Thursday, September 29, 2011

You can do it yourself - recover kitchen chairs!

(My kitchen chair before I started)

One of the absolute easiest ways to give your kitchen or dining room a fresh new look is by recovering your chair seats.
I like to have a little different style every so often, but that isn't the main reason that I recover my chairs. I have small children. Three of them. And when they eat, they don't always use utensils. And, they seldom use napkins. But, it isn't unusual for them to wipe their grubby little hands on their chair seats. Sigh.
My chairs get Funky. And, I'm not talkin' Sweet Funky, I'm talkin' ICK!
So, once every 8 or 9 months, I recover my kitchen chairs. And, for a little while, they are perfect and pretty. And then for the next few months, they gradually get funky, until we start the cycle all over again.
The good news is that it is easy!
This time, I decided to do a little something different... zebra. And, I am lovin' it!

How much fabric you need will, of course, be determined by how big your chair seats are and how many chairs you have. I have 6 chairs. Home decorator fabric measures around 54" wide, and is purchased by the yard (or portion thereof). So, you are working with something that is approximately 54" wide and then you determine how many yards you need to buy.

I was able to get 4 chairs per yard and have a little leftover to make a pillow out of. That I am hoping I get around to completing before I turn 80.

The next step is to gather your tools. I use a screwdriver, one that I can change out the tip of, because during a recent recovery of my chairs, I replaced some of the screws that had been lost. And, in my infinite wisdom, I mixed up flat head and phillips head screws (those are the ones with the cute little plus sign). I use a hammer, a staple gun, spare staples, a cordless drill (I love the whole power tool thing - it makes me feel so "Tim the tool man"), and a good pair of shears for cutting the fabric.

Turn your chair upside down and use your drill or screwdriver to remove the screws holding the seat cushion to the chair.

I always get a good giggle out of the California safety labels. If you live in California, or have visited here, you will know that according to the signs you see EVERYWHERE, everything in California is known to cause cancer.

Lay your fabric on your work surface, right side down, and place your chair cushion on top of it, wrong side up. You will need your fabric to have enough around the edge of the cushion to fold it up and around, several inches. So, if you are that kind of girl, measure it. If you are like me, just eyeball it and trim around the seat cushion.

The next step is to break out the staple gun and get to staplin'! Start on one edge, and fold up the fabric and staple it in place on the underside of your chair cushion. Pull it snugly, but not too tight. Next, take the opposite edge and repeat. Then do the remaining two edges.

Repeat as many times as you have chairs. Reattach your seat cushion to your chair and you are done!

Don't they look better?! I got all excited with re-covering my chairs that I decided to tackle an antique rocking chair I have too. I will share it next week. Wait until you see it!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What's Cookin' Wednesday - Banana Blueberry Pancakes

My girls woke up and asked for Banana Blueberry Pancakes for breakfast. I thought to the kitchen where I knew I had some bananas turning funky and a HUGE container of blueberries that were on sale at Trader Joe's last week. Perfect, I thought!
So, off to google I went and discovered a recipe, courtesy of Taste of Home.

Amazingly, I had all the ingredients and didn't have to do any last minute substitutions. Almost all of the ingredients are totally staples, but I was a little worried I wouldn't have the whole wheat flour on hand. As it turns out, I did.

First, mix up the dry ingredients.

Then, mix up the wet ingredients.

Mix the dry and wet ingredients together until just moistened. Remember, pancake batter is supposed to be lumpy.

I heated up my griddle and sprayed it with some non-stick spray. I cook with the same cookware I received as wedding gifts (just shy of 15 years ago). They are the Pots and Pans line from Calphalon. After a quick search online, it doesn't appear that Calphalon produces it anymore. Sad. I want to say that the set was a 10 piece set and was a few hundred dollars. They are fantastic to cook with. I love them. What is different about them is that the inside bottom surface of the pots and pans have little bumps on them. I am not sure what the exact purpose of the bumps is, but I can tell you that when I was a newlywed, I scorched a pot roast. Really scorched it. I stuck a fork in it and the whole thing pulled right out and the pan looked totally clean. No burned on, stuck on mess at all. I have to believe the bumps had something to do with that!

I used a ladle to measure out the pancake batter onto the griddle and placed a few blueberries on each one.

When they start to bubble, flip them over.

I will post more about my girls' plates in an upcoming Favorite Things Friday feature. But, here is a sneak peak.

Here are the pancakes served up - I sliced some banana and threw a few more blueberries on top and then poured syrup over.

Wow. All I can say is Wow. These pancakes were so easy to make and tasted restaurant good. The next time I have overnight guests, I am totally making these.
Unbelievably. Good. Delicious!


1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1-1/4 cups fat-free milk
3 medium ripe bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
Maple syrup, optional


In a large bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking powder and salt. Combine the egg, milk, bananas and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a hot griddle coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with blueberries. Turn when bubbles form on top; cook until second side is golden brown. Serve with syrup if desired. Yield: 14 pancakes.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

You like us! You really like us!!

Whew! Where did the last week or so go? Oh, that's right, I remember now. We were on Zulily! Did you see us? ;)
It was awesome! We worked our little fingers to the bone to get ready for our Zulily event. We were scheduled to have our 3 day event start on Wednesday morning, 9/21 at 6am (crazy early here on the West Coast, but that is how they always start their events) and end Saturday morning at 6am. We sold like crazy and were basically sold out by mid afternoon. So, our event only lasted that one day. Whew!
You like us, you really like us!!! (can you hear Sally Field's Oscar speech voice here??)
We are so very delighted and blessed by all of our customers and new fans from our even on Zulily. Thank you all!!

We have shipped all of the garments that sold to Zulily. So, they should be in your hot little hands very soon! If for any reason, you aren't completely satisfied with your purchase (this goes for all sales, not just Zulily) please get in touch with us. We will work with you to make sure that you are happy!
We are already working on planning out another Zulily event and will keep you posted!!
In the meantime, if you are a trunk show customer, you know that we always include a little treasure in with your orders. This season it is a vintage key. Attached to the key is a lucky number.
This week, I am going to draw two numbers. If you have the winning number, please email me asap so I can make arrangements to send you a little special Sweet Funky treat!

If you have # 59 or # 103 - you are this week's lucky winner!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What's Cookin' Wednesday - Oven Chicken and Orzo

Saw this recipe from Southern Living - Oven Chicken Risotto - and the picture looked amazing. So, I jotted down the ingredients and grabbed them from the grocery store and my pantry.

However, when I was at the grocery store, I remembered how much I like orzo and wondered if I could substitute it, so I grabbed a box of orzo instead of the rice the recipe called for.
I used my favorite new Trader Joe's sliced chicken breast again and mixed up water and chicken bullion cubes for the broth called for.

I preheated my oven to 400 degrees, and put the butter in the baking dish and stuck it in the oven while it was preheating, to save time. The butter was melted by the time the oven was preheated.

Meanwhile, I chopped my onion.

I chopped my chicken.

And snuggled my chicken up next to the fresh mozarella I cubed in a bowl awaiting their turn in the recipe!

I mixed the orzo and chicken broth and onion in with the melted butter and put it in the oven to bake for about 30 minutes. Look how yummy it looks when it comes out!

Mix in everything else, and toss the basil on top!

Here it is just before I gobbled it all up! :)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Favorite Things Friday - Keurig and Kindle

Are you a coffee drinker? How about tea? Hot Chocolate? You can make all of those drinks in a Keurig.
I have had a Keurig for a couple of years now and I really, really love it! I bought it as a gift for my husband, but it turned out to be a great purchase that I have really enjoyed as well!
I used to be a Starbucks junkie. I was a peppermint mocha addict. But, once we got a Keurig and I discovered Coffeemate peppermint mocha creamer at the grocery store, Starbucks doesn't get as much of my money any more!
Keurig coffee systems vary in price depending on the model. Watch store advertisements and you can get a pretty good price reductions at times!
The Keurig makes one cup at a time, so you always have a fresh, hot cup of coffee (or tea or cocoa) right with the touch of a button! I purchase my K-cups from, with free shipping and they run about $.50 per cup. However, there are re-usable filters you can purchase for your Keurig that cost around $14 that allow you to use your favorite coffee with and it brings your per cup cost even lower.
Right now on, the Keurig brewing systems start at $105. I have to tell that it will be the best hundred bucks you have spent lately!

In our household, we are big Kindle fans! My Dad got one a couple of years ago, and he liked it so much, I thought it would be a great gift for my husband, so I got him one. Then, last year, my 8 year old, Georgia decided she would like to save up her birthday money and purchase one. It has been a great thing for her! She is an avid reader and has really loved being able to read on her kindle. It is super portable and convenient. And, one of the coolest features she discovered is that many books have a feature that the kindle reads words to her if she has trouble pronouncing/understanding them. There are different free games available on the kindle as well. When I got an iPad last year, I downloaded the kindle app and use it to read books on my iPad and I love that! And now that I have joined the iPhone movement, I use the kindle app on it too. I can read a book on my phone, and then when I pick up my iPad to read the book at a later time, it automatically syncs up and finds just where I left off! And, because my husband and I are registered on the same account, we can share books. A few months ago, Amazon announced, "Eligible Kindle books can be loaned once for a period of 14 days. The borrower does not need to own a Kindle -- Kindle books can also be read using rhe free Kindle reading applications for PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry, and Android devices. Not all books are lendable -- it is up to the publisher or rights holder to determine which titles are eligible for lending. The lender will not be able to read the book during the loan period." - sooooo cool!
Kindles are an Amazon product and start at $114.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Highlight on Atelier Joie! Love the paper~

For those of you who know me, you KNOW how much of a paper-thing I have.... I love paper products.... and office supplies.... and paper....

So today I want to share the loveliest journals and hand-made paper products. These are made by a friend of mine, Timmery Clark. Not only does she make these wonderful journals and cards, but she' a beautiful person too! Take a few minutes and visit her etsy shop, and I'm sure you will fall in love with these like I have!

She pours such thought and care into each and every page~ there are beautiful quotes throughout, and plenty of room for your own thoughts. They're hand stitched/bound~ incredible workmanship! I don't think I've seen two alike~ they're all unique! I've given several of these as gifts, and they've been loved each and every time!

She's also done some custom projects for people~ Bible Study journals (specifically a Eucharisteo journal for a friend who read the 1000 gifts), as well as a guest register for an Art Gallery show. So if you need a specialty item, she's the person to talk to!

Like her on facebook

All of these beautiful product photos were taken by Side By Side Photography. Thank you!

I hope you get a chance to see one of these beauties in person~ Lovely!


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What's Cookin' Wednesday - Crockpot BBQ Chicken

Today's recipe is another that I ran across on pinterest, that came from this blog.

First, I gathered my ingredients. I didn't have exactly what the original recipe called for, so I tweaked it. Pay no attention to that bottle of wine you see there - that's for later! ;) I didn't have the red pepper flakes that the recipe originally called for, so I used a little Old Bay seasoning. I love Old Bay, it makes just about anything a little bit better!

I am only cooking for myself and three little girls tonight, so I only used a small package of chicken breasts (2), that I cut into 4 hunks.

I mixed up all the ingredients in a bowl. I poured out the entire bottle of the barbeque sauce, and then measured out the vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar) into the bottle and swished it around to get out all of the bbq sauce.

And then poured it over the chicken in the crockpot to make sure it was all covered up. Cook on low for 4-6 hours.

Crock Pot Barbeque Chicken

4-6 pieces of boneless, skinless chicken breast (you can even throw them in frozen)
1 bottle BBQ sauce
1/4 c. vinegar
1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
1/4 c brown sugar
1/2 - 1 tsp garlic powder

Place chicken in crock pot. Mix BBQ sauce with all ingredients. Pour sauce over the chicken and cook on LOW for 4-6 hours.