January 26, 2011

His & Hers

One little girl's room. Actually, this is the third version of her boudoir. The first was her tiny nursery {at our previous home}.

The little tole bedside lamp is older than I am. It used to hang between twin beds in my aunt's room, when she was a young girl. It has been avocado green, barn red, and is now a soft cream with gilt details, courtesy of a very extended project that took over my breakfast room table. It was so worth it! I still need to find a fresh linen lampshade for it.

The headboard is my favorite piece in her room, I think. I fell in love with this one from Serena & Lily. It was about $1000 over budget. Thankfully, I had leftover fabric from her rocking chair cushion, and a dear, dear upholstery man in mind. Both came together beautifully.

Today's version is happy, filled with her beloved "stuff". Almost every blanket once belonged to my niece Paige . . . There are books everywhere, this tiny girl devours books. Not shown in these pictures, but always present for snoozing are Jessie, Bullseye, a sippy cup, four blankets, Minnie Mouse, Froggie, Piggy, a green flashlight and her chocolate brown polka-dot pillow. Sometimes Buzz & Woody join the entourage.

This bunny table has been a constant in her rooms. This little table used to be my mother's, and is poured concrete, intended for outdoor use. The lace drapes came all the way from our first townhouse {in Denver}.

I am hunting for an antique angel to go over her bed. Coco, any ideas?

Her big brother's room is up next . . .

I love his room. It's B-O-Y, and I love it all. Ben's bed was a splurge. I sold a piece of jewelry to buy it for him {I was pregnant with Cameron, Greg's lucky I didn't sell his baseball card collection and refurbish the entire house}. His nursery is shown here and here. His first big boy room was blogged about here.

Probably won't be long before I have to replace various items with big boy stuff. I'm trusting PB Kids to provide plenty of attractive boy stuff! Will it be Star Wars, baseball or Optimus Prime? Sponge Bob is banned.

Ben's closet is full of transformers. FULL OF THEM. I'm not sure what I'll do if his collection of autobots and decepticons grows any more! Someday I'll probably move him to the bigger room at the back of the house. But for now, he's just down the hall from his little sister.

And his Mommy.

January 24, 2011

Turkey Meatloaf

Turkey Meat Loaf {recipe from Real Simple, ages ago}
-1-1/2 pounds lean ground turkey
-1 onion, chopped
-1 bunch fresh spinach, thick stems removed & leaves chopped {about 4 cups}
-1 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
-1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
-2 tbsp Dijon mustard
-1 large egg white {I used the whole egg}
-salt & pepper
-1/4 cup ketchup

Heat oven to 400. In large bowl, combine turkey, onion, spinach, parsley, bread crumbs, mustard, egg white & 1/2 tsp of salt & pepper, each. Form loaf, spread with ketchup. Bake until cooked, 45-50 minutes.

Real Simple has great recipes, but this meatloaf is amazing. If you're from The Woodlands, you've probably heard of Hubbell & Hudson. If you haven't yet visited their new Kitchen location {Gosling & Research}, you're seriously missing out. Which means more H&H for me, but I digress . . . My dad is a Foodie. An Epicurean. He adores all things H&H.

He thinks this meatloaf beats H&H's apricot version. I think he's right!

The Blues

I have two sick little ones & a semi-sick husband.

It's dreary, rainy & cold.

There are twenty-something samples of paint up on the exterior of my patch-work house, and no hope of glorious painter-friendly sunshine.

I have the blues.

Blue happens to be my favorite color. And you're probably thinking that I'm sad. Nope. I am one happy girl. An early a.m. visit to my favorite pediatrician confirmed liquids were needed, not antibiotics. The dreary weather is indicative of staying in and camping out with blankets and popcorn on the couch. And the sick hubs gave me this rockin' blue present over the weekend!

That's the inside of my perfectly pretty cobalt blue convection oven. Be still my heart.

This means that Phase Two of our kitchen overhaul is officially complete {minus one little drawer pull and a bit of touch-up paint}.

Phase Three {aka island & fridge} is a long ways off. But that's okay with me, because today I have the cobalt blues!

January 15, 2011


A recent Saturday morning conversation with Ben . . .

Ben: Mommy, you're my most favorite girl in the whole world.

Me: {melt} You're my most favorite boy in the whole world.

Ben: Well, there's a girl in my school that's my real favorite girl.

Me: {crushed, trying to hide my disappointment} There is?

Ben: Yep, the girl with the ponytail like yours.

Me: {hopes getting higher} Just like mine?

Ben: Yep. But she's my real favorite. I forget her name.

Me: {I could spot this girl's ponytail a mile away, it's amazing. Do you sense jealousy?} Is it Macie?

Ben: Yes, it's Macie! But she doesn't love me. I love her, and she just doesn't love me.

Me: Well, that's okay. Mommy loves you best of all {hoping for a big hug now}.

Ben: Guess so.

Me: And when Macie grows up, she'll come around {but no one will ever love you like I do}.

The greatest love is a mother's, then a dog's, then a sweetheart's.
~Polish Proverb

January 13, 2011

House Parts: Kitchen Part Deux

The second round of our kitchen overhaul seemed a bit more stressful than the first. Might have something to do with the fact that we began a week before Christmas.

Our master carpenter began with the venthood. Then new doors & drawer fronts replaced the old plastic covered cabinetry. A quick fitting confirmed all the new shaker style fronts were "just so", and then off to be spray painted. Leo, the world's greatest painter, worked his magic both on and off site. Upper cabinets were painted a crisp white, while the base cabinets were painted Benjamin Moore HC-105 Rockport Grey.

Greg spent most of last night installing the hardware {thank you, Beloved}. The kids and I stumbled across some pretty hardware at Home Depot the other day. After reviewing the price {and doing a happy dance on aisle twelve} I chose these for the doors and these for the drawers, both in polished nickel.

Due the end of the month is a fancy convection cookie-maker and his convection microwave companion.

Until then, this is what's left of the construction this round. Eventually we'll replace the fridge with a sleek & trim counter-depth KitchenAid. I'm thrilled to do so, as I will finally have a back-up fridge/freezer in the garage.

We're already planning the island, but won't likely work on it until next Christmas. I want something open . . . Am thinking rustic, distressed wood base, open for the most part. I definitely want drawers and a honed marble top. Stay tuned, there's always a project in the works!

In the meantime, I'll be practicing something simple, like Baked Alaska. Sherry, do you have a fire extinguisher?

House Parts: Kitchen Part 1

Before and after is easier to do when one has documented the before. Bare with me as I bare my kitchen soul.

Here's my best before shot, taken shortly after moving in. Prior to moving in we tore out the wallpaper and textured/painted the walls. We pulled out both a pot rack and the brass-flying-saucer-chandelier. White Corian, glazed peach tile with Malibu-Barbie suntan colored grout and yellowing {formerly white} thermofoil drawers/doors. I loved the functionality of the space. Fortunately, the kitchen didn't need a complete overhaul, just a face-lift.

Phase One included installation of the following:
-Honed black granite counters with a 3cm square edge
-Blended travertine subway tile, honed & tumbled
-Kitchenaid gas cooktop & dishwasher
-Blanco single basin undermount sink
-This faucet in polished nickel, the bling and my favorite part of the remodel thus far!
-Custom open shelving for display & new shelf at the window

My favorite part was watching Greg demo the counters and backsplash. We bid adieu to the flesh-toned past. Happy trails to the old vent-hood, cook-top, sink and 1980's faucet.

Bet you want pictures. So do I. I took one shot before my camera died.

Phase Two took place over the last few weeks. More on that tomorrow . . . Until then, here's a preview.

January 04, 2011

Bean & Bacon Soup

Really simple, really good!

-4 strips bacon
-2 large carrots, chopped {about 1 cup}
-2 stalks celery, chopped {about 1 cup}
-1 medium onion, chopped
-2 cloves garlic, chopped
-2 15 oz. cans great Northern beans, drained
-2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
-1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

*Original recipe calls for 1-1/4 tbsp salt, which I omit, and don't miss a bit!

Cook bacon, set aside to drain/cool. Over medium heat, saute carrot for 5-7 minutes. Add celery, onion & garlic and cook, stirring well, for 3-4 minutes. Add beans & 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, cover and then reduce heat to low. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes. Mash {with potato masher or large slotted spoon} about 1/2 the beans to thicken the soup. Stir in the parsley, pepper & chopped bacon. Serve hot.

Recipe serves four. Total time about 25 minutes.
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