Monday, February 29, 2016

Happy Leap Day

I'm so happy my birthday doesn't fall on a Leap Day...that'd be sad. I know some might think it's special, but I don't think I'd like having to have a "fake" birthday in order to celebrate.

It was another gorgeous weekend in California. I just love it when the hills are green! When they are sitting against the blue sky the colors are just gorgeous. Last week I had a dentist appointment and on my way home I pulled over to take some pictures of the views on one of my favorite roads to drive on around here.

Isn't it beautiful?!?!

As you can see by the trees, Spring is really in bloom.

We were sitting at a stop light on Sunday when I looked over and saw all these beautiful colors.

We spent the weekend the same way we typically do.  Running around, doing this and that.  Saturday Kent and I went out to get new reading glasses for him.  He has dollar store readers stashed all over the house, but he's finally getting a real pair. Thankfully the sweet sales girl was able to help us find a pair we liked.

Of course I had to take a picture to send to the kids.

We also looked at new sunglasses.

It'd been a while since we'd been to one of our favorite eateries, so we grabbed Katie and headed out to Five Guys.  I don't like burgers so much, but I do LOVE a good Cajun fry.

And YES...I like mayo AND ketchup with my fries.


And then there's Five Guys answer to the Mexican restaurants chips.

Sunday lunch selfie.

Can someone please tell my why teens can take selfies ALL DAY LONG  and it's perfectly acceptable, but when adults do it we get "Tweeted" about????

Here's to a great week ahead!
Happy Monday friends!!!!


Friday, February 26, 2016

Friday Favorites
(first edition)

Happy Friday!!!

Today I'm trying something new and linking up with some other blogs I love to follow for their Friday Favorites series. 

I don't know about you, but I've had a busy week. A lot of weeks I don't have as much on my plate, but this week I actually had several things going on. 

Once again I'm faced with yet another friend moving away.  She has been a part of several social circles I've been blessed to be in and is such a sweet friend. I'm really going to miss her and her precious family. (Love you Angela!)  Last night I had a group of women over for a little dessert send off.  I didn't get pictures of the group, but I did think to take pictures of these yummy beauties before everyone arrived and we dug in. Friends leaving is definitely not on my list of favorites, but dessert sure enough is.

Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Oreo Pie
 This is yet another recipe I can credit to Pinterest. Here's the link to this recipe. It's easy and DELICIOUS!! If you are a chocoholic like me, this is one you'll want to try. 

 Creme Brulee
I combine a couple of recipes to come up with this one and I'll share the recipe in a future post.
Oh that yummy, crunchy, sugary top!!!

Sweet little baby cuddles.

This little guy is just too sweet and there's nothing quite like holding a precious little baby. His skin is like velvet and most likely chapped now that I've smothered him in kisses.

I came across this on...wait for it...PINTEREST

It pretty much sums up a lot of my life and made me kind of giggle. I know there are bunch of my "procraftinating" sisters out there. 
Keep that creativity going!!!

$5 Fill your cup
That's right, this girl loves her some frozen yogurt and on Fridays they have $5 fill your cup. This works out great for me because I love the peanut butter topping and I'm pretty sure it weighs a ton. Kent and I go and I "build" the perfect cup, and we share. Want to know the secret???
You've got to put some peanut butter topping, hot fudge and almonds in the bottom of the cup before you start with the yogurt. 

So there you have it, five of my favorites. What are some of yours? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below.

Hope you have a wonderful, relaxing weekend!


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Island Makover

Happy Hump Day!!!!

For over a year I've been trying to get up the courage to paint my kitchen island. We have a lot of dark wood in our kitchen between the cabinets and floors and the island was like a giant weight sitting right in the the middle of the floor. Painting any kind of furniture always makes me nervous because once you start...there's no going back. I also had to do a little work on my husband to get him on board.  For inspiration and examples I went to and found some gorgeous photos of painted islands that were a contrast to the cabinets to help make my case. Painted cabinetry with a contrast in an island is a HUGE trend in homes right now. I love the look of all the grey painted cabinetry I'm seeing, but with all the colors and warm tones we already have in place in our home that wasn't an option for us.

Several months ago I came across an idea I liked on a blog I read called Southern Hospitality (thanks Rhoda!) Beadboard wallpaper. She had used the wallpaper on cabinetry and walls in her home. I found it at Lowe's and started by using it on a smaller piece of furniture to get my feet wet and what do you know? It worked like a charm!!!

Ok, back to the island.

Here's how it looked before I worked up my courage and took a paint brush to it.

Here are most the supplies I used. I forgot to include a can of Dirtex. You use it to clean off the cabinets before you begin. 

If you aren't familiar with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, lets just say you should be. I've been using it for a couple of years and love it. It's not the cheapest paint and you have to purchase it from a "Stockist" but it works well and requires no prep work. Yep, no sanding, priming or stripping. Perfect for a girl like me who wants to jump right in. It's my paint of choice these days for making over everything from picture frames, to lamps, to candlesticks, to furniture, to crafting. The options are endless.
There are lots of great tutorials on both YouTube and Pinterest if you want to start using it.  I did a lot of research in the form of  watching & reading before I started using it. I'll give you an overview, but I'd recommend checking out some more detailed videos/tutorials if you plan give it a try.

I (well Kent) took the doors and hinges off to make it easier. Be sure you keep your doors marked or in the order they hang so can you put them back where they came from. We also made sure to use the same hinges and screws in the same places.

Kent added the beadboard wallpaper and trimmed out the ends while I started on the painting. We bought some wide trim and he used a miter box to cut it and wood finish nails to attach it. It looks great! Totally transforms the ends to a much more custom look. Pays to have an architect with an eye for finish details when you're doing a project like this.

The first coat or two of paint look kind of scary but just keep going, it will get better. 


I used 2 colors. First, 2 coats of Country Grey and then for the base of the island I did 3 additional coats of Old White. The doors took about an additional 5 coats of Old White over the Country Grey. I did really thin coats using just a tiny bit of water on the tips of my brush to thin it and sanded with super fine 120 grit sandpaper between each coat. After sanding I'd vacuum the dust and then also wipe over it with a blue shop paper towel like in the picture of supplies.

I painted the inside of the doors as well, but didn't do quite as many coats. This was with the Country Grey before starting the Old White.

Here's a tip I picked up on Pinterest...the rubber band gives you a place to wipe off your brush and keeps your can from getting all messy.  

After you finish painting and do a final sanding you have to use a Clear Wax (I use the Annie Sloan) to seal and protect the paint.  It will deepen the color a little and leave it with a soft, smooth finish. I put 2 coats of wax on the doors and island base. You brush it on with a wax brush and then lightly wipe over it with an old t-shirt or blue paper towel. (I learned about the blue towels in a cabinet painting class I took.  I'll always use them now that I know about them) Unfortunately I think by the time I got to the waxing steps I was so ready to be finished I forgot to take any pictures of that process. 

And here's the finished product. I LOVE IT!!!!

I hadn't put the knobs back on yet because I wanted to give the wax a few days to cure.

Here's the end all trimmed out.  It's 100% improvement.

Start to finish this took me about 5 days with all the dry time between coats.

I'm so happy I finally decided to do it. It really transforms the look of our kitchen and brightens it up.

If you've got a piece of furniture you want to update, GO FOR IT!!!  The feeling of accomplishment is wonderful!

I've got a couple more projects lined up to do pretty soon.

I'll keep you posted.


Monday, February 22, 2016

Weekend Recap

Another weekend has come and gone. We had a fun time just goofing around with no demands on our time. It's so nice to have the luxury of time occasionally. The biggest score of the weekend was that Katie decided to spend the day with us on Saturday. #soakupeveryminute She had planned to go hiking with friends but left her tennis shoes at school, so that coupled with me saying we were thinking about going to Walnut Creek for the afternoon (which 99% of the time means Chick Fil A) meant a win for mom and dad. #whateverittakes 

Before we left the house Katie was trying to teach me the "art of the selfie". I hope to eventually work up my nerve and do some fashion posts so I'd better learn how to get a good selfie.
I think I'd better keep working on it.

Katie and I always get a kids meal and turn in our toy for an ice cream cone
For years (when my kids were little) I didn't know about this trick, but lets just say once we figured it out...we had a plan for life!
You might wonder what's the big deal about going to Chick Fil A? Well for the 3 years we were in MN there were NONE. WHAT? I know, CRAZY! and the closest one to us now is 30 minutes away.
Rumor has is we're getting one much closer and we can't wait!!! There's something about walking into a CFA that just feels like home to us. So particularly when we are missing our southern roots, we head out for some "comfort food"

Of course after lunch we hit up some of our favorite retail establishments.  With this being Katie's Senior year we need to start looking for prom dresses and dresses for senior banquet and graduation.

This is our first effort and since neither of these will probably be "the one" I'll share pics...they were both beautiful dresses♥

Keep your fingers crossed and wish us luck!

As usual I forgot to take pictures of a lot of our day. Like our usual stop at Starbucks when she's along. Somehow she thinks if she graces us with her presence we should then treat her to Starbucks.

This adorable alley runs between some of the stores in the shopping area. It makes you feel like you're walking down a little alley in Italy.
So the only picture I managed to get of Kent was a really silly one during the selfie expedition
Poor guy spent the day doing whatever his girls wanted.

The rest of the weekend was pretty low key. Church on Sunday and tried out a new little Chinese place for lunch. Katie had to work the rest of the day so we went over to the outlets and did a lap around under the guise of getting in a little exercise. wink, wink

I did come home with these

 because when I made the last batch of Oreo truffles this happened...
I made a double boiler out of this Pyrex measuring bowl (which I've done in the past) but this time it got STUCK and WOULD. NOT. COME. OUT!!!!!

We tried everything we could think of to separate them. Reheated the water, let it soak totally submerged, turned it upside down and let all the water drain out (it would drain, but the suction wouldn't break lose).  We thought it was going to come down to Kent and a hammer beating it into submission. His last ditch effort was to spray cooking spray around the edges, and dag-on-it if that didn't do the trick!

So now with my new bowls I can make a double boiler and not worry about it getting stuck together.

Hope you had a great weekend and your week is off to a wonderful start!


Friday, February 19, 2016

Three Little Words

This week I've been painting my kitchen island. (More to come on that in another post.)  At the onset of this idea my husband wasn't 100% sure about it, and honestly I was a little hesitant too.  I knew once I started it there was no turning back.  Anyway, fast forward to yesterday when it was all finished. (and I LOVE IT!!!) Kent looked at it and said, "You were right".  Ahhhh...three little words.  As I was thinking about that statement I started thinking about quite a few other statements I love to hear that are "three little words". 

 I Love You
 You're NOT fat
Have some chocolate
 Let's eat out
 You're my favorite
 It's on sale
 You're the best

And even my new favorite coffee mug even has three little words.

Think Positive!!!

What are your favorite "three little words"?  I'd love to know.

Happy Friday!!!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

What I'm loving this week

Saturday night we went to the mall to look around and have dinner.  I have had my eye on a knife at Williams Sonoma for a loooong time.  I first saw it on Pioneer Woman and fell in love with it.  So why have I waited so long to get it??? The thing was $150. WHAT...for a knife?  Yep! Well, since it's basically against my religion to pay full price for anything I started the waiting game.  Whenever we would go to the mall Kent would ask me if I wanted to go "visit my knife". He's so funny!  So we went in to gaze upon it, and...wait for it...IT WAS ON SALE!!!! $79.99 #majorscore,  I was so excited! They had one left in stock, so I guess you could say it was meant to be.  Want to know the best part?  I had $50 in gift cards. So I walked out of there (really I wanted to skip) with my $150 knife and it only cost me $38. #thatshowiroll  I was texting with my friend (Hi Julie) and told her about my purchase.  She wanted to know why a knife was so much and did it cut things all by itself. She's a hoot.
Isn't it a thing of beauty? It cuts like a dream.  I may have an unnatural love for it. Link below..

So what else am I loving???

Katie and I walked Monday when she was off from school.  It was a gorgeous day in the 70's here in CA.  (Sorry for those of you in colder climates right now)  The route we frequently take is an old country road right near our house which is now in a highly developed area.  When you're on the road though you'd think you were out in the country.  We pass this barn and I just love it.  I also have a weird love affair with old barns. 

And just a little down the road from this barn we often see cows. 

On this particular day we also saw a bunch of jack rabbits. If you've never seen one, they are these weird rabbits with really long ears and legs.  We tend to see a lot more of those than the normal bunnies we are used to.

Hope you are having a good week so far.  Happy Hump Day!

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