I have been eyeing this wooden rosary at a fancy home decor store for a few years. I didn’t buy it because they wanted close to $200. So I waited for years hoping it would go on sale but it never did & then it suddenly dawned on me: I could make it myself. I got the wooden beads from a craft store & ordered the cross from Etsy. I used 53 pink beads (for the Hail Marys) & 5 larger white beads (for the Our Fathers). Easy peasy & it only cost me $35 to make it myself. I can’t believe it took me so long to think of it.
raspberry lemonade cake
People are always impressed by this cake whenever I make it, but the truth is the bundt pan does all the work. So do yourself a favour & get a really pretty pan.
1. Preheat your oven. Spray your pan with non-stick spray & flour it.
2. I use a lemon cake mix & follow the directions on the box but then I add a box of lemon pudding powder at the end (this will make the cake moist).
3. Remove approximately 3 tablespoons of the lemon batter into another bowl & mix in a tablespoon of seedless raspberry jam.
4. Pour half of the yellow lemon batter into your bundt pan, then swirl the pink raspberry batter throughout (*careful not to touch the edges or bottom of the pan or your cake may stick). Pour the rest of the lemon batter into the pan.
5. Bake the cake according to directions on the box & let it cool.
6. When its cool enough, flip the cake out of the pan.
7. Sprinkle icing sugar though a sifter over the top of the cake.
8. Make a runny icing using cream cheese, lemon juice, seedless raspberry jam & icing sugar. Drizzle over the top of the cake.
9. Decorate with raspberries & mint leaves.
VARIATIONS: I have done this same cake with passionfruit or blackberries so get creative.
This delicious pie is my take on Banoffe Pie (think banana-toffee…mmmmm).
– Start with a graham cracker crumb crust (mine was store bought which comes with its own lid which is handy if you need to transport the pie).
– The toffee layer is made by combining 1/2 cup of melted butter with 1/2 cup of brown sugar over a low heat stirring the whole time until the sugar is dissolved. Add 1 can of condensed milk & bring to a rapid boil for 1 minute stirring the whole time until the mixture is golden & thick. Pour the caramel mixture over the crust & chill for about an hour or until ready to serve.
– Now this is where my recipe departs from the traditional: When you are ready to serve, slice bananas on top, then sprinkle chocolate curls & pecan pieces.
You know those contraptions you put in boots to make them stand at attention in your closet? Well they are expensive & you can do the same thing with pool noodles from the dollar store. Cut them to size with a bread knife. I decided to rebrand them as “BOOTLES”.
But the best part was when the cashier rung the pool noodles through the till I had a good chuckle:
heating pad cover
Ever want to jazz up those plain covers that come with heating pads? I wanted something really soft so I purchased a fuzzy baby blanket from the dollar store. I folded it in half, cut it to size & then sewed the end & side to make a pocket. Make sure to use the factory finished edge of the blanket at the open end of your cover. Then add your choice of buttons or velcro to close. I love how cuddly mine is now.
I liked the bones of this cabinet & the yellow one was on sale but yellow is not in my colour scheme. My plan was to strip it (never fun) & then stain it a dark espresso colour. I had to abandon that plan when the stain did not take evenly so I painted over it with solid grey instead & changed the hardware. As a matter of fact, I don’t think any piece of furniture I own has its original hardware on it. Changing hardware is a really good trick to make pieces look customized or vintage or just to upscale a look.
lights in a jar
I took a tired-looking old table & stripped the paint off the top & I love how it turned out. This was hard work & there was nothing fun about it; but it was worth it.
fairies in a jar
This is a beautiful yet inexpensive way to light up a backyard in the summer that kids will love. Use any glass jar & I bought my glowsticks at the dollar store. Add some glitter to the jar. I used a combo of clear & silver glitter in mine. Snap the glowstick & shake it to activate. Once glowing, cut off the end of the stick & pour the liquid into the jar. Place the lid on the jar & shake until the liquid & glitter spread all over the jar. It should glow for a few hours.
WARNING: I am not sure how toxic the liquid is so please wear gloves while making this project. Also, please don’t use the jar for food again after its been used for this project. Just save it to re-use the next time you want to make another fairy light.
melted crayon art
Here is a fun one to do with kids:
1. Glue crayons to a sturdy art board.
2. Use a hair dryer to melt the crayons.
- Use Crayola crayons. I tried a generic brand & the colours never ran.
- I used regular school glue to attach the crayons because I was worried that if I used a glue gun it might melt from the heat of the hair dryer.
- Fair warning: Use newspaper or an old sheet to protect not only the surface underneath where you are working on but also the area behind the artwork because the wax tends to blow around a bit.
- Be patient. It takes a while for the crayons to start melting but once they do, the magic happens quickly.
- The closer you hold the dryer to the drips, the more the colours will blend into each other creating a pretty effect.
Uh-oh…How do I get wax out of my carpet?
I found this remedy on the internet & it worked like a charm.
Place a brown paper grocery bag over the spill with the printed side facing up so that the printing won’t transfer to your rug. The paper acts as a blotter & will soak up the wax. Use an iron on the lowest setting so you don’t burn your rug. Iron the paper until it has soaked up all the wax.
I love toy soldier nutcrackers but couldn’t find any that were “just right” so I bought a cheap one & spray painted it with white primer. Then I sprayed it with adhesive & sprinkled clear glitter on it. It came out better than I could have imagined. I think it looks like snow & it catches the light beautifully.
MY TIP: For best results be sure to use a nutcracker without any hair or fabric.
using baby blocks as decor
scrabble as decor
This is similar to the feather wreath I made earlier, but this time I used a wire wreath. First I strung the wreath with white string lights so that they would glow through the feathers. Then I wrapped it with white feather boas. This is the perfect wreath to hang in a window because it looks pretty from both sides. Be sure to use battery operated lights so you don’t have to worry about cords or plugs.
feather boa wreath
upgrade a boring door
Before + After
This is an easy project. If you are handy, you can custom make the mouldings yourself, or if you don’t have a saw/mitre box you can choose the easy route (like I did) & buy them ready-made from a hardware store. They have different sizes to choose from. I chose 3 rectangles & I used a product call “No Nails” to adhere them to the door & then painted. I also changed the hardware on the door. Ta-da!!!
UPDATE: I needed a quick pick-me-up so decided to paint my door again. The initial inspiration to change my door the first time was because of the obnoxious hot pink colour that I inherited when I moved in; so I switched to a calming pale blue. Now I’ve gone back to pink, but a much softer shade which doesn’t hurt the eyes. Its such a big bang for your buck & it doesn’t take long at all to paint such a small area so I highly recommend this to people craving a change. It makes me happy everytime I come home.