DIY: Fourth of July: Glittery Frames

20140627_232751I’m still counting my way down to the fabulous fourth, so here’s another festive and fun DIY project to get you in the mood for hotdogs and fireworks.

In my first post I showed you how to make a festive door hanger. Now, I’m going to show you how to make some awesomely festive glittery picture frames.

You will need:

  • Two 5×7 picture frames (I already had these thanks to a large set I purchased a few years ago at a Target Black Friday sale, but any 5×7 frames will do)
  • One piece each of red and blue glittery scrapbook paper (I found mine at AC Moore for 99 cents each, but most craft stores will have some variation on it in their scrapbook section)
  • 20140627_231242A paper cutter (I have the Fiskars 12 Inch Portable Cutter and I love it! It has rulers on both sides so you know how large the piece of paper you’re cutting is, plus guides on the cutting board itself so you can easily see if you’re creating a 5×7, 4×6, etc. As a little side tip, I had the Cricut 12 Inch cutter before purchasing the Fiskars one and it never quite worked right)
  • Glue or scrapbook paper adhesive (I like the EZ Runners. Each craft store usually has their own brand that is similar, or you can buy a two pack for $9 on Amazon. Each has about 28 feet of tape so they last a while)
  • Two 4×6 printable designs (I got mine free from Hostess with the Mostess, but there are tons out there. Just google “fourth of july printables,” design your own or search Pinterest)
  • White card stock (Amazon has a pack of 100 sheets for $9)
  • Computer and printer

Instructions:

  • Start out by printing off your chosen designs. Make sure you print them 4×6. Two should fit on one piece of card stock.
  • Using your paper cutter, carefully cut out your designs and set them aside.
  • Using your paper cutter, cut each piece of glittery paper into a 5X7 rectangle. Be sure they measure exactly 5×7 or they won’t fit in the picture frames and will require additional trimming.
  • 20140627_231535With your first design, which you’ve cut into a 4×6, center it on the 5×7 glittery rectangle. Adhere it to the rectangle using glue or scrapbook paper adhesive. I used scrapbook adhesive, running it around all of the edges of the back of the 4×6 design. It takes more than a few dots to make it stick to the glittery paper.
  • Repeat the previous step using the second 4×6 design and the second 5×7 glittery rectangle.
  • Once both designs have been attached to their glittery counterparts, open the photo frames and place each design in them. Note, the frames may need to be cleaned first with glass cleaner as new frames are sometimes fairly dirty inside.
  • Close the frames, wipe off any fingerprints on the glass and place each in the perfect location around your home.
  • Viola! Another fun, festive project complete.20140628_000727
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DIY: Fourth of July: Festive Door Hanger

20140627_235727It’s almost the fourth of July! I love summer holidays. There’s just something about getting together with family and friends, snacking on a bunless hotdog (gluten free at barbecues is a challenge so you make do), and fireworks that make me excited. It also doesn’t hurt that summer is my all time favorite season. So, to gear up for the fabulous fourth, I’ve been DIYing like a crazy person. Seriously, overnight my apartment went from spring/summer-ish to patriotic passion.

I want to share some of the fun, so each day leading up the fourth I’m going to share a different festive DIY project. Up first, is this awesomesauce door hanger. I had been looking at ones in the craft stores and they just didn’t have what I was looking for. Many of them were sort of vintage patriotic and I’m not a huge fan of that, plus, they were expensive, so I made my own.

20140627_205413Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Three large wooden stars (I found mine at AC Moore for a $1 each)
  • Three small wooden stars (50 cents each at AC Moore; If you don’t have an AC Moore nearby, you can also use Amazon. They have a variety pack with both small and large for $4.90 so pretty close to what I paid)
  • One small bottle each of red and blue acrylic paint (59 cents each at AC Moore or Amazon has DecoArt acrylic paint for 99 cents each)
  • One white paint pen (I already had this from a previous project, but you can typically find them for a few dollars at a craft store or $3.99 at Amazon)
  • Patriotic ribbon (I used two different designs, both of which I found on sale at AC Moore)
  • Thumbtacks
  • 20140627_215708Aileen’s Tacky Glue (I can not say enough good things about this glue. I always have it on-hand and have used it for a wide variety of projects. Most craft stores carry it, but Amazon has the 16-ounce for $3.88 which is a great price since it’s usually closer to $7)

Instructions:

  • Start by painting the large wooden stars with a coat of blue paint. While they’re drying, paint the small stars with a coat of red paint. Put a second coat on both. Depending on your paint and your stars, a third coat may be needed. If necessary, apply a third coat and let dry.
  • Using the white paint pen, draw one letter each on the small stars (U-S-A). If necessary, trace over the letters to apply a second coat.
  • 20140627_222557When dry, apply tacky glue to the back of the U star and glue it onto the large star, placing it in the center. Repeat for the additional two letters, centering each on a separate large star.
  • Cut the first ribbon design into two even pieces. Also cut one longer piece.
  • Using the ribbon, attach one of the even pieces onto the top of the A star. Secure it with both glue and a thumbtack to the back of the star.
  • Attach the top of the same ribbon, using both glue and a thumbtack, to the back of the bottom of the S star.
  • Using the second even piece of ribbon, attach it with both glue and a thumbtack, to the back of the top of the S star.
  • 20140627_235639Attach the top of the same ribbon, using both glue and a thumbtack, to the back of the bottom of the A star.
  • With the slightly longer ribbon, attach the end, again glue and thumbtack, to the back of the top of the A star.
  • Take the top of the same ribbon and form it into a loop, attaching it to the back of the top of the A star.
  • With the second ribbon design, tie a bow through the loop to hang the hanger up. I used a 3m hook and stuck the knot of the bow through the hook part of the 3m hook.
  • Stand back and admire your patriotic masterpiece. Happy almost fourth of July you DIY diva you.

DIY: Ticket Stub Memory Box

20140404_222655I finally found a fun way to display ticket stubs, Carnival passes and more. I’ve been collecting this stuff for 10+ years waiting for some idea on how to display it. Thanks to Pinterest, my mementos are no longer collecting dust in old shoeboxes. Behold, the ticket stub memory box.

To make my box, I took a trip to the local Hobby Lobby store to purchase one shadow box (I used an 8×10, but I really should have gone larger) and a piece of scrapbook paper for the background. I chose an antique looking blue pattern, since my living room has blue accents. For the letters, I used glittery stickers I already had at home.

20140404_214405After measuring the inside of my shadow box (the outside is 8×10, not the inside) I cut my paper to fit and attached it to the inside of the box using four small stick pins, one in each corner. Using my letter stickers, I spelled out “Admit One,” and then filled the box with all of my mementos.

The whole project was super easy and took maybe 15 minutes once I had purchased the supplies. Plus, it was less than $20 bucks since I had a 40 percent off coupon for the 20140404_222428shadow box. I saw a similar project going for $150 on Etsy. Maybe I need to get in the Etsy business.

Baking with Buddy: Crockpot Corned Beef and Cabbage

20140317_104926Let’s talk corned beef. First, let’s talk about how hard it is to find corned beef, not only the day before St. Patrick’s Day, but also the day before a rare St. Patrick’s Day snowstorm. After driving to various grocery stores, I finally found what I was looking for, but I really do suggest if you’re going to try this around leprechaun time shop early!

With that out of the way, let’s get into the recipe. I love corned beef and cabbage. It’s something my mom routinely made when I was growing up, but this was my first attempt at actually cooking it myself. I’ll also note that although the recipe is called Mom’s Corned Beef, it’s not my mom’s recipe, but rather the author’s mother’s recipe. Sorry mom.

The recipe I used is from “Four Generations One Roof” and I discovered it via Pinterest. Here it is.

20140317_105935Mom’s Corned Beef & Cabbage (crockpot)

Ingredients: 

1 small head of cabbage

1 large bag of carrots

5 Peeled potatoes

1 -2 lb Corned Beef

1 can beef broth

3 cups water

Italian seasoning or pepper (last hour of cooking)

Directions:

Add your carrots and cabbage to the crockpot. Add water and beef broth. Place corned beef on top an add your potatoes. You will need to stuff the potatoes on the side of the corn beef and down towards the vegetables. Cover and cook on high for 7 hours. Corned beef is very salty and flavorful so it’s not necessary to season at this point, unless of course you want to :)

20140317_112008Being that there’s just two of us, (me and the hubs, no corned beef for Buddy), I used approximately a 1lb. corned beef and a small head of cabbage. I also opted for a smaller bag of carrots, three potatoes and, being gluten free, made my beef broth using Better than Bouillon. I followed the instructions, peeling my carrots and potatoes until I couldn’t peel no more. I put the carrots and cabbage in the crockpot, followed by the beef broth and then the corned beef on top. I then stuffed the potatoes down towards the vegetables and cooked that joker on high for 7 hours. During the last 30 minutes, I added some Italian seasoning. I know it was supposed to be added for the last hour, but I forgot.

20140317_185416The dish came out great, although it wasn’t like mama fixed it. (Little Alan Jackson for you.) The cabbage wasn’t prominent enough, but the rest was fairly fabulous and kudos to me for getting in the Irish spirit. (Although I’m Scottish so my ancestors probably didn’t appreciate it.)  Really, it could have been made to a smaller scale though because we had a ridiculous amount of leftovers. Live and learn.

I have no affiliation with Four Generations One Roof and found their recipe via Pinterest. This post represents my experience with it.

What to do, what to do…

Ever since I finished my third 365 in December, I’ve been trying to decide what to do with my blog. Obviously, I decided not to go for 365 round four considering it’s March and this is the first time I’ve blogged all year. Instead, I think I’m going to try something different. I love crafting, trying new recipes, reviewing new products, bargain hunting and traveling. Those popular Pinterest things? Yep, I try them and no, I usually don’t have a #pinterestfail. New recipes? I’m game, although my husband likes to point out that I tend to try overly complicated things and then have a mini meltdown during them. As for reviewing new products, I belong to several tester groups in which I’ve tested everything from Claritin-D to Saute Express and yes, I love to share my opinions. Best part is, they usually send coupons to share and I love a good coupon, especially those little ones with the foil accents which means something is either big money off or free. Love it and I love to share the deals I find with all of my friends. Why pay more if you can pay less? (I feel like a certain shoe store is going to be using that one.) And paying less includes vacations. If they have a sale or you can get a deal, use it! Well, that my friends brings us full circle so check back to check out all of these new great things plus an occasional rant, because what’s a blog without a rant?

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I finally made my breakfast sandwiches today. They’re healthy, gluten free egg, ham and cheese mcmuffins. I used a recipe I found on Pinterest and tweaked it a little. I can’t wait to try one in the morning. Yum!

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I made the best fish tonight for dinner. It was parmesan crusted tilapia and I substituted in italian seasoning for parsley. It was beyond amazing. I love fish anyway, but Ron isn’t as into fish and he loved it. Perfection. Thanks Pinterest and Rachel Ray.

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Ron and I went to Wegmans tonight for dinner. We occasionally go and get the $6 meals for dinner. Invariably we end up buying extra stuff as well because we really don’t go there often. Tonight, Ron decided he wanted to try Sake. So for $3.99 he bought a little jar of Sake, but isn’t it kind of creepy looking? It reminds me of a jar that you find in a science lab containing some kind of organism. Eww! (But it could be helpful in a future Pinterest-inspired project…)

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I made such an awesome dinner tonight. Chicken, green beans and potatoes with Italian seasoning. Thanks Pinterest. Last night I made an Italian bake, also a new recipe from Pinterest. I’m a cooking machine! Plus tonight was the long awaited return of Vampire Diaries. Loved it. Not sure how I feel about Elena being a vampire though. Should be interesting. I also tried to catch the premiere of Beauty and the Beast, but I only watched the first half. I recorded it though so I’ll check it out later. I’m undecided on if I like it or not. I actually used to watch the original with my mom when I was little. The beast was kind of scary though with a very animal-like face. Glad they chose not to do too much of that on this one. Anyone else watch either? Thoughts?

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I had the house to myself tonight so I decided to get some Pinterest organization projects done. I made a “kitchen command center” which is basically an organizer for all the stuff that finds its way to the kitchen table. I couldn’t find the file box that I wanted so I made one out of a priority mail box. Inside are folders to seperate out bills, coupons, etc. On the front is a calendar to keep track of appointments, birthdays, due dates, etc. I absolutely love calendars and have multiple ones that I use daily. I also keep a planner in my purse that I use religiously. In addition to the command center, I also organized my makeup brushes and other pieces into these super cute little boxes I found for $0.99 each at Joanns. In addition, I made a reusable grocery checklist and stuck it to the fridge. It uses white board markers so I can wipe it off and reuse it week to week. Earlier today when I was shopping for my project supplies, I nabbed some awesome deals at Target. I had coupons for certain brands of apparel and was able to match those up with clearance finds. Target has tons of clearance clothes and shoes right now. I guess they are trying to make room for fall stuff so now is a great time to go if you’re looking for deals. Overall today was a pretty successful day and that was after working all day. To finish it off, I just finished watching a completely ridiculous “scary” movie with Buddy and now it’s off to bed in my nice clean sheets, which I washed today. Yay!