Thursday, April 2

kale salad

my new go to fave kale salad recipe is a great crowd pleaser. even more exciting (...I mean getting people to try kale & like it for the 1st time is pretty good...) is the fact that the dressing is made from scratch and has all common household ingredients in it (plus no preservatives or junk).

kale salad
what you need:

  • 1 bunch of green kale
  • 1/2 cup silvered/shaved almonds
  • 1/2 cup shaved parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup craisins
  • dressing (below)

what to do:
chop kale (leave off the center vein)...add everything else in the bowl & toss...literally its that easy. personally I like the taste after it sits for 1-2 hours, but thats not essential. you can let it sit for 1/2 a day if you need to as it takes a lot to soften kale! you will have dressing left over based on the amount of kale you use. add dressing a little at a time to avoid over saturating it.

lemon vinaigrette dressing
what you need:

  • 2TBSP white wine vinegar
  • 2TBST fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp lemon zest (some times if I'm lazy I skip this part)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar
what to do: 
put it in a jar & shake it or in a pyrex & whisk it! 

Monday, March 30

deck refresh

5 years ago when we bought our house, we sealed our deck quickly and never even touched our screened in porch. lets say it was long overdue for some updates to the deck before things go too crazy! previously I have had my herbs and potted plants on the deck that were just adding moisture to the deck. The bottom few stairs were becoming slick when it rained so it was certainly time for an update! 

if you're taking on a project like this yourself, make sure you have your calendar cleared and note the weather. you need some time to clean & pressure wash the deck (this could be done in light rain if needed) but the deck must dry for 48 hours before applying the sealant. After that, the sealant must have 24 hours to dry without rain....and of course no walking on the deck for 72 hours after the sealant has been applied. 

Here are some before shots (notice the green and black too)...yikes!
1st step was applying the Behr deck cleaner. After that soaked for 10-15 minutes, I pressure washed all the wood surfaces. This got a majority of the overall green & black off the deck and overall freshened up the look...but now it was time to make it look more consistent.

After your deck dries, you'll need to still sweep it off just before you go to stain. You may also choose to pressure wash under the deck (helps clean the cracks between the boards) as well as use your shop vac to make sure you aren't just pushing dirt and debris around.

For the deck I used a transparent Behr Premium weatherproofing in cedar naturalstone (there are three colors: natural, cedar naturalstone & redwood). It was necessary to use the board brush (exact width of the boards) as well as the small roller brushes that they sell at Home Depot meant for the rungs--this helps with drips and ensures that you get good even coverage. I would recommend getting the paint counter to shake the can for you & provide you with one of their wooden sticks to stir up the gallon as you need it.

Here's a shot of the banister done with one coat, freshly applied, and you can see the floor boards below that are still not sealed.
1st coat drying in the sun! 

Notice how great the rain looks puddled vs. being absorbed in the wood...and then the sun came out and dried it all up!

For the screened in porch, I chose a semi-transparent Premium Behr Waterproofing deck stain. This was great in that it provided more color, but still allowed some of the wood coloring to show through. There are many color choices to choose from and they are all mixed at the paint counter. The color that we did was called Castle Grey.

In starting the project on our screened in porch, I realized that the boards were painted with a solid finish color by the prior owner. They were slightly red in the finish and I did want a more updated look. It took a bit of pressure washing to clean up the paint off the boards. During this process, I also pressure washed the roof/ceiling and all of the white banisters. 

After one coat, things were looking better already! 

Here is the color after two coats! I love being able to see some of the grain through the stain.