The kitchen "makeover"

Hey, all! It's been forever since I posted but I want you all to know that I have been doing some fun stuff! This was my big project of Summer 2016. I actually did it all and finished the day before my husband fell from his bike and broke his left wrist and ribs... which slowed me down significantly! I had some big plans for last summer. oops!

I just really needed to update my kitchen and dining area. The flat paint was driving me insane! You can't scrub it! I have 2 kids!

Ignore the mess. Let's be honest. I didn't clean before I started. Shhh!!!
LOOK at my black frames! They pop!!! I picked blue because most of my pictures have touches of blue in them! I just love it all!
and Ha! I can do an update now because it's technically months later: it's been holding up well, I've had to clean a few spots... my kids touch everything, but I haven't scrubbed off paint!

The paint color is SW Drizzle (diluted). Half of the gallon mixed with 2 gallons of regular white.


Sister's Bathroom Renovation

This bathroom has needed some love for a very very long time. It was this way when I was living at home, all growing up. Untouched for 35 years. EEK!

And it's been a girls bathroom for 95% of its life. Hence the pink. that needed to go.

I didn't get a good picture but you pretty much have to climb around the toilet to get into the shower.  Fun stuff.
My mom told me this when we were getting ready to start demo... as if she needed to tell me, how many years had I done the same thing?? and told her?? Oh, well.
The vanity was still holding together but the countertop was badly stained and the light was sooo dim, and the mirror was marred on the edges.

Yanking down the wall. and we found some mold.
And my family did some demo without me and found dead mice. I was so thankful I was not there that day. Ew. Ew. Ew. Barf.

I was never so happy to see a hole. We were worried about where the new shower drain would line up and we ended up having to make the hole bigger to get it in but it was not as nightmare-ish as we thought.
Purple walls. My hubby tried to tell me I was supposed to do a different drywall/sheetrock for the ceiling but this mold and mildew resistant stuff said walls/ceiling so we went for it!

So "in between stuff" happened at this point. I have a love/hate relationship with mudding and sanding.
And texturing. Maybe it's just a hate relationship, because I despise it. I like the end result though...
My little sister and brother wanted to help... so much... so they got to paint! the girls picked out sweet pea, which grew on me a little. I would have picked something with a touch more blue, but it looked really good anyway!

The edge of the mirror was so messed up... so I used the leftover mosaic tiles and glued up the edge. It's so cool, I want to do this to my mirror!

We puzzle pieced the floor all different ways until we found a way that would work with the least amount of cutting. we're funny like that.

and the troublesome shower. Mike the plumber gave us a hard time about picking one he had never installed before but the benefit of a corner shower was no more climbing over the toilet to get in!

I don't know about you, but I really want to move in. Or at least take a shower.

I love the light. It has a wavy texture on it, that simulates ocean waves... it fits right in with the sea foam wall color and sand colored tiles! And the new-to-them vanity with a new laminate top looks awesome with the tiles! Could not have matched it better if I tried!


Tweaking Jif's Peanut Butter cookies

Yes, I took a stab at these too. I made some slight modifications and my husband couldn't tell the difference. My son gobbled whatever I put in front of him. Win-Win!

3/4 cup Peanut Butter*
1/2 cup Coconut oil
1 1/4 cups coconut sugar
1/2 cup of applesauce
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups All Purpose Flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt

1. Heat oven to 375°F. Combine peanut butter, coconut oil, coconut sugar, applesauce and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until well blended. 
2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture at low speed. Mix just until blended. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2-inches apart onto greased baking sheet. Flatten slightly in a crisscross pattern with tines of fork.**
3. Bake one baking sheet at a time 7 to 8 minutes, or until set and just beginning to brown. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet. Remove cookies to cooling racks to cool completely.

*You may need to add a tablespoon or two of coconut sugar to compensate for the lack of sugar if you use all natural peanut butter.

**I froze the cookie dough mounds and later baked them at 350 for 12-14 minutes or until the edges start to brown.


Healthy Cookies!

I'm about to surprise your mouth. I had been making up these cookies from Picky Palate. They are the bomb. You can bake them right away or freeze the dough for later, (great for when people stop by and you need something to serve!)  so - very versatile... and now to take them up a notch. 
I have a friend who has given me a little push towards coconut sugar in place of regular sugar for baking... so I experimented on these, and I mean come on, guilt free cookies? Top notch!

  • 1/2 cup virgin coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 (+ or -) cup Gold Medal Flour’s white whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 cup chocolate chips (removed for my friend but not for the rest of us)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a large baking sheet with a silpat liner or parchment paper. Place softened coconut oil into a large mixing bowl. Stir in sugar, beating until well combined. Add applesauce and vanilla, beating well. Add flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring until dough forms.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Scoop dough onto prepared baking sheet placing 1 inch apart. 
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until slightly golden around the edges. Remove and let cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring. Serve and enjoy. Makes 2 dozen servings

*You can also pop these bad boys in the freezer after scooping on the baking sheet until you are ready to cook. 


The master bath!

I've been away from the blog world for a little while... completely on accident. With two little ones, one of which seems to be on his own schedule for eating... every five minutes it feels like... and one big renovation happening, time has been working against me...

We started this endeavor just wanting to make the shower bigger, then we realized we couldn't move the wall as easily as we thought.

Out with the "water closet"!
Then we messed up the tile taking out the wall, so that all needed to go, which meant all the way around the tub... and we had to take out the linoleum, so down went tile, anyhow it is still very much in progress but at least one of the vanities is hooked up and working.

And it doesn't look like this. at all. anymore. Success!
So how 'bout purple?


Maple-Cherry Glazed Chicken

You really can't get much easier then this. Inspired by Red Lobster's Maple Cherry Glazed Chicken, I searched and searched for a recipe but I needed something that could go in the crock pot because my husband is picky about chicken, it must be juicy, and boneless, and fall apart.

I guessed on the measurements because what I found was all over the map on that, fortunately not on ingredients.

I made my life easier by doing my own thing. I bought a jar of cherry preserves (instead of dried cherries and dicing them up); this also kept me from needing to add sugar and lemon juice to the recipe.

1/2 cup of maple syrup
1/2 a jar, or about 1/2 cup of cherry preserves
2-3 tablespoons of soy sauce
3-4 pieces of boneless, skinless chicken breast

*I dumped all of this into a gallon-size freezer bag and froze it until I wanted to cook it. You can do it either way, the only difference is cooking time.*
5 hours for thawed chicken, 6 hours for frozen.
Crock pot setting: Low heat.
I added a little bit of water (1-2 tablespoons) to the bag to get out the cherry pieces and syrup that were sticking to the inside of the bag and dumped that in too.
About 1 hour before you are ready to serve, stir 1-2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1-2 tablespoons of water. Stir into sauce and stir occasionally for the next hour to help it thicken.

I served this on a bed of wild rice and with a side of vegetables.


Pumpkin Spice Granola

and it is gorgeous when stored in a glass jar.
I may never buy granola again, well unless I keep running out of this stuff. I made a single batch on Sunday. Wednesday, I made a double batch and was out again the following Sunday. Whoops.
This is stuff is like crack. 
So I stole borrowed the recipe from Joyfulhealthyeats when referred to her by my cousin, who insists that
everyone just triple this recipe.
You will eat it all.

I changed it slightly (adding 1 cup of Rice Crispies or (off-brand) Crispy Rice) and the instructions were switched a bit.

2 cups of old fashioned oats
1 cup of Rice Crispies
½ cup of sliced almonds
¼ cup of dried cranberries
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of pumpkin spice seasoning
½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon of salt
4 tablespoons of coconut oil
½ cup of maple syrup
¼ cup of pumpkin puree
1½ teaspoon of vanilla extract

To get started, preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl mix, old fashioned oats, rice crispies and almonds. 

In small bowl, add pumpkin puree, coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Whisk together. Add in brown sugar, pumpkin spice seasoning, ground cinnamon, and salt. (This is so it gets evenly distributed now rather then them all be at the bottom of the dry bowl. 

Pour the small bowl into the big bowl, toss to coat and make sure everything is covered. Now add in the dried cranberries. Toss again gently.

On a baking sheet, place either a silicon mat or parchment paper. Then spread the granola mixture across the entire pan.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, turning the granola every 10 minutes so it doesn't burn.

Remove from oven and let cool.

Enjoy, try not to eat it all at once.