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The Perfect cupboard

Happy Spring! 
Did you think I fell off the face of the earth? I did fall out of blogland for a bit. It just couldn't be the priority with all that has been going on this past year. I know that some people blog through life's "rain or shine moments", so to speak. I used to be that blogger. But needing to simplify and re-prioritize my life made me realize that I needed a bit of a break. I pushed many things off my plate and will be sharing all the events that took place on my Mommy Bug blog. You can catch up there-where I share my personal and family life, but here, we are going to catch up on all the projects I've been doing. 
Yeah, don't think for a second I wasn't still doing anything...after all, it's because of all I've been doing that made it impossible to share it all on my blog and simplify at the same time. 
What I want to share today is this cupboard I painted for a tole painting class YEARS ago...back in '94 while expecting my first child (he's 25 now...). 
Everyone took tole painting classes back then. I will say I did an awesome job! 
While wanting to update this cupboard so I could still use it, (let's just admit now that it's seen better days!), but learning from my children how they would miss this sentimental piece that we've had hanging above their toilet for all their lives, I racked my brain on how I could keep the painting in tacked, but still modify it. 

Finally, one day, it occurred to me that rather than painting over it, I could cover it up with the possibility of one day uncovering it again if I wanted to! So I began by removing the hardware and painting the whole cupboard, using snow white by General Finishes.
I had to use several coats (which is why starting with a primer is recommended...).
After about 3 coats, I was ready to add the solution. Galvanized sheet metal which I had left over from when I finished the downstairs game cupboards (you can see that post HERE).
I basically used the same method by cutting out a piece of metal to fit, then creating a frame out of a simple straight, thin molding.

After I nailed the trim on, the cupboard was complete. I re-attached the hinges and hung the cupboard.
I added some magnets the children made that I've collected over the years.
They really add to the theme...So cute!
This is a great place for them to store their fun bath scrubs and supplies and a few rolls of toilet paper for easy access. This way no one gets stranded waiting for some passerby to supply them with some paper. When we clean, we just make sure there is a stock up there. 
We are all really happy with how it turned out. 

                                            It is so refreshed and chipper, just in time for summer.

Cranberry Coconut Chews- The perfect summer cookie

I thought the best way to wedge my way back into blogging after a 6 month absence would be to bring you a sweet treat recipe. Every May I host an annual book group at my home where we get together and pitch the books we'd like to see make it's way on the list for the upcoming year. We enjoy this over a potluck meal. It's always a fun night and a great success. This year, we ended up with only one dessert, and what a hit it was! I asked for the recipe from my friend, who gave it to me Sunday at church, and I made it that very evening. Other friends started asking me for the recipe as well, so I posted it on Facebook and now I decided to share it with you!
*I have made a few changes from the original recipe and even still would try omitting half of the sugar, but was worried about ruining the integrity of the dough.

Coconut Cranberry Chews
  • About 1 1/2 cups (3/4 lb.) butter or margarine, at room temperature
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated Orange or Lemon Peel
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla
  • 3 cups all-purpose Flour
  • 2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 1/2 cups dried Cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked dried Coconut
  • Step 1
    In a large bowl, with a mixer on medium speed, beat 1 1/2 cups butter, sugar, orange peel, and vanilla until smooth.
    Step 2
    In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to butter mixture, stir to mix, then beat on low speed until dough comes together, about 5 minutes. Mix in cranberries and coconut.
    Step 3
    Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place about 2 inches apart on buttered 12- by 15-inch baking sheets.
    Step 4
    Bake in a 350° regular or convection oven until cookie edges just begin to brown, 8 to 11 minutes (shorter baking time will yield a chewier cookie; longer baking time will yield a crispier cookie). If baking two sheets at once in one oven, switch their positions halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then use a wide spatula to transfer to racks to cool completely.
These cookies come with a warning, they are 


Furniture Refresh-{Grey Hutch}

Hello Sunshine! It's that time again. Do you know what that time is? Ummm, are you saying you don't count the weeks to each furniture refresh?! Wow.
Well, here we are again, but now we have a few new members, so don''t forget to see their furniture flips at the end of this post as well. They are going to be worth the extra clicks. 😉

This lovely hutch was a thrift store find for $100, but as it turns out it was my lucky day, because it had the color sticker that was 1/2 price that day. Woo-hoo! Love a great deal. So this was supposed to be the height that filled in my shop space, but I pulled out of the space before I could refinish her and she became a long time obstacle in my garage. Seasoned like all the rest of my poor furniture pieces before they finally find new life. 

Recently a friend asked if I could set up my leftover items in her studio to decorate and sell. So I thought it would be nice to finish this piece and haul it out of my garage as well.
And...That's how I'm able to bring this delightful flip to you today!
You always feel lucky when you visit me, don't you? 

First I sanded, then primed with an oil base primer. Afterwards I applied 2 coats of General Finishes Grey Seagull with a bit of their snow white mixed in to make it a bit lighter.

Because of the difficulty of removing the hardware, I decided to paint and prime it too. I didn't like the plain painted look, so I sanded them a bit to show the shine of the original finish a little. I like the way it's set off by the lead work in the doors.

                                                At first I decorated with all ceramic dishes,
 but I didn't like it. I switched out some of the white and added my pie plate collection instead. I really like the way the metals play off one another.

I like the look of that much better!
 If I'm real honest with myself, I still feel like the lower half could use something more, I just can't decide what yet.
Any suggestions? 
Thank you for visiting today! Now hop on over to my friends and enjoy their amazing flips as well!
Links will be added as posts go live

All Things New Again-Beach Dresser

Project Challenge- {Buckets or Containers}

Hey there lovelies, I'm so happy to see you!! 
This week has been more pleasant since I only work outside the home 3 days instead of the 4 I worked last week. This gives me a little extra time to join my wonderful group of women for an inspiring project challenge,
 and this month the theme is Buckets or Containers. 

We have a fun line-up, so once you are finished here, hop on over to my pal's blogs and enjoy their projects too!
I loved this theme because it was perfect for my needs. 
I have book group coming to my house so I've been spending a lot of time organizing, cleaning, and decorating. 
I have been wanting an olive bucket for many ions, so I went down to Hobby Lobby with my 40% off coupon and bought this hanging style one. I have plans to move it indoors eventually, but for now, I am displaying a couple of our mini pumpkins in it. 
I've had this yellow flowered grapevine for a few years. I love it, but don't usually bring it out until the Spring. 
I decided the contrast between the yellow, orange, and white would work perfectly here, 
so I wrapped the vine around the opening of the bucket 

and arranged the pumpkins together on it. 
A fresh hanging to welcome guests. 
I don't like how far the gap between the bucket and the stool arrangement is though, so I will be adding something to dangle from the bucket when I find what I'm looking for, but for now, it will have to do.
What containers have you been working with this season? Please leave a link in the comments to share with me!
Now you get to stop by and see some more great ideas with my creative pals, if you please. ;)

Domestic Deadline- Pumpkin Bucket
Recreated Designs- Simple Farmhouse Kitchen Planter
Shelstring Blog- Pumpkin Olive Bucket Hanger

Sewing Halloween Costumes

 A couple years ago I swore off sewing Halloween costumes for my kids. I always seem to be sewing up to the last dreadful minute and completely stressed out, no matter how hard I plan these things. I'm apparently not my mother.
But when we were discussing what the children were going to be this year, I suggested my little sweet 7 year old be a black cat. A witch, a skeleton, a black cat. Sounds perfect, right? 
So just like anything else, I suckered myself into something that I knew I would most inevitably regret. Sewing another black cat costume. The girls remember the one they wore as babies. So how could I resist my sweet girl asking me to sew her a costume? I have made every other child a costume, why not her too? 
Love it when parent guilt takes over. And at the moment, things like that don't seem to be that much more on your plate, right? 
Then reality kicks in and no matter how wonderful I try to be at is life and the chaos of my life kicks in with an enormous rush of reality at the most dreadful of times. 
Those of you who follow me on Instagram will recognize this photo:
With this caption:
What to do on a rainy Saturday afternoon? Cut out #Halloween costumes of course!! #saturdayisaspecialday #rainydays
We had a Halloween Harvest party to go to Saturday night, so I spent the entire day cutting and sewing, and feeling like things weren't going well
Turns out they weren't. 
After sewing the whole doggone outfit up, zipper and all, it drowned my seven year old. The front sleeve was too short and the back sleeve too long...I had chosen the wrong size pattern and cut the sleeves wrong. 
The fabric wasn't my original choice either. 
So 32 dollars and 8 hours later, 
the hour before the party,
I ran pulled down costumes from the attic and my 7 year old was a girl skeleton...a costume that was sitting around the house all week long. 
I pulled some web printed wire ribbon from the craft closet and within minutes...
She was the cutest skeleton I've ever seen. 
But don't tell, 
she wanted to be scary. 
Here's to re-learning life's lessons!

Bathroom Tile Fix- {How-to}

Hello and welcome! Thanks for joining me as I work on checking off some items on my to-do list! 
I am very excited about sharing this long awaited project with you.
Well, actually, to be honest I'm just really happy to have it done.

I really don't remember when it happened, but my sweet girls were playing and had their hands under the tile on the edge of the counter one day, just rocking forward and back, and along came the tiles, one right after the other in their hands. I was standing right there and saw the whole thing, so the account isn't even hearsay. ;)
The poor girls were astonished and stopped immediately, but once one tile had come, the others just started coming too.
I just set them aside and decided to come back to them later. This and the master bath renovation (which will come later) were the reasons I chose tile as one of the materials to use this year. 
Since this has been on the back-burner for so long, it became the month to get it done. I decided it was time to fix a long awaiting project on the to-do list, and set to work. 
 Tile can be intimidating to some, but honestly, I started my first project years ago in our last house when we finished our basement. I tiled the bathroom and my craft room floor after my husband encouraged me to take a class at Home Depot one Saturday. So there, now you see that I'm a professional! ;)
First you mix up your mortar so that it's spreadable.
 This was a bit too thick, so I took it off and remixed the batch with a little more water to make it more workable. It should be thick enough that you can spread it on smoothly and will stay when you adhere it to the surface, but not so thick that it clumps together when you are scoring it. If it is slipping or running, you know it is too thin and need to mix in more mortar. 
 After spreading the mortar on, you score it with the edge of the notched tiling float tool. There are different sizes for the various needs of the project. I just used what I have on hand for our shower project, but this gives you the idea anyway.
 Next, I spread the whole surface with mortar. 
After scoring that as well, I set the tiles using spacers. These are 3/8" spacers. Pretty standard, but chosen according to the grout size you want between tiles.
After a couple of hours or over night (according to package directions), you fill in the tiles with a matching grout. Luckily I had the right color on hand from a previous project. (Which was probably  my kitchen back-splash)
 Once the grout is dry, you can seal it and  check that off your ever long list of to-dos,
 and move on. 
 It's funny how I put things off so long. They aren't really that hard either. The burden of having them hang over my head just doesn't seem worth it. I'm getting better about just doing what needs to be done as soon as it demands my attention, but I find myself pulled in so many directions that it isn't always possible. 
I hope this helps you tackle that tile project you've been putting off. It's so much simpler than it seems and is always so gratifying! 

Furniture Refresh-{Snow White Night Stand}

Life has been crazy busy around here, but I have managed to get a few things done,  squeezing in a sanding down here,  a coat of paint in there, a quick trip for hardware between jobs and running kids around. The payoff is worth it, but posting about them all is a trick.
I'm very thankful for my groups that keep me actively sharing.
So today I'm sharing another Furniture Refresh, stick around and check out all of my sweet friend's posts at the end.

My girls have been in need of a nightstand for quite some time. I finally realized I had the solution just waiting in the garage.
I had signed this piece off, really, because it was what I call a "craigslist find fail". I had contacted the seller about this adorable nightstand thinking it would make a darling piece to make over and sell in my shop space. But once I met her at the Ross Clothing parking lot in the middle of the pouring rain, I found it had a few dog chewed spots on it that basically rendered it un-sellable. Not wanting to fuss about it, I went ahead and paid her the $20 she was asking for. She said she'd go down to $15, but I didn't have change, so there you have it. I'm a wimp like that. ;)
*Piece of advice here- Don't ever take big bills like that. Always be prepared for negotiation, like at a yard sale!
Anyhow, the piece has great lines and is pure wood, so what the heck, huh?

I decided to match it with my girls room and paint it white like all the rest of their furniture.The one downside of this, is that no matter what, furniture painted white always seems to need a million coats on it, primed or not.
Okay, not a million...but at least 1 or two coats more than any other piece. It feels like a million...okay?! 
Anyhow, even though I don't have any "during" photos (apparently I was hasty since I was working on other things at the same time), I began by sanding the surfaces and then priming with an oil based primer. This is my favorite way to paint anything anymore, I've had a few projects go bad because the paint was originally oil based and I used water based primer. The best way to avoid that mistake is to just use an oil base primer to begin with. Then I painted this poor piece 3 times over with General Finishes' Snow White. And...