Saturday, January 28, 2012

DIY Light

Don't you love it when an idea comes to fruition and ACTUALLY works? Although this isn't always the case, this time I was pleasantly surprised! I have been wanting to get a fun chandelier light for our laundry room that we recently did a makeover but they are ridiculously expensive.

When I was out browsing I came across this bowl/vase/thingie. That is it's technical name of course.
What if I made it into a crystal light? So I took a risk by buying it and bringing it home to size it up to this baby....
The first step was somehow separating the beaded "bowl" from the base which turned into us man handling it with tools until it came apart (think jaws of life). Then came the test...I unscrewed the old glass light and screwed on the new creation...
Low and behold it fit perfectly!
The new lighting looks much classier then the $24 it cost. 
It's a reminder that projects don't always have to be expensive or fancy as long as you have some fun and at times take a risk creatively!

Thursday, January 26, 2012


We already established in my last post that I found a bench that rocks my world and now it has found a home in the entry way! Here is our new inspired nook.
(As a side note it is also a great place to have some home brew after you help your wife hang things. You need to know this.)
It's nice to have a place to hang up our keys! Let me rephrase that- where I can FIND my keys and thus sanity in mornings (Pat. Pat. Patting back now). We bought this hanger gadget years ago from IKEA and had never found a spot for it and with some black paint it was meant to be. The photos are my favorite of the girls that John had printed on canvas last Christmas. Sigh*
Threw in a chic owl I found for $5 and a corner shelve (also 5 bones)...
And made a big pillow to match. I smile knowing that the bench is filled with little shoes that are no longer crowding the doorway. 
It's a simple fix to the front entryway clutter. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

There is a God After All

If you would have told me years ago that I would someday light up like it was christmas morning for a bench for our entryway like I did last night I well- I wouldn't have believed you. I wouldn't have believed you and I probably would have had a few choice words for you. Just keeping it real. You see bungee jumping, backpacking and hitchhiking 170 miles and driving from Alaska to Oregon and staying in hostels (more then I can count) is a far cry from playing twister and hide and seek with the kiddos. Here is the mind blowing thing- NOTHING compares to any adventure that I have ever had then the blessing of raising a family with the hubs. The me back then would have never said a churchy thing like "blessing".

Being raised as a Christian, somewhere along the line, I became convinced that I had been brainwashed. You know like in the movies. Picture someone in a chair, some weird cartoons and indescribable phrases inadvertently signaling their brain and filling it with mindless jargon. Oh yeah and some drool. Don't remember any of those things happening but I was sure that the only reason I was a Christian was because I had been "forced" to love Jesus...well...maybe minus the drool. This perfect person who could never sin and had to always repent and feel guilty was not something I could do (I later found out I had that a little backwards. Maybe a lot backwards). So I decided to not care. I decided to NOT love Jesus. Yep. Walked away. DESPISED religion, the church, and would literally cross off or black out any word that had to do with G O D.  Can you handle that? This isn't about running away from a loving family or stents in rehab. This isn't about being admitted to a children's home at the age of 15 or dropping out of high school. This isn't about the drug use or waking up next to a dumpster after "using".  This is about an entry way bench remember? lol

Seriously though, it's rather wretched to look back and re-visit this dark phase in my life but how else would I be able to see how God swooped me out from the pit and literally saved me (mostly from myself)? He didn't give up on me even when I so wanted Him to and it had nothing to do with what I deserved or didn't deserve. After all, He is in the business of RESTORING and LAVISHING GRACE. Yep. He is that cool.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

It's so fluffy!

Favorite line from a cartoon (Dispicable Me). If you haven't seen it you're missing out! What is so fluffy you ask? A pillow I made from...drum roll....a table placemat. 
Ideally, in a perfect table mat transformation pillow making world- the key is to find one that is double sided with a fab print so all you have to do is unstitch one of the sides, stuff it and your good to go. Like these beauties from West Elm.
However in this case, I found a plain old green one at the dollar store that I wanted to beautify. I have to admit I'm proud of myself for picking out something that has color instead of black and white. GASP.
Next, I used a flower design also from the dollar store because I'm such a high roller.
I traced it, painted it...
 and filled it with stuffing and restitched the side.
Quite frankly it's pretty bad A for only two bucks!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Scribble Away

Remember when as children our scribbles were masterpieces? I actually found some drawings that Nevaeh did when she was 3 yrs old from the doodle pad on our computer.
Makes my mommy heart smile. I'm going to have to enlarge them and hang them up as mod artwork.  As grown ups (love calling myself a grown up cause it makes me still feel young), it's harder to scribble outside the lines of our comfort zones but it's so needed in order to GROW. We took this a little literal and painted a wall by the kitchen this weekend with chalk board paint and designated it as an area for scribbles.

Then came the fun part!
We even "made" our own chalk (thank you Audrey and Kevin for the kit).

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sukiyaki Night

Sukiyaki has become a tradition that we have woven into our little Karraker family throughout the years and have by far created the most memories around the dinner table. Which translates into lots of happy hearts and tummies!
Perhaps I should explain...Sukiyaki night isn't just a meal for is an event. Unlike most dinners, this one is a process and coming from the heart of a very impatient person,  I can tell you it is always worth the wait to make new memories. The best ones start out with a trip to the local farmers markets to get loads of FRESH ingredients. I have to say we are far from being on an "organic" kick and never pay a penny more at the store to invest in organic food but the truth is picking out your produce is fun and that much tastier.
Then comes the making of the noodles. When the time permits, John and the tykes bond over pasta making (someone has to take the pictures!).
Fast forward a few years...and the tradition is still going strong.
Then funnest part is cooking each ingredient right in the middle of the table in a community "hot pot" including your raw meat and sukiyaki sauce.
For those of you that want a play by play you can check out this basic recipe
Don't forget you will need one of these- a table top gas burner. Just make sure you have a large room and ventilation with windows and your set!
Best meals and memories ever. Now I'm hungry...

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Our New Addition

This is Mochi. And just like the japanese dessert, he is rather sweet and squishy! I have NEVER quite understood people's obsession with their pets....until now. I officially get it. I AM A SUCKER. Our little pug is our new baby.

Isn't he stinkin cute!
But just because I've caved in and have succumbed to being a mushy dog lover, I at least had to do it with some dignity. I wanted him to have a little mod nook so I dragged my culinary genius husband into his kitchen to choose a cabinet to sacrifice and transform into Mochi's doggy lounge.
So we negotiated and settled on the cabinet next to the dishwasher that we used for cutting boards and I took off the door and got to work.

 We had to do a little hunting to find a rod that would fit such a small space and settled on a tacky gold and white one that I spray painted black (of course).

I sewed the curtains out of a tablecloth that we had wanted to re-purpose for years but didn't know what for. It was perfectly fitting and a little rock n roll I might add.
The end result has become his napping haven!
 I'll have to post pics of the inside with him in his cush bed (I sewed it out of a fuzzy blanky). Last but not least, check out the doggy dishes because frankly they are just that cool.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Kiddo Corner

I'm back! My blog had a  little new years makeover and I'm happy about writing again. Recently, I shared the transformation of my kitchen pantry which to me was nothing shy of a miracle because of the "before" state it was in. What I'm even more excited about (yes I get elated about these sort of things) is the hidden kid friendly element to it. You see the girls got gobs and gobs of magnets for christmas in addition to the ones they already had so I wanted to create a space for them that didn't take up our entire fridge. So on the inside of the pantry door I made a little station....

 Love all the colors and the re-creation of what used to be an old cookie sheet! More specifically, a VERY well seasoned (Ok. Homely.) cookie sheet that I covered with fabric. This was a super easy and quick project.
After modpodging the fabric on, I glue gunned heavy duty velcro on the back edges of the cookie sheet as well as the door (after a failed attempt hanging it with screws). It will be fun to do a few different designs that can be interchangeable.
Next was tackling their markers that had made their home in a plastic bin in the pantry. What once was neatly contained WITH matching lids (imagine that) had become a free for all. The problem was nearly 3/4 had become useless and dried out.

So we went from this...
Downsized to this...
My mommy concerns were a) the jar was glass and b) getting the markers in and out easily. After the kiddos used the markers day in and out this past week, those concerns were eliminated. In fact, they seem to actually enjoy putting them away more (insert question mark here).
Aren't the little things in life grand? I'm thinking YES.