Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Making Bathroom Storage Pretty

One of my dreams is to renovate our master bathroom down the road, but until then the drawers and cabinets in our vanity needed a quick fix. They were lined by a previous owner with some super country-cutesy gingham and heart-filled contact paper and I can't believe it took me this long to rip it out and start fresh. (I swear I took before pictures of this project and now I can't find them which is a huge bummer because the before & after would have been awesome.)

I found a big roll of bright and pretty contact paper at TJ Maxx for like $5.99 and it was perfect for prettying up our bathroom drawers and cabinets. I also did a huge purge of all the junk that was overflowing in this area. I used some drawer organizers and bins from the Dollar Store and I'm feeling so much better about this space. Overall it cost me about $10 to fix up 3 cabinets and 7 drawers!

The light in this bathroom isn't great so it was hard to get good pictures of all the cabinets. I love the white towels against the blue paper. It feels so fresh and so clean clean (Outkast anyone?).


I grabbed some plastic tubs to corral similar items that were spread out all over the place before. Stuff like extra sunscreen now has a place to live instead of hiding in the back of the cabinet where no one can find it.



On either end of the vanity are three smaller drawers that house all the daily-use items so my husband and I each have a set of three. I took the picture below before the drawers were filled because you really don't need to see all our personal choices in bath products. Although clearly as seen above we're big fans of Dove soap.


I love how something as simple and cheap as contact paper can make over a space. For a week after I made this change, I would just open the drawers and cabinets to see how pretty they looked. Organization tasks are so much more appealing when they can be nice looking too!


Linking up to 
I Heart Organization

Monday, February 10, 2014

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

If you're living in Low-Carb Land like me right now, you might be missing certain indulgences like, oh I don't know, bread in general! But let's get specific here. Pizza is a huge program buster, especially if you're on a low-carb plan, so I went searching for alternatives. I didn't have to look very hard because there are a lot of recipes out there for cauliflower pizza crust.


Even if you're not avoiding carbs, this is a healthier, lower-calorie option packed with veggies. The recipe I used is from Sandy's Kitchen and can be found here. After making cauliflower pizza a couple times, I now know that the key is making the crust thin so that it has the maximum potential for crispiness. Soggy crust is bad on real pizza and downright unbearable with cauliflower crust so spread it thin, people!

The crust is just grated raw cauliflower, shredded cheese, egg beaters and some seasonings. I used the shredding disk on my food processor but you could grate the cauliflower by hand too.


Using a spring-form pan makes it simple to get the crust into that perfect pizza shape, aka a circle. Covering the bottom in parchment paper before you snap the pan together and giving it a spray or two of cooking spray makes it a lot easier when it's time to flip the crust.


After baking the crust for 30 minutes, you flip the crust and bake for an additional 10-15 to get it nice and crispy. The edges will look a little burnt but that means you're doing it right!


Throw some toppings on with some sauce and some cheese and bake or broil for another 5-10 minutes. I just baked it and had no problem. I pureed a can of diced tomatoes and used about half a cup as the sauce. Yum yum.


So I'm not gonna lie. This dish will not be an exact replica for real pizza dough. But it's definitely a reasonable substitution to help kick the craving. And it's easy. Enjoy!


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thanksgiving Books for Kids


As soon as Halloween was over, the kids were ready to launch into Thanksgiving. I think my 5 year old even started talking about it at bedtime on Halloween :) One of our favorite ways to get excited for any holiday or special occasion is to read about it together and this year I realized that we don't have a very good selection of Thanksgiving books. I was on a mission to gather some but of course ten minutes after Halloween, the library was already completely cleaned out of Thanksgiving books! I found one turkey-related story. ONE. The book store has a great selection but I knew I could get them cheaper on Amazon so I did a little research and then chose a handful to order. All but one have arrived and we've been really happy with the selection.

'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving by Dav Pilkey
This goofy spin on the original 'Twas the Night story is about a class field trip turned rescue mission at a turkey farm. The rhymes are reminiscent of the Christmas version, but the story is silly and both my kindergartener and almost 3 year old loved it. The illustrations are great but it's the hilarious antics of the school kids that really make this story fun.

A Plump and Perky Turkey by Teresa Bateman
Another silly story of turkey-related shenanigans, this one doesn't disappoint! I don't think we've read anything by Teresa Bateman, but I will definitely look for other stories because her writing is wonderful. The story revolves around a town in need of a Thanksgiving turkey for their annual feast and the lengths they go to lure what they believe to be an unknowing participant. It turns out the turkey might be on the clever side and the result is the townspeople learning that Thanksgiving is really about being thankful for what you have.

10 Fat Turkeys by Tony Johnston
Silly stories seem to be our theme this year, but my little one especially enjoyed this one. Each of the turkeys in this story attempts some sort of stunt that doesn't go so well. It's great for counting (and especially counting backward.) And in the end you find out that all the turkeys are safe and sound.

The Pilgrim's First Thanksgiving by Ann McGovern
If you're looking for a more realistic portrayal of pilgrim life and the first thanksgiving, then I highly recommend this one. It's definitely for the older crowd, but my five year old daughter has a very inquisitive mind so it was perfect for her. It's on the longer side so it makes for a lengthy reading session, but the story is divided into sections based on the seasons so you could break it up into multiple story times. The illustrations are great and the story is full of rich detail painting a picture of those early Pilgrim times.

I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie by Allison Jackson
Along the lines of the old lady who swallowed the fly, this story follows an old woman who manages to eat an entire Thanksgiving feast. It's pure silliness and my kids think it's hilarious. The only thing I wish was different was the "Perhaps she'll die" bit at the end of each segment. The consequence could easily be something a little less dire straits than death, although for the record, the old woman does not die and the end is pretty funny.

Thanksgiving on Plymouth Plantation by Diane Stanley
Another book for slightly older kids, this one is a more creative twist on the traditional Pilgrim story. The main characters are twins who time travel to Plymouth Plantation with their grandmother to learn first-hand about the early settlers and their harvest celebration. The illustrations are fantastic and there are plenty of details about Pilgrim history. My five year old enjoyed it but it was a little lengthy for my little guy's attention span. I definitely want to check out other stories by Diane Stanley after reading this one.

Happy reading!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Halloween in Oz

Yes, I'm completely aware that it's a week into November and I'm a little behind the game here, but I have to share our Halloween theme before we're too far gone. Right before Halloween last year I found some amazing Oz inspiration from Brooklyn Limestone. Stefanie is a creative genius and every Halloween she really goes above and beyond with her amazing ideas!

Unfortunately it was too close to the big day and I was already into the dance with our pirate theme so I pinned away and promised myself I would follow through the next year. So here we are all decked out and ready for some serious trick or treaters!
I used a projector to focus images of the flying monkeys and wicked witch on black posterboard, then traced the images with white chalkboard pen and cut them out.
You can see our yellow brick road (so easy with some yellow chalk although I did have a major fingernail situation when I was hurrying to finish)!
Our yellow brick road led to the front door, which was wrapped in green plastic table cloths to look like the entrance to the Emerald City, and our creepy sign was draped in cobwebs.
Witch legs peeked out from under the house right near the front door. I scored those witchy shoes at a local thrift shop for $2.

And of course no Oz theme would be complete without the ruby slippers...

I loved how everything turned out and it was pretty inexpensive overall. Now I just have to come up with a theme for next year!


Linking up to...
Design, Dining & Diapers
Becoming Martha

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Medifast Pancake Muffins

So the hubs and I have been trying to lose some weight and a friend got me hooked up with Take Shape for Life, a program geared toward improving your overall health with a focus on weight loss and nutrition. TSFL uses the Medifast portion-controlled meal replacements to help with weight loss and gradually transitions to regular food with healthier habits. Over the past couple months I've tried a number of different Medifast products and also experimented with a handful of recipes that use the Medifast meals. Sometimes I get sick of the repetition of the same meals, so it's fun to test out recipes that alter them slightly or transform them into a different type of meal. I'll post some of the recipes I've gotten from other bloggers and my results soon, but for today here's one of my own creations.

One of the big no-nos on the Medifast plan is bread so obviously if you are used to eating a lot of bread products, it can be kind of a bummer. I made a "muffin" using the Medifast Original Pancake mix because sometimes I just don't feel like eating an actual pancake. It was quick, simple to make and a delicious breakfast alternative.
Pancake Muffins
(Servings: 2 medifast meals with 1/2 condiment each or 3/4 condiment each if you use sugar-free syrup)

2 Medifast Pancake packets (any flavor)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup cold water

Preheat oven to 350. Mix together all ingredients (I use the blender bottle). Spray two cups of an extra-large muffin tin with cooking spray. Divide the mixture between the two cups. Bake 18-20 minutes.

I poured about 1/2 tbsp of Walden Farms Pancake Syrup on a plate and cut the muffin in half and dipped it in the syrup but you could use just about any spread you wanted that complies with the plan. I know you can make pancake muffins in the microwave but I've noticed that a lot of the meals taste better when I bake them in the oven. I personally liked this better and it would easily slice in half for to use for a breakfast sandwich alternative. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Lamp Transformation

Our living room is a giant work in progress, but I made one small step recently with a new lamp for our end table. The awesome guy who custom made our kitchen cabinets agreed to make us a small end table/cabinet for our tv components. It has a glass door so you can still use the remotes, but everything is neat and contained, which is the opposite of what it was after the living area was first renovated.

I recently found a GIANT consignment store near our house and I've been going in about once a week checking around for good deals. Last week I decided to see if they had any lamps for cheap and happened upon this little lady who was just begging for some spray paint.


Not that I don't love peachy-mauve... but it wasn't going to work in my house without some new paint. I liked the shape and it was working fine so I figured some spray paint love and a new shade would do the trick. The shade that came with it was so dirty and ugly I left it at the store. I covered the important parts with tinfoil, primed it and gave it two light coats of Rustoleum Heirloom White. 

And here she is now...


Did I mention this lamp was $10 at the consignment shop?!? The shade was $20 at Target and if it looks just a little shiny, it's because I hadn't completely decided if this was the one when I took the picture so it was still wrapped in plastic :) For $33 including the lamp, shade and can of spray paint, I have what I really wanted at a third of the cost. I saw a similar lamp online at Ballard Designs, but with two small (and sometimes clumsy) children, I don't need a $219 lamp in our main living area! 

Now I need to figure out the wall behind the sofa and we'll be on our way to finishing this room (at least for now!)

I'm still so happy when I look at the before and after...
Thanks for stopping by!


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Friday, March 29, 2013

Spring In My Step

I know it's still snowing in a lot of places but here in sunny southern California, it's been spring for a while. So I decided it's time to come out of hibernation! I love to use fresh flowers to give some new life to our home. I got the flowers at Trader Joe's, one of the best sources for reasonably priced flowers.
I found the parsley and sage hanging boxes at Homegoods and I couldn't believe my luck. I had seen them in Layla's kitchen on The Lettered Cottage and loved them for so long. Then I was just strolling through Homegoods and there they were!


I love the bright green and yellow of the tulips when you first walk in the door. We still have little hands in this house that like to pull things off of tables so I don't put much within reach but this simple arrangement makes the entry feel much more welcoming.

Thanks for visiting!
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