Friday, June 27, 2014

New House Progress: Kitchen Cabinets Sneak Peak!

I can hardly contain my excitement over my refinished kitchen cabinet doors. This has been a seemingly really long work in progress, but an extremely cost efficient (cheap!!!) way of getting the doors we wanted. As long as you have access to a few tools and some spare time you are good to go. I am excited to share the process soon. If it helps one person achieve a better kitchen I am thrilled!

I have one QUICK question and I would love some weigh in on this topic:

Our upper cabinets are older and require a visible cabinet door hinge. I am trying to decide if I should just paint the old hinges the same color as the cabinets, merely for the purpose of concealing the look of the hinges; OR use brand new hinges in satin nickel that would match our new cabinet hardware. I like the idea of not seeing "hinges" everywhere but then again I don't want to see paint peeling and chipping on hinges in a few months. What do you think is best?

These two kitchens have visible nickel hinges and I don't mind them one bit.

And here is a beautiful kitchen with what looks to be painted hinges...

That's all for now y'all! And I might add, after staring at the interior of our cabinets....filled with pots, pans, cups, glasses and who knows what, I am not opting for open shelving anytime soon. At least not more than one really neat and defined shelf. That's just me. :)

Friday, June 20, 2014

Five on Friday: Back for Food, Art and Shopping

I'm linking up today with the ladies of Five on Friday...
Christina, April, Darci, and Natasha! It's been a while and I hope you tag along!

Tomato and Avocado Extravagnaza

Let me introduce you to two of THE BEST summer eats you can possibly devour. This sandwhich could be on repeat every day of the week and I'm pretty sure I'd be a happy camper. So easy to assemble.


Toast two slices of sourdough bread. Mash up half an avocado and add salt and pepper to taste. Lay slices of fresh mozzarella on your toasted bread and layer with tomato slices and the avocado mash! 

The next is an app that my brother and his awesome girlfriend introduced us to a few weeks ago. I couldn't get enough, aka I stuffed my face with this dip and it was ah-mazing. I asked my brother for the recipe last week and it was just as good as I remembered! It's semi-guiltless since its veggies with a teensy bit of feta.

Blog Love

I really have been feeling so out of the loop. And I apologize. If you wish, please leave a comment below so I can check out your blog! I have never been an A+ student in getting back to commenters but I read and appreciate every single one! So much. And it is always, always my goal to be better about this.

Black and White Art

I read somewhere that you should incorporate a black and white photo into a gallery wall. I think this is just the ticket to not compete with my other prints and artwork. Most of my pieces from my former gallery wall are full of color, but I plan on breaking them up into different parts of the house. Black and white is just what I need! Isn't this simple but beautiful? Find it at Linda and Harriett.

Yummy App to Try

I'm all about apps in case I never told you. I would much rather snack than have a big dinner! It's always the best food. One of my favorite apps ever is artichoke dip, but this combines it into a bruschetta. Yes. Please.

Work Out Loves

Since I've been getting my exercise outside lately, I have been flying through my favorite sleeveless tops to keep cool in. It was time to restock and rejuvenate. And at Old Navy's prices (20% off now too), you can definitely buy these each season to refresh your workout wardrobe! (That makes it way more fun!!)

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

New House Rants and Raves

I feel like I've been so out of touch lately and I thought it would be fun to recap what I'm loving about the new house and what I could rant about all day long. Maybe that will clear up what I've been up to and where I've been hiding! 

Rave: Bigger, Traditional Floorplan

Maybe my favorite aspect of the house is that it is very wide and spread out. Stephen can be in the kitchen making coffee in the morning and I won't hear a peep. The way the house is laid out, we tend to use every room, every day. Compared to our last house we would walk in our garage door and be directly dumped into the kitchen and living room. We rarely used our front office and dining room. It made the house seem a lot smaller than it actually was. Now, we walk into the mud room, through the kitchen, and either into the dining room or den to get to the bedroom area of the house. Love it!

Rant: So Busy I've Forgotten My Appearance

I mean it is really sad sometimes when Stephen gets home from work and I still have not showered and I'm in painting clothes. I know, it's really bad. It's happened only a few times but still. I am a very clean person and I cannot stand to not take a shower in the morning. It wakes me up and I just feel better. It's important and somehow I've learned to let that slide. I'm hoping the dirty work/painting will all be done soon and those occasions will not be occurring anymore :)

Rave: Walking Friendly Neighborhood

I'm a little further away from our gym now but I've been trading in gym time for walking/jogging with Weeks. The neighborhood is just gorgeous to look at and there are sidewalks on some of the busier streets. Yes, I use a sidewalk when I can! We also can walk right out our front door, across the street and walk out on the dock and the dogs can play in the sound. It's perfect.

Rant: The In Between Stage

While we still have plenty, plenty to do as far as renovating, the major things I like to call "Phase 1" are coming to a close. Right now the four big things are 1) Finishing up the kitchen cabinet job 2) Refinishing the laundry room walls from former wallpaper 3) Refinishing the den walls from former wallpaper 4) Finish painting paneling in den and stairs. After we finish these things I would like to take a break and enjoy summer time! After that it's on to the fun stuff.

Rave: Cozy Formal Living Room

And I use formal lightly. It's just a way of differentiating it from the den. But I love, love our big fireplace and the natural light in this room. The sunken floor also gives it a classy feel. I keep toying with how I will decorate this room and I'm so excited. We have been using it a lot since the den isn't in any shape for sitting much less walking through. 

Rant: Smaller Countertop Space in the Kitchen

I cannot wait for Stephen to finish our island so we have more workspace in the kitchen. Our last kitchen had more but then we seemed to do a good job of cluttering it as well. So maybe less is more!

Rave: New Flowers and Plants

One of the best parts about moving into an established home is having a mature yard that someone has already put their touch on. Granted, we pulled plenty of things out that we didn't like, but at the same time we got lucky with some old timey plants and trees that I have been loving for arrangements.

Thats all for now y'all...I'm hoping there will be lots more raves as we make some progress around here! 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Design Idea: Surfboard Decor

Incorporating a vintage surfboard seems so fun and unexpected, also a great focal point. I would have never thought to use one indoors but I think these are all pretty chic room designs. Obviously since we are at the beach it makes a little more sense for us to bring in a little bit of nautical than someone landlocked. {btw we do not do "coastal decor" in our home} But I think this is fun. Maybe in the mudroom or the den? What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Flowers For Your Tuesday + Photography Tip

Just bringing you some gorgeous blooms for your Tuesday! I picked these last Friday over at the beach. The hydrangeas must love some salty air and seaspray because they just look amazing and have hundreds of blooms on each plant. 

I just wanted to snap a quick photo of them but once I saw how pretty they looked on my camera I kept taking more. The light was streaming in our kitchen window (major plus) but our table was cluttered (always) with magazines and some white poster board from our yard sale on Saturday. I couldn't help but notice that the white paper (especially in the first photo) bounced the light off in a really pretty way giving the prettiest glow. I didn't edit these one bit. Granted, my 50 mm lens did most of the work for me. It's my fave. I gradually removed all of the white from the table in the progression of these photos. (The top being the very first photo I took without removing any white from the table)

Below, I removed all of the white paper and magazines. While this last photo is still pretty, there is not as much glow especially on the green leafs. Just a fun idea to play with next time you want to snap some photos. PS I am no pro by any means but I do love taking pictures.

Have a wonderful day y'all! 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Summer Meal Guide

So if we are being honest here, I have not been much of a cook lately. I have gotten out of the swing of planning/shopping/cooking and we have been throwing meals together at the last minute or resorting to the old reliable, takeout. I'm hoping by doing a little research on good old pinterest, our dinner hour might get a little better soon. If you are in the same boat, rushing around at dinner/happy hour for something to eat, just turn to this. Of course, you need to visit all these amazing sites for the recipes! And, please if you try anything let me know! 

A few things we have had recently:

Toasted Fresh Chicken Salad Sandwhich, Perfectly Boiled Corn and Tomatoes Drizzled with Italian Dressing. Does it get more summer than that? I got everything except the bread and dressing at our local market.

Fresh Soft Shell Crabs and Rice and Black Beans. I never knew that soft shell crabs only have a very short window of time when you can actually eat them, but apparently that's true. Soon they will have their hard shell around here. Stephen fried them up and we served them with a side of jasmine rice, black beans and a little sour cream. Have I mentioned how much I love rice and beans? Love them. Usually we have avocado with this side too. So delish.

What is your favorite summer meal? Please share! 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Currently List Making + House Progress

Welcome back y'all- can you believe it's June? Once again I feel like I am about three months behind. Literally, I feel like it should still be March. How does that happen? We had a nice weekend and I got to catch up with some friends in Raleigh for the weekend which was a really nice break from the norm. Norm meaning boxes and messes and endless painting etc. I don't want to sound like I'm complaining too much, but every now and then it does get to me. I decided last night that I MUST make a list to keep us on track. Too many little things were falling in the cracks and I would remember them at 10 pm. So here is where we are at this week...

Seeing all of your cabinets exposed to whats inside and things half painted in every room can really grate on your nerves. But, the good news is we are making progress. After all, it doesn't happen overnight. I gave a little sneak peak on instagram (@missdixie30) about the status of our kitchen cabinets. We were this close to giving them their real coat of paint after the priming and sanding process when I started doing a little research on how to give your cabinet doors a facelift. I just figured we had spent a ton of money on appliances and are deciding on new countertops. Why not go the extra mile and update the cabinets as well? My sweet Dad volunteered for the task and we are getting there. We took a load home of the doors and drawers that he has finished and Stephen and I will fill in some nail holes, give them another coat of primer and sanding and then we should be ready to hang them. Fingers crossed. I will detail the process once we are finished!

Other miscellaneous projects include giving our mudroom door (I love saying our mudroom!) a glossy coat of black paint. I have one more coat to do and it will go down as finished. I am actually loving this old brass hardware on the door. 

And last but not least, Stephen is building our kitchen island. I have been searching on Craigslist for some time now and every time I found a decent one it would be snatched up too quickly. So wish us luck that the legs will all be even heights and it's going to do the trick! :) This is the plan Stephen is following. We wanted something with a large work surface and at least two shelves.

Making the maiden cut...

And if you look closely in that picture you can see just how cluttered things really are around here. Here's wishing you all a nice, productive week!