Friday, August 31, 2012

My New Coffee Bar

I only recently started drinking coffee.  Recently as in Christmas 2011.  As our addition and basement get closer and closer to being finished I decided to redecorate the whole house.  We have lived here 5 years and then have been under remodel for a year with boxes and stuff squeezed into every corner of the house.  We formerly lived in Kansas City in a ranch house and I just reused everything that I had down there in my current craftsman home.  While of course I made it look good ;) the decor wasn't fully in style with the homes character.  So, I have added a lot of older pieces and I LOVE it!

This cabinet base used to sit on my grandmas breezeway.  A breezeway is the enclosed area between the house and the garage.  I figured no one else would want it, so I decided to fix it up and use it.  The top is wood flooring.  One side of it is totally uneven, I'm guessing this was the part that went against the wall?  The sides and back were also open.  I decided to leave two sides open, that would be facing walls anyway.  I had my dad cut some plywood for the side that would be exposed and attempted to paint it to match the rest of the piece.  My husband does not like this side, but... eventually I will hand something or place something there and then he will never even see it.

Originally I was just going to slap some polyurethane on it and call it good.  But, I had just used stain with wet paint, see here.  So, I decided to darken it a little with the stain.  I randomly put stain on it.  My sister saw it and said, now you ruined it!  I knew it would all work out, or at least hoped it would.  So, the stain dried before I could get it rubbed off how I wanted.  Plan B.  I took the sander to it.  I was going to remove all the handles, but they have been on there at least 50 years and they were not budging so I left them and worked around them.  It is darker than I originally planned on, but I actually think it fits better in my house that way.

I sanded and put some polyurethane on the top because it was kind of peeling up at the seams.  After we used the coffee pot on it a few times I could see all of the poly was starting to bubble up, so I found a cutting board and placed the wooden cutting board under the coffee pot, problem solved.

What to store our coffee in?  We got sick really fast of opening the drawer to make coffee every day.  I had been on the look out for something to put the coffee in and finally found this bread box.  It was the perfect size and look.  I wish it said coffee and not bread, but ... I don't want to mess with it. 

My sister had chalk board paint from doing this same technique on a mirror at her house, so I decided to do the same.  You can see that post here.

I have read tons of creative ways to do signs.  For this I decided to print off COFFEE in word.  I got the board out of my dads barn.  I placed the letters over the board and then traced with a pencil, pressing hard enough that it would leave a slight indent in the board.  Then, I went over the indent with pencil after removing the letters.  Next I took black acrylic paint and one of my kids small paint brushes and I painted in the lines to get what you see here.  I LOVE it and have had so many compliments on it.

Miss Mustardseed has said that you have to have a font and word that matches the board to create the best sign. I think I accomplished this.

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Days of Chalk and Chocolate

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My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

Mirror turned Chalk Board

My little sister is due with her first baby here in a few weeks.  She started following Pinterest long before me and found an idea to paint chalk board paint over a mirror.  She got a cheap mirror and put painters tape around the border and then used chalk board paint in the middle.  Then, each month or so she would write on her chalk board about the baby.

I thought this was a great idea.  So, when I was trying to figure out what to put in my new coffee bar area, I decided to make one for myself.  I initially tried making my own chalkboard paint using plaster of paris, but decided that it didn't erase as well as I would like.  So I borrowed my sisters paint and did another coat on top of what I already had.  I also took some old windows that we had removed from our house and tried the technique on them.

This project was super easy.  Next time I will make sure to take the tape off very carefully as it did rip a little in one corner.

See my coffee bar post here.

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Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Craigslist dresser goes green

In case you missed my post about my one and so far only Craigslist purchase, check it out here.  It is especially funny because I got hit on during and after the pick up.  Now I know who to call if I ever find myself single...still makes me chuckle.

Here is a horrible picture of one of the dressers I purchased. 

It had a mirror on it that had been removed and will stay removed.  Here is my stash of mirrors.

The previous owner also lost the skeleton key that was needed for the two smaller drawers.  Luckily I found one in my stash.  It is a good thing my grandparents did ever throw things away!!

This was also the second time I had painted with my Annie Sloan chalk paint.  I was lazy and didn't want to have to sand.  I debated refinishing the top, but the veneer wasn't perfect and I was in a hurry, so I decided just to paint it.  It did have quite a few blemishes on top, so I did take the sander to it before I painted.

I read in another blog about dipping your brush in water before dipping it in the chalk paint to help it go on smoother.  This is done to lessen the paint strokes and because the chalk paint dries so quickly if you go back over a stroke, the paint can pull on you.  Now I did know from the get go that I would be distressing this piece.  However, I still can't handle the brush strokes.  I think if I painted two coats I would be fine, but again I was in a hurry, so I only planned on one coat.  Anyway dipping the brush in water, just a couple times while doing the whole piece worked wonders and I will definitely do that again.

I continued my laziness with leaving the handles on and just painting them with the rest of the drawers.  I started to take them off, but they didn't want to come off very easily, so I left them.  I also didn't see a reason to remove them because I was not going to replace them since they were all present.  Handles and knobs can get very expensive!

After one coat of paint I sanded.  Again, in a hurry so I used the sander my husband purchased for me for my birthday.  I'm not going to lie that is probably the best gift I've gotten from my husband.  He is not the best at actually remembering to get me something on those special days.  I'm sure I'm not the only one who can relate to this.  Anyway I know a lot of people thing using the electric sander makes it obviously distressed by a sander, but it saves time and muscles so I did it.

This piece is headed for The Columns, in Centerville, Iowa.  I have a room in the basement I call the Junk Parlor, but this piece will be on the main floor in a former students Rhinestones and Ruffles room where she sells clothing and accessories.  You should check out her facebook page.

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shabby creek cottage

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Fitness Photos

I was lucky enough to be approached by Michael Brown of Browns Photography about a photo shoot.  Who doesn't want to do a photo shoot?  Here are a few shots.  Who is that good looking man? husband.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Protein Powder

Did you know all protein powders are NOT created equally!?  Forget the nutrient label.  Anyone who takes protein powder would know how to read a label and know to look for something HIGH in protein with no added sugars.  But did you know that drinking a protein shake is just the tip of the iceberg for all the things you can create with protein powder.  After months of dieting for a bodybuilding competition and after talking with other competitiors I know that I'm not the only one who tries to turn protein powder into something irresistable.

How do I know protein is not created equally?  Simple, through experimentation.  We buy our supplements on most often.  (Although I would REALLY like a sponsor.. hint, hint)  Sometimes we go with a sale item, sometimes what we've been getting goes off the market, sometimes we feel like splurging and buy something a little more costly.  At first I would just drink them.  Cheaper versions taste terrible or give me gas.  But we all know how to chug a drink, so that's what I did in the quest for building a better body.  I always stuck with whey protein, fast absorbing protein that I would say is what most people refer to when they say protein shake.  Eventually I started trying casein.  It is a slower digesting protein and probably my first victum of experimentation.

Casein - great for making pudding.  Simply add a little water at a time and stir until you get the pudding consistency.  Eat then or put in the frig for an almost ice cream dessert.  Banana Cream and Cinnamon Bun have been my favorite flavors.  The brands we buy are Optimum Nutrition and Elite.  You can always top with a little all natural PB.  But Casein doesn't cook up, so bring in the whey.

Whey - this protein will cook up and give you more of a bread/cake texture, something anyone who has been on a cut diet enjoys.  Again Optimum Nutrition is our go to brand.  Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry, Bananna are all ok tasting in a shake.  I make some PB Balls and protein bars with vanilla and mix in bananna or chocolate into oatmeal.  Lately I have been "baking" with chocolate Hydro Whey.  You can make it like pudding and then bake a little, stir, bake a little and have a gooey center.  Or my favorite that I should patent is what my husband and I call my "concoction" where you add in a fat, liquid, leavening agent, and sweetener, just like a baker!!  :)  Recipe will be in another post. 

Beverly International - Hands down best flavor/mixing consistency.  You can get it on their site or  They call their protein powder UMP.  Mix this like pudding and it tastes like brownie batter!!  We have only tried the chocolate flavor, but damn it is awesome.  A recipe that I've tried with it is to mix it like pudding only thicker and use it like frosting, yum.  Or, make no bake cookie spin offs by adding oatmeal and PB and chillin in the frig.  So good!  Recipe will be in another post.

Parillo - This guy new about truvia a long time ago and started making contest brownies, cakes, frostings, pancakes, you name it he has it and it is for a cut diet and it tastes as good as the real thing!  Even my sister who is not dieting liked it!  Normally her response is... well if you were hungry it'd taste good! LOL.

This is not protein powder, but another great Parillo product.

Anyway I'm just saying that just because the protein powder you bought or tried doesn't taste good, doesn't mean that none of it tastes good.

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Days of Chalk and Chocolate