Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Guest Bedroom Tweakage

This is a month old technically, but I completely forgot I had not yet mentioned it! 

We hung the curtains in the guest bedroom, now the room feels much softer. 

This room is fairly impossible to photograph in the early morning :( Sorry for the weird colors. The curtains look good though don't they? 

The rod is a $22 Oil rubbed bronze rod set from Target, the curtains are WILMA $14.99 for a pair (or close enough) from IKEA. I LOVE these curtains, we used 6 panels on these windows since they're light and airy. The shades I made using mini blinds and walmart unbleached muslin for ~$4 a yard. 

The room before looked so harsh:

And yeah, I was too lazy to properly make the bed before I took the new pictures... the sheets were in the washing machine anyways. :) 

Click here to see the original post on the guest bedroom (link). 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Rob Earns Manpoints

We installed the new lights!

Here's the before of the breakfast nook side of the kitchen,

And here's the lovely new view.

Let the record show that Rob installed these the same night we bought them. So manly ;) 

We picked the larger 20" version because we liked the idea of it being oversized. But also because it was the only one that had a proper ceiling connectivity thing. The others had a normal outlet plug at the end. Too complicated to change it out. 

Much better now, yes?

And on the other side of the kitchen, 

I am sorry for your oak induced migraine. :) But look! It makes swirly shadows on the ceiling!

So much better than before!

But now I have a box of this in my kitchen:

Do you think Restore would even want these old lights??

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Easy Gooey Lemon Cookies

I don't normally post recipes, they're too controversial, but I haven't yet participated in NewlyWoodward's Dare series so I thought I could throw in a cookie recipe Rob and I have used and loved before.

I love to bake so I have quite a few good dessert recipes if people enjoy reading this? Personally I think pretty pictures of my house are better to look at ;)

This is a Paula Deen recipe tweak. She used chocolate but I am not a big fan of chocolate, I LOVE lemon though. 

And yes, I stole and tweaked the instructions from but I changed it all up with my tweaks so don't  judge!


  • 1 (8-ounce) brick cream cheese
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (18-ounce) box lemon cake mix
  • Confectioners' sugar (only if you feel fancy).


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Paula's recipe calls for everything to be room temperature. I don't have that kind of time, I just microwave it to a slop... it cooks in the oven anyways ;)
In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in the egg. Then beat in the vanilla extract. Beat in the cake mix. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to firm up so that you can roll the batter into balls. Roll the chilled batter into tablespoon sized balls and then roll them in confectioner's sugar (if you want brownie housewife points, I never did this). Place on an ungreased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake 12 minutes. The cookies will remain soft and "gooey." Cool completely and sprinkle with more confectioners' sugar, if desired (don't do this step, it's just sad ;)). 

They're also good with some whipped icing spread on top :)

Cookies are so much effort to make though, I hate scooping them up and placing them on the pan... mine always grow into one giant cookie since I don't have pans big enough to place them far apart...

Linking to

NewlyWoodward's DARE series

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Design Irks: Tvs

First off, HAPPY TURKEY DAY! I hope your arteries last through the day ;) now onto my super important rant of the day...

I read a lot of blogs, some are DIY couples fixing up their homes for cheap, like ours, but others pay close attention to design 'laws': like Emily Clark, Little Green Notebook, and even House*Tweaking. I love love love their blogs and posts, but sometimes I get annoyed at things that the unknown "design laws" dictate about some things. Mainly I get annoyed at the treatment of TVs.

I don't understand why it's such a sin to leave your TV out in the open. Will the design gods smite me with lightening?

I don't know about your fancy flat screen TV, but we paid good money for ours (not full price though, surely you know me by now? We've gotten ours on CL or black friday scores). If I hid it I would not pay that much for the piece of art hiding it. So why cover expensive with cheap??

We also use our TVs every night and our large plasma in the mancave is kept on most of the weekend with Call of Duty or Battlefield or some such (teen mom on netflix holla!). Hiding it would be SO much effort.

Okay, so this is kinda cool. 

Maybe it's because I'm a part of generation "Me". I am a 90's kid. I'm 22 and I was raised with a computer in my room since I was 5. To me, expensive electronics are something to brag about, I WANT people to see my huge ass TV that Rob and I scoured the internet for weeks to find. And if you come over for a game night then you will be happy to see your zombies in HD screaming at you in surround sound ;)

This image is just stupid. Unless you have an ikea couch, that TV is way too low to be useful for anything. Why bother buying it? Just get an old boob tube and chuck it in an old TV cabinet. 

This doesn't hide it in my eyes, it emphasizes that you're embarrassed by it. "I feel shame from my TV". 

I guess my point is that if you have spent hundreds of dollars on a TV, it is insulting to me to be told that it is an "eyesore" and that it should be hidden. Maybe I am part man, I don't know. But I do know that that's more than I will ever spent on any piece of art so I am certainly not going to hide it. Besides, it's black. What's so bad about black?!

I don't mind these gallery walls, but I think with the TV turned ON that wall would begin to look cluttered in my eyes, or it would distract me mid Gossip Girl. That's more of a sin in my eyes. 

Anyone else agree with me? Or am I just weird? Or am I in love my TV too much? Haha

Obviously if it's an old huge TV then yeah its not something you want to show off--  thrift stores are full of big TV cabinets now, so you can hide it for cheapsies. 

(All images from pinterest. I searched for "hide tv". I am feeling too lazy to link up each link... plus, there is a Mythbusters marathon on!)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I Love Lamp

Whenever you read little Q&A's on most blogs they list their favorite home stores as either West Elm, Pottery Barn, Ballard, Restoration Hardware, etc. Well, ours is Ikea. We are beer budgets and proud!

So we went to Ikea again this weekend. Turns out, leaving the florescent lights exposed in the kitchen REALLY lit a fire under our rumps to do something about it.

Not pretty.

So we bought this:

I've also hated the ugly "chandelier" over the breakfast eating area of the kitchen since we bought the place. I hated it more than the fluorescent because at least florescents aren't meant to be pretty. But someone bought this chandy to be PRETTY. And it's so not. At least it's not brass. Silver lining (get it?! har har). 

Obviously this picture is quite old. We have the new rolling utilitarian chairs now (that still need a makeover)... Hell this whole side of the kitchen is dying for a makeover, starting with the light!

So we also grabbed one of these too:

And now we just need to put them up. Rob will earn massive man points in my eyes for this! I can't wait, this should change the whole look of the kitchen.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Turkey Day Menu

I'm so excited about Thanksgiving this year. My mom and I are going to attempt to do our own for the first year ever. Usually we have one with a bunch of family members but not this year! We will conquer the Turkey Beast alone (well, together). This is monumental because my mom is totally not a cook (I mainly bake)... and it all has to be gluten free because she is a celiac.

I decided to post our menu plan, even though this is a house blog, because frankly, I am a southern girl, and all the menus I've seen so far on blogs make me sad. On the radio today, they asked if people make their gravy from turkey drippings or a can... and I had to go to walmart to check because I didn't even know they made it from a can. They do!!! SHAME ON YOU AMERICA. THAT IS SO WRONG. Sorry, rant over. But just 'cause our meal will be gluten free doesn't mean its all granola or hoity toity and healthy and crap. Oh no, our arteries will explode! ;)

So without further ado, here is a 'TRUE' (and simple, we aren't Paula Deen(s), you all) southern thanksgiving:


Oven roasted with copious amounts of salt and pepper. That's it. None of that sage and rosemary crap. It's not a funeral, it shouldn't smell like one. You don't eat it plain anyways, you smother it in gravy and squish it up with your stuffing so don't whine.




Cornbread stuffing. Nuff said. Again, none of that herbs and crap. It shouldn't smell like potpourri. We aren't fancy so we're buying the Pepperidge Farm brand. Classy. (Obviously the celiacs just cannot eat this, they will instantly get sick, prepare this while they are out of the kitchen and wash all surfaces to avoid cross-contamination). 

Ignore the directions on the back for how to make it though, just soak it in turkey drippings, salt it up, and chuck it in the oven. It'll be yum and easy. 

3.) Broccoli Casserole:

You can't really mess this up. 

4.) Deviled Eggs

Uhm. My favorite part. They're time consuming but the ancient southern chinese secret has been passed down to me. Just mix egg yolk with mayo, sweet pickle relish, and a tiny tiny dot of mustard (and now I have to kill you since you know...). And salt and pepper. Squirt it into egg white shells and salt again. 

That red stuff on top is paprika. I don't add that, it just makes it look good. 

5.) Green beans and country ham. 

Slow cook the green beans all day, and for the love of god DRAIN that nasty juice that comes with the green beans in the can, just put it in salty water with a few chunks of country ham and let it cook on low for hours. If you don't drain them they're ruined . Clifty Farm brand country ham is preferred. Plus salt, often and copiously. 

This picture is so fake. By the time you cook your beans for 5 hours, they are closer to a yellow color. That is good, that means is about 90% unhealthy now. 

6.) Mashed Potatoes with crack added. 

Still awake? Good. The crack is just extra sharp cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and sour cream whipped up in them. Bonus points if you use half in half instead of milk to make the mashed potatoes, or for using real crack. Then bake it in the oven to bake the cheese in good. Oh and if you want fluffy taters, beat the potatoes with half a stick of butter BEFORE you add the half n half, then beat again. Magically no lumps! Then add in the crack, then bake. Simples. Make a huge tray, these will be gone fast. 

(I couldn't find a google image for this. Obviously google is not country enough)

7.) Gravy.

This is an art. I will mock anyone who relies on a can for this. Just mix flour in with your gravy drippings in a hot pan. Equal parts flour to gravy. Get the pan moderately hot so you can get the mixture boiling. You need to cook the flour so the gravy isn't all grainy. It will bubble up and turn thick and gloopy. This is good. Then you slowly add in a dash of water til you get a good, wet concrete consistency. Add in salt and pepper multiple times. Gravy must be so salty your eyes twitch. Since this is gluten free, use rice flour, you really won't tell a difference. Spoon over turkey, taters, green beans, and casserole. 

Our family has a curse against gravy, Sometimes it burns, sometimes a pyrex pan nearby explodes and the gravy turns into glass death shards... so guard your gravy well! It is cursed. 

Dat's it folks. Simple turkey/gravy/stuffing with green beans, broccoli casserole and deviled eggs. Cranberry slices are allowed but everyone only pretends to like those though so you're fine to skip it. 

Now if you're a true southerner, you have the metabolism of a race horse so it doesn't matter how fattening it is, and no one cares enough to check so don't ask. If you're not a racehorse, then at least you died happy. 

****Obviously this post is a bit tongue in cheek, everyone has their own traditions and I know they make everyone feel all warm and fuzzy inside to share about it. This was a pretend grump honestly! How is your menu different from ours? Don't say canned gravy though, I wasn't kidding about that!! :) ****

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Rare Organization Compulsive Disorder

Progress on the living room painting has kind of maybe halted. We are lazy, I am sorry. I have gotten some art work done for that room to go over the couches but I need to wait til we actually finish painting to hang them up! I'll get there eventually, hopefully before Thanksgiving. Rob said as soon as the living room is painted, we can put up all the Christmas decorations!! Motivation!

Anyways, I've been watching hoarders all week. Today while I was eating Hot Buffalo Wing pretzels on the couch (don't judge! It's a slow time for subbing I guess) I suddenly got embarrassed about the state of our closets. We definitely aren't hoarders (unless you count the boxes that electronics come in which Rob religiously keeps), but our closets downstairs are still all higgly piggly since the move. We've just been chucking stuff in them when people come over. Well no more!

I pulled up my panties and went at both the walk in closet in the mancave and the closet under the stairs (Harry Potter's room). Don't worry though, I kept hoarders on netflix the whole time. Whats with people and out of date food items?! Yuck.

This is the mancave closet, it has to work as our "garage" since we don't have one anymore. Hence the giant table saw in the doorway, paint cans, car stuff, and various drills/sanders. I knows its not glorious, but it's organized and that's all that matters. 

I threw out 5 gallons of paint (left over from the previous owners, like I want to keep my walls "off white"??? I also ditched a few almost empty spray paint cans. I kept my furniture painting arsenal though of course. The basket is for paint brushes, putty knives, and roller replacements. 

Car stuff on the top shelf (and Rob's waxing arsenel for his baby car). The second shelf has our picture hanging kit, electric sanders, and drill.

Empty electronic boxes. Rob would kill me if I got rid of them. Also dvd player and vhs. Those will probably go soon, we don't use them anymore, but I am loathe to ditch my old disney movies.... oh dear I might go throw them away now. 

Power tools. Rawr. 

Yay. I didn't take a picture of a before. But just think back to any hoarders episodes you've seen and you'll get the general gist. 

This room was particularly bad and ill used. This is our closet that is under the stairs. Before organizing, it had the book shelf that is in the other closet now, in it. I wanted to use this space as a proper coat closet though so I condensed everything from both closets into the mancave one. Now it is useful! :)

On the other side of the closet are some shelves. The top shelf is for mail sorting, and the bottom two hold baskets with our gloves, hats, and scarves in them. It's almost snow weather here!

Behind the shelves is an open area where I stashed all of our brooms, pan and powermop (which is awesome).

Behind the coats/ hanging rod is an open area for space to open a small door leading to the water heater and such... so I stuck a small plastic shelving system back there where you can't see it. More storage for cleaning supplies, our mop bucket, and icebox. 

So it's like the front half of the closet is a coat closet, the back half is a cleaning closet. 

Rob was very proud of me for cleaning all this stuff out, and I'm proud that I can watch hoarders in peace with a guilty conscience!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Loki the Terrible

Warning: Kitten Overload.

I figured you all might wants some kitten updates, if not, too bad. LOOK AT HIM! :)

The cast is officially gone and we're so excited. He's still got a limp but the vet said it will go away as the muscles strengthen back up. 

He's a camera hog, he photobombs about every picture I take for the blog so I have to keep scooting him out of the way. 

"I am sexier than this sofa and table here, look at me!"

"I'm sorry I think you were aiming the camera at me, not this pile of frames!"

He's extremely active, curious, and playful. More so than normal kittens, hence the broken leg! Curiosity probably will kill him, he has no "off" mode unless he's sleeping. 

 Oooh it moves, must smack it.



 Om Nom Nom

"What? I am innocent."

We love him regardless though. :)

And no, he's not usually allowed to eat the plants, I took pictures instead of squirting him with his water bottle and Rob already fussed at me. Just look at the cuteness though! 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Anatomy of a Goodwill Visit

Last Thursday was a horrible day: I had some anxiety issues all day and baby kitten hit his bad side (while being bad and running away from me!) and limped for a few hours. I was convinced he'd re-broke his growth plate but he's now using it just fine again. I think he just smacked his sore that the cast left and it ached a bit. Add to that a few other small annoyances and a stomach bug... I went to Goodwill. I went to three. I needed serious retail therapy, which meant heading out to the ghetto to the head sorting center Goodwill in town, the largest Goodwill in town, and the one with the special furniture room. LOVE!

Obviously I got some stuff. :)

Large frames, 2x3, 2 matching ones for $2.50 each. These are going to go over the couch. 

Lovely picture of a farm (lol this IS Kentucky). $3.50, it's hard to tell in the picture, but it's about 2 foot by 3 foot. I'm planning on painting over the farm with chalkboard paint for the kitchen. 

Blurry kitten and a LARGE laundry basket. He's jumping in this photo. $3.50
(I'm sure this is what the vet wanted when he told us to keep him confined right?)

Ferris Wheel - $1, Map - $1, Dictionary - $2.50, book of Paris prints - .50 cents

The ferris wheel thing is cool. I usually never like any of the accessories Goodwill has. I don't think Welcome Geese or ceramic kittens would look good in my house. But I think the ferris wheel spray painted oil rubbed bronze would look quirky. 

The map will be wall art somewhere. Rob and I both love maps :) 

The dictionary is because I wanted some largish book pages for some crafts. 

The book at the bottom is a reproduction of a book of sketches done by Henri Rivire. There are 36 prints and they all feature Paris at the turn of the century (1902). 

The colors will go great in the living room (gold, grays and blacks). I plan on putting them in 8 x 10 frames and doing a 4 x 4 symmetrical gallery wall behind the dining room table. Like this,

This find will probably gross out some of you, sorry! These are queen sized Martha Stewert 100% egyptian cotton sheets. I couldn't pass them up for $2.50! Look at the trim on the top! Obviously I'm going to bleach the heck out of them and wash them on super high heat to kill the cooties. Then make my guests sleep on them. Muahaha. 


Office chairs! They were $3.50 each :)

We needed matching chairs for the breakfast table in the kitchen. I was planning on using Ikea wicker chairs til I found these, much better than $60. They look horrible now (the right one looks like it might have a throw up stain?! ha), but we've had great luck with office chairs so far. They're 100% wood and completely sturdy. Once I rip that god awful magenta fabric out and replace it with a more neutral fabric they should look 10x better. 

I'm not sure yet what to do with the frame. It's wooden so maybe I should sand it back and danish oil it up? Or just paint? 

Glamor-less shot. 

Also, that's a sneak peek to the new living room color. ;) Full details when we're done painting it!

I liked the wheels, they're a bit silly as its going on tile floor but I don't care! I could always steal them and use them elsewhere. 

(There is no natural light in our kitchen, hence the odd lighting, sorry!)

I know it's hard, but imagine the table painted white (honeymilk), the chairs reupholstered, the wall painted and that god awful grout kicked to the curb. It will all get better soon.