Tuesday, July 31, 2012


When friends with little kids come to our house for dinner, we usually have some Japplesauce for the kids in case they don't want the adults yummy salad. (Mom!!! Lettuce, broccoli, vegetables?! The horror! Well, at least that's what my little one thinks. Haha!) Japplesauce is a mixture of Jello and applesauce that you can make into fun combinations of flavors. It has an applesauce texture, but sets up like Jello. It's a hit with the littles (and grown-ups!) every time!

Recipe credit to my bestie-since-high-school's family. Hi, Julia! Hey VPs! :)

1 small package Jello
1 cup boiling water
1 1/2 cups applesauce

Dissolve Jello in boiling water. Stir in applesauce. Chill until set up...about 4-6 hours. Enjoy!

I usually use strawberry Jello, but you can use any flavor you want. Experiment and find the flavor you like best! They all sound good to me!

Linking up to The Larson Lingo's summer salad swap. Check out the other yummy salads on Mel's blog!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Let's Break for a Treat

I've seen this recipe for toffee mentioned many times on Joy's Hope blog (awesome blog, btw), but just finally got around to making it. Ummmm, why did it take me so long?! Easy peasy and super delish! Try it! Click here for recipe!

A REALLY Smokey Situation

Yesterday, I posted about our smoke damaged table and chairs that we are re-doing. Apparently smoke smell was just not enough exposure for us... Last night, we were sitting in our living room chatting after Jeremy came home from work when someone ran up to the door, frantically knocking, then informing us that their was a fire behind our house! Thank you, Lord, that this kind stranger saw the fire and ran to tell us about it, because it was spreading like...well, wild fire!

Our house is situated by a walking trail that runs behind our house. There is a grassy buffer between our yard and the trail that runs behind about a mile's worth of the homes bordering the trail. The grass is a tall, brown wheat-like grass and is super dry even though it's been rainy here lately. We think someone walking on the trail must have thrown a cigarette butt into the grass which started the fire.

When we first got out back, it was about a 5x5 area of fire. We tried to spray it with the hose, but our 100' hose wouldn't reach far enough to cover more than the corner of the area, so we ended up calling the fire department. Our neighbor came out and started beating the fire with a rake and Jeremy ran to grab his metal shovel to beat the fire. Jeremy and our neighbor had just put out the fire as the fire truck pulled up. The firefighters sprayed the area down to make sure the fire didn't start back up again.

The fire started small, but ended up being about a 15x15 or so area by the time we got it out...and it was spreading toward our garage, the trees, and our neighbor's fence. So thankful we were all home and the kind woman walking her dog alerted us! Scary! We are so thankful for God's provision and grace on our house!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Smokey Situation

When Jeremy and I first purchased our new home, we knew we would be in the market to purchase a table for our formal dining room. In our old house, we only used the dining room to eat, and had converted the breakfast nook into a play area for Little One's toys. In our new home, we didn't need to do that, so after we closed, we went out and purchased our favorite table...easy peasy. Should be a simple, happy it-just-gets-delivered ending right? Well, no. The table was on backorder and was going to take 4 months to come in! We were so bummed, but loved the table and just decided to buy it anyway and wait.

In the meantime, I was keeping a close watch on Craigslist and happened to find a table that was a similar style for $300. That's $700 cheaper than the table we had bought and were waiting on. So, we made the drive out to go buy the used table and cancelled our order for the new table. Again, should be a simple just-come-home-and-clean-it-up kind of ending, right? Of course not! The sellers were HEAVY indoor smokers, so I immediately knew I'd need to reupholster, which wasn't a deal breaker. The table has good bones and is really sturdy and solid wood. Unfortunately, we did not realize that wood could absorb the smoke smell and that the chairs were badly yellowed from the nicotine until we had already paid and were loading up the car. The chairs looked white against their red carpet, but in the harsh light of day, they were yellow. I felt sick all the way home thinking we'd bought a dud table, but we quickly formulated a plan to save the table. 

Here's a pic of it in all it's yellowed glory. Did you know nicotine leaves a yellow film on everything it touches? Trust me, it does. 

I did some Google searching and found that a 50/50 vinegar and water solution plus a scrub brush would break down the nicotine layer which was critical in getting out the smell. Literally 15 rinse and repeats later, the yellow film was coming off of the table top! I had one bucket of cleaner that I'd dip my scrubby sponge in, would wipe the table, then rinse my sponge in a second bucket of clean water before putting it back in the vinegar solution. After each section I scrubbed, I'd let it sit for a minute then wipe it off with a white cloth so I could see if the nicotine was coming off. Tedious, but it worked and greatly reduced the smell! The vinegar did not work on the painted surfaces, though. Boo

Next step was to take apart the chairs and prime the painted areas on the table and chairs with an oil based primer. See the difference between the  primed chair and the nicotine coated chair? Yuck. 

After everything was primed, I started the first coat of a latex enamel paint. I'm about halfway done with the first coat now and still need to do another coat and finish it with a clear coat. I'll share more pictures and details on the products used when I'm finished!

I still need to get new padding and fabric for the chairs. Our dining room is sage green...a little unsure of what fabric to buy! So far, these are my favorites: 

Left: Premier Prints Ozborne Twill Powder Blue      Right: Heather Bailey Garden District Nouvelle Rose Canvas Dove

Which one do you like? Any other suggestions on fabric choices? I'm really lost when it comes to picking fabric! Be back soon with an update!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Blog Beginnings

Welcome to my new blog! I'm excited to have a place to record our latest projects! My hubby and I just purchased a new home, so we have a blank slate to work with and lots of projects up our sleeves. Our first house was a foreclosure that we fixed up and made home. We loved that house, but a new job on the other end of town warranted a move to avoid the hour commute that was bogging us down and robbing us of precious family time with our little one. There are so many times I bemoan the fact that we didn't take before/after photos of our first house. This blog is my attempt to record the projects that we do to our new home...and maybe toss in a few recipes and randomness here and there. :)

And for your viewing pleasure... 

Here's a picture of our first home I snapped on our last family walk around the neighborhood before moving...sniff! It was newer than our current house, but needed a lot of cosmetic work when we first moved in. I'm sure I'll be sharing many stories about that. ;) I still really miss this house and the familiarity and hominess of it--and my neighbor! 

And our new house! It was move in ready, which was great during this season of life considering we have a toddler and my hubby is trying to write his dissertation. The previous owners took good care of the house and made a lot of tasteful improvements to the house which we are enjoying! 

The houses are so different, but I love them both and am thankful for them! I can't wait to make our new house feel more like home!

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