Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Years Resolutions

2012 is almost here and just like every year I'm thinking about resolutions. Ok, so I'm guilty of breaking many a resolution in the past but what kind of person would I be if I just stopped trying? I know it may seem arbitrary to some that you pick this certain time of the year to start changing your ways but I figure it's as good a time as any :-) Personally I have always been a big fan of resolutions for the new year, in my book trying to better yourself is an admirable undertaking. I am, as always, probably trying to take on too many resolutions this year but I figure it's good to aim high. This blog isn't about my personal life goals however, it's about our house and home. So instead of listing all my personal resolutions (most of which are health and fitness related), I'm making a list of resolutions for the house. This is just a list things I would like to accomplish in the house by this time next year. We starting the home buying process about a year ago and have accomplished so much already, I'm excited to see what we can get done in the next year.

1. Thoroughly clean and organize every room in the house. I mean get down to the nitty gritty, windows, carpets, baseboards, fans. I also plan to include the garage and basement in this which makes it a bit scary but hey, I have a whole year.

2. Finish the Kitchen remodel. This is a big one, we have lots of work to do here. We have a lot of the pieces we need to finish this but we just have to find some time to do it. I can't wait to get our new countertops and sink in place. We also plan to rip out the rest of the upper cabinets and replace them with shelves. Ideally I also want to tile the Kitchen this year.

3. Finish the stupid baseboards, not looking forward to this but it needs to be done.

4 Tile the bathrooms. They're small, how hard could it be?

I'm sure other things will come up that I want a need to get done around the house but this is a good start. I hope you and yours have a healthy and happy new year and good luck on those resolutions!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Best Gifts...

Christmas has come and gone already and we are still basking in holiday cheer. We had a fabulous Christmas at home with my family and even though everyone came down with a nasty cold we all got everything we wished for and had a lot of fun hanging out together. We scored some really awesome gifts this year (like a waterproof camera and a shiny new coffee maker) but the presents that stood out the most were the incredibly touching hand made gifts.

My new terrarium, lovingly hand planted and arranged by my parents. 
My mom made me this awesome book of my artwork through the years, such a great idea!

Seriously, if you have someone artistic in your life this is an amazing present to make them. I was so touched and loved looking back at all my old drawings and sketches

And last but not least my dear friend Joanna painted us this beautiful watercolor of our house! I am so excited about this! Still looking for the perfect place to hang it.

Most importantly I got to spend some time with the people I love most, my amazing family. It just wouldn't be Christmas without them.

PS, the cats also got just what they wanted for Christmas,

Happy Holidays y'all!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

2011 Holiday Party

We saw a return of our annual holiday party this year and it was a blast! It was wonderful having everyone over and getting to spend time with friends and family. The menu was cranberry gin fizzes, Logan's port punch, beer and wine, pear and brie crostinis, pecan blue cheese logs, olive and rosemary wreath, cranberry feta pinwheels, chocolate chip cookies and assorted chips and dips. Party games included white elephant, the ministers cat, holiday charades and apples to apples of course :-) Here are some pictures,

Cranberry gin fizz

Rosemary olive wreath

A good time was had by all, can't wait to do it again next year :-)

Monday, December 12, 2011

First Kitchen Shelves Up

While I was at work this weekend Eric surprised me by putting up our first set of kitchen shelves to replace the cabinet we took down. It was nice to have a place to put our dishes again :-)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Working on the Kitchen

We have taken the first steps in our kitchen renovation plans. We bought some butch block counter tops, a new sink and new shelving for the kitchen, none of which has been installed yet ;-) We plan to do the renovations in small bits so that we don't get overwhelmed and so that we keep the kitchen as usable as possible during the process. We started by taking down some of our upper cabinets and painted the area underneath. It's not much but it's a start :-)

Cabinets to the right of the sink removed

Cabinets to the right of the sink removed

wall repainted

wall repainted- we are planning to put shelves in this space to replace the cobinets

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Eric's Standing Desk

This is something Eric has been wanting to do for a while. He spends a lot of time sitting at his job and when he gets home he thought it would be a great idea to put in a standing desk both for his health and to help him limit his computer time a bit. Yesterday he built a wall mounted standing desk. It took some rearrangement of the furniture in the loft but it looks awesome! Here are some pics,

The desk is made out of leftover bamboo flooring among other things. Eric also put in a metal plate at the back of the monitor stands (which are also hand made by Eric) to use with magnets as a bulletin board. 

underneath view

this is the new arrangement of the furniture, it actually worked out really well!

 Personally I prefer to sit when at the computer but maybe if I didn't have a job that kept me on my feet all day I would feel differently. In any case I think it's a great plan for Eric and I hope he will feel better as a result of it. More blog posts to come soon, I have some pics of the progress we are making in the kitchen to share in the near future.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas...

At least at our house it is! Ever since the first time we looked at this house I have always thought about how amazing it would look with Christmas decorations up. Now that December is finally here we have started going nuts with the lights and holiday decor. We went and got our Christmas tree today and put up a bunch of other festive trimmings and the house is starting to feel very merry indeed. Here are the pics!

Eric putting up the tree, lots of needles on the floor
Tree all decorated from above, we had room to get a nice big fat tree this year!
My mom has been super crafty this year and made me this adorable owl ornament! Love it!
The star
More holiday decor 

I made some extra decorations with some trimmings from the tree- mantel
I made some extra decorations with some trimmings from the tree- doorway to the kitchen
I made some extra decorations with some trimmings from the tree- banister

I wrapped all our railings in white lights (leftover from our wedding) and hung Christmas cards along the banister. 

Ikea star lights hung in the back doorway

The tree as it gets dark outside, pretty reflections in the floor

Monday, November 28, 2011

New Kitchen Counter

This weekend Eric took some steps towards our kitchen renovation plans. I was working all weekend long so he took the opportunity to put in a new built in counter in a wasted corner of our kitchen. Here are some before pictures.

I don't have any perfect before pictures but note the white window sill and the red table in the corner (it always just collected junk). We had been talking about replacing the red table with a built in counter to give us some extra work space and on Saturday Eric took a trip to Ikea to buy some butcher block counter top and installed this lovely new counter to give us some extra work space. He also replaced the white window sill with more butcher block, now we have a huge prep area that we can chop all over! He had to rearrange our hanging kitchen gear a bit but now the whole area is opened up and is beautiful and functional!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Rustic Modern Thanksgiving

 HOsting our first real Thanksgiving was a huge success! The food turned out delicious and everything was lovely. All I can say is we couldn't be more thankful :-)

Centerpiece and table runner, this is before we rearranged the furniture to accommodate everyone.


Family enjoying Logan's punch that he brought.



Fridge the night before Thanksgiving. The turkey is brining in that big metal bucket.
Fridge after the Thanksgiving meal, so glad I bought new tupperware before this  holiday!

My plate, full of brined turkey, hash brown casarole, sweet potato casserole,  Mom's cornbread and  sausage dressing, grape, pecan and goat cheese salad and cranberry orange relish.

My famous butternut squash soup and a cheesy corn biscuit.

The most beautiful turkey ever :-)

Pecan, grape and goat cheese salad with balsamic vinaigrette. 

Eric carving a turkey for the first time
Logan's grapefruit pie with candies grapefruit peel on top.

We set up two tables put together (making one long table) in the living room where we are dinner. We set up an extra table in the dining room to use as a buffet to hold all the food.
Lots of wine was consumed

We got to use our wedding tablecloths, napkins and wine glasses as well as using the dishes and flatware we received as wedding gifts.

top view of the Thanksgiving table.

 This is what the menu ended up like, I've linked all the recipes that I can in this list :-)

Brined Turkey, Sweet Potato Casserole, Cheesy Corn Biscuits, My Mom's Amazing Cornbread and Sausage Dressing,  Goat Cheese, Grape and Pecan Salad, Hashbrown Casserole , Fruit Salad brought by my mother in law Jody, Cranberry Orange Relish, Butternut Squash Soup, Apple Bourbon Pie, brought by my mom, Grapefruit Pie, brought by Logan, Pumpkin Pie, brought by Jody, and Oreo Cheesecake brought by my parents.

Now all we have to do is try to recover from our food comas and enjoy our leftovers as the weekend goes on :-)