Friday, July 29, 2011

State {of the} Art

Did you hear about the Pinterest Challenge that Katie over at Bower Power and a few others are doing? You MUST check out their video!  It made me laugh out loud for about 5 minutes. It's hilarious!

Pinterest State Art

I decided to take it on because currently, I have 196 pins! Check out my Pinterest.

It was pretty easy to pick my project and I had everything I needed for it. (Thanks to finding Meredith's comment about her tutorial here)

I was wondering around Pinterest the a while back, saw this and was totally inspired. Joe and I have been looking for something to hang in our master bedroom above our nightstands for about 6 months now.
I fell in love with this beautiful (and genius) art!

I knew it'll be perfect for our bedroom and we already have the paint to complete it. Meredith over at "Welcome to Heardmont" posted her tutorial and it's pretty awesome.

I made two State {of the} Art paintings, Illinois and Missouri. We both grew up in the same area back in Illinois and we also wanted to mark where our home is right now, in Missouri. I used the leftover paint from when we painted our recessed ceiling.  The color matches perfect with our bedspread.  I could really use some work on the curtains in this room, but that's for later.

Here's our room Before:
Master Bedroom Before Art

The art turned out awesome! Meredith's tutorial was so helpful and great to follow, and it only took me about 30 minutes to do both of them! Here's our version:

We opted not to not put any hearts on ours for now.  This might change in the future, but we'll see.  I love them so much as they are.  Here's a picture of them hung up.

Master Bedroom with Art

and then there were 9....(see my summer top 10 to-do list here.)

Linked at Bower Power's Pinterest Challenge Summer Edition and Hookin Up with HOH #60.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

New Spice Rack

When we moved into our house we were greeted by a horribly ugly, homemade spice rack on the pantry door.  And man, am I talking ugly.  It had a sheet metal backing, 3 different woods, hot glue, and some type of expanding foam.  The guy who lived there before us seemed pretty smart and pretty equip with tools since we're assuming he installed the flooring in the basement and office, but this thing looked totally slapped together.  One day a few months ago one of the wood pieces holding the spices on the shelf started falling off.  Being down one shelf wasn't too bad since there was lots of space that we weren't using. That was until the entire thing started to come down.  YIKES!  I was too afraid that one day I'd come home to find all my spices on the floor of the pantry.  That didn't sound like too much fun to clean up so down it came. And I forgot to take before pictures, but it was kinda embarrassing.

Do you know how hard it is to find a hanging spice rack that's big enough and not too expensive?  But seriously, it was pretty hard.

We ended up going with the customizable White elfa Door system from The Container Store. The white matches the rest of the shelves in our pantry (secretly I would have loved the Platinum).  I love the different components we could choose to satisfy our needs.  We did spend quite a bit more than we'd originally planned, but the versatility and additional storage space was well worth it.  We now have more storage on the door than I'd imagined.  And when we want even more space, we can buy more baskets to add on.  This has been my favorite project so far!  It's something I see every day and it looks fantastic!

Now I just need to organize my pantry and probably re-paint it.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Summer Citrus Sparkles

I saw this recipe from Bakingdom a few weeks back and knew I just HAD to make them.  I'm a huge fan of citrus foods and drinks.  I just LOVE the way lemon and lime smell up the kitchen and the whole house! These citrus sparkles were a huge hit at a family gathering over the weekend.  I just know I'll be making them again before summer ends. This time we didn't use the glaze, but I know that next time it'll be a must. Enjoy!

Summer Citrus Sparkles 
Makes 2 dozen
FOR THE CITRUS SUGAR (excellent in tea!)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1 1/2 to 2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda (for vegan/dairy free, replace with 1 tablespoon corn starch)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder (for vegan/dairy free version, increase to 1/2 teaspoon)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature (margarine for vegan/dairy free)
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg (for vegan/dairy free, replace with 3 tablespoons almond or soy milk)
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
To make the sugar: Combine the sugar and both zest in a small bowl until the zest is evenly distributed; set aside.
To make the cookies: In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix until combined, then stir in both zests and juices, as well as the vanilla. Once everything is combined, sprinkle half of the flour mixture over the top and gently mix in. Add the remaining flour mixture, mixing until no streaks of flour remain. If the dough is very sticky, add more flour, as needed, until the dough is barely tacky. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Line baking sheet(s) with parchment paper or Silpat mats. Once the dough is chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll one tablespoon portions of dough into balls. Roll each dough ball in the citrus sugar to coat it completely, then evenly space the cookies on the prepared baking sheet(s). Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the edges turn light golden brown. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer them to a wire cooling rack. Cool completely before serving.
Glaze Variation (I prefer them this way, but there is more work involved)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Make the citrus sugar and the cookie dough the same way. **Do not roll the cookies in the sugar before baking.**
While the cookies are baking, combine the sugar and the juices in a small saucepan set over medium heat, bring to a simmer. Stir occasionally to dissolve the sugar and continue simmering until the mixture becomes syrupy.
Once the cookies have cooled for at least 5 minutes, generously brush the tops of the muffins with the citrus glaze. Once all of the cookies are glazed, dip each one into the citrus sugar, being sure to get them covered well.
Recipe by Darla

Friday, July 15, 2011

Summer's Top 10 To-Do List

I can't believe it's already halfway through July!  What happened!?!  I've not completed as much as I wanted to off my "House To-Do List".  Things seem to be getting added faster than things are being taken off.  That's just how it is, isn't it?

Almost a month ago, our city (more specifically, our neighborhood) was hit with tennis ball size hail.  Yeah, I said tennis balls.  As I stood in our dining room listening to the hail pelt our house, the only thing I could think was "We just have to sit here and take it. We can't make it stop."  So we now need a new roof, again.   We've lived in our house for 2 years and this will be the 2nd roof we've bought.  Not ideal.  I'd rather be spending that money on things inside such as new counters, new light fixtures, or new carpet.  Oh well, there's always next year.  

I have pretty high hopes for the rest of this year so here's my Summer's 2011 To-Do List:

1. Hanging Stemware Rack
I've always wanted one of these and I think I've got the perfect place to put one in our kitchen.  I'm gonna look for the perfect one, otherwise I might try to build one.  Can you really call it building though, since it's so small?  Hmmm....

2. Blinds for the Bathroom
I really like these bamboo ones in the picture below. I hope I can find some similar for cheap.

3. Re-Do the Laundry Room.
I've got this wonderful paint color from Glidden: Teal Lake for the walls.
I really wanna do a fun pattern, but might end up with some vertical stripes of another shade. I also discovered over at Pinterest that teal is a very popular laundry room color. That makes me happy since I love the color! I'd really love something adorable like this wall decor. I might have to some up with something along these lines since they're so freakin' cute!

5. Dining Room Chair Pillows.
I'm convinced that the two lonely chairs that sit aside our buffet in the dining room need a little something to keep them company, like a pillow.  I'm not really sure how it's gonna work out, but I think it'll look good. We'll see. Here's something similar to what I'm looking for.  I'll probably go with rectangles though. 

6. Organize Master Closet
I dream of it looking similar to this: (chandelier and all!) {btw, I just LOVE this blog}

7. Fabric Storage
I've been looking for a great way to store my fabric so I can still see what I have.  I'd never thought of using shoe organizers.  I'm heading out this weekend to buy some and do this! (Did I mention I love Meredith's blog?).
8. Ironing Board Makeover.
I'd love to give our ironing board a makeover.  Honestly it looks terrible and hideous.  Every time I use it I cringe, which has been happening a lot due to the hours I've been logging in my Sewing Studio. It's so bad I can't even put a picture up!

9. Bench in Bedroom
This in in progress, but I can't wait for there to be a place to sit in our bedroom as well as a place to store blankets, towels, etc.  This one is similar in style to the one hubby is working on.  It's stained to match our bedroom set. I'm trying to decide if I want a cushion on top or not.  

10. State {of the} Art
This is the perfect project for above the nightstands in our bedroom.  I can't wait to get some painting action on.  I even found a tutorial over at Welcome to Heardmont {again, awesome blog}. Here's the link to her tutorial.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Susan G. Komen for the Cure - Kansas City

I made a decision last year that I would run a 5k.  Well that didn't happen.  This year I kept looking for the perfect 5k to participate in.  Because of my involvement in Zeta Tau Alpha, I always plan to volunteer to help with Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure wherever I am.  Some years I'm too busy to help or am just out of town.  This year I put it on my calendar early and nothing can replace my plans for this event.  August seems so far away but I am dedicated to make it the whole race without walking.  I haven't run this far since spring 2005.  I know I can do this with the proper training and support.  It's about 30 days away and I've got a long way to go from here.

Susan G Komen for the Cure means a lot to me.  I am a member of Zeta Tau Alpha and our philanthropy is Breast Cancer Awareness and Education.  Our philanthropy has taken over a part of my heart.  After supporting it for 6 years through raising money, saving yogurt lids, and volunteering on the collegiate and Alumnae level I've decided to make it a personal goal of mine to contribute more than I have in the past. 

During 2011, I have gained a better insight into "who" survivors are.  I read the book, Promise Me, written by Susan G. Komen's Sister, Nancy Brinker.  My eyes were opened not only to a portion of what someone goes through during their battle, but also the history of treatment and discovery.  I also volunteered at Susan G. Komen for the Cure Kansas City's Survivor Luncheon in May.  I sat there thankful that I have a helthy family and a heathy body.  Hearing stories of survival and loss brought tears to my eyes.  Realizing how many lives are affected by this disease made me want to do more.  

So on August 14th, I am running to support Susan G. Komen Kansas City Race for the Cure because I want to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer. YOU can make a difference too! Please support me and help me reach my fundraising goal by making a tax-deductible donation today!  

Here's the link to my personal fundraising page. I'm determined to reach my goal this year by raising $300. Any donation will help the Kansas City Susan G. Komen for the Cure provide grants for research, and assistance to those suffering this terrible disease.  Even just $10 can make a difference in someone's life. 

Wish me luck in this journey I'm on....there's a long way to go in finding a cure.