The Kids bath

We were in the new house a whole 2 days before the shower started leaking into the dining room.  And within the first week the bathroom pipes to that bath had frozen on 3 separate occasions!  Which means it got bumped to the top of the remodel list.

Now I am a pretty competent DIY’er and spent my childhood growing up in a real estate office where we had to make repairs to rental properties constantly and our old ( for CA) 1940’s house.  And probably could have done most of the bathroom remodel components on my own, but I was a little daunted about doing them all at once in a short time frame and while trying to do everything else that needs to be done around here.  Plus the bathroom was going to need a complete over-haul ; all new electric, all new plumbing and drains, and a new floor plan to make a better use of the space.

Pictures of our space before:


Industrial look window coverings

A very affordable window covering that gives a modern industrial look.   And very easy to custom size to fit any window under 36 inches wide and shorter than 72 inches long.  And very easy for the beginner DIYer or home owner, and a great look for renters who are wary of putting holes in their walls!

inexpensive modern industrial window coverings


Each window will require 1 Redi shade blackout 36×72) shade (available at Lowes, Walmart, Amazon, etc. for between $5 – $8 – I got ours at Walmart for under $6.) and 2 bulldog clips size 2 – 5/8 inch (around $4 – $6 depending on where you buy them).  Other materials  you will need are a tape measure, a sharp blade (Exacto knife or box cutter type) and a straight edge to cut against.


Measure each window on the top and the bottom, and measure again.  Find the measurement that is the smallest and measure it again!  there is no such thing as over measuring!  Now subtract 1/4 inch from that measurement.  that is the width you are going to cut your Redishade to.

measure here

Using your knife and straight edge carefully cut through the shade making several firm but shallow cuts (make sure you are using a sharp and clean knife) until you have cut through the shade.easy, inexpensive DIY

Now hold the blind at the smallest area of the window to verify it will fit.  remove the sticky backing and press firmly in the center of the upper window making sure the cut edge is facing the window.  Press firmly along the length of the blind and then let it fall into the open position.

Redishade open positionNow it is time to trim to length if the shade is billowing out of your window casing.  start by taking off 4 pleats.  you can do this with scissors or by carefully ripping along the seam as I did again making sure the cut edge faces the window.  continue taking off 4 pleats at a time until the shade hangs nicely.quick modern industrial

When the window shade is down place bulldog clips on the bottom to anchor it in place.  When you want to open the shade pick your desired height and place the bulldog clips at that point.  When in the open position angle your bulldog clips into a hanging position for a cleaner look.

down or closed position


Another great thing about these shades is that they really do block all the light darkening a room nicely, and they keep the cold out that always seems to seep through the windows in the wintertime!

redishade blocking out the light and the cold

* But what about the clips that came with the shade?  Throw them away!  Use them for clothespins, or to match socks, or give them to a kid to play with.  Just don’t put them on the shade or you will have a whole different kind of look going on!



Rainbow cake Love

Rainbow cake success! rainbow cake success

I pulled a little bit of info from 4 pins plus some knowledge I already had to make it work.

Step 1: To make the cake batter  use 2 boxes white cake mix + 1 large instant vanilla pudding.  Mix these together and then followed the directions on the box. This will yield 16 servings, or 32 1/2 slice servings (which would still be plenty!)

Step 2: Divided the batter into 6 bowls using approx. 1 1/3 cups batter per bowl.

Step 3: Start mixing your colors using gel food coloring.  I used the Betty Crocker regular and neon colors. To get the colors vibrant you will need to use a lot of food coloring, about 1/2 a tube per color. I used red, neon orange, yellow, a mix of the green and neon green, blue, and neon purple with a touch of neon pink (purple food coloring on its own always just looks dirty to me, the pink pops the color up).

Batter before the cake

Step 3: Bake your layers,  take a little bit of time off of the recommended cooking time because you made 3 layers per box instead of 2.

Step 4: Let cool then wrap with plastic wrap and freeze over night.  This step is very important so your cakes don’t break when you ice them! wrap each layer in plastic wrap and freeze overnight

Step 5: Start Icing.  I used 5 5! tubs of white frosting for this cake and put very thin layers of icing. Make sure to stir each tub of icing before you start suing it, this lightens the frosting up and makes it easier to spread.  This cake is deceptively huge! Layer your cakes in rainbow order, just remember ROY G. BIV (without the v!) with a thin layer of icing between each layer. 

Step 6: Put a thin (crumb coat) of icing around the whole cake and then pop it into the fridge for a few hours.  This lets the first layer of icing set, keeps the cakes cold and firm to make icing easier so they don’t start sliding all around and keeps crumbs out of your final layer of frosting.

Step 7: Put your final coat of icing over the whole cake and pop it back in the fridge.  You can be done at this point, or add decorative icing finishes as I did after this layer sets up and hardens.

striped piping bag

Step 8 (optional): Add decorative icing.  To get the rainbow stars and piping effect stripe your pastry bag with the gel food coloring before you add in the frosting.  Don’t go crazy with the decorative icing here or the cake will look a mess, you are just going for an accent, the real star of this cake is the layers inside.  Put the cake back in the fridge when done. All Decorated with rainbow stars and piping

Serving the cake:  Do not bring this cake out of the fridge until you are ready to light the candles and cut and serve, and plan on cutting quickly!  The warmer the cake is when you slice it the harder it will be.

Rainbow cake

 Use a sharp knife ( I used a large chef knife and a bread knife successfully)  Between each slice wipe the knife off well or your colors will mix on the edges of the cake and it will look bad.  Also any extra frosting cake on the knife will make it harder to cut cleanly.  I sliced this cake into 16 pieces, and each piece was huge!Rainbow glow candles on a rainbow cake

How to cut:  cut across the whole cake making 2 halves.  then cut 1 of those halves in half. then that 1/4 in half and then each of those slices in half.  Then start removing pieces.  slicing this cake 1 slice at a time like a normal cake will just give you a big headache and a big mess!

5 sliced of cake left!

Rainbow cake was inspired by these 4 pins:


Pinterest inspired: Ice cream slices

The cookie cutter thing is cute, but I’m sloppy and It just didn’t work for me. Plus my girl loves Neapolitan Ice cream and wanted everyone to get all the flavors. This took about 5 minutes to do and yielded 12 healthy servings from a 2 quart container of Ice cream.

Step 1: Line a pan with plastic wrap. line a pan with saran wrap
Step 2: unfold your box of ice cream completely, so you just have a brick of ice cream. Byrne Ice cream box unfolded
Step 3: slice your ice cream into 4 slices. slice Ice cream evenly
Step 4: lay 2 Ice cream slices end to end.
Step 5: lay the other 2 ice cream slices on top in a way where the flavors are staggered.layer ice cream slices
Step 6: wrap in the saran wrap tightly and return it to the freezer till serving time. wrap ice cream tightly.
Step 7: Slice into 12 pieces (slice in half 1st, then in 1/2 the opposite way to make a + sign, then divide each square into 1/3rds).slice your ice cream

Easy Peasy and quick to serve. Ice cream slice and Rainbow cake

Sliced Ice cream was inspired by this pin:

Pinterest Inspired: Birthday party craft

Sharpie mugs

You know that point when planning a birthday party and you’re staring at the aisles of junk at your local party store / Walmart/ dollar store?  Yeah that one.  When you realize you are about to throw good money at a bunch of stuff the kids are going to love and take home and their parents who are going to immediately hate you for sending more crap into their homes and promptly throw it away as soon as the kid isn’t looking (admit it, you do it all the time, broken toy = trash, crap from a party = trash, excess candy from who knows when = trash).   Yep that one.  Well a few years ago I decided I wasn’t going to send crap goodie bags home from parties anymore.  I would send the kids home with something they might actually use and their parents wouldn’t hate.  So this party I had the kids decorate their own mugs.  Even the big guy joined in on the fun.Making a mans mug  I already knew this pin worked because the kids all made one for grandma for Christmas.  Super simple and cheap.  I picked up $1 cups at the local variety store but you could buy them from any big box retailer for under $3, (we used one of those for grandmas cup last December).

made a mistake?  Rub it off. The only other materials you need are sharpies to more colors the merrier!  If you are doing this at a party try to have duplicates of each color, and more than 1 market per child coming, (they can share, but it helps if everyone isn’t waiting on a loan red market).

Must use a SHARPIE markerNOTE: you must use Sharpie brand permanent makers for this to work!

 Plus the projects pretty forgiving, if a mistake is made rub hard enough and the marker will come off.  when you are happy and done, simply bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes and take out and let cool and then you are good to go!

The birthday girl.I have sent these through the dishwasher and hand-washed them before without the baked on marker coming off.

Project inspired by this pin:

Source: via Robin on Pinterest

Bacon Roses & Bacon Hearts: Happy Valentine’s Day!

Nothing says Valentine’s day like Roses and Hearts, and Bacon always makes everything better, so why not combine the two?

This is super easy ( much easier than you would ever think)

I use the cheap on sale grocery store bacon for this, regular sliced.  I think I payed $2.50 for the lb I used for tonight’s dinner.

for Bacon Rosesbacon roses

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2. Lay bacon out on cookie sheet, and cook for 5 minutes. lay bacon on cookie sheet

3.  carefully pick up each piece of bacon and flip it over, if it is sticking a little use a knife or spatula to loosen.  cook for another 5 minutes.flip it over

4.  Take bacon out and roll each piece up, for rose-buds firmly roll into a slight cone shape with the meaty side towards the top putting the end of the bacon piece down on the cookie sheet , for rosettes, roll   slightly loose overlapping the whole way and again lay on the cookie sheet with the end down.  bake another 5 minutes. roll it up

5. Carefully remove and cool.  If you want to make a bouquet once cooled attach to a skewer with tinfoil.  I am just putting rosettes and rose buds on the plates as a little festive decor. yum!


For Bacon hearts:bacon hearts atop mashed potatoes

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2.  fold bacon into a V shape, and then fold the ends back down towards the center, making sure there is no holes in the center of the heart. Bake for 5 minutes. fold bacon

3. carefully flip bacon over again using a spatula or knife if it is sticking slightly.  Bake another 5 minutes.

4.  Again flip the bacon hearts over carefully and put them back in for 5 more minutes.  The flipping will help prevent the bacon from curling up and changing shape.

5. remove from pan and plate!  bacon hearts