Tuesday, May 29, 2012

DIY Workbench: Day 1

We have been planning out with workbench since Christmas and have finally started to build! This is our progress from Day 1:

Keep in mind we are not experts so I would classify this as beginner with big tools. We have a basic idea of construction but could have probably done this more efficiently with more thought or expertise. 

We made a frame (very solid) from 3 8' 2"x4"s ($1.79 each and we picked through to find really straight ones)
The top and shelf are heavier plywood that came as 2'x2' ($6.49)
Pegboard sides and doors (not yet in picture) 2'x4' ($7.99)
Honey Stain/Gloss Finish - we have this ($0)
Hinges for the doors ($4.99)
Red Spray Paint for the doors ($2.49)

this is really all we bought and used other scrap hanging around along with Tim's tools (circular saw, jig saw, nail gun, screw driver, sand paper, grinder thingy, pencil and measuring tape, rulers) 

The final size is 30 inches tall in the back, the counter is 20 inches from the floor and 2 feet wide by 18 inches deep. Perfect size for a tot!

I will post the final instructions upon completion :)

I love projects!!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Part Two of Father's Day Post

So here is the craft half of my Father's Day gift idea. I got the idea from Life in the Green House and modified it to fit my family.

I plan to make three different colored sticks Red, Blue & Green
Red - Family Outings
Blue - Mommy & Daddy Outings
Green - Mommy & Daddy Stay@Home Dates

we always drive around or see and add for somewhere and go "we should go there!" and then when we have time/money we forget and don' know what to do.

I thought this would be a good father's day gift specifically for Tim because it can be a "daddy's pick" jar and also Bear can help me paint and decorate :)

Family Outings - Story Land, Beach Trip, Train Ride
Mommy & Daddy Outings - Bowling & Beer, Drinks at 188, Movies, Drive In
Mommy & Daddy Stay@Home Dates - Burgers & Zombie Movies, Wii Shakes & Popcorn, Daddy Cooks & Chick Flicks


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Date Night - Possibly Father's Day?

So this one is between you and hubby - possibly on father's day evening?

I have made this meal 6 times in less than two months trying to perfect it and I have finally gotten the whole meal down to tasty.

On the menu: Tipsy Chicken over Angelhair with Vegetable Gratin & Crunchy Garlic Bread

Ingedients (Tipsy Chicken)
2 Boneless Chicken Breasts
1 Cup Parmesan Cheese (sprinkle cheese)
Mrs Dash Table Blend
2 Cloves Garlic
Pinot Grigio - I get the yellowtail because it's <$6 but still a wine I drink anyways
Salt & Pepper
Angel Hair Pasta

How To: (Tipsy Chicken)
Pour 1/4 milk into a sallow bowl. on a plate (I use disposable for this) put 1 Cup of grated Parmesan and 2 tbs Mrs Dash and mix together. Wash and try chicken and cut each breast into three smaller pieces. I just them the long way and no more than 1" thick. Plunge each piece into milk and then coat in cheese mixture. In a skillet put 1 tbs butter and 1 clove chopped garlic. when pan is hot add chicken and flip as soon as the chicken is brown and coating is crispy. Begin boiling water and a dash of salt for the angel hair. Once both sides of the chicken are crispy, add 3/4 cup of Pinot Grigio and let simmer. I flip the chicken a few times until cooked through add more wine as needed. Strain the pasta and place the fully cooked chicken on top.

For the sauce leave excess from the chicken in the pan and keep the heat, add 1 cup wine, 1 tbs butter and a few pinches of Mrs Dash and whisk. Cook until wine is browned and reduced to 3/4 cup of sauce. Our over chicken and pasta.

Ingredients (Vegetable Gratin)
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
Italian seasoned bread crumbs
Olive Oil
1 Zucchini
1 Vidalia Onion
Red Pepper
Cherry Tomatoes

How To: (Vegetable Gratin)
Slice the zucchini, onion, leaks and peppers into 1/4 inch rounds. In a cast iron skillet (casserole dish will work but not as well) Layer in this order: Onions, Zucchini, Drizzle Olive Oil, half the cheese, half the bread crumbs, red peppers, leaks, remainder of zucchini and then slice the tomatoes in half and layer on top. Add remaining cheese and breadcrumbs, add a final drizzle and put in the oven at 400 F for 12 minutes or until you can easily poke with a fork. Broil for 3 minutes until the top is crispy.

For the Garlic bread i used butter, fresh garlic NOT garlic powder (ick) and put both generously onto thick cut sourdough and broil for 2 minutes (dont burn it!)

To plate this I put a nest of pasta with two chicken pieces then a slice of the gratin and toast on the side. YUMMY!

There is a craft that goes with this but Bear woke up - see ya!


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tray Tag Memory Game - FREE PRINTABLE

This isn't much of a craft but a super fun game!

Bear likes playing all the memory games on the Kindle and it would be nice to have some in the house. I find myself questioning why I should pay $3+ for a game made out of paper that will be destroyed in a day!

Well lucky me works at a mailing company so we have lots of tray tags (can also be bought at staples, there are 10 2"X3.25" punch outs per sheet) so I made these (Free Printable) to share with all of you! If you don't want to bother with the tray tags you can just cut them out and if you are feeling ambitious and the resources are available, laminate 'em!

These are wonderful to keep in your purse of kid bag for restaurants, etc. Since you can always make more, who cares if food spills or they are left behind.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Hello World

Spring time is finally emerging again - I've missed you warmth! Bear's favorite song if "You Are My Sunshine" although he only knows "sunshine, happy, take sunshine" it's still totally adorable!

We recently planned an attack on poor daddy. Bear and I hid behind the side of the garage and bombarded daddy with water guns when he got home on the vroom-vroom. Oh boy THAT was fun. We got really easy to squirt guns from the dollar store and then ran all around the driveway until each of us were soaked through. it was truly one of those moments you wish was on tape (or... CD?)

I feel bad because I am loosing my blogability. As Bear gets older those nifty little things are becoming harder to find. I am thinking the remainder of May will be craft month here on Nifty Things while i get my thoughts situated.

If anyone has anything to contribute please let me know!!


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Nifty Ways to Save BIG

So recently I have been dedicating some of my time and going out of my way to find fairly easy ways to save or get some stuff for free. Normally rewards and coupon programs are either too time consuming or not worth it in the end but two programs I found useful.

Groupon: I ended up getting a super deal on Bear's new tricycle and got two years of parenting magazine for $5. Whats great about Groupon is they give you one of these neat links: http://www.groupon.com/r/uu42050789 and every time someone uses that link to buy a Groupon you get $10 off your next purchase! So when you sign up and get your link make sure you use my link to get started :)

Viggle: It's an app for Android and iphones. Basically you watch TV, check in, get points and redeem them for gift cards. I have had the app for about 6 weeks and gotten $25 in Starbucks cards and $20 in Gap/Old Navy Cards! That's a pretty sweet deal for checking into the shows I watch anyways!

Starbucks Cards: If you are a regular at Starbucks like me, you know how much they get you on the prices. I used my Viggle points and redeemed them on the Starbucks app and ended up being a "gold Card Member" and get a free coffee and special offers every 2 weeks. Now that adds up!

RadioFlyer.com: Sign up for the email newsletter and get a $10 coupon on your kids birthday. 2 is a big year for tricycles and wagons and $10 off isn't a bad deal.

Anyone have some neat and easy money savers?