Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Tonight's party hostess is Christine....


I'm in a bit of a winter slump. There's not much to look forward to over the next couple of weeks. But then, it gets crazy. So much will go on in the space of three weeks I can hardly believe it. Like what?
  • I'll be meeting a bloggy friend for reals. Her name is Jane and she kind of rocks. Do you know her?
  • My in-laws are visiting from the UK.
  • Spring Break begins.
  • My brother and his family will visit.
  • The hubs and I will go on a little getaway to San Fran.
  • Spring Break ends.
  • We hold an Easter Egg Hunt and celebrate spring with an Easter Dinner.
  • J turns 5.
Yes, all of that will happen in the span of 3 weeks. So you can see why things feel a little blah right now. I want to get a move on with all the fun and instead I'm just sitting here with nothing to do but type (which reminds me, I'd better spend some time pre-typing for that crazy 3 weeks coming up when I won't have time to breathe, let alone write). To get over my blahs I'm focusing on some excitingly easy side dishes. The idea is that I can make a lazy dinner (throw some chicken breasts in the oven, maybe steam some broccoli) and put more energy into one interesting side dish to add pizzaz to dinner and hopefully lift my slump. So my side dishes will help chase away the blahs. What else will do the trick?
  • Jane's grapefruit marmalade (yeah, she made that and then put it into cute jars herself. And then she turned it into a pie. See. I told you: She rocks.
  • Micki's Iron Chef Mom Nutella challenge. Seriously, if you have a Nutealla recipe to share, you must go link up. Now. If you don't have a recipe to share, you must go there and drool at other people's recipes. Now.
And then of course there are the amazing Pin'Inspiration you all linked up to use last week. Here are three of my faves: A Real Blah-Buster: How To Invite Spring Into Your Kitchen from Meeha Meeha Nothing says Spring like Robin's Eggs. And it would totally unslump me to finally try my hand at making marshmallows. The two come together for these adorable Marshmallow Robin's Eggs by Twigg Studios. The coolest thing is that dish full of flour is indented using an egg. These indents are then used as the mould for the marshmallows. Awesome, right? And finally, an extra excitingly easy side dish to add to my unblahing repertoire: Balsamic Red Potatoes by Made In A Day. Balsamic Potatoes by Made In a Day And now it's time to open up another Pin'Inpirational Link Party. Link up your most Pin'Inspiring post. But make sure you follow the rules first:
  • Before you link up to the party, you must follow all of the hosts on Facebook. Jane, Micki, Marilyn and Me (Christine).
  • Please visit at least two other links from below and leave some comment love!
  • If you love comments, make sure you have captcha/word verification turned off!
  • Please don’t link up your etsy store or giveaway.
  • Spread the word about the party! The more the merrier!
Time to link up the party via our button. LETS P A R T A A A A A A Y!!!    

Monday, February 25, 2013

Iron Chef Mom: Nutella

I'm so very excited about this ingredient for Iron Chef Mom! I LOVE Nutella! It's heaven in a jar.

But, before we get to the amazing Nutella ingredients for this week's party, we need to crown the winners of Iron Chef Mom: Coconut.

The big winner of our coconut contest is Architecture of a Mom for her Pina Colada Cake. I LOVE pina colada and can't wait to try out this recipe!

Our runners are up:

If you were crowned an Iron Chef Mom, grab the badge and brag about it!

1. Follow the weekly host Confessions of an ADD Housewife any way you’d like – on Facebook, Twitter , Google + or Pinterest.
2. Link up only recipes that include Nutella ! Any Nutella recipes you have; past or present! Nutella does not have to be the main ingredient.
3. Vote! The link up will end Saturday morning and voting will run from Saturday-Sunday evening! Be sure to stop by this weekend to vote, vote, vote!
4. Grab a party button!
(Iron Chef Mom link party will be live from Monday evening until the following Saturday morning. Feel free to link up recipes all week long, then stop by and vote on the weekend. You are welcome to encourage your readers to vote for your recipes as well!)

And we'll be starting another round of Iron Chef Mom in March! I think you're going to really love the ingredients we come up with! The next link party will be back at Cheerios and Lattes next Monday night!

Friday, February 22, 2013

decorated easter hat

First off, I want to remind all of you that Monday's Iron Chef Mom will be right here and our ingredient is NUTELLA! So get ready to enter your nutella recipes for our big link party!

Next, a big congratulations to the winner of the $30 credit to SunFlowerFreckles in the Crafters Dream Giveaway: Louise Casey!

It being Friday, Little Miss and I had to dig in to our craft supplies. Earlier in the week, she spotted a cute little Easter hat in the Target dollar spot. It had a sweet little ribbon that broke within about 20 minutes. And, it was in desperate need of some sparkle of some Friday Craft Day treatment.

I didn't have a real plan except to give Little Miss something cute to wear.

And this time, she was far more interested in taking pictures than she was of the actual hat project. Too much gluing and not enough painting for her, I guess.

After attaching the ribbon, I added a few flowers. I wish I would have had more colors ...

Then, Little Miss helped attach the little colored plastic flowers along the ribbon

She seems pretty happy with the outcome

But little did she know I was going to try to hang it on my wall to try to get a better picture...and decide I like it on the wall! It's a nice way to give a bit of Easter to the vestibule! Guess I'm going to have to make another trip to the dollar spot!

linked up at
tater tots and jello ** cheerios and lattes** weekend wonders ** create and inspire **six sisters stuff ** its overflowing ** i should be mopping the floor **marvelous mondays ** frugal crafty home **project inspired ** cowgirl up ** show me what you got **whimsy wednesday ** wow us wednesday **creative spark **house of hepworths **

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Happy Pin'Inspiration Thursday!

Life has been so hectic around here lately! We are in the middle of some really awesome projects around the house, plus my oldest son is receiving his Life badge in scouts tonight. We are very proud of him! And next week, we're  off on a much needed vacation without the kids!

And there's just a few hours left to enter The Crafters Dream Giveaway! 

I'm not the only one that has been busy.

Check out Christine's Drinking to the Oscars countdown!

And Jane's yummy Corn and Bacon Chowder

I've been looking for an idea for a family chart...something small and easily changed from week to week. When I saw this project from Sewing Barefoot, I actually said "YES!" out loud because it was exactly the inspiration I've been looking for.

I love a good makeover and this one from Brooklyn Berry Designs is terrific! I love the colors :)

Last but certainly not least, the Buffalo Chicken Balls with Bleu Cheese by Real House Moms got my tummy rumbling! YUM!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Samoas Brownies

Do you have any coconut recipes to share? Link them up with this week's party hostess Semi Homemade Mom!
And don't forget to come back HERE next Monday night for the most AMAZINGLY AWESOME Iron Chef Mom ingredient link party: NUTELLA


I took my inspiration for this week's Iron Chef Mom ingredient from Leelee's best friend. You see, her best friend is my dealer. Two weeks ago, she hooked me up with ten boxes of her most horribly addictive merchandise: Girl Scout Cookies.

What can I say? I had to get my fix. D and I split them and then each shared with the kids.

Thin Mints

It's all good. 

And I'm being good because I still have an entire box of Thin Mints left from my stash. Of course, the kids sneaked in to the Samoas so I only got about two of those. 

That's why I knew when the Iron Chef Mom ingredient was coconut, I had to some how recreate those amazing cookies...but in a brownie form.

I could have made my brownies from scratch but I didn't. It was a bad day that involved a day of errands with my 3 yo singing one line from a Yo Gabba Gabba song at the top of her lungs over and over again; naturally, sitting too far back in the van for me to do more than  a lot of "Please for the love of all that is holy, STOP SINGING THAT SONG!" And when we finally got to Target, I bought her a bag of popcorn... a mouth full of snacks doesn't sing annoying songs.

By the time she fell asleep in the car, I was in desperate need of chocolate and my brain wasn't functioning enough to make my brownies from scratch.

After baking the brownies and letting them cool, Leelee and I had to practice serious restraint in unwrapped 2 bags of caramels. It wasn't easy.

The next steps were pretty easy. Add a bit of milk in to the caramels and melt in the microwave. While that was melting, the coconut was toasting in the oven. Then, those two yummies were mixed together and spread over the top of the brownies.

In a world where moms and kids have patience don't have over the top chocolate craving, these would chill in the refrigerator for several hours. 

But who are we kidding? I popped the pan in the freezer and played Candy Crush on my phone.

Samoas Brownies

1 pkg brownie mix, prepared according to package directions and cooled
11 oz of caramels, unwrapped
2 T milk
1 1/2 C coconut

 In a microwave safe bowl, microwave caramels and milk for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Place the coconut on a cookie sheet and toast in a 400 degree oven for 3 minutes. Stir. Toast another 3 minutes, watching carefully so it doesn't burn.

Mix the coconut into the caramel then spread on to the brownies.

Chill in the refrigerator 4 hours or in the freezer until you can't wait any longer.


linked up at:
project inspired **  show me what you got ** cowgirl up ** Salt Tree Social ** whimsy wednesday ** winter blues ** wow us wednesday **show me what ya got ** back for seconds social **house of hepworths ** wildly original **creative juice ** crafty blog stalker ** your creative timeout **keep calm and link up **tater tots and jello **  cheerios and lattes ** weekend wonders ** create and inspire ** six sisters stuff **mop it up mondays ** marvelous mondays ** frugal crafty home **

Come take a look at Looksi!

I love link parties and sites like Pinterest where I can look for great ideas, but sometimes I have specific projects or ideas and I don't want to look through all the extra stuff and projects that don't link anywhere or even link back to the original source.

That's where a new moderated submission based site called Looksi comes in to play. It's for those home/DIY/garden ideas. The fun part of this is the pictures are all good and will really get your creative juices flowing. SO much inspiration. And it all links back to quality posts...of course I'm a bit biased since I'm one of the Looksi Ambassadors :)

Check out these other fantastic bloggers and fellow Looksi Ambassadors and don't forget to head over to Looksi and be absolutely inspired to do something creative in your home today!


Sunday, February 17, 2013

How to fill in Wood Paneling

Wood paneling. The stuff of the 1970s. The only thing worse than wood paneling is wallpaper. about wall paper covering up wood paneling.

I didn't so much mind this wallpaper. It had a kind of natural feel to it. But look down there in the lower right corner ...

That would be wood paneling painted mustard yellow. And that's what was hidden under the wall paper.

It would have been fine except for little fingers that found a tiny piece of the wallpaper and decided to pull...And I ended up with a very ugly rip tear in the somewhat acceptable wallpaper.

This all led up to one evening D being sick of it and pulling all the wallpaper off the walls, leaving me behind to scrape it all off. Good times.

I really didn't want wood paneling. But I was also afraid of what was behind the paneling. We've discovered with a house this old, that if they covered it up, there's probably a good reason for it. I didn't want to pull the paneling down and find the plaster walls in far worse shape and creating a lot more work for myself.

When I decided to fill in the wood grooves, D told me it couldn't be done. Funny, because two moves ago, he also told me wood paneling couldn't be painted. There are a couple of methods to filling in the grooves. You could use wood filler but that would be a very expensive way to do it. 

Instead, the best option is joint compound.

Prep the walls first, by using a primer. If you're starting on the glossy wood that has never been painted before, I'd recommend an oil based primer. It will adhere better. After priming the surface, the messy fun begins.

With the putty knife in hand, begin filling in the grooves with the joint compound. Just like when applying to actually drywall, do thin layers. Fill it in, scrape off. Do one layer, then let it dry for 60 minutes. Then...another layer. Let it dry again for 60 minutes. At this point, it will look like you're set and the grooves are almost gone. Don't let it fool another pass of the joint compound. That's right, THREE layers.

Next, use a fine grade of sandpaper and smooth out the walls. If you're like me, you'll have ended up with chunks of joint compound stuck in odd places.

Prime the walls again.  This will seal in the joint compound.

I didn't mind getting the primer on the trim because that brown painted trim is going away very soon.

After the primer has had time to cure, you're finally ready to paint! Happy dance!

It took me quite a bit of time to pick the color for the room. I knew I was going with something from Sherwin Williams Color Pizzazz collection. Sherwin Williams was gracious enough to provide me with the paint for this project. I love the HGTV Home paint so much. I've used it all over my house even before this. I can't wait to show off the big reception hall reveal so you can really see how these colors shine together!

From the Sherwin Williams website: 
 "Each collection highlights 20 colors that are designed to work beautifully together in any combination. All you have to do is choose the designer-inspired look you want to achieve from themes like Coastal Cool, Rustic Refined, Color Pizzazz, and more. It’s a foolproof way to create a cohesive look- in any one room or room-to-room."

In the picture above, you can see my favorite yellow...June Day, also from the Color Pizzazz collection. It's just the right yellow....not school bus and not mustard. Yellow is a color that's hard to get just evidenced by the yellow disaster this room started with!

I ended up going with a great neutral for the walls: Mindful Gray. I used it in my living room and since the reception hall and the living room are separated only by columns, keeping the same color on the walls seemed like the best idea.

The best part now is that it looks like I have nice normal flat walls instead of tacky wood paneling! It's a total win!

This project is very easy. The worst part of it being the hurry up and wait. It took me a lot longer than I had wanted because of horrible rains and super high humidity levels. It was like February in Seattle. And I live in Alabama....where February is usually like June-uary in Seattle. . . cold, overcast and miserable but not terribly rainy. All the rain made me a teensy bit homesick.

It was really hard finding pictures to show off this project without showing you the other really awesome stuff that's not done yet!

And some of those projects are going to have to wait because another set of storms is heading our way and ...D and I are taking our lives in to our own hands and going on a cruise next week. Wish us luck...and no engine fires!

linked up at:
Mop it up mondays **  busy mondays **Marvelous Mondays ** frugal crafty home **Monday Funday **project inspired ** show me what you got ** cowgirl up ** Salt Tree Social **whimsy wednesday ** winter blues ** wow us wednesday ** show me what ya got **house of hepworths ** wildly original ** creative juice ** crafty blog stalker ** your creative timeout ** keep calm and link up ** tater tots and jello ** cheerios and lattes ** weekend wonders ** create and inspire ** six sisters stuff **

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Pin'Inspiration Valentines!

It's A Lovely Day 
To Let YOU Know
WE SimplyHeart YoU.
Happy Pin'Inspiration
Valentine's Thursday
Before we jump into the loves we picked this week, here's some
 favorites my girls shared that you might fall in love with.. 
Jane not only has some fancy new buttons and looks around her blog 
you don't want to miss, but check out her lovely light dessert to 
she featured that's also cholesterol friendly.. mmmmmm!
Christine has 25 swell love recipes for you towards some romantics dinners! LOVE!
& Micki has these adorable owl appliques to melt your heart away! 
Here are the favorites from YOU!
Cheers to a GRADE A Valentine Treat! So adorable!
Yum Yum Yummy! V'day = Calories OUT the window!
This sinfully delish looking Slow Cooker Treat is 
Totally digging these Valentine Candles. It's amazingly simple & creative
these turned out ~ worth volumes.. This is simply beautiful.. 

Hope you are all as inspired
as we are by these wonderful and creative links.. 
So much was shared and SO much more to come today.. 
Before we link up the party, please follow the hosts.
♥ Please visit at least two other links and leave some comment love! 
♥If you love comments, make sure you have captcha/word verification turned off!
♥Please don't link up your etsy store or giveaway.
♥Spread the word about the party! The more the merrier! 
That means link up the party via our button or a text link.
LETS  P A R T A A A A A A Y!!! 


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Owl appliques!

Don't forget to enter the Crafters Dream HUGE Giveaway

I love owls. You wouldn't know it being in my house, but I do. I just haven't taken the time to add them anywhere other than my Christmas tree.

My neighbor, the amazing Miss Kat, brought these over to me a few weeks ago

Aren't they cute? But sadly, I didn't keep them for myself. I sent them on to a friend who loves owls as much as I do.

Since my friend and I were swapping partners, I had the chance to make her some owl things, too...and something for myself. The great part is, I'm showing both items and not telling which one I sent to her :)

That way, I'm not spoiling the surprise.

First up, we have this DARLING felt bag...with an owl applique.

The owl has some advice: Don't attempt to applique on a stiff felt purse. It will be very difficult. You may even let loose a few words you probably shouldn't because the purse won't fit under the sewing machine like you want. Always applique BEFORE the purse is put together. This will work unless, of course, you buy a premade purse like I did.

The bag is a perfect hidden "catchall" next to the front door.  I love hiding things in plain sight like this.

Next, we have this cute little pillow!

This owlie friend is very happy to meet visitors at my front door. I love the mixing and matching patterns and the button eyes. Applique on a pillowcase is much easier.

I will admit that I did not invent this little owl pattern. I found it HERE.  The only modification I made was using buttons for the pupils instead of fabric. Little Miss and I may put together some paper owls on craft day this week.

linked up at:

Sunday, February 10, 2013

A Crafter's Dream GIVEAWAY!

I am so excited to be part of a HUGE giveaway. They aren't kidding when they call it  #ACraftersDream! We have three amazing hostesses who have paired up bloggers and Etsy shop owners to create pretty much a giveaway extravaganza with a pretty awesome grand prize. Check out these fabulous bloggers and see what they have going on as part of this giveaway, too!
  The giveaway goes on all week, so there's plenty of time to visit all the bloggers and enter all of our fab giveaways!

I'm lucky enough to be paired up with a sweet Etsy Shop called SunFlowerFreckles. Laura is offering a $30 store credit that can be used towards anything in her shop or a custom order!

Like many other sewists, Laura got started because the clothes in most stores didn't fit properly on her child. Heck, that's how *I* got back in to sewing!

Laura has this to say: "Very quickly I made her way so many skirts that we ran out of hangers! Next,  I made some vest for my son and that's when I decided to start selling some of creations since I really enjoy sewing. In addition to skirts and vest, I now also make dresses, bow ties and baby shoes."

And let me tell you, bow ties just aren't for little boys. In fact, bow ties are cool.  (And if you really know WHY bow ties are cool, then you're pretty cool, too!)

Laura was sweet enough to send a few bow ties for my teens. I know, you're thinking, "Teens? Why would teens want bow ties?"

Because, as I said before, bow ties are cool. And not only that, bow ties aren't covered under the school uniform dress codes, so the kids can still show their personalities and not get an office referral for being out of uniform. It's really a win-win. 

Now wouldn't you love to have some of Laura's COOL creations for your little ones OR big kids? Check out SunFlowerFreckles and help this mama biz!

In addition to the $30 credit to SunFloweFreckles, you can also enter this  AWESOME Grand Prize, too!