Sunday, May 1, 2016

Master Bathroom Mini Makeover

Do you ever start one project and then it leads into 5 others?  That is exactly how this mini makeover happened!  Let me just say that I was recently laid off from my job so I have lots of extra time on my hands.....I do stuff that hasn't been done, that's needs to be done, that should have been done, but hasn't.
I had been collecting gold framed mirrors and picture frames that I was finding at yard sales and thrift shops to create a collage on our Picket Fence Wall in our master bathroom.  I finally had what I thought I needed and decided to hang them.  The total of this little collage was a whopping $15.  Woohoo!
I went to my Pinterst Inspiration board for a couple of sayings for the frames, printed them out to size and added them to the empty frames.  Love!!
Then, I noticed the patch jobs where we Repaired the Drywall and Added Texture on either side of the tub about a year ago (yes, I said a year ago).  They were ugly, so I decided to paint them, which led me to give all the walls a fresh coat of paint.
Then, I didn't like the contrast of colors in the wall and the wood feature on the front of the tub.  So I painted the wood feature with the same color of the walls, which is a very faint gray color, almost white.
Then, I hated it because now the wood feature is glowing and saying hey look at me, I stick out like a sore thumb! Hello! Can you see me?
Then, I decided to paint it the same as I had painted our vanity cabinets, which I just realized I never even blogged about, but I did blog about the rest of our vanity construction if you want to read about that HERE.
The paint is from Home Depot and its Behr Premium Plus Ultra in Creamy Mushroom.  I'm pretty sure every cabinet in our house has this paint as a base. :)
I used Minwaz stain in Dark Walnut 2716 to add a warmth to the very light color and give it a bit of interest.  If you've been following us for very long, you'll see I can't just leave anything alone, I always have to add something else! LOL!
I wear two pair of gloves, one rubber glove and one of my regular work gloves.  You don't wan this stain all up in your fingernails, at least I don't.  I dip the sponge brush you saw in the previous picture in the stain, lay it on the lid, then I blot the rag on it and rub it on to the surface being sure to rub until its blended out.  Wipe off all excess stain.
Can you see the part I haven't stained to the left?  Pretty good difference huh?  This rough cedar  was a bit harder to work with than the smooth wood of our cabinets, but I like how it turned out.
Here it is all done and ready for sealant.  After I finished the entire process, I sealed everything with the Valspar Clear Protector I found at Lowes.
I hope you're not too jealous of our 1980s vinyl flooring, its next on my list, but that takes money so it might be a while.

It doesn't have to be done all at once.  It is a slow process in the works! C-ya next time!

I'm Linking to:
These lovely and FUN parties!
Between Naps on the Porch

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Sunday, April 17, 2016

A Lovely Way to Dry Herbs

Do you love to bring the outside in when decorating?  I do when I can, but as you know, sometimes whatever you bring in (like flowers) doesn't last very long and then usually has to be thrown out.  Seems like a waste huh?  I've found something to decorate with and also be able to use later in a money saving way?

TIP:  After your flowers are "done", toss them in your compost bin or back into your flower bed for the earth to use as needed.
Every time I use basil from our garden, I always think how pretty the little bundle I just harvested looks.  While I was strolling through Pinterest one day I saw an old wooden hanger with wild flowers hanging from it and it gave me the idea to make this!

Whenever I've seen herbs being dried before, they were always hanging in little bundles like you see here.  I think they are pretty while fresh and after they have dried too.
We have an abundance of basil in the garden and whenever I need it, I just go snip what I need and I'm set.  However in the winter when the basil is not growing and I'm making all kinds of soups and such, I hope to have my very own freshly dried basil to use.  This is the first time I've dried any herbs on my own, so I will keep you posted of how it goes.  That's probably a whole other post there.
To make your very own pretty herb dryer you will need a vintage wooden hanger, some twine, a bit of burlap ribbon and of course the herbs of your choosing.

  • Bundle your herbs like above (cut ends to the top).
  • Cut a piece of twine about 12" long.  Tie it loosely around the bundle.  Turn the bundle over with tied part down.
  • Cut another piece of twine about 6" long.  Slip it through the loop of the first tie as shown above.
  • Now flip your bundles over and tie the 6" piece of twine in a loose knot to the hanger.   Space your bundles evenly to your liking.
Now all you need to do is tie a piece of burlap ribbon at the top and hang it up and enjoy!
This could be hung in the kitchen as well, how cute would that be?  Of course you could use several different types of herbs as well, if you had them.

I forgot to mention that this smells really nice too.  It's hanging above the couch and I usually hang out there when ooohing and aaahing over Instagram.  Please follow me, I'm ddcamp170 on there.

If you love to cook using fresh herbs, here are a few of my go to recipes that I love using my fresh basil in.

Feta Basil Turkey Burger - click HERE.

3 Summer Salads with Garden Fresh Tomatoes - click HERE.

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce - click HERE.

It doesn't have to be done all at once.  It is a slow process in the works! C-ya next time!

I'm Linking to:
These lovely and FUN parties!
Between Naps on the Porch

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Sunday, April 10, 2016

Semi-DIY Spring Wreath

I made this sweet little Spring wreath for less than $10!  One month ago today, I lost my job.  We are on a tight budget, but with all the free time I have on my hands, its hard not to be crafty, its what I love to do most!
I wanted to make a Spring wreath for the front door, but didn't have a wreath form to start with and I knew I couldn't just go to Hobby Lobby or Michael's and load my basket like I usually do.  I figured I'd check the local thrift stores for a used one.
Before my thrift shop adventure, I had to stop at CVS to pickup a few things we needed and just could not resist looking at all their Easter goodies that were marked down to 75% off original price.  This cute wreath was marked $12.99, I got for $3.25!  Woohoo! Score!
To me, the wreath needed some blooms to make it look more Springy, so I found these flowers at Walmart for .97 each, I got two stems to make sure I had plenty of blooms to fill in the blank spots.  I removed the flowers from the stems and just placed them on the wreath where I thought it needed one and then one by one, I used my hot glue gun on the low setting to add the flowers in.
I had already found this little "burlap" birdie at The Dollar General previously.  She was $1.  Her cute little blue tinged flower didn't match my wreath, so I altered it.
I grabbed my white acrylic paint and covered the whole flower, let that dry and then added the yellow center back in.  Oh, and her eyes were not really well done, but I fixed those too with a little black paint!
I thought she needed a nest so I made her one using some raffia that I already had in my giant crafty stash.  Nest: FREE.98! Haha!
Again I used my hot glue gun to attach the nest and the sweet little bird to the wreath.  Doesn't she look happy in her new home?
This was so very easy to put together, mostly because the hard part was done for me, but I think it turned out stinkin' adorable if I do say so myself!
Even though I snapped all these pictures in the living room (the light was better) with the wreath hanging on the old window frame, she is now happily hanging on the front door looking oh so beautiful for our Spring weather.

So the moral to the story is, you can make a CHEAP, really pretty, semi-homemade Spring wreath if you happen upon a really good sale at CVS! :)  Total cost of my wreath was $6.19, pretty good deal huh?

It doesn't have to be done all at once.  It is a slow process in the works! C-ya next time!

I'm Linking to:
These lovely and FUN parties!
Between Naps on the Porch

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Sunday, April 3, 2016

Homemade Ranch Mix - It's Better For You!

Yes! Its better for you than the store bought stuff!  If you're from Texas you love your ranch, plain and simple (well, most of us do).  I happened across THIS recipe for homemade ranch one day and I haven't bought another packet since! Thanks Kimber!
It even looks pretty in the jar too, well. I think so! Hahaha!  This is very simple to put together and way cheaper in the long run too.  Best of all, your body will thank you for adding less chemicals and additives to it.
Here are the ingredients you will need to make your very own homemade Ranch mix.  You probably have almost everything in your spice/herb stash.  I only had to buy the chives to make mine.

Homemade Ranch Mix
  • 2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 tablespoon parsley flakes
  • 3 teaspoon dill weed
  • 2 teaspoon freeze dried chives
  • 4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 4 teaspoon dried chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoon black pepper
Mix all the above ingredients together in a 1/2 pint jar with a good sealing lid.  I just went down the list and added the item to my jar and then when I had everything in the jar, I sealed it and shook it around to mix.

NOTE: 2 tablespoons = 1 packet of store bought mix.
Looks good enough to eat huh? Ha!  I really wish I would have looked this homemade version up a long time ago because it seems to make all my recipes so much better now.
Have you already discovered this recipe?  Do you love it?  I have some recipes that I use Ranch mix in pretty regularly, please see below for links to those.  Thanks for visiting!

Roasted Ranch Carrots - click HERE.
Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing - click HERE
Crockpot Cream Cheese Chicken Chili - click HERE.

It doesn't have to be done all at once.  It is a slow process in the works! C-ya next time!

I'm Linking to:
These lovely and FUN parties!
Between Naps on the Porch

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Sunday, March 27, 2016

Cleaning Your Coffee Maker Without Harsh Chemicals

Happy Easter!

When we remodeled our kitchen a few years back, I wanted a brand new coffee maker in stainless steel to match all of our new appliances.  Anywho, my coffee maker is a going on 3 years old now and it still looks pretty good for its age.  Let me show you how I keep it looking nice!
By the way, this is one of those coffee makers that does not have a heating element to keep the pot warm.  It has an insulated carafe and it keeps coffee warm for hours.  Sometimes if there is coffee leftover from the morning (very rare) it is still warm when I get home from work in the evenings, not hot, but warm.  Pretty nice!  HERE's a link to where I got ours.
Our machine shows when it needs to be cleaned which is awesome so you don't have to keep up with it.  The clean button lights up and glows until you clean it.
The only thing I use to clean our maker is plain white vinegar.  That's it, nothing else goes through this machine for cleaning.  We have really hard water so it causes lots of build up.  The hot vinegar running through the machine breaks all that up and sends it out.  I always make sure to put a coffee filter in the basket to catch anything that the vinegar sends through.
Here are a few before and after pictures for you to see the difference a little vinegar and then of course some soapy water can make.
This is where the water canister sits.  Since the vinegar doesn't touch this part of the machine, I just add a little vinegar to a spray bottle and clean up this area with a paper towel.
This is where the actual coffee filter basket sits.  What a mess huh?  I use the vinegar in the spray bottle here too.
After I've ran the vinegar through the cleaning cycle I then run 4 full cycles of plain clean water to clean out all of the vinegar from the inner workings.  The final thing I do is give the water canister, the filter basket and the carafe (not shown) a good scrubbing in some nice hot soapy water.  Dry completely and reassemble the machine.
Now its not only shiny on the outside, but sparkly clean on the inside too! Coffee time!

Want to see more of my cleaning tips for using vinegar? Just click on the links below.

Cleaning an HE Washer with Household Products

Remove Hard Water Buildup Naturally 

DIY Carpet Cleaning 

Cleaning Your Hairbrush the Easy Way 

Cleaning Your Oven

Cleaning Your Sink's Spray Nozzle

It doesn't have to be done all at once.  It is a slow process in the works! C-ya next time!

I'm Linking to:
These lovely and FUN parties!
Between Naps on the Porch

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Sunday, March 20, 2016

Happy Easter Banner

Recently we rearranged the living room and I decided to let the old vintage window frame live over the couch for now.  I've been decorating it with a wreath for each holiday.  Since its time for Easter right now, I got out the Easter egg wreath I made a few years ago.  After I hung it, it seemed like it needed something else, so I thought a cute Easter banner would go with my colorful Easter Egg Wreath.  I got out the Cricut Expressions and got to it!
I love the rustic look, so I opted for the Kraft paper and twine combination.  At first I was just going to use little flag type pieces for each letter and then I got the bright idea to use egg shapes.
You will need the following items to recreate my banner:

Printed paper (I used is a 6 x 6 paper stack from Lawn Fawn called Let's Polka, Mon Amie)
Kraft Card Stock
Cats Eye Chalk Ink (chestnut brown)
Cricut machine
Doodlecharms cartridge
Mickey Font cartridge
Jute twine
Burlap ribbon
Mini clothespins
Glue for paper crafting

For the egg shapes:
I used my Doodlcharms cartridge.  The Kraft piece was set to cut @ 14".  Next the colored egg pieces.  I wanted the banner to be sturdy so I will be able to use it year after year, so I cut an extra egg from white card stock so it would be stiffer when all assembled.  The white piece and the colored piece were cut at 13".
For the letters:
I used my Mickey Font cartridge.  I wanted the letters to pop off the colored eggs, so I decided to use a white shadow.  For the white piece, use the shadow button and cut each letter @ 3".  For the colored letters, turn off the shadow key and cut @ 3".
After you have all your pieces cut out, start assembling them with glue.  Next measure the area you want to string your banner to and from and cut a piece of jute twine.  Tie a loop in both ends for hanging.  Add each egg with a mini clothespin.  Adjust them to your liking.  Now finally, take the burlap ribbon and cut (7) 6" pieces.  Tie one piece in between each egg and one on each end using a loose knot.

I made this little banner first.  After hanging it, I still thought it needed something else.....I can't leave anything alone! lol!
Before we move on I just wanted to show you a close up of the burlap ribbon ties in between the eggs and also the individual eggs as well.  Each egg and letter got a good distressing with some cats eye chalk ink.  I love the tiny printed papers.  So cute!
So, since I thought it needed something else, I made the "happy" banner to go with it.  It's just a smaller version of the first one.  The eggs are cut using 7" all around.  The kraft paper is cut using the shadow key and the color paper is with the shadow key off.  I only tied the little burlap ribbon knots on either end since it was so little.
I hope you've enjoyed my sweet little Easter banner and make one for yourself.  So fun and easy too!  Thanks for stopping by!

You can find more Easter how-tos here:
Easter Egg Wreath HERE.
Easter Wreath Revisited HERE.
Easter Bunny Banner HERE.
Old book page Eggs HERE.

It doesn't have to be done all at once.  It is a slow process in the works! C-ya next time!

I'm Linking to:
These lovely and FUN parties 


Between Naps on the Porch

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Sunday, March 13, 2016

Easy Way to Remove Pet Stains

If you have a pet, especially an elderly pet, you probably need to read this post!  Of course I went right to Pinterest to find a way to battle these pet stains.  It only takes two ingredients and a tiny little bit of elbow grease and your carpet will look nice and smell way better too!
This is one area that was a problem.  There are normally two areas that I have to keep a constant vigilance over.
This is Trevor, my grandpaw dog.  He will be 16 next month and for his whole entire life he NEVER had accidents in the house.  Just this past year he started to go in the house instead of asking to go outside.  Poor dude!  Keeping our light colored carpet clean and keeping the house urine odor free is a chore now!  Sometimes I catch the accident right after it happens, but mostly he does this while we aren't home throughout the day and that causes the staining.
All you need is Hydrogen Peroxide and Dawn dish soap (the blue one is best).
The mixture is 1 to 1 and I had a large area to cover so I mixed 1/4 cup Dawn and 1/4 peroxide in an oblong dish so I could get my scrub brush into it easily.
Using a stiff bristle brush, dip into the solution and apply to the stained carpet.  Rub light to get the solution into the carpet fibers.  Let this sit on the carpet for about 30 minutes and then blot with paper towels (I use my foot) to remove all the extra moisture you can.
I apologize and sometimes I wonder if I'm a good blogger at all because I forget to take pictures of steps of the process I'm trying to document.  Gosh!  I failed to take pictures of me blotting up the excess moisture from the carpet.  Here are a couple of before and afters to show the difference a little 2 part solution makes.
And one more here.  After the carpet is good and dry,  I vacuum the entire area.  For a few more days we have a nice looking carpet.  Someday I want to install tile.  *Sigh
A larger shot of the before.....
And then the after.  Its nice while it last, but I know he will just create the same scene over again soon.  At least I have this method to make it better!

It doesn't have to be done all at once.  It is a slow process in the works! C-ya next time!

I'm Linking to:
These lovely and FUN parties!
Between Naps on the Porch
DIY Home Sweet Home
We Call It Junkin

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