Friday, August 31, 2012

Banana Split Kit

I have a dear friend who had to put her eleven year old dog to sleep because of old age recently. They have four kids and I know that they were in for a rough/ emotional evening.

Ideally I would have put this in a cute bag with a card but this was a last minute idea (kinda how I roll).  I ran to the store and bought the banana split ingredients and one of the stores reusable bags.  Added an ice pack from home and brought it to my friend.  I know that its a small thing but hopefully it made them smile. 

Yes, this was taken in the back of my car.  I told you, last minute.

What you will need for your banana split kit:

Banana's (one for each family member)
Ice Cream
Whipped Cream
Hot fudge
Strawberry topping (my store didn't have any of this which is why it isn't pictured)

A bonus would have been the banana split bowls that our grocery store sometimes carries for $1 each but they didn't have any.

Who  in your life can you surprise with a banana split kit this weekend?


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Making base housing feel like home

Part of being married to a Marine (or anyone in the military) is moving. In the past four years, we have lived in 4 places with the longest being a year and a half. But next month, we will be moving into base housing and hopefully be there for awhile. Anyone in the military knows base housing is simple and basic. I will not complain though because it is over double the size of the place we are at now and has a yard! I want this next house to feel like a nice, cozy home.

The floor plan has a family room and living room, along with a dining room, kitchen, laundry room and half bath downstairs. The front living room will become the boys' play room. I hate clutter so having all their toys in our living room as been stressing me out so I am beyond happy they will have their own space. But, now I have to decorate it. I have pinning like crazy to come up with inexpensive decorating ideas. I want to had color, texture and design without painting or doing anything that we won't be able to remove. So here is my list of ideas and inspiration on making base housing feel like home (without painting or permanent fixtures):

Chevron Curtains. I will be doing these for the boys' playroom but with blue paint. A Drop in the Bucket

Bookshelves - I have two cheap bookshelves from Target that have always been in our spare bedroom. Now one is in the living room and one is in the boys room. I would like to add a pop over color and design to both of them with this wondering idea from In My Own Style

How to make fabric backdrops for book shelves

Magnetic Board....let me just say, GENIUS! We have lots of magnets and they seem to always be all over my kitchen floor so I think this is a great idea for the playroom from From Baby P makes Three

Growth chart by Adventures in Decorating and Design. Moving means not being able to bring a door frame with your little ones ages with you when you  move so this will be great to be able to take with us along our adventure as a Marine Family. 

DIY Picture Canvas. I am going to do a collage of our family photos on DIY canvas like done by Mommy Models Blog . 

My list goes on and on but for now, I think those projects will keep me busy. 

Any ideas on how to make a new house feel like a home on a budget? Any ideas on how to transform base housing into a place you feel at in? I would love to here ideas!

- Sabrina

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Recovering Lamp Shade

When I was pregnant with my boys, I spent hours and hours looking at ideas for their nursery. I had bought a simple white lamp with a white lamp shade from Target with the goal of painting it and recovering the lamp shade. But before I knew it, I had two newborns home and absolutely no time. So fast forward 16 months, I finally get nap times to accomplish projects.

Their nursery is blue, brown and orange. They have orange curtains but right now we have up brown ones that are black out so it's dark in their room.

I originally bought the fabric to cover the lamp shade in the living room but decided I wasn't ready to commit to orange in there and luckily it matches their room perfect.
The process itself was pretty simple. I started by ironing the fabric. I did a small side first hot gluing the middle then doing the top edge then bottom edge. Because the lamp shade is not a perfect rectangle, I had to make relief cuts at every corner and in the middle of each section where the metal is. I continued by repeating the process on all sides with the two seams together. Be sure as you are gluing, to pull the fabric tight so there are no creases or bumps. I used a clip to hold it tight while I glued the section.

I think it turned out pretty cute and looks great on the boys' dresser.

And...with the extra fabric, I got to do another project. More to come on that.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

When I make cookies, I make regular chocolate chip cookies for David. He prefers chewy cookies with dark chocolate chips. Every now and then though, I want to bake something that I prefer (although, it's probably best that I don't make anything that I like because I just eat it one sitting. Don't judge.)

Anyway...I worked at the Great Harvest Bread Co. during high school (best job ever!) This time frame is when I discovered my love of baking, and of food in general. I also developed a love for their oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. You know, those giant cookies the size of a salad plate? If you do not know these cookies, you should google  your nearest Great Harvest and try them! While you are there, try the cinnamon swirl bread, the cheddar garlic bread, the asiago pesto bread....mmmmm bread sounds really good right now.

Let's keep this story moving....I have been searching for a good, chewy oatmeal cookie that pairs well with chocolate. During my search I have found ones that turn out too crispy, too fluffy, too cakey but I have yet to find the right cookie for me. Until.....wait for it.....I looked on the lid of the Quaker Oats tube!!! Seriously! Right in front of my every time I open one of these tubes to measure out for another recipe, there was the recipe I needed to try.

Just chewy enough oatmeal chocolate chip cookies:

1/2 cup butter plus 6 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups Quaker Oats, uncooked
2 cups dark chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat butter and sugars until creamy
Add eggs and vanilla
Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt
Add oats and chocolate chips, mix well.
Drop rounded tablespoons on un-greased cookie sheet.
Bake 8-10 minutes (I baked mine for 9 and they were perfect!)
Cool for one minute on pan and remove to cool on wire rack.

Because I do not need four dozen cookies sitting around my house, I packed up two to-go packs one for my dad and one for my father-in-law.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

About Me- Kristy

Hi!  So this is supposed to be a blog by 4 sisters and only the other 3 have posted...oops.  I have had the best intentions, but, well,  you've seen how that has worked.  Anyways, I am going to do better, or at least try to do better.

I am the oldest of the four. 
I have been married to my high school sweetheart, A,  for 12 years.  He is so amazing and such a good balance for my craziness.  We've been together since I was 15 years old and he truly is my best friend.   He just gets me and accepts me for my nutty self.  I am blessed to have such a great hubby.  He works in the oil fields of Alaska and we live in sunny Arizona-so that's quite the commute.  He flies to work for 2 weeks and comes home for 2 weeks.  It's a little crazy, but it works for us.  He gets to be off the whole time he is home so we get a lot of quality time, and I get a ton of help.  When he's gone I am a single mom which quite frankly, sucks, but after 5 years I have almost figured it out.  Plus, my girls will both be in school this year so I have nothing to complain about.
(by the way- A absolutely hates taking pictures where we have to look longingly at each other.  He was mumbling under his breath the whole time so I am always laughing in them)

     I have 2 amazing daughters, M and T.  They are 6 and 4.  They really are completely awesome, and exhausting all at the same time.  I have had the pleasure of staying home with them and pursuing my other passion,

I have had the pleasure of owning a Stroller Strides business in both Alaska and now Phoenix, Arizona.  I will write more about it later, but I truly LOVE this "job".  I love working out so it's a perfect fit. 

So that's me in a nut shell.  I probably won't be doing much blogging about crafts.  I've recently given it up, because it's too frustrating for my type A personality.  Things from me will be more focused on fitness, health, races, working out and such....because that's what I love!

In Stride,

Friday, August 3, 2012

Bathroom block letters

I'm not sure if I have mentioned it before but B, the boys and I live in a small town home that is WAY too small for all of our stuff (we have a storage unit full of things that we just cannot make room for here yet don't want to get rid of). While B was deployed, I had sat in front of Pinterest for hours on end decorating a house that we didn't obviously have so when got back and we moved in this cardboard box  town home, the one area that I wanted to make cute was the boys' bedroom and attached bathroom. I went and bought the cutest shower curtain, towels, rug and accessories at Target but didn't do anything with the walls. I saw something on Pinterest with the block letters for a laundry room (I can't find the actual pin...sorry) and decided I would do that for the boys' bathroom. Off to Hobby Lobby we went. Just saying... I love that place! I could spend hours there...if I didn't have two 1 year olds with me. I love the chunky block letters and the paint, I sort of guessed on but I guessed pretty good because they match perfectly! The letters are around $1.50 each and the paint was about the same. Both of them were on sale.

I didn't take pictures of the actual process because I was just trying to get them painted without the help of two little guys who I am SURE would love to play in paint. Instead, I will just tell you the process. I used sponge paint brushes because they seemed to look less "streaky" and did 3 coats on all but the yellow which took 4 coats. I paint the sides, inside and front but not the back because it's not like anyone can see that. I just hung them on small nails.

I have to say, I think it's pretty cute! The bathroom is pretty small so it is hard to get pictures of the entire thing and as you can see, I have two little helpers who LOVE to play in their bathroom. Standing on top of the toilet and trying to climb in the bath is a lot of fun apparently.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

File Cabinet Re-Do

Summertime in Alaska is unpredictable to say the least. Last weekend, we had plans to go for a hike and enjoy some of the amazing scenery around us. BUT we woke up and it was raining...then hailed...then poured...with no signs of stopping.

So, change of plans...David went to his parents house to haul some stuff to good-will for them, and I decided to take this change to get some chores done around the house. Until I realized, I have an empty garage and a file cabinet that I wanted to spray paint! What better time than when the husband isn't around to critique my painting abilities or complain of over spray on tires stacked in there?

Back story on the free file cabinet: my day job was cleaning out an office and they had some furniture that they were giving away or going to donate. I knew needed a new filing system (we've grown out of the plastic file box with handle). So of course, I snagged it. It's been in our garage since March waiting to for a little love to make it pretty.

This the almond-ish before picture after I cleaned it all up from being stored in a messy garage.

The paint with coupon: $4.50 (-ish I can't find the receipt)

Popped the little frames off because I want them and the handles to stay silver.

To cover the handles (since I didn't feel like figuring out how to take them off), I used aluminum foil. Take a piece of foil and fold it over to make a straight edge.

I put the flat edge to the cabinet and wrapped the handle with the foil to avoid any gold paint getting on the silver handle.

First coat: not so great I was thinking this could have been a mistake...

Second coat: a little better.

Much better! All finished with the frame thingys (I'm pretty sure that the technical term) back on.

I have noticed a lot of these same metal file cabinets on craigslist for under $25 but occasionally in the free section too! I will get it in the office and all organized at another time. I may not have a clean house or clean laundry but I have a pretty golden yellow file cabinet. :)