Saturday, March 31, 2012

DIY Crib Skirt

When I first found out we were having a girl, I spent hours searching for the most perfect bedding set on Etsy but they all hovered around the $300 mark! This seemed a little pricey to me for the bumper, crib skirt and only one crib sheet, like what good is one sheet?! And I am not sure on the whole bumper issue yet either.  For now, I have decided on no bumper, cheap sheets from Wal-Mart and a DIY crib skirt!

This total project cost approximately $25 (inc. gst)! The 2 yards of fabric was ordered from Etsy for $22 (inc. shipping) and the Velcro strips were $2 from the dollar store.  I had a package of heat bond tape at home already but I am sure that only costs a few bucks too.

Note: If you are doing all 4 sides of the crib, you may need an extra yard. 

I followed the crib skirt tutorial video by Young House Love. 

STEP 1: Measure the widths and heights (width inside the legs and height from the mattress board to floor). Cut your fabric to the correct measurements allowing an extra inch or so for the hem on three of the sides.  No hem is needed at the top, where it will be velcroed to the crib.

STEP 2: Iron down a straight hem on the three sides (ignore my sad excuse for an ironing board - tupperware lid and towel).

STEP 3: Place heat bond tape along the inside of ironed hem. (Please ignore the shitty pics taken with my blackberry - I was too lazy to waddle downstairs to get the camera!)

STEP 3: Fold the hem back over and seal the heat bond tape with the iron (the package instructions said to have a damp cloth between the fabric and iron and for the iron to be set on "wool").

STEP 4: Stick one side of the velcro along the top of the mattress board and the other side of velcro along the fabric's underside so that it matches up. Repeat for all 3 sides. As baby grows and the mattress lowers, we can add another row of velcro on the skirt to adjust to the new height!

AND VOILA! How simple is that??

Notice the kick ass vintagey looking crib I got from Kijiji for only $120!? This price also included the mattress and matching change table.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Adventures of Stryker: Ham Bone Edition

This Monday may have been the best Monday ever for Stryker. We decided to wait until yesterday to give him the bone while he was alone for the day.  Otherwise, I would have had to beg and bribe him to go for a walk or hang out with me over the weekend (he gets way too obsessed with animal parts)! 

Mr. Loonie snapped a few pictures while handing over the bone before heading off to bed (he's on night shift).  Stryker's expressions are priceless and have clear messages.  I would love to hear your captions for each picture! Leave them in the comments.

Monday, March 26, 2012

DIY Tissue Paper Pom Poms

After many searches for baby mobiles, I couldn't decide on anything I liked.  They all seemed to be plastic, pastel and some kind of farm animal arrangement.....not my idea of fascinating. I wanted Penny to experience colour and texture!! So that began the search for a DIY project and tissue pom poms was the answer. There are many tutorials out there in the blogosphere, but here is my own version for my dedicated readers ;)

STEP 1: Stack 8 tissue paper sheets and cut a bit of the long end, so you end up with a sphere rather than a football (unless you want that shape).

STEP 2: Fold accordion style, with approximately 1 1/2 inch folds. Crease with each fold.

STEP 3: Twist a piece of floral wire (I used a garbage bag twist tie) around the center. Feed a piece of wire/ribbon/fishing line under the center tie; this will be used to hang your pom pom so make sure it is long enough. Trim the ends of the tissue into rounded or pointy shapes.  You can also choose your size of pom pom here by cutting more or less off the ends.

STEP 4: Fan out each side and separate layers, pulling away from center one at a time.

STEP 4: Hang in an arrangement and admire!

P.S. Don't let bad kitties near pom poms!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Split Pea and Ham Soup

Mr. Loonie cooked up a big ol' ham last weekend for Sunday dinner. Do you know how much that is to eat between two people (and maybe a little bit for the doggy)? It's A LOT!! We have eaten original meal, a left over meal, ham sandwiches, ham and egg sandwiches, ham pizza and now we will be eating ham soup for a few days......oi! OR should that be oink?!

I took the basic idea for ratios of peas:ham:water from here (sorta) but after that I basically surfed around looking for the various spices other recipes called for. I used the following, tasting as I went:

Ground Cloves
Smoked Paprika
Bay Leaf
Celery Salt
Black Ground Pepper

My Method:

Sauté up the onions and carrots in olive oil. Celery would be good here too. Add spices at this point to build flavour (I was quick on the draw with the camera and had only thyme in the pot for this picture).

Add ham bone, 16oz bag of split peas and approximately 8 cups of water.  Bring to a boil and let simmer for an hour or until peas are tender. 

I didn't have enough ham on the bone so I added some chopped up leftover ham. (Someone special may get the bone for a treat ;p).  Add more water or stock to the pot if needed.

 Enjoy with a good piece of crusty bread on a cold day!  Not the prettiest picture but you get the point!

Thursday, March 22, 2012 life is complete....

Remember how I mentioned Young House Love in the post "Lining Penny's Drawers"?!? Well as a way to get my blog out there, I commented on both their posts about refnishing their nursery dresser and lining said dresser's drawers. 
She commented back!!! Ooooh!

By the looks of it, I think she replies to every approved comment. doh!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Homemade Layered Yogurt Cups

At least once a week I was treating myself to the cafeteria made yogurt cups but they aren't even that good! All they contain is thin vanilla yogurt, flavorless oats and a banana chip on the top for decoration.  Every morning I would think of how I could make them better, maybe add some peanut butter or jam or BOTH! OMG..that would be crazy talk.  When I thought about it some more I remembered the easy and delicious recipe my friend Kari posted on her blog for red berry compote and I knew I had the answer!  I used the exact recipe just different berries to layer in between thick fat free vanilla yogurt and a yummy nut and oat mixture.  

Using Kari's recipe, prepare your fruit and add to pot with sugar and fruit juice. Simmer until it thickens up and the berries break down. Let cool.

Next, toast up a mix of nuts and oats in a pan, I had slivered almonds and sunflower seeds on hand. For some extra oomph, I added a sprinkle of cinnamon, nutmeg and stirred in a spoon full of honey. 

Gather all your ingredients together along with your dish or to-go container (mason jars are a perfect vessel) and start to layer the yogurt, compote and oats in that order.  If you are eating the cups immediately you can layer or top with fresh fruit.  This time around, I made them in the evening for work the next morning.  The oats were a little mushy (I personally love this) but the nuts were still very crunchy.


Pack up and enjoy a healthy breakfast!

Sunday Geocaching - March 18, 2012


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Beards and Plaid

Anybody who knows me, knows I love a good beard.  And do you know what looks good with a beard? A plaid shirt. Oh ya baby......I dream about a rustic mountain man carrying me away to a treehouse deep into the forest where he serenades me with his guitar and manly raw voice. If he turned into a wolf that would be cool too.

If I only I could put these 3 men together it would equal my dream man..........

Joe Manganiello (Alcide from True Blood)
Caleb Followill (Kings of Leon)

Sir Loonie

 Until then Mr.Loonie will do just perfect ;)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Frosting Mirrored Closet Doors: 2nd Attempt = SUCCESS!!!!

What I have learned from this experience is to never give up and that saving money takes time.  The total cost of this project was approximately $35 ($6.99 for the frosted glass spray paint, ~$6 for the adhesive shelf liner and $20 for the circle cutter which can be used for many other projects) but the hours we put in was the kicker!!  Not counting the first attempt, Mr. Loonie and I spent close to 10 hours, thank god for his help or I would still be on the floor cutting circles.  In the end, the doors turned out so adorable and exactly what I was envisioning.  Mr. Loonie and I had some bonding time too during the endless circle cutting when we did get out a word; we are both the silent type when working so conversation always lacks during projects.  Trust me though, I make up for it during his favorite show/video game or while he is trying to have a peaceful shower/bathroom break, etc., etc. ;)

So the method...........after many pinterest searches I found this amazing tutorial on the blog "My 3 Monsters".  I pretty much did exactly what she said, we were just using a different stencil technique.

Warning: Longest post ever!

STEP 1: Remove closet doors.  This is not as easy as it looks, after some web researching the recommended way is to remove the tracks from the floor.  Yah right....there was a screw right smack in the middle of the track between the two doors which couldn't be accessed.  Mr.Loonie decided it was time to get aggressive and bend the top track for the wheels to slide out and voila, they were out.  He just bent the track back when it was time for the doors to be replaced.

STEP 2:  Apply adhesive shelf liner to the closet mirrors and smooth down the best you can.  Don't worry about the air bubbles, once the stencil is cut, the air bubbles can be pushed out to a circle hole which is much easier than trying to push them out to the door edges.  (I wish I would have thought of this earlier). 

STEP 3: This would be the time to spray the closet frame if needed as the mirrors are covered but my frames were white so this was not necessary.

STEP 4: Cut out your desired stencil.  In my case, it was a random circle pattern.  I found the most amazing tool from Martha Stewart at Wal-Mart. This circle cutter is what ol' Martha would call " A good thing", best $20 I eva spent!  The cutter allowed me to choose circle sizes between 1" and 5 7/8" at 1/16" increments, therefore 94 choices! The only snag was that we couldn't get close enough to the mirror's edges as I would have liked due to the frame and the width of the circle tool.  We used random objects from around the house and traced with an x-acto knife to fill in the edges.

STEP 5: Take the stenciled doors outside to spray with the frosted glass paint. The can instructed to spray in >10°C and man, did we get lucky with a warm sunny winter day with temperatures hovering around 10°C in the sun. Make sure to cover up the surrounding area (we didn't want our garage doors frosted!) and spray according to can directions.  This stuff is toxic! To avoid any baby trauma, Mr. Loonie did the spraying which consisted of three quick coats.

BEFORE SPRAYING: (notice the reflection)

AFTER SPRAYING: (notice there is no reflection!)

STEP 6: After 10-15 minutes of drying (it dries very quickly) bring the doors back inside and peel away the remaining contact paper....very exciting!!  This took some time as we had to remove small slivers of the adhesive paper from where I did two passes per circle with the cutter. Bits of glue that stayed on the mirror after peeling also had to be cleaned with some windex. Thank you Auntie Jingle for the help!

STEP 7: Put the closet back together and admire your work!! It was worth it, phew!

Head over to Penny's Nursery Reveal post to view how the closet doors look in the finished room!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Evolution of a Chalkboard Wall

I painted this chalkboard wall a couple years back and oh my, how the times have changed! While it used to be covered in insults, love notes and ramblings from my drunk is now used for a baby countdown.  Is that boring or exciting?!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Roasted Garlic

Roasted garlic is amazing, it is the most delicious little package of creamy yumminess! I LIKE GARLIC! If I didn't say that my Ukrainian family would shun me.  My great uncle Matt used to carry around raw peeled garlic in his jacket pocket and hand it out to us kids calling it "Ukrainian Candy". Blech! Raw garlic is not the most roasted garlic, and pickled garlic from the bottom of the pickle jar, that's another story!


STEP 1: Preheat oven to 400°F. 
STEP 2: Cut 1/4-1/2" off the top of the garlic head exposing each individual clove.
STEP 3: Peel away the excess outer layer of bulb skin making sure to leave the bulb intact.
STEP 4: Drizzle with olive oil and coarse salt.
STEP 5: Cover with tin foil (not shown) and bake for 30-35 min until cloves feel soft when squeezed.

*Note: the cloves would be a lot creamier if the bulbs weren't so frekin old - use fresh when possible!

Once cooled, the possibilities are endless......squeeze the cloves out of the skins and add to anything you can dream up! I like to add the goodness into dips, soups and pasta sauces or mix with butter or sour cream to top potatoes like we did, pictured below.  You can't beat roasted garlic spread on a fresh loaf of crusty bread though.  In the end, it's your choice how to eat the good ol' ukrainian candy! Enjoy :)