Friday, August 28, 2009

Powder Room Dilemmas - Continued!

The July 2009 issues of House Beautiful did a nice a nice article on 50 Waste Baskets for Small Spaces. The Hubby and I had just moved about a month before into our all-mauve house with really, really, bad bathrooms (as you are finding out)! So yes, I was quite excited to see this articles! I began to think to myself , now here I go, maybe I can just add a pretty trash can to my powder room, get some monogrammed towels, cute soaps, and call it a day. And perhaps, no one will notice how god-awful ugly it really is--until I get some money to give it a good overhaul!
Now in all fairness, I must give House Beautiful credit because they did feature waste baskets in all affordable price ranges, with the cheapest being $7 to one of the most expensive being a beautiful hand-painted chinoiserie cachepot for $395 from HollyHock, which of course, I naturally loved and wanted! Since I could not afford to spend $395 on a single trash can , I thoroughly sat down and examined each and every one of the 50 waste baskets. The next one I came across and loved was the Imperial trellis basket for $110. Hmmm, I don't think so, still too high for my budget...need to keeping going! And then came the Zebra waste bin in yellow for 135...O0ps, I'm going in the opposite direction. Here we go, the Floral 1 on Aqua wastepaper basket for $112.... nope still need to take it down several notches! Finally I spotted the quilted Bee Basket for $75.00 from Ballard Designs. However, I better not forget tax and shipping!!!!

Now, math has never really been my strong suit, but the pedestal sink I want, which I already have picked out, is around $300. Plus, I can probably do better than that once I really start to look for it. I think I'll put the wastebasket plan aside and save my $$$. Maybe if I do end up wallpapering the powder room, I can just dig up a can around the house, such as hubby's collegiate, purple and gold LSU trash can, wrap some pretty wallpaper around it and call it a day!!!!!!!!! What do you think?

All Images from House Beautiful

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Powder Room Dilemmas!

Image from Southern Accents

This morning, as I was blow drying my hair, it had occurred to me that, with the hubby's alfresco birthday party coming up, I have powder room issues that should be addressed before my company arrives. Earlier, when I was complaining about my mauve paint and how it was the biggest problem that I currently had with this house, my next biggest problem is my powder room and how god-awful ugly it is!

Image from A Home For All Seasons

The powder room has several problems: the main one is that it has the same granite as the kitchen and master bathroom. Thus making it look like someone (and not me) got a huge sale on granite! The granite in the kitchen is fine, not exactly my choice but it does not drive me crazy like in the bathroom. On top of this, the walls are still mauve, the lighting fixtures are not coordinated (cheap nickle & brass, mixed), cheap cabinets, and so on. So you can imagine how this is driving me crazy! My mother-in-law came over a few weeks ago and asked to use the powder room and I warned her accordingly! Basically, I have not even been inspired to buy soap! I just want to take a jack hammer to it, but I have no money! Not yet anyway! Some people who absolutely love granite are probably saying oh, no, leave the granite, like my mother-in-law, for instance.. . but I will not!

Image from A Home For All Seasons

Now, I've done a few bathrooms in my time and my plan is simple: I will scrap the granite and make sure it's gets a good home by selling it on Craig's list. I'll get what I can for it and put the money into a pretty white pedestal sink (something I love) and maybe put up some wallpaper, an antique mirror, and antique scones. The flooring can stay since it's hardwood! But hubby's birthday party is Labor Day weekend and that's probably not enough time to get jack hammer out.

Image from House Beautiful

What can I do? Waste baskets for the powder room tomorrow!

The Best Tomato Pie Ever!

At the beginning of the year, having just returned to the Atlanta area, and having discovered that I always prefer blogging over job searching, my plan was to really put all my time, energy and might into my blog. Let’s see, here's what I was going to do:

Monday “Kicking the Week off Right & Getting Organized”
Tuesday –
How about
“Down with Some Serious Decorating”
-Hump day...time for something fun such as,“Girl Stuff
Thursday of course was going to be getting ready for the weekend. You know "Happenings Around the South". A few places that I’ve been (still have yet to talk about the Hermitage home with all its original wallpaper). Where does the time go?
With leaving Friday as you guessed it, the weekend and time for “Recipes & Entertaining Day” So here you go.

Image from Carolyne Roehm Summer Notebook

. . .

Tomato season is in full swing and I wanted to share with you this great tomato pie recipe that the hubby has been making this past summer. It's from Ms. Paula Deen! Who probably happens to be the next biggest butter lover then Ms. Childs herself!

4 tomatoes, peeled and sliced
10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1 (9-inch) prebaked deep dish pie shell
1 cup grated mozzarella
1 cup grated cheddar
1 cup mayonnaise
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the tomatoes in a colander in the sink in 1 layer. Sprinkle with salt and allow to drain for 10 minutes.
Layer the tomato slices, basil, and onion in pie shell. Season with salt and pepper. Combine the grated cheeses and mayonnaise together. Spread mixture on top of the tomatoes and bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned.
To serve, cut into slices and serve warm

Thanks Ms. Deen!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I Need a Bed Skirt!

I'm in desperate need of a bed skirt! The Hubby and I just moved--well, I do reckon it has been almost three months. This should be more than enough time to have found a bed skirt to my liking and my budget! I had thought about having Yung Li make one for me, but after I added up the cost of the fabric and the cost of Yung Li, I decided it was $400.00 that I would much rather spend somewhere else, such as a king size mattress!

Three months ago when the Hubby and I made (hopefully) our final move for awhile--Mother-in-law's advice was to go out and buy the best king size mattress that we could possibly afford! Our old mattress was tossed into the dumpster after moving out of Nashville. I saw no point in putting it into a storage bin, and taking up valuable space--after all, it was a mattress that I've had been carrying around since I was a single girl (before hubby), it went into our first condo on Peachtree Street, our first house in Roswell, and then we hauled it with us to Charleston. After that, back to Atlanta for a brief pit stop, and then on to Nashville for a move or two, and then finally back to Atlanta again! It was time to pitch the thing. One day, we'll get a king size mattress, but for now we've just pushed our two twin beds together, and that works just fine! Mother-in-law did gave us a twin-bed converter (basically a piece of foam) and it makes a queen! So for now, we need a bed skirt! I'll deal with the mattress issue when I have out of town company.

Malaika - On my wish list!!!

I'm giving the hubby a Birthday party here in a couple of weeks and I would prefer to have my bed made regardless of what it is - twin, queen, king--because my guests won't notice the mattress issue, but they will notice that it's missing it's skirt. All I want is a basic white, well-tailored, affordable bed skirt. Please help!!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Julie & Julia: Very Inspirational & Not Just a Chick Flick!

This past Sunday the hubby and I finally went to go see Julie & Julia. It had seemed everyone I knew had seen it--the in-laws, Janice from work (had seen it twice & even offered to go a third time with me if hubby backed out), a few of our docents, and Sylvia, our octogenarian volunteer, who kindly said it may not be the hubby's thing, hinting that it was a chick flick. My original intentions were to see the movie the weekend it came out, but I got caught up in house stuff, if you can believe that. Now of all the people I know who did see it, I actually was one of the few people who read the book! Well, most of it anyway. Last year I bought Julie & Julia for some summer reading, because I do like to dabble around in the kitchen. After all, I did just post 101 Easy Salads and I may boss the hubby around in the kitchen from time to time--he does like to cook!

Now, I may regret admitting this, but I did not actually finish the whole book because I got caught up in selling our house, moving out of Nashville, looking for a new job, looking for a new house etc. etc., so the book spent seven months in a storage bin. My goal was to finish the book before I saw the movie, but earlier this year I had seen a sneak peak of Julie & Julia and knew I had to add it to my list of movies to see this year. What had sweetened the pot was seeing Ms. Child's kitchen with all that old copper--errrrrr! Perhaps I did have a few ulterior motives! So yes I'm still working on the book! While devouring Milk Duds, Whoppers and M&Ms during the movie, the hubby whispered to me that he wanted a mortar & pestle--Hmmm, I knew he would like it!

Hubby's mortar & pestle lurking in the background!

Last night, the hubby and I were discussing Julie & Julia while cooking dinner which for us consisted of a New York strip and green beans--easy, although hubby did dress the green beans up with a ton of butter! For me knowing that I was out of everything and would have to restock the following day, I told the hubby that I really had to hand it to Ms. Powell for working a day job, fetching ingredients after work and then cooking and not just cooking but FRENCH cooking - not to mention the clean up (hubby's cooked a duck before)! Hubby told me that he really enjoyed the movie as well, and I knew he would because Sylvia, our eighty-something-year-old did not know his love for butter!

Julie & Julia - I loved it and so did the hubby!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Day at Target!

The other night, when I got home from work, I was going through my receipts and noticed one from Target, where I had just been the night before. Getting ready to pitch it I had remembered from the sales clerk that if I went online to talk about my shopping experience,I could possibly win $5000! Could certainly use $5000K in this house hold! So, here it goes, Target!

I have been shopping with you for years. My thoughts are that if I spend an hour or so of my time each week shopping for domestic goods, then I want the store to be first and foremost extremely clean, well-stocked, well-lit, with excellent selections that retain my interest and are reasonable priced. When a huge chain grocery store took over Harris Teeter here in Atlanta several years ago, I boycotted it because they ruined the stores, and alot of it had do do with very bad lighting.
Now, I particularly love the Fieldcrest Luxury brand. I just bought the 500 thread count embroidered sheet set in white, the coverlet in green, and the pretty Victorian Sage green bath mats. I would like to get the Victorian Sage green towels next. I'm normally a white towel person and have always brought the Thomas O'Brien towels, but Fieldcrest has done a great job with these colors! Also, I'm eyeing Fieldcrest towels in New Wheat for the hubby's bathroom. What's more, I have seen both those same pretty hues someplace else very familiar but for far more $$$.
While still on Fieldcrest, last year, I bought the hemstitched linen napkins in green and would love to get all the colors one day (perhaps if I could win your 5k it could certainly speed things up). Maybe the brown next for my fall Tuscan birthday party that I'm planning for the Hubby. Also, have spotted these napkins somewhere else but of course for more $$$!
Following is just a very small list of things that quickly come to my mind that I have purchased over the years and have been extremely happy with.

1. Bamboo Roman shades - Purchased two years ago for my cottage house in Nashville. I even recall Joni from Cote de Texas admiring them!
2. Basic white dinnerware, ceramic pitchers, cups, etc. to complete my kitchen.
3. Lamps from the Victorian Hagan line--I love her line but have not seen her stuff around this year.
4. Thomas O'Brien white towels
5. Dog beds, Dog toys, Dog bones, Dog treats, Dog food (whew!)
6. Can't forget your name brand Hazelnut coffee - Love it! Can't beat the price!

Very quickly, your package, labeling, and creative ads of course only add to my allure to your stores. You even seem to make buying bottled water, paper towels, and bleach enjoyable !
Keep up the good work !

Sincerely Yours,
Southern Inspirations

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Who Has The Time to Cook?

About a month ago, I bought some cabbage in hopes of doing something better with it then just mixing it with mayo. My intentions were good since the hubby and I were not really going to be doing too much traveling this summer. My plans were that we would enjoy our summer months with some good old fried chicken, slaw, tomato pie, green beans etc. Well it's been a month and the cabbage is still sitting in my fridge, rotting away.

Last week, Janice (from work), who knows that I've just moved, and that I've been inundated with mauve paint, came to my rescue and forwarded me 101 Simple Salads for Summer from the New York Times. Yesterday, I finally had time to look at some of the recipes. Now it's time for some NEW cabbage and to stock our pantry!

Monday, August 10, 2009

I'll Miss You Southern Accents!

I was deeply shocked this past Thursday evening when reading Granny's blog that Southern Accents was closing it's doors. Friday morning while sipping on my coffee I noticed that Joni from Cote de Texas had posted one of my all-time favorite covers from Southern Accents--word was out! One would not have to read very much of my blog to realize how Southern Accents has deeply inspired me over these years. In fact, my good pal Cruella has given me Southern Accents for the last six years as a Christmas gift! Late last fall , when the Hubby and I were packing up our house in Nashville, I didn't want to tote around years of Domino, Cottage Living, Martha Stewart, Veranda, Victoria, Country Living, a few Traditional Homes and Southern Accents. Well--few had to go and it was time to make a decision on on which collections that I would be keeping! Guess which ones I chose? And I'm very glad I did! My movers, however, were not so thrilled.

I was going through my stack of Southern Accents and pulled a few of my favorite covers. Each of these covers bring back fond memories of the southern cities that I've lived in for the last nine years.

Southern Accents May-June 2000 - The year I quit my day job - yeah!!!!!

Jan - Feb 2001 - One of my all time favorite covers!

Sep - Oct 2005 - Loved this room by Amelia Handegan!

May - June 2005 - Could not resist this one! I'm a big dog person!

March - April 2005 -Can't forget this one by Suzanne Kasler - loved the slipcover!

May - June 2006 - In Nashville when this one arrived! Had the red check fabric myself!

March - April 2007 -Ahhh French!!

May - June 2007 - Absolutely loved this dinning room by Charlotte Moss.

July - August 2008 - Loved getting this out of my mailbox last year in Nashville.

March - April 2008 -And back to Atlanta and one of my all time favorites Partick Dunne!!!

I seem to be missing my 2002 - 2003 issues while I was living in Charleston. Note to self, call movers!!! I'll miss you Southern Accents!!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Finding a Good, Reasonable, and Reliable Reupholster!

I had to say goodbye to my beloved handyman back in Nashville, but on the bright side of things of being back here in Atlanta I was able to reunite with Yung Li, my reupholster lady--Yeah! My goal is to one day have my handymen, carpenters, reupholsters, etc. all in the same city. I had met Yung Li several years ago through her sister (who made my pillows for my antiquing business). To make a long story short, when you find someone who is good, reasonable, and reliable you stick with them. The Hubby says that I talk about Young Li as if she were the Savior. Anyway, Young Li and I have a certain understanding, if you have ever seen Father of the Bride, with Martin Short's character, Franc, you know what I'm talking about! Basically, there are only two words that she says that I can even understand "cheap and expensive" and that is OK with me! The hubby thinks she more like Edna 'E' Mode from the movie The Incredibles!

When moving out of our our storage bin Yung Li meet with me and I gave her several piece that had been on my radar list for only the last six to seven years or so. I was determined not to move one piece into my new house because I knew that they would sit there for another six to seven years. One thing that Yung Leigh could not get at the time when we were loading things up was a huge old french chair that was being stored way down in my In-laws far, far, left corner basement. In fact, the huge chair was so bad that my Mother-in-Law gladly delivered the thing to the hubby and I two whole days after we moved into our house. I really wanted to pitch the chair but the hubby insited we keep it, so I quickly gave it to Yung Li to work her magic so I did not have to look at it.

This coming Monday, I'm meeting with Yung Li to talk about my bedroom and man cave problems but mostly my bedroom. In a nutshell four or five years ago (time really goes by fast when your talking about fabrics and reupholster work). Anyway, I bought Silk Trading Companies's Dutches Blue Silk panels for my bedroom. The problem is that I have three panels and I need four and no money to put in dutches blue silk panels. Also, for my new bedroom I bought Restoration Hardware's Clear The Decks (code for you can't return it) Italian Tipped Faille shams, duvet etc. in celery green. Now to tie the two together I'm thinking about this fabric from Calico Corners "Limonia".

"Limonia" from Calico Corners

They other problems in my bedroom is I need bed skirt, a slipcover for a old sofa that had been sitting out in my tool shed in Nashville for three plus years, and a slipcover for a bench at the foot of the bed and I have yet to find the bench! Yung Li has already diagnosed some of these issue and suggested that she would be happy to make me a bed skirt out of one of the panels and putting something else on the Windows but no way am I'm doing that. Later!!!!!!!!

All Images from Calico Corners

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Decorating A Man Cave!

Around this time last year I came to the conclusion that we needed a bigger house! After knowing that we would never get around to adding on to our small cottage, and after complaining to my best friend Susan that I was tried of hearing video game car racing and explosions in basically every single room of our cramped little house--she told me that I needed a man cave! 'What's a man cave?' I asked. She said, "basically someplace to throw your husband, all his stuff and his friends for fall drafting season. That's what they called those rooms in Missouri! Of course, I loved the thought of this man cave! A place to put my husband, his stuff, and not really have to go into if I choose not too--yeah!
Photo from Southern Accents May/June 2009
Inspiration for my man cave.

Later while out shopping for a house, the man cave was no doubt added to my needs list. After all, I could do without a lot of things, and this man cave would take precedent over everything else. Since the man cave would probably include our only flat screen TV (I hate them too)--I would definitely visit from time to time to take in a movie or two, and perhaps The Food Network and HGTV (basically they only channels that I really watch).

Another room I love!

Now to speed things up a bit, I did get the man cave that I had longed for, and guess what, it has carpet--err! That will change down the road, though! It's the only room on the bottom floor with carpet! So guess who hangs out in there? Yep, two dogs, Rolle the basset hound and Ellie his sister. The best part is that the man cave is on the west wing of the house! This is good in some respects and bad in others, for instance, I no longer her explosions but my dogs hang out there with their dad all the time! After all, I want the room to be cozy, comfortable and a little masculine, but pretty too, so I'll visit...and ahhhhh very English!

I am still working on my man cave -Monday I meet with meet with Yung Li to discuss pillows!

My Man Cave under construction!!!!!!!!!

Ellie our dog behind the chair - I know it's a dark picture but.....

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Bye Bye Mauve!

Three bathrooms, a laundry room, a fireplace, a sun room & the hubby's office to go, and I'll finally be rid of all the mauve that taints my house. The hubby and I have finally settled into our new house and our biggest problem here is that the entire house had been painted mauve --Errrr!!!!!! I'm not just talking about one room here and there, but literally everything, from bead board in the kitchen, the brick fireplace that's in the living room, to all three bathrooms. So as you can probably imagine, mauve is not exactly my color choice of colors (I much prefer the light and airy look). After getting two or three quotes to paint the place, I decided to put the money elsewhere, like some long-awaited reupholstery work-yeah! And Yung Li, my reupholsterer lady, totally agreed! Since Memorial day weekend I've slowly been painting the entire place myself, and the hubby has helped here and there as well! His task this weekend is to paint the fireplace while I'm hitting the Scott Antique Market. So with summer coming to an end, I will be de-mauving the rest of my house!

If you need some help with colors check out House Beautiful's Colors For Your Home

While searching for the perfect warm white I remembered my Italian crazy neighbor Lucialla (back in Nashville) had used Linen White by Benjamin Moore. I discovered Linen White after I had already painted our cottage house back there in Indian White (by Benjamin Moore)...a little too pink but not too bad! However Linen White...I must say...HMMMM! Now for my bathrooms. We'll see what happens!