Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Pottery Barn Beads for A lot Less

Like most of you, I enjoy looking through the Pottery Barn Magazine when it comes out  for each season. Quite often I'll take a bright Sharpie and my PB magazines to bed with me and I'll circle several things that catch my eye.
I usually write a little comment about the circled item to remind myself to duplicate the design somehow. These PB Bead Vase fillers are one of those items. They are not overly expensive at $24 a string but more than I would ever pay.
PB Original
PB Original
 I made my own by purchasing two packages of round unfinished wood balls/beads at Joanne's for around $2.50 each on sale. One package of balls are just slightly larger than the other because I wanted to make the white beads and brown beads with just a little size variation. To make the white set I painted them with two coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in 'Old White'. Once dry I strung them onto Jute string and tied a knot. For the brown set I used Minwax Special Walnut Stain with just one application. I let dry and strung onto Jute String and tied a knot.

 Simple, quick and inexpensive! My husband commented on how its the little things that add interest to the room. I agree!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Fried Ice Cream

I've got a yummy dessert that I think you will like!

Does anyone remember the Mexican franchise restaurant Chi Chi's?
I'm not sure if they only had locations in upstate NY or if they are in business any longer?
Anyway, a friend who worked there back in the day told me the basic ingredients they used to make these, so for years I've been making them at home and we think they are very similar and very good!

The ingredients listed here will make 4-6 depending on how big you make the ice cream balls.

Ice cream balls:
Vanilla Ice Cream
2 c. crushed Corn Flakes
3/4 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Brown Sugar

Taco shells:
1/2 c.-1 c. of Vegetable oil
Soft Taco Shells, small size

Chocolate Syrup
Whipped Cream
Powdered Sugar
Ground Cinnamon

1. In a large bowl mix the crushed Corn Flakes with the cinnamon and brown sugar.

2. Scoop desired amount of ice cream into the Corn Flake mixture and coat all sides well as you form into a ball. Wrap in plastic and freeze for at least 30 mins. -1 hr. Try not to leave them in the freezer overnight. I've done this - the coating becomes soggy and it's not good.

(On a side note, please excuse the double watermarks on the photos. I messed up somehow.)

3. Heat the oil in a small pan at med-high heat. When hot add one taco shell at a time & fry until light to medium golden brown, flipping the shell to brown on both sides. Usually a few bubbles puff up on the shell, I just use my tongs to pop them gently. The shells can burn really quickly so be sure to watch them carefully. Once cooked they should look crispy and pastry-like.

4. Let the taco shells rest on paper towels to absorb the oil. Assemble one taco shell on individual serving plates. Add the coated ice cream ball in the center and top with whipped cream and around the sides. Drizzle with chocolate syrup and dust generously with powdered sugar and a little dusting of cinnamon.

Let me know what you think!


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Easy Tween Headboard

I've been having so much fun redesigning both of my tween boys rooms. The boys were excited to upgrade to a  full size bed from a twin size, just that change alone made them feel less little- kid -like. Our plan has been to change out the primary colors from their toddler years and bring in some manly items on a thrifty budget. I really haven't had an inspirational board to follow but I've been picking up things here and there over the summer just collecting things randomly that I thought they would like.                                                                

Here is what their bedrooms looked liked before.

My youngest son's room is the smallest and we figured having a foot board would make the room feel too cramped so I was on a search for a headboard and found this one for $4.00 at a thrift store. I forgot to take a before pic as I was removing the fabric but here it is.

Here is the material underneath the fabric. The shape of the board was great!

I purchased the fabric at Joann's in the indoor/outdoor fabric section. My son likes orange so this was a perfect choice for him, not a very bright orange more of a deeper orange. I bought enough fabric to make a couple pillows also. I think I paid about $21 using a coupon.

I pulled the fabric really tightly and used a staple gun to attach it. I cut a piece of drop cloth I had in my fabric pile and stapled it to the back for a more tailored neat look.
I painted right over the dark espresso legs with Annie Sloan chalk paint in Graphite. Once dry, I sanded the legs in a circular motion.

I reused the upholstery tacks that came with the piece.

I still need to paint his bedroom and add the little touches but I will show you both tween bedrooms once I am finished.

If you've never tried reupholstering a headboard you should give it a try...it was really easy and fun!