Friday, October 29, 2010

Steal verses Lux

Last week I did a Steal verses Lux post so I thought maybe I should start doing more as I come across them.

While shopping for my counter stools I came across these from Sundance. Love them. But at $245 each they are way too steep for me.

But look at these from Overstock. A set of runs only $106, so a set of 4 is just over $200. A whole set is less than one from Sundance.

If you are regular reader of my blog you already know I did order these stools from overstock. I did indeed order 4. At first I only ordered two then once they arrived I determined I must have 4. The ones from overstock might be a bit misleading in the pictures. They have a finished silver coat on them that is shiny, not the unfinished galvanized look I originally thought. None the less, they still look great and have already been be put to use.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Planning for Twins

{Stop the presses right there everyone!}

No I am not expecting twins, nor a single for that matter. {Sorry mom but that isn't in the plans right now.} I have a set of twins as a niece and nephew, and what feels like a dozen nieces and nephews to go along with them. With that said I have to dedicate a bedroom to children in our home seeing as how we have so many nieces and nephews, and not to mention almost all of friends have children.

So soon our office renovation will be complete and the temporary office will be gone, thus I'll have that bedroom back to use as an actual bedroom. I am planning on putting a set of twin beds in the room, I'm thinking XL twins for adult usage as well. With the beds facing what I am using as my everyday desk right now.

I am thinking is ivory/white quilts on the beds, with grey sheets or a graphic print, a great rug like this one, a green stool to slide under the desk, accent pillows in fabrics I love like the grey orange fabric and the turquoise here (this would make great drapes too), everything else I am unsure of at this point.

This room will be a challenge for a few reasons:

1. The twins are about to be 10 so they are no longer babies by any means, so nothing cutesy.
2. One is a boy and one is a girl. Not to mention the rest of the mix of children we'll host.
3. I want it to be adult friendly as well so if need be an adult will sleep comfortably in the room.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Won't You Be My Neighbor

It's time again for the segment "Won't You Be My Neighbor". I love the beach and the entire Florida panhandle, so I am all about bringing more people here to vacation and even be my full time neighbors!

This is a great home priced at $425,000 which is located in the subdivision Cypress Breeze Plantation.

{It is a foreclosure so it is a steal of a deal!}

This home is over 3100 square feet, it boasts tall ceilings, has a great kitchen with glazed cabinets, and comes with 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, attached 2 car garage, and an elevator. Let me tell you all that 2 car garages are hard to come by in the 30A area, especially with an elevator. One of the best features of this home is its location! Only 1/2 mile from public beaches with restaurants and shopping at the famous Gulf Place within walking distance. Check out more pictures and features of the home and call the agent that will get the deal done for you! Bev Dudley lives by her motto of "if it goes to contract it will close!"

So won't you be my neighbor,

For inquires about this home please contact:

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Fence is Done

So this post is a few days late but the fence for our yard is finally done! Our spoiled lovely mini horse, aka Captain the Great Dane, can now play at will. {Well that was until he started digging holes in the middle of the yard. New problem I guess we'll deal with, I feel sure my momma will come to my rescue on this one.}

Back to the fence...

We have 3 gates...

Two are even 8 feet wide so if needed we can pull a truck in the gates on either side of the house.

Lots of room for our puppies to run and play...

Our contractor was great and did a great job. If you need to help with items at your home and local to the Destin area let me know and I can set you up with our contractor.

Now we'll just have to really start planning for springtime and get our outdoor space into an entertaining space. More on those ideas to come! We're already planning!

Monday, October 25, 2010


Well there are a few things I miss about Cali, having access to some of the country's freshest fruit and produce is one biggie for me. This past weekend I found myself hankering for some chokes, artichokes that is. Being from the South born and raised I have eaten all kind of things but never a real artichoke until our venture to Cali. Yes I had artichoke hearts from a can before but it does not even begin to compare to a fresh steamed artichoke.

The Bay Area in California has some of the freshest artichokes you'll ever have, they are locally grown along famous Highway 1 down the Pacific coast. You'll find farm after farm along the coast heading South on Highway 1 out of San Francisco, and you'll know you've hit the artichoke capital when you get to Castroville— they have an annual artichoke festival to celebrate their mark on the map.

Today I'll share with you how I prepare fresh artichokes.

1. Choose artichokes that have a nice coloring and have tight leaves. The more open they are the less fresh the artichoke tends to be.
2. With scissors trim the top off of each individual leaf. Yes those are tiny thorns
3. Trim the tops and bottoms off of the artichokes.

4. Wash throughly allowing the water to pour between leaves.
5. Set up your pot to get ready to steam. If you you do not have a steamer you can improvise like I do. Get two drop in steams like you find at the grocery store and set them on the their ends in the pot like so.

It is important to not skip this step as you do not want these to sit in water, other wise you are just boiling them and well a boiled thistle is just an inedible mess.

6. Coat the chokes in butter flavored Pam.
7. Season each with 1/2 tsp minced garlic, 1/8 tsp sea salt, 1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper, 1/2 tsp dried oregano, 1/8 tsp garlic powder.
8. Set chokes in pot bringing the water to boil and allow to steam for about 25 minutes. The chokes will turn dark green and the leaves start to separate.

Now enjoy!

If you are a newbie to chokes like I was not too long ago eating them can seem confusing— they are a thistle after all. So here's how you do it: pull a leaf off, stick it all the way in your mouth with about 1/4 inch sticking out, firmly but not too firmly hold it between your front teeth, now pull. You will pull off a thin layer of meat from the leaves. Repeat until you get towards having few leaves left. You'll start to see a wiry, thorny, indigestible substance (remember thistle), cut that part off now you should be left with the best part, the heart of the artichoke. Be sure to share!

Some like to eat them plain like this while others like to make extraordinary dips for them. You decide, sometimes I just simply dip them in some ranch when I get bored.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Steal verses Lux

Since we are having to start over from scratch basically with furniture I have been doing some major shopping comparisons. During the process I have come across some steals that look like luxury items.

Take these great looking old french dining chairs from Hudson Goods. They are great but at $225 each for a minimum order of ten I have to pass. Too steep for me.

These from Sundance are cleaner looking with their silver finish and no minimum but still at $295 each they are a luxury item that I can live with out.

But can you believe Overstock this past week started offering a look that is similar for a STEAL! Look at these beauties, a set of 4 is only $169, not each but a set of 4. You bet I ordered a set already.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

My New Favorite Magazine

So I am kind of a DIYer. For those of you who know me well know we renovated a house from the 20's a few years ago. While that was fun I really want to take on smaller scale projects, so thank goodness for our new house and my new fav magazine "ReadyMade".

Some of our best friends were down for the weekend and they went nuts over the magazine. I just assumed everyone knew about it, boy was I ever wrong! So I thought I'd share with you all my new fav mag. It is for the DIYer all around. From decor projects, organization, cooking and more!

Subscribe here! You can even become part of their panel to be entered to win Amex gift cards and give your input about the magazine's direction.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Seating for Two

For those of you who talk to us regularly, you all know we sold off most of our furniture when we made the jump from west coast to gulf coast. So that has left us living out boxes and in beach chairs until recently. Today I am excited that two counter stools I ordered arrived! Hooray! No more having to sit outside on our porch, unless we just want to do so of course.

I am debating on whether we need 2 or 4 stools. The bar area is quite long but the sink placement makes putting more down on that end seem like the space would be unusable. Only time will tell. I think I might order another set after I actually have a dining room table and chairs and then go from there.

I so badly want to just furnish this place, but in the end I know I will be happier if I just take my time and do it all piece by piece.

xoxo- Livin' the Gulf Dream

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Cypress Trees

I have recently discovered all the beautiful Cypress trees here. We had great ones in Cali, but these here are even more spectacular! I think I am so intrigued by them because they grow in water. We have several in our neighborhood, but we came across the beautiful ones over at Cypress Dunes neighborhood this last week. Can we say gorgeous? While I want you all to be my neighbors, I would look at Cypress Dunes Subdivision if you are looking along 30-A, it is quite beautiful.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Look at What I Got

Go ahead and turn green with envy, I know I would if I weren't me. This past Friday I ventured back down to Tracery Interiors for the Rosemary Sidewalk Sale. Yes I bought something, and yes I love it!

We finally got us a couch and not just any couch but the most comfortable couch for lounging. I wanted white/cream & slip covered and the hubs wanted quality & comfort— we found it all in a Lee Industries couch from Tracery. I had spied the couch almost 2 weeks before hand and gambled that it would still be there for the sale. Lady luck was on my side because not only did I get the couch I wanted but I got it for 25% as well! Yes I felt like I won the lotto that day.

Thank you Tracery Interiors for making my day! While they do not deliver, they set me up with a great delivery company that had it to me the very next day.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Bedroom Transforms into Office

With both the hubs and I working from home we have to have a great working space. So the first redo in the house that we're doing ourselves is converting a bedroom into an office. The renovation is not complete but I thought I'd share with you all where we are at with it.

The room to begin with had bright tropical green walls and tan carpet. We began by ripping out the carpet to see what we had to work with under it. It was of course concrete covered in paint splatters from when the house was first built. OH JOY! My first course of action was to get an orbital sander and the biggest grit paper for it I could find. I spent over 2 hours sanding it on my hands and knees trying to get the paint splatters to break up. With my efforts, about 90% of it came up giving me a clean platte to work with for staining it. Yes I know I could have use some harsh abrasives to get it up and etch the concrete, but firstly we are living in the house so I did not want the fumes, secondly I did not want to hose down the floors with water afterwards and shop vac it all up, thirdly we don't have outside water I would use to rinse in my home— we only have well water for outside currently but this will soon be fixed.

After the sanding of the floors and a good cleaning of them, I tapped the baseboards and the first 3 feet of the wall up to protect it from overspray. I then grabbed BEHR concrete stain in Tuscan Gold, filled a garden sprayer with it, and went to town spraying the floors. Wow, Tuscan gold was less gold and more pumpkin orange. Went on more like paint and less like a stain too.

I stayed calm and did not totally freak out. I ventured back to Home Depot to grab more sand paper and a new color of stain, this time Desert Flagstone. I resanded the floors lightly this time around, only took about an hour or so and left the Tuscan Gold stain in all the grooves of the floor. The floor looked as though it was older and ironized or something. Can we say happy accident? After cleaning the floor I began applying the new color of BEHR concrete stain via a fine mist and hand blotting. Once my knees regained blood flow and the floor had dried over night, I applied a coat of matte BEHR concrete sealer. A few hours later I was pulling all the tape and plastic down getting the room ready for paint on the walls.

We wiped down all the walls with a damp cloth to get the dust off from all the sanding, patched a few bad places we found where the original paint did not adhere to the wall and after sanding that, vacuumed the baseboards and floors to assure dust was gone. The hubs caulked a few places that had separated in the crown molding, and after taking the fan blades down were we finally ready to paint.

We choose to go with Sherwin Williams color "Magnetic Gray". We went ahead and got a 5 gallon bucket as this is also the color we want in our master bedroom and bath. As we began to apply to paint I quickly remembered how hard it is to paint above your head since we started with the ceiling. You need at least two people painting a room, one rolling and one cutting in to hep make it look correctly.
The color went on a tad darker than I had anticipated as we were painting— it went on lighter than it dried. But in the end I love the color!

Our grand plan is to build a custom "U" shaped desk around the room with different working zones for us. It also will even have a place to slide in the great dane's kennel. I'll keep you all posted on our progress!

xoxo- Livin' the Gulf Dream