Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Mouthwatering Blog

I know food has nothing to to with projects per se, but since cooking always turns into a project for me it seems relevant.  I had to share this blog that I am in LOVE with.  It is called My Kitchen Cafe.  I mean, i really think this picture above says it all.  Don't you just want to dive into that carmel corn?  That is what she posted today, and i am sure it is delectable. I know this without trying it Because the author, Melanie, and I must have the same palette. There has been nothing, on her blog, that I have not wanted to make again.  I don't know how she does it, but she has great regular updates with mouthwatering pictures and vivid descriptions.  She has a plethora of recipes in her archives.  Everything I have made from there has been so easy, with common ingredients that I either already have on hand or that I would actually know where to locate in a grocery store.  It has become an extension of my much worn family recipe book for no fail recipes.  I just couldn't keep it to myself. 

Some of my favorites are:

Okay, really this list could go on and on.  I just made some to die for blueberry muffins with a lemon sugar topping from there that I can't stop snacking on.  It is just the kind of reference I need for my meals, because I just don't have the time to try out a bunch of new recipes without having a good referral for them first.  And she has certainly earned my trust in her opinion.  I have not tried a bad recipe from her site, yet!  Happy meal planning!

Monday, February 22, 2010

More of our Hallway Upgrade

Remember the laundry room we worked on a few weeks ago.  Well, the new flooring in there was all in preparation for the new flooring that was soon to come to our upstairs hallway. It is a high traffic area with really, really light carpeting.  The carpet needed to go.  We didn't want to spend the money it would take to replace the whole upstairs, and we didn't want to have mismatched carpet butting up against each other either.  So, we decided to install hardwood floors. We did it before when we first moved in, in our entryway, and so we knew what we needed and what to expect--a long grueling day (for my husband anyways), and the use of a lot of tools we don't own.  Only this time, we used some of the hubby's connections and got the wood flooring for less than half the price we did it for the last time, in about the same amount of space.  And we thought we had gotten a pretty good deal for the entryway from some sale flooring at Home Depot.  But this current hallway we did for about $280, that includes everything, the pre-finished hardwood, the tool rental.  We borrowed alot of the tools we would need from friends which saved us tons. And the prefinished flooring we got from a vendor the hubby knows through working in the lumber industry.  My Husband took the whole day Saturday getting it all put in, and it was finished just in time to go to bed.  We didn't get to creative with the color or width of boards because we needed it to match the wood floors in the rest of the house, but it sure does add an elegance and a charm to the upstairs.  And the hallway looks so much wider.  And better yet. . . no more traffic stains, hip hip hooray!  Now we just need some paint for the walls. . . I am definitely open to suggestions!  Without further ado, here are the before, middle and after pics! 

Great Job Honey!  Thanks for all the hard work, and for saving me from a life of carpet spot scrubbing!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Fun

Okay today's post is a bit of a hodge podge, I'll admit.  But only because i had two great, but unrelated things I just couldn't wait to share in two separate posts.  I was getting some great feedback on the jewelry board I posted a while back, and my friend Cindy (of Cranberries and Capers) was the person who gave me the wonderful idea.  So, since it was her birthday a few weeks ago, and I was making a trip to visit her, I decided to make her a jewelry board of her very own!  We had lots of fun going through all of her great jewelry and hanging it on the board.  It matched her room perfectly {phew!}.  I did hers a bit differently, and varied the shape, making it long and skinny, more of a portrait layout and I decided to try distressing the edges of her frame a bit since she has a more rustic style.  Here are a few pics of it hanging in it's new home (which is much classier than it's previous home. . . my garage!):

Also, just for fun, my kids and I decided to get rid of some of the socks that have been long overtaking our sock bin.  I really have a hard time throwing out clothes that are not completely worn out or stained beyond repair.  So, we re-purposed them into sock puppets!  Remember those scraggly little things we kids of yesteryear used to make out of tube socks?  We got out what craft supplies and loose buttons we had and made one for each of the kids.  I was disappointed that we didn't have any yarn for hair, but when i realized we had pipe cleaners I thought I would attempt to make a 'do that would work, and it was so much better.  Because you can't do this with yarn: 

They chose out their own style and parts and I, in a whirlwind of hot glue globs and excitement (theirs, and mine, of course), glued the parts on where they wanted them.  They fell asleep with them, played with them, made little houses and accessories for them.  Those socks may have only been worn a few times before the inevitable disappearance of each mate, but we surely have gotten our money's worth out of them!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The $30 Entry Table

Have you ever looked at entry tables?  I have, and most they are more than pricey.  Even at my beloved hometown Marshalls I need at least a Benjamin to get a cute little occasional table.  But they add so much style and class to a space, and give more room for fun decorating.  I gave up on putting an entry table in my foyer and instead painted a bench I got at a garage sale.  This was long before my refinishing days and I would have never attempted a table.  But my sis, has been working on her entryway the last couple of weeks and keeping me up to date with her progress.  I just loved what she did with this table. . . and for a steal!  She found this table at Savers for $15:

Then she bought some cherry stain  and refinished the top.  She painted the bottom black, with some paint she had on hand, and then splurged on a great oil rubbed bronze knob for $5 (because why not, when you are saving your self $100 bucks at least in the end).  And the end result is a beautiful $30 french country table with a modern edge.  I am always amazed at what some paint and TLC for a piece of furniture can do. 

And don't you just love those cute family profiles hanging on the wall?  You can't see in this picture but they are all hanging from a rod with strips of fabric.  It is a knock off she made from a picture frame set you can buy at Pottery Barn. . .  yet another great cheap decor idea from the big sis.   You can see where I learn all my tricks!  And, I've got 8 more big sisters, just as thrifty and stylish as she is, to bum ideas from.  Thanks for letting me share Adrienne, and for giving me some good ideas for the dresser awaiting some care in my garage.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Little Memos

Does anyone else have little elves that come and steal every spare scrap of paper available for little arts and crafts projects?  My daughter's teacher must seriously think we are crazy because I am always sending in notes on little scraps of handouts that she has sent home.  She is probably wondering why i don't invest in a notepad.  It is not that i don't buy them, it is that when i do, they disappear and I can never find it when i need it or if i do find it there is one giant letter from the alphabet on each page.  There must be something exciting to a 5 year old about having all that paper stuck together to write one little thing on each page and flip back and forth. 

Either way, I do need something in my kitchen to write little memos to myself.  And since I have an ample amount of chalk thanks to the big mama chalkboard in my kitchen, i decided to make a little chalkboard baby, to set on my counter.  I went to JoAnns to see what i could find and as i was in the wood aisle, i saw a few cheap little nick knacks that reminded me of a frame these clever girls at Shanty2Chic came up with.  So I bought some similar stuff, and got to working. 

I ran into a few glitches.  The chalkboard I bought was a poor excuse for a chalkboard, seeing as how chalk didn't actually show up on it, and for a buck and change, you get what you pay for I suppose.  Then to make a simple project worse my chalkboard paint ran out, and it really was such a small space I didn't want to go out and buy a whole quart for it.  So instead I had this great idea to let it sit on my counter unfinished, and get in the way of everything i was cooking, for about a month.  That is, until my daughter broke it because I was too lazy to use a screw to keep the post on the base (even though my husband told me i should, and i said, no this glue holds anything . . . i was wrong, sorry honey).  I used only E6000 to keep in in place which works well for it just sitting there, but apparently does not withstand the force of a 20 month old in an application such as this. So it was fix it or flop it time. . . and I gave it one last go.  I pulled out what I had during nap time and finished her up.  So with black craft paint, some satin spray poly, and a screw in the bottom I now have a usable little memo chalkboard. (I was pretty excited at how well the black paint and satin poly work for a chalk surface. You could make a chalkboard out of a piece of wood with that know-how).  So, finally my big mama chalkboard has a little baby on my kitchen counter, congrats big chalkboard, I hope you baby works better now.  .   . that is, until it too goes missing.

This won't help with notes to the teacher, but it will definitely improve the amount of little scrap notes I have lost in the stack of papers on my counter :)

P.S  I've been featured today on TIP JUNKIE for the Jewelry Board.  Go on over and Check it out!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

And the Winner is. . .

Thanks for all those who have joined the blog, and who entered the Cranberries and Capers $15 gift certificate giveaway! It was so fun to see all the comments. 
Without further ado, the winner is. . .

who said:
"I love the cupcake pacifier clips...I put a link to the giveaway on my facebook and I am now a follower of your blog! Please enter me into the giveaway!"

Amy, you can email me at to collect your prize.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ironing Board Cover

Let's be truthful. . . I really don't iron.  I just buy wrinkle free shirts for my husband, and try to get my clothes out of the dryer fast if I really care to have things not wrinkly.  But a few wrinkles add character and wisdom right?  Maybe that only works with faces. My lack of ironing is why it took me 5 years of marriage before I decided it was time to invest in an ironing board.  And invest I did. . . it was twenty buckeroo's for my wobbly, horribly patterned Kmart ironing board.  Maybe $20 wouldn't seem like so much if it were cute, or even somwhat sturdy, but it is as cheaply made as it looks.  Every time I use it I kick myself for spending money on something that has the quality and style of a dollar store item, but since I use it so rarely, i don't kick myself too often ;). 

Why am I rambling about my ironing board, you may ask?  Well, now that my laundry room is taking shape I am realizing that I can't stand the ironing board cover anymore.  I can't bare to put that thing back in my nice crisp, clean space.  While perusing Marshalls the other day, I found some great ironing board covers, but really, do i need to make my $20 investment a $30 one?  I actually would have caved if any of them had matched, but since they didn't i decided to take matters into my own hands.  I had some cute fabric and thought it may be enough, and it was just barely perfect.

 So, to keep it sweet and simple, i laid the fabric out, put the old cover on top (my current cover has a drawstring, so it was easy to un-gather and lay flat).  I cut out a new cover, pinned it with the edges folded under directly onto the old cover, leaving just the edge holding the drawstring exposed (it gets gathered underneath anyways).

 I did a quick zig-zag stitch. . . 

. . . and then gathered it back around my ironing board. 

I LOVE it. 

It is now crisp, and clean to match the laundry room.  And I think I have ironed more in this week than I have in the last 6 months.  Now, i can be at peace with my wobbly little ironing board.  Even though the little rubber stoppers on the bottom fall off every time I pull it out of the laundry closet, and even though it rocks unsteadily with each swoop of the iron. . . it looks good and with an ironing board that rarely gets used, looks are all that matters.

P.S. The Giveaway isn't over yet, you still have until Friday at midnight to enter so don't miss out!

Monday, February 8, 2010


It's Monday and I am stoked. . . see I am so excited that I am using words only 1980's surfers use!  There are two reasons for why I am all giddy. One is Kim, the author and creative mind at the Twice Remembered cottage, featured the Jewelry Board as one of her favorite "Make Your Monday" entries from last week.  You can see her post here, along with all sorts of other wonderful ideas from all these nifty mloggers (mom-bloggers) out there. 

And the second reason is Cindy, the maker of all things handcraftedly cute at Cranberries and Capers (the etsy shop I was raving about a few weeks ago here) has generously donated a $15 gift certificate to be used in her Etsy Shop.  She has everything from pacifier clips, to headbands, to baby barrettes, to great hair things for mommy (I know because I wear them).   You can have up to 3 entries, so don't delay!  This deal is so good, I am keeping the giveaway open through Friday at Midnight so enter, and tell your friends! 

So, here is how you enter:
1. Become a follower of The Project Prowler*
2. Go to Cranberries and Capers and tell me your favorite item.
3. Post a link on your blog or facebook to this giveaway.

Leave a comment stating which of these you have done (and a link to your post if applicable) and start crossing your finger, because the winner of this little item will be lucky indeed! 

*just so there is no confusion, followers are not automatically entered in the giveaway.  You must leave a comment as well to be entered.

And even though I can't enter I will tell you some of my recent faves:

Happy Monday,

Friday, February 5, 2010

Valentine Chandelier

Five steps for an afternoon of fun:

1. Some stiffened felt, a heart pattern, ribbon, hot glue, and some bored kids.

2. With your kids, cut out hearts of various sizes, making at least 4 large hearts to put letters on to spell the word LOVE. 

3. Have extra craft supplies/activities nearby for when your kids get tired with how long it is taking you to get everything just perfect.

4. Hang your hearts on your chandelier with ribbons of various lengths: 

 5. Use the littler felt hearts and extra ribbon to make a little heart garland for around the chain:

Enjoy your family fun afternoon, and sharing the L-O-V-E all through the season!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

If you give a Prowler a Project. . .

The Laundry closet isn't done, but it is looking LOADS {wink, wink} better.  We have put the washer and dryer back in and I tackled half the laundry today.  So, now that my kids drawers are overstuffed with clothes again, i can take a few guilt-free minutes to share the progress.  This project is really starting to feel more like one of those cutsie Mouse and Cookie stories, you know those books, If you give a Mouse a Cookie, a Pig a Pancake, a Moose a Muffin. . . I have found myself turning into one of those needy little animals.  Having the laundry closet looking so regal, with it's fancy flooring and rich walls, is really getting me excited for the wood floors.  So, after we (and when I say we I mean my husband) got the tile finished, I looked at those cheaply painted, scuffed white walls and thought they needed some color.  Of course, my feelings on the matter were not strong enough for me to want to drag all three of my kids out to look at paint samples.  But as the day wore on, I found myself looking through our paint extras and by nap time I was setting up to paint the laundry closet Dusted Indigo. . a nice dark blue.  My little guy helped the progress along, and I finished it up in time for my husband to replace the appliances before he went to bed.
 And once the walls were blue I wanted some white containers for my shelf, and since I am in a small town, I am a slave to the local Kmart. . .blah.  It is tiny, and I am sure after Kmart built it in the 70's they forgot about it, because most the time I feel like I am dusting off their overpriced items before I buy them.  Alas, I go there anyways because it is close and convenient.  They didn't have any white baskets or bins but they did have some of those clear plastic sweater bins, and I already had one, so I grabbed two more and then I needed some white flat spray paint. . . because that makes everything look better.  So, I painted the outside of those for all my cleaning supplies.  They still need another coat of white and some labels but I couldn't help but stack things in there to make sure they fit and to get a little snapshot for you all.  In mouse and cookie fashion, now that I have my blue laundry closet I need an ironing board to match, and once I have an ironing board to match then I will probably want some vinyl lettering for the space above the shelf. Once the vinyl lettering is on the wall I will probably want a cute little bin for lost socks to go in so they don't end up piling haphazardly on the top of the dryer again. . .  and once I have those things done. . . . I will probably want another project to do.   

In case you couldn't remember what it looked like before:

Here it is now. . .

Did I mention that my laundry closet is in my upstairs hallway?  It is really hard to get a good full view picture So, sorry you will have to settle for seeing the progress in little half pictures :)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Everybody has a little Dirty Laundry

Everyone may have a little dirty laundry. . . but we have a lot of dirty laundry, and, thanks to this weekend's project, ours is going to stay dirty for another day or so.  This weekend my hubby and I. . . .well mostly the hubby. . . started an upstairs hallway makeover.   I know, seems weird. . . why the hallway, you ask?  It's not that we have exhausted all our other rooms of decorating, no, no, there is still much to do in our house.  But our hallway upstairs, from the day we moved in, has been bugging us.  The way too white carpet needs to go, the laundry closet is a constant mess from being overstuffed with, well, stuff.  And the walls have nicks, smudges, and lack that cozy color that we haven't decided on.  But, what we have decided is that we are putting wood floors in the hall, since it is such a high traffic area, and tile in the laundry closet.  We were going to take a few hours on Saturday morning to lay down some sticky tile, since really you only see a few inches of the flooring once the washer and dryer are in, but in a last minute decision at home depot, my husband decided to come home with a great deal on ceramic tile.  So, he started on that little project neither of us thinking that it would be Monday night before we could put our washer and dryer back in.  So with our laundry is piling up to the clouds, and appliance blocking both our linen closet and most of the entrance to our toddlers room, we wait, knowing that in a couple of weeks, we will have a new luxury, cozy, upstairs hallway.  Maybe we will need to have a hallway sleepover really spend the time all our hard work deserves. 

I don't even want to claim these before pictures:
Yuck. . I know, even seeing just 3 inches of this stained and outdated linoleum every time i opened the laundry closet was enough to bug us into action.

An action shot of the install.

The tile is in and grouted.  We still need to put the quarter round in around the baseboards.  The hardwoods will butt up against it (hence the extra untiled space) and we clearly need to paint, so if i want to tackle this. . .
. . .any time soon, I need to head to the hardware store for some relaxing laundry color, because my kids are now finding joy in seeing how high they can get their dirty duds to pile.  I am pretty sure my son emptied his underwear draw in there.  Won't he be surprised when he has to sniff out the clean ones today ;)

Well keep you posted!  We are hoping to put the hardwoods in this week, can't wait! 

BTW. . . today is my hubby's 31st birthday so Happy Birthday! I am sure all he wants is some clean laundry, right?