Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Short and Sweet

Today I wanted to share with you just a simple little post about how I updated the coffee table for a lighter, more Spring type feel. 

I knew I wanted to keep it simple, nothing too heavy or cluttered.

Coffee table trays seem to be quite popular right now, and I actually have one that I redid, but I just wasn't feelin' it for some reason.  So in place of a tray I folded out my vintage wooden ruler into a rectangle and used that instead.  It mimics the lines of a tray, but in a unique way.

I added some greenery in a little clay pot that I painted, a small mason jar candle on top of an old coffee can lid, and a personal photo.  You'll find in my home that I like to add a personal photo to almost every vignette.  To me, that's what keeps it looking and feeling homey, and not like it came out of an impersonal magazine or that's it's just simply staged.  I don't like things to be decorative only.  I like the addition of memories and personalization.

This particular photo is of me a couple of years ago fulfilling something I had always wanted to do - fly in an open cockpit bi-plane.  It was a spur of the moment, unexpected thing, but I went for it.  The pilot gave me my money's worth, believe you me!  He was an aerobatic/trick pilot and he gave me all he had. I thought for sure I was going to have to use that parachute they strapped on me!  It was a blast!  I smile every time I look at this picture.

Here's a view from the other side with functional coasters added in.

I really like the use of that ruler.  It combines my love of vintage and rustic with a touch of the unexpected.


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Friday, February 24, 2012

Tagalong Brownie Pie

I'm so happy to tell you that I finally completed something I got from Pinterest!  This recipe caught my eye for 2 reasons: 1) because Tagalongs are my hubby's favorite of the Girl Scout cookies, and 2) he normally doesn't like pie so I thought a brownie pie with his favorite cookies in it might appeal to him.

The original recipe calls for a graham cracker crust, but neither he or I really care for those so I decided to use peanut butter Oreos (these are like kryptonite to me!) for the crust instead.

I knew this would be a fairly easy recipe to make so I had my 4 year old help me for the "cooking" section of her school time (We're doing her pre-school at home).  She loved crushing the Oreos with her little rolling pin.

Next we added a stick of melted butter.  
(I think I could have cut back on this amount, the butter taste was a little too strong in the end.)

Then we pressed our mixture into a buttered pie dish.

We mixed up the brownie batter according to the package directions and added a layer of it to the bottom of our crust.

Next up, we added a layer of Tagalongs.

Then the rest of the brownie batter went on top.

Into the oven for about 50 minutes (followed the baking time for an 8x8 pan, plus a few minutes).  

Piping hot out of the oven!


Me: It was good, but not spectacular.  I guess I'm too much of a brownie purist.  I don't like anything in or on my brownies.  No nuts in them and no frosting on top either.  Just give me a plain ol' chewy fudgy brownie.  I found myself wishing there were more bites of plain brownie without the crunchiness of the crust on the outside and the cookies on the inside.  I'd rather just have my kryptonite by itself too.  Perfection is as good as it gets, you can't improve on that.  : )

Hubby: Ditto

So...if you're a brownie purist like me and Hubs, don't waste your time on this recipe.  Just make you a pan of plain ol' heavenly brownies and you'll be much happier.  But, if you like a little crunch, and you like things added to your brownies then this is probably right up your alley.

Now I'm off to eat a slice.
  Hey, I said it wasn't spectacular, I didn't say it wasn't edible.

**Update** - the day after this was made it tasted much better to me.  The Oreos had softened up and the "crunch" had worn off and I enjoyed it much more than that first day it was made.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

A New Magazine

Have you seen this one yet?

I came across it last night on a quick trip to the store for a birthday card and a bag of sugar. It says "Premiere Issue" at the top so I'm thinking this is a whole new magazine.  I'm still hunting for the newest edition of Flea Market Style (can't wait!), but in the mean time I'm looking forward to making a cup of coffee and diving into this one when the kids go down for their naps today!


Monday, February 20, 2012

Shelf Life

Hello again.  I'm happy to report that the kids and I had safe travels to Florida and back for my grandfather's funeral.  All went well and it was a very special time spent with lots of family.

Since I just got back I don't have any projects to share with you yet, but I thought it might be fun to show you how the shelf in our living room has been changed up over the past year.  Unfortunately, we don't have a fireplace, therefore, no mantel to decorate.  So this shelf over the couch has to make do for now.

Here it is around this time last year.  After Christmas, it stayed this way for several months with no changes.  On top of that stack of books is my vintage wooden folding ruler that I later turned into a star for my bicycle basket Christmas "wreath."  (It has changed shapes again and is currently being used elsewhere, and I hope to show you that soon.)

Then, sometime in late June I changed out the cow picture for my picket fence flag that I've had forever.  (I had my house all decked out in Americana when we first got married almost 10 years ago.  The flag is the only piece I couldn't part with.)  I also added some red and blue game pieces to the clear jar on the right.  No huge changes, but just enough to give a nod to Summer and Independence Day.  The photo on the left is of my adorable nephew posing in a Navy seaman's hat with a fake tattoo on his little bulging bicep that says "Mommy."  (His mama was in the Navy at the time).  So cute!

Then along came mid-September and out came all the Fall decor and it got a complete makeover.  You can see more details about it here.

Another change was in order for Christmas as well.
(Christmas decor post is here.)

Then January brought the snowman decor.  (In hindsight, I wish I had put the smaller hanging snowman on the left and that larger one on the right.  It would have balanced out better.  Oh well.)

And this is how it looks now.

I don't really decorate for Valentine's Day, other than letting the kids put window clings on the living room window, and some other homemade type crafts.  But I added the little wooden blocks as a little extra in honor of V-day.  I slipped a cherished old photo of my husband's grandparents when they were young into the antique shoe form to make it a bit more functional.  I think it makes a pretty cute picture holder.

On either side of the shelf I have family photos displayed with vintage wooden trouser hangers.  I'm loving the look.

So there's a little look back at the changes I've made this year.  I've found that reading other blogs, and having my own blog, has challenged me to come up with new displays and vignettes when I might otherwise have just reverted back to how it looked last year.  I think a little stretching of the mind is good for one's soul.  : )


Thursday, February 9, 2012

I'll be taking another break from blogging.  The kids and I are making an unexpected trip out of town for my sweet grandfather's funeral.  While we're sad he's gone, we're also celebrating the fact that he's now living a most perfect life in heaven with his Creator.  He lived an exemplary Christian life and was ready to meet his beloved Savior. 

Our last visit with him at Christmas time.

I'll be gone a week and then I'll be back to posting some goodies.

P.S.  If you haven't already heard, it's a very real possibility that Google Friend Connect could be going away in the near future.  The new kid on the block is Linky Followers.  I've joined up and have added their widget to my sidebar.  So, if you'd like to follow my blog please consider following me there, as well as GFC if you'd like.  I'd hate to lose all my followers just because Google decides to do away with Friend Connect.


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Plain Crate Turned Shipping Crate

A few months back I shared this photo and hinted at an upcoming project.  

Well, I'm happy to tell you that it finally happened!  Yay me! It's been forever since I've completed any projects so I'm feeling quite proud of myself.  Hubby, a bit sarcastically, said now I can take the rest of the year off.

So, here's the story.  I rescued this {heavy} wooden crate from the side of the side of the in my next door neighbor's bit of the road.  I looked out my window one morning and there it was, all dirty and covered in cobwebs and mud.  I think my heart skipped a beat.

I shouI'd have taken the picture with the opening on top so that you could see it's a crate, but I'm just now remembering that I planned on doing that.....and promptly forgot in my excitement of actually completing a project.

Funny thing is, about 6 months previous to this I saw about 6 of these things on his porch and was coveting them.  Ok, not quite coveting 'cause that's a sin, but I really really wished they were sitting on MY porch instead.  So on this morning, here sits one.  I didn't dare wait for the cover of night, I did not want someone coming along and taking it for firewood or some other such travesty.  I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it, so I put on my big girl panties brave face and quickly ran out and scooped it up.

Then it sat.  In the shed.  For months.  And months.  Seriously.
Ugh, I'm terrible about procrastinating!

But this week I finally did it.

My vision was to add some basic lettering and numbers to make it seem like a shipping crate.  I found the stencils at Hobby Lobby.....months ago.  I decided to use a permanent marker because I didn't think I'd have a steady enough hand to use paint on those little letters.  Plus, I didn't want to wait for the paint to dry.  I'm incredibly patient like that.

Here it is with the lettering finished, but still looking too new and "perfect."

(All the wording, location, and numbers have special meaning to me, but I don't want to bore you with more details.)

I took my trusty little sander to it.

And finally had a finished product.

I used the "gritty" setting for the above photo.
This is what it looks like in reality.

This thing is pretty big, probably 2.5 feet by 2.5 feet or so.  I think it could be used in many different ways.

As an end table.

An old metal coffee can lid as a coaster.

Or maybe as a coffee table.

Or, you could even throw a cushion on it and make it into a seat.

So here's the before again...

And after.

Right now at this point I'm leaning towards using it as an end table, but I'm sure it will have many different uses in it's rustic lifetime.

And, lest you get the wrong impression that my home is perfectly kept and straightened up, here's a shot of what was going on just outside the edges of these pictures.

My daughter has very colorful taste in clothing!  : )

So, what do you think?  
Would you use a roadkill rescue crate in your home?  How would you choose to use it?


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