Chalk Paint Basics

Well I am FINALLY getting on here to write a post on my favorite paint product…Annie Sloan Chalk Paint!  You are going to cringe as soon as I tell you the price tag is $38 per 32 ounce can!  YIKES!  I can tell you that this product is worth every penny.  There is no sanding, priming or prepping (besides cleaning the surface) before painting with this “magic” paint.  I have painted wood, fake wood, metal and plastic with great success!  It goes a very long way, and saves you lots of time, frustration and energy.  It requires a coat of wax on top, but that can be purchased for under $10 and will last you FOREVER!  Here are some examples of how far one can of paint can go…

All these pieces were painted with one can of the “old white”.  Dining room table, 5 chairs, buffet  chandelier, bathroom vanity, windowpane and several other little items!  The dining room table and buffet were craigslist treasures, and I LOVE how they turned out!
These pieces were painted with one can of “duck egg blue”.  windowpane, piano, chest, bathroom vanity and an antique vanity (which I haven’t finished yet!).   It’s my favorite color – just a beautiful antique blue!

Here’s what you need:

This is what the Chalk Paint looks like.  Go HERE to find a stockist near you.  I have used both the Annie Sloan soft wax and the Minwax finishing wax.  They are both great products, but I really love the minwax because it is under $10 and I have barely made a dent in the can.  It protects and gives your furniture a beautifully finished look.  

I usually paint one coat on the furniture and then paint a second coat that is thinned out with water next….to make the paint go further.  I like the distressed look so I don’t want to waste too much of the paint on full coverage.  When the paint is dry, you can distress it using a light sanding block or a wet rag.  I usually use a sanding block on real wood, but if it is pressed I use a wet cloth.  After you distress the wood, I use a cloth to apply the wax to the wood.  It’s easy and QUICK!  Everyone asks my secrets to refinishing furniture…but it’s really just the paint that is amazing!

I am currently doing some office furniture for a friend in the color “florence”.  Here is a before and (almost) after of one of the pieces.  It is a beautiful teal/turquoise and I think I’m going to have to buy some for myself!
I always go to Miss Mustard Seed for inspiration or help with techniques.  She has some great tutorial videos on waxing and painting with chalk paint!
My friend Emily has a great post on homemade chalk paint over at her blog Putting Down Roots.  You will be inspired by her beautiful Armoire makeover as well as many other things!
Hope this answers some of your questions….please let me know if you have any more!

Dark Chocolate Lace Cookies

I LOVE giving home baked treats as gifts to friends and neighbors, so I wanted to try this lace cookie recipe out before I made it a keeper…and it is a winner!  This cookie is wonderful – it’s nice, light and crispy!  I hope you enjoy it!
Dark Chocolate Lace Cookies
Ingredients:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 ounces of dark chocolate, melted

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 375.   Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and oats in a bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the butter, cream, corn syrup and vanilla.  Mix until smooth and slowly add the dry ingredients.  Mix until combined!
Drop about 1 teaspoon of batter onto the sheets, trying your best to make each cookie the same size. Only place 12 cookies on a sheet because they will flatten while cooking in the oven. 

Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes then remove and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. 
Melt the chocolate and place between two cookies making little sandwiches.  ENJOY!!!
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November – where have you gone?!?

November has come and gone – it’s amazing how fast time flies the older you get.  I’m really trying to cherish these little moments with the girls.  I can’t believe how big they are all getting!  Landon and I have been married 5 years!  We went on our first weekend away without the girls.  It was only for one night, but we had an amazing time together and felt refreshed after our little getaway!
We stayed at the Keeter Center in Branson, MO.  It is a beautiful lodge and they spoil you with fresh milk and cookies at turndown service, and a rise and shine breakfast!  We LOVED it and spent a lot of the time laying in bed and watching TV.  Ah – such a luxury!
Here is Brooke at her Thanksgiving program at school.  I didn’t get to join her for the lunch but Landon was able to go and eat with her.  She loved that special Daddy Time.  
Seriously – these two melt my heart ever day.  They have their share of fighting, but they are truly best friends and do everything together.  
We started a tradition a couple years ago where we eat a traditional dinner as a family and then write everything we are thankful for down as a family.  It’s one of my favorite things to do.  I am SO blessed having these three sweet girls to spend each day with.  
The Christmas Season is in full swing here – we are all decorated and are excited to celebrate all month long!  It is my favorite time of year and it is even MORE fun now that the girls really get excited about it almost as much as I do!  Hope you have a wonderful week!

family photos…

I LOVE getting family photos done – I just love all the memories that photos capture.  Let’s be honest though I am ALWAYS stressed when it comes to picture day.  We had a mini session with my favorite photographer Stephany on Saturday.  Landon and I decided that we were going to make this session as stress free as possible with the girls.  We wanted it to be an enjoyable experience.  Did I mention I had EIGHT dozen cupcakes due that morning/afternoon?  8 dozen cupcakes and 45 baseball cookies were made in my kitchen, and I finally got a chance to get ready at 2, wake the girls up, get them ready, deliver cupcakes at 2:30 and made it with just a minute to spare at 3.  We pulled up to this BEAUTIFUL location and Stephany greeted us with her cheerful self.  I mean honestly, who needs to be stressed out when you have a photographer that loves your kids and loves to work with them?

Brooke smiling for the camera
Here’s a side by side of Lauren who ALWAYS wants to be just like her big sister.

Lily is usually the wanderer who does her own thing.  I love it.

We had a FUN time – I realized I had two dramatically different earrings on towards the beginning of the shoot and we had lots of laughs about that.  This photo that Stephany captured brings a smile to my face and really tells a story about how crazy our life is right now, but how BLESSED we are.  If you live in the Tulsa area and need an amazing photographer please contact Stephany.  You won’t ever be disappointed and she is one of the sweetest friends to me now!  

FIVE years of wedded bliss

This Saturday we will celebrate 5 years of marriage together!
 Looking at these pictures bringing back memories of some amazing friends that we haven’t seen since our wedding day.  It’s as good thing Landon’s not home to watch me sob at the computer screen. πŸ™‚
It’s amazing how fast time going by.  Everyone in this photo is married, and most of them have had their first child since this photo!  How young we all were….
This collage represents some of my favorite moments through the last 5 years.
*Our very first Christmas together – we were expecting our first “surprise” baby and didn’t even know it yet!
*The birth of Brooke – such sweet memories I can remember like it was yesterday.  
*Our trip to Branson to see Santa for the first time.
*Brooke at 6 months – such a pretty girl!
*Brooke talking to her sissies – I was 8 month’s pregnant here on bed rest.  Brooke kept me company and kept me smiling.
*The day the twins were born.  Relief, excitement and thankfulness is what I remember the first time I saw those sweet faces.  God is so good to us to give us two healthy baby girls through such a rough 9 months of pregnancy.
*I love this picture of the girls.  Brooke was such a pro at being a big sister.
*The twins 1st Birthday – the cutest little girls that keep me laughing (even when they cause trouble)
*Our family this fall – I can’t believe Landon and I GET to be parents of 3 little girls.  I’m so thankful for the most amazing partner God gave me to walk through this life with.  We are so blessed!

Flour Tortillas

I made shredded fajita chicken last night and had planned to make quesadillas with the four tortillas I THOUGHT i had purchased at the grocery store.  For those of you who shop with 3 young crazies, you know why I might have missed a few things on my list.  Who knows…they may have even been tossed out of the cart when I wasn’t looking.  I had the cheese shredded and chicken cooked before I realized I didn’t have tortillas, or chips.  So I googled flour tortillas and made them for the first time!  I really loved the taste and freshness of them and will never go back to buying tortillas   They were super easy too – not perfectly round (sorry abou the horrible photo) but my family doesn’t care about perfection!
Four Tortillas
original recipe here
Ingredients:
2 cups flour (your choice – I used all purpose)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup warm water (may have to use up to 3/4 cup)
In a large bowl stir the flour, salt and baking powder together.  
Add the oil and mix with your fingers to combine.
Add the water and work the liquid into the dough until a stick ball forms.
Wrap in plastic and let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
Divide the dough into 8-10 balls and cover them again with the damp cloth.
On a lightly dusted counter roll each ball out into a circle approx. 1/4″ thick.  You can trim the edges if you want a nicely rounded shape.  
Heat a dry griddle over high heat for 5 minutes.  Cook each tortilla for 30 seconds on each side until the dough looks dry and has a few brown spots on both surfaces.  Don’t overcook!  Wrap them up in a damp towel to keep warm as you cook the other tortillas.
You can also put them in the oven on low at 200 to keep them warm until serving   
Enjoy!
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