A little while ago I was introduced Ana White's website full of DIY furniture plans. I am completely addicted and have bookmarked tons of projects I want to build for our home. If you have not yet heard of her, please check her website out! She's this amazing woman from Alaska with a website full of plans for furniture. She has everything from dinning room tables, to beds, to doll furniture, patio furniture. You name it, she has it! And now, thanks to my father-in-law, I have finally (mostly) completed my first Ana White project, the Clara Table and Four Dollar Stackable Chairs.
I really wanted to make these for my son, as they are kid-sized and he LOVES kids furniture. The plans were easy to follow and the cost was low, but I have to confess that the cost for me was $0 because my father-in-law had a bunch of scraps that we used for the wood and all other supplies as well. Now I just need to figure out what I want to do as far as staining/painting it. Any thoughts? My initial thought was to paint the table white and the chairs a fun color, but the top of the table is so pretty I am contemplating staining the top and just painting the legs, apron, and chairs some color. I need to hurry up, though, and get this done for Christmas!
Having a little boy, I often relish the opportunity to make items for girls. I think this is the girliest set that I have made yet! I love the combination of pink and grey. This set features fabrics from Michael Miller.
Like many people, you may have already moved on to thinking about Christmas. I know we have, but I couldn't let Thanksgiving go completely until I made myself some notes on the recipes that I made this year. And of course, I am sharing them with you. First, here's a round up of what we made. I labeled many of the dishes because, well, most of them are indistinguishable due to the covering of cheddar cheese.
1. Broccoli Casserole My mom makes a great one of these, but at the last minute I could not find my copy of her recipe, so I decided to make this one instead because it seemed to be similar. It was ok, but not great. I will be sure to get my mom's next time. Oh, and yes, I will be endeavoring to include more green in my menu next year, as, well, we were a little lacking. 2. Rolls I have made this roll recipe many, many times and we really like it. They are super easy because the dough is made in the bread machine, then you just have to divide it into rolls, let rise, and bake. I highly recommend this recipe, but I have to bake them a little longer than the recipe calls for or they will be too doughy. Your oven might be different though. 3. Mashed Potatoes The Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook is my go-to source for basics like this. They were phenomenal, especially with the gravy. 4. Shrimp & Crab Au Gratin This recipe was fantastic! I had never made this before and so I followed the recipe to the letter. We had the au gratin with crackers as an appetizer, so that's why in the picture this dish has already been dug into. The only thing I would change is that I would have gone a little heavier on the spices. 5. Corn Casserole Paula Deen has some of the best recipes. I love this recipe because it's one where you basically just mix everything together, then bake. And it is delicious despite how little effort it takes. If you have never had corn casserole, try it! 6. Turkey Breast Oh the disappointment. Let me first say that the recipe for this is phenomenal. I am the one who messed up. I brined my turkey breast as called for, but instead of grilling I wanted to cook mine in the crock pot. Unfortunately, our crock pot has gone bad and now cooks everything waaay too fast. I knew this going into Thanksgiving, and I tried to keep an eye on the turkey breast, but it ended up being rather tough. Maybe next year :) 7. Deviled Eggs Like the mashed potatoes, deviled eggs is one of those basic recipes from my Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. The only change I made here is that I omit the vinegar. My husband finds it odd that my family and I eat these at Thanksgiving & Christmas, so I guess maybe it's a southern thing? 8. Gravy No recipe to share here. I bought my gravy in a jar. I have always had a hard time making gravy and with making only a turkey breast I did not think I would have nearly enough drippings to make enough gravy for us. 9. Sausage & Herb Stuffing I made this last year and we loved it so much that we made it again. We do modify it to suit our tastes, so we actually omit the apples and cranberries. Sorry, Ina, we like a more savory stuffing. To finish off our little Thanksgiving, we had a pumpkin pie (again, a Better Homes & Gardens Recipe), but somehow I never got a picture of it. I hope your Thanksgiving was as filling and relaxing as ours!
I am very rarely on the cutting edge. I like to wade slowly into things. Recently I decided to jump onto the Pinterest Bandwagon. Mainly, I don't want to keep clogging up my bookmarks on the computer with all the stuff I love and want to make or just look at and think one day I will make. If you take a look at the top right hand corner of my site, there is now a link to my Pinterest Boards. I have not spent a ton of time pinning, but I will be adding more as time goes by. Also, if you have a Pinterest Profile, let me know! I love to see what others pin.
Nearly a year ago I was researching how to paint our kitchen cabinets when I came across the blog Young House Love. I loved the information on how they painted their cabinets and even though I went a different route due to the fact that my cabinets are a different material, I book marked their site so that I could go back and learn how to do other DIY/ decor related things. And since then I have gone back more times than I could even count. I am constantly sending links of their projects to show my husband things that we should adapt for our own home. When I read that they were coming out with a book, I told him I wanted it for Christmas. Instead, he surprised me with it a little over a week ago. I love out of the blue surprises! Now that I am finally done reading through it (for the first of many times, I am sure), here is my brief review: The book has the same voice as the blog. Or voices, I should say, as John and Sherry both write, but what I really mean to say is that the book is written in the same, inviting, witty way that the blog is. One of the reasons I love their blog is for the content and the other is for their personalities. I enjoy seeing some of their life in the projects. Originally from Richmond, the city where they live, I also enjoy the little glimpses of the area itself. The projects ideas are great starting points for inspiration, which I really feel was their goal. In the very beginning they let you know that they are in no way claiming that they are the only ones to say, upholster a headboard, for example, but they show you what their experience has been with such a project and how they approached it, all with the hopes of helping you, the reader along. I am excited to have this book and I am looking forward to making some projects from it. My favorite project right now is #118, "Sew a Pattern into Cardstock". I have been trying to think of fun new ways of incorporating graphic art into our home, and I already have all the supplies for this project, so it's on the to do list.
The most inspiring part of the book is this: Sometimes, I get bummed or burnt out and feel that our house is not progressing fast enough. But as John and Sherry point out, it takes time for a house to grow into a home. And it's ok to have unfinished rooms. I love that they keep it real in that way and show how long the whole remodeling and decorating process really takes. Which makes me feel happier about the state of things, and inspires me to keep going. Thanks John and Sherry!