Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Table for Two

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  It's just Alex and I at home tonight with our puppy kiddos, so it's a Thanksgiving Table for Two this year.  We've been very thankful to host Thanksgiving for the past four years with the company of my sister-in-law Amber, her hubby Ryan, and our nephew Henri, but with the arrival of our new nephew Benjamin they weren't able to make the trip to Minnesota this time (can't blame them- that drive along the armpit of Indiana followed by the desolation across I-90/94 in Wisconsin is DREADFUL enough without a toddler and newborn in tow!).  

With that, knowing we wouldn't have guests this time, my dad had planned to make a trip here but sadly had an awful cold/strep/mini flu going on, so he had to change his plane ticket and visit in April instead (which is better anyway considering Minnesota is beautiful in the Spring and we didn't want to get sick too!).  Dad, I wish you were here and hope you get better soon!

So, Alex and I are having a Sweetheart style Thanksgiving and despite the lack of company, we did things the way we enjoy and do it best.  So... I tablescaped like always while Alex cooked up a storm (oh my do I LOVE me some tablescaping!)...

The main decor elements I had were a gray tablecloth, large lantern, and fresh eucalyptus branches.  It was so easy!  I just layered on the eucalyptus outward from the lantern I placed at the center of the table.

Beyond that, the only little DIY added in were these mini rosemary place-setting wreaths.  I took long rosemary stems and tied the ends together (super easy-peasy!)...

It all ended up very cute and perfectly easy to make this Thanksgiving for Two feel like a special unordinary dinner for just-us-two!

Very simple but still felt special for just us two :)  And to make it all the more special, after pigging out, we're counting on a Super Nintendo Super Mario Marathon (yep, we've got the old school Super Nintendo system and I plan to kick Alex's buns).  

Happy Thanksgiving! Best of Luck to Black Friday Shoppers as well!  We like sleeping in and hitting specials slowly after a big breakfast, but I'm still curious- What are you after this Black Friday?  TV's? Toys, Tablets?  I'd love a new TV but can't say we need it... ugh!  Isn't that the trouble of Black Friday?  Do you really need it?  Do we need that new TV?!?!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Holiday Decor Galore! A Look at Bachman's 2013 Holiday Idea House

Since Alex was busy working on the bathroom tile most of the weekend, I decided to get out of the house and headed over to Bachman's to check out their 2013 Holiday Idea House.  You know what that means- It's time to get inspired with overload of Holiday decor ideas!  

Once again, here is the background information on the Idea House just in case:
Bachman's is a Floral and Gift Garden here in Minneapolis and their original founder/owner's 1920's home is now used for their seasonal Idea House.  Everything about each room is different for every Spring, Fall and Holiday Idea House, right down to the paint on the walls with details/ideas included in a brochure when entering the home. 

This year's "Cozy, Contemporary Nordic Celebration," theme is all about simplicity in design presented in a fabulous way.  Okay, are you ready?!  You better be, I've got a ton of holiday photos and ideas coming at'cha!  Ho-Ho-Ho, here we go!

Living Room:

Ideas: Fabric inside cabinets to appear as stacked wood, Salvaged wood mounted on wall as art and wreath/candleholders, Textured oak wallpaper used for accent wall, Wall hangers display seasonal cards as art accented with paint stripes, Lanterns act as plant holders, Tree decorated with hanging votive holders, Baby cradle holds presents, Mittens layered with stockings on the mantel, Floor lamp made of wood vase and crystal knobs, Little red barn used as a doghouse, Coasters repurposed as vase and candle bases, Tree ornament created using a basket, filling and a bird, Presents wrapped with paper placemats and decorative paper.   Paint color: Hirshfield's 1089 Delicate Honeysweet.


Ideas: Vintage frame repurposed as tray, Vintage bedspring hung as pot rack, Dentist cabinet used as a kitchen organizer, Salvaged fan blade as holiday wall tree, Large vintage drawer used as wall organizer, Hanging heart vases, Lantern holds soap and lotion, Letter holder used for napkins.   Paint color: Hirshfield's 1096 The Ego Has Landed.

Dining Room:

Ideas: Radiator drip pan used as a fillable tray, Place-card holders act as vases, Rope and ornaments embellish napkin rings and table cloth, Salvaged wood mounted on walls as candleholders, Star lanterns turned into vases, Wood dough bowl case on buffet, Ornaments and garland hung on chandelier.  Paint color: Hirshfield's 0189 Delicate Honeysweet.

Main Floor Bathroom:

Ideas: Hearts part of decorative wall border, Mirror and wreath layered as wall art, Dishtowels hung as drapery and sink skirt, Metal tin used as towel hanger and organizer, Drawer acts as toilet paper holder.   Paint color: Hirshfield's 1096 The Ego Has Landed.


Ideas: Salvaged bin reused as bar, Chick incubator repurposed as a side table, Candle holders used as an ornament, Lamb feeder utilized as wine bottle storage, Mug warmers decorate decanters, Wall vases act as fillable art, Dried hydrangeas sprayed red as floral decor.   Paint color: Hirshfield's Thilbault Martinique Cream.

Entryway & Stairwell:

Ideas: Metal basket cart used as a planter, Table runner hung as wall art with vintage spool as hook, Salvaged wood and decorative metal hung as wall art.   Paint color: Hirshfield's 0006 Little Dove and 0190 Village Crier.

Gardener's Room:

Ideas: Terra cotta pots and ribbon turned into bells hanging in window with greenery and lights and valance, Birdbath turned into holiday tablescape, Hanging bottle vases embellished with craft paper, decorative tape and stamps, Vintage window screen and grate hung as wall art, Roll of moss garland appears like a holiday wreath, Votive cups used as Paperwhite containers, Heart container filled with decorative potpourri around Paperwhite, Decorative wicker hanging balls used as Paperwhite holder with moss filler, Live plant wall art, Paper placemats hung as wallpaper, Chairs accented with deco mesh, Indoor container mixes Amaryllis and Tropicals plus bamboo and succulents, Wire basket filled with ferns, mesh ribbon liner, Apple Blossoms, and Amaryllis, DIY miniature garden created with Dept. 56 product and fairy garden accessories.   Paint color: Hirshfield's 0400 New Foliage.

Master Bedroom:

Ideas: Rustic wall snowflake accented by painted shadow, Birch branch used as ornament hanger, Headboard made from cedar shingles, Lamp made from copper pipe and an outdoor table/stool, Jewelry holder made from birch rounds and ornament holders, Tree accent with copper wire.   Paint color: Hirshfield's 0455 Favored One.

Girl's Bedroom:

Ideas: Large basket acts as nightstand, Porch posts used to make a canopy bed accented with lights, Bird cage turned into a miniature fairy garden, Galvanized wash basin acts as tree base holder, Framed fairy hanging as ornament, Ribbon, snowflakes, and decorated clothespins display cards, Vintage garden table and chairs used as coloring space, Vintage vanity shortened and used as play desk, Metal owls used as bookend.  Paint color: Hirshfield's 0686 Outerspace.

Upstairs Bathroom:

Ideas: Rustic wall snowflake accented by painted shadow, Birch baskets used as towel holder and soap holder, Ornament holder becomes toilet paper holder, Deer head vase holds toothbrushes, Decorative box used as makeup and brush holder, Copper wire used as curtain holder, Copper leaves accented with stems and berries as shower curtain embellishments, Wreath and light up ornament hung as window decor.  Paint color: Hirshfield's 0455 Favored One.

Tablescape Idea Room:

Happy New Year's Theme: Mirror used as serving tray, Scarf accented with ribbon as chair-back embellishment, Chalkboard table runner used as a wall treatment, Ornament in a glass votive for party favor, Bracelets used as decoration for candles, Candle bowl used for wine chiller, Mini chalkboard decals used for name markers on glasses.

Classic Holiday Theme Ideas: Serving tray used as a candle and potpourri holder, Deco mesh used for chair back accent with permanent greens, Boxes and lids used as graphic wall element, Gold placemats used as wall treatment, Candle holders used as water glasses, Red candle holder accented with holiday botanical and ribbon, Place settings "wrapped" like presents, Crystal Poinsettias used as place-card holders.

Winter Wedding Theme Ideas: Place-card holder filled with snow, Ribbon decorates chair, Upside-down bowls used as place setting risers, Branch and throw blanket hung as wall decor, Throw blanket used as table runner, Wreaths used in lighting.  Paint color: Hirshfield's 0189 Delicate Honeysweet.


Ideas: Vintage metal cart utilized as winter boot and hat organizer, Screen door erected as chalkboard, Dishtowels hanging as drapery fastened with chalkboard clips, Candle-scape made of tin container moss, balls, candles, and paper luminaries, Lighting constructed with upside down metal baskets, Ornament made into trivets and coasters, Mini sled used as a serving tray.  Paint color: Hirshfield's 012 Bunny Cake (trim) & 211 Light Lichen (floor).

Outdoor Decor:

Ideas: Permanent greens, acorns and snowflakes woven around address sign, Velvet twigs mixed with spruce tops in containers, Green garland embellished with Magnolia, Eucalyptus, and lights.

That's a wrap!  What were YOUR favorite ideas?

I was digging the hot cocoa set up on the porch and loved all of the real greenery used as decor indoors.  I have to say, there's something nice about having live plants and greenery inside during the icky, LONG, freezing winter months here in Minnesota- it's kind of the only green I'll see until May (ugh, isn't that depressing? I can feel cabin fever coming on already)....

Regardless I've got that ants-in-my-pants feeling, I want a tree right now so I can get my ho-ho-holiday decorating on! Anyone else with me?


PLEASE NOTE / DISCLAIMER: In case you missed the post intro, I just want to reiterate that this IS NOT OUR HOUSE and I am not employed or affiliated with Bachman's in any way (which means I did not decorate the rooms shown).  I enjoy visiting the Idea House and love sharing it as long as they allow people take photographs when they visit.  

Friday, November 22, 2013

What a Week Back! Tiling Progress & Why I Need a Rubber Ducky

What a crazy week it's been, so glad it's Friday!  I've been home from my last minute India/China trip for just over a week now and with busy days at work and Alex working on the tiling we haven't been able to update the blog much but here's an update at where we are with our bathroom shower/tub project (aka "Project Deep Soak").

After gathering up the last of the supplies at Home Depot on Sunday, Alex dove right into tiling.... And the tiling has continued everyday after work this week.

Thankfully he's finished with the shower head/ faucet wall and the joining wall where we added two shelves, so he's at least through the trickier steps in the process!

I can't wait for it to be finished up- and not just to see the finished look...
As you can imagine with the tiling still going on all we can do is take baths in the morning (since it's our only bathroom with a shower or tub in the house).  Let me tell you, I don't think there's any easy way to take fast bath every morning.  It's kind of funny that I've been getting so much use out of our new deep soak tub already because it isn't as fun as I thought it would be, LOL!  Like I said, he's still at it tonight....

It will be so nice to have the shower in full operational use again!  Alex is planning to wrap things up this weekend and I'm hopeful everything will go smoothly.  If not I'll make Alex find me a rubber ducky.   Until then...

Rub-a-dub-dub ya'll! 

I'll be out doing my Thanksgiving grocery shopping this weekend, anyone else braving the crowds to gather up turkey and fixings too?  For those of you that are- here's to wishing for bountifully stocked shelves and small crowds!  

Have a great weekend everybody!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Deep Soak Tub Installed, Onto Tiling Prep!

Fortunately I was able to call in a favor to a couple of my friends (big thanks to Tom and Paul!) before Carla got home from her work trip and after a little cursing, plenty of tight spaces, and some hot Sawzall action, we got the tub installed in it's mortar bed!
Kohler Bancroft 60"x 32" Alcove Bath
With the bathtub and plumbing in place, I was able to rough in the new bathroom fixtures and temporarily install some poly sheeting, allowing us to shower/bathe while the project progresses. BTW: I am in love with my new shower fixtures!  I made three purchases in order to find the perfect set and the Delta Silverton was it! The large aerating shower head provides an amazingly luxurious experience... even with plastic covering the walls around you :-)

Enough about the fixtures...
Delta Silverton Faucet $119.00 from Home Depot
With the tub and plumbing in place, it was time for another trip to good ol' HD! I was in the zone too - checking off nearly every item on my "Hurry Up and Finish the F'in Bathroom Project" list! Tile, Mortar, Grout, Furring Strips, Sheet Plastic, Cement Board, Silicone Sealant, Corner Shelves, Soap Tray, Joint Tape...You get the idea.

I almost forgot - Every project requires a skilled and licensed handyman...Rocco will do if you're in a jam.

Time to put all of those newly acquired home project pieces to use. I started by squaring off the cuts in the old drywall while using the furring strips to level the wall joists to the tile flange around the tub. Next came the vapour barrier (nobody likes mold in the walls) and the HARDIEBACKER, followed by taped and mortared lines and corners! A lot of progress today but there's still plenty more to come....

Stick around throughout the week as Carla and I get closer and closer to having a nice, clean shower/bathtub space that still fits the look of our 1924 Dutch Colonial.

I'm betting that there will still be a few more Starbucks and Papa John's fueled nights in my future.  With that, does anyone know if it's safe to operate a Sawzall while drinking an Old Fashioned?  Rocco said it was okay but he could be after my life insurance payout.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Operation: Deep Soak...

Is Well Underway!

Take a look at some of the progress that I've been making since getting a great deal on an amazing tub!

Kohler Bancroft

Here's a look at the demolition and progress I've made thus far.

Nothing Glamorous About This Project

There will be more details to come on the step by step of this project but for now, how about some more pictures?

Leveling the Floor and Roughing in the Plumbing

Oh, one final picture of an old industry secret...Wrap the tub with insulation in order to keep the bath water warmer longer. Genius!!

I Can't Wait to Soak in This Deep Tub!

The floor, plumbing, and tub are all ready for the mortar bed to go down and, tomorrow I have a couple of friends coming over to help me move the tub into position. In a couple of days time, we'll be able to bathe like kings/queens.

Now then, due to issues that have come up during this home update, there really is no possible way that I can have the entire thing wrapped up by the time Carla comes home but, she's already given me an extension into the upcoming weekend so at least now I don't have to rush and worry about sacrificing quality.

More to Come!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

An "X-Rated" Shower Scene...

No. Not that Kind. I'm talking about what's going on behind the curtain in our main bathroom. It's not terrible back there but, it sure is overdue for a Mr. H&HH overhaul and with the Misses away for a bit longer, there's no better time to tackle this project!

Now then, I really don't want to show the "before" images from behind the curtain until there is an after to pair it with. For now, just know that we have a shallow off-white bathtub that makes it nearly impossible for an adult to enjoy a bath and the tub surround is outdated and doesn't match the rest of our bathroom since my last re-do.

My plan is to remove our old bathtub, surrounds and faucet/showerhead and then replace them with a deeper soaking tub, tiled walls, and nice new fixtures.

I'm really liking the idea of using a white subway tile with dark grout like the design I found below - This is a great little bathroom re-do story!

From: Design Manifest

I am a bit behind the eight ball on this one though and I really hope I can pull it off before Carla comes home later next week. Like most of my "I'm alone at home projects" I imagine there will be some late nights and the staff at the local Starbuck's will get to know me on a more personal level...

There are a couple of issues that I'm facing though and the biggest one is that due to the short notice, it's proving difficult to find the bathtub that I really want - something deep but not too big for our little bathroom. Well, with any luck one of my leads will pan out tomorrow...I REALLY hope, because I intend to do some demolition tonight!

The next post you see, should include some action shots and DIY madness!

Wish Me Luck!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Where in the World is Carla Sandiego (Zidarevich)?

Funny story... or not really I guess?  Anyway, I'm not at my normal location in the world, right now I am in India and I'll be heading to China/Hong Kong as well in a few days.  It was a very, very last minute business trip that was booked less than a week ago.  So, I had to say goodbye to Alex and the pups for a while and hopped on a plane (I need to figure out how to take a decent "selfie" pic, I'm on a plane but it's a pretty crap-tacular photo)....
.... and after a delayed pit stop in Amsterdam I am now in New Delhi with the familiar traffic but a touch more smoke/fog left over from fireworks in celebration of Diwali.  Wish I was here for that part!
I will try to do a few quick posts with photos during my trip but I know I've shared a lot from my other work trips already so if I do I'll try to keep it fresh!

Just know things might be quiet around here for a while- That is unless Alex decides to stay busy with a project while I am gone like he has during past trips??!?  Not sure what he has up his sleeve this time since it was all so last minute, maybe he'll just kick back?  Who knows!  Anyway, just wanted to share that I'm on an around the world travel loop for a while :)

I think I'll spend my dull travel time dreaming up my Christmas decor!  It's almost that time and I'm pumped!  Anyone else dreaming up Christmas decor ideas too?

Oh, and I hope everyone got the Carmen Sandiego reference, if not here's a link :)