Let me start by saying, If you are an oak wood lover than I encourage you to proceed with caution ! Last year we finally found our dream house after 9 years of searching and as we pulled down the tree lined driveway up to the columned front porch, I knew this was the house before we even walked in the front door. Unfortunately, our dream home was built in the 90's and has oak EVERYTHING, but I was able to look over this knowing that I could make some quick improvements ! Well, between work, kids, side jobs, and traveling...quick did not happen BUT 1 year later we have conquered our UGLY oak banister and I could not be happier !
Some quick tips !
Use this stain..it will be your best friend, I promise ! It comes in MANY different stain colors but after looking at swatches on Pinterest, I decided on their most popular color..Java !
USE LATEX GLOVES ! I started this project thinking that I wouldn't need them...I was wrong.
No matter what you have read on Pinterest, DO NOT use the rub off method..I made this mistake and it made our wood look like dirt. Simply take a $1 foam brush and paint on the gel stain (going with the grain) and let dry 24 hours in between coats. I like the "distressed" look because it gives the wood some dimension, so I only used one coat. Top with your favorite polyurethane and you ARE DONE !! I have a friend that paid a "professional" $2,000 to achieve this same look !
There is something about these chilly evenings and the glow of the Christmas tree coming from the living room. It evokes a special "something" that is un-explainable and it makes me want to cook, bake and try new recipes. Your children will ALWAYS be your biggest critics, so when you get a thumbs up (and clean plates) across the table...you know you have a winner !
CREAMY CHEESY STUFFED CHICKEN PARMESAN
4-6 small boneless skinless chicken breasts (halved & pounded down).
4 oz softened cream cheese ( I used fat free).
10 oz package frozen chopped spinach (thawed & drained).
1 cup mozzarella shredded cheese.
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs.
1 cup spaghetti sauce.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix together mozzarella cheese, cream cheese, and spinach. Spread mix evenly onto thin chicken breasts and roll up chicken tightly, secure with a toothpick. Prepare 13x9 baking dish by spreading spaghetti sauce on bottom,
Beat egg in a small bowl. Mix together Italian breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese in a separate bowl. Dip each chicken breast in egg and then roll in breadcrumb mixture. Remove toothpicks.
Place chicken breasts seam-side down into prepared baking dish.
Bake 30 mins and VOILA !!
I topped my chicken with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and served with french-style green beans, sweet corn, and crescents....your children will be singing your praises...Spinach and all !!
Do you ever look around you..at your children, your comfortable home, the presents under your "perfect" Christmas tree and just think "Wow, we are so blessed". My husband and I talk about this often, especially this time of the year when so many parents do not have the money to pay their next electric bill..let alone presents for their children. We have always tried to teach our children that giving is always better than receiving, so this year we are going to try something new. In the past, we have done the traditional "Angel tree" at the mall, helped out a family at church but this year we are going to try something different. I saw an interview on a morning talk show where "secret santas" are paying off layaways at local Walmarts and I thought this would be a great idea ! I would encourage everybody to give back this season in one way or another, even if it is not monetary. There is a wonderful foundation called payawaythelayaway.org where you can donate any amount to help a family with Christmas. Spread the love this holiday season ! XOXO
A blast for all ages !
Let me start by saying that as a family, we have been to Orlando more than 30 times in just 9 years ! But in those MANY times that we have been down to "Theme Park Capitol of The World", we have never visited Legoland ! Our son was beyond excited when we told him that we were going to visit and he even packed all of his little lego figurines in his suitcase.
A huge tip ! If you are visiting Legoland in the off season...check their days and times that they are open ! I made this mistake unfortunately and it felt a lot like the scene from National Lampoon's Vacation when the Griswolds show up to Walley World.....
After I kicked myself for not checking their schedule, we decided to visit the next that they were open. Boy am I glad that we decided to try it again because this park is so much fun ! Earlier in the week we had visited Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Universal Studios, and Islands of Adventures, so we were beyond tired of standing in lines in the Florida heat. Legoland is a much needed breathe of fresh air when it comes to crowds, we did not have to wait more than 5 minutes for a ride. I feel like because this park is located about 45 minutes south of Orlando, the crowds are more thin (especially in the off season).
This park spans over 145 acres and offers over 50 rides and attractions, so make sure that you arrive early because you will want to experience all they have to offer. My 2 teenage daughters loved the shows and enjoyed riding the roller coasters with our 5 year old. My husband even made the statement that he would come back to Legoland a hundred times before he ever goes back to Disney ! Do yourself a favor and visit this park with your kids...you can even stay at the Legoland Hotel right next door !
Fall Break 2017 is almost here !! This year we are will be stopping at 5 different locations is 5 days and I could not be more pumped about it !! We have taken the girls to Disney more times that I can count but our son has never been and seeing it through his eyes will be so magical. We will be visiting 4 other very exciting places as well (not Disney related) and I can't wait to reveal those :)
I have gone back and forth for the past few years about buying a new dining room set. I have googled, browsed and Pinterest everything to find "the perfect" hutch. Everything was either too farmhouse-y, mid-evil, or just plain ugly. After seeing some transformations on Pinterest..I decided to grab some spray paint and jump on the band wagon. This is my china hutch before..not horrible but just too dark for my taste.
After a coat of primer, one quart of bright white and some freshly sprayed knobs....I ended up with a beautiful, bright focal piece for my wedding china !
This is what I used to complete this project :
We are trying to get our Fall Break plans together and looking to do something new in Florida ! We have been to Universal Studios and Disney more times than I can count, so after doing some research I found LegoLand. My 5 year old son is obsessed with ALL things Lego, so this might have to be a theme park to try but Trip Advisor has mixed reviews. I'm thinking this will be a GREAT travel review for the blog....
We areSo, It has been awhile since I have posted on my blog just because life is SO hectic right now ! Juggling a full time job, grad school, a growing side business, husband and 3 kids has really eaten up ALL of my time. Writing is one of my passions so I decided to wake up early on this Saturday morning and get caught up on some exciting reviews that have happened recently !
My husband and I booked a 7 day cruise for our very first Royal Caribbean cruise. We have only cruised with Carnival before, so we were very excited to try a new cruise line and most of all we were excited to try one the lines largest ships, Oasis of The Seas. This ship was beyond anything I had imagined it would be....it holds 6300 people at max capacity, boasts over 30 restaurants and bars, Central Park with over 10,000 live plants, AquaTheatre with amazing shows and so much more ! This particular cruise ported out of Port Canaveral and stopped in St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Bahamas. We decided to book an excursion to the world famous Maho Beach in St. Maarten where commercial planes fly just a few feet over your head ! We are already planning our next Royal Caribbean Cruise for next year !
My daughter decided that turquoise chevron was too "young" for her now that she is the big 1-3 so she decided that she wanted to paint her room Gray. My response was "what color Gray" ? "Just pick one" she says....and now the journey is on for the perfect shade of Gray but why does there have to be SO many choices ?!?! I have it narrowed down to these 3 contenders !
So between my husband changing jobs he was able to tackle this ! I am one lucky girl :) I can't wait to reveal the final look !
" You only live once but if you do it right..once is enough" ~ Cecil Beaton