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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pinterest Inspiration

Do you pin a million things on Pinterest and never actually DO any of them?

Yeah, me too. I'm going to try to change that. We'll start with an easy one. 

I saw this photo someone had pinned this morning

Which can be found HERE on Etsy. 

It reminded me of a couple of photos I took earlier this year in Tennessee. I believe this was in Wears Valley. I'm not really sure where the "town lines" are up there just yet. I've been looking at this truck for years - most of the years we've been going to the area to vacation. I love it.

It's an old GMC pick up - the tires are gone. It's parked on the side of a barn (still in use), trees have grown up thru the bed of the truck and it's just gorgeous in it's rusty, chippy paint goodness. 

I look forward to driving by every time we go to Robin's Nest.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Designing Daughter...

My mother has been complaining forEVER that I just will NOT help her redo her house. Well, I don't because she won't commit. She won't pick a color and lately she's pointed out that our tastes are no longer the same. Difficult to work with no?

Well, i'm putting together a room for her on my blog. I'm making all the choices. Take it or leave it - alter where you see fit.

Let's start with bedding shall we? I like this.  Not sure about the matching curtains. I can live without matchy matchy.

What do I like about it? It's simple. It's plain, but still gives you something to look at. I like the quilting pattern and the texture that it adds. Not too masculine. Not too feminine. What's not to like? It also happens to be named "Harrison" which is my mother's father's name. Hmmmm....

I don't love the throw pillows, but they come with it. They might look good in the wing chair once it's reupholstered. I don't like everything to be too matchy matchy. Wait, didn't I just say that?

How about these pillows instead? Aqua for spring and summer, red and orange for fall and winter.

Ok, maybe not this's screaming female reproductive organs at me...

I'm a big fan of ikat  - what can I say? I'm thinking about buying a few of these for my lovely "new" creamy living room sofa.

Now put in all together on this bed...which I "built" using the cool interactive "build a bed" tool on the West Elm website. It's actually a storage bed. The "thing" at the foot of the mattress is a handle to effortlessly lift the mattress platform to access the giant storage compartment.  I like the tall headboard for a couple of reasons. #1 my parents have a big bedroom and it won't look gigantic in there. #2 you can put your pile of pillows in front of it and not cover the whole thing (unlike mine, where all you see is the top edge).

Also from West Elm - the Madison 6 drawer dresser and a pair of nightstands. I really like the feet.

I like this piece from Ballard Designs

And this three panel piece - but I think it's a bit bland for the wall color.
So we can kick it up a notch with this piece which works year round with any of the pillow colors - the colors work back to the birds on a branch piece above.  In my book, the subject and style of artwork can be opposite ends of the spectrum so long as the colors tie in to each other.

A pair of clear lamps to add a little sparkle without being girlie - 

Now throw some paint on the walls - i'm thinking neutral so we can change up the accessories for the seasons and whatnot. How about Cedar Key from Ben Moore? That would be the one on the right.
We can reupholster the wing chair in something neutral and classic like this (which I LOVE)

Aside from that - add some random accessories - candle sticks, books, decorative stuff for the dresser and night tables and that folks is an outfit (or a room in this case). Color, pattern, texture, shine...I think they're all present and accounted for - don't you?

Sadly, we'll never see this room come to fruition - for my mother finally decided to stop waiting for me and put her own room together. I haven't seen it in person yet, so no photos to show how far off I am from what she wanted. I will be sure to post photos once I have the opportunity to go take some.  

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Quick before and after

I finally did a makeover on my vintage bamboo chest of drawers. Back story on this piece - i'm sure it's a 1970s vintage. My mom bought it (and matching night stand) from a friend of a friend for like $30 when I bought my house. My original bedding was sort of a Mediterranean sea side village design in cobalt blue, bright yellow, a little green, a little pink, etc and the reverse side and the bed skirt were in a two tone yellow diamond pattern. So these yellow bamboo pieces worked out quite well. Plus the chest is HUGE and the storage was awesome.

Here's a before shot of it - when we were in the middle of the living room redo earlier this year. It had been used to store some "stock pile" stuff - behind a rattan three panel screen, but then I ditched the screen and the yellow wasn't working, although I liked the chest. It had potential, just not in yellow.
And another shot of it in the living room. I know - it's so awesome you can't stop looking at it...yeah, me too.

Well, I couldn't bear to part with it and I didn't have anywhere to put it at the Florida house after purchasing a giant Expedit bookcase from Ikea to go on the wall where it was residing. to the cabin it went. 

Here it is today - in it's new home - the upstairs, master bedroom at Robin's Nest.
Black satin - pardon the blue cast from the sun coming in thru the curtains. As soon as we buy a new door i'll have wood blinds on the giant panel of glass and maybe my photos will look better when I take them last minute without paying attention to what i'm doing. Obviously, I need to move the artwork that is now behind the TV. Did I mention Mr. Paisley and I were hauling this thing up stairs ('s HEAVY, even with the drawers out of it!) up there the morning we were leaving to come back home? Yeah, then we had to haul the vintage Singer sewing table down the stairs - its the new TV stand for the living area. I don't think I took a picture of that...go figure. It works out MUCH better this way - more on that later, when I have photos to add to the story. 

Next time we go up there we'll be replacing the drawer slides and I might distress the bamboo trim a little just to make it pop. Then again, I might just leave it as is...

I'm always paranoid that friends will accidentally pack up some of our clothes that stay there. Now with two dressers we'll just leave one empty for company and leave our stuff in the other. No more sharing!  Problem solved for the cost of 2 cans of black spray paint and 1 can of matte clear coat. 

** and I totally just noticed that Mr. Paisley switched the drawer pulls on two of the drawers. LOL seriously - how did I miss that?! the 2 top drawers are actually slightly smaller than the bottom 3. Thus they had different pulls. Which I just notices are on drawer number 2 and number 5, instead of 1 and 2. I'll have to remember to switch those on the next trip. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy Fall Y'all!

'Tis the season! And while it feels NOTHING like Autumn here in Central Florida, I'm trying to pretend that it IS fall. Around here, fall generally falls sometime around Christmas...if not January.

In honor of the first day of the season, i'm going to share a yummy, healthy-ish, fall APPLE dessert that showed up in my inbox today! So after you hit the orchards (yeah, we don't get to do that here either), whip some up!

Apple and Caramel Bread Pudding

Soymilk and fat-free ingredients offer a health twist to delicious bread pudding. From 

prep time:15 min
start to finish:50 min
makes:8 servings

1    cup unsweetened applesauce
1    cup vanilla soymilk
1/2    cup fat-free egg product
1/4    cup packed brown sugar
1    teaspoon ground cinnamon
1    teaspoon vanilla
5    cups 1-inch cubes French bread
3    tablespoons sliced almonds
1/4    cup caramel fat-free topping, heated
1.    Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 9-inch quiche dish or pie plate with cooking spray.
2.    In large bowl, mix all ingredients except bread, almonds and caramel topping with wire whisk until smooth. Fold in bread. Pour into quiche dish; sprinkle with almonds.
3.    Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown and set. Cut into wedges. Drizzle caramel topping over each serving.

High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): No change.

Super Egg Substitutes
  • Egg whites provide the protein from eggs but don't contain the cholesterol found in egg yolks. That's good news for your heart.
  • Bread pudding made with a bread that's too soft can be very soft and almost mushy. Gently squeeze bread loaves to choose the one that has some resistance and doesn't feel like a marshmallow!
 I can't wait to whip this up myself. It looks soooo good!


Wednesday, September 21, 2011


No poo update - I gave in while in TN. I used shampoo and conditioner. And BioSilk.  I washed my hair when we first got there and I did go "no-poo". I guess I still don't have the ratio right because I can't get my hair to feel the way I want it to feel. After I used the shampoo and conditioner, it was fabulous. *sigh* that said, the first time I washed it back in FL, I went back to "no-poo". It looks fine, not like when I use regular shampoo, but it's fine. 

What I really dislike is the fact that it takes so freaking long to blow dry it! I don't know if the baking soda / vinegar lets the hair soak up more water or what, but Lord have mercy I take my hair down from the micro-fiber turbie twist and it's still soaking wet! I'm talking I can squeeze more water out of it! 

It's like I dry and dry and dry and dry and it never really feels DRY. So I end up giving up and letting it air dry, but since I can't stand wet hair hanging all over me, I put it up in a wad (half pulled thru pony tail) or clip it up and then it's weird curls. Some kinky, some wavy and it just looks like a hot mess. 

I used a whole bottle of Italian dressing to marinate some chicken a week or so ago, so I popped the squeeze ring thing out of it, cleaned it good and put it back in after mixing up a batch of baking soda/water to wash my hair. The squeeze bottle makes it easy to use and shake to mix it up. 

That's about all I have to say about it at this point. I suppose i'll keep tinkering with it and see if I ever get it right. I'll keep you updated.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Time flies...

How can it be almost a MONTH since I last posted? I have a million things in my head to write about. 
  • Last trip to Tennessee
  • Trucks
  • Guest blogging
  • Seasons
  • Organizing
  • Neighbors
  • Shopping scores
  • Work
  • Georgia (and I mean my niece, not the state)
  • No-poo (as in shampoo)
Where to start?

How about a mix of a couple of them? At the end of July Mr. Paisley and a friend went to Robin's Nest for a week. One could call it male bonding, but really, they went to do down right dirty work. And by dirty work I mean really dirty. They pressure washed the outside of the cabin - i'm pretty sure it hasn't been cleaned since it was built in 1995. 15+ years of mountain dirt! 

Here she is all cleaned up - hell even the chimney looks a little better (cannot wait to have it redone in stacked stone)  - forgive the cell phone photo.
 Just for's a photo from when we first bought it... pardon the vehicles (Hi Auntie Alyce!) you get the picture. It was dark and dirty.

Then they started to re-stain it. Here's the photo Mr. P texted me with the samples they threw on the front wall.
We ended up going with the one on the lower left. The cabin one one side of us is the dark brown (walnut) so I didn't want it to be the same color. The top left just looks like it's wet and the top left seemed blah. I'm kinda wishing I went with blah...the lower left looks a bit orange when there's more than an 18" stripe of it. Such is life...i'm sure it will mellow out a bit. I hope. 

At any rate - they got done what they got done and they headed back to Florida. Luckily, the hubs decided to take 75 instead of 95 - for the truck died on the side of the road not far from his parents' home outside of Atlanta. Of course it was Sunday. They dropped the truck at the local small town Ford dealer and my father-in-law sent them on their way in his truck with most of the stuff that had been packed in the the big truck. $1400 and a month later, we pack up the little truck (and when I say little, i'm talking F150 - it's a Ford Lightning - the SVT "race truck" - which is VERY small when you're used to an F350 crew cab) and headed back to The Nest for Labor Day week. We took 75 in order to stop at the in-laws' house and swap trucks. We motored on our merry way on Saturday. On Sunday morning we did the regular...sort of. We went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast and since I hadn't clipped my coupons, we skipped going to Kroger to get groceries for the week (note's important). A few hours later, we drove up the street, picked up our neighbors and drove to Gatlinburg to take them to our favorite fancy food hideaway for dinner. Where I had this
Yummy no? Apple, walnut stuffed pork loin with THE best sauteed vegetables (mushrooms, squash, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, onions) on the planet. For real these veggies are so good that they also come as an entree!  Of course dinner was followed by dessert. They make an AWESOME cranberry bread pudding with whiskey sauce. Oh my...heaven. Seriously. Worth EVERY last calorie. At any rate, as we come out of the mountains (aka middle of nowhere), Mr. P whips into the first gas station we come to. The truck was sputtering. He was sure that when the dealership dropped the fuel tank to replace the fuel pump and pick-up that the fuel float thingy that tells you how much gas you have was off.  So he put threw $25 or so of diesel in (I guess I should say "fuel" instead of "gas" since it is a diesel eh?). Onward we go. Sputter, shake. Let the swearing commence. Turns out it's doing the exact same thing it was doing when it broke down in GA. It dies. We get it cranked up. It dies, we get it cranked up and go a little farther down the road. Somehow we manage to limp it back to the office parking area at the resort where the cabin is. It literally has NO power - no way it's going to go up the steep incline to get to the cabins. Did I mention it's raining? Our neighbors have AAA. We call. Flatbed is there within 15 minutes. Impressive (not really, it's a small town - we just aren't used to in Orlando you're lucky if they show up within 4 hours). For the record, an F350, crew cab, with a long bed...BARELY fits on a regular flatbed trailer. Barely. Our neighbor walked up the mountain, got his car and came down to pick us up. Thank God he walks the whole resort on a daily basis. This Florida girl would still be crawling up the hill 2 weeks later. Remember how I mentioned that we skipped grocery shopping? And that it was Labor Day weekend? Did you know that in small towns, car dealerships aren't open on the weekend? Sure, our service departments aren't open on Sundays and in fact I think only half days on Saturday, but i'm talking about the actual sales part of the dealership. Yep, closed. Until TUESDAY...because we all take the day off for Labor Day. Good times. My fantastic in-laws got up early on Labor Day and drove their car and truck 5 hours to the cabin, to loan us the truck. Again. The got there, spent maybe 20 minutes with us and were back on the road to GA. 9 hours. They spend their entire day off driving just so we didn't have to spend $600 to rent a car for the week. Yes $600...did I mention that the LOCAL rental car places were also closed for the holiday weekend? Yep...closest place to rent a car was the Knoxville, TN airport. 45 minutes away - not really sure how we would have gotten there since our neighbors left to go back to OH. I love my in-laws. Needless to say, the dealership didn't even look at our truck until Thursday. We picked it up Friday afternoon. $400 later - $400 for a diagnosis (crimped fuel line) and a hose clamp (temporary fix because - of course - they didn't have fuel lines in stock - in fact the closest fuel lines were in Detroit, Michigan - seriously? Oh and they had them at one of our local dealers back home in FL).

I hate Murphy. If he was standing here I would punch him in the face and tell him where to stick his laws.

Here's the short version of our "vacation"
Friday – after work - leave 1.5 hours later than planned, drove to GA to switch trucks with the in-laws, spent the night.
Saturday – drove to TN, got there mid afternoon.
Sunday – went to breakfast, skipped grocery store, will go later, picked up neighbors, went to dinner in Gatlinburg, driving back, truck dies. AAA tows it to Ford dealer.
Monday – dealer closed for holiday (gotta love small towns…), rains all day. ALL. DAY….and all night. Roof starts leaking. In-laws get babysitter for grandma who can’t be left by herself, drive car and truck to TN to lend us the truck…again.
Tuesday – finally go to grocery store – yea food!
Wednesday – find out there are back taxes due on the house…from before we bought it. Shell out $250 in taxes that should have been paid by the bank when we closed. Text realtor to get closing guy’s contact info (yes, I still text my realtor...we're like BFFs now). Left him message. 

Thursday – uneventful – gorgeous day!  Vacation almost over…spend the day cleaning, doing laundry (oh joy) – plumbing starts gurgling when washer drains.
Friday – another nice day – spend it on the front deck painting a dresser, picked up the truck mid afternoon! $400 – essentially for a diagnosis and a hose clamp.
Saturday – get up at 7am to go to an HOA meeing….meeting goes until noon because the new management company has royally p*ssed everyone off already, go to lunch and the salvage yard with the neighbors (they drive - hey, i'd be afraid of getting stuck somewhere on the side of the road with us too) – get back around 4:15, supposed to leave for GA at 5. Throw in last load of laundry (sheets and towels because we have people renting the cabin before we are back up there), washer drains…into the bathtub downstairs. An hour later hubby has figured out where the pipes are plugged up, can’t fix it. Finally get everything packed into the trucks and we drive BOTH trucks to GA…due to leaving 2 hours later than planned, we hit traffic at a dead stop on the interstate because the TN football game let out. Get to GA at 11:15pm – I eat a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch because he didn’t want to stop for dinner. Go to bed…supposed to be up at 7 to leave by 8. 

Sunday - Evidently, my husband doesn’t know how to set the alarm on his phone because I woke up at 9:35am. End up leaving at 11:30am, get home at 7:15pm, unload the truck, go out to dinner, come home, go to bed and thank GOD i'll be getting up and going to work in the morning, because as many random issues as I get to deal with there, at least I KNOW what's going to happen!

That said...Mr. Paisley is diligently researching and hunting for a new truck. Our truck is a 2003. It's not THAT old...did you realize that if you wanted to buy my 2003 truck, exact model and options, in a 2012 model that it would set you back nearly $60,000?  Leather, power this, power that, 4x4, FX package, tow package, diesel, crew cab, long bed (if you can find a long bed), sunroof, blah blah, blah blah...O.M.G.

I think I just thew up a little bit. 

So there you go - a little glimpse of the past month or so at the Paisley Cottage / Robin's Nest. That covers "Last trip to Tennessee" and "Trucks" - i'm sure there will be an update later.

PS - even though the blockage in the plumbing is outside of the cabin, the city says it's our problem (of course it is...) luckily, our home warranty is paid up and it At least that will only cost $65.