Monday, May 30, 2011

My No Sew Window Treatments

The kitchen nightmare redo is done ~ FINALLY!!! Well, as done as it's gonna get before Brandon graduates from high school this weekend! We still have the floor to do and appliances to replace and/or redo, but we were able to get everything done that we wanted to before my family comes in from Arkansas for the graduation. I haven't gotten everything all cleaned up and staged yet, so no pics to share right now. I promise I will get to them sometime this week (I hope!).

I looked and looked for window treatments for the two windows in the kithen, but couldn't find exactly what I wanted ready made. So I went to JoAnn's and bought two yards of fabric and pinned and folded and fussed with them till I got what I wanted. Here's how they turned out:

I really wanted to do a faux roman shade treatment that I saw on another blog a while back, but I didn't have time this weekend to figure it all out, so this is gonna have to do for now! I really like how they turned out.

I am so happy to have most of this kitchen done! It has been a trip, for sure! Seems like everything we attempted took twice the amount of money and three times the amount of time I figured it would take. But I am thrilled with how everything has turned out. There were some compromises along the way and I had to change my game plan a couple of times, but it all worked out in the end. We aren't professionals by a long shot, but we did good for some so so DIY'ers!

Until next time. . .

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Memorial Day Vignette!

I decided last weekend to change up my accessories in the living room. I wanted something with a patriotic theme that I could leave up until after Labor Day. This is what I came up with:

The old Singer sewing machine belonged to my grandmother on my mother's side. Sadly, it sat in storage for many years and the innards are all rusted and don't function anymore, but I had the finish restored on the outside a few years ago. I love it and will treasure it always since it is the only thing I have that belonged to my grandmother who is no longer with us in body, but whose spirit will always be in our hearts.

A red tin barn star that I repainted. It was an ugly yellowy brown color when I bought it. And some blue and white plates for the wall. Red, white, and blue!!!

Some USA stacking boxes I won in a giveaway last year topped with a white pitcher filled with sunflowers and little American flags.

And to round it all out, old timey photos we had taken on a weekend trip to Gatlinburg, TN a few years back. We had a ball doing these! Hubby made the frames for these out of some old boards he found.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend! A special thanks to all our men and women and their families who serve our great country in the military. Nothing would be possible without all their sacrifices!

I'm linking up with Marty over at A Stroll Thru Life for her Tabletop Tuesday.

Until next time. . .

Monday, May 23, 2011

Faux Iron Wall Art For Less Than $1

I love iron wall art. But it can be kind of pricey. Hobby Lobby has a great selection and their prices are usually pretty reasonable, especially if they have it on sale for fifty percent off! The only problem with that is, the nearest HL to me is about an hour's drive. So I can't just "run by" and pick up a piece whenever I want to. I've seen the wonderful creations out there in blog land where some talented folks have made their own iron look wall art out of toilet paper rolls and it inspired me to give it a try. Only I decided I wanted a piece of wall art that was longer than I could get from a toilet paper or paper towel roll. So I bought a piece of poster board and got to work! I used a yard stick to draw some lines the width I wanted then I just cut them out, leaving me with long strips of paper. I used a pencil to curl my paper edges to the shape I wanted. I cut some of my strips down to get the sizes I wanted. Sorry, but I didn't take any pics of the actual process. I wasn't sure it was going to work so I was just basically playing with it. I used my trusty hot glue gun to glue my paper together. When I was finished, it was a bit flimsy so I found an old thin dowel I had in my craft stash and cut it down to size, then hot glued it to the bottom of my piece. Then I added a couple more smaller pieces of paper to it to finish it off. Once I was satisfied with my "art", I spray painted it with some black paint and then finished it with a light coat of spray sealer. Here's my finished piece:

Pretty good for a first try, don't you think? This was easy and fun and I'll definitely make more!

I'm linking up with Linda's Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays over at Coastal Charm, with Kim's Wow Us Wednesday over at Savvy Southern Style, with Kate's Flaunt it Fridays over at Chic on a Shoestring Decorating, with Kindra's Terrific Under Ten Tuesday, and with Christina's 20 Below Thursdays over at Christina's Adventures.
Oh, and here too:

Until next time. . .

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Brownies ~ Quick and Easy!

We are having a "potluck" lunch at work next week with an all American theme to kick off the long Memorial Day weekend. We will be having grilled hotdogs with all the fixins! I signed up to bring a dessert. So I thought, what's a more American dessert than brownies?? I have a tried and true simple, but oh so delicious, recipe for brownies and I thought I'd share it with y'all.

Quick and Easy Brownies

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 9 pan. Mix oil, sugar and vanilla in a bowl. Beat in eggs. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Gradually stir in egg mixture and mix till well blended. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

You can add your favorite nut to this recipe also, but since I'm taking it to a public function, I don't want to chance anyone being allergic to nuts so I left them out. When I make these at home, I leave the nuts out most of the time as well, since my boys don't really care for them. These brownies are so moist and tasty! And they are easily transportable so that makes them perfect for my potluck work lunch or for a picnic by the lake. You could also easily dress these babies up with some icing and sprinkles to match your occasion's theme. But I'm leaving mine plain for this lunch. Simple, but delicious! Enjoy!

Until next time. . .

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

New Counter Tops -- Well, Almost!!

We worked really hard on the kitchen this past weekend. Both Scott and I took the day off work Friday so we had three days to work on it. We got quite a bit done, but we still have a long way to go! One thing we did get completed was the counter tops. I would have loved to put new granite counter tops in, but when you have champagne dreams and only a beer budget, that ain't gonna happen! So we found this amazing product at Lowes:

Counter top paint made specifically for laminate counter tops! How awesome is that??? Let me just say, this is the coolest stuff I've ever seen! I had seen a few other people use it and post about it on their blogs in the past, so I did some research on it and thought I'd give it a try. We paid around $22 for this container and they tinted it for us in the store. There are about seven or eight different colors you can chose from and we chose black. Scott was a bit skeptical about it but I convinced him that we should give it a try. If it was a bust, it surely wouldn't be the first $22 we'd ever wasted! Now I will say this, it stank to high heaven!!! I mean bad, bad, bad!! We painted one portion of the counter on Thursday evening and the smell just about ran us out of the house. I would highly recommend that if you use this, take it outside! I am very impatient and didn't want to wait until day light to try it. I learned my lesson! Also, it takes three days for the paint to cure so you can't set anything on the counters during that time. It dried pretty quickly and you just roll it on with a foam paint roller. Easy peasy!

Here's the counter top before:

And here's the same counter after:

And a closer view:

And finally, almost new counter tops, all decorated and looking mighty pretty:

We also finished up the back splash and got most of the upper cabinets painted. I'll share those later this week with y'all.

I'm linking up to Kim at Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesday this week.

Until next time. . .

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Prom 2011

Where does the time go? Seems like yesterday my little boy struggled for 34 hours to make his appearance in this big world and now he's a handsome 18 year old senior in high school, getting ready to graduate in a few short weeks. It just doesn't seem possible. But it is. And last night, he enjoyed his senior prom. We had terrible weather, rain and wind and chilly temps for most of the day. But that didn't stop him and his friends from having a great time!

Their theme this year was "Victorian Masquerade". This photo is a picture of the entrance to the high school. The prom is always held in the gymnasium at the high school and has been ever since they started having a prom.

This is Brandon and his date, Morgan. He and several of his friends went together as a group and they all paired up for the pictures. One of the parents held a dinner for the group at their home. He said it was mostly Asian food, which he knows nothing about, but he said it was really good!

And a photo of part of the group of friends. They all arrived in separate cars so it was hard to get everyone together at once for pictures.

"Man in Black"

Brandon and his best buds, Chris and TJ:

They had a great time and made some wonderful memories!

I have been so busy this week trying to get most of the kitchen finished before graduation, which is on June 3rd. Not only is Brandon graduating, but my stepson Scotty is graduating as well. So we are planning a family cook out on June 4th for the boys to celebrate. Needless to say, we are busting our tails trying to get as much of this kitchen reno done as possible. I gave up on painting my cabinets red. I just could not get them to take the paint color. So I went with white, and while it's not what I originally wanted, I am pleased with how they are turning out. I also ended up changing my design on the cabinets as well. You will just have to wait and see what I'm talking about there. We painted our counter tops black and I love them! I can't wait to show them to y'all. But all that will have to wait for another post.

I've had almost no time at all for crafting. I have worked on a few things which I will share later this week.

Until next time. . .

Saturday, May 7, 2011

When God Made Mothers

By the time the Lord made mothers, he was into his sixth day of working overtime. An Angel appeared and said “Why are you spending so much time on this one”? And the Lord answered and said, “Have you seen the spec sheet on her? She has to be completely washable, but not plastic; have 200 movable parts, all replaceable; run on black coffee and leftovers; have a lap that can hold three children at one time and that disappears when she stands up; have a kiss that can cure anything from a scraped knee to a broken heart, and have six pairs of hands.”

The Angel was astounded at the requirements for this one. “Six pairs of hands! No Way!” said the Angel.

The Lord replied, “Oh, it’s not the hands that are the problem. It’s the three pairs of eyes that mothers must have!”

“And that’s just on the standard model?” The Angel asked.

The Lord nodded in agreement, “Yes, one pair of eyes are to see through the closed door as she asks her children what they are doing even though she already knows. Another pair in the back of her head, are to see what she needs to know even though no one thinks she can. And the third pair are here in the front of her head. They are for looking at an errant child and saying that she understands and loves him or her without even saying a single word.”

The Angel tried to stop the Lord. “This is too much work for one day. Wait until tomorrow to finish.”

“But I can’t!” the Lord protested, “I am so close to finishing this creation that is so close to my own heart. She already heals herself when she is sick AND can feed a family of six on a pound of hamburger and can get a nine year old to stand in the shower.”

The Angel moved closer and touched the woman, “But you have made her so soft, Lord.”

“Yes, she is soft”, the Lord agreed, “But I have also made her tough. You have no idea what she can endure or accomplish.”

“Will she be able to think?”, asked the inquisitive Angel.

The Lord smiled and replied, “Not only will she be able to think, she will be able to reason, and negotiate.”

The Angel then noticed something and reached out and touched the woman’s cheek. “Oops, it looks like you have a leak with this model. I told you that you were trying to put too much into this one.”

“That’s not a leak.” The Lord objected. “That is a tear.”

“What’s the tear for? the Angel asked.

The Lord said, “The tear is her way of expressing her joy, her sorrow, her disappointment, her pain, her loneliness, her grief, and her pride.”

The Angel was impressed. “You are a genius, Lord. You thought of everything! Truly, You do all things well."

The Lord smiled sadly and replied, "I didn't put that tear there."

Happy Mother’s Day!

Until next time. . .

Sunday, May 1, 2011

My Favorite Chicken Salad Recipe & A Kitchen Update

I love chicken salad! And I've tried several different kinds before. Some were good, others not so much. I've had a basic chicken salad recipe that I've used in the past that was o.k. but now I've discovered this one that's just awesome!

Rotisserie Chicken Salad

1 prepared rotisserie chicken (I use only the white meat)
Seedless white grapes
Sliced almonds
Salt and pepper to taste

Shred chicken and place in bowl. Add mayonnaise. I just eyeball it. Some people like a little mayo, some like a lot so this is just your preference. Cut grapes into desired sized pieces. I usually cut mine in half. Add desired amount of sliced almonds. Add salt and pepper. Mix all together and serve.

This is sooo yummy! And if there are other items you enjoy, like dried cranberries, apples, chopped celery, or whatever, you can easily add these to this simple recipe too. I like the convenience of the chicken being already prepared and ready to go. I buy mine from the deli section of the grocery store. They usually have several flavors to choose from. My favorites are the original and the garlic flavored varieties. This chicken salad is good by itself and awesome served on a buttery croissant. Yummo!!!

I'm linking this recipe up over at Mommy's Kitchen for her Potluck Sunday party this week. Please stop by her wonderful blog to check out all the great recipes there.

Our kitchen redo is coming along. Slowly. Seems like we take one step forward and two steps back. I have been fighting with my cabinet paint color forever and finally figured out that I am going to have to prime them first in order to get the true paint color to adhere. I was so hoping I could skip this step, but alas, I am going to have to bite the bullet and do it. Oh well, it will be worth it in the end to have the beautiful color on them that I've been wanting. We have finished the painting of the walls and next weekend we hope to get the back splash installed and the cabinets painted. We will see!

I found some plain red plates at Wal Mart a while back for only $1.00 each! I was so excited. They are fairly big and heavy. I bought two of them.

My brother-in-law owns and operates a printing and graphic design shop so he graciously cut me out a couple of black roosters from some scrap vinyl he couldn't use. I adhered them to my plain ole red plates and decided to use them as wall art.

I had purchased a wrought iron wall art piece from Hobby Lobby a while back for around $7.00. They had them half off so I was super excited about that! I decided to hang it above my sink area and I flanked it with my plates. I'm pleased with the way it turned out and you can see in the picture the new wall color we used above the cabinet area. I think it will look really good when the cabinets are finally their final red color.

I'm linking up to Met Monday over at Between Naps on the Porch and to Terrific Under Ten over at At Home With K this week. Be sure to visit these great blogs to see all the great makeovers and tutorials shared this week.

We had a really nice Easter last weekend. Easter Sunday was also our second wedding anniversary. Then the Monday after Easter was my birthday. I celebrated the 23rd anniversary of my 21st birthday! So we basically celebrated all weekend. Now we are getting ready for high school graduation for both of our sons. Whew, if we make it through this, it'll really be a miracle! We are blessed with two wonderful kids although they do try our patience from time to time. But we wouldn't have it any other way. God has been so good to us and we are truly thankful!

Until next time. . .