Thursday, February 17

technical difficulties solved!

update: i can now post again!  however, it's going to take me a bit to upload everything, & since we're leaving town tomorrow at 5am, & i have a mountain of laundry to fold so we can pack...  well, i'm not promising any new posts till monday.  BUT i'll be back full speed next week!

Tuesday, February 15

technical difficulties

i've been experiencing some technical difficulties here at the casteel casa blog. i've got lots of posts waiting to be published, & i'll get them up as soon as i can [hopefully in the next 24 hours]. thanks for your patience - check back soon!

Monday, February 7

menu plan monday

my friend, rachel, & i are trying to keep one another accountable with eating & living healthier. we've got a whole system of checks & balances [& rewards] worked out. one of the ways we're working together is sending each other our menu plans & posting our recipes on our food blogs. we love cooking & eating most of the same foods & styles, so it works great!

we're also trying to post how many WeightWatchers PointsPlus is in each recipe serving [i've got some backlogging to do on that front]. if you'd like a new place to search for recipes, check out the casteel cafe & le noshery du ravellette. we're always open!

also, if you like tailgating food, you need to check out martha's link party at seaside simplicity. what a great resource for game season!

this week, we're eating out more than normal, but with FACE-ing our finances, we're prepared for it.

monday - out to eat with danielle [moe's monday!]
tuesday - sweet potato hash
wednesday - spicy shrimp, corn, & quesadillas
thursday - chicken shawarma with pita & greek salad
friday - out to eat for valentine's with my "be mine"
saturday - y.u.m. [coffeehouse afterwards]
sunday - @ life group

Thursday, February 3

inserting color into our lives

i'm a big fan of bold color. i'm also a big fan of painting anything that sits still long enough. there was a time in my life that i deemed painting wood a cardinal sin, but no more! after living in my first house for six years & having to make do with free & found furniture, i learned that painting everything the same color really brings a room together.

[our bedroom in the old casa - with painted bedroom furniture]

plus, i was table-sitting my dining room table for a friend [we later bought it off of her], & it happens to be painted white, & i fell in love.

[my white dining table - love how it pops with all the wood]

now i find myself SURROUNDED by wood, of the paneling kind. if it were just me, as much as i might have some pangs of conscience, i would probably paint it all! but i promised shaun i would never paint the paneling in the casa...  so, i have to get creative with how to break up all that orangey-brown. in the rooms with paneling only halfway up the wall, like the living room, i can paint the upper wall a fun bold color that really pops! but in the rooms with floor-to-ceiling paneling, like the den & the kitchen, it's much more challenging.

i've already deemed the den as needing serious help in the color-injection area - shaun & i have been brainstorming some fun ways to accomplish this.  but this post is about the kitchen.

in the process of organizing the pantry, i removed all of the baking items to make room for more dinner-oriented items. now i need somewhere to store all of my baking supplies...  i've known for a while that i wanted to build a "hoosier cabinet" [the one application in which i'm okay with the word "hoosier"...], & a baking center seems like the perfect opportunity to build one!  here's my inspiration:

[image from google search]

i want it to look like it could have been built for the casa & at the same time the casa was built. there's no way i'm staining it to have even more brown in that room, plus the chance of getting it the right color is like a million to one. nope, this is a prime opportunity to INJECT COLOR! 

i've really struggled with what colors i want to focus on in the kitchen because i have so many colors already in it. my inspiration is my runner in front of the sink [from pier 1] & the picture frame in the corner [from michael's].

i have tons of these colors throughout the kitchen, especially lots of red. but with all the brown wood paneling & the brick red floor, i've opted to make red an accent color. for the big impact colors in the room, i've decided on turquoise [i originally thought true blue, but turquoise just looks better with the wood, plus it's my favorite color!] & golden yellow. 

soooo, i want to paint the baking cabinet turquoise! to make it seem like it was designed for & is original to the kitchen, we're going to use the same hammered black hardware that is on our cabinets. it's also in our bathrooms, & i don't want it to stay there, so we're going to recycle it into the cabinet design. i think the black will really pop with the turquoise! 

now for the hard part: talking shaun into painting ALL of the cabinets turquoise... i really think it will balance the kitchen [the baking center will be on the opposite wall as the cabinets, next to the pantry], & it will make it so much brighter [a real problem with all the dark surfaces, only one window, & poor lighting]. so, we went to our local home depot for paint chips to tape to the cabinets.

[the contenders]

picking out paint for our house always necessitates getting the paint chips into the room, next to the wood. that orangey-brown really changes the way a color reads. it tends to make colors look duller & more blue. after just one evening, these became our favorites:

[the top two colors from behr & the bottom paint chip from martha stewart]

from the very beginning, i thought i would pick this martha stewart shade called "lagoon" but once i saw it in the daylight, i realized how blue it read in my kitchen, & we definitely aren't going for blue. i was sure the top paint chip from behr was too green, but shaun insisted we at least tape it up. so glad we did because it's the winner! [ironically, the third color - "thermal spring" - is the color we painted the living room.] 

however, we couldn't decide on which shade, the top one - "eucalyptus leaf" - or the second one - "winter surf"...  [shaun likes the lighter one, & i like the darker one.] so for the first time in casteel casa history, we bought paint samples.

[me painting cardboard with the two colors]

notice the mess in the background next to the pantry... that's why we need a baking center! then we taped the cardboard panels up before we headed to bed.

["eucalyptus leaf" on the left & "winter surf" on the right]

i know, the cardboard panels are funky - they're recycled signs from the pirate party we did for the youth coffeehouse back in november! on a side note, don't you like the stained glass above the sink?! i know, you can barely see it because it's night, so i'll have to take a better picture later. anyways, my uncle steve is an incredibly talented artist, & this was his xmas present to us!!!

the plan is that we would paint the cabinets & probably add some dark glaze to the recesses for added interest & depth. plus, we like the distressed look. the window & small patch of wall above it will stay as is. we think we're going to remove the little shelves on the sides of the window. eventually, we will replace the backsplash & countertop going with a dark brown countertop [any material i can set hot pots & pans onto] & a terra cotta tile backsplash - bringing back some warm oranges & browns to balance the colors in the kitchen.  

what do you think?  anyone have a favorite color turquoise?  any other suggestions?