Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Diamond In The Rough

Today I've got some exciting news to share... we bought our first home! We move in just a couple weeks.

I can't tell you how long I've been wanting to get my crafty little hands on a home of my very own. I'm so excited! It's a diamond in the rough just oozing with potential. And between my creative brain and my husband's perfectionist carpentry skills, I just know we can turn it into something great!

Want to take a little tour?

Here's the front of the home:


Do you just love the big trees? The whole property is full of them. Best reason to buy an older home. Period.

There's a little entryway space: 


I'm already dreaming up plans for what I'm going to do to this space!

Then you either walk up or down the steps. Yep, split entry. Total 80's house.


I want wood stairs here eventually. Wouldn't that be beautiful?

Here's the kitchen/dining room:


That flooring may look okay in the photo, but it is FUNKY in person. I think it was originally supposed to be siding for a log cabin, not even joking. But we can live with it until we scrape up funds to replace it. I want to revamp the kitchen and I already have an idea for the mismatched appliances. 

This is the living room side of the main room:


And another view. That yellowish orange wall? That has GOT to go! It is exactly the color of a fast food joint or a bad Mexican restaurant.


Master bedroom:


Not much to look at yet, but it has it's own private deck on the front of the house!

This is the bedroom that will be the nursery:


What you can't see is the awesome Twilight light switch cover and the cheap-o bifold closet doors. But the beadboard is cute and I even like the paint color!

This is the upstairs bathroom: 


Nothing fancy, but it does have double sinks. I think I can make something of it. The wall you can only see in the mirror's reflection is painted poop brown. Brown in a bathroom... sorry, my mind just automatically goes there!

The downstairs has a big family room with a fireplace:


The tile is in great shape, even though I think it's a little strange for a family room downstairs. The bi-fold doors lead to a bigger-than-you-would-expect laundry room closet.

My favorite room in the whole house:


It's going to be my craft room. My happy place! The whole back wall is full of those built-in shelves. Ugly now, but can you say, "Potential!!" I can put so much stuff in there!

Downstairs bedroom for the kids:


A little white paint will take it from rustic to Nantucket.

And here's the downstairs bathroom:


Come on, I know you looooooove that light fixture! And don't forget that awesome wallpaper border.

But the real reason we bought the house is because it's out in the country on an awesome piece of land and surrounded by gorgeous farm fields. This is the view from the back deck:


Be still, my heart! That will be the view from my kitchen sink.

And another from the side yard:


I mean, seriously. Gorgeous! Heavenly! Just what this country-girl-at-heart has always dreamed of! Mature trees, a garden spot, a deck, a half-finished treehouse, lots of grass for the kids to run around on. Did I mention there are apple trees? Ack! I am so in love!

Do you see the potential? I've already been remodeling in my mind. Some style updates, a few repairs, lots of paint and elbow grease and I think this place is going to be amazing! And you better believe I'll be sharing all the changes here on the blog. Are you excited? I can't wait to get started!

Now excuse me while I run to Home Depot.

How To Make Homemade Croutons

I am a pretty frugal crazy thrifty person. I pinch every last penny. Well today I have a confession to make...

No one in our family likes the heels of bread.

So I throw them away.

*GASP*

I know. And when you go through 2-3 loaves of bread a week, that's a lot of heels!

Well, I've finally come up with a solution. It all started when I needed to bring a salad to a party and didn't have time to go to the store. I scrounged through the pantry and found six bags of bread with just the heels inside. A light bulb went on, and honestly, I don't know why I didn't think of it before. I turned all those heels that normally get thrown away into homemade croutons!



And it was so easy that I'm kicking myself for not doing it sooner. I love a good crouton, and homemade are even better than store bought!

So you should run to your bread cupboard right now and make some with me!

Step 1. Cut the bread into cubes.

Step 2. Spread on a baking sheet and drizzle with a little oil.

Step 3. Sprinkle with salt and other seasonings, if desired. I used garlic and black pepper. Mmm...

Step 4. Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes, until the bread starts to turn golden brown.

Step 5. Crunch, crunch. Eat those tasty little cubes!

Now that I have homemade croutons, I have been eating salad every day. I tell ya, the crunch just gets me!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Ten Cute Thanksgiving Treats

I love food that borders on a craft. Are you surprised? Ha! Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and I have discovered so many cute Thanksgiving treats recently that I thought I'd do a little round up of some of my favorites. Click on the link under each picture for instructions on how to make each adorable treat.



Candy Corn on the Cob by Instructables

Little Gobbler by Seventh House on the Left
Turkey Cookies by Our Best Bites

Turkey Treat by Clean and Scentsible

Oreo Pretzel Turkeys by Frugal Coupon Living

Turkey Leg Rice Krispie Treats b y The Chick 'n Coop
Pilgrim Hats by Our Best Bites

Turkey Pop by Tippy Toes and Tantrums

Acorn Treats by Two Twenty One

Thanksgiving Cornucopia Treats by The Craft Patch (that's me!)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Diaper Comparison and Testing


I have often wondered how different diapers compare to each other. There's a huge price range and many different brands to choose from. Some people swear by Huggies, some by Pampers, others only buy generics. With so many options, how's a girl supposed to know what to choose?!

I've been using Luvs with my 1 year old, but I've noticed lately that we've been having a lot of leaks. So today I'm going into all-out mad-scientist mode and giving three brands of diapers the full gamut of rigorous (cough, cough) testing.

For my tests, I decided to go with three brands of diapers that are in the same price bracket. I figure for as much as Huggies and Pampers cost, they had better work, so no need for testing. Ha!

Here are the three contestants:


Parent's Choice (from Walmart), Luvs, and up & up (from Target).

And here's a much cuter display of the three contestants. Thank you to my lovely model.


First up, let's compare price. All of the prices were for size 3 diapers.


And just F.Y.I., Huggies cost 22 cents per diaper and Pampers cost 27 cents per diaper.

One thing to remember is that Parent's Choice may be cheapest every day, but up & up diapers go on sale pretty frequently, so you can get them for an even better price. I've never seen coupons for Luvs, but maybe they are available? Does anyone know?

Let's move on to the next test, shall we? When it comes to diapers, I figure the bottom line is: "Will it hold stuff in?" Am I right? So I decided to see how much water each diaper would hold before leaking. I carefully measured so that I could give you accurate results.


This is about the point where I thought, "Am I crazy? Hmm... probably. Oh, well. Carry on!"

Here are the results:
Luvs Diaper: Held 3 cups of water before puddling.

Parent's Choice Diaper: Held almost 4 cups of water before a major leak with water running everywhere.

up & up Diaper: Held 4 1/4 cups water before pooling occured.


Isn't that interesting? You would not believe the weight difference at the end of testing. The Parent's Choice diaper got the biggest, but that up & up diaper was seriously heavy! (Can I just say "ew" once, please?!) I am guessing that the super absorbency is because up & up diapers now have cotton in them, so they hold a lot of water and actually become stronger when wet.

The last test was the least scientific of all. We'll call it "everyday observation." After switching between these three brands for a few weeks, I prefer up & up but probably won't be buying Luvs again. I especially like how up & up diapers hold up at night. I like that Parent's Choice diapers are cheaper. And Luvs? They are scented and smell great, but they just don't hold as much "stuff" as the up & up diapers. Plus, if I switch to buying diapers at Target, I'll get to browse all their cute home goods every time I need to stock up. Bonus!

So there you go. Everything you ever wanted to know about diapers. Now wasn't that fun?

And now you have a chance to win one $100 Target GiftCard to do some shopping of your own! To enter for a chance to win, leave a comment below letting me know what you look for when purchasing diapers. Have you used other products from the Target up & up line? Which product is your favorite?

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