Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Claudia's New Dress

The term "gilding the lily" comes to mind regarding this post.  While I adore my dress form Claudia just the way she is, I thought even she needs a new dress now and then.  Over Christmas she came to me wearing a glorious pine skirt. 

She ain't too bad "nekid" either.

But add some vintage sheet music and Claudia really sings. (Har, har)

Beautiful bustle.

And please excuse the horrible floors in this room.  The people we bought the house from refinished all the floors except this room, dunno, they were odd. 

I have lots to share, from fireplace mantles, new kitchen color, bathroom art, gallery wall, music stand lamps....stay tuned!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Prepare yourselves, there's a storm a brewin'!

I'm not talking about the weather, although it has been keeping us on our toes hasn't it?  We lost power for a few hours this week, when the sun was shining.  Yes, only we can lose power when there is no storm.  I even had to dry and straighten my hair at my desk!

The storm I'm talking about is that I'll actually be posting some projects soon!  You're shocked, I know.  I know I've been away, I even lost a follower...boo...hisss.... I'm sorry, I'm a busy chicka!  Between working full time, graduate school, internships I barely have time to clean let alone decorate, photograph and post it! 

As of this weekend I will only have a couple hours of internship left and no classes until the end of June, I don't know what I'll do with myself "just" having to work! 

Ok, I do know what I'll be doing and here's the list for you.

  1. Cleaning the backyard flower beds. It's like the Congo out there.  I'm sure Mr. Toad loves it that way, yes, I have a toad that comes by every summer.  Maybe "comes by" isn't a good term since our yard is fenced, he's likely more of a prisoner than a guest.
  2. Tending to my garden.  I planted a raised bed full of Beekman Boys Heirloom seeds.  I have carrots, radishes, turnips, beans, cuckes, spinach and lettuce.  My itty bitty carrots and turnips already have little leaves!  If you want your own heirloom garden, go here.
  3. Eating fresh blackberries.  We planted a bush last year and it has grown like crazy, here's hoping we have big, fat, juicy berries soon!
  4. Finding someone to eat the turnips I hope will grow.  I hate turnips.
  5. "Decorating" our back patio.  It's a concrete slab with some wild and crazy hostas growing around it.  It really is a pitiful sight.  I think a vintage glider, a new rug, some potted plants, some Mason jar lamps will really spruce it up.
  6. Hopefully enjoying the paver patio off the kitchen.  We are getting estimates and hope to be able to afford it this summer. 
  7. Having a Jewel Kade party.  Most likely on a Sunday in June, leave me a comment if you're in the central Ohio area and want to come and I'll send details when I have it scheduled!
  8. Decorating my mantel.  We have a fireplace in our den but it's never had a mantel, until tonight that is!  I found this lovely on Craigslist and she's being delivered today.  My initial thought was the den but the more I think about it, she might go live in the living room, decisions, decisions. Oh, and I only paid $55 for her, with delivery!!

    9. The final thing I plan on doing this summer is relaxing some.  I will still be in class, 
         but won't be doing an internship until August, so I want to enjoy the little down time I will have.

What are your summer plans?

Monday, April 18, 2011

I've fallen and I can't get up.

I've fallen alright, off the face of the bloggy earth.  I'm sure you're all typing your blogger passwords into your computers with bloody stumps since you've been biting your nails in anticipation for my next blog post.  Sarcasm?  Yes.  Bazinga! (10 zillion blog follower points if you can name that tv show.)

I'm sorry but I'm one busy bee.  With working full time and graduate school and internships and husbands and mothers and surgeries and laundry and once in awhile sleep I just haven't had time to do anything.  Well anything fun that is. 

Ok, that is a bold face lie.  I have be doing things I just haven't been able to photograph them and show you.  I did a rather cool bathroom art project (for less than 25 smackaroos) and I've been arranging and rearranging and then getting up at 2am to rearrange again the bookcase I recently got.  Again, no pics.  And, I was the lucky winner of a great blog give away and those pictures are still sitting in my camera. If digital imagines can collect dust these babies have bunnies on them.  I also made a rocking strap cover for my camera.  See, big fat liar, pants on fire.  I have been doing things.

I will do all that I can to get some pictures and a real post for you soon.  I'm off Friday so hopefully I will prioritize my vacation day appropriately and make sure you get a blog post, with pictures I didn't steal from the net.

I also plan on making some of these soon.  I found a bakery in Columbus that makes them, so I can actually taste one before attempting my hand at them.  Ok, that is just fat girl logic to justify eating a cookie.  Works though, don't it?

Just because they are amazing and I felt bad just teasing you with a cookie picture enjoy a couple of pictures of the pups.

Yes, he's about as "simple" as he looks here.  But he's the kindest most loving creature ever.  If he didn't eat his own poo I'd consider going through therapy dog training with him but if you're in need of therapy the last thing you need is a dog kissing you with poo flavored breath.

The best caption I can think of for this picture is "put down the camera and give me the cheese and no one gets hurt."  Lilly Bean has no idea of what "personal space" means.

Monday, March 28, 2011

I hate chili.

Considering work/internship/school has left me with so little free time that nothing gets done and I almost wore a dirty pair of panties to work today I don't have any exciting home decor posts lined up.  Never fear though, I scored an amazing vintage barrister bookcase this weekend from Urban Farmhouse so I will show it off  soon. 

Instead I thought I'd share a recipe.  I love to cook and bake.  This will come as no surprise to anyone who has seen my backside.  Recently in an effort to raise money for local food pantries we had a chili cook-off at work. 

Have I told you, I hate chili. 

Really, it's like the one food that if I am ever held captive for government secrets don't bother doing water torture, make me eat chili and I'll sing like a bird.  (Yes, I realize how many possible fart innuendos there are in that sentence.)

So to help raise money I decided to make a white chicken chili, heck maybe I'd win the cook-off with my dark white horse.   I made it the night before the cook-off and told E to help himself.  He loved it and I thought what the heck, I'll at least taste it. 

I ate two bowls.  I was almost ashamed of myself for always talking so poorly about chili in the past then I realized that this, this glorious creamy concoction was not chili...it was white chicken chili.  I guess I don't like the taste of chili powder or hard, gritty kidney beans but this chili was delicate, smokey and even I can choke down a few spoonfuls of cannelini beans.

Ironically, my chili was the only one that was entirely gone by the end of lunch.  Everyone loved it and begged for the recipe.  But, I didn't win.  The judges were purists and chose a traditional red chili.

So while the chicken is in the crock pot at home waiting to become chili I thought I'd share my recipe.  I pretty much made this up on the fly after reading pages and pages of white chicken chili recipes online. 

Now, because I made this up there are some variations you can try, I will note those in the recipe.

If you make it, let me know what you think.

Beth's Even I Will Eat It White Chicken Chili
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken boobs (or one rotisserie chicken, left over chicken, some form of poultry, you get my drift)
2-3 cans of canellini beans, rinsed (reserve 1/4 c)
1-2 cans of diced green chilies with their juice
1 large can of chicken stock (low fat/low sodium)
a glob of butter (maybe 2-3 T, I don't know, just use a glob)
a small onion
1-2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2-1 t cumin
1/2-1 t dried oregano
1/2-1 c heavy cream
a large handful of shredded Monterrey jack cheese
sour cream
fresh cilantro

I cooked my chicken breasts in the crock pot in plain water all day or until they shredded easily with a fork.  You could also use a store bought rotisserie chicken, left over baked chicken or even grilled chicken would be good in this.  (In fact, the grilled might be really good, to give it that smokey flavor.)

In a large saute pan saute the onion and garlic in some butter/olive oil.  I used butter because I wanted the richness since this is a creamy chili (and I'm a fatty like that.)  Once the onion is soft (not browned) add the shredded chicken and the chopped green chilies (I used two small cans, you can use more or less) saute until all combined.   At this point add your heavy cream then add your spices; cumin, oregano, salt, pepper and let everyone fall in love.  Don't boil it, just let it simmer..think hot tub on low.  This will make it thick, glorious and creamy. 


This above chicken mixture is slap your momma good and would make amazing tacos or enchiladas.

Ok, back to the chili.

Once the chicken/chili/cream mixture is hot through and starting to thicken add the rinsed and drained beans (minus the 1/4 c you reserved, relax, I'll explain that in a moment.)

Now, my saute pan was large and high sided so I had lots of room.  If you don't, have a larger pot available and pour the chicken mixture into it.  Then add the chicken stock.  I added about 3/4 of a large can.  This is preference, if you like thick chili, add less, if you like it soupier...add more.  Rocket science, I know.

Take the 1/4 c of beans you reserved and beat the hell out of them, mash them up with a fork until they resemble humus.  Add this mixture to your chili.  It will naturally thicken the soup and give it some texture.  You can also add more cream if you want. (You'll want to, it's cream after all!)

Let simmer 30 or so minutes, then add a large handful of Monterrey jack cheese.  This too will thicken the soup and give it a creaminess. 

Serve with a glob of sour cream and some cilantro (ok and more cheese.)

The only "complaint" I got was this wasn't spicy.  I liked that about it though, it was "warm" and smokey from the cumin, but if you want something spicy you could add some Cheyenne or saute some jalapenos with the onion.  Personally, I like the little bit of warmth the chilies give it over something that will give you a ring of fire...if you get what I'm saying.  But it's your butt, do what you want!

Slightly sweet corn bread/muffins make this even better!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Kitchen Shelving...finally

Thank you for being patient my loves, life is just one insane day after another around here, but without further babbling ado here are the pictures.

 I just love this little silver coffee pot.  I actually think it's a creamer, it's tiny. 
The large white bowls were a great Goodwill find.  They are from Target, brand new, and I got all 4 for $1.89!!!

If you're wondering what's in the basket....here you go....
Those would be extra dog food dishes, travel cups, etc.  All the ugly things that we needed to keep but didn't really have space for elsewhere. 

 Those little turquoise dishes were also a great Goodwill find, three of them for 59 cents!! One is currently holding the most divine confection you will ever have pass your lips.  Ruth Hunts, Blue Monday candy bars.  If you're not southern or have family who are southern you likely do not know about Ruth Hunt.  I grew up on cream candy and Ruth Hunt makes the best.  A Blue Monday bar is cream candy drenched in a luscious robe of dark chocolate.  It's sinful, really.  If you want to experience Ruth Hunt for yourself, and you should, you can order here.

Now, for the other side.
My favorite item on this side is this amazing blue bowl. 
Isn't the color amazing?? I have been considering taking the bowl to Home Depot, having it color matched and painting the kitchen this color. 

Well, there you go my lovelies, I hope it was worth the wait.  I think it was, I love my shelves!!

A little financial breakdown for you:
I only had to purchase some primer, I didn't have enough left over from other projects.  I use Zinser and I got a quart for $12.94, I know the left over will be used for something.

I did buy new dishes, but obviously if you do this project you could use your current dishes. 

I got the seagrass baskets on sale at Kohl's, $11.94 for both, but I had Kohl's cash so I only paid $1.94 for them!

Besides the Goodwill finds I used what I had.  So it was rather inexpensive for a huge change!

Now, for your entertainment and what happens when I'm in the kitchen trying to take pictures.  This is what Boston Terrier owners call "bitey face."  Trust me it's not as viscious as it looks but it does make taking pictures difficult. 

It all begins with a look....
And then it starts.

Ollie going for Bean's neckmeat.

Craziness I tell you!!

Oh, one more thing.  The jury is still out on this addition.  While I LOVE the industrial look of the card catalog and it was intended to hold recipes, menus, etc.  I think it's a bit big.  What do you think?

Linking To:

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Wetting yer whistle

I know, I know, I'm a slacker.  I promised pictures of the kitchen shelving and I haven't delivered.  What you may not realize is that the sun never shines in Newark, Ohio.  Ok, it does shine it just only shines when I'm at work or school or internship.  When I'm home it's dark, cloudy, grey, or it's midnight.  None of those make for good blog pictures.  (But as you'll see in a bit, anything would be better than what I currently have to offer.)

Not to mention I've been tweaking, rearranging and still shopping for things to make the shelves...sing if you will.  I didn't realize how tough it would be to have open shelving and OCD.  I'm sure normal people with open shelving do not stand and stare, wonder, rearrange, scratch their heads and sigh when putting dishes away.  I'm getting better though, I'm only spending about 30 minutes obsessing over it, last week it was around 45 minutes. ;)

Guess what?  The sun is shinning today and it supposed to shine ALL DAY!!!! AND I don't have internship tonight so I my plan is to get those pictures done today and posted tomorrow.  (Ok, maybe by the end of the week.)

Until then, I'm going to show you what inspired me in the first place.

Perfectly Imperfect, amazing isn't it?
I also think having one long, uninterrupted area for shelving is the secret to ease of staging.

In all honesty, this amazing transformation was my utmost inspiration.  Darby not only split her shelving up with her window, as I did, but she also has another closed cabinet on the right side, just like we do!

Do I even need to tell you where this comes from?  If so, you have some homework to do, go read EVERY post at The Lettered Cottage.

And to tease you just a bit further, here is an awful cell phone picture of one side of the shelving.  A lot has changed, moved, moved back, etc, but maybe it will wet yer whistle for the better pics (hopefully) coming your way this week!

OH that picture is just awful, the next time I make cookies I will send you each a box as an apology for this picture!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Who's gonna bring me a chicken dinner?

While I definitely could use a live in chef, this chicken dinner is because I'm a winner!! I won the gorgeous, and inaugural, give away at Honeycomb Creative Co.  If you haven't checked out Courtney's blog, you need to, go now!  Well finish reading this, then go. 

Show the readers what Beth won, Bob.
You're jealous, it's ok, I would be too!  That compote/bowl will be DEEE-VINE in my newly finished open shelves in the kitchen.  Yep, I did it.  If we ever get sunshine again in Central Ohio I will take some pictures and show you! 

When I receive my beautiful gift I will also post pictures.  Until then, read up over at Courtney's!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Where I'd like to be right now.

There are lots of places I'd like to be right now, most of them include a bed and some quiet.  I'm pooped!  I am currently working full time and doing 16 hours a week of internship in the emergency department of our local hospital.  I"m hoping that when I grow up, or in May of 2012, whichever comes first I'll have my MSW.  Graduate school has been hard but so worth it! (At least that's what I am telling myself.)

But right now, I'd like to be here.  In our spare room, curled up in the sun with the puppies and Eric.

Are you where you want to be right now?

Monday, February 7, 2011


No, this post is not going to be about Boston Terrier gas, but let me tell you, it's amazing the stank a 13lb dog can lay down.

This post is to notify you all that I am tootin' my own horn that my silly little kitchen light is front page news over at Funky Junk Interiors.  Can I just say that I was baaa-lowwwwn away when I saw it today. 

This makes me really reconsider my current undertaking of getting my MSW and going into interior design.  Yes, I am just that over inflated that one little mention on an amazing and highly followed blog and I would consider a new and not always lucrative career choice.  Let's not even begin to discuss how I by no means have the talent to do interior design.  Anyways, head over to Funky Junk Interiors and check out the other amazing talent that's being profiled.  (Yeah, I just called myself amazing.)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

I'm gonna do it. Sometime. Maybe.

I've lusted over open shelving in kitchens before.  But today I got a step closer.  I finally got around to spending a Kohl's gift card from Christmas and got an amazing deal on these lovely Oneida dishes.
These are the Oneida Souffle dishes.  The deal was great, 40 pcs for $59.99 plus my $25 gift card! Granted, I would have really liked to have found enough white vintage dishes to make a full set, but alas, these will do just fine.  Not to mention I have a set of lovely vintage china that I use for holidays and such, they just aren't white.

Now that I have a full matching set instead of two partial sets. (One with blue sponge painted farm animals on them, yes, you read that right. I really can't believe I told you all that, please, don't shun me for having country decor!) I can now proceed with my open shelving. 

My only hurdle is deciding which cabinets to use as shelving.  Should I do this side, the stove side? Sorry awful picture, but it's dreary here today and the pictures just were not coming out well and this was all I have in my files.  There are two equal sized cabinets on each side of the microwave which speaks loudly to my OCD nature of symmetry. 

The draw back for this side of the kitchen is that those cabinets house food and spices/cooking "stuff."  If I put my dishes over here I will then have to put the cooking stuff on the other side of the kitchen.   I suppose this goes to show how lazy I am, I hate the idea of having to turn around and walk 2 steps to get salt and pepper when I'm cooking.  Not to mention if the dishes are on the stove side the grease factor goes up a zillion percent than if the dishes were on the sink side.
Or should I do it on this side, the sink side?  These cabinets, each side of the window, currently house the dishes and glasses so it "makes sense" on this side.  BUT see that blurry white/green thing on the right? That's another cabinet, it's the "junk food" cabinet and I am not sure if it would look right to have four cabinets sans doors and then one with a door.  Because I will tell you now, there is NO WAY that junk food cabinet will ever, ever, ever be obsolete nor will it ever be purdy enough to not have a door.

So, whatcha' think?  Sink side all four doors or sink side, just the two you can see above?  Or are you a stove side sort of person? 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Tick tock...glug glug

This clock makes my heart beat fast (that's the glug glug part.)  Sorry, stolen pictures from the net do not transfer well to blogs.

I saw it in Country Living and spontaneously "ohhhhhhh, I want this."   My dear sweet husband endulged me and looked at the picture when I showed it to him but his "uh huh, it's nice" was by no means as enthusiastic as I had wanted.  I am hoping she will be coming home with me this weekend, she would be puuuuuurrrfect in our living room.   I'll let you know (and see) if it does make it home with us!

Here's the info on the clock, just please don't buy the only ones in the Columbus, Ohio area, or you'll have one sad Bellom on your hands! ;)


Sunday, January 9, 2011

What you can do with $25

I tell people I'm "cheap" or "frugal" in truth, we live on a budget.  Some months are lean and some are fruitful but no matter the month I do try to do the most I can with the least possible.  This is evident in our kitchen where I used Goodwill finds and a great Ebay score to make a super cute gallery wall.

Here's the break down.

First off, the square frames are all from Goodwill for $1.00 each.  The vintage egg print in this one was $12.00.  I will admit, I thought that was pricey, but I love all things bird related and thought this would be perfect in my kitchen so I went for it. Using left over paint (FREE) and left over burlap (FREE) I just taped the print down and used the glass from the frame to keep everything in place.  Not bad for $13.00. (Please excuse the reflection, I wasn't about to move the kitchen table to take a picture, I'm not that dedicated of a blogger I suppose.But at least you can see my handmade curtains from Target grain sack dish towels and some seam binding.)
Next up, my Mary Poppins spoon.  I love, love, love Mary Poppins.  You may have picked up on that from my new blog header; Practically IMperfect in Every Way.   I scored this cute spoon on Ebay, in fact it was my first ever Ebay purchase!  I got her for $10.00 including shipping.  Pricey for a little spoon, perhaps, but recently I saw one on Ebay for $50.00.  This frame I purchased awhile back and couldn't figure out what to do with it, so I count it as "free" since I didn't go out and purchase it for this purpose, instead I "shopped" the junk closet for it.  I just used some super glue and some left over (FREE) scrapbook paper as the background.
I felt I "needed" some chalk board in the kitchen, a $1.00 painting from Goodwill was perfect.  I used left over (FREE) chalk board paint and left over (FREE) while paint and here you go!
Lastly, this was a $1.00 mirror from Goodwill.  Using a key that came with the music used in this project, which was bought for another project (so again, I count this as "FREE") I simply glued the music to the mirror and then glued the key to the music.  I didn't intend on distressing this frame but the finish on the wood did not agree with the paint so it bubbled, therefore, distress it!
I don't think that's too bad for $25.00, do you?