Friday, November 30, 2012

DIY Tips on Remodelling Your Kitchen to Make Space {Sponsered Post}

Today I have a special treat - a sponsered guest post! Please welcome Stephen Jones from www.diytools.co.uk!



DIY Tips on Remodelling Your Kitchen to Make Space


The kitchen is often described as the "heart of the home" and is one of the most important rooms in a house. Many homes however, have kitchens that feel too small and impractical. This article looks at some clever methods that homeowners can use to maximize space in a small kitchen.

Firstly, it is important to analyze the existing kitchen space. Identify areas that work well and look for areas that need improvement. Think about how the kitchen space is used on a day to day basis and use this as a foundation for any planning.

There are many space-saving alternatives to existing products. For example, a
bin
that hangs inside a cupboard door can free up floor space. A rotating carousel inside a corner cupboard will allow greater storage capacity for groceries or kitchenware. Racks can be fitted under shelves or inside cupboards to create more storage space.

Free up valuable counter space by placing appliances wisely. A microwave oven can be mounted on a wall. A small larder fridge can slot neatly under a work surface. This will create more room on worktops and allow for a larger food preparation area.

Take advantage of the height of the kitchen by installing wall cabinets and shelving that make the most of the wall space. Add rows of hooks to the walls to hang kitchen utensils or mugs. A mounted knife rack is a practical and stylish way to utilize wall space and keep counters clear. A shelf could be added to a backsplash behind a stove.

Consider open-fronted cabinets or cupboards with sliding doors, as open cupboard doors can take up valuable space in a small kitchen.

Items that slide out are also very useful, and take up very little area. Sliding racks, pull-out drawers and pull-out tables can be stored away easily after use.

Consider an island if there is room for one. An island creates extra worktop space and can double up as an eating area, with stools stored underneath. Alternatively, consider changing the layout of existing worktops to allow for a breakfast bar or countertop that juts out slightly from the wall.

Space-saving devices and careful planning can turn even the smallest of kitchens into a useful workspace. By carefully considering the kitchen layout and making the best use of every available area, including walls and corners, homeowners can maximize the potential of a small kitchen.

About the Author: Stephen Jones is the community manager for www.diytools.co.uk, which was established in 2000 and since has grown to be one of the UK largest online DIY stores. Prior to working for DIYTools.co.uk, Stephen had been involved in the building trade for over 10 years and is a qualified tradesman.



I totally need to utilize Stephen's suggestions; I've been grumbling about space in my kitchen for years. (And you know it's a problem when I don't even do the cooking and I still complain!) I'd especially love some pull out storage for pots and pans.

I hope you got some great ideas for maximizing your kitchen space. Go check out Stephen's website; there are some great items, things that would be difficult to find stateside. There's some great nostalgic gifts under the Christmas section and I'm in love with the Knobs and Knockers. Plus, there is a cool DIY point system that gives you discounts on purchases - who doesn't love saving money?








P.S. I've linked up with Here Comes the Sun * I Heart Naptime * Petite Hermine * Twigg Studios * The Chicken Chick

Friday, November 23, 2012

Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery


I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving yesterday full of good food, family, friends, and plenty of blessings. For those of you crazy enough to venture out for the Black Friday deals, stay safe, stay sane, and know that I am snug in my warm bed dreaming of strawberry rhubarb pie, lol.


Remember my last Friday Favorites post where I shared my favorite Thanksgiving pins from Pinterest? I featured several great decor ideas and projects and I want to replicate all of them. (All in due time.) Luckily, I got some time to make my own versions of a couple of the projects and I'd like to share them with you. Neither took too much time because I used my Cricut and adhesive contact paper.

The first project I copied was Naptime Decorator's "Thanks" cups.

I only had four cups rather than six, so I spelled out "Fall" instead. I filled it with the ribbon I tried making a bow with for my Autumn Wreath (I think it gives it some glam), faux leaves, and some berry sprigs.


The other project I copied is Today's Fabulous Finds' "Thankful" charger.

Pinned Image

Wal-mart has the chargers on clearance for $2.50 so I snatched one up the first chance I got. Since I was using the Cricut and contact paper, I couldn't realistically do any really long words or sentiments. I went with "Give Thanks" and a little swirly thing to finish it off.


I love that both projects were super quick and easy. I have plenty of faux leaves, pumpkins, and pine cones around the house, but not much that represents the Thanksgiving holiday. The charger resolves that problem and both projects were able to be knocked out in under an hour each and for less than five dollars. Unfortunately, I didn't get too long to enjoy them this year, because now it's time to transition into the Christmas season and all the decorations that come with it.



Friday, November 16, 2012

Autumn Wreath


Since I haven't given up on fall yet, and I refuse to skip Thanksgiving for Christmas, I decided I needed a wreath to decorate my door. I had been displaying my Team Spirit Wreath, but the 2012 high school football season has come to an end and I wanted something more seasonal.


I had never done a floral wreath before, so I thought I'd try one. I found some sunflowers and chrysanthemums (on clearance for 25 cents!) at Walmart along with the grape vine wreath, and the berry sprigs were on sale at Ben Franklin. All together, this project cost about ten dollars.
I started by trimming the berry sprigs down to a more managable size and wiring them onto the wreath with floral wire, ensuring the wires stayed hidden.


I plucked the sunflowers off their stems and determined their placement on the wreath, but I felt that the flowers alone weren't enough, so I hot glued the leaves to the back of the flowers.


 Then I hot glued them onto the wreath.




I stopped after this step for the night and visited my parent's the next day. My fiance sent me this picture while I was out. Apparently, my cat, Frank, approves the project.

To add more fullness, I added the chrysanthemums to the inside and outside edges behind the sunflowers.



I wanted to put a big glittery bow at the top, but it seems like making one is beyond my capabilities. All I ended up with was a mangled mass of ribbon and gold glitter all over my house. (And it's still there, a week later, the vacuum just doesn't pick it up! Grr.) So I gave up on the bow and hung the wreath as is. I don't think it looks bad without one, though, and when I look at the wreath, the bow might have been too much anyway.


I like that now my door has a nice seasonal decoration to match with all my autumn pieces scattered throughout the inside of my home.







Friday, November 9, 2012

Friday's Favorites: Thanksgiving 2012 {Pinterest}


Is it just me, or does it seem like Thanksgiving gets overlooked between Halloween and Christmas? While watching TV last weekend, all the commercials were either political or Christmas related. I understand that there are only like six or seven weeks until Santa arrives, but come on, there is another wonderful day to celebrate and it should not be ignored - one filled with food, family, and gratitude. So, without further ado, I'd like to share with you the best (in my opinion) Thanksgiving pins from Pinterest.


The first thing people think about when Thanksgiving comes to mind is food. There are several great tablescapes out there; here are two of my favorites. The first is from Country Living magazine.

Pinned Image

I love those candles! They are wrapped in felt with felt letters and the display is double sided so it reads the same no matter what side of the table you're on.

My second tablescape selection is so simple, but oh so elegant.

Pinned Image

This is the work of Jenny Steffens Hobick over at Everyday Occasions.

A Soft Place to Land has a great tablecloth inspired by one seen from Better Homes and Garden.

Pinned Image

Someday I'm going to take on this project; I absolutely adore it.

Another craft I want to do is Naptime Decorator's set of glass cups filled with fall potpourri and painted to spell out "thanks."


The above picture is from last year; this season Liz put beans and popcorn with votives in the glasses for a brighter look and it goes great with her re-done fireplace.
  

I'm kicking myself for not picking up this charger when I was at Wal-mart the other day (especially since everything fall is on clearance) so I could make something like Today's Fabulous Finds' Thankful Decorative Charger.

Pinned Image

My final favorite is HGTV's Thankful Tree. I think it is a great way to get the family involved and to encourage everyone to really think about what they are thankful for. Plus, it makes an interesting decorative piece.

 Pinned Image

There you have it, my favorite Thanksgiving pins from Pinterest for 2012. Do you agree or do you know of some more fantastic ideas? Also, if you want to see what else I think is pin-worthy, feel free to click on the Pinterest button at the top of the left sidebar.

**If you see something you like, please do not pin from my page; go to the author's blog and pin from there. The links should take you directly to the correct post.**






If you were featured here, please feel free to take a button.


Friday, November 2, 2012

E's "Taco Soup"

In my household, I don't do much cooking because I get home later than my fiance and, honestly, I'm not that good at it. I can't tell when the chicken breasts are done (I always think I see pink) and ask me to whip up some instant potatoes and you'll get something with a gravy-like consistancy. I think it's just bad luck, or maybe it's that my mind is always going and I can't stay focused on what I'm doing. Anyway, E (what I'm calling my fiance for blogging purposes) has the uncanny knack of being able to put different ingredients together and creating food that tastes good. I don't know how he does it!

What I'm sharing with you today probably isn't that unusual, but a few weeks ago E made a dip from cream cheese, salsa, Frank's Red Hot sauce, shredded cheese, and bacon. I know bacon makes everything better, but really? Salsa and bacon? It was awesome - and addicting. Blows. My. Mind.

E really loves using the crock pot and has a thing for making chunky soups and chilis. He called this "Taco Soup."



The ingredients: two cans sweet corn, two cans sliced black olives, one can each of kidney beans, baked beans, diced tomatoes, diced potatoes, pinto beans, two packets of taco seasoning, and beef stew meat

E put everything in the crock pot in the morning and let it cook all day until dinner.

 
Here it is ready to eat. I put a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of shredded cheese on top.
It was really tasty! Since it is getting colder outside, E's Taco Soup is perfect for this time of year.







P.S. I've linked up with Thirty Handmade Days * Here Comes the Sun * A Mommy's Blog Design * Stuff and Nonsense * One Project Closer * Tatortots and Jello * Craftionary * 2805 * At the Picket Fence * French Country Cottage * Funky Junk Interiors * Be Different...Act Normal * Craft Envy * Sweet Boutique * I Heart Naptime * Under the Table and Dreaming * Petite Hermione * The Sasse Life * Twigg Studios * Mad in Crafts * The Chicken Chick * Skip to my Lou * Clairejustineoxox * Sarahndipities * Coastal Charm * Today's Creative Blog * Krafty Kat * Sew Much Ado * Someday Crafts * Trendy Treehouse * We are That Family * Southern Lovely * DIY Crafty Projects * From the Kitchen of Mama Harris * House of Hepworths * Made in a Day * The Shabby Creek Cottage * Imparting Grace * The Charm of Home * Redoux