May 31, 2013

Perfect Burgers

Have you ever been to Bobby Flay's burger place called Bobby's Burger Palace?  My family thinks they make the best burgers so when I saw that Bobby Flay had a burger cookbook, I had to grab it.  His recipe is basic, and once you have it you can make perfect burgers at home.  I have found that keeping it simple is key and pay close attention to cooking times.  I also try to use fresh ground beef that hasn't been frozen.  I have found this makes a big difference in the flavor of the beef...

May 28, 2013

Kitchen Desk {Repurposed Console Table}

Maybe it's the former teacher in me, but I love having an organized (and pretty!) desk to work at.  I didn't have a desk in my kitchen in this house, but after we repurposed our Broyhill entertainment center, I realized I still had an old console table that matched in my basement that was just begging for some Rustoleum Heirloom White paint.  And our family was in desperate need of better organization for our paperwork and planning.  We needed a kitchen desk!...

May 24, 2013

Nautical Summer Mantel

Are you excited for the unofficial start to summer?  We are expecting a cool, rainy Memorial Day weekend here in NJ.  The only good thing about that is our pool is still a mud hole and I won't need to listen to my kids complain about not being able to swim.  As for our pool, we did finally get the estimate and it is not as bad as we thought it would be.  So hopefully we will be swimming soon!...

May 21, 2013

Angel Hair with Shrimp & Tomatoes

One of my favorite things to cook for dinner is "pasta with" whatever protein I have on hand.  On this particular night, I had some frozen, uncooked shrimp.  This is one of those recipes that seems complicated, but really is quite easy (& impressive).  I adapted this recipe from Melissa D'Arabian's shrimp scampi.  I got the idea to use shrimp stock from her...

May 20, 2013

Kitchen Island {Ikea Hack}

DIY Ikea Hack Kitchen Island with beadboard and butcher block countertop with Billy bookshelves via

**If you would like to know more details about this project, including a cost breakdown and materials used, please visit the follow up post. **

Last week, I shared how we DIY'd our mudroom using Ikea Hemnes shelving.  Today I am going to share yet another one of our projects that started with some Ikea products.  For this one, we took down the wall between our kitchen and living room to create one large space.  Once our family room addition was finished, no one was ever in the living room so it made sense to open it up to the kitchen.   We had to keep a support column so we decided to build a room divider type "island".  In order to remove the wall, we had to add a support beam.  Then we built a half wall to support the bookshelves.  We used Ikea Billy bookcases (3) to create storage on the kitchen side.  We topped it with a butcher block countertop (called Numerar), also from Ikea.

May 15, 2013

Keeping a White Bathroom Clean

I had NO idea how many all white bathroom haters there are on the internet.  Yesterday, a pic of my bathroom made it to Hometalk's Facebook page and although it was mostly well received, there were also a few many people out there with a deep prejudice against all white bathrooms and they all had something to say in the comments (and nothing better to do, I guess?).  Putting energy into trolls like that isn't my style, but what I did realize was that many people out there might be wondering how I possibly plan to keep that bathroom clean.  With 3 boys.  Am I crazy??  Well, let's not answer that ;)

First off, it is a Master Bath.  My kids are older and don't spend a lot of time in there.  They are not prohibited from going in there, but they have their own bathroom to share.  I put a lot of thought and research into creating a space I could easily maintain.  We took out 2 linen closets to make room for the tub, so I was concerned about losing that storage.  I love reading any and all blogs and magazines about home storage and organization.  Fact is, life can be crazy with kids, so I have found if you plan an organized space, it can make all the difference.  The first step to keeping any space clean is organized storage...

May 14, 2013

Repurposed Wall Unit

Broyhill wall unit painted Rustoleum Antique White repurposed as kitchen storage with upper cabinets to create eating nook via

May 10, 2013

Peony's Envy

I turned 39 this week.  Almost 40, but not quite there yet.  It was a low key day (my favorite kind!).  Billy was supposed to have to work, but found out the evening before that he didn't have to go in so we got to spend the day together.  We had breakfast with the boys before school and I got some great accessories to use in my new bathtub (bath salts and sponges).  Those boys sure know their way to their mom's heart...

May 8, 2013

Mudroom {repurposed Ikea Hemnes bookshelves}

ikea hack mudroom

When we designed our family room, we debated whether or not to take square footage away from the open part of the room to create a mudroom.  Ultimately, the mudroom was added and it was definitely, without a doubt, the right choice. It is right off the family room and leads to our back patio.  We used an Ikea bookshelf (Hemnes) as shelving to hold our baskets.  The bench is an Ikea entertainment center repurposed as a bench...

May 6, 2013

Go Jump in the Pool

....or maybe you shouldn't.  Not just yet anyway.  Our pool looked like this last year.  So refreshing.  See that dog, he is about to jump in.  He just loves swimming in his pool...

May 2, 2013

Planning the Master Bath ~ Lessons Learned

I began planning our master bathroom in my head when we first walked through our house with a realtor 6 years ago.  The master bedroom/bathroom area was the first place in the house she took us to.  It was dated (like every square foot of the rest of the house) but it had space.  Our realtor knew we had 3 boys who were rapidly outgrowing our last home, so she was smart to bring us upstairs first.  I saw room to grow and potential in a fabulous neighborhood.  We were sold...

May 1, 2013

About the blog title... Golden Boys and Me

As I was sitting outside today, I noticed the trees and how the leaves in my yard are about to turn green.  But, they are that beautiful golden color. Doesn't everything seem so fresh, and well..possible in Spring?

Which reminded me of one of my favorite Frost poems...