My Casa Bella







-Thomas Osbourne Davis

Welcome To My Casa Bella

My Casa Bella- means-my beautiful home- but it can mean so many other things. How you make your home a home. The sounds of children or pets playing. The aroma of scones in the oven or a lilac candle burning. The flowers blooming in your garden. The home grown vegetables ready to be picked. Grandma's quilt at the foot of the bed. A fire to curl up to with a good book. Or just a family spending time together with love, laughter and a good time.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Before & After Series- Living Room

Eleven weeks now since we purchased our home. 
Eleven weeks of blood (literally), sweat (literally), and tears, or meltdowns actually.
Exhaustion, body aches, bruises and scrapes.
Our last home we remodeled but we did it over the eleven years we lived there.
This place, well, there was NO WAY that I was going to live here right away until we got some of the major things done and get the stench removed.
I wanted to sterilize my shoes after walking around this place.
My husband loved it when he walked into it,
me, well I needed a little more convincing.
First, I really didn't want to purchase a townhouse, 
around here though, that's what you mostly see, townhouse after townhouse.
Single family homes are here too, but the prices are insane for them.
We found one we really liked, 
one I really wanted, put an offer on it, and the bank just dragged their feet.
After three months we got tired of waiting and found our current home.
This home is in a great location we found out later, we had an idea it was but after some time, 
we found we hit a jackpot here. 
A couple actually approached my husband during our renovations and offered to buy the townhouse from us.
We told them we'd let them know...:)
So, after two intense weeks of demolition and purchasing things and replacing things we finally moved in and did the rest of the work while living here,
note to self:

OK enough of that, now time for you to see our progress. 
You will get a tour of our living room area.
This room like all others was dark, smelly, floors stained with dog remnants.
Thankfully there are hardwoods here so we were able to sand them down and re stain them.
All windows were either cracked or wouldn't open.
The walls were so shiny even the ceiling had a dark cream shiny paint that showed every imperfection you could think of.
Red was the accent and dark taupe was the main color on the main level.
I like red, it's one of my favorite colors but this one had to go.
All the outlets matched the wall colors as well. UGH! 
After priming EVERY wall and ceiling in this house, which was a job in itself, we were ready to paint the ceiling 
and this started to happen 
Yes that is the ceiling on our floor!
We started to paint the ceiling and the paint would bubble.
That also happened EVERY WHERE in this house.
And mind you, we were told professionals painted this place,
hope they didn't pay much because they didn't prep the walls
well, so when we painted it all started to bubble.
So we thought we'd just scrape and paint again, 
we scraped that whole ceiling, it was like peeling sunburned skin.
Hubby went around did some patching and THEN we were able to paint.
After painting this was still the storage area
These were the kitchen cabinets that we removed.
This is the same corner where we kept the cabinets for some time.
(and no it's not the same paint color that was on there before it may look that way but it's actually much lighter, we do need a new camera, eventually)
New windows that actually open properly and you're not afraid of losing your hand.
The paint color we used is Martha Stewart "Sisal"
I really like this color and love the white trim.
Those are our summer curtains that I purchased during our last visit to NYC.
I have some fabric to make curtains for the winter.
Yes I have summer curtains and winter curtains, if I don't do that then I get bored...:)
I hope you enjoyed part I of the house tour, next will be our dining room.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Lemon Bundt Cake Gluten Free

Today was a baking day.
I searched through my Gluten Free cookbooks and saw this recipe.
It's from The Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook and there are some
delicious recipes that I can't wait to try.
The recipe for Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake is so delicious and the glaze is tangy.
Great with a hot cup of tea, of course you're wondering who is drinking tea when it's 98 degrees out?
Well, I am, especially since it's quite comfortable
 in my house so I enjoy a cup of afternoon tea with a piece of this wonderful, 
delicious beauty.

Things around here are still moving along, hubby tiled the laundry room floor,
I can't wait to show this room before we did this, it was dark, dirty, exposed and it smelled horrendous.
In fact, this whole house stunk, a smell that you can't forget. They had carpet in this room, yes in the laundry room and on the stairwell that I think their dog peed on occasionally.
Plus the fact that it was empty over a year and closed up didn't help things.
As soon as hubby took out the carpet tiles and tossed them out, the smell is practically gone,
I hope after painting it'll vanish completely.
So, he has to grout tonight, 
the contractor is adding doors to hide the AC and water heater units, then I can prime and paint.
So, I've yet need to paint this room, the bathroom down here, the basement, then the master bath, and hall bath upstairs, also have some painting to do on the stairwell, then some touch up painting throughout the house.
It's coming along.

I thoroughly enjoy the fact that I can actually live in this house. 
When we put our home on the market, 
it was as if it really wasn't ours any longer.
It was decorated for people to see, for them to see how their stuff would look in that space.
I felt like I was house sitting instead. 
But now, I can do what I want, decorate they way I like
I can even put the magnets back on my fridge!
When I opened the box that contained these, I was so excited!
I know, stupid, but not if you've been 
through selling a home.
These little things mean a lot. 
Putting out family pictures was also so much fun
Having to pack them away because the possible buyer may be distracted by seeing your pictures and may not be able to visualize themselves in the space.
It's called imagination. 
Well, whatever, it's nice to open the boxes and put things in their place.
There's still some unpacking to do, but hopefully before this month is over we'll have the majority of it done.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

To Let Go or Not To Let Go

We have now been in our "new" home for ten weeks, and we're still settling in. Some things are holding things up, we have a contractor who does a great job, but, it's taking him a long time to get things finished up.
We still have boxes packed that are shoved in the basement bathroom.
And this is where the "to let go or not to let go" comes in.
I am missing some things, things that I do use and would like to be able to use again but they are way in the back of the bathroom
Do you want to dig in here for a box that is in the back?
I certainly don't and DH gives me the look when I even mention it so it's not going to happen anytime soon.
(thank goodness for this extra space to store all my "junk")
But now, there are some things that I really don't miss, but not sure that when I see them, I may realize I did miss them, 
here's the problem,
it's deciding where the heck to put it all when I unpack it.
For years I've collected teapots and tea cups.
Some are China, with beautiful prints that I definitely want to keep, 
but the others are interesting.
They're teapots, not your average style, they're of scenes, like a garden cart or a store front.
They're really fun but I have no place for them, at least not where I'd like to put them.
It's funny, this house is a little bigger than our last place, yet I had a bigger dining room and living room.
I even had space above my kitchen cabinets to display my collections.
Here, I have no space above my cupboards, my dining and living room are combined and they're cozy.
So, do I let them go or keep them?
Do I put a shelf up in another room and add my collections 
or just let them go?
I guess when I open up those boxes,
I'm hoping as soon as I see them, I will know what I really 
want to do!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Survived The Storm!

We made it to Sunday, the power came back at 11pm last night, it felt like the longest weekend we've had in a long time.
Friday night at 10pm our lights were flickering,
weren't sure what was going on, then suddenly it sounded like the wind was going to knock over our home.
I looked out the window and the trees were swaying side to side
a scary sight.
Our bedroom is on the third level and it feels like we're in a tree house.
The trees are so tall and have been here many years, then flashes of lightning and howling.
I tell you, a year ago at our last home we had a tornado, and even though I was scared,
this scared me
 even more because of all the trees that surround us.
I told my DH that he took me out of the country to die in the city.
We lost power that night and couldn't sleep, tree branches were falling all around us. We ran downstairs because if a tree fell onto our house, our third level would be gone.
So we grabbed our kitties and took cover.
The next morning, there were trees down, roads blocked and power out everywhere.
We got breakfast at Bob Evan's since they had power there, bought some Ice and came home. People were stressing out,
gas stations closed, ice selling out and it was getting hotter outside.
We survived, we got lots done here around the house, it's starting to look like home now.
We slept in the cool basement and felt safe down there in case another storm hit, then the power came on and we were dancing.
Sadly, thousands are still without power, some lost their homes, and  there was one death. 
They're calling for another storm, I hope it's nothing like what we experienced Friday night.
I am still taking pictures, of afters, they will be posted soon!
DH went to Home Depot for water supply lines to hook up our dishwasher!
He's become quite the Handyman!
Stay Cool!