Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas

I finally got my house in a semblance of order to take pictures of our Christmas decorations.  Be mindful that the presents under the tree are in the preliminary stages.  They are somewhat hastily wrapped and there is a post-it note with a scribbled name.  Hopefully, I can read the names tonight and adorn them with some cute labels and ribbons. 

I still have more to wrap and more to buy.  I'm heading off in a little to brave the stores.  I hope this Christmas and holiday season are filled with love, family, and peace.  This Christmas is going to be very special for us and I'm so happy.  My life is at peace.  What can be better than that.  Kisses!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Hi, I'm Still Here

I'm so sorry that my posting has gone on the way side, life has gotten crazy on us.  We are doing great and I will be getting back to my regular scheduling really soon.  In the mean time, I saw this cute Christmas Q&A over at My Third True Love and Turning the Tables and I had to do it.

1. egg nog or hot chocolate? Umm, both.  I love hot chocolate and spiked egg nog.  I also love Creme de Vie, which I think is a Puerto Rican version of egg's out of control. Every Christmas, my aunt makes us a bottle.

2. does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Usually wrapped, but at my parents house, a few select items were left unwrapped.  I plan to do the same with my kids.

3. colored lights on tree/house or white? White lights for me.

4. do you hang mistletoe?  no, but maybe I should.  Who can't use more kisses.

5. when do you put your decorations up? The Friday after Thanksgiving. This year we were late due to life's craziness.

6. what is your favorite holiday dish? Wow, I would definitely say the Cuban Lechon we make every year in the caja china (cuban pork made in a box of coal)!

7. favorite holiday memory as a child? Waking up with my older sister and sneaking out before everyone was awake and looking to see how many presents we got and what those few left unwrapped were.  It would be like 5-6 in the morning and we were always sent back to bed.

8. when and how did you learn the truth about santa? I remember a kid in my class told me in 3rd or 4th grade, so I aksed my older sister and she told me "of course there's a Santa, you think Mom and Dad can buy all those presents"...I beleived her, after all she was my older sister and knew everything.

9. do you open a gift on christmas eve? No, always Chrismtas mornining.  My idea with our kids is to open Chrismtas PJ's on Christmas eve.

10. how do you decorate your christmas tree? White ball lights (new this year), the theme is silver, red, and crystals.  I also buy an ornament everytime we travel, and I have a bunch of hearts.  It's a mixed, full tree and I love it.  I love when I'm given an ornament and I'm reminded of the person who gave it to me every year.

11. snow! love it or dread it? Like it if I'm wearing a ski jackets, boots, and skis.

12. can you ice skate? No! I sprained my ankle Senior year at my friend Kathy's Birthday outing and vowed to never do it again.

13. do you remember your favorite gift? I have such vivid memories of gifts throughout the years that I loved.  This year is probably going to be the best one yet.

14. what's the most important thing about the holidays for you? Family and food! LOTS of food!

15. what is your favorite holiday dessert? Now that I'm gluten free...that's kind of tough.  Chocolate

16. what is your favorite holiday tradition? Waking up in our PJ's and sitting around the tree opening presents.  Spending the day going around to my parents, my in-laws, and my grandmothers house.

17. what tops your tree? A crystal star from Pottery Barn

18. which do you prefer: giving or receiving? Ummm, receiving and of course giving, especially to my nieces and nephews

19. candy canes: yuck or yum? Yum.

20. favorite Christmas movie? A Christmas Story

21. saddest christmas song? Nope. Can't think of any.

22. what is your favorite Christmas song? I love them all, but there's something about Feliz Navidad that cracks me up and reminds of being REALLY young and singing it in my moms car on the way to school.

I'm looking forward to having an amazing Christmas.  Life is good.

Friday, November 11, 2011

We have a Winner!

I'm so excited to announce the winner of the Shabby Apple giveaway... A Nest For All Seasons.  Congratulations! We've been blog friends for a while and I was so excited to see she was number 16.  I hope you all have a great weekend.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Last Chance for Giveaway

Today's your last chance to enter the Shabby Apple Giveaway

Dresses from Shabby Apple
Click here to see what dress I picked for you to have a chance at.

I will be picking a winner tonight at Midnight.  Hurry and enter!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Loving Dark

It's not a secret that I love white.  My house is full of white, the walls, furniture, kitchen, etc.  However, I've been drawn to dark features lately.  Charcoals, blacks, chalkboard colored walls are calling me.  Here are some lovely examples of what I mean.
Anthropolgie Pinterest
 I love this island and the color is amazing.
Apartment Therapy found on  Pinterest
I love this bold wall treatment.
Via Pinterest (could not locate original source)
This nursery is amazing.  The chalkboard wall is so perfect and mixed with yellow...well, you know my love of yellow.
Bowdenisms via Pinterest
I'm loving what a statement these dark features can make.  I may have to add some into my house.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Shabby Apple Giveaway

I'm so excited to be hosting this amazing giveaway from Shabby Apple.  Their line of  women's dresses and accessories are absolutely beautiful and so classic.  What could be more perfect than winning a beautiful dress just in time for the holidays.  I spent quite a bit of time perusing and came upon this beauty.  I want to be this this dress!  So classic, elegant, and vintage inspired.  I Love!
So here's your chance to win this caramel and white lovely.
 Here's how to enter:
Leave me a comment and I'd love for you to follow JandJHome
For additional entries (leave a comment for each one you do):  
Leave me a comment letting me know which is your favorite dress from Shabby Apple 
Follow me on Twitter
Like me on Facebook 
Like Shabby Apple on Facebook
The giveaway will end Thursday, November 10th at midnight.  The winner will be announced Friday, November 11th at 7:00 a.m. The winner must have a US shipping address and there will be no exchanges for the winning dress. 

You also have a chance to receive 10% off all your purchases from Shabby Apple for the next 30 days.  Use coupon code  jandjhome10off

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Stencil Project Complete

I've been eyeing stencils for a while, but thought it was way too much work for me.  When my sister realized that the wallpaper she wanted would cost her about $1,500 for one wall, I had to stop her.  Actually, this was before she decided to randomly move to Paris and find herself, and money wasn't really an issue.  So in the end, choosing a stencil was the perfect idea.  Here is an incredible inspiration photo.
Via Pinterest
We purchased the Donatella Damask from  Royal Design Studio. thanks to Vintage Revivals.  Mandi is a huge inspiration and her incredible tutorials.  We bought this one at 10% off.
We started with this giant wall with a fresh coat of paint.
We placed the stencil on the wall and painted. We used a small foam roller and tried to dry off as much paint as possible before rolling.
The small markers were so helpful in helping us place the stencil in the next spot for painting.
Here is the wall with the easiest parts done.  The edges were difficult as we had to bend and contort the stencil to fit the walls.
We found that having a fan to help dry the stencil was essential.  Although we would wipe off the stencil after each round, it still needed to fully dry before we placed it on the wall.
Here it is. 

We used a Martha Stewart metallic sheen paint for the stencil.  It gave the perfect amount of sheen to the wall.  Although, it took us like four painting marathons, it was completely worth the time and effort. The wall is beautiful.  Have you stenciled before?  It's one of those projects, that kills you while doing it, but is so worth it in the end.  My sister's wall is gorgeous. 
I'll be linking up to these parties

Friday, October 28, 2011

Happy Halloween

It's been a fun week.  On Wednesday, I had  a girls dinner at my house.  Sushi, wine, cupcakes, and good friends equals the best medicine for anything.  Yesterday was one of my schools Halloween festivities.  The kids were all dressed up and really hyper thanks to the loads of candy they consumed.  The office staff dressed up as school girls, we had bows in our hair and light blue Polo's.  On Monday, my other school's office staff will be dressing up as witches.  I have to go buy myself a witch hat before they are all taken.
Martha Steward via Pinterest
I hope you have a fun weekend full of candy, good times, and friends.  Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Another $0.75 Cent Chair Makeover

I found this chair for $0.75 at the Faith Farm Thrift store a while back.  I refinished it, took pictures, and forgot about it.  I found it last night while scrolling through pictures.  The fabric was some kind of embroidery that had seen better days.
I took it apart and gave it a couple of coats of Annie Sloan chalk paint in Old White.
 I used some fabric I had in my stash and recovered the chair.
 It was a remnant piece of fabric, so I couldn't really center it on the chair, but I loved the combination of colors.
It was an easy fix and it made for some afternoon entertainment.  What do you do with your fabric remnants?

I'll be linking up to these parties

Monday, October 24, 2011

Polishing Marble

I'm so glad to be back to my regularly scheduled program.  Last week we had our floors polished and had been to lazy to reconnect the computer. I asked/begged my husband to do it for me, until I finally did it myself this morning at 6:00 a.m.  Here are some before pictures of our floors.  These floors were once mirror shiny.  You can see, especially in high traffic areas (like our kitchen), how dull they look.
Here's another dull spot.   
The first step in the process, is getting all of our belongings out of the way. Luckily the workers did this for us. An option that would have sped things up was placing everything outside, but as you can see the dull skies in the background, that was not an option.
Here are all our accessories.  I had prepped this myself the night before.
 Look at this craziness. 
So basically, the first step of the process is they strip or take away a hair thick layer of the marble.  They use a cleaner, water, a salty like substance, and a grinder (not sure the name of the machine).  You can see here the floor completely stripped.
They spot treat any holes or imperfections.  They then use the polishing machine with another polishing liquid.  Here you can see where he has placed the liquid.  Then they put a sealer and then buff the floors to get maximum shine.
 Here you can see the start of shine.
I took these pictures this morning and the sun hasn't really come out yet, so you can't get the whole effect. (I'll update the pictures later today).  This is the same spot as the first picture.
You can see the furniture, vases, and art reflected in the floor.  When the sun is out, you can see the trees, as well.
The difference is huge.  The house feels so much cleaner.  The floors feel brand new again.  We had this process done 8 years ago and it should really be done every 3 years.  The company was great and a team of 3-4 guys worked for 12 hours straight.   It was a long day.  I took advantage that I was home and organized papers in our office and cleaned out those corners in the house you never get to.  It feels so good to cross something off the list.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Vacuuming and Napping

About 8 years ago, we had our floors done.  Our house had the original Terrazzo floors, which we thought about polishing up and keeping.  However, they were pretty much unfixable.  My husband's friend convinced us to install 24 by 24 marble.  We went out shopping and loved it.  We bought Crema Selecta marble and a pretty decent price.  We had it installed and polished.  Wow, our floors were like mirrors.  We vowed that day that we would have our floors polished every year.  We did so the first year...and never again.  Marble is a pretty delicate floor, spill something on it and get to wiping quick and dust and dirt plus walking equals dull, lifeless floors.  That's were we are right now.  There is NO shine left. 

Since I've been on this major getting the house fixed up phase, I'm having my floors polished today.  I'm ecstatic.  My husband agreed, but on one condition, I must vacuum daily.  Umm. Yea, that's not me.  My floors get vacuumed and cleaned every Thursday when the house gets cleaned.  There is only two of us and not a lot of traffic.  So guess what I got.

The iRobot 560 Roomba Vacuuming Robot, Black and Silver and can I tell you that I'm in love. Like real love.  Like I have him scheduled to go off everyday and when it starts I actually feel a little butterfly in my stomach.  Is that normal. Is it normal that I have found myself talking to it.  It's like I'm cleaning my house and I'm sitting on the computer or laying on the couch or maybe even napping.  Well actually, the first day it started, I found myself lying on the floor watching it under furniture and following it room to room to see what it did.  As I'm typing this, I promise you I'm not nuts, promise.  

I've had it for a week and I'm really liking it.  It does make it around the house to every room.  It's weird how it goes into a room, leaves, and goes back to it again after.  It really does vacuum and it does a good job at it.  I've had places in my house vacuumed that I'm sure nobody has touched in years.  Our kitchen cabinets are on legs and it actually gets under the cabinets.  Woo hoo.   The best part about it, it docks itself when the house is done.  I don't even have to worry about that.  Love I tell you.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Joys of Homeownership

The weather here in South Florida has been anything but sunny the past few weeks.  There was a crazy storm last Friday night.  We went over to a friends house and drank some wine and hung out.  We headed home in the rain and went to bed.  I woke up relatively early on Saturday and started picking up a bit.  I looked out my backdoor and saw this.  I thought to myself...damn storm is going to make me have to pick up branches and chairs in my yard.  As I looked closer, I screamed...I can see the street.  I ran screaming through the house and woke up my husband.  It put me in a foul mood (which could be why I didn't blog all week).
Look at the mess.
Yea, that's my fence.  The one we replaced when our old fence came tumbling down after Hurricane Katrina.
I ran out to my front yard and found this on our side yard.
Here's the view from across the street.  Yes, that's a huge tree resting on our fence.
Up close...
We worked on it Saturday afternoon.  Our dad's came to help and we got it down in a little over an hour.
Here's a view of my backyard from the street.  Remember, my family room has no window treatments.  Fun.
I never really liked that tree.  It was pretty randomly placed on the side yard.  Our house has quite a few mature trees, so I guess one less is OK.  Now, to fix that fence. 
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