Distressed Wood Headboard (Standard King Size)

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I CAN NOT stress enough that this is easier than it looks. I may have a blog about DIY home improvements but I’ve only been doing this for a few months and this headboard is the first piece of furniture that I built from scratch. If you can work a jig saw, you can make this headboard! I made this as part of Janae’s Master Bedroom Makeover that I posted yesterday. Janae, one of my close college friends, was helping me as we constructed it and we literally stopped after each step, looked at each other and proclaimed how bad ass we thought we were for doing such a good job 🙂

The plan for this headboard came from ana-white.com, but the plan there is for a queen size so my measurements are a little different. If you haven’t seen Ana White’s website, please please check it out, this incredible woman makes just about anything you can think of for a home, and does it all by hand with great photos, videos and plans so you can make it too.

Supplies
(Wood used was pine)
2 – 1×2 – 8′ length
7 – 1×3 – 8′ length
9 – 1×4 – 8′ length
3 – 1×6 – 8′ length
1 – 2×4 – 8′ length
1 1/4″ finish nails
2″ finish nails
Wood Glue
Tape Measure
Pencil
Jig Saw
Safety Glasses
Paint or Stain of your choice plus paint brush

Wood Cut List
6 – 1×3 – cut to 55″ (front, back and sides of legs)
2 – 1×2 – cut to 55″ (inside of legs)
5 – 1×4 – cut to 76″ (panel pieces)
3 – 1×6 – cut to 76″ (panel pieces)
4 – 1×4 – cut to 74″ (panel trim, front and back)
1 – 1×3 – cut to 80 1/2″ (top trim) DO NOT CUT UNTIL STEP 6
1 – 2×4 – cut to 81 1/2″ (top of headboard) DO NOT CUT UNTIL STEP 7

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1. Legs: Build the legs by fastening the 1×2 middle piece (top board in photo) to the 1×3 front leg piece (bottom board in photo), as shown above. To hide the nail holes, fasten the 1×2 board into the back side of the 1×3 board, keep outside edges flush. Use wood glue between boards and 1 1/4″ nails to fasten.

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2. Panel pieces: Starting at the top, fasten the panel pieces between each leg as shown above. Use wood glue and 1 1/4″ nails to fasten panel pieces to legs. You will fasten 8 panel pieces to the legs in this order from the top:
1×4
1×4
1×6
1×4
1×6
1×4
1×6
1×4
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Once panel pieces are in place, your headboard should look like the above picture. Now keep in mind that you may have boards that are a little warped or bend a bit, this is ok. In fact, this will end up giving you the distressed look you are going for and  those things don’t stand out as much once the headboard is painted.

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3. Back of legs: Use 2 – 1×3 back leg pieces, wood glue and 2″ nails to fasten the back leg pieces to the middle leg piece and panel pieces. Wood should be flush at the top and outside edge as shown above.

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When back of legs are fastened, the bottom inside of legs should look like the above picture.

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4. Trim pieces: Using 2 – 1×4 trim pieces, fasten the front trim with wood glue and 1 1/4″ nails by nailing through the back into the back edge of the front trim. Then, use 2 more 1×4 trim pieces, wood glue and 2″ nails to fasten the back trim to the headboard, as shown above.

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5. Leg sides: Using 2 – 1×3 leg pieces, wood glue and 2″ nails, attach leg pieces to outside of legs to hide leg seams, as shown above. Keep all edges flush.

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6. Top trim: Measure top of headboard and cut 1×3 top trim piece to fit flush. Attach to top of headboard with wood glue and 2″ nails keep all edges flush as shown above.

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7. Top of headboard: Cut the top of headboard 2×4 piece 1″ longer than the top trim piece. Center the 2×4 on top of the headboard keeping the back side flush, you will have a slight over hang on the sides and front of headboard as shown above.

That’s it! You are finished building, now you can paint or stain whatever color you prefer. If you want to get the beach wood distressed look that I used, you’ll need the following:
Rust-oleum Weathered Grey Stain
Any dark brown transparent stain
2 rags (you don’t mind ruining)
paint brush
water
To get the distressed wood look you’ll start with the grey stain, a wet rag and the paint brush. Dip you brush in the stain, tap away the excess, apply a few light brush stokes to a 6″ area, then wipe away the stain with the wet rag. Continue this technique on the entire headboard. Start with light brush strokes and if you want a darker look you can go back over the same area again. Once you have finished with the grey and allowed it to dry, you will use the same technique with the dark brown stain.

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I hope you all enjoy my first major building project! If you decide to build the same headboard, I’d LOVE to see your photos! Post your photos on my facebook page or tag them on Instagram with #justlikeplayinghouse

Room Makeover…Janae’s Master Bedroom

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This past weekend was so much fun for me! Not only did I get to make a trip to Seattle to see most of my girlfriends from college but I got to do my first room makeover in someone else’s home! Now this project didn’t start out as a room makeover but it gradually progressed into that because we were having so much fun that we just couldn’t stop.

I got a text from my friend Janae one day that said “Our room is so sad! It needs a makeover.” I’m sure you all know this too well, it is so common that the last room in the house to get any attention is the master bedroom. Unless you have just recently moved in and are giving your guests a house tour, you just don’t usually take people into this room and therefore it tends to get a little neglected.

We started with photos of her room…here is the room before:

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So here is what we had to work with, the walls were already a great color, a nice shade of grayish-blue and the carpet accented them well in a nice charcoal color. The trim in the room was all in great shape in bright white and had nice crown moulding as well. Janae also had these beautiful sheer grey window panels that she wanted to incorporate into the new room. The first thing we decided was that the dark red accents needed to go as they were making the room too dark and she definitely needed a headboard.

We started looking at photos of headboards to decide on the look she wanted and we landed on a wood headboard that had a distressed look in a driftwood grey color. We were going to make the headboard ourselves and this would be my first major carpentry project so I started researching the “how-to”. I have always LOVED Ana White, if you haven’t been to her site, please check it out. This woman is amazing and posts 100’s of plans for all different types of furniture building. Janae decided on the Reclaimed Wood Headboard, so we went to Lowe’s and then got to work on it (I will post the full DIY on how to build the headboard this week so be on the lookout!). The headboard turned out beautifully and was exactly what we were going for.

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Once we finished the headboard, we went on the hunt for bedding in the new color scheme, mostly grey and yellow with blue accents. At T.J. Maxx, Janae spotted this gorgeous quilt with colors that matched exactly what we were looking for. They happened to have matching pillow shams as well so we grabbed those and some sheer yellow curtain panels to replace the dark red curtains she already had. We found the sheets, bed skirt and yellow accent pillow at Homegoods.

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Next up was a little wall décor, Janae wanted a family photo wall above the bed so we grabbed an assortment of wood frames from Goodwill and spray painted them white. She picked out some photos and we converted them to black and white and had prints done through Walgreens photo center. Then we just laid the frames out on the bed and rearranged them until we got the desired look.

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We decided that since we told her husband Chris we were just building a headboard and that it wouldn’t cost him much that we should probably stop there. Didn’t want to shock is wallet too much 🙂 Ultimately, Janae spent under $300 to build and paint the headboard, and for the bedding, curtains and pictures. A quick and inexpensive update to make her master bedroom a place she enjoys relaxing with her family.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

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I threw this together this morning for a quick and tasty breakfast. I don’t generally like to eat a big breakfast but I know it’s important in jumpstarting your metabolism for the day. This is a light and easy way to do it.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter-Banana Smoothie
1 ripe banana
1 cup almond milk
2 Tbsp peanut butter (I like to use one naturally sweetened with honey)
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup ice

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Inspired by…home of Jessica Simpson

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My home décor style is continuously developing right now, as I do more and more research and look at more and more photos. One designer I am loving is Rachel Ashwell, a London born designer, author and entrepreneur who is deemed the queen of shabby chic interiors. While looking at celebrity home interiors, I came across Jessica Simpson’s previous home, an adorable residence in Beverly Hills, designed by Rachel Ashwell. The feel is just so comfortable, relaxing and, well, pretty! Recently, Jessica, husband Eric Johnson and their two absolutely gorgeous children just moved into a new home and I can’t wait for someone to do a photo spread on that gorgeous property as well.

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Mint & Cumin Spiced Lamb Chops

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I felt like I was at a restaurant while I was eating these! Incredible flavors that will impress all your dinner guests. The rub was delicious and would actually taste great on almost any type of meat. A great meal for a weekend BBQ, make the rub ahead of time, apply to the meat and let it sit in the refrigerator for the day.

Mint & Cumin Spiced Lamb Chops
Makes 24 Lamb Chops
2 medium onions, peeled, quartered
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves with tender stems
1 cup fresh parsley leaves with tender stems
1 cup fresh mint leaves
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp paprika
2 tsp allspice
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp ras-el-hanout or garam masala
Kosher salt
24 untrimmed lamb chops (about 5 pounds)

1. Pulse onions, cilantro, parsley, mint, cumin, paprika, allspice, red pepper flakes, and garam masala in a food processor until very finely chopped; season with salt.
2. Place lamb in a large dish and rub with spice mixture. Cover and chill at least 2 hours.
3. Prepare grill for medium-high heat and oil grate. Grill lamb to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium.
4. Let rest at least 5 minutes before serving, garnish with cilantro, mint and parsley leaves.

*original recipe from Bon Appétit

Vinyl Plank Flooring

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I’m almost finished with the flooring in the foyer and I’m so impressed with the look and how easy it was to install that I just had to share the details with you all. When I was trying to decide what flooring to go with there were a couple of factors I considered:
1) Price – I got an estimate from a home improvement retailer to install wood plank flooring and the cost was going to be similar to sending our future children to private school in Switzerland. Ok, maybe not that much and the estimate was for the whole house but still, more than we wanted to spend right now. However, I’m an instant gratification type of gal so I needed to figure out another option that could happen in the coming weeks.
2) Waterproof – I wanted the flooring in our entryway, powder room and possibly kitchen and master bath but everyone knows (at least my mother’s horror stories tell me) that you don’t put wood floor in rooms where water leaks are a possibility.

I started looking at other options and came across this vinyl plank flooring at Lowe’s (Shaw Matrix Floating Vinyl Plank in Franklin Hickory).  Yes, I cringed a bit at the word vinyl because it conjured up images of the faux tile flooring in my childhood home. A cream “tile” with pink flowers with large green leaves all through the kitchen and hallway. (Sorry mom, totally throwing you under the bus in this post. Love you!) That floor has long since been discarded but I still couldn’t help but think of outdated material when I see the word vinyl in reference to flooring.

I really liked the look of this particular color of “faux wood” flooring and it was relatively cheap in comparison to the other floor options, waterproof and you install it with nothing more than a tape measure and a box cutter! So, I brought a box home and gave it a shot. You install this product right over existing tile or over subfloor, no underlayment necessary. Before I knew it, I was back at Lowe’s buying enough to finish the whole foyer.

As with the crown moulding, I didn’t take pictures as I went because I wanted to get a little experience first. I’m feeling quite confident with it now and will post a Part 2 when I tackle the next room. However, I will say that the flooring comes with instructions in the box and it is SO EASY that you probably don’t need the photos.

Until then, check out the photos, check out the flooring and seriously consider it if you are looking to update your home. Below is the original flooring and then a few more shots of the new floor. Now to tackle the baseboard and stairs!IMG_2420 IMG_2694 IMG_2711

Berry & Oat Smoothie

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Happy Friday all! Getting the weekend started off right with a yummy fruit smoothie! I added rolled oats right into the blender which I haven’t tried before and it worked pretty well. A great way to get your oatmeal in the summertime.

Berry & Oat Smoothie
Makes approx. 16 ozs
12 ozs original unsweetened almond milk
1 cup frozen raspberries
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup vanilla Greek yogurt

1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth

You can easily add in some other tasty treats, a banana would taste great as well. I was going to add spinach but realized I was all out when I went to make the smoothie. You could also substitute coconut water for the almond milk if you prefer. Get creative, the point is to get your morning oats!

BLT Pizza

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I LOVE BLT’s, I mean LOVE them! So when I saw this recipe for BLT Pizza on the cover of last months Cooking Light I had to try it out. And it was delicious! The key is the mayonnaise based white sauce rather than the usual red pizza sauce.

BLT Pizza
1 pound ripe tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp minced chives
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 bacon slices, cut into 1-inch pieces
16 ozs fresh pizza dough
1 Tbsp cornmeal
2 ozs shredded mozzarella cheese
Cooking spray
1 cup arugula

1. Preheat oven to 400°F
2. Arrange tomato slices on a parchment-lined baking sheet; sprinkle with oregano and pepper. Bake at 400°F for 20 minutes or until tomatoes are no longer wet. Remove tomatoes from oven and increase temperature to 500°F.
3. Combine mayonnaise, oil, chives and garlic in a small bowl.
4. Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp; drain on paper towels.
5. Using well-floured hands, pat pizza dough into a 10-inch circle. Place pizza dough on a pizza stone or baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Bake at 500°F for 5 minutes.
6. Carefully remove pizza crust from oven. Brush mayonnaise mixture over crust, leaving a 1-inch border; top with tomatoes and bacon. Top with cheese; coat crust edge with cooking spray. Bake 8 minutes or until cheese melts and crust browns. Top with arugula and cut into 8 slices.

Crown Moulding

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This is the project I am most proud of so far, it took me a while to get it right (and by that I mean to get to the point that my perfectionistic personality was satisfied) but I did it and am super pleased with the result.

I used 5 1/4 inch angled moulding to get a prominent look that adds depth to the walls, rather than a moulding that lays flat on the wall. You can tell the difference by looking at the back of the moulding. If it is completely flat on the back then it lays flat on the wall. If it has a slanted edge at the top and bottom then it sits at an angle with the slanted edges sitting on the wall and ceiling. Most moulding comes in 8ft or 12ft lengths, measure each wall, the goal is to use just one piece of moulding for each wall so you don’t have to deal with seams of connecting 2 pieces of moulding. However, if you have a long wall and can’t avoid this I will show you how to create a smooth seam. I painted all of the moulding and corner blocks with white semi-gloss interior paint prior to installing it.

Supplies:
Evertrue Interior Primed MDF Crown Moulding from Lowe’s
Evertrue Outside Corner Crown Moulding Block
Evertrue Inside Corner Crown Moulding Block
15 Gauge 1 1/2 Inch Nail
13 Gauge 2 Inch Nail
Nail Punch Set
Miter Box
Wood Filler
Fine Grit Sandpaper

1. I started by attaching the corner moulding blocks to each corner using the 2 inch nails. Each block has predrilled holes so attaching them to the wall is fairly simple. Once you have secured the nail on both sides of the block, using the nail punch set (I used the smallest in the set) to countersink the nail then cover your nail hole with wood filler and allow it to dry for at least a half hour before painting or sanding.
2. Once all your corner blocks are in place, you can put up the moulding. Measure the distance between 2 blocks and cut a piece of moulding to that length. Remember the rule: Measure twice and cut once, and you can always cut off a bit more if it’s too long but you can’t fix it if it’s too short. Angle your moulding so the edges sit flush with the wall and ceiling and anchor in the center of the wall with the 1 1/2 inch nails, one nail into the wall and one into the ceiling. Do the same next to each corner block, and depending on the length of the wall, halfway between the corner and center of the wall. I personally anchored the moulding approximately every 2 feet.
3. After you’ve finished anchoring the moulding, go back with the nail punch and countersink each nail and fill the holes with wood filler like you did with the corner blocks. After the filler has dried for at least a half hour you can lightly sand it so the surface is smooth. Now you can go back with paint and touch up the nail holes.

Because this was my first attempt, I didn’t take photos of the cuts and installation as I went, however, I will post an update soon with more detailed photos of installation and cuts for seams, edges connecting with corner blocks and corner without corner blocks.

Stay tuned!

Bourbon-Peach Pulled Pork Sliders

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I was working on a project yesterday so I didn’t want to spend much time on dinner so I made this pulled pork in the crockpot. Actual time in the kitchen was about 20 minutes but I slow cooked the meat all afternoon and it came out delicious!

Bourbon-Peach Pulled Pork Sliders
Makes 16 sliders
For the Pork
2 tsp smoked Paprika
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 (3 1/2 pound) boneless pork shoulder roast
1/2 cup unsalted chicken stock
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup molasses
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 cup peach preserves
2 cups sliced onions
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup bourbon
2 Tbsp cold water
2 tsp cornstarch
For the coleslaw
1 1/2 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp cider vinegar
1/8 tsp kosher salt
2 cups cabbage-and-carrot coleslaw
1/4 sliced red onion
16 slider buns

1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Combine paprika, 1/2 tsp salt and black pepper; rub evenly over pork. Add pork to pan; cook 10 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Place pork in 6-quart slow cooker.
2. Add next 8 ingredients (through garlic) to slow cooker, pouring over pork as you add them. Stir and turn pork to coat in mixture, cover and cook on low 4 1/2 hours or until pork is very tender.
3. Remove pork from slow cooker and shred meat with 2 forks. Remove onions from slow cooker using slotted spoon and add to pork. Transfer liquid to a sauce pan, heat on medium-high heat, add bourbon and bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes or until mixture is reduced to about 1 1/2 cups.
4. Combine 2 Tbsp water and cornstarch in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk; add cornstarch mixture to sauce, stirring constantly until thickened. Stir in remaining salt. Drizzle sauce over pork; toss gently to coat.
To make the coleslaw:
5. Combine mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar and salt in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add coleslaw and onion; toss well to combine.
6. Divide pork evenly among bottom halves of buns; top each slider with 2 heaping Tbsp slaw and top half of bun.

Inspired by…living rooms

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I’m getting close to finishing my foyer which means it’s almost time to start on the living room. To get prepared, I’m sharing some of my all time favorite living room photos for inspiration. I love a neutral color palette (although I am loving the blue & white theme that is trending right now) with a rustic glam theme. Enjoy!

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Pancetta Wrapped Pork Tenderloin w/ Cantaloupe & Red Pepper Salsa

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You wouldn’t normally think of cantaloupe for a salsa but it was so light and refreshing. This is a great meal for a summer night when you don’t want to turn on the oven because your house already feels like one, which is every night for me these days. It was also a pretty quick dish to prepare for a weeknight meal (20 minutes to prep and 25 minutes on the grill). I got this recipe from the new July issue of Cooking Light, it’s got tons of great summer recipes and I’m sure you’ll see a few more posted here soon.

Pancetta Wrapped Pork Tenderloin w/ Cantaloupe & Red Pepper Salsa

For the Salsa
1 cup finely chopped fresh cantaloupe
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1 Tbsp finely chopped seeded jalapeño pepper
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp kosher salt

1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring well. Cover and chill while you prep and cook the pork

For the Pork
1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 ounces thinly sliced pancetta
cooking spray or oil for the grill

1. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
2. Pat pork tenderloin dry with paper towels.
3. Sprinkle pork evenly with salt and pepper. Wrap pork in pancetta, with slices slightly overlapping.
4. Place pork on grill rack coated with cooking spray; cover. Grill 22-25 minutes or until a thermometer registers 170°F, turning occasionally to brown all sides.
5. Slice and plate the pork and top with salsa before serving.

Antiqued Mirrors

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So I have this large blank space above my front door and for the life of me, I could not decide what to hang above it. I was thinking just one large mirror but then I had this obnoxious fear of that big mirror falling to the ground when the front door slams shut someday. I hate hanging super large objects, to avoid this, I decided to hang a bunch of small objects instead. Must less scary but a bit more work for me.

First I thought I’d buy plain 12×12 mirrors and go through the whole antiquing process. Let me tell you, I don’t recommend this. It was tedious and it was a workout. You have to use paint stripper to get the backing off the mirror, then remove some of the actual mirror film with chemicals. All the while, you are scraping away with a paint scraper, getting quite the arm workout. By the time I was done I needed a drink, and I’m not talking about water. Anyway, I finished scraping the mirrors, antiqued them and then started to hang them but quickly realized I didn’t like the look of a bunch of square mirrors all in a row. I wanted different shapes and sizes all with decorative frames on them but I discovered I was going to be paying at least $30 per mirror for this. Now, I do have some mirrors with great frames that I may antique in the future so that post may come at a later date. This post, however, will teach you how to turn plain glass into an antiqued mirror, and it’s SO easy!

Off I went to the thrift store where I found a huge assortment of picture frames of all shapes and sizes. I picked out 11 of them (sadly, I broke one in the process of turning it into a mirror). Then I went to Home Depot and picked up a few cans of Rust-Oleum Laquer Gloss Black Spray Paint for the frames and a few cans of Rust-Oleum Mirror Finish Spray Paint for the glass. I came back home and got to work.

The steps themselves are pretty simple…
1. Remove the glass and backing from the picture frames
2. Spray the picture frames with the chosen color of spray paint, allow to dry completely. This may take 2 coats depending on the color you choose and material of the frame.
3. Using the mirror finish spray paint, paint the back side of the glass and allow to dry completely. If necessary, apply a second coat once the first coat is dry.
4.  To get the antique finish on the mirror: Using a spray bottle, make a 50/50 water and bleach mixture. Spray a bit of the mixture on an old cloth (that you don’t mind ruining) and rub the cloth lightly in a circular motion around the outer 2 inches of the glass and anywhere that you want the mirror to look distressed. Reference the photo above to see the distressing on my mirrors, the more or the harder you rub the cloth on the mirror, the more the paint will come off.
5. Whatever piece of cardboard or backing is going directly behind the mirror, spray paint that piece black to get the full distressed look.
6. Reassemble your frames (remember the non-painted side of the glass faces forward) and voilà, you have a custom distressed mirror.

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Raspberry Scones

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I hope everyone had a great 4th of July weekend! We spent the holiday at home trying to comfort our anxiety ridden dog from the noise of the fireworks. Our puppy didn’t seem to even notice the noise but our older female dog has a tough time with the holiday every year and spent the entire night under bed. I did, however, happen to get a lot of DIY projects done over the weekend which means some great posts coming your way very soon, including antiqued mirrors and crown molding! Stay tuned for those. I also made my first attempt at homemade scones and am pretty excited with how tasty they are.

I don’t do a ton of baking and am usually a little intimidated by pastries but this recipe was relatively easy to follow so I think it’s good for beginners. I got the recipe from another food blog that I’ve been following religiously in the last few weeks, Food 52. I’m not sure if this is done in all scones recipes but the key to these tasty and moist scones is keeping the butter a bit “chunky” in the dough and not completely mixing it in and also freezing the dough before baking.

Raspberry Scones
2 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling on tops of scones
1 Tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp kosher salt
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
3/4 cup frozen raspberries (or any frozen berries of your choice)
1 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing on tops of scones
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1. In a large bowl of a food processor fitted with the chopping blade, place the dry ingredients and pulse to combine. (If you don’t have a food processor, this can be done by hand in a mixing bowl. The food processor just makes step 2 a bit easier)
2. Add the butter and pulse about 10 or so times. You want to retain some chunks of butter, not mix it all in completely. Transfer the flour mixture to a large mixing bowl.
3. Gently toss the frozen berries into the flour mixture and lightly coat them. (Using frozen berries and coating them with flour before hand with help to keep them from bleeding as much and turning your dough completely pink)
4. In a large measuring cup, place the heavy cream, egg and vanilla. Mix well and pour into flour mixture. With a dinner fork, fold the wet into the dry as you gradually turn the bowl. It’s a folding motion you are shooting for here, not a stirring motion. When the dough begins to gather, use a plastic bowl scraper to gently knead the dough into a ball (or you may find it easier to use your hands). If there is still a lot of flour at the bottom of the bowl, drizzle a bit more cream, about 1 teaspoon at a time, until the dough comes together.
5. Transfer the dough ball to a floured cutting board. Gently pat into a 6″ to 7″ circle. With a pastry circle or a large chef’s knife, cut the dough like a pie into 8 triangles.
6. Place the scones on wax-paper lined sheet pan and freeze until solid. Once they are frozen, you can store them in a freezer bag for a few weeks until you’re ready to bake them.
7. Preheat oven to 425°F. Place frozen scones on a parchment-line sheet pan, about 1 inch apart. Brush with cream and sprinkle tops with sugar.
8. Bake for about 20-25 minutes. They are done when the tops begin to brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

These are great to make and freeze ahead of time when you have people coming to stay at your home. Try different mix-in berries and let me know how they turn out!

Red White & Blueberry Popsicles

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These HAVE to be the cutest popsicles you’ve ever seen!!! And a perfect treat for your 4th of July celebration. I got this recipe off of The view from great island, a food blog that I am now obsessed with. She uses bright, colorful foods, has beautiful photographs and makes everything look mouth-watering!

Be warned, when making striped popsicles, it does take a little time because you have to freeze each layer before adding the next but it was so much fun for me to make these over the course of the day. Might be a fun project for little ones to help with on a warm summer day and keep them looking forward to the next step all day long before finally getting to devour these delicious treats.

Red White & Blueberry Yogurt Popsicles
Makes 6 popsicles
1 cup blueberries
1 1/2 cup raspberries
1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt

1. Use a food processor to puree the blueberries. If they come out a bit more purple than blue (like mine did) just add a spoonful or two of the Greek Yogurt and a few drops of blue food coloring until you get the desired shade of blue. When you achieve the right color, you want to make sure the fruit is pourable, if it is too thick, try adding a tablespoon of water. You can also puree your raspberries ahead of time, adding 1-2 tablespoons of water. Place pureed raspberries in a separate bowl and keep refrigerated until use.
2. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the  blueberry mixture into the bottom of each popsicle mold. After each pour you’ll need to do a little clean up, you don’t want too much extra on the sides of the mold as this will cause your stripes to look a little mangled. Don’t get too fussy because you want it to look a little rustic.
3. Put the mold in the freezer and freeze for 1 hour.
4. Remove molds from freezer and add a small stipe (about 1 tablespoon) of vanilla yogurt to each mold. After you’ve added the first layer of yogurt, insert your popsicle sticks, trying to push them into the layer of blueberry a bit. Hold the sticks in place by placing a piece of tin foil over each mold. Place back in the freezer for another hour.
5. Remove molds from freezer, remove foil and add a small stripe (about 1 tablespoon) of raspberry puree. The sticks should stand on their own at this point so you won’t need the foil any longer.
6. Continue alternating white and red stripes, freezing for 1 hour after each, until you have filled the mold (I had 1 large layer of blueberries, 2 layers of raspberries & 3 layers of yogurt).
7. When you are ready to serve, hold the mold under hot running water to loosen (be careful not to let water splash near the opening), after about 30 seconds you should be able to easily remove the popsicle from the mold.

Enjoy! And have a safe and happy 4th of July!

Rib-eye with Mustard Butter and Herb Fries

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I recently bought a new cookbook, My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz, and this is the first recipe I tried. I’m hooked. The cookbook is full of amazing French recipes, explanations of French cooking techniques and beautiful pictures. If you want to try something new in the kitchen, I highly recommend it!

The recipe in the cookbook will be a bit different as David Lebovitz recommends melting butter in a cast iron skillet to cook the steak and topping with ground pepper, I made mine on an outdoor grill and did not add pepper.

Rib-eye
Serves 2
2 rib-eye steaks
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
1 tsp finely chopped cilantro
Mustard Butter
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tsp dry mustard or mustard powder
1 heaping tsp Dijon mustard

1. Pat the steaks dry and rub them with the salt, chili powder, and cilantro. Refrigerate the steaks, uncovered for at least 1 hour, or up to 8 hours. (I think I did for 5 hours)
2. To make the mustard butter, in a small bowl, mash together the butter with the dry mustard and the Dijon. Form it into two mounds and chill on a plastic wrap-lined plate.
3. Heat a grill to medium heat and grill to desired temperature. For medium cooked steaks, mine were about 1″ thick and I cooked them for 8 minutes per side.
4. Remove the steaks from the grill and put on plates. Top each steak with half the mustard butter, allow it to melt a bit, and serve with a big pile of herb fries (recipe below).

Herb French Fries
Serves 2
3 russet potatoes (plan about 1 1/2 potatoes per person)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
small handful of fresh herbs (mixture of sage, rosemary & thyme)

1. Wash potatoes (peel if you’d like, I left the skin on). Cut the potatoes into 1/3 inch thick slices. Lay the slices on a cutting board and slice them into 1/3 inch wide sticks. Put them in a large bowl of very cold, lightly salted water, and let them sit for 1 hour.
2. Preheat oven to 400°F.
3. Drain potatoes, lay them on a towel and rub them dry. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Place potatoes on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and herb mixture. Mix everything together with your hands and spread potatoes out in a single layer.
4. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, stirring and flipping several times during baking. Once the fries are golden brown and crispy, remove and serve.

Hope you all enjoy! And if you do, go get the cookbook, you won’t be disappointed!