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Archive for June, 2011

Today, I will introduce you to our downstairs powder room. This is probably the most “complete” room in our house.

Here is what it looked like before we moved in. Nice wallpaper, right?

 

And here’s what it looks like now…

 

 

The cabinet on the wall is temporary, as is the mirror. I’m having a really hard time finding a set with a cabinet that doesn’t have either a mirror or glass on in the doors.

 

I still need something to put this vase, maybe some artwork, and we have to re-do the tile in this room, but other than that it’s pretty much finished!

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Pineapple-Orange Martini

We’ve had quite a bit of juice around the house since we bought the Zoku. So, last night we got creative and made our own cocktails.

 

We used:

  • About 1/4 cup of orange juice
  • 3 table spoons of pineapple juice
  • 1 tablespoon of pink lemonade
  • A splash of Gin
  • 3 tablespoons of vodka
  • Sugar on the rim

They were very tasty!

Also, if you’re looking for some more new recipes, Jerika over at Mrs. Cummings RX has quite a few on her blog along with many other crafty ideas like these corky coasters.

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Lofty Ideas

Before I talk to you about my ideas for the loft (and hopefully get your feedback,) I thought I should give you a proper introduction.

Here is the best picture we have of the loft before we did anything to it. This was taken on the first day that I looked at the house, and it was probably 115 degrees outside. So, needless to say, it’s not the best picture of me either.

… and here is an overview of what the loft looks like now.

This was actually a feature that I didn’t know I had on my camera, so the odd compilation of images was unintentional.

The chandelier in the middle picture will go in the center of the room. I just need to bring in an electrician to  install it. For some reason the house was built without a light or fan hook up in this room, so we will have to have one installed. As for now, the room only has lamp light, and some overflow from the dining room.

This couch was FREE! Can you believe it? I’ve thought about re-upholstering it, but the velvet is in decent shape, and I really enjoy the color. I think once I find the perfect pillows I will decide that new upholstery is unnecessary.

This is currently what we have in the entryway to the loft. The candelabra is from Pottery Barn. (Obviously we need some candles.) We have one more in the alcove on the opposite side of the hall, and 2 in the living room downstairs. They are framing the fireplace.

The bookshelf is temporary (Ikea.) I do intend to keep a book shelf in that space, I just want to finish the rest of the room first to determine what would look best.

We are missing one picture for the left side… I just haven’t found one yet that will fit perfectly.  Also, the wall color and lighting look really odd in this picture. As you know, I’m not the best photographer.

I love this wine cooler! We got it Costco for 199 I think? Retail, these are around $540, so I think we got a good deal. 🙂 Oh, and do you like our one lonely bottle of wine?… I guess it’s time to replenish!

Note: We have never had the wine cooler full, so please don’t think we’ve gone crazy or anything.  

Also, I don’t really like the current placement of the wine cooler. It looks a little out-of-place, but I’m not sure where to put it.

This wall will eventually have 2 chairs and a side table. I also intend to put a small coffee table and rug in the middle of the room.

I’m not quite sure where to hang these keys yet… They are also from Pottery Barn.

In this corner, the tea cans on the side table are vintage, and all have something to do with a ship on them. The table itself was found by my mother at a yard sale for $12! The lamp is from My Sister’s Attic, and the flowers are from my wedding.

Oh, and last but not least…. Linclon! He’s my favorite.

Everything in the room was DIY. We installed the bead board, shelf… paint etc.

We still need to:

  • Install crown moulding
  • Install window moulding
  • Repair bead board moulding due to hardwood installation (We currently do not have baseboards in the room.)
  • Purchase side table
  • Purchase chairs
  • Purchase coffee table
  • Purchase rug
  • Make drapes
  • Purchase pillows
  • Add finishing touches

I will keep you posted as we make progress on the room. I hope you enjoyed the introduction! Please feel free to share comments/ suggestions!

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Extreme Couponing!

Yesterday, Matt came home with a story from work… Apparently, he has two coworkers/friends who are really into “couponing”. (I guess this is a verb now?) One guy says he hasn’t paid for deodorant or toothpaste since he started. The other gets three Sunday newspapers delivered to his house each week and has learned all of the ins and outs of  “the business.” Of course, Matt was extremely excited about this idea and wanted me to try it as a “hobby.”

Then, when he checked the mail yesterday, he found an Albertson’s flyer containing double and triple coupons! He immediately announced that he was going to save the flier for his friends. Apparently, “This is the kind they like!” Of course, this led me to shake my head and roll my eyes in a most dramatic fashion and Matt started laughing because he has always been aware of my moral opposition to couponing… Yes, I said moral opposition.

You see, to me, using a coupon is like waiving a white trash flag in the middle of the grocery store… I’m picturing an episode of Raising Hope where Jimmy gets embarrassed while on shift at his bag boy job because his family is traipsing through the aisles, making a scene and declaring they MUST use all of their coupons!  

… and believe me, I know this is a little extreme… elitist, whatever you want to call it, but I’ve always thought that presenting a coupon at checkout is just like using food stamps.

Obviously, I understand the fundamental difference. The idea of a coupon is that you are still paying for the item, and the coupon merely provides a discount. However, my question is whether you really need that discount? Is a dollar really going to make that big of a difference? If so, go ahead… use it. You must really need it. It just seems that in the grand scheme of things, your dignity should be worth more than the $10-15 dollars you COULD save each week IF you clip all of the right coupons and limit yourself to the things you have coupons for etc. In my opinion, my time is worth more than that. Other people seem to feel that way too. For instance, here’s an article on 8 Reasons You Shouldn’t Use Coupons from Financial Edge.

I must admit however, that the more I thought about the idea, my perspective began to change. This sounded kind of fun… like a sport of sorts. You could plan your weekly grocery trip like a well executed military maneuver. One person holds the coupons, the other loads the cart. (Of course, the coupon holder must direct traffic and let passerby know that, “There’s nothing to see here.” Since, in my mind people are always staring at you like a zoo animal when you have a coupon in your hand. ) Then, you go home and tally up your loot taking note of the amount of money saved. Week after week you have to beat yourself… and the challenge of course would be purchasing items that you actually need, not just items that you have a coupon for.  

Could it be done? – Yes. Would it be fun? – Probably (at least for a while). I could only do it for a couple of weeks though, and then the guilt would set in. The poor cashier would be required to do ten times the work, I would be holding up the line, and the store would likely lose out on profits. Not to mention the fact that the amount of time it took to prepare for my grocery trips would really bother me. I am after all used to picking up my purse and heading straight for the store, usually without a list.  

Perhaps if we’re bored one weekend, Matt and I will give it a try. If so, I’ll let you know how it goes. As for now though, I’m still trying to jump over the mental hurdles that have always prevented me from couponing.

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Lunch Notes

Sometimes, when I am too busy to make my own lunch, I get wonderful napkin surprises like this one!

Horrible handwriting and all, I am one lucky girl!

Also, I know I promised a review of Somewhere in my last post, but sadly the DVD had issues at the 30 minute mark and I wasn’t able to finish it.

Truth be told, I wasn’t impressed enough with the first 30 minutes to request another copy a.s.a.p. It wasn’t horrible, and I’m sure I would have “gotten into it” if I had the opportunity, but for now I’m hooked on ThirtySomething.

Yes, it’s dated at first glance… Afterall, it was created in 1987, but the premise is still very relevant and the characters are believable. You should give it a try if you’re looking for a TV show to watch.

See, you got a review out of me after all!

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By now, you are aware of my love for all things Coppola… Sofia Coppola that is.

She has a new movie out by the way. It’s called Somewhere, and it is being shipped to me via Netflix as we speak… review to follow. Stay tuned.

The exciting news however, is that she has teamed with Louis Vuitton to create a set of clutches and top handle bags! Here are my two favorites:

I think they are elegant, versatile, and understated… just how I like my bags. Oh, and I think these sunglasses would go very well with them. (Also LV)

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Boozy Pops!

This weekend, Matt and I decided we wanted to try making some shotcicles! So, we headed over to Williams-Sonoma, and picked up one of these clever tools.

We popped the Zoku in the freezer for 24 hours, and then we prepped our ingredients.

 So far, we’ve made margarita pops using plain ol’ margarita mix, and a little bit of tequila. We also made  pineapple pops using pineapple juice and vodka.

To answer your question, no, we do not just plan to use this to make alcoholic pops. In fact, I have some cherries in the refrigerator, and I think I will try a watermelon-cherry pop later today. 

Tricks to using the Zoku:

  • Allow the unit to freeze for 24 hours.
  • Do not wash with water until completely thawed (they recommend only washing it every 4-5 batches).
  • They say not to use artifical sweetners, as they may be difficult or impossible to remove from the mold. (Does anyone have experience with this?)

Matt and I bought the smaller 2-pop version because there are only 2 of us, and we didn’t want to always have an extra pop. Overall, we have been very impressed. They really do freeze right before your eyes!

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