Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Empty out that junk drawer!

And use those miscellaneous keys we all have lying around to create this cute shadowbox from Brittany over at Lovestiched. Isn't this a cute way to keep track of all those moves and houses? Hmm, I'm thinking a  twist up of using a map for a mat and pinning the keys to the location of the house would be such  a cute collectible! A perfect trifecta of cute, personalized and cheap decor!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

I see London, I see France

This Pumpkin-butt needs some underpants!
This seriously made me laugh for about an hour. Thanks to Fringe Girl for the giggles!

Friday, October 1, 2010

I may wear these all October!

Brown Paper Packages is one of my new favorite blogs! So many cute projects, I can get lost for hours trolling for ideas. And then there's the name...sing with me now badly and at the top of my lungs : "brown paper packages tied up with strings, these are a few of my favorite things!"

But THESE made me drool. I'm a sucker for candy necklaces. And  I love those pumpkin mallows that come out every Halloween. The combination? Scuze me while I wipe my chin! Wouldn't they be uber-cute with candy corns in between instead of ribbon? My only problem now is figuring out how not to eat them as soon as I put them on!

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Doesn't this make you want to go jump into a pile of fall leaves?

Go check out Donna Lynn's other beauties at Blushing Rose Antiques.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Oh yum.

You know how amazing homemade bread is, right? If not, you're missing out.
And you know how good homemade pizza is if you've tried the easy dough from my last post, right?

Over at The Ivory Hut they have invented a marvelously wonderful hybrid called Crazy Pizza Bread. You must go and make it. Now. Do not pass GO. But if you find $200 lying around, I could use some!

PS- if on the off chance you have any leftovers, it really does freeze beautifully!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Holy Custom Cookery!

When I saw Tanya's spice drawer makeover at Sew Many Dreams I immediately thought of these stamped lid spice jars  featured over at Apartment Therapy years ago. Wouldn't those two make the coolest combination ever?  And hardware stamps aren't that expensive-but WOW what a custom look they'd give this already awesome spice drawer!! I love it when a little money and a little time equals major payout, don't you?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Cool hidden storage DIY

Can you find the storage here?

Hint: some of these books are not like the others. Which of these books just doesn't belong?

Now that I've dated myself completely with the old school Seasame Street reference, check out these cool repurposed boxes turned storage books! You can find the whole how to at Design Sponge.

Don't you just want a shelf full of these? I know I do...now to find enough boxes to remake!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Great small space option for kids with lots of energy!

How great would these be for kids in small spaces or cooped up during bad weather? I found them over on Etsy at Cool Spaces for Kids.  They'd be easy to make freezer paper style with an old sheet and some fabric spray paint, don't you think? And easy-peasy storage...Just fold it up! Get crazy and make a pocket to store the bean bag! Or, turn it over and make a toss game on the reverse! Two games in one easy storage item.  Have lots of wall space to fill? Add two curtain rings and it's wall art, too!  Cute!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!

Forty-two years ago, after dating for six months, my parents married in a San Francisco courtroom on Friday, September the 13th. Yes, really. I'm not making this up!  You can imagine we didn't put much faith in old superstitions at our house growing up.  Mom has always said she had to say yes if she ever wanted to see her belongings again...they were already on a truck being moved to Alabama where my Dad had been transferred. He proposed so Bechtel would move her stuff, too! Thanks for showing me that marriage means getting up every morning and deciding to make it work. You've always shown me that marriage is like anything else in life...hard work, well rewarded.

Happy Anniversary! I love you both.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Champagne Cage Chairs

Over at Design Sponge, I stumbled across this cool post on how to turn the wire cage that holds the corks in champagne bottles into a cute little chair with just a snip and a few twists. How incredibly cute would these be with a seating direction card slipped into them for a wedding or another big affair?  I almost wish I'd seen these before my wedding, though my straw labels were awfully cute too! I think these would be easier for guests to see, though. And since they're chairs, self-explanatory. :)
See? Just slide the card behind the little loop and off they go! Bonus, they're free! Double bonus, they're an excuse to drink champagne! (As if I ever need one!)  Check out the instructions here at Design Sponge.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Now if only I had enough space to grow pumpkins next year...

Yep, you're seeing that right. That pumkpin grew the word "Welcome" on it's skin!  You know how sometimes when you buy pumpkins, they have those thick brown scaly calloused areas?  Over at Not Just a Housewife, the cleverest lady on earth realized that we can manipulate those scars to form whatever pumpkin art we want! By scratching the desired design onto the pumpkin's skin just as it turns orange, it scars over and makes cool words! It can make pictures, too, of course. Whatever you want to scratch in! Thanks to her I just might finally win the yearly 'coolest pumpkin contest' with my sister-in-law next year! 

How neat would it be if every family on your block had one with "the Whoever's" on their porch for the autumn season?  Now if only I had enough space for a garden to grow them all!  Oh, well. I have a year. I'm sure I can con beg someone to loan me some a ton of garden space. I don't think I could stop with just one of these!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Homemade fruit rollups

Okay, I grew up begging for fruit roll-ups and very rarely getting them because they were so full of sugar. As an adult, I indulged until I discovered they're mostly full of corn syrup...something I can't tolerate. Literally, it makes me ill!  So I've been exploring the idea of making my own from excess fruit laying around. Having found these homemade polka-dot ones over at Fix Me A Snack means I might just be borrowing a dehydrator in the near future!  I wonder how low my oven temp goes....?

In the meantime, enjoy the eye candy!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Thank heavens it's September!

Unlike most of the world, September is a breath of calm in my world. After two months of crazy sales at my job, things return to their normal level of insanity every September! Which means I can go back to my kitchen, my sewing machine and all those other great blog ideas I've missed in the last two months. Sigh It's good to be back!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Homemade Pizza dough!

First, I've been a very bad blogger. It's the crazy-busy time of year at work as schools are starting up again. At least, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

In the meantime, here's that recipe I've promised people for pizza dough. I tried a half-dozen online recipes before settling this tweaked version. It's kinda a conglomeration of all the ones I tried...but without the difficult, time consuming parts. With this recipe, I can have homemade pizza on the table in about the time it takes for delivery...but at a cost of $4.06 rather than the $20+ delivery runs around here.

Ingredient Cost breakdown:
Yeast: $0.02 (bought a giant freeze dried package at Costco for $5.47)
Olive oil:  $0.17 (and I use organic, so it's pricey)
Salt: $0.02
Flour:  $0.24
Sugar: $0.03

  • 2 tsp active yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup warm water (about 110 degrees, or shower temperature)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp garlic or Italian herb mix (basil, oregeno, etc)
How to:
  • So the basic process is easy. Turn the tap on hot and let it warm up to the highest temp you get. (maybe fill the sink for dishes while you're at it?) 
  • Grab a big bowl and add 1 tsp sugar and 2 tsp yeast to the bottom.
  • Pour 1 cup of that really hot water over the yeast and sugar, stir and set it aside for 5-10 minutes, until it's foamy all across the top of the water. (At this point, I load the dishwasher with all that hot water in the sink)
  • When the yeast has risen, add in 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp salt, and 2 1/2 cups flour. I also add either 1tsp garlic or 1 tsp Italian seasoning- sometimes both! 
  • Mix these together with a wooden spoon until it forms a big sticky ball, then let it rise until doubled in size...between ten minutes and an hour depending on the room temperature. To speed it up in winter, I set the bowl in the aformentioned sink of warm water. (this cleverly gets you out of dish duty, too!)
  • Once dough has risen, drop it into a puddle of flour on the counter and stretch it out into whatever shape you need it to be. We don't have a pizza tray, so it's rectanglar pizza for us!
  • Grease the pizza baking sheet and sprinkle with cornmeal. THIS keeps the pizza dough from sticking!
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Spoon on your canned spagetti pizza sauce and spread into a light layer on the dough.
  • Sprinkle a layer of mozarella cheese and add toppings. (We like pepperoni, olive and peppers)
  • Bake at

Sunday, August 1, 2010

EEEP, a FOURTH chance!

Amy over at The Idea Room is giving away a Silhoutte cutter! And I want one sooooooooooo badly I can taste it! Those big glass jars of flour and sugar don't stand a chance if I win this one...

Anyway, I'm gonna go enter whilst I wipe the drool off my chin. Fingers, toes, arms, legs and any other part I can manage crossed that I might be the lucky winner this time!!!

Saturday, July 31, 2010



I wish I had found this inspiration about 3 years ago before I got married. I inherited lots of handmade lace doilies from my Grandma Hoochie (no, she wasn't a stripper. Somehow, that's the way her name Ruth was pronounced in Brazil in the 70's. Or so I'm told!). Wouldn't that have been wonderful to walk down the aisle in my Grandma's handmade lace? Especially since she's not here with us anymore. But absolutely gorgeous...and handmade by the bride in less than 3 weeks! Complete wonderwoman! Wish I could direct you to the site, but it was a daily feature on a bridal site...if anyone knows where to link to this amazing dress, do tell!

Monday, July 19, 2010

No I haven't vanished...

I spent all last week frantically working toward my husband's birthday present...finishing the remodel we started last OCTOBER!  I am proud to announce that with the exception of 1 wall in a non-necessary room, it's finally done! Of course, then we had to throw him a birthday party to show off the new kitchen, so that ate up my weekend... And then I pinched a nerve in my back, missed a day of work and had a lovely cortisone injection. So I've been a little busy lately!

Stay tuned for a step by step update on how we built new walls, knocked holes in other and installed a new kitchen...mostly by ourselves! Heck, mostly by MYself! :)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Chicken Basics: Thai Coconut Curry Soup

First, let me say this: I don't like coconut. However, I do like coconut milk in this soup. Without it's presence, this is a spicy monster of a soup. So don't discount this recipe just because of it's name. It's really good, especially when you come home with a cold in the winter...or in my case, the middle of summer!

Thai Coconut Curry Soup

  • Leftover chicken and rice, from Chicken Basics recipe
  • 1 1/2 cups or 1 can chicken broth
  • 1/3 can cocanut milk or cream (cream is thicker, milk has less fat. You pick your fav!)
  • One large or two small sliced carrots, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tsp garlic
  • 1 tsp garlic-pepper sauce (found in the Asian section of the market)
  • 1/2 cup sliced red, orange or yellow peppers
  • Either 1 tbsp fish sauce or 1 tsp soy sauce (fish sauce lends a better taste to the overall soup)
  • Lime juice
  • Frozen cilantro cube or 1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  1. In a saucepan, mix together chicken broth, garlic, garlic-pepper sauce and fish or soy sauce. Set to boiling on stovetop.  Add enough garlic-pepper sauce that the broth is just too spicy to tolerate. The coconut milk will tone it down considerably in step five.
  2. Clean and chop carrots; add to pot.
  3. Chop chicken breast and add to pot.
  4. Mix in the leftover brown rice.
  5. Add in the cilantro cube, coconut milk/cream and sliced red peppers.
  6. Stir to combine.  Taste broth at this point to check for spice level. If it's too hot for you, add a bit more cocanut milk, chicken broth or rice to take the heat off.
  7. Just before serving, add a squirt of lime juice and Sriacha hot sauce (if you like it REALLY spicy--like I do!)
  8. Eat!

This soup cures sinus congestion better than any medication I've ever tried. And with all the carrots, peppers and garlic, it's a nice dose of vitamins too! We eat this several times a month every winter, just for the warming properties the spices give it. Yum.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Homemade Hair Conditioner....I bet it's in your kitchen now!

I have fine, straight, thin hair. It doesn't do much, won't hold a curl to save its life and TANGLES.  I've had tangles the size of my fist, I kid you not. They just appear, overnight. When I was five, they got so bad despite daily brushing that my Mom cropped my hair into a boy's cut.  All the conditioner in the world didn't help them and always left the rest of my hair looking limp and greasy. Since my hair tends toward greasy anyway, the extra conditioner needed to prevent the tangles made it really awful!

So when I finally decided to give up shampoo and switched to a gentle castille based soap for hair and body, I was seriously worried about the tangles I was setting myself up for. Surprisingly, the monstrous knots didn't get much worse. But they also didn't get any better...and I was SO sick of ripping my hair to shreds every day just to leave the house looking presentable!  Then, whilst reading up on the no-poo method of hair washing someone suggested using a vinegar rinse to balance the hair's pH level.  Well, ok. I have vinegar...let's try it!  Added some vinegar to an old shampoo bottle, topped it off with water and squirted it over my hair in the shower one night. Wasn't too keen on the vinegar smell that wafted from my hair until it dried, but decided to reserve judgement until the next morning once it had dried and I could comb the tangles out...except for the first time I can remember (having hair longer than three inches in length), there weren't any tangles to comb out!  I couldn't believe it! I was so thankful I'd found something that worked and didn't leave my hair greasy, I just wished it didn't smell like vinegar! Coming out of the bathroom smelling like salad dressing was not  my idea of a relaxing shower experience. Fortunately, help was at hand over at One Green Generation!  She mentioned that she'd switched from apple cider vinegar to white vinegar with a vanilla bean pod in it for a prettier smell. DingDingDing-we have a winner! I started several different jars of vinegar with assorted flavorings to see what worked...and thus far, they ALL did! So I present to you my choice for smoooth and silky hair, naturally!

No-tangle, Shiny Hair Rinse

  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • Flavorings: cinnamon sticks, orange or lemon peel (just the colored zest from the peel-no white stuff!), mint leaves, vanilla bean pod, I've heard rosemary springs are nice, too!
  1. Add mint leaves, cinnamon sticks, lemon peel, vanilla bean pod, whatever-you're-trying to bottle.I've used leftover jelly jars, Tupperware, bottles with a cork...anything with a lid on it!
  2. Pour 1/2 cup (or more) vinegar into the container, add the lid and shake once or twice.
  3. Set it somewhere dark-ish where you're bound to see it once or twice a day. I used my snack cupboard. At least once a day for a week, shake or swirl the bottle/jar of vinegar and flavorings.
  4. Decant the vinegar out on day seven, pour into an old shampoo or squirt bottle and add 2 cups water.
  5. Use in shower like a conditioner. Apply, let sit a minute and rinse out for sleek and shiny hair!
After some experimentation, I like the lemon peel best during the summer. Come colder weather, I think I'll be switching to vanilla and cinnamon. I have a mint vinegar rinse marinating now, so check back next week for a review of the mint rinse!