Favorite Things Dos (Two)

Hello friends, I’m back with another segment of “Favorite Things” Dos or Two for our non hispanic friends. If you missed the first favorite things you can find it [here].  Today’s favorite thing is not any regular item no friends it is food, yes you read right food.  I recently went to this fabulous restaurant with some friends and I loved it so much I went back with my family and then back again. This restaurant didn’t only make my favorite things list because of the food, but also because of the ambiance and the decor.  This is a rustic, farmhouse dream in the heart of Miami. I tell you they had HGTV playing on the television sets (say what??) YES! Fixer Upper was on TV not sports (well they did have sports on the other TV, but who cares) I could have stayed there all afternoon.

The restaurant is named Killer Melts and they have the most amazing grilled cheese sandwiches I have ever tasted in my life. The variety of different cheese combinations of savory and sweet are just mouth watering and delicious. They have so many sandwich variations to try that you can go and have a different sandwich every visit and love each one. Believe me I have and it’s hard to say which one is my favorite because they are all so good. I didn’t add more pictures of the food because everyone began to eat before I could take pictures of it (I know no respect for the blogger) that’s how good it was.

Now they don’t only serve grilled cheese sandwiches they have burgers and other american fair on their menu, but I love their grilled cheese sandwiches so that’s what I eat when I go there. Now on to the rustic decor of this fabulous restaurant, I fell in love as soon as I walked in.

Look at that gorgeous wall of different wood toned ship lap and galvanized lighted letters pure rustic charm. Love it!

The lights fixtures are so charming they are cheese graters hanging from a piece of reclaimed wood attached to rustic industrial metal piping.

The shelving is made from pallets (“I love pallets!”) people, pallets are my thing.  They are so creative with the use of rustic and farmhouse details to style and decorate this charming restaurant.

Just look at this pendant light (below), they are over every both in the restaurant and I just love them. The use of the pulley and wires with an Edison bulb is just so classic. There really wasn’t anything I didn’t love about this restaurant, it was truly a gem.

Thanks to my friend Ivette who introduced me to these scrumptious grilled cheese sandwiches. To the owner thanks for such a unique establishment. So, if your ever in Miami or your a local and want to eat some great food in a rustic little restaurant take a trip to “Killer Melts” you won’t regret it. It is one of my all time Favorite Things and not to miss in Miami.

xoxo,

Maritza

 

 

 

Farmhouse Kitchen Remodel

I get asked a lot about my Farmhouse Kitchen Remodel whether it’s someone that visits my home or maybe saw pictures of it on social media. I get questions about the cabinets, the tiles and the huge stainless steel sink. Today I am going to share the items I purchased that made this kitchen remodel possible and hopefully answer any questions you may have. If you follow my blog you know that I began this city2farmhouse journey [here] with my kitchen remodel.

Lets start at the beginning shall we. The cabinets are white shaker cabinets that I purchased from an online cabinet store. I have to say that they are ready to assemble (RTA) cabinets. Therefore, my hubby and I did build them ourselves as well as installed (with the help of my brother) These cabinets are real wood and we got an awesome deal, but I will not share the company because we had an issue with a cabinet and had to wait over a month for a replacement. I believe in great customer service and because this company did not provide that I will not mention them.

The counter tops are black absolute granite that we got from a local granite shop here in Miami. I chose black because of it’s contrast with everything white in the kitchen.  I was also going for that farmhouse style and black and white is classic and very farmhouse. The tiles are regular white subway tiles that I got at Lowe’s, believe it or not they were .22 cents each tile. I shopped around and found them to be the best economical option. The tiles grout color is charcoal that we also purchased with the tiles from Lowe’s.

 

The appliances are Maytag Stainless Steel that we already had purchased a couple years ago from a Black Friday Sale at Home Depot. The paint color I choose for the kitchen, diningroom, and livingroom walls is Sherwin Williams (SW7667) in Zircon. I love that it is a warm gray tone, but still brightens up the rooms.

The sink is a Zuhne Modena 30 inch undermount single bowl (16 gauge) Stainless Steel kitchen sink I got from Amazon. It is a big, deep, stainless steel sink and I love how I can easily clean large pots (and even a baby that’s how huge the sink is) without making a mess. The faucet is a Delta Charmaine single handle pull-down sprayer faucet from Home Depot.

 

I love how my kitchen turned out, it really is one of my absolute favorite rooms by far in my house since I began this farmhouse transition in my home. Additional Items are the rustic bar stools from Wayfair and the farmhouse Vintage Pendant, Bronze Finish kitchen light from Amazon. I have attached some affiliate links just in case you are interested in the items I have mentioned in this post.

 

Model#  19962-SSSD-DST

https://www.wayfair.com/Trent-Austin-Design%C2%AE-Empire-Adjustable-Height-Swivel-Bar-Stool-Set-of-2-TADN2834.html

https://www.lowes.com/pd/American-Olean-Starting-Line-White-Gloss-Ceramic-Wall-Tile-Common-3-in-x-6-in-Actual-3-in-x-6-in/3083627

Thank you for stopping by the blog today and following me on this Farmhouse Kitchen Remodel. I hope this answers any of your questions, but if you have any more just leave a comment and I promise to get back to you.

xoxo,

Maritza

IKEA Ektorp (sectional) Sofa Review

I’m usually not the kind of person that writes reviews, but as I have previously mentioned here on the blog that if I think something is really good and worthy of a shout out I will recommend it.  When I was sofa shopping I was searching for reviews on different sofa options (as any good consumer does before they make a big purchase). I was looking for reviews on the IKEA Ektorp sectional sofa and they where very few. So here I am today giving my readers and anyone else that is interested in the IKEA Ektorp sofa and might be searching for its review.

I have had my sofa for six months now and hesitated writing a review sooner because I really like to make sure it is good quality and lives up to my standards before giving my opinion. I picked the gray color for various reasons… it’s a dark color that hides daily wear and stains. We have a dog that loves to be on the sofa and a daughter that loves to eat on the sofa, so taking those variables into consideration I decided on the dark color choice. This sofa can comfortably sit four adults and it is great for relaxing and watching TV or a movie. I can lie down and not feel cramped or uncomfortable.  This sofa is really good for normal everyday use, but not too comfy for sleeping (as I was told by my sister who slept over one night).  Good for naps but not for sleeping.

 

I have washed the cushion covers and they have held up well. I wash them in the light cycle with detergent, but I don’t stick them in the dryer so they won’t shrink. I put the cushions covers back on while they are still wet and it’s pretty much like trying to fit into a wet bathing suit; a little tight, but doable.  I have not washed the whole sofa slipcover because it hasn’t gotten that dirty yet, but you can also wash it and slip it back on while it’s damp.

What I like about this sectional is that it fits the space, meaning that it’s not too bulky or heavy.  I can easily move it around for vacuuming and mopping. The cushion shape has held up and not flattened from sitting on it and I usually rotate the cushions so that they get even wear on both sides. Also, you can’t really tell that its been washed because the color and the material hold up very well.

We bought this IKEA Ektorp sectional sofa from the actual IKEA store. I know that you can purchase it online and have it delivered, but we have an IKEA near us (and saved on shipping) so we picked it up ourselves.  What I don’t really like is that you have to build it yourself (as with all IKEA furniture) and it took about an hour to set it up. It isn’t rocket science so it was pretty easy to assemble.  Would I recommend this sectional, yes I would; and I got it on sale which makes it an ever better buy.  I like the ease of being able to just take the covers off and wash them if they get dirty.  Our previous sofa had to be steam cleaned, because the sofa covers were not removable.  What’s great about this sofa is that you can change the color of the slipcover and purchase additional covers to change your color (style) or even change them for the different seasons. I know that Amazon sells them in various color options. This IKEA Ektorp sectional sofa covers is an affiliate link that will show you the different slipcovers that Amazon has available.

I hope this review of the IKEA Ektorp sectional sofa helped someone today. If you have any questions just comment and I will answer them as best I can.  Do you have an IKEA Ektorp sofa? Share your thoughts with me I would love to hear them. Thanks for stopping by the blog today I am so glad you read this little blog of mine.

xoxo,

Maritza

Pitfalls of Summer and some Shopping

Rain, Rain, GO AWAY!! It’s been raining here non stop for three weeks and I have so much to do. These are the pitfalls of summer here in Florida, yes friends there is a price we pay for living in the Sunshine State and the worst is the rain (which seems to be all summer long). I have been trying to get projects done, but some require painting and other things that I have to do outside. Guess what? It’s raining again today, so I have been putting things on the back burner and have gone shopping instead (not to the hubs liking) but hey a girl has to do what a girl has to do. (Am I right?)  Anyway, I have scored some cute stuff and since I can’t share projects I’ll share my shopping finds. Staying with the farmhouse style decor I found some cotton stems and olive branches at Michaels. I don’t know about where you live, but here in Miami the stores don’t have a large selection of cotton stems, olive branches, or any other farmhouse decor, so when I saw them at Michaels I was surprised and giddy at the same time.

My next shopping adventure took me to Kirkland’s where I finally found something I’ve been searching for a long time. Yes, I found that long awaited cotton stem wreath I have been wanting for about a year. I know what your thinking and yes I could have bought one at Hobby Lobby, but I refuse to spend $49.99 and even if I use a 40% off coupon it’s still over $25 bucks. This one is just as pretty and was under $20 plus I had a 30% off coupon and that friends is a super steal.

Anyone that knows me knows that I love decorating with mason jars. I found the cutest mason jar “Cookie” canister that I couldn’t pass up and it was on clearance. They also have the Coffee, Sugar, Tea, and Flour canisters as well, but they were not on sale so I will have to go back for them when I have another coupon.

Moving on to another one of my favorite stores Marshalls/HomeGoods which is great for finding farmhouse decor items.  I don’t know why, but they have combined the Marshalls and the HomeGoods into one store. Have they done that where you live? I have to say I don’t really like that because they are cramming two stores into the space of one. It is crowded and you don’t find things that you use to before, for example I haven’t had luck finding any Rae Dunn items and that makes me upset and sad because I need my Dunn fix. The only things I found was a cute mini boxwood wreath (on clearance) and a galvanized metal tier tray. These trays are not only hard to find, but also expensive. I have been eyeing one online for a while and you won’t believe the price I paid for this one. Score for Maritza, yes another steal.

Last on the shopping trip was Hobby Lobby, now I like this store because they do have a farmhouse decor section and when things go on clearance you can get really good deals. I got a large olive bucket on clearance for an incredible price. This is another item I couldn’t pass up because the truth is that price was unbelievable.

I have to say I didn’t do to bad on my shopping spree and most items I got were either on sale, clearance, or I had coupons and others were just super great buys and lucky finds. So the hubs was happy that I didn’t break the piggy bank and I’m happy because I found things I’ve been searching for and didn’t have to pay crazy prices for them.  Well friends thanks for stopping by the blog today and going on this shopping trip with me.  I promise to share how I will style and decorate my home with all those items (so many visions in my head) here on the blog. Hopefully the sky will clear up some, because I’m really excited to share the projects I’m working on with you.

xoxo,

Maritza

 

 

 

Favorite Things

There are many things that I like, but few favorite things that I consider worthy of sharing with you here on the blog.  I was thinking that maybe I should begin a segment of “Favorite Things” on the blog to share with you my friends and family.  Now these are things that I consider to be great gifts or just something you would like to have for yourself.  Here is to the first of (hopefully) many of my favorite things. I love taking pictures and like many of you I also have a cell phone full of pics, but who has time to develop prints and really does anyone do that anymore. This is why I love Shutterfly not only can you upload all your pictures to their site (and free up all that memory on your phone) you can create albums, prints, cards, frames, make personalized gifts and so much more. I truly get excited when I receive that orange package at my door.

 

Every time we go on vacation whether it’s during winter or summer breaks or just family trips to theme parks, beach, and special occasions I like to create a Shutterfly album to commemorate those special times spent with family and friends. I love the quality of these albums they are printed on good thick paper and the hard covers make them look especially good. The color of the photos are bright and clear they are truly great quality albums.

What I love best about Shutterfly is that you create your albums however you want them to be. You can pick the theme, layout, backgrounds, texts, and personalize theme to your liking.  I recently created one from our winter holiday to North Carolina and I love how it turned out.

I kid you not when I say that I have made an album for just about every family trip or vacation we have been on since 2009. I have at least 16 albums as you can see in the (above) picture. I love making these keepsakes as memories of our adventures for my family to enjoy and be able to keep forever. These albums are great gifts and I have also made so many other items from Shutterfly; everything from reusable shopping bags, magnets, picture frames, mouse pads, invitations, x-mas cards and a lot more.

 

These albums are definitely one of my favorite things.  As always, these are my personal opinions and I have no affiliation with Shutterfly. Have you made an album or anything else from Shutterfly? Do you agree that they are fantastic? Share your thoughts and projects with me, I would love to hear about it. Thank you for stopping by the blog, I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart.

xoxo,

Maritza

 

Hooray for Summer

“Woo-hoo!” yesterday was the last day of school!!  Can I get a “woop-woop” yes summer has officially begun. As much as I like being a teacher and I have to admit, I will miss the students (some more than others) we all look forward to our summers. It’s a long 10 months for us and all teachers need our summers to mentally recoup and recharge for the following school year.

No matter what anyone says students and teachers are ready to run out of school and begin their summer vacations. Maybe us more than them, but just the same we have worked hard and are ready for that summer break. Don’t you love these funny pics? The struggle is real;)

It’s been raining persistently here for the past two weeks and it’s also the official start of hurricane season as well, but that will not stop me from enjoying my summer. So what’s summer like here in Miami, well lots of sunshine, it’s hot, it’s humid, it’s rainy, and most important it’s beach time (lots and lots of time on the beach) to relax and watch the sunset. Time spent on family vacations, trips to theme parks and so much more. Lot’s going on here this summer and more projects that I will share with you here on the blog. So stay tuned my friends and have a great summer.

 

 

Easy Transition to Farmhouse Style

You know how I’m always talking about transitioning to farmhouse style and how really easy it can be. I have mentioned my sister many times here on the blog and how we both share a love for all things farmhouse decor and style. Well, she also has been slowly transitioning her home to farmhouse style and today I’m sharing the changes she has made (thus far) to transition her home to farmhouse style/decor. If you read my blog you know that I’m always talking about my brother in law, the talented woodworker [here], and how he makes the most beautiful furniture out of pallet wood.  He is at it again making more lovely pieces of pallet furniture for my sister.

Here is an easy transition item just by changing a console table. He made this one for her, but if you already have one…you can change it up by simply painting it with chalk paint to give it a more farmhouse look. Perhaps if you are crafty or can make your own furniture you can try making one yourself.

My sister dressed up her console table by using farmhouse decorative items such as an olive bucket and adding cotton stems and lamb’s ear foliage inside of the bucket. You can also use candle holders, a vintage scale and a beautiful wood beaded lamp as she did in this photo.

In this picture you see a shelf and bench that he also made out of pallet wood.  As you can see my sister also used more farmhouse decor items to dress up this space. She added 2 large lanterns on each side of the bench, succulent plants and added wire baskets in the cubby holes for added organizational space.

On top of the bench is a pallet wood shelf with hooks for hanging items. She decorated this shelf with tobacco baskets, spindles, and an olive wreath that is just like mine. This is an easy transition to farmhouse style that anyone can do by using simple things to highlight your furniture without breaking the bank. Now please know that these changes have been gradual (we are talking about months not days or weeks).  Just as I have been transitioning my home I can tell you that it takes time, patience, and a little luck finding the right items at the right time.  You don’t have to change everything at once and always remember to buy items that you love and “flow” with your decor.  Don’t get fixated on trying to make your house look like pics on Instagram and Pinterest, (believe me I can relate) instead focus on making the space your own.  I hope this has helped to give you an idea on how you can easily transition your home to farmhouse style. Do you have any tips on transitioning to farmhouse style? I would love to hear from you. Thanks so much for stopping by the blog and thanks to my sissy for sharing her home with us on the blog today.

xoxo,

Maritza

DIY Pallet Signs

Today on the blog I am sharing one of my favorite things to do, DIY pallet signs.  I’m a DIYer at heart, I think it’s because it is a stress reliever for me. Believe it or not making pallet signs is something I love doing and being able to share it is a plus. The entire process from sanding to staining and creating something beautiful for someone makes me happy. This is a great DIY project that anyone can do; really, anyone, even you, can make one. I love making pallet signs because the wood is free and the end result is a rustic beauty. Often times I will find pallets that someone is throwing away or want to get rid of, and then I re-purpose them. What better way to help the earth than reducing, reusing, and recycling pallets into amazing pieces of art.  It has developed into a crazy fascination, everything from making furniture and signs from pallets.  The best part is that it’s very easy to do.  Now lets get started on how a pallet sign is made.  The first step in making a pallet sign is of course sanding the wood.

I use an electric palm sander and it works great at sanding all the pallet pieces nice and smooth. After sanding, I stain all the wood pieces.

These are three different color stains. The (top) stain is Varathane Weathered Gray wood stain, the (middle) stain is Minwax Golden Oak wood stain, and the (bottom) stain is Minwax Honey wood stain.  I like staining in different finishes to give variety for my clients’ signs. After staining, I build the signs by nailing the pallet pieces together.

Next, I use my beloved Cricut machine to create the stencils for the signs and then use chalk paint to paint them.

The reason I use chalk paint for my signs is because it dries fast and I really love the weathered look it gives the pallet wood. Here is a pic of the finished sign.

This is a custom sign I made for a client and I know she is going to love it as much as I do. These are some other pallet signs.

What do you think? It really isn’t that difficult, and once you make one you end up making more. The good thing is you can make them for any room of your home with any variety of wordings for half the price you pay retail.  Friends, I’m so happy you visited me on the blog today as I shared my DIY pallet signs with you. Remember you can follow me on Instagram to see more of my creations or find me on Pinterest. Have a great weekend!

xoxo,

Maritza

 

 

 

 

Another Great Household Find

Hi everyone, hope you had a nice restful long weekend. On the blog today I’m going to share another great household find, but just  in case you missed my first one you can find it [here]. I spent part of this weekend doing household chores which included the ever dreadful grout cleaning. Yup cleaning tile grout (real fun right?…Not!), but my tile grout hadn’t been properly cleaned since, heck I don’t really remember. Anyway, I found this grout cleaner at Home Depot and thought I’d give it a try.

 

I also bought this grout brush to scrub the tiles. The instructions say to squirt the cleaner on the grout and then wait 2-3 minutes (depending on how dirty the grout is) then brush and wipe. Now my tile is not any fancy type just the regular porcelain tile that came with the house.

As you can see my grout was pretty dirty so it took quit a bit of scrubbing. By the way does scrubbing floors counts as exercise! (At least I hope it does because it felt like a workout). After scrubbing for what seemed like hours, this is how the floors turned out.

Wow! Can you see the difference? What do you think? The grout looks so much whiter and cleaner. I’m kind of embarrassed that I let them get that dirty. Here is a before and after pic:

Now, I also have to caution you on what not to do. The instruction does say to be careful getting this cleaner on cabinets, baseboards, and any item that may get damaged from this partial acid solution. As you can see in this picture I did accidentally get some on the baseboard and well yeah I ruined it. Thank God we had extra baseboards left from our Kitchen remodel so no biggie we’ll just replace it.

Well friends I hope you found this great household find useful.  You know when I find something that works for me I like to share it just in case it may help someone else as well. Thanks again for visiting me here today and if you enjoy my blog share it and tell your friends and family. I’m happy to hear from you all.

xoxo,

Maritza

Master Bedroom Transformation

Yippee! It’s Friday friends and another work week is done. This is a three day weekend for us, as we celebrate “Memorial Day” on Monday. This weekend I will be busy making signs for clients and some household chores.  Today I’m happy to share with you my master bedroom transformation project or as I call it, a “refresh”.  As you know I have been transitioning my city townhouse to farmhouse style room by room. It’s been a journey and I wanted to update you on my vision for the changes that are to take place in my master bedroom. Here is a pic of the bedroom before any changes:

Yes, I know what you are thinking “it’s so dark” and you are right, but the changes are going to make the room lighter and brighter. I will create a sanctuary to escape to (with the hubs of-course) after a long day. A master suite that will make you want to sleep in on Sundays and not want to get out of bed on Mondays.

Now, I love my bedroom furniture (it’s from the Cindy Crawford Collection from Rooms-to-Go) it is made from good quality wood and I love the color. The furniture will stay the same, but I will reupholster the headboard. I envision a soft cream color to bring in more brightness to the room. The wall color is a soft  tan (I can’t remember the exact name because it was painted a couple years ago) it is Sherman Williams paint, that much I know. The wall color will also stay the same, just because I like it.  Additionally, I have bought some items for the bedroom such as new lamps, and curtains, but I still need to get new bedding, pillows, etc. you know the stuff that makes it pretty. Like any normal person I searched the all mighty Pinterest for master bedroom decor ideas and came up with this vision board:

I love the brightness of these master bedroom styles. I also love how cozy they make the bedroom feel, it just calls you to come and just relax. I’m super excited to get going on this master suite makeover and I can’t wait to finish my master bedroom transformation. As always I promise to share it with you as soon as it is all complete. Thank you so much for stopping by the blog today and remember you can always follow me on Pinterest (lets pin ideas together). You can also follow me and chat on Instagram, I would love to hear from you.

xoxo,

Maritza