Friday, September 26, 2014

Gone Fishin' Party Mix

In honor if the premiere of Dolphin Tale 2, the students made a fun, fishy-themed version of Chex Mix. The recipe was part of the weekly curriculum, but it was so delicious, I just had to share!

1 bag original goldfish crackers
1 bag pizza flavored goldfish crackers
6 cups pretzel sticks
1 stick butter, melted
1 tsp worchestershire sauce
1 pack dry ranch dressing mix

Mix the crackers and pretzels in a deep 9x13 pan. Mix butter, sauce, and dressing mix. Pour over the crackers. Stir to coat. Bake at 250 for an hour, stirring occasionally. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

This is Home

I saw a cute idea on Pinterest where someone had painted a wooden sign with the word "home," but the "o" was the shape of Texas painted with A&M colors. I loved the idea and wanted to give it a try myself. 

In my classroom, the lead teacher had recently replaced an old, cheap bookshelf that had broken. The two removable shelves were still in good condition, so they came home with me to  participate in my crafty experiments. 

 I drew my letters on to the shelf by printing out the size I needed in a funky font, covering the back of the paper in chalk, and then tracing over the outline of the letters. This leaves a chalk outline on the surface underneath. Then I painted them white.  I traced out the state and stenciled a chevron pattern on it. Then it was time for the ultimate question... Alabama or Auburn??

My father-in-law was the first to voice his opinion, and when your father-in-law speaks, you listen! So Auburn it was! I printed out a chevron pattern and traced it into the state outline. I filled it in with blue and orange. 

But being the Bama fan that I am, I couldn't go too long without making another one. I chose a different font just to change it up and show another style. This is also a book shelf, just a different one. 

For this state, I found houndstooth scrapbook paper and printed the state outline onto the paper. I cut it out and used some spray adhesive to glue it down. It still needed something, so I outlined the paper with a white paint pen. The Auburn sign needed something too, so I outlined the state and the stripes with white, as well. 

Then I sealed each one with Minwax polycrylic. There is no way that scrapbook paper is peeling up!! It's sealed very well!

So whether you roll with the tide or yell, "War eagle," these signs are sure to please!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Yard Sale Mirror re-vamp

Last Saturday, I went yard sale-ing (yes, that's a word) with my mother-in-law. We found some amazing pieces! My favorite was an old rocking horse that I paid $5 for!! It painted pink with pink yarn for a mane and tail, but I have big plans to re-do it. However, that's going to be a big project, and I've been pretty swamped with big projects through my furniture business. Instead of starting another big piece, I started doing a few smaller pieces. One of them was this gaudy gold mirror. 

It was originally from Kirkland's so it a high quality mirror. It just needed a new look. Of course, I'm happy to oblige!

I still have some dark charcoal gray left over from another piece, so I gave the whole thing two coats.

I really love this color.  It is such a lovely gray.  But by itself, it hid all the little details of the frame's design.  To bring it out, I used pure white paint.  I barely dipped just the edge of a sponge brush into the paint and, with a very light hand, simply brushed over the frame so that the raised parts would get painted, but the other parts would stay dark.

As you can see, the white really brought out the features of the frame.  I posted this on my Facebook page, and within a few hours, it had sold.  Good thing, because I was starting to look around in my house for a place to keep it! It really turned out nicely =)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

PEP Talks- 18 months

Can you believe another three months has already gone by!? And they really seemed to fly this time.  I guess I better get started filling you all in...

After I turned 15 months old in June, I started learning things really quickly! Mom and Dad tried to keep a list of words that I know, but by now, there are too many to count! I don't always use them in the correct context, and sometimes I'm just repeating what they say (or trying to), but most of the time, I know what I mean.  And now, so do they! No longer must I cry and make them guess what I want.  I will tell them "diaper" when I need a change.  I say "milk" or "bites" if I'm hungry or thirsty.  Sometimes I even get specific about the "bites" and demand some "oh-gurt" (my special way of saying yogurt).  I also still love "gi-gicks" (fish sticks), but I always make sure that Mommy and Daddy and anyone else knows that fish sticks are HOT when they come out of the oven.  I even show them how to blow on them to cool them down.

So that has really helped me not have to cry so much.  I don't cry often.  When I do, it's usually for a reason.  Something that some of you many not realize about me is that I am very shy.  Once I get to know you a little bit, I'll warm up to you, but if you get too close before then, I don't like it.  Mommy says that's perfectly fine.  Being shy is nothing to be shy about ;)  I also cry sometimes if I can't do something that I think I should be able to do.  Like climb the fireplace.  Or go outside by myself.  Or put all the toilet paper in the toilet (even though that's where it's going to go anyway).  When I find out I can't do something, I just sort of melt into the ground.  I don't make a big scene.  I just curl up in a ball on the floor.  I guess I'm embarrassed that I got in "trouble."

I'm also working on using a fork and a spoon.  I have a really good "grip" technique for the utensils.  I don't go overhanded or use it like a shovel.  Sometimes Mommy or Daddy helps me by holding on to the end to help guide the fork to my mouth (sometimes it gets away from me), but I do a pretty good job on my own.  I even feed my friends!

At my 18 month check up, I found out that I have FINALLY gained some weight! My doctor was very happy! I'm still small, but not quite so tiny.  I am up to 21 lbs.  I'm still at 30 inches, but that was expected, my doctor said.  She still thinks I'm going to be on the shorter side.  But that's just fine! I'm a very healthy toddler (good work, Mommy and Daddy!).

So enough about my growing.  Let's talk about my summer!!

Summer (especially June) is my favorite time of year because Mommy and Daddy get to be home with me all day! We took a week long vacation back in June to stay with my Paigey in Mommy and Daddy's home town! I got to see where they met and went to college.  I got to play at the park and ride a Merry-Go-Round! Aunt Jessica and Uncle Anthony came with us, and Aunt Jessica took some great pictures of my family.  I got to spend time with Omi and Opa and Uncle Jake and his "gog" (dog) Hank.  Opa showed me the big flowers he grows in his garden.  When we went back to visit them in July, I remembered! When I saw him, I said, "Opa! Fl-ows!"  He smiled so big!!
On the Merry-Go-Round

At UNA- where Mommy and Daddy went to college

After we got back from our vacation, we made the most of our time at home together.  One special thing that Mommy and I did was that she took me outside and let me play in the rain! I love rain so much.  I always announce when it starts.  I stand at the glass door and watch it pour! I'm not even scared of the "fud-der" (thunder)! One afternoon, when it was just a steady rain coming down, Mommy and I went outside and I got to feel it all over my head and arms and everywhere! I splashed in the puddles! It was the most fun.  Now, whenever it rains, I always ask to go "sow-side" (outside) to play in it.  Sometimes we can, and sometimes we can't.  I think Mommy might always remember that first time though.  It was like magic!

In July, I got to spend some fun time with Daddy's side of the family outside! We went to my Grandma and Poppa's house.  My Nanna was there, too.  That's my Grandma's mommy! She took me around the garden.  We picked veggies and flowers.  I even got to ride on Poppa's lawn mower when he brought it over to our house! Being outside is one of my favorite things.  It's really hot right now though, but once it cools down, I hope we can be outside playing a lot!

Something else really fun happened in July.  My best friend turned ONE! She had a big birthday party at her MiTessa's house with swimming pools, bubbles, and lots of yummy food! It was so fun getting to celebrate with her.

Happy birthday, Lucy!!

In August, school started back, so I went back to stay with KayKay.  Sissy started college this fall at Auburn University, so I don't get to see her very often, but KayKay lets me steal some "Facetime" with her when she calls.  I give her lots of kisses through the phone! I tell her that I am taking very good care of her dog, Suzy, when I talk to her.  I love to play with Suzy.  Maybe one day I can have a dog of my own, but until then, I am happy to play with Suzy at KayKay's house!

Also, it is the start of FOOTBALL SEASON!!!!! I love getting to go to the football games and watch the band perform.  I love the drums; I always have, even when Mommy was still pregnant with me.  I would kick and flip, and now I clap and bounce to the rhythm.  I can't help it! I got the music in me!

I had a lot of fun this summer! Thanks for keeping up with me!

Until next time,
Parker E. Poe

Another mirror makeover

I started a facebook page for my furniture  and painting about 2 months ago, I think. ( It has generated some pretty good business! One customer contacted me about redoing a mirror that she had as part of her bedroom set when she was a little girl. Her mom had sold it years ago. When the woman who bought it decided to part with it, she contacted my client to see if she wanted the mirror back, which she did. I love sentimental things like that!

The mirror was solid, but the frame needed some work. My client have me the paint color she wanted, and I got to work. 

That was the frame before. It's a simple, plastic frame, but the shape is just darling. To begin with, I washed it and primed it with a spray paint primer specifically for plastic. 

Amazingly, I had the exact color paint the client wanted already at my house. It used to be the color of my kitchen before I re-painted it. There was plenty of the old color left. 

I went over the frame with three coats of the Tuscan orange color. 

It looked pretty on it's own, but I wanted to really accent the beveled edges. I rubbed some dark brown antiquing glaze over the paint, making sure to get it in the  lines of the frame. 

It really made the details stand out. All that was left was to reattach the mirror. Please excuse my self-portrait! It's hard to photograph a mirror without getting my messy house in the background :)

And here's the before and after. Pretty amazing, huh? If you are in the area and need some new life in an old piece of furniture, let me know! I'd love to work with you!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Apple Pie Apples

My husband loves apple pie, but I am not a fan. I know. How un-American. So when he was really wanting an apple pie last night, I didn't want to disappoint just because I don't like them. I also didn't want to make an entire pie. So I came up with an individual serving of apple pie that is just a fun to look at as it is delicious!

I cut the top off of an apple and scooped out the insides, just like if you were carving a pumpkin. Keep the filling and get rid of the seeds and core pieces. Combine the filling with some cinnamon and sugar. Put it back inside the apple. 

Cut a small round piece of pie crust and cover the opening. Bake according to crust directions until the crust is golden. I baked mine at 400 for 10 minutes. It is very hot when it comes out, so let it sit for a while. My husband really enjoyed his single serve apple pie!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Bake

2 chicken breasts, cubed 
1 large zucchini, cubed
1/2 c bacon bits
Garlic powder
Onion powder
Salt and pepper
2 tbs butter, divided
2 and a half c Colby jack cheese
1 and a half c milk
1/2 c ranch dressing
8 oz pasta, cooked

Sauté chicken in 1 tbs butter, seasoning with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Once cooked, add the zucchini, bacon, and other tbs of butter. Add more seasonings to taste. Combine with cooked pasta. For the sauce, combine milk, ranch dressing, and 2 cups of cheese. Heat until melted and creamy. Combine into chicken and pasta. Pour into greased 9x13 casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Broil for two minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and golden.