November 23, 2011

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

I had the itch to make cinnamon rolls last week and 9:00 one evening I found this recipe on and got to work! This was my first time working with dough so it was quite the learning experience. For the first time it seemed like a lot of work, but I think it would be easier the second time around. I'll have to make these again, they were so delicious!

Clone of a Cinnabon
By: Marsha Fernandez

  • 1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup margarine, melted
  • 4 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast

  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  1. Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select dough cycle; press Start.
  2. After the dough has doubled in size turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.
  3. Roll dough into a 16x21 inch rectangle. Spread dough with 1/3 cup butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Roll up dough and cut into 12 rolls. Place rolls in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  4. Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving. "

It hit me halfway through I should be taking pictures!

I used a reviewers notes to make this recipe without the bread machine. I dissolved one package of active yeast in the warm milk in a large bowl. I then mixed in the sugar, margarine, salt, and eggs. Added the flour and mixed well. I kneaded the dough into a large ball, dusted lightly with flour. I put the dough in a bowl, covered it and let rise in a warm place about 1 hour, or until doubled in size. I then picked up with step two.

I only cut 4 rolls and placed them in the pan, covered it and put it in the refrigerator overnight. I wrapped the rest of the roll and froze for another time.

The next morning I removed the rolls and let them sit for an hour before baking. I baked them at 350 degrees for 20 minutes because a reviewer mentioned the tops burn easily. They were perfectly done inside and I was impressed with the size!

Happy Baking!

November 18, 2011

Shabby Chic Sofa Table

I found this fabulous table at a flea market a few months ago and finally have finished it up! I am so excited with the finished result especially since I experimented with a few new techniques for the first time.



The original black paint was very chippy which usually I love, but I imagined this table grey. I decided to strip the base of the table to remove some of the paint so I could get a smooth finish. Afterward, I sanded it using 220 sandpaper. First, I painted two coats of 1-2-3 Zinsser Primer. After the primer dried, I painted one coat of a lighter grey and then used a dark brown glaze to finish it.

The glaze I used is Valspar Translucent Mixing Glaze found at Lowes mixed with Raw Umber craft paint. I worked in small sections applying the glaze with a brush. After wiping the majority of the glaze off with a rag, I used a dry brush to soften it. I love how it accented all of the details.

I was planning to stain the top so I used the palm sander to remove the paint. Although, as I began sanding I realized I liked the variation between the light wood and the black paint. I came up with the great idea to try a white/grey wash to finish the look.

I mixed a light grey paint with the Valspar Glaze using a 1:4 ratio. I brushed the glaze on and then took a dry brush to remove some of the paint and give it texture. The wood began to reveal itself even more when the mixture dried. It really exposed a lot of it's imperfections which I love!

I sealed the whole table with two coats of Minwax Polyurethane Spray in Clear Satin finish.

After using the palm sander.

Hope this inspires you to try some different techniques!
I really enjoyed trying something new. Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

November 14, 2011

Sweet and Salty

Hope you all had a lovely weekend! Today I had to share my new favorite thing to do this fall. I have truly enjoyed the cooler days and have been craving coffee to warm me up. I swung by Starbucks three times last week and have fallen in love with one of their specialty drinks. It is called the Salted Caramel Mocha. Of course, while researching to make sure I had the name right, I stumbled upon the calories of this drink and will try to cut back to only once every two weeks! Yikes. It really does relax me to have a warm drink in my hand so I might have to find a lighter version! Another wonderful sweet and salty snack I have been munching on is a candy corn and salted peanuts mix. Do you have any sweet and salty addictions?! Maybe healthier ones?!

I took this picture last winter on my first outing with my new camera! I had to capture the day with my Starbucks coffee in hand. I try not to forget that photography is about capturing the moment and the experience as well as a pretty picture.

I have a few furniture makeovers coming soon so stay tuned.
Hope you have a wonderful Monday!

November 9, 2011

Lost In Pinterest

Happy Wednesday! We are halfway through the week already! Time has been flying... especially when I'm on Pinterest and realize three days have gone by! I have been so addicted lately. I can't keep from drooling over all of the Christmas decorating ideas and DIY projects.

I will go against my pull towards Christmas and try to stay in fall mode for a few more weeks. This is some of the fall decorating I have done around the house.

Thank you all for stopping by! I loved reading all of the comments on my quote box. It gave me such a motivational boost!

October 31, 2011

Gathered Truths

I'm so excited to finally share this project today. This one took a lot of perseverance. I'm so glad I stuck with it because I love the final product!

I am a quote hoarder. I can't read a book or watch a movie without writing something down that relates to my life. The problem is I always keep them on sticky notes. I have many unorganized piles of notes full of thoughts and quotes I have gathered over the years. I have never found a way to have all of them in one spot that inspires me until I saw this in the Sundance Catalog. How lovely!

This box is full of 365 quotes printed on handmade paper. I felt this was the perfect way to organize my quotes, have them easily accessible, and have a great display item all in one! I knew this was something I could make. It would also be more personal considering I would use the quotes I had gathered! Added bonus... I'm saving myself $98! Yes, you heard me right, that's what this costs! Here is my version finally finished.

This project ended up being a lot more trouble than I thought it would be. I began by hunting for the perfect handmade paper. This was not an easy task for the price, but I ended up finding 140lb. watercolor paper on sale at Michaels. I love the texture and the thickness.

After purchasing my paper, it occurred to me that the thick paper wouldn't feed through a normal at-home printer. I began to visit every copy/office shop I could find. This paper would not feed through the machines! I began to give up on this fantastic idea of mine. After a few weeks of stewing about my failed project, my little sister mentioned trying the copy machine they have at the school where she teaches. Sure enough, the paper fed through and I couldn't have been more excited and grateful for her help!

I typed about 65 quotes using different fonts that resembled a typewriter. Each card was cut at 3 1/2in by 2 1/2in and I tore one edge with a Paper Tear Edger. My Mom helped with painting the cheese box with red craft paint leaving some of the wood exposed for an older, distressed look. I found the metal label at Jo-ann Fabrics and held it in place with two tacks.

I can keep adding to my box as I gather future quotes. The whole project was worth the hassle. I'm so happy with having my quotes all organized in one place. I also love having them on display to share inspiration with others!

I think this calls for a quote.
 "There is always a way, even if it seems impossible.
In the face of impossible become inspired."

{linked up to}

October 11, 2011

My New Groove

Hello All! I'm sure you have noticed I have been MIA for a few weeks! I slipped out of my blogging groove and wasn't feeling as motivated. I found myself living life through blog posts and needed a little break to find balance with experiencing life and sharing it on a blog. Thank you for checking back and being patient! I'm still so grateful to have an outlet to share my projects, ideas, and adventures. I also have loved getting feedback from all of you.

I have been working on quite a few projects and decorating for fall. I also have finished up two pieces of furniture that I can't wait to share! Now the bad news...I shut down my computer recently and the next day it would not turn back on! My computer bit the dust after 7 years. Hopefully, I will have a replacement for next week to edit my pictures and post about my projects.

Hope you all have been enjoying this fall. I can't believe the gorgeous weather we have been having! We have had full sunshine with temperatures in the 70's and 80's. This is so unusual for Indiana, but I'm not complaining!

September 20, 2011

An Awakening Moment

I had a major hiccup with my quote project and struggled to find the words or ideas to blog today. It was a busy day working in the salon and I had an awakening moment!

Halfway through my day, one of my regular clients arrived. As I walked up to talk about what we would be doing with her hair today, I noticed she looked very tired and upset. She had tears in her eyes as she told me she wanted to shave all of her hair off. I have been cutting this woman's hair for five years and have become close with her. We both just looked at each other and had a moment of pure reality of what this meant. We both had tears. She was diagnosed with breast cancer last year. She had surgery and then went into remission. A few weeks ago it had gotten worse and she began a very forceful treatment causing her hair to fall out. She decided she couldn't stand the torture of finding clumps of hair on her pillow and decided to have me cut it all at once. I was very resistant at first, but after she had explained, I pulled her into my chair and told her how fantastic she would look! This is honestly a haircut I have never done before so I was telling her she was helping me as well. I took the clippers and began shaving her head as tears rolled down her face. This made it real. I began to lighten it up with other subjects and tried my best to make her feel good. 

She walked out of the salon with no hair on her head, but she was so brave with a smile. She inspired me today. This makes my daily problems seem so small. Thank God, for he gives us these awakening moments to teach us. I thank God for my blessings.

September 16, 2011

A Linen Wreath

I fell in love with this wreath at Beautiful Nest and decided to head off to the fabric store for some linen! She gives a wonderful tutorial here on how to make it so I won't go into too much detail. I do want to add that I used 4 1/2 yards of fabric. I felt it needed to be full. I also tore my strips at 4 1/2 wide and then folded them at 4 inches.

I added a bit of personal touch with the fabric flowers. I love how each one turned out and the colors go nicely with my bookends in the living room!

I'm hoping of hanging this in an old window frame (which I don't own yet)... Guess I will need to do some antique shopping to find one!

Enjoy your weekend!

September 14, 2011

A Sneak Peek

I have been so busy with a couple of different projects going. I thought I would show just a sneak peek of what I have been working on!

One includes quotes I have gathered over the years and a cheese box...

This one is made up of folded linen and a wire hanger!

I have been a little under the weather from getting a Tetanus shot yesterday. I had a side effect of a full blown fever with cold and hot flashes and achiness all over! I feel much better today and hopefully will finish up these projects soon so I can share! Thank you for the patience this week.

September 9, 2011

In Different Light

While searching for inspiration, this Pottery Barn lamp caught my eye. I loved the lamp, but definitely not the price tag! So I began the search for a more affordable way to achieve this farmhouse chic look.

While wandering through Hobby Lobby, I found a pair of candle holders on sale for $8. They were the perfect pair to transform into PB knockoffs!

First, The Hunny drilled a hole down the middle of both bases (he discovered they were ceramic). With the help from my Mom, I began the painting process using a textured spray paint. We used Rust-oleum Multicolor Textured Paint in Autumn Brown for the base. Layers of white paint, crackle paint, and a brown glaze were then added to achieve the distressed look. It took some time and patience to get the look I wanted.

I bought lamp kits to transform the bases. The kit fixtures were painted with a bronze spray paint. The Hunny helped me feed the cord through and attach the fixture.

I bought natural color lampshades at Wal-mart and covered them in burlap fabric purchased at Jo-Ann Fabrics. We made a pattern from craft paper that was used to cut the fabric. We used Mod Podge to adhere the fabric to the lampshade and left it to dry over night. I used twill tape to finish the edges.

I love how they turned out...It was fun to find inspiration and make it for less! The overall project cost more than I hoped but still less than PB! What do you think of my candle holder lamps?!

{linked up to}
Chic on a Shoestring Decorating   The Shabby Nest

September 6, 2011

A Reflection

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend! I had a fun-filled weekend with my family. My nephew turned 3 and we celebrated with a train themed party on Saturday. Sunday we enjoyed a fall festival including a car show, mud volleyball, a derby, and fabulous food! Yesterday, I got to start painting furniture again in the new barn and enjoyed just being around the farm.

I happened to catch a few pictures of the gorgeous sky Saturday night. This is truly a reflection of God's glory. This is how he expresses his goodness.

September 2, 2011

Lean on Me

I found a fun and quick project to make bookends in this issue of Better Homes and Gardens Do It Yourself Magazine. The only materials needed for this project is fun fabric and decorative sand, which I found in the silk flowers aisle at Joanne Fabrics.

First, I cut inexpensive muslin 9 inches by 11 inches for the interior bag that holds the sand. I folded the 11 inch width in half and sewed the side and bottom. I repeated those steps with the decorative fabric I chose. Make sure you put the right sides together when sewing the two sides for the finished bag. I then poured the sand in the interior muslin bag, folded the unfinished edge, and stitched it closed (this doesn't need to be perfect since it's unseen). I turned the finished bag right side out and put the sand-filled muslin bag inside. I folded the unfinished edges to the inside and top stitched along the edge to finish my bookend! SO SIMPLE and CUTE!

I love that you can make different patterns and colors depending on your decor or books you want to display!

The magazine suggested using a plastic bag to hold the sand inside and also instructed to top stitch around all edges of the bag to finish it. I tweaked the process a little and found it was pretty quick and painless! I hope this gives you some inspiration!

Have a wonderful weekend!

{linked up to}
Cherished Treasures”=  

September 1, 2011

A little help...

Today I thought I would share something that has really helped me grow spiritually this past year. I have been listening to a radio station called K-LOVE. This station includes Contemporary Christian music and short educational elements that really help guide people to understand God more.

I have found listening to this radio station in the car really helps me think about and talk to God all day long. Before, I had a bad habit of only seeking God in the bad moments. I'm so glad that I have something like this that encourages me to pay close attention to the world around me and build my relationship with God.

This station has little interruption from music with no advertisements! K-LOVE also has updates on national news. You can listen to K-LOVE nationwide or online! You can find your local station here.

Have you heard of K-LOVE? I would love to hear if this station has made a difference in your life!

August 30, 2011

A Baby Girl Quilt

My friend and co-worker at the salon is having a baby girl in September. She and her husband are so very deserving and I couldn't be happier for them!

I decided early on that I wanted to make her a baby quilt. I have made quite a few quilts for myself, but sewing for someone else adds a whole new level of pressure. I am somewhat of a perfectionist!

I have learned everything I know about sewing from my Mom, who is a quilter. My sisters and I also had some good practice by participating in 4-H while growing up. I am truly blessed that Mom has passed on her knowledge and still helps me with all of my sewing projects...I'm still learning!

I asked my friend a few questions about how she planned to decorate her nursery. She is keeping the overall scheme of the room neutral and bringing in accent colors of pinks and reds. She also decided to paint an accent wall in aqua. I started with fabrics in the Bliss collection by Moda and then added a few extra fabrics from my stash. They were the perfect combination of colors including aqua, red, and pink. I also love how the patterns have a vintage feel.

I pieced the quilt using a neutral center square and a log cabin style on only three sides to make a rectangular block. The unfinished block is 5 inches by 7 inches. I quilted it with a double straight line on the vertical and horizontal. Each line was sewn a quarter inch from the pieced seams. I then quilted around the perimeter of the center square which made it stand out. I just love how it turned out!

I used a Bliss fabric in flannel for the back!
The binding really accented this quilt!

I surprised my friend with her new quilt last Friday when all of the stylists went to lunch to celebrate her pregnancy. She absolutely loved it and said it will go perfectly in the room! I'm glad I got it finished and that she will enjoy and appreciate it! 

The Hunny and I are working on finishing up the barn today so I will be back to painting furniture soon! Thank goodness, because the furniture is starting to pile up! Hope you enjoy your Tuesday!

August 26, 2011

My Little Black Puppies

The puppies are 6 weeks old today! We have been enjoying having them around and cannot believe how big they have grown. Each one has their own unique personality and it will be hard to start giving them away. But I can't have 6 puppies running around. They have already taken a liking to my flower beds!

It's so funny to see how the puppies, kittens, and chickens all react to each other. The puppies play pretty rough with the kittens, but are scared of the chickens! Zoe has been such a good mother keeping them fed and Black Dog just stands so wisely while they jump all over him like a playground.

It was a little difficult getting good pictures of them just because they move so quickly and usually gather right at your feet, but here are just a couple I thought you might enjoy!

Here are all six at about 4 weeks old.

The puppies playing with Black Dog

It's hard to see, but her back toes are white!
I will have some fun sewing projects to share next week! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

August 24, 2011

Rocking Chair Makeover

I found this rocking chair at an antique store a few months ago. I loved the style of it, but that fabric had to go! The 70's look just isn't what I was looking for.
I decided I want her to sit in the corner of the Master Bedroom where the windows are (which makes for difficult pictures :/). I found this simple geometric pattern that worked perfectly with the curtain fabric!


After removing the hundreds of staples (which oddly, I don't mind) I was surprised to reveal the past owner had used a sample of carpet for padding! I used some foam I had on hand and cut it to size. I used the piece of board from before as a template for the foam and fabric. I allowed a few more inches around the edge to fold over when cutting the fabric.

I then layered all three with the front of the fabric face down and the board on top. I began to pull tight on one edge and using a staple gun, secured it with just three staples. I then moved to the opposite side to secure it with three additional staples. Afterward, I moved to the other two sides and repeated this process until finished. This method allows you to get the fabric very taut. I had so much fun working with the staple gun! I screwed the board back in place and am now enjoying a brand new (more comfortable) chair!

I did this project before I had my blog so I apologize for not having pictures of the process! It truly is an easy project to recover a cushion and can make such a huge difference! Hope this inspires you to try a quick furniture makeover with fabric and a staple gun! 

{linking up to}

Somewhat Simple Chic on a Shoestring Decorating