i should be mopping the floor: April 2011

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Refinished Wine Crate

The new coffee table I showed you last week allowed for some great storage options. I have several of these wine crates around the house (mostly in closets filled with randoms). I am pretty fortunate to get these from my brother, the wine salesman. 

I started with just the plain box. They're a little rough, so I sanded this one down (I worked on this when I did the table, hence the background drama).

I gave it a coat of the silver paint that was leftover from this project (I didn't want to spend any money on this one).

I used the same staining method from the coffee table tutorial.

What was interesting was that when I wiped off the stain, some of the paint came off, too. I was actually okay with this. I kind of like that weathered look. It also allowed the lettering to come through nicely.


And this is how it works for us in the coffee table. 
Bada Bing, Bada Boom.
Nothin' to it, I tell ya.
And the cost....nothin'! I had everything on hand! 
; )

Linking up to the parties in my sidebar, along with the following:
Savvy Southern Style
Blue Cricket Design
Organize Your Stuff Now
Domestically Speaking

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Free Mother's Day Subway Art ~ From My Printable Panache Line

Everyone seems to request this free Mother's Day printable more than any other!
Click on the image below to download yours:
{please become a FACEBOOK FOLLOWER before downloading}


This is designed to fit an 8x10 frame, but can be printed on letter-size paper and trimmed. Fun pops of pink on top of a charcoal chevron pattern. It would make a super fun gift for all the mommas in your life!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Zucchini Macadamia Muffins

PLEASE NOTE: This is actually a post that is about a year old that I took off my family blog. I just love these muffins so much and wanted to share the recipe!!

Our muffin this week is the Zucchini Macadamia Muffin. Just Benjamin helped with it this week....while JonJon snoozed away. Our goal is to bake muffins every Monday and share a batch with friends and another with someone we don't know very well (maybe a new neighbor or whatever). 

Master egg-cracker....look at the intensity in the expression!

Grating Zucchini....I fell in love with zucchini bread when I was in college and went to Hickory Street Cafe way too much with all of my friends. We all just got the Zucchini Bread sandwich...two pieces of the bread encasing a whole lot of cream cheese. Um, wow.

These muffins turned out pretty yummy!

Zucchini Macadamia Muffins

2 cups grated zucchini (about 2 zucchini)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 (heaping) tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 3 dozen muffin (spots?) in tins with paper liners.
Combine zucchini, sugars, oil, and eggs in a large bowl and mix until combined. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Fold in nuts and extract. Divide batter between muffin (spots?). Bake until a tester inserted in the middle of each loaf comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool 10 minutes on wire rack. Remove from tins to storage...or to tummy. Makes 3 dozen.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

My Craigslist Coffee Table & Distressing Tutorial


I love distressing furniture...probably a bit too much, but that's okay. Nobody's perfect. I'm always humbled when I'm asked for my method...because it's almost too simple. I did it years ago with the china cabinet in our breakfast room (pictured in a couple of photos in this post). And on a few other pieces for our home and friends' homes, too.

I thought I'd try it again...but with a twist. 
I've been looking for a coffee table for....forevahhhhhh. We've used an ottoman that has slowly becoming a diving board platform between our couch and love seat for our kids. Mama not too pleased. Plus, our home is not open-concept, our kitchen is on its own. So, when kids wanted to draw or do a simple project, they were booted to the isolation of the kitchen table. Now, they have a spot to do those things. (Although, homework is still isolated to the kitchen!!)

Found this table on Craigslist for $20. Actually paid her $25 since she helped me haul the thing from her apartment to my truck on the other side of the parking lot. And it's real wood, so it was HEAVY!

We started with a major sanding. Truth be told, it was similar to sanding a large cigarette.
 It apparently *did* come from a smoking home. Grrr. And bringing it into my non-smoking home, it needed some serious TLC.
Here's the hubs banging out a random piece of wood that made the middle part into a cubby. Wasn't a big fan of that.

Get ready to shake your finger at me. I brought it inside to paint. It's already in the 90s here, and I knew this would be a bit time-consuming. Don't judge me, please. ; )

I painted it pure white. Not antique white....plain old white-white. Once it dried, I measured off 5-inch stripes across the area within the groove detail of this table. I taped them off with painter's tape. If they look uneven, that's the taping procedure. You're taping the outside of the stripe, so the other stripe will appear smaller as it's taped. It'll all even out when the tape is gone.

I seal off my tape when doing any kind of pattern, to avoid bleeds and create very crisp, clean lines (even though I go and distress 'em & mess 'em up later). This is fool proof. I've done it on a nursery wall of harlequin diamonds, a dining room of stripes and many other patterns. I LOVE this technique with wild passion!

Compete the sealing on each piece of tape....it doesn't take too long.
After the sealed tape dried, I painted the black paint inside the stripes.

Yes, I then hauled the thing back out to the garage for distressing (my priorities are kinda messed up sometimes....I honestly just wanted to watch Friends while I painted. And not sweat.)
Now, the FUN begins. Take your sander and mess the thing up! (Some people may not LOVE this look, so it's okay to skip if you really want to). I like to sand the edges and leave some fun marks on the main areas, too.

When done sanding, use a tack cloth and thoroughly wipe the dust off. 

This is all you'll need to antique the distress. I do this instead of glazing. Seems a bit easier and cheaper. Takes a little longer to dry, though.

Add your stain in smallish areas....like pictured below. It won't stay on long and you don't want it to dry before you can remove it. (Sounds weird, but it works).

Now, remove the majority of the stain with your paper towels. Don't be shy...just make peace with the fact that you're going to use lots of paper towels. The stain will leave behind a lovely glazed finish and some of it will remain on the bare, sanded wood. I adore that look!!

Here's what the first section looked like when done. Proceed with the rest just the same.

After all the staining and wiping. And wiping. Seal the table with polyurethene. Use non-glossy...unless you like the wet look. And there you have her!

And meet the functional side that she introduced into our lives....no more leaving laptops on couches for little people to sit on. No more books all over the living room. Remotes....controlled!

Come back next week for a quick tutorial on the wine crate pictured above.
(It helps to have an older brother who sells wine. And has boxes. Or maybe you can hit up the liquor store.)

Happy Distressing!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Chicken Fruit Salad

It's strawberry season in central Texas! We are blessed to be within an hour's drive of the best  'pick 'em yourself' strawberry patch around.


My boys love strawberries and clean their plates when we make this combination fruit & chicken salad. Seriously...they're licking the plates.

Gather your favorite fruit. I was in a rush tonight, so I grabbed the pre-cooked chicken. These are great. I used 2 6 oz. bags and all the fruit you see here.

You'll also need a bottle of Poppy Seed dressing.
This dressing is what takes the salad to the next level. I've tried the other brands, but Brianna's Poppy Seed Dressing is by far the best. 

The chicken is already chopped. So, chop up all of your fruit in bite-sized pieces. You may want to dip your banana slices in pineapple or lemon juice to keep them from turning brown. I didn't tonight, but if I'm serving this to others (besides my motley crew), I usually don't skip that step.

Toss everything in a bowl (except dressing) and mix it up gently.


Add your dressing...I use about 1/2 bottle on a large sized salad. 
Use more or less depending on your taste.

Serve with your favorite crusty bread and you've got a wonderful (& easy) springtime meal. 
It would be fabulous for Easter brunch as well. 

I did have one extra banana....and this is my favorite thing to do with those. Stick it in someone's lunch with a little note on it! Just a fun mom tip for what it's worth! ; )

Come join The Salad Social at TidyMom sponsored by The International Olive Council’s Add Some Life.

Another Goodwill Lamp Redo

I'm just *slightly* addicted to lamps. And more than that...love finding a cheapie that I can re-do. Our Goodwills always have a big selection of lamps just ripe for the re-vamping! If I can't find anything else in the store, I can always pick up a $4 lamp and find some place for it to sit in my house.

The original texture of this one was kind of interesting....a little rough, but still ceramic. It didn't require any sanding...just a good wipe down and she was ready for her paint.

I had really wanted to do the new Krylon Looking Glass paint on this lamp, but seriously couldn't find it anywhere.  So, I just went with the next best thing. And that texture was EASY to paint. Only needed two thin coats (and only used half a can!). I just taped up the cord and hardware at the top and it was an easy fix.


I added (yet another) drum shade (that could maybe be a size bigger) and she was ready. 

Linking up to my favorite parties (in my sidebar).

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Choosing Clothing for Family Photos

Buh-Bye, khaki & white. See ya later, shades of denim.
And sayonara, matchy-matchy.

Pulling family photos together is not always the easiest, but sometimes the above choices are. Making a few deliberate decisions about color choices can help your photos to stand out in a wonderful and different way.

This year, we had our wonderful friend and amazingly talented, Faith Essary of Urban Star Photography take our photos. She had a great location just outside of Austin that had a little bit of urban and a little bit of nature. It was perfect. And it's spring...so, bright colors it was!


First came my outfit. Let's face it, girls...I am not buying a photo if I'm not happy about the way I look in it. I mean the kids could both look amazing, but if I look off...not gonna happen. If momma ain't happy....

I had a crummy cancer situation in 2010 (cancer-free now...PTL!), but it left me very overweight (working on it, though). Not ideal for photos, but I had a photographer who understood my "issues" and promised to "keep me covered as much as possible". So, I layered on up...a plain blue t-shirt in a color that worked well for me. The pieces that pulled the whole thing together....my fabric pin and colorful necklace.


Taking the colors from my pin & necklace, I was able to pull everyone else's clothes from them. I put the boys in small-print patterns and left D & I in solids to avoid too much pattern. And there you have it. The neutral backgrounds worked great for our palette.

I can't wait to get all the prints I ordered from Faith back! I even splurged and ordered a mantle print!




(the blur on this one is MY fault...I used a screen shot in a hurry)



Here's hoping for lots of fabulous spring photos for all of your families, too!

If you live in the Austin, Texas area, you'll have to give my friend, Faith, a ring-ching-a-ding. She's wonderful to work with. After a 2 1/2 hour shoot, my kids were still in good moods!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Resurrection Rolls


Have you met Chiara over at Calico & Cupcakes? 
She's a doll. She is featured my recipe over there on her Friday Favorites (4.8.11 edition)
Thanks, Chiara!!

These are an "Easter Eve" tradition around our home. The "magic" of these rolls is that the marshmallow (representing Jesus's body) is gone once the baking is through. You cut open a roll to reveal an empty tomb.

One of our Bible class teachers once said that we all hang crosses on our walls (I have an entire wall of crosses...guilty!). But, to remember Christ, maybe we should hang some empty tombs around. That's the Jesus I want to think of as well. While it's important to know that He hung on that cross for all our sins, we also need to praise the one whom the grave could not hold!

  • 1 (10 ounce) can refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
  • 8 large marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.
  2. Separate crescent rolls into individual triangles.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together cinnamon and sugar.
  4. Dip a marshmallow into melted butter, then roll in sugar mixture. Place marshmallow into the center of a dough triangle. Carefully wrap the dough around the marshmallow. Pinch the seams together tightly to seal in marshmallow as it melts. Place on a baking sheet. Repeat.
  5. Bake in a preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes.