Kitchen Favorites & Wish Lists

Tis the season for tons of eating, amiright? For us, last week it was Thanksgiving and soon it’ll be Christmas. As a little Italian lady-in-training, I spend a mighty amount of time in the kitchen so I thought I’d pair up with my friends at Wayfair to show you what kitchen stuff I already own and love, and what is on my wish list (and should be on yours too! treat yo’ self!). kitchen appliance must haves First up is the Hamilton Beach Stay or Go Portable Slow Cooker . Guys. I travel at least an hour and a half to all family gatherings. And this thing plugs into my car (my car has an outlet in it). It is amazing. For example, let’s say I’m making meatballs (because I usually am). I can prep them the night before. I can pop them into the slower cooker in the morning. Then I can put the slow cooker on the floor of my car and finish the cooking while I am driving. Ugh. You need this. Next there’s the classic Pizzelle Maker. This is only about $50, but I’ve been holding off buying one because I know my grandmother’s is coming straight to me some day. And while you can’t beat a nice, worn in, thin style pizzelle maker- this is a close second. Mmmmmmm pizzelles. Do yourself a favor and make a few with cocoa powder too. You’re welcome. Finally, if we’re wishing for things, let’s go big or go home. Starting with this KitchenAid Mixer . I don’t know how I don’t have one of these yet, but it’s been on my wish list for like 3 years. I particularly like the glass bowl over the stainless steel one, for no reason other then aesthetics. easy table scape I don’t set up elaborate centerpieces or tablescapes, because that leaves no room for the food. And while I like my cookware new and shiny, I like my table settings old. The gold flatware, wine glasses, ceramic serving plate, and glass spoon rest are all family heirlooms. The amber plate set I got at my city’s online auction for $6 (for a set of 4!). The napkin is a rolled piece of scrap fabric because let’s face it… we’re going to use paper napkins…. and the tablecloth is actually a leopard scarf. I dare you to find an Italian woman who does not have a spare leopard scarf. Oh! And if you’re not in the market for big budget wish list items, here’s a few smaller things I can’t live without: small kitchen must haves

garlic press / cheese grater / wooden utensil set

What’s on your kitchen wish list this year?

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This post was written in collaboration with Wayfair, and while I was compensated for my time all stereotypical Italian references and kitchen wish lists are true.

An interview, a book, & a recipe

I’ve got a little hodgepodge of thoughts for you today…

1. I’m over at Terry’s Fabric’s blog talking about creative trends (colors, textiles, fabrics) that are interesting to mix and match. Check it out here.

trendy fabric material colors

 

2. Have you checked out the Craft Fail book by Heather Mann yet? I got it in the mail and meant to just flip through it and then read it later…. but like an hour later I was on the couch going page by page. Loved it! Makes a great coffee table book and would be a fun little gift for a crafter in your life.

Craft-Fail-Book

3. Tis the season to cook/bake your butt off. Might I suggest the following dish…

pumpkin pie cake

I made it two years ago and it was a huge hit- so so good. And super easy! Check it out on Sawdust & Embryos.

 

What’s happening in your world these days? Share in the comments!

Life Lately via Social Media

I was hoping to have a project for you today, but it’s not quite done yet. Someone really needs to create caulk/glue/liquid nails products that are dry and ready for sanding 10 minutes after application. Waiting 24 hours is not something I handle well.

So instead of beautifully styled shelves you get this:

sandpaperglue instagram

I bought a bunch of 1×2’s and 1×8’s and I’m building some shelves in our (rarely blogged about) movie room because our hoard of box sets and autographed paraphernalia has gotten a little out of hand. The wood is up on the wall, and I added some liquid nails to the seams just to make it extra strong. Hopefully tonight I can sand and paint, then share the room with you by the end of the week.

Also, we bought new dining room chairs like a month ago. They are AWESOME and I am OBSESSED with them. Here’s an Instagram pic of them for those of you who don’t follow me there:

eames knockoff white dining chairs

One day I’ll pack up the Halloween decor, do the dishes, and take a few nice pictures to show you the whole space. For for now all you need to know is that these chairs make me so very happy and I haven’t decided if I love the table with them or not. What do you think?

ALSO, one more update for you from my Twitter account:

sandpaperglue tweet

I guess I’m going to be a real estate agent now? I don’t know what happened. One of my college friends texted me that there was a Groupon and let’s do this, and so now we’re doing it. We are going to 40 hours worth of classes, 8am-6pm Saturday and Sunday for two weekends in a row in February. The classes will get us the certificate we need to sit for the exam… I haven’t even looked into the exam yet. I haven’t even told my family I’m doing this yet (so yeah, mom and Nonna, uhh this is happening? I’ll call you! haha.)

My friend convinced me very easily by saying the worst case scenario is that we learn a ton more about real estate (and I reallllly like real estate so that’s cool). The best case scenario is that we build a thriving real estate empire and take over the world. It’s a win/win really.

 

Soooooo… those are some things.  It feels like BAM November is here and we are so BUSY and it WON’T STOP for months and WHY is it so dark because now I’ll really get nothing done. What’s happening in your life? :)

DIY Etched Leaf Coasters (and 24 other great fall projects!)

My aunt’s birthday was this month and I wanted to give her something inexpensive but thoughtful, more of an “I’m thinking of you” gift then a “big fancy happy birthday present,” you know?

Here’s what I came up with:

etched leaf coasters

I picked up 6 brown tiles at the Habitat Restore for 10 cents each, then put together a design for them in my Silhouette Cameo. Here’s a screen shot of what I ended up with:

etched tile outline

 

I went with 4 monogrammed tiles and two fall themed tiles (though I only ended up giving her 2 monogrammed ones and then the 2 with the leaves… I really need to work on centering my vinyl better).

I printed up the design on my Silhouette, placed the vinyl on my coasters, and used glass etching cream to etch them. I have this glass etching starter kit, which is super helpful because it comes with a hook and a scraper tool.

Because the ceramic tile is a bit more durable then glass, I let the cream sit for about 3 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water. Then I was left with this:

etched coasters

 

It’s really subtle, but they came out very cute. With a little felt hot glued to the bottom they were good to go!

To gift them, I just added a little fall themed ribbon and a tag and called it a day. Easy peasy!

easy handmade gift - personalized coasters

 

At 10 cents a pop I feel like these could be easily adapted to any holiday… or just buy whatever color tile matches the decor of the home and stick with a monogram.

 

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Want to Check Out More Silhouette Projects?

My Silhouette Challenge friends and I are all sharing projects on our blogs today, so peruse the projects below for a wealth of Silhouette inspiration!

Paper Rosette Fall Wreath Hello Fall Sign Halloween Paper Bag Luminaries Spooky Mantle Ghost Town Dollar Store Placemat Jack O' Lantern Copper and Paper Embellished Pumpkins Ugly Sweater Wineglass Charms DIY Fall Leave Paper Wreath Starry Pumpkin Burlap & BOO Halloween Wreath Fall Paper Petals Fall Leaves Favor Tags 15 Minute Customized Halloween Buckets Gravestone Treat Bags with Free Cut File Beware of Zombies Halloween Shadow Box Welcome Sign Vampire Bat Specimen Boo-tiful Halloween Treats Little Turkey No Sew Thanksgiving Onesie Frozen Halloween Treats & Free Printable Fall Leaf Keychain Fall Lovin October Silhouette Challenge Punny #Hashtag Halloween Costume Still Falling For You Card DIY Etched Leaf Coasters

1. Create & Babble // 2. Lil Mrs. Tori // 3. unOriginal Mom // 4. Zanaree // 5. The Kim Six Fix // 6. One Dog Woof // 7. Cupcakes & Crowbars // 8. Living My Given Life // 9. Architecture of a Mom // 10. Put A Bird On It // 11. Just Add Paper // 12. Weekend Craft // 13. Silhouette School // 14. Minted Strawberry // 15. My Paper Craze // 16. McCall Manor // 17. Chicken Scratch NY // 18. Mama Sonshine // 19. Creative Ramblings // 20. From Wine to Whine // 21. Please Excuse My Craftermath… // 22. Dragonfly & Lily Pads // 23. The Thinking Closet // 24. Simply Kelly Designs // 25. Sandpaper & Glue //

Upcycled Media Cabinet

My husband is a high school English teacher and this semester he got assigned a film and literature course, which means his classroom needed something to store all the equipment as well as somewhere for the tv to go. But the school didn’t really have a budget for both electronics and furniture, so I took matters into my own hands.

We bought a 1980s media cabinet at the Habitat Restore for $17….

1980 media cabinet upcycle

 

Then, I turned the open section, meant for a big bulky square tv, into a bookcase with some plywood, hobby board, and 1×2’s….

bookshelf media cabinet

My plywood was kind of a weird shape so I had to Frankenstein it together (then spackle it smooth).  I added 1×2 pieces on the back and sides and fit a hobby board on top to create the shelf. To bulk up the hobby board I added a 1×2 lip in front of it, this also added a bit to the length which was helpful as well.

Next, I emailed my friends at Deco Art and asked if they would supply some Americana Decor Chalky Finish paint for the project. They sent me some carbon (black) paint as well as wax, which I partnered with some relique (gray) paint I already had on hand.  I chose chalky finish paint because there was no sanding required, and painted on two coats (without removing the doors, just opening them up and painting carefully).

black upcycled media cabinetWe haven’t moved it into Matt’s classroom yet so I just styled it up in my living room to share with you. And then it rained all week, so I apologize for the grainy pictures but you get the idea. :)

living room black painted furniture

love this thing. The wax helped maintain the nice matte look I was aiming for. The glass door cabinet is perfect for storing the blu-ray player and sound bar (when not in use), the slim build of the cabinet is just right for a flat screen to perch on, and the bookshelf is going to hold the classrooms’ dictionaries and thesauruses.

It’s been hanging in our living room for about a week looking super stylish and awesome, I’m going to be so sad to see it go!

tv cabinet upcycle

 

 

 

So next time you see this bad boys pop up on Craigs List, give them a second look! A little paint and some wood go a long way!

 

*Thanks to Deco Art for supplying the paint! (All other supplies were at my own expense.)

 

Healthy Life Update

At the end of July I posted 4 tips for a healthier lifestyle, and I’m feeling like this time of year is a good time to check in again. It’s the time of year where all we want is heavy, warm, delicious comfort food (carbssss!)

I’m going to break this down into categories….

Weight:

  • I’ve lost 13 pounds since July 1st and still have about 5 or 6 to go. This is genuinely because I’ve been eating a lot better, both diet wise and portion wise, and I exercise 3-4 days a week.
  • MyFitnessPal helped me figure out what 1200 calories a day actually looks like, and I tracked my food for about 2 months. Now, I get the picture and I don’t track nearly as often.
  • Today I’m wearing a dress that didn’t fit me this time last year! Huzzah!

Exercise:

  • Man, I hate exercising. I do. I always try to convince myself I like it, and then like a week later I’m way over it.
  • I did the alpha round of T25 full out once (which is a 5 week/5 days a week program), but now my work schedule is a bit hectic so I’m repeating the alpha round again only 3-4 days a week instead of 5. It works and honestly, I feel stronger and look better.
  • I exercise with my husband, because we motivate each other and T25 is only 25 minutes a day. If I was on my own, I probably wouldn’t do it.
  • I received a Victoria's Secret Sports bra and cropped Knockout pants to review-- and they are AWESOME. Seriously. If you know that you're going to stick to an exercise routine it's important to invest in gear that fits you right, makes you feel good, AND makes you look good. Victoria knows what's going on.

I received a Victoria’s Secret Sports bra and cropped Knockout pants to review– and they are AWESOME. Seriously. If you know that you’re going to stick to an exercise routine it’s important to invest in gear that fits you right, makes you feel good, AND makes you look good. Victoria knows what’s going on.

Also, if you’ve never been to a store to have someone measure you, you should do that. I was way off. WAYYY OFFFF. And the sales associate’s were lovely, despite how awkward I was about it.

Overall health stuff:

  • I’ve been getting allergy shots since January- once a week for 6 months, then worked my way down to once a month. My allergies were bad. This week I will stop taking my allergy pill (which I’ve been taking everyday for like, my entire life). In the spring I’ll stop taking my allergy nose spray (which I take everyday). I have about 5 years of shots left. It’s worth it.
  • I buy good stuff to put on my skin. I don’t work 2 full time jobs for nothing, TREAT YO’ SELF! I love Origins eye cream and have been using Carbon Beauty plant oil (this one) on my whole face.
  • I really try to eat natural organic food when I can. I mean, I ate a frozen pizza for dinner last night. But this morning I had homemade applesauce and my lunch today is a pita and some hummus and an apple… there’s a give and take there. Keep it realistic.

 

What are you doing to stay healthy these days? Any good tips? Or great success stories? I want to know it all!

DIY Football Shirt (and a $100 giveaway to Expressions Vinyl!)

This week I forayed into the world of HTV, which is fancy pants lingo for Heat Transfer Vinyl, with little push from Expressions Vinyl  and their #VinylNFL challenge. So far on my Silhouette I’ve done lots of paper cutting and decal vinyl printing, but I’ve never attempted to make clothes.

Expressions Vinyl challenged me and a few other bloggers to use HTV in a football themed project, so my brain went right to creating a football shirt for my 2 year old nephew.

diy toddler football shirt long sleeve

Since we’re in Massachusetts I used red, white, and blue as my colors (like the New England Patriots)… the front boasts the team logo, but that’s far too simple for a personalized shirt so I put a little quote and image on the back too. That little star in the football is the cut out from the logo on the front– waste not want not, people!

Don’t forget, when using HTV you always want to feed the vinyl shiny side down into your Silhouette and mirror the image. Here’s a screen grab of what the logo looked like in my Silhouette software:

new england patriots logo for tshirtSee- backwards. This is super important, because it gets flipped back to normal when you iron it onto the shirt. Everyone’s iron is different, but for me I used a low steam setting and pressed hard for about a minute/minute and a half on each section I transferred, with an old towel acting as a buffer between the shirt with the HTV and the iron. Once it was cooled I turned it inside out and ironed from there too- I don’t think that’s necessary, but it just gave me piece of mind that it was on there good and strong.

new england patriots toddler shirt

Can we talk for a quick second about how difficult it is to get a non-blurry picture of a 2 year old? Holy cow! This is the best I could do, and he had to have his goat. Then I caught the back when he went to “go get eggs” from his DIY play kitchen. I just want to squeeze his cute little face. This kid can bring me pretend eggs all day long.

new england patiors long sleeve toddler shirt

I think he’s ready for some nachos and a big foam finger, don’t you?!!

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AND NOW FOR THE BEST PART!!!

Want to win $100 to Expressions Vinyl so you can create your own project?

Click here a Rafflecopter giveaway !

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Want to see some more football inspired Silhouette projects? Click on any of the images below!

 

Morena Hockley @ Morena’s Corner

Morena Hockley @ Morena’s Corner

Vanessa Barker @ Our Thrifty Ideas

Vanessa Barker @ Our Thrifty Ideas

Melissa Viscount @ Silhouette School Blog

Melissa Viscount @ Silhouette School Blog

Staci Potter @ The Potters Place

Staci Potter @ The Potters Place

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lindsay Fekitoa @ Frenchie Wraps

Lindsay Fekitoa @ Frenchie Wraps

Heidi Kundin @ Happiness Is Home Made

Heidi Kundin @ Happiness Is Home Made

Kaysi Gardner @ Keeping It Simple Crafts

Kaysi Gardner @ Keeping It Simple Crafts

Sara Hoffman @ Major Hoff Takes A Wife

Sara Hoffman @ Major Hoff Takes A Wife