Wednesday, February 22, 2012

In Loving Memory of Pa

In loving memory of my sweet Pa.
February 21, 1926 - February 16, 2012

Grandparents Prayer by Pope Benedict XVI

Look with love on Grandparents the world over
Protect them! They are a source of enrichment for families,
For the church and for all of society
Support them! As they grow older may they continue to be for their families strong pillars of gospel faith,
Guardian of noble domestic ideals,
Living treasures of sound traditions.
Make them teachers of wisdom and courage. That they pas onto future generations the fruits of their mature human and spiritual experience.


A grandfather represents someone who stands as a pillar of strength and wisom in any family. My grandfather, Charles Hagen, was just that. He was our pillar of knowledge and strength. He was a man who lived a very full life and even though it is near impossible to give every great thing he has done or seen in his life in the short eulogy, I will do my best to convey the man I knew and loved.

I have so many memories of Pa from over the years. I remember being little and going to visit in Ohio.
There was always a rope swing set up on the tree that I looked forward too all summer and nothing was better than riding the riding lawn mower across their huge lawn.
One year for Christmas when I was about six Pa gave me a stuffed bear, I slept with the bear every night up until I moved in with my husband. I still have the bear today, even though he is a little worn and beat up he always makes me think of Pa.
He had a love for all things sweets, in his words – dessert just slides down, and trust me when I say that is something he definitely passed on to me.
Pa always seemed the happiest when was family was around, he knew how to use his sense of humor and charm to cheer up the bluest of days.

Pa lived during a time that was arguable one of the best times to be alive, simply because of all of the history that has taken place over the past 85 years. He witnessed the great depressions, world war II, the cold war, the civil rights movement and Martin Luther King Jr., he saw JFK as president and then sadly the assignation of JFK. Pa was around of some of the greatest bands of all times, witnessed the 80’s, then invention of the computer and internet and SO much more.

And, while all of these things were taking place around the world. Pa was creating his own legacy and living a life so full and so far greater than I could ever imagine.

Pa is a veteran of World War II in which he served in the navy shortly after high school. In 1947 he married the love of his life and together they spent he next 64 years inseparable. Together they raised three children, he watched his children grown and celebrated each of their milestones and their lives with them. He survived natural disasters in which he rebuilt him home after it was destroyed by a tornado.
He had the ability to see his grandchildren grow up and marry. And after had lived enough life for three men he was able to retire in Sunny California with his loving wife and spend his days gardening, reading, and relaxing close to family.

My husband found this quote titled lessons from a grandfather last night and I think it fits Pa perfectly as he was always so happy.

"Laugh when you can,
apologize when you should,
and let go of what you can't change.
Life's too short to be anything... but happy."

No matter what obstacles came up, whether it be wars, natural disasters, every day troubles of even health, nothing seemed to get him down. Pa was a great man, he was our pillar of strength in every way, he was always there to cheer us up and give us guidance when needed, or to share a piece of candy. He was the best grandfather a girl could ask for and I would consider myself lucky if I accomplished half of what he did in his lifetime in mine.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Pie Safe Makeover!

So this past week I gave the pie safe a makeover! See the original pictures here. The first thing I did was give the wood a light sanding with the 220 grit sand paper on the outside and I used a 120 grit sandpaper on the shelving inside to remove old paint and stains. After wiping off the dust I taped off the glass doors and the punched tin on the sides then I coated the whole thing, out side, inside, drawer, and shelves with the Watco Danish Oil in Dark Walnut. It really helped to moisturize the wood, but the color wasn't quite as dark as I wanted so I had a small can of Dark Walnut Wood stain that I applied with a rag for the whole 'rub on rub off' process to the outside of the pie safe only. The wood was the color I was hoping for!

The whole staining process took me about two evenings. It was fairly simply and I am glad that I used the Danish oil on the inside - it really refreshed the wood.

I let the pie safe dry in the garage for two days, luckily we had sun on both of those days which helped warm the garage and speed up the drying process. Once the wood didn't feel tacky anymore I used a spray-on polyurethane and just applied a light coat to the whole outside. I only did one coat at the Watco was a sealant as well and the pie safe wont be used roughly.

Finally once it was COMPLETELY dry, Z helped me move it into the house. I took off my blue painters tape and put knobs on the two doors on the top half and the two bottom doors. I purchased mis-matched glass knobs from Antrhopologie, so they would match the two existing glass knobs on the drawer.

It was ready for the drawer to be put back, shelves placed and to have ALL [well almost all] of my crafting supplies put in it!
I purchased a whole bunch of the snapware containers, reorganized my craft, art, and sewing supplies into them, and my friend Lauren used her silhouette machine to cut out labels for them! [She is amazing - check out her blog here]
I feel so accomplished that all my crafts are organized and Z is happy too! I still have to find storage for my fabric but I couldn't be happier with the overall look of the pie safe!


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

New Beginnings

Tomorrow is my last day at good ol' Trader Joe's. I have spent the past eight years working there, and even though there have been ups and downs just like any job I have really enjoyed my time there. Its crazy the reflecting you do on the past as you enter a new chapter in your life. It is exciting and terrifying all at the same time! I am leaving my comfort zone, a place that I know inside and out, and most of all a safe place to venture into something completely new. I have grown so much in the past eight years, when I started there back in 2004 I was young and naive and ready to start my own journey, and a long way I have come. Of the many things that TJs has given me over the years one of the best is the opportunity to meet and work with some pretty amazing people. I am going to miss seeing the familiar faces everyday. So here is to all of my TJ's crewmembers and to a new chapter.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Cookie Time

Okay so those of you who know me know I am a fat kid at heart, no joke - like bowls of frosting with cookies to dip in it fat kid. I cant help it. I just LOVE sweets. No this post isnt about girl scout cookies, even though it is that time... Luckily I have refrained so far and ordered ZERO boxes. Last year I ate over 10 boxes in two weeks.

In honor of Valentines Day I made sugar cut out cookies! And because my sister requested them. They aren't the stale hard sugar cookies that you get in the store, they are soft and yummy! My mom has been making these since I was little and I think the recipe came from her mom but I am going to share it with you today because they are literally the BEST cookies ever. Even Z likes them and he isn't a sweets kinda guy :)

Cut Out Cookie Recipe:
From The Kitchen of My Mom

1 1/8 cup margarine
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
3 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt

Mix all of the ingredients together with either a hand mixer or the KitchenAid - I used my kitchen aid as the dough is thick and takes some muscle to mix together. MUCH easier in the KitchenAid.

Once they are all mixed together I put the dough in the fridge for a few hours or even over night - it makes it easier to roll out. So first preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Then take a handful of dough and roll out on a floured cutting board. Roll the dough until it is a little thinner than 1/4 inch. And cut out! This is the most fun part because you can make any shape depending on the season!

Once the oven is preheated place the cookies on an un-greased cookie sheet - they don't get much bigger so you can place them close together.
Bake for 6-8 minutes.

Once they are golden brown take them out and place on a baking rack to cool. Once they are completely cool I laid them all out on parchement paper and began to make the frosting.

The frosting is just a basic powder sugar frosting. The recipe doesn't have exact measurements but here is what I used:
A small bag of powder sugar
3 tsp. margarine at room temperature
A touch of salt
1 tsp of Vanilla
Warmed Milk

Add all of the ingredients together and add the milk slowly until the frosting is a spreadable consistency. I added food coloring for fun :)

Then Frost!
Here they are:

Trust me you will not be able to eat just one.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Operation Pie Safe!

So a few months back I acquired this great piece of furniture:

Its an antique pie safe! It was originally used for storing pies and to keep the flies away, hence the punched tin sides.

I fell absolutely in love with the piece of furniture - not totally sure what I was going to use it for yet, but knew that I had to have it! So it has been living in our spare room for the past few months and now I am ready to put it to use. I have been seeing craft hutches and cabinets all over Pinterest and think it is such a good idea to keep all crafting supplies in once place. Since the pie safe has glass doors, I figured it would make great storage for all of my sewing and crafting accessories. The inside shelving is a little worn down and the piece definitely needs some love. At first I was debating painting it because I though a light buttercream color would compliment it well but after talking with Z [he really likes the wood color of it] I decided to attempt a restore rather than a refinish.
I went to Home Depot today and bought 220 fine sand paper and this:

It is supposed to stain, steal, and protect the wood. Im hoping it adds richness to the wood while maintaining some of its original beauty! I spent almost an hour on the stain aisle today google-ing different brands of stain and restore products and the Watco had really good reviews from people who have used it for years and years. Plus they said it is fool proof! Guess I cannot go wrong!

I always seem to want to start projects when no one is around to help me move furniture into the garage - so as soon as Z gets home I will start the project and let you know how it goes!


Monday, February 6, 2012

Two Thousand Twelve

Z has a love for all things british. To list a few: the Union Jack flag, Elizabeth Hurley, mini coopers, and Burberry. Out of these few things I must say that I share his love of Burberry, not only because of their fabulous handbags and classic designs but also because of their logo, Prorsum. Prorsum in Latin means to move forward, and I could not think of a better word to describe how 2012 is going so far - moving forward we are!

2011 was a tough year [for more than just us I am sure], so my husband and I said that 2012 was a year for new beginnings and fresh starts. We own a small business, it is Z's baby, and he pours his heart and soul into it. Just like many small businesses we have had our share of ups and down, and bumps along the way but he has never given up nor lost sight. I am so proud of all of the work that he puts into everything he does. He is a very talented man and with a new album coming out soon [yes, I will post a link to iTunes when it is available], new projects in the studio, and a fresh inspiration this is going to be his time to shine!

This new year is definitely starting to take a step in the right direction. I have a new job! Hooray! It will be a very exciting new opportunity and I cannot wait for the journey it will take me on. I am ready for new adventures and new challenges to tackle. I also have a few old challenges that need to be tackled as well. Refinishing the pie safe, re organizing crafting supplies, finishing the chairs to my table, doily runners, my etsy page. But we wont go into those right now.

2012 is going to be our year, so watch out!

Prorsum <3

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Beauty Time

Once again my obsession of all things beauty has lead me on another journey. The backstory to how this all began: I cut off all my hair six months or so ago. Like really cut it off, like boy short. And because my hair was so short I couldn't justify spending $70 plus dollars on getting my hair colored [even though my hair dresser is amazing]. I knew that she used a Demi-Permanent color on my hair, which basically means that it lasts longer than the semi permanent that comes in a box at every generic drug store but it will fade slightly so there isn't that horrible line of color that separates your roots from the colored hair like the permanent does.
So, after trying a few semi permanent hair colors I wasn't impressed, I stayed away from anything that contained the ammonia but I felt they faded too quickly and was concerned about drying my hair out with continued use. I ventured down to the local Sally's Beauty Supply and bought this:

Don't forget the gloves and bottle to mix the solutions in. Once I mixed the products together I applied it to my hair in sections (which is still painfully short) and let it to sit for about 30 minutes. I recommend setting a timer, as I easily lose track of time. Once the time was up I rinsed, deep conditioned with Coconut Oil, washed and conditioned, and finally styled as normal.
The results were fabulous! My hair was soft, shiny, and looked really rich in color! And the total cost was less than $15.00!
I would highly recommend it to any one that has a simply all over color dye job on their hair. Don't get me wrong I would NEVER attempt to bleach or highlight my hair but I will definitely continue to color my hair myself until it is back to being long again!