Thursday, July 14, 2011

Transformation of a Boiler Tub

Long ago, my mom snagged this old boiler tub from my grandma. She just thought it was too neat to let my grandma throw it away. Fast forward several years to the early 90's, and my mom redecorated her family room. My sister, in all her craftiness glory, decided to make this old ugly boiler tub something cute and fabulous for the new room. So she painstakingly painted and stenciled away and then filled it with a beautiful eucalyptus and floral arrangement. That lasted quite a few years until the grandkids had thrown one too many footballs or other toys into the arrangement (and dug in after them), and it was looking pretty sad.  So my mom took all the floral stuff out and used it to stack wood for their fireplace in it. Fast forward another few years and when my parents replaced their wood burning stove for a gas fireplace, no need for wood anymore, this cute old thing got shoved into a corner waiting for its new life.  So this winter, when I getting really tired of my kids constantly leaving blankets strewn about the room, I asked her if I could have it. It was perfect for blankets!  But since we had just redecorated our family room, it couldn't stay in this shape. I really wished it was in its old dingy metal state for that vintage feel. I thought about stripping it down to see if I could uncover that, but didn't know if I'd ever get all that pretty blue off or what condition it would be in when I did, if I would really like it that way, and finally decided it was too much work. So I decided to try my hand at spray painting and use up some paint I had left from a shelf I painted a while ago. I primed the whole thing, then started in on the real painting, finding that painting the inside was very tricky.  (Anyone have any tips for that?)  It was supposed to be a copper hammered finish, but it never really got that hammered look to it, but I still like it.  It's the perfect addition to our room to hold blankets, my magazines, my cross-stitch project that someday I'll finish, and anything else that get stuffed in there. Now if I could just get my kids to remember to put their blankets back in it I'd be doing great!

Linking up to:
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House of Hepworths
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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Chinese Cabbage Salad

For a couple years now, we've had the tradition of almost every Sunday we grill hamburgers for lunch/dinner (I only cook one meal on Sunday. :) )  It started while my parents were on their mission in Africa and just mentioned once that they did this, cooked hamburgers for lunch every Sunday.  So to feel like we were connected to them, I started doing the same thing.  Plus, I love not having to slave over a big "Sunday Dinner" and decided to keep things nice and simple.  We don't do it EVERY week, I do still cook other things, too, but my kids are so disappointed when I do.  So, the majority of the time, Summer, Winter or any time in between, it doesn't really matter, we'll be out grilling.  However, we're running a little low on the hamburger in the freezer, that's a different story, and I'm trying to make what's left last for the rest of the summer at least.  So now I've added hot dogs to the Sunday dinner rotation.  The kids still think it's awesome to have a cookout each Sunday, hot dogs are even easier than hamburgers so I'm happy, and we usually cook some brats, so Bill doesn't mind either.  So as I was waiting for Bill to get home on Sunday, I decided to throw together a salad to go with it. I made Chinese Cabbage Salad and it was the perfect addition. I forget how good this salad is!  Now I'm NOT a fan of cabbage, but I've found that this is delicious with napa cabbage.

Chinese Cabbage Salad
In a large bowl combine:
1 head cabbage, chopped (I like napa cabbage, use 2 heads of napa)
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 c. cubed chicken
2 pkg. chicken or oriental ramen noodles, crumbled and toasted in oven with 1/4 c. slivered almonds

1/2 c. oil
2 Tbsp. sugar
3 Tbsp vinegar
1/2 tsp. pepper
2-3 Tbsp. soy sauce or the packet of soup flavoring (I usually do 1 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce AND the seasoning packet.
Some versions say to let it refrigerate for a while, but the noodles will soak up some of the sauce and get soft. I like my noodles crunchy, so I don't let it sit for long, if at all, before I eat it.

I only made a half batch on Sunday because I knew it would be pretty much just Bill and I eating it, and when I went to eat some again later, Bill had eaten the whole bowl. It's that good!

Linked up to:
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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Happy 4th of July

 We had a great 4th of July this year, pretty low key, but a lot of fun. Bill's objective was to come up with some great idea so we didn't have to go to the parade (I love the parade, he doesn't.)  So his brilliant idea was to take all the kids to the movies.  We slept in and then had a big delicious, relaxed breakfast (things you can't do if you're trying to make it to the parade.) Then at around 11:30 we went to the movies; Bill taking the little three to Cars 2, and I took the older three to Transformers 3 (since Bill had already seen it.)  Everyone had a great time at their movies, and we all gave both shows 2 thumbs up.  Then we went home, the kids played in the pool while the rest of us read or dozed or Bill decided to change a sprinkler head. :) Then we grilled some hamburgers, ate potato salad, and played/relaxed some more until it was time for fireworks.  Sparklers were awesome as always, only about one screamer, and the grand finale of a 7-minute whopper was pretty good.  We also had a good show from the neighbors fireworks, well, through and around a big tree in our way.  When we were finished, we tried to glimpse the moon through our new telescope (the moon hasn't been up since we got it), but we missed it.  So we tried looking at some stars, but there were just too many cars coming down the road then.  We did go out the next day, however, and the moon was AWESOME!  Anyway, the kids went to bed very tired, a little sticky, and smelling like mosquito spray mixed with sunscreen - all signs of a fun filled day.  I am just so thankful for a country that allows us these freedoms and a sincere thank you to all the men and women, present and past, who protect those rights for us.

Friday, July 1, 2011

New Skirts From Old Shirts

While surfing in blog land, one of my very favorite places to visit is Make it and Love it.  She is awesome!! Her tutorials are so easy to follow and very complete.  Anyway, I had found this tutorial a while ago and really wanted to try it out, especially since our little Chloe is showing a fondness for wearing skirts to school or to play in.  So fast forwards a few weeks later, and as I was bagging up another load to take to the DI, I came across the perfect shirts - two matching shirts of Cheyenne and Natalie's.  Perfect, if I messed it up, I wasn't out anything, anyway.  Then I remembered the GIANT stash of material my mother-in-law has, specifically knits,  and headed to her house to try and find something.  After some searching, I think she's saved every scrap of anything she's ever made, I found the perfect material for the turquoise shirt, but nothing for the pink one.  I did have to buy a little piece of pink knit; the total expense for two skirts, a couple bucks!  Now, I'm not a super seamstress, I'd barely call myself a sewer of any sort, but this was really easy.  It took me about 1 1/2 hours, and a good portion of that was reading my sewing machine manual and playing with different settings and stitches.  My skirt isn't near as full as the tutorial, but my shirts were only a child's size large to begin with; it worked, though. End result two CHEAP skirts, a proud momma, and two HAPPY girls. YEAH!

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