Saturday, July 28, 2012


A turquoise and purple bracelet I made a couple of weeks ago.

A classic black & white bracelet I had to re-work.  I made this originally several years ago, but the center bead got broken, so I had to find a replacement and restring.

I have been very busy lately chasing my two boys (the youngest of which is now walking) and working the job that gives me a pay check, so I haven't been as regular with my blog posts.  In an effort to catch up, I have put together a "postpourri" with a couple weeks worth of projects that I failed to post.

As you can see above, I have been making some bracelets.  I have also been gathering a lot of goodies from the garden.

The first cucumber from the garden 7-11-2012!

Lots of tomatoes.
I have also been trying to make new recipes with my bounty of vegetables, especially the tomatoes.  Any recipe ideas are appreciated.
Making bean soup with tomatoes fresh from my garden.

The big project at our house right now is the basement renovation.  My husband has been working diligently on this every night and I will start posting the progress shots soon.  Have a great weekend!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Yipee....Garden Bench is Done!

Many thanks to my husband for finishing up the garden bench!  To recap: he added new stretcher boards from leg to leg for stability, sprayed the bench with primer, and then finally sprayed the bench with the top coat of color.  The paint color is "Tropical Oasis" from Valspar paint, which you can find at Lowes.  I love the pop of turquoise blue in this area.  The bench, that was close to going to the dump, now has new life and is one of my favorite items.

Bench Before Paint

A new bloom on our $5 rose bush we planted last week.

While I was out shooting pictures of the bench, I also took some shots of the potted flowers around the house.

Look how the water beads on our deck since we stained it. 

trailing plants out of control....yes there is a pot under all of that "creeping jenny"

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Busy Busy Busy

Paint Color Chips (Inspiration/Ideas for our old bench)
In my last post, I mentioned that we plan to paint an old bench (inherited when we bought our house) to place next to our privacy trellis with our Mandevilla and newly planted rose bush.   The above paint chips are a preview of what is to come.  The turquoise paint chips are inspiration colors.  Below is a picture of my husband spraying the bench with primer.  The two new boards stretching from leg to leg were added to give the bench some stability (it used to sway and wobble a bit).

Spraying the Primer Coat

Rain has delayed the final "color" coat of paint, but hopefully we can wrap this up tomorrow or at least this weekend sometime.  In addition to the bench project and holding down his day job, my husband has continually been working on renovating our basement (more to come on this in future posts).

I made some baby gifts, chased my own two babies, worked my day job (part-time interior designer), and baked some cookies for a sale to benefit our local children's hospital.
Monogrammed Baby Bib (Gift for Neighbor's Expected Grandchild)

Yummy...Chocolate Chip Cookies

Monday, July 16, 2012

Let's take this outside! (Moonlight Madness & Free Flowers)

Potted Mandevilla Climbing Trellis 
This weekend was spent having fun with my family and doing some sprucing up outside.  We started off by going to our local "Evergreen" landscape store on Friday night.  They were having their annual "Moonlight Madness" sale.  They had a live band, free moonpies, and super sales.  We got a $30 climbing rose for less than $5.  I also got an entire flat of 3-pack annuals for free. We purchased the rose bush to plant next to a privacy trellis that my husband built out of cedar last summer. 

This privacy trellis is in our backyard next to the patio off our utility garage.  This spring we planted a Mandevilla plant in a pot and it has really grown well up the side of the trellis.  The Mandevilla won't survive the winter and we have been looking for a nice perennial to plant on the back side of the trellis . We got our $5 climbing rose bush in the ground Sunday.  It is a "Blaze" rose that should have bright showy red blooms.  The overall height we can expect is 15'.  Another plus is that this variety of rose is supposed to be very low maintenance and easy to grow.  I will have to post updates in the future on how well this plant works for us. 

Our next project for this area is to paint a wood slat bench we inherited with our house and place it where we currently have our budget friendly enviro-plastic Adirondack chair from Lowes. I am thinking about painting the bench a "bold turquoise" or "peacock blue" to add a punch of color.  Is anyone else thinking about adding some bright color to their garden?

My flat of free flowers (on left)
Free Flowers potted for the front porch.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

What to Expect When You Are Expecting & Renovating Your Kitchen, Part II

My Dream Kitchen, Finished Just In Time!
I first posted about our kitchen renovation back in May, see full post Click here

At the end of the post "Part I", I said I would list sources in a follow-up post.  Well, I have finally gotten back to this.  The sources for materials are listed below:

Floors:  Dal Tile's "City View" collection, color: Downtown Nite 12"x24" in an brick pattern
Walls:  (Accent Behind Cabinets), Sherwin Williams' color: SW7514 Foothills; (All Other Walls), Sherwin Williams' color: SW7506 Loggia
Cabinets:  Mid-Continent Cabinetry, Lewis Door Style, All Plywood Construction w/dovetail drawers and slow close glides.  Finish on Perimeter Cabinetry (Antique White w/ chocolate glaze) Finish on Island (Fireside w/ Chocolate Glaze).
New Appliances:  Dishwasher & Microwave are "KitchenAid" purchased from Lowes. We reused the existing stove and refrigerator.
Countertops:  Island is "Cambria's" color: Windemere.  The perimeter countertops are "HanStone" color: Tiffany Grey
Faucet:  Delta's "Ashton"
Backsplash:  In-stock porcelain wall mosaic tile at Lowes. (I didn't record the name)

Kitchen/Family Room_Before

Nothing better than a big pantry cabinet..this has pull out shelves to make it easy to reach everything.

We planned for a nice stainless steel refrigerator, but for now the black economy version is working fine.. Our kids love their refrigerator farm (taken down for picture) and this toy would scratch stainless.

Loving all of the cabinet storage.

Pot depth drawers next to the stove are a must!

Bottom drawer of the island is toy storage. Our kids love to pull the toys out and this keeps them in reach but out of sight.

This is my one picture in the kitchen (with all of my cabinets, there isn't a lot of wall space).
. It helps me on extra stressful days!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Raised Bed Corn

Raised Beds at Sycamore Shoals State Park

My family and I recently visited Sycamore Shoals State Park in Elizabethton, TN.  This is a really nice state park and is only about a twenty minute drive from our house.  The park features a fort with examples of frontier living by the river.  There are really nice walking trails and I was excited to see that they have examples of raised garden beds just outside the fort. 

If you would like more information about the park, here is a link to their website:

I took some pictures of  the raised beds where they were growing corn.  I hadn't thought about growing corn in such a confined space, but it seems to be working well. I also liked the "walking plank" they stretched across the raised bed.  This path will be very useful come harvest time plus it is a fun way for a child to experience the garden.  My two year old loved working his way back and forth through the corn stalks on this plank path.

River View from Walking Trail at Sycamore Shoals State Park

Thursday, July 5, 2012

You Can Be My Friend

I have been hearing a lot of buzz about the cleanser "Bar Keeper's Friend".  This product is on the shevles at most stores, but I picked it up at Target this week.  This cleanser is supposed to be good on stainless steel, porcelain, and tile.  I needed to give my stainless kitchen sink a good cleaning so I decided that for $1.75, I would give this product a try.  I also picked up some of the new "Scotch Brite Greener Clean" sponges.  The say you can put these sponges in your dishwasher and reuse them.  I will have to let you know how well this works.

Dirty Sink

After "Bar Keeper's Friend" Cleansing
It is hard to show the change in pictures, but I am very happy with the end result.  The sink looks and feels really clean.  I was happy with product's performance on the sink so I tried it on a well used cooking pan.  

The pan looks like new again and I am super happy!  I plan to try this on some of the porcelain sinks in the bathrooms next.  I may be a geek, but I think it is fun to try out "new to me" products and see if they work better than my old standbys.  I am glad I gave this one a try.  Any motivation to clean is always a good thing for me.  Does anyone have any other good products to recommend?