Saturday, August 31, 2013

Create Blanket Storage with a Ladder.

Recently, I shared with you the shelving project I completed in our garage. I mentioned that the wood came from my dad's barn. I also showed you this picture that included a ladder that we'd cut in half.

The time has come to share with you my Ladder made into blanket storage!

It was very simple. My dad had a 12' ladder sitting in the barn not being used, so I had him cut it in half to make 2 - 6' ladders.

I brought them home and spray painted the ladder with a dark, almost black spray paint. And done!

Finding the right spot for it in the living room took a few minutes but I'm super happy with it. It's a piece of furniture I've been wanting to get done for quite a while. And knowing that it's from my dad's farm makes it that much better.

My cat always seems to find a way into my project photos. Most times I don't use those, but I figured this one was cute to share. She's just sniffing it out and making sure it's safe to have in the house. Cat approved!

Tips: In hindsight, I probably should have sanded the ladder. (DOH!) Every time I shifted the ladder in our living room to decide where I liked it placed I nearly splintered my hands. If I'm feeling energetic this fall or winter, I might take the ladder back into the garage and redo it so it's safer.

What do you think?

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Welcome to Facebook!

I don't consider myself technologically stupid.

I'm a graphic designer for goodness sakes! This is my forté!

However, why has it taken me so long to create a Facebook page for my Don't Worry. Be Happy. Keep Learning. blog?

Answer: I dunno (as she shrugs like a 14 year old with dumbfounded look on her face)

A friend of mine who writes a blog called Old Blue Silo (I showed you her gluten free recipe for cookie dough balls last week) suggested I do such a thing, create a page for my blog. DUH!

So, I've done it! I've finally done it!

If you click here and "like" me that would be super cool! Oh, and share the page with your friends while you're at it, eh?

Sweet! Thanks!

Happy Facebooking!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Organize a garage.

For the early part of my life, I lived on a farm. Later I moved into town, but my dad still runs a farm and has an overabundance of unused random things. But the best part when it comes to my crazy home improvement ideas is the excess of barn wood that he has! Some is from old torn down buildings, others from old wagons that fell apart, whatever!

Recently, we decided our garage needed some organization. We have a brand new home with brand new blank walls to fill!

I gathered some of the best pieces of wood I could find from dad's farm and hauled them home (note the ladder cut in half . . . that's another project I'll feature soon!)

Once we got back, I borrowed my brother-in-law's hack saw, measured the walls and started to cut my wood pieces. To put it in words sounds so simple, but I won't lie - this was a real workout!  I sweat so much! There aren't really "steps" to walk through, so instead I'll just be showing you progress photos as the shelves went up!

The basic shape of the shelves is a 2x4 with a plank of wood secured on top.

I adding the support beams cut at 45' angles. . .

The coolest part of using old reclaimed wood is that it's not perfect. While these shelf beams look uneven or not level, the 2x4s (though mildly warped) ARE level - so it's all good!

I'm so pleased with the final result. It's simple, but it holds more meaning than any shelf I could have built from wood bought from a big lumber store.


Here's the BEFORE photo:

Here's the AFTER!

I added extra screws along the 2x4 beams to hang tools.

I even used a 1/2" drill bit and created my own holes in handles so some of the tools would hang on said screws. I felt pretty proud of that idea!

I should mention Mike did help me by holding the 2x4 beams level so I could secure them to the wall, but beyond that this was my baby to see through beginning to end. We love having the extra space above to store things and put tools where they should be.

Happy constructing!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Cookie Dough Balls.

Cookie Dough.

Yea, tasty, huh?!

How about cookie dough that you can safely snack on as much as you want because it contains no eggs! For a pregnant lady like me (yes it's true!) that's a great combination!

I've got a recipe for you to try! I found a few online and got to work!



• 1 cup salted butter (2 sticks), softened
• 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
• 1 tsp. vanilla extract
• 2 cups flour
• 6 ounces mini chocolate chips

The process:

1. Cream butter and sugar together.

2. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Use your hands to get it together the best.

3. Roll into 1-inch balls and place on a sheet lined with wax paper.

4. Refrigerate until firm (about 30 minutes).

5. Dip in chocolate, drizzle with chocolate or eat as is.

6. Let stand at room temp for about 10 minutes before serving.

7. Store in the refrigerator.

Well, I'll be honest. These weren't my favorite or Mike's favorite, but my older sister ate approx. 20 and couldn't get enough. I personally didn't feel like they tasted enough like actual raw (with the eggs) cookie dough to satisfy my taste buds. Plus they were a little dry. So, I suppose it's really up to your preference.

Mike didn't return for a second cookie dough ball, if that tells you how he liked (or didn't like) them. We pretty much agree on why we won't be making these again: taste, dryness, etc.

[Disclaimer: I've read up on the risks raw flour, as opposed to raw eggs, that can cause illness, so I'll let you use your own discretion when determining how much of these you'd like to devour. Read articles herehere and here]

My friend and fellow blogger, Kelly, over at Old Blue Silo was thrilled to see this recipe, but has to eat gluten free. So she switched the recipe up and made Gluten Free Cookie Dough Bites with Almond Flour. She says they were delicious! Hop on over to her page to check out her recipe and while you're there make the wise choice to follow her blog. She's a classy lady!

Happy snacking!!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Vintage-ize a t-shirt?

If you Google or Pinterest search how to brine a t-shirt or give a shirt a vintage or worn-in feel, you'll find thousands of recipes. This has been something I've wanted to try for a long time. Then I did. And I wasn't impressed.

I followed the basic steps after first picking out which shirt I wanted to, in my terms "soften" and I got down to it!

1. Combine the salt and water.

2. Wad up the shirt and put it in the salt water mixture.

3. Let the shirt brine for 3 days.

4. Remove from mixture, wash and dry like normal.

Like I said, I wasn't impressed. My shirt felt the same, not softer, not more vintage-like. Nothing different. Soon I'm hoping to try this recipe from Men's Health. It calls for a couple different ingredients and steps, so I'm hoping for the best!

But just for fun, I thought I'd share this chart with you. Apparently, this is something most people learn in elementary school. I must have missed this day because I had never seen this before a friend of mine taught it to me. I needed it because I only had cup/ounce measuring tools and this recipe called for a quart.

You can see that 2 cups are in a pint, 2 pints are in a quart and 4 quarts are in a gallon. So for 1 quart of water, I needed 4 cups! Ha! Does everyone know about this nifty diagram?

Happy brining! (if you can find a process that works for you)

Rosemary-Garlic Honey Carrots.

Hey! Yes, I'm alive & doing well!

I've been doing some experimenting with food. Carrots are so good for you. They are loaded with anti-oxidants and heck, they just taste great! However, I've never been one to love COOKED carrots. So when it came to finding a recipe for cooking them that tasted good, I was excited.

I looked online for various recipes, but ultimately just winged it and made up my own by baking them, not boiling or steaming them. Perhaps, these aren't as healthy as simply steaming them and throwing them on a plate, but I'll tell you what . . . they're delicious. And I've made them a couple times since the first. Still love them.

What I used:

• bite size carrots
• rosemary and garlic seasoning
• locally grown honey (read benefits here and here)
• extra virgin olive oil
• brown sugar
• salt & pepper

The process is super easy, but I'll warn you! I didn't measure really anything. It's more of a "sprinkle of this and a drizzle of that..." so use your judgement and go by your taste/preference.

1. Spread the carrots on a cookie sheet lined with foil (for easier cleanup, of course). 

2. Drizzle the carrots lightly with the EVOO and pop the sheet into the over at 400' for about 20 minutes. (from experience, too much "drizzle" will result in really oily carrots in the end = gross!)

3. Remove the carrots from the oven, drizzle with a little EVOO and honey, sprinkle with the rosemary/garlic seasoning (to preference), brown sugar, salt & pepper and pop the sheet back in the oven for about 5-8 more minutes. 

4. Remove from the oven and let cool for just a few minutes. It might be necessary at this point to strain the carrots if your use of olive oil was a wee too much.

5. Then enjoy sweet, salty, still slightly crunchy bits of perfection.


Mike gave these a 6. He doesn't typically LOVE cooked carrots (he prefers them raw as a snack). He said they were a tad bit sweet for his liking and wasn't a fan of the rosemary pieces, but overall he said these tasted good. He did enjoy some leftovers a day or so later, so I'll count that as an ultimate win!

Also, I took these to a family gathering and they got eaten fast. That always makes me feel good, when people like my food. That means I don't have crazy weird taste buds and my food is suitable for others to eat, as well.  

Happy Carrot Cooking!