We are in the homestretch for this Kitchen renovation. Finishing touches should be happening soon now. We just purchased our island or what we are going to be turning into an island. We still need to pick out and install the backsplash and find the perfect light fixtures. When we are 100% complete I will post a side by side view of the before and after shots but until then here is a sneak peek at our progress 3 weeks in.
Monday, September 26, 2011
So I mentioned in a previous post that I had started collecting ideas for this years Autumn decor at my home. I am not one for decorating indoors for different holidays or seasons, but when it comes to outdoor decor, I love to change it with the seasons. I feel that the outside of my house is an outward expression of the inside of my home and far more people see the outside then the inside. I also want to be that house that makes people so "Oh I love that house" or "Isn't that house so cute" or even just slow down for a better look.
So here is a look at how I've expressed my love for fall this year.
This is the view from the side door. Most people come into our home via this door so I wanted to make sure I didn't skimp over here on color and texture.
Sunday, September 25, 2011
So the weekend started off without a hitch. We prepped the car, packed our overnight bags and headed off on our 2.5 hour trip to Adamstown, PA. This was our second year doing this trip and we knew our way. We had scouted out a restaurant in Reading, PA before we left called Judy's on Cherry. I highly recommend this restaurant if you are in the Reading area. Food is wonderful, interior has an intimate loft feel, and the bread ranks in my top five of all time.Judy's on Cherry
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
I'm not sure about you, but I hate, no despise, oily, greasy, eggplant parm. Drives me batty after all the work it takes to make. Cutting, breading, frying, layering and baking..ugghh I'm exhausted just thinking about it. It's such a delicious dish and eggplant is always so plentiful in my garden, I had to find a better way. So I decided to try to make this dish a little healthier, a lot less greasy, and far less of a messy process. I call this my "No Fry Eggplant Parm".
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
So if you read my previous post, the kitchen reno is almost complete, and I'm on to the next project: Autumn Decorating! Although I would have liked to have started this last weekend, that was not an option. So I am committed to getting it all done this upcoming weekend. I've been doing research on ideas for weeks now and have compiled inspiration images for front door displays and window box ideas. These are some of the inspirations I've been toying around with.
Sorry for the delay in posting pics of the reno. This has been a crazy week. Many late nights working on this or that, a full weekend of non-stop assembling and installing of flooring and cabinets. But for all our hard work (and a HUGE thank you to our dear friend Brian) we now have a new kitchen!!
Eva over saw every project and made sure the guys didn't slack off.
Here is what the kitchen looks like today. Cabinets and floors have been replaced and appliances reinstalled. We are without countertops or a sink right now, but I am watching the granite guy template our kitchen as I write this post, so those should be in fairly soon too.
Friday, September 16, 2011
A week or so ago I had to take down my sunflower garden. Between the end of their growing season and the hurricane winds that sort of pushed them over, they were looking kind of pathetic. So in my attempt to save some money for next years seeds, I said "off with their heads" and hung them on our fence to dry out.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Monday, September 12, 2011
"The itsy bitsy spider when up the water spout. Down came the rain and washed the spider out."
Literally, can't find him after all the rain we've had in the last few weeks, but before that I noticed his web hanging from our tree and I thought he was the most interesting spider I had ever seen. Looked like he had a shell on his back. Sort of like a spider/conch hybrid.
Tried to research online what type of spider this was, but found nothing that looked similar to him. So this mystery image, is really a mystery spider.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Let me start by saying "Weekend, where have you gone?". My precious two days off from work were consumed by crow bars, spackle, sanding blocks and little sleep. Ok we did take a break on Saturday when we spent the night in NYC with friends, but it was hard to relax with the thought of all the work ahead on my mind.
Friday, September 9, 2011
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Lately I've been on this kick of eating English Muffins for breakfast. First it was english muffins with jam, then english muffins with butter and jam, then english muffins with honey, then english muffins with flavored cream cheese which I would purchase at the local bagel shop (think I like english muffins?!). Finally I thought to myself, why can't I make my own flavored cream cheese and save some money!
So that is what I've done. This recipe combines cream cheese with veggies and lots of garlic and onion flavor to make for a deliciously flavorful spread. I adapted it from Heather Bullard's "Casino Butter" recipe shown here.
Like every Wednesday we argued about the recycling.
But today my husband made a funny that is still making me laugh.
And this is how it went...
me talking to hubs: It's a miracle you did anything with the garbage!
hubs talking to eva: Do you think we could fit mommy in the garbage?
me: Some people might say I'm a treasure!
hubs: Yeah, a treasure they'd like to bury.
Mind you this is all in good fun.
I know he loves me and that is why we can laugh about this.
But seriously am I not a treasure? Lol
Let me start by saying that our kitchen cabinets have arrived!!! This is a lovely surprise since we weren't expecting them till next week and now we can move up our renovation schedule. We can also finally pick out a wall color and a countertop, which has literally been keeping me and my husband up everynight...not joking either. Instead of sweet dreams we were haunted by the anxiety of picking out our granite slab and living with a wall color we pick out. What is wrong with us?!
Now when I say anxiety I don't mean the "I can't breath, heart racing, feel faint" type of anxiety. Mine is more like an unsettled, on edge, always thinking ahead type of anxiety. Well to combat this anxiety, which I grew accustomed to when I was working in the Fashion Industry, I learned to write all my thoughts and ideas down on paper. I noticed that once I got it out of my head and down on paper, I started to relax. I usually end up with a list or scribbled notes on post its. My husband takes a different approach; he schedules, forecasts, creates timelines of our projects, our finances, our lives. To some one like me who is alittle bit all over the place, but craves structure, this is a perfect union.
So here is the kitchen timeline (ambitious I know, but hopefully we can stay on track):
Empty Cabinets: Unpack all cabinets and put contents into printer boxes
Pick out paint color
Stove (turn gas off)
Move Refrigerator into dining room
Spackle all needed areas
Remove all molding
Build barrier so Eva cannot eat anything toxic
Buy all molding
Order/Buy Pulls and knobs
one Happy BitterSweet Wife, and then on to the next project
Photos of the process to be posted along the way...so keep following!!
Monday, September 5, 2011
You will see me post often about my picking adventures. I am an avid Picker and proud of it! I love the thrill of the hunt, the anticipation of the search, and the exhilaration of the find. I feel, and I believe many interior designers would say the same, that a room is not complete with out a mix of old and new. And the best way to find old stuff, is flea markets, garage sales, and antique fairs, which I try to frequent. Knowing exactly the right pieces to buy and how to mix them into your current decor, is what I consider the art of picking.
Today my sweet husband and I went to the annual Labor Day Street Fair in Rutherford, NJ. We went last year and felt it had a nice range of vendors and many garage sales around town that made it worth the trip. And with the kitchen remodel in full swing, we are looking for some key pieces for the house. Though not as good as last year, we walked away with 2 great finds!
Sunday, September 4, 2011
My lunchtime usually consists of whipping together a quick meal and chowing it down outside, all while keeping an eye on the Diva aka Eva. Ever since the hurricane we haven't put back out our outdoor furniture so I've been using our picnic bench as my seat and table. On this day the sneak has decided she wants to share my lunch.
My Labor Day weekend project, along with priming the kitchen walls, finding the perfect paint color for the walls, and trying to find a reasonable price for granite countertops, was to distress a bird house I purchased at Home Goods over a year ago. It was in the clearance section because a piece of the roof was broken. For the last year I've had it hidden away on the bottom nook in my fireplace bookshelves. Other then the broken piece it looked like a new painted birdhouse; white body, natural stained roof. I wanted it to look like an old bird house with a little more character, so in only a half hours time, I distressed it.
Saturday, September 3, 2011
I want to begin by saying that my thoughts and prayers are with everyone who was affected by Hurricane Irene. I can not imagine how much heartache comes with having your home destroyed right in front of your eyes. There were many homes in my own neighborhood that where devastatingly flooded and whole rooms torn out and thrown away.
Please don't judge me, as I have found beauty in their anguish. Viewing the destruction as art and the trash as a sculpture. These photos document the affects of how much damage water can really have on a home. I hope that they inspire you to reach out and help those in need in our local communities.
Friday, September 2, 2011
Since I got my camera for my birthday (thank you to the best hubby ever for that surprise) I've wanted a new lens. I know, can't I just be content for a second?! Nah. Once I get an inch, I'm on to the next thing. And the next thing was a new lens, but which lens?? I thought I wanted distance so telephoto, right? Or did I want a macro lens so I could take super close up pictures? Wide angle, static lens, fish eye... so many options and when I have to many options I get overwhelmed. So I did research and everyone kept raving about the 50mm f/1.4 and how the pictures are so clear and the f/ can get so low making ideal for low light and indoor photography. So I splurged and now I'm a proud new owner of the Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens! I'm not going to lie, I've never taken one class in photography, I only know what my sister's taught me (thanks Sam...check out her blog here), and I still don't really know all the tricks and techniques to this lens, but thats exactly how amazing it is. You don't even have to know what your doing! Ok maybe a little, but these are literally my first few shots with the lens. Of course you know my favorite subjects, Eva and Ducki!!