Sunday, October 11, 2009

Kitchen Desk Makeover

I thought y'all might like to see how I personalized my desk at work. I'm in a kitchen so there's certain drawbacks like the pebble-y white walls & all that stainless steel which gives off a definite vibe of cold & hard but trust me it gets plenty hot in there.

I also have my super easy to clean VERY RED floor to coordinate with, what a challenge!

Here's my blah before, I started to work on covering my binders.

Would you look at those blue plastic boxes *sigh* I want to paint them so bad and my boss totally doesn't care but I can't decide on a color. I was thinking black but I'm very open to suggestions, maybe a nice almond or heirloom white would be a better choice...

What do you think? What color would you paint them? Or leave them alone?

I got a scrapbook paper kit from my dear friend's store, Scrapnesia, and added a few more sheets to go with it so everything would coordinate without me having to pick and choose a bunch of papers on my own.

The papers have reds, browns, blues and a few have a tiny bit of yellow and green but I haven't used those papers yet.

Spray adhesive is my new friend! It made covering those ugly green hanging file holders a breeze! They look so much better now and I can still do a bit more personalization to them if I choose, maybe some trim or a tag on the fronts...

3 drawer plastic chest from my attic with paper lining the inside fronts of the drawers, great place to store my bandages & burn cream packets!!!

The desk blotter I've had for a long time, it was a clearance find at Hobby Lobby. I love that I'm able to use it here as I never could at home. The baskets are from my scrapbook room, ones I painted black and hot glued fabric inside of, perfect size for pens and sticky note pads.

I wanted to decoupage a pen cup holder thingy I haven't gotten around to it yet.

So what do you think? Definitely better right?

Thanks for looking! Have a wonderfully blessed week!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

a little outdoor fall nesting

Hi Y'all... Welcome to my mess!

This is our backdoor area which we use a lot more than our front door as we park back here. I scrubbed the green funk off the siding & set up a workspace. It was such a beautiful afternoon to work outside *smiles*

Then I dragged down from the attic a fraction of my decorations, most of which were bought on final clearance last year @ Hobby Lobby
I opened bags and thought to myself "I don't remember buying this!"

This plain grapevine wreath had been hanging around my craft room awaiting inspiration. I came across this very ugly swag in my mess of shopping bags and wondered what possessed me to buy it, it was THAT ugly but somehow wired together with the grapevine wreath I can tolerate it *smiles*

A handicapped scarecrow glued between the two definitely helps ~ a mini pumpkin hides his missing legs!

Looking better already!
I absolutely adore pumpkin topiaries & have wanted one forever! I found this urn at Dollar General on summer clearance marked down to $10 ~ too bad there wasn't two!
I just wound one of my clearance garlands around and around then set the pumpkin on top, no wire, no hot glue, easy peasy to take apart later.

My window boxes have been an eyesore for the last several years. They need serious help, one even fell down while I was decorating it. Dear hubby had to come out with his drill and a very long screw to fix it. Hopefully next spring he will build me some new ones or revamp these. I just stapled some wimpy cheap garland around the edges and stuck a scarecrow in. As we're off the road a little the view isn't so bad from a distance *smiles*

We rarely use our front door so this thing banging against it each time we open it won't be such a bother like it would have been at the back door.
And that's the end of my fall nesting outdoor tour, from back to front door *smiles*

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Potluck Bridal Shower food

I miss blogging! I miss visiting all the wonderfully creative and beautiful blogs of my friends, I miss commenting on them every day and feeling like a part of the blogland community. But I know many of you struggle balancing work, family, and blogging too, so I know you understand where I'm coming from. Between our single vehicle daily commuter lifestyle and the rigors of family life there's not enough hours in my day. I fall asleep within minutes of going to bed... who won Big Brother??? But here's the joy, I'm loving my career path! All the passion and excitment I felt years ago when I entered this field has been renewed. I'm happier with my work life than I've ever been before, what a blessing. And since I have been blessed with a wonderful although very small family, it's all good. Small challenges like a single beat up 83 small Ranger pickup truck to make an hour+ one way commute in is NOTHING compared to my daily joy with life in general. Frugal lifestyle aside, I feel like we are living rich and I anxiously await each day to see what unfolds...

Fringe benefit of working with children is the sweet spontaneous hugs they give. Imagine that...

We had a little staff meeting with a potluck bridal shower tossed in. Here's my contribution... yummy chicken salad with grapes. I've never made it that way before and this recipe certainly was a huge hit, definitely a keeper!

More cupcakes, white on white! The little cupcake decorations were super easy to make once my brain got to thinking! I've seen so many adorably sweet cupcake decorations but really didn't have the time or computer skills to invest in making them. So I bought a few packs of K&Company 3 D wedding stickers from the local Mightly Dollar store along with some Sizzix die cuts and toothpicks. What do you think? Not too bad for being made "on the fly" and it gave me lots of ideas for other cupcake picks to make *smiles*

If you want to make your own just sandwich a toothpick between a sticker and a diecut or punch. Press together carefully, easy peasy!
Next post will be some fall decorations *smiles*
Have a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Labor of Love

Allow me a moment to gush about my first two weeks on my dream job.
Yes it's all that I hoped for & more, so much more!
My boss is simply amazing, she is so inspiring! She has provided us all with the tools & environment necessary to succeed. I can't tell you what a blessing it is to work for her, she truly, genuinely, sincerely appreciates all of our efforts. I don't expect pats on the back or atta'girls because I believe as a professional that I have the drive, motivation & integrity to do my job to the best of my abilities without extra rewards or praise...
but gosh, it wonderful to be told how great of a job I'm doing!
She paid me the nicest compliment while introducing me to her accountants explaining how I was the perfect chef for this job because not only am I great chef but I'm a germophob who likes to save money!

In honor of my thrifty nature I'm doing a little bit of rework on these adorable bibs for the babies and toddlers. They are pvc free vinyl like fabric with a cute little crumb catcher pocket across the bottom but the tee shirt style neck holes are way too small to go over their heads.

I promise you these bibs will be thoroughly washed before being used but trying to get a picture without Indy-bug on them was a trick.

I'm just going to open up the back seam, do a little fold over or in as the case may be and stitch a piece of velcro on them so they will be useable.

Oh the fabrics are too cute ~ see the little purses & monkeys! I have 20 bibs to work on...

And this weekend is the Hendersonville Apple Festival ~ And I'm hopeful for a bit of fall decorating time ~ And of course time spent with my family ~ Enjoy the holiday weekend!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Jane Austen Obsession

I have a not so secret obsession with Jane Austen. Pride & Prejudice is my favorite book, I've read it atleast a dozen times finding something new each time I read it. I have read her other works as well, several times but I keep coming back to P&P and currently am reading it again.

Of course I love the movie adaptations...

each one "just as it is"

I even have a VHS tape of this early version of Pride & Prejudice, too bad my VCR died a few weeks ago cause I'd dearly love to watch it again!

Who makes the best Mr Darcy? That's a topic for heated debate in many circles. I have my own favorite *smiles*

Given the opportunity to travel back in time to experience life as it was then, I think I would choose this time above all others. It captures my imagination completely!

A favorite family activity is to trade movie quotes and since I'm so obsessed with all things Jane, my family are good sports and well versed in Jane Austen inspired movie dialogue, perhaps it's the countless hours of having an adaptation playing in the background *smiles* We can exchange quotes in the form of conversation for atleast a half hour or longer before exhausting our reportoire. My darling husband particularly has a knack for quoting Jane, he even sends me text messages of a Jane nature. Oh how I adore him!
My favorite Jane Austen quote "I do not want people to be agreeable, as it saves me the trouble of liking them."
What is your obsession?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Toolbox Makeover

***Edited to join in Kimba's DIY Day over at ASPTL***
I'm sure all you DIY-crafting diva's out there can appreciate the impatience I feel when I just have to start another crafty project, I'm in a hurry and I can't find my tools, you know the ones Husband says are mine to use so I'll keep out of his! Like the ugly blue hammer when I'm just dyin' to have a pretty sweet pink hammer! I spied a green plastic toolbox way up on a shelf in our garage so I grabbed a broom and proceeded to knock it down. I've been wanting to do this project forever and after being inspired by a few blogland ladies I went for it. Now I love green but this just wasn't rockin' my DIY-diva world ya know?

I was in such a hurry after rooting thru hubby's stash of paint that I didn't get a true before shot but you can imagine it easy enough. Hubby has this hobby of making 16th century Japanese Samauri armour out of plastic barrels (yeah I know!) so he has a stash of Krylon Fusion for Plastic spray paint. Since I was going for an improvement over the green the only color he had that I would consider was burgandy. The photo is showing it more red than it really is.

A few coats later and Oh this is so much better now! Then I added little embellies of my own, not much, just a touch, afterall this isn't a for show toolbox but a real honest to goodness working toolbox!

You can even see where I messed up the one on the left side but that's ok 'cause Nester tells us "it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful"

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Open House!

This has been a crazy 3 days for me! Every day I'm up at 4 am, preparing for my day, searching for recipes or working on my menus or initial food order. Then I'm grabbing up a mess of papers/notes/binders and I'm out the door. I've had a couple of 7 am morning meetings in McDonald's at the half point of my commuter journey just so I could keep in touch with my HL friends before I drive on to my school. So exciting but tiring hours with my commute even longer than before. But dear friends let me tell you it's worth it! It's so worth it! I've smiled more at work in my first 3 unofficial days than I have smiled in the last month atleast! Wednesday night once I got home I quickly grabbed some decorative items and serving pieces to use at the school for a small open house Thursday evening. Our conference room/breakroom is lovely. My photos don't do it justice. And yes I scrunched up the fabric in that tacky fashion! This is what happens when Chef has ten minutes to set up *smiles* No one cared! They were interested in the food!

I knew that chalkboard tray would come in handy, I grabbed it at the last minute going out the door ~ good thing I remembered the chalk!

What's that in the chaffing dish? Why it's good ole' batter dipped, deep fried green beans with spicy ranch sauce! Yum! These were a huge hit!

Thank you to my dear husband for snatching up that piece of granite display when they were discontinued at his work. He thought I could display food on it, SMART man my husband! And the cracker spread? Roasted Red Pepper, super easy and very yummy. I'll give you the recipe!

Not as beautifully presented as I would have liked but it was well received and most importantly my new boss *Cindy* loved it! Now for that Roasted Red Pepper Spread...
1 jar of roasted red peppers drained
about 16 oz of cream cheese but you could certainly and very easily with great results get by with less then just increase it to taste and consistency that works for you!
a touch of fresh lemon juice
some paprika
granulated garlic
and that's about it as far as I can remember because I literally just cut up the cream cheese and tossed it all into the robocoup and blended. then I tasted it and added a bit more of garlic and wished all the while I had ordered more spices for my kitchen! If I had had it there I would have added a few shakes of Tabasco for the flavor and bite ~ not for heat! But everyone loved it and it had a nice balanced flavor.
I've discovered that sometimes simplier really IS better.
And this is how I do it most times, I just toss it together and wonder afterwards what was it I put in that? So I promise in future to take more care to semi accurately recall proportions and such for y'all.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Wicker Bookcases Makeover

I've joined the party at Kimba's of A Soft Place To Land fame DIY Day, A Picture is Worth a 1,000 Words 2nd Time Around, Southern Hospitality Today's Thrifty Finds & Twice Remembered's Make Your Monday & Between Naps on the Porch Metamorphosis Monday!
I love my wicker bookcases ~ got 'em for free too, now THAT is Thrifty! Friends offered them to me after helping them move to their new home. My husband pretended not to hear their offer ~ shame on him! They were destined for a yard sale & I just couldn't let THAT happen!

They look a bit of a hot mess with junk piled up in front of them.

I adored the fabric when I hot glued it to their backs ~

I thought I was clever.

Now I've fallen out of love with this fabric and was yearning for change...

Of course the only real choice was BURLAP!!!

For less than $5 ~ an updated look

Be still my heart...

I have fallen back in love!

Makes a nice neutral backdrop for my treasures ~ they really pop now!

Just a touch of rustic texture to go with my wicker.

P.S. I put the faux greenery back up! I had to, it helps to keep the kitties off the top!