For Chic's Sake's "Dress Your Tech" Printables

Yesterday on Pinterested I saw one of my friends repinning these printable iPhone stickers from For Chic Sake and I was ALL OVER THAT.  You might remember awhile back that I bought a clear iPhone case and made a whole bunch of personalized paper inserts.  Thanks to For Chic Sake, I have also personalized my charger AND the front of my phone!

You can download For Chic Sake's printable by clicking the link above (the link labeled For Chic Sake- we keep it simple over here) and instructions for editing the monograms are right in the PDF.  You need a full sheet printable label- no address labels or shipping labels.  Once you edit and print, just cut out the labels you want and stick them on!

If you have problems printing, you may have to print from a screencap in another program.  Looking at the comments section, it seems to be hit or miss on printer errors.

There are MANY different styles to choose from.  I chose this pretty anchor monogram design for my charger:

And I chose a pink home button with a simple monogram (there is a fancy monogram, along with a whole bunch of other colors!).  It IS tricky cutting a circle that is so small, but I can always try again and replace this one.  It's just a sticker :)

I thought the pink and white of that home button monogram complimented one of my sleeves quite nicely!


Inexpensive DIY Carpet to Wood Stairs

Guess what?  We're moving!  The military is PCSing us once again and first the first time, we are homeowners.  We have some time, and I spent some of that time cleaning the carpets to get the house ready for real estate photos.

One thing I gave up on cleaning was this staircase.  It faces the door to the garage, so any time anyone comes in from the garage, their dirty shoes get all over this carpeted staircase.  I don't know what we were thinking putting carpet here!

Home prices just aren't what they used to be, so while I want my house to look as good as possible, I also don't want to put a lot of money into it.  I pulled off a DIY renovation all by myself for $39!

Dark, glossy paint:  $12
Macademia paint:  $12
Pry Bar:  $7
Make it Last!:  $4
Paint Brush:  $5
Caulk and caulk gun: on hand, but around $3 for caulk and $6 for gun at Lowe's
Pliers: On hand, but around $4 at Lowe's
Sander: On hand, but around $40 at Lowe's
Hammer:  On hand, but around $6 at Lowe's
{Yes, I realize there are 5 items you need to have on hand to stay at $39.  Or, maybe you have them plus a paintbrush and a pry bar and your total will be even less!}

Step:  The flat part of the stair.  The part you step on.  The part that is dark and shiny in the final photo.
Riser:  The back of the stairs.  The vertical part in between each step.  The part painted tan in the final photo.

My two year old was "helping" :) <3

First things first.  Pry up that nasty carpet and see what we're dealing with.  Just grip the corner with the pliers and pull.   You should be able to pull it with your hands after the initial pull.

So what do we have?  Well, gaps in the wall, for one thing.  We have the carpet pad (green) and the tack bars (the wooden strips with red striping and nails sticking up).  You'll also notice that despite being covered, my stairs were textured and painted like my walls.  Score!

Prying up the carpet pad and staples is easy.  Just rip up the pad and then remove the staples with your pliers.

For the tack bar, use your pry bar to dig under the strip of wood and lever it off.  It should have nails evenly spaced- mine had about 4 per staircase width- you can remove those with a hammer after the strip is up.

I don't have photos for these next to steps.

First, take your caulk and fill in any gaps.  ABOUT CAULK:  Do NOT use silicone caulk.  You can't paint over it.

Once your caulk is dry, sand the whole staircase.  It's a pain but you don't have to do much.

Ok, back to the (blurry) photos.

Tape off the wall, the risers, basically everything around the step that you might accidentally get paint on.  This is the part I painted a dark, glossy color.  If this is your only way out of the house, do every other step and wait for them to dry before doing the opposite steps.

Once that's dry, tape off the steps above and below the risers.  I did not tape the walls since I was using the same color as my walls.  Paint your risers and let dry.

Once everything is dry, spray with Make it Last! in a fine but even mist.  That dries very quickly.

Lastly, enjoy your brand new, vacuum-free staircase!


Easy Pillowcase Pajama Re-do

Back in June, I posted about how I adapted the ubiquitous children's pillowcase dress pattern into an adult's nightgown.  I still adore those nightgowns that I had made, but I wanted to make a few more and I wanted to add something to it- probably because it is so easy to sew that it takes me less than 15 minutes to measure, cut, sew, and finish up these days.

The only thing I could think of was to add a ruffled hem.  I love how it came out!

My fabrics are knit- the body is a spandex knit and I'm not sure about the solid colored fabric; just that it's a knit.

As usual, I cut two rectangles, then cut armholes, sewed seams in the armholes, and then folded down the front and back to sew the tube for the shoulder sash.

The shoulder sash is made by sewing a strip of fabric into a tube- nothing fancy.

The hem is made by taking two long strips of fabric.  I set my machine to a tension of 4/5 and the longest stitch possible.  Do NOT backtract to lock your stitch- just sew from end to end and then pull on the threads that allow your fabric to ruffle.  At each end one thread will work and one won't so it's pretty easy to figure out :) Move the fabric along the thread you are holding and it will ruffle.  I like to ruffle it as tight as possible and then lay it on top of what I will be sewing it to and un-ruffling until it's the right length.

I sewed the ruffle to the body before the two rectangles of the body were sewn together.  I just pin the ruffled hem to the bottom- right sides together- sew it, and when you flip the hem back down, voila, ruffles!


WAHMs That I Love: The Coconut Crush

Welcome to a new blog feature!  While I have reviewed lots of things on this blog, I want to specifically focus on WAHMs (Work At Home Moms) a bit.  WAHMs are inspiring.  They are juggling everything that a SAHM (Stay at Home Mom) juggles, PLUS they are running a business!  I barely consider my jewelry/keychain to qualify here- some of these moms are AMAZING and making their own living doing what they love and doing it at home!

The Review Disclaimer:  Neither myself nor my blog benefit in any way from any business or any review written.  I didn't put ads on this blog.  I don't get products or services with the intent of writing a review.  If I like something, I spread the word, and the only benefit for myself is if someone happens to stumble on the review and then decides to follow my blog (I'm always so honored when that happens!).

Now that that's out of the way, let's talk about The Coconut Crush!

Liana is a WAHM with four children.  She's also local to me!  Through some chitchat on a lifestyle forum we realized we were nearly neighbors, and I also realized how bad that could be for my wallet when Liana told me she makes candles, wax tarts, wool wash, soaps, and all manner of yummy smelling things!  She has made over 1000 batches of soap- can you imagine how heavenly her house must smell??!

I am not on the Scentsy craze.  Honestly, the pushiness of the sellers I have encountered makes me go out of my way to NOT support Scentsy.  However, the first time I tried a Better Homes & Gardens tart from Walmart, I was coughing and airing out the house for almost a week.  It was awful.

I purchased a few sets of wax tarts from Liana and have been nothing but thrilled with them.  My favorite scent, Rainbow Farting Unicorns, smells just like Skittles and it makes me drool.  When I have Almond Cherry Vanilla in there, it completely takes me back to my childhood.  Black Raspberry Vanilla almost always leads to someone asking what I'm baking.  Plus, I have not coughed, gotten a headache, or had to air out the house with these!

Liana also makes some wonderfully adorable soaps.  Seriously, you'll want to eat these.  How cute are they?

Monkey Farts, Creamsicle, and Green Apple

One of Liana's daughters is dabbling in the WAH business with these adorable survival bracelets.  Hey, gotta keep those kids busy during the summer!

$6 each or 3 for $15!  Who needs stocking stuffers?  I know what I'm getting my hard-to-shop-for  brother-in law!

Liana's prices are incredibly affordable and I've seen at least one giveaway on her Facebook page recently.  I highly recommend you check her out!

You can find Liana's products at http://www.thecoconutcrush.com/ and also please "Like" her on Facebook here to keep up with products & giveaways.  You can also check her stuff out in person on September 7th at the Lot on East Charleston Blvd. in Las Vegas from 6-11pm (along with food, live entertainment, and tons of vendors!).  Go say "Hi!" and smell some of the delicious waxy goodness that she has for sale!


DIY Bow Back T-shirt Refashion

This is a pretty simple refashion, just takes some time.

First take your t-shirt, cut it up the back, fold it over, and sew the seam.

Next, you need to make bows.  Cut 6 rectangles (or however many you personally want) that are 7" x 8.5". The 7" is vertical, 8.5" is the horizontal side.  With right sides together, sew them into a tube, leaving one side open.  Turn them right side out and pin and sew down the side you left open.

For the bow's center, cut strips that are 3" long x 2" wide.  With wrong side up, pin over and sew down the tiniest hem you can possibly sew without eating your material.  Now, put wrong sides together again so your two vertical ends are touching, sew them together, and flip right side out so that you have a tube.

Fold your bow like it's an accordion and slip the center piece onto it.  Adjust & ruffle your bow as needed.

Pin the bows to the back of the shirt- end of the bow to the INSIDE- and sew down.

Remove pins and show off!

So this is the back:

And front- you won't see anything but black til I turn around!  That bow is just peeking out because the scoop neck is low in the front.


Red Velvet Cream Sandwich Cookies

The military is throwing us a curve ball and as usual, my diet suffered and I baked to eat my feelings.

We're ok.  An upside is that I discovered this awesome cookie recipe.  Silver linings, right?

Red Velvet Cream Sandwich Cookies- adapted from a Duncan Hines box.

1 box of Red Velvet Cake Mix
2 Eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup of butter, melted & cooled

1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup Crisco
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (clear vanilla extract is preferred here, but not mandatory)
1/4 cup butter
1/8 cup of milk

To make:

Melt butter and let it cool for a few minutes.  Add all cake ingredients to a bowl and mix by hand until well mixed.  Put in the fridge while you pre-heat your oven to 350.  Place rounded scoops onto a cold baking sheet and bake for 17 minutes or until done- you know your oven better than me!

Let cookies cool.

For the frosting, put all ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix with the paddle attachment until it has the consistency and taste of frosting.  Not very specific, I know.  If you've made it before, you know, and if you haven't, you'll see very quick. Besides, taste testing frosting isn't exactly a bad instruction, right? :)

Use a butter knife to spread frosting on 1/2 of the cookies and top with the other half of your cookies for sandwiches.



Easy Fabric Book Holder

This project was very easy!

Felt- 1 yard for about $1 at Michael's with coupon
Double Curtain Rod-  $3.96 at Target

About 1/4 of the felt, cut horizontally, was then folded around the rods to measure how big the rod pocket needed to be.  Using Tacky Glue, I created the rod pocket, slipped the rods through after it dried, hung the brackets, and installed the rods.

My son loves arranging his books and I have so much left over fabric that I'm going to make another one underneath the first!


TrashN2Tees: Create Change on Kickstarter

Last week I took my son to Springs Preserve in Las Vegas.  They have a room called the Sustainability Room, with many fun features about composting, gas usage, water usage, kitchen recycling, and more.

When you walk in, the first thing you see is this.

Then you look to your right and learn about the Las Vegas Landfill.

That's quite a bit of trash.  Scary, right?

What if you had instructions at your fingertips for ways to reuse and recycle, rather than add more tons of trash to your landfill?

"A free app that will give you inspiration and know how to repurpose items that we otherwise would throw away... into our landfills."

How many things have you seen re-purposed on Pinterest and wondered just how some people can be so creative?  Do you need inspiration to make a change in your environmental footprint?

"Create Change makes it fun & easy. With innovative DIY tutorials accessible at your fingertips, you'll be able to find inspiration wherever trash happens."

Check it out!

TrashN2Tees: Create Change on Kickstarter


Hand Stamped Silver Jewelry- my little (former) business

Awhile back, I wanted a hand stamped silver charm with my son's birthstone and some sort of saying that summed up our infertility journey.  I found the perfect charm...for $75.  For SILVER.  I could never pull the trigger on that purchase and wondered how much it REALLY cost to make.  Very quickly, I found out the answer was both "a bit" and "not so much!"

"A bit"- start up costs.  A font can be anywhere from $25-168.  You also need a steel block with a rubber base, a good sturdy hammer, a sharpee, blank charms, a punch, jump rings, sodering tools, number fonts if necessary ($30+), decorative stamps ($9+ each), birthstones (varies, I paid around 50cents/swarovski and around $1/pearl), pretty pouches, and a dapping block.

You can get a lot of this at Michael's these days and use the 40% off coupons at will.  I mostly had to make due with online retailers and the heavy cost of shipping metal items.

All of these supplies except for the hammer live in a small drawer in my kitchen island.  The hammer lives in hubby's tool box :)

"Not so much!"- A 1" silver blank costs me 65cents.  I already own all the tools.  I'm still good on birthstone gems, but as I stated above, the most expensive ones were $1 each.  I also got into making stamped washer keychains for daddy gifts, and those cost literally pennies at Lowes for the washers and under $3 for a good sized pack of keyrings at Michaels- plus coupon discounts! :)

So, I got all my supplies, cracked out a bunch for my friends at around $10-15 shipped, and make back my money in start up costs.  That gave me a lot of practice, it gave them a great price on a lovely item for themselves or gifts, so everybody wins.

Next, I opened up a shop.  Very quickly, this sweet article appeared about my jewelery.

Screenshot of article- links won't work, sorry! :)

I had many orders and lots of fun, but hand stamping isn't easy.  Lining up each letter or number one by one, keeping them straight but on a curve...oy.  That must be where the massive retail price increase comes from!

Eventually I closed up shop and just make them as gifts, or by request for a small fee (basically materials + shipping).

Here's a look at some of my designs!

anniversary/wedding gift

Name + birthstone + small circle

birthstone of 3 grandchildren

Name + Birthstone + Small Heart

Child love + birthstone

Eventually, I branched out a bit into these items:

Photo charm- materials = another start up cost!

Daddy key rings- washers with names & We <3 Daddy, World's Best Dad, etc.

Birds Nests- pearls for # of children, or # of babies that did not make it (unhatched eggs)

Mommy charm with bird nest representing the number of children

I still do these by request, and I have a gallery of TONS of other charms and keychains I have made...all sorts of shapes, sizes, and occasions.  I love how creative my customers have been!


18" doll outfit

I've been scarce lately, and it's not because I've been busy, sadly.  I've just been blah.  I decided to take on a real project involving a pattern and pressing seams and all that jazz.  I found this Simplicity 18" Doll Clothes pattern for 99 cents at Walmart.  I had a pack of fat quarters that coordinate (or so it claims...the pants are quite something!) that has been sitting here for over 2 years, so in about 2-3 hours this afternoon...


Next I'm working on a little tiered dress with a matching purse (from different fabric, don't worry!) and hunting around for patterns a tad bit easier!


Sneaky Toddler Muffins

My toddler is a decent eater, but he could always use more fruits and veggies.  Everyone could, really!  These muffins have carrots, banana, and squash in them and with the pumpkin pie spice, they smell (and taste) delicious!

recipe is slightly adapted from All Recipes.


1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large mashed bananas
1 container of baby food squash
1 cup of grated carrots
2 eggs
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup traditional oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375.  Fill muffin tins with paper liners.

Cream butter and brown sugar.  Add in bananas, squash, carrots, and eggs.  Stir in flour, oats, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.

Using a soup ladle unless you have another way you like minimizing batter-mess, fill muffin papers about 1/2-3/4 full.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.  Let cool before giving to children!