Sunday, March 23, 2014

Lamp Redo

Bought these burlap lamps at Menards.  They were on clearance 2 pack for only $13!  The base is made of a resin material so it was easy to spray paint- which is great because they did not match our bedroom at all.   I used Rustoleum's Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint.  The lamp shade is covered in burlap. I found a couple burlap flowers in the hair accessory area at Hobby Lobby.  I used hot glue to secure them after I removed the hair pins from the backside.  Here is the before and after...

Lamp redo before
Lamp redo after

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

DIY Powder Laundry Detergent

After reading countless Laundry Soap recipes online I found a mix that works for us.  I'm posting this mainly for my own reference because I cant seem to find my original recipe... Plus this makes a smaller amount (avg 1/3 of other bulk recipes) than many of the online recipes so it fits in my storage container. I have a long, narrow laundry room leaving little room for a 5 gallon pail. 

1 bar Ivory Soap
25 oz Borax
20 oz Washing Soda
20 oz Baking Soda
16 oz Oxy Clean (generic is fine)
1/2 bottle Purex Crystals (optional)

Put Ivory bar in microwave for 2 mins.  It will puff up like a marshmallow.

 Allow to cool completely. Soap will easily crumble into a fine powder (kids love this part).  You can put powder in a food processor (I use my Ninja) to blend finer if needed.

Add & mix all ingredients in a large bucket, transfer into a storage container.  I use the Mainstays 1 Gal Canister from Walmart to store all of this in our laundry room.  I like the fact that the lid screws on so there less chance of a spill should it drop or fall (plus it is super cheap).

 Add 1 heaping Tbsp to your wash & viola! Super soft, clean clothes at a fraction of the cost.  You can use Fels-Naptha if you like, I dont really care for the smell.  Zote is always an option too.  One batch usually lasts us about 4-5 months with five people living in our home.  We use vinegar for a fabric softener or deodorizer when needed.  Will never go back to expensive detergent. 

This mix will not create suds.  We have an HE machine and have not had any problems yet. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Cupcake Stand Tutorial

Finally, the how to DIY your own cupcake stand...  Our original inspiration came from The Meckley's, however, we did change several things...

Go to Lowes & purchase the following:

3/4x49x97 piece of MDF (avg. $32).  Have this piece cut into 2 each of the following sizes:
  • 32x32
  • 24x24
  • 17x17
  • 12x12
Four pieces of 4" PVC Coupling (avg. $2 each)

Two pieces of 4" x 2' PVC pipe (avg. $5 each)

1/2" x 6' threaded rod (avg. $4 each)

Two 1/2" hex nuts  (avg. $.10 each)

Two 1/2" washers (avg. $.10 each)

Four unfinished furniture feet  (avg. $5 each)

Paint in a color of your choosing

Krylon Fusion Spray Paint for Plastics in color of your choosing (avg. $3)

2 yards of 44" wide fabric (use Hobby Lobby or Michaels coupons for the best price, cost varies depending on fabric)

Uncut Mat Board (use Hobby Lobby or Michaels coupons for the best price avg. $3)

Elmer's Craft Bond Spray Adhesive (avg. $3.50)

Any misc decorations of your choosing

  1. Using a large drill bit, drill a 1/2" hold in the center of all the boards.
  2. Cut PVC pipe to a length of your choosing, this will be the display area for your cupcakes.  We used a 6" length & a power saw.  You need to try & cut the PVC as straight as possible.  Use a file to even out the ends if necessary. 
  3. Using a table saw, cut grooves 1/2" deep near edges of the MDF.  These were done 1" from the edges of the MDF.  You do not need to cut if you are not using panels.  You do not need to do top & bottom, only the sides that need a groove for the panels. 
  4. Paint the MDF & furniture feet in a color of your choosing. Sides with grooves only need the edges painted as this is all that will be viewable.  
  5. Using Krylon Fusion Spray Paint in a color of your choosing paint the cut PVC pieces.
  6. Attach furniture feet to bottom of a 32x32 piece of MDF.  
  7. Starting with a washer & hex nut on the bottom stack layers of cupcake stand beginning with 32x32 MDF with feet, then a 4" coupling, followed by another 32x32 MDF, next a 6" PVC (or whatever length you chose).  Continue layering items, MDF smallest to largest, until done & end with another washer & hex nut. 
  8. Cut the remaining thread rod.  We found the layers easier to manipulate by leaving a few inches of thread rod at the top.  We left a 4" rod, but you can cut it flush if you like. 
  9. Cut mat board.  You will have to measure the length & height of your grooves as I'm sure they will not be the same as ours.
  10. Lay out fabric with mat boards on top for stencils, line up design if desired.  Cut fabric large enough to wrap around edges of mat board.  
  11. Use Elmers spray adhesive to attach fabric to mat board.  Slide mat boards into grooves once dry.
  12. Decorate as you wish! Yay!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Big O's Budweiser Bash!!

Hey everyone, hope all is well wherever you may be. The summer has been kind of crazy with all of the flooding problems. The current situation in our area is better, but things went bad to worse in a city north of us. Unfortunately it's been a big issue throughout the entire state of North Dakota this year. It sounds like the weather is about to heat up, just in time for the 4th of July weekend! My wife entered my name in a drawing, and I won, thanks Hun. I was picked to host a Budweiser Ultimate Backyard BBQ Bash from, it should be a blast!

I just received a sweet package in the mail from them, it included several items like; Bud party favors such as can koozies, t-shirts, gift card for $ towards beer and brats and other rebates and coupons for my guests. I plan on hitting up a local distributor, as well as some bars around town for any old decor that's Bud related. Plus it will obviously have a patriotic 4th of July theme as well. I will have some backyard games, beer-pong in the garage and the poker table setup in the basement.

There will be some free beverages and hot food off the grill, but we are asking friends to bring a dish if they can, and some folding chairs and of course when our supply runs out, BYOB!! The wife and I are looking forward to this party with our friends and celebrating Independence Day with our family. Remember all the men and women in our military that make the U.S.A. such a great country to live in. Past, present and future, we thank them for fighting for our freedom so we can live the peaceful life here in America. Happy 4th of July!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Big Sky Adventures, rising waters, and a salute to our troops!

Well, I must say it has been way too long since I've been on here. We just got back home from Montana. We had a family wedding to attend to and everything was awesome, we had a great time. But at the same time it was bitter sweet, we found out the flood situation was getting worse back home. We decided to come home a couple days early so we can continue where we left off last week and help sandbag, or do whatever needs to be done.

Getting back to our trip... The boys had a blast seeing cousins they have never met in person, and I actually was introduced to even more family on my wife's side! Big family, so many faces and names to remember. I took the boys on a small hike in the mountains. They were excited, kept on saying "were going on a bear hunt, and were going to catch a big one, what a beautiful day, were not scared"... ha, lol it was hilarious! They really enjoyed the old ice cream parlor and carousel, and plus it was a good time filler before we had to be at some historic ranch for the wedding ceremony and dance.

This was the longest road trip the boys have been on, I must say they passed with flying colors.We are home now, the van is unpacked, and now it is time to focus on the task at hand. Our metro area is having major flooding issues with the thanks to high water and too much rain and snow-pack in the mountains heading down stream to us. It's unfortunate, but we all need to work together and help volunteer, filling sandbags and whatever else to help fight this flood! I will keep you all posted, for whatever reason we have yet to make any national news.

Thankfully our house is on a hill away from the water and safe. However, we have many friends and family that are still fighting to protect their homes and property from these high waters. I ask you all to keep all of them and others in your thoughts and prayers.

I would like to thank all of my fellow veterans for their service to our country, and warm thoughts to the family members who may have lost a loved one to the ultimate sacrifice. Semper Fi to all of my Marines out there, Have a great Memorial Day!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Long Time...

So the holidays happened.  The boys had not one but two birthday parties.  A new job entered the mix & life just got crazy.  Not sure if we will keep this blog or not.  He says yes, I say no.  Maybe if he blogs a lil more often...
Anyway... The blue truck died on Christmas Eve so we bought a 2009 Town & Country that looks something like this...

We love the extra room but not the extra gas expense.  This thing gets terrible gas mileage!  Other than the extra $$  things are going good.

Other than that we've just been working on the house.  Finally have some wall stuff hanging.  They are empty picture frames, but at least they are up!  Light fixtures redone, and more wall stuff...  It's coming together bit by bit.  :)

Valentines day was great!  I found misc. Valentines Day stuff on the counter (mug, blanket, candy) and had gotten a dozen roses the week before.  Started to make coffee & found a zippy bag buried in the coffee grounds.  Pulled the bag out to find tickets to Elton John!  While neither of us are huge fans, he will never come back here again.

For his Valentines Day gift I ordered him an MP3 player (so he stops using mine), new ear buds, slippers, and a few other misc. items.  Overall, great day.  Hope you enjoyed it too.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Cranberry Pecan Biscotti & Monster Cookies...

Started the holiday baking finally.  I made Monster Cookies with the boys.  They truly believe that the cookies are for Monsters.  It's too funny!  Next up was Cranberry Pecan Biscotti drizzled with white chocolate.  They are so good I can not wait to make more.  Here's the recipes:

Cranberry Pecan Biscotti
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1cup dried cranberries
  •  3/4 cup crushed pecans
  • White chocolate or almond bark for melting/dipping (optional)
      • For added flavor you can add orange zest, almond extract, cinnamon, &/or nutmeg depending on your tastes.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.   Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Place dough onto cookie sheet & form into a 2 inch log.  Bake in oven for 35-40 min, or until it is golden brown.  Remove from oven & cool for 10 min.  Using a large kitchen knife, slice diagonally into 1 inch slices.  Arrange slices onto their sides & place back in oven for 10-20 min (or until desired dryness is achieved) at 275 degrees.  Melt chocolate or almond bark & drizzle (or dip) biscotti.  Enjoy!

Monster Cookies
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups peanut butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 teaspoon corn syrup
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 4-1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup M&Ms
  • 3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Chill dough for an hour in fridge (this is optional, I find it less messy when cold).  Roll into 2" balls & place on cookie sheet 3 inches apart.  Flatten slightly with a fork.  Bake in oven for 13 min or until golden brown.  

Next baking project... Christmas cut-outs (ugh) & something with peanut butter because we have at least 4 jars in the cabinet.