Sunday, October 14, 2012


This is kind of a flow of consciousness.  A bunch of things that have been happening around here since fall has befallen us.  Ultimately it hasn't rained since July (!!!) and in the past few days it has more than made up for that and then there was a water main break so it was all "water, water, everywhere"  Except for the tap. Booo.

Now for the snippets.  Lots of pics, few words.  You're welcome.

So it hasn't rained here since July. Oh, I mentioned that already?  Whoops.  But no rain around here for two months catches people's attention.  It also destroys dahlias.  The excess weight of the rain just busts those bad boys.

Next year we stake!  Or go with something different.....

Now for lots of pictures....

New trees!  A Magnolia and a Smoke tree to be exact.  ( Top to bottom)

My very favorite tree in the world.  Vine Maple.

All of the hanging baskets are still holding on.  It amazes me that I still have flowers growing in mid-October.  The last picture gives a sneak peak at the latest curb appeal project.

I forgot about the water.

All of the water!  The F%@&$ing water.  Funny how it can immediately irritate me.

The garage has reached critical mass (as described by the husband...)

So many projects crammed in here..... Honey, I promise it will look better after Christmas!  PS- A few of those boxes are yours....


Downstairs bedroom update/reveal.

What lies beneath???

Finally.  To my husband.  Thanks for doing what you do.  You're wonderful, my love!


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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Outdoor Appeal.

I spend a great deal of time sitting on my porch outside because it has a great mountain view and it's super peaceful.  Unfortunately it was starting to look a little sad.  It all started with something I've done a million times: washing the outdoor cushions.  I usually just throw them in the washer and dryer with no problems.  But this time......

You can see that the washer or the dryer ripped the cushion apart.  In a bunch of  Which actually is a blessing in disguise because it was about time for an upgrade.

Once I started thinking about that, I got the balling rolling and decided to refinish the deck, paint the ceiling and get all new accessories.  It's funny how that happens.

I used the same cleaning technique on this deck that I did on the back deck.  Find it here.  It worked great and I was left with a completely blank slate.

There was also the ceiling to contend with because my husband had treated all of the wood outside and there was some overspray.  It wasn't pretty but it wasn't something that bothered me until the cushions ripped.  I painted the ceiling a really, really light blue color.  I decided that when it gets dark and dreary here, it would nice to have a little blue overhead.

See that orange stripe around the edge of the ceiling.  That's what was bothering me....

And then....

The difference is super subtle unless it's cloudy and then my little piece of blue sky is great.

From there it was time favorite part!

At the time Pottery Barn was having an end of summer super sale.  I decided I needed an outdoor rug and some new cushions. 

First up the rug.

It's the Oliver Stripe rug. Here's a pic from Pottery Barn's website:

Right now it's available and on sale for 149.99 plus shipping!

Now that I had the rug down I decided not to stray too far from Pottery Barn and I went with some complimentary cushions.  Not matching, but complimentary.  Unfortunately they are no longer available on the Pottery Barn website.

For a side by side comparison:

The colors play really nice with each other.

I moved some furniture around which means another outdoor post in the future :)


And After:

And one more after:


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Saturday, September 29, 2012


Surprise.  I'm back.  And today is the first day of my off-season. Thank you baby Jesus, I'm done for the winter. 

My on-season was great.  I love my job but hate being away from home so it's a double-edged sword.  I also hate being away from here.  I thought I could do projects and blog about them at the same time but it just couldn't happen.  A home decor blog without projects is lame but I did do bunch of things this summer so I'll catch you all up in the next few's a preview......

This blog is not sponsored by Diet Coke, just fueled by it.

This is just a couple of the projects I worked on in the past three months.  I have a few more in the works and a bunch in the planning stage.  Things are about to get real.  Hear that sound?  My husband is ducking and running for cover.....


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Sunday, June 10, 2012

How to Paint a Lampshade.

This post shouldn't really be about "how to paint a lampshade."  The painting techniques are the same as if you were painting a chair or a wall.  This post is more about how to get the COURAGE to paint a lampshade because it's so weird to just slap a coat of paint onto a lampshade.

I bought a ten dollar shade at Wal-Mart for a lamp I found at the Goodwill.  The shade needed to be on the smaller side and it needed to be able to attach to the lamp without using a lamp harp.  I found a shade that met both of those needs but unfortunately it was a beige-ish grey.  I really wanted white but apparently it didn't come in that color so I bought it anyway and hoped it worked.  It didn't.  The color was just wrong for the space (our new office).  Here's a shot:

I thought about returning it but I was suddenly struck with the idea that maybe, just maybe, I could paint it. 

The texture of the shade was really rough so I wasn't so sure how it would turn out.  I covered it in two light coats of primer.  I really wanted the texture to come through so I didn't glom on the paint.  Here it is mid-way the first coat:

After I let the shade dry for awhile (it was actually 6 days because I went back to work), I coated it with Behr Ultra Pure White (just the semi-gloss kind that comes straight of the shelf).

And here it is:

Because I used light coats, you can still see the texture.  I think it looks great!

My advice when painting a lampshade?  Use a good primer, paint lightly, and don't be scared!  It'll turn out great!


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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Food Post! Best Tuna Burger Ever!

I haven't really posted any recipes but this is one of my favorites.  My husband goes on a tuna fishing charter every year and comes home with approximately one billion pounds of fresh tuna.  Well, not really, but that's what it feels like.  Truth be told, I don't really like fresh tuna (GASP!).  Eventually I had to find a way to deal with the huge amount of tuna taking over my freezer and I finally found a recipe I love!



  • Anaheim chile peppers
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • 4 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds ahi tuna fillets, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 seeded Kaiser rolls, split
  • 1 large Maui onion (or other sweet onion), thinly sliced
  • 1 large vine-ripened tomato, sliced
  • 1 package radish or sunflower sprouts


Sauce: Char peppers over gas flame or under broiler until blistered on all sides. Enclose in a paper bag and let stand 15 minutes. Peel peppers, remove stem and seeds, and dice. Measure 1/4 cup diced peppers into a small bowl and add mayonnaise, sour cream, cilantro, lime juice, ginger, garlic, and salt; stir well.
Burgers: Meanwhile, in large bowl, beat egg and stir in panko, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, lime juice and zest, red pepper flakes, and salt. Add ahi and combine gently; form 4 patties.
Heat vegetable oil on nonstick griddle over medium-high heat. Add patties and cook 3 to 4 minutes per side. Toast rolls under broiler during last few minutes of cooking. Spread sauce on roll bottom and top with onion, tomato, sprouts, and additional sauce. Add roll tops and devour.
It's kind of involved, but it's also THE. BEST. TUNA. RECIPE. EVER.  The sauce really, really makes it so please, please, please make the sauce too.
If you're lucky enough to get your hands on fresh tuna, ENJOY!

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Curb Appeal - Part Two

Warning....There will likely be 75 billion-kajillion curb appeal posts.  So settle in....  We're on number two....

I briefly mentioned this improvement technique yesterday.  I used nearly the same cleaning formula as yesterday, with one change.  My homemade (fantastic) deck cleaner formula is: 3 quarts warm water, 1 quart bleach, 1/3 cup POWDERED laundry detergent.  The powdered stuff doesn't foam as much as regular cleaner so it's easier to deal with.

I'll leave you with pictures....

You can see the terrible condition of the deck boards.  They were green and dirty and unevenly stained and generally UGLY!

But the homemade deck cleaner came to the rescue. 

I'm not going to lie and say this was the easiest project.  Because it wasn't!  I spent 3 hours scrubbing all the moss and goo from this deck. But what I will say is the homemade deck cleaner was cheap, simple and worked like a hot damn!

Next up?  Applying finish.  That will be tomorrow....


I linked up to Sarah at Thrifty Decor Chick.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Curb Appeal!

I am finally tackling an area of the house that has been ignored for quite some time.  It's the front of the house.  Well, actually it's the back of the house, but it's where the front door is located.  Confused?  Our driveway comes up from the street and then wraps around the house to the garage and front door.  From now on I will call it the north side of the house.

We don't really spend much time on the north side.  It has a much bigger deck but the view isn't quite the same as the south side:

North side.
South side.
The north side of the house has been woefully neglected, so I took it upon my self to change that.  The first job I tackled also turned out to be the easiest.  Our garage door was looking a little grungy so I scrubbed it down with a homemade concoction of bleach, dishwashing detergent and hot water.  I added the bleach because moss grows EVERYWHERE in our neck of the woods so I wanted something that would kill the spores.

I took this picture when I was halfway finished.  You can really see the dirt and moss at the bottom, right side of the door, but the whole thing was kind of a mess.

So much better!  It only took me about ten minutes but it makes a HUGE difference.

Unfortunately I wasn't as lucky with the next projects.  In fact, I'm still working on it :(

Update soon!


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Monday, May 14, 2012

Happy Monday?

I peacefully slumbering along when I awoke to the craziest thing I have seen in a long time.

My cats were attacking the curtains furiously and I couldn't figure out why.  They were both literally swatting, clawing and biting at the curtains.  I tried to shoo them away to no avail.  It didn't take me long to figure out what the problem was.

Don't see it?  How about a little closer...

And a little closer.....

Sorry for the terrible pictures but did I mention I had just woken up?

Mice don't really bother me that much but since I am used to seeing them underfoot not overhead this one threw me for a loop.  I guess the resourceful little guy climbed the curtains to avoid certain death at the hands paws of my cats.

You'll be happy to know I scooped him off of the curtain rod and returned him to the wild.


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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Vertical-Hanging Succulent Garden

I love succulents.  They come in all different shapes and sizes and are so, so easy to grow.  They are pretty much the lowest maintenance plant in the world.

I had seen vertical succulent gardens all over the web and at a garden show I went to last year so I decided that this was something I could totally tackle.

I gathered up some supplies: chicken wire, potting soil, various succulents and an old wooden window frame I found at a salvage store for ten bucks.

After Googling around the internet I settled on the easiest approach. We fit chicken wire against the back of the window frame and then my husband built up the window frame by about three inches so that we could put in the soil.  You can see the original frame and then the portion my husband built here:

He then added hanging mechanism to the back. In order to support the weight of the frame and soil he used a cleat type hanging method, kind of like this except it's not a headboard, lol. The concept is exactly the same though......

Basically he screwed pieces of wood to the wall and the back of the window frame.  When the succulent garden is ready to hang, you fit the two pieces of wood together and it's perfectly supported.  This is the piece that is attached to the wall:

And now it was time to make it pretty.  I poured soil into the window frame and packed it in really, really tight.  The tighter the better because once you turn it vertical, gravity wants to pull every thing down and out. Boo.

In order to plant the succulents I used snips to cut open the chicken wire in places, pried it back and then jammed the plants into the soil. Here's the beautiful results:

Now comes the full disclosure: 

One: It sat horizontal for about two months.  I really wanted to make sure that the succulents rooted and the soil was completely packed before I hung it. 

And two: Some of these succulents didn't really work out.  The one with the pretty flowers in the foreground and the large pinkish flower looking one died about four months after I planted them.  I think the problem was they naturally grow pretty high so when I hung them vertically they failed to thrive.  Oh well, the rest of them are doing really well and filled in the holes left by the dead ones.

Eventually I did mount it to the wall.  Over about two weeks, I slowly moved the frame from horizontal to vertical by propping it against the house and adjusting the degree it was leaning.  But my patience paid off and here it is!

This was taken in the dead of winter.  Here's a more recent pic:

It's really filling out nicely.


I linked up to Kate at Centsational Girl.

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