Recycled Window Turned Chalkboard

I'm not immune to the whole chalkboard craze. And, I can see how it can be a little addicting. First, I did this old, weathered window I picked up at a local antique store for $30.

I liked the little ledge on this window...perfect to put little candles and knick-knacks on. I tore off the quilt that was on the back and removed the hook that was in the upper corner. I used the chalkboard paint you brush on (I couldn't find the spraycan version). Here's the finished product:

Since then, I've been eyeing up all sorts of things around the house. Next on the list is to create wine glasses like these from Pier 1:

What chalkboard projects have you done or seen around???


I. Hate. Painting.

And, most of all, I hate painting the same thing 4 times. Or was it 5? I lost count. With the exception of drawer pulls, the cabinets are finally done! We didn't sand them and used a coat of Kilz as a primer. Followed by another 3 or 4 coats. With 22 doors to paint, we had to set up a work station in the basement and could only paint half at one time. As of last night, all the doors were finally done! Now we are in search of some pulls. I'll post some better pics soon, but here's the before:

And after:

We decided to leave the doors off of two cabinets to make open shelves for some of our cookbooks. I'm thinking of painting the back of the cabinet walls blue to add a little contrast.


No Turning Back Now!

What's done is done. The Housewarming Party evites went out and we have alot to do before the 25th! Our main objective will be making some big improvements in the kitchen, in addition to putting some final touches in the breakfast area and living room. Here's the list we are working on: 

1. Paint the cabinets white
2. Add new pulls
3. Update with stainless steel appliances (stove and refridgerator)
4. Put beadboard on the island
5. Spruce up the dishwasher until we can put in a stainless one

Our goal is to turn this:

Into this:

I love the stainless steel farmer's sink (might be a little pricey, though). The countertops and backsplash are in the next phase of the project. We are thinking of tiles similar to these (not all the way up to the ceiling, though) and removing the wall cabinets and putting up shelves.

Here are some more kitchens I'm using for inspiration:

Keep your fingers crossed and hopefully I'll have some pics to show on Monday!


Breakfast Nook Wall -- Help!

Things are just about wrapped up in the breakfast area. I just feel that the back wall is missing something. I asked Jeff to build me a shelf to hold some cookbooks. Here is what I had in mind:

Jeff thought more than one shelf would get in the way, so this is what we came up with:

Anyone out there have any thoughts or inspiration to send my way? It still feels a little bare!! Help!


TWD: Split Level Pudding (or A Tale of Two Puddings)

"Your chocolate isn't all flowy like hers." ~ Jeff
"I know that." ~ Me
"It doesn't suck." ~ Jeff

That basically sums up this week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe, Split Level Pudding. Thanks to Garrett of Flavor of Vanilla on the selection.

For whatever reason, I didn't wind up with two creamy layers of pudding. I ended up with more of a vanilla custard on a bed of hard chocolate. When I made this, I thought Dorie grossly underestimated the amount of chocolate pudding (ganache). The chocolate layer was only enough to fill two of my ramekins. You want something you can sink your spoon into, right? Or, in my case, something that brings your spoon to a halt.

The chocolate ganache couldn't have been easier. Boil some heavy cream. Pour over chopped bittersweet chocolate. Stir. Here it is looking all ganachey:

The vanilla layer was a bit more of a pain to produce. Am I the only one who found it a bit weird to put pudding in the food processor? Does this look appetizing?

I chilled it for 4 hours, shaved some chocolate on top, and thought, "This doesn't look too bad." However, after diving in, I found the bottom, chocolate layer was completely hard. There was no flowing of the two levels like in Dorie's photo. No creamy, silky layers I had been thinking about for the past 4 hours. I begrudgingly ate a few bites for the photo op and returned it to the fridge.


Halloween Decor Quickie

I didn' t want the weekend to go by without showing a super quick project I just finished. One of my favorite bloggers, Centsational Girl, recently introduced me to the wonders of this guy:

I grabbed a couple of my clear votive candle holders, a few scrapbooking stickers, and went to work. It is very subtle, but if you look closely, you will see a "31" and "boo!".