Decisions, Decisions, Decisions - I can't seem to make one!

I'm back lamenting on my ongoing struggle to create a new color scheme in the living room/breakfast room with fabric.

Last I left you, I thought I had found a winner with the below fabric, which I envisioned as lovely window panels.

Well, evidently, so did everyone else as this fabric is now backordered until August! 
Not that that is the reason that I am unable to make a decision.

It has a lot more to due with our new built-ins and how little green you actually see from the living room now.
It suddenly seems silly to base entire scheme off of a 1/3 of a wall that can only be seen from one side of a room. 

Furthermore, if I ever want to change things up in the living room, having only one color in the window panels certainly doesn't give me a lot of options.

Thus, the search continues.

I recently stumbled across this striped beauty, which encompasses all of my colors - the yellow from the living room walls, the rusty red of the couch, the green from the breakfast room, and blue, which can be found in our current rug.

So what's holding me back? 
I'm not sure really.
I never really considered myself a stripe person - whatever that means.
And I worry that it will be just a little too dark.

But I just can't envision a floral on the window panels either. 

Where does this leave me?

 A wise woman (my Mom) suggested I buy 3 yards (approximate yardage per window panel) and hang it up to see if I really like it. 
Much easier to digest a mistake of around $60 than the cost of all the panels.

Decisions, decisions, decisions - I just can't seem to commit.

That being said, I did actually manage to commit to this lovely suzani fabric which I hope to transform into throw cushions for the couch.

Paired with the green geometric above, which will also hopefully be transformed into throw cushions, my living room is already taking on a lighter feel.

At least in my mind!

So, tell me, what do you think of the stripe? 

Until next time,
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Kitchen Sneak Peek

I think it's safe to say that we are very near completion on our kitchen renovation!
Just a couple bits and bobs to mark off the check list for the contractors.

Here's a sneak peek of where we are to date...

The cabinets have been primed and painted.

The counter-tops have been installed.

And the backsplash has been installed.

So what's left?

Priming and painting the trim and walls. 

And of course, 

And moving back in.

Next time I post about the kitchen, I should be showing off the reveal. 
Wish me luck!

If you'd like a review of where we started and where we've been, click here.

Until next time, 
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Breakfast Room Inspiration and Paint

This weekend was filled with painting - at least for Mr. DD, who took it upon himself to sort out the breakfast room. 
All in an effort to get us moved upstairs sooner than later.

Funny how he has reached his limit before I have and I am the one that is here all day, every day! 

Last I showed you the breakfast room we had newly built built-ins a plenty. 
Lots of naked wood in need of covering!

Gotta love the action shots of Mr. DD painting - what a trooper! 
Definitely a special thanks for all his hard work.

All done!

Almost like they have always been there!

I can't wait to get the table in place!
And actually start using this room.

Anywho, now that it's all painted and looking lovely - it's time to set my mind upon decorating, which of course, is my favorite part!

Something about this image from Pottery Barn stopped me in my tracks when I first saw it. 
It's warm and cozy, yet light and airy. 
I love the dark, warm, wood tones against the lighter wall colors.
And of course, the window seat...

Inspiration has been found.

Stay tuned to see how I make it my own. 

Also, check back later in the week for a sneak peek of our almost completed kitchen!

Linking in with:

Until next time,
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Saturday's Kitchen: Island Pork Salad

As promised earlier this week, I tried out a new recipe for Father's Day and really liked it. 
You know what that means, time to share it with you!

For pork
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 pork tenderloins (2 1/4 to 2 1/2 pounds total)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

For glaze
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Tabasco

For vinaigrette
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder, toasted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

For salad
  • 3 navel oranges
  • 5 ounces baby spinach, trimmed (6 cups leaves)
  • 4 cups thinly sliced Napa cabbage (from 1 medium head)
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut lengthwise into thin strips
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 2 firm-ripe California avocados

Prepare pork:
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Stir together salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, and cinnamon, then coat pork with spice rub.
Heat oil in an ovenproof 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until just beginning to smoke, then brown pork, turning, about 4 minutes total. Leave pork in skillet.

Make glaze and roast pork:
Stir together brown sugar, garlic, and Tabasco and pat onto top of each tenderloin. Roast in middle of oven until thermometer inserted diagonally in center of each tenderloin registers 140°F, about 20 minutes. Let pork stand in skillet at room temperature 10 minutes. (Temperature will rise to about 155°F while standing.)

Make vinaigrette while pork roasts:
Whisk together juices, mustard, curry powder, salt, and pepper, then add oil in a stream, whisking until emulsified.

Prepare salad ingredients while pork stands:
Cut peel, including white pith, from oranges with a sharp knife, then cut oranges crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Toss spinach, cabbage, bell pepper, and raisins in a large bowl with about 1/4 cup vinaigrette. Halve, pit, and peel avocados, then cut diagonally into 1/4-inch-thick slices.

Assemble salad:
Cut pork at a 45-degree angle into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Line a large platter with dressed salad and arrange sliced pork, oranges, and avocados in rows on top. Drizzle some vinaigrette over avocados and oranges. Pour any juices from skillet over pork.

Cooks Note:

We actually grilled ours instead of baking - 'tis the season! We used aluminum foil to keep the pork from burning once the sugar glaze was applied.
This recipe feeds a crowd and would be great for a party!

As always, if you try it and like it please do let me know.

Until next time, 

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Working with What You have - Outside, Part 2

You may remember my post a couple weeks back revealing the transformation of our secret lilac garden by adding only 3 new plants and filling in space with a variety of hostas from our yard...

Well, we've done it again.
This time on a slightly bigger scale!

Check out this previously barren gangway next to the screened-in porch.
Now it is alive with two varieties of hostas, rocks and ferns. 
Such an improvement!

This is the area to the left of the new grill mini-patio.

More hostas, rocks, myrtle ground cover, lily of the valley, ferns and pachysandra ground cover.

For this large space, I did purchase 3 lady's mantel, 1 lenten rose, and 3 astilbe plants - all from Home Depot. These plants were chosen for their shade loving hardiness and to coordinate with the existing plants. A small investment of around $50 for such a large space.

We even managed to incorporate our existing bird bath as well as re purpose a cement bird that previously lived in a Spring arrangement indoors.

I love the play of dappling light in our newly rejuvenated shade garden. 

What an improvement over last year when this space included just 5 plants.

Special thanks to my parents who helped us to design this new space and helped to move a lot of the plants. You just gotta love free manual labor!

Until next time, 
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Celebrations and a mini patio

First off, a shout out to all the Dads out there - Happy Father's Day!

I know one dad in particular who received a very generous gift from his 3 year old daughter...

A much needed new grill!

Wish I had a picture of our old grill to share - it came with the house, was attached to an old post, and cemented into the ground. 
Who knows how old it was.
But I can tell you it was certainly well past it's prime!

Needless to say, Mr. DD (and I) are really excited to be cooking on a proper grill now - especially while the kitchen renovation drags on.

But like most new additions to our house, it required a bit of work to finish it off.

The new grill is so big, it needed to be moved off the patio and into the garden. 

The chosen area needed to be dug out, leveled off, and new pavers needed to be added.
Happy Father's Day indeed!

We chose your basic paver stone to coordinate with our existing patio. 
These are from Home Depot - at less than $2 a piece - they fit the bill perfectly.

Once the pavers were in place the seams were filled with pea gravel.

And now our new grill has a new home - up off the patio. 

I'll be putting the grill to the test tonight when I make...

Grilled Pork Salad.

Not to worry, if it's a good recipe, I'll post it here for Saturday's Kitchen.

Hope you all are enjoying a lovely Father's Day weekend as well. 

Linking in with:

Until next time, 
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Happenings around here

Where did this week go? 

Anyone else feel this way? 
You blink and suddenly it's over- obviously, I was here and I was busy but what actually got accomplished?

To name a few:

The window bench in the breakfast room was designed and built.

As were the built-in book shelves.

Here's a look at the built-ins from the living room.

We harvested our first selection of lettuces from the garden - served with fresh grated parmesan, balsamic and olive oil. So yummy!

And our first radishes. Admittedly, not the best looking, but bright and spicy and absolutely delicious!

So, that's my update.
I'd love to hear yours!

Until next time, 
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Rounding out the color scheme

You may remember my new paint color scheme reveal from a couple of weeks ago, if not, click here for a recap.

This image shows all the major contenders - sofa, wall color in living room and breakfast room. Our old curtains
 are there for reference - proving to Mr. DD that they just don't work anymore! 
Time to make a change...

For the last couple of weeks I've been searching high and low for either ready made panels or fabric  - any type of inspiration really! 

I have samples galore...

This was my first love. 
Greens, yellows, corals - all the colors I want to highlight in this space. 

Coupled with these fabrics, I really felt like I was getting somewhere. 

Then when my parents were visiting a couple of weeks back, my Dad casually asked if I didn't already have that fabric somewhere. 

Did I have it!?!? 

Basically, totally innocently, stating that I have used similar things in the past - which is what I am trying to get away from here. Back to the drawing board.

I knew my plan was to lighten things up, so I went in this direction:

Similar colors but the creme background really helps to lighten things up.

Unfortunately, when my online sample arrived the fabric just had too much sheen to it for me. 
Note to self, don't forget to check the material!

My reject pile!
Can you tell which one I forgot to check the material on? 

Ordering sample fabric online can become a bit addictive!

After loads of trial and error, I think I have finally found a winner! 

It's young, light, neutral and somewhat modern, but still traditional. 
Everything I am trying to achieve with my new color scheme!
This whole redefining your style thing sure takes awhile!

So, what do you think? 
Am I on the right track?

Now onto pillow fabric.

Until next time, 
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Summer Front Porch Pots

Well, hello there!

Sorry to have missed you for my regular Monday post. 

We had a great weekend visiting family, but a hectic return and a busy Monday. Crucial design decisions had to be made, appointments couldn't be missed and long awaited birthday presents finally arrived and just HAD to be set up today!

No matter how crazy it's been lately, I love to stop and enjoy our front porch pots.

Come on by and take a look!

I went with a white and green theme again this year - some people love blue and white - me, I'm a sucker for green and white. Every time! 

The big change this summer is the addition of a third pot, complete with topiary.
English ivy, white impatiens, white petunias, and climbing white clematis.

The two smaller pots hold a variety of white petunias, vinca vine, white geraniums, and white impatiens.

You know what they say, you've got to make time to stop and smell the flowers! 
And this evening, I did just that. 

Hope you have made time in your day to enjoy all that summer has to offer.

Until next time, 
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Weekly Kitchen Update No. 4

Well, friends, I am happy to say that our kitchen is nearing completion. It's so close I can taste it! Of course, in reality, we have at least another 2-3 weeks, but details, details!

During our last update, I shared images of the cabinets without doors. 

As of yesterday, we have doors! 

The wet bar area.

And the buffet area.

The refrigerator has received its new custom panel doors.

The new back door has finally arrived and been installed!

The hood is in place, and the dishwasher has its new custom panel as well. 

Our new two bowl, apron fronted, farmhouse sink (if you'd like a reminder on all we had to choose from in terms of sinks, click here) has found its home under the new kitchen window.

Lots of progress in a weeks time!
I'm sure you can see why I am excited.

What about you, making big progress on any projects around your house?

 Next up: completion of the cabinet inserts, priming and painting the cabinets, and counter-top install! 
Fortunately, we managed to select a counter-top, but the paint color is still under discussion - wish me luck!

Until next time, 
Read more ...

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