September 28, 2012

Frankfurter Friday!

Let's get a few things straight right now why don't we - when I have a real baby and not a fur baby I'm going to be that Mom.

You know the one - the one whose going to call her Mom & Dad every time the kid poops, who takes a hundred phone pictures and sends them to everyone (allll the time), the one who directs everything back to my oh so cute know the one now.

Look at that face - only a Mother could love that face. Words can't express my love for this dog - its borderline ridiculous, but there is something about him. I wonder if he was someone I knew in a past life or someone reincarnated as him from my present life. I'm weird and think things like that.

I want a dog psychic to come and talk to him and ask if he loves his life. Then I'm like - I know he loves his life he rocks out with his ... paws out. Duh!

Happy Friday!

I'll be kissing this cute little face all weekend.

September 27, 2012

Welcome the dutchess.

I've mentioned that we got a coal stove and we'll be using that this winter as our alternative heat source. It is downstairs in our basement where the wood stove used to reside. This spot was easiest because there is already a hole and it ties right into our chimney - one side is for our furnace one side is for the coal stove.

We thought about putting it upstairs but that just meant a lot of extra work ( putting a hole in the wall, tiling the floor and wall, etc..) and it would take up prime real estate in either the kitchen or the living room neither of which has any space we were willing to give up.

This coal stove is going to work and function a lot better than our wood stove did. We have a thermostat hooked up to it so we can set the temperature that we want and then it will steadily keep it that temperature. The back of our coal stove has a hopper which feeds the coal.

With the wood stove we weren't used to a constant temperature because as any of you know with a wood stove the first couple hours you're sweltering and then it goes down - you can constantly feed it and keep it sweltering hot, but you need to be home or awake to be able to do that.

Our next issue was how we were going to get the heat upstairs. Our main concern was getting it from the basement to the first floor. When I showed you the tables here - you saw there was a vent in the floor. That vent is directly above the coal stove. Heat will definitely be coming up through there - we also put three others - 1 more in the living room and one in the kitchen.

The other thing I mentioned we were going to do was put a screen door on our door to the basement.

This is what our door looked like before - the year we moved in and used the wood stove we kept it open and used a baby gate to keep Maximus from going downstairs. The thought of having to do that again gave me a migraine. I hated having to step over the baby gate to get downstairs - huge pain! Plus, when the door is open it blocks the hallway which is just annoying.

Wood stained door that we were going to cut in half.

Enter wood screen door. So for whatever reason Mr.B had a memory lapse twice and never actually measured what size door we would need. So he purchased one 36" screen door and that was too big - so we returned it and he got a 32" door and that was too big! I was like, "Umm, didn't you measure?" and he was all, "I forgot I guess." Okkk, moving on. I looked on Lowe's website and they did stock a 30" which was good - these are like $39.95 and if you have to special order a size they're like $197 - big difference.

Wood screen door purchased from Lowes.

Then our neighbor came over and was like ,"Oh you should just cut your door in half." So then Mr.B was texting me at work and I was mourning the loss of my cute screen door. I don't mind a dutch door but I had one growing up. My Dad worked downstairs so we had to keep the top closed while he was working so it didn't smell upstairs, and I just remember the top part flying open and slamming you in the head. No bueno.

So there ya have it -Welcome the dutchess!

Dutch door with shelf.

 Mr.B got a pine board and used his router to give it a nice edge - the same way he did here with my shelves. Stained and polyed it to match the door which is the same as all the trim.

Close up of door and shelf.

He pre-drilled 4 holes along the back and then used screws to secure it. It looks dirty but its not - I promise .
Close up of shelf.

It was pretty simple to do - use a circular saw and just cut the door in half where you have a line marked. We added the shelf so that it was finished off. You can keep it off, but I really liked the look a shelf brought to the table.

There ya have it - we are going to fire the coal stove up any day to try it out and make sure its operating correctly and hopefully once we start using it daily the heat will be coming up through our new door.

What projects have you been working on lately?

September 26, 2012

Resolutions and reflections.

My name is Ashley and I'm a magazine hoarder. The first step is admitting it but the addict has to want to change, and I'm not ready for all that yet.

I have a lot of magazines squirreled away in dresser drawers, ottomans, boxes, name it. I've been trying to commit to them as soon as they come in the door - look through them, tear out the pages that I feel I need to keep and then throw the magazine away. That worked for awhile and then I got a Recycle bank account and was collecting all these points and using them on free magazine subscriptions like a true addict would.

Now, the first and last week of the month magazines are rolling in like storms. 3 to 5 a day and then I become completely overwhelmed. There is currently a stack of 8 on my side table that I just can't commit to. There is a basket in my office filled to the brim that I said I would go through any time it was half full.

I will commit to going through these magazines - soon. I however will not just blindly throw them away what if there is an awesome article on how to look like a hipster or a great recipe that will inspire. I can't risk the loss!

A while ago I finally took the huge folder I had of magazine clippings and scanned them so I could actually appreciate them. Well, I was looking through them and found a jem!

Why wait for the a new year to make resolutions. A random Wednesday is just as good a day to make a resolution. I never understood the idea behind waiting for one day to come to make a 'resolution' if you have something you want to fix now, why wait til January?

Magazine clipping from 2010 with resolutions

I loved coming across this article because they are nothing big - but a lot of times its the little things. Even though it's from 2010 they still are great love and life resolutions we could all use today.

1. I never let a week go by or even a day without telling someone I love them. I have a big heart and I have enough emotions for 30 people so I definitely share. I think that one is important - and it goes along with my belief that you should never go to bed mad or leave your house or let your significant other leave the house mad or without kissing goodbye and telling each other you love each other. Life has way to many unknowns and you never know what could happen when you leave.

2. I wave my freak flag, but I don't think I do it enough. I think I generally hide it in my back pocket and take it out when people I know are around. I need to let it out!

3. The T.V one is mostly true, but usually my DVR is full of stuff waiting for me to watch. However, when I don't have anything on the DVR I usually don't watch t.v. because I really like what I like and I hate commercials plus, I'd rather read a book.

4. I love music. I used to obsess over my itunes, whenever something happened to my computer. I just don't really make time for it the way I used to - makes me realize I need to start doing that again. There is nothing like listening to songs and just dancing when no one's watching. Or when your dog is watching you thinking your a freak!

5. I love the idea of a "good decision" piggy bank - I think I should enact one of these for myself. It would help me to get over anxieties and worries that I have and reward myself.

6. I think I should try this- that would be fun and an ego boost and who doesn't need one of those every once in awhile. It's a good way to reflect on yourself.

I don't know sometimes its just nice to reflect on what you want out of life and out of yourself. I've been doing a lot of reflecting lately and I've realized that this whole time that I didn't think I 'knew who I was' I really did. Now, I just need to let myself be myself. Sometimes that is hard - especially when you put too much stock in what other people think. 

Here's to growing and changing and not waiting for that one day a year to make resolutions!

What is your Wednesday resolution?

September 25, 2012

Chicken pot pie.

OK, let's get a few things out there in the open before I start this one. I am not a trained chef, I did not go to a culinary institute or eat my way through France, I was never even a waitress.

However, I do love to come up with different recipes. I get inspiration from cooking magazines, cooking shows or just seeing stuff in the store or at a restaurant. Rewind to when I was on vacation and we went into a Harry and Davids store. In the freezer section I saw they had pot pies, but instead of the ordinary crust they topped it with stuffing. I thought to myself - that is so boss!

I've never particularly found myself having a hankering for pot pie. Growing up I actually despised the nights my Mom made them for dinner. I would eat the crust, potatoes and chicken and I was o-v-e-r it. I've really been broadening my horizons with food lately.

Somethings that I didn't like or wouldn't try but will eat now are: tuna fish sandwiches, scallops, sausage and peppers, imitation crab meat, olives, peas, green beans, artichokes, banana peppers, etc.

All this to say that when my new Everyday Food magazine arrived and the front cover had mini pot pies - it hit me! I want to make mini pot pies but with the stuffing topping. Now, I tend to shy away from baking because I hate to follow recipes - so I didn't use a recipe for the filling I made my own. Here she blows.

So here's what was in my basket (a nice chopped reference for ya, Dad): Chicken broth, 2 celery stalks, one onion, 2 chicken breasts. Not pictured: frozen green beans, peas and carrots, corn. A side note - that leopard knife is one of my awesome birthday knives I talked about here - and they are so sharp and awesome I can't get enough of them!

Ingredients for chicken pot pie filling

I diced up the onion and 2 celery stalks and put a little bit on butter, salt and pepper in the pot and let them sweat a little bit.

Sweating onions and celery in a little bit of butter

After about 8-10 minutes I added in 1 tsp. poultry seasoning and let them cook a few minutes more.

Adding the poultry seasoning to the onions and celery

In the meantime I had cut up my chicken breasts into small pieces and was cooking them until they were no longer pink.

Cooking chicken in a pan

I added my 2 cans of chicken broth, frozen peas and carrots, green beans and corn to the celery and onion mixture.

Adding chicken broth and frozen vegetables to celery and onions

I used Bell's brand poultry seasoning - and I also added 1 tsp to the chicken while it was cooking.
Bells seasoning

I seasoned the chicken with salt and pepper and the Bell's seasoning - it took about 10 minutes to cook.

Chicken seasoned with salt and pepper and poultry seasoning

Meanwhile, I was bringing my pot of ingredients to a boil.

All the ingredients for the pot pie filling in the pot

I added in 1/3 cup of flour and 1/4 cup of milk so that it would thicken - put a lid on it and let it boil some more.

The filling boiling

I used 2 decent sized ramicans - I typically use these for french onion soup and they are the perfect size. While the pot pie filling was cooking I made some chicken stove stop stuffing - as that was going to be my topping. I just followed the directions on the box - nothing special.

Ramicans that I'm going to put filling in

After the filling had boiled for 15-20 minutes I took it off the heat and filled up my dishes almost to the top. Then I just topped them with my stuffing.

The ramicans filled almost all the way to the top

I pre-heated my oven to 350 degrees and put them in to cook for 15 more minutes.

The stuffing added to the top of the filling and placed in the oven

Dinner was served!! They were so good - they weren't really thick it was more of a soup type consistency but mixed with the stuffing it was perfect. Mr.B and I loved them!

Dinner is served!

I tend to make way to much of whatever I'm cooking. As you can see I had quite a bit leftover. I just put it in a bowl with a lid and put it in the freezer. It would be so easy to take it out and heat it up in a pot for an easy meal one night!

All the leftovers that can easily be frozen

Martha Stewart won't be calling me asking me to sign a cookbook deal, but whateve's.

Here are the ingredients.

2 chicken breasts
1/2 cup frozen peas and carrots
1/2 cup frozen green beans
1/2 cup frozen corn
1 whole onion chopped
2 celery stalks chopped

1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup milk
2 tsp poultry seasoning
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 cans chicken broth

Pre-heat oven to 350

Place your chopped celery and onions in a pot with a 1 tsp of butter and let them sweat. After they've cooked for 5-10 minutes add 1 tsp of poultry seasoning. Cook for another 5 minutes or until they start to brown. Add 2 cans of chicken broth and start to boil. In the meantime chop chicken breasts up into small bite sized pieces and cook up in a pan. Season with salt & pepper and 1 tsp poultry seasoning. Once chicken is cooked add to chicken broth mixture. Add frozen vegetables to chicken broth mixture and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and add 1/4 cup milk and 1/3 cup flour - stir so you don't have lumps from flour. Turn heat back up, put a lid on it and bring it to a boil and let simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Make stuffing homemade or according to box directions. After filling has boiled and thickened add to oven safe bowls. Spoon stuffing on top and place in pre-heated oven for 15 minutes or until crispy.


How great would this be with leftovers from Thanksgiving? 

September 24, 2012

1 dolla holla!

Who doesn't love the Dollar Store? I mean come on - you can find everything from seasonal decorations to pregnancy tests there - I can't vouch for accuracy but I can say the decor is cute!

I stopped at the Dollar Store on Saturday and it was mobbed, which was kind of weird there were lines at the dollar store. So I wasn't interested in taking a lot of pictures but I'll show ya what I came home with and what I look for when I go.

I've had my eye on some fake pumpkins, and so when I walked in and saw these gourds and mini pumpkins I was sold. I love the idea of having things you can reuse each year. For right now I'm going to keep them as is and maybe next year I'll paint the pumpkin ones.

Fake gourds and pumpkins from Dollar Store

 For these I took an empty basket I had and put a plastic bag in the bottom of it because it was a little too deep and I wanted my basket to look full. This is a cheap easy trick for when your filling a basket or vase that isn't see through.

Now I have some simple easy fall decor. A cornucopia of sorts - with my gourds and pumpkins. I could even add a matching ribbon.

Seasonal decorated basket

Frames were my next spot where I looked and they had some cool ones. I buy a lot of frames because for one there only a $1 and they have a lot of different ones. These I'm going to use for some future projects when I make some prints. I like to do graphic design stuff so these will come in handy.

Dollar Store picture frames

These simple white mugs are great for so many different projects. You can use paint pens and draw Monograms on them or stencil them. I'm going to do a project with them, but don't worry I'll keep you updated!

White mugs from Dollar Store

Yardley soap at the grocery store or drug store is usually $3.99. I love this stuff because its natural and I have sensitive skin. I know my sister is dying right now because she hates soaps like this! Let me just tell you when I use Yardley in the shower I have my pinkie up, honey!

Yardley oatmeal and almond soap from Dollar Store

I also got some alcohol and a nice small angled paint brush. We recently were looking at Lowe's for a brush just like that but they were all $7.99 or more. For a paint brush, yes. Alcohol comes in handy for so many things, and no not when I go on a binge and this is my last resort. 

I recently saw on Pinterest that you can use it to clean stains off your carpet. As you know I have a Dachshund and anyone with a doxie knows that they have a tendency to do whatever they want and sometimes that includes going on your floor. I just poured the alcohol on a couple stains we have on our white carpet upstairs and rubbed it - and wahlah! So fresh and so clean.

Alcohol and angled paint brush from Dollar Store

So some other things that I've gotten or like to look at when I go to the Dollar Store are:

  • Silver trays - I have one on my dresser and I put all my perfume on it. They're also great for putting out crackers and cheese, cookies and so on.
  • Peroxide and Alcohol are great staples to have on hand and why not pick them up at the dollar store. They are great alternatives to cleaners with lots of chemicals.
  • Books - when I was there yesterday they had tons of books! They still have the Target stickers on them, they aren't just weird cast off books they are Oprah's book club list books.
  • Wax cubes - if anyone uses the wax melter's from Hobby Lobby, Walmart or Scentsy they sell the wax there. 
  • Fake flowers - you kind of have to want to dig, when I was there yesterday they had some seasonal flowers out like sunflowers, but for the most part there kind of all jumbled together.
  • Glassware- cups,plates, bowls they are pretty standard but if you break a lot of plates or need them for a party or something why not there a $1.
  • Plastic containers - they have a pretty big selection of plastic storage containers which are great for leftovers.
  • Cards - the particular store I was at yesterday had 4 aisles worth of cards-  stock up on thank yous, birthday, anniversary, get well you name it.
  • Gift bags and tissue paper - these are good for obvious reasons another great item to stock up on.
  • Storage bins - they had some really cute storage bins yesterday that I'm sort of regretting not getting. Under cabinet storage or storage on wire shelving you name it they have great storage bins.
  • Office supplies - notebooks, legal pads, notepads, pens, pencils, highlighters - the basic stuff you can definitely pick up while your there. They often times have cute little notepads.
I typically stay away from the makeup, bras and underwear and the food when I go there. I know that for some people that is where they buy their necessities but it's just not for me. The food kind of creeps me out because I don't think it moves fast enough and I don't want to buy something that's been sitting. 

September 21, 2012

Frankfurter Friday!

I know already know I'm biased, but come on! 

He is my little partner in crime, anytime your working on a project he's outside with you working on his own project - which usually entails digging a lot of holes in the lawn and swimming in his pool. Literally, this guy has the life. 

When he gets out of hand and real spoiled I make him watch the ASPCA commercials to take him down a few notches. I'm just saying...those commercials are sad and he's real lucky.

Maximus the dachshund

Happy Friday! I hope that your weekend includes as many naps as Max's will! 

September 20, 2012

Reading list.

I love to read. Since I was little that was my favorite thing to do and I bought so many books! Now I have a kindle and I get a lot of free books and when I want to read a certain book I get it from the library. I think the library is a great resource and is underused by a lot of people in communities.

I put together a list of what I'm reading and what I'm waiting for from the library.

The book I'm currently reading is Something Borrowed by Emily Griffin. I know they are not new by any means but I wanted to read the series of them because I've heard there good.
Something Borrowed Emily Griffin
Next up is the next book in the series Something Blue by Emily Griffin. I like to read the whole series of books and so this obviously would be the next step.
Something Blue Emily Griffin
I have this on my library waiting list and can't wait to get it. I'm sure its going to be just as funny as she always is.
I Hate Everyone Starting With Me Joan Rivers
I've been dying to read Andy Cohen's  - this has been on my waiting list for awhile but my library doesn't have it and the other two that do its marked popular so they don't send it out to other libraries so I've got a little wait for this one.
Most Talkative Andy Cohen
I love all franchises of Real Housewives and I fricken love Carole Radziwll I think everyone could take a lesson from her. She is a laid back cool chick and I LOVE memoirs so I can't wait to see what her 'story' is all about since we've only learned bits and pieces on the show.
What Remains Carole Radziwill

Sometimes I have to wait quite a while for a book to come through from the library and other times like with Carole's book its waiting for me already and I haven't even finished the book I'm on. All-in-all I just can't justify spending $18+ on a book anymore. When I was in my teens I spent $1,000's on books. Then after I read them my sister would usually read them, but for the most part between the three of us (Mom, Sister and I) we ended up with piles of books that we didn't know what to do with. Sure you can sell them to amazon but for a lot of these kinds of books its not even worth paying the shipping when all is said and done.

I'll keep waiting in the line at the library - I'm fine with it.

What's on your reading list? Any of the Real Housewives books?

September 19, 2012

The little things...

OK, so I originally planned on showing you my finished shelves - only they aren't finished. I'm rocking all my books in plastic storage containers and the holes aren't in the wall anymore, but the spackle does need to be sanded. If anyone wants to get on that - come on ova!

There's a bunch of little things going on around here lately that aren't worthy of a whole post.

Last week Mr.B took all the railings off the porch and re-did them. What snowballed this whole project was the insurance company came and did an inspection at some random time and then mailed us a little card that said we needed to put a railing on the stairs. UH OK! Our back porch hasn't had a railing on the stairs since the day we moved in and it was like that for years before, but whatever its a safety issue. He put a new railing on one side and then we have been wanting new railings on the whole porch so he re-did those also.

This is the railings without the top piece and being unstained. These railings are a lot taller than the ones before and it's actually kind of nice.

Porch railings

Here's a picture after we stained them white. They have a nice big ledge on them now so we can put planters and actually set down a drink. The very original ones were short and you couldn't put anything on them because they were rounded. I took this picture not for the railing but for the sky that looked really crazy.

Porch railing with crazy sky

This weekend we took the plunge and bought a coal stove. When we moved in there was already a wood stove here and we used it the first winter we were here and it was sufficient. However, with Mr.B's work schedule and wood being a lot of work it just really wasn't a great heat alternative for us. The wood stove was old and it just didn't really do much to supplement our fuel oil/hot water heat situation.

We purchased a coal stove with a hopper on the back that will hold about 2 - 1/2 bags so that we won't have to fill it a lot and it is going to give us steady constant heat. We've also finished the basement since we used the wood stove so that will be a big difference for us also. Can't wait to fire that sucker up and be warm this winter. We had a 'good' winter last winter so here's hoping it's not a 'bad' winter this year!

Mr.B also did some other stuff outside last week like paint our shutters on the back of the house. When we moved in all the shutters were extremely faded and last summer we painted the front ones red and it really made them pop. He had it in his head he needed to do the back ones so he did that.

He also fixed our bilco doors which were leaking from an improper installation by the original homeowners. They were pretty rusted so he painted those with some red Rustoleum to help out our whole situation.

We've been trying to get the outside of the house all together before winter. We also wanted to get our heating situation figured out because fuel oil prices are definitely higher then they were last winter so we wanted to be able to find a better alternative heat source. We just need to get our chimney cleaned and repaired at the top and we'll be all set. We also got gutters put on so that will help with the moisture issue we had.

So that is just a little bit of what we've had going on around here. A bunch of little things that aren't really worthy of a lot of pictures. Plus, a lot of this stuff happens when I'm at work because Mr. B and I have different schedules so I can't be here to document everything!

What little changes have you been up to?

September 18, 2012

Freebies tables part deux.

I was so pumped after just the coat of primer that I couldn't wait to get to paint. I used a white ceiling paint that the old owners left here - it was flat finish and I'm totally okay with that.

The edge around the top was a little tricky but all I had to do was keep a steady hand and just drag the brush and it was fine. For the doors I used the brush in all the corners and then rolled the middle part and I rolled around the doors because I hate when you can see brush marks on painted furniture.

Here's how they were looking after the first coat. I knew I was going to need more than one coat of paint and that was fine by me. I was going to do 2 coats regardless - I like nice thin even coats.

The tops are so awesome! I still can't get over that this is what was hiding under that ugly stain.

I had pretty good coverage already but you can see the top is a little blotchy but the sides were good. I noticed where I used the roller had the best coverage and the trim parts where I had to use the brush they really needed the second coat.

A closer look at the trim and the unpainted edge. I did a pretty good job of keeping paint off my edge and if I did get any I just wiped it up quick.

So then it was one coat down and one coat to go. 

I really just can't get over how great the tops look. It worked out perfectly that my intentions were to stain them all along.

Here you can see how the bottom trim was a little splotchy and definitely needed the second coat to make things look beautimous. (Might be a little too much Honey  Boo Boo watching over here - you should see Mr.B when he hears them say beautimous)

I just wrap a plastic bag around my paint tray and make sure the brush and roller are covered so that they don't dry out and will be ready for me the next day. I've used the freezer trick but sometimes I don't really want to be waiting for my brush and roller to thaw out. Buzz kill.

The second coat really made things look like they were finished. It was even and covered really well. This picture its wet - it really is a flat paint not high gloss or satin - I promise.

We already know I can't get enough of the tops. Here they are. I painted the edges with the brush so that I didn't get paint on my edge and then I went over the top part with the roller. I already said I don't like brush strokes so I try to use a brush as little as possible and I always do long strokes that end off the piece. Ya dig?

I mean - I'm honest, my edge was by no means perfect. Here you can see I got a little excited and I had some paint on the edge and that was the best that I could clean it off. It would be fine though once I stained it.

After the second coat the bottom was looking a lot better. There is nothing like the second coat of paint to get you excited and just want them to be finished already! However, now I had staining to do.

I took the tape off and was really happy that I didn't have any seeps or spots where it went through - Hoorah!

On this table I must have went over the edge a tiny bit because I had a small little slice of paint. No big deal!

My bottom edge came out really good. I was worried about that a little more because the way I had to paint it I had to run the brush right along the tape and I was just hoping nothing was dripping down. It didn't!

So I moved onto the next which was stain. For some reason in my mind I thought this was would be the really easy part. WRONG! Here you can see the edge is stained - I had to come back and do the bottom part because I thought I was going to lay them on their sides do the bottom but I changed that up too.

I just realized that I never took any progress pictures of this whole nightmarish process. I taped around the edge because I quickly realized the stain was getting on the white part! I like slipped after the first couple of strokes and had a stroke. So I taped the edge and went to town - I always bring out my inner Mr.Miyagi when I stain. I stain on - and stain off. I let it sit a little so that the color would set. The wood wasn't drinking it up as quickly as other things I've stained.

I'm so mad I didn't take pictures but in my defense I was in crisis mode and was trying to make it like it never happened. I took the tape off and how fantastic it bled through and I had spots of stain all over the white edge. On the top edge I just rubbed the side of the brush and that conveniently bled upwards so my crisp clean line I had so diligently kept was all splotched.

I just went back over everything with the white - and then the next morning I think because the stain wasn't dry it was all showing through so I had to go back over it again and when I came home last night all was right in the world of free tables. Thank god! 

The tops look awesome even with the stain on them you can see the grain still! Also note - that Max is super nosy and loves to be in pictures. Oh one other thing you don't know about him is how much of a diva he is. He is very sensitive but you might haveve guessed that after I told you about his allergies HA! If you spray anything like a cleaner or are using a paint or product that is strong smelling it gets all dramatic and sneezes really loud and just leaves the room. He wasn't around for most of this project he sat on the stairs in the other room and whined. He's so supportive sometimes.

The bottom edge I did the same thing with the stain - wiped it on and then let is sit and wiped it off. I didn't have the bleeding I had with the other spots. It could be because this was super dry. When I stained the other parts it was dry-ish.

You can't tell me the tops don't look awesome. The poly just made them look even more awesome. I love the look of un-polyed stain but I knew these were going to be side tables in the living room so I would probably have glasses on them and I didn't want any problems so I just bit the bullet and did it now.

Honestly, do I even need to say it again. They're AWESOME!

Here they are in place. I'm only going to show you the tables because I still need to find the right lamps and to really style the tops the way I want. They look great - that grate is kind of in a crappy spot - but it's going to be very important soon once we get our new coal stove hooked up.

Here is nice comparison of before and after. I use the same hardware because it works with the piece. I may or may not have gangnam style danced when I finally brought these upstairs. I hate to toot my own horn but TOOT TOOT! Mr.B and I are really happy with how they came out and even though it was a little bit harder to stain and paint the way I did - it makes the table. 

It would've been fine to just stain the whole table or paint the whole table or even just stain the whole top which I was initially thinking I was going to do, but I really like what I came up with. Sometimes you just have to get into the project and figure it out while you go because I had so many different ideas on what I was going to do with these and then went a totally different direction.

We are happy with them because the table Mr.B uses by his recliner I refinished in white and then made it look rustic by sanding it in spots and the rest of the furniture in there like the fireplace and the bookshelf are all darker wood - so these tables were the glue to bring everybody together. 

I'm going to scope out some of the consignment shops and the salvo to see if I can find some lamps with a nice shape and then I can re-paint them a nice pop of color. Haven't decided on what color it will be, but I'll keep you updated!

Anyone else refinishing some awesome free tables?

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