Friday, November 22, 2013

The bread that changed my life ....

Passing Notes Today:  Mrs. Gosling

I know ... a little dramatic, right?  Truth be told, this bread has changed my life for the better.  I can make it and bake all week, my husband doesn't have to stop on his way home from work to get bread (code:  spend way more than he should and be late) and I know exactly what is going into it.  Did I mention the cost?  Under a $1 a loaf.  AMAZING!
No-Knead Crusty Artisan Bread on ...This bread is incredible and is fool-proof! As easy as it gets when it comes to bread making!

I noticed a few "pins" on pinterest for Artisan Bread.  I thought, how hard can this be?  So after researching a few sites and perfecting a bread that suits our tastes, this is what I have come up with:

1 pack of Fleishmann's Active Dry Yeast
Salt & Garlic Salt
6 cups of unbleached flour (you can substitute with whole wheat, for taste)
3 cups luke warm water
A stand up mixer & bread paddle attachment (optional)
1.  Start by heating and measuring 3 cups of warm water.  I run the faucet until the H2O is hot to the touch (appr. 100-115 degrees).  Place that in your mixer or large mixing bowl.  Then add 1 packet of yeast or 1.5 tsp.  Let that sit for 2 minutes and stir for 10 seconds. 
2.  Add 6 cups of flour.  2 tsp. of salt (table or kosher) and 1 tsp. of garlic salt
3.  Mix that until completely combined.  The dough is a wet/sticky dough.  When handling/transferring, you can coat your spoon or fingers for better handling.  If you have a bread bucket, use that.  I have been using a VERY large pasta bowl with saran wrap and it works fine.  Place your dough in your bowl, put it in the fridge and let it rise for at least 3 hours. 
Post rise 

4.  When you are ready to bake, generously coat the top of the risen dough and cut a section out.  Continue coating your dough as your form your shape, but do not knead it.  Just wrap the dough around the bottom, for desired shape.  Place on a stone or non stick cooking sheet.  Let rise at room temperature for 30 min. Using a sharp knife, cut 2 or 3 marks in the top of the bread, to let the heat release while cooking. 
5.  Preheat your oven to 410 degrees and cook for 30 minutes. 
You have to fight the urge not to dig into it immediately.  Wait until it has cooled a bit (appr. 30 minutes).  It will be easier to cut into (with a serrated knife) and the center is VERY HOT for a while.  Save remaining dough for up to 10 days in the fridge. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Table Makeover Inspired By Pottery Barn

Passing Notes Today: Mrs. Kelly 

 Hey Y'all, 

Today I'm going to show you our kitchen table makeover. Here was my inspiration--the Keaton table from Pottery Barn retails at $1600.

Our kitchen table was looking way more shabby than chic. We have a kitchen remodel in our future some day so I didn't want to go out and buy a new table (certainly not to the tune of $1600).  I just hoped to spruce up our existing piece.  It's oak and very sturdy.  And, best of all, it fits in our tiny breakfast nook.  Here's how it looked when we started:

Here she is disassembled and in our garage.

Check out all the chipping and marks.  This was before sanding!

We used a chemical stripper at first but I started to get all freaked out by the chemicals in the chemical stripper.  So then, my awesome husband sanded that table down.  He spent a few nights out in the garage sanding.  

Then came the fun part of applying stain.  

The stain and polyurethane was a royal pain in the you-know-what.  It took far longer than we thought it would to complete this project.  Try a month longer.  Ah well, the patience was worth it because in the end the table top turned out like this...

But she still wasn't complete.  I bought some chalk paint at the Purple Painted Lady.  I actually used a sample size to do the legs of the table.  Then I waxed.  And after that, I distressed.  I'm pretty happy with the end result!  The chalk paint was super easy to use.  It costs a little more but for an impatient lady like myself, it's an amazing product.  You don't really need to prep the wood beforehand.  You just start painting.  I think this table looks better than before!  Would you agree?

I can't imagine why Pottery Barn didn't have a blue booster seat in its ad.
Don't you think it adds to the charm?

I probably spent about forty bucks total for the remodel project and far more in sweat equity.  My husband is laughing while he is reading this because he did the lion's share of this project!  Love him.

Now if only I could do something about that floor.  Hah!


Friday, November 1, 2013

Dirty Girl

Passing Notes Today:  Mrs. Williams

Hey Girls, 

A few weeks ago I got disgustingly dirty (like covered in mud head-to-toe) and it was so much fun!  This muddy adventure started when a coworker suggested that all of us at work sign up for the Dirty Girl 5K in Buffalo.  I figured - why not?  So, I registered.  Then, weeks went by, and before I knew it we were meeting at a parking lot and headed to the event.  And, man, was it an event.  We could see the sea of pink obstacles and the course spread out from the thruway.  

It's a very well orchestrated event, so before I knew it the buzzer was sounding and we were off.   We stuck together as a team, completed each of the fun obstacles, and laughed until our very muddy stomachs hurt.  It was insanely fun.

I guess it's good to be dirty,

P.S. You can read all about the official information about the event here.

Note from Mrs. Kelly:  So fun!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

You Bring Meaning To My Life, You're The Inspiration

Hey Ladies,

I have you both to thank for my little hallway face lift.  Our entryway was boring - just kind of there.  

One day I got to thinking, "What would Mrs. Gosling Do?"  WWMGD.  

I remembered her snazzy stripes and decided I should get on it already.  I chose the paint color of our living room since I already had it and also, because I thought it would help tie in the rooms.  I taped very carefully.  I measured.  I retaped.  Then I used the existing wall color paint to paint over the taped lines to seal them.  And after that dried, I painted the contrasting bars.  I pulled the tape and surprisingly, it came out awesome.  I love it!

After that was finished, I needed some artwork.  Remember my awesome barn prints I scored at Goodwill for less that ten bucks?  Well, I decided they should go in my entry!  But first, I needed to reframe them.  I then asked myself, "What would Mrs. Williams do?" WWMWD  I remembered her tip on framing and buying mats.  I bought some frames at Target and then took them to our local frame shop to have oversized mats cut to the specifications of the frame.  It was way cheaper this way but it still turned out great.  

They went from this:

Still pretty!

To this:

A little more modern!

And there you have a little update ala Gosling and Williams. 

Thanks, ladies.  

Note from Mrs. Gosling:  YAY for great carpet runners, striped walls and up cycled art.  Your makeover is perfect!

Note from Mrs. Williams:  Your makeover looks amazing!  I love how all the tones from the carpet, stripes, and pictures tie together.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Halloween Fun

Passing Notes Today:  The Girls

Hey guys,

Halloween is just around the corner and we thought we'd share some Naptime Notebook Halloween favorites.  Do you have your costumes planned?  Click on the links that are underlined to check out the full posts!  

  • Mrs. Gosling shared this awesome way to turn a hooded sweatshirt into a dinosaur costume.  It's warm and can be used again and again!  DIY Dinosaur Hoodie

Have a bootiful weekend.

The Girls

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Estate Sale Chair Makeover

Passing Notes Today: Mrs. Williams

Hi Girls,

I've written it before and I'll write it again - estate sales - I'm hooked.  When I'm at an estate sale one of my favorite places to find deals and diamonds in the rough is by searching in basements and garages.  That's exactly where I found this chair (stuck far in the back of a dusty garage).

When I found it, I couldn't wait to hand over my $5 and start the chair's makeover.
I cleaned the frame with a TSP substitute first.

Then, I spray painted like crazy.

The first step of recovering the seat cushion was taking out all the old staples securing the existing fabric down.

Look at all those staple holes - no fun!

Then, I stapled new fabric onto the cushion.
Once the paint was dry, I plopped the cushion back down and the chair was done.

I'm really happy with the chair.  It's going to look great with a desk or as an accent to a room, I just know it.

Can't wait for the next estate sale,

Note from Mrs. Kelly:  You make it look so easy!

Note from Mrs. Gosling:  Love the texture in the chair fabric.  Very pretty and extra seating is always a plus.  Thanks!
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