Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Quest for Clean

Oh boy, this is going to be a long story...

Let's go back to 2006.  Two huge books were published that I wanted very much:  Emily Post's Etiquette: 17th Edition and Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook.  I bought Emily first and my plan was to read that cover-to-cover and then buy Martha.

Let's skip to the end of 2009, I'm only about halfway through Emily.  I realized if it took me 3 years to read half that book, it will take me another 3 to finish, so I went ahead and ordered Martha from amazon.

Before I even left my job I knew that the biggest task I wanted to accomplish once it was over was all of the cleaning I never had the time nor the energy to tackle before.  And my method for accomplishing this?  Read through Martha and clean each item as she lists it.

The book starts in the kitchen, so that's were I started.  So far I've wiped the cabinets, cleaned out drawers, cleaned the sink and disposal, the range and hood, the microwave, and then yesterday - the fridge.

Amusing Cleaning Story #1

Up until yesterday, none of this was exciting and certainly not worth blogging about.  Cleaning the fridge was not a big deal, except I knew the coils had to be vacuumed because we have a constant drip in the fridge.  I'd never done it before because the thought of unplugging the fridge and vacuuming it scared me.  But I bucked up and did it!!  And the dripping inside stopped!!

But then... a few hours later I noticed a puddle coming out from underneath the fridge.  Hmm, I thought "I must've got the drip pan to spill out a bit", so I cleaned it and no prob.  But the puddle kept coming back so I pulled out the fridge and discovered the source - the water line had a drip close to the wall.  I tried to sop it up and put towels along the wall to try to prevent more puddles.  I kept staring at, willing it to stop and getting frustrated that I didn't know how to fix it.  My husband kept saying, "call maintenance that's what they are for" but I knew no one could come until morning.  I even had bizarre kitchen themed dreams....

The maintenance guy came today and confirmed that the pipe is busted.  He turned off the valve, which was under the sink - a ha! I was looking for it behind the fridge, esp. because the sink is on the opposite wall.  Tomorrow they are coming to repair the pipe - torches on fire and all.

Less than two weeks into my cleaning project and catastrophe strikes!!  What else is going to happen?  Either way I'm sure I'll have wacky stories or tips I've discovered {like below}, and of course a cleaner home!

New and Better Ways to Clean 
  1. 2 cups water + 2 tbsp. dishwashing liquid = all purpose spray cleaner

    Thursday, January 28, 2010

    Valentines Mantel

    Up until now, my mantel has served a very important purpose in our apt - my husband used it to store his wallet, watch, keys and misc. junk at the end of the day.  Ahhh!  It drove me crazy.  Every Christmas I'd steal it back, but after the decorations get put away, he would inevitably take it over once again.  2010 is the year of reclaiming the mantel.  I knew I had to act fast so he couldn't get to it before I did.

    Last Friday I went to Homegoods with two things in mind:  Mantels and Valentines.  And Homegoods treated me right.  The centerpiece of the whole mantel is the awesome mirror I found for $40. Love it!!

    The clear glass was $5 and the red one was $3.  Right now the clear has conversation hearts in it and the red has a tea light.  The red will probably go away for spring, but the clear can hold any seasonal item throughout the year.

    The candle stick is one of my family pieces.  Sadly, the other candlestick broke in transit :(  I used to have the photo in our bedroom, but it works well for the holiday esp. because we are sitting at a red banquet.

    The be mine sign was another homegoods find and the pink heart came from michaels.

    I'll still be on the lookout for both seasonal and permanent pieces to add - I'd like it to be a bit more full.  I'm just so happy that it's mine and it's cute.

    Linking up to Beth's Mantel Party

    Monday, January 25, 2010

    Sweetheart Wreath

    Wreaths are one of the most common crafts I see you girls making.  I've never made one before, but after seeing countless posts using using foam forms and hot glue I knew I could do it.

    What better way to welcome Valentine's Day than with Sweethearts {I always called them conversation hearts}.

    I bought two bags of candy {and used about 1 1/2} and glued them randomly onto my form.  A few hours later, my first wreath is the first thing you see when you walk in my door <3

    Saturday, January 23, 2010

    More Planners in Etsy

    The other three planners I have been working on are now available in my etsy shop.
    and the elegant blue planner is sold!


    Tuesday, January 19, 2010

    My Etsy Shop is Open!!!

    I finally got my first item listed in my Etsy Shop - Pixie Dust Parties, the Purse Planner!!
    {that's what I'm calling my file folder planners that I've been making}


    So here she is, blue and brown papers, pretty ribbon, and a birdie with a glitter eye.

    There's no monogram on it yet, because the purchaser gets to personalize it.
    They can also choose the labels for the four interior pockets - see how they are blank right now?


    go directly to the listing here - I have it priced at $12.

    This is my only listing right now, but I have three more planners that I am getting ready to list later this week.

    {UPDATE:  this item has sold!  I'll be taking pictures and listing another planner tomorrow}

    If you sell or shop frequently on etsy and have any advice on my listing, please let me know!


    Sunday, January 17, 2010

    Family Heirlooms

    I have always always wanted to get my hands on some of the silver and china that I know exists somewhere in my family.  I just got back from visiting my mom, grandma, and aunt in Florida, and I knew that a large majority was stashed at my aunt's house.

    She wanted to clean out her garage and I wanted to snag all those goodies, so one afternoon we got to it!  Her garage looks a million times better and I filled up a box full of treasures, look what I got:

    A little glass footed bowl

    A lone salad plate

    Four bowls

    Some Lenox, including...
    A serving bowl

    A nut/candy bowl

    and a pair of candle sticks

    And finally, the one thing I have been wanting more than anything...
    A silverware set in a wood box {service for 12}

    The box is very scratched so I am going to sand and refinish it.  I'm going to get rid of the mahogany stain I don't really care for and redo it with a deep brown almost black espresso finish.

    All of the silver is beautifully aged, some pieces need to be polished, but others are perfect.

    And I adore the rose pattern.  This belonged to my great-grandmother Rosaria and my middle name is Rose, so the pattern is very meaningful - not to mention stunning!


    I am so excited to finally have some beautiful piece in my home - I can't wait to start using them :)

    Saturday, January 16, 2010

    LaCocoBella - Winner

    Thank you to everyone who entered my first give-away.

    I'm pleased to announce the winner of the LaCocoBella Give-away:

    Congratulations Dawn!! Dawn picked the gorgeous I Can See a Rainbow... Can You Bracelet.

    Please email me at henderson1026{at}gmail dot com with you address.

    And don't forget - use the code PIXIEDUST to receive 20% off your LaCocoBella order.

    when I hit 50 followers, I will host my second give-away {hint: it will be scent-sational}

    Tuesday, January 12, 2010

    LaCocoBella - My First Give-away


    Get ready for my first give-away - sponsored by La Coco Bella.

    One lucky winner will win a single jewelry item of their choice {sets excluded} designed by La Coco Bella.  There are over 60 original designs to choose from. Just head on over to her etsy shop - and leave me a comment below to let me know what piece you would like if you are the winner.

    Get a second chance to win by becoming a follower {current followers will also get a chance to win if they leave a comment} 

    Entries must be received by midnight Friday the 15th.  Winner will be announced Saturday morning.


    Monday, January 11, 2010

    Baking Challenge - Jan '10

    This month we have the Lemon Souffle from MS Living's Jan '10 issue {I can't find the link online so pick up the issue}.

    This was my first time making a souffle so I didn't have high expectations.
    I prepped my ramekins, whisked my yolks, heated my milk, and combined {there was also sugar, flour, lemon, and butter in there}.

    Then I whipped up my egg whites with sugar and folded them into the yolk mixture.

    Put them into the ramekins and then into the fridge while we ate dinner.

    Here they are fresh from the oven, slightly deflated, but very tasty!!  We poured some warm honey into them and it was very good.

    I made four mini's and one larger one.  I think this one rose the best, but it did deflate awhile later.


    They were very good, but I prefer chocolate :)

    Saturday, January 9, 2010

    Cupcake Binder Re-Vamp

    Well, I think y'all {I did go to college in Georgia} know that I love to bake, so I wanted to show off my recipe binder. 

    Here is the old cover for my "sweet treats" binder. {I keep my other recipes in a separate binder}

    Cute, but I really wanted something more.

    If you've been to Target lately, you may have noticed all the new items in the dollar spot.  Lots of valentines, pink & green stripes, and cupcakes!!

    Here is what I put together with all my new goodies....

    Scrapbook paper, cricut letters in alphaliscious, stickers, and some ribbon.


    I also added some cuteness to the spine

    I think I'll enjoy my baking projects now even more!!

    See all the other great projects at Kimba's DIY Day and BNOTP Met Monday

    DIY Day @ ASPTL

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