Costumes for Kids
Make your own!
Simple & Delicious Every Day Meals!
Do things from scratch!
I am a designer, builder, cook, gardener, seamstress, artist, musician, housewife, handywoman, and most importantly a MOM! Please enjoy reading about all of my DIY endeavors in between running a household and raising two wild and crazy boys!
This year my son decided to pick his own Halloween costume and he chose Curious George. He had been watching the Curious George Halloween movie on Netflix and it was all he wanted to watch over and over again! I was on board since I had the material leftover from a previous year where I thought I could take on 2 costumes.
One of our favorite weeknight dinners is shrimp tacos. I usually make the tortillas from scratch and freeze the leftover balls of dough for the next time so I have them on hand. This recipe is our favorite for many reasons. It’s bright, sweet, savory, and spicy. It’s also very quick and easy to make since the shrimp only take a few minutes to thaw. I typically make this recipe after I’ve sliced up a pineapple for the kids to eat and they’ve had their fill of it. I forgot to mention that if you have fresh corn it elevates the salsa to another level but you can also use canned corn in a bind.
This year has been a tough year for my garden! I planted cucumbers but no such luck! Everything I’ve planted was either eaten by bugs or suffered from drought. Some years are just like that I guess! However, a friend of mine gave me a massive pickling cucumber from her garden that I didn’t wan to go to waste. I came up with this very simple single jar pickle recipe and in a few days, there were ready to eat and simply delicious!
Summer is one of my favorite times of the year because I can reap the rewards of my garden I start in spring. I grew many things this year mostly from seed because I purchased a collection of 50 variety pack of veggie seeds on Amazon. Collard Greens was one of the most abundant crops that grew and they’ve been doing great since I planted them. They are hearty even through the droughts of the summer and keep making leaves.
When we bought our house I was pregnant with my first son. Our house was built in the 90’s and the previous owner’s didn’t do a lot of updating. Our kitchen countertops were PINK!
One of our ultimate favorite meals is fish tacos. Fish tacos are usually a summer meal but we truly enjoy them all year round. There’s nothing better than making some margaritas and delicious fish tacos and treating any day like it’s Cinco de Mayo! Every time I make fish tacos I do something different but this one is definitely a keeper! The chipotle crema and quick-pickled radishes and jalapenos add a “zing” to this recipe that makes these fish tacos absolutely delectable!
One of my favorite things to do is refinish old furniture. A lot of things I’ve bought in the past were from consignment stores and were decent quality but over time became out dated. This particular desk I found when we were out on a family walk during trash day. Yes, I am not above trash picking! Especially when it’s an Ethan Allen writing desk that’s probably around $2,000. This is seriously one of my greatest finds. It had a little bit of wear in the front from where a chair or something seemed to be rubbing but other than than it was in great shape! I couldn’t believe our neighbors were throwing it out! I forgot to take a picture of the condition it was in when I first found it, but here’s a photo after my first pass at sanding it. The first thing I like to do is use some liquid sandpaper or de-glosser just to take the clear finish off especially in those nooks and crannies where you can’t get to it well with sandpaper or a sander. I let it sit for a while to really penetrate the finish and then wipe it off with a damp rag. Next, I use my orbital sander to go over the flat surfaces. I start with some 80 grit sandpaper and move to 220 grit sandpaper to create a smooth finish. I don’t ever use the orbital sander on any edges or places that have detail. It will make marks and deform the shape of the wood. I hand sand all of those areas. You can fold the sandpaper and run it in the creases. This part requires a ton of elbow grease but is an important step in having your new finish adhere properly. Once I’ve finished sanding. I wipe down the surface with a dry rag. You can also use a leaf blower to clear out the sanding debris from all of the cracks. This step is very important because you don’t want shavings mixing in with your stain or paint. It will make the finish gritty. Now comes the fun part: staining or painting! For stains I like to use a cotton or cloth rag to really push the stain into the wood grain. I chose a stain called Carbon Grey by Varathane. If you’ve chosen paint, a nice soft paint brush will do. Be careful not to use to much paint especially when painting vertical areas or areas with detail in order to avoid drips and paint blobs. Once you’ve laid down your first coat it’s very important to let it dry completely. If you try to add stain or paint too soon you’ll end up taking off the first coat and ruining the finish. (Trust me I’ve done it!) There’s no sense in rushing and having to start from scratch! Here it is after a first coat. Once it is fully dried from the first coat it’s time for a second. You may even need to go back a third time and cover any spots that are still showing. Second coat! The next step is to add a protective clear coat. I usually choose a satin polyurethane because I don’t like it to be too glossy or too matte. It’s really a matter of preference. This step will make your furniture easier to clean and wipe down from spills and dust. Last step is to replace the old hardware. You’d be surprised how much new hardware can make an old piece of furniture look completely updated. I kept the hardware on this desk because I liked it but I could have bought some new knobs or drawer pulls to change the style. You can also spray paint old hardware to different colors to create a unique look.
I love Dashing Diva’s gel nail strips so much that I used them back to back (all through the holidays) and didn’t give my nails much of a chance to breathe. After about 4 or 5 different sets of strips, my nails started thinning out and splitting. Oops! It makes sense, but I just didn’t think about it. I’d slowly been suffocating my nails and they were suffering for it. I was very bummed out because I bought A LOT of gel strips and I was really sad I had to take a break from them. 🙁 It made me start to wonder if there was a remedy for split nails that would work for me. It’s been about a month or two and my nails are mostly back to normal. However, it seems as though more people than just me were having the same issue because I received an e-mail from Dashing Diva advertising their new nail care products and remedies for split nails. Of course, I had to order them to try them out and see if they really work!
It was a challenge this year coming up with a costume for my son with mask requirements at school. Since we are avid fans of The Nightmare Before Christmas he mentioned Jack Skellington and I thought of the perfect implementation of his mask.