Sunday, January 24, 2010

Bathroom Destruction

It has to get worse before it can get better, right? Well this is not the picture of my bathroom. The pictures following are. I found this picture to serve as a sort of inspiration right now. I think this is the direction I am heading for this room. I want to make sure we have a somewhat "manly bathroom" in the house. What better place than the downstairs bathroom by the most manly symbol- The Big Screen? I have to warn you... it won't be very manly, but will incorporate brown or gray or blue when it's all said and done.
I really like this dark brown, but I'm not sure since there is no window in the bathroom... humm... what do you think? We will have a pedestal sink - no more plastic cabinet!
My handyman "Stan" came over and got sucked into one of my projects. We took out the sink, toilet and 2 layers of vinyl flooring. I'm still removing a few more pieces of wallpaper and sanding the walls.
We still have the following tasks before we can put the finishing touches on the bathroom:
  • Refinish the walls, trim and paint (maybe put up wainscoting??)
  • Install the laminate tile floor with grout. I think I'm going to stagger the tile this time - sort of a brick pattern
  • Install ceiling tiles
I have wall sconces to replace these hanging from the wall. I probably would not have chosen them, but since the electrical was there I'm going with it.
See that pesky wallpaper where the toilet tank was... why did they wallpaper behind the toilet?? My handyman used a plastic cup instead of a rag in the toilet hole (is that the technical term for it??). The white on the floor is the glue and backing of the floor... how will I get that off?
I think that is a pretty nasty toilet... black mold growing inside it... Let's all make a point never to let our toilets get that nasty.
And again you see more traces of that pesky wallpaper. There are some places where the wallpaper took off the drywall. I guess we're going to be "muddin" and sanding some walls.
The floor was great - 2 layers of vinyl stuck to cement floor.
I guess I'd better get back to getting the last of the wallpaper off so we can start on fixing the walls. The projects just never end. I'm in the middle of painting some dressers for another project.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Make me an offer... bench

This poor bench was in the garbage pile at a make and offer sale. The same day I got a chest of drawers and this bench. I hope to have the chest done soon, but this project was much quicker for this weekend. I got both for $7, so I guess maybe I paid a dollar for this bench? It had a caned top, but it was broken so I took it out. I had my handyman cut a piece of wood to fit in the hole so I could upholster the seat. I sanded and then painted the wood with black spray paint leftover from another project. Instead of buying an expensive piece of foam for the seat I used some quilt batting to form a cushion. I splurged on this fabric - $5 for a half yard. I cut the fabric and folded the batting in multiple layers. Pulled the fabric around each side and used the staple gun to secure it. Make sure to pay special attention to the corners. Here it is! It's slightly more puffy than I thought it would be, but still pretty cute for less than $10. It also provided me something to do on a Saturday night. I'm going to use it in the entry way to sit on when we put on shoes... so we don't have to site on the stairs. What have I inspired you to do? I wish I could find something to inspire me to finish taking down the bathroom wallpaper... I guess I might have to wait until all the furniture in the basement is refinished - either way it all has to get done! :)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Pork Loin in the Microwave

Pork loin in the microwave, how can this be? Well would you say the same thing to a whole chicken in the microwave for 30 minutes? I can tell you I was skeptical at first as well. Now microwave chicken is one of my favorite things-- cheap too! I can get a whole chicken for about $4.50. I can make it for dinner and have leftovers for quesadillas, pizza, salad topping or soup. Tonight I finally tried my hand at the 10-12 minute pork loin. You would think it might be rubbery and dry, but oh quite the opposite. This is what I did:
  • Use your favorite rub/ seasoning with a little oil and season it generously
  • Place it in your DEEP COVERED BAKER
  • Microwave with the lid on for 10-12 minutes
  • Check the temperature with your digital thermometer - should read at least 160
  • Let it sit on the counter for 10 minutes with the lid on again
  • Slice and serve
I'm planning on making my husband barbecue pork sandwiches for lunch tomorrow... maybe he'll make them for himself since he has a snow day! I made noodles, fresh bread and broccoli to go with it. Dinner took only about 25 minutes! There are so many great recipes to make in your deep covered baker, what are you favorites?

Butterfinger Brownies

Looking for a twist to a normal box of brownies? Add a Butterfinger (or any other candy) to the batter. I used my all encompassing CHOPPER. If you don't have one - you have to get one soon. Here are some of the ways I use mine to chop the following fast:
  • Leftover meat for soups, quiches, pot pie, dips
  • Chocolate chips or candy bars
  • Vegetables (onion, peppers, celery, carrots, etc...)
  • Nuts
  • Homemade bread crumbs
  • Oreos/ graham crackers - for crust
The list goes on... I used to think that you just use it with the small bottom it comes with, but now I know I can chop away on my cutting board as shown above. It's important to use a pampered chef cutting board and not a glass cutting board. If you use a surface other than plastic it dulls the blade of the chopper. How do you use your chopper?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Spinach Carbonara Pizza

Spinach Carbonara Pizza
  • 1 pkg (13.8 oz) refrigerated pizza crust
  • 6 slices bacon, divided
  • 1 pkg (6 oz) fresh baby spinach leaves (about 8 cups)
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 oz grated fresh Parmesan cheese (about 1/4 cup packed)
  • 1 cup jarred Alfredo pasta sauce
  • 1/4 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 cups (8 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • Additional coarsely ground black pepper (optional)

Preheat oven to 450°F. Unroll dough over bottom of lightly greased Large Bar Pan. Gently stretch and press dough to cover bottom of bar pan. Bake 10-12 minutes or until crust begins to brown; remove pan from oven to Stackable Cooling Rack.

Meanwhile, slice bacon into 1/4-in. pieces; cook in (8-in.) Sauté Pan over medium heat 5-6 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; drain on paper towels.

Place spinach and garlic pressed with Garlic Press into Classic Batter Bowl. Cover batter bowl; microwave on HIGH 2-3 minutes or until spinach is wilted. Carefully remove lid; press spinach to side of batter bowl using Small Mix ‘N Scraper®. Dab excess moisture with paper towels and set aside.

Grate Parmesan cheese using Microplane® Adjustable Grater; set aside. Finely chop half of the bacon using Food Chopper. Measure Alfredo sauce in (2-cup) Easy Read Measuring Cup. Add chopped bacon and black pepper to Alfredo sauce; mix well.

To assemble pizza, spread sauce to edges of crust. Top sauce completely with 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese, spinach mixture and remaining bacon. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese and additional black pepper, if desired.

Bake 7-10 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden brown. Remove from oven to cooling rack. Cut pizza into squares using Pizza Cutter. Serve using Mini-Serving Spatula.

I LOVE this pizza!! I even made a version of this with pasta instead of pizza crust because I was in a time crunch.

Pampered Chef - January Specials and Shows

As many of you know I love Pampered Chef so much-- I sell it!! I love that this is my hobby. I love cooking, baking and helping families and friends come together with great food. I'm going to start showcasing new Pampered Chef recipes - maybe even show pictures of when I make them.

I'd love to cook for you at your very own cooking show. If you're not interested in having a cooking show we can also get you some great tools by just having a catalog show (taking your catalog along to friends and family). Many of my friends and family have been cooking much more than ever because they have the right tools in the kitchen.

I am going to be placing an outlet order this weekend. You can view special outlet items by following these steps to my website:

Go to and follow these steps:

1. Click "SHOP ONLINE" (top right hand corner)

2. Select "PLACE AN ORDER"


If you'd like to host a show in January here's what you get - if you ask me it's one of the BEST months!

  • 50% more FREE product - my average host gets $140 FREE so how does $210 FREE sound??
  • Up to 2 Bamboo items for 60% off
  • Up to 4 items of your choice for 50% off
  • Any items you don't get are eligable for 15%-30%

AND you get 10% off any order you place for the rest of the year!! AND if someone books a party from your show you can get the host special the month they have a party. Really the rewards are amazing. I'd love to help you grow your kitchen and enjoy cooking more. Don't feel intimidated with cooking anymore.

Contact me to schedule your show or place an order - no matter how far away you are!

Do you like my blog?

I'm so glad you have stopped by my blog and enjoyed seeing what I've been up to. I am often asked what my blog site is. I want to help those of you that are interested in keeping tabs on what I'm up to. You can see I have "followers" on the right side of my blog. Here's how you can follow me and visit my blog easily:

What is Following? Do you have a favorite blog and want to let the author and readers know that you are a fan? Well now you can do that and more with the Blogger Following feature! You can even keep track of the blogs you follow via your Reading list on the Blogger dashboard.

How do I become a Follower of a blog?

There are several ways to become a follower of a blog. One of the easiest ways is to visit a blog that has added the Following widget and (1) click on the "Follow" button under the "Followers" widget.

You'll then see a (2) popup window with the options to either follow publicly or privately.

(3) Select how you'd like to follow the blog, then click the "Follow this blog" button. It is that simple, you are now a follower of the blog!

When you become a follower of a blog, the blog will also be added to your reading list on your Blogger dashboard.


You can just record my website on your list of favorites.

Thank you all for following me or visiting!

**Also, I love to get comments - click on the "comment" label at the end of each post and let me know what you think.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Years Resolution

Putting a New Years resolution in writing is scary. Mostly because you are reading this and when I slip up and turn back to my normal tendencies...

My resolution for 2010 is Love.

It sounds so simple and maybe to some of you a little hokey. Well it is simple, but don't we sometimes forget to do some of the most simple things in life sometimes?

We have been discussing many topics in our Sunday School class this past year. Each time a new topic is brought up I'm constantly drawn to think about the situation if more love were present.

We've discussed bitterness... judgementalness... anger...homelessness...complacency. How many of our circumstances/ issues/ daily life could be slightly different if there we responded with love?

Mark 29-31: Jesus said, "The first in importance is, 'Listen, Israel: The Lord your God is one; so love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.' And here is the second: 'Love others as well as you love yourself.' There is no other commandment that ranks with these."

I love this song "Give Me Your Eyes" by Brandon Heath

My prayer this year:

Give me your eyes for just one second

Give me your eyes so I can see

Everything that I keep missing

Give me your love for humanity

Give me your arms for the broken hearted

Ones that are far beyond my reach.

Give me your heart for the ones forgotten

Give me your eyes so I can see

I'd love to hear what your resolution is.

A New Year - A New Room!

I know how the slogan goes... a new year a new YOU. I like a new ROOM much better, don't you? Enjoy the pictures below of my newly arranged living room. Can you guess what's different?



You guessed right! I have a new chair. We went into a new furniture store after lunch today and it was one of the first I saw... loved... but really didn't need. It was a great price and just the right size and color for the front room. I had to rearrange the room. Don't you feel such a sense of newness when you just change a room around? My husband loves that it's free decorating... unless you count his back pain the next day.

The picture doesn't show the two buttons on the backrest of the chair. How cute!!! The color matches the armless chair perfectly. I love that it's both a neutral and interesting chair.

I would encourage all of you to take a room you are all too familiar with and try something new. Who knows... it might just feel like a new room!

The Tipping Box

Hummm what could the tipping box be? Is it about tipping people around the holidays? Not at our house. The tipping box is something we got on Christmas Eve on our long drive home from Aurora. This is how it goes...

We're driving down our street around 12:30am Christmas Eve night... early morning. As we pulled into the driveway I noticed I didn't see the mailbox. I turned around after waking from my 4 hour nap while Kolin drove home. What did I see.... the mailbox was flat on its side in the front lawn. I quickly jumped to conclusions... while we were away some kids must have had batting practise with our mailbox. I was totally irritated and just went into the house.

Kolin went outside to examine the damage while I went through the wet mail on the kitchen counter. He came inside to tell me that it was probably the way he installed the mailbox. See he didn't use any concrete. Maybe I should back-up even further... we moved to this house without a mailbox. The lack of a mailbox didn't even cross our mind until the Monday evening after moving day when neither of us got the mail. Anyway, the mailbox was a shotty installation and it needs to be reinstalled. That's not all the laughs that came with the tipping box.

The next day at Kolin's parents for Christmas we learned about their encounter with the mailbox. Kolin's dad had been bringing in the mail for us while we were away. One day as they were driving by then noticed that a man was pulled into our driveway. They drove to the house to see what he needed. The man was looking for the pastor that used to live in our home... this isn't the first time as another man woke us up on Thanksgiving morning with a pie for the pastor. My in-laws gave the gentleman directions to the preachers house and he was on his way. Then they proceeded to drive home. Just before the man turned onto the next street he made a U-turn back to our house. He stuck his head out the window and exclaimed that he did not run over our mailbox, but it was down when he arrived.

The day after Christmas Kolin went outside to try and get the mailbox up again. He jumped all over that dumb thing to get it standing in the ground again. I used my new iPod to take a video of him trying to get it standing again. I would share it, but it captures me laughing throughout most of it.

I hope you had a laugh at our tipping box- we sure did!