Friday, May 24, 2013

Please, stare at my chest!

In January I purchased an unpainted chest of drawers from Ikea.  It's size was perfect to use for a multitude of purposes - side table, entryway table for a small apartment, sock drawers in a closet - and so I brought it home.  I then left it in the box by the front door for four months.  Oops.

Well it is not in the box anymore, baby!  And I am ecstatic with the results!

I painted the sides and top with a high-gloss paint, and painted the knobs with a metallic spray paint.  I love the way the metallic spray applied to the wooden knobs so that you can still clearly see the grain of the wood.

As for the drawer faces, the butterflies came from an inexpensive poster - another score from Ikea.  I decoupaged them to the front of the drawers, then painted a layer of hard coat Mod Podge to the front to seal it, knowing that my hands would often be on the fronts.  

I also Mod Podged a matching letter holder.  One slot for "to-do," one slot "to-file."

And I am never afraid of adding a bit of glamour in unexpected places.  A crystal bowl to hold my keys?  Sure!  

xo Allison

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Hot Springs

Last weekend Jesse and I went to Hot Springs, Arkansas to celebrate the end of a college semester and, of course, our anniversary. Historic Downtown Hot Springs was such a charming lovely little place to be and we were lucky enough to stay in a Fancy-Smancy old hotel right in the heart of it all on Bath House Row (Thanks Groupon!). The glory days of Hot Springs hit its peak in the 1920s-1940s... and that spirit of a much simpler, yet glamorous time in history still lingers around and especially inside of our hotel.

Here are some pictures from our adventures:
just steps away from the front doors of our hotel, a view of the historic downtown area.
So many bathhouses, such little time! (we didn't have time to experience any spa treatments)
This was my favorite bathhouse.
 The doors in this area have so much character!! Can I take this home with me?
The side of our hotel where the sign was.
The Arlington Hotel was where we stayed for the weekend. Also, one of the coolest hotels I have ever stayed in.
There was a lot of originality and classic features in our hotel, including the elevator dials!
We stayed on the 6th floor in room 630. It was small, but back then people didn't require much space. Many original features were kept in the room, including glass knobs and marble floors.
Inside of the lobby was this fountain for the natural spring mineral water.
Al Capone would rent out the entire 4th floor when he stayed at the hotel, they now have a suite dedicated to him and somewhere in the hotel there is a secret tunnel that leads over to the bar/casino on the other side of the street, as well as the underground bowling alley (We learned about this when we went through the Gangster Museum)
The left and right sides of the hotel lobby had alcoves with bright and colorful matching murals painted in them. One side was the bar area, the other side was a stage where the band would play all night! The music filled the hallways, each night was a party!
The hotel was dripping in antiques and character, even the bathroom donned little treasures and lots of detail.... I want this marble honeycomb tile!!
So, there was a sitting room in the bathroom... decorative sconces, mirrors, molding and arches. The low lighting everywhere made things seems a little more sexier too!
Allison, i know this picture doesn't do this wallpaper justice but it was EVOO!! The entire women's restroom was EVOO wallpaper!!! It was just fabulous and bold and vintage and lovely.... then adding this strange texture really gave it a luxurious feel!
 These cupcakes were delish! (and these ladies will be on Cupcake Wars on June 16th!... making this the second Cupcake Wars cupcake shop I have eaten at.)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Gimme Some Lentils, Please!!!

Well after all that hot weather we had, soup was far from my mind, but now that it has cooled down some I decided it was time use up some of the lentil mix sitting in my fridge. So, I first "googled" and searched images of lentil soups, when I found a picture I thought looked appetizing I then looked to see how complicated the recipe was. (I wasn't feeling fancy, so I didn't want anything too complicated lol) I finally landed upon not only a delicious looking picture but an interesting twist that none of the other recipes said to do, BLEND! That was it, I was in. So the mission began...Actually Make Lentil Soup.

For the original recipe "Hearty Vegetarian Lentil Soup" from Simply Scratch's Blog click HERE.

I did make it my own and used this recipe only as a guide, I also made a double batch and omitted the tomatoes.

Check it out:
 Here are pretty much all the ingredients I used. NOTE: for the vegetable broth I use Better than Bouillon vegetable base, IT is simply the best! They make vegetable, chicken, and beef base.
Dice those bad boys up.
Heat up some olive oil and add veggies and let them "sweat"
While veggies are sweating rinse lentils.
I like to mix all my seasonings together in a bowl first and then toss them into my cooking. I changed up some of the seasonings adding ginger, curry, and garlic powder (I didn't have any fresh ginger )
I cooked it as directed and then I made up some extra lentils to blend and add into the full soup. 

We bought some french bread for dipping and a couple sprigs of rosemary from the garden for garnish! It turned out soooo good and both kids eat it too :)

Til Next week

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tuesday Update

Hello Friends!

I wanted to check in with you, although I do not have a specific project to show you or to post on, and just let you know what I have been up to.  I have been keeping busy - the kind of busy that I don't really have anything to show for yet - but things will be coming together soon.

As you read yesterday, my/our good friend Mandy graduated from college this past weekend, and I have a couple of gifts almost finished for her. I am so proud of her!  What an accomplishment and what an inspiration! Yay, Mandy!  I should know myself by now - projects in my head take way longer for my hands to complete!  I will be sure to post pictures after I give them to her.

The other event that I have been spending time on is the end of the year banquet for the high school's robotic's team.  They usually have pizza in a room at the school, but this year we decided to do it up right and have it at the country club.  The students are so excited! They have to dress up - girls in dresses or nice pants and tops and the guys in a shirt and tie.  I worked out the room, set up, helped with the awards and other little items with the teacher and after meeting with her today at lunch, will be typing up the program.  I want to make it look nice - put some of the team's color ribbon through the top - and put one at each place setting.  Again - no photo to post at this time - but will share later.
We all will be attending as Eric was the VP this past year, Ellen was in charge of marketing, and Bruce helps as a mentor for the electrical/building of the robot and I am mentor for marketing. 

I do apologize for the wordy, boring post, but I did want to let you know that even though one gets busy with life crafting always seems to be a part of it, thank goodness.  It adds the little touches to events and helps makes those special gifts you can't find in the stores that express how you feel.

I hope my life always includes crafting and some good friends - two of my most favorite things.

Hope your week is happy.

Prayers to Oklahoma.



Monday, May 20, 2013

This Last Week

Its Monday again!! And I must admit that I am thrilled that this past weekend is over. It was definitely one of the busiest, most hectic weeks of my life. Why, you might ask? Well let’s just say that I ate my way through the weekend!
Last week was my honey and mine’s one year. On Wednesday we cooked a fabulous dinner together, King Crab, filet, and Caesar salad. We both agreed that after a whole year of cooking together we have definitely improved our skills in the kitchen and we work very well together. It was wonderful, and he even topped it off by buying me a beautiful full dozen red roses.

Thursday was his dinner work party and we went to Shoguns for the evening. That night we had lobster, shrimp AND filet. In case you haven’t been there, Shoguns is a restaurant where they cook the food right in front of you, so its like dinner and a show all in one! His co-workers are so amazing and so friendly. Every time we get together with them, I like them more and more.
Friday night was one of my very best friends, Ian’s graduation party. He also went to SDSU with me, and he was the first of us to walk. I can’t believe that we are both done with College now and that we have our degrees! I will always remember that Ian and I took geo-science together. We’d go to class, stay for 5 minutes and then go to get lunch together. He was definitely a bad influence and that class ended up being the only D I ever got in the history of my education. Luckily, it was a general-ed course and a D is passing!!
Saturday was David’s 29th birthday. Wait, did you say 29!?! Yes, 29 he is. David is 6 years older than me and I absolutely love our age difference. I wouldn’t want it any other way. We got together with one other couple, and we took the bus out to Barona. It sounds lame, but we had a fabulous time! We had drinks before hand, and got dropped off at the bus stop and went and played Blackjack pretty much the whole night long. It was 3 in the morning when we go home. And the birthday boy won big! Over $350 dollars! I was so thrilled for him. He definitely deserved it on his special day. Happy Birthday baby!!

Sunday was MY special day! I graduated with a BA in History from San Diego State University yesterday, and it was unreal. When they started playing the graduation song, and I walked through the doors, I was so overwhelmed with emotions that I almost started to cry! I completely surprised myself. I think I was overcome with the realization that I finished college. When I looked up in the stands, I saw all my friends, family and loved ones standing in the crowed yelling and cheering for me. The feelings were incredible.

My parents had a post-grad party and David surprised me with ANOTHER dozen roses. All of my family was there to support me, along with friends and we had a wonderful time. I couldn’t be any happier of where I am in my life right now. I feel so blessed and so fortunate to be where I am today.

To conclude, and top it ALL off, I have one more incredible thing ahead of me. Exactly one week from today, David and I will be on our cruise ship to paradise, Oops! I mean the Bahamas, for a one year, birthday, graduation Vacation!! I absolutely cannot wait. This week I will be shopping, packing and anxiously awaiting my dream destination vacation.

Have a wonderful week!




(My second set of dozen roses from the week, Such a spoiled girl!! I deserve only the best) :D

Friday, May 17, 2013

Just wine-ing

I have recently taken up a new hobby of serious wine tasting.  To be honest, it started as a bad habit of downing a bottle of wine a night after work... hey, I would split it with my boyfriend at least!  But it quickly became a fun event that we both looked forward to as we started drinking a different brand each time to compare and choose our favorites.  In order to remember which wines we loved and which we want to avoid ever purchasing again, we have started a wine journal!

I built the journal accordion-style, putting pockets on each page.  This way, we can write or type the information on cards, and sort the cards by wine type. 

So far, our favorites are all pink!  Yup, I taught the manly man to enjoy a nice, cold glass of white zinfandel, just like my grandmother taught me.

Bonus: journaling is a terrific justification to feed your vices ;)

xo Allison

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Tiny Updates

Out with the silver, in with the oil rubbed bronze! Last weekend I updated all of the door handles in my house. Seems like an easy task, and it was, but I don't think you realize how many knobs you have until you go around unscrewing, priming, painting them and replacing. 22 doors and 44 knobs, later I have bronze colored handles! It was easy peasy, just time consuming!! onto my ugly UGLY silver lights in the hallway, maybe I will like them if they match the knobs.... Maybe... 



 So I am sooo excited to share...radishes were ready to pick!! We had a nice little bunch and they were pretty taste-y, not to mention a nice little kick at the end, true radish style.

This is what they  looked like before picking

Look at the beautiful bunch

Clean trimmed and ready to eat.

Here is an up date on the cucumbers(the left side and center) and watermelon(right side). (and the lettuce that somehow snuck in...)
I had been needing to transplant the darn thing but hadn't had time to go get a new pot. So I finally got one they are in their new home now.

Happy Wednesday!!!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Hand Made Mother's Day

This Mother's Day my twins surprised me with my favorite things - hand made cards!

They asked my husband to take them to Michael's and they picked out their paper, letters, ribbon and flowers and spent some time working together at the kitchen table creating.  I left the house when they left for the store - but I so would have loved to have seen then working at the table and listening to their conversation.  They are 17 years old and are truly the best of friends.  It warms my heart to see the bond between them and hope they remain as close as they are forever.

When Mother's Day arrived I could tell they were anxious to give me their cards.  I was so deeply touched that they took the time to make the cards by hand! Their cards were beautiful and what they had written inside was even more special.

Here is Ellen's card:

This is the card Eric made:

I hope they know how much their cards meant to me and that I will keep and treasure them forever.  When I look at them and re-read the thoughtful words inside I will imagine them working at the kitchen table, together, and remember how blessed I was to have been given the gift of  having three wonderful people call me 'mom'.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day!



Thursday, May 9, 2013


Today my high school sweetie and I have been married for 
Happy Anniversary to my hardworking hunny!

"It was a million tiny little things that, when you added them all up,
 they meant we were supposed to be together… and I knew it."
 -Sleepless In Seattle


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

My Girls

I am so excited I get to see two of my girls (Sharon & Allison) who I have not seen in ahwhile...PLUS I get to work with Mandy!!!! It should be a fabulous day. :)

Here's to all my girls

We will be missing you Ashley

Til next week....