Friday, January 31, 2014

Upcycle: Cabinet Door to Chalkboard

In the spirit of #JustStashJanuary, my husband decided to make me a little present.  It was supposed to be a surprise, but in true Jen-fashion, I ruined it.  I was in my craft room working away on my own project when I noticed the house was quiet - very quiet.  Suspiciously quiet.  I suddenly heard a little noise below me in the garage and it peaked my interest.  My husband was so upset when I came strolling out, asking "Whatcha up to?"  There he was... bending over and spraying painting something... "You ruined the surprise!"  Sigh...story of my life.

Anyway, my dear husband had decided to give life to a kitchen cabinet door we had in the garage.  The door was replaced a few months back by the builder of our house because it had minor cracking on the edges.  Instead of tossing the old one, the guy asked if we would like to keep it.  Of course we would!  We would find a use for it.

The cabinet door has now been given a new life as a chalkboard above the bar in our front room.  My husband drilled a second hole and installed a matching door knob so we can hang items from the sign if we would like to.  

I didn't realize until he told how he made it that making your own chalkboard sign was so easy!

He used Rustoleum Chalkboard spray paint.  He taped off the future board area and covered the rest of the door to protect it from over-spray.  Three light even coats later, it was ready to set.  You have to let the paint set for 2-3 days to make sure it fully dries.


Once dry, take a white chalk stick and lay it flat on the board.  Swipe the chalk all over the board.  Cover the entire surface going side-to-side and then top to bottom.  Wipe off with a cloth and repeat.  If you skip this step, whatever you draw on the board the first time will be forever visible.  

I'm so in love with this project!  My husband is so crafty!  Now we can decorate it for the seasons or events.  I love "living" decor.  

Give it a try!  I see spare cabinet parts for sale at thrift stores all the time - or, better yet, go dig through your garage!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Healthy Mexican Turkey Frittatas Recipe

We all want to eat healthy but never seem to have the time.  I have a good handful of friends who have gotten into food prep on Sunday nights.  I've always prepared my celery snacks but I never really thought about breakfast... until I discovered frittatas.

What are frittatas?

A frittata is basically a muffin... made of eggs, peppers, meat, ect.  Basically, it's an omelet muffin... without the delicious muffin part.  Okay, it's just an omelet made in a muffin pan.

These frittatas are less than 100 calories each and are delicious reheated with hot sauce.  Give them a try!

1 (20-ounce) package Jennie-O Extra Lean Ground Turkey Breast
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 green pepper, chopped
2 cups sliced small mushrooms
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
2 cups egg substitute or 8 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup shredded low-fat Mexican blend cheese
1/3 cup green onions

1.  Prep your foods.  Always keep tons of prep bowls so you can prep all your foods before you begin cooking.  This will allow you to focus on cooking {read: not burning} your food.
Tip: How to Cut Peppers - Cut of the stem and butt ends of the pepper.  Stand on end and cut downward between the white flesh.  The white part and the seeds are the aggressively hot parts.  Discard the core and chop your pieces.
Tip: I even separate out my spices.  I don't like to do any measuring when I'm in the midst of cooking.
Tip: Invest in a jalapeno corer.  You don't have to expose yourself to as many seeds {ouch!} and it's a heck of a lot faster.
Tip: Cilantro - Remove the leaves from the steams before chopping.  Simple as that.  Don't skip that step.
All prepped and ready to go!

2.  Preheat the oven to 400*F.  Spray your muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.
3.  Turkey.  Cook turkey according to package instructions {about 15-20 minutes}.  NEVER UNDER COOK YOUR MEAT.   Remove from heat and stir in cumin.  Set aside.
4.  Mushroom and Pepper Mix.  Heat large skillet over med/high heat.  Combine green peppers, mushrooms, jalapenos and vegetable oil in pan, stirring frequently for 5-8 minutes or until mushrooms are cooked {darker and soft}.  Remove from heat and set aside.
5.  Eggs.  In large bowl, de-shell eggs.  Whisk in milk and cilantro until well mixed. 
6.  Combine mushroom/pepper mix, turkey, cheese, and green onions in eggs with spoon/spatula.
7.  Spoon mixture into muffin pan, filling each cup just over 3/4 full.
8.  Place in the oven and bake 20 minutes or until lightly brown on top.
Mmm...mmm delicious!
Hope you enjoy!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Mardi Gras Christmas Card Book

For some reason, it always takes me almost a month after Christmas to get my Christmas Card Book done.  I loved this year's book.  Fun and whimsical!  I also as able to use stickers I've had in my stock since 2004.  Yes, 10 YEARS!  For full instructions, check out my Wedding Card Book Tutorial {same concept, different event :)}

I love the collection we are building.  The basket is a beautiful reminder of the themes gone by and I love looking at pictures of our friends and family.

Have you finished your book?
What are you waiting for?!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Ornament Baubles

For the New Year, I decided to dress the fireplace in accents of gold.  My favorite pieces were ornament baubles on both ends of the mantel.  Shiny, pretty and just a little piece of Christmas to take into the new year with me.  Plus they are insanely easy!

String {used: Curling Ribbon}
3M Hooks

1.  Cut a long piece of string and tie one end to the ornament hole {double knot}.  This will be your base ornament.
2.  String ornaments onto your strand.  Use whatever pattern or arrangement you'd like.
3.  Tie a loop on the end of the string and hang!
I finished off my mantel with gold garland and beads.
I can't wait to do something similar for Christmas next year.  Plus, decorating for New Years was really fun!  This was my first time and I'm definitely going to tackle it in years to come.

Happy Decorating!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Knitted Infinity Scarf

Here's the thing.  I'm not a knitter - not really.  I'll take on an occasional project.  I have a hoard of knitting needles inherited from a lovely older lady.  I have skeins upon skeins of yarn.  I know the basics of the craft.  But I wouldn't call myself a knitter.  Why?  Because I never use these things.

In honor of Just Stash January, I convinced myself it was Go-Time.  Time to pull out the needles, wrap some yarn around my finger and get moving.  I had been holding on to this beautiful Bernat bamboo yarn for years.  It's neutral colored, soft and fluffy.  It was destined to be scarf... someday.

Its day finally came late last week when I decided to suck it up and give it a go.  There's a slight remorse when a crafter has been holding on to a good yarn or fabric and it's time to actually use it.  There's a fear the project won't turn out and thus the material is wasted.  Pretty terrifying actually... a smidge heartbreaking.
Today was no day for fear though.  I pulled out my HUGE bamboo knitting needles (11 gauge).  I was going to knit bamboo with bamboo.  Very organic and Earth-friendly of me, don't you think?
 I did a basic knit.  I'm not going to waste my time and yours by creating a new knitting tutorial.  YouTube is chalk full of them.  However, let me tell you, if I can do it, you can do it.
I used the full 2 skeins of the yarn I had.  My scarf was about 4 feet in length when I finished.
 To finish off my scarf, I didn't do anything fancy.  I folded my scarf in half, matching the end to my needle end.  Lining up the holes.  Thread a simple plastic needle onto the end of your yarn.  A simple running stitch going through pairing holes will do the trick.  Once you've gotten to the end, slide off your needle.  Make sure your ends are secured.
It's not the prettiest or most discrete seam in the world, but it was fast and to the point.  Plus, I just make sure it's the part that's on my neck when I put my scarf on.  Don't stress over it.  People will be too distracted by your awesome craftiness to worry about the seam.
 Speaking of Just Stash January... this is all that was left over.  Go me!
 And here's me proudly modeling the scarf.  I'm obsessed with it.

Hope your #JustStashJanuary is going well!  Share your projects on Instagram and Twitter with me!

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