Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Playroom Progress: Stripes!!!

Hooray, we finally finished the stripes! I'm SOOOOO excited about them! Here's how it went down...
After painting the room blue, we tackled measuring and taping off the stripes. This is not for the faint of heart. I kept asking Jeremy what in the world I was thinking and why he was such a supportive husband and went along with my hair-brained ideas. I had said "Stripes!", he had said "Sure!" and agreed to help. I informed him that next time he needs to talk some sense into my head. Ha! Seriously though, I love the way the stripes look and am so grateful that he helped me figure out the spacing and measuring!

We tried three different widths before we settled on one. Twelve inches was too wide, 8 was too small and would have left weird slivers at the bottom and top. We ended up measuring the wall and dividing it by the number of stripes we wanted so that they would come out evenly. 9 1/2" was the sweet spot.
After we figured out how far apart to make our stripes, we began measuring. We started at the bottom and went across using a yard stick to measure. It's debatable whether to start at the top or bottom, but the bottom worked out for us. :) We marked 9 1/2" every foot or so across until we got to the other side. Then, we measured up 9 1/2" and marked the second line across and so on until we got to the top. Our wall looked like a giant Geoboard when we were finished. 
After we marked up the wall, Hubby played a giant game of connect the dots, using the yard stick to draw a straight line from dot to dot. He found that going in three foot sections worked well for him. I went behind him with the painters tape and taped off the lines. I was super careful to make sure my tape was straight and followed the lines exactly. I used one foot strips of tape at a time to make it easier to get a straight line. I also taped off the corners so I wouldn't get paint on the adjoining walls. 
I noticed the tape wasn't sticking really tightly and remembered reading on other blogs to score the tape with a credit card. I scored all the tape really well and it worked like a charm. All ready to paint!
Here's a blurry phone pic of the beginning of the painting progress. I quickly decided trimming was unnecessary all the way across and just trimmed the corners and rolled the lines, making sure to get the edges really well with the roller. 
All painted and ready to take the tape off! I called Hubby in for the grand reveal, aka taking off the tape...just too exciting to do without him! :)
And here's the first snapshot of the wall from our phone! Still wet, but the lines turned out crisp and straight! Success!
Here it is all dry. LOVE IT! Just wish I had a wide angle lens so I could get the whole thing in the picture! I will try to get a picture of the whole thing with my phone, but for now, this will have to do. SO excited about it! Thanks, Hubby, for tackling this project with me and not thinking I'm a crazed lunatic! ;)
We used Watery and Hearts of Palm, both HGTV Home paints by Sherwin Williams in case anyone was wondering about colors.

Little One loves the stripes, and so do we. I'll call that a success! Yay! Still lots to do in this room, but it's already feeling more fun in here! 

Linking up to Thrifty Decor Chick!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Playroom Painting Progress

I've been busy at work painting the playroom. I spent a weekend taping and trimming at night, then rolled one night a few days later after Little One went to bed. When Hubby and I were fixing up our previous house, we had a painting system down pat. I trimmed and he came behind me and rolled. We would crank up the music and chat for hours while we worked. It is such a sweet memory, and I am really missing my painting partner while working on the playroom. But, dissertations don't write themselves, so my man was in the office slaving away on his PhD. Proud of him and can't wait until the spring when he's done and we can paint together again.

Here's a little phone picture preview...

Left: Picked out the colors! Right: Taping off the trim + big mess. :)
All trimmed and ready to roll! 
I still need to touch up the blue (and take pictures!), then this weekend we're going to tape off the stripes for the accent wall together. My brain explodes at the thought of doing that by myself. Let's just say, it would look awful if I tried to figure out the stripes without my brain husband. Then, all I'll have left is painting the stripes! Exciting times for our playroom walls! :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Southwestern Chicken Pie

My Instagram photo :)
(Photo from Pillsbury website.)

I've been totally bored with our normal menu. So, off to search Pinterest, right?! Ha! I saw this recipe from Pillsbury and had to try it out. I made it exactly like the recipe said, except I didn't brush the crust with egg and sprinkle parsley on top. All that extra work and dishes was just not worth a shiny, decorated crust. ;) The pie turned out super yummy and is definitely a keeper! Try it out! Recipe here!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Honey BBQ

One of my favorite meals is pulled pork sandwiches! My friend Heather taught me how to do pulled pork in the Crock Pot. It's super easy and makes a ton, which means we have enough leftovers for a couple days. Love getting an occasional break in the kitchen, don't you?

A few months ago, I made pulled pork, but didn't realize until dinnertime that we were out of barbecue sauce. I quickly looked up recipes for barbecue sauce and found this Honey Barbecue Sauce on Tasty Kitchen. It is SO good! I make it every time I do pulled pork now! I'm a sucker for a good, sweet barbecue sauce!

Heather's Crock Pot Pulled Pork 

Pork Tenderloin or Boston Butt (I always get boneless)
1/4 cup water
Salt & Pepper
Barbecue Sauce 

Place pork in Crock Pot  Pour in water and salt and pepper the roast. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour, then on low for 7-9 hours. Take pork out and shred with fork. Pour grease out of Crock Pot and discard. Return shredded pork to the Crock Pot and stir in your favorite barbecue sauce. Cook on high for 20 minutes, or until hot. Enjoy by itself or on a bun! 

Honey Barbecue Sauce
I make a double batch for pulled pork.

1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar (I usually use dark, but either will work)
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
1 t. apple cider vinegar
1 t. salt
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. pepper

Add all ingredients to a sauce pan and stir over medium heat with a whisk until brown sugar and honey have melted and the sauce just starts to bubble. Remove from heat. Enjoy! Recipe credit here

Linking up to The Larson Lingo's Crock-tober! Check out all the other yummy Crock Pot recipes, especially Mel's Chicken Parmesan! Looks amazing! 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Playroom Redo--Part 1

One of the rooms that has been driving me nuts since we moved in was the playroom. I felt like it was always a mess and it was a bit bland for a play room. We had purchased some baskets for toys, but it still felt really disorganized. I wanted to get it organized and spice it up a bit to make a fun room for the Little One! Here's a couple horrible quality before pictures of the playroom. I really need a wide angle lens...
We love this nice built in unit! It packs a ton of storage! I really don't like the red desk top, though. It's just not my style.
Here you can sort of see the windows and the curtains the previous owner left. They're nice, but again, not my style. 
Toys line the walls. 
I had such a hard time taking pics of this room without a wide angle lens. I may just use my phone next time. I think I was holding the camera above my head to get the shot below. Oh brother. But you get the jest. 
Part one of our little makeover was organizing. We usually rotate the toys so Little One doesn't get bored with them, but since moving, we had kind of slacked off on that. For those of you wondering, we don't have a complicated system or anything. We mainly rotate the big toys and a basket or two of little toys. We don't have enough space to have all of his toys out at one time, plus when there's too many toys out at once, he gets overwhelmed and just carries the toys around and doesn't play with anything. Silly kid! So one rotation may look like just putting the ball blower, toy vacuum, and the basket of blocks away and bringing out a different large toy like the shopping cart and one of the baskets of cars. I usually swap out a few of the stuffed animals, too. His train set stays out all the time, though. ;)

Now, back to the organizing...I dumped all the toys out of the baskets and put the ones that he hasn't played with in a while in the guest room. Then, I organized the remaining toys by type into the baskets and got them all put back on the shelves.
Here's a bunch of the smaller toys. The bigger ones didn't even make it into the picture. Crazytown.
After. Not that impressive, but it's a start!
After the toys were taken care of, I took everything out of the cabinets and organized it all into plastic baskets I had on hand. Yes, more baskets left over from my classroom! When I ever go back to teaching and need the baskets back, my house is going to fall apart! Haha! :) I'm not crazy about how the baskets look through the glass, but they were free so I stuck with it. I'm thinking of putting up a cute fabric behind the glass panes to hide the contents of the cabinets.
Last but not least, I just tried to neaten up the bookshelf area. I'm having the worst time getting the bookshelf to not look like a mess. The books are more spread out then I'd like because the shelves bow when they are full of books. Any suggestions on making bookshelves look neater and prettier?

Here's our plans for the rest of the room:

-Organize the closet and make room for toys. We would like to store the toys that we rotate in this closet instead of lugging them to the spare bedroom.

-Paint the walls. I have big plans for a striped accent wall. :)

-Take off the door. It is in the way and we never use it.

-Paint the countertop or replace it.

-Hang fun artwork.

-Hang frames to put Little One's artwork in.

-New curtains or blinds.

-Purchase a rug.

-Build a long bench with storage cubbies. I really want to get an Ikea Expedit for this, but we don't have Ikea in town and by the time you drive hours to get there and hours back, we might as well just build one ourselves. Frown. We SO need an Ikea here.

Stay tuned--I've been busy painting! Will share pics soon!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Things I'm Digging!

Time for a fun list of things I'm totally digging right now...

1.) Pam's Cheesecake. The crust is made of Fudge Striped Cookies, butter, and sugar. 'Nuff said. 

2.) Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Have I mentioned how much I love Fall?!

3.) Ped Egg. I'm really late jumping on this bandwagon, but really, it's great! 

4.) Pampered Chef Cutlery. I recently became a Pampered Chef consultant and got the 5" Utility Knife and it is the jamalama! It seriously sliced through a pineapple like butter. I couldn't believe it!
5.) EOS Lip Balm Sphere. Love the shape! 
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