"Two are Better than One!" ~Ecclesiastes 4:9

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Organization makes for one Happy Girl!

I'm in a little bit of a grouchy (....and super hungry) mood right now after an unexpectedly long day of travel!  However, I leave for my Ava Anderson non Toxic yacht trip tomorrow, so I can't help but be in a good mood when I land.  In the meantime, I am in the dreaded middle seat of a connecting flight to Palm Beach.  Don't get me wrong, I am elated to actually be on a plane that is progressing SouthEast, but no fun!  So, I thought I would share some pictures of my freshly organized pantries to cheer me up! :o)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Coming out of the closet....

Our china has spent the last 2+ years stacked in their original boxes in closets across the Nation.  Their first home was my parent's guest closet while we were engaged and my living situation was in limbo, then they moved to a utility closet in Orlando in our townhome due to lack of cabinet space, and then to our laundry room/storage closet in our Orlando condo due to lack of space all around, and then once we moved here they stayed in their boxes in two separate closets for fear they would get damaged during renovations.

Well, the dust has settled, the china cabinet has been cleared of all of our temporary kitchen essentials and it was time to get these boxes in the recycle after all this time!!  It was so fun to unbox it all -- felt kind of like when we were engaged and boxes were delivered almost daily!  Such a fun time ;)  So, here is the grand reveal....

Monday, February 20, 2012

Getting Ready for Fat Tuesday!

Fat is certainly appropriate!  We haven't even hit Tuesday yet, and I already know it is going to be the most unhealthy day I have had in MONTHS!  Yes, months....even worse than Christmas!!!

So, Fat Tuesday....Todd and I had discussed having a housewarming party tomorrow and going all out with the decorations and food, but then decided against a mid-week party.  So, we had absolutely no plans.  Well, lo and behold our spontaneous friends didn't want to miss out on a fun night so they decided today to host a pancake dinner at their house tomorrow!  Enter Elizabeth, who's brain is in full gear planning how she can partake in pancakes and all the food fun with a gluten and casein allergy in tow!  Pancakes are the easy part, bring homemade batter and my own pan with me!  However, a girl cannot live and party on pancakes alone!  Enter gluten free, dairy free king cake recipe thanks to Jules Gluten Free Flour blog who almost always has me covered!  You can see the full recipe here:


I won't bore you with all the details of the recipe, you can certainly read all the way through it if you would like.  I didn't even read all of it, just used common sense and did what I wanted for the most part (yeah, yeah I know if Todd's reading this, he is thinking "what's new??")  So, here is a pictorial of my baking venture:

Looks normal already, doesn't it??

Loving our huge island, it is perfect for everything!!

Even rolled fairly easily sans gluten and traditional binders....

I even got to use my brand spankin' new Emile Henry pizza stone....

...and while it was baking, I made powdered sugar in my Vitamix with the dry container!!  It is so much cheaper than buying it at the grocery store and I know exactly what is in it!!

 ...and you know I had to make my own colored sugars with raw sugar and natural food coloring...none of that chemical junk!  I have to make up for my sugar vice, after all!

Ah, fresh out of the oven!!

Iced, sprinkled with sugar and ready to go!!!

...here's to hoping this actually makes it to the party!!

Mexican & Margaritas....

Over the weekend, I attempted to purchase rugs for our master bathroom.  To visualize what some of my size options would look like, I taped them off in the bathroom.  I wasn't successful (as you can probably tell from the picture) in finding something that worked with the floor plan so it is back to the drawing board.  

....and after mexican and margaritas on Saturday night our bathroom ended up looking like this.... ;o)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Day Getaway!

I must admit, Todd is not the romantic type (then again, are there any guys who truly are??)... but when he wants to, he can be!  On Monday afternoon, these roses arrived at the door....

With this note....

So, yesterday we left for Santa Ynez/Santa Barbara for the night (beaches and wine country in Southern California)!  We walked around the little streets and in and out of wine tasting rooms and shops in Solvang.  It's a little danish-style town where all the wineries have tasting rooms.

Wind blown and struggling to do a self portrait -
hate it, but don't have any others unfortunately!
I have been trying to figure out what to do with the remnants of tin tile from our backsplash.  While in one of the shops, I found this....

Oh, and this amazing chandelier with shade that I am wanting to recreate in one of our upstairs rooms!
Had to take this picture discreetly! ;)
What started so fun went downhill quickly....our dinner reservations were lost, and having a huge gluten allergy made it near impossible to find a replacement so we had dinner at the bar in our hotel....romantic, right??  Todd caught three different basketball games during dinner, so I'm sure he wasn't that upset!  That is, until whatever we ate made him sick .... which was a complete role reversal!  Usually, I am the one on vacation sick because I unintentionally ate something I am allergic to!  Luckily, Todd made a full recovery by this morning!  We headed to Santa Barbara and spent the day there shopping for a watch for Todd and ate at an Italian restaurant where I had an amazing gluten free pasta for lunch!

For Valentine's Day, I thought we were doing our normal thoughtful $20 gifts (since we buy everything large ticket anyway, and that's almost too easy).  So, I designed and printed our First Dance song lyrics and decoupaged them to canvases.  Todd picked "Georgia on my Mind" as our wedding song because that is what he would text it to me while we were dating long distance.  So, while I was busy decoupaging my little heart out....

....Todd was purchasing these .75 carat princess cut diamond earrings to match my ring!

I'm starting to get the trend here.  For our anniversary, I made Todd something out of cotton as it was out second year together and that is the traditional gift.  Todd came home bearing gluten free baking classes with Jim Dodge.  For Christmas, I decided I would get him back by breaking the budget and getting him the SodaStream he had been talking about for the previous year, and you guessed it....he showed me up with a sewing machine and stocking stuffers.  So, I thought we were back to our old thoughtful gift song and dance for Valentine's Day, but apparently not!!  Unfortunately, I am not sure I can top this four prong Valentine's day anytime soon.....diamonds, dinner, roses, and a night away!  I'm feeling a little spoiled right now, and I LOVE it!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

House of Love

After titling this post, Amy Grant's old school "House of Love" starting running through my mind.  I apologize, I know you are now humming it!  Brings me back to Elementary school, doing "figure" skating routines in the street with friends to her cassette....yup you read all of that correctly!!  Had a Nancy Kerrigan poster on my closet door (the only place we were allowed to hang things) and a great weekend included a new dance routine choreographed for hours to Janet Jackson with all of the girls :)  Those were the days....no bills, open weekends, and no idea what any of the lyrics to songs we liked really meant!!

Took me a minute to figure out what the heck I was here to blog about after all that?!?  Yes, house of love...no worries, not what you are thinking...it is safe to keep reading!  I guess Labor of Love may have been a more appropriate title, however it is not quite finished so I don't want to use such severe and scary words until the laboring is complete and a distant memory!  When my blogging is behind, it is safe to assume we are busy working on the house!  Never a dull moment here....there is always something to paint, hang, install, etc!  So, here is a montage (sorry for the yuck pics) to all things productive over the last several days:

We added this couch to our upstairs sitting area and finally prettied up the built-ins....

....I hung these cool wall hangings in the master bathroom over the tub

....And made these monogrammed framings as an inexpensive wall filler for our living room

....We finally had the tin tile backsplash and undercounter lighting with lightrail installed in the kitchen

...and the island lighting too!

....and I finished off our stove hood with this piece of garden art I've had for years!

....We purchased a rug for the den

...and the great room is looking more complete each day!

So, we finally paid a little bit of attention to outside with new light fixtures to replace the dingy and old

....and some flowers to brighten the porch

...and finally added some iron work to above the door!

As you can see, this house has been rejuvenated with lots of time, hard work, finishing touches and love!  It is finally feeling more like ours, more cozy, and just more like home!  Happy Valentine's Day from our house to yours, wherever it may be!