Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Most Important Meal of the Day breakfast.  

And when Daddy makes pancakes, it is even better!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Summertime Treat

Little Man has been helping me in the kitchen lately.  He mostly just cuts up his plastic food and plays in the dish water, but it is a start.

With all of the heat and high temps lately, I've been wanting to keep food light, simple, and cool.  

One easy (and tasty) way to do this is with frozen fruit and yogurt pops.  You can really make these any way you choose, but I put in 1 banana, 3 or 4 sliced strawberries, some Smooth and Creamy Strawberry Yogurt, and unsweetened applesauce.  Mash it all up until it is relatively smooth and pour into freezer pop molds.  They work great as a dessert or even for breakfast.  I am a firm believer that once it is above 90 degrees outside, one should quit eating oatmeal.  At least quit eating it every morning.  

Monday, May 28, 2012

Some Art for the Little Man

Back in 2009 when we learned we were expecting a little Chadwick, I decided to go with green and brown for our nursery colors.  I felt those colors would work nicely for either a girl or a boy, and I'm not a big fan of strongly gender-specific nurseries anyway.  That year at Thanksgiving (after we found out the gender and decided on a name), my mom and I painted these letters to place over his crib.  

*And as a side-note, you should absolutely click on the link above to visit my mom's cookie blog.  She's so talented!*

Two years and two moves later, they were still brown and green.  After painting Little Man's room to make it feel more "grown up", I felt the letters needed a bit of aging as well.  I simply went with a classic white, which really makes the letters "pop" on the wall.

His room also has an awkwardly narrow wall between the closet and the bedroom door.  I've never really known how to fill it out, so it's had several different looks over the past year.

To demonstrate a couple:

Both of them are really too small to fill the space.

As you know, a while back I got those wonderful boxes full of free photo frames, so, naturally, I began there.  I knew I wanted to take some paint chips and make a quilt block out of them, but past that, I had nothing specific in mind.  

After perusing the World Wide Pinterest, I opted for a version of the pinwheel quilt block.  To be perfectly honest, I wanted this to be a quick and easy project, meaning that the only thing I really wanted to cut was the colored pieces.  I needed something to help fill in the blanks, however, and since I'm too lazy tired and busy to read the paper in a timely manner, it had been sitting on the dining table for no less than three days.  In walks inspiration.  

Not too shabby, huh?

It did look a little lonely, though.

 So, I picked out two more quilt blocks, grabbed some more paint chips, and went to town.

They make a nice little trio, don't you think?

They fill out that space on the wall well, and now there's more art (and color) up in his room besides the two maps.

Very simple, FREE, and cute to boot!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Catechism Of Sorts

Mommy:   What's your name?
Little Man: Noah.

Mommy:    How old are you?
Little Man: Two.

Mommy:    Who made you?
Little Man: God.

Mommy:    How do we learn about God?
Little Man: The Bible.

Mommy:    Who died on the cross?
Little Man: Jesus.

Mommy:    Why did Jesus die on the cross?
Little Man:  My sins.

Mommy:     What did Jesus accomplish on the cross?
Little Man:  Redemption.

We go through these "questions" several times a day, and often I hear him in the other room just saying the answers to himself.  While wearing a fire hat.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

And He Does It Again!

After having such a great time (and doing such a great job) building the counter top for our new kitchen cabinet, Mr. Chadwick tackled another project for me (and at my request).  With a little scrap wood from the counter and some dried cedar branches from a tree that fell at church, he made this beauty.

It's a little hard to tell, but he even put a decorative edge on it.  It's all in the details.

I think it looks even more lovely with my grandmother's vintage aprons hanging upon it.

Well, done sir!  Well done!

*On a side note, I spent six hours yesterday in court.  Remember that guy who robbed me back in January?  He finally went in front of the judge.  However, in the six hours I was there, I only spent 5 minutes doing anything involved with the case.  Instead, I became disgusted with some of our country's procedures (not the judge at all - she is amazing!), disheartened at the state of humanity (not that it was really a surprise), and grew so tired I didn't get yesterday's blog post up to Facebook.  It's over here if you want to read it.*

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Filling it Out

Well, I haven't quite accomplished everything on my list for the front porch yet, but I'm getting there!  Those ferns were buy one get one free at the school where Mr. Chadwick teaches, and I just couldn't pass that up!

Monday, May 21, 2012

A Small-Scale Remodel

Also known as a furniture refinish.  Mr. Chadwick called me at 6:45 one evening last week to let me know that he thought he had seen a piece of furniture sitting in someone's driveway and since it might be sitting in someone's driveway it might be for sale.  He thought I should go look at it.

So I loaded Little Man up at his bedtime and went to see if there was a piece of furniture and if there was is it for sale??  Turns out it there was a piece of furniture, and it was for sale, and after paying $75 for it (really, only $75!!) it was mine.

As this is a rather picture-heavy post, I decided to scale them back a little in size.  If you can't see the detail, I think a trip to the optometrist may be in order.  Perhaps we can go together.

Oh, dear.  In which decade was this painted?  

The inside was absolutely filthy, and cleaning it took forever.

The Little Man approves, which is good because he will see it frequently in it's soon-to-be new home.

I couldn't wait to see what I could do with this wooden top.

Supplies.  When I paint a piece of furniture, I always use spray primer (Valspar is my fav).  There are so many corners in there, and quite frankly my arms are short, and it can be difficult to reach back in there.  And, if you do a good job priming, you can avoid the need to do all of that cutting in when you paint.  At least, that's what I tell myself.

I started by sanding the whole piece, because not only was it filthy, but it was sponge painted and I did not want that floral pattern to be a visible outline through my new coat of paint.  I have no pictures of this due to the fact that I was sanding.  With a power tool.  No room in hands for camera.

We're looking at the start of fresh paint!

I got one quart of paint for the cabinet body outside and inside.  You know when you are looking at paint samples and there are 18 different shades of white, and you ask yourself, "Who buys white paint and has it mixed as white paint"?  Well, I became one of those people who buys white paint and has it mixed as white paint.  I picked a "soft" shade of white in the hope that it would tone down the "crisp new" factor, since it is indeed an old hutch.

Thank goodness no one had ever painted the top!  I used a little Dark Walnut oil on it, and it is gorgeous!  I really think it makes the piece.

 I used Valspar's clear topcoat protector on the shelves, door fronts, and lower exterior sides because I plan to use this in the den for our "entertainment" center.  That room gets so much wear and tear.  You really have to be careful with this stuff, though.  Don't spray too much or too close in order to make sure you don't get yellow spots.  It's really hard to tell, though, where you're spraying because, duh, it's clear, so I had a couple of places to paint over when I was done.

I got a small Valspar sample colored gray (actually in the same shade as the kitchen walls and Little Man's bedroom).  I only used half of it, so if a chip ever appears in any of those painted rooms/doors, I can do a touch-up (and the sample jar is so much smaller than a gallon bucket).

This is actually the second set of handles I purchased for this piece.  I loved the first set, just not on these doors, so I returned them and got these instead.  Since they are much longer than the original (broken) ones, I had to pull forth my inner carpenter and sing a song.  Ha.  Yeah, right.  What I really meant was do some work.  I was quite thankful while doing this that my father gave me a basic understanding of power tools.  I puttied one hole on each door and then allowed it to dry.  After sanding, I measured the handles using the ol' eyeball it method and drilled new holes.  Not done yet.  I then had to get out the largest drill bit in my set so I could enlarge the hole on the inside of the door because the bolts weren't long enough to go all the way through.  I pretty much rocked it.  Without measuring or leveling, I got all of my new handlebar holes in the right places.

Now, if you have read anything over here ever, you know that naturally a change-up in one room simply must lead to a change-up in the rest of the house.  Well, ok, that's a bit of an exaggeration here in this one case, but I did change up the living room again. I moved the shelves from the previous entertainment set up to the wall under this painting.  I think it helps make the room feel more modern rather than looking like an antique store or Cracker Barrel.

Oh, and there's just something so fun about that colorful little bookcase there on the end, right?

Yeah.  I thought so, too.

However, there's nothing fun about the mess that bringing in a new (LARGE) piece of furniture creates. 

First things first.  How do you keep an active, curious two-year-old out of the way while wrangling large objects into the house?  Tell him to sit on the green sofa and hand him an iPhone.  

Fortunately, it didn't take too long to squeeze this through the side door.  I actually had the gall to ask Mr. Chadwick if he thought we should start our own moving business afterward.  Unimpressed basically covers what he thought of that idea.

Clearly, everything had to come off of the wall first.

Oh, and then he had to get out the jigsaw and cut holes for electronics.  Yes, I asked my husband to cut holes in an antique hutch.  

Cleaned up and moved into place!  Sadly, it is not level.  And it is driving me crazy.  However, I think the general consensus here is to wait until we just can't stand it anymore to attempt to correct the lean.

And here are the obligatory before and afters:



See how badly it's leaning?  It almost makes me sick to my stomach.  Although we decided to wait on correcting the tilt, I did attempt some staging up top by the TV so the unit wouldn't look like a giant rectangular snowman.

The Little Man activity began early this morning.  He blew through quite quickly, leaving a heap a mess in his wake.