Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Changing your toliet flush lever and cleaning your tank

Our toliets had plastic handles when we moved in. Two of them were already cracked and the third one recently joined them. I decided to try switching them out with some metal ones I found at home depot.They were only about $5 a piece and are better than the cracked ones but I'm not sure if I love them. (Although I'm not sure how important it is to love your toilet flush handle hahaha.) It wasn't near as hard as I thought and while I was at it I cleaned the toilet tank as well. I found this movie on Utube about how to clean it.
I had never done much as far as toilets go so this was a pretty fun "project"!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

T-shirt scarf

I was given a purple shirt as a hand me down awhile ago. The shirt was very stretched out (unwearable) but it had fun flower detailing sewed down the side and I loved the color so I put it in my "Maybe I can use this" pile.
I kept finding ideas for the shirt but I could never bring myself to cut into it. Most the ideas left me very little of the shirt and since I loved the color I wanted to use it to its max. Then I came upon this Tutorial. Awesome! and with the fall weather coming a simple light scarf was a perfect addition for my wardrobe. So I went for it. The only change I made was that I cut out the flower detailing (it was a vertical strip down the side of the shirt) then sewed the entire shirt back together before I cut the strips. Some of my strips were skinny and when I pulled them the came apart so I just tied knots in them which works for me because I wanted the messy/sloppy look. Instead of wrapping one of the straps around the rest like the tutorial I took part of the flower detail fabric and sewed it like a tube around the bunch (Sew it inside out while on the strips then just roll it so it is right side out). You can see the flower detail on the left of the picture so subtle yet cute!
I really like it. And one of my favorite things is that little man can pull and yank on it and I don't have to worry!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Banana (zucchini) Bread

I have been making this egg free-dairy free banana bread for at least the last two years. I came across it when my newborn had severe food intolerance issues that required immediate diet restrictions for me. The restrictions were difficult for the first month or so but once I found resources it wasn't really that bad. This recipe is one that I have continued to make even thought the restrictions are gone.

I will warn you that this is not your cut a slice smear butter on banana bread. I would say it is more like banana cake and butter isn't needed.

I do feel terrible because I cannot remember or find where I found the original recipe. I'm pretty sure it was on a blog that a mom with a food allergy child wrote but I can no longer find it.

You can make this and freeze it for a month or two. It makes for a perfect snack since it is whole wheat, low fat, and has vegetables in it!

I will give the original recipe and write my changes in brackets or italics.

Egg free Dairy free Banana Bread
1/2 C. Shortening (I use 1/2 cup no sugar added applesauce)
3/4 Cup Organic Can Sugar (I use 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar, not a mistype I use less than called for.)
1 1/2 C Wheat Flour -can use all purpose or do a mix (I always do all wheat)
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Cinnamon (I make this heaping I LOVE cinnamon and on occasion I throw in some nutmeg)
4 small ripe bananas- can substitute 1/4 C. of Sugar for one banana (I generally use 3 large bananas and finely grate one 1/2 of a zucchini or an entire zucchini if it is small, you do not have to put in the zucchini. If you have 3 to 4 large ripe bananas you will be fine.)
1 tsp Vanilla - optional (I always put this in)

Preheat Oven to 325 Degrees F (300 degrees F if doing mini Muffins)
Lightly grease pan (s)
Cream shortening (or applesauce) and sugar. Slowly sift (I have sifted it before but I have skipped this step many times for lack of time and it still turn out) in flour baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
Mash Bananas in a separate bowl (you can have some chunks but try to make them small otherwise you will have this problem):See that hunk of banana in the bottom and a hollow mini muffin? (I love this because those are the ones I get to eat right away wink wink.)
Add bananas into the mixture and add vanilla. (do not over mix just until everything is moist)
You can add nuts, choc chips, raisins or other dried fruit (I have never added any of these things.)
Pour batter into greased pan(s) or spoon it into muffin tins. Bake 60 minutes for a large loaf, 30 to 40 minutes for mini loaf, and 25 min for mini muffins (remember these are only at 300 degrees). Until a toothpick comes out clean.

And you are done!

You can enjoy these hot just watch out for the scorching banana chunks if you are too eager beaver. Or you can enjoy them cold if it is just too hot to want to eat anything warm.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Organizing! 80/20 rule

Recently I have been trying to Simplify and organize. I have a firm belief that less is more but I cannot always say that I practice that in my own life as well as I should.
I came across this blog, Simple Organized Living and think it is great! It shows a ton of very basic useful things to do to keep things organized and simple. While perusing through it I came across this post The 80/20 rule I think it is Awesome! I recently did two big closet overhauls and now I'm going to try the idea to hang all the Hangers backwards and see what I really do wear from my closet.
What have you been doing lately to get organized and simplify?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Blackberry Upside Down Cake

We had the pleasure of having my amazing brother and sister-in-law visit us. The Black Berries are in full swing here and since the two of them have just relocated far away from some of their very good friends I decided to make them a treat. (Well I actually made my SIL help me so I wouldn't ruin it like my luck sometimes does.)
I found this recipe for Blackberry Upside Down cake on their friends Website (Blue Jean Gourmet) and decided that I could probably make it.
Don't be shy it ended up being really easy (even when I tried to make things harder than need be hahaha!) And the guests of honor gave it their smile of approval. (Or maybe they just didn't want to lose their place to sleep at night!)
I think it was perfect combination of berries and cake! The cake stayed moister than other homemade cakes I have tried I'm guessing do to the berries. I highly recommend you try it out!
Oh and we decided if we were going to make a delicious cake we may as well make TWO!
Forgive my miserable pictures I always forget to take any until it is late at night.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Drop Cloth Bed Skirt.

I have been wanting to make a bed skirt from Drop Cloth FOREVER. I wasn't sure what "Style" I wanted and making the first cut is always difficult for me so I have had the fabric since last spring but finally threw in the towel and jumped on the project. It took me a total of about 3 hours and I would say at least 30 minutes of it was spent dealing with some crazy thread that clogged my sewing Machine GRRRRR!
I used this tutorial: I used a bed skirt I already had just like she did. I made one deep pleat on each side, corners, and on the end.It is perfectly imperfect but I love it! Drop cloth gives you so much texture! Check it out!See the different colors in there I love it!
My room is still a huge work in progress that is why you are getting a limited shot of the bed.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

"book page" Wreath

I have been seeing many Book Page Wreaths and decided I would make one. But when it came down to it I couldn't find a book hashed enough that I would feel ok ripping apart. So I went with plan B.
Have you ever ordered something small that comes in a huge box with TONS of Brown paper stuffed inside? Well this seems to be a trend but being frugal I couldn't just toss the brown paper in the garbage. And I guess I could recycle it but I have a two year old who loves to color so why do that! To say the least we had an OVER Abundance of Brown Paper in our house so I decided to make a wreath from it instead. I bought a wreath form at the dollar store (love that place for stuff like this!). I used a book to measure and cut the paper similar to the size of a book page. Then I took some black paint and swished it on the edges.I then headed over to this Lovely blog to get ideas from her tutorial:
And after 4 days of a huge mess and a ton of hot glue I ended up with this:
Not to shabby right for costing me all of $2 ($1 for the form and $1 worth of glue.)And a close up just to show all the fun roles and crinkles.I have to admit that I think I will like it MUCH better against a wall of Restoration Hardware Silver sage paint!:) But that is another project another day.