Easy Glitter Dipped Mugs

You'll never believe how easy these are to make!

The Secret to Better Tasting Coffee

Make better tasting coffee - no sugary syrups required!

DIY Pretend Doctor Kit

Make a functional pretend doctor kit for your favorite little ones.

Farm Girl Apron Tutorial

Turn old jeans into a cute gardening apron with this tutorial.

Wine Cork Pendants

Turn used wine corks into cute charms.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

How to Make a "Be Creative" Pallet Sign



I'm about 90% of the way done with getting my home office / studio / craft room put together. If you'll recall from the "Great Big Before" tour the room looked like this:

And now (at least the wall by my desk) looks like this:


SO MUCH better! I removed the wallpaper border, painted the walls with my favorite zero-VOC paint from Colorhouse in the Bisque.02 color and got my desk put together. I'm planning on writing more about how I put my office together later - for now I want to teach you about my awesome sign.

It was inspired by a set of printables available form The Girl Creative and turned my vision into something more 3-D and more farmhousey. I love it above my desk! 

Here's how to make it:


Supplies

  • 30" x 11.5" white pallet board
  • 4" tall paper mache letters (the 'b' is 4" tall, the 'e' is 2.5" for reference)
  • Cursive chipboard letters
  • Martha Stewart Craft Paint in:
    • Wedding Cake (white)
    • Amaranth (pink)
    • Habeñero (red)
    • Marmalade (orange)
    • Chamomile (yellow)
    • Pea Shoot (green)
    • Beach Glass (blue/green)
    • Pond (blue)
    • Purple Yam (purple)
    • Gold metallic 
  • Paint brushes
  • Push Pins
  • Yard stick
  • High temp hot glue gun (this is the gun I use)
  • Professional strength hot glue
Some of the links in my supply lists may be affiliate links. All of my supplies except the Martha Stewart Paint and Hot Glue Gun came from Craft Warehouse, a local craft chain in the Pacific Northwest.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

How to Cook Dry Beans in a Slow Cooker



We eat a lot of black beans in our house.  For a while, I was making this black bean soup about twice a month, and I had to buy two cans of black beans and two cans of beef broth, and it was getting really expensive (Okay, okay, not really expensive. It certainly wasn't like eating steak for dinner every night, but for my tiny grocery budget, it felt expensive).  Also, my husband insists that the soup is perfection when eaten with tortilla chips, so suddenly I was buying 5 things specifically to put in this one soup.  I decided there had to be a cheaper way to get the black beans.

Thankfully, there is!  Making your own black beans is incredibly simply, and extremely cheap. They take a few hours to cook, but if you own a crockpot, they are the simplest things to make, and the flavor is amazing! Way better and fresher tasting than your standard canned black beans.  Plus, this recipe yields about 6 cups, which is enough to make a few recipes.

If you have more than you can use in a week, you can freeze the cooked beans in the freezer for up to two months.  What are you waiting for?  Make these super delicious, very easy black beans!  Then you can make this fabulous black bean soup every month like me! Trust me, it's amazing.  

Saturday, January 30, 2016

How to Pack a Mason Jar Salad like a Pro - and Homemade Ranch Dressing Recipe

This post was created in collaboration with Stonyfield and Ball Canning Jars



Have you noticed the mason jar salad trend yet? Okay, of course you've noticed the mason jar salad trend! I mean, have you been on Pinterest at all in the last year?


Ha! That e-card makes me laugh. But in case you have either been living under a rock OR you've noticed this trend but have yet to try it let me help you out. Give me 5 more minutes of your time and soon you will be mason jar packing with the pros! Ready? Let's go:


Why pack salad in jars

 There are 4 main reasons I think packing salad in jars is genius:

1) You fit a TON of salad in a quart size mason jar - like a whole dinner plate full.

2) Mason jars are abundant, inexpensive and easy to wash (unlike plastic boxes which slowly warp and degrade in your dishwasher)

3) NO SOGGY SALAD! If you've ever packed a salad in a box, you may have ended up with a soggy salad by lunch time. Or you had to skip all the fun toppings - not so with mason jars.

4) Pack lots of salads several days ahead. Following this method will let you pack up to a week worth of salad all at once so that your lunch prep is done and you're ready to go all week long!

Friday, January 29, 2016

{Kids Craft} Make Love Bugs for Valentine's Day with Recycled Paper Cups



While unpacking at The Farmhouse, I found a sleeve of red paper cups. I can't remember why I had them or what I bought them for. To make things worse, they were a little squished and most of them wouldn't do a great job holding liquids without leaking. When my son asked if we could have a crafts day (yes! The answer is always yes.), I pulled the cups out and had fun making love bugs with him. 

These are a great "free choice" craft to do with kids - just set out the supplies and let them come up with their own version. I made the "Queen" love bug on the right but my son made a small army of "ladybugs" with big black pom poms on their backs.  This is also a great way to use up party supply leftovers!

Here are the instructions for how to make the queen:

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Easy Valentine's Day Jar Candle Holder



I'm slowly plugging away decorating the mantle in the The Farmhouse. It started with my "I Love You to the Moon and Back"  rustic picture frame and is slowly growing from there. Right now I have a huge mirror and three picture frame and thought I needed to a add a jar with a candle. When I was at IKEA last week, I saw this Ensidig fat glass vase and decided it would be perfect! Some lima beans, a doily, baker's twine mixed in and five minutes later I had a pretty candle holder! Here's how to make it:


Supplies

Some of the links in my supply lists may be affiliate links. 

Monday, January 25, 2016

How to Make a Rustic Farmhouse Style Distressed Frame with a Faux Pallet


On a recent trip to my local craft store, I fell in love with a premade pallet-style board and decided to turn it into a frame to use in The Farmhouse. I love the rustic feel of the pallet and the chippy, distressed look of the little frame. The whole thing oozes "modern farmhouse chic" - which is the style we're using for our new house. I absolutely love it!

You can pick up everything you need for this craft at Craft Warehouse (a Pacific Northwest craft chain). For the rest of you, check out Hobby Lobby (which, as far as I can tell, carries similar items). I've included links below for similar items I found on Amazon and other retailers.

Supplies

Some of the links in my supply lists may be affiliate links. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

{Recipe} Honey Dijon Roasted Chicken with Herbed Potatoes




If you need an easy weeknight dinner that doesn't make a big mess, this recipe is for you! Make the marinade and add the chicken - keep it in the fridge until you're ready to go (for up to a week!). Because you roast the potatoes in the same pan, there is less mess to clean up. Steam some green beans on the stove or in the microwave for an easy vegetable to round out the meal.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Help! My Chalk Paint Isn't Sticking! (and what to do about it!)



I love Chalk Paint from Annie Sloan. It's a low VOC paint with almost no odor and BEST of all? No prep needed! That means 99.9% of the time, you don't have to sand, remove the previous finish, prime or any of that stuff I hate doing. 

This dresser-turned-sideboard project? No prep! I just painted it. LOVE IT.

But what if your project is in the the .1% of projects when the paint just won't stick?

I recently decided our second hand entertainment center would look a bajillion times better if it were white. So I whipped out my Annie Sloan paint in pure white and started painting. My husband was home at the time and looked at me like I was crazy.

What are you doing?

Don't you think it would look so much nicer if it were white? Plus it fits our "modern farmhouse" style better.

Don't you need to sand it first?

Nope! At that point, he may have gotten a mini-lecture about how amazing chalk paint is - in large part because I DON'T have to sand it. And "trust me. I know what I'm doing."

Everything was going great. The top and fronts painted beautifully....

But then I got to the back and this happened:

And the backs of the cubbies did this:

YIKES!

The good news: It's totally fixable! Really! 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

{Recipe} Easy Roasted Red Pepper Soup



I make a lot of soup.  Soup is my go-to on cold days, hot days, or days when I am trying to stay within my grocery budget.  I particularly love a good pureed soup.  The flavors meld together so well, and the texture is velvety smooth after blending.  Also, a pureed soup coats a piece of dipping bread so evenly.  It is just divine!

This roasted red pepper soup is one of the finest soups that I have created in a while.  There is a rich, warm, almost sweet flavor from the roasted peppers and carrots, that is nicely balanced by the drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of salty parmesan.  It is delicious.  

My last post was all about how to easily make your own roasted red peppers, so if you are feeling ambitious, you can make your own roasted peppers to put in this soup.  If you are not up to that, just buy yourself a nice jar of roasted red peppers.  It might not be as satisfying as making your own, but they will work just fine.  

This recipe will help you stick to your New Year's healthy eating resolutions, while still delivering a delicious flavor.  

Monday, January 11, 2016

Four Reasons Why You Absolutely Must Ditch Your Non-Stick Cookware This Year


I have a confession to make.

I've been cooking on non-stick cookware for years and have only recently gotten really serious about getting it out of my house. Like, until three weeks ago. But the things I've learned in the last two weeks about nonstick cookware have bothered me. A lot. Enough that it got me out of bed in the middle of the night (it's 1:00AM!) to tell you: You need to get rid of yours, too.

For the last several years, if you would have asked me about buying cookware, I would have told you that nonstick is bad for you: choose stainless steel or cast iron. I would have told you that because it's true. While telling you this, though, at home I owned stainless steel and cast iron pots and pans - and also quite the collection of nonstick cookware. I felt guilty every time I used it but I used it nonetheless.

A decade ago, before I knew any better, I used cheap non-stick pans from Walmart. Then I sold Pampered Chef. During my five years as a Pampered Chef consultant, I amassed quite the collection of very high end non-stick cookware through winning contests, earning pieces during consultant promotions - to the tune of about $1000 worth of fancy cookware. 

When I was a Pampered Chef consultant, something my cousin said to me at one of the cooking show demos she attended was "I don't want to cook on chemicals." She'd asked about pots and pans and I told her about the "super awesome" nonstick cookware and that was her response. At the time, I really believed these items, made with DuPont's Autograph 2 coating, were safe - and that's what I told my friends, family and cooking show guests. Her statement, though, still haunts me. I wish I'd known better and looked into the issue more closely at the time instead of writing it off as another of her eccentricities.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Organize Your Make-Up and Brushes with This Easy IKEA Hack



Hi, everybody! I'm Paige from Little Nostalgia and, first of all, Happy 2016! Even if being more organized isn't one of my "official" resolutions, I like to kick off a new year with a couple of decluttering projects. We always have a bunch of extra stuff to put away after the holidays (hello, gifts!), so this is a good time to lighten the load. I was getting ready for the day recently and realized, my god, I need a new makeup system, and I should probably throw away some of this sparkly nail polish I haven't worn since college. Thankfully, IKEA had my back. This isn't really a DIY project so much as it is putting things into other things, but that just makes it an easy first task of 2016. Let's roll.