Saturday, February 25, 2012

Carrara Marble Perfection!

Yesterday turned out to be my day at
Surface Products in Cornelius, North Carolina!
Feast your eyes on the most beautiful examples of white carrara marble, Ever! By
luck, I found Ann and Brenda at Surface Products a few weeks ago - And after
just one phone call to describe my little project, they both seemed as excited about
covering my kitchen island in carrara as I was! Brenda immediately assured me
they had the carrara I'd love and she worked up a quote and faxed it to me so fast it
made my head spin. And by the way, this was the quote that beat all other quotes.
And, by carrara I'd love, she meant there were eight slabs to choose from. Eight!
No one else I contacted about my kitchen island carrara project has had
the 3cm carrara I've been after in stock. No one has offered to include sealing
and delivery without adding to the price and no one has been more eager to
deliver a perfect carrara countertop for my island than Ann and Brenda!
Oh! And, instead of calling it done after she faxed the quote, Brenda went the extra
mile to suggest I visit my carrara during their annual yard sale to take advantage
of an even lower price. Quick! Name the last time someone in the business to make
money offered to take care of you like that! Time's up... Now, let's look at some rock!
Have you ever seen more beautiful stone or a better selection? This isn't
the standard, cookie-cutter selection you usually find. Granite and even solid
surface counter tops have become somewhat ho-hum and boring. Everyone
seems to be choosing the same thing because the selections have become so
narrow and unimaginative. I saw options here I've never even seen in magazines
before. By collaborating with Ann about my vision I was able to select the piece
of carrara I'm confident will work with what I already have and, she suggested
an edge I hadn't considered before. Just to make my kitchen island a bit unique!
I've been hunting marble from Winston-Salem, north to Virginia and east
as far as Raleigh for more than a year... Fortunately, I didn't settle until I
looked south, towards Charlotte. I only avoided that area because I was
afraid they wouldn't deliver. But as it turns out, Surface Products has
the fleet, staff and best of all the desire to be in Winston-Salem all the time!
When I noticed this from across the yard I immediately rushed over to
take a closer look saying, Wow! Is that 5cm carrara? If it is, I want that!
But guess what!? It turned out to be MY COUNTER TOP! This is in fact the
same Corian Rain Cloud I chose for our kitchen almost three years ago!
Living with it every day (and loving it, by the way!) you forget what a truly great
option this is for those of us that really have/had our hearts set on carrara but
are smart unwilling to live with the fussiness that can be natural carrara marble!
I'm embarrassed to admit that wasn't the only time I mistook my Corian rain
cloud for carrara. Because when I walked back into the showroom to pay for
my order, I rushed over to this example there and once again said, Oh, I really
like that! Hello?! This is my Corian rain cloud again! But this time, I got to see
it fabricated around a stunning cast iron, under-mounted sink. Honestly, had I
known this was an option instead of the integrated sink I settled for, I might
have went in a similar direction and installed a nice, white cast iron sink too!

  Did you notice that the kitchen designers at Surface Products and I have
the same taste? How do I know? Because that's the same faucet I chose to pair
with my Corian rain cloud sink and counter tops! How fun is that? Speaking
of fun...  Take a look at this fabrication shop at Surface Products. Seeing
this, I have no doubt they will turn out a beautiful island top for me! Or...
Beautiful counter tops for you! Or an outdoor kitchen. Or a shower surround, bath
tub or vanity counter. Or anything else you can dream in granite, stone or marble!
Just don't forget...
To dream extra-big!
If you're in the market for granite, stone or marble you won't want to
miss this place near Charlotte in North Carolina. It's worth the drive!
You'll find the most beautiful natural rock Mother Nature has to offer, expert
Corian/solid surface fabrication and the Best-in-Class service everyone deserves!
Stay tuned...
Stunning white carrara marble for my island top is finally coming!
Another reason this Army Mom loves Surface Products can
be found here. I swear! It's like we were made for each other!

The strongest Military wife and Mother I know...

My dear friend is featured in this article. She is the strongest military wife and
mother I know. Join me in wishing her continued perfect health, happiness and in
congratulating her son who has been the Ranger's best friend since second grade...

We love you, Theresa and Sean!

Another Sleepy Poet Find

After finalizing my carrara find and after we shopped Pottery Barn's
outlet in Gaffney, SpaBoy and I continued playing want versus need
at Sleepy Poet antique mall in Charlotte. Fortunately for me...
This heavy, vintage cloche bell jar ticked both boxes to make it home with me!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Pottery Barn Outlet, Gaffney!

Every stop at the Pottery Barn Outlet in Gaffney, South Carolina begins here
in the clearance corner. Specifically, in the linen bins where I often find the
absolute best deals on the Pottery Barn pillow cases and duvets I love so very
very much. This is also where you'll find outdoor furniture covers, pillows,
lots of Pottery Barn kids stuff, as well as monogrammed items PB takes back
in returns. But mostly, I am digging for pillow cases and duvets back here!
And boy did I hit pay-dirt today! Full retail on this duvet is $199.oo!
I found three king size duvets and these two euro shams too!
I also dug up six king size pillow cases at only $1.97, each!
I scored... Again!
Over here where the non-clearance duvets live is where the
true benefit of all that digging I did becomes crystal clear!
And, where you see what a huge deal I also got...
On those king size pillow cases! And those
euro shams were an even bigger bargain!
Now I love the bar stools under my kitchen island,
but these beauties had me thinking long and hard!
Really long and hard!
And, when I realized there were three,
it became even tougher to walk away!
Honestly, it's tough to walk away for lots of reasons here!
I cleaned out the duvet/pillow case bin while SpaBoy scooped up all
kinds of goodies for the spa room he's just created in his home!
He found this gorgeous brushed nickel mirror to
put in the bathroom and then we focused on vanities!
As much as we both favor carrara, we agreed this
trough sink option was best for the spa room bath!
Seeing this made me think of mom and dad. During their drive down to Atlanta
for their flight home following their visit with us last August, I convinced dad
to stop in Gaffney so mom could experience the PB Outlet. She called me from
this spot really excited about it, but she said she was especially excited about
this cocktail table. Mom said she was sorry she couldn't carry it on with her!
By the way... If you are expecting a baby or have little people at home and
you love Pottery Barn kids stuff, this is the corner of the PB outlet for you!
I always check out this corner for the headboards
and bed frames but tell me... How sweet is this crib?!
During our trip to Leesburg after Christmas I learned the PB Outlet there
was closing forever on January 22nd. If that happened in Gaffney, I would cry!
While staging a fierce protest!
Sofas, sectionals, chairs and media consoles. Oh, my!
SpaBoy and I had a fantastic time today and I want you to know that I did
not come home with one of these beautiful mercury glass cake stands!
I really wanted to, but I resisted. Mostly because I ordered
this one last night after seeing it pinned by Bridget!
Lack of new PB cake stand aside, I'm so happy with my pillow case and duvet haul!
Especially since two of the duvets were marked $34.97 so the cashier adjusted
them all to $34.97. I spent less for all the bedding I got than 1 duvet at full retail!
If you want Pottery Barn bargains, the Outlet in Gaffney is the place to go!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Happy President's Day!

President's Day calls for something baked with cherries, don't you agree?
I think so too! And, after finding this recipe on-line (here) I know just the cherry
dessert to celebrate this President's Day. By the way, I learned something today I
think is worthy of sharing with you. You see, the recipe calls for a half-sheet pan
measuring 11 inches by 17 inches. And, while I have plenty of sheet pans, upon first
measure, my pans appeared too large. But then I realized I was measuring wrong!
Because measured top edge to edge, I was off nearly 2 inches in both directions...
However, measured correctly along the inside bottom edges, my sheet pan is perfect!
This discovery saved me from having to get all MacGuyver on my sheet pan. Yea!
I love how easy this recipe is! I read it once and already have it
committed to my memory... 3 cups all-purpose flour, a teaspoon
and a half of baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 4 eggs, 1 3/4 cups of
granulated sugar, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar and 1/2 cup butter...
Plus a teaspoon of vanilla extract, (I used vanilla paste) and one
can of cherry pie filling. To finish, a sprinkle of powdered sugar!
The only aggravating aspect of the whole operation was coaxing the batter
over my greased half-sheet pan. But I did what I always tell the boys to do...
Keep going until it works! Oh, and using my large off-set spatula helped a lot too!
Trust me. This was worth the effort!
Spread the cherry pie filling over the batter...
Then dot the top with 1 cup of batter you reserve just for this occasion...
Like this!
Pop the pan into a pre-heated 350 degree oven...
Wait for it...
And bake until it turns golden brown!
Honestly, if you don't have vanilla ice cream
in your refrigerator, leave for the market now!
Because you're gonna need some!
Perfect for President's Day! Calling this dessert delicious doesn't even
begin to cover it... The base is somewhere between a sweet, tender
cake and a cookie! And what's not to love about warm cherries!?
I think this makes an excellent 4th of July cook-out dessert. But clearly...
Placed onto a fancier plate, it goes elegant in a second!
I especially enjoyed reading the story that
comes with this recipe and I think you will too...
Because you know how much I appreciate others who appreciate cake stands!
This is definitely a dessert to share. Because just speaking for myself,
stopping at just one or two of these cherry slices is impossible to do!
So if these show up at the office tomorrow, don't be surprised!