Archive | March, 2013

Icelandic Adventure

26 Mar

I can’t believe a month has gone by and I have not posted pictures from our Iceland vacation. We went in February and met my sister and brother-in-law there. It’s an amazing place the landscape is like being on another planet. It’s such a short flight from Boston, a quick 5 hours. I read somewhere that half the country believes in elves and after visiting I can see why. The landscape is magical and makes you feel like you’re in a mythical land. The pictures do not do it justice but here are a few of my favorites.

DSC_1182 DSC_1233 DSC_1347 DSC_1324 DSC_1508 DSC_1381

 

Seems crazy looking back going to Iceland in the middle of winter!

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My Favorite Recipe

20 Mar

I decided to take a break from painting and share with you my all time favorite recipe. I found it via Pinterest, (shocking I know!). The recipe is a twist on chicken parmesan an old classic. Instead of frying the chicken making it really fatty Chef John the creator turns the dish into a casserole. Now I am not about to rehash how to make this phenomenal dish, you can find an awesome video tutorial which he created on his foodwishes website. It’s worth watching if only for his humor alone! What I am going to add are the homemade croutons I made for this recipe, it makes a huge difference. I know what you are thinking…chicken parm, croutons what is she talking about…watch the video trust me it makes sense. Either way if you use them for this recipe or even just in a salad it’s worth taking the extra 15 minutes to make your own. I will never buy store made croutons every again.

We had left over foccia bread from a local farm/bakery I hate having bread go to waste but after two days it was starting to get hard. Day old bread is best for crouton making.

Here is what you will need:

  • Bread cubed into small pieces (I used four pieces of bread)
  • Olive oil 2 tbs
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Minced garlic 1 tbs
  • Any additional spices you want to add.

crutons

Preheat the over to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients except for the bread in a big mixing bowl. Then add the bread and toss until all the pieces are lightly coated. Lay out onto a baking sheet in a single layer.

crutons 3

Bake for about 10 – 12 min or until they get golden brown. I used these for my chicken parm casserole which the top layer is croutons so I let these only cook for 10 min since they were headed right back to the oven. Here is the final chicken parm casserole with homemade croutons, so good!

crutons 2

Let me know if any of you try this!

LaurenSig

My Experiment With White Wash

19 Mar

Throughout my travels in the blogosphere I have discovered numerous posts and DIY about white washing furniture. I love the look, it turns the piece into a beachy cottage feel which is right up my alley. No seriously it’s literally right up my alley, the beach is about 4 miles away! After doing some more research I realized it’s actually really simple to do and it brightens up any piece.

I decided what better way to experiment then with another Craigslist find, this small accent table. It was in great condition but of course I had to paint it! I know the photo is horrendous there is no excuse!

table before

I painted the table in Annie Sloan Duck Egg Blue, what a beautiful color! I wasn’t exactly thrilled about the end result, I am still learning how to use the dark wax and I felt this piece came out way to dark. If anyone has any tips on controlling the dark wax please let me know!!

The best thing about this paint is you can always change it! So I read about white wash and thought I would give it a try.

duck egg 6-001Basically white wash is exactly how it sounds, white paint watered down. The process I did was take a small cup of water and then used Annie Sloan Old White and would dip my paint brush in the old white and then just a corner of the brush into the water.

paint

Simply paint the piece in sections and before it dries wipe as much or little of the paint you want off. This is what you are left with:

duk egg 3

I just love it, with the hints of white!

duck egg 4I think this option worked out well because the dark wax still peeks through a little bit but it’s not overwhelming. What do you guys think? Anyone else use this technique before?

LaurenSig

Transformation

14 Mar

For those of you who have been following me since the beginning (basically those friends I bullied into following me :)) you have seen this blog transform a few times. Bare with me because I am now addicted to refinishing furniture. I love finding pieces that need a little love and then making them pretty again! Here is my latest transformation.

I found this coffee table and I thought it has great lines and tons of potential. It’s solid wood but had a few scratches, nothing a little sanding and painting can’t fix. Sorry for the basement iPhone shot, I really need to get better at taking the before pictures.

coffee table before

I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in old white.

coffee 1

Of course I had to distress it a little!

coffee 3

I added the smallest amount of Annie Sloan dark wax to give the white some depth and age to it. It is an antique after all. coffee2 coffee5I just love this piece it’s so pretty! Sadly it will have to go since it doesn’t match any of our furniture!

Here are some other painting posts I love:

Chalk Paint

6 Mar

It was only a matter of time before I would be posting about Chalk Paint. All the other bloggers I follow were doing it so I had to  try, and now I am addicted! If you have never heard about Chalk Paint then at this point you probably think I am crazy, so let me explain. I have recently been using Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint. It’s not chalk board paint as some might think. It’s a two-step process of painting furniture (or anything really) and then waxing it. That’s right, that’s all you have to do! No sanding, no stripping, no priming, nothing. It’s awesome, it’s fun to work with and as I said before I am addicted! I have painted many pieces that I will share later this week. Today I wanted to share my very first painting experience so you can see even a novice like me can turn something old and ugly into new and pretty.

I thought for my first “experiment” piece I would try our old entryway table, which since we moved has been sitting in the basement. It is a nice little table in good condition, but it was ready for a makeover!

side table 3

I did two coats of paint since the wood was so dark. You will not believe how fast this paint dries, seriously 20 minutes and you can start the second coat! You can see how it gets its name, it looks really chalky and powdery before you wax it. I distressed the piece before I waxed.

side table 4

Here it is all waxed and buffed!

side table

side table 2

So cute, right!?

LaurenSig

Anticipating Spring

5 Mar

So who is sick of Winter?! I certainly am! Seems about right though, once March rolls around and Spring is almost near I start to go a little crazy with anticipation for warmer days. In a desperate hope to hurry Spring along I put together a new welcome wreath for our front door. I started by looking for some inspiration via pinterest, because really if you need inspiration pinterest is the mecca for great ideas! A wreath by Too Much Time On My Hands caught my eye. It had all the flowers made from paper book pages, genius! Click Here to see the step by step instructions I followed.

Back when we first moved into our house last June I had constructed a wreath with our new house numbers on it. Click Here to see the old wreath and instructions on how I made our house numbers. I reused these numbers for my new wreath.

Here is my new wreath! I love it, I feel as if I am welcoming spring into my home, Go away snow!!! 🙂

wreath flowers wreath spring 2

LaurenSig

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