Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Remains of my Back Yard

The fall clean up has officially begun, begrudgingly, for my yard.   I really like flowers that give me a lot of bang for my buck, see lavender and geraniums above.  The very sad looking tomato plant in back I grew from seed starting last March!  Let's just say I will be purchasing tomato PLANTS next year.

Probably the last fall arrangement I will be able to get from my yard:(  I am currently working on my plan for Spring which gives me a little solace.
Do you crave digging in the dirt?  What keeps you going though the winter months to come?  How do you add interest to your yard?  Would love to hear your ideas!

Happy Mid-Week!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Getting Green is Now Adding Value!

As I begin to think about my long long list of re-modeling projects for my current home, for the first time, I am thinking about being extremely environmentally conscious.  Not only for the environment, but the health of my family.  It's never been easier!  If you think for a moment I'll have to forgo style, keep checking back for my "green style" updates!

In the is a great article I found on Greening up your home appraisals by Melissa Dittmann of Realtor Magazine.  Read Here!

Happy Monday!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Hanging Light Fixtures 101~by Michele Thrasher

The holidays are fast approaching and it’s time to think about sprucing up a bit before entertaining family and friends.  A quick and easy décor change is lighting in the foyer and dining room.  But how do you choose ~ there are so many styles and sizes!
Style:  Determine the main metal element of your home.  Whether it’s Brushed Nickel, Oil Rubbed Bronze, or Brass ~ stick with it for continuity unless you’re planning on making a change to all the door knobs, kitchen hardware, etc.  Websites such as have well developed search engines where you can check the metal, price, style of your décor (modern, rustic, traditional), etc to simplify the selections.

Size:  A simple formula will keep you from under or over-sizing the fixture and it works in all rooms.  Add the length and the width of the room (ex. 10’ by 14’) and covert to inches (ex. 24”) ~ plus or minus 2 inches and you’ve got the correct size (ex. 22-26”).

If the resulting measurement (room length+width, converted to inches) seems inappropriate due to the size of your table, size your chandelier three quarters the width of your table (ex. A table that is 48” in width would yield a chandelier that is 36” in diameter ~ assuming you’re only hanging one fixture).

Hanging Heights:  Chandeliers are typically hung 30-32” above the top of your table, although up to 36” is acceptable.  Foyer fixtures should be 7’ from the floor unless you have a 2-story foyer with a window.  In that case the fixture should be centered in the window.  And, sconces should be 60” from the floor.

Tip:  Always have a professional electrician install lighting.  It may seem like an added expense, but why take a chance on the safety of your home and family.
Thanks Michele, Great advice as always!
Find out more about Michele and all of the services she provides HERE.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cape Cod Salad from Realtor Open

One of my most favorite styles of home architecture, The Cape Cod.  It exudes charm, warmth and American style.  Ina Garden pays homage to the Cape Cod with her Cape Cod Chopped Salad.  I made this for my 5114 Keener in Monclova Realtor Open and had several requests to post the recipe.  Bacon, apples, cranberries, cheese, walnuts...what's not to love!

  • 8 ounces thick-cut bacon, such as Niman Ranch

  • 8 ounces baby arugula

  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced

  • 1/2 cup toasted walnut halves, coarsely chopped (see note)

  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

  • 6 ounces blue cheese, such as Roquefort, crumbled

  • For the dressing:


    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

    Place a baking rack on a sheet pan and lay the bacon slices on the rack. Roast the bacon for about 20 minutes, until nicely browned. Allow to cool.

    In a large bowl, toss together the arugula, apple, walnuts, cranberries, and blue cheese.

    For the dressing, whisk together the vinegar, orange zest, orange juice, mustard, maple syrup, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and the pepper in a bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil.
    Chop the bacon in large pieces and add it to the salad. Toss the salad with just enough dressing to moisten. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and toss well. Serve immediately. 

    Monday, October 17, 2011

    New addiction

    So, I have been a bit depressed lately about this gluten free thing I have going.  Totally not a tragedy,
    but I MISS MY GLUTEN!  Just when I think I have the hang of my new diet, my family suggests we go to Zingerman's while in Ann Arbor.  Seriously, kick me while I am down.  Long story short, Zingerman's was so wonderfully accommodating, I don't remember receiving customer service like they gave me-ever!  To make things even sweeter, they have a gluten free brownie, The Townie Brownie.  Amazing! 

    Townie Brownie Gluten free, made with quinoa and amaranth, stuffed with chocolate chunks. With a texture that's more fudge-y than cake-y you can give it to a standard brownie fan and they may not even miss the wheat.
    Note that while the ingredients of the brownie itself are wheat free, it is made at Zingerman's Bakehouse where we use wheat flour in other products: dark chocolate, chocolate chunks, eggs, sugar, butter, amaranth flour, quinoa flour, salt, vanilla.


    Tuesday, October 11, 2011

    Fridge Make-Over Love this!

    Sorry for the radio silence!  My goal is to post a least once a steps:)

    I happen to love the idea of re making your refrigerator into a canvas!  I especially like the idea if you have a tired looking fridge, but in good working order.  Some of you may be saying "Kristie, chalk can get so messy and dusty".  Totally agree!  I love these chalk pens, check it out here.
    Is your home for sale?  Post some of your homes Best Features on your chalk board refrigerator.  I guarantee people will be talking about your house!


    Martha Stewart

    Vignette Design

    The Vignette Design blog is what re sparked my interest in this idea.  Check out her step by step chalkboard refrigerator post HERE!

    Happy Tuesday!

    Sunday, October 2, 2011

    Preventative Maintenance with Mike Holmes

    Hi all, Happy October!  I am held up in bed this Sunday evening...thought I was feeling better~frustrating!!!  Anyway, I am getting some much needed blog reading in and happened across a quick video from Mike Holmes with some simple yet practical advice on Fall Maintenance tips for your home.
    Wishing you a healthy week!