Monday, December 31, 2012

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Kitchen Cabinets




A few months ago, I tackled my biggest project yet....painting my kitchen cabinets. 
I love to paint but this project almost ended that love.

Here is a before picture of the kitchen when we bought the house:

As you can see, it is a small space and by far the smallest kitchen we looked at while house hunting. I personally think big kitchens are somewhat overrated.  This space is easy to work in, has plenty of counter room and makes me feel like I'm in a little French Chateau. 

granite: cashmere white. pendant light: pottery barn. 

I chose Annie Sloan's Pure White chalk paint and used watered down Paris Grey for a glaze. 
All painted surfaces received two coats of clear wax and light distressing. 







subway tile: crackled white glaze




Overall, I am very pleased with the ASCP on the cabinets. They are holding up great and stains wipe right off. Rewaxing will be necessary but probably only once a year, if not longer. 

Get the steps here:

Friday, December 28, 2012

Most Popular Post of 2012:

 Drum roll, please.
My number one blog post of 2012 was...


It pleases me to no end that so many of you found this post to be helpful! 
I received lovely comments and countless emails from first timers to experienced painters. 
Thank you!!

If you've not tried ASCP, go for it in 2013!

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Q&A:
  If you're a follower of Shabby Sweet Tea or just stopped by to read a post or two, you've probably picked up on the notion that I'm currently obsessed with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. I have received several comments and emails asking specific questions about ASCP. So grab a pencil, your cutest notepad and listen up! and don't forget...Annie Sloan Q&A Part 2

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Q&A:

Why do you love ASCP? 
I'm so glad you asked! I am in love with the color palette, which is inspired by European furniture colors of the 1700's.


Annie Sloan
 
This paint is super easy to work with and dries in no time.  Not to mention it's an extremely low VOC paint and has virtually no odor. I've used ASCP several times indoors with little ventilation (I got desperate this winter). If you're into being green, this is the paint for you. I will say, the wax has an odor but it is not overwhelming like some of the other waxes on the market. 

How is ASCP different from regular paint such as latex?
Unlike most latex and oil base paint, ASCP is thicker and doesn't require stripping a piece first or a coat of primer. Also, ASCP will stick to just about anything (wood, plastic, walls, metal, laminate, etc).

Is it really worth $36 for a quart size pot?
Yes! A little ASCP goes a long way. I have used my Paris Gray on three pieces and still have over a half can left. Plus, you don't have to buy products to prep the piece beforehand.
Annie's brushes are a little pricey, about $36. I have been using a Purdy brush (best brush brand ever) to paint with and cheese cloth to apply the wax. However, I am dying to try a waxing brush and will probably order one from a stockist.

Do you need to use the wax?
I recommend using the clear wax that Annie sells for $25. The wax is soft like margarine, odor free, contains no harsh chemicals and is very workable. I typically apply two coats of clear wax. If you want to distress the piece you are working on, you can also use the dark wax. Just keep in mind that a little dark wax goes a long way!


Can you share with me the steps you take when using ASCP?
This is how I went about painting this table which, by the way, was my first time using ASCP.


Start by wiping the piece of furniture down with a damp cloth. Apply one or two coats of ASCP. This paint dries quickly, so I wait about 30 mins between coats. Next, you can distress the piece with sandpaper or apply a coat of clear wax. Annie Sloan suggests that you wax the piece, distress and wax again. This is because chalk paint is chalky and makes a bit of a mess when you sand and distress. By waxing the piece first, you will have less dust. I have found that this process is messy regardless, so I paint, distress and then wax. Keep in mind that one of the easiest mistakes to make is over-waxing. A little goes a long way. Apply one coat of wax and buff it out with a clean cloth.  I use old white t-shirts. Apply a second coat and maybe even a third if you're working on kitchen or bathroom cabinets. When you are finished waxing and buffing the clear wax out, you should have a smooth finish that is not sticky. If you desire an aged look, go for the dark wax next. I cannot stress enough how little you need! If you end up too dark, you can use clear wax to buff out the dark. Please remember to always wax with clear before you use wax with dark. If not, the dark wax will stain your paint. After you've done these steps, allow the piece to cure for a day.

I hope you have found these answers to be helpful. Have any more specific questions?? I have a few more technical ones that I will address in a future post. Until then...happy painting!








Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Shabby Chic Christmas Gift Wrapping

 
For the past few years, I have used a "theme" when wrapping Christmas gifts. 
This year, I used my Shabby Chic mantel decor for wrapping inspiration.
I purchased silver, tan and white craft paper, along with many establishments such as glittered twigs, ribbons, butterflies, clip on flowers, birds, felt, berries and more!

I hope the pictures below inspire you to get creative when wrapping. 










Many of these items can be purchased from the Dollar Store and the dollar section at Michael's. 

You can also find great decorative paper and tissue paper sheets in the scrap booking aisle. 
I thought the mustaches would add a whimsical touch to stocking stuffers. 





Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Zucchini, Squash and Ricotta Galette

4
via

I'm obsessed with making this Zucchini, Squash and Ricotta Galette!
I crave its buttery crust and fresh thyme...

This recipe is pretty simple to make and looks and tastes super gourmet.

One of these beauties graced my table on Thanksgiving.
May I suggest you make one for the holidays?

I discovered this recipe and many others at one of my favorite blogs, 

Eat Yourself Skinny.
If you've never been over to meet Kelly and try a few of her healthy recipes, you should!!

Ingredients: 

Crust:
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
8 Tbsp light butter, cold
2 oz. light cream cheese
1/4 cup of ice water, adding an additional tablespoon if necessary

Filling:
1 medium zucchini
1 medium yellow summer squash
1 clove garlic
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 Tbsp honey
1 egg white
1 Tbsp fresh thyme
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

Egg wash:
1 egg yolk
1 tsp. water

Topping:
1 Tbsp olive oil
Fresh basil

In a medium bowl, combine flour and salt.  Cut in cold butter until mixture looks course chunks and then cut in cream cheese.  Butter and cream cheese will resemble pea-like chunks in the flour; then mix in 1/4 cup of ice water.  Feel free to add an additional tablespoon of water, if needed.  Shape dough into a disc, cover with plastic wrap in place in the fridge.
While dough is sitting in the fridge you can make your filling.  Slice zucchini and squash, laying out your slices on sheets of paper towels.  Sprinkle a little salt on each piece and sit for 30 minutes, allowing paper towels to soak up the water.  Blot dry after the allotted time has passed and set aside.
For the filling, whisk together ricotta cheese, egg white, garlic, honey, thyme, parmesan and mozzarella cheeses.  Set aside.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Lightly flour your surface and roll out you dough until it is a 12-14 inch circle.  Place rolled out dough on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and spread ricotta mixture over dough, leaving about 2 inches from the edge.  Arrange zucchini and squash over top of the mixture, overlapping as needed and fold over the edges of the pie crust.  You want your pie to look like an even circle.
Whisk together egg yolk and a teaspoon of water and brush mixture over top of the crust.  Drizzle a bit of olive oil on top and place pie in the oven for about 40 to 45 minutes.  Remove from oven and sprinkle fresh basil, if desired.  Enjoy!


Nutrition:

Servings: 12
Serving Size: 1 slice
Calories: 164
Fat: 8.5 g
Carbs: 15.1 g
Fiber: 0.6 g
Protein: 7 g
Old Points: 3.9 pts
Points+: 4 pts


Bon Appetit!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Hello Monday

 Hello birthday weekend. 
Hello pretty birthday flowers. 


Hello to unusually warm and sunny weather. 
Hello to the horses down the road.
{You guys make me smile daily}


Hello bum.


Hello to too many cups of cafe.
Hello mini eclairs and cream puffs. 


Hello to free reversible bandannas for the boys.



Hello Monday. 
Good-bye weekend. 
{see you soon}

linking up to: The WiegandsLisa Leonard

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Give.

 I'm writing this post to share with you something that has been weighing my heart down. 
Its brought me to tears, made me relate and saddened me.

See, there is a woman in my town that I don't know.

However, I do know she's married and has two beautiful little girls.
Just weeks before giving birth to her second daughter, she had a full
mascetomy. 

She has a rare form of breast cancer. 
She's young.
Has babies.
A husband.
Family.
Friends.

Medical bills are piling up and she fighting for her life.
If you can give anything at all to this family, please do.
I did. 



Linking up to: The Wiegand's

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Want to have a glass of wine?

 If you stopped by, I would probably ask if you'd like a glass of wine.
 Or maybe an espresso from my new fancy machine. 

I'd ask if you'd like to sit on the front porch, which will give you a Wisteria Lane feel, 
or at the little bistro table out back. If we sit out back, the dogs can play. Such entertainment they are to watch.
We could always sit by the fire inside. 
It's up to you.

We would cheers because there's always something to raise your glass to.

I'd ask how you've been and what you've been up to. 
What's making you smile these days. 

Me, I'm still riding the high from getting married. 
I'd tell you a few little details about our wedding. Most likely I'd get teary eyed because the love I have for my husband completely overwhelms me. 
God blessed me to no end with that boy. 

If you asked about Paris, I would sigh and tell you how 
much I miss our little apartment and the food.
We will be headed back again in Aug or Nov.
I'd also tell you how I'm trying to lose my "Paris weight".

I'd want to know how your Christmas shopping is coming along.
What are you giving this year?
I've not done much shopping yet.
I've been spending my weekends enjoying our new house and holiday decorations. 
Afternoons melt away in the backyard or in front of the fire.

If we were out back, I'd pause to throw the ball for a minute.
George goes nuts over his green ball.
I'd tell you how much I love those dogs.
How they make my heart sing.
Then I would probably yell at Leo for eating too much grass.

If you wanted to stay for another glass, I would  slice up some baguette and brie. 
Probably an apple too. 

We could just sit. 
Soak it up. 

I'd tell you how we need to do this more often. 

Come back soon...

xoxo




Sunday, December 2, 2012

Shabby Chic Wedding

 I thought I would share a few details with you about my recent Nov 3rd wedding. 
Mr. SST and I decided to go simple...real simple!
We booked our venue at Cloer Family Vineyards , a sweet country winery right down the road from our house. We only invited our immediate family, which made for a nice intimate group of eight people, plus my brother on Skype in Afghanistan. 
We had a lovely ceremony outside followed by orderves and wine by a fire pit. Later in the evening we enjoyed dinner at Peak City Grill in our historic little downtown. 
The next day we were off to Paris!
Simple. Lovely. Perfect. 
























So there you have it. Our little shabby chic country wedding!