Monday, June 25, 2012

Painting for the Procrastinator

I can never seem to paint a wall from start to finish. I get bored or get pulled away to deal with the girls/work/house.....whatever seems in that moment more entertaining than painting. At the same time I hate wasting paint. The easiest and cheapest way to keep paint in the tray and usable until you are ready to get back to work is with plastic wrap.

Once you are done for the day simply cover the pan, roller and any other painting supplies with plastic wrap and make sure it goes around the sides. This picture is from paint that has been sitting for a day and it's still wet as you can see. I've forgot about paint for 2+ days and come back to it and it's just like it came out of the can.

Halfway done with priming the basement. Let's see how many days it takes me to finish. :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Basement - Before

When we moved into the house 2 years ago the basement basement was finished, but the walls were awful. So far we have only been using it for storage but the plan is to repaint it and spruce it up to be a play area for the girls, a small workout area, and a  craft area for this Momma. It's not the biggest space but these are all the things that are needed down there. The walls are awful and a little embarrassing but at least I can say that I didn't choose them. lol

So here's the inspiration for the basement.
Yes my inspiration is a drink, my favorite drink to be exact. You'll just have to wait and see how it turns out. I swear I'm not crazy. ;-) 
Now for the before because without a before there can be no after.....

This is coming down the stairs into the basement. In my defense everything is shoved to the middle so I could start preping the walls for paint. Who doesn't love a little orange on orange

This is the opposite wall. Here they were trying a "technique" with the 2 different oranges. The first door is the bathroom, the second door is the laundry room, and the third door is the utility closet.

This is from standing by the bathroom door and yes, that is another wall color back there.

There are 4 different walls in the basement and 3 different wall looks. Above is the "sun wall" It has ceiling texture spiked onto the wall in a weird greenish color with a sun painted up in the corner. The white strip accross the center is my attempt to scrape it off. Doesn't look like it's going to come down so we are working on saving up enough to knock it down and re-drywall this wall. In the mean time I suppose I will cover it the best I can. Below is where all the oranges meet. Can't wait to prime it and give this basement a fresh start.

Stay tuned to see how the walls turn out. I'm definitely not afraid of color and I want this room to inspire both my creativity and the girls'.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Yummy Homemade Steak Fries

Ever have a recipe that was in your regular rotation but after you move you forgot/lost track of it? I'm slowly rediscovering all my go-to recipes from 3 years ago. This one was a particular favorite in our home. I was going to make mashed potatoes for dinner when I realized we were out of cream cheese (yes I put cream cheese in mashed potatoes....YUM!) I was trying to figure out a substitute when this popped in my head. The recipe I use is adapted from the Easy to Bake Easy to Make recipe card for Cajun French Fries.


2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
4 Mediun Russet Potatoes ( 1 1/2 pounds), scrubbed
2 Teaspoons McCormick Seasoning

It makes enough for 4-6 Servings

1. Preheat oven to 425*F. Drizzle olive oil into a 15x10x1 inch jelly roll pan. (I use a large baking sheet because I don't have a jelly roll pan)

2. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise. Turn cut side down and slice into thin wedges. Place in prepared pan.

3. Sprinkle potatoes with seasoning. Stir well to coat potatoes with oil and seasoning. (This is a great step to have a little helper pitch in. We mix with our hands for the fun of it.)

4. Bake potatoes until fork-tender and golden, 25-30 minutes.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Red, White & Blue Jello Cake

This weekend I decided to make a practice run for the 4th of July. 4th of July is in the heart of summer and to me that is just asking for a light and airy dessert. Here's what I came up with.

It's super easy to make and a huge hit for my whole family. You can even pretend that cake is good for you since it had fresh fruit on it. :)

Here's what you need for it:

1. Make the white cake mix as directed. Separate the prepared mix into 2 different bowls approximately 2 cups in each.

2. Pour the jello powder (small box) directly into each bowl and mix. (you can use any flavor combination and make this for any occasion.)

3. Pour each bowl into an 8 inch round cake pan lined with parchment paper and sprayed with cooking spray. (The Jello makes the mix a little stickier so the parchment paper is pretty necessary.)

4. Bake according to the directions on the box. Mine took about 8 minutes longer to cook because of the Jello.

I like to stick my cakes in the fridge once they are cool. It helps to frost them without then crumbling.
Here's how it looks on the inside once it's put together.

Enjoy your fresh and fruity creation. :)

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Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Sunshine Award

That's right.The amazing Jessica recieved the Sunshine blog award and then nominated me as well! I've been blog stalking following her blog for a while now and I love it. I always look forward to her posts. 

If you don't follow her blog The Thriftiness Miss already, you really should be! You'll find all kinds of great ideas for crafts and recipes all with fantastic tutorials such as...


Now on to the award...

The Sunshine Award is given from bloggers to bloggers. It’s for someone “who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere."

First, you should thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them. Next, answer the following questions about yourself. Then, choose 10 of your favorite bloggers and link their blogs to your post. Be sure to let them know that you are nominating them for the award. Last, be sure to copy and paste the award to your blog!


1. Favorite color-  As much as I love bright colors, I'd have to say my favorite color is Red. It's everywhere from my SUV to my bedroom to my kitchen.

2. Favorite animal- An elephant. What other animal is that big and still so cute. Plus I can't balance on a ball like they do. Can you?

3. Favorite number- 7

4. Favorite Drink- Lemonade....any flavor as long as it's lemonade.  

5. Facebook or Twitter - Facebook by default. I don't have a Twitter account....gasp! lol

6. Good book or good movie- Hmmm.. Book. I love getting lost in a book and with books you don't have to worry about actors you don't like because you get to imagine the scenes as you see them.

7. My passion-  My girls. They truely are my world. Other then them and my family of course, I love creating things. Blogging is my way of sharing with people who want to listen.

8. Giving or getting gifts- Giving. I love seeing the look on someone's face when I get them a gift they didn't know they wanted and the loved it.

9. Favorite day- Sunday. Sunday has it all. church of course, plus it's the only day of the week I have time for a nap. I try to get all my errands done Saturday so Sunday is our family fun day.

10. Favorite flower- Crazy Daisies. I'm sure that seems silly, but they are the daisies that get their stems soaked in food coloring so the petals turn neon colors. How is that no fun. :)


And now on to my 10 nominations..


Sara from Applestone Drive is one of the first Blogs I ever followed. She's seems really sweet and supports a good cause with Sparrow Ministries.


Cassie from Hi Sugarplum is probably the cutest blogger ever. I love her outfit inspiration page and everything she makes I can picture in my own home.


The Taylor House is another great blog. She's great at putting together gifts and she host a link party every week. 

Jillify It is an up and coming favorite of mine. She hosts great linking parties and her tutorials are really easy to follow.


The Sewing Dork is a great mom blogger. She's great at refashioning and her writing is really down to earth. I love that she posts things that turn out beautiful and also things that don't quite turn out.


A Bakers House is my favorite place to recipe hunt. Even if I'm never going to make some of it, she sure makes it look good.


While Wearing Heals is one of the newest blogs on my blog list. I'd seen it around blog land a few times and the links are always worth checking out.


Organizing Made Fun is the first Blog I ever followed. Becky is an amazing organized and she seems like she would be the sweetest woman in person.


When I want sewing inspiration from a crafty mom I like to stop by Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom


Last but not least is Amy from Home Happy Home. She has the best ideas for DIY projects around the home.

I was beyond excited to hear that I was nominated. I've only been blogging for 3 months and this is an honor. :)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Father's Day Shirt

 Father's Day is only a couple days away now. I wanted the girls to make something for the Mister but I wanted it to be something useful. We came up with a shirt. Did it turn out perfect? No, but I like it, the girls are happy with it and we hope Daddy likes it too.

My favorite part is the hand prints. The one at the top belongs to my youngest and the one at the bottom belongs to my oldest. We used a freezer paper stencil for the hands and the words. It's super easy, you just cut out your pattern and iron it on.

Here's a picture of the stencils on the shirt. Hopefully it's not too hard to see.

I set out a bunch of fabric paint and cottonballs for the girls to 'dab' the paint onto the shirt.

I taped off the areas around where I wanted the girls to paint. The tape also kept the shirt from sliding around while they were painting. We pulled up the stencils while the paint was still a little tacky and it came up great.

After the paint was dry (over night) I stitched a satin heart below the words. This was my very first applique.  It's not perfect, but I'm happy with my first try.

Hope everyone has a safe weekend and an awesome Father's Day!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Top 10 Supplies for a Crafty Girl

Every time I see a tutorial posted there is always a portion of it that says "with supplies I had on hand". I'm guilty of this too. Some of us have been crafting for so long that the supplies start to accumulate. This can be daunting for a newby crafter so I thought I would put together a Top 10 list of the craft supplies I use the most.

1. Hot Glue Gun


This is probably the tool I use the most. I have a mini and a full size (mini is the most used and I've had it since high school) I make hair bows so that is where I use it the most, but I find a way to use it almost every day. You know it's an addiction when your 5 year old's answer for anything broken is "let's hot glue it, Mommy". She's my little crafter-in-training.

2. Sewing Machine

I'm not talking about some big fancy smancy machine. I was sewing for almost 15 years before I upgraded from my parents old Singer to a Brothers Embroidery/Sewing machine. I just got my serger this year. Even if sewing isn't your thing, once you have a basic machine (they start around $50) you can sew throw pillows, fix rips and hem things. Who knows you might find out you really enjoy sewing.

3. Mod Podge

Mod Podge is something that I just discovered a couple months ago. I love trying to figure out new ways to use it. I'm still new to Mod Podge but I know it will be a long term favorite.

4. Craft Scissors

No, scissors aren't scissors. It you do a lot of crafts with fabric you will probably want to invest in a good pair of fabric scissors. It just makes like that much easier. If not, a sturdy pair of stainless steel scissors is a must have for your crafting arsenal.

5. Laminator

I love to save everything. I keep favorite things my girls draw for me and awards they get. I think that the laminator is such an awesome way to preserve things. They are a lot less expensive then you would think and so useful. I even laminate yummy recipes from magazines so that I can set it on the counter while I'm cooking and simply wipe it off with a rag it it gets food on it without ruining the page. This also reduces clutter because I don't have to keep the entire magazine around for one or 2 good recipes.

6. Paper Trimmer

I'm not talking about a Cricut (even though I do have one and I love it) they are expensive and aren't really a necessity. I'm refering to the 12x12 inch board with the giant blade/handle on one side. I can't cut a straight line to save my life so I use this thing for everything from coupons to sheets of pictures to craft paper.

7. Permanent Markers

Labeling, decorating, you name it. I LOVE permanent markers. I have 2 of the huge variety packs with all the different colors. They are even awesome if you get a scuff on your shoes or your furniture. I find the color that matches the closest and just color it in. It works great and lasts. You can't even tell there were scratches from far away.

8. Scrapbook paper

Scrapbook paper is not jsut for scrapbooking. I should know becasue it is only one of a short list of crafts that I don't mess with. I user scrabbook paper to make party decorations, homemade cards, charts for around the house and even paired with Mod Podge. It's super versitile.

9. Foam Paint Brushes

Paint brushes are great for painting *obviously* but they are also good for spreading glue when you want a low mess kids craft or Mod Podge. My girls like to go around the whole house with unused paint brushes and 'paint' everything for me. They are super inexpensive and great at smoothing fabric paint.

10. Ribbon

Like I said before, I love making har bows, but there are a ton of other uses for Ribbon. I've used ribbon for present decorations, stringing up a homemade banner, decorating a craft project and sewing on accents. Ribbon can be paired with almost any medium because it comes in such a variety. Wired, Satin, Grosgrain, fabric, paper, the list goes on and on. Can you tell I'm in love with the stuff?

There it is. My 10 must have supplies for any Crafty Girl (or guy) i guess. I'm not trying to be picky.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Date Night Jar

The Mister and I always talk about mixing thing up when we go out on a date since we don't get the opportunity very often, but always come back to the tried and true dinner and a movie. Don't get me wrong, we always have a good time, but it would be fun to try something different every now and then.

I decided to search around for some date night ideas and found myself on Pinterest. Where else do ideas come from, right? I saw this Date Night Jar and thought this is just what we need.

The idea was so clever and so simple at the same time. My favorite type of project. I love that you can choose low/no cost dates as well as move involved dates. This would give us the opportunity to have "dates" even if it was sitting in the living room while the girls are sleeping.

I pretty much had everything on hand except the jumbo craft sticks that I picked up at Walmart. The box of 300 sticks was about $4 and I only needed about 30. The rest I'm sure will end up in the Art Closet I showed you in this post.
The supplies you need:

 - Jumbo craft Sticks
 - Something to Dye the Sticks
 - Permanent markers
 - a Jar (or any container really)
 - Yarn/Ribbon
 - Craft Paper
 - Hot glue gun

I pretty much followed right along with the tutorial for dying the craft sticks. I used Crystal Light for the pink ones and Mio/Food Coloring for the blue ones. I just put the sticks in an 8x8 inch pan with the drink mixes and enough water to cover them and left them there for a couple hours.

Then I took them out and laid them out to dry on an old towel for the night. You may want to use gloves or a utensil to take them out of the coloring. I used my fingers and they ended up purple for a day or happens. :)

While the craft sticks were drying, I started decorating my jar. I used a Mason jar that we got from the local farmers market. We had just finished the homemade jelly that was in it the night before so the timing was perfect. I soaked the label off then used goo-gone to take off the sticky stuff that was left behind. That part took the longest.

Once I had it all cleaned up it was time to make it pretty. I decided on scrapbook paper and ribbon for mine. My scrapbook paper chose came in 6x6 inch pages and it didn't fit around the jar. At first I was disappointed because it was such a perfect color match, then I decided to turn it on the diagonal and it fit. I cut it on the diagonal to 2 1/2 inches wide and hot glued it on. Then I wrapped the matching ribbon around and made a simple knot in the front. I took a lighter to the cut edges just enough to seal them and added a dab of hot glue right under the knot to keep the ribbon from sliding.

Next you add the date names to the sticks:

Blue = dime dates (free of very inexpensive)
Pink = dollar dates (requires pre-planning and a bit more money)

Here are some of the ones the Mister and I came up with.....

Here's how it all came together. A little bit different than the inspiration jar, but just as fun in the end.

Happy Date Night!!!