I love using old mason jars to store various things around the house, and one of my favorite (and practical) uses is storing my baking ingredients. Not only do the jars keep things like sugar, flour and oats real fresh, but I dig the way they look which means I leave them out on open shelves in our kitchen.
Well a few weeks ago my husband, who plays more of a “guest star” role in the kitchen, was cooking and almost mistook the flour for convenctioners sugar. Not an appetizing susbtitute. The reason for the close call is that I don’t have our mason jars labeled. I mean why would I? I know where everything is! ha. Well that was enough to convince me to label the jars, and I knew just how I’d do it.
I had some leftover chalkboard contact paper fromthisproject, and liked the idea of being able to change what’s on the labels, should I ever change the ingredients inside.
First remove the discs from the lids, trace them onto the backside of the contact paper, and cut them out.
Attach the contact paper to the disc by pressing firmly in the center, and then use a coin to flatten out the inside circle. Since the discs are elevated on the sides, it’s going to gather around the perimeter, but it’s okay since the lid will cover that part.
Note: You can put the labels on the actual jar or on the lids. I did both! I prefer labeling the tops so that you can fully expose the detailed writing on the jars, and also run them through the dishwasher. However as you can see two of my jars had fully screw on lids, so I did a combination of both types of labels.
Now comes the writing! To get your chalk as sharp as possible you can widdle it down with a sharp knife, or use an eye pencil sharpener.
And voila! No more close calls in the kitchen!
Project difficulty: Easy Cost: FREE (I had all of the materials, but the contact paper should cost under $8)
Here’s a new take on the standard pull out sofa. Your two couches quickly become a overnight guest bed! Not to worry, the two sections lock in place when pushed together, so that guest of yours doesn’t end up on the floor in the morning.
Thoughts on this clever living room decor?
For more tips from the T-Man, check out the series here!
It’s time for another “Nice to Meet You” Link Party brought to you by my lovely blogger friends from Alt Summit. And this time everyone can join in the fun! To play, check out the instructions from yesterday’s post here, and then scroll down to the bottom of the post to participate.
Link Party Theme: My Favorite Tools
So when it comes to tools, I can easily divide my favorites into two camps: Web & Home. Without both of these categories, this blog would not be possible, so both deserve equal attention. Let’s start with the good ol’ web.
1. W3 Schools Website: http://www.w3schools.com/ Purpose: Basic info and tutorials for HTML, CSS and other coding My Use: I started blogging with absolutely no prior web development knowledge and so I use this website all the time to get my blog widgets and other design elements to work. Not only do they provide the basics, but they have a fun little editor tool that allows you to try out code and see what it looks like in web land, before putting things onto your blog.
2. Google Plus Website: https://plus.google.com/ Purpose: Pretty much everything
My Use: I practically live on Google so it’s hard to narrow it down to my favorite applications, however when it comes to blogging I could not live without Google’s photo application. I typically take photos with my camera phone, and Google then instantly uploads them to my Picasa site, and from there I can edit and share them with you all! I actually post most of my photos via their URL which saves a ton of upload time as well as space. Love you Google!
3. Pixlr Photo Website: http://pixlr.com/ Purpose: Free Photo and Graphic Editor My Use: This site is so much fun, and seems to keep getting better! Pixlr allows you to edit photos, has a ton of great filters (think Instagram) and collage creators, and is also a great tool for creating word graphics. Unlike photoshop it’s easy to learn, and it’s free!
Ok, now moving onto my favorite home tools. This is hard because the more DIYs I do around the house, the more tools I accumulate, and so my top three will probably be very different in a matter of months. But right now here are my 3 go-to tools for the home.
1. Spray Paint
Website: Various Purpose: Easily the cheapest and quickest way to transform furniture or accent piece. I typically use Krylon spray paint, but have had good experiences with my local hardware store brand as well. My Use: I have a fun light fixture spray paint DIY coming up, so stay tuned!
2. Bona Mop Website: http://www.mybonahome.com/ Purpose: This is my newest addition to house hold cleaners, and so far so good! It’s similar to the wet jet in that the solution is built right into the device, but it’s definitely more sturdy and less toxic. You can change out the formula for both wood floors and tile, and the best feature I think is the washable microfiber cloth! My Use: For someone who likes a clean house, but hates spending time doing it, this is as quick as it gets!
3. Black and Decker Electronic Screw Driver Website: http://tinyurl.com/94wv6w3 Purpose: Tony got this for me for my bday a few years ago, and I use it all the time! It’s not as powerful as a drill, but it’s perfect for those small projects that need a quick drill job. Sold seperately, but essential, is a kit of every bit known to man. I have yet to find a project that there wasn’t a proper bit for. Proper bit. That sounds funny.
To participate: Please use the link up tool at the bottom of this post.
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You know what rocks? New picture windows! You know what doesn’t? Replacing the curtains!
So now that our brand new windows are in, the sun is shining just a little too bright. No I’m not a vampire. Stay with me now and I’ll explain…
Our sheer white curtains, which actually came with our house and were custom made to fit the large windows, now don’t keep the light out. And that means watching TV in the living room during daylight hours is impossible. I know, life’s hard.
So I spent a few weeks searching for inexpensive replacement curtains however was unable to find anything that would fit our 125″ wide window. I considered ordering custom curtains, but after seeing the $700 price tag, I said NO THANKS! Now if you recall from this post, I found these super cool ikat shower curtains and used them for the windows in the dining room… So why not do the same for the living room?
Really? Shower curtains in the living room? Yup, you got it!!! So long as you don’t buy the plastic or Peva material curtains, I’ll bet you $10 you won’t know the difference. And best of all? They also are a hell of a lot cheaper! We’re talking $20 a pop!
So not all shower curtains are created equal. Here’s what to look for….
Tip: Shower curtains come with a standard width of 72″ (versus 48″ for window curtains) so for a window that is wider than 100″ (like most picture windows) they are a perfect fit! They are also shorter (70″ versus 63-96″) so they don’t cover our baseboard heating. Also, the backing is important because you want to make sure the neighbors can see how pretty they are, of course!
I ended up going with these from the new Threshold line at Target. They have some fabulous stuff, check ‘em out here!
It’s been a long time coming, but I finally got a chance to take an updated house tour video!
Aww yeah, that’s right. It’s take 2, but unlike the movies this one is definitely better than the original!
Before jumping in, if you haven’t seen the before videos that I took just days after we closed on the house, check them out first as the before/after effect is what gives this post some meat. Otherwise it’s just pretty poor camera skills (guilty). I still can’t believe we bought a pepto bismol pink and flower wallpaper themed house, but hopefully the after videos will be proof that with hard work, transformations can happen!
We have now been in the house for 7 months and while we have tackled a lot, we still have lot’s to do. Over the next few years we will probably start working on the bathrooms, finish the basement, and possibly make some updates to the kitchen, but after months and months of hard work, we’re taking some time to enjoy the place.
I have a husband and a father-in-law with some mad skills, and you know what? I’m about to toot their horns. Yeah that’s right… we got new windows man!
If you watched my House Tour Video from when we first moved in, you may recall that we had some shnasty looking picture windows. If you love a good amateur YouTube video, full of shaky camera shots with a somewhat annoying girl narrator, you can check out the two minute house tour video here. Or you can just see the before shot below!
That film you see is from years of condensation built up between the two panes, due to a crack in the window. Now multiply that by 2, as we have the same picture window in the living room. Nice, eh?
And below are the brand spankin new windows, hanging in our garage waiting for the boys to work their magic.
I’ll be the first to admit, I didn’t do much to help with this project, which is why my blog post is mostly pictures, however I did play a role in the prep and cleanup! Don’t you dare get my furniture dirty, boys!
Here are the guys beginning to remove the old windows…
And the “better not be afraid of heights” set up.
Thank god it was a gorgeous day, as we were windowless for a little while….
My hubs outside lookin all handy. Note the new window on the left! So clean!!!
And the final product!!!
Important note: While I only captured the dining and living room windows here, I need to fully credit these guys as they also replaced our kitchen, 3 basement, and 1 garage window. All with super efficient, energy star rated windows.
Yup, I got some super stars in my life. Love you guys!