Lighten up!

For years whenever my husband and I would purchase furniture it seemed we always picked the same dark brown pieces over and over. Now when I look around my house at this sea of “brown”, I want to give it all away and start over.  Knowing that wasn’t going to fly with the husband, over Christmas break I decided I would just start by painting a few pieces.  With Tim home for the holiday, he was adamantly against me painting.  Actually I think he was just against any painting messes.  So as soon as his car left the driveway on the Monday following Christmas break, I quickly grabbed my drop cloths, brushes and paint and got straight to work!

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I decided to tackle this armoire that houses our TV in our sunroom. We bought it when we first got married almost 15 years ago so I wasn’t too concerned if it didn’t turn out.  I figured I would just replace it if I screwed it up too badly.  Tim is not that observant so he probably wouldn’t even notice if it happened to be gone the following week.

 

I cleaned it thoroughly because my kids are constantly in and out of it with greasy little hands. After that I applied a coat of Pure White paint by Annie Sloan.  As you can see it is a pretty dark piece so I did apply two more coats of paint, allowing dry time in between applications.  I used Annie Sloan’s clear wax after the last coat of paint had dried.  I sanded only slightly because I didn’t want it to look super distressed but wanted a nice smooth finish.  After sanding and wiping it down with a dry cloth I applied one more coat of clear wax.  This piece of furniture gets a lot of use and I knew it would need some extra protection.

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I love how it turned out. It really lightened up the room which was what I was going for.  I am also happy to report that husband loved it as well.  I think he actually liked that he didn’t have to look at the “in progress” stage.  Not to self…..Do whatever you want but have it cleaned before spouse gets home!

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A POWERHOUSE lunch that tastes good too!

I always feel healthy after yoga and so for at least a good hour and a half I try to eat clean.  🙂  Today I decided to make a Kale and Quinoa salad.  This salad is filling, good for you and tastes great too. Kale and Quinoa Salad 1 Bunch of Kale (cleaned and de stemmed) 1 cup Quinoa (cooked and cooled) I used Gluten free 1/4 avocado 3 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Organic) 2 T Fresh lemon juice 1 t Dijon mustard 1 garlic clove diced salt and pepper to taste Clean and de stem Kale.  Roll Kale leaves and chiffon chop them.  Place chopped kale and about 1/2 cup quinoa in a bowl. In a small bowl mix E.V.O.O., Dijon mustard, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper.  Mix well.  Put about 1 T of the dressing on the kale and quinoa mixture.  Top with avocado and chow! I save the extra kale, quinoa, avocado and dressing in separate left over dishes.  I plan on eating this for lunch everyday this week. ENJOY!  Your body will thank you. quin 2

Healthy chicken tacos

I am a die hard Mexican food lover, but it’s just not always the healthiest of choices.  Nevertheless, I need my Mexican fix weekly.  This week I decided to make a healthier version of my favorite food.  I had a million places to be on Monday night so I needed something quick and healthy.  This recipe is easy and was the best chicken taco I have ever had.  I think the salsa is the key.  I used a Frontera Salsa…

2 Chicken Breasts

1 Jar Roasted Habenaro (HOT) salsa – Yes salsa matters!

1 head of green cabbage (thinly shredded)

1 package corn tortillas

Low fat sour cream

Fresh Cilantro

In crockpot combine chicken breasts with entire jar of salsa.  Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.

1/2 hour before chicken is done, shred chicken breasts and place back in crockpot.

Assemble

Take 2 corn tortillas and heat in microwave for 20 seconds. (If you want crispy shells you can place the corn tortillas in the oven at 350 degrees for a few minutes.)  Spread a dollop of sour cream on the top tortilla shell.  Place shredded chicken on top of shell.  Top with shredded cabbage and cilantro.  Pick up and chow!

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The two corn tortilla shells are key!  Otherwise  you can’t pick them up to eat…..they will just fall apart:(

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This recipe is a keeper!  I am telling you…..soooooo good!

General Finishes Antique White Buffet

My dear friend Deana has been looking tirelessly for a buffet to go in her breakfast room.  She found this gem on craigslist finally and sent me an inspiration picture of what she wanted it to look like.  She was looking for a white or off white color to accent her grey walls.  She didn’t want anything too ornate or fancy.  This buffet was perfect but needed a little face lift.

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I first started by giving taking off all the hardware and giving the whole buffet a light sanding.  Next I cleaned the piece off with equal parts alcohol and water.  Once all the dust was off and the buffet was dry I applied a coat of General Finishes Antique White.  This paint is awesome if you are looking for a really smooth finish.  It goes on so smooth and dries quickly.  After I applied a coat of paint, I lightly sanded the buffet again and cleaned off with a dry rag.  I repeated the process three times.  After the final coat of paint had dried, I lightly sanded the edges just to give a little depth to the piece.

Deanna also wanted the hardware to be darker.  I found this rubbed bronze spray paint at Lowe’s that did just the trick.  I cleaned the hardware and then sprayed three times, allowing for dry time in between each coat.

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I am loving the buffet and thinking about keeping it and changing my phone number.

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Armoire makeover for outdoor patio using Annie Sloan chalk paint

My sweet friend Katie H. asked me if I would transform a beautiful armoire belonging to her mother, Gail.  Gail was looking for a piece that she could place outdoors under her covered patio where she could store things, such as candles, pool supplies, etc.  Katie and Gail found this piece and wanted it to be painted in a rustic way and chose Flow Blue by Miss Mustard Seed.

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Miss Mustard Seed makes a great milk paint that peels in certain places giving it a really natural old feel to the piece.  If you use a bonding agent in combination with the paint you will not get any of the peeling.  I mixed the paint and knew I would have to add the bonding agent because this piece was so shiny.  I applied the first coat and then waited for it to dry.  Upon returning I found this…..

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Insert SCREAM here!

Some things milk paint will just not adhere too.  I made an executive decision and scraped off all the paint.  Then I slightly sanded the piece.  I had to go with my old standby, which I know will stick to ANY surface….Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  I chose a similar color to the Flow Blue called Aubusson Blue.  It is a gorgeous color.  I applied two coats allowing for dry time in between. Next I added a dark wax to age the piece and sanded off certain areas.  When finished I wiped the whole piece down and added two coats of Shabby Paints Vax!  This stuff is AWESOME.  No buffing required.

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Katie and her husband Ron came and picked it up today.  I was dying to know what Gail thought.  Katie sent me a picture of the armoir in its new home and Gail texted me, “It’s beautiful.  I absolutely love it!!  Thanks so much!!!”  Whew, another happy customer and another lesson learned…..not all paints are created equal!

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Annie Sloan updated settee

I found this awesome settee on craigslist and couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.  I have to say it wasn’t much to look at when I saw it.  I knew with some Annie Sloan chalk paint, she could beautiful once again.

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I applied two coats of Annie Sloan Pure White to the entire settee.  Once dried I sanded to distress and then applied my favorite wax mixture.  I used 1 part Annie Sloan Dark Wax to 2 parts Mineral spirits.  This “waters” down the wax and allows you to brush on the entire piece rather than rubbing the wax on.  I find that it gives it a more realistic aged effect.  Afterwards you simple take a lint free cloth and wipe the wax glaze off.  This leaves the finish super smooth.  You will still need to add a protective coat of wax.

Now to reupholster this piece….All I have to say is thank God my Dad was staying with me while he is in transition of moving to Florida.  He sat and removed every single staple from the old upholstery.  THANK YOU DAD!  That was probably the hardest part of this makeover.  Once he removed the old fabric we realized that none of the foam or wood could be reused.  It was completely shot.  My dad took the plywood to Lowe’s and they custom cut two new pieces for us.  He then went to Hobby Lobby to pick up new foam.  We quickly got to work replacing the entire seat.  It is so much more comfortable and sturdy now.  I added a decorative trim around the fabric to hide the nails and give it a little more pizazz.  I just love the way it turned out.  What a difference some paint and new fabric can make.  My oldest daughter is trying to hijack this piece for her room.  I need to sell it while she is at school:-)   I think it would be great as a bench in a living room or entry way.  It would be perfect in a mud room as well.  Just adorable.  Right now it is sitting at the end of my daughters bed and it does look like it belongs there.  🙂  If it doesn’t sell I know it was meant to be right where it sits now.

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Hope Chest Makeover

We all have them. . . the old hope chest we either inherited from a family relative or that were gifted to us in our teens.  A friend (Deana), I met online asked me if there was anything we could do to update an old hope chest of hers.  She referred to another I had sold about a month earlier.

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Deana really liked the chevron pattern on top and asked if I could do the same to her chest.  Unfortunately her hope chest was a little different.  It had a fabric top.  I was pretty certain that the wood underneath would be “unfinished” but thought we could just recover with a cheveron fabric.

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I got to work on this chest by cleaning it and detaching the fabric top.  It was screwed in to the top of the chest with 8 screws.

I started painting the chest keeping the other grey and white one in mind.  I used the same colors (Annie Sloan Pure White and Paris Grey) and asked Deana if she wanted it aged and distressed just like the one she liked.  She said yes so I got to work on the fun part…..beating up the furniture a bit.  🙂

Next I went upholstery shopping.  I sent Deana several samples but in the end we knew we wanted the grey and white chevron.

Once the staples were removed, I measured the fabric and used the original fabric as my template.  I was able to use the original foam as well.  It was still in great shape.  Using a heavy duty staple gun, I attached the fabric to the original board.

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Finally I waxed the chest using Shabby Paints Vax and using Annie Sloan dark wax for aging.

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I have to say the best part was delivering this chest back to Deana.  I am always nervous when a person entrusts a piece of furntiture to me.  The look on Deana’s face and her reaction made my day.  Most excited about my new friendship with Deana….she is so sweet and shares my passion for all things repurposed.  We were “texting buddies” for sure during this process.  Deana kept sending other pieces around her house asking if we could make those over as well.  And let me just say, she has GREAT ideas and fabulous taste!  How gorgeous is Deana??

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A before and after of this chest back home!

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What do you think?  Do you have an old hope chest like this?  If so please share your makeovers.