DIY: Plastic Picnic Table Makeover

Fotor0908120615 copy copySummer means BBQ’s and family gatherings in the backyard.  With Olivia’s cousins coming to visit this coming weekend, a DIY projects were in order.  IMG_1176-001 copyI found this picnic table on the side of the road about to be picked up by a dump truck.  One persons trash is another persons treasures, right?  IMG_1196-1Jamie had a wonderful, little supervisor as he took the table apart.  It was easier to take the table apart in order to spray paint using two different colors.  Screws and bolts held each piece together so a screwdriver or drill will help.Fotor0908115953 copyJamie picked out two “coastal” Valspar for indoor/outdoor plastic spray paint and primer colors.  It took two good coats to really cover it and then one final coat of Rustoleum clear glossy finish spray to protect it.  IMG_1344 copyI think it turned out super cute!Fotor0908120347 copyAnd the most important person loves it too!





Well, I was a good wife and picked up a Charcoal Grill/Smoker that was 100% free on the side of the road.  Jamie decided to take on the “Mount Everest” of smoking meats and wanted to do a Brisket as his first smoking meat.    IMG_0358IMG_0356IMG_0357After smoking it for over 10 hours, it was the best Brisket I have ever tasted!  He did it a Texas style and I made the butter beans and corn from our garden and twice baked potatoes.


Beef Chimichangas

IMG_7271 IMG_7272 IMG_7275I made homemade beef chimichangas tonight.  They were so good!  The recipe below will make 1 dozen delicious chimichangas.  Remember, you can always substitute beef with chicken or any filling really!

Here’s what you will need:

  • 1 lbs ground beef
  • 12 flour tortillas
  • 1 can (16 oz) refried beans
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onions
  • 3 cans (8 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilies
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • oil for frying


  1. In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in the beans, onion, 1/2 cup tomato sauce, chili powder, garlic and cumin.
  2. Spoon about 1/3 cup of beef mixture off-center on each tortilla. Fold edge nearest filling up and over to cover. Fold in both sides and roll up. Fasten with toothpicks. In a large saucepan, combine the chilies and remaining tomato sauce; heat through.
  3. In skillet, heat 1 in. of oil to 375°.  Fry the chimichangas for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes on each side or until browned. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with cheese. Serve with sauce.


First Date Night

frying panNed Leary Photography

Last night we went on our first date night since Olivia was born.  It took us 6 weeks to do it but we went.  It was so reassuring to have four mama’s in the beach house all around to watch her.  I didn’t have to worry about only one person caring for her and getting overwhelmed.  She does good taking a bottle (aggressive eater) but she tends to get excited after she is done eating. I usually have to nurse her for a minute of two to calm her down to go to sleep when Jamie feeds her.

Jamie took me to a new restaurant a town over from the beach we are staying at.  It is a little town on the coast where we got married.  We love to go back to Southport, NC every time we stay at the beach.  It gives us a chance reminisce.  We have been able to attend three other weddings of friends and families who fell in love with the town after attending our wedding.  I couldn’t think of a better place to have your first date night after having a baby.  If you would like to enjoy this cute little town from the comfort of your living room, just watch I Know What You Did Last Summer, Summer Catch, A Walk To Remember, Weekend at Bernie and most recently Safe Haven.  In Safe Haven they even have a party on the deck where we had our reception.  Check out a sneak peek of the set HERE.

date night

The restaurant  we went to was called the Frying Pan.  It is right on the water on stilts so the view is spectacular!  They served us hushpuppies as soon as we sat down but I sadly could not enjoy them because Olivia has put me on a dairy free diet.  Jamie and I split a seafood combo meal of crab cakes, shrimp, flounder and oysters.  It was fantastic and just enough to fill both of us.  I drank my second beer since giving birth which made my night.  After dinner we took a stroll along the waterfront where we got married.   We sat on one of the swings they have along a waterfront park for about an hour and just talked.  It was a beautiful night!


We were only gone for two or three hours.  It was so relaxing to go to a restaurant and not have to worry about sitting out in the open just in case Livie wanted to nurse in the middle of dinner.  I could just order and beer and enjoy the sunset.  All of the moms I know that have little ones always are telling me how hard it was to leave their babies for the first time.  They almost all say they cried.  Is it terrible that I was relieved?  I knew she was in good hands.  Their were four mamas at our beach house and 15 other people looking after her.   All of them family.  If anything were to go wrong we were only 15 minutes away.  I was not stressed out at all. I probably should have been but I did check Instagram twice while we were out to look at photos my sister-in-laws and Jamie’s cousin were posting.  She was sleeping in all of them.  When we got home they gave us a stellar report.  She had mostly slept and had taken the bottle.

After a minute of being back and hearing my voice, this is the face she woke up with:


If that doesn’t make you feel guilty for leaving your baby to have a night on the town,

I don’t know what will?