Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My House {Some Inside Pics}

{Master Bedroom}

{Office/Craft Room}
{Some of these pics are dark....I am so not a good photographer!}

{Upstairs Bathroom}

{Family Room}

{Dining Room}

{Other side of Dining Room}


{New Built-in Pantry in Mud Room}

{Downstairs Powder Room}

{Other side of Powder Room}

I've talked about my new home a lot on my blog. Well, it's been a true labor of love to get my home unpacked, organized (and I'm still not completely finished yet), and somewhat decorated. I had done some unpacking in May and June when we first made settlement but had planned to complete most of it this summer once school was out. That is until I found out the exciting news at the end of June that I was expecting our first baby! About two weeks later, the naseua set in....UGHHHHH. I'm thrilled to be pregnant, but not feeling well for almost the entire day kind of puts a damper on one's plans. Finally in August I started feeling better again and was actually able to accomplish some more unpacking/organizing/decorating.
Decorating is another one of my passions/hobbies in life. I love adding my own touches to my home to make it cozy and a place that my husband and I enjoy coming home to at the end of each day. Unlike in my condo where I was very daring with color, in this home, I've gone with very neutral wall colors/furniture and added pops of colors through pillows, pictures, and rugs to accent each room. Still working on it, but I get a little closer to being finished each day!

Here's what we've done so far (with some help from family and professionals):

1. Added a white tile backsplash to the kitchen (compliments of my Dad), took down the bread cabinet which was taking up a ton of counter space, and replaced the punched tin insert with glass in the corner cabinet.

2. Added new light fixtures to the kitchen, dining room, upstairs hallway, and front porch (hanging pendant light - still waiting for the replacement after we accidentally broke the original).

3. Painted EVERY room in the house - I never want to pick up a paint brush again.

4. Installed faux wood blinds (they look real but cost a lot less!) in our upstairs bathroom and master bedroom.

5. Hung new curtain rods/curtains in the family room, dining room, office/craft room, and guest room.

6. Bought new mirrors for the downstairs powder room and upstairs bathroom.

7. Hung LOTS of pictures, shelves, and added a wall treatment using mirrors in the dining room.

8. Had a custom built-in pantry installed in the mudroom for additional food storage.

9. Added a new stackable washer/dryer in the mudroom closet (compliments of my in-laws).

10. Completely refinished the third floor attic. Taped, spackled and painted the walls, had new berber carpet installed, bought a portable air conditioner for the space since it's god-awful hot up there, and my husband and father-in-law built me a walk-in closet on one side.

11. Bought some new furniture for various rooms.

12. Planted tons of flowers, shrubs, and trees all over our yard and constructed a brick wall planter to frame one of the beds in the front of the house.

13. Added a garden of different summer veges in the backyard (which Ginger has pretty much destroyed at this point...oh well).

14. Replaced all 27 windows in the house with brand new and much more efficient/convenient ones.

Still to Do:

1. The baby's room: wanes cotting or chair rail, closet organizer, paint, accessories, etc (can't give away too many details....this will be a future post!)

2. Close in the back porch with new windows and indoor/outdoor carpet (not the green astroturf!).

3. Finish organizing the basement and garage (my goal is to have a yard sale this fall...yeah right).

4. Plant new grass in certain areas of the yard.

5. Replace all hardware on upstairs doors (they are all old doors with original knobs....gorgeous....but don't work well. We're looking for new hardware that resembles the old stuff).

I'm sure I'm forgetting something but that's all I've got for now!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Back to School - YIKES!

In just a few short weeks I'll be back to work. Yes, I'm sad to be going back after a relaxing summer of not ever having to set an alarm clock, meeting girlfriends for coffee and/or lunch, beach days on a whim, family vacations, and most especially, not grading papers! June, July, and August are my salvation, and I thank God I'm fortunate enough to have a job where I get almost three months of permanent vacation every year. But lala land will end soon enough and back to teaching, grading, and insanity I'll be! So, to get myself motivated to head back into school this week to begin setting up my classroom, I whipped up these cute little thank you cards especially designed for a teacher! Occasionally, I have students give me gifts or parents do something to show their appreciation, and now I have these cute little notecards to pull out and write my thank you on!

I created two versions: one I personalized with my name and one I kept simple with just "Thank You."

We're Having a B.A.B.Y....

{How cute is our baby???!!!! The technician doing the ultrasound this morning said, "Ut oh, your baby isn't cooperating!" Haha....already misbehaving :o) The baby was moving a lot, and we were able to see the heart beating like crazy and him or her touch their cute little hand to their nose.....awwww!}

{My bump at a little over 12 weeks (pic taken this morning just before leaving for the doctor's office). Bo tries to make me feel better and swears I look no different (and I love him for that, but I know I'm already changing!).}

and couldn't be happier!!!! Bo and I received the great news not even one week after we celebrated our first wedding anniversary on June about a great gift! There have been so many BIG changes for our little family recently - within the last 3-4 months, Bo and I have bought a new house and a new and bigger car (bigger being the key word), adopted a new puppy (2 days before we received the exciting news :o)), celebrated our first year of marriage, and now we are having a BABY! We are so excited we barely know what to do with ourselves!

For most of July I wasn't feeling well at all, but I'm thankfully feeling much better now! Our baby is due on February 26, 2010, which couldn't be more perfect timing with my teaching job. If all goes according to plan, I will be taking off until the following September when the new school starts....PHEW! I've already got tons of ideas for the nursery and yes, we will be finding out the sex of the baby. I'll take the surprise at 20 weeks (mid-October!) instead of 40!!

I'll be posting more about Baby Boy/Girl Powell in the near future!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

My New Address Labels!

I love when I get a piece of mail that has been creatively addressed, especially with circular or wrap-around labels. When someone has taken the time to make the outside of their envelope look as nice as what's on the inside, it really makes a statement! I've been wanting to create these labels for myself for a while now, and I finally got around to it. They just have to be printed, and then I can't wait to use them!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

PB Craft Table Knockoff!

Ever since I saw the craft table in the Pottery Barn catalog a few years ago, I've been drooling over it. I knew that one day when I had my own home, I'd want a craft room with THAT table. Well, I quickly changed my thinking on that once I noticed it's hefty price tag. Don't get me wrong, it's gorgeous, but it's totally not worth $1200 plus shipping and tax! After I decided the PB version was out of my price range, I was on the hunt for a more affordable version. And, of course, Target never lets me down! I found the exact same craft table for half the cost (plus the matching stool was included!) and they were running a special the day I bought it for 15% off your entire order plus free shipping....WOO lucky day! My office/craft room is not finished just yet but I took these pictures today and thought I'd share just in case there are any of you that also have a slight obsession with the PB craft station. I LOVE's so easy to do my projects on this table. And the cubby shelves on each side are great....plenty of storage for all my paper and crafting supplies!

FYI: You will not find this purchase in Target stores. You have to order it online. I just typed in craft tables in the little search box on Target's home page and voila!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Calling All Cooks to the Kitchen: Easiest Banana Cream Pie Recipe EVER

Ingredients - I bought a vanilla graham cracker pie crust accidentally and it made no difference. Both are yummy.

I use my handy Tupperware chopping machine when chopping my candy into small pieces. I've done it other ways before and this is the easiest and least messy - trust me!

FYI - I don't cover and chill the pudding/coolwhip mixture and then add the remaining coolwhip later like the recipe calls. I put the whole thing together and then chill for an hour or two. I don't have time for all those steps when I've found it doesn't make much difference anyway.

The finished product! You can see the yummy layers of bananas, pudding, coolwhip, and chocolate!

I'm finding that my blog is becoming a conglomeration of all my favorite hobbies (making invitations, crafting, decorating, entertaining, and now cooking) and I kinda like it!'s a banana cream pie recipe that is not only super simple to make but also to-die-for! My husband loves banana cream pie, and I made this for him today because he had a bad day at work. This should cheer him up!
~ 1 package (3.4 oz) vanilla flavored instant pudding mix
~ 1 cup milk
~ 1 container (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
~ 2 bananas, sliced
~ 1 (6 oz) chocolate graham cracker pie crust
~ 3 (1.4 oz) toffee candy bars, chopped (I use a large Hershey's Symphony Bar)
~ Combine pudding mix and milk in a medium bowl, stiring with a wire whisk until smooth.
~ Gently fold 1 cup whipped topping into pudding mixture.
~ Toss banana slices over crust. Sprinkle with half of chopped candy.
~ Spoon pudding/coolwhip mix over bananas and candy. Cover and chill 1 and 1/2 hours or until set.
~ Spoon remaining whipped topping on top of pie just before serving. Sprinkly with remaining chopped candy.

Xyron 500 = A Crafty Girl's Dream Come True!

I wanted to share the Xyron 500 with all my fellow crafty girlfriends! This little machine is truly one of the best purchases I've ever made. I actually purchased this from Michaels (I used a 50% off coupon and paid maybe $15-20 tops) well over a year ago while I was planning my wedding. I mostly used it to make stickers but it serves many purposes: laminator, magnet maker, sticker machine, and the list goes on. You can buy refillable cartridges at Michaels (again, use those 50% coupons ladies to pay only around $9-10 per cartridge). They are easy to load and the machine is super simple to use.

Just to give you some ideas for how to use the Xyron, check out my pictures above. You'll see I attached wrap-around labels to my wedding invitations, added family and friend pictures to my table numbers for my wedding, added stickers to bags with mummers' supplies for each table of guests at our wedding for their surprise appearance, and applied little personalized gift tags to my bridesmaids giftbags to be given at our rehearsal party (click on each picture to see more closely). AND I continue to use this machine as I create projects for myself and friends currently. You can't go wrong with this purchase!

Stay tuned for some upcoming projects including:

1. My new personalized address labels
2. Back to School notecards (especially for teachers)
3. Adrienne and Muhammad's save the date cards
4. Inside pictures of my new house

I'm also beginning to work on but won't be posting for a few more months:

1. Terri's baby announcements (baby due September 2009)
2. Kathy's baby announcements (baby due October 2009)
3. Adrienne and Muhammad's wedding invitations (wedding May 2010)
4. Jamie and John's wedding invitations (wedding June 2010)
5. Fall festival invites (Bo wants to have a fall party at our house this year but I'm trying to talk him out b/c guess who will be doing all of cooking, cleaning and preparation??? I do love entertaining though....hmmmm. We'll see if these ever get printed!)
6. Thanksgiving invitations for my family (I'll be hosting my favorite holiday at my house this year and cooking my first turkey ever!)
7. My Christmas cards (I'm going pink and green this year!)
8. My mom and sister's Christmas cards (starting to gather some ideas already)

Wow, that's a lot of work ahead of me! I better get busy b/c once summer is over, that means planning lessons, grading papers and back to grad school. Not too much time left for Lime Design....BOO HOO!