Monthly Archives: April 2015


Retro Table Restyle
April 18

So I really love old stuff. Jars, vases, trunks, dishes, folk art, so on and so forth. Oddly enough, though, don’t really like old furniture. At least not for my house.But when I came across this gem for $1 at a recent estate sale, I immediately saw the potential in it and knew it was exactly what I’d been looking for to go in our newly finished basement media room/bar.
I’m sure your face was the same as Farmer’s when he saw it. I told him my vision. He was skeptical. So I really had something to prove.

I wanted the frame to match some of the metal work on the exposed beams we have so I chose the black enamel spray paint. And for some reason I already had 3 cans of ivory satin spray paint laying around so that’s what I landed on.
I made sure to clean it up and wipe it down really well, because you know, sometimes old crap from yard sales sometimes has gross stuff on it. Like spider baby nurseries. Sick.

On a well covered area on my back porch I turned it upside down and began spraying – make sure to stay several inches away and spray in evenly as I went around the frame making sure to get all the nooks and crannies. Unfortunately, with such a small area to spray, a lot of paint ended up floating away. That’s why I always make sure to spray standing up wind.

While I was waiting for the bottom side of the frame to dry, I started on the table surfaces with the ivory satin. I’m not going to lie. I wasn’t thrilled with it. I’m not sure if it was the brand of paint or the satin finish, but it didn’t really cover all that easily and I had to use A LOT of paint to get it to cover evenly. Serious hand crampage occurred. It also took forever to dry.

Once it completely dried I placed the trays back on the frame (I forgot to mention that they were not attached so that was super handy). It looked fabulous! But it was missing a little something. So I came up with a genious idea and headed down to my local craft store to have Darcy print me up some vinyl lettering.

The font was perfect but just a spaced to far apart for what I had in mind so I cut out each letter individually so I could stick them on closer together.

Having never used this stuff, I learned that it is awesomely easy as long as you have something to help keep the lettering straight. I was able to use the lip of the tray to line up the letters so they were perfectly straight.




The lettering stuck very nicely to the surface with just a light rubbing.

I had already done the #hello on the top tray just to make sure that the lettering stuck and that my lettering placement was going to be correct (before I took pics) so I was done!

I’m kinda in love.


Who would’ve thought I could have a table this cute for just $23? Here’s the cost break down:
Table $1
3 cans Spray Paint: $12
Custom Vinyl Lettering: $ 10

I hope this inspires you to get creative, too, because I for one can’t wait for the next one.


French Country Sunday Dinner
April 1

For Christmas 2013 I was stumped for creative gift ideas for my parents and in-laws because I am sooooooo over buying stuff. So I came up with the idea to buy them each a case of wine and treat them to a home cooked gourmet dinner one Sunday per month. They each bring a wine from their case that pairs with the dinner I am serving. It was so well received that I basically got brow beat into doing it again this year. I will say its a lot of fun but a lot of work, too. I really enjoy being able to practice some more advanced cooking skills as well as creating a beautiful dining atmosphere. It’s putting effort into the little details that means the most to me.

I hadn’t planned on sharing about this latest dinner, but as the evening came together on Sunday it ended up being one of my favorites. I didn’t take any meal prep photos or notes. The photos are from my phone. Unstaged and unfiltered. But it was such a lovely evening that I just wanted to show how easy it is to turn an ordinary dinner into a really lovely experience by adding just a few thought out details. Again, this was all unstaged and photographed in real life so please disregard some of the background faux pas.

I love setting up little areas for beverage self service. A beautiful glass bottle for the wine and some fresh flowers in a vintage vase set the stage for the French country theme.

Random appearance of free range chickens also adds to the country ambiance, but those are probably harder to come by for most folks.

We got this adorable, handmade, navy and yellow floral picnic linens for our wedding almost 11 years ago. We don’t do a lot of picnicking but they sure came in handy to to add a little color and texture to the tablescape. They matched the daffodil and white tulip centerpieces (in vintage milk glass frogs) perfectly. I didn’t have enough matching napkins so I just alternated with accent green napkins. Which just happened to match the super cute yellow and lime chair cushions I got from Tuesday Morning a few weeks ago. Can I just say how freaking awesome that place is. If you’re into nice but inexpensive home decor and haven’t ever been there, I recommend you get there ASAP.


I’m a huge fan of a beautifully presented cheese plate. I kept it simple and elegant and served it on a cake stand – Brie cheese, grapes, cured meats and freshly baked bread with pomegranate paste. I could easily eat just these for dinner any day.

I slow cooked Beef Bourgiugnon for the main course and served over rustic mashed potatoes with a side of French cut green beans. The recipe is perfect as is and I didn’t change a thing except I used 2lbs of meat instead of the 3lbs it called for. There was plenty for 7 people with lots leftover, too.

For dessert, I prepared a Ghirardelli chocolate mousse and topped it with homemade whipped cream. Like I said, I didn’t plan on blogging about this so there are no photos, but trust me, it was To.Die.For. Click here for the recipe.

I hope this inspires you to add a few special touches to your next family dinner. I know my family loves it and I’m sure yours will too.