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A Friday Treat

Well happy Friday folks! Can’t say enough how happy I am that it’s the end of the week. I’m looking to blog more now that I have the time (happens when you get laid off) and since I’ve been home, it’s allowed me to hang out more with this guy:

brom_1
Which brings me to today’s post. See, our little guy has a food allergy, we believe to chicken, so we’ve become accustomed to getting him treats with no meat in them, which is kind of difficult (and expensive). One treat we’ve discovered he LOVES are dehydrated sweet potatoes. Brom goes absolutely nuts for them. When I saw blog post from Tim and Mary over at 17Apart where they made their own sweet potato treats for their dog Basil, I knew I could do the same for our pup! So earlier this week, I decided I’d try it out, hell, I’ve got the time!

I picked up a bag of sweet potatoes for about $3 and while the oven was preheating at 175˚, I took a few and sliced them on the thicker side.

sweet_potato
And then I just laid them out on a greased baking sheet that I covered with foil so it would be a nice and easy clean up.

sweet_potato_2

And then, you just let them slow roast in the oven for about 8 hours. I rotated them about halfway through, but that’s literally it. Set and forget it. I let Brom be the judge on how they turned out:

brom-eating-treat_1

I think he liked them:

brom-eating-treat

I’d make these again in a heartbeat since they were so easy. Have you ever attempted to make your own treats for your pet?

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Road Trippin’ and a Far Away Surprise Visitor

A couple of weeks ago, the fiancé and I made a trip up to my hometown in Maine not only to visit with family, but also have a very big wedding event happen…me trying on wedding dresses! I wasn’t ready to try on dresses just yet, so what was the push? I got a visit from a very special Aussie transplant: my sister.

katie-and-meg

Taking in a celtic’s game!

She surprised me in NYC in February for my birthday and was been home for a few weeks and then headed out to hang out with some of her friends in San Fran before heading back to Australia. The next time that I will see her will most likely be for my bachelorette party before the wedding! Insanity. So, her one request (besides getting me to narrow down my colors which are currently 6) was to at least see me try on wedding dresses. And she got her way.

That Saturday my mom, Katie and I left the house early to my very first appointment over at Andrea’s in Portland. The process was interesting, but I did walk away with a style I’m digging, but definitely didn’t find ‘the one’. Adam made his way into the city where we met him at Portland’s famous Duckfat restaurant and put our name in for lunch. We’ve attempted a couple of times to eat here, but it’s always so popular and the waiting list is usually very long, but we were in luck! We only had to wait about 30 minutes, so where can we go and hang out? Why, let’s go get some oysters! Well, at Katie and Adam ate oysters.

Eventide outside

Photo Credit: The William Brown Project

We went across the street to Eventide and I was blown away by how beautiful this little restaurant was! When you first walk in, you’re greeted with a giant granite bowl full of oysters from all over the coast, with the menu beautifully done on a chalkboard and even the menu you’re given is done so well. Check out some pictures below!

Photo credit: Bangor Daily News

Photo credit: Bangor Daily News

Chalkboard

Photo Credit: James Beard Foundation

Photo Credit: James Beard Foundation

So, even though my Mom and I didn’t have oysters, I still appreciated the aesthetic of the place and appreciate all the details that was put into it. It was an absolute gorgeous restaurant. We did enjoy a fantastic meal at Duckfat and that I can completely recommend.

Have you ever taken a close look at the décor in a restaurant? Do you find inspiration there? My favorite part of this place, was how light and airy it felt. What about you?

One off the bucket list

Last Wednesday, I ventured out into a Nor’easter and met my friend Elyse at West Elm. We weren’t meeting up to check out the amazing holiday decor (where I wanted to buy literally everything) but to meet these guys:

Yup. John and Sherry Petersik of Young House Love! I’ve been a big fan of theirs since I started reading their blog over two years ago and when we bought our house, it was their blog that got me through our bathroom project. They made me feel like it was ok that we didn’t move as fast on our projects like they show on HGTV. Their projects are inspiring and make me feel like “Hey. You can do this and you’ll get through it” even if it does take us (ahem) a year to do a bathroom. In the end, we’re incredibly proud of the work we’ve done, and know that the end result will be worth it because we’ve put our blood, sweat and tears into it. So when they announced that they were writing a book and then going on a tour which included Boston, Elyse and I HAD to go.

I raced from work to meet Elyse who was awesome and got there before I could and held us a spot in line. It was a good thing she did, as there was a line that wrapped around the store! We didn’t have to wait long until John and Sherry came out and gave a brief overview of some projects they brought with them and then got right to signing and snapping pics with all of their fans.

As we were getting closer to the signing table I started to get nervous! It’s kind of a crazy concept when you think about it. They put their life out there for the world to see, so it’s kind of weird to see them in person where you know what’s going on with them. So for them, they’re just meeting a “fan”, where I’m meeting people that I think are so talented! I finally made it up to the table and I completely stumbled over my words and I was doing my best to complete sentences!

But once I started chatting with them, they are so incredibly kind and genuine (and Sherry’s skin is seriously like porcelain) that I felt right at ease. I mentioned how we were in the process of renovating our 100 year old home with a 100 years worth of problems and they both a chuckle out of that. Their words of advice? It may be hard while your in the middle of a project to see the end, but once it’s done you appreciate it so much more because you were involved in it. They signed my book and in turn, I signed their yearbook they’re bringing with them city to city. I can’t wait to dive into some of their projects and see what I can come up with!

So thanks Sherry and John for hanging out in Boston during a Nor’easter and inspiring so many of us DIYers out there!

I’m in love!

With my gorgeous homemade shower curtain.

Yup, I’m in love with something I made with painters drop cloth and grommets. It was love at first cut. And let me tell you…as a non-sewer, this was INCREDIBLY easy. All I needed to get the job done was the drop cloth, iron on hemming material, grommets, the grommet clamp thingy (technical term) and a good pair of sharp scissors.

First, I just ironed it out since it was packaged and all wrinkly.

Then I grabbed the shower liner I that I bought on Amazon and laid the painters cloth out first on the kitchen floor and lined up the top of the shower curtain on top of it. I probably should have measured it the proper way, but since it only cost me $9 it was ok if I didn’t cut it perfectly.

Once cut, I cut the iron on hemming material to fit the width (about an inch or so) and pinned it in place. With the iron hot, I slowly ran the iron down, checking along the way the glue was actually holding the material together, thankfully it was! Now comes the easiest part of the process.

Originally, Adams parents gave me their traditional grommet set with brass grommets. Adam really wanted stainless steal ones but figured we could just use the ones they have us, but after going to about 4 different hardware stores, there were none. I ended up finding some at A.C. Moore for cheap, who knew! The system that I tried first was what Adam’s parents gave us.  I put the fabric on this metal drum-esque piece, used a hammer to punch a hole in the fabric first, then I used another piece to actually tighten the grommet to the fabric. I tested it out first on a scrap piece and it was rough. Nothing worked easily and I couldn’t figure out why. The grommets just kept bending in half and I was seriously getting frustrated.

I tried using the grommets that Adams dad threw in for us and it worked perfectly. I think here ones I bought were just too weak to handle using a hammer to pound it into the metal part. So I ran out to AC Moore to we what I could find.

I ended up getting their grommet clamp for about $14 (with a 40% off coupon too) and raced back home.

I tested it on a mother scrap piece and it worked incredible. It was so so easy. So I marked where the grommets would go with a pencil and started putting in the grommets. I swear it literally took me 5 minutes to do the whole thing.

I ran back upstairs to hang the liner and new shower curtain up immediately and I took a step back and instantly loved it. I was originally going to use some craft paint and paint a design on it but once I saw it up with the paint color and the floor, I’m really digging the neutral-ness of it all.

So. Let’s do a cost recap.
Painters drop cloth from Home Depot: $9
Shower curtain liner from Amazon: $9 (plus $3 shipping) $12
Grommets from AC Moore: $7 for 10 grommets
Grommet clamp set from AC Moore: $14.99 (plus 40% off coupon) $8.99
Total=$40
(rounded up)

So for $40, I got exactly what I wanted. And if I want to change it up, I can easily swap it out for something else. Maybe someday I’ll get the courage to sew a real one with beautiful fabric. Just need a sewing machine first…

Busy Bees.

Well, we’ve been busy bees this last couple of weeks. We’ve grouted the shower tiles, had the plumbers come in and install everything and we’re working on the finishing touches. So, we pretty much have a functioning bathroom on our hands! How’d we get there?

Well, let’s back up to the grouting process, something I like to call “the dark times”. I could say that it went smoothly, but unfortunately it did not. So I’m going to be really honest here. I thought I would be a really great girlfriend and grout the entire surround. I will admit that this was my first attempt at grouting by myself, and I was definitely nervous. Of course, it didn’t help that I picked one of the hottest days in July to do it. So I mix everything together just fine, get my tools together to start grouting and get at it. Except it was drying fast…really fast. So fast that it started crumbling on me. I’m grouting, pushing it into the tiles as quickly as I could and trying my hardest. So I eventually get the whole thing grouted, and am about to start wiping it off when Adam comes in, sees that the grout has dried too quickly and not properly and it needs to be redone. An hour and a half wasted, materials wasted, a boyfriend that isn’t too pleased. The next night, I’m painstakingly taking the grout out of the tiles, just to do it again the next weekend, well, Adam did it the next weekend since my track record is sub par.

But on to the good things! How did the the grout turn out? Fantastic.

The plumber came and installed everything beautifully.

Adam’s Dad was kind enough to come to the house while the plumbers did their thing and in a few hours we had a working bathroom! A toilet that flushes! A sink with running water! A shower/tub that can used! No more showering in a tiny stall shower down a flight of stairs.

So, now we’re up to speed. We’ve spent our time mostly doing touch up paint, puttying of holes in the wainscoting (and sanding), and installing the shower rod. Everything went pretty smoothly, until we got the shower rod. It was tough due to the the cement board, but after some sweat (and surprisingly no cursing) Adam was able to get it hung up.

We needed one that was longer in length, so I jumped online and found a shower curtain liner that was 84″ long (thanks Amazon!). I also did some research for an actual shower curtain but haven’t been able to find anything that I’m really crazy about (pattern wise) and all that I came across is one that I found on Bed, Bath and Beyond, but it’s just a white waffle. I like it, because it’s simple and it would look nice in the bathroom, but I think I just want something..different.

Adam’s sister and her boyfriend just moved into a great loft in Brooklyn.  To help define space, they had the genius idea (and inexpensive!) way to do just that…painter’s drop cloth! So, I took their idea and I’m running with it. For as little as $10, I think I have my shower curtain! I love that it has a textured look to it and I can make it any length that I need it to be. With some iron on hemming material (I’m seriously lacking in the sewing department) grommets (thanks BVB and RVB!) I should be good to go! I picked up some greyish/metallic acrylic paint so I can paint on my own pattern. One in particular I’m interested in is a chevron pattern like this:

image found here

I also found these guys at a local sewing shop that I might attempt:

We’ll see. I’m defeintely going to play around with it before hand, like taping it up with some painters tape to make sure I even like it!

Well, I’ve rambled on for far too long. Has anyone attempted to make their own shower curtain before? Any tips will be greatly appreciated.

Wainscoting and Chair rail fever.

First. I’d like to say I’m sorry for the lack of postings recently. I’m blaming summer activities and the heat. Ok. Back at it.

Let’s chat wainscoting.  I’m kind of obsessed. When we first decided to do the bathroom, I instantly envisioned wainscoting, chair rail and crown molding. Add in some gorgeous trim and it would be my ideal bathroom. Well, I’m happy to say, that we’re almost there!

We’ve been busy working on completing the bathroom, and I’m happy to say that I think I can see the end of the road! It’s not just be closing my eyes and picturing how it could look…its starting to actually look that way in real life!

We went to our second home (Home Depot) and looked our options. We could go down  the really expensive solid wood (but beautiful) path or we could do a man made version that already comes primed and ready to go. As much as I would have loved to have the real deal, we went with the man made stuff since our wallets were speaking…loudly. MDF it is! And as we were loading panels (8 to be exact) into the car, I looked at Adam and said, “isn’t it funny how we took down paneling…and now we’re putting it back up?!” We were putting up something like wood paneling, but this is different. This actually looks good!

While we were in the molding department, we decided to pick up our chair rail that sits on top of the wainscoting. We went with something simple (and cheap!) and I think it looks so great. We were on a roll and even priced out our molding for the window and doorframe. Luckily the doorframe molding comes with a complete kit so all we have to do is match the window molding to it. Easy peasy.

Installation was actually a breeze too. We took some wood glue, slapped it on and nailed in some finishing nails and we had ourselves some wainscoting!

Adam putting the wainscoting!

So, it really didn’t take us that long to put it up. Maybe an afternoon? All I know is that it took longer for us to make the cuts than it did to install it.

And of course, I had to see what it looked like with all the fixtures:

God it looks good. Too bad everything had to go back to the boxes and wait until the plumber comes. HINT: They’re coming next week!

We’ve been really busy (and we will be up till next Friday) getting everything together and ready so we can FINALLY have a functioning bathroom. It’s been a year in the making, but it’s so worth the wait.

Lights! Camera! Paint!

Finally. We painted! And installed the lights! We’re cookin’ folks.

Look at my handy cutting work (I only got a little bit on the ceiling, but that’s what touch ups are for!

Just to refresh your memory, we went with Olympic’s no VOC paint (read more about that here) in Serene Stream and I’m loving the result. The color is fantastic, vibrant and totally what we were looking for. It surprisingly didn’t take me that long to paint the entire bathroom…maybe about 3 hours with drying time to do two coats. I’d say that’s pretty good! But, enough with the chatter. Let’s get to the good stuff…pictures!

It looks messy, but it seriously came out awesome!

You can see how great the color turned out! And look at Adam…only one full day of doing electrical and he can hook up lights.

And look. They work! Nice job Adam and Dad (who helped with the initial installation)! Look how awesome my find was for lighting. I’m so pumped with how good them look! Imagine the medicine cabinet in between them and the gorgeous white pedestal sink! I can see it now…

We plan on finishing the ceiling with some gorgeous crown molding and replacing that old, single paned window that’s in there with a nice new wooden one, which will also get the crown molding treatment. We’re actually on the hunt for the perfect old door to replace our crappy hollow one that’s there now. So I’ll be checking out craigslist or taking a road trip up to my favorite stores in Maine…ReStore!

I’m just so glad that we’re done with painting. I feel like I can finally see the room coming together! Next up…tiling!

And just because I can, I’m going to end with a pic of this cutie:

When he’s old enough, he’ll totally be helping out with projects. Someday!