The Dresser Makeover.

So a sweet little lady in our youth group by the name of Cassie and her mother and two big, strong brother's came and dropped this dresser off for us about a week and a half before Christmas. We've been needing a large dresser for our bedroom since the beautiful old one that we had got infested by mice while in storage last year. We've been getting by in a small highboy but we just needed more drawers for the both of us. I was thrilled when Cassie offered us her old dresser since she was getting a new one. 

It was pink and brown to match her cute, teenage girl room but she has more refined taste now which is how we inherited this. I decided painting it black would best match the super dark brown bedroom set we already own-and love. So, there it sat for about 2 and a half weeks...in our bedroom....blocking the closet doors. We were SO crazy busy and barely home in that time, and I got sick and I injured my neck and couldn't move for 3 days so needless to say, it did not get painted when I thought it would. This is what it looked like in our bedroom all that time. 

I know, really pretty, huh? You can see the highboy in there with that gargantuan TV teetering on top. But that my friends is another issue altogether...moving on! 

Since our furniture is so dark that sometimes it appears black I decided to paint the dresser black. While it is very nice and sturdy, it is not my exact taste for my bedroom and I didn't want to invest the time into sanding and staining something that may be put into another room in the future. So satin black it was. As you can tell from the picture above Phoenix was my little helper the whole time.
Here is the finished product!

How sleek looking!It only took me about an hour and a half to paint two coats on this baby with a paintbrush. I would have done spray paint but since I can't turn into the Hulk and carry it up and down the stairs by myself then painting inside the bedroom was my only option. All I can say is, thank God for plastic drop cloths!

I think it blends with the rest of the room nicely. Unfortunately the godforsaken TV is still there. Ignore that please and enjoy the aesthetic I'm trying to create here.

Finally after living here for almost 5 months {wow that's weird to say} I am able to hang my mirror over the dresser. It will be so nice to stand there and put on my jewelry in the mornings and not have to run back and forth to the bathroom. If you think the mirror looks like it's been hung high...it has. I'm nearly 6 feet tall and so that's why it looks a little out of place.

 Ah, and that bed, I love, love, luurrrvee that bed! It is incredibly comfortable with enough room for two very tall adults and a 45 pound hound dog slapped in the middle!

A big thank you to Cassie and her awesome family for the dresser that has helped make our lives easier and more organized. The highboy has moved to the guest room/my office where it is already being used to organize my office supplies. 

And as Cassie and her mother have reminded us about 10 times now, "that dresser would be the perfect height to use as a changing table you know....just saying." Thank you, we will remember that in about 100 years when we have children. :)


Creamy Baked Chicken Taquitos

All I can say about this dish is YUM!!! It is now mine and Daniel's favorite dinner dish. I found the recipe this fall on my favorite food blog Our Best Bites who is very excitingly coming out with their own cookbook later this year! 

I've wanted to share the recipe for a while and I thought now would be a great time. This would be a great filling appetizer for a New Year's Eve party if you are throwing one. Or if you're like me, just make it for dinner ;). I hope you all enjoy it just as much as I do.

It looks like a lot but a lot of these are kitchen staples, so don't worry.
1/3 C. cream cheese
1/4 C. salsa verde {green salsa}
1 T. fresh lime juice
1/2 t. cumin
1/2 t. onion powder
1 t. chili powder
1/4 t. garlic powder or granulated garlic
3 T. chopped cilantro
2 T. sliced green onions
2 C. cooked shredded or finely chopped chicken {seasoned-see below}
1 C. grated pepperjack cheese
tortillas {flour, whole wheat or corn}
kosher salt
spray cooking oil like PAM

1. Get the chicken cooking first so you can be prepping the other ingredients while it cooks. I have found 2 chicken breasts renders the right amount when finely chopped. Keep them whole for now and either season them with a packet of taco seasoning or you can mix up your own like I do. Just throw on some salt and pepper, probably 1 tablespoon each of: cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and onion powder. These are the same flavors you'll use later so you won't have to worry about them not meshing well. Coat all sides of chicken breasts, and really rub these spices in. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes. 

2. While waiting for the chicken to cook soften the cream cheese in the microwave 10-15 seconds at a time until soft and easy to stir. Add cream cheese to a large bowl along with salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder and garlic powder. Stir until combined.

3. Add chopped cilantro and green onions. I like my cilantro a tad more finely chopped than a rough chop. It's just not fun to take a bite and pull out half a green leafy thing in the middle of your meal. {Oops, when I ran out to Target in the middle of our snowstorm to grab a few things they didn't have green onions, so we just did without.}

4. By now the chicken is probably finished baking, turn up the oven to 425 degrees. Allow the chicken to rest to redistribute juices and cool enough to handle it without burning yourself. Shred or finely chop chicken-I like the fine chop because then you actually get little tiny chunks of chicken when you eat the taquitos. If you steal a few bites of this yummy taco chicken while you're slicing away no one will notice....at least they haven't at my house yet!

5. Add chicken and cheese to bowl and stir all together. It should all become sticky and paste-like but chunky....believe me, this is how you want it. Lay tortillas flat and add a large spoonfull of the mixture close to one edge-not in the middle. Whichever edge the mixture is on start rolling tortilla from the same side. You will roll the edge into the mixture-make it snug-and keep rolling all the way up. Lay each taquito seam-side down on a baking sheet that has foil and cooking spray on it already.

6. Once all the taquitos have been rolled and placed on the baking sheet spray the tops of them all with the cooking spray and then sprinkle your kosher salt all the way up and down each one. It sounds like one of those useless cooking details but I promise this one makes a difference! The oil helps the outside of the tortilla crisp up and turn golden so when you bite into them it tastes like it's been rolled up in a crispy tortilla chip! Bake for 15-20 minutes or just until the edges start to turn brown. In my oven 14 minutes almost burns them so I usually set the timer for 11 minutes and stay close to the oven until they're finished cooking.

7. Devour! I like to serve mine with more salsa verde to dip in but this night we just had some Pace Picante which worked just fine. Some people like to use guacamole or sour cream...just whatever floats your boat. 

 Just two of the large tortillas filled both my husband and myself and if we use the tinier tortillas then it only takes 3 or 4. Just have fun with this dish, it is so worth it.

  Bon apetit!



was relaxing.
I wore bright red lipstick...to Target....just because.
the Mr. and I had a sweet coffee date at Starbucks.
I drank 3 cups of coffee out of my girlie, antique-looking mug from Anthropologie.
I chipped that lovely little mug when a whisk came flying out of my overstuffed cabinet.
was the laziest day I have had in a looooong time.
I found out The Nester featured me on her blog here. Nothing huge, but it TOTALLY made my day!
I made one of Daniel's favorite dinners, and we ate by candlelight. 
there has been a lot of talk about the future and daydreams of what it may hold.
I re-read my 2010 yearly goals and have been thinking of ones for 2011.
the snow is still halfway up my shins and I enjoyed it some more.
I watched two movies, read two magazines, and watched way too much pointless TV.

I just let myself unwind, create or not create, sleep, be messy, just let myself be. Do you ever just need a day like that? This kind of day allows me to let loose with no rules, no excuses and no apologies-I'm not talking crazy stuff here people, just things like, not picking up after yourself all day long, not showering, and watching TV for 8 hours...or not if you don't want to. It's all about unwinding from the normal schedule we are on and the rules that we live by-which are great-to keep ourselves and our homes nice, and just doing whatever you want to do! Can you hear it? FREEDOM!

After today I feel refreshed, got all the lazies out that I've been dreaming of for months and am now ready to tackle the last few days of my precious Christmas break with goals and a purpose and tackle 2011. Are you ready? If not, then maybe take a lazy day yourself to re-charge your batteries.

These were some of our snowy fun pictures I took yesterday that I thought I would share with y'all. This was at 9 am but it didn't stop snowing until around 3pm. We got a total of 12".....totally unheard of in eastern NC. Gosh it's pretty.


Christmas Magic.

Merry Christmas everyone! I am warm and cozy inside my home, at my desk watching the snow continue to fall. Here in NC, we've had some Christmas magic. In many places, like where I live-not too far from the coast-there has not been a white Christmas for 40 or 50 years! This year we got one and when God gives you a gift like this He doesn't disappoint. There is about 9-10 inches covering everything and it has yet to slow down! So this is my lovely winter wonderland view:

Since it began to snow last night we left my parent's house in Raleigh so we wouldn't get stuck there for days and because my Mr. was scheduled to preach the church service this morning so we had to come home. Well, until Frosty came to town, that is. ;)  So this morning we grabbed the dog and the camera and had fun in the snow and have been enjoying it all day. What better use of all my snowed-in time than to get caught up on some blogging! 

During the Christmas Home Tour I wanted a centerpiece for my kitchen table and have been in L.O.V.E. with the Pottery Barn apothecary jars....yes, you know the ones. But, being frugal I just could not bring myself to spend nearly $200 on only 3 glass jars. No matter how I tried to justify it, I just refused. Then, Michael's came to my rescue. Not only did I find 3 almost identical jars there, but they were also all 50% off! Wooo-hooo! I spent 1/4 of what I would have at P.B.. I filled them with all sorts of Christmas candy-that the Mr. has continued to plunder-and I am in love with them!

I had to include one with the snow behind it, I couldn't resist!

I also watched the White House 2010 Christmas Special on HGTV, did you? Oh, those decorations are to die for! I saw two things...ok, more than two, but I'm only sharing two things that I will definitely be re-creating in my house next year. 

First up are the gorgeous, life-sized gold trees (yes, there were two!) that I want in my home:

Oh, did I forget to mention that these "trees" are made from rolled up newspaper and magazine pages!? Crazy good!

There's a great underneath shot for y'all. All they did once it was assembled is paint them gold and douse it with gold glitter. And they are sooooo pretty! This project is essentially free if you already have the paint and glitter, and let's be honest, we all have loads of old newspapers and magazines that can be made better use of, don't you think? 

The wreaths hanging in the windows were also made from paper with gold paint and glitter but the paper doesn't appear to be rolled. I think they crinkled it accordion-style and hot-glued them on in random fashion. Maybe one of you other crafty ladies will take a stab at the wreaths, I'll do the trees and we'll call it a day?

Disclaimer: The rest of this post will cover some delightful Christmas activites. If you are here for decorating only reading, then you may just want to stop here. But you'll be missing out....just sayin'.

Last weekend we ventured up to Andrews, NC to the camp where Daniel and I worked at for several summers, Snowbird or SWO. It was the annual Christmas Extravaganza and we got lucky because the next day some of our friends were having their wedding there. It was a full weekend! There was so much going on that I didn't take a ton of pictures, but there are a few.
 Of course the SWO Christmas tree is decorated with climbing rope and Nalgene bottles. Lurve it.
 Blueberry "Blue" and Brittany's wedding was beautiful.

I hate that picture of us was fuzzy, but the other 3 was fuzzy too, what can you do? We are so happy for these great, God-fearing friends!

Because at SWO...this is how we do it!

This place is very close to our hearts. Love it here. This was how we met, and eventually fell in love.

Loads of memories inside the cabins and written all over the bunks. We LOVE Snowbird! It was a great trip.
That same weekend we had our own, and our first Christmas party in our own home. It was small, but we had a blast! In fact, there was so much fun that I completely forgot to take pictures. Dumb. I'll have to remember that for next year because I think we decided that this will become an annual Christmas party, YAY! 
Just two days before Christmas our Sunday School class decided to get together, kids and all and go to Beulaville for a night at Mike's Farm. Oh my, we froze our little tails off but we had so much fun, and so did the kids! It was a hit for sure and I believe another thing we all said we should do each year together. I did remember my camera for this so here are a few photos from that night:

This is almost the whole group. Brad and Karen couldn't come and Wayne was in a field with some of the kids playing football. But with this many people, you take what you can get! We were standing in line for the Country Restaurant and freezing to death. We still had fun talking and playing with the kids while we waited.

I think Lilly fell in love with Maggie on the trip. She's Rebecca's little girl and kept kissing everybody. I caught this sweet kissing picture of the two lovebirds. 

Here's Daniel, Corey-Maggie's husband-and their little boy, Caleb.

Finally! In the warm restaurant! I don't know how it happened, but somehow those rotten men of ours got their own table and us girls got all the kids. I can't complain, they were well-behaved and we had a great time. 

This place was huge. Also, they serve you family style, so you just order your drinks which they bring out in pitchers to the table and then they show up with great big platters of fried chicken, country ham biscuits, macaroni and cheese, corn, green beans, and mashed potatoes. The best part is you can keep asking for more and more....so we did!

Since the men finished dinner so quickly they braved the cold to wait in the loooooong line for the grand finale hayride through the woods. I'm glad they did because some people stood in line for two hours or more and we were there only about half an hour. The hayride was great! It was a fifteen minute trip through the woods with the BIGGEST light display I think I have ever seen! There was Christmas music playing that coincided with the scenes in the woods and of course, we had to sing along! What fun, with such great friends.

Christmas night at my parent's house, aka, the disaster zone.

In our family, this is how we do Christmas. Relaxed, the room is dark from watching movies all day, the living room is still trashed because we do minimal present clean-up, and we eat, eat, eat all day long. There was so much relaxing that I didn't take many pictures, and my dad didn't make any of them, and I have a brother in Japan right now that would usually be in there too. 
I hope each and every one of you have had a Merry Christmas thanking God for the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ and loving those we are so blessed to have in our lives. What was your favorite moment of this Christmas? I had two: the candle light Christmas Eve service at the church I grew up in where everybody raises their candles in the air and we sing Silent Night...breath-taking. And of course, our winter wonderland of Christmas snow! Leave yours in the comments!


Christmas House Tour

So...I was linking up over at The Nester today for the 2010 Christmas Home Tour Party, but with all my other Christmas partying I goofed and thought the date was for the 15th, when really it was the 13th. Dumb. Even if I'm 700th in line, here I am! 

Disclaimer: This is not a picture perfect home. If you have high hopes of magazine worthy shots, then you may not want to continue. This is a real home, with a real budget and this real lady still loves to drool over those beautiful magazine shots that my house is not. But please stay and take a look around. :)

 Our Rustic Christmas Home

welcome home.

ok, now let's break it down.

I just bought these apothecary jars at Michael's this week and have yet to decide what to fill them with. Candy? Ornaments? Nuts and berries? And I know you're looking at my too-cute baker's pumpkins and saying "wrong holiday" but I just can't throw them away. They are pretty little white pumpkins that have yet to go bad at all and I think it goes well with our natural/rustic Christmas vibe.

Red tinsel all around the chandelier...a little Whoville, don't you think?


And with all that space above my cabinets begging to be decorated I put up this garland that I wound with lights. I have to say, this is our second-most favorite thing in the whole house. The lights give off such a warm glow in the evenings when we're relaxing from our day. I think it adds a little oomph to the inside of the house.

The Mr. really loved this idea. And he loved that it didn't cost a dime!

 I swagged this garland I've had for years around my pretty oval mirror. I had hung the bell on the front door before but this time I pinned it here. I love how this garland came decorated with pinecones, berries, and this cute little birdie!

Atop the bookshelf...aka, our mantle ;)

The greenery was cut off a tree behind my house, I think it livened up the space a little bit! 

This one is and oldie but a goodie. I have always loved the ornaments in this glass hurricane.

See, a makeshift mantle. Stockings and all!

 Santa Claus is coming to town! If we're not careful this Santa is a goner, Phoenix has been caught in previous years dragging Santa away when he thought no one was looking. Silly dog.

 O Christmas Tree! I love our tree!! The tartan ribbon, the keepsake ornaments, the ones we made together this year, and the burlap tree skirt...it's very us.

I love to find beautiful wrapping paper to use for presents. They're going to be a part of your decorations for the next month or so, so make them look pretty and not tacky with a million different wrapping papers that don't do together. Once again with my personal taste of almost anything, rustic and glamor, I paired the glittery damask paper with twine bows.

A super BIG thank you to Colleen for making this gorgeous bow for me!! I am in love with it's refined whimsy. I know that's a juxtaposition, but it does work.

I keep moving these all around because I'm not crazy about the steup, but I don't like these items anywhere else. My mom gave me the santas, and the sequined tree is old, but the JOY sign was a $1 buy from target. 

My favorite. Christmas makes me very joyful. 

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

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