Thursday, December 27, 2012

My best home improvement projects of 2012!

Hi Friends!
Back in January, I made a modest list of PERSONAL GOALS (which I made only limited progress on) as well as a list of HOME GOALS (which I made good progress on thanks to much help from a talented and budget-minded contractor). 
Here are my best home improvement projects of 2012!  (Click on any of the CAPITALIZED links for further info on each project).
1.  My best and favorite home improvement was our MASTER BATHROOM RENOVATION pictured below:
2.  We also worked on our MASTER BEDROOM, pictured below:
3.  We added bead board, new moldings, and slate flooring to our POWDER ROOM  and laundry area...
4.  We improved our HALL BATHROOM, used by our boys:
5.  Barring a complete re-do (for which I do have a plan!), we PAINTED OUR FIREPLACE, below:
6.  I also worked toward a greener, simpler, and MORE ZERO WASTE (at least less wasteful) kitchen:
7.  One item that really was not on my initial list was to REDESIGN TEENAGE SON'S ROOM.  This was a fun project that tested my creativity in designing a desk that would work for this artsy boy:
In looking over my 2012 home goals, I realize that I did not repaint the insides of the front door, but I did get a lot of the other little things done, like repainting the interior of our kitchen cabinets, getting new bed skirts for two of our beds...
as well as remaking a little BAR CART, pictured below:
I would love some feedback on any of these projects!  Sadly, I do not see nearly this kind of productivity and remodeling for 2013, but I will be thinking on what else I need to do that is budget-friendly while our eldest finishes his first year of college.  :)
Thanks, as always, for viewing!  :)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Tub :)

I think out of all the home improvement projects I have tackled, the master bathroom bath is by far my favorite.  I especially love the tub, which contrasts so nicely with the dark floor.  I told my husband just the other day that I am so happy that I followed my instincts in designing this room, but the truth is that I waited so long to get started that there was no way my brain could wrap itself around anything BUT a dark floor and white cabinetry.  :)
Here is how the tub area looked when we finished the project earlier this year:
And here it is for another 2 weeks, all decked for Christmas:
I am definitely getting ready to unwind here, after a busy and stressful few months!
Here are a few little details below:




Hope ya'll have a relaxing weekend!  :D

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Signs of Christmas 2012

My gosh but I'm late to every party this year, it seems.  The term "working mother" just does not do it justice, particularly with a job that drains me of absolutely all I seem to have right now.  The tragedy of Friday also hit me hard, especially as a fellow school psychologist was shot in the line of fire...but mostly for those poor parents and surviving school personnel.
But here I am now.  Christmas (yes, I will speak that beautiful word, thank you) is upon us, my older son is home from college and in another two days I shall bake cookies.
Here are a few humble (and never new, I might add) Christmas decorations  around my house.  Far from the over-achieving and breath-taking blogs I now only occasionally visit, I continue to decorate for Christmas in my own little ways that seem to bring comfort to my family. 
Our tree continues to be decked with a homemade skirt from my  mom and cheetah ribbon joyfully given to me by my friend Brenda years ago.

A basket once on sale from Ballard Designs holds Christmas wrapping ready to be used.

I like to recycle bows from gifts and tie them to my existing plants to add a festive twist.  Simple and free.  :)

 Stockings hung by the chimney with care  ;)


Thanks for visiting.  I realize I am posting so very little now, and hope to have more time for blogging in 2013.  :)
Have a wonderful Christmas for those of you who celebrate it!

 linking: here and here and to the nester.  :)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

New Flooring in the Powder Room

Hi All!  It has really, really, really been hard to even read my favorite blogs let alone create a blog post since work started up again about 10 weeks ago!  I just cannot seem to get it all done!
Anyway, I thought I would do a short post on our new powder room flooring.  I was a bit bummed to say the least, but the Allure flooring that we had put in this room over the summer did not work (here is my original post on the powder room!).  The product began separating at the edges and was not adhering well to the subfloor.  Fortunately, the Home Depot gave me a complete refund for the product.  I really loved the look of the floor, very much, but it was obviously not a good choice in the end in terms of durability.
So then I had the dilemma of choosing a new flooring.  I had great difficulty deciding and after much noodling, decided to go with slate.  The main reason is that this bathroom attaches to our laundry area and entrance into the house from the garage....thus the entire area needs something practical.  So slate it is!
Here is a quick look: 

It is a tough space to photograph, but here is an idea....

The color is a pretty gray, but it is versatile so I can simply change out accessories depending on my mood and the seasons.  I think the bathroom will look festive with a red rug and some Christmas paperwhites soon, no?
For anyone still with me here, thank you for tuning in!  I am in a season of life that requires money to be made and that does not leave time for design projects or even design inspiration, but I am looking forward to decorating the house for Christmas and especially for having my eldest son home from college soon!

Monday, October 15, 2012

One Kings Lane Sale!

Hi Friends.  I feel a bit remiss that I have not spoken much about One Kings Lane. But they are having a sale so I must mention them now!  :)

All week long, One Kings Lane is offering fantastic deals on their home and kitchen appliances! With the holiday season approaching, this is the perfect sale to make sure you have everything you need for warm gatherings at your home. One Kings Lane has everything from elegant hanging pot racks to glassware to a classic buffet table for your dining room, all at great prices to make sure your home looks beautiful. Plus, if you're new to One Kings Lane, sign up today for a $15 credit for purchases of $30 or more. Head over to One Kings Lane now before these deals are over!

Here's a look at some of our favorite One Kings Lane Kitchen items:

Cookware Solutions
With all of its pots, pans, blenders, bowls, and more, storage space is difficult to come by in the kitchen. That's why we love space-saving pot racks that suspend from the ceiling or wall. Plus, they're a great way to show off your collection of shiny, shapely cookware.

Bright Ideas for Cooking
When it comes to the kitchen, we can always use a helping hand. From blenders to toasters, coffees pots to food processors, let these appliances take care of the tough stuff so you don’t have to.

Farmhouse Style
This collection has everything you need to create a comfortable, cozy atmosphere in the dining room. Rustic yet refined furniture, solid and striped rugs, framed art, and sweet serving pieces add a touch of provincial charm to the favorite room of the home.

 Visit One Kings Lane to see all the fabulous offerings on sale now!

Sign up today for a $15 credit for purchases of $30 or more.

I thought I would highlight two of the many items I have purchased through One Kings Lane and I will feature more in the near future.  Some of the ongoing sales through One Kings Lane present pricey merchandise, it is true, but many of them are very reasonably priced and offer huge savings on designer furnishings.  Look for the awesome deals.  Here is a sampling of items I have purchased in the past at One Kings Lane:

Houndstooth check feather pillows on couch and galvanized jute handle tray

Hope you have fun shopping!  :D

Saturday, October 13, 2012

My Front Door Decked for Halloween

I just trimmed the topiaries so they look a bit sparse, sorry!  Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Harvest Time

Hello and Happy Fall!  We are finally blessed with temperatures in the 80s, having experienced far too much heat in SoCal this "fall."
Since I purchase a CSA box each week for our produce, I usually do not frequent the farmer's market near our home.  However, I ventured out with the camera to see what was shaking there this weekend and came home with a boatload of amazing produce and some flowers.  I shot most of these images very quickly and I see that I am out of practice, but I wanted to share them nonetheless, as well as a Harvest Cake that I made.
Here is some of what I saw:



The flowers were too hard to resist, but I only bought a small bouquet...

I loved the sunflowers, but I brought home roses for some odd reason instead!  :)


I don't usually look at the crafts much, but I went ga-ga over these amazing baskets and totes and would love one of the square ones that can be attached to the front of a bike (I still need a bike of the non-racing variety!):
OK, now on to the Harvest Cake.  Here she is:

The cake is made from almond flour, carrots, honey, zucchini and apples and the frosting is made from raw cashews, vanilla and honey.  I changed the recipe slightly to make it vegan, but you may find it here:  Roost.  I used coconut oil and egg substitute for the cake portion instead of butter and eggs, and I used vanilla extract for the frosting because I did not have a vanilla bean on hand.  When I make this cake again, I think I will skip the frosting and make the cake a bit sweeter on it's own with a bit more honey.  Overall, the cake was moist and very tasty (and healthy)!   Let me know if you try it!


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