Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas at my new house

Sorry for the lack of posts lately, I think everybody is busy this time of year. Here's a quick recap of what I've been up to the past few weeks, and some pictures of my new house all decorated for Christmas. : )

The first event I got to host at my new house was December's Girl's Night.  This was December 12th, and less than a month after I got my keys. Since I didn't have a table for eight, I decided to do tapas and a champagne bar.  It worked out really well, I picked a few recipes I had found on Pinterest (my Girl's Night Idea Board) and the phillo dough wrapped asparagus & baked zucchini fries with sweet onion sauce were a hit... the pineapple jalapeno sauce for the shrimp, not so much.  I had just enough chairs and tables in my living room to make everything work with my Christmas tree, and we had a really good time.

I feel like there was a lot of running around between the 12th and the 24th.  There was a trip to Clemson for the Backstreets Christmas Party, Cookie Day at a friends house, a gifted rug, friends in from out of town, and enough other stuff going on that I don't think I had more than 2 nights with nothing on the agenda.

I also got my first Christmas present between Cookie Day and Christmas Eve.  The friend who introduced me to Chattanooga Auction House (read about my first trip) went completely over the top and got me a much needed dining room table!!  The picture does not do it justice, and it expands out to 7 feet.  It is adorable in my kitchen, and I just love it.

I've started collecting milk glass.  These pieces are from Grandmother

Christmas Eve was at my house this year, and turned out really well.  Our family tradition is to celebrate Christmas Eve with my dad's family at my grandmother's house.  As she has gotten older this tradition evolved to dinner out, followed by desert and presents at her house.  This year (even though I offered to make use of my brand new table) we did dinner out, and then dessert and presents at my house! Grandmother enjoyed spending time in the house she grew up in again, to the extent she didn't want to leave.  I think it was 11:30 before we were all back at my parent's house, and opening our Christmas PJ's - way past Grandmother's usual bed time.

Christmas was at my parents house.  The funniest part was that my sister confessed to thinking, until college, that everybody had steaks for Christmas dinner. My dad's birthday is December 25th, so we have Christmas morning, and then birthday dinner - typically steaks.  My sister didn't realize that other families typically served turkey or ham, and was a little jealous that people got two Thanksgiving style meals in the fall.  Gotta love her.

I'm going to close out this ever growing post with a few more pictures of my kitchen.   I think it's turning out pretty well, and although I really need to find batteries for my camera, these pictures give you a good idea of where I'm at so far.

I'm not in love with the color of the raw silk curtains around the sideboard, but for $8 a panel,  they are great insulators.   For Christmas I put out my red dishes on the sideboard, and hung cinnamon scented pine cones from the other window.

I do love my snowman fridge, and he will probably be up after the rest of my decorations are taken down.  I also love having my directors chairs (or any seating) next to my front door, bridging the cap between my kitchen and dining room.  I think it's important to have good places for people to sit when you are in the kitchen getting everything ready for a party or just dinner.  The rug in the bottom right picture was made by my Great-Great Aunt Marie, and part of my Great Aunt Inez's estate.  My mom inherited it recently, but it looks much better in my house than hers!


That's it for now, I hope everybody has a safe and happy new year!!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

favorite things

One of my favorite things right now is the $4 flower bin at Bi-Lo.  Having fresh flowers in the house is a luxury for sure, but the $4 bunches make it a little more within reach (especially when my garden is nonexistent, as it is at my new December).  If you remember to change the water, and cut the stems every few days, these bunches can last 2 weeks or more.  I hosted my first Stella & Dot truck show this Tuesday (you can still shop online, and select me as your hostess at checkout if you'd like) and I splurged on not one, but two $4 bunches for my party.  What can I say, I'm a sucker for roses.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

More tree pictures

I've started decorating my ginormous tree. I love that it's from my brand new yard, and I love that I have made all of my own ornaments.  I didn't think I'd have enough, but I think it's an oversize Charlie Brown Christmas tree sort of way.

You can never have too many blurry Christmas Tree pictures...ok yes you can.  And I promise to get new batteries for my real camera soon!

I'm linking this post to a few different Christmas Tree blog parties, so if you are looking for ideas on how to decorate your tree (or just get in the Christmas spirit while killing some time) check out these links!!

Unskinny Boppy

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

christmas movies

One of the best things about Christmas are all the Christmas movies and TV specials. I'm such a big kid when it comes to this kind of stuff, I love it. How the Grinch Stole Christmas was on the other night, and I couldn't help but stop what I was doing and watch.  I had forgotten that it is only 30 minutes, but it was an awesome 30 minutes. (That's a good thing, because the drinking game I remember was pretty brutal!)  I don't watch a lot of TV but I'm going to have to keep an eye out for some of my favorite Christmas Classics.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

christmas decorations

Yesterday I showed you my ridiculously large Christmas Tree, and today I wanted to show you my Snowman Fridge.  He's pretty much just awesome.

photo taken from my (older) iPhone

  • 1 sheet black construction paper
  • 1 sheet orange construction paper
  • wrapping paper
  • rubber cement (or magnets and adhesive)
  • scissors
  • 1 solo cup (use the bottom to trace your circles)

Monday, December 5, 2011

go big or go home

This week, while I am unpacking and getting my new house ready for pictures, I'm going to post about all things Christmas.  So check back when you can to see what I'm up to :)

My Christmas tree is ridiculously large.  We're planning on thinning out some of the smaller trees in the front yard to give the larger trees some room, and so you can see the pond better.  It was the fullest evergreen that had been marked to come down, so even with it's funky top, I said lets give it a try. 

I have 10 foot ceilings in the living room.

I haven't decided if I'm going to do some more trimming, or just leave it how it is.  It kinda makes me laugh a little.

ACC Champs!

Saturday's game was just great.  I actually had a Clemson fan to watch the game with, we had power - all of Clemson lost power during the game - AND Clemson played well.

Me too Dabo, me too
It's hard to beat a team twice in one season . To put it gently, Clemson had not been playing up to their potential going in to this game and it looked like Virginia Tech would take the championship once again.  Keven Steele put together a defensive effort that may have saved his job. 

Being a Clemson fan is like riding a roller coaster.  There is a lot of anxiety, and many ups and downs.  Your heart is always racing, and sometimes you don't know whats next.  Twists and turns, climbs and drops, and even the upside down parts.  If you know a Clemson fan, this is how they describe football season.  I hate roller coasters by the way.  I'm just glad Clemson is cruising around on the top.

Looks pretty good doesn't it?

Saturday, December 3, 2011


I WISH I had been able to take a picture of the pond on my way to work Tuesday morning. It had rained for 2 days straight, and there were - no joke - 40 to 50 wild ducks on the pond.  I have never seen this many ducks together.  They weren't there when I got home from work, or the next morning, so I guess they just made a stop on their way further south.  It was quite a sight, and they didn't even fly away as I drove by, about 100 feet from them.  The ones in the water just started swimming to the other side of the pond. 

I can't wait to see what other birds decide to hang out at the pond this winter and this spring :)

Friday, December 2, 2011

moving update - almost done

This has definitely been my most ambitious move of late, and possibly ever.  With some wonderful help, I have painted the walls and the trim in my bedroom, kitchen, and living room.  If you are ever thinking about painting paneled walls,think long and hard.  My kitchen has paneled walls that were already painted, but scuffed and dingy. Even after two coats, I have coverage issues in the cracks.  The best way to have painted would have been to go over each crack with a brush before applying the first coat with a roller.  Since these walls are not insulated and will probably be re-done, I didn't take the time to do it right.  It bothers the OCD side of me, but not the practical, impatient, 'I want to get the project done' side of me. I ordered curtains for the kitchen last week, so it's almost ready for the 'after' photoshoot.

My bedroom is coming together, but the progress has been slower than I expected.  The walls & trim look great, but my curtains have been discontinued, so I'm going to have to find something different for the 4 windows in this room (I had sets for 2 windows).  I haven't moved all of my closet yet, and I still need to sand and paint my dresser, so it's going to be a while before this room is done.

My living room is turning out to be a great surprise though!!  The couch I was given is a great fit, and I even have a nice plasma TV on loan until this spring.  I'm saving the 'design decisions' until January, but I'm loving decorating this room for Christmas : )

I've put a couple of projects on hold, until I get completely out of my apartment, and finish what I've already started.  My bathroom still has faux marble wallpaper, and the spare room is little boy blue.  I'm choosing to ignore the wallpaper for now, and keeping the door to the spare room shut.  It works for now.

My plan for this weekend is to get 100% of my stuff out of my apartment, and get the cleaning started.  My lease is through Monday, so here's hoping that it doesn't go down to the wire!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Tomorrow I will blog.  Promise.
Just a pretty picture

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Christmas Ornaments!

I'll probably make these too!
Now that the plates are put away, I don't mind bring out the Christmas ornament post.  Before I got started with my move I started making Christmas ornaments.  My tree is coming out of my new yard, and I wanted everything to be kind of rustic to match.  I'm also on a crazy tight budget, and ornaments just aren't a priority.  My mom gave be a box of the standard ball ornaments, and I'm covering them with twine & pages out of an old French novel from a high school French class.  (I hate the idea of defacing a book, but the plot left something to be desired even if it were in English.)  The only thing I had to buy was the Modge Podge to hold everything together.

I'm about halfway done, and here's what I've got so far.  My pictures from my iPhone aren't so hot, but they really have turned out well!  The trick with the paper is cut it into rectangles so it lays flat.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

(Re)Discover Chattanooga - Link 41

"Our meats come from animals raised on local farms. Every meat we make is freshly processed and made only in small batches.

Pork is a tradition in the South, and we are bringing it back home. For better health, For better flavor. For a stronger local food community. For the love of place. For the love of pig."

How can you not get excited when you read that on the Link 41 website. I am a little hippie at heart, and one of my favorite things about moving back to Chattanooga has been the Harvested Here and farm to table movements.  Many of restaurants use local food vendors, and I feel like the farmers markets have a little coalition going, and are working together to promote all of the weekend markets.

I've seen Link 41 at the Brainerd Farmers Market, and follow them on twitter, but for some reason I hadn't picked up any pig.  I know they take a lot of pride in what they do, and it must pay off because they won the Chattanooga Farmers Market Chili Cook-off this past weekend!  Let's just say I was waiting for the right moment to give them a try.  I got really excited last week when I saw this tweet:

Ummmm....Yes Please.  I was running errands Saturday, dropped of my turkey, and yes, I picked up some bacon.  Side note: I'm also a technology nut, and I loved that they checked me out with a credit card reader attached to a cell phone, and texted me the receipt.  This makes so much sense for a small business that travels.

I was making mini quiches for my painting party on Sunday, and they helped me pick out some shoulder bacon.  I never knew there were so many choices when it came to bacon.  Of course they led me to the right choice, and it was AMAZING.  It was cut nice & thick, and I even made my mom smell it before it was cooked it was so good.  I lined my muffin tins with bacon, baked it at 350 to get the bacon started, then poured the quiche mixture over it so it turned out like a bacon cup.  You can never go wrong with a bacon cup btw.  The bacon was perfect. It wasn't tough or greasy or too salty.  Yuo were able to bite into it and it almost melted in your mouth.

They also do custom sausages in 5 pound (or more) batches.  Ohh the possibilities.

Let's just say I'll be picking up more than just my turkey tomorrow.

Link 41
Location: 217 East Main Street, No. 105
Shop Hours:
  • Monday-Thursday 1-4pm
  • Friday 1-6pm
Main Street Market
  • Wednesdays 4-6pm
 Chattanooga Market
  • Sundays 11am-4pm
Facebook | Website | twitter

Monday, November 21, 2011

lot's of progress, no photos

I have a confession, I'm still a horrible blogger.  I've been doing a lot of work on my new house, but I have no pictures to show you.  Oops, use your imagination this time, and I'll try and have some pictures for you soon.

With my confession out of the way, let me first tell you what a difference it has made having two extra weeks to move!  I'm not stressed, and so many more people have offered to help now that I'm not trying to do everything around Thanksgiving.  I can't tell you how much I appreciate the help, and what a difference it has made : )

I took last Wednesday off work, and my mom was able to help me finalize my paint colors, and get started on my bedroom.  I chose pretty basic colors, but I'm happy with how it's turning out.  We also decided that all of the trim needed to be painted as well as the walls in all the rooms.  Again, I'm VERY happy to have the extra time.  We got the walls in my bedroom finished on Wednesday, and the trim finished up Sunday morning.  My bedroom is done!

We also made crazy progress on the living room and kitchen this weekend too, especially since we spent 1/2 a day Saturday running errands & I had a date with the girls Sat. night to go see Twilight.  The walls were in pretty bad shape in the kitchen, and part of the living room is plaster, so the prep took a lot longer than in the bedroom.  It was worth it though.  We spent most of Saturday spackling, sanding, cleaning & taping, but it looks so much better with new paint on the walls.  We painted on Sunday until we ran out of paint, and got 1 coat on the living room, a coat on the kitchen, an a second coat on 2/3 kitchen.  I went to get more paint Sunday afternoon, but my Ace hardware was out of the Benjamin Moore base.  They won't get more until Wednesday, and that's fine by me, I was tired and I still have a lot of packing to do!

My goal for this week is to get packed, and get everything moved into my kitchen cabinets by the time the kitchen paint comes in.  I'd also like to get as much of the painting finished before Friday as I can, so when I have help next weekend, we can work on actually moving me, and cleaning up the yard.  I tend to have lofty goals, so we'll see!

Putnam Ivory - BR & Living Room
Linen White - Bedroom Trim
Kitchen - Palm Coast Pale

Friday, November 18, 2011

mini blinds, lots of mini blinds

The downside to having 15 wonderful windows in a 2 bedroom house is that I have 15 mini blinds that probably haven't been cleaned in the 10 years since the remodel.  They're dusty and starting to yellow.  I wasn't sure the best way to clean them so here's what I've done: I soaked them in the bathtub in a mixture of hot water, dish soap, & oxyclean for 20 minutes, then brushed over both sides, rinsed & hung them up to dry on my shower curtain rod.(I just wrapped the chord around the hardware & the rod in 2 places and it worked well) I did the first two last night, so I'll see what they look like when I go back tonight. If they're still yellow, I'll switch to bleach. If you have any ideas on how to clean mini blinds, let me know! **

Since I got my keys 2 weeks early, I took Wednesday off of work to get started on the house.  With my mom's help, I got a lot done!  I've picked out paint for the entire house.  Everything is getting repainted except for the ceilings, and the trim in the living room.  We even got 2 coats on the master bedroom.  We'll do the trim this weekend, and then we'll be done with my bedroom!  As soon as we're finished I'll have before and after pictures to post.

I'm having a 'painting party' this weekend, and I'm hoping to get the walls in the living room and kitchen done, and maybe even the trim.  The living room is not going to be too bad, but the kitchen walls need a lot of work before we can paint.  The work will be worth it though.  I really can't wait to move in!

** Thanks to @ChanteDNewcomb for this link on cleaning Mini Blinds!  Almost exactly what I was doing :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Before..part 1

Since I've turned off my Internet at my apartment, this is a somewhat limited post from my phone. Oops. Here are the first pictures of the inside of my new house...Pre painting parties.

The light fixtures are original to the house as it was first built.

Kitchen - lots of cabinets, no counter space!
Kitchen & Dining Lights
Kitchen Cabinet Pulls
Living Room
Living Room Nook
Master Bedroom (12x16!!)  These windows have a view of the pond
Teeny Tiny Bathroom

**edited 11/17/11 to arrange photos & add descriptions

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Change of plans

The house is ready!!!   The previous tenant moved out early!  They did the final walk though today, and I get keys tomorrow!!  I'm soooo excited.  I spent this weekend making Christmas ornaments and packing, and it's a good thing I got started :)

I get my keys tomorrow afternoon, and I'll do a walk through to decide what needs to be painted, and when I can can start moving my stuff in.  I'm still going to plan on my big work weekend being Thanksgiving weekend, but it will be nice to get some of the little stuff out of the way, and not be rushed.  YAY!

If you haven't been keeping up with my plans for my move, keep scrolling down, or check out the 'my house' posts by clicking the tag below. :)

new house projects - guest bedroom

When I started posting about my move into my great grandmother's house this Thanksgiving, I thought it was going to be just 3 posts. Well this is post number 5, and I haven't even gotten to the fun part - the yard. Oops. These posts are great for keeping me organized, and I hope you're enjoying reading them. The weekend after Thanksgiving is going to be a busy one!

On to the next room, the guest bedroom. This is going to be pretty easy since I'm not worried about 'finishing' it. It just needs to be cleaned and painted, and will remain empty. The first family that lived here after Grandmother Grace died had a son while they were renting, and this room is cotton candy blue. Great for a baby boy, not so much for me.

This room has 3 walls of with large windows. I'm not going to fight the natural light, so I'm going to keep the room a bright neutral, color. I've got 3 paint strips that have the brown from the living room bead board, the yellows I want in my kitchen, and some light neutrals to tie the two together. I'll pick something from the light end of the spectrum for this room.

As far as decorating goes, since I don't have furniture for this room yet, I'm just going to put up some things that I like. I'll bring in my old Beatles poster, and my grandmother has some old sheet music with fun covers. I have 10 document frames that currently have vintage liquor ads (taken from a calendar and placed on watercolor paper for a faux matte) and I can take those out, replace them with the sheet music, and I think it will look pretty cool.

My poster is remastered from this shoot
Shopping List:
  1. Paint
  2. Painters Tape
  3. Paint Roller covers
Borrow List:
  1. Paint Rollers (long handle)
  2. Paint tray
  3. Drop Cloths

Saturday, November 12, 2011

new house projects - bedroom & hallway

Love this x-ray print in my room
Writing all of these posts has made my move a  little more daunting than I'm used to.  This is my 3rd move of 2011. I'm a pro at it.  I can bring in my stuff and get it set up in no time.  But this is my first move into a house that is not an apartment, and also entirely mine.  Any other house I've lived in has come with roommates and their furniture already set up.  This move is not just bringing in my stuff, it's working on the house too.  I've never had to paint when I've moved, and I really don't know how much time that's actually going to take.  Luckily my bedroom is a room that I can set up in my sleep, because it's one of two rooms I haven't actually been in. (The other being the bathroom)

Bedroom Projects:
  1. Dresser - I'd like to paint my dresser black.  I can do this in the gravel driveway and not worry about being messy.  It will need to be sanded, primed and painted.  I'd like to get new drawer pulls for it eventually, but that probably won't happen the first weekend.
  2. Curtains - I need at least 2 more panels to fill all of the windows.  Not a huge priority since one of the windows doesn't get much sun, and there are blinds in place.  I'll also need curtain rods; I'm going to use what I've got in the kitchen.
  3. Painting - I'm crossing my fingers that I don't have to paint this room.  That would take a huge chunk of time that I'd rather spend in the yard.  If I paint it will be a grey to neutral shade, something most people would consider light, but I consider medium.
  4. Storage - I don't know what kind of closet space I've got and crossing my fingers it's not going to be a problem.  There's always the spare bedroom :)
  5. Art - I've got 90% of the art for this room, but I'd like to get one of my skymaps framed and hung in here at some point.
Hallway Projects:
  1. It needs to be painted. (Benjamin Moore # HC-29 or HC-30) Right now it feels like a tunnel and the walls are skint up and gouged in spots.  This is an easy fix.
  2. Art - The only idea I have is vintage Chattanooga postcards I've seen on Etsy.  I'm going to treat this like the living room and just decorate for Christmas and deal with it after the new year.  :)
Shopping List:
  1. 3, black curtain rods with doorknob style ends (World Market or BB&B)
  2. 2 more curtain panels (JC Pennys)
  3. hallway paint
  4. painters tape
  5. black paint for dresser
  6. primer for dresser
  7. sandpaper
Borrow List:
  1. drop cloths
  2. paint rollers (short handle)
  3. wall putty.  I'm not going to need much
  4. putty knife
  5. orbital sander
My Bedroom Board on Pinterest

new house projects - the bathroom

This is one of two rooms where I have no idea what I'm getting myself into.  I've been told it's small and has a shower/tub combo, possibly peeling wallpaper...but that's it.  Not a lot to go on.  It's the only bathroom in the house, so there's no saving this until last, because anyone who comes to my house is going to see it.

My bathroom right now is pretty boring, but I really like my shower curtain (the brown tree silhouette at the end of this post), and I've got nice microfiber brown towels to match.  Since I've got some black hooks, I'm hoping I can use both blacks & browns without making it claustrophobic.  I think it's really small, but I like blacks and browns together.  I also like this picture, and I'm thinking about dying the background of my shower curtain a dusty rose color to match. My hesitation is that I'm not a huge fan of pink.  If the shower curtain is the only thing this color, it could be pretty though.  Decisions are so hard to make when you've never been IN the room.

Potential Projects for the Bathroom:
  1. Wallpaper Removal: If there's wallpaper, I'm 95% sure it will have to go.  This is not going to be fun in a cramped space.  On the upside, if it's as tiny as I think it is, maybe it won't take too long.  I'll need mom's wallpaper scorer & wide putty knife, and probably some sort of solvent.
  2. Painting: I'm going to have to come up with a color scheme.  Maybe something two toned, charcoal grey & light brown.  I've also painted a frame around a shower before, and that might be a good idea. I REALLY need some help in this area, and I have a friend in mind that just might find herself at the paint store with me this weekend.  One thing I have found helpful is the Design Seeds blog.  (that's where the great color palettes are from) All it is are pretty pictures, with colors pulled out for you.  You would think that as an artist I would be good with color, but I really struggle.  Maybe it's because I'm a picky perfectionist, but I can get really lost getting colors to match.
  3. Makeup Storage:  I really like the idea of putting magnets on the back of makeup, sticking them on a framed piece of metal.  You can paint the metal or put paper on it, to make it your style.  I've posted about this project before, and I've got a great frame picked out.  My cousin is a painter, so I'm thinking about having her paint me something as a Christmas present.
  4. Shower Curtain: The white background is probably going to be too stark, so I'd like to dye it.  This is a maybe project, and something I can easily do on my own, so it may not be a priority.
  5. Cleaning:  The not so fun part of the move.
  6. Furniture: Nothing I really need to bring, I just don't need to forget the toilet paper on day 1.
Possible Color Combo
Shopping List:
  1. Wallpaper removal solvent?
  2. Wall Paint (once I pick a plan)
  3. Sheet metal
  4. Lots of Scrubbing Bubbles
  5. RIT Dye (Color #116 maybe, Rose Pink & Taupe) 
  6. Magnets 
  7. Painter's Tape
Borrow List:
  1. Paint Tray
  2. Paint rollers (long handle?)
  3. Cleaning bucket
My Bathroom Board on Pinterest

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