Friday, September 16, 2011

Sports Boxes

I just completed another little detail for my son's big boy room. Kids always seems to have little treasures that can quite easily take over their rooms if left uncontained - I had a set of 3 nesting boxes that I got on clearance somewhere that I was going to do something with that I'd long abandoned. I figured they would make the perfect treasure keepers, and I knew just how I could dress them up.

With all that I did in his room that I had to spend money on, quilt, paint, silver tape... I was determined to have projects that were just using what I had on hand, both to save money AND to use up some of the things that have been doing nothing but taking up space. 

So I started with the boxes, paint and brushes:

You'll see I didn't have the right brown for the basket ball, I had to mix red, a touch of black and yellow  to get the right blend.

When dry, I lightly penciled in the lines that make these not sphere shapes more identifiable as what they are intended to be, balls.

Ad then I painted them... that is really about it.

I'll add a coat of varnish once the paint has fully cured. That is one thing I've learned when it come to craft paint - if it isn't completely dry when you coat it with varnish, it runs and smears.

Now baby bear has the perfect places to keep his treasures without having them take over his room. When the boxes fill up - then it's time to pick what can be pitched.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Unique Border Solution

I knew I wanted to have 2 paint colors in Bear's Big Boy Room... what I couldn't figure out was how I was going to set off those two paint colors.

I didn't want to do chair rail. Not in the budget, not the look I wanted.

Didn't want a wall paper boarder.

Just having the 2 colors meet wasn't going to work either.

So after trying, and hating several different options - what I feel in love with was metallic tape.

Note: this is NOT duct tape, though with all the decorator duct tapes out there you likely could use it. But I wanted something VERY shiny, with almost no texture of it's own.

While exploring Lowes, I discovered this metallic tape in the HVAC section - It's day job is holding duct work together throughout a house. But it was exactly the look I wanted for a boarder.

Putting it up was a challenge. Definitely a 2 person job - thankfully, my mom and stepdad had come up for the day. I had to go to Ikea for a smaller train table and if I had gone without inviting my parents, I just might have been disowned.

A few tips if you decide this solution is something that you might want to try:

  • 2 people is key, you need one person to remove the backing of the tape and press the adhesive to the wall while the other person holds the roll in front of you moving as you go along.
  • Keep the roll at the level that you are applying the tape, if you go even a bit above or a bit below where you want the tape to be, you'll get kinks and creases in it.
  • Have the wall below as perfect as you can get it - if you've got a tape line under the tape, it is going to show. I wish I'd sanded more before I applied the tape.
  • You will have imperfect spots, but once you load in the room with furniture and accessories, no one is going to inspect your board for flaws and if they do - then there are more issues than the imperfections in your boarder. 
  • And last, like with any project, the only person who knew what it was supposed to look like is you, so if it come out different than you expected, you'll be the only one to know.
Got an interesting boarder solution? I'd love to hear about it - I'm looking for something else to do in our kids bathroom. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Paper Pennant Garland

One of the things I love most about my son's new room are the paper banners I created.

Here is how I made them...

Cut the the layers out on my cricut, red background layer (which if you look closely you'll see also has an oval cut out to help me thread them evenly), the white layer and then the blue letters.

Then I assembled the individual banners:

Then I flipped them over to reveal the guide on the red layer that was cut by the Cricut so that each pennant would have their slits cut in exactly the same spot - what I tried and discovered didn't work was to precut the slit in both layers.

Why didn't that work? First, lining the two slits up perfect was a challenge, and second, the cricut couldn't get the slit as narrow as I wanted it - too wide of a slit and the pennants slide around on the ribbon and gravity is not the friend of the garland. 

So I cut them by hand. 

And then I threaded them onto the ribbon, first trying and not liking them on white, then loving them on red. 

And that was it - 3 fabulous custom paper pennant garlands for his room.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Big Boy Room - The Before and After

Well I did it - I transitioned my son's nursery to a big boy room. There are still a few loose ends to tie up but in the span of the long weekend, while the husband and kids were visiting family in NY, I got the room cleaned out, walls washed, repaired, taped and painted. Created the artwork for the walls, sewed the window treatments, made what felt like 47 trips out to get things I didn't realize I needed until I needed them and got everything put back together before they got home.

I'll post some other details and how-to's later in the week, for now, here is the straight up before and after. Please, please, please don't judge too much by the before's. His room was a mess... embarrassing.


And after:

The best part of his new room - he loves it. Absolutely loves it.

After almost a year of not linking to any parties I think I'll link this up over at Be Different... Act Normal's Show and Tell Saturday. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

From Nursery to Big Boy Room

Well - my baby boy, isn't much of a baby boy anymore. In fact, he's growing up faster than I ever could have imagined. On Friday he received his "advanced white" belt in Tae Kwon Do.

And in just over a week, he'll be starting kindergarten - how is that possible?

What isn't working - is that his room, is still his nursery theme. Sure, we've added bunk beds (his sister, despite having her own room - sleeps on the top bunk in his... they are so stinkin' cute.)

I really want to his bedroom to be finished before he starts school. And as luck would have it, my husband is taking the kids camping labor day weekend and they'll be gone for 4 and a half days... leaving me to transform his room.

My inspiration is coming from this quilt:

It suits his personality perfectly - he loves sports. I didn't want to go with decor that was specific to a single sport or a single team... he's 4, let's face it, his tastes are going to change. So the mix of 4 sports, without team affiliation is perfect.

I've fabric in the dryer for new valances and a little surprise I've got planned for his bunk bed. The paint has been bought. I've got the artwork ready to fire up the Cricut to create some fun personal touches:

Hopefully - I'll keep up with the progress here. Fingers crossed.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Burger

These have fast become my husband's favorite - we literally fight over the left overs.


  • 1 pound ground chicken - I've been buying 98% fat free and very happy with it.
  • 1/3 cup of hot sauce - I use Franks Hot Sauce. 
  • 4 Light burger buns
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika 
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 4 wedges laughing cow blue cheese
  • 4 tsp fresh blue cheese crumbles
  • Lettuce, tomato, onion - whatever you'd like to top your burger with. Though we eat ours plain
Servings: Recipe makes 4 burgers, 1 burger per serving

  1. In a small bowl, combine ground chicken, hot sauce, chili powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Mix well - I've found that a rubber spatula works well to blend everything perfectly. 
  2. Divide mixture into 4 equal parts and form into thin patties. 
  3. Cook in a skillet on medium-high heat until juices run clear, 6-8 minutes per side.
  4. Remove the cooked burgers and place them on buns
  5. Spread 1 laughing cow blue cheese wedge per burger
  6. Sprinkle 1 tsp of blue cheese crumbles
  7. Add lettuce, tomato, onion... whatever makes your burger perfect.
I'm able to make these delightful burgers for 7 WW points+ per burger. Be sure to plug your ingredients into your PP calculator or recipe builder to track how they work out for you. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Weight Watchers Update

So back in March I was a bit optimistic with how long it would take me to lose my 25 pounds.

: )

But I'm almost there...

I've lost almost 23 pounds, just about 2-4 to go. I'm down 3 sizes, from a 12 to a tight 6. The 8's are too big, but the 6's are creating a lovely muffin top that no one wants to see.

So, I've adjusted my goal, from 25 pounds, to a size 6 - with NO muffin top.

Hopefully I'll be there by the end of the summer.

And since I'll be facing down an 8 day trip to New Orleans in October, I might need to take off a few extra pounds to make sure the muffin top does not return.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Bruschetta Tortilla Pizza

I know, I haven't blogged in forever... long story for another day.

My creativity has been diverse lately, going into a lot of new areas for me - but mostly, recipes. Which is odd. Generally, I'm not creative with food. But 6+ months on weight watchers, I've gotten creative with my meals and have had requests to share my recipes. Here is the first:


  • Tortilla of choice - 1 per pizza 
    There are so many options, if you're on WW, you can find them for between 2-4 points per tortilla. They've got options for low fat, low salt, low carb. Go with what works for you.
  • Tomato sauce - 2-3 tbsp per pizza 
  • Diced roma tomato - 1 per pizzaIf I were making this for guests, I'd peel and seed the tomato, for myself, I don't bother. 
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese - 1 oz per pizza  
  • Fresh basil - 4 leaves per pizza 
  • Garlic clove (minced) - 1 per pizza
  • Olive oil - 1 tsp per pizza
  • Balsamic vinegar - 1 tsp per pizza
  • Kosher salt - 1 pinch per pizza
Servings: 1 tortilla pizza per serving.

  1. Place tortilla on baking sheet and bake for 2-4 minutes at 425° in oven or toaster oven to get it just a bit crispy. (I'm a big toaster oven fan...)
  2. Prepare bruschetta topping by combining the diced tomato, basil, garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, 1/2 of the mozzarella and salt in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Remove tortilla from oven and spread the tomato sauce over the tortilla 
  4. Top with brushetta and remaining cheese
  5. Bake for 4-5 minutes until cheese is melted and tortilla is lightly browned around the edges. 
  6. Slice into 6 wedges and enjoy!
I'm able to make these for roughly 7 points per serving. WW point values will vary depending on your ingredients so be sure to use your point calculator or recipe builder. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

New Orleans Inspired Vase

One of the things I loved in New Orleans was the iron works. I decided to bring a little of that to our house with the help of my cricut, some vinyl and a vase.

I started with this image from our trip:

Then I created a version of the pattern on my computer:

And sent it over to the cricut:

After the cutting completed I weeded out the negative spaces:

Then I removed the backing from contact paper:

And then burnished it down on top of the remaining vinyl.

After the contact paper was secured to the vinyl I pulled up both layers releasing the vinyl from it's backing.

The two layers were applied to the vase and then burnished so that the vinyl transferred to the vase.

And finally pulled off the contact paper and secured any lose edges of the vinyl to the vase.

So now I've got a fabulous little vase that reminds me of our trip.

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