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I have a confession. I have the DIY itch as of late.
I know. You had no idea, right?
Well I do and it has me researching very strange things.
I know. What’s gotten into me? I also may want one of these…
(pink tool belt)
Can’t believe I just put that out there. Let me know if you want to send any of these my way. I’ll be more than happy to provide my mailing address
So, as the new house begins to feel like home, there are a few DIY’s I have on my list. So, far they are all doable. But finding time is going to be my only problem. I’m hoping to accomplish one per month. Here’s my plan…
1. The Quatrefoil Mirror – this weekend, for sure! I’m planning on taping off and painting this mirror a lovely shade of brushed silver. It will be on the wall by Sunday. Mark my words!
2. No-Sew Tie-Up Curtians – possibly by March. I want to pick out a new comfortor or duvet for my room before I do this one. With 2 short windows in my room which let in A LOT of light, I need some easy black-out curtians that will also pull the room together. I think some tie-up shades will work just fine!
3. Coffee Table Turned Bench – by April. My coffee table is just worn down. It needs either a face lift or a repurposed place. So once there is a replacement, a repurpose it will get! It’s the perfect size for a bench and I think it would be great to use as extra seating when we have guests over. I found this lovely DIY that I think will be genious!
4. Side Table Rehab – by May. My little side table which holds my lamp, is a little too short when it comes to the sectional sofa. So, I’m considering adding a little height to it and adding some padding and a faux leather much like the bench to create the illusion that it’s taller than it really is. More brainstorming to be done on this one…
5. Artwork for Above Bed – by June. Something needs to go on that wall but I’m just not sure what yet. So, until then, I’ll just gather ideas. I’m leaning towards a collage of photos in frames and some DIY canvas pieces. Plenty of time to brainstorm this one.
What’s on your DIY Wishlist?
With one of my New Years Resolutions being to cook more, I figured it was time to get started. First thing’s first: find recipes. My goal when searching was to find some things I loved from a long time ago and some new favorites that I thought could be easy to make. I try to avoid recipes that involve more than 7 ingrediants and things with little to no complication. Baby steps
So after the biggest grocery store trip known to man, I had a plan to try out 6 different recipes. 3 last week and 3 this week. So here’s how they turned out. The good, the bad, and even the ugly truth.
1. Sweet Potato Fries
Reciepe via: Allrecipes.com
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
- In a plastic bag, combine the sweet potatoes, canola oil, taco seasoning, and cayenne pepper. Close and shake the bag until the fries are evenly coated. Spread the fries out in a single layer on two large baking sheets.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until crispy and brown on one side. Turn the fries over using a spatula, and cook for another 30 minutes, or until they are all crispy on the outside and tender inside. Thinner fries may not take as long.
My Experience: Sounds easy enough, right? I made the mistake of attempting to make these after going to the gym. Which means I was hungry and grumpy and very impatient. Mistake number 2 was throwing the sweet potatoes in the fridge rather than leaving them out. Have you ever tried to cut a cold sweet potatoe? Don’t! For your own safety! So, after finally cutting them up 30 minutes later, I decided to shake them in the bag with the oil and taco seasoning. I skipped the pepper, wasn’t feeling in a spicy mood. After the first 30 minutes, they were very burnt. I didn’t take a picture due to embaressment. I’m not sure if it was my oven, the cold potatoes, or me but it was an epic fail. A can of greenbeans saved the day as the substitue side with the chicken. So, back to the drawing board. I’m going to look at some other recipes and possibly try them again once my cooking ego has healed.
2. Sloppy Joes
Recipe Via: cooks.com
1 lb ground beef
1/4 cup diced onion
4 oz tomato sauce
2 oz tomato paste
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
Brown the ground beef with the onions. Drain the beef then add the rest of the ingredients, mixing well. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until thickened.
My Experience: HUGE success! Sloppy Joes are a childhood favorite for me. So, finding the recipe that taste the most like Mom’s is tough. I actually emailed her to get her recipe and didn’t get a response back. So I set out to find my own version as close as I could remember. These were really good and on a whole wheat bun, not to terribly bad for you. Add a side salad and it was a nice little meal! I think I’m going to try them next time with some ground turkey to help with the health factor. But very good and a very quick meal!
Sidenote: After making these and loving them, I finally got an email back from my Mom where she admitted her sloppy joe secret. She used beef, tomato paste, and the sloppy joe packet from the grocery store. All these years I thought she had an actual recipe and come to find out, she used the pre-made packet! Who knew
Recipe via: Kelly’s Recipes
1 lb hamburger meat
1 small onion, chopped
1 can of chopped black olives
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1 can of Enchilada sauce
8 oz of shredded cheddar cheese
6-8 flour tortillas
Brown the meat and saute the onions in with it. Once that is done, add in the olives and let it heat and then add in 3/4 of the cheese and let it melt – mix it all together. Fill tortillas with the meat mixture and roll up. Combine the mushroom soup and enchilada sauce and pour on top. Top with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.
My Experience: Another big hit! I made these when a friend came over for dinner the other night and it was a great meal! I was a little worried about mixing the sauce with the soup but it turned out really good! I think next time I make them, I will use whole wheat tortillas and add a can of Rotel to the beef mix to add a little more flavor inside the tortiillas. I paired it with some Spanish rice and we had tortilla chips and salsa as an appetizer. It was a great meal. 2 thumbs up!
*Stay tuned next week for my recipes I’ll be trying this week! They include a pasta dish, a crock pot attempt, and an attempt at making an overlooked veggie just a little more appetizing.*
I realize that Twitter isn’t for everyone but I think a lot of people who don’t have Twitter don’t realize it’s purpose. Just like when Facebook was new, a lot of people just didn’t understand the point of it. ”I mean, who wants to read random status’ all day?” “If I want to know what’s going on with someone then I can check their facebook.” “It seems stalkerish.” All things I’ve heard people without Twitter say about it. But I’m here to tell you, it’s really not! The more I use Twitter the more I’m realizing what a really neat little tool it is. So, here are my top 10 things you should know about Twitter before you judge it.
Before I get started, heres some Twitter lingo you may want to know…
Tweet – to post a comment, link, or picture using your username on Twitter
Follow – to be able to read another users tweets
Retweet – to repost something another user tweeted
Mention - to include another username in your tweet
Tweet Deck – the list of tweets that update as the people you follow tweet
1. Great for keeping in touch. This is the most obvious reason. If you don’t feel like wading through games, pictures, and wall posts on Facebook to actually find out how a friend is doing, you simply check your tweet deck to see what the last thing they posted was. Much less clutter.
2. Twitter folks are less judgemental. I’m sure EVERYONE knows what I’m talking about. There is always that one person who has to say something inappropriate, judemental, or even rude on your FB status or picture. Necessary? Not at all. Twitter is so different. As one of my friend’s put it so elequently, “People who read Twitter actually want to read my status.” Therefore, much less peanut gallery input from the loser who stalks FB 8 hours a day.
3. Ability to contact more than one person at the same time. OK, I know that FB has this ability as well BUT I find it much easier to connect through Twitter. My friends who have Twitter I talk to probably 75% more than my friends who don’t have Twitter. It’s just an easier tool to connect to people in a lot of ways. And when it comes to making plans with mutliple people, it seems to be much quicker.
4. Ask for advice and get instant answers. If you are anything like me, when you shop, or cook, or have any general questions, who do you usually go to for answers or advice? Your friends, right? You shoot a text, make a quick phone call, or even email them if you are near a computer. Well, why not reach all your friends at the same time by simply tweeting a question? Example: While shopping Saturday, I came accross the quatrefoil mirror (just learned that’s what you call that shape – yay!), I snapped a picture and sent it to Twitter and asked a quick “What do you think, Twitter?” Within 5 minutes, I got 3 positive tweets back and I felt much more confident in my purchase. For me, I think its nice to know there’s a way to get an opinion so quickly.
5. Instant customer service. Beyond all the friend communication, there are many other good uses for Twitter such as customer service. Say you are having trouble with your cable. You have called their help line and been placed on hold for 30 minutes. You finally talk to someone and they don’t seem to be very much help. Meanwhile, you are wasting your time on the phone when you are at work or even worse, using up your weekend! One of the best things about Twitter is you can search for companies who have a customer service username, mention them in your tweet, and within minutes, a response and usually a request for your phone number so they can call you. I used this feature just the other day with Time Warner Cable and it worked like a charm. Very smart angle for companies as well!
6. Coupons and deals. Some of the best coupons and deals I have come accross have been through Twitter. By following some of the coupon twitter accounts, you get messages about free coupons for you to download, specials around your town, and even free promotions! Also, following other thrifty friends is a plus because they will retweet some things you may have missed. Example: My Old Navy coupon for 50% off Winter Coats back in October. I totally snatched that coupon right off a freind’s retweet!
7. Blog updates. This one is a big plus for those of us who love to blog stalk. A lot of your favorite bloggers have Twitter. Many times once they have put up a new blog post, they will tweet that they have posted on their blog. This is a great reminder to go check out their blog soon!
8. News updates. By following the local news station, People, and even a weather Twitter username, I get updates throughout the day about breaking news in my city, celebrity news, and also weather updates with the forecasts right at my fingertips without having to Google or web search. My coworker gets email updates from our local news station and 9 times out of 10, I find out the breaking news quicker than her via Twitter. You can also follow some of your favorite celebrities and see their daily tweets which is kind of cool!
9. Great for making friends. This one kind of goes hand in hand with the blogging network. By following some of the blogs you love, you can tweet your favorite bloggers and become Twitter friends! Example: There is a blog that I have been reading FOREVER because we share a love for Pugs. I mentioned her one day in a tweet with a Pug question, she responded, and I now think of us as Twitter friends! We’ve never met in person but yet we have a freindship via Twitter. Or you can also search for others who you may have things in common with and follow them. Example: I’m interested in doing more cooking right now. So I did a search for usernames who post recipes or cooking advice. Great tool!
10. A really great community to be a part of. For the most part, everyone on Twitter is super supportive. It can be a really great place to get some positive reinforement for whatever you are going through. It’s a great place to find prayer warriors, inspirational quotes, and even just to read that other people are going through the same things as you. It’s a great place to find that everyone else is human too. Which I think we all need from time to time.
In closing here is my analogy: Think of the entire social networking world as a huge sports event where the tickets are all free. FB would be considered all the regular seats. Easily accessable, everyone has them, and you have a good view but it’s crowded.
Twitter would be your VIP box seats. Same game just a better view
Dear Cup of Non-Starbucks Coffee: The more I drink you, the more I like you. Trying to limit my Starbucks has been tough. But you have been a great help.
Dear Treadmill: I can’t decide if I’m happy to reunite with you or not. Jury is still out on that one.
Dear Area Rug Shopping: You are exhausting. I am happy to be done with you. I hope.
Dear Car: I promise to wash and vacuum you this weekend. You are in desperate need of some TLC. My apologies on the delay.
Dear BB: Why is there a random FB notification in the corner all the time? I don’t have any notifications. You are driving me nuts.
Dear Family: Looking forward to seeing you this weekend!
Dear Friends: Looking forward to seeing you too!
Dear Sis: Happy Birthday
Yesterday, I laced up my running shoes for the first time since the half marathon on Dec. 11. After giving myself a full month to recover, I figured it was time. I thought I’d just go after work, run a mile or 2, do some weights and head home for dinner. No big deal.
Oh. My. Gosh. That first mile felt like an eternity. I was sweating like crazy, breathing hard…it just wasn’t right! I decided to stop at one mile since I was obviously going to need to ease back into this whole running thing. I did some weight machines until my arms were sore and then called it a day.
I admit that getting back into running is going to be harder than I thoguth it would be originally. Apparently, it can be tough to get into the swing of things. Even if you have concured something as big as a half marathon, sometimes that first time lacing up those shoes and commiting to a mile run can seem like a giant mountain. But stick with it! I think of it as the 2 week “I hate this” period. For some reason,the beginning of that 3rd week, you just have a whole different outlook on running. It gets better. I promise!
So, today I got back to that gym and commit to running that mile again. Is it going to be fun? Probably not. But when you have a love/hate relationship with running like I do, you don’t really expect it to be fun. You expect the worst and hope for the best.
1. Even though I only worked 3 of the 5 days this week, I was just as excited to see Friday. Why is that? I think there is a conspiracy going on with Fridays and our moods. I really do think that even the mention of the day causes endorphins to release. Think about it…
2. Thanks for all the sweet comments on my Lamp Revamp! So glad you guys approve and love it! I still have about 3/4 of a can of paint left ready to attack another item. I’m keeping my eyes peeled for the perfect suspect.
3. On a side note, Charity – I’m also into grey and yellow! I’m considering using some grey and yellow in my room actually! I found this pic at Babbling Abby. She found this super cute quilt at Target! Love it! I think it looks like you too
4. My goal this weekend is to check out ALL my options when it comes to 2 things: area rugs and ladder shelves. Both are things I want to get for the new place. Just not sure where to ge tthem from. So, I’m on a mission. Right now, the top 2 choices are Overstock and Ikea. We will see how it pans out this weekend after some serious shopping!
5. Anyone else ready for all this ice to be gone? As the owner of a very finiky pug, it’s putting acramp in my style when it comes to walking him. Come on spring…
6. I wrote a post about a year after the earthquake in Haiti. I can’t decide if I want to post it or not. It took me about 3 days to write and I think I just needed to write it for me. But I do hope that my readers out there are still praying for Haiti. They still have a long ways to go.
7. I’m enjoying my first Starbucks white mocha in 2 weeks. To say I’m happy is an understattement. Happy Friday All!
I mentioned last week that I did a little DIY this weekend once the boxes were unpacked and sick of organizing. My roomie, Meredith (I got permission to use her name – shout out!) “inhereted” this lovely lamp from her parents.
While funtional with a great shape, not exactly the prettiest shade of…um…brass. So, my brain started working and I had a light bulb. Pun intended. So I taped it off, covered the patio table for a little face lift!
I stopped by Lowes and picked up a metallic silver spray paint to go for that brushed silver look. This can was around $5.
And I sprayed till all that brass was gone!
Since the sade it came with was a dingy white, I opted for a new $12 shade via IKEA. This one caught my eye with the flower designs. It’s a little tough to see in pictures but when lit up, it comes off as a light grey with white flower cut outs. Very cute!
And voila! The final product!
Not the best picture but you get the idea. This may not be it’s final home but it works for now. I’m really digging the outcome and the price tag of less than $20!