Monday, October 18, 2010

Inspiration: Cabinet Pulls

Just gathering some creative inspiration for my kitchen cabinet pulls and knobs. 

WARNING:  Picture overload!

This first set of images are of half-moon pulls.

(image via Veranda Interiors)
(image via Veranda Interiors)

Ohmygod, white subway tiles in a chevron pattern!!!  I die! (This has nothing to do with cabinet pulls, but I found it while browsing and had to share.)

These picutres are of more fancy handles.

(all other images via decorpad)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Inspiration: Bonus Room/Woman Cave

We’re getting very very close to moving into our new house!  The first weekend in November cannot get here fast enough!

I’ve been doing lots of decorating and gathering ideas for each room and one space I’m particularly excited about is the bonus room.  It’s going to be my woman cave!

A little space to put my computer, to watch my tv shows, chill out with my girlfriends, and just relax.  This is my room, no boys allowed.  They can have the basement.

And you know it’s got to be PINK.  Duh!

Ok so this last one is purple.  But it’s my second favorite color and just as girly.

(all images via decorpad)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Great Mascara Debate

Drugstore or Department store?

All mascara is made out of the same stuff, so there’s no need to spend big bucks on it.  Right?

I’ve been using my favorite drugstore mascara (Maybelline Colossal) for the past 6 months or so,


then, I ran out last week and I decided to go back to my fancy department store fav.

imageAnd I have to say, my tiny little lashes much prefer my YSL Volume Effet Faux Cils.  They need all the help they can get!  Isn’t it amazing how one little change to your makeup routine can just brighten up your whole complexion again?

My lashes look so much fuller and thicker, and supersized!  And I think I’m going to have to buy this one from now on. 

So if you’re on a tight budget, the Colossal is a great alternative.  And if your lashes need some serious help, go for the YSL.

What’s your favorite mascara?

Monday, September 20, 2010

House Update - September

I know, I know…there has been a serious lack of posting for the past month.  What can I say?  Us Craders are busy people!  Besides building a house, we had an unexpected vacation in Virginia, C had his 10 Year High School Reunion, and I was helping plan a wine tasting event in our downtown area.

Lots have things have been going on around the new house.  Cabinets have started showing up, the tile is almost done, doors are installed, etc.  Even though it should all be complete in two or three weeks, it still seems like moving day is so far, far away!

But here’s some progress photos for your viewing pleasure:

Kitchenphoto(10)photo (3) photo(6)

Refrigerator and Pantry cabinetphoto(9)

My vanity in Master Bathphoto(8)

C’s vanity in Master Bathphoto(12)

Mantle piece (not installed yet)photo(7) 

Upstairs Bathphoto (2) 

Basement Bathphoto (4) Here’s my question…should I leave this bathroom the yellow color? Or should I paint it the fun aqua color like the laundry room?

Basement Bar Area


So what do you think so far?!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

House Update – Week of August 23

Our driveway and sidewalk got poured on Thursday!



And here’s a sneak peek of the paint!


Paint:  BM Sidewalk Gray


photo(3)  Light fixture over kitchen sink




Paint:  BM Woodstock Tan


photo Laundry Room

Paint:  Pittsburg Tropical Breeze

(I promise it’s not as neon as it appears in the photo!)


It looks like we’re on target for our October 1 move-in date.  We are trying as hard as we can!  If we don’t get moved in then, it will be November before we can move…October is proving to be a busy month so far.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

What’s for dinner?

This yummy, summery corn and tomato pizza!


I also made one with corn, chicken and red onions!


Chicken, Asparagus and Apple Salad

Source:  Taste of Home


I love asparagus.  And you know I love salad.  Combine the two of them together and I was in heaven!  I was looking for a dish to bring to a salad supper last week but wasn’t having much luck finding the perfect salad. I finally found this one and thought it would be juuuuust right!

I forgot to take a picture of it in my pretty bowl, so this is what I had leftover for lunch the next day.  It surprisingly wasn’t very soggy after it sat for a day.

I made a lot more than the original recipe calls for, so here’s what I used.

Printable Recipe


3 cups cubed cooked chicken

Asparagus (a little less than 1 bunch), cut in 1 inch pieces

1 gala apple, diced

1 bag Mixed greens


½ cup apple cider vinegar

½ cup honey

½ cup olive oil

3-4 tsp. parsley

salt and pepper


  1. Blanch asparagus in boiling water for 2-3 minutes.  Drain and cool.
  2. Combine all dressing ingredients.
  3. Toss chicken, asparagus and apple together.  You can either serve on top of the salad greens or mix it all together, which is what i did.
  4. Pour dressing over salad and toss.  You may not need all the dressing.

Santa Fe Chicken Salad

Adapted from:  Midwest Living


Another chicken salad!  But this one is so different and so so good!  Very addictive.  You have to try this now!

I just slightly modified the recipe by using what I had on hand; I didn’t have green onions or a yellow pepper.


Printable Recipe


4 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded

1 rib celery, diced

½ onion, diced

½ red pepper, diced

¼ cup chopped cilantro


1 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons lime juice

3-4 finely chopped chipotles in adobo


  1. Combine mayonnaise, lime juice and chipotles in a small bowl.
  2. In a medium bowl combine chicken, celery, onions, peppers and cilantro.  Pour dressing over the chicken mixture and toss to coat. Chill for 1 hour.
  3. Serve with flour tortillas or tortilla chips.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Best Chicken Salad Ever!

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Printable Recipe
This recipe came about when I accidentally bought dried cherries instead of dried cranberries for another dish.  I wasn’t really sure what to do with dried cherries but I needed to use them for something, so I thought they might be pretty good in chicken salad.  AND BOY WAS I RIGHT!  This is quite possibly the best chicken salad I’ve ever had!
Chicken salad is a very personal thing, isn’t it?  Everyone has their own way they like it.  Me, I can’t stand eggs in it, yuck!  The dried cherries added a nice little flavor to the way I usually make my chicken salad.
Val Original Recipe
4 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
2 ribs celery, diced
½ red onion, diced
¾ cup dried cherries
½ cup chopped pecans
½ cup mayonnaise (I use light)
½ cup sour cream (light again)
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
Combine all ingredients and let sit for 30 minutes to let the flavors blend.
Serve on your favorite sandwich bread or with crackers, which is my favorite way.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Siding Preview



Zesty Refrigerator Pickles

Printable Recipe


Since I have an abundance of cucumbers from the garden, I decided to try my hand and refrigerator pickles.  I don’t even like cucumbers, but I do LOVE pickles. Cucumbers don’t ever stay around our house long because Cal LOVES them.  He eats them whole like a banana while he’s watching tv!  I had to sneak a few from him so I could make my pickles. 

These were a very pleasant surprise!  They are a little spicy but oh so good!  Cal was a little concerned about them, but after he gave them the sniff test, he decided to try them and gave them a thumbs up!  thumbs_up Pretty good, eh?

The recipe said to use 6 cups of cucumbers and 1 onion, but that didn’t sound right to me with only 1½ cups of the vinegar solution, I used less cucumbers.  I put them into 2 tall containers and divided the vinegar solution in them so it would come up half-way.




Source:  Cooking Light  I believe it was also in Southern Living maybe last month, but I can’t find that issue.


4-5 cucumbers, thinly sliced

¼ onion, very thinly sliced

1½ cups white vinegar

¾ cup sugar

4 cloves garlic, chopped

¾ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

½ tsp. mustard seeds

½ tsp. celery seeds

½ tsp. red pepper flakes

  1. Place cucumbers and onions into containers
  2. Combine vinegar and remaining ingredients in a small saucepan and boil for about 1 minute.
  3. Pour over cucumbers and onions, let cool.  Cover and place in refrigerator for a minimum of 4 days. 

Next up are dill and garlic pickles!  Yum!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Let’s all do the Copper Shingle Jingle!

Look at our pretty copper roof!  My hubs put that on all by himself (with a little help from his father-in-law).  You should be impressed!  We’ve gotten lots of compliments on it - I’m very proud of the hubs.


I don’t think I ever put up a picture of the stone all completed…so here it is.  I’m ready for some siding now!


And here’s our front door!  It’s not stained yet, so don’t pay attention to that.  We’ll stain it after the siding is done and we have a better idea of what color we want.


Also, the drywall was started on Saturday.  The bonus room, upstairs bath, and the front bedroom are all done; and half of the back bedroom is finished.  It should all be put up and ready for painting in 3 weeks. 

Eeek!  Who wants to help me pick out paint???