Thursday, August 29, 2013

Spray Paint, A Girl's Best Friend

I'm frugal.
Very frugal.
Why spend money when I don’t have to spend money?
Don’t you agree?
Our house has 3 total outdoor light fixtures - front door, backdoor and garage door.
The light fixture by the backdoor is a little over 2 years old. We bought it when we first bought the house. The other 2 are OLD! I believe they were probably installed when the house was built. Instead of spending money to replace them, I decided to spray paint them.
I figured it would be easy enough - I have painted before. Plus, if they didn’t look good we could always replace them.
My husband removed them and then I went to work.
I cleaned them, brushed them off with steel wool, then attempted to tape the glass. I couldn’t do it. It was too hard and taking too much time. It was about then that Matt came to me and asked why I didn’t take them completely apart. Duh! So I took them apart, cleaned them even better than before, then painted.
I used Rust-oleum metallic. 2 coats all over. Looked pretty good!
I followed up with Valspar Clear Satin. Not a good idea. Looked fine on my house numbers, but on the light fixtures, it seemed to dull my color. I had to do another coat. Then a second coat in certain spots. This was a bit frustrating!
Once fully dried, I put them both back together. What a task! I should have kept the different screws and screw covers separated. I had no clue which ones went to which light - I just randomly placed them on the lights. Then I freaked out a little because I had 4 left!
They go on the freaking house! Duh! #2!
After completely drying for 48 hours (should have been 24 hours), I added new energy efficient light bulbs and Matt attached them back onto the house.
Even Matt commented on how nice they look!

Next up, the mailbox.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

DIY Candy Bouquet

Happy Birthday L!

Today is my coworker's/friend's birthday and I wanted to give her something unique....

MONTHS ago, while shopping at Kroger, I had seen very simple looking candy bouquets and I thought to myself, 'Jessica, you can make those!'.
I went onto Pinterest, searched 'candy bouquet', and looked through a bunch of ideas. Let me tell you, some people are very skilled at making beautiful bouquets! People even had pictures of actual candy wedding bouquets!

I selected a few pictures I liked for future reference and then I gathered supplies I thought I would need.
I took pictures of my supplies before I did anything so a few of the items I ended up not using.

I used:
2 Ice Cream Dishes
Small Candy Bars
Glue Gun
Wood Skewers/Sticks
Foam Wreath
Pipe Cleaners
How I made it:
In the bottoms of both ice cream dishes I balled up a piece of vellum to make the dishes look full.
I took 4 pieces of vellum and overlapped them in different directions then placed a piece of the foam wreath in the middle to push down into the middle of the ice cream dishes.
The foam wreath piece fit perfectly inside these dishes!
I glued the sticks onto the back of the candy bars making sure they were all facing the same direction. At first I had cut all the sticks in half, but I quickly realized you needed to have them in all different sizes. Meaning, of course, that I had to carefully remove my hot glued sticks from the candy bars and re-glue them to new sticks. What a pain in the you know what!
Once they were all glued, I continued adding them to the ice cream dishes by pushing the sticks into the piece of foam.
The finishing touch was to add colorful pipe cleaners into the bouquets.
What do you think?
Part of me wishes I had added more candy, but another part of me likes the simplistic look of the bouquets. I should have added a bow to the bottom of the dishes for additional color and fullness though.
Overall, I am very pleased with how they turned out. This was my first attempt at making these and I really didn’t know what to expect.
My friend L really seemed to like them which is really all that matters!
I even got several compliments from my co-workers. :) Poor L had to defend her bouquet from people who wanted to eat her candy. I am happy to report the candy bouquets made it safely to her house. I wonder if she will eat them or keep them intact for awhile?
Would be very tempting for me.... if MY favorite candies were on it. Mounds and Almond Joys are not my forte!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Wire Jewelry Necklace - No Tools Needed

I really need to think of something else to start off with instead of, 'I went to another craft class this week...' when I am talking about my most recent craft class. I tried to think of something - I really did. Nothing came to mind though.
This class was an introductory to jewelry making.
Loads of fun!
I wasn't sure how this was going to go, but I went in there with a positive attitude since I am no longer new to how things work within these classes. I am much more comfortable then the first time I came here.


I'm going to jump right into this tutorial...

Bead Wire - 26 or 28 Gauge
Nail Clippers

How You Do It:
Gather all your supplies and cut off same sized strips of wire. Our instructor had these pre-cut for us and she used wire cutters. You could just as easily use nail clippers since this particular bead wire is thin.

We placed all our supplies on trays in order to keep everything together.

Take 1 piece of wire and fold it over your skewer about an inch. Wrap your shorter piece of wire around your longer piece. Remove the skewer and you now have a loop. Using your nail clippers, make sure the edge of the wire you just wrapped isn't going to poke you. If it does, snip off the piece. Now place a bead (or more) on your piece of wire. While keeping the bead on your piece of wire, fold a piece of the wire over the skewer and wrap the shorter piece around the longer piece. Your bead should now be between the 2 'knots'. Make sure your 'knot' doesn't poke. If it does, clip it till it doesn't.
You are going to repeat these steps for your entire necklace while making sure to loop the new end through the old end to make a chain.
Very simple!

We did not use any latch on ours - we just attached the 2 ends and made sure it was large enough to go over our head.
I had enough beads to make a necklace and bracelet! I love my 'set'!
Now I need to coordinate it with an outfit for work because I gotta show off my new jewelry! I DEFINITELY plan on buying some beads and wire in the near future to make a few more sets to match my clothes.

P.S. I hung my WREATH at work so I can see it every day. I should also mention I mostly did this since I had nowhere to display it in the house. Glad I found it a nice display spot. :)

Almost A Week Late

Here it is Friday evening and I am just now blogging about last weekend. I am a major slacker! I tried writing this post a few time, I was just having a hard time formulating what I wanted to say to you. Who knows why! Perhaps this really does prove I lead a very boring life??? Maybe you believe me now???
Anyways -
I have to brag about the good deal on clothes Matt and I scored while shopping last weekend....everything you see on my table: 8 shirts, 1 pair of pants, 1 pair of shorts, 1 3-pack of socks and 1 pair of water shoes (for cruise).
For a little less than $75!
What a score, right?
The 3 shirts in the front were on clearance at Sam's for $2.81 each. Who cares if they are all patriotic and look very similar? I will just space them out.

Everything else is from JC Penney's. For the first time in what seems like FOREVER, JCP has brought back coupons! $10 off $25 - we broke our purchases up and used 3 of them. 2 at one store and then 1 at the other store. And they had really good clearances! Too bad there wasn’t more stuff for Matt. He was the whole reason we went shopping.

3 shirts for me at $12, $5 and $10; pants $10; shorts $5; socks $2; 2 shirts for Matt (sale, not clearance) $20 and $20; water shoes $5.

JCP - if you are out there - keep the coupons... suckers like me will shop more often if they feel they are getting a good deal.

Heads up - I saw the commercial - they have the same coupon for this weekend. Go to their website and print as many as you need.

The weekend before I had gotten a pair of pants $20 and 2 shirts $5 each at Sam's AND 4 pairs of shorts $5 each from Wal-Mart.
I practically have a whole new wardrobe!
I am one lucky lady! :)
Tried out a new restaurant which is only in the Louisville area - Rooster's. Have you been there? We both thought they were very yummy!
Atmosphere reminded me of a Hooter's, but all the waiters and waitresses were dressed in jeans and store t-shirts. In my opinion, the atmosphere is better than Hooter's!

We started off with Onion Petals and Dumpster Fries:
I enjoyed them both!
The main course was boneless wings:
We both decided we will take our families here next time they visit. I am sure they will all like the food.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Super Duper Easy Homemade Noodles

Can you believe I actually made homemade noodles for my chicken noodle soup?
I can't! I'm not really a make from scratch kind of girl. I thrive to be that girl, it's just not me. Not usually at least.
However, Thursday night I was able to claim that was me. I was a make from scratch girl!
A few weeks ago, while at work, I was talking to Matt on the phone. I asked him what he wanted for dinner and he mentioned he wanted chicken noodle soup with homemade noodles. Evidently out loud I repeated what he said and responded that was hard and I didn’t know how to make them. Of course my co-worker/friend L overheard me and loudly stated they are so easy to make. And she had a recipe. Matt overheard her and now I was wrapped into doing it in the future.
I figured Thursday evening was a good day.
I used my homemade chicken broth, cut up pieces of onion, celery, carrots, rotisserie chicken from a Sam's Club and seasonings. I placed all of these ingredients in a pot on the stove to cook while I made my noodles.
Ingredients for Noodles:
3 cups all purpose flour
4 eggs plus 1 extra yolk
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons of water
How it's done:
On a clean workspace, place the flour and make a well (hole) 8 inches or larger.
In your well, add the eggs and extra yolk, olive oil, salt and water.
Beat these ingredients together with a fork then slowly add the flour taking care not to break the sides of the well. Do not worry about lumps.
Once your mixture is thick enough, use your hands to further combine all the flour. If your mixture is too dry, add a little water to your hands.
Now that everything is combined, begin to knead your bread. After kneading your bread, cover with plastic for at least 20 minutes.
After at least 20 minutes, roll your dough out and cut it into desired lengths/thickness.
Add your noodles into your soup 5 minutes before serving. They cook fast!
I only ended up using half my noodles. The other half I cut up and placed on a plastic wrapped cookie sheet and stuck it in my refrigerator. When we decide to eat the leftover soup (today for lunch), I will cook the soup and then add the noodles in during the last 5 minutes just like last time. These noodles would be WAY to soggy to re-heat after cooking.

Overall, I thought these noodles had a nice texture and size. I thought they were a little tasteless though. I will take my mom's advice and add a little more salt next time.
This recipe is a keeper in my opinion!

Friday, August 16, 2013

No Sew Tutu

The other night I attended another craft class offered in my community.
And let me tell you - This was the BEST one yet!
I had so much fun!
Have I mentioned these classes are completely free???
We made little girl tutus.
Super simple!
Easy Peasy!

Measuring Stick
You can use any colors in any amounts and any sizes.Our class consisted of about 10 people and all of ours came out different due to different colors and lengths of tulle. I wish we had gotten a group picture. I'll have to remember to make the suggestion next time.

How it's done:
Basically you take a piece of ribbon long enough to go around your waist and add enough extra to tie it into a bow in the back. You could also use stretchy material instead of ribbon if you prefer.

Use your measuring stick to cut pieces of tulle to your desired length. I cut mine into roughly 24 inch pieces. When cutting, I didn’t worry about being precise. I just bunched it up and cut across the tulle. I also cut several pieces at a time to help save time. When I make another one, I think it would look fun with all different lengths throughout my tutu. If I do this, I wouldn't really need a measuring stick.

Once you have a few pieces of tulle cut, fold one piece in half. For me, this made my tulle roughly 12 inches now.
Place your piece of tulle under your ribbon with the 'hole' showing from the fold of your tulle. Bring your two raw ends of your tulle into your 'hole' and pull through.
Continue all around the area of the ribbon that will go around your waist. The tighter you pull your tulle, the more pieces you will need and the fuller it will be. I suggest doing all your tying and pulling of tulle in the same direction to keep your tutu uniformed in that aspect.
I choose to go around mine alternating between 3 pieces of blue and 3 pieces of purple. I started with one of each color, but it didn’t make my colors as bright as I wanted them.
After I was done, I copied another lady in my class and used shorter pieces to accentuate the purple. This was the color I was wanting to dominate and I felt this was a beautiful final touch. If you decide to do this, I recommend doing it while you are tying your other pieces. It was a bit of a pain in the butt to keep moving pieces over to add these additional pieces. Maybe if mine weren't as tight?
As I said before, I am in LOVE with it!

I plan on making one big enough for me in the very near future. I have NO IDEA where I'll wear it though!
Just not this weekend since I have to go to Hobby Lobby to buy some yarn for my crocheting class (I haven't mentioned this yet, have I?). These wonderful classes are going to make me go broke with all these fun things I am learning to make. :)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Kentucky Down Under

Sunday on our adventure we visited a third place....
Kentucky Down Under!

We had a blast here! I wish the temperature had been a little cooler - we would have stayed even longer.
Admission is $20 per adult. Again, we had a coupon for Buy 1, Get 1 FREE.

I had not planned to come here... we had planned to go to Cub Cave.
I had heard of it, thanks to my coupon, but when I had Googled it, I couldn't find any information about it. (I must have Googled the wrong thing.) We kept seeing billboards for it so Matt Googled it and, of course, he found the website and what it had to offer.
Once Matt saw the word 'kangaroo', he was sold!

It is located off I-65, exit 58.

We stopped and got some Subway then headed to the place.
After paying, we were given a map and set up a time to explore the cave.

If you go the left, you first see the reptile house. This was a bit disappointing. It was hot in the indoor section so we walked through it very quickly. Behind glass, we saw bats, turtles and snakes. A few of the glass windows have cracks and this creeped me out a bit. I don't like to think of creepy crawlers on the loose!

After the reptile house you see the gift shop and gem mining area. Not sure of prices since I didn't browse. Next you walk into the zoo section. The zoo section is small, but nice. Yes, the enclosures are small and a bit rundown, but we were told by an employee someone new now owns the park and is in the process of updating the enclosures.

Here are some of our favorite animals:
This little guy was extremely spunky! He kept bouncing back and forth.
Not sure why he has a dog collar wrapped around his body though. We did find that to be a little odd. Any ideas?
This bird was going to town biting on his wood toy. He sure seemed to be enjoying himself!
They had several different birds.
 Beautiful! Peacocks and ducks were just randomly walking around the park.
The dingos looked like house pets!
I wanted to pet him! You know, until he bit my face off!

The highlight of the entire trip was the main attraction they advertise...
We got to PET kangaroos!
2 of them!
Please be kind and ignore my fatness! HA!
They are soooo soft!
Did you know when they have babies they are only the size of a jellybean? I had no idea!

This kangaroo has a baby!!!
Do you see it??? I wanted to cuddle with it!
We also got to pet an emu.
Coarse feathers on the top and soft feathers underneath.
Next it was time to explore the cave.
What an entrance! This was by the gift shop, but I hadn't noticed it when we walked by the first time.
This tour was amazing!!!!
They do have a light system down there, but the new owner is the process of updating it. Which means right now they are doing lantern and flashlight tours.
We LOVED the entire experience of this!
We felt we were really exploring the cave. It won't be nearly as fun once the new light system is up and running. I did read reviews on the cave and many people complained about this. I don't understand why. Where else can you have this experience? At $20 per person?
At one point we even got to turn off all the lights for about 30 seconds.
You can't see ANYTHING down there without lights! Not even your hand right in front of your face!
I had a flashlight and Matt had a lantern. The flashlight was much better to have.
 We even saw a salamander and cave cricket (not pictured).
After the cave we were both hot and tired. We decided to call it a day.
We did not visit the sheep area or the nature trails. We also skipped the pellet gun shooting area. I am confident we will visit this park again so we will be sure to check these area next time. They also offer a horse carriage ride around the park that we did not take advantage of.

I 100% recommend you visit this wonderful park.
Yes, it is small and old, but I can guarantee you and your family will have a nice visit.
Check it out!