Office Re-Design

Now that I've finished refinishing the office desk, we're finally able to get that giant plastic desk out!

Ok, so the big desk does have advantages: storage, desktop space, etc.  But in the small office it just took up so much space!  Here it is:

See?  It's huge.  Plus the TV was way too high to be comfortable from the sofa.  So we moved out the large desk and replaced it with the desk that I refinished and a hand-me-down TV stand from Matt's parents that we used in our apartment.  I think it looks loads better.

We still have some trim to put up, and the closet door, but I think the room looks so much bigger with 2 smaller pieces of furniture vs. one large one.


Painting a Desk

I have never painted or refinished furniture before.  I always admired people who did, but I was scared that I would mess it up or something. 

So I bought a cheap wood desk ($12) from Craigslist.  Then I bought some primer and paint and new harware and got to work! 

Craigslist Desk

I used two coats of Zinsser oil-based primer, which is meant to cover without needing to sand the furniture first.

Primed desk.

Then I followed up with tthree coats of Behr Hi-Gloss in Jet Stream, which is dark gray.  I did a final coat with a polyurathane finish on the top to make it really shiny.  Add some new hardware and voila, new-looking desk!

Now we can finally send the massive desk that we've been using back into Craigslist land for some lucky new owner. 


Up-Coming Projects

Since we finally finished the shed, which was our (well, Matt's) main summer project, I thought I'd give you a look at what we have coming up.  In no particular order:

1. paint and refinish the stairs

2. finish the trim in the upstairs

3. finally finish our master bedroom and start sleeping there!

4. refinish the office desk and complete the office

5. build built-in shelves in the family room

6. re-do the powder room

It doesn't seem like that much, but some of the things will be time-consuming.  Hopefully we'll stay motivated and on track through the winter!


BBQ Vegetarian Chili

So I normally don't post recipes, but today is world vegetarian day!  I've been a vegetarian for 9 years, so I thought I would share one of my favorite recipes today.

I love barbeque.  I know, that's super weird since I don't eat meat, but I love the smokey and tangy flavors of BBQ sauce.  So I make my own recipes!  I started making this about a year ago and it's one of my favorite cold-weather comfort foods.

2 portabella mushroom caps
1 red pepper
1 cup grape tomatoes
1 white onion
1 jalapeno pepper
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
BBQ sauce (I love Wegman's Memphis style)
Olive Oil

Start by chopping the onion and browning it in a pan with a little olive oil on medium heat for 5 minutes. 

Then chop the portabellas, tomatoes, red pepper and jalapeno.  Add them to the pan, and turn the heat to medium-low.  Keep them on the heat, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes.  Then add the black beans, making sure they're thoroughly rinsed and drained.  Simmer for another 5 minutes.

Then I add the BBQ sauce and chopped cilantro.  I like Wegman's brand BBQ sauce - it even says "vegan" on the bottle :) 

Simmer on low heat for 10 more minutes.  I like to add a little bit of cheddar to the top.  Yum!