Friday, April 23, 2010

Refinishing The Kitchen Set

What do you call this?

Or this?


Not only is this maple table and chair set a sturdy solid wood, it also has sentimental value. My grandmother bought the set for me and my fiancee (now husband) at an antique auction. It was the very first piece of furniture we received for our new lives together. So, despite that the style of table isn't something that we love, nor has the last ten years been kind to the finish, we, okay I, cannot replace it. To make the set more fun and to suit our taste more, I decided to refinish the table and paint the chairs. I truly considered refinishing the chairs. But did you see all those spindles? That's nuts! I need color other than maple!

I spray painted the chairs peacock blue and refinishing the top of the table. The only thing left is the table base. I cannot tell you have good it feels to make some progress. My goal for next week is to finish up the table base and put our kitchen back together!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Third Times a Charm?

I am wall decor challenged. I require several attempts to get my wall decor to not suck look right. For example, I started out with this lovely vintage quilt and quilt rack. While I loved it, the quilt didn't really work for the look I was trying to achieve. So, out went the quilt and rack and in came some plates and pictures. But, I decided the pictures weren't really working for me either. In came a mirror that I found around the house and painted.The dining room is starting to look differently now. We added new peacock blue curtains (a total splurge), a rug (given by my mother) and a few new-to-the-room plants and accessories. Oh, the blue chairs belong in the kitchen. Look forward to a blog on the refinished kitchen set next week. When we have guests over for dinner, we just pull a kitchen set chair up to the dinning table for a funky, coordinated look. Unfortunately, the mirror was all wrong and I didn't love the plates. None of the items matched anything in the room. Enter the picture collage. I like the look of a picture collage, but wasn't sure how one actually achieved it. After studying pictures online, I decided to attempt it on my own using new pictures of my children, some kid art and wooden frames I had lying around the house. I can finally say that this arrangement makes me happy because it includes only items I love. The middle pictures are my children from their photo shoot a month ago (a gift from my sister) and the other two pictures are art projects from my son. The picture to the left is an oil pastel and the picture to the right is a tissue paper creation. The hookah (no, we don't actually use it) was a fun little souvenir my husband picked up in the Middle East last summer and the plant was also a gift from my husband. The peacock plate was a gift from my mother. And finally, the dresser is a family heirloom that only adds to my enthusiasm over the wall make-over.

Truly the best advise I ever read on decorating is to use only what you love. If you follow this, you'll have more fun, and you can't go wrong. Or if you do something that is "wrong", you don't care.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

PB&C Cookies

Last night, the kids (okay, and me too) were clambering for cookies. Unfortunately, when I checked my baking supplies, I found that I didn't have enough flour to make most recipes I know. So, I came up with my very own recipe using only the ingredients I had on hand (which wasn't many).

With no flour, eggs, brown sugar or butter, imagine my shock at how good these cookies turned out! My husband loved them and my co-workers requested the recipes. I hope you all can enjoy them too.

PB&C Cookies
*1 Cup sugar
*1 Cup corn syrup
*12 oz jar peanut butter (crunchy or creamy)
*2 Tbs vanilla extract
*6 Cups Corn Chex cereal
In a sauce pan, bring sugar and corn syrup to a boil. Remove from heat. Add peanut butter and vanilla extract and stir until smooth. Add in cereal one cup at a time. Stir until cereal is thoroughly coated. Scoop out tablespoons of mixture onto wax paper and refrigerate.

Sorry there are no pictures. They were eaten before I even thought to take a picture.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Why Isn't It Shrinking?

And by it, I mean the to-do list! Our list was reasonable:

1. Finish the laminate flooring in our family room-80% done!
2. Finish the stairs-started!
3. Repaint/redecorate the family room-80% done!
4. Refinish/repaint the kitchen table-started!

Just as we were finally making progress on our house projects, spring has arrived with it's annoying sunny warm weather, beautiful new flowers and green grass. The nerve!

Now, we are looking at the gardens that need weeding, the lawn that needs seeding and the deck that really, really needs refinishing. Oy. In an effort to keep me from freaking out, we chose not to do the veggie garden this year and concentrate on maintenance stuff only. I know I'm going to miss it terribly, but I really do not have the time.

Stay tuned for picures of our newly decorated family room, staircase and kitchen table set!