Saturday, January 11, 2014

Saturday's Seven - DIY Closet Organization and Storage

Part 2 of the organizing Saturday's Seven! (Missed part 1? Check it out here!)

Today I focused on finding ideas to whip our closets into shape. I desperately need some help in this area. And not only because my closet is currently my vintage storage area containing a big dresser, 2 bookcases, and an old rocking chair! I have the hardest time keeping things like shoes, purses, jewelry, and other accessories neat, organized, and easy to find.

Hopefully these DIY ideas will help us all out! There are some easy tricks as simple as putting nails into the wall or repurposing toilet paper holders. Then, if you're more adventurous, take on the projects of rustic wall bins, or my personal favorite - the corner lazy susan! That piece was intended to be used in a garage, but I think it would be awesome tucked into the corner of a closet. Such a great place to store scarves, belts, extra jewelry, flats, and more! (Now, can someone handy build me one? Please? I'll make you cookies!)

Be sure to check out the sites for the DIYs!

1. Tension or Closet Rod Purse Storage  |  BHG
2. Easy-To-Find Shoe Storage  |  MSN Living
3. Rustic Wall Storage Bins  |  Remodelholic
4. Bracelet Holders  |  Overthrow Martha
5. Beautiful Necklace Display  |  A Mere Life
6. DIY Corner Lazy Susan  |  Family Handyman
7. In-Closet Laundry Hamper Holders  |  Around the Farmhouse Table

Linking up with Thrifty Thursday

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Thrifting Haul - Old Finds and Repeats

I was so excited to get back into thrifting that I hit up about 7-8 thrift stores this week.

I found 2 mugs and a few pieces of monkey pod to paint.

That's it.

So, not a successful thrifting week to say the least.

To avoid a super boring post, I'm sharing past finds. Things I never got around to photographing or listing. At least I hope these are things I never got around to sharing before. If there are any repeats of prior thrifting hauls, sorry! It's hard to keep track of all things thrifted!

I know owls are getting old and overdone, but I still have a hard time resisting. I found this cute little owl trivet and had to get him. Not only would he be perfect in the kitchen, I think he'd be a great addition to a gallery wall. See him here.

And of course his larger friend couldn't stay behind. Check the big guy out here.

These trivets are from an estate sale that I got lost trying to find. They only had one sign at the entrance to the neighborhood; it was like they didn't want to be found. But I drove around forever until I finally found it! They were about to close, but still had some awesome pieces. I haven't gotten around to taking pictures of the real gems yet - got to save something for next week! But I did love these old cork and wood trivets. You can find this one here.

And the second one here. I also found a Partridge Family record there. Don't judge me.

I know teacups and mugs aren't the easiest sales, but I still have a hard time resisting. I loved the cute pattern on this set. Hopefully there's a teacup collector out there somewhere who loves it too! See it here.

(I have the absolute hardest time taking pictures of clear or smoky glass, as well as white items. Can't seem to get them bright enough ever. It drives me crazy!)

I absolutely loves dandelions. I can't pass a dandelion without blowing the seeds everywhere. I'm sure the neighbors really appreciate the booming dandelion population. So I couldn't pass up this set of dandelion glasses! Check them out on Etsy.

I've had this round piece for months, but for some reason, I appear to be the only one who likes it. I'm not really sure why. I love different shaped frames, and think the circle frame would be perfect to break up all the squares and rectangles people seem to have. See this piece here.

For some reason, I don't like frogs in real life, but I seem to be drawn to them while thrifting. And a frog playing a piano? Like I wouldn't buy that! See him here.

I'm building a collection of Syroco plaques in my closet. Viking ships, clipper ships, colonial figures, and now this one. It's so bright and cheery and would be the perfect things in any kitchen. You can find it here.

Hope you all had luck thrifting this week! Be sure to share your finds!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A Delicious (and Healthy!) Sausage Pasta

When I came across this recipe on Pinterest, I knew I had to make it. A quick, easy, one-pot sausage pasta? Sold! Plus it was from America's Test Kitchen, and they can pretty much do no wrong.

I made it, and while it was tasty, it was a little underwhelming.

But when I heated up the leftovers the next day for lunch, it was amazing! Apparently it's best made early. The pasta soaks up even more flavor and everything melds together perfectly. It was definitely a keeper.

Since it was so delicious, I knew it would be something I would want to make frequently. But with regular white-flour pasta and heavy cream, it wasn't really healthy. 

So I did a little tweaking, and now it's a super delicious and healthy entree you can enjoy without guilt. Now the cream is gone and the pasta is whole wheat. And I promise you'll still love it! I'm not a whole wheat pasta fan, but this dish is so flavorful, you really don't even notice. The recipe in the book called for fatty chorizo, but I love turkey Kielbasa sausage. So much less fat and calories, but it tastes amazing!

I've also made it less spicy since I have a son who starts sweating at a taste of mild salsa. It's kid-friendly now too! 

Delicious, healthy, kid-friendly, and easy: it's a definite winner!

Make-Ahead Sausage Pasta
Serves about 6

  • 1 Tablespoon Oil (Canola, Vegetable, or Olive)
  • 14 Ounce Package Turkey Kielbasa, Sliced lengthwise and cut into about 1/4" pieces
  • 1 Small Onion, Diced 1/4"
  • 2-4 Garlic Cloves, Minced (I love garlic!)
  • 2 Cups (1 Can) Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 8 Ounces Whole Wheat Penne Pasta
  • 1 14.5 Ounce Can Petite Diced Tomatoes (Do not drain) [If you want it spicy, use a can of Rotel instead)
  • 1/2 Cup Milk (I use skim)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 Cup (4 oz) Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
  1. Please note this recipe is best when made ahead. You can prepare it completely the day before, stick the whole pan in the fridge, and just place the pan back on the stove to gently heat it when you want to serve it. I've started preparing it the day of now, about 1.5-2 hours before dinner. I let it cool for about an hour on the counter after I've prepared it, then heat it back to steaming at dinner. Totally safe, as it's not in the 40-140 danger zone even close to the four hour limit. Now, on to the recipe!
  2. In a large skillet heat the oil over medium heat. Add the sausage and onions and cook for about 10 minutes until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
  3. Add in the chicken broth, pasta, tomatoes and their liquid, milk, and salt and pepper to taste. (I generally use about 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of pepper).
  4. Heat to boiling, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the pasta is tender, stirring once or twice.
  5. Stir in the shredded cheese.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat, and either refrigerate until later, or allow to cool for about an hour on the counter.
  7. When ready to serve, place the pan on the stove over low heat and stir occasionally until hot throughout.

Hope you all enjoy this! It's fast becoming one of our favorite recipes!

Linking up with Thrifty Thursday

Monday, January 6, 2014

Making Old and Scratched Wood Pieces Look New Again

The same part of the canister - no editing!

I'm super excited to share this awesome trick with you! It's an oldie, but a goodie for sure, and a surprising number of people have never heard of it.

When I started actively searching for monkey pod wood pieces, I skipped over the scratched ones, thinking it would be too much of a pain to fill, sand, stain, and varnish them. Little did I know there was a much simpler way to cover those marks! (And can I add that I'm kicking myself now over those pieces left behind?)

My mom clued me in to this trick. One simple item, a common ingredient that you probably already have somewhere in your kitchen, can clear up those scratches in seconds. And what is it?

A walnut.

All you need is a shelled walnut. You want the part you eat only; toss the shell. Simply rub the walnut into the scratches. The oils in the walnut will make the scratches fade away right before your eyes. Wipe the bits of walnut off with a clean (and old! The oil will leave greasy spots) towel, and you're done.

Please excuse my wrinkly work sheet. I didn't want the walnut oil to stain my carpet!

When the saw the canisters in these pictures at a garage sale, I debated buying them. The scratches and scuffs on them were so bad, I didn't think there was much hope. But they were cheap enough that I decided to give it a go.

I made the mistake of not thinking the difference in the before and after would be significant, and only took a couple of pictures with my phone before trying the walnuts. I couldn't believe how amazing the canisters looked after I had finished; they looked brand new! So excuse the blurry pictures as well. Should have gone for the good camera!

Now this isn't a miracle worker. It will not work on deep scratches. I tried it on a couple long gouges on our wood floor where it looks like someone dragged a pickax behind him, and it didn't make a big difference. It can't fill in deep scratches like wood filler. It did make the smaller scratches and scuffs on the floor disappear though.

So if you've never tried it, go grab a walnut and find something scratched! It's slightly addicting though. If you're like me, after you try it for the first time you'll run around your house looking for anything with a scratch on it to rub away. Floors, cabinets, furniture, and more - it hasn't failed me yet!

Quick, easy, natural, and pretty much free - the perfect fix!

Linking up with Thrifty Thursday

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Saturday's Seven - Bathroom Organization and Storage Ideas

It's the New Year!

That means it's time to clean and organize your home for a fresh start to 2014. This month's Saturday's Sevens will feature organization and storage ideas to help you get your home into shape.

I'm desperately needing these tips. I'm in the middle of a cleaning and organizing spree right now. My room is currently filled with piles of clothes to donate and boxes of vintage to organize and sell. It's looking horrible right now, but I know it will be better in the end!

Moving on... today's tips focus on bathroom storage. From convenient places to store your hair dryers, curlers, and irons, to clean and organized makeup storage, to towels, hair products, and more. Such great ideas; I can't wait to implement them in my bathroom! No more makeup thrown into a drawer and hair dryers cooling on the floor for me!

Be sure to check out the sites for the DIYs!

1. Cabinet Door Storage  |  Remodelholic
2. Crown Molding Shelves  |  Kevin and Amanda
3. Wall Mounted Baskets for Towels  |  I'm Busy Procrastinating
4. DIY Mason Jar Storage  |  The DIY Playbook
5. Magnetic Bobby Pin Holder  |  Superwoman
6. Cabinet Mounted Hair Tool Holder  |  Dream Green DIY
7. DIY Magnetic Makeup Board  |  Laura Thoughts

Linking up with Thrifty Thursday

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Thrifting Haul - First of the Year

I feel like it's been forever since I've done a thrifting haul.

Probably because it has been nearly forever since I've done one!

I think I went thrifting a grand total of 1 time last month though, so there wasn't much to share. But now I'm getting back into the swing of regular thrifting outings, so let the sharing begin!

I passed this cat by the first time I saw him at Salvation Army. I then regretted it all week. When I went back the next time, he was still there, and half off to boot! I think it's a planter (but correct me if I'm wrong). I can't really imagine what else he would be good for, except maybe as a catchall for spare change. I love his big eyes! Check him out here.

I absolutely loved these vintage bird prints the moment I saw them. They have such a beautiful vintage look to them, and the warm colors are so perfect. I think I'm going to have to hang them up until they sell! See them here.

These plastic butterflies by Syroco are pretty awesome as well. They're lightweight and three-dimensional, so they appear to be flying off the wall. Another piece I'm going to have a hard time seeing go. See them here.

I'm fast becoming a sucker for cute needlepoints (cross-stitches? Is there a difference?). I love its neutral palette - perfect for any decor. Check it out here.

I stumbled across a collection of kitchen trivets that someone had recently donated on one shopping trip. A lot were cracked, but I managed to find four in perfect shape. I'm especially fond of the mushroom and teapot ones! See them on Etsy (1, 2, 3, 4).

That same day I found a small selection of little brass trays. Perfect on a wall, table, counter, and more. I love anything brass, so I had to have them! On Etsy (1, 2, 3).

Last up is my little silver-plated duck bank. I love his patina and big eyes. The key is missing, so he can't be opened without a little prying, but that just means he'll help you save! See him here.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful New Year so far! Be sure to share your thrifting finds as well!

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