Tuesday, May 18, 2010

HGTV Green Home 2010

There is only 16 days left in the HGTV Green Home 2010 giveaway and I can't believe I haven't shared it with all of you. Maybe it's because secretly I think the less people that I tell about the giveaway, the better my odds are of winning this home! Not only would you win this beautiful green home in Cape Cod, but you'd also win a new GMC Terrain, and $100,000!!! Do I have your interest - if so visit the HGTV Green Home website to enter. Just remember me if you win and keep the guest room ready for me to appear at a moment's notice.... Oh wait, it only has 2 bedrooms? I'll just stay in the tower or the laundry room - no worries!

The wrap-around porch is the one thing I dream of having someday. You don't see them very often where I live so I'll probably have to venture down south to make this dream come true.
I love the white wood walls. Normally I'm not a huge fan of white kitchens but this one is gorgeous. I'd love that double oven too.

I love the hanging chandelier that is made out of an old factory metal basket.
Why didn't I think of that?
The Laundry Room - My favorite room of all!
If I won this house I'd even be willing to do ALL of the laundry and not even complain about it. I'd feel like Martha Stewart in this laundry room/mudroom/recycling center.
The queen size bed would be the first thing to go but I love the soothing shades of blue.
Is that a cool bunk bed for kids or what? I slept in bunk beds as a kid but I can promise you it wasn't this cool looking!
My second favorite room - the tower!!! I would hide in here for hours reading, napping, and blogging. How cool would this be.....

Remember that you can enter the giveaway daily but only for the next 16 days so make it count. However if we aren't lucky enough to win remember that there are many things you can do to live green as well. This home may have been certified with the gold standard, but there are little things that you can do to make a big difference.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Mother's Day Floral Daytrip

For Mother's Day I took my mom to one of my favorite Greenhouse's - Dieder Farms in Buffalo Grove to pick out a hanging plant. I picked this place because they have the largest, most beautiful hanging plants you ever did see. When we walked in, my mother went crazy! She was so overjoyed that it took her a while before she could pick the winner.

After my mom picked out hers, we then found the perfect hanging plant for my MIL and then another for myself. I'm hoping that this time I can keep it alive longer than a few weeks. I didn't realize you needed to water them so and learn right?

Happy Mothers Day Mom and MIL!!! We love you both and hope the flowers bloom all summer long for you.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Happy Birthday David!

David celebrated his birthday this past Friday and he told me about a hundered times that he wanted a Pastel de tres leche (three milk) cake for his birthday. That's all he wanted! He even "hacked" into my blog to post the recipe that he wanted me to use after a bit of research after the best receipt. Well it sounded like an easy request until I realized I would be out of town the entire week and wouldn't get home until Friday afternoon. I made it home just in time to rush to the grocery store and get the cake in the oven before he got home from work. While the cake was baking I had about a 1/2 hour to run into my craft room and whip up a really cool birthday card for a really cool guy. I literally had the card in the envelope and was sealing it shut when he walked in the door!

For those of you unfamiliar with this cake, it's a spongy, delectable cake that oozes a sweet milk from within. You bake the cake, let it cool, and poke lots of holes into it and let the "milky" substance slowly soak into the cake. The milky topping in this recipe used included evaporated milk, sweetened condenced milk, heavy whipping cream, vanilla, and rum. Interested in giving it a try? Check out the recipe I used here. Enjoy!!!

The birthday boy eagerly waiting to dive into his cake!
Happy Birthday David!!!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Our Home Improvement List....keeps growing

and growing and growing but somehow the budget hasn't grown. Each spring we get "the itch" to spruce up our house and usually that means work outdoors because we are pretty happy with the indoors. First it started with doing some landscaping in the front yard. Then by designer friend came over to see the landscaping plans (thanks Peg!) and recognized right away that the landscaping was only a means for covering up the front porch/steps that are simply hideous. The landscaping project then became a hardscaping project with the front steps and porch. I've always dreamed of being able to sit in the front of the house on a porch in the summer under the shade of our gigantic tree. We got the plans and it was a tad more than we were planning on spending but I think it would be a great investment to the curb appeal of the home when we eventually want to sell. I keep visiting to get some ideas and I can't stop thinking about that darn porch that would be so inviting. It's not out of the question but we really need to think this one through.

In the meantime there is nothing like a Sunday morning with the newspaper in hand and the DIY channel on TV. After a few hours of all of these DIY shows, I think my husband got the itch and next thing I know he's tearing off the boards on the side of our deck. Holy %$#& is what I thought at first. The previous owners invested in a Trex deck but they never finished it properly and the warped boards on the sides are just such an eyesore. In addition we need to add railings for safety - so far we have only had 1 visitor fall off but it's something we really need to do. David has been working on the design all day and they actually have lots of cool options....if you have a hefty budget! We are trying to find a good compromise and David is working on getting quotes this week while I'm away.

Then next thing I know we are at Home Depot getting quotes on a screen door for the front door. We did some research ahead of time and knew we didn't want one that we had to change out the screen and glass every season but one that was part of the door and fullview. Once I found the one's at HD with the lead glass it was love...I know but there are so many finishes and little details you can incorporate into the standard door. I'm really excited about finally having a nice breeze coming through that door in the spring, summer, and fall. They are coming to measure and place the order this week and since it's a custome order it'll take 7-10 days but we should be enjoying it by mid to late May. We also will get up to a 30% tax credit to boot, I like that alot too!

These are just a few things on the list but it seems like it keeps growing and growing. Anyone else working on their home improvment list as the weather warms up?