Friday, July 31, 2015

Can't Live Without It: Chip Faced

I am addicted to ice cream.

Let me be more specific. 

I am addicted to mint chocolate gelato. 

Pure and simple. The combination of mint, chocolate, and smooth churned milk is perfection.  I crave this refreshing dessert often. In fact, I crave it all. the. time.

I find myself again and again getting chip faced. 

As I sit here writing this confession, I am pounding my second "small" container of mint gelato. I told myself I would be good. I would start this "low dairy, low sugar" diet like 2 days ago. It will go straight to my butt and thighs. My mind does NOT care. The threat of larger thighs outweighs the gelato crush every time. 

I also tell myself that this gelato is WAYYYY better for me because 

       a. it's homemade and involves no preservatives
       2. I picked the mint from our garden myself (it's practically a vegetable!)
       c. I have been eating salads just about every day for lunch AND dinner (cue the 2nd helping of      

I just have to share this amazing recipe with everyone because seriously it is that good. You can thank me later…

Recipe courtesy of Food Network's Curtis Stone 

So there you have it folks, mint chocolate gelato, CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT IT! You can find me sitting couch side, watching Hulu re-runs of The Good Wife, getting chip faced.  

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Nautical Table Reveal

My husband would never brag, gloat, or give himself any recognition of any kind for any of his work or accomplishments. He is humble like that. 

Humility is not my strongest suit, however, so I do the bragging for him. And this table he just finished…it deserves all the bragging rights. 

This custom nautical table is a focal piece for his up and coming business, AC Grayling.  First and foremost a wooden boat builder, Andrew has taken the sleek curves, and woods, and applied them to some of his new furniture ideas. I am so proud of him and where his vision is taking him. I mean, check out the shots of this table…the detail…the uniqueness in it! 

A whole lot of attention to detail went into the top of this table (I mean, it was in our garage for about a year!). He formed a mahogany center king plank for the middle and then steam bent strakes of teak around it to look like the deck of a boat. For those of us who aren't builders of any kind, this requires a steam box, many many clamps, and a hell of a lot of patience. The white oak legs were steam bent to make a nice gentle curve too. Honestly I think the legs are sexiest part. 

The client he designed this for has a gaggle of kids and loves to entertain. He designed it for 10-12 guests at 9 feet long and 4 1/2 feet wide. The client wanted a durable, sturdy, unique outdoor table, and with the varnished mahogany and teak I'd say she got it! 

And just for the record…it took 3-4 grown ass men to carry this thing from the truck to the lawn for the photo shoot. He may have gone a bit overboard with the "sturdy" element:) 


"Distinctive furniture for the nautical enthusiast" - I think this table fits the bill.
I am bursting with pride and in awe of my hubby's creativity, talent and vision - I just wish that table was sitting in my dining room and not on somebody's deck right now! 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Bathroom Reno | Two Months In

I know you all must be waiting on the edges of your seats to hear about the bathroom reno;)

Well, wait no longer. "We" (mostly Andrew!) have been making lots of progress in the past 8 weekends and I'm happy to share that we almost ready for paint and tile. Wahoo!!!

It's hard to believe that 8 weeks ago we were gutting this space and ridding our lives of fake red laminate cabinets, speckled floor, and an old grimy shower/tub combo.  Cue the "gross".

In the last 8 Saturdays and a smattering of weeknights since the big demo, we have focused on the stuff that you will never see. Electrical, ceiling beams, sub floors, plumbing, waste pipes, insulation and window framing. The "behind the scenes" are the most important but always the least interesting and creative (in my opinion).

Frankly, I am patiently waiting for that dreamy claw foot tub to be installed...

Installing all new plumbing and a new transom window 
Pocket door framing and new doorway framing | New electrical: dimmers, can lights, outlets
New plumbing: Waste pipe from roof to basement, shower, tub, toilet & sink 
Andrew single handedly sheet rocked the bathroom a few days ago and I am forever grateful. If I never sheet rocked again, I'd be fine with it! I feel like I'm at the point where I can check that off my life list. 

Mold resistant sheet rock installed for the walls and ceilings
12 sheets of sheet rock
Cement board installed for the shower tile
First coat of mud & tape
Our earlier prediction of a September or October finish date is looking improbable. If it weren't so hot, I'd say I'll be soaking in that claw foot tub by August!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

JIF kid

I grew up a JIF kid. Smooth, crunchy, my taste varied by year. But my mom stayed true to JIF.

I also grew up a TIDE kid. I guess my sensitive skin and TIDE got along. I could always count on that fresh linen smell.

Today, I am a SKIPPY and ARM & HAMMER woman.

I was in the grocery store today and picked up both products. As I drove away from the store, I got to thinking. About habits, choices, nurture vs. nature, our world today, brand loyalty, and how I was raised. How I could grow up on one thing and switch over to another. It was a lot to think about at 7:30am, but I get started early these days.

I find it fascinating that we grow up with our parents forming our everyday needs, paths, and habits. And then one day we leave home and form our own needs, paths and habits. Somehow we stray from what we know and have come to love new choices, new brands, new styles.

We have a whole lot more choices out there than our parents ever had. Heck, there are a lot more choices out there since we were kids, and that was not that long ago! I don't know if it's just me or not, but there are TOO many choices. I mean, the peanut butter aisle at the grocery store is overwhelming. There is crunchy, creamy, organic, natural, with honey, with chocolate, whipped, fat free, less fat. I feel like I'm being judged if I don't get the fat free brand even though I know its just filled with chemicals.

What happened to just peanut butter

And the detergent aisle.  Powder, liquid, tablets, natural, scented, unscented, HD efficient, bleach alternative, sensitive skin. Talk about over simplified. All I aim to do is smell clean and not offend anyone. Is there a bottle for that?

I am a sale girl and frankly, I have come to love ARM & HAMMER because more often than not there is a buy one, get one. And there is a sensitive skin version. That's always a win in my book.

My point in all this really has nothing to do with peanut butter or laundry detergent. It has to do with the overstimulation and excessive choices we have in life these days. Somehow SIMPLICITY has disappeared from our lives.

I never had any ADD tendencies as a kid. I was focused on school, swimming and eating, that was it. Today, as a grown adult, I am very, very ADD. I struggle to focus on one thing at a time. Squirrel. I forget things because I'm thinking of something else. I stop mid conversation with a blank mind. Squirrel. I can hardly ever just sit, even when I know its the best thing for me.

I blame the excessive choices. Society's technology and social media pressures. This fast paced world in which we live. This life where kids now look at you as if you have 5 heads if you suggest building a fort with sticks in the woods. These choices that involve too many options and too little time.

I wonder what would happen if we all just went back to being JIF and TIDE kids because those were the simple options...

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