Friday, January 30, 2015

Recipe Quickie: Crock-Pot Italian Beef

Happy Friday! Sorry for the lack of stimulating and image heavy content this week, but I am getting ready for my little sister's Beauty School Dropout Graduation party this weekend! I also have two new couches being delivered today but that's another story (and another blog post).

But I won't leave you empty-handed! It's Friday after all! You absolutely HAVE to make this incredibly easy and delicious Crock-Pot Italian Beef. I love to make this on weeknights, or for big gatherings. Everyone requests it at every picnic, potluck, etc. My mom originally gave me this recipe and of course I tweaked it for our family. Enough chit chat! I present to you:


Chuck roast
One 16oz jar of peperoncinis
One or two jalapenos (depending on how spicy you like it!)
One pouch of Good Seasons Zesty Italian dressing mix

Get your crock pot out and start with the peperoncini peppers. Empty half of the juice into the bottom of the crock pot. Place your roast in, same side up that was in the packaging. (This isn't that crucial but I like to do it cause this side always looks nicer). :) Start dropping in those peperoncini peppers! Sprinkle some on top of the meat, around the sides, whatever! Just make sure you empty all the juice out over the top of the meat. Now you can tear open that dressing mix and sprinkle evenly over the top of the meat and peppers. Lastly, we will cut up the jalapenos and toss them in. Cook on high for 4 to 6 hours, on low for 6 to 8. Before serving, meat will pull apart. I like to do this and give it a good turn through the juices so the seasoning is well mixed. Serve on hoagie rolls and enjoy!!!

Now my mouth is watering. Gotta run!
Xoxo, Natasha

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Dollar Tree Drawer Liners

Good morning! I just wanted to really quickly share with you this little dollar tree gem: these pretty black and white toile drawer liners!

They are adhesive backed and VERY easy to place. They have a grid on the back with measurements so it's a snap to get them right! And I love how they look!

I bought two rolls because I wasn't sure how much one would cover in my kitchen drawers (they are extra wide and deep because they used to be for linens). They actually cover quite a bit! I will have to get one more roll to finish the last two drawers, but I was planning on getting more anyways once I realized how simple they were to use.

I also spray painted the old white knobs gold to match the solid brass knobs that are on the china cabinet. I will eventually just replace these with real brass as well, but in the meantime...

Hopefully you guys can find some great treasures at Dollar Tree, too!

Xoxo, Natasha

Monday, January 26, 2015

Ikea Hack: Gold Terrarium/Green House

Hi, guys! Sorry for the absence the past few days! I was battling an eye infection and am getting ready for my little sister's beauty school graduation party this coming weekend! But I do have a few new projects to share with you, one of them being this super-simple Ikea hack.

Last time I was at Ikea, I picked up one of these SOCKER Greenhouses:

Not a bad size for $19.99, and I love white, but once I set it up in the kitchen it just felt a little... rustic? Shabby chic? Which is perfect for my mom's house (we actually both love shabby chic), but in the current direction our home is taking, it needed a little glam.

Nothing a $3.00 can of gold spray paint can't fix. I used Rustoleum Bright Metallic (the absolute best gold spray paint out there).

The after:

Much more dramatic and expensive-looking.

This project does require a little patience as far as taking out all of the plexi-glass and getting paint into every nook and cranny, but such a simple thing can have such a big impact!


Thursday, January 22, 2015

DIY Acrylic Standoff Frame

I recently had two issues: One, I needed some original house plans custom framed but custom framing is soooo expensive, and two, I really love acrylic standoff frames but they are also soooo expensive.

Pinterest to the rescue!

I first stumbled across Kristin Jackson of The Hunted Interior's tutorial, which led me to Dina from Honey and Fitz. Dina had the great idea of melting the acrylic to get your hardware in, but as far as the actual hardware used, I felt that what Kristin found was more than I wanted to spend (in fact I'd seen similar frames on Amazon for close to what she spent on hardware), but I really preferred that style over what Dina did. Dilemmas.

Amazon to the rescue!

I bought these:

And then I simply spray painted them gold.

I marked off where my holes were going:

And super heated a flathead screw driver that was the width of my screws. It really does push through like butter! Actually, it's more like margarine...

Get all your holes done (I clamped my pieces of acrylic together and went through both at once) and pop in your art and hardware.

Ta da!

 For a more detailed tutorial, I strongly suggest you check out the blogs I linked above!
 Xoxo, Natasha

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Decorating Your Home on a Budget

Let's face it, we've all been there. You find a beautiful pin on Pinterest luring you with promises of budget-friendly decor, only to click on said pin and discover that this blogger's budget apparently includes every piece of furniture from Z Gallerie, perfect accessories from Ballard Design, and a thousand dollar rug from Home Decorators. While that may be the dream, the reality for this stay-at-home-mama is that while I love decorating our new home, I have to make every dollar count! That's where this blog post comes in...

You do not need to shop at expensive stores to make your home beautiful. I have found some of my favorite pieces at the cheapest of places.

7 of my favorite stores (in no particular order) for finding super cheap furniture/decor are:

1. Craigslist - Of course! Everyone has scored some great deals on furniture, but make sure you check other areas of the site you might not already (such as general, household and antiques) for great finds!
2. Goodwill - So many gems discovered in Goodwill stores! If you have multiple stores around you, or you live near to one in a big city, all the better!
3. Habitat for Humanity - My H4H recently had beautiful sofas (including a blue velvet one) for $30-$50. They also had a vintage set of bleachers that would have been awesome in a boy's room or basement sports bar for $150.
4. Ikea - If you're not shopping here, you are nuts! There truly is something for everyone, and they have adopted styles outside of just those funky modern pieces they are known for.
5. Target Clearance - I love Target, but I never buy anything full price. I just don't. With the constant rotation of what's on sale, there's no need. Frequent the store often (as if you're not already). They generally drop prices every 2 weeks on items that haven't sold.
6. Walmart, people - Lately they have added a collection of Better Homes and Gardens items that are really very nice. And last time I was there I spotted some gorgeous white faux fur pillows I need to purchase!
7. HM.Com - They are known for their incredibly priced and stylish clothing, but have you SEEN the home store online? Go! NOW!

A lot of times when you shop cheap, you need to think outside of the box or use a little elbow grease, but the savings are so worth it. A few examples in my home:

My daughter's bedside table was purchased from Shopko (a local department store) on clearance for $11.89 down from $129.99 (are they crazy?). It was black and rustic-looking, with some faux distressing on the edges. Too contemporary for me. A couple coats of white glossy spray paint fixed this table right up. I also spray painted this beautiful bed my mother got at a garage sale a metallic gold for some glam. The fluffy white comforter was a Target clearance item for under $20.

My faux cherry blossom tree was $6.99 at Goodwill, and the clock I got for free with some Kohl's cash we earned on purchases we actually needed.

Don't pay a ton of money for art, either. This mirrored frame was clearanced at TJ Maxx for $11.00 and the art is from Vintage Printable.

Another clearance frame and free Vintage Printable art, and a $14.99 marquee light from Old Time Pottery. If you have one any where near you, you need to check it out!

Use your own art! I painted this lion for my son's room, the 'G' was a $4.00 Shopko special that I sprayed gold, and that awesome little black and gold frame was a Goodwill treasure.

Evidence that Walmart does have pretty things: these two mirrored frames I got for $12.00 each. That cute boy's face I made for free. Teehee.

Collecting little things on a tray makes a bigger statement, like this $2.00 art deco glass container from Hobby Lobby and this beautiful necklace. The tray was free with a cosmetic purchase.

When we were forced to re-do our shower because of cracked and leaking tile, we saved money on this gorgeous Pulse shower head from the Amazon Warehouse.

Books = interactive decor. Everything here was Target clearance, except for the book which was for sale for a quarter at our local library. A quarter, people!

25 cent garage sale lucite lamps with simple $4.00 Walmart shades flank our television on the fireplace mantel.

Thinking outside the box: this hamper was on sale at Babies R Us, but it actually looks better in my bedroom.

Bedroom breakdown: The lamp bases (we have one on each side) were Target clearance for under $20.00. The shades are from Shopko. Clearance $6.00. Nightstands were $150.00 a piece at Sam's Club. The headboard is from Joss and Main. I paid $375, so that's more of a stretch for me, but finding a King size headboard does run ya a bit more. Euro shams and cases are from Ikea: about $8 a piece. Quilt was $20.00 at Old Time Pottery. Leopard print comforter set was at Walmart for $50.00 (which is normally more than I'd spend on Walmart decor but come on, it's leopard print). That heavenly bedside rug was $20.00 at TJ Maxx.

More Target clearance (small frame and mirror set) and a larger Hobby Lobby frame. I save money by printing my own pictures. Pennies, I know, but they add up!

Testing the softness of the Walmart comforter.

And just generally distracting me.

So my TOP tips for budget decorating would be as follows:

1. Think outside the box - These angel wings were on clearance for $6.00 at Hot Topic. Left over from Halloween. But they fit in perfectly tucked behind my daughter's vanity mirror. Want to feel like a swan princess, anyone?

2. Use what you have - This spot was empty on my Ikea shelving system and I had no idea what else to do. Then that aha! moment came. A couple of wine bottles and glasses and this space looks for intentional. Which brings me to my next tip...

3. Collections work wonders - This set of books from Goodwill does double-duty. Not only do I want to read them, but as a collection, they make a statement on my bookshelf. I plan to pair them with a gold urchin DIY to emphasize the gold lettering on the spines.

4. Use your clothes and jewelry as accents - My daughter's dress makes a statement in this spray painted Ikea frame, and my bold necklace adds more bling to a blingy tray in the bathroom.

5. For big purchases, check the Amazon Warehouse  - Checking Amazon is generally a good idea anyways, but many of there products are available even cheaper through their open-box warehouse deals, like our Pulse Shower Spa.

Now use all that money you save on something truly valuable: worship, charity or your family!

Xoxo, Natasha

Linked up at: Real HouseMoms Simply Designing The Thrifty Home

Monday, January 19, 2015

DIY Abstract Art (with the kids!) & My New Velvet Curtains

Hey, all! Just a little somethin' somethin' for this morning's blog post: Some examples of DIY abstract art that your kids can do that looks like you spent a ton on a great art piece! Also I thought I'd share a pic or two of the velvet panels we just hung the other night! Hope you all have a great day!!

There are so many Kelly Wearstler inspired/black&white abstract art pieces floating around out there right now, and while I love them all, I just can't shell out that chunk of change. Especially when I have a budding artist right here in my own home! My 3 year old son, Graham, painted this beauty for me:

Isn't it great? I can not wait to get it framed (another DIY project I will soon be sharing). I simply let him go to town with a little black paint on a primed canvas I bought from Hobby Lobby.

This one his sister got involved in and I let them get a little crazy with color, too:
I love how bold it is! I also let me son have some fun with gold leaf. They sell a kit at Michael's that includes the adhesive pen and several sheets of gold leaf.

Not only does this art look fabulous, but it has way more meaning to me than something  that happened to be a trend. It's a piece I will truly cherish forever and is definitely one of a kind!

And here's a little peek at the black velvet panels I whipped out this weekend:

That's Moose enjoying the first sliver of sun we have had all winter!

I love how it really pulls you in from the black entryway.

Thanks for looking!
Xoxo, Natasha

Linked up at: Makeovers and Motherhood A Bowl Full of Lemons
The Gunny Sack
NapTime Creations