Welcome to Tarnation!

I hope that you enjoy getting Lost in Tarnation with me and joining me as I renovate, paint, parent, cook and more. I love to hear all of your comments. Don't forget to Follow me to keep up to date on all of the projects happening here in Tarnation.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Garlic Shrimp Quesadilla

So this last week involved hospital trips, IV fluids, a lot of steroids, painkillers and of course magical lollypops. Oh, and a pretty hectic work week. I feel like I've been walking around in a daze just waiting for today so that I could start working on some projects.

That coffee table has been smirking at me from the garage for a couple of weeks now, and I finally got around to getting her done today. Pictures to come tomorrow once I put the poly coat's on. It looks fantastic. I'm super excited about it.

Of course, in the last two weeks I have refinished a mirror, coffee table (yay!), two lampshades, two chairs and an oversized frame which will go above the bed frame that I'm close to giving up on Kevan ever finishing and doing it myself (stay tuned for nail gun horror stories...) And then I rearranged our covered patio with the new (to me) Ethan Allen wooden couches which I'll be refinishing in the upcoming weeks.

But the pictures of all of those projects are on my other camera, and Kevan has my kitchen all ripped up and so I'm going through cooking withdrawals. Hopefully the new granite counter tops will be installed tomorrow with my new oil-rubbed bronze faucet that I've been dreaming about for two years. So to hold me over until *fingers crossed* tomorrow, here is the garlic shrimp quesadilla that I made a couple of weeks ago. It was so freaking good.

Garlic Shrimp Quesadilla
I started out my sauteing up some garlic in some butter. Then I tossed in some shrimp and cooked that up nice and easy.

Once the meet was done, I transferred it to another pan and put just a smidge of butter back in that pan and added a tortilla to cook. I didn't put any of the goods into the pan on top of the single tortilla to try and speed things up. Once that one was done, I removed it and did the same thing with the other. But I put the cheese and garlic shrimp in and added that first cooked tortilla back in.

Then I threw the whole thing into the oven on some tin foil at 350 (the magical cooking number) for about 5 minutes to finish melting the cheeses.

I happen to think that salsa makes the world go around, but not just also salsa. It has to have sour cream in it. Mmmmm creamy deliciousness...

Makes you want to get up and start cooking... doesn't it.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Chicken Parm-alarm

Oh man, it's been a busy week. We had my in-laws pass through town last week and then we went out of town for Kevan's cousin's wedding which both of my kids were in.

Except for the part where I came down with the plague and have been in excruciating pain since last Friday. Like swallowing razorblades kinda pain...

So I held out as long as possible and ended up in the ER yesterday. They drugged me up and ran tests, and found... nothing.

So home I went. In just as much pain, and feeling like I had just wasted time.

So today I went into the ENT and got the utter luck of having a camera tube shoved down my nose. A blast, really... But the best part was that he figured out what was wrong with me!!! After 5 days of pain, I have an answer. I have ulcers and lacerations on my tonsils. They want to have one more documented case and then I'll get those suckers out.

But he gave me a lollypop that has changed my life. Demeral, Vicodin, Morphine, Percoset... all of these drugs have done NOTHING to soothe my pain... This lollypop... wow... I've finally stopped crying!!! It's a miracle.

So since I have zero desire to eat (still... this could be a great diet...) I have been craving the Chicken Parm that I cooked for dinner last week. I think that I might need to cook this once I'm feeling better...

Chicken Parm-Alarm
 rack an egg in 1 bowl and throw some flour in another. Add some sea salt, dried basil, oregano, parsley and pepper in with the flour.

Stick your chicken with a fork and shove it into the egg and smoosh it around. Once you have a nice little coating, plop it into the flour and spin it around. Once you have it nice and coated you're ready to get your cook on.

I like to heat up some butter and chop up some fresh garlic and add it in. Then once that is smelling scrumptious, add in the chicken breasts to cook up. I had some mushrooms that I needed to use in the fridge, so once the chicken was cooked, I added those into the pan.

 I wish that I had some fresh basil to add in with the mushrooms, but I didn't...

Once the mushrooms are all cooked down, throw them into a cooking dish and add some tomato sauce over it. 

In another pot, start boiling some water for your pasta. Now. Here is a super important part that I ALWAYS forget about. Start another small pot and put the rest of the tomato sauce on low-medium for some SIDE SAUCE... So important. And yet, I never remember until too late. 

Add some shredded mozzarella and throw it into the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes or until your cheese is melted.

Behold the cheezy deliciousnesss..... 
Of my Chicken Parm-alarm

And that is what I wish that I had for dinner... instead of this $35 lollypop that makes me sleepy... :) 

I have a ton of projects to share, so hopefully I'll start feeling better soon. That coffee table is still in progress in the garage. I'm really looking forward to getting some sleep so that I can get that finished and into my family room!!

Sunday, February 28, 2010


I hope that everyone has had a great weekend! We've been super busy this weekend getting a lot of projects done. While Kevan has been working on laying the countertops and backsplash in our kitchen, I have been a spray painting SOB.

One of the many projects that I worked on this weekend was a pair of thrift store chairs that I picked up for my Office Decorating Project. I wanted something more interested for people to sit on when they came to my office instead of those cheezy metal office chairs.

I found these last weekend for $2.99 each and knew that they would be absolutely perfect.

Tip: If you have a stubborn pricetag that just won't come off, use vinegar to remove the adhesive. I use white vinegar any time that I'm removing stickers (or wallpaper).

After I removed the price tags, I turned the chairs over to take off the seat. They're attached with one screw in each corner as seen in the picture below.


Then I applied a layer of spray paint primer to help the paint stick.

 I let that dry for about an hour and then it was time for the good stuff. 
I decided that I wanted to go wild... and I've been dying to do a metallic piece after seeing the pictures that are all over the blogosphere of people doing them. I went with metallic spray paint in Chrome. 


Then it was time to add some fabric. To keep with the wild look of the chair, I wanted a dramatic black and white fabric. I was looking for something with black, white and pink stripes, but fell in love with the fabric below. I started by laying out the fabric on top of the seat and tucking it under to get the layout that I wanted. Then, once I knew that it was good, I pulled the fabric out and cut it using the seat itself as a template. It's important to leave enough extra fabric when you cut so that you can staple gun your fabric to your seat.

 I like to staple the the edge of the fabric first so that I have room to pull the fabric tight as needed. I'll usually do one staple in two opposite sides first and then work my way around. If there is any loose fabric spots, that's where it comes in handy to have a little room you can pull the fabric tight as needed. 

I could have left it as it was, but wanted a little more pop... 

Bring on the fringe

 Adding the fringe was so easy, and really takes it up a notch. To put it on, I flipped my seat back over and used my staple gun to attach it to the edges making sure that the edging would be hidden once it was flipped over. 
And now, the moment you've been waiting for... Here are my Wild Chairs!


I love the entire chair, but have to admit that I'm completely shocked at how amazing the metallic spraypaint came out! Here's a closeup showing just how gorgeous it is: 

Here it is again the way that I found it:
 I'd say that this project deserves the tag of Shabby to Chic, wouldn't you?? I am now wondering whether these chairs will stay in my office or whether I'll be trying to see them on craigslist because they are just too cool.  

Total for BOTH Chairs: $22
Chairs: $6
Spray Paint: $4
Primer: $3
Fabric: $6
Trim: $3

I'm sharing this with:

Thrift Decor Chick - Before and After Party
Domestically Speaking - The Power of Paint Party
The DIY Showoff - DIY Project Parade

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Light it Up, Baby!

When I first looked at our house, I knew that it was an amazing deal. I knew that it was a foreclosure and that I need to keep my mind open (and my nose closed) to the potential.
This chandelier is the perfect example of this house. It was dated, and ugly (and if brass could stink... well, you get the picture) and needed a little help.

But I fell madly in love with the whole house, including this ugly brass chandelier as soon as I walked in the front door. By that time, we knew that we were having a little girl and that I wanted to give her a princess room. Since we had been renting up until that point, I didn't get to really decorate a nursery for Colton. I was going all out with the new house.I told everyone who walked in the door my plans for this and they all just nodded and smiled... My enthusiasm was not catching :)

Here is the chandelier in our living room a couple of days after we moved in. We had everything stockpiled in the dining room which should explain the bed... (and don't worry. the walls are NOT poop colored anymore)

So I brought it outside, hung it up, and pulled out that trusty spray paint.

And wound up with this -


It's the perfect finish to a princess room.

And what princess doesn't sob when she doesn't get her way.

And here's my prince so he doesn't feel left out -

Thanks for stopping by!

Come back soon to see me tackle a $9.99 coffee table, nightstand and two chairs! And be sure to Follow Me to stay posted on all of my projects!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Get Porked: Cranberry Pork

I fully intended on showing off the gorgeous crystal chandelier in my daughters bedroom tonight, but I got home late, and then I cooked dinner and then time just got away and I didn't get a chance to get a picture before she went to bed. I thought that I had some already, which I do, but after I looked at them I realized that they were obviously taken on a cell phone and wouldn't show off anything. So I promise to show you tomorrow what I did with the ugly brass chandelier from my formal dining room.

Tonight, I want to share one of my current favorite recipes.

This is one of those recipes where the first time that I was going to make it, I read the instructions from allrecipes and just couldn't believe that it was possible for this to taste good. Buuuut shoooo' 'nuff... it does.

Cranberry Pork

I make everyone I know cook this. From my co-workers to my sister, to the gal at the grocery store Starbucks (true story), everyone hears about this Cranberry Pork. The original recipe called for it to be made in the crock pot, but I rarely listen to directions and wasn't about to start with this pork. Well, to be honest, I just am lazy and didn't get it started in time. What's a slacker supposed to do when she doesn't remember to throw ingredients into the crockpot??

She throws them into the oven.

I have since made it in the crockpot and it was awful. My beloved sauce was so watered down and unrecognizable that I made more in the oven because it just wouldn't have been the same without it. I also have shredded up the pork for pulled pork  sandwiches with the leftovers and can't tell you how much I love it

Tonight, I had the largest pork loin in the world sitting in my kitchen because it was on sale, and I'm not the type of girl to walk away from a sale. I cut it in half and would have cooked it in a log if I hadn't of been a lazy procrastinator who didn't give it enough time to cook. So to try and speed things up, I cut it up into individual chops. Honestly, I'll stick with cooking it up in a log next time. I think that it makes the meat more tender. And it  ilets the sauce get thicker because it has more room in the dish. So I guess you could just get a bigger dish, that would work too :)

Right before I dumped almost half of the French Dressing into a bowl, I remembered that I already had 1/2 of an open bottle in the fridge. So I used that. It was not Walmart brand.

So dump about half of the French Salad Dressing and the Jellied Sauce into a bowl. Trust me. Shhhh... I know, I know. It doesn't sound good. Trust me. I like to use a potato masher to mix it all together and if I have red onions, I'll throw half of a small red onion into the mix.

Once you have your sauce all mixed up, it should look like this:
If you're keeping your pork loin in a log, just plop it into a cooking dish and put this sauce surrounding it. You don't want to put the sauce on top of the meat because that will take longer to cook. I had a harder time when I cut the meat up into smaller pieces because I just didn't have that much room. I cook it uncovered on 350 for an hour. After about 50 minutes, I'll pull it out and see how my meat is looking. If it's done, I'll grab some of the sauce from the sides and put it on top of the meat. This makes the most amazing BBQ sauce. It's just perfection. Seriously. After I've put the sauce on top, I'll let it cook for about another 10 minutes just to firm the sauce up a little bit. 

Tonight, I had hungry kids and couldn't do that so the sauce wasn't as thick as I like it. I could blame the wine, but I completey forgot to take a picture of the finished dish. Instead I can only show you the small piece of meat that was left over after my husband and kids got a hold of it. 

Cook this. The pork is so moist and just scrumptious. But the sauce. Ooooh the sauce. I always have too much and I can't ever bear to just toss it. It's just that good.

Cranberry Pork
  • Pork Loin
  • 1/2 red onion(diced)
  • 1 can jellied cranberry sauce
  • 1/2 container French Salad Dressing 
  1. Put Pork Loin in center of baking dish
  2. In side bowl, drop jellied log of cranberry, 1/2 French Salad Dressing and 1/2 red onion and mix up with a potato masher. Once all mixed together, place on either side of your meat in the baking dish. 
  3. Cook 50 minutes uncovered at 350. Check meat and if it looks like it's done, pull it out and put some of the sauce on top to further thicken the sauce. 
  4. Serve and enjoy!!!

 Sidenote: If you look at the picture showing the cranberry can and French Dressing bottle, you can see the new green granite tile counter-top that Kevan is in the process of installing. My beloved husband is so excited that I've asked him to learn how to install granite counter-tops. Because once he learned how to lay hardwood floors, seriously, what can't he tackle. Also, the back-splash showing in that picture is the old one. The new tumbled travertine is going up section by section and is just gorgeous. /sidenote

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Part 2 of "Holy Crap, I can't believe I did that..."

Here is the other dresser that I've been slaving over recently.

Here she is before I started work on her. A little worse for the wear... There were thumbtacks embedded and gashes and mismatched hardware.. .It was a nightmare. So I conveniently bargained down to $12 for this beauty at my local thriftstore. I had them convinced I was doing THEM a favor by taking this gal off of their hands. I'm sure you can all imagine Kevan's reaction when I asked him to unload this from my car. There might have been some dirty looks. There also might have been some questioning of my sanity and some choice words.

And here we go all finished sitting in my bedroom. It fits in that corner like it was built to go there. I have a couple of ideas of what's going on the wall above it. So that won't stay empty for long.

I finally put knobs on this beauty yesterday. And while I love the knobs, I think that these are getting returned. The problem is that without realizing it I purchased three completely different styles and finishes for the knobs/pulls on the three dressers for the bedroom. But for now, it absolutely works.

So there you go!! A sneak peak into the soon to be finished master bedroom, but more importantly two dressers that I've put so much work into lately. I love looking at a piece that I've refinished and clearly seeing my hard work paying off. It's that "Holy Crap, I can't believe I did that..." that just makes me swoon.Especially when I can do it for under $25!!

I'd love to hear your comments about this dresser. I can't nag Kevan to finish my headboard until he finishes the kitchen cabinets. Man, my husband works harder than I do!! Poor Guy. But hopefully soon I can show off the stunning bedroom that I've been working on.
Tomorrow I'll be sharing the most amazing Cranberry Pork recipe and showing how I turned the most atrocious brass and crystal chandelier into the most perfect princess room accessory.

I'd love to see some pieces that you have all done!

Thanks so much for looking.

I'm linking this to Reinvented: Trash to Treasure Tuesday 
and Beyond the Picket Fence:Under$100 Linky Day
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