Mother’s Day Treat Pop Cake Bouquet

Happy Mother’s Day Weekend!

In case you are still looking for a gift  for mom, here’s a fun and yummy project I designed for Michaels.  Yes, THAT Michaels!  I now do projects for them about once a month, and you’ll be able to find the results on their website. 

Fun, right? 

I know, I know.  I am kind of over the moon about it.  It’s hard for me to calm down sometimes.

So that project…it’s a Mother’s Day Treat Pop Cake Bouquet.  Bright silk flowers, and Wilton Treat Pops filled with cake and buttercream.  All mixed together to be pretty AND tasty!  It’s a snap to put together, and the little ones will love being able to help with assembly. All of the required items can be picked up in one trip to your local Michael’s!

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Mother’s Day Treat Pop Cake Bouquet

Makes 2 Bouquets

What You’ll Need:
  • 1 Box Mix Cake, any flavor, baked in 2 – 9×13 Cake Pans
  • 1 Recipe Buttercream Frosting (Recipe to Follow)
  • 2 packages of 6 Wilton Treat Pops
  • 1 Wilton Disposable Piping Bag
  • 1 Wilton Decorating Tip, #6B or #4B
  • Wilton Sprinkles, in coordinating colors
  • 2 Porcelain Fruit Baskets (or Flower Pots)
  • 2 squares Styrofoam, cut to fit baskets or pots
  • 2 small sprays of spring/summer flowers, cut into stems
  • 12 Fondant Daisies (directions to follow)

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Buttercream Frosting

What You’ll Need:
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Directions

Cream butter with mixer and slowly add heavy cream. Beat for 3-4 minutes. Add powdered sugar and vanilla; Beat on medium high speed for 5 minutes. Add more cream if too stiff or more powdered sugar if too loose.

Place buttercream frosting into disposable piping bag fitted with Wilton Tip #6B or #4B.

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Fondant Daisies

What You’ll Need:

Use large Wilton Daisy Cut-Out Cutter to cut out 12 large white flowers and 12 yellow flowers. Place a small dot of water on the center of 6 white flowers. Top with remaining 6 flowers, turning the top flower a bit to keep it off center. Repeat the process with the yellow flowers.

Using your fingers, roll a small ball of fondant to make the center of each flower. Press into a Wilton Flower Impression Mat, if desired, to add additional texture. You will need 6 yellow centers and 6 white centers. Apply a small dot of water onto the center of each flower, and top with the alternate color of fondant. Allow to dry.

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To Assemble:

Use a round biscuit cutter or the end of one Treat Pop to cut 24 rounds of cake from the 9×13 inch pans. Each Push Up Pop will require 2 rounds of cake. Press one round of cake into the bottom of each Push Up Pop. You will likely have a lot of unused cake, so feel free to ice it with any remaining icing or make into cake balls, if desired.

Pipe a circle of buttercream onto the cake round in each Pop. Top with Wilton Sprinkles.

Repeat with another round of cake and circle of buttercream. Top with more sprinkles.

Place a Fondant Daisy onto the top of each Treat Pop.

Place a square of Styrofoam into each basket of vase. Place 3 yellow daisy Treat Pops and 3 white daisy Treat Pops into each basket or vase by pressing the end of the pop into the Styrofoam.

Surround the Treat Pops with flowers cut from the purchased spray, as desired. Repeat process with second bouquet.

Deliver and enjoy the smiles!

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Spring Cleaning & Getting Organized

This post brought to you by Rubbermaid® All AccessTM storage containers. All opinions are 100% mine.

This past weekend was gorgeous. Sunny, not too hot, not too cold…the perfect kind of weather to put me in the mood to throw away every single thing in my house and start all over.

Are you like that too?

When spring rolls around, it feels like the perfect time to come clean – out with the old, in with the new. But I do that A LOT. So pretty much everything I own is new.

I know – I’m spoiled! But, I work hard, and I buy the things I want. And right now it’s not the time to get rid of them.

Yet.

So – this year I intend to re-organize. Instead of carting everything to the Goodwill or dump, I will package them up for the summer.

In my house, we don’t have a lot of storage space. And our basement? Well, it’s more of a cellar. It can get a bit damp down there, or, it could, so, I don’t like putting things down there loose.

In steps Rubbermaid.

I’ve been using Rubbermaid containers for years. In the basement, in the attic, in the guest room closets. And it you have too, you know they’re great – with one exception.

You know how you bundle up all of your sweaters and sweatshirts for the summer, but then in July there’s that one week where the nights did down in temperature all of the sudden, and you really want your favorite pink Hokie Sweatshirt? But, it’s trapped inside the BOTTOM Rubbermaid, and you’d have to remover the 7 other Rubbermaid containers on top of it, just to get at it?

Well, NO MORE.

Rubbermaid has created a new container, called the ALL ACCESS.

Rubbermaid® All AccessTM organizers come in a variety of colors and sizes (so that you can color code your shirts versus your Hubs, versus your kids, versus the love notes you still keep from boys you dated in 9th grade. But wait – that’s not the cool part!

The containers open from the side, too! So, stack them as high as you want, you can STILL get to the things inside. Not saying you should have a night filled with reading old letters, wine, crying and wishing you still had your perm and 17 year old body…no. But grabbing that sweatshirt will be a lot easier. And that’s a good thing.

So, if you’re planning a little spring cleaning, check them out! They will be perfect for closets, garages, basements – you name it! You can find them at Walmarts all across the country…so get to it!

Good luck!

Visit Sponsor's Site

Quick Valentine Caddy

Have you ever been on Pinterest, gawking around, and stumbled upon a craft so insanely easy you wonder why you never thought of it?

Yeah, me either.

But I’m hoping you’ll think, wow, clever idea that Doughmesstic chic had.  Wish I’d have thought of it.

Because here’s the deal…it’s not really even a craft.

It’s barely even an idea.

But it’s really cute (if I do say so myself), and completely interchangeable.

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It’s a metal shower caddy.  Well, it WAS a shower caddy.  Now?  It’s a Valentine Caddy.  In a few weeks, I’ll yank out the cute Valentine ribbon, weave a few pastel ribbons through it, and voila – it’s a contemporary Easter Basket.

I hate to insult you with a how-to, but why not?  Let’s do this thing.

Buy a metal shower caddy.

Buy cute ribbon.

Weave the ribbon through the caddy.

Fill caddy with Valentines.

The End.

While I was at Lowe’s searching for things to use for Valentine’s Day, I see a shower caddy…THIS is what I thought of.  But I also saw another idea or two, and because I like to spread things out, you’ll be seeing those projects as we make our way to Valentine’s Day.  Cute ideas, kids.  Cute.

But first, see if you can find the energy to make this very complicated Valentine’s Caddy.

I think you can.  You can DO IT.

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Disclaimer: I was supplied a gift card to Lowe’s to purchase items for my project, but was not compensated for this post.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

How To: Wine Bottle Tablescape

Hello again!

Hope everyone is surviving (and at this point in the game, I do mean surviving) the holidays.  I feel like we’ve been in the car, on the highway, in a hotel, in a guest room, at a dinner party, at a family gathering, eating a ham, eating a cake, eating another ham, drinking wine, playing Dirty Santa, and baking for the past 117 days.

I just want to go back to work.  Like, for real.  I want everyone back in school and back to work. Pronto

I want my life back.

But, before that can happen, we have one more holiday to survive…New Year’s Eve.

In case you hadn’t gathered from my multiple posts proclaiming it, or from meeting me in person, I am not much of what you’d call a social person. Unless you consider sitting in a dark corner at a party, shaking and constantly checking my Twitter feed comfortably social.  So – holidays like New Year’s Eve are always a bit nauseating for me.  Everyone want to be so colorful.  So fun.  So festive.

I want to curl up in my down comforter and sleep with all the pillows in the house, after a 2 hour bath and all the chocolate I can eat.

Happy New Year!

This year though, I’ll be going out with some of our best friends to my favorite haunt – The Palisades.  We eat there on average once a week, and if it were acceptable and I wasn’t a food blogger with a guilty conscious, I’d eat there every meal.

People would talk, though.  What a lazy food blogger, they would all say.  Not that anyone around here knows who I am, or what I do for a living,  or what I look like outside of the Fed Ex and UPS drivers.  Whom I happen to have the cell phone numbers of and they know my different pajamas.

I get lots of deliveries.

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But you want to know about decorating with wine bottles.

I mentioned it the other day, but now I’m going to go into it a little deeper for you. 

First, grab a few empty wine bottles.  Five is a good number – always go odd numbers, as it’s more organic.  I don’t make the rules, just trust me on this.  Another thing?  Try to get different colored bottles.  Some a blackish, some green, some yellow, some almost clear.  They’ll all look a little different once you’ve done your thing to them.  Different sizes are nice, too.  But – it’s up to you!

Valspar Signature Colors 1 Oz. Interior Silver Paint CrystalsFor my project, I used a Hammered Silver Metallic spray paint from Lowe’s.  It’s nice and shimmery, but offers a less than perfect textured effect, which is what I wanted.  You could use only that, but for mine, I went a step further…I added silver paint crystals from Valspar.  I’m not sure if you’ve even noticed these before – they are kind of hiding out in the paint section of your local Lowe’s, tossed in there beside the paint chips.  They come in gold, too, but I really wanted silver.

I first noticed this product when we were repainting the kitchen, and I bought a pack of the gold crystals to add to our black accent wall.  You dump the crystals in to your gallon of paint, shake it up, and what results is a shimmery bit of gold or silver on your walls.  It’s subtle, but so pretty.

That’s what you USUALLY do.

For my wine bottles, I decided to spray each bottle, then sprinkled the silver crystals on them while they were still wet.

So sparkly!  I wish you could see it better in the photos, but, you’ll just have to take my word…it’s nice!

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To add more dynamics to my wine bottle centerpiece, I treated each bottle differently.  One I wrapped in ribbon, one I covered in funky round stickers, one I taped off in stripes.  Then I painted and sprinkled!  Once dry, I removed the ribbon, tape and stickers, added lights, and arranged them with some greenery down the center of my dining table.

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Great for a New Year’s Even party, should you enjoy parties!  You could even do something fun in the tops like sticking the corks back in, and topping the corks with a countdown (like 5-4-3-2-1) or “Happy New Year” or “2013” or even “It’s My House, Please Eat and Drink and Please Ignore The Fact That I Am Hiding Upstairs in My Down Comforter Watching All the Episodes of The Walking Dead While You Ring In The New Year In My Kitchen.”

I hope you have a lot of wine bottles.

I also hope you have a Happy New Year!!

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Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Lowe’s, though all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Wine Bottle Décor and a Free Wine Lesson

We’ve been going through some wine around here lately.

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Like, a lot.

I am a huge sparkling Moscato fan – it’s sweet. It’s bubbly.  It takes the edge off when a certain 5 year old has been trying my nerves for hours on end.

When do the kids go back to school?

I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time throwing wine bottles away.  Don’t ask me why. They just seem to be destined for something classier than the land fill.  Sure, recycling would make them into a new bottle, somewhere, someday.

I prefer instant gratification.

I was recently challenged by The Wine Bar to come up with something to do with all these empty wine bottles collecting dust on my counter.  A quick internet search gave me plenty of ideas!  Just look at these projects!

Beautiful, right?  And so simple.  Because I didn’t want to get into cutting the wine bottles, I limited myself a bit, but no big deal – I had other plans!

Here’s what I came up with!

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Not too shabby, right?  Stay tuned – in the next couple of days I will show you a  little tutorial on how I did it.  Not hard at all!

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In the mean time, I wanted to share this little Wine Cheat Sheet with you.  No one asked me to, but once I saw it, I couldn’t NOT share it.  I personally am NOT a wine know-it-all.  In fact, I am a Wine Know Not Much At All.  I just know what I like.

Like Moscato d’Asti.

Similarly, I found a Butterfly Kiss Moscato that is a little less bubbly, and it has a great fruity flavor.  I kind of feel grown up drinking it.  Seriously folks, it doesn’t take much.

Oooh, and I also got my hands on a sparkling Prosecco I am loving.  Stellina di Notte.  Great pricing (under $15!) and the bottle is good looking.  Don’t pretend like that doesn’t count – you know it does.

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Maybe you can print off this little cheat sheet and sneak it into your wallet or purse, then when you are out at a restaurant ordering, you can look like a wine-know-something-or-another.

Don’t be snobby.  You ARE resorting to a cheat sheet, after all.

I don’t judge.

If you do love wine, and you want to know more, I recommend checking out and Liking The Wine Bar on Facebook.  Plenty of great ideas, suggestions, and things to make you look all Wine-Smarty.

Wine-Smarty.

I think I need another glass.

The Wine Bar

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post, though all thoughts and opinions are my own. Obviously.

Decorating for the Holidays

Can you believe we just had Thanksgiving, and Christmas is breathing down our necks?

Crazy.

I’m pretty sure it was just Easter.  I never even made it to a single pool this year. Fact.  Okay, wait.  I did.  I went to The Homestead in September, and they had a heated lazy river.  You and both know that doesn’t count.

While I may not have my Christmas shopping done, or all of my travel plans mapped out, I do have my decorations out and up for the most part.  I love opening the boxes of ornaments and porcelain Santas, the treasures we pack up every year and then forget exist in their little basement hang out.

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The ornaments?  Well, I am particular about mine.  We’ve collected things from all over the world – some are officially ornaments, some are not, but all go on my tree.  Take for example the bird nest I carried home from Watamu, Kenya.  It’s beautiful, and a real work of art.  Or my La Befana, that I had to have because she was downright too ugly to leave at the Christmas Bazaar in the Piazza Navona.  On every journey we’ve picked up something unique I love to hang on the tree, and with each one hung, I can remember a little about that trip.

One of these days, my goal is to take a photo of each one, and tell a little bit about it.  You know, for Seven.  Just in case something should happen to me… I’d like him to know.  Maybe he’d appreciate it.

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Besides ornaments, I have a large collection of Jim Shore figurines.  It’s about the only Americana you’ll find in my more modern house, but I do love them.  Quilt like patterns, rustic snowmen and Santas – for some reason, they just call to me.  So do the porcelain Santas.  I have entirely too many of these fellas…but aren’t they gorgeous?  I even have a few sitting in my kitchen window sill.  I used to be able to put a decorated tree in the foyer, living room, AND kitchen, but with a 5 year old, his things take up room.  Plus, the kitchen reno ate up my available tree space, and I am okay with that.  Instead – I decoated the table top with those Jim Shore figurines and some lights and pine branches I picked up at Lowe’s.  Just a bit of greenery, some candy canes, and a few ornaments go a long way if you add in some twinkle lights!

Now, I am not what you’d call terribly motivated when it comes to crafting, but I really do love this garland.  Scraps of holiday fabric, a few tiny styrofoam balls, a jingle bell or two and a handful of tiny cookie cutters is all it takes to make a fun and festive decoration for the banister.

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Start by cutting a length of twine the length you’d like your garland.  Then cut out that fabric!  You’ll do best by cutting scraps about 4-6 inches long and an inch wide, but no need to be uniform or perfect – this is the beauty of it!  Some pieces you’ll want to make larger, so that you can wrap the tiny ball of styrofoam inside it.  Super easy!

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Once you have your fabric cut out, begin tying it in simple knots along the twine.  Mix up those fabrics!  The tighter you pull it all together, the fuller it will be.  Time consuming, yes, but you can do it while watching Grey’s Anatomy or The Walking Dead.  You know, holiday programming.

Every so often, add in one of those fabric wrapped balls, cookie cutters, or bells, and keep on keeping on until you’ve reached the end of the twine.

Voila, you are done!

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

For more holiday decorating ideas, visit Lowe’s Creative Ideas.

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Lowes. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Lowe’s DIY Fall Project: Adirondack Chairs {And a Giveaway!}

I will be 100% honest here…

I did not personally make these gorgeous Adirondack chairs.

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That would be Jon, who, using me as a cheerleader, made a set of plans on cardboard, cut out each piece of lumber, and screwed each piece into place.  We’ve been wanting a set for quite some time, but in case you hadn’t realized it…Adirondack chairs aren’t cheap!  So, when it came time to do a Lowe’s fall project, we knew it was time to get motivated.

photo(19)Using a template from a magazine, Jon drew each piece onto a large piece of cardboard, then cut the same shapes out of treated 1×6 pine boards.  Each chair took 7 boards, and each board cost about $6.  With the screws, we had under $50 per chair.

The pair of seats look great on our front porch, and will look even better once we decide how to finish them off.  Whitewashed?  Stained?  Solid white?  Right now we can’t decide, so I went ahead and threw a couple of colorful pillows in them until the time comes.  They’re still incredibly comfortable!

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While Jon was busy making the chairs (each took about 5 hours), I was busy crafting a new fall wreath for the door.  My grapevine wreath took, oh, half an hour.  So, I am obviously a better builder than he is.photo(17)

Hehe.

Still, together, the chairs and wreath look great and really dress up our front entry.  I love it!

Would any of you like the opportunity to spend $100 on a project like ours?  Maybe build a couple of chairs for you own porch?

Would $100 Lowe’s Gift Card help?  Just let me know you’d like to have it, and one of you will win it.

For more chances to win:

There you have it…5 chances to win $100 to Lowe’s!  Good Luck!

Giveaway is sponsored by and shipped from Lowe’s.  Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST on November 3, 2012.  US Addresses only, please.  Disclaimer: I was supplied a gift card to Lowe’s to purchase items for my makeover, but was not compensated for this post.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Grape Harvest…Grape Juice, Grape Jelly, and other Grape Recipes

About seven years ago (I really can’t believe it’s been that long), Jon decided we needed a grape arbor.  Okay, perhaps it was ME that decided we needed an grape arbor, but it was Jon that agreed to build it.  I spent a few days designing it – sorry, nothing is ever as easy as it could be when it comes to me, as I am addicted to graphing paper – and then after throwing a little hissy, Jon set about the building of it.

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It’s made from cedar – a man was gracious enough to sell us several large posts for only $5 each – and lots of cross twigs, branches, etc.  It really is quite stunning (thanks to my design?), and makes a real statement here in the garden.  Last year, we even had a couple of picnics under it, as it’s the perfect shady place to set up a little buffet and has a wonderful view.

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The picture above is from last year, and though it’s pretty, it’s not NEARLY as full and tunnel-like as it is right now.  All told, the stone floored bottomed arbor is about 24 feet long, and maybe 6 feet wide.  We have 4 grape varieties planted, and they have grown strong and tall and cover the arbor just as they should, making a secluded cavern, just like you see in magazines. It’s a magical place to hide sometimes. So, so pretty.

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Having a grape arbor isn’t all sunshine, though – grapes are fickle.  Ours, for a few years, were plighted with one random disease or another.  But, thanks to perseverance and a talk with a few winery owners, we were able to treat them, which led to a bounty of gorgeous grapes.

I’ll be honest – I don’t do much with them.  I simply like having them, I like the arbor, I like the IDEA of being the person that grows her own and bottles every drop.  But I don’t.  I suck, I guess.

grapes-sevenBut, I love it when I do make use of them, I love spending time with Seven in the backyard, picking them, watching him get excited about them.

Instead of giving you a run down of how to make your own juice, which I am in no means an expert at, I will instead link you to Elise of Simply Recipes, as she has a wonderful Step-by-Step tutorial if you are considering making your own juice.

Want to make Grape Jelly?  Yeah, me too.  Jessie of The Hungry Mouse has a great picture-filled post about Concord Jam making…looks like a great place to start.

But what if you are looking for other grape recipes? Look no further – here is a round up of the best looking grape goodness I could find. Click through, get inspired, and enjoy.

Savory Fig and Grape Tart :: If it  Lavender Champagne Grape Pie Bites... flaky lavender cream cheese pie crust topped with vanilla coated champagne grapes  Pan Roasted Red Grapes with Farm Cheese, Garlic and Thyme: Easy Appetizer Idea

Baked Brie with Grape Balsamic Compote  Brie and Roasted Grape Grilled Cheese ... simple, sweet and savory for a happy Grilled Cheese Day  Grape and Apple Pie


As you read this post, I am likely JUST landing in Roanoke, returning from Fresno, California, where I have been touring – The Land of…GRAPES.  Well, more specifically, Raisins.  I am thrilled to be one of the California Raisin Ambassadors – so expect to see a lot more information on my trip, as well as a few more raisin posts showing up here over the next year.

Just not today…I need a nap, I’m sure!!

Kitchen Renovations…with Lowe’s! {And a Giveaway!}

So…you’ve seen my new KitchenAid Appliances.  You’ve seen my Moen faucets.  You’ve seen a couple of teaser photos of the other improvements – improvements made with the help of Lowe’s!

One of the most dramatic improvements was the backsplash.  The glass tiles (not ceramic, solid glass) came in square foot sheets, and lucky for me, I didn’t have to try to match up the patterns thanks to Jon doing all of the work!  Up close, you can see that the tiles are kind of deep burgundy and a fir color, with some shades of grey as well, but, if you step back, it’s very neutral and appears to be all shades of grey. I LOVE it!!

Now, I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but this particular backsplash wasn’t what I had in mind for the kitchen.  I kind of thought I wanted penny round tiles, and possibly in stainless steel. Have you seen them? They are gorgeous, but my, are they ever pricy. I seriously considered it though, but before plunking down the $1600 needed to order them, I decided it would be a good idea to make one more trip through the tile aisle at Lowe’s.

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Oh. My. Word.

I needed 42 square feet of tile.  Tell me it wasn’t meant to be when I stumbled upon a few boxes of MY glass tile – 44 square feet of it – on CLEARANCE.  I took a chance I would like it, and bought it all. I knew if I only bought one as a sample, I’d love it, then I’d have to go back to Lowe’s, and of course, it would be gone.

Oh, did I mention it was on clearance? Ha, yes I did.  I bought ALL of it for $26.

Not a typo – Twenty SIX dollars.

Love it even more now, don’t you.  I know. Me too.

 

So what else did I do to make this the kitchen of my dreams?  Well, we added a new back door, to let in more light. It has the shades built in between the glass, which makes it really nice (and no dust!)  I can stand in the kitchen and see Seven playing outside, too, so that makes it really convenient!

IMG_3313You’d think that might be enough, right? Nope.  I needed a cabinet.  Not one that could be ordered – I wanted something special.

Thanks to the new fridge and moving around of the existing cabinets, I had space above the refrigerator for a larger cabinet.  I wanted something for part of my cookbook collection, as well as a place to store wine.

A few simple sketches and a trip to Lowe’s later for pine boards, woodglue and screws, and we were in business!  Basic cuts (measure twice, always measure twice!) and well placed supports made me this:

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Perfection!  Well, almost.  You see, my existing cabinets are maple, not pine.  So, I couldn’t stain it to match.  I do have an art degree though, so I mixed a few colors, did a little faux treatment, and voila, it looks like the other cabinets now!

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To say I love it is an understatement, and I highly recommend trying something like this out yourself. It took only a few hours and time for paint to dry, and it adds so much to our kitchen.  great idea for a kids room (cubbies for baskets of toys), or the bathroom, or office, and costs very little.  Plus, you can customize it to make it for YOUR needs!

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Lowe’s would like to help you out with that, and so would I.

Would $100 Lowe’s Gift Card help?  Just let me know you’d like to have it, and one of you will win it.

For more chances to win:

There you have it…5 chances to win $100 to Lowe’s!  Good Luck!

Giveaway is sponsored by and shipped from Lowe’s.  Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST on September 10, 2012.  US Addresses only, please.  Disclaimer: I was supplied a gift card to Lowe’s to purchase items for my makeover, but was not compensated for this post.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

By: ifood.tv