Dec 7, 2012 - Christmas, Recipe Book    17 Comments

Christmas Morning Caramelized Baked French Toast

Nothing says Christmas morning like Caramelized Baked French Toast.  It is a sweet sugar fest for the senses.  I also love that you can prep it the day before, pop it in the oven Christmas morning and enjoy a warm tasty breakfast together (unlike crepes where I'm standing over the griddle while the kids are crying "more" before I've even tasted one). Click HERE for the PRINTABLE RECIPE Ingredients: 1 Loaf of French Bread 6 Eggs 1 1/2 cups Milk 1 1/2 cups Half and Half 2 tsp Vanilla Extract 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon 3/4 cup Butter 1 1/3 cups Brown Sugar 3 tbls light Corn Syrup Start by cutting the french bread into 6 long strips.  Then with kitchen shears, snip off chunks of bread until the entire loaf is in a greased casserole dish.  Set aside (since I live in a dry climate, I leave it uncovered to allow the bread Read more [...]
Dec 5, 2012 - Christmas, Recycle & Reuse    8 Comments

Oh Deer! Christmas Mantle

So I was loving all of the faux taxidermy found all around the internet.  I searched for life sized paper mache, plaster, even gilded deer heads.  They were all very expensive, $150 plus.  Then, since I live in a prime hunting state, I figured I'd check our local classifieds at  I looked up taxidermy and that's when I fell in love with this buck.  The owner was asking $50...yep, $50 for the REAL DEAL!  We met up at a convenience store and she pulled it out of the back of her Jeep.  It was even prettier than the pictures on the web.  I was giddy the whole way home.  As I began showing it to friends, family, and anyone who would listen I started getting a lot of street cred among people I didn't know were hunters.  They all seemed a bit dissapointed when I told them I bought it off of KSL.  Ha ha.  I'm definitely NOT Read more [...]
Nov 30, 2012 - Christmas, Design Steps    9 Comments

Trimming The Tree {Champagne & Neutrals}

So earlier this week I shared my Christmas Tree crate.  Today I'm going to share with you my  entire tree.  I changed it up this year and went with a natural, neutral, burlap, and champagne theme. I started by putting my tree in the crate.  Then I wrapped burlap fabric around and around the entire tree. Then 5 champagne tinsel garlands that I picked up at Target this year.  I LOVE these.  They are almost matte and the perfect mix of silver and gold. Next I added the driftwood garland that I made earlier this year.  I love the natural wood element infused into my very faux tree.  I should have added my Merry Christmas burlap ribbon now, but I forgot and added it at the end working it in around the ornaments. I continued by layering in all of my ornaments.  On the left are collected pinecones that I simply Read more [...]
Nov 27, 2012 - Christmas, Recycle & Reuse    17 Comments

Shipping Crate Christmas Tree Stand

Artificial Christmas tree or Fresh Cut?  I'm Artificial all the way.  And, if I'm not hosting a Thanksgiving feast, I like to put it up the week before Thanksgiving.  Yep, I'm one of those people.  Don't get me wrong, I respect the bird, but why not enjoy your Christmas tree as long as possible, another reason I love artificial.  This year was no different.  I was so excited to put my tree up this year, mostly because of a crate that was repurposing. I made a usual stop at our local ReStore and purchased a huge classroom chalkboard.  I had to pull around to the back for the guys that work there to load it in my van.  That is when I spotted this amazing crate.  It was huge, wrapped in plastic, and stacked out in the yard.  I asked the guy loading my chalkboard how much it was.  He said "how about $5".  I went Read more [...]
Nov 19, 2012 - Favorite Things    3 Comments


Since Thanksgiving is this week, I decided to break out of my normal blogging about projects, and take some time to express my gratitude for a few of my favorite things.   Vintage Thrifting/Yard SalesI know, kind of a weird thing to be "Grateful" for, but I am.  Whether I have been fortunate in the financial department or barely scraping by, I have always loved going to the thrift store, yard sales, or estate sales.  Just the other day I had "no money" on me and stopped off at a yard sale on my way home from picking up my son Jake from a friends.  I found an adorable little doe statue, asking price?  25 cents.  I ran back to my car and dug up a quarter from between the seats and drove home giddy about my newest find.  I mean really, what hobby do you know of that is that cheap?  And yet thrilling.   Creativity There Read more [...]
Nov 15, 2012 - Crafts, Lighting    31 Comments

DIY Light Up Marquee Star

My favorite design element is lighting.  Nothing gets me more excited than building a lighting element, plugging it in and watching it set the space aglow.  Mix that with my love of anything Vintage-Industrial and you can see how easily I became obsessed with marquee light up signs for the last few years.  When I opened up my 2012 Baby and Child catalog from Restoration Hardware I loved finding that they had a cute vintage looking star.  unfortunately it was $269.  Slightly out of my budget and not very large (24"). Pottery Barn also has one for sale for $129 again, not very large (22"): BUT, if you know me at all, you know that I'd almost always rather make it myself than buy it.  So, I scoured the internet for tutorials on how to make these little beauties.  I combined different techniques from all of the tutorials Read more [...]
Nov 12, 2012 - Organization    9 Comments

Hide That Junk {Outdoor Dropcloth Curtains}

  This is our backyard deck.  It is hard working with a large 12' x 14'  waterproof surface up top and a 10' x 14' storage area below.  It has about 4'6"  clearance, not enough to walk around under, but tall enough to store a lot of stuff.  To keep things nice and tidy I made curtains from drop cloths to hang below and cover all the junk. This was a very simple project, in fact, this is the second time I have done this.  The first set lasted about 5 years and worked great, they just started to disintegrate so it was time for a fresh pair.  After measuring my deck, I determined that I needed two canvas drop cloths with the following dimensions.  I prefered the ones from Lowe's because of their color and texture.  I purchased a grommet set from Harbor Freight for $3.99  It was a super deal, BUT you get what Read more [...]

Driftwood Garland

With my beach roots, I adore anything that reminds me of the ocean.  So last year while on a trip in Hawaii, I gathered up a few bags of driftwood and stashed it in my luggage.  I have contemplated many different driftwood projects since then, but none made me as excited as this, driftwood garland.  It is super simple and cost me about $3 (not including the trip to Hawaii of course). I started with jute cording that I picked up for around $3 from Michael's.  I taped off the end giving it a firm shoe lace like tip. Then I laid out my driftwood and drilled a small hole in each end of each piece.  The drilling created a big dusty mess but it was easily wiped up.  Then threaded the driftwood with the taped jute.  If it didn't go through the hole easily, a small pair of pliers pulled it right through.  The easiest Read more [...]
Nov 1, 2012 - Recipe Book    4 Comments

Last Minute Chili Recipe

With the fall weather in full swing, I thought I'd share my easy Last Minute Chili.  Since it includes cans of chili beans and stewed mexican tomatoes, the rich deep flavor is built-in, even if it only simmers for five minutes.  Usually I make a recipe card for those that I share, but this is soooo easy I opted not to. Ingredients: 2 cans chili beans (I prefer S&W or Ranch Beans) 2 cans S&W Stewed Mexican Recipe tomatoes (these work the best) 1 lb ground beef 1 tsp garlic 1 tsp chili powder Start by heating up a dutch oven.  I got my Martha Stewart one two years ago from my in-laws and use it all the time, I LOVE this pan.  Brown the ground beef and add the chili powder and garlic. While the meat cooks, open up all four cans.  Use some cooking shears to cut the stewed tomatoes into smaller pieces (you Read more [...]

Dumped & Found: Vintage Industrial Tray Table

What happens when you take someone like me to drop off a sofa at the dump?  You end up with a car full of junk bound to be a cool project someday.  Well this last weekend became this project's someday, a vintage industrial tray table.  I started out with this slightly rusted tray.  It looks like a paper tray without a bottom.  Or maybe a vintage army tool chest stand.  I've Googled it and can't come up with anything else like it.  Then I disassembled two pallets I found in a dumpster near my house. I carefully removed all of the nails by hammering them on the bottom and then pulled them out from the top with the back side of the hammer.  The wood was long enough to fill the tray with just one cut on each end, but I thought that a diagonal pattern would be more interesting to look at.  I dry fit them together and Read more [...]
Oct 15, 2012 - Graphic Design    13 Comments

Give Thanks Chalk Art

Another chalk post?  Why yes, that is the beauty of chalk art, it is always changing.  This was my summer board. I had sprayed it with a heavy coat of hairspray and it stayed clean and crisp all summer.  To clean off the chalk and hairspray, I took a wet paper towel and wiped it down.  Some of the chalk wasn't budging so I added warm water and some foamy hand soap.  After a few wipe downs we were back to a clean slate. For fall I wanted a bold wheat graphic.  I searched till I found one I liked and added the words "Give Thanks".  I measured my chalk board and created a template in Publisher.  I selected fonts and scaled them to fit.  I took the printed piece of paper to my local FedEx store and had them print it on a transparency.  I laid it on my overhead projector and copied the outline. Of course things Read more [...]
Oct 6, 2012 - Churchy Stuff, Printables    31 Comments

I am a Mormon Printable

You may or may not know that I am a Mormon.  This weekend is a great time for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints because it is our semi-annual conference   This is when we listen to our Prophet and his twelve apostles and other great leaders.  A talk that was given Saturday morning by Ann Dibb was particularly fabulous (follow THIS LINK to hear her talk).  Here is a free printable I created based on her words.  Feel free to download it and use how you'd like.  I created it to be printed as an 8X10, 8.5X11 or 5X7. {Click HERE for the high res version in light 8X10} {Click HERE for the high res version in light for 5X7 or 8.5X11} {Click HERE for the high res version in dark for 8X10} {Click HERE for the high res version in dark for 5X7 or 8.5X11} To learn more about Mormons, click Read more [...]
Oct 5, 2012 - Home Improvement    6 Comments

Tips for Cleaning and Polishing Outdoor Furniture

This is my deck and outdoor dining set.  We purchased it around seven years ago from Sam's Club.  This set looks amazing despite living most of its life in the harsh sun, rain, and hosting hundreds of meals.  But it didn't always look this great. The surface of the metal gets dull over time and those grease spots from last nights pizza glare at who ever is sitting in front of it.  I was having a few friends over for lunch and wanted to eat out side when I tried everything to get this table to look new again.  That's when I discovered the magic of Sprayway's Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish!  (and NO, this is NOT a sponsored post, I just happen to be obsessed with Sprayway brand cleaners)  In one quick step I just sprayed the Stainless Steel spray all over the table and wiped away 7 years of ick.  It also had the Read more [...]