Sunday, February 12, 2012


We bought our current home just four years ago and in that time the bonus room above the garage has been a bedroom for our youngest son.......until he figured out that the room stays hot in the summer and cold in the winter.  It also does not have a bathroom near so he had to come downstairs and across the house to use "his" bathroom.  We have a guest bedroom on the far side of the house and "his" bathroom was just outside that room.  The bonus room is actually one of the largest rooms in the house running the entire length of the garage.  It has a small closet but with the angled ceiling, it is limited in what you can put up there.  Also, no tall items can go on the edges of the room due to the angle.  At the point where the ceiling meets the wall on the sides, the room is just 5 foot tall.  

Once our youngest son decided it was not worth the hassle to stay up there, he "lived" in the guest bedroom until he moved closer into town to avoid the fuel costs of traveling to and from his college courses.  After that, the bonus room became a storage area for things that we did not want in the garage.  Now mind you, I learned you cannot keep candles in the bonus room as I had a Christmas arrangement stored up there and the 8 inch pillar candle now looks like a shepherd's crook!  But......we continued to store lots of other things up there.

I have lots of sewing and stitching "stash" and it was the ideal place to store that since we use the smallest bedroom in the house as our computer room.  I also don't currently have a china cabinet so it is also a good place to store extra dishes for the holiday seasons, decorations, etc.  Our kids are grown and our only grandchildren so far are in Australia so we do not currently need a place for kids to sleep.  The bonus room might one day be that place but for now, it is re-purposed to be a combination room.

When my dear husband retired from the Dept of Energy, he cleaned out his office and brought home about 13 records storage boxes of "stuff".....his awards, his work records (personal not work related files), his military records, lots of reference material, etc.  Our goal since the New Year arrived has been to sort through our "stuff" and get rid of "stuff" not needed any longer.  We've done well and now have it more organized.  I don't have the messy before photos but here is what it looks like now!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Valentine's Day Dining Room

In continuing to make the house feel more like Valentine's Day for the month of February, here are my attempts in our Dining Room:

It is hard to get a good photo in our dining room as the walls are burgundy and the dining room is shaded from the afternoon sun so we don't get a great deal of sun light in this room.

These hearts shaped placemats were purchased from TJMAXX.  The square white plates, red square salad plate and white bowls were what we decided on for our everyday dishes.  I may change the salad plates for different occasions but since red is one of my favorite colors, they will probably get lots and lots of use.  The red iced tea glasses were purchased at Christmas time last year and really look great here.  The centerpiece is a round mirror plate with a pillar candle on it flanked by two turtledoves.  The turtledoves are hard to see behind the red glasses but there is a better photo of them further down in this post.

Here is a close up of the place setting.  The flatware is the same red flatware I purchased for Christmas this year.

With the candles lit, it really begins to look romantic.

Here is one of the two turtledoves flanking the center pillar candle.  I was in  the Christmas Tree Shoppe this year and he just flew into my basket.   He just had to come home with me.

This sign just HAD to go here.  This is our "temporary" china cabinet.  It is actually a stackable bookcase from Haverties that we have chosen to use as a china cabinet until we find the one we really want.  It currently holds the china dishes my paternal grandmother hand painted in the 1930's-1950's.  On top of the bookcase are our family photos.  Right behind the "L" is a small photo of my husband and I at our wedding so many years ago.  Next to that is the "Four Generations" photo of our family on our trip to Australia to visit with our oldest son, his lovely wife Liz and our two grandsons, Daniel and Michael.  There are four generations of Hastings guys in this photo.

Here are those turtledoves that flew into my basket.  There is also a sweet cherub candle a dear friend in Italy sent me one year for Christmas.  He just completes the setting so well.

The angel stitched above was a gift from another dear friend in Australia.  It is a JustNan design and I hope to stitch some of her other angels and frame them in a similar manner so I can have more angels in the house.  She is on one of our dining room walls but I want to do another one and maybe have them on either side of the big window in that room eventually.

Valentine's Day Kitchen area

I decided to enjoy my Valentine's Day table for the entire month of February this year.  I am a rookie at tablescaping but decided to give it a try.  Last year, I picked up a Valentine's Day tablecloth on sale after the holiday so it was time to put it to work this year.  We have been wanting to change our daily dishes as the el-cheapo ones we bought several years ago as "this will do til we find what we want" have been in service for much longer than intended.  I have a table in my kitchen breakfast nook area and a table in our dining room.  Neither one are large tables so I am limited in space but sometimes that is a good thing.

So here are my efforts at creating a Valentine's Day atmosphere in the house.

The kitchen breakfast nook area:

This is the place setting.  White plates with a red salad plate and bowl from a local grocery store that had a red base and white hearts on them.  Red placemat was from TJMAXX.

The view from the living room looking into the kitchen breakfast nook and the kitchen.  Banner on Pantry door is from Joann's.  Towel hanging on freezer door handle is also from Joann's.

 Last year I picked up these two red beaded hearts and thought they might look o.k. hanging where I normally have black sconces on the wall.

I just could not pass up the little red and white sign that says "LOVE" from Hobby Lobby.  Red is one of my favorite colors so this was perfect!

Good morning sunshine!  We enjoy eating a leisurely breakfast at this table and watching for birds at the feeder right outside this window in the garden.  My orchids seem to love this window as well.

At first, I was not sure about this decorative plate with all that pink but I think it fits well and looks nice.

Walmart had these little heart candle voltives and they were simple and not too over the top for my desired effect.

 Here is a close up of the banner I purchased a couple of years ago from Joann's after the holiday was gone and they were on sale.