Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Golden Pears

I found these pears at a hobby store the other day.  They looked so real.  I was going to put them in a glass bowl for color but then I looked over at some things I was finishing up and saw some gold accent paint.  Hmmm....
Maybe I should just paint them gold?
So pretty!
You really can paint anything....just try it!

Have a great week!


Thursday, February 18, 2016

Easter Eggs......It's Time

Ok peeps!  It's not too early to start painting Easter eggs.  Easter is a ways away...but if you want to paint some eggs or give them out as gifts, then now is the time to head to your craft store.

Eggs are easy to paint and so pretty when they are personalized to match your favorite decor themes. Get creative and have fun.  Now is the time.  :)

And for all you perfectionists...I know my dots are smudgy on the black egg.  I put the eggs in the basket before my dots were dry :)

Happy Thursday!


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Banana Cream Pie

When was the last time you made a banana cream pie?  For most of you....the answer may be never.  But if you like bananas.....this pie is pretty much the bomb.  And the best part....is that it is super easy to make. One pan, one pre-made pie crust....It can't get any easier.
The original recipe comes from A Taste of Home but as I went along, I made a few changes.

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups milk

2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons butter
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 pastry shell (9 inches), baked
4 large firm bananas
1 cup heavy whipping cream, 1tbsp of sugar and 1tsp of vanilla - whipped

Bake pie crust as directed.  In a large saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, salt and milk.  Cook and stir over medium-high heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat. 

Stir a small amount of hot filling into beaten eggs; return all to the hot liquid. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat. 

Gently stir in butter and vanilla. Press plastic wrap onto surface of
custard; refrigerate, covered, 30 minutes.

Slice 2 bananas and spread over bottom of the baked pie crust.  Spread half of the custard into pastry shell. Slice 2 bananas and arrange over filling. Pour remaining custard over bananas. Spread with whipped cream.

Refrigerate 6 hours or overnight.  Well, we ate this after 3 hours and it was awesome!

It's one saucepan and a baked pie crust.  Try it.    



Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Lent - What Are You Giving up?

What are you giving up for Lent?  It's a question that you may hear a lot in the next few days as Lent begins today.

I was reading an article on Lent the other day that made me take a step back.  It basically said if you want to change your body, you might want to give up wine, candy, coffee...  But if you want to change your heart, a bigger fast is needed.

Pope Francis in his annual Lenten message wrote "indifference to our neighbor and to God also represents a real temptation for us Christians.  Each year during Lent we need to hear once more the voice of the prophets who cry out and trouble our conscience." We tend to focus too much on ourselves and forget about others.  He called this the globalization of indifference.  

He also said "whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor.  God's voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of his love is no longer felt and the desire to do good fades.  We end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people's pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this was someone else's responsibility and not our own."

If we choose to fast from this indifference, turn this Lenten season away from ourselves, and focus on the compassion, the poor and the desire to help others, then we will learn how to truly love as Christ loves us.  The fast in turn becomes the feast.

So this Lenten season,  I am going to fast on the indifference towards others.  When my focus falls back on myself, I will heed the powerful hymnal words knowing that "it is well with my soul". I will remind myself that everything is well with me.....and I will turn the focus back on my fast.  I think I will be singing this hymn quite a bit this month....  :)

"when peace, like a river, attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll; whatever my lot, though has taught me to say, it is well, it is well with my soul."  ~ horatio spafford

I hope you have a fabulous Wednesday and a wonderful Lenten season.


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Stuck In A Rut....

It's February and although I'm trying not to complain, being stuck in the house, after a huge blizzard and then a few rainy days...and another snow day...kind of gets to me.  My motivation is low, my creativity suffers and I just plain ole feel bad.  I need the sun.  I need to get out of the house and I need to get moving!

With that being said, I've been looking at my house and realize that I need to reorganize.  So, I've been a little obsessed with baskets lately.  Baskets are a great way to bring the outdoors in and add some new decor to the house. And, they are relatively inexpensive.  Take a look at some of the options that are out there to use baskets...

Big or small, I like the feel of baskets in a home.  I'm going to head out and look for a few baskets to change things up.  What do you think?


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Pesto Pasta with Sausage and Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Ok, here is another simple pasta dish that is so good.....and super easy to make!

Take a bag of brussel sprouts, rinse, cut in half and toss lightly with olive oil and sea salt.  Place on a pan and roast at 400 for about 25 min.  Stir occasionally so they don't burn.  While they are roasting, make your pasta.

While your pasta is cooking, in a large pan saute your favorite sausage.  Drain the grease.  When done, add your pasta and 3/4 cup of pesto to your sausage.  I bought this jar at Costco.  I have learned to keep a jar of pesto on hand because it can make a meal real quick when you are tired and don't really want to make dinner.
Mix it all together and then add your brussel sprouts.  (I always reserve a little bit of pasta water when cooking these dishes to add in case the mixture is a little too sticky.)  
Serve this with some grated pecorino romano cheese,  a side salad and you are ready to go.  

This turned out to be so good.  My husband actually said it might be one of his favorite pasta dishes! See, dinner doesn't have to be difficult.  Pasta, sausage, pesto, brussel sprouts.....you are good to go!

Happy hump day!


Monday, February 1, 2016

Waxing Brushes....Are they needed?

Lots of questions about waxing in the past couple of days.....  That must mean y'all are painting away!   And, starting to finish your pieces. Woo hoo!

The picture above is one of the first brushes that was put out by Annie Sloan for wax applications.  it was large and had a flat edge.  It's great for waxing large surfaces.  Since then, the wax brush has been updated. Now, the brush has been adjusted so it's easier to get into tight and intricate detailed areas. Great for those vintage detailed pieces.
Did the wax change?  No. Did the application process change?  No.   It's just a different styled brush that is a bit more ergonomically shaped.  But you don't have to this special brush or the big flat one above to finish your pieces. No, you don't..... 

If you are going to be doing a lot of painting and waxing, the brushes help for sure.  But if you are going to be doing one piece or a couple....I wouldn't recommend spending all of that money on a brush for just a few times.  You can, but they cost a lot of money if you aren't going to get your moneys worth out of it.

One of my favorite go to wax applicators is a simple lint free white cotton cloth.  You can get a hole bag of them from the hardware store for under $5.00.  But make sure they are lint free!  :)
I own the brushes.....and yes they work great. I do a lot of painting and waxing.  But I often find myself reaching for a cloth instead. It's actually easier to control when you use a rag and I throw the rag away so I don't have to clean my brush when I'm done.  :)   

So don't let anyone talk you into buying a wax brush for one piece.  The wax works the same and the outcome is the same whether you brush it on or rag it on.  Use a small amount on your rag, wipe it into the wood evenly and then take a clean rag and wipe it off.  Work in small sections.  Then come back and buff.

It really is that simple.  

Have a great week.