2012- How you doin’?

Well, hello there! Long time no see read :) I had to travel a bit for work this week and the bad news is I had no time for blogging. The good news is I got to go to Ikea all by myself. You’ll be seeing some more of that soon but for now I thought I would take a little time to check in on my 2012 goals.  Let’s see how I’m doing. I kept the goal and updated in red below…

Around the House:

1. Bonus Room – We use the bonus room lots for watching TV and just lounging around. It is really comfy and cozy but it needs some love and color. And it needs it to be cheap. We’ll see what happens. I actually have a plan for this- curtains, paint, a new chair and some super fun accessories. I’m going to count this as progress. 

2. Guest Bedroom– It’s not awful but it needs a little something. We’ll see how we can spice it up a bit. Nothing here yet, but I am starting my mental plan. That does not quite count as progress. 

3. Laundry Room– this is a teeny room that gets a lot of use so I know I can’t have one of those luxurious, chandelier-ed laundry spaces, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be prettier. Things can always be prettier, right? We hung the hooks I got for Christmas which has drastically helped in the organization department and, like the bonus room, we’ve got a pretty good plan for some shelving and lighting. More progress, it just needs more money. 

5. Grow something- At my old house, I had the most wonderful little herb garden. I would go out there and cut whatever I needed for for whatever I was cooking right then. I would add some veggies and fruit in the spring and I just loved it.

In this house, I added a few herbs right out the back door last year, but I am ready for a real garden in the back yard. It will happen!– I count this one as a major success so far! I’ve started seeds, almost lost my whole “crop,” and made them a little bed.  I can’t wait to show you the progress (next week, hopefully :)) 

And then planting some tulips in the fall. Watch out Spring 2013! This one isn’t even “due” yet. Check back this fall. 

6. Hang Curtains- in my BFF’s house. Yes, BFF, this is important enough to make the list. She painted her bedroom the most fabulous teal-ish color and bought these at World Market. I just need to pack up my drill and level and head to her house. I wonder if she would even let you peek at the finished product? (hint, hint :)) CHECK! This one is done and looks GREAT and she even let me share here. Thanks, Bff! 

4. Light It Up- I have 2 sets of lamps from the flea market that are in desperate need of a make-over. One set is even on our bedside tables and gets used every day! I have been waiting seriously over a year to redo them. I even bought the paint so I need to get those done! Half success? I actually got the ones below completed (thanks to some wiring help from my daddy- THANK YOU!) but I just haven’t had a chance to write it up yet. The others, I have no idea what I’m going to do with. Oh, and I added another lamp to the redo list. And I may have gotten a shade for it at Ikea, but you’ll see that soon enough :) 

5. Christmas in July- Well, maybe not quite that early, but I hope to start decorating, shopping, planning, wrapping and all that jazz way earlier this year. Christmas came so fast last year, I want to be ready this time around so we can just sit around and enjoy every second. I have a few more months. I’m not even procrastinating yet. 

 In the Kitchen

1. Add Some Variety- I cook, lots. And I love it. I can have a stressfull day then come home and chop up veggies or bake something yummy and it really makes me feel better (the eating it part helps too) but sometimes I just run out of time to try new recipes. I have some really, really great cookbooks so I want to use them more and try new things. I’ve tried several new things and used both of these books and a few other new ones, I just haven’t written them all up yet. I’ve also fallen madly in love with Pioneer Woman. Her meatloaf is life changing. Yep, I really mean it. Life Changing Meatloaf. 

2. Try Some Classics- For some reason there are a few things I’ve never tackled. I would like to change that this year. Here’s what I’m thinking:

  • Lasagna- I’ve made the veggie variety but never the classic stuff and I love me some lasagna. no attempts, yet, but P-Dubs recipe may be all I need to inspire me. Yummmm. 
  • Chicken Broth- I’ve heard it’s easy, so why not try making my own? Not yet. Boo. 
  • Roast Chicken- We eat just about every kind of chicken out there. If you really are what you eat, I would be clucking this to you. But I’ve never roasted a whole chicken.   Let’s change that this year. Not Yet, I’ll get there, right?
  • Real Biscuits- I have made real biscuits before, but its been awhile. Like it may have been for a 4-H project. I got a new pastry blender for Christmas so I am armed and dangerous ready for some fluffy, yummy biscuits. This past weekend I made some super yummy homemade biscuits. OMG, they really were great. I will share STAT!! 
  • Fried Chicken- My Mama makes the BEST so this is probably the most ambitious but worth a try. I’m still really good at eating it, but haven’t tried to fry it. Mama, teach me, please?
  • Creme Brulee- Have torch, will scorch. Eventually. You can guess the answer here- not yet. 

Organization

1. Jewelry- I’m not a crazy jewlery wearer, but somehow I have a drawer overflowing with it and various boxes in the closet. It’s insane. I forget what I have. It’s not working. I need therapy organization. Check! And it’s still working. Yay for successful organization! Read about my FREE project here

2. My Closet- I may not be a crazy jewelry wearer, but I am that crazy shoe girl. I have some shoes. Don’t ask me how many. I also have some clothes to wear with said shoes. Sometimes these items end up on the floor. And sometimes they stay there. What I’m saying is my closet does NOT look like this.

It needs some love this year and some regular maintenance. PROGRESS! It’s no where near perfect, but we’re getting there! 

3. The Office– Papers beware, I’m coming for you. It took 2 tries, but CHECK! The office is working much better thanks to some initial purging and some help from the Container Store! 

Blog Goals

1. Home Tour- I have blog stats. You’re  clicking here, I see you! I bet you would like something to look at, right? I’m working on that. Maybe I’ll show you a room per week? What do you think? One word- FAIL!

2. Design/Mood/Inspiration Boards- I am always seeing things that maybe wouldn’t fit in my house but that I love and they inspire me so why not put together and show you what I’m thinking. Just maybe they’ll work in your Home Sweet Here. Ditto.

3. Get to know you- This is for you. There are not a bajillion of you out there reading, but there are some of you (see #1- I see you!) and I love you already. When I get a comment notification or a new follower, or even a “like” it makes my day week. I just ask that you don’t be shy! Let me know you’re out there. Say hi! If you don’t want to leave a comment where everyone can see, email me or use the contact page. This is just a side hobby for me, so it may take me a day or 2 to get back to you but I will, that’s a promise. So many of you have told me that you were working on a similar project- show me! I want to see. Let’s share. Sharing is fun. How are we doing here? You tell me, maybe in a comment :) 

And a few personal things

1. Take a vacation- Yes please, stat. My little work trip does not count, but we’re hoping for sun, sand and relaxation in the fall. When all the kids are back in school. Peaceful :)

2. Paint my fingernails- Sounds ridiculous but I never do this. Ever. Sitting still for that long is hard, but I covet pretty painted fingernails. I actually did this a few times. I need to do it a few more. I may get all crazy someday and get a real manicure. Living on the edge for real. 

3. Enjoy- Everything. Simple enough, but that vacation will probably help ;) A work in progress, but I think I’m doing quite well. 

So, I’m thinking I’m doing pretty good for May, right? There are still lots to do but it’s nice to have a few checked off. How are your goals going for the year? Are you enjoying checking things off your list? It kind of makes me feel like I can accomplish a few more things, maybe I’ll go paint my nails and roast a chicken. See you next week :)

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BFF Staycation Part 2: Foodie Fooderson

When we were last together,  I took you along to the flea market with my fabtabulous BFF for some thrifty finds and told you there was lots more where that came from. I wasn’t lying, let’s move onto the food, shall we?

You must know that Sarah is an ah-mazing cook and every time I go to her house it’s a guarantee that I will feel ill because I eat too much of too good food. Yumm. So when she offered to start our day off with waffles, I said HECK YES!!! Are you ready to be jealous? Take a look at the fixins’

(just a little side note, this actually occurred before Easter so her runner was completely in season, my blogging is what’s behind on the times.) Anyway, back to the food and can I just say Oh, bless. That is Nutella. Hazelnut heaven in a jar.  Put it all together and sprinkle on some chocolate chips and there you have- waffle heaven on a plate. Bless, again. 

Oh my. And we were just getting started. We made our way to Destination #1: the Flea Market at the Nashville Fairgrounds and as you can imagine worked up quite an appetite. We were brainstorming about where to go for lunch and Sarah remembered a place she had heard of called “The Grilled Cheeserie.” No further explanation was needed so we googled and found out it was a food truck and not that far away from us. Buckle your seat belts, we were there and it was love at first site. 

Sarah and I went with this food truck like peas and carrots, Easter and a bunny, cheese and bread…

True love. Take a minute or 30 to look at the menu and drink selection, that’s what we did. 

The special of the day was a mini grilled cheese and tots so that made up our minds. I had smoked gouda on sourdough with bacon (pause to wipe the drool) and pickles. And of course tots. Who can resist tots like these?

Sarah got rosemary bread with buttermilk cheddar, bacon and pickles and of course the tots. I didn’t want to hear “give me some of your tots, man” throughout the entire lunch. Just kidding, but I’m glad I didn’t have to share.

In true food truck fashion, we opened up the back hatch and tailgated in the parking lot.

I have eaten at a lot of different places on every end of the spectrum, but this was my first real food truck experience. It did not disappoint- until it was gone. I must mention they also had a squeeze bottle of “herbed mustard.” I got a little container of it just to see what that was all about. Holy mustard, batman! How did I live before tots dipped in herbed mustard? As soon as my little garden is full of herbs, we are going to try to make our own.

We shopped on (more on that later) and despite our full-of-cheesy-goodness bliss, we got hungry again. We stopped one more place- Hot &Cold and I failed to take pictures for 2 reasons:  one it was a small super trendy spot with spectacular hipsters behind the counter and more Tory Burch flats waiting in line than in Nordstrom and I just couldn’t pull the trigger shutter; two it was so good that the 2 seconds it would have taken to take a quick picture would have been totally devestating.

Hot & Cold, as you can imagine has coffee (Nashville’s own Bongo Java) and ice cream (Las Paletas gourmet popsicles and Jeni’s Ice Cream). Once again, we stared and stared at the menu for longer than socially accepable before deciding what to sample. Yep, that long to decide on a sample. It took one teeny spoonful of Brown Butter Almond Brittle to make up my mind. OMG. I have never tasted ice cream like that before. I could eat it everyday, for a month, then I would have a heart attack but die oh so happy with an ice cream mustache. 

And there you have it, how 2 hungry BFFs ate their way across Nashville. I’m going to have to go get a snack after reliving this. While I’m gone, please leave a comment about your food truck, ice cream, whatever food experiences so I can add them to my list to try AND also beg my awesome BFF to share some of her amazing recipes, tricks and tips with all of us here. She’s a teacher and crazy busy right now, but I bet if we all beg she’ll totally have the time this summer-pah, pah, pah-lease???

BFF Staycation Part1: Thrifty Thrifterson Flea Market Shopping

Well, Happy Monday! Have you ever had one of those days that lasted like a month in a good way? Well, I sure did! A few weeks ago, by BFF and I took a little Nashville Staycation and crammed so much fun (and food) into one day that I have had trouble sharing it all because it really was so much fun, I didn’t know how much you could handle :)

So, I’ve decided to break it down into chunks so you don’t have to devote an entire day to being jeal reading about our fabulous BFF day.

First of all, let me introduce you to my BFF. Her name is Sarah and she is amazing. Here we are in Vegas being fabulous a couple of years ago.

This is typical us- all dressed up, five-star hotels, partying with Kardashians (for the record- I am not Kardashian obsessed, but they were really there when we were and we really saw them. I may have run across the Venetian to take a picture of them. Not my finest moment, but it happened. And it may have happened because a certain BFF yelled “run!”)

When we’re not being all fabulous and celebrity like, we really enjoy some shopping so we planned this particular day of awesomeness on the 4th weekend. If you know me, Nashville, or Home Sweet Here you know what that means- Flea Market!

Also, if you know me in real life you may know that I can be kind of “systematic.” That’s the really nice way of saying I like to do certain things in a certain order. For example, I have a set routine I follow every time I shop at my favorite Target store. The Flea Market works the same way except for this day. There was a threat of rain so we started outside and worked our way in (for those of you who frequent the place- I mean the barns in the way back. I always like to start in the Creative Arts building, that’s just how I roll.)

Instead of throwing my day routine off totally- it was serendipitous. Seriously, we stepped into the first booth/stall and Sarah spotted this little shelf. She liked it so much she picked it up! I never do that- buy something in booth #1 but guess what- I did too! I got a couple of items there too but was so excited they were just a dollar I forgot to snap a picture. Stay tuned for those a little later.

In true Home Sweet Here fashion, we did some shopping for you, too. We couldnt bring home everything we loved so we snapped some pictures to inspire your next flea market excursion.

If I had a little more cabinet space these would be mine. Teeny green juice glasses, yes please. We were liking green this day. Sarah picked this great bowl and I have no idea why I didn’t buy it. Pretty!

Sarah hearts the mirror and I heart the iron fence piece. I have gardens on the brain right now.

We both heart old refrigerator ware. It’s kind of pre-historic tupperware and very interesting how we’re going back to this. Move over plastic.

This was a steal at $0.25, but, Avery would’t have liked him too much.:)

We had some fun here, but just couldn’t spend the dough. hehehe.

This lady is perfect for Spring. Perfectly scary!

But these really would make the perfect spring table. Even the pink-hater in me hearts these.

Sometimes you find some things that take you all they way back to your 80’s childhood. I had these puppies!

And sometimes you find something and you have no idea who would buy it. Ick!!! And there are some words you don’t ever, ever want to see at the flea market. These two are the perfect example.

But there are plenty more goodies, like salt shakers. Yes, please. I could have taken home all of these. I love it when you find real inspiration. Sarah and I both started thinking about where we could put something like this in our houses. It’s so pretty and functional. Some of these venders really know how to style their booths- even if it is in a barn. I have a couple of these but would love to have a couple of bajillion more. Attention Pinterest Addicts: there are exactly 563,901 pins for old silverware right now. I counted. Here is where you find your DIY gold silver. You may think this next one is a joke, but it’s not. Two of my favorite things are pigs and laughing so these are pretty much perfect. Lucky for me (and Robb) they were way to big to take home, but I am embarrassed at how much I wold have paid if these would have been salt and pepper shakers.

Speaking of crazy things I really, really want. I still want this guy. If you have any ideas on where I can put him that is not insanely ridiculous please let me know and I’ll make my mooo-ve. Sarah’s metal object of her affection is a lot less insane. She has wanted this forever but like me, can’t find the right place for it. Maybe a map would help?

Spray paint + some fun new fabric= ah-mazing chairs! I just love the shape of these.

And why don’t we picnic like this anymore? How fun would this be?

And finally the “I could kick myself for not purchasing this” item of the day. It needs some work and the price tag was not too bad at $100. But as we walked by the nice vendor lady yelled “I’ll take $75 for it.” $75 for this rehab goldmine. To quote the great poet D. Bentley “what was I thinking?”

Oh, regret! But enough of the pretend shopping, who wants to see what I took home for a whopping $13 investment? Raise your hands high so I can see you! Ok, here you go.

Let’s start with my big ticket item. I actually found these pretty early but waited to buy them because they are so heavy. I think they may be cast iron. My back hurt the next day, seriously. At $5 each, they were totally worth the pain. I haven’t found the perfect spot for them let, but I heart them.

Next up is a $1 find. It will require a bit of rehab but it is in great shape and well worth the whole dollar.

And last but not least, my final purchase. I found one, then I found his friend. I gave the lady $2 and we all lived happily ever after. I’m planning to freshen them up with some paint soon, but I already put them to use on my gallery wall. Well worth all eight quarters.

So there you have it, our thrifty thrifterson finds from the day. Still to come- food, more shopping and a little home improvement project. I wasn’t kidding when I said we did a lot in a day!psssst.. Want to see some of my other flea market gems? Try here, here, and here. I kind of heart this place :)

Growing Candles: Wheat Grass Craft

I don’t know what my problem is with white candles lately, but I just can’t leave them plain. I painted some and liked it so much that I couldn’t stop there! I just so happened to have some more plain white candles, but what to do with these? 

I ran across these from Martha but where to find beautiful green wheat grass? hmmm..

Oh yeah! My Easter centerpiece! So I just trimmed off some…

and started sticking it to my candles with rubber cement. It’s that easy, you just smooth as you go (and get really sticky fingers!)And then just let them dry in the updside down (again, while watching UK basketball in the background. GO CATS!) Then you just trim them and put them on a pretty candle holder and Spring has Sprung!  

Too Much, Too Little, Just Right: Painted Candles

Part of the “Springification” (pretend that’s a real word, please) of the living room was to tone down the red and play up the springy green. When I updated the gallery wall, I took out all the red there. So this little corner was a bit much.

I realize they are just candle sticks, but they were too red! (and also too crooked. Note to self: straighten before pictures!)

So I tried white.

FAIL! Too white.

And then I remembered these beautiful striped ana candles  I saw on Design*Sponge. Lightbulb. The colors weren’t exactly what I was looking for but why not paint my plain white tapers? Ok, good idea!

So I taped them off…

Then I painted them with some leftover wall paint (Valspar LaFonda Olive. I love it!)

and used the candle holders to hold let them dry.

(You may ask why an accident prone person such as myself was painting in the middle of the living room floor and I have a simple answer. It was a Sunday and my National Champion Kentucky Wildcats were embarrassing Baylor) 

When I finally peeled off the tape, the green was a bit intense against the stark white

So I added a soft coat of white acrylic to tone and down. (with hope of also cleaning up my messy lines. Perfectionists, look away)

This is another one of those projects that didn’t turn out anywhere near perfect BUT I really like it. They’re neutral, but still interesting. What do you think- don’t they fit much better now?

(just a note- I have no idea about how safe painted candles are to actually burn so I’m not even going to try it and if you paint some too, I encourage you to refrain from the flame as well. Switch to the plain whites when you light them. The flicker of the candlelight will totally cancel out the blahness and I firmly believe that blahness beats a visit from the fire department any day. You can trust me on that, I’m the daughter of a former fireman.)