Thursday, November 19, 2015

Bertie Botts Bingo {Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Party}

At my daughter's 11th birthday party we played Bertie Botts Bingo!  I made these printables for you.  There are 12 different boards.

Game Rules:
We played so each child gets a box of Bertie Botts Beans.
They open their boxes and have to put 1 bean per square of their card.  (But not on the free space.)
When I read off one of the words, they have to eat that bean to keep track.
The first person to get 5 in a row (diagonally, horizontally or vertically) wins!
In our game they won 5 'galleons' (gold chocolate coins).

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Saturday, October 17, 2015

Mississippi Roast

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Place a roast in the crockpot. (Or for a freezer meal, put it in a Ziploc bag OR put it in a crockpot liner and then just tie when done. Then when you want to cook it, just untie, open around the crockpot and stick the lid on. Easy peasy.)  I used approx. 2 lbs of roast per meal.
Sprinkle 2 Tbsp of Ranch Mix and 2 Tbsp of either Au Jus Gravy Mix or Brown Gravy Mix over the roast.
Place 1 stick of butter on the roast.
Put in 5 Pepperchinis/Sweet Banana Peppers

Pour in about 1 Tbsp of the juice from the pepper can.

Cook on low for 8-10 hours from frozen.
Serve with mashed potatoes.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Cheap Hotel AND $25 off!!

Are you looking for a great deal on a Hotel?  You don't need a coupon for a Hotel with this cool app!!
Hotel Tonight finds deals for the unsold rooms of all the hotels in the area you're looking in.  It can see your location (if you allow it) so it can see any hotel rooms around you, or you can choose a location if you are going on a trip.  I used this for a staycation for my husband's birthday and got a great deal on a beautiful room!  I would never have been able to get that nice of a room for what we spent!!
The best deals are for the day of, but you can see up to a week and a half out and you can also reserve the room for multiple days.  We had a great experience with it and it saved us a ton of money!
And if you use my code when you sign up, you get $25 off your first booking!!!

Download the app here:
$25 off promo code:
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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Kitchen Makeover!! {Gel Stain, Backsplash, Hardware, Apron Sink & Tiled Floor!}

This post is my Pièce de Résistance!!  I have worked so hard for so long to finish this kitchen!!  I am so proud of the results.  (And it would have gone a lot faster if I didn't take such a long break in the middle!)

I stained my cabinets with General Finishes Gel Stain.  But this time I went for a whole new look!  I found that using the Java made it look flat.  I wanted some depth to my cabinets and I was amazed at how this turned out!  I used the same techniques in THIS POST but instead of using Java, which I felt was too dark for what I was looking for, I used two different colors.  I used 1 coat of Candelite and then 2 coats of Mahagony.

We also cut the granite and installed an Ikea Farmhouse / Apron Sink.  (Which I LOVE and it was SO cheap!)

I tiled (with the help of my husband and some very good friends that taught us how) the entire downstairs with 20x20 tiles on the diagonal!  It was 1,800 sqft of tiling but it saved us thousands of dollars and looks amazing!  I will not be writing a tutorial on that as I feel you need someone there to help you and show you or you should hire a professional.

We used this hardware for the drawers and these for the doors.  I felt like they complimented my back splash.

We also designed and installed our own back splash. As you can see, we also put it on the front of our island which I love how it ended up looking!  And is great for my kids who put their feet all over it while they sit on the stools.  I also have it down the wall where the kitchen trash is so it is easy to wipe.  It is long ivory tiles with squares of tiny iridescent black squares, tiny iridescent white squares and chrome squares.

My husband and I made the cornice board and you can get the directions here.

And obviously we painted the walls.

I LOVE my kitchen!!!  It was a LOT of hard work but it was SO worth it!!

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And you know what was really fun?  When I was editing these pictures together I had open the before picture when my husband walked in.  He stopped and asked, "Is that our kitchen?!"  Yes, babe.  It was!  What a transformation!


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Life Expectancy of Items Around the Home

How long should things last around your home? 

Here is an infographic showing what you should expect.

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Windows – (plastic frame) 20-30 years
Light bulbs – (incandescent) 42-83 days
Hair dryer – 8-14 years
Mattress – 8-15 years
Wooden Flooring – 20-30 years
Doors (vinyl & screen) – 20-40 years
Paint (interior) – 7-10 years
Shower head – Lifetime
Grouting – 5 years
Taps – 15 years
Bath – 20-50 years
Cabinets – 20-50 years
Toilet seat (porcelain) – 50 years
Toilet bowl – 50 years
Sink – 15-50 years
Window (wooden) – centuries
Linoleum flooring – 20-25 years
Counter top (wood) – 100 years
Dishwasher – 9-16 years
Garbage disposal – 10-15 years
Microwave – 5-10
Fridge – 10-18 years
Freezer – 12-20 years
Oven (gas) – 15-23 years
Boiler – 10-25+ years
Vinyl flooring – 30-50 years
Tumble dryer – 11-18 years
Washing Machine – 8-16 years
Kettle – 2-3 years
Living Room
Radiators – 5-30 years
Sofa – 10-15 years
LED bulb – 2-3 years
Televistion – 11 years
Air conditioning – 15-20 years
Smoke detector – 10 years
Carpet 10-15 years
Driveway (asphalt) – 20-30 years
Decking (wooden) – 20 years
Patio – 20-50 years
Paint (exterior) – 5-7 years
Door (French) – 30-50 years

Original Link Here

Friday, January 30, 2015

Burglar Proofing on a Budget! {Entry Points}

How can 'bad guys' get in?  Doors, Windows and Garages.  Let's look at budget friendly ways to secure them.  You could of course always buy Rolladen Shutters, a security door and your own armored guard but if you don't have thousands to drop, lets try these things.

First let me explain something.  I see everyone in my community freaking out wanting to buy security doors.  Some people are paying more than $1300 for them.  I won't be getting one.  I'll tell you why.  With a few improvements to the security of the door you already have, it makes it un-kickable so you don't need to spend so much on a security door.  Also, if you buy a tougher door and put it in the same frame it does you NO good.  None.  Still kickable.  Let's fix the problem and not give ourselves an unreal sense of security.

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This is installed high on my door.  If someone was to try and kick it in, they would not be able to have that much force AND with it being high like that, the would not have the leverage to get that much force that high up.  This combined with the box strike plate and long screws below give me peace of mind.

Most striker plates are just a piece of metal and the builders install them with very short screws.  If someone kicks the door in, all they are really fighting is your door frame.  Which is not really anything more than a simple piece of moulding. These are a metal box that goes inside the wall.  Not only does it have the two standard screw spots, but it has two inside the indented box so you are getting into the wall and into the studs.  The screws that this box comes with are inadequate so please get either 3'' or 4'' long screws to install it.

This is what you need if you have double doors.  It installs a small plate into the floor.  This plate has a groove in it so another plate can slide in and out of it.  It slides easily with your foot so you can move it to the side when you want to open the door or you can take it out completely.  It will make your door not really kickable as well.

3'' screws are recommended but I have linked 4'' screws here also in case you want to be extra safe.  Use these screws to replace the screws for the box striker plate as well as in the hinges.  We don't want to just secure one side of the door.  Make sure you secure both sides.  Between all of these things, you can watch those thieves break their ankles trying to bust in your door!

Sliding glass doors are normally lifted out of the track.  They don't *usually* break the doors because it is thicker glass, could fall on them and hurt them and they make a lot of noise.  Now remember, there are always those stupid criminals which is why they have entire TV shows of them.  But we will tackle the breaking of glass later.  We want to prevent someone being able to take the entire door out.  You can deadbolt your door to your home so it cannot be lifted or slid open.


I forgot to leave my window locked.  (We still have no idea how it wasn't locked.)  But it wasn't.  So it made it easy for the guy to get in.  These prevent anyone from being able to open the window more than the lock.  Wherever you put it, it stays.  So make sure you only have 5-6 inches between it and the sliding window so no one can get in.  Install it with pliers so it really grabs into the window frame.  This would have made it so even if he was able to open it, he couldn't have gotten in unless he broke the window.

This film makes your glass so it can't be broken in to.  It will still break but it just spiderwebs and stays together so someone cannot get in.  You can also use this on your sliding glass door.


I have a third car garage that does not have an opener on it.  I have put this carabiner on it so that even if they can unlock it, it won't be going anywhere.  Simply put it through any hole in the track. I chose to have mine just above the wheel so it doesn't really have any play. This could even allow you to leave it slightly open but not enough for a person to get through if you wanted to air out the garage for a bit.  (If you do this with a garage door opener and forget to remove it, it could mess things up so be careful if you choose to use this with an opener.)

So I don't want to use the door guardian on my garage door because if I'm loading groceries or doing yard work and my children are inside I could get locked out.  So I am using this on my garage door.  It locks itself automatically when the door is shut so that I can't forget to lock it or wonder while I'm in bed at night if it got locked.  It has a lot of other cool features too!

I already made a post about this which is linked above.

Tie Up Your String!
Get a zip tie and tie up the string.  The string can be fished and pulled.  It unlocks the garage door so they can come right in!  They have a super easy time of this with windows on the garage that are not frosted.

There are a BUNCH of low cost ways to secure your home.  Yes after all of them, they add up, but it is a lot cheaper than the alternatives and provide the most security for your money.  Don't get overwhelmed with it all.  Take one area at a time and secure it so you can protect your family!!


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Garage Windows are Dangerous!

So when the man broke in, my husband was gone.  We only have one car at the moment.  We also have garage door windows.  I thought they were pretty and I liked that I have natural light in my garage.  However, he was able to look right in and see that there was no car at home.  Because of this, he probably thought we were gone or on vacation and we were an easier target.
What can you do?  I live in an HOA that is very picky.  And I really didn't want it to look bad.  So I had an idea.  I bought Rust-Oleum Frosted Spray Paint.  It makes glass look like frosted glass.  I was worried that it might look bad.  I also worried that it would not be frosted enough that if someone looked in with a flashlight they could still see there was no car there.  But I took a chance and used it.  I was SO happy with the results!!  (If I wasn't I wouldn't share!!)
Here is before:
 As you can see, you can see right through the window.  Don't mind my mess.  I still haven't unpacked my garage as I've been using it as a prep space for my projects...


This is with the lights on inside the garage.  (In case I accidentally left them on at night.)

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This is with the lights off with shining a flashlight into the garage.  (Even pressed against the glass you could see nothing!!)

 And it looks good in the day too!
 With a camera it still looks fairly normal from any distance because of the reflection on the glass but if you get close you can see that it is frosted.

To get this look I went back and forth over my glass evenly.  I did 4 coats.  When you first spray it, the glass just looks wet and does not look frosted.  It frosts as it dries.  If yours looks splotchy you can fix it later with another pass over the area.  Also I sprayed from the inside.  I didn't tape off the area around the window and you can't tell if I got it on the door so it looks great!  (Which makes it even easier!)

So for just a small investment and 30 minutes of your time (or less), no bad guys can look in your windows and see what you have or that you are/are not home.

I feel like if I had done this sooner I would have been just one more level of protected.  Each thing I am showing here is just one more obstacle for them to overcome so they skip your home and it will keep you safe!!