Sunday, February 27, 2011

White Orchids and White Kitchen

When we moved into our home a few years ago, the current trend was that if walls were white the room wasn't complete and having white walls was a complete waste of design potential.  Our previous home had white walls in every room except our boys' room, which we had painted a light blue. I've always, always loved white but after moving to our newly built home let myself get caught up in painting every room. Well, I have now gotten back to my roots so to speak. A couple of weeks ago I painted our breakfast nook it's original white and this weekend my husband and I tackled the rest of the kitchen-until we ran out of paint.  Even only partially complete I absolutely love it and am so very happy we did it.  The beige we had painted it turned out too peachy but even if it hadn't I would have wanted to go back to white.  It feels so fresh and crisp (and matches all the snow outside!)
 It is a Behr color, Swiss coffee, color-matched to Sherwin Williams No-VOC line.
 And it celebration of our white-again kitchen and to bring a little spring in since our latest snow storm and single-digit temperatures put the nix on our budding plants and plans to plant spring bulbs, I bought this lovely little orchid.
And placed it on our living room mantel.  I've had orchids in the past and have failed miserably in keeping them alive and/or reblooming.  But I've read up this time and with the proper light and fertilizer hope to keep this one for a long time. 
 Happy Spring!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Nevada Weather

Our home is at an elevation of 5000. This usually means February is a cold, cold month. This year, however, seemed to be a rare treat with last weekend temperatures in the high 60s. We worked in our yard, cleaning out winter debris, cutting back the plants that are cut back in spring and general tidying up.  I was incredibly excited to see our maple and flowering pear trees with tiny buds and my roses with new growth.  My boys even found their first ladybug of the season.
Then yesterday we woke up to this:
That picture above shows what's on the horizon.  Usually you can see all of the Sierra's from our front yard, but that is a storm rolling in.  All of this is, of course, nothing compared to what other areas of the country are experiencing and would not be post-worthy except that this means that all my budding trees, shrubs, bulbs and bushes are now frozen.  Ugh.  Last year, a storm just like this, after a warm period like we just had stunted my rose garden all summer long. But, I've lived here all my life, and I know that is Nevada weather.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Happy Birthday Sawyer

Today is my youngest son's 4th birthday.
 Staying with my birth story theme for each of our boys on their birthday, this is his:
First, let's say this little guy was a surprise.  He came to us unplanned but sometimes that exactly how the best things in life happen and for us that is absolutely true.
Because my first son was born by c-section my ob/gyn strongly suggested we have one with this pregnancy.  I had a natural birth with my middle child but when I became pregnant the third time my doctor told me recommendations had changed and it was now not advisable to have a VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section.)  I really did not want to have another c-section but as we were told repeatedly that it was safer for the baby we opted to do that.
So it was scheduled for February 16, 2007 at 3:00 in the afternoon.  This little guy was kind enough to wait for his scheduled date to arrive.  And as a matter of fact, he'd probably still be there had I not had a c-section.  Which (as is with my other boys) is strongly suggestive of his personality.  He is extremely attached to us.  Me in particular, but also very much so his dad and brothers. 
The day he was born one of things I remember most was that you are not allowed to eat before surgery and his wasn't scheduled until 3:00PM so I was STARVING. And I was in serious nesting mode that day.  It became absolutely paramount to me that I come home to a clean house with freshly washed sheets and sparkling bathrooms.  So, hungry and all I spent all day cleaning like mad. My husband kept telling me to relax but I kindly and completely ignored him. 
The surgery went off exactly as planned except that he was wedged in there.  My doctor had to reach in(!) and maneuver him out.  (Like I said, he wasn't leaving easy.) This created a much longer recovery than with my first one.  But when I look back at that time now I remember it being utterly and completely happy and feeling totally fulfilled.  I had my tubes tied during the c-section and I know a lot of women mourn a little after that is done, but I didn't for a even a second. I knew my little family was complete with the addition of this precious little guy.
 What we love about you:
1. You are so very affectionate.  You are always saying I love you and giving out hugs.
2.  You are always happy and bring brightness to our family every day.
3.  You love to help. 
Happy Birthday, Sawyer. We love you to pieces.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Some Kitchen Organizing

In my mission to simplify things around our home, a big part of that is clearing out unneeded, unused and unwanted items from every room in our home. This week I worked on that in the kitchen. Many of my cabinets and drawers have been a jumbled mess and since I spend so much time there I thought there was no better place to start my purge. This is the cabinet that housed our small appliances.
Before: (I can't believe I'm showing anyone this.)
 I cleared everything out, wiped down the inside and shelves and then put back only things that belonged there and that I used.
Here is the After:
 Not perfect but so much better. Things removed and donated to Goodwill: electric wok (I stir-fry often but my stainless steel saute pan works much better and is easier) and a rice steamer (again my rice turns out just as good on the stove.)  And things relocated: mandoline.
Now, because my mandoline did not belong in the cabinet and it wasn't the ideal place to store it anyway, I moved it to a (more kid-safe) drawer, but that caused that drawer to be cleaned out. 
Here is that drawer before:
I relocated all of these items to the pantry and plan to purchase this from the Container Store for all of it.   

Here is the After:
 Ahh. Much better.  Now I only have about 42 cabinets/drawers to go. But it's a start and honestly now when I open this drawer and cabinet I get a little thrill.  Ridiculous but true.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Paint Color

I'm linking up with one of my all time favorite blogs, Nesting Place for this post.  She has amazing taste and is currently doing a linky link for paint colors.  I happen to adore her paint colors and may just find myself down at the local Sherwin Williams this week as a result.  I have been looking for the PERFECT tan/beige for my family room and she has re-inspired me to find it.  I'd like it to go with my dining room, below, which is Mercer Blue from the Eddie Bauer line at Lowes:
We plan to add wainscot in this room below a chair rail in white so I'm hoping this will make the rooms brighter.  My living room is the same color because these rooms are on each side of the entry and are open to each other and I thought two different colors would not look right.
Forgive the dark picture.  This was taken in the afternoon and we get sun blazing in that room at that time of day so I had to close the shutters.
I do like this color but would not be opposed to changing it once we find our perfect tan for the family room (which can be seen from the dining room) and add our white trim work. My husband, however, will be seriously opposed to it as he doesn't like to paint as it is and I have made him paint our family room 3 times already.  What a guy.