Monday, June 28, 2010

Canning Green Beans

Yesterday a friend and I went to my parents and spent the day canning green beans.  Just like house projects, I find out that this project also took twice as long as I expected.  We got there at 8am and went to the garden to start picking the beans.  I think we will be done by noon and we don't end up leaving until around 5:00 that evening.  All's good though, because we have some yummy canned green beans now.

Here are the beans we picked.

We snapped the ends off and then snapped them in half.  

My friend Lisa washing the beans.

Here's me putting the beans in the jars.

After we get the beans in the jars, we put lids on them and then stick them in the pressure cooker.
It takes about 45 minutes for each batch, you can do around 6 jars at a time.

Then you take them out and let them cool.  All done.

My green beans at home in my cabinet :)

I grabbed some other fresh veggies from the garden, too!
I love having home made canned veggies.  We didn't add salt to the green beans or anything, I usually just cut up onions and add some herbs when cooking them.  I made a can of them last  night and they were delish!  We're hoping to can some more in a few weeks and also can some tomatoes and corn when they're ready.  I would really love to make some home made salsa and can it.
Do you have any home canned favorites?

Little Foot & Simba playing yesterday.

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Mighty Garden

I'm over at my dad's place today, you should see his garden! It's amazing! He planted his only a few weeks before mine and look at this.

Dad's garden with Blueridge Mountains in background.

He's already got tomatoes, onions (my onions died), squash, zucchini (my zucchini died), beans, sweet potatoes, corn, cucumbers, jalapeƱo peppers, green peppers, leaf lettuce, cayenne peppers, and field peas.




I am amazed at how easy it is for him to garden, I really need to find an area at my house that gets more sun. Would it be too weird to put it in the front yard?

One more thing, I had to show this beautiful pool.  I went to a book club/pool party last night at a friends house and she has the most wonderful pool.  I felt like I was at a resort!  I would never leave my backyard.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Making Over my Friend's Yellow Kitchen

One of my friends had a kitchen that she could barely cook in.  I say that because the color of it made you not feel like cooking!  When I walked in, all I felt like doing was taking a paint brush to it, it was in desperate need of help.

One day she went on vacation and was gone for a week.  Her husband always liked to surprise her with doing something around the house.  So can you imagine the horror she felt when she walked in and saw this bright yellow kitchen glaring at her?   Big Bird yellow? Really, what was he thinking?  She always told him that she wanted a yellow kitchen, so he granted her wish.

She asked me to give her kitchen a make over and I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. I made sure I picked calming colors this time.  Here are the before and after pictures.

My friends bright yellow kitchen.






Her home is about 100 years old, so we ran into a lot more obstacles than we planned.  What we were hoping would only take a week or two to do, ended up taking months! We ran into so many problems.  As you can see, her husband painted over everything! Including hardware on cabinets, lights switches, electrical outlets, we even saw where he painted the counter tops and hid it with contact paper because he realized he went a little over board.  Yes that green stuff on the counters in the before photos is contact paper stuck on her counters!  Since the house is so old, nothing was level.  There were about 8 or so coats of paint and after we finished painting, it all started chipping back off, so we had to start all over again! It would take a novel to explain all the problems we went through, but we finally finished it!  Ok it isn't completely finished, but it is almost there.  

My friend's daughter loves the chalkboard door as you can see, she has wrote on every square inch of it :)

The Makeover:
  • Painted cabinets Olympic Frosty Pine
  • Painted  the walls Benjamin Moore Bone White
  • Replaced ruined back splash with beadboard
  • Painted with chalkboard paint on her door, I got the idea from this inspiration photo.
  • Peeled contact paper off counters and scrubbed down to the white laminate counters.
  • Put up curtain rods and curtains.
  • Replaced outlets, light switches and covers.
  • Replaced hardware on cabinets.
We're going to hopefully replace the counter tops with butcher block.

A puppy she found in the backyard.

Let this be a reminder to never tell your husband that you want a room painted a certain color.  You have been warned and seen for yourself what kind of damage this can cause.

The names of the victims involved in this kitchen crime have been left out to protect the innocent.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Garden veggies still growing.

I wanted to take pics of my garden yesterday, but it rained the whole day and I didn't get to.  I went out and snapped these photos this morning.

My zucchini is flowering!

I staked up my tomatoes.

The garden is coming along quite nice so far.
I haven't fixed the fencing around it yet.

I can't wait to have fresh garden veggies!

I made me a garden veggie enchilada the other night, once my garden matures, I will be able to get alot of these things from my own garden to make the enchiladas.

I used zucchini, red bell pepper, corn, and onions!  I'll have all of that but the corn, my dad is growing corn so I can get that from his garden.  I'll take a pic of his the next time I'm over there, he's already eating from his because he's the garden king.

Saute the veggies.

Put veggies in corn tortillas, pour sauce over and sprinkle with cheese and bake.

Then dip them out on a plate and enjoy :)

Ok mine doesn't look real pretty, you are suppose to use the red sauce, but I used the green.  I always tweak my recipes. I don't eat a lot of dairy so I also didn't use anywhere near as much cheese as it calls for.  It was still really good.

Here is what they are suppose to look like.

If you want the recipe, click on this photo of the recipe below to enlarge it.
Recipe is from Veggie Life - Summer 2006

I am like one of those crazy new moms that posts a hundred pics of their kid at every single stage and thing they do, but I am posting pics of my garden every time it does something! LOL  My garden is my new baby :)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Working On The Dresser

I am being so lazy about this dresser.  I started refinishing it weeks ago it seems and I am still not done.  Maybe I am hitting some sort of burn out mode with all the work I've been putting into the  house lately?  I'm going to try to finish this dresser up because I know it will look really nice once it's done, plus I will have a place to put my clothes again.  I have a beach trip planned for next month! Maybe I will be refreshed from that and can get back into the swing of things.

This is the dresser.

This is what I've started.  I took the drawers out and primed the bottom.
Used some varnish remover and an orbital sander on the top.  I'm thinking of investing in a different type of sander. I'm starting to not be so fond of this one.

Getting all the varnish and stain off down to the white pine.  Oh what a task that is!

Then I put a coat of pre-stain conditioner on the top.  I do this so it doesn't look splotchy and streaky. 

I stained it with Minwax dark walnut.  I need to start experimenting with different types of stains, because I'm convinced this one is not a very good quality stain.  Even with the pre-stain conditioner, it was a little blotchy.

I'm going to put one more coat of the stain on it, then seal it with tung oil.  Then I have to put 2 more coats of paint on the bottom and I haven't even primed the drawers yet.  So this will still be a bit longer until it's finished.  

I'm working on a homemade bulletin board to put over it on the wall above, I'm also running into problems with that, too!  

Stay tuned, I am hoping to have this dresser finished within a week or so.  Do you have any easy methods for completely removing varnish and stain? I would love to hear of some tips.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Library Closet - Complete

The library closet is finally complete!  I am so amazingly glad that I decided to turn the coat closet into a library.  Before, it wasn't really getting any use and I wasn't wanting to store a lot of things in it, so the guests could put their coats and sweaters and such in the closet without them getting lost in a sea of clutter.  Well, when people would come over, they would never want to put their things in the closet for some reason, maybe people around here don't use coat closets, sooooo, I said, why not make it into something more useful?

That is when I stumbled upon the idea to turn a closet into a library.  I've never really collected books over the years because I've moved around so much and didn't want to lug a bunch of books around with me.  Now that I'm going to stay put for a while and have the space for them, I don't have to give away all  my books anymore.  I have the perfect little spot for them.

Here is the before picture of what the ordinary coat closet looked like.  I ripped out the shelf and metal bar.  Sanded it, painted it and put the shelves up!



Does it look better or what?  It feels so nice to have all of my books organized.  I have them all separated according to subject and it's so much easier to get to the books I need. I use to have them scattered throughout the house in different drawers, cabinets, etc. and now I can get to what I need in a seconds glance.

It was extremely easy if you are thinking of turning a closet into a library.  
  • The shelf that was in it before was nailed on, so I just pried it off with a hammer. 
  • Sanded the areas that got messed up from removing the shelf.  
  • Painted with the color Benjamin Moore Bone White
  • Cut white pine to the exact length of the wall.
  • Cut small boards to the sides so I could  just lay the shelf down on it, so the shelves are removable.
  • Removed the old door and put a French door on.  (This took the most work actually)
  • Filled the shelves with books!
Here is a view with the door open.

I got this idea from a website I saw that showed how someone who lives in a tiny condo can get creative with the small space they have. Since I live in a tiny house, less than 1200 sq ft, I didn't have a room for a library, so this extra closet taking up room was also the perfect place for me to make a little library that will get a lot of use.

Here is the library closet I used as inspiration to make mine.

Inspiration Photo

Here is the original link I posted to the inspiration library closet.

Like I said, it was so easy.  If you have been thinking of doing something similar, I would encourage you to go ahead and do it! I feel like I have an extra room added onto my house now!  :)