How to Hide your TV

Well hello!  I’ve been MIA lately because we’ve been completely preoccupied with selling our house.  Good news, we sold our house last week.  Yeah!!  Now the fun begins… where oh where are we going to live next?  We’ve been seriously looking at moving into a brand new house (something I’ve never done before).  I’ve always been an old house girl.  I love their character and charm.  However, in the area we’ve been focusing our hunt, it’s really hard to find what we’re looking for.  So, a brand new house is starting to look pretty good and I’m actually getting excited about the idea.  One thing that I really hate about the way new houses are designed however is that TVs are supposed to hang above the fireplace in the middle of the living room.  I love TV but I don’t want it to be the focus of the room.  I’ve been doing a little looking around to see how I might be able to hide our flat screen if our only practical choice is to hang it above the fireplace.  I was surprised to find a number of great ideas.  Some are a little pricey but you’ll never know you have a TV on the wall.

Artwork and a frame disguise the TV when it’s not in use.  Very clever.  You can choose your artwork to compliment your room.

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framemytv.com

Same idea as the artwork, but a family photo is displayed instead.

Family Portrait - This project shows both custom artwork with a family portrait as well as concealment of the center channel speaker above the TV.

framemytv.com

Not a fan of the artwork or photo, how about a mirror?  You would never know there’s a TV under there, huh?

Dielectric TV Mirror - Premium Hardwood Style in Black Satin Finish

framemytv.com

Another creative way to cover up the TV is with a cabinet.  Here are a couple of ideas…

wooden wall-mounted plasma TV cabinet

jdorganizer.blogspot.com

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thingsthatinspire.com

Here’s another idea… a framed photo on one side and the tv on the other.  Just flip to the side you want to use.  Very clever!

hvtvmounts.com

A tapestry scrolls down over this TV to cover it when not in use.

electronichouse.com

It may cost a pretty penny, but at least there is some technology out there to help hide those TVs so they are not the focus of the room.  Now I just need to find a house to put it in!

Curly Willow

I love the look of curly willow.  It’s so often used in wedding decor and floral arrangements but I think it’s great to use in your home for every day decorating too.  I have a weird little space on the wall of my dining room.  It’s just a skinny little landing.  For the longest time I didn’t know what to put there.  It looked so plain and empty.  One day I found these baskets at Kitchen Kaboodle and they sparked an idea… filled with curly willow they would look dramatic and would fill up this strange little space perfectly.

Some more great curly willow ideas…

loose and natural curly willow wreath

Centsational Girl

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HGTV

Main Street Trees

The Nettleton Hollow Blog

diydiva

curly willow branches

Comfortable Home Design

Dessert for company when you have no time (part 2)

Another delicious, super easy dessert that’s fit for company, especially if you love lemon!  Layer store-bought pound cake, lemon curd and sweetened whipped cream (3 layers of each).  I  topped it with a handful of toasted coconut that I had on hand but you could easily leave that off or top it with a fresh lemon slice.

This is all that you need….

1. pretty glass

2. pound cake

3. lemon curd from a jar (Trader Joe’s makes a really good one)

4. Sweetened whipped cream (made in your Isi whipped cream canister of course!)

Enjoy!!

Scarf Storage Ideas

I’ve accumulated  a bunch of scarves over the years and they keep ending up squished in one drawer in our bedroom.  I fold them up nice and neat and then after a little while they end up  a wadded mess.  Since I’m in the process of doing a little spring cleaning around our house, I decided to tackle the scarf situation.  I’m in no way organized or disciplined enough to keep everything folded nice and neat in a drawer, it’s just not going to happen, so I decided they needed to be hung up so they were all visible and so I could find what I needed quickly (we’re often rushing out the door around here).  I just happened to have a couple of racks my husband used for  his ties and decided they would work perfectly.  Hung on the back of our bedroom door my scarves are easy to get to but out of sight.

I looked around to see what other gals were doing to organize their scarves and found some pretty great ideas…

Bracketed rods hung between walls.  Perfect for a tight space.

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Apartment Therapy

Scarf hanger takes up almost no room in your closet.

Scarf Storage

Curtain rod with S hooks and rings.

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Shelterness.com

Wire basket for rolled scarves.  Great if you don’t have a big collection.

Shelterness

Ladder for hanging scarves and jewelry.  Adorable!

I'm Glad I Exist

Clear shoe storage system.  Perfect for scarves!

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A Thoughtful Place

Hanging scarf storage from Isabella.

Scarf Hangup

Isabella

Good luck organizing at you house.  Happy Friday!

Lime Coconut Pie

I’ve had this in my recipe files for years.  It comes from Caprial Pence, a fabulous Portland chef.  I made this for Easter this year because I thought the citrus and coconut sounded Eastery.  However, this would be pretty darn good any time of year in my opinion.   I love toasted coconut, so I went a little heavy on the garnish.  Yum!  Oh, by the way, this is another great time to use the Isi whipped cream canister I keep talking about.  I’m telling you, it’s a great little tool to have around.

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 ⅓ cups flour
  • 1/4 cup shortening (chilled)
  • 1/4 cup chilled butter, diced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 5 tbls ice water

Filling

  • 1 ⅓ cups sugar
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • grated zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 cup whipped cream, as accompaniment
  • ½ cup toasted coconut, as garnish

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350° Place the flour, shortening, butter, salt and sugar in a food processor and process until the dough resembles a coarse meal.  Add the water and mix just until combined.  Roll the dough into a ball and wrap tightly with plastic wrap.  Let rest 15 minutes.  On a well-floured board, roll the dough out into a 10-inch circle.  Place the dough in a 9 inch pie plate and flute the edges.  Set aside.

Combine the sugar and butter in the bowl of a food processor, and process until thick and creamy.  With the machine running, add the eggs, one at a time, through the feed tube and process until smooth.  Add the vanilla and the lime zest and juice, and process until the batter is well blended.  Sprinkle the coconut over the bottom of the crust.  Pour the batter over the coconut.  Bake until just set and a knife inserted in the pie comes out clean, 30-35 minutes.  Let cool to room temperature or refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Serve room temperature or chilled, topped with whipped cream and toasted coconut.

Bacon and Potato Soup

When a bowl of soup combines bacon, potatoes and cheese, it just has to be good.  If you add in a few veggies, you could even say it’s healthy, right?  Absolutely!  Serve this warm bowl of deliciousness with some crusty garlic bread and a green salad and you are good to go.

Ingredients

  •                    10-12 thick slices bacon
  •                     1 chopped yellow onion
  •                     1 cup chopped carrots
  •                     4 stalks celery, chopped
  •                     4 cups low fat, low sodium chicken broth
  •                     3 lbs cubed potatoes
  •                     1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  •                     1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  •                     1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Cook bacon until crisp in dutch oven, remove and drain well on paper towels. Discard bacon grease except for about 2 tbls.

Meanwhile, prepare vegetables.  Add onion, carrot, and celery to pan as they are cut up. Saute until onion is soft but not brown, about 3-4 minutes.

Stir in chicken broth, potatoes, and pepper; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, until potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes.

Portion out a few ladels of soup and process in a blender until smooth.  Add back into pot.

 Stir in cheese, heating just until melted–do not boil. Chop bacon and add to soup. Adjust seasoning to taste by adding salt, if desired. Serve at once.

Super easy and delicious.  Kids usually love this too!  Enjoy.

Dessert for company when you have NO time

Usually when I entertain I prefer to make everything myself.  Homemade is always great, but sometimes there just isn’t enough time to do it all.  If I spend a lot of time on the meal itself, making a homemade dessert can seem like a big task and too time consuming depending on what else I have going on at the time.  I have a couple of super quick dessert ideas that are always crowd pleasers and look pretty too.

I start by using either nice wine glasses or pretty dessert dishes, that’s the key to making this look fancy!  I put a scoop of ice cream in the glass and drizzle on some chocolate or caramel sauce (from Trader Joe’s, it’s amazing!)  then top with some fresh whipped cream.  This is when a whipped cream canister really comes in handy. (ISI Cream Whippers)  Another variation to this dessert is to use Trader Joe’s Belgian Chocolate Pudding and layer with whipped cream in a wine glass.  Top with chocolate shavings or a cookie and you’re done.  Their chocolate pudding reminds me of chocolate mousse… it is sooooo rich and delicious.   How easy is that?

TJ's Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

So, it seems there is a trend happening with my recipes these days…definitely not low-cal.  Sorry!  It’s that time of year.  When it’s rainy, gray  and cold, comfort food just sounds good.  I thought these delicious cinnamon rolls from Alton Brown might make a nice addition to Easter brunch or breakfast this year.  We had them on Christmas morning and they were most definitely a big hit.  Because you do most of the work the night before, they’re perfect when you’re having company.  Brew up a fresh pot of coffee and indulge!

Ingredients

Dough:

  • 4 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 large whole egg, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 6 ounces buttermilk, room temperature
  • Approx. 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting
  • 1 package instant dry yeast, approximately 2 1/4 teaspoons
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Vegetable oil or cooking spray

Filling:

  •  1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch salt
  •  1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Icing:

  •  1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Directions

For the dough: in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg yolks, whole egg, sugar, butter, and buttermilk. Add approximately 2 cups of the flour along with the yeast and salt; whisk until moistened and combined. Remove the whisk attachment and replace with a dough hook. Add all but 3/4 cup of the remaining flour and knead on low-speed for 5 minutes. Check the consistency of the dough, add more flour if necessary; the dough should feel soft and moist but not sticky. Knead on low-speed 5 minutes more or until the dough clears the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface; knead by hand about 30 seconds. Lightly oil a large bowl. Transfer the dough to the bowl, lightly oil the top of the dough, cover and let double in volume, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Mix until well incorporated. Set aside until ready to use.

Butter a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently shape the dough into a rectangle with the long side nearest you. Roll into an 18 by 12-inch rectangle. Brush the dough with the 3/4-ounce of melted butter, leaving 1/2-inch border along the top edge. Sprinkle the filling mixture over the dough, leaving a 3/4-inch border along the top edge; gently press the filling into the dough. Beginning with the long edge nearest you, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Firmly pinch the seam to seal and roll the cylinder seam side down. Very gently squeeze the cylinder to create even thickness. Using a serrated knife, slice the cylinder into 1 1/2-inch rolls; yielding 12 rolls. Arrange rolls cut side down in the baking dish; cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight or up to 16 hours.

Remove the rolls from the refrigerator and place in an oven that is turned off. Fill a shallow pan 2/3-full of boiling water and set on the rack below the rolls. Close the oven door and let the rolls rise until they look slightly puffy; approximately 30 minutes. Remove the rolls and the shallow pan of water from the oven.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

When the oven is ready, place the rolls on the middle rack and bake until golden brown, approximately 30 minutes.

While the rolls are cooling slightly, make the icing by whisking the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer until creamy. Add the milk and whisk until combined. Sift in the powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth. Spread over the rolls and serve immediately.

Picnic Table Makeover

My son has a little pint-size picnic table.  It used to be a nice bright yellow but after a few summers in the sun and a few visits from the backsides of our chickens, it definitely wasn’t looking too bright (or sanitary) anymore.  With spring here and summer weather on its way (I hope) I decided it was finally time to give this little table a facelift.

Before:

The paint was chipped and cracked so I gave it a good sanding before I started to paint.

Next step was to use a spray primer for a solid base coat before the color went on.

I used a few coats of a bright glossy green spray paint (Valspar Gloss Lucious Green) until it was nicely covered.  I then used my Silhouette Cameo to cut out the stencils for the letters.  I  used a foam roller to apply a light gray/blue for the lettering.  After everything was dry I used a couple of coats of Valspar interior/exterior gloss clear protector to protect the finish.  Tada!  Here’s the new table… pretty darn cute I think.

After

Okay summer, we’re ready for you!  Chickens, you are not allowed anywhere near this table from now on!

 

Stenciled Furniture Inspiration

I love the look of stenciled furniture.  Stenciling can take something plain and ordinary and make it one-of-a-kind.  I’ve been wanting to try this technique out for a while and have been looking for inspiration.  Tons of great ideas out there!  I have my own piece in the works that I hope to post this week but for now here are some of the great things I’ve found while perusing cyberspace.

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Better After

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HGTV

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The Lovely Residence

BHG

Hawaii Dermatology

Elle Decor

 

Mural Maker and More

 

Cutting Edge Stencils

Anna, Nova Scotia, Canada

Cutting Edge Stencils

 

stenciled-table

Cutting Edge Stencils