Friday, January 29, 2010

Ceiling fan makeover

With all the changes going on in my house now not too many things are safe. Since I stripped and stained the mantle a different color and the matching window blinds will soon be history, I had to do something with the matching ceiling fan. Most fans come in two colors so this makeover was an easy one.

The fan originally looked like this…

The light maple color was nice when it matched everything in the room. With the fireplace sporting a new darker color and new window treatments around the corner the fan needed it’s own updating. Each blade is attached with 3 screws and in a few minutes they were off. A little 409 and they were ready to go back on. I also had to paint the pulls so they coordinate with the room. I’m all about the details. They used to be green to match the old wall color. Now they are a nice dark brown.

What do you think???

Here is what I did to the bedroom fan when we first moved in this house.

It was also wood tone originally. My furniture in this room is an off white color and there is nothing wood tone so it stood out like a sore thumb. I used contact paper to give it a fresh look. I took each blade down, cleaned it good and then covered it with contact paper. After making sure that there were no wrinkles or air bubbles, I used a razor blade to trim right along the edge. Now it blends into the ceiling and is far less noticeable in a room of light furniture.

I wonder what will be next?????

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


It’s time for some seasonal decorations around here but there’s no place to put anything. I have everything in such disarray with all my renovations and painting so the only thing I can do for now is the front door.

I made this decoration a few years ago. A friend gave me the grapevine hearts and the letters I think I found in the dollar section at Target. I’m tired of looking at it so let’s see what I can come up with????

Ta Da

I picked up a two sheets of felt and a dowel rod at the craft store and ripped the letters off the old decoration. $2.41 in supplies and a little hot glue and I have a new door decoration. Now what should I do with those grapevine hearts???? Hmmm?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Stumbling block

I’ve been planning my redecorating for 4 to 5 months. Some things came to me easily and other things are a little harder to find solutions. My kitchen and family room are one big area. It’s a long narrow room with three different windows along the back wall. That side of the house gets all the afternoon/evening sun. This can make it slightly blinding from time to time. So whatever goes on the windows should be able to block out as much sun as possible especially in the summer but we also like to have the light in so it needs to be sturdy enough to get opened and closed frequently.

At the kitchen window I like to look out into the yard or across the way at the cows. I like having more light here but still at times it can be harsh. I don’t want anything to long or frilly at this window for practical reason. I've tried at least three different things here over the years and some where OK but none were great. I made these but never really liked them. They kinda match my walls but that will soon change and they let in way too much sun even with the added liner I put on them.

In the middle of the room, there is the sliding glass door. The rod there was purchased to match the kitchen cabinets, which are now being painted so that will need to be changed. The curtain up there is one that I made to cover the window/door a few years ago while I decided what I was going to do with the room. At first it looked fine when the room was off white. Since then, the room was painted purple but now I plan to give it yet another color. So, I need something more “finished” looking and something that will block out more light than this one (as you can see). I like the general style of this treatment but will need to find fabric that works with my new colors.
In the living/family room area I have two tall skinny windows side by side. We originally got these blinds made-to-order to match the fireplace that is no longer that light oak/maple color but instead a dark walnut color. The blinds worked fairly well but I want something different here now. Plus I don't want to spend the money on custom blinds.

The really hard part is that these three windows are all on the same wall and will need to coordinate with each other as well as the surrounding d├ęcor for that part of the room (remember, one end is kitchen and the other end is living room). I headed to the fabric store today and I’m back home now feeling totally overwhelmed. I checked out a ton of fabric and curtain rods and looked in a few books. I have a list of prices that I need to review a few hundred times before I can make a choice. My head hurts.

Do you have any ideas?
What’s your decorating dilemma?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I need a coffee break

There are plastic drop clothes, paint cans, brushes and masking tape everywhere. My whole house is in disarray. My re-decorating goal is well underway. Here’s what my basement laundry room looked like a few days ago.

In the living room, the bookshelves that sit to the right of the fireplace have been cleaned off and moved into the dinning room. They have been primed and painted with 2 coats of paint. They are sitting in the dinning room with a fan pointed at them while they cure. The TV has been moved to a table in the corner of the room where the bookshelves used to sit. The TV cabinet has been pulled away from the wall, it’s doors removed and it has been primed and painted. The mantle has been stripped, sanded and stained. It waits to be sealed. The walls have been speckled with test patches of various paint colors while I make my final decisions. The kitchen island has been covered with wainscoting. The doors and drawer fronts have been removed, primed and painted. The island has also been primed and painted with 2 coats of paint. The door and drawer fronts are now sitting in the dinning room waiting to cure.

There is no time like the present to take a short coffee break. My love for coffee really developed when I was working full time and carrying a full load of credits in a specialized weekend program to finish my degree. So that meant that I worked 40 hours a week as a therapy assistant then had classes Friday evenings all day Saturday into the evening and then Sunday until late afternoon. Thank goodness I lived alone then. I lived on coffee and Doritos. The hubby and I were dating then and dates consisted of him cooking for me and then editing my papers and running test questions with me.

Anyway, back to my coffee break. Have you every woken up to the smell of coffee wafting up the steps? It’s such a nice inviting way to enter into your day. Or what about the smell from an afternoon brew. Either way, the smell takes me away even if it is to escape for 2 seconds. Then there is the feel of the warm mug in my hands. Soon after, I feel my shoulders drop and I start to relax. That first sip is the best. You feel it warming you from the inside. And lets not forget about the caffeine buzz that is right around the corner. That helps me with the sleep deprivation of being up with one of my 3 monkeys at some point through any given night. And gives me the boost to get a few extra chores done before the hubby gets home.
OK, got to run, I need a cup o’ Joe then I’m off to paint some more.
Here’s a little video for you to watch while you sip your coffee delight.

Friday, January 15, 2010

It's not easy being green.

No, I’m not talking about Kermit.

No, I’m not talking about saving the environment.

Yep, you guessed it!

Green smoothies to be exact. I started drinking green smoothies about 6 months ago. It seemed as if I was seeing a lot about cleansing and healthier diets in the news. Between a desire to get rid of my baby pooch and wanting to promote my husbands well being I decided to give them a try. The hubby had some major health issues and few years ago and we need to stay on top of what he eats and how much water he drinks to stay ahead of any nurturer trouble.

What the heck is a green smoothie???? It’s basically a blended drink full of green leafy vegetables and a few pieces of fruit. Some have other things like nuts or yogurt in them and all need some sort of liquid added like milk, juice or water.

I stated researching the health benefits and looking up recipes last June. I began making them every morning and I would often have a second one in the afternoon. Here are some of the health benefits to drinking a green smoothie…

* boost your immune system
* boost your mental performance
* increase digestive efficiency
* support weight loss
* support your liver and kidneys
* reduce bad food cravings
* balance body PH
* increase energy
* help blood sugar management
* and in fact drinking green smoothies helps the body prevent and heal disease such as those listed above and more.

Now do they work miracles? Not really. I still have that belly pooch from having baby #3. I did get pretty sick this fall. Remember November? I was down and out for the whole month. The hubby still has some issues from time to time but has stayed out of the hospital so that’s a good thing. OK, so I don’t do a lot of other things to take good care of my self. I rarely exercise, I don’t always eat right and I don’t get enough sleep. So maybe I was counting on the smoothies to do more than they could. Overall, I do feel that I’m being more healthy by drinking them and I know I’m getting more vitamins and minerals in my diet than I might otherwise get.

For breakfast today I drank a cup of spinach, a small fist full of parsley, an apple and a banana.
Some days I use Kale, collard greens, Swiss chard or bok choy. Now there’s a list of things that aren’t in my regular diet. From what I have read, you need to vary the foods you use to get the most out of what you’re drinking. So each day I try to make them a little different.

Some of the reasons to drink a green smoothie…

For Cleansing:
Drink one three times a day for 14 days in place of each meal. Use only fresh and organic foods don’t use yogurt.

For weight loss:
Drink daily with small healthy meal. Use water only no juice and minimize using fruits high in sugar. Avoid using yogurt.

To improve general health:
At least one a day with a well-balanced meal.

What to add for extra flavor:
Vanilla extract
Cayenne pepper
Honey (this is also healthy)

What to add for even more added benefits:
1 tablespoon of olive oil.
¼ cup of nuts

The 10 healthiest fruits to use…

1) Apples
2) Bananas
3) Blueberries
4) Apricots
5) Blackberries
6) Cherries
7) Pomegranates
8) Oranges
9) Purple (not green) grapes
10) Mangoes

Greens that are highest in nutrition…

Collard greens
Bok choy
Mustard greens
Swiss Chard
Beat greens
Turnip greens

Time to get started. Here’s what you’ll need to make your own green smoothie.

Basic needs for a recipe:
The size of an 8x10 sheet of paper covered in greens per person (Two pages is best)
1 to 2 pieces of fruit (the more, the better it tastes but the fewer, the healthier it is)
1 Cup or more of liquid (water, milk, juice)

If you want more recipes, I have a ton I’d love to share, just e-mail me.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Soups on!

I have 5 quarts of delicious soup in my freezer just waiting for me. I just participated in my second soup swap and I’m so excited to know that a nice warm meal is already made. If you’ve never done a soup swap here’s the deal. You find a group of friends or neighbors that are willing to participate. Six or more people works nicely. Each person then chooses a soup that they want to make. You then prepare a predetermined amount. This time we made 4 quarts of our soup. Last time it was six quarts. This will depend on how many people you have participating in the swap. If you have six people then make 4 quarts. More people means you make a bigger batch of soup. Then you put your soup into nice 1-quart storage containers. I like the kind with twist on lids. You all get together with your soup and take turns picking which soups you will go home with.

I made 5 quarts of potato soup, one to keep for myself and the other four to swap. I came home with a quart each of: pasta fagioli, bean with ham, chicken noodle and cabbage soup. Plus I have a quart of the one I made. Now when the cold is really getting to me I can heat up a nice pot of homemade soup. Add a salad and some bread and Yummm!!!!!

You can have a ton of fun with this and try some different soups. We were fairly safe this time. There was some talk about trying a carrot and ginger soup. Last time I made a pea soup. That now seems to be the running joke. Apparently not everyone has an adventurous palate. One of my friends brought this to the swap for me.

Funny… funny girl.

January is national soup month so you can try a few recipes for yourself.

So, what’s your favorite “baby, it’s cold out” comfort food????

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Let it begin

Well, so far so good. I’m off to a good start but we’ll see how things go as the years progresses. It started with the purging bug. No, I’m not sick again. It’s a new year, out with the old and in with the new. As the Christmas decorations were coming down and getting packed away, I weeded out the storage bins. I cleaned off the bookshelves and got things ready for my decorating project.

Here’s what the main wall in my living room looked like before the Fall and then Christmas decorations went up. The TV cabinet and the bookshelves were purchased through a catalog to match the maple color of the fireplace. Yeah, right. They were such a hassle to lift and assemble; I didn’t dare tell the hubby I didn’t like them. They just didn’t match right, not to mention that I didn’t really care for the wood tone on the fireplace to start. And that is all just the beginning of the list of reasons that have lead up to my re-decorating goals.

They say that a woman’s home is an extension of who she is. If so then I am chaos. The hubby and I each had a full house hold when we came together. For two years, more than half of our stuff stayed in boxes in the storage area of our NJ apartment. Once we moved into this house, it was not always easy to find space for things. We each had a set of dishes and silverware. We kept those and it works out good when we have a party or a big family meal. His was white and mine was black. They mix and match well with each other (like us I guess). See those two vases on the mantle… one was his and one was mine. (Isn’t that funny, they’re identical). Anyway, when it came to the furniture it got a little harder to make it all fit and make it work. I’ve moved stuff around and tried things in different rooms but I never got that “Aahhhh, I’m home” feeling. When I go to my friends’ houses and I feel that relaxation come over me, I know that I need to work on a plan for my house.

I’ve been working on some ideas for a few months now. It’s time to get started. This is just a tease; you’ll have to be patient to see the end result.

Do you see all those blue swatches??? Go figure. Hmmm, what color will it be????

Have you started your goals???

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

We are back from our journey over the river and through the woods. We managed to stay awake long enough to watch the ball drop. Now it’s time for a slow and steady start to the New Year.

Hmm, what do I want from this year????
I hope to yell less at my kids. I’ll work on being more patient.
I’d like to see less clutter in my house. (Dust I’ve learned to live with) I’ll work on organizing better.
I’m already fairly frugal. But there is some room for improvement. I’ll try to see that there is less food going to waste.
I could say that I’ll take better care of myself but that one always seems to get dropped first. Why set myself up for failure??? I know I have terrible eating habits, I don’t exercise regularly and I’m usually at the bottom of the list. OK, I’ll see what I can do but no promises here.

My other goals for the year…
I need to rebuild a new web site and get it up and running soon. I’ll worry less about making money and more about just having fun with my jewelry.
(Drum roll….) The one I’ve really been waiting for….
I will be re-decorating my house!
I have big plans to changes things around and make my place homier. There will be plenty of before and after pictures so you all can go along for the ride. Since there is no time like the present, I need to go pack up the Christmas decorations and get this show on the road.

Have a wonderful New Year’s Day and a fabulous 2010!!!