Archive | December, 2011

Another year younger

28 Dec

Hello and welcome back!  I hope you enjoyed your weekend and week for that matter…and had a very Merry Christmas.

The other day was my 33rd birthday (yep, it will happen to you some day if it hasn’t already).    I celebrated it by spending the day at work…boo!   The night before my birthday we had our family over to enjoy some pizza and birthday cake, so at least I was able to enjoy my birthday a day ahead of time!  Kevin made my favorite:  funfetti cake.

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Anyone else out there enjoy a little funfetti every now and then?  I know my nephews love it also…as I am sure most 2-6 year olds do.   (Did anyone notice little Stewart in the pic?  He was fixated on Kevin instead of the blazing inferno)

Anyway…enough about that…

Six months ago I made a list of things around the house I wanted to accomplish by 12/27/11.  Let’s see how we did:

1. Purchase items for the master bedroom:  floor mirror, floor lamp, chair, accessories/art, area rug?  1 out of 5 on this one.

2. Organize closet in master bedroom   Nope, still empty of clothes, but full of random things like leftover grasscloth and tools.

3. Paint guest bedroom  Nope

4. Purchase items for guest bedroom:  bedding, window treatments, nightstand, accessories/art, TV and stand? I made over a nightstand with decoupage if that counts. 2 out of 5 is getting better!

5. Paint office/craft room  Nope

6. Purchase & install shelves and/or furniture for craft room We more or less did this by using things we already had

7. Organize office/craft room Yes!

8.  Paint full bath Yes!

9.  Paint fixtures in bath (or replace)  Yes, and they are still holding up just fine!

10.  Purchase items for bath:  new medicine cabinet (or just fix existing one), window treatment, storage unit/dresser, art/accessories .  50% here, we decided to go with a mirror and ditch the medicine cabinet.  We still need to find a storage unit and some more art.

11.  Paint upstairs hallway & walls in stairway   No way!  I am thinking 2013 for this one!

12.  Create a wall of photos for stair/hallway   No, I did hang 2 pictures in the hallway upstairs, but that’s about it.

13.  Install carpet runner on stairs   Ha!  Maybe 2014!

14.  Paint foyer   No

15.  Purchase items for foyer:  hall tree or bench, accessories/art No

16.  Paint living room   No; this is definitely on the 2012 list which hopefully I will make next week.

17.  Purchase items for living room:  all new furniture (eek…sofa, coffee and end tables, etc), art/accessories    Twenty twelve here we come!

18.  Replace tile on fireplace    No

19.  Decorate fireplace mantel  Yes, a couple times actually!

20.  Have chimney repaired (tuck-pointing and various other things I am not familiar with)  Eek.  We need to do this!

21.  Paint dining room  Work in progress…almost done!

22. Put up chair (or plate) rail & add detail wood to lower 1/2 of wall   Yes!

23.  Finish dining room chairs (paint and recover)   Yahoo!

24.  Purchase additional items for dining room:  2 parson’s chairs, fabric, art/accessories, window treatments  This is also a work in progress.  My next bigger purchase will probably be window treatments, a small buffet, and art/accessories.

25.  Organize china and crystal in the china cabinets  Yes!

26.  Make slip covers for parson’s chairs  Kinda.  I made 1.5 of these.  Perhaps I should just get it done this weekend!

27.  Purchase & install new kitchen cabinet doors  No, we decided to save and just get all new cabinets (maybe 2013 for this one)

28.  Paint cabinets, doors, and walls in kitchen   Nope

29.  Install new floors and countertops    Nope

30. Purchase items for the kitchen:  stove/oven (ours is ok, but one of these days I am going to singe off my eyebrows…that will be a good look), small flat-screen TV, smaller table and chair set, window blinds (or clean existing…if possible)   Stove/oven has been purchased and it’s awesome!  I almost got Kevin a new TV for Christmas, but I have a problem with watching TV and eating dinner….I think it is the worst idea ever.  Anyone out there agree with me?  The blinds we have are hopeless, we definitely still need to replace them as well as the small table we have currently. 

31.  Install heat in the sunroom  Done, but it is not very warm =( We may have to have someone come out to fix it.

32.  Purchase items for the sunroom:  accent chairs, tables, lamps, cellular shades and drapes?, Entertainment center, art/accessories   2012!

33. Purchase items for the 1/2 bath:  small white cabinet/table, art/accessories.  My dad just made us a cabinet (for my birthday in fact).  I’ll have to show it off next week.

There you have it.  Not too bad for living in our house 10 months.  As time goes by it is easier to figure out what we need to do next.  What is next on your list?  Are you going to make a list for 2012?

Speaking of 2012…it’s next week!  We are working on a new look here at Corner of Main.  I will be taking a blogging break till next week when we can reveal our new look.    Have a Happy New Year!!

How to wrap a Wii game

23 Dec

Christmas is just days away.  Have you wrapped all your gifts yet?

Does anyone have a silly 6 year-old that they need to wrap a gift for?

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Let’s say you get that silly kid a game for their Wii and it weights a pound and is super small and not very exciting if sitting under the tree.

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I know I am not the first person to do this, but I can’t wait to watch him open it!  I put the game in a box of granola bars (I really dislike these bars so they are now just sitting in the cabinet waiting for Kevin to eat them)…

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That went into a box of cereal…

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Then a big box of Costco green beans…

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And lastly a shipping box from Amazon:

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Robby!  Uncle Kevin got you something for Christmas!

Have you wrapped anything like this before?  Has anyone given you a box of boxes?

Good luck with your last minute shopping and gift wrapping.  Have a lovely weekend and a very Merry Christmas!

Juggling Christmas

22 Dec

Warning…lots of reading and not a lot of pictures ahead…

When my brother and I were young we always had the traditional Christmas morning: get up way to early, check out what Santa left under the tree, and joyously open our gifts with our parents. When we were teenagers, my family began opening gifts on Christmas Eve, possibly going to midnight mass, and then sleeping in on Christmas morning. Our little family has always celebrated Christmas Eve at my parents.

Fast forward many years, a couple weddings, and a few babies.

Here is Christmas Eve 2010:

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As our family grows, it is hard to continue with the same Christmas Traditions we had many years ago. I love spending time with my parents, brother, and his family on Christmas Eve…as does Kevin! Kevin’s brother and sister-in-law have Christmas Eve every year, and Kevin does his best to attend every year also.

So what do you do…one night and two parties to go to?

Kevin and I are lucky that all of our immediate family are within about 30-40 miles of our house, but it is really hard to juggle schedules without hurting feelings or missing the holiday fun. What makes things even more difficult is Kevin may have to work on any given holiday. This year he is scheduled to work on Christmas =(

Our solution for this holiday season was to celebrate Thanksgiving dinner at my brother’s house, Christmas Eve at his brother’s house (but unfortunately Kevin’s mother works so they won’t get to see each other for Christmas), and I will head to my parents alone on Christmas day. This will be the first year my mom doesn’t cook a yummy dinner on Christmas Eve, but thankfully I can still see everyone on Christmas day. I am glad we were able to figure it out without too many issues (I think). Next year may be a different story…

Does anyone else out there have trouble juggling holiday parties? I can’t imagine how difficult this will be when we actually have kids! I am sure there are some of you out there with more than 2 parties to go to. How do you do it without upsetting any family members?

Guest Post at Nikki’s Nacs

21 Dec

Hello and Happy Wednesday!  Today I am happy to announce that I am writing a guest post at Nikki’s Nacs.  I am excited to share what I would do with $200 extra bucks in….

I picked out a few things for our master bedroom.  Come take a peek!

New Traditions and Ugly Sweaters

18 Dec

This is the final week of the Dare to DIY party at Newly Woodwards, and the last topic is Holiday Traditions.

Kevin and I met in 2008, married in 1010, and moved into our home here at Corner of Main in 2011.  We are starting to make a lot of our own traditions for our new family and our new home.

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I hope we can keep this up every year and make it a new tradition!  I would even like to try to plant some trees in our backyard so that we can go cut one of our own down…in…oh…2020 maybe.

  • Each year we have exchanged ornaments.  Kevin seems to have a theme going on the ones he has given me (no complaints here, who doesn’t love Swarvoski Crystal?)

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The photos don’t do these sparkly lovelies justice!

  • Another new tradition we are starting is an annual Christmas party in our home.  We hosted our first Ugly Christmas Sweater party this past weekend actually!  Our friends and family had a great time finding something ugly to wear….

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(Do you see the gray paint?  L. O. V. E. it)

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Those hats actually moved and played music!

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Kevin’s sister was the winner (below in the red with the runners up)…

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She made her sweater quite ugly with a stocking on the front and a wreath on the back!  Here was her prize (along with a Starbucks gift card):

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It’s the (very) rare (I only made 2, one for the winner and one for us)…

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2011 Corner of Main Ugly Sweater Ornament!  I am not sure if I can top this next year!

Do you have any Holiday Traditions?  Check out more at Newly Woodwards!

Linking up to Bower Power Christmas Crafts!

Timber!

16 Dec

It seems like everyone is talking trees lately, so I should probably join in on the fun.  Earlier this week Kevin and I went to a tree farm and cut down our own tree.  I vaguely remember doing this many years ago with my parents, but Kevin had never done this before.  Hopefully this is going to be a new Christmas tradition for us!  Where do you get your tree?  Do most people get them at random lots on the side of the road or maybe even Home Depot?  That’s where we usually go, and I think most people in Chicago do the same.   Or do you brave the elements and cut one down at a farm?

The farm we went to was about 45 minutes from our house, and there were quite a few trees to choose from…

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We walked around a good portion of the lot in search of our first tree for the corner of Main.  We weren’t exactly sure how big was too big.  I figured as long as it wasn’t much taller than me with my arms up we would be good to go….

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I know, very precise measuring here.  (Please ignore the fact that it looks like my clothes don’t fit, I don’t usually walk around like this).

Once we found the perfect tree, Kevin got to work with the saw.

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Then we Kevin had to carry it to where the tractor could pick it up:

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Then came Santa…

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Who picked  up our tree, and met us at the check out!

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Thanks Santa!

After it was wrapped and tied, we were headed home in no time.

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After a few lights and some pretty ornaments here she is:

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Ha!  I guess my measuring technique wasn’t the most accurate.  We didn’t exactly account for the height of the star.

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It needs a little work, but we are feeling a bit lazy right now.  Maybe the this tree will get a little trim tomorrow!

Now, our other tree is good to go….

Kevin’s mom gave us this one at our wedding shower in 2010, and this is the first year we are taking it out.

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We don’t exactly have any type of “theme” on either of the trees.  I may visit some stores the day after Christmas to pick up some discounted items for next year.  I love the look of our personal hodge podge of ornaments, but I also love color coordinated trees.  What do you prefer?  Mix and match or one uniform color?  What about real or artificial?

What do you have planned for the weekend?  Kevin and I are hosting a Christmas party for a few friends on Saturday.  Hopefully we take some good pics to share next week!

Santa Came Early!

14 Dec

Santa came early, and he arrived on a Home Depot truck! Check out what he squished through the chimney:

stove 006Well, maybe it was two delivery dudes on the truck and they came through the front door, but it felt like Christmas!

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One of the first things we needed to replace in our house was the old range…we moved in 10 months ago…nothing like procrastination! The previous stove was pretty dirty, it took an eternity to heat the oven, and I almost singed my hair (and poor Kevin almost lost his eyebrows) on numerous occasions while lighting the burners.

This may be the only pic I have with the old stove in it

We went with a stainless steel LG freestanding range with a double oven. I have been wanting a double oven range since I discovered them last year. What a fabulous idea! The bottom is big enough for a large turkey (so they say) and the top is big enough for a tray of rolls or cookies. It is the perfect invention. Why heat an entire oven if you are making a small tray of stuffed peppers for two people? Yes, stuffed peppers is a totally random example, but I made some last night with our beautiful new oven and I am going to share the recipe in a second….

We purchased the stove and 2 other appliances (that I will share later) at Home Depot on Cyber Monday. I actually went into the store and got the same price as on-line. Score! We paid less than $1,000 for this range (with free delivery), and I see now that it is $1,349.10. That makes me happy. Now we need to update the rest of the kitchen (new floor, cabinets, countertops…ugh).

Until then I will enjoy cooking on our beautiful range! The first creation that came out of this bad boy was Stuffed Red Peppers.

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Because I was making this up as I went along the measurements are not exact…

Turkey and Squash stuffed Red Peppers

  • 6 red peppers (seeded and tops cut off)
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 5 mini portabella mushrooms diced
  • 1/2 large onion (or 1 small onion I suppose) diced
  • 4 servings of cooked brown rice
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 25.5 oz. jar of butternut squash pasta sauce (yes this is the most random ingredient ever, but I think this is what made the dish sooo good. I got a 2 pack of these at cost-co for about $7 just to try it out, and I will definitely be getting more)

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Get cookin’:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 (this serious took no time at all!) and grease the bottom of an oven safe dish/corning ware-set aside.
  2. Cook turkey in a skillet until browned. Add onions, mushrooms, and salt. Cook until onions are soft.
  3. Mix in the brown rice.
  4. Place peppers in the dish and fill with turkey/rice mixture.
  5. Spoon most of the sauce over the peppers, replace the tops of the peppers, then add remaining sauce.
  6. Cover and cook for 40 minutes, remove and enjoy!

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I wasn’t sure how these would turn out but Kevin and I really liked them. I am a huge fan of peppers and onions. Any time I order pizza it always has green pepper and onions, and they are also pretty tasty on an omelet. Do you like stuffed peppers? What do you like on your pizza? Have you been the happy owner of an LG appliance? Or maybe even a double oven range?

Have a lovely Wednesday and enjoy these last 12 days of Christmas!