:(  I'm exhausted...  I have some projects in mind for the weekend, and I promise I won't blog about going to the grocery store, since that is looking more and more like a project.



First Day of Work

Yep, it's the first day of work and I'm up at 5:30 a.m. to make sure that #1: there is no possible way I can be late, and #2: I have an extra hour added to my primp time so as to look extra amazing.  I've taken the past three days and devoted them to selfishness gaining back my girl gene.  When I say I took the last couple months off, I really took the last couple months off.  No working out, shopping, primping, makeup, nada, zilch, nothing.  So, Thursday I got a mani/pedi, Friday I got my hair did and got a massage, and Saturday I got my brows waxed and got a facial.  My skin also decided to freak out last week, so I maxed out my Neiman's on skin care products.  Oh well, that's what the job is for right?  :)

Wish me luck today.  Hopefully I won't need to read Kelly Cutrone's book, If You Have to Cry, Go Outside.  I'll let you know how it goes!



The Best Damn Coleslaw Period

Now, I'm a southern gal, tried and true, so the only coleslaw I've ever known is cold and creamy, packed with full fat flavored mayonnaise and sugar.  I won't lie, I love it, but I am extremely picky and generally will only eat it if it's made by my grandmother.  I was a little timid in trying this new fangled coleslaw, which is vinegar based, no mayo, and made with Splenda, but once I started, I couldn't stop. I thought I'd share the recipe!

Paulie's Chinese Coleslaw

1 package of tricolor coleslaw mix
1 package of slivered almonds
1 package of Chicken Flavored Ramen Noodles
3 green onions, sliced
3 packets of Splenda
1/4 cup of olive oil
1/2 cup white vinegar
2 tbsp of pepper

Crush the Ramen Noodles before you open the package as much as you can.

In a large mixing bowl or tupperware, combine coleslaw mix, almonds, green onions, and the Ramen (noodles only, not the mix).  In a seperate small bowl, mix the olive oil, vinegar, Splenda, pepper, and the chicken flavor from the Ramen package, and whisk.  Pour over the coleslaw mix and stir.  Chill for 20 minutes.  Yes, the noodles will soften :)  This was my first question, too!

Sorry for the craptastic Blackberry phone pic.

Yum in the tum folks!  You can add chicken, shrimp, fish, just about anything you like. 


Back to the grind...

My latest inspiration, and she has been for some time now, has been Olivia Palermo.  I know she is portrayed as the bitchiest bitch of all the bitches on The City, but she looks sooooooo expensive and chic all the time.  The great thing about Olivia's style is that it's the perfect mix of high and low.  She pairs Zara heels with a Rolex Daytona, or a Birkin with an Urban Outfitters peacoat.  Every single time she steps out, her makeup and hair are flawless.  If I could keep my attitude and jump into her body (and closet!) I would do it in a heartbeat.

Lucky for me, Vogue UK loves Miss Palermo's style as much as I do.  Olivia shows her daily wardrobe in a blog series from April entitled "Today I'm Wearing".  It's like a fashion roadmap for me!  Dress by numbers...

Below is a an easier way for me to look at pics, so I don't have to scan the web for my faves each morning a collection of my favorite looks :)

Her stylists unexpected use of color is so fantastic, especially with the little pops of yellow.  I totally dig the oxfords, although after trying on 9000 pairs, am convinced that one's legs need to be as thin as hers, or you need to be 6 ft. tall to look good in them. 

I think I need to go shopping...

All photos are from Vogue UK and this fabulous blog!


Master Bath Details: Part Deux

First of all, I've had a wonderful response from everyone on the Master Bath Redo and it makes me giddy!!!  My mom came over today and saw it for the first time and was a little shocked, to say the least.  "It's not that I didn't think you were capable of it, but..."  she said... uh huh...

I think the one thing that brings the room together are the chevron rugs that I picked up at Kohl's for $4.99 each (practically free at 80% off).  I stumbled on these somewhere in blogland a month or so ago and loved them, so you can imagine my surprise when I found two of them stuck back in a corner with men's socks.  When I dig, I dig deep, folks.  They are a dark, smoky aqua color and look nice on the slate floor.  Plus, they are soft and absorbent.

Next, obviously is the vanity bench.  I found it at the Christian Ministries Thrift Store looking like this:

I'm sure the wood has been painted, oh, 90 times over, and it smelled like death.  I was certain there would be small woodland creatures living in it as I was ripping off that horrendous fabric.  Some spray paint and $1.99/ yd fabric and it was probably the easiest part of the whole project.

What was not easy were the towel bars. I was sweating like a pig putting these darn things up.  Because of the way the fasteners worked, I had to basically hang on them with all my weight in order to get them to "click in" as the directions described.  Just a little click... whatever!  I got these at HomeGoods for $11.99 each and the brand is Moen

I'm not a big fan of towel bars and rings on walls.  One night I was cruising Rate My Space and saw the bars on the cabinets and loved it.  The glass shelves were something that I wanted in the room from the very start. I wanted something shiny to hold my perfumes and little things that make me happy. I got these at Wal-Mart for $11.00 each. YUP!

The small makeup mirror was a compromise because I really wanted a square one, but couldn't find one.  It was a splurge at $14.99 at HomeGoods.  I love the lithograph look of the book by my favorite author, Margaret Mitchell, and placed the broach that went on my wedding dress beside it.

To complete the look, I filled an apothecary jar with soaps from my travels, and sea salt.

I used Centsational Girl's Flat Fixed Roman Shade Tutorial  and although mine in nowhere near as perfect as hers, I was happy with the way it turned out.  After all, it was my first sewing project that didn't include denim and a hemstitch.  The fabric is Liz Claiborne and had been $54.99/ yd. so you can imagine my excitement when I got it for $6.99/ yd. and then got 50% off that with a coupon at JoAnn's.  I bought every bit of it and still have some left for pillows or something when I redo the master bedroom.  It's a very heavy, thick upholstery fabric and has a lot more color than the pictures show. I also added a quick window casing.

I added two vintage maps of London and two photos of Westminster Abbey that I took back in February when my mom and I visited there.  London is amaze!

Finally, the trinkets and treasures in the Ikea cabinet are a mish-mosh of things that I've had forever, thrown in with a couple new ones.  I've been on the hunt for coral forever and found this one on Captiva. I had quit looking three shell stores back because I refused to pay $80 for a piece of real coral.  I almost passed out when I found this cake stand at Ross for $14.99.  I've been looking for a cake stand for awhile, too. Double score!

The antique butter dish was passed down to me by someone (thank you, whoever you are) and the photo is of Pont de Alexandre in Paris.

These came from Goodwill for $1 each:

And finally, I stole borrowed the mouthwash in the decanter idea from Centsational Girl, as well.  I should start paying her royalties.

All in all, the accessories were inexpensive because I reused things that I already had.  I didn't buy a single towel and the art was printed off the computer.  I knew that my budget was better served on the cabinet, paint, and fixtures, so I had to make the other things work.  This bathroom reno came in at just under $450.



Master Bath Details: Part 1

Today is really exciting because I have four new followers!!  YAY!  Welcome ya'll :)  So excited you're here!  Pretty picture for you:

Today, I'm going to chat about the major details of the bathroom redo, namely the cabinets, painting, mirrors, and lighting.   My idea behind the entire plan was to calm things down and lighten them up.  I made some hasty decisions back in the early days of home ownership (and style, evidently).  There are three different kinds of stone in the bathroom:  the travertine in the shower and tub surround (slightly different in pattern) and the granite.  Because of the blue we chose for the walls, the gold tones in the granite clashed with the soft greys and taupes in the travertine.  Drawing these two things together harmoniously and softly was my main goal.

There are some nice grey and white tones in the granite, but the yucky cabinet color and the blue drew the gold out instead. You know that I've been obsessing over painting the kitchen cabinets light and I chose the master bath as my testing center for the color and my abilities.  I chose a very popular color in the blog world for cabinets, SW6141 in Softer Tan (oil based), and just like everyone else, I felt as though it would be too dark.


Wrong! The swatch is so misleading.  It was perfect, light, creamy, lovely... exactly what I wanted!

I was very diligent in my process. First, I sanded the heck out of them to get all remnants of the old paint off. I then primed with oil based Zinsser, two coats, sanding in between with super fine sand paper. Three coats of my creamy oil based Softer Tan later and voila! The granite immediately looked lighter and I knew I had made the right decision. It took three full days to do all this simply because I followed directions. I didn't get pushy with the paint and always gave 24 hours in between coats. It wasn't a problem though, because I had plenty to do in the meantime.

I also painted the doors and all the trim the same color.  The former color had a yucky yellow tint to it that just made it look dingy and I wanted everything to look very clean.  Finally, my solution for the dated cultured marble tub apron was also, you guessed it:  paint! 

The wall color was next and I had my heart set on a taupe/gray.  I love Valspar's National Trust Historical Colors because I love Googling the sites they originate from.  I was a history major, you know... (why?) I've had a paint card for Woodlawn Gray 6004-1B in my handbag for a good while and thought it was the perfect color for the bath, but it ended up being too cold and uninviting. I settled on Ivory Brown 6006-1C, that was the perfect compliment to the travertine.  I love love love this color.

Next, came the mirrors.  I can't tell you what a relief it was to rip those builder mirrors down!   I then had to repair the walls on both sides and texture them with knockdown in order to blend with the rest of the room (house, errr...).  That stuff smells so bad!

Now, most folks would simply replace the mirror over the vanity with another big mirror, but it's not really my thing. I didn't like sitting at my vanity and doing my make-up because I couldn't get close enough to the mirror to see all the nooks and crannies. I actually sit on the bedroom floor in front of a leaner, products strewn all over the carpet. I also stand up when blow drying my hair. Because of the way the vanity is configured, with the sink on one end, it just made sense for me to put the mirror there and complete that wall with the glass shelves.

I think it's really important to always keep in mind who you are designing for.  In this case, it was me, and although not everyone would make the choices that I did, mainly on the mirror and shelves, it works for me perfectly. 

Now, I sit at the vanity and primp in the make-up mirror and still stand in front of the sink to do my hair-uh!  The mirrors came from HomeGoods and were $40 for both!  The larger one on my side was pulled apart a bit on the corner, so I got it for $10.  It took all of two seconds to repair. They are heavy and solid wood, so I know they will last.

Lighting had to be replaced and I really wanted something shiny.  I had planned to stay away from traditional bathroom lighting and originally hoped to install sconces, but they wouldn't fit properly due to the position of the window and the wall. Electrical work, which is something I know nothing about, was not in the budget either. The old fixtures were pulled down (very satisfying!) but they left a huge mess on the wall.  The ghosts of painters past had painted around the wall plates, causing them to stick to the drywall.  This caused damage that had to be repaired.  Sanding things above my sight line is not something I enjoy.  It gets in my hair and I really like my hair...

I opted for chrome Portfolio fixtures from Lowe's which were $39 and $79 (minus $10 with a Project Starter coupon!). They have little white ceramic knobs on either end that I spray painted with Rustoleum Ivory Gloss. They are certainly a far cry from the dated fixtures that were in there before and each one has all it's globes. SCORE! A big plus in this house!

I really like the look of mixing finishes.  The chrome lighting, towel bars, and hardware, along with the ORB  faucets and shower door work for me and give things a little depth.  I'm so not a matchy-matchy gal!
Lastly, the Ikea cabinet was exactly what I had in mind for the water closet wall.  I have a lot of stuff,  A lot.  Like tons.   I searched and searched for something vintage and thrift but I couldn't find anything shallow enough.  The piece absolutely couldn't be any deeper than twelve inches, otherwise it would just be in the way.  At $150, it was the most expensive purchase, but was a practical solution for storage and a nice piece to showcase some of our treasures (photography, coral, etc.).  If only it didn't take three hours and a broken nail to assemble...

It was stark white particle board and I thought about painting it a shade of gray blue in order to draw out some of the accent colors in my accessories.  I didn't want to have to paint it again in the event that I decided to switch things up in the future, so I elected to paint it the same color as the cabinets and trim.  It's by far my favorite item in the bathroom.  Love it to pieces.

If I don't stop now, this blog post is going to go on as long as the actual project...