Sunday, June 26, 2011

Future Major Leaguer

Seriously, people, this kid's got quite an arm for a seven-year-old!

Super 8

We went to see this movie last night and it was great! The perfect fun summer action movie. I was surprised at how much I liked it. It reminded me of all the great Steven Spielberg movies with the underdog kids, and the humor plus great special effects- a lot like ET (although it wasn't actually directed by him, it was produced by him). I won't tell you much about it because, for me anyway, the less you know about a movie before you see it, the better. Trust me, you'll like it!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

   Today I'd like to share a super yummy recipe with you for Lemon Ricotta Pancakes. My mother and sister-in-law introduced me to these a couple of years ago when I was visiting Phoenix. We went to this place called Wildflower Bakery Cafe- I think that's right- and these were on the menu and they were sooo good. With both buttermilk and ricotta cheese in them how could they not be, right? Plus I love anything lemon flavored.
  A couple of weeks ago I hosted our Relief Society Recipe Swap, which is basically our monthly excuse to get together, talk and eat good food. The theme for May was breakfast and brunch which is some of my favorite food to make and eat. Here is a link to my friend Ellen's blog with some other pictures of food from that night. There was quiche, fritatta, potato strata, crepes- it was all delicious. I am helping host a bridal shower brunch for my brother's fiancee this Saturday and I am going to make the broccoli cheese quiche that Ellen brought for the shower.

Here is my recipe:

1 1/2 C all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 C buttermilk
2 large eggs, separated
1/4 C sugar
3/4 C ricotta
1 T grated lemon zest (I also added a tablespoon of juice to make it more lemony)
melted butter

Whisk together flour, soda, salt. In another bowl whisk together buttermilk, egg yolks, sugar, ricotta, and lemon zest and juice. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture and stir until just blended.
In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold beaten egg whites into ricotta mixture until blended.
Cook on hot skillet brushed with melted butter, about 1/4 C of batter per pancake.
I made a warm blueberry sauce by cooking blueberries with some cornstarch and water, and some sugar until thickened, and served the pancakes with the fruit sauce and powdered sugar. You could serve it with any berries, fresh or cooked. These pancakes are so moist, I hope you enjoy making them!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Songs I'm Liking This Week

Royal Wedding

We had a great time watching this today. My daughter is so into princesses that it was fun for her to see a real live one!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Easter Fun

Cousins at the Primary egg hunt at church

My little gal and Grammie hunting for eggs in the pouring rain!

My kids dyeing their eggs Friday night

The adult table at my mom's house

The big kids' table

Tons of yummy food!

Don't you wish you had a nice brother like this?!

We had a really fun Easter weekend including three different egg hunts (one in the pouring rain), singing in the choir, making homemade rolls and Jello eggs, lots of great food and fun with family and friends. All the boys in my family got plaid shorts in their Easter baskets. We were lucky that even though Saturday was cold and rainy, we woke up Sunday to beautiful sunshine and flowers blooming everywhere!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Spring Mantle

My favorite time of the year is here!
The trees are budding and turning that fresh light green color that I love, just like the world is blushing green. There are lots of daffodils and tulips opening up, and I've seen some magnolia trees beginning to bloom. Lots of forsythia too.
There is a clean, sweet smell in the air that makes me feel really happy. Winter is not my fave and I'm not at all sad to see it go.

I have to say that the temperature the last couple days has not been too spring -like, but next week is supposed to be really pretty- in the 60's.

This is a real nest that we found last year when my dad was cleaning under his deck. The straw is held together with layers of mud- pretty remarkable craftsmanship (don't worry, the nest had been abandoned for a while when we found it).

I bought these pussywillows over a month ago and they are still looking great.

Welcome Spring!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Entryway Before and After

 I'm really excited to show you the before and after pictures of our home's entryway today. Like everything else in our fixer-upper, it has sure come a long way.  Here is a picture of this table before I made it over. The bottom shelf was all warped and broken so I asked my friend to cut me a new piece out of plywood, then attached it and painted the whole thing white. Now it's one of my favorite pieces of furniture. 

I am a huge fan of barn stars, I bought this one at a really fun shop in our town that unfortunately went out of business. I did get a whole bunch of cool stuff there on sale first though.

 I thought about painting this little dresser white at first but the color grew on me so I left it as is.

 I ordered this photo of my kids from Canvas People. 

This little metal angel is a replica of the angel that flew on top of the original Nauvoo Temple. We bought it in a shop in Nauvoo on our trip across the country when we moved here from Arizona almost 6 years ago. Seeing that Temple that was burned so long ago rebuilt was an absolute miracle to me. I love that there is a little piece of  our church's history here.

Here is your view as you walk in our front door. One of my favorite changes is the light fixture in here.

Here is a before picture:

It seriously grosses me out to remember how smelly and disgusting this house was before we practically killed ourselves fixing it up. Ugh. In this photo the wallpaper has already been removed but before there was dirty beige wallpaper on the walls.

Another shot of our much improved entryway looking into the laundry room. There are shutter doors to the laundry that I still need to paint white and rehang. The tile is not what I would have chosen but I can live with it. The good thing about it is that it doesn't show any dirt, which is a big plus in this house.

I'm pretty proud of the work on the stairs since I did most of it :) You may be able to see in that above before pic of the stairs how scratched and gouged the dark stained wood was all up the staircase on both sides. I had to spackle and sand all of that wood, then prime it (3 coats of primer) and then paint it all. It was really, really hard work.
 The wood floors and stair treads were professionally sanded and varnished.

Really ugly original light fixture:

Not to mention the filthy, tobacco stained ceiling. Yuck.

This little chair is a favorite find of mine:

I love how you can see 3 or 4 layers of different paint on it. It was chipping a lot so all I did was scrub it well and sand it down so the paint wouldn't continue flaking off. 
This little basket is one I made a long time ago. Yes, I actually took a basket weaving class in college! 

I wanted this area to have a really beachy feel to it, so I filled different containers with some of our ocean finds from Cape Cod.

I realy like wreaths too, I think I have at least one in almost every room in my house.

This other glass jar is filled with some shells I've had since childhood, and some from a trip to St. Thomas.

Here is the view looking down from the top of the stairs:

And here it is after:

The color on the wall is Quiet Moments, by Benjamin Moore. The name makes me laugh because with 5 kids- 4 of them boys- there aren't too many quiet moments around here!
This color is a beautiful grayish blue that reminds me of the color of seawater- exactly what I was going for.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Metal Table Makeover

Here is another one of my latest finished projects that I'm excited to finally have finished up. It's a little metal table that was destined for the landfill, and in the before photos below you can really see why. It was a rusty, crusty mess, but I loved the shape of it and knew it could be an adorable farmhouse chic piece with a little love, elbow grease and lots of spray paint.

It's the perfect thing to hold some pretty white dishes and things in this little corner of my kitchen..

Here is a picture of the table before I started working on it:

See what I mean? Tons of rust and corrosion. I started out by scrubbing the whole thing down with soap and water using an SOS pad. Then I did a whole lot of sanding. It was impossible to get all the rust off but I tried to get as much of that and the flaky paint off as possible.

Then I broke out the Rust Stop primer- I think I used the ACE hardware brand, but I've used Rusoleum in the past. Normally for wood projects I use Kilz primer but for rusty metal I think it's good to use paint made to block rust. It took about 3 coats of primer and sanding in between to get it ready to paint.

Here it is in all it's glory after a whole lot of primer and 2 or 3 coats of glossy white spray paint.

 The one mistake I made is not completely taping off the black edge around the top shelf before I primed, so I kind of messed up the black paint in some areas, just a warning to you to remember that spray paint goes everywhere.

My one other big piece of advice- don't try to use spray paint outside on a windy day! I had to keep respraying spots where little bits of leaves, dirt, and a few bugs got stuck in the wet paint. That got super annoying. If you have a garage, that's even better than outside. Make sure you wear a mask when spray painting.

So, because I like before and afters so much, here is one more pic before:

And after: