Category: DIY

DIY Unique Soap Dispenser

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.#UniquelyMine #CollectiveBias

The kitchen sink is the cornerstone of the kitchen.  The dishes may pile, but it has the best view of my two munchkins running around after the puppy in the backyard.  Today I am sharing how in less than five minutes you can make a DIY Unique Soap Dispenser to brighten up your sink(and day).

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LOVE my bright addition to my kitchen sink!  Plus these gorgeous beauties work on pedestal sinks and can be the POP of color your bathroom needs.

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For those that know me, you know my love for Diet Coke runs deep.  It truly is my afternoon pick-me-up and is a treat that I serve myself every day.  Right now you can go grab a couple of these Uniquely Mine Glass Bottles to enjoy-add in the fact you can find ones that fit YOUR personality and the decor for your sink of choice and it becomes oh too much fun.  But seriously, I spent ten minutes figuring out which one would go perfectly at every sink… and perhaps for my sisters and mother.

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On my last trip to my local Kroger store I grabbed a BUNCH of the Uniquely Mine Diet Coke bottles, along with two twelve packs of pure awesomeness. No two bottles are the same. Seriously, I immediately gravitated toward my favorite colors and even found the bottle that matched my blouse.

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Uniquely Mine Diet Coke Bottles & Cans

DIY Soap Dispenser

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First you will need to find the top of a soap dispenser to use for your new kitchen accessory.  I grabbed this from the kitchen gadget aisle of my Kroger store-but you can re-use the ones that you currently own.  DIY-soap-dispencer

You literally just take off the top of the soap dispenser from your current soap dispenser.

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Of course you will want to enjoy the Uniquely Mine Diet Coke FIRST… I couldn’t wait to start transforming my kitchen so instead of popping the glasses into the fridge I just added a few ice cubes and enjoyed my afternoon moment of zen after returning with my groceries.

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Don’t forget to wash out the Diet Coke bottle before adding in soap… I buy soap refills in bulk-BIG savings-and was able to use a kitchen funnel to add in the soap to my NEW soap dispenser.

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Simply twist on the soap dispenser lid and VOILA- you have a gorgeous new piece that is truly one of a kind!  This five minute DIY project is super simple but it makes a big impact!

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DIY Uniquely Mine Diet Coke Soap Dispenser
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Perfectly Paired for the Guest Bathroom

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Where is the Diet Coke bottle? It goes perfectly with my blouse-add in a comfy chair in the backyard to sit, relax, and just enjoy the day.  Now that is my kind of perfect.

Go grab a couple of Uniquely Mine bottles STAT- they are only available while supplies last!

What sink would you like to brighten up?

What colors do you gravitate toward?  I love soft muted pinks and blues!

You can follow along with me on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest!

 

Carving Pumpkins: Fall Family Tradition

Will Carve For Seeds

Carving Pumpkins is a family tradition that I have willingly subjected my little family to for years.  Each year there is one member or two that CAN’T stand the slimy pumpkin gunk BUT alas I trudge on.

Memories people!

We are making family memories!

Painting Pumpkins: Fall Family Tradition

Painting Pumpkins: Fall Family Tradition

Raymond painted a pumpkin on his first Halloween and we have carried on the tradition of painting the pumpkins before carving them.  We usually paint them a week before carving so we can enjoy the aura of brilliance said finger painting emits-PLUS after that clean-up I want to enjoy a few days of non-slimy bliss.

Painting Pumpkins: Fall Family Tradition

 

A week passed after two little skeletons painted their little hearts out.  And now WE CARVE.  Raymond is giving his best impression of a pirate.  I am Barbosa and he is Jack Sparrow typically throughout the day.  My one pirate joke continues to exceed expectations and I easily get laughs each time.  I’m killing it at motherhood. <slow clap>

No, but seriously, learn a joke.  It is priceless.Painting Pumpkins: Fall Family Tradition

Emma Marie cheered loudly as we told them we were carving our painted pumpkins.  She then re-enacted her favorite dinosaur and charged around the room pretending to be a ferocious Tyrannosaurus Rex.  She legitimately sounds terrifying.  If you closed your eyes you would get chills down your spine.

I am beyond thankful she can’t get through the tiny-human-proofing we’ve done as she would most assuredly lose her life if she uttered that awfully, excruciatingly realistic monster noise next to my bed.

Fight or Flight?

I always fight.  It’s a reflex that many, many in the family have lost to.

Carving Pumpkins: Fall Family Tradition

Carving the Top of the Pumpkin

My husband hates, no-LOATHES the feeling of slimy pumpkins.  He will carve the top and then vacuum up the mess after we are done.  He watched from a careful distance on a bar stool this year.

 

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Emma Marie definitely left her shyness from last year behind!  She gladly helped me load up on seeds in our buckets to roast in the afternoon.

Carving Pumpkins: Fall Family Tradition

Raymond was ALL about the raw pumpkin.  I mean literally ALL about the pumpkin.  Definitely need to figure out a way to get more pumpkin into his life.  He can’t have pumpkin pie(food allergies) but perhaps there is another option?

Carving Pumpkins: Fall Family Tradition

WILL CARVE FOR SEEDS

Will eat raw seeds… who are we kidding?

Carving Pumpkins: Fall Family Tradition

A trip to Costco rendered another set of pumpkins-these MUCH larger than the pie pumpkins we grabbed at Vertuccio Farms this Fall.  So there will definitely be more seeds in our future!

One of my most favorite parts of Fall is visiting farms and fishing for pumpkin seeds. Yep and sweaters!  Still 90 degrees here three weeks into October.  Bring on the sweaters!

Another item checked off the Fall Bucket List(Free Printable)!

 

What is a Fall Family Tradition that you partake in?

Any Pumpkin Recipes that may be gluten/nut/egg free? 

Would LOVE to find a great recipe to incorporate a new found food love into his diet!  Thank you so much friends!

 

You can check out more of our family’s day to day life here on Instagram!

Easy 3 STEP DIY Chalkboard Wall

For what seems like years I have had my eye on transforming one of our walls into a chalkboard canvas for our family.  Our walls are mostly covered with doors and windows so it took living here for nearly four years to figure out a space that would work.  This wall in our family room felt like the perfect place.  We have gained and lost furniture as we have grown as a family and this wall which housed the backdrop for our holiday festivities-tree, presents… well it ended up empty after the holidays and I jumped at the chance to paint.

The wall had seen it’s better days… before we learned that Raymond was allergic to apples, he threw up an entire apple pouch against the wall-and it didn’t wipe off as well as you would want it to- plus with toys in primary colors for the last couple of years that have been ran against, thrown against, raced against, the wall was a myriad of red, blue, and yellow streaks.  Not too evident to anyone until the wall lost the shroud of the holidays and we moved a bookcase.

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I painted during nap times and after the kids went to sleep at night.  I used three quarts of chalkboard paint from Target.  In hindsight, I definitely should have picked up a gallon.  Our ceilings are 9 feet tall and the space is roughly 6 feet wide.  I cleaned up the stains, cleaned the baseboards and did an extra step of prep to get straight lines.

EXPERT TIP: Tape the walls and ceilings and PAINT the tape with the color of the wall that it touches- the bleed through will be the color you want… it shouldn’t be a lot of bleeding… if you tape the right way BUT I wanted crisp, crisp, crisp lines seeing as it was going to be easy to see if there were any mistakes with such a dark color of paint. And? It worked.  Took thirty extra minutes.  But well worth the aggravation.

STEP 1:

I painted three thin coats of paint allowing adequate time for it to dry.  The smell was atrocious and I was thankful that for the first time in the history of me painting in Phoenix I could open up the windows to air out the house. Win. I used a foam roller and two inch brush.

 

 

Now for the waiting.  You will notice when you paint that the wall becomes almost tacky to the touch. Well, you need to wait a couple days for the paint to cure.  I waited two and a half.

STEP 2:

Take chalk and CHALK IT UP.  No seriously, rub chalk all over the wall.  My husband and I tackled this during a nap-time and most assuredly you should not have little ones around when you do this.  The chalk that feels the air? Palpable.

We opened up the windows on the crisp 60 degree day and went through nearly 12 pieces of full sized chalk.

 

STEP 3: Towel it off.  We used our old, white cotton rags to smooth out the board and then immediately wiped up the baseboard and vacuumed the area.  Easy and I immediately fell in love with the board.  So much softer on the eyes than the stark black paint we lived with for days. LOVE.

 

I chose to paint the cover for the gas line and the outlet cover so that they wouldn’t stand out on the wall.  I am very happy about that decision.

 

I LOVED how easy this project was. EASY, AFFORDABLE, AND FAMILY FRIENDLY.

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The bits and pieces from covering the wall. Good times.  I realized I fear my nails running on the chalkboard more than many, many, many phobias. Spiders? Eh. My nails on a chalkboard<shudders uncontrollably>.  Learned something new I guess. Thankful for chalk pens. No nails on a chalkboard for me, EVER again.

Slowly adding in a couple of decorations.  Pink banner for Valentines Day, clad with a quote from Cinderella for our #DisneySide Party we are hosting soon.

We now have a small crate of dustless chalk in The Secret Hideout that they can use throughout the day.  Thankful that they know that this is the only wall to color… and the small table I painted that has a chalkboard top. Love our craft corner.

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Thankful that I now have a wall to use as a backdrop for pictures… think of the captions… the quotes… and of course the extra art time my little ones now get?!? Worth it.  The project cost me roughly $25 dollars in paint and tape.  I know that some of you probably don’t use tape, but these arthritic hands need the extra assurance that tape surely brings.

Are there any DIY updates you can do in a long weekend?  Do you have a chalkboard wall in your house? 

Would love to hear from you!


Preparing for Guests:Bathroom Faucets

With the holidays and hosting for the first time, ever.  It became evidently apparent that we needed to add some things to our guest bathroom.  For one, we need to be able to put up a shower curtain.  This would give our guests an option to take a private shower at their leisure, instead of waiting to use the one in our master.

We took the curtain down because that is where our little ones take a bath every night… and curtains just get in the way.  BUT- goodness do we need a clean-cut one for when we have guests.  I am thinking of this one from Target.  It is simple, white(so hopefully helps keep the room brighter) and it is bleach-able. WIN.

We remove all of the toys and tripping hazards out of the showers and tub before guests arrive but I didn’t identify that our shower head in our guest bathroom has been seriously neglected.  It is covered in lime and calcium deposits… it is anyone’s guess if it still runs.  Notably we did not upgrade the bathroom faucets when we bought our house years ago simply because we haven’t used that part of the bathroom in the past four years.  Now that Raymond can take a shower(by himself-with supervision) I am thinking that perhaps the shower curtain could be brought back permanently.  We will just have to see if Ms. Em thinks it is just too much fun to play with.  Don’t need a toddler taking down the curtain(with rod) right before bedtime.

Since we live in the desert we bought a water conservation shower faucet for our master bedroom after the Black Mold Fiasco of 2011 rendered that bathroom useless and we had to gut it.  Now that we are looking into upgrading I have found a similar style to the one that we currently have in the guest bathroom that uses 20% less than a standard shower head at danze.com.  The winner? This Hyrdocity 4”Four-Function Showerhead.  My husband’s favorite? Was this 4 1/2” Five Function Showerhead.  But the winning point was that the Hydrocity uses less water and it optimizes water intensity even with low pressure.

Our new shower head is on it’s way to our house and we plan on picking up the shower curtain this weekend from Target.  Last year on Black Friday I loaded up on fabulous bath towels, hand towels, and new bath mats.  Now that everything is coming together I think the bathroom will be a clean haven for guests.

And looking back at what it looked like when we moved in?

 

We have come a long, long way.

I don’t have a picture of the laminate flooring… but the floors are new tile, cabinets re-finished, and bathroom painted.  The bathroom feels much brighter AND bigger now with all of the small updates and our new bathroom faucets. Can’t wait to add the shower curtain and see what the kids think!

 

How do you prepare for overnight guests?  Would love to know some sweet touches I could add.

 

 

I received free product for the compensation of this post.  As always, all opinions are 100% my own.

5 DIY Holiday Baked Goods in a Jar

Gifts in a Jar for the holidays, hostess gifts, and teacher appreciation days. Five easy to make recipes that look as good as they taste. There are five different cookie, brownie, AND cake recipes that are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth and delight those that you gift these too.  I have a set of old-fashioned recipe cards that I punch a hole in and hand-write the directions and extra ingredients listed for each gift.

As a food-allergy family, when gifting to one of our friends that has food allergies or for using ourselves we substitute brown rice flour, coconut oil(instead of eggs), and we make sure all of the chocolate and other goodies are from nut-free facilities.  Peace of mind my friends.  Our creations without the added goodness sometimes leaves something to be desired in the looks department-but does it really matter what it looks like if your children can eat it? I don’t think so. But I am a bit biased.

My husband was the designated taste-tester for all of the recipes below and he gladly gobbled up the batches over the past couple of weeks. Would be a shame to make a fabulous looking gift and then the recipe doesn’t turn out for them… color me awkward and embarrassed.  But I can tell you that these work like a charm!

Grab a set of Ball Glass Jars, recipe cards, and ingredients!

I have the ingredients listed so that you can easily make your own Jar Gifts and then attach the recipe card.

Please enjoy these easy customizable gift ideas!

 Gingerbread Cookies

JAR:

1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp  cloves
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar

COOKING:

1/2 cup butter

3/4 cup molasses

1 egg

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cream together 1/2 cup butter, 3/4 cup molasses and 1 egg. Blend in the Gingerbread Cookie Mix. Stir until well blended.
  2. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.  Roll out dough to 1/4 on a lightly floured surface. Using cookie cutters, cut out shapes and place on a greased cookie sheet.
  3. Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes.

 Hot Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies

JAR:

devil’s food cake mix

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup mini-marshmallows

COOKING:

2 eggs

1/3 cup oil

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F.
  2. Empty the cake mix into a mixing bowl and add the eggs and oil.
  3. Stir (or mix with a mixer) until blended. Add the mini chocolate chips.
  4. Using two small spoons, measure out and shape each cookie into a small ball and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Add three mini marshmallows to the top of each cookie, pushing them lightly into the raw dough.
  5. Bake for 8-9 minutes.

 

 

Chocolate Brownies

JAR:

2/3 tsp salt

5/8 cup flour

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1/2 cup flour

2/3 cup brown sugar

2/3 cup white sugar

1 cup chocolate chips

1 cup white chocolate chips

COOKING:

1 tsp vanilla

2/3 cup oil

3 eggs

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a baking pan.
  2. Pour the contents of the jar into a large bowl and mix well. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2/3 cup vegetable oil and 3 eggs. Beat until just combined.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

 

 

 

Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal, and Pecan Cookies

JAR:

1 cup all-purpose flour 

1 1/4 cups rolled oats 

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 cup light-brown sugar

1 cup chopped toasted pecans

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

COOKING:

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 large egg

3/4 cup  unsalted butter

DIRECTIONS: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, oats, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar on high until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg and beat to combine.

  2. With mixer on low, gradually add mixture and beat just until combined. Fold in pecans and chocolate chips.

  3. Bake cookies until puffed and golden around edges, about 15 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through.

 

 

Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookies

JAR:

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cup white sugar

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips-chocolate & vanilla

1 cup miniature marshmallows

COOKING:

1 cup butter

2 eggs

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300F. Grease cookie sheets.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; stir into the sugar mixture. Fold in the chocolate chips and  marshmallows. 
  3. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes.

 

 

Emma Marie snuck into my photo session to steal some of the props for her big brother… sharing is caring.

 Our friend’s favorite? Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal & Pecan Cookies

 

Happy Holidays Friends!

 

 

I am linking up with 71 other fabulous bloggers to bring you three posts a day of recipes, crafts, and holiday traditions during the #countdown2xmas!  You can catch-up on all of the fun at A Whimsicle Life. You can also join in our daily Instagram Challenge- follow along with me at AsCuteAsABugsEar.  I’ve loved connecting to so many wonderful people this holiday season!

What do you like to gift during the holidays? 

Do you have a go-to recipe for the holidays?

I would LOVE to hear from you!

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