Pottery Barn Trundle Bed

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

This is the pottery barn trundle bed that is in Ellie's room. I'm looking to sell it because Ellie is getting a room makeover...yes, we are finally going to paint those wood paneled walls folks! 

I'm listing it on Craigslist tonight but I thought I'd mention it here too in case any of my local friends are interested. It's in pretty good shape but does have a little wear. 
Pottery Barn doesn't make this exact model anymore, the most similar trundle I could find on their website retails for around $900. I'm asking $400 for ours and you can take the mattress in the trundle for free if you'd like. It is stain free and has only been slept on a few dozen times when a friend sleeps over. We are keeping the top mattress.

Also, I'm kind of a fan of painting furniture and if you'd like me to patch, sand, prime, paint and seal this lovely dream machine in the color of your choice (I'm thinking persimmon would be fabulous) I'd do it for $600 total and you'd have a super well built piece of custom furniture.

Please pass this on if you know of anyone who might be interested.

Slow Cooker Scallop Potatos

Monday, October 27, 2014

I feel like my life doesn't have as many creamy potato casserole type moments as it did when  I was a young girl blissfully ignorant of fat, calories, and the dreaded cholesterol.  And it is sad, sad because I really do love a rich, creamy, delicious scalloped potato with all my heart and stomach. So when Jonathan said he wanted creamy, cheesy potatoes with his birthday dinner I decided I was going to do those tots up right! Like, if I only get to eat them once or twice a year then by golly they are going to be WORTH it!

Also we would be at church before dinner at my Mom's house so I wanted to make them in the crockpot so they'd be ready take over there as soon as we got home.

After many minutes spent looking at pinterest for the perfect recipe and being disappointed, I realized it was up to me to create the ultimate dish...one that was creamy, but not bland...and I didn't want to dump cream of anything soup in it either.

So here friends is what I came up with. It is a mash up of a few recipes I read that sounded promising, along with my own tweaks seeing as I know best when it comes to fattening potatoes. They were a hit at the birthday dinner if I do say so myself. Do as I say and you will be happy when YOU get home from church next week!

Slow Cooker Scallop Potatoes

8 russet potatoes peeled and sliced
1 onion thinly sliced
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 and 1/2 blocks of cream cheese cubed
3/4 cups milk
truffle salt and black pepper

First I mixed the onion and garlic in a bowl. This is what onions and garlic look like together. They look happy.
Next I sliced up the potatoes like so. Hi potatoes. I'm sorry we don't get to enjoy you more often.
Then I started making layers in the crockpot. First a layer of potatoes, then sprinkle with a pinch of truffle salt, a twist or two of black pepper, and a smidge of rosemary.
Certainly I am showing off when I say that my Sel a la Truffe was a gift my daughter brought back to me from her stay in France, but you are in luck because they also sell it at World Market and Williams Sonoma. It is good on EVERY VEGETABLE. Seriously. 

Okay back to layering, so potatoes, spices, then a layer of the onion and garlic mix. And finally, some of the cream cheese cubes you made. Here is what my first layer looked like.
I fit about two more layers in and then poured the milk over the top. Cover the entire confection and cook on high for 4 hours. Enjoy the smell of garlic potatoes! Take it all in.

After four hours I stirred the whole thing gently to distribute the cream cheesiness over all the tots, put the lid back and cooked it for another 1/2 hour.

And that is all. We were so busy eating I forgot to take a beauty shot of the goodness when it was all done...but here is a plate with the little bit of leftovers so you can see how it looks.
 It was yum. I hope you like it.

Inspired by Grandmothers

Friday, October 24, 2014

Both of my grandmothers crocheted. And both of them spent time teaching me how to do it. Or trying to teach me. I recall being fairly short tempered with my mistakes and shedding tears when I couldn't get it right. Being a lefty can be hard! But I still have such fun, happy memories from both of their homes. 

My Grammy in Blissfield, Michigan did fancy, lace like pieces. One year she gave us Christmas ornaments that were crocheted snowflakes. Basically I kept asking for more every year after that until she got fed up and told me I couldn't have anymore. But I still have a TON! And they are the frosting on my Christmas tree. 

My Gram in Escondido liked to crochet afghans. They are so sweet and old fashioned; I love the ones I still have from her. 
Lately I've taken to crocheting these funny doilies when I watch television. They don't have any pattern, I just make something up as I go along. I don't know what I'll do with them; but making them makes me feel connected to my past and to the thread of womanly arts practiced by the women in my family.

Which, you know, I love me some womanly arts. Let's change that to homemaking arts, mmm-kay?
I'm linking up at The Shabby Nest!

Good Halloween Mom

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Don't you love the one throwing up guts down on the bottom?
Last night we had a Halloween party that was born out of guilt. Awhile ago Ellie brought up that we hadn't carved pumpkins at Halloween in like, two years. I feel like I should get a bye for last year because we did have a bunch of kids over to go trick-or-treating, but Ellie says no.

The year before that I put off buying pumpkins until the day before Halloween and can you believe it, they were all gone (or moldy)? I know Halloween is super popular now, but I am an old fashioned Christmas girl. I can't get too worked up over Halloween because I am saving myself for the big show.

But this year I decided to make it up to the Squeak by having an actual Pumpkin Carving Party. My friend Lisa helped me.
Lisa and her beautiful girls Alex and Addie
 What I am learning from these photos is that I seriously need to let go of my iphone and use my Sony to take pictures. And I need to learn how to use my Sony.
The lovely Bain family minus Dayna who was busy with churchy duties.
After. Love both the smiles.
Here comes my crew all working hard.

Jonathan's finished creation!

And that is it. Do I get credit for being a good Halloweenie mom now?

Craigslist Secret

Friday, October 17, 2014

 I saw this gorgeous mid century modern buffet on Craigslist a couple of weeks ago but it was WAY out of my price range. So how is it sitting so pretty in my garage/soon-to-be-workroom you may ask? Let me share my little Craigslist secret technique with you. 

Are you ready? K. 

I politely asked for it.

That's it. When I see something I really like that I can't afford I send the seller an email that says something like, "I really love the buffet you are selling on craigslist but I am on a very tight budget. If you decide you can sell it for $ insert price you want to pay, I hope you'll email or call me.

The seller of my new buffet boyfriend had it listed for a couple of weeks but it didn't sell so they called me yesterday and asked if I still wanted it. AND I DID! 

I really think the key to this technique is being very polite and honest. I'm not trying to lowball or insult the seller, I'm assuming that they may reach a point where they just want something gone and if they do I hope they'll call me. 

Now, how should I make-over this bad boy? Love this orange!
Great idea to spruce up retro furniture, wondering of it would look good in a different color.
And this white!
Before and After White and Walnut Mid Century Dresser

Or green! Green is my favorite color.
But this is probably my most favorite.  A great way to get a pop of color on furniture without painting over all the beautiful wood.

I'm kind of in love. I wish I could get after it right now instead of cleaning...but we are having a tiny Halloween pumpkin carving soiree at our home on Sunday so I need to make things shine you know.

Have a great weekend! Good luck with your next craigslist treasure!

Ghosts in a Jar

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Do you ever just sort of peruse the interwebs jumping from link to link looking at all of the amazing and creative things people are up to? I don't even know how I ended up at the blog where I saw the Ghosts in a Jar tutorial but since I had just acquired these giant mason jars from a friend it felt like fate bringing us together for a little Halloween hot (glue) romance. Thank you, Linda from Mason Jar Crafts Love; I don't know you, but what we had is beautiful...or creepy, I guess, 'cause it's for Halloween.

I pretty much followed her tutorial, using a piece of floral foam glued into my lid and sticking a twig in it. The ghosts are styrofoam balls from the dollar store covered in unfolded gauze pads from my first aid kit. I had a leftover crow from my Halloween trees so I decided to glue him on top with moss glued around his feet. And since everything benefits from glitter I sparkled up a tag for him to hold in his beak.

His Halloween message?  Well, quoth the Raven Nevermore, of course.

How to Wallpaper Stair Risers

Monday, October 13, 2014

I've been blogging here at blogspot since 2010 and somehow blogger did some fancy maths and figured out what my "most popular" posts have been. They are over there in the sidebar. It says that my post titled Wallpapered Stair Risers that I wrote in 2012 is the second most popular post. Which makes me feel SO GUILTY! You guys, that post doesn't even tell how to wallpaper stair risers! I didn't even wallpaper my stair risers until last week. Two years later. That post is a big fat lie!

I eventually did get around to doing it though and I am super loving the results! It took me forever (obviously) to settle on a wallpaper pattern, plus I was unsure how the wallpaper would hold up to foot traffic on the stairs. The varathane that we used on our painted kitchen floor has held up so well that I finally felt confident enough to go for it.  

And to make up for my decorating deception, unintentional though it was, I am going to show step by step how I did it. Buckle up, this is going to be SO EXCITING!

Begin with cleaning your stairs really well to get off all the dust and, in our case, dog hair. I used a mixture of simple green and water in a spray bottle. I really like simple green for cleaning before any furniture redo because it is a fantastic degreaser.

 My house is old and there were slight variations in the size of my risers so as annoying as this step is, it's pretty important.

 Wallpaper is meant to be hung in strips, but most stair risers are wider than a roll of wallpaper so choose one with a pattern that you like when it is horizontal.

In this photo "work surface" is a euphemism for the top of my stairs. It is a pain crawling up and down the stairs so many times and I didn't want to run back and forth to the table too, so I just taped down some paper bags on the landing at the top of my stairs and did all my glue application there. 
My wallpaper came pre-pasted, which means you're supposed to dip it in water to activate the paste. That sounded awfully messy so I was happy when I found this adhesive that said you could use it on pre-pasted paper instead of the water method.
Next, smooth the strip onto the riser.

There were a couple of strips that I put on and realized I had measured completely wrong, like I was measuring using only my sense of smell...the paste is damp long enough that I just peeled the strip back and used my scissors to trim it right there.

I let the risers dry overnight to make sure the paste was completely set, then I brushed on two coats of my beloved varathane using an old paint brush.
It dries pretty quickly but we still avoided using the stairs for 8 hours just to be sure.

 And there you have it. Here are the before and after. I love the way this tiny detail makes going up the stairs so much prettier. If you have any questions about how this went down please ask; I owe you.

I linked up at Miss Mustard Seed


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