Thursday, October 30, 2008

So I've Been Dodging a Bit

I have come to realize in the past few days that I've been sort of dodging writing anything personal of late and have been sticking in a bunch of decorating stuff. And while I like decorating stuff, right now it's a means of not having to think much. So where are we? Hmmm, that's too hard a question to answer. I guess I'd say things are stirred up a bit right now with things I really, really don't want to deal with. No details, just stuff. We did switch life groups so we'll see how that goes. I'm in choir now at church and even though we've been at Newsong for nearly 3 years I find myself still trying to get to know people and such. You know how it is when you go into a setting where people have been together for a long time and you're the newcomer and you don't get all the jokes and feel out of place. Gaaa! I feel like I shouldn't have to deal with because I've been there so long. I'm not miss super outgoing girl and it takes me a while to make friends. Tisra and I have talked before about handing out a resume' when you meet new people so you don't have to go through the whole "So where are you from? What brought you here?" Blah, blah, blah.

Chloe's party is tomorrow and it's a Halloween party. I love fall but really don't like all the stuff that goes with Halloween so it's kind of funny that I'm the one that ended up doing it. I got jack-o-lantern plates and lots of Halloween sprinkles from the dollar bins at Target. And everything else is delegated out. Thankfully another mom has lots of Halloween decor that I'm just not going to buy. What use do I have for a cauldron? It will be nice to have that behind me though and my party is done for the year. But I don't mind helping the other moms out.

I got food poisoning on Tuesday. A little word of caution- if you get a Caesar salad from Panera and the dressing tastes a bit fishy just don't eat it. It hit me like a brick wall and I visited the Lou 4 times before Travis prayed for me. My stomach immediately quit hurting and within a few minutes after I laid down in bed it quit churning and I was completely fine. I'm very, very thankful for my husband.

I was in Hendersonville on Tuesday (where the offending Panera was) and got to go to World Market. Chloe went with me and it never ceases to amaze me that she likes to look at every.single.thing. She likes shopping more than I do.

I'm finishing up a bunch of art. Tisra may be opening her house for an open house art-type thing. I haven't done anything like that before and I'm not stressing myself out or anything but thankfully I'm feeling more inspired lately.

And now I'm off to help Trav put the girls in bed and possibly make sugar cookie dough before I go to bed. Ooh, and I rescued a kitten the other day. I'll post pictures of him soon. He is really a cutie. Yes, I guess we are the crazy cat people. Although I really consider myself to be a dog person...maybe one day.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

OK, It's Nearly Wednesday...

But I suppose I'm still in time for Open House Tuesday. Or creative Tuesday or whatever but today for the sake of my being really busy and not wanting to think all that much, it's going to be Open House Tuesday, K? Oh and BTW, I'm not a celebrity type person. I don't really go to concerts and I hardly watch movies but guess who I saw at Franklin's pumpkin festival on Saturday? Why Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman and baby Sunday, of course. My parents were in town and we decided to go to the pumpkin festival (along with *everybody* else in Franklin and the surrounding counties, I think) and I noticed a guy that I immediately recognized as Keith Urban ducking into the back of a black Bentley- to get something baby related presumably. And who did I see on the corner of 9th and Main, but Nicole Kidman and baby Sunday strapped to her in a baby carrier thingy. I didn't snap any pictures because I didn't think of it and if I had I still wouldn't have because I would have felt like a creep. I'll leave that to the paparazzi, thanks. But the house I'm about to show you is on that same block. Although it's been professionally decked out for Halloween. The beautiful triple window on the front are now sporting some creepy skulls with eyeballs posters- ick. I wish I had a picture of that to show you.
Here's the link for the virtual tour if you're so inclined. And this house was purchased after we bought our house in late 2006 and they spent a bit of time remodeling it after they bought it. Which shows when you take a look, it's beautiful. The house is 4,780 sq. ft. with 4 bedrooms, 4.5 baths and was built in 1920.

Here's the front of the historic Turley-Faw house. One of these days I'm going to research the reason behind the two names of these houses.

Here's the entryway with custom chandelier and two tone stained hardwood.

The living room with hand carved limestone fireplace and hardwood floors.

The parlor or music room with another custom chandelier.

The dining room with another fireplace that's not pictured.

The completely amazing kitchen with stainless Viking appliances and cabinets to the ceiling.The wine cellar rotunda. It's beautiful and artistic...and useful I'm sure.The expansive master bedroom with hardwoods and fireplace.And finally the master bath with beautiful claw foot tub.

And so concludes our tour. I love this house and hope you have too.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

If It Hasn't Happened to You Yet, I Swear It Will

A conversation I had with Chloe yesterday while I was driving and she was reading a book:

Chloe- "Mommy, this book says that jellyfish were alive even before dinosaurs".
Me- "No they weren't".
Chloe- "Yes, they were mommy, this book says so".
Me- "Chloe, God created everything in 7 days so they were all alive at the same time".
Chloe- "Mommy, this book was written by a pro-fes-sion-al".

Yes she did carefully sound out every syllable for me. And yes, you will have those conversations with your kids, just wait. It's kind of fun actually- except for the "hey-you-have-no-idea-what-you're-talking-about" tone that she gets sometimes. But we're past the strictly little kid stuff into the analyzing and reasoning part that I really appreciate about my kiddos.

Two in One?

While I was doing some research for the Hooked on Houses open house this Friday, I came across this kitchen. Does anything seem strange to you guys. I guess it's a kitchen for people that *really* love islands. And I do really love islands but this seems like two different kitchens in one. The pendant lights seem to be different styles and I know that having an island a different color than the rest of the cabinets in "the thing" right now but this seems like a bit much to me. I do think that it would be perfect if you wanted to shoot your own cooking show though. You have the one island for the cooktop and the other island for mixing. Maybe it's just can find the virtual tour of this beautiful home (and I'm being sincere about that, it's beautiful) here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I Guess I Forgot

OK, so I forgot about open house tuesday. It's just that I've been really busy actually living and haven't spent a lot of time looking at houses. Plus I'm kind of tired of looking at houses and since this is a hobby and not an actual job, I reserve the right to change things at any given time. I do like having a themed day but having the same theme every week gets a bit mundane for we creative types. Soooo, I will still do the occasional Open House (maybe even this Friday because Hooked on Houses is hosting another massive open house all over the blogosphere) but I'd like to do other things that interest me as well. So for this Tuesday we'll have a creative tablescape theme. Fun, huh?

The first two are from Hostess with the Mostess. This is Modern Elegance and has the warmth of fall colors without traditional stuffyness.

This one called Green and Serene definitely thinks outside the box with the main color being green instead of your typical rusty reds, oranges and yellows.Martha Stewart has a more traditional take on Thanksgiving, as you'd expect. I really like the simplicity and love those tiny white pumpkins. You can find an entire collection of Thanksgiving decor here.

Here's a more relaxed version. I love the vases filled with water and the relaxed atmosphere. I wouldn't be too concerned that the kiddos would mess something up.
And a more formal take on Thanksgiving, this cornucopia napkin is surprisingly simple.
This tablescape comes from Ms. Tee at Delightful Home. I love, love this one. I guess when it comes to holidays I'm as traditional as they come. You should check out her whole blog because she also made an amazing looking apple wreath that I just love.

And last but not least here's one that says "Christmas" to me but Martha has it in her Thanksgiving decor. Hmmm, I like it but I think I'd have to use yellow or rusty colored roses to actually feel like Thanksgiving.

OK, so do you have a fave? My faves are the first Martha one and the one from Delightful Home. If not why not post one to your blog and let me know in the comments so we can all take a peek.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Pumpkin Pancakes for Lunch

Ah, fall- and it finally feels like it. The nip in the air gave me a hankerin' for something delicious and pumpkin-ey for breakfast. Which turned into lunch because I had to send Travis to the store to pick up the ingredients I needed for a new recipe. As I was cooking, it was nice to hear the sounds of Travis watching football and the girls climbing all over him instead of the sound of hammering and the girls being stuck in front of the television. We've also made a decision concerning home improvements. We're finishing the remainder of the floors, installing reducers etc., painting the trim and installing baseboards and we're done for the rest of the year. I'm not painting the cabinets until the spring because I'm going to enjoy the holiday season with my kiddos and husband instead of just trying to push through it to get it done. I don't think any of us could handle that. But I've got pictures of our very yummy brunch to share with you.

This recipe calls for egg whites beaten into stiff peaks to be folded into the batter at the end, which gives you a nice fluffy pancake. But if you don't let them cook enough before you flip them, you'll end up with the top cooked part sliding off the bottom uncooked part. This happened to me several times.

But here's the yummy result- Pumpkin pancakes with hot apple cider syrup, mmmm. I used all natural fresh pressed apple juice that, I think, gave it a great flavor. I wouldn't use a kind made with sugar as this recipe calls for 1/2 cup of brown sugar per batch of syrup plus corn syrup. I tripled the batch and used 1/2 cup of brown sugar because that was all I had and it turned out very good. I think that the listed amount would be *way* too sweet.

And here's the aftermath- sigh. Amanda, my sweet daughter and dishwasher is in Spring Hill all day doing something with the church which means I can either leave this for her (which wouldn't be very nice of me because I can guarantee that she's not going to touch a pumpkin pancake) or do it myself. Hmmmm, I think I'll go work out first.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Trash to Treasure...a Tutorial...and a Repurposed Post for Hooked on Houses Readers

My current favorite thing is repurposing- household items and blog posts apparently....

So I stole the Trash to Treasure thing from Decorating Cents with Joan Steffend but it fits in nicely here. A couple of weeks ago I bought 3 mums at Costco for a really great price and needed something to plant the third mum in. Three is such a weird number to sell things in, isn't it? I bought two really pretty red plants and was drawn to a purple-ish pink one as well, which is very out of character for me. The two red ones are in the front planters and look very autumnal with the other decor I've got going on out there (pictures *after* I trim the hedges) but the pink one not so much. Anyway, Travis and I actually went to some garage sales a couple of weeks ago looking for a kitchen table and chairs since the one we have neither fits all the Button's (4 chairs, 5 people) nor the style of the new floors. We didn't find that and really resisted the urge to buy just a bunch of cheap stuff that we would have to find a place for. But we did find a few useful things and one of those was this trash can....

which I bought for a buck. It's not quite square and is a bit rusty but it fit my purposes perfectly. The lady selling it even threw in a wall sconce in the same style for free. I'll show you that one in a bit. When I saw it I immediately said "it's a planter" and the owner said "oh, I never thought of that" but I wasn't going to offer to relenquish it. I hadn't been fond of the idea of spending $15 dollars or so on a new planter.

Since this isn't an actual planter you need to put in holes for drainage which you can do with a regular old hammer and nail. I'm not actually left handed like it looks in the picture, but I can fake hammer with my left hand better than I can take a picture with my left hand. I put in 5 drainage holes in the bottom.Then I filled the bottom with a bit of gravel. If you're not as lucky as I am to have a gravel driveway then any rocks you have on hand will do. Pea gravel in a flower bed? Perfect. You get the idea. You just don't want the roots to sit in a bunch of water and rot. And we get *lots* of rain here in the fall.Next, fill the pot with potting soil. You can even let the little ones help out. Then plant your plant a little bit lower than the soil level that it was in from the original pot. If the roots are bound you need to break that up before you plant. I was going to show that to you but as luck would have it this one wasn't root bound. That's never actually happened to me before. This plant looks a little puny and that's because it was surrounded by plastic and probably too much water which caused two sides of it to grow a wonderfully powdery mold. I could have taken it back to Costco but that would have required another trip, they sold out of these like hotcakes, and they would have just trashed it. But I think that she'll recover just fine with a little bit of care so it wasn't worth it to me to take it back.And here's the freebie that's now hanging in my bathroom with free weeds from the front yard. The girls get excited when they look at it because they picked every single one for me.

So all in all the garage sale experience was totally worth it. Travis and I have never done that before and getting up early-ish was hard on a Saturday but I think we'll probably do it again sometime.

I'm a Star...

OK, not really but there's a wretched wedding picture of Trav and I on Julia's blog today. You should hop on over and check it out. You might get a good chuckle at our expense. And you can even vote for your most favorite...hint, hint.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

You've Gotta Try This

Ok, I guess you don't *have* to try it but I'm pretty excited about it. I just bought a new sweetener called Truvia last week at Publix. It was developed by Coca-Cola and Cargill and is a mix between Stevia and erythritol- stevia is a plant and erythritol is a sugar alcohol. I'd heard of erythritol and it's marketed under the name of Z Sweet. I read lots of reviews about Z Sweet being amazing with no aftertaste, yada, yada, yada, but I didn't really like it at all. My taste buds thought it had a very strong pungent type aftertaste. Anyway, I like the Truvia *a lot*. I was willing to do Stevia but the aftertaste reminded me of Tab, remember Tab? Anyway, somehow when they put these two things together it ended up sweet. Very likeably sweet. Even Amanda likes it. She tasted it in my tea a couple of days ago and said "it tastes just like sweet tea". And I have to say that I trust her finicky taste buds more than I do mine. I've been doing artificial/healty alternative sweeteners for a while now and am so used to it that I can't really tell the difference sometimes. Except diet coke- that stuff is really gross. So I can have sweet tea again and I'm loving it.

Open House Tuesday!

I finally have a second to myself (sort of) and I found a great house to let you gawk at along with me. Last week I promised a house that was fabulous and that we would probably never live in. I looked for a while last night and found a 33 million dollar compound in Franklin but I just wasn't feelin' it. I mean, do we really dream of having our own bowling alley? I don't. So I found something that is definitely beautiful and is probably out of reach for most of us today but who knows what the future holds? Maybe some of us will live in a $500,000 dollar home. And I have to say that this house is my favorite so far. I think I'll even give it the distinction of being my dream home. I love the historic homes that I've featured but I much prefer a new home if it has beautiful style and is built well with all of the modern conveniences that I'm looking for. I don't want wonky bedrooms, closets or plumbing. And I don't even want to change a light bulb in our next house. So are you ready to take a look?

This home is in a fabulous neighborhood in Franklin with easy I-65 access. The lots are large as are the homes. In all the listings I've seen, the lots are close to an acre. I suppose that doesn't qualify as "green " living but I love big yards. The home has 5 bedrooms, 3 baths, a 3 car garage and is 3,615 sq. ft. You can find a virtual tour with many more photos here.

This is the front of the home with painted brick and stacked stone accent.

The formal dining room. I think it's lacking a bit in character but it has a lot of room.
The expansive living room.The beautiful but thankfully not ridiculously huge master bedroom. I've seen master bedrooms before that had living room size sitting areas. I can't imagine Travis and I needing that much room. I love the trey ceiling.A guest bedroom.A very large bonus room.And here's the biggest reason I love this house. The big, beautiful and thankfully not terribly trendy kitchen. It has my dream double ovens and cabinets that won't be out of style in 5 years.The back of the home...And the expansive back yard.And that concludes our tour. So what do you think? I think I love it but you already knew that.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Blogging Time

We're finally home from taking Joyce and Christian to the airport and from our emergency run to Target for toilet paper. How did I let us run out of toilet paper? I can't imagine how I didn't have a good grip on that but apparently 7 people go through more tp than 5- a lot more. Anyway, we had a nice visit. We saw a lot more fall color than I thought we would since it's warm right now but I guess our cooler temperatures for the last few weeks helped. I don't think I'm going to type a lot tonight though. I'm tired and am sitting in the Mom chair in my pajamas and I think I might just wear pajamas for the next week- did I say I was tired?

We went to Jackson "Falls" which is off the Natchez Trace. And, yeah, that's the "falls" behind them. I really want to go to Fall Creek Falls soon.

Here's my new favorite picture. This one's not too bad either...I love the lichen covered log and fall leaves.

And I love, loved this orange tree. I think orange is the color we're least likely too see around here.

I'll blog more later. I'm really going to try to do an open house for tomorrow so stay tuned...

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

I'm Totally a Cheater

So this would be the *third* Tuesday without an Open House Tuesday, right? I feel bad-ish about it but my life is too insanely busy to worry much about it. I haven't really had the time to look at houses online soooo, I'm going to be a cheater today. Yep, that's right, I'm sending you to Julia's blog for her open house that's right up my alley. She's done a nice tour of an historic neighborhood in Ohio where she lives. Whew! That's one less thing for me to worry about now.

The things I *do* have to worry about are as follows:

Scrub the bathroom floor with a crazy kind of killer cleaner to hopefully make it look mostly clean before my Mom-in-Law and Brother-in-Law show up tomorrow morning. Well, before I pick them up from the airport anyway.

Finish cleaning the house-mop the new floors-vacuum, etc.

Wash the floor mats in the van and wash and vacuum the van.

Eat something at some point.

Do chord charts for Travis because we're leading worship tomorrow night. And practice- we haven't practiced a lot yet.

I'm feeling a bit stressed and have for the last two and a half weeks. Tisra was kind enough to come over and help me paint that darn paneling. Wow! What a job. It took several hours and a bit of refereeing the five kiddos but we did finish. I'll show pictures after I finish the trim and paint the cabinets. It looks much better and I'm nominating her for sainthood.

So, yeah, that's it I'm done. I'm trying to get to blogs, read and actually comment on them but in my frazzled state I'm not sure where I am much less which blogs I've read. So I promise I'm not ignoring anyone and I'll probably be back on the ball next Tuesday. And I will find a ginormous, crazy fancy house that none of us will probably ever live in for you all to drool over. It will be fun- and then I'm going to take a nap.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Feelin' Blue...and a Little Green Too

If you've checked my blog in the last couple of days, you will have noticed that I missed Open House Tuesday yet again. I'd like to offer my sincerest apologies and show you what I was doing instead. You'll remember that last week it was the floors and this week it was...

The walls. See how much nicer the blue looks than the yellow? I know there were some of you that liked it and if I was only looking at the pictures posted I would have thought so too. But the floors photographed less yellow than they actually are and the two together was too much yellow. Chloe didn't even like it. This blue is a bit darker than I thought I would go for but I was sick of looking at swatches and making decisions and Travis liked this one and I just said "you pick it". So here it is. It looks darker at night but overall I like it. And I think it makes the floors look less yellow.You'll notice that I *still* haven't painted that darn paneling but I'm going to. I would have tried the other night but I ran out of primer and I knew that in order to get the house to be liveable again I had to finish the main walls. Then I could move the furniture out of the living room. And I have to tell you it's hard to live in a 10 X 15 living room with two rooms of furniture in it. And I really like pumpkin with it. Yes, that is my little pumpkin's pumpkin. I had to cut it when it was still green because the plant was rapidly dying but a couple of weeks in the sun turned her a beautiful shade of orange. I'm not sure how long she'll last as she had a big run in with a window last night and has a pretty big gash on the her not photographed side but at least I got a picture. I'll get a picture of Chloe with her today and send it to her first grade teacher. I hope she appreciates all the trouble I went through for this. I don't think I'll be growing a pumpkin again unless I can actually till up the ground and grow it like it's intended- not in a container. That was really hard. Not to mention pricey. I could have bought 3 huge carving pumpkins for the price of this little one *but* it was fun for Chloe and in that sense it was totally worth it.
We still have tons of work to do before Trav's mom gets here, I'm a little stressed. But somehow we always manage to pull it off.

And, duh, I forgot the green part. We used Olympic paint from Lowe's. I didn't even realize that it was a zeroVOC paint because it only says it on a little label on the side and Lowe's had printed out an 8 1/2 X 11 sheet of paper with a little did you know...? You'd think it would be trumpeted from the rooftops that it's a "green" paint. My guess is that they're way too busy marketing their Valspar brand. Anyway, I was really surprised that it actually costs a few dollars *less* than the regular paint. So, less money *and* less toxic fumes? Sold.