Thursday, March 28, 2013

Budos Band

I saw a reference to this band on another blog and had to check them out. They were described as "funky, groovy, instrumental afro-pop". I spent an hour or two downloading and listening to their music. Give it a listen, I think you'll enjoy it!

One of the comments about this song on YouTube was, "Sounds like the glorious soundtrack to a 70's film about hairy men driving fast cars, shagging chicks and punching bad dudes in the mouth. And it's one of the most amazing things I've ever heard." And I have to agree!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Kitchen Inspiration

Life is conspiring against me. For the second weekend in a row I can't paint the kitchen as I have other commitments. But NEXT weekend is the one, no matter what! I know its Easter weekend but I'm not going anywhere and will have Friday - Monday available to paint.

I thought since I can't paint this weekend, I'll share a little kitchen inspiration for my redo. Just to refresh your memory my kitchen has cherry wood cabinets and will have aqua paint with green accents. Here are the before pictures and my plans. To check out more of my inspiration you can view my Pinterest Kitchen Board here.

via Corbis Images

Retro Kitchen via The Kitchen Designers

Studio 26 Homes

via House Beautiful

by Loop Designs

Divine Kitchens

source unknown

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


I am so freaking excited, I have to share. Look what I'm purchasing off Craigs' List for $30!

Yes, that is a Schumacher Chiang Mai Dragon!!! For $30!!! I've been wanting one forever, but could never justify the cost.

I really hope I haven't just jinxed the deal. I pick it up Friday afternoon and cannot wait.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Screen as Headboard

I've been haunted by this image. Now imagine it with my emerald green walls and fluffy ruched duvet cover of my mood board here.  Except replace the above screen with this:

Pretty isn't it? I'm seriously debating purchasing it and using it as my headboard instead of the black chinoiserie upholstered headboard. But then I think I need to rethink my nightstands (they aren't purchased yet), and light fixture ... And so it goes.

Monday, March 11, 2013

New Kitchen Light

So I was a busy girl on Sunday. I painted the kitchen ceiling (3 coats of paint) and installed a new light fixture. It is so much brighter with the white ceiling! I love it.

The brown ceiling was hard to cover. I hope the wall paint covers better. I might prime the walls first then paint with a hope to get it done in 2 coats. I had planned to remove the ceiling medallion that was installed with the old light fixture, but found that there was an big indentation in the cement ceiling that needed to be covered. I didn't want to reuse the old 12" medallion because it had a wood grain texture I didn't like. I went to two home improvement stores trying to find a 12" plain medallion. I ended up with a 16" really simple one. It looks OK but is bigger than what I wanted. I didn't want to be without a light so I went with it (the old light was already down).

I had a little help with the new light fixture. I just couldn't get all the wires twisted together, hold up the fixture and screw it all together. I tried and tried. I got frustrated and called in the reinforcements. My brother came over for 15 minutes and got it done. (He's usually super busy but only lives a mile away so it was nice he was able to come help). A tip he told me was to attach the ground wire first and use it to hang the fixture (as long as it isn't too heavy) as you make the other connections. Then tuck everything up into the ceiling and finish the installation.

I like the new fixture. It's nice and bright. The old halogen light had adjustable heads so I was able to focus light under the cabinets. Now the upper cabinets create shadows on the countertop. I'm going to have to get some under cabinet lighting, I think. It's pretty dark on the counters. And to install the under cabinet lights I will need to switch out the current toggle switch for the exhaust fan to a switch and outlet combo. Hopefully that is something either I can do or my brother. I didn't budget for any electrical work. My pantry area is so much brighter with the new light. And the fluorescent bulbs will not heat up the kitchen like the halogen ones did.

Yea progress! I've got volunteer work and other obligations next weekend so I don't think I'll be able to paint the walls until the following weekend. I hope I have time to work on a couple smaller projects though.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Bedroom Mood Board

Emerald Bedroom

I'm wasting time, not doing what needs to be done for the day. I have to either go to Ikea and return some curtains or do laundry. Yet here it is almost 2:30 pm and I sit, playing on the computer.

As you know I've been frustrated with my house - stuck on how I wanted to finish decorating. I'm working on the kitchen and making slow but steady progress. I have a detailed plan that I'm happy with. It seems like all of a sudden since I've been focused on the kitchen my creativity has begun to flow for the other rooms in the condo also. I feel unstuck!

So late last night when I couldn't sleep I was thinking about my bedroom. I have most of the items already purchased in the mood board above. But I had no color direction. Everything is black and white with some gold (except the dresser is currently brown wood). I needed a background color. I've gone thru a long list: soft pink, fuchsia, pale blue, aqua (before I decided to paint the kitchen aqua), gray, white, a gold stenciled geometric on one wall, black and white stripes. Ugh! Yet another room where I couldn't make decisions. But last night I thought green. I've had a green bedroom since I was a small child. It makes me happy and calms me down. Why reinvent the wheel? Go green!

I pulled out my paint swatches (what - don't you have a pile of paint swatches around in various colors?).  In the past my green bedrooms have been either in the sage green or forest green family. I needed a green that fit the color story of the condo - turquoise, aqua, leaf green ..... and emerald! I know its super trendy right now. But I want a dark, vibrant green that fits in with the rest of the condos colors. And I'm not doing a little accent color or wall, I'm doing the entire room! Gotta love me some color. In my defense there is a lot of white and black to ground the room so it won't be too crazy.

So here is the current plan for the bedroom:

  • Paint the room emerald green
  • Make an upholstered headboard in black chinoiserie fabric - already have the fabric
  • Purchase malm dressers from Ikea and use O'verlays to zhush them up for nightstands (I desperately need more storage)
  • Hang sheer zebra drapes - already own
  • Hang the chandelier (or maybe replace the current broken ceiling fan with a cute one ((do they make cute ceiling fans?)). - already own chandelier
  • Upholster the chair in a greek key print - already have chair and fabric
  • Paint the dresser in ombre (another super trendy thing. Maybe just paint it white instead of the current wood tone?)
  • I already own the lamps and shades
  • I just purchased a Jonathan Adler for JCP pillow for the bed in black
  • I already own the white gathered duvet
  • Purchase new sheets in a complimentary color
  • I already own the sunburst mirror
  • Bring in a plant or two (the room needs some life)
  • Make / purchase art for one wall
  • Purchase split queen box springs - MEASURE FIRST!!! (my single queen box spring wouldn't fit up the stairs, so I purchased a platform bed, which I disliked. So I sold the bed a couple weeks ago and am sleeping with the mattress on the floor (I feel like I'm 20 and in my first place) until I purchase a split queen box spring and a hollywood bed frame. 
 So that is the plan. Just to be clear, I'm working on the kitchen first. I just needed to get this out of my head and on paper so I can stare at it late at night and pick it apart.

What do you think? Would you use emerald green in your interior or stay away because its trendy?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Ace Hardware Free Paint Saturday

This Saturday, March 9, Ace Hardware stores across the country will be hosting "Free Paint Saturday," which gives homeowners one free quart of Clark+Kensington Paint+Primer in one!  Customers can order their free paint in any color of their choice.  All you need to do is print out the online coupon.  Here is a link to it.

I think I'm going to try out an emerald green color. It's auditioning for my bedroom! But shhhh.... don't tell my kitchen. It will be jealous that I'm thinking about another room!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Kitchen Before Pictures

I thought I'd share the before pictures of my kitchen. It's a tiny space, about 6.5' x 12'. Let me give you a tour around the room.

To the right is my back door, which is the primary door that I use. This is my pantry. It works well, but is a pain to have to keep the black shelves dusted. The beige bin with the burgundy top is the dog food container, the two with the blue tops are the cat food containers. Above the dog food container is my recycling bin. Above the cat food containers are my espresso pods. I order 150 at a time from Amazon. Gotta have my daily latte.

Next up is the refrigerator. I'm not sure what the water spot like dots are in the pictures. Something weird happened with the flash. You can see the dog's food and water bowl on the floor.

I use a large picture frame with fabric underneath as a memo board. Thru the open doorway is the dining room.

The sink, obviously. The window is  north facing so the room is on the dark side.

This is all the counter top space and cabinets that I have. They are in great condition and about 7 years old. The solid surface counter top is a pretty gray with black, white and beige flecks. It really ties the room together. Keeping my kitchen gadgets and pots and pans edited is critical to making the kitchen work. I like the little shelves by the window for some pretty white pottery.

Back to the stove with the microwave above and back door.

Here is my brown ceiling and horrible halogen light fixture. It gets so warm in the kitchen with the halogen lights on. They cast weird shadows and the one light keeps burning out. Definitely time for an upgrade! I have a soffit around the perimeter of the room.

The floor is a pretty tan tile in good condition. Above is my new rug, the first addition to the updated kitchen. It's black and tan. I purchased it from

Again the plans for the update are:
  • Paint the ceiling white
  • Install a new, non-halogen light fixture
  • Update a yellowed electrical outlet and cover
  • Paint the walls and radiator aqua
  •  Add green accents
  • Make a faux roman blind for the window
  • Add a little zebra and pom-pom fringe
  • Make some artwork for over the knives
  • Update the rug
  • Paint the dog and cat food containers so they blend in better
  • Organize all my recipes
  • Add a mirror to the back of the door
  • Replace the kitchen faucet (I broke the sprayer this week, darn it!)

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Bathtub Stains

Ewww... sorry for the somewhat gross subject. My condo building is 60 years old. The copper pipes are slowly decaying causing blue/green water stains in my bathtub.

Not my tub
This picture is of the stunt double tub. I cleaned my tub without taking a picture and then thought that you might want to know this. So this picture is from the interwebs. Mine looked 100 times worse because I have a drippy faucet and the stain runs from the faucet down the wall into the tub. I've had this stain for maybe a year? More? (avert my eyes in embarrassment). I've tried every chemical cleaner in my arsenal trying to get this blue stain from my tub. Nothing worked.

Today while reading my email there was an ad for Hometalk, a home improvement site where you can make boards like Pinterest. I've spent time on there in the past so I thought I'd go see whats new. Well I ended up on a board and saw a tip on how to remove rust stains from a tub. It prompted me to Google blue/green stains and then I found my cleaning answer! (Why I never thought to Google an answer in the past can only be explained by the fact that I'm middle-aged and Google wasn't around to answer my life questions for the majority of my life so I don't always think of it).

I immediately jumped up and had to try it (I was still in my pajamas). Vinegar! I poured white vinegar straight from the bottle on the blue stain and like magic it went away. It even got the stain from where the tub finish is etched around the drain (it's a 60 year old tub). Apparently the water is acidic from the dissolving copper pipes and you clean an acidic stain with an acid like white vinegar.

It does make me wonder what this lovely acidic water I have is doing to my skin and hair. Maybe this is why my hair looks like a haystack (well a graying, mousey brown haystack).

So now you know. Blue stain cleaner = white vinegar

Saturday, March 2, 2013


I've been collecting ideas on how I wanted to update my blog for several weeks. I finally pulled the trigger and got it done today: simpler, more white space, bigger fonts (for my old eyes, not that you young'uns need it), emerald accents (Pantone's color of the year), and a zebra or two. I've been tweaking it all day so hopefully you didn't see anything too weird.  It looks pretty good on my computer screen but I know different computers show things differently with regard to size. If you run across something broken or wonky please let me know. Now if updating my picture taking ability were so easy!

I've added buttons so you can follow me on Pinterest and Instagram. I'm new to Instagram so there isn't much to look at now but I hope to change that!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Dining Room Chairs

So you know that I've moved on to redoing the kitchen because I couldn't make up my mind about what I wanted in the dining room, right? Then I found these on Craig's List:

6 beautiful brass chairs with that Hollywood Regency / Palm Beach Chic look that I like. And the kicker - they are $100 for all 6! Actually 6 chairs and the table for $100. I don't want the table so I've offered $100 and will donate the table and have the Salvation Army pick up.

But the frustrating part is that the people haven't responded to my emails (yes I sent two). The ad is still up. Are they still for sale? Why won't you take my money?!! I want those chairs!

In other news progress is slowly being made in the kitchen. The light fixture I want is out of stock locally. I'm debating driving 25 miles to pick it up tomorrow instead of ordering it online and having it delivered. I had planned to install it this weekend.

I'm going to have to blow my budget. I broke the sprayer on my faucet. Do you know how expensive interesting looking faucets are? I'm looking at a $300 faucet which is what my budget for the entire kitchen update is. The search for a quality "statement" faucet continues.

The fabric I want to use on my kitchen white board and window treatment arrived today! They look so pretty with my paint color. I can't wait to use them.

I also got some fabric samples for other projects around the house in my package. I'm having fun playing with my fabric and paint swatches tonight dreaming and scheming. 

I hope you have a fun and productive weekend!