Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I'm not used to posting without pictures.  I always figured that's what kept people's attention.  With so many other blogs to read, why stop at one with nothing to see?  What fun would that be?  So I completely understand if you decide to move on.  There just aren't any pictures that go with this post.

I've been reluctant to share this with you, but what kind of friend would I be if I didn't?  As most of you know, I'm pregnant with a baby boy, due at the end of January.  Well, last week I had some complications that landed me in the hospital.  After a brief stay, the docs sent me home on moderate bed rest.  I'm supposed to stay off of my feet as much as possible.  Obviously, these doctors don't know me very well.  Rest?  Off of my feet?  What? Huh?  I don't know how to do that.  Never have.  It's not in my nature.  But of course as all of you mothers out there know, there is nothing we wouldn't do for our children.  So I've been a good patient and taking the advice of my caregivers.  It's not easy, especially being  worried about the well-being of my baby.  Up until now time seemed to be going by pretty fast.  Once school started and the schedules began, time was zipping by.  Now,  Boredom has set in and I'm starting to think the big day will never get here.  Of course, I don't want it to get here too soon.  That would not be good!  I'm going on the assumption that my little guy will stay in and cook until he's well-done.

Rich and the girls have been wonderful  - doing the laundry, cleaning and cooking.  My wonderful mother has been bringing meals over almost every day.  And my sweet friends and family are checking in on me all the time.  I still haven't gotten used to the idea of resting.  It's so hard to sit here and look around at everything that needs to be done.  But I'm doing it nonetheless.  Thank goodness for the internet!  I've been catching up on all of your wonderful blogs and browsing all of my favorite sites, like Houzz, BHG, HGTV and others, getting lots of great decorating ideas.  Great for someone who loves home decor and decorating, right?  Except now I feel a strong sense of urgency to replace everything around me - a lamp here, a rug there, a new mirror for my dresser, a new nightstand (hoping now that Rich is not reading this at work...)

Patience is not something that has ever come easy to me.  When I want something, I want it now.  Which is why I'm not in charge of the money around here.  Yet I sit here and wait.  Wait for extra money to finish my bathroom.  Wait for All My Children to come on.  Wait for the kids to get home from school, so I have some company.  But most importantly, I wait for Cole.  Every week - as excruciatingly long as it may seem - matters desperately to me now.  My baby gets bigger and stronger with each passing day.  So hold on my sweet boy.  You are not ready to come out yet.  Mommy will do everything I need to do to make sure you are safe.  I love you so much already, and I can't bear the thought of you being born now.  It's too soon...

A special thank you to Terri and Gloria - two wonderful friends I met through blogging and who I thank God for every day.  What you two have done for me - listening, praying - I will be eternally grateful.  I know that our Lord is in charge and that His plan for me and Cole have been in place long before I even knew I would have another baby at this stage in my life.  I gain comfort from Him and know that I am surrounded by His peace and love.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Celebration Giveaway!

I'm celebrating a new milestone here at My Domestic Bliss by offering a giveaway to all of my faithful followers.  Early on I was determined to get as many followers as I could, foolishly thinking this would give some credibility to my humble blog.  Somewhere along the line I realized that it's not quantity, but quality that matters.  That's why I'm not concerned with numbers anymore, but with getting to know each and every one of you better - that's my new goal and that's what I'm celebrating.  I'm celebrating YOU!

I've worked with CSN before, offering giveaways or reviewing their great products.  And once again, the wonderful folks at CSN  have generously offered to give $45 to one of my followers to spend any way you wish at one of their 200+ stores that sell everything from pet accessories and baby stuff to everyday kitchen items and home decor, including some of the most amazing upholstered headboards I've ever seen! There are over one million products online at CSN! If you haven't already checked out there site, then grab a cup of coffee and a comfy chair, cause you're gonna be there for a while!  It's fabulous!

Why did I mention upholstered headboards?  Well, cause they are the bomb-diggity these days!  I see them all over and I love them for their originality and the richness they add to an otherwise blah room.  Some of you may remember that last year my sweet In-Laws lost everything to a house fire.  Over the past year they've moved back in and have been replacing furniture with my help, almost entirely via Craig's List.    We managed to complete the downstairs (click here to view), and now it's time to begin work on the upstairs, specifically the Master Bedroom.  I'm so excited to tackle this room because it is so spacious and there's lots to work with.  Our only problem so far has been finding a bedroom set on Craig's List that comes with a King sized headboard.  No luck.  So what I've decided to do is find a neutral upholstered headboard that would go with any style furniture.  

Here are some beauties I fell in love with at CSN:

Love the diamond patter on this one.

And the curves on this one.

Classy button-tufted.

Same one in a different shape.

Can you tell I like white?  Well, not to worry because there are tons of others to choose from with many different colors, fabrics and styles.  

Of course I will share pictures of the new Master suite when it is completed.  These are just some ideas to get me started.

So, if you'd like to enter my giveaway, just leave a comment telling me you are a follower.  That's it!  Easy peasy.

I will pick a winner in 2 weeks!  
Due to certain restrictions this giveaway is limited to residents of the continental US only.  

Thanks for checking in and good luck!


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Sign, A Painting & A Renovation!

Fall has definitely settled in here in South Jersey.  It's been beautiful and crisp every morning - I can even see my breath!  Love that!!!  I'm in between innings of the Phillies game and wanted to post some changes I recently made to my cottage-style Master Suite.  

I spotted a beautiful sign on Kim's blog (Savvy Southern Style) a while back and was so happy to finally be able to order one for myself.  It's from Paula at Castle and Cottage, a blogger who makes the most amazing signs and sells them on her Etsy store.  She does custom designs too in all different shapes and sizes.  

This is how it looks over our built-in headboard.

Before I just had some decorative plates in this place.

I like the sign much better.

I also recently changed the wall over my hope chest.  Here is the before.

I purchased this painting from CSN for a very reasonable price using a gift card I received for doing a review  recently.

I love how this looks against the sage color on the wall - very monochromatic and subtle.

Then I switched out the top of the hope chest.

I moved the venetial mirrors to the dresser area and brought in a different lamp from another room.

Here's what this area looked like before:

Rich and I are in the process of renovating our master bath, which is right to the left of the dresser area above.  We are taking our time with this renovation, doing a little bit at a time.  Here's some of the progress so far.

The light fixture is new.  We removed a cumbersome medicine cabinet which left a gaping hole in the wall and replaced it with two mirrors, adding a smaller medicine cabinet to the side - a yard sale find for only $7! 

Then Rich painted the walls a taupe color.

My initial plan was to replace the two existing vanity bases with one large one, but the width of the existing counter top combined with the location of the sinks makes this next to impossible.  I decided to use what we have and modify.  Our existing cabinets are of course dated, but in excellent condition.  The plan is to replace the doors with new white ones and Rich worked his magic in the open space in the middle.

This was actually my idea, but Rich always brings my ideas to life.

We added beadboard to the back and sides, a shelf in the middle and a base at the bottom using moulding to make it all look built in and unified!


This is just primer and I will be painting it white tomorrow.  So far so good!

Next up is the counter tops.  Our good friend Tom sells/installs granite and will be doing the job for us.  I'm going to go with a neutral granite in beige to tie in the existing beige tile around the spa tub.

After that we will be putting in porcelain floors in a neutral beige. 

That's it for now!  Thanks for checking in and enjoy the rest of your week!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Home Goods Goodness

I went to Home Goods this morning looking for a new lamp for my dresser in my bedroom.  They usually have a great selection at great prices.  I was surprised with the selection and high prices this time around.

So I didn't leave with a lamp, but I did bring home this cute rooster tray for $15.

And perched him on top of my fridge.

The dark stain of the wood goes nicely with my floors and granite.

Just gotta find a new home for this painting now.

We are enjoying some crisp Fall-like weather here in South Jersey.  Perfect for making chilli or homemade soup.  I have a great recipe I'll share with you next week for chunky potato soup.  Here's a preview....

Straight from the chalkboard I made in the kitchen.

What are your plans for the weekend?


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Craig's List Series #9

This series of posts features Craig's List finds from my area of the country, South Jersey/Philadelphia.  Even if you don't live in this area, and most of you don't, I thought it would be fun to show you some interesting and unique pieces and what they are worth.  If you are in the market for rare antiques or just trying to gain a knowledge for what pieces are worth, I strongly suggest you visit Craig's List and scour the antique category.  

Most sellers will try to give as much information about a piece as possible.  So as a regular visitor to CL, I've gained a knowledge of terminology and time-period, as well as an understanding of which pieces are rare as opposed to those that are a dime a dozen.  For this series, I'm showing you the ones I think are either rare, very interesting, or an extremely good value. 

Please note:  Unless otherwise stated, I did NOT purchase any of these items.

WOW! Where does the time go?  It's been a few months since I posted this series.  My apologies!  But no worries - it's back and this one is better than ever!  Let's get right to it.

First up is this French Provincial antique sideboard listed for $25.

A similar piece listed for $150.

A pair of antique marble top French Provincial style end tables for $40. 

An antique bedroom vanity for $50.

Antique croquet set - $160.  A little pricey, but super-cool!!

A stunning mahogany corner cupboard for $175.

Accent chair - $25.

This one is not an antique, but I can think of a few bloggers who would have arm-wrestled for it.
A rooster cabinet for $85.

A set of dressers with bookcase and small desk for $35.


Also not an antique, but a great price is this wood credenza for $35.

And a beautiful accent table for $60.

As mentioned in my disclaimer above, I did not purchase any of these great pieces.  My latest CL treasure, and one of my favorites, can be seen by clicking here.  

I'd love to hear your thoughts on Craig's List!  Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

New Recipe, Thrifty Find & A Present for Me!!

I came across this recipe in the latest issue of BHG and had to make it.  We had my husband's parents over for dinner last nigh for their anniversary so it was the perfect opportunity to try it out.

There was a lot of prep work involved but I think it was worth it and I would def make it again.

I cut the cooked chicken into small pieces.

Added the rest of the ingredients for the filling.

What I love about this recipe is that it's Mexican, but the filling goes into cooked pasta shells!  So unique, but SOOOO good!

Here it is with the Doritos on top.

Everyone LOVED it and since I put everything together in advance, I was able to do all of the dishes and have no cleanup after dinner!
If you'd like to make this, I've included the recipe at the bottom of this post.

But first, I forgot to show one of my yard sale finds in my thrifty post over the weekend.  I squealed when I saw these rattan chargers as I have been looking for some to have on hand.  I was able to purchase 10 of them for only $3!  Yippeeee!!!

While I was cooking there was a knock at the door.  I opened it to find a package on my doorstep!  Me LOVE getting packages!!!

I spy a label from Ballard's!

And inside, a new catalog and a note congratulating me on winning Rhoda's giveaway over at Southern Hospitality!

I won this sweet rustic lantern - perfect for my rustic family room!

Thanks again Rhoda you sweet Southern thang!  I just love it and I can't thank you enough for offering this generous giveaway.

Of course I spent last night perusing my new catalog for some treats.  Me thinks me gonna splurge on a gift for myself....

So I'll end this random post with the recipe mentioned above.  I'd love to hear if you make it, but only if you liked it!  Ha!