Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hutch Love

My latest painting project was quite a doozy, let me tell ya.  I've slowly starting realizing why I used to get into so much trouble whenever I would nick my parents trim, doors, walls and painted furniture.  I now realize the amount of time, patience and effort all these things take.  I'd just like to say to my father, "I'm sorry...I'm so sorry."

This hutch I just completed had many nicks.  Many, many nicks.  A few of these were so deep that you could see the red shining through the black.  The red was the first color this hutch was when my parents bought over 15 years ago.  Five years later my parents turned it to forest green.  It remained that way another five years until my parents decided to do a complete overhaul of their family room.  They went a little too modern for the hutch to fit in anymore.

My senior year of college was the first time I got to decorate an apartment.  My friend Rachel and I were happy taking any hand me downs possible.  That little hutch got painted black and was then placed into my loving hands.  Pretty much the coolest piece of furniture I owned for the next four years.  OK.  It still is.  I love this hutch.  I'm afraid I'll never be able to part with it.  And now that I've painted it so freaking awesome, I REALLY can't part with it.  I'm sorry Chris.

I know you guys are jumping out of your seats right now, so I'll finally let you see it.

I know.  My obsession is weird.  But if you ever get to see in it person...

First step of repainting was to sand.  I didn't really have to, but I just felt like coat four was getting up there and it needed to happen.  Plus the black was glossy and I got scared thinking about all my old nicks.

After a solid hour of sweating in 90 degree weather with my mask and goggles on while annoying the neighbors with my sanding, here is what I was rewarded with.  It brought me back to middle school.

Quick!  Paint it!

You all know what comes next...good ol' primer.   I got a little lazy and decided one coat would suffice.

So before I unveil my beautiful new and improved hutch, let me remind you that it has held many things.  It's seen many collectibles, many pictures, many glasses, dishes and recipe books.  But it has never looked this good before.  I'm tooting my own horn.  Sorry mom.  The lighthouses were cool and all but...

I used the same color that is on the chairs for the inside, and used leftover light brown paint from the master bathroom on the outside.


And close up!

And now with some of my wonderful new shower gifts!  Ah!

This one is really just cause I love taking cool photos with our new camera.

I'm so happy with it, can you tell?   I know it's all becoming a little more beachy than I originally anticipated, but it I think it's a good thing since I'm Utah.  It makes it easier to dream we are somewhere tropical.  Sigh.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday Night Treats

I tried another new recipe from Better Home and Gardens tonight.  It was delicious.

Lately I've been working on putting together a recipe book to get rid of all my random scraps torn out from magazines and printed in random forms off the internet.  While searching on BHG website for some of their recipes to cheat and copy and paste, I noticed one called Rosemary-Strawberry Shortcake Pizza.  I remembered seeing it in one of the latest issues and thinking it was a maybe then.  Realizing I had a lot of strawberries to go through since my local Walmart was out of the smaller containers, I figured "why not?"  The neighborhood garden exchange lady had a plethora of rosemary so I walked the few blocks to snip one off (she told me I could...I swear).

As I was making it I was thinking to myself, "this cannot be good...I really don't even like rosemary that much.  Chris probably will hate it and this is going to be a total waste."

Boy was I wrong.  It's delectable aromas started wafting out of the oven right before the timer went off.  Chris' eyes lit up when he saw there was sugar on top...it must be good, right?

He started tearing off little bits as soon as I was done snapping a few pics.

Then it called for honey tossed berries.  I probably didn't need to add the extra calories, but come on, why stop here?

Top it with a little ice cream and here is a nommy treat all tucked away in one of my new turquoise fiesta bowls. 

Here is the link because I know you need to try it yourself now: http://www.bhg.com/recipe/rosemary-strawberry-shortcake-pizza/

Thursday, August 23, 2012

So Fresh & So Clean

Finished the dining table a few days ago and I can't stop smiling every time I look at it.  Days and days of hard work truly paid off.  I'm so happy with the results.

I tested the new rug I got from Mary & Bence sisters at my shower underneath the table, but decided that it looks better off to the side.  It's just too jazzy to be hidden.

And for those of you who attended my bridal shower last Sunday, you will be happy to see that I am finally unveiling my teal camel.  I swooned over this baby when I first laid eyes on him at the Gresham Pier 1.  Of course, it took two more weeks for it to even arrive at the store in Provo.  The lady recognized my voice when I called on the day it actually got unpacked in the store.  She already had him on hold for me.

Here is our table pre me going through six sanding pads to get back down to the untouched wood.

Looks very nice, yes?  Mary actually painted the table black and refinished the top a few years back.  She informed me at the bridal shower that it used to be exactly what I just turned it back into.  Love it.

Here is after the insane sanding spree (I made Chris help halfway through because my hands felt like jelly).

I skipped the primer shot because it would have been a spoiler.

Here is the finished table with my wonderful rug underneath...

And here she is with the teal camel!!!

What was that? You want a close up?!?  I suppose...

And, no, he is not for sale.  Way to valuable being the ONLY teal camel in Provo, Utah.

Spoiler alert for the next post.  See that black hutch in the background of the first shot?  Might be my best work yet...

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Bridal Shower in Beaverton

Just got back a few days ago from another short trip to Portland.  This one was thanks to Chris' mother Mary and the Bences' close family friend (a.k.a. second family), Kathy.  Mary has thrown a few bridal showers for two of Kathy's daughters, Kelsey and Katie, so Kathy wanted to reciprocate the gesture.  Lucky me, right!? :)

I had such a fun time at this shower that I didn't stop to take any pictures!!  Crazy, right?  So unlike me!  Good thing Mary took a few that I could steal off Facebook and throw on here.

The decorations were super cute and I loved the fun pink and orange colors she chose to go with.  She even threw in a few bridges for me!

And a shot of my new second family Kari, her son Will, and my future sister-in-law Kelly.

Here are a few of me opening gifts after a very embarrassing, but fun of course, game where I had to guess answers that Chris had given to them for about 20 questions.  I didn't do so well, but I think people got a pretty good idea of our dynamic at home.  I'm still blushing just thinking about it.

This one is of the awesome cutting board that Kari, Kelsey and Katie got for Chris to help with his dicing skills.

And here is me entranced by the amazing recipe book that my family friend and teacher from high school, Linda made for me.  Linda has always created fabulous, touching gifts at every occasion.  She is so kind and sentimental.  I got a little choked up later when I read the inscription.

It was so fun to catch up with people.  There was a great turnout of family and friends.

Here are a some shots of a few of the gifts I received...I love all of them equally...including the ones not pictured. ;)

My dining room West Elm rug from the Bence ladies.

Recipe book from Linda.

Inscription that made me cry.

Recipe I'll be trying very soon...

Pottery Barn lantern from Chris' cousin Lizzie.

Kitchen E A T letters from Linda and C&B Ruffle Pie dish from Kristen.

Some Fiestaware from Grandma, Mom & Aunt Diane.

And my amazing Kitchen Aid mixer from the other second family, Dave and Terry.  So purty.

My home is getting so much fuller and more amazing thanks to all of my fantastic friends and family.  Love you guys so much!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Monday Pizza Rolls

Not that I'm a huge foodie, but I do enjoy trying a new recipe every now and again.  Since we have a million tomatoes even after giving some away the other day, and some fresh basil from the neighbor, I decided today would be a good day to make a recipe I pulled from my August issue of Better Homes and Gardens.  They looked so delicious in the magazine, I had to see if they tasted just as good.

I asked Chris to be a sport and try them since he's not a tomato fan.  He actually agreed without too much pleading...I was pleasantly surprised.  He so adventurous these days!

I didn't capture any "in the making" shots since I wasn't thinking mine would turn out as attractive as the ones featured in the spread.  Imagine my surprise when they actually looked better!  In my opinion anyway...check these babies out!

And close up!

 Chris' nommy plate.

They actually tasted just as good as they look!

Here is the link if you're interested in making them yourself:

One comment I will make is to add more tomatoes than what the recipe calls for.   Or even spread a thin layer of pasta/tomato sauce before you put the prosciutto down.  It was absolutely delicious, but very bready!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Garden Exchange

Imagine my delight this morning when this little paper was sitting on the mat inside the front door.

Chris had been in and out earlier to read on the front porch and didn't even notice it!  I seriously had just been exclaiming about the abundance of tomatoes we have due to this insane Utah sun.  I go out to the garden every morning and have about 10 more ripe ones to grab.   These were all picked in the last few days.

I was on my way upstairs to start researching recipes even when I noticed the paper.  I instantly had a huge smile on my face because this was such a brilliant idea.  So many people in the neighborhood have gigantic gardens that were started before mine, so I'd been busy envying them this past last week.

Chris and I had even been talking about joining a CSA so that we could get fresh veggies. They actually have a few year round ones here in the Provo area.  Perhaps we will start later in the year now that we know there is a neighborhood garden exchange!

I grabbed two of the above containers and made Chris walk with me over to check out the stand.  Turned out to be this crate in front of a house down the street about a quarter mile.

How awesome, right?!  I was so excited! We checked out the inside and this is what we found (our tomatoes down there).

Here are the instructions printed to keep it organized.

Chris went and knocked on the door of the house so we could meet the genius that started this up.  She is a lady named Nelly who told us she loves gardening and always grows way too much every year so she decided to share with the neighbors and hoped they would do the same since her pepper plants and a few others didn't make it this year.  We told her it was a brilliant idea and we would definitely be back.

I snagged a few items before Chris and I headed home.  You can see her plethora of herbs just over my back in this picture.

Fresh basil, mint and parsley (my plants are still babies).

A beet and yellow zucchini.

They did have some lettuce too, but I was feeling a little greedy.  I'll grab it next time.

I'm pretty sure Utah just scored a point against Oregon in the community garden arena.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Tequila Mockingbird

No, Tequila Mockingbirds were not a drink served at my bridal shower Saturday before last, but I thought it was quite the clever name for one at a book themed party.  I agree it might have been a little strong for a Sunday afternoon get together, but thought it was funny when the girls mentioned it.  We did, however, have some delicious champagne and juice drinks provided by my friend Anna.

So have I mentioned that I have great friends?  My bridal shower is one example of how creative and thoughtful they are.  Everywhere I looked was another one of my favorite things.  And I was so blown away at how stinkin' cute Kristen made her home for me. 

Against my nature, I actually got to her house early and happened to be the first person there.  I snapped a few pics before the table of goodies got destroyed.  But, true to my nature (and apparently everyone else at the party) I took no pictures once guests started to arrive.  I got so caught up in seeing everyone and chatting that three hours simply flew by and I didn't get one single picture of myself or friends. WHOOPS.  Next shower I promise I'll remember!

Here are the few pre shots I did manage to snap.  And Kristen always told me she wasn't crafty...

Table with Swedish Fish, wrapped mini cookies, peanut butter filled pretzels, white bread & Lamb's red velvet cake. MMMMmmmmm.

The cake was absolutely delicious and so cute!  The Portland guestbook was such a fun idea now that I'm in Utah...it's my new coffee table book.

She put together the L-O-V-E frames herself.

Fun paper chains (made from dictionary pages) and poofs.

She also made this wreath out of the dictionary paper.  So awesome!

She wrapped up all her books on this refurbished Craigslist shelf to get even more into the theme.

And here are the oh-so-wonderful invites that she sent out to everyone.  Designed by Kristen and printed at Kinko's.  She used dictionary pages as envelope liners!

This was the gift I opened from the whole group of ladies at the shower plus a few others that weren't able to make it.

The inside was cut out to reveal a full on Spa day at McMenamin's Edgefield the week before the wedding.  Best friends ever!!!

And of course, here is the adorable kitty paper Kristen wrapped my gift in.  LOVE and want to steal.

A big THANK YOU to all my friends for the amazing time I had at my Bridal Shower.  I can't wait to get pampered with that gift!