Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Brownie Batter Ice Cream

Hey there!!
So I know I said today would be the day I post about my DIY bench, but it still isn't done yet...but it is coming, I promise!! :)
In the meantime, I thought I would share a recipe that my hubby found online from TastyKitchen.com and it is delicious!! We use our ice cream maker to mix up the ingredients but you might be able to just use a mixer and freeze the ingredients.
Anyways, here are the instructions if you are interested in trying this out! It won't disappoint!


  • 2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1 cup Whole Milk
  • ½ cups Granulated Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • ¼ cups Cocoa Powder (good Quality)
  • 1-¼ cup Dry Brownie Mix

Preparation Instructions

A few hours in advance, place the ice cream maker bowl and paddle into the freezer to completely freeze.
In a large bowl or measuring cup, stir all ingredients together until combined. I used a whisk to ensure everything was thoroughly combined. Cover and refrigerate 1-2 hours.
Place the frozen ice cream bowl and paddle onto the machine and cover with the clear lid. Turn the machine on and pour the ice cream base through the top of the machine into the moving bowl.
Churn 15-20 minutes until frozen and smooth. Eat as is or scoop into a large tupperware container, cover and freeze.
Store in the freezer until ready to serve.

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Random Progress and Things

Hello, hello and happy Monday!
Did you all have a good Thanksgiving?
My family and I really did have a good Thanksgiving.
Since we weren't able to drive to Florida this year to visit with family, we had our first Thanksgiving at home and celebrated with friends from our church.
 I cooked a delicious turkey (my very first one!), home-made stuffing, and home-made mashed potatoes!! Yum!!! :)
Our friends brought some sides and dessert and we just had a wonderful time talking and eating....and eating some more. ;)
image source
 I did take some pictures of my first turkey (cause I'm weird like that) but the image above isn't my turkey...just an F.Y.I.

Well, I do want to share a couple more pictures of my storage bench project and not talk about turkey all day as well as show you some pictures of our decor around the house in progress...so here we go!

I primed and painted the bench white and did a few coats and let dry.

I still have to make a pillow seat cushion and have already bought the foam at JoAnn's for 60% off!!
I will try and post more pictures of our bench with the baskets in place by tomorrow if time allows. :)

And here is our house decorated for Christmas.
We have the tree up with silver and blue ornaments but I haven't taken more pictures of the tree since these last ones were taken.


And in our breakfast nook, I have a tree up with ornaments. I have since added some leaves and more ornaments, but once again, I need to take more pictures and post them.
Also, I purchased some foam for the breakfast bench and some charcoal chevron fabric so once that is put together, I will post some pictures of our new nook.
 So there you have it...a few more pictures I was able to get uploaded this weekend of our house.
I know I still need to post pictures of the DIY storage bench but things have been a little busy around here so I will see what I can do.
Have you started decorating for Christmas yet?
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Putting The Bench Together--The Process

Hello, hello!
Happy Tuesday everyone!
I am back with more updates on our bench.
It is finally put together and just needs a few little touch-ups and paint and it's ready to go in the loft.
I have some pictures of the process as it continues and hope to have pictures soon after the bench is painted.
Some of the holes were drilled too far into the wood so I had to add an extra nail to reinforce the bench.


Once the nails were in place at the bottom of the bench, I flipped over the bench so I could start on the top.

Here is a picture I took before the holes were drilled for the nails but I wanted to see what the overall bench would look like so I placed the long board on the top of the bench and took a quick picture.


As you can see, the toy boxes fit perfectly inside of the bench. I wanted a little extra height at the top so the bench measured about 14" high and figured having that extra room at the top of the toy box would be good in case we get bigger storage bins in the future.

This is the fabric I am thinking of using when I make a cushion for the bench.
That will come in the future because I need to buy the foam/cushion first.

And here is a picture of the top of the bench with the nails in place.
After some touch-up and paint, you won't see the nails as much and once the seat cushion goes on, they won't be visible at all.

Another picture of one of the nails that didn't take well so I had to add an extra nail next to it so the bench would hold.
This bench is pretty sturdy thanks to the wood and the nails!
I can't wait to paint it and get it up in the loft for our little ones to play.  :)
Stay tuned for more and thanks for stopping by!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Project Sneaky Peek: DIY Shelves/Seat

Happy Monday everyone!
I hope you had a nice relaxing weekend and are looking forward to Thanksgiving this week! We will be having friends over to our house for dinner and socializing and are really looking forward to it. It will be a sweet time of fellowship. :)
This week, I plan on getting a shelf made for my girls as a place to store their toys and read stories together. I am really excited about it because it's another building project I am completing and am stoked about how it will look as a final result.
Over the weekend, our family and I went to Home Depot again to purchase some supplies, including wood. And can I just say that it is much cheaper to build something on your own....PLUS, there is always the satisfaction of completing a project by yourself that you just can't beat!
So my hubby helped me with the measurements and the lifting of the wood and we took our supplies home.
I have some pictures to show you of what we ended up getting and how it will come together. I hope to be finished with this project in the next couple of days....well, semi-finished because I still need to make a seat cover for the bench but that might come a bit later in the next few weeks.
Okay, so this is before measuring, but hopefully you get the idea of what I am trying to build.
Each box/insert will be about a foot wide and 13" high. That will make the total height of the bench, from top to bottom, about 14" which is what I was going for when thinking about the design.

As you can see in the above photo, the boxes aren't even yet, but next came the measuring.
I just wanted to set the bench up a little bit before measuring.


I marked out with a pencil a rough line of where each board would sit and then went over that with a marker once I had the correct measurements I needed.

This ruler helped a little bit more because I wanted each set to be roughly a foot long/wide.

And I used our leveler to make sure each board would be even before pre-drilling the holes in the wood.
To give you an idea of what we had cut at Home Depot, here is the list:
1. We got 2 8 foot boards cut to a 6 foot length
2. We took another 8 foot board and had it cut into 7 thirteen inch long boards (these were what would go in between the long 6 foot boards for support).
3. Home Depot cut the boards for us for free and that saved a little bit.  :)
The total for boards, nails, and paint (already had on hand) came to just under $35!!
That is not that bad for a nice bench for my daughters considering the fact that a lot of pre-made shelves cost over $45 to $50.
And it's always fun to make things!!!
Please stay tuned for more about the bench in the next few days!!
Home Stories A2Z
As always, thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Ikea Trip

I have been talking about IKEA for a week now and know it must sound like it will never end, but it will...at least I think so. HEHE!
In any case, I did want to share some pictures from my IKEA trip last weekend because there were so many great things there that my friend and I found as we shopped.

I love taking pictures of different places I've been and that includes huge warehouses like IKEA! HA!
So I fell in LOVE with this gray wing-back chair and the Christmas tree behind it (pictured above). I didn't purchase the chair nor the Christmas tree, but I did take a few seconds to snap a picture of them for ideas in the future.
Have you noticed that gray seems to be more in now than ever?! I kind of thought it was just a phase in the design world, but it seems to be taking over and going strong as a neutral color. I must admit, I was skeptical at first about the color, but I find myself purchasing gray fabric and paints for our home now.  :)

And why didn't I see this bookshelf online before I went to IKEA? I don't know why, but I thought that $30 was a great deal for bookshelves like the one pictured above.
 I plan on building a similar one for my daughter's upstairs in our loft and am hoping I can get all of the wood for under $30. We shall see!!

I just snapped a photo of these bookshelves for more inspiration for when I build one! They are Lack shelves and came at a reasonable price.

And I really loved this table and the way it was set so I had to take 3 pictures of it. :)

I really like the simple white plates with the glassware. It's so clean and elegant!!

I really, really wanted to find this gray table runner for our dining table (there I go again talking about the color gray- it just works with so much!) 
Since I couldn't find it in the store, I figure I could always make one similar to this out of fabric from JoAnn's or something. But it sure is gorgeous!!
Have you made a trip to IKEA recently?
Enjoy your Saturday and thanks for stopping by!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Shoe Storage...Continued

Happy Friday everyone and as promised, I have the shoe storage project completed and ready to show you.
But first, I really want to thank Katherine from KatherinesCorner.com for allowing me to co-host with her yesterday on her blog. And thank you to my new followers for taking the time to read my posts and comment on them. It really means a lot to have new readers who enjoy my blog and I have enjoyed reading a few of your blogs as well. There are so many creative minds out there and it is nice to be able to get new ideas each week!
Sorry, I felt the need to make the above statements bigger than my normal font size because I am really excited to have new followers.
Okay...so on to today's DIY project.
It all started with a trip to IKEA with a friend of mine last weekend and I ended up purchasing a few items. Two of which happened to be IKEA's Bissa shoe cabinet (which they are discontinuing so I was able to buy a new one as well as their floor model for a great deal!!!!)
It ended up being quite the adventure because we were told by two salespeople that I couldn't get a discount on the floor model....but I was persistent and asked one more person in their "As-Is" department and he gave me the discount no questions asked. :)
It always pays to go with your gut about something and to not be afraid to ask a sales associate a question like that....anyways, for both of the IKEA cabinets, the total came in just under $50.00 and these cabinets hold a total of 20-22 shoes per!!! Can you believe it?! I was stoked!
Okay, so here are a few pictures of what I did to jazz up our shoe cabinets a little bit so they fit with who we are stylistically.
This is what the original product looked like after my hubby assembled one and we brought them both outside.
They came in the color "birch" which isn't our taste.

So I took some primer and paint and got to work with the first cabinet.
It took a few coats to get them the color I wanted but it worked out.

After they dried, my hubby brought them inside and set them side-by-side so we could see how it would look by our coat rack.

I had the bronze handles (shown as the first handle) on hand from a thrift store desk we bought but we weren't sold on its detail.
So I took my little helper with me to Home Depot and purchased the nickel-stained handles for under $2.00 a piece. I can always go back and paint them if needed but for now, I think I like the look it adds to the shoe cabinet.

I measured (or eye-balled) where I was thinking the handles would be placed and decided on placing them up higher on the doors rather than having them smack dab in the middle of the door opening.

Then I really did measure out the distance I wanted the handles to be placed. I measured 2 1/2" down from the top and 7 1/2" over from each side.
This was the tedious part, but it was worth it to get it right.

I stepped back after the first one was done to snap a photo and was loving how it was turning out!

And there they are!!! The finished products side-by-side!  :)
There is still a few more tweaks to make to this space, but it is coming along nicely.

And here you can see just how many shoes these cabinets hold. It's quite a lot and we have plenty of room for guests shoes on the bottom.  :)
Not bad for $50.00!!
How do you store your shoes??
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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thursday Favorite Things....DIY Coat Rack

Happy Thursday everyone!
I am reposting one of my newer DIY projects on the blog today because I am co-hosting with Katherine from http://katherinescorner.com/ today.  :)
Well, if you have been reading the past week, you know that I have been talking about IKEA. I have purchased some amazing things and will show them later in the week. ;) But for today, I have another DIY project that I completed last week.
 This DIY project took me about 2-3 hours total to complete and I felt that was a pretty good time to complete something I hadn't tried before
For a few months, my husband and I have been talking about needing a storage solution for coats and hats near the entryway of our house. After looking up many ideas online, I decided to tackle my very first "building" DIY project and am so happy I did. Why?
Well, it saved us a TON of money and you will see why later on in this post.

So here is what we started with....a blank canvas/wall. We figured this wall was the perfect place to build a coat rack and so began my DIY project.

I went to Home Depot with my baby girl (a.k.a.-my little helper) and bought some wood that I had cut down to size by the guys at Home Depot. And let me tell you....this wood was cheapy cheap...and I mean the price NOT the quality. I think all of the wood cost me about $7 something!
And if you can have the people at Home Depot cut the wood for you, it's very helpful. The guy I had was very good with measurement and did a great job listening to what I needed.

The dimensions I needed were two 5' boards, two 30" boards, and one 52" board for the middle of my coat rack.
(Which you can see I measured wrong at the store and needed to use my caulking skills to fix the gaps).

I accidentally did part of my math wrong at Home Depot and should have ended up with two 31" boards, but I got 30" instead and had to make due.

I purchased some caulk and primer and got to work finishing up this project.
I bought a gallon of primer/paint since I knew I would use this for other projects as well.

It was also useful to use a few nails to keep the boards attached to the wall and the nails made it so the coat wall would be a little more sturdy.

After the boards were up and the caulk dried, I painted on one coat of primer and one coat of white paint.
I still think I am going to go over the boards and the wall with another coat of white paint at some point, but I wanted to get this project done because I was way too excited to see the final result!!

I purchased these beauties (the wall hooks) at Home Depot for about $3.00 each and needed 3 of them. I figured that wasn't a bad price to pay for bronzed hardware that looks spiffy.

And here is my finished product!!!!

We love it oh so much!!!!

So what do you think??
Do you love it?!
I love the fact that our coat hooks can hold multiple things besides coats. Seriously, we use them for our diaper bag, gloves, etc.

Plus, this project cost me about $25.00 to complete...or maybe even less actually.
Love that!!!!

Thanks for stopping by and I want to thank Katherine and her blog for allowing me to co-host this week! Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to share some of my projects with others. :)

Thursdays Favorite Things Hop is where you can link your favorite post or write a post about your favorite things and share with old and new followers!
Here are the rules, yes there are rules. But just a few:
You must be a follower of Katherines Corner preferably through Email, it's on her right sidebar ( or she has facebook, google plus and twitter too)
If you’re a new follower, please let her know how you follow. She will follow you back.
Please follow my blog too!
No adult content blogs.
Blogs only please.
 Visit and Follow as many other blogs in the list as you can. Please leave comments when you visit, let them know that we sent you. Nobody expects you to visit all of them ( although that would be awesome) Just click and go. Remember to leave a comment :-)

Now hop on and share your favorites. If you’d like to post this blog hop on your page please just grab the linky code. Or if you would like to be a co-host please contact Katherine
*participants who link up will be sent weekly reminders of this wonderful hop*

Please grab the hop button to share with others, you can copy and paste the image with a link to KatherinesCorner.com OR grab the code from Katherines Corner it's on her right sidebar.
It’s always nice to have the hop button on your post. But it IS NOT mandatory, although a link back to Katherines blog is always appreciated.

Here is the linky