Let There be Light

Praise The Lord and a huge hallelujah!!!!!! My most amazing and handy husband hung all 3 pendant lights and our new chandelier this weekend. And it only took us 4 1/2 yrs to accomplish this, hee hee. What a total transformation! Sometimes we don’t realize how much the little things help to enhance the appearance of a room.

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My last post revealed this photo of the before…….

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And the after…….

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Now I am on the hunt for the perfect mini chandelier shades. Or I may cover/embellish some myself. We shall see.

Kitchen Lighting

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Ok…….so, I have never been a fan of our kitchen lighting. Infact, I remember touring this house almost 5 yrs ago when it was on the market, and thinking, “those light have got go!” While they aren’t terrible, they just are not my taste. Also, the light above the kitchen table isn’t even centered in the room. It’s rather silly! That………and the fact that before any of our furniture arrived from Florida, my husband unwrapped a paper clip and used it to as wire to hold the light up higher so that no one would walk directly into it and slice their head open. And guess what??????? It’s still wrapped up like that. (All 4 1/2 years later!!!!!!!). Oh, the power of a paper clip.

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After much searching, I finally found the perfect pendant lights and ordered them. However, when they arrived they were not oil rubbed bronze at all. Instead, it looked like someone took some brown spray paint and made them a lovely shade of chocolate brown. So back they went!!! UGH!!!! Then I located some alternate ones via Lowes online, placed my order and waited patiently. After a week I received a call informing me that those pendant lights are on ‘indefinite’ back order! What does that mean? Don’t they know how desperate I have gotten about these pendant lights…? Moving on and scouring the internet I ended up on the Wayfair website. Had never been on that site before. What a treat! Loved it and I not only found and ordered 3 pendant lights for our island on their site, but a chandelier to match for over our kitchen table. And the shipping, totally free! All items arrived in a matter of days and I am thrilled with their service. AMEN people!!!!! Can you hear me singing hallelujah? Hoping to have handy hubby instal them this weekend.

Below are the stock photos of the chandelier and pendant lights that we purchased. Cannot wait to get them up………..stay tuned for the final results.

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Easy No-Knead Crusty Bread

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I LOVE to cook, but I don’t bake much. However, I might need to make this lovely bread every week!!!! My daughter found this recipe on Pinterest and has been begging me to buy some rapid rise yeast so that we can try out this fabulous and easy recipe. You can find the recipe here http://www.simplysogood.com/2010/03/crusty-bread.html. She has some wonderful and creative ideas for delicious additions to the bread as well.

The dough, which you make the night before, couldn’t be easier. It rises overnight in a bowl and then you bake it in the morning. Since this was our first go round with the bread the only thing we added was flax seed……..love the crunchiness of it in the bread.

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Panera, watch out………! We’ve got our own crusty round loaf rockin’!!!! People, this is a MUST try! Want to impress some dinner guests, bake this jewel in the morning and serve it up that night with dinner! Think I’ll try adding some Asiago cheese and rosemary to the next loaf.

Charming vintage drop leaf table

Acquired this table through a client who purchased a china cabinet from me. She was moving and getting rid of this solid maple drop leaf table. Now that the craziness of Thanksgiving and Christmas are behind us, I was able to get busy transforming this piece. This is where she began.

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Certainly not awful, but I’m all about the paint. Given the drop leaves, turned legs and character, I decided to keep it simple and went with my favorite creamy white paint (Pot of Cream by Behr). Wiped the table down good with a cleanser and gave it a good coat of primer.

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On went 2 coats of paint, I let that dry good and gave it an elegant and light distressing. Touches of glaze went on over the exposed/distressed areas and I topped it off with 2 coats of clear wax. The final buffed finish of the wax is so perfect for maintaining the vintage appeal.

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Available via Denver Craigslist @ http://denver.craigslist.org/fuo/4284479978.html

10 Bean Soup with Ham (using that big ole’ ham bone)

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What to do with that left over ham bone from Christmas or New Years????? Soups on! I am a soup girl, and I love all types of soups and I love beans. So whenever my wonderful sister brings the ham for a holiday meal, she leaves the bone with me. What a gal! Soup is one of the easiest things to make for meal time. Most often because it allows you to use up leftovers and just sling them into the pot. In this case, I purchased a pound of dried mixed beans from Sprouts (our local farmers market store). Typically, you want to soak dried beans overnight, but time was not on my side. It was noon and I wanted soup and salad for dinner. So, when I got home, I rinsed the beans well and then boiled them in water for 5 min, turned the heat off and let them sit for an hour. After that hour, I cleaned/rinsed the beans multiple times, until the water is clear.

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With the beans in a large stock pot, I filled it half way with water and added half of a carton of Organic Vegetable Broth. In went that beautiful ham bone, a few shakes of Bragg sauce (my fav’, liquid aminos, that tastes better than soy sauce…..a must try), 1 tsp of garlic, plenty of pepper and 2 bay leaves. I brought this to a low boil ad let is cook for an hour, reduced the heat and let it simmer for another hour and a half/2 hrs.

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Then, my wonderful, most beautiful 13 yr old sous chef (my awesome daughter who LOVES to be in the kitchen with me), lovingly peeled and chopped 2 large potatoes, 1/2 of an onion and 1 carrot. We added the onions to the pot right away.

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Let those simmer for about 30 minutes and then added the potatoes and carrots, as I do not want them to turn to mush.

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Once those are cooked to your liking, it’s ready to be devoured. My sous chef, also created an amazing salad to go with the soup and we had some delicious whole wheat french bread. So good on a chilly, snowy day. PS, we love to sprinkle some grated Parmesan cheese on top of the soup. Total comfort food, so yummy!!!!