Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Peep Printable and a Spring Wreath

spring wreath, wreath, spring printable, free printable

Hello from Jekyll Island! We're on our yearly family vacation, in our favorite place, but I thought I'd quickly show you a couple of things I threw together before we left! 

I know lots of you (us) are disappointed with the weather at home ~ apparently we have SNOW again. Boo. 

BUT, hang tight. It can't last forever. 

Regardless of Mother Nature being a cruel old meanie, I got two free sweet little printable: A mini-bunting from Landeeseelandeedo, and peeps from Flamingo Toes

They're both so sweet, they cheer me up. 

The "Get Your Peeps On" printable is cute - can you see the little yellow bunny is saying "yo" and has on a medallion? (Nothing like Pimpin' up a Peep!) 

The second printable, a mini-bunting, is the perfect size to adorn a wreath. 

spring wreath, wreath, spring printable, free printable

When I get home, I hope we do have Spring. Until then I hope you all are having a wonderful week. 

spring wreath, wreath, spring printable, free printable

Happy Easter!!! 

Thank you to Flamingo Toes and Landeeseelandeedo for the printables! 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Gallery Wall Hides a Thermostat!

Hide a Thermostat, Gallery Wall

The photo below shows a little corner of our living room. The thermostat, the double light switch, and the electrical outlet... So chic! So interesting! So NOT.

Hide a Thermostat, Gallery Wall

And then... Little Brags posted about Hiding a Thermostat in Plain Sight. That gave me inspiration to do something similar.

Hide a Thermostat, Gallery Wall

I want to fill it out a little more, but for now, it's a bit better. I don't think the switch plate and the thermostat stick out quite as much now. Yes! 

Thank you to my new hero ~ Little Brags! 

* I notice on Pinterest that some people are hiding their thermostat under a picture or something similar. I don't suggest you do that, because it won't sense the temperature of the house properly if covered completely. Just an FYI ;)

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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Window Décor For Less

To continue or begin a house-updating project, get the best in ideas for inexpensive window treatments. Drapery and blinds are a staple, so saving on these items in a meaningful way will affect your budget significantly. If you need to buy window décor, why not save at the same time, and have a lasting product where you can save money on great quality product, and really see the difference.

Outdoor Shutters

When purchasing shutters for your home, consider the cost as an investment to save you money in the long run. If need be, consider payday loans online for this long-time savings investment. The cost will be an important part of saving you money and energy on the home’s energy bills.  By increasing your home’s insulation with shutters, you are more likely to let less energy out through inefficiency. Keeping the shutters affordable when you purchase them is important, as long as there is no expense in quality – if the quality goes down, so does your margin for energy efficiency. Get more than one estimate on your window shutters to make sure that you have understood all the pricing information, and gotten the best deal on product and it’s installation.

Bamboo Blinds & Shades

If you need an effective way to have style and stay on budget, try bamboo shades and blinds. Often inexpensive, they come in plentiful sizes, and are also available for custom cuts.  These shades will increase privacy, as well as moderately increasing the efficiency of the energy in your home. Take care to measure carefully as some sizing is not easily provided, and save yourself the hassle of having to go back o the store to exchange for the right size. Take an image of your window set up to bring to the home improvement store as well, so you can also inquire about the most cost efficient bamboo blinds that will also look the best, and be the best in energy efficiency, for your home.

Refurbished blinds, Custom-Sized

One way to increase savings greatly when purchasing blinds and shutters is to look for unused or recycled window treatments.  Old sets of blinds that used to be in you home but were mis-cut or discarded, can now be sized appropriately, and used to increase the energy efficiency of your home or apartment, Ask a few contractors if they have any blinds or shades that were not used from older projects, and if they are available for resell. A lot of times you can get amazing quality, just by inquiring with a few different providers of window treatments.  Use your knowledge of the best contractors to ask them if they can also do the installation – They are more likely to do the project for resale if they get the installation of the blinds as well as a bonus. As you will probably have to custom size and install these new refurbished blinds, you would be hiring someone anyway, so enjoy those discounted window treatments for next to nothing.

DIY Curtains

Interior window décor may seem to  be difficult to save money when purchasing, as there are pre-cut standard sizes, an generally the higher quality fabric costs item. Use this concept to see what higher quality fabric is available for cheaper by the yard, and cut the curtains to size yourself, and have the fabric sewn into curtains you love. Custom curtains can be the cheapest way to invest in beautiful home décor as you can make tem from old tablecloths, blankets, or any high quality fabric you like. Or purchase a new fabric by the yard for an interesting and unique money saving deal on curtains.

Mod Podge a Glass Table Top

mod podge, burlap crafts, mod podge and burlap

Hello there peeps! I hope this finds you well!

Today I need to ask you a favor.

I made this little table top, but I am stuck, and I need your advice.

Big A and I have three tables - two are end tables, and one is a coffee table. They're all glass topped and I dislike them. A lot. Because they're see through, I also walk into them. A lot.

All they do is collect dog nose smears, finger prints, and show every single crumb and minuscule particle of dust.

I can't afford to replace them, but for the past couple of years, I have been keeping my eyes open for something fun, in thrift stores and at garage sales. Nuttin' honey.

Meanwhile, I've been stewing over what to do with them for the time being. Finally, I had an idea. I would mod podge one of them with burlap! I thought it would look so rustic and cool, so I googled and searched, but I couldn't find any examples on line.

So, ignoring what may have been a fair warning to proceed with caution, I just did it.

mod podge, burlap crafts, mod podge and burlap

I laid out one of the end table glass tops between two chairs, and painted it with mod podge. 

mod podge, burlap crafts, mod podge and burlap

I put the burlap down, and then painted that with mod podge. 

mod podge, burlap crafts, mod podge and burlap

It took about four days to dry. 

When it was finally dry, I popped it back on the wrought iron base, and was completely underwhelmed. 

mod podge, burlap crafts, mod podge and burlap

It's just okay, right? It looks better than glass with dog boogers and sticky finger smears, but now what? 

mod podge, burlap crafts, mod podge and burlap

Should I put something around the edges? If so, what? Please help me! 

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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Meatloaf Cupcakes

meatloaf recipe, meatloaf cupcakes, meatloaf, mashed potatoes

Anyone hungry?

Me too! I'm always hungry! But in my house, it's difficult to come up with something everyone will eat. Big A is meat and potatoes all the way. I like most anything, but generally a seafood person. The two teenagers eat most everything, but they eat A LOT. And the little five year old is picky with a capital P, and suspicious of everything I cook. It's a challenge. 

BUT, these Meatloaf cupcakes are a huge hit with my family. Everyone likes them, and they're filling. (And, I have seafood on nights out!) 

The're the perfect family dinner. (Admittedly, this recipe may not be featured on the menu at The Ritz, and I'm pretty sure it's not in any of Gordon Ramsey's cookbooks. However, it will make your family very, very happy.) 

Now, they're a cute shape, and you "frost" them with mashed potatoes - adorable. But the real treat is that they're delicious! 

You can use your favorite meatloaf and mashed potato recipes, OR, try my recipes. (Pretty please with a cherry on top! They are so good!) 

Either way, make up a batch of mashed potatoes. Make some meatloaf mix. And put together a really fun and easy dinner! 

Here are my recipes: 

The Best Meatloaf 

2 slices white bread
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 lb ground pork
3/4 lb 85% lean ground beef
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated or 1/4 cup Romano cheese
1 egg, beaten
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Tear up the bread and add the buttermilk and beaten egg. Let the bread soak up the egg and milk for a few minutes.. 

Add all other ingredients and mix well.

Take handfuls and make meatballs that will fit in the muffin tin. Press one large meatball in each hole. (Never roll meatballs too much. You want them kind of "lose"). 

NOW, Pipe your mashed potatoes on each cupcake.  (Scroll down for the best mashed potato recipe!) 

Bake at 350f for 1 hour. 

meatloaf recipe, meatloaf cupcakes, meatloaf, mashed potatoes

meatloaf recipe, meatloaf cupcakes, meatloaf, mashed potatoes

meatloaf recipe, meatloaf cupcakes, meatloaf, mashed potatoes

Super Good Mashed Potatoes

 8 medium potatoes

1 cup sour cream
8 ounces cream cheese, room temp
4 tablespoons butter, room temp
1/4 cup chives
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons onion flakes
1/2-1 cup thinly sliced green onion
bacon bits or 2 slices cooked crumpled bacon
milk (add just enough to make them the right consistency)

Peel and cut up the potatoes. I make them all the same size, usually in fourths. You don't have to be too accurate, just eye-ball it! 

Put them in cold water and bring to a boil. Boil for about 30 minutes. I take a fork and stab a potato at this point, if it slides off the fork, it's done. If not, give it a few more minutes. 

When you have sliding potatoes (!), they're done, so drain 'em. Pop them back in the pan and mash with a potato masher (not a mixer). Add all other ingredients and stir.

If using as meatloaf cupcake frosting, put the potatoes in a pastry bag or, in my case, a gallon Ziploc. Cut the corner and "Pipe" the potatoes on top of each cupcake.

meatloaf recipe, meatloaf cupcakes, meatloaf, mashed potatoes

Again, bake at 350f for 1 hour. 

These are pretty messy, so it's a good idea to put a large cookie sheet in the bottom of your oven if the meat juices bubble over. 

The mashed potato recipe makes a LOT! Save the leftovers for another day! I freeze mine, and they're just fine to use after a few weeks. 

Let me know if you try them. I'd love hearing from you! I'd also love for you to follow along on FB, Pinterest, OR 

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