Friday, February 28, 2014

The Outside Job

Updated Photo July 2014 (4 months after new siding/painting)

Updated Photo July 2014
Well big things have been happening outside our ole homestead lately.  One of the things we wanted to change when we first bought our house, four years ago, was the dark cedar siding on the back.  Our house has a brick exterior everywhere except a section on the back above our deck.  The cedar siding was original to the house and had been neglected for quite some time.  Several boards were cracking, and the overall look was just not appealing.  We debated whether or not to try painting the existing cedar siding or just replace it all.

Siding (Before)
In the end replacement won out.  The cost to paint was pretty high. There were cracks in so many of the boards we didn't want to paint and then be forced to replace in just a few years due to damage.  Thus began the "Inside" "Outside" job.

This project was more than we wanted to take on ourselves, so we hired the services of local contractor, "TEKA". Since our decking was installed after the siding, the perimeter boards had to be ripped up.  This allowed room for the new flashing and siding to be properly installed.  A new "Tyvek" house wrap was installed and then up went our new trim boards and cement board siding.


New House Wrap

New "Certainteed" Siding

All of our crazy winter weather caused for several delays, but we finally got a break of warm weather last week which allowed the painter to finish up.  With no further ado, here are the before and after shots.



After (our dog, Cody, photo bombed this shot)
We are so happy to have this project finished.  Hopefully we won't have to worry about maintenance for several years to come.  I am looking forward to dressing up the outside this summer with flowers and possibly some new deck furniture.

FYI (our paint colors)

Siding: Sherwin Williams, Resort Tan 7550
Trim: Sherwin Williams, Chop Sticks  7575

Wishing everyone a great weekend!


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Arrrrrr Matey (A DIY picture for my son's room)

Both of my boys love anything to do with pirates and ships.  This love is in large part due to the "Disney" cartoon "Jake and the Neverland Pirates".  I put together this simple and cheap "Pirate Ship" art with the following:

  1. A clearance frame from "Michael's" $8
  2. Scrapbook paper from "Hobby Lobby" $1.50 for 3 sheets
  3. A free pirate ship silhouette image from "Google Images"
All I did was Google "Pirate Ship Silhouettes".  I then printed my favorite pick  on regular printer paper and got busy with the scissors.  I  traced the cut out to the back of my red chevron scrapbook paper, then cut out the tracing.  I pasted the ship silhouette to the blue linen paper and then taped that sheet to the light blue paper.  Voila, simple and easy art for my little matey.

In keeping with the nautical theme of this post, check out this before/after ad from "FLOR" carpet tiles.

Link in image is not active, see site link below

What a transformation and great child's room.  I am a big fan of the design possibilities that you can create with these carpet tiles.  If you want more information about "FLOR" check out their site here.


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A Favorite Snack

This year I am trying to be more health conscious with both more exercise and smarter eating habits.  I have been seeing several "protein energy ball" recipes on the web lately and several weeks ago I thought I would give them a try.   I am now hooked on these tasty treats.

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup of coconut flakes
1/2 cup of peanut butter or almond butter
1/2 mini-choc chips (you substitute raisins or dried cranberries to make this lighter)
1/2 flax seed (optional)
1/3 cup of honey or agave nectar (both choices are tasty)
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix all of your ingredients in a bowl and then refrigerate for at least an hour before rolling into balls.  I make the balls really small.  Just one little bite is really filling and can curb your sweet tooth.

Here is to sweet treats that don't leave you feeling guilty!


Friday, February 14, 2014

More Treats for your Sweeties

Happy Valentine's Day!  
In case you are still searching for a special treat to give to your loved ones today, here is a quick and simple idea.  I have been seeing "marshmallow pops" all over lately.  I thought I would give this idea a try. All you have to do is use some straws for the "lollipop" sticks and skewer your marshmallow. I found the extra large marshmallows work best. 

I had some "Wilton's"  white chocolate candy melts on hand that I heated in a small bowl in the microwave.  I added just one small drop of red food coloring to make the chocolate pink.  My boys helped me dip the marshmallow pops in the chocolate and then coat them with mini-chocolate chips and coconut.  Just 15 minutes in the freezer and then these treats were ready to package.  I used some heart treat bags that I picked up at "Dollar Tree". 

Wishing everyone a wonderful day with the ones you love.


Monday, February 10, 2014

Sweet Love

With Valentine's Day being just around the corner, I am here with a sweet and low-calorie treat that you can make in no time at all.   

Low-calorie strawberry ice cream bars.  

1-1/2 cups light cool whip
1/2 cup freshly pureed frozen strawberries
1 cup low fat Greek style yogurt
low-fat honey graham crackers
1 tsp vanilla

Mix all ingredients and then freeze for at least four hours.  I lined a 9"x 9" baking dish with freezer paper to make it easy to lift the bars out.

I found this recipe on "Pinterest", via the blog "Baked Perfection". You can click here for all the directions on the "Baked Perfection" website.  Coming in at only 50 calories each, this is a sweet treat that won't leave you feeling bad.  This is a great healthy treat for the ones you love this Valentine's Day.  These little gems get two thumbs up from my boys! 

Here is an idea for a quick and easy Valentine's Day garland.  I found this old deck of heart shaped cards.  I just took clear scotch tape to adhere the cards to some white twine.

Wishing everyone a wonderful time with their loved ones this Valentines' Day!


Friday, February 7, 2014

Making Food Fun for Toddlers ( A Pinspiration Project)

It seems I am always struggling to make food fun for my boys.  I want them to eat  a good variety of the right things.  I started a "Pinterest" board a while back to collect ideas.  I recently made this "Teddy Bear" toast and my boys were pretty excited about it.

The picture is pretty self-explanatory, but here is the run down of ingredients:

whole wheat toast
natural peanut butter

All of these are items I usually keep on hand.

Click here to link to my "Pinterest" board for more fun and healthy snack ideas for toddlers.

One last thing, I just love these plates.

Here is a link to the manufacturer's site:
Unfortunately, this manufacturer is foreign and I can't read the language.  I do think these plates could be a fun DIY project.  I just need to find a food safe marker that works on dinnerware.  Anybody know where I can find something like this?

I would also love to hear about other fun ideas for toddler snacks, share away!


Saturday, February 1, 2014

Practical Storage in the Foyer

We have been experiencing some really cold, windy, and snowy weather this month.  I decided to bring in the pillows from the front porch bench until fairer weather returns.  A newly acquired basket from "IKEA"makes a nice temporary home for the pillows and brings a bit of color to the otherwise neutral foyer.  The wood bowl on the table is filled with some felt flowers I made back in December.

Sometimes storage can be both practical and beautiful.