I Dreamed an Organized Dream

Today is moving day!  I am surrounded by boxes and paper and chaos, but I am so happy!  I have been daydreaming about how the Chateau will come together.  I have some inspiration photos to share.  Perhaps by putting my dreams out there it will force me to follow through!

Let’s start with the kitchen…..

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My pantry is about the same size as this one and the same shape.  Right now it has the ugly wire racks in it.  Those will be changed very soon!

(picture from Martha Stewart)

Oh how I hope that I can keep my refrigerator organized enough so that I don’t find penicillin growing in the back!

 

(Image from Martha Stewart)

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I seriously love this kids bookcase.  Great organization for all the toys and gadgets. Plus, it can grow up with them.  Now what are the odds that they will actually put their toys away?

 

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I love this book shelf, too!  Books become art, even more so than they already are!

(Image from Real Simple)

The garage….. or the dumping ground of every house.  I am determined not to let it get that way!  It will be organized, even if it kills me.

Here are my organizational dreams, among other things.  It’s a place to start.  I will be unpacking slowly so that everything goes into its own space.  Wish me luck!

What To Do With Rotisserie Chicken

When I tell people that I cook for my family I get a lot of funny looks.  It’s usually followed by the question “Every night?”  I nod and say “Usually.”  And then there is shock.  Then the “I wish I knew how to cook.” comment.  My response is “Anyone can cook with a little help from the grocery store!”  What I mean by that can be summed up in two words, Rotisserie Chicken.  I have come up with a weeks worth of things you can do with a rotisserie chicken.  I know there are more, but I don’t want to overwhelm anyone. 

Chicken Soup

4 cans of chicken stock

3 carrots – diced

2 ribs of celery – diced

egg noodles – cooked to package instructions

rotisserie chicken – meat picked from the bone

Toss it all together in a pot except the egg noodles.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer until carrots are tender.  Toss in the noodles and season with salt and pepper.

Chicken Salad

1 rotisserie chicken – meat picked from the bone

3/4 C. mayonnaise

1 apple cut into bite sized chunks

1/2 C. chopped walnuts

1/2 of a small, sweet onion, chopped

Mix it all together and voila!  Serve on a bed of greens or in a sandwich.

Chicken Pot Pie

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2 store bought pie crusts

1 rotisserie chicken with meat picked from bone

1 bag of frozen mixed veggies

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 C. milk

Mix the chicken, veggies, soup and milk together in a bowl.  In a well greased pie pan, spread out one pie crust.  Pour the chicken mixture in and spread around.  Lay the other crust on top and crimp the edges.  Cut some steam holes in the top.  Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until the top crust starts to turn golden brown. 

Chicken Quesadillas

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1 rotisserie chicken – meat picked from bone

1 bag shredded taco cheese

1 jar salsa

flour tortillas – large

On half of the tortilla spread some rotisserie chicken, cheese and salsa.  Fold over and bake until it is all melty.  There you have it.  Serve with more salsa and sour cream.  I also do this and make chicken taquitos which are made in a corn tortilla and fried instead of baked.

Creamy Chicken Pasta

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1 box rotini pasta – cooked per instructions

1 rotisserie chicken – meat off of bone

1 C. half and half

1 tbsp. butter

1 Tbsp. flour

1/2 C. grated parmesan cheese

Over medium heat, melt the butter.  Whisk in the flour to make a roux.  Once thickened, whisk in the half and half.  Allow it to thicken.  Season with salt and pepper.  In another bowl combine the pasta (cooked) and chicken.   Pour sauce over chicken and pasta.  Mix together.  Add parmesan and mix some more.  Yummy!

 

See, with a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, anyone can cook!  It’s really easy!  If all else fails, serve it Thanksgiving style, sliced up with mashed potatoes and green beans!

Weekly Menu 3/25-3/29

This week is moving week!  So far our kitchen has remained largely unpacked, but that won’t last long!  The menu for this week is not at all what I normally do, but there is goodness to come.  I am moving to a spectacular kitchen and all of my cooking equipment can now come out of storage and get put away.  Bear with me this week and I promise to share some of my favorite recipes, create some and entertain friends again starting in April.

Monday – Take-out – probably burgers

Tuesday – Take-out – Chinese

Wednesday – Take-out – Mexican

Thursday – Take-out – ?????

Friday – Pizza at the new house!!!!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter and that your Spring is full of blessings and new beginnings!

A Sneak Peek

I am certainly in the throes of project management!  There are lots of tradesmen at Chateau Charmant right now making it amazing before we move in.  I thought I would give you a sneak peek at what is to come.  I know that I can’t wait!!!!!

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A purple bedroom fit for a princess!  It’s a lot of purple, a lot more than I truly wanted.  She asked for the ceiling to be purple too, but I had to draw the line. 

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My built-in kitchen buffet is getting a make-over.  So is that little side table.

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Hardwood floors are being refinished.  I chose the middle stain.  Not too dark and not too light.

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This one is the best make-over yet!  The kitchen is getting a total transformation.  I don’t want to show you too much.  It’ll ruin the surprise!

I am having trouble containing my excitement!  This is the first time I’ve really made over a space.  I’ve changed furniture, paint or some decorating, but never really done a total transformation.  Prince Charming better watch out, I think I’m addicted!

The floors will be finished by the early part of next week.  Then the carpet will be installed.  Cabinet doors will be delivered late next week and we move just in time for Easter.  Talk about new beginnings!!  We are truly blessed!

Weekly Menu 3/18–3/22

Monday – Tacos!  (Yes, again!  But it seems to be the only thing that the little princess will eat these days!)

Tuesday – Pan Roasted Chicken Thighs with Roasted Potatoes

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Wednesday – Breaded Pork Chops with Tomato Salad

Thursday – Beef and Broccoli

Friday – Cioppino (Italian Fish Stew)

(all images via google.com – they just look more appetizing than my own photos!)

Craigslist Chair–Before and After

I am totally in the throes of packing!  We closed on our home on Thursday!  A few days earlier than we had originally planned but everyone was ready so why not?!  I am sooo excited!  My Prince Charming has allowed me to redo the kitchen and keeping room (yes, I have a keeping room!!!!!) immediately and I can’t wait to share it with you.  Meanwhile, I have been planning some other odds and ends and I thought I would share one with you.

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I bought this little accent chair off of Craigslist for I think around $50 bucks.  I’ve had it for over a year and just haven’t messed with it.  It became a clothes rack in my bedroom.  But recently I decided to show it a little love!

 

 

 

 

 

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The Annie Sloan came out!  French Linen is a beautiful gray color.  I painted 2 coats on the chair and then lightly distressed it.  I didn’t want this chair appearing too chippy.  I had the best fabric picked out for it and the grey would look wonderful with that fabric. 

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After it was painted I went over it with Annie Sloan Dark Wax.  I let it seep into the crevasses of this chair.  There was some detailing on the arms that I really wanted to come through.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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After all of the layers had dried and I buffed it really well with an old tee shirt (my rag of choice), I sent it to the upholsterer.  I do not attempt to upholster myself.  I think it is quite a talent, and I don’t have it! 

This is what the chair looks like now:

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Yes, those are boxes in the background.  There’s just too many of them to hide!!!

I’m not sure where the chair will go in the new house, but I need to find a proper place for it.  I just love the way it turned out!!

Rental Home Tour

Well, since my charming little family is on its way out, I’ll share some photos of the charming little rental house we have occupied for the last 6 months.  I feel like we just plopped our stuff down and didn’t do much else.  We still have boxes everywhere and mismatched décor.  It isn’t as organized as I usually keep things and definitely not decorated to my normal taste.  But it has been nice.  We have been cozy and comfortable.

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Being within walking distance to all of this has been fun too:

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There’s a movie theater, shopping, restaurants, you name it!  I will miss running with the dog early in the morning before the shops open.  It’s so peaceful and I get to window shop too!  And the usual Starbuck’s stop will be missed!  But we are on to new things.  I can’t wait to get decorating our new house and making it our home.  I’ve decided to name it “Chateau Charmant” which means “charming castle”.  Isn’t everyone’s home their castle?  I think it should feel that way!

Weekly Menu 3/11-3/15

It is “clean out the freezer” week at our house.  We are moving over the next 2 weeks so things are getting cleared out.  I am soooo excited!  I can’t wait to share our new home with you, but you’ll have to wait until April!  I figure it will take me that long to unpack and take some photos. 

Monday – Venison blue cheese burgers with bacon sautéed fiddleheads – My father is a great outdoorsman.  So this dinner is all because of him.  And if you don’t know what a fiddlehead is, well you are missing out!  It is a baby fern and they are sooo good sautéed with onions, bacon and butter!  I swear, if the world were to come to an end, my father and my 4 cousins would be the only men left on the planet!  They could live out in the woods for ages!

Tuesday – Fish Tacos – using frozen fish sticks and leftover tortillas

Wednesday – Chicken Taquitos* – again, leftover tortillas and a rotisserie chicken

Thursday – Spaghetti – I have lots of sauce in the freezer!

Friday – Chicken Pasta with Cream Sauce*

Have a wonderful week!

* I am working on a post “7 Days of Rotisserie Chicken” and these recipes will be posted there.  Stay tuned!!

Design Idol: Sarah Richardson

What can I say?  I love her!  Sarah Richardson is an amazing designer.  Her aesthetic is so clean and comfortable, yet elegant.  I am always amazed by how many textures and patterns she can effortlessly wind into a room.  I also love how Sarah uses cast-off furniture and gives it a new life with paint or new upholstery, something I love to do myself!  Her keen eye for using antiques and vintage finds is fantastic.    In my opinion, HGTV does not have her show on enough!  And I truly can’t get enough of Tommy either!  My favorite Sarah’s House series was when she did her farm house.  Here are some photos from that series:  (all photos courtesy of HGTV.ca)

 

 

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(Tommy Smythe did this room.  Look at that ceiling!)

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Sarah's House

My goal is to put together a home with so much color and life, but have it flow as seamlessly as Sarah’s farm house does.  I just love it!  Thank you, Sarah Richardson, for being one of my design idols!

Weekly Menu 3/4-3/8

With the threat of snow in the forecast on Tuesday and Wednesday (Seriously?!  It’s North Carolina in March!), I decided to make some warm, savory stuff.  But later in the week it should be in the 60’s, so let the grilling begin!  (Again, North Carolina in March!)  Stay tuned for the the recipes showing up.  I need to take some photos of the food.  And I need some photography lessons so bear with me!

Monday – Penne with Avocado, Arugula and Spinach Pesto.  It’s very simple – 1/2 avocado, 1 handful each of spinach, basil and arugula, 1 clove garlic, 2 Tbsp. olive oil and 1/2 C. parmesan cheese.

Tuesday – New England Clam Chowder in bread bowls.

Wednesday – Crock Pot Beef Stew

Thursday – Spiced Rubbed Pork Tenderloin and Grilled Fennel – the recipe calls for roasting it all, I’m going to grill it.

Friday – Grilled Tuna with Black Beans and Mango Salsa