Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Cream Cheese Spritz Cookies
2 cups butter, softened (real, honest to goodness butter - no fake stuff!)
6 oz. cream cheese, softened (and not the light stuff)
2 cups sugar
2 egg yolks
2 tsp. vanilla extract (say it with me everyone, "the real stuff")
4 1/2 cups flour (I use a bit more or less depending on how my dough forms that day)
1 tsp. salt
Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Cream together the butter and cream cheese. Add sugar and beat till light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, and vanilla. Gradually add the flour and salt. About half way through, you'll have to stir it in by hand unless you're using a Kitchen Aid type mixer.
Using a cookie press, press on to cool, ungreased cookie sheets and bake 12 - 15 minutes.
**Some hints that might help. 1. Use a huge mixing bowl. 2. Fill the cookie press and then stick it in the fridge for a while so the dough can firm up. 3. You could also add some lemon or orange zest for a different flavor. Drizzling them with chocolate would be amazing too.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
In planning my mistreatment for our small treadmill room/bonus room, I checked out the fabrics at Hancock Fabrics. Nothing seemed just right until I found the remnant table. Mounds of fabric for $7 a yard and it was on sale for half off. Perfect! For $3.50 I got a yard of this fabric.
And thus we finish with my final problem. The bench that I so lovingly recovered for our bedroom. It fits in that little nook perfectly. Doesn't this look like the most wonderful place to curl up with a book and a snuggly blanket? But it also looks soooo good at the end of our bed. I think the faux window seat look is going to win though. Sorry bedroom. Maybe there will be another bench for you someday.
Ok, so maybe this isn't exactly what I use each morning - I don't think I have any wrinkles that require spackle just yet.
Can you guess which project I'm tackling now? Yep, the master bathroom. After doing a half a$$ job painting it eight years ago, it's time for a redo. I'm still not sure why I lived with the drab green for all these years, never mind the fact that I never did finish the trim work. If I had to admit it, it probably has something to do with my fondness of taking a tiny project like painting and turning it in to a much larger project. So far this paint job has spurred a "to-do" list that includes a new window treatment, new shower curtain, replacing the builder grade "Slab-O-Wall-Mirror" (which is huge by the way - who in the world needs mirrors this big? The top of the mirror is a good 7 feet tall and it's 5 feet wide.), a new light fixture, painting the cabinets, adding knobs and hopefully next summer, new sink faucets. Oh and replacing the carpet (yes, I know, all kinds of gross in a bathroom but it's only in the main area of the bathroom, not the "water closet" area.) with vinyl or tile. Whew.
See how that works in my mind? One tiny project becomes a whole crazy mess. I'm sure it all ties in to my perfectionist and OCD quirks. Love me, love my quirks I always say :) (More so that's what I tell my husband when he's giving me that "have you lost your mind?" look.)
Stay tuned for the official bathroom tour in a couple of weeks.
Monday, November 2, 2009
The curtain are a steel blue color, found at Bed, Bath & Beyond. I like that they are lined and they have an additional fleece interlining to help block out light. They should keep the room a bit warmer this winter too. Personally, they remind me a bit of a big poofy prom dress when they're pulled back like that. They definately have some fullness to them.
The decorative pillows were found at Home Goods. For the sake of peace, I'm keeping the pillows to a minimum. I would like to add two or three Euro pillows though. I think they'd be great for leaning against while watching tv.
Needs a headboard doesn't it? My plan is to make one. I just have to find a fabric I like. Have you priced king size fabric covered headboards? Good grief, it's insane. I'm positive I can make one myself and then we can do some other project with the money saved.
New lamp shades are on the to-do list too. Or I might just recover those myself too. For now the standard white will have to do.
Still working on the top of the dresser. I would like to find another lamp to place to the right of the tv. The room definately could use the extra light and it would help soften the edge of the tv.
So, that's the redo so far. I still have an entire huge wall to find/make artwork for. And then there's the matter of the strange little alcove area behind the door. Regardless of those things, I am in love with this room. I've gone from wishing our bedroom was just a bit bigger to feeling like it's my favorite room in the house. Gotta love a great paint and some fabric - it can work wonders for a room.
I found several interesting pieces. This I've learned is called a Banana Bowl. I'm pretty sure no bananas will ever be stored in it at our house. Maybe a few ornaments at Christmas though.
And then there's this three sided bowl. I haven't been able to find anything out about it yet. It does have three short feet on it so it's definately unique.
I found this one refered to as a violet pot.
And it has a taller steamed version. No info on that one yet.
See that clear rim on this one? It's from a line called Silvercrest. Originally there would have been a lid to the dish and it was designed as a candy dish. This one is missing the lid but I love it just the same.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
In theory, I like our white cabinets. They're easy to keep clean, they keep the kitchen looking bright and airy and I don't have to worry about the cabinet stain clashing with the wood (ok, laminate) floor stain. But the downside is those cabinets are a sea of white. With no suble variations in color/texture like wood, all that white gets to be a bit dull.
While browsing some wonderful blogs the other evening, I came across this kitchen update. In her third picture, you can see an open cabinet above the microwave. Perfect! A lovely and inexpensive way to break up all that white.
So the cabinet doors came off this morning. One problem though. The huge cord from the microwave.
It's not really finished yet but I think I like the concept. I stuck some things from around the house up there to get an idea of which I like better - decorative things or baskets. I'm leaning towards the baskets since they get bonus points because they would really hide the microwave cord. I need to measure the space though and get a couple that actually fit. I also like the idea of still having the storage space while bringing in some color and texture. Once I get it finalized, I'll post an update.
First slip on some shades and look at the "before". (Confession - this isn't really our fixture. I had to snag it off of a building supply site. I was so swept up in the moment of changing this thing that I forgot to snap a proper before shot. Bad blogger!)
It's Brasstacular isn't it?
Now take a look at what a can of oil rubbed bronze spray paint can do. Oh my gosh, it's a hundred times better. I think I could make it look even less builder grade if I switch out the ribbed glass shades (are they called shades?) for something different.
Now I just have eight brass ceiling fixtures to spray paint from the halls, pantry, laundry room, etc. And then there's the little matter of the chrome (yeah, chrome, not brass) "hollywood vanity" lights in the bathrooms. No amount of spray paint can help those things . . .
Sunday, May 24, 2009
A cabinet that has tons of practical storage potential . . .
To something much, much better looking and oh so useful for some additional kitchen storage.
Beside the paint, I changed out the wooden knobs for silver ones stamped with a fan pattern for the sweet price of $7.16 from the wonderful land of Target. Since I already had the black paint, this transformation only cost me a couple of hours of time (spread out over three days) and the cost of the knobs.
Yep, I definately love paint :)
***Oops, I should probably mention that in addition to painting, I did sand the heck out of this thing. I guess I'm so thrilled with the finished version, I forgot about that extra work that went in to it. So make that a couple of hours painting and a couple of hours sanding.
Monday, May 18, 2009
It took a while to figure out exactly what to do with them though. They've hung on nails, been tucked in an apothecary jar for a bit, but mostly they've just been shuffled around for the past year. Not anymore though. The frame is double matted so it's deep enough for the keys, the background is a sheet of scrapbook paper and the keys themselves are attached to a scrapbook journaling card using foam adhesive squares. And I used things I already had in the house so it took no time at all to put together.
To cover up some of the damage, I started out looking for burlap to make something like this. But then I spotted unbleached cotton. So casual and I love the texture of it. For $2.48 a yard, it was perfect.
So here's the sneaky part of the project - no sewing, just an iron and some hem tape. How easy is that!
So this runner cost a grand total of $3. I think I'm going to add a ribbon boarder to the ends. I'd love to add some fringe but the cat would chew it right off. It does cover some of the damage but you can see how uneven the finish is and some of the dings. It also looks like it's in desperate need of dusting - not sure what's up with that. I do dust. I swear :)
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
This little tool on TripAdvisor is a great place to find ideas for a road trip. Just plug in your area code or city and select a full, half or quarter tank of gas.
Ok, so what in the world is she wearing? Was there not one crew member that was kind enough to pull her over and whisper that perhaps the alien look was a bit over the top? Or maybe Lady GaGa was her guest stylist for the day - although if that was the case, I doubt she would have been wearing jeans, or pants for that matter. And of course she'd need to be carrying an open umbrella in the house.
I think I figured it out though. During filming breaks, the entire crew was playing "Rocky Horror Picture Show"! The host was obviously playing the roll of Magenta.
"It's just a jump to the left. And then a step to the right . . ."
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
So since I don't have a need for faux coffee and sugar in the living room, I turned them around. Still cute but they're needing a little something. Que the scrapbook rub-ons . . .
And voila! How cute is that little tin now? All dressed up with a "M" for our last name. Now I'm thinking the larger one needs a number on it. Maybe our house number. Or a "3" since there's three of us.
The hall to the guest bath and the laundry room is right off the foyer, you can see the entry there on the left side. Since there's no room in the actual foyer for a table, I found this tiny piece at HomeGoods to serve as our landing space for keys, the mail, cell phones, etc. Don't look to close at the bottom shelf, if you do, you'll notice that the reason this little table was so cheap is because the bottom shelf is put on backwards. The basket hides that little flaw just fine though. And it's a great spot for storing things that need to go out to the car with us.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Oh, that is so perfect for right now. Sure we have the daily drama of medical bills (thank goodness for insurance), having a hundred things on the to do list and just the general drama of life but all and all, it's all so good right now. We've got a roof over our head, enough to feed the family, Ben's getting stronger every day and Miss J seems to be overcoming the issues that cropped up during Ben's transplant and recovery.
Yeah, I don't know how it gets better than this :)
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
I'm wondering how these panels would look on my patio door and large kitchen window. I need something there, especially in the winter.
Or there's the valance option. No draft stopping power with that tiny amount of fabric though.
I'm thinking this bookcase could be a perfect spot for all of my used bookshop finds. What I save on books, I could spend on this (or as Ben would point out, I could just pass on the $1 sale books. Boys are so silly.)