June 26, 2013

Easy Peasy Patriotic Candy Display


Super easy peasy Fourth of July decorative candy display. And its yummy too!!!

I used a variety of mason jars and other clear containers... filled them each with red, white and/or blue candies or treats and then tied simple patriotic colored ribbons around them.


The red white and blue sweet treats naturally look great displayed together!  I used a few of our favorites, but any red white and blue edible items would work.


I elevated a few of the containers on a cake plate and set the others around the bottom.  Super simple and so festive!  I love the pop of patriotic colors off of our new subway tile backsplash :)


Until next time,
Happy decorating!

Diana



Party time -
Savvy Southern Style

June 19, 2013

4th of July Wreath

I'm just starting to decorate around our house for Independence Day (4th of July)... and I came across this cute wreath that I made last year.  I love the red, white and blue mixed with natural elements!


  
To see how I made this wreath you can view it HERE.  

I'm working on a few new red, white and blue craft projects for this year that I will share with you soon.

Until next time,
Happy decorating!

Diana

June 12, 2013

The Mistake I Made in Choosing Granite

If I had the chance to do it over again, I would change my decision and not get granite on our kitchen counters.

When we bought our house, the builder offered white ceramic tile as their standard for the kitchen counter.  I knew I didn't want ceramic tile with a bunch of grout to clean... so we opted to upgrade our kitchen counters to granite.  Via our builder this was not a cheap option, but granite was the popular decision so we went with it.  When it came time to select the type of granite we went with a somewhat busy speckled grainy pattern, a mix of neutral and darker colors.  The granite we chose is called Santa Cecelia (pictured).  It looked so beautiful... and once it was installed my husband and I both absolutely loved the look.  If we lived in a model home where we didn't actually use the kitchen, it would have been an amazing choice.  However, being that we actually do cook in our kitchen, I admit that I am not loving the granite.  Not at all!!!  If I could do it over again, I would definitely not select any kind of speckled counter top surface.  

When you look at this picture, can you tell if the counter is clean or dirty?  Neither can I...


I do like having a solid surface counter.  However, what I don't like (in fact, I can't stand) is that you can't see crumbs and small spills that happen all over the surface.  They completely blend right in.  The granite does a great job of hiding food, bread crumbs, spills, splashed spaghetti sauce and such.  If you don't wipe up something the second it happens you won't even see it.  Next thing you know there is junk stuck to the counters and it is hard to clean once food is hardened onto it.  I know that sounds disgusting, but it's the truth.

I admit that I don't mind floors hiding dust and crumbs, but the one place that I do want to see and know if it's dirty is the counters where we prepare our food.  I want to see every splatter and spill, and know they are there so I can wipe them up right away.  Unfortunately in our house,  all too often, when someone makes something in the kitchen, they don't clean up their mess right away and then since it is hard to see, they forget about it.  The number of times I go to prepare dinner and find stuff stuck to the counter tops drives me crazy.  

Once upon a time, I had a white laminate counter top in the kitchen of an old home.  Yes, it was cheap and boring looking, but it was the easiest thing to clean!  

If we had a solid color or a light color counter we would know immediately if something was on it that needed wiping up.  

Choosing the darker speckled granite was a big mistake!  

If you are considering new counters in your kitchen you may want to consider what I am saying... Like I said, if I had the chance to do it over again, I would NOT buy granite.  Expecially not for the kitchen!

I would probably go with a light color quartz or even something like a Corian surface.  These  may not be the most popular option, but knowing now what I've learned, that would be my choice.

I wish I would have done more research on the subject or someone would have told me to consider this before we had picked them out.  By sharing this information here, I am hopeful that it will help someone who is trying to decide what to use for their kitchen counter surface.

Blessings,
Diana

June 5, 2013

Subway Tile Backsplash (The Debacle Continues)

For those of you that are wondering how our kitchen DIY tile backsplash is going and awaiting the big reveal, here is an update on our progress.  After the never ending tile saw debacle (Read Post Here) we finally have officially gotten all of the tile cut and up on the wall.  Hallelujah! 

We had so many struggles along the way... I thought I'd share the story of the ongoing craziness:


We had originally planned to do our entire tile backsplash over a two day weekend.  Wow, we had seriously underestimated the time it would take to do this DIY project!!!  It always looks so easy on HGTV and the DIY Network (lol).  A few weeks ago we spent the first two days just getting a tile saw that actually worked (Read Post Here).  And then we got is just a couple of hours of actual tiling done. Since my hubby doesn't have time mid week for home projects and the following weekend we had to be out of town, our kitchen sat just awaiting us to find time to work on it again.  

Side note: When I say "we" worked on it, it mostly means my husband worked on it :)  Although I do make some of the tile cuts, I am mostly the supervisor on this job (hehe)...

We decided we would spend two days over Memorial weekend (Sunday and Monday) finishing the job.  Unbelievably we had more tile saw problems.  Sunday morning, when Jim was setting up the tile saw, the tube that feeds the water into the top of the wet saw broke.  Yes, it broke.  Ugh!  We had purchased the two year warranty.  If anything goes wrong you take it back to the store for a replacement.  So we packed up the saw and headed to the store where we had purchased it.  Going to this particular store is a 50 mile round trip.  Needless to say, what a waste of our morning!

When we got home we assembled the new saw, added water and pluged it in.  It was working... really it was... temporarily.   After using the saw for a handful of cuts, the water pump started struggling.  Oh my gosh, are you kidding me?!!!  Seriously this couldn't be happening.  The pump intermittently would work and then stop working, then work and stop again.  We continued to tile for a few hours, shaking and rattling the pump to get it to work each time we needed to make a cut.  I'm thinking there was an electrical short of some sort in the pump/wire.  Being that the pump was submerged in water this didn't seem like the best situation.  Luckily we didn't get shocked!

Our kitchen backsplash area has 9 electrical outlets, a light switch, a CAT5 outlet and a switch for the garbage disposal... That is a ton of things to cut around!!!  After a few hours of working we still had a bunch more cuts and we realized that we would need to take the wet saw back to the store again for another replacement.   It was already dinner time so we decided we would go to the store again in the morning.

Monday morning, Memorial Day. We should have been swimming and barbecuing with friends and family, but instead we were still dealing with ongoing tile saw problems and just wanting to get this stupid job done!  Another 50 mile round trip to the store for another new saw.  

When we got to the store they told us they didn't have any in stock and we would have to wait until Wednesday when more were scheduled to come in.  No way!  We had set aside this day to tile and one way or another we were going to.  Luckily I walked around the store and I actually found one.  It was the only one and it was located in an oddball spot so thank God that I noticed it!  

Again we came home, assembled the saw and it worked.  This one actually continued to work all day.  More than four hours of tiling and we still had two corners and three receptacles to cut around.  Knowing this process would take at least a few more hours we decided to stop for the night.  Bending over a tile saw and over a kitchen counter all day while working is not very nice to the body.  You find that you have muscles that you didn't even know existed.

We knew our kitchen was big, but this project seems to be taking forever.  This past weekend we finally finished getting all of the tile up.  Every little painstaking piece.  We should be able to grout this coming weekend.  I think grouting will be easy.  It will at least be easy for me since again I will be the supervisor :)  Since it doesn't require fancy electrical tools hopefully we won't have any issues!  

The issues we had on this job were pretty much all tile saw related. If we had gotten a good tile saw to begin with, this job would have gone so so much faster! 

I'm hoping that this whole project is sort of like giving birth, super painful while you are going through it, but after it's over you forget the pain.  I seriously hope so!!!

Until next time,
Happy decorating!

Diana