Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Phases of a Master Bath Reveal -- the Pony Wall

I have fun pics to share of our master bath remodel.  I want to be careful to say the "before" space was not bad in the least.  We started with the traditional stand up shower lined with builder grade plastic and an adjoining sunken tub made of the same plastic that when you stepped into it, you were certain you would fall through.   It all functioned fine, but there was nothing special about it.  Since we don't plan to move, we knew the investment in time and money would be well worth it.

I created a board on Pinterest and made a notebook with color swatches, photos from magazines and a "wish list".  We decided that for our personal tastes we would gut everything and instead of putting in another tub, we would increase the size of the closet and have a larger walk-in shower.  Yes, you heard it right, we have no tub.  Neither Mr. Bee nor I are tubbers, and since we will be approaching the age where we can no longer get in and out of the tub, and that we plan to live in this same house until we move to the funeral home, we felt very comfortable with living without a downstairs tub.  If we need a soak, we can go to the upstairs bathroom or to a hotel.

I will share the updates in a series so you can see each thing we did to keep the segments shorter.  This story is all about the pony!

I have always disliked a water closet that is closed off.  It makes me feel claustrophobic to be inside a dark room taking care of my "business."  So I got this inspiration from Pinterest.

We removed the wall and the contractor used the photo as a guide to create the frame and glass shelves.  It meant that Mr. Bee would be losing his medicine cabinet, but we remedied that with adding drawers to the cabinets you can see below.  The little commode room also had a door, which we removed (all the doors went to our neighbor for her son's theatre department for set design -- yay for up cycling!).  In fact the bathroom had five doors to contend with.  We removed them all and now only have two sliding, pocket doors -- one to enter the bathroom and one to enter the closet.  That's it.  Very streamlined.

This show how small and dark the water closet was.

Then during the demo of the wall.


Here's the after of the pony wall...

We didn't do the sconce like the inspiration photo, because we already had a light source inside the commode area.  And since the sink was right next to the wall we didn't make shelving below the pony wall. 

I think it turned out amazing. I wanted the cabinets to feel like furniture, not bathroom cabinets which is why I went with a darker color scheme than the inspiration photo.  The wall color is Benjamin Moore's Revere Pewter.  The cabinets are Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze.  I will do another post on the accessories so stay tuned.  Remember, this is all about the pony.

The bottom shelf is part of the framing.  The three shelves above it are tempered, thick glass.  We added rubber feet to the hardware so the glass shelves don't slip off when cleaning them or reaching for a cotton ball.

The mercury glass accessories give just enough bling and sparkle to contrast against the darker wood. 

Next stop...the shower! 

Monday, April 21, 2014

My Easter Miracle Banana Pudding

Holy cow.  This recipe for banana pudding is the bomb.  I've made it before, but it has been awhile.  I had forgotten how good it is.  Paula calls it "Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding."  I prefer Easter Miracle Banana Pudding, because Jesus would be sure to love it if he ever came to dinner at my house!  The ingredient that makes it special is the Pepperidge Farm Chessman Cookies!

It's a very easy recipe and make a big pan to serve a crowd.

Mix 2 cups of whole milk with one 5-oz box of French Vanilla Instant Pudding mix till thick.

Mix one 8 oz package of softened cream cheese with one can of sweetened condensed milk.  Then gently fold in one tub of thawed Cool Whip.  Add this mixture to the pudding and gently fold till mixed.

Line the bottom of 9x13 pan with one bag of Chessman Cookies.  Cut up a total of 6 bananas into slices and place about 1/2 or 3 sliced bananas on top of the cookies.  Spread one half of the pudding mixture over the cookies and bananas.  Add a second bag of cookies, setting aside 3-4 cookies to crumble over the top.  Add the rest of the bananas.  Spread the rest of the pudding.  Garnish with a few crushed cookies.  Chill for several hours or overnight.

Prepare to eat several bowls by yourself and you will probably say, "Holy, Mother of Pearl."  Check  Paula Deen for the complete recipe.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Wrap Up

Spring is my major busy season at work.  It seems I work almost every weekend in April and early May.  But the timing of my event last weekend and Easter was perfect.  I had Friday off and Miss Bee and I were able to spend time together running errands and I treated her to her first facial.

Saturday we had Sister Bee and my brother-in-law law, Charlie, and my niece, Lizzie, over for brunch. Charlie lost his very sweet sister, Linda, recently and since I know that trying to be festive during the holidays can be hard I thought a nice brunch would make them feel better.

I have found a new caterer in town named Katherine Sasser.  Her catering business is called The Hurley House.  She makes the best homemade everything.  Each week she sends out an email to her clients sharing her take out menus for the week.  Her packaging is always clever with handmade tags stuck on with Washi tape.  Last Wednesday she sent out her weekly email including her Easter menu and I decided to let her do the cooking for Saturday's brunch.

I didn't get a pic of the breakfast casserole she made but it was delish.  The addition of roasted tomatoes made the dish very flavorful.

To that we had her blueberry crumble coffee cake

And a cold vegetable orzo salad

I made bacon and Lizzie brought berries and Greek yogurt.  Top that off with coffee, hibiscus iced tea, mimosas and these little morsels of vanilla cupcake with a touch of butter cream frosting

and we had a nice morning together.  The timing of the flowers in the garden couldn't have been more perfect either..

The irises were transplanted several years ago from the garden of Earnie's best friend, Margaret, and bloom right outside my bedroom window.

The rest of Saturday was filled with a nap and cooking for our annual invitation to the Burdette House for Easter.  Mrs. Burdette is my dear church friend that welcomed us to her family's Easter lunch right after Daddy passed away and we have gone ever since.  She says once you are invited, it's a life-term invitation.  It gave us all something to look forward to this year with it being the first Easter without the dear Earnie.

Lunch today was delicious, relaxed, and easy.  Surrounded by their family, and our other church family the Schumachers and the Akards, it was one of those parties where you can be yourself and they love you no matter what.  Oh, and Mrs. Schumacher had her amazeballs pretzel rods I have blogged about many times.

I finished today with two more bowls of Paula Deen's Easter Miracle Banana Pud (the recipe will be posted this week), a nap and in a few minutes an episode of NBCs Crisis.

I feel better than I have in a long time.  I am thankful for the love of my family, friends, and God. For without these three, I am not sure I would have gotten through the year.  As was said in church today...It is not finished...It is only the beginning.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Seven Little Things #5

Memories of 4617 Meadowbrook Drive where I grew up.  Earnie had a million of these Spirea bushes (also known as Bridal Wreath) growing in the backyard.  I remember the sweet smell so vividly.  I picked a few sprigs for a vase and put them in my bathroom to greet me.

Also making their appearance this spring are poppies.

Earnie planted these seeds last year and they are popping up everywhere!

Summer set lip to earth's bosom bare,
And left the flushed print in a poppy there.
~Francis Thompson, "The Poppy," 1891

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Moonriver and Me

Three years ago today, my Daddy went to heaven.  He loved Diet Dr. Pepper, hand lotion, candles, Old Spice aftershave, yellow legal writing pads, cigars, Baby Ruth candy bars, Lance's cheese crackers, cherry-scented car fragrance, Charlie Pride, coconut anything, pecan pie, the mountains, his children, Jesus and Earnie.

One of Daddy's favorite songs was Moon River.  I imagine he and Mother walking in heaven as Andy Williams gives them their own personal concert...

Two drifters, off to see the world
There's such a lot of world to see
We're after the same rainbow's end, waiting, round the bend
My Huckleberry Friend, Moon River, and me.
Here's a re-post of that day's blog entry -- titled To The Moon Raymond

Monday, March 17, 2014

Seven Little Things - Part Four

Easter, next to Thanksgiving, is one of my favorite holidays.  But, probably not for the reasons you might be thinking.  I do love the Easter Bunny, and egg dying, etc..., but the real reason I like Easter is Lent.  For me, Lent is my own personal New Year.  For 40 days, I try to practice sacrifice (giving up something -- in this case sweets) and personal reflection.  I am reflecting on how God wants me to take better care of myself through healthier choices of eating, making time for daily exercise, and using more of my quiet time in prayer.

I have been very good for the last few weeks on taking my vitamins.  As I stare at the bottles I think, if someone could come up with a better way to package the bottles so they were decorative maybe more people would take them everyday.  I can't stand to see the line up of bottles on the counter.

Light bulb.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Seven Little Things -- Part Three

I love to score clearance grocery store flowers.  I was in Kroger's this week and picked up a dozen cream roses for $4.99 and a mixed bouquet for $2.  It's not a huge investment and it makes me happy to see flowers around the house.

The domed pedestal dish is from my friend Mary May. I filled it with the cutest little "Tom Thumb" candies from bestie Julie.  These pretties are in my Ladies Lounge.

The pillows in the background are from Target's spring line.  Pink is one of my favorite colors.  The pedestal dish is sitting on top of some of Earnie's books.  The other pink thing at the bottom of the pic is a passion flower candle from World Market I can't bring myself to burn because it smells so darn good.  I think that's kinda like quilters who like their fabric too much to use it...