Wowzers- what a weekend! It was a whirlwind to say the least, but a very productive and fun whirlwind at least. Let’s recap, shall we? First off, my parents picked up Roscoe for the weekend and took him to the beach to spend time with his “Mee-maw and Grumpy” giving Aaron and I a full weekend to ourselves. Seeing how this doesn’t happen ever, we were quite thrilled with the prospects of time spent one-on-one and getting some projects completed.
Seeing how it was my birthday on Friday, we started the weekend off by enjoying an incredible dinner at Table 16. What made it even better is that our new location enabled us to walk to the restaurant and enjoy the sights of Downtown along the way. The meal was delish and dessert divine and after we got home we got cracking on my one birthday present request- painting the front entry and sitting room. Now mind you I understand this is not the typical gift request, but in my defense I am nesting like crazy and the ceiling height is 10 feet. I normally would just paint by myself, but teeter tottering on top of a ladder at 8 ½ months pregnant just didn’t seem wise.
With Aaron’s help, we had the rooms taped off and painted in no time and the results are exactly what I envisioned! The color was originally a cantaloupe orange base with a darker orange ragged on top. Not exactly my taste. But the new color? Sophisticated, classic, and a much needed improvement. Here’s the sitting room before:
The front entry before:
The front entry has only successfully undergone Part A. Part B is still to come. Not sure when I’ll actually get around to this Part B, but fingers crossed it’s before baby arrives!
If you thought this post was going to be about our new pad then think again young whipper snapper. I am opting to brag on my father-in-law instead. A man who certainly deserves some praise given his fulfillment of my most recent ideas. An idea that turned out far more difficult to execute than originally assumed, but, on the flip side, also turned out a bazillion times better than I had anticipated.
I am talking about a crib, folks. The crib that our soon-to-arrive babe will be nestling in in only four weeks. This particular crib was our’s as kids and is a classic Jenny Lind Spindle. The problem for me was that it still flaunted its original dark stain.
In my opinion, the stain made it feel dated and out of synch with my vision for the baby’s nursery. My solution was to sand it down and then have it professionally painted in either a green or turquoise hue. Sounds simple, right? Not the case. In order to get this bad boy sanded down it had to be taken completely apart. Every spindle pulled out and hand sanded. And can you guess who took this herculean task on with no complaints? My sweet father-in-law.
I was surprised the other day when I walked into the house and it was sitting in the living room. Put together and looking stunning in its bare wood glory.
I love it is so much in its natural state that painting it quickly got dismissed. I adore how it looks as is and cannot wait to see it in the nursery. Now all there is to do for baby’s bed is to sew up the bed sheets and crib skirt and oil the crib so it seals the wood from stains (like the oils from our hands). I am feeling truly blessed to have married into such a wonderful family who bend over backwards to lend a helping hand!
It’s a rainy Monday morning here in Greensboro, but today seems gorgeous to me for a multitude of reasons. First and foremost, we closed on our Craftsman bungalow on Friday and moved in 99% of our things this weekend. Secondly, we are so close to Roscoe’s school now we were able to walk there this morning (we couldn’t resist the opportunity despite the drizzle). And last but not least, going in to work today means I have a much needed break from unpacking boxes, organizing, and general house settling chores.
All in all, I have to admit the move went pretty easily. We had assistance from friends Porkchop and Boner (yes- you read that correctly) who brought over a big box truck and packed/unpacked just about everything we own. Of course, Aaron’s parents were there to offer their invaluable assistance as well. In a mere few hours we were moved from one house to another and ready to get cracking on furniture placement (at least I was). After hours of moving a couch here, a table there, I needed a break. And what better way than to make slipcovers?! FYI: that’s a rhetorical question. I can think of a lot of things that are better than sewing as a means of diversion, but 1) I’m 8 ½ months pregnant and 2) I was exhausted.
I had purchased some random fabric a few weeks ago and thought it perfect to make simple/easy slipcovers for these rather too-traditional chairs.
My inspiration for making the slipcovers came from all the cute examples I found on the ‘net. I figured it couldn’t be too hard to do now myself, now could it?
In about 30 minutes I was done with my version. Not my best work by any means and I’m sure I’ll redo them in the future, but this little side project did give me the opportunity to sit on my laurels for a bit.
I’ll be back sporadically in the next week with updates about the house. Til then, cheerio!
I am to sure lots of folks had an amazingly adventurous weekend. Ours, on the otherhand, was spent packing up our current residence. Not that I wasn’t thrilled to do it, because I was- it was just one step closer to moving into our new home. The big surprise last week was that our closing date was moved up a week, meaning that we will be the new owners of our dream home in a mere few days. Joy!
Being the hormonally-driven, nesting pregnant person I am right now, I was compelled to call our realtor to show us the house one more time. The reason being I needed to take measurements of window expanses, countertops, walls, flooring, etc., so I could pre-plan the placement of every piece of furniture and accessory we own. I admit to being a tad neurotic these days, but in my defense there are only 6 weeks wait until my projected delivery date and I prefer things in the new house to be 100% settled by then. Explanations aside, let’s take a peak at a few photos of the new pad shall we?
Front Sitting Room
Dining Room/Living Room
(Not shown are the downstairs bedroom, bathrooms, front room, nursery, etc.)
So that’s it in a nutshell! Can you understand why I am so stoked about the impending move? Looks like I’ll be spending this MLK holiday packing some more, but in all honesty I couldn’t be happier about it!
Yesterday I mentioned I was going to attempt to felt soap. It looked like fun and I’ve heard that they are amazingly exfoliating. How hard could it be? Turns out, not that hard at all. I decided to use some used soap bars to try my hand at felting since I didn’t want to waste a new bar of soap.
I’ve realized now that using such a small bar of soap as a trial did have its downside. Because of all the suds you create in the process of felting the wool roving, the bar decreases in size noticeably (which left me with a rather pathetic size felted soap). Anyhoo, lesson learned- now let’s backtrack on how I did it.
First I wrapped the roving around my bar. I should have wrapped it a lot tighter so it gripped the soap better, but, again, lesson learned.
You then drizzle on warm water, slowly working up a sud. If you get the bar too wet too quickly, then the roving simply slips off. The second bar I made, it helped to get the soap wet and slightly sudsy before I wrapped the roving around. Once the bar is wet, you simple have to work it into a good lather in your hands occasionally rinses off the bar with warm water. I worked this bar for about 15 minutes and still feel like I could have handled it a bit longer.
Once you feel it has felted to your satisfaction, rinse it one more time and wrap it in a towel to dry. Easy, right? If it dries and you don’t feel like the wool warped enough, just remember that as you use the bar the roving will felt more.
My only other tip is to wrap the bar of soap with enough roving. I was a tad skimpy with the roving on my first and second bar and it left slight gaps that revealed the bar of soap underneath. Nevertheless, this was a fun project! I look forward to making more in the future as gifts (using a new bar of soap of course!).
I stayed up way to late last night reading Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” on the ole’ kindle last night. Not that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy having some “me” time and the rare pleasure of quiet, because I certainly did. However, I should have known that the night I stay up until 1 am reading is the night Roscoe gets up several times in the wee hours of the morning for one thing or another. Needless to say (although I’ll state it anyway), I am dragging today and planning on indulging in some caffeine to get myself productive at work. I figure that since I am over 8 months along, a little Starbucks rejuvenation won’t do much harm to the little bambino growing inside.
But enough complaining and strategizing how I’ll get through the day! Let’s discuss my goal for tonight, shall we? Admittedly I have been a tad lazy on the creativity front lately. I have shunned the sewing machine and crafting in favor of some lazy evenings and social outings. Now that I’ve given my creative spirit a rest, it’s time to get back into the swing of things and get cracking on some projects. First and foremost on the agenda is felted soaps. I’ve been seeing them everywhere lately! After a quick Bing search, I found several easy tutorials. I picked up my wool roving at Hobby Lobby the other day and happen to have several spare bars of soap at the house. Not sure my first attempts will look as good as these, but fingers crossed. I’ll post some photos tomorrow of my end product.
Image Source: Tomboy Design
Who knew you could make such cute designs with felted wool? These character soaps are adorable!
Image source: Frugal Kiwi
These would make cute gifts for Valentine’s Day (which is quickly approaching!)
Image Source: Creative Ideas for You
I will admit that knowing I have a fun project to look forward to tonight does help boost my energy for the day ahead- hopefully thoughts of shrinking roving will still be enough to get my through the 2 o’clock slump!
I am not usually the type of person who follows a recipe. Shocker I know. Regardless of my penchant for winging it in the kitchen, I have quite the fondness for cookbooks and cooking magazines. Heck, I even subcribe to Food & Wine magazine- the practical holy grail of cooking mags. While taking Roscoe to martial arts tonight, I grabbed last year’s New Year’s edition of the Food Network magazine to keep myself busy, graciously given to me by my mom after she was done with it. While little man chopped and round kicked his way through class, I perused the pictures and recipes and came across a recipe for oven fried chicken. It was easy enough for me to fix in a hurry and, *bonus*, it was actually semi-healthy.
Aaron was a bit skeptical at first given that he likes the full-octane fried-in-grease version, but he quickly changed his mind after one bite. Let’s just say that this recipe is golden and only requires ingredients that are probably sitting in your pantry/fridge right now (although I must admit I substituted a good bit in order to use what I really did have on hand). Without further ado, here it is:
- Cooking spray
- 1 1/2 cup crispy rice cereal and/or corn flakes
- 2 cups breadcrumbs (I used panko)
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 tsp hot paprika (I didn’t actually measure; I just tossed it on in there)
- Salt and ground pepper
- 1 1/2 cup greek yogurt
- 2 tbsp. dijon mustard (I used stone ground)
- 8 chicken tenderloins (the recipe calls for chicken thighs or breasts, but use what you got!)
- 2 bunches scallions
- Siracha (aka Rooster Sauce) and more Greek yogurt
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Set rack on a foil lined baking sheet and coat with spray (I coated with Irish butter since I didn’t have any spray on hand- achieves the same end). Put cereal, bread crumbs, paprika, and sal and pepper in food processor and grind to a fine consistency. Pour mix into a ziploc bag. Whisk 1 cup yogurt and mustard together in a bowl. Toss in the chicken and coat well. Add your chicken to the ziploc bag with your dry mix, seal, and shake to coat. Place chicken on rack (I actually forgot this step and so my breading stuck a little bit to the foil).
Toss scallions in olive oil and place on rack. Put chicken in oven for 30 minutes (longer if using breasts/thighs). Mix siracha and remaining greek yogurt in a bowl for dipping sauce. Eat it up and enjoy your handiwork!
We enjoyed our “fried” chicken with crowder peas and polenta cakes. Yum!
And there was literally nothing left on anyone’s plate afterwards. It was seriously that tasty.
Today is the last day off before I return to work and boy has the last week been wonderful in terms of getting some extra shut eye, working on simple projects, and spending time with loved ones. Speaking of loved ones, we were the lucky hosts of some great friends from Charleston, South Carolina. The Sellers clan blessed us with their presence and we welcomed the New Year together with delicious food, spirits, and conversation. It was, in a nutshell, an awesome weekend.
Other than playing hostess, I have kept myself busy lately by imagining furniture placement in our soon-to-be home. We will be moving into the new digs in 15-20 days and instead of sugar plums, I have visions of couches, chairs, dressers, and pictures dancing in my head. Perhaps it’s my hormones and/or late pregnancy nesting instinct kicking in, but I cannot help but mentally place every item we own in the home. This has made me a bit restless and so I had to give into the urge to move around furniture in our current pad.
Part of this rearranging was born out of necessity since I requested Aaron buy me a victorian style couch for my Christmas gift. I loved the shape and will eventually have the wood portions repainted to white and the fabric replaced with a stried velvet (color unknown at this point).
We found this beaut at a local thrift shop and were able to talk the owners down half price to $100- a deal if you ask me, particularly for something that not everyone and their best friend is going to have in their house as well.
Seeing as how I just sent one of our club chairs to the reupholsterer and this sofa is a bit smaller than the other one we were using, the living room was looking a bit sparse. Aaron actually prefers a more minimalist look, but I couldn’t help but accessorize in an attempt to tie everything together. Here’s the result.
Not my best work, but it will work for the next two weeks. Until then, I will keep my mind occupied with the upcoming move and tackling the mountain of emails and to-do’s I have waiting for me upon my return to work. Happy New Year’s!