Sneakers, Paint, Boxes, and Bruises...

The House on High Street

This week, Scott went away on business for two days, and I so I filled in for him at The House on High Street. Ok, it’s not like I did anything major, and Scott was only gone for two days. Still, I helped keep things moooooving along at the house. I started setting up my sewing room, completed a furniture project, made several trips to hardware stores, supervised workers, and somehow managed to have Scott’s favorite dinner ready for him, upon return. SUCCESS!

Cabinet Installation - Day One

The House on High Street

Earlier this week, the lower cabinets and island were installed in Rachel Maria’s Kitchen at The House on High Street. This is the FIRST time a kitchen has ever been installed into the house, itself. (The kitchen used to be in the addition, that is now the sun room.)

First off, I am thrilled to share my feelings about our cabinet designers, Denise and Patrick Henry, owners of Henry’s Custom Woodworks. They have been, by far, the most wonderfully talented, helpful, and friendly designers we could have ever asked for. I’m not sure if you recall (from a former post), but I had gone to several cabinet places (from Lowes to High End designers) all over, and Scott and I had not found exactly what we were looking for.

We didn’t spend money on interior decorators or designers for any part of this home renovation. I wanted to design my kitchen to fit me and the purpose it shall be used for. Denise and Patrick helped all of our ideas come to fruition; even down to the exact color and glaze on the wood, hinges, and knobs.

While some homes have the most exquisite kitchens, they may not be used that much at all. I plan on beating the crap out of my stove. (You’ll be seeing the stove I picked out, next week.) And, just like the house, we wanted a tall kitchen. It will look grand in the end, but once you see the accents, you’ll feel the warmth and hominess factor. Trust me, this is one kitchen our guests will not want to leave. (And, I wanted it that way. As long as they help me clean up after eating! LOL)

I guess you can say it will be my dream kitchen, although it will not have the pizza oven that I had hoped for (ah well, such is life). I’m still very grateful, and Scott and I are looking forward to hostessing many upcoming gatherings, here.

I’ll have more pics and/or video as we go. The best part will really be when it all comes together (with the upper cabinets, appliances, stove hood, etc.) For now, please enjoy our video and pics of our Cabinet Installation – Day One. (And thank you for being a part of this extraordinary journey with us!)

http://youtu.be/0tHw64mvBPI

Coming from the back, sun room entrance, this is what you see.
Coming from the back, sun room entrance, this is what you see.
These are on your right. There is a beverage bar on the end there, for guests. Yes, please help yourself to drinks and coffee. I just do food.
These are on your right. There is a beverage bar on the end there, for guests. Yes, please help yourself to drinks and coffee. I just do food.
If you turn around, you're looking at the sunroom.
If you turn around, you’re looking at the sun room.
On the opposite wall of the beverage bar is the main cooking/prep area. (Sink, dishwasher, Stove, etc.)
On the opposite wall of the beverage bar is the main cooking/prep area. (Sink, dishwasher, Stove, etc.) It’s SUPER bright, now! Do you remember when Scott and I knocked down the wall that separated these two rooms? So glad we did that!
This is the view when you come in from the front entrance.
This is the view when you come in from the front entrance.
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And, the pocket door entrance? Do you remember that, too? I lost that video. Gosh that was a funny one!
The sink. I LOVE ANTIQUE COPPER! Yeah, you'll be seeing a lot of that in this kitchen.
The sink. I LOVE ANTIQUE COPPER! Yeah, you’ll be seeing a lot of that in this kitchen.
I guess it won't be so bad washing dishes with this view. I don't like doing dishes. hint hint
I guess it won’t be so bad washing dishes with this view. I don’t like doing dishes. hint hint
You'll see...
You’ll see…
So here, the guys are measuring the distance from the perimeter cabinets to the island. I wanted this to be just enough space (but not too much). Unless you planning on working, do not come into this area.
So here, the guys are measuring the distance from the perimeter cabinets to the island. I wanted this to be just enough space (but not too much). Unless you are cleaning up for me, it may be wise to stay on the other side of the island.
This island will seat 5.  I wish I could have like 15!
This island will seat 5. I wish I could have like 15!
The guys said, "We love the legs." Of course they love LEGS! Lol
The guys said, “We love the legs.” Of course they love LEGS! Lol
Another view from the sun room.
Another view from the sun room.
Center Hallway. Sorry, this picture accidentally got into the cabinet video, so I'm adding it here.  These videos have few edits. Too much time for that.
Center Hallway. Sorry, this picture accidentally got into the cabinet video, so I’m adding it here. These videos have few edits. Too much time for that.

Next up, the upper cabinets, counter tops, and appliances. Stay tuned!

EXTRA Ordinarily Yours

5 TIPS before your next Furniture Purchase!

The House on High Street

If you’ve been to a furniture store lately, you’ll most likely agree that prices are outrageous! Don’t expect to spend any less than $1,500 for a good quality recliner; or at least $2,500 for an arm chair and ottoman. And, unless you want to sacrifice quality for an inexpensive piece, don’t anticipate being completely satisfied with retail costs.

I’ve recently been asked about my furniture shopping tactics. I learned from an early age to NEVER pay retail prices unless you absolutely need to (which of course, there are times for that). Here are five important tips to review before your next stop at that high-end furniture store.

1.) NEVER skimp on the seating! Think about it. Would you rather have a perfect console table or the perfect sofa to rest your tired feet upon at the end of a long hard day? Your guests will thank you for the extra added support and comfort while dining at your table. So, the tip here is to COMPENSATE! Spend less on everything but seating, and you’ll make out well in the long run.

2.) Always shop or compare on-line first. Whenever Scott and I are shopping in a store; before we buy something Scott looks it up on his phone to see if he can find it for a better price. GET INTO THIS HABBIT. (Just do a google search of the name and item #). You’d be surprised just how much Amazon has these days.  Also, www.houzz.com has an enormous inventory of products from mirrors to dining sets! It’s a great website for design and household product ideas. You can even search for something specific by setting the search fields for everything from size and price, to style and color! Then, after you find what you want (from any website that is) copy and paste the item description in the Google search field. Click on the “shopping” tab. It will show you dozens of dealers that sell that item. Here is where things get competitive, and you can select the best deal for you. Make sure you factor in the shipping incentives, as well.

3.) Make friends with the manager of your favorite (high-end) furniture store! Ask him/her to let you know whenever they are having great deals and/or when they are getting rid of floor samples. I have a few connections with the managers from some of the best furniture stores in our area. Scott and I will stop in once in a while and say something like, “When can we take this off your hands for you?” I’m usually the negotiator, and Scott will make the trip to pick up the item in the store (to save on shipping costs). It’s a win-win scenario. That’s how I got these beautiful skirted chairs from Thomasville for 50% less than the catalog price.

Donna Side Chair with Kick Pleat Skirt by Thomasville.
Donna Side Chair with Kick Pleat Skirt by Thomasville.
We purchased this beautiful mahogany end table and brass lamp from an Ethan Allen store that was moving locations. We saved about 75%.
We purchased this beautiful mahogany end table and brass lamp from an Ethan Allen store that was moving locations. We saved about 75%.
We picked up these dining chairs after they were floor samples at Thomasville Furniture. We ordered two arm chairs at regular price, but still saved a bundle.
We picked up these upholstered dining chairs with brass nail heads (after they were floor samples) at Thomasville Furniture. We ordered two arm chairs, from the same collection, at regular price, but still saved a bundle.

4.) Find out where your nearest auction is! Most people think that furniture auctions have just old and/or damaged things. NOT SO! Some of the merchandise is NEW. Some is in near perfect condition. You will pay 80% less than retail for pieces that you just can’t find at any furniture store. Not to mention, you will find the most unique pieces, that you just cannot find anywhere else!

We got this pair of French Louis XV marble-top side tables for about $400. They are worth at least three times this amount.
We got this pair of French Louis XV marble-top side tables for about $400. They are worth at least three times this amount.
French Louis XV Marble-top Side Table
French Louis XV Marble-top Side Table
A brand new Mahogany High Boy - $200 at an Auction.
A brand new Mahogany High Boy – $200 at an Auction.
We picked up this oak closet-pantry at an auction for thirty-five dollars! Nobody wanted it, but us!
We picked up this oak closet-pantry at an auction for thirty-five dollars. Nobody wanted it, but us!
We purchased this Mahogany Curio Cabinet at an auction for $500.
We purchased this Mahogany Curio Cabinet at an auction for $500.

5.) Make regular trips to garage or estate sales in a nearby, affluent neighborhood.  

We spotted this beautiful red leather chair in near-perfect condition for fifty bucks at a garage sale in a nice neighborhood.
We spotted this beautiful red leather chair in near-perfect condition for fifty bucks at a garage sale in a nice neighborhood.

Well, that should be enough to get you started. Of course there are a lot more tips, such as frequenting your nearby Home Goods from time to time, but I figure that’s one you already know. Besides, the odds in finding something of exceptional quality, for a great steal, at Home Goods are slim to none. (We haven’t found anything exceptional, in a while, now.)

In summary, sometimes the extra leg work combined with a little patience is the best strategy in finding the best furnishings for your home. Not to mention, it’s nice having a story behind your possessions, especially when you do a little more than visiting your nearby Raymour and Flanigan.

Happy Shopping! And, have fun!

EXTRA Ordinarily Yours

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

b. good

Extraordinary Living

Attention LE Woman fans! LE Woman is hosting a Give Away for a $25 Gift Certificate to B. Good Restaurant in Marlton, NJ. The contest begins on Friday 4/10/2016 and ends at 12:00pm on Sunday, 4/19/2016. Good Luck!

Contestants need to do TWO Things for their first chance of entry. Like the status of this announcement (on the Facebook post on LE Woman’s page), AND write your own answer, in the comment section below (on the Facebook post on LE Woman’s page), to this question: What motivates you to be HEALTHY? (i.e. keeping healthy foods in my pantry at all times…) There’s more… For every LIKE that YOU get on your comment, earns you ANOTHER entry. That means, a contestant can earn an unlimited number of entries! Be creative, and try to share something that gets the attention of others. Good Luck!

Here are the official rules: Contestants must be 18 years or older to participate. Contestants acknowledge that this Give-Away is sponsored by LE Woman (and supported by the b.good restaurant in Marlton, NJ). It is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. Each contestant’s name will be entered into a random drawing that will take place on Sunday, April 19, 2016, at 1:00pm. The winner will be announced via Facebook messaging or personal email within 24 hours of the drawing. The gift certificate will be mailed to the winner’s mailing address, once provided. The gift certificate is only good for b.good in Marlton, NJ. LE Woman takes no responsibility for lost or expired gift certificates. LE Woman takes no responsibility if the gift certificate is not used for reasons unforseen.

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You haven’t asked how I’ve been doing with my clean eating, lately? Oh, you’re waiting for me to give an update? Welllllll, ummmmmmm, what can I say? I’m doing the best I can. Every day is a new day, and that’s how I approach everything. So, that’s good right?

Of course, it’s always helpful when everything around me offers healthy alternatives. Speaking of healthy alternatives…

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b. good

Last weekend, Scott and I took my niece out with us for the day. Of course, we had to stop for lunch before we went shoppin’ cause I don’t shop on my husband’s empty stomach! 

Anyway, we tried this new joint that Scott recommended called b.good. It was an extraordinary experience. I couldn’t wait to share it with you!

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This is the Marlton, NJ location.

So, I just love the concept of this place. It’s similar to a Chipotle in that it is a cross between a fast food joint and a healthier focused menu kind of a restaurant.

The service is great, but unlike Panera and Chipotle, they bring the food to you. (We waited about 7 or 8 minutes for a burger, a salad, and a Kids’ grilled cheese. This was on the weekend, so I didn’t think it was that bad at all.)

There are only a hand-full of these restaurants along the eastern coast of the US. The concept began with two guys who were friends since grade school. It took them YEARS to open a successful establishment. They have a great story! You can read it here. 

Of course, I love any business that has grass-root beginnings. I love small businesses. I love how hard local business workers get the job done.

I love the idea of b. good. It’s good food. You feel good about eating it. Even better, you feel good after you eat it!

It’s stocked with local farm-fresh food (they work hand-in-hand with nearby farmers). It’s fresh and delicious. It’s healthy. (Not necessarily low-calorie, but definitely a healthier alternative to fried, mass-production, fast food.)

You may think that the burgers are small (to American standards that is) and the prices are high. That’s a relative matter. Scott and I don’t eat out often, so when we do, we appreciate a meal that is as good (if not better) than something we can prepare at home. As long as the portions work for us, and the overall experience is good, it is worth it.

B. good is clean, attractive, and comfortable…enough. (You’re not supposed to sit in this kind of establishment for hours.) The service is good. The staff is helpful and friendly. Last but not least, the food is definitely unique and full of flavor. That’s the beauty of having something prepared in this fashion.

I ordered the Spicy Avocado & Lime Kale and Quinoa Bowl. It was definitely something I would not prefer to make myself. It was extraordinary! It was a big serving size (I would say well over 16 oz.). Even though it had as many calories as Scott’s Goomba burger, I didn’t have to eat the whole bowl. (But, of course I did.)

Spicy Quinoa Bowl with Avocado and Lime. Yum!
Spicy Quinoa Bowl with Avocado and Lime. Yum!

My Kale and Quinoa Bowl had organic quinoa, kale, sautéed veggies, shiitake mushrooms, avocado, black beans, corn, grape tomato, queso fresco, lime, cilantro, chipotle puree, and a smooth red pepper vinaigrette. If you’ve never had Kale or Quinoa, this is the place to try it.

Oh, and the fries were HEAVENLY! They are baked (and so they are more soft over crispy) but the flavor! Oh, the flavor. Lots and LOTS of flavor.

I wish there were more of this kind of establishment around. One can hope, right?

I leave you with a few pictures…

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Scott didn’t want to be in the picture. So, that’s his Goomba burger with my niece, Sarah. Isn’t she beautiful? The burger, that is? ha ha
Goomba burger at b.good & Deliciously baked and flavored fries!
Goomba burger at b.good & delicious baked and flavored fries!
The drinks at b.good are flavored with cane sugar.
The drinks at b.good are flavored with cane sugar.
There's a poster in the restaurant that shares the story on how b.good began.
There’s a poster in the restaurant that shares the story on how b.good began.
Menu Board
Menu Board
b.good location & local farm board
b.good location & local farm board
Fresh fruits and vegetables from a local farm on hand...ready to go!
Fresh fruits and vegetables from a local farm on hand…ready to go!

Thanks to a nutritious and delicious lunch, we had plenty of energy to finish the day with some fun shopping!

Think this chair is big enough for The House on High Street?
Think this chair is big enough for The House on High Street?

Overall, eating at b. good is an extraordinary experience. We will definitely go back for more. Please let me know if you try this place or if you know of a place near you that has a similar concept.

EXTRA Ordinarily Yours