Monday, May 30, 2011

Link Party Monday 21

Lots of great ideas at last week's link party! Check them all out here. I just noticed that all of the favorites I picked out this week are white! I guess I'm just in the mood for a fresh, summer look right now. :) Check them out:



This Summer Mantel from A Simply Klassic Home is just beautiful! I love the mason jar planters!



Conspicuous Style installed some lovely Kitchen Paneling. You should really check out all of the other pictures on that post. The black and white color scheme is gorgeous!



Check out this Dresser Makeover from My World Made By Hand. I really like the black top on a white dresser! It really shows off the curves.


This Bottle Bowl from The 2010's Housewife is so simple and pretty. I think something like this would look cute with a few daisies in it too. :)


House Envy did an amazing job with this Kitchen Makeover! You must check out the "before" pictures. The updated the cabinets by recovering the fronts. Amazing!

Thank you all for linking up! If your project was featured, feel free to grab a 'featured' button from my Buttons Page. Now on to this week's link party!

RULES:
  • Link up anything related to the domestic arts: crafts, recipes, photography, cleaning tips, money saving tips, decorating, etc.
  • No advertising or Etsy shops.
  • Link directly to your post - not your home page.
  • Please add my button to your post or sidebar to spread the word. :)
  • By linking up you give me permission to use content from your post for the purposes of featuring your project.

This party will be open until Friday at Midnight. My favorite projects will be featured at next week's party!

Polish The Stars






Friday, May 27, 2011

Peppercorn Shredded Beef Sandwiches


This shredded beef recipe is really easy to make and it is so full of flavor that it became an instant family favorite! It is a slow cooker recipe and it makes 16 servings so it's a great meal to make for company.

Peppercorn Shredded Beef Sandwiches
adapted from Taste of Home

Ingredients:
1 can (10.5 oz) Condensed Beef Broth, undiluted
1 cup Ketchup
1/2 cup packed Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice (about 3 lemons)
1/3 cup A-1 Cracked Peppercorn Steak Sauce
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 Beef Eye Round Roast (3 1/2 pounds), cut in half
1 teaspoon Salt
16 Sandwich Buns

In a small bowl, whisk the first eight ingredients. Pour half of the mixture into a 5-quart slow cooker. Sprinkle beef with salt; add to slow cooker and top with remaining broth mixture.

Cover and cook on low for 10-12 hours or until meat is tender. Shred meat with two forks and return to slow cooker. Using a slotted spoon, place 1/2 cup beef mixture on each bun.

Makes 16 Servings

Each sandwich has: 370 Calories, 8g Fat, 2g Sat Fat

Monday, May 23, 2011

Monday Link Party 20

Welcome to another Link Party Monday! To check out all of last week's awesome projects click here. Check out my top picks of the week:



I love these fun Numbered Stairs from EllaBoo & Co. It gives them so much personality!



Poor Badger Creations turned an old door into a Family Table. My dad made one of these out of a door that I believe was from his old school. This would be an awesome project if you have to sell a house that you are attached to and want to take a piece of it with you!



I love the color that Craftacular World chose for this Dresser/Side Board Transformation! The white knobs really pop too!



This Chalkboard TV Tray from Ms. Not So Perfect would be a fun way to display your menu for the week. I love the "Eat it or starve" message! :)


Finally, these Strawberry Crepes by A Pumpkin and a Princess look absolutely delicious!

Thank you all for linking up! If your project was featured, feel free to grab a 'featured' button from my Buttons Page. Now on to this week's link party!

RULES:
  • Link up anything related to the domestic arts: crafts, recipes, photography, cleaning tips, money saving tips, decorating, etc.
  • No advertising or Etsy shops.
  • Link directly to your post - not your home page.
  • Please add my button to your post or sidebar to spread the word. :)
  • By linking up you give me permission to use content from your post for the purposes of featuring your project.

This party will be open until Friday at Midnight. My favorite projects will be featured at next week's party!

Polish The Stars






Friday, May 20, 2011

The Dining Room Makeover Begins

After finishing the Kitchen Transformation the dining room looked even worse by comparison. So instead of taking a break in between projects, I decided to just keep going. Here is what the dining room looked like when I first showed it to you last fall:


And this is what it currently looks like! :



I replaced the tiffany chandelier shades with milky white ones like we discussed before. I love how the chandelier matches the era of the house but the white shades update it and give a modern touch. You can also see more of the details of the chandelier without the distracting tiffany shades.

Then I removed the secretary desk and hung picture frames on that wall instead. You may not be able to tell from the pictures but getting rid of that unnecessary piece of furniture really opened up the room and made it seem bigger.

I repainted all of the trim with a fresh coat of Behr's Moon Rise paint in a satin finish. For the walls I couldn't find the exact shade of gray that I wanted so I mixed a couple of different shades together and came up with my own custom color in a flat finish. Here is a picture of the label if you want to try it out for yourself.


I recovered the dining chair cushions *again*. This time in a bright green and white fabric that I picked up at JoAnn's. The table and chairs all got a couple of coats of Behr's Stealth Jet primer and paint in one.


I'm not thrilled with this paint color though. It looks almost army green when the light hits it. We are going to live with it for a few days to see if it grows on us but we will probably go with a different shade. I also think I may try a semi-gloss instead of the satin finish. It is definitely an improvement though and at the very least it is primed and ready for the new paint.

Those are all of the changes I have made so far. Next on the list is something for the center of the table which it looks like I will be making myself since I haven't been able to find exactly what I was looking for. Then a little something on the radio which may or may not get refinished itself. After that I just need to talk my husband into installing the dimmer switch we picked up and another room will be done!

Here is the before and after again because I'm a sucker for side by side transformation photos. :)


I really tried to bring in some fun color and a modern touches while still keeping with the age and style of the house. What do you think? Am I pulling it off or does it look like a complete mess of styles that should never be combined?

Keep in mind that it isn't finished yet and the radio still needs a makeover (or to be removed completely...I can't decide). :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Grown Up Sloppy Joes


These are seriously the best Sloppy Joes I have ever had! Its your old comfort food with a grown up flavor. It can even be made ahead and frozen. This is the only sloppy joe recipe I will ever use!

Sloppy Joes
adapted from
Taste of Home Comfort Food Diet Cookbook

Ingredients:
1 lb Ground Beef
1/3 cup Chopped White Onion
1 Garlic Clove, minced
1 1/4 cup Ketchup
4 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp Molasses
1 tsp Prepared Mustard
1/2 tsp Ground Mustard
Pinch Ground Cloves
Pinch Cayenne Pepper
8 Whole Wheat Buns, split

In a large skillet, cook the beef, onion and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, molasses, prepared mustard, ground mustard, cloves, and cayenne. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Serve on buns.

Makes 8 Servings

Nutrition Facts: 1 sandwich has 274 Calories, 9g Fat, 3g Sat Fat

Monday, May 16, 2011

Link Party Monday 19

There were so many great projects last week that I really had a hard time narrowing it down to just a few. Check out all of the links here.



Love this Thermostat Art from Dream Home DIY. If I hadn't already put up a shelf of photos to cover mine, I would totally do this!



I love any food that is covered in melted cheese and this Mexican Dorito Casserole from Jam Hands is really tempting me right now.



Love this fun and colorful Paint Chip Art from The Crafty Scientist.



I love all of the white details on this gorgeous Black Dresser Makeover from Davis Domestications. This makes me want to get started on my kitchen buffet right now!



This Rock Rug from Breakfast with Tiffany looks awesome!


These Apple Cookies from Red Couch Recipes are great for teachers. The gummy worms are such a fun touch!

Thank you all for linking up! If your project was featured, feel free to grab a 'featured' button from my Buttons Page. Now on to this week's link party!

RULES:
  • Link up anything related to the domestic arts: crafts, recipes, photography, cleaning tips, money saving tips, decorating, etc.
  • No advertising or Etsy shops.
  • Link directly to your post - not your home page.
  • Please add my button to your post or sidebar to spread the word. :)
  • By linking up you give me permission to use content from your post for the purposes of featuring your project.

This party will be open until Friday at Midnight. My favorite projects will be featured at next week's party!

Polish The Stars






Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Preserve Flowers with Borax


I wanted to decorate the shelf above our tv with some flowers but I hate fake flowers. Fresh flowers were out since you constantly have to replace them and water filled glasses directly above the tv are a bad idea.

So I decided it was time to try this trick that I had heard about a long time ago. I dries the flowers while still keeping their shape and color!



Just grab some fresh flowers and a box of borax (found with the laundry detergent) for about $3.



Place the flowers in a box and carefully cover them with the borax. Put a lid on the box and place it somewhere that it won't be disturbed.



After two weeks, carefully brush the borax away from the flowers (I used the brush from Jeremy's dinosaur excavation kit) and they are ready to display!



My purple and green daisies didn't turn out as well as my orange and yellow ones. The purple ones weren't in the best condition to begin with so that may have had something to do with it. Or maybe those dye colors just don't work well.

Either way, I love how the yellow and orange ones turned out and I finally have something to put in my Coca-Cola bottle vases:


I read somewhere that it works better with flowers fresh from your garden. Also, if the flowers are store-bought you should soak them in water for 30 minutes and then let them dry before preserving them. I didn't do that which could be another reason they didn't all turn out.

Over all, I'm happy with how they turned out and will definitely try it again!

Linking up to:

Monday, May 9, 2011

Link Party Monday 18

As always, there were some awesome projects linked up! Check them all out here. My top picks of the week are....



This Test Tube Spice Rack from Craftacular World is the coolest! I must have one!



Racks and Mooby shows you how to make these adorable Mini Marshmallow Flowers.



This Sunburst Mirror from Beach House in the City is so much cooler than mine. I think this may call for a redo.



I love these Funky Punk Bracelets by My World Made By Hand. I am definitely going to make some of these for myself.


How cute is this cake that Martenssmily made for her son's Lego Birthday Party?! My son would love this!

If your project was featured, feel free to grab a 'featured' button from my Buttons Page. Now on to this week's link party!

RULES:
  • Link up anything related to the domestic arts: crafts, recipes, photography, cleaning tips, money saving tips, decorating, etc.
  • No advertising or Etsy shops.
  • Link directly to your post - not your home page.
  • Please add my button to your post or sidebar to spread the word. :)
  • By linking up you give me permission to use content from your post for the purposes of featuring your project.

This party will be open until Friday at Midnight. My favorite projects will be featured at next week's party!

Polish The Stars






Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Complete Kitchen Makeover for $800

After working off and on for almost a year - the kitchen makeover is finally done! The sun hasn't been very cooperative lately so the pictures aren't as good as I had hoped but I just couldn't wait any longer to show you the finished project!

Check out some of these before and afters:



The most time-consuming part of this project was definitely painting the cabinets. Since they were so dark, it took three coats on primer and two coats of white paint. It was tedious but it only cost $100 for the paint and primer versus thousands to replace the cabinets.



I wasn't a big fan of the handles in the middle of the door so before painting, I put wood filler in the holes and my husband drilled new holes in the corners for the new knobs. The hinges are the originals but they look completely different against the white.




The window over the sink is about 5ft from our neighbors back door so it needed some kind of covering for privacy but I didn't like the blinds - especially since they had to stay closed all of the time anyway. I replaced the blinds with a faux frosted glass window treatment. We still have privacy but it lets in all kinds of light and looks really pretty.





We installed some crown moulding (which was actually door casing) and painted it and the ceiling white as well. I painted the walls a lovely blue-gray color.



All of the trim got a coat of white paint as well and the blinds were taken down and replaced with cafe curtains. The buffet kind of blends in with the floors so I'm thinking it may need a coat of black paint.



I painted the closet doors white (by the way, this is the utility closet where my old craft room resided) and replaced the handles with the same kind that I used on the cabinet drawers. The coffee sign is from my mother-in-law. She hand painted it onto a piece of poster board for the set of a play at the school she works for. She kept it after the play was over and gave it to me!

The ceiling fan and light fixture that came with the house were really ugly and used expensive bulbs that kept burning out so they got replaced as well. New vinyl tile flooring completed the makeover. The original countertops stayed but everyone who walks in asks if they are new too because look completely different with all of the changes around them.

A few close ups of some details:


This faux etched glass window treatment that I used above the kitchen sink is a little difficult to photograph but it is beautiful in person.

Cabinet hardware. The knobs and handles are by Liberty. The hinges came with the house and are the same ones that you see in the before pictures.


The crown moulding which is actually door casing.
I'm so happy with how everything turned out! It took a looooooong time but it was worth it to get everything how we wanted it and on such a small budget.

Now for the rundown:

PRODUCTS USED:

Wall Paint - Behr Flint Smoke 730F-4 in Satin Finish $25/gallon
Primer for Cabinets - Zinsser B-I-N Shellac Based Primer-Sealer $25/gallon
Cabinet, Ceiling, and Trim Paint - Behr Moon Rise W-F-700 in Satin Finish $25/gallon
Ceiling Fan - Hampton BayGlendale $60
Ceiling Fan Light Covers - Milky White Light Shade $8/each
Light Fixture Above Sink - Hampton Bay Bercello Estates $60
Cabinet Knobs - Liberty Oil-Rubbed Bronze Panache Knob $3/each
Cabinet Hinges - the same hinges that you see in the before pictures
Drawer Pulls - Liberty Oil-Rubbed Bronze Panache Pull $4/each
Flooring - Traffic Master Premium Laminated Vinyl Tile in Morocco Slate $1.08/sq ft
Faux Frosted Glass Window Treatment - Etched Lace by Light Effects $22/2'x3'piece
Curtain Rod - Levolor Petite Cafe Rod $10
Crown Moulding - MDF Door Casing $.60/ft

MY TUTORIALS:

Faux Etched Glass Window Treatment
Painting Cabinets
Storing Paint Brushes
Getting Rid of Porcelain Sink Stains
Installing Vinyl Floor Tiles and the Pros & Cons
Crown Moulding and How To Use A Caulk Gun
How To Paint Edges Freehand

BUDGET:

Wall Paint $25
Cabinet, Ceiling & Trim Paint $50
Cabinet Primer $75
Ceiling Fan and Shades $84
Light Fixture $60
Cabinet Knobs & Handles $125
Flooring $260
Crown Moulding $50
Faux Etched Glass Window Treatment $22
Curtains & Rod $25
Spray Paint for Heat Vents $3
Paint Brushes, Rollers, Caulk, & other Misc $20

TOTAL = $799