Outdoor Seafood Feast

We had such a wonderful Father’s Day celebrating my Dad and Eric. I was so excited to host and set up a fun outdoor seafood feast. When we were younger we used to do clambakes or also called seafood boils. I always had such fun memories of those dinners on special occasions. I decided it was time to bring it back and Father’s Day was the perfect reason to. We all love seafood so this was a special treat. It’s also so easy to prepare and it’s a family style feast where you just all dig in. No serving necessary… I love those dinners!

I researched a bunch of clambake recipes and settled on using this one¬†from Ina Garten as a loose outline. I figured I would choose my seafood once I got to Whole Foods and could look at options and prices. Here are the changes I made from Ina’s recipe:

  • Since lobster is pricey, I didn’t end up using that. Instead I used large shell on raw shrimp… about 1lb
  • I also added corn, which is very cost effective and delicious. You can do a half to a full cob per person depending on how much people want. I cut those up in halves and thirds to throw in the pot.
  • I only bought 1 lb of mussels and 1 lbs of clams (just one type) and it was plenty

The recipe will walk you throw the steps and the layering process. I can’t even describe how easy this was to do and how delicious it turned out. We all loved it. We will be doing this at least one more time this summer. It’s the perfect patio meal with loved ones!

I also had a great time decorating our outdoor farm style table. I had found the tablecloth awhile ago at TJ Maxx (my favorite!) and then spray painted bottles to match. You’ll notice a bunch of peonies in the pictures…we discovered three peony bushes at our house that the last owner had planted. I think I almost cried I was so excited… they are my absolute favorite flower and now I can go grab them from the yard. So fun!

Check out the pictures below to see the process and our pretty feast. I hope you try this and please let me know if you do!

Clambake Ingredients - Gold Confetti Blog

Clambake - Gold Confetti Blog

Clambake - Gold Confetti Blog

Outdoor Tablescape - Gold Confetti Blog

Outdoor Clambake - Gold Confetti Blog

Outdoor entertaining - Gold Confetti Blog


Pantry Organization

So I meant to get the pantry organized as a part of spring cleaning…oops! It finally happened this weekend… that was still sort of late spring right?! ūüėČ It was one of those daunting tasks that I was dreading and just needed to finally get done. I’m a bit embarrassed to show the before picture but for you guys I will!

The pantry is just one of those things that becomes a black hole at our house when we clean up, cook, etc… everything just gets thrown in. Needless to say it was time to empty everything out, clean, organize and make more functional! I purchased a few baskets, clear containers and shelves to help organize. Some things I had laying around the house and was able to use too.

Here are the pictures along with the steps I took. I’m excited to have a clean, organized pantry for healthy summer cooking. Happy organizing!

The before… eek!¬†

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I removed everything and grouped them by type or cleaned them out.

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I then gave the shelves and the floor a good cleaning.

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One side note – I love this over the door hook for Baylee and I to hang our aprons on ūüôā

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Ta-da! The After! Organized, pretty,¬†functional…¬†much better!

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The organization plan: 

– I put what we use the most front and center

– I made a snack basket for the family when we are on the go

РI put things we usually have on hand like rice, pasta, etc into clear containers

– The spices are now nicely organized on a lazy susan

– All baking items are now nicely sitting on one shelf

– I was able to clean enough out to use the bottom shelf for appliances

– The ground shelf is used for table linens, bags and large tuperware

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Now here’s to keeping it looking this way!

Pretty, Cost-Effective Framed Paper As Art

We have been in need of adding art and pops of color around the house since we moved in last fall. We have a lot of pretty grey walls, but not enough fun color to fill them! I’ve been keeping my eye out for art but since it can be expensive we only want to invest in pieces we really love. I also want to be able to change things up on our family room mantle for different seasons. I had seen the idea to frame fine or handmade paper and decided it was time to do it! I ended up ordering my paper from Paper Mojo. They have a great selection of beautiful handmade and decorative paper at a good price (about $5 a sheet). I then went to Ikea and purchased the frames. Check out the paper and where the frames ended up around our home below. I’ll definitely be using this idea again¬†as I change up rooms, decor, etc!

 

The three papers I choose

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Blues, greens and golds for our spring, summer mantle! 

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How cute is this scalloped pattern of mint and gold? This went in our room above the dresser. 

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With my love of pink, especially neon pink this marble paper was perfection. This is framed in my office.

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Planning the Main Floor Guest Bath Remodel

We are getting antsy to start another house project and have decided it’s time to tackle the main floor guest bathroom. This is the bathroom in the hallway of our main floor. It’s tucked in quite nicely¬†with a pocket door. As you can see our starting point like the rest of the house is outdated early 90s brass fixtures, tile work and golden oak cabinets.

We haven’t spent much time decorating it or painting it knowing we wanted to fully remodel. A special piece that we brought back from our¬†recent trip to Cabo¬†kickstarted us to get this project going.

Here’s a look at the bathroom as it currently looks and a shot of where it sits when you come in the front door:

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And now to the fun part…finding inspiration for the remodel. Here’s the star of the show… an amazing handmade copper sink that we bought in Todos Santos at a gallery,¬†Arte La Xoma. Isn’t she pretty?! I love the color and hammered texture. It’s such a special reminder of an amazing trip!

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We are going to repurpose the honey oak vanity and stain it dark with Java Gel Stain like we did in the kitchen. As far as the vanity counter goes we are looking for a piece of white quartz (similar to the below Silestone). I think the copper sink will really pop against the white counter!

View More: http://americandreambuilders.pass.us/adb

We are looking at a variety of wallpaper for the walls. We haven’t decided if we will just wallpaper¬†the main wall as an accent and paint the rest of the walls or wallpaper¬†the whole thing. I’m really intrigued by the removable wallpaper. Has anyone tried it? There are so many fun options on Etsy. Here are some of the patterns and colors we are liking.

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Lastly, we’ll be putting up a new mirror, a modern¬†light fixture and other decor. We haven’t gotten that far yet, but I can’t wait to get started! I’ll keep you posted on our progress!

DIY Crate Bedside Tables

We started fresh with bedroom furniture when we moved into our new house. I had long been eyeing a headboard from West Elm that went on sale and we got our¬†dressers from Ikea. As the room was coming together we had a hard time finding bedside tables that worked well with our decor, were the right size and that weren’t crazy expensive. We went ¬†for a more luxurious, serene look on the bed and bedding so wanted to have the tables have a more rustic feel. I started seeing on Pinterest (of course) that people were making bedside tables out of crates.

I found some large crates on Amazon¬†and stained them gray. I first thought we would just use one crate on each side of the bed like I had seen online. Pinterest FAIL. They looked so tiny next to a king size bed and I failed to remember how many things I like to have by me at night… lamp, book, iPad, water, chapstick, lotion, etc. A small table top was not going to work! I’m thinking most ladies can relate to this :).

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So I ordered two more crates thinking that we could make them a cube. E added hinges so they stay together and you could even store stuff inside them if you wanted (blankets, pillows, etc). They probably aren’t forever pieces, but I think they turned out cute and for about $34 a piece I can’t complain!

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Valentine’s Card Making

Card making is one of my favorite hobbies. I find it really relaxing and rewarding to create handmade cards for people. Plus I love playing with glitter :). I started slowly with my collection of card making items and have built it up over time. The basics I started with were plan cards & envelopes, glitter, glue pens, fun paper and stamps (I’ve found the lettering stamps the most helpful so far). I had bought washi tape to use for our wedding and I’m loving that for crafts as well.

I’m a big believer in sending hand written notes and cards, even in this day of email. I love giving them out and get so excited to receive them. There’s just something special about getting a card in the mail :).

Valentine’s is the perfect occasion to get out my crafting material and spend a few hours being creative. Below are some of the cards I’ve made so far.

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Family Room Wall Reveal

Remember how I said we would take our time updating the family room? Well we got inspired this past weekend and just went for it! We ended up white washing the brick, painting the built-ins, painting the walls and building a new mantle! Phew. It was a whirlwind but once we started we were so excited about how it was going that we wanted to get the walls all done. I’ve decided the one good thing about the freezing weather lately is that it makes it easy to stay inside and tackle projects.

This is the before: (more pictures and our inspiration here):

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And here is the after!!! 

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So much more modern, refreshing and light. We are pretty excited about the difference. And the new rustic mantle! My awesome hubby built that and did an amazing job!

Take a look at the below to see our family room makeover process!

First we sanded the built-ins to get them ready to paint. We decided to go with white paint on these. 

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Then we began white washing the brick. We found it easier to paint the grout lines of a section and then fill in and paint the brick. It’s actually a fun process because you really don’t have to be exact… you just kinda paint. A few things on white washing:¬†

  • We used a 1:1 ratio of paint and water
  • The paint/water mixture will soak into the brick quite a bit so don’t panic if at first it looks like you painted the brick white
  • We only did one coat because our original brick was pretty light. If you’re white washing a red or orange brick you may need 2 coats.

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All white washed!

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Next we painted the walls our very favorite Behr Porpoise. The built-ins are Behr Ultra white.

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On on to our awesome new mantle… so happy with how rustic it turned out. If you have questions on how to build it, leave me a comment and I’ll do a post with the specific mantle build details.¬†

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Isn’t the wood grain and character pretty?!

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We LOVE this Minwax Jacobean stain color

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We are loving the changes in this room. Amazing what a difference paint can make! I’m excited to get to decorating the room and eventually getting a new sectional and coffee table in there!

Laundry Room Remodel

I’m excited to reveal the updated laundry room with you. This project wasn’t as planned out… we just went to Home Depot and decided what we liked and the project plan on the spot. Kinda fun to be spontaneous… says the Type A planner :).

Here’s the before and after! What a huge difference right? Ah it feels so much cleaner and more organized. Below was our process.

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1. Prepped the area – We removed everything including the washer/dryer and removed the base trim.

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2. Flooring prep – we originally were going to use vinyl plank flooring but the color we wanted was special order and we didn’t want to wait a couple weeks to get it. So we did a quick switch to a tile that we have loved for awhile. We are thinking of using this in our bathroom eventually so I’m glad we got to test it out. Anyway here was the process we had to take to lay a tile floor over the linoleum.

  • We put Hardiebacker boards over the linoleum to provide an additional moisture barrier and level out the floor as much as possible. To secure the boards to the linoleum we used Patch n’level as well as screwing the boards down. To complete the moisture barrier we went around the edge of the room with silicone caulking to create a seal.

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3. Painted the walls – I could not decide on a paint color. We decided to go darker on the back wall and lighter on the others. I was trying to vary from my gray obsession a little… but just got as far as a blue/gray. We used Behr Flint Smoke and Nature Retreat (which you can see below with a sneak peak of the tile).

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4. Tiling – I tiled my first floor! That was a pretty cool process to learn. We rented a tile saw (which Eric took charge of) and I worked on the actual laying of the tile. We used a bucket and mixed flexbond for our adhesive. We carefully laid out the tile using a brick lay pattern and spacers. Isn’t the porcelain tile pretty? You can find it here. We let that dry for about 24 hours ¬†and then did the grout. All done with the floor!

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5. Cabinets & Rail – As a part of the re-org we wanted to get some cabinets in place as well as have a rail to hang clothes from. We found a decent deal on white cabinets at Home Depot and went with those.

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6. Countertop above washer/dryer – I saw on a few blogs that people have used a hollow door for the counter. We did the same and Eric make a ledge for the door to sit on. It was the perfect thickness and made more sense for us than plywood. We originally started with this in white…

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7. Reassemble – Next we put everything back and I began the decorating and organizing game. During this I decided that the white counter was kinda blah and we needed a pop of color…

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8. Counter – A bright yellow counter with a silver chevron stripe to be exact. This was one of those ideas that ended up being WAY more work than I was thinking. I couldn’t find the chevron Frog tape so I decided to make my own pattern. The weirdest thing happened during painting…. the yellow spray paint peeled and puckered up in several spots :-/. If anyone knows why that would happen let me know. So, we had to sand sand sand and redo all the yellow. It added a couple extra days but I’m glad we finally got it and I LOVE the pop of color.

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9. Decor – A few quick notes on decor. We found the shelf from ikea which is perfect for dry cleaning bags, dog leashes, etc. Then I also wanted to experience with chalk paint on the other wall and will share that when I’m done. I have a feeling chalk paint will be lots of fun!

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This was a fun project and the room is so much for functional, organized and fresh now… hooray!

Our First Christmas Mantle

We are SO excited to be having our first Christmas as husband and wife together in our new home. I am also very excited to have a mantle to decorate :). I am loving decorating for the holidays (Thanksgiving was so much fun) but can’ t believe how fast Christmas came. All of the sudden it’s here. I just put the finishing touches on our mantle and mostly used items I had around the house.

We got stockings for all five of us (the doggies of course needed them too!) from Target. They had a really cute selection. Here’s what else I used.

  • Pine braches
  • Leftover ornaments from the tree (or that Annabelle has already torn down)
  • Pinecones big and small… I reused the ones I had made for our Thanksgiving tablescape
  • Reused candles from our wedding
  • Wooden gold star that my Mom gave me
  • Believe sign (I purchased this a couple years ago and am thrilled it works so well for Christmas!)
  • DIY Reindeer sign – isn’t it so fun? I found that DIY on this blog!

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I hope you have a very Merry & sparkly Christmas!

Finding Inspiration for the Laundry Room Reno

Next up on our project list… the laundry room! Currently it is outdated and not very functional. It has a not so lovely linoleum floor and a sagging shelf that is probably going to bust at any second! It’s right off the garage so it gets lots of foot traffic. There wasn’t a washer or dryer here when we moved in so we did get to add some pretty front loaders. You know you’re getting older when you’re so excited about a new washer/dryer :).

Here’s the before picture… I’ll be REALLY excited to show you an after picture!

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Here’s how we would like it to function:

  • Space for the dog food and water, bowls, toys, etc
  • A folding counter
  • Cabinets for storage
  • A bar to hang clothes
  • Area to air dry clothes
  • Storage for cleaning products
  • Hooks for coats, leashes, etc
  • Somewhere to put muddy or snowy shoes before they come into the house ūüôā
  • A new floor that can be easily cleaned

We are going to try and tackle this over some vacation time during the Christmas and New Year break. I’ve been excitedly scanning pinterest for ideas and here are some of my favorite looks below!

And lastly how AWESOME would a sliding barn door be for the laundry room door. This would separate it off from our living room and I love the look of it. That would probably be a phase 2 project but would be so fun.

Has anyone redone their laundry room? Or seen any great ideas?

I’ll keep you posted on the progress!

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