Monday, April 30, 2012

When Kroger Gives You Eggs

      So...In my attempt to save money, I have been really watching the Kroger circular, trying to watch what is on sale and plan my weekly menus around those items. I don't use coupons very much, even though I look every week for ones that I can use. There are a whooooole lot of cat food coupons out there but I just think my dog would totally object. However, there are those rare occasions that I hit pay dirt and score a good deal. Despite those occasional, "Wow! I did good!" moments...I remain unimpressed by the value of paying for the newspaper vs. the savings in the end.

     Two weeks ago Kroger had their eggs on sale 10 dozen for 10 dollars. Now that is a wow! So I did what any good, budget conscious woman would do. I bought three dozen eggs and proceeded to use eggs in everything. We are now on a cholesterol detox diet after all those eggs but hey.....egg salad vs. Boars Head lunch meat....yeah that is some savings. Don't get me wrong. You can't touch Boars head lunch meat for taste but shew's expensive!

 I have never created a recipe. I am a... pour, taste, dump, taste, taste again...till I get it right kind of cook so this was not easy for me. Here is what I came up with.

Vivian's Low Fat "Saving the Bank" Egg Salad


10 eggs
1/3 cup of Light or Fat Free Mayo
1/3 cup of Fat Free Sour Cream
2 tablespoons of yellow mustard
1/4 cup of diced dill pickles
1/2 teaspoon of dried dill
salt and pepper to taste (sorry this isn't an exact measurement...I think what I find salty enough may be too much for some and not enough for others)

First boil your eggs however you like to do it...(Doesn't everyone have their own way of doing it that has been passed down from their family?)
After they're finished boiling run cold water over them and let them cool
Crack each egg and roll on the counter (A good friend taught me this method) 
Peel all the eggs and dice them in to small pieces (Not still want some chunk to the salad)

Add all the ingredients into the bowl and fold the ingredients into each other.
Chill for a couple hours and then get some really fresh bread...spread egg salad and begin eating..


If you are having company feel free to turn this into a full fat salad by using regular mayo and regular sour cream (I always splurge on calories when I have people over) Paula Deen and Ree Drummond would be so appalled by my recipe! Hey we can't live like that every day! Now, time for an omelet!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Redo

     So I have been in possession of some very expensive and oh so shabby chic Annie Sloan paint since before Christmas waiting to find the perfect dresser to turn into a bathroom vanity. I was not going to let spring break end without at least getting the first coat of paint on. I learned two very important things today in the process...

1. Don't be afraid to google in the face of difficulties
2. Sometimes.... to enjoy life you just can't care about the state of your house (I think I already knew had nothing to fear...the laundry did not go anywhere)

Here is an interesting list of reasons that Annie Sloan states makes their paint is so special

1. It's the BEST paint for painting furniture by a long way
2. No need to prime or prepare
3.Extremely low VOCs so it is good for the environment
4. You can use it on any surface, indoors and out ( the outside of our shop was painted in it- perfect!)
5. You can use the paint by diluting it with water to make a wash to show the wood grain
6. The colors are mixed intelligently and the web site shows how you can adapt your colors for your use
7. It's a girls' paint, but boys can use it too.
8. It's flexible so you can be creative and change your mind
9. It allows your walls to breathe so it is perfect for cottage walls
10. You can use it as an impasto ( thickly) - leave the lid off to thicken
11. We've been making it since 1990 so it's tried and tested

So here's what happened. I put the first coat of paint on and I started to see a pink hue coming through. Ughhh...this was not supposed to happen...part of the whole attraction of Annie Sloan paint is the idea that you don't have to use a primer or sand or anything before you paint. So I was a little aggravated. Then over lunch I grabbed my handy Kindle Fire and googled it. Here is what I found out. Below is a direct quote from the Annie Sloan

With some pieces of furniture, typically pieces from the 1930s and 1940s, after painting the first coat there is either a yellow or pink stain which bleeds through the paint. No matter how may coats you paint, the stain colour will continue to bleed through.

The ANSWER is to get something called * Knotting or sometimes it is called shellac. Get the clear one and apply it using a pad rather than a brush. It dries in minutes and you can get on with painting immediately!

The before picture with the mirror removed and a general idea of what the galvanized bucket sink will look like.
An upclose of the first coat of paint.
You can see lots of brush strokes here which are supposed to fade with the second coat. I was trying to get a pic of the pink hue but the camera would not pick it up.
I was so excited to see paint going on I had to stop and take a picture.
The whole first coat didn't take long at all. I also didn't take long to tell something went wrong. I guess according to Annie Sloan's website we can safely assume this piece was from the 1930's or 1940's as indicated by the pink hue bleeding through.   

     So the project will live to see another day. I guess I will be off to Lowes to buy some shellac and to look for a galvanized bucket that is similar to the one in the picture below that I will use as the sink vessel. Oh well part of this whole process is being creative, getting messy, and thinking about something other than Standardized Testing for first graders. I like where this whole project is going though. I will update with more pictures after we go spend some more money at Lowes.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


So as most of my friends know I am always struggling with my weight.'s like a sad record that keeps playing over and over again. I am okay with it. I can't be perfect. So, at the beginning of the year I chose to face the facts and join Weight Watchers again. I have been losing sloooowly. As of last week I have lost six pounds. In three months that is sad but here are the positives:

  • I haven't gained more than what I started with
  • I am moving down the scale
  • No matter how bad my week was (eating wise) I still go and face the music 
So a couple weeks ago the leader talked about how we should have anchors that we look towards to keep us focused. 11 years ago I lost 100 pounds and for each mile stone I bought a piece of jewelry. That seemed to work then so I thought about a bracelet that I could add a bead to for each five pounds I lost. Well after last weeks meeting (and I didn't gain back any of the first five) I did just that.

I went to a local store here in Sevierville called Loralei's on Main and picked up a beautiful bracelet and my first bead for around 30 dollars. I think it is so pretty and I am very excited about wearing it. I think it will remind me every time I stick my hand in the fridge about where I am wanting to go with my weight. If you are looking for that kind of motivation or just looking to shop for a great gift Loralei's is the place to go. I will keep you updated with where my bracelet goes as there are so many beads to choose from!

My Dream Bathroom

     When we bought our house in 2006 my husband and I had been married a year. A year later we were pregnant with my beautiful daughter and all during that time I was getting my Masters and my Educational Specialist degree in education. With all that was going on, there was very little money or time for designing my dream home. I did pick out some beautiful colors that I used to try to make it our own, but we really were just trying to get it cleaned up and ready to move in as quickly as we could.
     We have also tried to change everything that was gold tone to brushed nickel. There have been small changes and we have done what we could, but it has been slow going. My master bath remained stripped of wallpaper with nothing else done to it for five years. Ahhhh...that is so embarrassing. However, I refused to put ten cents into doing something to the bathroom that wasn't absolutely my dream. After such a long time that dream has started to come to fruition. We are still moving at snail's pace but with the help of my good friend Dave we are getting much closer to that dream bathroom. Okay, I know your thinking all this drama over a bathroom?...but this bathroom is the first step in making this house our home.

      The inspiration for the bathroom came from the blog The House of Smiths . Please click on the link to see the pictures. They are awesome and you can really see how it was that I became inspired! I stumbled upon Shelley's blog the way I do most blogs...wandering around aimlessly in the blog world. In the days prior to Pinterest, when it seemed much harder to keep track of things we fell in love with in the blog world....her blog was so great I just kept coming back.

      Of course I can't forget Kevin and Layla Palmer at The Lettered Cottage . They are my inspiration for where I want to take my house. Check out the link and see where I got some more of my inspiration from!

     Both blogs are awesome and I have been following them for some time. I really want to thank Shelley at the House of Smiths blog for taking the time out of her day to email me and give me permission to link to her blog and for giving me the opportunity to share what I have done.  She is such a great person and her blog is always a breath of fresh air.

     So this is where I am at. Ta da....
This is a terrible picture but there is no natural light in this bathroom and using my sad little camera this was as good as it got. This is a picture of the antique dresser we are turning into the bathroom vanity.... this paint cost more than the Galvanized light fixtures....I swear it should paint the dresser itself...however it is the hottest paint out there right now and I had to have it....the sad thing is I still have to by the dark wax to distress the dresser when we are finished painting and waxing it with the clear wax....I know it is going to be beautiful! More post on that later!

A shot of the new used to be brown flat cardboard doors...not really cardboard but close...I hope to someday put one like this up for all my doors!

A shot of the new toilet which needs a toilet seat that new 31 magazine basket and a shot of the beautiful wood floor which reminds me I need a better picture of the floor when we get the bathroom finished.

Cheap Cheap Cheap lights from Lowes...I think they were something like 24 bucks a awesome! Galvanized outdoor lights. It is one of my favorite things about the bathroom.

 I am saving up time and money for the following things:
  • shower curtain (this will hopefully be in the form of the White Devil Shower Curtain from India Rose)
  • locking replica glass door knobs
  • faucet (one of those that look like an old water pump)
  • galvanized bucket (for the sink)
  •  the dark wax from Annie Sloan
  • time to paint the dresser that we will be using as our vanity (with the oh so cool Annie Sloan paint)
  • oh yeah and a toilet seat that fits the toilet...
  • start playing the lottery!
After so many years, being able to walk in that room and just wanting to close the door and stay is an awesome feeling. It is such a quite, peaceful room. I love the thought of my whole house having that feeling! More pics to come!

Monday, April 9, 2012

A Day at Mountain Stitches

 Saturday was a fun day for me. Sophie and Adam went fishing in Gatlinburg and I got to spend the day with my mom at her shop Mountain Stitches working on a baby quilt and some pillow case dresses for an orphanage in Africa. My mom did most of the work on the dresses as I was feeling very sick with what I now know is Strep Throat. My big toe stepped into spring break and my body just shut down. It has been such a long haul since Christmas I just didn't think we would make it and I guess I fell short of the finish line. However, in true Vivian fashion I refuse to let it hold me back (to much).

I am so excited. I am ready to post pics of my DIY dream bathroom project. I emailed Layla Palmer from The Lettered Cottage and Shelley from The House of Smiths to ask for their permission to use their pictures of their projects that were the inspiration for my bathroom. Fingers crossed that they email me back. I just checked out what Layla was doing on her blog and she had a post where she met up with Ree Drummond from Pioneer Woman and hung out at a book signing. I am not sure who I am more jealous of Ree or well that is one group of ladies I would love to hang out with! So.... it may be a while before I post or I may have to post my pics and then edit later if I get permission. 

The front and back of the quilt I am working on. That awesome Lily and Will fabric is coming to life!

The dresses my mom helped....I mean the dresses I helped make.

Sophie always grabs this bag while she is at my mom's shop and starts filling it with fabric. Then we have to put it all back before we leave.

Sophie sweet talked her papa into buying her a scoop of strawberry ice cream. She is rotten but it was very sweet of him.