Sunday, November 28, 2010

Bathroom Remodel- The Finale

Click here to see The FinaleAt Last . . .

I made the video on Windows Movie Maker, a new program to which I was introduced recently by my son, John, that wicked child! I'm far from proficient yet, but luckily, he was home for Thanksgiving weekend, so I was able to pester him with questions. I don't feel too badly for him, he brought it on himself . . . besides, I'm making him one of his favorite dinners as a send off today - beef stew with steamed rice . . .

Here are some of the products we used in this bathroom, for those that are curious:
  • Bathtub - Bancroft Whirlpool by KOHLER
  • Wall sconces, toilet paper dispenser, towel bars & cabinet knobs - Lugarno Collection, Restoration Hardware
  • Toilet - KOHLER Cimarron® Comfort Height® Elongated 2-piece, Home Depot
  • Vanity and Medicine Cabinet - Kraftmaid Victoria Cherry, Finish: Cognac, Home Depot
  • Vanity Top - Engineered composite in white, Home Depot
  • Faucets and other bath hardware - KOHLER Fairfax in polished chrome
  • Floor - Travertine, Imperial Bianco - The Tile Shop
  • Glass mosaics - 12X12; 1X1 MC Pacific, Century Tile
  • Paint - BEHR from Home Depot; Ceiling: Popped Corn; Walls: Rye
  • Double Curtain Rod - Zenith, Home Depot
  • Shower Curtain - Home Goods
  • Curtain Rings - Rollerball Curtain Rings, Home Depot
  • Towels - Bed Bath and Beyond (decorative) and Costco (ivory solid)
  • Candlepot - Mission Fig, Pottery Barn (it's so wonderful!)
  • Bud vase - Target, over ten years ago!
  • Soap and Hand Cream - Spiced Chestnut, Williams-Sonoma (this soap smells so delish you'll be tempted to bite your freshly washed fingers!)
Bring on the holidays!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tea Bread Tuesday: Cranberry Orange Bread

I made this bread last year and loved it, but wondered if after baking so many tea breads in recent months, this one was truly as delicious as I remembered it.  Guess what?  It was!  The combination of flavors from the cranberries, orange, and raisins is absolutely perfect!  I'll be making another loaf this week for our Thanksgiving celebration.

Here's the link for the recipe:

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

My parents have been gone for many years now, but for some reason, I never forget their wedding anniversary.  Perhaps it's because through them I had such amazing proof that love exists and endures, despite trying circumstances.  My parents' marriage wasn't perfect, but even at those most difficult moments, there was a light that would appear on each of their faces when they spoke of the other. 

Here's a short excerpt from one of my father's letters to my mother:  “[By] writing about my feelings in these brief lines, I mitigate somewhat my desire to tell you these things in person; I live in hope of having you next to me, to squeeze your beautiful hands, and to take refuge in the oasis of your love.”  That has to be the most fitting caption for the photo below.

This photo isn't dated, but from my mother's hair, and the background view, I think this was taken while they were living in their first apartment in Old Havana, probably around 1954.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tea Bread Tuesday: Pumpkin Bread with Dates

Pumpkin bread baked in these cute pumpkin-like muffin tins . . . Unfortunately, I think I liked last week's Pumpkin-Banana Bread better.  There isn't a thing wrong with this bread, indeed, the dates almost melt in the dough, and make it a very moist bread, but the recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of cloves and I'm discovering that I don't care for this spice a whole lot.  I should have halved the quantity, for my taste . . .  My DH concurs. 

I took them to the office and they disappeared.  I don't think this is so much a testament to my skill as it is to the fact that so many people lack the time to do any baking nowadays . . .

Here's the link for the recipe:\

Friday, November 12, 2010

Marriage is a Bowl of Strawberries

“I'll eat the strawberries after you finish installing the bathroom sink,” I said to my husband when he asked me for the third time when I was going to eat the pint of strawberries I bought a couple of days ago.  Lee abhors throwing away food.  I mean, it really, really bugs him.  I smiled to myself after I said that.  Gotcha!  You won't be nagging me about the strawberries any more, I thought, not unless you want to open up the can of worms that is our bathroom remodel.  But Lee laughed - this guy is so on to me.  If I thought to manipulate him into finishing the sink on a weeknight, I'd have to do better than this pitiful tactic . . .

Then, as I sat down to dinner the next day, a bowl of strawberries appeared by my plate - washed, hulled and cut into bite-size pieces . . . and when I looked up, there was my husband, with a smug smile on his face . . . yup . . . he'd installed the sink . . . I looked at the strawberries, then at him again . . . so now I'm supposed to eat the strawberries, I guess . . . I'm mulling this over looking for the catch . . . I have a working sink . . . that's good . . . I have a bowl of delicious strawberries that I don't even have to wash . . . that's good, too . . . nope, I can't see the catch . . . either he is the sweetest man that ever was, doing this because it'll make me happy and also because he is just as anxious to be done with this project as I am . . . or he really hates the idea of watching the strawberries go bad . . . I'm pretty sure it's the former . . .

But we still need baseboard trim installed, so I'm not taking any chances . . . I'm going to the store tomorrow and buying another pint of strawberries . . . just in case . . .

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tea Bread Tuesday: Pumpkin-Banana Bread

Can you tell?

Can you tell, just by looking at it, the yumminess that awaits in every bite . . . ?

Moist, moist, moist!  Soooo delicious!  Here's the link:

Monday, November 8, 2010

Bathroom Update: The Meltdown Point

This is my Dining Room table, holding the drawers for the vanity . . .

The ledge between the Family Room and the Kitchen Eating Area is currently holding a pair of plyers and plumbing parts.  Lee left them there as a reminder that he needs to go to Home Depot and get more parts.  In the corner is an empty plaster bucket.  I don't know why it's there . . . There are always one or two . . . or three  . . . floating around during remodeling . . .

The new towel rods are in the Living Room waiting to be installed . . .

The Kitchen window sill . . . holding a huge sponge used for wiping the walls down after sanding, and some brushes, air drying on top of another sponge . . .

This is our 2nd Floor Office - the main staging area for all the tools, paints, caulking guns, and a couple of oddball items that you wonder how they got there . . .

This is actually not too bad . . . there have been weeks when I couldn't even reach the paper shredder next to the bookcase . . .

Here's one of the ladders blocking access to my beautiful photo closet . . . Not a big deal though, I mean, who could possibly think about pulling out photo albums with this mess?

Oh.  That's the door to the bathroom in question.  My son has been showering in that bathroom for a couple of months without a door.  David would rather deal with the lack of privacy than to have to traipse into our bathroom at 5:00 A.M. to take his shower.  I make sure not to leave my bedroom until I know he's in the clear . . .  Also, notice the vacuum cleaner that is supposed to be stored in the closet behind the door . . . No can do . . .

This is the hallway right in front of the bathroom.  That's our old vacuum cleaner which DH uses to vacuum up plaster dust.  To the left is the entrance to our bedroom.  It's a good thing that I can't leave my room until David is out of the bathroom, I might trip in the dark and fall down . . .

This is the new sink . . . Beautiful, isn't it? . . . It doesn't work.

Lee bought the plumbing parts so long ago, that he's forgotten where he put them . . . He spent an hour on Sunday looking for them . . . then decided that he didn't feel like making another trip to Home Depot to buy new parts . . .

My carpeting is shot.  It is filthy but I can't clean it because . . . what's the point?  I doubt if I'll be able to salvage it once we are done.  Those stains look like they might not come out . . .

The springs on our garage door broke last week and Lee spent Saturday morning waiting for the repairman to come and install new springs . . . then he became obsessed with the leaves on the lawn . . . they had to be raked, even when he believed that the city had just made its final run of the season . . . later he found out that they'll make one more run, so he doubled his efforts . . . Heaven forbid that he should hire a local kid to rake the leaves for him, no sir, not my husband, the quintessential do-it-yourselfer, he had already suffered mightily that day by having to hire someone to fix the garage door . . .  Besides, I'm convinced Lee was a gardner in a previous life . . . that's the chore that he prioritizes every time . . . and the bathroom waits . . .

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Creepy Halloween Dinner

Once more, as I've done every Halloween since the boys were little, I made Halloween Soup! It's just homemade chicken noodle soup, but the boys love it. My oldest son, John, actually squeezed in a quick trip from college over the weekend, just so he wouldn't miss out on the soup, and David's highest compliment is “Mom, good soup, it's almost perfect.” And, since it's not perfect, I have to keep making it until I get it right!

Now, how do I make the table fun without being ghoulish?  I don't care for the ghoulish Halloween, I prefer the cute Halloween.  Here's this year's result: The Spiders' Dinner Party!

My son, John, and I teamed up again to make these cupcakes. I baked and frosted, he made the cobwebs. Cute, huh?

The box of glittery spiders was bought on clearance at Pottery Barn . . .

I love how my everyday dishes transition effortlessly from Winter, to Spring, to Summer, to Fall . . . A tremendous advantage to someone who has a hard time committing to color!

I bought the two-tiered spidery server on clearance at TJ Maxx, same as the tablecloth . . . Sometimes it pays to procrastinate . . .

Fiona-the-witch is back again fluttering round our chandelier . . .

Orange candles from Walmart . . .

The “Photo of the Day” theme this week is: Little Things . . . I'm on theme for a change!


The spider, dropping down from twig,
Unfolds a plan of her devising,
A thin premeditated rig
To use in rising.

And all that journey down through space,
In cool descent and loyal hearted,
She spins a ladder to the place
From where she started.

Thus I, gone forth as spiders do
In spider's web a truth discerning,
Attach one silken thread to you
For my returning.
—E.B White

It was so much fun to make these cupcakes!  Check out the bottom of the paper cups!

After my son, John, went back to college, I made another pot of soup to use up the rest of the soup ingredients, so David has had double helpings and can't wait to taunt his brother with the fact that I made soup again, and John didn't get any . . . ha, ha . . . Brothers!

I'm joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday. Please click on the link below to be amazed and humbled by the creativity of these tablescapers!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tea Bread Tuesday: Corn Muffins

I thought I'd kill two birds with one stone this week: Bake some muffins for Tea Bread Tuesday and find a new recipe for corn bread or muffins, since this constitutes one of the essential components of our Thanksgiving dinner, and . . . er . . . that's coming up soon! Yikes! The recipe came from Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa, and they were pretty good, but they were not the super moist wonders that I was expecting and my kids are corn muffin snobs. The search must go on . . .

Here's the link for the recipe:

Monday, November 1, 2010

Pasta with Pesto . . . and Peas . . .

Here's a great middle-of-the-week-and-no-time-to-cook recipe:

1 lb. of your favorite pasta (I used Barilla Whole Grain Thin Spaghetti)
1 jar pesto
1 package frozen peas, heated following the package directions
Romano or Parmesan cheese to taste

Boil pasta in salted water until it's cooked "al dente" and drain. Mix in the jar of pesto. Mix in peas. Sprinkle with Romano or Parmesan cheese. Voilà!

Nutritious, delicious and easy to prepare! I love this dish!