Saturday, February 28, 2009

Sneak Peek at the Kitchen/Sunroom Progress

I was inside my new house on Wednesday and got some photos now that the drywall is up. Don't worry, I'm not showing all 68! This is just the kitchen/dining/sunroom area. The sunroom has got to be my favorite spot in the house, though I have no furniture to go in it at this point. What I'm thinking is that I'll put my wicker patio chairs here temporarily with some squishy pillows, and wait til I find things I like at yard sales or auction this summer.

I love the sloped ceiling and all the windows, even though the view is just the back of someone's else's house. At some point I hope there will be some nice trees out there. I would love to put a chandelier in this room someday. It is not wired for an overhead light though, so could be $$$.

Above is the view in from the top of the stairwell. (My living area is on the 2nd floor, the garage and daughter Manda's room are downstairs). The natural light back there is just great. Below is the opposite view, from sunroom toward the stairwell. See my kitchen cabinets???

Below is the kitchen in total. It is small, even smaller than my apartment kitchen, but I will make do. I am picturing this finished with my future island angled across the front, which will be painted black to match the appliances. I upgraded to can lights in here.

Below is the countertop, not yet installed but just hanging out down in my daughters bedroom for now. I think this dark color coordinates well with the cherry cabinets and black appliances. It is a laminate, I conserved budget on this as well as other things that could be upgraded later (like flooring), and opted to spend more on things that would be harder to add - like my sunroom!

From the top of the steps, this is the dining area to the right. It is pretty small, but so is my table. I want to try my current cherry hutch on the long wall. The window here will look onto my deck, so I will be sure to have a nice plant hanging right outside it.

I got a moving company to come over yesterday and give me an estimate. The guy said I had really nice pieces, a lot of breakables and 'special handling' stuff. Ha-ha, I told him I don't own anything valuable except maybe my computer, pretty much everything is second hand. My most expensive piece of furniture cost under $400. I guess I just have good taste in old junk!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Foodie Friday - Shepherd's Pie

To finish off the week, I thought I would try a Foodie Friday post. This event is hosted by Gollum at Now, please be gentle, I'm a mediocre cook at best and my photo skills are poor, but I am learning a lot from you ladies every day. I have never been a fan of Shepherd's Pie, so I thought I would look for a new recipe. I found this on the internet, and it was a hit with me AND my kids, so I can't ask for more than that.

To begin, you need a pound (or so, I think I used about a pound and a half) of hamburger, 1/2 Pkg Onion Soup mix (or some actual onions, but I am lazy), 1/2 C beef broth, 1/2 C heavy cream, 1 T Worcestershire sauce, 1 T flour, 1 C of frozen peas, a bag of shredded potatoes (found mine in the dairy case with the eggs), a bag of cheddar cheese. 1/4 C Mayo, some paprika and chives if you got 'em. Preheat your oven to 350.

Brown the hamburger and add the onion, Worcestershire sauce and beef broth. Once cooked, add the flour to thicken slightly, continue to cook over med heat.

Add the cream:
It's hard to take a photo with your right hand while pouring with your left, so I am proud of this:

The cream will make a nice gravy and everything will thicken up really well so there will be no runny meat juice (blech!) Turn off the heat, and spread the mixture in the bottom of a baking pan. Toss the peas on top of the meat. In a bowl, combine the potatoes with about half the cheese, the mayo and chives. Stir and spread over the peas. Sprinkle on the remaining cheese, then the paprika, and bake for 45 minutes (or if you used a large pan like mine, only bake for 30-35 min or it will dry out).

Take it out and let it "set" for about 10 minutes.

When it's done it looks like a big cheesy hashbrown. Yummy! But here is my downfall, if I were a good cook, there would be side dishes or a nice salad. I just figure since there are peas in it already I can get by.

Lastly, the final step:

Enjoy, and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Today I am participating in Tablescape Thursday, hosted by Susan at

My tablescape today is not actually on the table, but it is dishes, so I hope that is ok. I'm ready to get my bunnies out!

The dishes are part of a little tea set with dessert plates that I bought at auction several years ago.
I love the detail and texture of these pieces, and the delicate little flowers. They are marked Crown Ducal Florentine England on the bottom. When I saw them I knew I had to have them. I forget what I paid, I think somewhere around $15 for the set, including about 8 cups and saucers as well as dessert plates and the creamer and sugar. All are in perfect condition.

In other news, I went inside my new house today after work and was able to have a long look around on my own. I took my camera and I guess I got a little carried away because I took 68 photos! Drywall is all hung, taped, mudded and sanded, and my kitchen cabinets are up just as I suspected. They are doing the interior painting and the trim yet this week, then we are really getting down to the nitty gritty of finish work. Can't wait!

Have a happy Thursday! And Happy Bunnyscaping!

Monday, February 23, 2009

My First Outdoor Wednesday - Windowboxes

I'm trying to do lots of events this week so I can blog about something other than my home construction (though I will keep fitting it in somewhere!) This is my first Outdoor Wednesday, hosted by Susan at I have not had much of an "outdoor" space for the past 7 years since I've been renting, but a girl can dream, so that is what I've been doing. 1. Southern Charm, 2. DSC02789, 3. Coffee Shop, 4. Floral Basket, 5. Tizer Gardens 3, 6. Eat Me, 7. A walk in west London, 8. hillsborough street, 9. Sweet potato, 10. DSCN0252, 11. Flowers Flowers Everywhere, 12. Nasturtium 'Empress of India', 13. Gorgeous glass, 14. DSCF4115, 15. barred2, 16. Windowbox flowers, 17. flowers-7145, 18. Daisies and latenums, 19. Windowbox in Springtime, 20. Flowers in a windowbox, 21. Memories: Spring colours in London...

Over the weekend I was thinking about windowboxes and I went browsing on flickr for some inspiration. People share the most amazing photos. I built a mosaic of my favorites, hopefully I'll do this right so the photos link back.

Today I went by my house and saw that the next door neighbor had kitchen cabinets installed already. I can't see that far into my house because of the sunroom, but I am calling my builder and requesting another tour (it's been 2 weeks, I'm dying here!) I also got a letter scheduling settlement on my new house for March 20th. Just 23 days away, so I really need some more boxes!

By the way, you may have noticed I just did a 5-minute makeover on my blog thanks to the wonderful directions from Susan at! She has a really great post today with answers to all sorts of questions. Very helpful! Have a great day!

Three or More Tuesday Ragdolls and House Update

Note: Is anyone else having trouble posting comments to blogs with word verification? I have to apologize to several people (including Tam), I can't seem to post comments on your blogs, the word verification thing won't load a word for me to verify! I'm sorry, I will try back later.

Tam at The Gypsy's Corner ( is hosting Three or More Tuesday. I don't know how many more weeks I can go before everything I own is in a box, but for this week, I'm in!
Below are some ragdolls I made several years ago from fabric, thread and bits of stuff I had lying around. I even sewed their little legwarmer socks and crocheted their hats and bag. I do ok at little projects like this, it's the big ones I never seem to finish! I don't know where I'm going to go with them in the new house. Maybe they will find a home in the bedroom with my bear collection that I can't part with but no longer want to have displayed in my living room. I come from a long line of packrats, we don't easily give things up unless we really never liked them that much. What do you do with things you are attached to but no longer fit your design scheme?

Today the back of my house is completely vinyl-clad. I think it may be a few days til they get around to the front though, there are still 5 back-ends to do on my row. I can't wait to see how this looks once they build my tiny little deck.

I'm loving all these windows. I'll be getting a lot of light in there! I'm wondering if the summer sun will be higher and hit my deck or if I will be doing shade plants out there? And I wonder if the HOA will allow window boxes off the sunroom?

Thanks for coming by!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Mini Metamorphasis

Taking baby steps into Met Monday... I'm moving and my new kitchen is going to be a no-oak zone, so I have been giving some small items a teeny update. Here is one:

I like it better, and it will look so much nicer with this:

I'm not sure exactly where they are going, but they will be coordinated! Happy Monday everyone!

Getting some siding...

For some reason I just had to drive by my house today, though I kept telling myself they probably wouldn't be working and it would just look the same as yesterday even if they were, but I did it anyway. My plywood is finally going "undercover"! I realize vinyl siding is nothing to get fired up over, but it's MY vinyl siding. The back, anyway, nothing out front just yet but looks like it won't be long.

In four weeks, I should be INSIDE painting. ***Happy Dance!***

Friday, February 20, 2009

27 Days and counting...

Thanks for all the great comments about my tablescape yesterday. I got those blue dishes at TJ Maxx, they were $2.99 each ($12 worth of pretty)! I have had them out for weeks because I'm pushing for an early spring. The weather is just not cooperating.

I got a letter today from my builder confirming my pre-settlement inspection is scheduled for Thursday 3/19 at 10AM, in 27 days!! Settlement will happen on Friday or Monday, I'm hoping for Friday so I have the weekend to start painting and just deciding what goes where. Here is the house today, they put the garage door on:

And though I couldn't get a photo inside, I could see in the windows that the drywall is up! This is the next door neighbor, their garage door is not on yet:

So that means I have to really start adding to this pile:

I'm so excited! Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Tablescape Thursday - Shabby Chic Springtime

I decided to join in on Tablescape Thursday for the first time. I have been collecting some springy things for the table for the past couple of months and now I have a little theme, inspired by the shabby chic ladies who's blogs I stalk on a regular basis. I know it's not spring yet but I am ready for it to be!

Sorry the photos are not all that great, my photography skills are minimal. Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

My oldest daughter, Stephanie, got engaged today! Last Saturday night, her boyfriend Simon came over to ask "permission" and showed her sister and I the beautiful emerald engagement ring he picked out. I can't wait to see her wearing it! I could not resist picking up a Bride's magazine for her today. It will be fun to help her plan the wedding. Happy Valentine's Day to all!

Friday, February 13, 2009

First Trip Inside my New House

On Wednesday I got to go in the house for the pre-drywall walk-through meeting with my construction manager. I should be settling in FIVE weeks! Thursday they ran the electrical wiring. Today they are going to be installing my alarm system, phone, data and cable lines, and central vacuum. Next week they will drywall, then paint the interior, do the siding, start the finish work, put in the driveway and walkway, then lastly the flooring and sod. I can barely believe I will soon be owning my house!

Unfortunately, it is pretty hard to get good photos of stud walls, they don't give you much to go on in a photo. This ladder is leaning in the doorway of my foyer half bath.

This is the view into my daughter Amanda's first floor bachelorette pad:

I don't think the guy comes with it. He is in front of my future washer/dryer closet, which is also in Manda's room. I didn't tell her yet that she gets to do all the laundry now.

Below is the main (2nd) floor, from the sunroom looking through the kitchen toward the living room in the front of the house.

The dining area was to the left in the shot above, so here is another photo:

Here is my sunroom:

This is my daughter Danielle's bedroom. The whole side wall is closet space:

This is the view from Danielle's room through the bathroom (there is my tub) through to the master bedroom closet:

Here's looking at the closet from inside the master. It's huge!

And this is the opposite view, from the closet into the master bedroom. That is my daughter Danielle in the doorway.

So that is the "bare bones" of my house. Can't wait til it's done!
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