February 25, 2010

Cougar Town House Photos

If you’ve watched the show Cougar Town on ABC, you’ve probably noticed the gorgeous home of Courtney Cox’s character, Jules.  Every time I watch this show, I can’t help but stare at the background to see the gorgeous kitchen and family room of this TV home.

Cougar Town takes place in sunny Florida, so much of the decor is beach inspired which they’ve managed to do beautifully with fresh, bright colors and tasteful beachy accents.

The house’s kitchen is gorgeous with white cabinets, black counter tops, large furniture style island, a frosted glass door pantry, multiple sinks, pretty light fixtures, fun fabrics, and a big bright window.

I love that they’ve made this look like an actual house and not just a TV show set.  This is definitely my favorite house on TV right now and I would love to pack up my bags and move right in!

How about you, are there any TV homes you drool over?

Images from ABC.com

February 15, 2010

Early Garden Planning

Winter stinks.  The holidays are over, it’s freezing cold, and there is way too much snow outside.  So yeah, winter pretty much stinks.  I don’t think I’m the only one that feels this way, everyone seems to be growing tired of winter.  I can’t help but daydream about summer and, if you ask me, warm weather can’t come soon enough.

Since packing up and moving to the Caribbean for the rest of winter doesn’t seem totally practical, I’ve been forced to think up other ways to fight the winter blues.  Although it’s a bit premature, I’ve started planning my spring garden to put my daydreaming to work.

Last year, we were so busy installing a patio we didn’t have time left over to plant flowers and put the finishing touches on the yard.  This year, I figure if I start planning in February I should be able to finish everything come summer time!  So I have already picked out flower seeds so I can begin planning my garden:


Admittedly, I don’t know very much about gardening so this year is going to be a bit of trial and error.  Other than prettiness of course, I picked flower seeds based on how much sun they require, their hardiness, perennials vs annuals, and their bloom time.  I bought 6 different seed packets with bloom times that vary from early spring to fall to enjoy flowers as long as possible.  Based on sunlight and a bloom times, I mapped out where I’d like to plant these seeds come spring time (using a free trial of Garden Planner software I found online).

Here’s a sketch of how our yard looks now (under all of the snow):

And here’s the plan come springtime:
backyard plan

The plan is to add two trees and lattice with ivy for privacy, pretty flowers, and hopefully a small vegetable garden.  Here’s a close-up of the planned patio plants and when they’re set to bloom:
Patio Plants

I’ve chosen to try my hand at growing Russell Lupines, Orange Butterfly Flowers, Dwarf Magic Carpet Snapdragons, Bellis English Daisy, Mixed Colors Delphinium, and Dwarf Fairy Candytuft. Do you have any experience or tips for raising these flowers?  Am I crazy to start planning my garden now or have you started spring planning too?  Any other tips to help fight the winter blues?

It will still be a while before I can begin planting anything, but I love looking at these plans knowing that spring isn’t that far around the corner.

This blog post is shared on Between Naps, Cottage Instincts, Making the World Cuter, Twice Remembered, Persimmon Perch, Soft Place to Land.

February 14, 2010

Valentine’s Day Flowers: Weekend Snapshots

Happy Valentine’s Day!  I’m having a great Valentine’s weekend with my hubby.  He even brought me a beautiful bouquet of flowers.  I love how fresh flowers liven up a room.  How was your Valentine’s Day?

Lately, I’ve been trying to take more photos and experiment with photography.  I’m not a pro by any means, but photography has always been something that has interested me.  I’d love to be a better photographer, but that can’t happen without practice, so my goal is to take more photos this year and experiment with various photography techniques.  Each weekend, I plan to share to my photos here, as long as this doesn’t bore all of my readers away! 

This weekend, I played around with the macro settings of my camera (a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3) and snapped some photos of my pretty Valentine’s Day flowers:




February 12, 2010

Snow Day Scenes

Yesterday was another snow day in these parts, but by late afternoon I was able to finally venture out of the house.  I had a total BLAST sledding with my sister, brother-in-law, and nephew.  Here are some photos I took along the way.

snowy swingset 

winter farm house 



This post is shared on the Inspired Room, Finer Things.

February 11, 2010

Snow Day At Home

Mother Nature doesn’t mess around.  It has been snowing here, in beautiful New Jersey, for over 24 hours and we have received close to 2 feet of snow so far…on top of the 1.5+ feet we received on Saturday.  It is a big, cold, snowy mess outside- the region’s snowiest winter in history and it’s not even over yet.
Our house, which in it’s summer glory looks like the the photo below, is now engulfed in snow:


Is it spring yet??

This weekend we were snowed in and not being adequately prepared, I was subjected to watching several of my husband’s movie picks, which usually are a variety of straight-to-video horror movies.  Yikes!  So for today’s snow storm, I planned in advance.  I did have to work from home, but after my work was done I prepared a yummy dinner, baked chocolate chip cookies, and watched the movie “Julie and Julia” which I proactively rented yesterday.  Not usually the first type of movie I'd pick, but I enjoyed it- especially as a blogger.


I also liked the movie because I have been on a total baking kick since I got this awesome Sunbeam detachable stand mixer for Christmas.  It is not nearly as fancy as the very popular Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer, but it gets the job done for a fraction of the price.  (And don’t worry, no one is paying me to say this).  sunbeam_stand_mixer

I sadly probably only baked about 4-5 things in all of last year.  But this year alone, I have already baked banana bread 2 or 3 times, muffins twice, brownies once, oatmeal cookies, and now chocolate chip cookies.  And all of these, except the brownies, have been totally from scratch!  And it is only February, people!  I am very proud of myself.  Something about the new mixer and our recent kitchen update has totally got me into a baking mood.  I just love how the house smells and feels so warm and homey with something baking in the oven.  I was also inspired by a challenge on A Soft Place to make your home more welcoming by baking and doing other things to treat your family with the same hospitality you’d give to guests. 

My goal is to keep baking regularly this year because baking something fresh for just Rob and I makes the day feel like a special occasion.  But to avoid gaining 100 pounds this year while I bake away, I modify my recipes to replace regular flour with whole wheat, cut back on sugar, and cut back on fats and use substitutes like applesauce for butter and oil.   Have any other tips to make baking healthier?

Is anyone else snowed in this week? Looks like we will be snowed in again tomorrow!  What do you do on snow days?

February 09, 2010

Dear New Kitchen Sink and Faucet, I Love You

Pretty much as soon as we moved into our house, I knew I wanted to replace our kitchen sink and faucet.  I think this realization occurred after the first time I hand-washed dishes and ended up needing to change my shirt because the sink was so shallow, I splashed water all over myself.  Not fun.  Following this discovery, we spent the next year avoiding the use of any large pots and pans that would require hand-washing.  When hand-washing in the sink couldn’t be avoided, we resorted to arguing over who used which pot and whose turn it was to wash it.  Add on  the fact that no amount of scrubbing could get this sink to sparkle and it was obvious:  WE NEED A NEW SINK!


So of course the sink was on top of our to-do list when we decided to upgrade our kitchen.  Once we chose dark granite countertops, we decided to get a undermount sink that would blend into it’s new surroundings.  We found this beauty at Home Depot, a dark espresso color granite sink by Pegasus. The granite can withstand high heat and is scratch resistant, making it a very durable sink.  But my favorite feature of the sink is how deep it is:  10 inches!  It is twice as deep as my previous sink!

Once installation of the sink began, the depth of the new sink actually caused a bit of problems.  The sink was installed at the time of our granite countertops, but we ran into a major snag when to my dismay we realized the sink was actually too deep.  It was so deep that it wouldn’t fit because the pluming and garbage disposal underneath of the sink were in the way.  Fortunately, my dad is a major whiz at things like this and was able to essentially re-route the pipes by making them sit closer to the sides and bottom of the kitchen cabinet under the sink, creating more room for our new granite basin. 


In addition to the new sink, we replaced our kitchen faucet as well.  We chose this sleek stainless steel pull-out faucet by Price Pfister (the Parisa faucet),  Luckily when we went to buy a faucet, Home Depot was having a big clearance sale and we were able to snag this baby for $74.


We also installed a smaller faucet from Lowes for our purified  water filter.  I love having a filtered water on tap.  It's a great, eco-friendly alternative to bottled water and is very convenient because we use the water for both drinking and cooking. We also added a new built in Kohler soap pump from Home Depot.  It's much sleeker and convenient than the stand alone soap pump we previously had.

Due to the placement of our new sink, we could only install the new faucets and soap pump at the corners of the sink, not in the middle of it like we previously had.  At first, I was unsure of how this would look but since the plumbing wouldn't fit any other way I didn't have a say in this matter.  Turns out, it looks really cool!  I think it gives the sink a sleek look and it's also really convenient because it's less likely to get in my way while I'm washing dishes or giving my little puppy a bath in the sink.

I never thought I'd be so excited over a new sink and faucet, but I am!  So what do you think of my new super deep sink and side mounted faucet?  Do you love or hate your kitchen sink?


This blog post is shared on A Soft Place to Land, Reinvented, Silly Little Sparrow, Today's Creative Blog. Remodelaholic.

February 03, 2010

Last Minute Lost Party

After much anticipation, the final season of Lost premiered tonight (don't worry, no spoilers here) and I had a little Lost viewing party with Rob.  Unfortunately, I didn’t think of having a Lost themed party until 6pm tonight so I only had two short hours to whip something up.  To make matters worse, Rob and I have both been sick for the past few days and barely had any food in the house.

That didn’t stop me though and I put together a mini Lost watching party for  us.  First, I quarantined the refrigerator with the famous Quarantine hatch sign:

I also printed out the Dharma cafeteria symbol and used it to decorate the kitchen counter:

For food, I made pizza and stood some broccoli on it to make it look somewhat like trees in the jungle (use your imagination people, I didn’t have much time).  For some reason, I thought a rectangular pizza would be more “Lost” like and didn’t realize until afterwards that a traditional round pizza would look more like the island.  I blame my cold for clouding my Lost thinking!  But I salvaged the island-ness of the pizza by adding a Jack action figure which Rob got for me a few years ago.P1070969

Of course no party is complete without some dessert.  I wanted to bake some cookies but had no ingredients in the house (sometime during the past three days while I was stuck at home sick someone ate the rest of our chocolate chips.  Ok, maybe it was me).  Luckily, I had a box of low fat brownie mix and quickly whipped up a batch.  I always keep a box of brownie mix in the house for such last minute emergencies!P1070970

To make the brownies Lost-like, I cut them into the shape of an airplane and coated them with a layer of low-fat Cool Whip.  Tada, instant Oceanic Air brownies!  Don’t worry, the rest of the brownies weren’t thrown out, just put away for later munching.

And that is my last minute Lost party!  Nothing spectacular, but a cool way for us to enjoy Lost and have some fun on a weeknight.  I think our little Lost party turned out well considering my lack of ingredients, time, and preparation.  Did you have a Lost party?  Ever throw a tv show themed party?

This project is shared on Show and Tell TuesdayWorks for Me Wednesday, Diy Day, Get Your Craft On Tuesday.