Just Call Me Martha Stacey

I love chocolate.  In fact, I’ve got deep-dish brownies in the oven right now.  So what better theme for my pinspirations this week?

Disclaimer:  I haven’t actually tried any of these recipes…but they look delicious!

sweet1 Source:  The Internet Chef

Doesn’t this cake look just amazing?  Hubby just looked over my shoulder and was very disappointed when I said I wasn’t making it for him.  :)  I don’t even want to think about how many Reese’s Cups I’d have to buy to make this…taking into account the need for quality control testing, of course!

sweet2 Source:  My Baking Addiction

I actually bought the ingredients to buy these brownies once.  Then I ate the Twix bars.  Better luck next time.

sweet3Source:   Annie’s Eats

I would rather make cupcakes over a cake anytime.  It’s probably because of my inability to decorate cakes but I can do cupcakes.  And I do love me some Snickers bars.  Someone I know is turning 30 this year…perhaps someone should make them for her birthday!

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When I first designed Munchkin #1’s new room in my head, I wanted to do some vinyl wall art that said, "Boy: noise with dirt on it." It describes my little boy and his room had a bulkhead that would be perfect for what I had in mind.

My original inspiration was something I’d seen on Etsy…for $21USD, plus shipping.  I knew I could DIY it for WAY less than that!

I looked into getting some vinyl for my Cricut, but even at Walmart, it was $10 plus $10 for the transfer tape.

I was hesitant to buy it, since I wasn’t sure that one package of vinyl would be enough for what I wanted to do.

I’m SO glad I waited!

I was browsing Pinterest and came across a tutorial for how to use adhesive shelf lining from the dollar store as a cheap substitute for vinyl lettering.

I thought I’d give it a try, because really…if it didn’t work, I’d only be out $1.

Well, it totally worked.

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I cut the adhesive liner to fit my Cricut cutting mat and stuck it on with the paper side down.  I cut out the letters (5”) and then simply put them on the wall.

The tutorial I read talked about using masking tape in place of the transfer tape that is usually needed to transfer cut vinyl to whatever surface you want.  I didn’t bother with this because my letters were a very simple font.  If I were going to do a intricate design, I would use it to make sure that the design doesn’t fold onto itself and get ruined.

The W was the hardest letter to put on the wall but I was careful and with some fiddling, got it in the proper spot.

The only downside to the adhesive liner instead of real vinyl is that the liner does rip easily so you just have to be careful when handling it.

So in the end, this project cost me less than $1 (since I had leftover liner) instead of $20+!  Score!

It’s Monday again, which means time for another mini project!

This project cost me a grand total of 83 cents (well…technically $2.50, but that makes 3).

I finally got around to covering one of the diaper wipes boxes that I’m using in my pantry cabinet to organize our non-perishables.

IMG_2114The only thing I had to buy for this project was the polka-dot ribbon to use as a decorative accent.  The black fabric is actually some old curtains that I had from my old apartment.  I knew I’d saved them for five years for a reason!

I simply used my trusty hot glue gun to cover the boxes and added the ribbon.

The label is actually a frozen juice concentrate top.  I have a stash of them that I was going to use for another project but discovered that they make excellent dry erase labels.

I simply glued it on, and voila!  Pretty boxes for the inside of my pantry!

Linking to:
Keeping It Simple: Motivate Me Monday
Lines Across My Face: Monday Funday
Making The World Cuter: Making the World Cuter Monday

I tried another new recipe last night:  Almond-Crusted Chicken

The original recipe was from a Company’s Coming cookbook (don’t remember which one because I ripped the page out) and it called for pecans.  I only had almonds on hand so I substituted them for the pecans.

I cut down on the amount of ground nuts, which dropped the amount of calories.  I added the oregano and probably will throw in some additional herbs to bump up the flavour next time.

This recipe came together super fast and had a mild nutty flavour.

Almond-Crusted Chicken (makes 4 chicken breasts):

3 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp honey
1/2 cup ground almonds
1/4 cup bread crumbs
oregano or other herbs, salt and paper to taste

Combine the mustard and honey; brush over both sides of chicken breasts.

Combine almonds, bread crumbs, herbs and salt and pepper.  Press into chicken breasts to coat both sides.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Making it a Meal:  serve with roasted potatoes and steamed vegetables.

I was reminded by a friend of mine that I completely missed my Mini Project Monday post last week.  I confess that I completely forgot about it…that was the day that I got my new iPhone and I was slightly distracted by playing with it!

But now that I am used to my new iPhone and it no longer distracts me for an entire evening, it is on to this week’s project…

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I made this anniversary date pillow with some micro suede that was leftover from our old living room slip covers.  I’d planned to make a pillow like this for ages since I saw one pinned on Pinterest and I finally decided to bite the bullet when our couch cushions started shedding tiny bits of leather.  I couldn’t handle the constant brown flecks of leather everywhere, so I stole the stuffing from the pillows and recycled into this cute pillow.

I used freezer paper to make a stencil, cutting out the numbers and ironing it onto the fabric.  If you haven’t used it before, freezer paper is awesome for making stencils to paint on fabric.  I also used it to make my Mr. & Mrs. Pillows and Scrabble Tile Pillows.  There’s lot of tutorials out there on using freezer paper…perhaps someday, I’ll remember to photograph the entire process and do my own!

You can use any old paint you want when painting the fabric…this is the same paint that I used in our family room to repaint the rocking chair and side table.  I waited for the paint to dry, took off the freezer paper and voila!  Anniversary date pillow.

I did make one mistake though…because I work in the health care field, I read the date as year-month-day.  It was called to my attention that not everyone reads this way when a friend asked, “What happened on August 5, 2010?”

We were married May 10, 2008 and that’s how I read the pillow.  Apparently not everyone does.  Oops!

Linking to:
Keeping It Simple: Motivate Me Monday
Cupcakes and Crinoline: Project Inspire(d) Link Party

Well, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.  Hubby has decided that we will stay in to celebrate the “holiday” this year so I’m tasked with the job of coming up with a fantastic menu to make for him.  I have some ideas and new recipes I want to try…I guess I should have a backup pizza in the freezer just in case it doesn’t work out!

In light of the romantic holiday coming up, here are some ideas to inspire you!

romance1

Source: Spotted Sparrow

Honestly, I’d probably never do this because my hubby would probably look at me like I’m crazy.  I do like how they look like real tickets and if I were going to make a coupon book for him, I’d make it full of coupons for an hour of shared video gaming time.  He’d LOVE that!

romance2

Source: Life in the Greenhouse

Hubby and I have a hard time deciding what to do for our dates, so I’m going to do this…when I get around to it.  I’ve already bought the large popsicle sticks and have plenty of glass jars.  I like how the sticks are painted different colours to signify dates that involve more or less money.  Now it’s just a matter of actually being creative enough to think of enough date ideas to fill the jar!

romance3

Source: The Poe Fam

This is along the same line…it’s a scrapbook album with a year’s worth of dates.  The author has some great ideas for stay-at-home dates, which are all practically free after the munchkins are in bed.  I’ve seen another idea on Pinterest that includes money in envelopes to pay for each date.  How awesome would that be?  Perhaps an idea for my payroll deduction savings bond money next year!

With a new baby in the house, this will probably be a year for “at-home” dates in our household so these are some good ideas to get us started!

As I mentioned at the beginning of the year when I was reviewing my Home Goals for 2012, our master bedroom is almost finished.  The only things left to add are a full length mirror (that isn’t in the budget right now) and a quick art project (that requires me to have a printer that isn’t out of ink!).

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The bedroom is finally in a state where photographing it is acceptable so I thought I would show you the changes we’ve made in there.  I love how bright it is now!

When we were first married, the wall was a colour called Cappuccino and we had a brown and blue bedroom set.  Here’s a peek at the “before”:

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Photo Credit:  Toniette Giesbrecht (tonnigphotographer.com)

This picture was taken when I was pregnant with Munchkin#1 but since I chronically fail at taking “before” pictures, it’s the only one I have of our original bedroom decor.  Between the brown duvet cover, black furniture and brown sheer curtains, the bedroom felt way too dark and I got fed up with it after about two years.

The black furniture had to stay so I decided to lighten everything else in the room.  I painted the wall in Oatmeal and took the duvet cover off the duvet, leaving just the white linen.  I sold the metal headboard and upholstered one of my own.

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I replaced the brown curtains with ones that I sewed myself, from cranberry blackout fabric…a necessity for shift-workers!  I used grommets so it is easy to push the curtains to the side to let in the light during the day.

You can see my Mr. & Mrs. pillows that I made ages ago..they fit into this colour scheme better than the brown/blue one.

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I hesitated about buying another Expedit for the wall opposite our bed but I LOVE all the storage potential it offers.  Right now, it’s holding some of my scrapbooking supplies while the craft room is under construction.

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Here’s the first shot again…I DIY’d the industrial chic wall sconces about eight months ago.  Hubby’s bedside table is a little bare, but I have a mini project planned that will bring another hit of cranberry away from the curtains.

I love how nice the bedroom looks with the bed made.  I never understood making the bed when it would only get messed up again in 14-16 hours.

I understand now…I feel like I totally have my life together when the bed is made!

TDC Before and After

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