09 March 2013

living room demolition

in my last post i showed off our dining room remodel, you may have to jog your memory since it's been nearly two months since my last post!  if you remember though, you'll remember that we decided to make what was intended to be the living room into a dining room.  so where did we decide to put our living room?  if you said the formal dining room then i like the way you think!  

the formal dining room is in the front of our home, away from the kitchen.  i knew if we put the dining room in this space it would rarely been used.  i wanted to use every inch of space in our small beloved home and this space was difficult to use.  the previous home owners admitted to us before we purchased the home that the formal dining room space was never used.  the room was a step down from the rest of the house and had arches extending across the room, which made it feel out of place and closed in.  in fact, the previous owners kept the room empty because it was such a difficult space to use.  here is a picture of roughly what the room looked like when we started tearing down .  i didn't get a picture with the ever-in-trend blue shag carpet but you get the idea.

so to start we knocked out the arches and raised the floor up so the whole house would be one level.  then we painted the walls a light grey, installed bead board ceilings and put in new laminate floors.  below is a picture about half-way through the process.

and while we aren't finished, below is a picture of the progress we have made so far. 

i still love looking through the before and after pictures, it reminds me that we have done so much together and that those small things left on our to-do list don't have to be crossed off today.  instead i can sit on chester (the sofa) and enjoy what we have today.

18 January 2013

remodel reveal

as many already know we bought a home in august.   while we loved our little home from day one it was definitely a diamond-in-the-rough type of purchase.  after months of smoothing out those rough edges i am happy to reveal some of the progress.

when we first walked in the house, we knew it needed work but we saw through all the outdated bits and saw real potential.  one of the first things i wanted to change was the living room.  the living room was located right off the kitchen and had a lovely brick fireplace.  when i saw the living room  i knew it was screaming to be a dining room instead. we always seem to find ourselves wrapped around the table, deep in food and conversation and a fireplace will hopefully help us linger around the table longer.

below you can see the progression from turning a dungeon living room into a cozy dining room.

lucky for us when we ripped up the shaggy baby blue carpet this pea-green linoleum was waiting for us underneath.

amazing what a little paint can do...

in addition to paint we also covered up the outdated popcorn ceilings with white bead board.   and as you can see we still have a few finishing touches. we need new (non-rusty) vent covers, add a light above the table (which will let us move the lamp out of the corner of the room) and move the cable (can you see the cable box in the bottom left side of picture?)  into our new living room.  here are a few shots of the new space.  

just a quick recap in pictures:



people ask us what is like to remodel our home...let me tell you it's like the children's book when you give a mouse a cookie.  if you have read the book you know that when you give a mouse a cookie he then needs a glass a milk to wash down the cookie.  then he needs a mirror to make sure he isn't wearing a milk mustache. then he needs scissors to trim his little mousy mustache...and on and on it goes.  that is a metaphor for remodeling.  we were just going to do the floor.  well if we did the floors we should knock out a wall, raise up the floor a level, paint every wall, re-tile the floors, knock out a soffit light fixture, put bead board on the ceilings to cover popcorn and on and on it goes.  it's a happy labor of love though.  here is a sneak peek at the some more of our handy work.  clearly we need vent covers.

07 January 2013

jb has a man cold.   if you know anything about men and the fierce man colds that can take them over then you know that we are in dire straights.  desperate times call for desperate measures so i made a very hearty gremolata mushroom and beef stew tonight.   the broth is so velvety and rich you will just want to grab a scotch glass and sip it straight up.  

just in case you aren't familiar with the man cold epidemic here is a glimpse...

17 December 2012

aunt jan's easy blueberry pancakes

as a kid eating breakfast at my aunt jan's house was more than just good food, it always meant plenty of laughter too.  last year she made her oh-so-tasty blueberry pancakes.  i finally asked her to spill the beans and give me her recipe.  she laughed and told me it wasn't much of a recipe but gave it to me anyway.  in fact it was so easy that she just walked over to the trash, pulled out a box and said "this is my secret ingredient for my blueberry pancakes".  so i locked the recipe away in my memory bank and saved it for a rainy day....and by that i mean i completely forgot about it.  thankfully, as i was strolling down the grocery store aisle this past weekend the secret ingredient practically jumped off the shelf at me.  the best part?  the secret ingredient is 79 cents.  at least at my grocery story.  but i live in one of the poorest states in the union so you may need to factor in a few more dimes but, yes, you read that correctly- 79 pennies.  or 2 quarters, 2 dimes, 1 nickel and this is too much math.   regardless, here is a super easy pancake recipe for your collection.


1 box of jiffy blueberry muffin mix
1 egg
1/3 cup milk

boxed muffin mix as pancake mix?  genius i tell you.  sheer genius.   this may open up a whole world of pancakes for me.  as a side note, notice what jiffy's box says, "artificially flavored" and "imitation blueberries".  if you read my usually recipes you know this one ventures off my usually taste but sometimes you have to throw caution to the wind and eat hydrogenated lard with a pat of butter and cherish the memories of a beloved aunt and her secret blueberry pancakes and all the warmth it brought to your life.   it's true after all the secret ingredient to any recipe is always love.

23 November 2012

pattern mix

pattern mix

i have been loving playing with patterns this fall.  i would love that flannel shirt under a sparkly, sequin, polka dot shirt and top it off with a casual top knot.  those earrings i have been watching and wanting to buy all season!

22 October 2012

industrial curtain rod diy

when i posted this picture a few days ago and told you we had a diy project up our sleeves, high class were probably the first two words that popped into your mind.  well high class or white trash but really it's such a fine line.  

rest assured we haven't lost our minds...completely...yet.  we just made a curtain rod.  we followed this easy tutorial but since our curtain rod is so long (96 inches) we added the middle brace.   we love the results and so far they have stood the test of our lives.  

we have been doing so many projects around our new casa.  i can't wait to share them.  i also can't wait to take down those awful shades on the windows too.  which was the whole point of the project and i forgot until i posted these pictures.