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Monday, April 30, 2012

Beach Cottage Beauty

Good Morning!

I am so EXCITED to be nearing completion on some of my big projects!  Including a redo of this 8' picnic-style table for our back porch!



The back porch has truly been a work in progress, almost 4 years in the making - actually 9 if you count the work we did ourselves before we decided to double down and hire someone for the infrastructure!  Perhaps I will give you a glimpse into that transformation soon.  But for now, I am happy to say that we have moved on to the fun part - decorating!!

Of course with 5 children and 1 income, this requires doing things on the cheap {grin}.  Luckily, I am NOT scared of a little paint and elbow grease!

Since we covered the porch last Spring, I have been in the market for a wooden table and chairs to replace the all-weather furniture that has been living outside.  Ya know, spruce up the space since things are now protected from the elements.  I needed it to be long enough to hold my whole family - which swells to 8 when you include my angel (mother-in-law) - which we always do!!  Anyhoo, I found this 'diamond in the rough' in Round Top (if you haven't been, what are you waiting for?!?!?), along with a 7' primitive bench to go along one side.




Perfect!!

Despite the artistry, which is not my cup of tea but obviously something someone put some time and effort into so props for that, I knew that I would be sanding down the top and repainting the rest to mimic this inspiration piece (also at Round Top), which wasn't long enough AND was three times the price!!


My table isn't antique like the inspiration piece (LOVE, LOVE, LOVE those wooden casters) but is well-made from reclaimed wood, so it's solid!


After sanding off the finish on top,  I used Minwax Wipe-On stain in walnut to darken the wood and give it some more contrast against my brick.  Then I sealed the top with three coats of Wipe-On Poly from Minwax as well.  I found both of these products at Home Depot and am really happy with how they went on - much easier than stains I have used in the past.


For the skirt and legs, I decided to give the much-touted Annie Sloan Chalk Paint a whirl to see for myself what all the fuss was about.  It was a little tricky painting the skirt, since it's flush with the table top, but the imperfections just make it more appealing to me!! The chalk paint definitely takes some getting used to because it dries very quickly, but I love the way is distresses and the finish is so smooth once it's sanded.  However, I'm not crazy about the price, so I might be trying my hand at mixing some of my own too.  We'll see!


I've got a set of six chairs from a Spring Break 'Friday Find' that I will be painting and distressing with my mixture of ASCP Pure White and Old White as well, so I plan on getting in some more practice!  You can see the chairs in some of the pics - only $30 for all six - SCORE!!


Voila!

It feels very beach-y to me!!
Perfect for Summer in our little slice of paradise!

Sharing this sassy project at Cowgirl Up!, It's Overflowing, Savvy Southern Style, I Should Be Mopping the Floor, Debbie Doo's Newbie Party, The Southern Institute, Randee's Organized Chaos, Don't Mess with My Tutus, Blueberry Cottage, The Artsy Girl Connection, It's a HodgePodge Life, Trendy Treehouse

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sassy Sunday Blog Hop # 12

I hope everyone has had an AWESOME week!! I am SUPER EXCITED about announcing the winner from last weeks giveaway from Susan over at And They Call Me Bosse??
The winner was BARB CAMP!
CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!
  1. Here are just a few of my favorites from last week...
    Adele from Mammy Made
    made the CUTEST skirt that I could SOOOO see Sheep in this! 

    I don't know about you, but I am always struggling to find something to make for dinner!  This lasagna and salad from Jenny at NY Melrose Family fits the bill - YUM-O!!

And REALLY?!
I think I gained 20 lbs just from this pic! 
Debbie from Debbie Sweets made this scrumptious looking pound cake!!!
Lauren from Inside My Present must have been channeling my hectic schedule when she came up with these!
Hey - Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner!!  Arriba!!
NOW...onto this weeks
Sassy BUT Sleepy Linky Party!!
I hope you're all visiting each other by now!  But in case you aren't, everyone loves to know that when they post something it gets noticed, so take just a minute to leave a comment AND tell them which party you found them at - OURS!!!
This week I hope that you will link up and tell your friends!!
We will have another giveaway next week!!!
THANK you for linking up...we LOVE every post!! 



So, for this week's Blog Hop, here are the rules!

1. Only link your original projects, recipes or party ideas!
2. Remember to link directly to your post, rather than to your whole blog.
3. If you haven't already done so, please link back to ME and Jennifer somewhere on your blog so others can come and party with us! After all, the more the merrier!!
4. Please take a moment during the week to look around on the blog hop and check out your favorites.
5. Please follow your hostesses - we have tons of ways to do that these days, so pick one already!
6. Don't be afraid to leave us a comment! I know I LOVE getting to know all my  SASSY, bloggy sisters, don't you?
Cheers Y'all!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Coco-Nutty Frosting and . . .

 . . . a brief history of German's Chocolate Cake


Well, a couple of weeks ago I had literally 15 minutes to spare and decided to plop myself down on the sofa and find out for myself why the rest of the world is so fascinated with TV.  The TV was tuned to Food Network (my MIL's channel of choice) and there was Trisha Yearwood just a singin' and a cookin' for her BFF's baby shower.  I've always enjoyed her music (and did not abandon her over that unfortunate Garth Brooks incident which by the way, seems to have worked itself out), but a cook too?  Who knew!!

Well, she was fixin' some traditional Southern baby shower fare, including cheese straws (one of my favs) and some brownies with the MOST dee-li-cious-looking frosting I have laid eyes on in a while!  I would say ever, but let's face it - I 'm a frosting fan!  Anyway, the finished frosting looked conspicuously like the coconut goodness atop the traditional German Chocolate Cake, which got me wondering:

1.  Is this the same as the frosting for German Chocolate cake

and

2.  Why does German Chocolate Cake have coconut frosting in the first place??  Where do Germans get a hold of coconut anyway?  Shouldn't Hawaiians be known for coconut frosting?

Well, you will be pleased to know that I have done the research for you and yes, it is basically the same as the frosting for German (or rather German's) Chocolate Cake.  Here's what Wikipedia has to say about the origins of German Chocolate Cake:

Contrary to popular belief, German chocolate cake did not originate in Germany. Its roots can be traced back to 1852 when American Sam German developed a brand of dark baking chocolate for the American Baker's Chocolate Company. The product, Baker's German's Sweet Chocolate, was named in honor of him.

In 1957, the original recipe for "German's Chocolate Cake" was sent by a Dallas, Texas, homemaker to a local newspaper. This recipe used the baking chocolate introduced 105 years prior and became quite popular. General Foods, which owned the Baker's brand at the time, took notice and distributed the cake recipe to other newspapers in the country. Sales of Baker's Chocolate are said to have increased by as much as 73% and the cake would become a national staple. The possessive form (German's) was dropped in subsequent publications, forming the "German Chocolate Cake" identity we know today and giving the false impression of a German origin.

Ahh, Texas women!  Don't 'cha just love 'em?!

Interestingly enough, I discovered that Hawaii is actually known for it's Chantilly Cake, which is a chocolate cake with a German Chocolate Cake-style frosting sans the coconut and pecans!  Oh, the irony!!  I will be trying this though, because . . .  yu-um!!!

So, cheers to Trisha Yearwood and her new show!!  You can get all the details or catch a show at Food Network, and I suggest you start with this recipe!  It's every bit as good as she says!


I used a brownie mix to make these, adding some Mexican vanilla and chocloate chips for fun!  The Coco-Nutty Frosting is what makes these so delish anyway!

Coco-Nutty Frosting

1 C evaporated milk
1 C sugar
4 egg yolks
1/2 C butter
10 oz. grated coconut
1 1/2 C chopped pecans
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Combine evaporated milk, sugar and egg yolks in a saucepan.  Stir with a wire whish until the yolks are fully incorporated.  Add the butter, melt and bring to a simmer.  Cook until mixture thickens, about 12-15 minutes, stirring constantly.  It's ready when it's the consistency and color of thick, condensed milk (and it tastes like that too btw!!)  Remove from heat.  Add, coconut, pecans and vanilla.  Allow to cool and spread over brownies.  Enjoy!!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Not-So-Secret Shopping Rhea Lana!

IIIIIIIIII'm back!


Last night I told everyone that I would go shop the first ever Rhea Lana event here in South Houston and let y'all know what I found, so here goes!

1.  It really is just like Just Between Friends as far as I could tell, but with less clutter.

Contact Us

2.  Mom-trepeneur Monica Hodges and her family were so sweet and friendly  - even before I told them I was blogging about the event - that I am happier than ever to spread the word!  Isn't she cute!!  She has high hopes of growing her event each season and focusing on 'designer brand' clothing, so don't just consider shopping, think about consigning too!  Also, consignors have the added bonus of getting to 'pre-shop' the sale - whoo hoo!

3.  Typical to most consignment stores and events, it seemed to have much more to offer in infant clothing and accessories and there was a bigger selection of girls clothing than boys.  As the mom of a 2 year old boy, this was a little disappointing, but I managed to find something {grin}!

I think mom's of boys must be too busy trying to keep them alive to have time to consign their clothes.  I mean, last week I caught Snacks at the top of the stairs - on the OUTSIDE!!!!  Yes, I'm talking 12' up, holding onto the spindles over the tile floor below.  He said grinning, "Look mom!  I climb up!"  It is amazing how calm you can be when your heart stops beating!  Luckily, we both lived to tell the tale - but I digress!

4.  There were several vendors there in addition to the consignment portion of the show.  All of them had raffles and/or show sale pricing too!  So in addition to an outfit for Sheep, and a pair of shorts for Snacks, I managed to pick up a replacement for my trusty water jug that I lost in Round Top and a couple of plastic whistle straws to boot!  It got me thinking about 'de-stashing' some of my smaller sized tees by embroidering them for the Fall show.  We'll see . . . !

5.  At the end of the day, any consignment event is only as good as its consignors, so I hope that you, my loyal local followers, will consider working with Monica to resale your clothing!  You know you've got it, so why not let Monica help you sell it!!  For complete details on how to consign with Rhea Lana, go here.  And if you decide to go, make sure you tell them Sassy sent you!

Happy Shopping Y'all!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Ready for Rhea Lana?!




Have you heard about Rhea Lana?

I hadn't until very recently, but it's basically a mom-to-mom swap meet that happens twice a year in cities across the country . . . and it's coming to 'our town' TOMORROW!!  I really don't need anything in particular for Sheep or Snacks right now, but I just love a sale!  And I am very curious to see if and how it differs from the Just Between Friends events I have been to in the past.  One difference I notice already is that it's being held in the swanky new event center in town (rather than the VFW hall) so perhaps the items will be swankier too.  Hopefully the prices are NOT - ha!  We shall see!

In addition to that familiar siren's call of a sale, and a chance to see inside the event center, I am also interested in going to decide whether or not to become a consignor in the Fall.  Like JBF, consignors get to shop in advance of the general public - and I hear that you can really find some good stuff then!!  I have at least one good friend who participates in JBF and has been very, very happy with it - and Snacks is in such a hurry to be big that he's shedding all things baby faster than I care to think about (sniff).

This is in no way a 'sponsored post,' but I would like to help out a fellow mom-trepeneur if I can!  We can all use a hand now and then, right?  So share the love if you feel it!  And since I am not getting paid to write this post, I will do the leg work for all of you local followers and update you tomorrow on what I find!  I plan on heading out in the morning so stay tuned!!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sassy Sunday Blog Hop # 11 and Giveaway!

Good afternoon y'all!  My co-hostess Randee at Randee's Organized Chaos has been so kind to take care of the features for this week's Sassy BUT Sleepy Blog Hop AND a great giveaway this week too, so read on to learn all about and get yourself ready for summer with an adorable new pair of flip flops - at least my shoe size didn't change over the holidays - ha!

We had a lot of newcomers last week and I am so excited that you stopped by to link up!!! We are always happy to see newcomers!!!
 

Here are a few of MY favorites this week!

Is this not the CUTEST planter you have ever seen?? Sandie over at Steadman's Corner has the sweetest little house with a TON of cute planter ideas!!
 
 
 
 
Kimberly at See Sew and Seedlings has an AMAZING photo gallery on her wall!!
 
 

And OMG....Vanessa made her own washi tape!!!!
 
 
And we would NOT be complete without a DELICIOUS new recipe for this week!! Danielle at
made my favorite thing EVAH....
Nutella and Strawberry Panini's!


 
 
There were SOOOOOO many awesome link ups this week!!! I want to make all of them and I will be doing a LOT of pinning on Pinterest this week!! ;)

Now this week is a GIVEAWAY week and I am SUPER DUPER SUPER excited about this giveaway!!! I have a pair and Mary-Catherine has a pair!! We both a CUUUUUTE stylin in our flip flops!! The winner this week with the MOST VIEWS will win a free pair of these AWESOME flip flops from Susan!!

Here is a little bit about Susan...
 
 
My name is Susan and I'm a mom with a full plate but seem to be adding something else to what I'm already juggling with three hands!!! My love of all things blingy, baseball, flip flops and the inability to sit still turned into a revamped pair of shoes and new bracelet. Thanks to the wonderful world of Facebook, I now have a business!!! And They Call ME Bosse? has turned into a new creative outlet for me and a fun thing for my friends! I have expanded from just baseball flip flops to cheer teams, sports teams, or just something cute to go with that new outfit for you or your girls! I look forward to sharing my creations with all of you! I custom create each pair of flip flops when you order so you can specify the colors or embellishments that you want! You can find me at www.andthecallmebosse.com or here https://www.facebook.com/pages/And-They-Call-ME-Bosse/376812642329088.






Now onto the PAAARRRRRTAY!!!

Here are a FEW rules....You MUST like
And they Call me Bosse on FB and you MUST follow Randee on FB!
It would be awesome if you would follow Sassy Pants Studio too!


If you are new to our little linky party, please be sure to follow your hostesses in some form!!

Thanks for joining us!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Round Top Round Up!


Well, it's taken me a week to recover from my little escape, and figure out how I could even begin to share all the amazing finds with you!!  A trip to Round Top during Antiques Week is like nothing you've ever experienced - the truth is, it's completely indescribable . . . . but I'm gonna try!

We headed out on a Thursday afternoon, with high hopes of squeezing in a little shopping before we sasheed over to the Junk-O-Rama Prom, but by the time we found our charming little cabin up the road in Carmine and met up with my bestie from Dallas, the sun was heading down and the 'shops' were rolling up the sidewalks until tomorrow.  So we headed into town for a cold one instead {smile}!  And ate some of the best Chicken Fried Steak you've ever tasted at J.W.'s Steak House - worth the wait for sure!


Afterwards, we headed back to the cabin to get 'all dolled up' for The Prom, which is not to be missed.  Live music!!


Libations!!



And LOTS to gawk LOOK at under the big tent!!



For the complete scoop on prom, head to the Junk Gypsy Co. Blog and check out this post from Cactus Creek Daily on the definition of  'Shag Carpet Couture!'  This is something you won't want to miss!

In the mean time, here's what we came up with!




Needless to say, a good time was had by all!

We headed back to the cabin (well after midnight) for a few hours of beauty sleep before our big day of 'extreme shopping' and were greeted by the most glorious sunrise the next morning!


Our cabin was so cozy, nestled into a grove of trees and only a short distance from a small lake, that it was a shame we hadn't budgeted more time to soak up the scenery . . . but the siren's call of Antiques Weekend beckoned!


We didn't even make it out of the St. John's Church parking lot before making our first purchase!  Vendors literally come from around the corner, the state, the country, even from other coutries, to sell their fabulous finds to ME and YOU!!!  These topiaries were made in Alabama and sold to us by a man from Idaho!


The inside circles measure approximately 9 inches, which is the perfect fit for a salad plate, so I plan on using mine in a tablescape sometime soon!  My friend's daughter is getting hitched this summer, so hers just might show up at the gift table to help keep track of cards for the newlyweds - awesome find!

So much to see, it's truly sensory overload, but here's a sample of some things that caught my eye!

video

Some of them even made their way home with me!  Like this perfect pair of pink cowgirl boots!


And this lampshade that I've got a couple of ideas for already!


Some things didn't fit - and I suggest you bring a full-sized tape measure with you when you go.  Otherwise you'll be stuck planking in your BFF's SUV to figure all this out!

The Adventures of . . . .

Super Shopper!
We managed to get everything in the trucks, only to discover a flat tire when it was time to leave (boo).


It was almost like someone didn't want us to go (big grin)!!  All three of us knew how to change a tire, but lug nuts are NOT always easy to remove!  Luckily, with a little Aggie ingenuity (yes, that's me jumping on the socket wrench to loosen the lug nuts!) and a whole lotta GIRL power (and that's me again - changing a flat in 'unapproved' footwear.  Do NOT tell Speed!), we changed the tire and were on the road again!



We made a quick stop at the most darling store in Carmine - Texas Trash and Treasure - where we each bought something so we could spin the wheel!  You could win $100 worth of free stuff!!  Now how cool is that?!?!


All together, I came home with:
1 8' wooden table
1 7' primitive wooden bench
1 3' enale tabletop
1 pair of pink cowgirl boots
1 lampshade
1 necklace
1 pair of earrings
1 distressed metal topiary
1 wooden initial (for Sheep)
1 wooden measure instrument of unknown origin and purpose - ha!
1small metal plaque with a scripture verse
1 milk glass juicer
1 wooden tote box
1 flying pig
Enough projects to keep me busy well into summer and . . .

Enough memories to keep me laughing until Antiques Week rolls around again this Fall!

Who's in?!





Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sassy Sunday Blog Hop #10

He is not here, for He has risen.  Just as He said. ~ Matthew 28:6

Happy Easter everyone!  By the way, did you know that the Easter 'Octave' actually lasts eight weeks?!  So, even though we took a week off last week, it's not too late to wish you all a Happy Easter!  Last week, I decided to take the WHOLE week off and celebrate Easter (and a wedding - so fun!) with my family.  Good fellowship (and GREAT music) in church, followed by good food, a GREAT time with family and more Easter egg hunting than I can remember!  We are truly blessed!

Last week's party was full of great Easter and Spring decorating ideas, so I hope everyone took a few minutes to look around and leave a comment or two for your fellow crafty party goers.  I know I love hearing from others and I'm sure you do too!  In honor of the NEW life we have been given in Christ, I wanted to introduce you to three newcomers to our Sassy (Sleepy) Sunday Blog Hop and thank ALL of you for sharing your ideas with us!

First, check out this cute, quick cabinet redo from Bee @ Beez Rental Designs!  Her site is dedicated to crafty decorating solutions for those living in space that's not their own (aka: rental property).  What a great idea!!


Second, look at this table runner from Fifi @ About Blogging Time!  Can you say Fab-u-lous?!?!  I love it!!


And last, but not least, this darling Easter Cloche from Marisa @ Marisa's Pieces Online.  I too am a fan of Ballet Slipper Pink (wink, wink) and this project is super cute!!



At the last party, a SURPRISE giveaway was up for grabs to the crafty gal with the most views who also linked back to one or both the hostesses sites and I am happy to announce that Kate @ A Creative Cookie is our winner with her adorable sock bunnies!!!



And here's what she's won!!


What is it you ask?!  Well, that's a very good question.  It's obviously very old and used to measure things, but what exactly it is . . . . well, I'm not really sure!  It has an adjustable piece with brass inlays to help keep it accurate over time and a tiny metal pin on one end that makes me think of a compass, but I don't think that's what it is.  I have asked a few people, including a carpenter and an architect, if perhaps they had any ideas, but so far I haven't come up with anything definitive yet. 



Would, love, love, love if anyone knows anything to let the rest of know so we can all learn something new about this little piece of history I found in Round Top!  I look forward to sharing all my 'Friday Finds' from Round Top this week, as well as a couple of of projects I am finishing up for the kids' room!  In the mean time, you know the rules . . . .!