Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tour de Christmas House

Because of the lunch party a few days ago, my house was very clean. Don't get me house is always clean. That's how I sleep at night. Sometimes we leave a few dishes in the sink after watching a movie before bed, but then I have nightmares all night and wash them as soon as I rise the next morning. My Mom really was on to something when she made us clean house all day on Saturday...a clean home makes for a clean soul. Anyway, though my house is always clean, it was exceptionally clean on Monday before my guests arrived. We could have eaten off the floor but decided against it at the last minute.

I was wandering the halls of my home, admiring the nice smells and all that we've accomplished in it these past four months. And then it donned on me that I hadn't taken any pictures recently. Not like me at all! After I got over the chills from such a realization, I grabbed my camera to document our Christmas House. It is the best holiday, after all.

We start in the Master Bedroom this time. I love this room. Until about two weeks ago, we slept with the window open and woke up to brisk air in our room. More recently, John fires up the heater when he gets out of bed to leave for work, and I shiver under the covers after he leaves! It's been so nice the past few days. Is 78 the perfect temperature, or is that just me?! I found the bedding at TJ Maxx a few years ago. I was getting tired of it and ready for a change, but moving it to a new home was just the change it needed! We bought our furniture from Mor last February during Date Night...accidentally. Who buys furniture without even owning a home?! We did! And they held it for us for seven months until we purchased and moved into our own place! I love the furniture. The bathroom? I would love to gut it in the next five years and double its space. It's tiny! Especially for a tall kid like my husband! But it is pretty low-priority, since everything works well. It is absolute heaven not having to share a bathroom when we have guests!

Next is the office. I still have to hang pictures on the walls to make it feel more friendly, but I love how nice and neat and organized it is. There may or may not be labels on containers in the closet. It makes everything so accessible! I spend a lot of my days at home in the office, working on editing photos or adding things to this here blog. It's a nice room with tons of light from outside, which I love and crave.

Now comes the guest bathroom. I love how the two sinks will make our lives easier when it comes time for having kids get ready for school. Nope, not pregnant. But we like to plan ahead for the decade that we actually will own some little kiddies. The bathroom still needs some artwork, but it's fun to be patient until I find the perfect piece.

John's Man Cave. He loves this room, made only better with the recent addition of a new receiver. It's tough not to watch a movie every night because it is such an experience! The original plan was to fit my Dad's couch down here when we got new furniture for the living room. We soon found out that not a single couch will fit down the hallway into the non-standard tiny doorway. So we put two chairs down here instead and called it good. It means no movie parties to show off John's awesome handy work in the theater arena, but I would rather visit with guests than watch a movie any day! It's the coolest room in the house in the summer, and John was tempted to move his office desk in here to take advantage of the refreshing air! This will be the last room to change into a kid's room. I hope that doesn't need to happen, since I have no idea where I would put this monstrosity anywhere else in the house! Nope, still not pregnant.

Now the guest room. It seems to be a reoccurring theme that I still have things to hang on the walls. This room is getting closer but still needs a wow-factor for a headboard. I haven't made up my mind yet and therefore have left it blank for now. I think over the next few weeks, more artwork will be up all over the house. I love the new bedding in here. Very contemporary and comfortable. I love blue and green, but that's probably blatantly obvious by now!

The living room has Christmas stuff, so I hang out in there more often now. I love sitting on the couch and watching the twinkle lights on our tree. I am already dreading Christmas being over. It seems like the month is just flying by, and I would prefer the opposite! Some time next year, we will have new seating areas in this room. Until then, the old couch suffices for now!

The kitchen really is the heart of our home. We spend a lot of time in here each evening while I prepare dinner. I love how our stained cabinets turned out. It updated everything and makes for a perfect place to view the backyard while cooking up a storm. I can't even imagine using the old stainless steel sink that was in here before John's dad replaced it with this cast iron version that is twice as deep. I love our new faucet as well. The appliances make me happy. I thought we would be replacing the old dishwasher pretty quickly after moving in, but it cleans better than any machine I've had in the past! We will, therefore, allow it to die a slow death before getting a new one to match the other appliances.

And the dining room. My project today? Clean out the fireplace from previous owner's ashes. I might even have time to paint the inside with fireproof black paint, and the outside metal with an updated color other than brass. Man, I hate brass! I better get crackin', so wish me ash luck!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Lunch Demonstration

It's more than wonderful to have some family living here in town. I love being able to see nieces and nephews and sisters and sisters-in law as often as I want. Because of our proximity, and because we are rather fond of each other, we recently decided to host a monthly lunch party to demonstrate our favorite recipes. Since I happen to love having people over, cooking, and talking, I offered to go first! No surprise there, I'm sure.

The Menu
Rumbi Island Grill BBQ Chicken Salad
White Grape Strawberry Cranberry Gingerale
Homemade Oreos with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

We had the nicest time. I got to show them our Christmas decorations, and then we broke into the cooking demonstration because we were all so hungry! I made one of my favorite salads from one of my favorite places to eat, Rumbi Island Grill. It costs about $8.00 to get one portion of this salad in the restaurant, so I decided to try making it at home. It worked, and for about $14.00, it feeds four people! It was fun to cook and eat with family in my home. Then, to completely cancel out the fact that I made a salad for lunch, we made homemade Oreo cookies and enjoyed those. Sitting around the dining room table, the only place where seating is available in our home, we enjoyed conversation and planning the upcoming Family Christmas Snack Table party. Soon, however, babies started to get tired. It was time to leave around 4:00 PM to get them home for naps.

I know my house isn't baby-proof in the slightest, but I should have thought it through before having two tiny ones over for a visit! I have bite-size ornaments on my tree, and we found out pretty quickly how delicious they are! Poor little Evan had an ear infection over the weekend, and you could tell he wasn't his normal self. He rarely sits on his mama's lap without wanting to get down to explore the town. He was completely content to just take it easy during his visit. He's just the sweetest little man, and him staying in one place simply meant I got to kiss on him more easily rather than having to chase him for it!

When John got home from work, he said hi then went into the garage to start working on the sideboard (he does that for a few hours every day. It will be done soon, we hope!). My sisters both looked at me and asked if he always gets home from work and goes straight to work at home. I said yes. What a dream guy!

We are going to switch hosting each month and have a "Lunch Demonstration" as often as we can. It was so much fun to have them over for lunch! And now we all know how to make a salad as heavenly as the restaurant makes!
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