Archive | March, 2011

Hello Round Top!!

31 Mar

Hello Round Top!!

I have a few favorite things in life.

My husband

My children

My coffee

And….

Round Top

I count the days til antique weekend…which only happens twice a year.

Last October we spent the weekend in a camper with our girls.  We walked.  We shopped.  We ate. And we bargained.  It was awesome.

This weekend, I’ll only be there for the day but I don’t care…as long as I am there.

My husband asks:  Do you have to go?

Me:  Yes.

Him:  Why?

Me:  Because I want to.

Him:  But you still have stuff in the garage from your last trip.

Me:  So.  What you gonna do about it?

Him:  You think your funny.

Me:  I am funny.

Him:  silent

Me:  I’m not funny?

Him:  silent

Sorry honey…I will be in a very, very bad mood all weekend if I do not make it to Round Top.

I’m going with a precious friend…and we’ll stop at Buc-ee’s for my coffee and her Diet Coke…and away we go.

Fingers crossed I’ll find some good stuff…does anyone need anything while I’m there???

Love ya, friends!

iKea Stool – Orange Facelift

30 Mar

iKea Stool – Orange Facelift

I couldn’t reach the top kitchen cabinets so began a mission searching for a stool.  I looked for something that would fit the kitchen motif which is light colored wood combined with dark but pretty orange accessories. Btw…I love orange right now and even painted part of the inside of my garage orange. I love playing with color!

I searched for a pretty stool and they aren’t that easy to come by.  Most stools are made of metal or expensive.

I came across this iKea Bekvam step stool ($14.99) which was the perfect size for my needs.  It came in a color called beech which is perhaps pine wood?  I’m not a big fan of pine wood so the idea of staining was an option I attempted to spruce it up .

I carted it home and stained it orange using iKea’s red colored stain.  Even though the shade is actually named red, if one coat is applied, the result is the perfect shade of orange.

—iKea also has other stain color options for those not as orange crazy as me.

I think the results are a great match for our kitchen.

A stool is something typically hidden in a cabinet but I love keeping this stool out and not having to hide it. This way it becomes another colorful accessory in my kitchen.

The stool also has a nifty carrying slot.

The other great thing is that this project took less than 10 minutes!

What’s for Dinner Wednesday – The Food and Wine Festival in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo

29 Mar

What’s for Dinner Wednesday – The Food and Wine Festival in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo

I literally ate a billion things at the amazing Food and Wine Festival in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo… but here are my top FAV’s!!!! I had never before experienced or seen any of these which really made them extra special.

My #1 fav might disgust most people out but it was amazing – squid ink with shrimp!!!  I have been craving it ever since!!!

Ceviche with coconut milk and mango.  The cream and sweet really made this dish interesting.

Pozole with… shrimp.  Pozole is a soup made with hominy and pork. It is rich and flavorful.  Instead of pork, a variety of seafood including mussels and octopus was substituted and it was incredible.

And thin crust pizza with pear and gorgonzola cheese!  Yum!

I’ll have to try to experiment and try to replicate some of these dishes!

Glossy White Platform Bed Restoration

29 Mar

Glossy White Platform Bed Restoration

When we first moved to LA, we weren’t certain if the move would be permanent.  So we bought some extremely cheap “temporary” furniture.

Extremely Cheap = secondhand beat up iKea furniture we found on craigslist.

Well one night our second hand bedframe broke.  We were peacefully sleeping and the bed suddenly came crashing to the floor while dreaming.  I thought it was an earthquake.   Let me tell you, it’s not a great way to wake up.

So we threw away the broken bed frame and actually slept like this for two months.  Embarrassing I know.  We’re lazy.  There’s our nice Tempur-pedic mattress just slumming it on the floor.

Arnold obviously had no problem with it.  His short little legs could easily jump on the bed much easier.

As much as Arnold rules the house, we needed to raise the bed off the floor.

I wanted to find an old interesting wood bed to restore – and searched and searched for the perfect bed but couldn’t find anything to work in our room, especially because we were limited to a platform frame… and an Eastern size king.  Most people have California kings which are longer, our Eastern is wider.

I could never find the perfect one but I did find a suitable match that will work for now. It is an Eastern King and quite possibly a West Elm?  It was very dirty and scratched up but only cost $75 and for a solid wood platform bed, it was a steal.  Honestly, after two months I probably would have paid millions not to be sleeping on the floor anymore.

So I cleaned and cleaned this filthy sucker.

Then sanded away all the chips and scrapes with a sanding pad.

I wanted a bright white paint.  Real pure white.  No hints of green, gray or any other shade.  All the leftover paint in my garage wasn’t pure white and I didn’t want to go buy new gallon since only a small amount was required— so I used the white epoxy paint leftover from my garage renovation.

It was perfect.  Solid pure white and glossy.

Next I finished it off with wet-gloss also leftover from my garage epoxy project.  Also perfect.

Neither the acrylic paint or the wet-look gloss were designed to paint a furniture but if they can adhere to concrete and be durable enough to withstand cars driving on it, we figure it can handle our mattress and Arnold.

We still need to decorate and do much much more, but the white bed frame is a good start and contrasts well with our dark espresso floors.

It has been a few months and the epoxy paint and gloss have held up very well.  Durable and thick.  And glossy glossy!

Check out these fun blogs for amazing inspiration!

Between Naps on the PorchDIY ShowoffDomestically SpeakingFinding FabulousFunky Junk InteriorsHouse of HepworthsMiss Mustard SeedMy Backyard EdenPerfectly ImperfectPrimitive & ProperRemodelaholicSAS InteriorsShabby NestWhipperberry,Today’s Creative BlogThe Thrifty HomeSavvy Southern StyleSome Day CraftsEisy MorganGreen Door Designs,  At Home with K,Home Stories A2Z

 

Guess who’s in Mexico?

28 Mar

Guess who’s in Mexico?

Meeeeeee!

I am here for the Food and Wine Festival. It has been a delightful event packed with…food and wine of course!  Today is the last day and also our third consecutive day of gluttony.

I’ll share all of the yummy things we are experiencing with you on Wednesday when we feature our What’s for Dinner Wednesday!

Until then I wanted to tell you a little about our trip and where we are staying.  The magazine, Food and Wine is putting on a big festival in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo.  Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo was picked as the first Latin American city to host the event, which is a big honor and illustrates how amazing Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo is.

Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo are actually two different towns.  They are located a short 10 minute drive apart.  Since they are so close in distance and in spirit, the names are usually said together as Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo.  Zihuatanejo was the original town and is a fishing community.  It is a great little place on the beach and known for it’s laid-back atmosphere.  Ixtapa was developed later to help promote tourism on a different nearby beach.  Ixtapa is where you will find all the beautiful hotels and the marina.

(Ariel view of hotels in Ixtapa)

(Bay View Grand – one of the newest places in Ixtapa)

Ixtapa is where you will find most of the tourists and Zihuatanejo is mainly filled with local people living in the area.  We are staying in Ixtapa near the marina in gorgeous Porto Ixtapa, which is kind of obvious by the name: The Port of Ixtapa.

It’s very close to the row hotels but actually separated by a body of water, the marina.

To get to where where were are staying, it is necessary to hop on this little boat referred to as the “Sharky” operated by this sweet man, Maurillio.

The day I flew in which was the day before the festival, we had one night of exploring and spent it traveling to Zihuatanejo, or  “Zihuat” as it is commonly referred to.  I flew in late so I only had a few hours but made the most of it.

We immediately hit the streets checking out all the clothing and interior design boutiques.  Along the way, we bought fresh fruit from one of the street vendors.

Fresh papaya and pineapple!

We ate our fruit on the beach and spent a lot of time watching the fishermen preparing to leave for their evening fishing runs.

Next we discovered this great water.  It is infused with Jamaica, which is a flower.

Next stop ice cream. Almond ice cream!

We left the beach area and headed to the market.

These decorative balls are made completely with shells found on the beach.

Killer hammocks!

A man walked up to the market area with this huge basket full of pastries and you would have thought he was Elvis.  Locals that lived there ran, pushed and shoved to get some of these little donuts and biscuits.  We figured they had to be good so we joined in and each bought one.  I bought a pastry filled with cream. I know now why this vendor was popular!!  Scrumptious! And cheap.  Each donut cost less than .20 cents.

Good thing I only bought one because I was stuffed.  Between the fruit, ice cream and donut we were too stuffed to go to dinner.  We tried burning some calories and walking more so we ventured to the other side of the beach…still so fascinated with the fisherman leaving out for the night.

We walked out on the jetty and watched all the boats coming back with passengers returning from one of the other beaches called Los Gatas.

Well, that’s my trip so far in pictures!

I’ll be here for two more weeks so I’ll be posting lots of the amazing things we discover and experience in beautiful Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo!

Adios!

What I Love Right Now

28 Mar

What I Love Right Now

I love Forever 21.  Clothes are cheap.  I don’t care if I get crayon or marker or spaghetti sauce on them.

My philosophy for shopping at F21…if I can’t find anything in the first 10 minutes, I walk out.

And don’t look back.

The store is overwhelming.  The music is loud.  And I know the kids working there think I should step away from the jewelry counter.

But…for cheap, lounge-y, run errands and sweat in Houston humidity…the clothes are great and I found a few things the other day in the first 10 minutes.

I’m loving this tank:

and I also bought the hot pink/light pink combo.  Sorry there is not a picture online.

Paired with this:

Or this with the hot pink tank:

And these Seven boyfriend jeans:

The tanks are $5.80 each.  The army camp shirt was about $15 and I own every color cardigan known to man.  I mix and match cardis with everything.  And the Seven jeans are mine and my favorite.

And I am happy…totally worth 10 minutes of my time.

Hello Brooklyn Limestone!

25 Mar

Hello Brooklyn Limestone!

If you only knew how excited we were when Mrs. Limestone aka Stefanie told us she was featuring our Ballard bench today on her blog, Brooklyn Limestone.

We have a major blog crush on Stefanie, her renovations, and her amazing print design…so much we used these during the holidays.  Do you love or do you love?

Check out Brooklyn Limestone’s Steal this Idea series…Stefanie features fantastic projects and we are thrilled to be included this week!

Thanks so much Stefani for loving our bench as much as we do!

Click over here to see why we {heart} Brooklyn Limestone!

Happy Friday, friends!

Angie & Carrie

Flashback

24 Mar

Flashback

Raise your hand if you ever put Sun In in your hair?

I stopped dead in my tracks at the grocery store when I saw that bottle on the shelf.

Good ole’ Sun In.  Those were the days.

The sunroof open on my white Fiero.  Yellow, crispy hair that smelled like lemon.  Crisco oil while sunbathing.  Neon bracelets.  Units.  Purple Rain.  Jesse’s Girl.  Lipstick kisses on posters of Ralph Macchio.

I love you Sun In.

Thanks for the memories.

What’s for Dinner Wednesday :: Jumbalaya

23 Mar

What’s for Dinner Wednesday ::  Jumbalaya

It’s Sunday Supper in our house and Jumbalaya was on the menu.

Super easy, delicious, and enough for dinner the next night…heaven!

Jumbalaya

All ingredients in this recipe you probably have in your pantry.

Chicken broth, diced tomatoes, garlic, celery, red bell pepper, onion…and a little Tony’s…

jumbalaya

Diced the veggies…you can use green bell pepper but we love red.

easy simple jumbalaya

Toss in a hot pan with oil…

Saute 5 minutes until veggies are soft…

Rough chop beef smoked sausage…we used sausage from Chappell Hill, Texas…so good.

Add sausage, shrimp, uncooked rice, chicken broth, diced tomatoes with liquid and as much cajun seasoning you like.  Since the kiddos were eating, I used 1 teaspoon.

Stir together, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for 30-40 minutes….

Fast forward 30 minutes and you have the most delicious rice cooked perfectly…

And the perfect Sunday night supper.  Enjoy!

Recipe found on TastyKitchen.com

⅓ cups Vegetable Oil
1 whole Onion, Chopped
3 whole Garlic Cloves, Chopped
2 whole Celery Ribs, Chopped
1 whole Green Bell Pepper, Chopped (I used red bell pepper)
2 pounds Shrimp, Peeled And Cleaned
1 pound Smoked Sausage, Cubed
2 cups Uncooked Rice
2 cups Chicken Broth
1 cup Diced Tomatoes
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
Salt To Taste
1 Tablespoon Fresh Parsley, Chopped

The jumbalaya was even better the next day!

Garage Renovation with Epoxy Floors – Yes A Girl Can Do It!

22 Mar

Garage Renovation with Epoxy Floors – Yes A Girl Can Do It!

Ever wish you had a beautiful garage?  I really do. Not just a clean or organized garage – I want one that is so nice it can be considered another room in our home.

A garage is a place most people park their car or dump forgotten or rarely used items.  That is exactly what our garage is now and I’d like to change that.  I don’t have available room inside our house so I want to use our garage as a studio….a workspace for my furniture restorations and other DIY projects.

A few months ago, I embarked on a major garage renovation.  Other than moving all the junk in and out of our garage and having weather and tool problems, it was a pretty easy task.  And I even epoxied the floor!  Yes, meeeeee!!  Not my husband or any manly man.  Just little ole’ girly me.

So here is how I did it.

First, I removed all the junk and boxes of forgotten and unused items out.   I don’t have a picture of the real BEFORE shot but here it is with 75% of the stuff cleared out.

It was so much junk! I tried to give away things I hadn’t used or touched in six months but it wasn’t that easy!  I don’t know why we feel we need to hold on to things we aren’t using.  Help – hoarders! I need to go back through it and reassess. Otherwise, there is not going to be any available room to use this space as a studio.

Here’s the beautiful view my neighbors saw.  Yeah…I bet they love me to death!  By the way, if you are wondering about the garage door on the left, it is a pseudo door. It’s fake.  It used to be a real garage door opening and that section of the building was actually part of the garage.   The people that owned the house before us, closed the left garage door permanently and converted that section by attaching it to the pool house, making the garage much smaller and the pool house much larger.

So the left garage door is not real and our garage space is limited to the small single car section on the right side. (Removing or closing up that left door so that it no longer looks like it is part of the garage is another project I want to tackle in the future).

Finally!!! Everything is out!

Ok, let’s talk about the walls. Two of the walls were perfect. Relatively good condition even they they weren’t covered in sheet rock or finished off (tape, float and paint).  Just very very dirty. I had to scrub and spray the walls with water to get them clean since dust had collected and hardened on them over the last 30 years.

The wall on the right was in pretty bad shape.

Structurally it was fine but it had a weird layer of cardboard type material that was attached to the entire right side.  The layer was rotted and peeling off and very filthy.

I did my best to remove what I could and then cleaned with a broom and water like I had the other walls.

Let the painting begin!

I chose to paint two walls a medium toned grey color and one wall a deep dark orange.  Orange..hmmm…sounds crazy right? I wasn’t forced to use orange because I had leftover orange paint. I actually went out and bought orange!

I wanted two walls a normal “easy on the eyes” color and one wall painted different and bright to be used as an organizing wall to hang tools.  My thoughts were that something bright would draw my attention to it and compel me to actually use the wall for hanging items and organizing things. At least that is the goal.

I plan to hang a peg board I painted light green on top to help diffuse some of the orange brightness and add more organizing options for smaller tools.

As much as I would love to have my garage 100% utilized as a work studio, it still must help house some of our household storage needs.  Organizing my garage is still a work in process but I plan to hang mine and my husband’s bicycles at the top of one of the grey walls.  We have two shelving systems: one is chrome and visible in one of the pictures above.  The other newly purchased from Costco.  It still needs to be assembled but is longer and black and can hold a massive amount of weight.  Since the storage space in our house is limited, these shelving systems can be used to hold household items that are not used every day like large kitchen cooking pans, party servers, winter clothes and our and skiing and snowboard clothes and gear.

Ok, so back to the garage work.

Grey was sprayed on the left and back wall.  This was my favorite part of the task.  It took a very little amount of time and was so easy!! Gotta love a spray gun!

I didn’t use primer and also did not tack away the loose electric cords (I have no idea what those are for and pray they aren’t “live”) that were hanging in the way.  I’m lazy and I love instant satisfaction. I got out my gun and just started spraying.

Even though primer was not used, the grey color adhered fantastically.

The orange however was a different story.  I didn’t prime the orange wall either.  The wall on right side was significantly darker and the orange paint took several coats before it actually started to look orange.  it took way more orange paint for the one wall of orange than it took to complete the two walls of grey.

Here’s where some problems began.

When I ran out of orange paint, I ran back to Home Depot and bought another can of orange paint…this time I bought the primer and paint combo (primer and paint in one can) hoping it would help adhere better.

That’s when my paint sprayer broke.

What is not seen here is hours of agony and frustration.  Taking apart the paint sprayer, cleaning it, putting paint sprayer back together, testing paint sprayer, no success, repeat entire process one billion times!

I could never get my paint sprayer to work again.  And I was too lazy to hand paint the rest so I gave the orange paint project a rest and started on the floor epoxy.

The garage floors were fine – they were cement which is perfect for an outdoor work studio.  But I wanted them to BLING!  Like a car dealership display room.  So I researched how to epoxy the floors.

I’ll be honest, I cheated and skipped several steps, including one major step in epoxying my garage floor.  The major step skipped was grinding down the floor. It is supposed to be VERY important to prepare the surface by grinding down the concrete surface. Grinding should leave the floor feeling like 100 grit sandpaper. Grinding the concrete allows the epoxy to adhere and absorb better. In order to do this, some sort of grinding machine should have been bought or rented from a home improvement store.  I skipped this step because I was 1) lazy 2) wanted instant gratification 3) my car is small and probably doesn’t have room for this mystery grinding machine and 4) my concrete floor did not appear to have sealant on it was seemed relatively porous.

Update on my cheating (no grinding) technique:

It has been several months since the floor was epoxied and there have not been any issues. No peeling at all. And we have gone through cold and hot temperatures (including rain and dampness) with the weather. However, please note that I never drove a car into the garage.  Heavy things like boxes and shelving cases were loaded on the floors but other than that, there has not been any high traffic or major weight scrapped across the floors.  Please keep that in mind if you also attempt my cheating (no grinding) method.

The epoxy process is a two part system. One part is a resin and the second part is a hardener.  When I was researching methods for epoxy, there were a million different methods. It was quite confusing. Most methods seemed dangerous and toxic so I created my own little method.  I might have simplified or cheated by skipping too many steps but here is what I did and it seemed to have worked well:

First paint floor with concrete paint.

I used this product – Behr 1-Part Epoxy Acrylic Concrete and Floor Paint (in white):

I painted one layer with a paint roller over the floor – it was fluid and the application process was surprisingly simple.

I painted sloppy and fearlessly and the paint seemed to forgive quite nicely.  The paint was easier than typical paint used for painting furniture or a wall. It sort of smoothed itself out into one perfect even layer, kind of like nail polish.

The directions state to let the first coat dry 24 hours before applying a second coat. The directions also state that the paint should be dry to the touch within 2 hours.  So, I cheated and painted the second coat after two hours.

Next was the sealant.  Again… processes and methods were confusing so here is where I might have cheated again.  I used a concrete “gloss” to seal the paint – Behr Interior/Exterior Wet-Look Sealer.  A helpful man in Home Depot advised this alternative product and I was very pleased.  It is a gloss used to create the “wet-look“.  It applied just like the concrete paint – forgiving and balanced itself out into one smooth layer.

I let the concrete paint dry over-night before applying the sealant (gloss).

I like glossy glossy (Insert Black Eyed Pea/Fergie lyrics – “Flossy Flossy” here!), so I applied two coats.  The directions stated to wait for four hours but since it was dry to the touch in one hour, I painted the second coat an hour later.

I didn’t include pictures of this process because, it was clear and basically nothing to see.  The substance is thin and quite translucent – like water.

That was it!!  Floor epxoy done!

I am really happy with my floors.  They may not be epoxied the conventional way but it looks so much better than plain concrete floors and it is much easier to clean.

I actually started the garage renovation months ago but it started raining so I was forced to quit. It was necessary to stuff all our junk back in the garage so that it wouldn’t be damaged from the rain.  I had to forego the organizational project of putting up shelves, etc…

I was going to share this project once I had completed everything (bicycles hung, peg board installed, tools organized, shelving installed and…the orange wall painted completely).  But since the weather has been raining off an on, it might be quite a while before that day takes place.

So until then… here is the in between stage.  I’ll post an update later once I finish all the final touches!

Update on Sprayer Issues:

I am not exactly sure why the paint sprayer broke but I speculate it might be due to the fact that my spray gun was not built to handle the primer and paint combo paint.

Where in the world is Carrie?

22 Mar

Where in the world is Carrie?

I am here.  Alive.

Taking care of the this precious little boy.

Third set of tubes in his ears and those pesky little adenoids removed.  In his case, huge adenoids removed.

It was not the ideal ending to Spring Break but it needed to be done.

Bubbie got his first ear infection at 3 months old.  They continued monthly until he was 9 months old then we had his first set of tubes placed in both ears.  Not something we wanted to do but glad we did.

Fast forward 9 months, ear infections began again…the tubes were no longer functioning.

2nd second of tubes at 18 months.

Fast forward 10 months, ear infections begin yet again…we tried to wait it out…and cried…and prayed for his ears to drain the fluid.

No such luck.

And he went under general anesthesia…and 45 minutes later, fresh tubes in place and bye bye adenoids.

Forgive me for my absence…he needed lots of cuddles and sherbert…and yogurt.

Yoplait Splits…you are a genie in a bottle.  Thank you for making yogurt my children eat like its ice cream.

And for his BFF in the whole world for watching over him while he slept in Mommy’s bed.

Bella, you ratfink, you are a dream.  And we love you.

Now back to our regularly scheduled program.

Sights in the City – Anthropology at the Americana

13 Mar

Sights in the City – Anthropology at the Americana

More about the Americana!

And one of my new favorite places on earth – Anthropology.

Here are some of the beauties and inspiration I found there.

I’ll start off with my favorite!!!  LOVE LOVE LOVE this dresser.  TYPOGRAPHY – Hello!!!  This would be so easy to make and would make a dramatic statement in a room!

A chair made with a vintage station sign.  I’ve seen ottomans similar to this at Juxtaposition.  I posted pictures of them before and you can see them again here.

Sometimes the simplest things can make such a difference.  This was a candle that would have been fine just displayed alone on a table.  But Anthropology added a twist…they put it in a jar and surrounded it with rocks.  It adds a different effect and is also less hazardous.

Here’s another simple idea.  Have some house plants that are potted in ugly cheap plastic containers?  You know the plastic ones they come in when you buy them — and then you are too lazy like me to replant them?  Well…just put them in a burlap bag.  Genius!  And looks great!

Lastly, some colorful ottomans and pillows.  Pretty pretty!

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