Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Antiquing Outdated Furniture

Again, another love I found on pinterest. My guest bedroom was looking pretty boring. It was a random collection of stuff that wasn't good enough to make it to our bedroom. Well, I've had some time on my hands with Christmas Break, so I'll show you what I've been up to.

Let me mention, I've been pretty broke recently, so this update to the guest bedroom literally cost $8.

Want to antique your outdated laminate wood? I can help!


Here's what the guest bedroom looked like before:



BLEK!  As you can see in the first picture, I added a mattress pad and fitted sheet over the headboard to cover the nasty brown 70's wood. (I'm sure it was cool at one time.)

As I said, I only spent $8. So I grabbed an old mini paint roller, white paint, white spray paint, and blue paint left over from our bathroom. I literally took an old canvas I didn't like to roll the paint on. I didn't buy any new paint supplies!



I primed the headboard and dresser with the white paint. As you can see, I literally just rolled it with a paint roller. I coated it about two times for the headboard, with spray paint for the corners the roller couldn't reach. I then painted the dresser blue over the white primer.




Ok so that is where I stopped with the painting. It wasn't perfect. It doesn't have to be.  Now here is where $1 went in. I bought wire kitchen scrubbers, pack of 3 for $1. I used those to "rough up" the corners and edged of the headboard and dresser. ** Follow the natural groves of the wood, if there are too many layers of paint, keep scrubbing.




Again, so EASY! Focus your sanding on edges and normal wear and tear places. I ran the wire scrubber across the whole thing lightly. It gave it a worn look as well.


FINISHED PRODUCT

Wood Frame: $1.99,  Picture Frame (Spray painted) $2.99

Pillow covers (Blue) $3.00



I added that mirror I bought at Goodwill a few months ago. Perfect spot.



That's all. It's really that easy. Just be sure you have paint and a sander (wire scrubber, sandpaper, etc) I kind want to put the drawers in my room now. Here's the finished room. $8 + free time= better guest bedroom!

Happy scrubbing!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Feliz Navidad

Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.
Calvin Coolidge

I must say my religious affiliation with God, isn't standard. I believe in God and Jesus, and I agree with a majority of the Catholic church. Where I'm different is, I don't feel like going to church makes you a good person. I will admit the reason I don't is that I'm lazy. I'm working on that. So, when I feel like I need to make a connection with God, I do something extra. I contribute. I don't need to judge people and tell people I'm a good person to be a good person. This is my deed, and this was the journey.



I'm not writing this so people reading can see what I did. I'm writing this so that maybe it will inspire someone to try something new.


In August me and Justin were talking about Christmas and how we buy anything we want for ourselves when we want it. We talked about how we wanted to give presents to kids. I did some research and found a place called The Lord's Pantry. I emailed the contact person and she responded saying that she hasn't set up anything for this year yet,  but when she does she will contact me.


Well November rolls around and I kind of forgot. My parents and sister decided to adopt a family instead of giving each other presents. We thought, let's get a small family and spend $100 each. Ok, that's reasonable. So literally, I think the next day, I get an email.


"We have selected a family for you to adopt" It was the Lord's Pantry. I opened the PDF. My family was a family of 6. My first thought was, "shit."  I continued to read on and it explained that a max should be $150 a person. I then thought "HOLY SHIT".  I emailed the lady promptly to see if that max was expected. She said no and that $50 a person would satisfy.  I lastly thought, "Ok, I can do that. My family is doing it with me."


I proceeded to look at their "wish list".
Mom: Warm sheets, blankets, food processor
Dad: Winter clothes
Kid 1: White Bike, remote control car
Kid 2: The Hunger Series, guitar
Kid 3: Nitro speeder car
Kid 4:  Baby doll, walking/talking dog


I read it, and I thought: "There's no way $50 is enough"  That is what was on their wish list. No IPADs, No Nitendo DS, no Plasma TV.  They wanted books, a $20 car, and a few toys. The parents didn't say they wanted ANYTHING. They needed what was on their wish list. 


That night I remember laying awake at night and thinking. How the hell am I going to have enough money for this, even with my family's help. Then I just kept thinking, I'm so spoiled, of course I can do this. How can I NOT do this? I kept thinking, God, I promise I will do this. Whatever it takes, we will do this.


Another great benefit of this experience was that my family had to work together...LOL. On Thanksgiving my sister gilt tripped her husband to come with us midnight shopping on "Black Friday." My mom came too. We thought, hey we've never been, why not.


My genius idea was that if we went to Kohls at 12:30am that the rush would have already been through. We were just browsing....  WRONG. The lines were literally around the store, twice. So we all looked at each other and were like...fuck it.


Then we went to Meijer. It was dead... we read the sign and of course the sale was from 6-10pm then 4am-8am. So we were not in the sale time frame. We didn't care so we shopped anyways. It was fun. I got to roam around an almost empty store with my family at 1am. Random. We found awesome deals anyways. And my brother in law found a good deal on a bike. So we didn't want it to get taken, so we wheeled it around the store to notice it had a flat tire. They ended up taking it and told us they would contact us when it was finished. We got a lot of good things, but we weren't nearly finished.


We all randomly got different gifts as time went on. We had a wrapping party where we made cookies. We probably spent more time together doing this, than we would have shopping for each other. They are good memories.


Everything was bought. Way more than I thought I would ever spend on Christmas. It makes you appreciate the Christmas's you've had. Appreciate the money parents spend. 


I went to pick up the bike from Meijer. It was almost the last item.  As I was checking out, the lady at the check out was like "oooo I have a coupon for you! Santa bucks, $15 off!"  I was like "Thanks, its for a family in need so that is great."  She was so happy and went on to say shes glad there are good people left in the world. I didn't do anything for her. She helped me! She didn't even know she was helping me and she did. It was a journey that helped me see the good that Christmas brings. How some people help people because they can, not because they should.


Btw, the family we had didn't speak a lot of English, so I was worried that after the first call, that they even knew we were coming. We went to breakfast as a family before we took the gifts over. Another family bonding moment, where me and Andy talked about work and Justin ate his food and mine, my dad talked about basketball, and my mom was glad we were all together. 


We crammed together in my mom's van to tag the rest of the presents. We were heading over and I was nervous. What if we don't find the house? What if we ruin Santa for the kids? What if we have too many people and embarrass them? 


When we arrived at the house me and my mom went to knock on the door. I saw a little girl across the street watching us. "Oh God. I should have brought her gifts too." I thought.  Too late. They opened the door and I saw the smiling faces. The oldest boy shot out of the house at lightning speed jumping for joy to come help us bring gifts in. The oldest girl was calm and making fun of her siblings (in a nice way). The youngest two had smiles plastered on their faces as they helped bring in the gifts. As I took some inside, we sat them by the decorated tree. The mom and dad were so thankful, so sweet. I didn't know exactly what they were saying, but I could tell.  (I went to Honduras for a week and only picked up "How old are you" and I messed that up)


I could hear them saying "Who's that for?" "It's for me!" They were so excited. When we brought the bike up. (we didn't wrap it) I told the dad who it was for.  I heard him shout "That's MINE!" I smiled.


That was the end of the gifts.I wished we had a truck load more. We told them Merry Christmas and went to leave. The dad said a bunch of stuff I didn't understand, but I understood. 

I don't feel "sorry" for them. They are happy people. They are good people. They have a good family. They are the lucky ones. Who says they need possessions to be lucky? I could tell that they were the type of parents that would try their best and do well. We just thankfully could help them add to it. 


I learned so many things through this experience. What is important during Christmas? Family time. What do you need to be lucky? A happy family.  IPADs don't buy happiness. By all means, spend your money how you want. Just remember during this time, what it is really about. This was a great time for me. At one point I had $40 in my account. That was scary for me, but it happens to people all of the time. Guess what, I survived. I'm blessed beyond belief. My family is wonderful. I have a job. I can provide. Why not share?


Again, I couldn't have done this without my family. I wouldn't have traded this experience. Maybe if you read this, you'll want to do something like this too. I promise you, it will be only a positive experience. We've had a good Christmas every year, give someone else one for a change.

If you have kids, do this for them as well. Show them at a early age, the rewards of giving. My mom did. That's why I'm doing this now.


If you want to know more look into: The Lord's Pantry
http://lordspantry.org/

or  Life Stream Services for a visit and adopting with an elderly person
http://www.lifestreaminc.org/

 Have a Merry Christmas and enjoy the time with your family.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Holiday Gifts and Decor

Well I had some free time on my hands over Thanksgiving Break, so I decided to make some pinterest crafts. All of these were things I had around the house, I probably spent $5.00 on all of these combined.  I fondly present:


These were all over pinterest, but I used wine glasses and garland instead. These are great for these open window areas in our house.

This vase was filled with fall decor, but this was an easy fix for all of those left over ornaments.



Oops I lied about the price. But hey, I didn't but it! Just bought these stocking holders for $20.00 at Target. The letters were $1.00 each. I think they are stupid, but its Justin's OCD way of making them match. I had a beautiful one for Boston with a B, but I neglected Tito's stocking. Justin wouldn't let me put mine up...



I made another wreath out of the leftover ornaments.

Easy way to add a little Christmas in. By the way, I bought these all at Kirklands. The mirror was $20, the clock $14, the big frame $11, the white frame $10 and the smaller frames $7. Check that place out!!


I made this out of a serving bowl and an old candle. Then I added beads and silver and red ornaments. You could really add anything to it.


Cookie gift box! I wrapped a pringles can in wrapping paper from Target. $1 You can add ribbon or a bow.

Gift boxes or decorations. I actually made these as part of a card box for my wedding, but I messed up the topper and I gave up. So I use these to store crafts and hooka material. Its just hat boxes wrapped in fabric and ribbon. Hat boxes can be bought at Hobby Lobby for $7-$15.

I painted a wine bottle white and spray painted some branches. I used the spray paint from my frame makeover.


This was inspired by a few Christmas photos. They used the traditional lights, but I was too lazy to go but any, but I still liked the effect. I had to do this one fast before Justin realized how cheesy it was. :)



Overall, easy cheap redos all inspired by pinterest! The addiction is REAL. Hope this helps you look around your house for inspiration. I finally have the house I've always wanted, and I'll be damned if its not decorated for it's first Christmas!!!


Pinterest Credits:

http://www.bhg.com/christmas/indoor-decorating/super-simple-holiday-decor/#page=18

http://www.rachaelraymag.com/Easy-Party-Ideas/Party-Decorating-Ideas/Centerpiece-Slideshows/holidays-centerpieces/8

http://jengrantmorris.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2010-12-18T15%3A29%3A00Z&max-results=20

http://cleverlyinspired.blogspot.com/2010/12/wine-bottleschristmas-display_14.html

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Holiday Recipes

Well since I've had my house decorated for Christmas 3 weeks ago, I figured this might be an appropriate time to blog about it. Pinterest has so many ideas for recipes and decor its ridiculous. I figured I would give some of them a try.  Let's start with the food. (The decor will come later this week, I'm finishing up a project!)

I figured now that I am married and am "put together" I had to bring things to family Thanksgivings that weren't store bought. I am a horrid cook, but these all turned out well and people actually liked them. Miracle or Pinterest? So if you want to impress the family even if you suck as a cook; these are your recipes for the holidays.

The first one is called "Crack Dip" for good reason. It is pretty addicting. It is also easy and can be paired with almost anything.
How to make:

16oz of  sour cream
3oz  bag of bacon bits
1 packet of ranch seasoning
1 cup of mild cheddar cheese

All you do is combine the ingredients and chill for 24 hours. (One batch only chilled for 5 hours and it was fine.)  You can serve it with crackers, vegetables, or chips. It is yummy!

Re-pinned from:   http://www.plainchicken.com/2008/07/chili-cheese-dip_22.html

Gingerbread Donuts:

Ok I forgot to take a picture, and I am kind glad because mine looked like wet balls of dough. They tasted good though.
Check out her website for directions on how to make these. I didn't have a mini donut pan, so I made them in cupcake tins. It made them a little more cakier but the point was reached. Also, it took me WAY more than 5 minutes. Getting all this together was about 30 minutes for me, but that still isn't so bad.

Re-pinned from:  http://pinchofyum.com/baked-gingerbread-mini-donuts


The last food item I made was bruschetta. I wanted something that would be good with wine but also be a great appetizer.  This one was also really really easy. The ingredients weren't too hard to find either.


They went off the plate pretty fast, so they were a great hit with the family.

Here's what you need:
1 loaf of baguette
1 garlic head
3 tsp of olive oil
1 tomato diced
1/4 c of basil
1/2 c of shredded Parmesan cheese 
4 oz of cream cheese

All you do is:
1. Pre-heat oven to 350. Cut off the top of the garlic clove (you don't have to peel it yet.) Drizzle with 1 ts of olive oil and wrap it in tin foil and place it in the oven for 1 hour. (add salt and pepper if you wish)
2. While that is cooking, combine the basil, diced tomato, olive oil, and salt and pepper in bowl.
3. When the garlic is done, peel off the skins and combine with the cream cheese and 1/4 Parmesan in another small bowl.
4.  Cut bread 1/2 inch thick. Place bread on baking sheet. Then spread the garlic cream cheese spread on each piece of bread.
5. Cook the bread in the 350 degree oven for 12 minutes until lightly brown.
6. Drop the tomato mixture on top and you are finished.

I had to make these and then travel, so the best bet is to cook them in the oven and bring the tomato mixture with you. Then when you arrive warm up the bread quickly in the oven, then put the tomato mixture on then.  It is really easy!


Re-pinned from:
http://www.mybakingaddiction.com/roasted-garlic-and-tomato-bruschetta-recipe/

 I must say I was called Betty Crocker several times from different family members, so if I can do it I promise you can! Do you have any easy recipes that are great for family get togethers? Let me know! My rules are, I have to have heard of the ingredients before and it can't take me longer than 30 minutes. Come back later this week for my easy diy Christmas decorations!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Goodwill Hunting

I am always that type of person that is a sucker for deals, so goodwill is a great place to get those deals. Now, most furniture your going to get from goodwill is going to need some TLC. I was bored and stopped by Goodwill the other day because we needed some end tables. I figured I'd give it a shot. Well I left spending $60. HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN? Good news is, with some painting, they were all great purchases. FYI the best Goodwills to look at are in ritzy cities. I browse at the Noblesville and Fishers Goodwills and usually find some good stuff.

Here is what I bought:

The mirror was $14.99, the shelves were $11.99, the table was $20.00 (maybe $29 there is still one left at the Noblesville Goodwill), and all of the picture frames were $5.00 together. (Add in the $13.00 for 3 cans of spray paint, I bought later)
The Table


This table was the easiest to fix up. It had great structure and style so I was going to paint it to make it look less outdated. When I got it home after a quick wash, it looked so good I didn't want to paint it. I looked on the inside and it was in perfect condition. So here is a pic of how we used it in our house. (Looks much better than our TV tray we had there.)



Great buy, it fit in with out decor and it looked great with little effort. Success.


The Shelf
The next piece of furniture is the book shelve. Again, it was only $14 and pretty gross.




There was only one option, spray paint.  I bought mine from Sherwin WIlliams: Black, Silver, and White gloss. It drys in 15 minutes and it looks awesome. So I spray painted the wood (no sanding, no prepping other than wipe down). I dusted back over it after the first application.


So easy. It was actually from NY and made in Romania. I found a sticker on the back. It looked great. You could even add fabric to the middle. I decided not to, so here is mine final product at the top of the stairs.


I just grabbed random stuff from my house to put on the shelves. Nice picture frames? Thanks they are from Goodwill. Here are the originals again:

The Frames
The gold crappy frames are EVERYWHERE at Goodwill, I see them every time I go. Look for the ones with the most detail, those will really look good. So here they are, I sprayed them with spray paint and covered the ones with tape that I couldn't remove the glass.




Great vintage frames for $5.00!! I love the white one, it was only 99 cents. A little paint and some nice structure on the frames can really save you money. (The other frame I have to remove the picture from inside, but the frame looked good)

The Mirror
Lastly I had the mirror. It was a great piece and usually you can't get any nice mirror for 14.99!! Here it is. Check out the gold trim on the inside. Gold framing really isn't in, so people trash it to Goodwill. GOOD FOR US, now all we do is paint.



So with some black paint and a paintbrush, I painted the inside black. I thought about repainting the white, but I liked the vintage look.



There it is. I did this all today in like 2 hours. It's not like I'm busy watching the Colts game. :)  Hopefully this helps you start your own projects! I'm sure I will be redoing some more picture frames soon. It's just too easy!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Slow Shutter Pictures

I have become obsessed with pictures lately. Pinterest has a lot of great pictures, but I never could figure out how people got the slow motion effect from their cameras.

Well I called my sister, who knows the answer to any question on earth. So here is how you do it:
I have a Cannon Rebel, but still most cameras will be similar.

  1. Change your settings to MS or Manual.
  2. Change your ISO to something around 200-400 (ISO is the small button, that says ISO)
  3. Change your FStop. This is located on your spinning wheel toward the front. You will see the numbers change. If you want a long exposure go to 15-20 seconds which will look like  20''.   Slower shutter would be 3''. Either way, it just depend on how much movement and time you want spent on the shot.
  4. Turn off the lights. Depending on what you want to show up, you'll have to remove the primary light source. So go to a dark room.
  5. Get some sort of candle, sparkler, glow stick etc.
  6. Have your subjects pose for the first shutter. Then move the glow sticks (or whatever) around in the design you want. NOTE: Your camera should be on a tripod for best results. You can also hold it really still, but movement will make it blur.
  7. The second shutter will stop at however many seconds you set it for.
Side note: However your faces/posture/ etc is set first the first initial shot will show up in the picture. The colors can be moved randomly without the subjects body blurring.


Here are some random pictures I took with the slow shutter:









 
Long story short, its easy to do with the right camera and lighting. Next adventure is sparklers so I can redo these photos from Pinterest:  
Credits go to:      http://www.100layercake.com/vendors/view/847/3/belle-and-beau 

Christmas Wreath

Ok so I'm one of those people who try to be crafty but get bored in the middle and leave my projects undone. Good news is that I repinned Ashley's pin of an ornament wreath. Usually for crafts to be in my forefront they need to be 2 things. 1. cheap and 2. easy. This wreath is both.

Here is a link to the original creator: Eddie Ross (He's awesome)
http://www.eddieross.com/eddie_ross/2009/12/ornament-wreath-winner.html


Cute huh? Ok well all you need is:

1. a wire hanger, about 70 ornament balls, glue, pliers, and a bow.



The Cost
Wire hanger-  free    (it's gotta be somewhere in your closet)
Ornaments-   $15-20  (Walmart has a set of 30 for $5.00)
Glue -    $3   (hot glue or regular glue, to ensure the fastenings stay on the bulb)

Time: 20 mins

How to

1. Strech out the wire hanger into a circular shape.

2. With pliers, un twist the metal from the hook, so that your circle is now open.

3. Now the actual hanger part is separated from the twisted metal piece. Flatten out the metal so that you can string the ornaments on the hanger.

4. Start stringing. arrange the bulbs so that they cover up all sides.

5. When your finished with your ornaments. Retwist the hanger back into original position.

6. Put a bow where your actual hanger is, and your done.


My Recreation:

Not that hard right? The hardest part for me was retwisting the metal to get the hanger back together.


Makes a great gift! Ashley Sieb was my first re-pinning gift recipient.

I still have glue and glitter on my hands.