Friday, February 26

I tackled a quilt!

The title above may lead you to believe I forcefully body-checked a big fluffy piece of bedding. Let me clarify, I figuratively tackled my first the sewing sense.

Everything I know, I learned from my mother. In fact, I currently sew on the machine she used when I was born.

Permission granted for an "Awwwwwwwwwwwwww".

When it comes to stitching pillows or hemming a skirt, I'm fearless. Sewing a quilt? Completely outside of my wheelhouse.

However, with a friend's baby girl on the way, I was determined to conquer my fear...and absolutely prepared to fail.

If you don't expect anything, you're not disappointed...right?

With hours of due diligence (meaning, I was sucked into the Pinterest vortex), I finally settled on this pattern from Thirty Handmade Days.

It proved to be the exact level of "easy" for this quilting beginner.

Here's a peek at the final product.

Nursery colors are coral, navy and gold. Little Man and I had a great time picking out the various fabrics. It was definitely a "spread them all out on the floor" type of experience. We were both allowed one veto and I think we used them wisely. How about you?

While the overall project went pretty smoothly, I learned a few lessons the hard way. Including the tip to stay away from patterns that repeat in a line if you can't actually sew a straight line...or draw a straight line...or even walk a straight line.

Pardon the wrinkles, I folded before photographing. Another lesson learned!
I'm not sure I'll make my second quilt any time soon but I thoroughly enjoyed this pattern. Most of all, I love the thought of a sweet baby girl growing up with it.

No expectations turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Thanks, Mom!

Accomplishment starts with the decision to try.

(Click here for the pattern link.)

Monday, February 22

Light Fixture Facelift

When we purchased our fixer upper, home improvement stores (aka: boy malls) were similar to traveling to Mars for me. I was familiar with approximately 10% of the inventory (plants and paint) that stocked the shelves...the many, many, MANY shelves.

Six months later...
("You wanna go where people know, people are all the same, you wanna go where everybody knows your name. Norm...err, Courtney!")

I can now operate a caulk gun...without making a catastrophic mess.

I am surprisingly intrigued by spray texture in a can.

And I'm constantly mortified by the prices of light fixtures.

Hence, today's DIY post.

My front porch had these poor, pitiful, wretched light fixtures that were seriously pleading for a facelift. So, armed with an arsenal of cleaning products and a can of spray paint, they were brought back to life! Here's a quick step-by-step.

Step 1: Disassemble light fixture completely. (I think it had 15 years of dirt and dead bugs inside.) I've also seen these at thrift stores and garage sales so keep your eyes open, you never know when you'll find a bargain!

Step 2: Insert paper towel inside where the bulb threads to keep paint out. (Step 2.2: Moisturize my working man hands while scheduling a manicure. Eek!)

Step 3: Use a small brush to remove loose dirt and plethora of insect carcasses...carci...hmmmmm...
Step 4: Spray with metal outdoor paint. I decided to go with a flat finish. Apply as many coats as needed to cover, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next.

Step 5: After giving the glass a warm bubble bath and finishing off with a spritz of Windex, place back in fixture.

Finish assembling fixture, while trying not to lose your mind because you can't remember which screws went in which holes. Oops!

All done and ready to be hung. I recruited Super Hunk to help because...well...he's super hunky when he's being handy (and every other time)!

Tada! I added a vintage Edison bulb to give a little extra charm.

She's now ready for her close-up!
I took these photos back in the Fall so pardon the pumpkins!
Another project done on a dime. You don't have to spend a fortune to look like a million bucks. Am I right?

Sunday, February 14

Do we share too much?

Do you ever wonder if we share too much on Facebook?

We post pics of our kids to keep the long distance family in the loop. We check in at our new favorite restaurant to help spread the word, while photographing our food to add that final stamp of approval. We even share our online shopping selections with the motivation to score a $20 friend referral credit on our next order.

Again I we share too much?

Today, LOVE DAY, I ask myself this question once more.

As my Facebok news feed is flooded with pictures of flowers from hubbies and sweets from sweeties, I can't help but notice silence from others.

The single people who long for true love but have yet to find it.

The widowers who long for the one that always made this day special but now feel a void like never before.

The newly divorced who wonder if the pain will ever go away and if this day will ever be a happy one again.

The parents who recently lost a child and now cling to the finger-painted card from the year past.

I'm thankful for this day. I melt when my husband brings home flowers. My heart leaps when my son delivers a card full of crayon scratches. But I'll think twice before posting them for the world to see.

Because for all of us with hearts overflowing, there's that many more with hearts hurting.

Happy Valentine's Day, sweet friends. I celebrate LOVE with you and genuinely hope your day is full of unspeakable amounts. I'm simply challenging you, on behalf of heavy hearts everywhere, to think about the possibility that we occasionally share too much.


Wednesday, February 10

All You Need is Love & Pizza!

If I had to rank the things I love, in order of importance, it would look a little something like this...

#1: God

#2: Family

#3: Pizza

Breakfast pizza, traditional pizza, dessert pizza...warm pizza, hot pizza, cold pizza...I don't discriminate...I love them all.

Naturally, when North Texas Farm & Ranch Magazine asked for a recipe for the February issue, Meat Lover's Pizza was Super Hunk's choice. Mainly because he's supportive like that but also because if he had to rank the things he loves, in order of importance, it would look something like this...

#1: God

#2: Family

#3: Pizza...or tacos...but probably pizza...with a salad...and pie for get the idea.

In honor of LOVE DAY, the people I love, and the food I's a family favorite.

1 Refrigerated pizza dough
(Homemade or store-bought)
1/2 cup marinara sauce
(Homemade or store-bought)
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup shredded parmesan
3-4 slices bacon, cooked & chopped
3/4 cup ham, diced
1 cup Italian sausage, cooked & drained
10-12 pepperoni slices, cut in heart shapes
Fresh chopped parsley, optional

Roll out dough on slightly floured surface until desired thickness. (We're a crazy-about-thin-crust family so I roll until my arms hate me!) Spread marinara sauce evenly over crust.
In small mixing bowl, combine both cheeses. Sprinkle half over sauce and top with sausage, bacon & ham. Layer the rest of the cheese and top with pepperoni slices (in festive heart shapes) as the grand finale!
Bake according to crust instructions. Garnish with chopped parsley and a little extra parmesan. (Because let's face it, you can never have too much cheese, I need that on a t-shirt!)
Voila, a delicious way to spread the love!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 4


If you look up my name in the dictionary, you'll find a disheveled face and the following brief description appearing underneath..."A once lovely lady who went batty, bonkers, cuckoo...covered in a thin layer of construction dust."

When we purchased our fixer upper, I knew the dust-free life I had grown accustomed to was about to change but I had no idea I'd be walking around with it in my hair for the next six months.

Our little slice of heaven is beginning to take shape (sigh of relief) but not without scrambling my brain in the process. Between normal life and the hordes of workmen, my blogging has been spasmodic at best (that's my new favorite word, by the way).


With every intention of posting a delicious recipe (Cheesy Burger Sliders, Valentine's Meat Lover's Pizza, Homemade Cookies & Cream Ice Cream to name a few), all I can think is to share why my brain has been a real life Inside Out portrayal.

Last week alone was Crazytown, USA around here.


New windows with men working at breakneck speeds. More like hypersonic. Two full days and I never saw them eat...maybe I need to take up hoisting hefty objects over my head all day.

It makes me hungry just thinking about it. (Cheesy Burger Slider, anyone?)

Introducing, the new roof. All I can say, it takes serious cat-like reflexes to maneuver around an angle this steep.

I think I actually saw one worker fall and land on his feet. (Ice Cream, anyone?)


New solar panels finished out the week of pandemonium. Again, these boys have skills. I'd be face down on the ground in two seconds flat. (Pizza, anyone?)

What? Producing energy makes me hungry.

Even with all the hustle and bustle, I've thought of you often. Thank you for sticking with me through life's topsy-turviness.

I hope to post regularly again soon.

I hope to not dust the same surface three times again soon.

I hope to have uninterrupted morning coffee again soon.

Until then, check on me occasionally...I might be trapped under a ladder...hungry.