Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Pinterest Inspiration?

Passing Notes Today:  Mrs. Kelly

Hey girls,

I have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest.  Sometimes I love it.  Sometimes, I can spend hours scrolling for ideas and inspiration.  I never knew I needed twenty crockpot chicken enchilada recipes before Pinterest.  And prior to Pinterest, I can't imagine how I would have planned out my bathroom.  I probably would have ripped (gasp!) pages out of magazines.  

Just recently, for example, I bought a book holder to organize one of my kitchen cabinets. Somebody out there is a genius.  PINTEREST WIN.

But as much as I love Pinterest, I also loathe it at times.  That happens when I tackle projects that just don't add up.  I like to label these projects as Pinterest Gone Wrong.

Here are some examples.

This was supposed to be an easy project for Valentine's Day inspired by what I saw on Pinterest:

Pinterest Pin

I bought the Dollar Store plate, had the kids decorate said plate with a Sharpie and then baked it at 350'.  I did everything as I was directed to do. 
So cute.
Baked perfection.  I can't wait to gift this.  But before I do, let me wash it once.
I let the plates dry and a couple days later I went to wash them. The marker that was supposed to be permanent, washed right off.  Like a dry erase board.  PINTEREST FAIL!

Another time, I thought I'd whip up some yarn lanterns like those I had seen on Pinterest.  Talk about inspiration!  Aren't these lovely?

Five minutes into this project it was a glue-filled disaster.
I only finished two lanterns and they deflated days after completion.  PINTEREST FAIL.

Most recently, there was this gem.  I decided I'd make flourless peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.  In the pictures, these cookies look so dense and substantial, right?

Here are mine.  You might not be able to tell, but they are paper thin.  It's hard to believe I could have messed this one up because there were only a few ingredients.


I will admit despite their appearance, they still tasted pretty great.  They just looked kind of embarrassing--like a poor excuse for a cookie.  All was not lost because I sent the cookie wafers to Mrs. Gosling.  PINTEREST WIN / FAIL.

I think my Pinterest experience is a metaphor for life.  Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose...but at least I keep on playing, right?   

Off to make some baked crayon hearts.  Oh, and check out our Pinterest page!  Do you have projects gone wrong?

Note from Mrs. Gosling:  I have to admit that I was going to try the plate/sharpie duo ..... but now, I don't need to!  I'm sorry that it didn't work Mrs. K but I'm thankful that I didn't have to take 2 kids into the Dollar Store :)  I know how you feel about pinterest BUT I'm addicted.  "Hello, My name is Mrs. G and I am addicted to Chai's and Pinterest!"

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Journey Begins

Passing Notes Today:  Mrs. Gosling

Hello ladies!

When I say journey, I mean my quest for a unified decor scheme and color coordination.  Did you think that I was moving or something?  Not a chance, we are here to stay and that's why I need to get things together! 

See, when we moved (2008), we came with 3000 sq. ft. worth of  house "stuff."  Our old house was a HUGE colonial and my tastes were a little more traditional at that time.  The house, because of it's footprint, also had separated rooms.  So, I could change the colors up and not feel like they all had to match.

(Syracuse, NY - July 2008)
Not so much with the current house, it's an open floor plan and you can see most of the space from the living room.  I also have been avoiding decorating, because I wanted things done (fireplace, moldings, new table, window treatments, lighting) before I really did anything.  At times, actually ... most of the time, the house has been lacking in the chotchkie department.  I tend to gravitate towards larger pieces that I can easily change and are much easier to dust.   

So, remember when I said that I had inherited some of my Grandparents' items?  Well, here is my jumping off point - like it?

My Grandfather purchased these plates for my Grandmother every Christmas, for 30 years (aw).  My Mom let me take 6 of them, to put on our dining room wall.  I love them and they remind me of my childhood.  Putting them up was the jump start I needed to make over the main floor.  I didn't have a new color scheme for this house and I wanted to get away from the red I had been accenting with, in the old house.  Oh, by the way .. they don't match anything that we currently have.  No time like the present, right?

So far, I have purchased new fabric from spoonflower, opened my bag of Miss Mustard Seed Flow Blue Milk Paint, cut up some of the barn wood that Mrs. W gave us and sanded some old furniture.  What should I work on first?

Better get cracking, it'll be time to garden soon,

Note from Mrs. Kelly:  I can't wait to take the ride!  Also, where's the Ryan Gosling cutout going?


Friday, April 26, 2013

Semi-Homemade Flower Box Table Display

Passing Notes Today:  Mrs. Gosling (with a little help from Sandra Lee)

No, I won't be displaying any table top goodies with this post, but I did feel like I was channeling my inner Sandra Lee when I made (partially bought) this table display.  I saw this driving past AC Moore a couple weeks ago.  And I thought, I wish I had a window that size to put this flower box on?!?  And then I remembered, wait .... I have been wanting to make a table display that can house jars for seasonal decorating.  So, as I was passing AC Moore I told myself  "Mrs. G - you need to head back there (sans kids) and get that, with a coupon of course."

And so.  I did.

3' Pine Flower Box ($21.99 with 40% off at AC Moore)
6 small glass bud vases ($1 each)
Charcoal/Navy paint color (Valspar Mark Twain Brick Gray - had this)
Acrylic Metallic paint (had this)
Sand paper (had this)

I have seen these in Homegoods, Hobby Lobby and HGTV magazine lately.  Different sizes, colors and flower arrangements.  I decided to go with a gray and metallic finish (Va Va VOOOOOOM) because I don't want to get sick of it and I think that these color combinations can go with any flower, any jar and any season. 

First, I painted the entire flower box with the base coat (Gray) and I let it dry until it was just tacky.  Then I dry brushed the metallic on.  Dry brushing is when you rub most of the excess paint off of the brush and cover your base coat.  I let that dry and then I lightly sanded it for some texture. 

Next, I filled the flower box with the glass jars and clipped some branches outside (forsythia & dappled willows).

What do you think about this fabric.  I just got it.  It matches (almost like it was planned?!?).  I think that pillow making is in my near future!

I'm thinking in the fall I can fill the table display box with little pumpkins, gourds and mums.  In the Winter, cinnamon pine cones and shiny ornaments.  BUT, I am most excited about THIS SUMMER!  If you know me, you know that I am mildly majorly obsessed with Hydrangeas.  I want to be surrounded by them inside & out.  I look at pictures of The Hampton's on Homeaway.com just so I can stalk driveway lined hydrangeas.  All of my shrubs are still pretty little and don't rival these beauties, but I do manage to get a solid clipping out of them in the summer.  They last forever and I know that they will look great in the dining room, in our new table display box. 

Thanks neighbor for the pretty forsythia (ssshhhhhh, don't tell),

Note from Mrs. Kelly:  Love the box and love the fabric.  Be honest, if Sandra Lee and Ina Garten were around you'd drop me and Mrs. Williams like hot potatoes.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Homemade Spring Flowers

Passing Notes Today:  Mrs. Williams


I love this quote from a poem by Veronica A. Shoffstall:
Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
I was about to literally follow Veronica's advice about planting my own garden until I remembered that gardening is not my forte...but crafting is!  So, after watching a quick tutorial online, I created some spring flowers to decorate our home.  You can too - it's super simple!  

Gather together some tissue paper, pipe cleaners and your scissors.

Cut 4-6 pieces of tissue paper into squares/rectangles.  I just cut the tissue paper into quarters.

Pile up the papers and fold them like an accordion.

Secure the pipe cleaner around the middle of the folded papers.

To create fancy petals, cut the edges off the ends of the paper.

Gently pull each piece of paper towards the center of the flower, separating each from the others.

Wouldn't these flowers be fun all strung together in a garland, or hanging vertically as a centerpiece, or adorned on top of a present?  Who needs a real garden anyway?

Happy spring,

Note from Mrs. Kelly:  These would be fun for a shower or party...or my daughter's room (hint, hint).  

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

You Don't Bring Me Flowers

Passing Notes Today:  Mrs. Kelly

You don't bring me flowers.

bath before

You don't sing me love songs.


You hardly talk to me anymore
with your linoleum floors
and your tile that I just can't get clean.


Guys, I had to break up with our bathroom.  It was time.  The pipes were leaking.  The paint was peeling off in the shower.  The little wall tiles were coming off in various places and just wouldn't whiten up despite all my best efforts.  Not to mention, I was over the floor and the mirror.  It was all looking pretty dated.  Time for a change.

Here's what I'm dreaming about for a new bath...

New Bath

The problem is I have a budget; therein lies the challenge.  Stay tuned.  My new bathroom may even have a pop of floral.  

In the meantime, I will leave you this gem (a personal fave for karaoke):

Neil's smoldering gaze and Babs's final caress = awesomeness (around the 2:35-3:00 mark).

Sorry existing bathroom, you won't give me showers any more.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Flour City Pasta Shop Tour

Passing Notes Today:  Mrs Williams

Hey Girls,

I stopped into Flour City Pasta the other day to buy a birthday gift for a friend.  This new shop in our little town is so great.  It's like a one-stop-shop for deliciousness.  The owners were kind enough to let me take some pictures to share with you.  

Flour City Pasta is located at 5 South Main Street in Pittsford.

It's owned by John (on the right).  His pastas are sold at a variety of markets and other retailers.  This is their first shop.  Osman (on the left) and Margherita (their chef) create the yummy fresh pasta, baked goods, sauces, and compound butters among other edible delights.
Here's Margherita hard at work.

And here's one of the machines that creates the pasta shapes.  John described it as a play-doh toy for pasta.
Also, in the shop is a huge selection of F. Oliver's Oils and Vinegars.

Here's Penelope (the owner of F. Oliver's Oils and Vinegars) preparing a sample of oil for me to try.
I ended up purchasing the Chemlali EVOO.  It's so delicious (I sampled some at the shop).  Penelope introduced me to all of the facts on the back of the bottle that list everything from its crush date to an oil's Polyphenols levels indicating how heart healthy the oil is. 
While checking out the selection of oils and vinegars, there are plenty to try.  So fun and different!
After Penelope helped me pick an oil, John helped me select a complimentary dry pasta for the gift. (The shelves are made from recycled pallets - take that pinterest!)

I settled on the Basil Garlic Fettuccine.  It's their best seller.  However, I'm pretty sure there's no way I could have gone wrong with any of the choices.
I stuck with dried pasta for the gift.  But, if you're looking for the freshest pasta around, there's a whole case full at Flour City Pasta.

There's even a cooler filled with everything you need to put together a delicious meal.

And just when I thought this shop couldn't get any better, they wrapped up my friend's gift (the oil and pasta were right about $20 total).  I already have plans to head back for hostess, mother's day, and just-because gifts.  Oh, and of course, to buy up some of the fresh pasta and sauces for my family.

I had the best time at Flour City Pasta.  I learned so much from people who are truly passionate about their work.  There are so many things right about Flour City Pasta like the stunning decor, the friendly people, and the beautiful products that are all about giving the people you love the freshest, most exceptional food around.  Stop by, it's a feast for your senses.


P.S. - If you don't live in the Rochester area, you can still buy Flour City Pasta products through their website.

P.P.S. - F. Oliver's Oils and Vinegars can be purchased at their shops in Canandaigua, on Park Ave. in Rochester, and in Ithaca or on their website.

Note from Mrs. Kelly:  "Flour the people you love with love."  That's the song, right?  This place looks AMAZING.  You know they sealed it for me with the cute bags. Did you guys know that Rochester (currently referred to as the Flower City) was once called the Flour City?  I can't wait to have Flour City in the Flower City.  I welcome any and all ravioli varieties.  :)  Thanks for sharing!

Note from Mrs. Gosling:  I have driven past this shop everyday since they opened - what an amazing job they have done setting it up and thinking of the little details.  Thanks for all the great info.  Mrs. K - I knew you would like the gift wrap :) 
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