Friday, June 8, 2012

Our Kitchen

I'm linking up with Kelly's Korner today for the Home Tours: Kitchen. The kitchen is my favorite spot in the house and I needed a little extra motivation to get it cleaned up today anyway ;-) My husband is a home builder and we've built several houses. We've built several houses and he really gives me free rein of style. In February we just finished up our 5th house and moved in. We live in our house for 2 years and then put it up for sale and then build another. If there is something I don't like I only have to deal with it for 2 years :-) This is the smallest house we've built. We've slowly downsized from a 3500 sq ft house to this one, about 1855 sq ft. We opted to have only one dining area and then split the second dining area space into the kitchen, utility and a computer area behind the kitchen. This gave me a large enough kitchen (still smaller than our 3500 sq ft house though) and we're pretty pleased with the layout. We still haven't added hardware to the cabinets or even decorated it yet. Saving up for a larger vehicle because baby #3 is on the way so who knows when we will get around to doing that! However, I am usually on the lookout for kitchen decor, but haven't found anything that I just had to have yet. The cabinets are knotty alder. We've had white cabinets and stained both and we really like the stained look better. I have electrical outlets all above the cabinets that can be turned on at the light switch. This is great for decoration with lights & garland at Christmas time. I've had the outlets put in the last few houses and it's been great. Photobucket 
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Our pantry. Went with a chalk board door. Love this! It's nice to have to write messages on at birthday time too. The boys love writing on it but it does make a huge dusty mess! 

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When we are building a house I spend HOURS looking through websites to get ideas. Each house has been a bit different. Two houses I've used green (one had a huge island and it was green beadboard and another had a green vent a hood and middle section where the stove was at) as an accent color to go with the stained cabinets. This time I decided on a black accent and bookmarked several pictures of vent a hood styles. My husband built exactly what I wanted, I think he did a fabulous job!! Then the painters did exactly what I was wanting as well. It's a rare thing to have something turn out exactly like you want ;-) Photobucket 
There was supposed to be a walkway that went to the living room on the other side of the kitchen but I wanted to close that off to give more cabinet space. I also love a more closed kitchen. Having an open bar area on the end is about all I can do with an open design. Since we have to consider what is good for re-sale, open designs are still very popular.  
PhotobucketWe've had the textured painting on the walls and ceiling for the last few houses, we really love the look. We usually do beams as well and he put 3 in through the length of the kitchen and dining area. Photobucket  
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Lights are another favorite of mine to pick out. Sadly I'm drawn to the most ornate and expensive lights. We built this house on the cheap so I spend much time online looking at what I wanted and finding lights on clearance. I wanted a crystal chandelier above the bar. I love this light (I think the electricians hung it a bit high though).

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We went with tile for the kitchen as well to save money. We've had wood floors in the last 3 houses but it's nice to have tile again. It doesn't show dirt or water spots as bad. I think I prefer the lighter floor for stained cabinets. I do still like wood floors for white cabinets though. Photobucket

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: 8 years ago today.....

I married the man of my dreams..... 

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8 years later we have built 5 homes, moved 6 times, traveled countless times, had many ups & downs and now have 3 kids......... Photobucket 

yes, 3.....
#3 due approximately December 19th :-) Photobucket

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: The Great Cloth Diaper Change 2012

If you cloth diaper I'm sure you heard about the annual Great Cloth Diaper Change that was held this past weekend. This was Tulsa's first year to participate and Cole & I were able to take apart of the event. It was held at Whole Foods and was packed with 109 babies changed. The coordinator, Toni Keltner,worked really hard to make our event wonderful. We had swag bags packed with free products, coupons and discounts. Plus there was over 90 giveaway prizes. I won the very last prize, a Step2 play kitchen. The boys LOVE it! If you didn't have a local GCDC in your area this year, get together with some of your friends and coordinate one for your town next year! Here's some photos from the event that Cole and I were in :-) Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Cole's First Birthday {Elmo Themed}

I did a Elmo themed party for Cole's first birthday, mainly because I had planned on doing an Elmo party for Ethan's 3rd birthday. After he saw Cars 2 last May he decided he wanted a Cars party. Since I had already bought a few Elmo party goods (yes, I plan far in advance!) I needed to use them up so Cole got an Elmo party. He loves Elmo too so it was all good ;-)

Almost all my party ideas are from all over the internet. The only original ones I can claim for myself are the painted favor bags and the "fish bowls". I worked for several weeks putting the ideas together and then the whole week of the party to get stuff done. Top it off with getting up early that morning to run a 5k race and then take the kids to a church Easter Egg Hunt! Thank goodness my husband helped clean the floors and fold & put laundry away because I did not have a minute to spare before the party! I wouldn't change it for anything, though. I LOVE making a fun & special parties for my kids and it has definitely become a hobby for me. Plus gives me a good reason to make an elaborate cake and learn new decorating techniques :-D

A wreath for the front door. I used a wire clothes hanger and tied plastic table cloth strips to it. I made the sign on the computer and printed it out.
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My husband built the "Cole Street" sign and I painted it. I bought primary colored fabric bags and painted a letter on the front for each of the kids.
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Here's a picture of the little gold fish bowls I made for the favor bags. I cut out fish bowl shaped in glitter velum and a piece of scrapbook paper that looked like water behind it. I then put them inside a cookie bag and poured in gold fish. This wasn't my original idea on how to put the bags together (I was going to sew them together) but this took less time and was easier.

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A box wrapped with fabric to hold the chocolate pops. I used the same "I am 1" mold for Ethan's first birthday party.
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Display of cupcakes and cookies. The cupcakes were coconut with coconut buttercream. They turned out great, the best recipe I have used so far for coconut! I had lots of mason jars which I bought the lids and paper straws for. Then I put the punch in my glass dispenser and hung a "C" with some ribbon at the top.
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Close up of the stand. I made the cupcake toppers myself with the same images I used on his party invite, printed them off the computer, attached them to cardstock and glued a little bow beneath each one.
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These were sugar cookies covered with flood icing. I have always loved these type of sugar cookies and it was my first time to make some. They are VERY time consuming (about as time consuming as doing the cake) but they were very tasty and totally worth it. I'm hooked on cookie making now!!
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I ended up making a little smash cake (1 layer 6 inch round) for Cole. I was going to just let him have a cupcake, but I wasn't crazy about him having a cupcake that had bright colored buttercream. Plus he loves food and ended up devouring almost the whole thing!
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The cake was chocolate with buttercream frosting and fondant accents. The '1' and the stars on top I made with gumpaste and the Elmo was a figurine (come one, I'm not THAT ambitious ;-). I made the batch of marshmallow fondant for the accents and used cutters for the '1' and dots. I made my own "C"s using a circle cutter and shaping them by hand. I painted all the fondant with shimmer dust but I think I got a little too much on it.

I have heard great reviews for Swiss Meringue Buttercream and had planned on using that instead of regular buttercream but after I figured out it was going to take about an hour to make it I realized I didn't have time. Perhaps for another cake a different time. This was my first cake to really work on getting it completely smooth. I'm getting better and learn more each time!

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