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!



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

In this case it was VERY easy.

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


(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!!


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!)


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!)
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!

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!