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I was thrilled when I saw this recipe on Wit and Whistle. This is my favorite…ONLY way to make Brussel Sprouts.  They taste buttery and delicious but yet super healthy. Add some cut up sausage and broccoli to the pan and cook with the sprouts and you got yourself a meal! This is G & I’s favorite meal as of recently and the prep time is unbelievably fast!

Today I had gum surgery…AGAIN so I had some time on my hands. I always decorate very last minute. I see something I like and think that would look cute and try to replicate it if it is expensive or buy the item if it is cheap. So I thought I would put some plan behind my design. And here it is. I got this idea from Young House Love.

1. I found this Amy Butler fabric on fabric.com. I love it! I thought they would make some cute pillows which I could totally make. Hey, I know how to sew a straight line…when someone else sets up the thread for me. And if you haven’t been to fabric.com totally worth the online trip. Some of my favorites are Amy Butler. And for $8.98 a yard you can’t beat it! I think I could make a couple pillows with a yard. Another great place to buy fabric is IKEA. They have a lot of fun contemporary fabrics.

2. I bought this brown fabric on fabric.com as well. We are recovering our sofa with this fabric. It is fabulous! The sofa shown is actually something from Crate and Barrell, but hopefully the finished product will look very similar. No more big blue… for those of you who haven’t seen our sofa we have a big denim sofa in our living room.

3.  These are the curtains we already own from IKEA. I love them. I will buy them for every room in our house. They are clean, simple, and crazy cheap.

4.  This is a rug that my husband designed. You can purchase it through the store at Grant Design Collaborative. Isn’t he amazing?

5. We already have these side tables from Targey. I bought them on sale for like $18 a piece. A steal! The picture shown is actually from Crate and Barrel. We bought knock offs for like 1% of that C&B price. WOO WOO!

6. These are baskets from IKEA. I am trying to find something less expensive to stash books in. I feel like books area always strewn about our living room. Right now I am researching gardens so I have like 7 garden books on the floor. Also,  Does that say something about me that I am trying to buy something cheaper then the IKEA price? Maybe.

7. This is another Targey purchase. We bought this when we moved in. I love the modern feel to this TV stand as well as the doors that cover up all our stuff.

8.  This is a gift from a friend and local artist Claudia Campbell. Claudia gave us this picture as a wedding gift and I had it matted and framed.

I am still trying to save up for some of these items as well as maybe finding cheaper replicas.  As soon as we are finished I will take some pics and show you the finished product. We’ll see how all my planning played out.

What do you think?Any advice from your side of the screen? I am trying to find some fun colors. I very often stick to khaki and brown and I am trying to punch up the room. Let me know what you think! Seen any online fabric stores that change your life? Send ’em our way!

Over the last few months..eh hem..4 months I have been following this blog. She has given me hope that there is an end to this story in our life…because the pessimistic bitter part of me that sneaks out very often says there is no end.  So for those of you who want to see hope and God’s completion take a look!

Matthew 7:9-11

Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone?
Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake?
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

A friend of mine shared this with me the other day. This is still true. This is still true. This is still true.

Remember these little dirt pods from a couple of weeks ago? Well lookie here:

The snow peas got so big they pushed up the plastic top. Also the cucumber and tomatoes are coming up like crazy. April 3 is garden day – anyone got any dirt they want to share?

No goals this weekend.  Taking the weekend off for some biscuits and gravy, shopping and lots of  outdoor time!

Supplies

  • Tiles
  • Grout
  • Mastic
  • Spacers
  • Level
  • Tile/Wet Saw
  • Grout Float
  • Trowel
  • Pencil
  • Big sponge
  • Bucket of water
  • Grout sealer

Think about getting longer screw for the outlets (you may not need this but we did)

Tiling Instructions:

  • Remove outlet covers
  • Find the center of the room’s focal point. (For us this was behind the stove, so we measured the middle point of that with a level or ruler and marked it with a pencil)

  • To get it started put the mastic on the back of the tiles and follow your center line.
  • Once you finish laying your first row of tiles mark the center of a single tile to use as a reference for the next row. Subway tiles are laid with a brickwork pattern so they are staggered. So the mark you have drawn on this tile will line up with space between two tiles below it. Continue the second line. Repeat all the way up.

  • Chances are once you get to the top your space will not allow for one more tile perfectly so you’ll have to start cutting.
  • Measure out all the pieces that you will need to cut and go cut away.

  • Insert all your oddly cut tiles.
  • Mix your grout. We got a 10 lb bag and this was just enough for our kitchen. We mixed the 10 lb bag with about 3 1/3 cup of water and continued to add water while grouting because it began to harden (your bag o grout will have directions on the back). One handy tip- In some of the harder to reach corners we used some stiffer grout to stick up in those corners with our fingers.
  • Once your tiles have dried and cannot be moved, put grout on the grout float and push the grout into the creases working at a 45 degree angle. This is not easy. It takes time. Be patient! It is well worth the work! Make sure all your cracks are filled in with the grout!
  • According to the directions from the grout I waited about 30 minutes for the grout to dry and got a bucket of water and my big sponge and dampened the sponge to wipe off the excess grout. I was extremely liberal with the grout so I had a lot to wipe away.
  • Wipe again.
  • Wipe again.
  • Wipe tiles until you run your fingers along and no longer pick up dust.
  • Use a grout sealer. I used a spray grout sealer. Give the sealer a 24 hour drying time. With a spray grout sealer make sure to buff off the sealer from the actual tiles. Always follow the directions of your grout sealer. Grout is porous so will absorb anything and a sealer will prevent that from happening.

And Taaa daaa you have a tiled kitchen.

Comment with any questions!

Always follow manufacturers directions.

The tiling job is complete…well, sort of. The tile is up but some cleaning still needs to be done. Check out the before and after pictures. Our friend Tim came over and helped. I am sad I didn’t get any pictures of G and Tim working away.  Sunday I took over the butler’s pantry. Our fancy butler should be very content with a tiled backsplash.
Before:

After:

We make a good team! A tiling tutorial is still to come! Trust me, if I can tile anyone can tile. Better pictures to come – I will try to take pics during the day. This night time light is for the dogs! I LOVE the tiling! It makes the room look much lighter and cleaner (even though the pictures don’t really show that).

Can you guess what room we will be working in this weekend? There will be a major upgrade in one of rooms this weekend that will cost a total of about $45.00 AND a tutorial next week. By me. Being very handy. My thought in life is that if I can do something anyone can because I am the clumsiest girl in the world. I often joke that  I am the lowest common denominator.

whaddyathink?

WHEW! This day has been a doozy. I meant to post this much earlier. Sorry friends! I went to the dentist today for a follow up appointment after my dumb gum graft I had in January and apparently whatever happened didn’t work so they get to do it again. Awesome. In fact, they said that during this surgery they have to cut so deep in the roof of my mouth they can’t stitch it up…WHAT? Excuse me…WHAT? So I get to wear a retainer for a few days. Lovely. But the dentist did say that it was free……

Anyway, back to the homemade cleaners I made.

Window Cleaner

Homemade Cleaner is the winner! This cleaned the mirrors – left no streaks- and didn’t have the awful glass cleaner smell. Made the bathroom smell fresh.

Window Cleaner Recipe:

1/4 cup vinegar

1/2 teaspoon liquid soap

2 c. water

Combine in a spray bottle. Shake and spray.

All Purpose Cleaner/Surface Spray (I guess this negates the All-Purpose so I give it the name All Purpose Surface Spray Cleaner)

This was the winner. I used this to clean the counters, outside of oven, fridge, outside of dishwasher. My this was so all purpose! Usually I just use soap on a rag, but this worked better and more convenient. No streaks.

All Purpose Surface Spray Recipe

(I used this recipe, but I just used regular dishwashing soap)

16 oz spray bottle

2 tsp. borax

1/4 teaspoon liquid soap

hot water to fill spray bottle

Combine in spray bottle and shake.

Tub  Scrub

WINNER: Scrubbing Bubbles. It smells awful and like you are smelling poison, but it cleans everything.  I walked into the bathroom a few hours later and it was so potent. Any ideas as far as a good natural tub cleaner?

I am not even going to bother with the recipe. The baking soda left a coarse texture after using.

Fabric Softener

This stuff is awesome. I pour about a half cup into our fabric softener dispenser and it makes everything smell fresh – not like the fake fabric softener fresh, but like no smell fresh. I am not sure what to do when pouring directly on fabric.

So summary, window cleaner – good, all purpose surface spray – good, tub scrub – bust, fabric softener – good.

Any good sources for some homemade cleaners? Any good recipes. Spill the beans. I’ll try it. Let me know if you use any of the recipes.

There it is. My cleaner line up. And apparently March 25 I will have a band aide retainer. Awesome. If my brain starts leaking out of the roof of my mouth you may not hear from me.

Directions for egg container:

1. Remove eggs 🙂

2. Make egg salad

3. Fill each egg spot about 3/4 full with some good dirt from Home Depot

4. Dampen the soil

5. Put seedlings in each little pod

6. Take out of direct sunlight and cover with plastic wrap. Poke small holes in plastic wrap. Water the soil when looking dry (Make sure it is placed on newspaper or something that can absorb the water that will seep out of the bottom of the container). This would be such a fun and educational project with kiddos.

Once the seedlings begin to show through put in light and keep watered.

Once the seedlings look big enough to plant cut out each pod and transplant in the ground.

This has been the first weekend in a while where we took it easy. It was wonderful!!! This was a great weekend for conversation. I saw some friends this weekend that I hadn’t seen in a while and had some amazing conversations. I appreciate how people are placed in our lives at the perfect time. Also, B&G (biscuits and gravy) was Saturday morning and who can beat a B&G day? I certainly cannot.

My favorite quote of the weekend:

“I have a lifetime rule to never say no to biscuits.” – Jonathon Wishon. Amen brother. Amen.

Here’s how my goals panned out.

1. Find towel hooks for the bathroom – Half Complete! I found the towel hooks but they are at IKEA and didn’t make it down to Atlanta to buy it.

And it is only $1.99. SCORE! Now I just need to get down to IKEA and fight the cow herding that is IKEA.

2. Create some natural cleaners. This link on Young House Love has recipes for natural cleaners. I used some recipes from this site as well as some from other sources online. COMPLETE TO THE MAX!

I actually did a breakdown and comparison of natural cleaners vs. store bought cleaners. I’ll give you a breakdown tomorrow with recipes.

All Purpose Cleaner

Bathroom/Soft Scrub

Check back tomorrow for the recipes and comparisons. I didn’t do the laundry detergent or dishwasher detergent. I will keep doing some research to find some inexpensive detergents. I know they are out there.

Fabric Softener

So those are the four homemade cleaners I made. I’ll just say that three worked great and one was a bust.

3. Start my veggie garden seedlings inside.

I have a garden in a box right now! Andy Samburg should write a song about this…kind of like…oh nevermind…

Starting the seedlings  is one of my favorite things to do all year. I had fun setting this up. The garden in a box…not the thing from the Andy Samburg song.

I planted  three types of tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, snow peas, watermelon and cantaloupe.

There are 36 slots in this container. It is so easy to use.  I bought this container at Wal-mart for $4 and you water the dirt pods (I guess that is what it is called?) and after a few minutes they rise.  They look like those little sponge things that get bigger with water. You then pull back the nesting each dirt pod is in and plant your seeds. I didn’t do organic seeds or anything – just the $1 seeds from Home Depot. I had A LOT of seeds leftover from last year so this year I spent about $8 on the container of dirt pods and the seeds. You’ll see a cost breakdown below. Also as far as cost is concerned, last year Home Depot had a garden day where they had half off seeds which brought most seeds down to .50-.60 cents. Keep an eye out for this sale – I am hoping it is something they do yearly. You can’t beat veggie seeds that cheap.

Another cheap idea is to get a cardboard egg container and add some dirt and plant your seedlings. Here’s an easy how to.

Garden Price Breakdown:

Garden Container Kit – $4.00

Seeds – $5.00

So $9 for a wonderful garden. I can’t wait to transplant the seedlings.

I also put some herbs in my bathroom. Our bathroom gets amazing sun and I thought some sweet smelling herbs would add a lot to our bathroom. In the bathroom I planted lavender, mint, and chamomile in my one little white IKEA planter.

Ha! That looks so lonely. Does this gross you out? Just know that if you come to my house and you get mint tea…it was grown in the bathroom…

Are you growing a garden this year? Any tips? Any advice on natural cleaners? Bring it on!

By the way, my new favorite word is dirt pod. Catch you dirt pods in the sandbox!