Laundry Room Refresh Part 2


Back in September I posted about my laundry room update…Part 1.  Well, it took me some time to get to part two. Life tends to get in the way of all good project intentions.  After making the signs and doing all the work, I realized that there were a few more things that I wanted to do and we're on to Part 2. 

For the last few months I went out on a hunt for a few more items that had purpose and also had the look I wanted for the room.  I ended up making most of the items myself.  I added a valance, ironing board, and a new light fixture.

I made actually made the ironing board cover back in October.  I used the same fabric from the project for the valance over the window.  A full size board wasn't necessary since I rarely iron as we have a steamer.  It's hung on the wall with a hook that easily attaches to the built in hook on the ironing board.

I honestly wanted to purchase a window treatment, but never found what I liked, but making the valance was just too easy. I followed the tutorial from Life.Love.Larson. to aid me in the process, but I actually used my sewing machine instead of just using the ironing tape.  Either is a good option.  I ended up using the leftover fabric from the ironing board project.

The light fixture is my ultimate favorite item in the whole room…well, the washer and dryer are to be honest.  I have wanted a drum light fixture for a while, but didn’t have the need for one until the current fixture broke when changing the bulb. Oops!  I didn’t cry at all.  Score for me and fulfilling my need for a drum light fixture.  This Portfolio Chrome Pendant Light was on sale at Lowe’s for $98 and I used a coupon for 10% off. Winning!  I wish I could say that installed it, but I’ll give all the cred to Jeff.  I blame a bum shoulder as my excuse.

So, the room is complete until we make a counter to go over the washer and dryer.  It totally isn't a needed item, but if the granite matched the granite from the sink that is already in there…even better.  I know that is a long way in the future, but a girl can dream; anything to make doing the laundry a bit easier.

<3 mk


Slow Cooker Chipotle Pulled Pork


Slow cooker chipotle pulled pork soft taco
There is nothing better than having a meal ready at home after a long, hard day at work.  Slow cookers are truly the answer to having a meal almost completely cooked with minimal effort. 

With winter around the corner, the cold weather, and the short days, I have been using the slow cooker a lot more lately.  This recipe is super easy and very versatile for the type of dish you want to create or the items you already have in your house.  This smoky and spicy pork can be used in tacos, on top of salads, in a sandwich, topping rice and beans, in quesadillas, or simply by itself.  It’s delicious and pairs with a salty margarita perfectly. Yes, I know it isn’t margarita season, but who cares!

Slow Cooker Chipotle Pulled Pork

1 boneless pork shoulder (about 3 lbs), trimmed of fat
1 canned chipotle chilies, chopped (approx. 4 oz)
1 Tbsp brown sugar
3 cloves chopped garlic
¼ cup fresh lime juice
¼ cup water
¼ cup chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper
Package of taco seasoning

Line the slow cooker with the liner or spray with cooking spray if you do not have any liners. In a bowl, mix together the can chopped of chilies and liquids from the can, brown sugar, garlic, lime juice, water, and cilantro.  Rub salt, pepper, and half of the taco seasoning packet all over the pork shoulder and put into the slow cooker.  Pour the sauce mixture into the slow cooker.  

Cook on low heat for 7 to 8 hours.

Remove pork from the slow cooker and set in a shallow dish.  Cool pork slightly and then shred with two forks. 

Once pork is shredded, add some of the remaining cooking liquids and possibly some more of the taco seasoning to your taste liking.  Warning, taste the liquids left in the slow cooker cautiously as they can be extremely spicy.

After a hard day of working outside, this was so nice to come inside to and eat.  Jeff and I enjoyed ours on flour tortillas with some sharp cheese, fresh cilantro, squeeze of fresh lime juice, sliced avocado, and some more chipotle sauce.  Chipotle sauce is my favorite, I just couldn’t get enough.  The heat was intense, but the margarita just cooled it all down.

It was even better that the clean up was minimal because of the Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners.  Once all the cooking is done, just pull out the bag and throw it away.  Easy, peasy!


<3 mk


DIY Holiday Craft Decorations


The holiday season has begun!  Two weekends ago, the tree in our house went up and the decorating projects went into full swing.  Having a new house, it made me want to change things up a bit.  I chose to stick with the color scheme in the dining room and living room; black, white, royal blue, and silver/chrome.  Here are some of my favorite projects that I completed this year.

Ornamental Tree Branches

To start the decorating, the mantel has been dressed up again similar to the way it was last year with a few chrome updates.  Its amazing the way a simple can of spray paint can make anything seem fresh and new. My frugalness couldn't let the can go unused.  In came the ornamental tree branches.

This is so simple and extremely inexpensive.  Just cut or collect a few twigs from a tree.  Because of the time of year, they will be leafless and bug free.  I chose small branches that stretched out in many different directions and could hold an ornament. 

Spray paint the tree branches with whatever spray paint color of your choice.  I used the chrome spray paint and some black that I had on hand.  I used gloves and held the twigs up to spray paint over a tarp. Don't lay them on the tarp to dry because they will smug.  I stuck them directly in the ground and they dried easily.  Just make sure you do this on a dry day with some sun to ensure they dry quickly.

Ornamental tree branches in vase

When dry, take the twigs and arrange them in a vase of your choice.  I had a chrome decorative vase that was purchased at TJ Maxx many years back.  Hang some colored ornaments from the colored tree twigs and voila, done.

JOY Letters

I keep seeing words spelled out on people’s mantels and fell in love.  Our mantel is not capable of being so decorative because of the gigantic television over the top.  That didn’t mean I couldn't make the letters for other locations. 

The letters are super cheap and sold at craft stores in various materials and sizes.   My letters are about 8” tall and made of a hard hallow paper.  While I was spraying my ornamental tree branches, I also sprayed the letters.  Wanting some diversity with the letters, the “J” and the “Y” were sprayed chrome and the “O”, black.  The “J” got a decorative wired bow and the “Y” was covered with a piece of clear plastic patterned paper. A few dots or glue and the clear paper stuck on the letter easily. 

No matter what color, word, or decoration; this is an easy sure to please project that will last you for many years to come.

DIY Outdoor Lighted Christmas Tree

Another easy DIY project, but this one is for outside. Tree lights and a tomato cage are all you need.  I wish I could say that I thought this up myself but the idea came from here.  Surprisingly, the local store still had tomato cages and in a variety of colors, so obviously I chose red.

I actually wrapped the cage in just the lights in the beginning, but made the decision to use garland and then wrap the lights.  Use some zip ties to hold the garland in place as well as keep the tops together.

The tops tend to look a bit unfinished so you can use anything you have that you might top a tree with. Just remember it goes outside and will need to handle the elements.  I used a bow made of wired ribbon that I had from previous years holiday décor. 

Peacock Feather Door Wreath

This beauty was done a few years back after my wedding.  I had tons of peacock feathers left over from my summer wedding and couldn’t just not use them.  Peacock feathers have the most beautiful colors in them and should be displayed for all to see.

First, spray paint a foam wreath base with a color similar to the feathers; such as a dark gray.  Next, use a glue gun to attach the feathers from their quill or rachis (main shaft).  Make sure they all go in the same direction and layered so you can see the eye of each feather.  There is not a need to cover the back, but go into the inside and far enough of the back so there aren’t any blank spots.

Peacock feather door wreath
I love this wreathe so much that I just ordered more feathers to make a second matching one for the second door in my main entrance.  Please don’t purchase the feathers from a craft store.  They are insanely expensive and only come in small quantities.  Amazon sells them in large quantities for a fraction of the price.  Just be aware, if you don't buy using the prime shipping option, you’ll have to wait at least over a week and a half for them to ship to you. You can buy a set of 25 peacock feathers at amazon for $14

I definitely had done tons more projects for holiday décor, but these were for sure my top choices to share with you.  What kinds of holiday projects did you do this year?

<3 mk


DIY Pantry Shelf Liners

Self adhesive shelf liner
Do you have wire shelves in your pantry or any closet in your home?  Do those wire shelves have spaces that don’t really hold all your smaller items?  Yeah, me too.

I love our pantry.  It's what I have always wanted to store all the necessary dry and canned cooking items as well as cooking appliances.  It truly was one of the many reasons I wanted this house.  The only issue I had was with the wire shelving that was through the entire closet.  The wires allowed for small items and organizers like the one below to slip through.


A simple adhesive shelf liner was necessary, but not possible with the wire shelves.  A way to use the shelf liner was to create a base to wrap the liner.  Answer…foam board or cardboard boxes.

This self adhesive shelf liner came from amazon.  The chevron pattern had me as soon as I spotted it. There are also tons of other patterns in various colors. You can always go to your local store and purchase the average liner, but it truly won't be as cute as a popular chevron.

Cut a large box or foam board (display board) to the measured size of the space and then apply the liner after measuring so it will fold over the edges cleanly.  Two people are necessary if you want the shelf liner to adhere to the foam board/cardboard box without having wrinkles.

Super simple way to solve a little pantry problem and it looks pretty cute as well.

<3 mk


Merry Mantel


Fireplace mantel with spray painted chrome pinecones
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving break.  Now that the planning for one holiday is behind us, another one quickly approaches in three weeks.  Yes, THREE weeks!   I truly haven’t even started to shop yet, but I did get some decorating in this past Sunday after returning home. It was a good feeling to get it done so I can move on to bigger projects like figuring out what to buy everyone for the holidays.

The mantel in the house sometimes gets more attention than the tree.  That truly is the situation in my house because the television is on top and the fireplace is on the bottom.  There isn’t much wiggle room for décor, but I manage to get more in than I did last year.

Last year a quick and easy project was to spray paint pinecones with white, gray, and black spray paint; cheap, easy, and festive.  They were layered with votive candles and the holiday stockings.  I thought it was a little weak, so this year I spruced it up by taking pinecones that I already had and spray-painted them a chrome finish.  The finished products turned out to be way better than expected. I layered the old and new pinecones with a string of garland, white rope lighting, new holiday stockings (bought at TJ Maxx), and a few faux votive candles in blue.  I also rescued a secret Santa metal tree from a few years back that I absolutely loathed by spray painting it chrome allowing it to be less terrible than it was. Add the fire and the mantel is done.

If you look at the pictures you’ll notice the pussy willows also go dressed up with some blue balls…am I the only one laughing?  The JOY sign was also a part of the chrome spray paint party, but I'm not totally happy with the outcome so they will have a facelift soon.  That project will be coming soon.

However you dress up your mantel, it will be merry.   How are you decorating your mantel this year?

<3 mk

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