Saturday, July 30, 2011

Grillin & Chillin

Back home! We had a great time visiting our friends and seeing the sights in Seattle and Tacoma this past week- I'll post some pictures soon.

Quick side note; and I'm sure most people know this but don't go and plant a bunch of delicate vegetable plants and then jet off for a vacation for a week. Your plants will get depressed.

Even though I moved them to a shady spot in the yard that was in reach of the sprinkler they still seemed to hold a grudge against me leaving.

I'm hoping they'll forgive me and perk up with some water.

Anyway, when we got home I had few groceries and didn't have a lot of time to go shopping. I turned to my trusty grill and some frozen shrimp we had gotten when we last went to Grande Isle, LA. All I needed was some corn and zucchini to make this easy and yummy recipe come together and I thought I'd share it with you.

It's a recipe for Lemon Pepper Shrimp I found in my Prevention Magazine. 

After defrosting and shelling the shrimp I started by marinating the shrimp in the fridge for about 20- 30 minutes.

While that was going on I started up the grill and brushed some olive oil on my corn and zucchini began cooking them for the side dish. This only took about 10-12 minutes to cook.

While waiting for the vegetables to cook I prepped the shrimp for the grill.

Then just 2 minutes per side and they're done!

After I grilled the shrimp I put them in a white wine butter mixture,

Then all finished! I really liked this recipe, it was easy, quick, and yummy!

So easy in fact that I had time to fix up some dessert that also went with the recipe- a raspberry dessert also quick and easy.

It's just a mixture of sugar, cornstarch and raspberries, and crumbled Nilla Wafers. Then, because I have a problem where I make semi- healthy things completely unhealthy I poured the mixture over ice cream.

Mmmm! Totally worth it.

If you want to try any of these recipes yourself check them out here:

Blackberry Dessert (the recipe calls for blackberries but my grocery only had raspberries which worked equally as well)


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Unexpected Vaca

We've only been in Oklahoma for less than two weeks but we're taking off once again. As I've mentioned we moved here because the Hubs is in the Air Force, he's the new base Pediatrician! 

He's spent the last week or so inprocessing, and doesn't start work for another week. I meanwhile am still jobless (I wouldn't say Altus is the best place for an Interior Designer to find a job but I'm still holding out hope something pops up). So we thought that this would be a good time to take advantage of one of the perks the Air Force has to offer- Space-A travel!

We'll be flying on one of these bad boys for just a few dollars each! This week the mission is to Tacoma, WA. We requested a spot and are on our way! 

We've never been to Washington and we're excited. We have friends from college there, there's a lot to do, and it's only 60 degrees as opposed to Oklahoma 100's.

We have to fly like this but it's worth it- I can't wait to go and share our adventure with you!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Veggie Tales

This past week between the unpacking and lamp hanging I decided to try and find out if I have a green thumb or not.

Our landlord left behind some large plant containers and said we could use them as we pleased. I've always wanted to try and grow a vegetable garden and thought this was the perfect opportunity. I did some research and found that tomatoes, spinach, zucchini, basil and other herbs grow well in containers.

So while browsing Walmart the other day (one of the few things to do around here) and I saw these poor little cherry tomato plants struggling to survive in the extreme heat we've been having. Most people have already bought their plants for the season and these guys were the few that were left.

I know it's a little late to be planting but I felt bad for them, what if they would never fulfill their tomato destiny? I bought them, roma tomatoes, basil, pepper plant, and spinach. Walmart had zucchini but they were already brown and burnt to a crisp. Poor guys...

I planted them all in their planters, not without help of course!

And after a little watering and new soil the plants seems to perk up right away.

Since they're in containers my plan is to keep them shaded when it's hot and I'll be able to take them inside when it gets to cold.

So grow grow grow little plants! Be the Little Garden That Could!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Updating a Light Fixture...

Quickly and Easily without upsetting your landlord (hopefully!) 

Hello All! It's been a steamy 105+ the past few weeks here in lovely Altus, OK but that didn't make staying inside and unpacking any more enjoyable. Everything is pretty much finished and I'm ready to tackle some projects I have in mind.

First up: the Breakfast Nook in our kitchen. It currently has this light fixture:

Which is actually quite nice especially compared to what we had in our old house. I felt that it didn't flow well with my dining set and overall feel I wanted for the room. Plus I had this lamp shade I had scored from West Elm for $20 when it was going out of business a few months ago:

I wanted to hang it but wasn't sure how our landlord would feel about me completely switching out and rewiring the lighting in our home. So I thought it might be easy to just change out the glass bowl of the chandelier and simply replace it with the shade! Easy right? Just unscrewing a few things and screwing them back together. 


The holes of the two fixtures are not the same size, so I couldn't reuse the parts from the chandelier to hold the shade in place. This required me to use my brain and think of a way to rig the two together.

After much pondering and a few missteps this is what I came up with:

Basically I screwed all the pieces together to make something of a thread, nut, washer, sandwich. These supplies are cheap (less than $5 for all) and readily available at Home Depot or Lowes. Just don't look in the lamp department for 20 minutes like I did, I found everything in the hardware section.

I used my Dremel Tool with the cutting wheel bit to cut the treaded rod down to a smaller size then pieced everything together. I reused the rod from the original chandelier to help keep my new thinner and longer rod from tilting from one side or another.

Without Shade

With Shade


I think it turned out pretty good. I had to turn the shade upside down to hide the bulbs, so it still tilts a little to the side because it's top heavy. I like the way it looks though and it was an expensive, easy way to change the look of the room. 

What do you think? I feel like the room could still use some warming up, any suggestions?

What tips and tricks do you have for switching things up in a rental home? I could sure use them!

Monday, July 18, 2011

New House Tour

Mountains of boxes, drowning in packing paper, stuff stuff and more stuff! Augh! How have 3 people accumulated so many stuff? (I swear having a baby doubled the amount of things we own.) I went through a lot of our things and gave them away before we moved but there still seems to be so much.

You never know how much stuff you have until you have to unpack it all and place it into a new home. 

With that said I do have a few rooms to share with you in our new house. And just a disclaimer: theses rooms aren't "finished" but I think are presentable to show you all.

First off, our living room! Bigger than our last one, bright and airy, high ceilings, gas fireplace- wow!

We're renting the home so there's only so much we can do. Our landlord recently replaced the carpet, I'd like to find a large rug to help anchor the space. I also need to hang our curtains, I'm using our old green ones for now, I might look for something more neutral, I haven't decided yet.

A big project is going to be reupholstering my orange chairs

The Hubs has warmed up to them, he even admits that they are comfortable and he likes them. But they do need new fabric. The orange is a little out there and is dirty and worn in some places. Still mentally preparing myself for this challenge. (Though I did see an auto upholstery place here in Altus, so worst case scenario I can see how much they charge...)

Another project for this room is the TV console. It used to be Con-Man's dresser in his old room. He now has a large closet with lots of shelves, so I decided to repurpose his dresser for our TV stand.

In our old house we had the TV hung above the fireplace. This time around I didn't want to drill huge holes in the walls since we're renting and the fireplace is taller in this house than in our last one. 

I'm hoping to sand some off the white paint and expose some of the natural wood to make the console look a little more sophisticated. That and some new hardware will finish off this project!

Next up is the breakfast nook. We have a breakfast nook! How cute is that?

Not a lot to do in here, it's pretty basic. I was thinking about changing up the light fixture. There's nothing wrong with it, its nice and recently updated. I'm feeling that something more contemporary would look better with the furniture though. I can't do anything to drastic since I don't actually own the home. We'll see what I come up with.

I used our same dining table, but while visiting my fam. in Houston I swung by Ikea and picked up some new dining chairs.

I really like them, it's the Jules Guest Chair. They're actually an office chair but they work perfectly as dining chairs. (And cheaper than most of the actual dining chairs Ikea sells!) They are easy to clean and really sturdy. 

If your wondering what happened to my other dining chairs they are chilling in our "Formal Living Room" along with a mountain on empty boxes waiting for me to find a dining table for them. Another project to think about.

Also in the breakfast nook are these architectual wall hangings. 

I found them in New Orleans a long time ago and have been carting them around just waiting for an opportunity to display them. They are mismatched but I love the crusty rusty look of them. They are the backs of old aluminum gliders and they were the last 2 the guy had- he sold them to me for $10 each. Not to shabby.

Other than that the room is finished besides maybe some sheers. And the room feels a bit empty, so maybe a buffet or console would be nice to finish it off.

So- onward with the tour! We now have a formal living room! I honestly don't know what we'll do with all this extra space but I'm trying to make the most of it. 

I used the couch that we had in our old sunroom and the rug from our old living room. the coffee tables I made are in here along with another old architectual piece I had. This one I found back in Houston while still in high school. It's one of my favorite finds ever! This room is finished for now, it's basic but I think it looks nice.

Our bedroom is semi presentable so I thought I'd show it to you.

The shelving is old Ikea shelving I've had since college. It's two pieces, one piece use to be in our office but we have the space now to keep them together again. It's needs some styling and pizazz, and some way to control those cable wires but it's good for now.

My favorite comfy loung-y chair is in here! Yay! And of course our bed~ and I am the first to admit that I am not good at making beds and I am ok with that. So don't expect perfection here:

Oh- but some exciting news! While getting our bed all set up the Hubs actually mentioned he would like some new bedding. OMG! I thought I had imagined it but it's true. He, like myself, is tired of our old bedspread and mismatching sheets. So stay tuned for a change with that.

Something I wanted to try in here is a wall stencil. I won one in a contest from Made By Girl and haven't used it yet. 

I thought it would make a good accent wall for behind the bed. Can't wait to try it out.

On top of all these projects I wanted to give Con-Man's room a more "Big Boy" feel since he's two now, a guest room and an office to deal with, and I'm starting a little veggie garden. So much to do I'm not sure where to start. 

Hope you enjoyed the tour for now, sorry for the long post. How have you dealt with unpacking and rearranging in a new home? How do you organize all the projects you want to accomplish?