Tuesday, April 21, 2015

DIY copper pot rack and copper shelving!

SO, we have moved!!! I'll be showing you guys a TON of stuff coming up- We've painted every room, and trim, and cleaned everything in sight, and carried heavy things and assembled furniture and came up with some Hare-brained schemes.  This DIY copper pot rack AND Beautiful dining room wall shelf are some of those!

Jon has been so accommodating about helping implement my nonsense ideas.  This one started like this: 

We needed:  11 galvanized steel flanges (they don't appear to come in copper)
11 flange attachments
4x 5' copper 1/2" pipe 
Boards for shelves:  we bought a 12' long board and I asked the guy to cut them into 4 4' lengths for me and he did.  He acted all put out about it but I could tell he was kidding and I asked him if its kind of fun when someone asks him to use the big saw and he said yes. 
copper spray paint (Found at ACE, they didn't have it at our Homedepot)
I had to buy a pipe cutter, It was recommended that I buy the bigger one and Im glad I did. 
5 L brackets (make sure its the same size on both openings!)
5 T brackets
Anchors and screws
Gorilla glue
your drill 
Here are your plans: 
Pot rack:


Jon did all the pipe cutting for me because he is my hero

BUT I did the assembling! 

So, basically cut them to appropriate lengths and then use gorilla glue (follow the package directions, you'll need a wet rag)

and if you lay them flat to dry after you assemble and pay close attention to where the attachments are it should be plumb.

The Flanges need a connector (I don't know what they are called but one end is threaded and will screw into the galvanized steel flanges.)

So, how did I make the flanges match?  I'm glad you asked!
That copper spray paint has changed my life, by the way!  You can spray it on EVERYTHING!
Gotta stain some boards

Once everything was dry and set, we went to work installing. 
by me I mostly mean Jon. 
Anchors for EVERY screw, and that's a lot of anchoring. 
The cool thing about these adapters is that they can screw or un-screw to make it more flush against the wall and match the other ones.

I suspect Jon doubted my methods but he didn't let on.  He seemed relieved that it was level though!

So, we ended up with this:
and this: 

and now that is my favorite corner of the house, and it looks like THIS!

Beautiful Rainbow trout art from 
(Jon's sister and a very talented artist!  Go see what she has for sale!)

Bar stools and Pots and pans from Kohls 

Vintage Pyrex is MINE and YOU CANT HAVE IT hahahaha

Rug from AtHome 

I can't think of anything else in this Pic anyone might want to find lol. 

Thanks for visiting!  I hope you have lots of luck if you try to work with Copper pipe it was easier than I thought.  The whole project was about $200 total and we have enough pipe left over we are going to make a little paper towel holder,  I'll show you later!
Comment and link if you try this project! 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Cat Camper!!! DIY

Have you ever thought, man my cats seem outdoorsy, but in a very indoor-cat kind of way.  Me too!  Also, my cats are jerks and will annihilate my couch with all the scratching if I don't go out of my way to provide them with acceptable scatchable things.  I didn't want to get them yet another scratch pad if I could make them a FUN SPRINGTIME CAMPER!!
CATS LOVE IT!  even though they don't know what campers are, they are totally in. Except the fat one can't get all the way in the doorway due to her obesity. Sorry, orange cat. maybe I'll make the doorway bigger later on.

the supplies are cheaper if you already have string and fabric etc lying around, or if you get lucky on your your Target Cartwheel App (I got the scratcher at 10% off) Or if you use that 40% hobby lobby coupon for the foam board like I did.  I probably spent $18 total.
Here's the general idea:
Take the foam board and cut 2 mirror-image camper SIDES, then cut out windows and doors as you wish.  I used my box cutter for this.

And I did the curtains by taping fabric to the inside.  

***Note:  If I had been thinking, I would have done the paneling after this step.  Consider it. ***
Then, I cut the pink poster board into 2 long strips, the same width as the scratcher. 
So this is where you should be:

I wish I had taken better pics of the next steps- but here are some amazing drawings of the step where you hot glue the bottom of each side to the side of the scratcher: 
and the step where you add the roof from the bottoms up:
(don't forget to cut a window if you want one on the end)
And then it should look like THIS!

Then, I cut the metal siding into strips, and started cutting them to fit and gluing them on the sides like paneling
Also its impossible to do anything without kitties stomping all over everything am I right?

After the paneling was on and I glued on the cargo basket, we let the kitties investigate it a little bit 
Jon Loves Black Kitty!
Then, I felt that it needed to be more campy so I made a tiny bunting: 
 Hot glue and a fold is all the bunting took!

And I drew little rivets with a marker, and I added some pompom ribbon to the other side because the cats really like cutesy decorations. 

So, now, please take a moment to consider all the variations:  Different colors,  themes,  porches,  tiny flamingoes,  doubling the size for big cats...

Are you going to make one?  Please post pictures!!!  If I make Ali one for her birthday per her request, I'll show you that one too.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Meal plans for Apt 17A

I spent last weekend with one of my dear friends Liz in Chicago!  She and Dave and Chris were so hospitable and fabulous and their place is dope and they took me to brunch and I saw all the things and went all the places and Pizza and hotdogs!  Im aware I sound like a crazy person. Crazy about Liz!  Whaaaat!

So, Liz is a hardworkin' city girl, and the pull of Chipotle is strong, so she was interested in cooking at home more.  Her (super attainable and reasonable) goal is to spend way less money eating out (lunches included) and to try and cook at home 4 nights a week.  I'm treating each meal like it's for a family of 4 so they'll have lunches or be able to share a little, etc.

Thats where I come in- I love meal planning and making lists!  This is week 1 of a series of weeks of meal planning meant for only the coolest of people, efficiently, inexpensively and easily.

Chicken layered enchiladas with lots of leftovers
Chicken taco salads
Chicken nachos
Chicken taco soup

Shopping list:  In order of where I think things should be if you start in produce and end up in frozen foods.

2 tomatoes
enough lettuce for a few salads

2 cans black beans
2 can kidney beans
2 cans corn
2 cans ro-tel
1 can green enchilada sauce
2 cans red enchilada sauce
1 12oz can chicken broth
1 box chicken broth (like 36 oz? I have no idea. the bigger one.)
1 packet taco seasoning
Salad dressing for taco salads, whatever you like. (I usually get catalina for them)
(If you don't have them!)some tupperware-type-bins.  Target sells knock-off glad ware, thats good for a few uses but won't make you cry if you lose or throw one away.
Crokpot liners (I think they say slow cooker liners. The box is small and blue, with the trash bags and baggies)
Big ziploc freezer bags (like, 10+" tall)
a big foil casserole pan
Really big bag of corn chips.

about 8 chicken breasts

Cold / frozen:
the biggest bag of shredded sharp cheddar cheese you can find, like 10 oz
sour cream or plain greek yogurt, if you like it, If not thats OK its not required

My estimate based on Colorado groceries is $70 but I have no idea how much things cost in Chicago.  I usually get my groceries at super target, and I buy the off-brand whenever possible.  This is, in theory, about 20 servings of food so thats like $3.50 a plate.

UPDATE!  Liz posted a pic of the food she bought:
And she said $53 before tax!  I was close!

Day 1: Week prep and meal #1
I recommend you do this on a Sunday, maybe go shopping on Saturday or Sunday early.
Put 2 crokpot liners in, layered one right on top of the other. (wasteful, yes, but one always rips and that makes it useless.) Put ALLL the chicken in a crokpot. Add 1 can RED enchilada sauce, 1 can GREEN enchilada sauce, 1 packet taco seasoning, 2 cans of ro-tel and 1 12oz can of chicken broth.  Start as early as you can manage, the longer it can cook on low the better! Im talking 12 hours if you can!

When the chicken is just falling apart, add 2 can black beans, 2 can pinto beans, and 2 can corn. shred all the chicken and mix it all up. ( know thats a TON of food, you may have to do it in 2 batches, with another big bowl.  This is the hardest part of the whole week.)

Put 1/4 of the mixture each into 3 big baggies. (total being bagged, 3/4) Put one in the freezer, and 2 in the fridge.
You should be left with 1/4 of the mixture to cook with today.

Layered Enchiladas:
Get out the flour tortillas, cheese, the 2nd can of red enchilada sauce, and the big foil pan-spray it with Pam (or butter it a little, or use a little oil, whatever you have handy.)
a little enchilada sauce
flour tortillas
chicken mixture
a little more enchilada sauce
flour tortillas
chicken mixture
a little more enchilada sauce

Bake for about 25min, or until it looks done in a 350* oven.
Eat, enjoy, and put your leftovers into the little tupperware bins.   Cleanup should be almost nothing, since you used crokpot liners and a foil pan you can throw away.

Meal #2:
Taco salads
Lettuce, chicken mixture bag #2 (ok cold or heated, its up to you)
Crunched up chips
sour cream/greek yogurt if you want
dice up one of those tomatoes

Meal #3:
Chicken nachos 
I would recommend layering foil over a cookie sheet for easy clean up!
Layer chips, chicken bag 3(fridge), cheese, diced tomatoes, whatever you want.
bake at 400* until its nachoey looking!

Meal #4
Chicken taco soup
this one is the easiest by far!
Take bag#4 out of the freezer and put it in the fridge to thaw, that morning or the night before.
Dump it in a big pot with the big box of chicken broth
Heat it until its super hot, and eat it with cheese and chips on top.
Leftovers you can freeze for future lunches, too!

You're going to be super sick of chicken taco stuff by the end of the week, but you've hopefully spent less $$$ and ate better than usual.  I'll do another week for ya soon!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

White elephant: Nobody wants something weird

Mike and Ali throw a white elephant party each year, and the group of participants KNOW how to do a white elephant exchange-  we have had years of practice.  Usually the parties have a theme, which I always love of course!

Some key lessons over the years have been learned, for instance:  Don't wait too long to begin the exchange, or you'll be yelling over drunks and it'll be total chaos.  Let it be known that if you are super late, you just aren't participating.  But the most important of all: Bring a good gift.  Let it be funny, or something people WANT, or at the very least, let it be alcohol.  Basically, don't bring something you would be pissed to end up bringing home yourself.

You may be saying, but wait, me and this other group get together and give each other weird and terrible things every year and its just a HOOT! That's super, and I know that those types of exchanges occur, but if you aren't 100% sure its THAT kind of W.E. exchange, maybe check with the hostess first and ask, before you bring a box full of cotton balls or something.  If theres a $20 limit, shoot for $20, not $5.  We usually do a $25 suggested value, so the gifts below are around that.

That said, here are some ideas for you, if you're into being the bad-ass that brought something cool that people "steal" from each other.   Some of these ideas came directly from past parties, because my friends are geniuses.

 Cat-centric gifts are always a winner, especially when 35% of your attendees call themselves the "justice league of cat ladies".
This is my cousin Rob winning a "crazy cat lady starter kit" last year.  That I stole.

 Men with cats calendar, cat socks...
and the actual proud winner of the often-traded cat scratcher. 
You can dazzle your friends and buy it at urban outfitters for $40

and last year, making this little beauty cost me about $25:

Hipster starter kit

Here are some other things that you might think don't suck:

And were you aware that for $10 you can be the proud owner of this many 80's Garbage Pail Kids cards? Carefully arranged in a binder, these would be the radder gift ever.

May the White Elephant odds be EVER in your favor!