Shiplap Accent Wall

I have decided that I don’t think that you can ever have too much shiplap! I mean, think about it. Shiplap is wonderful! Although I do feel it is a little trendy, which I am normally not a fan of, I think it is going to be around for a while. And since the teenage boy said that I was making the house too white (gasp) I decided to add a shiplap accent wall to our hallway and dress it up a bit! Doesn’t he know that the walls aren’t white and that our color is Valspar Creamy? Have I taught him nothing in this farmhouse makeover?

Now, I know what you are thinking. You can’t really dress up a distressed wall can you? Well I think you can! To avoid the white err Creamy takeover of my home’s interior I decided on a light shade of gray! Ha! The best part of this project was that I didn’t have to visit the home improvement store for additional shiplap! I decided to use the leftover pieces that I had laying around from the other shiplap walls in the house! I love a good cost savings, don’t you!

Once again, I struggled with finding how to have three decent sized pieces per layer of shiplap. I don’t know what has happened to my math skills and I have been trying to give them a little break thinking it would get better! Not yet, I guess! So I went with alternating rows of shiplap having only two different sizes of wood pieces. Based on the size of my shiplap accent wall, I think it was a good decision! So on a Sunday afternoon after church, I decided to tackle this wall! So inspired by the look, I got it up in no time!

So after installing the shiplap accent wall I gave it a quick coat of Minwax stain in Classic Gray. I did two rows at a time so I could go back and wipe off before it got too dark. After I finished that layer of color, I wanted to distress the shiplap accent wall even further so I added a coat of chalk paint. Let me just say, I am pretty sure that my chalk paint was old and in need of tossing. It had a horrible stench to it and was thick and lumpy! So I added water, slowly, until I achieved the consistency that I wanted. Now, this next part didn’t work out as I had hoped. It was pretty labor intensive. I put a light coat of the chalk paint on, but before I could finish the row it was drying. So I had to take a clean cloth and dip it in water and rub, rub, rub until I achieved the light color I wanted. Each row probably took me 5 minutes or more. And the next day my arms were a tad bit sore. Okay, more than a tad bit!

The only issue I ran into with this project was that the crown moulding and corner pieces were very snug and somewhat trapped by the attic door. I finally got them all off! But only to figure out that it was now too thick to put back up of course! Not to worry, I had my very handy Dad trim the corner pieces down and they fit perfect! Too bad though that I cracked the crown moulding in not just one, but two places when putting it back up. Ugh! All I have to say about that is when you are tired, just stop! I so badly wanted to finish and was too lazy to go back out for the air compressor and nail gun so I decide to use a hammer and finishing nails. NOT a good idea as you can clearly see!

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But the end result was worth it! I am thrilled with the result of my shiplap accent wall and the teenage boy even approves of it! Whew! Good thing I didn’t paint this shiplap white – he may have gone cuckoo on me! Now I just need to figure out what I want to put up on that wall…I think I have a project in mind but you’ll just have to wait to see it!

On to the next project!

Garage Door Makeover

Every day, sometimes multiple times a day, I use my garage door. To park the car, to do various projects (because it also serves as my workshop area) and even to put things in the garage attic  – that is a super fun task because you get to pretend you are a contortionists preparing for an audition for Cirque de Home Improvement! I digress.

Although this is a detached garage, this area of the home gets used, A LOT! When I purchased this house, almost 9 months ago, I knew that the garage door needed some work. I had negotiated this repair during the option period and received a cash credit for it at closing. The bottom panel had clearly been hit. Either from backing out of the garage and into it or from someone not stopping in time from the outside. Honestly, I am not sure how the bottom panel got so damaged. But opening and closing the garage door became more and more tedious. There have been some mornings when I have literally been begging it to close.

The time had come for its repair. Unfortunately, I had hoped that we could replace just the one panel but it was discontinued and was not an option for me. So after several calls to various garage door companies – some who were extremely high priced and some who just didn’t return my call (seems to be an ongoing issue with contractors) I finally found what I was looking for! I hired the job through the big box home improvement store.

Although I had hoped to get it a little cheaper than I did, I was totally happy with the customer service I received from the big box home improvement store! I went in, placed my order and paid for it in less than 15 minutes one busy Saturday. I also was super surprised that this was considered a two-car garage. I mean, maybe if you have two smart cars yes it is, but I drive a small crossover and it barely fits (length)! And who doesn’t store things in their garage? I cannot be the only one who has an additional refrigerator for beverages in their garage, a deep freeze for meat killed during hunting season, stacked shelving units with lots of sporting equipment, home decorations, tools, paint, etc.! I just can’t be the only one!

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Within two hours of purchasing my new garage door, literally leaving the big box home improvement store with a folder of paper and little poorer, I received a call from said big box home improvement store just thanking me for my order and letting me know what the process entailed. Wow!

Every week, sometimes twice a week, I had a call from the big box home improvement store letting me know an update on my garage door and where we were in the process. Wow! Although they said it could take up to 30 days from purchase to install they assured me it would probably only take 2 weeks. So I was super excited. However, it really took the entire 30 days. Oh well!

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I really will say that the customer service has been great! I love knowing where I am on a project and when I can expect work to be done. I would rather you over communicate with me than leave me wondering. And honestly I know I could have gotten a garage door for about $100-$200 cheaper, but I wouldn’t have the guarantee, warranty or customer service I have had with this big box home improvement store either.

So what used to be a giant eyesore, remember the lime green and dented garage door, is now a beautiful sight when I will pull into my driveway! And now I push a button and the door glides up or down easily, as it should!

I am on the fence about adding the faux handles to the doors making it look like a carriage type door. I have the pieces and have thought all along that I would add this embellishment to the garage door, but now I am just not sure! I would love to have your feedback on it so please leave me a comment below!

The Grass is Greener

It is amazing to me what a little bit of dirt and new sod can do to totally transform a home! Recently we took on some of the outside projects because, well we have spring fever and the weather has been downright gorgeous! The old saying, the grass is greener is so incredibly true! Because after a half day of hard (extremely labor intensive) work we could enjoy the immediate results of our labor, that completely transformed this place!

For a couple of weekends now we have had the threat of rain on the weekend so we have been waiting, patiently, to get the dirt work done so we could lay the sod. So with a clear forecast, we decided it was now or never to get the dirt! So we piled in my Dad’s truck and headed for the dirt yard. After 3,000 pounds were added to the trailer we headed home to unload it and begin the transformation process. There was a 4-6 inch drop-off from the driveway to the yard (I am using the term “yard” sparingly because it really was just weeds). So not only was it a hazard if you accidentally drove off the drive (like I have ever done that) or stepped off unexpectedly (nope not done that either), it was also an eyesore. So the teenage boy, my Dad and I all began unloading the dirt from the trailer. My mom was the job supervisor.

So after the 3,000 pounds of dirt were unloaded, we realized that we needed more dirt so we headed back to the dirt yard for more! We had underestimated in a big way! Half to be exact! So we picked up 3,000 more pounds of dirt and headed home to unload! We spent less than $100 on 6,000 pounds of dirt and because we are “those” people we calculated what it would have cost to get the same amount of dirt at the big box home improvement store which is sold in 20-pound bags…you don’t want to know that BIG number people! But you do want to know if you need a LOT of dirt then get it from the dirt yard! You will thank me later!

Even just adding dirt made the place look considerably better than it did before! But being the overly ambitious people that we are, we decided to go ahead and lay some sod! I mean, who would be tired after unloading 6,000 pounds of dirt? Ha! Have you ever been working as hard and fast as you can only to be lapped by your Dad? It is NOT fun people. Not Fun.

So we tasked the teenage boy with finding the best deal on sod! After two calls he determined that the big box home improvement store would match the price of the local hardware store for a pallet of grass! BIG score! Because the local hardware store had already sold out of grass by 10 a.m. Hehehe! But wait, if I used my big box store credit card I could also get 5% off! Really big score!

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So we loaded up again and got two pallets of sod! That is only about 400 pieces of sod to lay! And in assembly line fashion we began laying the sod one piece at a time. It was beautiful! I mean bring a tear to your eye, beautiful! It could have been sweat but it might have been tears of joy! I am not sure because I was too tired and dirty to care! But the beautiful green grass made me so incredibly happy!

We are not done with the backyard yet, and probably need another 2-3 pallets of sod to finish the back. But it looks so good! We are outside, backyard people and we will enjoy this probably more than any other thing we have done to this house! Honestly, I am proud to be that person – the one the neighbor’s love (but hate) because of all the changes I have made to my house and yard. I know this to be true because my nosey neighbor told me so! He is beyond honest and actually came over while we were unloading the dirt, and again when we were unloading the sod, and one more time after we had finished, so he could offer his opinions and tell me that I am making the rest of the neighbors look bad by fixing up mine! Mission accomplished!

It is funny to look back at some of the pictures of this neglected farmhouse less than a year ago. I knew the moment I saw it that it had so much potential to be revitalized into a special place. But leveling the yard with dirt, a LOT of dirt mind you, and topping with sod has had almost the same impact as taking the ugly, peeling yellow paint off and topping with fresh, new gray. Almost.

Semi-Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day they say. And whoever they are, I completely agree with them! Breakfast is my favorite meal, hands down! So in honor of that, I wanted to share my recipe for Semi-Homemade Cinnamon Rolls!

During the holidays I am known for my cinnamon rolls and friends and family alike request them often! But homemade from scratch cinnamon rolls is too much trouble for the busy weekday mornings! So I have found a way to get similar results with this recipe for Semi-Homemade Cinnamon Rolls and it will have you out the door and on time, with a full belly!

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Semi-Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

1 tube of Grands Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese icing

1/4 cup of brown sugar

1/4 cup of pecans, finely chopped

1/2 a stick of butter

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees while you prep the other ingredients. In a large measuring cup melt your butter in the microwave. Once melted stir in the brown sugar. In a well greased round pan, add the butter and brown sugar mixture. Then add the pecans. Carefully unroll the tube of cinnamon rolls and place on top of the butter, brown sugar, pecan mixture. Cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. Once done, remove from the oven and invert onto a serving plate. Top with the icing that came with the cinnamon roll tube and serve while warm being careful not to burn yourself!

I usually pre-heat the oven when I first get up because ours takes a long time to heat up. Then I prepare the semi-homemade cinnamon rolls and place in the oven while I am getting ready. Usually, I am ready as the cinnamons rolls are ready to come out of the oven! And the days I make these, I don’t have to beg the teenage boy to get out of bed but once! The smells alone are enough to rouse him to consciousness!

Whether it is for a weekday breakfast or a Sunday brunch these Semi-Homemade Cinnamon Rolls are sure to be a hit! Hope you enjoy my little southern breakfast treat as much as we do!

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Contractors

After dealing with a variety of contractors on this house project I feel that I should share a few tips that I have learned along the way! I am by no means an expert, but I do feel that I am experienced enough in dealing with contractors to share Top Essential Questions you should consider when hiring and working with contractors!

Lots can be said for tackling a home improvement project or two each year and my hat is off to those who build a house from the ground to the roof! In my case, projects have always been something I have enjoyed and it came as no surprise to anyone in my family when I decided to tackle this historic fixer-upper of a farm house!

So without further a do here is the list of my Top Essential Questions for working with contractors!

How long have you been in the industry?  

This really is a key question because you are looking for a credible resource and someone with a successful track record! You certainly don’t want bubba and his buddies learning on your project no do you?

Can you provide resources that I can contact? 

Would you need resources for every job at your house? Well, come to think of it yes, you do! I really can’t think of a job that you are paying your hard earned money for that you wouldn’t need a reference check! Pest control – umm yes do you want to pay someone to spray for pests only to find out that the dilute the stuff they spray, NO! Painting – duh, of course you want to know that they will do a good job and that it will last! Plumbing – do you want to toilet backing up when you are sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner, I think not. Point made. Ask for resources.

Are you licensed, bonded and insured? 

You always want to make sure that at the very minimum that the contractor you are working with is licensed and carries liability insurance and workers comp insurance. This is as much for your protection as it is for the protection of those working at your house.

Do you guarantee your work? In writing?

Most people will tell you that they guarantee their work. That is great until you see them doing the job and realize that you might need a written guarantee to ensure that it lasts! Ask for it up front. Then you don’t feel foolish going back and asking for it later! Not that I have ever had to do that or anything!

Are you or your contractor pulling the required permits? 

This one is important. If you have ever had to deal with the city building and planning department then you know that it is sometimes a little more difficult than one would think. Fortunately for me, I have gotten to know my city B&P department quite well. Only because I have changed my mind about a zillion times on how I want to do my gate/fence for my driveway! Additionally, my city requires the homeowner to pull permits, but it has been helpful to know when I need one and when I don’t from my contractors.

What is the timeline for the project?

When a project begins you are so excited and you can’t wait for the finished product! But one of the most disappointing things is when your contractor cannot start your job for 3-4 weeks and then your project taking another 4-6 weeks! That is a long time to keep your excitement up and your patience calm! And then if there are delays…my oh my does everyone become grumpy!

Do you clean up the job site after work is completed?

This one I learned the very hard way! Imagine if you can…having say your foundation leveled and piers put in while you are on a relaxing beach vacation knowing that when you come home you can finally start work on the many many projects that await you on your historic house. Now imagine driving 15+ hours with two teenagers only to get home at midnight to dirt, dust and grime throughout your house from the floors to the counters to the trim boards! When the only thing on your mind is a shower and bed and you are on your hands and knees cleaning because you can’t walk anywhere without getting dirty! Know up front who will do the cleanup and if necessary hire a cleaning crew to take care of this for you! You will thank me later!

Do you need water or restroom facilities? 

This sounds like common sense and I know that I asked my painters about a million times in the August heat if they wanted water but never did I ever (that is a drinking game I think) ask if they needed restroom facilities! Talk about a terrible host! It really never occurred to me and I can only assume that they took bathroom breaks at lunch? I do feel terrible about this one and that is why I have included it!

Will you sign a contract for your work?

I am of the belief my word and a handshake is as good as a contract, but that is something I have learned is not good enough when you are dealing with contractors. Even if you have known them your whole life and they are good friends of your parents! Just get it in writing. Make sure to include what is to be done and when and at what price. Nothing, I repeat, nothing is more uncomfortable than calling a family friend and complaining that the work was not done correctly or finished or at the right price. Nothing.

As long as you have some patience, and I am here to tell you I don’t have much, you can really work through this list with your contractors you hire. You will, of course, have other specific questions related to your specific job but these should get you started and in the very least you can share a laugh or two with me on the funny things you have experienced with dealing with your own contractors. Have other questions that should be on this list? Comment and let me know! I would love to add to it even if it is for my own benefit!

 

 

DIY Industrial Shelves – Take less than an hour total

We did a little decorating this weekend with our almost finished bathroom makeover by creating these awesome, and easy industrial farmhouse shelves. When I say easy, I honestly didn’t know how easy this project was going to be and if I would have known then I would have done it a lot sooner than this! Y’all these industrial farmhouse shelves are EASY! Like on a scale of 1-10 these are like a 1 or 2. 
We did these shelves in an afternoon, while also painting part of the fence with the new paint sprayer (many more posts to come from using that bad boy), stripping paint off of a beautiful hardwood door and fixing our work table that had lost a part making it inoperable. So our ADD may have been on overdrive or possibly I was a little ambitious to get a few things crossed off the to-do list, but we managed to get quite a bit done in a very short amount of time! 
So for a while now I have been struggling with how to decorate this vintage farmhouse because there is literally no wall space to decorate with. We have tons of windows, which I love, but there just isn’t a lot of wall space for decorating and I feel that is what is missing in order to make this house a home. So while perusing Pinterest after church on Sunday I came across a picture of some industrial wood shelves. After making a quick supply list and dashing off to Lowes, we gathered the supplies and headed home to get started! 
Supplies needed for two industrial farmhouse shelves:
  1. 1x8x6 board cut into two 18” pieces
(4) metal flanges 
(4) metal pipes (we used ones that were individually packaged that were 10” long)
(4) metal pipe cap
(1) foam paint brush
(1) bottle of hammered spray paint (we used XXX in XXX color)

(1) small container of stain (we used Minwax in Walnut)

(8) paint triangles

(16) screws

Drill
Level
Pencils for marking holes (unless you are really really good at eyeballing things)
First, we laid a paint cloth down on our work bench and set up the paint triangles. Side note, we use these paint triangles all the time because they make painting all sides of something so easy because it puts the item up off the painting surface! We didn’t put the long pipes on the cones, they stood up on their own. 
Next, we sprayed all the pieces with a coat of the hammered paint and allowed them to dry. While drying we cut our 1×8 into our two 18” boards. We marked the board with a Stanley square to ensure a straight cut with our GMC chop saw. 
We laid our boards on four paint cones and stained the boards on all sides. Because it was a cooler day it took a long time for the boards to dry. Way too long for my patience! 
We marked the wall where we wanted the shelves. Because we know that there is wood behind the entire wall in this room we did not need to worry with anchors or finding studs to drill into. But if you will need to find the studs or use anchors if you don’t have wood behind your walls like we do. We probably double and triple checked our measurements to make sure that the flanges were going to be level and equally spaced both vertically and horizontally. Honestly, I was terrified of messing this step up because we were drilling on our newly installed ship lap wall and I knew that the repercussions were going to be massive if I missed a measurement! There were a lot of heated moments during this step! I didn’t help that when I was finally ready to drill the first screw into the wall that the battery on the drill was dead! 
So after 16 screws and lots and lots of checking for the level we were done with the hard part. Next, we twisted on the metal pipes and caps! We grabbed the mostly dry boards and placed them on the “brackets” and wall-lah we were done! Then I tore the house up looking for cute items to place on these new shelves and found a few things. But I don’t think that this will be the end result of the decorating but it worked for today! 
All in all, these shelves took no more than about 20 minutes to complete, drying time of the wood was probably more like an hour and a half. But I think these shelves make all the difference to the bathroom. Since this is the only full bath and the bathroom guests would use when visiting us it is important to me that it look special. The original image that I used for my inspiration called for two inch thick boards, which I think would look really nice but because this is such a small bathroom I felt like it would overpower the room so we used the thinner one-inch boards. 

What’s for dinner? Blue Apron!

What’s for dinner?

Blackened Cajun Catfish and Spiced Beef Torta from Blue Apron

Ever dread 4 pm when the only thing on your mind is, what’s for dinner? Yep! It happens to me all the time, more often than one would think honestly! This week I am dreaming of Blackened Cajun Catfish and a Spiced Beef & Pickled Torta. I know, strange dreams! I love to cook, and I love trying new recipes. Rarely do we have the same meal twice. Now that is not to say that we don’t have favorites that we repeat, but I rarely make it the same way.

So when the BFF recently offered me a free week to try Blue Apron food delivery I was all on board! Honestly, I was a little hesitant because I am leery of any box program. So many times I have almost signed up for beauty boxes, dog treat boxes, and other food boxes! I am one of those people sign up then realize that they need to cancel because they aren’t getting what they really want, but keep receiving boxes because they keep missing the cancellation deadline. You know who you are…I am not the only one! But let’s be honest, as a single mom, the thought of free meals was just too much for me to pass up! Teenage boy who eats all the time=grocery budget that is blown most months!

I was willing to try out Blue Apron because the BFF spoke so highly of it! So she helped me select my week of meals based on deliveries she had tried and things we thought the teenage boy would eat. We both were worried about the picky teenage boy and his eating preferences.So I selected the Pork Chops with Garlic Picada and Honey-Mustard Chicken. When I signed up I went ahead and skipped the delivery for the following week so that if it didn’t work out I would have time to cancel my membership before paying for more food. Smart move on my part!

Pork Chops & Garlic Picada with Brown Rice and Spinach

When our Blue Apron package arrived I was so excited! I mean, it was like Christmas! When taking items out of the box, it was like unwrapping a present! We sorted everything and decided on the Pork Chops with Garlic Picada for our first meal. But y’all, this meal was a hit! I mentioned that the teenage boy is a bit picky…well even he liked the meal and it had spinach in it. Yep, spinach. Both of us gave this meal an 8 (nothing gets a 10 in our house) and said we would definitely have it again.

Honey-Mustard Chicken with Roasted Winter Vegetables

The next night we had the Honey-Mustard Chicken. Y’all I am here to tell you that this was one of the best things ever. Like one of us practically licked their plate on this meal! (That would not be me, because what respectable Southern lady licks her plate?) This meal earned a 9.5 rating – a top rating in our house!

What I loved about these meals were the ease of having everything measured out and ready for you to prepare. Could I do this for other meals? Sure. But who has the time for that? Blue Apron takes the guess work out for you and makes it so easy to prepare dinner. The flavors were bold, the meat was moist and the portions were huge! I had ordered the dinners for four so that I would have enough for the teenager, me and to be able to take one for lunch the next day…I still had food leftover! No kidding!  The biggest downside would be that we don’t always like the four options that are offered and the directions are sometimes a little wonky (which is why I recommend reading ALL the directions before beginning)!

This week we are having Blackened Cajun Catfish and a Spiced Beef & Pickled Torta and I cannot wait!

  

 

 

 

 

So if you have read this far and are interested in trying out Blue Apron for yourself do a few simple things:

  1. Follow Simple Southern Life on Twitter
  2. Follow Simple Southern Life on Instagram
  3. Follow Simple Southern Life on Pinterest
  4. Follow Simple Southern Life Blog using the sidebar at the top

We have one week to give away to someone! We only have one, so we will be drawing the winner on February 10th at 8:00 a.m. Central Standard Time. Good Luck!

Disclaimer: I am not an affiliate with Blue Apron, I get nothing in return from this post other than the satisfaction of giving away one of the free weeks that any Blue Apron member receives as part of their membership. My options are my own and are not influenced by my membership on Blue Apron. 

 

 

Photos of the Week 1/30 – 2/3

Top Five Photos of the Week

We had a little detour in our life and have missed a week or two of posting.  But we are back! And we are once again living life to its’ fullest! If anything, the detour to our posting was a sign that none of us really know how long we have here and we truly need to see the beauty in the things around us! So I hope you enjoy the Top Five Photos of the Week pictures! Help me out with the titles by leaving a comment!

Mos of these pictures were taken with my older Cannon Rebel EOS XS. Although I have learned to love love love my new Cannon EOS T6 camera we still use the older one from time to time. Both take great pictures as you can see. Loved our time at Pedernales State Falls in the heart of the Texas Hill Country! It was a photographers dream that day! Perfect lighting, fall foliage and a day full of fun hiking and fishing!

I found the praying mantis in my backyard and spent the afternoon taking pictures of him! He was a great model for me and perfect for our Top Five Photos of the Week. Hope you enjoy these pictures as much as I do!

Help me out with the titles by leaving a comment!

 

 

 

 


Repurpose

 

This last one of Riley was just too cute to pass up! While we were moving even he helped pack boxes! But the best part is that we were able to recycle the box and reuse it for his entertainment! And we thought this one was a great way to participate in the Weekly Photo Challenge with this weeks word being, Repurpose! Guess dogs are like kids…no matter what you buy them they still want to play with simple household items!

A Dessert to Impress

Chocolate, strawberries, cream…

this is a Dessert to Impress!

We have created a special treat, a dessert to impress even your toughest critics! But don’t let that deter you, because this impressive dessert is so simple to make! And it is a Southern treat that you will go to again and again.

A sweet southern dessert to impress your guests!
A sweet southern dessert to impress your guests!

This simple southern dessert to impress is so easy that it can become your signature go to dessert that will have all of your friends wanting the recipe. But as a good Southerner, you don’t have to share the recipe…just the dessert!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Print Recipe
A Dessert to Impress
Course Dessert
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 10 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 10 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees while defrosting your puff pastry by laying it out on a cutting board. If frozen it could take up to 40 minutes to defrost.
  2. Once defrosted cut into three sections at the folded seems.
  3. Then cut each strip into quarters and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes until golden.
  5. Allow to cool for 10 minutes on a cooling rack while you prepare the filling.
  6. Mix vanilla pudding packet and one cup of milk, then fold in a cup and a half of whipped topping. Refrigerate pudding for five to ten minutes. while you slice the strawberries.
  7. Once pastries have completely cooled, carefully pull each apart in half, so you have a top and a bottom section. Add a tablespoon of pudding filling and a layer of strawberries, top with another layer of filling before putting on the top puff pastry piece.
  8. Add a little more filling and a couple of strawberries. Set aside and continue building your dessert to impress.
  9. When all have been made dust the tops lightly with powdered sugar. I used a sifter. Next carefully add a drizzle of chocolate syrup in long thin streams across the top of the dessert to impress. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready.
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Shutter Up – DIY Window Shutters

DIY Shutters

Simple DIY for Adding Window Shutters

Ever drive past those beautiful expansive estates that have been meticulously well kept? Every detail seems to be in its proper place. That is not my house. Yet. Well…maybe never.

Today on Simple Southern Life we are tackling the easy task of DIY shutters for our recently painted garage. For information on the garage renovation, see our blog post, Mint is an ice cream flavor, not a paint color. Here is a quick, and easy tutorial on adding some much-needed detail to what some might see as an eyesore. The garage.

DIY Window Shutters by Simple Southern Life

Since our garage is detached and part of the backyard I wanted to add some decorative touches to it to make the backyard more inviting. Living in the South we get to enjoy most of the year outdoors, and the backyard really becomes an extension of the home.

Supplies for DIY Window Shutters on Simple Southern Life

Next, determine the length of your shutters. Mine were 36 inches, and I wanted three boards with cross pieces per side per window.

The next step is to mark and cut all your boards at one time, as it is so much easier that way. I measure and mark each board individually using my Stanley square. Although I know it is tempting to just mark the first one and use it as your guide, it is safer to measure and mark each one so when you are finished you don’t have to take it all apart to cut the one that was just a tad too long!

DIY Window Shutters on Simple Southern Life

Next, layout your three long boards side by side. Then lay the cross pieces on top. Carefully clamp the long boards to the cross pieces to keep them in place while you drill them together using your 1.5-inch screws.

DIY Window Shutters on Simple Southern Life

I usually drill the two side pieces and then the middle because once the sides are in the middle board won’t move around on you. Repeat this process for the other end of this shutter.

DIY Window Shutters on Simple Southern Life

Next, lightly sand the shutters when you have finished attaching them together. I have had this FireStorm orbital sander for years! I love the ease of putting new papers on – it is Velcro! Wipe off well with a cloth to remove any loose debris.

DIY Window Shutters on Simple Southern Life

Now you are ready to paint them! I had to give my shutters two good coats of paint, allowing them to dry in between coats.

Once you finish painting and are ready to hang, grab your drill and four of your 3-inch screws. You will need a helper for this step! Place shutter next to the trim on your window, making sure you are even at the top and bottom and screw the shutter into the structure. I screw into the middle board because I like things to be symmetrical. Add another screw to the bottom middle. Repeat for other windows.

DIY Window Shutters on Simple Southern Life

 

Tad-ah! You are done! Doesn’t it make a big difference!

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