Paperwhites - Three Week Update


A few weeks back I posted how to make a decorative Paperwhite indoor planter.  From experience, I knew that these were instantly gratifying when it came to growth speed.  It has only been about three weeks and they are literally growing before my eyes.  I expect to see some flowers popping up soon. 

I am not sure about the runt of the litter (far right), but I hope it will catch up with its big brothers soon.  I did try the alcohol mixture to stunt the growth a bit and I haven’t really seen any difference as of yet.  Maybe the runt has been drinking all the alcohol?

It is so nice to have some green around the house, especially as we step into the first day of December.  I’ll be sure to take a picture when the flowers perk out.

Have you made your Paperwhite planter or anything similar?

<3 MK


Deck Greenhouse


As seasonal depression sets in, I realized that I needed to do a few things to savor the rest of my summer favorites.   So, before the first frost set in and all my herbs say bye-bye to warm weather, I made the decision to keep them alive.

I live in Northern Virginia and the weather is a bit better than where I grew up in New York.  This doesn’t mean the weather is nice enough for my herbs to stay alive through the winter.

What's great about having wonderful neighbors next door is that if one of us discovers or creates something beneficial to our house, we share the idea. With their success of a greenhouse last winter, I ordered this greenhouse from Amazon because it as always, is very convenient. I got it in two days with free shipping with Amazon Prime. Gotta love Prime. 

It took about 10 minutes to set this guy up.  I didn’t need any tools according to the instructions, but I made some mods to the original design.  No, there aren’t any pimped out rims, but I made it a bit brawnier.   The wire shelving that came with the kit was not exactly the sturdiest.  When placing it on the metal that goes the length of the green house for each shelf, I realized that it was not flush.  I used black zip ties that I already owned to keep them in place.  I used about seven on each shelf to keep them in place and there were a total of four shelves.

The green house was super easy to put together.  After assembly, I carried it outside to the deck and lifted the herb planters out of the deck boxes my husband built when he rebuilt the deck a few years back and placed them in the green house.   I also put some left over tile from our kitchen, living room and bathroom tiling projects on the bottom to make the greenhouse bottom heavy.  I don't want any crazy winds whipping around and this guy toppling over. 

I have rosemary, garlic chives, chives, mint, and parsley that were all still living from this summer.  I really wanted to salvage my basil, but it turned brown this past weekend.  I already bought a plant and  it is thriving in its outdoor sauna. The inside gets seriously hot from the sun during the day even when it's cold outside.


My biggest concern is that I forget to water the plants in the greenhouse.  I am really good about watering when the weather is warm, but usually completely ignore my deck as soon as the plants die and the furniture is put away under tarp for winter.  I might need to put an alert on my phone to remember to water.

On a side note, you need to purchase a hug pack of the black zip ties (again, from Amazon) because they are super useful to have around the house for projects.  I didn't realized how handy they were until this project.  You can also pick them up locally at Home Depot or Lowe's if you forget to order them with the green house.

Is it too late to save your outdoor herbs?  

<3 MK


Gin Germain Cocktail


Mixing prohibition style beverages has been hobby of mine for while now.  Every since my husband and I went to Raines Law Room last winter with some friends, we have been trying to create similar style beverages. 

An important ingredient in prohibition style drinks are bitters. Recently I bit the big one and purchased an array of Fee Brothers Bar Cocktail Bitters.  It was a bigger purchase at $40 bucks but I scored six varieties of bitters.  We have been playing around with all  different bitter flavors, some have been great, others not so much.  This was my favorite concoction to date.  Its bright, citrusy, and slightly sweet. 

Gin Germain

2 parts gin
1 ½ parts St. Germain (elderflower liquor)
1 part fresh lemon juice
2 splashes of lemon bitters

Measure all ingredients into a tin filled with ice.  Rim outside of chilled martini glass with lemon reminisce. Shake and pour into a chilled martini glass. 

<3 MK


Peplum and Gray


I realized that I have been holding off on doing fashion posts because I was a tad bit nervous.  Food and home topics are more of a comfort area for than fashion.   Judging one on their house and food choices doesn’t bother me as much as if judging on my fashion style.  I would be much more upset if you didn’t like my outfit than if you didn’t like the way I organize under my sink

After talking with one of my good friends, she gave me a pep talk and made me realize that some are going to like it an others aren’t.  She also suggested that I just crop my head out of pictures if I’m having an “ugly” day.  

The other day was the an annual friend festivities where all my girlfriends always dress to impress. I choose to wear this peplum top and color block skirt.  I  am in totally love of this peplum top that I scores at NY& Co. a few weeks back.  It is on super sale right now in other colors.  I used one of their city cash deals and got it for the price it is going for on sale (~$23.00).  If I ever shop at that store without one of the city cash coupons, it would be the day I failed as frugal shopper.

The gray skirt was a TJ Maxx find last week.  I scored it for $26.99 and it probably will be a staple in my closet for a few years.  I actually ended up rolling it once to make it a bit shorter.  The top was able to cover the roll.  It is a perfect option for work when not rolled down to wear with a sweater.

The booties are my most recent purchase from Macy’s.   I love that they are suede and have the hidden platform.  They are super comfy and the bottoms are rubber, which make them perfect for wearing to work.  I’ve wore then to almost everyday since I bought them.  The price online says $79.99, but they were on sale at the store and I was able to use a Macy’s coupon.  I ended up having to have them shipped to my house because they didn’t have my exact size at the store.  I ordered them Saturday (free shipping) and got them on Tuesday afternoon.  I guess I bought them blind size wise, but they ended up fitting perfectly.

 Pair the top, skirt, and booties, with a nice shinny pair of black tights.  I was going to go a bit bold and wear a pair or ox-blood colored tights, but I wasn’t feeling it when I got dressed.  I would have also added an necklace of some sort.  Maybe a bib or peter pan collar necklace.

I LOVE THIS!!  Source

<3 MK


DIY Earring Holder


Organized storage is important to me. I am one of those people that often forgets that I have something if I don’t see it.  I already have an awesome jewelry organizer for my earrings, but the little studs kept on getting lost along with the larger drop earrings.

I went on a search for something that would display the stud and not take up a lot of room.  Being minimalist, we don’t have anything out in the open cluttering up the bedroom.  I really liked some of the items that I saw in the store or online, but they weren’t  really my style and they would have to go on our dresser.  I didn’t want that kind of display so, as usual, I made the decision to make my own. 

Searching the web brought me here.  I liked that I could hang this in my closet and it wouldn’t take up much space. 

This past weekend Joann Fabric and Craft Store had a coupons for 20% your entire purchase as well as a 40% off one item.  They always have the 40% off one item online or in their circular, but the other coupon was an added bonus.   I was also able to use my teacher discount (15%), lucky me.

I bought 12 inches of black point d'esprit nylon that came to $1.66.  I liked the look of that instead of the regular lace because it was more modern and not ornate.  We're trying to showcase the earrings here, not the lace backing.  That was enough fabric that would allow me to make another holder for friends.  I also purchased two 7-inch embroidery hoops for $1.26 each and I saved a $1.00 off of those thanks to the coupons.

After taking apart the hoops, I spray painted the hoop black to match the black netting.  I already had the spray paint so that was free.   I didn’t spray the pin that screws together the two hoops.  I kept that to the side.

I then cut out the black point d’esprit to fit the hoop with excess on the side.  I doubled up the fabric to make it stronger for more earring.  I then put the hoops together and tightened with the screw.    Once it is completely tight and you cannot screw the pin any longer, pull the fabric from the sides so it is taught.
Finally, with fabric scissors, trim the edges around the entire hoop. 

Voila, you are done!

So easy and really quick.  I hung mine up on the wall in my closet.  I realized I have been choosing to wear the studs more now that I see them on display.

 Now I want more more stud earrings. :)

<3 MK


DIY Under Bed Boot (or shoe) Storage


My Kickin’ Boots Need a Home

I LOVE BOOTS!  Tall, ones, skinny ones, heeled ones, riding ones, black ones, brown ones.  I love them so much that when buying food, I often think which ones I would have bought if I didn’t need to buy food that week.  I love all eight pairs (booties don’t count) of them like they were my own child. 

Well, when you love boots, you tend to purchase them often.  When you purchase them, you need to store them.  That is where the problem lies.  Our town house does not have the most closet space.  Fall and winter clothes get stored in the office closet and when those bad boys get switched for the season, I am often wondering… Where do all the boots go?

In the past, I had kept the boxes and would stack them really high on the top of the closet.  That worked, but after the boxes falling down on me from the shelves, I wasn’t going to allow that to happen again this year.  

Last season, I put them all in a large plastic container and they didn’t store so well.  I thought that after I had solved the limp boot issue (see post here) that I could use the container again.  Well, I was wrong so I needed to come up with another plan.

Being the cheap  frugal genius I am, I came up with a master plan:

(Playing with my imaginative mustache)

 If the closet won’t work, then where else can my cherished boots go?  Hmmm.

Ah-HA! Under the bed!

But, the bed is very low and no matter what search term you try, all the storage boxes are too tall. 

(Playing with my mustache again)

If they wont make one for my treasured boots, than I shall make my own!

It didn’t really go down like that, but in my dramatic mind that was how I imagined it.   I set off to fashion a boot under bed storage system.  After much searching, I found flexible plastic storage for regular size shoes at Walmart.com.   I probably could have gone to store, but I wasn’t sure if they had them.  Calling would have probably been more effort than it needs to be.  So, I ordered them online and had them shipped site-to-store.  This was convenient because the place is right on my way home from work and I could pick up other items while I was there.

I ordered three of these guys because I figured I could always return one if I didn’t need it, but I ended up using them all; two for the boots and the final one for my scarf collection.  You’ll read about that obsession another time. 

The organizer was totally flimsy, but perfect for my situation with low 8 inch clearance under my bed.   I first tried to lay the boot in the bag (see above), but the dividers were somewhat of a hindrance to zippering the bag shut.  To solve that problem I got out my handy dandy scissors and began cutting.  I cut out the sections that weren’t doing anything but causing problems.  After cutting out the sections in t-shapes, I have space enough for four pairs of boots per container.  With the addition of my DIY boot shaper (see post here), the boots now had a home that was safe and secure under my bed.  Why didn’t I think of this before?

Shoe storage after I cut out three of the middle t-shaped sections

One pair of boots

Two pairs of boots

Three pairs of boots

Four pairs of boots

I also added self adhesive felt padding to the bottom so my wood flooring wouldn’t get scratched when I pulled them out. There is also a handle at each end to pull the storage out from under your bed.  

So, for about $15 bucks, I was able to give my prized boots a new home and a more convenient way to
access them, without any shelf-induced injuries!

<3 MK

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