Thursday, March 31, 2011

Home and Family Friday

Hi Friends,

I can't wait to see what you have for us this week.  If you're new here, this is the place we link up projects we've done around our homes and with our families. We love to see great recipes, craft projects, fun ideas to do with your kids, or just about anything else.  Link up your project and I'd love it if you'd grab my button and become a Follower!

Time to Plant Potatoes

 Yep, it's that time of year. My kids and I took a trip to our local garden center to buy seed potatoes. My daughter picked the Yukon Gold. My son picked out the Red Potato.

I'd like to point out that my sweet little 10 year old picked this potato because, "Hey, this one looks like a butt." Now, my daughter would have flipped it around and said it was a heart, but when you're a 10 year boy, it looks like a butt.

We took the potatoes out to the garden. (In between down pours.) We dug a hole.

Then, we plopped one potato in each hole.

My kids love potato harvest day, in the summer.

I can't wait until summer, when we can dig up our potatoes and roast them on the BBQ for dinner.

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Happy planting!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I Have Sawdust in my Hair!

We have been CRAZY-busy with projects for the past few weeks. We are having our hardwoods refinished, beginning on Friday. Our hardwood guy came out and put down a few samples for us to live with. They will be much brighter, once they have a coat of varathane too.
I can hardly wait! This is what we have been living with for the past 6 years. The floors were like this when we moved in. We knew they would need to be refinished, but having your floors done is not cheap. I've also heard that it is not a DIY project. Well, the time has come! Since we are having the baseboards replaced at the same time, we have created a whole new project for ourselves.
The doors. When you stain the baseboards a darker color, you have to change the color of EVERYTHING else too. It really snowballs. So, we ripped off the casings around the doors. Those will be replaced too, but the hardwood guy doesn't refinish doors and door jams. Bring out the sanders!!! My hubby, son, and I have been sanding and sanding and sanding and sanding. The doors aren't done yet, but I just wanted to be sure the door frames were done before Friday. I'll have to get to the doors later. There is just not enough time in the day. I can't wait to show you the finished look! I'm loving the new darker color!

Happy sanding! And staining. And varathaning. Whew. I'm tired.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Happy Friday!

Today's the day to link up your projects.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

139 Days

139 Days... That's how long it has been since we have enjoyed 60 degree weather in the Pacific Northwest... Until Today!

We spent the day drying out and warming up. I took my kindergartners out for a picnic lunch. We had an extra 5 minutes of recess too. I came home and sat on the deck with my little girl, hoping the sun would bake the germs out of her and her cold would go away. The rain will be back tomorrow, but I can't tell you how much I enjoyed TODAY!

Happy Sun Day!
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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Really Poopy Weekend

Yep, it was a poopy weekend at our house. The rain finally took a break, so I headed down to Lowe's to get my chicken poop.

I'm not sure why, but chicken manure was $3.20 per bag and cow manure was only $1.20 per bag. Chicken manure is usually my first choice, but this year I went with cow manure in the interest of saving money.  My mom's garden usually grows twice the size of my garden.  I'm hoping that 12 bags of cow poop give my garden the nutrients it needs to grow as well as my mom's garden.

The veggie garden is ready to go. I'll plant peas and potatoes next weekend.  We'll plant the rest of garden in May.

Happy gardening!
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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Home and Family Friday

I had a great post written for Home and Family Friday.  The key word there - HAD.  Sometimes technology drives me crazy.

I can't wait to see what you've been up to this week.  Link up your projects, recipes, activities, and inspiration!  I'd love it if you'd grab my button and become a Follower.

Sanding, Staining, and Varathane

In my last post, I showed you how I stripped my cabinets.  Once they were stripped of varathane and stain, they were ready for sanding.  My only tip for sanding is to sand more than you think you need to.  I made the mistake, when I refinished my kitchen table, of not sanding enough.  When you think you've done a great job sanding, keep going.  Or, if you are lucky enough to have a great husband (like me), ask him to check your work.  Then, he'll take it upon himself to make the cabinets perfect.

Now, THIS is my favorite part.  It is so much fun to see beautiful, dark stain going onto the cabinets.  I wear rubber gloves.  It's super messy.  Don't forget to stir the stain.  When I did my upper bank of cabinets, I didn't stir the stain well enough, leaving the cabinets a little lighter than they should have been.  I ended up taking them down and starting the whole process over, just because I knew it would drive me crazy.  Read the directions on the can of stain.  With my stain, I had to stain, wait, wipe, wait, stain, wait, wipe, wait.  Like I have said before, It's not difficult to restain cabinets.  It's just time consuming, with all of waiting.

Once the cabinets are all stained and have had plenty of time to dry, it's time to varathane.  The varathane really brightens up the cabinets.  You can see, in the picture below, that I have not put varathane on the two doors at the bottom of the picture yet.  They just look like dull brown cabinets.  The varathane really makes a big difference.  I put a coat of varathane on with cheap disposable brushes.  Again, this step takes time.  You paint on the varathane and wait.  I have always waited longer than the can tells me to.  Then you sand, which makes it look really ugly and you will think you've ruined all of your hard work.  Finally, you put on one last coat of varathane.  You will look at all of your hard work and say, "Whewww! Done."  Then you'll remember that you have only done the FRONT of the cabinets.  Once they are completely dry, flip them over and do the whole thing again.  I like to do all of this on cardboard or a drop cloth.  Newspaper is too thin and it sticks to the cabinets.
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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How to Strip... Cabinets, That Is

I promised a few of my bloggy friends a "how-to" on refinishing outdated cabinets.  So, here goes.

Start with ugly, orange, builder cabinets.  If you can do this in the garage, I highly recommend it.  It's cold and rainy here, so I opted to do this in my hallway.  It's a really smelly job! I put down a big piece of cardboard.  Don't use newspaper.  This stuff is really sticky and the newspaper is just a disaster waiting to happen.

Paint stripper onto the cabinets and let sit.  It says to let it sit for 15-30 minutes, but I found that if I waited any longer than 15 minutes, the stuff was too dry and I had to reapply.  I used a cheap disposable brush and bought a clean paint can to pour the stripper into.

If you are stripping something with lots of varathane, you will see it bubble like this.

Most of my cabinets did not have much varathane left, so I couldn't really see the bubbling.

Once it's done sitting for 15 minutes, use a plastic scrapper to scrape it off.  I did a second round of stripper, after that, to remove any stain still on the wood.  That's it.  It's really simple.  The only annoying part is that I always forget that I haven't done the back side of the doors.

We'll talk sanding, staining, and varathane soon!

Happy stripping!  (That just doesn't sound right.)
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Monday, March 14, 2011

Dinner From the New Cookbook

Yesterday, I shared the new cookbook my daughter picked out at the bookstore. Well, she didn't just go for the sweet treats. She also picked this pasta dish she wanted to make. It has lots of veggies, bowtie pasta, chicken, rice wine vinegar, sesame seed oil, honey, and soy sauce. I cooked the chicken in the crockpot all day and boiled the noodles, but my six year old did everything else.

Let me tell you, THIS RECIPE IS A KEEPER! It was so yummy and tasted very light. I loved that it was filled with veggies too!

She even served everyone. So sweet!

Served with bread and some fruit, it was the perfect meal. I love it when my kids cook dinner for me. This could become a habit!

Happy cooking... or not, if you can get your kids to do it for you.
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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Our New Cookbook

My daughter and I picked up a new cookbook at the bookstore last week. 


I love the bright, colorful pictures and the simple step by step instructions.  I have a large collection of children's cookbooks.  Many of the books have kids in mind, but not young kids.  This book is perfect for the little guys.  My daughter is 6 and just starting to read.  The pictures were very helpful and the text was easy enough for her to read with a little help.

After looking through the book a few times, my daughter put sticky notes on each page she thought looked good.  I thought that was really cute because it's the way she sees me pick out new recipes.  It was really interesting, watching her make the rolled cookies.  She referred back to the book a few times to make sure she was doing things the right way.  I noticed that she was comfortable and confident in her baking skills.  She knew when to add more flour and easily manipulated the dough.  She even assembled the cookies all on her own. 

The cookies have a layer of frosting in between the cookies and a drop of jam to add color to the hearts.  She patiently added frosting, jam, and the cut-out cookie to each cookie base.  Then, she handed the first cookie to her dad, the second cookie to her brother, and the third to me.  We were all oohing and aahing over her wonderful creation and she cheerfully assembled her own cookie.  I was a little taken back by this.  My daughter has always been good at sharing, but the fact that she made everyone else a cookie, before her own, really shows that she's growing up.  It also reminded me of the reason I love to bake and cook so much.  Preparing food is more than just filling our own mouths and tummies.  It is a way of sharing with the people around you and thinking about the foods and flavors other people enjoy

Happy Baking!. 
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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Home and Family Friday and Lighting Issues

Oh, how I'm wishing for natural light to flood my kitchen!  I took this first photo at the food photography class I took.  (Just so you know, I did not prepare the food or the display.  I just took the photo.)  The studio we were in had an entire wall of windows.  Even though it was a cloudy, rainy day, the light just filled the room.  I love the way my photos turned out.

And then there's this...
When I'm home, it's dark. I work all day. This was the peanut butter pie I made last month. Of course, I made it in the evening.  Everything is so yellow. (Yes, I know peanut butter is kind of that color.) It just doesn't look very yummy.

Same peanut butter pie, but I took this picture with my portable mini-studio.  Much better!  It's not natural light, but I guess it's the next best thing.

Spring is coming soon!  I can't wait until the sunlight fills my house!

We're ready for home and family Friday.  What have you been up to this week?  Link up those projects!  We love to see recipes, crafts, sewing projects, home decor, and things you've been up to with your family.  I'd love it if you'd grab my button and become a follower!  Did you notice that I've passed 400 followers?!?  Sheesh!  I'm humbled and amazed that there are 400 people who care to see what I'm sewing, cooking, or redecorating this week!  Thank you, everyone!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Quality Art Materials

My son needed some new colored pencils for a project he was working on at school. At the same time, in my class on creating playful spaces, we were talking about creating spaces for art and using quality materials. I've always been a fan of buying quality art materials, but my idea of quality is Prang watercolor instead of Rose Art. (If you're a teacher, you know what I'm talking about.) I started thinking that I really should replace a few of our art materials and anxiously awaited the Sunday adds for Michael's. I was thrilled, when I saw that art supplies were 40% off this week.

My daughter and I hit the craft store, and instead of buying cheap crafts, we bought quality art supplies. I bought a nice set of Prismacolor colored pencils, a set of metalic colored pencils, sketching pencils with fun erasers, two sketch pads, and my favorite.... watercolor pencils. Oh my goodness!!! If you have never heard of, or used watercolor pencils, you are in for a treat. Clip your Michael's 40% off coupon and rush to the store right now. We bought an inexpensive watercolor pencil set to see how we like it, but my kids were begging for more colors. They'll just have to wait until the next coupon comes out!

My daughter loved all of the pretty colors in our new pencils. My son was more excited about the sketching pencils. He also looked up beginner drawing lessons on You-Tube and practiced shading.

 It's so cool to see how something as simple as new pencils can inspire your kids and add joy to the afternoon!
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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Spokane Bread With Crab

This is a recipe from my friend, Sarah. It's super-yummy and always the hit of the party. I made one addition to the recipe... CRAB! You just can't go wrong with crab.

Spokane Bread

1 Cup Mayo
3 Dashes Worcestershire Sauce
2 Dashes Garlic Salt
Green Onion
1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese

Spread the mixture on bread rounds and bake for 20 minutes, at 350 degrees.

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Monday, March 7, 2011

A Good Find at Goodwill

I was so excited when I found this wooden bowl at Goodwill!  It was painted red and horribly scratched up.  A little sanding and some black spray paint, and my wooden bowl has a new life.  Not bad for $1.97!
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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Home and Family Friday and Dreaming of Spring

It's just about all I can think about right now. I cannot wait for Spring to arrive. I'm ready to dig in the dirt, plant my garden, and hang my window boxes. I'm dying to sit on the deck and bask in the warm-ish sunshine. (We live in the Pacific Northwest. It doesn't get too warm here.)

Onto Home and Family Friday! I can't wait to see what you've got for us this week! I'd love it if you'd grab my button and become a follower!

Happy Friday!


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