Saturday, April 2, 2022

Delightful Dill & Cream Cheese Quiche

A whole new world opened up to me when I finally realized after about fifteen years in the kitchen that it wasn't a sin to BUY A PIE CRUST. Now I am a quiche making queen. Well, not really. More like a Nestle Toll House Pie making queen. But this quiche is definitely queen-worthy if I do say so myself.

Dill and Cream Cheese Quiche


pie crust
1/2 brick cream cheese (softened to room temp)
5 eggs (or 6 makes it a little firmer...)
1/2 cup milk
1-2 tablespoons Dill (I used freeze dried from the seasoning isle)
1 teaspoon mustard
salt, pepper, and onion powder to taste
1-2 cups shredded colby jack (or cheese of your choice. I used closer to 2 cups...)
1/2 cup chopped up ham optional (can use ground cooked sausage or bacon)

Line greased glass pie plate with crust.  If you desire meat, I sprinkle that on the bottom next. In mixing bowl, use a hand held mixer to mix cream cheese, eggs, milk, dill, mustard, salt, pepper, and onion powder. Stir in shredded cheese. I set some aside to sprinkle on top before popping it in the oven. Pour over crust and meat. Pop it in the oven at 350 for about 30 minutes or the middle is no longer soupy. Let sit and cool off for 5 minutes before cutting. Bon Appetit! 

Disclaimer! I made this up last week for my Airbnb guests.  I did not measure anything exactly and I made two so our family could also try it! Both my guests and those in my household loved it so I tried to scribble out how I made it on paper quick so I could share it with you all!  One thing about an egg dish is that they are very forgiving. You can change up the cheeses, spices, and meats and make it your own!  The dill and cream cheese is what makes this one have exceptional flavor!  Hope you enjoy!!

Add-in ideas: chopped spinach, diced peppers

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Friday, January 21, 2022

Painting My Living Room Black {room makeover}

A couple weeks ago I got the impulse to paint the light aqua blue walls in my formal living room black. I told my mom to calm down, it would be OKAY. I told my nieces that no, this did not mean they should buy me goth wear for my birthday.

 I do lots of things on impulse. A couple days later I made the big nine mile drive into town, convincing my daughter to go with me, and we spent a whole three minutes pouring over all the paint chips Lowes had to offer before we settled on Corduroy Black by Valspar. I got two gallons in satin, gave my big beautiful blue piano away (replaced with a used Clavinova) and we started painting the next day. 

Tori liked painting the first few hours. But these walls are bears to paint. We're talking grizzly, not cute little smoky mountain black bears. It was obvious when I shared my progress photo why people thought I was painting stripes!  Nope, not stripes. You just have to use a paint brush to paint in ALL. THE. GROOVES. Twice, since one coat didn't quite cover. The thick paneled walls may be pretty but seriouslyyyyyyyyy.

Shall we just skip right to my boat load of "after" photos now?  Yes, let's do that! Now let me just say, when the sun hits this room, it looks a lot more like a deep navy than black. "Corduroy Black" definitely has some blue undertones - which I'm down with. 

Now without too many more comments.... Here we go:

My cats love the new look. So many rooms to hang out and catnap in, but now they won't leave this one. I'm glad they approve. Otherwise, I'd have to paint it another color and that's just a lot of work for a cat like Nelson who never really learned how to show appreciation. 

This feline insisted on licking her behind while I was engaging in this little photo shoot. I kept making weird noises at her so she'd look up from her hygienic activities and not ruin my pictures. 

I was on the hunt for a piece of art to go over the mantle. You know where I found this moody beautiful ship painting? At the Parma Antique Mall, that's where! One mile down the road.

The frame was hand made and had more of a reddish tint to the finish than I preferred. Nothing the Ryobi orbital sander didn't take care in a few minutes!

This beam is a shock to most people. Why? Because it's made out of Styrofoam and we found several of them up in the garage attic when we moved here. The finish was dark and shiny and just really clashed with the black walls.  I never really liked that about it anyway, but my mom thought she could use tan acrylic paint to fix the problem and by George, she did! I wasn't holding my breath and had a wet rag ready to go just in case it looked like crap. It didn't. Way to go, Mom.

I'm not sure why it took me seven years to think of putting shelves over the desk in that corner... nothing every looked right over the computer screen. Shelves - BINGO!

I'm pretty excited this old chair I had matches my new desk so nicely. And the good news is, if you want one, I have one for sale in my booth at Michigan Ave Antiques in Parma! It's a lighter color wood and it would look perfect in your office. Yeah, YOUR office. Trust me.What's that? Ergonomical? Does it matter?

Before you see the next photo, can I just go back seven years when we bought this house and show you what that wall looked like? We built the surround without spending a penny - just digging stuff out of our barn! (See the original post on the DIY fireplace surround HERE.)

My only regret is this rug I ordered. It was half the price of my other option and shipped the next day. Enter my lack of patience and hubby saying why would you buy the more expensive one when this one is fine?? But sometimes you just don't know until you see it! The description said ivory and light gray, but it gives off more of a light blue vibe. Not what I was going for. There's still a chance I can roll it back up and ship it off to Amazon... but my hubby is extremely annoyed at the idea. Eek. And do you have any idea how hard it is to find a pretty 12'x15' rug that I don't have to take out a mortgage on?

I loved my black lantern wall sconces that were here, but obviously that's like using peach colored ink to put a tattoo on a Caucasian. Corduroy black walls begged for gold!

I think this Clavinova was one of the best investments we've made in awhile. My middle child gave up his dream of banging on the drums a few years back and has a newfound interest in playing Snoop Dog on the piano. 

My favorite piece of furniture has got to be this Eastlake dresser. Any guesses where I picked it up? Nope, not a yard sale or on the curb. I actually paid for this beauty - but I'd say it was a great deal at the Parma Antique Mall. Yup, there's that store again....

My coffee table is a bench I actually pulled out of my mudroom. 
It's still filled with hats and mittens. 😂

One last parting shot of my fireplace... because it's my favorite part of the room! My decorating guru friend Maran said I couldn't put two plants on top and two on the bottom... too symmetrical. Now usually, she is the be-all end-all for me when she has a strong opinion. But I added llamas and I think I made it work. When I asked her if the llamas made it okay, her text simply read "hahaha". I have no idea what that means. 

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I'd love to see these photos on your Pinterest boards - biggest compliment I could receive!

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Friday, December 3, 2021

Dixie Belle SILK Paint Review - 3 Projects With One Pint

I have a barn packed with curbside and hand-me down furniture waiting to get new life.
So when Doug from the Parma Antique Mall (who has a large variety of Dixie Belle Mineral Paints and products for sale) asked me if I would try the upgraded SILK line and share the results with you all, I said sure! 
I chose the color BLACK SANDS because years of experience has taught me that neutral colors sell!! I used to paint a piece orange and it would bring in the comments alright but nobody wants an orange end table in their living room. And annoyed me would think "well I know it's wild, but it's SO COOL! Can't ANYONE step away from their monotonous white or black? It's called a conversation piece! Everyone, please stop being so lame!" Well, yeah, I don't really take my own advice.  Neutral furniture abounds in my home.

So Silk boasts that it has a built in primer and top coat.
I learned after my projects that the primer is more for coverage than adhesion.  So a light sanding is recommended.  Or if you hate sanding, you can use a Dixie Belle product called Slick Stick.  Though I haven't tried it yet, you're supposed to be able to paint anything with a "slick" surface after applying it - even glass! So of course, I learn through experience, not research and/or other people's mistakes.  Haha. As far as the coverage goes, if something does happen to bleed through, wait for it to dry (overnight is ideal) and apply a second coat. So let's talk about what worked and what didn't!

First up is this Lane Cedar Chest.

I had already sanded the daylights out of it because I thought I was going to refinish the whole thing.  Then I lost my motivation and there it sat, sanded and sad. And there I sat... waiting for inspiration to hit.
About the same time I got the Black Sands SILK mineral paint... I saw some cool three-tone pieces someone had posted on Instagram. Now I'd been doing lots of TWO tone, but not THREE!

The paint seemed to adhere very well and went on smoothly with it's self-leveling element which helps eliminate any brushstrokes.  I recommend using a Dixie Belle paint brush or similar soft brush. It dries from the top down, so give it time to dry (even if it feels dry) before your second coat or it will mess up the nice finish. It is a thinner paint than chalk paint but covers well. You will need to do a second coat, but that should do it.  I just love how this piece turned out! The off white was something I already had on hand (a mistint) and I used walnut Restor-A-Finish on the wood. And to think I picked up this chest for $5 at a yard sale! :)

This next piece was an antique baker's shelf.  Now this one didn't have quite the outcome I was hoping for, but it's also my fault. It had a shiny wood surface and here's where I decided the built in primer should be good enough and I skipped the sanding. My bad.  Should have researched what other's experiences were! The paint went on well, and I waited to apply the second coat... but even after it dried, the surface still seemed to scratch easily. Remember when I said the primer was more for coverage than adhesion?  Well here we go. I figured if I let it sit a few weeks it would be fine (30 days cure time is ideal for any paint) but time didn't seem to ease my debacle and I had a barn sale coming up that I wanted to sell this at!  I went the polyurethane route, and sealed it all up. I'm just gonna say here and now I hate polyurethane. Just like labor unions, it's often a necessary evil. ;) So while the color suited this piece extraordinarily well, I... you know....  poly..... 

But shucks, look how charming this turned out?
I heart it. (Does anyone even say that anymore?)

If you're curious about the French graphic I put on the wood front, check out how to easily do that using freezer paper HERE.

And last but not least, I used the final bit of paint for this mid century vanity set.
The wood was pretty nice on most of it, so I just touched that up with some Restor-A-Finish, recovered the seat cushion (looks like I need to tighten that a little) and painted just the top surfaces of the vanity for a little contrast.  I love how it turned out! Very vogue... and for sale if anyone is interested!

While chalk paint is great for distressing, I would say Silk Mineral paint is more for a polished look. It doesn't seem to rough up as well.  Just my take on it.

If you are local to the Jackson, Michigan area, get yourself over to the 

December 11, 2021 there will be a holiday open house in which ALL Dixie Belle Paint
 will be 20% off!
This would be a great time to try it. I have many friends who will only use Dixie Belle paint - come see what all the fuss is about!

Also, for every $100 you spend at the Parma Antique Mall at the open house, you will receive a
  $10 gift card!

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