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Archives for January 2013

Barn Red Bookcase Makeover – DIY Chalk Paint


I’ve got cabin fever, it’s been FREEZING for the last few days, way past stupid cold – it was NEGATIVE 12 when I left for work Thursday. My illness has manifested in the need to paint everything. First up, the bookcases are getting a make over. I know I just painted them and I love the color but…. they blend in too much with the walls. I’ve got big plans for the wall behind the buffet so for now it’s safe with its pretty mustardy yellow paint.

DIY Chalkpaint Bookcase Makeover

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Mrs. Smith’s Pies and $50 for you!


This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Mrs. Smith’s for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I love pie. I was lucky enough to get the Pie Queen of New York (my title for her) for my Mother-in-Law. But we can’t all be that lucky can we? That’s where Mrs. Smith’s comes in. They contacted me and I was given the chance the try all 4 varieties of the Mrs. Smith’s Signature Deep Dish pies.


They come in Cherry, Peach, Apple and Pumpkin and each has a special topping you add after baking. Unfortunately we couldn’t find the pumpkin so it was a fruity pie party for us. And a big party it was. Those pies are hearty! I picked up the stack of 3 and was a bit shocked by how heavy they were.

Mrs. Smiths Deep Dish Apple Pie

My favorite was the apple (maybe because I fell asleep and my husband made it for me so I awoke to the smell of fresh pie) with the crumble topping and the caramel sauce. I’m ashamed to admit it didn’t last more than two days. Sliver by sliver more and more found it’s way into my belly and then it was all gone.

The cherry was very good as well, we took it to a party (we somehow lost the sauce so I didn’t get to taste it, sad face!) and I don’t have any pictures, but it looked just like a cherry pie should. The filling was bright red and had the perfect sweet-tart flavor you expect.

I made the peach pie and took it work where it was polished of pretty quickly. I loved that it had giant chinks of fruit. I love a pie where the fruit really stands out. The peach chunks (and the apple chunks in the apple pie) are big enough that they don’t get lost to the sauce but not unmaneagable so it’s like trying to eat a whole peach. Am I making sense here? I’m apparently very picky about fruit slice size in pies.

prebakes pie

This is what the apple pie looked like before baking. See the giant fruits?

The only thing I didn’t care for was the sauce for the peach pie. It was too sweet for me, I thought it tasted a lot like straight confectioners sugar. But my husband enjoyed it so it’s all a matter of personal taste.

Now for the fun part (for you)! The folks at Mrs. Smiths have given me a $50 gift card to Williams and Sonoma to give to a lucky reader AND a voucher for a free signature deep dish pie. Want to win? Check out the Rafflecopter entry below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


For more pie info check out the Mrs. Smiths Facebook and Pinterest pages!


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Valentine’s Day Word Searches


I just found out that it’s almost February. If you happen to be in the same boat (apparently the boat lacking a calender!) consider this a friendly public service announcement. It’s almost February! And that means Valentine’s Day, which makes all the pink and red hearts taking over Pinterest make a lot more sense. Just for fun I put together two sweet Valentine’s Day word finds for you:

Free Kids Valentine's Word Find

Free Printable Difficult Valentine's Day Word Find

Feel free to download and print as many as you would like, please do not sell or otherwise profit from my work. If you like the word searches I’d love to know! Leave me a comment here or on Facebook if you have any special requests!

I have thought about putting up either blank versions with only the word search and no pictures or black and white versions to save on ink but since no one has complained I haven’t bothered to do so. This is your chance! Speak now!

7 Kitchen Necessities – Paleo Style


I’ve been cooking a lot for the last month and I wanted to round up my personal kitchen “must haves”. All of our meals have been made from scratch following paleo guidelines: no grain, no sugar, no dairy and no legumes. I’ve been cooking lots of vegetables guys, sooooo many vegetables! And lots of meat, but mostly veggies. Here is a list of the things I use almost every day in no particular order (all amazon links are affiliate links, most things can probably be found at Target or BB&B):

Cast Iron Cook Wear

We were lucky enough to get a collection of cast iron for our wedding and we use it every day. If you don’t have any and aren’t quite sure where to start the two pieces I recommend are the largest skillet you can afford (or lift! That stuff is heavy!) and a dutch oven. If you aren’t used to cooking with cast iron there is a learning curve, the pans stay hot for a long time, before they are fully seasoned they really soak up your oil and you can’t throw them in the dish washer. It’s really important that you NEVER put your cast iron away wet. [Read more…]

Floor Length Burlap Curtains for $7.50 a Panel

Burlap curtains might be all over the place, and maybe I’m late to the party but I’ve had these hanging in my living room for a few months and I’m finally getting around to posting a how-to! I’ve seen a lot of methods but nothing quite like mine.
DIY Burlap Curtains
It’s as basic as you can get, you only sew one seam for each panel. Of course this does leave you with 1 raw edge and 2 floor to ceiling selvedges. I love it, it’s not overly polished and it fits in a casual space. They let the light in while blocking the living room from the street. The ribbon along to top adds a subtle blush of color and some strength to the burlap where it’s clipped. [Read more…]