Tuesday, March 3, 2015

What's On Your....Kitchen Counter?

Last month 8 of us bloggers posted what was on our bathroom vanities. This month's post is all about our kitchen counters. I would love to share an amazing kitchen with all of you, but alas you will see the real deal through the pictures below. I did clean up a little for you because there are usually some dishes in the sink and mail on the bar. But you all get the idea...this is real life.


The kitchen is the heart of the home....is it not? The place where meals are made, discussions are held, junk gets piled and messes are all around. I have a feeling that my semi-picked up kitchen will only stay this way for a short period of time. When these babies come it is going to be filled with bottles, burp clothes, wash clothes and the like. But I wouldn't want it any other way!


When we moved into this home 7 years ago, we were thinking it would be our home for 3-5 years. So I really haven't done much to the kitchen other than adding a back splash. I dream of granite counters and painted cabinets, but feel blessed just to have a functional and pretty large kitchen for now.


Everything has a place. You can always find some fruit in our white bowl, cutting boards leaning against the back splash and some ingredients by the stove.




The bar side of the kitchen usually has some mail and news papers piled as well as my semi-organized drop spot that I showed you all here. I always have a pad of paper with our ongoing grocery list so the hubs and I can write down items right away without forgetting what was needed later in the week.






And of course what would be a counter without a little coffee station. An antique tray that I found for $2.50 helps coral the grinder and keeps the mess off of the counter top.


I really try to have some flowers in the kitchen to make me happy. Doesn't always happen, but it was my new years resolution a couple of years ago and I find the kitchen much more cheery with some pretty flowers...even if they are from the clearance section at the grocery. My dish scrubber always has a place to rest, which I find helpful when trying to keep the sink clean from grime and water spots.



And that is the exciting world of my kitchen counters! HA! So I am thinking you all need to spill the beans on what your kitchen counters look like at the moment? Come on mama's out there....make me feel better by telling me how crazy my kitchen might look with the little twins here in just a short couple of months!

Check out the good and bad from the rest of our blogging team:

Sarah- 702 Park Project
Brittany- Brittany French Blog
Kristy & Beth- Design Chic
Brenna- Domestic Charm
Mary Keller & Heath- Southland Avenue
Cathy- The Grit & Polish


Do you need some more kitchen inspiration? Check out my Kitchen Pinterest board Here!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Our New DIY Industrial Coffee Table

This post is a long time coming. I started this project with my brother and dad a few months ago and we finally finished before the holidays. I just haven't made time to take pictures and share with all of you. Some of you might remember that a coffee table was one of my 2014 Home Goals. We did finish in 2014..so I am making that count!



We have been living without a coffee table for our entire marriage. That is almost 10 years people! I really liked having an open space in front of our couch, but never realized what I was missing until this beauty came along.



Now we have a place for our drinks, snacks, feet....whatever! This table is so sturdy that we can literally stand on it to change a light bulb or dance the night away without worrying about the damage our hefty selves might cause.



My brother built the wood top out of reclaimed wood from an old pub in downtown Raleigh. He planed the wood and sanded it down to create a smooth surface.



My dad and I designed the metal base and welded the pieces together with heavy duty steel. I am working on a tutorial to share with all of you over the next couple of weeks. So stay tuned!



I added a few coats of clear polyurethane to bring out the color and knots in the wood and to give it a durable surface with no worries of water stains. I also sprayed the metal with a clear coating to protect it from rusting in our humid NC weather.





I absolutely love how the table came out. It really gives our living space some texture and life. I love combining different styles to create a space that I want to spend my time in.
So much meaning and hard work went into this piece. I can't wait to have it in the family for many many years. A HUGE thank you to my talented brother and father for helping me create a memorable piece. I loved spending time working on this with both of you!


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

{Pinterest Recipes} I've Tried and Liked

So if you are anything like me, you like to find some quick meals that taste amazing....right? I am becoming less and less of a cook as the years move on. I always get stuck making the same meals over and over. I often look to Pinterest for inspiration not just in home decor, but also meal planning. I know that Pinterest can be a bit overwhelming, but I really do love finding new recipes to try. Some have been "no goes" while a few have been put on our rotation list for our "go to" meals.

Today I thought I would share a few Pinterest recipes that we like and you will too!


These were so tasty and your house smells amazing all day while cooking. We had so many leftovers that I froze the extra chicken for another meal down the road.


These were so so good. I have also made these without the ground turkey/beef and added Quinoa instead.



This has been one of my favorites for over a year! I have made it for guests and everyone loves it. All of these ingredients and flavors combined taste amazing! Give it a whirl...you won't regret it!


Again...another one of our go to meals except I do not make my own enchilada sauce like they do in the recipe. I buy one can of medium sauce at the store. I have also added butternut squash to these which gives it a bit more flavor. Another way to make these enchiladas more simple is to create more of a bake layering the tortilla shells and then adding the ingredients in between the layers. Bakes the same, just cuts down on rolling and placing the shells.


So so good my friends! You can change up the fruit with the season. I have even cheated in the winter months and added canned mandarin oranges. This meal would be easy if you had left over chicken from a previous meal. Just add some good bread and you have a quick and tasty meal!


Yes...this is as good as it looks and can you imagine the aroma coming from your kitchen all day long? Try it!



Not gonna lie, this was not one of those quick and easy meals, but they taste amazing and are so good for you!


I just made this soup last week for the first time. Everyone in the fam loved it! To save some time I bought chicken sausage links and cut them up into pieces. The chicken sausage was just a regular sweet Italian rather than the spicy the recipe called for. I also added a can of  White Northern beans for just an added flavor. I would think this would freeze well too. Will have to try that!


This makes a great small meal or would be perfect for a side dish at a party. I love the sweet and tangy taste of this salad....even the Hub's liked it! He was skeptical at first. This dish says Spring or Summer salad to me! So much flavor! 


Okay...so I know this isn't a meal, but I made this last week and it was delicious. It didn't call for a whole lot of sugar either. So it is not only tasty, but healthy with the carrots and apples. I was too lazy to grate the apples, so I just chopped them into tiny pieces. 



So these have been some of my go-to Pinterest meals this past year. How about all of you? Any recipes that I need to know about stat? I am thinking of trying some freezer meals before these babes get here. I need to stock up!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Reader's Design Dilemma {Creating an entryway mudroom}

Happy Hump Day All! It has been a weird week here in NC with freezing temps, ice and snow. So we have been huddled under blankets relaxing with no where to go. If you live in the South you know that everything just shuts down. Even though it seems silly, it is a nice break from the Norm. Hope that wherever you are that you are staying safe and warm!

I am back today with another Reader's Design Dilemma. I absolutely love helping others create a space that will work for them and their family. This sweet reader is starting with a new home and needed some advice on paint, tile, entryway, built-ins and kid's room. Today I am talking about her one need for a mudroom or landing spot of sorts.
*********************************************************************************

I'm a long time reader of your blog and big fan also. 

We recently purchased one under construction home and it's still in very much initial phase. It is not totally custom house but builder is quite flexible for changes not related to structure.
Before I put my question ahead, I want to clear few things. I am not at all DIY person neither is my husband. I always wanted to hire someone who could help me visualize and guide me around the whole house.
We would like someone who can give us few basic ideas and guidance.....sort of like just make a few different mood boards and organization ideas. 
Let's start with the first need:
1) I really need some kind of landing sport/mudroom, when we enter from garage. I'm thinking to move the laundry room door down the hallway and use that narrow space as mudroom. Please pour your idea/suggestions on that.

Thanks,
Gopi

**********************************************************************************************************************************

So we started in that little entryway off of the garage since the builder needed to know where to move the door and some other structural issues. Here is the first floor plan: 


After entering from the garage, if you make your immediate left there was a door that led to the laundry room. We decided the best option would be for the door to be moved down the hall closer to the room to make space in that hallway for a small mudroom/landing spot. 

My first initial response to her question was to create a mini mudroom of sorts under the stairway like the images below:





This would free up space in her hallway and make use of that awkward storage space under the stairs. 

Gopi decided that she would rather have the mudroom space on the left hand wall and leave the storage space as is. So back to square one with finding her some ideas that would work. 






The only problem was that the hallway was only 3ft wide. The average bench or built in is usually wider than a foot and on average 18.5", leaving less than 2 ft to walk down that hallway. Gopi was also concerned that if they ever needed to remove the washer or dryer for any reason, that it wouldn't fit down the hallway with the built ins.

So to the design board once again. This time I came up with a removable idea that could be modified to best fit their family.


This was her response to the moodboard:
"I totally love this idea...movable ottomans and high storage shelves. Can you please send the links for those things. Do you think that wainscoting is needed if we go this route?"


I was please to know that she approved. We talked a little bit about adding the wainscoting to the hallway for character and practicality. It would be easy to wipe down from sticky fingers and mud that the kids would track in. So we will see what Gopi decides to do.

Now...on to making some decisions in her kitchen. Stay tuned next week!


What do you all think? How do you corral all of your kids outside "stuff"?

Do you have a minor design dilemma? Send it over my way at eatsleepdecorate(at)gmail(dot)com.




Friday, February 13, 2015

Decorating with a touch of Red

You all know that I am a fan of color. There really isn't a color that I don't like. Red use to be my favorite color. In our first home I even painted our master bathroom red. Like...red red. It took about four coats of paint and four people painting around doors, windows, tubs, etc.! I have learned over the years that in order to really enjoy color you have to interject it into your home little by little. Painting four walls red is quite a commitment and one I wasn't too pleased with after two years.

I truly feel that you get more of an impact when most of a space is neutral while adding color in accessories, accent walls or a piece of furniture. It creates a more cohesive/pulled together look.

Since Valentine's Day is tomorrow, I have pulled together some of my favorite spaces that showcase that "right amount" of red. You can take this same concept and integrate it with any bold color of your choice.



























So do you like decorating with red? Are you an all out bold Diva or a conservative lady when it comes to adding color to your home?



Have a lovely weekend! Hope you feel loved and appreciated on this Valentine's weekend.
XOXO





Thursday, February 12, 2015

Last Minute Valentine's Ideas

Well hello! I promise I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. Who knew all the appointments, classes and tours that come with expecting babies!? Not me...obviously. I told my husband it is like having another full time job just keeping up with appointments. Y'all never warned me!

Well I am back today to talk Valentine's Day. My mom always made Valentine's Day special. She still makes a pot roast and her most delicious heart bread to this day. We will be gathering with family on Saturday night to celebrate.


Last year I hosted a Valentine's Tea for all of my sweet friends. You can see the details Here. I so wanted to do that again this year, but really at 28 weeks pregnant... I don't have the energy. So I have been searching some fun last minute ideas to share with all of you instead!


1. Peanut Butter Cup Rice Crispy Treats
Of course I had to start with something yummy! I think I might have to make this tomorrow and I can guarantee I will be eating half of the recipe myself! Stop on over to Inspired by Charm for the details!




2. Free Printables:  Valentines Cards & Envelopes
These are absolutely adorable. I love that they can be interchanged and feel more personal than buying a card from the store. Plus they save big money! Have you noticed how expensive cards are now a days? Download this full set Here.




What a fun and inexpensive gift idea! You could create this for your significant other or for your child. I started working on this one for the Hubs. We will see if I can finish it in time. All you need is a deck of cards, a hole punch and a ring clasp (which you can find at staples). You can either type the words or write them with a sharpie. Tutorial Here





What a fabulous idea! If you are staying in for Valentine's Day this year or just want to make breakfast extra special for the kids, why not create your own table cloth or runner. It doesn't have to be expensive. Use an old sheet or left over fabric laying around the house. Add some black paint and presto......




These would be so easy and so much fun for kids. And...the fruit counteracts the donuts...right?





Also...do you need a little help on what to wear for Valentine's Day? My friend Megan put together two great outfits that are casual enough for a stay at home party or a night out at a friend's house. You can check out the sources here. If I wasn't preggo I would be buying that adorable Red Cami! And how comfy does that heart sweater and boyfriend jean combo look?




So what are you all up to for Valentines this year? I am thinking we are going to celebrate tomorrow night and try to avoid some of the crazy crowds. Or...we are going to order pizza in with a movie. That actually sounds so delightful! 

XOXO

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

What's On Your......Bathroom Vanity?

Welcome new and old readers! I am so excited to be apart of this fun series called "What's on Your?...." A few other fabulous bloggers and I will be sharing the pretty, the bad and the ugly around our homes over the next few months. To kick off this series we are looking at what we have on our vanities for February.






For the most part, this is one area of our home that we keep pretty well organized. I set up a tray in the middle of the vanity for the items that I use most frequently. 


The antique tray was found at a thrift store and holds my everyday facial products. Everything that I use in the morning and at night is at an arms length! 



I found these adorable acrylic canisters at The Container Store and the small bowl from Anthropologie. 



A quick and easy DIY....adding pebbles to a small vase to hold make up brushes! This has seriously been the cheapest and most used DIY to date!




That's it folks! Nothing too exciting on my vanity. This was one area that I thoroughly organized last year and now everything has its place. I have even organized the drawers, which you can check out Here. The Vanity was also painted Urbane Bronze. You can find my bathroom updates Here.

Next month you won't be as impressed....we will be talking kitchen counter-tops! Yikes.... Things are about to get real! 

Thank you so much for stopping by! Now let's see what the other bloggers have on their bathroom vanities....

Brittany French- Brittany
Design Chic- Kristy
Little Black Door- Elizabeth
Southland Avenue- Mary Keller & Heath




So tell me....what is currently on your bathroom vanity? We won't judge...promise! 



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