Prepping a Concrete Porch for Paint + SSL’s Top Pick Prepping Supplies

Sitting a spell on the porch swing has not been easy the past couple of weeks

Sitting a spell on the porch swing has not been easy the past couple of weeks

Hey, y’all! Welcome to Sweet Sorghum Living–a place to sit a spell with a good cup of coffee and enjoy good conversation about everything from gluten-free goodies to handmade goodness. Today on the blog, we are going to continue our “How Not To Clean a Front Porch” conversation. Bless! I am just now recovering from all the paint scraping *wink* Now, before I wander off topic–which I am prone to do–let’s get this porch-prepping party started!

Powerwashing is the first step. Scraping loose paint is the second. This step is definitely time consuming, but totally worth the pain and time.

Powerwashing is the first step. Scraping loose paint is the second. This step is definitely time consuming, but totally worth the pain and time.

This product is a must and a top pick for proper porch prep. Simply follow the instructions on the jug + wear some old wellies. This is not the time to sport flip-flops *wink*

This product is a must and a top pick for proper porch prep. Simply follow the instructions on the jug + wear some old wellies. This is not the time to sport flip-flops *wink*

After the concrete has completely dried from the cleaning-n-etching procedure, apply sealer.

After the concrete has completely dried from the cleaning-n-etching procedure, apply concrete bonding primer. Do not skip this step, and do not skimp with a cheap imitation. Believe me–you do not want to wake up one morning after a wind-driven rain to paint peeling off your porch!

While your primer is drying, head to Lowe's and purchase your porch paint. Feel free to stop for coffee. You have earned it + you will need it *wink*

While your primer is drying, head to Lowe’s and purchase your porch paint. Feel free to stop at your local coffee shop for coffee. You have earned it + you will need it *wink* A big shout out to The Corner Cup in Jonesborough for keeping me going while I paint *big smile*

The base color of the porch was inspired by my love of anything coffee--Frappe. It is the perfect light neutral + it works well with all the colors of my furniture and flower pots.

The base color of the porch was inspired by my love of anything coffee–Frappe. It is the perfect light neutral + it works well with all the colors of my furniture and flower pots.

I am totally crushing on "Italian Leather"--a super, rich brown that reminds me of espresso.

I am totally crushing on “Italian Leather”–a super, rich brown that reminds me of espresso. This color is the trim color for the porch floor + it will be used in the “rug” pattern that will be stenciled on the porch…soon…well, kinda soon *wink*

For the base color I used almost two gallons, but for the trim I used only part of a quart.

For the base color I used almost two gallons, but for the trim I used only part of a quart.

Once the primer has dried, it is time to apply the base color. We painted two coats of Frappe in order to achieve a consistent look--our concrete is very old (and has seen many things), so we took extra coverage precautions!

Once the primer has dried, it is time to apply the base color. We painted two coats of Frappe in order to achieve a consistent look–our concrete is very old (and has seen many things), so we took extra coverage precautions!

THE BEST TAPE EVER for all your painting projects--especially ones involving old porches!

THE BEST TAPE EVER for all your painting projects–especially ones involving old porches! Absolutely FROGTAPE is a top pick!!!

After the base coat has thoroughly dried (and I do mean like totally completely dried), tape off for the border|trim.

After the base coat has thoroughly dried (and I do mean like totally completely dried), tape off for the border|trim.

While painting, we battled a dove who really wanted to build a nest on our porch. Apparently, the little Robin family told the Dove family that the Hathorns were totally cool with nest-building.

While painting, we battled a dove who really wanted to build a nest on our porch. Apparently, the little Robin family told the Dove family that the Hathorns were totally cool with nest-building. Yes, I do have a Robin family on my porch…there are three little babies. No, I did not allow the Dove family to build because it was an unsafe area with not enough room for a proper nest.

The paint was still wet while the Dove family was trying to build a nest next to one of our sensors.

The paint was still wet while the Dove family was trying to build a nest next to one of our motion sensors. All I could do was shake my head, shoo the Dove family, and gently sand and repaint the area.

Mattie practiced her yoga while I painted trim.

Mattie practiced her yoga while I painted trim.

Thanks so much for a sitting a spell with me today as we chatted about what you need to prep your concrete porch for paint. Honestly, the best advice I can give you is invest in quality and proven products. Yes, it will cost a bit more–but it is totally worth the extra money. **p.s. I have been accused of being a paint and brush snob–but quality paint and brushes really do make a huge difference.**

Speaking of being a paint snob *wink*, I am a huge fan of Liquitex. Here's a little sneaky peek of one of my latest pieces.

Speaking of being a paint snob *wink*, I am a huge fan of Liquitex. **Here is a little sneaky peek of one of my latest pieces.**

Pinks + Texture

Pinks + Texture

Mattie says that it is time for Mommy to quit painting and chatting!

Mattie says that it is time for Mommy to quit painting and chatting!

Let Us Begin and Begin Again

In the parlor of Hathorn Hall

In the parlor of Hathorn Hall

Hey, y’all! Welcome to Sweet Sorghum Living–a place to sit a spell with a good cup of coffee and enjoy good conversation about everything from gluten-free goodies to handmade goodness. Today on the blog, I am chatting about my outfit of the week and why it is special.

Normally, I do not blog about fashion–for a lot of reasons. Mainly, because I do not like having my photo taken and because I struggle with finding my style. I have read so many blog posts that tell people to dress however they want at any age, but I am very Southern and very rooted in looking sweet and classy with a touch of sassy. Besides, I really have no desire to shop in teen stores, and I do not want to wear a graphic tee that says “You Got More Issues Than Vogue” or “He’s Got the Pole I’ve Got the Bobbers” (even though I am digging the saying of the last one–and I don’t even fish–I did a few times when I was a kid….).

What I am saying is…I like the fact that I am over 40 because that means I survived my 20s and 30s. I don’t want to go back to those days, and and I do not want to look like I am trying to. I just want to be sweet and classy with a touch of sassy *wink*

Mattie and I just sitting a spell on the porch swing.

Mattie and I just sitting a spell on the porch swing.

Do I sometimes think about the body I had when I was younger or the face that I had that was fine-lines free? Sure. But then I think about how far I have come as a person.  And I am happy with who I am and where I am going.

20150518_164207_resizedAs I have mentioned before, I have lost a good bit of weight since my Celiac diagnosis. And because of this, I have been able to shop in my own closet for clothes, and that feels good. It is not that I am a clothes hoarder, but I have kept a few items over the years that I really love…hoping that either I could wear them again or that Abby would add them to her ever-growing vintage collection. I am happy to say that I am wearing those dresses, skirts, pants, and shirts again. So, today on the blog, I wanted to show off one of my favorite dresses from the past + sport my new custom necklace by Lisa Hamilton of beadsoul.

I love my new charm necklace from beadsoul because it reminds me that I did have the courage to begin, and there are no limits to how many times I can begin again. So, today, let us all begin…to do something we have been putting off…to repair that relationship that is broken…to open that Etsy shop…to start writing that book…but let us BEGIN *big smile*

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Giving Mommy sweet kisses because Mattie is a Sweetie Wheatie *smile*

Giving Mommy sweet kisses because Mattie is a Sweetie Wheatie *smile*

Sometimes, Mattie and I just chat about the meaning of life and what new bows she wants from

Sometimes, Mattie and I just chat about the meaning of life and what new bows she wants from CuteNCurlyBowtique on Etsy.

I am still not sure if I am fully comfortable with having my photo taken, but I am getting there. If I managed to conquer the selfies, I can surely conquer posing without a selfie stick *wink*

20150518_164410_resized_1Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today. If you decided to begin a project or  new career or anything else that you have been wanting to do–please let us know in the comment section because we would love to say a big congrats and be your cheerleaders *big smile*

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Thanks to some sweet encouragement I finally had the courage to begin my Etsy shop. A big thanks to Tracy of Sincerely Yours by Tracy for designing me some sweet thank you notes, story cards, and tags for my shop!

Thanks to some sweet encouragement, I finally had the courage to begin my Etsy shop. A big thanks to Tracy of Sincerely Yours by Tracy for designing me some sweet thank you notes, story cards, and tags for my shop!

Here and There with a Bit of This and That

A quick trip to Birmingham, Alabama with Abby for the Home + Remodeling Show.

A quick trip to Birmingham, Alabama with Abby for the Home + Remodeling Show.

Hey, y’all! Welcome to Sweet Sorghum Living. Today on the blog, we are chatting about lots of different things–from where I have been to what will be happening on SSL this week…”Good Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise” *smile* These days I hate to make carved-in-stone plans because I never know what will come up to change them…sometimes good things like family coming to visit…sometimes not-so-good things like my AC unit freezing up and creating a small pool in the basement. No matter what happens, focus on the good and pray a lot!

Last week we had family come for a visit, so I took a little break from blogging to spend time with them. It was great to share the front porch and to sit a spell. During their visit, we all attended the John Cowan concert at Down Home in Johnson City. It was fun for all…However, I do wish they had a dance floor because I love to move around…I only like to sit for a spell…not for a couple of hours *wink*

Abby with John Cowan--be sure to check out her blog for more details.

Abby with John Cowan–be sure to check out her blog for more details.

This weekend my family added a new member, and we are very relieved that mommy and baby are doing good. Baby girl made an early appearance…and everyone is excited to have a baby to spoil! I am just upset that I did not get the door hanger finished! Tomorrow I will be back in the studio to wrap up a few projects *fingers crossed*

Last week I spent a lot of time in the studio working on custom projects and new items. I am debating on opening up an online shop...can I handle the post office? *wink*

Last week before company arrived, I spent a lot of time in the studio working on custom projects and new items. I am debating on opening up an online shop…can I handle the post office? *wink*

Have you ever had one of those weeks that was long, busy but good? That was mine last week, and to top it off, the hubby, Abby and I made a quick trip to Birmingham to attend the Home + Remodeling Show. I will have more on that later in the week + Abby has fabulous interviews coming up on her blog. So, y’all stay tuned because you don’t want to miss out on the fun and SSL’s top picks from the show.

 

Matt Muenster of DIY Network's Bath Crashers and Abby at the Birmingham Home + Remodeling Show.

Matt Muenster of DIY Network’s Bath Crashers and Abby at the Birmingham Home + Remodeling Show.

Abby interviewing Todd Wilbur author of Top Secret Recipes.

Abby interviewing Todd Wilbur author of Top Secret Recipes.

The little family and I stayed at The Tutwiler in downtown Birmingham. It was absolutely stunning and charming, and I totally recommend staying there!

The little family and I stayed at The Tutwiler in downtown Birmingham. It was absolutely stunning and charming, and I totally recommend staying there!

Look at this doorknob from The Tutwiler! I love details like this...and old buildings!

Look at this doorknob from The Tutwiler! I love details like this…and old buildings!

Whew! It was a whirlwind seven days, but I would not trade them for anything *smile* I have all kinds of goodies planned for y’all this week–gluten-free top picks (featuring some local baked goods), top picks from the Birmingham Home + Remodeling Show, an update on a few of the projects happening at Hathorn Hall, and the fall leaf report. If there is any time left, I will go shopping for fabulous, junky treasures *smile*

This is one of the fabulous finds from last weekend's junk adventure. This vintage office chair is the perfect shade of orange. I don't know why, but I am on an orange kick lately! Must be the fall air *smile*

This is one of the fabulous finds from last weekend’s junk adventure in Jonesborough. This vintage office chair is the perfect shade of orange. I don’t know why, but I am on an orange kick lately! Must be the fall air *smile*

Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today. Be sure to check out all the social media for updates and happenings…and selfies with Mattie *wink*

selfie with Mattie...she dreams of being an Instagram star haha

selfie with Mattie…she dreams of being an Instagram star haha

 

 

SSL’S Gluten-free Top Picks: On-the-go Breakfast

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Hey, y’all! Welcome back to Sweet Sorghum Living. Today on the blog, we are chatting about SSL’s top gluten-free picks of the week–which are all about making breakfast gluten-free, easy, and healthy. Now, grab a good cup of coffee or nice glass of wine and sit a spell with me.

If y’all are like me, there is little time for a fancy breakfast. I’ve tried making the casserole the night before, popping it in the oven the next morning, and cooking it while getting dressed. Yes, dancing around the kitchen with birds chirping outside…serving my family a delcious, homemade breakfast dish made with wholesome ingredients and love.  Haha! Not in this lifetime *wink* Yes, I tried the cooking while getting dressed breakfast ideas…let me just say that we ate cereal instead of a fancy casserole.

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My favorite go-to breakfast item is Pamela’s Whenever Bars.  They are super delicious, gluten-free, and non-dairy with 150 mg of OMEGA 3 Fatty Acids and a good source of fiber. Most contain gluten-free oats, coconut,  eggs, and almonds–so, if you are sensitive to these ingredients, you might want to avoid the snack bars. My personal favorite is the Oat Blueberry Lemon…yummy for the tummy! I keep a nice variety of these in a basket in my snack drawer. Easy to grab and go.

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Who wants muffins for breakfast? Well, ginnybakes has the perfect gluten-free muffin mix. All you need is the mix, one egg, butter, Greek yogurt, and flavoring of your choice (like vanilla). The ingredients are simple and preparation is fast. I usually bake mine the night before because I’m not a morning person…and cooking is not what I want to be doing at the crack of dawn!

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The “peace love & crumble” muffin mix is certified gluten-free and kosher. It contains organic shredded coconut, organic dried apples, and organic Medjool dates. I give ginnybakes muffins five stars *smile*

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Cookies for breakfast?!? Absolutely!! The “coconut oatmeal bliss” cookie mix by ginnybakes is not only easy to make, but also healthy and hardy enough to eat for breakfast. Make the cookies the night before, pop one in the microwave for about ten seconds, and pour yourself a glass of milk or cup of coffee for a quick breakfast that makes you feel like a kid again + the kids will think you’re the greatest for giving them cookies for breakfast!

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A great on-the-go breakfast is trail mix. I make my own because of all my crazy diet restrictions + it’s fun *smile* My best advice is to read the ingredients of everything carefully. If you are adding dried fruit(s), check for added wheat or gluten. See examples below.

P.S. I learned this lesson the hard way!

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Just read those labels carefully and give yourself extra time to shop so you can read labels and ask questions. It’s your health…your life…don’t take chances or make guesses *smile*

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Once I’ve mixed up my trail mix, I put it in either sandwich bags (because I can never remember to buy the snack size) or cute containers.  Those are then placed in my trail mix/snack food drawer. Yes, I’m that dedicated to my trail mixes and on-the-go snacks *wink*

Where did I shop for my gluten-free items?

Pamela’s Whenever Bars–Publix in Trussville, Alabama (also available on Pamela’s website)

ginnybakes–The Fresh Market in Johnson City, Tennessee

trail mix items–Earth Fare and The Fresh Market in Johnson City, Tennessee

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Please keep in mind that what doesn’t bother me–might bother you–so be extra careful when trying new foods. Read those labels! *smile*

Now that you have super easy and delicious breakfast ideas, you can hit the snooze button a few extra times *wink*

Thanks for sitting a spell with me today. I’m off to walk the girls…Bless their sweetness! They’ve been so patient while I chatted with y’all *smile*

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A Real Life Post about Diet Pepsi, Blah Spaces, and Dog Food

It is a busy week here in the blogosphere. The VIP and I have been working nonstop on her latest project--that will be launched tomorrow. Stay tuned

It is a busy week here in the blogosphere. The VIP and I have been working nonstop on her latest project that she will launch tomorrow. Stay tuned to our social medias and blogs for more details. Mattie isn’t telling…so don’t ask her *wink*

Hey, y’all! It is time to sit a spell and relax with a good cup of coffee or a nice glass of wine. To be honest, I am drinking Diet Pepsi and eating watermelon as I write this…so feel free to pour yourself a diet beverage…if you are against artificial sweeteners…might I recommend La Croix Peach-Pear…it has no calories, no artificial sweeteners, and is sodium free. I just needed some caffeine…and I really like Diet Pepsi…there are so many things I cannot drink and eat because of the Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease that it is perfectly acceptable that I am allowed to drink my Diet Pepsi without a sermon, friendly advice, or a disapproving look…believe me…I have read all the Facebook posts about the dangers of artificial sweeteners…but just let me have my Diet Pepsi without making me feel bad about myself and my beverage choice.  I digress.

Today on the blog, we are going to be chatting about Mattie and her new dog food, Ziva and her new food/beverage area, and my boring yet functional utility room and mudroom.

"Mattie, would you like to try a new dog food."

“Mattie, would you like to try a new dog food…I know that you are not very happy about getting older, but it is important that you eat food designed specifically for you. Please just try it. If you do not like it, Mom will take you to Pet Smart and buy you a new toy.”

Mattie checking out the Purina ProPlan Savor Shredded Blend Chicken & Rice formula.

Mattie checking out the Purina ProPlan Savor (Adults 7+) Shredded Blend Chicken & Rice formula…she sniffed at the bag for about ten minutes…sniffing and then looking at me…sniffing…and then looking at me…

Mattie taking her first nibble of her new kibble.

Mattie taking her first nibble of her new kibble.

"Mattie, what did you think of your new dog food?"

“Mattie, what did you think of your new dog food?”

peek inside the utility room–please excuse the blah–it is a work in progress.

The hubby added a couple of ClosetMaid shelves and counter space to the utility room because one can never have too much storage or counter space. The vintage green pantry cabinet has been moving around with me for years. I love it more now than when I found it *smile*

The hubby added a couple of ClosetMaid shelves and counter space to the utility room because one can never have too much storage or counter space. The vintage green pantry cabinet has been moving around with me for years. I love it more now than when I found it *smile*

I love color and patterns--so these darling baskets from Michael's were perfect for storing everything from paper towel rolls to my Camelbak + they fit just right on the ClosetMaid shelves.

I love color and patterns–so these darling baskets from Michael’s were perfect for storing everything from paper towel rolls to my Camelbak + they fit just right on the ClosetMaid shelves.

The utility room has hookups for laundry, but I decided to create a laundry space upstairs where all the bedrooms are located. This room is better suited for the messy hubby and the dogs' food/beverage area *wink*

The utility room has hookups for laundry, but I decided to create a laundry space upstairs where all the bedrooms are located. This room is better suited for the messy hubby and the dogs’ food/beverage area *wink*

The counter top support post is an old 4x4 post that I found underneath the deck at my Sloss Castle house. I love it just the way it is *smile*

The counter top leg is an old 4×4 post that I found underneath the deck at my Sloss Castle house. I love it just the way it is *smile*

Ziva is showing y'all where she eats and drinks...Mattie really doesn't like the water fountain...so she gets to eat wherever makes her happy because she is a bit spoiled *wink*

Ziva is showing y’all where she eats and drinks…Mattie really doesn’t like the water fountain…so she gets to eat wherever makes her happy because she is a bit spoiled *wink* P.S. the dog treats are stored in the canister on the counter…not for the humans *smile*

A little peek inside the mudroom...I have no idea what color to paint it! I love Lime Sorbet...but I was also thinking about a pretty peach or coral...decisions!

A little peek inside the mudroom…I have no idea what color to paint it! I love Lime Sorbet…but I was also thinking about a pretty peach or coral…decisions!

I love this quirky space, and it needs lots of color, cheer, and fun art!

I love this quirky space, and it needs lots of color, cheer, and fun art! Yes, I could have styled the dog leash/purse hanger like a magazine…but this is a real life post *wink*

Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today. Feel free to comment with any color suggestions, art ideas, or organizational tips you might have for my blah spaces. I need them because after renovating Sloss Castle and moving so many times in such a short period of time…I am all out of mojo!

 

 

 

Chin Up Buttercup Because You Don’t Always Get What You Want

Chin Up Buttercup pillow from Stein Mart in Johnson City, Tennessee

Chin Up Buttercup pillow from Stein Mart in Johnson City, Tennessee

My goodness! It has been a long time since we have sat a spell and chatted. So much has happened since I put my running shoes on that I don’t even know where to start…Hmmmm…perhaps I should just make a brief list…and leave all the details and ins and outs for another day.

  • After I posted my last article “I’ve Got My Running Shoes On“–the little family and I kicked the renovation into high gear.
  • Lots of work, prayers, and breakdowns later–our house in Trussville, Alabama sold.
  • We were “homeless” for a few weeks because our house in Alabama sold before our house in Johnson City was ready–plus, there were several problems with paperwork–is my name really that hard to spell?
  • Moved into the new house–almost immediately painted the porch swing that my dad made me many moons ago bright pink.
  • Went to Stein Mart bought fun pillows–couldn’t resist the Chin Up Buttercup one because it was what I needed at that exact moment to remind me that God was right there with me–telling me that He had not left me…that I just needed to learn a few life lessons to make me a better, stronger person.
Paint Details--Valspar Duramax in Pantone Honeysuckle from Lowe's in Johnson City, Tennessee  Pillow Shams--Stein Mart in Johnson City, Tennessee   Decorative Pillow--Stien Mart in Johnson City, Tennessee

Paint Details–Valspar Duramax in Pantone Honeysuckle from Lowe’s

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This photo was taken just a couple of weeks after we moved into our home built in 1920.

The porch had me at "Hello" *smile*

The porch had me at “Hello” *smile*

Mattie and I taking a much needed rest on the front porch. We had been painting all day!

Mattie and I taking a much needed rest on the front porch. We had been painting all day! Well, I had been painting. Mattie had been playing and napping.

Well, I must be going because I have to decide which color to stain my new fence–decisions, decisions. Stay tuned to the blog and my social media for all the updates, projects, randomness, nonsense, and much more 🙂 Be sure to check out my weekly Sweet Sorghum Living Short Tales at Real Media. 

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Thanks for sitting a spell with me today, and in the famous words of the Rolling Stones–“You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you just might find–you get what you need.” So, chin up my buttercups 🙂