October 2014 - Dimples and Tangles

BEST OF THE NEST LINK PARTY {OCTOBER}


Happy Friday, everyone!  Thanks for all of your sweet comments and prayers for my Father in Law and our family.  This week has been a crazy roller coaster ride but he was doing SO much better yesterday, really for the first time.  We're hoping to get the vent removed today and move out of the ICU asap!  All of the notes and calls and texts to check on us have been much appreciated.

Since it's the last Friday of the month, we're back with our best project of the month, and we want to see what you've been working on, too!


I cannot quit eating these Chocolate Covered Coconut Bon Bons.  Someone send help.  Especially when they're frozen...thawed just enough to bite into...  YUM!  Get a jump on your holiday to-do list and make some now, and they'll be all ready for parties or to pass out to guests for favors when the time comes.  If you still have any left by then.  ;)


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GIRL'S ROOM REFRESH DESIGN PLANS


I can't believe that it's been 3 years since my daughter's room got a makeover.  Even when it was "finished," I knew I wasn't happy with the bed and had plans to change it out at some point.

Fast forward three years, and many other projects jumped in line ahead of that one.  However, her room got pushed to the front burner again recently when we decided to move her from a twin to a full bed.  So, with the need for a new headboard and bedding, I decided to take the opportunity to freshen up this entire side of the room.


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WANT TO PLAY KITCHEN DESIGNER? LET'S HELP A GIRL OUT!


A few weeks ago I shared my plans for a little mini-makeover in my kitchen.  With our big trip wrapping up, I'm ready to start tackling that project next week.  It's one of those projects that I dread doing (painting the cabinets), but can't wait for the finished product!  I'm ready to see in real life what I'm only seeing in my head right now.

Earlier this week I received a text from a friend (and my daughter's awesome Sunday School teacher!) who is moving to a different house.  She wanted my opinion on some changes in her kitchen, and I thought it would be fun to share here and get thoughts from you all as well.  Many heads are better than one, right?

She texted me some quick photos of the space, and here are the plans that she is considering:


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PRETTY LONDON DOORWAYS


Hello friends!  We have returned home safely and are trying to get back into the swing of things.  Still waking in the middle of the night and not being able to return to sleep, but we'll get there!

Our trip was better than we could have imagined, truly a once in a lifetime experience.  Staying in the country with our friends made it an entirely different experience than staying in the city would have been, and we absolutely loved it.  I have SO much to share with you from our trip, I think it will be necessary to break it down into several posts.

As we walked around all of the places we visited, I couldn't help but notice pretty doors everywhere.  Many were painted bold colors, or had architectural details that my eye was drawn to, or maybe just looked inviting with a few pots of colorful flowers to frame them.  Not all were especially fancy, but had just enough details to make them special.  Here were my favorites, and hopefully I've remembered their correct locations.

First, the front door to Hedsor Priory where we stayed.  So pretty, quaint, and welcoming!  I'll have much more of the house and grounds to share with you in an upcoming post.


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DIY AGATE EMBELLISHED MIRRORED BOX


We're headed home from London today, and only crying just a little.  ;)  Although it was wonderful, we're ready to be back with our kiddos!

During our recent trip to Poland, we visited the Wieliczka Salt Mine (SO amazing, I'm working on the photos to share with you!) and I purchased one little souvenir there, an agate slice.  Agates are extremely popular in design right now, and I was happy to find a pretty one as a memento.

Wanting to display the one I bought in a special way, I thought of all of the agate boxes that I've seen from retailers and other bloggers and decided it would be a perfect project for my pretty little souvenir.  I planned to find a small clear acrylic box to use, but came across a little mirrored box at TJ Maxx and decided to use it instead.  



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HOME DEPOT STYLE CHALLENGE - TODAY'S THE DAY!!


It's finally here!  My project is live on the Home Depot's Apron Blog today.  My husband and I are roaming around London, but I am so happy to share my project with you.  I was assigned "Mantel" to decorate and sent a variety of mystery items to incorporate into my design.

Here's a little preview, but you'll have to click over to see the full reveal.  Along with a ridiculous picture of me.


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THE PASSPORT IS PACKED...


Hey guys!  Thanks so much for all of your input last Friday on my painting the pantry doors in the kitchen.  I really thought that I would paint the doors black, but I think those of you who voted white might have won me over.  I like the idea of the island being the stand-out, and the doors not competing with the fridge right next to them.  I might just try a little something special with the white doors, though... and if I paint them white while the paint's in the sprayer, I can always paint them black later if I change my mind.

Just letting you know that I'll be away from the blog this week.  The last few times I've been away this year I've still had posts scheduled, but even with pre-planning and scheduling posts ahead of time, there is still some real-time maintenance involved with new posts going up.

I'm taking a complete break because Ray and I are headed across the pond to London!  We weren't able to properly celebrate our 20th Anniversary this summer with everything we had going on, so this is it.  We have dear friends living in London for a period of time for his business, and they have graciously invited us to stay with them.  And, our parents have VERY graciously agreed to care for the children once again while we're away.  They're getting an extra-good Christmas present this year.  ;)  I can't believe I got my very first passport this summer and now we will have traveled internationally twice in the last two months.  The timing is so close to our Poland trip, but we knew we would regret not taking advantage of this opportunity.

Our friends live in the countryside outside of town, and we are counting the minutes until we arrive.  I stole a pic from Instagram of the view out their back door-


I can wait to stand right there and take my own photos!

And y'all, they hand feed pheasants out their kitchen window.  I want to feed the pheasants!


I know, lofty goals for things to do in London, right?  We're really looking forward to not only experiencing the tourist spots of the city, but life in the country and smaller towns as well.

SO... I'm totally unplugging this week, except for Instagram, where you can be sure I'll be sharing away.   However, I will be popping in on Wednesday, that's my day for the Home Depot Style Challenge!  What's that?  You want a sneak peek?  Well, ok.


Yesterday I made a rare Sunday post, and if you missed it please go check it out!  I shared my Grandmother's recipe for Chocolate Covered Coconut Bon Bons that my Mom always made for us growing up.  It's a great recipe for holiday parties and entertaining and easy to make now and freeze for later.  If you like Almond Joy, this one is for you!


Have a great week everyone!  Hope to see you on Instagram, and I'll be back next week!


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CHOCOLATE COVERED COCONUT BON BONS


This post brought to you by Dollar General. All opinions are 100% mine.


Did you know that there are less than 75 days until Christmas?  And even fewer before the first holiday parties fire up!  The season will be here before we know it, and it's never too early to start making plans if you'll be entertaining or hosting friends and family in your home.

My mother used to make Chocolate Covered Coconut Bon Bons while we were growing up, with a recipe that her mother used to make.  It has been a favorite of mine since I was little, and now my daughter begs for "those things with the chocolate on them" when we mention holiday baking.  They are so easy to make, now she's helping me with the task.




More and more, I'm shopping at stores that I can run in and out of quickly to get what I need.  I found just about all of the necessary ingredients for this treat at my local Dollar General.  Their Clover Valley line carries many baking essentials.  I especially appreciated the packages of already perfectly chopped pecans.  Having that bit of prep work done made the work time even faster.


Chocolate Covered Coconut Bon Bons

3 sticks butter
1 14 oz. package coconut
1 t. vanilla
2 lbs. powdered sugar
4 c. finely chopped nuts, I prefer pecans
1 small 5 oz. can evaporated milk
2 12 oz. packages chocolate chips
1 cake paraffin wax

Melt the butter in a large sauce pan, or in the microwave in a large bowl.  If on the stove, remove from heat once the butter is melted.  Add the sugar, coconut, milk, and vanilla and mix well, then add pecans and stir.


The mixture will have a thick, soupy consistency.  Chill until it thickens and can be scooped out and formed into a ball.  I chilled mine in the freezer for about 2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes just to even out the temperature.

Using a dough scoop, dip out a ball of the chilled mixture.  I have a 1 ounce and a 1/2 ounce scoop, and either is fine just depending on the size and number of bon bons that you want.  I used the 1/2 ounce scoop this time, and this recipe made about 90 bon bons.  Form balls and lay on a cookie sheet covered with waxed paper.  Chill again.


If you have a pan that's specifically a double boiler, great.  If not, you can improvise with a pot and a heat proof (pyrex) glass bowl.  Boil some water in the pan below, and rest the bowl on top filled with the paraffin and chocolate chips.  Stir occasionally as the mixture melts.  Use caution, hot steam might escape from around the bowl and edge of the pan, and the bowl will be hot.  When all of the wax is melted, the chocolate is ready and the heat can be turned off.


Drop each chilled ball into the chocolate one by one.  If necessary, move it around to cover entirely and then remove, holding it over the chocolate for a minute to let the excess chocolate drip off.  Place on a sheet of waxed paper until the chocolate coating hardens.  I like to use a long handled meat fork for this step, but a skewer would work well also.  


When finished, I slide the waxed paper back on the cookie sheet and chill one more time, just to set the chocolate.  Then, I can stack them to store.  Although the steps are fairly quick and simple, the chilling time in between adds to the prep time of this recipe.  


I prefer these chilled, so I store them in an airtight container in the fridge, or they freeze beautifully for several months. If frozen, it's easy to take out the amount you need and after a few minutes of thawing they are ready to go.  You could get a jump on your holiday to-do list and prepare them now!

Bon bons can make a pretty dessert for a party when arranged nicely on a platter or cake stand, 


or they make great party favors by putting a few in a clear bag and tying with a festive ribbon.


For more great holiday ideas and recipes, be sure to check out Dollar General on FacebookDollar General on Pinterest, and Dollar General on Instagram.  There are also some great meal ideas on their website at Dollar General Easy Meals.


This is a sponsored post for Dollar General, but all opinions about their products are mine.  Thanks for supporting the companies that sponsor Dimples and Tangles!


Visit Sponsor's Site

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MINI KITCHEN MAKEOVER PLANS


When we did a fairly substantial kitchen remodel about 4 years ago, I knew not long after painting the cabinets that I didn't love them and would re-paint them eventually. Now, with the new wall color, the time has come.  Last year when I had the white subway backsplash installed, I knew I'd probably be headed towards white cabinets, so even though the backsplash doesn't look great with the current cabinets, the choice was part of a long term plan.

With the scads of kitchen photos I come across, I kept coming back to this photo, the crisp contrast of the black and white wins me over every time.  You can bet I'm hunting for a cheap persian rug to use in the kitchen too.


Domino via Burlap and Lace
 These kitchens helped sway me toward the black island and white cabinets as well-


via

via

So that's where I'm headed, but here's the reality right now. You can see just how bad the cabinets are now with the new wall color.  I'm SO over the creamy color with glaze!  I'm trying out a sample on that trim above the pantry doors, which leads me to a dilemma...



The island is staying black, the cabs will be white.  I can't decide if I should paint the pantry doors white or black (the trim around the doors will be white).  I used my bad editing skills quick design trick to get an idea-





And a slightly different angle-







Tough choice. I just might have one that I'm leaning toward, but what do you think?  Here's one shadowy end that I couldn't resist painting to get a feel for the new color.





Over a year ago (when they were less than half the price they are now!) I bought enough of these pulls to use for the drawers-



I'm not sure what knobs I'll use yet, still on the hunt, but they will be some sort of brass or gold color also.  

The other big decision I've been debating is the hinges on the cabinet doors.  My cabinets have the regular run of the mill old exposed brass hinges, and I painted over them when I painted the cabinets.  I thought I wanted to switch to hidden hinges this time, but that has 2 strikes against it... cost, and the fact that actually removing the old hinges and filling in holes and re-hanging everything properly would be a major pain.  With brass making such a big comeback, I'd been toying with the idea of stripping them back down and just using them again.  Then, I saw Caitlin Wilson's kitchen in my friend's IG feed the other day, and the heavens parted... 



Exposed brass hinges!  And jaw dropping gorgeous!  I feel like that image validated my thoughts, so brass hinges it will be.

So, I'm a few weeks away from tackling the paint, but I can't wait to get this project started (actually I can...painting cabinets is a pain, but it will be worth it!).  What do you think about the pantry doors?

I hope all of you have a super weekend!  We're scooping the kids up as soon as they are out of school and heading to see the Alexander movie, then rooting for our alma mater Oklahoma Baptist University Bison at the game on Saturday.  AND... we're preparing for one more trip that Ray and I are squeezing in.  Goodness, I never had a passport before this summer and now we're traveling internationally twice in two months!  It's gonna be a good one!

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BANISH FRUIT FLIES


I'm not sure what brought it on, but we've had an invasion of fruit flies for the past few days.  Maybe the pears I left ripening on the counter...

Not many things are more maddening than those things flying in your face, and never quite being able to swat them!  My friend had a similar problem in her home last year, and she finally got rid of them with a simple home remedy.

You only need two things that you probably already have - apple cider vinegar and dish soap.


Put a small amount of apple cider vinegar (about 1/4 c. or less is plenty) in a small dish, I used a ramekin.  Add a small squirt of dish soap, and swirl it around with your finger.  That's it!

Leave it out on your counter overnight and have patience while it works it's magic.  In the morning, your bowl should be full of drowned fruit flies!  The vinegar attracts them and the thick dish soap traps them in the mixture.


After about a day, we had over 60 in that bowl (my son counted!).  I dumped it out and made a fresh bowl, and got about 10 more in the next day.  I think they're all gone, yay!

No pretty decorating photos today, but I hope this tip comes in handy if you need it some day.




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SUPER EASY SAVORY RANCH CROCK POT PORK LOIN


Well, that weekend sure did fly by!  Hope you had a good one!  I attended our state Baptist Ministry Wives conference and had a blast catching up with old friends scattered all over our state.

Yesterday I made a Sunday lunch that is becoming one of our favorites, and I thought you might like it too.  My friend Denise shared it with me several years ago when we were both rocking babies on Sunday mornings in the nursery.  She shared the original recipe on her blog, but I tweaked it just a little and I'll share my version with you today.   If you have 2 minutes, and a few ingredients that are probably already in your pantry, you're all set!


Ingredients:
2-3 lb. pork loin (or pork roast, or pork chops)
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 packet dry ranch dressing mix
1 can mushrooms (drained if desired)

You could totally just use 2 cans of one kind of soup if you prefer one over the other.  I like the mix or just use whatever I have on hand.  The COC does give a good flavor mix with the pork, though.


It would probably taste even better if you browned your meat first, but I never do for this recipe (I think that defeats the purpose of quickly dumping everything in the crock pot sometimes!).  So, put your meat in the crock, then cover with soup and sprinkle the ranch mix on top.  Cover and cook around 4-5 hours on high, 7-8 hours on low.  I add the mushrooms in about 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time, but I'm sure you could put them in at the beginning too.   If it's not apparent, this recipe is pretty forgiving and flexible.


It's not really necessary to add any water, but I like to stretch the sauce a bit further, so I add 1/4 to 1/2 cup in with the ingredients at the beginning.

The meat should be falling apart tender when it's finished.  I like to separate it into smaller chunks and mix it together with the sauce well to serve.  There are several side options to serve the meat and sauce with... rice, egg noodles, or I would have used couscous yesterday if I had it.  This really reminds me of a version of beef tips, so there are lots of options!

So, there you go!  A quick dinner idea if you need it this week!  And I guess I've been cooking with pork more often... I shared a simple, great marinade here if you missed it.


And remember, the Fall Style Challenge kicks off on The Apron Blog from Home Depot today!  My friend Kristin from Bliss at Home is up first with her outdoor Harvest challenge.  I've been dying to see it, I know she knocked it out of the park!  They should be announcing the rest of the schedule soon and I'll let you know what day I'm up!



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BEST OF THE NEST SEPTEMBER FEATURES


You all had some really fantastic projects for us to look through this month!  Be sure to check out the other hostesses for their features as well.

 Pam from Simple Details // Lisa from Shine Your Light // Kris from Driven by Decor 

**PLEASE REMEMBER...if you'd like to pin any of these images, click the link and pin from the original source.  Thanks!**

How could I not love this DIY vintage style poster from Beth at designPOST Interiors?  The color, the subject matter, the frame, the styling around it... it's all so good!



Tracy from Right Up My Alley shared her family's new command center that she added to their kitchen.  I don't know about you, but we've been back in school for about 6 weeks and we could definitely use some organization like that around here!



Mary from At Home on the Bay showed us how to create this fabulous wood patterned lampshade with a stencil and paint.  I think it's pretty convincing!



Would you believe this gorgeous master bath used to be a kitchen?  No?  Me either!  Sarah from 702 Park Project shared all the details and lots of photos of the transformation.



Last but not least, Denise from Frazzled Joy showed us her teenage daughter's new triangle graphic wall.  Wow!  Her daughter worked with her on the project, and good thing because I'm sure that took forever!  Be sure to check out the details of how they created this stunning focal wall.



And, our Instagram feature from the month is from nanp1960, who made this cute custom state artwork with materials she had on hand.



I hope you all have a great weekend!  

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