Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Bead board is Delightful!

I have a new, favorite product.  It is bead board wallpaper.  The wallpaper is thick and foam like, but when hung, looks JUST like real, wood bead board.

Over the weekend, I snagged a roll of this stuff while Scott and I were at Lowes getting the things we needed for our 1/2 bath remodel.  For only $20, we figured it wouldn't hurt to at least try and see how it looked.

I have done most of the kitchen and so far, we LOVE it. 



I forgot to take a picture after I finished more of the peninsula and trimmed it.  It looks even better trimmed, but this gives you a good idea.  Once we get it all hung (we have 3 more strips to hang and trim), we are going to work on repainting the cabinets after our horrific fiasco with our first round of paint.  FAILURE.  NEVER buy Valspar.  Never.  Not even their top of the line "special" paint...No matter what anyone tells you. <rant over>

We also bought the pieces to our 1/2 bath remodel, only to realize that we had to return our sink.  I had my heart SET on a pedestal sink set up in our downstairs 1/2 bath.  It would make the room feel larger and really elegant (or so I thought).  After my delightfully brainiac husband looked under our current sink to see how hard the plumbing would be, he realized the pipes for the water were offset over a foot from the drain.  The choices were to re-plumb the pipes (EEK!), have exposed pipes, or buy a different vanity.  I let him vote for this one as the work would all be on his shoulders.  He told me to pick a new vanity.  Sigh. Back to Lowes we go.  I swear, we live in the hardware stores around here. 

On a more positive note, Scott and I are off to pick up another of my Craigslist finds tonight.

This lady has had this piece listed for quite awhile (I keep seeing it) but it's missing a door knob on the left door.  For the original price she wanted, I just didn't think it was worth it.  The piece also needs to be scraped and re-painted, though you can't tell that from the picture.  Luckily, I decided to email her on it yesterday and she was willing to cut the price in half.  And now that Scott has his sexy new truck (he has named her Goldie Hawn) we have a vehicle to pick it up in.  I think it will look absolutely lovely in our formal living room with our wing back chairs. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Bathroom Redo Ideas

My name is Lindsay.  And I'm a bathroom snob. 

No, really.  I am.  Don't let my current house's state deter you from believing this.

When Scott and I bought our house, we knew the bathrooms would need some severe updating.  Since that is such an easy fix, we were both OK with it (and still are).  We planned to wait a few years and start doing the overhall to the 2 upstairs, full bathrooms due to the cost that is usually associate with bathrooms.  Who knew such small rooms would cost so much to change?

We are having a big ol' group of guests (6 people so far!) coming at the end of December for 9 days.  My sister in law is bringing her husband and family and Scott's mom is coming as well.  We should have a packed house.  Thank god for all those empty bedrooms!

Due to the guests, I've been trying to think of ways to update the room without spending a ton as we will most likely replace most of the bathroom in a few years.  At least, that was the plan.

I just came across a product that I am dying to try in that seldom used bathroom.  It is a granite paint product by Giana.  From what I can tell, you prime your linoleum countertops with their paint and sponge on some other colors in a certain way until it looks like granite.  The results look awesome (and the product is only $59 on Amazon!)

Frugal Fine Living did a review of the process and the end results and they look AWESOME. 



Obviously she painted her cabinets and added some knobs, too.  But for that price (she found it for $39 somewhere) I think I'm going to give it a try.  The kitchen looks like a whole different place.  Maybe, if we are happy with the results, we will do our kitchen counters in the interim until we can get some granite slab. 

Scotty told me he'd lay some tile down in the bathroom nice and quick (we will find some in the discount area at Home Depot I'm sure since it's such a small room).  While he's doing tile, we will probably replace the toilet because it is a water guzzler, and the environment hates those toilets!

Then, all I will need is 2 new faucets.  At the rate I am discovering items, the faucets will be the most expensive part of the remodel.


I've been eyeballing this puppy from Home Depot because it has a high arc.  I REALLY hate when I'm washing my hands or face in a sink, and my hands touch the back.  Maybe I just have a weird phobia.  But at $89, I think it's a great deal.   After using our oil rubbed bronze spraypaint (best invention EVER) on the towel rack and toilet paper holder, I think we should be good to go! 

DANGIT! I lied.  I need new light fixtures and mirrors.

I just took a quick peak at the picture from when we were touring the house to see what else I'd need to do.  I forgot about the mirrors and lights.  I can't see the lights in the picture, but if I remember right they are brass 3 fixture lights.  I'll check tonight because Joss and Main is having a sale on a $200 3-light fixture for only $29.  Let's hope they don't sell out before I get home. 

I also have a hatred of full wall mirrors.  They drive me bonkers.  I'll find 2 mirrors at Home Goods or Hobby Lobby and hang those on the wall instead.  Which also means I need to paint.  Sigh.  My small project just got a little bigger. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

1 Week Gluten Free

It has been exactly 1 week since I was diagnosed with all my lovely food ailments.  And I am HAPPY to report that things could not be going better.  I feel better, I have more energy and the bags under my eyes are smaller.  Nothing wrong with any of that.  This Friday, I am going to a specialist to figure out the extent of my allergies.  They will be testing the severity of each of the current things on my list as well as looking at other foods.  I am really hoping that my list of "no's" does not get any longer. But if it does, I am confident that it will work out.
One of the BEST meals that I've made since going gluten free, corn free, soy free, peanut free, pork free and dairy free (I'll just call that GF in the future) was a Sante Fe Chicken Chili.  This chili was SO good that even Scott was surprised (and he is a chili and chili dog connoisseur).  I found the recipe on the Gluten Free Goddess' website.  So far, her and Gluten Free Girl are my new heros.  I'm reading the Gluten Free Girl book and already want the cookbook that her and Chef wrote. 
My favorite thing about these 2 ladies is they took the same approach as I did to this whole gluten thing.  They received their diagnosis, had a short grieving and then embraced everything they could.  I am trying to follow that same mentality.  And while it has only been a week, I have no intention in ever going back to feeling as crappy as I once did.
Sante Fe Chicken Chili from Gluten Free Goddess
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (I used dried powder)
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon ground cumin, to taste
  • 1/4-1 teaspoon ground cayenne or chipotle pepper, to taste (I used chili powder because that's all I had)
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled, diced
  • 2 15-oz. cans pinto or white beans, rinsed, drained (I used 1 can garbanzo and 1 can black)
  • 1 28-oz. can Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Tomatoes, with juice
  • 8-oz. (1 cup) chopped roasted green chilies- mild or hot (hot)
  • 2 cups chicken broth, more if needed
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic or apple cider vinegar (forgot this part)
  • A small drizzle of agave (forgot this part)
  • 2 heaping cups cooked chicken pieces- hand torn looks nice
  • Juice of 1 lime, or to taste (lemon juice)
I threw everything but the chicken in the crock pot and accidentally cooked it for almost 36 hours.  I didn't realize I had left it on overnight (I was sleepy!) and woke up to it being just fine.  I just added additional chicken stock and went on my way.  The day we were eating it, I plugged in my other crock pot and threw 3 frozen chicken breasts in some olive oil in and put it on low all day.  When I got home, I simply shredded the chicken, added the lemon juice and we dug right in.
To serve this, I put sour cream and shredded cheese on Scott's bowl.  I am still using up some of my gluten full foods and haven't replaced these with GF versions just yet.  Greek yogurt would have been good, but mine was expired (naturally). 
I imagine if I had felt like venturing to the store to get all the ingredients that this recipe is actually supposed to have, it would have been better.  I used what I already had and it still turned out good. 
Nom nom nom.
I promise I'll do an update soon on the house (since this is a house blog after all).  But this happens to be all that we are "talking" about in my house right now. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

August 7, 2012

Normally I don't title a blog by the date.  And normally I try to keep my posts house related.  But I have a feeling I'm going to remember this day for a long, long time.  So naturally, I blogged about it.

This morning, I found out I had Celiac disease. 

My mom was here visiting with Scott and I for a few days, and while here she convinced me to go to the doctor to have some of the issues I've been having (belly and weight related) looked into.  After a simple blood test (OK, not simple -- I'm TERRIFIED of having my blood taken) we were on our way.

My doctor's office uses an online system where you can get lab results.  So I kept checking and checking and checking.  And finally, all my labs come in when I checked this morning.  This is what I see:

You know...I really think they should use a result of some sort other than "abnormal."  I'm not abnormal.  In fact, I have a feeling I am very normal and similar to a lot of other people out there.  I happen to have Celiac disease and some other random food allergies (milk, soy, corn, pork and peanuts) to be exact. 

And now, I just received the official call with the results.  The damn physicians assistant was so perky about it.  "Hi Lindsay.  You now can eat no normal food and will constantly struggle with dietary restrictions for the rest of your life."  Yeah.  I wanted to punch her.  I will be seeing an allergen specialist as well as a nutritionist to help me along with some of that.  More to come on that...

I cried this morning.  And I cried again after I got off the phone with her.  And I've randomly almost burst into tears at random moments today.  I'm FRUSTRATED.  On one hand, I'm happy to have this mystery solved and (hopefully) feeling better soon.  On the other hand, this is a LOT to take in. 

Now that I think about it, I can't honestly remember the last time my body felt GOOD.  But now,  I'm going to be one of those people that can't eat out at restaurants or other people's houses because I won't be able to really know what they're preparing.  Or I'll have to be that guest that won't stop quizzing people.  I've eaten out with my granddad before.  No one seems stoked with all his special requests.  I mean...I get it.   It's necessary.  Unfortunately I have to eat to live.  At this point, giving food up all together seems easier. 

I don't mean to complain.  It could be a lot worse.  There are millions of people who are experiencing far harder obstacles in life than a simple dietary change.  But do you KNOW how bad Americans eat?  I consider myself a good, clean eater.  But as I'm slowly making may way around google (as someone said - I'd "google the shit" out of Celiac everything) I'm realizing how "dirty" I've been eating. 

So to all you (few) readers out there.  Tonight when you're eating your dinner, enjoy it.  Because chances are, I can't eat it anymore.  And that is depressing.  I'm all about free choice.  And hearing I "can't" do something makes me want to go out and do it that much more. 

But I won't.  Instead I'll sit here in my depressed state and feel sorry for myself.  Just for today.  Because when tomorrow comes, I'm ready to take this new lifestyle on 150%.  Maybe I'll even share some things that I learn along the way.