Thursday, February 27, 2014

High Ceilings - Low Floors

 
I've been painting!!! No, not fun painting. No cute tissue boxes with chalk paint and vintage ads from the Graphics Fairy.
Graphics Fairy Tissue Box Cover

No upcycled jewelry boxes for the Etsy shop.


 
Upcycled Jewelry Box
 
Nope, I’ve been painting walls. Walls with 20 foot ceilings. Some walls peak above the stairs to the basement which makes it about 28 feet, give or take. Did I mention I’m afraid of heights? I guess every 15 years is not too often to repaint your home. So in 15 years when my touch up paint runs out again, I’m moving! 

Messy House While Painting


High Ceilings Trimmed Out
 And while I have the ladders out, I have a wonderful replacement for this. I can’t wait to share it with you…
Dated Entryway Lighting
 just as soon as I finish painting...


Help me please........
 

 
  

Sunday, January 26, 2014

I Put Some Sexy in the Kitchen


Isn't she sweet? I've always loved my KitchenAid but now, WOW!
 Thanks to a fun little Etsy shop, Lil Punkin Creations, I was able to pimp my mixer and add a little class to my French inspired black and white kitchen.
Thanks so much Julie M. of Lil Punkin Creations!
P.S. I still haven't found those perfect kitchen curtains...

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Perfect Healthy Bread Machine Bread

Perfect Bread Machine Bread
I gave up on my bread machine for a long time because the recipes contained too much sugar, so the bread was too sweet, or the loaves came out too dense and heavy, but have you ever read the ingredients on the average loaf of store bought bread?  I can't even pronounce some of them and others I can't imagine why they are there - like vinegar for instance!

A few weeks ago I found a bread machine recipe I hadn't tried and tweaked it to make it healthier with whole wheat and honey. The results were FABULOUS! It has only simple healthy ingredients that I can pronounce. The texture is pure perfection - light, soft and slightly chewy - with a terrific crust even your kids won't want to cut off. 



The strange hole in the bottom of my loaf is caused by the paddle that kneads the dough, but it only affects a couple of slices, so I can live with that flaw. In every other way, this loaf is simply perfect every time!

BREAD MACHINE WHEAT BREAD

1 cup warm water (110 degrees)
1-1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast
2 tablespoons honey or sugar
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 cups bread flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon sea salt

Place the water, sugar and yeast in the pan of the bread machine. Let the yeast dissolve and foam for 10 minutes. Add the oil. Sift salt into flour with a fork or pastry cutter and add to the yeast mixture all at once. Select Basic or White Bread setting, light crust if your machine has that option, and press Start. When the loaf is done, remove immediately from the machine and allow to cool.

I know this goes completely against everything your bread machine instructions and most bread machine recipes tell you about NEVER letting the yeast touch the liquid, but since I have baked many a loaf by hand and mixing the liquid, sweetener and yeast is EXACTLY what you do, I could not understand this dire warning.

Pull out that old bread machine and Enjoy!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sunday Blessings

My Homegrown Vegetables
Phew! We have been kinda busy lately. The new job is going very well, we have finally finished repairing the flower beds that were ruined when the big tree in our front yard blew down and the veggie garden has been very good to us. We’re blessed indeed.

I hope you are showered with blessings too!


Friday, July 5, 2013

Too Pooped to Pop Fireworks - But Never Too Tired to Eat Salad

O'Fallon MO Freedom Fest Flag
I hope everyone had a fabulous 4th.  Our little town has a wonderful Independence Day celebration with a parade, great talent and beautiful fireworks. We also had some pretty miserable weather. We don't have hurricanes like the south, but we have some spectacular tornados and windstorms. Rock Star and I spent much of the last two weekends and most of yesterday removing fallen trees and crushed shrubbery. So last night, when the fireworks started, I was on my way to bed. I missed the big flag.

I missed the fireworks too...
O'Fallon Freedom Fest Fireworks
But we did have dinner with some lovely friends and I found this wonderful patriotic salad at FabulesslyFrugal.com

http://fabulesslyfrugal.com/red-white-and-blue-salad/
I changed it a little. I toasted and salted my pecans instead of using candied ones and I used feta cheese instead of coconut - the poppyseed dressing was FABULOUS just as written.

Do you like to tweak recipes? Or do you prefer to stick to the plan?

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Sorry, Rock Star, I Found a New Love...




Vintage French Style Cutting Board
I missed a band gig last night because I was knee deep in sawdust. Rock Star forgives me because he knows my need to craft is as strong as his need to play music, so no divorce lawyers are going to get rich off of us - thank goodness!
 
Hickory Cutting Board
I spent the evening cutting, sanding and hand rubbing oil into my French vintage style cutting board. Yep, I said board, not boards. This one took me all evening. Hopefully, the next ones will be a little less time consuming, since I kind of know what I’m doing now. It was a labor of love. I loved the sweet nutty smell of the hickory as I sawed and sanded, and I adore the smooth, silky feel of the finished surface.

American Indian Bow and Arrows
uchicago.edu

Hickory hardwood is abundant in North America. It was used by Native Americans for their bows. Because it is very hard with a fine, dense grain, it makes perfect cutting boards too.  I love that I can use my scraps for barbeque smoke - nothing gets wasted!
Bleach HAZMAT Warning
globalindustrial.com
 Some people worry about germs and bacteria, but wood has been proven to be as safe, if not safer, than plastic. Although some recommend using chlorine bleach, that is something I absolutely do not think is safe. Chlorine may be a naturally occurring element, but it isn’t deadly just to germs. Frankly, I think we use far too many unsafe chemicals in our kitchens.
 
Organic White Vinegar
Instead, I recommend that you spray a wooden cutting board with white vinegar and wipe it with a damp clean cloth. Vinegar is a great disinfectant and does not leave a taste or odor on the wood. Depending on how often you use your cutting board for meats or veggies, you will need to apply a butcher block oil once every six to eight weeks. 
Block Brothers Block Oil
I like Block Brothers Block Oil. It is an all-natural oil with a mild lemon scent. Never soak the board in water or put it in the dishwasher!

Vintage French Style Bread Board

I’m adding these fabulous cutting boards to my Etsy shop - one at a time….as soon as I get the feeling back in my sanding arm.

Have you neglected your spouse lately?





Monday, May 27, 2013

It Is A Whole New Kitchen - My Pinterest Inspired Makeover

It was loads of work, but I could not be happier with my new kitchen.
Kitchen After
The kitchen has always been my favorite room in the house, but the oak cabinets were starting to show wear and the shiny brass fixtures were dated. 
Kitchen Before
Kitchen Before Transformation



Now it is impossible for me not to smile when I get up in the morning. I could spend my whole day here - if I didn't have to guard the garden from robins!

Kitchen After Transformation
Now all I need is new curtains...
Kitchen After
...maybe like these - are they not gorgeous?! I wish I could give credit, but I don't know who created this beautiful kitchen. If you do - please let me know so I can give the designer his/her props!
Via Pinterest
Thanks so much for letting me share my kitchen project!
Blessings,
Linda