to Miss Mustard Seed's Furniture Feature Friday

Furniture Feature Fridays

Funk Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special
Tater Tots and Jello's Weekend Wrap Up

Cottage Instinct's Make It For Monday

And Twice Remembered's Make Your Monday

Extra Moist Banana Bread

A few nights ago I made brownies....

In light of this, last night I decided to make a little less messy banana bread. :)

This is gooood stuff. Here's the recipe that I use. This recipe makes Extra Moist Banana Bread, really good stuff, without the chocolate-faced-children.  :)

Extra Moist Banana Bread

1/4 cup margarine
1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups ripe mashed bananas
(I used two medium sized bananas last night, I didn't measure it out)
1 cup sour cream

Cream margarine and sugar together. Add eggs and vanilla, beat well. Add dry ingrediants, alternating with bananas and sour cream. Grease 2 loaf pans, divide mixture evenly between both pans. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes. Loosen around edges and remove from pans promptly onto wire rack. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Yesterday I talked about our kitchen, and my consideration of black cabinets. Today I'm feeling like cream would another good option. Bright and airy and cheery. Plus, in case of resale, cream cabinets are going to sell much easier than black.

I love the mixture of white, cream and red in this kitchen. Love the beadboard backsplash, love the shabby blue table. Pops of blue in this kitchen could easily be subbed with green to tie in with our counters.

Another beautiful example, this one with stainless appliances and butcher block counters. Love.

I adore the bright pops in this kitchen - yellows, greens, blacks - all balanced with bright cream cabinets.

I love finding "real-life" photos that inspire me. Anything from a magazine is going to look amazing because of edited, lighting, you name it. But when you can see a picture that represents exactly what you would see when you walk into this person's kitchen, that's what really inspires me.
I love the farmhouse sink, the butcher block counters, and the narrow wood island, all ideas my dream kitchen would incorporate.

This kitchen is by far my favorite. I love the way the red, green, cream and white all play off one another.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Kitchen Ideas

We moved into our house a few years ago and were lucky enough to find one with a newly updated kitchen - new appliances, new sink, new tile flooring, new countertops, and new cabinets. I often times think of how lucky we are to have such a nice kitchen, as we live in a older part of town and most kitchens are terrbily dated. The previous owners also chose a very 'country' feel, which matches my general decorating style. With all that being said....I want to change it. I know! I should be glad and happy and feel lucky for what we have- and I do.

The kitchen that we inherited with our house has white appliances, a classy off-white tiled floor, light green countertops (I know what you're thinking...but they honestly aren't that bad). The kitchen has a lot of natural light from a large window over the sink, and it's open to the dining room, which floods with even more natural light. It's small, but doesn't feel closed in. The bank of cabinets which extend over the penninsula have glass doors on either side, which especially help to allow light in and not take away visual space.

I see all these beautifully painted kitchens, and my honey-oak-builders-grade cabinets start looking a little drab to me. I've been slowly collecting some inspiration photos, and slowly writing out my pro-painting-the-cabinets speech to give Mr. Z. :)

This first set of photos comes from Layla and Kevin's beautiful kitchen in their Lettered Cottage.

I love how the black and brown play off each other so effortlessly, and I love the slight distressing on the edges.

I'm not sure of the source of this photo, but I love the pop of red from the rug (because we all know how I love red!).

Not sure of the source of this one either, but I love the butcher block countertop on the island. If/when we replace our countertops, I'm going with a butcher block countertop, ikea even sells these...for cheap!

A little less "magazine-y" and a little more realy life-like. Love how it looks next to the white appliances, and our kitchen it much brighter than this one.

But...until we decide on whether on not this is our "forever home", I'll be making mental notes and collecting ideas. What do you think...are black cabinets too daring?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Big-Boy-Room

This is Lincoln. Today he wants to show you his room.

One of his favorite things in his room (and mommy's too) is his vintage school desk.

It didn't always look so nice, in fact Mommy spent quite a while on this desk. Once upon a time, it looked something like this:

I purchased the desk for $3 at a garage sale.

The vintage children's dictionary which sits on top was a gift from Aunt Tawnya.

This vintage baseball glove is just for show. I love the patina of the glove, beautifully worn and dirty. Exactly what a well-loved baseball glove should be like.


This baseball holds a funny story for all of us. I allowed Mr. Z to go and "check in" with his just-for-fun-baseball team the afternoon after we had Lincoln (I gave birth at 2:16 am after being in labor for almost 18 hours, so all I wanted was rest). Well as it turns, they were short players and Mr. Z stayed to play. He sheepishly returned to my hospital room a short time later. I wasn't that upset, I had visitors non-stop and little Lincoln was constantly being held my someone other than us, after all, we had out whole lives to spend with him. Mr. Z and his dad proudly handed over this baseball to me, explaining that for the first time ever, Mr. Z had hit a 3-run home run, and thought it fitting to give the ball to Lincoln - his Birthday Home Run Ball. They even wrote all of Lincoln's stats on one side, along with "3-Run Homer" on the other side. Most woman tell me they would be enraged if their husbands did that. I just laugh, baseball will always be a part of Lincoln's life, might as well start the day of his birth!

Lincoln loves his big-boy-bed. He recently graduated to a toddler bed, and loves getting up on his own in the morning, greeting us with a cheery "hello" as he leaves his room. I purchased his bedding from Target, I wanted something that could go with different themes in his room. Sports, Automobiles, Trains, you name it - he loves them all.

Next to his bed is a thrift-store find. It works perfectly for a nightstand, and inspired the primary color palette throughout the room.

At the end of his bed, you'll find his perfect little reading chair. He loves to sit here and read his books, or just take a little break from playing.


The rug was a favorite find from Ikea. At only $15 it's such a great addition to the room. Lincoln loves driving his trains along the roadways.

This rocking horse was a gift from a very special man and family friend who recently passed away. We miss him dearly but think of him often, especially when we see our special rocking horse.

A few DIY projects Mommy managed for the room include the curtains, and this matching covered ottoman for his balls, bats and gloves.

This wall art grouping was made by recovering Animal artwork from Lincoln's nursery with scrapbook paper, and painting the frames.

Thanks for visiting my room today, hope you enjoyed the tour!