Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Painted Table

Our dining table cost all of $10 at a garage sale. It came with four chairs... at least I assume it was four chairs. They came in broken pieces that I never bothered to put back together so I'm not entirely sure. A little too vintage, I guess.

The table is nothing special - round with a single leaf, solid wood legs and a press board top. But my then pregnant-and-nesting brain decided all it needed was a coat of paint, and by god we needed a place to sit and eat as a family, so the table would work. BTW - painting a table with an 8-month large belly is not easy, but it is doable.

Since then the table has gone through its share of dings and scrapes, but you know what fixes that? Paint. Yes, that is the beauty of a painted table - you can run as many toys across it, pot as many plants, and color as many pictures as you want, and it'll look good as new after a fresh coat of paint. Same goes for (two of) the chairs.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Kitchen Nook

I have a brand new wall in my kitchen that came about as part of the dining room re-do (more on that later), leaving me with 12" of space next to the stand up freezer. I started shoving a broom in there, just to get it out of the way, but after looking through my Pinterest some more and thinking on it, I decided to make my little kitchen nook into a broom/utility closet.

I was a blogging idiot and forgot to take a before picture. So, picture this: beat up 70's wood paneling on the back, nice and newly painted drywall to the right, a freezer to the left, and orangey plywood on the floor. Yick.

With the magic of paint, primer, peel and stick flooring (leftover from the rest of the kitchen floor), and a little bit of shoe molding, I now have a broom/utility closet!

I have plans for tension rods and hooks, but that's all in due time.

ugly orange plywood, meet new flooring tiles
painted, floored, and trimmed!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Flashback

Thrift Store Wish List
My Mother, The Hero

Huh. Looks like I tend to be sick in January. Go figure. And with stomach bugs... (no, I'm not telling you about this year's)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

ANOTHER Birthday Pound Cake

raspberry pound cake
Yes, I know, I already wrote about this... BUT, this post is different enough. I swear.

So, while I was going through the liquor cabinet to find the amaretto for the Amaretto-Almond Pound Cake I spied a bottle of raspberry liquor. I have no idea why on earth I bought raspberry liquor, but it's there, and as I mentioned dad likes raspberry... so I made another pound cake. Just because I had to give it a shot.

I made the cake pretty much the same, just substituting the raspberry for the amaretto and leaving out the sliced almonds. For the glaze I halved the water and substituted more raspberry liquor. Because I can. As a finishing touch I dusted it with powdered sugar (this time it wasn't to cover up the broken parts).

It turned out ah-may-zing. Sometimes I impress myself.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Birthday Pound Cake

Every year I make dad a birthday cake, and every year I try to outdo myself a little bit. He loves raspberry and almond flavors (as do I) so I tend to go in that direction. This year I made him the Amaretto-Almond Pound Cake from Southern Living magazine.

Oh. My. Goodness. It was soooooo good. Seriously. You need to try this cake. I'm drooling again, aren't I? You'll want to make sure to really generously grease the pan tho, because the top got stuck and I had to perform a little minor cake reconstructive surgery. But that's what a sprinkling of powdered sugar is for.

Since the recipe calls for making an amaretto glaze that you soak into the cake (I know, right??) and I didn't want Max to be ingesting that much alcohol, I made him a mini-cake. I just trimmed off the top, er, the bottom?, of the cake before I added the glaze and smooshed it into a heart shaped cookie cutter. Insta-cake. He loved it. Though he probably was wishing for frosting.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Washing Little Toys

Have some little toys (or other little things) that you want to wash, but really don't want to hand-wash them? Are they probably top-rack dishwasher safe? Do you have a mesh produce bag?

Put the little toys, such as alphabet magnets, into the mesh bag and run it through the dishwasher. Make sure you scrape the plates first tho - bits of food can get caught in the mesh. Ta-da! Clean toys.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Me Versus the Head Cold: The Result

I won. BAM, take that head cold!

I have to say, taking an airborne three times a day really did the trick (that's the maximum suggested). I'm sure the neti pot helped too, but not as dramatically. You know how normally when you're sick you feel worse by the end of the day, especially if you're at work? Well, Friday I actually felt noticeably better at the end of the day. Like, I got my voice back, stopped coughing, and my coworkers stopped giving me that look, you know, the one like they want to spray you with Lysol.

The part about the airborne I like the second best (directly after it made my head cold go away) - the only artificial thing in it is the flavor.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sinus Warriors

Oh holy head cold, I make these offerings to you: a neti pot, airborne, and an iced tea. Well, the iced tea is really for my caffeine fix so I don't end up with a raging caffeine withdrawal headache on top of my sinus headache. (Normally I drink coffee - and a lot of it - but my coffee pot is at work, I'm at home keeping my misery away from my coworkers, and I had no desire to make an additional stop today just to get coffee.)

This is a new tactic for me (the remedies, not the staying home and whining about having no coffee). Generally I fight off head colds with, well, not much. Sudafed and some orange juice. All of those fantastic cold medicines out there that you all swear by? Yeah, they knock me flat on my ass. Benadryl in particular. I once took a half dose of non-drowsy children's benadryl and it knocked me out for 8 1/2 hours. I kid you not.

I've got my tea and my green super-smoothies too, but I need something more. So a massive dose of vitamin C (without the stomach ache of too much orange juice) and a sinus flush out it is. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Ultimate Toddler Present

What do you get for a toddler? A lot of wrapping paper, that’s what. I wasn’t kidding when I told people to get him a big, empty box with five layers of wrapping paper on it. No batteries required.

Max’s favorite part of Christmas, by far, was the wrapping paper. Or, rather, ripping it off the presents. At my parent’s he was in heaven since mom wrapped each stocking stuffer for all of us, and of course he had to help open all the presents. My grandfather and my aunt won the unofficial “Max’s favorite gifts,” contest with a helicopter that makes noise and has blinky lights and a pirate ship that makes noise and has toddler sized legos. So far the present he has no interest in is the set of blocks that I got him, but I have a feeling that he’s still a little too young to appreciate them for anything other than projectile target practice. Overall, I have to admire the restraint that the grandparents showed with not completely overwhelming him with stuff. Having a nice time and the visiting was worth so much more than more toys.

One of the first things that I did when we got back with his booty was to clear out his toy box of 75% of the toys, only leaving the favorites. If he has too many choices he doesn’t know what to do with himself. One of those can’t see the forest for the trees type of things. (Does that analogy work? Sure, let’s go with it.)

Monday, January 9, 2012

I’m BAAAaaaack!

Yes, I took a vacation! Well, kinda. We visited relatives and mostly stayed home and hung out. It was awesome, and lasted just long enough. Max and I were both chomping at the bit to get back to our regular routines. Hubby, on the other hand, seemed perfectly content to continue hanging. Perhaps I didn’t let Max climb all over him enough… Two adults are not sufficient replacement playmates for half a dozen toddlers. Though I have some mad action figure playing skillz.

I had planned on starting back up again on last Monday, but I caught a virus and just wasn’t in the mood. One of the kitties was awfully happy to have me home all to herself. We had a Dollhouse marathon and hung out in the recliner. Now she hears the theme music and comes racing in to hop on my lap. It’s almost as reliable as when she hears the snick of the cat food can opening.

So, how were your holidays? Did you do anything special?