Monday, June 29, 2009

How Do You Spell Frustration?

W-A-L-L-P-A-P-E-R      R-E-M-O-V-A-L.

I want to paint before the carpenter comes in three weeks to install crown moldings throughout my house so I am trying to strip the wallpaper that was on the common wall of my dining room and living room.  It really should have been taken down a long time ago so the crown molding was a good incentive to do it now.
The clock is ticking so I finally got motivated yesterday to start.  I think I’ve put it off for so long because I intuitively  knew it was going to be a hassle.
And I was right.
IMG_2239 (c)
The top layer of the paper came off fine but it left the paper backing, which you know  is typical if you’ve ever stripped wallpaper.  And  the paper backing even came off about 2/3 of the 24 ft. long wall pretty easy.
But this last 8’ x 8’ section…it’s giving me absolute fits!  I worked on this problem section for 4 or 5 hours last night and really only got about 1/2 of it done.

IMG_2246 (e) 

I first saturated the paper with slightly diluted fabric softener, which has worked really well for me in the past.  Usually the paper just slips off.  This time I’m not having too much success with it.
On the positive side,  my hands sure are soft and my house smells nice from all the fabric softener! 
Even DIF wallpaper remover isn’t making my job any easier.  The backing is  just coming off in small strips.   It is requiring lots of tedious scraping.  The fact that my walls are textured plaster is not helping either.
IMG_2241 c&e
The next time I get  a bee in my bonnet to put up wallpaper, will someone please remind me what a chore it is to remove it?!
Thank you.
Well, break time is over for me.  Back to work.  See you all soon.  I hope.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Strawberry Coconut Cake

This recipe has already made its debut in Blogland before.  You might have seen it here .  Or maybe here .   I made it last week for my daughter’s birthday so I decided to share the recipe today for “Foodie Friday,” in case you missed it before. 


And, because it’s PINK, it’s also my “Pink Saturday” contribution too.

Pink Saturday

It definitely makes a very pretty cake.

IMG_2183 R&E 2

My family are  chocoholics so chocolate is generally their first choice for cake but they enjoyed this.  It was very moist.  I would definitely make it again.

IMG_2188 E

Strawberry Coconut Cake Recipe


1 1/2 boxes of white cake mix
5 eggs
2 cups water
3/4 cup oil
1/2 box of strawberry Jello (3 oz. box)
1/2 cup of chopped strawberries

16 oz sour cream
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 box of strawberry Jello (3 oz. box)
7 oz bag of sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup of chopped strawberries
1 (8 oz) carton of Cool Whip, thawed


Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients for cake with an electric mixer. Pour into 3 (8 or 9 inch) round baking pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray. Place in preheated oven and bake for 22 minutes. Let cake cool completely before icing.

Mix all ingredients for the icing, excluding the Cool Whip. Place one layer of cake on a platter and cover the top with 1/3 of the coconut mixture. Add the second layer and cover that layer with another 1/3 of the mixture. Take the remaining 1/3 mixture and add the 8 oz carton of Cool Whip. Add the 3rd layer and cover the entire cake with your Cool Whip mixture.

IMG_2202  CR&E

Dr. Gollum, the husband of our lovely “Foodie Friday” hostess, Michael Lee of Designs by Gollum, is also celebrating a birthday today so I’d like to offer him a virtual piece of this delicious cake and say, “Happy Birthday, Dr. G.!”


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Blogland: It Really Is a Small World After All!

In the fall of 2007, I “met” a woman named Debbie in the comments section of the blog, My Romantic Home.  Debbie and I  started emailing back and forth and quickly realized we had an incredible number of things in common.  We are even the same age…born just 3 weeks apart!
Debbie lives in New Jersey.   I’m in Florida.  Each time we corresponded, we talked about how we wished we lived closer so we could actually meet each other in person.  Finally, a little over a year later, I extended an invitation to Debbie to come visit me in Florida and she accepted! 
In April 2009, Debbie arrived to stay 8 days with me.  Now, never having actually met before, spending 8 days together could have ended up being a nightmare for either one, or both, of us.  But from the moment Debbie got off the plane,  it was like we had known each other our entire lives!  I do believe we are “soul sisters” in every sense of the term.  We had so much fun talking…and sightseeing…and talking…and shopping…and talking…and shopping…and talking!
Doesn’t it amaze you how the Internet and blogging have connected all of us?  It certainly boggles my mind that I could meet someone who has become such a dear friend via the comment section of a blog!
During Debbie’s stay, we visited the Sponge Docks & Greek Village in Tarpon Springs, FL., which is known for exhibitions of sponge diving/harvesting,  many Greek restaurants offering authentic Greek cuisine, and  quaint little shops.

IMG_0105 R&C at the Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks

Of course we had to visit Shamu at the Orlando SeaWorld.   (Oh lordy, we I sure look tired here! This photo was taken at the end of the day after we had tromped around SeaWorld from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., seeing one show after another.)

IMG_0160 (2) R&E SeaWorld, Orlando, FL

One afternoon my husband took us out in our boat.  We motored around Tampa Bay, enjoying the beautiful weather and admiring some of the waterfront homes. 
Picnik waterfront collage 2
We also went, via boat,  to the St. Petersburg Pier, docked the boat and went inside. 
“The Pier,” as it is known to local residents, is a 5 story building that is shaped liked an inverted pyramid.  It extends 3,000 feet out into Tampa Bay.  Inside are gift shops, galleries,  boutiques,  sit-down waterfront restaurants,  a food court, and an aquarium.

IMG_0133 The St. Petersburg Pier

Here we are on the top (5th)  floor of The Pier with the downtown St. Petersburg, Florida  skyline in the background.
IMG_0130 R&C atop The St. Petersburg Pier
The St. Petersburg Pier is the winter home of the  H.M.S. Bounty, the ship that was used in the 1962 movie, Mutiny on the Bounty, with Marlon Brando, and the 1989 movie, Treasure Island, with Charlton Heston.
Bounty collage  H.M.S. Bounty
Naturally, Debbie and I also did quite a bit of shopping while she was here but we were much too busy looking for great deals to take photos!  Anyway, at that point, neither of us  had a blog then (although we both had given it some serious consideration) so we weren’t conditioned yet to journaling our shopping excursions with pictures for a blog! 
However…. I am just tickled pink to tell you Debbie has finally decided to join all of us in  Blogland with a blog of her own.  You can find her at Pink Roses & Teacups so I do hope you will go by and say hello.   She is an incredibly sweet person and I know you’re going to enjoy getting to know her. 
When you stop in and introduce yourself, tell her you think SHE REALLY SHOULD  MOVE TO FLORIDA so she and I  can visit over coffee and shop on a regular basis!  ;)




Sunday, June 21, 2009

More Thrifty Finds Experience a Metamorphosis With Paint

Recently, I showed you the sad little buffet table I bought from Craigslist and gave a cottage white makeover.  And here I also showed you the old French Provincial chest and nightstand I  bought from Craigslist for $95.00 and painted for my French Country cottage inspired guest room/office.  Then there was the BIG metamorphosis on my “stuck in the 70’s” wall unit.  Oh my, what a job that was!
I have  more furniture makeover transformations I’d like to share for Metamorphosis Monday, hosted by  Susan at Between Naps on the Porch.

met monday

And, because all but one piece of furniture was bought second-hand, I’m joining in the Today’s Thrifty Treasure’s party, hosted by Rhoda at Southern Hospitality.


If you are just visiting my blog for the first time, I have been painting furniture like a mad woman to convert my home to cottage style.
This china cabinet was another one of my Craigslist finds and a great deal at only $100.00.  My sweet hubby drove to a town 70 miles away and loaded this baby on our truck for me.  :)


IMG_1713 (2) 

I found this sofa table on Craigslist too and only paid $40.00 for it.



This heavy, all wood coffee table in the photo below was a steal at only $30.00.  (Also from Craigslist.)  I’m no expert on old furniture but I believe this piece is very old and possibly hand-made.  It just seems more primitive than most furniture you see today. 

IMG_1261 C&R

I suspect the pretty shell-like detail on it was ready-made and inserted into a space that was carved out to fit it.  I can tell it was not carved into the wood because the one on the opposite side is missing…there’s just an empty space.  :(

IMG_2223 R

I purchased this cute drop-leaf end table from a local consignment store for only $30.00.   


 IMG_1239 C&E

This little chest below was purchased several years ago from TJMaxx.  I can’t remember exactly what I paid for it but I think it was less than $150.00…certainly a good deal when I compared it to similar chests in other retail stores.
Up until a couple weeks ago,  I had been on the fence about whether to paint it, or not.  However, I decided if I was going to “be cottage,” I had to actually walk the walk, and not just talk the talk.  So, once again, I filled the paint sprayer up with white paint and got busy.  A few hours later, its cottage metamorphosis was complete.  

IMG_2159 (2)_(r)

And look!  Another shell-like carving!  I actually think the detail on the legs of this chest shows up better since it has been painted.

IMG_2216 (2)

In the next few weeks, I will be painting my living room a pretty sage green.  First, I have some tedious wallpaper removal to take care of. Yuck!  
I’m also having a carpenter come in and install crown moldings all throughout my house in mid-July.  Yippee!  I love pretty moldings and I’ve wanted crown forever so I’m extremely excited to finally get this done.  Of course, I’ll share photos after that metamorphosis takes place.  :)
Now, don’t forget to visit Susan and Rhoda for more metamorphosis and thrifting stories.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Pink Roses For “Pink Saturday”

Recently, I was playing with the camera and put together a little vignette with a profusion of pink roses…

…a handmade floral pillow made with a vintage hanky and crochet trim that I bought on eBay…

…a hobnail milk glass vase with pink  roses…

…and my favorite pink rose tea cup.

IMG_1828 CR&E 

Enjoy your  Pink Saturday, everyone.

Posted for “Pink Saturday” which is hosted by Beverly @ How Sweet the Sound.  Be sure to stop by and visit  Beverly’s blog for a list of others who are into all things pink and pretty.

Pink Saturday 


Friday, June 19, 2009

A Cloche Party @ A Stroll Thru Life


Marty over at A Stroll Thru Life proposed we all get together for a Cloche Party and today is THE day we’ve all gathered to show off our cloches and apothecary jars...and what we put in them. 

Let me just say, I love cloches and apothecary jars…sort of.  I love all the creative ideas other people have for filling these simple, but beautiful, glass covers and jars.  But honestly, I can find very few things around my house to fit into mine.  Everything is either too big or too small.  Errrrrr!

So here’s what I have to show.

My family room has a garden vibe going on so I took some moss, a couple itty bitty clay pots, a few faux flowers, some ivy, a couple garden signs and a ceramic bird to fill this cloche.

IMG_2201 E

Did anybody notice how HARD cloches are to photograph without tons of glare and reflection?  It drives me almost as crazy as what to put in the darn things!

Here’s a close-up of Mr. Birdie’s other side…


Here’s one of those cheese plate domes covering three faux cupcakes.  This sits on the little refurbished buffet table in my dining room.

IMG_2194 C&E


Here I have one of my favorite teacups sitting on a pink cake pedestal and covered with a cheese dome.

IMG_2190 CR&E 

In my living room, I have an apothecary jar filled with the obvious…candy.   

Twizzlers red cherry licorice bites.

IMG_1276 C&E3

 Now, if you will excuse me please…I need to go check out what everybody else is displaying in their cloches and apothecary jars so I can get some fresh, new ideas.

P.S. Thanks for hosting the party, Marty!


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Happy Birthday To My “Baby”

THOUGH YOU ARE GROWN (by Cynthia A. Sieving)


I remember years ago,

you were so little then.

newborn & Dad

Sometimes, I can’t help but wish

that you were small again.


I’ve cried when you’ve faced heartaches,

and saw that as you grew,

17 months

nothing broke your Spirit,

instead it strengthened you. 

age 4

I’m filled with mixed emotions,

as I hold back all the tears,

age 6

and with much pride remember,

back so many years. 

Pippi Longstocking
When I first held you in my arms,

if only I’d have known,

10th birthday E

the years would feel like moments,

after you had grown.

NEHI homecoming (C&E)

You aren’t a child,

though in my eyes,

scan0001 (2) C&E 

I guess  you’ll always be,

that baby girl who changed my life,

and means the world to me.

 Tampa Bay Times 5-8-09 R Photo credit: Luis Santana, Tampa Bay Times


 Happy 27th birthday to my “Baby Girl” !

I love you with all of my heart and soul.