Friday, April 30, 2010

How Hard Would It Be: Replicating Hand Painted Mediterranean Tiles

Images via StyleHive

I have a side table that had a painted mosaic on it but after years of use and spills, it needs a facelift. I plan on hand painting a mediterranean tile inspired design on it this weekend. I am using the images above for inspiration. To be continued...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Things I Love Today: Ruche Spring Collection

I just discovered this line called Ruche. They have vintage inspired pieces at very reasonable prices. They also support indie and eco friendly designers, which is always an added bonus for me. I want like everything- I am currently craving bright, girly summer dresses. I love the maxi dress above- how perfect for a destination wedding in the Caribbean?!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

In Follow-up: The Built-in Process

We started with an electric fireplace from Lowe's. Not so impressive on its own...

But when the fireplace is put on a base to elevate it to a proper fireplace height and surrounded by built in cabinets and shelves. It takes on a new look! We looked at built in fireplace ideas on the internet, gathered the ones we liked and designed our own.

Enclosing the edges of the fireplace with wood and caulk makes it look uniform with the shelves.

Decorative molding on the mantel, crown molding, cabinet doors and many coats of white paint finishes it off. (and of course the tv!)

And that is the way you make an electric fireplace from Lowe's look like the real deal!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Things I Love Today: Asymmetric Design

Image via Cottage Living

Love this living room. The asymmetry of the mantel sets the tone as relaxed and fun. I love all the color accents on the chair and stool and the mix of antique and modern pieces keeps it interesting.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Craving: Asparagus Everything (no really!)

I love asparagus, especially this time of year: as a side or in a salad or pasta dish.

This salad recipe from Real Simple is awesome:

Asparagus Sesame Salad


1 pound asparagus
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon roasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/8 teaspoon coarse salt
1 1/2 cups baby arugula, mesclun or baby spinach salad
2 tablespoons sesame seeds


1. Heat a large pan of lightly salted water to boiling over high heat. Peel the asparagus stalks and trim the ends. Cut the stalks diagonally into 1-inch pieces. Blanch in boiling water 3 minutes or until bright green. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking.

2. In a large bowl, combine the vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, cilantro, and salt. Add the asparagus and toss until well combined.

3. To serve, mound some salad greens on each of 4 plates. Spoon the dressed asparagus onto the greens and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

PS- I have always struggled with keeping asparagus fresh in the fridge. I have learned the key is to wrap the bottom of the stems in moist paper towels and drop the bundle into a plastic bag. This keeps them from drying out and shriveling.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Things I Love Today: DIY Headboards

Image via CanadianHouseandHome

I love this bamboo screen as a headboard. It was spray painted blue and is a great alternative to a traditional headboard. I have been thinking of cheap DIY ideas for what to do in the guest bedroom. I have an old screen that I think just might work. To be continued...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Before and After- Winter to Spring



Ahh, I like after better. Our garden is blooming!! Everyday I see something else sprouting up- it is a great reward after the long winter inside. So fun to see all these things come up for the first time. We had no idea the trees in front were going to be this beautiful. This having a yard stuff is fun:)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

New Use For: Fabric Panels

Images from Coastal Living

What a great, inexpensive and pretty way to make a headboard/canopy. The top image mounts brackets to the wall and uses what look to be 3 curtain panels. The bottom image hangs a rod with fishing wire from the ceiling and drapes the fabric.

I love how the fabric gives the feeling of a canopy but is open and airy.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Finds: Angel Garden Statue

Look at my new friend. I love this statue I found at TJ's for ten bucks (angels apparently run cheap these days). I love him and he looks so great tucked in to what I think will be daylilies.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Before and After- Kitchen



Midway Before


It is amazing how much adding new hardware, a tin backsplash, and crown molding will do. That is all that we have done, well that and removing the wall between the living room and kitchen. I know that is not peanuts but i think it is amazing how those 3 things made such a huge change. It just feels finished, (well for now)!

Friday, April 16, 2010

DIY: Framed Bulletin Board

So here is the latest addition to the den! I had an old frame I got for free from an gallery job and I finally got to use it. I wanted a bulletin board so I bought 2 rolls of cork from a craft store and then to finish it off, I covered it with burlap(left over from bathroom cabinet project)- then added bronze grommets around the edge to finish it off (as you can see, I ran out- need another package or two).

So here is the project in a nutshell:

You need plywood, what ever size you are going for, wood glue, and either a nail gun or a heavy duty stapler would work. So put glue on the plywood and then nail the cardboard down to it. You could also just use a big frame you buy in a store - remove the glass and mat(if there is one) and then just cover the back of the frame with cork and burlap- so you don't need the plywood. This is also a good use for an old frame that you broke the glass on.
Cover the cork with the burlap and either nail or screw that in- making sure to pull tightly as you go so the burlap isn't rippling. Then add your frame and ta-da!!! Now decorate and fill with inspiration!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Finds: Seashell Wreath

How pretty and summery is this guy? Just found this seashell wreath at Homegoods for $20. And the funny thing is I was really thinking about buying this one from Williams-Sonoma. Looks like I saved myself $30 bucks.

Lesson learned: look in catalogs for things you like and then go to Homegoods, Marshalls, or TJ's and then find a similar version for way less. (I sound like a commerial- but it is true!!)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

How Hard Would It Be? Suspended Guest Beds

Image via Coastal Living

How fun would this be in a children's room or a screened in porch? I don't think this would be so hard as long as you had strong ceilings and some manpower....Such a cool idea!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Things I Love Today: Spring Jewelry from Target

Never would have guessed huh? Doesn't this necklace look very pricey? And how good would these colors look with a tan and a white tee?

When Spring comes around I head to Tar-jay for bright and fun earrings and necklaces. They have great versions of very expensive trendy jewelry. Some of my favorite summer pieces ever I got for under $10. Bull’s-eye!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Before and After- Living Room/Kitchen

Before: Living Room with wall to kitchen

After: Opened up wall and built in from the gods (or my husband:)

So kind of an inprovement right? From the moment we first saw our house we both said the wall between the kitchen and living room had to go. We basically moved in and knocked it right away and we think it makes our house! It is lighter, bigger, and so open. We love it.

Before: View out wall window from kitchen

After: Open floor plan!!

Before: Wall between rooms

After: Decorative columns and open plan!

I could write about this room forever. I will give details on our design plan and some tips we learned the good old fashioned & hard way in a future post! We worked really hard on it and it is great to come home and see what we created together!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Craving: Greek Salad

Image from KarmaFreeCooking

My Favorite Greek Salad

2 large tomatoes
1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced into rings
10 Kalamata olives
4 oz feta cheese, diced
Pinch of dried oregano
Oil-vinegar dressing (below)
2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced (not traditionally used, but so good!)
Chopped fresh parsley

1. Cut each tomato into 6 wedges. Combine the tomatoes, cucumber, onion rings, olives, and feta in a large bowl.
2. Sprinkle the salad with a little oregano and pour the oil-vinegar dressing to taste over it.
3. Toss and serve garnished with the eggs, parsley

Oil-Vinegar Dressing

2 parts olive oil
1 part red wine vinegarPinch of dried oregano Salt and pepper

Put the ingredients into a screw-top jar and shake vigorously until thoroughly blended. You can add any other fresh or dried herb you like.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

New Use For: Red Paint


What a great use of red paint and a roller! You can totally transform a not so pretty concrete walkway into a charming brick path. No two bricks are alike so this is good for non-precise people (like me). Love this idea!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Things I Love Today: Blue & Yellow Accents

Coastal Living

I love this bedroom for several reasons: the pops of yellow with light blue, the mixed patterns on the bed and floor, the bamboo chandelier, the big framed prints above the bed. It is relaxing, but young and fun at the same time.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

DIY: Rope Covered Lamps

Anyone have a not so pretty lamp they don't know what to do with? I know I do. The answer is rope and hot glue. If the shade is not bad, wrap the base or vice versa.


I love the texture and the beachy feel! So wrap and glue away. They look so good that you won't even remember what the lamp once was!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Says It All: Bunny Cake

I have been making this bunny cake with my Mom every Easter I can remember. It is always a hit and is really pretty easy and yummy!

You just need two round cakes (we always use yellow cake mix), frosting, coconut, and for decorating: M&Ms, jelly beans, licorice, and poster board to put the cake on. We leave the bow tie without coconut for people who don't like it (not many in our family).

So once the 2 round cakes are baked you let them cool and then cut one of the rounds with two curved cuts (like 2 backwards letter C's) to make the shape of bunny ears and the middle piece is the bow tie.

Then just cover with frosting and coconut and have fun decorating. I have a different bow tie design every year, that was always my favorite part as a kid- well that and the first bite of the ears!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Things I Love Today: Bird's Nest Cupcakes

Are these just the best cupcakes ever? I saw these at Meme's Bakery in White Plains and gosh is that a good idea and easy too!

Just make whatever cupcakes you want and cover with toasted coconut, add blue M&Ms (I like the almond ones myself) and add eyes and a mouth with frosting!

Brings a whole new meaning to "Tweeting"!