Friday, August 31, 2018

End Chair Update All Finished

I realized today that I am terrible about sharing project end results! Back in April, I posted about our End Chair Update and then I never took pictures and let you know how it all turned out. (I blame the fact that I basically take a deep breath and then dive into the next project, such as, I am now working on updating the guest bedroom and Mr. Awesome's office (photos may or may not be shared, LOL.))

Here it is all updated:

The acrylic wash helps define the lines.

The finish crazed in spots, which we weren't expecting, but kind of like. 
So, as you recall, here's the before photo:
Before - KSL Classified found chair

We bought the Valspar Chalk Paint, which we custom tinted in Sweet Slumber (it turned out paler than I expected, but we were trying to stay fairly neutral in the color). It took three coats (I was hoping for two and have noticed some other people have complained about poor coverage), then we did some sanding and I did a light wash with diluted dark brown acrylic paint that I would paint on and then wipe off to give it some patina and define the lines. We then topped it with the Valspar Sealing Wax. Since then, I've noticed some crazing in the finish (see picture), but since I was going for a distressed look, I was ok with that.  

We also painted the house (with the help of an amazing friend). We stayed pale neutral because the house doesn't get a lot of sunshine, especially in the winter. In the pictures it's a subtle difference, but for us it's a lot warmer and much more pleasant. 

And now so you can see how it looks in the room (see if you can notice the wall color difference too):
Yep, the lighting is terrible.

Still terrible lighting, but you get why I needed a warm paint color.

All updated.

What do you think? Was it worth the effort?

Friday, August 17, 2018

Healthier Plum Crumble

Here in Utah many people enjoy gardening and those of us who don't often reap the bounty of their abundant produce. (Score for us!) When one of these gardening gurus gave us a bag full of plums I wanted to make a plum crumble, but we've been eating healthier, so I wanted to give it a healthy spin. So here's what we did...


1 c. oatmeal
1/4 c. flax seed, ground
1/4 c. walnuts, chopped
1/4 c. peanut or almond butter
1/4 c. honey
1 t. cinnamon
pinch of salt
12 small or 6 large plums, sliced
1 T. cornstarch


  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Grease four ramekins
  3. Mix first seven ingredients
  4. Toss sliced plums in the cornstarch and put in the bottom of the ramekins. 
  5. Top with crumble topping
  6. Bake until filling is bubbling and thickened and the topping is crisp. 
  7. Top with a dollop of greek yogurt (not included in calorie count below) and enjoy. 

P.S. It was delicious. 
P.P.S. You can make this with most fruits. 
P.P.S.S. We ate it for breakfast. LOL.

Now calorically, of course you'd be better off eating an egg-white omelette, but compared to a traditional crumble you're doing great. Also, check out the percentage of you daily fiber - 26%(!) that's over a quarter of your daily requirement in a dessert! Plus, 9.2 grams of protein in a dessert is respectable, not to mention 20% of your iron requirement, and there's plenty of heart healthy fats in here. 

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Ogden Hikes

Mr. Awesome & I love to get into nature and go hiking and one of our favorite things about living in Utah is the plethora of trails and vistas quickly accessible along the Wasatch Front. Salt Lake City gets most of the attention, as the largest community, but those of us who live north of Salt Lake City now have a backpack-sized book to draw hiking inspiration from. 

We love shopping local, so we were really excited when we were at our favorite local bookstore and came across this Ogden Area Outings Guide from the Sierra Club, which includes descriptions, map overviews, trail ratings, and usage for around 100 trails (I'm lazy and didn't count).

There is also some guideline information included about safety, needed equipment, climate, and plant and animal life in the area, as well as information about where to get more detailed maps.

Do you have a favorite trail guide? Let us know and then get out and get hiking! 

Monday, July 23, 2018

Cauliflower Rice Paella

All of us could use more vegetables in our life and cauliflower rice is a good way to do it, but once you've busted out a couple of cauliflower rice stir fries it's time to expand your repertoire and this quick and easy Cauliflower Rice Paella recipe does just that. 


1 bag of riced cauliflower (or a head and you can make it yourself with a food processor)
1 t. paprika
1/2 c. boiling water
Pinch of saffron
1 t. chicken bouillon
1 bell pepper, chopped
3 scallions, chopped
2 plum tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 c. frozen peas
2 oz Spanish chorizo, finely chopped
6 oz shrimp
Optional: 1 chicken breast, diced (We didn't include this, but a traditional paella would have more than two meats...of course, it would also be made with rice, lol.)
Oil for cooking


1. Bring 1/2 c. water to a boil and add the chicken bouillon and a pinch of saffron to steep.
2. Prep the veg. 
3. Heat oil in pan, then sauté bell pepper, garlic, chorizo, paprika, and scallions together until parcooked then remove from heat and place in a bowl on the side. (Cook chicken in this step, if using.)
4. Add shrimp, peas, tomatoes, and cauliflower rice to the sauté pan with chicken bouillon/saffron water mixture and cook until just done. (Word of caution: cauliflower rice cooks really fast, so be careful not overcook or it will be mushy, which is no fun.)
5. Add back in the veg to combine and finish cooking, then serve.

Serves 2-4, depending on portion size.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Getting back into the groove

At the beginning of the year we promised we would blog twice a week (I may have been the one who promised, Mr. Awesome might have said something like - 'Wait, what?'). And for a minute it happened, but then you 

We recently returned from an amazing trip to California to Sequoia National Park; Yosemite National Park; and the Rubicon Trail. We were humbled by the rugged natural beauty of these renowned spots as well as the kindness and generosity of the strangers who became friends that we ran the Rubicon trail with. It was a birthday and Independence Day celebration we'll never forget.  

The General Sherman in Sequoia National Park.

Looking down Yosemite Valley.

Heading along the Rubicon Trail. 

Now we're back and trying to remember how to do this whole "real life" thing. We are striving for more balance and creating a life we don't need a vacation from, so stay tuned for local Utah adventures. Plus, we're refocusing on healthy eating, so there should be healthy, veggie-centric recipes coming your way, like cauliflower rice paella that we're going to try tonight. And now that we've finished painting the main level of our house (with the incredible help of an awesome friend) maybe I will finally get some after pictures of the chairs we were refinishing

What are you doing to make the most of your summer? 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Nifty Meiter Cut Tutorial

There's been much radio silence on this blog the last few weeks and it's directly tied to the home improvement compulsion Mr. Awesome and I share. (We may need a self help group.)

I have truly wanted to share some stunning after pictures of the three home improvement projects we started a few weeks ago, but there are those niggly little details yet to be finished holding me up - a mirror anchor that isn't cooperating, hole plugs for the chairs that still need to be painted and glued on, a garage that can't be parked in. 

Until we get those wrapped up, I wanted to share this great resource I came across in for determining meiter cuts without losing your mind. 

We have a bay window with less than 90 degree angles. When I cut the baseboards in our kitchen, the odd angles were kicking my rear, so this time around I thought there had to be an easier way... and I was right. I followed this tutorial and got the cuts right the first time. (We were even able to return the extra length of baseboard we'd bought 'just in case'.) 

My thanks to the brilliant people at Fine Homebuilding for sharing this handy trick. 

Friday, May 25, 2018

And we're underway

There's nothing like an out of town guest to spur you to action!

I realized today that I maintain 26 'To Do' lists (thanks to the organizational wizardry of Wunderlist) with a combined number of 'to do's" that nears 300 items, which rush for precedence like NASCAR racers in the final laps. 

When a dear friend announced he was coming into town and to our home for dinner, suddenly the unpainted dry wall patches and dated side chairs raced to the fore of projects that must be completed ASAP! 

So, we are now underway. We've narrowed our 50 wall paint sample chips down to three that we'll get test pots for. 
Who will be the winner of the paint race of 2018?

The first side chair is deconstructed and we've officially picked paint and upholstery. 

Our hope is to have the chairs done by the end of Memorial Day weekend. 

Wish us luck!