Friday, March 21, 2014

Donna's Nightstands

I wish I could say that I'm superwoman and can do everything and keep up with my job, my kids, my house, my yard, my clients, and that I can blog effortlessly and still always look good doing it. But, reality is that I constantly have laundry to fold on the arm of the couch, my kitchen always has dishes to do, a bathroom probably needs cleaning, if I'm home I'm probably in yoga or pajama pants sans makeup and blogging falls down the list when I'm super busy.
My point is easily made in this post. I did these cabinets in November/December and have had the pictures ready to go for a few months and still haven't done it. So here we go: I present to you the most painted nightstands in history…

The tops stripped pretty easily so I thought it wouldn't be so bad. These tables had the nasty 70's finish on them. Green with the antiquing finish. Underneath the antiquing and green was turquoise. Underneath the turquoise was cream, and underneath the cream was the typical varnish finish. I'm guessing I used a gallon of stripper to do these two little nightstands. Whew!

Stripped down they looked a little scary. Some flaws showed up and I had some details to fix and sanding to do.

But wow! So worth it!!! These turned out just lovely and looked like they were supposed to.

I used a layered stain technique with these pieces to get them to look like the original stain had. I fell in love with layering stains with this project and have done it with a couple more things in my own home now. I had a very pleased client and I was pretty happy with them myself.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Yummy

I have a Pinterest board called "The Yummy" where I pin lots of recipes that I never make. I think this happens to lots of people, I'm hoping it does and that I'm not just lazy about the Pinterest recipes. That particular board has inspired me to add another little variation to my regular posts. I know I'm usually all about design, furniture, and decorating; but the truth is that I grew up cooking and baking from a very young age and I'm pretty decent at it.
I have already shared how I plan to make this blog more about my journey in life: my children, my home renovation, my design work, and…a little something every now and then that my family adores to eat. This first one is super simple.

Vanilla Bean Rum Rice Krispies Treats
5 Tablespoons unsalted butter
14 Homemade vanilla bean marshamallows (mine are 2 inch squares)
2 Teaspoons Dark Rum (I use Bacardi Select)
6 cups Rice Krispies

I pile all the marshmallows into a microwave-safe large bowl and top with the butter cut into tablespoon segments. I heat it in the microwave for 2 minutes and the stir with a cooking spray coated spatula. Then I heat for one minute more. I add the rum and stir it into the butter/marshmallow mix. This does boil up quite a bit, but don't worry - you will love it! Lastly I add the rice krispies and stir until well coated. Then I spray my hands with cooking spray and pour the mixture into a pre-greased 9X13 pan and press them out into place. Once they are set, I cut them into squares and they are usually gone within half a day at home. If I take them places I have to take a minimum of two pans.

If you don't want to use the rum just use rum extract or even plain old vanilla is pretty awesome. So insanely much better than the standard treats.
If you're interested in a great marshmallow recipe I use this one.

I'm betting these won't last more than a day and the kids are still in school this week ;)