Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Pecan Pie Cookies

Yum, these pecan pie cookies are awesome, easy to make and perfect for the holidays.

Highly recommended!

Image source

Monday, December 12, 2011

Hole in the Wall Gang

We've got a hole in the wall! After demoing out the cabinets on our own, we hired a pro to take down the wall separating our dining and kitchen. We likely could have done it, but when dealing with major items of the home that basically make it stand up, I tend to defer to the pros.  Call me nuts.

Looking from the kitchen into the dining room!  Yay!  It's Christmas central there in the DR, what with the wrapping and packing.  Pardon our dust!

I need to paint both sides of the new pass through and the flooring is a real issue. For now, a rug's going to cover the hole.  Totally amateur, I know.  But until we rip out the kitchen flooring, there's no good temporary solution.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Faucet Love

Thanks to the great blog Russet Street Reno, I found our new kitchen faucet. Yeah, installing it is probably like a YEAR away but at least I'm saving big $$ now.  I told Jake that we'd be assembling a kitchen in our basement over the next year 'cos I'm buying stuff if I find a screaming deal.

$85 bucks, no shipping or tax--whatta deal. I can't believe how expensive plumbing stuff is! 

I'm hoping it looks awesome with the polished nickel pulls I want to use from Martha Stewart's line at Home Depot.  I used these on my bath vanity and they are pretty and very classic.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Demolition (Wo)man

The kitchen remodel marches onward.  Phase I is underway: taking out the wall separating the dining and kitchen.  It divides the space into two small, dark areas that don't work well together.

My new favorite tool is the sledgehammer and "wonder bar", the black and yellow item visible on the counter. Those two items fueled this weekend's demo project, plus a Sawzall wielded by Jake.


Taking down the top cabinets was pretty easy with the wonder bar and a little muscle:


We discovered some old 80's wallpaper under the cabinets.  I was hoping to find some super cool stuff from the 60's, but not so!


The faux granite countertop came off with a couple of whacks from underneath with the sledgehammer and went to a good Craigslist home that same afternoon.

Next up: let's (get a professional to) cut a hole in that wall!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Happy to be signing off shortly for the long weekend.  I'm thankful for my lovely family, my sweet husband, my doggy and kitty.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Tear Down

The wall, is tumbling down...

Well, not the whole thing. But a significant portion of it. This wall separates our kitchen and dining room and I don't know why. In the early 60's, when our house was built, "open plans" didn't really exist and formal dining rooms actually were used.

In order to make both rooms seem bigger and connected, we're opening up the doorway separating them so it's about 7' wide.  I taped off the area that is dunzo (before I ran out of tape) to get an idea of what it will feel like.


From the other angle... Interesting side note on our wall oven spied there in the background.  It used to be pink!  There's some paint flaking off at the bottom and pink enamel is hiding underneath!  I love that someone put PINK appliances in!  When we demo out the kitchen, I'm going to peel off the white and revel in the pinkiness for a few days.
Other side of the dining room as it stands now.  I'm toying with perhaps wallpapering that wall as well, but I'll wait on that decision for now.  My chains are getting old.

First week of December and this baby's a goner!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Budget Finds of the Recent

A pair of brass stag-head bookends, $7/pair at Goodwill

Upholstered x-bench from HomeGoods: $70!

Sadly, my shopping days are over...I need to save my pennies for bigger projects and delay the gratification just a smidge.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Possible Kitchen Remodel?

Despite not *really* having a budget in place quite yet, I'm planning our kitchen remodel.

I've asked a local cabinet maker to help me come up with a plan and price out some custom work. I'm hoping he's budget friendly and I can spend my money locally rather than with a big-box store. (On a side note, I think all of the cabinetry at Lowe's and HD is made in the USA. I know Martha's line is made right here in NC!)

Here's my plan as it stands now:
Junget_Kitchen 3d view_3

The colors are wonky -- my cabinetry will likely be a creamy white and the floors are TBD.  The style I want to mimic is the Ox Hill line from Martha Stewart.

Junget_Kitchen 3d view_2

Junget_Kitchen 3d view_1
I wish I could center my sink under the window but the dishwasher throws everything off. Darn 1963 kitchens with no ability to foretell future evolutions in technology!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Have you Seen these Houses?

While my mom and I were tooling around in San Diego, we stumbled across these curious little houses!


Shaped like little ships, they are perched on a hill a few streets back from the beach. I wonder what it's like to live in a ship?


I found an article about the SS Moonlight and it rents for $1950/month! But it's in a lovely part of Encintas, and Moonlight Beach is very close!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Best $20 Old Navy Buy...

These flats are simple, cute, comfy and affordable.  Old Navy stuff is so hit or miss and these are definitely a hit.

I tend to be pretty hard on flats, I wear them out.  So to find a cheap, cute solution at Old Navy chuffs me greatly!  Can't wait for the leopard pair to arrive. And to think I considered, ever so briefly, some Tory Burch ones. My senses abandoned me momentarily.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Quick Trip to California

Last week I was able to extend a work trip to California and spend a few days with family. My mom, grandma and I went out to Paradise Cove in Malibu for a little lunch and beach time.


It was my first time ever to Paradise Cove, despite making lots of summertime trips to the beaches in SoCal in my childhood.  It's $25 to park (yikes) but totally worth it if you make a day of it.


It was so beautiful that day.  It really made me curse leaving California for land-locked Raleigh, but what can you do?



My grandma and I at lunch:

Mom and grandma pose in front of the (closed-off pier)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Craigslist + Grass Cloth Wallpaper

I picked up this campaign-esque dresser from Craigslist a month or so ago for office storage. It needed a little sumpthin' so I pulled out my leftover blue grass cloth wallpaper and some spray glue and went to town:


Not too shabby for a free upgrade!


Tuesday, September 13, 2011


$100 for a bathmat? That's been made in China, no doubt?  That's American capitalism for ya!

Monday, September 12, 2011

A few changes

I moved my giant starburst mirror into the living room:

misc 015

Burt models the finished runner
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Finished it off with some black nailheads:
misc 004
misc 005

Friday, September 2, 2011

Let's not belabor it...

Me and this pair will be heading up to the mountains this weekend for some R+R.  Can't wait.

Have a fab Labor Day!

Monday, August 29, 2011

If you haven't had enough of my entry yet...

I know, I'm kinda obsessed with it. I decided to try a DIY stair runner. There are only 5 steps from the front door to the 1st level so I figured I could handle the installation. 


I picked a flat weave wool rug off Overstock (or, I guess it's "O.Co" now). It's about 2.7" by 10 feet, which left me about 12" of length.  It's flipped over the top step here and I think I might secure it down and leave it rather than try to cut the wool.  I also used some carpet padding on each step for softness.

Entry Runner

As you can see, I used a staple gun to nail this baby down. Just keeping it real around here. I'm going to add some black-finish nail heads to hide the staples for a finishing touch.

Entry stair runner

Friday, August 26, 2011

Stair Runners

Stair runners are cool. I want one.  These are all super-duper.

via http://www.elizabetheakins.com

via rugsatsva.com
I smell another project a-brewin!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Stripped Banister

What I have learned recently:

Stripping latex paint from steel SUCKS. It comes off in sticky, gooey gobs and needs to be scraped off bit by bit. My simple plan to strip the banister of icky white paint turned into a 2-weekend project fraught with tears and frustration.


Also, steel is heavy.  This m-effer was a pain in the neck to work with.


But a sleek black spray paint job is much nicer than yellowing, chipping, sticky white paint applied with a brush!


Corner of my entry way. Whoops - that price tag can come off now!  Next on the docket: a runner rug!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Noteworthy Notables

I was charmed by a recent tour on ApartmentTherapy of the home of Jennifer Dyer. 

How lovely is the kitchen? This is nearly exactly what I want in my home, though the massive stove and plumbed island will be a budget buster for me:

The antique doors used to create layering and texture here are pretty and could be done affordably by picking up some vintage doors at a salvage yard.

Do you spy a coral door, like mine?