Room Makeover…Home Bar

IMG_5001

Last week when I was sick, I started re-watching the Gossip Girl series on DVD. It helped pass the 4 days I spent in bed. The problem…now I can’t stop watching episodes…back-to-back-to-back. It is making me completely unproductive. All I’ve gotten accomplish today is eaten 2 meals, watched 4 episodes and styled the new little bar area of our dining room.

IMG_4917

I’ve had this buffet for a few years and wanted to give it an update. There is a new trend in furniture called cerused wood. You use white or light wood filler against a dark stain or paint, cover the surface with filler and wipe off the excess so that the original paint or stain shows through and the wood grain is emphasized by the filler.

IMG_4921

This technique came around in the 1950’s and is coming back in a big way. I sanded the edges to distress the piece a bit and removed the nickel hardware and spray painted it gold.

IMG_4967

I found this cutie little mirrored tray at Homegoods and the even cuter lit “Bar” sign from Michael’s.

IMG_4973

These shelves and brackets are from Lowe’s. The brackets are plain pine wood that I painted with Heirloom Traditions chalk paint in Black Bean, topped with clear wax, then sanded the edges. The shelf is a pre-cut piece of pine that I stained with Minwax Dark Walnut stain. The cocktail tools, corkscrew, topper and bottle opener, are from the Nate Berkus collection for Target.

IMG_4988

These birch blocks are some of my favorites. So cute and rustic paired with candles.

IMG_5007

Time for a drink 😉

IMG_5009

Advertisements

Sausage & Spinach Stuffed Shells with Butternut Squash Puree

IMG_4903
I’m on day 4 of being sick in bed…I am NOT good at being sick like this. I am bored out of my mind and want so badly to get up and leave the house but am such a mess and exhausted that all I can do is lie in bed. So ready for this sickness to be done!

Normally, when I get a cold, I just power through, continue working and kick it in about a day and a half. I have been going going going for the last few months, so when I started feeling sick, I decided to spend the day relaxing and resting. If possible, this made things worse? Either this is the worst cold I’ve ever had or stopping to rest just allows the cold to settle in and get comfortable for the long haul!

Lucky for me, I had some of these stuffed shells leftover in the fridge! This recipe does take a little time, however, the look and the flavors will make you feel like you should open your own restaurant! When I think of puréed squash, I can’t help but think of baby food. Not this time. I was eating it by the spoonful!

Sausage & Spinach Stuffed Shells w/ Butternut Squash Purée
1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 onion, sliced
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup vegetable broth
1 pound sausage
2 cups spinach (could also substitute kale)
3 cloves garlic
1 pound jumbo shells, cooked al dente
15 ozs ricotta
1 egg
1/4 cup Parmesan, shredded, plus more for topping
Olive oil
salt & pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Arrange onion and butternut squash in an even layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 50 minutes.
    2. While vegetables roast, cook sausage in a frying pan over medium heat. When sausage is mostly browned, add spinach and garlic.Cook until spinach is wilted and remove from heat.
    3. Cook pasta to package directions. To keep shells from sticking together, add the to boiling salted water one at a time. After draining pasta, toss with a tablespoon of olive oil.
    4. When vegetables are finished roasting, place them in a food processor. Pulse until a smooth purée forms. Allow to cool, then stir in milk and vegetable broth. Pour butternut squash sauce into the base of a 9×13 baking dish.
    5. In a large mixing bowl, stir together, ricotta, Parmesan and egg. Add sausage and spinach into ricotta mixture and stir until well mixed. Fill cooked pasta shells with 3-4 tablespoons of filling. Arrange shells in butternut squash sauce in the 9×13 baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes, covered with foil, followed by 15 minutes uncovered.
    6. When dish is finished baking, carefully spoon shells along with butternut squash sauce into bowls and top with additional Parmesan.

* Original recipe from Completely Delicious

DIY Planter Centerpiece

IMG_4853
My first cold of the season…and I am not a happy camper. I hate being sick because it makes me feel so unproductive but I guess it is good for me to just slow down and rest for a while. I took it easy today and threw together this cute little faux planter centerpiece for my dining room farm table.

I got this idea from my mama who makes these little boxes for all her shows, she does them in all different colors, with different knobs and drawer pulls on the end and then puts mason jars with flowers inside. I got these little faux plants from Ikea a couple weeks ago and knew exactly what I wanted to do with them.

IMG_4864

Supplies
1×6 boards (I used leftover cedar fence pickets from another DIY, these have a rough finish but if you want a smooth finish, you can use pine boards)
1 1/2″ finish nails
paint in the color of your choice
knobs or drawer pulls of your choice (if you have a Hobby Lobby near you, they have a GREAT selection)
4″ faux plants (IKEA has a few different options)

1. I didn’t actually measure the length of the planter box. I laid one board on the ground and set the plants on top of it, in a line, and just eyeballed the spot I wanted to cut. I used the first board as a template for the 2 side boards, and attached them to the bottom with nails.

IMG_4846

2. Measure the distance from one edge to the other on one end of the box to determine the cut length for the end boards and attach with nails.

IMG_4847

3. Drill holes in the end of the box for your knobs or drawer pulls, 1 to 2, depending on what you knobs need. Paint your box before you attach your knobs.

IMG_4850

4. As usual, I used Heirloom Traditions chalk paint in “A la Mode” and then added Heirloom Traditions soft wax in “Muddy Pond” to make the wood a bit more rustic looking. Add you plants and you are all set! You can fill in the space in the box between the plants, if you’d like, with moss or rocks.

IMG_4862

IMG_4880

Inspired by…home of Victoria Hagan

I try to post something a few times a week. These last 2 weeks have been pretty crazy busy with work and life and everything in between. When I had a few moments, I would sit down to find an inspiration post but just wasn’t actually “inspired” by ANYTHING! Now, let me tell you, that’s pretty rare. On any given day I can log into some of my favorite blogs and websites and find a little inspiration in something. But for 2 WEEKS I wasn’t inspired by anything!!

I started thinking about what my favorite design elements are…white, blues, natural wood, shabby chic, and an odd combination of beach, rustic and French country…is that even possible???

Well, I think I found it! I came across this Nantucket home of interior designer Victoria Hagan from Architectural Digest. So that’s that, my design style is very Nantucket…guess we’re moving 🙂

10.12.16

10.12.15
10.12.14
10.12.13
10.12.12
10.12.11
10.12.10
10.12.9
10.12.7
10.12.6
10.12.3
10.12.2
10.12.1

How to: Change a light fixture

IMG_4826
My friend, Janine and I made a trip to Ikea the other day. On the way, we decided to pull off the freeway in search of a cute little café she had heard of. We didn’t find the café, but we did find THE BEST home store I have found in Portland to date. It is called City Home and it is the most amazing mix of vintage & new, rustic & eclectic. It really has something for everyone. I just know I am going to be back again and again, especially after bringing home this light fixture that I am absolutely obsessed with. And don’t worry, I did get some cute little faux herb plants from Ikea as well, those will be used in a later post.

I wasn’t really planning on doing a blog post on my light fixture but when my husband was so surprise that I was going to change out a light fixture, I thought, many people might be too afraid to do this themselves because they don’t realize how simple it is and what a quick and easy way it is to update to look of your home. I’m thinking this “How To” type of post might become a new thing for Just Like Playing House. Let me know what you guys think and if you like it, I’ll keep ’em coming.

Let’s get started!

Here is the light fixture that was originally in the space.

IMG_4786

Don’t mind the plaster on the walls, just patching some nail holes 🙂 I’m not sure if you can tell from the picture but whoever installed the light had left the wiring hanging down around the fixture. This light had been driving me crazy for so long.

Step 1: Turn off the electricity to the light. Go to your breaker panel and shut off the power source to the right part of the house you are working on. Before getting started with step 2, test the light switch to be sure you turned off the right breaker.

IMG_4796

Step 2: Unscrew decorative cap from light fixture to expose wiring. You should find 3 sets of wires twisted together and topped with plastic wire connectors. The wires will most likely be black, white & copper. When your power source is shut off, you can safely unscrew the wire caps and untwist the wires to disconnect everything.

IMG_4798

Step 3: Your wires are now disconnected and your light fixture is attached to the ceiling by light mount plate screwed into the electrical box. When you are ready, you can unscrew the light mount plate to remove the fixture. If you are working with a heavy fixture, you may need a second person, 1 to hold the fixture while the other unscrews the light mount.

IMG_4800

Step 4: Attach your new fixture to the electrical box with a light mount plate. Again, you might need a second person to help hold the fixture up while you attach the mount plate. New fixtures should come with a mount plate that is already threaded on the wires and ready to attach. Your fixture wires will not look as long as mine do. This fixture was actually wired as a lamp, with a wall plug on the end, so I had to open up the cord to expose the wires. Normally, a ceiling mount fixture will have just enough wire exposed to connect the ends together.

IMG_4803
Step 5: Connect your wires together, matching up the wire cover colors, white with white, black with black, and copper with copper. Take the ends, twist them together clockwise and top with a plastic wire connector.

IMG_4808

Step 6: Test your electrical work by turning the breaker back on and flipping the light switch. If you light turns on…SUCCESS! You did it!! Turn the light switch off to finish the job

IMG_4809

Final step: Attach the decorative cover. Tuck the wires up inside the electrical box and attach the decorative cover. New fixtures will come with some sort of screws to attach this piece.

IMG_4810

That’s it!! Now sit back and enjoy your new light fixture!

IMG_4827

IMG_4831