Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Little Something Something

Here ya go! The last sneak peak til the


Anyone else want to show off your bedroom? Maybe we will have a linky party?!

Anyways, I needed a little something to sit my lard butt at....

....since my old vanity is now my night table. Enter the dirty filthy vanity stool.

I love my vanity. It was the first piece of furniture that my husband bought me. I think it was a subtle hint that I should atleast look in the mirror and brush my hair before running out in the morning. Anyways the bitty one is infatuated with makeup and nail polish. She got a tube of lipstick and proceeded to "paint" the stool.


So I made a skirt with of course, pleats!

and made some piping

and threw it all together with about 873 staples

and Voila! A new vanity stool!

Now back to the old grinstone (aka the sewing machine). I still have a couple of projects to do before the BIG REVEAL on Monday morning.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

While the Kiddo Is Away....

....the mom will go shopping!

So far I have not spent any money on this room. So I figured a shopping trip was in store.

And shop I did!

I got more hooks for the revamped panels on the windows. Boring! I also needed to get new sheets for the bed and some dressy stuff for it.

I was having a hard time with the bed. I love my comforter. My husband bought it for me when we went to Boyne Mountain a few years ago. It is really warm though. Our room is always about 380 degrees too. I didn't want to get rid of it though. This morning I was talking with him about it. He is like a furnace when he sleeps, so it is waaaay to warm for him. He suggested folding it at the end of the bed and just using a blanket over the sheet.


Sometimes he gets good ideas.

So I got new sheets....

350 count sateen sheets that are so incredibly soft! I love soft sheets. I almost had a panic attack when I realized that I forgot to check to see if the sheets were deep pocket ones. They fit though, so surprisingly no return trip to Marshall's was needed.

Now get ready to pull your shocked eyes out of your butt. I took my husband's advice!

This blanket is soooo super soft that I don't know if I will EVER get out of bed again! I want to make a pair of feety jammies out of it and never take them off. It was on sale at Marshall's too.

This is what I have so far on the bed. He also requiested more pillows. The way I had the bed before I had 8 pillows on it. Seems he likes that. So a duvet cover and more pillows are still on the list. I will save that for the BIG REVEAL DAY too.

I'm going to post the reveal on Monday morning though. Yeah I know. That way hopefully the chests will be swapped though.

Tata for now! Back to the sewing machine for me!

Posted at Faded Charm for White Wednesday

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

For the Love of Pleater Tape!

Yup, I finally got off my buttocks and did a pleater tape tutorial!

You know the drill....

Pee - DONE!
Coffee - DONE!
Snacks - DONE!

Now you are all set for a good long talk about pleater tape. I admit I am a sucker for anything pleated. I love pleats! Box pleats are my favorite. I prefer pleats over ruffles. Sorry for you ruffle loving gals, I don't mean to offend!

So..... pleater tape....

.... it looks like this. It's a stiff webbing material. See the vertical lines? They are "pockets" that are evenly spaced and run the length of the tape.

I stuck my seam ripper in so you can see the pocket. It's only open on one end. That end you want at the bottom so you can insert drapery hooks in. There are 2 lines of stitching on this end so you know which it is. There is 2 different sizes of pleater tape too. One has wider spacing and that is for drapes. The one with the smaller makes smaller pleats and that is for sheers.

Now pin on your pleater tape. I still have my seam ripper in there so you can see what I mean about the pocket opening facing the hem. Hopefully, I will remember to take it out before sewing.

Now just sew a straight seam across the top and the bottom. I try to stay on that stitching line across the top and between the two stitching lines on the bottom. That way I know I am not sewing and pockets closed. That would suck!

I also don't sew the sides, but you will see why in a minute.

There are two styles of drapery hooks. Unfortunately you need enough of each. The one on the left is going to make our pleats. The one on the left only is going to go one on each end. That way your ends stay close to the rod and not get all floppy.

Here is a pic of both on the curtain. Each tine of the pleater hook goes in a pocket. The end ones pin through. That is why I keep my ends open. I only want to pin through the tape and not the curtain.

This is what it looks like on the other side. Now just take a seat on the bed. I have to put up a new curtain rod.

I am replacing the top ones with the bottom ones.

Ta Daa!

The old style next to the new one. I also have a little something up my sleeve to finish these off too.

But I will save that for the big reveal on Saturday!

So.... TA TA! for now!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Tale of the 85 Pound Lasagna

Yup, this is going to be a veeery long one gals. So if you would like to learn how to go totally psycho and spend 14 hours making dinner then bunker down!

Warning! There are lots of food pics. I don't think they are drool worthy though.

You see it started out innocently enough. I wanted lasagna. I was craving lasagna. Lasagna is usually no small undertaking either. Well, I managed to turn it from a molehill to a mountain. I admit it, I suck at making bread. I just can't get it to rise right. So lately I have been wanting to make more bread to perfect it.

Ciabatta bread goes great with lasagna

BTW - you have to pronounce the "g" in lasagna in our house. When my son was younger he didn't understand why you didn't. He still does this to this day.


Ciabatta bread. First you have to make a sponge. I don't know what the purpose of the sponge is or what it does. The recipe just says you have to, so I do.

1/8 t (teaspoon) of yeast
2 T (tablespoons) of warm water
1/3 c (cup) of room temp water
1 c flour

In a mason jar, mix the yeast and warm water. Let stand for 5 minutes.

Ah, I still LOVE my painted countertops!

Anyways.... add the remaining water and flour. Cover the lid with saran wrap and put just the ring tightly on. Shake for 4 minutes. (Tip - 4 minutes is about where you believe you can shake this no more after switching back and forth between arms) Let stand for 2 hours.

Ciabatta bread
1/2t yeast
2T warm milk
2/3 c room temp water
1T olive oil
2c flour
1/2t salt

Mix yeast and milk. Let stand for 5 mins. Mix milk mixture, sponge, water, oil and flour on low with a dough hook til flour is moist. Beat on medium for 3 mins. Add salt and beat an additional 4 mins.

LOVE my mixer girl!

Oil up a large bowl and put dough in it. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand til doubled.

I left it overnight.

Lay out 2 pieces of parchment paper on 2 cookie sheets. Dust paper with flour. Gently remove dough from bowl and set on a floured surface, not your paper. Divide dough in half. Set each half on the paper and shape into an oval. Dust top with flour. Lay a damp towel over the two halfs and let stand til doubled again.

Note - I decided that next time I make this I am not going to divide in half. Just do as one loaf.

Should double in about 2 hours. I let mine sit til an hour before dinner so the bread would be warm for dinner. I kept redamping the towel though when it got dry.

Heat a pizza stone in a 450 degree oven for 45 minutes. Bake one loaf at a time. Set each loaf on stone and bake for 20 minutes.

It's a very rustic bread.

Note - if you forgot to thaw out some butter for dinner and set it on the cooktop to thaw put a dish under it. If it melts all over it makes a HUGE mess. Not that I did that, I'm just saying...

Now for the lasagna. I use Giada DeLaurentiis' recipe. I love Giada! I don't look as happy or dress as pretty when I cook as she does though.

First you need to make a Marinara Sauce

1/2 cup olive oil
2 small onions finely chopped
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
2 celery stalks finely chopped
2 carrots finely chopped
1 lb bella mushrooms sliced and washed
1 large roasted red pepper sliced
1/2t salt (I use kosher salt)
1/2t freshly ground pepper
2 lbs Roma tomatoes (or 2 large cans of diced tomatoes)
2 dried bay leaves
1T oregano (I used Mexican oregano)

Or you could make this easier and just use your favorite jarred spaghetti sauce. About 2 jars.

If you are using the canned tomatoes you can skip this step. Wash your tomatoes and put whole in a pot of boiling water. You want the skins to split so you can peel the skin off.

Peel the tomatoes and put in a food processor. Pulse to just rough chop. You want to see chunks of tomatoes.

In a large stock pot, heat the oil. Add the garlic and onion and cook til translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the celery, carrots, mushrooms, red pepper, salt and pepper. Cook til veggies are soft, about 10 minutes.

Giada's recipe doesn't use the mushrooms and red pepper. That is something that I added since I love both in a marinara sauce.

Add the tomatoes, bay leaf and oregano. Simmer til the sauce is thick.

Giada doesn't use the oregano either. I added that too. I like the Mexican oregano over the Italian since it is sweeter.

Set aside in a bowl when done.

Caution, there will be LOTS of dishwashing when you are done!


You can use a box of lasagna noodles if you like. I have a pasta maker. In fact I have 2. One for food and one for clay. I have never used either til now. I now know why. I just love gadgets though! If you are using box noodles you can also skip this step.

3 cups flour
4 large eggs slightly beaten
1T kosher salt
1 T olive oil

In a small bowl, beat eggs with salt and oil. Put flour in a food processor. Add the egg mix to the flour and pulse to combine. Scrape bowl down. Turn on processor and blend til dough sticks together. Put dough on a floured surface and knead til dough is smooth. Form into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Let sit 30 mins.

My pasta maker has 3 sets of rollers. One is a smooth roller and the two others are cutter rollers. My largest setting is also "9". Some pasta makers are different, but you want to put yours on the largest setting.

On mine you just move the handle to whichever roller you want to use.

Now you want to flatten out your dough into a rectangle about 1/2" thick. Don't make it wider than your pasta maker. It also helps for the first roll to flatten the end going in first smaller than the 1/2".

Does that make sense?

Now, on the largest setting, roll your dough through. Don't pull on the dough at any time. Don't worry if your first roll through isn't that pretty. It works out eventually. Going through each number til the lowest setting roll your dough through. I did fold mine up in long sheets. It does get longer each time through. Don't skip a number either, that will gum up your machine.

Don't worry about those little folds either. The last two settings does smooth everything out. If your edges are funky like mine it doesn't matter either as you will overlap the noodles. Wrap the noodles in plastic wrap and set aside.

Tired yet?! We got lots more to do.....

Now to make a Bechamel Sauce. Basically a white sauce.

5 T unsalted butter
1/2 c flour
4 c milk
1/2t white pepper
1/2t nutmeg

Melt butter in a sauce pan. Add flour and whisk til smooth on medium heat, about 2 mins. Slowly add milk while whisking. Keep on whisking til sauce is thick, about 10 mins. You definitely will develop your whisking skills with this recipe! Plus give your arms a work out. Once thickened, remove from heat and add pepper and nutmeg. Set aside.

Just a few more parts that we need to make..... we are getting there!

If you want meat in your lasagna, now is the time to cook it. You can either brown 1 lb of hamburger or I browned 1/2 lb hamburger and 1/2 lb of italian sausage. I did remove the sausage from the casing.

You also need spinach for this. You can use 2 packages of frozen, if so thaw and squish out the water. Or, 2 cans of canned spinach, just squish out the liquid. Or do like the psycho me did and use fresh. Just bring some water to a boil, add 2 bags of fresh spinach. Remove from heat and stir til spinach gets limp. Drain and set aside.

Now for a ricotta cheese mixture.

1-1/2 lb ricotta cheese
3 large eggs
1/2 t white pepper
1/2 t kosher salt

In medium bowl mix ricotta cheese and eggs. Add salt and pepper. Set aside.

Now, to put it all together!

If you are using box noodles, you want to bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add a bit of olive oil to the water to keep the noodles from sticking. Add your noodles and cook til the noodles are still firm but limp. Lay the noodles out flat on plastic wrap. You can layer the noodles, just use plastic wrap inbetween the layers.

Take a 9 x 13 baking dish and butter the bottom and sides. Add your marinara sauce and bechamel sauce together. Spoon 1/3 of this mix on the bottom of the pan and spread out. Add a layer of noodles overlapping the edges slightly. You want to cover the sauce completely. Spread all the ricotta mixture over the noodles. Spread all the spinach over the ricotta cheese layer. Top with another layer of noodles. You know the drill about the noodles....

And you thought I forgot to take pics!

Spread meat mixture over the noodles. Top with another third of the sauce. Then noodles again. Spread remaining sauce over the noodles. Spread 5 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese over the sauce. My big dumb idea was to use fresh mozzarella cheese that I shredded myself. I was regretting that about now. You can use preshredded cheese though. Sprinkle with 1/2 c fresh grated parmesan cheese. Now after all that mixing, whisking, choppind, slicing and cranking this lasagna does feel like it weighs 85 pounds.

Bake at 375 for 45 minutes. Let cool about 15 minutes and serve.

Wow! That is really sad. I need to take some tablescaping lessons from Yvonne!

What? You too want dessert? Fine....

My fantabulous Carrot Cake!

Actually, I got this from the Joy of Cooking, my fav recipe book.

1 c flour
1t baking soda
1t baking powder
1 t cinnamon
1 t salt
1/2 c oil
1 c sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1-1/2 c shredded carrots
1/2 c chopped nuts (I use cashews)

Sift flour and then measure out one cup. Resift with baking soda, powder, cinnamon and salt. In a small bowl mix together eggs, sugar and oil. Add egg mix to flour mix and blend. Fold in carrots and nuts. Grease and flour an 8" springform pan. Add cake mix to pan and bake at 325 for 1 hour and 25 minutes.

This makes one layer. I have tried doubling this recipe and putting in two pans. For some reason this does not turn out the same. I mix each layer and bake together. For this one, I got lazy and just made one layer and cut it in half.

Cream Cheese Frosting

2 bricks of cream cheese room temp
1/2 c milk
1/2 t vanilla
2 c confectioners sugar

In mixer cream together cheese, milk and vanilla. Slowly add confectioners sugar. That's all!

Now go and enjoy dinner!

I'm just going to take a little nap.....

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Just Breathe

Okay, so yesterday I took out the hem that I had put in these curtains when I bought them. Luckily I had not cut them and then hemmed them.

Being lazy does help at times!

Then I ironed them....

I think that being super wrinkly and having a large hem helped. See the difference?

But now I have a new problem....

When I thought that I was going to have to seriously rethink these I envisioned them with a valance. And I liked what it looked like in my head. If it goes as usual, it will look much better in my head than in reality.

I didn't let the hem out of this pair though since the dog would just lay on them.

Hi Sheba!

I also decided that I didn't like this look any more. I want the panels pleated. I found the pleater tape that I had bought when I got these curtains. Wouldn't you know I only bought enough to do half the curtains. So I guess that I am off to buy more pleater tape tonight.

I'll show you later how to put it on and use it. I like it cause then I can take down my drapes and just flat iron them. No need to steam in the pleats.

You may wonder what happens when you tell a 3 year old to "go play so I can get this done"?

Yeah.... Atleast that room is on the list for NEXT month.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sunday Laundry

So Sunday I was a good girl.

I cleaned the furniture in my bedroom.

I took the bed apart.

I took down the curtains.

I dragged my happy butt through the sloppy snow to the laundromat.

Why the laundromat? Cause I did not want my well water to turn my bedskirt and curtains yellow. It seems to like to do that. When you least expect it too. Everything was going good. I happily skipped home with my clean stuff. Yes, I did go back and get the truck.

I pressed the bedskirt with my awesome presser thingy.

Isn't she lovely?! I just love her cause she makes ironing sooo easy!

I could probably stand to do a little more pressing on it, but for now it is good. I even got the hubby to put my footboard on the bed.

I love my pretty bench even if it does weigh 685 pounds!

I was happier than a pig in piggy stuff. I had to put the curtains up for the night. I don't think everyone going down M-59 would want to be flashed by an out of shape and overweight girl. I was going to wait til today to press them though because I had a change that I was going to do with them.

It was then that disaster struck! My bliss was shattered in one swift swoop!


Well isn't that a kick in the pants?! I put a really large hem in them since they were way too long. I also planned on putting in pleater tape across the top too. I'm hoping to gain more length with that also.

If that doesn't work....

I will make a valance to go across the top. I had thought of doing that or a cornice piece out of crown molding. I think this is the decorating goddess' way of telling me that I need a valance or something.

So part of this afternoon will be spent hunting through the snake den of dispair looking for the leftover fabric from the bedskirt to make a valance. I know I have some, just not sure where....

Saturday, January 16, 2010

One more thing.... off the list!

Actually I was really dreading doing this, but it turned out to be quite fun.

I finally painted the stripes on my bedroom wall!

I thought this would be a pain with alot of touch ups. I do have a couple of tricks to share with you. The room is SW Familiar Beige and the stripes are SW Kilim Beige. Kilim Beige is going to be in the stairway which is connected to our room. I thought this would tie in the two.

So I first measured up from the floor every nine inches. 9" stripes just seemed to be a good size. This ceiling is short too. I measured up from the floor because the ceiling is not level. I found this out the first time that I drew out the top 3 lines and they were crooked. So I went up from the floor since I figured if the floor was not level it may not make a difference since the furniture sits on the floor. Does that make sense?

I think the lines are too light to see. Then I used plain old masking tape cause that is what I had. I taped off all the lines to create every other stripe a different color. I know you probably are thinking "Is she crazy? That will bleed through!" I got a nifty handy dandy trick for using masking tape though. If you have some of your base color, paint over the edge of the masking tape with it before painting the stripe color. If you don't have any of the base color you can use glaze to paint over the edge. Either way and the paint will not bleed under.


Then paint just the edge of the masking tape that is against the edge of the stripe. Doesn't have to be a heavy coat either.

Let it dry

Have I ever told you what a crappy picture taker I am? I would like to blame the camera, but I can't.

So then you can start painting the stripes. Be careful where you set your paint lid so you don't sit on it like I did. Hmmmpf!

I did two coats with the stripe color. I didn't want to rip off the masking tape and THEN wish I had.

Are you ready?

Voila! Straight stripes! If you want to see how it looks in the room though, you have to come back at the end of the month for the BIG REVEAL!

I do have some sad news though. My footboard idea won't work out. Boo hoo! I thought maybe I could use it for my daughter's headboard. Her bed is a twin though and just looked too weird. So I am going to use the footboard on my bed since I am all out of stashing places.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


This could be a long post so if you need to go to the potty or get a beverage feel free....

We'll wait....
Ok, everyone set?! I know I have been gone like a week or more. No it wasn't due to a fancy schmancy surprise vacation or anything like that. We got a stomach bug that has been going around. It's pretty yucky. Thankfully, I got it first so I could be well for cleaning up everyone else's pukey business. The 3 year old told me that I needed to push real hard so I could fart real big and the bugs would just fly out and go away.


Her grandma told her to do that according to her. I think she is telling a story. It was cute to see her all scrunching up "pushing real hard". Even though I did not take her advice I did get over the bug. I don't know what it is, but this winter it seems that I have gotten sick every time someone looks at me cross eyed!

I did manage to get something done on my list though! It was a kinda start project, get sick, finish project so it took longer than expected. I fixed my closet doors! Yeah me! Even though my husband's solution was to take down the doors, throw them in the trash and buy new. I didn't want to spend money on that. I got other stuff I would rather do that on. See I was tired of looking at the inside of my closet. All it needed was to put this pinny thingy in this waaaay too large hole.

So after much finagaling I got the pinny thingy out cause it had slipped into the door. So I filled up the hole with liquid nails stuff....

Mushed the pinny thingy into the liquid nails....

....and let dry for a gazillion hours like the tube says. This is where I got sick for a gazillion hours plus 3 so it came in handy.

Tip: Once you have enough gunk in the hole, you do want to release pressure on the plunger of the caulk tube. Otherwise it will ooze out the end all over the place. Not that I did that or anything....

Now, even though my closet is clean, this is a much better view....


I did get my colors straightened out or rather figured out, for my stripes. I am hoping that I will get to that this weekend. I even got a little trick that my Sherwin Williams Goddess Crystal taught me. I love Crystal!

See this?

Thanks to Yvonne @ Stone Gable this is the first pie crust that I have ever made that turned out edible. I have been redeemed and am no longer a slave to store bought crusts! Ywonne is also on my love list! Now to work on the prettiness of the pies....

So now to get a crack a lackin' on some of those other items on the list....

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Aw Shucks!

The very uber cool and classy Jacqueline has bestowed on me another award!

I love Jacqueline!

She makes my heart sing as all my blogging friends do! In fact count that as number 1 on my list. I love waking up in the morning, getting a cup of coffee and seeing that Jacqueline has a new post. Her blog has the most amazing photography and words of wisdom you will ever find. My newest favorite saying comes from her "Anyone who thinks that sunshine is pure happiness, has never danced in the rain." She always gives me words of encouragement and a swift kick in the pants when I need it! Is there any better kind of friend?!

So I cheated a bit on my list of 10 things that make me happy and listed all my bloggy friends. All of you make my heart smile and I am a much better person for knowing you! I also feel honored that all of you call me a friend!


A big kiss to all of you!

The rules are to list 10 things (I have 9 more to go) that make you happy. Then to pass it on to 10 friends.

So 9 more things.... Hmmmm......

2. Snuggling a baby head. You know the baby head with the newborn hair on it. All soft and snuggly and smelly good. Do you know how hard it is to resist picking up a newborn baby in the store and snuggling it's head? The fear of being arrested keeps me from it.... but still....

3. That my children will spare no expense to making someone smile.

4. Watching the children laugh and play in our expansive pool that we saved our pennies for. Even if it meant that we couldn't afford bathing suits!

5. Realizing that you are not as old as you thought you were! This one may take alot of "splaining to do" so if you have to go pee or refill a beverage you might want to. I'll wait....

....See when I was younger and you got in trouble my dad always made you the age you were going to be next. If you were 13 and got in trouble 3 days after your birthday he always started with "You're 14 young lady...." It seems that somewhere along the line I started to add 2 years to my age. When I sit down and figure out how old I really am, it always makes me happy.

6. Finally finishing a project that has been hanging around for months! Who doesn't feel happy about that?

7. My bathroom. I love my bathroom now. It's my private sanctuary when the world gets to be too heavy for my shoulders. Slip into the tub with some candles and Cindy's Moonlight Garden salts and I am a very happy girl! BTW - Bring back your Moonlight Garden scent Cindy!

8. The way the house smells when you have something yummy in the oven. God I love food!

9. Getting nice mail. I love going to the mailbox and finding nice mail. Not the hate mail that I get from the utility companies. A card that someone took the time out of their day to send to you. Unfortunately our mail lady sucks. She will never deliver packages to our house since she actually has to pull up in the driveway and walk up to the house. Otherwise it would be packages of goodness.

10. Okay, so I cheated. I really thought of him first, but I thought that was a given. I feel so special that this wonderful man has chosen to love me for the rest of my life. I know that at times I really test him too. He truly makes my heart smile. I know that I am a better person, not because of past experiences, but because he has chosen to love me.

Now to pass it along....

My daughter Brianna
My sister Loretta
Yvonne @ Stone Gables who has quickly become a dear friend
Tracy @ French Larkspur who if I had the money would make a very rich girl!
Donna @ Funky Junk who I would love to hire to redo my house like hers!
Miss Mustard Seed cause how doesn't want to be like her?!
Cindy @ Cottage Instincts but only if she brings back her Moonlight Garden fragrance (J/K)
Jan @ Bobbypins Boardwalk for her inspirational ideas
Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality cause who could this incredible lady NOT inspire?
Susan @ Between Naps On The Porch for making me take a whole different look at my table