Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Internet Issue

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So I have been having some huge issues with my internet the last week. It would go off and on randomly and I could never complete a blog post or anything else really.

It was so frustrating. Finally I had someone come Friday and they got it up and working again.

I promise some great posts this week but tonight I owe my family some updates on my family blog. Hope you guys had a wonderful Memorial Day and I will be back here tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pinterest aka My New Favorite Website and a Tutorial

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So recently I have started using this new (to me) site called Pinterest. This site is absolutely amazing and has revolutionized how I search the web.

If you are anything like me, you have hundreds of sites bookmarked for one image. Maybe it is something that inspires you or something you want to make or have.

You may even have hundreds of pages bookmarked for recipes you want to try, books you want to read and places you want to go.
Well this site makes all of that so much easier. You have boards (kind of like a mood board) and you can "pin" a photo on any site and save to one of your boards.

It only takes a few seconds to pin something.

For example I just pinned a few photos from Pottery Barn on my living room ideas board. I love their Printer's Collection.

On my browser bar I have a little add on that says Pin It. I just click that and this page pops up with all the images from that web page.

I click on the image I want and another box pops up asking me on what board I want to pin it to and how I want to describe it.

Back on my boards I  can see all the images next to each other. Here is screenshot of my boards with my living room board highlighted. I just started so I don't have too much pinned

Also, Pinterest saves the website which you got the image from so you can go back to get your recipe or the detailed instructions to craft you wanted to make.

You can also follow other people's boards. It is fun to find people who have a great eye and follow the beautiful things they find.

Now, you have to be invited to join Pinterest (I am not really sure why) I just put my email on their waiting list and after a few days I got an invite. Once you are a member you can invite and find friends.

If you have a Pinterest account or you get one in the next little while you can follow my boards here.

What do you think? Are you interested in Pinterest or are you going to stick with your bookmarks? Or maybe even a combination of both?

I can tell you one thing, it has completely invigorated me to find new beautiful things and ideas!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Spring Has Sprung and Nursery Paint

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What a crazy weekend it was with blogger! I have to give props to the people who's job it is to fix and maintain blogger because 1) most of what they do is completely foreign to me and 2) I can't imagine how stressful things become when something doesn't go right and it is up to them to figure it out and fix it.

Not a job for me, I can tell you that.

Spring is finally starting to arrive in Alaska and with views like these outside our apartment I am feeling a little spoiled.

We are loving all the trails and things to do outside. We are trying to get out and enjoy it all. Our "to-do" list here keeps growing because there are so many things to go do and see.

One of our friends took her girls on a walk a few days ago and across the pond from her was a black bear mama and two cubs. A little scary but luckily they were far away so they could just sit and watch the cubs play.

Before we left on our adventure in Alaska we got quit a bit done on the nursery. First things first, we had to get the yellow out of there and get some fresh paint on the walls. If you remember from my nursery mood board I had decided to use Sherwin Williams Sassy Green and Heron Plume on my walls. I thought I would give you some before pictures. We were mostly using this room for storage since we had gotten home.

I was trying to get a move on and had already begun to tape the room before I remembered that I needed to get before pictures. I had shoved all the junk to the center of the room to start painting so please don't judge me on all the junk.


This door looks out into the hallway and the door on the left is the closet. Now this is a pretty small room at around 9ft x 9ft but, to be honest, they don't get much bigger in my house.

This is from the next corner looking at the closet door and window. The location of the closet is in this room has caused me some serious grief with arranging furniture and I think I am going to remove the door and hang a curtain to make arranging a little easier.

This is the the corner just right of the door.

Now here is a little sneak peak of the wall color now. Of course I forgot to take a picture of the walls before I started to move things in so I had to crop this from another picture I took.

I am excited to show you the progress of this room and I am looking forward to getting home to work on it.

In other news I started potty training Mr. U today. So far it is going okay but it has only been a few hours. Also, Mr P starts soccer this week. I might be crazy....

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Yummy Recipe: Breakfast Casserole

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One of my cute friend Amber asked me for this recipe so I decided I might as well share it with everyone. Amber is responsible for this and this recipe.

I actually made this for Mother's Day. My hubby isn't the best cook and since you make this the night before I thought it was a good compromise (he did the dishes.) Horribly, I didn't take a picture of it but I promise it is yummy!

Breakfast Casserole
6-8 Slices Texas Toast
12 Eggs
1 C Milk
1 Tsp Vanilla
1 C Meat, Cooked (crumbled bacon, sausage and ham are examples)
1 8oz Cream Cheese
2 C Grated Cheese

Butter a 9x13 generously.

Remove the crust and cube the bread and add to the 9x13.

In a large bowl beat your eggs. Add milk and vanilla. Mix until smooth and pour over the bread.

Sprinkle meat evenly over the top.

Pinch small pieces of cream cheese and add evenly over the top and then sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top.

Let this sit over night.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Shedding a Little Light on the Issue: Kitchen Lighting

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Whenever you look at designer kitchens they always have tons of light sources and beautiful light fixtures.

My kitchen was lacking both.

As I started looking for lighting I had to get over the idea that all the lighting in your home needed to match. I have almost always lived in a home with matched lighting through out the entire house. I was also overwhelmed at how expensive it could be! You can easily spend $300-$400 on one light fixture not to mention the expense of hiring an electrician to wire and install new lighting. That type of cash was completely outside my budget.

Luckily I have a ridiculously handy husband who comes from a family of ridiculously handy men. They can fix, install or build anything.

We went with simple lighting from IKEA. They had clean lines and they would help us add a lot more light to our kitchen. We (and I think you all know by we I mean my husband) also installed recessed lighting we got from Home Depot.

We first changed out the light fixture above the dining table.

If you remember I had this light before.
And this is the light after.
This light set us back 50 bucks. Not bad.

Now, over the cooking area and bar I wanted a lot more light. I only had two light fixtures before. One was over the sink and one was in the middle of the ceiling. Every time I did anything in the kitchen I was always working in my own shadow.

We added pendant lighting above the bar but before hanging the light we had to decide where to place them.

I stood there staring at the ceiling over the bar wondering how I could figure out how to center them and make sure they were even. I finally went online and found some great suggestions. 

First measure the width of your bar.

Find the middle of your measurement and mark the center of your counter top with painters tape.(If you like my counters you can find out how I painted them here)

Next you want to mark where the pendants will hang. Mark these spots with more tape. You may have to play with this a little. Just make sure if you are hanging multiple lights, that the distance between each is the same.

Next you want to take a very long piece of string and tie something heavy to the end like a washer. Attach the string to the ceiling with tape so the washer hangs directly over the intersections.

You may need to play with the positioning a little until you are happy. I would also recommend opening any cupboards that may get in the way to make sure you have given them enough clearance. 

Now you need to figure out the length of your lights. Take another piece of blue tape and mark the height of where you think you would like your light.

Stand and sit around your counter to make sure the height is right. I had my kids and husband sit at the counter while I stood on the other side to make sure that they weren't too low and then my husband and I switched.

My husband cut the holes and wired the lights.

We (again my husband) also wired some recessed lighting and ended up installing 5 new recessed lights.

Here is the before lighting.

And here it is after. One of the recessed lights above the fridge was cut out of the picture.

We also added wireless puck lights under the cabinets. I am not sold on them yet. I don't have any "hidden" plugs behind the cabinets so I can't really use wired lights without cords and plugs dangling all over the place so I am stuck with them as an only option right now. 

I am so happy with my new lighting. It is so nice to be able to see what I am doing and to create a bright and happy atmosphere.

A big thanks has to go out to my hubby for crawling around in the attic all afternoon to do this.

Love you babe!

So how about you guys? Is lighting that important to you or do you not really think about it? I know I really didn't until I started working on this kitchen. I am happy I took it into consideration and decided to add it to our kitchen.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Happy!

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To all you current and future mamas. Hope it's a great one.

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Best Peanut Butter Bars

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Like 1/3 of the world, me and some of my friends (and our kiddos) got to together to watch the Royal Wedding last week. We recorded it so we didn't have to stay up late to see everything and we all brought treats and snacks to share.

I brought The Best Peanut Butter Bars to share and now I am going to share the recipe with you.

These are seriously delicious and unlike most recipes they have peanut butter frosting instead of chocolate and did I mention they are ridiculously easy? 

So here you go.

The Best Peanut Butter Bars
1/2 C Butter
1/2 C Peanut Butter
1/2 C Brown Sugar
1/2 C sugar
1 Egg
1 C Flour
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1 C Oatmeal

1/4 C Butter
1/4 C Peanut Butter
1 3/4 C Powder Sugar
3 Tbs Milk
1 Tsp Vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

To make the cookie cream the butter and peanut butter until combined. Cream in the sugars until fluffy. Beat in the egg. Add the flour, oatmeal and baking soda until combined. Press into a 9x13 and bake a 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

For the frosting combine the butters and beat in the powder sugar. Add the milk and vanilla and mix until smooth.

Frost while still slightly warm.


One Awful Bug

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This week has just been yucky. My entire family has been hit by a terrible, no good, very bad stomach bug and it has been hectic at my home.

We are finally on the mends and since even momma was sick, my house was a disaster area. I scrubbed the house down today and I promise a new tutorial tomorrow.

Thanks for hanging in with me through all of life's adventures and we will see you tomorrow!
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