Wednesday, February 29, 2012

DIY - Frame Your Own Bathroom Mirror

You may remember that we worked on our Master Bathroom quite a bit.  Here's where we repainted our bathroom cabinets. They had been gold, yuck! And we repainted them to white.

Our house is 25 years old and so there are many things that need a little facelift.  One of them was our bathroom mirror.  I hated that it was so plain, but didn't want to spend a bunch of money on a new mirror.  And - how would I get it home?!

Here's what it looked like before.  Very plain. 

So, we went to Home Depot or Lowe's, I can't remember and looked at their selection of Crown Molding.  There are many options for that.

We chose the one that we wanted.
and came home with it.

I think we had to get 4 pieces because we have one continuous mirror over 2 sinks.  I think each one was around $8.  If the mirror is smaller then you might not need a full piece for each side.

Dave then cut the pieces at an angle to form a square around the mirror.  Dave used a Miter Saw.  Note: It will be placed 100% on the mirror, so don't cut them too big.  They will be glued to the mirror.  If you don't have a tool at home to cut them, the nice people at Home Depot or Lowe's can do it for you.

We then painted them.  I used the lightest color on the paint chip for the walls and then the darkest color on the paint chip for the frame for the mirror. It's called Chocolate Cupcake, don't you love it?!

Now they're all painted and upstairs and ready to go!! Make sure you let them dry well.  I had to repaint a couple places on mine because we got a little too excited about the project!

Now - here's where it gets a bit tricky.  This is definitely a TWO person job!

Work quickly and diligently.  Put Loctite on the back of the bottom one. 

Then set the bottom one FIRST (disregard the picture that has others already up there).

Then continue to Loctite each part and start to set them.  Put painters tape on as needed.  But please, make sure they are straight and square.  You will be pushing and moving them around until they look right. 
As one person holds them, the other can maneuver them.

Since our mirror was a couple inches off the counter I put little wooden pieces under it to help it set, this was a lifesaver!!! 

Then it's all set and let it dry!!

Remember the beginning??

Now check out the after, what a huge difference!!

Now that I know what how cheap, relatively easy, and what a difference it makes.. I'm think the next project are the mirrors in the rest of the house!

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Orlando - Half Marathon!

The last half marathon that I ran was horrible.  I hated every minute of it.  So when my great friend Emily asked me to do another I was definitely hesitant.  I decided to prove to myself that I could do it and go and have fun with her!  We had so much fun!

We were childhood neighbors from when we were 4 years old on.  She moved to Fort Myers, Florida the same week that I moved to Houston.  We've been very close for many years! 

I flew into Fort Myers and got to see their beautiful house and adorable puppies. On Saturday morning we drove to Orlando and got to Disney World!  Fun!  How cute are the numbers? "Princess Emily" and "Princess Camille".. Quinton's didn't call him a princes... darn.

We went to bed before 8pm that night because we had to be up at 2:30am in order to get breakfast, get on the bus, and be in line at 4am.  That was our main complaint.. and it was cold!

We ran through the middle of the park, saw all kinds of good characters, and had a lot of fun!  Even though we didn't train together and didn't run together we all finished within 9 minutes of each other!

Emily was so sweet and got me this adorable thing to hang our medals.  I guess this means I need to run more races :)

And we did get some good "bling". 

After the race we had a great celebratory drink.

Oh yeah, and Dave and Buddy weren't able to make it.. but they were very supportive!!

All in all, a great time!

Things I've learned from this Half Marathon from my last.

1) Crossfit is awesome.  I did Crossfit during the week and long runs (sometimes) on the weekends and felt much better.  I also was not very sore afterward.  Crossfit took all of that soreness in the beginning :) is the gym we go to.  I use Hal Higdon to decide how long my long runs should be.

2) GU is your best friend.  My body burns a lot of calories (as does running 13 miles...) so I need calories.  I took a "GU" at mile 4 and mile 8.  It was great. the vanilla and mint chocolate ones are my favorite.

3) I did "intervals" for this run.  I ran for 5 minutes and walked for 1 minute, the entire race.  RunKeeper app on your iPhone will beep in your ear for the intervals.  It's great.  5 minutes of running is much less daunting than taking off running for 2 hours.

4) Book on tape.  I get bored running, I was in Disney World with 20,000 people and Disney characters and bands and beeping in my ear... and I still needed something more.  On Itunes you can buy Audio Books.  I only listen to the book when I'm on a run.  It makes me want to go out and run to find out what happens next.

5) If you're tired at the end, call somebody.  I called my husband.  He talked to me for the last 2 miles and it was the best.  It was very cool to have him in my ear as I crossed the finish line.

6) And last of all.. run with fun people.  There's nothing like having run a half marathon with a great friend!  We'll do more and more of them.  I can't wait!

One last thing... I shaved 23 minutes off my half marathon from my last one.  Last time I finished last in my age group.  This time we finished in the top third.  I may not be fast, but I'm getting faster.  And that's all that matters!

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tomato Vodka Sauce

I love this Sauce.  You could do so many things with it to make it into anything you wanted.  Add chicken, add shrimp, add italian sausage, mushrooms, etc, etc, etc.  (yes, I just said shrimp.. I hate shrimp, but you might like it)

Chop an onion.  I only had half an onion, but a whole onion would be better.

I started with the leavings from the Chicken Spiedini, if you don't have a pan with chicken in it, then just heat up 3 Tablespoons of butter.  Yum, chicken and butter :) Then add 4 garlic cloves minced.

Once the garlic is brown, add the chopped onion.

Once all of that is brown add 2 of the big cans (I think 28 oz.) Crushed tomatoes to the onion and garlic.  If you can find the kind with extra herbs in it, even better!

Let that simmer for awhile, you want everything to be nice and flavorful. 
During that time add some seasonings:
1/2 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp crushed red pepper or cayenne, whatever you can find in your pantry :)

Let simmer for 15 minutes. 
Now add some vodka.  We added about a cup of Vodka.  The cheap stuff is fine.  Let the vodka and tomato sauce simmer for another 10 or 15 minutes.

Now add about 2/3 cup of cream.  Stir it all together and taste it, check your seasonings.

Serve over your favorite pasta, I think it's great with penne!

We love to eat it with Chicken Spiedini- yummy!!!

Obviously, this recipe makes a lot of sauce!  It's great to put in vacuum seal bags and freeze a couple cups.  It makes a great addition to any meal.

3 T. butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
2 - 28oz cans, crushed tomatoes
1/2 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp crushed red pepper or cayenne, whatever you can find in your pantry :)
1 cup vodka
2/3 cup cream

Heat butter, add garlic, once brown add onion.  Add tomatoes and seasonings, let simmer for 15 minutes.  Add vodka, let simmer for 15 minutes.  Add cream.  Serve over pasta.

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Chicken Spiedini

Dave "met the parents" at Garozzo's Ristorante in Kansas City, MO summer of 2008. He had never had Chicken Spedini before and he loved it! It was always a family favorite growing up and I'm so happy that Dave loves it just as much (if not more). Dave and I have continued to perfect our chicken spiedini ever since.   Spiedini means balls of meat cooked on a skewer.  Think an Italian kabob.. kind of.

It's a good thing that we love to cook it because it's hard to find in Houston.  I didn't realize that it was such a Missouri original.  Kansas City claims it as does St. Louis, since I'm a Kansas City girl - I'm going to say it was KC.  All of those Italian families there have been making it for years!  (and we each have our own favorite restaurant to eat it..)

This is probably Dave's favorite meal that I cook for him (but he usually jumps in and helps out too).

First start by making the herb spread. 

Chop 1/4 cup basil.

Chop 1/4 cup parsley.

Mince 3 cloves garlic

Add juice of 1 lemon.

Add salt and pepper.

Add 2 Tbs. Parmesan Cheese and 3 Tbs. Olive Oil.  There you have the herb spread.

Now for the chicken breasts.  Cover 3 chicken breasts with plastic and pound them thin.

Add provolone to the top of each one.

Then add prosciutto. 
(You can add as many topping as you'd like, but these are our favorites)

Now add your herb spread.  (If it won't spread easily add a little more olive oil).

Then slice them into about 1" strips.

Roll them and skewer them.

Put bread crumbs on a plate.  I add parmesan to it, but you don't have to.

Then roll the skewers in the bread crumbs.  Make sure they're all coated.

Heat olive oil on a pan on the stove.

Brown the chicken spedini.  About 2 minutes per side.

Once brown, put in a baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.

Here's your chicken Spedini!!

We always serve it with some sort of pasta.  At the moment, our tomato vodka cream sauce is the favorite!

Ingredients for herb spread:
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/4 cup basil, chopped
juice of 1 lemon
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 T. olive oil
2 T. parmesan

3 chicken breasts
bread crumbs

Combine all ingredients for herb spread.  Flatten chicken breasts.  Layer provolone, prosciutto, and herb spread.  Cut into 1" pieces, roll and skewer.  Put skewers in bread crumbs.  Brown the skewered chicken in olive oil over medium-high heat until brown.  Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, or until done.  Serve with pasta.
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