Thursday, May 29, 2014

diy: first dance lyrics frame

Today I wanted to share a quick and easy project I completed over the weekend.  My husband and I will be celebrating our wedding anniversary soon so I thought this project was fitting.

I have been wanting to frame a picture of our first dance for awhile now and just had not gotten around to it yet.  After looking around Etsy and Pinterest, I saw some great DIY projects and ideas using the lyrics from the first dance and thought I would put one together myself.

Here is the finished product...


Our first dance was to Van Morrison's "Into the Mystic."  Last summer, I framed a portion of the lyrics to hang in our guest room {see full post here}.  


This project was relatively simple.  I picked up a frame at Home Goods that had plenty of space on the mat frame around the picture.


Then I used a blue calligraphy pen that I had left over from a previous project to write the lyrics on the mat by hand.


I wanted to keep the writing small so I actually ended up having to write the song lyrics more than once.  


The frame is now hanging in our home office (which is a work in progress but will hopefully be done soon).


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

memorial day bbq: stuffed burgers

Hope everyone had a great Memorial Day and enjoyed the long weekend.  This past weekend was one of the most productive weekends my husband and I have had in a long time.  Somehow all the things that were on our "to do list" for the past month all got finished (pretty much) this past weekend.  Although the weekend was pretty busy, we did take some time to BBQ for the holiday and try out a burger press my husband bought on a recent Home Goods run.


Using the burger press is pretty self-explanatory so I won't go into that.  The creative and fun part is deciding what to put in the middle.  We opted for smoke gouda, onions, mushrooms, bacon, and an assortment of seasoning.  Here is what the inside looked like...


Here is the stuffed burger right before it hit the grill (sorry for the close-up for any vegetarians out there)...


We cooked the burgers on the grill for about 10 - 15 minutes total (flipping every 5 minutes).


The burgers turned out great and were really yummy!  Next time, I think we will opt for more cheese though and maybe add some BBQ sauce in the middle.  


Monday, May 19, 2014

before & after: refinished patio furniture

As I mentioned {here}, I have some family visiting us this summer and we have been trying to finish up projects here and there to get the house ready for guests.  One of the items on our "to do list" was to spruce up our patio furniture.

Our patio table, chairs, and lounge chairs are all metal so when we first bought them, we were really good about covering them with outdoor furniture covers  As time went on {and the covers ripped), we got lazy about covering them up.  Eventually over time, they all developed a sad rusted look.



So this weekend, while I attended a friend's baby shower, my husband was sweet enough to knock this task of our to do list.  After one coat of this Rust-oleum spray paint, this is what the table looked like...


Much better right?  He used Rust-oleum's paint and primer in one that works on metal surfaces for indoors or outdoors. 


You can kind of tell the difference here on the side tables.  The one one the left has been refinished and the one on the right still needs to be spray painted.


And here is a quick comparison on the patio table...


Now our patio furniture looks just like new again!

Friday, May 16, 2014

before & after: wood serving tray

This week I made a small tweak to our upstairs hallway (which I wrote about here).  Our home came with a laundry chute that runs straight from our upstairs hallway down into our laundry room.  You can see the hatch to the laundry chute in the picture below (under the sphere).


Last weekend, I was cleaning out a closet and I found this white wooden tray I used for a circus themed baby shower last year (see post here).


We never use the laundry chute, so I thought the tray would be a great way to hide the hatch and make the landing look more finished.


The tray was a originally a $2 thrift shore find that looked like this when it came home from the store.


After a couple coats of white spray paint, here it is now in our upstairs hallway.


Easy update and I am glad I could find a place for it in our home!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

fondue dinner party

This past weekend we had a few friends over for a fondue dinner.  Growing up, my family would sometimes do fondue dinners for get togethers and holidays.  As a kid, it was fun to cook with the fondue forks and stick them in the pots (supervised of course).  As an adult, it's still a fun and different way to cook and hang out at the same time.  We did fondue dinners for New Year's Eve for the last couple of years and also last year for Valentine's Day (see here).


For the veggies, we used potatoes, cauliflower, mushrooms, and broccoli.  You can really use any vegetable that is hard enough to stay on the fork when cooked.  Onions, acorn squash, zucchini, and carrots work well too.


For the pots, we usually use oil.  However, this time we opted to use a broth based fondue instead since the broth is lighter (and healthier) than using oil.  We used The Melting Pot Mojo's Fondue Broth recipe which you can find {here}.


We made the broth ahead of time on the stove and then ladled it into the pots when our guests arrived. It is better to make extra because the broth will burn off as the meal continues.  Even with the extra, we ran low and just added water to the pots later.


For the meat, we cut filet mignon and chicken breast into cubes and also got some pre-cooked shrimp and chicken sausage.


For the sauces, we had creamed horseradish, cocktail sauce, a chicken marinade, soy & lime marinade, BBQ sauce, and ranch dressing.  The Allegro soy & lime marinade was mostly everyone's favorite.


For dessert, we opted to do sorbets, ice cream, berries, and watermelon rather than something heavy like pie or cake.  The sorbets and fruit were a nice offset to the fondue.



All in all, we had a great time.  Since you're only cooking a couple bites at a time, a fondue dinner tends to be long but it does provide a great opportunity to fill the time hanging out with friends! 

Monday, May 12, 2014

before & after: thrift store mirror

I bought these three mirrors a few months ago at Salvation Army for $8 a piece.


The mirrors remind me somewhat of the metal clad mirrors from Pottery Barn (below and here).  The thrift store mirrors have plastic frames so there is definitely a gap in the quality there.  However, they are definitely a lower price point than Pottery Barn (the set of 3 retails for $289).

{Pottery Barn}
Anyway, I was going to update all three mirrors and hang them over the bed on the condo project I am working on (see herehere, here, and here).  However, before I finished fixing them up, I managed to break one of the mirrors and then my friend opted for a piece of art above the bed.  I took all this as a sign to just keep the two in tact mirrors for the condo project and keep the frame from the broken one for something else.

Last weekend when I was cleaning up, I found some leftover fabric from this chair I reupholstered {here}.  The fabric itself looks like a sketch so I thought it would be nice to frame a piece of it.


After spray painting the frame gold, I simply cut out and framed a piece of the leftover fabric using the extra frame.  And this is what the frame looks like now...


 The frame is hanging up in our guest bedroom in the same room as the nautical chair (see here).


I think it looks much better now that it is one color.  Luckily, the ship fit in the size of the frame.  

And a quick comparison...


Not bad for $8!


Sunday, May 11, 2014

happy mother's day!


Hope everyone took time to celebrate their moms today!  

My mom is the best and my brother and I are very lucky to be able to call her mom.  She taught us unconditional love, strength, and compassion.  Every day we are grateful to have such a wonderful and hilarious woman in our lives!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

our home: upstairs hallway

It's been awhile since I shared pictures of our home so I thought I would share a few pictures of another space that we recently finished…our upstairs hallway.  I know a hallway does not seem like it would be that exciting to talk about.  However, when I look back at "before" pictures from when we moved in,  I realize that it was quite a transformation.

Here is what the hallway looked like right before we moved in…


Sad…very sad.  These pictures are actually after the built-in cabinets and railing were painted.  Originally, they were just golden oak which I am sure looked great in the 80's but are not so amazingly stylish these days.  First step was to paint and add silver hardware to the cabinets.  Then, we pretty much just replaced the flooring when we did the rest of the house {discussed here} and added some decor.


And here is what it looks like all finished…



We use the built-ins to store extra bedding, towels, and books.  I love having all the extra storage space here instead of using up space in the closets.  The open shelf holds a collection of pictures from our wedding.  The candle holder is from Cost Plus World Market and is actually one of the first decor items my husband and I purchased when we moved in together years ago.  I placed a table runner from Home Goods under the frames (which are all from Home Goods, Ross, or Michael's).




The two area rugs are from Home Goods and the set of three beach pictures are Ikea purchases from our "apartment days" when we first moved in together.  


The side table is from Home Goods and the candle holder was a gift from a friend.


The two vases and sphere were Home Goods finds last year in the clearance section.  They matched well with the area rugs and overall scheme and were my attempt to cover up the laundry chute (that we never use).


As you can see in the following picture, our stairs lead straight into our dining room so I wanted to make sure the color scheme in the hallway tied in well with the rest of the downstairs.


And a quick comparison...

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

san francisco...

This past weekend, my husband and I took a long weekend and went to San Francisco for a few days.  I love San Francisco and we always have a grew time there seeing the sights, catching up with friends, and trying out different restaurants.  This past weekend we did just this and also caught a matinee performance of the San Francisco Ballet.

Here are a few pictures from the trip…

Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge
16th Avenue Tile Project
16th Avenue Tile Project
View from Grand View Park
War Memorial Opera House
City Hall
Dutch Windmill in Golden Gate Park (near Ocean Beach)
Golden Gate Bridge
Bay Bridge
Oysters at Hog Island
Golden Gate Bridge from Marin Headlands
View of Alcatraz from Marin Headlands
Golden Gate Bridge from Marin Headlands (Battery Spencer)