Monday, July 27, 2015

Refreshing a "Not Beachy!" Kitchen....

Every once in a while, something comes along that inspires us to make changes.  This is something that inspired me......

The cup that started it all.....
You see, I was walking through the housewares department of Dillards one afternoon, and this lovely pale aqua cup spoke to me......literally called my name......"Jane, Jane, take me home with you!"  

Finding it odd that a coffee cup would make such an effort to speak out loud, I couldn't resist its plea to come to Janie's Porch.  So, home we came and enjoyed many a fine morning together. 

Then one morning, the cup spoke to me and again.....well, really, it was more of a whisper.  It said, "I'm lonely.  Surround me with some more lovely shades of blue, teal and turquoise - just to keep me company, Jane."

Again, how could I resist???

So began the gradual journey of chasing the red, gold and black out of our cozy little kitchen/dining area.  Instead, I longed for soft blues, teals, turquoise....the colors of shimmering seas.  (Or, maybe sea glass....but, I am definitely avoiding the word "beachy" here....)

The walls were already a muted and so-soft shade of mossy green, so they were easy to keep.  (Thank goodness, no painting was involved, or else I would still just be dreaming about this project....)  They look totally different with the addition of different accessories (and the removal of others).

We added a great deal of storage by bringing in an industrial strength metal shelving unit.  (Good ol' Lowes - this unit cost me well under $100!)  Since we don't have a pantry, we are using it to store a variety of kitchen items, with the bottom shelf reserved especially for our pups' stuff.  Have you ever used "S" hooks?  They are totally awesome and I hung coffee mugs, freeing up shelf space!  I am thinking about hanging a couple of my smaller copper bottom sauce pans on the underside of the top shelf....

Why, yes, I do have a large bag of snack-size chip hanging on the side.  Hey, this is real life!
Moving the microwave over here freed up counter top space.  We used 1/4 inch birch plywood to make "liners" for a couple of the shelves.
 The island-turned-buffet was shifted into the "dining area", in front of these terrific double windows that allow for tons of afternoon sun (and, in the summer, plenty of heat....but, it is what it is!)

And there is Pepper photobombing and sniffing an unopened package of her pricey dog food!
 My first impression was that it was too big for the space - probably because I've always something a bit smaller (read, dinkier) in this spot.  But, after a few days and some fun styling, I am totally on board with the buffet's new location.  The large woven baskets to corral clutter on the lower shelves were terrific finds at TJ Maxx (and they hide a multitude of sins...)

I bought this island/buffet at Big Lots in Amarillo about 6 years ago. It is real butcher block and super heavy - a steal for $149! 
 I also dressed the table out a bit differently.  I finally made it out to Pier 1 and used the gift card my mom gave me way back at Christmas.  I adore the table runner that was clearanced out for less than $10!  TJ Maxx to the rescue with a fabulous woven plastic basket for snacks (it really looks like wicker, doesn't it?!?!?).  And the little turquoise creamer (which needs to be restocked with drinking straws) was so darn cute - I knew I could put it to use somewhere.

It's a "magic" little creamer - see how it's there, and then it's not?  It's called tweaking right in the middle of taking photos....
I refreshed the corner hutch with only my favorite pieces.  And I love how the crystal bowl filled with faux pears ties in with other artwork on the adjoining wall. 

The best thing I've ever done is lose the rug under the table - this is so much easier to keep clean with dogs.
I worked on the weird little cubby in the wall yesterday - and have turned that into a makeshift little bar.  But, I am still tweaking on that.....and the jury is still out.  


As things continue along, I will share more photos.  Mostly likely they will pop up on Janie's Porch Facebook page and Instagram.  So, if you're not already following along there, check out the links over there in the right column >>>>> and tag along with me on a more spontaneous basis!  

Hoping you have a blessed week and we visit again soon, sweet friends. 
Jane
xoxo

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Summer Vacation.....CHECK!!!

Recently, Eddie Dale and I were able to get away for a little much needed vacation.  

I haven't really been on a get away like this for over a year.  So, I have really been looking forward to it for weeks.....oh!  Who am I kidding?!?!?  I was clinging to the thought of this vacation as if it were a lifeline and I was flailing in the middle of the ocean...

Anyway, we loaded up the dogs, hooked up the RV and took off for a new destination - Inks Lake State Park.  Although it wasn't our first choice - Blanco State Park was still closed due to the recent flood - we were determined to love it.  And, we did! 

It is a beautiful lake and there is quite a bit to do in the way of activities.  

We went fishing - not once, but twice.  I hadn't been fishing since I was a child.  However, Eddie is a very patient and capable angler.  He was wonderful about loading (and reloading) my hook with big, fat worms!  I had a few nibbles, but didn't catch anything.  But, it was really a lot of fun - even though the spiders on the fishing pier were everywhere!


The sunsets were awesome!  They made the spiders bearable....


We had tubes for floating in our little cove of the lake - so relaxing.  (However, I do not particularly care for the feel of little fishies brushing past my legs and feet in the murky lake water....)

And, we lugged our bicycles down for a little riding.  (During which I discovered that, despite rehab, I still don't have all the strength back in my leg since my hip replacement!) 


We ate very well!  We always take our little portable grill with us and cook outside as much as possible.  Thanks to the HEB in Burnet, we had some fresh corn on the cob with our grilled chicken kabobs one evening.  At 12 cents an ear, it is a bargain and it was super sweet and tasty cooked on the grill.  

We rub it with real butter and salt free fajita seasoning and wrap it in foil and roast it that way above the hot coals. 


One evening we took a break from cooking and went to a little cafe we discovered just a few miles from the state park.  It was attached to a little convenience store and they advertised a dinner special - hamburger & fries for $5!  So, we decided to check it out.  And, it was absolutely delicious and the service was fantastic! 


In addition to biking and swimming, we rented a double kayak early one morning.  It was a wonderful experience!  I really did like it and I feel that my upper body strength is much better than my lower body.   We were on the water for just under an hour.  However, after spending another hour or so actually in the water, I got a pretty intense sunburn.  I haven't really been out in the sun much the last couple of years, so I didn't use enough sunscreen.  Ouch!

Consequently, we had to find indoor, out of the sun, activities for our last full day.  I twisted Ed's arm and he took me into Burnet for a little junkin'.  We found a really great shop that totally inspired me to come home and rework a few things in my own cottage!  My day was made, though, when I found a copy of a book I've been wanting to read for ages - for just $1.49!!!  This is one of those reads that is so interesting - I find it hard to put down!


It just makes me want to watch Julie & Julia over and over......

By the time we had to head home, we were ready.  It's always a little sad to strike camp, but it's always wonderful to get home!  Our little cottage - and our own bed - feels so wonderful!!!

Tomorrow is back to work for me.  However, I am feeling rested and relaxed....and rarin' to go!  It's amazing what a few days away from the routine will do for a body and soul.  

Hope you have the opportunity to do a little unwinding this summer....

Jane 






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