Friday, January 31, 2014

Zumba, blogging, and party planning!

Thursday night I had the pleasure to hang out with my bloggy friend Bree. She blogs over at The Thing About Joy.

We started out by meeting at Starbucks. We are planning a blogger pj party for our girls in Houston. It's going to be so much fun and I can't wait to show you all what we come up with!

We sipped on some coffee, talked party ideas, and complained about our day jobs... 

Then we headed out to ZUMBA! Ahhhhh!! If you know me, you know I'm uncoordinated and a mess!
I had never Zumba'd before and I was sure I was going to look ridiculous, but I went anyways!

I was right... I did look ridiculous!
But I had fun nonetheless and got a good workout!



It was MUCH needed after the crappy day I had! Remember...Endorphins make you happy...! :)

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Choco Au Lait Candy Recipe

Hello!!

So I usually post about DIY projects. Does a recipe count?!
This stuff is the most addictive most wonderful stuff ever!



Choco Au Lait Candy
(Fondly known around our office as 'Christmas Crack')

2 sticks of real butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 12oz pkg. white chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans
~40 saltine crackers (enough to cover a cookie sheet)

Spray cookie sheet w/ cooking spray and arrange the crackers to cover the entire cookie sheet.
(Preheat your oven now for 400 degrees)

 

I wanted them to fit perfect and lay flat so I even trimmed down some of the crackers! 
Haha....


Mix and boil butter and sugar for 3 minutes. 


Pour over crackers lining cookie sheet and spread evenly. 
(Thanks to the hubs for taking these two pics as my hands were a bit full...)



Bake in a preheated 400-degree oven for only 4 minutes. 


Take it out and sprinkle w/ white chocolate chips. Wait a few minutes for them to melt, spread all over top of crackers. 

FYI: My chips wouldn't melt! I had to put my tray back in the oven for a minute or two to get the chips to melt. Be careful you don't overcook or burn it!


Sprinkle on chopped pecans. Chill in refrigerator at least 30 minutes. Break into pieces, serve and enjoy!


Because saltine crackers are the base it breaks off the pan mostly in squarish pieces. I used a brownie server to pull it off the pan since it was a bit sticky.

Store in a airtight container to keep them yummy!

Trust me, you want to make these!!! :)

Here's the recipe and instructions one more time... 

2 sticks of real butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 12oz pkg. white chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans
~40 saltine crackers (enough to cover a cookie sheet)
Spray cookie sheet w/ cooking spray and arrange the crackers to cover the entire cookie sheet. Mix and boil butter and sugar for 3 minutes. Pour over crackers lining cookie sheet and spread evenly. Bake in a preheated 400-degree oven for only 4 minutes. Take it out and sprinkle w/ white chocolate chips. Wait a few minutes for them to melt, spread all over top of crackers. Sprinkle on chopped pecans. Chill in refrigerator at least 30 minutes. Break into pieces, serve and enjoy!

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Monday, January 27, 2014

With Age Comes Wisdom

Recently I had a client who wanted a couple of pieces distressed. A pretty simple job, but I had some fun with it!


The Farmhouse Chair
(that's my nickname for it)

It already had some distressing and knicks in the paint but it didn't stand out. My client is a photographer and she needed this to have a little more pizazz! 

I sanded it down some more and then used a dark walnut stain to rub all over the distressed spots. I liked this piece because it's a little more distressed than I usually do and I love adding the stain to make the wood stand out.






 The High Chair
(causing rumors around my neighborhood!)

This high chair was the perfect prop for baby photo shoots but needed that extra something. My client use Valspar's fancy spray paint to get the color and then sent it over to me for a little distressing! The wood color showed up great with the paint so no staining required on this one.


I've been busy working on other projects so come back soon!

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Friday, January 17, 2014

Lost Socks Tutorial


This past weekend I realized I had about 6 single socks missing their mate. They were all piled on my dresser and it was rather frustrating. I decided to take some Pinterest inspiration and do something about it!

I had several reclaimed boards sitting in my garage:


I started by using the Kreg Jig to drill holes into the wood.
It took me a while to start using the Kreg Jig but now that I have I love it! It's super easy to use and I don't have to ask my hubby for help! :)


I used the Kreg Jig to put the pocket holes in both boards, alternating the holes.
Then I clamped it together so I could easily screw them together without worrying they would move and not line up.


The screws I used:


I love this cheat sheet...reminding me what length screw I need for what size board! 
If you get the wrong size screw it will poke out of the front side and that's not good, so pay attention to this part!


I used the special square head Kreg Jig bit for these screws and here you can see it all screwed in.


Next, I pulled out some clothes pins from my laundry room jar.


I wanted them to look old so I dipped them in steel wool and vinegar. 
(This steel wool and vinegar has been in the jar for months - hence the reason it looks so nasty. Still works though!)


Dipping...


Here I am planning the layout for my lost socks board.


I used the pneumatic brad nailer to shoot nails into the clothes pins. I'm sure there's lots of ways to attach these but I like this thing, so any excuse to use!


I taped down the stencils by word so they wouldn't wiggle. I had some Black Magic paint left over from another project. I didn't stencil the letters perfect because I wanted them to look a little old and weathered.


Here is the stenciling...but I wasn't feeling the breaks in the letters so I freehand filled in those spots.


TA DA!!!!!
I like that better...don't you?


With a couple of sawtooth hanging thing-a-ma-jigs attached to the back it was finished!





Now I can hopefully find my sock mates so I have socks to wear during this chilly weather!


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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

I'm a big deal, people know me. Right??

Some of you may have just laughed when you saw my blog post title. Okay, the sarcasm was dripping from that title. But truthfully it's a topic I often wonder about.

Let me explain . . .
We've all heard of The Bloggess, Shanty & Chic, Fashion Toast, etc.

Depending on your interests you probably have specific favorite blogs that are big in that topic. Beauty, fashion, moms, home decor, lifestyle, and of course my favorite, DIY.

I know my impact is small, but I wish I could get a sense of how many people around the country really 'know' about me.

I sometimes daydream that somewhere around the world this conversation has happened:

Lady #1: "Hey, did you see that latest DIY project on Contemporary Harbor?"  
Lady #2: "Oh I did, it was so neat!"

I may be living in a fantasy world but I'd like to think that maybe that conversation has happened at least once or twice...

I'd also love to know if my DIY blog idols even know I exist.
 To give you a little insight on my life, my DIY blog idols include:
  1. Shanty 2 Chic (how do they have so much to blog about?! Oh wait there's two of them - why didn't I think about that?!)
  2. LizMarieBlog.com - she is so cute and her projects are to die for! Her blog has been a must read for me for a while.
  3. Rustique Restoration - not only does she have a great name {Jen} but her projects are fabulous - they are 100% my style and she helps inspire me when I've hit a rut! Like me, she doesn't blog all the time but when she does it's worth it!
  4. Buckets of Burlap - Not so much a DIY blog but if you know me you know I love burlap and her images are soooo inspiring!! They show you how they've turned their house from run-of-the-mill to a unique and gorgeous style farmhouse!
  5. Dear Lillie - Last but most certainly not least! She has the best tutorials and the best pictures ever. Her blog constantly inspires me for projects and decor!

Now that you know my favorites, the thing that goes through my head is do these bloggers know about my blog? Yes they've seen me comment on their posts. But do they ever come over and check out my blog? Do they know I exist? Does it matter?

Okay, it probably doesn't matter. I blog because I love it. I blog about the things I like. Whoever knows, whoever cares is great, but not the most important thing.

 If only I could 100% believe what I just said *sigh*

 Does anyone else think and feel the same way?

Things I do to make myself feel better:

1. Go to Pinterest, find a pin from my website and look at other pins that have been pinned from my website.

Look at all the names of people I don't know who thought my content was cool enough to pin!


2. Google Analytics gives me good information.


3. Bitly.com - I've been on this site all of 1 week so I don't have much to show on it right now. Please don't laugh at my pathetic statistics!  If you use bitly to shorten your link and post it on Twitter, FB, etc it will show you stats on that bitly link.

Does all of this make me crazy? Possibly. 
Do I care? Not really. 
:D

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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Jewelry Armoire - What a coat of paint can do...

It all started a few years ago with this...
 

My very first DIY project!

I found this jewelry armoire on Craigslist and decided to take a stab at re-finishing it.
I'm not sure what I was thinking... I had NEVER done any re-finishing or DIY before and I literally had no idea what I was doing!

It was in rough shape...




3+ years, moving 1000 miles, and a whole lot of DIY experience under my belt I finally finished!!


Sadly to say I lost 2 drawers in the move, I still think the piece is awesome!



Knobs re-purposed from another piece of furniture.




I finished this in Careless Whisper, distressed it with a sander, and used black coffee glaze to age the piece. I think it's much improved, don't you?!?


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