Monday, September 26, 2011

We've Moved!

Please meet us at The Helm House by clicking the link and/or picture below! We can’t wait for you to see the new blog, but be kind, it’s still under construction and a definite work in progress! See you there!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Local Finds - Public Market Furniture

One of my favorite places to browse for deals is Public Market Furniture in Willmar, MN. It is located behind the Casey's gas station on 19th Ave.

They usually have a great selection of used furniture! And the place is huge, so it's fun to see what can be unearthed. We made a stop last weekend to check out nightstands and end tables when we were passing through town. So I whipped out my pocket camera to snap a few images for ya!
There are always tons or nearly new couches and sectionals right when you come in the door, most sets around $700!

They usually have some great rugs, priced very reasonably!

There were two pianos this time... something we don't see here a lot and they were both around $150 I believe. I have a dream of having a bunch of little girls someday, all taking piano lessons. Chris told me to keep dreaming!

This is where I stopped dead in my tracks and completely forgot why we were there! I have been fantasizing about lockers for a few months now and there they were... in pristine condition... but with a sticker of 195 bones, my happy bubble quickly deflated... I believe they are totally worth every penny - but just not in the budget at this point. Sad day, I had to walk away... but I am kicking myself and the hubsters says to just buy them - I think he just says that to shut me up, we have a relationship overflowing with love like that! :-)

I moved on... they have used appliances at great prices too. See the stainless steel flattop on the left? That beauty sold of $150.

Finally I found my focus. Here were two nightstands that looked pretty decent but were marked $65 a piece, not exactly what I am looking for and they were pretty new to the store, so not a whole lot of wiggle room on price.

This pretty table was only $369, I thought that was a decent deal - but I've got other plans, and only brought a car.

Another nightstand with the same $65 tag, and small dressers for $50 each. Still too new, not budging on price. So I walked away...

This cute little table was just handing out, but he was a whopping $35! Definitely too much when you're used to auction prices - this would go for $2 (like Chris' current nightstand seen HERE)!

Then we headed upstairs, this is where the deals are!

This is the furniture that has spent a little bit of time here...

A vast array of haggling to be had!

First up we saw these dining room chairs... six of them, two of which where captains chairs. We came up with a makeover plan for them and then just decided to nix it. They were asking 139 bones, and even though we know they would be willing to negotiate price, we just knew the would be more work then we wanted to commit.
This table got the creative juices flowing again. At $139 for the four chairs, table and bench - we almost called off our entire table making plan - but in the end we determined it was too chunky. I never thought those words would leave my mouth, because I am a super chunky lovin' kinda gal!

This dresser/buffet was only $75 and I was picturing it in a coat of white... dreamy...

I pulled this dusty little fella out of a corner. He wasn't marked, but I figured for $3 we could have taken him home... he's still chilling at the store but I may visit him another time to see if he is still available!

These gals were just mingling in the corner... they read $20-35 each, and the little brown, tufted, wheeled ottoman in the back was marked $19... it was a consideration, but I only wanted to pay 5 smackers and was declined, so I walked away (see a trend)?

That's when I fell in love with this gem. He had me at hello. I told Chris he better not me more than $20, and I was surprised with the lowest sticker of the day at $15! I snatched him up, no haggling needed, he was mine!

There was another spiffy fella, looking brand spanking new (even the hardware was still wrapped). This shiny man was only $65, if I had a place to put him I would have squeezed him in the car!

As with most thrift stores, there are always items that make the two of us chuckle - such as these mermaidesque chairs, complete with pink shag seats.

And there are the items that make we laugh from afar, but upon closer inspection - I begin to love. This love seat was one of those moments, I could totally see her happily residing in our porch - Chris didn't have the same vision.

I found this gal in the corner. I have an obsession with chairs of this style (seen HERE and HERE)... but she was a tad pricey at $20 and needed lots of TLC, so we said our goodbyes cause the lady working the store wasn't in a bargaining sort of mood.

I was even able to pass on the white ceramic skull... only 20 bones (haha, punny huh!? no!? moving on...) Even though white ceramics make me weak in the knees.

Well that was our Public Market Furniture adventure last weekend. Went in for nightstands or end tables and left with a coffee table for $15 - pretty typical of me. Things to Note: always take time to browse, check every corner, feel out the employees (not literally) and don't be afraid to haggle - the worst they can do is say "no".

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Finding a Groove

Do you ever have those days where nothing seems to go right? Well I have had a few of those lately... everything from finish the guest room to working on a new blog, my online photo class to overpriced auction bids, and ever increasing housework to a truck that just isn't making par... Really those days have been piling up. So last week, one night, I cracked. I'd had enough. I told Chris to go away for a few minutes and let me do something I was good at!

I needed to reboot. I needed just a few minutes to DO something that I was good at. So Chris headed out the door and I went into the den to grab supplies. I was waiting on doing some quick projects until after the guest room was finished but after having a losing battle with the nail gun I caved. I turned on the iPod and headed straight for the scrabble board to pound out a quick project!

A few months back I decided that I wanted some sort of message board in the Peacock Room. A place to leave little notes for visitors... and a scrabble board was going to be my solution. I snapped one up from a local thrift store for $1 a while ago and was surprised to discover later on that it even had all it's tiles! The paint and brush I had on hand so it was time to start!
I wanted the boards to have a splash of color, so I decided to paint them.
I wasn't sure if I wanted a full coat or a distressed looking coat... after doing one of both, I decided a full coat was more my style! So I added two complete coats...

And that's it! One project that made me feel complete!

All it took was 5 minutes, $1.00 and the Black Eyed Peas to make the world right again! Happy Monday!

PS - Chris came back with a part-time job after my reboot, yay for more auction moo-lah!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Simply Happy Moments

Sorry. This week has been super crazy… I am trying to catch up on lots of stuff… My last weekend was filled with busy-ness, trying to take/edit photos, finish up an online photo class that ends Monday, auctions, house projects, random projects, clean house, Chris’ birthday, craziness at my real job and now tonight I get to spend some time with my baby munchkin before she heads off to college tomorrow. Wow, wasn’t feeling overly emotional about that until just now. Dang, I’m not going to cry…

So, I embraced a few moments that helped me relaxed and brought on simple happiness. This photo represents one of those moments. I arrived early for a photo shoot last Thursday evening, and got to spend a few minutes just soaking in the sun and views. This was a simply happy moment. Happy Wednesday, I promise to be back soon.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wednesday Wishes - Window Treatments

So last week I wished for ways to bounce light around my house… this week seems a little opposite of last week. This week I’ll wish for ways to keep light out of my house. Let me rephrase. During the day, we like our windows open, but at night we don’t like the neighbors looking in, so essentially I guess we are still talking about “keeping light in” in a roundabout way… good, glad that’s settled, let’s move on!
During the summer it is not much of a concern, seeing that it doesn’t get dark until later… but during the winter months when it is dark outside before we even get home from work, our lives are on display for whoever wants to see (for the most part). We have white wood blinds on all the windows, with the exception of the big picture windows… and it’s been this way since we bought the house over a year ago. So our goal is to get some window treatments up before the darkening winter gets here, and all of our neighbors get to watch our “morbid” tastes in TV (FYI - True Blood is amazing! And we can’t wait for the next season of Walking Dead to start!)
Our biggest hesitation is the darn price tag on curtains! Mylanta, they are spendy… I have looked at all that my small town has to offer, and I’m just not happy with the solid colors offered by Walmart… so I hopped on the internet as usual, only to have a severe case of sticker shock to follow. Let me share my wishes, and ideas that I’ve come up with to get the nod of approval from the hubby.

I have been going lots of thinking about curtains in the guest room, and at first I feel in love with these beauties from Z Gallerie (Mimosa Panels in Aquamarine) but they were $59.95/panel. That means that for the one guestroom, it would be $239.80... so I moved on.
I still couldn't quit dreaming... I found these Allegra Hicks Palm Print Window Panels at West Elm for $64/panel. Then I made the mistake of staying on the West Elm site and discovering these...

The Khadi Blockprint Window Panels for $49/panel and these... The Cotton Canvas Faux Bead Window Panels for $44/panel... Now these are all gorgeous, but most of all they seem simple. Essentially I am loving the patterns, there is nothing extremely unique with their shape... so I am now hunting fabrics that I like and considering just sewing some up myself! Sounds easy in my head - that probably means it will make me frustrated.

For the living room/dining room/den windows I immediately fell in love with these! The Deux Ruban Linen Panel from Ballard Designs. The more I looked at it... they are cheap (maybe not at Ballard, but I could possibly find at JoAnn Fabrics and use a coupon) linen fabric with ribbon sewn on! I can do that! At least I think I can...

Lastly, came the issue of what to do in the kitchen... I love roman shades! They seem uber expensive and I can never seem to find ones that I adore top to bottom... I like how they show the trim around a window and think they would work great in our kitchen, as well as both of our bathrooms (I would also like to snatch that light fixture up, very.... gourd like!?)!

Like this! And I'll take that tub to go!

So I've decided that I might just have to whip some up myself, ala Martha Stewart and her tutorial HERE. That way I can pick any fabric and details I'd like!

Like any of these from Ballard Design where they sell by the yard, these four range from $18 - $38 per yard... but I think I could get away with only one yard per window.

Or one of these Amy Butler designs, available on for under $10 per yard! Lots of ideas keep following, so I just pin them away to bring up later. Hope everyone is having a great week, I'm off to find us another distrubing TV show to watch once our curtains go up! Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Making Happy Saturday Mornings

It's only Tuesday, and I'm already shot... so I thought I would post about what makes me happy! Saturday morning caramel rolls are a favorite at our house! I don't normally post any recipes on this blog, because I am not a great cook - but there are certain things that I do well at and caramel rolls are one of them! On Friday night I set out two loaves of frozen white bread dough, as soon as Chris sees it we both get excited for Saturday morning!

While we may cheat on the dough and use frozen, our caramel is what the rolls delectable! It is my mother-in-law's recipe for Perfect Caramel. Gather all of your caramel ingredients:

1 C. Brown Sugar

1/4 C. Sour Cream

1/3 C. Butter

1 Tbsp. White Syrup

Melt all of the above ingredients in a sauce pan, just until melted. You don't want to cook too long or your caramel will become hard in the oven.
Pour your caramel into the botton of a 13x9" pan. (See the thawed bread dough in the background? I put it on a cutting board and cover it "loosely" with plastic wrap, allowing it to rise, but not to break free - exposed areas will become crusty.)
Next I grab one of my loaves of raised dough. I flour my counter tip and roll it out. Once I have a nice flatten area, I spread it with butter and then sprinkle on brown sugar and cinnamin.
Then you roll it up and slice into six even rolls. Follow the same process for the second loaf by flattening, spreading, sprinkling, rolling and cutting.
Almost done! Next put your rolls in your caramel pan and preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Now we need to let the rolls rise a little bit. I place my pan on the stove to help it rise and cover it with a dish towel for about 25-30 minutes. Then I pop them in the oven for another 25-30 minutes of baking, remove them when they are golden brown.
Let the rest for 10 minutes, then flip them into another pan or onto a cookie sheet. We like to eat ours right then and there! Ooey Gooey Yummy Goodness... now I'm hungry... bring on Saturday!

Linking to Remodelaholic

Friday, August 5, 2011

World Champ

You may remember last Summer when I expressed my proudness of my favorite little man, HERE. He spent the Summer of 2010 sweeping pedal pulls throughout Southern Minnesota. Then he went on to win that State Pedal Pull for his division. Shortly after that he became the National Champion!

Well all those wins lead him to the International Pedal Pull last weekend, and he kept up his winning streak - pulling to an International Champ! Congrats to my favorite World Champ! We are so proud of you DaShawn!