Thursday, March 29, 2012

Kitchen Remodel Reveal

Here it is!

This is a link to our entry into the This Old House Reader Remodel Contest 2012!

Click Here to See Jon & Catherine's Kitchen Remodel

There are 6 images that show the remodel: 2 "before" photos and 4 "after" photos.
To scroll through them, click the orange arrow.

At the bottom of the first screen is a place for you to rate our project.
Slide that baby all the way over to 100 and click Submit!  Please?
And do that as many times as your little heart desires ;)
(I do think you have to exit and go back in for it to let you vote twice, or thrice, etc.)

The winner gets a 2012 GMS Sierra!  That'd be awesome!
Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for voting for our project!


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Photo-a-Day Challenge Update

Boy, I don't know what it is, but I have struggled with the photo challenge prompts these last few days.  I'm participating in Fat Mum Slim's Photo-a-Day Challenge and until this week I've felt like I was able to creatively interpret the prompts.

I guess I have photographer's block?  Take Sunday's prompt, for instance: breakfast.  My usual breakfast is a bowl of oatmeal with a little bit of milk in it.  I'm not sure how to put an interesting or creative spin on oatmeal.  I suggested to my husband that we go to Sunday brunch somewhere, envisioning beautifully presented buffet tables and a ton of photo ops for the prompt "breakfast".  But really that didn't seem fair.  :)  Besides, part of the appeal of this challenge for me is that it helps me capture everyday life.  And everyday life for me, for breakfast, is oatmeal.

March 25: Breakfast


Monday's prompt was "key."  Again I was not feelin' the creativity here.  So I just set down my keys, zoomed in, and clicked.  Done.

March 26: Key


When I'm getting my hair done at the salon, I always indulge in the guilty pleasure of reading the entertainment and gossip magazines.  I love to look at them, but I don't read them regularly.  Only at the salon, the dentist, or if I'm flying on an airplane.  Yesterday, I had a hair appointment.  And I was on the lookout for a fitting way to capture the photo challenge prompt "your name."

March 27: Your Name

I think "Duchess" looks very good in front of my name, don't you? ;)


And speaking of the entertainment and gossip magazines, today's photo prompt is "trash."  This was another tough one.  Feeling uninspired, I grabbed my iPhone and snapped a picture of the trash in my car.

March 28: Trash

You know, they say that you can learn a lot about someone by their trash.  (No, I'm not talking about the "Caution: I'm Hot.")  I'm talking about the coffee and chocolate.  Now that's everyday life.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Easter Decor

Yesterday I shared with you my bunny paint chip art project.  Today, I'll show you the rest of my Easter decor, starting with this fun centerpiece that has been all over Pinterest lately:

I found the tutorial here.  It was so easy to make!

Here's another small Easter project that I did:

 I found this huge jar on clearance last month and decided I'd fill it with plastic eggs for Easter.  I wanted the eggs to be pastels, but more muted than I could find in the stores.  So I bought the bright colored eggs and spray painted them almond, pink, and blue.  The blue turned out too dark so I oversprayed them with the pink.  Then I simply dipped a wet toothbrush in brown paint and flicked speckles on the eggs.  These eggs go so well with my pastel bunnies and cross.

Another really simple but fun decoration that I use year-round are these jars that I keep on my kitchen counter:

I got the jars from Hobby Lobby and used a nail to poke a hole in the center of each lid.  Then I just screw on different drawer pulls (also from Hobby Lobby) depending on the season or holiday.
The large jar always has coffee beans in it because I {LOVE} coffee!  The second jar's contents change depending on the season or holiday.  At Christmastime I filled the small jar with jingle bells and I had a red and white striped drawer pull on one (looked like a candycane) and a green glass pull on the other; for Thanksgiving I had acorns in it and the drawer pulls were brown and bronze.  In the summertime, I have crystal drawer pulls and lemons in the small jar.  Etc, etc, etc.  It's pretty fun to change them up every month or so!  

We are all ready for the Easter Bunny now!  Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Bunny Paint Chip Art

Who was the first person to think of using paint chips in a craft project?  Y'know, those free samples with all of the beautiful colors on them that we take when we're trying to pick paint colors?  The papers that for years we've all just thrown away?  Well.....whoever it was - genius!

There are so many cute and clever craft projects out there using paint chips.  I came across one such project just before St. Patrick's Day: the Shamrock Ombre Speciman Art from Lolly Jane Boutique.  As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to try it.  With Easter coming up, I made my own version of Kelli and Kristi's adorable paint chip art:

Instead of applying the cutouts to paper and framing it, I glued my bunnies directly to an 8 x 8 canvas that I had spray painted white (the canvas was already white, but I wanted it to be a bright white.)

  I added little white pom poms for bunny tails and that's it!  So easy!  

Easter is less than two weeks away now!  Time's a-flyin'.  Tomorrow I'll show you the rest of my Easter decor and some plastic eggs that I spray painted in muted pastels.  Until then, have a wonderful day, and if you're here in Utah, hold on to your hats! (This wind is crazy!)
I'm linking up to these blog parties:

I Heart Nap Timeyou are talking too muchSkip To My Lou
spread the joy

Eclectically Vintage

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Moon, a Zoned-Out Cat, & the Kitchen Sink

The photo-a-day challenge prompt for Thursday was "kitchen sink."  My plans were to post my kitchen sink photo along with "before and after" pics from our kitchen remodel.  BUT...there's been a slight change of plans.

I have entered a contest over at This Old House - the "This Old House Reader Remodel Contest 2012".  We love the television program This Old House and watch it regularly.  When I heard about this contest I thought it would be fun to enter our kitchen remodel for a chance to win a 2012 GMC Sierra truck.  So enter I did!  The catch is that the photos that I submitted had to have been never published online.  So I can't put them here on my blog or my entry is disqualified.  What I can do is give you a link to see my entry as soon as it is published on the This Old House website.  I'll let you know when it's been posted!  Until then, here's my photo challenge photo for Thursday, March 22:

When we remodeled we put in a Blanco sink which is a granite composite sink (80% natural granite) and practically indestructable, resisting scratches, chips, and stains.  It is awesome!


Yesterday's photo prompt was "moon."  I really wanted to photograph the moon yesterday, but there was too much cloud cover and no moon to be found.  I was a bit worried too about getting a good shot of the moon.  My previous attempts have left a lot to be desired.  My best moon shot so far is from August 2010 when I was camping at Bear Lake with my family.

The moon is just hard to photograph!  I'm not using this photo for yesterday's prompt because part of how I'm interpreting this challenge is to submit photos that I've taken that day.

So with no visible moon, I took a picture instead of one of my favorite children's books: Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney.  It is the sweetest story about a daddy bunny and his son, each trying to measure their love for the other.  The final line in the book is "I love you right up to the moon ---- and back."  I have very fond memories of my oldest son telling me (after he learned about the word infinity) that he loved me "to the moon and back times infinity, Mom."  ♥


Today's Photo-a-Day Challenge prompt turned out to be really easy!  I knew that for the "animal" prompt I would photograph one of my two cats.  I got my camera and laid down on the floor near them and waited.  I caught Sophie when she was totally zoning!  

One of the blogs I read regularly, Simple As That, has a link party every Sunday where you can share photos that celebrate "the simple moments and simple joys that make you smile each week."  This photo of Sophie does just that.  I'm linking it up to Rebeccas's {Simple Things Sunday}.

There are some changes coming to Hello, New Day in the next week or so, so stay tuned.  Until then, thanks for stopping by, and have a wonderful day! 


Thursday, March 22, 2012

The World Will Be Watching least my son, daughter and I will be!


At The Hunger Games Pre-Screening!!


As soon as the movie date was released my daughter began her campaign to persuade me to take her to the midnight showing of The Hunger Games.

Yeah, right.

I'm pretty sure I couldn't make it to (or through) a midnight showing of anything these days.  When I was 12 - absolutely!  Now?  Out of the question.

Thanks to some friends of ours, I was able to get tickets to the pre-screening!  To see the movie before midnight!  At a reasonable hour actually.  Now I'm the hero, and we'll be among the first to see this highly-anticipated film.

The main character in The Hunger Games is Katniss Everdeen.  Here are some photos of my daughter as Katniss this past Halloween:

Today's photo challenge prompt is "kitchen sink" which has absolutely nothing to do with The Hunger Games.  I'll share that photo tomorrow when I write about our kitchen remodel.

Until then, have a fantastic day, and 

"May the odds be ever in your favor."

(That's a quote from the book and movie!  If you haven't read the book yet - DO SO!
And read it before you see the movie.  Movies are never as good as the book.)


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Mmmm Mmmm

     Today is my husband's birthday {Happy Birthday, Sweetie}!  Birthdays around here always include really good food.  So it was fortuitous that today's Photo-a-Day Challenge prompt was "delicious."

Breakfast was a rich, chocolatey doughnut with coffee.

It was really like eating cake for breakfast.

Lunch was my daily green juice which, even though it's healthy, is delicious.

Dinner was at Outback Steakhouse and included one of their loaded baked potatoes.


Dessert was carrot cake cupcakes from Aimee's Home Cookin', my friend's catering company.

Each cupcake has just a touch of the homemade cream cheese frosting inside as well as on top.

Dang, when I lay it all out like this it's a good thing I had the juice, right?

And it's a good thing birthdays only come once a they come five times a year in this family.

Well.....of course there's also Mom's birthday, and Dad's, and oh.boy.  No wonder the scale never comes down much.  ;)

Any one of those photos could've been my photo for today's "delicious" prompt.  But it was mid-morning, and I was enjoying a cup of coffee, when I looked up and saw my little jar of chocolate-covered espresso beans. 


And since they're not as familiar as a doughnut, or juice, or baked potato, or cupcake I wanted to photograph them for my prompt.  In fact, I just discovered them about a year ago.  (Yeah, I did I, coffee-lover that I am, not know about these little gems?  I dunno.  Don't get out much, I guess.)  I went to a local coffee bar that had just opened and they put these espresso beans on top of each coffee cup lid as a garnish.

Boy oh boy, I'm tellin' ya....a hot, fresh cup of coffee just can't be beat.  Or couldn't until now.  Try eating a chocolate-covered espresso bean before sipping that hot coffee and you'll see what I mean: delicious!
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