Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies (so easy you’ll gasp out loud)

I hesitated to write this post. These cookies are hands down the #1 request I get when I go somewhere… and I bake a lot. And I bake a lot from scratch. But I’ve got a secret…

These cookies are totally not from scratch. Don’t tell anyone, mmkay?

mint chocolate chip cookie easy recipe

Here’s the deal- buy a chocolate chip cookie bag mix (store brand, Betty Crocker, it doesn’t matter). Then doctor it up like so:

  • The bag mixes usually requires 1 egg– make that one egg a farm fresh egg. The yolk is SO much more yellow and the white is awesome and it fluffs up your cookies like you have no idea. Trust me.
  • Add a teaspoon or two of vanilla extract (homemade if you can- I’ve got a recipe for it here). If your bag mix happens to call for water, do half water and half vanilla instead.
  • Add a tablespoon of sugar, which will help balance the extra liquid you just added with the vanilla
  • To make the cookies mint chocolate chip, add some chocolate mint leaves. I grow it in my yard so I usually use 5-7 good size sprigs, rip off the leaves, grind them up in my food processor, and stir them right in. If that’s not an option, buy the crushed up Andes mints in the baking aisle and throw those in there. I do about half a cup.

mint chocolate chip cookies

And my last tip, but definitely the most important– preheat the oven to whatever the bag tells you (usually 350*), but when you put the cookies in lower the temperature by about 25* (usually to 325*) and bake for a few extra minutes. The decrease in temperature softens your cookies and makes them rise much better. This works AWESOME with cupcakes too.

BAM- you’ve got cookies that take less then 20 minutes from start to finish and everyone thinks you’re a master baker. You’re welcome. 🙂

easy chocolate chip cookie recipe

So tell me, what else do you hack to make amazing and easy? Pasta sauce (gravy, if you’re Italian like me) is another one I doctor up 100% of the time as well.

Craft Crate Console Table (for under $100!)

diy craft crate console media table

BAM! I built this piece of furniture. It might not be the most glorious piece of furniture to ever grace the earth, but I built it all by myself. And you can too.

We really needed something that wasn’t super obtrusive sticking out under our tv, because we only have a few feet of space between the bed and the wall. Previously there was a 5 year old  Target bookcase there and it just wasn’t doing it.

Here’s the materials list for this DIY Craft Crate console table:

  • Craft crates (duh…). I used two, but you can use however many you want for the length of table you need
  • Hobby board. I used this to  mount the craft crates on
  • (4) 21 inch parsons legs and (4) heavy duty top plates
  • (2) 2×2’s
  • Spraypaint, stain, primer of your choice (I used Zinsser spray primer, Rustoleum’s Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint, and Minwax stain cloths)

And as far as tools/supplies go:

  • Power drill and impact driver
  • Clamps
  • Wood screws
  • Wood filler
  • Gorilla Glue
  • At least a jigsaw (I used a miter saw to make some of my cuts easier, and a circular saw would have been handy too but I don’t have one)

minwax stain clothsI sanded the craft crates VERY WELL. Spend some time on this, particularly if you use stain cloths instead of just brush on stain. I used Walnut stain cloths first and found it to be more orange-y than I wanted, so once it dried (about 1.5 hrs later) I went back and used Dark Mahogany cloths. You can see the difference on the right hand side above.

The cloths actually worked wonderfully, and I’d totally recommend them (and no I was not paid to say that, Minwax doesn’t know me. Yet. HEY MINWAX. HI!!!!)

base of console table

  • I cut the hobby board to the length and width of the crates with both my miter saw and jigsaw (this is where a circular saw would have been helpful). Then I used my power drill to attach the top plates and screwed the legs into them. Once the legs were in I cut my 2×2’s down to create a brace around the bottom. If I was better at this, I would have taken some measurements and bought enough wood to create an X frame. Whoops. I attached the brace pieces with my impact driver and wood screws (with pilot holes!) 3 inches up from the bottom, just because that’s where they looked right to me.
  • Once the braces were all in I filled in the gaps with wood filler– this part made the whole table look 1000% more professional. Don’t skip out.
  • After the wood filler was dry I gave it a light sand and then sprayed it with a few light coats of primer and color. I love that you can see the wood grain through the oil rubbed bronze.

how to stain craft crate and repurpose them into a table

Because I’m a super professional carpenter, I used Gorilla Glue and clamps to attach the crates. It worked wonderfully, just give it plenty of time to dry and cure up.

I then used masking tape to tuck up wires so they didn’t hang underneath, but I still need to figure out a solution for the ones between the tv and stand. The magazine basket with the blanket hides some cords as well. 🙂

how to build a console table- easy and step by step

What do you think? Doable for you? What else would you use craft crates for?  …Anyone want to come over to my dark bedroom to try and get better shots? :).

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diy craft crate console table under 100

craft crate console table diy

Lots of little updates

Today I’m sharing a few little things I’ve updated around the house. Things were feeling ultra neutral-y and not as unique as I wanted it to be, so these small changes really helped. Prepare yourself for lots of pictures….

First up, some decorative pillow I originally bought for the living room but ended up in the guest room:

nate berkus decorative pillows

They’re Nate Berkus for Target and they are pretty awesome… I bet they could easily be recreated with a drop cloth and some DIY leather tassels, but I didn’t have any inserts or fabric so I just bought them (the cost would have evened out).

guest room wide

The whole room is very bright and airy, which I really like since my built in closet office is opposite the bed with all my craft supplies.

Next is a little art update in the kitchen:

kitchen art with Silhouette DIY

A looooong time ago I updated this whole piece after I found it decrepit in the basement (see it here). More recently I switched out the art and pictures, added the day of the dead statue Matt picked up on a vacation, and used my Silhouette to add Mr Skull Chef to the mirror.

He originally didn’t look like that AT ALL, but I accidentally put the vinyl on crooked and had to recreate it by hand. It also used to have a quote with it (Many have eaten here, few have died). Oh well. If you’d like the original file send me an email, I’m happy to share (sandpaperandglue @ gmail . com)

kitchen wide

 

The  kitchen chairs are on my hit list because I desperately want 4 of these chairs instead, but they’re in perfectly good condition and I can’t sell them for enough to cover the costs so for now they’ll have to do. Otherwise, I’m pretty in love with our kitchen- honey oak and all.

Third on the list of ch-ch-ch-changes in our front entrance:

white and gray front entrance

I got rid of the chalkboard wall that used to be there (see here for the how to) and added the vignette that’s in it’s place with stuff I already had around the house. Then I decided to disguise the thermostat with some mirrors and an empty frame and pop the shark jaw bone onto the mirror. We actually don’t use the front door to our house at all, which is why there’s a litter box tucked in the corner there…. it’s a very out of the way spot.

how to hide cover disguise a thermostat

The mirrors and frame were from a gallery wall I took down, and I painted the thermostat with some gray craft paint I had on hand (no primer, just 2 coats of paint).

And attached to the front entrance is our living room, with it’s AWESOME AND AMAZING brand new 7×10 rug that I got from just $90 at Bed, Bath, and Beyond (this is my first rug! I am so excited!):

neutral gray living room

I have been crazy hesitant to invest in a rug because of our 3 cats, but we added  cardboard scratchers under each of the chairs and the cat tree along the back wall and they’ve been totally fine with it. You can see here we also have some double sided tape on the side of the couch. These are all things maybe I could have removed for the sake of staging a picture- but you know what, this is real life with 4 animals. And I think it still looks darn good :).

gray and white living room with zebra print

That empty slice of wall on the left used to have the gallery wall, but I’m on the hunt for something large and simple to replace it with. The black tufted bench is actually in rough shape (cat scratches, of course) so I have plans to reupholster it, I’m thinking with some white faux fur to break up all the black.

 

And that’s everything! What do you think? What’s your favorite update? Mine is 100% the living room rug- it looks SO much more grounded now.

Have you been doing any little updates in your houses? Tell me all about them. 🙂

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Want to read more? Here’s some other projects seen in this post:

DIY wood slice art || silver spraypainted and glazed end table || DIY faux tile backsplash

sharpie stencil wall || DIY sunburst mirror || painted faux door moulding

Inspiration Friday

I’ve gotten into the habit of creating graphics for quotes that I think are inspirational/motivational/awesome and using them in my posts. I thought I’d corral them all together into a weekly series here– feel free to pin, download, set as a wallpaper, whatever (as long as you don’t sell them!).

It’ll be just 1 quote a week, but to kick it off here’s 1 new one and 3 you may have seen floating around here recently:

dream quote creativity inspirational

creativity quote quote, hustle, positivity, stayposi creativity quote, project, inspirational

Formal Dining Room Mood Board

A few weeks ago Chairish (an exclusive curator approved, online marketplace for vintage furniture) contacted me to see if I’d be interested in designing a colorful room based around a chair, and it seemed like a fun challenge so I happily hopped on board.

First, if you’ve been around here long enough you know I have a deep love for chairs (check out my two tone chair redo, my herringbone chair redo, and my reupholstered chair update). Also, I have no rooms to start from scratch in sooooooo this seemed like a a good way to get that opportunity again too.

I chose to decorate using the Green High Back Tufted Broyhill Chairs and actually ended up with 2 separate boards because I found too much stuff to cram into one.

Here’s the first one (this is my first attempt at a design board, please be kind, 🙂 ):

formal dining room mood board

 

1. Capital Lighting Hutton 3 Light Chandelier from Wayfair: This light is ever so slightly gold tinted and I think plays really well off the chairs. They’re a classic design and not demanding, so it leaves room for other pieces to be the focal point.

2. Hounds by James Jean wall art: I am more then a little obsessed with this artist. I think this large piece would be awesome above a buffet and really pulls in the wall color and chair colors perfectly. Plus it’s super weird and awesome so it’d be a great talking point at the table.

3. Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore wall color: I mean really, is there another wall color right now? I don’t think so. Move over Radiant Orchid, because Hale Navy is a serious crowd pleaser and definitely a favorite in the design world right now.

4. Green High Back Tufted Broyhill Chairs via Chairsh: The inspiration for the whole room!

5-7: All Chairish finds that would be awesome together as a centerpiece. I picture the deer antlers flanking the round wood cutting board with glass dome (which would be filled with succulents). The brass letter holder adds some glam and could hold silverware or napkins.

8. Flokati Rug via Chairish: This one is a little small, but it’s a very popular style right now so it’d be easy to find an 8×10. I think something lush and light would work really well with the darker wall color and heaviness of some of the rest of the room.

chairish collage 2

Now you know I had to go ahead and add a little DIY to this room too!

  • The table by Shanty 2 Chic is….wait for it…. only $125 for supplies! WOW. Check out the tutorial here.
  • The DIY Card Catalog Cabinet by Decor and the Dog would be awesome in the corner of the room looking all chic and like it’s full of tiny little things, but then opening up to hold realistically sized supplies  like table runners, servingware, etc.

And last but not least, I included these bamboo shades by Payless decor and these curtains by Ikea to frame out the room.

 

What do you think? Is this a room you’d want in your house? What else would you add?