Friday, April 29, 2011

Fun with Chalkboard Paint & Good News!

So - I first have to share some good news!  I found out yesterday afternoon that I got the job that I have been interviewing for!  I'm so excited and I start on May 9th!  After 4 months of unemployment, this job literally fell in my lap.  I wasn't sure if I wanted to go back to full time work or not because the thought of doing what I have been doing (working in an advertising agency) didn't really appeal to me any more.  I was burnt out, and I knew that I needed something new.  So, when a friend (and former client of mine) contacted me about this opportunity, I was immediately interested.  It is a work from home position (which in the marketing industry is VERY hard to find), and I will be doing something completely new - recruiting! I can't wait to start - I think that this is going to change everything for my family.  Of course I will still continue my blog, crafting and my Etsy shop.  :o)  You can't get rid of me that easily!  LOL.

OK - so on to today's project.  After painting my kitchen wall with chalkboard paint, I still had some left over.  Ever since I went to Goodwill and brought my treasures home, I have been wanting to paint the platter I got.  (I still have more I want to do with the leftover paint - I'm on a roll, so why not??).

Here's the new platter.  I ended up displaying it in our entryway with some of the other things I got as well.  The directions on the paint can said to prime the surface before painting, but I just slapped the paint on.  I think it will be fine though.  I did follow the rest of the directions and let the paint sit for 3 days before writing on it.  

I guess my dog Biscuit wanted to make an appearance today!  He's sitting on the landing on our stairs - one of his favorite lookout spots.  Happy Friday!

Linking Up To:

Weekend Bloggy Reading

Tatertots and Jello Weekend Wrap Up Party



Thursday, April 28, 2011

Powerful Mother Nature

With all of the destruction from the tornadoes in the south yesterday, it just doesn't feel right to me to post about crafting today.  My heart and prayers go out to all in Alabama and Georgia (an beyond) that were affected by these massive storms. They have now confirmed 160 tornadoes touched down between yesterday afternoon and last night - one of which was on the ground for at least 179 miles, possibly even more - it may be the longest running tornado in history.

Last night was scary for us - it was the first time we have ever prepared well in advance - clearing out a closet downstairs, gathering water, flashlights and supplies.  These storms were so unpredictable - we just didn't know what to expect.  Our eyes were glued to the television - it was almost like a dream to hear the sirens going off and watching this terrible system pummel the same towns in GA over and over again.

For those on the east coast - this system isn't done yet.  Please listen to the warnings - they are real, and need to be taken seriously.  Stay safe today.

Till tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mmmm....good food!!

A few months ago I found an amazing food blog, Skinny Taste.  I am a lifetime Weight Watchers member, although I am on and off the wagon depending on the day.  This site is wonderful  - Gina has an amazing collection of weight conscious recipes AND provides all of the ww points for everything (both old pts and pts plus!).  I am always looking for tasty healthier alternatives to make for my family, and Gina never fails to make our bellies happy!  I have probably made about 30 recipes from this site over the past few months, and each and every one has been great - hubby has loved them all!

I love potato pancakes, my mom made them for us as a kid, and I remember sneaking up behind her as she made them, and stealing one when she wasn't looking.  Last night I made a version of these, using cauliflower instead of potatoes.  They were so great!

Cauliflower Fritters - Photo from
I am always looking for new ways to prepare pork chops as well.  To go along with the fritters, I found this awesome recipe.

Pork Chops with Dijon Herb Sauce  - Photo from
But, of all of the recipes I have tried, the one I have made the most, and the one most coveted by my family is the Cilantro Lime Shrimp and a version of Chipotle's Cilantro Lime Rice.

Cilantro Lime Shrimp - Photo from

Cilantro Lime Rice - Photo from

I love cooking and love REALLY love to eat!  I promise you will never be disappointed by these recipes.  I also noticed that Gina is nominated for Saveur's 2011 Best Food Blog Awards.  If you make one of these recipes and love it as much as I do, make sure you vote for her!

Happy cooking!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Eggs, Boats and Flip Flops!

The one great thing about Easter being so late in the year this year is that we had beautiful weather that day!  In fact, this past week has been pretty amazing - lots of sun, mid 80s - summer is a comin'!!  Addison and I spent the afternoon on Saturday dying Easter eggs - she had an absolute blast this year!  I love watching her when she is concentrating and creating - her face gets so serious and intense.  Just like mine when I craft I suppose...

Love this pic - I think this needs to go in a frame!
Easter Sunday was a whirlwind - church - of which the service was so amazing this year!  Great job Mr. Stanley!  On the way home from church as we were passing the lake, we decided to stop and take some pictures.  Hubby and I were green with envy at the boaters on the lake.  LOL.  Even with the beautiful weather we have had, we have yet to take our boat out this year.  I think it may be time to start saying no to commitments so we can spend some family time together!

Another pic for a frame?
We ended our day spending an amazing afternoon and evening with family.  It was a great Easter Sunday for sure!  

And what would one of my posts be without a project to share?  I made these flip flops for Addie's Easter basket.  They really came out cute, but when she tried to wear them to school yesterday, one of the flowers popped right off.  Hmm - guess I need to either sew them on, or use super glue instead of hot glue.  I need to perfect this - I think I may be making many more as gifts (and some for me too).

Hope everyone is having a great week!  I have my second interview today for that job I told you about.  Wish me luck!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Fun

Hello - Happy Saturday!  Sorry I have been MIA the last few days.  I had two job interviews this week, one of which is a fantastic opportunity!  I also have two follow up interviews for both jobs coming up next week, so that has been keeping me pretty busy.  Also this week, a good friend of mine asked if I could make some hair bows and flower appliques for her daughters' Easter Outfits.  The dresses were super cute, so I was really excited to do this for her.  I love color matching things - I'm weird, I know!

I paid her a visit on Thursday to bring over some fabric samples to hold up to the dresses.  We decided on a yellow polka dot and a teal fabric, which matched perfectly.  Her girls don't really like to keep headbands on, so I attached all of the flowers to spring clips for their hair.

The shoes she bought them were cute, white eyelet, but she thought they needed a little extra something.  So, I made little flowers and stitched them on - that way, should she want to remove them, it'll just require a little snip.

Here's a look at the whole ensemble:

Super cute - I hope she takes LOTS of pictures!!  Isn't her dining room awesome?  Her house is so well decorated - I should ask if I can feature some of her skills and ideas on my blog!!

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hard at Work in the Kitchen

As you all know - I have been hard at work in the kitchen, but not only with cooking!!  Last week we finished the new table, and I spent the weekend painting (by myself I might add).  Hubby flat out told me he didn't want to paint, so I gave new meaning to the phrase "Do it Yourself".  It's not perfect, and I got some paint on the ceiling, but oh well.  It's done, and I am soooo happy!  Everytime I walk in there I get a HUGE smile on my face.  It is so Cottage-y - just the look I was going for - and well, I feel so relaxed and at home in there now.  It's me, totally me. There is a lot more to be done - I have no window treatments over the sink, of which I am looking around now trying to figure out what I want to do.  I also have a sign that I want to paint for over the pantry door, add a chandelier where the builder-grade (ugh!) fixture is now over the table, and start organizing and using my mail center for what it is there for - uh, MAIL!

Here, again, is the kitchen before:

With a few new coats of pretty blue paint (Offshore Mist by Behr), here it is now - Cottage-fied (like my new word?)

See the white vase in the basket??  That was one of my Goodwill finds.

And the fun bronze tray thingy is also from Goodwill!!  Love it!

The Piece de Resistance was the chalkboard I added to a small wall between the kitchen and great room.  I have been so scared to do this, but am SO glad I did.  I am in love with it!

And for those of you who think I might be a neat freak - HA!  Here proves the contrary!!  I moved all of my piles to the mail center to take these pics. This area tends to be a collection of all of our junk.  I am working on some organization ideas for this space, and also need a day to toss all of the junk that collects here.  I would like to actually use it for mail!

I hope you enjoyed the pics!  I will keep you up to date on the progress of this space - I have so many ideas floating around my head, now I just need to make a decision!

Monday, April 18, 2011

My "Before" Kitchen

I am probably making too big of a deal out of my before and after kitchen - because really all I have done so far is change out the table and paint.  But it's a big deal to me!  :o)  This is something I have been wanting to do for awhile, and I know it will be a work in progress.  I can't do it all in a weekend, right?  (As much as I would like to!)  So, I am still working on it, and it's not quite photo-ready yet.  I wanted to work on some things in there today, but it's my hubby's birthday, and I need to get ready for a family gathering at our place tonight.

I am, however, going to share some before pictures with you today.  Here is what the kitchen looked like when we started, well actually - this was step 2 since the table was already complete in these pics:

And here's a sneak peak of what I will share in a few days:

Can you see the hint of blue in the background??  LOVE IT!

Coming soon...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Kitchen Table Transformation

All I have to say is ahhhhh - it's good to be back!  I have been busting a move these past few days since I got back from NJ.  I got tired of hearing myself talk about finishing the kitchen table and chairs and painting the kitchen, and I finally just got to it.  I am exhausted, and my body aches from painting but it's almost done.

This is our original table.  I hate to see it go - but we have had it for about 9 years, and I was ready for something new.  This one took up alot of room in the kitchen, and I wanted something a bit smaller, and round.  I forgot to snap pics of it in the room, duh.  But we had it out for a garage sale this weekend, so I took some of it on our driveway.

About a month ago we purchased a pedestal table and four oak chairs from an antique store in town - they needed a lot of love.

I wanted to paint the chairs white, but still keep the antique feel.  I sanded around the rough edges, and then primed them.  May I take the time now to say I HATE SANDING!  LOL.  After that part was done, I sprayed them with two coats of white semi gloss paint, and then sanded the edges where they would have naturally worn over time.  We had just finished staining the table, so I rubbed the rag with the stain on it over the sanded edges to bring them out more.  Then the last step was to add two coats of water based polyurethane. This all took me two days to finish!!

I didn't take any before pictures of this table either (what was I thinking??).  It looked the same as it does now - same color - but was in a lot rougher shape.  We had to take the whole thing apart and sand all of the pieces.  Then, the original table had casters on the bottom, but they were missing when we bought it, and the table was way too short.  Hubby had to nail three 2 x 4s together and then attached them to the underside of the tabletop to give it some more height and bring it back to 30" high.  Once it was all put back together, I stained it with some chestnut stain and applied three coats of poly.  Here she is now:

Whew - so that's what I did on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.... and the rest of the transformation has taken place this weekend (and will be a work in progress).

I wanted to reveal the table today and tomorrow I will show you the before (and hopefully after) pics of my kitchen.  My original design for the kitchen was more of a Tuscan style, and now I am going cottage all the way (and I love it!)  

Till tomorrow!!