Tuesday, May 27, 2008

a little gardening...

Well, Mike and kid #4 are back outside working on that mulch pile. I snapped a few pictures and disappeared inside. My job is to get it all documented on my blog. :) It works for me!

We discovered a bird's nest in our hanging basket. I haven't seen any bird, so either she has long left or she is a sneaky little thing. Here's a picture of the hanging baskets. Now, what bird could turn down a home here???

The lamb's ear is kid #4's favorite plant. She just loves how soft it is. Mike has tried and tried to kill it, but it keeps on growing, no matter where he throws it! hehe

Here is a shot of our new boulder/rock. It's unbelievable just how heavy this baby is!

I love this Hosta, but it doesn't get as large as some of the others. I just like the contrast.

Here is a new Hosta that was just planted. I am curious to see how it looks next year.

Here is a good shot of our rock. Kid #4 and I like how it is flat on the top. It makes for a good seat. The area all around the rock used to be grass. Mike dug it up yesterday afternoon.

Here's a kid hard at work.

Taking a break, because daddy took the wheelbarrow away to dump it. She is such a good helper.

The garden used to stop right in front of those big Hostas. The smaller Hostas in the center there are new. I am hoping they grow as well as the others do.

Well, that is my front garden. I love looking out my kitchen window and seeing the chipmunks and birds play. (except for that one day when a snake and chipmunk were in the garden together...yeah, that wasn't such a lovely moment) It's peaceful and green and happy.

I'll leave you with one more photo. She is doing this for fun! I have a keeper!!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Movin' along...

Seems to be that this kitchen blog is about to become just a "what's happening" at home blog. :)
The kitchen is mostly done. Believe it or not, there are still more little projects to be completed. I will, of course, document those.

We have bedroom furniture coming next weekend and family room furniture coming in a few weeks. We are also throwing in a gigantic yard sale in the mix of things to do. Oh, we don't have THAT much to get rid of, but it is going to be a multi-family yard sale. I hope to make some cash on that day....but first I must find stuff to part with.

Our project for this weekend has been the front yard. We found a large rock/boulder...what do you call it? It was delivered yesterday and was dropped about 2 feet from where Mike envisioned it sitting. However, a rock that size picks it resting spot and that is where it is staying. We also had a truckload of black mulch delivered. It's still in a huge mound, although it is smaller then yesterday.

This morning we went to buy some flowers for some color. Mike worked hard expanding my front garden like I envisioned it. (at least one of use gets it like we planned) It looks nice. He planted my flowers and then kid #4 helped him spread mulch in the front garden. It looks so pretty. I plan to get some pictures tomorrow. We still have to mulch a few other places, so there is more work tomorrow....and maybe the next day.

Well, sorry to have a pictureless post....but after my busy, crazy day I just didn't have time or forethought(mainly the forethought part) to get pictures. I will for tomorrow.

til then....we are movin' along.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

the big reveal....

Ok....if I wait until this and this come in, I may not get to show you the kitchen/great room until July! I couldn't wait that long. So, bearing in mind that we are not "finished" with the decor I will present my new kitchen to you. Yep, it's making it's debut right here on Mother's Day....never before seen photos just for you. (as always, you can click on any photo for a full size version)


Here we are just rounding the corner into my kitchen. We do have a bit of a rooster theme going on here. We could play a game called "spot the roosters". ;o)

Here's another angle. The granite countertop is Blue Pearl. The backsplash is slate.

Now, let's look at a few of my favorite things....

I love this corner of my kitchen. It's nice how the under the cabinet light seems to spotlight my brand new kitchenaid. I haven't had a chance to use it, yet....but since kid #4 turns 9 this coming week, I am sure we will break it in. The rose is a Mother's Day rose from a friend.

I have shown my spice cabinet before, but it was empty. Here it is filled up. I need to organize it a bit, but for now it is working fine. I love opening the door just to peek!

Here are our new plates. They look so nice in this plate rack cabinet. Just like I envisioned.

This shelf was blue and then it was painted black and then it was sanded to show some of the blue again. It works perfectly opposite our special corner.

Here is a shot from the other side of the counter looking into the kitchen.

Now, I am standing by the laundry room door giving you the view of the new entrance way into our kitchen. The old entrance used to be behind the fridge.

Here is one last shot. This is my view standing by the sink looking towards our back door. Yeah, I know....it still needs to be painted. We're working on it.

Hope you enjoyed a glimpse of what we have been working on the past few months. It has been an adventure and I have enjoyed sharing it. Happy Mother's Day to all my friends!!

Friday, May 9, 2008

a pampered chef.....

Not only do I have a dream kitchen now, but we just had a killer Pampered Chef party. This past Tuesday evening, 12 of my friends showed up for an interactive cooking demo. (Some friends couldn't make it and they so graciously ordered online giving me credit.) Those that made the party were part of a special moment for us. We dreamed of filling our house with friends and that evening I was able to stand back and look at so many wonderful women standing in our new kitchen/great room and I felt so blessed. Then, I realized we had room for even more!! Wow!! I never would have had a PC party in my old kitchen. Yes, this was a special evening for sure.

You know what was fun? Free shopping! My party sold over $700 and I got three products half price and $140 free products. I also took advantage of the hostess special this month. So, what exactly did I get?? Glad you asked.

First, let's look at my half price items. I got the 7 piece Stainless Steel cookware set, the 10 inch saute pan and the Stainless Steel mixing bowls.

This is one mighty fine cookware set. :)

This is the one pan in the 5 piece set that I really wanted, so I decided to just purchase it as an individual piece.

These Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls have a lot going for them. I could go on and on....

Now, onto my free products...or mostly free. I think I went over by about 20 dollars or so. (however, an additional 25% was knocked off the amount that went over my free limit)

I am sure I don't know how I functioned before without kitchen shears. I am just so thrilled to be getting some now and I even have the spot picked out that will be their new home. Just call me Susie Homemaker! (or a tad over the edge...)

This lovely piece was hubby's idea. He envisioned me making him homemade apple pie in this deep dish pie plate. I just liked the color.

I don't have any cookie sheets at the moment and I decided this stone, along with my large bar pan, would take the place of cookie sheets. This picture makes me want a cookie!
Did you know you can make a cake in this baby in just 12 minutes in the microwave? Is that a good thing to know???

This tongs are so cute. They fold flat for easy storage. I already have the salad tongs and love them, so this was a logical addition to my drawer.

The mix and pour will be used for some yummy salad dressing creations that I am dreaming up.

Child #4 requested this and she really is excited about it. Who am I to deny her her very own apple wedger?

I saw this demonstrated at another party and it sure is a handy contraption. It squeezed all the juice right out of the lemon with such ease. So, I am thinking of some yummy lemonade.

This microwave cooker was recommended by my neighbor. I am looking forward to steaming some veggies without buying those plastic bags they are selling nowadays.

I think that is it for my free and almost free products. I may have forgotten something and I do apologize. (to the forgotten item....not you!) If you want to learn about these wonderful products, how to score some for yourself, or anything else Pampered Chef please click here.

Just one more thing to show you. This is what I got as the hostess special and I got it for 60% off. It isn't something I would splurge on for full price, although I do love it. I just don't like to spend the money on things like this. However, for $21 I think I can use it enough to justify the purchase. It's cute, isn't it? Of course, I never even thought about using in this manner until I saw the picture here. I was thinking breads and crackers and such. I need explicit instructions when it comes to being creative!!

I am TRULY a pampered chef.....

Sunday, May 4, 2008

special little corner....

Mike has been busy. He took our old wooden bench, took it apart and stripped the varnish off and painted it black. Then he put the bench all back together again. He also painted frames to match the bench. Everything looks so nice, so I took a picture to share. Well, two pictures to share. Just to give a little different angle on the special little corner. What do you think?

Now, I just need to find exactly what I want to hang on those hooks. I have some ideas. I'll share whenever I find "it".

let the cleaning begin....

So, what happens after a big remodel project. Yep, unpacking and organizing. It was moving along and things were beginning to shape up, but I could not bring myself to go into the school room to tackle the mess stuffed in there. The poor school room had mess from a couple of closets, mess from the kitchen, mess from the china cabinet, mess from the living room...and well, mess mess. It was just overwhelming and I wanted desperately to find that magic "room cleaning" wand. I put it off for days...hmm, maybe weeks...but I really longed to get the room back. It had been so nice to have our school room and kid #4 and I both enjoyed working in there. (it is also a craft room and is stocked with goodies) The problem was we hadn't been able to go in there for over a month and it was just getting too depressing.

So, on Friday I put on my big girl pants and forgot about the wand. (I haven't actually ever seen a magic clean room wand and I am wondering if it even exists!) If you have seen them...pick up one for me and let me know how much I owe!! Anyway...back to the room. I remembered what Flylady taught me years ago. http://www.flylady.com/ You can tackle anything in just 15 minute increments. Set a timer and get to work. When the timer goes off leave the room and do something else. Kid #4 is a great helper and we decided to do a 15 minute session, move onto picking up the house for 15 minutes and then come back to the school room for one more 15 minute session. That was close to what actually happened. We worked about 10 minutes more at the end to finish up some stuff. It was AMAZING at how little the mess really was. I took pictures to share. It's not finished....but it is so much closer. And since I am showing the good, the bad and the ugly I decided to share them with you. :)

These speak for themselves. It sure ain't pretty, but this is what a room looks like when you shove all kinds of things in it and then neglect it for weeks.

Here we are after just 15 minutes!!!!

Ok...so it isn't clean, yet! However, you can see more floor and more bare spots in the mess. ;o)

Now...here are the pictures taken after we spent 25 more minutes in the room.

Now, we're talking. This is a manageable mess. I am happy to report, that kid #4 spent some time in there today going through all her desk drawers and craft drawers and cleaned out a whole garbage bag full. Also, Mike went in there and took out his things, piano bench, card table and ottoman. Tomorrow, I will vacuum and dust and it will look good as new. Now, I see that I put if off for nothing!! Don't let seemingly big projects overwhelm you to the point that you don't take any action. Go grab that timer and set it for 15 minutes!! You'll be surprised at what you can accomplish with 15 focused minutes. Try it!!