Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ikea frames

So, maybe I'm just a little late to the game, but I never really went to Ikea very much. And I certainly had never looked at their frames. Maybe because Dallas just got an Ikea two or three years ago and it was so far away I rarely went. But in Houston, the Ikea is actually pretty centrally located and easy to get to. FUN!

I could wander around there for hours- I love seeing all the set up rooms and kitchens! I'd bought a few things there before, the expedit bookshelves mainly, but after seeing some great frames on other blogs:

above pictures from K.F.D Designs

pictures from Emily A. Clark

I decided I needed to go over there and pick some up myself. Especially after seeing this:

KFD Designs

 it is just a sheet of wrapping paper framed in a Ribba frame from Ikea. GENIUS! and they take up so much space- it's the perfect piece of cheap "art" for young people looking for something large and modern-ish with out spending a lot of money. So I went down to Paper source and bought two sheets of wrapping paper- $2.95 a piece I believe and threw them into the large Ribba frames, which btw, cost $24! I had actually planned on getting just one sheet and one frame- for the guest room but then I found the most adorable paper that would look great in the kitchen, so I got it too and an extra frame. It was completely worth the $27 to completely change the look of the breakfast room.



Just a little bit more sophisticated, right?

I also got one for the guest room which previously was a big blank wall!
I love the happy over sized floral print!

While at Ikea I also decided to get three frames to go above the bed- these smaller Ribba frames were a whopping $14! And they are actually seemingly well made and pretty easy to throw together. For those I decided to get pictures that we had taken on trips blown up to 8 x 10 and mount them- like the bedroom pictures from Emily A. Clark. And I couldn’t be more pleased!



In case you were wondering, that is Antigua, Charleston and NYC

I think it fills the space nicely and looks so much better than the blank wall it was before :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Making some drapes

After reviewing SEVERAL blogs about how to make curtains without sewing, I finally took the plunge! And it really wasn't too difficult. It was a little time consuming, but I'm sure it is still less time consuming than actually sewing them. The most difficult part was making sure everything was square and straight.

I wanted the curtains to go all the way to the ceiling to help elongate the space, or about 7ft 6 inches
 (there is a little bump down where a pipe runs through so it isn't quite the height of the real ceiling)
see it up there at the top??
So, with a 4 inch seam on the bottom and a 2 inch seam on the top I figured I needed to cut the fabric right at 8 ft long. The easiest way for me to do this STRAIGHT was to lay it out on our rug in the Wii Room that just happens to be 5' x 8'. I have to say- this was super helpful and is probably the only way I could confidently cut straight- but that's just me- I can't cut straight for the life of me. It's a disease!

you can see my measuring tape in the top corner- just to be sure

Anyways- so I got both panels cut (I bought 6 yards of fabric so I knew I would have more than enough- and I ended up having enough to make a roman shade for the window above the kitchen sink!)

Then I pretty much just followed the directions of the Heat N'Bond ultra hold hem tape. Having everything laid out completely flat first I ironed the fabric a little to get all the major wrinkles out, then just pulled the tape along the long sides first.

In sections I ironed the sticky side of the tape on to the curtains, holding the iron on each section for at least 5 seconds. The paper side of tape is what you will be ironing directly on.

Also- I realized this as I was about to iron- make sure to set the hem tape in a few inches so that you have enough fabric to pull all the way over and cover the hem tape. See above how I left some space; the tape wasn't right up against the edge of the fabric

Let this cool for a few minutes- while each one was cooling, I did the next side- I did the two long sides together at once then turned and did the short sides. After the tape has cooled, come back and peel all the paper off of the backside of the tape. I found it worked easiest without tearing if I kept a finger on the tape with some pressure as I pulled it off with the other hand:

Then just fold your fabric over the tape- making sure to fold over the same amount all the way down- a little tricky on the long sides but if you use a ruler as you go its not too bad. And really, I'm sure mine isn't completely perfect,errr who am I kidding- I KNOW it's not all completely perfect but you really can't tell once they are up as long as it's pretty close.
So I continued doing this on all four sides of each panel- I had two, one for each side of the window (OBVIOUSLY!) so it was a nice Saturday morning's worth of work, but it gets faster as you get more comfortable with the tape and get into a groove.
This is the seam once it was put in place and ironed down. It's really a nice sharp corner that looks really good- I was impressed!

I did not make curtain pockets because I had already decided to use curtain rings. I decided on these for two reasons-
1. It's easier to make the curtains without the pocket
2. It's easier to open and shut the curtains when they are on the rings. ( I know because none of the rest of our curtains are on rings and they are so hard to move around, I desperately want to get rings for all of them!)

In the end I found out reason #1 isn't really valid- all you have to do to create the pocket on the top of the curtain panels is to put the hem tape about 5 inches further down that you normally would so that when you iron the tape to secure it you have about a three inch space between the top of the fabric and the hem- just enough to run through a curtain rod! So it's really just about ease of use and aesthetics.

And voila! You're done.

close up of the curtain rings

you can see how I folded over the top until I got to the perfect length- I didn't want any fabric pooled on the floor because I worry about them getting dirty in the kitchen, etc.
Unless you are anal like me and want to make more stuff with your super fun hem tape while your poor husband quietly and patiently (well trying to be at least) waits on you to finish so you can go to lunch!

Being myself, I threw together a little roman shade for over the kitchen window sink too- and it was RIDICULOUSLY easy- especially after the big curtain panels. I just measured how wide it needed to be- I wanted mine to be completely flat, not ruffle-y so I measured the exact width of the window and the length I wanted and got to ironing. On this one, since I was not using curtain rings, I made sure to put my hem tape a few inches lower than normal to leave myself some space to run the curtain through the rod and BAM!

So cute don't you think?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Snickerdoodle Muffins

I found these muffins on Two Peas in their Pod the other day and I knew I had to make them immediately and what better reason than having friends in town staying with us- it would be the perfect easy breakfast Saturday morning as we all rolled out of bed. And man was I right! These are DELICIOUS and super delicate and oh so tasty. Don't skip the rolling in the cinnamon sugar step- it's so cool- it really seeps into the muffin and swirls throughout it. And the crunchy top- divine. LOVE LOVE LOVE these little muffins.

Adapted from Tasty Kitchen

  • 1 cup Butter, Softened
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla
  • 2-¼ cups Flour
  • ¾ teaspoons Baking Powder
  • ¾ teaspoons Baking Soda
  • ¾ teaspoons Cream Of Tartar
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cups Buttermilk
  • ⅔ cups Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Prepare a muffin tin with liners.
In a mixer, combine the butter and sugar and cream until fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and combine.
In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add half of the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add the yogurt and buttermilk and mix to combine. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix until you have a smooth batter.
In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon for the topping.
Use scooper and plop a scoop of batter into the bowl with the sugar and cinnamon.

Gently roll the batter in the sugar and cinnamon.

Place the ball into the muffin liner. When you have completed all of the muffins, sprinkle the leftover cinnamon sugar onto the tops of all of the muffins.

Bake the muffins at 350ºF for about 20-25 minutes or until they are golden on top and just baked through.
* All pictures taken by Two Peas and their Pod

BEAUTIFUL!!! And so tasty.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Lighting is here!!

WHOA! this is what I came home to the other day! Super fun surprise.

ALL of our lighting came in the mail and I'm pumped. I opened one up because I couldn't help myself. Look how pretty it is!!

Now we just have to work on getting them up. After checking to see what was under the old lights and really just in anticipation of putting the new lights up, we took down the current icky light fixtures and found this.... wrut wroe!!
PROBLEM!! That hole is HUGE! Looks like we may be getting some professional help after all because the hole is huge, that's some weird looking electrical stuff up there and the drywall that goes in will need to be textured the same as the rest of it! So my easy little project got a wee bit more complicated- but we can handle it- no problem!

In comes our great contractor, hopefully by the end of the week :) so that holes like this:

and this:
check out all that different colors of paint- and the nice little scorch marks!!

...will be back to looking like a normal ceiling.... and we'll have some lights again!!

I'll keep you posted

Monday, March 21, 2011


Woo hoo- like my pun??

It's especially appropriate for us Houstonians during the annual Rodeo and Livestock Show! So, like I mentioned earlier- the knobs at my Hob Lob are on sale. NOW! So I went, fast and got a LOT of knobs. (That’s a really strange sentence…) I went looking for 12 crystal knobs for the refinished chest for the guest room. Then I picked up two knobs that I LOVED J but they only had 2 L so I couldn’t put them on our master bedroom chest. But I decided to take them anyways and see if there was something else I could put them on. THEN I found some really similar ones that I also really liked and guess what- they had 10! Just enough for our master bedroom chest!!! So I walked out of Hobby Lobby with yes, 24 knobs!!! HAHA P didn’t quite know what to think.
Anyways- on to the good stuff- I have now re-knobbed all of our chest of drawers!!
The original project:
 Please, don't notice that they aren't all on yet!

My bedroom chest

My current bedside table (which prob won’t be living here much longer)
And no making fun of my p-jammer! YES it is from 1986 and YES it still works!
The P jammer is the best! Still kicking! And it let's off less light than newer models and I like the room to be BLACK when I go to sleep :)

SO FUN! I seriously want to put new knobs (I guess I could just say hardware) on everything in our house! Its amazing what a difference it makes. I clearly didn't take any before pictures both both of these had very dark/ almost black small knobs. Nothing special. These make it so much more personal!

Friday, March 18, 2011

BBQ baked potatoes

In honor of the Rodeo going on here, and just because they are delicious, I have a recipe here that I adapted from All Recipes 

4 frozen skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
8 oz. (1 C) bottle barbeque sauce
¼ C. Italian salad dressing
¼ C. chicken broth
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1. Place chicken in a slow cooker. In a bowl, mix the barbecue sauce, Italian dressing, chicken broth, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over the chicken.
2. Cover, and cook 3 to 4 hours on High or 6 to 8 hours on Low.

This can easily be adapted to make more or less. And sometimes I don’t even measure the sauce, etc. I just make sure I have enough to cover the chicken. This is delicious. I put it on low in the morning and let it cook all day.

When I get home all I do is throw some baked potatoes into the oven- usually about an hour at 425 degrees. I just poke them with the fork and put them right on to the oven racks, no foil or anything. While that is cooking you can just shred up your chicken and let it continue to marinate in the crock pot with the sauce on “keep warm” until your potatoes are ready. When the potatoes are done, just pop them open and spoon some chicken with the sauce over the potatoes and enjoy!

Happy last weekend of the Rodeo, folks!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

We have a rug!!

Well, we broke down and bought a rug. I knew we were only going to be purchasing one right this instance and as much as I really want a new one for the dining room we NEED one in the bedroom to warm it up and make it feel more cozy and inviting. So after lots of research and coming up short finding a cheaper option that was as appealing I bit the bullet and went with the Pottery Barn rug:
I am completely smitten and the best part was- they had it in stock at the PB close to us so I could pick it up there and avoid all of the shipping and handling charges!! NICE

So we decided to go ahead and set it up last night (a bit of an ordeal because of our bed) As P so wisely stated, "we should put the rugs down before we move our furniture in, it's so much easier" HA!
I put him to work instead:

Isn't it lovely??

And for a final shot:
We just love it- the colors, the warmth and mainly the feel under our feet when we wake up in  the morning
And it's just in time to impress our guests coming for the Rodeo this weekend!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Our wild weekend

WOW! I think I’m still recovering and it’s been like 2 weeks ago! Sorry this is so far behind but things have been crazy around here and I had so many other fun projects, that our little blog got a little back logged! Anyways- We had a whirlwind of a weekend. Starting a little early with a root canal! FUN? Yeah, not so much… anyways- done with that now- but it certainly put me out of commission for a few days. I managed to still have a productive weekend starting with my Altar’d workshop that P bought me for Christmas (so sweet! I was floored that he even remembered it!) OMG It was amazing. Mandie and Colby are seriously the sweetest people ever and so helpful, creative, and just AWESOME. Her workshops have 5 or 6 students and you get to bring your own piece and in the course of ONE day, completely refinish it! Please check her out- she's on facebook tooThe minute P gave it to me; I think we both knew what I would be refinishing. DRUM ROLL please…

Ah the red crackle paint chest. It’s actually pretty cute; it just doesn’t go with ANYTHING in our house. Not that I’m anti-red- I do like red- on clothes, or shoes or a purse but not so much in decorating. This has been in P’s room at his parent’s house forever. I don’t know if it was always painted like this or if it has already been refinished once. We snatched it when we needed more drawers/ storage at the apartment. It was in the closet there so it didn’t really matter, but now that it is out in our guest room I wanted it to be more OURS.  

So I went to Mandie and Colby’s house where they have their workshops. (I’m sorry- side note- how cool is it that I found Altar'd clicking through blog to blog in blogland and they live right here in the metroplex, less than 30 minutes away! It blows my mind) It was seriously amazing. So informative and helpful and at the same time just FUN and sweet and I had a blast meeting everyone in the group and seeing all the cool pieces that they brought to refinish. I didn’t get too many pictures of the workshop- I was busy sanding and priming; painting and glazing! I have a few from early on. This is priming the piece after I sanded it down:

Then voila! DONE-

up close so you can see the distressing and antique glaze
There is actually some of the red showing through where it's distressed, and it's one of  my favorite features!

full body shot

Well almost done- I still needed to put the poly sealer on it and add knobs (pardon the tester knobs). I think I’m going to get crystal looking ones like these. Hobby Lobby has AMAZING knobs and pulls a lot of which look like they are from Anthropologie but SO much cheaper- and they go on sale 50% off one week every 4-6 weeks. So I'll be watching for those this week.

Then… oh you thought I was done. HA! Hardly! So while I was out fixing up our little chest of drawers, P was hard at work too. For Valentine’s Day I gave P an elfa system for his itty bitty closet (best stuff ever, btw) so we finally got around to putting it up. BUT before we could put it up, we P had to take down the flimsy shelf and rod that were currently up, spackle up the wall where they were with drywall mud, and then sand them down to be perfectly even with the wall.

 He did all of this while I was out at Altar’d then Sunday we realized that the crazy people previous homeowners had decided to paint the closet walls the same color as the bedroom. And since we already know I want to paint the bedroom walls, I just HAD to go ahead and paint the closet walls too. Otherwise it would look funny once we finally painted the bedroom. So, I threw up a coat of Sherwin William’s Misty (the current color choice for the bedroom)

Oh my goodness- it is PERFECT! So hard to tell on a computer screen, or even capture it on a camera but I LOVE it- definitely what we will be painting our bedroom. EXCITEMENT PEOPLE!! MAJOR EXCITEMENT!

While it dried, which was super fast by the way, we relaxed- SHORTLY (and stared at the paint color- well that might have just been me....)Then we got to putting in the closet system- which is super easy by the way. Just hold up the top track and make sure it’s level, then mark in all the holes so we know where to drill. Then we P drills pilot holes to see if there is a stud in that spot or if we need a drywall anchor.

Hi P! Can you tell how small this closet is now- this is how close to him I was!
Check out that drywall dust on his arm! SEXY!

Side note- if you put in an elfa system PLEASE use the Container Store’s drywall anchors- they are super heavy duty and the only thing I have ever found to work WELL. Very much worth the money
From there, you just have to put the drywall anchors in place where they are needed then hold up your top track and drill in the screws all the way across.

Check for level:

WOO HOO!!! Perfect! We’ve found that it’s so much easier to level it one time while you mark your holes, then you never have to worry about leveling again!  Then you throw on the hanging standards, but keep them close together to put all the brackets on so you know you are hanging everything at the same level.

 Then pull everything into place, install your shelves and rods and BOOM! You’re done
Well,, Its a little more full now!

BTW- any elfa system also comes with SUPER detailed and easy instructions so you don’t have to go by my quick version. So jealous, now I REALLY want to elfa my closet as well! In time...

And that folks was our weekend! WHEW! Exhausting- but so worth it!  
**UPDATE** the knobs are on sale NOW. I’m off to the Hob Lob! More on the knobs I pick next time J