Spice Corrals – My first Silhouette Project!

Finally, my first Silhouette project is complete!  It has been a trek but it’s been totally worth it.  Now I LOVE my Silhouette Cameo.  I just received it a week ago and have been having so many issues getting it to work properly.  The machine kept cutting all the way through my cutting mat- even on the lowest setting.  Then it was only cutting all the way through on part of the image… it was so weird.  Well, finally completely frustrated I contacted Silhouette to find out what I was doing wrong.  They responded immediately and let me know that it sounded like a defective cutter and they would be sending me a new cutter and cutting mat immediately!  Talk about GREAT customer service!!!

So, now I’m finally able to play and I have bunches of ideas!

This project was a last minute thing that I just had to do or else I was going to go insane!  My spice cabinet (which I’m sure is like most peoples) is an absolute disaster!  It’s so hard to find anything because…

1. I can barely reach the shelves- much less the back  of the shelves.
2. Everything is just thrown in the cabinet.
3. Whenever anyone reaches for anything at least 5-6 other things fall out with the original item.
4. When above mentioned things fall out they usually fall into whatever happens to be on the stove cooking.
5. When above mentioned things fall into what is cooking someone (me) gets frustrated and throws said things back in the cabinet and shuts the door really fast before they can come back and attack again.

So the spices may not be perfectly organized or beautifully displayed- but at least they are corralled so they don’t attack!

Spice Corrals Using Shoe Boxes:
Looking back I should have used primer because it took about 4 coats of paint to cover the yellow and it’s still showing through!
After applying this I realized it’s really hard to read unless you’re right up on it so I decided to use some adhesive vinyl.  Since I just got my Silhouette I had a very limited choice of colors on hand- I did this project at like 11pm and just wanted it done.
The gold color is growing on me though…
I had originally wanted to do the label in black and add black satin ribbon along the edge to make a more finished look- but it was too late to go to the store and I just needed this done!
Now when I want something I just pull down the whole box and nothing attacks!!

I can’t wait to make more projects!  Next up I’m working on transforming baby formula containers into ground coffee holders!

Super Simple Shredded Beef Stew

Super Simple Shredded Beef Stew

Simple Shredded Coca Cola Beef Stew Crock Pot Recipe

What’s better during these dreary winter days than curling up on the couch with a cozy blanket and some hot yummy stew?!
If you haven’t noticed I have been on a crock pot kick- if it can be done in the crockpot then I’m trying it!
So the other day I pulled some stew beef out of the freezer (at least I thought
it was a package of stew beef, but once it defrosted I realized it was round steak- that’ll teach me to start labeling stuff when I put it in the freezer).  But, it turned out to be a VERY happy mistake!  After cooking all day in the crock pot the steak fell to pieces with just the stir of a spoon!
Super Simple Shredded Beef Stew Recipe: 


2 lbs round steaks 

1 medium onion sliced 

5 cut up potatoes 

1 bag of baby carrots 

Publix Beef Stew seasoning package 

12 oz can of cola (trust me on this one!) 

1 Cup of beef stock 


This is just too easy to be this good….
Throw it all in the crockpot on low and cook for 8-10 hours! 


Sweet Vidalia Onion Rice

It’s Tastefully Tuesday!

Do you ever get bored of plain old rice?  I DO!

My husband is from Puerto Rico and he’s used to eating rice at just about every meal.  I get bored with it rather quickly and now he gets rice about 2-3 times a week…I just can’t do it every day!

My mother-in-law came over and cooked the night we brought our son home from the hospital and she made this rice… now I didn’t know at the time if it was REALLY that good or if I was just excited to have some real food after having hospital food all week… 
well, it was REALLY that good!

Now I make this all the time!


1 medium onion

1 TBS butter

1 ½ cups uncooked rice

1 can Cream of Onion Soup

1 ½ cups of water


A neat little trick I learned from a friend:
Light a candle when cutting onions to keep your eyes from watering… it really works!
1.    Chop the onion into diced pieces.

2.    Melt the butter in a large skillet and sauté the onion.

3.    Once onion is cooked add raw rice and let it brown.

4.    Once rice is brown (not burnt) add the cream of onion soup and water.

5.    Cover and cook on medium heat until rice is done. Stir frequently so it doesn’t stick to the bottom and burn.  You can add more water if needed.

Using sweet onions makes this dish really tasty!  Even people who don’t normally like onions Love this rice!

Don’t forget to link up at the Manic Monday Linky Party!

Lamp refashion- from DRAB to FAB!

Do you ever have one of those mornings where you wake up before everyone else and feel productive?  Well, that’s the kind of morning I’m having… It seems like I can get so much accomplished when everyone else sleeps!  Now, on to my project…

I have a newfound Love for turquoise!  I’m really digging the pop of vibrant color that it adds- especially during this dreary winter.

Back during the spring I found this table lamp at a yard sale for $1…

It’s cute but I brought it home and just didn’t Love it anywhere, so it went in a closet

and hasn’t come out.  The other day I was looking in said closet and saw it and figured why not paint it- If I screw up it was only $1 anyway.

Now, you all know I’ve had this new fascination in decorating with cable knit sweaters…. So, yep I covered the lamp shade with scraps from a cable knit sweater!

I pulled out the glue gun and went to town!

I didn’t have quite enough sweater to fully cover the shade, but no one sees the back anyway… so it’ll be our little secret!

Then I pulled out the paint and began painting.  I used basic Americana acrylic paint in Desert Turquoise (I paid .99 for it at Hobby Lobby).

Let’s just say it was bright! But I wanted a shabby chic look anyway so I scruffed it up a little bit and added a coat of basic black that I wiped off as I painted.

The black paint settled into the grooves nicely and toned down the bright turquoiseperfectly!  You can see how some of the gold from the original lamp is coming through…which I think is okay… it adds a little depth to it I think!

I decided it needed a little bit of bling!  So I found this old broach in my jewelry box, it was my grandmother’s and it looks perfect!  I never wear broaches so I think this is a great way to enjoy my grandmother’s broach rather than letting it sit in the jewelry box.  This now resides on my desk and brings me joy everytime I look at it!

Now I Love my new turquoise lamp!

Check out my other Winter Sweater projects:

The Crazy Happy Dance

I was getting dressed a little bit ago and my husband starts looking at me like a crazy person, he rolls his eyes, and walks out of the room… 
 Now granted I was doing my crazy happy dance…

Why was I doing my happy dance you ask?

I’m so HAPPY you ask!  Well, it all started a little less than a year ago…

I found out I was pregnant with my son in February and was in maternity clothes by the end of March.  It seemed like once the line turned blue I began growing my prego belly at astronomical rates! 
We had a wedding to go to in March (not ours, a friend’s in Miami of all places- not good for trying to hide some skin!) we were trying desperately to keep my belly and non-drinking (did ya know ginger ale can not only calm nausea but also pass as a gin and tonic when put in a rock glass!) hidden from all of our friends because we had yet to tell our own parents…but that is a story for another time…. Right now we’re on my crazy HAPPY dance.

Now, skip ahead to October 24th– exactly 12 weeks and 3 days ago- my beautiful son entered the world by a last minute c-section. 

 He was amazing, the most beautiful person I had ever seen- but I was in tremendous pain!  A few days after his birth I pulled a muscle in my belly and was afraid to do anything because everything hurt!  So, since his birth, I have not done a thing- no exercise, no diet, no straining, etc. In fact, I’ve been very vocal about women wanting to bounce back too quickly after having a baby!  I’ve always been a major advocate for healthy body image and how women are exploited for their looks… but, I ramble and am off subject again. 

So here we are today.  Careful not to be too hypocritical—this afternoon I was getting ready to go out.  Nothing big, we’re meeting some friends for Bingo- yes, I said Bingo!  Gone are the days of party all night, concerts, drinking till dawn…. now a fun night out is playing Bingo… at least it’s at a bar (the bar takes away the fact that it’s a game that instills images of 70 year old women with their 30 Bingo cards and giant stamper).   
So, wanting to look good for Bingo (I know…. really?!) I search my closet for something to wear—now I have been wearing maternity jeans for almost a full year now—at the bottom of my closet are a regular pair of jeans.  I think to myself “dare I try?”….

So, my husband is getting dressed in the bedroom and all of a sudden hears



 and then singing


so he comes to see what the commotion is all about and he sees me jumping up and down, dancing around the closet, singing about how hot my butt looks….wearing those jeans.

I couldn’t believe it!  My pre-pregnancy jeans fit!!!  Granted, they were a little big on me before my pregnancy but who cares!! 

Do you remember when you were able to wear your pre-prego clothes?  Share your stories with me!

Easy Peasy Curtain Tie Backs

So today I’m working in my husband’s home office new craft room, you know… straightening up, organizing, taking over redecorating, etc. 

 And it feels like a cold dark cave in here!  

Here’s the office… excuse the big desk blocking the view… we’re trying to fix it.

I start out by taking down these god awful tapestry curtains that came with the house and put up some light weight (almost sheer) satin curtains hoping to let some sunlight in.  Well, it still felt dark!  I decided I needed some tie backs.  I looked in my crafty stash and found some ribbon that matched the curtains…. 
WAIT…. I know what you’re thinking… 
“Melissa, everyone in the crafting world knows how to use ribbon to tie a cute little bow and pull back the curtains!”  
But I changed it up a little.  I didn’t want tie backs that I would have to untie and retie every time I wanted to close or open the curtains… I wanted something simple yet functional.
So I tied a knot at each end of the ribbon….
this way I can loop it over a nail and tada…. instant tie backs!
I know, you’re probably thinking “duh!” but hey… it’s good to get excited over the little things… right?!
At least this little guy is proud of how ingenious his mommy is…