Monday, June 27, 2011

looks what else I did...

So, following the same methods I used on the dresser, I have refinished my night stands.

Here they are before:

I used a darker brown paint as my base color rather than the blue from the dresser. Then painted the same white. and distressed. I am so pleased with the way they turned out.

Friday, June 17, 2011

quick bbq chicken "pizzas"

We were in a hurry the other night and I wanted to make pizza. I didn't have time to make the dough for the crust, and I didn't have one of the pre-made ones on hand.


I did have flour tortilla shells....sort of like a thin crispy crust? Well we tried it. I liked it.

First bake off two chicken breasts (or more depending on how many you'd like to make). Ideally I would have brushed some bbq sauce on these before baking, but there is always next time.

Next lay out three small flour tortilla shells and spread a little bbq sauce on them. I sliced about 1/4 of a sweet onion super thin and spread on top of the tortillas.

Next chop the cooked chicken and evenly disperse on the tortillas.

Bake in 400 degree oven till cheese is melty.

Chop some fresh cilantro while this is baking.


Not bad...will perfect over time. :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thankful Thursday

my mushy day....
There is so much going on around me that I forget to stop and be thankful for everything I do have. We, so often, focus on things we need, think we need, or just want and we fail to notice how much we do have. 

I am thankful...

...for the beauty that surrounds me. {I take for granted how beautiful Alaska is, one quick hike and I'm reminded}

...for my husband {who is also doubling as my taste-tester for experimental meals lately}

...getting to see my dad randomly in traffic {it makes my day}

...sunshine first thing in the morning {wearing sunglasses just puts me in a good mood}

...the smell of anything cinnamon baking in the oven

Monday, June 13, 2011

Look what I did...

Let me start by saying, I am known for starting projects and either not finishing them OR waiting a very, very long time to finish them... (I always start with the best intentions or a grand idea but these quickly turn to a closet full of crafting materials stacked as high as the ceiling just waiting to be used.)


I have confessed it.

This makes it more acceptable, right?

Well, a few years ago my mom was cleaning out a room at her house and asked if I wanted a couple dressers and nightstands. They were a honey colored oak and not my style, but nicer than nothing, right? One of the dressers was really tall but breaking apart in the middle. We took them all the way apart and had David's granddad put a new top on the bottom piece.

So here is what I have finally done with this...

This is before.
(The top is raw oak because David's granddad put it on there and I told him I was going to stain it right away.....I honestly didn't think it would be years....)

After dusting it off, I started sanding...

Then the first layer of paint was this blue from Lowes:

I painted.

I let that dry. Then I painted some white (two coats).

When that dried, the fun started. I took the sander to it and started exposing the color underneath. (I forgot to take pictures of this process). The parts that I sanded all the way to the wood, I used a brown stamp pad and "stained" it.

I also didn't want to spend the money on new hardware right now. So, I taped around the "ivory-ish" part of the handles and spray painted the gold/brass parts black.

TaDa! (I can refinish a dresser and actually like the end product!)

I plan on using the same techniques with my golden oak nightstands too! Check back for improvements! :)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

summer salmon with strawberries

In Alaska, we are so spoiled with some of the best seafood ever. When the Copper River red salmons start coming in fresh, I am always excited (true sign of summer season here).

The other night, we went to the store for chicken to throw on the grill....until we saw the fresh salmon. David said to me "lets do something new and exciting". Alright....a summer inspired salmon dish...mmm fresh strawberries....I had an idea! (I was experimenting so I have no exact measurements, but you should still try it)

Here is what I did: First I sprayed a large piece of aluminum foil and placed the clean salmon fillet on it skin side down. Seasoned the fish with salt and pepper. Then, I diced about a quarter of a sweet onion and a handful of those tiny strawberries. Spread those over the top of the salmon along with a splash of apple cider vinegar, a few dashes of balsamic vinegar, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.

Roll the foil up around the salmon to create a small pouch. Put this on the low preheated grill.

About 15 minutes later I went to check on it, it smelled soooo good already, but I left it on there for about 10 more minutes (keep checking it though).

When the salmon starts to flake like the picture above, it is done. (I know the strawberries lost most their color to the steaming liquid, but they still tasted amazing!)

I served it with rice pilaf and a fresh salad with balsamic dressing. David said it was exactly what he meant by "new and exciting" and couldn't have even suggested anything to make it better. :)


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

under $5 file cabinet make over

Summertime in Alaska is unpredictable to say the least. Last weekend, we had plans to go for a hike and enjoy some of the amazing scenery around us. BUT we woke up and it was raining...then hailed...then poured...with no signs of stopping.

So, change of plans...David went to his parents house to haul some stuff to good-will for them, and I decided to take this change to get some chores done around the house. Until I realized, I have an empty garage and a file cabinet that I wanted to spray paint! What better time than when the husband isn't around to critique my painting abilities or complain of over spray on tires stacked in there?

Back story on the free file cabinet: my day job was cleaning out an office and they had some furniture that they were giving away or going to donate. I knew needed a new filing system (we've grown out of the plastic file box with handle). So of course, I snagged it. It's been in our garage since March waiting to for a little love to make it pretty.

This the almond-ish before picture after I cleaned it all up from being stored in a messy garage.

The paint with coupon: $4.50 (-ish I can't find the receipt)

Popped the little frames off because I want them and the handles to stay silver.

To cover the handles (since I didn't feel like figuring out how to take them off), I used aluminum foil. Take a piece of foil and fold it over to make a straight edge.

I put the flat edge to the cabinet and wrapped the handle with the foil to avoid any gold paint getting on the silver handle.

First coat: not so great I was thinking this could have been a mistake...

Second coat: a little better.

Much better! All finished with the frame thingys (I'm pretty sure that the technical term) back on.

I have noticed a lot of these same metal file cabinets on craigslist for under $25 but occasionally in the free section too! I will get it in the office and all organized at another time. I may not have a clean house or clean laundry but I have a pretty golden yellow file cabinet. :)