Before and After: End Table

I did a quick redo on an end table for a friend yesterday.  We’ve been working all week on her new study, as what may go down in history as the least expensive room redo ever.  OK, maybe not ever, but it’s coming together quite well and we (OK, they) haven’t spent much money so far.  I’m hoping she’ll let me photograph it to share when it’s done.

In the meantime here’s the before of their end table…

The after is a little mock-up that I did at my house, using some random things as well as a new checkerboard that I made for her–it literally cost me nothing to make but a couple of hours.  (I actually worked on it with my morning coffee)…

As much as I love the way it looks in this little vignette, I’m sure I’ll love it in her den as well.  It’s going to look so different.

I love how the finish turned out. I love how the whole room is turning out.

Anyways, I delivered it this afternoon.  I hope they are enjoying it as we speak.

Peace,

C

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ON THE GRILL: ham steaks with orange marmalade

Tonight’s dinner was a winner because it was so dang fast and easy.  Try it, you’ll like it.

Get yourself a big ol’ bone-in ham steak.  Then, put a little orange marmalade (maybe a 1/4 cup) in a small bowl and stir in a tablespoon or so of water (just to thin it out).  Brush it on the steak and slap it on the grill.  It only needs about 5 minutes per side and it’s done.

Try it for breakfast, too.  It’s awesome with eggs!

Peace,

C

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Finds From the Lake

As I mentioned in my earlier post, we were on vacation last week.  We spent a lot of time on the water, but we also had time to go into town and dig around one of my favorite thrift stores.  We came across so many good bargains, but this is what we came home with.

Check out that mirror for only $8.  I’ve had oval mirrors cut and they ain’t that cheap!  But, put some black spray paint on it and I’m going to have a sophisticated mirror for next to nothing.  I also picked up that colorful throw that has an idea brimming in my head.  And, I couldn’t pass up the cute little mug to put our toothbrushes in.  Cloches are hot and at $3 I know I’ll find some place for it. The candlestick is for a mini project and I just needed a potato masher for at the lake, and it has that vintage-country thing going for it that I love.

That’s it for now.  Kind of a lame-o post, no doubt.  But, for some reason I still feel like I’m on vacation mode.  Ah, summertime.

Peace,

C

On the Grill: corn on the cob with herbed butter mayo

Yesterday evening we spent the final hours of our vacation cooking an awesome dinner in the backyard.  Last week we were on a wonderful family vacation which started in San Antonio with Mimi and Papa, followed by a few days at the lake with Nana and Pop.  I came home feeling relaxed, refreshed…and chubby.

Today it’s back to reality…

Laundry and tighter-fitting shorts.

We truly had a wonderful week playing with the kids and grandparents.  And eating.  And drinking.  Hiccup.  And this corn was a wonderful way to end the binge.  The herbed butter mayo just seeps into those little nooks and crannies of the corn and you find yourself licking your greasy lips when it’s all gone wishing for more.  Did someone say tight shorts?

Here’s how to make them.  The corn, that is.  Not necessarily the tight fitting shorts.

GRILLED CORN ON THE COB with HERBED BUTTER MAYO

4-6 fresh ears of corn

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup mayo

3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1.  Start by heating your grill.  You’re gonna want to cook these on medium-medium high heat.

2.  Make the herbed butter mayo by mixing the ingredients in a small bowl until smooth.  Set aside.

3.  Now its time to shuck the corn.  Don’t be afraid.  Start by breaking off the ends and tearing off the first couple of layers of husks.  Then hold it by the end and peel down the rest of the husks, without completely removing them, until you expose the ear.  Tear off all of the silks.  Then, fold the husks back up over the corn, ending with about 2-3 layers of husks.

4.  Put the corn on the grill and cook, covered, about 20-25 minutes, turning a few times to ensure you get even charring.  Remove from the grill and tear away the husks and top with the herbed butter mayo.  Enjoy!

Peace,

C

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Father’s Day Gift Idea: Painted Glasses

I was on Etsy a while back and came across these really cool glasses and I knew they’d be perfect for Gilby for Father’s Day.  After all, my man loves scotch and bikes.

Naturally, (the procrastinator that I am) I forgot to order them in time to get them here.  So, my DIY brain convinced me to pack up the kids and head out for some supplies…

I only ended up needing the glasses, which I purchased at Walmart for $5 and a bottle of enamel paint (made for glass) from Michael’s for $.99.  You’ll also need brushes and a stencil.

We started out by just taping the stencil to the glass.

Then, I took a paint brush and lightly brushed the paint on.  My stencil was homemade (in other words: imperfect) so I figured this would be better, then I could go back over it after I removed the stencil.  (I’m not necessarily recommending this method–read on to see why.)

This is before I went back over it.  Not looking good so far…

(I didn’t get any action shots of me going back over them.)

After you finish painting the glasses, let them air dry for 1 hour.  Then put them on a cookie sheet and put them in a cold oven.  Heat to 350.  Bake for 30 minutes, then turn off the oven and leave them in there to cool.  This will set the paint and make them washable (top rack dishwasher safe).

So, all in all they are totally imperfect.  The Etsy ones are way cooler, and I’ll probably end up ordering those anyways.  But, I’m totally going to try this again.  I’m thinking a bicycle isn’t the easiest thing… straight lines and perfect circles on a curved surface=tragedy.   At least I was only out $6.

So, while this may not be the best example of what to do, we can all learn from my failures.  Here’s some tips that I think would make your glasses turn out way better than mine…

1. Get a decent stencil.  Duh.  I did try, though believe it or not, neither Michael’s or Hobby Lobby had a bicycle stencil.  Get with the program people!

2.  I tried using one of those foamy stamper things, and it was even worse than the brush.  I think a foam brush + a good stencil would have yielded better results.

3.  Don’t be afraid to make minor mistakes.  I found it cleans up easy with a small brush dipped in rubbing alcohol.

I hope y’all try this and let me know what works better for you.  And send pics!  Like I said, I’ll totally try this again and will post pics when I do.

Peace,

C

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Moody Tuesday

I’m not actually moody today, but I did create a new moodboard.  After my outing the other day, I was so inspired by some of the deals I came across that I decided to create a moodboard using some of them…

I think this a pretty room, full of color and style.  And, it could be recreated for well under $3,000.  Want to know the sources?  Contact me at cagilbertson@gmail.com.

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On the Menu: Rigatoni with Meatballs and Chunky Marinara

Image

So for tonight, me and the kids are having breakfast for dinner because I have everything on hand and I don’t have to go to the grocery store.  Until tomorrow.  But, over my kid-less weekend I had the girls over for a little girls’ night in.  It’s been a while since I’ve gotten to chill with my peeps before kids’ bedtimes.  So, we had a cooking party.  Everyone was responsible for bringing a dish to prepare.  It ended up being a success; and by success I mean we all ended up eating ourselves sick.

I was in charge of the main dish and this is what I made.  All in all, it’s an easy dish and definitely good enough for company.  Here’s the recipe:

Rigatoni with Meatballs and Chunky Marinara

MEATBALLS:

1 lb ground beef

1lb ground pork

1/4 cup unseasoned bread crumbs

3/4 cup seasoned Italian bread crumbs

3T fresh parsley, chopped

1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 large egg, beaten

canola oil and olive oil

CHUNKY MARINARA:

2 T olive oil

1 large carrot, finely diced

1 large stalk celery, finely diced

1 medium onion, finely diced

3-4 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 cup red wine

2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes

salt and pepper

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1.  Preheat oven to 350.

2.  For the meatballs: In a large bowl, combine everything but the oils.  Go ahead and get your hands in it; they’re your best tools.  Form into large meatballs, yielding about 18.

3.  In a large oven proof skillet with lid, heat over medium-high heat equal parts of canola and olive oil to a depth of 1/4″.  Place meatballs in skillet and cook on each side about 3 minutes, or until browned, working in batches if necessary.  Remove to a platter.

4.  Discard the oil, but do not wipe the bits from the pan. Add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet over medium-high heat.  Add in the carrots, celery, onions, and garlic.  Cook, stirring frequently about 5 minutes, until onions are translucent.  Pour in the red wine and use a wooden spoon to loosen up any browned bits.  Add the canned tomatoes and stir.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Return the meatballs to the pan and bring up to a simmer.  Cover with lid and put in the oven.

4.  Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.  Remove from oven and stir in parsley.  Serve with rigatoni and freshly grated parmesan.  Enjoy!

Peace,

C

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Finds

I had a fun first week of summer with the kids last week, but having them home means I didn’t get to get out and about.  So, while the kids were away this weekend I did just that, and had a monumental day of finds!  So much cool stuff.  I actually walked away with some purchases (above), including vintage playing cards and an old butter lid.  I don’t know what I’m going to do with it yet, but I loved it’s patina.  All of these little finds are part of a project I’m working on to prove how inexpensive a beautiful room can be.  So, I guess you could consider this a sneak-peak.

Anyways, not everything I found came home with me.  Here’s what else I saw…

EAT sign…and it’s wired to light.  I thought this was so fun.  $150…

Turbine chandelier.  $65.  I could see this happening.

Bar carts are everywhere. This one has huge potential with a new finish and some modern hardware.  $100

I thought this upholstered bench was so cute.  $140

There were a pair of these wingback chairs.  They are in excellent condition and were really comfy.  $125 each.  Wouldn’t they be cute with that bench???

Next up is this cool old chicken crate.  This would make a great coffee table.

See?  From Country Living.

Art can be expensive.  But, I thought this bird painting was really cool, and it was only $35.

OK, perhaps the rarest thing I found was this old chicken nest.  It was $140.  I stood there looking at it, knowing it has a use.  Maybe in a bathroom to hold toilet paper and hand towels?  Maybe in a kitchen to hold produce?  Anyways, it has that cool farmhouse chic thing going for it.

And, lastly I saw these old candlesticks.  $20 each.  Pretty pretty.  They could maybe even be turned into lamps.

Well, that’s it for this week.  Hope y’all feel inspired.  I know I do.

Peace,

C

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Happy Friday!

Gilby took the kids to visit his family for the weekend.  I have a baby shower to go to tomorrow, so I couldn’t join them.  Truth is, I plan to enjoy every moment they are gone.  I don’t get breaks like this very often.  So, I started my evening with a couple of these while relaxing on my back patio.  It’s my favorite summertime drink.   Go mix some up and join me.  They’re easy…just fill a glass with ice and mix equal parts coconut rum (I like Cruzan), pineapple juice (I buy the small cans by Dole), and 7-up (I usually use diet).  Stir and enjoy!

Cheers,

C