Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Roller Coaster Kind of Day

Ugh! Another crazy day. Got my oldest off to kindergarten & a bit later had a drs appointment. Most likely nothing serious, which of course is good. Next off to an errand. While wrapping up, they called about our car. Guess what- needs a new engine and will cost about $2400 to fix. Big bummer is an understatement. Most likely will be putting kitchen reno on hold, I say to my hubby. After this he takes me to a Goodwill I haven't been to recently, raising my spirits by feeding my addiction! Well, let me tell you, it was a fun time, aside from waiting forever for a parking spot because some lady was trying to talk on her cell phone and park her truck at the same time. Anyway, my spoils *Pottery Barn Large Footed Bowl w/retail sticker for $38 still on it *Small Pottery Barn Bowl from 'Seaside' line, *cool framed flower print, *cute little canvas that says 'strawberries and cream, *cute metal and glass rose tea light holder, *cute picture frame, a new in pkg Lang Easter puzzle (most likely for an Easter basket) *gold candle holder thingy and finally *big wooden thing with hooks and spots for pics. I will add pics and updates as I get to these things.

After this, I come home excited about our little shopping trip, get in the door and find that it got warm enough for the kitchen window to start dripping again. This was the worst it has ever leaked, I had to clear off both sides of the counter (window is above the sink.) So frustrating. I couldn't do much else as my daughter was home & it was time to take her to cheerleading. I didn't want to make dinner what with lack of counter space and all, so we picked up some chinese take out. We almost always stop at this same place if we're hankering for chinese food, but it is made to order so it takes a bit to get your food. While my husband waited for them to make it I walked over to a nearby store and got the latest issues of Romantic Country & Traditional Home. Now husband is out, girls are in bed & baby is sleeping. I can't decide - work on crafts or read my new mags. I will have to let you know how it goes!

Above is my 'thrift store find.' These were wooden candlesticks that my husband said were too ugly, but he wouldn't stop me from buying them. I sanded, painted with a few coats of paint, sanded again and sealed and I personally think they are amazing! I don't think I would put candles in them, I just like how they look. Ok, off to do whatever I decide to do - until next time keep dreaming design!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Fun Valentines idea for Little Writers & Thrift Store Find

Today is a bit better than yesterday. We were able to get the car towed for free and borrow a car while ours is in the shop. Hopefully tomorrow we will find out what is wrong and even more hopefully find it is something minor. Girls are both on their meds. Hubby is at work.

Here is something fun my oldest daughter and I have been doing that I thought I would share. She is in kindergarten and is learning to write. She loves to practice. Now that Valentines is approaching, craft stores have tons of little mailboxes. I purchased two little mailboxes, one for my daughter and one for myself, and also pulled out a small pad of paper laying around the house. My daughter loves it! She is always writing me sweet little letters. Not only that, but her writing is getting better and better. I plan for us to decorate the mailboxes, just haven't gotten a chance yet. Maybe I will get another pic up once they are decorated.

These gems, pictured above, are my thrift shop find. They had the numbers 1957 stamped on the back, not sure if that was the year or meant something else. They were a wood color around the picture. I painted the wood surrounding the picture with a couple of coats of black acrylic paint. Next I gently sanded for a distressed look. Finally, I sprayed these with a coat of matte sealer. Love these! Until next time, keep dreaming design!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Crummy start to the weekend & look-jewelry box for Valentines Day

Since my last post things have been pretty crazy. Plus side, I did get my camera. Also, my husband made up a recipe for some jalapeno burgers that were delish. However, girls were driving me bonkers. They went to bed. Next, getting ready for bed myself and Beau, one of our dogs, puked. Fortunately he was already in his crate for the night so not too big of a mess. I take my 3 month old son upstairs, put him in his bassinet and layed down myself. He throws up all over his bed. He also wakes up several times (he had been sleeping through the night.) Around 7am today we are getting ready, my husband and I share a car. He had to work, my daughter would have cheerleading at our church. Youngest daughter bolts upright in bed yelling, "I can't see!" Her eyes were fused shut by drainage. Our older daughter had a bit of a cold as well. So, off to the doctor they go. They both have eye and ear infections, the younger one is much worse than the other. The older one is cleared for cheerleading, but gets a prescription, younger one is not supposed to be around others as much as possible. My husband attempts to take daughter to cheerleading, the car dies! Gah! Terrible start to the weekend. Hoping it gets better quick.

I did try a yummy recipe for breakfast for baked oatmeal that I got from a friend. Perfect for a chilly day and it is fast, easy and uses ingredients you probably already have at home. What more could you want?

Baked Oatmeal
3 cups oatmeal
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 cups milk
2 eggs
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup butter
Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Enjoy!

By the way the picture at the start of my post is of the jewelry box I made. Here are a few more pics.

And here is my first 'thrift store find.' I am going to be starting with ones that only have 'after' pictures, but eventually I will start having both before and after. It did occur to me to post these at first, but I thought people might like to see.

I found this little mirror/frame. Just thought it was cute. I custom mixed this shade of turquoise and painted it. It looks like a more muted color in real life. One really nice thing is that it has a mirror but, there is a picture frame opening in the back so it be switched out with a picture if desired. Well, everyone, here is hoping for a better tomorrow & until then keep dreaming design!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Feeling Valentines-y!

January is almost over and it is getting close to valentines day! I have to confess I really love Valentine's Day- all the red and pink and hearts, just love it. Some people think it is corny, I think it is romantic. Went to Barnes & Noble last week and they a valentines display that had piles of copies of my favorite book ever, Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen, and I almost had to buy it, even though I already have at least two copies!
Anyways, I think (fingers crossed) I may finally be getting my new camera today. I went to get one a bit ago, but the one I wanted was sold out just about everywhere. My husband says he will go to the store that has it later and pick it up. Finally I can post pics again! I spent this morning baking cookies for a winter party at my oldest daughter's (she's 6) school. My husband is there now helping out. After cookies, I went shopping, no camera but I also stopped at a thrift shop and found some goodies. Soon I will start posting my thrift store finds.
Back to valentines I have made a few things that I will be showing you soon. I made a little trinket/jewelry box and a nutcracker. I also found directions to a really cool wreath online and I going to try making one of my own. If it turns out ok I will be sure to share.
If anyone is interested here is my chocolate chip cookie recipe. I promise it is delicious!

1 cup Butter Flavor all vegtable shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 package semisweet chocolate chips
2 1/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda

In a mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugar on medium speed for three minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beat well. Add vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually add to creamed mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Roll into small balls (about a tablespoon) 3 inches apart onto lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes (I prefer 8, but if you like a little crunchier bake longer.) Remove to wire rack to cool. Makes about 3 dozen.

Make these for your valentine! You can also substitute any other chips you want to make other flavors or colors. Ok. I will be back again soon, hopefully with pics. Until then, keep dreaming design!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Beauty & Efficiency in a Tiny Space?-Kitchen

I have been and planning for awhile to get one room in my house absolutely perfect, but it never quite goes to plan. I was determined for a room to be complete, or at least as complete as money would allow. There are always three forces against me. 1) Money 2) Time 3) Husband - he does not want to hire outside help nor does he want to do the work himself. I was so set these last few days to come up with a room and plan and somehow overcome the odds. The room farthest from my choices? Kitchen - too time consuming, too expensive & my husband would never go for it.
That brings me off topic for a second, but I will return. Yesterday we got a ton of snow. My husband was at work, so I shoveled the driveway. We also have a 'roof rake.' If you are in a warmer climate, I will tell you it is exactly what it sounds like. It is this enormous rake like object for getting snow off of your roof to prevent water damage in your house. My husband usually has it somewhere in the garage that is hard to get to and also I have a heck of a time manuvering it. I shoveled a path to the garage so that he could do the roof raking when he got home. I told him this. He didn't do it. In the morning he says, 'I know you are paranoid about the roof, I will take care of it tonight when I get home, even though it shouldn't be a problem.' In response I reply, 'Well I'd rather worry and take care of it now than take care of a problem after damage has been done.' I drop my daughter off at school and when I arrive back at home- guess what- water dripping in through the kitchen window all over the counter. I break all the icicles outside by the window, I manage to get out the roof rake, but it is missing part of the pole so I am too short to reach anything. I think about trying a ladder, but my husband says not to and to leave it for him. So, drip, drip, drip, all day. Finally, when I got home from my daughters cheerleading practice it stopped as it is too cold and everything froze again.
Back to the orginal topic, I suppose I will now have to choose my kitchen, which I really didn't want to do, as previously mentioned. About my kitchen - It is very small 10x10 and has to be to be an eat-in kitchen as there is no formal dining room. It had been remodeled shortly before we purchased the home, but not a very good remodel. I don't think function was well considered. My camera died recently, but I hopefully will be getting a new one tomorrow, so I will post kitchen pics in the next week or so, along with more details and ideas.
If anyone has gone through a kitchen remodel in a small space I would love your input. I would like to know things such as;
1) What were your top priorities when creating this space? Were you able to accomodate these?
2) What typy of layout did you use? Does it work well for you?
3) Was there anything you skimped on and later wished you hadn't or splurged on and later felt was money wasted?
4) What things did you do yourself? Did you hire any of the job out?
5) Any money saving tips?
6) What would you consider a must-have with space in mind?
Please feel free to add. I will be updating as things go on. You can comment to the post or send email via dreamingupdesigns@yahoo.com. Also, there is my facebook fan page! Until next time, keep dreaming design!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Back from Hiatus

Hello everyone! Sorry for such a long break, but I have been busy with life and now that things have settled down a bit I can't wait to pick things back up!! This week I will giving my top picks from spring catalogs and my Top Designs Trends Spring 2011 update. More soon!