Call it a compilation of all the crazy projects I've come up with over the years. Call it a how-to for things around the house. Call it whatever you like :) It's what I do everyday. My blog is really just a way for me to share what I've learned over the years about home improvement, interior design, organization, diy, crafting and home repair. And most importantly it comes from always working on a budget and forever wanting to fend for myself when it comes to anything. I hope you enjoy (and learn a few things along the way :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Great cutting board to use as a sink cover

Yesterday I decided I would like a cover for my prep sink in my island. Often I'm serving food off the island, and the sink is a mess by the time everything is prepared. It would be so nice to just be able to cover it up.

So I measured the opening, searched online and found a highly rated wood cutting board at walmart of all places. It's by Paula Dean. 22" x18" x 3/4". Acacia wood (apparently stronger than bamboo). I found it in stock at my local store, so Ipicked it up along with mineral oil to condition it (in the health/beauty section).

Total cost for both under $30.

This board is so pretty I'm almost afraid to cut on it :).  Provides extra counter space.  Absolutely love how it looks and as a bonus, it's fits over my main sink, too :)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

First Mammogram :$

So I turned forty this year, and its time for my first mammogram. In honor of this wonderful experience and a great friend who has since moved away, I thought I would post something she said to me one time that made me roll with laughter.

Sad because it is sooo true!

Create a "Taylor Swift" guitar for $2 : ) The total costume $10!

So my daughter wanted to be Taylor Swift for Halloween.  Always working on a budget, it became my challenge to make it happen...and cheap!

Hair - blonde, curled (free, my daughter has blond hair and we have a curling iron)
Makeup - natural, long lashes, red lips (free, have all that)
Shoes - boots (free, have those)
Jewelry - simple necklace, earrings and several bracelets (free, have those as well)
Guitar - NEEDS WORK (have a blue dragon "student" guitar my daughter got for Christmas a few years ago, but that won't work)
Dress - NEEDS WORK (have no fancy dresses)

First stop was Ross to get a dress.  My daughter may be 13, but she is tiny.  No Taylor Swift style dresses in the girls department, so we head to the teen department and find several options on clearance.  We finally settle on a cute aqua strapless dress that is on clearance for $7.49.  It's huge on her, so I'll have to dart the back, but I like that it doesn't hug her body making it more age appropriate.

We get the dress home and 10 minutes of sewing (two darts up the back), and it fits.  The dress is done.

Step two:  Guitar.  My first notion is to paint the guitar, but I realize the taping off is going to be impossible and the caps on the top are plastic and royal blue...can't change those, so it won't work. 

Next option, see if the dragon will come off, so we can glitter it like Taylor's.  Low and behold, the dragon peels right off like those repositionable wall decals.  SCORE!  And of course we took off the "learning" letter stickers : )

This gives me an idea.  Why not just use the wall decals you can buy at the dollar store to redecorate it.  In fact I already know which ones I want.  I had previously seen some silver dandelions there that were so pretty...I didn't get them because they didn't go with my decor, but on this guitar they would look great!

So we head to the Dollar Tree, and amazingly we get the LAST ONE!  While I am there with my daughter I realize we might want to put "Taylor Swift" on the guitar so people know who she is dressed as.  Head over to the crafting section and pick up the silver glitter glue for a dollar (would have preferred a paint pen, but this worked, and we were able to peel the glitter glue off after Halloween).

After about 15  minutes of placing the stickers and spelling out Taylor's name (I did reference her signature online, so I could try and copy it), it looked great, and most importantly my daughter loved it!

Her costume turned out so cute.

Reconfigure Plantation Shutters to open differently :)

I'm sure there aren't that many people out there that would like to reconfigure their shutters, but I personally wanted to place a chair and table in front of a window.  In order to do so, I had to change my shutters.  They opened like two books, instead of accordian style.  This meant nothing in the room could be placed within two feet of the window if i wanted to open the shutters.

I decided I wanted them to fold to the sides.  Simple enough right? :)  So I went to home depot and bought six flap hinges (like the ones you use on doors but smaller).
I took all four shutters off the existing hinges.  This is what the hinges looked  like that held them on the sides and on the center support.  The side sets are left because they will still be used to open the shutters to the side.  The center sets were removed since they would no longer be holding anything.
I layed the shutters flat on the ground in pairs and screwed the new hinges to the inside centers, so they would fold in half.  I used three per shutter since mine are about 7 feet tall (and that's how many they used on the sides...wanted the center ones in the same spots as the side ones). 
TIP:  Make sure you place the hinges correctly.  They do not close flat both ways.  They are like a book.  So before you screw them in, place them, flap them closed and make sure they lay flat together.  Then reopen and attach.  If you do place them incorrectly, no big deal, just take them off and turn them over and reattach : )

At this point I reattached the combined shutter sets to the side hinges still on the window (had a little help holding the shutter as I screwed them back up as the shutters are huge) and I was almost done.
There were also some magnetic closures that would need to be adjusted.  They were currently in the middle of each set at top and bottom to keep the "book-closing style" shut.  I left one in the center on the top to keep the center flat, then moved one to the outside to keep the new "folding style" closed on the far side.
The easiest way to do this is move the magnet closure and reposition it.  Remove the metal plate that it attaches to.  Place it on the magnetic closure, close the shutter, then mark the screw hole for placment on the shutter from the back.  If you can't access the shutter when it is closed, put a dollop of something on the screw hole, close the shutter, open it and the dollop will be on the shutter to show you where to put the screw.
And this is what it looks like now with the chair and table.  About a thirty minute process to add a little character to my room.  Mainly it gives my daughter a place to sit and wait for carpool : )

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Two ingredient banana cookies!!!

Well, after I made the two ingredient pumpkin cookies I thought, this would work with bananas.

So here's the recipe:

1 box cake mix (any flavor)
1 1/2 cups of mashed banana (3 or 4 depending on size).

Mix, spoon onto greased cookie sheet, bake 13 minutes at 350 degrees.

That's it and they are delicious! I used the halloween funfetti cake mix because its on clearance at Target right now :)

Again, like the pumpkin cookies they are more like muffin tops, but these are firmer than the pumpkin ones .

Now go try them. Couldn't be simpler or more delicious. Try adding chocolate chips or nuts. Would be great additions!

I'm one of those people who can't throw away food, so when bananas get too spotted to eat I throw them in the freezer peel and all. Then I use them in baking. Just microwave two for one minute, peel & scoop out. Works great every time (they will not last forever in the freezer...they dry out, so if you think you'll keep them in there longer than six months, peel them and put them in a freezer bag).

Friday, November 2, 2012

Two ingredient pumpkin cookies

Thank you Pinterest for the inspiration for these super easy cookies!  Two ingredient pumpkin yummy!

Found about 14 different recipes pinned so decided to try them several ways.

The ingredients...1 box of spice cake mix and 1 can of pumpkin (15 oz.).  Make sure it is just pumpkin and not canned pumpkin pie mix.

Mix the ingredients together in the bowl. I mixed mine by hand, and there were specks of the cake mix still showing. I didn't want to overmix it, so I left it that way.

Spoon them out onto a tray (I greased my pan, and it is insulated...not sure if either is necessary).

I put half of the cookies on the sheet and baked at 350 degrees for 14 minutes.  I have a convection oven, so check them with a toothpick before you take them out to make sure yours are done.

When those were finished, they went on the cooling rack.  For the second half, I decided to add a handful of mini chocolate chips to the remaining batter to try them that way.

When they were all done, I decided to mix it up even more by trying to eat them different ways. With butter ( pumpkin bread). With icing (delicious...more like a dessert). The way they are (just the two ingredients), I would eat them for breakfast.  You could add whipped cream or ice cream for a dessert.  Very versitale cookie.

These are more like cake cookies vs. crunchy cookies, so if you don't like cakey cookies you won't like these. I love that type of cookie, as it's more like a muffin top...Which I adore ;)

Next time I'm going to try them with a crumble topping (like a coffee cake). I made some banana muffin tops like that, and they were to die for. Let me know if you come up with any other ideas.