Wednesday, October 16, 2013

All that glitters is gold

I splurged on a clearance frame at Target with an idea in mind. If it didn't work out I figured I was only out $1.78. My bright idea? A gold accent frame. Something simple and subtle and to be honest, the result was exactly what I was looking for.

Start with a cheap frame, it doesn't need to be accented with a color like mine was, just have a bit of an edge so the gold paint actually shows up. Subtle but not invisible, right? Then buy yourself some gold metallic paint. You don't have to go with a tub of paint like I did, I was just saving myself a trip to the craft store since I already had plans for the home improvement store. I show a sponge brush, but really in the end I just ended up using a regular brush to avoid all the bubble/texture effect that I was getting using the sponge.

After a few coats, this is the result:

Ahhh, that's better. Simple, sweet and a touch of glam. {Sorry about the photos, they're iPhone pics!}

Friday, October 11, 2013

Hi, my name is Cheri, and I made a quilt.

Which to me, is the equivalent of running a marathon. Okay, maybe a half marathon. I finally decided enough was enough. I was going to make a quilt. I've started and schemed a few in the past, but I never actually finished them. I'm not very good at big time-consuming projects. I tend to have crafting ADD. If I can't sit down and finish something that day {or in an hour}, I lose interest and it gets lost in the closets of supplies. Sad unfinished projects haunt my craft room.

But this time would be different! And it turns out it was. Encouragement from quilter friends and instagram kept me going so much that I finished it within a few hours. Bravo me! Seriously, besides my desire for the kiddo to have a homemade quilt of her own, the reality of actually finishing a quilt is my craft success of the year. So the fact that I took so many photos to document it isn't a surprise. Here's some eye candy for you all on this chilly Friday morning. Enjoy! {Ignore the folding lines in the quilt, I'm new at this.}

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Fall for me

I headed down to the local museum/gardens to try to take some beautiful fall photos. Well, as it would turn out, the leaves aren't exactly peak yet and the kiddo didn't really want to have anything to do with it. So much for my big ideas. Here she is looking dismayed, until we found ourselves some fun rotten fruit to peel apart. She does love to destroy things.

After the meltdown was over, and the fun began, I was able to snap a few photos of her. Not too many of them looking at the camera of course.

Regardless, it was a beautiful autumn day, and we made the most of it. In our own separate ways.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

This old foreclosed home: a coat of paint covers all sins

So maybe a coat of paint doesn't cover all the sins of ignoring exterior maintenance, but it sure helps. This poor house sat sad and alone for who knows how long, so it's safe to say the exterior was ignored. Since we finished 98% of the interior build/projects, this summer has been all about the outdoors. We've taken back control of the landscaping, laid a bunch of rocks and torn out a lot of weeds, but we still have finish work to do like leveling out areas and planting grass.

Our shed and barn need a majority of the work as well, and at this point we're still trying to decide if we keep and repair the old, or we knock it down and replace it with something we really want, that functions the way we need it to. Tough decisions like that usually get weighed on the budget scale...

Another glaring problem was all the ignored wood around the place. Our back stairs off the sunroom were about to be replaced until we decided to try a product called 'Deckover' by Behr. You can find it at Home Depot. It's like painting with cake batter. Thick and stinky, but it goes on well and fills in gaps and holes. Once we did that, it seemed like the steps were fine! They'll last a few more years anyway, until we've stopped hemorrhaging money and a couple hundred dollars to fix some steps doesn't seem like a big deal.

Since that worked so well, I decided the front porch could use a coat. Plus, it was a nice color that matched our brown trim{not my favorite, but oh well}, Dark Walnut. After a good wire brush scraping to remove built-up mold and peeling old paint, I shopvacced the area, removed all the leaves and went to work.

Here's a quick before and after comparison. I should have taken a few close-ups to show the worn out state of the place, but this will have to do. Trust me, after your porch/deck has been ignored for probably ten years, it's going to look sad. So now we have this updated and clean porch to walk onto every day! I love that the exterior white primer/paint combo I used for the railings really makes them pop. You didn't really notice there was a porch there before! Another side thing happened during the project that affected the look as well. Our oil tank leaked and we had to have it replaced. At that time we decided to move it across the basement like we wanted {if we're paying for it anyway!} and remove the ugly stinky pipes from the front sidewalk. They're now lovely and tucked away on the side of the house behind a bush. Not sure why they were in the walkway in the first place anyway! For now my potted mums are hiding the patch of concrete and the chopped pipes that we'll have to fix.

Another quick project I decided to tackle while I had all the supplies handy was painting the front porch columns. It wasn't that time-consuming, but I think it makes the whole mix of white and brown trim look a little more planned. Plus, they were worn as well and needed a little tlc before they became too bad to save. So just an hour or so and a few coats of white paint freshened everything up a bit. Now the sidewalk just needs a good powerwashing and we'll be ready for winter...

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Play day project day

Yesterday was a stay home and play kind of day. Play for her, work for me anyway. God gave me one last week of nice weather to finish off all those exterior painting projects I've been procrastinating on. Thanks Lord, I'll get right on that.

We did, however, manage to play most of the time she was awake and save the majority of the painting for the nap hours. Turns out, giving a 2 year old a paintbrush and asking her to help isn't exactly smart. Especially if neither of you are wearing painting clothes.

So, after an epic meltdown when I took the brush and paint away, I decided it was time to have some inside {washable} painting time. This girl does love to paint. She gets that from me I suppose. Here's my little artist taking her work very seriously:

And a new tool. Everyone loves exploring new ways to create. I'd like to explore a nap right about now, but back to those gnarly outdoor projects! I'll have some before and afters for you soon. It's amazing what a coat {or two or three} of paint can do...

Delicious Desserts: Paleo-friendly crepes

So the switch to Paleo eating hasn't been easy. Mostly I find recipes that help me eat like I used to, without the guilt. Enter, the paleo tortilla. Easy to make if you can find the ingredients, and delicious to boot. I made mine all sweet like with fruit and maple syrup, but you could fill these with eggs and ham for breakfast or turkey and cheese for lunch. I also tried a few different combos: almond butter with bananas, drizzled with honey instead of maple syrup; almond butter with strawberries and honey; blueberry yogurt and bananas with maple syrup. All incredibly tasty.

I should mention, we're doing some dairy on Paleo, so don't judge ;) The whipped cream is probably frowned upon. Poor whipped cream. Is it a crime to be so delicious?

You can find the recipe here. Or PinIt here.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Bravo for breakfast: paleo-friendly apple cider pancakes and baked apples

First of all, don't these look amazing? Second, they were easy. Which in my world is the only word I even bother with.

Here's all the info to make your own:

Apple Cider Paleo Pancakes

1 cup almond meal
2 eggs
1/4 cup apple cider
2 tbs coconut oil
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbs honey {I opted out of this since my cider was fairly sweet}

Mix all ingredients together and prepare on a skillet like you would any other pancakes.

Baked Apples

6 apples, peeled and sliced {your choice, but I used Macouns}
2 tbs cinnamon
1-2 tbs ghee {or butter, softened}
1-2 tbs honey

Mix all ingredients in an oven-safe casserole dish or glass baking dish. Bake at 350ยบ for 1 hour or until apples are soft. Make sure you stir the mixture 1-2 times during baking.

That's it. These are both so simple to do and absolutely tasty. Mmm mm. Let's hear it for breakfast!
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