Monday, November 26, 2007

Christmas Decor!

I just love this time of year! The house always feels so much cozier and "homey" with all the decorations out and when it comes time to take them down after the holidays, the house always feels empty for a few weeks! This year was the first year for a big tree. For the past five years, I've had a 3 foot table top tree that I decorated. We'll still use it, just probably out on the front porch or something! This year, I decorated using mostly celery greens, browns, matte golds, and reds. Here's the (mostly) finished product!

Our tree - 9 foot slim spruce
Our dining room "hutch" with garland
Centerpiece on the coffee table - pine cones and ornaments
The Christmas bar - where we hang our stockings!
Dining room
Close up of the ornaments on the chandelierView from the stairs going up the second floor (and yes, Harvey is on the couch - sneaky little guy!)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Week Four/Five Recap

Weeks four and five flew by and there really isn't a lot to show for it! Actually, I stayed busy, but the work involved a lot of little things that don't really warrant pictures. After the carpet was installed, I rehung all the doors only to find out that the new carpet is so much thicker and plusher than the old stuff (that's the good part) that some of the doors won't close without being shaved down (the bad part). So I spent some time trimming doors and painting them. Then I moved on to the railing in the living room and updated that with something more modern day. The last big update was to the kitchen. The cabinets have been installed and the appliances are in place. It's winding down and hopefully my next update will be the final one where you get to see pictures of the final product and the staging! Enjoy!
New railing (the old one was metal and a little too "heavy" for the space)
The new kitchen (minus countertops and backsplash!)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Gooey Butter Cookies

This recipe is so easy it's almost criminal! For those of you who have never experienced a gooey butter cake, you owe it to yourself to try it atleast once! These cookies are a miniature version of the famous cake and are little bite sized pieces of heaven! I made them for Kale's 35th birthday celebration. Happy Birthday Kale!
Gooey Butter Cookies
8 oz cream cheese - softened
1/2 cup butter - softened
1 egg
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 - 18.5 oz package of yellow cake mix
1/4 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350F. Cream together cream cheese and butter. Stir in the egg and vanilla. Add cake mix and stir until well blended. Roll into 1" balls and then roll the balls in the powdered sugar. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 13 minutes. Remove from baking sheets to cool on wire racks. Makes about 30 cookies.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Week Three Recap

Well, tomorrow marks 28 days that we've owned the property. My goal is still to be done in six weeks. With the approaching holiday, I may have a difficult time sticking to that goal, but it's still a possibility. The list of items left to do is getting smaller, but one item, the kitchen, is a large task. We've started gutting the kitchen and with the help of Roger, I was able to start hanging the upper cabinets. The big change you'll notice in these pictures are the new carpet. What a difference it makes!

New carpet in the second bedroom
New carpet in the master bedroom
Both sets of steps were carpeted. Here's the view going down into the lower level family room.
New carpet in the lower level family room
New light fixture, mirror, and towel bar in the main floor half bath. Hopefully, the new faucet will be installed by the next recap!
New faucet and vanity in the full bathroom
Toilet and shower doors reinstalled in the full bathroom
Kitchen demo begins. We're leaving the sink cabinet until we can get a plumber over to install a shut off valve under the sink. I was surprised there wasn't already one!
New cabinets going up. The lighting kind of makes them look a honey color, but they're a cinnamon maple. They already are making the space look brighter and cheerier.
New dining room chandelier

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

New Curtains!

Finally a project at our own house! I bought this fabric back in August and it's been sitting ever since! Our walls intimidate me because they are about 12 feet tall and every drapery panel that I've ever seen in any catalog wasn't long enough. These panels wound up being a finished length of 126", so right at 10 1/2 feet. The bottom 15" is a different fabric. It's actually fabric that I special ordered to upholster a window seat and a bench that we have right as you come in the front door.
Close up of the coordinating fabric
Our living room - rather than do panels on both sides of each window, I decided to do a panel on each of the far ends. The other panel isn't shown in this picture because I couldn't scoot back far enough to get the whole thing in the picture! Next project: something to go above the tv! I'm thinking a decorative metal grate.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Week Two Recap

Well technically, it's been more than a week since I gave my last recap, but I was out of town visiting with college friends for 4 or 5 days, so this marks the second week of work. So here's what I've been up to...

I tiled the entrance

Tiled the bathroom floor and added a new tp holder and towel bar (not shown)

Painted the downstairs family room (including trim), replaced all the vent covers, outlet, and switch covers, and installed four new sconces.

Close up of the new sconces

Installed a new vanity light in the bathroom

Installed new shelving in the upstairs linen closet

and finally, installed new shelving in the pantry

Harvey being a good watch dog!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Jewelry featured in Saint Louis Bride

I received some exciting news on Wednesday! The editor of Saint Louis Bride magazine called and she wants to shoot some pictures of my jewelry to feature in an article on bridesmaid dress trends! My understanding is that the jewelry will be used in a details section and my business name, website, and pricing information will be featured in small print under the pictures. As soon as I know more, I'll post. The magazine goes to print in December and will be on newsstands in January.

The magazine's website is I've always been impressed by this magazine and used it as a reference when planning our wedding last year. I'm so excited to be a part of it!