Tuesday, October 14, 2014

No Sew Outdoor Curtains

We have a nice covered patio out back. We really love this space (let's be real the patio was one of the biggest reasons we bought our house). However it gets pretty hot out there in the summers. I've always wanted patio curtains out there but lets face it outdoor curtains are really, really, really expensive. So I opted for a bunch of canvas drop cloths.

Each of these packages contains TWO...yes you heard me TWO drop clothes! Each pack was only $10.88!

The next biggest expense was going to be curtain rods. Our patio is pretty big. We figured it was going to cost us a small fortune in curtain rods...but while browsing our local Home Depot (date night!) we saw some electrical conduit...which happens to almost be the same size as a curtain rod for a lot less! So we bought four of those bad boys and some curtain rod hangers and we were in business.

Please ignore my fan...it's disgusting. I've tried to get it clean but it really doesn't want to be. Which is why it's going to be replaced....it's pretty ugly too.

We had a bit of a debate on how we were going to hang these wonderful and glorious curtains. Hubs One option: trim all the drop clothes and sew a sleeve and then just slide it over the pole...too much work for me. My option: buy the curtain rings with alligator clips on them and we can remove them as necessary. We went back and forth a bit. Would the clips hold the fabric in a bad storm and we weren't home to take them down. If we did the sleeve would the whole curtain and rod rip off if there was a storm. (we get a lot of storms and some serious wind) In the end I won with the clips! And they're amazing!

We just folded the excess cloth over and clipped the fabric in regular intervals and what do you know its perfect! The curtain ring clips can even withstand two kids pulling on the curtains and racing through them as fast as they can.

It's blocks the afternoon sun from hitting the tv so unwatchable. Gives us some shade so we can extend out time outside with the little ones.

You can even enclose the covered patio for a bit of a cabana feel! We're definitely getting our monies worth from these curtains.

I also can't wait to use the curtains this fall and winter as insulation from the colder weather!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Summer Catch Up

So it's officially September and it's been just over a month since my last post, fall is almost here and it's been a crazy busy summer. I haven't been totally slacking. I did do a lot and take photos for blog posts but now it's a matter of finding the time to write them.  Check out what I've been up to this summer.

We had a rough start this summer we lost this gorgeous fur baby we've had for 9 years to cancer. There isn't a day goes by that I don't think of him. And several times each week our oldest asks when he is coming home or informs us that since he's a superhero he can save him. (Every time I have to try not to break down in front of him. It's one of the sweetest things I've ever heard.)

Like a lot of moms I have neglected myself to take care of my wonderful family. And I decided that it was time to get back to something I love...running. I ran track all through middle school and high school (with a few college offers), continued running in college when volleyball wasn't in season (sometimes I would run during the season when I needed to clear my head after a practice or match), and I also trained with my brother and his cross country team in the summers through high school.  I've missed that time to myself and way to push my self to go a little further down the road. So I purchased some sweet new kicks and have been out pounding the pavement. I even competed in a 5k and finished 4th in my age group. Once volleyball is over I can't wait to start racing some more. 

A good majority of our summer we were lucky enough to spend on the lake! Not just the lake but the lake with a pool!

There's nothing better than spending summer with family and friends while out in the sunshine.

We also did a lot of paddle boarding!

I mean a lot. 

Even in the rain.  We couldn't get enough. I don't have any good photos but our oldest went out with me most of the time. 

But starting in July my second job started back up! The kids and I have been back in the gym everyday since the beginning of July. Practices, matches, and tournaments. It's a really busy time of year for us. I live in workout clothes. And dinner is often made in the afternoon so the kids can eat while we're at the gym. But I wouldn't give it up for anything!

On top of everything else is all the work I've been doing. I love my Silhouette Cameo. I can't even begin to tell you how many decals I have made over the summer. 

Not only decals but shirts too. There were 20 of these with individual monograms on the front of every shirt!

So it's been crazy busy here but I love the chaos that is our life! I promise there are some blog posts coming up as soon as I can sit down and find the time to write them all! I hope you took the time to enjoy the summer with your loved ones as well! 

What is your favorite memory from this summer?

Friday, August 8, 2014

Taco Bake

My husbands LOVES tacos. I rarely eat more than one taco in a sitting and I never eat leftovers. Then I found this recipe via Pinterest for a Taco Bake. If you like tacos and lots of cheese in salsa con queso form....then you want to make this. I have gone back for seconds, thirds, and fought for leftovers. I'm in love! 
We now make double batches and freeze one for those days where nothing goes right and we want an easy dinner.  
Here's what you need:
1lb of ground meat (we use turkey)
1 jar salsa con queso (we buy the big boy for double batch)
2 cups of cheese (cheddar, mexican...your choice)
tortilla shells
favorite taco seasonings
favorite taco veggies (we use a variety of peppers and half an onion)
springform pan for baking

First up dice the veggies and add to a pan with some oil for sautéing.

While those are cooking I prep my springform by adding a tortilla to the bottom of the pan. You can cut it down to fit if you like but I like the way the larger shells keep in all the good stuff. 

Once the veggies are done remove them from the pan and set aside. Add turkey to the pan. We like to season the ground turkey while we brown it for extra flavor. A nice sprinkle of cumin and garlic powder. (I prefer to used minced garlic but I didn't have any on hand today)

Next up on the turkey is some cayenne pepper, paprika, and some red pepper flakes.

Cook until the meat is completely browned.

Add your taco seasoning per the instructions.

Don't forget to add the veggies back in to soak up some more flavors. (This is the exact same way we make our tacos and our friends never believe us when we tell them we use ground turkey instead of beef. So here it is in print everyone!)

Once the taco sauce is done. Add half a jar of queso (if you're using the big jar like me or if it's smaller use the whole jar.)

Mix all the queso glory into the taco meat.

On top of your tortilla scoop out a heap of meat and cheese so it covers the bottom.

Sprinkle a handful of cheese on top of the meat. 

Repeat the process.

Till your run out of taco meat. Optional: add one last tortilla and dump the remaining cheese on top. We like a crunchy top.

Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes till all the cheese is melted and the tortillas start to turn golden brown.

Carefully remove the sides of your springform pan and let it cool a bit.

But I'm a rather impatient person when it comes to waiting to eat cheesy taco yumminess. As you can see I didn't get a clear photo and the cheese is still molten and oozing out and I was in a hurry to eat!

I just couldn't help myself. I love it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Craft Room Peg Board

So my craft room got a little crazy an I needed a quick way to clean up and organize the odds and ends while keeping them within reach. So I decided on a framed peg board. But I didn't want to pay to frame a large piece of peg board so I decided to frame it myself using moulding just like I did for my Agile/Scrum Board.

I picked up my peg board and moulding from Home Depot.

Using a compound miter saw I made my angled cuts. (Make sure you wear appropriate safety gear!)

Then I pieced everything together to make sure it would fit perfectly. (Don't mind the tent in the background we got rained out when camping.)

Since all my cuts looks great and fit nicely together I decided to go ahead and paint the moulding. I decided to use paint I already owned. And let it dry overnight.

Then I made sure everything looked good and I didn't miss any spots. 

I used some wood glue in the corners where the boards attached.

The frame was wrapped and cinched down with tow stapes to hold everything in place while the glue set.

After everything was dry I made sure everything was going to line up.

Then it was time to flip over the frame and add the glue.

We let the glue set up for a few minutes before placing it on the peg board.

Made sure our corners were nice and lined up.

Then used our corn hole boards to weigh it down for a nice tight fit.

Using the hardware that game with all my accessories we mounted it on the wall.

I got all these baskets and hooks from Home Depot.  All of the hooks were part of a starter pack and the baskets came in a three pack.

After a little playing around and rearranging the hooks and baskets this is what I've found works best of my day to day work.

Do you use vertical space to stay organized?