Thursday, February 26, 2009

What Am I Hooked On, You Ask?

Ok, ok. I know that you didn't ask, but Julia over at Hooked On Houses did! And she wants to know what you're Hooked On too! She hosts a weekly Hooked On Friday's Blog Party!
So feel free to join in the fun!
Even if you don't want to play this week, be sure to stop by and see the Craftsman Bungalow that she's Hooked On. It's a beauty!

So, to answer the question...

I am currently hooked on Slipper Chairs.
And for a good reason!

But first, what is a slipper chair?

For the long answer see here.

The short answer: An upholstered chair with a low seat and a high back.

Several features distinguish a slipper chair. The first is the very clean design, which tends to feature two rectangles for the seat and back of the chair, with no arms. Slipper chairs are typically low chairs, and the back may be reclined for greater comfort. As a general rule they are also upholstered, and some people may add throw pillows to their slipper chairs as a design accent.

Here are some examples:

Nate Berkus for HSN

Want to know why I am hooked on Slipper Chairs?

Because last summer I scored a pair of them for FREE!
My best friend's sister was selling them in her garage sale. I tried to convince her that she should keep them - "Think of the potential they have!" But she was set on getting rid of them. After a weekend of greeting passerby's in her driveway she still had the pair of slipper chairs sitting there. Frustrated and wanting them gone, my best friend called me up and said "Come and get them". OK!

They are in sad shape and this is how you would find them, tucked away in our master bedroom, if you came to our house...

our kids call it "the couch"

They have obviously had a lot of use because they are extremely worn.

There is a short fringe all around the sides.

Around the bottom was a long, braided fringe that hung to the floor. I took that off right away. It was just too much...

The legs are pretty beat up...

...but the chairs feel solid.

There is a date stamped on the underside that says Jan. 10, 1952. And the tattered, worn label gives a company name of
J. L. Chase Company, Chicago, Illinois.
I'll have to do some research and see what kind of information I can come up with!

To be honest, I feel kind of ridiculous having had them since the summer and I still haven't reupholstered them. But I haven't yet decided what I want the fabric to look like and there's no sense in having to do it twice! So I'll just wait until I find the perfect inspiration!

And to be totally honest, I'm a little nervous about it! The only thing I've ever reupholstered (if you can even call it that) are the seats of my dining room chairs. Hardly challenging! Luckily, a friend of mine just finished reupholstering her couch - as in, took it down to the frame and reupholstered it! So I have someone to walk me through it when the time comes.

The thing is that I see it being done all the time in Blogland, so it can't be that hard...can it? Help me out here. If you have done any reupholstering and lived to blog about it, send me your link for inspiration. I would really appreciate it!

All of that being said, I think with a little love and a whole lot of care and attention to detail, these could be a really great pair of chairs!

You know what they say...
One man's trash is another man's treasure!

So true!

Cute! Cute!

I'm spreading the word about a super cute kids clothing line called


Two friends of mine had the talent and know-how to start a business that they were passionate about and Baby Ala Mode is the result of that!

Everything is handmade and some pieces are one-of-a-kind for a truly unique look! They create fun, trendy, comfortable clothes for trendsetting babies and kids!

Here is just a sampling:

Ahoy Matey
Striped Sailor Shirt

Two-piece Owl Set

Green Apple Skirt
*comes with cotton bloomers

Ahoy Matey
Navy Stripe Skirt

Rockabye Babe
Argyle Rebel T-shirt

Mod Squad
Short-sleeved Star Hoodie

Be sure to check out their website at

to see their full line of kids clothes and accessories!


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Filling the Cookie Jar...

Last night I got the urge to bake cookies.
This never happens.
I am not a baker.
Lucky for me, I married a man that is!
And for the past ten years I have happily assumed the title of "cook",
while he held the title of "baker".
Until last night...

I was in the mood to bake, so I went online to my favorite recipe sharing site,, and found the highest rated Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie recipe that I could find. Luckily,we had all of the ingredients sitting in our pantry.
Like it was meant to be!

Here is the recipe: Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies.
They are really good.
A tip: they need more flour than the recipe calls for. I added an extra cup. It was perfect!

The boys actually thought it was funny that I was baking! But I got the greatest compliment from our seven year old:
Mom, you make the best cookies!

At that moment I was given the title of "cookie maker".
I'll take it!
A couple of hours and a double batch of cookies later, I realized that I had nothing to keep my super yummy cookies in. I needed a cookie jar! Tupperware wasn't going to cut it. So this morning I got this...

Just what I was wanting!
It's big and holds a ton of cookies!

So I have made a promise to myself...
I am going to bake cookies once a week to fill the cookie jar!
I want to be that kind of mom.
There's something comforting about having a jar of cookies on the counter.
And besides, what kid wouldn't want to come home from school to a homemade cookie and a glass of cold milk?

I had a volunteer to test out the jar...

...and the cookies and milk.

He was happy.
And he had no idea how happy he had made me!


If you're feeling inclined to do some cookie baking, give this recipe a try.
You won't be disappointed!

Ask And Ye Shall Receive...

All I have to say is, if you have a question...ask it! Because someone out there in Blogland is bound to know the answer!

Yesterday I had posted a picture from a makeover on HGTV that Candice Olson did. I have always wanted to know more about a particular accessory that she had in the room...

Much to my delight, Kelly from Design Ties, found it for me!

It comes from a store in Toronto, Ontario called Stacaro.

Check out this bedroom from their website!

Unfortunately, they don't have pictures of many accessories on their website, but you can bet I'll keep checking back to see what they add! And even though I don't get to see a better image of the Bistrot Cutlery Holder that I would so like to have, I feel just as lucky having been shown the way to the Stacaro website! They have awesome furniture! Definitely inspiring!

So, thanks again to Kelly at Design Ties!

And don't be afraid to ask for help if you are looking for something, but can't seem to find it!
You just might get an answer faster than you think!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Little Things...

It really is the little things that make a house a home...

Making your home a personal reflection of you requires adding objects that you love! I'm a fan of the BIG stores as much as the next girl, but it's those items that you can't find in every major store across America that make me
oh so happy!

When I saw this gorgeous makeover by Candice Olson on HGTV quite a while back, I quickly fell in love with most of the major elements in this shiny new kitchen!

But it was a small, overlooked accessory that really caught my attention and I have wanted one to call my own ever since!

Despite my efforts to find it online, I have no idea where it came from, if it is an antique or a reproduction, what it's original use was, or if it is something that can be purchased online.

Whatever the intended use, I love that it is now being used as a silverware holder! It is set close to the eating area and provides easy access for someone to set the table without having to walk through the kitchen while the cook is preparing the meal!
Perfect for helpful kids!

Have you ever come across something that you wanted to know more about, but all paths lead to nowhere? Do you have an item or two on your wish list that you can't find the source for?

If anyone has any bits of knowledge about this item, I would love to hear from you!

For now, I think I will try my hand at my own reproduction of it.
I'll let you know how it goes!

No More Excuses....

Sometimes we all need a metaphorical kick in the pants, right?

Well, you're in luck!
Today, the Nester gave it to us!
In a good way!

If you think you need to have the "perfect" house to be happy (see above), then you're well on your way to never having a home that you will love.

Head on over to the Nesting Place to see ten sure fire ways to
Avoid having a house that you love!

Maybe it's time for a new outlook...
"No more excuses!"

photo courtesy of

Monday, February 23, 2009

A Giveaway! Want to play?

Audrey over at Barking Mad is having a Giveaway!
The prize: A $250 gift certificate to Target!
Nice, right?

All you have to do is post five to ten of your own favorite posts. And they don't have to be chosen for any particular reason - just simply because they're your favorite!
Don't forget to link your post up to her giveaway post!
The contest runs through March 4th when she will pick a winner!

Easy enough to play?

Check out her blog and join in the fun!

Here are my favorites...

The first five are all makeovers that we've done in our home that have made a big difference in the look and feel of the rooms and even how we use them...


Our Family Room

The last one is my very favorite because, well...
because they're my babies!


Wordless Wednesday

Come join in the fun!

Show us your favorites!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Fireplace Makeover: Number Two...

When we moved into this house back in August of 2007, we were greeted with accents of mauve throughout the house (see here for a glimpse). The house was built in 1995 and while the house is great, the previous owner's obviously had a soft spot in their hearts for this particular color.
The living room had a big, beautiful fireplace as it's main focal point with a deep mantle, a giant mirror above it and flanked by tall windows and 10' ceilings. But front and center were large mauve tiles covering the face and the hearth. I lived with it for as long as I could, but, sooner than later, it had to go. And I had to figure out a way to do it without any major demolition. The only choice was to cover it up! Hide the mauve and create a clean, contemporary facade that would blend seamlessly with the rest of the house.

We had already tackled one fireplace makeover... there was no doubt we could do it again!

Here is a picture of the fireplace in all of it's mauve glory!

And here is a picture of it before we moved in!
(sorry for the grainy picture - it was scanned from the "For Sale" flyer)

We had been given some 12" slate tiles from my best friend who had recently done a huge kitchen renovation. She didn't need the remaining 8 tiles that she had, so being resourceful I took them off her hands knowing that we could definitely use them!

The first step was to break out the tiles that were acting as the hearth of the fireplace. This was the only "demo" that was done on the entire project. It was a bit messy, but it only spans about 5 feet, so it wasn't that bad.

After the tiles and mortar had been chipped away we laid the new slate tiles. We don't have a tile saw, so my husband took 3 of the tiles to Lowe's and had them make a few cuts for us. Super easy and FREE!
We then cut and nailed a thin strip of MDF around the existing mauve tiles. This would act as a frame that we could attach our facade to. You can see in this picture the newly laid tiles and the frame going up!

We then measured and cut a sheet of 3/4" MDF to completely cover the old mauve tiles.
Oh, Happy Day!!
The fireplace wasn't even pretty yet and I already felt better in the room!

We then marked the facade for where we wanted our decorative panels to go.

We cut out squares for each corner and rectangles for the top and sides to add a decorative flair to the fireplace. The sides of the square and rectangle panels were routered with a "Roman Ogee" bit to make them look similar to all of the existing trim and wainscoting throughout the house. We added decorative strips of MDF around the base to help it tie in with our existing base boards.

We spackled all of the cut edges of the MDF so that we could ensure a clean finish!

One coat of primer and several coats of semi-gloss paint later, we were nearly finished!

I decided that the mauve tiles weren't the only thing about the fireplace that needed some help. We have a HUGE mirror above the fireplace, but it was really lacking character and it didn't feel much like an asset at all. I needed a quick, easy, and most of all cheap way to make it a real focal point.

My idea: use fence paneling to create a frame and use spray stain to give it a dark finish.
(My husband thought I was crazy - seriously, fence paneling?)

I love the rustic nature of fence paneling. And I really love that it costs $1.50 per panel! That's right...$1.50! So I bought 4 fence panels and one can of spray stain for about $10. All told my frame cost about $16.00! Nice! Even my frugal husband couldn't say "no" to that!
Here are a couple of panels propped up on the mantle before the stain and cuts were made...

And here it is "after"...

The whole project took us about a day and a half to complete.
It was SO worth it! Since we got the tiles from a friend and used MDF instead of real wood, the cost was minimal.

And the best part?
No one has to know that the mauve tiles were ever even there!
It's our little secret!