Monday, April 29, 2013

2 Hydrangea Wreaths

Purple or blue?  Too hard to decide.  Why not one of each?
purple wreath
The purple one is a dollar store noodle, wrapped in white muslin fabric and burlap strips, fringed at the edges.  3 purple silk hydrangeas, stems cut down, and the leaves hot glued to surround the flowers.  Finished it up with a sweet bird nest filled with flowers. So soft and romantic.

purple wreath 2

The blue wreath uses a foam wreath base, again wrapped in muslin strips, with 3 bands of gorgeous designer ribbon.  3 hydrangeas cut down, leaves glued along the bottom, and a burlap snail resting on top.

wreath blue

Which is your favorite?  Mine is the purple, no wait, it’s the blue. . . Well I have more accessories for the blue, but the purple is so pretty.  Sigh. 

wreath blue 2

Just think, another month or two and I should have some real hydrangeas to love.  Until then, my wreaths will keep me happy.

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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Quick & Easy Chicken Tortellini Soup

What a busy weekend we had.  We took my son to the Great Wolf Lodge for his 10th birthday, and returned with just an hour to spare before we needed to be at football practice followed immediately by a game.  The whole time it poured on us.  When we got home it was after 5:30Pm.  We were cold and hungry, but of course, I had nothing started for dinner.  I whipped up this soup that completely hit the spot on a cold spring day.  It was so easy, and to be honest my inspiration came from my freezer left-overs.  The whole thing took a matter of 5 minutes to prep and 10 minutes to heat up.  Here’s what I used:

-the rest of the bag of Tyson frozen Grilled and Ready chicken breast strips, cut into chunks (you could also use left-over chicken breast, adding as much as you like, I used maybe less than a half bag)
-about a half bag of frozen tortellini (any brand you have)
-about 1 cup of Meijer’s organic Salsa, mild (again whatever you have on hand would work, use less if you want it less spicy)
-2 cans of Campbells cream of chicken condensed soup
-1 can of water
-1 tsp of cumin
Toss everything in the pot, stir and heat for about 10 minutes.  Make sure to stir a few times while cooking, as the cream soup tends to stick to the bottom of the pan.


I added some Tortilla Strips for crunch on top. I got these at Meijer. I think adding some corn to the soup would have been a good idea, but didn’t today.   Then I just added some grilled cheese sandwiches, and it was an amazingly filling and satisfying meal. This made a pretty big pot of soup that would probably feed 4. I love it when something I throw together works so well.  I would totally make this again!!  

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Caulk as rug gripper–A Pinterest test




Several months ago I Pinned the idea of using caulk as a rug gripper and have been thinking about doing it because my dog is always tearing around the house and leaving my rugs grippers showing.  Tired of always fixing the rugs, I decided it was time to put this to the test. 




All you have to do is flip the rug over and apply strips of caulk to the back.  So I applied the caulk and set it up to dry.




Round one:  Caulk fails to adhere to rugs.




Round 2:  applied Caulk making sure to press down into the rug.



Dry again for 24 hours.  Notice the little dog nose in the corner.  She’s thinking, “Is this going to ruin my fun?”


Rugs go back down.  The first thing I notice is the rugs still move around.  Oh no.  Decide to give it a few days to see how things go.  I take up the rugs a few days later and notice that even though I made sure caulk was completely dry before I put them down, the caulk is sticking to my floors in some places.  I also notice that the caulk is still very easy to remove from the back of the rug. 


So do I recommend this Pin?  No.  Sorry, it just didn’t work.  My rug grippers are back beneath the rugs.  One good thing is that the grippers seem to grip onto the caulk, and are not showing as much, so I don’t know maybe that makes this is not a complete failure.  Also, after I did the caulk, I went back to the pin, and read some comments.  Many people claimed the caulk left oily marks on their floors and felt their floors were ruined by this.  Probably should have read up on that first! 



Didn’t work for me Sad smile


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Friday, April 19, 2013

Cleaning Grease off cabinets

Just a little update on this post.  First of all,  who never this silly little post on my dirty cabinets would be so popular!?  I suppose many people have this problem.  So before you read on, I just want to clear up a few things that I've received many questions and/or comments on. My cabinets are not real wood.  They are thermafoil coated, thus making this totally safe to do.  As I originally stated,  I would use caution on real wood, and personally wouldn't even recommend it, but if all else has failed, proceed with caution!  Next, this is NOT a sponsored ad by SoftScrub.  Just my little ole opinions! And lastly, these cabinets came with the house when I bought it, grease grime and all.  I'm just happy to have finally discovered a remedy!!   So read on and clean on!

I have had a dirty little secret!
Everyone always tells me how clean my house is.  It’s not really.  Not since I’ve had kids. You’ve seen those cute little signs, Excuse the mess, we are busy making memories or Excuse the mess, we live here?  Well that’s not really my style.  In fact, my house is nothing like the clean it used to be before the kids.  I’ve grown more accustomed to the mess, but so many little things tend to get over looked these days.  Many people have exciting goals like running a marathon or skydiving (and I may have just become the biggest loser because I just googled Common goals people have, because I couldn't come up with 2 good ideas), you know what I’ve always wanted?  To put my house on the market and have the ad say, “Mrs. Clean lives here”.  I’m not kidding, I actually told my realtor I wanted that on my add.  She said, your house will sell itself.  OK, she was right, but I really wanted that at the time.  

One thing I’ve been over-looking lately is my kitchen cabinets.  I’m home cleaning today and thought, maybe today’s the day to get that grease off the cabinets.  Now keep in mind, I've never been able to get these cabinets truly clean since I moved into this house.  I've tried every type of cleaner, but the grime above the stove top cabinets just never seemed to come off.  Years of build up have left them a mess. I wipe down my cabinets frequently, since they are white and show any dirt, but I do tend to “overlook” these top cabinets because I never could seem to get the grime off. So, get ready for some ugly, because here is what my cabinets looked like a few minutes ago (embarrassing photos enlarged and close up for detail to follow):


So this is the top edge along the ceiling.  I have those god-awful therma-foil cabinets and for lack of a better term the surface is “pockey”. That means there is a little texture that allows dirt and grease to accumulate.  I think the top picture shows best how greasy these cabinets were.  I’ve tried many products before, but today I decided to go for some simple soft – scrub and a warm dish rag. 

soft scrub 
I love the lemon scent and use this for a lot of my cleaning.  I poured it on my dishcloth and just rubbed it on the grease, and just like that, all of the grease and grime came off.  I’ve tried many other cleaners and de-greasers and seriously never got such great results with not much elbow grease needed at all.  I might suggest if you are working over your head that you wear some protective eyewear, because trust me when I say, you don’t want your break from cleaning to involve trying to get soap out of your eye!  Just sayin.  So, I now proudly show you my clean cabinets!


I was not compensated for my opinions in this post, just little ole me sharing my daily mundane chores and the results I got.  Sometimes it seems the simplest products just work the best.  If you try this, remember to wipe down with a clean rag after, to remove any left-over product.  If you decide to try this on wood, I would test it on a small area, and don’t scrub too hard! 

Thanks for stopping by and reading about my ever exciting life! Alright, I’d better get back to work!

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Planter–From Dated to Aged


I recently found this brass planter at a local thrift shop.  It’s a nice big planter and it was only $7. 


I thought it was cute, but a bit 1980’s.  So I decided to paint it with some Annie Sloan paint I had lying around.  I used Old White as the base and followed it with French Linen on top.  Afterward, I sanded it down to age it a little, and applied a coat of car wax over the top to protect it from the weather. 


It’s in the house right now, since it’s too early to put plants outside.  Once it gets warmer I plan on moving it outdoors.  I’ll post a picture when I do.


Sunday, April 14, 2013

9 layer Greek Dip

Today I’d like to share with you my version of Greek Dip.  This is a great recipe to bring to a party.  It is fresh, delicious, and healthy, requires no cooking and doesn’t take long to make.  I’ve made it twice and both times people couldn’t step away from the dish until it was gone.  There are many versions of this recipe online, but I’ve added a few things to make it my own.  Give this one a try and I promise, people will want the recipe.

9 layer Greek DipGreek Dip by
1 container of plain hummus (whatever ever brand you love the most)
1/2 cucumber chopped into small pieces
about 1/2 can of sliced black olives
1/2 red pepper cut into small pieces
1/2 pack of sun-dried tomatoes ( I got mine at Traders Joes in the produce section $1.99) chop tomatoes into small pieces
about 3 oz. of Feta Cheese crumbled
Olive oil
fresh ground pepper
dill weed (either fresh or dried work well)
Begin by spreading the hummus into the bottom of the dish.
One by one, begin to sprinkle cucumbers, olives, red peppers, tomatoes onto hummus.  The order doesn’t matter.  Finish up with the feta, since it looks prettiest on top.
Lightly drizzle olive oil over the top.  You don’t need a whole lot.  I prefer a nice dark and full bodied olive oil.
Add cracked pepper and dill to your taste.
That’s it.  You are done!  Serve with pita chips, or more veggies like red pepper strips, celery, carrots, or cucumbers.  Your guests will love you!  As a matter of fact if there are going to be a lot of people their you very well might want to double this recipe, heck you’ll probably need it anyway!

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Friday, April 5, 2013

Turning a twin bed skirt into a queen–No Sewing required!


Last fall I gave my son our Queen sized bed when we got a new King bed.  I wasn’t too happy that the previous spring I had just re-done his room, and bought him a new bed skirt.  Then I decided (after many months of it sitting on his dresser) that I could re-use the same skirt on the new bed. 



No bedskirt

My solution is BY NO MEANS designer approved or magazine worthy!!  It only took only about 10 minutes and involved no sewing.  Always a plus in my book!  I laid the bed skirt on the floor and cut on the side that would normally go on the that side of the bed , about 8 inches or so from the side.  No measuring, nothing exact here.



Then I took some HOLD ON!  bed skirt pins from Bed, Bath and Beyond and attached the cut side to the mattress.


Next I measured, and by measuring, I mean I placed the remaining part of the skirt on the end of the bed.  Matching up the corner I cut as straight as a line as I could.  You could easily make a faux hem by using some hem seaming that irons on.  Since this bed skirt was black, you have to get really close to see there is a cut end.  I figured not many of his 10 year old friends would get close enough to notice this, so I just left mine. 


This picture is really close-up and over-lit up just so you can see how the ends meet. 


This edge is on the end of the bed that does not face the entrance of the room.  The material is long enough that you can wrap the skirt around the side of the bed.  Everything was tucked in and secured neatly with the pins to hold it in place. 


wrap extra skirt around corner of the bed

In the end the skirt doesn’t reach all the way around the back side of the bed, but as you can see the bed is close enough to the wall that this doesn’t matter.  I am just happy I was able to reuse the skirt I already had, and didn’t have to go buy another one.


Finished skirt looks like a regular queen bed skirt.

Thanks for stopping by to check out my hack.  Sometimes a necessary evil. Sarcastic smile