Sunday, June 30, 2013

don't be left in the dark

the sun is setting on google reader tonight
well actually its more like Cinderella's ball makeover, vanishing at the stroke of midnight
and with google reader goes my 'followers'
well not actually, you won't be erased from existence, just that established way of following my blog
i have loved seeing your little icon faces over there on the side
i don't want to lose any of you

there are still lots of ways to still be apart of the Sweet Dreams are Made of These community and 
get the latest dose of whats happening over here
i have switched over to Bloglovin
and you can follow me there
if you are unsure if having a reader is right for you, even those of you who are not huge blog readers,
head over here to my tutorial on Bloglovin and check it out
its truly a way to streamline habits of web viewing that you already have

you can also follow me through instagram, twitter, pinterest, email, and another RSS feed
don't become a stranger
we've been through too much together for you to leave now
we're just getting started...
i can't wait to show you all what mike and i have been planning behind the scenes
the best is yet to come
don't be left in the dark
be apart of our dream  {read about it here}

help me build a new following on Bloglovin'
my goal was 100 by July, and we're at 34!  
just a third of the way there but it could happen...

more than anything
just a huge thank you for coming here again and again
its still pretty crazy that so many of you have thrown yourself into my life and have enjoyed hitching your wagon to mine
together we have created a real community where people come to inspire others and be inspired
just by simply sharing your own life with others
there is a power in being real and vulnerable
you let people into your life
and make real connections 
the kind which create lasting impact
thank you dear friends
thank you

Saturday, June 29, 2013

adventures in polyurethane: painting my creative studio desks

adventures with polyurethane

having my own space to create is really important to me
not to say that it is cleared off well enough for me to use my own space
somehow there always seems to be some half completed project out
but isn't that what my own space is for

i received these two great shaped desks
i'm sure Amy from Commona-My-House could tell me what sort of style they are in
but i just know that i love them
even in their raw form
great lines

upon moving into our current home, #14 in our 15 years of marriage
i knew that i wanted a large surface for my creative studio {carries a nicer ring to it than craft room}
to lay out fabric and other project needs
i decided to paint both of the desks and then place them back to back to create a beautifully large space

somehow i have lost the first 'before' shot of the desks
but even without drawers you can get the picture

briefly i wanted to go over my first steps that i took to refinish these awesomely aqua desks and then give some tips i discovered when learning to use polyurethane for the first time.

1. TSP: trisodium phosphate - to clean off all the dirt, grease, and residue left from years of storage. helps the primer to adhere to your furniture.

2. Oil-Base Primer - to eliminate the sanding step and to paint on a laminate surface top

3. Paint - 2 coats of paint - stop rubbing your eyes. yes, this is a different desk.  
two desks. same steps.
i also used metal spray paint to lightly spritz my handles and legs to give it an aged metal appearance
psst...i'm sneaking in to tell you that i missed a step, well probably a bunch, but i just wanted to tell you that i taped off the metal lock on the drawer because i wanted to keep that punch of metal

polyurethane finish

4. Polyurethane - to protect the surface from repeated use
sooo glad i did this step.  having been using the desk for awhile, i can see that this step was absolutely necessary to preserve the top from major nicks and dings
oh those sewing and crafting tools are vicious
applying this stuff takes some serious practice
don't hurl yourself into the sea if you don't get it right the first time
{like my little far & away reference - oh they were good together in this one, tom + nicole}

here are some tips i discovered for using polyurethane:
*use the widest sponge brush you can find
you want to have to do as few rows of strokes as possible
*do not shake the can or stir it too vigorously.  gently or you will create bubbles
* i sloooowly poured some into a slightly wider mouth bowl to use as my supply
*get a good amount of poly on your brush to begin with and have your hand in place where you want it to go.  you really get one chance with each stroke.
*to apply the poly, hold the brush at approx 30' to the surface and drag the poly with the brush across the surface in one long steady stroke
*resist trying to go back and restroke through what you missed.  if you must, try and only reapply where needed.  don't go back over your stroke a second time.
*to start the next stroke, begin it just barely back into the end of the previous stroke, so as to cover the streaky end of the past stroke
*there will be bubbles, you can try and pop the larger ones, but it will really just create lots of little bubbles
*don't do this in direct sunlight.  it will dry to fast for you to work with
*avoid doing this when it is even the slightest wind because whatever lands on it will stick.  i have a few encapsulated gnats on my desk
*once you completed the entire surface, let dry as per instructions before starting the next coat
*i recommend 3 coatings
*get some good tunes going because this takes forever but its totally worth it

i also used the spray polyurethane for a light coating around the front, sides, and back

by now you are saying,
oh my word, why in the world would i even go through this much work??!!
if you are planning to use your furniture frequently and want to protect that paint or stain that you took hours to do, its worth it
if you want it to feel smooth and look pretty on top
or if you dusted furniture, this might be make it easy to dust...i wouldn't know but i've hear it from some friends over here and here

here is a visual of the supplies that i used for each step:

for step #3 i also used valspar's brilliant metal spray paint for the handles and legs

i adore how they turned out
they fit quite nicely in the center or the room
right next to my perfectly rusty lockers
now what to do with all that surface
let me tell you it fills quickly

i'd love to hear about your adventures with polyurethane
what did you find worked and didn't work?
what tunes did you jam to while working?

Friday, June 28, 2013

be crafty workshop: california style

be crafty workshop california style

i am delighted to share with you today our
be crafty workshop here in sunny california
what a dream it has been to become real friends with creatives i have first met virtually through blogging and instagramming
amanda of oh my little dears, the queen of eye candy and happy mail packages, has become such a close friend in such a small amount of time
she is magic i tell you, anything she touches turns pinterest worthy
she was just featured here as a 'site for sore eyes' on creature comforts
this girl is going places

working with her to put on this workshop was such a blast
there was no work about it
just play
the magic is in the details
down to the last cabochon flower and washi tape flag
i loved watching my home fill with arrangements of pretty things
earlier that morning we had a few minutes to go thrifting and a hit a flea market
she scored this divine 1950's mint table
a perfect show piece for our supplies and projects

chalkboard paint nametags and wood slice
be crafty craft supplies
red velvet whoopie pies

chicken wire frame

each of our guests were spoiled by our four incredible Etsy sponsors
some of my favorite moments came even before the workshop began
opening up my mailbox to find pretty packages filled with all of the sponsor's gifts
be sure to check out all of their shops and send them a shout-out from Sweet Dreams are Made of These and Be Crafty Workshops
thank you, thank you to all of our generous sponsors

painted wooden earrings by emoorestore

emoorestore: adding a little curiosity to everyday goods
whimsically playful mugs and darling accessories for you and your little
i picked the mint earrings for me, aren't they clever and perfect for the summer?!
emoorestore is offering all of our be crafty friends a 20% off your entire order through July 31st
just enter the code becrafty

where the wild things are print from olive and birch

fun, bright prints with so many of them inspired by beloved classic children's books
goodbye moon, where the wild things are, oh the places you'll go, i'll love you forever
i also adore the custom silhouette print of your child or pet

hot air balloon and chalkboard printables

ohhdearlover: creating heart warming art for you and yours
colorful prints in all of the latest home decor trends
love me so me arrow, mason jar, hot air balloon, and chalkboard prints
a delightful variety

banana split marshmallows and sugar cookie

lanae's bakery
sending your taste buds straight to heaven
i don't think anyone at the workshop could stop talking about the goodies
little pieces of electrifying bliss you never knew existed
banana split marshmallows, what?!
all the delectable treats shown were brought by lanae and her sweet mom

we also were blessed by one of our guests
betsy, who brought some amazing taquitos from her shop rock it tacos

we are so grateful to our amazing guests who came to spend the afternoon with us
some i knew well, others i had the chance to get to know
i loved seeing the variety of styles and colors chosen by everyone
differences make the world go 'round
our six projects kept us busy, busy
decisions about what color of glitter take time you know
it all sure made a pretty mess

vintage mint table

the people are what make workshops a success
thank you, thank you to all of our friends, old and new, who came to our crafting marathon
i was so happy to have my baby sister in town
she and her doting fiancé were so adorable to watch
a crafting date is good for any relationship, right mike?!

amanda and her heart of gold mom paulette tended to all of our guests needs
happily assisting and helping them to feel welcome
we had such a jazzed group of crafters, building friendships, helping to wipe paint and glue off each other's hands, and of course comparing favorites from lanae's bakery
i think the campfire s'mores won

i was also so happy to spend more time with amy from our daily obsessions 
{the scissor passer seen above}
amy and i met in the most unusual way
she was one my daddy's nurses who took care of him so sweetly
i love how Heavenly Father places people in your path who create such a lasting impact

speaking of impact
this polkadot pant clad gal is my go-to girl for impact
this trip was the first time amanda and leslie were able to meet
loving bringing friends together
here we are, the three crafteteers
i couldn't resist the bad play on words
how about
the photographer, the diy-er, and the chaos maker

i can't wait til we are all back together again
would you like a be crafty workshop to come to your area
drop us a line and maybe i can convince amanda to let me tag along

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

popeye's ice cream - one word wednesday: treat

i am so grateful for women in my life whose love for things of the kitchen spills over and the crumbs of their know-how and enthusiasm fall below to me to my benefit
i have so many family members and friends who know of my insecurities and often pass on recipes to me with words of encouragement
as well as statements that this recipe is so easy, even i can do it and not mess it up

while visiting my sister in law Karen in Utah this month
{you remember her from this post and her blog  Sew Stitchin' Cute}
she shared with us her special version of
Popeye’s Ice Cream

throwing things in a blender, 
now that’s a recipe i can handle


here is the recipe with Karen's modifications:

3/4 C. half & half or creamer (you can probably also just use milk here)
1/2 banana
2/3 C. powdered milk 
1/4 C. agave or honey (if you're using the creamer you can omit this or just put in a little- maybe 1/8 cup or less)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups spinach (feel free to throw in some kale if you've got it- it won't affect the taste)
2 cups ice

blend and enjoy every heavenly bite :)

we are huge fans of the Vita-mix at our house
smoothies are a staple
and my kids are no strangers to spinach and kale
two ingredients most often added to our favorite smoothies

eyan enjoyed being my little helper
and yes that is him voluntarily putting spinach in the blender

we all loved this refreshing summer treat
the consistency akin to a slushie more than an ice cream
maybe next time i’ll try more ice
but then the kids might not be able to don these fashionable green mustaches they crack themselves up with
i can't count how many trips to the mirror were taken whilst consuming our
Popeye's ice cream

at least now i know what tate will look like as a man
he seriously looks so old with his spinach mustache

mine didn't have time to create any mustaches or messes of any kind
straight down it went
it has such a rich creamy flavor, a half glass is plenty

moms for decades continue to shout their praise of a squinty-eyed, power-punched sailor man
i’m strong to the finich
cause i eats me spinach
i’m Popeye the sailor man


what summer treats have you enjoyed?
can't wait to see all those delectable delights flooding the instagram feed
make sure to tag #onewordwednesday and me at @briana6

catching up with some of my favorites from the past weeks one word wednesday
thank you to everyone who has been participating and following along

@natalie4hudson  /    @shansummer   /  @molscopey   /   @lillianahoag   /   @juststitched   /   @lexixd

One Word Wednesday is a simple photo challenge intended to tie friends together and inspire anyone and everyone to document the everyday beauty in the world around them. Please join us every Wednesday, sharing a photo that celebrates a scene from your life on your blog and/or instagram. Each word will be announced one week in advance to give you time to think on and capture an image that celebrates that particular word. Be sure to leave a link or add hashtag #onewordwednesday and @briana6 to your photos, so that we can all share in the joy! Next week's word: VACATION!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

'milk unleashed' review for national dairy month

milk plays a fairly significant role in our house with my four live crew
and a cereal loving hubby
at any given time, we have at least four types of milk stocked in our fridge:
2 % or non-fat milk
muscle milk
almond milk
coconut milk
chocolate milk
organic milk

when i was approached by the Milk Unleashed campaign for Tetra Pak shelf safe milk
during June as National Dairy Month
it wasn't a stretch to see that this milk would fit right in with our on-the-go lifestyle

bringing our shelf stable milk to our summer bucket list destinations
uht milk with the milk unleashed cow

Milk Unleashed is shelf safe milk, the same grade A milk you love but packaged in special eco-friendly cartons to protect it until it is opened
making it easy to throw in lunch boxes, picnic baskets, diaper bags, beach coolers and sports bags
the milk is flash-heated at higher temperatures but retains 8 grams of protein and 9 essential nutrients
the Tetra Pak shelf safe cartons require no refrigeration or preservatives for six to nine months until the package is open

we decided to put it to the test
each of the kids were able to choose from a variety of milk flavors
and with such a wide selection of brands and flavors all arguments were preempted
chocolate milk was the clear favorite

packing our milk cartons

eyan chose white chocolate milk which intrigued us both

white chocolate milk

felicity chose the 'blue' milk

felicity packing her shelf stable milk

having packed up our snacks and Milk Unleashed we headed down the big hill to the park
the boys leaving mom in the dust

summer bucket list to ride to the park 

of course they had to stop at the edge of a mammoth hill lining the new construction
and throw a few rocks and stomp on the ant hills

boys throwing rocks

it was quite the adventure just getting to the park
once we were there they were ready for their milk
making their debut, the johnson crew recorded their first ever video review
Milk Unleashed put to the test by the true critics
hit play to hear their milk loving expert opinions

i thought they did an amazing job on the spot with their reviews

ringing endorsements of Milk Unleashed from the kids:
"some chocolate milks, they don't taste like chocolate milk they just taste like regular milk, but this tastes like chocolate milk."  Owen
"it tastes just like a plain old white chocolate bar."  Eyan
"it has more chocolate in it so i can plow it down"  Tate
"its yummy" Felicity
the consensus seemed to be that the taste of the Tetra Pak shelf safe milk was even better than regular refrigerated milk
i certainly enjoyed my delicious strawberry milk
and particularly enjoyed the convenience of easily bringing along some moo-tritious drinks for the kiddos
{i couldn't resist... when felicity was littler she called cows 'moo'.  one morning on our way to school we spotted some cows in a field.  eyan said, "wouldn't it be funny if 'moo's said 'cow'".  we all got a pretty good laugh out of that one}

so whatever fun trips are involved on your summer bucket list this year
beach, blueberry patch, summer camp, pool, camping
bring along some shelf safe milk for the occasion
and enjoy that refreshing taste of home

shelf stable milk for the park
kids drinking their shelf stable milk at the park

did you know that studies show that low-fat chocolate milk is a great beverage for post workouts?
let me tell you our park trip was a definite workout

shelf stable milk for  your on-the-go summer bucket list

interested in learning more about Milk Unleashed?
their website is full of facts, tips, and even games for the kids.
be sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube for the latest information
check out places to buy your Tetra Pak shelf safe milk here

from me and my four live crew
we say, happy national dairy month from us and Milk Unleashed
and may all your moos say 'cow'

where would you take your shelf safe milk?  
if you have tried it before, what do you think about it?

No compensation was received for this review. We did receive complimentary samples of ‘Tetra Pak Shelf Safe Milk’ from ‘Milk Unleashed’.  All opinions are ours.


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