Thursday, December 5, 2013

Christmas Fun!

Ok, so the baby is playing stubborn and hasn't made his appearance yet. So, I thought I'd do a Holiday Idea post. There are so many fun holiday crafts out there and all over Pinterest of course, that its hard to choose from, but here are a few I thought were fun and I will be trying. :)  If you couldn't tell I have a snowman theme going on this year!

Melting snowman cookies! Make for yourself or a fun treat for friends and neighbors! So Easy!
Super Cute Melted Snowman Cookies

Capture the prints of those precious toes and make some foot print art! This will be our third year to do this fun tradition!
December fun... by Sherry Wright - check out the cute snowman made with a footprint

Need a fun and inexpensive centerpiece? Snowman ornaments in a glass vase. So easy! Just sharpies or a little paint and ta da!
simple to make!

Want to give out a little gift to impress neighbors? Cookie mix in a mason jar! So easy to do!
cookie mix in a jar

There are so many fun ideas to do with the kids that its hard to choose. I know the baby will be here soon, but we've already started our holiday traditions. I hope you all have a great holiday season! To your house from ours! Happy Holidays!

-Amanda

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Christmas Burlap Wreath!

I realize I have done a ton of wreath posts, but I can't help my love of burlap! Ha! I had some supplies left over that were lying around driving me crazy(nesting?). So I sat down and made one last wreath. I LOVE it! It was done in about an hour, and to my benefit, I managed no glue gun burns this time! You may be thinking, Christmas? Yes, Christmas. Its just around the corner. I believe only 7 Saturdays left. Yikes! And I have a baby arriving sometime in between there. Better get on the rest of it! So here it is, my fun and easy burlap Christmas wreath. The kind that will last thru more than one year and doesn't die or crumble. Did I mention its under $20 to make?


Here is the link to my original tutorial/post for this type of bubble burlap wreath: http://pinterestandthepauper.blogspot.com/2013/08/yes-another-burlap-wreath-and-again.html


The difference is only the embellishments. I used a burgundy burlap($5 at Joann's) for the bow and roses,  and got some pine cones, a Merry Christmas sign, and berries from Hobby Lobby($1.50 each).  I must add that while I was there they were having a huge 50% off sale on all Christmas, ribbon, and floral items this week. Get into your local Hobby Lobby and check it out!(No, they aren't my sponsor. Ha!)

I hope everyone has a safe and happy Holiday season! This will most likely be my last post until the new year. A baby is arriving any time! Maternity leave if you will.  I thank all of you who have stopped by my blog this year! It has been so much fun! I appreciate all your comments and feedback. You're awesome!

Have a Happy Holiday!  And as always, Happy Pinning!

-Amanda from Pinterest and the Pauper

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Mirror Make-over

A while back I bought a dresser off of Craigslist and it came with a huge mirror and a twin headboard. I knew immediately I wanted to turn the mirror into a chalkboard for my entryway. It had good shape and character and I had a vision! I think it turned out pretty cute and all for $10!



Supplies:

1) Mirror
2) spray paint in your color choice( only used two cans. $3 each from Lowes)
3) chalkboard paint in your color choice(used black just from craft section of Walmart. $4)
4) Painters tape
5) Newspaper or drop cloth
6) paint brush

How to:

1) Use a drop cloth or newspaper and lay your mirror on it.
2) Tape off the mirror with some newspaper to cover up the reflective part.
3) Spray paint the color on all of the surface edges. Repeat as many coats as needed to cover well.
4) When the paint is dry, pull off the tape and newspaper from the mirror.
5) Paint the chalkboard paint over the mirror. This will take several coats to cover and make smooth. Allow to dry as recommended by paint directions.
6) When the chalkboard paint is dry, take a piece of white chalk and rub all over to condition and wipe off with dry cloth.

Ta da! Now you have a fun chalkboard to write your calendar or schedule on or even fun quotes. Have fun with it!

Happy Pinning!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

It's time for Halloween!

I LOVE October! Fall rolls in and with it Halloween! It must be childhood nostalgia, but this is my favorite time of year. The crisp air, the turning leaves, the candied apples and caramel corn. My mom always went all out with decorating and making homemade costumes when I was a kid. I am not nearly as talented, but I already have the kids costumes ready and had my decorations up Sept 30th. Ha! Last year I made a few homemade decorations that I really love and hope to keep for years to come. My googly eyes frame and hanging Boo sign. They were so easy and honestly, you could just look at the photo and do it yourself! 


For the frame:

Find a frame that is wide and can show off a ton off eyes. I got mine at a thrift store. Use different sized googly eyes from the craft section at Walmart and hot glue them on. Add a little ribbon and an "Eek" or "Boo" to embellish. So easy! It cost me maybe $5 to make.


For the hanging Boo sign:

All you need is those cheap fiberboard letters from Hobby Lobby, some fun Halloween scrapbook papers, ghost stickers, ribbon, and modge podge.

Cut the paper out to fit the letters and modge podge on. Add the stickers where you like. Use the ribbon to tie them together.

Ta da! The Boo sign cost about $6 to make since I already had Modge Podge.

The Original Pins:

Very cute googly eye picture frame for Halloween
http://adiamondinthestuff.com/
Boo hanging sign. So cute!
http://www.thenshemade.com/search?updated-max=2010-09-16T09:52:00-06:00&max-results=5

Wanna add some extra fun to your Halloween season? How about treating a friend or neighbor to a sweet surprise to pay it forward! Make a treat and print out these cute printables and leave a surprise for them to find!
Visit this link for the files: http://makingmemorieswithyourkids.com/2010/10/youve-been-booed-with-free-printables/

you've been booed printable - so fun for kids! What a good idea!

Have a fantastic October! Enjoy your own cup of hot cocoa, pumpkin donuts, or whatever helps you ring in the Fall!

Happy Pinning!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Fruit Flies!

I really hate fruit flies! This year we somehow got a crazy case of them from some peaches we brought home. I could not figure out how to get rid of them and swatting them did not dent their numbers. Then I happened to be scrolling down my Pinterest page and saw someone who had a brilliant idea on how to get rid of them. I just had to try it! and it worked like nothing I have ever seen!

This photo is from her blog! It was just way better than mine!

The orginal Pin:
http://www.pinterest.com/offsite/?token=165-801&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.instructables.com%2Fid%2FHow-to-Create-a-Fool-Proof-Gnat-Trap%2F%3FALLSTEPS&pin=208995238931152632


How to:

1) You will need 2 bowls. One smaller and shorter than the other to fit inside the larger bowl.
2) Place your desired fruit in the smaller bowl. I used bananas because they said they work best, but she also used grapes. I think any fruit would work really. Anything ripe that is.
3) Fill the larger bowl with water and a little dish soap that is at least an inch deep and then place the smaller bowl with the fruit inside.
4) Take plastic wrap and put it tightly over the top of the bowl. You can use a rubber band or something like that to secure if you want, but mine staid fine.
5) Poke small holes randomly all over the plastic wrap just big enough for a fruit fly to climb through.
6) Set in a place where the flies are frequenting and watch the magic happen!

I must have caught 20 fruit flies this way in one night. I had no idea we had so many and over the course of a few days even more. Now I am fruit fly free! Yay! Try this, it works!

Happy Pinning!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Fall Foods! Meatloaf and Pioneer Woman's Roasted Carrots!

It may not technically be Fall, but I am willing it to be here with all my heart! :) Fall foods are warm and comforting, and I have been craving things like Pot Roast, Chili, and Meatloaf. Is anyone else ready for Fall? I can't wait to bust out my sweaters and boots! And it's almost here! Almost!


This recipe is from my Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book. 

Meatloaf recipe:

2 eggs beaten
3/4 cup milk
2/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs or 2 cups soft bread crumbs
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons finely snipped parsley(I just used dried)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried sage, basil, or oregano. Which ever you like most.
1/4 cup bbq sauce
1 and 1/2 to 2 lbs ground beef. May substitute ground turkey.
1/4 cup catsup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard

1. In a bowl combine eggs and milk; stir in bread crumbs, onion, parsely, salt, sage, 1/8 tsp black pepper and bbq sauce. Add meat and mix well. Lightly pat the mixture into an 8x4x2inch loaf pan.

2. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hr to and hour and 20 minutes, or until internal temp is 160 degrees F. Drain fat out of pan. In a bowl combine catsup, sugar, and mustard; spread over top of the meat. Bake for an additional 10 minutes more. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

The key to good meatloaf, I have found, is to keep it moist. Don't leave it in too long and test it periodically. Some ovens are hotter than others so baking times can vary by a few minutes. :)

*I served my meatloaf with Pioneer Woman's Roasted Carrots which were superb! My 2 year old kept asking for more!

Ingredients:

1 to 2 bags of regular sized carrots.
olive oil
fresh thyme, or dried, but fresh is better
salt and pepper

Line a cookie sheet with foil and drizzle a bit of olive oil onto it.

Rinse carrots well and cut down the centers in half lengthwise. You do not have to peel the carrots which is great!

On the baking sheet toss the carrots with the olive oil until they are all lightly coated. Sprinkle on salt and pepper and thyme.

Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or so.

Ta da!  Here is the link to her site to see her directions as well: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2009/11/roasted-carrots-by-pastor-ryan/

I pinned it a while back and am now kicking myself for not trying it sooner!

I also served with regular green beans and some mashed potatoes and gravy. Was a perfect Fall meal! Hit the spot even if it wasn't as brisk and golden outside as we wanted. :) Happy Fall to all!

...and Happy Pinning!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

End of summer blues...so lets eat cupcakes! :)

Quick update to Homemade chocolate cupcakes with Nutella Buttercream Frosting! I made these for a second time and they were even better! Get in the kitchen and make these now! Perfect Fall Cupcakes!


 Original Post:

I can feel it...the cool breeze in the evenings. The shorter days and the longer shadows. The smell that comes with Fall. The end of summer is here! Only a few weeks left and the calendar makes it official. So with the last days of summer upon us and the first day of school quickly approaching, what do we do? Bake cupcakes and craft of course!

The best part of any day(ok, my day) always involves chocolate. Being pregnant has made me love it x3! I mentioned before my daughter is on a cupcake kick, so we decided to try a new recipe. Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes with Nutella Buttercream Frosting. These cupcakes were divine! A very serious MUST DO!  My husband said they were the best batch of cupcakes we have ever made, and there was not one left. The cupcakes were just perfectly moist and sweet, and the frosting was creamy and smooth. Together they were a perfectly matched pair! Some might say chocolate with chocolate is too rich, but the Nutella makes all the difference in the world. And I just LOVE Nutella! I gave this recipe out to several friends already and I am tempted to go make a batch right now so I can lick the beaters!  I'm telling you to bust out your mixer and get baking!



Here's the recipe! 

Ingredients:

  • Chocolate Cupcakes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 and 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Creamy Nutella Frosting
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup Nutella
  • 3-4 Tablespoons heavy cream*
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • salt to taste
  • decorative candies (optional)
How to:
Instructions
  1. Make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 375F degrees. Line 14 muffin cups with liners.
  2. Over high heat, bowl the water in a small saucepan. Pour the unsweetened cocoa powder into a medium sized bowl and mix with boiling water until smooth. Allow to cool to room temperature by placing in the refrigerator as you prepare the other ingredients.
  3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, using an electric hand or stand mixer, cream the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla extract. Slowly add the flour mixture and beat only until just combined. In a steady stream, add the cooled cocoa mixture and stir until smooth.
  5. Fill each muffin tin 3/4 of the way full with batter. Bake for 16-19 minutes, keeping an eye on them to avoid even the slightest burning (which will lend dry cupcakes). My cupcakes took 17 minutes and a toothpick inserted in the middle came out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool before frosting.
  6. Make the frosting: Beat softened butter on medium speed with an electric or stand mixer. Beat for 2-3 minutes until smooth and creamy. You want a very creamy base before adding anything else. See my extensive notes about this in the post above. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and continue to beat on medium speed. The mixture will be fairly thick. Add the Nutella and continue to beat on medium speed. Add 3 Tablespoons of heavy cream and the vanilla extract. If the frosting is too thick, add more heavy cream (1 Tablespoon measurements at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add more powdered sugar (1/4 cup measurements at a time). Taste the frosting and add salt to cut the sweetness. I added about 1/4 teaspoon of salt to mine.
  7. Frost cooled cupcakes with frosting and decorate with candies as desired.
Notes
*Replacing the heavy cream in the frosting with milk or half-and-half will result in a less creamy consistency.
Recipe source: cupcakes by Joy of Cooking, Frosting bysallysbakingaddiction.com
The Original Pin:


She also has a recipe for Peanut Butter cupcakes with the Nutella buttercream frosting! Visit her wonderful blog for more delicious baking recipes! Its an adorable blog!


Bonus post!

I know, I know. Another wreath? I had a ton of burlap left over and one of my friends left me a few pieces from a party she held. So, I decided to make one last wreath and send it to my sister. Aren't I nice? Ha! Hope she appreciates my efforts!



This wreath was the cheapest and easiest to do, but it was more to do with the fact that I had everything on hand already and didn't have to buy a thing. It is the exact same HOW TO as my very first chevron wreath tutorial. I just used the regular brown burlap around the straw wreath, and the yellow chevron burlap that my friend gave me became the flowers and bow. Seriously easy!


Happy end of summer and happy pinning!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Yes, another Burlap Wreath! And again, under $20!

What can I say? I'm on a roll! I have been merrily making burlap wreaths for about a week now. I am covered in burlap lint and have several glue gun burns, but I am excited to send out my wreaths and to grace my front door with this one! Burlap Wreath #2!


It's not quite Fall yet, but I feel the cool air and shorter days beginning to grace us. So for a simple and shabby look at my front door, I experimented with combining the idea of the burlap bubble wreath and the burlap rose wreath.

My Pins of Inspiration!






Both blogs have some seriously cute ideas! Visit their sites for more!

Supplies:

1) a wire wreath ($2.99 at Hobby Lobby)
2) Burlap ribbon about 4 inches wide. ($4.99 a roll at Hobby Lobby and I used 2 and 1/2. I also got them 50% off)
3) Glue gun and plenty of glue sticks
4) scissors
5) burlap in different colors such as orange, brown, and cream.( I had left over from my previous wreath and burlap is about $3 a yard and you'd need less than half a yard. I also got the orange burlap from Hobby Lobby but in the ribbon form.)
6) Pearl pins(walmart for 2.77, but I had plenty left from previous wreath)
7) Floral wire

How to bubble:

1) Unroll one of the burlap ribbons and on one end, weave some floral wire in between the fibers. Secure this end to the wire wreath. I started on the outside.
2) Now pull the ribbon over and under, back and forth, between the wires. Push up to keep it tight.
3) Just keep going until you r ribbon ends and then secure this end with more floral wire. 
4) repeat 1 thru 3 until the entire wire wreath is covered in burlap bubbles.
You can visit   http://somekindoflovelyride.com/2012/05/05/super-easy-burlap-wreath/    for more specific photos and directions. 

For the flowers:

1) Visit this tutorial: http://www.craftaholicsanonymous.net/burlap-roses-tutorial . She explains it better than I ever could!
2) Hot glue flowers to wreath and pin the middle with the pearl pins.

For the Bow:

1) Take a piece of the orange burlap and fold ends under, meeting in the middle.
2) Take some twine and wrap int around the center. Hot glue gun in place.
3) Cutting two more orange pieces, hot glue gun underneath and cut the "V" ends.
4) Hot glue the bow to the wreath or secure with floral wire.

Ta Da!

This wreath took me an hour total. about 30 minutes to do the bubble part, and another 30 for the roses and bow. Super easy!
                                                       

Now onto my last wreath! Happy Pinning!
                               

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

DIY Burlap Wreath! For Under $20!

I LOVE Burlap! Almost as much as I love Chevron prints, and that's saying something. Combine the two? Heaven on Earth!!! Ha! What can I say? Its really too much fun! Burlap can be so diverse, and when dressed up, made to be country or shabby chic. Add some lace or pearls and ta da! BUT it comes with a warning...ITS A MESS! Ha! A lesson I quickly learned. This however, does not detract from my love of it, or from the list of craft ideas I want to try!

My first attempt with burlap was this wreath and I absolutely love how it turned out! Even more so, I LOVE the price tag! Less than $20 to make myself instead of spending upwards of $40 on Etsy or in a craft store. It also did not take that much time or effort. Maybe two hours and a few glue gun burns.(Glue guns aren't my friends. ha!) I could not wait to hang it up! It rests proudly on my living room wall! Here's the How To....

Supplies:
1) Your choice of wire edged burlap, 1) patterned and one not.(I got my Chevron print and regular at Hobby Lobby at 40% off. Was $6 for 15ft. Generally sold in the ribbon section.)
2) Brown and cream regular burlap sold by the yard.You will only need half a yard of each at the most.(Walmart sells it for $2.98 a yard and Hobby Lobby for just over $3. So for half a yard of each $3 total!)
3) Your choice of twine. (I had some left over form a different craft.)
4) Pearl pins. (2.77 at Walmart)
5) Straw form wreath. (I got mine from Hobby Lobby for $3.99. You could also use foam or anything like it. The cheaper the better!)
6) Hot glue gun and plenty of glue sticks!
7) Scissors

How To:
1) Plug in hot glue gun and heat up.
2) Cut your cream and brown burlap by the yard into strips of varying lengths and widths.
3) With your wire edged patterned burlap, hot glue gun one end to the wreath. Then start tightly wrapping it around the straw wreath form. (A small side note, I left the plastic wrap it came with on. The straw is poky!)
4) When you have covered the full wreath, hot glue the other end down. Securing it in place.
5) Make your burlap flowers in different sizes and colors. Here is a great tutorial that explains it better than me! http://www.katiesrosecottageblog.com/2012/01/burlap-rose-tutorial.html
6) Pin the flowers in the middle with the Pearl pins and secure in your desired pattern onto the wreath.
7) For a little added dimension, add some twine flowers as well. I just looped the twine to look like a daisy and hot glued the middle.
8) To make the bow, use the plain wire edged burlap and wrap twine in its middle. I recommend the wire edged because it holds its form, but the regular burlap would work too.
9) I used a small strip of the same burlap to hang it with. I hot glued the bow to this piece.
10) Hang on your door or in your house!

Me and a friend of mine had a wreath making day and I am working on finishing the other. Will post some photos of that one soon!

My pins of inspirations! I kinda combined the two!


My Chevron burlap wreath was inexpensive and fun to do! I recommend it to all! On a scale of easy being 1 and difficult 10, its a 2!

Happy Pinning!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Buttercream Frosting using Regular Sugar!

Ever go to make something you're craving and realize your missing a major ingredient? You're either left making something completely different or not at all? My 7 year old daughter is big into the show DC Cupcakes. She just loves it. I had this little idea to see what would happen if I let her go at it and make a batch of cupcakes from scratch. I got all the ingredients out and let her read the recipe, and away she went. She was beyond enthusiastic! Then I realized that I had no Confectioners Sugar(aka Powdered Sugar). Uhhhh.... what exactly do we do about the frosting? So I turned to Google. I found a few chat rooms and baking boards. One of them had a recipe for Buttercream Frosting using regular sugar instead of confectioners. So we decided to give it a whirl. It turned out sugary sweet and a perfect consistency! Loved her expression when she ate her first bite! She felt very proud of herself.  Maybe I have a baker in the making and I won't ever have to bake again. Ha! :)


The recipe was not a Pinterest one, and in truth I have no idea who to credit. It was a person named RLI R on a Yahoo Answers board. Whoever you are RLI R, you saved the day! :)

Here is the recipe...

Ingredients:
1 cup milk
1/4 cup flour
1 cup butter(2 sticks) at room temp
1 cup granulated(regular) sugar
2 tsp Vanilla

Combine milk and flour in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. 

Cream the butter and sugar until very fluffy. Add the vanilla and cooled flour mixture. Continue to beat at medium speed until frosting is very fluffy and sugar is completely dissolved. (If you take a little of the frosting and rub it between your thumb and pointer finger, you'll be able to tell if the sugar has completely dissolved. If it hasn't, just keep beating.

Makes 3 cups. Enough to fill, border, and frost a 9 inch cake.(I had tons left over since ours was just 24 cupcakes!

Look at that proud face! :)

Try it! Its just as good as confectioners recipes! I honestly couldn't tell the difference, but I am not a professional. It worked great and we enjoyed our treat! What more could one ask? :)

Happy Pinning!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

From Boring to FABULOUS!

Phew! I just finished a time consuming project! We moved about 4 months ago and I am still working on making this house our home. It's all in the details right? There was a large blank wall behind our love seat and it was just begging for something interesting! I had revamped an old dresser(older post) to hold our DVDs and it sat along that wall, but it was very blank with just a boring mirror and some frames. Was no show stopper! I craved something eye catching and fun. I had those family photos from the spring and hatched a plan for a family wall. I perused Pinterest and found some fabulous ideas! Here is the result!



I bought the rod from Rodworks online. Its a rod that is actually made for hanging photos which is handy! I had thought about just going to Walmart or Target for a window rod, but they hang out from the wall several inches. This rod saved me that hassle and only cost me $24. I went to Michael's while they were having a frame sale and got the 11x14 frames 50% off.  I added nick knacks I had on hand and some I bought on clearance at Michael's, Hobby Lobby, and World Market. I shop sales and clearance to keep it in budget and you don't lose any value. I'm getting better at it! Then I ordered the Vinyl sign thru Etsy for $19.99. This process took me a few weeks since I was just slowly accruing pieces and ideas. We also painted the wall a cream color. I think it turned out pretty darn cute! Total cost was about $75-$100 for everything. Not bad! It accents the entire living room that it faces into, and I am very happy with how it turned out. Another project down!

Here are my Pins of inspiration!

 http://countrygirlhome.blogspot.ca/2011/10/my-new-hand-crafted-sofa-table.html

http://pinterest.com/pin/22869910577493787/

Both these are so cute and trendy! Visit their sites to see how they did theirs!

Happy Pinning!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Make it nice again!

One of my hobbies is giving furniture a face lift, and my Mom's husband gives me pieces every now and then thinking I can use them. This time he gave me an old desk. To say the least, NOT attractive, and I really have no place for it. BUT I saw that a coat of paint and little make-over could give it life again and maybe a new home. :)  So here it is, my ugly little desk turned cute!

Before:

After:

A little paint and some TLC can go along way even with the ugliest of items!

In this case it was VERY easy.

Supplies:
1) Paint(I used 3 colors....the green, white, and beige)
2) Paint brush or roller
3) Painters tape
4) Top coat



How to:
1) In a well ventilated area, pain the base of the desk or item.
2) You may need more than one coat so step 2 is to do more coats until all even.
3) While the base is drying, paint the top all white.
4) Again another coat or two if needed.
5) When all is dry, tape or stencil on your design.
6) Paint the stencil area with enough paint to coat well.
7) Let all dry.
8) Pull off the tape or stencil.
9) Touch up any edges or smudges.
10) Top coat!

You're done!  This took me only a few hours on a Saturday afternoon. I DIDN'T sand and DIDN'T use a primer. I used good old wall paint I had left over from Walmart in semi-gloss. I used 3 coats and it was good to go. It was really no sweat and it turned out dang cute!

Any boring item can be given new life with a coat of paint or some new fabric. I challenge you to try it! And I warn, its addictive to see your items transform!

-Happy Pinning!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

DIY Mammas!


About 2 years ago, I re-stained two sets of bathroom cabinets. I just guessed at what I was doing. I hadn't found Pinterest yet, dang it! I wish I had seen this post!  www.DIYMamas.blogspot.com

BEFORE:






























AFTER:
(Photos are property of DIY Mamas!)

Doesn't that make such a huge difference? LOVE it!  Visit www.DIYmamas.blogspot.com for the How-To!

I'd like to introduce you to DIY Mamas blog! Some seriously fun stuff to see and try and I had the pleasure of an interview!

DIY Mamas:

1) Tell us a bit about yourself. 
I am happily married with 4 sweet kids.  Two girls, two boys (ages 2-8).  I love being a mom.  (Although it is the hardest, and most rewarding, job I've ever had.)  My favorite movies are Oscar and The Importance of Being Earnest.  My favorite game is Clue.  I like to rock climb and fence.  (As in fight with swords.)  I am a Real Estate Agent.  I want to learn to blow glass.  I love to travel and I find peace in seeing new things, no matter how simplistic.  I want to learn photography (but cannot afford a camera).  I'm very entrepreneurial.  

2) Tell us something funny or embarrassing about yourself! :)
I AM Harry Potter.  Seriously.  I really think I am.  Lol.  I dream that I fight Voldemort all the time and wake up in a sweat with all my muscles exhausted.  I fly on my broom, fling spells, hide behind gravestones and defeat evil.  I started reading Harry Potter when the first one just came out and I was Harry's age.  I would get the next one as soon as it came out!  I would read them over and over.  I literally grew up with Harry.  As he aged, I aged.  By the time the last book came out I was married with two kids, but I still just knew I was Harry.  It was thrilling and devastating to close the last book.  I laughed, cried and loved those people.  Besides for the scriptures, I don't think there is a better set of books on earth.  I. Am. Harry Potter.

3) Tell us a bit about your blog DIY Mamas.
I enjoy crafting, improving my home, and doing projects.  BUT we don't have a lot of 'extra' income so everything I do has to be on a tight budget.  Because of that, I DIY almost everything.  I don't think that DIYing anything should have to look second rate.  I always try to make what I do look just like a professional came and did it.  I post things that have made a difference in my life.  I posted about keeping up with Pinterest parties that a lot of moms really appreciated.  I like to uplift others and share what helped me.  I hope that I can make a positive difference in the world.  No matter how small.

4) What gave you the idea to start the blog?
I have a private blog with my family on it.  (It was getting creepers so I had to make it private.)  :-(  But I wanted to share my projects publicly.  So I need a different outlet for that.  I started DIY Mamas with my sister (she is also very crafty and can even craft with nearly NO income) so we could have a place to show off our cute stuff or hard work without the creepers being able to see my kiddos.  So that is what we did.  I ended up being the only one who really posts, but she will post occasionally.  

5) What is your favorite project so far?
My favorite project was the staining project.  It was easy and produced BIG results!  My cabinet is stunning!  I have done other staining projects since then.  My latest one will be going live this week.  I have to say that the one that is coming on Wednesday might be my new favorite project!!  ;-)  I am going to give you a sneak peek!!  (See my pictures below.)
My other favorite thing on my blog is my DIY Dishwasher Detergent.  It saved my dishes and my dishwasher!  I am SO grateful that I gave it a try!!  

6) What was your least favorite or hardest project?
My least favorite (to do) and the hardest is the same one.  My girls' room.  We ripped down the wall, insulated, it put it back up, did built in drawers and shelves and did a paint job that our painter friend said would have cost us at least $400 just for that room!   The problem is that I was pregnant and we had some personal things going on so it was a VERY SLOW project.  It took months.  And we spent a lot more money than we were planning on spending.  But going through it, I have good advice to do a room like that so that doesn't happen to you.  I actually have not even finished blogging that room because of how much work it was.  I will get there!  Stay tuned if you want to see it!

7) Any advice for your readers?
Please read the whole post.  I don't say that because I want you to cling to my every word.  I have had SO many questions, specifically on my staining tutorial that were things that I had already addressed and answered in my post.  If you plan on doing something a dramatic as staining something please read all of the instructions before proceeding.

8) Any additional input?
The other thing I would like to say is, Ladies, you CAN do it!!!!  I believe in you.  It doesn't matter if you have never touched a power tool or gotten your hands dirty.  If you want to learn something you CAN.  I have had people laugh at me at Home Depot and beg me to hire someone to do the job.  I was offended.  Yes, I was 7 months pregnant but that didn't mean that I was unable to do the job.  (Please consult your doctor.  I knew I was able with my Dr.'s permission.)  If you want to learn how to do something look it up.  Get some advice and then go for it!  You can do it, Mama!!

-Danielle

Thank you Danielle!

Here are a few more fun photos/projects from her blog:




And lastly, her promised sneak peak! This is so cool! Wish I had a small bathroom to do this to!



Hope you enjoyed DIY Mamas! Visit her blog for more fun tutorials! Its a must see!

Happy Pinning!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Laura's Shepard's Pie!

My sister is an amazing Chef, and every time she visits me, I demand a home cooked, mouth watering meal. (drool!) She can pretty much make anything from scratch and she has the patience in the kitchen that I do not! This Shepard's Pie is one of the best I have had! She makes her own variations and this one is ALL hers. She also did something completely different. Not only did she have a potato layer, but she added a mashed carrot layer and it made it incredible! So, while I usually use a Pin, this recipe is my sister's and a MUST EAT NOW!  (I will mention a wonderful Shepard's Pie Pin that I tried myself and was delicious at the end!)



Ingredients:

For the potatoes:

4 lbs Potatoes(we used russet)
1/2 can Carnation evaporated milk (can use regular milk as well)
2 tbsp Garlic and herb Rondell or Allouette dip
2  tbsp Sour Cream
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

For the Carrots:

Whole bag of carrots
2tbsp butter
2tbsp canned milk

For the meat mixture:

1 1/2 lb to 2 lb ground beef
2 cups brown gravy
salt and pepper
garlic cloves
1 onion chopped
can of green beans
1/2 can corn

Ok, so this has 3 parts to it, but it is so worth it! Here's the how to:
 (Also a small warning, This makes a boat load!)
Potatoes:
1) Bring a large pot of water to boil.
2) While water comes to a boil, peel and chop potatoes.
3) Boil potatoes until tender
4) Drain water from Potatoes.
5) As you mash, add the evaporated milk, sour cream, cheese, salt, and pepper.
6) Mash and mix all ingredients together. Please note, the consistency should be slightly stiff.
* Please note that you can totally sub real mashed potatoes for the flakes or pearls. Just know you're missin out on the real potatoes, but we understand when time is crunched!

Carrots:
1) Bring small pot of water to boil.
2) Peel and chop carrots.
3) Boil carrots until tender.
4) Drain carrots.
5) Add butter and the milk.
6) Mash until nice and smooth. Can be a little chunky. That's ok.

Meat mixture:
1) In a skillet, melt 2 tbsp butter and brown onion. Just light and golden.
2) Then add the ground beef and garlic. Brown the meat mixture.
3) Drain fat.
4) Add the gravy, green beans, and corn.
5) Simmer for about 5 minutes.

To Assemble:
1) Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2) Spray a 4 qt casserole dish with cooking spray or coat with butter.
3) Place the meat mixture on the bottom.
4) Next, the carrot layer.
5) Lastly, the potato layer.
6) Sprinkle the potato layer with more cheddar cheese.
7) Put in the oven to bake for about 45 minutes or until the cheese is golden.
8) Garnish with some green onions when done baking.
9) Serve while hot! We added a Caesar side salad to complete the meal.

* Side note: If a layer of carrots is not your thing, chop up the carrots and put them in the meat mixture instead, the traditional way, but I encourage you to try the carrot layer at least once! It just adds something!

This is a delicious homemade, feel good meal! Even my 2 year old had second helpings and my 7 year old thirds! My photos may not be pretty or do it justice, but this recipe rocks! Give it a whirl!

Now here is a Pin that inspired me to ask my sister for Shepard's Pie in the first place, but this is not the above recipe to be clear. :)


I realize its hot out there, but you can tuck this recipe away for a cold day! It is worth every minute and every bite!

Happy Pinning!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Summertime Popsicles!

I don't know about you, but its HOT HOT HOT out there! Summer has arrived and with it the heat. I am originally from Las Vegas, NV and know what heat is. 117 degrees you say? Been there and done that. Its like an oven. Here in the great Northwest in Washington, it doesn't generally get over 100, but the humidity can play all sorts of tricks on you! No matter where you are and what kind of summer heat you're battling, we are all trying to cool off. And what better way than with some fun homemade Popsicles?!

I have tried several of these Pins and I really like the Nutella pops, the Orange Creamsicles, and the Strawberry cheesecake pops! Its not just enough to be cooled off, a little indulgence is needed as well. (wink) And have I mentioned how fun it is to do these with the kids? My 7 year old just loved to be a part of this fun treat!

Orange Creamsicles

Nutella Pops



All of these are amazing links to homemade popsicle recipes. There are so many that I decided not to try to add them all to the post. Visit these wonderful sites and choose what flavors you'd like to try. I promise you cannot not go wrong with ANY of them! Enjoy a fun popsicle by the pool or in where its cool! Have a fabulous summer!

Happy Pinning!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

DIY ANTHROPOLOGIE CURTAINS!!!

Am I the only one who loves Anthropologie stuff? Especially, DIY knock offs?!  Anthropolgie has some seriously cute items for the home, but lets face it, $150 for one drapery panel? I think not. I see ideas on Pinterest all the time and if you can do it for 1/4 of the cost, then why the heck not? My friend had the one up on me, and had already made these for her bedroom. They were so cute! So I decided to give them a shot. Seemed relatively simple. And so it should have been.... Ha!

I am just not a natural born seamstress. Both my grandmothers were expert level seamstresses and could whip up a project from scratch. It was like a super power! My Mom was a great seamstress as well. My sister and I always had matching outfits and dresses, not to mention all of those fun Halloween costumes over the years. Sadly, the line ended there.  I just do not have the skill. This project is Level: EASY and even I should have breezed through it, but alas, my machine and I had a disagreement and the machine won.- 1 machine, 0 Amanda. :)

So yes, the machine bested me, but while it was being repaired, I continued on by hand with the ruffles. When I got the machine back, the remaining sewing was done in an hour. :) This really is an easy project, I swear!

Also, did I mention that this is made from 2 twin sheets? I ended up using 3 actually, but that's because I did my ruffles by hand and really liked them tight.

This project cost me a total of $15 and in total sewing time was only a few hours. It should only take a day for those with a working machine. :)


Original Pin:


Visit her blog above to see more of her DIY ideas! Such a cute blog!

Items Needed:
1) 2 twin sheets of your choice in color and pattern.( I used beige from Walmart for $4.98 each)
2) Matching thread
3) Sewing machine
4) Scissors

How To:
1) If the sheets are wrinkled, you may want to iron them out so its easier to measure and cut, etc.
2) You need 3 six inch wide strips for the ruffles on each drape panel, so cut a section of sheet about 18 inches wide lengthwise.
3) Cut the 18 inch section into 3 six inch sections.
4) On the side of the sheet you cut, hem using a straight stitch on your machine.
5) I did not hem the ruffles, but you may choose to at this time if you want a more finished look.
6) Now its time to ruffle! Cut one of the 6 inch pieces in half. When you ruffle you lose length! If you have a machine, adjust your tension and create the ruffles. Or take a bit more time to hand ruffle. If you visit her tutorial above she shows how to use the machine and ruffle. I recommend the machine way! lol
7) So now you should have 2 long ruffles for each panel and the panels themselves.

8) Now, you know the top of the sheet that is about a 3 inch hem? Start to pin the ruffles onto the panel  just below that hem. Later that hem will be the rod pocket. The ruffles should be about 13 to 14 inches in from the outer edge on each side. Pin the ruffle all the way down to the bottom hem. Securing it for easy sewing.
9) Time to sew! Carefully and purposefully sew a straight stitch right down the middle of the ruffles and onto your panel. remember to remove those pins as you go!
10) This is where I cheated...I used that fabric stuff that is a glue strip and with heat from a iron seals a hem. I folded over the 3 inch hem and glued the rod pocket together. The other option is to cut a slit in the side of that 3 inch hem and its already a pocket. The tutorial from the Original Pin did hers that way. Take a look to see what you think is easier for you!
11) Hang up your glorious new drapes! Be ready to be wowed at your own savvy! :)


Don't these make a difference in the room? This project is very inexpensive and is very simple. In total, an afternoon could yield you a new accessory to your windows! If there is anything unclear on this How To, please let me know! I would love any feedback!

-Happy Pinning!