Friday, August 29, 2014

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream


Summer might be almost over,
but there's always time for ICE CREAM!!!


I had this hankerin' for some cheesecake ice cream...
and I had some strawberries calling out to me from the freezer.
I couldn't find a decent recipe so I gleaned the basics
from a couple and decided to experiment.


Now, in my best mad scientist voice I will tell you...
THEEES EES ZA YUMMIEST ICE CREAM EVVVVVVER...BWA-HA-HA-HA!

Okay, back down off the roof, Frankenfurter.


It was too good not to share.
I scooped up a pint and took it to the neighbors along with some cookie bars.
They have been awesome and I couldn't think of a tastier way to say "thank you."

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 pint strawberries {fresh or frozen}
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup coarsely crushed graham crackers
  1. In a heavy saucepan, whisk the eggs until well blended.  Whisk in the cream, milk, and 1 cup sugar.
  2. Slowly heat to a simmer, stirring frequently...let cook at a bubble about a minute. Stir in the vanilla. Remove from heat.
  3. Cut the cream cheese into chunks and stir into the hot cream mixture until mostly smooth. Cool mixture completely in the fridge.
  4. Using a hand blender, chop strawberries with remaining 1/2 cup sugar and lemon juice. Leave them a little chunky. Crumble the graham crackers...but don't make them too fine.  I just beat them on the counter with my hand. :)
  5. When the cream mixture is completely cool...add to your ice cream maker. Mine takes about 15-20 minutes...after about 10 minutes, I added 1/4 cup or so of the strawberry mix and half of the graham crackers.
  6. Add the remaining graham crackers close to the end.  Swirl in the remaining strawberry mix with a spoon when you transfer it to a freezer container. 
  7. Eat it right away as a soft serve or stick it in the freezer for later!
I know, it seems like a lot of instructions, but it's really simple and totally worth it!

How about you, would you share?
Labor Day is just begging for ice cream!

Have a fabulous holiday weekend!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Planked Wall Bathroom ~ Behind the Scenes


When I told you about our new planked wall bathroom a couple weeks ago,
I promised I would come back and give you some of the details.
Yeah, well...it just took me a little longer than expected.
Shocking, I know. :)

As a refresher, here is the before and after:
{warning: this is kinda long}


Of course you know that with any good makeover project,
you've got to tear some stuff up first!


Removing this ceramic tile from the backsplash was NO fun.
As you can see, I got a little brutish and took out a big chunk of drywall.

Ooops.

I filled it in with some plaster filler and smoothed
it before we put the planks up, don't worry.


This was some super duper adhesive on these puppies...that was the problem.

We have these mini pry bars...but the combination of the extra strong glue
and apparently soft drywall caused me to find inventive ways to get the tiles off.
I used a small board to aid with leverage and protect the wall behind.
There may have been chisels and a hammer involved, too.

This totally made me rethink the possibility of taking out the tiles
that serve as the backsplash in the kitchen.


I think I mentioned that once I started painting I wasn't
totally sure I still was in love with my paint choice.
I mean, it has been two years since I bought this paint.
By the way, this is Chocolate Turtle from Valspar, color matched in Behr.


Once we got the planks on the walls, the world began to right itself.
I could see my vision becoming reality and all was well.


These are cedar v-groove planks from Lowe's.
They come in a pack of 6 I think...and are eight feet long.
The Lowe's website doesn't show a picture of the pack,
so there's no visual for that...sorry.

Also...I neglected to take any process pictures.
I am sometimes a sorry excuse for a DIY blogger. :)


But not to fear, they are really simple to put up.
They are tongue and groove and the pack gives the basic guidelines for installation.
We used long finishing nails and went right into the studs.
Don't use adhesive unless you know for sure you'll never take them down!

Jon helped a lot with the planking...because it was just easier with two sets of hands.
Especially when you're trying to use the level and hammer at the same time.

Our biggest challenge was that the boards are not all exactly the same height.
Because of that, there was some finagling at the corners
to get them to line up as closely as possible.
You can see the corner above is not perfect.
We ripped a narrow board to place there knowing it
would not be visible once we trimmed it out.


I remembered to leave this space here so I could frame out 
the mirror without some weird notch taking place.
Which I also did not document.
But really...measure trim...cut trim...attach to mirror...paint.
Voila!

Oh...and whenever you put something on your wall...
or even a thick outlet or light switch...you'll need to remember to
get some spacers to bring your outlets out farther.


We used some 1 X 2 trim for the top "shelf" of the wall...
and some small square trim right below that...for visual appeal and support.
You can kind of see it below here on the left.
The baseboards are just chunky casing.

We trimmed out the corners with some lathe...because
it's thin and I didn't want it to stick out too far.
And, yes, I know that part around the light isn't painted yet.


Once everything was up, I filled nail holes, filled gaps, filled knot holes...
with nail hole filler and paintable caulk...and sanded till my arm nearly fell off!

Well, almost.
I had a little electric sander that gave out about 2/3 of the way through.
The rest was all manual labor.
My arm did NOT fall off...guess the time at the gym is good for something!

I did use a coat of primer on the cedar.
I didn't want it to soak up all the paint and
I didn't want it to smell like a hamster cage forever. :)


When I did the mini makeover in our master bath, there was
some discussion after the fact about other options for the counter top.
One of the things talked about was Envirotex Pour On Resin.
Sooooo...I decided to use it here on a small surface.


I love the way it filled itself in against the wall and the sink...seamless.
However, trying to get all the air bubbles out was a pain in the rear.
And I had a heck of a time keeping the edges smooth.

It pours on, so the top levels beautifully when you spread it a little...
but then you have to be vigilant on the sides and edges.
I was in there the whole time it was setting up to
smooth out the sides...and they're still bumpy.


I don't know what I could have done differently, but am open to suggestions as to how to fix it.
It's also very shiny...high gloss.  Which I knew it would be.
Even when it's cured, it looks like it's wet.

There are instructions on the box to achieve a satin finish...
How did that work out you ask?  Not so well...but I'm still brainstorming.
So...I would not use this again for this application, but it would be awesome
on a bar top...which is kind of what it's made for.


Below is how it looks now...but still not the final product...
as I'm still looking for the best solution.
I will update you when I find it!



Here is a close up of the top trim and corners.
This odd angled wall made measurements fun to figure out!



You can see how the mirror framed tucked into the planking and trim.


The counter and cabinet got a coat of primer before paint.
This BIN primer is the best for glossy surfaces like cabinets.
It seems thin when you apply it, but it's really great.

It doesn't even look like the same unit.
The planking and cabinet are Sherwin-Williams Creamy.


The light fixture got a dose of Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint.
And see? I remembered to paint the wall behind it.


This canvas is a custom piece of art I made myself!
I created it using basically this method from Lake Girl Paints.
I just used craft paints and maybe a random sample pot.
I can't describe to you how awesome it looks.
I love it so.


It is an excerpt from a poem called Starlings in Winter by Mary Oliver...
who I discovered, when looking this up, was born in Maple Heights, OH...
which is a neighboring city to my hometown of Twinsburg.
Crazy, huh?


The wreath was in here before, but it looks so much better in its new surroundings.
The basket with towels is from TJMaxx.
The faucet is one of two I picked up for a song on the discontinued rack.


I don't have a cost breakdown because I forgot to keep track.
I know the planking ran about $100 for all we needed.
That did not include the trim and baseboards.
Might it have been cheaper to rip thin boards
ourselves and space them with a nickel?
Probably.
But then it might have taken me another year to get it done. :)

None of the links in this post are sponsored or affiliated.
I just wanted to let you know what we like and what we used.

If you have any questions or I left anything out of this very long post...
drop me a note and I'll do my best to answer.

I'm trying to find my notes from this delicious Bourbon Cedar Salmon I made...
if and when I do...you'll be seeing it here!
Until then...keep smiling!



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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Planked Wall Bathroom Makeover


The looooooong awaited day has arrived!
I am finally posting the makeover of the hallway bathroom.
Yes, I bought the paint almost 2 years ago...
I was reminded of this fact when I was looking back at this post today.
Judge all you want, it was worth the wait!

My house is never going to be a cottage, I get that...
but there's no reason I can't make it feel like one.


Back in MAY...yes, May...
I posted this picture on my Facebook page.
At this point I couldn't really change my mind...
since I'd just pulled a chunk of plaster out of the wall.
Ooops.


I realized I had so many pictures of the process,
that I decided to break this down into 2 separate posts.
I'm going to show you all the pretty stuff today...
then I'll do a process post with all the behind the scenes stuff later.

This is what we started with...
totally boring...plain.



Be warned...there are lots of pictures.
We'll start with a few before and afters:




And now...just the glorious afters:


I  LoOoOoOove this forged iron hook I found on Etsy for the TP.
It's like the perfect finishing touch.


This funkily angled wall made things fun.
Not.


I really like the contrast of the warm, dark brown
on top with the creamy planks on the bottom.
Like chocolate sauce on vanilla ice cream.


Trim details in the corners add interest and hide seams.


I found the TP hook to match these other forged hooks
I picked up at an arts fair a couple years ago.
They're not exact, but once I spray painted them
all the same color, you really can't tell.



I'm always a little amazed at how something as simple as a
plain wood frame can totally change the look of a basic mirror.


And the power of paint NEVER ceases to amaze...
this vanity was transformed with paint alone.
Knobs and faucets don't count. :)



I know DRAB to FAB is a bit cliche but it completely works for me in this powder room.




When I first laid out the plans for this bathroom,
my husband did this one eyebrow up thing and just said...
Are you sure?
:)
Of course I am (almost positively sure)!

Now, he thinks it's as awesome as I do.
He can't wait to show people when they come over.
How about you?

Stay tuned...
I promised I would do a behind the scenes
with some of the details...and I certainly will.
Update: click here for the behind the scenes post.
Until then...remember:
That if the shoe were on the other foot, you would probably walk funny.


P.S. depending on what computer I view this on...
some of these pictures look kinda funky.
Hopefully it's just me.
:)


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Friday, July 25, 2014

Moonlighting


Howdy, howdy!
I've decided to start a new random series...
Moonlighting
No, Bruce Willis will not be making a guest appearance.
Too bad, huh?

I haven't had as much time as I'd like to work on projects...
or brain power to come up with new and fun ideas.
But I miss you guys and thought it might be fun to just share
some randomness and things I'm loving at the moment.
Maybe Most likely even some silliness.
This definitely falls under the "things in life that make me happy" heading.

Without further ado, on with the first installment:

*****

In my office at work, there is a chalkboard.
Once upon a time it was a white board.
No one ever used it...so I painted it with chalkboard paint and
now I have fun bringing a little happiness to our sometimes dreary days.


This is how it looks for the summer.
:)

*****

What I'm reading...



The 23rd alphabet mystery from Sue Grafton...W is for Wasted.
I've enjoyed sleuthing with Kinsey over the years.
Sometimes she irritates me, but I like her.
This book has been very engaging, with good character development.
I love when a book is a good read, continually moving and not necessarily easy,
but smooth reading, while still having extensive use of vocabulary.
I love words you can sink your teeth in to!

*****
Okay, how did I not know this existed?

EZ-Freeze Cereal on the Go



A freezable gel container to keep your milk
cold so you can eat cereal at your desk?
Yes, please!



Look! It even comes with its own folding spoon!
Not that I'd use it.
My family, and several others, tease me
because I don't like to eat with plastic utensils.
I've even been called a princess because of this preference.
Hrmph.

My husband thinks it's funny to quote this line:
I'm not a policeman, I'm a princess!
{Name that movie!}

*****

Sara asked for one of these for her birthday.
I had a coupon and a gift card so it was a done deal.



We've been enjoying lots of fruit smoothies thanks to her birthday gift.
Bonus: she has so much fun using it, she always offers to make them!

*****

Speaking of Sara...
We've been having a lot of fun this summer checking
out some of the 4-wheel-drive trails in Colorado.


See what a nice mom I am?
I even let her drive my Jeep.
:)

*****

I was hoping to get the post up for the hall bathroom makeover this week.
Alas, it was not to be.

We've been out of state with a family emergency for almost 2 weeks,
and when I went to edit my before and afters...
I realized I had quite a few in-betweens, too.
So...I'll be working on those pictures this weekend so I
can finally share my awesome new bathroom with you!


Here's a hint..and a sneak peek...we planked the walls.
I love it!

Make sure you come back and check it out!!!!

Until then...


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