Sunday, January 30, 2011

Before and After

I wanted to just make a quick update on my running/working out program.  I said I was going to get back on track for the new year, and for the most part I have.  Brandon and I went to the gym the other night, we have a small facility in our community that's open 24 hours to residents which is nice.  So anyway, it's been cold out and I just HATE running in the cold so we decided to go to the gym.  I also HATE treadmill running.  I have this fear that the treadmill will randomly increase in speed and I'll be that person flying off the back of the dumb thing.  Well, rest assured that did not happen, but it's just so boring to run on a treadmill, I'll be glad when spring is here.  I did run about 2 miles though, so that's good news! 

Ok, on to the next thing.. I mentioned a few posts ago about having the desire to refinish some of my furniture.  I've refinished most of our furniture already actually, it's alot of fun.  I love how you can take some old cruddy piece and make it look totally different with some paint and new hardware.  Anyway, here is my latest project - it's just a simple table but I'm very happy with the way it turned out.  I whitewashed this piece and used a pale yellow paint, and light tan/beige and a pure white.  You can use any colors you want .  So fun!  Give it a try, you'll get hooked.

The process...
1.  Pick 3 paint colors - 2 colors that you love, and 1 white or offwhite/light beige
2.  Lightly sand the piece you will be refinishing
3.  With one of your 2 favorite colors paint the entire piece.  You can do 2 coats, or just one if you want more of the paint strokes and wood grain to come through.  I did 2 coats for this first application. 
4.  Wait for it to dry completely - this is important, don't rush the 2nd paint color step.
5.  Mix the other of your 2 favorite colors as follows, 30% paint to 70% water and paint over the piece with this mixture.  Let it dry completely
6.  Now take your white or cream color and mix it the same way, 30% paint to 70% water and paint on a last coat of paint.  When it is completely dry, sand the whole thing until you have the look you want. 
7.  If your piece has hardware you can add new hardware at the very end.  The table I did had wooden drawer pulls, but I will be adding vintage glass knobs when I find the right ones.

You're finished!  Fun right?  And the best part is that there really is no way to mess it up.  I think that's why I love it, If you sand it a little too much, no one will notice!

There are different ways to whitewash something, you can google it to get some different ideas.  My next piece will definitely have more dramatic colors!

original piece

after 2nd paint color

with the last coat of white diluted paint.  it's hard to notice
because i used such light colors.  it would be much more
dramatic with more contrasting colors, but i wanted to play
it safe with my first whitewashing experience

Finished... the pale yellow and the tan come through from the sanding
you can see the yellow more on the drawer fronts.  This would be really fun
with some more dramatic color choices

I'll be adding some new knobs for the drawers, I just haven't found the ones I like yet.  Easy and fun way to change up your space.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Time To Change It Up

Ok, so I have a confession - I love to distress... furniture.  I love to take some boring piece and totally change it by painting, sanding and staining, and I've got the itch again.  I've redone our bedroom furniture, our former dining room table (now being used as my desk), end tables, an antique hutch my mom gave me, our kitchen table.  And now I'm wanting to re-do some more furniture.  Specifically this small kidney bean shaped table that my aunt gave me years ago.  Its a dark natural wood, but I just can't wait to paint that sucker and put some new hardware on it.  I just need to decide on a good paint color.  I'm going to go with a whitewashing technique for this piece which involves 2 different paint colors.  I've never actually done this process before.  I usually just sand the piece down, paint it, distress it with sandpaper and then put a coat of stain on it.  I'll be sure to take some before and after pics.  Oh and Lowes and Home Depot are great places to look for "oops" paint if you ever get the urge to re-do your own furniture.  :)  I love love love the oops paint section.  And because I don't need alot of paint for these projects I can usually find quarts of oops paint for really cheap.  Look for my before and after posts coming soon!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

In Honor of My 8 Year Old

Well today is our youngests 8th birthday.. I know it's so cliche, but time FLIES!!  I remember so clearly her baby stage like it was yesterday.  That's probably because she was the world's worst baby.  Maybe that's mean, but whew she gave us a run for our money that's for sure.  As a matter of fact, Rylie is still giving us a run for our money.  LOL 

Our girls are so different.  They might look alike, but that's about as far as it goes.  When Rylie was a baby she cried for the first year of her little life.  She wouldn't sleep, she was a bad eater and all she wanted to do was cry and be held.  And worse, she wanted to be held by her daddy which didn't work out so well for me since her daddy worked all day.  So she would spend entire days strapped to my chest in one of those sling things.  Brandon would walk through the door and I would hand her over and the crying would stop.  It was frustrating and endearing all at the same time.  To this day Rylie is still a daddy's girl.  If she has a booboo she wants her daddy, when she gets home from school its "when is daddy getting home?"

Rylie is independant, friendly, adventurous, sensitive, cranky, whiny, shy, happy, curious (ill have to write about the time she drank carpet cleaner), clumsy - the poor kid has cracked her head more times than I can count, affectionate.  She gets in trouble at school and doesn't pay attention (i blame brandon for that). 

I just can't believe Rylie is 8!  I love to watch her change and grow, but it makes me sad too.  Pretty soon we'll be looking back talking about - remember when rylie did this or that??  With Rylie around our lives are definitely not boring.  She is random and funny and keeps us on our toes.  I can't wait to see what God has in store for her!

So here's to you Rylie - we love you!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sharing The Love

I started this blog originally to share pieces of my life with those of you who may be interested.  Well, then I started a small business, and now that's part of my life.  So I will be posting more about that too.  Over the last few weeks I've gotten more involved in the Etsy community, so once a week (at least thats my plan) I will be sharing one of my favorite items from an Etsy shop owner.  Probably on Fridays.  Us Etsy folks have to stick together.  :)

So I hope you will tune in and look forward to those.  There is so much great stuff on Etsy, if you've never been you NEED to check it out.  Just be careful, it's easy to get sucked in and spend way too much time browsing.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Etsy Updates

Hey everyone!
I'll be updating my etsy shop over the next couple of days with new products and new pictures.. I hope you'll get over to take a look.  Valentines Day is coming up - I'm just saying
For those of you that read my lovely blog, you can get 15% off any purchase until Tuesday (my daughters 8th birthday) Jan. 18th.  Use coupon code blogger1
So hurry!  Times a wasting

Granola Recipe

Wanted to share this yummy recipe I found for soft granola bars.  Honestly they taste more like oatmeal cookies - even better.  haha

They're fast and easy and not too bad for you.  I'm sure if you're creative you could get rid of the butter and replace it with something.

Chewy Granola Bars
4 1/2 c. oats - i used quick and it turned out just fine
1 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
2/3 c. butter softened
1/2 c. honey
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. pure maple syrup - i eyeballed this so it may not have been exactly 1/4 c.
sliced almonds - however much you want

heat oven to 325 and lightly grease a 9x13 inch pan.  combine all ingredients, stir in the nuts.  Press it into the pan and drizzle the top with more pure maple syrup.  Cook for 15-20 minutes until its lightly browned.  Slice them into squares while they're still warm and let cool. 

You can tweak this recipe so much by adding diff. ingredients that you might like - other nut options, dried fruit etc..

Have fun and enjoy!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I Finally Did It!

Well, it wasn't pretty, but I finally managed a short run this morning.  It was freezing, I now have an earache, I thought I was gonna keel over after 2 minutes and I looked like a total moron in my hat, scarf and gloves... but I DID IT!  :)  It is soooo hard to get back into running after you've taken a break.  At least for me it is, and the break hasn't even really been that long.  But I feel good that I got out there.  I only managed 1.5 miles, and I think most of it was walking - haha

Hopefully today will give me the motivation to keep on getting out there.  I don't like running on a treadmill so I'm just gonna have to suck it up and be cold until Spring gets here. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Little Of This And A Little Of That...

Well, I'm sitting here at my computer with a hot cup of coffee, heat cranked up... It is freezing here in East Texas, literally.  I love dressing for winter, but I hate being cold.  Before this cold got here, we had some family in town for the weekend.  It was nice to just relax and not have to worry about anything.  All the kids played, the grownups sat around, it was so nice. 

Anyway, I've been working on my Etsy shop and trying to get things just the way I want them.  I've been  taking some new pictures that my sister will edit for me so I can get them uploaded.  Working on some new recipes/products, and trying to get ready for a craft fair that I will participate in in March.  I'm kinda excited about the fair.  It's just a small community craft fair, but it will be a chance to meet other people from our community which I'm happy about.  Our neighborhood is pretty big, but it's easy to feel secluded out here.  I'm happy that I will get to connect with some other small businesses in our neighborhood.  So there is alot that I need to do to get ready for that.

I've also been doing alot of knitting... one of the things I want to add to my shop and also sell at the craft fair are hand knitted 100% washcloths.  I thought they would be a good addition to my all natural skin care products.  :)  So I have been knitting like crazy trying to build up some inventory.  Hopefully people will love them, cuz they are just so great.

Ok, so on a totally different topic, does anyone use those storage bags where you can put all this stuff in and then you vacuum all the air out and your left with this compact thingy that will fit anywhere??  I really want to get some.  We just have no storage space and we are kind of crammed in here.  Would be so nice to fill some of those up and stuff them under beds or something.  They look like a good idea, but can you really fit as much as they say you can?

I'll leave you with some pictures of the house that we now have our eye on.  Keeping our fingers crossed that it is still available by March-ish... You just never know, but it sure is a cute house, and in the right school district.  I'm already planning how I will decorate and where/how our stuff will fit.  LOL  

Have a great Wednesday!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Back on the Wagon, I Think

Well, I started working out again yesterday and even though it hasn't been THAT long since the last time i exercised, I thought I was going to go into cardiac arrest.  And today I am wicked sore!  But it's that good sore that let's you know you've actually done something.  When I'm not sore after a workout I feel like I should be doing the whole thing all over again or something.  As far as running, I still have not started that again yet.  If you are a runner, I don't suggest taking a break if it's something you want to keep doing - unless of course you have to.  It is so hard to get back into it, at least for me it is, and I was really enjoying my running time too!  I just need to get out there, and shoot for like 2 days a week. 

So on another topic, I think we've decided that we are going to buy a house out here in good ole East Texas.  Because of the area we are in, it really is much cheaper to buy than to rent.  Unless of course you want a huge house.  We have had to downsize considerably since moving to East Texas from the Metroplex so the majority of my stuff is packed up and sitting in the garage.  I just can't bear to actually get rid of the stuff, because I like it.  And I got rid of ALOT of stuff when we moved to TX from MA 6 years ago. 

There are a couple of houses that we like right now that would work well for us.  They are smaller, but really cute.  One in particular that we really like has a giant sunroom on the back of the house and a room that I've already declared to be my business work space.  :)  I just hate that there are pros and cons to every house.  I know we won't find everything we are looking for in one house so it comes down to trying to figure out what space is important.  I think I'm going to have to find ways to better organize and hide all of our junk.  Anyway, we'd like to be buying in March - at least that's the plan barring any unforseen problems.  We signed a 6 month least on our current house when we first moved here so that will be up at the end of February. 

Well, that's about it from me for this Wednesday... If you would like to help promote by business you can click the link on the left to go to my Etsy shop.  Once you're there click the "share" link on the bottom left side and share me on your facebook page.  Then send me an email at when you've done it so that I can enter you in a drawing to win a great little gift basket for yourself or as a gift!  Very easy, and you don't have to buy anything (unless you want to).  However, if you do buy anything, 20% of all my proceeds go to the A21 Campaign.  Just a little FYI.  You can check them out here

Have a great day everyone!