Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter at Spottswood Place

Welcome to Easter at Spottswood Place
We had a great start this morning by going to church.  Despite the gloomy, rainy weather, nothing could keep my spirit down.  We had a great service worshiping our risen Saviour, hallelujah!

The plates are empty as well as the tummies, which makes the natives very hungry, restless, and grumpy

We use my hubby's china for Easter every year.  It's so springy, I love it more each year

A simple faux grass runner, faux florals and my favorite bunnies I bought last year from Pier1

View from the foyer

View from the kitchen.  Beyond the dining room on the left is the living room in the way back and then the foyer.  On the right is the sunroom/chick cave.

I decided to use my winter goblets as I have plenty of them as well as a way to say goodbye to winter

My mother-in-law gave me the rose bouquet.  I bought the forced tulips two weeks ago exactly, I'm thrilled they lasted this long.  They were beneath the edge of the rim and barely open

Some more of my hubby's china, dessert dishes

I bought this larger bunny a few days ago at Pier1.  It matches the other bunnies I have and since it's larger, I consider it the mommy bunny.

I drew this Easter greeting by hand for my grandchildren.  I love Peter Rabbit and admire Beatrix Potter

What can be more perfect than a new life, fragile and angelic at Easter time?  Well, my granddaughter of course

I pray you had a wonderful Easter with friends and family and savored every moment

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Family Tree Pt. I

I've seen tree wall decals on Pinterest and other blogs.  I've also seen where they hang family pictures on top of the tree which is exactly what I've been wanting to do.

I plan to paint the tree myself in a wall in the foyer, the one straight ahead on the right.

I used a dark brown latex flat paint for the tree.  I drew the tree first with a pencil and then outlined it first with the paint.

I stopped at this point to start dinner.

I added curly branches next

I continued the branches into the living room next door so as to reach out to the military men on my military wall.  I also added a thicker branch at the bottom left as I felt the tree was a little to bare in that area.  

The design continues around the left edge.  I added green leaves with the "sample" 8oz. jar of Valspar, Herb Cornucopia I bought it at Lowes for less than $3.  By now, the sun is set and I'm ready to call it a day.  Tomorrow I will do some tweaking and then get started on the pictures and layout.  Stay tuned for Part II.

I pray you're having a wonderful weekend and savoring every moment!

**UPDATE - 4/17/13**
Click HERE to view the finished product!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

I Feel So Accomplished

I'm feeling so accomplished, productive and satisfied as my Spring Break comes to an end.  I can sit back and relax and feel refreshed as I was able to do most of everything on my checklist.

My first day, Saturday, was a beautiful day so I decided to spray paint my red bookcase a different color.

New color is an expresso brown.  Looks so much better.

Did some spring cleaning in the sunroom, placed the bookcase in it's spot (on the right), moved hubby's recliner to the corner. I sit back in my favorite spot and relax.

A few days later, my dining room got a makeover.  Top picture is how it looked previously.  Bottom picture is how it looks now and I'm VERY happy with it.

My credenza got a new makeover too.  From old fashioned brown to Annie Sloan Olive.  Doesn't it look great?

My address sign finally got painted too.  If you look close you can see some distress marks.   Click here to see how it looked before.  I can now see our address from the street which was one of my main objectives.

I also painted my front door with the same Annie Sloan paint I used on my credenza and my address sign.  One can goes a long way and I still have about 1/4 of a can left.

I also spent some time with my grand-kiddos.  I love them so much!!

I finally decorated for Easter/Spring.  I always-always look forward to pulling out this Spring flowered tablecloth every year.  I've had it for at least 10 years and it never fails to put a big smile on my face

I set my Easter/Spring vignette on my "new" credenza and I love the way it looks there.  This is part of my "Beatrix Potter - Peter Rabbit" vignette that I used last year on my mantel.

I wish I could keep this vignette up through May but it just doesn't feel right once  Easter is over and Easter is early this year,  IN.TWO.WEEKS!!

I cooked more than I usually do and I loved every moment.  Hubby and I spent a lot of time together, we enjoy each other's company so much that I'm going to miss him and he me.  I know, because he told me so :).  He wished I didn't have to work so until my ship comes in, I will head back in the morning.

With heading back to work tomorrow, I'm refreshed and ready to tackle on another Spring football season.   I love my job, I love what I do and am thankful to be blessed with a job that I love.  I'm thankful to have had the time off.  I'm thankful we had good weather throughout the week and it's ironic how my last day of Spring Break is ending with it in the low 40's, damp, breezy and very cold.

I hope you had a great weekend and savored every moment!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Leek and Potato Soup

This recipe is a copycat from Never Enough Thyme
3 leeks, washed and sliced (white and light green parts only)
1 large onion, chopped
3 large baking potatoes, peeled and cut in cubes
4 tbsps. butter
4 cups chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup half and half or light cream
For the garnish:
Snipped fresh chives
Crumbled bacon

Make sure to always, always wash your leeks thoroughly.  You don't want to crunch down on some hidden dirt - yeeech!

Dry on paper towels

I started to cook the bacon on low as I continued with the rest of the recipe.  When done, I removed the bacon to cool and crumble

Melt the butter in a large dutch oven

Add the leeks, onions and potatoes.  Saute until the onions and leeks are tender, for about 5-6 minutes.  At this point the bacon was almost done and just because, I decided to add about a tbsp. of the bacon fat to the pot, of course this step is optional but I can't resist the taste of bacon, especially in a soup like this one.

Add the broth, stir, bring to a boil.  Turn the heat down, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes.

When the bacon has cooled, chop it up and try not to eat any of it!

When the potatoes are tender, remove the pot from heat.  Insert an immersion blender and blend until desired consistency.  I like mine a little lumpy as I'm sure hubby does too.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Add the half and half and blend in well.

Sprinkle with bacon and chives.  I didn't have any croutons.

I don't have an ounce of Irish in me but I sure do love almost any kind of potato soup.  This wasn't a typical meal for my hubby (he's a meat and potatoes man) but he did like this soup so much that he hand a second helping as my MIL and I did too.  Very filling and satisfying.

Have a blessed weekend and Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Credenza and Dining Room Reveal

I'm on Spring Break, I did not plan to take a trip anywhere.  Instead I planned to stick around at home and do some painting, do some yardwork, visit with my grandkids, relax and drink coffee every morning with my hubby.  I can check almost everything off my list except for the yardwork and the grandkids who stop by tomorrow :)

So this is what my dining room looked like before the new paint job.  On the left is my credenza that will also have a makeover.  (The clutter was from prepping up the area for the big makeover ;)  ).  We moved into this home a little over two years ago and I painted the top part of the dining room a burgundy red.  I loved it for a while but I was getting tired of it really fast.  I wanted the new color to be lighter but however would I paint over that burgundy??  Thank the Lord for Behr Ultra paint with primer in it already.  I thought about a light tan, light gray and settled with 380F-5 Harmonic Tan.  Weird name for a green tint or more like a light sage.  It's really pretty in person.

I started with the credenza first.  I was so thrilled that this past Tuesday was such a beautiful warm day when I decided to work on the credenza.

Annie Sloan Chalk Pain and Wax

 I first wanted to paint the credenza a dark expresso brown.  I looked at the samples Annie Sloan Chalk paint had to offer, which is the kind of paint I wanted to use but from what I'm told, she doesn't believe in the dark brown expresso color.  The ladies at "Studio Eleven", the store where I bought the paint, were very helpful and gave me a recipe of how to make an expresso color using AS Chalk Paint.  When I got home though, I changed my mind 1) because I was scared of messing it up and 2) the more I looked at that Olive color the more I was loving it.  So I used Olive only.

My kitties have to be involved in everything that I'm doing.  This is Asha, inspecting every nook and cranny.

This was after the first coat.  It dried almost immediately.  I did not use an AS paint brush but that will be next month's investment.  I waxed the unit about an hour later and then I decided to scratch the edges with some fine sandpaper.  I was not planning to distress it but changed my mind although it was very conservative, especially since I only had the clear wax.  I gave it another wax coat the following day.  It's so easy to use, you just dab it on and rub/buff it in.  That's it!!

Time to tackle the dining room.  Ewwww, the more I look at that color, the more I don't like it.

and here's the transformation.  Kitties doing their inspection

Hubby steam mops the floor before we lay down the rug

Same view from picture above but now with everything put back in.  I can't get over how much bigger the room looks!

and there's the credenza.  We placed it in a different spot and I'm thrilled how it looks there.

We just bought the rug today.  It's much bigger than the last one and I'm certain in helps make the room look bigger.

Since it's Spring and Easter season, I decorated accordingly.  The lace runner belonged to my mom.  I love the color of the credenza.

A collage of pics of my grandkids underneath the mirror.

Front view of the credenza.  What do you think?

What a difference, huh?  I feel so accomplished and thanks to my hubby who was very very helpful throughout the whole process.  I'm sure he'll be kinda glad when I go back to work so that I don't have to impose on his daily schedule anymore ;)

Now, if I can convince my MIL to let me paint those chairs! lol ;)

Have a great weekend and remember to savor every moment.

Before and After pics:

Dining Room

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