Saturday, January 31, 2009

Slumber Party!

(Missy and me)


(Michelle and Amy)

"Oh Girl's just wanna have fun"!! Well last night we did. We had an old fashioned Slumber Party with all the fixin's...pizza, chocolate milk shakes, candy. We watched one of my favorite movies, "Fun with Dick and Jane".

We painted our nails and stayed up really late sharing bits about our faith, families and just our journey as women ...no detail spared! It's absolutely wonderful to make time for friends and I think it's vital to our existence. We need each other and honestly I think life would be awfully lonely without them.

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Life's a Blur

Photo Credit Christof Wittwer

I'm usually really good at balancing my life. I take good care of myself. I exercise and take vitamins, nap when I'm tired etc... But lately I'm a little out of whack. Life has gotten busy...really busy. I feel like I am constantly playing catch up and I don't even work! For all of you who do, I really admire the juggling act that you have to do in order to get things done. Kudos to you all. As for my unbalance, I guess I need to start saying no to myself and to others occasionally and do a little slowing down. Life's too short to live in a blur.
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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Grandma's Piano

(Finished product)
I've had a dream of painting our piano for years and Monday I did just that. We inherited the piano from Brian's grandma 5 years ago. And it took a room redo for me to finally get to it, but it is OFFICIALLY painted!! I had to disassemble it, sand, prime, add two coats of semi-gloss black paint, and spray paint the knobs and pedals silver but it's done! I am fairly pleased with the results. It's a little gloppy, so I may distress it and add furniture wax to it later.
(Before)
(The bench seat was really scratched.)
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Saturday, January 24, 2009

My Posse

We are living in such uncertain times. With the constant barrage of bad news from t.v., the Internet and papers it just gets to be too much sometimes. My family is my comfort. They keep me grounded and focused on what really matters...no matter what! I'm just so blessed to have them. If only we could all just escape from reality for awhile, gather our loved ones to us and take a deep breath. I'm sure all the other "distractions" would become a little more manageable.
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Missy's Margarita Pants


I've always wanted to paint a picture for my friend Missy, but her style was just so different than mine. She's an aerobics instructor and pretty much lives in her workout clothes. So I decided to paint something that would go in her laundry room where it really wouldn't go against the rest of her more sophisticated style. I wanted something that would fit her to a "tee" and I think I did it. I took pictures of her "Margarita" workout pants and then made a really cute custom piece. The pants are hanging on the clothesline with real tiny wooden clothespins. She was thrilled with the results.
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Friday, January 23, 2009

Closet Murals part 2



The pig and cow are in my little chick's room. It's super cute. The two pigs or hippos (I can't decide which they look like) in the basket are flying over her clothes:)
The mural above is in big chick's room. It was inspired from a t-shirt. She has a real flowered "tiara" on her head that we got at the Renaissance Festival and then I hot glued some little flower beads on her dress. She's really cute.
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California Dreamin'

(Missy cracking up after the waiter incident) (Me and Tammy)
Last year my friend Missy and I had the opportunity to visit my cousin Tammy out in L.A. The picture above is taken at the super famous, super trendy restaurant the Ivy. We were totally out of our league eating there. This restaurant is where all of the rich and famous eat and we went there and ordered the cheapest thing on the menu we could find. It was a cup of vegetable soup for $13.00 and water to drink. Once we ordered our soup the waiter kindly proceeded to tell us that there was an order minimum. So we added some other stuff and ended up with a hodgepodge of an expensive meal. We laughed so hard that I thought we were going to be escorted out. Anyway this year I'm going again with Missy out to L.A. and we will probably do something else equally embarrassing I'm sure, but I absolutely can't wait.
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Closet Murals part 1

We have really big closets in our house. It's nice because it provides a perfect canvas for me to play with paints. Last year I decided to "decorate" all of our closets. The mural above is in my closet. I was inspired again by Bella Pilar. I just love her funky style, of course mine has it's own flair.
The mermaid is in our toy closet located under the staircase in the basement. She is floating in the blue ocean. Closets are a great place to put a mural, so you never get tired of looking at them.
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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Winter Wonderland


I'm not a big fan of winter, but when it's not -20 degrees here it is actually pretty and pleasant. Like today for instance it was 20 degrees and sunny (which felt balmy after last week). The temps and conditions were just right for ice to hang on every little branch and piece of grass. It was just beautiful.
This is the view from my deck. We had the most amazing sunset last night. The whole sky was orange and pink. The snow just kind of envelopes and blankets everything. Very beautiful in it's own way even if it is winter:)
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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Piano Room redo

My latest room redo was kind of by accident. I haven't like the color of our entry since the day I painted it almost 5 years ago. But it was such a pain to paint that it's taken me this long to redo it. Anyway the picture above is me standing on the ledge above my entry door. Don't I look lovely?? The new wall color is by Sherman Williams it's called Magnetic Grey. It really looks blue in person though.
The two pictures above are the before pictures. We had a quilt hanging on the wall and my husband was just tired of it.
This is my husband's late grandma's piano. We inherited it when she passed away and I'm really excited to paint it black to match the room better. I will definitely show before and after pictures of that.
We moved the green/orange couch to the basement and relocated the red couch up to the piano room. The red was really different for that room so I got some new accessories to tie it all together. The curtains, pillows, table and picture all came from IKEA. The mirrors and lamps came from Homegoods. It's a little swanky and different then my normal style, but we really like it.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Chocolate Emergency Cake

Last week was super busy for me. As I mentioned earlier I was painting like a mad woman and one night nothing else would do but chocolate. Thankfully my mom had sent me an email with a really cool recipe. It's called the minute chocolate mug cake. You mix up the ingredients and then pop it in the microwave and it's really good. Definitely hits the chocolate crave button.


Here's the recipe:
1 Coffee Mug
4 Tablespoons flour (that's plain flour, not self-rising)
4 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons baking cocoa
1 egg
3 Tablespoons milk
3 Tablespoons oil
3 Tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
Some nuts (optional)
Small splash of vanilla


Add dry ingredients to mug and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Pour in the milk and oil and mix well. Add the chocolate chips and vanilla and mix again. Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes on high. The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed! Allow to cool a little and tip out onto a plate if desired. EAT! This can serve 2 if you want to share.
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Saturday, January 17, 2009

PFR concert

In the 90's we loved a music group called PFR. They eventually broke up, but we never forgot their music. Then with the move to Minneapolis we had the opportunity to go to the very church where Joel Hanson (middle above) was the evening worship leader...YEAH!!! Anyway Friday night we had the pleasure of listening to them revisit the past and tickle our ears with all of their wonderful hits. For a quick listen scroll down and click on PFR under my "favorite tunes" category. My favorite PFR song is "Pour me out".
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Friday, January 16, 2009

My poet

I just wanted to tell you a little bit about my husband. First of all I really believe that God put us together for a purpose. We met at church when we were 15 and became really good friends and then that developed and we started dating at 16. We married at 19 and have had 16 years together on this wonderful journey called life.
He is just a really interesting person. God has given him so many special gifts and talents. Many of which are creative. He is a talented musician, poet and public speaker. He's really intelligent in the business world doing a career that I can't really wrap my mind around...tax planning. There is also a deep side to him that few know about. He has the gift of the written word. Check out his blogspot called underdog360.
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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Cheetah Chairs

Here is the second furniture project I worked on last week. My friend Gloria had some old beat up chairs that had some sentimental value. She wanted a animal print theme, so we decided on cheetah.
The chairs were sanded, primed and then painted a yellowish color on the legs and upper spindles. The inner spindles and seat were painted black. Then I used black and brown paint to do the cheetah print and some gold glaze and chocolate brown to "feather" in the seat. I topped it off with a glossy polyurethane finish. They are a little wild, but my friend LOVED them.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Ashley's Desk

I have been keeping extremely busy lately! Last week I did two furniture redo's and this week I decided to tear up my whole house and paint my dining room, piano room, loft and front entry. I had this incredible burst of energy I guess. But boy am I exhausted!! Anyway the furniture above belongs to my daughter's best friend Ashley. She got her room made over and I had the pleasure of beautifying an old desk, hutch and chair. I sanded, primed and then painted it a celery green color. Then I took some silver glaze and chocolate brown paint and distressed it a little.
I used some bronze glaze on the door and legs of the chair and put a spray of white and silver behind the glass knobs, so they would stand out a little better. Then I added a few pink flowers to the chair. It turned out really pretty against Ashley's hot pink wall color.
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Monday, January 12, 2009

Butterfly Brie

One of my favorite artist's is Bella Pilar. She creates the most beautiful cards with Papyrus. I love her designs because they are whimsical, colorful and usually glittery:)
My hairstylist Brie reminds me of Bella Pilar's paintings. SHE is whimsical, colorful and definitely glittery!! Anyway for her birthday last year I reproduced one of Pilar's paintings (see above). Brie has it in her living room with her purple couch and red chair. I'm sure it fits in the room perfectly.
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Friday, January 9, 2009

Home


We moved up to Minnesota almost 5 years ago. I really can't believe it's been that long. Today was just one of those days that I missed Home. My folks live out in the country in central Illinois and it's just really beautiful. From their front porch there is nothing but flat plains and fields for as far as the eye can see. My favorite thing is to sit and visit doing absolutely nothing but swinging and staring at the horizon ahead. There is just nothing like home, no matter where you are from. There is this comfortable smell, familiar sights and sounds and it just feels right. I miss my parents very much and it does get harder the older they get. I hate being so far away, but as weird as it sounds to me Minnesota has become my new home and this circle of friends have become my "new family". Now if my homesickness would just go away:)
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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Big Chick's Room

A while back I redid big chick's room. We did it like a makeover show. She slept in her sister's room and I painted away for almost a week and then we did a big reveal. It was fun and she loved the results.
The old iron bed was mine when I was a little girl. I repainted it and distressed it a little with bronze glaze. I sewed the duvet cover to match a quilt I found at TJ Maxx.
The bookshelves were really ugly wooden laminate. I just lightly sanded and painted them white and then glazed them. They look so much better.
I matched her vanity with the pink on the wall and then below we did a funky black chalkboard wall. If you have ever worked with this paint before you know what a chore that was. It's really thick and messy. But that is probably my favorite part of the room redo.
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