Pretty Picture

If I ever have to hang another flat screen TV on our wall I am doing this:

I think that Mrs. Limestone did it best. Go here to see her Picture-in-Picture.


Hour Tour-Master Bedroom

Our master bedroom is one of our neglected rooms of our house, which is a little sad for me because some of my favorite furniture is in that room.  Our bedroom furniture is not a full bedroom suite, instead it is a combination of old and new as well as a mix of pieces from both mine and Carolina Husband's family.

Our king sized bed admittedly takes up a lot of the room, but with me, a 6'5'' husband and a 50 lbs pup (you can see her making herself comfortable) sharing the bed each night I would not change it for much of anything.

Curtain Panels from Lowe's; Valencia Sleigh Bed from Pottery Barn; Duvet and Pillow Shams from Bed Bath and Beyond

Our bedroom TV is housed in a hutch from Carolina Husband's family and while the chair looks clean now, it is often piled with clothes (opps).  I have kept most of the display of our wedding pictures limited to our bedroom.  The 4-picture frame above the chair not only displays pictures from our wedding, but was also the guest registry for one of our wedding showers so each time we leave the room we can read wedding wishes from our friends.
Hutch-White Furniture

Our dresser is also a family piece, but from my family this time.  Interestingly enough both of these pieces were made from the same North Carolina furniture company out of Mebane, NC and they coordinate well. The company was in existence for more that 100 years, closing in 1992.  While I doubt the the White label adds much antique value to the pieces, it is neat to know that the furniture has some local history for us. 

Dresser-White Furniture

White Furniture Label in the top dresser drawer.

So that is our master, I love the furniture, but am not to crazy about the decor or color.  I guess its one more room to add to the list.

Project Paint

Where has the week gone?

Weekend travel + a busy work week = "It's Thursday already?"

I return quickly with some good news for anyone who has a small painting project on the horizon. Today through July 2nd, Glidden Paint is running a promo where you can sign up for a free quart of any of Glidden's 282 colors. You pick your favorite color (or the color you need for your project), fill out your shipping info and that's it. Paint should arrive in a few weeks. Go here to get your paint or call 1-800-GLIDDEN, there is a specific option when you call just for ordering your free paint.

I picked Spring Green for a yet to be determined paint project. What did you pick and what are you going to do with it?


Boats, Beer and Bolsters

We travelled with Carolina Husband's parents to a family wedding this weekend. The bride used tiki torches, removed the fuel canister and wick and used the bamboo shell to hold a small arrangement of flowers. With ribbon matching her wedding colors, she tied the torches to the entrances for each of the church pews. They added wonderful height and color to the church and seating. I hoped to see them do double duty and make an appearance at the outside reception to line a walkway or path, but I don't think they made the trip. This is a similar idea to what the bride used, but her arrangement was more crisp and tight, with a rose as the floral centerpiece. Instead of the tulle here, there was a clean bow of ribbon and burlap. It was a nice mix of rustic elegance.
Image from Virgina Beach Wedding Chapel

What did make it to the reception was a boat load of beer, literally. The outside reception had a seaside theme to it. The bride reclaimed an old, wooden fishing boat, embellished it with marine-esque decoration, filled the bow with flowers and used it as self-service iced beverage (read beer) area.

A boat load of beer.

Since it was Father's Day we stopped by my Carolina hometown on the way back for a quick lunch with my dad. My mom was finishing up some pillows for my sister and I added the left over fabric below to my collection of remnants, destined one day to become pillows. With any luck in the next few weeks I will have a completed guest room to share. Be on the lookout for the orange to make an appearance then.Soon to be pillows


And we are off

Heading out of town for a family wedding this weekend. I hope to find something fabulous on the trip to share when I get back.

From our Carolina wedding.


House Tour-The" Man" Room

We have four bedrooms in our house, one of which we have used as our version of a bonus room.  We were hoping to find a house with a traditional bonus room for Carolina husband to use as his "man" room (his description).  He wanted a place to display sports things and hang with the boys.

The room has not quite been used as the hang out space we envisioned, but has turned into a nice upstairs TV room/place for me to fold laundry and a way for both of us to remember our college days.

Carolina Husband did most of the decorating, though I would like to think he got some inspiration and suggestion from me.  I did get to be involved in most of the projects.

The view as you enter the room.  We left the paint from the previous owners, so it's pretty basic.

View from the couch, the room is not that large which is one reason I think it hasn't worked as a traditional bonus room.  Some of our memorabilia has spilled onto the top of the TV. Notice the speakers from 1990 as a VCR stand coupled with the primitive cupboard (possibly civil war era) from my grandmother as a TV stand.  How's that for eclectic style?

Since this is not any one's bedroom we have great storage in the closet.  More touches from the husband--press credentials and the Yuengling sign.
Detail of the shelf over the couch.  The framed picture is a photo of our alma mater's basketball court and was the first thing hung in the room.
This is the latest project.  It was an inexpensive way to fill an empty wall.  Thin black 8 x 10 frames from Garden Ridge show off eight Sports Illustrated Magazine covers. The "mats" are white paper with the magazines centered in the frame.

So that is the "man" room, we also keep an air mattress in the closet for when our one guest room is not enough.  If you look closely, you may be able to figure out where Carolina Husband and I spent our college years.  Unless you know already:) 


Hot off the Grill

I will be honest, as much as I love to cook I usually leave the grilling up to Carolina Husband. But lately I have seen a lot what I think of as non-traditional grill recipes. Last night I gave grilled pizza a shot.
I came across the idea of cooking pizza on the grill a few weeks ago. I love brick oven pizza so I wanted to see how cooking on the grill compared.

The Final Product

Overall I was a big fan. The grilled pizza has a thin crust, so it will cook fast. The final flavor and texture of the cooked crust is one with a smoky crunch, but with just enough "chewy" in the cooked dough to keep anything from tasting overcooked or burnt.

The prep and grilling process is pretty simple and once the pizza hits the grill grates it cooks in a flash. Not only does it taste good, but it is also a quick alfresco dinner.

So how exactly do you grill pizza?

1-Start with a few balls of homemade pizza dough. I make several batches of dough, separate it into portions and freeze it for quick dinners so I had some on hand. If you don't want to make your own, see if your local pizza place will sell raw dough.

2-Roll the dough into personal sized rounds (about 1/8" thick). The smaller, "personal" sized pizzas will be easier to handle on the grill. You will need to use flour or cornmeal to keep the dough from sticking as the rounds get rolled out. I used flour last night, but I think light cornmeal would add a nice texture and flavor.

3-Heat the grill to medium high heat. Brush the top of each dough round with olive oil (I also added a bit of garlic) and place it olive oil side down on the hot grill.
My dough round (or in this case dough square) brushed with olive oil. Ready for the grill.

4-The crust will set quickly (about 3 minutes). It will be set when it slides easily off the grill. While the crust is setting/cooking (olive oil side down), brush more olive oil on topside of the dough round. After first side of the crust sets, flip the round with tongs or a spatula.

Grilling the bottom side of the dough. Brushing olive oil to get the top ready to grill.

5-Once the "done" side is facing back up, top the pizza with toppings of your choice while the bottom of the crust cooks on the grill. Last night I used a little tomato sauce, basil from our garden and fresh mozzarella.

Adding the toppings, you can see the nice grill marks at the bottom of the crust.

6-Once the toppings were added and both sides of the crust were cooked, I moved the pizza up to to top rack of the grill and closed the lid, just to keep the cheese melting.

Move the pizza to the top rack of the grill to keep the crust from burning, this way the toppings can continue to melt and warm.

That's about it. You should be able to grill several pizzas at once. Surprise your neighbors, invite them over for an backyard BBQ, open up a bottle or two of wine and instead of burgers and dogs, throw the dough on the grill.

If you give it a shot here are a few more tips.

-Get creative with your toppings, but have everything sliced and ready to go because the first side of the crust will cook very fast. Also the toppings should be minimal or the crust will burn long before the ingredients are warm or melted.

-Don't worry if the dough droops a little through the grill grate, it will firm up fast.


In my own little corner

I wonder just how many ikea shelves I will need to add this to a corner in my office.

Image from Beach Bungalow 8


Paint Chip Perfection

I couldn't help using this this idea from July's Real Simple Magazine as a jumping off point.

Don't stop with using the idea just to set the table with place cards. Use the chips as colorful stand up labels for food dishes or cheeses at a party. With a hole punch and some ribbon, the chips (or at least their descriptive names) might work as wine glass charms.

The magazine suggests using lots of different color chips for a "Technicolor Tabletop", but it would also be a creative way to continue a specific color theme for a dinner or party, by using several shades of just one or two colors.


Garden Party

Who would like to host a little celebration in their backyard this summer. I am thinking dusk so we can watch the lightening bugs come out. You provide the garden and reason for celebrating; I will bring the wine and ...

These lanterns to hang over the table:

Image and more about this 40th Birthday party at Celebrations at Home

Or maybe these pompoms instead:

Image and a tutorial from Martha Stewart


Hunting for Treasure

One of the things that the world of blogging (at least home related blogging) has seemed to do is underscore the value of your local thrift shop, and not just for "college apartment" furniture. There are a lot of talented, creative folks out there that can create designer rooms and renovations with their great "thrifting" finds and a few gallons of paint or yards of fabric. 

The movement (I guess you can call it that) comes at a time where everyone should be able to see value. Why?

1-It is a "green" way to shop. With just a little work, thrifting or flea market shopping allows you to reuse, recycle and give new life to items that would otherwise be discarded.

2-It is a reasonably priced way to decorate. If you are willing to spend the time, creativity and sometimes the sweat equity there is lots of furniture, decor and kitchen pieces out there to create stylish rooms and tabletops. If nothing else it can be an inexpensive way to keep your home decor fresh.

3-Thrifting helps your local economy and many times a local non-profit. Goodwill and Salvation Army thrift stores and Habitat for Humanity Re-Stores use their sales to support the connected nonprofit organization; many domestic violence programs have second hand clothing shops as a revenue source for their programs.

Here are some of my favorite blogging "thrifters" and their finds or projects:

Anything banished to the store for its "brassiness" can be painted.From Everything LEBWith a little bit of fabric and a staple gun re-upholstery should not be scary.

From The Newlywed Diaries

A small decor item or large furniture piece that you love from a flea market or thrift store can be the start of a collection or add vintage flare to your room.

I have a few things that I am hunting for. I will let you know how it goes.


House Tour-The Bathrooms

I thought I would participate this week in Kelly's Tour of Homes--this week is bathrooms.
We have 2.5 bathrooms in the house and after three years only one has recieved a makeover. One has been painted but not much else and one looks the same as it did the day we moved in. Can you guess which is which?

We learned at closing that the sellers left a few decorative items in the house. Most of these items were in the bathrooms. What was left was really not my style (Bathroom B) and on the way to being outdated (Bathroom A). But it was nice to have a few rooms "done" before we even turned the key for the first time. I never would have thought that 2.5 and 3 years later we would not have touched either room.

There is most to say about Bathroom A, our downstairs half bath. Gold fixtures, the builder-grade decogon mirror, paint and wall decoration have now all been upgraded. No before pictures, sorry.

It was a gradual process, we found the light fixture first on major clearence at Lowe's. Major being about $11 compared to $80ish. The mirror change followed a few months later when I realized I already had a mirror stashed in a closet that would fit the space. The faucet was a quick upgrade as I was preping the house to host a baby shower last summer and the toliet paper and towel holders came a few months later after a trip to the Pottery Barn outlet. Finally, earlier this year I had a paint color inspiration and decided to finish it off.

It was truely gradual with no planning, initial inspration or goal. Each upgrade followed from the one before. So now the room looks like this:

Paint Color:Valspar Woodlawn Silver Brook (5001-1B) from Lowe's; Mirror: From Pier One purchased for my college apartment 7 years ago; Faucet: AquaSource Double Handle in Brushed Nickle from Lowe's; Face Plates: Brushed Silver from Lowe's; Toilet Paper and Towel Holder: Pottery Barn; Extra Toliet Paper Roll Holder: Glass Vase from Garden Ridge

This is the wall decoration over the toliet. It is the only thing on the walls, except for the white crown moulding at the top (thanks to the husband):

Wall Shelf: Wedding Present; Silver Frame and Picture: Garden Ridge Frame with Carolina husband's photography of NYC's Times Square; Vase: Salong Vase from Ikea.

Our other two bathrooms are on the list to do some work on. Tile for sure. Still tossing around ideas about what else to change and what direction to go, but I do know that the ducks and gold hardware will be gone.

Bathroom B-Our guest bathroom also left as is from the previous owners

Bathroom C-Our master bath. I love the paint color, but that's about it.


A Room with Padded Walls

This doesn't sound like I place that I would want to be voluntarily unless you were talking about these fabric panels. I would love to find a room in my house where something like this would work. I think for now it will have to stay in the inspiration file.

It does seem like a fun DIY project.

Image from Better Homes & Gardens May 2009 via 320 Sycamore

Recognize these walls?

It's Serena Van der Woodsen's room from Gossip Girl.

Image from Casa Sugar

And as if taunting me to try it. I had lunch today in a hotel ballroom similar to this one. Only the fabric was much more lively.


Love. It.

I am not a huge fan of Design on a Dime (HGTV). While I guess the price is right, the design never quites measures up and always seems a bit cheezy. Not the case for host Kristan Cunningham's LA rental home--I knew I liked her. It's lovely as highlighted in the LA Times.

Welcome Home.

The color of the cabinet's are fabalous. Check out the LA Times article for the color.

I think I want open shelving (and a love seat) in my kitchen now.

Bookshelf Beauty.

Love the fabric, drape and wall colors mixed in this shot with the light from the window.

The horns may be a bit to rustic for me as a centerpiece, but how about the color coordinated stack of books on the mantel.


Bedtime Stories

Summer seems to be the perfect time for bed bunking. Impromtu sleepovers, multifamily vacations and extended family reunions mean girl talk in the dark (For us girls anyway, I'm not sure what the boys do in the dark, I only have two sisters:). What better ways for tons of kids to each have a space of their own while keeping everyone all in one place (and not tripping over air mattresses and sleeping bags).

It makes me long for the days when early June ended worry over "school nights" until August.

Both images from Traditional Home.


Alphabet Soup

Umm, I love this idea from Girl with Fabric's nursery. She hung them in a horizontal line on the the walls. No, I have no need for nursery decor quite yet, but with 26 letters it may take me a few years.

If that is a little to much project for you. How about individually framing these hip flash cards from The Land of Nod and hanging them in a grid over a crib or a changing table.