Thursday, March 31, 2011

"Things I Know For Sure" Thursday (& Giveaway Winner Announced)

You thought I had forgotten about this series, didn't you? Well, you're right. I kinda did. But today, it's back. And I have a resource to tell you about that many of you will love.

I must admit I didn't have to think a lot about food allergies years ago, but when my niece was just a baby and it was discovered that she was highly allergic to several things, all that changed. She's 5 years old now, and although her allergies aren't considered to be life-threatening anymore (thank the Lord!), she still has to be very cautious about everything she eats.

It seems that more children than ever are facing the challenge of living with food allergies. Those of you who live with children or other family members with food allergies know that it's something you have to be aware of constantly. It can even force you to change your lifestyle--where you shop for groceries, where you eat out, IF you eat out, whether you child can attend certain parties, etc. If there's one thing I know for sure, having food allergies is very serious, but if you're informed & have the right resources, you don't have to live in fear.

I have admired my sister for being very proactive in finding helpful information & recipes to help her daughter & many other parents & children find ways to deal with food allergies & the concerns that come with them. In fact, she writes a blog about this very topic where she shares all her recipes, research & findings. It's called Living the Allergic the Fullest. You can visit her by clicking here.

These Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Muffins are just one example of the great recipes she shares:

Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Muffins {Dairy-, Egg- and Peanut Free}

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour {you can use whole wheat flour here, if you choose}

1 cup oats

1/3 cup sugar

1T baking powder

2T ground flax seed

1T cornstarch {this replaces the egg}

1 heaping Tablespoon of pure cocoa powder

1 cup almond milk {plain for less sugar content}

1/4 cup canola oil

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup vegan chocolate chips

Mix dry ingredients {except choc chips} together in mixing bowl. Mix liquid ingredients in a small bowl and then add them to the dry ingredients. Mix until moist. Fold in vegan chocolate chips. Fill greased muffin tins 3/4 full and bake @ 400 degrees for 12 minutes. Serve warm with Smart Balance Light {dairy-free buttery spread}.

Her blog is a great resource for those of you wanting to know more about allergies & how to deal with them. Is there a child with food allergies in your child's class at school? On this blog, you can find recipes the entire class can enjoy together at the next party. So go visit, learn something new, and be informed. And if you have information share on the subject, it's a great place for that, too!

I'm linking this recipe to a few of these sites.

And now, the winner of the DaySpring Giveaway is:

The Barkers!
(I don't have your email address so be sure to contact me!)

And if you didn't win, don't miss out on your favorite items! Click on the banner below to visit DaySpring & take advantage of the free shipping offer!

Spring and Easter

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My Headboard's Distressed, But I'm Feeling Fine

Were you here for the discussion the other day about Refinisher's Reluctance & how it's sometimes hard to distress furniture once it's painted? (If you missed it, you can read about it here.) As I suspected, I'm not alone in this feeling. Several of you shared your own experiences of how hard it is for you to take your perfect painted finishes & purposefully make them im-perfect.

I couldn't bear to distress my previous headboard because it begged me not to. But my latest one was different. This one insisted on it. It knew it wasn't perfect & wasn't even going to try to pretend otherwise. And so she was an ideal candidate for distressing.

Here's how I found her at an estate sale in Atlanta a few weeks ago (yes, I've even started going to estate sales when I'm out of town if the opportunity arises):

I actually like the shade of green she was, but it looked as though she'd been left out in a garage or storage shed because she was pretty dirty & even had a little mildew.

My brother-in-law, a wood-working guru, suggested I use this:

You just mix a little with water, following the instructions on the packaging. Then, scrub down your piece with a brush. You will need to take precaution & use gloves, etc., but the results are great!

After my headboard dried out well, I brushed on a couple coats of Sherwin Williams' Quicksilver (the same paint I used for this project).

Then, it was time for the distressing. I should mention that if I had taken the time to thoroughly sand & smooth down this piece, the weathered finish wouldn't have been so necessary. But, I didn't and so it was. (See how the original layers of painted brushstrokes show thru?)

I started out with a coat of gray glaze by mixing the glazing medium with some plain 'ol gray craft paint. Yes, you can do this. The amount of paint required is so insignificant, it's not necessary to use a high-quality paint for this step.

I just brushed it on liberally & then wiped off what I wanted to remove...

After that was dry, I just sanded the edges & the original green paint showed through beautifully in some areas.

That was it!

I think she likes her little makeover. If I were keeping her, I'm thinking I might've liked to stencil on a little French something-or-other, maybe even add something like this image I found for sale on etsy:

Wouldn't that be adorable? You can find this digital image & other great ones like it for sale here.

Meanwhile, if this doesn't sell soon, I may just talk my self into adding the crown.

Sharing this makeover with a few of these sites.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bird Watching {For Real}

There's been a lot of drama around here lately. No, it's not because I have 3 girls. Recently, it's been due to our new family project of bird watching. I know. It sounds wildly exciting. But, really--you'd be surprised.

I should start at the beginning. Before we moved to this house, we really didn't think much about birds--unless you count the fact that we did have the largest bird nest known to man in our attic at one point, but that's a whole other story. But, when we moved into this house, we were amazed at the types of birds we were seeing in our yard all the time. And so, last year, we decided to put out a bird feeder and try to invite more & get a better look.

Then, we bought bird books and better binoculars so we could actually identify them. My husband started researching how to make birdhouses to attract specific species of birds. And before I knew it, we became real live bird watchers. Even Lola can already spot an American Goldfinch & tell you the difference between a male & female Cardinal.

And I guess I should also mention my little bird feeder project. This Spring we wanted to add another feeder, so I went as far as to make a really cute one for our deck. Lily & I spent one afternoon dismantling a little "bird gazebo" from Hobby Lobby & using the parts to combine with a liter water bottle to create just the look we wanted.

Cute, huh?

The only problem was, it turned out to be one of those less-than-perfect projects and the next morning, here's what I found:

And that is why you never saw a tutorial on the project.

So, we opted to go with this cute store-bought version & the birds have been loving it.

We re-filled our other feeder as well, & now it's like Bird Central Station around here. They literally ate up all the seed in this feeder in one day.

We've got birds galore.

But, there has been a little trouble in Bird Paradise. Apparently, the squirrels got the memo as well that we've been putting out the bird seed buffet & yesterday, I heard screams coming from my kids as we walked into the house. I only wish I had a picture to share, but all I saw was a contorted squirrel who was hanging by one foot off the edge of the deck as he stretched his acrobatic self across to the dangling bird feeder. I was actually so impressed that it took me a minute to remember to scare him off.

And now my husband, because of his devotion to our feathered friends, has assumed his Squirrel Terminator role & has informed me that he has left the BB gun loaded and ready for me to take action from the perfect stake-out position at laundry room window. As if.

But, wait--there's more. As I was inside the house yesterday, I received a call from my husband who was outside the house, telling me in an exasperated voice that I need to "get out here & see this". From his tone, I could tell he wasn't looking at a new rare species of bird at the feeders. And when I arrived, I found him less-than-thrilled about the fact that along with all the beautiful birds who have stopped by for a visit lately, we have been also been visited by a woodpecker, who has decided to leave his mark on one of our posts under the deck.

Oh, the irony. Note the position of the bird feeder dangling just a few feet above the said damage. I have no idea if the woodpecker was attracted by the bird seed or not. Any woodpecker experts out there?

Whatever the case, my husband is now on a new mission to find a way to deter the woodpeckers without scaring off the other birds.

Meanwhile, I'm just hoping this bird watching hobby hasn't gotten us in over our heads. I'll keep you posted!

Have you entered my DaySpring Giveaway yet? Time's almost up! Click here before you miss out.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Something to Be Glad About: {Giveaway Day!}

Happy Sunday, everyone!

This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 118:24

...A friend of mine reminded me of this verse this morning at church as I was complaining about the freezing cold Spring weather we're having. Oops! Hope you're doing a better job than I am of being glad, but either way, this should help you out:

I've got a great giveaway today from one of our favorites! You're going to love this!

DaySpring has offered to give one of my wonderful readers a $35 credit to their online shop. You may know them for their huge variety of Christian cards & books, but they also have a great variety of home decor & gifts!

Look at this stuff! This would be great for your Easter table...and right now it's on sale for only 19.99!...

I love this canvas! (You're thinking of a great place to put this right now, aren't you?)...

And the dish collections are almost too pretty to use! But then again, nothing's too good for your family, right?...

Find more great Spring things by clicking here:

Spring and Easter

And if it's jewelry you love, they have that, too!

With their great selection of beautiful jewelry, you'll have no trouble finding gifts for girls of all ages!

Shop Christian Jewelry from DaySpring

There are so may great things to choose from! And right right now, DaySpring is offering Free Shipping on any U.S. order of $50 or more!

To enter the giveaway, just visit the DaySpring site & see all their great items, then come back & leave a comment, telling me what you'd choose if you won.

The giveaway will close at 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday night (3/30), and a random winner will be announced on Thursday.

Thanks for stopping by... And don't forget to be glad!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Have a Special Event Coming Up? Don't Miss This!

You all know that from time to time I introduce you to companies that I love or believe that could be great resources for you all. Here's one I think you'll really like:

It's Spring! And with this new season, lots of special events happen from birthdays to graduations to engagements to weddings and anniversaries! Wouldn't it be great to find ways to celebrate all of these important milestones in a fun and classy way and stay within your budget? Well, now you can!! Let me introduce you Classy Correspondence, a printing company for all your announcement & stationery needs with the lowest prices in the business!

Classy Correspondence offers the most affordable AND classy accessories and stationery for every budget! They have the latest designs and color schemes available for all your special event needs. With 24-hour customer service and a quick 3 day turnaround time, organizing your special event will be a piece of cake!

Here are just a few of the thousands of products you will find on their website!

Birth Announcements

Anniversary Celebrations

Graduation Announcements

They currently have an online special of 5% off Internet-Only Ensembles, Engagement & Bridal Shower products.
And if you don't see something specific you are looking for, they also do custom orders! They work with very reputable designers and printers that can produce whatever your heart desires. They also do large banners, canvases of your favorite prints, etc. All at very competitive prices! For these custom order quotes, email them at

Classy Correspondence offers you 24 hour customer service on all products and services listed on the website. For inquiries about products listed on the website, you can call 1-877-290-8487 with ACCESS CODE: CAK76. Or email customer service: regarding online items.

'Like' them on Facebook here.
You can also follow on Twitter