Friday, January 31, 2014

Powder Room Brainstorming

With all of the snow and ice across the nation this week, people have been focused on winter storms! I have another kind of storm going on inside my head. I'm brainstorming ideas for what to do with the powder room. I really do hate this room. I have hated it since I first saw it in photos when G-Dub came down to buy the house. I verified those emotions when I arrived and took a peak. Ugh... 1989 still alive and well in the powder room of my new home!

The powder room sits in the back hallway, just inside the back door. It shares the hallway with the door to the laundry room. The room is tiny. There's room for a sink and the toilet. And that's just about all once you get a person in there. :)

I avoid this room unless I absolutely have to. I will walk right by it and go across the house to my bathroom so I won't have to use it. I'm determined to change that (even though, steps count as exercise on cold winter days, right? - Oh! That reminds me of a story! I will share that story another day in another blog post rather than leave you hanging.)

I thought I'd show you some before photos of this room. I could barely get them. I'm telling ya', it's a small room! It really is nice to have a bathroom there though. It's the perfect room for visitors to use. I just know that my master bath is prettier, so I make those extra steps.
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As you can see, I never did much to it after moving in other than add some tissues (which Teen has depleted with his head cold), add a basket to the back of the toilet for a comb and spray bottle for Roo's unrooly hair in the mornings, a soap dispenser and a towel. Whoooo! How's that for decorating? That's magazine worthy right there! Ok, not.

My plans are to strip the existing wallpaper and then use a roll of beadboard wallpaper I won in a giveaway from Rhoda at Southern Hospitality to accent the bottom of the wall while I paint the top portion. Rhoda has used beadboard wallpaper in several places in her home and I love the look! I can't wait to bring my 1989 powder room into this century and make it my own!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Significant, Historical, Weather Event Photos

South Alabama is not accustomed to Winter Storm Warnings with forecasts of ice, sleet and snow. But, that's what our forecast entailed this week. Our local meteorologists were calling it "A significant, historical, weather event." I kept having to remind myself I had moved SOUTH last summer! Fortunately, my neck of the woods only got drizzling rain which froze when it landed on the surface. I was thankful that the rain wasn't heavier because the power lines wouldn't have held a heavier weight.

I went out this morning and snapped a few historical photos. Who knows when and if I'll ever see ice on my tree branches and shrubs in the future?
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I kept looking and found our snow!
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The boxwoods held the ice beautifully!
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As did my encore azaleas. I wonder why they aren't blooming now. ;)
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Grass shot.
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I think this is my favorite photo from my trek outside this morning.
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I questioned myself yesterday about bringing these indoors since they are in pots. I opted not to. I hope that wasn't a bad decision.
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The trampoline cracked me up! Can't you just imagine trying to jump on it?
Jump! Crack! Jump! Crack! Jump! Crack! It would be an excellent example of an onomatopoeia!
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At Home in the Grove - blog revamp in progress!

Well, I finally did it. I have renamed the blog like I talked about a while back. (July 2013)

I'm currently trying to get my banner to look the way it does when I created it in Photoshop. On my screen, it's not right. Maybe it'll refresh and be ok.

Does anyone know if I can the address, will I lose all of my followers or you all lose all of your links?

I'm still working on that.

Friday, January 24, 2014


I skipped last Friday because we were traveling! Sorry!

I started looking through photos for this and decided maybe I overshot thinking I could do five each week. I may have to vamp up my phone photo snapping!

#1 Groomed pooch
A few weeks ago, I took Roo for a haircut. This guy was visiting the shop that day. Wow! You had to really look for his face beyond all that hair!
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#2 Polar Plunge for Special Olympics!
Teen participated in a 5K race and Polar Plunge benefiting the Special Olympics a few weeks ago.
The water was a nice balmy 40ish degrees. This was his friend and friend's sister at the event.
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#3 Simply Me and G-Dub
Snapped with Teen's iPhone because his has a front facing camera and mine doesn't.
We'd just picked his phone up from having the cracked screen repaired.
We sent him the photo to prove that we weren't all cracked up anymore.
Get it? Did you see what I did there? ha...
I crack myself up....
Ok, fine, I'll stop cracking jokes and show you the picture. ;)
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#4 Japchae - Korean noodle dinner, anyone?
We {Roo and I} have really come to love this dish!
Teen and G-Dub aren't clear noodle fans though, so I have to make rice for them on the nights I make this.
I adapted my recipe using the one found on Epicurious as the base.
I skip the spinach and use chicken. I had used a bell pepper on this night as well.
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#5 The horse pitcher
I wrote about the pitcher I use when I make sweet tea several years ago. (April 2008).
My mom let me have it as it was my grandmother's. I used it for years, but only recently started fearing cracking it with the hot tea.
We've ventured into many antiques stores and second hand shops over the years.
I've never seen another one of these pitchers. I feared if I ever broke it, I'd never be able to replace it and I'd miss it.
So, I retired it. I'm really glad I did because I actually found another one this past weekend in an antique store in Mississippi.
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Retired mine will remain with an $85 replacement tag!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Thrifting, painting and decorating with live plants

Ok, I didn't thrift or paint the live plants. Let me back up for a minute.

I've always tried to have some live plants in our home. When we moved to Korea, I had to give all of mine away (that I'd had for years) or move them to my mom's house and hope for the best. I did the same thing with the few plants I bought for our apartment in Korea. And then came our house in New Jersey, where I learned that either the Garden State didn't like my once green thumb or I'd lost my touch with plants.

Fast forward to now in this house. I bought a bamboo plant for the kitchen window. So far, it's holding its own at six plus months with me. Another spiky plant in the kitchen window is doing the same. Yesterday, I was reading some blogs and the girl talked about her houseplants. It hit me that what I really needed more of was some houseplants! So, I made it my quest to acquire a few more.

I had that in mind yesterday afternoon when I stopped by a thrift shop and spotted a basket. I snapped a picture of my other weird mix matched purchases because though they look like junk, I have plans for revamping all of these items!
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Later yesterday afternoon, I was in Walmart and found a funky little palm plant. The man behind me in the checkout commented (loud enough to be including me in the conversation) to his wife, "Well, she can't go to Hawaii so she's bringing Hawaii to her!" LOL I laughed and proceeded to carry on a conversation about just what my funky plant is.

Ok, let's go back to the thrift shop finds photo and pinpoint that basket. I snatched it up earlier this morning after snapping the photo and took it to my craft table where I proceeded to dry brush it with off white paint.
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I followed the off white with a couple of shades of brown.
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I didn't take a photo after I used the black paint and then dabbed with brown again. I did take final finished photos though.
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The paint job isn't perfect, but I didn't mean for it to be. I was aiming to make the basket a little more antiqued. I wanted it to look older than its state during my 99cent acquisition of it. I think I did ok in that regard.
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If it lives and grows, maybe I'll get to move it to an even larger basket someday. For now, I'm going to enjoy my funky little "piece of Hawaii" palm.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Five Phone Photos for Friday #2

Well, this week completely skipped past me. I had plans for other blog posts. Those will now be moved to future blog posts. ;)

Ready for the second round of Five Phone Photos for Friday? Unedited, grainy and sometimes dark... but capturing the memory of the moments!

#1 Fall Colors
One of the things I was gripey about when moving back to the south was that I was going to miss FALL. We experienced some beautiful falls in Kansas, Korea and New Jersey. I didn't remember the colors of fall being that spectacular around here from the times we've lived here before.
To my surprise, Bradford pears are beautiful in the fall. This was my driveway for much of November.
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#2 Alabama Clouds!
Living in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey, we didn't see a lot of the sky! I have been reminded time and time again that the cloud formations here are spectacular.
Case in point are the clouds I witnessed on this day.
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#3 Celebrating Birthdays in Style at Mexican Restaurants
Roo turned 12 in December. Where did my baby go?
In an aside note, we were listening to the radio a few weeks later on the way to school when "The Hat I got for Christmas is too Big." came on.
It's one of those that will get stuck in your head for days.
I will let you search for it on YouTube yourself (so you can't blame me).
We referred back to this photo several times when we shared this song with others!
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#4 The Wife
I was in Target one day when these two books caught my eye. I snapped a photo of them together for G-Dub.
I sent him the text and said, "Too bad only one of these describes YOUR wife!"
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#5 Alabama Snow Equipment
I really wanted to recreate my Alabama snow photo from years ago with the boys in a cotton field for our Christmas photo.
That didn't happen this year.
Instead for this season, you just get a photo of cotton harvest.
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Friday, January 3, 2014

Five Phone Photos For Friday #1

I've been thinking about a blog series like this for a long time. I've thought about it every time I've snapped a photo while out and about thinking "I'll share that on my blog!" Sadly, I never do because I always forget about them or always think it's too much trouble to upload them from the phone, then to the computer, then to the photo hosting site, then to blogger. There's an easier way, I just need to figure it out!

In the meantime, I have Five Phone Photos For Friday (henceforth to be called FPPFF) to share with you!

#1 One of the first photos I took that made me think of sharing it on the blog was this one.
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I had just walked out of Barnes and Noble and had to walk in front of that truck. EVERY single time I have encounter one of these trucks, my mind goes to that episode of Hawaii Five-O where there's a robbery of an armed truck in front of some local shop. Freaks me out if I really think about it! Instead, I glance in all directions and make sure there's no masked bodies anywhere, then walk briskly to the car! Yeah, I know... don't even say it. ;)

#2 Moving on to sweeter thoughts than armed robberies...
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Sugared and spiced pecans. Yum. If you're interested in the recipe, I can try and find the one I used. It was basically, pecans, powdered sugar, spices and butter in the crockpot.

#3 Even more sweetness was Jersey Jingles with the gingerbread house.
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#4 Next up is our Redneck Ruckus display at a local fireworks stand.
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We didn't buy the Redneck Ruckus kit. Instead, we bought bottle rockets, firecrackers, sparklers and Roman candles. How do you spell lame? C-h-e-a-p? Oh, no... that's not right. LOL We aren't some of the crazies who drop a couple one hundred dollar bills at a fireworks stand. I think NYE was the most we've ever spent. $52. I almost fell over then! The noisemakers did last two nights though. I'm sure our neighbors were thankful that Wednesday night was the finale.

#5 Finally, a very grainy phone photo of me with two of my favorite guys.
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We were out at a park looking at Christmas lights. We walked up to this really bright display of all white. I said, "There's enough light to light our photo!" It blinded us almost! LOL

Thursday, January 2, 2014

From the Outside Looking In

I know, Christmas is over, but we are still enjoying our tree. I love to sit and look at the lights. I even love how the tree looks from the outside pulling into the driveway and around the house. I went out one night and tried to take photos to show you, but the photos just don't do it justice.

The window is large and arched at the top. Here's a view with daylight still waning.
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Ok, scratch that as the reflection of the front yard trees completely threw off my photo. Plus, the window is tinted, so failed Christmas tree photo.

This is from the first attempt in the dark. I had left all the lights in the room off except the tree.
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Another night, I went out with the lamp on in the room because I wanted to show you how the staircase looks with the lamplight shining on it and the tree in the foreground. That has been my favorite part of the view from the outside as we pull into the driveway. (We have to circle around the house and pass this window.)
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With the lamp on, the casting of light was a different from my other photo.
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