sanded

Building an Ottoman from nothing.

Just about every month now, Hubby and I have a kid free weekend thanks to my parents. As I have gotten older I have come to understand I won’t always have my parents and one day I am going to wake up and wish Glitter would have gotten to spend more time with them. So once a month I can give up a couple hours to take Glitter down and hang with them as well. The rest of the weekend is up to us and we are loving the time together.

We had one of these weekends recently and decided it was a perfect time to get a project off the “to do list”. Before Hubby and I got started, I had the naïve thought: “Oh this won’t take too long and should be done in plenty of time to go out for dinner.” Y’all, it took so long! I am not kidding. What I thought would be a couple of hours turned into two days!! Bless my Hubby’s heart, he never faltered and keep me going when I wanted to quit.

The project started off with the idea of turning this box into an ottoman to go with my chair.

Just a little FYI, there is always more than meets the eye. We started with trying to sand off some of the paint. We found out the paint was latex paint and was gumming up the sandpaper. After 45 minutes and 5 pieces of sand paper, we opted to just strip the paint.

As the stripper started working, we found out there was multiple layers of paint. It started with the brown/reddish, which covered the blue. The next layer was red, then led to gold, like Christmas gold. White waited under and finally found the original color which was military green. No, the box was not a military box but rather a plywood box someone hastily put together. The hinges had been replaced and painted over as well. After an entire can of stripper, we finally gave up.  We only had three sides done and lost about 2 and half hours until finally I threw in the proverbial towel. That moment is also when my dreams of repurposing furniture died, I think.

A quick trip to the local hardware store and big box store, found us back at home to start on building an ottoman. I thought about how big it should be and told Hubby. He didn’t question he just started cutting the wood. After it was cut, he handed me the Bosch multi tool with the sander attachment on it and told me to get busy sanding. (Hey Bosch, let’s talk about a series of posts using your tools. We are game!) As I finished sanding, Hubby started putting the sides together. Y’all a two-foot cube is HUGE for an ottoman!! When I figured it out we were low on daylight so we only had time cut the cube down to one square foot and high tail it to our uncle’s shop. There we spent the rest of the evening trying to finish up. By 10 that night we had enough and ready to bed.

Sunday was the last day we had to get the ottoman finished and to pick up Glitter. Painting was the main objective for this day. The ottoman had been put together the night before and was waiting on us when we got started. I chose a bright shade of blue called Centurian Blue by Kilz. For the fabric cover to the padding I chose a cream color fabric since the blue was bright and the chair I paired it with is gray.

 

I got it painted and mostly done before we had to go get Glitter. Thankfully my parents had already told us they were going to make supper for us. By the time we made it home it was late and Hubby agreed to stay at the shop and finish the little things, while I put Glitter to bed. He installed the hinge and put on the final touches like the knob and the wheels. The final product was done about 10:30 at night. I couldn’t have been happier with it. The ottoman looks amazing with the chair.

If the right project comes up again I would be glad to use the power tools. Painting is always fun as well. Have you ever built something or repurposed furniture? I would love to hear about it!

 

Until we next meet,

A

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Homemade Beef Stroganoff

   I know most people do recipes on Friday (Foodie Fridays) but I follow my own drum. Plus I have always loved to cook on Wednesday. It is the middle of the week which is great time to do something different if you are having a bad week or even a good week. So this week I decided to make beef stroganoff but I didn’t know how. So Google came to my rescue. After about twenty minutes of looking at different recipes, I liked pieces of different ones. Not one stood out, so I decided to make my own up.

1 lb of sirloin peite steak, cut thin
1/2 lb of sliced mushrooms
3/4 of a medium onion, thinly sliced
1/4 flour
1/2 cup of beef broth
seasoning of your choice
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup sour cream

In a large skillet, saute mushrooms and onion with olive oil. After 10 minutes, add meat to skillet. When meat is medium well, add flour, beef broth, sour cream. Cook for another 5 minutes. Serve with eggs noodles.

Step one: cook mushrooms and thinly sliced onions.

I am digging this Olive Oil right now. I love the easy pour top. 

I added this along with garlic. We really like the favor this brings to the dish. 

Yumminess in the making. Meat added. 

If you look at the bottom of the container, you will see there is very little garlic left. I guess it is time to get more. Maybe I can talk Hubby into a date night and go get more. (We buy in bulk with seasonings and we have to go to a different town to pick it up.) 

Add your flour. 

It makes a great roux. I had to add more since mine was a little thin.

YAY!!!! Got it right!! 

Add your sour cream and beef broth.  I had to get Glitter Bug out of the kitchen cause she kept asking if she could just have a little bit. 

I ADORE funky measuring cups. This one is 1/4 cup but works great because it is like a giant spoon. 

This is in my flour jar. Glitter Bug and I found them at a second hand shop. 

Finished product!! 

Side view. I love this dishes. They come in small, regular size plates, cups, and bowls. 
      There was just enough left for lunch today. I always feel supper is successful if Glitter Bug eats it. In this case she asked for seconds. Score one for me! 
    What is the new thing you have tried? I would love to hear about it.
Until we next meet,
      

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Family Dinner Night

We like to have family dinner night each week. This is where there is no cell phones, no TV, nothing besides Glitter Bug, Hubby, and Mamma. 
Each week one of us gets to decide what we are going to have.(This week was my turn.) All of us have a weakness for a good home made taco,  so tacos it is. 

We love our olives!

Now, the season we use it not from a package. It made sense to Hubby and I to try to make our own seasoning since we both love to cook and we are trying to be healthier. After many different combinations we found one which tastes wonderful! Plus it is Gluten Free!!  With so many people having problems with gluten this is a great recipe to share. I am guess you want me to share right?! Okay, don’t worry I love to share yummy stuff.
Homemade Gluten free Taco Season
1/2 cup chili powder
1/4 cup of onion powder
2 Tablespoons of ground cumin
2 to 3 Tablespoons of garlic powder
1 Tablespoon of Paprika 
dash of cayenne pepper (just for taste)
2 to 3 Tablespoons of corn starch (for thickening)
Mix all together and put in air tight container.
Use 2 Tablespoons and 3/4 cup water per pound of meat. 

Homemade Taco seasoning

With ours we use more garlic because we love it. Also this is great not just for tacos. When Hubby cooks he uses it lightly as a seasoning especially with roast.  
I hope you give it a try and let me know.
Until we next meet,
A


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Homemade laundry detergent

                  We are all try to save a dollar here and there. I have found something to help with this is homemade laundry detergent. I have been using this for the last eight months and love it!!! It smells cleans my clothes so well and  there is also a huge plus of smelling soooo good!! Another huge plus is the cost of the detergent. I was spending roughly $10 a month on detergent. Which equals to about $120 a year. I know it doesn’t seem like a bunch of money a year however, with the new detergent I make only cost me $40 a year. That is an $80 savings!
             Ready to save yet? Excited?? Of course you are. You can find all this on your laundry aisle are your local store.
       

             1 box of borax
             1 box of baking soda ( I use the Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda)
             2 Bars of soap (I use Fels-Naptha)
             1 5 gallon bucket
             1 large jar of Oxi-Clean
             1  Purex Crystals
   
     You don’t have to use the last two items.The crystals are a nice touch to add for the smelling good. If you don’t use the last two items you can save even more.
 
  Okay so now we have all the items time to mix it together. Ready? Good. Since most of them are already in a powder form you just need to dump them into the bucket. However, the bars of soap are going to need to be grated. You can do this by hand or you can do the same thing I do. It is just bars of soap right?! I just use my food processor. YES, my food processor. All you are grating is soap and guess what …it can be put in your dishwasher. So simple right? With everything in the bucket you are going to need to mix it. I have my wonderful hubby shake it up. (He is into saving too!!) You can also mix it by hand.
 All you need per load is 2 tablespoons. If you use the Purex crystals the cap has a 2 tablespoon line. You just need to put the detergent into the now empty bottle. I use a ladle to transfer.          

              Doesn’t that look fun? I love this stuff!! I would love to hear how yours turns out.

Until we next meet,

A.

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Recipe for Fall

This is for Arkansas Womens Bloggers BLOGtober.

When I think of fall all the normal food ideas come to mind. I look forward to anything pumpkin. If you don’t believe me just ask my hubby. As much as I love nearly pumpkin, my favorite thing to cook is totally off in left field. I have to great recipe my aunt shared with my mum and dad. It is my Grammy’s spaghetti. (That would be my dad’s mother) I have some great memories of my Grammy and Grandpa but I truly didn’t get to appreciate them since they both died when I was younger. 

Now I got this recipe after my aunt came down to visit with us and she made Grammy’s spaghetti. I was in love with this the first bite I put into my mouth. If you have never had homemade sauce then you are seriously missing out but don’t worry I am going to share with you. Back to the spaghetti…. We have all had the store bought spaghetti sauce and some of it has some good depth and flavoring however, Grammy’s tasted like nothing I had every had before. I could taste the love, time, and effort put into it. I knew then I must make this because there was no going back. 

It took me a few months to make this. I mean the amount of time you have the stove on huge. So I did not want to heat my house up during the summer. All summer I kept thinking how nice this will be to make when the weather cools off. As we know last year summer seem to have a permanent hold on most of Arkansas. It was well into fall almost winter before I got to make Grammy’s spaghetti. It was well worth the wait. From start to finish was five hours of smelling some of the best smells ever. Hubby and I would try to be the one who had to go stir the big pot of yumminess. 

Finally our wait was over. Here was the hardest/easiest thing I cooked. Hardest because it smelled so good and I could remember what how it tasted. Easiest because even though it took five hours to cook most of it was just stirring. 

Doesn’t it look yummy?!?! It was great!!! When the first bite was taken, I knew again never store bought sauce for my family. So who is ready to make this yumminess?? 
Well, I am going to share my own version of homemade spaghetti sauce. I am not at liberty to share the original sauce. 
Alicia’s Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
4 cans of tomato paste plus 4 cans of water
2 large cans of crushed tomatoes
4 garlic cloves chopped, medium to semi medium
4 tablespoons of olive oil
Oregano
Italian seasoning
Salt to taste
Put oil in pot and cook paste for about five to ten minutes. Add garlic, water, crushed tomatoes, oregano and Italian seasoning. I don’t really measure seasonings. I just taste and add if need to. So yes it will turn out a little different each time. Cook for about an hour or hour and a half. 
 This is different from my Grammy’s. I really don’t have time to cook for five hours each time I want spaghetti. But this is super good. The last time I made this I did a double batch and now have some on hand so I can just thaw as I cook it. Let me know how yours turns out. 
Until we meet again,
A



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