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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

This Week's Menu : Roasted Chicken, Shrimp, Penne & Red Pepper Cream, Grilled Herb Butter Steaks

Good Monday Tuesday morning : )   It is time for the weekly menu plan.     This is what my world looks like right now - tube rose (one of my favorite smelling flowers), to-do lists, weekly menu, candle & coffee!  I didn't have my phone on the entire weekend and it felt so good.  Now, I'm catching up and checking out the weather for the week so I can plan dinners.  Am I the only one that plans food around weather?

I decided to start on Tuesday this week since we had a holiday yesterday... and last night we had frozen pizza and salad from the grocery store.  You're impressed, right?  We had a good excuse - we started packing up the house for demo day!   Actually, I'm impressed (surprised) that I've kept it up this menu planning post three weeks in a row.  It really has helped me be more on autopilot during the week for meal planning so I can not be on autopilot for other, more important things.  Is it helping you?  What would you like to see more of?

Tuesday : Easy Roasted Chicken

I'll use leftover chicken in Chicken & Biscuits on Thursday.

Wednesday : Make Ahead Rustic Shrimp & Penne in a Red Pepper Cream Sauce

Thursday : Chicken & Chive Biscuit Pot Pie

Friday : Grilled Steaks with Veggies & Herbed Butter

We're going out on Saturday, so staying in this Friday night. 

Friday, August 29, 2014

DIY Craft Hutch | $200 Weekend Project

DIY Craft Hutch

Welcome to my new favorite spot in our house - my charming little corner of supplies and storage.  It is filled with all of my entertaining essentials, linens, candles and the packaging supplies that I use for gifts.  It sits right in my kitchen by a big window, where I used to keep my desk (as you might remember).  I've dreamed about having a spot just like this for years... I had no idea that it was a weekend DIY project and $200 away from becoming a reality.

You might be wondering why I went to all of this trouble for a room that is going to be torn down in three weeks...  Funny, Mike asked the same question.  As I explained to him, I'll be taking this with us to our temporary home (more on that later...) while the new addition is being constructed.  It will serve as my product "home base" for the store and will be a perfect spot for me to style my photos while we're away from our home.  And then... it will be installed in our new mudroom/studio area in the new house.  Win, win.  When we install it in the mudroom, I'll be adding to it (I think) to make it a large counter area.  

This peg board was a last minute addition - it used to be attached to our cabinetry and hold pot holders, but now it holds my current tea towel collection.

*To spare you from too many product links, I've included all products featured at the end of the post.

I used two unfinished cabinets from Home Depot (not sponsored) and screwed them together.  Then I sanded and painted.  It took all of an evening to do.  More details and photos about the process at the end of the post.

I used the same Martha Stewart Living Bedford Antique Brass Pulls (from home depot) we used in our current kitchen and plan to use in the new kitchen.

You might recognize the wood top - it was on my old desk that sat in this same spot.  More DIY details about how I refinished the top at the end of the post.

Why didn't I do this 2 years ago?!   With very little storage in our kitchen, I had been keeping my  platters, candles, packaging, etc.  in the dingy basement.  No more!  

You can see the top is very distressed and worn - I like it that way.  It came from my old desk that I bought in college for my first apartment.  I've used it since then all through each new adventure and project.  I'm glad to have reinvented it in a new way that I can still use.

Now for a look inside :

I have all of my Wood Candle Holders lined up ready for my next table setting, Linen Tea Towels & Napkins in a basket so I can take them in and out easily without messing them up, Kraft Boxes for packaging cookies and Kraft Bags for last minute gifts.

In the drawers, I keep all of my gift tags and cards, ribbons, scissors, twine, etc.

I also keep a stash of Cello Bags, Labels and Tablets that are sold with my Le Pens (restocked today!).

I got this wooden organizer in the silverware organizing section - storing my Everyday Cards & Tags, Le Pens (added a new Brown color for Fall), Bakers Twine, Scissors & Everyday Tin Candle.

Ribbons, Taper Candles & Cotton and Jute Twine.

And, of course... all of my bakeware supplies.

And here is a look at the pulls - at only $4 each, they are the most affordable and beautiful brass pulls available.  

The Butternut & Acorn Squash are doing a great job holding up the Creamware Platters.

Okay, so here is how I made it.  It started at about 9pm at night.  I bought two 18" unfinished cabinets from Home Depot.   You could just buy one set that is 36", but I wanted to have half drawers and have cabinet, so this was my only option.  For both, it was about $170.

I sanded, then painted them my favorite - Benjamin Moore Navajo White in Satin.  It is the same color our cabinets will be in the new kitchen.

You can see how the paint really transformed them.

Then, I added the top.

I had recently damaged the finish, so I sanded the old finish down, then stained it with Special Walnut Minwax stain.  I finished it with Tung Oil for a soft, matte luster.

I hope you've been inspired to create your own little corner of happiness!  I can not emphasize enough how easy this was, and how much storage I've gained in our small kitchen for all of my goodies.

Products Featured (and stored!) in my Craft Hutch :

Linen Tea Towels & Napkins

Wood Candle Holders

Kraft Boxes for packaging cookies

Cello Bags, Labels and

Tablets + LePens (restocked today!)

Everyday Cards & Tags

My Everyday Candle Tin


Taper Candles 

Cotton and Jute Twine

Bakeware Supplies

Here is the Pinterest Strip for easy pinning.

In other store news, I've received a small restock of Herringbone Throws.  I should receive even more in 2 weeks or so.

Hope you have a great holiday weekend - ours is packed with visits from out of town friends, brunch at our house and date night for me and Mike tonight.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Emma's Big Girl Room

Well, it has taken me the entire summer, but I finally got Emma's Big Girl room done - sort of.  There are still many things that I need to "find," like the antique (looking, or real?) pine dresser and a headboard/bed (probably upholstered?).  We have replaced her crib with a Big Girl Bed - the real purpose of this project, and removed the clunky changing table from her room.  

It is just perfect for now - it is a cozy, not too perfect and filled with Emma's favorite things.

This gallery wall is what took me all summer - well, actually, it only took a weekend, but finding that weekend is always the tough part!  I painted all of the frames myself (because I like everything to match my trim... like a crazy person).  

Her Big Girl Bed - Pottery Barn woodland duvet and shams layered with ruffled white sheets (also PBK), linen euro sham (Pottery Barn) and the quilt my Mom made for me 10 years ago.

Here's Emma's snuggly bed.

Our nightly reads : )   Around the Year is Emma's favorite book - we love Tasha Tudor around here.

A glimpse of the closet - remember how pale pink and cream it was before in her nursery?  Growing into a "big girl" means more fun colors, which I love now - it is all a little more fun.

This is our "golden shell" souvenir from Seaside - every night the girls and I would go on a treasure hunt for the "golden shell" and the last night they found it!  I plan to write the "Legend of the Golden Shell" on the back... at some point.

I mounted it on artboard and removed the glass from the frame.

We worked on the watercolors over the summer - nothing here is permanent, I plan to swap out our artwork for Emma's in the next couple of months.

The sweet little antique chair filled with lovies and Blah Blahs.

Emma's board of friends and photos.

Into the closet - the best part of Emma's room.  It is almost half the size of her actual room and we treat it as a mini play room.

Mocs and ballet slippers.

Her old crib mattress became her "secret snuggle spot" in her closet... because we literally had no where else to put it.  It does make a nice bed (that we put out in the room) for cousins that spend the night!

Just in case you thought Emma didn't have any real "stuff."

We've got lots of it, but I do continually try to keep it to a limit.  Daily battle : )

The doll house from her birthday.

Thanks for joining me on a tour.  I really love to document our living spaces, especially for Emma - there are so many memories made in four walls!

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