Thursday, November 16, 2017

How I keep sane while hosting Thanksgiving!

Happy Friday y'all!  I find it SO crazy that Thanksgiving is next week.  Thankfully I have a routine and go to recipes that keep me from losing my mind.   As much as I admire my Grandmothers and the hours they spent in the kitchen cooking on Thanksgiving that's just not me.  I try to do as little cooking on Thanksgiving day as possible! #lazy  Tall Tan Man is in charge of the turkey {bc I refuse to touch the big slimy bird} and he either smokes or fries it.   They both turn out amazing and I don't have to lift a finger!  I also ask our family to bring a veggie and I always order our gravy and stuffing from our favorite Denver market.  #bcIdonteatthose

 I make this {Ranch Cheese Ball} as an appetizer and it is always a big hit.  You can make it on Tuesday or Wednesday, and serve it with wheat thins!  I also make cranberry sauce on Tuesday and I use this {Pioneer Women Recipe}.  If you have always thought cranberry sauce is gross then you have to try this recipe!  It changed my opinion.  

Wednesday is my dessert day!  I plan on making this {apple pie} that I posted about last week and hopefully, my Thanksgiving version will be a little prettier...  I am also going to try a new recipe {which always makes me a little nervous} from Living with Landyn Blog.  It is her {Pumpkin Cake with Cinnamon Frosting}.  Sounds amazing, right?! 

Thursday is alllll about the potatoes for me.  Last year I made my mashed potatoes in the crockpot and they were AMAZING.  I was worried they would be too dry but that was not the case!  You can find the recipe {here}.  I still haven't found a sweet potato recipe I love.  Is there a simple recipe out there that isn't full of sugar?  I never knew I liked sweet potatoes until I had a baby and I baked them for him...  

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!  I already did my Thanksgiving grocery shopping so if you need me I'll be on the couch watching football.  And by watching football I mean trying to make sure Mack doesn't jump off anything too high!  #toddlersarecrazy

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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Best Apple Pie Recipe

Is there anything better than warm apple pie with ice cream?  This is definitely one of my fall favorites.  Along with chocolate cake, toffee, and Dark Chocolate Peppermint Laceys from World Market.    I have tried several apple pie recipes and this one takes the cake pie!  

Apple Pie


3/4 Cup Butter 
3 TBSP Flour
1/3 Cup Water
1/2 Cup White Sugar
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1 TSP Vanilla Extract
2 TSP Cinnamon 
1/2 TSP Nutmeg
6 Apples {Grannysmith or Honeycrisp}
Refrigerated Pie Crust


1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees then go ahead and take your pie crusts out of the refrigerator.  

2.  In a medium saucepan, heat the butter, flour, water, sugars, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg until well combined.  Reserve 1/8 - 1/4 cup of the sauce.

3.  As your mixture is cooking, go ahead and start peeling and slicing your apples.  If you have {this tool} then you'll be done in no time!

4.  Place one pie crust in the bottom of your 9-inch pie pan.  Pile your apples into the pie crust then pour the mixture over them.  

5.  Place the top pie crust on top and crimp the edges with your fingers or a fork.  Slice some openings on the top of your pie {or create some awesome design on the top!}.  Brush the remaining sauce on the top of your pie crust.  

6.  Bake for 45 - 60 minutes or until crust is golden brown.  About 30 minutes into baking, make sure that you check on your pie to ensure the edges are not burning.  You can always add foil around the edges of your pie to slow the cooking down.  *** Bake pie on rimmed baking sheet or this awesome contraption.  If you don't do this then you might fill the entire house with smoke on Thanksgiving.  #lessonlearned

Picture perfect pie, right?! ;).  I really should have taken a picture of the second slice but it was eaten too fast.  If you're a baking rookie, I promise this recipe is SO EASY and SO GOOD!  

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Sunday, November 5, 2017

Refinishing Furniture Biz Update

Hey y'all!  I just thought I would pop in and share all that was going on with my very little business adventure.  About a month and a half ago I decided to finally try to sell come furniture pieces that I refinished.  I am such an optimist because I did not anticipate any hiccups and there has definitely been some!  I decided to keep my designs pretty simple to maximize my supplies {and profits}.  Out of the 4 kitchen tables I have refinished, I have sold 3 of them.  I thought I would share my 4 tables and things that I learned from refinished each one!

Table #1: 

Things I did right:  a).  Listing this piece on websites like Facebook marketplace, varagesale & craigslist on Saturday morning is best!  I actually didn't know I did this right until I listed something on a Tuesday... 

Things I did wrong:  This table alone taught me 3 lessons.  a). Skip the paint stripper and just use a high grit sandpaper.  Using the paint stripper added 2 hrs to this project.  b).  Polyurethane doesn't do well over white paint.  HELLO YELLOW!  It was so bad!  I ended up reapplying primer and doing another coat of white paint on this one.... c).  If the table was really rough to begin with you should probably use a wood conditioner before you stain.  The stain definitely had some weird spots on the top that I didn't love.  :( 

Table #2:  

Things I did right:  a).  I thought people would hate a table that would expand to a square but that was not the case!  This was my biggest hit by far.  

Things I did wrong: a)  I am a firm believer in primer.  I think water based primers are great because they don't have the fumes that oil based does! But... it doesn't work nearly as well!  This table was originally black on the bottom and I am pretty sure I painted the base 6 times to cover up all the black.  Oil based primer would have cut that down.  b)  I learned the hard way, to not hold furniture for anyone.  I had someone that was "so in love" with the table flake out on me...  Always give the piece to the person who will pick it up first.

Table #3:  

Things I did right:  a)  I switched the kind of paint I was using for the base.  I love chalk paint, it is beautiful but I just don't trust its durability {especially bc of how much a table is used}.   I'm now using Benjamin Moore Advance in White Dove because it's the best!  b)  The combo of 2 coats of primer and 2 coats of paint was perfect {finally}!

Things I did wrong:  a)  I listed this table on a Tuesday and it has taken the longest to sell... aka, it hasn't sold.  Facebook only lets you refresh your item once a week which isn't good bc it made me refresh it on the following Tuesday.  b)  This table was the most expensive and I had Tall Tan Man pick it up.  I didn't think from the Craigslist pictures that I would have to do anything to the top and that was not the case.  I'm not sure how I would of avoided us overpaying for this table but from now on I'm going to be more conservative with my pricing.  

Table #4:

Things I did right: a).  My sanding/stain progress was perfected by this table and there were no hiccups with the top!  b).  I sold this table to a friend through instastories.  This was my easiest transaction!

Things I did wrong:  a).  Man oh man... This base gave me a run for  my money! I did water-based primer and chalk paint, and all the old stain kept bleeding through.  It was terrible.  100 layers of water-based paint would stop the stain bleed.  Long story short I had Tall Tan Man apply oil based primer for me.  The primer was old and major brush strokes but I was able to salvage it with some sand paper and Benjamin Moore paint. Its one of those things that the table looks good but I know its not perfect.  
Can you tell I have learned a lot already?  It's pretty crazy that I thought I knew a lot about refinishing furniture before all this.  I do think Tall Tan Man needs to build a she-shed for me to work in.  #notachance :)  I hope y'all have a wonderful week!  

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Monday, October 30, 2017

Fast and Easy Halloween Brownies

Hello!  If you're like me then you're usually playing catch up.  Yesterday I wanted to throw together a cute halloween recipe and this one turned out perfect!  I saw this idea in my Martha Stewart Magazine and it takes almost no time.  #mykindofrecipe

I use the term "recipe" loosely because all you do is make a box of brownies and add broken Oreos half way through the baking process.  After the brownies were done I broke off the ends of some candy corn for my monster eyes.  You could also use melted white chocolate.  To add some color I filled in the open spots with candy corn.  I never knew candy corn was such a hot topic and some people hated them!?  I usually don't discriminate against any sugar substance.  :)

Happy Halloween!
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Friday, October 20, 2017

Fall in our Front Room

Hi y'all!  Wowzers we have been running around like chickens with our heads cut off.  We just got back from a 10 day trip to Oklahoma and Texas, and then Mack got sick.  Everything seems so off when babies get sick.  Its kind of like treading water for an indefinite amount of time.  I wrote my first fall post about our sunroom and  for some ridiculous reason I've had a hard time decorating this year. I LOVE decorating this time of year, but I didn't want to pull out my faux leaves and orange pumpkins.  

I picked up the Happy Fall sign and white pumpkin from Homegoods.  The fall leaves in the vase were only $4 from Sprouts and the pillow is a DIY from last year.  

That book pages pumpkin was a DIY from FIVE years ago!  It's always nice when something I make holds up for the long haul.  :)  I hope you have a FANTASTIC FRIDAY and even better weekend!  I see some good naps in my future!

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Monday, October 2, 2017

How to Update Grocery Store Mum Basket + Fall Porch

Happy October!  I think I say this every month but what in the heck happened to September?! Fall is officially here which is good because my porch has been fully decorated for weeks...  I figured if I bought all my pumpkins at once Tall Tan Man would think I'm crazy.  Some women hide shopping bags... I try to hide pumpkins!  I bought 2 pumpkins a week and I am waiting for him to say "where did all these pumpkins come from?"  And then I can say "oh they have been here for weeks, you didn't notice?".  #imterrible  

Friday, September 29, 2017

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

Oh these cupcakes come with a funny story!  They smell SO GOOD that a squirrel will claw through your kitchen window screen to get one.  Yep!  I found a SQUIRREL sitting on the kitchen ledge INSIDE my house eating a cupcake.  I screamed like a 13 year old girl in a haunted house and THANKFULLY the squirrel exited through the hole it created.  Have you ever heard of that happening?!?  I know squirrels go through trash & get into attics, but chewing through a window screen to get into your kitchen!?! #thecupcakessmelledgooooood

Monday, September 25, 2017

Leap of Faith - Refinishing Furniture

 I have been thinking about refinishing furniture for profit for some time now and I am FINALLY doing it!!!  Do you ever have ideas you think are silly or you're too embarrassed to try something new?  Welp, that's me.  I think it was one my worst characteristics.  I want to have more confidence to chase dreams and be willing to fail...

Friday, September 22, 2017

Easy Fall Decor

Hello!!! I am so sorry I have been MIA!  If you follow me on Instagram then you already know I have had a long 2 weeks...  I was stuck in an airport for 2 days #mechanicalissues and came home to a nice head-cold that I am still dealing with.  But don't you worry! I am almost better and my house now feels like fall. 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Banana Zucchini Crumb Cake

Is there a better combo for breakfast than crumb cake and coffee??  Eggs and bacon is definitley a close second.  Oh and cinnamon rolls...   Can we all agree that breakfast is amazing?  I have a hard time understanding people when they say they don't eat breakfast.  I would be SO grumpy and probably pass out... 
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