Thursday, May 31, 2012

CeCe Caldwell Chalk Paint

I'm a BAD blogger! I haven't had a chance to sit down and document the things I've been doing around the old homestead in so long! May I say, having small children and blogging do not always go together well. Regardless of who I have tugging at the hem of my skirt, I have been able to create a lot of new things to share with you. Hooray! Even better, I feel that I'm almost at a point where I can sit down for a few minutes and type away without major catastrophic interruptions! So, just know these posts will be spotty at best for the next few weeks.

So, on to my latest project.

We talked chalk paint in recent weeks. I painted my dinning room chairs in Annie Sloan's Old White Chalk Paint.

Loving the way chalk paint goes on with little to no prep, I decided to also paint my corner hutch and side table.

If you remember, chalk paint isn't cheap, the price plus shipping comes to nearly $47.00,  so I took my little time picking a color. I poured over color swatches and sweated it out for nearly four weeks. In my extensive sweating and research I came across this ridiculous commercial spot for a major competitor of Annie Sloan's magic paint.

Okay if you made it through this video, I'm proud of you. It pained me to my very core, especially when Lisa Loeb there began her little dance routine. Ugg!

Even though the video above was hard to endure, it did make me want to try CeCe Caldwell's paint. I especially enjoyed the price, it was nearly $6.00 cheaper! $6.00 whole dollars! Alright, you're still paying 40 bucks for a quart of paint, but chalk paint is the shiz and once you go chalk you'll can't think of a word that rhymes with chalk. Oh well, you'll never want to use latex paint again, except on your walls.

There were a couple things I didn't enjoy about picking CeCe Caldwell paint. First the paint swatches they use to show you the paint color are lacking big time. That at least Annie Sloan got right. You almost feel a let down when you see the paint selection. But if you google the colors individually, you can find some nice examples of the colors used in real-time. And that's how I settled on Smoky Mountain. 

Let just get to the point and show you how my furniture pieces turned out:

Here's a close up of the painted surface:

I let some of the old paint color show through. It still makes me want to cry when I see it. That's how you know you hit nail right on the head and made a spectacular piece. It's when you catch yourself looking at it and misting up a bit. Okay, maybe I'm a bit emotional, but I'm so happy with the results.

By the way here's how much paint I had left after I finished these two projects:

That's about half a can. Not too bad if you ask me!

So how did CeCe measure up to Annie? Let's find out shall we?

Over all they are both winners, but I really felt that the CeCe paint took this round.

My next fun experiment is to try to make chalk paint! That should be fun.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Gallbladders need a little love too.

I have to talk about a little friend that most of us still have living beneath our livers. Hopefully for you its not a bottle of schnapps. I'm actually referring to the gallbladder.

Don't be upset if you no longer have one. I have a lot of friends and family who don't. However if you do have you gallbladder and you eat a steady western diet (a diet high in fat and sugars) you and your gallbladder might have some problems getting along.

Western Diet Food Pyramid

This is where we found ourselves yesterday morning the hubby got up with tell-tale gallbladder attack symptoms. In case you're wondering a gallbladder attack sounds like, here is what Chris was complaining of: The pain began on the right hand side of his body, underneath the rib cage. It spread around to his back radiating in the area of the shoulder blades. It was a full yet painful bloated feeling, which kept him up for most of the night. 

You can find more on symptoms of a gallbladder attack on

This is not the first time my husband has dealt with gallbladder issues, a few years ago he was in the ER with an attack that was not labeled a gallbladder attack, thankfully or they might have opted to remove it.

There is a connection between serious digestive health problems and the western diet. A diet high in processed foods, fat and sugar is slowly killing us. This is no surprise though. It's just hard to do because those foods taste so good!! I will admit that I can't go full-on healthy eater. I need to eat buffalo chicken dip sometimes. I pretty sure I might die otherwise! But I think that you have to start somewhere and at least we had a pretty decent foundation to build on. I cook all of our meals, we eat out once or twice a month if we're lucky and in the summer I grow most of our produce. But obviously this is not enough. Chris's gallbladder is telling me as much!

We have to make this change for Chris's sake.  Even he, in all of his pizza lovin', picky eating ways sees that. Though he's not been on board with healthy eating in the past, pain and a sleepless night has made him a bit more eager to try, even after he found out he'll have to drink tall glasses of beet juice to do it! This will be a challenge for him to say the least.  But we're in it together.

First step:

I bought a juicer!

Meet my new friend, the Jack LaLanne Juicer:

Isn't he nice? I did about twenty minutes of research on juicer and needed to get one fast! I found this one at Walmart for $99.99.

It's pretty easy to clean and I even over-heated it with a giant beet, but found out it has an automatic shut-off for over zealous beet juicers, preventing it from frying the motor! Thank the Lord it all turned out okay. It shut off and after five minutes I turned it back on and got right back to juicing.

Chris was on his way to better health and red pee. Really beet juice is very potent it will leave you with red pee and crimson bowel movements. (I'll refrain from attaching pictures of that!)

Cool and Light Juice Recipe

3 carrots (tops and tails cut off)
2 large cucumbers (peeled)
1 lemon (peel removed)
1 sweet apple (cored)

Juice and enjoy

Mmmm Good and Chris approved!