Monday, September 30, 2013

Striped Skull Wreath


Steve went to the Chief's game on Sunday, so the kids and I decided to start "spookifying" our front porch.  I still need to get some pumpkins to finish it all up and then I will share the whole porch with you.  Until then, I wanted to show you how I quickly changed up my black/white striped spider wreath from last year.




I kept the black/white scrap fabric, hot glued a plastic skull to the base, and added an orange bow from my stash.  I was inspired by this image on Pinterest.  I also added some creepy cloth to make it more "spooky"!  Both the skull and cloth came from Dollar Tree!


I love that I was able to change up my Halloween wreath this year for only $2!


I think the skull is so fun!  Have you started decorating for Halloween yet?

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Walking Tacos

Walking tacos are so easy to make and fun to eat too!  Your kids will get to eat dinner out of a bag of Doritos…need I say more?!

Assemble your normal taco ingredients…

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Open a bag of Doritos (or Fritos), crush your chips, add your meat and toppings, grab a spoon, and get to eating!

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These would be so fun to make for a campout or entertaining guests with kids.  Or, make them just because it’s fun to do something different! 

I was able to find a 6-pack of small bags of Doritos at Walmart.  And, they are easier to eat if you cut down the top of the bag.  Happy walking and eating!  :)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Painted Stripes In The Bathroom

I decided this past winter that our 3/4, first floor bathroom just wasn’t doing anything for me.  It felt dark and uninviting.  And yes, I said “this past winter”, and I realize it is September.  Apparently this fell off my blogging radar for several months!  

I decided to paint the bathroom a crisp white, and finally decided on SW Simply White.  Once the white went up, I still wasn’t sold.  In the end, I decided to stripe all of the walls with the light blue/grey color we have throughout the rest of our house.  What a difference a little paint (and A LOT of patience) can make!

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I painted three coats of Simply White and started with a blank canvas (here is a before shot of the paint color and me testing out two different whites).

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Cutting in along the ceiling was difficult because the ceilings are high, and it required wrangling a large ladder into this small space.  I knew right then that the top stripe was going to be white, so I didn’t have to worry about cutting in again.

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I decided to go with 10-inch stripes.  I worked from the top down.  As you can see, there are a lot of small walls and angles.  This project took me several hours, over several days to complete.  Good thing I love the result!  I might not ever do it again though!

I measured 10-inches down, made a mark, and used a large level to draw a line across each wall.  I used Frog Tape to tape off the lines, painted 2 coats, and ripped the tape off when the paint was still wet.

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After one wall was complete, I would move along to the next wall, started taping, and repeated the process. I used the completed stripes from the adjacent wall as my starting off point (so I didn’t have to remeasure the 10-inches every time).  Sorry if this is confusing, I’m still not sure how I got these to look straight myself!

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I read online that a good way to secure your tape and get a straight edge is to put a small amount of paint on a paintbrush and lightly brush over the edge of the tape before rolling the stripes.  This really worked in my case, and I would definitely recommend taking the time to do this extra little step.

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The trickiest part was getting behind the vanity and trying to keep the lines straight.  A short level came in handy for this.

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The blue/grey paint I used for the stripes is Big Chill by Sherwin Williams.  This is the color throughout our house, but it presents itself very grey in this small bathroom, which doesn’t get any natural light.

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I am now happy with the walls, but I am itching to paint or replace the vanity and the mirror.  The vanity is just not my taste, but it is a nice piece that came with the house.  I think if I painted it and added new hardware, I could grow to like it.  The combo of the dark mirror and vanity are just not doing it for me, so I am on the hunt for a mirror replacement.  For now, this bathroom got a major makeover for the cost of the white paint (the blue/grey paint was leftover from the build) and the Frog Tape! 

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This was a project that required a lot of patience!  In the end, I am so happy I challenged myself and went for it.  This room looks much more like “us”, which is what projects for me are all about!

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Friday, September 13, 2013

Peanut Butter & Coconut Oil Cookies

Kate and I felt like baking the other night, and I had everything I needed on hand for these cookies, so we gave them a try.  I had never made cookies with coconut oil before, and these turned out so good!  Definitely a keeper recipe!

PB CO cookies 1

INGREDIENTS:
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter (not natural)
1/2 cup coconut oil, softened, but not runny
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons corn starch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS:
Using an electric mixer, combine peanut butter, coconut oil, egg, sugar and beat on medium-high speed to cream until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes.

Add the vanilla and beat to incorporate, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup flour, corn starch, baking soda, salt, and mix until just combined, about 1 minute. The dough should have a Play-Doh like consistency (it’ll stick together and to itself, but not to your hands).

Form dough (I always use a melon baller to scoop out my cookies and make them the same size) and place mounds on a large plate, and flatten each mound. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1-2 hours (we chilled ours in the freezer for about 30 minutes to speed up the process) .  Do not bake these cookies with dough that has not been properly chilled because they will spread.

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Preheat oven to 350°F, grease cookie sheet. Place dough on baking sheet, with a maximum of 8 per sheet. Bake about 8 minutes, or until tops have just set.  They firm up as they cool.  With this size cookie, my batch made about 22 cookies.

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Allow cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for 5 to 10 minutes before moving. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Adapted from Averie Cooks: Soft and Puffy Peanut Butter Coconut Oil Cookies

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Pre-K, Sports, & We Lost Something

Kansas City is finally going to catch a break in the heat department tomorrow!  I think everyone has “fall” on the brain, but it’s hard to justify with 95-100 degree temps over the past two weeks.  I am ready for mums, and sweatshirts, and fire pits, and not having our air conditioning running 24/7!

Kate started pre-k last week.  She’s loving it, and I am loving every.single.minute of my 4 hours of alone time each week!!  :)

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Drew starting playing flag football this year, which means we are juggling two sports for him this fall.  He scored a TD in his first game, and I’m pretty sure he is ready for more!

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Playing/watching sports is pretty much the theme going on around here right now.  Kate is also playing soccer, but they do girly things like wear soccer bows in their hair and name their team the Polka Dot Pandas :).  Love a kid in a uniform!

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In more sports news, we went to a pre-season Chief’s game with all of our neighbors and had a blast.  Our hearts are with the Bears, but we always support the hometown teams wherever we live!!  I love doing “new to us” things in Kansas City.

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We lost something around here.  This kid is just having a bunch of firsts lately!

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A lot of people have been asking how my sister and her family are doing in Singapore.  They are adjusting very quickly and the kids are both going full time at the International School.  I think the main adjustments are living in a big city with no wheels (subways, buses, and cabs are all too familiar now) and the sticker shock of what things cost (a small bottle of coffee creamer is $16)! 

The time change is really proving to be difficult to chat, but we are working it out.  I feel like a piece of me is gone without having her to talk to at a moment’s notice like I’m used to.  We have discovered a free app called Viber, which allows us to talk and text for free with our iPhones.  It has been such a great resource!  http://www.viber.com/

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My DIY “Lacquered” Tray was featured in a DIY round-up on Apartment Therapy last week!  Thank you AT!

Hope you are all having a great week!  Today, and always, God Bless America!  xo

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Monday, September 9, 2013

Mudroom Door Painted Black

Slowly but surely, the entry/exit doors on the first floor are being painted black.  The door to the back patio is black on both sides.  Now the mudroom door is also black on both sides, after the interior door recently got a paint job.

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I have been using the same paint for every door, Valspar Ultra Paint + Primer Semi-Gloss Exterior paint in Dark Kettle Black.  I originally purchased exterior paint for the back door, and just decided to go ahead and paint it on the interiors too.  I figure the extra durability can’t hurt.  This paint gives just enough sheen for a glossy door, but not too much that it shows a hard glare.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have been applying three coats on every door, allowing enough time for each coat to dry in between (I’m talking 20-30 minutes in between, not hours, because I don’t have time for that!)!  I use a sponge roller for 99% of the door, and touch up around the hinges/door knob/lock with a small paint brush.  I have painted every door on the hinges. 

Here is a before of the door.  I simply prep the door by washing it with a little soapy water.

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After one coat…

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After three coats…

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I’m hoping to tackle the interior front door in the very near future! 

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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

DIY: Framed Fabric

A few weeks ago, I posted about the framed wrapping paper I hung in my dining room.  With a gifted frame and $2 wrapping paper, that project was super inexpensive.  I also framed some clearance fabric several months ago that I never blogged about, so here is the lowdown on it (also a $2 project)!

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I found this sheer fabric in a clearance bin at Joanne Fabrics several months ago and decided to bring a yard of it home.  I think I paid about $2.  The colors caught my eye and the pattern looked like watercolor art.  I brought it home, threw it in an old brass frame, and found a home for it in a little niche in the back of the house.

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This old frame was missing the glass, so I simply wrapped the fabric around a piece of foam board, used pushpins to secure it, and shoved it back in the frame.  The fabric is exposed in the front.

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I love the pop of color and how it looks like “art”.  Our walls are a very light grey/blue and I painted the niche with some leftover grey paint in my stash.  I think it sets the stage for the colorful “art” work.

framed fabric 4

There you have it!  Another $2 framed art project!

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Sunday, September 1, 2013

Easy Football Cupcakes

Drew turned six last week, and we had an indoor flag football/soccer birthday party at a local indoor sports complex.  I think Drew has had a sports themed birthday party 5 out of the 6 years!  It’s just who he is so we go with it!

I shamefully happily did not have to do much in the creative department for this party, but I did make the cupcakes, as I always like to do.

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I frosted half of the cupcakes in green icing, and used the same trick from last year with a fork to make it look like grass/turf.  I found the edible footballs at Party City.  The other half are chocolate frosted with vanilla iced laces.  I just placed the icing in a ziploc bag and cut the tip at an angle and added the laces.

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Just the right little homemade touch for the birthday party!  These would be so easy to make for your next tailgate too!

I still can’t believe this guy turned six, started kindergarten, is almost 50lbs, is 4 feet tall, and now (after a roller skating accident) has his first two loose teeth!  Here’s to a great year 6!

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