Friday, February 26, 2016

Small Change...BIG Impact...

I am a firm believer that a small change in a home can lead to a BIG impact.  When redoing areas of our home, I look for things that I think will make the most difference and give us the most "bang for our buck"....like....a light fixture!

The entry of our home is rather small so I wanted to change something in this area that would really make a difference to the feel of our home when you walk in.  Instead of looking around, I decided to look up...up to the contractor grade light fixture hanging from the ceiling.


When we looked at this house, I knew there were some contractor grade fixtures that would be changed...primarily the light fixtures.  While there is absolutely nothing wrong with these light fixtures, I wanted something that would make more of a personal statement about us and our home.  I believe that light fixtures give our home a little extra personality.

Over the weekend, I found this light at a local lighting store.


I knew immediately it was the one for me.  You know, that love at first sight deal!

The hubster quickly installed this beautiful light for me (bad cell phone pic, but cute hubster).  It didn't take him long at all and you do not have to be an electrician to change out a light fixture.  You just have to be safe...as in, turn off the circuit breaker, do your best to keep your wife from squealing while you are on the ladder and don't let her shake the ladder hold the ladder steady for you.


Our entry now has a totally different feel and totally different look!


Small change, BIG impact!!


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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Milk Stool Makeover: A Create and Share Challenge

I have a love/hate relationship with stools.  While I am not the best DIYer out there, it seems that every time I decide to tackle a project, it is a stool of some sort.

To refresh your memory, I am 1 for 2 in this department.  There was the Stool Pigeon epic failure and then the successful French Provincial project.  This project seems to be successful in that the paint and wax are all in the right places and I didn't have to assemble or stencil anything!  If I were a brave person, I would have tried a nice stencil on top, but why tempt fate, right??!!

I have the privilege of being part of a great group of bloggers who participate in a monthly Create and Share challenge.  This month's project involved the use of Wise Owl Chalk Synthesis Paint and a small stool.  While I received no monetary compensation for this project, I did receive the supplies to complete this project for free.  I chose the Snow Owl color with clear wax.  This post does contain affiliate links and all opinions about this product are my own.


My project started with what I lovingly refer to as the Mad Cow Milk Stool.  It looks somewhat like a renegade cow and is about the size of an old milking stool.


I purchased this stool last year, deeply discounted, and sat it in the corner until I could get around to making it look more presentable.  Since this stool was in desperate need of a good sanding, I kindly asked the hubster to retrieve the electric sander.  We took turns ridding the stool of it's "mad cow" disease.


After wiping off the sanding residue, I began applying the Wise Owl Chalk paint.  I've only used a couple of brands of chalk paint, so I don't have a wide variety of comparison, but I really did like this paint.  It went on smoothly and had a silky look to it.  It didn't clump on my brush and while it dried quickly on the stool, it didn't dry quickly on the brush.  It only took a small amount of paint to cover the areas of this stool.  I let the paint dry well between the 3 coats.  I wanted to make sure all traces of "mad cow" were gone.


After the third coat dried, I lightly distressed the legs around the edges, wiped off the dust and applied the wax.  I really loved the brush that Wise Owl provided.  The bristles were so soft.  The wax stayed on the brush well, and again, a small amount of wax went a long way.  I do love how the wax deepened the natural wood on the top of the stool.


I am so pleased with the finished look of this milk stool.


The paint is the perfect white color to blend with my decor and looks so pretty on the stool.  The clear wax changed the color ever so slightly....not enough to tell the difference.


The stool now has a clean, crisp look and no longer sports the look of a mottled cow.

Lucky for all of you, Wise Owl is offering one of these sets for you!  Be sure to enter the giveaway when you check out these other great projects (my Rafflecopter code is malfunctioning right now)!


A Shade of Teal ~ Night Stand Makeover
Old House To A New Home ~ Chalk Painted Accent Table
Pocketful of Posies ~ Old Door Dining Table
Domicile 37 ~ Faux Marble Top 
Refashionably Late ~ Dining Room Re Do
The Twin Cedars ~ Chalk Paint Furniture Flip
Our House Now A Home ~ Wall Paper Organizer
Lehman Lane ~ Cedar Chest Makeover
Green With Decor ~ Old Cabinet Drawer Makeover
One Mile Home Style ~ Drab to Fab Table Makeover
The Weathered Fox ~ Charging Station
Casa Watkins ~ DIY Aztec Art









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Thank You....

I want to thank you all so much for your sweet words, thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.  I have felt your prayers, love and support.

I will be sharing a normal blog post later...a prior commitment that I must keep.  I will respond to each of your sweet and kind comments as soon as I can. 



Thank you all again so much for your kindness...I am so blessed to have you all as friends!!

Love and hugs,

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Thursday, February 18, 2016

Saying Goodbye...

I wanted to write to let you know that I will be taking a short blogging break.  My dad passed away yesterday.  He was taken to the hospital on Sunday as he was having chest pains and difficulty breathing...he suffered from COPD.  He was feeling much better and doing well, so they let him come home on Tuesday.  Around midnight Tuesday, mother woke up and found him on the floor, unresponsive.  He was taken by ambulance back to the hospital, but remained unresponsive.  He died just as I pulled into the parking lot of the hospital yesterday.


Please remember us all in your prayers.

I had a wonderful conversation with my dad Tuesday afternoon...it was comical, but typical of my dad.  He told me he couldn't stay at the hospital for long because he would gain too much weight...that the hospital food was just too good to pass up.  Now, we have ALL eaten hospital food and there is nothing good about that food.

He was a wonderful man and we will miss him so much!

Thank you to all of you for your prayers and sweet, loving words here, in emails and on Facebook.  I am so blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life!!!

Love to you all!!


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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Looking Back....

I've been a little MIA from the blog for the past week or so --  lack of home internet is killing me --  but wanted to share my post from last Valentine's Day....long before any of you knew I was around.  :-)

The hubster and I do not go all out for Valentine's Day, but I do like to treat him to a special meal.  While last year's post can be found here, I wanted to share the menu, along with a great recipe.  The menu for last Valentine's Day was: Grilled Filet Mignon with Mushroom Red Wine Sauce, Garlic Hasselback Potatoes and Haricot Vert Green Beans with Garlic and Olive Oil.


This meal was wonderful, but the prize dish was the Grilled Filet Mignon with Mushroom Red Wine Sauce.  Connie, one of my dearest friends, saw it on Food Network's The Kitchen and shared it with me.  So now, I am paying it forward and am going to share it with you!  It's a win/win for all of us!

Now, before you begin thinking the filets are too expensive, they are actually quite affordable.  You can purchase two for a little over $8.00 at Walmart.  And, this is not something you will have all the time...it is one of those "treat" meals.

GRILLED FILET MIGNON with MUSHROOM RED WINE SAUCE
Two 1-inch thick filet mignon steaks
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 shallot, minced
4 ounces sliced mixed mushrooms
1 cup red wine
kosher salt and black pepper

Generously season each side of the steaks with salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature about 20 minutes before cooking.

In a cast-iron (or other heavy-duty) skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium heat. Add half of the shallots and saute until tender for a couple of minutes. Stir in the mushrooms and cook until the water has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the cooked mushrooms to a dish and set aside. Wipe the skillet clean.

Heat another tablespoon of butter over high heat in the skillet. It will bubble and foam, and after it stops, add the steaks. Sear on each side for about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate and tent with foil.

Reduce the heat to medium high. Add the remaining shallots and saute for 1 to 2 minutes. Turn the flame off and add the wine. Turn the flame back on to high, bring to boil and let reduce by half. Whisk in the remaining tablespoon of butter. Stir in the reserved mushrooms.

Spoon the sauce over the steaks and serve.


Instead of using a skillet, the hubster grilled our steaks and I prepared the sauce in a small pan.  The hubster is a master grill-man, so the steaks were perfectly done.
Bon App├ętit!
 
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Friday, February 5, 2016

Winter Hot Chocolate...

Last week I mentioned that I would share my homemade hot chocolate recipe when we had another snow day.  Well, we aren't having any snow but it has been pretty darn cold....a very welcome change considering it was sweltering while we were in Tampa ...YUCK!!

Since I love you all, I decided to go ahead and share that hot chocolate recipe.


I shared it last year, but it is so good AND I have some new peeps following along, so I think it is definitely worth another share! Don't you?

WINTER HOT CHOCOLATE (serves 4) 
1/2 cup sugar 
1/4 cup cocoa 
a dash of salt 
1/3 cut hot water 
4 cups milk 
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional) 

Mix sugar, cocoa and salt in a saucepan.  Stir in hot water until dry ingredients are dissolved.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture boils.  Boil and stir for 2 minutes.  Add milk.  Stir and heat through.  Do not boil.  Remove from heat and add vanilla.  Mix well.


Now, if you want to make a cup just for yourself, here's the condensed version for one...

WINTER HOT CHOCOLATE....for one...
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
a dash of salt
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspon vanilla extract (optional)

Mix first 3 ingredients in mug.  Heat milk.  Gradually add milk to cocoa mixture.  Stir well.  Add vanilla, stir well.



I promise...this hot chocolate will warm you through and through!


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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Things That Will Ruin Your Home's Value....

I ran across an article a couple of weeks ago about things that will devalue your home.  I wanted to share some of them with you, especially since we all are about keeping home values high.

SINKHOLES
I thought this was hilarious...really, you NEED to tell me that a sinkhole will devalue my home??

How am I supposed to sell it if it is sitting in the bottom of a pit?!

CITY DUMPS AND POWER PLANTS
I'm sort of iffy on this one.  When we lived in Texas, we didn't live far from a cement plant.


The plant could be easily seen from our home...we called it Gotham City.  It didn't seem to hurt the sale of our home.

NOISY NEIGHBORS
Unfortunately, this is one of those things that you don't find out until after you've moved in...then, it becomes a problem.

REGISTERED SEX OFFENDERS
A given!

BAD SCHOOLS
I don't know that it necessarily hurts the value of your home, but it may reduce the number of prospective buyers.

UNUSUAL COLORS
Adding a bit of color is a good thing.  But if you live in a neighborhood where most of the homes are muted or subdued colors, adding lots of color to the outside of your home may reduce your chances of selling.  Brightly colored homes are awesome in beach communities, but maybe not so much in the mountains.

Here is the link to the article.....give it a look and tell me what you think!


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