Thursday, February 18, 2016

Fun Chalkboard Markers

I posted this on my quilty blog too, so if you read both, my apologies for boring you to death. :o)

Recently the folks at Chalkola contacted me about testing and reviewing their chalk markers.
Even though I'm not really a crafty person, these seemed like fun, so I agreed.
They sent me a set of regular markers, a set of jumbo window markers, and a packet of chalkboard labels.
Because I don't have young children, I was mostly drawn to the labels and the white chalkboard marker. Like a real chalkboard, but more permanent.

My first thought was "pantry"! There are 80 labels in a packet, so you can label a LOT of stuff with those. I tried it on two, mostly because I plan to replace my pantry storage with more attractive containers and didn't want to waste the labels.
I love the way it looks. I'm definitely motivated to go find new storage containers just so I can use the labels and the markers.
I noticed that they have a pack with only white markers and I may have to get me some of those.
Note that these markers really do only work on non-porous surfaces.

When we bought our house, we inherited black appliances which we haven't replaced yet, so I figured the black fridge was the perfect canvas to try the colored markers. More fun!
Maybe I can write a different little saying every morning...or just "Step away from the fridge, Fatty!".

I didn't quite know what to do with the jumbo markers although if you have small children or you're a teacher this could be a ton of fun. I applied my limited artistic talents to the sewing room window.
To test ease of cleanup, I left my scribbles on overnight. This morning the writing on the refrigerator just wiped off with a moist paper towel. I used Windex on the window and that came off easily too.
I did not test to see how easily this would wash out of clothes though.

A note: You need a little patience to get these going in the beginning, but once you're up and running, they are great. Be sure to follow the instructions on the back of the package.

All in all, these are great. I definitely think a couple of white ones are in my future.
I may also have to buy a white board so I can use the colored ones more.

Chalkola sent me a discount code just for my readers.
To get 20% OFF on Amazon.com - use code CHK20OFF “
And if you have Amazon Prime, FREE two day shipping.  Yay! I'm hopping on over there right now.

(Disclaimer: Even though I received free product for writing this review, all opinions expressed here are my own.)
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Friday, January 8, 2016

How to always have lemon juice on hand

If you're like me there is never a lemon in the house when a recipe calls for it.

Here's how I solved that problem.
1. Buy a pair of silicone ice cube trays. These make getting the frozen juice out SO much easier!

2.  Buy a bag of lemons from Costco. They were $7.49 for around 16 lemons. That's about $0.45 a lemon - cheaper than my grocery store, for sure. I actually think they're out of season right now and are even cheaper other times of the year.

3. Get juicing. My ice cube trays make cubes of about 2 tablespoons each. A lemon fills 2 cubes. Good to know for recipes.

4. Because the silicone trays are flexible, I put them on a cookie sheet and carefully slide them into the freezer.
5. When they're frozen, just pop them out and store them in a baggie (or other container) in the freezer, ready to be whipped out when needed in a recipe.
I also do this with limes.
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Friday, September 18, 2015

Guest Bedroom Update

Since my last post was about the guest bedroom, I thought I'd post a couple of other photos. I did halt that project in early June, just in time for my mom's visit, although I still have quite a bit to do as with most things around here.

Still need art above the bed. And could someone straighten that lamp please?
IMG_4470

IMG_4460

IMG_4450
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Sunday, June 7, 2015

Slow Progress

I've been working on the guest bedroom and bathroom the last couple of weeks and feel like I'm getting there.

My biggest problem seems to be "completing" a room. I get to where it's OK and I kind of like it but it just never really feels "done".

I did come up with this little vignette which I'm semi happy with.
Guest Room
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Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Rye Bread Experiment - Part 1

My mom is coming for an extended visit in a couple of weeks and has some issues with wheat (and yeast) - not a gluten allergy per se, but something along those lines.
At home she has been able to find a 100% sourdough rye bread at her local store but, even though I haven't really searched too much, I have a feeling it's going to be a little harder to find here in Iowa.
So...I decided to have a go at baking my own.

I have to confess that this is not really "Part 1", since there were 3 or 4 failed attempts at making a starter before I actually got this thing to grow. Operator error - water too cold, room too cold.
When I finally decided to use a thermometer and a scale, things went a lot more smoothly. I used a combination of instructions (and some of my own ideas) for this. We'll see how that works out.

This morning, after a couple of weeks of trial and error, I finally have a starter that seems ready to go.
One last feeding this morning. Tonight I'll start the bread making process.

This is the starter before the feeding. There are two lines on the jar. The bottom line marks where it started at the last feeding and the top line how it doubled since then.
Rye Starter
After this morning's feeding we are at the bottom line again and will, hopefully, be at the top line by tonight. I have two starters going right now because I'm worried that I'll ruin one and have to start over.
Rye Starter
If you're interested in the whole process, there a tons of websites out there explaining it all. It's a, quite confusing, multi-step adventure but, even though I haven't actually gotten to the point of baking a loaf of bread successfully, I feel like I'm getting the hang of the starter part.
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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Let the Decorating Begin!

I've been doing quite a bit of painting around the house with a LOT more to do.
The kitchen walls went from brown-ish to green, which I love, but the big green space above the sliding door is bothering me just a little bit.

Before paint (and furniture):
Kitchen Before Painting
After paint:
Kitchen After Painting
I'm trying to come up with something to break it up a little and this is my current idea:
Kitchen Decal Mock-up
Kitcen Decal Mock-up
It's a vinyl decal and I think it just may do the trick.

What do you think?

(Please ignore the big black blob in the kitchen. We'll be replacing it as soon as the sticker shock from all the other expenses we've had subsides.)
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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

New House

A lot has happened since my last post. A lot!

We moved to Iowa from the Seattle area and love our new house.
I can't wait to get to decorating.

It's a modern Prairie style home in the woods.
(The photos are from the real estate listing. I'm waiting for my new wide angle lens to arrive at which time I'll take "real" photos.)

Front
Back
Screened porch!
Porch furniture is being delivered on Thursday. Exciting!
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