Painting the Guest Bathroom Green

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I’m back with another edition of the slowest blog post series ever seen.  Once the wall paper was removed and the holes patched, it was time to start painting.  For this room I decided on Glidden Hazy Sage color matched in Behr interior Semi-gloss paint with primer.

Choosing paint colors- try lots of samples

I wanted the guest bath to have a calming, spa feel to it.  My inspiration came from this room from Better Homes & Garden.  I love the calm green walls, dark cabinets and open shelving.  Peaceful and clean.

Guest Bath Inspiration 2

So I grabbed a sample can of Hazy Sage and put a spot on the wall to see how it looked .  This is one of the few rooms in our house where a second sample was not necessary.  I immediately knew this was the color I was looking for.

Guest bath medicine cabinet before

On with the painting…I love this color!

Painting our guest bath sage green

Once all the edges were cut in, it was time to tackle the cabinets next. I’ll back back soon with an update on how they turned out!  Anyone else tackling a bathroom facelift recently?

Painting bathroom cabinets for an upgraded look


Wine Tasting in Murphys

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A few weeks ago we took a great weekend trip with a fabulous couple to the small town of Murphys.  For those of you who have never heard of Murphys, it is a small town in Calaveras County in Northern California.  From central California you wind up into the old gold mining towns of the foothills and eventually get to this quaint downtown with lots of cute shops and wine tasting rooms.  The great thing about a weekend in Murphys is that everything is affordable, quaint and within walking distance.

Little Yellow Cottage in Murphys

We rented the cutest little 2 bed, 2 bath house called the Little Yellow Cottage.  It was just down the street from the main strip and next to a park.  Plus it was within really close walking distance to all the great shops and tasting rooms, so once we arrived we never had to drive anywhere until it was time to head home.  They did have a 2 night minimum though, so we headed up after work on Friday to make use of both nights.

Clawfoot bathtub in Murphys

I just had to snag a picture of the clawfoot bathtub in the guest bathroom.  How sweet is that!  Someone even took the time to paint the side of the tub to match the wall paper.  While not my style for our house, it was so cute and perfect for the feel of the cottage.

Backyard at the little yellow cottage in Murphys

Another huge plus to the Little Yellow Cottage was this fabulous back yard! We lucked out in having fantastic weather for March and we were able to sit out in the 70+ degree sun soaking it all in.

Backyard at the little yellow cottage in Murphys, California

In the yard were a few cute touches like this little bird house on the fence and a gazebo.

Backyard at the little yellow cottage in Murphys, CA

It turns out that Murphys is also super dog friendly.  Out in the yard we saw this cute little sign, and if you follow the direction of the arrow there is a nice little dog run along the side of the house.  Perfect for a weekend getaway with the boys in tow next time.  We were not sure of the situation so all the dogs stayed with puppy sitters this time around.

Wine tasting in Murphys, California

Such a beautiful day!  Now, time to head out to the winery tasting rooms :)

Zucca Winery tasting room on Murphys

The first stop on our tour was Zucca Mountain.  This was one of the closest tasting rooms to our cottage so a natural first stop.  You can click here for a map of tasting rooms and wineries in Murphys for reference.  I was a bit afraid to go underground into this tasting room, but once inside it was not nearly as claustrophobic as I feared.  The wines were fairly good and they gave us $5 tokens per tasting each that we could combine towards a bottle of wine at the end.  What a great deal to get $20 off one bottle right?

Bloody mary

After the first tasting room it was time to stop for some food.  We decided to get lunch at this cute little restaurant called Alchemy.  The food was great!  I had the asparagus and chicken quesadilla and must try to make one at home!  Plus a nice bloody mary to round out the meal.

Black Sheep Winery in Murphys

After lunch we stopped by the Black Sheep Winery.  They have a sparkling raspberry champagne that is amazing!  It tastes like a summer’s day and they were having a deal if we bought 2 bottles, so I couldn’t resist.  Now I am just waiting for a nice hot day to have a few friends over and enjoy it in our backyard.  We stopped by a few more wineries along the way, but I neglected to take pictures at each unfortunately. Some of the ones we really liked were the Sangiovese at La Folia and both the late harvest Zin called Robert’s Cuvee and the Port at Milliaire.

Wine tasting in Murphys

Next up was Twisted Oak winery.  My favorite here was the Syrah.  Did I mention before how dog friendly Murphys is?

Cute dog in Murphys, dog-friendly wine tasting rooms

This little cutie named Tessa came in to Twisted Vine and was such a sweet dog.  One of the other customers bought her a toy chicken and she was running around having a great time.  I love dog friendly areas like this!

Wine tasting in Murphys CA

As the evening approached we made our way back to Zucca to combine our tokens for a nice bottle of wine by the outdoor fireplaces while listening to live music before grabbing dinner at Firewood.  Firewood is a great simple place to grab a meal in Murphys too.  It is an order at the window, casual feel with hamburgers, wood fire pizzas and some mexican items.

Zucca Winery Murphys

Murphys is a great little town for a nice weekend trip andy I hope to make it back out there again soon!


Mealtime Monday: Fried Chicken Tenders

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One of my favorite meals to eat growing up was fried chicken tenders.  They are SO GOOD!!  I love fried chicken, but can get weirded out by tendons or bones or strange texture pieces, so this is the perfect way to enjoy fried chicken for me.  These little guys can be served as an appetizer or as a meal with a side.  While they are great paired with mashed potatoes or mac ‘n cheese, you can lighten them up by serving with a salad or some fruit.

Fried Chicken Tenders Recipe - Best ever!!

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag frozen chicken tenders (completely thawed)
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons garlic salt
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon Season All
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Vegetable Oil

Fried Chicken Tenders-Recipe

In a medium size bowl, mix together flour, garlic salt, garlic powder, season all and pepper.  I like my chicken salty and flavorful, but you can adjust the amount of seasoning to taste.

Making fried Chicken Tenders

Taking one tender at a time, rinse in water and dip into the flour mixture.

Making Fried Chicken Tenders at home

Flip it around and pat down to make sure you get a nice coating on all sides.

Easy Fried Chicken Tenders

Set aside onto a plate and continue until all chicken tenders are coated.  Reserve the flour mixture for now as you may want to re-dip the chicken before frying if you see missing or wet spots in the coating.

Homestyle Fried Chicken Tenders

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add about a 1/2 inch of oil.  Test oil with a pinch of flour to make sure it is hot enough before adding chicken. Cook on the first side for 3-5 minutes, or until it starts to set and become golden.

Homestyle Fried Chicken Tenders recipe

Flip and cook the opposite side.

Easy Fried Chicken Tenders Recipe

You may want to flip one more time if the first side does not get crispy enough.  You do not need to worry about cooking it through, but you want to make sure you have a nice crispy coating on all sides.

Fried Chicken Tenders Recipe-Yum!

Remove chicken from skillet and set on paper towels to absorb the excess oil.  Repeat with all remaining pieces of chicken.

Fried Chicken Tenders

Place chicken in oven safe glass baking dishes in a single layer.  Pop into the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until cooked through.  Try to flip part way through, but make sure to be careful to not rip the coating off.  If they are stuck to the pan too much and soggy, then they are not quite ready to flip yet.

Baking fried Chicken Tenders

Remove from oven and back onto a paper towel to absorb any more oil.

Baked fried Chicken Tenders

Serve and enjoy!  A great game day appetizer or dinner plan.  Happy Mealtime Monday!

Fried Chicken Tenders Recipe


March Instagram

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AHHHH!  How is it already April 8th! I can’t believe how fast time is moving and that in a short amount of time we will be in New York.  It seemed like that trip was so far away and now it is getting close enough to start packing.  All I know is this poor little blog is going to suffer with all our plans and the long work days in April.  So, the little I can do is share my Instagram from March round-up .

March Instagram

Errands done right!  Enjoying a Bloody Mary at Paesano’s before finishing our weekly chore list.

March Instagram - Just Two Crafty Sisters

Rainy day project of learning to watercolor.

March Instagram - Just Two Crafty Sisters

Finished project for my new office at work, my watercolor world map!

March Instagram - Just Two Crafty Sisters

Beautiful March day for a stroll in the park.

March Instagram - Just Two Crafty Sisters

Amazing bowl that a high school student made for the Empty Bowls Fundraiser to Support the River City Food Bank.

March Instagram - Just Two Crafty Sisters

My beautiful sister and I enjoying a cocktail at Amanda’s birthday.

March Instagram - Just Two Crafty Sisters

Enjoying some sun while supporting the new soccer team in Sacramento.  Go Sac Republic FC!

March Instagram - Just Two Crafty Sisters

Our vacation bungalow in Murphys, the Little Yellow Cottage.

March Instagram - Just Two Crafty Sisters

Scenes from our Murphys back yard.

March Instagram - Just Two Crafty Sisters

Enjoying some delicious wines.

March Instagram - Just Two Crafty Sisters

Wine tasting a bit more in downtown Murphys.

March Instagram - Just Two Crafty Sisters

Testing out the waterlogue app to get ready for Pretty Waterlogue April photo a day challenge on Instagram.

Cheers to another great month and fun times ahead.  Check out my instagram account to see my daily watercolors and my travels in New York before they hit the blog!


DIY Watercolor World Map Artwork

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On a rainy weekend a few weeks ago I got the wild idea stuck in my head that I wanted to watercolor a piece of art, namely a watercolor world map, for my new office at work.

How to watercolor a world map

We just upgraded to a much larger building and the bare walls in my office were screaming for attention.  Keep in mind, I have never really done any watercolor art, unless you count playing around with those little sets as a kid.  So, this was going to either be a triumph over a new craft, or I would end up angrily breaking things while I throw a temper tantrum over it not working like I think it should. But only time would tell so after a quick trip to Joann’s I was ready to give it a go and try to watercolor a world map.

learning how to watercolor

Being new to the art, I have to get the proper supplies.

  • Large watercolor paper, approximately 30×22 = $3.50 (50% off regular $6.99 with coupon)
  • Watercolor brushes, 10 set = $5.99
  • Watercolor paint set = $5.99

Grand total cost for this project= $15.48

I also grabbed a pad of water color paper to play around on first, but not as part of the project so I am not including it in the cost.  Add in 2 mugs of warm water, and it is time to get started.

learning how to watercolor paint

Before getting started with the painting, I needed to draw the world map outline.  I hopped on Google and found an image of the world that was nice and clean and perfect for this job.  Taking that image I scaled it up to be the right size for my paper (20×30) and printed it out over multiple pieces of paper.  I then taped them together to create one large template and laid that over my water color paper.  Using a pen and a heavy hand, I traced the entire world…yes the entire world, leaving a nice indent on the watercolor paper to follow.

watercolor world map art piece

After removing the template, I got a pencil and drew lines along the indentations.  Now I  had the basis of the world map to color in with water colors.

creating a watercolor world map

Step one for in me watercolor was to learn the process.  I did this on a small piece of paper until I thought I had the idea down and then moved on the the traced map.  The process I found to work best to achieve my desired look was to take my brush and apply a thin coating of water to one section of the map at a time.  Once the water was on I could choose my first color to paint.  I liked to start on the edge of one of the land masses and move across, blending the colors as I switched from one to another.  By painting each area with water first it helped the color to spread nicely but stay contained within the water lines.

watercolor painting a world map

I went wild with all colors, but you could keep it simple and just do a couple tones of blues and greens for a more subdued look. For some of the smaller areas, like the islands, I went ahead and just dabbed the color on without adding water first.  Don’t be afraid of using the water either though.  If it starts to get too wet, you can grab a paper towel to absorb excess and then start over.  Do be careful to not over blend though, the changes between the colors need to look natural but not muddied.

watercolor world map art

The project took about 4 hours from start to finish, so not too bad for an afternoon craft.  The longest part was tracing the map onto the paper to have lines to follow.  I might be artistic, but I am definitely not good enough to think I can free hand the world.

watercolor world map

As the map dried, the color calmed a little bit and got a chalky finish.  This might just be the type of watercolors I was using, but either way I really liked the final outcome.

How to watercolor a world map painting

I can’t take all the credit for this beautiful idea though.  It came to me one day while browsing Pinterest and I pinned a few variations on my DIY board.  There are even a few artists on Etsy who sell hand-painted and/or images of watercolor world maps.  But, as usual I wanted to test myself and see if I could do it first before settling on buying one.  I love supporting other artisans, but there is also a great deal of satisfaction in doing it with your own two hands.  Now the shame part….the map then sat in my craft room next to the frame for two weeks before I finally got around to framing it and I still need to bring it to my office and hang it. Maybe next week?

framed watercolor world map art

Speaking of watercolor, today marks the start of the Pretty Waterlogue April Challenge.  Follow me on Instagram @justtwocraftysisters and join in on the fun!


Mealtime Monday: Skillet-Toasted Penne with Chicken Sausage

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I have been a bit sporadic with Mealtime Monday posting this year, but I’m back today with a recipe idea from Cooking Light for skillet toasted penne pasta.  By slowly cooking the pasta in a skillet, it brings out a lot of flavor.

Skillet penne pasta recipe for dinner

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces uncooked penne pasta
  • 1 cup sliced onion
  • 13 ounces Italian chicken sausage, casings removed
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups spinach leaves
  • Grated parmesan cheese

Skillet penne pasta ingredients

I have started being better about prepping my ingredients prior to starting the meal to help with the panic mid cooking of needing something that is not yet clean and cut.  Also, since I have been working longer days lately, Alex has been fantastic with prepping and even cooking more, so it has been great!

Skillet penne pasta prep

While prepping the ingredients, you can add your stock to a saucepan on simmer.  You want to keep your broth warm for this recipe throughout, but not to have it boiling.

Broth for skillet penne pasta

Next, in a large skillet over medium/high heat add 1 tablespoon oil and your dry penne pasta.

Skillet penne pasta for dinner

Saute for about 5 minutes or until you start to see some browning and smell the nutty flavor.

Skillet penne pasta

Remove pasta into a bowl and set aside.

Penne pasta with spinach recipe

In the same skillet, add the remaining tablespoon of oil, onion & sausage (removed from casing).

Penne pasta with spinach & sausage recipe

Saute until onions are softened and the meat is cooked through, using your spatula to crumble the sausage as it cooks.

Penne pasta with spinach

Set the meat mixture aside.

Skillet penne pasta with sausage

Add your toasted pasta back into the original skillet and reduce heat to medium/low.  Add one cup of your warmed stock at a time, allowing it to absorb and cook down before adding more.

Skillet penne pasta for dinner

This process will take awhile, so be patient.  You will notice the pasta soften & plump more with each addition of stock.

Skillet penne pasta for dinner tonight

Once you are on the last cup of stock, add your spinach to the pan.

Skillet penne pasta recipe for dinner tonight

Stir around to allow the spinach to wilt and mix in with the pasta.

Penne pasta with spinach and sausage

Once most of the liquid has been absorbed, add the meat mixture, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, salt & pepper flakes to the pan.  Stir together and remove from heat.

Penne pasta with spinach and sausage recipe

Serve and top with a little more parmesan cheese if desired. This is a time consuming meal and not great for a weeknight, but very flavorful and worth it on occasion.

Skillet penne pasta recipe for dinner


Pretty Waterlogue April Challenge

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Who wants an opportunity to try out another great photo app and have some fun on Instagram?!? Brittany of Pretty Handy Girl threw down the Pretty Waterlogue Challenge on her blog yesterday and I have decided to pick up the torch and give it a go.  I mean who doesn’t love a good photo challenge and getting to use a fun photo app like Waterlogue?  Just look at how the pictures turn out:

Waterlogue Sample

This challenge is to take a new picture or use an already loved picture each day during April and convert it into a watercolor image using the the Waterlogue app (it costs $2.99 on the iphone).  We are then to share the picture each day on Instagram with the tags @prettyhandygirl and #prettywaterlogueapril.

I am so excited and hopeful that this will help me to come up with some great new art to use in our home and meet a few new people on Instagram.  And this challenge could not come at a better time either.  We are heading out to New York for a few days later in the month, so I will have ample pictures to use and share.  YAY!

Join in the fun with us.  Follow me on Instagram @justtwocraftysisters and Brittany @prettyhandygirl and share your beautiful art too!  Thanks for the challenge!


Prepping Guest Bath for Makeover

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Why is it taking me so long to finish posting about our bathroom makeover?!?  I mean seriously, it took a week to complete and over 8 months to post!  Wow, crazy.  Anyways, when I last left you hanging 2 weeks ago on my guest bath updates, I had a bad case of “claw hand” and was slowly cutting away the remnants of wall paper along the molding and bead-board.  After hours of tedious work, the wall paper was completely gone and we were left with a few gouge lines and cut marks along the trim.

Ready to caulk

I grabbed a bottle of white paint-able caulking and went to work filling in all the gaps and crevices.  Being a novice with most things home improvement I was not really sure what I was doing, but overall it was a pretty easy and fast process, although messy.

Caulking the guest bath bead board

I would squeeze out a line of caulk and then using a paper towel or my bare finger I would smooth it out and wipe off any excess goop.

Re-caulking the bathroom wainscoating

And the finished product looks so amazing.  I can’t believe what a difference some caulking can make!

Beautiful new caulk line on wainscoating

I also walked around with some spackling paste and filled in any other small holes along the walls.  Crisp, clean and ready to be painted!

Clean bathroom walls ready for some fresh paint

Well, almost ready to be painted at least.  While the caulking and small spackle spots dried, I went to tackle the larger patch job that needed to happen above the sink.  You may remember the bar light with exposed light bulbs that ran along the wall.  Upon removing it , we discovered that we were left with a couple big holes.  Bummer.

Bathroom re-do in progress

I knew these holes were not going to be as easy to fix, but it was too late to turn back now.  So off to Home Depot again we went.

Patching holes to paint walls

We found this wall patch kit and decided to give it a try, along with our spackle and a sanding square.

Hole patching tools

The first step was to cut a square patch of the plaster mesh large enough to cover each hole and then some to make sure it have coverage to attach to the wall.

Hole patching in the guest bathroom

Next I laid the patch on the wall with the hole in the middle.  It is slightly sticky so it stayed in place while I grabbed my water bottle.

Patching holes before painting

Now it was time to mist the entire patch to wet the built in plaster.  Using my hand I rubbed the entire surface gently to activate and adhere.

Patching the guest bath wall

Once it was blended in, it was time to add the spackle.  Here is where the problem started.

Hole patching in the guest bath

We have textured walls and no matter how hard I tried, I could not mimic the texture pattern with free handing it.  I should have stopped and gone back to get a texturing kit or something, but I decided I could wing it.

Patching holes from removed light fixture

Once dry, I opted to try sanding down the whole area, hoping it might blend a bit better.  While that did help a little, it is quite noticeable that the texture is missing in the area of those two patches.  Oh well, you live and learn right?  And with the new light fixture over the top it will be less noticeable…hopefully.

Patching holes before painting- remember to sand it!

On to painting…..


February Instagram Style

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Another month has come and gone.  February was a busy one, but not all that much to show on Instagram.  My phone keeps alerting me that it is full, so I need to go through and take a few things off to make more space for pictures.  Anyways, here we go with February Instagram style.

February Instagram

Enjoying the Big Game with some amazing appetizers!

February Instagram

Booked our flight and hotel for New York this April!!  Yay! And we got a great deal from Hotels.com and were able to get one night free as a member of their rewards program.

*I am an Affiliate of Hotels.com so I get to offer Save $50 off $300+ with the code COUPON. Book by 3/7/14, Travel by 8/27/14.

February Instagram

On the way up to Reno for my company trip.  Waiting on the bus while it was being chained.  

February Instagram

View from the room at the Peppermill.

February Instagram

King’s game vs Warriors. Unfortunately I was fighting a cold so we did not make it through the whole game, but still a good time.

Should be another busy month in March, looking forward to settling in to my new office, going on a wine tasting weekend, birthdays and more.


Guest Bath Update: Removing Wall Paper

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This post is long overdue.  One of the first things we accomplished after moving into our new house was to update the guest bathroom.  Being that Alex uses this as his bathroom (yes we have separate bathrooms and it is fabulous), I wanted to find a soothing look to match his style and work for guests.  First things first, in order to paint we had to remove the wall paper.  Here are a couple before pictures, of the sink area with medicine cabinet…

Guest Bath Vanity Before

The toilet cubby….

Guest Bath Toliet Before

And another angle from the door.

Guest Bath Room Before

We decided to use the same method of using fabric softener mixed with water to remove wallpaper in this room.  Step one in this method is to remove the top layer of the wall paper.

How to remove wall paper with fabric softener

Once the top layer is all removed, we started the harder part of spraying with our water & fabric softener mixture and peeling the glued on under layer off the walls.

Guest Bathroom Makeover in Progress

Finally, the blank walls came shiny through, with one little problem…

Wall paper free walls using fabric softener

It appears that the wall paper was in place before the crown moulding and wainscoting were installed.

Stubborn wall paper

Those pesky wall paper remnants were not going down without a fight.

Stubborn wall paper to remove

So on to the most tedious step, using a box cutter to slowly work my way around the room and cut out those last scraps of wall paper.  Many hand cramps and a stiff neck later, the wall paper will finally say goodbye.

Using a razor blade to remove edges of wall paper stuck under trim