Saturday, January 19, 2013

Chalk Board Frame

Back when we were stationed in Nebraska, my husband and I were wandering around the Thrift Store on base and came across two huge frames. They were only $2-$3 each and I knew I had to have them! I snatched them up and brought them home. Where they sat in my garage for the remainder of our time in Nebraska. About two years later, I finally got around to doing something with the biggest of the two. I had been planning to create a chalk board on my kitchen wall and using the frame to... well frame it. We have a long empty wall in the kitchen that needed something so this worked perfectly there! I decided to paint the frame the same color as the hutch! 

I think it looks great and it's pretty fun to write song lyrics on and see who is singing or humming that tune by the end of the day!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

(Clean) Blueberry Cheesecake Muffins

Today, I decided to try my hand at creating a clean blueberry cheesecake muffin recipe. It turned out pretty good and the whole family loves it! They're packed full of blueberries and very moist!

Blueberry Cheesecake Muffins

Makes about 36 muffins

4 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
1TBS Baking Powder
1tsp Baking Soda
1tsp Salt
1Tablesppon Vanilla
3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
1 Cup Pure Maple Syrup
8 oz softened Cream Cheese
1/2 c Greek Yogurt 
(or blended cottage cheese, this is what I used because it's what I had on hand)
4 Eggs
1/2 cup of Melted Butter 
(I think next time I will try coconut oil here)
1 cup Milk
(I used 3/4 cup of Almond milk because I had it on hand and the rest was coconut milk)
2 Cup Blueberries
In a medium bowl combine all dry ingredients and set aside.
 In a large bowl, blend all the wet ingredients together with a hand mixer. (Save blueberries until the end.) Once everything is well combined, mix the cream cheese mixture in with the flour mixture. Mix well. Gentle fold in fresh or frozen blueberries. Fill your muffin papers 3/4ths of the way full. I baked for about 20-25 minutes, I would say. I didn't time it. I just kept an eye on it. 

I told you they were PACKED full of blueberries!!!! YUM!

Kitchen Hutch

If I could be in love with a piece of furniture, this would be the one!

I recently went to Goodwill and found this gem of a hutch for only $22.50. It was originally $75 marked down a few times to $45. And I just happened to go in on 1/2 price furniture day! SCORE!! 

It was a bit dented and scratched up and the top molding pieces needed to be glued back together for more stability, but nothing too major. I have read numerous furniture restoring blogs over the years that have mentioned Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and in the same breath how expensive it is and never thought twice about it. But after the red hutch I decided it might be a good idea to look into this Chalk Paint idea that eliminates the need for pre-sanding and priming. Why cause myself more work? My husband works long hours and his weekend time is limited and I wanted to get this done in one day, if possible, while he watched the children. 

I posted a Facebook status about how Chalk Paint was so expensive and a friend mentioned making it myself. Duh, why didn't I think of that. Off to Pinterest I went. Here's the blog's recipe guidelines I used: Here.

I measured out about 2 cups of Harbor paint by Behr mixed in 4-TBS of Plaster of Paris and a little water and... man it doesn't get much easier than this, people! I'm telling you, this paint is amazing! It goes on nice and thick, like butter! One coat is all I needed on the doors and drawers. I did two on the rest of the body, but most areas, really didn't need it! The paint dries pretty fast too. After about an hour or two, I added the second coat. After that was dry, I started roughing up the edges with a piece of sandpaper. I added a wax layer to the wood work to seal the deal and spray painted my knobs with oil rubbed bronze. It's gorgeous and it looks great in my kitchen! Now I'm sure you're dying to see it! Please, tell me what you think! I think it's my best one, yet!

Well, that's about it! Feel free to ask any questions you may have. I hope I didn't leave anything out!
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