Tuesday, July 31, 2012

50 Shades of BLUE

My long awaited kitchen chandelier arrived and was hung a week or so ago.  It isn't turquoise, per se, but it isn't exactly a light Carolina blue that I was hoping would blend with lots of blue & white china like my original inspiration board shows:
And uploading this picture just reminded me of another snafu...these Chiavari bar stools arrived and looked wayyyy too plastic!  Word of advice -- don't get hyper like me and order resin -- order wood!  Well, when FedEx quoted me $600+ to send them back I decided to have Robert Corprew lacquer them black for me.  In hindsight, black is probably better anyways, there is plenty of white in that kitchen! :)  Can't wait to see them this Friday.

The chandelier also had a bent arm.  Still working with Greenfront to figure out what Currey is going to do to fix it. :)  I really do love the light and think it is a great statement, but it hasn't been the easiest part of this renovation project.

I'm thinking I'll just add in some Majolica and various shades of blue glasses (Anthropologie) to have it all blend.

What do you think?

Cannot believe we are moving this Friday.  This! Friday!  Ahhh....off to pack more boxes while watching women's gymnastics.


PS- I'm still fuming slightly....someone stole a pair of our painted shutters out of the garage.  How strange and rude is that?!  

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Copy cat, copy cat

In this first one I'm the copy cat.  This well-known Lonny mag spread with the bamboo mirror and perfectly styled green campaign chest is one of my all time favorites.
I decided to try and find my very own faux bamboo mirror to lacquer white and hang in our jack & jill bathroom.  I did some searching on Craig's list and eBay one night to no avail -- then the next day I walked into Studio123 to ask a quick question and there she was -- quite serendipitous I think.

I disassembled so that I could paint both sides since the back of the bamboo reflects slightly on the mirror.  I then used a high gloss spray paint to try and get a lacquered look.

This before and after isn't very impressive, but I am happy with the white for that bathroom.

Then One Kings Lane featured our very coffee tables this week.
I love that the estimated market value is $1,999 (now $999) when I think I paid a whopping $60 for each.  They need some styling love, but we are moving in a week, so I'll cut myself a little slack.

Happy weekend!


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Oven-Fried Okra

I don’t know about you, but I’ve Pinned so many recipes and actually tried only a hand full of them.  Time to change that – I started with oven-fried okra this Sunday night.  Born with a very Southern palette, fried okra is one of my absolute favorite foods.  This was so delicious even my non-okra eating hubby liked it!

I based it off the Pinterest recipe (originally via Cookin' Cowgirl) with a few tweaks and my own dipping sauce (mainly to lure Josh in, not necessary).
16 oz. bag of chopped frozen okra, thawed
1 c. yellow cornmeal
½ t. garlic salt
1 t. Lawry’s seasoning salt (or Cajun seasoning)
Pepper to taste
Canola cooking spray
Gallon-sized Ziploc bag

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Turn the Ziploc bag inside out and spray with the Canola cooking spray.  Then turn back right-side out and pour in the thawed okra, salt and Lawry’s / Cajun seasoning.  Shake it well and let it sit for 10 minutes.

Add the cornmeal to the bag and shake really well again.  Let sit for another 10 minutes.  Shake one last time.

Pour over a colander and sift out the extra cornmeal.

Spread okra out on foil lined baking sheet.  Spray with Canola cooking spray.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Flip okra with spatula, spray with cooking spray and bake another 20 minutes or until crunchy and golden brown.

I served with a spicy ranch (added cayenne pepper to ranch dressing).  Thanks to Jean for picking me up this appetizer cone from Home Goods.

I couldn’t get enough of it and it really didn’t taste very different from the very fried variety.  I heated it up the next day for lunch (in the oven on 425) and it was just as good as the first time.



Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Powder Room Vanity Makeover

I started this project after work this evening and it was easy and rewarding.  I love some instant gratification.  I have MISSED DIY projects and look forward to picking them back up regularly after the move.

This great find came from Studio123 -- one of my favorite places to browse frequently.  While this paint job may have looked perfect in lots of spaces, it was not the look I had in mind for our powder room so I got to work!

The guy doing the cabinets at the house was nice enough to help me convert this into a vanity by cutting a hole for the sink and making the top drawer stationary.  That is above my skill set!

Step 1: Brasso the hardware.  Nothing short of a $3 miracle worker!  It could get addictive…

You may remember this hardware I ordered off Etsy from my inspiration board.  I ended up deciding I liked the original better with the style & lines of the piece-- especially after the Brasso wonder.  What do you think?  Anyone want the these pulls?  I have three.

Look what a difference just polishing up the hardware did!

Someone refused to get out of my pictures tonight!! :)

Step 2: Then I continued to work my arms out and sanded, sanded, sanded.  I did NOT need to prime after this step.

Step 3: Next I got out my new Purdy brush and high gloss black paint.  I typically use Sherwin-Williams for projects like this (especially since they are a McKinney client), but happened to be in Ace Hardware so I went with Benjamin Moore.  The key is to tell the paint experts what your project is so they can advise you on what type of paint you need.  The Purdy brush is an absolute must -- I don't paint with any other brand.
Two things I loved about this particular paint: quick drying and easy clean up.  Josh came home from working out as I was painting my first coat and Olivia ran to the door and stepped on the paint can lid.  Josh quickly put her paw under cold running water and it washed right off.  Crisis averted!

This was after the first coat, but I ended up doing 3 good coats.  They dried SO FAST that by the time I was finished with the last side I could go back to the first side for the next coat.

Step 4: I used painter’s tape to help guide where I’d add the gold accents.  Then I used my favorite gold leaf paint for this part.  This stuff is very thin, but has excellent coverage.  It looks like I barely used any out of the small jar.

Meanwhile, someone seemed to get quite bored with this project.

Step 5: I decided to put the hardware back on to see if the gold paint complemented it and to guide me on how much more to do, so I didn’t overdo gold.

Step 6: Rigged the sink and faucet to get a true idea of how it would look installed.

Step 7: Then I got really crazy and hung the mirror on an existing nail in our laundry room for a true idea of the finished product.

Side by side comparison shot


Monday, July 16, 2012

Weekend Recap: Lights, Pimm's, etc.

Lights are hung over at the new house.  I got both of these for the steal of the century at The Cheshire Cat in Cameron Village.  

The Sleepy Poet in Charlotte continues to be one of my favorite places to dig for affordable treasures.  I simply added a little Rub ‘n’ Buff to the lantern’s leaves and it now hangs in our back entry.  I have missed projects -- even though this took me all of 5 minutes, I enjoyed it.

Home Depot and Lowe’s were the sources of ALL our exterior lights.  They were all about $30-$60 and look just as good (to me at least) as ones I priced that were $200+ each.

Friday night we ate dinner at Batistella’s with the Otto and Falkner families.  Their Pimm’s cocktail was delicious and light!
Jean, my mother-in-law, and one of her besties, Donna.

Saturday night Chris and Kathryn were nice enough to turn a blind eye at our messy house and we grilled out.  This picture doesn’t look appetizing, but it was awesome.  I highly recommend the chicken sausages from Fresh Market.  Kathryn and I tried mushroom & asiago and buffalo & blue cheese.  I don’t even like blue cheese and I thought it was delicious.

Then we headed to Babylon to celebrate Josh’s friend, Andrew’s, birthday.
Kathryn, me, Laura (bday boy's wife)

Sidenote: Josh informed me that my turquoise and gold necklace didn't go with my pink dress...  I did not listen to him :)

Then we pooled and golfed it on Sunday.  I played 9 holes for my second time since about age 7.  

And Olivia was lucky enough to enjoy a cocker sleepover with her cousin, Maysie.  They spent a lot of time posing in furniture…
Let the record show the picture on the left was at 2 a.m....

We should close and move August 3.  We spent a lot of time starting to clean out this house.  I don't know how we have accumulated this much stuff -- looks like hoarders over here!  My next few weekends will be spent doing lots of donating / throwing out.

I have a great recipe coming in my next post.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Buter's Pantry Inspiration Board

I can hardly believe everything is winding down and we will be in the house in less than a month (fingers crossed for August 3)!  It really has flown by and it has been really fun for Josh and I to work on together.
In our butler's pantry I opted for gray walls (Benjamin Moore's Stonington Gray), gray cabinets (lacquer matched to Benjamin Moore's Timber Wolf) and white & gray carerra marble countertops.  Besides the hammered silver sink and bar faucet, all other metal will be brass.

Chandelier - vintage; found in Jean's basement
Pulls and knobs - Anthro
Gold hexagon chicken wire to go in cabinets instead of glass - found here


Sunday, July 8, 2012

iPhone Photo Diary

Since I have been a slack blogger, I decided to take a moment to download my iPhone pics to reflect back on what we've been up to.

I marinated two boneless chicken breasts just like described for the shrimp tacos here and then heated up soft tacos and melted the cheese on the stove -- everything else just like shrimp taco recipe.  So good!
He got the recipe while he was in Spain -- quite authentic if anyone is interested in the recipe!
I missed the first course -- various empanadas.
I'm slightly paranoid it looks yellow instead of the intended cream...oh well!
Thanks to Bailey for letting me know about the cute pink H&M dresses currently in stores.