Archive for the ‘Household Stuff’ 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.

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?

Favorite Products- Bobs Red Mill

January 25th, 2017

If you know me in my everyday world- then you know what a HUGE fan I am of Bob’s Red Mill products. It started with me when I tried their steel cut oats. I was so impressed with the quality and flavor that over the years I’ve tried SO many of their products, I’ve lost count.

BRM-00882-7I’m also a big fan of one-stop-shopping and / or ordering, which is why iHerb is one of my favorite places to order from. Their customer service is second to none (which makes this chick extremely loyal), plus they have a vast assortment of Bob’s Red Mill products (including gluten-free flours). I also ordered freeze-dried fruits from there (great for baking and other projects), supplements, and even my favorite soap.

This morning I had an email that they were having an additional 5.00 off every order until the end of January, so I cashed in by ordering this 7 Grain Pancake and Waffle mix, along with a few other items on my list.   I can’t wait to try this-  It’s one of the products from BRM that I haven’t tried, and it will be great (I think) to use in my new waffle maker that Santa brought me.

Oh and did I mention there is free shipping on all orders over $40, plus no sales tax!  Yep, you read it right.   Don’t Miss out on the 5.00 extra savings until the end of the month, plus the free shipping-   visit iHerb and check out the savings for yourself. You can thank me later.

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 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?

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.




June 29th, 2016

This past week was somewhat of a blur.   I spent it doing all the pre-measuring of the dry ingredients for the what ended up being around 200 IMG_5848cupcakes & a small cake for two separate events.

Both were celebrations-  one a wedding.   A couple starting their lives together, a new chapter in their life journey.  The other, celebrating 25 years of life, love and friendship together.     I was deeply honored to be able to play a small part in their special day.

The joy and smiles on their faces is why I do what I do.

This week, I decided to take a week to ‘rest’, but as it is, I haven’t done much of that.  There was so much that needed to be done that hadn’t been attended to since we returned from vacation, that I’ve spent most of my days and some evenings doing that.

Two days of gardening and planting flowers and herbs, but we’ve created yet another beautiful space to relax and enjoy!     This weekend will bring a visit from a friend, plus more baking & hopefully some great weather to enjoy along the way.

This afternoon, I’m working on some household organizing.   I’m parting with things that no longer bring me joy, or serve no real purpose & working on a better organization style with my business supplies.  I can’t wait to see it all done.  It’s going to be great!

What does your week look like so far?  Whatever it is- I hope you are filled with joy.

Home Projects and Inspiration

March 17th, 2016

As we continue to make progress on our home improvements, I find that the more we do, the more I want to do.   Do you have that too?    It started with painting, but I’ve been thinking more now about utlization of space, adding some new shelving and hardware to the kitchen, and even have a few ideas for the computer room. One thing I love is how easy the Internet makes it for finding exactly what you want without ever leaving your home. I found so much inspiration and ideas simply by visiting a few sites, including one of my new favorites- I love being able to find everything I want, plus even realizing that a few things I thought I wanted, didn’t make as much sense as other ideas.

As our projects continue to unfold, I’ll be keeping y’all updated. Now that I’m feeling a little stronger and caught up on my day job- I’m hoping I can pull out the Annie Sloan paint this weekend and work some magic. Stay tuned.

One Step Closer

March 2nd, 2016

For quite some time now (more than I care to admit, actually),  we’ve been ‘talking’ about doing some home improvements.    We bought this place 11 years ago, and it was a complete mess.   We pretty  much gutted it and proceeded to redo everything.   It was a huge project & admittedly at some point into the five week mark, we got tired of dealing with things and finished somewhat haphazardly on a few things.

Fast-forward to two years ago when we started the talks on finally investing some time and money into getting some new household projects started.   New paint on the walls, new doors, new paint on all the trim.  One week led into another, into another and the next thing you know we were tapping at the heels of 2016.

IMG_0573I finally sat down with Marcel and gave him the gentle nudge he needed, and we decided that this would be the year.    As I may have mentioned before, we have been making progress.   We actually had someone come in and do the painting in the living room, but Marcel felt compelled to do the rest of the walls himself & and I was all for that.    Since then he’s completed both hallways and I’m happy to say they look great.

I’ll admit, once I had everything off the walls in the living room, I decided it was time for something else.  I wasn’t sure what that something was.   Rather than force myself to decide what I wanted, I decided to give myself to let it sink in for a while, with the belief that the inspiration would come.

Several days later it did, when I remembered that I had a wooden window frame with glass intact in our shed.   A friend had it in her home, a score from places unknown, but I loved it.   When she and her family decided to move, she offered it to me.   I didn’t have to think about it, I knew I wanted it and said an immediate YES!   Since then, it’s been in the shed.     I couldn’t figure out where I wanted to hang it or how I wanted it to be displayed, so again-  I left it to sit and wait until the inspiration struck.

Well it finally did-  and I decided to use the window for the wall behind the sofa-   I also have a large shelf (also tucked away in the shed, and awaiting inspiration), that I will hang right below it.     I wanted something with a pop of color, but what color?    I did some browsing the Annie Sloan chalk paint colors and finally decided on the Burgundy.  Originally I thought ‘nah’ with that color, but after looking at finished projects done using that particular chalk paint color and seeing that it was more of a ‘cranberry’ color than an actual burgundy, I took the plunge and ordered it.

Today, the mail came and brought with him a delivery of the Annie Sloan Cranberry chalk paint.   I can’t tell you how excited I was opening the box and knowing that it would be the beginning of something beautiful (at least that’s how I am envisioning it).    I can’t wait to get started, as this is my project to work on.     I’ll definitely be showing a before and after.     I didn’t order it today, but already have on hand the Annie Sloan light and dark wax.   I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to use the dark wax on this piece, I’ll wait and see how the inspiration flows and if I feel it needs it when the time comes.

I’ll be so happy not to have ‘naked’ walls.


Color Splash

August 7th, 2015

dishesDuring my birthday celebration month, a friend gave me four colorful plates.   She knew I’d been talking for a long time about replacing our dish set, and since I hadn’t found anything that truly reflected my style, I hadn’t made the move to get anything new.

It is no secret that I adore color-  all things color, so the plates she gave me were perfect.   I went online, found the set and began to think about ordering them.    I had some ‘mad money’ stashed away for something special, and the more I thought about it-  I knew that these dishes were the right fit for me.

I took the splurge and ordered them, and absolutely adore them.  Marcel loves them too, which is a huge perk, considering he’s very conservative when it comes to color.

I do believe our dishes reveal little pieces of who we are.   What do you think your dishes say about you?

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