DIY Mercury Glass Knobs

This project couldn’t be easier.

Take some knobs on clearance from Hobby Lobby:

Remove the tags and poke them into a study piece of cardboard to catch the drips.

Then spray some water on them. While they are still wet, spray them with some mirror spray paint (purchased from Hob Lob with a 40 percent off coupon).

Go start dinner while they dry…

and then put them in their new home:

I love the fact that the finish is uneven. To me, that’s what makes it look a bit more authentic.

Published in: on September 27, 2011 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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Creamy Overnight Oatmeal

Have you ever tried steel cut oats?

It’s just a less processed version of traditional rolled oats. Nevertheless, it always intimidated me. Plus, it had to be cooked for a half hour on the stove. That doesn’t exactly satisfy my need to fix a quick nutritious breakfast. Nutritious? Yes. Quick? No.

Then I stumbled across a slow cooker recipe for oatmeal from Alton Brown. No idea there was such a thing.

So I tried it – and I love it! My husband does, too.

My boys? Not so much.

No matter, there’s just more for us;)

The recipe couldn’t be easier. Just put the ingredients in a slow cooker before you go to bed and in the morning you’ll wake up to a piping hot bowl of this:

Creamy Overnight Oatmeal

  • 1 C steel cut oats
  • 1 C dried cranberries
  • 4 C water
  • 1/2 C half-and-half (I used whole milk instead)

Put all the ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low for eight or nine hours. (I like to add a bit of milk, brown sugar and some chopped pecans – yum)! Makes 4 servings.

Notes:  The original recipe called for the addition of 1 C dried figs. I didn’t add them but I bet that would be delicious as well. The dried cranberries actually plump back up after a night in the slow cooker which makes them very yummy. Store any leftovers in the fridge and reheat in the microwave.

Published in: on September 14, 2011 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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In which I attempt to alter a sleeveless tank

While thrifting a few weeks ago, I ran across a stylish animal print sleeveless tank.

It was an XXL and I usually wear a medium, but I tried it on anyway.

It fit around the neck and sleeves, but was too big in the sides.

So, I got out my trusty sewing machine. I figured that taking in the sides would be an easy alteration. And even if it didn’t work out, I was only out $3.

Here’s how I did it.

I started off by grabbing another tank in my closet that fit well and used that as a make-shift pattern.

Next, I cut the side seams open:

Then I just pinned and stitched up the sides:

Cut off the excess…

And it’s done!

It was super easy to do, even though the fabric had a bit of a stretch to it. So now I have a cute tank to wear by itself in warm weather – or under a jacket in cooler weather.

I swear that animal print is a neutral!

Published in: on September 13, 2011 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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Cheater’s Chocolate Frosting

Remember when my husband took our boys camping so I could have time alone to get ready for school?

To welcome them all home, I made a cake.

After making the cake, though, I was too tired to make the frosting.

Pathetic, I know.

And nothing says “Welcome Home” like a naked cake, right?!

Sarcasm completely intended.

So what’s a girl to do?

I remembered a recipe I had for a quick chocolate frosting. It’s thin, more like a glaze, actually.

It took all of two minutes to make, was delicious and definitely said, “Welcome Home” much better than a plain cake ever could. Remember this the next time you need to dress up a dessert but are short on time;)

Cheater’s Chocolate Frosting

  • 1 C confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 C cocoa
  • 1/4 C water

Whisk together all three ingredients in a medium bowl until smooth. Drizzle glaze over cake and let sit until firm. That’s it. Enjoy!

Published in: on September 7, 2011 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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Fun With Book Pages

I just love the vintage feeling that decorating with old book pages inspires.

There are lots of fun and crafty things to do and make with old book pages. Here are a few of my favorites:

The book page wreath shown at the top of my office gallery wall. (OK, so mine is technically more of a fouf, but whatever!) The instructions to make your own are here.

Sweet and simple pinwheels hung over a mirror in our entryway. The tutorial comes from this post at Everyday Lovely.

Book pages as art, courtesy of Country Living magazine.


Or, cover an old Christmas ornament like Holly did from In the Fun Lane.

Whatever you choose, book pages are a fun and inexpensive way to decorate your home. Happy crafting!

Published in: on August 17, 2011 at 10:13 am  Comments (1)  
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Decorating with Maps

I bought this book for $1 at a book sale held at our local library.

It’s an atlas from 1997 (apparently that’s old – sheesh!).

I thought maybe I could frame one of the maps and use it in our boys’ room. The theme in there is “vintage transportation” and so I thought I map would be perfect.

Here is the space on top of the dresser before:

Messy, I know.

Just a little while later, here is the after:

Much better.

All I did was rip out a map from the book (true book lovers look away) and cut it to fit my frame. The frames were originally two art prints that I had in my stash. 

Then I took some of this:

and rubbed it all over the bright white maps to make them look old.

To hang the frames, I simply eyeballed it. Lest you think I can hang pictures perfectly in my sleep – the second one took three tries to get it right!

The accessories were easy. The copper plane is actually a music box. I think it was handmade. I bought it for $7 at Goodwill several months ago.  It still works. It plays, “Dream the Impossible Dream”.

The “J” was on clearance for $2 at a quaint little shop from our trip to Shipshewana and the bead game was $3, also from Goodwill.

Now, if only the top of the dresser would stay this neat.


Published in: on June 30, 2011 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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Paula Deen’s Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

Oh, is this recipe ever good!

Mac and cheese is the ultimate in comfort food. It’s pretty much my go-to recipe when I take a meal to a new mom.

Since it is (ahem) not low-fat in the least, I usually try to serve it with a crisp veggie salad and plenty of fresh fruit. I feel like it somehow cancels out all the yummy, creamy, cheesy goodness – OK, a girl can dream, can’t she!

Here is the link to the printable version: Creamy Macaroni and Cheese.

I’ve made it both with and without the can of cheddar cheese soup. Either way it’s delicious. The soup just makes it have a bit more of a silky texture to it.


Published in: on June 21, 2011 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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Father’s Day Necktie Garland

Here is a cute last-minute idea to make the dad in your life feel special on his big day. It’s both frugal AND easy. Gotta love that.

Pick up several sheets of manly scrapbook paper (talk about an oxymoron!). The ones I picked out at Michael’s were only 25 cents a sheet.

Next, I drew a picture of half a necktie, to make a template like this:


Then I cut them out of the scrapbook paper and hung them with twine, tape and mini wooden clothespins, $3 at Walmart.

My sons want to give dad breakfast in bed on Sunday. Isn’t that cute?

Now if only I can wake up early enough…

Published in: on June 18, 2011 at 5:46 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Easy Caribbean Layered Dip

This is my go-to appetizer recipe.

I brought it to a cookout on Friday night and then made a fresh batch for a gathering on Saturday. On both nights, virtually none was left.

It’s quick and easy to make, is relatively low-fat and it even looks pretty on the plate.

The next time you are asked to bring a dish to pass, tell the hostess you’ll bring an appetizer;)

Easy Caribbean Layered Dip

  • 1 (8 oz) block of Neufchâtel cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 C sour cream
  • 1 T taco seasoning mix (from a 1.25 oz envelope)
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and well-rinsed
  • 1/2 C chopped red bell peppers
  • 1/2 C chopped mango (I substituted a can of drained mandarin oranges)
  • 2 T chopped fresh cilantro (I like cilantro, so I used more like 1/3 cup!)
  • 1-2 tsp finely chopped jalapeno chiles (optional)
  • tortilla chips

In a small bowl, mix cream cheese, sour cream and taco seasoning until smooth. Spread mixture on a round serving plate. Top with black beans, bell pepper, mango or oranges, cilantro and jalapeno chilies (if using). Serve with tortilla chips. Makes 24 servings. Serving size = 2 T dip and 3 chips


I linked this up to Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.

Published in: on June 14, 2011 at 5:30 am  Comments (3)  
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Quick and Easy Jar Candle

Sometimes it’s just too easy.

I picked this jar up for $0.50 at an estate sale. It even had its lid still (that’s what the little birdie is perched on).

I carefully filled the  jar with some pea gravel and then tucked in a candle I found in our basement.

Quick. Easy. Simple. And frugal.

Love, love, love it when that happens.

I plan to take this outside and use it on our patio in the evening. You could also make several of them using smaller glass jars and line the walkway to your front door for one night. How pretty would that be?

Tip: use a piece of uncooked spaghetti to light the candle. I had heard that tip before but never tried it. Worked like a charm and no burned fingers!

Published in: on June 9, 2011 at 8:39 am  Leave a Comment  
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