Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

I wanted to take a minute to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope you all have a safe, and wonderful Thanksgiving!  

Whatever your plans are, I hope you cherish and enjoy each and every moment!

From my family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!
Oh, and yes, I have braces at age, well, forty something. It's been quite the adventure.  

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Start of Christmas Decorating

We have had some really unusual weather this weekend!  School was even cancelled for my kids today (Yay!).  I put on my furry boots this morning and took a few pictures of how beautiful everything looks.  Yes, I'm weird, I LOVE Winter weather. 
We have had nothing but ice and a small amount of snow.  
The cotton across the street was stripped last week, but the ice on the plants makes it look like the cotton is still on the plants.  So Pretty!
This cold weather, and having to stay inside, put me in the mood to start decorating for Christmas!
In keeping with the cold weather theme, I started in our mudroom, and did snowman/winter themed decorating.
I have quite a few snowmen, and decided to group them together, and add a few other wintry things to the arrangement.
I had to bring this snowman front and center so you could see it better.  A friend of mine made it, and gave it to me for Christmas.  It's made on a wine glass!  Such a great idea!  It already has its' own pedestal.
I put a few Christmas ornaments in my lantern, and also added some snowflakes.
For the final touch, I added a snowman banner that another sweet friend gave me for Christmas last year. (I have some great friends)
Now when you walk in our back door, this is what greets you.  
Have you started decorating for Christmas, or do you wait until after Thanksgiving?  I just couldn't wait any longer.  Especially with the great Winter weather we are having!
Thanks for stopping by!

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Texas Sheet Cake

With the holidays upon us, I decided to share my favorite dessert recipe with you.  If you are a chocolate lover, this is a must try!  I have made it for years, and it is the cake my family wants for every special occasion.
Here's what you need to make it:
For the cake:
2 c. flour
2 c. sugar
5 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
2 sticks butter
1 tsp cinnamon
1 c. water
2 eggs beaten
1 tsp. soda
1/2 c. buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla

Spray 13x9 inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine flour and sugar.  
In a large saucepan, add margarine, cocoa, cinnamon, and water.  Heat to a boiling; stir well.
In medium bowl, beat eggs.  In a separate small bowl, stir soda into buttermilk.  Add the soda and buttermilk mixture to the beaten eggs, then add vanilla.  Then, add all of this to the flour-cocoa mixture.  Beat well.  
Pour into 13x9 inch pan and bake 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
While the cake is cooking, you can make the Chocolate Frosting
Here's what you need:
1 stick butter
3 tbsp cocoa
6 tbsp milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1 box powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 c. chopped pecans (optional)
Combine margarine, cocoa, milk, and cinnamon in saucepan.  Heat to boiling, be sure to stir well.  With your mixer, add this mixture to powdered sugar and vanilla, beat until smooth.  If you want to use pecans, you would mix those in now.  
Once the cake is finished cooking, you will take it out of the oven and use a fork to poke holes in the cake.  I usually do this about 8 times all over the cake.  
Then, while the cake is still HOT, you pour the frosting all over the top.  This is where the holes in the cake become important.  The frosting will melt down into the cake. Let the cake sit and cool a little, but I promise if you eat this cake warm, you will do a happy dance!!!  I hope you will give this yummy cake a try.  I know your family will LOVE it!
Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Armoire Turned Coffee Bar

I am still working on projects in my kitchen.  We are hosting Thanksgiving at our house, and I want ALL of my projects finished.  I tackled another big one last week, and finished it today.  I am over the moon happy with this project.  I had an old T.V. armoire that I have moved all over the house trying to find something to do with it, since none of our televisions fit in it anymore.  Then, this idea came to me.  I am so happy I took this project on.  My husband and I love coffee, and we actually own two coffee makers, a Keurig, and a Tassimo.  So, they take up a lot of counter space.  I decided to turn the armoire into a coffee bar.  I'm so glad I did!!!  Let me take you through the process……
Here is what it looked like before.  Pretty, it just doesn't go with my decor anymore.

So, I went to work sanding it down
I didn't want to sand all of the color off, because I wanted some of the dark to show through later.
Then, after I took the shine off of it, I wiped all of the dust off.  
Then, I started painting it white.  My walls in my kitchen and dining room are chocolate brown, and my cabinets are white.  So, I thought this would fit in with the rest of the kitchen and dining.
After I finished painting, I used my sander, and got busy giving it some age.
It felt too bright white for the look I wanted, so I used a brown glaze to age it a little more.
I wipe on a good amount of glaze, and then use a slightly damp paper towel to wipe off some of the glaze until I get the look I want.  I pay attention to working the glaze into all of the grooves.
Next, I took the pulls off, and spray painted them brown
Then, I had to do something with the T.V. hole in the back of the armoire.  I decided to use the plastic faux tin.  When I was at Lowes getting the tin for the back, I spotted these baskets, and they fit PERFECT!!!  I will show you what I did with those later in the post.
Once I got the back glued down, I decided it needed light.  I searched for a small chandelier, and couldn't find one small enough.  So, I made my own.  I found a pendant light cover, and bought a candelabra kit.  I also bought a canopy, and metal washer to support the candelabra in the chandelier shade.  I will be honest, this process was frustrating.  I am not a very patient person, and this was wearing on me!!
I drilled through the top of the armoire and dropped the candelabra piece through the top.  I also used a staple gun to secure the cord.
After I dropped the candelabra piece in, I added a white canopy to give it the finished look of a light fixture.
Here it is all put together.  It provides just the right amount of light, and looks like it's an old light.  Just the look I wanted.
Then, I decided I was going to need somewhere to hang coffee mugs, so I drilled holes and installed hooks.
Now, I have a place for 6 mugs to hang.
Next, I added the rest of our coffee necessities.  The two coffee makers fit perfectly, and that tray where the t.v. use to sit slides out, so it will make it easy to add water to the coffee makers.  I used the baskets for coffee pods, creamers, sugar, etc.  That shelf also pulls out so we can see everything.  Then, I added cream and sugar to my blue Ball jars for a touch of color.
Here it is all finished.  I love how it turned out.  It freed up a lot of counter space, and gave us extra storage for our coffee supplies.
Here is the Before and After.  What a difference!
Thank you so much for stopping by my blog!  I hope you will become one of my newest followers!

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Take a Time Out During the Holidays

I know everyone is already super busy getting ready for Thanksgiving, and even Christmas.  But, I am trying to take some time during this busy season to take a breather, or a time out!!  Here are a couple of my latest favorite things for you to try if you can find some time for yourself.   We are coffee freaks at our house.  We have not one coffee maker, but two.  We have a Keurig, and a Tassimo too.  Crazy, right?  I normally use the Keurig, and my husband uses the Tassimo.  But, when I found this, I had to use the Tassimo.  It's Tassimo's Pumpkin Spiced Latte.

It comes in a package with the creamer, and Pumpkin Spice Espresso.  This is so good!  It even froths the milk for you.  Yum!

I also just finished a book.  I am not a huge reader, but I really had to recommend this book to you, because I loved it!  If you are an animal lover, then you MUST read this book.  It will have you laughing out loud, and crying too.  It is such a sweet book.
It's called a Dog's Purpose.  
I promise you won't be disappointed!

So, there are two good reasons to take a "Time Out" for yourself during this busy holiday season.  

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Crib Bench & Sentimental Things

I wanted to share a very sentimental piece I have.  I realized while taking the pictures for this post that almost everything in this photo has a memory, or sentimental value. It's funny when I placed these items, it didn't occur to me.
This bench is made by my Father-In-Law out of the crib all three of my boys used.  I had saved it until I saw a picture (can't remember where) of another crib made into a bench.  Since he made this one for me, I have seen lots of pretty crib benches.  Having my Father-In-Law make this for me made it extra special.  The back is made from the headboard, and the sides are the foot board cut in half.  The detail on the front was cut from the rails on one of the sides.  The boards on the seat are not from the crib.  It was VERY important that the bench didn't get painted, so he matched the stain on the seat perfectly.  
The reason I didn't want the bench painted was because of this:
 For some reason, when all three of my boys got a few teeth, and were able to pull up and stand, they would chew on the crib.  It really freaked me out at the time, because I was sure it was going to make them sick, or worse.  But, now, when I see those silly teeth marks, it makes me smile.
The pillows were a birthday gift from my sister (I think she got them from someone on Etsy)
The adorable stool was my husband's Grandmother's.  I covered it with a some fabric I already had. Of course, a touch of leopard!
This sweet little table was my Grandparents, and my Grandfather had painted it.  Love the aged out detail he added.
The little angel was a gift from my best friend, and I've had it for years.  
I LOVE Circle E Candles!!!  I've used them for years.  I have them all over the house.  If you haven't ever tried them you should.  They last forever, and are strong enough that this size fills my entire house with yummy fragrance.

I really enjoyed writing this post, because I realize how many things I have in my home hold dear memories.  I hope you enjoyed it too!

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog!

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