Thursday, June 30, 2011

If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!

When I first started looking to buy a house, I didn't focus too much on the kitchen.  I'm not the greatest cook, and it isn't much fun cooking for one. So, I didn't need anything fancy or sizable, I just needed a kitchen.

My house had a decent sized kitchen, granted it was unusable because it had no appliances!

We ended up removing everything from the kitchen - cabinets, counter tops, flooring - All 7 layers of hideous flooring!  I did save the cabinet knobs since they were brand new.

I finally got around to cleaning my kitchen and taking the 'after' shots of the renovation.

Originally, there was no pantry, so we added a pantry where the A/C Unit use to be.
I have to give a shout out to Rachael Ray for this great pantry organization tip - Use an over the door shoe rack to organize all the little things!  It's a great help and saves a lot of space!

Unfortunately, there isn't really a dining room in my house.  So I have a small eating area in my kitchen.  Thankfully, I found this great table at Bed Bath and Beyond that fit perfectly!

I think my favorite part of my new kitchen is the 'chandelier' light fixture above my table.  I got it on clearance at Lowe's for $70!  

I am definitively enjoying my new kitchen!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Product Review - Filtrete Water Station

Filtrete Water Station
As an early birthday gift, my mom got me a Filtrete Water Station. I had seen the commercials and I thought it was a great idea since I always buy cases of bottled water. 

So far I really like this water filtration station.  It will definitively save me money.  The station costs around $35 and comes with 4 bottles and 1 filter. (Filters usually last 3 months).  Not only will this save me money, but I won't feel as bad for throwing away all those plastic bottles.  

I do have a few complaints.  First, it is not recommended to wash the bottles in the dishwasher.  I'm not a fan of hand washing, so I think I will try to just wash the bottle lids in the dishwasher and hand wash the rest.  Secondly, the station takes up some precious counter top space.  I already have far too many items on my counter top, so I may need to find a new location for this.  Lastly, the station has a spout so you can fill glasses or pitchers.  The problem is the height of the unit.  I had to prop the station up in order to rest a pitcher under the spout.

All in all, I really like this filtration system.  I will continue is use it in conjunction with my Brita Pitcher.  Thanks mom for a great early birthday gift!

As Long as You Love Me...

For our one year anniversary (April 3, 2011) I got Michael tickets to the NKOTBSB Concert.  I'll admit this was partly a selfish gift because I am a HUGE BSB fan! (I saw them February 26th, 2000 at the Superdome and January 27th, 2001 at the Georgia Dome.)

With my BFF Katie at our First BSB Show in 2000!

Getting all dolled up for the show in Georgia with Katie and Laura.

Michael loves 90's music and had definitively expressed interest in seeing NKOTB.  He even bought their greatest hits cd! So I knew he would be excited to see them in concert.

So after a 2+ hour drive to Lafayette we finally arrived at the Cajundome!

The show was amazing!  Nearly 3 hours of NKOTB and BSB songs!  They played all of their hits and then some! It was probably the loudest concert I have ever attended - the screaming fans were nearly deafening.  At one point Donnie ripped his tank top off and the crowd went crazy!!

NKOTB on the rising platform.

The one negative was our dancing neighbor.  She clearly didn't understand she needed to stay within her chair area.  She kept bumping into us!

I know Michael had a great time, he was singing along to all the songs!

I was very impressed by the set-up of the show.  They did a few group numbers, then Nkotb would sing 3 songs, then they would swap. And these boys can still sing and dance!  Nkotb has been doing this for 25 years and they are pros!  BSB has been performing for 18 years and you'd never know they weren't all in their teens and 20s.

It was a great show.  Michael is ready to see them again!

To view all my pics from the concert, click here.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Weekend Project

This weekend Michael and I decided to build a Compost Corral.  We had been talking about creating something to hold our organic waste, grass clippings and leaves for a while now.  And the compost will be great to add to our soil when we expand our garden in the fall.

We recently watched an episode of P. Allen Smith GardenHome and saw he had built his own Compost Corral.

We got all the supplies from Lowes for only $25.  We opted to build a 4' x 4' corral so we saved some money and only purchased (8) 8 foot landscape timbers.

Basically, you use blocks to raise the corral (so you can scoop the compost out from the bottom).  Then you make a base of landscaping timbers, drill a hole halfway through the ends and place the rebar in the timbers.

Then it's just like "Lincoln Logs", you just add a log to opposite sides and build all the way up.

But it can get a little cumbersome if the holes aren't exact.

This project only took us an hour!  It was extremely easily and I highly recommend it for anyone looking for a way to 'corral' your compost.

I can't wait for our next weekend project, a Custom Pergola!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

When you wish upon a star...

Are we ever "too old" for something? I don't think so.  I don't think we can ever grow out of the excitement that Disney World has to offer.  I've visited Disney World on 4 separate occasions.

The first in 1994 with my parents.

Twice while in High School.  In 2001, I had the privilege of performing as part of the Disney Magic Music Days on the Galaxy Palace Theater (which has since been closed) with my High School Band.  It was an amazing experience.

Then in 2003 we went to Disney for our senior class trip.

And most recently in 2007. 

My favorite Disney movies are 101 Dalmatians and Lady and the Tramp.  So I was very excited to eat at Tony's Town Square, the restaurant where Lady and Tramp shared that magical kiss.

And here is my best souvenir ever! I use it every day!

I can't wait to visit Disney again.  We are planning a trip for next year, and I'm so excited to take Michael to Disney for his FIRST VISIT!!

Since Disney is "The Happiest Place on Earth", I thought what a great theme for my guest room.  I have so many Disney collectibles that I would hate to pack away in boxes, so I decided to showcase them and make my guests feel like they are experiencing some of the Disney Magic in my home.

So here is my guest room pre-renovation.  

And here's my Disney inspired room!  

Hopefully soon you can Be Our Guest!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I hate tomatoes

Michael was brought up with a knack for gardening.  So when he suggested we start our own garden this year, I was excited but afraid because I don't have a green thumb.  I have quite the opposite, I usually kill plants just by being near them.

We discovered that here on the Northshore we have bad soil.  I'm not sure I would even call it soil, more like a clay/rock combo.  So after much debate we built a small semi raised garden.

So that was our garden back in March.  We planted 3 different types of Tomato (Creole, Roma and Pink Lady), eggplant, banana and cayenne pepper, corn and cucumbers.  I figured the more plants we had the better odds they would have to survive! Maybe we would get a few of each vegetable.

Boy was I wrong.  Our little garden defied all odds- bad soil, my un-green thumb, Louisiana heat, and no space!  Now our garden is exploding at the seams!

At first we had so many cayenne peppers I didn't know what to do!

But atleast I like peppers... Now we have so many tomatoes its ridiculous...

And I don't even like tomatoes!

So if anyone has any good recipes for tomato sauce, or salsa or anything with tomatoes please share them with me!