Thursday, August 28, 2014

An armoire gets a new lease on life

When I decided to remodel the great room, I knew that even though we could've bought new everything, we didn't need to.  We already bought a new couch and loveseat, an area rug and installed new flooring.  I had to repurpose what we already had and since our armoires and tables all had classic lines, I decided to jump into chalk paint world.

I had big plans for the smaller armoire in the cave like landing just above our stairs.  Here's what she looked like before...


The honey colored stain had oranged up over the years and it was time to go.  Chalk paint allows you to not have to prep the surface with stripping or sanding so all I had to do was slap on a few coats of paint.  I used Annie Sloan Pure White for the outside and shelves and for the inside, I used the Paris Grey.


That backboard was made of thin luan, which meant unless I wanted to tear it off and keep the back open and have things drop behind the thing, I'd need to paint it.  Well, I wanted a driftwood slat look to the back but I couldn't use anything like even thin wood because the thickness and eventual weight would put too much stress on the flimsy board.

My solution?

Balsa wood.


Balsa wood is incredibly light and incredibly fragile.  It's typically used for model airplanes or other hobbies.  I know the Mr thought I was nuts for doing this but I assured him it would be all good.  I got some Annie Sloan clear wax and waxed each slat before applying any paint.  When the wax was dry, I carefully buffed it and then measured where that particular piece was going to go.  I'd mark it and then paint about 1" further out from the measurement line.  I started with the Paris Grey.


Now...here is where one of the great mysteries of life comes in.  All of the friggin' pics I took of the process have vanished.  I have gone through every folder of nine different memory cards and nothing.  I'm 99% sure I took pics of this but you're going to have to bear with me as I describe the rest of this process.

After painting the slat grey, I waxed the slat, waited for it to dry and made a white wash solution in a plastic cup with one tablespoon of pure white and three tablespoons of water.  I brushed on the white wash, let it set up for about one minute then used a paper towel to lightly wipe the watered down paint off of the slat.  When I got it aged to a look I liked, I would clear wax the slat and repeat the process.

When it was time to line up the slats, I used wood glue on the back to make a squiggly line up and down the back and applied it to the luan backer board.  I will say this was the most irritating part of the process because the balsa wood wanted to pop away from the luan at the ends.  So I had to either stand there for about five minutes holding the ends or find something like pints and quarts of paint to lean up against them as they dried.

Even though my measuring was precise, there were still very small gaps on the left side, so I used a piece of trim we were using for another process to score a straight line and glue the balsa trim vertically on either side to give a finished look.


One of my favorite details of this project aside from the slats on the back was something the Mr was vehemently against.  I told him I wanted to use old vintage keyhole escutcheons around the knobs for some character.  He wrinkled his nose and said he didn't know.  I said tell me if he thought it was a bad idea and he said it was a bad idea.  The more I thought about it, the more I knew I wanted them, found some on Etsy that I loved and at the time I mentioned it, there were four.  When I defied the Mr's protests, only two were left so I snagged them.  They were a little worse for wear with paint on the edges and a bit of rust overtaking the brass...


But nothing a little sanding, spray paint and glaze in my colors couldn't fix.


They are my second favorite detail and the Mr agrees he was wrong and really loves the way they look.


 I'll reiterate that...the Mr said he was wrong.  He hasn't questioned my design vision since then.  HA!

I also spray painted the hinges so it all looked cohesive and distressed the armoire to give it a more vintage look.


Since this one isn't near a heat source, I decided to use the clear wax on it to seal the whole thing.

Then it was time to decorate it with some fresh flowers, antiques from Napa and other vintage hunts.


To say I love it is an understatement.

It was, at times, a pain in my rump but so worth it and it's one of a kind.  No one else has this and every time I look at it, I smile.  I know we'll enjoy this for many more years to come and it probably cost about $100 between the paint, wood and hardware.  Not bad considering we paid $900 for it originally and I plan to get the same amount of time out of it in its second life as I did the first one.

I love seeing a vision come to life!

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Twas movie night, y'all

The Mr got a coupon from the local video store for rent one, get one free, which means...we're there dude.



We perused the new and new-ish releases and decided on Blended and Single Mom's Club.  I love Adam and Drew together but heard some not so great things about it so I went in cautiously optimistic.  Single Moms Club was a total trailer hook so we settled in with some TJ's lite kettle corn.  I didn't realize it until after we started Blended but our movies had Wendi Mclendon-Covey in common which only made me want The Goldbergs to come back on sooner than later.

Blended -  We weren't even an hour in and wanted to turn it off.  How sad that the chemistry seems to have fizzled between these two.  How we longed for The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates Adam and Drew.  I think it was the addition of annoying children and completely idiotic situations that just tanked it for us.  We waited around for it to get better.  The African band that kept singing at poignant times...I wanted to kick them all in the coconuts and Kevin Nealon, oh man.  The Mr said he cheapens everything he's in and sadly, that applied to his role in this one.  It was hard to watch him so I tried not to.  But thankfully the last third of the movie got funnier, sweeter and a little more emotional.  It didn't pull it completely out of the toilet but it got rim high by the end when they FINALLY unleashed the chemistry.  The gag reel was good so watch that if you rent it.


Single Moms Club- I felt like for once we didn't get trailer duped.  Sassy, funny and all of the things you come to expect from a Tyler Perry flick.  I was horrified to see the lead singer of the African band from Blended was also in this movie and just as annoying and sing songy.  I tried to shake it off and enjoy the rest of the flick.  Of course it also had its lessons and serious side.  I couldn't help but think of my own mom who became a member when I was 8 years old.  She did it on a retail job salary, pop squat child support she rarely got on time from a dude who could afford double and made sure I had everything I needed and many things I wanted.  I was also glad I didn't give her the kind of grief these brats gave these women.  She's thanked me for that more than a few times.  Toward the end, it got a little preachy and felt like an Oprah show but it wasn't too bad.

Hats off to all of you single moms out there!

Rent any good (or bad) movies lately?

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Chipotle Egg Salad

In my quest to get the Mr's protein up to par, I made a dish that is easy to make and big on flavor.  He seriously flipped for this and is awaiting my next batch.


Traditional egg salad uses mayo and I like mine that way too but I wondered how hummus would taste as the binder.  In addition to more flavor and less sodium, you get more product for the same calories.  Yes please!

Chipotle Egg Salad
Makes 3 servings

6 eggs
2 tbsp red pepper hummus
1 serving La Costena Chipotle Peppers and 1 1/2 tbsp of the adobo sauce

So I started with cold water, brought the eggs to a boil then turned them off...


...and totally forgot about them for two hours.  Amateur.

So what should've been gleaming, perfectly peeled hard boiled eggs looked like birds had pecked them.


Yes, I know all the tricks and the vinegar and all that jazz but in the end it doesn't matter because it's all getting hacked up anyway so vanity went out the door.

I opened a can of La Costena Chipotles in adobo sauce.


I grabbed my red pepper hummus. (Sabra has the same nutritional info if you have that in your area)


I got to hackin' the eggs.


I seeded and diced two large peppers.


I added the peppers, 1 1/2 tbsp of the adobo sauce and 2 tbsp. of the hummus.


Give it a goodly stir until combined.


Wrap it in a lettuce cup, top your favorite salad, melt a thin slice of cheese over it on a slice of sprouted bread or whatever your little heart desires!


Nutritional Info per serving:  Calories  174  Total Fat 12g Sat Fat 4g Poly Fat 2g Mono Fat 4g  Cholesterol 372mg, Sodium 309mg  Potassium 138mg Total Carbs 4g  Fiber 1g Sugars 1g  Protein 13g  Vitamin A 22%  Calcium 4%  Iron 10%

Linked up with:  Sand and Sisal,  Yesterfood, Home Stories A to Z, The Crafty Blog Stalker,  Mabey She Made It
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Monday, August 25, 2014

Ambitious plans

Oh ambitious plans, where art thou?

I remember we said we were going to get the house back in order...

*looks around*

Yeah...that didn't happen.

It's not that we didn't want to.  Or that we didn't attempt to.  But you know how you redo your space and realize, "holy crap, without all of the pictures taking up most of the armoire space, we have no decor."  Well, Fall decorating season is basically a week away and I wasn't going to decorate for our "regular" look and then take it all down in a week so we had to look for autumn accoutrements.  Luckily I knew of a few places that had a plethora of items and after lots of internet searches as well as some local shopping, I got goodies.



But first, I had to decorate the armoire for the "after" pic on how I re-purposed that particular one so that started at 11:30pm on Saturday because obviously, I'm insane.  Earlier that evening, I had to buy D rings for a window that is getting hung and then I spied some cone flowers in gorgeous Fall colors and well, those had to be bought.  It was a moral imperative.  Darnedest thing though, the middle part poked me pretty hard and I had an allergic reaction to it.  So that meant I wouldn't be the one planting them.  I'd grown tired of the hodge podge of perennials that we've planted over the years.  Some would come back up, others gave me the bird from the great beyond.  The Mr transplanted the hostas to the back and got the new plants in the ground.  Now we must remember to water them.  Mmm hmm.

There was an autumn mantel project that sounded so easy when I thought of it and I got going on it and it took ALL day Sunday (in between doing other things) and I could sense the Mr's disappointment but I wasn't going to move the table back in only to sprawl out crafting materials on it.  We still need to let it cure for a week so VERY light eating on it then nothing else.

The Mr was helping some friends of ours with computer issues and when he came back, I had dinner ready for him...


Turkey burger that shrunk up to the size of a slider (look how ridiculous that normal sized bun looks!) stuffed with a laughing cow and a grilled half sweet potato with a slight drizzle of coconut syrup.  Twas delish!

I'm hoping we'll have better luck this week getting the house back together because I'm mentally just done.

How was your weekend?

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Friday, August 22, 2014

Inching toward remodel finish and what I'm reading this week

It's Friiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii-daayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!

*Insert booty poppin' dance here*  (I refuse to call it twerking.)

Yesterday I was quite productive.  I hacked up a bamboo valance, thought I broke it, saved it, hung it in a weird way and used unconventional ties that allowed me to fix a crooked and off balance valance hang job.  (That is one letter off from being very dirty)  I'll share it with you when I take the final pic.

I did a Fall project and in an attempt to do it an easy way, it turned into the hard way of course and I was just ready to slap it up on the front door.  I got some hangers spray painted and the Mr is going to take care of those for me today since I want to get our curtains up.  I'll be finishing up the table today and hopefully have it moved in tonight or tomorrow.  I can't wait to be done with the big stuff!  Par-tay y'all!

But enough of that jazz, let's get to...


Train Like a Badass: American Ninja Warrior Kacy Catanzaro's Workout Tips  (Commencing badassedness in 3...2...)

Dog Catches Fox Playing With Her Toy, Is Less Than Thrilled About It   (The cuteness..I die)

Dave Grohl rules  (As if I need another reason to love him)

5 Cardio Myths You Need to Stop Believing  (Fer real, yo)

10 Chores You Can Whip Through During Commercials  (Cleaning during commercials, novel idea!)

10 Struggles Of Having An Excellent Memory  (Yep, the Mr can attest to this about me)

10 ways you're sabotaging your workout  (Agree with some, not with others but this is called what I'm reading, not what I'm agreeing with so...there's that.)

17 Reasons Why You Secretly Can’t Wait For Summer To End  (Are you kidding?  I'm crackin' open my pumpkin now and have fall decor on the front door!)

Real Women Dish on What Works For Weight Loss  (Great stories!)

40 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About HGTV  (Good stuff.   I may or may not have it on right now.  I do.)

Social Security strategies that can boost your income  (Very good tips!  Video starts on landing)

Yes, Google Maps is tracking you. Here’s how to stop it  (Cue Rockwell.  Good for you if you didn't have to Google the reference)

New 'Scooby-Doo' Movie 'Curses' Daphne From Size 2 to Size 8  (That's a size 28 and I know because I used to be it.  This is disgraceful.  Evidently you're cursed if you're over a size 8 and if you are, you resemble a sumo suit!?!?!)

Chris Pratt Visits Children's Hospital Los Angeles in Costume as Star-Lord From Guardians of the Galaxy   (As if I need another reason to celeb crush.  I'll take him over Gosling any day)

Six Questions to Ask Yourself Before You DIY  (Points to ponder)

WTF Does It Really Mean to "Listen to Your Body?"  (Listening to it now and my injury seems to be healing quite nicely)

What Should I Do With My Old, Orphaned 401(k)s?  (Don't forget you've got 'em!)

Sleep Hack: Keep Your Feet Outside Your Covers!  (But...but...what if the boogey man grabs my foot!?)

Remembering Robin  (Written by "Natalie" from Mrs Doubtfire.  Wonderful account of his humanity)

David Letterman Honors Robin Williams With Moving 10-Minute Tribute on The Late Show  (Tissues toward the end.)

Surprising Robin Williams/Star Trek Connections  (Pretty sweet behind the scenes stuff!)

Robin Williams laid to rest  (I may have never met you but your passing has affected me as much as your wonderful life.  Thank you for blessing our lives with laughter and lessons.)

25 Future Stars who appeared on Are You Afraid of the Dark?  (Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society...)

No real plans yet for the weekend.  I'd like to get some projects finished and start getting the house back to its final state.  (Until I get my hands on it for Fall decorating!)

What are you fine people getting into this weekend?

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Molding, eats and mental tape

It's almost Friday!  We should just rename Thursday to Almost Friday.  All in favor say "aye."  

Yesterday was a good day for some progress on the home project front.  I got my molding for our pass thru to the kitchen painted, distressed and waxed.   So it just needs to have some D rings attached to the back to be hung.  But first I need to take down the current bamboo blind over it, fill the holes and try to get it to not look horrid.  I'm really dreading that part because I don't want there to be some wonky patch job that I can't smooth out.  Fingers crossed!

Yesterday was full of yummy eats.  I forgot to get a pic of breakfast but it was basically like below:


I had the crustless quiche, low sodium cottage cheese, a small nana with 1 tbsp of peanut butter, green tea and a clementine.

Lunch was...


Tuna fish lettuce wraps, cantaloupe with grapes, veggies with 1 tbsp dip and an apple with 2 tbsp PB2 for dippin'.  I wish tuna wraps held me longer.  I was ready to eat my hand by workout time.

We did Fitness Blender's Day 2 of some challenge they're doing this week.  I was kind of irritated I burned less than my required 400 calories but I was sticking with my 10 lb cap with the free weights to see how much my lame arm could take.  So far, so good.  I may actually be able to try 10's and 15's tomorrow.  But I'll take 375 calories if I have to in order to keep my injury on track to healing.

*kicks pebble*

Dinner was orange roughy over homemade coconut milk lime brown rice and a side of Brussels.


I haven't been sleeping well lately.  The other night, I finally got to sleep about 2:15am and at 4am it sounded like Mother Nature was bombing the place.  I hate Earth shattering, wall shaking, knick knacks about to fall off shelves kind of stuff.  I need to stop watching TV in bed.  I tape the Tonight Show so there's no reason for me to watch it in bed.  Then I turn off the TV and listen to the tape in my head

"You really need to go to sleep.  *insert list of 50 things that are random, stupid and keeping me awake* You need to learn to relax.  Look at the Mr, he's been asleep since 4.25 seconds of rolling over.  Rat bastard.  Maybe I can warm my toes on the back of his knees and bring up my body temp to get in sleep mode.  Oh, did I wake you?  Good.  I mean...oops.  Let me flip on my other side.  My arm is going numb laying that way.  Why did we buy this mattress?  I'm not much more comfortable than I was before. *Find myself almost drifting to sleep when I hear a loud shift*  Why does the house settle like that?  Is the house going to get swallowed by a sinkhole?  I wonder what I would land on if I fell through to the kitchen?  I would scrape my hip on a French door fridge all the way down.  That would hurt.  Is that a 8" spider lowering on to my face!??!  *swat-swat-swat*  Nope, just my lucid state of mind that let's my vision play tricks on me.  Thanks a lot whatever ancestor passed that down.  My leg itches.  *scratch-scratch*  Oh damn, I'm like a Sasquatch.  When was the last time I shaved my legs?  If you can't remember, it's probably been too long.  The Mr will mistake me for a man if he feels this.  I'll have to sharpen the blades on the John Deere.  What's that noise?  Ice maker?  Hot water heater?  Chupacabra?  I wonder if...."  Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Do you have a problem getting to sleep?  If so, do you play your own tape in your head that keeps you awake?

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

My week thusfar

Well, summer sure came back with a vengeance in our neck of the woods!

I was hoping to do a little more walking this week to give my arm a rest but still get in cardio but us curly hair girls only look like this in heinous humidity...

(Google image search)
Last night we did Shaun T's T25 Focus Cardio which is quite a calorie burner for 25 minutes.  I think I burned 615 calories in that time and then we added some lower body stretching afterward to round me up to 730 calories total.  We've agreed that yoga will be an add on instead of a main event so it'll come after workouts like Shaun T's or Turbo Fire HIIT's.  I hope to get it in 2-3 days a week.  Despite not using any weights with that workout, I was still pretty sore afterward and had to ice my shoulder.  Good God man, I'm fallin' apart!  Today is probably the first day my arm feels about 90% better and I'm going to give light weights a go tonight; nothing higher than 10 lbs.  If I feel any kind of strain or numbness, I'll cut back to 5 lbs to see if it is doable and go from there.  If I'm relegated to 1 lb. peanut butter jars like I was the other night, then so be it.

Today the Mr and I finished up the last of our quiche.


It was quite yummy and I'm sure we'll be adding that to the rotation.

I started work on my molding so I'm thinking I can get to sanding today and hopefully get a coat or two of paint on there.  I've gotta see if that damn spot on the leg of my table has finally taken paint or if I'm going to have to tell people it's "character."  Regardless, I need to get poly on it so we can bring it in.  I think the top has cured as much as it's going to in a hotbox garage that heats up to 1000 degrees now.  I want to have people over soon and having a place to sit is usually a plus.

I'm also getting the urge to bake and cook.  It happens like clockwork this time of year.  I've even started testing some recipes for the fall.

I'm ready!

How's your week going?  

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