Sunday, April 13, 2014

Weekend Brunch

This very special edition of weekend brunch is brought to you from The Big Easy. 

Beignets and cafe au lait from Cafe du Monde. Pure powdered sugar-covered heaven.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Easy Plants for Indoors (No Green Thumb Required)

As I mentioned around this time last year, I was not blessed with a green thumb.  I kill plants like it's my job.  But I have found a few things that work for me in the home to keep things looking green and lively around here without much work.

 {Tulips have to be the ultimate spring flower.  I picked these up for cheap at a local florist and they still look great almost a week later.  Plus even when tulips start to die, they look beautiful.  They droop so gracefully.}
 {This snake plant -- also known as mother-in-law's tongue-- requires such little water that I throw a couple of ice cubes in it once a month or so and it's good to go.}

 {Fresh herbs are hardy and enough to keep alive as long as they are in a super sunny area.  These stayed alive all spring and summer last year until the weather turned cold.  They aren't planted inside but were close enough to our kitchen that I'll count it.  They can also be grown indoors if desired.}

 {This grassy little friend is a new edition that I just picked up at CVS.  I love the look for Easter.  It's pretty and perky even though I haven't watered it once.}

 {Back to herbs.  These hydroponic basil plants just need enough water to cover their roots and grow nice a full even in the windowsill.}

Do any of you have problems keeping plants alive?  Which ones work for you?  Succulents? Cacti?  I'd love to hear! 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Buy or DIY: An Update

A few weeks ago, I was asked about my kitchen cabinet DIY mentioned here,and I thought it was about time to provide an update for everyone on how they are holding up!  

Remember when we painted our kitchen cabinet using Rustoleum's Cabinet Transformations Kit that we bought for an absolute steal?  Well almost two years later, they still look like new!  Now granted, we don't have any kids to bang on them with pots and pans or pets that might scratch them up, but we haven't been tiptoeing around them constantly worrying about messing them up either.  On the contrary, we have added a backsplash and replaced the microwave since they were painted and they are no worse for the wear.  

If you have ever considered painting your own cabinets, here are a few tricks that have kept these babies in mint condition:
  • We put in the time at the beginning, knowing that it would save us in the long run.  Completing the project took us a lot of dedicated time and we followed the directions to the letter.  We agree with the instruction manual that ideally one person should complete a whole step to avoid variations in color, pattern, or style.  While this doesn't save you any time, this painstaking process now seems worth it ten times over because we have a professional, uniform look that makes us want to keep them in tip-top shape.  They don't feel DIYed.
  • I wipe the cabinets down with a wet rag when needed and a little organic multi-surface spray if they're really dirty.  I don't use anything that could damage or break-down the polyurethane or alter the color of the paint.
  • I use a wood finish stain marker to touch up any nicks or imperfections that might come up.  It doesn't happen often but if I'm clumsy with a fork or saucepan, the marker takes care of the damage.
  • The clear, plastic rubber bumpers that we put in the corners of the doors and drawers seem to be preventing most dings.  {If you're lucky enough to have slow close cabinets then you could skip this step of course}
  • If you do notice a larger imperfection that a stain marker might not take care of, think hard about how you plan to fix it.  Once something is polyurethaned it's pretty hard to make touch ups that aren't noticeable.  
Has anyone else used the kit?  Any tips you've learned to keep your cabinets look new? We are so happy that we chose to give it a shot because we still love the results two years later!
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