Piano Makeover Part 1

I’ve had an obsession with painted pianos for a while.  I think they are so modern and updated with such charm! But here’s where my obsession ends: actually going through the process of painting my piano.

Growing up, piano lessons were a requirement in my house.  Once you entered the 2nd grade, the lessons started.  I totally dreaded practicing and the 20 minutes on the timer seemed like hours.  And the recitals–AH!  In some of the home videos of the concerts you can see my hands shaking the entire time I am playing.  But somewhere around the age of 17 my views of playing the piano drastically changed.  I loved each minute of lessons and practice, and my fears of performing started to fade. My grandma always attended each recital and was such an encouragement through those times.

If I think about one of the best pianists, my grandma comes to mind.  She never uses music and always plays from her heart.  Even though she can’t remember what happened yesterday, she can remember every single recital song she ever played.  It truly is remarkable. When I would be at her house and a song would come on the radio that she liked, she would say, “Missy, go and pick that out on the piano!”  I would struggle to make my fingers match up with the tune, and she would come right over and play the entire song with ease.  Why didn’t that skill get passed down to me?  It is such a gift.

So fast forward a few years, my husband bought me a used, well loved piano, and it has been such a treasure in my house.  Every day of my pregnancy I played the piano, and now my daughter is so fascinated with all music.  Although I am so thankful to have this instrument in my house, I was never a fan of the color and the bench and legs are pretty worn.  I have decided to paint my piano with a chalk paint, and I’m pretty sure if I told my grandma she would pass out.  Her early 1900’s grand piano is beautiful and should never be painted.  However, my few decades old spinet piano needs some TLC.

Here is a before photo of my piano:PianoOnce I finish the painting, I will be sure to update!

Have you ever used chalk paint?  Any tips and tricks?

 

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Wacky Cake Recipe

My husband and I are pretty competitive, even if I don’t often admit it.  This weekend we decided to have a bake-off and let the members of our small group decide the winner.  My husband made a yummy fruit pizza with an array of fresh fruit toppings, and I went with my grandma’s simply delicious Wacky Cake.

My grandma states in her cookbook (how awesome is it that she complied our favorite recipes into a cookbook?) that she received this recipe from a recipe club she was a part of when her kids were little, and made it often.  I remember making this cake with her so many times when I was young, and in fact, this was one of the first recipes I made by myself.  It’s that simple!

Recipe
Wacky Cake recipe from my grandma’s cookbook.
This cake is a depression-era cake meaning no eggs or milk.  I love that!  You also make it in the baking pan–win for no bowl cleanup. My grandma added a powdered sugar icing on top when it was warm.  Although you don’t have to ice this cake, please do.  I gave the recipe to a friend for her bridal shower and she didn’t follow the icing instructions and iced it with a canned chocolate frosting.  For the love of everything, do NOT ice with a canned frosting.  Ick.

Here’s how it starts (don’t mind my fantastic photography skills):

You mix all of the dry ingredients together in an 8×8 baking pan.
Cake 3

Dig out three wells, one large, one medium and one small.
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Add the wet ingredients into the different sized wells and pour on the cup of water and mix all together.Cake1Please note the flour mess.  This is essential in baking.  Who keeps a clean kitchen when baking, anyways?

Cake2

Bake for the appropriate amount of time and it is finished!
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BUT, my grandma always poured over the top a simple powdered sugar icing while it was hot and let it soak into the cake.  DELICIOUS!  I love the fact that you serve this cake warm and don’t have to wait for it to cool to ice.
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Do me a favor and make this cake tonight!  You definitely won’t regret your decision.

Oh, and I won the bake-off!  It was a major hit. Me 1,584 1, Husband 1,584.
Wacky Cake
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
3T. cocoa powder
1T. white vinegar
1 cup cold water
1t. baking soda
1/2t. salt
6T. vegetable oil
1t. vanilla
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°.
Into an un-greased 8×8 baking dish, mix together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, soda and salt.
Carve out three wells into the mixture.  In the largest well pour the oil; medium well pour the vinegar; smallest well pour the vanilla.
Pour the cup of cold water over the top and stir until combined.
Bake for 25 minutes or until cooked through.
Quick Powdered Sugar Icing
2 cups powdered sugar
2 T. melted butter
1t. vanilla
milk–to make spreading consistency
Directions:
Mix together the sugar, butter, vanilla and milk until well combined and smooth.
Pour over the hot cake and serve while warm!
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First Birthday Party Planning

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Everly almost 1.
I can’t believe I am already starting to think about my baby’s first birthday!  Whew, time flies.  I might still have a month and a half to finish birthday party plans, but it seems that I am behind according to most of my friends, family and online resources.

Whenever I am in party planning mode, I think about my grandma. In her hay day, my grandma was the master party planner.  In fact she still has the notebook documenting all of the parties she planned.  This well-loved book is stuffed full of  lists upon lists with neat little check marks noting completion of each to-do entry.  I can remember some of those lists from the major holiday dinners she hosted at her house each year.  She planned out each and every minute of the days leading up to the event.  I laughed at the the fact that she would write 10:53AM, turn on oven.  10:57AM, put ham in oven.  She was so precise and so intentional about every minute of her preparation that during the party she was able to be present and enjoy everyone’s company and what was happening around her.

But the best part of my grandma’s planning was that she was not fussy about the overall state of her home.  She definitely followed a strict cleaning schedule each week, and her floors were immaculate, but she didn’t get upset if something was too out of order.  When I spent my spring breaks with my dearest cousin with my grandparents at their Florida condo, she was always insistent on celebrating our birthdays with a party with their friends.  She would invite them over for cake and coffee and we would always be talked into showing off our recent shopping trip purchases.  In the 15 minutes before everyone arrived, my grandma shuffled around the condo fluffing a few pillows and happened to notice a few miscellaneous papers and items on the counter top.  She looked at my cousin and me and said, “Girls, watch how to pick up quickly.”  She scooped up all of the items and shoved them in the washing machine.  I loved her stress-free attitude about life’s daily clutter.

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Grandma’s decluttering
Birthday Party 1
A birthday celebration in Florida with my grandma in the background.

As I plan out my daughter’s party, I see myself looking back to my grandma’s expertise. I hope to be organized enough that I can watch my baby light up when she sees her first candle on her first cake and watch those who love her light up when they see her smash her little hands into the icing.  But, I hope to be relaxed enough to not worry about small details and willingly shove them in the washing machine out of sight.

As a Christian, aren’t we called to open our homes and tables and fellowship with others? I want to presently participate in those times of deep conversation and joy.  I don’t want to miss those life-changing moments by worrying about the perfect linens or centerpieces or that there are toys all over my floor.

Will you join me in shoving life’s distractions and clutter in the washing machine?
Be present.  signature

Welcome!

Welcome to My Grandma’s Heritage!  I’m totally new to the blogging world and extremely excited about this adventure.

My name is Missy, and I am a wife to my best friend and new mom to one precious babe, avid (but beginner) crafter, pie-maker, trendy-ish clothes hoarder, small town girl, and most importantly, a servant of my savior Jesus Christ.

As a wife and new mom trying to navigate life, I often find myself reflecting on the words of my grandmother.  My grandma is one of the strongest women I know.  Literally.  At 88 years old her mind might be sadly fading, but her biceps still shadow most.  She grew up on a farm and was the lead cow milker during World War II when her siblings all were drafted overseas and got into impressive shape which has not aged.  Seriously though, her strength throughout her life and the challenges she faced has inspired me and changed my life.

She has shared numerous hilarious stories from her farm life, including taking her pony inside the house, but also about faith, family, food, and fashion.

I’m here to tell her story through my life lessons and daily life and hopefully share some  sweetness along the way.

I’m looking forward to meeting you all as you get a sneak peek into my grandma’s heritage.signature