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Wednesday Wisdom

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My favorite quote…

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Lego Loco

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In the mist of the New Year’s “I want to throw everything out and get organized mode, I came across bins of Legos.  Big bins.  Oodles and oodles of money spent bins.

My son is in high school now and hasn’t played with them in years.  He was obsessed with Legos when he was little.  It’s his childhood in those bins.  I  can’t bear to throw them away or give them away.  Just for fun, I Googled “Lego ideas for home decor”.  There’s actually stuff!  You gotta take a look!

I have a feeling I won’t be using Legos as accessories in my home.  But I’m thinking what a totally awesome Grandma I will be when I pull out this ginormous bin of Legos for my grandchildren to play with.  Yep!  I’m totally going to be the way cool favorite Grandma! 😉  And even better, with age comes wisdom (or so I heard) – so I will know to ALWAYS wear shoes when Legos are on the floor!

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Munchausen Lego Kitchen Simon Pillard and Philippe Rosetti

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Lego - boys room

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DOUBLE chain LEGO Heart Necklace, Lego Heart Friendship Necklace - Gift For Couples, Family, Friends, BFFs - 2 necklaces make 1 Whole Heart

LEGO Toothbrush Holder

LEGO Table Lamp designed by Jung Ah Kim02 LEGO Table Lamp designed by Jung Ah Kim

Winter Blues Will Lose

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I’m in a battle with the Winter Blues. In an attempt to win this nagging fight, I’m trying to think happy thoughts, smile like the sun is shining and keep my mind and body busy.   Sadly, the Blues have had a chance to stomp on me a few times.  Like Tom Cruise to a couch.  Without the happy dance.

A friend of mine sent me a Daily Inspiration that said, “During the short days of winter, we see less of the sun, but it hasn’t disappeared. The earth has moved, but the sun is still shining bright and clear.”  So I will also remember that the sun is always shining, even when I can’t see it.

If you, too, are a victim of the Winter Blues, maybe these pictures will inspire you to add some happy colors to your winter world.  If nothing else, perhaps it will just make you smile for a moment.

I’m thinking all the doors in my house will be painted these cheery colors shown in the first picture.  What do ya think?  Hubby might wonder what the heck happened to his wife while he was at work, but you know I will be smiling when I watch the expression on his face.  Yep, still a hoot!  Take that Winter Blues! 😉

Le 1er étage, véritable labyrinthe d’Alice au Pays des Merveilles

Happy Doors

open-air tropical style room with white plantation shutters

Colorful Pillows

1. Colorblock Bookshelves

Pops of Color

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Cheery Fabric

I love the idea of painting a window frame in a light-colored room.

Window Frame Painted Bright

Nature’s Beautiful Colors

Gorgeous color

Gorgeous Statement Piece

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Nails in Every Color. (I would do this!)

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Bright Interior Door

Picture 3

Bold Exterior Door

so happy curtains  <<< love these!  I've never even considered hanging multicolored curtains before... Go figure...  <3~R~<3

Colorful Curtains

Happy rainbow stairs

Rainbow Colored Stairs

Blue cabinets

Bright Hint of Color

Home Decor Ideas with Colorful Interior Design

Vibrant Seating

Wednesday Wisdom

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Bathroom Makeover with Wood Planks

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I love a bargain!  But finding an accidental bargain is even better!  After the post on Wood Wall Planks, I was psyched to makeover my son’s bathroom.  The day I went to Lowes to finally purchase the planks (I’d been looking at them forever!), they were on clearance!  Instead of $19.99 for a package of four 8 foot planks, they were priced at $3.50 a package!!!  Holy Toledo!!  I hit the mother load!  I bought oodles of them.  More than I needed for this project.  For $3.50 each, I couldn’t help myself.

So, for less than $20.00, I paneled the bathroom walls.

before5

The “BEFORE”. This bathroom is a “Jack and Jill” room. It has doors to two bedrooms and a separate door for the toilet and shower.

before2

Plain boring walls.  And it has a huge, ugly “builder’s” mirror.

plank1

The wood plank is EverTrue Edge V-Groove, Primed.  As you can see, I decided to use them horizontally.  It looks casual, beachy and more “boy” I think.

plank lightswitch

I used a jigsaw to make cuts for light switches and electrical plugs.  Although, when my brother was here, I asked him in my charming sisterly way if he would do some cutting for me.  He comes in handy.

compressor

I asked for a nail gun with a compressor a year and a half ago for my birthday. This project was the first time I used it. Let me tell ya people… it was so easy and so much fun!

nailer

Love the nail gun! It made holes so small that when I painted the planks, the paint filled in the holes. No spackling!

finished3

The white molding on top of the wood planks gives the wall a finished look.

After the planks were up, I caulked all the edges and painted the planks a glossy white.  Then I painted the upper walls Wedgewood Gray, a Benjamin Moore color that Lowes colored matched.  Once the Wedgewood Gray was dry, I added trim molding to the top of the wood plank.

glue on mirror

I used lattice board to frame around the mirror.  It was stained first with MinWax Wood Finish in Expresso on both sides.  The boards are attached to the mirror with clear silicon. Because the mirror is attacked to the wall with clips, I used this method to get the wood to lay flush on the glass.  Since I don’t like “permanent” I did not want to glue the mirror directly to the wall.

mirror taped2

Painters tape is your friend when you need extra hands!

top mirror trim

The trim I used to cap off the planked wall is the same trim I used for the top trim on the mirror. I just bought a piece that was unfinished so I could stain it, instead of the pre-primed trim I used on the wall.

finished1

The AFTER. I can’t tell you how many pictures I took, and how many settings I tried, to get good pictures.  (I didn’t succeed.)  Taking pictures in a room with no windows and six light bulbs is challenge!

finished2

I know it will be too much to ask my son to keep these “pretty” towels in the basket and to use the old ugly ones for his hands. Boys don’t understand “they’re just to look at”. Oh well. They are neat and pretty today. 😉

finished5

All done! If you need any wood wall plank, I have oodles I’ll sell you for as little as $19.99. 😉

before and after

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Salmon Bake With Pecan-Crunch Coating Recipe

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Happy Friday!  Here’s another recipe from my friend and fantastic cook, Crys at Dancing Moon Pilates.

Salmon Bake With Pecan-Crunch Coating

Ingredients

Try to make sure the pieces of Salmon are of equal thickness to ensure even cooking.

* 4 salmon fillets (about 1½ inches thick)
* ¼ teaspoon salt
* ⅛ teaspoon pepper
* 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
* 2 tablespoons butter or 2 tablespoons margarine, melted
* 1½ tablespoons honey
* ¼ cup soft breadcrumbs
* ¼ cup finely chopped pecans
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Directions

Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper; place, skin down, in a lightly greased 11 x 7 x 1-1/2-inch or 9-inch square baking dish.

Combine mustard, butter, and honey; brush over salmon. Combine breadcrumbs, pecans, and parsley; spoon evenly across top of salmon. Bake, uncovered, at 450 for 12-15 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Garnish, if desired.

Wednesday Wisdom

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Personalized Entryway Organization

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A year and a half ago, I created this entryway at the back door in an attempt to have some sort of organization and control over coats and backpacks. It works sometimes. Sometimes not so much. But now the wall has everyone’s initials attached to their designated space, so I am positive this personalized touch will have everyone hanging up their coats with a great big smile on their face.  Right?  Or not.

But at least it looks cute. 😉

before initials2

Some coats are hanging here, others are everywhere else.

closeup initial

Found these metal initials at Hobby Lobby. I got them 1/2 off that price!

Initial glued and taped

I attached the letters to the wall with Loctite Power Grab for Molding and Paneling. (Had some left over from a project I’m excitedly working on!)

Initials closeup

Cute, huh?

Initials after

You’d hang your coats here right? Could you please tell my kids?

Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup Recipe

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Happy Friday!

This recipe for Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup was found by my good friend, Crys, who is also my Pilates torturer instructor.  (I will post the source as soon as I find it!)  She has a blog called Dancing Moon Pilates where she shares her inspirations, recipes, fitness tips and DIY projects.  Crys is also my thrifting, antiquing, home improving buddy, a.k.a. partner in crime, when it comes to home projects.  She’s an AWESOME cook too!  Check out this soup recipe.  It looks delicious!

From Crys at Dancing Moon Pilates:

Since it is winter (even though it’s going to be 70 degrees this weekend) I thought a soup recipe would be a good one to start with. Growing up one of my favorite comfort foods  was always a Grilled Cheese Sandwich and Tomato Soup. As an adult I still love the meal but prefer a more “grown up” version of the soup. This delicious recipe requires a slow cooker. Enjoy!

Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup in the  Slow Cooker

Makes about 2 quarts (about 8 servings)
2 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes, with juice
1 cup finely diced celery
1 cup finely diced carrots
1 cup finely diced onions
1 tsp dried oregano or 1 T fresh oregano
1 T dried basil or 1/4 cup fresh basil
4 cups chicken broth
½ bay leaf
½ cup flour
1 cup Parmesan cheese
½ cup butter
2 cups half and half, warmed 
 (or skim milk if you’re trying to cut some calories)
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper

1.  Add tomatoes, celery, carrots, chicken broth, onions, oregano, basil, and bay leaf to a large slow cooker.

2.  Cover and cook on LOW for 5-7 hours, until flavors are blended and vegetables are soft.

3.  About 30 minutes before serving prepare a roux. Melt butter over low heat in a skillet and add flour. Stir constantly with a whisk for 5-7 minutes. Slowly stir in 1 cup hot soup. Add another 3 cups and stir until smooth. Add all back into the slow cooker. Stir and add the Parmesan cheese, warmed half and half, salt and pepper.  Add additional basil and oregano if needed (the slow cooker does a number on spices and they get bland over time, so don’t be afraid to always season to taste at the end).

4.  Cover and cook on LOW for another 30 minutes or so until ready to serve.

Wednesday Wisdom

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To Remember…

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Wood Wall Planks

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Have you ever walked around a home improvement store and see something you didn’t even know you wanted?  A project you hadn’t thought of before and suddenly a light goes off and you think “Where have you been all my life”?

It happened to me.  What was the object of my desire you ask?  Wood wall planks!

I know, they’ve been around forever, but it never occurred to me to think about the possibilities.  I have a couple of projects on my radar at the moment; redoing my son’s bathroom and doing something with the kitchen island.  I think I just found my inspiration!

Dark wood paneling

I absolutely adore navy blue! How beautiful is this!?

Love the horizontal paneling

Horizontal! Oh the possibilities.

an idea of what i am looking to do with beadboard paneling in the bathroom - like the trim on the top

bathroom mirror ideas for a small bathroom

full bath after remodel with MDF on sides of tub

Happy is in the House

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I started out 2012 with the blog name Ode to my Abode.  This past year I changed it to House of 34.  I wanted to share more than just DIY projects.  House of 34 is about sharing ideas and experiences, laughing and making fun of myself (and occasionally others, all with love of course), as well as DIY Projects.  My goal in writing about my DIY projects, though, is to encourage you to try new things yourself.  I’m not an expert at anything.  But for reasons not yet known, 😉 I’m not afraid to try anything either.  I believe if you have an idea in your head, you can do it.

Thanks for all your support!  Blogging has been a wonderful experience.  I have “met” some pretty awesome people in cyberspace! 😀  House of 34 is a happier place with all of you in it.

Thought I would share some of the top posts from 2012.  Thank you again!!

Top Five DIY Projects

Framing a Bathroom Mirror

Storage Cabinet Makeover

Arm Chair Makeover

Entryway Curtains

Entryway Curtains

Painted Architectural Pediment

Most Popular Humor Post

Pinned Image

Most Popular Wednesday Wisdom

Wednesday Wisdom

Wednesday Wisdom

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New Years Resolution… Choice #3

You Have Three Choices

Happy New 365 Days!

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Happy New Year!

I’ve thought about this past year, and although I managed to get a few projects done, I wondered if I made any sort of meaningful contributions to the world.

After scouring all of 2012’s posts, it became clear I didn’t change the world, but here is what I know… a) I have amazing followers, b) you still follow me even when I share my dorky moments, and c) some of these dorky moments maybe, just maybe, contributed a teeny tiny bit of wisdom, goofiness and laughter. 😉

Developed a revolutionary way of cleaning mattresses!

Discovered flat abs requires more than 8 once-a-week exercise sessions.  I wish I had better news on that.

Took a job as Test Drive Dummy and pushed my finger “through opening”.  It hurts like the dickens, people.

90 percent

Gave a name to a troubling condition called 90 percentitis.   It’s a problem many DIY-ers have when they have too many creative thoughts in their heads at one time.

Told the world to go crazy and buy TWO cans of frosting with cake mix!!

AND, last but not least, gave you way better directions on how to deposit a check at the ATM machine than Hubby gave me.  (The folks behind the security camera are still laughing!)

I hope this New Year brings you happiness, joy and oodles of laughter!

Wednesday Wisdom

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Tis the Season

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Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

Christmas Ornament

I hope everyone has a great Christmas.  Family has arrived, shopping is mostly done, and I’m going to spend some time enjoying being with the people I love the most.  Happy Holiday!

 

Girl verses ATM Machine

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My Hubby asked me to deposit a check.  He said it’s easier now.  No deposit slip.  No teller.  Just go to the ATM machine.  The check gets scanned and you’re done.  Got it!  Sound like something I can handle.

I apparently over-estimated my banking abilities.  I pulled up and rolled down my window.  I saw where the check needed to go.  The directions said to “deposit check here”.  So I hung myself out the car window, to reach the deposit slot.  But the check would not go in.  I tried again and again, forward, backwards and upside down, the ATM would not take my check.

Thinking Mom just wasn’t doing it right, my daughter unbuckled herself and climbed over to the front seat.  She was going to try.  Now she’s kneeling on my lap, wedged between my chest and the stearing wheel, hanging out the window herself.  She tried and tried, but the ATM stood its ground.  It would not take my check.

Hubby said it was easy!  What was I doing wrong?  And at this point I realized that I was most like being taped by a security camera.  I don’t even want to think about what we looked liked.  I can only imagine the roaring laughter that would occur if anyone watched that tape.  Mom and daughter, half way out the window, shoving a check at an uncooperative machine.

I almost gave up and drove away.  Then a thought occurred to me.  What if I insert my debit card in to the ATM machine?  When I want the machine to give me money, I use my ATM card.  Maybe that would work!

And what do ya know… The deposit slot opened up and took my check.  And I swear, as the ATM was finally scanning my check for deposit, I heard  snickering coming out of the deposit slot!  I think I even saw the sides of the slot turn up in a slight smile.

I’m only telling you this embarrassing story in hopes that it will prevent any one else from listening to her Hubby about how to work an ATM machine.  He missed telling me a several crucial steps.  Like.. Take out your ATM card.  Put the ATM card in to the machine.  Punch in your security code.  Choose “DEPOSIT” then insert your check.  Those are important!  Like really important.  Otherwise you will just be hanging out your window trying to jam a check into a CLOSED deposit slot!  With people watching.  And laughing.

Wednesday Wisdom

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TRUST

Like Three Blind Mice

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Last night, Hubby and I went out with another couple to a restaurant called Epic Chophouse in Mooresville.  (Located in the heart of historic downtown Mooresville, for those who live in the Lake Norman area.)

The restaurant is located in a historic part of town.  We heard the food is amazing!  Hubby and I joked how we felt like young, hip people going out on a school night, having drinks, conversation, and being with friends.  We didn’t feel like old moms and dads who would normally, at that time of night, be in our pajamas and slippers, getting ready to put our kids to bed, then ourselves.   That is, until the menu arrived.

This is what Epic Chophouse’s websites says:  Epic Chophouse offers fine dining in an elegant and comfortable setting. Our great selection of steak, seafood, other fine foods and wine has quickly made us one of the most sought-after dining choices in the Lake Norman region of North Carolina. Our experienced chefs can please the most discriminating palate and our friendly staff strives to give you wonderful dining experience.  Come on over for a relaxing night of great food and drinks!

Sounds great, huh?  We have discriminating palates.  We were ready for a wonderful dining experience!  And there we were.  All of us with huge menus in front of our faces, excited to see what we were going to eat.  Then we put down our menus and looked at each other.  We could see each other.  We could not see our menus!  Only one of us had reading glasses on.  Two of us did not bring any.  And one of us just gloated because he could read the menu just fine.  Yay for him. (Insert sarcasm.)  The rest of us, however, were like 3 blind mice!

A couple of us tried to magnify the menu with our cell phones.  That didn’t work.  It just made us look like idiots.  No one had arms long enough to read without glasses.  I tried to hold the menu away from my friend so she could see it, but I nearly fell off my chair trying to get far enough away.  All of our efforts was making us look ridiculous.  We ended up passing the one pair of glasses around the table to read the menu.  The waitress came back twice to see if we were ready to order.  Sorry, not yet.  Still passing the glasses!  It took 20 minutes.  So much for cool and hip!

Despite this sad moment when none of us old fogies could read the menu, we had a fantastic time!  The food and drinks were yummy.  The company was great!  And the decor gave me decorating ideas!  Gotta love that!  😉

For my Friends and Neighbors… Here is a little about the restaurant:

First a little history…  At the time Mooresville was founded, a saloon sat on the current site of Epic Chophouse. The saloon was torn down in 1888 to make way for a modern dry goods store named the Rankin Store. The store was divided into 5 sections, with a portion of the current main dining room used for cloth, notions, shoes and general merchandise. The bar area was used as the mens department, and the area over the main dining room was used as the women’s and children’s department. A millinery department was located at the rear of the women’s department; where only the finest and latest ladies hat styles were crafted. The section now occupied as the banquet room served as the merchandise unpacking and pricing area.

The present day kitchen housed feed and seed, and there was at one time a mezzanine used to display rugs and provide storage. The large octagon floor area featured an opening called a well. This allowed light and heat to penetrate the upper floor while providing better circulation during hot summer months. The original building contained a rope elevator furnished by the J.B. Westbrook Company of Danville, Virginia. In 1907, this was replaced with an electric elevator built by the Park Elevator Company of Charlotte. A 21st century environmentally friendly elevator was installed in 2005. There are three centuries of elevators within 30 feet! The founder of the Rankin Store died in 1906, and the store was reorganized as W.W. Rankin Company, which stayed in operation until the 1950s. The building then became Morrow Brothers Furniture Company until around 1980.

Today, this wonderful historic building is home to Epic Chophouse… an upscale dining experience with a “chophouse-classic American style” menu.  Epic Chophouse is owned by Jim Morasso, Larry Sponaugle and Rick Mack. Both Mr. Sponaugle and Mr. Morasso have been in the restaurant business for over two decades, and Mr. Mack is an entrepreneur as well with RDM Architecture and SynergyOne in Davidson. The Executive Chef is Jon Spencer, CEC and Sous Chef is Tim Chung. Epic Chophouse offers a variety of steaks, chops, seafood, pasta and some Southern specialties, and also has an intimate bar area for relaxing with friends.

Made You Smile – Holiday Style

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Some holiday giggles and smiles for you.

Cute Christmas Animals 14 630x418 55 Pictures of Funny Animals Cutely Enjoying Christmas

Funny Christmas animals21 Funny Christmas animals

Cute Christmas Animals 36 55 Pictures of Funny Animals Cutely Enjoying Christmas

Cute Christmas Animals 08 55 Pictures of Funny Animals Cutely Enjoying Christmas

christmas tree cat lolcat ornaments history animal funny pics pictures pic picture image photo images photos lol

grumpy cat dashing through the no

English Foxhound Cute Dog Puppies

Funny pictures

Grumpy Cat on Christmas

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