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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Rinny Tin Tin ~ Old Can Ideas

Give those fruit and vegetable cans new life ~ everyone loves silver and gold! These are the perfect centerpiece for a wedding, shower or any other backyard swaray!

Give those fruit and vegetable cans new life ~ layer on the twigs for a rustic vase.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Page Turner ~ Use Those Old Books for Crafts

Simple Scallops ~ For beautiful shelf edging, punch 4"-diameter circles from book pages. Fold each one in half, and overlap them along a shelf edge, using upholstery tacks to secure.

By-the-Book Wreath ~ Give book pages a dramatic redo with frilly, border-punched edges. Folded and stacked strips round it out.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

DIY Stencil Projects

Floral Stencil ~ Give a plain wood floor new spark with a floral motif. If you don't want to commit to painting your wood floor, follow the same instructions, but apply the stencil to a vinyl mat or floorcloth instead.

Butterfly Pillow ~ Create a whimsical pillow with inked-on butterflies. Find a pattern you love, cut it out, and trace onto a pillow cover with a fabric marker. Then fill in the design with the marker.

Chalkboard Stencil ~ Create an easy-to-change wall that starts with a foundation of chalkboard paint. Apply chalkboard paint according to the directions on the can. Scribble chalk over the painted surface and erase with rags or a chalkboard eraser. (This gives your final design a uniform surface and prevents "ghosts" if you change the design later.) Trace the pattern onto cardboard, and use the cardboard as a template to trace the medallion pattern on the wall with chalk. Tip: Start in the center and work your way outward.

Friday, August 23, 2013

How To Make a Floor Pouf

Poufs are all the rage these days, the basic construction of the pouf is really easy ~ if you can sew a straight line with a sewing machine, you can make one of these. Trust me!!

To make this, you'll need:
2 yards of fabric ~ all the same print or coordinating pieces
foam, egg-crate style or something with some density

1. You will need to cut your pieces 2-24"x24" and one 13"x96" piece. If you don't have a 96" piece in one length..that's ok just piece 24" pieces together.
2. Take one 24 X 24 piece and place it correct side down on your work space. Now place around the sides the 24 X 12 pieces such that the 24 inch sides line up. Now pin all pieces together.
3. Sew pieces together.
4. Once all four sides are done you will get a Bucket like structure. The wrong side will be visible out.The resultant will be like a plus sign. Make sure you have left one of the bottom seams open to stuff.
5. Cut up a egg-crate mattress and stack squares of it inside like a layer cake and use the poly fill to even it out.
6. Hand sew the final seam to shut since it won't fit under the sewing machine =)

For more ideas and step-by-step pictures of tutorials click here.  

Decorate with Tape

With all the awesome designs out there today, use the new generation of specialty tapes to dress up everyday objects and create decor that's pretty and playful.

Reuse, Rethink, Recraft ~ Recycle a smooth glass bottle that formerly held your flavored tea or iced coffee. Cover the bottle with thick strips of colored tape, then layer thinner strips in complementary hues.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Clever Decor and Design Ideas Under $50

Open Cabinetry for Less
Love the look of open shelving but not able to rip out cabinets? Remove the doors, then paint or wallpaper the backs of the cabinets with a contrasting color.

Give It the Slip
Don't spend money on an expensive new ottoman. Instead, give an old one new life with a simple slipcover. Most slipcovers are machine-washable, and they can be easily switched out as decorating tastes change. Topped with a wooden tray, this ottoman doubles as a coffee table.

Fabric Know-How
Layer on colors and patterns to add interest to a blank canvas of white walls and/or neutral furnishings. Cover classically shaped furniture with playful patterns and eye-popping colors for a unique style juxtaposition. Choose area rugs that won't compete with the bold fabric choices.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

9 Quick Home Decorating Ideas

Display a Great Collection on a Dining Room Table ~ In the living room an elm plank table, which can double as a dining table, dramatically displays a collection of Chinese porcelains. The pieces don't have to exactly match, but they do have to play together well.

Easy-to-Make Family Craft Keepsakes

Sweet Sock Art
This memento from your tot's early days will help you remember her teeny tiny tootsies long after she's graduated to shoes.
You Will Need: foam core, shadow box (this is 20 inches square), colorful fabric or paper, duct tape, 6 to 10 baby socks, glue dots, card stock and marker
1. Cut the foam core to fit inside your shadow box.
2. Fold the fabric or paper around the foam core and secure it with duct tape.
3. Arrange the socks as shown, then attach them with glue dots.
4. Write your child's name and birth date on a piece of card stock (ours is 3 inches across) and attach it with glue dots.
5. Place the foam core in the shadow box and hang it on the wall.

Simple Silhouette

Monday, August 19, 2013

5 Best & Worst Remodeling Jobs For Your Real Estate Money

1. Best: A new steel entry door
Cost: $1,137
Resale value: $974
Payback: 86%
Replacing your front door with a stout, 20-gauge steel entry door is the standout improvement project.The best steel doors are surprisingly good-looking. They add a sense of security to a home, which is undoubtedly why homebuyers value them so highly. A 20-gauge replacement door costs $1,137 on average, nationally. It adds an estimated $974 to a home's sale price, according to the real-estate agents who responded to the survey.

2. Best: Replace exterior siding with fiber cement
Cost: $13,083
Resale value: $10,379
Payback: 79%
It's no wonder that fiber-cement siding -- made of cement, wood fiber and sand -- is a hit with homeowners. It's rot-resistant and durable in a wide range of climates. It's often backed by a 25- or 30-year warranty. Manufacturers use it to convincingly imitate cedar shingles, wood clapboard and stucco. The panels are primed and painted at the factory, and the color on them can last 25 years.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

21 Amazing New Uses For Old Things

Cupcake Liner as Drip Catcher~ Before serving that Popsicle, slip the stick through a foil liner to catch drips and keep hands from getting sticky.

Earrings as Pushpins ~ Face it: That long-lost earring is probably gallivanting with a wayward sock in Ye Olde Land of Misplaced Items. (What a stud!) Let its lonely, abandoned mate rebound as a pretty thumbtack on a bulletin board.

Aluminum Foil as Fixture Protector ~ Protect doorknobs and hardware in the kitchen and bathroom when you're painting by wrapping foil around them to catch dribbles. The foil molds to the shape of whatever it's covering and stays firmly in place until the job is complete.

Eyeglasses Case as Manicure Kit ~ An unused glasses case makes a convenient storage spot for nail files, clippers and other manicure essentials while on the go.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Project Ideas In A Weekend

Dress Up Your Fireplace
If it's time to replace that dingy 1970s-era mantel, choose one with enough depth to let you display pictures or other decorations. If you buy a ready-made mantel, don't be afraid to paint it or add moldings. To quickly and easily rehabilitate your existing fireplace, a gas or wood-burning insert adds energy efficiency to your home -- without tearing apart your hearth and mantel.

Punch Up Your Paint
Nothing delivers as much instant remodeling gratification -- and budget happiness -- as a fresh coat of paint color. Don't forget to prime, and use a low-VOC paint if you're unable to open a window in the early season.

Revive Your Railings
Create a smooth transition between levels with a beautifully detailed staircase. Architectural salvage and reuse centers are hot spots for ideas and materials to replace your staircase railings ~ or you can just add color with a new paint job.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Best After-school Snacks for Kids (or anytime of the day)

It's time to toss out the junk food and start making snack time fun again! Check out these kid-friendly ingredients that make great snacks and have an easy recipe for each one.

The protein in this kid-friendly snack keeps energy levels high until dinnertime. We like to stick salt-free pretzel sticks into cubes of low-fat cheese to make "satellite snacks," but you can also make cheese more interesting to kids by cutting it into fun shapes with a cookie cutter and making kabobs with your favorite fruit.

Kids go crazy over delicious sippable treats, and they're packed with nutrients. Use nonfat vanilla yogurt, 100 percent orange juice, and a banana as the smoothie's base, then experiment with a combination of cut-up fresh or frozen fruit. It's a great way to sneak two or three servings of fruit and fiber into your child's diet.

Sweet Potatoes Chips

Sunday, August 11, 2013

7 Things to Never Do for Your Kid

1. Choose Her Friends
When you have a toddler, she hangs out with your friends' kids as you have a mommy gab session. Oh, those simpler times! After age 5, your child will naturally start gravitating toward certain children, for better or worse.
What to do: If your child starts hanging out with friends you're not crazy about, step back. Try to see why your social butterfly joined a certain group. Maybe you don't understand why she spends time with that loud-mouthed buddy, but for her, it's a way of becoming more extroverted.

2. Make Excuses
"Hi, Teacher. I'm sorry Jimmy didn't finish his report on time. He's been busy with football." Sound familiar? Shielding children from the negative consequences of their actions is one of the most common parenting mistakes. Once in a while (when it's truly necessary) is okay, but If you engage in this too often, you may end up with a kid who doesn't understand cause and effect.
What to do:

Saturday, August 10, 2013

A Great Lunch Idea for Kiddos and Adults ~ Bento Lunch Boxes, Compartments, and Accesories

Bento ~ What is it? Well, Bento is a single-portion takeout or home-packed meal common in Japanese cuisine. A traditional Bento holds rice, fish or meat, with pickled or cooked vegetables, usually in a box-shaped container BUT who likes traditional! "These beautiful lunch box ideas will certainly change things up -- but still let you incorporate your kid's favorite foods and healthy snacks. And these can be only as detailed as you want", says Anna Yamamoto, the supertalented Bento creator. "The most important thing about making a bento is to make it with love and have lots of fun!"

Getting Started Lunch Box
Ideal for school, work, play and travel, this Bento kit is versatile and fun! Pack your Bento lunch and ice pack inside the main compartment and your drink bottle on the side. Make squish-free lunches every day with this top-selling kit.High-quality insulated tote featuring a coral Laptop Lunches® Bento lunch box 2.0 with inner containers in yellow, lime, teal, magenta and orange, and an all-stainless fork and spoon set. Laptop Lunches.

Message in a Lunchbox

Back-to-School can be a scary time, so sometimes it’s nice to know that Mom–or Dad– is thinking of you with a little lunchbox surprise. Here are some ways to spread the love.

* Write an “I love you” message on a banana.

* Slip a Lunchbox Love note into her pack. The cards have cute phrases like “I’m your biggest fan” on one side and fun facts on the back.

*Jot down a cute joke on a sticky note attached to the inside lid to give them chuckle.

* Give them a fortune cookie with a special "fortune".

* Sprinkle some colorful, fun shape confetti around the inside found out your local party supply store.

Sneak in a special photo and a written memory like, "Remember the fun time we had at the ice cream parlor last week?"

Healthy One-Dish Dinners

Skillet Vegetables on Cheese Toast
8 slicesrustic wheat bread
1/2 8 ounce packagepeeled fresh whole baby carrots, halved lengthwise
1 8 ounce packagebutton mushrooms, halved
4 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 small red onion, cut in thin wedges
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces soft goat cheese (chevre)
Fresh basil (optional)
Preheat broiler. Place bread on baking sheet; set aside. In large skillet cook carrots, mushrooms, garlic, and onion in hot olive oil over medium-high heat 2 to 3 minutes, until vegetables just begin to brown. Add 2 tablespoons water; cover and cook over medium heat 5 minute, or until vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring once. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, for cheese toast, lightly toast bread 3 inches from boiler heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Spread goat cheese on one side of each slice. Broil 3 inches from heat for 1 to 2 minutes, until cheese is softened. On plates, top cheese toast with vegetables. Drizzle with additional olive oil; sprinkle with fresh basil. Makes 4 servings.

Mexican Skillet Dinner
12 ounces chorizo or pork sausage
2 cups frozen whole kernel corn
1 14 1/2ounce candiced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup uncooked instant rice
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 15 ounce canpinto beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup shredded Mexican-blend cheeses or Colby and Monterey Jack cheese (3 ounces)
If present, remove casing from sausage. In a large skillet cook sausage over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until brown. Drain in a colander; set aside. Add corn, tomatoes, uncooked rice, the water, chili powder, and cumin to skillet. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 5 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Stir in beans and cooked sausage; heat through. Sprinkle with cheese; cover and let stand for 2 to 3 minutes until cheese is slightly melted.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Fun School Lunch Ideas for the Kiddos

Kids cannot live on bread ~ slathered with PB and J ~ alone. Here are some healthy new ideas to avenge lunchtime boredom. Ok some adults may love these too!

Avocado and Cheese Roll-Ups
Serve cut-up wraps with pesto for a fun, dippable lunch option.
More roll-up ideas: Try bacon, lettuce, and tomato with barbecue sauce for dipping, or rotisserie chicken, guacamole, and sour cream with salsa for dipping.
The extras: A clementine and animal crackers.
Pack it in: Goodbyn Bynto lunch box, $9, and Leakproof Dipper container, $1.50:

All Dressed Up
The simplest and healthiest foods look extra-yummy when they're tucked inside colorful little compartments. That's the idea behind Laptop Lunches, the company that sells these cute plastic sets starting at $21; These containers are filled with a protein ~bow-tie pasta salad with veggies, some fruit ~watermelon, a vegetable ~ baby greens salad with 2 tablespoons low-fat dressing, and a small treat ~fig cookies, all in perfect-size portions for kids 5 to 8.

5 Things to Make Back-to-School Week Less Stressful For The Littles Ones

Transitioning from summer to school year can be a bit hectic, so rely on these mother’s (and father’s) helpers.

To Get the Kids Up
On sluggish mornings, pump a CD to get kids moving, managing their time, and out the door: Tell them that by the time track four finishes, breakfast should be eaten and they should be headed upstairs for teeth brushing. One album to try: Jerzy the Giant, a collection of 16 fun family-friendly songs from the band The Terrible Twos, featuring lead singer Matt Pryor of the rock group the New Amsterdams. To buy: $14,

To Get Them Dressed
How is your little one feeling today? Let her express it on a cotton T-shirt that comes with detachable letters, numbers, and symbols she can stick on a black bubble. Choose red, green, white, or pink shirts. (For children ages 4 and up.) To buy: $30,

To Get Them to Do Their Homework
While you type on your laptop, your munchkin can do math problems on his own lap desk. Choose one of nine designs, set the comfy bean bag bottom on his little lap, and place a cup of juice in the built-in holder.To buy: $24,

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

6 Homemade Teacher Gift Ideas That Will Really Getted Used and Loved ~ Great for Back to School or Teacher Appreciation

Alphabet Vase
Talk about an easy gift! Your kiddo will love that he.she made it almost by themselves and you'll love that there's almost no mess! Just put a small glass cup or jar inside of a larger mason jar. Fill the space between the two jars with plastic refrigerator magnet letters and numbers. Fill the smaller, inner jar with water to put your beautiful bouquet in. Get your child to pick some wildflowers for that extra, special touch. For an additional touch hot glue an apple and the vase to an old child's book as shown.

Teacher Survival Kit
A sweet package with some get-me-through-the-day essentials. Use a "6-pack" cardboard carry all, recover with scrapbook paper, printables and labels, then fill with some pick-me-ups the teacher will find useful. If you know coffee is her thing, throw in some instant Starbucks coffee pouches or some tea, even Crystal Light pouches . Throw in some mints, power bars, a few pens, maybe a stress ball and, of course, something sweet =}

Enjoy Life Everyday

"Go your way…And be not grieved and depressed, for the joy of the Lord is your strength." Nehemiah 8:10

God is constantly calling us to higher places in Him, “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14. He wants us to know Him more
~ He wants us to know His ways, walk in His ways, and experience His victory. In order to experience that victory I wish I could ALWAYS and everyday learn to enjoy my life. The key word here is my life.

We have all learned to covet someone else’s life (celebrities, neighbors, family, etc), and to not really enjoy our own, BUT one thing I do know is that it is God’s will for us is to enjoy the life He has provided for US. The joy of the Lord is our strength and we must make a decision to enjoy OUR everyday life.

Enjoying life does not mean we have something exciting going on all the time ~ it simply means we enjoy the simple, everyday things. Most of life is rather ordinary, but we are supernaturally equipped with the power of God to live ordinary everyday life in an extraordinary way.

The apostle Paul said in Philippians that he was pressing on toward the goal of Christ’s calling. How did he press forward? In verse 13 he says, “One thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.” See, in order to press upward, we have to let go of the weight of the past, let go of the coveting what others have that we either think we deserve, should have or did have. We let go by forgiving, being thankful, praising Him and choosing not to dwell on things that can hold us back. We have to lighten our load, so that we can rise higher in the things God has for us.

When we are struggling in an area, we need to ask God what we need to let go of. Sometimes, we need to let go of the good as well as the bad. “Good” can be the very thing that keeps you from “great.” We need to let go of the past, forgive, and press upward to the prize of the high calling of Jesus Christ! Live life to the fullest and be a witness to the power of God that is available to everyone.

Father, today I release the past. I let go of the good and the bad. Search my heart. Show me any area where I need to make adjustments so I can move upward with You and enjoy my life everyday, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Fresh Ideas for Foyers and Entries

No mudroom, No problem. Give your house a grand entrance with an open, inviting entryway that warmly welcomes family and friends alike with these simple ideas.

Built-In Banquette
What a welcoming sight upon first coming inside! Both decorative and functional, this entryway banquette offers a spot to sit when putting on or taking off shoes or boots, as well as three drawers for storing all your front-entry necessities. It also teases with a tantalizing taste of the home's decor.

Warm Welcome
Few things greet guests more heartily than a delightful dose of color and personality at the front door! Cheerful tomato-red paint on the door and sidelights gives way to stripes in two shades of blue on the rug and the chest of drawers. Fresh flowers and a tabletop arrangement of artwork will put a smile on the face of anyone who enters.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Upcycled Fabulous Furniture Makeovers

Fabulous Furniture Makeovers ~ Uncover the hidden charm of a cast-off piece with just a bit of creative thinking and elbow grease.

Add a Reflection
This boring, ordinary hutch touted plenty of storage, but it needed a fresh face.
A fresh coat of white paint and new hardware brought the hutch up-to-date, but a mercury glass treatment on the glass doors launches the refreshed hutch into one-of-a-kind territory. To create the look, spray the back of the glass with mirror spray paint (like Krylon Looking Glass) according to the instructions on the paint can; we used five coats. Let dry. In a spray bottle, create a 1:1 vinegar and water mix and spray the painted surface with the mixture. Blot with a rag to remove small patches of paint. Respray with one coat of the mirror paint.