Thursday, September 25, 2014

Resolution Check-in: Project Progress

Resolution:  Finishing up projects.

We are procrastinators when it comes to completing home projects.  So for September's resolution, we decided to make we checked a few projects off our to-do lists.

Now, for our favorite part of the resolution - the check-in to see how we've done:

Jess's Project List

1.  Finish the hand painted tree on the (baby changing) dresser.  Check!  You can see the before and afters here.  It's my fave trash to treasure project I've done so far!  It turned out better than I could've ever imagined:  

I'm so happy with how it looks!
2.  Finish wall art projects for our daughter J's big girl bedroom.  The embroidery hoops and bulletin board have been completed.  These were my favorite projects this month...and I think they look great!  I can't wait to share pics of them with you soon!

I loved the fabric I found at Hobby Lobby!

Now, for the fails.  I ran out of time to paint the mirror frames.  Boo.

And I didn't paint the IKEA spice racks - that we were going to use as bookshelves - because they just aren't going to fit in her room.  This project has now moved to our son B's big boy room project list.  And that is one of the next rooms to finish in our house!

3.  Hang up all of the wall art in her bedroom.  Okay, I failed a little here too because we haven't hung anything up.  But I do have everything mapped out where it will go.  And that's huge since I'm indecisive with these things.  (So I'm counting this as more of a success than a fail. ;)  Everything we be hung up in the next 2 weeks!
Katie's Project List

1. Ok, so my entry way is in the works. I have a new rug and the frames ready to go, but our hammer broke while hanging a it is a to be continued project for tomorrow night. Lowe's date night for new tools! ;)

2. Instead of painting the entry, we finished the kids' bathroom. We did some art work, got a new faucet installed, and will put up the new towel holder (which I love!) once we have a hammer. ;) I'm so glad this room is finally done.

We know we didn't finish every project on the list, but putting this on the blog sure motivated us to get at least some of them done.  We did not want to come back in a month and say we didn't even finish one project!  It made us go to Hobby Lobby (our fave craft store), get our supplies, and actually sit down and do the projects.

For us, it wasn't that we didn't want to do the projects; it was just carving out the time to do them.  We're so glad we did!  It feels great to check some things off the to-do list and make our house feel more like a home!

How did you do with your resolution this month?

Are you new here?  Welcome!  Every first of the month, we "start fresh" with a new resolution 
to better ourselves as wives, mothers, and women or to make our houses into homes.  
We would love to have you join us!   Instagram  ǀ  Bloglovin'  ǀ  Pinterest

Sharing our Thoughts for Thursday with Natalie and Annie,
5 on Friday/Friday Faves along with JennieLauren ElizabethKarliAmy,  
AndreaErika, and Narci 

Monday, September 22, 2014

BBQ Chicken and Avocado Quesadillas

BBQ Chicken and Avocado Quesadillas -

In a search on Pinterest to find a great recipe to finish up some leftovers, I found Inside Bru Crew Life's recipe for BBQ Chicken and Avocado Quesadillas.  They looked so amazing that I had to try them!  (And they did not disappoint!)

I never follow recipes exactly, so (of course ;) I modified it to make it my own: 

BBQ Chicken and Avocado Quesadillas 


Whole wheat tortillas 
Mozzarella cheese 
Colby jack or Mexican cheese 
Shredded chicken + BBQ sauce OR grilled barbecue chicken 
Avocado, diced 
Green onions, diced
Cherry or regular tomatoes, diced


1.  Spray griddle or skillet with cooking spray.  Lay desired number of tortillas on unheated griddle or skillet.

2.  Mix shredded chicken with BBQ sauce if not using grilled barbecue chicken.

3.  Sprinkle tortillas with a small amount of 1 or both cheeses.  Then, layer on desired amounts of chicken, avocado, green onions, and tomatoes.  Then add desired amount of both cheeses on top.  Top with another tortilla.

BBQ Chicken and Avocado Quesadillas -

4.  Heat skillet to medium heat or griddle to 350.  Flip over tortilla once the underside begins to brown slightly.

5.  Cut into wedges and serve hot.  Enjoy!


I didn't give amounts for the ingredients because you can really make as many as you please and have as much or as little filling as you want!

We typically make three and a half (8 in) tortillas for our family of 4, and we still have leftovers.  For three and a half quesadillas, we used 7 tortillas, 1 chicken breast, 1 avocado, 1 green onion, and 1 medium tomato (or a handful of cherries).  The cheese?  Ummmm, I just dump it on, so a lot!

These BBQ Chicken and Avocado Quesadillas are great as appetizers or as a meal for lunch or dinner.  They're so easy, taste great, and everyone in our family loves them (even our picky eater)!   

What are your go-to versatile recipes like this one?  Please share!  Hope you enjoy this one!

BBQ Chicken and Avocado Quesadillas -

Today, I'm linking up Mandy for Totally Talented Tuesdays, Karly for What's Cookin' Wednesday, Bonnie for the Pin Junkie Link Party, Anne for Pin to Present, Amy, Erica, Leigh Anne, Laura, and Melissa for Link it or Lump It, Donna, Tamara, and Mitzi for Make It Monday, and Melt in Your Mouth Monday, Friday Favorites, and also with Andrea for:
BBQ Chicken and Avocado Quesadillas -

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Dresser Makeover: Hand Painted Tree

One of my favorite things is a good DIY project.  It's just finding the time to do them!   So for September's resolution, Katie and I are checking off some of these projects from our Pinterest to-do list.  I am so excited to share this first one with you!

DIY Furniture, Dresser Makeover: Hand Painted Tree -

You've seen the pictures before on Pinterest: an old dresser with a beautiful hand-painted design on the front.  (My inspiration specifically came from this beautiful turquoise dresser from I Can't Stop Crafting.)  I just loved how these dressers looked, and I knew I wanted to do it for our kids! 

My Project: I wanted to turn an old, ugly hutch into a beautiful (baby changing) dresser.  The perfect DIY project for our kid's bedroom.

My Piece:  An old hutch rescued from my grandparent's garage.  It had water damage at the bottom on one side, and it had a really bad stain job.  Its knobs were awful - too big and in the wrong places.

But it was perfect because it had tons of storage, the top part of the hutch was removable...and it was free!

DIY Furniture, Dresser Makeover: Hand Painted Tree -
It was just crying to be rescued!

I didn't get a great "Before" picture, but here's the hutch pretty close to the beginning stages.  In this pic, we had already sanded it and removed the top part of the hutch.  And the old knobs aren't pictured (the new ones are on it in the pic), but they were wooden and very large.  You can see their old location because of the large white patched areas.

DIY Furniture, Dresser Makeover: Hand Painted Tree -

My Plan:  Use the base of the hutch as a baby changing dresser (for now and just as a dresser when the kids get older).  I wanted to paint it white, hand-paint a tree on the front, and add new, fun knobs shaped like birds.  The water damage would need to be addressed as well.

Thankfully, the water damage was limited to one side, only near the base.  We (as in my husband ;) cut out that area in such a way that it made it look like the hutch had legs.  We did this to the other side as well for a consistent look.  It looks like it was always meant to be this way!

DIY Furniture, Dresser Makeover: Hand Painted Tree -

After a good sanding, I got to painting.  We used white paint that the previous homeowners left behind (you can't beat free!) and gave it several coats.

DIY Furniture, Dresser Makeover: Hand Painted Tree -

After it had been painted white, I started designing the tree.  First, I roughly sketched out the tree shape I wanted on a piece of paper:

DIY Furniture, Dresser Makeover: Hand Painted Tree -

After that, I sketched it out lightly in pencil on the front of the dresser.  Finally, it was time to paint!

DIY Furniture, Dresser Makeover: Hand Painted Tree -

We laid the dresser down on the floor on its back because that way, I could paint from any angle - which made it much easier!  I also used an outdoor garden knee pad to kneel on to save my knees.

For the dark brown paint for the tree, we got a sample of Behr paint (my favorite brand) in the color "Aging Barrel" ($3-4).  I also needed special, smaller paint brushes, so I got those at Hobby Lobby (for around $6).

DIY Furniture, Dresser Makeover: Hand Painted Tree -
Almost there!

For the handles, we decided to put bird knobs on the top two drawers (Hobby Lobby, $3 each - when their knobs were 50% off) and oil rubbed bronze knobs to match the tree for the rest (Lowes, around $4 each).  The birds add a nice touch, don't you think?

DIY Furniture, Dresser Makeover: Hand Painted Tree -

This is definitely the most ambitious DIY project I've ever done, but it has also been my favorite.  It turned out better than I ever thought it would.  I am beyond thrilled with how it looks!

DIY Furniture, Dresser Makeover: Hand Painted Tree -
DIY Furniture, Dresser Makeover: Hand Painted Tree -
DIY Furniture, Dresser Makeover: Hand Painted Tree -

I still can't believe that just a short time ago, this hutch was just a cast off in a garage.  Now, it's a beautiful showpiece in our kid's bedroom.  What a beautiful transformation!

DIY Furniture, Dresser Makeover: Hand Painted Tree -

This was my first "trash to treasure" project and my first DIY furniture re-do.  It was definitely hard work, but it was so worth it in the end.  It is just beautiful.  Now, I'm really looking forward to doing some more furniture makeovers.  Thanks, Pinterest, for the inspiration!

What furniture projects have you done?  Or do you have plans for one?

Are you on Pinterest?  Leave your link in the comments, so we can follow you too!

This project was featured on:

I'm linking up with these awesome parties!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Monthly Resolution: Finishing Projects

Resolution:  Finishing up projects.

Summer always seems to be so busy: outdoor fun, family activities, walks and bike rides, visiting the park and zoo, and just enjoying the nice weather.  So while all this fun is happening, the project list grows longer and longer.  Now, with summer coming to an end, it's time to buckle down and check some things off the list.

We've had a few projects lingering around here, so this month we've decided that our resolution is going to be finishing some of them.

Jessica's Project List

1.  Work on our daughter J's bedroom.  Last month, I found the perfect quilt for her bed and wall decorations for her big girl bedroom.  And they've just been sitting since then (and not quite as neatly as pictured below ;).  Now, I need to give them all a home in her room.

I do have a few projects to tackle for her room as well - painting the spice-rack-turned-bookshelves and mirror frames (pictured below) and finding fabric for the embroidery hoops and bulletin board.

I found two of these beauties for above the two beds.  Now, what color should I paint them?  White?  Help me please!

I know I won't be able to completely finish her room (I still need to find curtains and nightstands), but my goal is to finish up with everything I already have.

2.  Finish my hutch-turned-baby-changing-table/dresser project.  I just have a few finishing touches left to do.  I'll be posting about the whole furniture makeover project in the next week or two.  Here's the "before":

Although with the new handles...I forgot to take a before picture with the old ones!

It's definitely the most ambitious Pinterest project I've ever done.  It's going to look great in the nursery.  I can't wait to show you the "after" soon!

Katie's Project List

1.  Finish up the entryway.  I've been wanting to work on my entryway for some time.  I have several frames and canvases that need to be put somewhere, and I think this might be the spot!

2.  Paint.  And I definitely want to paint the entryway as well.  I'm thinking stripes.  I've seen that you can buy stripe wall decals...  Has anyone tried this before? 

My inspiration: Via

Now, I just have to find the right colors and decide on which walls the stripes will go!  Any ideas?

We are definitely procrastinators when it comes to decorating the house, so we hope this resolution will help keep us accountable and help us to finally get some projects done!

What's on your project or Pinterest to-do list?

Are you new here?  Welcome!  Every first of the month, we "start fresh" with a new resolution to better ourselves as wives, mothers, and women or to make our houses into homes.  
We would love to have you join us!   Instagram  ǀ  Bloglovin'  ǀ  Pinterest

Linking up with Andrea and Hayley today! 
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