Potted Plants for a Steal & a Mirror Makeover

    I just bought both these garden pots from Anthropologie this weekend.  The large one is $18 and the small one is $14.   Honestly, in person, these garden pots look like they would be worth triple the price.   I highly recommend them!

    One of our new favorite things to do is go to Home Depot on the weekends.  When did we become these people? Its so much fun though!  We went today and bought some plants to fill these beauties.   I also picked up more paint to redo an antique mirror in our bedroom that will (somewhat) match these pots. Oh and, I purchased a $4 terra-cotta pot that will hold that tall Jurassic Park looking plant.  Maybe it’ll go in the living room? Not sure yet, but I do love crafting on the weekends!
    To see how I made the chalk paint, visit this post.
     Currently our bedroom is all white. White walls / white bedding / white furniture. I can’t handle it.   We are just renting for now, so we don’t want to paint the walls.  Its been interesting trying to come up with ways to make the house our own without doing serious changes that we wish we could if we owned it the home.

    I think the mirror and the planter turned out great! Although the color was much brighter than I was expecting, I still really like it.   I chose Behr’s “Botanical Tint.” 
    The plants look ahhh-mazing in these pots!  My handy man husband drilled holes into the bottom of the pots so that the water would drain.  (I’m going to buy a little plastic tray to set them on and catch the water)  Never even thought that we needed to do that, though! Apparently he’s killed a plant or two before.  Hopefully these will stay alive for a while. 😉

    The next project on my list is to tackle the massive and dated dresser in our master bedroom.  
    I grabbed some paint swatches for the dresser and I’m thinking grey with white handles like this one that I found on pinterest will look best. 
    For now, I’m just waiting on the rainy weather to let up and I’ll get this thing painted!
    Hope everyone is having a fun and productive Monday! 

    Blue Cheese Chicken & Noodles

    This may just be my favorite thing to cook lately.   The first time I tried it I thought “did I really make this in my own kitchen?!” Kid you not, it tastes like its from a fancy restaurant.  If you love blue cheese, then you are going to love this yummy dinner.  
    You can serve the sauce alone, or over pasta.  Unfortunately, I love carbs, so I added the noodles.   The recipe will feed two really hungry people with maybe leftovers for one. So if you’ve got more to feed, I suggest you double it. 
    • 3 chicken breasts
      • I used chicken tenders because I already had them on hand. 
    • 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
    • 1/3 cup white wine
      • Be sure to sip on a glass while you’re cooking! 
    • 2/3 cup crumbled blue cheese (4 oz) 
      • or more to your taste…you know, whatever floats your boat
    • 3/4 cup heavy cream
    • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley 
    • 2-3 cups of smaller noodles. Orzo or Farfalline work great. 
    • Preheat oven to 375
    • If using chicken breasts, slice them lengthwise so that you create two from the original breast.  They are thinner this way and cook quicker. 
    • In an OVENPROOF saucepan, bring olive oil to medium heat and cook the chicken about 2-3 minutes on each side. 
    • Once the chicken is seared (a little golden brown on both sides, doesn’t have to be cooked through, yet), add the white wine and turn the heat to low. 
    • Simmer the chicken in the wine for 8-10 minutes until the wine is reduced by half. 
    • While doing all of this … don’t forget to boil your noodles! 

    •  Add the cheese, heavy cream, and the parsley.

    • For just another minute, simmer it all together. Then pop the whole thing in the oven for 15 minutes. The sauce will thicken to a delicious consistency! 

    Ta da! Blue Cheese Chicken and Noodles.  I paired ours with frozen green beans from Trader Joe’s.  They taste really fresh and take only about 5 minutes in the microwave.  Easy peasy. 

    original recipe here 

    A Day At The Brewery

    What a busy, fun, and jam packed weekend that we are getting over.   My husband’s good friend came in town to visit us and being new to Houston ourselves,  showing him around was kind of like “showing us around” too.   We spent Saturday trying delicious craft beers at St. Arnold Brewery.  

    If you are ever in Houston, and would like this sort of thing, you can’t miss St. Arnold’s!  It is the deal of a lifetime.  For $8 you get a souvenir tasting glass to try four beers of your choice.  The small entrance fee also includes a half hour tour of the facility and as much time as you’d care to spend in their “great hall.”

     We were lucky enough to have our tour led by the actual founder of this fine establishment and creator of delicious beers.   It was really interesting to hear how he started brewing beers in his dorm room and today they are sold in bars and grocery stores all over Texas. 

    My favorite beer was the Weedwacker.  🙂

    To make a day at St. Arnold’s complete, one must bring a lot a lot of cheese!

    Also, board games seemed to be a popular thing to do while you’re tasting.  Jenna brought this fun little game, that I couldn’t even tell you what it was called, but it entertained us for quite some time.

    We’ve been living in Houston just a little over two months now and we are having so much fun exploring the city and trying new things every weekend.   Once I get my Houston “bucket list” complete, I will definitely share it with you all.

    Hope everyone is having a happy Monday! 

    Spring Dreaming

    It may not be the warmest of temperatures outside, but I think that my closet is about to get a whole lot warmer.   Check out these beautiful frocks that just came out at Anthropologie.    They have me itching to go outdoors and enjoy some warm sunshine.  

    I love that all of these dresses have a sort of wild and fun print going on.  They each can be dressed down for the day and up for a night out. 
    It may not even be the first of February, but I’m oh so ready for Spring!  

    Using Chalk Paint: Old to New Again

    I’ve inherited a few pieces of unique antique furniture from my grandmother that didn’t quite look right in our home, but yet I loved these pieces anyway.   After doing a little digging into furniture restorations, I discovered how easy it was to paint furniture with chalk paint.   By the way, chalk paint is in no way related to chalkboard paint…. I didn’t know either.
    The most popular form of chalk paint is the Annie Sloan paint.   I think its around $35 for a quart or something like that.  Plus, you either have to order it online or find a special retailer who carries it.   I didn’t have the time or patience for either, so I did some research and discovered it is SUPER EASY AND CHEAP to make your own.  Here is how: 
    For enough paint needed to cover a small piece of furniture (like the one below) you will need
    1/3 cup of Plaster of Paris
    1/3 cup of Water
    1 cup of Paint 
    Stir Stick
    Mixing Bucket
    *I used a spray polyurethane to finish the piece off and give it a glossy finish. 
    Also, a sample of Valspar Paint at Lowe’s is just 0.5 oz less than a cup, this size worked perfectly and was less than $3! The color that I used was Valspar’s Homestead Resort Jefferson White.
    Here is the piece that I refinished. 
    This tier table was my grandparent’s and they have probably had it since … goodness… 1930 maybe.   According to my mom, it has always been in their home.   My grandmother liked to have her houseplants sit on this table so it endured quite a bit of water damage over the years.  It was definitely time to update this little table! 

    I taped up the metal feet in order to keep the paint off.  I thought having the silver show would add a fun touch to the finished piece.
    Here goes nothing! 
    Even my sweet golden, Lily, got in on the fun. 

    Alas, the first coat of paint was successfully applied and then a bird pooped right smack dab on the center of the table!

    No worries, it came off super easy and just in case, I repainted the entire top section one more time.  

    The paint dried really fast so it only took about twenty minutes or so of waiting in between coats.   I probably could have gotten away with just one coat of paint on this, but due to the large amount of water damage it needed two.

    Once the paint was dry, I sprayed the poly on.  Polyurethane helps to lock in the paint and also gives it that glossy look that a finished piece of furniture has.   The poly dried in less than an hour so it was time to bring the updated tier table back inside the house.

    I’m pretty please with how it turned out, and it took only about three hours to do the whole thing, from start to finish.  
    I may have created a monster, because I’m itching to go out and get some more paint and have at it on some other pieces in my home.  

    Weekend in New Orleans: Part 3

    This really will be my last post about New Orleans.  I just happened to take lots and lots of pictures. 
    Our last day of our mini-vacation and my number one wish was that we would have beignets at Cafe du Monde.  

    My wish was granted, but we were a bit surprised when we were greeted by this rather long line. 

    However, there was plenty to see across the street to keep our minds occupied.
    And we made it! 

    The beignets and coffee were heavenly, and well worth the wait. 
    It was ridiculously bright out that day.  Luckily there was an Urban Outfitters right on Decauter Street.  I treated myself to a new hat and sunglasses.   It was my birthday weekend, after all.
    Upon more exploring of the French Quarter, I stumbled upon these amazing plantation shutters. I am now obsessed with the idea of having teal plantation shutters on my home one day.  Thank you New Orleans. 
    It is fitting that this was the last picture I snapped during our weekend getaway.   We could have stayed on that street corner all day listening to this talented women belt out those tunes. 
    Hope you all enjoyed following our trip!