Quick & Easy DIY Key Hook

A little over a year ago some blog friends and I challenged each other to a “15/15 project”… we wanted to each do a 15 minute DIY that cost under $15. I chose to make a DIY key hook.For some reason I decided to super glue my hooks onto their base, instead of screwing them in, and recently one of them popped off. So I decided to revamp the whole thing a little and now it looks like this:

easy diy key hook refridgerator


Supplies for this project are super easy and still super cheap:

  • wood scrap
  • paint or spray paint
  • wall hooks (with screws this time!)
  • Velcro or magnetic strip
  • 2 shower curtain hooks
  • 2 tin containers

I used a piece of scrap wood from when I put up wainscoting in my half bath, the wall hooks are leftover from when I up-cycled some kitchen art, and I had the rest of the supplies on hand because I’m a hoarder. So even with the revamp, I spent $0. I think this whole thing could be done for under $20 though.

The first time I made this I just glued two hooks on the painted piece of wood and called it a day. Now that we’ve been living with it for a year though, I decided to beef it up a bit. I added a third hook (and screwed them all in this time) and two hanging containers. Two of the hooks are for dog supplies (collar, leash, harness), and the third is for our keys.


I apologize for the terrible pictures- it’s in an awkward spot in the kitchen and I had to use the can lights. Also, yes- the two old hooks have peeling spray paint on them and I did not bother to paint the new third hook. It’s like 30* out so I can’t spray paint, and really, this is just for keys. It took about the amount of time my pasta water took to boil, and I wanted to keep it that way. 🙂

The containers came from the dollar spot in Target a while ago, but they seem to always have them- I just used a power drill to drill a hole in each, then looped the shower curtain hook through the hole in and hung it on the wall hook.

I used adhesive Velcro to stick it on the fridge because that’s what I had handy, but you could use a magnetic strip if that’s easier or just screw it into a wall.


Any questions? Leave them in the comments!


Brown Sugar Meatloaf Recipe

It has been a long, long time since I’ve posted a recipe (you can see all of them here)- but I’ve been trying a whole lot of them so I really need to keep up. As usual, I do my recipe hunting on Pinterest and then adapt them to fit with the ingredients we like and have on hand… these generally means I eliminate all onions and add in all the Adobo!

I’m pretty sure I have never, in my life, eaten meatloaf. There’s just something about a slab of meat just sitting in front of me that makes the corners of my mouth curl. But I asked Matt to figure out something for dinner that didn’t involve a stop at the store and this is what he found.


Image taken from the original recipe (here) and altered, because this food is very difficult to take a non-gross picture of.

Here’s my version of the recipe…


  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 & 1/4 cup bbq sauce (separated to be used in different steps)
  • 1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 3/4 cup milk (I use 2%)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Adobo seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 cup saltine crumbs, finely crushed

How to:

  • Preheat oven to 350* and lightly grease a 5×9 pan
  • In a bowl, mix all ingredients except the brown sugar and bbq sauce
  • Pack the brown sugar on the bottom then spread 1/2 cup of bbq sauce over it
  • Heap the mixture over the bbq sauce, then spread the 1/4 cup additional bbq sauce on top
  • Bake for an hour


You may want to use less BBQ sauce if you prefer your meatloaf dry, but I have a serious addiction to BBQ sauce so I loaded it on. Eaten in a sandwich this was DELICIOUS.

What recipes have you been trying lately?

Oil Pulling – One Week In

One of my friends posted [this article] on Facebook and after I read it I ended up in a Google rabbit hole. For hours. It all seemed so fascinating. In a nutshell, oil pulling is swishing coconut  oil around in your mouth for 20 minutes a day and it is supposed to do amazing things. Amazing things includes helping with skin and allergy issues, whitening teeth, strengthening gums, etc.

My sinuses are AWFUL (I’m also about 2 months into allergy shots- but that’s a whole other post), my psoriasis is on my scalp which sucks because when I have outbreaks I can’t wear black, and I have permanent teeth stains from medications when I was young that even $500 professional whitening couldn’t fix compounded with my serious morning tea habit.

I just so happened to be in the midst of a particularly itchy psoriasis outbreak (damn you, harsh New England winter!) so I decided I might as well give it a try. I figured it would either help or do nothing, but it doesn’t really seem to have any negative results.oil pulling how to introduction to oil pulling


[This] is the coconut oil I bought and it seems like it’s enough to last an extremely long time. I just spit it out into an old jelly jar when I’m done swishing (I’m a jar hoarder) and I store both under the sink with a tablespoon.

This is how my first week went down:

  • Day 1I had no idea that coconut oil was a solid at under 76 degrees and a liquid at over 76 degrees. And man is it solid! It was like scraping wax, and you need a whole tablespoon (at least!). The first 30 seconds were utterly disgusting. Then my 98.6 degree mouth liquefied the coconut wax slices and I happily swished for about 15 minutes before I couldn’t take it anymore. Be sure to spit it out into a jar or trash can, because it can re-solidify and clog your drains.
  • Day 2The first 30 seconds are still god awful, but now that I know that will end it’s more bearable. One of my friends recommended warming the oil up first, but honestly I’m too lazy for that. Lasted 18 minutes this time. It’s really hard to resist the urge to swallow (stop giggling!), so that seems to be what my biggest obstacle is.
  • Day 3My teeth are maybe a little whiter, but I just wrapped up using another whitening product so I didn’t expect much on that front. My head is still super itchy so whichever article told me their psoriasis drastically improved in the first 2 days is full of crap.
  • Day 4 Still have the scalp psoriasis but I think my skin is clearing up a bit, particularly by my chin which is always a problem area. I’ve also learned to let the coconut oil sit on my tongue for about a minute before I start swishing so it breaks down a bit more. 20 minutes isn’t really a problem and wanting to swallow isn’t anymore either.
  • Days 5&6: I had a serious head cold and couldn’t breathe through my nose, so no oil pulling these days
  • Day 7: I feel like I’ve gotten into a real groove- I put a whole tablespoon on my tongue and let it dissolve for 30-45 seconds before I start swishing. I don’t feel like it has a taste, 20 minutes is no problem because that’s about how long it takes me to get situated when I get out of the shower, and it leaves my mouth feeling clean. Also, my scalp is starting to feel better.


TL;DR version: Definitely worth sticking with it, my skin is noticeably clearer and I do think my psoriasis is a little better. I’ll give another update in a month!

Have you heard of oil pulling? Tried it? What’s your experience?

Super Basic House Hunting Tips

Let’s have a discussion about house hunting today! I was one of the first of my friends to buy a house, and lots more are either new home owners or are looking to be in the next few years. Because I’ve been in my house for a bit, and I’m clearly into houses, I get asked often about things to look for when you’re house hunting.

Here’s my (unofficial, personal experience based) 2 cents of things to think about when you’re looking at houses/house listings:

  • You might have no idea at all how much money a bank will be willing to loan you. The basic rule of thumb (if you have good credit), is that the bank will lend you 4x the amount of your yearly income. You then need to decide what that would mean monthly for you and if you can take that on… just because they’ll give you a certain amount of money doesn’t mean you should take it all. My bank said they’d give us somewhere around $175000, but my comfort level was $150000ish. THIS INFOGRAPHIC is super handy in learning the basics.
  • Does the listing have pictures of each room? Especially the kitchen and bathroom(s). If not, those are probably rooms that need upgrades. You may not want to bother even looking at houses that don’t have posted pictures of the living room and bathroom(s). And when you do go to it anyway because you’re just in love with the pictures you can see you have to make a choice: continue the tour as a learning experience, or get out and move on to the next one!


  • How old is the roof? How about the windows? Those are big money investments if you need to update them yourself within the first few years of home ownership, and you should take that into consideration.
  • Bring a notepad and a camera (not a camera phone!) with you to each house. If you’re viewing several houses in one day, your first picture of each should be of the outside so when you upload them later you know where one house starts and another begins. You might think you’ll remember, but trust me, you won’t. Use THIS CHECKLIST to keep you on track while you look around.


  •  Trust your gut, and find a realtor you can trust too. You are trusting this person with over $100,000 of your money…15-30 years of your financial life. That’s a big deal. Don’t go for a realtor who’s shoving you from house to house and speaking like a commercial- go for the one that will show you a house knowing you’ll never ever buy it just so you can learn for yourself that she knows what she’s doing. (Thanks RaeDeane!)
  • You’re going to be excited about lots of houses, it’s all new and you’re ready to go- but you will get a feeling when you walk into your house.  The first house we put an offer on was actually the first house we ever viewed… it was clean, organized, and didn’t need lots of repairs and so I thought “this will do” and we made an offer. The second house was just enough of a fixer upper to make me happy and the layout was ok, so I thought “this will do” and we made an offer. My actual house, offer #3… I walked in the door and wanted it. It was always going to be my house.


  • When we finally got to the inspection on our house I followed the inspector around and wrote down pretty much everything he said. Your inspector will give you a report… but it’ll be in “inspector” language. Your notes should have what room you were in when he said what, and what the answer to your clarifying question was. Ask so many questions! When my inspection was over and I was 100% overwhelmed my last question was the most important: If I was your daughter, would you tell me to buy this house?
  • Read the inspection report even though you may not understand it- research the things you don’t understand. Learn what is going on in your house and make a prioritized list of how you would fix it and how much it might cost- then, and only then, should you sign anything. I also sent the report to my dad and Matt’s dad and got their 2 cents as well… that way I had read it, Matt had read it, and 2 house owning dads had read it. Between the four of us, no stone was left unturned.

What’s your experience? Any tips? Questions? Let’s talk!


PS- Already in your new home? Check out my 31 day series on tips for new homeowners!

Owl Theme Baby Shower

This past weekend I helped my sister-in-law  and one of her friends throw an owl theme baby shower…

owl themed baby shower

We went with an owl theme based on what we could see from her nursery, and for my crafts I kept it real simple and cheap by buying patterned scrapbook paper and cutting it into a bunch of cute things with my Silhouette Cameo:

paper owl decoration

I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut out a bunch of different paper owls that we hung up everywhere- painter’s tape on the backs of ones stuck to the walls and clothes pins for ones hanging off the blinds.

Each week Silhouette has a free downloaded cut shape, and last week it was feathers so I used the same scrapbook paper to cut out a bunch. Each guest wrote their best guess and put it into an  (owl paper wrapped) shoebox. The winner will get a prize in the mail!

Each week Silhouette has a free downloadable cut shape, and last week it was feathers so I used the same scrapbook paper to cut out a bunch. Each guest wrote their best guess and put it into an owl paper wrapped shoebox. The winner will get a prize in the mail! (“Day” is emphasized because that is the baby’s last name.)

I used  owl patterned scrapbook paper to make this adorable banner, which we hung on shelves leaned to the wall (it was too heavy to hang directly on the wall with tape).

I used more of the owl patterned scrapbook paper to make this adorable banner, which we hung on shelves leaned to the wall (it was too heavy to hang directly on the wall with tape).

I also went ahead and made these owl cupcakes I have had pinned FOREVER:

owl decorated cupcakes

Chocolate cupcake mix, oreos, and m&m’s. I made 24, so I bought 2 packages of oreos just to make sure I had enough “eyes”

My sister in law’s mom is also quite the crafter and she made this AMAZING owl out of diapers, a receiving blanket, and a few other odds and ends. The “log” helped him stand up straight:

so cute!! I love the flower eyes.

So cute!! I love the flower eyes.

She also made these great favors, filled with socks and candy for each guest:


So I think it’s safe to say we were pretty owl-d out, but it was all really cute and the mom-to-be loved it :).

I freaking love theme parties!!


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!

The Great Lamp Rescue Barnyard Animal Paper Garland & Party Details Sweet and Simple Easter Bunny Card Owl Theme Baby Shower Ombre Paint Chip Earrings & Free Cut File Spring is Blooming Drop It (Like It's Hot) Hexagon Tray Spruce Up Your RECIPE BOOK Gift Card Giving Free Cut Files Custom outlines for stamps Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Juice Boxes Wine Themed Bridal Shower Learn How To Make A Sewn Paper Garland! Moroccan Thank You Card 3D Flower Spring Wreath For the Love of Paper: Cutting Embellishments Create Your Own St. Patrick's Day Cupcake Wrappers and Toppers Swimming Word Art St. Patrick's Day Lime White Chocolate Chips Cupcakes + Freebie You're invited to a dog party! I'm so Lucky! Spring Wreath with SIlhouette Cut Flowers Tiny Princesses Paper Dolls Colorful Quote with your Silhouette Get Well Bouquet with Persimmon Roses Greeting Card Holder Baby Shower Invitations How-To Create a Custom Pillowbox on Your Silhouette Machine + Free Cut File! Quality Time Jar Matchbox Cover with {FREE CUT FILE} DIY Baby Girl Shower Invitation Candy Alphabet Travel Game Paper Garland Pretty Paper Roses DIY Geometric Heart Journal Hand Made Decorations for a Pirate Party Wedding Shower Gift Heart Map Decoupaged Letters (A scanner + A Silhouette = Spectacular results!) Easter Pop-up Box Card with Sweet Sorbet Designer Paper from Stampin' Up! Better World Greeting Cards Star Wars Silhouette Canvas Monogrammed Gifts Make Printable Gift Wrap with your Silhouette Software Free Printable: Blank Banner with free Silhouette Cut File

1. McCall Manor // 2. The Turquoise Home // 3. Creative Savings // 4. Sandpaper and Glue // 5. The Thinking Closet // 6. Sowdering About in Seattle // 7. Persia Lou // 8. From Wine to Whine // 9. Dream a Little Bigger // 10. Please Excuse My Craftermath… // 11. Play. Party. Pin. // 12. Everyday Paper // 13. Practically Functional // 14. A Tossed Salad Life // 15. My Favorite Finds // 16. The House on Hillbrook // 17. Adventures in All Things Food // 18. A Glimpse Into Barb’s Life // 19. TitiCrafty // 20. The Experimental Home // 21. feto soap blog // 22. Creative Ramblings // 23. The Stamp Doc // 24. Ginger Snap Crafts // 25. Simply Kelly Designs // 26. Whats Next Ma // 27. unOriginal Mom // 28. Bringing Creativity 2 Life // 29. Cutesy Crafts // 30. My Paper Craze // 31. Create & Babble // 32. Grey Luster Girl // 33. The Sensory Emporium // 34. Lil’ Mrs. Tori // 35. Black and White Obsession // 36. Mama Sonshine // 37. Weekend Craft // 38. Creative Carnival // 39. Peace, Love and Joyce // 40. Tried & True // 41. The Frill of Life // 42. Dragonfly & Lily Pads // 43. Get Silvered // 44. Minted Strawberry

Colgate Optic White (Product Review)

A while back I was sent an Influenster VoxBox to review that included some Colgate Optic White products and they worked great, so when I got a new set of their stuff sent to me I was pretty pumped.

a whole box full of goodies

a whole box full of goodies

Toothpaste, coupons, and a toothbrush + whitening pen combo came in the box, and if you follow me on Instagram you know I’ve been faithfully using my whitening pen:

using whitening pen

The directions say if you use the pen twice a day for 3 days in a row you’ll see results, but I have super sensitive teeth and that made me a little nervous so I’ve used it 5 nights in a row and have definitely noticed a difference.

Here’s what surprised me:

  • There’s no funky taste to the whitening stuff- there’s actually no taste at all
  • You basically just act like you’re coloring it on your teeth, and then you’re done- no rinsing or brushing or timing yourself
  • It did not hurt my sensitive teeth at all
  • It 100% removed tea stains and discolorations on my teeth

ALSO- the pen stores inside the toothbrush, which is the most clever idea ever:

optic white colgate

Have you tried the optic white line of stuff? I felt like the mouthwash was similar to what gargling with lightening might feel like, but that this pen was freaking awesome.


I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. If you’d like an invitation to join Influenster, just leave me your email address!

Updating Wood with a Walnut

When we last left the guest room I was hoping to thrift some small round end tables for either side of the bed, but that is not what the Thrift Gods had in mind for me. Instead, I found this small round wooden thing that I had to have, for about $6.

I think maybe it's meant to hold knitting supplies? It's got a divider right in the middle inside, which knocked out my fist thought that it was a butter churner.

I think maybe it’s meant to hold knitting supplies? It’s got a divider right in the middle inside, which knocked out my fist thought that it was a butter churner.

When I first got it it was a bit dinged up and scraped in a few places, so I rubbed a walnut all over it. Yes, you read that correctly. I cracked open a walnut and rubbed it all over that bad boy. Take a look at the difference:

Not a 100% perfect fix, but a HUGE improvement nonetheless.

Not a 100% perfect fix, but a HUGE improvement nonetheless.

The walnut doesn’t actually fix it, it just sort of fills in the scratches so they’re all less noticeable. It’s pretty awesome and took under 10 minutes. Originally I was going to paint parts of it white (the legs and maybe the strapping), but I really like having the wood tone in the room, especially where there is already painted furniture in there:


The high chair, whose makeover you can read about here, has a little ceramic plate on it so guests can take off their jewelry/watches/whatever and put it there. The not-butter-churner now holds all my old Halloween costumes, which were originally in the closet. We’re pretty big Halloween people, so this is not as weird as it sounds. haha.

In a dream world I’d have a cute little lemon tree or fiddle leaf in that corner, but um- 3 cats live here. They would not have that. So a high chair and wooden tub it is!


Now when you walk in the room it looks like this:

guest room wide shot

On the opposite wall is a pretty sweet shelf that now organizes my craft supplies. And oh my goodness was it like the most exciting thing that ever happened to me when we  moved it in. Originally, I had all my stuff in 4 separate areas of the house, including the guest room closet which I’m trying to empty out. But not anymore!!

It might not be glamorous, but it is FABULOUS.

It might not be glamorous, but it is FABULOUS.

That shelving system used to be Matt’s brothers, then it came to our last apartment, then it lived in our kitchen here for a bit, then moved to the basement for storage, and now here it is ready for its’ time in the sun. It is amazing to have stuff that used to be all over the place corralled into one neat area. I used lots of dollar store vases and candle holders to arrange everything, and while it may evolve a bit more once my desk is built,  it works great for right now.

So tell me- are you going to go rub a walnut over all your wood? It’s great on doors and molding too! Or maybe you’re going to put all your paints in one place finally, then do a happy dance around the house? 🙂


Linking up with: Inspire Me Please Linky Party

PS: want to help a sister out? head on over HERE and click on entry #30 to help me get into the Creating With The Stars contest! no log in/sign up/nonsense needed!