Archive for April, 2011

Spring into Clean

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This weekend the house was full of workers: chipping, grinding, sawing, hammering, you name it! On the bright side, I found out installing new flooring is a sure fire way to force yourself into Spring cleaning. I have cleaned, mopped, wiped, swept, and dusted places I know I haven’t seen in years! Whew! With all of the furniture out of the house, it gives me a clean slate and lots of inspiration for sprucing things up a bit. Here are some fun tips you can do today.

Quick ways to spruce up your home for spring:

{paint your front door} Don’t be afraid to use a brave colors. I’ve been dreaming of cheery yellow door. Wouldn’t that be fun?

{bring fresh flowers into the room} You’d be surprised to see what a little mother nature can do for a room.

{reorganize bookshelves} You don’t have to go out and buy all new stuff, sometimes just moving stuff around makes it look and feel fresher.

{change out framed pictures} Fill the frames in your home with pictures of the beach or vibrant botanicals. Change them out seasonally for a change of pace.

{move some furniture around} Sometimes our furniture layout can get a little boring. Move a chair or table to a different place or different room.

{change up the bed linens} Brighten the bedroom with light, airy linens. Go for sunny patterns or dainty florals prints.

{de-clutter, edit your space} Sometimes just getting rid of “stuff” is all we need to do. Evaluate your space, if you haven’t used it in more than a year, chances are you might not need it. Now’s a great time to donate to Goodwill or have a yard sale.

{new throw pillows for the couch} Such an easy peasy way to update a room. Shop for some fun pillows on Etsy or make your own. The possibilities are endless.

{new handsoap or scented candle} I love picking out yummy smelling soaps and candles. New scents in the bathroom and kitchen are always refreshing.

{drop some lemon slices in the garbage disposal} This is a must year-round. Grind those babies up, your house will smell divine!

Just to give you a little motivation with your spring cleaning and sprucing…

At least you don’t have to clean up a mess like this. There is more dust in my house than you can imagine. While all the furniture is out, I’m wiping down the entire downstairs. Walls, ceilings, cabinets, counters, floors… everything had to be cleaned. Whew, I’m tired… I still have a ways to go. 

Oh, Dusty McDusterson says hello! He wants to know what fun ‘sprucing up’ projects you have planned this Spring?

Posted 4/11/11, Topic: Blog

Last Supper

This weekend, Mr. Blue Eyed Yonder and I are having hardwood floors installed throughout our downstairs. Fun huh? Well, it will be once it is over. Before we can install the flooring, lots of ceramic tile has to be busted, broken, crushed, smashed and eventually hauled out of here. (Got any frustrations you’d like to take out on me floor? Get in line.)
We’ve been busy packing up everything in our downstairs because it basically all has to come out in order to install the flooring. I’m packing up all of our food from our pantry to keep demo dust from covering everything. We’ll be losing the fridge, oven and overall use of our kitchen for about 4 days.
I decided to cook one ‘last supper’ before losing the kitchen: Oven Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Rosemary-Garlic Pesto. Sounds fancy, but I promise it’s a breeze.
We have been making great use of the herbs we’re growing this year. We have rosemary, cilantro and Italian parsley. Nothing beats stepping out onto your back patio to pluck a few fresh beauties. Overall it has been a less expensive, less wasteful way to enjoy fresh herbs.
I have a feeling I’ll be chilling outside with the herbs this weekend, a place free of hammering, chipping and dusty air. With any luck I can show you some ‘after’ pictures of our new floor before long. Wish us luck!

Photos by {Blue Eyed Yonder}

Posted 4/8/11, Topic: Eats

Brooklyn Flea

Roaming the streets of Brooklyn, you just might pass this building and think, “Hmph, just another building,” but step inside and you’ll find you’ve been greatly mistaken…
Ah yes, the Brooklyn Flea.
You know how those kids stumbled into the wardrobe and came out on the other side in Narnia? An unbelievable place, bigger than dreams, full of curiosities. A place that made the ho-hum pace of everyday life seem like a distance memory? Well…
From the second we walked through the door my heart started racing. The building was absolutely gorgeous and jammed packed with rows and rows of treasure!
If that’s not enough for you, venture down to the building’s basement and enter the vault. Yep, that’s right  a real vault! This building used to be a bank and the huge steel vault is still in place. Walk right in, there’s more treasures to be found.

It’s unfortunate, but since I was traveling by plane I really had no way to bring any of these treasures home with me. 
Ha! Did you buy that? You know me better than that. Mr. Blue Eyed Yonder had the genius idea of buying a box and just checking it with the airline. Gosh I love that man! 
He also wandered around all of Brooklyn carrying an obnoxious yellow wire lamp shade. This really sweet homeless lady flipped us off and told us it was “junk”. Gotta love New York.
If you’re ever in the area be sure to stop by the Brooklyn Flea… and tell that sweet little lady I said hello.

Posted 4/7/11, Topic: Vintage Finds

DIY: Post Card Display

A little while back I was looking around the house for a way to display some cool postcards I picked up while antiquing near my Dad’s. Two wooden spools caught my eye and a quirky idea was born.
It might look like there’s some voodoo magic going on, but it’s really quite simple…
Simply secure the nails in the wall at the desired height, add a dab of hot glue to the end of the nails and place the wooden spools on the nail. The hot glue will hold the spool in place and keep the weight of the post cards from unraveling the spool. Lastly, attach your post cards to the hanging twine. I used clear adhesive dots, but regular scotch tape will do.
Some of my favorite post cards are the ones with messages scrawled on the back. I often marvel at the beautiful penmanship. How lovely it must have been to receive one of these cards. Just simple messages: tales of seeing the sights and experiencing new adventures.
I’m so happy to look at these sweet messages each and every day.
Photos by {Blue Eyed Yonder}

Posted 4/5/11, Topic: DIY

Season’s Harvest: English Peas

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For whatever reason, I have so many fond memories involving peas. I remember sitting in the living room at my Mema’s house shelling bushels of peas. I’d sit in the floor with my legs crossed with a pan of peas in my lap listening to Mema, Mema Tanner (my great-grandma) and my two great aunts, Jane and Elva, tell stories and talk about lots of different things. It was like being perched in the hen house, and I loved every minute of it.

When Mr. Blue Eyed Yonder and I were dating, we picked up a bushel of peas at the farmer’s market. He thought I was crazy for buying peas I had to shell when I could’ve as easily bought shelled peas for a couple of dimes more. He didn’t understand the history and memories it held for me. I love sitting around shelling peas. It reminds me of slower times; days when I was little and hadn’t a care in the world.

Come to find out, Mr. Blue Eyed Yonder had never shelled a pea in his life! (Did I mention Mr. BEY is a yankee? Shh, don’t say it too loud.) I had to teach this boy how to shell peas, my mercy!

We sat on my Dad’s front porch swing and talked and shelled, and talked and shelled some more. When the bucket of hulls was full, Mr. BEY would walk them to the edge of the woods and throw them out. Each time he would leave, I would dump a little bit of the peas from his pan into mine. Little by little my pan of peas grew. I would proudly show him my peas and he would say, “Man, how do you shell them that fast?” I could hardly contain myself, I was about to burst at the seams with laughter.

I let him think that I was queen of shelling peas for the better part of that day. I also let Dad in on my little secret and he nagged him as well about being a slow sheller, “If you shell ’em that slow we’ll all starve to death!”

He’s so competitive, so it was a pure hoot to watch him walk around puzzled all day! He just couldn’t understand how I shelled them so fast. Ha! We finally gave in and told Mr. BEY about my sneaky pea-stealin’. “I can’t believe you stole my peas!” Guess he found out us Southerners aren’t as slow as you might think. {wink}

Do you have any funny pea stories? I have more where this came from, tell me yours and I’ll tell you mine.


Selecting + Storing English Peas

When shopping for fresh English peas, look for pods that are shiny, firm and very bright green. The pods should almost feel swollen and ready to burst. Keep in mind that a pound of peas only yields about 1 cup once they are shelled. You might want to consider buying a bushel of peas instead of a small grocer’s bag.

As with most fresh produce, the sooner it’s eaten the better. If you have to store the peas for a couple of days, refrigerate unwashed pods in a plastic bag that allows air circulation and store the bag in the coolest part of your refrigerator. Peas remain fresher if they’re shelled just before cooking.

Posted 4/4/11, Topic: Eats

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