Friday, June 14, 2013

Upcycling a Dresser for Storage Space

Hello beauties. It has been quite some time since I've made a post. I am back and excited to share a new project that I've completed recently. I've found in my home that I can never have enough storage. I had been trying to figure out what I could make for quite some time that was easy on the pocket. When driving through my local town with my sister I came upon a garage sale, and there it was. The light-bulb went off and I knew I had to have it.

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Of course, it wasn't a stunner when I first bought it, but in my mind I had ideas for it. I managed to haggle it for only $30 at the garage sale which was amazing. I had seen similar dressers on swap boards and Kijiji going for $100+ and I knew that was out of my price range.

I headed out to my local Walmart with a color and vision in my mind. Since we don't have a lot of color in our home I knew that I wanted something bright and vibrant. Yellow came to my mind, with the help of my sister. I picked up a small can, along with two paint brushes and some sand paper and headed home. 

Paint Brushes 2'' Angle Brush and 3'' Regular Brush - $6.00

CIL Acrylic Laytex Paint in Yellow - $16.00
Sandpaper $1.00 per package
Total: 23.00$

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I scruffed up the edges and started pulling out the drawers. I had made the decision that the small end drawers were going to be removed completely and used for shelving (which I'll show in another post.) I decided the smaller drawers could be replaced with wicker baskets and remove the dresser vibe.

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 It was a process of a few days. I did the bulk of the painting in one night and then let it dry, then I did the minor touch ups. After a few coats of paint I became excited as I could see it starting to unfold. I then measured the drawer space and went out on the hunt for baskets. They were the most expensive purchase for the whole dresser at 6$ a basket.

In this picture I have two as I was testing them out. I figured if I didn't like them I could always return and try out other baskets.

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Turned out, it matched really well and the hubby even started to see where I was going with it. 

The last day I saved for working on the larger drawers that I was keeping for the dresser. When you are working with drawers make sure to take off the handle when you are painting - it makes it so much easier to work around.

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 Now, don't get me wrong. I love the drawers, they are big and the yellow certainly brightened it up. However, I didn't like the inside. It was plain to me. My mom had sent me home with some wallpaper like material and I had it sitting in craft storage so I decided to dig it out and see how it would look. Turns out, it went really well with the color and the overall design I was going for.

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My mom picked up this wallpaper like decal from the dollar store. Each roll cost her 2$. I did end up using 1 and a half on the four drawers.

Once the drawers were complete I assembled it all together. The drawers, the wicker baskets and some very simple decor that I had around the house.

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Ta-da!!! My finished project turned out amazing. The flowers are dollar store, as we have cats and anything real would get eaten in a heartbeat. The HOME sign is also a dollar store purchase. The wine bottles are upcycled with chalkboard paint. The only thing for the decor that I actually had to purchase was the red owls and they are dual purpose as they also hold tea light candles in the back.

The dresser of your dreams may not look exactly like mine - this is meant to inspire you. Keep an eye out on those yard sales - I guarantee a dresser is waiting for you!

Until next time, stay crafty!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Flourless Pancakes!


It certainly has been a while. I have been taking time to get myself back into a healthy lifestyle. Please note that diet isn't a word in my vocabulary. I firmly believe you can lose weight by eating right and exercising. I joined the gym a week ago and have been going at it non stop. While starting back up my healthy journey I came across a really awesome recipe that I use for breakfast located here. It is amazingly good and I found you don't even need syrup for this delicious delicacy.


This recipe only calls for three ingredients and it is usually something everyone has on hand.


I know right?! I was a bit sceptical myself. I decided to try it and let me tell you it is sooooo yummy!


Step one you just mash the egg and banana together, it is pretty simple.


Step two you need to incorporate 1 tablespoon of peanut butter. Mix it well.


Step three - you cook it! Through trial and error I have found it is best to work with smaller pancakes. You know it is time to flip when when they start to get bubbly on the top. The end result is so satisfying and healthy for you too!


Let me know if you modify this recipe in any way or if you enjoyed it!

Until next time, happy cooking!
Much love,

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Alcoholic Cupcakes!


Hello fellow crafters & bakers. I am here to introduce you to the most amazing adult cupcake I have made. They do contain alcohol and are known as Irish Car Bombs. If you aren't familiar with the term, it is a beer cocktail made with an Irish stout, Irish cream & Irish Whiskey. I came across these babies when trying to think of something to make for an upcoming adult beer tasting party that Mr. T's friend is hosting. I plan on making this version and a non alcoholic version known as Butterbeer cupcakes (I'll post a tutorial soon with those). I got my inspiration from three places, Mr. T's love of Guinness and these two lovely bloggers: Brown Eyed Baker and Susi.

I did a mix of the recipes posted on either blog and came up with my own version of them. Both of the recipes make about 18-24 cupcakes, considering the party is a bit smaller I will be downgrading the recipe. Normally Mr. T is home when I bake, so if I am confused on how to cut my recipes smaller I ask him. Unfortunately he was working a longer shift so I took to trusty Google and came across a site that will calculate it for you: Recipe Calculator. Overall I am extremely happy with how my cupcakes turned out (I did a test batch because I was nervous). In case you didn't know, my first baking experience with chocolate and Guinness was a disaster (see the dreaded chocopolypse).

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes

1 cup Guinness beer
16 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup dark cocoa powder
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups of white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoons salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

Bailey's Buttercream Icing
12 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
4 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
5-8 tablespoons of Bailey's Irish Cream

Whisky Ganache Filling
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons of butter at room temperature
2 teaspoons of whisky


First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pan with liners.


Next combine the Guinness and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool.


In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. In an electric mixer with the paddle attachment beat eggs and sour cream until blended.


Next add the Guinness and butter mixer and beat until just combine. Mix in the dry ingredients on a low speed until incorporated.


Divide into cupcake liners (and taste generously *wink*). Bake until the toothpick comes clean, between 15-17 minutes (every oven varies). Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.

While your delicious cupcakes are baking you will want to start the chocolate ganache to give it time to cool.


Making the chocolate ganache you will need chocolate finely chopped and waiting in a heat proof bowl. Heat your heavy cream on the stove and pour over chocolate. Let it sit for 30-1 minute and using your spatula stir from the centre outward until smooth. Add the butter and whiskey and stir until combine. Let the ganache cool until thick but soft enough to be piped.

The above sounds easy right!? Well I had a heck of a time with the ganache to be honest. I am more of a visual learner and attempted to go with the instructions. I came out with a lumpy chocolately goop. I was pretty sad (but it was still useable). After I finished this whole thing I went to youtube and did some research for my final batch tomorrow and came across this video. I found it extremely helpful and I think I won't have a problem with my next batch. I am also going to omit the butter from my next batch.

After you have your ganache resting your cupcakes should be completed. Pull them out and test them!


If you are good to go then you can move on to the last step while your cupcakes are cooling which is making the Buttercream icing! (yum)


Place the butter in the bowl of the mixer with a paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Gradually add in the confectioner's sugar until incorporated. Mix in Bailey's Irish Cream and vanilla until smooth. This tastes AMAZING.

With everything prepared you will then want to fill your cupcakes.


I found an awesome tip where you can use a piping tip to make the holes - it is super easy! Then you fill the cupcakes with the chocolate ganache mixture.

The last step is to take your icing and put it on the cupcake. I find the easiest way to complete this step is with a Ziploc baggy and your icing stuffed inside of it. You can then push it to the corner to make your own piping bag. I will admit when I first started I was not an expert. I included some of my shots so you can see how they worked out. I eventually got the hang of it!


I guarantee these cupcakes are sure to be a crowd pleaser. The taste is phenomenal! If you have any other types of alcoholic cupcakes, please share them in the comments below! I love new ideas.

Until next time, happy baking :)!

Much love,

Sunday, July 8, 2012

DIY Ice Dog Treats

This summer has brought heat breaking records around the world. I looked at Gizmo panting like crazy when we came in from our walk the other day. I gave him some ice cubes (nothing cools him off more) and it hit me. Why not doggify an ice cube tray for Gizmo for scorching hot days?


It will be a treat and refreshment all in one. I set out to find something doggy friendly. This recipe is EXTREMELY flexible. All you need is an ice cube tray and something to put in it. Gizmo loves chicken flavour which led to me picking chicken broth. Since Mr. T and I just had a crock pot chicken earlier in the week, I didn't have any fresh chicken broth. I decided to use some leftover chicken broth we had in the fridge.


**Dogs find both garlic and onion extremely toxic. Do not use anything with either of those ingredients.**

After you decide what you are going to use, place it in the ice cube tray and toss it in the freezer to freeze.


If you aren't sure what you want to use, here are some ideas: chicken broth, beef broth, vegetable stock or your pup's favourite puréed fruit!

Every freezer is different, so the freezing may take a few hours. Gizmo & I went out for our walk and he came home to a deliciously cool treat.

I even tried to snap a couple photos of him enjoying his treat but he ran off with the ice cube thinking he had received something he wasn't allowed to have.


I finally caught up with him in the living room with only a few bits left.


I would love to hear your ideas on how you keep your furry friends cool in this wicked heat!

Until next time! Happy crafting.
Much love,

Thursday, June 14, 2012

DIY Dog Toy (upcycled)


I had some clothes that were going to be thrown away/donated tomorrow. While watching TV with Gizmo I noticed his toy was pretty worn. It was a stuffed giraffe I had donated to him a few months ago that was no longer stuffed, missing an eye, ear, etc. I decided to get to work on making him a new toy as most dog toys are expensive and since he is just going to rip it up, why bother?

I went through my clothes going to donation and came across some old pants.


Step One consists of finding some clothes that you don't use. It doesn't need to be pants, it could even be a shirt.


Step Two is to cut a panel from the clothing that you will be using.


Step Three requires you to cut the panel into strips. I cut mine into three as it is a very thick material. If you are able to do a four fold braid then feel free to do so.


Tie a knot with your cut strips and start to braid!

At this point I had caught Gizmo's attention (you can sort of see his toy giraffe.) He was watching me very curiously.



Braid, braid braid.


Tie a knot in the end of the braid.

I found it looked kind of plain on both ends so I added an extra step. I took the strips at the end of the knot and cut tiny slits into them. It added a bit of funk to his toy.


When all is done it was time to test out the toy and see if it was Gizmo approved.


For a couple of minutes we played tug of war and then he ran off with it. I found him in the other room happily wrapped up in his toy, chewing away.


From pants to new dog toy in seven easy steps. Can't get any easier can it?

Happy crafting!
Much Love,