Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Happy New Year!

Oh boy what a great week!!
The day after Christmas we headed to AZ for my 
niece Jessie's wedding, and just got home last night.
Did I take a bunch of pictures?? Of course not!!
 I took one... :)

Is this wedding cake that my sis in law Allie and Rio made 
 not the CUTEST??!!
It was an outdoor camping themed wedding, complete
with Christmas trees, a bonfire and tents in the backyard.
It was adorable:)

The best part?? 
Family! family!! family!!!
The absolute perfect ending to an already unbelievable year:)

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Merry Christmas... !! :)

It all started with this scarf.
I mean come on! how stinkin cute does Little Bully 
look in it!!
And look how bugged happy and annoyed proud he is to wear it!

 You see, I had this vision in my head.
I imagined putting a tree on top of my car, and him wearing
that adorable scarf and
everyone LOVING the idea of family Christmas pics.

 I saw us all perfectly coiffed and coordinated,  and taking our
places with the biggest of smiles.
 It would all go as smoothly as a well choreographed dance.

 Yeah, I could just see it.

And well...it went just like that!
Kinda sorta.
Not really.

It was more like- 
I don't freaking care what you wear!!
Wait! aren't you going to shave?!
We have to wash the car!!
The tree has a plastic  bucket on the bottom??!!?
Cut it off!! 
Rio why are you sewing bow ties for your dogs????? 
we have to goooooo!!!!!!

Here it is. 
Miracles do happen people.

And just because I can't get enough of his adorableness....

From my blonde, brown eyed, green scarfed Frenchman and
the rest of us here at Tuesdays with Dorie, 
we want to wish you a very
Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Simmer down.... :)

You know what smells delicious?
Christmas that's what!

It's such a crazy time of year ain't it?
But I'm telling you, take the time to make this sweet smelling goodness.
It does not disappoint!

 There's a ton of recipes for Christmas simmering potpourri out there.
It's pretty much citrus, spices, cranberries and cinnamon:)

I used-

2 slices of lemon
2 slices of orange
2 sprigs of rosemary
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp. whole cloves
1 tsp. whole allspice
a handful of fresh cranberries
1 tsp. vanilla

Put it all together and add water (about 1-2 cups)

Bring it to a boil, then turn it down to simmer.
Then wait for it...
Then smell it's deliciousness wafting all through the house...
Then sit in a comfy chair and drink hot cocoa...
or wrap presents... 
or binge watch the Hallmark channel...

When you've had your fill of ridiculously predictable 
 Hallmark Christmas movies (or whatever it was
that you were doing whilst this pot o' Christmas cheer was doing its thing)
 turn off that simmering nose candy 
and let it cool down.

Then put it in a jar and stick it in the fridge.

You can use it again the next day!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

My favorite things.... :)

Saturday afternoon looked like this:)

We gathered the kids and dogs and
drove our old gal to the beach and topped her with our Christmas
tree. We took over a gazillion family pics, and thank the heavens
ONE turned out for our Christmas card or heads were gonna roll.

As I'm sure you all have experienced, getting a family and
3 dogs to all cooperate is...well...super fun!
I think the ions were helpful in keeping my meltdowns to a minimum.

Sunday afternoon looked like this.
I turned on some Christmas tunes and tackled the bins.

I put out all my favorite things.
This house is small and can look cluttered easily, so a whole lot
of my Christmas stuff stayed in the bins.

This pom pom garland from my friend Melanie is just the cutest ever.
She made it, and I love it!

This sweet little angel who over the years lost her wings, belonged to
my hubby's grandma. She's one of my most favorite things.

Speaking of angels and favorite things...

This is last night. 

House clean, laundry done, roast in the oven and a little Ina.
My favorite favorite thing:)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Caramelized walnuts.... :)

So Thanksgiving was super fab:)
I love love love spending time with mi familia.

Of course all the food was divine, but one thing I could not stop
eating while I was supposed to make the salad was these
caramelized walnuts my sis in law made.
Oh man they're delish!!

So let's make 'em!!

Carmelized Walnuts

1/2 Cup sugar
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 Cup walnuts
a dash of cayenne pepper for kick!

Preheat your oven to 325. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick spray.
(or just use parchment paper like I did, it worked)

Combine sugar, vinegar and cayenne pepper in a small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until
the sugar dissolves.

When dissolved, add the walnuts and stir to coat.

Transfer the mixture to your baking sheet and spread it out evenly.
Put it in the oven and bake (stirring occasionally) until the walnuts are golden brown and the 
syrup starts to thicken, about 10 minutes. I cooked mine a little longer.

* note that the mixture will not set up and harden until you set it out to cool.

After the walnuts are cooled, you can use a knife to break it up or you
can just use your fingers and eat half of them like I did:)

Make a super simple salad and throw that goodness in there.

I did a similar salad to the one we ate for Thanksgiving.
Arugula, cranberries, apples, cherry tomatoes and the yummy walnuts.
Dressed it up in a little olive oil and balsamic and done!

*just realized I forgot to add the herbed feta!! waaaaaa!!!

Yep. The entire time I was taking pics.

The beggar lives.

Happy December 1st!
It's go to storage and take out the "bins" day:)
I'm feeling behind.
So ridiculous huh??

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thank you thank you.... :)

Once upon a time like two weeks ago, the hubby and I were
walking to our local coffee shop and happened upon
a lil treasure in the trash.

Thank you thank you person who threw away this door.

We replaced the old front door with it:)

I love how my hubby just couldn't stop there and had to 
cut it into a dutch door:)

and I love how my son vacuumed while the sanding was happening so 
my brand new clean floors stayed clean:)

I love how they painted it crisp white:)

And I love how they did all this and sent me pics so this blog post
could happen:)
Thank you thank you boys:)

 I got to head to AZ a few days ahead of them and 
spend time with my BFF Terry. 
This pic was taken after we spent the afternoon kayaking on
Saguaro Lake- shark free.
Thank you thank you Jesus:)

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Project Beautify....Via Baja:)

I don't know if I've ever loaded so many pics for a blog post before!
There's just so much to see!!

Say hello to our latest completed Project Beautify home:)
This beauty is located at 157 Via Baja in Ventura, CA
 and was built in 1957.

 I'm just going to say like I said before,
we could feel the love in this house the moment we stepped inside:)

I want to sincerely thank the Pickarts family for allowing us the opportunity
to beautify the home they loved as a family for over 40 years.

We painted the outside body and trim Swiss Coffee by Sherwin Williams.
The doors on the outside and inside were painted Caviar by Sherwin Williams.

 The front door before-

We installed a clear glass door and windows, because you can see straight
through the front door all the way to the back yard and the view

The great room before-

I reeally wanted to try to keep those original black tile floors, but after
opening up the wall to the kitchen and other fixes it was impossible:(

The walls in the entire house are painted Simple White SW7021 by Sherwin Williams.
The ceilings and trim are painted Pure White SW7005 by Sherwin Williams.
My sweet hubby Roger (who is a creative genius) designed, built and installed those
gorgeous sliding glass doors.

I LOVED that fireplace wall from the minute I laid eyes on it:)

We took out the circular ceiling and added a little wall on each side, as
well as raised the ceiling by the front door to create a foyer.

This is the before kitchen-

We squared off the space behind the sink to make a larger kitchen, and
removed the wall separating the dining area.

You're looking at pretty much my dream kitchen right here:)
Soapstone counters and then there's that Miele range.... :) :)
I used this hand formed subway tile on the backsplash. I like the way it added
a pattern without a pattern:) make sense?

This is the hall bathroom before-

We kept the original layout, just removed a wall to the left of the vanity
that separated the toilet and really made the room feel closed in.

We used the schoolhouse lighting that was meant for the Trinity 
property but didn't come in in time. 

I searched high and low for plain black metal mirrors, and I just
couldn't find any in the sizes I needed sooo....
I asked our guy that does our glass shower surrounds to make them:)

This tile....!!!!!
Honestly the most beautiful stuff ever. When Rio and I went to pick out tile for this house
at Tile Co. in Ventura, I just couldn't find anything I liked. That is until I went 
into "that" room. You know, the one that has all the crazy expensive stuff that
you should never see because you'll sell your firstborn for it?? 

Luckily my sweet hubby agreed that it was a must have..
 and we got to keep our firstborn:)

This loveliness is Elyse Edwards tile- the London Collection and the pattern 
is hilariously called- Don't get your knickers in a twist.

I love love love the original built ins in this lovely hallway leading
to the bedrooms:)

This is the only space I staged. I went to the thrift store and bought all the
black spined books they had and just tore off the paper covers:)
I was dying with that book called I wish I had a porch!! So 
fitting for my life:)

A huge thank you to Pam and crew from Ventura Home Staging 
who staged the entire house.
Thank you for putting up with my calls and texts and hovering over
making sure everything is perfect:)
I would drive me crazy too.

The master before-

This is where we added square footage. Where the original bedroom was is now
some of the new Master bedroom and most of one of the Master closets.

The back of the house before-

And the after:)

We're all kinda sad that this one is finished:( 
This is one special house that will always have a piece of our hearts.

This home hit the market on Friday and we
can't WAIT to see who gets to call her their forever home:)

More info and a bunch more pics HERE:)