Sunday, September 21, 2014

For the Soul Sundays

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Trash to Treasure: New Life to Old Lamps

I have been looking for a set of lams for my family room. I live in a tri-level home so the family room downstairs can be a little dark despite having two big windows and recessed lights. I wanted something cottage-y, distressed or patina-like. I saw some awesome lamps at Target (my absolutely FAVORITE store I can't live without) but they were $49.99 a piece. For a frugal girl like me that is too much for a lamp. However, I must confess that one day I even put them in my cart when my mind told me "go ahead", but then my heart told me the price was outrageous and I decided to follow my heart (I needed two ;-) way! EVAH)
So off the the Goodwill I went. I found these pair of matching lamps for $12.99 and I though they could be saved:

They needed some work but overall were in good shape. They even came with the lampshades that are no that bad, I might use them for further projects. They were just not what I wanted for my family room.

First, I cleaned them very well with water and soap and let them dry. Then I applied two coats of Rustoleum Spray Primer. 

Then I applied two coats of Rustoleum "Slate Blue" it is a gorgeous color!

Even though the color was beautiful it wasn't what I had in mind and I wanted to do sort of a glaze to antique them a little. So I used some leftover Americana glaze in dark walnut.

I applied it with a cloth and then I wiped it down with a damp cloth. A little goes a long way!
Here you have them with and without the glaze:

After I wiped off the excess glaze, I applied a coat of Annie Sloan's clear wax (my all time FAV)

Then I found some shades at...yes, you got it! TARGET on CLEARANCE for 13 dollars that still fit what I wanted. 
So here they are now:

Must reads on the table" Stand a Little Taller" by Gordon B Hinckley that my grandma Lu gave me once for Christmas and "Your Happily Ever After" by Dieter F. Uchdorf

I LOVE the extra shine  and protection that the wax gives them!

Now they fit perfectly in my family room for only $26 dollars! 

Pillow covers are from another FAV store: H&M!, throw and frames from TJMaxx, table is hand me down from my in-laws and painted, basket is from JCPenney outlet

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Easy Arroz con Pollo

Today I will share with you a classic in Hispanic food, Arroz con Pollo. It is such a simple, healthy and tasty dish that your family will be begging for seconds.


  • Slices of turkey bacon (you can use any kind of bacon, we try to eat healthier so we use the turkey kind)
  • 6 to 8 chicken thighs, depending on the size of your family
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut 
  • 2 cups of brown rice (uncooked) note: instant brown rice will get really mushy.
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 pepper, chopped
  • 1 can of chicken broth + 1/4 cup
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Fresh parsley
First, season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Then put some oil in a skillet and cook the bacon, set aside. Add the chicken to the skillet (add more oil if you need to), brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side.

Take the chicken out of the skillet, add a little bit more oil and add the carrots, onion, pepper, garlic and rice and cook a little bit. Add the chicken broth, cumin, oregano and some salt and pepper. Cook until it boils.

Transfer the rice into a greased 9 x 13 dish. Add the chicken on top.

Cover with aluminum foil and cook in a 375 degree oven for about an hour. Then, take the aluminum foil off, sprinkle cheese and put back into oven for 5 minutes. Take it out of the oven and add bacon and parsley on top.

The chicken turns out very moist and very flavorful. You can try it with chicken breasts but the result is not the same and the meat is a little dry. Great dish!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Affordable Makeover for Kitchen Counters

My family and I have been updating our home in the past couple of years. We like to DIY as much as we can. The list is endless but at the same time is fun to do things together. I love doing projects myself and learn in the process. We updated our oak kitchen cabinets this past March and we loved them! I posted a tutorial in how we painted them...still looking fab! I know I owe you the full reveal. There are some people that have written me asking me for the reveal...well, it is not done for the full reveal yet (especially since we are just coming our of summer...we do not do many home improvements in summer!) However, today I will show you what we did to improve our kitchen counters.
We had the basic, laminate counters and did not want to replace them just yet. We wanted to keep the budget as little as possible since we have bigger projects for the house to finish (like finishing the basement...). They were also VERY stained and they looked really bad!
I know some of you are familiar with this product, it is called Giani Granite.

Giani Granite Home

Sample image

No, this is NOT a sponsored post.
They sell painting kits for countertops and cabinets. Let me tell you, this product is AM-A-ZING!!!
This is how my countertops looked like:

Here are the steps:
First, you have to clean them up really well using Brillo cleaner, wipe and let dry.
Second, you have to apply the primer. It is very thick. They even give you the roller to use. Let me the "drying" part is the most difficult of the steps! LOL!

Then, using the sponge that comes with the kit, put the base paint on a paper plate and tap the sponge into the paint and then into the counter. Keep tapping and tapping to form a pattern. Let dry. You do the same with each color, usually the kit comes with three. 

The key is first playing a little bit on a piece of paper (that comes with the kit as well) so you know what pattern you like. Granite has asymmetrical patterns so really you cannot mess it up. Also, if you do not like a pattern you can let it dry and keep applying different colors, always in a tapping motion and always do it in sections.
After it is all dry, you apply the topcoat which is what really makes this over the top (no pun intended!) It gives the countertops an awesome shine just like granite. And it makes it super durable. You have to let it cure for 24 hours after that and it cures completely in 14 days. It only cost me $80 to update the countertops and I added extra life to them so they can wait for replacement!

My kit was the "Sicilian Sand."

Let's do a "before and after," shall we?

Night and day difference you guys! And they are super easy to clean as well! All for less then $100! Can't beat that!

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