Friday, March 30, 2012

riding the pine

i've been pining over this bathroom vanity for a while now...isn't it gorgeous?!

i've searched high and low for an affordable piece, to no avail.  until today.  i found this:

the doors are a little off and  i think they can just be sanded down a bit, but i have a cabinet maker for a brother in law, so i'm hoping he can help me out with new doors if need be, but it has -great- bones, don't you think? and fabulous hardware! oooooooh, i'm so excited to start working on this!

i had a little time to kill on my way home today (yeah, friday!) so i stopped at a place that's been in my town for a long time and i've never visited.  so glad i did, it's a house full of treasures, junk and well, more junk. it's the kind of place where you could visit a thousand times and still find something you didn't see the first time.  nothing's really organized, but that makes it more fun.  this beauty caught my eye peeking out of an outdoor storage shed as i was entering the property.  she had it marked $190 but i talked her into $100 pretty easily (so it's probably worth what, $30?) 

the back was falling off, but that doesn't matter because we'd have to cut it anyway for plumbing accessibility, but otherwise it's a very sturdy, solid piece with dovetail drawers.

it wasn't a steal, but it's just what i was looking for, more or less.  i won't be able to work the baskets underneath as in the inspiration piece above, but i'm not entirely concerned with that.  
i'm curious as to what you furniture painters usually pay for a piece, i've seen a myriad of hutches and a plethora of dressers redone, what's have you been paying for these pieces, un-done?

now this, this was a steal.  $10 and the guy at the thrift store threw in an old bottle i wanted.  that little circle in the middle of the chair slat needs a graphic, don'tcha think?


and it has this super secret hiding place, wink wink, nudge nudge.
i think i'll keep all the money i win from tonight's mega millions jackpot there when i get it :D

my youngest's softball season just started here this week; we have a double header scrimmage tomorrow, another scrimmage on monday and games start on wednesday.  i'll be slacking on posting a bit,  in case any of you 13 followers miss me.  nothing beats watching my daughter play softball, and unlike the blog title, she won't be riding any pine.

should i get a guest blogger? heh.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


one of the biggest wastes of money, in my opinion, is commercially packaged croutons.  when you buy a bag of 'rocks', as my youngest always called them, you're getting like what, 6 slices of bread cut up? stale bread at that! do the math.

whenever salad is on the menu at our house, i'll pick up a loaf of day old bread from the day old rack at the grocery store if i don't have any at home.  i like italian bread best, because of its texture, but i've used all different kinds, rye, pumpernickle, multi grain, toasting bread, even bagels for home made croutons.  they're great on salads but also in soup!

it takes hardly any time to make your own, i cut and season mine and pop them in the oven while i'm making the rest of dinner.  20 minutes or so at 350 and they're done.

one loaf of day old italian bread cost me .59 today and made what you'd get in 3 of those bags that sell for close to $2.00 each.

 slice and cut the bread into small pieces, spray a baking sheet with olive oil (i use a misto sprayer, but you can use the store bought olive oil pam spray too).  arrange your bread on the baking sheet and give the tops a good spray of oil (you can also use a pastry brush with oil if you don't have a spray) sprinkle with whatever seasoning you like, italian herb, rosemary, thyme, garlic,grated pecorino romano cheese,  the possibilities are endless. you can also use different oils like sesame, walnut, and my favorite, black truffle oil.  (black truffle oil and salt on pumpernickle is the bomb!)
 my baking sheet is not dirty, it's well seasoned! :D

after i season, i give them another good spray of oil and toss them into a 350 degree oven until they're golden brown.  you can let them cool or toss 'em right into your salad warm, that's my favorite.

the snowflakes are still up there

hey, the ladder's pretty heavy. plus, you know, it's going to snow this weekend. a real new england spring always has a chance of snow. maybe i'll get 'em down over the weekend. 

the only thing i purchased for this mantel were the $4 tj maxx eggs, everything else  stole from other parts of the house or the china cabinet. i found the birdhouse in the basement, gave it one coat of white paint and done.

the eastern exposure at the front of the house send the sun in like a laser beam in the morning, so i got all up close and personal in the other photos.  

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


i can't seem to pull this mantel together for the life of me.
any suggestions?

Monday, March 26, 2012

pulling together some stuff for a spring mantel

so i was at tj maxx today and found the cutest speckled eggs for $4 which, in combination with the collective spring mantel decor found here in diy blogland, prompted me to clean up the christmas stuff.  i'm kidding, i took that all down last week, i mean, in january!  those snowflakes are still up there though, and it's been busy around the mcvick household.  fine, i'll get the ladder tomorrow and take 'em down.


ok.  i'm working toward spring here...

  little by little...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

nana bell's fuggatz

my husband's family was making and eating foccacia bread well before it was en vogue. before anyone knew what foccacia even was; hell, they called it fuggatz. and you could find nana bell (short for bellontuano, real italians here) making dough at midnight, leaving it to rise over night.

she'd fry some of the dough up in the morning and serve it with consative, or 'guinea butter' as my husband calls it - which basically was just oven dried tomato paste with italian herbs and garlic. mix, spread it on a baking sheet and cook it low and slow in the oven.

but onto the fuggatz. there's only one way to make it. pizza dough, plum san marzano tomatoes, onion and basil, kosher salt and cracked black pepper. and let's be clear, this isn't pizza.

i tend to get on a yeast kick in the winter, making dough with my kitchen aid mixer sometimes four times a week. with the dough hook, it's super easy and this pizza dough recipe is pretty versatile; aside from the foccacia bread, i make italian bread and rolls, breadsticks and yes, even pizza.

 1 1/2 cups warm water
 1 t dry active yeast
1 t granulated sugar
4 cups white flour
1 T olive oil 2 t kosher salt

1 can san marzano plum tomatoes
1/2 onion, sliced, chopped, however you want it
fresh chopped basil - to taste (you won't get the same flavor from dried basil)
kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste

to the warm 102 degree water add the yeast and sugar and olive oil, stir until mixed, cover with a kitchen towel for a few minutes until it gets bubbly. in the bowl of your mixer (or a mixing bowl) add the flour,salt and yeast mixture. mix until well combined. kneed by hand or dough hook until the ball is smooth and elastic. remove the dough from the bowl, and with your hand or a paper towel, spread a bit of olive oil all around the bowl and set the dough ball back in. cover with a clean dish towel or plastic wrap and keep in a warm spot until the dough doubles in side (1-1/2 hours).

preheat oven to 425, spread a bit of olive oil on a stone baking sheet or jelly roll pan. punch down your dough, remove and work it from the center, making a rectangle and laying it on the prepared pan. use your fingers to make indentations in the dough, stretching it to fix the pan completely. cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel set somewhere warm and let rise for 20-30 minutes (you don't HAVE to do this step, but it's a much better foccacia bread in the end).

 remove the tomatoes from the can, one by one, and crush them with your fingers and lay them atop the foccacia dough,  a little bit of tomato juice on the dough is good! sprinkle the chopped or sliced onion and chopped basil all over the top, season with salt and pepper.

cook at 425 for 30-40 minutes or until the crust is a golden brown. you can brush the crust with olive oil to make it crispier.  i remove this from the pan immediately and try to let it cool on a cooling rack for at least 30 milliseconds before the inmates get to it!  i just cut it into squares and serve as is.  it's a great snack, or a nice addition to salad for dinner.

one of these doesn't last in my house for longer than an hour once everyone's home, but on the rare occasion there are left overs, they're great in a lunch box!

linking up to my new favorite food site:

center of attention sunday! sunday! sunday!

thank you all for linking up to my center of attention sunday party.  it's so great to be surrounded by such talented women; i'm in awe of your talents.

i cannot pick my favorites, because they're all wonderful. so this week everyone get's a feature.  (hello mcvick, switzerland, line one).

in order of in linkz views:

we have somewhat quirky's! fabulous sunshine suitcase tutorial.  i love the way the poppies just, well, pop! this makes me smile when i look at it!

and beth at make me pretty's! turquoise beauty.  i especially like the detail in the corners, such a pretty piece! check out her blog for great furniture re-do's.

carolyn shared her buffet re-do, a gorgeous piece! she's got some great signage going on over at my my simple messterpiece too!

here's vanessa at home sweet butterly!, and her picture perfect, a super vintage looking frame with one of my favorite things, utensils!

crafty meggy shamed us 'last minute lizzies' with her christ tree quilt piece. i am in awe of people who are prepared for the holiday season before the tanning oil and beach chairs come out! :D

last, but certainly not least, liz over at sixth street sunshine showed us her easy easter mantle. i'm totally digging the forsythia, such a quintessential spring item! check out her blog to see her kitchen and super cute decorating!

are you ready to be the center of attention next sunday? post your stuff, show it off, and be sure to visit the other blogs; that's what it's all about, right?
and if you wanna grab my button (anywhere else but blogland, that'd sound dirty) feel free!
 <-------the code is over there on the left

Saturday, March 24, 2012

i miss it already

we have a thing, this tray and i. i've spent the better part of the past two weeks either working on or thinking about it. i've sanded it, painted it, re-sanded it back down to wood, and painted it again.
i've cursed at it, i've broken a printer over it(lexmark printers dislike burlap as media). i've skipped dinner because of it.
and when i tied the bow around it today i realized i was going to miss it.

and i do. but happy birthday, mary.

so from a tag sale misfit score

the demo and build up can be found here.  it's really turned into something i'm pretty proud of.


and just to prove that no one's perfect.  ok well -i- am not perfect, here's how the first insert turned out after hating the excess transfer material on the burlap.  a little too distressed for the tray.  there's shabby chic and then there's 'can you please hose that down before i touch it'

 i've kept the original insert because there's something about it i really like.  i'll find something else to do with it.

linked up at these great blogs:

Days of Chalk and Chocolate
I Heart Nap Time

Sunday's Best Linky Party!
just something i whipped up at the girl creative


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