Thursday, February 28, 2013

Updated Kitchen Reveal

Hi there.  We're so glad you stopped by!
I am so excited to show you my updated kitchen.  
For some reason my after pictures didn't turn out very good, so I guess I'm not getting any photography awards? But you will get the feel of how it turned out.
Back in the day, when we bought this house, this was the living room.  Because we had 5 children, we needed a bigger dining area, so we came up with this. Our house has been evolving ever since.
Here is our dining area before. Maybe I should say, our dining room after it was a living room and before it was updated.
We refinished the hardwood floors. What a HUGE job that was, but so worth the $1,200.00 we saved!
I painted the walls, using Behr paint.  That paint is amazing!  It has primer in it so it goes on beautifully and is easy to work with.
The color is "cardboard".  
I think the biggest change would be the window coverings.  I hung the rod up by the ceiling and past the edges of the windows.  I also hung a Matchstick Blind that I got at Lowe's.  
I think it makes the window look so much bigger.  
We also got a new rug from Lowe's. Because my budget was limited I shopped, and shopped, and shopped and this was by far the best deal. Under $100.00.  And, the colors are perfect.
Here is our kitchen before.
Yes, that is orange paint with green counter tops.  SO glad to see both of these go bye-bye!
I was even more excited to get rid of that HUGE sink.  Seriously, I think I could have used that thing as a bathtub.  It literally gave me 4" of extra counter space on both sides of the sink when we put the new one in. 
I did not paint the cabinets, which is really in these days, because we have good oak cabinets and frankly, I wasn't up for that task, quite yet.  Maybe next year.
We put in new counter tops, sink, faucet and added bead board under the cabinets. 
I love the look of bead board! 
I decided not to have a back splash on the counter top and went with trim molding and painted it to match the bead board.
Here's another picture of the bead board on the kitchen walls, around my refrigerator. Isn't it charming?
Notice I decorate the top of my refrigerator.  To me, it's kind of like an extra shelf and must be decorated!
Here is the before of what is now our sitting area.
You can see the border and paint that we had before we started the project.
I felt like this space could be something else, so I went with a sitting area and moved the island over to the right, after removing a wall.  We wanted the space to be more open, family friendly.
This area, back in the day, was the eat in kitchen area.  Now you can see why it was a little tight with 5 kids and 2 adults.
Here is another during picture of the sitting area/kitchen. 
Notice the raw wood under the bar stools.  That is where the wall was that we removed. Because of that, we had to patch the floor and the ceiling.  
Here is the after.
We added the rug, which matches the one in the dining room, to give it a cozy feel.
Another view, from the dining area.
A closer look at the corner in the dining area.
Here is another view from the kitchen looking in to the sitting area and dining room.
and another from the sitting area in to the kitchen and dining room.
This is the area above our kitchen sink.  Because I don't have an area above my cabinets for decorating, I love having this area to break up the cabinets.
My hutch. Have I told you how much I love my hutch?  I l.o.v.e. my hutch! 
So there you have it.  Our new kitchen/sitting area/dining room.  What do you think?
Thank you so much for stopping by.  It means the world to us!

Linking up at:
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Sweet Anne Designs - Sweet Sharing Monday

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Spring decor: Flower balls

Hi there!  We're so glad you stopped  by!
Today I am going to skip the recipe sharing and show you how to make flower balls for Spring! 
Immediately after Valentine's Day I decided to start decorating for Spring.  I thought maybe if I did that then Mother Nature would get the hint and melt all the snow and turn the heat up a bit.  Is anyone else getting sick of winter, too??? 
I went out into the garage to search for all of my Spring decor.  I was disappointed to find ONE tote and majority of the tote was filled with broken plastic eggs and a few things that aren't really my style anymore.  So I'm starting at square one.  No Spring decor.  My husband, being the awesome guy that he is, stopped at the local craft store on his way home from work to pick a few things up for me.  I present to you:  Flower balls!! 
I used 5 bunches of artificial daisies and 5" and 4" styrofoam balls.  
I was able to pop the daisies right off the stems.  No cutting required!  Then I pushed them into the styrofoam.  It's THAT easy.  
And this is Lola.  She supervises all of my projects... she's there to eat anything should it happen to fall on the floor.
I asked my husband to go back to the craft store to get pink daisies for the second ball.  He did it without hesitation.  I think I'll keep him.
And here is what they looked like when I was finished!  So quick and easy!  
If you happen to make these flower balls with something other than daisies we'd love to hear what you used and how it turned out!! 

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Toy Box

Hi there.  We're so glad you stopped by!
One of our granddaughters was in need of a toy box. What's a DIY Grandma to do, you ask. 
Make one!
Because I have not mastered the power tool world yet, I had my husband help me with this one.

We used 1" X 8" pine boards, we got at Menards.

I decided I wanted it to be 2 boards high so that she could reach all the way to the bottom to get any toy she wanted. 

We made it 3 boards wide, to hold her MANY toys!

We screwed the corners together and then added a piece of 1" X 2"on the inside corners and sides, to keep it stable.

Underneath, we added a 1" X 8" to each end to keep the bottom boards stable.

We attached wheels to make it easy to go from the bedroom to the living room. 

Our son in law has told us the wheels are the best part!

Then we stained it. 

We drilled 2 holes in each end for the rope handles. 

At Lowe's, they have any area of different sized rope on spools.  You can choose the length you want and buy it by the foot.  They even cut it for you.

On the inside of the toy box, we tied the rope in to knots.  We tried a few different ideas for attaching it, but the knot worked the best.

I used my silhouette Cameo to make a stencil.  I had the butterfly in my stash.

I used a cream colored paint to stencil it. 

I wanted to keep it neutral so that she could use it in her bedroom, or the living room or perhaps even her closet.
Here she is, along with some of her friends.  From the sweet little smile on her face, I think she likes it.
I'm thinking one day she is going to figure out how to give her little brother rides in here. 
Won't that be fun?
Maybe I should have called this post "The Toy Box/Wagon".
Thank you so much for stopping by.  It means the world to us!

Linking up to:
Sweet Anne Designs - Sweet Sharing Monday

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Mexican stuffed shells

Hi there!  We're so glad you stopped by!  
Today I am going to share another of my favorite recipes with you!  Mexican stuffed shells! 
I can assure you that they taste A LOT better than they look in the pictures.  Who knew stuffed shells would be so hard to photograph?!
What you'll need: 
1 package jumbo shells, cooked and drained
1 lb ground beef
1 package taco seasoning
1 package cream cheese 
1 1/2 cups salsa
1 cup taco sauce
1 cup shredded mexican cheese
Preheat oven to 350. 
Cook and drain shells.  Separate them on a clean surface.  
Brown hamburger with taco seasoning and cream cheese. 
Cover the bottom of a 9x13 pan with the salsa.  
Use a spoon to fill each shell with the meat mixture. 
Line the filled shells up in the pan.
Pour the taco sauce and sprinkle the cheese on top of the shells.
 Cover and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

You can serve them with sour cream, black olives, lettuce, tomato, or any of your favorite taco toppings!  

Thank you so much for stopping by!!
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Monday, February 11, 2013

Free Glasses!

Hi there!  We are so glad you stopped by!
Have you ever gone to a new eye clinic and just for stopping there you get your first pair of glasses for free?
Me either.
Have you ever heard of a company called Firmoo?  
Me either?
Buy Cheap Prescription Eyeglasses Online, Reading Glasses, Fashion Eyewear on
They contacted me and asked me if I would like to try out a pair of their glasses.  
I'm not going to lie, I was skeptical.
They are an online store where you can buy glasses and they are so confident that you will like them that they give you your first pair free
Of course I checked them out and decided, why not? I was soon pleasantly surprised.
The sales person I worked with, Antonio, was a gem.  
I had a million questions and he was so patient and answered them all, in detail.
Here are the glasses I picked out.
  I went a little out there, for my typical style.  But when they came, I L.O.V.E.D. them!
When you go to their website you can download a picture of yourself and actually "try on" the glasses.  If you don't want to upload your own picture, they have pictures of people with different face shapes and you can try them on, them.  
Seriously, how cute are these?
I was so surprised with all the things that came with them.  
Look at this!  A hard cover case, a soft case, a cleaning cloth and a screw driver with extra screws.
All you need to do is get an eye exam, take your prescription and order your glasses through Firmoo.  
They have:
Men's and Women's glasses
Prescription glasses
Plain glasses, simply for style
Prescription sunglasses
Specialty glasses
Are you in the market for new glasses? You should check them out.  
If you do, let me know what you think.
Here is a link to their website's help section to answer your questions.
Thank you so much to stopping by.  It means the world to us!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Layered Cherry Cheesecake

Hi there!  We're so glad you stopped by! 
  We're going to share our layered cherry cheesecake recipe with you today! 
 Not only does it look (and taste) delicious, but it's also incredibly easy to make and everyone will be asking you for the recipe! 
What you'll need: 
2 - 8oz packages cream cheese 
3 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 cans condensed milk 
2/3 cup lemon juice 
2 sticks butter (melted) 
2 cans cherry pie filling
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon sugar
 First, you're going to mix the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar in a large bowl.  You don't want to have any dry crumbs when you're done mixing.  Set aside. 
In another large bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients (except the pie filling).  Beat on high for about 5 minutes, or until all the lumps have been smoothed out.
Now you're ready to start layering!

Layer half of the graham cracker crumbs on the bottom, followed by half of the cheesecake mixture, and one can of cherry pie filling.  Repeat.  

Refrigerate for 2 hours and serve.  
Want to make this dessert for you and someone special for Valentine's Day?  Cut the recipe in half and layer in small glass dessert dishes!

Thank you so much for stopping by!  It means the world to us!

Turkey and Veggie Egg Bake

Hi!  We're so glad you stopped by!  I apologize for the lack of recipe updates.  To be honest, I didn't think anyone would want ...