Sunday, October 26, 2014

Wood Floors, A Spooky Story



Oldest daughter Jenn lives clear out in San Diego.
Her co-worker Shannon just bought an old house,
tore out the yucky carpet, and is now trying to
determine how to refinish the old wood floors.
At work Friday, Jenn's co-workers were discussing
the wood floor issue. Another girl, Anna, jumped on
Google and brought up wood floors (pictures only)
and checked out a few finishes.


When Anna found the one she liked, she told
Shannon, "here's the finish you should do".



Our daughter Jenn glanced over from her desk,
took one look at Anna's computer screen and said,
"That's my mother's kitchen!"


The girls weren't on my blog, they were on a Google
site where Anna just typed in some search words for
wood floors. 

They're in San Diego, we're in Texas.
The other girls didn't even know I have a blog.
I posted about our wood floors 2 years ago.

What are the chances?

These pictures are the ones I posted in a couple
of blog posts in November 2012. I took these
poor quality pics with my first little point-and-
shoot camera.

I thought they were good back then,
forgive me.

We still love those hand-distressed floors.
Best decision we made for the house.

Now tell me, have you ever experienced a
spooky coincidence like that?

They say there is no such thing as a coincidence.
Do you believe that?



Blogs I Party At:


http://thecharmofhome.blogspot.com/2014/10/home-sweet-home-193.html?



Saturday, October 25, 2014

Lazy Girl Cooks Chocolate Cake




I tend to take shortcuts, especially with cooking.
Here is the best chocolate loaf cake you can
make with just two or three ingredients.
I like chocolate so that's what I used today,
but you can use ANY flavor of cake mix...
and mix it up with a small can of pure pumpkin.

Be sure to use the plain puree kind marked
 "100 % PURE"
and not the one with spices in it.
That's all the ingredients you need!



Dump the cake mix and the can of pumpkin
puree into a bowl and mix it together. 
 I used a large spoon here too lazy to get out the mixer 
to show you it is so easy to mix this up.
 Oil a loaf pan with whatever you have to keep
it from sticking. I used Bakers Joy, which has an
oil and flour mixture in one quick spray.


I know I said just two ingredients, but --
there's always a but, right? --
I topped the cake off with semi-sweet choc chips.

Like it wasn't chocolate enough to begin with!
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes, then start
checking the center by sticking a butter knife into
the center to see if it comes out too sticky.

You don't want it too done,
but it shouldn't be too gooey either.


You can also use other size pans like muffin tins,
mini loafs, cupcakes or an 8 x 8, but you'll have to
figure how to adjust the length of time accordingly.

I sliced the loaf in thin slices due to the richness of
the flavor. No judgement here if you want to cut
yours thicker!


I couldn't get a good picture of the sliced cake.
I'll just blame it on my kitchen, which has no
windows and dark counter tops.

Health Note Here:
Just read in the Oct 20th issue of Woman's World
magazine that pumpkin helps lower blood sugar and
may even reverse diabetes. It has lots of fiber and
nutrients that makes it so good for you.


Other Flavor Ideas:
Spice cake mix, pumpkin puree and
add dried cranberries, nuts, etc.

Carrot cake mix, pumpkin puree, nuts.

Vanilla cake mix, pumpkin puree,
drop blackberries on the top


As always, no one paid me to say this.
The brands I used were what I had on hand.
You can use any brand of cake mix, pumpkin, etc.


Thanks for dropping by!
Let me know if you think of other
combinations you think might be good.



Monday, October 20, 2014

How To Win The Contest


I was thinking of a Halloween from 31 years
ago in 1983, when the youngest was 3 and we had just
adopted my best pal, Ginger, from an event called
"Adopt A Pet In The Park"
I learned that year that it isn't always the
costume that wins the contest, it's the attitude.

We were going to a Halloween party and the
littlest wanted to be a bride -- or, more likely,
I just had stuff on hand that I thought I could
use for a bride outfit and talked her into it.

So we dressed her up.
I put her sister's old flower girl dress on her
and made her a veil out of some cheese cloth,
which I held in place in her hair with some little
fake flowers and clips. All three girls picked
some flowers and we tied them together with
some ribbon to make her a bouquet.

The only picture I have of her is after the costume 
party we attended, when she was eating her cupcake.

I had taken the veil off and tried it out on
the dog...

Now she won 1st prize in the costume contest,
but I don't think it was my dazzling outfit that 
did the trick. 

See, she got a little stage fright at the
last minute and started bawling and didn't
want to be in the contest. 

Her father (my ex) told her she had to go on
stage with her sisters and be in the parade or no
candy and treats. So, up on the stage she went
with her bouquet of flowers and round and
round in circles she walked with the other kids,
but she was bawling like crazy and acting
like she was going to her death, which made
her look just like a reluctant bride.
The audience loved it!

Everyone clapped for her, and she finally
started smiling, when they announced
that the contest winner was...
The Brawling Bride 

Friday, October 17, 2014

A Bowl Full Of Pumpkins





This bowl of pumpkins sits on the table
with a little string of lights from
last Christmas.

I filled up the bottom of the bowl with pinecones,
acorns, faux vines, and even three fake pears... 
basically anything in a shade of Fall brown.
This battery pack lasted all last December
and, so far, this past week. I buried the
battery pack down under the acorns
and pinecones.

Most nights I forget to turn it off and
still it runs day and night.
Last weekend, I saw these battery lights at Lowes.
They were in the Christmas section for $10 each.
Lowes has them with red or blue lights.

When I bought these last year at a home interiors
store, they had them in bright white (these) and
ones with a yellow cast. I wish I had bought
more of them when I had the chance.

They're great for putting on wreaths, vignettes,
or even in a bowls of pumpkins.


Thanks for dropping by!

http://www.frenchcountrycottage.net/2014/10/feathered-nest-friday_16.html





Thursday, October 9, 2014

My Kitchen Has A Hole In It




There's a hole in our kitchen...
See it?


Above the refrigerator, the builder planned
for a TV in the space. There is a plug-in
and cable outlet just waiting for a TV.

The inside of the cabinet was not finished
like the rest of the cabinets (see below)
and there are no doors like these.



Just a big hole.
We don't want to put a TV in our
kitchen. It's part of the great room and
there's already a TV across the room.

Wondering what would you do?

Bloggers always have such wonderful
ideas. Please share your best idea
with us and help us fix that hole.


Sharing at the following party:











Tuesday, October 7, 2014

FALL AND OLD THINGS


I like dorky Fall decorations, especially ones that last.
You can only paint so many pumpkins white, right?

This lighted pumpkin is from 2003 or 2004 maybe...

I bought it at Walmart for around $3.99
Knock on wood...It still lights up!

Love this fabric scarecrow's goofy grin.
I bought him at Cracker Barrel restaurant about
8 years ago. He moves around during the season,
much like the furniture.





Last October, we took a trip through Northern
Georgia. I saw this cute collection of pumpkins
and scarecrows and took a picture so I could
recreate it on our lawn.



Hope it's cooling down where you are.
We're expecting a cold snap and more rain.
Yay!!!

Thanks for dropping by.

Sharing with the girls here:



Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Fall Banner And Pillows



I didn't win that banner over at
Art And Sand's blog,
but don't feel sorry for me --- 

Carol sent me a banner anyway!



 Here's a closer look...
 I guess you noticed I didn't climb back up
on top of the kitchen cabinets to put it up
there like I said I would if I won.

For now, I put it in the TV room I'm making
out of what was the dining room.

Here's a moody shot of the room to give it a
little drama. I really need to just pick a paint
color and paint this room a darker color.
 The "FALL" banner goes well with the Pottery Barn 
pillows I bought last year. They're back in the stores
and catalog this year.

 That's one of my new PB lampshades in the
corner there. I bought them for another room,
but tried them out in here to add some pattern.
I sure love the "Fall" banner.
Carol called her gift "passing on the blog love."
I love that, and I plan to pass some on myself.
If you weren't one of the five winners, you can
still make one of these banners for yourself.
Carol put the easy-to-follow directions for
making them on her blog.

Full disclosure...I love the banner and
Art And Sand's blog. She did send me one
of the banners, but the opinion is my own.


And, I wish I could tell you Pottery Barn pays
me to gush about their products, but they don't.


Check out Carol's blog, you'll enjoy it.
And maybe you're one of the five winners.
       

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Another Shade Of White



It's no secret, I like to paint things white.

I went crazy when I saw all the WHITE Fall
decor when I went to Laurie Anna's shop
in Canton Texas earlier this month
All these pictures are from LaurieAnna's
blog. I've put a link below.




Of course, I came right home and started
painting my old orange pumpkins white.


I bought two medium and two small white
pumpkins at Laurie Anna's shop.
The creamy whiteness of the pumpkins
is a perfect brownish white.

I'm planning to take one of the pumpkins down to
Home Depot and have the paint department use
their computerized equipment to color match
a quart of paint to the white color of the pumpkin.

I received no compensation for this post from
Laurie Anna's or Home Depot.


Here's a pumpkin I painted next to two little ones
from Laurie Anna's. You can see how white
the one I painted is compared to the two smaller
ones I bought at Laurie Anna's.


All that's needed is a sample the size of a 
quarter and they can match any color for you.
I'm sure other places can do it too, I'm just
familiar with Home Depot's process.

Once, to match an old wall color, we took a small
piece of the wall out of a corner of a closet.
The touch-up paint matched perfect.


I've also had Home Depot color match paint
to a yellow sweatshirt and a towel that was the prettiest
shade of brown. They put the fabric right on the
equipment and it turned out perfect too.

Check out LaurieAnna's here:

http://laurieannas.blogspot.com







Sunday, September 21, 2014

Chairs In The Making




I've been having quite a painting party
here in the cottage. Nothing finished, but
lots of starts.





My main effort has been painting this table
and four chairs that I bought for $20 at a garage
sale when we visited middle daughter last June.
$20...Who could resist?


Do you think Wild Bill was thrilled to learn
we had to haul them home? ...yeah, right!
The seat covers were pretty good, just a few
water stains. Painting them seemed easier than
removing and recovering them.

You can see the type stain they had in the upper
right corner of the chair seat in this picture.

I used an old can of Behr paint in a white color
called Popcorn and a quart of Ben Moore's paint (in
a buttery yellow color) to make an off-white color.

I added a 50/50 mix of Plaster of Paris and water
to make the paint chalky, using about 3 tablespoons
of each and mixing it up in a disposable paper bowl
before pouring it into the paint in the pint jar.

To paint the chair seats, first I wet the material
with the water I cleaned off my brush in.
I'm nothing if not lazy thrifty!

Next I dipped the wet brush in a little paint and
kind of water-washed the paint on.

You need to let the thin coats dry between
coats, and it helps to use a piece of fine-grade
sandpaper every couple of coats to make the
material smoother and less stiff.

If you try this, be sure to paint the seat's material
first, as the watery paint will drip onto the legs
and you can then just spread that out in a
thin first coat on the legs as you go.


When the seats are completely coated and dry,
I'll smooth them with a little more sandpaper
and finish them with Annie Sloan's soft wax.








Hope you'll join the "progress party" at...



Monday party here:

and also at Distressed Donna's