DIY Vintage Metal Table Base

Another week, another fun project wrapped up! This art nouveau table base was hunted down at a garage sale and was in need of a little love. As soon as I saw it I knew what I wanted to do. I’ve been seeing a lot of vibrant furniture in magazines & Pinterest and felt this piece could handle more personality. Luckily, Rust- oleum had the PERFECT shade of green for this lil beauty.

With a little bit of elbow grease, a thorough scrub down, & several coats of paint this vintage piece’s makeover was complete!

The Rust- Oleum was the perfect shade of green!!!

Amazing Mom Feature: Chelle Ostlund, Discovery Toys

This week’s Amazing Mom is Chelle Ostlund, an independent sales rep for Discovery Toys. Chelle  embodies how you can find opportunity and create success when faced with the new responsibilities and dedication required of motherhood. Through Discovery Toys, Chelle has found a way to provide an income  while having the ability to give her son the attention he needs. 

Chelle decided to work with Discovery Toys after the birth of her son because it gave her the flexibility she needed to take him to medical appointments and help him recover after surgery. While this was her primary focus when looking for a new career, Chelle also sought something that was more than a job. With it’s wide range of educational toys, Discovery Toys enables Chelle to connect with Moms & families and help them make play an opportunity for education and development. See below for more about this Amazing Mom…

Image courtesy of Chelle Ostlund

      1.     What kind
of products and/ or services do you offer?
Discovery Toys has been offering
quality educational toys, books and games for children 0 – 12 for over 35
years.  We have now expanded our game
selection to be more family orientated – I take a lot of them to adult only
games nights! We offer a life time warranty on all the toys and games we sell
and have replacement parts for many of the toys.
      2.     What is
the price point?
Prices range from $8.00 to $105.00.
We carry 126 products in the new Fall 2013 catalog, half of
which are under $20.00. This makes these great learning resources available to
a wide range of families.
      3.     How long
have you been operating and how did you start?
I started with Discovery Toys in September 2012. My son was
born with cleft lip and palate concerns and has many appointments and surgeries
on a regular basis. My mat leave was ending in a few months and I knew that
going back to my previous position was just not going to be possible. The
employer would not be able to give me the time off I would need for not only
the appointments but also the recovery time periods of 2 or more months after
each surgery.
      4.     How did
you decide what to do?
I was actively looking for a
business that would allow me to stay home with my son, offer the flexibility to
take him with me on business appointments and provide a consistent income for
my family. When I found Discovery Toys all my requirements were met. Additionally,
because the toys are educational in nature they offer resources that will help
my son with his speech therapy.
Starting this business was a perfect marriage between
providing an income for my family and obtaining the resources my son needs at a
discount.
      5.     What is
your favourite part of what you do? What is the biggest challenge?
    I love doing home parties! It just
feels really intimate and small compared to the fundraising with daycares,
preschools and therapists that I do.  A
lot of times it’s a play date that the host is holding at their home. There is
a lot of activity, the kids are really testing out the toys and I love seeing
the learning happen! It is great when a child runs over and is able to show
their parent something they just learned how to do with one of my toys.
The biggest challenge I have is I
think what a lot of first time, small business owners run into – getting myself
out there. I know that what I do will change children’s lives and help them
grow and learn developmentally.
I find that although I want to share
this with parents I meet, I don’t want to be perceived as trying to sell
something instead of truly being interested in learning about them and their
children in a social way. I have done a lot of learning in the past year and
now feel ready to offer my services in a way that is very easy going. And I
don’t get hurt when people say “no”.
      6.     Any advice
to other ladies/ moms looking to start their own business?
     Research – don’t just sign up or
start a business without figuring out things like financials, how much time it
will take, will you be able to balance work and family.
      Passion – you have to LOVE what you
do, if you don’t you will be disappointed. Being in business for yourself means
you have to motivate yourself every day to keep going. If you don’t have
passion it is going to be really difficult.
      Support – make sure you have the
support of friends and family. These are the people you are going to be relying
on a lot in the beginning- either for childcare, a shoulder to cry on or help
producing a product. You will really learn a lot about your friends and family
during the first few months of your new business. 

If you haven’t checked out this cool company you definitely should. I remember as a kid my Mum bought me some goodies from Discovery Toys, and she still has them all ready to go for newest generation! The toys are high quality and educational, and there are options for a variety of developmental stages. 

    
     For more information about the products Discovery Toys has to offer (get a jump start on that Christmas shopping!), or if you would like to request some business information you can contact Chelle via email: all_4_mr_t@hotmail.com or check out her Facebook page.
And now for the really fun part! As part of this Amazing Mom Feature, we are giving away a Discovery Toys goodie- the Working Trio dump truck, courtesy of Chelle! 

Images courtesy of Chelle Ostlund.

The Working Trio can be stacked or linked and helps your little one learn cause & effect, audio discrimination, and helps develop their imagination, among other learning applications (See the info above). You can enter by sharing this post or liking The Pampered Baby & Chelle Ostlund Discovery Toys on Facebook, or leave a comment in the entry at the top of this page- that gives you up to 3 chances to enter! This contest ends Monday October 14 at 11:59pm.

Yummy Mummy Recipe: Mexican Casserole

This week I accidentally made 2 Mexican dishes back to back. I usually try to have a variety, but the Hubby was happy with the menu options, so it wasn’t such a bad mistake to make. 😉

The first was my slow cooker veggie chilli, which I ended up using the next night as part of this recipe- I was quite impressed with myself. As per my usual routine, I checked out my Food & Recipe board on Pinterest for inspiration. I’d pinned this lil beauty from The Kitchen of a Navy Wife a while ago and was glad to have the chance to try it out. I’d say this was definitely a success- and major bonus: SUPER EASY.

Image Source: http://www.navywifecook.com/2013/01/mexican-casserole.html

Yummy Mummy Recipe: Mexican Casserole
Serves: 6

Ingredients:

1½ cup tortilla chips, crushed

½ pound ground beef
1½ cups salsa
1 can chili (with beans)- or use your own! 😉
8 oz sour cream
¾ cup canned diced tomatoes, drained (I skipped these)
Black olives (skipped these too- but could swap for jalapenos for an added kick)
½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350.
Spread tortillas along base of baking dish.
Brown ground beef in pan. When cooked, add salsa & chilli; mix well.
Spread beef mixture over tortilla chips.
If using canned tomatoes, add on top of beef mixture.
Spread sour cream over top. Add olives and/ or jalapenos. Sprinkle with cheese.
Cook for 20- 30 minutes, or until cheese is nice & bubbly.
Serve with corn bread (recipe here) or tortilla chips. Ole!

Yummy Mummy Recipe: Slow Cooker Veggie Chilli & Cornbread

This recipe involves 2 things I love: slow cookers and veggies! My sister in law gave me this recipe and I’m so grateful for it now that Summer is fading away. Because it’s good for our bodies & wallets, we try to eat vegetarian 2- 3 nights a week. Since I used to be vegetarian I find this quite easy to incorporate into our meal planning, and Will likes the variety in meals. However, I have to make sure the vegetarian meals have enough substance to them so that you’re not left feeling hungry in 20 minutes. Chilli is great because the beans pack a hearty punch; toss in the carbs from the corn bread and your appetite shouldn’t be disappointed.

Yummy Mummy Recipe: Slow Cooker Veggie Chilli

2 medium onions, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp olive oil
1 green pepper, diced
1 red pepper, diced
2 stocks celery, chopped
6 roma tomatoes, chopped
2* 15 oz kidney beans, drained & rinsed (and/ or black beans)
(you could also add a can of baked beans if you like)
1 6 oz can tomato paste
8 oz frozen corn
1 tsp salt
3 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 cups chicken or veggie broth

Saute onion & garlic in oil until onion is cooked/ soft.
Prep veggies and add to slow cooker.
Add all other ingredients & mix well.

Cook on low for 6- 8 hours or on high for 3- 4 hours. Mix occasionally.
(I had to help break the tomato paste down because it’s so thick).

Bread Maker Cornbread (2 lb loaf) from Bread Machine Diva
My bread maker instructs to pour in liquids first; follow the instructions for your specific bread maker.

1 cup cornmeal
1 – 1/4 cup flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs – lightly beaten
1 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter or oil
I used the cake/ sweet setting & selected the light crust option

DIY Coffee Table Project

As I mentioned last week, I have been working on refinishing a vintage coffee table that I found at the Burnaby Restore. It’s been an enjoyable project and I’m glad to be getting back into the swing of all things creative & DIY.
When I found the table I knew from it’s lines that it would be a beautiful shabby chic/ distressed piece. I also knew that I wanted to keep it simple & classic by using a cream finish with dark accents. While scoping out Pinterest (where else?!?!) I discovered all of the applications for chalk paint and decided this would be a perfect opportunity to try the stuff out.

I originally planned to make my own- Restore had discount plaster of Paris & the other supplies and materials that I would need- but decided to save that experiment for another day after talking to some of the staff and hearing their suggestions. One of the ladies showed me a beautiful buffet & hutch that she had refinished using The FAT Paint Company‘s chalk style paint and wax and highly recommended I check them out.
 My goodies from FAT Paint!
Located at 623 Front Street in New Westminster, the store is tucked in to the city’s Antique Alley. Owned & operated by a brother & sister team- Brad & Victoria- they have been in business for almost a year and seem to have found a nice little niche in the market. Both Brad & Victoria are very friendly and helpful, and you can tell that they are enthusiastic about what they are doing. 
We had plenty of questions for them when we arrived and both were happy to show us around and help us out, despite being busy filling large retail orders. One of my concerns about refinishing furniture  is the chemicals often needed- paint stripper, paint thinner, the paint itself, varnish, etc- since I would have to stop and start my work to tend to lil missy. However the products TFPC sell are without most of the toxic & stinky ingredients that you’ll find in other products commonly used for this kind of project.
So, after bombarding Brad & Victoria with our slew of questions we made our selection (which was very hard to do, since they have so many beautiful colours to choose from!). We ended up with a quart of Warm White, a sample size each of Caribbean Blue, and Buttercup, and 2 50g jars of wax- one natural and one dark/ antique. With some final advice & encouragement we were on our way.
Once home, I had to unload all the goodies and prep the table. First, I gave the lil beauty a clean with TSP and warm water to remove any dust and residue from the surface. Once dry, I put on the first coat. What struck me about the paint was how thick it was and how little I needed to get good coverage. There was also barely any odour (another bonus). I brushed the paint on and then used a roller to smooth over the finish.
1st coat
After 24 hours I did the second coat. This time I skipped using the roller since I didn’t want the table to be ‘too precious’ (to quote Victoria). 
2nd coat
When the second coat was dry it was time to distress the lil beauty. Using a fine grit sand paper I went over the entire piece lightly and then gave special attention to the areas I wanted to distress. After wiping off the dust I gave the table a coat of natural wax. I used a brush to apply the wax and an old cotton t shirt to rub and buff it (sounds a lil dirty!) ;). Once I was happy with the first coat of wax I let it dry and then applied the dark/ antique wax to age & distress the areas I wanted.
Finally, I did a second coat of natural wax to help give a soft gloss to the finished piece. One final wipe down and voila! This lil beauty is ready to show off!

If you want more info about the products I used and/ or about FAT Paint, check them out here
The FAT Paint Company currently offers the following sizes:
FAT PAINT
Quart $36
Pint $22
4 oz Sample $11
FAT WAX
50g Natural $12
50g Dark/ Antique $12
200g Natural $28
If you are interested in the table, leave a comment or send me an email: kpetrunia@hotmail.com. I’d love to hear what you think! I can’t wait for the next project! Stay tuned!