Monday, October 14, 2013

A little different redo

If you follow our blog you'll see we've inherited a love for old furniture...either refinishing or something else to make it useful for everyday life.  Well, we don't just do that for furniture - I do it for clothes too!  Ok, maybe not as much as with furniture (because I can't see potential/ideas for clothes as easy!), but every once in awhile.

Take this 80s dress I found at the thrift store (at least I think it's from the 80s, maybe it's older!)

 I wore it just like that (with a skinny or broad belt) for awhile, but I knew that I wanted to do something to make it feel more modern...knowing I'd wear it more if it felt less 80s.

So after frantic brainstorming emails with sister #3 I had a game plan.  But it was still hard to make that first cut!!

I cut off the sleeves and made them more of a cap sleeve and shortened the skirt by 4".  I'm trying to decide if I want to go another 1.5-2" shorter.... 
And here it is!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Breathing new life into an "old" piece

This is one of the few pieces that has moved with me to every apartment I've lived in.  Actually, now that I think about it this is THE only piece of furniture that has moved to every apartment/house I've lived in (except the first two).  Wow - I must like this piece ;-)

Our love story began when I was in college and wanted to "build" some furniture.  This was back in the day when Lowe's sold build-your-own furniture (do they still do that?).  I picked up two pieces and put them together and stained them.  This piece came with wooden knobs and at some point in my NY moves one broke.  I replaced all the knobs with the metal ones in the picture.  I knew I wanted to do something different with the piece.  It was stained cherry and I couldn't decide between going darker or painting it.  So for THREE YEARS  I lived with this piece and the fact that the stain didn't go cover the whole piece (look closely under the knobs, you'll see it....)
Finally I decided to join the grey craze.  I'm pretty good at picking colors that turn out really, really dark - so when I picked this color I had it lightened 25% (on last week's project you'll notice I darkened it....should have stuck with my gut?)

Because I went so much lighter it took 2 coats after sanding it... a long time when a piece is taking up your entire living room (I cleared a path to get to the bathroom and the front door....)  Here's the piece now:

I promise it's grey - my walls are blue and it throws the color a bit.

I'm impressed that this piece is still standing after 8 (10?) moves...and all the drawers slide just fine.  Must have been an excellent furniture builder that made this piece! ;-)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

What's Cookin Wednesday - Sweet Potato & pinto bean tacos

adapted from there is offensive language on the site (and in the recipes) - so you've been warned!
3 cups of cooked pinto beans (about 2-15 ounce cans)
1 teaspoons of coconut or olive oil (Olive oil is what I had)
½ cup veggie broth or water (water....)
2 teaspoons smoked paprika or chili powder (I went chili powder)
2 teaspoons blackstrap molasses (I used what I had in the cabinet)
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar or lemon juice (I have both of these at home usually, went with lemon juice this time around)
2-3 garlic cloves
1 pound of sweet potatoes (this should be about 2 cups when you chop it all up)
½ of a yellow onion
1 teaspoon coconut or olive oil
salt to taste
soft corn tortillas
standard taco toppings that you like to add.

Warm the first teaspoon of oil in a medium pot. Add the beans, water, chili powder, molasses, vinegar, and garlic. Get it to start bubbling slowly for about 5 minutes and then turn off the heat.

Chop up the sweet potato and onion so they are about the size of a pinto bean. Warm up the oil in a large skillet or big pan and add the onion and sweet potato. Cook them until the onion is getting brown and the sweet potato softens up. Add the beans and whatever broth is still in the other pot. Cook this mixture on a medium heat until the potatoes are soft enough for you. This should take 5-8 minutes. If it starts to look dry, add some water. Add salt to taste.

Top with whatever you normally top your tacos with ;-)

Makes 8 tacos

- this was gooood.  It didn't look pretty, but it was yummy.  It also made A TON (which I should have realized from the "makes 8 tacos", but I was still surprised.)  So good that I took it for lunch and ate it without the taco "shell" or any of the toppings.  Yum!  

I think I want to figure out how to make this in a crockpot and eat it all winter!