Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Dinner of the Week: Grilled Shrimp Paella

I've been absent for an entire week, and I am sorry!  I think I needed a little mental break.  Work and life has been a little insane lately, but I promise that I'll be back in full force in the next couple of weeks.  I've got some great projects lined up, and I can't wait to share them with you!

I love the Food Network Magazine.  It's chock full of great ideas.  This month's grilling issue was fantastic.  Here is an incredibly easy, mouthwatering recipe for Grilled Shrimp Paella!  The original recipe calls for chorizo and chicken, but we've been trying to eat a little healthier recently, so we just used shrimp.  It was delicious and took less than 10 minutes to prepare!

Grilled Shrimp Paella
Courtesy of the Food Network Magazine

Ingredients: 
- 1/2 pound peeled, raw shrimp
- 1 cup uncooked Spanish rice mix
- 1 1/4 cups chicken broth
- 1/3 cup roasted red peppers
- 1 whole carrot, shredded
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Olive oil
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 disposable pie pan and tin foil

Heat an outdoor grill.  If using frozen shrimp, pour the shrimp into a colander and rinse with cold water for approximately 10 minutes.  Once thawed, peel and devein the shrimp.


Open a box of Spanish rice mix and pour it into a disposable pie pan.  Pour 1 1/4 cups of chicken broth into the pie pan and mix well.


Shred the carrot using a cheese grater.  Add the shredded carrot, roasted red peppers,  raw shrimp, chicken broth, and smoked paprika into a disposable pie pan.  Mix well, careful not to spill anything over the edges of the pan.  Top the paella mixture with some olive oil and freshly ground pepper.


Seal the pie pan with tin foil and place the pan onto the grill. Grill over medium-high heat for approximately 30 minutes.


Remove the tin foil and serve immediately.  Spoon out the paella into single-serving bowls.



Enjoy!




We've since tried this paella recipe twice, and added Spanish olives the second time.  The olives really added a great flavor to the paella.  This has become a new favorite dinner and/or side dish of ours, and we'll be making it often!  Hope you'll like it, too!

You may find me linking up at these fantastic parties:

Monday: Boogieboard CottageBurlap and DenimC-R-A-F-TCraft-O-ManiacDIY Home Sweet Home,  Everything Under the MoonGet Outta My Head PleaseThe Girl CreativeThe Graphics FairyMad in CraftsMaking the World CuterOur Delightful HomePolish the StarsSerendipity and SpiceSew Can DoSew Happy GeekSkip to My LouThrifty Decor ChickToo Much Time on My HandsTuesday: A Bowl Full of LemonsCherished BlissCoastal CharmConfessions of a Stay at Home MommyFunky Polka Dot Giraffe,  I'm Topsy TurvyJillify ItThe Kurtz CornerMommy By Day Crafter by NightNap Time CreationsNatural NestersNot Just a HousewifeSugar Bee Crafts,  Sweet Little GalsTales of a Trophy WifeTip JunkieToday's Creative BlogWednesday: Free Pretty Things for YouGinger Snap CraftsHome Happy HomeIt's Just Called SpicyJAQS StudioLet Birds FlyThe NY Melrose FamilyRae Gun RamblingsThe Sasse LifeSew Much AdoSew WoodsySomeday CraftsSouthern LovelyThursday: A Creative PrincessA Glimpse InsideCrafty, Scrappy, HappyHouse of HepworthsJust Winging ItMade in a DayThe Shabby Creek CottageSomewhat SimpleThrifty DecoratingYesterday on TuesdayFriday: 2805The Answer is ChocolateBacon Time with the Hungry HypoCreation CornerFingerprints on the FridgeThe Grant LifeHappy-Go-LuckyJust Us FourMom 4 RealMy Simple Home LifeNot So Functional HousewifeNot Your Ordinary RecipesOne Artsy MamaPerfectly ImperfectThe Rooster and the HenSimply DesigningTatertots and JelloWhipperberryYoung and CraftySaturday: Be Different... Act NormalCandace CreationsFunky Junk InteriorsIt's OverflowingIt's So Very CheriNutmeg PlaceSunday: The Crafty CowgirlEmbellishing Life with Homemade GoodnessFlamingo ToesG*RatedNifty Thrifty Things

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Powder Room Reveal

Our Mother's Day gift to Evan's mom was to make over her hallway / foyer and adjacent powder room.  If you missed yesterday's post on how we transformed the hallway, be sure to check it out!  Today's post will talk about the powder room reveal!

Here are some before pictures of the powder room:





This bathroom is tiny!  Since it is the only bathroom on the first floor, and is probably the most used bathroom in the whole house, we wanted to make it seem more inviting.  The combination of the dark vanity and red wallpaper made it seem like a cave, too.  Almost claustrophobic.



The first thing that had to go was that wallpaper.  I've taken down wallpaper before, both by steaming it off and by using a chemical peel.  Both methods were incredibly painstaking, time consuming, and messy.  As a result, I wasn't looking forward to doing this!  But, upon closer inspection of the bathroom that morning, I realized that the wallpaper was not textured and whoever put up that wallpaper had done a great job at it.  It was done seamlessly and hadn't started to peel in the corners.  Therefore, I decided to prime and paint over it.  I applied two coats of Zinsser primer over the wallpaper, and it turned out great!


Since we had installed board and batten throughout the neighboring hallway and foyer, we decided to incorporate it into the powder room, as well.  We bought 8' long, 2" wide, thin strips of molding and 8' long, 2" wide, and approximately 1/2" thicker strips of molding for this project.  I cut the thin strips of molding down to 41" in length so that the board and batten would be the same height as the one we installed in the hallway.  



After all of the thin strips were cut, we figured out the measurements and marked where each strip should be placed along three walls of the powder room.  I then placed one strip at a time above the baseboard and used a level to ensure that they were straight.


Once everything was flush and good to go, I affixed the strip to the wall using our brad nail gun, our air compressor, and a series of 1 1/4" brad nails.


I then painted three coats of Olympic's "Lettuce Alone" in a satin finish along the top half of the walls.


Meanwhile, I also spray painted the brass towel holder and toilet paper holder with Rustoleum's "Satin Nickel."


I loved how huge the mirror was in this small bathroom.  It wasn't finished, though, so I decided to frame it!  To do this, we bought two 8' long primed composite molding strips from Lowe's for $5 each.


Here's a little more detail on the molding:


To begin, I swiveled the miter saw to cut at 45 degrees.


I then double checked the measurements of the mirrors and marked it on the molding.


When cutting, I made sure to swivel the blade back and forth from one side of 45 degrees to the other so that, when put together, the frame would make a box.


And here are the finished pieces!


I used my caulk gun and a tube of Liquid Nails (for mirrors) to liberally apply a thick line of adhesive to the back of each molding strip.


I then placed each strip directly onto the mirror and held it for a good 20 seconds to ensure a tight bond.  By then, it had adhered just enough to stick to the mirror as I worked with the others; it also was just loose enough to be fiddled around with if the angles weren't quite right. 


Here's the mirror with all of the molding attached:



I then filled in all cracks, seams, and nail holes in the mirror frame and board and batten with a small dab of painter's caulk.  To finish the room, we painted the board and batten, the trim, the bathroom door, the ceiling, and the mirror frame with two coats of Olympic's "Crumb Cookie" in a satin finish.


Remember how dark the bathroom was before?


Here is the new, bright, and cheery powder room!






I originally had plans to prime and paint the vanity, but decided against it after seeing how well the dark stain went with the bright green walls and white board and batten.  I replaced the old hardware on the vanity with new stainless steal cabinet knobs to spruce it up a bit.  I thought it looked great as is!



I would have simply spray painted the electric outlet covers, but they had been covered with wallpaper. Instead, we replaced them with new brushed nickel ones.


A few details:




Evan and I loved having the opportunity to transform these two rooms for his mom.  We have plans to fix up her kitchen soon!  Hope you like the powder room and hallway as much as we all do!

You may find me linking up at these fantastic parties:

Monday: Boogieboard CottageBurlap and DenimC-R-A-F-TCraft-O-ManiacDIY Home Sweet Home,  Everything Under the MoonGet Outta My Head PleaseThe Girl CreativeThe Graphics FairyMad in CraftsMaking the World CuterOur Delightful HomePolish the StarsSerendipity and SpiceSew Can DoSew Happy GeekSkip to My LouThrifty Decor ChickToo Much Time on My HandsTuesday: A Bowl Full of LemonsCherished BlissCoastal CharmConfessions of a Stay at Home MommyFunky Polka Dot Giraffe,  I'm Topsy TurvyJillify ItThe Kurtz CornerMommy By Day Crafter by NightNap Time CreationsNatural NestersNot Just a HousewifeSugar Bee Crafts,  Sweet Little GalsTales of a Trophy WifeTip JunkieToday's Creative BlogWednesday: Free Pretty Things for YouGinger Snap CraftsHome Happy HomeIt's Just Called SpicyJAQS StudioLet Birds FlyThe NY Melrose FamilyRae Gun RamblingsThe Sasse LifeSew Much AdoSew WoodsySomeday CraftsSouthern LovelyThursday: A Creative PrincessA Glimpse InsideCrafty, Scrappy, HappyHouse of HepworthsJust Winging ItMade in a DayThe Shabby Creek CottageSomewhat SimpleThrifty DecoratingYesterday on TuesdayFriday: 2805The Answer is ChocolateBacon Time with the Hungry HypoCreation CornerFingerprints on the FridgeThe Grant LifeHappy-Go-LuckyMom 4 RealMy Simple Home LifeNot So Functional HousewifeNot Your Ordinary RecipesOne Artsy MamaPerfectly ImperfectThe Rooster and the HenSimply DesigningTatertots and JelloWhipperberryYoung and CraftySaturday: Be Different... Act NormalCandace CreationsFunky Junk InteriorsIt's OverflowingIt's So Very CheriNutmeg PlaceSunday: The Crafty CowgirlEmbellishing Life with Homemade GoodnessFlamingo ToesG*RatedNifty Thrifty Things

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Hallway Reveal

Evan and I have been wanting to do something special for his mom for a while now.  When brainstorming ideas for Mother's Day gifts, we thought, why not surprise her with a room makeover?  We were planning to be in town for Mother's Day weekend anyway, so that's exactly what we did!

When we arrived at my mother-in-law's house, we talked about our plans and decided to work on her foyer and hallway, as well as her small powder room on the first floor.  She picked out the colors she wanted from a series of Olympic paint chip booklets and then told us what she wanted to change about those rooms.  She mentioned that she loved the beach and would like to bring that feel into her house.  We agreed that we could accommodate that request!

For today's post, I'll talk about her hallway makeover, and tomorrow I'll write about the powder room reveal!  Here is a glimpse of what the hallway and foyer looked like before:



The hallway was a clean slate for us!  It had never been painted before.  The outlet covers, doorknobs, and light fixture were made of brass and could have benefited from an update.


The hallway was missing a second light fixture due to a water leak a few years prior.  We decided to install a new one for the hallway and replace the light fixture in the foyer. Before we left, my mother-in-law told us that she liked the look of oil rubbed bronze fixtures, so we decided to go with that.





When we went to Lowe's, we were surprised that there weren't a lot of options for flush-mount light fixtures.  The available selection consisted almost exclusively with what we refer to "boob lights."  Lovely, right?
We actually settled with two boxes of boob lights, thinking new lights were better than none, until Evan got a great idea.  Why not install track lighting instead?  There were a lot more options in that department.  So we did.  When we returned to my mother-in-law's house, Evan installed the two new light fixtures in both the hallway and the foyer.  



As for the hallway itself, we decided to create a sophisticated, cozy, beachy feel by installing board and batten throughout.  Prior to installation, I painted the top half of all of the walls with Olympic's "Quaking Grass" in a satin finish.


Painting's done!


Meanwhile, I took the brass electric outlet covers outside and coated it with several thin layers of Rustoleum's Multicolor Textured spray paint in "Caribbean Sand."  



I also took off the closet doorknob and spray painted it with Rustoleum's "Oil Rubbed Bronze" so it would match the new light fixtures.


For the board and batten, we bought 13 8' long, 2" wide, thin strips of molding and five 8' long, 2" wide, and approximately 1/2" thicker strips of molding.  We determined that the board and batten should be 41" in height -- that way, it wouldn't reach any of the light switch outlets or the thermostat and would have a nice gap between them.  Evan measured the length of all of the walls to determine how many and how far apart each strip of board and batten should be.  After measuring, we marked the location of each strip for easy reference during installation.

While Evan was still putzing around with the light fixtures, I cut down each thin strip of molding to 41" in length.  


Afterward, I held each strip vertically onto its location on the wall, directly above the baseboard.  I used a level to determine whether or not it was straight against the wall.  


Once everything was flush and good to go, I secured each strip onto the wall using our brad nail gun, our air compressor, and a series of 1 1/4" brad nails.  I continued down all of the walls until every vertical strip was installed.



To cap off the board and batten, we installed the thicker molding horizontally on top of the vertical strips.  We installed each piece one at a time, measuring and cutting down the molding as we went.  Since the vertical pieces were all at the same length and were level against the wall, we didn't need to worry about whether or not these horizontal pieces were level.


About an hour later, all of the board and batten was installed throughout the hallway.  Our vision was coming together nicely!


Our next step was to fill in all cracks, seams, and nail holes with painter's caulk.  Just a little dab for each worked great.  Once that was dry, we painted the wood pieces and any extraneous green sections of the board and batten with two coats of primer.  I've been using Zinsser primer for all of my house projects, and love it.  Since it is water based, it doesn't smell; it also covers nicely and dries quickly.


To finish the hallway, we painted the board and batten, the bottom half of the walls, all of the trim, the closet doors, bathroom door, front door, and ceiling with Olympic's "Crumb Cookie" in satin.


And there you go!  A clean, fresh, beach-cottage-worthy hallway and foyer.  It's a rather simple change when you think about it, but we feel that we completely transformed the space.








A few details:



The best part?  My mother-in-law loves it!  Stay tuned for tomorrow's post on how we updated her adjacent powder room!

You may find me linking up at these fantastic parties:

Monday: Boogieboard CottageBurlap and DenimC-R-A-F-TCraft-O-ManiacDIY Home Sweet Home,  Everything Under the MoonGet Outta My Head PleaseThe Girl CreativeThe Graphics FairyMad in CraftsMaking the World CuterOur Delightful HomePolish the StarsSerendipity and SpiceSew Can DoSew Happy GeekSkip to My LouThrifty Decor ChickToo Much Time on My HandsTuesday: A Bowl Full of LemonsCherished BlissCoastal CharmConfessions of a Stay at Home MommyFunky Polka Dot Giraffe,  I'm Topsy TurvyJillify ItThe Kurtz CornerMommy By Day Crafter by NightNap Time CreationsNatural NestersNot Just a HousewifeSugar Bee Crafts,  Sweet Little GalsTales of a Trophy WifeTip JunkieToday's Creative BlogWednesday: Free Pretty Things for YouGinger Snap CraftsHome Happy HomeIt's Just Called SpicyJAQS StudioLet Birds FlyThe NY Melrose FamilyRae Gun RamblingsThe Sasse LifeSew Much AdoSew WoodsySomeday CraftsSouthern LovelyThursday: A Creative PrincessA Glimpse InsideCrafty, Scrappy, HappyHouse of HepworthsJust Winging ItMade in a DayThe Shabby Creek CottageSomewhat SimpleThrifty DecoratingYesterday on TuesdayFriday: 2805The Answer is ChocolateBacon Time with the Hungry HypoCreation CornerFingerprints on the FridgeThe Grant LifeHappy-Go-LuckyMom 4 RealMy Simple Home LifeNot So Functional HousewifeNot Your Ordinary RecipesOne Artsy MamaPerfectly ImperfectThe Rooster and the HenSimply DesigningTatertots and JelloWhipperberryYoung and CraftySaturday: Be Different... Act NormalCandace CreationsFunky Junk InteriorsIt's OverflowingIt's So Very CheriNutmeg PlaceSunday: The Crafty CowgirlEmbellishing Life with Homemade GoodnessFlamingo ToesG*RatedNifty Thrifty Things

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