Saturday, November 10, 2012

Well, it goes without saying that I am a terrible blogger.  My last post was in JULY! I cannot keep up with this page to save my life.  When I do come here to post, I know it is purely for me because how in the world can anyone keep up with a blog that no new information is ever posted to?

My laptop with my pictures on it has been sick and I was finally able to retrieve some photos when I came across these beauties.  We had a photo shoot in our home at the end of September for a local magazine.  The kitchen had to be cleaned and decorated for Christmas since the issue hits the stands in December.  By competing this post, at least it will allow anyone who is lurking to see pictures of our refaced cabinets to actually do so.  They are simply beautiful and make me so happy to be in my kitchen.

Beautiful new framing for the fridge 

We finally got the wine rack back up and it looks awesome 
The cooking area is so light and airy

Love the desk area.  We need to figure out a new piece under the two middle
cabinets but we'll get it finished eventually.  No rush!

Friday, July 27, 2012

What a cool contest!

Have you ever seen one of these? I have and I SO want one.  I doubt I will win but maybe someone will pitch in to get me one for my birthday. :)

Check out the Idea Room's Blog for all the details:

I have to take some pictures but I'll be back to blogging next week.  We've got a rocker, a porch swing and some chairs to introduce you to!  Have a great weekend.

Monday, June 18, 2012

A present for me!

My husband's birthday was Thursday, so imagine my surprise when I saw this sitting on my kitchen floor when I got home from work.

As you can see, my kitties had already attempted to open the wrapped box for me.  A line from "Beauty and the Beast" ran through my head upon seeing this (you know, when Belle returns and the clock and candlestick are amazed? Yes, I am a mom to a five year-old.): "Could it be? Is it she?"

With a grin on my face, I started to tear away the newspaper that was protecting my missing wine rack.
Ta da! It is she!

Of course, no new piece of furniture or anything can go unnoticed without Splotch the cat investigating as you can see in the picture above.  I am so happy!!! Finally, the wine rack be be installed and the kitchen can truly be finished.  As soon as this pieces goes in, there is a large piece of crown molding that will go on top of this section of the cabinets.  The items that are being stored on our dining room and kitchen tables can go back into the cabinets for storage!  More organization can occur.  Wahoo! Can't wait to see how the installation goes! 

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Since I do not have any restoration stories to post at the moment, I thought I would switch over to some of the activities going on inside our dream home. With a child in the house, that means there is always something going on!

It is summertime in the south which means mama has to try hard to keep a very active five year-old occupied.  Last year, I purchased a butterfly kit and stashed it away for warm weather use. The little one found the box and reminded me, we needed to order our larvae!

The tiny larvae were shipped live to us in a cup with pasty food at the bottom. Not long after they arrived, they started to eat...and eat...and eat, which made the grow! Soon, the larvae attached themselves to the lid inside their individual chrysalis. We transferred the larvae lid to the pop-up butterfly cage. While the larvae started to turn into butterflies, we read about what was going on in the book I had ordered at the same time I bought the butterfly kit.

Finally, the butterflies began to hatch, one-by-one. While the butterflies gained wing strength, we made a flower garden for them in the bottom of the butterfly keeper.  With a dropper, we placed sugar water in the dish and along the flowers.  They knew exactly what to do!

Today, we released the butterflies.  One will stay with us until she passes on.  Unfortunately before I knew the butterflies had hatched, the kitties knocked the butterfly house to the ground and hurt the wing of one of the painted ladies. Thankfully, she is eating from the flowers we have dotted with sugar water and seems happy.  She just couldn't fly away with her sisters.  

My little girl seems to understand what is going on with our special butterfly. She put the butterfly house back in her room and said she would be a good vet to the little injured one. We will definitely order more larvae so we can enjoy the butterflies again soon! 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Happiness is...

For me, nothing says "happy" like red, white and blue.  My friend said that I am the most patriotic person she knows.  I am not sure about that but I must say, I do love Memorial Day and July 4th and I truly love Americana decorations.  I finally found stars and stripes bunting for the house locally so that I did not have to order it through the Internet.  Another perk?  It was all made here in the good ol' USA.  Just in time for Memorial Day, I was able to put up patriotic bunting along with my patriotic Glory Haus burlee.  I love this time of the year as many of the home owners in our neighborhood start putting up various styles of red, white and blue decorations.  Here is our front porch all decked out in our happy place!

Nothing says patriotic like huge bunting!

I love my Glory Haus Burlee.  It says, "Land that I love" and I
promise to take a better picture so you can actually see it!

Since this picture was taken, I have added small American flags to the planters
out front.  Goes really well with the princess pool on the porch, don't you think? :)

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Still waiting...

It is the end of May and my wine rack is still AWOL.  However, I think we are getting closer.  The husband has loaned a staple gun to the guy who has been doing the painting for us.  He has returned to us the wine glass holder that goes under the wine rack.  It is pretty close in color to the cabinets! Thank goodness.  I may find a way to stain it so it has some character to it like the cabinet doors.  I'll have to wait and see once the big piece arrives.

In the meanwhile, hubby has finished painting the bathroom and we have gotten a "new" piece of furniture for storage.  My sweet Aunt has given me my cousin's victorian wardrobe.  It belonged to her great grandmother and it is truly special.  You see, my cousin and I were raised together like sisters and she was a year younger than me.  When we were in our early 20s, she was taken away from us painfully early.  There isn't a day that I don't miss her or think of her.  This piece will always hold a special place in my heart.  I am honored to own it.

This is the mirror that goes in the top right of the wardrobe.
Splotch the kitty checks out the wardrobe.

These are the beautiful pulls on the drawers.  I am on the lookout for three of them to
replace the ones that are missing.

The finished bathroom paint job.  I LOVE the color!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Purge, purge and purge some more

I had a great meeting with my fairy godmother about the kitchen yesterday.  She made me admit that I am a stacker and that my husband is a stacker and as long as we confront that issue, we can get our arms around it.  Low and behold, she told me that she and her husband are stackers (who knew?) and they too have to have a basket for mail, etc. so it doesn't do what we are doing now...cluttering up the joint.

She is coming back on Saturday to do some organizing while I am away.  God, bless her! It is a start and I am thankful. Points of entry will have new dump spots that will have to be sifted through on occasion but that is better than having tons of piles just about every where.  Hopefully the five year-old will learn from example!

Some of that fairy dust must have landed on my husband while she was around because yesterday afternoon, we spent our day off purging our bedroom closet, bathroom and sleeping area at his initiation.  Tons of magazines were sent to the recycling bin; clothing was packed in boxes for MUST ministries; and things were thrown away or shredded.  He also did a deep clean vacuuming of the floors, closet and bathroom as well as a good mopping of the tiles in the bathroom.  What a difference a few hours of team work can bring.  We still have a long way to go but it is a start.

If you are in the Cobb or Cherokee County areas and need a charity to donate to, please consider MUST ministries.  They are always in need of clothing, food and monetary donations.  We find more and more of our no-longer-needed-things going there.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A gift from the organizational goddess!

There are times where I think I know exactly how Cinderella felt when she was told by her evil stepmother that she couldn't go to the ball.  She sat there in the garden in her torn gown and tear stained cheeks, praying for a miracle to end her sorrow and helplessness.  To wash away her pain, her fairy godmother arrived.  With the wave of a magic wand and the sound of the words, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo, she was transformed into a squeaky clean, beautifully put together princess.

As I stand in my kitchen, frustrated with the boxes, messy counters, small appliances I am not sure to do with and chaos in general, I want to pull my hair out and cry for my fairy godmother to come save the day.  There is still no update from my husband about the guy who is painting our wine rack to match the new cabinets.  I really, really don't want to put things away to just take them out again when we have to install this large piece of wood into the existing cabinets.

As all this crosses through my head every time I enter my kitchen, I decided to reach out to a friend of mine who I have dubbed the "organizational goddess"for some ideas.  She is so good at what she does! Everything in her space has a place.  I dream about her kitchen and its neat and tidy ways.  My gal pal is unfortunately moving to Missouri soon but has made time in her busy moving schedule to come and act as my fairy godmother.  Here is how the text conversation went:

Goddess:  I was thinking, wouldn't it be grand to have a meeting
you and me
talk about what you want
then let me at it during the day after kiddos are school
while you're at work??

Me:  Are you kidding me?

Goddess: You can come home all surprised!!

Me:  OMG! That would be so fun!

Goddess: I have you in my calendar.
I want my hands on that kitchen!!  :)

With that, the magic words were spoken and it felt like a wand had been waved.  I am still in shock but wanted to jot it down while it was fresh in my giddy-stricken mind.  Thank goodness for fairy godmothers with goddess-like organizational qualities! This should be a fun adventure and a good lesson for me!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Cabinets are done! Now how to I get organized?

The cabinets have been done for a few weeks but due to the busiest time of year at my job coupled with Spring Break, Easter and fifth year birthdays, I have not been able to slow down to take pictures of the final product.  Take my word for it though - they are BEAUTIFUL and I absolutely love them.

I am slowly putting my dishes and things back in the cabinets, however.  I am really trying to purge out the pots, pans and gadgets that we never use and put the things that we do need in a place where we are better served by them.  This includes the small appliances on our counters and decorations.  I am a tad stumped on a few itmes and just need to slow down enough to focus on it.  Also, a trip to The Container Store is in order without a doubt! the newly built drawers are smaller than a standard utensil tray and I am sure they'll have the pieces I need unlike the usual suspects like Target or Bed Bath and Beyond.  I don't want to go back to a drawer of unorganized mess but rather a space where everything has its place.  Hopefully, I'll get there before Thanksgiving!

We are still waiting on one more section to be added but that is on our own time and dime.  The cabinet folks couldn't reface the built in wine rack that was between two sets of cabinets, so my husband has found someone to handle that for us.  Once that is reinstalled, I'll feel better about putting glassware and such on that side of the kitchen.  I don't feel like putting something away that is just going to be taken back out once that section has to be installed.

So pictures soon, I promise.  Just promise me you'll look past the clutter!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Progress report

The install is going extremely well.  It will take four days instead of three days to complete but we are fine with that.  We won't be able to move back into the kitchen until the weekend regardless.  I cannot get over what a difference the lighter color makes in the rooms.  What do you think? :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Living in a box...

Remember that 1980s one-hit-wonder, Living in a box? I woke up this morning with that song stuck in my head.  I swear, we have more cardboard boxes in our guest bathroom, dining room and the office slash soon-to-be living room room that I am not sure where to even walk.  I cringed looking at it all this morning.

The good news is that I have a way to get rid of said cardboard boxes once the refacing is complete and we have unpacked everything once again. One step ahead!

Until then, my special little song will be playing in my head:

Am I living in a box 
Am I living in a cardboard box 
Am I living in a box 
Am I living in a cardboard box 
Am I living in a box 

Ah, you've got to love the 80s!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

They're coming! They're coming!

We got the call this week that our new cabinet facing is ready to be installed! I am so excited! I cannot wait to see the final product.  However, I will say it does feel like I am moving again.  We have been boxing up all our pots and pans, plates and glasses as well as other odds and ends in our cabinets and drawers.  The good news is that I am truly making myself throw things away and put odds and ends into a donation box.  Good Mews, a no-kill feline shelter that I volunteer with, is having its annual flea market in April so the timing couldn't be better.

So the box doesn't have a lot in it...yet.  But this is the year of purging! We will get this house put together.  Starting with the kitchen is a good place as we spend so much time in this room. I emptied out the spice cabinet first and got rid of tons of stuff that was old and expired.  I have a new list of spices that need to be replaced.  I also purged the pantry last weekend and did the same thanks to an invasion of weevils (or the like) in an old flour container that I thought was air tight.  So now all we have is fresh food and I won't be buying anything new until we get through some of the cans and boxes we have currently.  The refacing project will do more than make our kitchen pretty.  It will force us to get rid of somethings that we don't really need or ever use.

While I have been working on the kitchen, my husband has been working on another project - the guest bathroom that is downstairs.  It is complete with a shower that is not enclosed along with sheetrock that needs to be patched.  Did I mention it is a neon green color? It needs a lot of TLC.  We've decided on a blue from the Benjamin Moore historic color collection and that we will put high wainscoting along the walls.  He tackled the ceiling as well by giving it a new coat of cover paint.  Both the kitchen and the guest bathroom are well on their way to getting a facelift with our personal touches on it!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Vote for the Cover Girls!

In my "real" world, I work daily with elected officials.  I have run campaigns and worked for legislators to get bills passed or killed.  It is an exciting world.  But I have never envied them when they put their name on a ballot.  It takes a lot of hard work to ask for someone to vote for you.  I have always enjoyed being the staffer who pushes them along and at the end of the day, I can retire to my home and family. There, I am only accountable to them and not a massive constituency.

Then came the magazine cover contest.

My mother nominated my girl and me for the cover of a local magazine, Little Black Dress/Little Red Wagon.  It is one of my favorites because it is two magazines in one geared towards moms and their dual lives of being a hip lady and a cool mom.

In order to win the cover and all the fabulous prizes that come with it, once you are selected for the contest, you have to solicit for votes.  So here I am, hat in hand, asking you to vote for me and my child.

There are two EASY ways to do it.  If you are on Facebook, click and like here:

The other way is to go to this Web site, find the picture for Amanda S. and then click and scroll down to vote.  It is that simple!

I'll let you know the results on Monday when LBD/LRW picks its winner.

Thank you in advance for humoring me!!!

Go vote! :)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Never underestimate the value of a handy man

I must say, we knew going into the purchase of our century year-old home that we would have some work on our hands.  We knew that we would have to put some elbow grease into it and do some of the projects ourselves.  We are not made of money and we cannot contract out every little thing.  For this, I am thankful that my husband has agreed to roll up his sleeves and become my Mr. Fix-it.

Got one of these?

We do and we cannot live without it.  Recently, our garbage disposal went on the blink.  Then, it went completely out.  We thought we could skirt by this household necessity for a bit but learned quickly that we were quite wrong.  Food that needed to be tossed started to pile up in the fridge and washing dishes became more of a chore.  Never fear! Hubby is here!

My dear husband researched all there is to know about buying a good disposal and then installing it.  One Saturday afternoon, he decided it was time to put his studies to the test.  My daughter and I fled the house for an afternoon of shopping and not being anywhere near the work scene.  When we returned, we were welcomed by a beaming Dad/Husband and a shiny new drain for the disposal.  He did it!

Life is back to normal and we are ready to conquer our next do-it-yourself project.  Hopefully, it will be something as simple as the garbage disposal! :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day, Y'all!!!

I'm not sure where you are or what you are doing but everyone deserves to be told they are loved, not just on Valentine's Day but every day.

We aren't super huge Valentine's Day people in our household but having a little one certainly changes the mood and makes you appreciate the day just a tad bit more than usual.  So we put up some hearts on the porch and snagged a Glory Haus Burlee to decorate a bit.  It all makes her smile and makes the day much more meaningful.

Writing Valentine's cards is serious work!
My advice for today? Grab a piece of chocolate or a heart shaped donut and feel the sugar rush of loving today for today and loving those around you.  We are!  Enjoy! <3

Heading out for a Daddy-Daughter Valentine's Date!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

And the winner is!!!!!

The Oxford Feathered cabinet door!!!! After much hemming and hawin', I finally made a decision. I must say the assistance of my treasured Aunt helped as she found two magazine articles that had the exact door in both feathered and non-feathered finishes for me to view. Even though we had the samples in hand, to be able to view what a finished kitchen would look like helped tremendously. The Home Depot will start processing our order tomorrow and within six to eight weeks, the production will be complete and installed. Wahoohoo!!! :)

We decided on the front on the lefthand side.

Friday, January 27, 2012


I HAVE to have this sofa. I know that we are destined to be with one another..I received a 15% off coupon today for my entire purchase at World Market and their "cute-as-a-button" sofa is on my wish list. We've been trying to decide on furniture for our TV room and I think this would be perfect. The room is small and the dimensions are odd, so I think this will fit. And besides, with a name like "cute-as-a-button" it has to work!

Still thinking....

Time continues to pass and the samples of cabinet doors still sit in my kitchen. I think I have narrowed it down to Choice A but cannot decide if it should be feathered or not. The company tried to push me into making a decision but I had to push back. I have not been getting home from work until very late this week and I have yet to see these samples in natural sunlight due to the rainy, foggy, nasty weather we've been having lately. Hopefully, I can get a better look this weekend. We have a lot of natural sunlight that pours into our kitchen, so it is a big deal.

Maybe posting the picture here will help me think about it a bit harder :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Choices! Choices!

After looking at sample after sample, we narrowed down the new faces for our cabinets down to two choices.  Home Depot made us a sample in each of the styles we liked in the color we wanted plus another sample with the color we like with a feathering effect so we could see upfront what the cabinets would look versus making a decision from a sample in a different color or looking at pictures in a book.

First, I have to say I am stunned at how heavy the new cabinets will be.  The facing is really heavy and sturdy.  Quite the opposite of what we have now, which is pretty but of low grade quality materials.

So what do you think? I haven't seen these samples in natural daylight yet but couldn't resist taking a picture and putting them on the blog.  I am pretty certain that we both agree that we love the feathering effect.  At first, I was sold on Choice A but now seeing Choice B in the color we like I am not sure which to choose!

At least we do not have to make a snap decision.  They are just waiting on us to decide and then they will put the new facing into production.

The Existing cabinets:
Don't get me is pretty as you can see in the first picture but in the second photo, that door isn't propped open - it is simply warped!

So, we are about to say bye-bye to the nasty cabinets above for something lighter and hopefully more period appropriate once the install is complete.  What do you think?

All choices, side-by-side:

Choice A:

Choice B: 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Happy new year!

It seems just like yesterday we were singing 1999 by Prince and that 1999 would never come.  The fact that it is 2012 amazes me.  As I get older, the years seem to fly by so quickly.  Looking over 2011, it was a swift pass in time but we did accomplish a lot.  Our first full year in our new home was filled with needed improvements: adding gutter covers; hiring an arborist to take out dead limbs and trees that were encroaching on the roof; painting the exterior of the house; and starting to redesign the inside of our home.  For 2012, we have lots of grand plans to continue the transformation of our house into our home.

First and foremost is our Christmas gift to one another.  I think I have mentioned my love/hate relationship with our kitchen. It is huge and spacious, which I love.  However, its beautiful makeover by the flipping flipper was done poorly.  The cabinet facing is already discoloring and the doors are warped. Drawer facing is either missing or falling off.  In addition, I am convinced that a man who knew nothing about cooking or enjoying one's kitchen designed it.  The main storage is not in the cooking area but facing away from it and into the dining area.  It just isn't functional.  Enter The Home Depot and their cabinet refacing program.  They are not only going to help lighten up the color of the cabinets but they are also going to rearrange them for us as well.  I will get some before pictures up shortly.  We narrowed down our facing choices and they will bring the two samples for our consideration this week. EXCITEMENT!!!!

Looking back....
Trinity's bathroom was originally a very bright aqua before we toned it down

We love our trees but an oak in our front yard was getting choked by a vine

Underneath the vine is a healthy tree, thankfully

We couldn't get over how thick the vine had gotten over the years

Vine not tree...seriously!!!

Cleaned up pecan tree in the back yard.  Many dead limbs removed

Prepping for new paint!

The Flipping Flipper strikes again...pillars made of press board instead of wood.  What an idiot.

Our painters had almost two weeks worth of prep work.