If you are new to AmandaJaneBrown, I would love for you to subscribe for free updates! You can subscribe via Email or RSS Feed. I would also love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter! Thanks for stopping by!

About Amanda Brown

If you are new to AmandaJaneBrown, I would love for you to subscribe for free updates! You can subscribe via Email or RSS Feed. I would also love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks for stopping by!

Craigslist Dresser Makeover with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Craigslist Dresser 5

Craigslist Dresser Main
After moving recently, we are still in “settling in” mode…perhaps will be for some time…making furniture work in each room, making decisions about what to keep or give away or purchase, making time for the ever-dreaded task of hanging pictures.

For our master bedroom, I had been searching for a long dresser as an anchor for a tv above, and Craigslist did not disappoint!  I’ve found several pieces on Craigslist to redo, and it’s a fun challenge to find terrific deals!  (To date, this Craigslist Hutch Makeover remains my favorite redo!)

Thankfully, David tagged along on the ride to pick this puppy up.  We pulled into the driveway of what resembled a scene from Breaking Bad.  Or Cops…the Mississippi version.  Glaring reminder to always take a buddy on Craigslist adventures:).

It wasn’t until we got the dresser home that I realized how bad of shape it was actually in.  A bit disappointing, but I loved the lines of the piece and knew paint would bring it back to life in no time.  Although the photos do not do justice to the terribleness, trust me, it had been used and abused, and it showed.

See here below, she’s deceivingly pretty!  
Craigslist Dresser 3
But ohhhh no.  Just a few of her battle scars here.  Perhaps “Adam” was  a 4th grade crush…Craigslist Dresser 1
For the final look, I wanted fresh, simple, and clean.  After a few trials of mixing Annie Sloan’s French Linen and Old White, I landed with the combo of 3/4 French Linen and 1/4 Old White.  I highly recommend mixing as much as you think you’ll need for the whole project in an airtight container (tupperware or ziploc container). This way, you can seal the container during your project and come back to the paint without having to remix.  Also, another tip I read on some blog…place your wet paintbrush in a ziploc bag and refrigerate it.  It keeps beautifully, and you avoid washing brushes every time you take a break from your project.
Craigslist Dresser 5
The final finish shown is two good coats of the French Linen/Old White combo and two coats of clear Annie Sloan Soft Clear Wax.  For the hardware, I removed each piece for painting the drawers, but loved the finish the way it was and did not change it.  Oil-rubbed bronze spray paint or black spray paint (the kind for painting metal) are good options for refinishing hardware easily.  Just be sure to sand the hardware with steel wool before spray painting.

After the paint cured and the hardware was back in place, the insides of the drawers were begging for a fresh look.  The previous owners must have eaten meals in the open drawers. I found this adhesive drawer liner on Amazon Prime for about $12!

51TdMDRGofL
The drawer liner makes these drawers pop when you open them up!  I love how they turned out.

Craigslist Dresser 2
Transformed beauty in our master bedroom!
Craigslist Dresser 5
Amazing what the simple act of paint will do to completely change a piece of furniture!  Now on to my next project…:)

Linking to:

Weekend Bloggy Reading 

Easy July 4th Centerpiece

Fourth of July Centerpiece

This past week, I was getting ready for two of my college friends to visit and wanted something easy, fresh, and patriotic for the kitchen table.  In just a few minutes and a few dollars, a festive, July 4th centerpiece is born!July4thCenterpiece2

These blue mason jars are some of my favorites that can be used all year long.  You can find them many places now…Michael’s, Amazon, and Target, to name a few.

July4thCenterpiece4
Browse through your local grocery florist department for fun color combinations.
July4thCenterpiece
For interest, group odd numbers of containers together.  If you have mini American flags, they would be a fun addition to this easy July 4th centerpiece!

Happy 4th to you and yours!

Easy Coleslaw

Coleslaw Recipe

Coleslaw Recipe
I don’t know about you, but the people at our house are glad it is summer!  For months now, the blog has taken a back seat due to a move, new schools, and three kids, and I am thrilled to be back at one of my favorite happy places today!

With summer in full swing, I’m sharing an Easy Coleslaw recipe!  I have never been a fan of coleslaw until I made it at home, and now it is a staple when we eat BBQ or cook out.  David and I tried and tweaked several versions, and this coleslaw recipe has risen to the top as the favorite.  Enjoy!

Easy Coleslaw (make a day ahead if possible)

1 pkg prepared Angel Hair Coleslaw
1 cup shredded carrot..about 2 whole carrots  **omit if using bag of regular coleslaw that contains carrots)
1 cup real mayo
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 t. celery seed
1/4 cup sugar
Salt and Pepper to taste

Using a food processor with shredder attachment, shred carrots.  In a large bowl, mix together coleslaw and carrots.

In a smaller separate bowl, whisk together mayo, vinegar, celery seed, sugar, salt, and pepper.  Pour dressing mixture over coleslaw and mix well.  Chill until ready to serve. If your coleslaw has too much extra liquid, drain a small amount with a strainer before serving.

Coleslaw Recipe 2

Coleslaw Recipe

 

Tay Morgan Easter Egg Giveaway

DSC_0034

I love Easter.  Everything about it.  The colors, the food, the traditions, the promise of new life!

One of our family’s favorite Easter traditions is collecting Tay Morgan Designs personalized wooden eggs.  You may recognize her trademark design as these adorable keepsakes have quickly become a Mississippi Easter tradition.  Tay is giving away one of her eggs here at the blog this week!  The winner can choose between these two designs, and Tay will personalize the egg and ship it straight to your home!

1) Snuggle Bunny and Bee or 2) Hearts with Bible Verse
1579890_10152296953899764_648905330_n

10152705_10152296953904764_641153897_n

A few of our favorites…

Ballerina
DSC_0034

Pine Cove Family Camp egg!

DSC_0032

Tay’s eggs are so fun display in a fishbowl in the middle of your kitchen table or coffee table.  Our kids love to peek through to find their special eggs every year.

DSC_0072
This year I changed it up a bit and put a few in this wooden box and love the sweetness it brings to my kitchen hutch!

DSC_0024

So…I’d love to give away one of Tay’s eggs to you!  Entering to win is super simple!

Just one requirement to enter and you will receive two entries for it…

“Like” Tay Morgan Designs and Amanda Jane Brown on Facebook and simply leave me a comment here at the blog saying you did (or already do!).

For an extra TWO entries, share this post on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and let me know you did.

Giveaway ends next Tuesday, April 8th, at noon.

Start your Tay Morgan Designs Easter egg tradition this Easter!  You can order your school logos, sports or other activities, favorite camp, or other design.  Visit Tay’s Facebook page to see her work!

Seasoned Chicken Wraps

SeasonedChickenWraps

SeasonedChickenWraps
Many years ago when I was a newlywed learning to cook, and Pampered Chef parties were all the rage, a friend shared these Seasoned Chicken Wraps with me, and we’ve been eating them ever since!  It was so long ago, I cannot remember who gave this to me, but I believe the original recipe was from Pampered Chef.  The following version is a bit different from the original, so you feel free to tweak the seasonings to your family’s taste as well!

Seasoned Chicken Wraps

Preheat oven to 375°.

1 pkg Crescent rolls (8 count)
2-3 boneless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
8 oz block cream cheese, softened
1 box chicken-flavored Stove Top stuffing mix
3 T. melted butter, divided
Salt/Pepper to taste

First, boil the chicken breasts.  For quick meal prep, cook these ahead of time. To get tender, flavorful boiled chicken, bring a large pot of water with a stalk of celery and 1/2 an onion to a rolling boil.  Add chicken breasts and boil uncovered 12 minutes.  Turn heat off, cover, and allow to sit for one hour.  Or boil it plain using same instructions, just without celery and onion.

Shred cooked chicken.  In a mixer, combine chicken, softened cream cheese, 6-8 T. or more (fine crumbs) of Stove Top stuffing mix, 1 T. melted butter, and salt and pepper to taste.  If you feel it needs more flavor for your taste, add desired seasonings now.

Roll crescent dough out and separate into the 8 perforated triangles.  Spoon about 1/2 cup of chicken mixture onto each triangle.
SeasonedChickenWraps2
Roll each triangle starting from the long end.  Brush each wrap with remaining melted butter.  Then, sprinkle each wrap with more Stove Top mix, fine crumbs and some bigger, crunchy pieces.  Transfer wraps to a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until crescent rolls are lightly browned.

Serve immediately and enjoy!
SeasonedChickenWraps
Printable Recipe

Linking to:  Weekend Bloggy Reading

Getting Back to Normal

HeMakesAllThingsNew

HeMakesAllThingsNew
Hey there!  It’s been quite a while…I’ve sure missed being here and look forward to being back!

2013 was all over the map for me, literally and figuratively.  Indescribable joy, then grief. Sure and confident and prayerful in big decisions, then unsure, scared, and frighteningly far from God. Marriage connected and clicking, then disconnected and discombobulated. Expectant and proud and loving as a mama, then hopeless and discouraged and harsh. Satisfied, at-peace, and ever-so-thankful to be back in Mississippi, then grieving, restless, and overwhelmed over leaving Arkansas, especially as I watched my oldest children weep before bed.  Connected and filled up in friendship, then lonely and longing for connection.  Deeply satisfied in my work through the blog, then feeling like a fraud because my house was gross, dinner had consisted of frozen waffles and pizza for untold days, and a spirit of discord loomed in our home.  The roller coaster of the mind.

But alas, the start of a new year.  I know, I know, it’s already March, but nevertheless, 2014 has been a fresh start in so many ways…the hope of settledness that my heart has longed for here in Oxford after leaving our life in Arkansas.   I love the start of a new year.  And whew, am I glad it is here.  After renting for many months with all our “things” in storage, we bought a home, and my heart rejoices having our bed, our dishes, Lainey’s kitchen and costumes, our swing set, books, McCarty pottery, our bikes, favorite blankets, winter clothes (that we didn’t pack!), and Annie Sloan painted furniture…all the things that make us “us.”

We’ve also had a pretty emotional transition to a new town, a new house, new schools, new friends, new church, new, new, new.  And “new” gets old.  In addition this year, parenting has been particularly hard for me.  Unforeseen challenges that we’ve faced that have sapped me of energy and joy, yet a new year brings the reminder that God has not cut me loose to do this thing on my own.  Eternally grateful for that promise.

One of the biggest holes in my heart over these last months is being away from the blog…creativity, cooking, and most of all, the community.  Yet…my family needed me to take the break, not to mention every supply that I used to create a blog post was in storage…craft supplies, cookware, dishes, everything.  And although it is always fun to find out another family’s favorite recipe is from the blog, I’ve learned over the last year that there are seasons when I have to pull back and give everything to my people at home.  

Rest assured that easing back to the blog does not mean I’ve “arrived” as a parent of a middle-schooler (hardly), or that my house is decorated or even clean, or that there aren’t days I still struggle.  I simply want to get back to doing something I really love.  And God, in his gracious love for me, has granted me a *few* successes with my 7th grader, I’m tired of waffles and pizza, and I simply miss blogging as a hobby and part-time work.  My people here at home love the blog, they love the food that appears when I post recipes, and they love random holiday decorations:).  It has become their normal…so I am ready to get back…to normal.

So thanks for sticking with me.  And if you have a favorite recipe or seasonal decor idea you’d love for me to share here, please contact me!  I’m in the process of collecting fresh ideas and content, and readers and friends like you are who have the best input anyway!

Love,
Amanda
HeMakesAllThingsNew

 

 

Impact of Summer Camp-Pine Cove Camps

DSC_0112

Although today’s forecast for most of us included “blustery winds,” wind chills in the single digits, or snow and ice, today my mind is in a much warmer place…Pine Cove! Right after Christmas each year, we start planning summer, as you probably do if you have children. Sign-ups for activities and camps are taking place, and I want to encourage you to consider Pine Cove for your child!
DSC_0112
Our family has gone to Pine Cove Family Camp in Tyler, Texas for 10 summers, and last year was my oldest child’s first year at a separate kids’ camp down the road from Family Camp.  To say Maddie’s time at Pine Cove is her favorite week(s) of the year is an understatement, not to mention the spiritual impact Pine Cove has had on Maddie and our entire family over the years.
Pine Cove Camps
Perhaps you are on the fence about sending your love to camp.  I urge you to read this short, impactful blog post from Kevin East, “Why Is Summer Camp So Good For Kids?”  Kevin has worked in camps for over 20 years and has some great insight from the other side of Christian camp.  And from my own personal experience, I can assure you Pine Cove Camps does a fantastic job of protecting our kids.  Click HERE to watch a short clip from one of our favorite Pine Cove staff talking about camper safety and what measures Pine Cove has gone to to ensure our kids are well-taken care of.

Christian camp was an integral part of my own childhood, and would you believe that I am still in touch with several friends I met at camp 30 years ago?!  There is something to be said for the relationships and bonds that are formed in the short, but concentrated time you spend at summer camp.  I urge you to take a look at all Pine Cove has to offer for your child or your entire family!

Pine Cove is offering a discount code to my readers for camp!  Please note that the discount will ONLY BE GOOD the day of MONDAY, FEBRUARY 3rd!  The offer includes $15 off Camp in the City, $25 off Overnight Youth Camp, and $100 off Family Camp.  Use code AMANDABLOG at checkout to receive the discount!

As always, if you have any questions about Pine Cove, I would be happy to answer them.  Email me to find out more!
11W07-01 363

 

Creamy Sausage Dip

CreamySausageDip

CreamySausageDip
We all have our favorite go-to cheese dip recipes, and this simple Creamy Sausage Dip is one you definitely need to try!  I made it for the first time this weekend and it got thumbs up all around. With just three ingredients, Creamy Sausage Dip is easy to throw together for parties, tailgates, or just because!  Adjust the spice/heat with different strengths of Rotel.

This dip is officially in the rotation for this fall and winter when we get together with friends.  Be sure to check out two other favorite cheesy dips that stand the test of time…Easy Queso Dip (in the crock pot) and Hot Corn Dip (on the stove). Enjoy!

Creamy Sausage Dip

1 lb. sausage, cooked and crumbled
8 oz. block cream cheese
1 can Rotel tomatoes

Crumble and brown sausage in a skillet til cooked through.  Drain on a paper towel-lined plate.  Combine sausage, cream cheese, and Rotel in a saucepan over low heat, or add all ingredients to a crock pot and heat on low until ready to serve.

Serve with your favorite corn chips and enjoy!
CreamySausageDip
Printable Recipe

Linking to: Weekend Bloggy Reading

Fall Progressive Dinner Ideas (Hot Bacon Swiss Dip)

Fall Progressive Dinner

Fall Progressive Dinner
Fall is officially in the air down here in the South, despite our still-warm days!  And I believe it’s safe to say two favorite things about fall for most folks are football food and friends!  I’ve joined a few of my favorite bloggers today to celebrate Fall, and we’ve made it easy for you to host a Fall Progressive Dinner Party!  Delicious food and drink, beautiful table decor, and precious Fall printables-you’ll have all you need for a Fall Dinner Party with friends!

If you are visiting from the other blogs, Welcome!  It is a joy to have you here today!

Below you will find the links to each item for your own celebration!

Free Fall Printables for Table: The Busy Budgeting Mama
Fall Table Decor:  Bonfires and Wine
Beverage: Cranberry Cider from Love of Family and Home
Appetizer:  Hot Bacon Swiss Dip-See Recipe Below
Main Dish:  Boneless Pork Chops with Apple Chutney from Beneath My Heart
Side Dish:  Homemade Baked Mac-N-Cheese from House of Rose
Dessert:  Mountain Dew Apple Turnovers from Walking in Grace and Beauty

My contribution to the Fall Progressive Dinner is one of my all-time favorite appetizers, Hot Bacon Swiss Dip!  It is always a crowd-pleaser!
Hot Bacon Swiss Dip

Hot Bacon Swiss Dip

Preheat oven to 350°.

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup real mayo
1 cup grated Swiss cheese (1/4 lb. block)
2 T. chopped green onions
8 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled
Ritz or other round butter crackers

Using mixer, combine cream cheese, mayo, Swiss cheese, and green onion.  Place mixture into a small, greased baking dish.  (small oval or 8×8).

Top with crumbled bacon.  Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes.  Serve immediately with crackers!
Hot Bacon Swiss Dip 1

Serves 6.  Easily doubled.

Printable Recipe

If you are following the Fall Progressive Dinner in order, you can click over to Traci’s Boneless Pork Chops with Apple Chutney HERE.
Fall Progressive Dinner Party Ideas

Have a great week!

Funfetti Snack Mix-Invitation Oxford Magazine Blog

TailgateSnackMix

TailgateSnackMix

Happy Monday morning!  It has been a long couple of months for our family we have made the transition from Little Rock, Arkansas to Oxford, Mississippi.  It has been quite a challenge to blog amidst an emotional move, and slowly but surely I am getting back to the blog.  I have missed being here!

Having gone to Ole Miss and coming back to a place I consider “home,” I was thrilled recently when Invitation Oxford Magazine asked me to guest post for their new blog! I’ll be over there once a month, so be sure to check back often!

With football season in full swing, you may be looking for an easy snack to throw together for game day parties or tailgates.  Funfetti Snack Mix is a crowd-pleaser, and with team or fall-colored candy, you can coordinate team colors or table decor!

To see the full recipe, click over to the Invitation Oxford Blog!