Archive | October, 2011

Hairy Halloween!

31 Oct

Happy Halloween!!

Hope your day is fun and filled with tons of chocolate!


But be careful…

Because I’ve heard there’s a scary skeleton and prisoner on the loose!


Putting up the Lights.

28 Oct

How true is this!?!?


I’m gonna tell you a little secret.

My husband and I don’t do projects well together.  Yea, not so much.

Especially Christmas lights.

And when we used to have 3 Christmas trees in our home, putting up those lights proved to be a test of love and submission…on my part.

And keeping my mouth shut.

Now we have 1 quite large pre-lit tree which I am itching to get up right now. I know, Halloween isn’t even here.

So I laughed out loud reading this quote from who-knows-who.

Because it is so true.

I think how my children are watching us as we handle life’s situations.

Even putting up those christmas lights.

Happy COLD Friday, friends!!

I used some of my Annie Sloan’s last night on the cheapest project in the world!! (That’s a hyperbole according to my 4th grader)

I’ll share the story next week!


She Made It {Thursday}

27 Oct

We haven’t featured any cool projects in awhile and this project is well deserving!!

This sweet blog, PB&J Stories and our friend behind it, Pamela, is so fun and extremely talented.

My mouth dropped last week when she showed us this:

Which she made.  All by herself.  With her own little hands.

I absolutely love the print.  In fact, Hobby Lobby carries artwork similar, on metal, and its about $70. I’ve talked myself out of it for Bubbie’s room for months.

I wish Pamela lived closer so I steal hers! HA!

Stop by PB&J stories!  Pamela is so much fun!!

Happy Thursday, friends!

Do you have a project you want us to feature??  Send us an email!! or



What’s for Dinner Wednesday – Crock Pot Lasagna

26 Oct

Fall has begun and the chilly air that is starting to form makes me crave warm hearty meals.  I’ve been eating MyFitFoods everyday but I sometimes crave a good homemade meal.  One of the meals I am thinking of making soon is an oldie but goodie Carrie shared with us a while back – Lasagna.

It’s hearty and healthy (even has spinach!) and get this…easy!  Easy because it is made in the crock pot!  Just toss ingredients in crock pot and have an amazing meal about 3 hours later.  The perfect thing to throw together quickly when all the holiday commitments start sucking up time.

So here’s Carrie’s how to…

Crock-Pot Lasagna Recipe

  • 3 cans (14.4 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic , finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 containers (15 ounces each) fresh ricotta
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) grated mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 12 lasagna noodles (about three-quarters of a 1-pound box)
  • 5 ounces (about 6 cups) baby spinach

The recipes calls crushed tomatoes, garlic, salt, pepper, red pepper.  I used 2 large cans of crushed tomatoes already seasoned with italian herbs and garlic…works perfect and one less step when in a hurry.

Mix the ricotta, 1 cup of the mozzarella and Parmesan.

In the bottom of a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker, spread a thin layer of the sauce.

crockpot lasagna Jessica Seinfeld

Top with 3 of the noodles (breaking to fit as necessary).

Spread about 1 cup of the sauce over the noodles and layer with 2 cups of the spinach and 1 1/2 cups of the cheese mixture.

Repeat twice more with the noodles, sauce, spinach and cheese mixture. Top with the remaining 3 noodles, sauce and 1 cup mozzarella.

Cook on low, covered, until the noodles are tender—especially in the center of the lasagna—about 3 to 3 1/2 hours.

And enjoy!  Seriously the easiest lasagna…ever.

Silver saves the day

25 Oct

You probably remember the hard work that was required refinishing this desk…

and the ugly red/orange paint debacle I shared with you yesterday.

But on to happier times…

This desk that once saw tragedy is now a beautiful piece of work – in silver.

Martha Stewart Precious Metals Paint in the shade Silver Leaf finished off with Valspar antiquing glaze in Asphaltum.

Miraculously, the glass top survived our move from Los Angeles.

Here she sits alone in my office that will be decorated soon.

I just love her.

She’s a beautiful deep silver and the antiquing gives emphasis to all her curves and features…ornate feet, round sides and deep grooves.

This room is a little sitting area attached to our master bedroom. It will serve as my office and also as my dressing room. I can’t wait to blog away on my laptop here….or maybe also use her as make-up vanity. I can sit here like a queen for a day and powder my nose.

This area is still a blank canvas and needs lots of work.  I haven’t really done much other than hang two pictures.  So much to do including finding a chair and decorating more. I am thinking of making it very glam with a gallery of large ornate frames on a wall and maybe adding a fluffy rug.

If you are interested in using the Martha Stewart Precious Metals paint, it was a dream to work with in terms of quality and rich color choices.

However the metallic paint easily leaves brush and roller marks. I used a small dense foam roller designed to leave minimal marks and still had to be very cautious.

I found it best to use exceptionally thin layers to help reduce marks.

So I am dying to know…what do you think?!  Do you like the silver?

The Wrong Red

24 Oct

Have you ever picked a paint color and thought it would be perfect?  Only to take it home and realize it was oh-so NOT perfect?

Well I went even further. I not only bought the wrong paint but I used it to paint an entire desk the wrong color.

It seemed so ideal in the store.  Bright, bold, fresh and lovely red – just what I was looking for.  When I painted a small tester on the desk, I still thought it to be utter perfection.

What I failed to take into consideration was the lighting and the other shades of red in my office where the desk would actually reside once it was completed.  I was painting the tester outside in the sunlight which was very different lighting than the lighting inside in my office.

Not comparing the other shades of red in my office was probably the most epic fail.  The other shads of red were dark berry red, with blue undertones.  The red shade I chose for the desk was on the other side of the red spectrum and almost screaming orange.

It might not be that easy to see from the picture below since it was taken in my dark garage but I compared the desk to an orange piece of art and the colors compliment each other well.  An orange hue wasn’t what I was going for so you can imagine my disappointment.

I finally realized my mistake after placing the newly painted desk in my office.   I thought it would wow the world but it wowed no one. It was horrid.   It was actually shocking to look at.  The bright almost orange red was painful on the eyes.  You know how certain colors invoke certain feelings?  Like they say they paint jail cells light blue or green to calm prisoners?  I swear my blood pressure raised every time I even briefly glanced in its direction.   It was flaming and very intense to look at.

Looking back I have no idea why I ever chose this red in the first place. It was very bold and a little extreme.  I wanted the desk to be exciting but this was just too radical.

In my defense, I think I worked so hard trying to restore this piece of furniture I was just anxious to finally slap some paint on it.

The original condition of the wood was in pretty bad shape. There were lots of cracks that had to be repaired.  The paint on it was in really bad shape and had to be completely removed.  Paint remover didn’t well at all.  The old paint was cemented on and I had to spend endless hours hand sanding it.

After this bad decision…uncertainty crept in.  What to do now?  I looked at other reds but could never really find another that seemed to be a good prospect. The desk was returned to my garage where it sat for months.  Then when we moved to Texas it again sat in our new garage because I refused to move that ugly thing inside our house until it was painted a new color.  I thought about painting it white.  When it was primed with white paint, it looked very pretty.

However, this desk was really a one of a kind piece and I wanted to give it something special.  And then along came silver.  After refinishing Cory’s two-toned table in silver, I knew this would perfect for my confused desk.  The desk is ornate with claw feet and silver would make it look regal.  I used a different type of silver, and created a rustic look by antiquing it.  I ended up going with one of Martha Stewart’s Metal paints.  The desk finally looks perfect.

So if you hold your horses until tomorrow, you will see the big reveal!

I learned lots of lessons from this desk.  One was to test the paint color IN the actual room it will be located.  Another lesson is that I should have used a color wheel.  Had I brought a color wheel into the paint store and also compared the other “reds” in the room with the ugly red I was going to paint on the desk, I would have known that it was not a good match.

This story finally has a good ending.  That’s the great thing about DIY projects.  If they turn out bad, you can always redo them.  Has something like this ever happened to you?


Monday is a good day.

24 Oct

And this is how I ended my Sunday evening…being cheerful because it is definitely contagious.

Most people hates Mondays. I am guilty of tweeting ‘monday sucks’ too.

But I’m really realizing that all of my actions, thoughts, and reactions to situations directly impact my family.

And they follow my lead.

Example: my new (now returned) HP printer. I do not have good luck with printers. Something always happens, they don’t scan, they jam, runs out of ink…the list goes on.  I yell at it…push buttons, scream, cry.  The list goes on.

Yesterday, I caved and bought another HP printer, after vowing I would never contribute to HP again.

And wasting 5 hours of my Sunday trying to get the e-print to work from my phone and other Apple products (we are a Mac family)…I was not a happy camper.

Working on the printer while trying to help my 9 year with her Texas 3D project didn’t help…while the dog kept coming into the office sneaking paintbrushes, while my son kept coming into the office asking for candy, while my husband watched his beloved Cowboys win their game.

And we won’t even discuss the infiltration of mosquitos that have hit Houston and are trying to suck the life out of each one of us…ugh.

I was mad. And my actions showed it.

Then my daughter was short with her brother.

Then my son was mad with the dog for eating his candy.

But thank goodness the Cowboys won because my husband would have been mad at the world.

I ended the day apologizing for letting the printer disaster take over my actions.

Today is a new day.

And my son has his first dentist appointment ever today…my daughter has violin practice this afternoon…and I am making baked tater soup in crockpot for dinner tonight.

A new day. A new week. With a cheerful heart.

Happy Monday, friends!!

A cheerful heart is good medicine. Proverbs 17:22

And biggest congratulations to Jami of What the Graham…her baby girl Tenley arrived yesterday, healthy and perfect!  I am over the moon excited for her!  Have I told you guys that I want another baby??  Just saying.

Toothpaste…not just for teeth

21 Oct

I don’t know if I’ve ever told you this before…but I love brushing my teeth.

It’s the best thing in the work, next to a can of Annie Sloans.

When I saw this trick on Pinterest, I thought it was brilliant but moved right along the next piece of Pinterest porn.

Working on this little redo last week, I actually busted out the toothpaste to mark my hooks on the wall.

And hung my Pottery Barn new-old frames just like a pro.

Take your toothpaste (ignore Bella’s teeth marks…she likes minty fresh breath too!)

toothpaste to hang pictures

Dab a little on the hooks…

Level the frame.  Hold on the wall and press…

Nail…then wipe off that toothpaste…


Love this trick!!



You know this to be true…

20 Oct


Happy Thursday!!

I am running around like crazy…dentist appts (first cavity for the girl, boo!), school stuff, and much more.

Why aren’t there 48 hours in day?

But I saw this on Pinterest, of course, and had to share.

Do it girls…whatever you want…do it.

And laugh all the way to the top.

Love you friends!

What’s for Snack Wednesday!

19 Oct

Having a little snack of pretzels and hummus with my kiddos after school, I told myself that I need to start making hummus because my family goes through it like its water.

And then I remember that Angie has a great recipe for homemade hummus!

Here it is!  Enjoy!

All you need is a blender and these items:

  • 1 16 oz can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans
  • 1/4 cup liquid from can of chickpeas
  • 3-5 tablespoons lemon juice (depending on taste)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Once you look at the ingredients, you will probably see you already have everything in your pantry and will just need the chick peas and tahini.  Chick peas are also known as garbanzo beans. I’ve made hummus with dried garbanzo beans, soaking and cooking them but the results just weren’t as good. Can beans actually mash up easier and have a better texture.

Can of garbanzo beans = .79 cents.

Tahini is sesame oil and can be found at Whole Foods.  It is somewhat of an investment because it costs about $5 for a jar.  However the jar will make 20 batches of hummus.  If you don’t plan on making hummus often, you can also find tahini at Mediterranean markets cheaper than Whole Foods and it is possible to buy in smaller quantities.

Tahini has a disgusting taste when eaten alone. But it adds a zesty tang to the hummus and is necessary. I tried to make hummus once without tahini and it just didn’t taste the same.

Hummus does have some fat due to the tahini and olive oil.  However it is considered good fat.   And the fat grams in these few tablespoons of oil are disbursed through an entire batch of hummus.

Here is what tahini looks like.  Make sure you stir before using and refrigerate after opening.

Measure all the ingredients and dump them in the food processor. It does not matter what order.  I usually put the chick peas in first and then load all the others on top.

I used extra virgin olive oil.

I also used sea salt. After once reading what is processed with table salt, I try not to eat it. I will save you all the boring details but bleach and chemicals are loaded in table salt.  Yuck!

I like to go heavy on the lemon. It really brings out the flavors of the other ingredients in the hummus.

Throw the peeled garlic pieces in whole.

No need to chop or crush – let the blender do the work!

After you get it all in the blender, blend on high for one minute or until smooth.

And there ya go!  All done.  Ta-da!

It is ready to eat now but if you put it in the fridge a few hours or overnight it will be nice and cold and the flavors will enhance.

Here it is on tomato. Yum!  Bon Appetit!

You can play with this recipe and experiment.

I sometimes change it up with different herbs and ingredients.  My favorite is jalapeno!


Why I Never Throw Away Jack…

18 Oct

Jack, as in, anything.

I don’t throw away jack.

And it drives my husband insane because our garage looks like a thrift store.

And the attic full of stuff too.

Like these Pottery Barn frames I bought over 10 years ago.

pottery barn large mat picture frame

Everytime we clean out the attic, I get asked the question “are we donating these?”

I used to answer with a long explanation of what I ‘planned’ to do with them.

Now…I don’t even respond and blame the empty stare on my lack of better hearing.

(I really do love my husband…actually adore him…we just differ on a few things)

Remember this about the Pottery Barn catalog that had me up all night?

I am working on a mini redo of our dining room and PB had some frames that I loved.

But wait just a minute…don’t I have frames just like them IN MY ATTIC!!??

Praise the Lord…the angels are singing.

And in my long maxi skirt, I climbed in the attic, found the frames and screamed YYYEEESSSS!!!

(but I don’t recommend going into the attic, the Texas heat, in a long maxi skirt…not a pretty picture.  Let’s just say I hiked up the skirt so high so not to rip it…ewwwww)

The original frames have 9 4×6 cut outs.

I had new mats cut, the same day, with an 8×10 opening for $10 at Hobby Lobby (The Lobster):

I printed pictures I recently took of my kiddos…and Bella Wella Doodle Bug (seriously love this doggie)

Removed these (which were just put there as a temporary filler):

Hung my new-old frames with a fancy trick I’ll share tomorrow:

And I am so happy I can’t take it.  From my kitchen, I see this:

I called my baby daddy to tell him how I just saved him over $100 by pulling stuff out of the attic.

He likes those kinds of calls from me.

So the lesson of the day…

Don’t throw away jack.

K?  K.

Do you like what I did?  What can you repurpose and call your husband with the good news??

Love ya, friends!



17 Oct

I love this quote.

There are days when I am pretty confident on the direction I want to go…with the gifts I’ve been blessed with.

Like this past Friday.  I knew exactly where I was going…

And then there are days when that awful self-doubt creeps in and tells me “you can’t do that! Are you out of your mind?!”

That was Sunday…and I told myself I sucked at everything.

Do you ever struggle with self doubt? Comparing yourself to others?  Wondering what others would “think” about you?

I do. And that is one quality I really don’t like about myself.

I’m trying to push those thoughts completely out of my head…and think about the gifts I’ve been blessed with.

It’s hard.  I’m a work in progress.  And I moving in the right direction.

I hope you are too.

Have a happy Monday, friends!

Tomorrow I’ll tell you why I never throw anything away….smile!



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