Sunday, January 30, 2011

New Paint

This weekend was full of soccer, hanging with high school friends, and picking paint colors! 
I love finding new paint colors for our house, we've been a bit slow and haven't painted our dining room, front entry/hall, stairway and upstairs hall, or master bathroom.  We've only been in our house 13 years, so really, give us a break!  Yeah, we're a little slow, but it will be done, soon, by the end of February!  Can I get a WHOO-HOO!  Our painter (he's done 3 other rooms for us) is retiring at the end of this year so we had to get on it!
Here's the dining room now- blah, blah and more blah.

Notice the ugly doors going into the kitchen, those will be gone!  And here is the front hall/stairway:

This is at the top of the stairs, notice the lovely light fixtures both up and downstairs.  Can't wait to update those!
Well those are the sorry, sorry BEFORE photos.  Ugh, looks even worse in photos!  I'll show you the master bathroom photos later.
I think we've nailed down our color choices, here they are:  (these are Benjamin Moore colors)
Dining Room Walls: Silver Chain
Dining Room Trim:  Simply White
Dining Room Ceiling:  White Wisp
Front Hall/Stairway/Upstairs Hall Walls:  Paper White
Trim for above:  Simply White
The only problem is the Dining Room Ceiling color which looked to be a light grey on the chip, but looked an awful lot like a tan when we put the sample on the ceiling-ugh, now what?  My hubby assures me this will change once the walls are grey and the crown molding is white instead of off white!  I'll keep you posted.

What do you think of this back and white chandelier?
Too trendy?  It's only $79 at Lowe's, just sayin!

That's as much as my brain can handle for the day, still need to find light fixtures for the upstairs and downstairs hall as well as the master bath.

Have you seen this incredible blog-young house love?  They have tons of really helpful tips and hints as well as shopping sources for most everything that they've used in their renovations.  Check it out if you need inspiration for your DIY projects.
Stay tuned for the master bath color, a big chalkboard in the kitchen and finally framing/hanging photos!
Goodbye weekend,

Friday, January 28, 2011

Flaky, flakes.

What a family!  I love the snowkid, standing on his head!
The girls worked on these guys yesterday with Aunt Nanci and Uncle Tim!

Yesterday I got to stay in and do some much needed house cleaning to get ready for my bookclub to come over last night.  We had another awesome "meeting."  With lots of munchies, drinks and laughs, and oh yeah, the book we discussed was Ella Minnow Pea  by Mark Dunn.  I thought it was pretty creative and thought provoking, but feelings were mixed in the group.  Next month is Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls, March is Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand and April is Room by Emma Donoghue.

Now it's snowing again as I write this, although all the weather people say "Don't Panic!" and "Only a Dusting!" Yeah, I'll believe it when I see it from now on! And next week they promise another storm.  Sigh.  

Well, in case you and the kids are going crazy with all of this time off from school, here's a super simple snow flake craft.  

Here's what you need:  round paper coffee filters and scissors-phew, long list huh? 
Fold the coffee filters in half, then in half again, then in half again.
Give the kids the scissors and let them go to town!  (Just tell them not to cut the fold all the way off, and not to run)
Unfold and voila!
I hung them on the windows (just used a bunch of dabs of the glue stick)
taped them on a long piece of dental floss (I have a bunch of those little round containers from the dentist), we use the Reach Flossers so we don't need them,

and hung them on the wall.
Super easy and very festive!  If you wanted to be very fancy you could get out the water colors and let them paint rainbow flakes.
Hope you enjoy!
Happy Friday,

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

More snow stuff

Okay, the reveal of the freezer paper tease!  Tada!
Snowmen shirts.  Yup, we made them for the whole family and good friends for an upcoming trip to Great Wolf Lodge.  Here  is where I found the awesome idea!  She put white highlights on her snowman eyes, what do you think, should I?  Here is where I learned the freezer paper stenciling technique.  So easy, so rewarding!  Some shots along the way-

This is a super craft for kids!  Can't mess it up!

She didn't need much encouragement to model!  Scary.
Let me know if you try this!

Let it snow...

Another snowy day in Delaware.  "M" made it off to school but will be back early, but "E" is home for the day.  And since she's home, I of course hear, "can we do crafts today?"  She's a crafting/arting/crayoning machine!  She's working on her own masterpiece now, but earlier she helped make the Valentine crayons for her class.
Aren't they pretty?  You gotta go to the dollar store and get crayons for this, it's so cool!

Then go to Target and get these cute little ice cube trays (in the dollar spot).  We ripped all the papers off (very, very tedious my friends!), broke them into pieces (very satisfying!), and grouped the pieces according to color in the ice cube trays.  Like so...

Put the trays on a cookie tray and in the oven at 200 degrees for about 25 minutes.  Take them out, let them cool, and pop em out!

Now we just have to bag em and tag em!  I can't believe we're finished those!  I'm usually a procrastinator on this kind of thing. (Okay, on MOST things!)
UPDATE:  Here is the finished product bagged up and with the cards attached:

I downloaded the cute little cards here at the long thread!

Happy crayoning!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Comfort Food

There's a little tiny BBQ place, tucked away beneath the Corolla light house in the Outer Banks, and oh how we wish we could own a franchise!  The pulled pork is so, so good!  So years ago, after having it for the first time, we returned home and searched for a recipe to replicate it.  (Hmmm, I'm beginning to see a trend here, first the hot chocolate post...) 
So, Rachael Ray to the rescue.  I've been in love with Rachael since "M" was born 9 years ago.  She kept me company while "M" did the things babies do so well!  And she taught me a bunch about cooking.  I gained tons of confidence "eye-balling" amounts of ingredients and cooking parts of the meal at the same time so that everything would be ready at the same time.  Now I have everyone of her cookbooks and use them 2-3 times a week.
Here's what we eat now when we aren't in the Outer Banks and HAVE to have BBQ pulled pork, NC style!
             North Carolina-Style Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Recipe By: Rachael Ray
Serves 8

-= Ingredients =-
3 tablespoon Salt
2 tablespoon Pepper
1 tablespoon Sweet paprika
1- 5 pound Boneless pork shoulder roast (I've used other cuts of pork roasts too)
2 tablespoon Vegetable oil
1/3 cup Apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup Vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoon Sugar
1 teaspoon Hot pepper sauce
8 Hamburger rolls
4 cup North Carolina -Style Coleslaw (optional)

-= Instructions =-
1.  Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.  Mix together the salt, pepper and paprika; sprinkle all over the pork and rub in.
2.  In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the pork and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, 8-10 minutes.  Transfer to a 24-inch-long sheet of heavy-duty foil and double-wrap the pork.
3.  Place the pork, skin side up, in a 9-by 13-inch baking dish; roast until tender, about 4 1/2 hours. (It's never taken this long for me-check the temp around 3 1/2 hours)  Remove from the oven and carefully unwrap the top of the pork, revealing the skin.  Increase the heat to 450 degrees and roast for 20 minutes more.

4.  Transfer the roast to a large bowl, along with any juices.  Using two forks, shred the pork.  Add the vinegars, sugar and hot sauce;  toss.  Serve on the hamburger rolls topped with coleslaw, if using.

 North Carolina-Style Coleslaw
Recipe By: Rachael Ray
Serves 8
-= Ingredients =-

1/2 cup Apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup Vinegar
2 tablespoon Sugar
2 teaspoon Hot pepper sauce
1 teaspoon Red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon Salt
1/8 teaspoon Pepper
1 Green cabbage ; cored and shredded

-= Instructions =-In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegars, sugar, hot sauce, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.  Add the cabbage and toss.  Let stand for 30 minutes, then toss and serve.
Pretty spicy!

A food stylist I am NOT!  But I know I always love to see a photo of what I'm trying to make.  Enjoy!

Here's a tease of my first craft post-coming soon!
Hmm, what could it be?  Have you ever used freezer paper, outside of the freezer? 
Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Gingerbread Hot Chocolate

It's a bit chilly here today, I'm glad we use Fahrenheit and not Celsius, that would be downright depressing looking at those numbers! 
Soooooo, enter hot chocolate.  But better than that, Gingerbread hot chocolate.
In a gift exchange over Christmas, I received 3 different individual serve hot chocolate mixes.  The Gingerbread ROCKED!  So I had to recreate it for consumption on a nearly daily basis-gulp.
Here's a "sort of" recipe for you:
mug of milk
powdered hot chocolate mix
ground ginger
ground cloves

1.  Heat mug of milk in microwave for about a minute and a half.
2.  Mix in appropriate amount of h.c. mix, 3 tablespoons?  4?
3.  Add about 1/4 teaspoon ginger, 1/8 teaspoon cloves and a good sprinkle of cinnamon.
4.  Stir well and heat in microwave again for 30 seconds.
5.  Stir again, add Snowman marshmallows-they are soooo yummy, and enjoy!

I've got a pork roast in the oven for North Carolina style pulled pork a la Rachael Ray-check back for that soon!
Stay warm,
P.S.  Thought I'd include a handy Celsius to Fahrenheit calculator for those of you living in countries that use the scale that you're not used to!  Ni hao SD!

My first entry!

Here we go!  I'm taking the plunge into blogworld.  I'd love to share my ideas and the ideas of others in blogworld on:  cooking for my family, struggling to get back to regular exercise (and hopefully running), playing with my girls, and crafting and creating cool stuff.  
Bear with me as I figure out all of the bells and whistles of blogging, but check back often to see what's going on!
Happy Sunday,