Saturday, April 30, 2011

New Page: A House Tour

I've added a new page to Newcomb Home: a house tour! Click on 'Our Home' above to check it out.  

By no means does this indicate that we're anywhere close to finished with our home. I just wanted to provide you with an easy one-stop shop page to check out the progress we're making on each room. There are still some rooms I haven't even mentioned (did you even know we had an office?). I'll add them to the 'Our Home' page slowly, as we work on each room.

I'm bound and determined to make some progress on the bathroom this weekend, so hopefully I'll be able to update the 'Our Home' page soon.


And now, a completely unrelated pic of my beautiful sister (showing off her Texas beer). She used to live in Texas, then she moved even farther, to South Korea.


Time to come home Emmy! Portland misses you. Pin It

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Guest Room Reveal

*** If you're reading this in Google Reader and this post is a repeat I apologize. I tried to backdate it but its still showing up first in the RSS feed. Please scroll down to see my husband's post with tips and tricks to make fixing leaky pipes easier. Thank you for your patience! ***


This post was originally published at the awesome blog The Adventures of Ordy and Joon. I showed Joon's readers how I turned this.



Into a welcoming guest room:
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I wish I had a true ‘Before’ picture for you, but I got in there with a can of paint so fast we forgot to take pictures. The walls used to be bright yellow and the carpet was navy blue. The drywall on the ceiling had been textured but never primed or painted. There was crown molding and trim that had never been caulked. It was not a pretty sight. But it is now!

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The first step to transform this room was to paint stripes on the wall. It was by far the most time consuming painting project I’ve completed, but well worth it.

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Can you see the stripes? The paint is Valspar’s coconut milk, in a flat and semi-gloss finish.

After our new carpet was installed we started filling the room with second hand furniture. The bed was my grandparents. I slept on it during my childhood and was lucky to inherit it when my parents downsized to a condo. The nightstand was also a hand-me-down, from a friend in Maryland. I’m happy to continue to use both pieces of furniture. They remind me of past homes and both had good bones but just needed a facelift. So, I busted out the spray paint.

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The bed went from a reddish stain to white and the nightstand when from a peeling beige paint to bright green. I love the calming blue of the comforter with the wild green of the dresser.

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After the major pieces of furniture were finished, I got to the fun part – accessories!

When deciding on the decor, I was thinking of people that have visited from all corners of the country and how we hope to have many more guests in the future (Portland is beautiful in the summer everyone!). So I decided to use travel as my inspiration by including things from trips Matt and I have taken, or Portland-themed decor. But no, I didn’t put a bird on it (Portlandia reference anyone?).

The turtle picture is from the first trip Matt and I took together, to Hawaii. The blue tray on the nightstand is from our recent trip to Japan and the photo on the bookshelf is from our trip to Prague.

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Next to the bookshelf is a painting of Mt. Hood, a must-see if you’re visiting Oregon. My mom bought it for me at a great outdoor market downtown, which is also a fun destination for visitors (can’t go wrong with a market that sells elephant ears!).

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Yes those are Twilight books and no, I’m not embarrassed :) Everyone has a guilty pleasure, right? The bookshelf was fun to decorate with books, photos, and vases, but I also tried to keep with the travel theme.

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On the top shelf I put our Portland-related books. Most importantly, a guidebook for happy hour hotspots :)
For the rest of the decor, I looked to the blogosphere for inspiration. I didn’t want to spend a fortune on a new lamp, so I bought just the base at Target ($12.99!) and jumped on the bandwagon, using coffee filters to transform the red lamp shade.

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I was inspired by another creative idea and made a sunburst mirror using shims and wood stain from Home Depot.

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I love the bold color of the dark wood, and think both the wood of the mirror and the soft lamp shade are good contrasting textures compared to the shiny spray paint on the bed and nightstand.

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I’d still like to get some curtains for the window and put a small chair next to the bookshelf for a reading nook, but overall I’d be proud to have guests in this room!

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Linked up at HOUSEography's Room by Room Link Party.


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Guest Room Reveal at The Adventures of Ordy and Joon

Wahoo! I’m excited to be guest blogging over at the fantastic blog, The Adventures of Ordy and Joon.

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While Joon’s busy studying for finals, I’ll show you how I turned this mess

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into a welcoming guest room. Please hop on over to The Adventures of Ordy and Joon to check out my guest room!



Linked up over at Amanda's Weekend Bloggy Reading and the Weekend Wrap Up at Tatertots and Jello. Pin It

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Romantic Tablescape, or My Reverse Psychology on the Weather

We’ve been having bouts of sunshine in Portland but overall, its still pretty gloomy outside. I can't wait to wake up to the sun peaking through the window, to see flowers blooming in the yard, and to enjoy a cold beer on a warm day. 

Matt and I in Corfu, Greece in 2007
 Sort of like that :)

Lately, I’ve been trying to infuse Spring into our house despite the rain, but today I decided to embrace the cozy feeling, break out some candles, and create a romantic tablescape to go along with the dreary weather.


I used a bright yellow tablecloth for some color against the all white decor.

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But I couldn’t let go of all signs of Spring because I just love this little guy.

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I’m not sure why, but I’m picturing a yummy breakfast to go along with this table.



Maybe its because its one of the only meals my husband willingly cooks? The other meal is dessert. Oh! And popcorn. (Sadly in our house those two often count as meals.) That’s his entire repertoire. But he makes a damn good chocolate chip cookie!

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I’m still getting used to ‘staging’ photos for the blog, hence the box for wine glasses in the background.

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I love the white ceramic pieces because they’re so versatile. I can change it up with some spring flowers or a different tablecloth and have a whole new look without having to buy all new stuff.

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What is your favorite go-to decorating item?

PS. Update: I wrote this post a few days ago, and its been pretty sunny in Portland since then! I had to change the title of the post before I published it because I’m foolishly taking credit for “reverse psychology-ing” the weather. Knock on wood the sunshine sticks around!

Linked up at Homemaker on a Dime and

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Tile Dilemma: Help Us Design Our Bathroom Vanity

I’m very inconsistent when it comes to decision-making. Sometimes I commit to something (like making a workbench all by myself) and just go full speed ahead having no idea what I’m doing. Other times, I waffle back and forth over the smallest decision.

This is one of those waffling times. So I need your help! As you know, Matt and I are in the middle of the world’s slowest bathroom remodel. We’ve finished our first step, which was retiling the shower. Now we’re working on re-doing the bathroom vanity. Once I paint the vanity, it’ll be time to lay the tile on the bathroom counter.

This is what the vanity used to look like:
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Don’t you just love that bright blue? I’m painting the vanity white, got a new faucet from my parents (gotta love the hand-me-downs) and purchased some granite tile remnants at the Tile Outlet (sort of a rash decision – at $5 per sq ft I’m not even sure it was a great deal!).

The granite tile is where your help is needed. So please, stay with me! I’ll explain my dilemma. The counter (currently living on the floor in the garage) is 21” x 36”.



But my tiles are 18” x 18” (I have three of them).



So, the tile doesn’t fit all the way across the bathroom counter.



See that space at the top where the old counter is deeper than the tile? I knew that when I bought the tile, but just thought, “Oh, I’ll cut it into pieces.”
But now, I’m totally at a loss about how to cut the tile.

Matt thinks I should leave the pieces big and just have one grout line at the top.



On one hand I like this idea. Its easy and keeps the granite nice and smooth (as close to slab as possible). On the other hand, the lack of symmetry with the grout lines is totally bugging me.

Another option is to keep the tiles pretty big but even out the grout lines like this.



My current favorite is making diamond shaped tiles.

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I think the pattern of the diamonds is pleasing to the eye, but its definitely the most work out of all the options.

The last option I’ve considered is a subway tile pattern.



So. Its time for you to vote!

Picture the patterns with the dark granite and tell me, which is your favorite?

Which pattern should we use for the tile? 

Thank you! I’m excited to have some help with this paralyzing decision and move on with the bathroom vanity :) If you have any other ideas please please let me know!

I can’t wait till our vanity looks a little like this.



This post is linked up at Dittle Dattle and Flamingo Toes.
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Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Rain is Back, but My Front Door is Shining

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Last week I featured a great tutorial for a sunny lemon wreath, made by Ordy and Joon. It was the perfect addition to our normally drab front porch. My friend Lindsay came over so we could try our hands at wreath-making together.

Armed with a glue gun, coffee, and determination we tackled this project. We're both very happy with the end result but I must tell you, it took a lot longer than expected! Several burned fingers and about 2.5 hours later, we were finished.

My index finger still hurts.
We started with 14" foam wreath forms and covered them in ribbon. That part was relatively easy. The hard part came when we tried to glue the lemons on the ribbon. The lemons (especially the big ones) didn't stay on very well. The minute we let go, the glue gave out and the lemons went rolling off the wreath form. Crap! After a while we figured out that really piling on the glue worked better and they needed to be held in place for a while. Lindsay was patient enough to hold them in place. I was not and wasted a lot of tape.
  
We continued putting the lemons on in two uneven rows and then filled in with leaves. Lindsay had the great idea of cutting the leaves into different shapes so they would fit in between the lemons on the inside.
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While we were making these wreaths it started hailing outside. Did the sun really last just half a day? Its a good thing we have our bright yellow wreaths to add a little color to the dreary outdoors.

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Even with the great tutorial, we felt like we didn’t have a clue what we were doing (I always feel like that with new projects). But both wreaths turned out great!

The Before and After:

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Thank you Ordy and Joon for the inspiration! And thank you Lindsay for joining me!

For the full tutorial visit:

 

Linked up at Houseography's Room by Room Link Party Pin It

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Working for the Weekend

Tomorrow is a half day for me so I’m already in weekend mode (mentally at least). I’ve got lots of house projects half done so I thought the best use of my time would be searching the blogosphere for great new projects to try!

I found three ideas that would be fantastic in any home and thought I’d share them with you.

First, I’m completely in love with this mirror by Hello Newman’s.

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In the words of my husband, “That mirror is slick”. We have a big blank space over the couch in our living room that would be filled perfectly with a mirror like this.

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It’ll be a while until I ‘borrow’ Anne’s idea since we’re remodeling the adjacent kitchen but I can’t wait to add something like this as the finishing touch.

The second brilliant decor creation that caught my eye were these Spring Framed Vases.

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Flamingo Toes offers a great tutorial so we can all make these. I’d love to do some brighter colors in the summer.

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The last project I can’t wait to try is this Upcycled Book Wreath. I think it would go great in our office (a room in desperate need of decor). Rae Gun Ramblings also has a great tutorial to follow.

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What has inspired you this week?

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

An Easy ‘Make the Day Before’ Recipe and a Fun Tradition for New Moms

Today was my day to visit a friend and her cuddly little girl (6 weeks old!) to deliver her “Meals on Wheels”. When the first of my girlfriends had a baby, we started a tradition of making a schedule to deliver meals to the overwhelmed new parents. This served two purposes: the new parents got some dinners made for them to take one worry off their plate, and the cooks got to visit and snuggle with an itty bitty baby :) My girlfriend I visited tonight had her baby early (don’t worry, both mama and baby are happy and healthy) so she’s especially little, so cute!

Usually one person organizes by sending an email asking each friend to choose a day (we go every other) and a recipe (to avoid duplicates). Including leftovers this usually get the new moms (and dads) at least a couple weeks of worry-free dinners. And did I mention the cooks get a chance to hold the cuddly little ones?

Tonight I made my mom’s recipe for Chicken Divan for the new parents. Its a good recipe to make the night before and then just pop in the oven when you want to eat it. In case my girlfriend was busy with the baby, I wrote instructions for the new dad:

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I doubled the recipe and made some for my husband and me. I wasn’t going to be home, so I had to leave instructions for him too:

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Here’s the original recipe. I’ll include my alterations at the end.

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Chicken Divan
(6-8 servings)

8 chicken breasts
2 packages frozen broccoli spears
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 Tablespoons curry powers
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
season bread crumbs

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • Boil chicken 30-40 mines until thoroughly cooked. Let cool and remove bones (if any)
  • Prepare broccoli according to the package directions
  • Cover bottom of a 9x13 pan with broccoli. Layer chicken breasts over the broccoli
  • Make a mixture of soup, mayo, lemon juice and curry powder. Use 1/4 – 1/2 cup water to thin the sauce. Spoon over chicken.
  • Top with grated cheese and bread crumbs. Bake for 20-30 minutes (until cheese begins to brown)

My Alterations

  • I just used 6 chicken breasts.
  • I’m also trying to eat a little healthier so I substituted in plain yogurt for the mayo (if you do this, use less water to thin the sauce).
  • Instead of bread crumbs I used croutons; I got this idea from my mom and boy are croutons good with melted cheese on top!

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The recipe book I use is one my elementary school published. Check out those awesome ‘80s graphics!

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Its my first (and only so far) byline in a book ;) {maiden name}

Do you have any “make the day before” recipes to recommend?

This post is linked up at The Stories of A to Z and Handy Man, Crafty Woman.

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