Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Stalking Fashion



After spending a weekend in NYC, I have been craving fashion. As you can imagine, the streets of Northwest Arkansas aren’t quite the runway that New York City streets can be. In order to indulge my fashion hunger I have gone to the internet. I find it amazing that I can see what people are wearing on the streets of London, Munich, Helsinki, and other fashion capitols all over the world! I have spent a lot of time searching through photos of regular people with exceptional style and trying to figure out how I can incorporate more extreme style into my boring business casual wardrobe. I think I will make it a goal to be more fashionable in 2008. (My brother is a fashion designer, so you would think this would be easier than it is.) I don’t have a lot of options for shopping here in AR, but I will find a way. I also have to keep in mind that I am on a budget, so I will have to get really creative. I am jealous of the people on the blog, Hel Looks, from Helsinki, Finland. Most people say that their looks have come from second hand shops. What I would give for a second hand store with something other than old overalls and moth ball sweaters. I guess I’d have to move to Finland. I have added my favorite “street style” links on this blog (mostly so I can access them easily.) Being Fashionable is a good 2008 goal for me, much better than Get in Shape. I like McDonald’s and chocolate way too much to make a Resolution kind of commitment to fitness. I can just hope that baggy clothes will be "in" next year.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Christmas Candy Goodies



A few weeks ago at our Pampered Chef party our hostess, Julianne, showed us this really easy recipe for chocolate bar candy. I decided to try this recipe at home and make some goodies to send out with our Christmas gifts. These are such a nice treat that only takes about 15 minutes. These would be great for little gifts for teachers, co-workers or anyone else on your list.

Supplies you need:
Christmas Cookie Cutters (I bought a big stack of them at the Dollar Store)
Cellophane baggies (Another Dollar Store purchase, they have Christmas ones!)
Ribbon

Recipe:
1 package 24oz. almond bark (you can use white or milk chocolate)
3/4 cup dried cranberries
2/3 cup slivered almonds
2 cups Rice Krispies


1. Put a large cutting board in the freezer to chill for about 20 minutes.

2. Break apart almond bark and melt in the microwave. I put in for 1 1/2 minutes and then 30 second intervals to get it totally melted.

3. Stir in a Rice Krispies, a little more than half of the cranberries and about half of the almonds.

4. Pull out the chilled cutting board and cover with parchment paper. Arrange the cookie cutters, cutting side down on the parchment paper.

5. Spoon melted mixture into the cookie cutters. (I filled mine almost to the rim.)

6. Top with the left over cranberries and almonds.

7. Candy should harden on the chilled board in a few minutes. If the candy is still gooey, stick the board back in the freezer for a minute.

8. Once the candy has hardened, you can peel the cookie cutters off the parchment paper and put the cutter with candy in a cellophane bag. Tie up with ribbon and you’re done!

Thanks Julianne, for a great easy recipe!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

My Weekend in NYC

Last week, work took me to Long Island, so I extended my stay to hang with my little bro in NYC. We had so much fun and what I’d call a “Super Bravo Weekend”.

Day One: I got to Chris’ apartment (up six flights of stairs) on Thursday around lunch time. We ran out and grabbed a slice of NY pizza and went for a lil’ shop in Soho. We stopped at the Bloomingdales where Chris used to work and all the ladies working in the cosmetics department were so excited to see him. They all had flawless make-up and were very nice. That’s when it really hit me that I was in NYC. (The cosmetic Mom’s in my mall in Arkansas just don’t compare.) After shopping we went back to the apartment (up six flights of stairs) and relaxed for a bit. We caught the end of the week’s episode of Project Runway that I had missed since I was in a Red Roof hotel on Long Island. Then we went to dinner at
Craft Bar, Chef Tom Colicchio’s restaurant from Top Chef. We met Anne Ratner, owner of Ratner Company (Bubble’s Hair Salon , from the Hair Show post) and her daughter Kelly for dinner. Dinner was a blast and the food was amazing. We had reservations at 8:15pm and ended up closing the place down at 11:30pm. My good friend from college, Scott, met me at the restaurant and we went for drinks and caught up until 1:00am. He had to work the next day, so I felt extra special that he stayed out so late. I got a cab and made it back to the apartment (up six flights of stairs for the third time Day One).

Day Two: I woke up on the couch with my gluts burning from all the stair climbing. We got up late and went to lunch at my brother’s favorite restaurant, Angelina’s. Chris had to do some shopping for projects he is working on, so we took the subway to the garment district. This was a real treat for me as I’ve never been to that part of the city. It was snowing lightly while we were wandering around which I thought was kind of fun. We went in a few different stores fabric store and I was really astonished. There was fabric stacked from floor to ceiling in huge warehouse like shops. I would never be able to make a decision in a place like that. We stopped in
Mood fabric (made famous by Project Runway). It was really funny how we had to get there. It is located in an office building with no sign that says Mood anywhere. You have to get in an elevator that is run by an operator and go to the second floor to even get to the store. It was packed with customers, so maybe New Yorkers are better navigators than me. Throughout the weekend, Chris was approached in the streets and in stores by fans of PR, but the Mood sighting was my all time favorite. As we were leaving the store, down the back staircase, a young girl ran to the top of the stairs and yelled down, “YOU ARE CHRISTIAN!” I thought she was going to break into tears. Chris just looked back and said, “Yeah, I am. Hi.” and then we left. On the way back to the subway we stopped in Steven, by Steve Madden and got two gorgeous pairs of boots. Then, we went back to the apartment (up six flights of stairs) and relaxed and watched Bravo for a few hours. That evening we went to dinner with Victoria, another contestant on PR, and her husband, Sandro. They were so nice and I could tell they really look out for my brother. They were talking contracts and giving advice how to handle different opportunities that have come about since PR has started. It makes me feel good that Chris has people like that with his best interest in mind. After dinner we went back to the apartment, (up six flights of stairs) watched the Devil Wear’s Prada, and went to sleep.

Day Three: My Mom decided that she would come to visit from Maryland since this is the closest we would get to being together for Christmas. She took a bus into the city and met us at Macy’s. That part of the city was totally packed with tourists and my brother hates crowds, so he wasn’t so excited about meeting there. We walked through the first floor of Macy’s just to see the holiday decorations and it was really beautiful. We jumped on the subway to go see Rockefeller Center and find a place for lunch. We ate at a delicious Italian restaurant and went to see the big tree. Rockefeller was nice, but smaller than I remembered. I guess that would be because I haven’t seen it in person since I was 7 years old and everything always looks bigger on TV. We shopped around for a while at the Gap, Anthropologie, J. Crew and Banana Republic. My Mom got me a new sweater and 2 scarves as a Christmas present. She got my brother a bag at J. Crew and the guy checking us out was a Super Project Runway Fan. He asked to come to the front of the line and told us how he and his friends have a viewing part in Brooklyn every Wednesday for the past 2 seasons. After shopping we jumped on the subway and went back to the apartment (up six flights of stairs). My mom wanted to see the projects my brother had been working on and we didn’t think we had 3 more hours of shopping in us as her bus wasn’t leaving until 6:30pm. After relaxing, Mom jumped in a cab and made it back on the bus and home safe. Chris and I went to dinner at a Korean Restaurant, BonJoo, near his apartment. I hadn’t had Korean food since I was in college and it was really delicious. After dinner I walked up six flights of stairs for the final time.

Day Four: Not much NYC time on Sunday as my flight left around noon and I wanted to make sure I could get through security at LaGuardia airport. I packed my bag Sunday morning and jumped in a cab to the airport to head back to Arkansas. I had such a wonderful time just roaming the city and spending some quality time with my little bro. He’s kind of a big deal.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Wednesday Night Party

This Wednesday, we incorporated two reasons to have people over into one party, Pampered Chef and Project Runway. Although we had a great time, we are done with parties for a while. Evan told me I am cut off. This is the third party we’ve hosted at our house in the past two months, not to mention all the parties I have attended. I have been to two Pampered Chef parties since October and I’m totally addicted. Some things are a bit more than I would spend on cooking utensils, but most things are the same price as a Bed, Bath & Beyond or Target price. The difference to me, is the quality of the products, and the best part of all, are the cooking shows! The woman that hosted our party, Julianne, is so charismatic and has the best recipes that are quick and fun. Anyone who knows me knows, I’m not the best cook, but I feel like I learn so much better with a person showing me how. Julianne made baked chicken wontons and the easiest chocolate bar candy I’ve ever seen. I can’t wait to try out these recipes for myself. My favorite items on my wish list are the Batter Bowl and the Pizza Stone with handles. After the cooking show we flipped the couch around to face the TV and watched the new episode of Project Runway. For the rest of the year every Wednesday will be an event, but the boss says no more parties. Thank goodness next year isn’t too far away!



Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Party Menu



When ever I plan a party, I always want to try new foods that I’ve never made before. I know this is risky and usually adds stress to the “Day Of,” but when else do you have the opportunity to get adventurous? For the Project Runway Viewing Party, we were going for appetizers that would be enough food for hungry people, but easy to eat standing and chatting. I tried to keep things a bit fancy, but still do foods that everyone would like. My party menu included:

Shrimp Cocktail
Stuffed Mushrooms
Baked Cheese and Artichoke Puffs
Cheese platter – Port Wine Cheese, Gruyere and Swiss
Spinach cups
Mini Crab Cakes
Apple Pecan & Blue Cheese Dip (on crackers)
Peanut Butter Cups

The items that I never made before were the Stuffed Mushrooms, Baked Cheese Puffs, Spinach cups, Mini Crab Cakes and Apple Blue Cheese Dip. Pretty much the whole menu. I’ve done stuffed mushrooms before, but this was a new recipe that I got at the grocery store in one of those Nabisco Appetizer Books that they have at the checkout. Most of these recipes came from that book, so everything had something to do with crackers. At the last minute, we decided not to do the Mini Crab Cakes, mostly because we were afraid it would stink up the house. Everything else got great reviews. I think my favorite dish was the Apple, Pecan & Blue Cheese Dip. It was the easiest this that I made (other than the cheese platter.) Here’s the recipe:


1 container (8 ox.) light cream cheese

1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream

1 Rome (or Red Delicious) apple, finely chopped

1/4 cup crumbled Blue Cheese

1/4 cup chopped red onion

1/4 cup chopped pecans

Triscuit Crackers


Beat cream cheese spread and sour cream in medium bowl until well blended.


Add apples, blue cheese, onions and pecans; mix well.


Refrigerate at least 2 hours and serve.

Project Runway Viewing Party



As you all should know, last week was the premier episode of Project Runway. To celebrate the beginning of my little brother, Christian’s, new found fame, Evan and I hosted an elaborate viewing party at our house. I took off work to prepare our menu of things that I’ve never made before. (I don’t know why I always do that.) We rented a 64” screen flat screen TV from Rent-A-Center. We brought in plenty of extra seating and rearranged all the furniture. We had photos of Chris’ designs and some garments he had made that were stored in my mother’s closet. The d├ęcor turned out fabulous and we had an amazing turn out for a Wednesday evening. We had 20 guests come to watch, eat, drink and enjoy. We had a stocked bar, beer, wine and Champagne, so you can imagine what our crowd was like. Once the show began, everyone got quiet, but every time my Chris said something smartass (which was often) the whole group would laugh out loud. It was such a blast to be able to enjoy the show with all of my friends here in Arkansas. Christian did amazing on the first challenge and even my boss (who is not at all into fashion design) said that he thought Christian should have won. We had people stay until midnight, so I am pretty sure everyone had a great time.



Friday, November 2, 2007

Chili Cook-Off

The company that Evan’s works for participated in a Chili Cook-Off yesterday. He was nominated with his co-worker, Stephen, to cook for the title of Best Chili. They competed against other building materials suppliers in Northwest Arkansas. Every group had to have a theme and I think they did a great job picking a unique one. They had Hawaiian Chili and included pork sausage and pineapple in the recipe. The recipe was totally prepared on the fly, but the oos and ahhs were enough to tell me (who doesn’t eat chili) that they really hit the mark. Evan and his partner donned Hawaiian shirts and did a great job of presenting their Chili. If only they had little umbrellas. I guess that was originally the plan, but they got frazzled on the trip to WM and ended up leaving without them. The lack of umbrellas didn’t make a difference because…they WON 2ND PLACE!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Witches Hats


I'm so sad that tonight is Halloween and all the fun festivities are over. I had so much fun preparing Halloween themed foods, getting crafty with Halloween house decor, carving pumpkins and all the other Halloweeny things we did this year. Today, I brought in "witches hat" cookies that I saw on the Betty Crocker website. These are so easy to do and you don't actually bake anything! They were a hit and my last Halloween culinary project for this year. I can't wait until 10/31/08. Thank goodness there is still Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years to keep me (and Evan) busy this year.

Evidence


My cat (no longer a kitten) loves make-up brushes. He dives into my make-up bag while I'm getting ready in the morning and steals them. At least a month ago, he took my powder brush and we couldn't find where he hid it. This weekend, Evan pulled it out from underneath the washing machine. The bottom of the brush is gone never to be found again, but the brush was, amazingly, still in tact. The picture above is the evidence supporting my claim that Buzz stole the brush.

Raising Sand

Although I work in the music biz, it is rare that I am so excited about a new album. The collaboration of Alison Krauss and Robert Plant on the new record, Raising Sand, is absolutely amazing! I never would have imagined that Alison Krauss’ blue grass background and angelic voice would match so well with Robert Plant’s raw sound. My interpretation of the sound on this disc would be a mix of musical genres, from folk to surf rock to classic country ballad-like harmonies and a bunch of different places in between. I was told by a great musical mind that my favorite track, Gone gone gone is an Everly Brothers’ cover. I’ll have to pay more attention to the Everly Brothers. Where ever Krauss and Plant got their musical inspiration from, that must be a beautiful place. Definitely, my number one album of the year!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Jack-o-lanterns

I think Halloween is my favorite holiday. I love Halloween decorations, dressing up, spooky treats and of course pumpkins. I love how Pumpkins grow in all shapes, sizes and colors. There are so many creative things you can do to decorate them. The pumpkins we painted when Evan's parent were in town have rotted, but we started a new this weekend with our pumpkin carvings. I went for a classic jack-o-lantern face and Evan carved a spooky pumpkin cut out of a pumpkin. We spent this gorgeous sunny Sunday on the porch cutting our creations and now I can't wait until it turns dark outside so I can light them up!

Farmer's Market Flowers


I know I've posted about my Farmer's Market Flowers before, but every bouquet I get is more beautiful than the last. I didn't make it to the Market this Saturday morning, but Evan was nice enough to buy a bouquet from our favorite flower stand. He said that three people stopped him to compliment the flowers before he could even make it to the car. I just love fresh flowers and these really brought some sunshine to my Saturday morning.

Bikes Blues and BBQ

Things have been so hectic around here that I haven't had a chance to catch up on my blog. The buisiest weekend of the year was two weekends ago, Bikes Blues and BBQ. I can't say for sure, but I was told it is the second largest Motorcycle rally in the US. It was indeed impressive. I have never seen so many bikes in one place in all my life. The town closed down Dickson Street (the main street in downtown Fayetteville) so that only bikes could drive it. From Wednesday to Sunday bikes would cruise up and down the street all day and all night. People pulled out lawn chairs and would sit on the sidewalk and watch the bikes go by. BBQ tents sprung up in the alleys and in cleared parking lots. There were stages built and bands playing all over town. We got to see our favorite local band, The Ben Miller Band. I've never seen this town so alive. Many of the bikers were dressed in full leather (which was amazing considering it was 95 degrees), but a lot of the riders were regular Joes. There were big Harleys, sport bikes, cruiser bikes with a back seat for the Mrs and a few kids on dirt bikes. I didn't get on a bike, but it was an amazing place to people watch.

Friday, October 19, 2007

October Bunco


This past Tuesday was my October Bunco party. I went with the Halloweeny theme and all the elements came together at the last minute. When planning my menu I had to keep in mind that I was serving 12 people a casual dinner that didn’t require sit down. It had to be simple enough that I could prepare it in only one hour and it had to cater to a wide range of unknown pallets. I couldn’t get to fancy or some people (like myself) might go hungry. I was very pleased with the end result of recipes and ideas I’d collected from a variety of sources. Everyone really enjoyed the food and a good time was had by all. Even though I didn't win Bunco it was really fun to have everyone over. I'm not through with my Halloween cuisine experiments. Luckily we still have a couple weeks to go! Here's my menu:

Appetizers:
Blood Ball – Shrimp ball with cocktail sauce (Peg Ferguson’s recipe)
Stuffed Coffin – Pumpernickel bread cut out to look like a coffin filled with dill dip

Main course:
Witches Fingers in Bandages - Frankfurters wrapped in puff pastry (recipe from All You Magazine)
Fried Goblin Fingers – Tyson Honey Battered Frozen Chicken Tenders

Side Dishes:
Moldy Mashed Potatoes – Betty Crocker Instant Mashed Potatoes with green food coloring
Bug Salad – Salad with raisins (recipe from All You Magazine)

Desserts:
Creepy Cookies – Sugar cookies with icing in the shapes of ghosts and pumpkins
Pumpkin Roll – The hit of the party (Aunt Grace’s recipe)

Halloween Party

I love Halloween! There are so many fun things going on as the season changes. This past weekend we went to a Halloween Costume party that was hosted by a co-worker of mine and his wife. The invitation should have given a clue as to how extravagant this party was going to be. It was a toe tag with all the party info. They went crazy with decorations at their house. They had scary mannequins positioned on chairs and hanging from the balcony. Fake cockroaches were scattered on the walls in every room downstairs. All the pictures in the picture frames were replaced with scary photos of asylums and haunting characters. The dining room was turned into an autopsy room with the walls covered to look like a dungeon and a corpse lay on the table. There was a real I.V. drip that was filled with Hot Damn! I had never been to an adult costume party and the guests’ costumes were really great. There was Genghis Khan and his Asian princess, OJ and Nicole Simpson, and the hillbilly with his pregnant bride to name a few. We went as Ketchup and Mustard. I was mustard and wore all yellow (shirt, skirt, shoes and earrings) with a hat that looked like the top of a mustard bottle. I felt like I should have done more once I saw how elaborate the other costumes were. None the less, the party was spectacular and I can’t wait for the next round of Scary Bashes!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Bubble Hair Show 2007

For the past three years I have had the pleasure to participate in the Bubbles Hair Wars, Hair Show Competition in Maryland. Even though I'm currently living in Arkansas I decided to fly home as I was in desperate need of a haircut. My stylist, Jamie, at the Annapolis Bubbles Salon is a genius and always makes me look amazing. My brother, Christian, always coordinates the show and makes all the costumes. Even with his launch into fame around the corner he came back and worked his magic. Our theme this year was inspired by our music, a remixed version of Pink Floyd's songs by Donnie. I played a naughty teacher and other parts were punk catholic school kids and an amazing head mistress, hair by Heather. I am excited to report Annapolis Bubbles won first place for the third year in a row and my hair won 1st place in the individual competition! Thank you Jaime! It was so fun to be apart of such a unique showing of artistic expression. My hair is more fabulous than it has ever been and I am so proud of my little bro who threw together outfits for 10 people and choreographed the show in two days. He is truely amazing and we won, AGAIN!

Painted Pumpkins

We got the idea to spray paint our pumpkins from All You Magazine. We chose black, yellow and silver as our spray pain colors. Evan's mother, Jane and I spent quite a while cutting out spider shapes on contact paper. Evan sprayed a yellow spot on the pumpkin and then we stuck the contact paper over the yellow spot. Then we spray painted black over the whole pumpkin. A few pumpkins turned out ok, but most of them peeled all of the paint off when we tried to pull off the spider stickers. It was still a fun project and I believe that our limited patience had something to do with the lack of success with this project. I think we will try again next year, but a whole black or silver pumpkin still looks pretty cool.

Great Visit

September was so hectic and I have so many wonderful things to blog about. Evan's parents paid us a visit! It was a great extended weekend. Evan took some time off and took them to Eureka Springs. We spent a lot of time on the front porch eating, drinking and being merry. I laid down to take a nap on Friday night a 7pm and ended up sleeping through the bon fire. We had another bon fire on Saturday night and invited the neighbors over. I lasted a little past 7pm, but was still the first to bed. The highlight of the weekend (other than the trips to Wal-Mart) was the Farmer's Market. We lost Bob for a little while in a sea of red shirts. We got flowers, garlic braids and broom stalks that started our Halloween decorating. It was quite an adventure getting the stalks home. Thank goodness for the Mercedes' moon roof. All around a wonderful time and we can't wait for them to come back!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

September Bunco

Last night was September Bunco and it was a blast! I belong to a group of girls who get together to play Bunco once a month. It is 12 girls and 4 boxes of wine, it would be difficult for it not to be fun. A girlfriend of mine, Nicole, hosted the September Bunco and served Spinach Dip, Chicken Kabobs, Pasta Salad, Fruit Salad and an amazing Peanut butter/Banana/Cool Whip dessert. I haven't won a Bunco just yet, but its well worth the $10 ante to eat, drink and gossip. I have volunteered to host the October Bunco and of course am going to do a Halloween themed Bunco Party. This will be a really fun excuse to get crafty this October. I can't wait!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

My Brother on TV


I am so proud I could just explode! My little baby brother is the newest contestant revealed for Season 4 of Project Runway. When asked "What was the first thing you designed?" he answered, "Probably a dress for my sister." I could just go crazy. I can not wait for the season to start in November. I am going to plan a big viewing party at my house and rent a big projector. A friend has already offered to help set-up. I'm thinking of making everyone dress in a fashion disaster, but might save that for later in the season. Its going to be a great Fall Season for fashion and fun.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

September

This month is going to be great! There is so much going on and so much to look forward to. Evan is walking for Cycstic Fibrosis September 14 and I'll be there to cheer him on and drink Hot Cocoa. I have September's Bunko game with the girls (Slumber Party included) on September 18th. Evan's parents are coming to visit September 19th! We have great plans for a fun filled visit. It is looking like September weather is going to be nice to us. I am going to a Pampered Chef party on September 25th. I have a trip planned to go back to Maryland to participate in the 2007 Hair Wars, Bubbles Hair show and catch up with everyone in MD. I'll be in MD from September 27th-Oct 1st. My little bro is coming down, so it will be a family reunion! While I'm strutting the runway with a new hair-do Evan will be at a weekend Squirrel Hunt. The largest (and probably only) Squirrel Hunt Event in the country. We started the fall decorations around the house. It looks like its going to be a fun-filled season!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Farmers Market Find


This Saturday, I took Evan to the Fayetteville Farmers Market. We got there late, so some of the vendors had already shut down. There was one vendor making flower arrangements so we ordered a large bouquet. These flowers are beautiful and grown fresh here in Arkansas!

Friday, August 17, 2007

I love this shirt


I saw this shirt on esty and have been daydreaming of it all week. I am trying to save money, so I can't bring myself to hit the checkout button.


I must be strong.


I'm saving for my future.


Unfortunately a future with out this cute shirt :(

Cheesecake Art?

I am no chef, but I love to make cheesecake (Jell-o instant cheesecake that is). I have made these many times and received rave reviews. I decided to try and step it up a notch by making them in shapes instead of the pie pan. I have these great cookie cutters that I used as my shapes. This is a first attempt, so I have some opportunities for improving execution, but they taste amazing as always.

Monday, August 13, 2007

LITTLE BUBBLES


I have been so inspired by this world of craft bloggers that I have attempted my first set of handmade greeting cards. I worked all weekend to decide on a design and create a set of birthday and thank you cards at my coffee table in the living room. I had so much fun. I wanted to put some kind of signature on the cards, but had no "trademark." I thought about my inspiration for my first set of cards and decided on my signature, "Little Bubbles," after my precious kitten that I love so much. I'll be working on my logo over the next weeks probably with Bubbles in my lap.



Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Game Room Wall

Our game room was born with the purchase of a pool table at a flea market a few weeks ago. I had a bunch of different thoughts on how I would decorate but got a great idea flipping through a magazine at the doctor's office. I saw an ad for Wall-Pops, a sticky solution to wall coverings. I thought these perfect for my game room as they stick to walls, but can be easily removed without leaving marks. They come in different colors and shapes (long strips, squares and circles) and a few different patterns. During lunch with mom yesterday, I sketched my design on graph paper and went to Lowe's to get my "Pops". I finished the wall in only four hours. It was a lot of measuring and re-measuring, but it turned out great. I still have some work to do to finish the room, but the colors on the wall look great with my Grandmother's yellow bar stools and the blue pool table.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Day at the Spa

I am so excited for my mother to come visit Arkansas. We do not have a huge itinerary planned because its more fun to go with the flow. The one event that is scheduled is a Day at the Spa in Eureka Springs. I have only gotten a professional massage once in my life and I can hardly wait!! We have appointments Tuesday morning at the New Moon Spa located in the Crescent Hotel. We have a sauna, massage, facial and pedicure planned. Then we can go have lunch and see the sites in Eureka. What an exciting day it will be.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Magazine Rack

I was flipping through the most recent Crate and Barrel Catalog (my Bible) and saw a ladder magazine rack that looked oh so trendy. As I have been crafty crazy getting my guest room ready I decided to take on the project. With very little help from Evan, I constructed most of this myself. It was my first time using the power saw, but I managed to cut the 2x4s and drilled the dowels. I attempted the power sander (this is where Evan helped) and I painted and painted and painted. With a little wood glue it was finished. I couldn't believe how easy this project was. I spent $15 for the wood and $7 for paint. I could have paid $70 for a plain black version from my favorite catalog, but decided to spare a Sunday instead.


The Bench


Evan and I started the bench about 5 months ago. The first phases of the project went quickly with the design idea, purchase of materials and the seat of the bench completed in a few weekends. We struggled to decide on a concept for the legs of the bench which delayed our progress, but the motivational problems really began when the task of sanding presented itself. Different methods were attempted to work around the sanding step, but with no success. We put off the project and the seat of the bench sat alone in the laundry room for weeks and weeks. This weekend we broke down and bought a power sander and the boards needed to complete the legs. The sanding was still a difficult task, but Evan was determined and finished on Saturday. We put the legs together and mounted them on Sunday. (That was probably the easiest step.) Then it was time to stain. I thought staining would be the fun part, but I was wrong. We are not professionals at this, so it is not a perfect stain job, but the weathered look gives the bench character in my opinion. I still have stain all over my ankles, but THE BENCH IS DONE!!!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Redone Drawers

I have been working frantically to get the "guest room" ready for my first guest, my mother (in less than 2 weeks). This room previously housed all the leftovers (furniture that has seen many a college dorm room.) Because of the lack of storage space in my past 3 living spaces, some pretty dreadful drawer sets have managed to stick around long past their expiration date. I have been feeling crafty lately, so I decided to redo a set of drawers to go in my guest room. It was such an easy project that I may go crazy and redo all the furniture in the room. Here's what you do:

1. Spray, spray, spray - I bought black spray paint and sprayed the whole drawer set to cover all the chipped off paint and dirt and scuffs that have accumulated over the many moves.
2. Pick you print - I picked out some stationary pages at my local craft store and cut them into strips so they would cover the front of each drawer.
3.
Decoupage - I bought a canister of decoupage mix, but you could use glue and water. I turned the drawer set on its back on the floor in my living room so I could do one drawer at a time. Just brush on the decoupage on the drawer, then on the back of the paper, then lay the paper on the drawer and brush the front so that you smooth out any bubbles. (Directions are on the back of decoupage mix)
4. Decide on Hardware - I could have repainted the original drawer handles, but decided to get new, snazzy ones. I went to Home Depot and picked out some new handles and screwed them on. It was easy as that and I am very very happy with my new set of drawers!