Thursday, June 30, 2011

Condiment/Tea Light Swing

One advantage to being married to my handy dandy hubby is all the fun projects we get to do together! One advantage to having a son who loves rope, twine, tape, tools etc. is that there is always "stuff" around the house to use!

My hubby is thrilled that I am cleaning up the scraps of home improvement materials...shoved into every nook and cranny available out in the garage and I am thrilled that he is helping me make something useful and pretty!

Since we didn't have enough time to go berry picking before his PT appointment {remember he wiped out on the dirt bike????} we decided to make a condiment swing for our next BBQ. Right now it is home to tea lights {We ran out of IKEAS BIG ONES!}. I took half-pint canning jars and hot glued manila twine around the add a bit of a rustic feel to break up all the white in the kitchen. They were glued to two slabs of WAINSCOT and threaded with manila rope to give it the look of a swing!

For the BBQ, the jars will be filled with ketchup, mayo, mustard, relish, and BBQ sauce. Having it hover above the food will give us a bit more room for food and it will be something a bit different! It may be fun for a salsa bar, too. Endless possibilities for entertaining. FREE IS A VERY GOOD PRICE!

I am almost out of WAINSCOT, so the projects are almost done...unless I find someone who is getting rid of their leftover scraps! JUST KIDDING, honey!


1. Lay out 2 planks of wainscot.

2. Lay out half-pint jars and mark where you want them to be glued to the plank.

3. Make sure you have good, strong, durable rope to hand your candles. THIS COULD BE A FIRE HAZARD!

4. Glue gun planks together. Make sure the primed boards are on the outside. One on the top and one on the bottom.

5. Cut lengths of rope and glue gun to the necks of the jars.

6. Drill holes in allk four corners. Measure to make sure your swing hangs level and even!

7. Thread rope through the holes on your plank with the rope supporting the bottom board...just like a swing! It will give it a bit more support.

8. Once your swing is level and hanging in place, glue jars to the plank and enjoy!

I think I may even use these as vases!!!

Happy Thursday!

Shared with: not so simple housewife

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Almond Chicken Panini Croissants

Our Laurissa is back from teaching in Kazakhstan, and our Caleb is off on a missions trip to Alaska for three weeks! It has been quite the adjustment! Not the "typical" summer we are used to having...

Everybody who reads this blog knows by now that we celebrate a lot with food and Laurissa's dinner back was no exception. Since she is still adjusting to the time change, I kept the dinner simple. She loves chicken salad and this is a quick recipe to put together for a special but easy lunch or dinner...especially when there is MOUNDS of laundry, errands to run, forms to be notarized, phone calls to be made, birthday cards to be written, coloring contests to enter, and BATCHES of Cracker Jacks {4th of July tradition} to be made for one very special OPA! WHEW!

Chicken Panini Croissants
Lisa Pearson

6 boiled chicken breasts, boiled, cooled and diced

1 tsp. garlic salt

1 1/4 cup Best Foods Light Mayonnaise {I know. :) LIGHT MAYO!}

1 cup almonds, finely chopped {I was in a rush and did not do a good job at all!}

1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

A twist of freshly ground pepper!


*Mix all ingredients together. You may want to add a bit more mayo.

*Slice croissants and spread with chicken filling.

*Grill on a panini grill or any other kind of kitchen grill. We have even wrapped them in foil and grilled them on low on the bbq! DO NOT BURN!

On the menu last night:


canned peaches from OMA

homegrown romaine in a Caesar Salad with freshly made dressing {anchovies and all!}

almond chicken panini croissants

ice cream and brownies with friends and NANA and POPPI

Happy Tuesday to YOU!

Shared with: tidy mom, comfy in the kitchen

Sunday, June 26, 2011

"Meet My Friend Monday"...Sonya from Becoming a Strong Woman of God

Sonya is one of those gals who I was just drawn to because of her genuine spirit! She doesn't claim to have an answer for everything and she has her ups and downs just like me and like you...but she knows who she can depend on in the midst of life's hard times.

She loves Dr. Pepper, Mexican food, and sitting in airports people watching!!

Every time I read her blog, I am challenged in some way and I wanted to pass on the tremendous encouragement to YOU!

She is one busy momma...but is determined to become a strong woman of God! Not just a woman of God, but a STRONG woman of God. I know you will be drawn to Sonya and most importantly, you will be directed to the strength and hope God has to offer YOU!


"My name is Sonya, it is a blessing to meet you. I am married to Jeremy known as Jay. We have been married for 10 up & down years. We have 3 amazing sons, Justin (20), Wade (13), and Peyton (8) and would love to add another to our family if the Lord is willing.

We are a military family with a lots of ups and downs. I first started this blog to document my weight lost last year however 2 months into it, the Lord had something us in mind, a ministry. Now I blog about being a mother, parenting, my personal walk and whatever the Lord puts on my heart to share.

I am a servant of Jesus Christ and love sharing Him with others. Broken is Scared is how we come to God. No matter what we have done in our life He will forgive and restore us. There is no perfect people or perfect life, just broken and scared serving God.

I take the roles that the Lord has entrusted me with, a wife & mother, very seriously. I love taking care of my family, working out, scrap booking, spending time with friends and reading a good book. When we are not busy serving our God we are on a baseball field somewhere with our 2 youngest sons."

As a mom of 3 boys, it is very important that I teach my sons how to fight the battle that they face every single day, THEIR SIN, TEMPTATION, & DEPRIVED MIND over youthful lust.

Teaching them to CRY out to God to give them strength, mercy, a renewed conviction to be able to flee youthful lust so they can fight this war against their sins, temptation and deprived mind.

My boys are 20, 13, & 8 and this battle starts earlier and earlier. There are women everywhere we go. The news stands, the store, friends, even church.  Teaching my sons to pray, engage in scripture, listen to music that is soothing to their minds, and most importantly to be able to look away when tempted, is to equip them to fight this battle with God by their side and not by themselves.

Proverbs 31:30 

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who 

fears the LORD is to be praised"

LUST is powerful, real and aggressive and does everything to lead them down the road to death!

It is a battle every day, one that will devour our sons if we dont equip them to seek God in this battle instead of the flesh.  As a mom of boys, I dont believe that women FULLY grasp that the temptation towards LUST..............never stops! Its like a brush fire, that can get out of control very quickly if not sure how to fight it. 

Matthew 5:28-29 

"But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell."

Women have a choice to HELP or DETOUR the goal of lust that our sons are facing on a daily basis! I am challenging you to HELP our sons to detour the goal of lust in their life by taking in these words and asking God how you can make a change to help sons detour from lust!

They are faced with women every day by what they are wearing, how they walk, how they talk, how they act, not even taking into account that this is bait for their sinful mind for them to latch on to. Now please note that I am not stating that mens actions are ALL womans fault. I am saying that both MEN and WOMEN have their parts when it comes to not causing each other to stumble and only through seeking God will both know what that is.

Raising boys who are commented to purity and women that are committed to modesty is my challenge to you as moms.  

Helping our sons to detour from lust by centering on God and not themselves. That women will rise up and serve their brother by not following the pattern of the world and following scriptures demands!

Thank you, Sonya.

Please be sure to visit her blog soon!

Divine Twine Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to KATHY HANSON HAWKE for winning our Divine Twine Giveaway! Please e-mail me your address info.

Thank you, Whitney for your generous gift! I know Kathy will LOVE it!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Scott's Swiss Ham Sliders

Okay is a fast little ditty for a brunch! It is my hubby's go-to when they are short on time and need something FAST. So if it works for a hectic fire station, it will fit the bill for a home full of hungry children, guests or a leisurely last minute breakfast picnic!

Scott’s Firehouse Swiss Ham Sliders



Dijon mustard

12 slices of Black Forest ham or garlic turkey

12 slices of Swiss cheese

24 pack of Sliders Mini Buns {available at Franz Bakery outlet, Cash and Carry, and Beaverton Bakery}

Sauce: {Melt together}

½ cup melted butter with 1 small clove of pressed garlic

2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 Tbsp. poppy seeds


*Open buns. Spread mayo on one half and mustard on the other half.

*Place a 1/2 piece of ham on one half and ½ slice of cheese on the other half.

*Place top of bun on bottom half and place in baking pan {9x13}

*After sauce has been mixed together, using a pastry brush {SILICONE IS MY FAVORITE!}…brush tops of sliders with yummy sauce!

*Cover with tin foil and bake for about 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and sliders are golden brown.

*SIMPLY...PRESENTATION: Serve each slider in a cupcake liner or homemade slider pouch using the cupcake liner folded in a half-moon for your template!


NOTE: To those of you who will not touch pork with a 10 foot pole: Slice avocado and thin slices of tomato or red onion slices with cheese and avocado. You get the idea!

Another note: If you want to give the kiddies something fun to do...have them take a round cookie cutter and make cheese rounds and ham rounds to fit the sandwiches perfectly!!

Do you have a favorite no-fail brunch recipe?

Happy Happy Friday!


shared with: recipes to run on, comfy in the kitchen, titus 2sday, bowl full of lemons

Thursday, June 23, 2011

"Meet My Friend"...Whitney Beard from Divine Twine {and a GIVEAWAY}

I know it isn't Monday. However, when Whitney offered for me to piggy back on her giveaway, I didn't think you would mind...especially when free printables are available for your crafting projects!

I placed my first order with her last year and I was shocked at how many e-mails I received wanting to know where I bought the "pretty twine". I love Whitney's style and it is do-able for any of us.

Another great product she is offering {for those of us who like a bargain!} is DIVINE {K}NOTS...less than perfect twine at a 33% savings. The shabby look is in and I think it adds character.

Whisker Graphics is the creative out-pouring of Whitney Beard. Founded in June of 2008, Whisker Graphics was a long time in the making. Whitney's love of design and paper goods started when, as a child, she would save her allowance to buy sales receipt booklets and bookkeeping journals (oh, those grids made her little heart skip a beat!) and progressed over the years to include a degree in Graphic Design and the appreciation of all things paper and crafty.

In 2009 Whitney created Divine Twine®, bakers twine in yummy colors, and introduced it to the market.

Whitney lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, two children and their schnoodle, Lola.

Please welcome Whitney and be sure to visit her blog for her giveaway...and don't forget to peruse her inspiring blog!

I know I sound like a broken record, but seriously, where does the time go!?? How can it already be time to celebrate the Fourth of July? Well apparently it is, so I've put together a free Printable for you to use in your decorating. There are 12 scallop circles to the 8.5 x 11" page and they can be used in lots of ways. Create a garland, make cupcake toppers, decorate some gift bags, attach to a party invite or punch two holes in them and slip a straw through. Below are some photos to get your creative juices flowing. If you have time, please leave a comment and let me know how you'll be using them. It's nice to hear what happens to these free Printables when they go out into the world.

Click HERE to download our Fourth of July free Printable. Enjoy!


Whitney Beard

{cotton candy new favorite color!}


Whitney will be sending the winner a spool of her DIVINE {K}NOTS!

All you need to do to enter is:






Shared with: Tidy mom, pink saturday

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Monograms for Showers

When all else fails, monograms are a no-fail way to pull a shower together if you are short on time and would like to use a bit of what you already have.

For this weekend's shower, I decided to use the frames bedind our dining room table to help carry the theme. All I did was purchase 2 sheets of 12x12 craft paper and two wooden monograms that were already white {on sale}.

I taped the sheets of paper over the framed art {IKEA frames} and then taped the wooden letter to the paper. You could glue gun it, but the tape is holding up fine. If it falls off in the next few hours or during the night...I will glue gun them to make sure they don't fall off during the SHOWER!

It is simple, un-cluttered and I think it will be fun for the bride-to-be to see her initials along side of her hubby-to-be! Can we ever get enough of _ + _ = LOVE? I don't think so!

If you wanted, it could be a great gift to the newlywed! You would just tape the paper behind the matte and GLUE GUN the monogram on top. Easy Peasy. I guess in the time it took me to post this, I could have done a better job and done it that way, but I have lotsa scones to, unless I wake up at 4 AM, the pictures will stay just the way they are. SIMPLE~

Happy Wednesday!


Thank you for all of you who have been praying for my momma. Her surgery went well yesterday and aside from being sick to her tummy and a few other minor things...she is doing well. I must admit we had a very fun conversation following surgery. A momma on drugs for pain can be quite entertaining!

Love to all of YOU!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Wainscot Menu Board...sneak peak

Chalkboards, menu boards, signs of any kind are so much fun to have around your home. They really add a homey touch...a bit of life that expresses who you are as a family! The one in our bathroom is for communication, the one in the kitchen lets everyone know what's for dinner and the one out on the deck is JUST FOR FUN...but has also been used as an outdoor menu board.

This weekend, I am hosting a bridal shower with my mother-in-law...that in and of itself will be one BIG party! Anyhoo, our family menu board is too small for to be listed and the one outside is already spoken for....soooo, I found some old wine crates at the thrift store and when I went back with my coupon {my hubby had them in his car from our last donation!!} they were gone. Girls...sometimes penny pinching is not a good idea...SOOOO, PLAN B. We still had some Wainscot boards left from our bathroom remodel.

I am still not quite finished with the project...I still have menu items to add... but I already can't wait to hang it right behind the serving table!

I may just keep the same menu for the next few brunches, or it will be easy to slap on a fresh coat of white paint and stamp on the letters for the next party.

And if you are lucky enough to have a clean garage that isn't housing home improvement leftovers, a package of Wainscot is less than $12! Still not bad for a sign. The menu can just be written on with a sharpie...easy peasy!

"How to" make a menu board:

1. Decide if you will be using stamps and an ink pad or a SHARPIE pen for the could use a brush and paint, also.

2. Decide if you want to age the boards a bit. I took a bit of water on a rag and took a bit of the primed paint OFF. I also sanded it down to give it an older look.

3. If you are using letters, line them up alphabetically to speed up the stamping project.

I can't wait for the trim, the yellow ribbon, the monograms etc. I'll post it along with the shower pics...if I don't forget to take them! :}


Here it is! I decided against the monogram on the board and hung it above the kitchen island instead. I LOVE it!

Next project: Making another wainscot menu board and painting it with chalkboard paint! Some of us need the grooves as lines to keep our letters straight!!

After the sign is made, attach wainscot to a thin piece of plywood...cut to size. Some home improvement stores will do this for you.

Cut trim pieces and attach with liquid nails. Drill holes and thread with pretty ribbon. Change ribbon to fit the occasion!

Happy Tuesday!

*4th of July free printables from DIVINE TWINE

Shared with: simply homemaking, women living well, tidy mom, making the world cuter, titus2sday, TLC how to..., domestically divine

Sunday, June 19, 2011

"Meet My Friend Monday"...Diana from Our Vintage Home Love

Welcome, Diana to Simply...This.That.And The Other!

Do you ever see pictures of homes where you wouldn't change a single thing if it were for sale? That is exactly how I felt when I saw Diana's home. It is functional, simple, clean, cozy and VINTAGY! Best of all, they use what they have or make small purchases and have fun fixing them up! Diana is clearly a DIY kinda gal and I know you are going to LOVE her style!

"I'm Diana and my husband Johnny and I have been married for 19 years. We have 4 wonderful children who make our lives and hearts so happy and full. We always dreamed that someday we would find the perfect "old" home for our family and we finally did. It's a perfect fit for our family and a blank canvas for our passions."

Her passions include:...vintage finds, DIY home projects, turning cast-away items into something special, budget decorating and designing. She refuse to believe that designing a beautiful home has to be limited by a small budget. If she sees something that inspires her, she will set out to find a way to make it happen on their budget...her bathroom is the perfect example!

I love to add warm, rustic wood to rooms with a mostly white color scheme, as you saw in our kitchen makeover.  The two colors, as well as the texture of the wood, pair together beautifully.  White rooms have a tendency to feel cold and sterile but if you throw some wood into the mix, it instantly warms it up and creates a cozy feel.  

Our master bath was boring, a sea of white.  The countertop, which consisted of white/cream ceramic floor tiles, had no personality and drove us crazy.  So, with an abundance of reclaimed barn wood, the idea of incorporating it into a countertop, and a couple of other special things, was born.  Here's a before pic.

First thing we did was remove the large generic mirror that seems to come with all bathrooms.  This is where the project went from fun to a stressful nightmare not so much fun.  Behind the mirror was a patch of mold.  After quite a bit of wailing calm investigation, we were relieved to find out it was from condensation getting trapped behind the mirror (no exhaust fan installed in there), not a leak.  What a relief that was.  So, after cleaning up the mess, we continued on.  

Next we pulled out the sink and removed the tile back splash and tile countertop, but left the existing plywood that the tiles were attached to, in order for us to have a base to attach our boards to.

I had already sanded and prepped the reclaimed boards with my palm sander and some 150 and 220 grit sandpaper.  So, the next step was to fit them to the plywood on top of the countertop and cut out a space for the sink.  

To do this, I simply laid them on the top, crawled under the countertop and traced the already existing circle for the sink onto the boards.  Then cut out the circle with a jig saw.

It's starting to look like a countertop!  So exciting!

To attach the boards to the plywood top, we used Liquid Nails and the nail gun for extra stability.

We used three planks of barn wood for the top.  For the trim in the front and on the side, I took another piece of barn wood and ripped it on the table saw to be 2 1/2 inches wide, turned it on its side and then attached with the nail gun.  It creates a nice finished edge. 

And that's it, as far as building the countertop goes.  To seal the wood, I used Tung Oil, which prevents water from penetrating the wood, but also brings out the beauty of each piece.  I applied it with a dry rag.  This stuff has a strong odor, so, I opened the windows and used gloves.

Next, we put the sink back into place, reconnected the pipes and turned the water supply back on.  And that's it.  Isn't that wood gorgeous?  So much character.....

I didn't want to put that giant mirror back on the wall so I bought a smaller plain beveled mirror at Wal-Mart for 10 bucks and attached it to the wall with the hardware provided.  I used some extra barn wood to trim out the mirror and to hide the hardware.  

Then I extended the bead board that was already surrounding the claw foot tub, around the countertop as a backsplash.  I installed that just like I did in my kitchen makeover.

I love our claw foot tub but it needed a rack across the top.  I didn't want to pay a lot of money for one, so, I just made my own by preparing another piece of the reclaimed wood, attaching two blocks of wood underneath to prevent it from sliding or falling and coating it in tung oil.  

I used a saw drill bit to create two holes halfway through the wood in each side to hold candles.  This tub used to have a shower but since we have a shower in another bathroom, we decided to remove all the shower parts and let the beauty of the original vintage tub be the focal part of the room.

I got these cute little robins egg soaps from a local shop called The French Hen.  I think they add a special little touch and I just love 'em.  So fun.....this picture doesn't really do them justice.  They are the perfect shade of blue and the little specks are so charming.

My hubby found this soap rack in an old home that is in the process of being renovated.  He knows the owner and got permission to take this little treat home.  Another fun detail.  I have no idea if it is vintage or not, but I sure love the lines and patina.

And here is the other side of our master bath which includes the faux vintage ladder I built just for this room.

We couldn't be happier with the results in here.  And the best thing, the only amount of money I spent was 10 bucks for the mirror, since we had all the other materials.

I've had lots of questions regarding my paint colors, so, if anyone is interested, the paint color in this room is called Cloudy Morning and it's from the Color Place selection at Wal-Mart.  Hope you like the result as much as we do!  Thank you for visiting..... :)  And have a great day!!

Thank You Diana!!

Please be sure to visit her soon!