Monday, April 30, 2012

Bathroom Remodel: Drywall

First, I should say that I just checked back to see when my last post was and I am shocked and sorry to say that is was 6 weeks ago!  I can't believe it has been that long.  Life has been crazy.  

And by crazy, I mean Ca-Razy!!! 

Part of my crazy has been getting my house ready to get it on the market.  Which I did successfully accomplish the week before Easter, Yeah!  

My house is a split level and when I purchased it, the previous owner had finished a bedroom on the lower level and had only framed out the bathroom.  I wish I would have been smart enough to take a picture, because it was strange!  The shower was framed out to land in the middle of the doorway.  Not sure what he was thinking, but we ripped that all out and started over.  It has been a slow process and I haven't taken a lot of pictures, because I always think about that after the fact when everything looks so different.

Here are my first pictures (about half way to completion)

This is the hallway that leads from a lower level family room to the bedroom.  The bathroom is through the doorway on the left. (Notice the toilet in the background, that sat in my family room for almost 2 months)

This is where the vanity will be.

This is opposite the vanity.  This wall will have a shower (obviously) and a toilet.

I have this amazing brother who did the majority of the work in this room, but I tried to help in areas that I didn't think I could cause too much damage.  So, he hung the drywall and got the first layer of mud on.  Then I finished off all the mudding and painted.  

After mudding and sanding and mudding and sanding and mudding and sanding, I thought everything looked nice and smooth.  But as you can tell from this picture and the next one, I was wrong.

There were some very obvious spots that didn't look great.  So, more sanding and mudding and sanding and mudding and sanding.  Finally got it to a place I was happy with....

...more to come next time.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Cupcake Love

Before I start drooling over cupcakes....

I was featured!

stylish once again

Thanks to Ann at Stylish Once Again for featuring my Citrasolv Dishtowel Tutorial!  

Now on to the yumminess of it all.

Since I went gluten free at the beginning of the year, I have been experimenting with all the different gluten free baking mixes and flours available at our local grocery stores.  Since I am a bit of a cupcake fanatic, I figured this would be the best place to start.  (Really this all just an excuse to constantly have cupcakes around)

The first mix I tried was a chocolate cake.  It wasn't great.  It was dry and crumbly and I was very disappointed.  Discouraged a bit and worried that I would never be able to enjoy a good dessert again.  But, I didn't give up.  Then I discovered a local supplier who makes several bread mixes, vanilla cake and the best all purpose gluten free flour.  So, I baked.  And baked.  And baked.  Here are a few of the creations I made...

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

So far this has been my favorite.  I just added a bit of cinnamon to a vanilla / white cake mix and and a bit of cinnamon in the frosting.  They were so good!  In fact, I may have to go make another batch as soon as I am done writing.

French Toast Cupcakes

These did not turn out the way I imagined.  I made these from scratch using a gluten free all purpose flower. They were pretty dense.  I added cinnamon to a white cake recipe, the put an egg wash on top of the cupcake before they finished baking.  I added maple syrup to the icing.  They kind of tasted like french toast, but they were so dense it took away from the yumminess.

Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

I made these in honor of St. Patrick's Day.  I used a gluten free chocolate cake mix and added chocolate chips to the mix.  Then made frosting and added peppermint extract and green food coloring.  The icing was pretty good (it doesn't take a lot of the extract to get a minty flavor), but the cupcakes were dry and crumbly like the first chocolate cake I made.  Maybe the chocolate cake mixes just won't work as well.

Hope I didn't make your mouth water too much.  I am just so excited to know that I can still enjoy cupcakes even if I am gluten free!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

GF DF Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bread

When I decided to go gluten free at the beginning of the year, I was a little apprehensive.  Luckily, there are so many great resources available.  It has been a lot easier than I anticipated.  
I have a bit of a sweet tooth (meaning I don't think I can survive the day without some sugary treat / snack / dessert in my daily menu)  My biggest fear was missing out on all the yummy stuff, but not anymore.

I found this great gluten free all purpose flour at one of the local grocery stores in Kansas City and you can't tell a difference.  Now my new favorite thing to make is Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bread.  Plus my 5 year old nephew couldn't get enough of it, so it is definitely kid approved!



3 ripe bananas
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups all purpose gluten free flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup dairy free chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli chips)


Grease a loaf pan with shortening.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together bananas, peanut butter, oil, eggs, sugar and brown sugar.
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients slowly.  Mix until just combined.
Add chocolate chips and mix in.
Bake for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes then cool on a rack.

ThriftyThursdayModernButton1 Thrifty Thursday Week 66


Monday, March 12, 2012

Citrasolv Dishtowel Tutorial

I love learning about new ways to be crafty.  When I heard about Citrasolv transfers, I went crazy.  I started using it on everything I could think of.  I added a design to the seat of a metal chair (but once again I forgot to get a picture of it before it sold at the antique store), I added a few designs to some t-shirts and more recently I decorated some plain white flour sack dish towels.

A friend of mine recently purchased her first house.  I really wanted to send her a little housewarming gift and I immediately thought of Citrasolv dish towels.  Now, I am going to show you had to make your own.

Citrasolv (found at health food stores, I found it at Whole Foods)
Flour Sack Dish Towels (or any fabric or fabric surface if you aren't making dish towels)
Cotton Balls
Laser Jet Printer (Ink Jet will not work)
Scissors (or something with a smooth surface to use during the transfer)

Step 1:  Create your design. I created an Audrey Hepburn design with one of her quotes using Publisher.  I created a poster using the dimensions of my flour sack towel.  Publisher will split the design up into several pages that create a large poster.  The other way to do this (and probably the easier way) is to create parts of your design on each page and piece it together when transferring the design. The hard part about the way I did it is making sure you line up the design perfectly.
IMPORTANT:  Make sure to print your design in reverse.  The easiest way I have found to do this is create the design on Publisher.  Once you are done creating, click "Select All" from the Edit drop down menu.  Roll your mouse over the design and right click.  Select "Save as Picture"  Then open a new publisher project and insert the picture you just saved.  Then reverse the image by selecting the "Arrange" drop down menu, "Rotate or Flip" menu and select Flip Horizontal.

Once you have your printed design, lay it out under the flour sack towel to make sure you have lined up in the area you want it and you can see how the final design will appear.  (It's hard to see in this picture, but I promise it's there.)  Now, lay it out on top of the flour sack so you know where to transfer each sheet.

I like to start in the middle and work my out from there.  Set all the other sections of the design off to the side.  Don't mix them up, you don't want to forget which one goes in which spot.

The way these print on publisher, each sheet will line up to the next one with a slight overlap.  Make sure it lines up both at the top and the bottom to help make sure you end up with an even design.

Lay the sheet face down on the towel.  Wet the cotton ball with Citrasolv (don't soak it, you don't want to immerse the paper, just moisten it).  Rub the cotton ball over the printed part of the paper.

Use a smooth surface (like the handle of a pair of scissors) to rub the entire design.  This will help transfer the design.  The more pressure you apply, the darker the transfer will be.  When you think you have covered the whole area, hold one side of the paper in place and carefully lift up the other side to make sure it looks right.  If not, lay the paper back down (making sure it is in the same spot) and try again.

Repeat this with each page until you have completed the whole design.

I made a couple more so I can send a full set of towels as a housewarming gift.

I hope she likes these as much as I do.  I was so excited with how they turned out, that I decided to make a few for myself.  And now it's your turn. Enjoy!


Today's Creative Blog

Tuesday To Do Party

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Gluten Free Dairy Free Oreos

That's right!  Oreos! 

Usually when I tell people that I don't eat meat, dairy or wheat, I get a lot of funny looks.  And I will admit that when I first gave it all up, I thought I was restricted to a lot of fruits and vegetables and that was it.  I was determined to stick with it, but convinced I would never enjoy an ooey gooey chocolate chip cookie again.  Or that I would never be able to have another cupcake.  But, I couldn't have been more wrong.  There are so many great alternatives available to bake with.  And you can't tell a difference.

But, I digress...

Here is the recipe:

Gluten Free Dairy Free Oreos


1 1/4 cups all purpose gluten free flour
1/2 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp room temperature unsalted dairy free margarine (I used Smart Balance Light)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Thoroughly mix flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder & salt.  While on low speed, add butter and then the egg.  Mix until the dough comes together.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Place rounded teaspoons of dough on the lined cookie sheets at least 2 inches apart.  

Flatten the dough with your hand or the back side of a spatula.  

Bake for 9 minutes.   


1 Stick Crisco
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla or almond extract (I prefer the almond, but either way is good)
3-5 Tbsp milk

Place Crisco in mixer and run on low speed until smooth.  Slowly add powdered sugar and vanilla/almond extract.  Add in milk one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.


Using an icing bag, place a small dollop of filling on flat side of one cookie in the center.  Place second cookie on top and press down slowly to evenly spread filling out to the edge.


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