Sunday, December 10, 2017

Cocoa Station for Small Spaces

Yum!  Hot Cocoa in the Winter is the best!  It's especially good if you have a cute little cocoa station to make it even more fun!  It makes it very convenient for anyone who wants a hot cocoa to serve themselves anytime.  Everything you need all in one spot.
This is the very first time I've created a cocoa station in our home and we love it.  It's located on the left hand side of our sink in the kitchen.  It's a perfect spot for all the yumminess we need for hot cocoa to be for the winter.

Just use what you have, but I used lots of my Pioneer Woman collection dishes to house each ingredient and also just to decorate with.  Of course I added some of my vintage collection in there too.
The tiered tray holds most of the goodness.  On the top I have cinnamon and sugar, marshmallows and candy canes.  On the lower tier I have some Land O Lakes specialty cocoa mixes, Pirouline Cream Filled Wafers and extra mugs.  Those cute white mugs are from Dollar Tree and yall, they were only $1 each and they are nice heavy mugs.
We also have the soft peppermint sticks (they melt quickly in the hot cocoa), chocolate sprinkles, cinnamon sticks, and a few varieties of mint candies.  I got most of these edible goodies at Dollar Tree. 
Off to the side there is a large bowl with a variety of extra hot cocoa packets.  We keep the cream topping in the fridge of course, but its there if anyone "needs" it! *wink*
Do you keep a cocoa station out in the Winter months? If so, what ingredients to keep on hand?  I'd love to hear your ideas.
If you're hosting a holiday party this year, you may want to create a cocoa station of your own.  I think this would be cute for any Winter holiday party, baby shower or bridal shower.  Cocoa stations are just plain FUN to say the least!

Here's a homemade Cocoa Mix that's fun to give as a gift in mason jars:

  1. Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container. Place all ingredients (except chips) in a blender or food processor, pulse a few times, this makes a fine powder so mixing all ingredients together is easier.
  2. Serve the hot chocolate with one cup of water or milk, its your choice. Stir in two or three tablespoons of the mix, top with whipped cream or marshmallows and enjoy!
  3. Drink up! :) 
P.S.  If you're giving as a gift, tie the chips in a cute bag to the jar with a tag that includes this recipe on it.

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
The Dedicated House  - (I was featured)

Pin It!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

How to Create a Gorgeous Holiday Mantle on the Cheap!

You don't have to spend a lot on decorations to make your home look beautiful this holiday!  Try shopping your own home to see what you have before spending loads of money on holiday stuff!
I spent a total of $6 on our mantle this year.  I bought the two candles at the Dollar General on Black Friday for $2.50 each and I found the "Merry Christmas" sign at the Dollar Tree for $1! Bargain!  All the other items you see here I have collected over the years.
I knew I wanted a lit garland on the mantle, so I went to our Christmas goodies to see what we had.  I grabbed some twinkle lights and faux garland.  The garland was really long so I folded it in half and twisted it a bit to hold it.  Next I wrapped the lights around it to hold it all together.  Our mantle is a little over 5 foot long, so this was just right.
Next I shopped my stash of holiday picks.  I've saved these from fresh wreaths we've had in the past and my Mama saves things for me too. *wink*  I also went to my craft supplies and grabbed a ribbon and some baker's twine.  You'll see why shortly.

I placed the garland with lights up on the mantle and made sure the lights still worked after I "man-handled" them to get them wrapped up on the garland. Next I added my sign. Looking cute so far!
Then I added my sweet little bargain candles that smell delicious!  I just sat them in a vintage plate for added charm and protection.
Now to decorate the garland.  I used this method of making little poofs so I didn't waste too much of my ribbon.  Cut your ribbon to size (depends on what look you want) and then tie the end with a small piece of twine to hold it all together.
Now you're ready to tuck them in here and there and everywhere.
I just placed them around the garland and then stepped back to see if it looked even to me. Anything YOU like is fine!
Next I just grabbed my floral holiday picks and started tucking them in here and there.  Again, no right or wrong here, just make it look the way you want it to.
I tied a regular bow for the center of the mantle and I added it right above the sign.  I made mine with long streamers so they could come down and tie the sign in to the whole set up.

Keep adding your picks and poofs until its just the way you like it.  I would just add a few things and then step back and see if it was all even looking and then go on from there.
Do you see the "cute" vent peeking through and disturbing my pretty mantle look?  Those are for when we use the fireplace, but that is rare because we live in Texas yall and its not normally cold enough for a fire, but anyways.  I thought of a way to "cover" them up.
I added a plastic plate charger that I got from Walmart a few years ago.  You can usually get these for $1 in most places.  Shop your stash yall!  Also, if we want to use the fireplace, I will just remove the chargers and we'll be good to go.
I snapped several pictures for this post and when I looked back at them all I could see is the little vent peeking through and looking at me!
And now you're just glowing in the back ground little vents! Um, no!  Let's fix that right now!
BAM!  No more vents peeking through!  Thanks for your service $1 chargers!  Of course all of this is temporary and when the holidays are over you can just take it all down and save it for another look some other year.

Want to see more Christmas Ideas?  Click on the links below.

Vintage Tablecloth Curtain - The Christmas Version

How to Make Stove Top Potpourri

Countdown to Christmas with Free Printables

Peppermint Pretzel Bark - A Sweet Little Gift 

Clothespin Snowflake Ornament

DIY Vintage Christmas Decor

Christmas Shutter Decor

Clothespin Christmas Tree

Our Front Porch Tree

How to Wrap a Gift

Our Burlap Forest

Twig Snowflake Ornament

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
The Dedicated House  - (I was featured)

Pin It!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

How to Clean Your Fridge Coils

When was the last time you cleaned your refrigerator coils? Yeah, it's been a while huh?  Did you know that you can save yourself money by keeping the coils clean? Yes! When everything is clean in there your fridge doesn't have to work as hard, this results in the fridge using less electricity. Yay!
Refrigerators are expensive and if you can help it last as long as possible by keeping it dust bunny free, by all means, let's do it!  Let me show you how I clean my fridge coils.
We have fur people who live in our house so I pull my fridge out about once per month and clean behind it, but I don't open the back and clean inside more than about twice per year, so about every six months is good if you have pets and once per year if you do not.
I walked out the shop and got into the honey bun's tool box to find 1/4" nut driver, that's the size our fridge takes.  The old fridge we had just had phillips head screws on it.
Step 1.
Make sure the electricity is OFF to your fridge.  Unplug it or flip the breaker switch.  I unplug mine, because that way I'm sure its off!

Step 2.
Remove the back cover.
Oh boy! It's gross in there isn't it?  Well, now you know that mess is costing you some extra dollars on your power bill, so its best to keep it clean!

Oh yeah, let's get up close and personal with all those dust bunnies living in there!  Eeeewww!
Step 3.
Grab your shop vac and while using a slim lined tip, vacuum all those dust bunnies out of there!  Be careful of your coils, you do not want to damage them and ruin your fridge. That would be bad!
After I have everything vacuumed out of there, I take a damp paper towel and wipe the remaining dust off of where I can reach.  Again, be very careful when wiping down each part because all these little bits and pieces are what make the fridge work properly.  You want to keep them all in tact.

Don't worry if you can't get all of the dust off of everything, your fridge is already breathing better by now anyway.
Tah Dah! Looks so much better now!  I'm pretty sure I can hear her breathing better too!
While I was at it, I went ahead and cleaned up all the other fridge neighborhoods that were housing the little dust bunnies.  This is the side that's up against the cabinet.
This is all the front bottom vented area of the fridge.  The vent itself just snaps right off.  First I vacuumed all the fuzz off of it then took it into the bathtub for a wash down.  Next I grabbed my shop vac again and removed all the fuzz hiding in under there. Yuck!
 Next, I used my handy Clorox wipes to wipe all the spills and splashes down.
Before and After!  So much nicer now.  Looks new again! I sure do love a clean kitchen yall and when its deep cleaned, its even better!
Alrighty then!  I bet you'll want to go check your fridge now to see if you have giant fuzz balls living in there like mine did!  It just takes a quick thirty minutes to save yourself lots of money on your energy bill and who doesn't like to save money? I know I do!

While doing research I discovered THIS COIL BRUSH (click here) and I'm ordering one now! It will make cleaning the coils so much easier!

Would you like to see where else I had dust bunnies living in my house? Click on link below.

How to Clean Your Return Air Vent

And below are even more of my cleaning tips:

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
The Dedicated House  - (I was featured)

Pin It!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Holiday Ombre Pinecone Wreath

Gather up some pinecones, I've got a pretty holiday idea for you!  I'm going to be honest, this is not one of my quick and simple crafts that I normally like to do.  It's a bit of a chore, but its so worth it!
I came across this wreath idea via BH&G (Better Homes and Garden) and I "needed" one too!  It was not only beautiful, but it was a perfect color scheme for my freshly painted front door.
My Mama has two giant pine trees in her front yard and at almost any given time you can gather up quite a few pinecones for crafting.  We happen to have several bags full because I'm always "going to make something" with them and then I don't.  Sound familiar?

If you have just picked up your pinecones, you may want to de-bug and fully open them, see how by clicking here.  I've had mine for over a year so they are all open and buggie free!
You will need the following items to make your own wreath:

18" Grapevine Wreath (I usually get mine at Goodwill or thrift stores)
Lots of pinecones (I used 42), the smaller the better.  The larger ones are harder to work with.
Spray Paint - Colors of your choice.  I used three colors, Aqua, Destiny and Silver Fox but more is fine too.
Hot glue gun
Glue sticks
I picked out all the small pinecones I had, but I did end up using some of the larger ones because I needed more in the end.  I ended up having three different paint sessions because I kept needing more pinecones.
Here are my paint colors.  The Aqua I already had left over from my thrifty lamp makeover.  You can see that post by clicking here.  The other two, Destiny and Silver Fox, I picked up at Lowes for about $4 each.  To be honest the Valspar paints are really pretty and all but the sprayer button itself needs some revision.  It's extremely hard to press down and get to start spraying!  Not even joking when I tell you my forearm muscle is sore after using them.
Here is my set up for painting.  I set up on our work bench and I laid down a big piece of cardboard so I didn't get paint all over everything.  You could also use a drop cloth or plastic.

NOTE: Please wear gloves and a mask to protect yourself.  The mask is a definite necessity because you DO NOT want to breath those paint fumes into your lungs.
I'm sure I don't have to tell you how hard it is to use a hot glue gun and snap pictures all by yourself, but to assemble your wreath, start out with one color of pinecones adding them to your grapevine wreath here and there and then go on to the next color and so forth and so on until you have your wreath looking the way you want it.....three paint sessions later even! lol!

Please click here for the BH&G video tutorial, its awesome!

It looks like Piper is standing on her head here, but she's actually playing with a piece of pinecone that fell to the floor as I was hanging the wreath.  Anytime I start taking pictures, all the kitties show up, especially Piper!
I really love how the wreath looks on our freshly painted blue door!  If you haven't read my post on Painting a Paneled Door you can click right here.  Its easier than you think!

The best thing about this wreath is that we can leave it up all Winter long! Yay!

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
The Dedicated House  - (I was featured)

Pin It!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Vintage Mailbox Accent Wall

Vintage mailboxes and old book pages, what could be better? Not much!  Well ok, maybe chocolate cake, but that's about it.  I've had this idea for quite some time, but I had to collect my mailboxes first and well, that takes a little while to do and to make sure you get just the right ones.
When I started planning my wall I knew I wanted mailboxes and book pages on it and that was about it.  I also knew I wanted to change it up with the seasons or holidays, we'll see how that goes!  My Instagram followers may get tired of seeing my mailbox wall real fast because I am in love with it and can't stop staring at it!  Weird? Probably!
Like I said, first I collected my mailboxes.  Who knew there could be so many different mailboxes and also who knew that some people think their vintage mailboxes are worth millions! Sadly, my budget doesn't allow millions to spend on old stuff, so I kept on watching and waiting!

The long one on the left reminds me of my Mama's mailbox.  She still uses it.  I always loved getting the mail as a kid, but I think that's a kid thing huh?  When you're older and adulting, its no fun anymore! Somebody keeps putting bills in mine, can you believe that?
As I saved and added to my mailbox collection, I was perusing Pinterest for different ideas to add to my wall.  When I searched "old book pages", the book art popped up and I was running to find my books I had stashed.  These books are really small.  Perfect size for my wall.  This fold is the easiest ever.  You literally fold the pages in half from front to back and you end up with art!
The second one I did is called "bird house".  Its a bit more tricky and you do have to pay attention to what you're doing.  To see how its done, click right here.
Mine are not perfect, but pretty good I guess.  I like them and they look great on my wall, and that's all that counts.  Book page folding is a bit time consuming but you can sit and fold pages while you're watching TV, that's what I did.
See the old yellow newspaper in the mailbox to the left?  That newspaper is a Christmas edition from the Fort Worth Star Telegram, December 21, 1977.  It came out of the storage space in the ceiling of my office at work.  I'm the only woman in an office with all guys and they thought I was a bit crazy for wanting to save the poor old newspaper, but see, it came in handy for my wall!

The letters in the top right mailbox are real letters from my honey.  When he noticed that I had placed them there, he said "awww, so sweet".  He's the sweet one because he's always willing to jump in and help me create all my weird ideas.
CRINGE ALERT:  lol!  I added all the book pages to the wall with my desk stapler.  It was the easiest way that I could think of to make sure that the pages would stay up on the wall as I placed them.

I have lots of old books, its something I like to craft with.  You can always find them at the thrift shops and sometime yard sales too.  I just grabbed one that was really yellowed and started pulling out pages.  I used a few pages out of a book with whiter pages too.  Some I left with the torn edges and some I trimmed with my paper trimmer.

We added the book art to the wall with little short nails and a good ole hammer, just one on each side was enough to hold them in place.
Now I bet you are wondering where I got all my mailboxes aren't you?

1. $27.00  The one on the left is from a sweet Instagram friend Kayla, she owns jack and maryjane antiques and will be glad to help you find what you're looking for.  She's a doll!

2.  $18.00  This one is from an Etsy shop called Atomic Phenomic and Suze has lots of good vintage stuff for your shopping enjoyment!

3.  $14.99   This one is also from Etsy and it came from a shop called Nitty Gritty Vintage where Donna also has loads of vintage goodness to shop through!

Be sure to check out all three of these ladies, because you will not be disappointed if you like the old stuff as I do!
What would you put in the mailboxes if you created a wall like this?  I need all the ideas I can get because I plan on changing them up often.
So many ideas in my head for this little wall.  Follow me on Instagram if you'd like to see what I do next!  My Insta handle is ddcamp170

Want to see what else I've done with book pages?

Framed Book Page Heart - CLICK HERE
Valentine Heart Banner - CLICK HERE
Book Page Bunting - CLICK HERE
Clothespin Snowflake Ornament - CLICK HERE
Halloween Monster Treat Bag - CLICK HERE
Old Book Page Easter Eggs - 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
The Dedicated House  - (I was featured)

Pin It!