Friday, July 2, 2010

Open House - Kitchen Tour

Welcome!! I am beginning today's "Open House" tour by sharing some pictures from my kitchen. I'll start off by saying that we've been in our home for a little over 10 years and haven't really done a lot of remodeling. I have hopes for different things: back splashes, new flooring, new countertops, a new kitchen sink, etc., but everything will come in its due time.  I am a patient person.  In the meantime, I love decorating, mixing old with new, but still maintaining a clean and uncluttered space.  Now let's begin (you can click on all the pictures to make them a little bigger):
This is the view of my eat-in space showing my garage sale table combined with a hutch that I found at the Goodwill.  The table was something that I fell in love with immediately and even though I had a hard time making the decision to purchase it for $180 I have never regretted it.  It came with four chairs and a table extension. It's been the center of many of our family discussions.

The hutch was a treasure of a find.  I just happened to be at the Goodwill store within minutes after the "guys in the back" brought it out. I was actually standing in line to purchase something when I over heard the lady behind me mention, "Did you see the hutch they just brought in? It's gorgeous!" I wasn't sure what she was talking about (because I had already looked at everything) so I got out of the line and went to check it out. It has three display shelves, two bookshelves underneath and two drawers. It was the perfect storage piece for my cookbooks and extra cookware. And, it was a bargain for $49.

I use the upper shelves to rotate my seasonal decorative pieces. Here's what I have on one shelf right now:
The silver bowls are from Pottery Barn, clearanced for .99/cents each. The patriotic balls are from Hobby Lobby's 50% off sale. The cream colored plate and Teak square platter are from the Goodwill.

Next, I will take you up...up to the tops of my cabinets:
These are the cabinets above my stove area. I have an assortment of painted shutters along with an empty frame and two (faux) potted topiaries. I believe the green shutter came from the trash. The white shutters and frame were purchased from a garage sale and the topiaries are cast-offs from a Hallmark store going out of business. They were just the perfect "something" I was looking for and at a bargain price.  Next is an old wooden box I found at an outside antique sale:
I was looking for some additional storage so I went to this outside sale with my measurements in hand. This box sits on top of my pantry closet. It holds a large coffee pot, holiday dishes and a few other small things. I love the hinged lid and usefulness of it.

On the other side of the kitchen I have another collection displayed:
I remember being at this church garage sale (outside) and not having much luck until I stumbled on a stack of these locker baskets.  There must have been 30 or so. Now, it is at this point that I won't mention the fact that I still kick myself for not buying every one of them, but instead I bought 10 and gave 5 to a friend. I perched them up on this row of cabinets for display and they've never been relocated.  These are one of my definite favorite finds!

Now for some smaller pieces that make up my kitchen decor. These are things I use almost every day:
Crocks that I use to hold my kitchen utensils. I have three, one for wooden tools and two for larger and smaller metal tools. These sit on top of my counters, next to my stove. These were purchased at garage sales here and there.
I use white pottery dishes everyday to hold simple things like my dish soaps, counter spray and sponges. I've picked up all shapes and sizes of these dishes. This rectangle dish was a great find at a neighborhood sale for less than $1.
This little iron lantern sits on top of my hutch and holds pretty red candle. I remember getting this from an outside antique sale.  I didn't like the $3 asking price (I wanted to pay $2) but I gave in and have enjoyed having it.
Can you believe I even found my drawer pulls from a neighborhood sale? When we moved in we had white pulls and they just seemed boring after a while.  When I saw these in a box for $8 I fell in love. They are from Pier One and I know the lady paid much more for them than I did. I bought 12 in all.

And to complete my kitchen tour I'll show you a little wall that sits next to my laundry room.  I started a rolling pin collection after seeing an example on the old show "Party of Five."  Since then I have purchased some rolling pins along the way, been given one or two from friends, and have even been honored to display the pins used by both of my grandmothers along with my hubby's Nanny.  The pin hooks were made by my husband.

And this completes the first showing of my "Open House!" I hope you enjoyed the little tour and please know that you are invited back for more. I'm not sure if I can make it a daily viewing, but it won't be too far in between.  Invite your friends to take a look! Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear your comments.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Tasty Almond Butter & An Invitation

One of the things I most enjoy about spending time with friends over the summer break is thinking about what to bring as a "hostess" gift.  I love coming up with little ways to show my friends just how much they mean to me.  The last time I was invited over to a friend's for dinner I brought some homemade pesto fancied up in a little squatty mason jar.  This time I decided to go a little simpler. 

[Changing the subject for just a minute]: Did I ever mention that my husband and I bought ourselves a combined gift this past Christmas? Well, it was the first time I'd ever bought something from a paid commercial, but I was so impressed with this little guy we decided to splurge and buy it. 

Here's a picture of the Healthmaster:
It is similar to a Vitamix (and I've wanted one of those for a l-o-n-g time) in that it will juice and blend with ease and quickness.  We love to make homemade smoothies with it using only fresh and/or frozen fruit, veggies, a little juice and skim milk. And, the reason for telling you all that also makes the most delicious peanut butter and almond butter.

So, for this last get together I knew I wanted to whip up a few batches of homemade almond butter to give out.  It is so yummy and good for you!

I bought two bags of roasted and salted organic almonds from Whole Foods and blended them with three tablespoons of Canola oil. That's it! I poured an equal amount into four containers and fancied them up using a computer-printed label which I attached to a scalloped die cut.
And, because it made four of these 6 oz. containers I was able to keep some for myself which we are enjoying this week for breakfast. (The little house image in the center of the label is a clear rubber stamp from the dollar bin at Michael's.)

I also wanted to invite you back for an "Open House" of sorts. I've been thinking for a long time about giving a tour of my house and some of its thrifted contents. I love seeing my stuff in all its "glory" and remembering back to the time when I purchased each item for just a small amount of money.  I have a mixture of items, some coming from garage sales, thrift stores, hand-me-downs, and even the trash.  I plan to go room-by-room and give you guys the VIP tour. (Because you are all VIPs in my book.)  I'll start off with my kitchen and we'll see where I go from there.  I hope you enjoy it!  Let me know what you think...good or bad.