head diy Design Fanatic: March 2011

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Things, They Are A Changin'

Wouldn't it be great if you could design a room & just go out and purchase all the beautiful things you needed? I would love that!
Ok, so back to reality.

I've been working on changing the colors in our home and lightening things up for Spring. We started in the Dining Room a few months ago & I finally began lightening things up in the Family Room. My main goal is to get rid of all or most of the red in my home.
Here's the before of my coffee table:

This box holds all of the remotes.

Here's the after:

I painted the box with Apple Barrel Mossy Green Gloss paint. This color definitely says Spring! The lantern is painted with Apple Barrel's Pewter Grey with a dash of Military Blue mixed in.

Do you have something in your house that you get frustrated with every time you look at it? Our 20 year old sofa was it for me. We bought it before kids. Underneath the lovely (said with sarcasm) slip cover,  is a champagne damask sofa. It was a great sofa ~ It was the only place I could sleep comfortably when I was pregnant with both my girls. Ah, but I digress... it's heyday had come and gone...like 10 years ago! When we moved here, I found this ugly slipcover at Target. I don't really like that many florals, but it was the only one that would fit this huge sofa.

What I hated most about this cover was that it looked like this after my girls and Mr. F sat on it. It was a pain to constantly fix it.

Well, we finally got a new sofa!
Now, I just need to make some throw pillow covers and choose a new paint color for the room.

Hope you had a fantastic weekend!


Friday, March 25, 2011

Cheesy Super Easy Garlic Artisan Bread

Remember the super easy no knead Artisan Bread I told you about awhile back?

Mr. F was going to bake some bread, so my youngest daughter suggested that he add some cheese and garlic to it. He took her suggestion and also baked it in a loaf pan instead of on a sheet pan. 
This loaf was about 2/3's of the batch and to the regular easy recipe he added about a cup of cheddar cheese and about 2 teaspoons of  garlic powder. (I would use a little less next time) He also baked it 30 minutes instead of 25.

It turned out so pretty and yummy!

 Click on the link above for the recipe.
I hope you try it because it is soooooo good!
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Happy Spring!

We've had some gorgeous Spring weather the past week. I hope you are seeing signs of Spring where you live, as well.

The Yoshino cherry tree in our front yard always looks gorgeous in full bloom. Yesterday it was a little breezy and for a  minute it looked like it was snowing with all of the cherry blossom petals flying through the air.

I never get tired of looking at it.

Some gorgeous tulips are blooming at a local shopping center.

I love driving past this field on the way home.

Back at home,
the Camelias I planted years ago on the north side of our house are in full bloom.

The best part of growing flowers in the garden is bringing them indoors to enjoy!

Hope you are enjoying your first days of Spring!


Monday, March 21, 2011

One Of My "Go To" Dinners

You all know I don't like to cook much... I especially detest having to think of something at the last minute, when there's nothing in the refrigerator and no time to thaw something out. I do have a repertoire of about 10 things I can make well and don't mind making it because everyone loves it.

Do you have a "go to" dinner (not diner, lol!) that's easy to make ahead of time? That's just what I made on Friday since I knew we were going to be exhausted on Saturday because we had yard work planned.

Shredded beef can be cooked in a crock-pot the day before and there's hardly anything to it. I knew I wanted leftovers so I cut up over 5 pounds of  sirloin roast and put it in the crock-pot. The roast was on sale for $2.49 a pound...cheaper than ground beef!

Once you cut up the beef, you cover it with water, add salt, garlic powder and some other seasonings you like, put the lid on and put the temp on high. That's it!

Let it cook until the meat falls apart.

When it's done, I break apart the meat while it's still warm and put it in the meat juice and put it in the refrigerator until the next day.

You can also shred the cheese & make some sour cream dip the day before. I love Hidden Valley Spicy ranch dip mixed with some sour cream. Yum!  A can of beans and some homemade guacamole top it all off. Heat your tortillas when you are ready to eat! The meat can be frozen if you have leftovers.
Here's how I make my guacamole: 
mash up 1 or 2 ripe Haas avocados
add enough sour cream/or sour cream fiesta dip) to make the avocados creamy ( I used 1 heaping teaspoon with  2 avocados)
season to taste with a little salt & garlic powder
Mix all together.

I rarely have cilantro, which is traditionally put in guacamole, but if I have any, I put some in too. Sometimes I add a some diced tomatoes and if you like onions, add some of those too!

 Hope you get a chance to make this some time.
Happy Spring to everyone!!!


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Evolution Of The Breakfast Room

 The Breakfast Room looked like this for many years.

The large rectangular table was the only seating for dining. We didn't have any barstools so there was plenty of room between the bar and the table.

Then we added barstools and a deeper granite bar top which everyone loved to sit at.  During large gatherings, it was difficult to squeeze between the table and the bar and even to open the door to the deck.

A recent Craigslist find solved this problem. The round pedestal table is 44 inches wide ~ large enough to seat four and still have plenty of room to get between the bar and the table and open the door to the deck. There's even room for a small table in front of the center window and for something small near the pantry doors.

My  Craigslist searches will now include a narrow table to replace the tray table that's in front of the center window and a tall narrow cabinet for the left of the pantry.

So much more is planned for this room (paint, new curtains, slipcovers for the chairs), but I'm so happy with the function of the room with the round table.
Hope you had a wonderful weekend!


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Ready To Plant!

Just finished up with our raised beds about 30 minutes ago. I think this is the fourth weekend working on them.
Today we added 12 bags of compost and mixed them into the beds.

Mr. F. dug up the valves in the black box, added another line for the drip irrigation and straightened up the cockeyed white pipe that was driving me crazy! Then we added 6 bags of rock on top of some black landscaping fabric to make a two foot path for access to the hose bibb and for the electrical panel. Whew! We're both tired and it's close to 80 degrees outside!

I started my seeds in this tray a few days ago and I'm waiting for them to sprout. I thought I'd start them in a tray just in case we get another frost. We aren't clear until the second week of April.

Hope your Saturday has been productive and/or fun!


Friday, March 18, 2011

New Found Space

Isn't it amazing how a room can feel so much larger just by changing out one single piece of furniture?
Because we traded our large rectangular table to a round one in the breakfast room, there is now room for two more smaller pieces of furniture.

This is only a temporary fix for one of the pieces I'd like to find, but it will do for now.  I would like to find a little metal and glass table, or one that's made out of wood,  that I could paint for this little spot near the center window. Would like the table to be a little wider and taller.
Will share more about how the breakfast room feels so much larger and the design changes we've made  and more that we have planned for this space on Monday!
Can't wait to share it with you!
Hope you have a fabulous weekend!


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

New Spring Table

We changed out the table in our breakfast room. It was in the basement where I set up a fireside tablescape last week.  There is so much space in the breakfast room now because the round table is a whole lot smaller.
(I didn't iron the new tablecloth I found at HomeGoods. Ironing isn't my favorite thing to do. Let's call it Shabby Chic design. LOL!)

The centerpiece is borrowed items from other rooms. The large tatted doily in the center was another one of my grandmother's handiwork.

Dinner plates are Gorham Brekenridge, salad plates are from TJ Maxx or Marshall's many years ago.

Flatware is Wallace Continental Bead, and of course, the glasses are vintage Boopie.

My burlap wrapped votives rarely leave the breakfast table.

I have some fabulously embelished irish linen pillow cases that my grandmother made and am thinking of altering them to make slipcovers for these chairs. Will have to show you how the pillow cases look another time and get your opinion on them.
Until then...