Monday, February 25, 2013

Recipe Art + Kitchen Updates and a DIY Fail

So I have a very simple DIY art project for you today.  I wanted to put up some art on this faux brick wall and I wanted it to be personal and fit well with the kitchen.  So I chose some family recipes with some meaning and opened up Microsoft Word.  In word I created a text box and then changed the fill color.  I went with oranges and pinks because those are the colors I will be using to accent the grey in here.  Then I used a bunch of fonts to type up the recipes.  Many of the fonts I used are free downloaded ones that are available all over the internet and Pinterest.   Then I bought 4 simple white frames, trimmed the papers to fit, popped them in the frames, and hung the frames on the wall.  Piece of cake!

The recipes that I chose have a special meaning to me.  Catherine's Cream of Tomato Soup was a recipe from a restaurant that we used to go with my dad's parents.  The owners knew us well and would always come out and talk to us when we came.  This soup is hands down my favorite tomato soup.  The next recipe I chose is my Grandma Charlotte's chocolate cake.  This is the cake that I have had for many family birthdays and it is so good.  I chose Norwegian Meatballs because of all the Norwegian heritage in this part of the country.  The last recipe I chose was Cowboy Caviar.  It is a dip that we have had on New Years Eve for many years and it has black-eyed peas in it which are supposed to bring good luck for the new year.

You may have noticed one of the other kitchen updates already. Yep that faux brick wall is now grey.  Remember this before?
I am so pleased with the way it turned out even though it was a beast to paint with all that texture and all those crevices.  It looks so modern and lovely now.  I also painted the wall with the door and above the window. 

The rest of that "lovely" peachy area is going to covered with the tile from this post.  I also replaced the outlet covers with these guys:
They are from Target and they match the white ones that are in the living room, dining room, guest bedroom, and master bedroom.  For some reason Target didn't carry the other type of outlet plates in- store so I have to order those online for the other wall.

Now for the diy fail.  Ok so I use a lot of herbs and spices in my cooking and my current storage of them wasn't working for me.  They were all shoved in a cabinet all willy nilly and I would either go through every spice just to find the one that I needed or I would think I was out of one and go buy another one at the store only to find out that I already had three of that kind.  True story, really, at one time I had 5 containers of ground ginger!  Ridiculous!  So the plan was to make a cool magnetic spice rack so I bought the supplies and pulled all of my spices out of the cabinet.

As you can see I am now down to three containers of ginger.  Well the magnetic spice rack ended up being a bust.  I decided to go with ceramic magnets instead of rare earth because I was worried about the proximity of my microwave to the spice rack.  I glued the magnet on the first jar and tried it out on the sheet metal and it worked so I preceded to glue magnets on the top of the other 23 jars.  Then before mounting the metal sheet on the wall I tested some to see and as soon as a I put a second one on the first one fell off.  Fail.  

It was an easy fix though.  I ordered two wall-mounted spice racks from Amazon and I think they look pretty nice.  The plan is to spray paint them black when it is finally warmer outside, gotta love North Dakota. I also will put some labels on the jars.  I like the look of all the jars instead of those ugly plastic containers. 


Now the plan is to paint the door.  I have already purchased the paint, Valspar Tangerine Cream.  Then I will be making a faux roman shade for the window and eventually the tiling will get done.  I love how the kitchen is coming together so far!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Function Over Form: The Bonus Room Transformation

When we were looking for houses we were looking for 3 bedrooms.  We were lucky enough to find the house that we are in now which has a bonus room in addition to the 3 bedrooms.  You could call it a potential 4th bedroom but there is no door to close it off that would make it a bedroom.  When we moved in, the room was a blank slate:
Overall, I don't plan on doing much "decorating" in this room.  I like the wall color because it is a nice subtle neutral and nicer than just plain white walls.  The window treatments were left by the previous owner and I like them for now because they are kind of funky.  The curtain rods are old golf clubs!  When we moved in, this room housed all the boxes that we didn't want to deal with unpacking yet but my husband and I had some big plans for the room.

We are both runners and we knew that someday we would like to own a treadmill.  I have a YMCA membership and John has a work-out facility at his work but training for marathons and half marathons requires hours on the treadmill in the winter and work-out facilities are often crowded in January and February.  Neither of us are brave enough to run outside in the North Dakota winter.  I don't mind the cold (partly because I love my cute cold weather running gear:) but the ice and snow makes me nervous about falling and injuring myself.  It is funny because the treadmill was one of our down-the-line big purchases.  But when we got to thinking about it, it is something that we really wanted and so we took the plunge.

And it was definitely a plunge because runners need a good treadmill and the cost runs high for a quality one.  We do not regret the purchase at all because since we got it in December we have already put at least 100 miles on it.
We also have a very nice exercise bike that John purchased when he lived in his last apartment.  I bought John a bluray player for Christmas and then we used part of John's Christmas bonus to buy a nice HD TV which we wall-mounted.  The bluray player is nice for working out because it has built in wi-fi so we can watch Netflix, listen to Pandora, or stream work-out videos from YouTube.  I can also watch my Pilates and Jillian Michaels videos for my strength and cross training days.

My futon also found a home down here so that we can watch movies and enjoy TV.  It is the only TV in the house that gets PBS so I watch Downton Abbey down here (we don't have cable, only antenna).  It can also double as an extra guest room with the futon.  My futon has a nice mattress with springs in it so it is actually pretty comfortable.

I plan on making some inspirational word art for the walls down here since the room's main function is as an exercise room.  Today we added some medal hangers to the walls so that we can display the medals that we get from races.  We got these medal hangers at the Fargo Marathon expo last year from a local vendor.  They are pretty cute and I can't wait to fill it full of medals.  I will have 3 more by the July as I am running the Get Lucky 7K in Minneapolis next month, the Mickelson Trail Half Marathon in Deadwood South Dakota in the beginning of June, and the Run or Dye 5K in Fargo at the end of June.  No Fargo Marathon events for me this year though because I am bridesmaid in my friend's wedding which is on marathon weekend.

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