An old fashioned all-American cookout…

An old fashioned all-American cookout...There is no better way to honor our Veterans or to celebrate the 4th of July than an old-fashioned all-American cookout!

This was one of my most favorite family gatherings. Of course spending time with my kids is always my favorite, but throw in some extended family, potatoe salad, hot-dogs and some home-baked goodies and it’s a party!

This year, I decided to do our cookout a little old fashioned-chic’, which basically consisted of several mismatched found chairs (including and old piano bench), Mason jars and red and white striped paper straws. I avoided all other paper and plastic serving-wise, and used actual silverware and fine china. You should of heard the gasps in my kitchen when I started pulling out the china, lol. I told the ladies, “No, worries; all I have is pretty much two partial sets.” I went on to tell them, when my kiddos where little they pulled over a shelf that had all those dishes displayed, which resulted in many broken pieces. My mom then told me a story of a friend of hers that always used her “special” dishes. She said, the lady told her she could tell you where every chip and crack came from and which child was responsible. I hadn’t pulled mine out in awhile, but I agree. I know why my sets are broken and how little my children were when it happened. Oh, the memories!

So, out it went to be “used”… And of course, a Mason jar full of mustard was broken by my little niece Kylie. She was helping my daughter carry things to the table when she dropped it. She turned to Haley, not startled, instead she shrugged her shoulders and said, “Eeh, it’s what I do.” Haley laughed so hard.

Since, it wasn’t buffet-style we all had to talk and pass the plates. Later, my SIL and I stood side-by-side visiting while we washed and rinsed the dishes (That just doesn’t happen much these days with dishwashers and paper plates.). When returning the china to the cabinet after the cookout I noticed another chip, and it just made me smile… Another memory.

I hope you all are creating memories with your family gatherings this holiday season!


One man’s trash…

deskOne man’s trash can indeed be another man’s treasure, just as they say, and this time around it couldn’t be closer to the truth.

My family and I spotted this sad piece of furniture discarded to the curb. I couldn’t take it, I put my vehicle in reverse to see if I could find a sign, and sure enough a piece of paper was next to it on the ground, that read, “FREE.” It took a little maneuvering to fit the thing in the back of my SUV, but 5 minutes later… it was ours!

It was quite the choir removing the multiple layers of veneer (UGH), but it had to be done. We sanded and painted with some homemade chalk paint. It was our first try with chalk paint and we loved it; then we distressed and finished with some old fashioned paste wax. Last, but not least we added cast-iron pulls and a vintage lock.

I was really happy with the way the chalk paint turned out and will definitely use it again.

My mom and sister should appreciate the end result, as they helped rescue this heavy son-of-gun.

Our Homemade Chalk Paint Recipe:
3 Cups of Paint
1 Cup of Plaster of Paris
1/4 Cup of Water