Saturday, November 27, 2010

Distressed Menu Board

I wanted to share with all of you a fun project that I did to create my very own menu board! Even though I now have a menu board posted in my home, I still use my menu planning sheet to do all of my meal planning and shopping. I highly recommend using a planning sheet, it really helps you stay organized.

I have finally reposted a new Menu Planning Sheet for all of you... So, go check it out! You can find it here. I promise it looks way better than the last one. I couldn't figure out how to get Scribd to read my Mac document, love my Mac but sometimes I just understand PC better, I'm sure with time I will get better at it :) Menu Planning can be pretty rough sometimes so read up on my Menu Planning tab for tips and details on how to plan out a menu and how to make shopping and Meal Planning easier :)

So on to the exciting part... Remember this awesome shelf that my brother made? Well, he also made me this really beautiful calendar board to go with a calendar I had made for a gift, but I had made my calendar WAY too big, so it wasn't going to work. BUT... I had been looking for a menu board for quite some time and once I saw this I knew it was perfect for my menu board! Even though I couldn't use it for it's actual purpose I was able to come up with a new way to use it. With just a few alterations I could finally have the menu board that I had always wanted! And, I think it turned out SUPER CUTE! What do you think?
I absolutely LoVe it!

Here's a few close-up shots of the distressing...

Isn't the crown molding he used beautiful?!?

So here is what I did:
I simply used a chalkboard paint like this one to paint the center... A can like this runs about $5. So, it is pretty reasonable, and I even had some left over YAY!

Then I taped-off the framing where I didn't want chalk board paint and painted according to the directions on the can. Definitely needs multiple coats, and let dry between coats!!!! Once dry, I taped off the chalkboard portion of the board. And began painting the accent color on the framing. The calendar board was originally black and since I knew that I would be painting the inside of the board black with the chalkboard paint I decided to paint the framing white so that it would stand-out against the black. Then I sanded and scraped off the white paint, so that it would have a distressed look. I recommend using a polyurethane or a clear coat over the top. Once everything was dry I used this really cool chalk marker, made by Uchida to draw up designs for the grapes and the days of the week. (You can get these at pretty much any craft store in pretty much any color you want) I got the idea for the grapes off of the marker itself! Pretty cool huh?!?

This is how it turned out and I absolutely LOVE it!
One of the funnest projects I have ever done!

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A no sew fabric wreath

Lately I have wanted a little break from my sewing machine, but I had all this darling Christmas fabric. Hmm, what to do? So I decided to make this no sew fabric wreath.
This "frame" only cost me $3 (It is actually just 4 pieces of wood artists use to make their own canvases, I should probably know what those are called :)
I just LOVE the way the leaves pop out at you! Inspiration found here.

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Friday, November 19, 2010

A little knit dress

Remember this ugly thrift store dress I used to refashion this shirt? Well, I finally used up the rest of the fabric on a fun little knit dress.

What do you think? Excuse my white legs, I should have waited till summer. But lets face it, I don't think they would have been any tanner. :)

Inspiration with tutorial here.
I think the waistband is my favorite part.

Brenna insisted on being in a picture. Don't worry, she picked her own outfit. I cannot get her to take off the "princess dress" no matter what I bribe her with.
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Monday, November 15, 2010

Front Door Face Lift

The front door is one of the first things that people see when entering your home and should stand out and make a statement of who you are. Well, I felt our front door needed a little TLC since the moment I saw our house. It had really good bones, which was GREAT, but the color was all wrong... our house is grey and so was the door! (just a little darker) It just didn't POP the way I wanted it to. Since I didn't want to replace the door (can anyone say EXPENSIVE!) I decided that I would paint it. I have always wanted a red door, but because of the color of our house I knew that it just wouldn't look right. So I decided to paint it black instead, it would still make a statement without overwhelming to the rest of the house. Here's a picture of the before...

(I forgot to take a picture of the door before I started taping... So excuse the tape, sorry!)

The project was originally one of the first things on my to-do list, but because of other things that needed to be done, it became one of the last things on the list. So, I was excited that its time had FINALLY come! YAY! New paint here I come :)

This is the paint that I used. (can't beat 1 Quart @ Lowes for about $10 bucks, and you can even paint more than one door with this using multiple coats). It is specifically designed for doors. It is awesome! Really durable and looks great when applied. Beware, this paint is oil based... Oil based paints are really difficult to clean up after. So, I suggest using GLOVES, paint brush, and a roller you can just throw away after application, this saves you the headache of cleaning up forever! I promise... Trust me! :)

Because of the quality of paint I used and the fact that my door was already grey I chose not to use a primer. On to the prep work... Clean your door with a mild cleaner and dry thoroughly make sure to tape off all glass panels and edges of door. And along all sides and edges.

When I was ready to paint I did remove the door from the hinges and painted it on a horizontal surface. This made it easier to paint. (While my door was off its hinges, I used a plastic drop cloth to cover the door, this helps to keep out bugs and dust.) Following the directions on the can, paint your door and wait for paint to dry! I recommend having all your prep work done the day before and then painting first thing in the morning. Then waiting to reattach the door until evening, giving the door plenty of time to dry :)

So after a fresh coat of paint... I think it looks great and
What do you think? Better right?!?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Free T-shirt anyone?

You know how you always get free t-shirts at sports events, family reunions, parades etc but they are usually 3 sizes too big and super ugly? Well I got this little freebie and thought, why not turn it into something that I would actually wear?

What do you think?

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

White Chilli (freezer cooking instructions)

1 lb. chicken (grilled and cubed)

1 med onion (diced)

1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1 TBSP vegetable oil


2-15 oz. cans white beans

2-4 oz. cans chopped green chillis (I use mild, but I'm a lightweight :)

1-14 oz. can chicken broth

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. oregano

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp. cyan pepper

******bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes*****


1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup whipping cream

****If you are going to use my freezer cooking method take this recipe and multiply it depending on how much food you want. I usually multiply by 4 and it makes a ton (for a family of 3).*****

If you will be eating right're all set!


I suggest freezing the sour cream and whipping cream in a small freezer bag separate from the rest of the ingredients. I have just frozen everything together in the same bag before and it turned out just fine.


Thaw at room temperature for a few hours (or quick thaw in hot water or the microwave). Boil everything but the sour cream and whipping cream for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and add sour cream and whipping cream....then serve!

photo from

Friday, November 5, 2010

A dining room face lift for $30

I got this very high quality but so very outdated dining room set from my grandma. I just love the furniture, but let's face was kind of an eye sore. (of course I forgot to take a before picture till it was in the garage ready for it's makeover :)

It's AMAZING what a fresh coat of paint and some new upholstery can do! I bought all of my supplies at the re-store: primer, black paint, and polyurethane (several coats to prevent chipping). And I got the upholstery fabric at JoAnn's (using a 40% off coupon of course). All in all it only cost me about $30. I doubt you could find a table that cheap anywhere (not even craigslist, trust me I tried :)