Kitchen Window // Roman Shades

Friday, March 30, 2012

You know how sometimes you feel like you are running around like a chicken with your head cut off? That's me these days. For the last few weeks I just feel like I can't get ahead, and at least once a day I catch myself trying to catch a breath because I've just been going nonstop. On top of the daily must-do responsibilities, I've had a growing pile of projects that I've been itching to start and finish. Last night I finally crossed one more thing off the list! My roman shade for the kitchen window! Hooray!

When we first moved in, we put blinds on all the other windows in the house except this one. This window gives you the perfect glimpse to our view of the river and mountains, so I was hesitant to slap some wood blinds up there especially since we don't have any backyard neighbors. But then we started realizing that at nighttime it is kind of creepy because if there is someone walking on the trail along the river they can see us... but we can't see them! Hmm... not ok. I wanted something functional yet decorative, and most of all I didn't want to spend a lot of money.  I found this tutorial (thanks to Pinterest, of course), and knew I wanted to try my own roman shade. 

But the fabric! Oh the fabric. Why was this such a hard decision??? I knew the general look I wanted, but I was tormented on if I wanted a bright color, neutrals, pattern, solid, etc. The fact that my wallpaper is also in the kitchen made me hesitant to bring in more crazy patterns. Finally I found the chosen fabric. It is interesting yet still subtle enough not to distract from everything else in the kitchen. I had been eyeing the Imperial Trellis print for ages now and finally found an affordable option on Etsy.

All in all, I'm completely happy with the results -- it's definitely not perfect or anything, but it works for me. Best part? It was totally affordable. The whole project only cost me about $40 in supplies, including the fabric, mini blinds, and a few other supplies. Bonus!

Life Lately, via Instagram

Monday, March 19, 2012

I'm a new-ish member of Instagram. Hooray! (If you have Instagram, find me! My username is camille_elise). Anyway, life lately has been super crazy and hectic, so if it weren't for camera phones I would have no documentation! I love real pictures, but luckily the phone is always there for spur of the moment shots, which are sometimes my favorite.

Here's a rundown of a few things I've been up to lately --

Cooking! I've been a on a cooking kick lately and have spent lots of time in the kitchen with new recipes (which I love!) Two recipes I highly suggest trying -- Puffed pancakes and Martha Stewart's apple crisp (served with vanilla bean ice cream, of course).

Running... a lot. As they say, running is quality time with me and the road. I'm not signed up for any particular race yet, but there are like a bajillion half marathons coming up in the area, so only time will tell what I do.

Spending lots of time at the piano, both with pieces I am working on as well as teaching students. I am now up to 5 students! They are adorable, and I am loving teaching.

Heavily perusing pretty fabrics, both online and in some local fabric shops. There are way too many projects brewin' up in my mind, so hopefully some will come to fruition soon. Don't worry, I'll keep you posted.

Today was a day.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

We all have 'em. Some days are filled with happy moments of sunshine. And then there are days where those moments are nowhere to be seen. It sounds a bit depressing, but I guess it's just realistic. Family and friends help me find that sunshine, but sometimes I also think we're allowed to have "those days." Everyone has trials and everyone's pain is real, no matter what it may be for.

I absolutely love Mumford & Sons album "Sigh No More." One of my happiest moments was last summer with my family on a houseboat in California. While there we celebrated my sister's birthday. My brother gave her this album and we all danced around the houseboat listening to the album. During one particular upbeat song Brittney even danced an Irish jig. If you know my sister you would understand how uncharacteristic that is of her. We all laughed and totally got into the moment. I love thinking back on that glimpse of time. It was carefree. Happy. Full of sunshine.

But today the album spoke to me on a totally different level.

I've been dealing with some "stuff" lately. Some days it hurts a little more than other days. I got home from work a little early and was sitting on my couch feeling sorry for myself. "Forget this," I thought. I got in my car and drove to Target (why not?). On my way there, the song "After the Storm" by Mumford & Sons came on, and it literally brought me to tears. The melody and message was exactly what I needed to hear.

And after the storm,
I run and run as the rains come
And I look up, I look up,
on my knees and out of luck,
I look up.

Night has always pushed up day
You must know life to see decay
But I won't rot, I won't rot
Not this mind and not this heart,
I won't rot.

And I took you by the hand
And we stood tall,
And remembered our own land,
What we lived for.

And there will come a time, 
you'll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, 
but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see 
what you find there,
With grace in your heart 
and flowers in your hair. 

The Best Banana Muffins Ever

Friday, March 9, 2012

These may be my most favorite muffins to date. Yup, I said it. They are sweet without being overly so, and can act as your breakfast, mid-morning/afternoon snack, or even your dessert. Needless to say, these little guys don't last very long in the Lewis household. This was my second time making them, and I fell more in love with them than before. Point is -- TRY THEM OUT. You probably have everything you need in your kitchen. Those are my favorite things to make.

For the muffins:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3-4 ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten (simply crack the egg in a small bowl and mix the yolk and egg white together first before combing with the rest of the ingredients)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

For the crumb topping:
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp. butter

1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly grease a muffin tin.

2. In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour (the all-purpose and whole wheat flour), baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together mashed bananas, sugar, egg, vanilla and canola/vegetable oil. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Stir in the chocolate chips. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin. (I have found this recipe makes 11 perfectly-sized muffins :)

3. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 Tbsp. flour and cinnamon. Cut in 2 Tbsp butter until mixture resembles course cornmeal. (I used my hands to thoroughly integrate the butter into the sugar/flour mixture)
Sprinkle topping over muffins.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

*Adapted from A Hint of Honey

A Yellow Shelf & New Kitchen Paint

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Last summer I bought 2 shelves from KSL (an online classifieds thing here in Utah... similar to Craigslist) with the intention to repaint them. 

It is now March. And I just finished one. Go me!

I fell in love with these shelves when I saw them online. They had a lot of character with the crown molding and planked wood in the back. And they were even REAL wood! Hooray! The set came with this one you see and a horizontal shelf that is upstairs in the office... still unfinished. One step at a time people. Part of me was hesitant to repaint over the beautiful wood grain, but there were some minor scratches (as you can see below) that I wanted to disguise. 

I used Kilz to prime the shelf. I love this stuff because you don't even need to sand! Now if that isn't music to my ears I don't know what is. I loathe sanding. I ended up applying almost 3 coats, however, because the primer just kept getting soaked up into the wood. But once it was sufficiently primed, I only needed to do 1 generous coat of color.

My original intention was to paint this guy a turquoise/robin's egg blue color, and then with advice from my Mom and Russ who both thought there would be way too much of that color in the kitchen/living area especially due to my wallpaper, I went with my next favorite color -- yellow! The color is "Bees Wax" by Sherwin Williams. It's a really pretty buttery yellow. I had originally bought a color called "June Day" that was a punchier yellow (aka WAY TOO BRIGHT), and because Sherwin Williams is the best paint store ever, they gave me a new gallon with the "Bees Wax" color that turned out to be perfect.

Oh yeah, and I also painted the kitchen last Friday evening (nothing like a hot date, right?). I wanted the subway tile back-splash and the molding to stand out a little more, but still wanted to keep the kitchen light and bright. The living room is painted "Cobblestone" by Martha Stewart, which is the perfect "greige." I  wanted the kitchen to be in the same color family as the living room since they are practically one room. One thing I need to work on is my paint-picking skills. I'm terrible at picking paint. But after almost picking another color, I ended up going with "Crushed Ice" by Sherwin Williams (at 75% strength). I couldn't be more happy with my choice! {queue sigh of relief}

I think this little corner is one of my new favorite areas in my house. I am slowly accumulating fun serving dishes, bowls (such as the West Elm modernist bowls I purchased a while ago), and cake platters to display. They just make me happy. Not to mention that letterpress calendar by Snow & Graham. It really is the little things in life, right?

Finally, here is a view of the corner from the fridge area of my kitchen. And yes, I still have my Valentine's hearts up in the window. Don't judge.

So how about you? Have you worked on any refinishing projects? They are always pretty time consuming, but oh-so-worth it! 

We Love Them Utah Mountains!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Last fall we bought a bunch of 2-for-1 tickets to Snowbird, our very favorite ski resort. We've been holding out for a big snowstorm when we could experience the true beauty of Utah snow. It looks like our wait was worth it, because yesterday we had such a perfect day on the mountain. Our patience was tested even further when we were driving up and had to wait almost an hour to get in the canyon due to an avalanche. I'm so glad we didn't turn around (like so many other cars), because screaming down the mountain in 2 feet of light, fluffy powder may be one of my favorite things to do. Ever.

And doing it with Russ by my side just completes the experience. 

From left to right: 
On the lift with Russ -- do you think he is having a fun time? 
Waiting at the mouth of the canyon, antsy as can be!
Feeling like sardines in a can while we took the tram to the top. 
Russ wiped out. I found him like this. I had to capture it.