Sunday, May 26, 2013

Red, Blue and White - Seven Memorial Day and 4th of July Recipes and Ideas

Show your pride for America! Here are seven red, blue and white recipes to try out.  Click on the picture to see recipe. Enjoy! 

1. Star Brownies


2. Layered Flag Cake

3. Blueberry, Strawberry & Jicama Salsa

Two peas and their pod
4. Ice Cream Pie with Granola Crust

Yummy Mummy Kitchen
5. Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries

Miss Candiquik
6. Cupcakes
Mavis Butterfield
7. Parfaits
The Party Press
Hope you have a great Memorial Day! 

Not a beautiful house... an ugly house, indeed.

I have been missing my blog and you all very much... It has been two weeks (I think!?) since I posted here for the last time. I don't think I have mentioned here before but I went back to school in my thirties to pursue a dream. Anyway, taking classes in the summer is keeping me busy. Going back to school as an adult student can be a challenge sometimes. You have other responsibilities, and conciliating  everything is very difficult. Anyway, I won't give up my dreams. I have this strong desire to have a meaningful profession. Something that gives me the right tools so I can help others to have a better life. I believe formal education is the way for me to get there... so I keep taking my classes even if sometimes I just wish I had time to finish my projects around the house. On the other hand, I know there are things more important in life than a pretty room... not that making a room pretty isn't important. I love decor and I love pretty rooms. :-) But sometimes you need to know your priorities...

Today I wish I had a picture of a pretty room to share with you. Unfortunately, I do not. I have a photo of an ugly house. I took this picture with my cell phone this Saturday when I was driving around Cleveland with my husband. What makes this house ugly is not the boarded up windows... or the unkept appearance of the house. What makes this house ugly is what happened there... Sadly, not every house is a home full of beautiful memories...

This house is located at 2207 Seymour Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio. That's the place where Ariel Castro  lived. He is accused of keeping Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight bound in ropes and chains for a decade or so in this house. They were constantly raped, abused...

Just stopping there and looking at that house for a few minutes made me deeply sad... and uncomfortable. You feel uncomfortable when horrible things happened not too far from you geographically. In that house, the lives of those girls were almost completetly  destroyed. You start asking yourself why that happened but you have no answers. I still think people are the most important "thing" on this earth. I just don't understand why some of them can be so evil.

I feel deeply sorry for those girls. Their life was stolen from them. They had their dreams broken. I am a strong believer that you can always change your life for better if you want to do so.   However, I know it can be extremely difficult to overcome such traumas. I truly hope they have the necessary help to start over... to rebuild their life... to reconstruct their dreams.

My heart and prayers are with them and their families.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Dresser Transformation - Painting Furniture with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Hi all! Remember my chest of drawers from Craigslist?  Well... it's all done! I thought it would be a great project to finally try out Annie Sloan chalk paint. No sanding, no priming... What's not to like?

Greek blue was my color of choice and I loved it!

I re-toned the previously stained top with Minwax Wood Finish (Jacobean 2750). That gave a darker, richer color to the top.

Here is how I did my dresser transformation:

1 - After removing the hardware, I wiped the dresser with sander deglosser (Home Depot). You want to clean the surface well and this product does a great job.

2 - I used a regular brush to paint the dresser. Here is how it looked like after the first coat:

3 - After the dresser was dry to the touch (it doesn't take long), I applied the second and final paint coat:

4 - When the paint was dry I used a rag (old T-shirt) to apply clear Annie Sloan soft wax to the surface. The wax will feel dry after you have applied it. If not, you have used too much wax. In this case, just wipe down the surface again. I applied clear wax twice just to make sure the dresser was evenly protected.

5 - To be honest I was afraid to use dark wax over my dresser. I waited one more day to think about it and I am glad I took the risk. The dark wax gave a depth of richness to the dresser. I applied the dark wax the same way I did with the clear one (with a rag). If you feel you have applied too much dark wax just wipe the surface again with clear wax to take the excess.

When applying wax, you have to use your muscles to push it into the paint. :-)

6 - I waited 24 hours to buff the dresser. It seems like you can achieve a better shine if you wait that long.

Here are the before and after pictures:

This was a fun project!

What about you? Have you tried chalk paint before?

What I don't know yet is how this paint will hold up to wear and tear over time. Hopefully everything will be fine... Let's wait and see. :-)

Linking up
Under $100 | Think Tank Thursday | Transformation Thursday | Catch as Catch Can | Be Inspired | Feathered Nest Friday | Pity Party | Show and Tell Friday | Furniture Feature Friday | Frugal Friday | Strut Your Stuff | Spotlight Saturday | Show and Tell Saturday | Market Yourself Monday | Motivate Me Monday | The Sunday Showcase | Craft-O-Maniac Monday | Nifty Thrifty Tuesday | Trash 2 Treasure | Swing into Spring | Thrifty Decor Chick | Anything Blue Friday

Friday, May 3, 2013

Updates and projects

Happy weekend everyone! Today I worked on my dresser hoping to finish by the end of the day. It didn't happen. :-( I believe I will be done by Monday. So stay tuned! :-) If you haven't seen it yet, you can find the dresser I am talking about here.

I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint for the first time, and all I can say is I am hooked. I will give you more details about my experience using this paint later! Can't wait to reveal the color I picked! Surprise, surprise! :-)

May is here and I haven't done 1/3 of everything I had in mind. For instance, I really wanted to have my office done by now. However I had the idea to make floating shelves for all the books we have. Building the shelves will require some time (I think).  These are the shelves I have in mind:

Contemporary Home Office by Other Metro Interior Designer Eunice Fernandes

I think they are perfect for a small room. Floating shelves save tones of space, don't you think?

Another project I have in mind is to finish the guest bedroom. I saw a beautiful headboard on Craigslist this week. I replied to the ad but had no response. :-( I guess I have to keep looking.

I also want to work on my yard. Hey! It's Spring time! :-)

These are the first three projects from my long to-do list. Yea! Fun things are coming up!

Thanks for giving me the support to keep doing theses projects.

Hope you all have a great weekend.

See you on Monday!