“Hope”ing to make this old chest new again

When I was 18 years old my Mom took me out and bought me a “hope chest.” At the time I picked it out I just loved it and thought, “Well,  this will never go out of style.”
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Fast forward 22 years later. It sits at the end of my bed looking so 80’s to me. However, it still serves a purpose. We store our warm blankets in there and sit on it to tie our shoes, so I wasn’t ready to get rid of it. But I did think it could use a little sprucing up or down as the case may be. I first decided to try and “white wash” it. It didn’t turn out exactly the way I had hoped.

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I needed to fix my mistake fast.  So I slapped some Milk paint on that bad boy and watched it begin to distress itself. I love the way that the Milk paint naturally bubbles up and peels off.  Here you can see what I mean.

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I was much happier with this finished product.  I do have to admit I have a bit of hesitation putting this post up in fear my poor mother will have a heart attack.  I love it, though!  Makes me feel like I have a new piece of furniture and my kids can’t do a thing to it to jack it up!

See what I mean?  Can’t even get the kids out of my pictures much less my room.

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Fall is the time for soup

Fall is the time for soup! I just love this time of year. It’s perfect for cooking soup. About a year ago my sister gave me a great idea. I was constantly throwing old packages of shriveled grape tomatoes away. She said that she had a friend who found a way to save those crinkled up little suckers. Set your oven to 500 degrees. On a foil lined baking sheet, pour out your tomatoes and drizzle with olive oil. Add salt and pepper. You can add some chopped garlic and dried basil or oregano as well. Put them in the oven before you go to bed. BE SURE AND TURN THE OVEN OFF. Let them sit in the oven over night. In the morning you will have perfect roasted tomatoes. I use these revived beauties on everything from pasta to soup. I love a recycled vegetable or fruit! So yesterday I decided to invent a soup! I like to call it Roasted Tomato and Black Bean soup. Here is what you will need: 1 (15 oz) can of tomato sauce ½ yellow onion chopped 1 pound of lean ground beef 1 bottle of beer (non alcoholic is fine too) 1 package of ranch seasoning 2 cups of oven roasted tomatoes 1 can of black beans (rinsed and drained) Brown the ground beef and chopped onion in a skillet. Drain any excess fat from the beef and add to crockpot. Add all remaining ingredients and mix well. Turn crockpot on low. Cover. Let cook for 6 hours. If it needs more liquid, you could always add some beef broth. I served mine over a bed of fresh spinach leaves with fresh Parmesan cheese shavings. You could serve over rice or pasta as well. Tastes just fine by itself too! Add some crusty French bread and enjoy. Yes! Kids like it too. My 8-year-old looked up as she was shoveling it in last night and said, “Mom save this for me to eat tomorrow night for dinner too. Don’t eat it for lunch. Okay?” soup