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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Ho, ho, home for the holidays!

Ho, ho, home for the holidays.

Okay so I'm totally cheesy, I know...but this year I am thankful that we are all settled in to our new (really, really old) home! I'm also thankful for all those who made it possible for us to continue having the comfort of a home while we were under construction and those who helped us with sooo much of their time and effort getting this place livable.

We've been here a few months now.  A couple weeks ago, while skyping with my sis, I realized that she, and a lot of you, haven't gotten a tour yet. Please excuse the unfinished jobs, but don't hold your breath on seeing them done any time soon. We are pretty comfortable; while the to-do list is long, it's not the highest priority!

We shall start in the kitchen since that's our main entrance. Mud room will be great once it's insulated and finished (and I can store outerwear in there), but until that point my kitchen catches a lot of muddy boots, soaked mitts, and dropped coats.  Still need some counter top (we are adding butcher block, as some of the granite we got with the kitchen was missing or beyond repair).

I like the looks of my stainless appliances and the turquoise wall, although the jury is still out on whether I'd choose stainless or not myself (our appliances came with the kitchen we bought used off kijiji). The fingerprints and drips down them are kind of annoying. Best secret is using dusting polish as cleaner! Thanks mom!
I'll share a few of my favourite cupboards with you:

Love my pull out garbage bin!

Also love this pull out rack where I keep my baking stuff. I'd really like to add a pop up shelf on it for my bread machine, but that would just make the to- do list longer so I'm also good with the current setup.

Really, really love that my toaster and Kitchen Aid are hidden away but still readily usable (even inside this cupboard) as we wired an outlet into the back! Thanks dad for being convinced we could make this work!

This organizer above the oven and microwave is awesome for my cookie pans and shallow dishes!

On to the study/dining area. Still need trim and a few organizing issues that will be solved when we get some other things crossed off our to-do list. The second desk (I'll keep the one you can see in the study area) that will be installed in the kitchen is currently in the dining area, and once gone it will leave room for a cute chair that will double as extra seating space when we need it at the computer. And my closet will be better organized once the mud room is finished.

Bathroom/ laundry is still a little rough. I haven't bothered to finish painting because we don't have the drywall completed yet. Also need the rest of the counter top (sitting in the mudroom right now) to be installed across the second cabinet and washer/dryer. Thankful to have a working tub and toilet downstairs tho...having to shower the kids got a little old!

Living room is pretty well set. Still have a few minor issues to work on. Wiring up a light for outside and replacing/ installing the rest of the pot lights is pretty much it. The ones we already have installed seem to have an issue with bulbs and we have been replacing the burnt ones from a few extra boxes of lights we didn't use, rather than go buy new ones.  (You can't just replace the bulb, you have to replace the whole glass/ plastic/ bulb, as it is all one piece.)

     The stairs need an obvious refinishing of some sort. Think I might just "temporarily" paint them. Only afraid temporary will turn into permanent!

  Kids room is looking good with their new bunk beds. Still have some work to do creating a bench in the closet, but we got the shelf that I refinished hung this weekend and I was able to take a few things out of the closet.  Emma was very excited to have the fancy doll out on display.  (Both the dolly and shelf were mine as a kid!)

  Love having our third bedroom be a guest bedroom (last house the kids had their own bedrooms so when guests came one or both had to be moved). Of course if we need both bedrooms, they still have to move, but it's nice for everyday. Momma isn't cleaning up two toy strewn bedrooms everyday...she's the one making a mess of the second one by throwing all the hide away junk that has nowhere else to go in that room! Still need a light installed here, and again some closet work, but no rush...we have no plans for guests in the near future! Unless someone wants to invite themselves over...I'd put a rush on it for you!
I found this cute wall stick-on (above) at Joann's for 99 cents and couldn't resist.  Ended up designing the rest of the room (paint schema that also translated into some other rooms) around it.

Our room is also close. Trim and a piece of drywall over the door will about cover it. I have mirror doors to go on the closet and we need a mirror above the sink, but I'm still searching for the perfect one.

Of course we still need trim throughout the house, and the outside has some cosmetics that will really appear when spring arrives again, but for now it looks so pretty with the fresh snow. Okay if I could just get hubby to install that ugly piece of drywall hanging out on the porch.

We are home for the holidays! Stop in for a visit!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Pinterest Favorites!

  Like many of you I'm a little...okay love with Pinterest!  Soooo useful (and NOT just as the ultimate time waster.)  I saw a post on Facebook recently that sums up my husbands view of it:  "Pinterest...lets you check out all the cool things you could be doing if you weren't stuck on Pinterest!"  Okay so maybe I spend more, no let's say, as much time pinning as I do creating, but I can think of far worse things to have an addiction to!
  One of my peeves about Pinterest tho, is that while I have a dozen boards and 20 or so pins on each board, not all my pins turn out to be good links (like when you are loving the picture but don't actually check to see if it is what it says it is) or it is a good link but the recipe wasn't really worth pinning, much less making and I just did both.  Plus I keep seeing everyone else pinning it and I want to scream STOP! NO GOOD!  So I thought I might start a little tradition of sharing my favorite pins from the month, be it a recipe, craft, or word of wisdom.  And without further ado, here's what I was up to in November.

Let's start off with some recipes.  We had a lot of company this month, so cooking something out of the ordinary round was a high priority around here.  Here are the ones that were delicious, easy, and perfect for spreading holiday cheer!

Chess Squares Recipe with PhotosTexas Gold or Chess Squares which are all very similar to Crack Pie, I got from here.  Simple ingredient list, quick prep, and sooo SWEET!  Perfect for a potluck or family gathering that pops up at the last minute.

I served this to top off lasagna soup from Farm Girl's Dabbles and mini-garlic-monkey-breads from Eat Cake for Dinner.  Monkey bread was so quick and Emma had a blast helping me cut up the Pillsbury rolls and mixing them with the spices.  My hubby raved about the lasagna soup, and so of course I'll make it again, but next time use rotini noodles instead of broken up (regular size) lasagna noodles.  Wish I could find the mini ones she talked about in the recipe.

  For our coffee hour with the girls I made a pumpkin crisp that was seriously....DIVINE!  You can try that recipe here from Rachel Shultz.  Again super easy, no crust, a can of pumpkin, a yellow cake mix, butter, pecans, and evaporated milk are pretty much it.  This one is also great for a gathering because the recipe filled a 10 inch pie pan and an 8x8.  One to keep, one to share!  I'm sure we will be having this again during the holidays! 

For the other pumpkin lovers out there we also made these Soft Frosted Pumpkin Spice Cookies for a quick treat on Thursday night.  They were made, cooked, and frosted all within an hour, plus we squeezed bath time in there too!  I'm a fan of cream cheese frosting and the cinnamon and vanilla in this recipe makes it extra special.

  We haven't been real crafty around here lately.  Maybe it is knowing there are still boxes to unpack in the basement that is slowing me down, but I've been blaming it on the fact the dollar store doesn't have the couple of things I still need to finish getting the kid's pictures up on the wall.  Hopefully they will soon!  The craftiest thing I did lately was dress up my chicken chalkboard in the kitchen for the holidays...yes that lovely artwork behind the Soft Frosted Pumpkin Spice Cookies is it.  Not quite as good as these chalkboard artists, but it does the trick for our home!
  So I'm pretty much a one hairstyle girl...well two.  One for everyday and one for Sunday.  I actually....wait for it....have  couple of new styles I added to my repertoire.  So that makes FOUR hairstyles that are quick and easy enough for everyday and Sunday too, for that matter!  First I tried this  quick and simple updo from the Pretty Diaries.  Problem 1:  With hair as long as mine, not quite so quick.  And I have really thin hair too, so it wasn't quite as cute as in the picture, but as I look at the instructions again I also realized I left out the step of braiding a braid each section.  Next, I ran across a picture, maybe this one and found it easier and cuter.  French braid on the side that you can stop at the hairline or braid all the way to the end.  Then it is a messy bun at the end or do a traditional bun with the longer braid.  Either way...I like!  (sorry about the picture quality...I pretty much am terrible at taking pictures of my own don't even want to know how many tries this took!)

December will be busy, but hopefully I will be able to squeeze in a few crafts that I've been eyeing up.  I know I will continue to use Pinterest for recipes!  And there are some great gift ideas for the holidays, too.  Not to mention fun games for our two family get-togethers.  I also spotted a photo challenge that encourages thankfulness that I plan on trying in December...ooh ya, today!  Now if only Pinterst could potty train my son, we might really be on to something.

P.S.  I've also added a Pinterest button of my own, if you want to keep these links around to try out at a later date!!  It should be seen below this post!