Monday, February 25, 2013

A Desk to Remember Makeover

Well i have to show off my latest makeover. i had the sweet privilage to help such a sweet and caring woman, i had the opportunity to get to know her during training at my new work from home job. She is adorable, and funny! Well, Brenda decided she needed some help organizing her awesome desk area! So she hired me. She blames her husband for the outcome haha

Not too shabby, so i came over on a Monday and helped her out a little. She was able to get some awesome tools from one of my favorite stores ever! IKEA! check out the transformation.

What i really loved about her space, is that she had so much room for everything, we just needed to classify, divide, and clean up. We threw away a lot of the paper she didn't need, past due bills of six years, school homework, and many things that just weren't worth saving.
 This is one of my favorite organization solutions, folders, on racks! And what's really cool, is these command hooks for the keys, to get into locked drawers etc.

How about storing paper of all sorts and labeling little drawers to know exactly what you have!

And check these awesome drawers! Now this was an inspiration for me, remember back in the summer of 2012? i had taped my drawers all over so that my toddler wouldn't get into them? i can't believe i never thought about this. Her husband made these awesome safety locks, not only did he put a lock on the first drawers, but he used a piece of wood, and velcrow to keep them from being opened! Genious!!
And what about the inside?

And for all of the paperwork laying ontop of the shelves, no more problems! Just get magazine holders, and label. Perfect solution!
Lets look at the Transformation!
Thanks for Stopping by Today

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

DIY: Kitchen Drawer Dividers for the Kids

For a few weeks now, i have been trying to figure out, how to in a more managable and more efficient way to store my toddler's dishes and silverware. i am a super short person, so putting them in the cupboards, wasn't really doing it for me.

It won't even work out for Nolan, since i am trying to train him to be more tidy and organized. i know he's only a 21 month toddler, but it's always good to start healthy habbits at a young age. So i decided to make it functional for both, Nolan and i. We're both short, and he loves helping me around the kitchen, so i designated a special drawer, just for his own silverware and dishes.

i have been using this drawer for common things, but i wanted to make it more special.

First i looked around the house for boxes, perhaps you have seen around the blogsphere, or pintrest, many ideas on how to organize with cereal boxes. i decided to use some cereal boxes, among other types of boxes i found laying around my home.

i also used some tape, exacto knife, sharpie, and ruler to get exact measurements.

After they were all cut to the desired measurements, i used some super cute wrapping paper i picked up a few months ago.

After wrapping, and i will have to say, it was a bit time consuming, perhaps i should have followed some instructions from fellow bloggers who had already used the same technique to wrap boxes for dividers. You may click here for some instructions on how to wrap properly.

After a couple of hours of struggling, haha, i finally managed to wrap all my boxes, and fit them in my drawer, and let me tell you, they all fit exactly as i imagined and hoped in my head. A perfect fit!

i was so pleased by the way they turned out and looked, i didn't want to fill them. Hehe

But of course i filled them, and wow, i love it!! Now there's a place for everything!

i love to open this drawer now, and Nolan does too. Now when it's time to eat, all he needs to do is get his own dishes, all by his itty bitty self. How fun!


What fun and efficient ways are you training your kids to organize and be tidy?
Thanks for visiting today!

Monday, February 18, 2013

{My Work From Home Space Mini Makeover}

It's Monday, and i am loving it! I got everything i needed to get done today. One of my goals was to finish up setting up my work desk, it's no picture perfect, not even magazine worthy, but at least it looks much better than it did. We got this little cheap desk fro IKEA, nothing too fancy, just something that would work, since i only use it 3 days a week, it wasn't a big deal. Honestly, whenever i first got my desk, i didn't feel inspired, or even the desire to personalize it, why? i'm not exactly sure, but after 3 weeks working from home, in a blah work area, i decided it needed to step it up, and make it my own, it just felt boring and dull.

so i decided to use one of my favorite products, {washi tape} to liven up the dull and humble color of the desk. Don't you just love greek key patterns?

i wanted more zang, so i decided to make another faux- nail- head- trimmed cork board, just like the one that is featured on Woman's Day Magazine of this month's issue. To learn how to make your own Faux-Nail-Head Trimmed cork Board click here.

Got some cute storage from the $1 store, and colorful pens and accessories.

My work space is now complete! Much better!

Now i have my bulletin board with awesome fun pictures, and messages to keep me going through the day, in case i get mean callers.

Now it feels like home. You'd be surprised how much of a difference personalization and color do, in the place you spend time in. Your home defines who you are as an individual, it's where you live, make it beautiful and pleasant, for it's where life happens.

TaTa for now Peeps

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day, isn't this such a lovely holiday? Heart balloons everywhere, stuffed bears, heart shaped chocolate boxes, and flowers!! i adore flowers, my favorite thing to get every holiday it requires the hubs to buy me something. Just a simple bouquet of flowers will make my day.

This year i wanted to make something cute, and girly, for my little nieces and little sister.

 i saw these super cute mail boxes, and i just had to have them. Perfect for V-day. Just a little something to celebrate, and to give for Valentine's day.

Filled them with yummy chocolate and heart shaped confetti i made, with paint swatches and my heart shaped puncher.

i even personalized them with their own sticker monogram.
And a little heart on the front of each mail box.

In Case you Missed my Amazing Guest post this week, click here to learn how to make these super yummy Valentine Treats.

Happy Valentine's Day peeps

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

You Made That? Valentine's Day Guest Post

Happy Thursday my friends, even though it's such a cloud day today, it's still a happy one. Today i have a special treat for ya'll. i am super giddy about this guest post, not only is Suzanne one of my good friends, but she is an amazing cook, and blogger. Her website is full of amazing and delicious recipes, when i am in need of making something flabbergasting, i turn to her site to see what amazing thing she has created, so i can copy and paste. i love how detailed all of her explanations are, and so much information on how to get it done perfect!

On behalf of Valentine's Day this week, Suzanne made some yummy Valentine treats to share with us all. They are super easy, and super cute! Check out the links to see what beautiful things she has made and how to make them, Such as these:

So without further due, here is the lovely Suzanne.
Hello, I'm Suzanne from You Made That?  I'm excited to be guest posting here at Claudia's lovely blog.  Claudia has a knack for making things functional but beautiful, a talent not all of us posses.  I like to craft and cook but cooking or I should say baking comes much easier to me than crafting.  I started my blog almost 3 years ago  when I was involved in writing crafty and food posts for another site called The Mother Huddle.  I wanted my own creative outlet that I had control over what I posted and a place I could document my recipes for my children.  I wish I had my Grandma's recipes written down because she was a fabulous cook and baker but she passed away and we are left with trying to find similar recipes that taste like Grandma's, so my goal is that my kids will have all of our families beloved recipes.  I've found that cooking for my family is a great way to get closer to my family.  Cooking, eating and cleaning up together gives us time to talk and in this electronic world we live in we could all use more of that. It's so easy to eat take out or even a quick frozen meal, but with a little planning we can have healthy and delicious meals.

I love Valentine's Day and I usually make homemade Valentine's for my kids and husband along with other small gifts and goodies that I share with them. If you are like I am and like making things homemade then you will love to try out making your own bakery style cookies.  I have been admiring the professional looking cookies decorated with royal icing and using a technique called flooding but I was a a little nervous about it but I finally got inspired enough to just try it out.  What is the worst that could happen, a pile of ugly cookies but still very edible and delicious...doesn't sound like much to loose.Well let's get talking cookies, I want to share with you a great recipe for sugar cookies and frosting that will make you feel like your a professional cookie baker.  I can't take credit for the recipes I use here (although I've made slight changes) because I found a wonderful blog called Bake at 350. Brdiget shares all her secrets on making the prefect cookies and frosting, plus tons of cute cookie ideas. I was inspired by her long ago when I wanted to try out a new sugar cookie recipe, her recipe is simple,delicious and predictable. I also use her frosting recipe because after trying another recipe hers worked best.

3 cups all purpose flour
2  tsp. baking powder
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter, cut into chunks and still cold
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
 1/2 tsp. almond extract

Step 1:  Pre-heat oven to 350 F
Step 2:  Cream the butter and sugar together.  Add the egg and extracts and beat well.
Step 3:  Gradually add the flour to the wet mixture.  If you do not have a stand mixer, the mixture will be crumbly and you will need to knead it together by hand.
Step 4:  Roll the dough out  onto  a floured surface to 1/4 inch to 3/8 inch thick, cut out shapes.  Place on parchment paper on cookie sheet and put into the freezer for 5 minutes before baking.  I highly recommend you do not skip this step, it really makes a difference and holds the shape of your cookies.
 Step 5:  Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Cool in the pan for 5 min, then transfer to cooling rack.

Ingredients for icing:
4 Tbsp. meringue powder
 scant 1/2 cup of water
1 lb. of powdered sugar (sifted)
1/2 - 1 tsp. corn syrup
a few drops of flavored clear extract (optional)

Step 1:  Put meringue powder and water in a large mixing bowl, I use a stand mixer.  Using a  paddle attachment mix until the mixture is frothy looking
 Step 2:  Add the sifted powdered sugar, the corn syrup and extracts if desired. 
Step 3:  Beat the frosting at medium high for 5 minutes until shiny and stiff peaks form. The stiff frosting is perfect for outlining the cookies with tip #3 and then you will need to thin the frosting with a teaspoon of water at a time until you get a nice flowing consistency ( a bit runny in my opinion).
Decorating Must haves:

I bought a cheap decorator set at the grocery store this past week.  I found it was perfect for flooding or filling in the cookie after you have outlined it.  It was a small accordion looking squeeze bottle, it had 3 or 4 tips with it.  The small round tip worked perfect for filling in the cookie with frosting.
Step 1:  Divide frosting 3/4 of it you will make pink, and 1/4 you will leave white. Royal frosting drys fast so it's necessary to cover the unused portions with plastic wrap so the air does not dry it out.  Cut off the end of the disposable bag, not too much and then put a coupler into the bag.  Put the bag into a large canning jar or drinking glass so it stands up and fill with your pink frosting. Put a piece of wax paper down on your work surface and outline all the cookies with tip #3, it works best if you pull the frosting toward you as you outline. If you try to just outline like you would draw on a paper you will get frustrated with how it looks.

Step 2: Then empty the pink frosting into a bowl and add a teaspoon of water at a time and stir well until you get a thinned frosting. Flood about 6 cookies with the pink frosting you thinned out.  It would be helpful to have 2 small decorating bottles like I found for flooding, you can use the disposable bags for flooding it's just harder to control the frosting.

Step 3:  Thin out the white frosting and make small dots on the top of the cookies you flooded pink. Let dry completely before putting into a air tight container.  I made the mistake of thinking mine were dry and put a textured plastic wrap over the cookies and when I pulled up the plastic wrap a texture was on most of my cookies :(.  Repeat the above steps for the rest of the cookies.  If you try to flood more than 6 cookies at a time the dots will on sink all the way into the pink frosting and you will have raised dots.

I hope you enjoyed learning to make these cookies. Please visit Bridget's blog for tips and questions she has lots of experience, much, much more than me.

Happy Valentine's Day!!
Thank you for stopping by Suzanne, visit Suzanne at You Made That? for more!