Archive for the ‘Household’ Category

Home Improvements and Other Rambles

June 27th, 2017

Hi y’all- Long time no talk. Despite my absence here on this little space, I’ve been thinking of it- That counts right? I thought so. Life has been rolling along full speed ahead and while I would love to say that I have a perfect life balance for blogging, home and social life- I would be lying if I said I did.

Lately we’ve been all about home improvements, finally getting the living room completed and working on the guest room since we’re having my best friend since my teenage years visiting soon. To say I’m excited is probably the understatement of the year. I’ve been drooling over antique bedroom furniture from Laurel Crown & finally made a few purchases here and there. Now to finish pulling the room together. I have a week to do so. That’s plenty of time, right? Nothing like a ticking clock to shift things into high gear.

Cowhide Rugs Add Beauty to Any Room

February 20th, 2017

A natural cowhide rug is the perfect investment for someone who likes to constantly change their home decor. The rugs come in natural, neutral colors, which makes them blend seamlessly with almost any decor. However, it’s amazing the amount of variation that’s available when searching for the perfect hide. You could choose one in solid black or white to accompany modern decor, or choose something with a lot of spots or variation for a more eclectic style. Color choices often include white, black, grey, and a variety of shades of brown and taupe.

The texture of cow rugs can also vary wildly from hide to hide. For this reason, it’s ideal to be able to choose a hide to purchase in person. That way, you can touch each of the different hides and choose one that has both the look and feel that you’re looking for. Some are soft and fuzzy, while others have a coarser texture. There’s no right or wrong choice when it comes to choosing the perfect hide to use as a rug. It all depends on personal preference.

Once you have your cowhide rug at home, you’ll be impressed by the durability of the hide on the floor. The natural material stands up well to wear and tear – even with kids and pets around. The hides also layer well with other rugs. If your hide isn’t the right size to anchor the room or if you want another pop of color, just throw the hide over another rug. Hides are also easy to maintain – when they need to be cleaned, they can be vacuumed just like a regular rug. Because they’re so durable, cow rugs make a classic statement piece that you can continue to incorporate into your decor for many years, even as other styles are changing.

For allergy sufferers, it’s also important to know that cowhide rugs are hypoallergenic. This is especially important if you have children that have allergies or like to host people at your home for events. You want your guests to be comfortable in your home and not have to worry that they are suffering from allergies due to your rug or other decor.

Cowhide rugs come in so many different sizes, textures and colors that there is bound to be the perfect rug for any room in your home. They look fabulous in dens, living rooms, offices and bedrooms. No matter what your personal decorating style, there is a hide rug that will please you. If you take the time to pick the perfect style for your home, it’s worth the effort – you’ll never tire of hearing the compliments that are sure to come pouring in.

Sales Sales Everywhere Sales

February 9th, 2017

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love a good sale, but something about ‘stumbling upon’ a great sale tends to bring me even more joy than one I knew about.     Such was the case and point a few days ago.

Back story-   Late last year I picked up a fully automatic coffee machine as a birthday / Christmas gift for Marcel.  He had been complaining about the  machine we had at the time, saying the coffee was no longer good from that machine.   I disagreed with him, but he was so adamant that I finally decided to surprise him with the machine.     We both agree, we love that it grinds the beans each and every time, plus the cappuccinos and other options are great.   It can pretty much make everything.

The milk container that attaches to the machine had a transparent tube which transported the milk up through to the milk frother.  More times than I remember, I kept thinking-   One day we’re going to lose that tubing.   Well that day came a few weeks ago.  We have searched high and low for it-  and it didn’t get put away where it usually was, so all we can conclude is that it was accidentally tossed in the garbage. (This information has a purpose I promise- bare with me.)

I went on the quest online to find this little rubber hose  and it was to be found NO WHERE!    The only way I could find to replace it was to order the entire contraption again- at a price of more than $30.00, which I didn’t think even remotely necessary.   So the quest began to find a piece of hose that would fit.  Armed with the top of the milk container we went to several stores before we realized that we couldn’t find the exact size we needed, but ended up finding an adapter that would work that we could fit into the tubing and well-   we now have cappuccino again!  HURRAY!     I digress!

If you know us in our everyday life-  you know that we’ve been working on home projects for a year now.   We’ve slowly but surely been checking things off our list- and one thing we’ve wanted to do is paint the doors and trimming inside but hadn’t chosen a paint color yet.    We were walking through the home improvement store and low and behold there was this huge table of discontinued ‘last years’ colors that they had marked down to very cheap.  Usually the colors aren’t fabulous (usually too bright or too dark) but we spotted exactly what we needed that we knew should go great with our walls.    After scouring the table to make sure they had enough (after all we knew we needed several quarts) we grabbed four cans and off we went.    The regular price was more than $22 each and we ended up getting them for around $5.50.     I am really excited about it, as it was not only a steal, it was also a project that we’ve been wanting to get started.   The bonus on top of the great price:   The paint is water based, which means no over the top smells that will drive my allergies bonkers.

I also noticed there were a lot of sales happening, but since we didn’t need anything else, we skipped the rest.

 

Have you found any great home improvement deals lately?

In the Midst of Home Improvements

December 28th, 2016

Marcel and I spent a ‘bit’ of time doing home improvements this year. Truth is- we didn’t get nearly everything done and over the past few days we’ve been making plans as to what we want to do for next year. More painting, plus I still have art work to be framed. New window treatments – all things that are on the list to be done, plus a few industrial lighting fixtures from warehouselighting.com. Marcel loves the industrial look and even though I don’t want to totally go to that look, I do think a little lighting would be perfect with what we have planned.

Now to get that ‘to do’ list done. 2017 is going to be the year of the lists- There will be lists for everything that needs to be done. What about you? Do lists help you get things done?

Christmas- Southern Living Style

December 15th, 2016

It has been a hustle and bustle kind of week.    I’d love to say that I’ve got everything together- have the tree up and it’s looking festive in here, but I’d be lying.    We have the tree, but it’s yet to be brought in and decorated.    We DO have the lights and decorations out-    so that’s a step in the right direction, but I’ve been swamped with work this week.   I’m grateful- oh so grateful, but I’ve been baking my  heart out-  with more in the works.

img_2300Thankfully, I’m a little ahead of schedule after running behind schedule earlier in the week, so that is a huge plus!  Tonight I took some time and finally cracked open my Christmas with Southern Living book that I’d ordered but not taken the time to look at yet.

I’ve also been itching for the Bake from Scratch holiday issue, so was able to browse it a little as well.  Both are favorites, but I’m one of those people who will leave a cookbook sitting for months if I can’t stop and fully savor each and every page.

I know it may sound silly, but it’s true.  There’s something almost ritualistic about it.   Pure enjoyment and focused on the season at hand.

I’ve seen several recipes that I want to make for our own holiday table, including my grandmas praline recipe that I improved a couple of years ago, plus divinity.    My dearest great aunt sent me a gallon of pecans that she’s picked up from her orchard and shelled.     It was an amazing gift, and something that makes me want to create something special with the fresh pecans that I know were sent with much love.

I want whatever I make with some of them to be made with love and deliberation, but also something that the flavor of the pecans will shine through.

What would you suggest?   I’ll be sure to share what I decide to make, but as for now- I’ve got some relaxing to do as tomorrow a villiage of gingerbread men await my services.

…Another Sunday, Another Fall Dinner Al Fresco

October 23rd, 2016

I was reading last weeks post and realized that I had dinner outside last Sunday.   I had forgotten about doing that, and wouldn’t you know-  today is another gorgeous day, with another dinner outside.    The temperatures  have dropped a little since then, but it didn’t matter, because I took a huge bowl of Kale, Lentil and Sausage soup outside and ate while watching the sun set.

I don’t know how to describe how I feel this time of the year-   but it’s pure bliss.    Ironically, magical things have been happening, which has added to the joy of the season.

I spent the afternoon in the kitchen, whipping up some cookie dough for a cookie order I have this week.   Since Royal icing cookies are a little bit of a process, plus I like the flavor of cookie dough after it has a chance to marry the flavors, I’ll bake them tomorrow, then decorate them on Tuesday. I am looking forward to it.

I also made two batches of the famed Southern Charm Cupcakes Fleur de Sel Caramels, that will be sent to some great people later in the week.

What about you?  How are you kicking off your week?

Learning Something New

August 24th, 2016

My brother is in the process of building a new home, so I haven’t talked to him as often as I usually do. The other day I gave him a call, and while he was giving me an update he started talking about vapor mitigation and he lost me. I interrupted him in the midst of a technical explanation that sounded ‘Greek’ to me, so that I could have him explain it more in terms that his dear sister would understand. Granted, he laughed at the idea of me not having knowledge of something and him actually having to explain it to ‘big sis’, but he did explain it well enough that I got the gist of what he was trying to explain.

Since I’ve never built a home from the ground up- or had one built, I really didn’t know that sometimes you need to have things tested for specific sorts of toxic gases. I asked a lot of questions, some of which he had answers to and some he didn’t. When I could tell he was getting frustrated at my endless questions, I gave it a rest and asked him something much less time consuming to answer: What color scheme are you using in the house? He did send me some photos and I’ll admit it made me homesick and wishing I could be there to help when they get ready to move in, plus to help decorate and do little things that need to be done along the way. It’s one of the many things I miss out on by not living nearby. Thank goodness for technology which allows me not only to talk to my family and friends regularly, but also allows me to easily look up information about subjects that I have no knowledge about.

Home Again

August 10th, 2016

After a few days of travel and adventure this week- Marcel and I landed safely at home again. I’m a little tired, but on the whole I feel rejuvenated and inspired from the time spent away. I feel more determined than ever to get some of the projects here in house completed, plus since we got home & I was able to get everything unpacked and put away- all the laundry done- the other household ‘fun’ done such as vacuuming and mopping- tomorrow I can have a day to myself to work on some scheduling and planning.

I was hoping to get the window completed tomorrow, but it looks like the weather isn’t going to be cooperating with that idea, so I’ll work on some projects inside. There isn’t a lack of things that need to be done, plus I need to get some meal prep written for our upcoming Whole 30 plan we’re going to be starting. This will be my second one, but Marcel’s first. I want to make sure that it’s a success for him.

Tonight- I’m planning on curling up and doing a little catch up on some of my favorite shows. I don’t know about you, but I can smell fall in the air. The daylight hours are getting shorter, but the air has that fall crispness to it that I adore.

Have you noticed?e

Let the Projects Begin

August 6th, 2016

Last year when a good friend of mine moved from the area- I bought a few of the things she was leaving behind in the move.    One of those ‘things’ was an old window frame, with the windows still fully intact.    I knew I would do something with it, but what ‘something’ would be remained to be seen at that time.

Fast-forward more than a year later and I’ve finally figured out where it’s going and what exactly I’m going to do with it.      I picked up some Annie Sloan chalk paint in the color Burgundy, which reminded me of a deep, cranberry red.  It’s a color that I love, plus it goes well with everything else in our living area.    We did some painting earlier this year, and when the guy finished, I decided not to hang any paintings back on the wall because I wanted to change things.   The window is part of that change.

Last week I started the prep-work for painting the window.  I sanded any rough areas, and cleaned everything really well.    Since then I’ve been waiting for the weather to be good enough to permit me to go further, and today was that day.    After a cake delivery this morning, and a breakfast of fresh fruit, Greek yogurt and coffee out on the veranda, I decided to get to work.

Since I have never worked with Annie Sloan chalk paint before, I decided to begin with the back of the window, the side that will be against the wall, so that I could get used to working with the paint.    I did two coats- and it dried fairly quick, but I wasn’t thrilled with the results of the brush I was using.  It was ‘ok’, but not as smooth as I was hoping.   I cleaned my brush, put everything away, then did some Googling to see if I should be using something different.   As it turns out, I was.    One quick trip to the hardware store and I am now armed with the right brush and ready to continue the journey tomorrow.

Since I’ll be doing some traveling next week, I’m hoping to get lucky with tomorrow’s weather and be able to get the painting finished and the waxing done tomorrow-   that way it can sit and cure while I’m gone and be ready for hanging when we return.

I’m SO curious to see the finished product.  Once that’s done, I’ll be moving on to the next thing on my Annie Sloan ‘to do’ list-  and that’s paint some shelves that are in the living room.

Have you ever used Annie Sloan chalk paint?  What was your experience with it?    I’ll make sure to share the photos when I’m done.

 

 

Keeping Cool

May 31st, 2016

One thing I haven’t missed about being ‘home’ is the heat and humidity. The past few days have been so warm, and while I tend to think about the warmth as a coastal thing, one of my friends in Ohio said that the heating and cooling Columbus has also been something they have needed more often than not. Apparently their winter was somewhat mild, so she used the heating less, but it started heating up there earlier than usual, so those days of leaving the doors and windows open were short lived.

Since we also generally don’t come home this time of the year, but instead, during the winter months, it’s been a huge climate difference for Marcel too. He has great intentions of going outside to help my diddy with yard work or to sit out and read, but that has been short lived every single time. He can’t be without the air conditioning. I expected to really be struggling a lot as well, even though I’m from the coast, but it isn’t the warmth that’s getting me- it’s the humidity. I can’t imagine how it was ‘back in the day’ when there were no air conditioners. It makes me wonder how they managed. One thing is for sure, I’m grateful to know that we don’t have to find out what that is like. Give me a cool breeze, a glass of ice water (with lots of ice) and I’m a happy girl. When it comes time to go to bed, give me a comfortable bed and a cool bedroom to sleep in. That is bliss to me. I know it may seem like a little thing, but being cool when I go to sleep makes all the difference in how I sleep at night.

Right now- the shower is calling, and a little later on- that cool bed will be awaiting me. Tomorrow is a new day filled with more wedding preparations. Just a few days until I do.

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