Saturday, March 24, 2012

House Update: 3 weeks to go

The house is almost finished!
We will be swimming in boxes, but living there, in less than 3 weeks.

This is what's been completed since the last update...
As you can see, they've been busy! Out back, the fence is up. Out front, they planted beds, started on sodding, put up the wrought iron railing, and have been working on the trim. I love how the landscaping is coming along. We have 2 "street trees" that are planted between the side walk and the street that I believe are some sort of oak. Then we have a cherry tree planted beside our garage and river birch planted on the other side of the house. 

Inside, they're finishing up!

Most of the painting is done, the backsplash is in, they added the tile bench in the shower, and carpet in the bedrooms. Besides, appliances being installed and finishing up painting, only small details remain. 

In other news, the townhouse we're currently living in has a signed lease for May which I'm really excited about because we no longer have to keep it in "showable condition" and can really focus on packing up!


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Project Pillow

I did it! I finished my first ever pillow and I'm very proud of it!


I made it with the scraps from my placemats and table runner project.

Uh-Oh. Someone's jealous of all the attention the pillow is receiving.

(After leaving the room for approximately 2 minutes)

Who's in charge around here? Its kinda hard to tell sometimes.

Who's in charge at your house?


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spicy Chicken Tacos

We've been busy around here with my mother in law and sister in law's family visiting over the weekend. We had a wonderful time visiting and did ALOT of eating. We ate these spicy chicken tacos Friday night. They were awesome, as usual (they're a staple around our house in the warmer months).

There are 2 parts to this recipe: a jalapeno slaw that I adapted from a Paula Deen recipe*  and jerk chicken. 

First, for the slaw, this is what you need

(Cilantro, Green Bell Pepper, Red Bell Pepper, Orange Bell Pepper, Bag of Shredded Lettuce, 2 Jalapenos, Lime, Salt, Honey....and a Red Onion that is not pictured. Don't ask.)
See that white thing in the background? That's my mandolin slicer, which I love because it makes quick work of the next steps of this recipe.

(This is my disclaimer to use the guard that comes with your mandolin slicer...don't be like me.)
Thinly slice all the peppers after you've deseeded them, and the red onion. 
Chop about half a bunch of cilantro and add to the thinly sliced vegetables and shredded lettuce. Mix well. 
Juice the lime (should produce about 2 tbsp) and add to the vegetable mixture. 
Add salt and honey to taste (start with 1 tbsp of honey and 1/2 tsp salt). Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Now, for the chicken. This is all you need.

(Or any other Jerk or Caribbean seasoning. Jason prefers this, but its a little on the hot side for me.)
And chicken. And oil.
I cut the chicken into bite size pieces before cooking it to speed the cooking process.
Sprinkle with the seasoning.
And saute in hot oil for 3-5 minutes, or until done.

Now just assemble tacos which chicken, slaw, and cheese!
(Our secret ingredient for making them extra fattening decadent is white cheese dip.)



*I couldn't find an online link but the Paula Deen Recipe came from a Special Issue of Cooking with Paula Deen called Paula Deen's Best Dishes, August 2010.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

House Update: Closing in less than one month!

I can't believe we're going to be living in the new house in less than a month!
They've really made so much progress.

Outside, they added columns out front, and lighting, 

(I love the lights over the garage bays.)
Inside, they added granite counters.
 (I really like the contrast of the dark cabinets and light granite.)

 (Here's a closer look at the's got some rust and golds running through it.)

 (Granite was also added to the built in cabinets in the family room.)
They also finished the hardwoods.
 (I'm glad we went with the distressed hardwoods. I think they'll wear well.)

 (I also like how the dark cabinets, bring out the darker color in the wood. 
Nevermind the dirt...we're still in a construction zone.)

They also added wainscoting in the dining room.
 (It will really pop once its painted white.)
The walls above the chair rail will be an inky blue in the dining room.

(Sherwin Williams Indigo Batik)

The Master bedroom and bath will be the same green in our bedroom now. 

 (Sherwin Williams Oyster Bay)

The rest of the house will be the same neutral tan for now.
 (Porter Sienna Sand)

Only a few weeks to go!


Monday, March 12, 2012

Kony 2012

Since I saw it, it's been weighing heavy on my heart, 
so I wanted to make sure you were aware too.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

House Update: 6 weeks until closing

Over the weekend, Jason and I went to check on the progress of the house when we weren't painting furniture.

Outside, they had added the stone facade, poured the driveway and walkway, and built brick steps up to the porch.

In the kitchen, the cabinets went in!
 (I never thought I'd be this excited about kitchen cabinets...)

 (pendent lights over the breakfast bar)

The tile was finished in all the bathrooms, as well as all the bathroom cabinets.

 Most of the fans and light fixtures were in.

Built ins in the great room were installed.

Travertine was installed around the fireplace.
I originally thought the cabinets around the fireplace should be painted white, but now the dark is growing on me. What do you think? Should they be painted white or left dark? Less than 6 weeks to go!


Monday, March 5, 2012

What We've Been Up To: Furniture Make Overs

On Fridays, my good friend Toni and I get up really early and hit all the local estate sales. We're usually not looking for anything in particular, just browsing until something speaks to one of us.
Well this past Friday, a dresser spoke to me...

(It had all 8 drawers...we had just removed 4 before I thought "OMG, the blog! Where's the camera?!". And...we're lazy and figured you'd get the idea without replacing all the drawers)
My eye went straight to it as soon as we walked in the sale. You see, since Jason and I got married we've been sharing 5 drawers in our bedroom. Yes, five. All our other folded clothes and unmentionables were stacked up in makeshift cubbies in the closet. Pretty ridiculous if you ask me. So I had been thinking we needed another dresser, especially since the new house has a bigger Master Bedroom and can easily accommodate more furniture.

It is solid mahogany, Drexel, with dovetail joints so I knew it was a well made and had potential. I loved the serpentine front and its a really good size...large but not too large. So after approval from corporate (AKA: a quick text to the hubby making sure it was okay to buy) and $225.00, it was all mine!
So Saturday, Jason and I went back with his 4Runner to pick it up, and made a few pit stops for supplies to make it over. I have read so much good stuff in blogland about Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, I decided to give it a go. (In case you're not's made for painting and antiquing furniture, requires no sanding or priming, does not show brush strokes, dries in about an hour, low VOCs means no odor, and comes in some beautiful colors.) The colors we (Jason helped me through out this entire project. Thank you, Jason!) chose are Old Oche (a creamy neutral) for the body of the dresser and French Linen (a greige) for the drawers. We also got the clear wax (made for sealing and protecting) and dark wax (to give it an antiqued, distressed look). 
(Is that enough parentheses for you?)

And then we painted. And waxed.

The painting was super easy. The wax was a little tricky until we got the hang of it.
I hit the brass bail pulls with a coat Oil Rubbed Bronze metallic spray paint.

(Easy peasy.)
And here's how she turned out...
 ( Isn't she beautiful?)
Pretty good for a $300.00 investment. So good, in fact, we decided to tackle Jason's 5 drawer chest...

 (Once again, I am lazy and new to blogging and didn't get any before shots with the drawers in.)

As you can see, it was in need of an update too. We are, of course, extremely grateful for all the 1980s furniture our parents have gifted us, we just didn't want him to feel bad sitting next to his newly made over serpentine sister. :)

This was the real test of the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint claim that no sanding or priming was required since the dresser I bought was primed by the previous owner. We didn't even knock the shine of the polyurethane off...we just started painting. This time we decided to go with the french linen all over. 

This is how it turned out:

On Jason's chest we replaced the hardware with new, but felt it was worth the money since again it was a brand name, solid wood (and FREE) piece of furniture
We couldn't be more please with how both pieces turned out. 
We will be using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint on future projects and can't say enough good about it. 
I definitely recommend it if you have a piece of future you'd like to change up!