Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A (healthy) Fall Appetizer


With Thanksgiving and Christmas (both food-heavy holidays) approaching, I set out to find a delicious, and healthy appetizer. Ya know, to semi-lessen the onslaught of caloric intake. I scoured Pinterest and found a recurring theme in an apple dip. Here's the final recipe (it was a hit!) I used, after mixing a few on the interwebs:

Cinnamon Apple Dip
1c Greek Yogurt
1/2c Peanut Butter (or any nut butter)
3Tbs Honey or Agave
1tsp Cinnamon (or more to taste)
Mix all of the ingredients together, and cut up a few apples to dip! 

Have a great Thanksgiving weekend everyone!!



Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Replacing a light switch

psst: in case you missed it - I was featured on Ana White's blog last week for the little work bench I made! Check out the post here.

There are two people in life. Those that jump into the water without checking out what is below, and those who take out a measuring stick to see how deep the water is, and test the water for clarity prior to sinking even a toe into it.

I'm the latter of the two, so obviously when I wanted to start switching out light switches and outlets around the house, I went and took a little community class! Seriously, new homeowners out there, i'd recommend this. It's the cheapest, quickest education you can get, 35$ and 2 hours of my time will save me hundreds of dollars. Hiring an electrician for something like changing out the color of a light switch is pretty expensive, they charge up to $150 an hour plus materials! This is one of those time consuming home improvement projects that can make a pretty decent difference in the look of a room. So, for the next few years i'll start chipping away at the task, now that I know how to NOT electrocute myself :)

SO, here is what I was working with around the main floor of the house...


LOL. SUCH a great variety! The floral color REALLY brings out the blue/grey wall color, the blue flowers accent the bathroom tile like your WOULDN'T believe, and with brown outlet covers on wood, it's like camouflage! Buuuuuuuuuut, they are all a liiiiiiiittle much. SO, let's bring some unity, some WHITE into these little thangs. What's AWESOME about these projects, is it's a pretty cheap fix. under 2$ per outlet. You just need a few tools in your arsenal to get started.


>>White outlet/outlet cover (obvi). I got a one way light switch (i'll explain below...)
>>Screw driver - I like this one with a head that you can toggle between flathead and philips, you'll need both.
>>Voltage tester

There are one way, two way, and THREE way light switches. With one way, one light switch works with one light or outlet. With a TWO way, you can enter the room and flick on ONE outlet, and exit the room turning the light off with a different outlet (2 outlets controlling), and three adds another. So I thought i'd start easy, with a one way.

FIRST step is to find your electrical box and turn OFF the power to the switch you are working with. Let's be safe and not electrocute ourselves, mmkay?!


This is what your voltage tester will look like if it's still an active switch...


This is what you want, deadzo. Then you can start taking apart the old outlet. 


Unscrew the outlet from the wall and pull it out. There should be enough wire in there to pull it out few inches to work with.


Unscrew the two wires, remembering which was on top, and which was on bottom (this will make sure that when you pull the light switch UP it will turn on and DOWN it will turn off).


Mimic the old outlet with the new one. Loop the copper wire around the screw, making sure the hook is in the direction that the screw turns, so when you tighten the screw, it keeps the copper wire close and secure.


Then re-attach the the wall and BANG - new outlet.


A nice improvement from what was there...And once the paneling is painted white OH MAN it'll look good.


Turn on the power and check to make sure it worked!




It's easiest to just turn off the power to the house and bang out as many as you can at once. This is a cheap update that makes a big difference in the end!


My next task is to tackle the outlets around here, but like, what IS this. It's an outlet switch in my kitchen, for all SIX of my blenders?! Like, WHAT were these guys making in this small kitchen that they needed all these outlets!





Tuesday, November 11, 2014

What every workroom needs...

A WORKBENCH!

SO, last we were in the work room, it was getting a nice little coat of Drylok. Having your workroom outta commish when you are trying to fix up a house has a nice little domino effect on the rooms surrounding it. The laundry room quickly became a painting station, the storage room held my miter saw (which also means all of the storage has a nice coat of sawdust on it) and the furnace room became a dumpster. The images below are AFTER I spent a few hours cleaning. Things didn't need to be cleaned (well, yes), they needed to be ORGANIZED.



SO. Wood pile in the corner, miter saw on a collapsing table, and tools haphazardly displayed around the room. These three things needed to be fixed. SO. I ran over to HD with a list and some organizational motivation. THANKFULLY the peeps at HD are amaze and cut all the plywood sheets for me (because, uh, I don't have a truck!). Here is the general plan:


Nice big, deep, countertop for my miter saw, peg board backing to hook some commonly-lost tools and wood storage below alladat. Also, wheels, because this thing is going to be heavy and sometimes you need to move the party, ya know.


SO, first things first, the supports. I used all 2x4s. The table is 71" long. Ideally I would have had it 4' so I could just cut the plywood/2x4 (which come at 8') in Half, BUT, I needed more space :)


I used my Kreg Jig for all of the connections (it creates a pocket hole to drive your screws into), because it's an awesome tool and a great connection. If you don't have one, screwing in on the sides works just fine!


My Kreg Jig artillery. The clamp is perf at making sure you are getting a 90* angle when screwing in the pocket - the small tip fits into one of the Kreg Jig pockets all nicely. I have the smaller kit for screwing the pocket holes, but it comes with everything ya need, so I dig it.

WOO Frames!




I used my nail gun to attach the boards to the supports, which is my favorite tool ever, so it probably has WAY more in there than necessary...but whatever.




I had some peg board left over from the great peg board removal of 2014 in the basement, so I cut that to size and then whipped out the nail gun, again :)




I really liked the look of the raw wood, but wanted a white counter top/peg board with some chalkboard! So I taped off the 2x4s to keep those raw wood and paint the rest.




Initially I was just going to do the front panel in Chalk Board. I honestly haven't bought chalkboard paint since it ONLY came in Black. So when I opened this can and realized it was WHITE I was all...whaaaaaaat is this magic juice! And just painted everything in it! It's clear, so I added a few more coats of white paint (which is actually a grey off white oops paint!) and then 2 coats of this on top!


Chalk don't lie, yo.


THEN! I went around the basement/garage and found little doo-dads (I have SO MANY peg board hinges, if you were wondering/needed any...) that the previous owner left behind, spray painted them, and voila!




Let's back up juuuuuuust a bit...ya know, memories' sake. Also, those orange cabinets, so last week. Oh, the power of white spray paint.



So much better! This clears up SO much space in the workroom, you know, for more projects :)


Monday, November 3, 2014

Power Rangers!



I've mentioned it a few times before (here....and here) BUT my friends and I get REALLY into Halloween, since like the beginning of time. It typically takes us a year to come up with and agree on a costume. This year was NO different. BUT thankfully we knew about 2 weeks in advance so we could DIY the costumes. The girls came over to my house and we glued/painted/sewed these costumes into the wee hours. 


I just may have to say that these are the best yet? IDK Disney Villians is TOUGH to beat, but just LOOK at how baller we look.



And don't THINK we haven't been talking about next year's already. I hope everyone had a FANTASTIC halloween. NOW - anyone know how to keep rabbits from eating your pumpkins?! It's starting to become an epidemic around these parts.