What a Bright Idea – a brass lamp makeover

Most of my married life, I’ve had attic decor – Sean and I both brought some things in to our marriage home. And for the most part, we’ve had what we needed. Other than that, we’ve either purchased a needed item (like a couch), made it (like a side table and entertainment center [I’m lucky to be married to a crafty man]) or reworked something that we already had or that we were given.

One such item was these lamps.

I remember when my mom bought them, my dad encouraged her to buy some for the entire house, since she like them so much. So glad she didn’t listen to that logic.

Otherwise I would have spent all day fixing these suckers up.

Don’t get me wrong – it was an super easy process. Sandpaper, Textured Spray paint (the kind for metal) and newspaper were all it took.

But one can only have so many attractive lamps around their home before running out of room. Or something like that.

So sanding and wiping down two lamps was entirely manageable.

I swear, I’m not giving anyone the finger. Apparently, I have some inner British to channel.

Or maybe I just have sandpaper dust issues that make me avoid touching it too much.

Whatever.

Once I sanded (very lightly sanded… nothing major; just to hold the paint better) and wiped, I got to spray. It took me two cans to do these lamps, though I would have preferred a third to touch up some of the thinner spots.

But even with the thin spots, they are a vast improvement over the polished brass from before.

But I’m screwed if polish brass comes back in style.

Finish it off with a lover-ly tassel from The Nester, and it’s a beauty to behold.

How to actually make it past breakfast when camping with a baby

A month ago, we made the grave mistake of trying to go camping. Sure, we’ve done it before and everyone always has a smashing good time. But this was the first time with a baby.

In case you’ve forgotten, babies like to crawl. And stick things in their mouths. And the woods have dirt all over the ground (!!!! fo shizzle!!!!)

Neither one of Declan’s parents thought this through real well. So Declan’s parents were miserable while camping and attempting to keep Declan from eating bugs and pine needles and rabbit poop.

And it didn’t stop once we went to bed. The fun just kept on keeping on.

all

night

long

Needless to say, we packed it up quickly the next morning and decided we would not even consider camping again until we researched it more and had a better plan.

Some of the tips I learned:

+ Bring a playpen – this seems obvious. But, hello?! We are two college-educated grownups and didn’t consider it (maybe because we don’t even own one anymore)

+ Bring a baby carrier/backpack – this we did do. But since it was our only option, my back was screaming for mercy 1/2 way through setting up camp.

+ Bring a 180 count baby wipes package. Seriously – you will need each and every one of those wipes.

+ Bring something for baby to sit in while eating. I had to hold Declan through our entire meal. I had his car seat, but I didn’t have a good place to sit it while I fed him.

+ Clothing to layer – it always ends up being much cooler at night.

Camping is so much fun. But just like everything else, you have to think ahead to make it successful.

Next time we will be prepared. And we will, hopefully, make it past breakfast.

What are your ideas for making a camping trip successful?

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Chicken (noodle soup) of the sea*

I’ve been looking for an excuse to share this (amazingly simple, utterly delicious) recipe with y’all.

My husband’s father was a Naval Submarine Nuclear Tech (not sure if that is the official term, but I’m going with it). At that time, the Navy was not a very family friendly division of the military. Unlike the Army, which just sent my dad oversees for a year at a time, Sean’s father was out to sea for months and months every year for the duration of his military career. (I say just sent my dad oversees for a year at a time tongue in cheek, although I do love the military; I’m an Army Brat)

Because he was out to sea so often and for so long, she was a married single mom for a lot of the years Sean and his brothers were growing up. Add to that, the fact that the Navy wouldn’t just send his dad’s check to his mom (so they’d go months without checks) and this meant having to wing it a lot when it came to meals.

Some of my favorite meals come from things his mom made up or adapted in order to stretch their food while his dad was out to sea. And this is one of them. It’s basically chicken noodle soup with a twist.

1-2 large cans of chicken broth (depending on how many noodles you use)
1 bag egg noddles
1-2 cans chicken
Boil the noodles in the chicken broth. Add a few sprinkles of pepper if desired. Add chicken about 1 minute before done cooking – long enough to heat the chicken.

In the meantime, make some mashed potatoes. If you really want simplicity, use instant potatoes. Make them a little thicker than normal.

When all items are made/cooked, put some mashed potatoes in individual bowls. Then add soup over it. (Hence the reason for making the potatoes a bit thicker.)

Oh my goodness – I love this meal. It quickly became one of my favorite comfort meals and it’s perfect for last minute meals.

*I know that makes it sound as if there is tuna in this… (thanks Jessica Simpson) But: Chicken noodle soup + the fact that this twist was born out of the times my father-in-law was at sea = my corny post title.

Where’s my Lasso of Truth?

Awhile back I ran out of Comet. Comet is my friend. I feel like Wonder Woman with the cleaning power in that yellow and green container. So running out of Comet was huge for me.

About that same time, my husband starting doing all of the grocery shopping (*hate me*) and the cooking (*double hate me*) He makes the grocery list based on what he plans on making (duh) and I add on anything I need for around the house.

You’d think Comet would have been on the top of that list.

Would you believe that I have forgotten to add it to that list for the last TWO MONTHS!

Can you imagine the disgusting look of my kitchen sink!?

::shudders::

Lest you think I have not cleaned my tub and sinks for two months (I’m lazy, but not that lazy. okay. I am.), I have cleaned them with bleach, but while that disinfects, it doesn’t make it sparkle and shine and get rid of stains and soap scum.

Then it hit me!

Baking soda.

And you know what?

It worked! It cleaned my kitchen sink just as well as Comet. Soap scum is gone. AND it is safe to use around the kids.

My new Wonder Woman power comes from baking soda now.

Whodda thunk?

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