Thursday, February 28, 2013

Housewarming Party

I have been bitten by the hostess bug...

I must admit that since we started looking at houses I have been so excited to throw a party!
Since our house is finally "guest ready" I talked Brian into letting me throw a housewarming party.

I made these invitations and sent them out to our friends and family.

(obviously our address and email were changed for privacy reasons)

I love decorating for a party but a housewarming party your want to show off your house and not have a lot of distractions.

We had our friends over for the first Seahawks playoff game a month ago and I made a bunch of football foods but for this party I wanted fancy foods.

So I turned to one of my best friends...pinterest!

The table turned out better then I had imagined.

These tortellini skewers were made from a pack of cheese tortellini from Costco.
The pesto Alfredo sauce was made from half of a container of Alfredo from Costco and a whole container of pre-made pesto from Safeway.  I just microwaved the Alfredo sauce, mixed it, then mixed in the Alfredo.  It turned out great! 

I found this great recipe for Spinach Artichoke Dip Wontons

I changed a few things.
They were a hit! I couldn't make them fast enough. 

Now I have never made deviled  eggs before.
So silly me decided to make them the night before the party.
You must realize I am a night owl.  So instead of waking up early the morning of the party, I wanted to stay up late and finish the food. 
So at 2am-ish I was boiling eggs (for the first time)
I started freaking out because I didn't have enough eggs....well I forgot that when you make deviled eggs you cut the egg in half. 
That is what happens to your brain at 2am-ish.

I don't like deviled eggs so Brian was my test taster when I was just squirting mustard and mayo in with the yolks!

I found this idea on pinterest but I had to put a twist on it since my basil leaves were huge.

I get nervous when I see a table with food and I don't know what the food is.
So I bought these "counter corner" tiles from Lowe's and wrote on them with dry erase markers to label the food.  They cost $1.89 a piece but I will be able to reuse them for so many parties in the future!  Just wish I had better hand writing....

These Swedish meatballs are my mother in laws recipe that she makes at parties sometimes and everyone loves them so I had to steal her recipe.

I did decorate a little mason jar for toothpicks with some ribbon.

Who doesn't love cookies!

I found this Lemon Blueberry Cookie recipe on pinterest.
I would consider them Lemon Blueberry Muffin Tops!
I altered the recipe a little and they tasted just like the best party of a muffin...the top!

The chocolate chip cookie recipe is just from my go to better homes cookbook!
(ya, i decided to make those around 1am...because you can't have just one kind of cookie!)

The veggie tray was pretty easy.
The only tough part was finding the perfect peppers for the dip!

These are my Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting.
I have to keep this recipe secret...sorry.
The liners are from the dollar section at Michaels!
The sprinkles were from Homegoods.

One of my husbands favorite snacks is Chex Mix.
So I had to make it!

For drinks I just had water and a Lemonade Punch
I love how the colors matched the party!
The beverage container is from Bed Bath and Beyond.

I couldn't find any cute napkins but I found cute straws so I had to get them!

If you can see, right behind the mason jar of straws there is a stack of pictures.
We did a lot of changes to the house and a lot of our friends and family did not get to see it before we started.  I took tons of pictures throughout the remodel and just printed 4x6 prints of the process so that our guests could kind of image what it was like before. 
I think it helped!

I would say the party was a success! 
It was so much fun to have a reason to throw a party and a place!

I am so excited for all of the memories that will come in this house that we have made our home.
This is just the beginning....


Monday, February 25, 2013

[A+J] Christmas Pictures

I was determined to take pictures of the kids I nanny for Christmas.
Knowing this would be a task I started to prepare early.
I took the baby one day and we picked out matching outfits.

Normally picking out an outfit would be an easy task...
not for this 6 year old!  
She wants comfort!  
Who can blame her!  
I searched GapKids for the perfect comfortable pants.
I found these Black Jeggings!
Both of their outfits are from GapKids
The headband was found at Target
The babies jeans were from Old Navy

I wanted Gray, Black and White clothes since those colors are Christmas-y but still the pictures could be used in their home during any season.

Amelia was REALLY into reading Twas the night before Christmas so we used that as a prop.
I found the Big Christmas ornament at JoAnn
On Sale too!

Here are a few of the pictures!
I love them!

I am in LOVE with this big comfy Restoration Hardware Chair

Are they not the cutest, sweetest, most precious children!


Valentines Love Project

John and I had some fun for Valentines day!

I wanted to surprise his parents and sister with some special gifts.

So off we went to Michaels..
we grabbed some picture frames, a wooden letter "A", and heart stickers.
I stuck the hearts on the white photo mats.
I envisioned him finger painting all over them and them me peeling off the stickers to reveal the hearts.

I let John go at it and paint for the first time!

He was a little confused at first but then loved it.  
Thank the Lord he did not try to eat it!

He was such a good boy and let me take some pictures in his big boy sweater!

I printed off the pictures and stuck them in the frames.  
I pealed off the heart stickers (which was not an easy task)
They turned out great!

This was a fun, easy task for a 15 month old to do!  


Baby Detail Collage

I love taking pictures of babies!
I have a few pictures that are just my favorites.
Now it would be a little odd if my house was filled with pictures of other peoples babies.
So with my job (as a nanny) I get to take pictures of the sweetest babies and frame them for their parents.  
This is so much fun for me.

The mom of the kids I nanny bought some frames a while back and just let me use them.

This frame she got from target.
I was a little puzzled by what to put in it.  
Then I got the idea to do a picture of all baby Johns details.

They have a sun room upstairs with a beautiful view of the Puget Sound.  
The walls are all windows and even the ceiling is glass so it lets in the most beautiful light.
Perfect for taking pictures of a sweet little naked baby.

I took him up there and used their Nikon D90 to take some pictures.
This little guy has some sensitive skin and eczema.  
Instead of editing the rough skin or scabs I just left them.  
Even with his eczema he is perfect!

I printed out a bunch of 4x6 pictures at Walgreens in Black and White.

I was so excited to reveal the framed picture to them!
I kinda sorta wanted to keep it and hang it in my house...

Here is the finished product hanging in little Johnnys room!

Isn't it perfect!

The black and white pictures really make it pop!
His 6 year old sister thought it was SOOO funny I took pictures of his booty!
Oh to be 6 again....

You gotta love a baby belly!

Can you blame me for wanting to keep it!?  
How adorable is he!


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Before & After {Main Bathroom}

Here we go!
When we looked at this house I didn't even want to enter the main bathroom.  Since this was a HUD home (kinda like a foreclosure) no one cleaned it up and made it look pretty for the house tours so it was a little smelly and dirty.  We paid very close attention to our budget and in the beginning we just did not think we would be able to fix it up.  I came to terms with the fact that we might have to just close this door and tell guests to use our master bathroom.  When the remodel ball started rolling we realized that if we were going to put new trim and doors in then we would need to rip out the vanity and so we just went for it. 
Here is the Before...

Here is our main bathroom Checklist:
  • Replace the vanity
  • Tear off the wainscoting
  • Fix the leaky tub faucet
  • Seal off the plumbing/closet so rodents can not get in
  • Install new trim and door
  • Patch and re texture the walls under the wainscoting
  • Replace vanity light
  • Put in a mirror
  • Put in new toilet paper holder and hand towel rack
  • Paint walls and interior of built in
  • Take off closet door to expose built in shelves

This vanity looked like someone had done their own tile work and it was falling apart.  I don't think I ever opened up the drawers.  (fear of the unknown)  There obviously was no mirror and the light just wasn't quite my style.  The wainscoting was definitely another DIYproject from the previous owner.  When we took it off they had stuck the instructions in between the wall and wainscoting.  So they knew where it was I guess? 

I think they must have locked their hairy and smelly dog in the bathroom.

The bathtub still has some work and cleaning but we use our master bath to shower so it is ok for now.  Our plumber did a great job fixing the leaky faucet.

At one point I went to the bathroom with two boxes propped up as a door.  The whole time I was praying the wind wouldn't blow the doors down and the workers wouldn't come back.

This built in cabinet had a door on it.  When you walked into the bathroom it felt like you were in a tight hallway.  I wanted this bathroom to feel open and welcoming so I took the door off.  Now it has beautifully decorated shelves.  I painted the inside the same color as the walls Behr Grape Leaves.  It now has a more welcoming spa like feeling that I LOVE!

The white towels are from Target.
The brush is from Pier 1..
The diffuser is from Target.

The white hand towels are from Target.
The ivory soap is from Walmart. (or anywhere)
The clear jars are from The Container Store.
The guest toothbrushes are from Crate and Barrel. (no longer in stock)

The white washcloths are from Target.
The basket is from Fred Meyer.
The candle is from Target.

The shelves above the toilet I bought from Target.
The pictures I blogged about Here.
The frames are from Michaels.

The faucet is Moen Banbury from Home Depot
The frame was from Homegoods.

The vanity is from Home Depot.  It came with the mirror. 
The light also came from Home Depot

The curtain is from Target.
I bought new knobs from home depot so they would match as well.

Here is the full before and after!

We still need to refinish the tub and put a curtain in there.
I am thinking a fun print maybe?  Roman Shade style.

This room has now become one of my favorite rooms in our whole house, if not my favorite.
I love the bold color and openness of the new vanity and built in.
I am so amazed by what a new vanity and some hard work can create!
Thank you Pinterest for many ideas!

Anyone else thinking about a bathroom remodel?