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Friday, September 28

HOW TO REMOVE ACRYLIC PAINT OFF A CANVAS



Happy Friday everyone! First of all, I just wanted to thank you all so much for your encouraging comments on my last post. I'm so glad to know that I wasn't the only one feeling down about blogging. I was also really happy to hear from so many new readers and wanted to take a minute to welcome you all! =) 

Usually on Fridays, I share a "Friday Treats" post on my favorite findings for the week. I'm going to take a little break from that today to share with you all a little discovery I made!

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Have any of you ever spent so much time on a project only to find out you made a huge mistake?

Well on Wednesday, I decided to create an alphabet art to hang in our home. I've seen so many cute prints on Pinterest that I finally gave in and bought myself a huge canvas to work on. :) 

So after spending hours painting on each letter and being quite satisfied with the outcome, I was so excited to show my husband when he came home from work that night.  He looked over at it and was silent for a few seconds, then he (my wonderful husband) goes... "Honey, have you really looked at it? I think you might want to look at it again a little more carefully."

I had left out "O" and "U" on purpose, but do you see what else was missing??? o.O


I COMPLETELY LEFT OUT THE LETTER "K."  -.-

When I saw that, I just sat there for the longest time with my eyes and mouth wide open in disbelief. (Meanwhile my husband was trying really hard not to burst out laughing.) I was so sad and pretty sure I had ruined the entire thing. 

After a few minutes of "Ohhh MY goodness...seriously???...how did I miss that?" I decided to do some research to see if there was any hope on saving my beloved painting. I needed to get rid of the letters "I" and "J" and re-do the letters to fit in "K."  I came across the suggestion to try rubbing alcohol. Half an hour later, look what happened!





Materials
paper towels
rubbing alcohol
small foam roller
martha stewart's acrylic craft paint in "wedding cake"

Directions
Lay the canvas flat on the floor. 

Fill a small bowl with rubbing alcohol. Dip a small part of your paper towel in it and gently start rubbing off the paint. As you rub, the alcohol will break down the paint and start slowly flowing off.  Wipe off the excess wet paint to keep the canvas as dry as possible.

Continue this until the majority of the paint is off. You should be left with a large smeared area on the canvas. Gently lift the canvas and place your palm underneath the targeted area. Dip your paper towel in more rubbing alcohol and start wiping that area down to get it as clean as possible. 

By now your canvas should be fairly clean. To fix the slightly gray area, take Martha Stewart's acrylic paint in the color wedding cake and gently rub a light layer onto that area with your finger. I tried using a brush first but it wasn't able to blend into the canvas as well.  Then I used a small foam roller and went over that entire area with a light coat to even out the whole area.  

I was so excited to see my canvas looking pretty much like new again! After I drew and painted on the correct letters, it was as if the whole incident had never happened! 


Has this ever happen to any of you? Were you able to save your projects?

Tuesday, September 25

MOMENT OF TRUTH


So... I've been recently having this love/hate relationship towards blogging. Sometimes I feel like there's a certain fake-ness to it that makes me want to stop. There are times when I can hear myself typing something that just seems forced (if you other bloggers know what I mean). In that same respect, I sometimes find it really hard to tell too if the bloggers I follow are really the people they present themselves to be or if I'm just seeing what they're wanting me to see. Of course we follow blogs mainly because of the content, but sometimes I also follow because I really like/respect the person behind it. 

So here's my attempt at being transparent...
  • I'm not constantly crafting and diy-ing (Maybe if I didn't have a two-year old or if I had a ton of money... or even the space to put everything!)
  • And on that note, my projects do not always come out the way I want them to. Many have found themselves in the trash...)
  • I'm not constantly whipping out fancy dishes and desserts (Ummm... ask my husband what he comes home to on most nights. Good thing he and E really like fried rice hehe.)
  • I'm a t-shirt, jeans and flats kind of girl. I guess I just prefer comfort over "looking cute." I try to do both, but haha...it doesn't always work out. ;)  And most days, I'm lucky if my hair looks semi-decent and not the "I just rolled out of bed" look...
  • Ok my house isn't horribly messy all the time... BUT the "2-minute scramble to pick up everything as soon as I hear the garage door opening" does happen quite a lot... ;)
  • I do not have an awesome relationship with the Lord ALL THE TIME. (Although my blog is titled enjoyer of grace, that is something that I'm learning to be. Most days I fail to turn to the Lord and enjoy Him, but He's been faithful to provide me with situations that make me turn and realize that I can't make it on my own.  Lord Jesus, I really really need You.
  • I'm not always patient and my son does drive me crazy a lot. (Another way the Lord reminds me to turn and spend time with Him. My love is so short and so conditional. I need Him to be the real love for my family.)

So that's me in a nutshell! Do you all ever feel this way to some extent? Or maybe I just over-analyze too much... ;)

Monday, September 24

UP UP AND AWAY...


This weekend we took E to a local balloon festival. :) Each year, hot air balloons from across the U.S. travel here to participate in this 3-day event. We've been trying to go the last four years, however always missed it for one reason or another. This year, my husband was determined to make it and I'm so glad that we did! Although we missed the launch, we did catch the beautiful balloon glow at night.

Side note:  So my husband thought I was a little weird for making him take a picture of the bubble tea stand... Hey, it's not everyday that you see that at an event like this.  ;)


How did you all spend your weekends? :)

Friday, September 21

FRIDAY TREATS + LORD, THANK YOU





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Lord, I thank You for another new day to live You;
Another day for me to practice being one spirit with You.
Remind me this whole day to reject my self,
Not to trust myself,
And not to live by myself.
Strengthen me to live by You.
Make this a day for me to live You out.
Taking You as my everything,
Abiding in You as a branch in the vine.




Tuesday, September 18

SINGAPOREAN CHICKEN & RICE



A friend of ours made this for us a few years ago and I instantly fell in love with it. It's a very refreshing, light, but flavorful dish that is great to serve especially during those hot summer days. Since I didn't have their exact recipe, I found this one from Steamy Kitchen (one of my frequent go-to sites by the way!) and made some alterations based on our family's tastes. Last week, I decided to make it again so I thought I'd share it with you all. 

You will be blessed with heavy garlic breath afterwards. Just FYI. ;) So worth it though!


Excuse the fried eggs... those were for E. ;)


Ingredients
Chicken
1 whole chicken
2 scallion stalks
2 slices of ginger
kosher salt
sesame oil

Rice
1 T grapeseed oil
1/4 tsp. grated ginger
1/4 tsp. grated garlic
2 C brown rice
2 1/4 C of chicken broth, reserved from the chicken
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. sesame oil

Chili Sauce
2 T chicken broth, reserved from the chicken
2 chili peppers, sliced thin
1 T fresh lime juice
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. grated ginger
1/4 tsp. grated garlic

1 cucumber, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, thinly sliced

thinly sliced scallions & cilantro*

Directions
Leaving the skin on, take a small handful of salt and rub the chicken all over to clean it. Rinse thoroughly under cold water and dry it with a paper towel. Take another handful of salt and rub it all over the chicken again, this time on the inside and outside. Stuff the inside with scallion stalks and ginger.  

Place the whole chicken in a large pot of water (about two inches above the chicken) and bring it to a boil. Once it comes to a rolling boil, turn the heat down to medium low and let it simmer for another 40 minutes. Immediately remove, discarding the onion and ginger) and gently submerge the chicken into a large ice bath. Leave aside for one hour. 

Using a skimmer, remove any any scum from the broth. Set aside the broth to use later for your rice and sauce.

Rice: In a medium frying pan, heat the oil over medium high heat.  Once hot, add in the ginger and garlic and quickly move it around the pan for 30 seconds. Pour this mixture into the rice, add the remaining ingredients and cook everything in a rice cooker.

Chili Sauce: Puree all the ingredients together in a blender. Serve in a small bowl.

Once the chicken's ready, remove from the ice bath and rub a light coat of sesame oil all over the chicken. Carve the chicken into smaller pieces and arrange neatly on a large plate. Garnish with thinly sliced scallions and cilantro if preferred. 

Serve everything together. Drizzle the chili sauce over the rice and vegetables before eating!  :)

Saturday, September 15

HOMEMADE BAGELS


Our family LOVES bagels, so when I found this recipe from Sophisticated Gourmet, I was beyond excited! There was no need for any fancy kitchen equipment and the recipe required only 5 simple ingredients. 
The process did take some time though (~2 hours), but the results were so worth it! 




Ingredients
1 pack of active dry yeast (~2 tsp.)
1 ½ tablespoons of sugar
½ cups of warm water 
3 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons of salt 

*optional - toppings: sesame seeds, poppy seeds, shredded cheese, minced garlic, etc. 



Directions

Separate out 1/2 C of warm water in a bowl. Pour in the sugar and active dry yeast. Do not stir. Let it sit for 5 minutes and then stir until everything dissolves.


In a large mixing bowl, pour in the flour and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the yeast mixture and remaining warm water. Gently combine until the dough is formed. On a floured surface, knead your dough for about 10 minutes, working in as much flour as possible. Roll it into a ball.

 

Lightly oil a large mixing bowl. Put the dough in and coat all sides with oil. Cover the bowl with  a damp towel and place it in a warm place for 1 hour. Let it rise until it doubles in size. 
 

Remove the cloth and punch the dough down. Let it rest for another 10 minutes. Split the dough in half and divide each half into 6 equal pieces. You should be left with a total of 12 pieces.   


Preheat the oven to 425ºF.  

Gently roll the pieces into round balls. Dip your index finger into some flour and press it into the center to form a ring. Swing the dough around your finger for a few seconds to stretch the ring out.  Repeat with the remaining balls.

 

Place them all on a lightly oiled baking sheet.  



Cover with a damp paper towel and let the dough rest for 10 minutes. 

Meanwhile boil a large pot of water. Turn the heat down to medium and gently lower a few bagels in.  Let them sit for about a minute on each side. For chewier bagels, let them sit for 2 minutes on each side. The bagels will expand in the water. 

P.S. Don't worry if they start looking all wrinkly and ugly. They'll look great once you bake them! ;)



Repeat with the remaining bagels and place them back on the oiled baking sheet when done. 

If you want plain bagels, skip to the next set of directions. If you would like to add toppings, then brush each bagel with egg wash before sprinkling on your toppings. For mine, I used shredded parmesan, garlic powder and sesame seeds (separately).  


Bake for 20 minutes on the medium rack. Depending on your oven, you may want to take them out at 18 minutes so that they don't get too dark.



Let them cool off on a metal rack before serving. Enjoy!!!



P.P.S. We sliced ours in half and lightly toasted each side on our cast iron with some butter. They were delicious! =D

Friday, September 14

FRIDAY TREATS + 1 THESS. 5:23



Hey there everyone! So happy it's finally Friday. :) We woke up to an unusually cool morning - definitely no complaints here! I'm especially excited for this weekend because it's both my dad and husband's birthday - "Happy Happy Birthday" to you both! Two wonderful people about to turn a year - younger ;).  

So before I sign off, here's my pick of treats this week. Hope you like them!




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23 1And the 2God of apeace Himself 3bsanctify you 4wholly, and may your 5cspirit and dsoul and ebody be fpreserved 6complete,gwithout blame, 7at the 8hcoming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

235 This word strongly indicates that man is of three parts: spirit, soul, and body. The spirit as our inmost part is the inner organ, possessing God-consciousness, that we may contact God (John 4:24Rom. 1:9). The soul is our very self (cf. Matt. 16:26Luke 9:25), a medium between our spirit and our body, possessing self-consciousness, that we may have our personality. The body as our external part is the outer organ, possessing world-consciousness, that we may contact the material world. The body contains the soul, and the soul is the vessel that contains the spirit. In the spirit, God as the Spirit dwells; in the soul, our self dwells; and in the body, the physical senses dwell. God sanctifies us, first, by taking possession of our spirit through regeneration (John 3:5-6); second, by spreading Himself as the life-giving Spirit from our spirit into our soul to saturate and transform our soul (Rom. 12:22 Cor. 3:18); and last, by enlivening our mortal body through our soul (Rom. 8:1113) and transfiguring our body by His life power (Phil. 3:21). See notes 122 and 123 in Heb. 4.


Wednesday, September 12

DIY MAKEUP PALETTE


 

Remember these cute UNII palettes that I shared last Friday? 

Well this week I decided to make my own version for the tiny amount of makeup that I had. I really liked the idea of having them organized this way for easier access. 

After researching online, my favorite method was by Brit + Co and her use of metal pencil cases. They're thin, sturdy and come in all sizes.  I found a great deal on this one from Marshall's for only $3.99!



Materials used:
  • thin metal case (gift card boxes (can be found at Michaels), art pencil cases, etc.)
  • magnetic strips
  • Xacto knife
  • rubbing alcohol (not shown)
  • label maker* (optional)


Since my products weren't anything fancy, the palettes popped right out with an Xacto knife. If you use more expensive products, I recommend looking at some depotting videos online. You don't want to risk chipping your expensive powders. 



Wipe off any excess glue from the tin with rubbing alcohol. Label and adhere a magnetic strip to the back. The more strips you're able to adhere, the better.  


Repeat with all your powders. Make sure you wipe down the case with rubbing alcohol before placing your powders back in. 

 

Since I had some extra space, I took out one of the mirrors from my old cases and added it in. 

So happy to finally get rid of these bulky containers! Or I guess I COULD re-purpose them to store jewelry or craft items instead...


What do you all think? =)  I rarely wear makeup except for special occasions - but it's nice to have everything in one place now. It's also a lot more travel-friendly too.  Plus, I just saved myself $25. ;)

Tuesday, September 11

SOY SAUCE CHICKEN


Hi everyone! Hope this week's been treating you all well. Sorry I've been away a little more than usual. E's been getting over a cold and we're slowly coming back to our normal routine. 

Today I'd like to share with you another favorite comfort food of ours. I've been needing really quick and easy recipes recently, because E's been napping later and later in the afternoons (and needing me to stay with him until he's asleep). So I'm left with hardly any time to cook before my husband gets home. This popular Chinese dish is one of my favorites because it involves very little prep work and uses simple ingredients. Plus it's delicious over a large bowl of rice!

(My camera died by the time I was done cooking, so please excuse the poor quality from my phone!)




Ingredients
2 C chicken broth
1/2 C low sodium soy sauce (1 C soy sauce if not using a pressure cooker)
1/3 rice wine
4 cloves of garlic
2 1/4 in. slices of ginger
2  star anise
2 oz. rock sugar (1/2 

1 pack of drumsticks (~5 drumsticks)
2 blocks of savory baked tofu (sliced)
6 eggs

Directions
Bring a small pot of water to boil. Gently place in your eggs and boil for about 10 minutes. Run under cold water until the eggs are cooled down. Break off the shells and set the eggs aside. 



Next set two blocks of baked (friend) tofu on a cutting board. (You can find these at any asian/chinese supermarket.)


Slice them into thin strips about a 1/4 inch thick. 



Depending on how sweet you'd like the sauce to be, you can use more or less of the rock sugar. If you're unable to find these, brown sugar works as well. 




In a pressure cooker, pour in all the ingredients except for the eggs. Cover the lid and cook on high heat. Once the pressure is reached, immediately turn the heat down to low and cook for 30 minutes. 


(Side note: If you don't have a pressure, pour all the ingredients into a large pot except for the chicken, eggs, and sugar. Bring everything to a boil and then add the remaining ingredients. Turn the heat down to medium low and cook for 40 minutes. Stir frequently to make sure everything's coated by the sauce.)


Turn off the stove and set your pot aside on a cool surface. Once the pressure is released, carefully open the pot and add in the eggs. Stir around gently to make sure the eggs are submersed in the sauce. Turn the fire back on to medium low heat. Let the eggs simmer for another 15 minutes. 

The longer you let the eggs sit in the sauce, the more flavorful they'll be. A lot of recipes leave the eggs in the sauce overnight before serving. My family doesn't mind as much so we usually eat everything right away.  

Serve everything over rice with your favorite veggies. Enjoy!

Friday, September 7

FRIDAY TREATS





God hath not promised skies always blue,
Flower-strewn pathways all our lives through;
God hath not promised sun without rain,
Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.

(chorus)
But God hath promised strength for the day,
Rest for the labor, light for the way,
Grace for the trials, help from above,
Unfailing sympathy, undying love.

God hath not promised we shall not know
Toil and temptation, trouble and woe;
He hath not told us we shall not bear
Many a burden, many a care.

God hath not promised smooth roads and wide,
Swift, easy travel, needing no guide;
Never a mountain, rocky and steep,
Never a river, turbid and deep.



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Now I know what to do with all the frozen peaches in my fridge. Can't wait to try these Peachy Keen Bars!



This warm apple and ice cream recipe by Rachael Ray makes me excited for fall!



I'd love for E's closet to be this organized!



I rarely wear makeup, but how cute is this! Depotting into these Unii Palettes makes so much more sense than having to store all the bulky containers. So much more organized too.