It seems the past few weeks have just worn me out! between working both jobs and getting the house back in order that I have no time! I did 8 loads of laundry Tuesday night, and 2 more Wednesday night... I was washing clothes to wear the same day. don't judge me i know nobody likes doing the laundry, but it's SO much worse when you have so much to do. Tonight is Saturday, and I have to go to work at the MP. Tomorrow, we have company coming over for a big barbeque. I have a lot of cooking to do tomorrow morning. We have about 40 pounds of pork in the fridge right now. No rest for the wicked weary!
Every time I turn around, it seems like another month has passed. I can't believe tomorrow is April 29th already! Happy 30th Birthday, Joey! (one of my cousins) It feels like it was just Christmas, and now it's almost May already! Time really does fly by when you're not paying attention!!!
I wanted to take some pictures of our house and show you what it's like. It's a ranch style house, it has light grey siding with white trim. It's dark outside now, so I can't get a good picture of the house, but you can see the front (sorta) from the pictures when I ripped out the old stoop.
As you enter our house, you step right into the living room/dining room. You can see right down the hallway and you can also see the kitchen when you come in the front door.
The living room when looking from the dining room
The living room from the front door
If you turn to the right, you'll then see our dining room and kitchen.
We'll head on down the hallway. The first door on the left is the coat closet. We also have 2 linen closets in the hallway; one at the very end, and one just between the restroom and the guest bedroom. The first room we'll visit is the 3rd bedroom, which we currently have set up as our office. Someday, when we have kids, this will become the nursery.
Just across the hall from the office is the ONLY restroom in the house. That alone is a challenge, let alone the fact that the restroom is original to the 51 year old house. Yes, my friends, we're not trying to harbor antiquities...wait...go retro... Oh, never mind. The blue formica with gold flecks and hideous floral wallpaper should speak for themselves. Yes, we want to renovate the bathroom. No, we don't love the countertop at midget heightreally low countertop (I am 6 feet tall and Marc is 6'5"...this is a low countertop for people who aren't our height. It hits us between knee and mid-thigh), and No, it's not in our budget to remodel the bathroom just yet. Even though blue is my very favorite color, the 4 different shades in the bathroom have not made it grow on me. Grrrr...
Adjacent to the bathroom, is our "Master" bedroom. It's only the master because it's the largest; otherwise, it's just another bedroom. There's no bathroom in it to make it a nice master suite. I would kill for really love to have a master bathroom...It's nice to daydream, no?? :)
The doorway you can see in the above picture is my closet the guest bedroom. While it would be amazing to have a closet the size of our 2nd largest bedroom, sadly, it is not feasible in this house.
The guest room is the only room we haven't painted (besides the aforementioned hideous bathroom). We are kinda waiting until we have kids and move the office to that room. It has a door to the back yard and back deck, so we don't want it to be a kid's room. It's kinda a decorating mess right now, since it serves many purposes.
The last picture is from the end of the hallway looking back at the front door.
So, that's our house. It's pretty small, and I'm always looking for creative ways to store things. I do not like clutter; it stresses me out!!! I am always trying to get a project finished so I can move onto the next one. Next year, we're hoping to put new white interior doors, crown moulding, and new baseboards and trim throughout the house. I think it will update the look a lot and get rid of the dark '70's vibe that the old wood doors and trim give to the place. It will also lighten up the hallway considerably.
This past weekend seemed to fly by! I worked both Friday and Saturday nights, then had to be up by way too darn early for me 9:30 am to go to the grocery store and get the makings for my banana pudding for Easter at the in-laws. We had to be in Queens by 2 pm, and had to run some other errands as well. We stopped at Home Depot so Marc could order his new bbq grill!! I am excited because we have a smoker, but not a regular gas grill. I use my cast iron grill pan in the house a lot when we make steaks, and I am really glad we'll have a grill outside so I won't have to grill indoors in the summer.
We also ordered the rest of the furniture items for the dining room!! I am really excited that I can finish decorating the dining room and be done with it. If you know me at all, I'm sure you gathered that I have no patience very little patience for projects in progress. When I start something on the house, I want it finished rightnow!! The only projects we have left to do on the inside of the house are remodel our ugly bathroom, new interior doors, and crown moulding and baseboards throughout the house. It's come a long way!
Last Thursday, while I was shopping after Thursdays at the cake, I stopped at Marshall's to return some dresses I had bought, and decided since I was already there, that I should look around some. I found a nice sized big mirror to put on our mantle, and it was only 30 bucks!! Usually, mirrors this size are at least $70 or more. I needed one with a gold frame because we have 2 pictures flanking the fireplace that also have gold frames. Gold is not my favorite, but the prints are already framed, and framing can be pretty pricey for custom sizes.
The gold on the mirror frame is a little brighter than the gold of the prints, but it goes well enough, and since it was only 30 bucks, it makes me notice it a little less!! I can't wait until the mirror and wine racks come in for the dining room!! I will put pictures up to show you when they arrive.
I hope everyone back home in Arkansas is surviving the terrible weather. I'll say a prayer for everyone that your families and homes are safe.
Today we had such beautiful weather that I decided to go outside and demolish dismantle our old wooden stoop. The wood was beginning to rot, and I could see through the cracks that there was a fully intact brick stoop below it.
I got out my new drill and old tool box and went to work. (Thanks, Dad for teaching me to use tools and not to be too girly scared to do it myself!) I am still scratching my head as to why someone would put wood over brick. It makes NO sense.
While I was working, my neighbor came home and saw me demo-ing the stoop and brought me his saw. He helped me saw through the boards on top that were screwed down so tightly that my drill stripped the screws. It only took about an hour and a half to get done, and I'm really pleased with the way it looks.
I left the wooden sides on for now, because I need to have a mason come out and re-point the bricks and level the center with concrete. Our chimney is also red brick, so the stoop matches now. The wood was hideous!! I love the feeling that comes with accomplishing a task I set out to do.
Now, It's time to shower and go to Thursdays at the Cake!!
Remember the post about the Cream of potato and leek soup where I said I wanted an immersion blender??? Well, guess what? I am now the proud owner of a brand spankin' new empire red kitchen-aid immersion blender!!! (my Mom ROCKS!) Woo-hoo!!! I have a totally normal amount of affection for it LOVE it!!!!
I think I am a little teeny bit obsessed with kitchen gadgets. Every time I go to Williams-Sonoma or Macy's, I can spend hours in the kitchen department daydreaming and wishing not only that I could afford everything in the store more gadgets, but also that I had the space to store them all when I'm not using them to make cool new recipes. Hanging out in Williams-Sonoma really makes me daydream about not working and having a totally fabulous dream kitchen where I entertain friends and family ALL. THE. TIME. I would love it!! In said daydreams, there's never any mess. I must have gotten some kitchen cleaning fairies too! HA! That's how I know it's a dream, because the only kitchen fairies that exist are the bad ones that make messes...but I digress...
I took all of the things we got out of the attic last night to the MP to be donated today. It feels so good to give things that we no longer use away to be used by someone else. When I got to the restaurant today, my bosses kindly helped me unload my car. It was COMPLETELY packed. I laid down the back seats and filled 'er up! (I drive a Nissan Murano, in case you were wondering) I even had a few things in the front seat. It's a good thing I didn't tackle our closets, I would have had to make more than one trip! My managers who helped me said I ought to have a lot good Karma headed my way, so here's hoping!
I had intended to get to work dismantling our old rotting wood stoop today with my handy new power drill (thanks, Marc!), but it started raining, so I decided it can wait. I have the strangest idea that bringing power tools out to work in the rain might not be the best way to use them...
When we were shopping on Sunday, I picked up some fresh flowers for the house. Lilies are my very favorite, and I bought Stargazers and Casablancas. They're so fragrant! My favorite flower to smell is Gardenia, but they didn't have any of those. The buds on the lilies started opening today, so I took a few pictures to share with you.
I hope y'all had a great day, and hope an even better week lies ahead.
Today I didn't have to work at the office, so I spent some time really spring cleaning today. I spent A LOT of time in our office shredding old bills and the never-ending stream of credit card applications we get in the mail. I had to empty the shredder 3 times. As I was looking at the papers, I realized I hadn't shredded since October! That's a lot of paper laying around in the office!! I also hung up some new towel racks in the bathroom. I try to be creative with storage since we have such a small house. I like them, what do you think?? (Please disregard the hideously dated old wallpaper and blue tile, the bathroom is original to the 50 year-old house!)
As I was cleaning the attic out tonight, when Marc got back from Paintball, (he says hello, by the way) I realized that I am definitely not a hoarder I love getting rid of our old things we don't use anymore and donating them to a good cause! The MP is doing a special girls' night out this Thursday called "spring cleaning" and taking donations for INN. Our bosses encouraged us to give clothes we don't wear anymore, and I realized that Marc and I have a lot of things in the attic from when I moved in. We combined our things, and got wedding gifts, and still had all of the old dishes and pots & pans that we had before the wedding, so I thought it would be great to get rid of them, and what better than to help those in need!?!
All of the boxes and piles by the door are heading to someone else's home for a new life! It makes me feel good to see clutter making its way out the door! Soon, I will be ordering the mirror and 2 wine storage towers to finish furnishing the dining room. I can't wait!! Does it make me crazy that I love spring cleaning?? I didn't even go through our closets of clothes yet, and I already have a truck load of stuff! Do any of you like to clean this way too?
The weekends always seem to go by so quickly around here. Perhaps it's because I work at the MP on both Friday and Saturday nights. Marc and I only share Sunday as a day off. On Sundays, we try to do all of our laundry and errand running. It makes the day seem so very short, but I am glad we get to do these things together. We enjoy doing our grocery shopping together. Today, we went to Whole Foods in search of a very specific chipotle salsa that they carry, and they were all out! (boo, hiss!) I use the chipotle salsa in several dishes and sauces that I make, and we're completely out of stock here at the house. I usually buy 10-12 cans when I go to Whole Foods. I'll have to see if I can get back up there later this week. After we ran errands today, we came back to the house and put stuff away and I got started making dinner.
Tonight's menu was: Pan grilled center cut pork chops with an applesauce and brown sugar reduction served with oven roasted new potatoes & shallots and fresh steamed broccoli with garlic butter and sea salt. It turned out so fantastically well! The pork chops were tender and juicy. I HATE when meat is over-cooked. (I used to work in a steak house and people would order a steak well done, I would want to ask them "why don't you just gnaw on my shoe order a piece of leather!")
Here are some of the recipes from dinner tonight and some pictures to boot!
Oven Roasted New Potatoes & Shallots
Baby red or "new" potatoes, as many as you plan on making, washed and quartered
1 Large or 2 small shallots, diced
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
granulated garlic , kosher salt and pepper, to taste
once both the potatoes and shallots are quartered and chopped, put them in a mixing bowl and drizzle 1 Tbsp of olive oil over them, toss to coat completely. spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray and pour the potato mixture on the sheet, spreading out into an even layer. Season with garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes, or until desired doneness is reached.
Applesauce and Brown Sugar Reduction
1/2-3/4 c. brown sugar, depending on how sweet you want it to be
1/4 c. apple cider or apple juice
3 tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
Melt butter in a small saucepan, once melted, add the garlic and cook for about a minute. DO NOT LET GARLIC BURN, it gets bitter. Add the brown sugar and melt. Add the apple sauce and apple juice. Bring to a boil and let simmer until reduced by half. Brush on pork chops and enjoy!
Here are a couple of other pictures from tonight's dinner. Enjoy!
Dinner was delicious! If you want any more of the recipes, Just leave me a comment and let me know; I'll be happy to provide them for you.
Marc is now full and doing laundry. He's such a good housewife husband.