It’s a well-known fact that at one point in everyone’s life, they are a total genius, unless they are your husband and then this rule NEVER applies! That stated, I thought I would share my “genius moment” with you, Dear Readers.
Yesterday I blocked about spray painting hinges to save both money and time so today I thought I would share with you the total hack I figured out accidentally and it’s all thanks to a stray piece of plastic wrap and the newspaper...
Here is what to do:
Gather the following; newspaper, plastic wrap, spray paint, gloves, cabinets with hinges still attached, an open mind and adventurous spirit. (Paint in a well-ventilated space, I did this in our sunroom.)
Remove the cabinets and screws.
Insert the screws into a folded up piece of newspaper so they stand up right, as shown in the picture. Spray paint them and allow to dry.
Tear off a large enough piece of plastic wrap to cover the area you will be painting. Fit the plastic wrap behind the hinge and covering as much of the cabinet as you feel is necessary to protect it from overspray. Spray paint and allow to dry. (I used the type of spray paint that is a primer
and paint and can be used on metal. Spray paint can actually has a handle you push in not a button you press and I think it’s easier to work with because you have a little more control. After you’ve painted the hinge and are ready to paint another hinge, fold the plastic wrap over onto itself so you don’t get paint on the cabinet and repeat the process. I also found that using something to brace the cabinet up so it doesn’t lay on itself will prevent the backside of the cabinet from getting paint on it. Spray paint tends to pool and to prevent that raising the cabinet is helpful. (I painted over the top of newspaper and made very little mess or trash.) I did my whole kitchen with one can of paint and there’s plenty left over. The entire project cost me nothing more than elbow grease and about six dollars.
Re-install the cabinets, admire your work be grateful you read this blog because this is a heck of a money AND time-saving tip!
I have been bitten by Spring fever but good! Having Spring fever means cleaning up and having the desire to spruce things up. Yesterday, I weeded, I mean “gardened” and today I am replacing all the drawer knobs in our kitchen. That’s right, Dear Readers, I’m having a knobbing about kind of day. I’m changing out the tired and dated brass knobs for updated brushed nickel that matches our stainless steel sink, fixtures and appliances. I wanted to do this for a long time but I knew it would be a pain in the neck kind of project so I’ve been putting it off. I also have known the effort will be well-worth it but it hasn’t made me procrastinate any less.
Years ago, I had purchased several knobs and drawer pulls from, you guessed it, a yard sale, for cheap! They’ve been knocking about in our basement ever since. This past weekend we purchased the remaining required knobs and pulls and today I’ve begun the task of removing and installing.
I wanted to share this with you because I thought I would share a money-saving tip that might be useful for when you go to replace the knobs and pulls in your kitchen. If you need to also replace the hinges as we do, those are super expensive! So my tip is this, spray paint them. Make sure you purchase a type of spray paint that also contains a primer and can be applied to metal and you will save yourself a small fortune! Now, I bet you’re thinking why didn’t you just paint the knobs too Mary? I asked myself the exact question but decided against it because those are handled very often and I wanted to make sure that there was no issue with wear and tear. Since there might be and I may have to spray paint them repeatedly or end up purchasing knobs and pulls anyway, I ruled that option out.
Please share any money saving tips for sprucing up a kitchen or living space you might have in the comments section.
Spring is here in all her glory! Magnolias and cherry trees are in bloom. Tulips are up and unfortunately, so are the weeds! One thing is for certain about Spring, it means gardening! Now, all of us that “garden” know one thing with absolute certainty, gardening is code for “weeding.” That’s right, Dear Readers, Spring brings bird song, blooming gardens, and sunny, longer days in which to work at pulling and destroying the all-intrusive, ever-persistent weeds that live in your yard. We do not use destructive chemicals in our yard, just people power, consistency and determination.(I did recently read something about cornmeal killing the little suckers and soapy water may also be sprayed on them so both or either combined with a health amount of cursing and hexes can’t hurt.) Resistance is futile (I know) but between now and the Fall it’s me against the weeds!
Here is an acronym to think about for weed;
Play is important. Playfulness is paramount to becoming an inventive home chef.
Being playful in the kitchen opens up your heart and mind to create whimsical, fun and Imaginative dishes and meals. Being playful allows you to ‘roll with the punches’ when the unexpected happens. For example, when you get to the end of a recipe and realize someone in the house ate all the bacon! What do you do? Substitute of course with ham or lunch meat or even smoky cheese... it does not matter what you substitute, you’re just playing and therefore having fun. Savvy?
Take this 1970s-type breakfast side dish I plan to offer to a friend as part of breakfast. The cuts are far from perfect but my hearts in the right place. I’ve drizzled it with some nice local honey and placed a blueberry in the center just like anyone in the 1970s would’ve done. (1970s were clearly not a highlight in American cuisine.) I think my friend, who is an amazing home chef, will smile and chuckle at my playfulness when he sees it. At least I’m hoping that will be the reaction and not a chuckle of pity for either himself or me...
Another fine example of being playful would be to go out into your yard and collect up any twigs or flowers that might be blooming. Tie them together maybe add some lights and place them around the house. The decoration is free and brings the outside inside. Maybe you purchased some herbs from a local market or yours are beginning to poke up through the ground. Gather those up, tie them together and place them in a vase with water. Treat the herbs like flowers And share and show them off! Just be playful and have fun, always. Life is too quick to be serious everywhere so reserve the kitchen as your “silly place.”
You know that scene in the movie by Nora Ephron, “When Harry Met Sally?” No, Dear Readers, not the “fake orgasm scene,“ the scene when Harry and Sally discuss whether or not Sally is ‘high maintenance.’ Sally had just finished ordering her meal, just the way she liked it, and Harry sits there with his mouth gaping, in complete disbelief. I ask you, what is wrong with wanting something just the way you wantit? What is wrong with being a control freak? The answer? Nothing!
If you cook, you are high maintenance. You like things the way you like them. You like things your way. And most importantly, you want it the way you want it. If you didn’t, you would not cook! Embrace your inner control freak, Dear Readers! It’s YOUR kitchen and you can do what you want to!!!
Being “ high maintenance ,” keeps we, that cook, curious. Being “high maintenance,” keeps we, that cook, the top of our game and the best we can be. Now I ask you, What is so terrible about that?
Please share your thoughts in the comment section.
Goodness help my family but I have been bitten by the “organization” bug. I thought I would share this picture of this beautiful, female Northern Cardinal to entice you to continue reading. Did it work? Great!
Anyway, organizing on a shoestring budget requires only one thing, creative thinking. Grab a cup of coffee and walk about your home. What do you have? Is there a dresser tucked away somewhere in the basement that is storing something (or several somethings) that could be lugged up the 13 steps that lead to the kitchen and placed, very artfully, along the wall to store all the (not so) artful objects you need to hide in your kitchen? You know the objects... We all have them in our kitchens. Things like: you’re enormous salt collection, your collection of plastic containers with miss-matched lids, or, my personal favorite, your collection of dried herbs from last summer that are stored in resealable bags.
Now, let it be known, Dear Readers, my husband, Russell, has been forewarned! Russell has been forewarned in two ways:
1. He is married to me.
2. I called him and warned him...
My husband’s only question in this whole organization scenario was this, “Who is going to move the two heavy dressers up-and-down the stairs? “ My answer? “ Me.” His response? “No.” My response? “We’ll figure it out... Just think, your reward for all this lifting of heavy furniture will be that I allow you to make us both a nice drink!” He chuckled...
Yesterday, our temperature topped out at 87 degrees! Throwing caution and logic to the wind, I weeded, I mean planted and began stripping two pieces of furniture, one metal and one wood. I had a lot of things going at once! I would clear some weeds as I dug planting holes while our youngest daughter, Mia, tucked in potatoes. I created a trench along the garden fence and she laid pea seeds; all the while, my husband Russell, gave our dog Lollipop a much needed trim. When I tired of weeding, I returned to stripping the furniture. This pattern continued throughout the day until the call of the Mai Tai became too loud to ignore and my sunburn too itchy and uncomfortable.
Today I woke to a 40 degree temperature drop and the desire to bake whole grain bread. As the baking process escalated, so did my level of distractability. Once the “let’s get this project started” bug bites I am the ultimate manifestation of, ‘Oh look! Squirrel!’ My brain jumps about and furniture gets moved and my kitchen reorganized. I flit about like a demented jumping bean, tending to the bread while I empty dishes so a large piece can be moved or planning projects for Russell and dreading the (very necessary) trip to the home improvement store. My goal is simple, work with what I have about to revamp and improve our living space. Wait! Squirrel!
This morning I have loads to do! For starters, there is coffee to be made and drunk. (First things first, Dear Readers.) Then there are stripping and planting projects to accomplish. Here in the East, when we have our first warm days, home improvement stores get mobbed with crazed Easterners, sick with cabin fever and ready to indulge in a manic-depressive planting frenzy! Only dirt, beer and barbecue will satisfy the drive.
Our yard and home will be no different but I am steps ahead of the pack this season. We purchased supplies last night, ahead of the masses. I have already emptied and moved the first piece to be attacked, I mean stripped, outside. French press coffee is being pressed and I am rolling up my sleeves. Plants, seeds, tools and gloves are ready and waiting and I am prepared to get down and dirty! Tomorrow calls for rain so today’s 80 degrees will be savored and enjoyed. Mai Tais are on the agenda for this evening’s sunset as is putting my feet up. Ahhh, Spring...
Well Dear Readers. It has finally arrived! Yard sale season! (I should say Recycling Season.) Grab your small bills and coins, put on your comfy shoes and cloths, slather up with sunscreen, gird your loins and lets party! Yard sale season signals a few things but the fact it ushers in Spring and Summer have to be my favorites. Yard sales allow me to indulge in senseless purchases and participate in recycling. What the what? "Participate in recycling?" Yep. You read that correctly, Dear Readers. Yard sales are the ultimate form of recycling and I am more than happy to do my part!
Today, I offer a few free Recycling Season tips I believe you will find useful:
1. NEVER show your excitement about an item until you are alone. (This helps with bargaining.)
2. NEVER be rude to the seller at a yard sale. (This mean not making a mess or being nasty if they do not want to pay your price.)
3. DO wear comfy clothes that are ideal for walking, squatting and getting a bit dirty.
4. DO wear sunscreen and/or a hat.
5. Do bring small bills and change. (Just be careful to save yourself a bit of parking money.)
6. DO have a "wish" list because that way you are always open to surprises.
7. DO be organized. (This means clearing your car for the unexpected large purchase and having places to keep breakable items safe from harm. This also means having a route in mind so you don't waste gasoline.)
Please share your free tips in the comments section so we can all help with this year's recycling season.
This morning I put on my gardening gloves for the first time in months. I swept our sunroom free of dirt and cleared away dead plants that did not survive the harsh winter temperatures. I decided to finally paint the little metal shelf unit I purchased from a yard sale a few summers ago, and formulated a “plan” to freshen and cheer the room. Surfaces and cushions were cleaned and moved and our dog, Lollipop will get a bath and a haircut and another bath.
Outside, I swept and raked more debris and made more plans. I discovered the stawberries I planted at the beginning of Fall survived winter and should produce this spring/summer! I admired the Cardinal’s song and got dirt in my shoes while I pulled out old cherry tomato vines and hoped more would grow as happily as these had last year. I crossed my fingers my oregano, sage, thyme and mint would return the way the chives are doing. I found some shoots I believe are garlic and am excited about the scapes I will harvest soon. Now, I just have to wait for the fire flies.
Avid home cook and passionate instructor