Sunday, July 29, 2012

Make it over: old art deco side table to new cottage nightstand

When we were just moving into our house, I decided to make a stop at Goodwill to "just look around", but as soon I spotted this table, I knew I wouldn't be leaving empty handed.  Even though I wasn't quite sure at the time what I'd do with this table I feel in love with the lines and for only $6 I couldn't pass it up. 
This little table had so much potential!  I used left over white and gray paint from previous painting projects, so all I had to do was buy the turquoise paint. 
I'm definitely glad I didn't pass by this table when I first saw it!  

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Finders Keepers: room additions

Over the last couple of weeks I've found a few items that I knew would be great additions a few rooms in the house. The bright orange clock was a find from Target and the yellow flower pouf and gray linen pillow were found by accident at TJ Maxx. I was very excited to spot the yellow pouf since I've been wanting one but they seem to always be pretty pricey. This one though was under $20! While the style of each of these accessories are vastly different, they enhance the style in each of the rooms I've added them to.

The flower pouf is a nice addition to our living room especially for an extra seat for guests.  The contemporary style of the pouf goes well in the living room's contemporary country feel.

The gray linen pillow looks lovely in our den with it's growing cottage style.

The bright orange clock adds an additional punch of fun color in our retro style guest bathroom.

Monday, July 16, 2012

A get well gift

On Saturday I went with my parents to see one of my aunts who is starting the recovery process after having back surgery.  I was so glad I could go with them to visit her and make her laugh.  I wanted to bring her a little gift to say "get well" and although it's the middle of the summer, homemade soup still sounded like the perfect choice.  Friday I prepped, cooked and canned (my first canning experience!) creamy butternut squash soup to bring to her, of course doubling the batch so Clint and I could enjoy some.  Come to find out my aunt loves butternut squash so I picked the right soup to make!
 I added a little bit of scrapbook paper on the lid before I put the ring around the jar
a simple tag finishes off the gift
After making and canning this scrumptious gift, I feel like getting ready for making fun Christmas goodies to give away...but I guess I'll wait until December!  ; )

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Name calling

One of my best girlfriends will be changing her last name soon cause she's getting married!  I wanted one of the gifts I gave her for her bridal shower to be something she can hang in her home, so I made a sign with her new last name.  It was easy to make and I plan on making one for my home too!

This cute little sign happened to start out from this...

A wooden pallet...who woulda thought?

My sweet husband cute the slat down to the right size so I could sand it.
I then did a paint and water wash to give the sign color.  When that dried I used tracing paper under the printed out letters (I just picked fonts I liked and printed it out on computer paper).  After the letters were transferred onto the sign I then simply followed the lines with the color of paint I wanted the letters to be (sorry no pictures of that). When that dried I sprayed a coat of clear matte spray paint to finish off the front of the sign.
I then attached a hanger thingy (that may not be the technical term for it!) so it can be hung up if desired, and I of course had to sign it.
Just a fun little sign to hopefully add to her home and celebrate taking on a new last name! 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A seed of faith

Over the course of just a couple of days we've had the opportunity to talk with some very close friends and neighbors about things that are very important to us, our faith.  Without any planning or forewarning the topic of our beliefs came up naturally in several situations this weekend and it was a wonderful opportunity to not only share what we believe but reflect upon how our lives have been blessed by trying our best to live what we believe.  Mind you we are not perfect by any means, but I'm grateful that I can work on the little seeds of faith that we have to try to cultivate it into beautiful blossoms.  It just so happened that I also had to teach a lesson to the young women at church today on testimonies and building upon a little seed of faith. 

I hope that I can keep adding a little "miracle grow" to continue to build up my faith!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Napa Valley anniversary weekend extravaganza

**I will apologize ahead of time of how long this post is, but I couldn't help myself from sharing all the excitement!**

When the inn keeper at the bed and breakfast we checked into for the weekend learned we didn’t drink he seemed to stammer in shock.  After briefly explaining our reasons for not partaking in alcohol (due to religious affiliation, personal preference, etc) we quickly assured him that we planned to take full advantage of the treats the Napa Valley offers, specifically the array of culinary and dining experiences. 

Several months prior Clint and I were sitting on the couch watching a Food Network show, The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs, where several notable chefs from around the country competed for the title of Iron Chef.  In one of the challenges, with only a few minutes to cook, chef Michael Chiarello cranked out fresh homemade pasta that had the judges exclaiming that it tasted like something they could only get in Italy.  We then learned that Chef Chiarello owned and ran a restaurant, Bottega, in the Napa Valley and thus began our talk of taking our first anniversary trip to the Napa Valley and most importantly the Bottega Restaurant.  

I was a little worried that the trip wouldn’t be as successful as we planned when one of first adventures was going to the natural Petrified Forest site the afternoon that we got to the valley.  The Petrified Forest was a short nature walk that featured trees that were turned into a stone-like substance from volcanoes that erupted many, many years prior.  I love nature and all, but these were just some trees on the ground that looked like they were made out of stone and I was not sold on the attraction.  Then that night we went to restaurant in Calistoga, Brennans, that had been recommended and both Clint and I had dishes that were less than spectacular.  I was a little bit skeptical that this trip would go as well I had been imagining. 

Things did look up however with the so many highlights in the following two days that I could ramble on and on about, but I will just highlight all the good stuff since there is so much to share:
  • Discovering of a European style castle in the heart of the valley—Castello di Amorosa
  • Roaming the Francis Ford Coppola property (with iconic Hollywood memorabilia from this prolific film maker’s career)
  • Breakfast at the Larkmead Inn with a heaping plate of fresh fruit and large pastries
  • Playing Scrabble at the Inn at night after our daily adventures—there wasn’t TV at the Inn, which turned out to not be a bad thing
  • Finding out what the long line at the Bouchon bakery was all about.  Amazing fresh baked goodies, Dutch crunch rolls I think being our fav
  • Using the smart phone to find dessert another night and finding Sift Cupcakes (and ice cream sammys)
  • Taking a tour of the gorgeous and historic Culinary Institute of America—Greystone campus
  • Attending a fun and informational cooking demo at the Culinary Institute of American—Greystone campus  (and learning I do cut onions the correct way!)
  • Eating a delicious, slightly decadent, but oh so worth is dinner at Bottega where Clint was able to get the hostess to have us meet Chef Chiarello and take a photo with him!!!  It made the dinner and evening perfect!   
As I sat in the passenger seat on the drive home reviewing the highlights of the weekend, I realized I had consumed five baked goodies in just one day!  There were the two complimentary goodies in the morning at the Inn, a plump blueberry muffin topped with dusting sugar quickly followed by the flakey Danish wrapped around a gooey cherry filling.  A moist red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting from the previous nights discovery from Sift Cupcakes which was devoured as a snack in between tours at the Culinary Institute.  Our last stop before leaving the valley was at Bouchon where I picked a buttery, flakey, layered croissant with dark chocolate in the center and a soft and savory Dutch crunch roll.  This was clearly not a typical day at home!   

A day later and I have to admit I am still day dreaming a little bit about the fabulous food and adventure of the weekend.  We just might have to do it again sometime…soon.