July 23, 2013

rocking chair diaries: part 1

Weird yet true confession: I love garbage day. Let me explain: I love the night before garbage day, when random treasures can occasionally be found alongside the recycling bins and garbage cans. Most of the time, the random treasures are not actually treasures, but true garbage - worn out, ripped couches, broken bookshelves, dressers that have seen better days - and are beyond salvaging.

But sometimes, people can't be bothered to put an unwanted item on Kijiji, Craigslist or even Freecycle and on Garbage Day's Eve, these items are fair game (and free!) to curbside scavengers like myself.

Exhibit A: this perfectly good, perfectly free (thank you, anonymous neighbour!), full-of-potential rocking chair.

I plan to go over it with my palm sander, but am unsure what to do after that - stain it darker or paint it a bright white? What about painting it bright yellow or red?

Thoughts? Ideas? Please send 'em my way!

July 16, 2013

recipe > chicken broccoli alfredo

Growing up, I was well known to family and friends as the pickiest of picky eaters. Contrary to popular belief, nowadays I actually like to eat broccoli. Normally, I prefer French fries potatoes but have come to the realization that I must include green things in my diet to stay healthy. Though I am still not a particularly adventurous eater, I do eat things like broccoli and spinach to the amazement and shock of my brothers. 

Here is my second official recipe: Chicken Broccoli Alfredo, a la Jen...

P.S. My apologies for the lack of step-by-step photos... I decided to post this recipe as I was pulling it out of the oven, and took a few pictures before digging in. Enjoy.

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • broccoli (as much as your heart desires... I used approximately 3 cups)
  • 1 package (450 grams) of farfalle (bowtie) noodles
  • 2 jars (410 ml) alfredo sauce (I used Classico Alfredo + Roasted Garlic, but there are lighter options that would be delish)
  •  dash of Italian seasoning


How To:

1. Fill two saucepans with water. One is to boil/cook the chicken, and the other is to boil water for the noodles.

2. While water is boiling, cut the broccoli into bite size pieces. Set aside.

3. Cook the noodles according to package instructions. I cooked the farfalle noodles for 13 minutes, and the chicken for a bit longer - about 15 minutes (it was fully thawed).

4. Steam the broccoli.

5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

6. In a 9x13 baking dish, I spread the contents of the first jar of alfredo sauce.  Spray the dish with cooking spray or extra virgin olive oil first.

7. Drain the noodles and add to baking dish.

8. Cut the cooked chicken into bite size pieces, and add to the baking dish.

9. Once steamed, add the broccoli to the baking dish.

10. Add the second jar of alfredo sauce to the baking dish, and mix well.

11. Add a dash (or three) of Italian seasoning for taste.

12.  Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.


In other news...
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July 14, 2013

mini makeover > candlesticks

I spent the last week not blogging. Instead, the hubby and I unplugged and headed north to spend a week with 52.5 members of our extended family (and I'm not exaggerating - that includes immediate family, aunts, uncles, cousins, cousins' kids, and one cousins' kid in utero!). Overall, a week full of swimming, sand, and sunshine plus a handful of family traditions.

I finished this little mini makeover yesterday afternoon - spray painting always takes priority over unpacking and folding laundry. (Right?!) The candlesticks caught my eye at last month's Caledonia Townwide Garage Sale. According to the price tags that were left on the bottom, they were initially purchased at Eaton's for $19.99 a piece (at least 14 years ago... probably back when I was still sporting sweatshirts from Northern Getaway).

Anyways, like a good garage-saler, I haggled and convinced the lady to let me have the set for five bucks. I liked their shape and knew they just needed a fresh coat of spray paint...



 Total cost:

Candlesticks = $5 (Caledonia's Townwide Garage Sale...
aka: the most wonderful time of the year)
Spray paint = $6.99 (Rustoleum's 'Lagoon' // similar at Home Depot)
Total= $11.99

July 03, 2013

mini makeover > itty bitty jewellery box

Confession alert: this itty bitty box has been in my possession for a few years. Many Christmases ago, I bought this plain wooden box intending it to be part of a gift I was going to make for my dear friend Linette... I was going to surprise her with a personalized travel version of our favourite game: Ten Pennies. Unfortunately, procrastination won out and I never did present Linette with her very own Ten Pennies Kit (I'm sorry, Linners). 

I started off by giving the box a healthy coat of spray paint. I had found some cute wrapping paper in Target's dollar spot recently, and cut out some of the flowers. Using ModPodge, I attached the flower cutouts. Even with the drying time, this itty bitty jewellery box didn't take long to complete!

Nowadays, this jazzy little box is used to house part of my jewellery collection... hopefully Linette will forgive and forget (and let me win a round or two of Ten Pennies).

Total cost:

Wooden box = $1.00 (Dollarama, at least 3 years ago)
Spray paint = leftover from other projects
Wrapping paper = $1.00 (Target) 
ModPodge = $7.99 for 16 oz (Hobby Lobby)  
Total = $9.99