Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Happiness Is An Old Rocking Chair

My beautiful grandson was born in April, and we are so delighted he is here, we love him so much. I can now understand how my friends who have grandchildren said they felt when their grandson/granddaughters came along.  There is no feeling like it, it's not the same as when you have your own children.  Although I love my children with my whole heart and still would take care of and protect them, having a grandchild is so very different, I just can't explain it.

I took over his nursery decorating the day I found out he was coming.  I was thrilled to be able to do this for his parents and for him.  He had everything he needed in there, crib, dresser, changing table, bureau, all the decor to complete his room, and a brand new rocking chair with an ottoman that his mommy got for a shower gift from her sister, he was all set.  But, downstairs where his mommy would feed him most times, there was no rocking chair.  I just happened to have two of them, and both are antiques.  One was my mother's, which was a colonial design from the very early '70's, and the other was from my husband's family which was over 100 years old. As I was looking over the very old chair, I discovered that it was handmade, that made it even better.  I held on to it for years, even though it was taking up space in the garage, because I couldn't part with it. I knew someday hopefully one of our four kids would have a child, and lucky us finally one of them did!  Now I had to decide which one I was going to give to them. Looking at the rocking chairs side by side, I knew the colonial style was out. It didn't match their decor, so I opted to redo the older one, which actually had a more sleek, modern look for it's time.  Funny how that works, fashion and style always come full circle.

When I started this project, I had a little bit of a problem with it.  First, one of the arms was broken. Being that old, I had to piece it back together very carefully.  Second, it was loose in a lot of places and had to be tightened up. Third, sanding it was a huge problem.  I'm not sure what kind of lacquer, polyurethane or whatever they used back all those years ago, was a bear trying to get it off, but I didn't do too bad.  I bought a can of paint that had a primer in it but when I started to paint, the red stain on the chair would seep through it.  So, I did a second coat, same thing happened.  Now frustrated, I opted to use a spray primer, in gray, to try and fix the problem.  By golly, it worked!  Then I bought a can of creamy white paint called Smokey Beige from Rust-oleum, and spray painted the chair. It came out so beautiful I wanted to keep it, but I had to remind myself it was for my little man.   

So here is the problem chair, as I started out.  Not looking too good.
This is the paint and primer that I bought, and with a little help from my friend the primer, it's starting to look good! I actually love the color of the primer. 
First coat going on.......
A lot of nooks and crannies to cover.......
Just about done........
And look at it now! What a difference a little paint makes.  Remember, spray paint is you friend!
A new cushion was made for the seat. I had to semi fit it, the seat is really wide on this chair from front to back and side to side. I cut the foam cushion with an electric knife, the best way to cut by the way, gives an even clean line. 
 And now it was complete for his mommy to rock the day and night away with him! I hope my sweet boy Jaxson loves it, keeps it for many years, and passes it along to his children.
Love your Nonna and Zia!

Monday, October 22, 2018

Fast and Easy Delicious Meal

I was browsing around my local Giant store looking for something interesting to make for dinner and found these babies, Bourbon Black Pepper Marinated Beef Sirloin Tips. Now, I don't usually buy stuff like this because I am always afraid the meat will be tough, but I broke down and bought a pack of them anyway to try them out. I have to say they are one of my new favorites! They are so easy to make, flavorful, tender and delicious.  Some of the different ways to serve them - you can make shish kabobs, mix them with vegetables, serve over rice or noodles, or just add some sides dishes like I did.  All in all I give them an A++.

 Here is my pack of beef tips. One pack served two of us.
The tips were cut in rather large pieces, so I cut them into about 1 inch pieces.  I caramelized them in a little extra virgin olive oil, took the tips out of the pan, and sauteed my favorite portobello mushrooms to mix in with the tips when I served them.
 OOOH, looking tasty!
 I served them up with a brown and wild rice vegetable mix, roasted asparagus and a garden salad, YUMMY!  This meal took about 20 minutes to make and it looks like it took longer.  So browse around your favorite grocery store, you never know what good things you might find.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Catching Bugs!

We bring a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables into this house, and along with that unfortunately also come the fruit flies.  I can't stand those little buggers!  Flying all around, landing on food you are about to eat, they are disgusting.  I have been in combat with them for years, but not anymore. I finally found a solution that really works to get rid of them.  It's simple, and only requires two ingredients I always have in the house - apple cider vinegar and Dawn dish soap.  Pour about an inch of vinegar into a small bowl or ramekin and add a few small drops of Dawn.  Mix together with a spoon and set the bowl(s) out on the counter and watch it catch them.  The vinegar attracts the fly, the Dawn provides a layer on top of the vinegar, so once the fly goes in, it can't get back out.

My two ingredients.
I set one ramekin out by the fruit bowl, but you can hide them around the kitchen if you like. I use two of them, one on the counter and one on the island.
Just over night and BOOM baby caught one! After you have caught a few, change the solution and mix up some fresh bowls.